Dont Let Bodybuilders Fool YouDont Let Bodybuilders Fool You

Here's a question that I've addressed many times.

Why is it that some people can eat what they want and still not gain an ounce yet I just think about certain foods and gain weight? I have a close friend that eats all he wants and always looks trim and fit and it just drives me crazy.

That's an excellent question and requires a lot for me to say so here goes. First of all join the club as I'm in the category of gaining weight/body fat just by thinking about crispy cream doughnuts. I also have a buddy around 37 years old that has always eaten what ever he wants and still looks fit and trim.

This issue raises questions on what looks good and is actually healthy, genetics, and so on: I'll tackle the genetics first because I'm no expert in the science of genetics. But plain and simple some people gain weight or lose weight easier than others. No different than how some people can run 100 meters in less than 11 seconds, dunk a basketball or hit a baseball 500 feet. Some people have it and some people don't. So with that in mind are you doomed for failure? Absolutely not! As I said before I'm in your category of gaining body fat just by thinking about junk food but that hasn't stopped me from reaching my goals and the many people I've worked with. The key is not making excuses for yourself and finding what works best for you. If your buddy can eat what ever he wants then good for him but you have to live by different rules. Yes you will have to work a little harder but that is life. You may also find (as I have) that as you get older those people that had it easy (eating whatever they want and not exercising) find it much harder as they get older. What makes it even harder for them is the bad habits they developed from not having to do the right things their whole life. Here are a few examples of this:

I trained a 38 year old woman who never exercised and ate whatever she wanted up until age 34 or 35. She looked amazing and always had an amazing figure. Her life drastically changed when she was hit by a car. From the injuries and depression after the accident she gained lots of weight and was now in a position that she couldn't do what ever she wanted. In working with her I found that her biggest obstacle was just changing her habits from eating whatever she wanted and not exercising to being disciplined with diet and exercise. She would talk to me about the days when she could fit into a two piece while never worrying about what she ate and whether she exercised or not. She told me her favorite exercise was walking to get her favorite chocolate. It wasn't until she became disciplined that she began to make progress but it was very difficult as being slim and trim always came easy to her.

Another example is my buddy who has always eaten what he's wanted and never exercised but still managed to be an amazing athlete and always looked slim and trim. Although he's still trim he's starting to develop a little pot belly and his health and conditioning isn't what it used to be. Because he's so gifted I like to challenge him to 400 meter races every now and then sort of as a measuring stick for myself. The last race we had he won again but after he was curled up on the floor and felt like throwing up. And although he looks healthy his conditioning is terrible and his cholesterol and triglycerides are very high. I always talk to him about what an amazing specimen he'd be if he followed a sound diet and exercised. I can almost guarantee he'd not have high cholesterol and triglycerides and certainly wouldn't have that pot belly.

My last example is of a friend I grew up with that played professional baseball for the Twins, Mariners and Reds. He did love to exercise growing up but kept a terrible diet even when he became a pro baseball player. One day I get a call from him wanting to hire me as a personal trainer. When I meet with him he'd put on over 30 pounds and it wasn't all muscle. He explained that he couldn't drop the weight because he didn't know where to start and was just so use to eating fast foods his whole life. Thankfully we got him set up with a good nutritionist and he was able to drop those unwanted pounds. The hardest part was breaking those old habits though.

So the moral of this story is that just because it looks good doesn't mean its so. There is a big list of people out there that look good yet are not healthy. Just take a look at many professional bodybuilders. Yeah they have all those bulging muscles and low body fat levels but if you look at some of their lab results there is cancer, heart attacks, liver disease and much more just waiting to happen from all the abuse of steroids.

Sad thing is that we live in a society where many times looks are all that's important. World famous personal training expert, Juan Carlos Santana of said it best: ?95% of people I work with just want to look good in that red dress or bathing suit. They would even take feeling like crap if it meant that they looked good.? Sad but true man? Sad but true.

I challenge you to aim for more man. Aim for health because the best wealth is health. So let your buddy follow his own path and you continue on the path of health and wellness which by the way will help you look good too.

by Virgil Aponte
References and Bibliography

For over 12 years Virgil has helped numerous people from all walks of life reach their strength & health related goals. His career highlights include working as a strength & conditioning/baseball coach for the New York Mets Instructional Baseball Academy, serving as an assistant with the WNBA New York Liberty's strength & conditioning staff and creating the Ultimate Stair Exercises DVD set & Book which has sold in 6 countries. Currently Virgil continues to teach, train clients and is releasing a new DVD series entitled GetFit Anywhere Subscribe to his free health & fitness journal at:

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