Archive for November, 2012

Genetic advantage and Economic status advantage


In fitness, it is uber popular to hear the common phrase he/ she has good genetics that’s why he looks like that once we see a person with a nice-looking physique. The truth is physiologically speaking, genetics does matter but it’s not all that matters. It’s just very difficult to quantify how much does genetics matter as of this writing of this post because so far, even the scientific community hasn’t discovered any way yet to exactly quantify the how much a person’s genetics really affects someone’s physique results. It can be 20%, 40% or even 80% and so forth. There are things like p-ratio, insulin sensitivity, etc. i cited Lyle Mcdonald’s articles regarding what i mentioned above because I think that he was able to discuss those things in a very detailed manner. It just probably varies per person to person if how much good genetics really matters but even so, if a person really has good genetics, it still takes consistent work to optimize the results. For people with poor to average genetics, most of us simply needs to focus on the things that are in our control which is also affected by the next factor below.

Economic status advantage

One thing that hinders many people to get themselves committed into regular exercise is their socioeconomic status. The average people has bills to pay, family to support, is living on paycheck to paycheck, taking long commute to work, etc. The average people who belongs to poverty also has less accessibility to foods that are more nutrient-dense but is less calorie-dense like fruits, vegetables and lean cuts of meat. I’m not saying that calorie-dense foods are necessarily bad nor fattening; I’m just saying that due to the major shift in most people’s activity pattern these days, the average people’s daily calorie requirements isn’t that many anymore unlike back in the days when everyone is highly active on a daily basis so in their context, it is more practical to take the calorie deficit from their dietary pattern. The average people also has very poor and outdated nutritional knowledge. Most people like to oversimplify: fats are bad, sugar is bad, meat is bad, etc. Now, if everything is bad then what’s left for us to eat? 🙂 Okay, I’m being sarcastic here but just like what I’ve been saying all the time, it’s all about dose and context all the time.

Fitness peeps on the other also have bills to pay just like everyone else but if you’ll notice, their job is also related to fitness: they either trainers, diet consultants or nutritionist. Most people who are also getting into fitness who have been experiencing good results were kids who were living in their parents, have no bills to pay so they could simply eat, train, go to school and sleep whenever they want. Of course, young kids were not the only ones who sees optimal results. The other group composes of established people in life who doesn’t need to work double jobs, are not living on paycheck to paycheck basis therefore, they could afford to optimize the things that are in their control(diet, activity pattern, sleep) whereas the poor people were deprive of.

To many fitness people, it is so easy to over generalize the average people that they were simply lazy, unmotivated, weak, etc. but they always fail to realize the context of the average population. I’m not defending the average people to give them excuse so that they could use their economic status not to see results nor I’m saying that being poor will automatically take us away from creating a good dietary and activity pattern, I’m just saying that these people need to put in extra effort to be able to achieve even just workable results.

Just like genetics, the applied effort of a given individual is also difficult to quantify. In the ideal world, it is best to have both advantages above to maximize our desired fitness results. However, the reality typically gets in the way.