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Your Body

(This and all writing on this website has been copyrighted)

 

Knowing your Body Type

In Schwarzenegger’s encyclopedia and in other fitness references, the issue of "what body type are you" arises. It is pretty common to be one of three general body types. These types are ectomorphic, endomorphic, and mesomorphic. I won’t go too far into the technicality of these categorizations. If you want more info on these I recommend that you consult Arnold’s book. The main idea behind body classifications can be generalized by saying that certain bodies have certain features with respect to bodybuilding. For instance some people can gain muscle mass easier than others, but struggle to gain definition and keep off body fat. Others are vice-versa. Some have little trouble with either and still others have some trouble with all facets. As you lift, you will discover your body type and find out what you may have to work on a little harder. Overall, these struggle areas should not be intimidating. They can be easily overcome with persistence.

People are always going to look different from each other. For instance, you may aspire to look exactly like Schwarzenegger. If you are not six foot two with his particular size and shape skeletal system and a natural disposition to certain muscle groups, you will not look exactly like him. You may be more like a Frank Zane or a Serge Nubret. You may naturally have a more slender body. This is good though. You may have more muscularity and definition. Your body may look better like that. Your body is your body. This you cannot change. Some people have naturally longer biceps while others have more of a peak. Some people have more of a square shape to their chest while others have more rounded pectorals. Whatever the difference go with what you have and be proud of it. These differences are what make you stand out among the rest. Some people are fast developers and some are slow developers. Fast developers will make the gains, for example, in two years that would take a slow developer four years to make. They have a body that reacts a little more to stimuli than a slower developer. This should not be intimidating however. The most important factor is that you get there. The time it takes is irrelevant as long as you are consistently making gains. You will get there with persistence.

The Muscles

The general categories of skeletal muscle in your body are classified as:

Chest has pectoral muscles (upper and lower) and the serratus. The back is composed of Latissimus dorsi, teres major, infraspinatus, rhomboids, and spinal erectors. The parts of the upper arm are the biceps (inner and outer), triceps (inner, middle, and outer), and brachialis. The forearms are composed of flexors, extensors, and brachioradialis. The shoulders contain the deltoids (front, middle, and rear) and the trapezius. The thighs contain the inner, middle, and outer heads of the quadriceps, the inner, middle, and outer heads of the biceps or hamstrings, and the groin region. Calves are separated into the gastrocnemius (outer and inner), soleus, and the tibialis anterior in the front. The abdomen is divided into the rectus abdominis, intercoastals, and external obliques.

 

Muscle Chart

 

 

    1. Triceps 2. Biceps 3. Flexors (forearms) 4. Pectorals 5. Latissimus Dorsi 6. Serratus 7. External Obliques 8. Abdominals 9. Outer Quadriceps 10. Inner Quadriceps 12. Calves 13. Tibialis 14. Frontal Deltoid 15. Outer Deltoid 15. Rear Deltoid 16. Extensor (Forearm) 17. Trapezius 18. Spinal Erectors 19. Rhomboidious,Teres Major, Infraspinatus 20. Hamstrings (Leg Biceps) 21. Gluteus Maximus 22. Brachialis

     

    The Importance of working two types of Muscle Fibers

    There are two major types of muscle fibers in the skeletal muscle. These fibers are "red" and "white." The "white" muscle fibers are responsible for the lower endurance, higher weight lifting functions in the muscle. These fibers allow you to lift heavy weight for shorter time periods and faster reps. The "red" muscle fiber is responsible for the higher endurance, lower weight lifting functions. These fibers allow you to lift lighter weight for a longer period of time at a slower and more controlled fashion.

    In order to create a fantastic physique, it is important to work both of these types of fibers. If you only work one of these types of fibers, you will only see half of the "finished product." The most common situation for most people that I have seen in bodybuilding is that they lift for mass so much that they don’t put much effort into the endurance lifting. They end up with some mass but the definition doesn’t seem to be there. This tends to be very frustrating for many bodybuilders. Sometimes the mass gains end up being minimal as well. I have seen many people lift really heavy weight for four to five sets over a period of time and the gains ended up being disappointingly small. This is one of the most common reasons, I feel, that most people do not stick to bodybuilding very long. Even if they see mass gains, they still do not see the shaping that is the most impressive and motivating factor. The opposite happens as well. Some bodybuilders do excellent high-rep sets and shape the muscle along with burning fat calories. The problem is that they make minimal mass gains. The most common reason for this is anxiety when lifting heavier weight. Many people are afraid or feel uncomfortable lifting a heavy amount of weight especially the first few times. As a result, the "red" muscle fibers get an excellent workout but the "white" fibers get neglected. A friend of mine had this problem for many years before he realized that lifting more weight was essential to building mass. He had an excellently shaped body, but the mass was not there. For the longest time, he would work with the same amount of weight for long, high rep workouts. Now he is challenging himself by adding weight in his workout. His mass gains have been much improved.

    Final Thought

    The body is only capable of doing what it can at any given time. If your body is starved of nutrients or has fallen victim of not enough rest, then you will probably not get 100% out of your workout. Get to know your body and what it takes to fully prepare it for a good workout.

    2 time Mr. Olympia, Dr. Franco Columbu, knows the body very well.

    Arnold with Franco.

     

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