You want abs? Genetics plays a role

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image Contributing blogger Troy Meyers is a certified personal trainer and sports conditioner with more than 10 years of experience training clients and designing fitness programs. He owns Atlanta-based and contributes to the site’s Lockerroom Blog.

If you care about your looks, you probably focus a lot of attention on the abdominal muscles during your workouts. Like most folks, you work on the assumption (or hope) that everyone can develop a ripped and ridged midsection.

imageThe reality is that’s not the case. It’s like the misconception that anyone can build broad shoulders and bulging biceps. Genetics has everything to do with our physical structure and muscular potential. So, most of us are unlikely to produce washboard abs regardless of how many sit-ups we perform.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But consider the three basic physiques that largely determine how we look.

Ectomorph (top photo): People born with a relatively small number of muscle cells and tend to have a linear appearance. They face more difficulty in developing large muscles.

imageEndomorph (middle photo): People who inherit a relatively large number of fat cells and have a round appearance, meaning it’s more difficult for you to develop defined muscles.

Mesomorph (bottom photo): These people are gifted, thanks to a relatively large number of muscle cells and a relatively small number of fat cells. The genetic reward? A triangular appearance that’s more likely to develop large and defined muscles.

imageThese are the gym-goers you love to hate, what with their wide shoulders, narrow hips, large torsos and small midsections. With appropriate training, mesomorphic men and women have the best chance to achieve those chiseled abs we all admire.

Have a fitness question you’d like Troy to answer here? {encode=”[email protected]” title=”Email us.”} Subject: Fitness.

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