Be sure to read Part I, Why and How I Combined The 40 Day Program and The PLP Program, and Part II, Some Results and Q&A About Combining The 40 Day Program and the PLP Program, before reading this.
A question that frequents my inbox:
“Well…are you still skinny-fat? Sometimes you say you are. Other times you say you’re “formerly” skinny-fat. What gives?”
Body composition is a symbol in more ways than one.
Not only does it symbolize the kind of life you live, but it also symbolizes the state of your physiology.
Physiology forms from many factors. With body composition, it kinda boils down to genetics, training, and nutrition. Of course this is an overly simplified look at things. But sometimes overly simple is a good thing.
Genetics form the base “code.” But the code is also influenced by environment — which is shaped by culture.
Doesn't matter if you have skinny genes if you go ahead and down five gallons of Coke every day. Combine that with a lack of physical activity and you're in a bad place. (Probably in a bad place regardless of physical activity.)
Once you work your way into a tricky situation, you gotta fight your genetics to get out.
Combine overeating on terrible things and lack of physical activity with a physiology not genetically primed for muscle growth and you get no muscular development and a lot of fat development.
“But since you have the genetics for skinny, wouldn't it be easy to lose weight?”
No. Not really.
Overly processed foods and soda make it easy to vandalize genetics. Eating 600 grams of potatoes is tough stuff. But 600 grams of sugar via soda? Less so.
Then you face the reality of physiology: Fat cells don’t really disappear. They just shrink. I once heard that an emptied fat cell takes about ten years to fully die off. (Believe I got this from John Kiefer.)
Here's the example of myself:
I was born to be skinny. Didn't have a touch of fat on me. But as I grew I developed the “fat” part — poor nutrition and lack of physical activity (among other things).
So my genetics are hardwired for skinny. But physiology is more than genetics. Otherwise you'd be impossible to change.
So it’s like this: I may not look skinny-fat anymore. But I’m still hardwired to fill up my fat cells when I overeat, just as I'm genetically hardwired to be skinny.
What the combination did for skinny-fatness
I've been hinting that combining The 40 Day Program and PLP program did “something” that altered my skinny-fat propensity. It worked against my “code.” This goes back to an article I wrote earlier this year: Skinny-Fatness, Hardgainers, and High Frequency Training.
Training often forces your body to adapt a certain way. (As long as you don’t overdo it and injure yourself.) Even if your genetics “go against” the adaptation.
If you do 2370 chin-ups over 60 days, does your body have a choice as to whether or not it can adapt?
It has to.
By constantly living in an environment that demands muscular contractions and moving your body through space (of which body fat is a factor), you’re “hinting” at “needing” a certain physiology—a physiology that contrasts what most skinny-fat people have.
Just as overfeeding on gushers fruit snacks (used to love those things, especially the sour kind) can derail genetic propensity, so can training.
Put yourself in a position in which the body doesn't have a choice. Put your body in a position in which it has to adapt in a way that contrasts your current physiology.
The tricky part is doing this and living to talk about it. (Staying injury free.)
But as you still skinny-fat as an intermediate?
Another common idea is that no one “strong” is skinny-fat. And that to cure skinny-fatness you only need to get “strong.”
“Strong” is a relative term. But when the picture above was taken I could squat 405 pounds at about 190 pound body weight. Yet I had a “soft” appearance.
Right now I can squat 325 for mediocre 5. Not overly difficult. (My foot gives me the fritz. I’m hoping my new Nike Romaleos help my Morton’s Neuroma.)
And yet here’s a picture taken of me at around 205 pounds. And then you can even compare these to when I weighed about 190 in the midst of my PLP and 40 Day Program extravaganza.
I'm “weaker” in both the squat and bench press. Yet I look better and am undoubtedly more muscular.
Just some food for thought…
I love squats. I've done a lot of them. I squat often. But here are somethings to think about:
- I haven't squatted anything above 405 since that picture above was taken. (Hurt my back on the third rep.)
- Haven't benched anything more than 245 since the picture. (Was my max at the time of the picture.)
Yet I was able to gain 15+ pounds of lean body mass.
How have I gained muscle without getting that much stronger on two exercises that most would consider necessary?
Because at some point — when you can stress the body enough — sheer volume over time is enough to churn adaptation.
And if you're doing this right, everything else trickles into place. You get stronger. You gain muscle. You get better.
Interested in learning more?
Are you a skinny-fat soldier?
This idea of getting better on account of sheer volume — just showing up — is all about basic stress and adaptation. The way you live, the way you train, and the way you eat come together to “nudge” your body in certain directions.
You can even add more to the list. How you sleep. How you deal with stressful situations. How you perceive yourself.
All of it funnels down and contributes to the “nudging.” The key is doing the right things to nudge it in the direction that opposes skinny-fatness. This includes doing the right lifts in the gym. Eating the right foods at the right times. Doing the right things in life.
How your body adapts in response to all of this is the cornerstone of The Skinny-Fat Solution.
The Skinny-Fat Solution is the resource I hinted to in my last article — the one that would be available early at a discounted price pending on whether or not I wanted to accept charter members.
Yeah, let's do it.
Charter members will help refine and shape the product. They’d also gain access to a private Facebook Group where I'd give regular feedback and coaching advice.
Here are the full details:
- There’s going to be a soft launch where I only allow a limited amount of people to purchase. This is because I’ll be soliciting feedback. I’m only one man and can only handle so many questions. So this isn’t like a lot of internet dudes that claim there’s only 20 *products* available and you have to “act now.” Really? Dude, you’re selling a PDF. There’s infinite quantities. What gives?
- Buyers will be invited to a private Facebook Group where the discussions and coaching will take place. Questions will be encouraged. As a charter member, you’re expected to help shape the final product. You’ll also be updated on the product’s progress. So you’ll see glimpses of the design process and back end stuff.
- I’m doing this because I want to create the best and most comprehensive product possible. But because you’re an eager soul and buying a beta version (90% of the content is there and ready to consume though) the price will be heavily reduced.
- You get to see the secret sauce. No one ever gets to see secret sauce. Blasphemy!
- I want the product to represent skinny-fats as a whole. I’m far removed from the original skinny-fat days and it’d be nice to have perspective from those currently living them. We all share the same wounds. But mine are more like scars. I want the blood. The guts. The stuff that's yet to dry. (This is also why an interview with Nate Miyaki — fellow skinny-fat sufferer turned nutrition dude — is included. [P.S. This interview is well worth the price of admission.])
So if you can excuse the dust and want some hands on attention, or you want to see the back end of product development, listen up. The fairest way to do this is through e-mail.
I'll send an e-mail to everyone when it goes live. The first one's to grab the deal before I cap enrollment are the lucky ones.
To get notified of when everything will go down, you have to sign-up for the exclusive e-mail list below. This is separate from my main newsletter!
This exclusive list will notify you of when you’re going to need to be at your computer to get a crack at being a charter member for the skinny-fat resource at a discounted price.
So if you’re one of those that’s been pestering me about this, I expect to see your name and e-mail soon.
See you then.