All men are not created equal—at least when it comes to our ability to get strong and lean. Some guys simply have more potential for building muscle or burning fat than others. But with the right approach, everyone can make progress. Identify your body type below, then follow the tips for making the most of it.
The build: Skinny, with long limbs and a narrow torso. Small boned.
Tendency: You produce muscle slowly but stay lean fairly easily.
Strategy: Rest as needed between sets. You won’t be able to handle much intensity when you start training, and you need more recovery time. Lift three days a week and limit cardio activity.
Diet move: Eat big. You need lots of calories to build muscle—luckily, most of them will burn off, so you have less chance of getting fat.
The build: Like a born athlete—wide shoulders with a narrow waist.
Tendency: You gain muscle easily and stay relatively lean.
Strategy: Exercise conservatively. You will grow with almost any style of training. Just don’t get cocky and work too hard—overtraining is your body’s biggest weakness.
Diet move: Eat clean. You should be able to stay big and lean with minimal effort.
The build: Heavyset, with shorter limbs and a thick waist.
Tendency: Your body forms muscle fairly fast, but, alas, a slow metabolism means you gain fat fast, too.
Strategy: Train heavy and hard—and always do plenty of cardio.
Diet move: Watch carbs. You have the potential to be jacked, but no one will see it if your muscles are always covered in lard. Cycle your carbs, eating more on lifting days and fewer other days.