Know your body type and stop comparing your physique to others

Posted by Dayne Hudson in Motivation

Estimated reading time: 5mins

Know your body type and stop comparing your physique to others | Bulk Nutrients blog

Knowing your body type

Next time you walk into the gym, take a look around at the various physiques. 

There are all kinds; tall, skinny, larger, muscular, shorter, the variations go on.

What's important to remember is that your physique and genetics are unique to you, which you can use as a platform to build your physique.

Your physique and genetics are unique to you, which you can use as a platform to build your physique.

This is for a variety of reasons, one of them being how active our muscle satellite cells are.

This research found that "extreme responders" to muscle growth saw a 23% activation of their satellite cells after training sessions, which led to 58% myofibrillar muscle growth. 

Muscles getting 58% bigger?!

But sadly, this isn't the case for everyone. "Modest" responders saw 28% growth and 19% satellite cell activation, and "non-responders" saw 0% activation of their satellite cells and thus 0% muscle growth.

Now, this can be quite disheartening for the non-responders.

This might be you, or you might know someone who is.

But it doesn't mean you should give up hope! It means you have three choices:

  1. Carry on resistance training for all the other physical and mental health benefits it provides 
  2. Stare the challenge in the face and try to gain some muscle as a personal challenge (with that attitude then likely to spread into other areas of your life like your career and relationships)
  3. Choose another fitness activity that's more in line with the physical capabilities of your body, for example, boxing, Thai boxing, or running.

But the worst thing you can do is compare yourself to the large responders in the aforementioned study, who saw 58% muscle growth!

American author Mark Twain once said:

“Comparison is the death of joy.”

And this is the most important thing to remember on your fitness journey.

There's ALWAYS someone who is bigger, stronger, leaner, curvier than you -- regardless of what you want.

It is YOUR journey. And regardless of your results, no one can take anything away from your joy and positive hormones that come about from training. 

Male or female, whatever your physique is, embrace it.

Female fitness goals and realistic expectations

The same can be said of women, particularly in this day and age.

We're now in the era of the booty; so much pressure for women to have a derriere that can compete with Kim Kardashians on any day of the week!

But let's rewind to an era where a particular physique was seen as popular as the "curvy" one today; the "lean" physique from the nineties:

The epitome of this, was model Kate Moss!

Now consider this: how on earth could Kate Moss grow glutes in the gym to the same standard as Kim Kardashian, Jenifer Lopez, or some of the other world-famous "gym booty" girls we see on our social media feeds?

She couldn't.

And so, the point is, her physique is still beautiful and unique to her. And she should embrace that, rather than trying to go against the grain and become "curvy", which would be quite difficult for her to do. 

Now, of course, she could try, but shouldn't be disheartened by results that aren't like some others. The challenge would be fun, for as long as it was fulfilling and not getting her down.

Male or female, whatever your physique is, embrace it.

Don't try and be something you're not under social pressures, all physiques are beautiful!

It's all about your OWN battles and wins. You're a hard gainer who grew some muscle? Great. No one can take that away from you. 

So, what if it isn't as much as the "huge" guy who trains at the same time as you? 

Let's say you're largely overweight and know you'll never be rake thin, but have lost 5 kilos? Great job!

It's all about being the best YOU can be without comparing yourself to someone else with different genetics, or worse, a celebrity with around the clock access to experts.

The bottom line is that we need to know our body types and what is realistic with them. It's not to say we can't try and gain as much muscle as possible or lose lots of weight, it's just important to be mindful of what is realistic along the way. 

Comparing your physique to others will rob you of your personal triumphs and joys on your fitness journey. Embrace your physique the way it is and choose a style of training or set of goals that are most realistic for it.


  1. Petrella JK, Kim JS, Mayhew DL, Cross JM, Bamman MM. Potent myofiber hypertrophy during resistance training in humans is associated with satellite cell-mediated myonuclear addition: a cluster analysis. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2008 Jun;104(6):1736-42. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01215.2007. Epub 2008 Apr 24. PMID: 18436694. 
  2. Ruegsegger GN, Booth FW. Health Benefits of Exercise. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2018 Jul 2;8(7):a029694. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a029694. PMID: 28507196; PMCID: PMC6027933.
  3. Soares J, Naffah-Mazzacoratti MG, Cavalheiro EA. Increased serotonin levels in physically trained men. Braz J Med Biol Res. 1994 Jul;27(7):1635-8. PMID: 7874030. 
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