Genetic Limitations vs Lifestyle Limitations

By Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle Building.

Before we get started, I want to share a killer audio resource that I’ve been gaining a lot of higher level learning from lately:  The Adonis Lifestyle Podcast. It’s 100% free and the content is very high end and the topic below was inspired by one of their recent pod casts.

Genetic Limitations vs Lifestyle Limitations
By Vince Del Monte

Here’s a picture of me the day after the WBFF Fitness Atlantic Championships August 16, 2011.  I’ve been getting a lot of questions from guys asking me, “How did you transform your body from 227 to 195 in only 14 weeks?”

Simple. I executed my plan to near perfection. The biggest challenge was overcoming many lifestyle limitations and I felt those presented a more significant challenge than genetic limitations.

Today’s blog post is designed to show you that you don’t have the body of your dreams because of your lifestyle, not because of your genetics.  It’s your lifestyle choices that are the major limiting factor in whether or not you build bigger and stronger muscles and attain that chiseled look. 


Do you think my wife and I have done a better job at overcoming our
genetic limitations or our lifestyle limitations to achieve our bodies?

The good news is that you CAN control your lifestyle.  You can’t control your genetics.  All your energy should be put towards overcoming and improving the lifestyle factors below.  You’ll shortly see why it’s so important to only compare yourself to yourself.

There is no point in comparing your body to my body and you should not try to look like any model, movie star, celebrity, athlete or bodybuilder because you have no idea if you can emulate their same lifestyle.

Consider the following factors about my training:

Social Environment & Upbringing:

 

  • You may not have parents, like mine, who drive me to be the best I can be.
  • I doubt you have brothers who are high level performance athletes.  I’m surrounded by champions.
  • My network of friends consists of highly motivated and driven people. I’m always around positivity.
  • I have a very supportive wife who diets and trains just as hard as I do so it’s easy to stay dialed in.

Finances

 

  • I have a unlimited budget towards massage and therapy so I recover very fast.
  • I would be surprised if you were willing to spend as much as I do on groceries.
  • I am able to hire high end trainers and coaches to take me through my workouts and assess my technique.
  • I have no budget when it comes to supplements so can experiment with higher dosages to ensure I stay healthy.

Stress Levels & Recovery Ability

 

  • I run a online fitness business that depends on me to stay in shape so I have some serious motivation.
  • Your body may not be as durable as mine. Your body may not be able to take a lot of punishment.
  • I’m a pretty laid back guy. I don’t get stressed easily so probably have lower cortisol levels than you.
  • I work from home full time so have very little outside stress in my life.

Your Level Of Seriousness

 

  • I have over ten years of long distance running under my belt.  My pain threshold is HIGH so I can train hard.
  • Who knows if you can push as hard as me on those last reps in the gym…
  • I ll stand in a cold shower for ten minutes, to promote recovery, and it won’t phase me.
  • My goals are ultra important to me so I am prepared to dedicate 2-4 hours a day to my goals. Are you?
  • I have a superior ability to focus and not get side tracked during my workouts. Do you?

Okay, I hope you’re starting to realize these are just a few reasons you cannot compare yourself to anyone else besides you.  None of this info is shared to discourage you or put me on a pedestal.  I simply want to reveal the importance of focusing on YOUR GOALS, YOUR BODY and YOUR LIFESTYLE CHOICES.

YOU ARE IN COMPLETE CONTROL OF WHAT YOUR BODY LOOKS LIKE BY FOCUSING ON YOUR LIFESTYLE LIMITATIONS AND OVERCOMING THEM AND IMPROVING ON THEM.

I have no problem using images of models, movie stars, celebrities, athletes or bodybuilders as a form of inspiration (I do that myself) but you can’t think you’ll ever look like them because of all the unknown lifestyle factors they do not reveal to you.

I strongly believe that you probably have the same “genetic” limitations as I do and the same “genetic” limitations as all the images you look up to.  But I guarantee that your lifestyle limitations are completely different.

Take Home Message: Figure out what lifestyle factors are preventing you from taking your physique to the next level and work on one of them at a time.  The more lifestyle limitations you can overcome, the bigger and more ripped your muscles will become!

COMMENT TIME:

Tell me one lifestyle factor that you are going to focus on improving or overcoming this month.  Let’s get 200 comments on the blog!

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Comments

24 thoughts on “Genetic Limitations vs Lifestyle Limitations

  1. Hey Vince

    I think it’s important for all to note that they can change their lifestyle factors and that NONE of the things listed above are out of reach (except for maybe the parent issue).

    Personally I need to work on getting a little bit more sleep and adjusting my social life back to less drinking. Also I feel that I’m starting to stress out or get upset over little things that shouldn’t affect me. So I’m going to really focus on these three areas to tune up my lifestyle.

    Again congratulations on your amazing results! You continue to inspire and teach me loads of quality info!

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  2. I think Vinced Shrunk a little compared to when he was just focusing on muscle

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    • Shrunk? I dropped 30 lbs of friggin fat! Of course I shrunk.

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  3. Hey Vince, thanks for the props on the podcast. Means a lot to know you’re listening in.

    Also, great job in winning that pro card. It’s a killer achievement for sure. Definitely something guys can look up too, as it’s not an EASY achievement.

    It’s good to know that people still walk the walk…

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    • No problem Brad. Your content is outstanding on your show.

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  4. Brilliant blog. I’m slowly recognising that we have the control and power to make changes if we aren’t moving towards our goals (can you check my blog and give me some input? I’m trying to apply your approach which is very much about work with what you’ve got, but maximise it to it’s fullest. i.e. Be the best YOU can be)

    It’s taking the plunge and making the change that’s the hurdle. After that… it’s routine

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  5. Vinny, how did you make out in the competitions???

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    • I placed 5th at the Fitness Atlantic Championships. They only gave 1st place their Pro Card though.

      I place 3rd at the Quebec Championships. They gave top 3 their Pro Cards so I can compete in the Pro Division now.

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  6. I am going to start working out on a regular basis at a certain time everyday no matter what.

    I want to be like you, Lee, Elliot, and Dave.. the perfect life..

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  7. Hi Vince

    I currently work out 3 days a week with a personal trainer, attend a bootcamp once per week and a cardio kickboxing once per week.
    My goal is going to be not to blame genetics and focus on environmental/physical factors/limitations and not let anyone around me who isn’t into physical fitness and healthy nutrition drag me down.

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    • Good stuff Joe. Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t control.

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  8. Hi Vince & Flavia,

    Congrats on getting your Pro card!

    Great article. It really is about taking responsibility. It is really easy to point the finger, but we often forget about the others pointing back!

    The one lifestyle factor that I will do my best to overcome is eating sweets – the high calorie carbs (cakes, cookies, desserts) even on “cheat” days.

    I work out at home with limited equipment. I’m currently on week 6 of John Roman’s FPFL 2.0. I did Dr. K’s DEFL 2.0 in October of last year. I modify what I can if the equipment is not available – bentover rows in place of inverted rows and chin ups as an example, and use dumbbells in place of a barbell. Being 62, I adjust to Life’s situations as best I can!!!

    I am finally getting your free 10 workout videos!!!! I signed up before and could never get the email with the links. I got the first two today. I write down the descriptions for later after I get done with FPFL. They will make a nice change of pace. Thanks.

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    • Good stuff Frank. I like how you bang out one program and then move onto the next one. Keep at it!

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  9. First off Vince, I would like to congratulate you on your marriage & your success! I had the pleasure of training with you at the Guelph Athletic Club, & I knew immediately you were going to soar above mediocrity!!!
    I love reading your articles & feel very proud of our hometown boy!
    My goal is to work through & around my arthritic conditions, & to regain my strength, physique , emotional well being & to be fitter, faster & stronger at 48 years of age!
    Best of Luck & much continued success to you!

    Cheryl Keith

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    • Thanks Cheryl. I know you’ll make it happen.

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  10. @Sally -Ouch!! I think Vince will understand your comment Sally, but to imply that because Vince operates an online fitness business that he doesn’t have a “real job” is really unfair. This is what being a entrepreneur is all being about. Finding a product or service that is marketable is key. It is staggering to calculate the earning potential that is before Vince but it takes work to get where he is in the business world. Will Vince’s life be different now that he is married and what about the 1st child that comes along? I doubt that any change will be a negative if he keeps his focus on what he wants and stays keen on the goals he sets.

    I think it’s time we stop making excuses about our health and exercise programs and focus on the reality of our goals. When I think of how much time I waste during the day, all of a sudden lots of time opens up for taking charge of my health and fitness and to be honest, the television has not been on for months and the wasteful trips to the kitchen to ‘freshen’ my cocktail are no more.

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  11. I admire your dedication Vince. I need to push myself harder in the gym, and to eat a little bit more healthy.

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  12. Sorry Vince, no disrespect to all the hard work you put in and I know you go for it hard………but Flavia is way hotter in that pic.

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  13. Vince,

    Great article but not all of us are as lucky as you are as far as financial freedom to do whatever we like and don’t have all the time in the world to focus on our body as you do.

    Some of us have real jobs and families to take care of.

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    • Hi Sally. You missed the point of the entire article. Don’t compare yourself to me. Lets just go with what you said about me not having a real job or a family…

      I bet you know DOZENS of people who don’t have real jobs or families and don’t have great bodies. Is not having a job and not having a family the secret to getting a ripped body? If it was, then everyone without a real job and without a family would be ripped.

      I think you know those are only two pieces you’ll be forced to deal with to achieve your goals.

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  14. I am pretty committed to my goals….however, my husband is NOT!! He eats junk and I literally have to beg him to come with me to the gym. I try to cook healthy as I only eat healthy, but after eating my food he would eat a ton of ice-cream, cookies and crap like that. And I am sure his Cortisol levels are up the roof!

    I think I am gonna need to devise a different strategy for him to be more energetic and healthier…..a butt whoopin’ might work!

    As for me, I need to incorporate more cardio in my workouts…..maybe some extra 45 minute HIIT 3x a week starting TODAY!

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    • Hi Laura. I’m not sure what to say about this one… Most people come around in their own time… Keep making positive decisions for yourself and I’m sure it’ll be a matter of time before he starts making some efforts.

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  15. Great blog Vince. I can immediately say one lifestyle factor that needs improving is the amount of sleep I have. It does not affect me performance-wise in the gym, and I am able to cope with the natural stressors of my daily life. However, even if I don’t feel it im sure my body does, and it may contribute to excess cortisol levels in my body, my stomach in particular.

    I am going to aim for improving my sleep time starting with an extra 30 mins and then improving in increments of 30 for the rest of the week and then an hr next week until I reach 8 hrs. Just putting a little more effort in the day can adjust my prep time at night.

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