July 23, 2008

Right/wrong ways to exercise for a body's shape?

I picked up a book today at my library, "Escape Your Shape" by Edward J. Jackowski, Ph.D. His philosophy is that because all bodies are various shapes, all bodies need a specific/type of workout according to that shape.

I've only read the first 4 pages, and I already have an opinion (probably not the best way to start a book!). I have two questions for you before I continue:

1) Our bodies may be genetically inclined to store fat in certain areas, but are our bodies also genetically inclined to build muscle faster/better in certain areas as well?

2) Say there's a woman who is clearly heavier in her lower body than mid or upper body; do you keep her from strength training her lower body so she doesn't build up more muscle, making her lower body even bigger? (*Now, I know she's not going to bulk up like a body builder by doing 3 sets of squats 2-3 times/week, and I'm totally aware that more muscle = more calories burned. I'm curious as to what you all and Dr. Jackowski have to say about it.)

Please let me know your thoughts/answers to these questions! I'll post a summary of the book when I'm finished reading it.


fatfighter said...

I do think it's about genetics to a certain degree when it comes to where we build muscles - I know it's much easier for me to build muscles in my legs, and I totally have my dad's legs.
Sounds like an interesting book - looking forward to the review.

Sagan Morrow said...

Such thought-provoking questions! I can't wait to hear your review on this book.

Live Well said...

@ fatfighter:
I have the same "problem" with my legs. I had huge thighs in high school when I was playing soccer...then I stopped but kept exercising them (they're still a little bigger than the rest of my body, but I wonder if I'm the only one who notices)...

@ sagan:
The review will be coming! It's an interesting book thus far; I couldn't put it down last night, and it's a pretty easy read.

Jenn said...

1) I'm not sure on the science here, but I would think so. Either from genetics or how my muscles developed as a child (slow-twitch vs. fast-twitch fibers), I know that my shoulders are always going to be really strong and my hammies are going to take more work. Again, I'm sure someone with a scientific background can give you a better answer, but there's my two cents. :)

2) I'm all about evenly training your body as much as possible, so really you should work every major muscle group when you lift. Unless you're a world class cyclist and start squatting 400 pounds regularly, you probably won't bulk up.

John said...

Sounds like another crackpot theory to me.

Mark Salinas said...

Looking forward to the review.