OPWG Book Reader Question #2, ‘Muscle Mass & Posture Help’: Evette Weiss, New York
Biological Gender: Female
Biological Age: 30-Something
Question (#2): I have always wondered about my body shape and type, weight gain, muscle mass, and my not so good posture. The metamorph, ectomorph, endomorph (three) body type options never resonated with me, my body shape did not fit those. I know hormones affect my body, but none of those body shapes and types really fit me either.
After reading the Over Privileged White Guy book, I better understand what it means to be a Body Type Two and why I cannot shake obesity. I have always been susceptible to fat weight gain in my stomach area because as far back as I can remember I have been obese there. Years of consistently doing crunches and yoga and many different kinds of core strengthening exercises and other cardio and resistance exercises along with careful dieting and healthy living has helped lose weight and keep the fat in check, but my abdomen is still obese.
Muscle Mass & Posture – Skinny Fat
I had just accepted that I probably would never be as skinny as I want, I think you used the terminology ‘skinny fat or thin fat’.
But now there is some hope, if it really is muscle mass that I need to add to my stomach area, which I believe it is. I have reviewed my back and vertebrae carefully, and I am confident that it is my lower vertebrae, probably T7 down to L3, that need muscle – see the picture of the my back I sent. Do you have any exercises or diet advice, tips, or suggestions at all to help me to add muscle mass to improve my posture the right way?
Answer to OPWG Book Reader’s Question #2 – ‘Muscle Mass & Posture Help’: Gnosis, Fellow One Research
Diet advice is tricky and very individualized. Sounds like you have your diet down quite well. After decased of trying almost every diet out there (Paleo, Atkins, Keto, Vegan, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Fasting, etc.) I largely follow the Blue Zone Mediterranean Diet which encourages holistic health including protein, carbohydrates (carbs), vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and positive gut bacteria.
Best Diet for Optimal Muscle Mass & Posture
I buy mostly organic, healthy food and eat red meat sparingly; a few times a month at most. I am probably 70% vegetarian/30% carnivore (100% omnivore) and try and do one vegan meal a day. I do not count calories, I focus more on nutrition and the specific nutrients in the food I eat.
I drink mostly pure water, but also coffee, green tea, black tea, kombucha, and more purified water.
I basically cut sugar out years ago, although every now and again, a few times a month, I will indulge. But stevia has become a nice substitute.
I do limit carbs, focusing on a lot of diverse vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, peas, mushrooms, onions, tomato, carrot, corn, peppers, chilis, etc. I focus on proteins like chicken, salmon, quinoa, oatmeal (whole oats), beans, rice, sprouted bread, whey & pea protein, and nuts & seeds. Spices like turmeric, red pepper, black pepper, sea salt, etc.
Healthy, cold-pressed oils like extra virgin olive oil, flax seed with lignan, virgin coconut oil (really externally), fish oil, etc.
I do a fantastic fruit smoothy in the morning with blueberry, banana, mango, raspberry, cherry, and strawberry, sometimes pineapple, along with flaxseed oil, spirulina, blackstrap molasses, etc. All in all, I do my best to keep my diet as clean and as diverse as possible.
Muscle & Mass Posture – Best Resistance Exercise
I do isometric resistance and I lift weights 3x per week as well as do cardio 3-4x per week. Doing all of that, with the focus of building proper muscle mass and fixing my posture, I maintain a steady weight of 176-182 lbs. I am 5′ 11″. I still have obvious signs of skinny fat, but as I change my body type, as I reduce my body fat composition, and properly increase the muscle mass in relation, the skinny fat becomes less and less thanks in part to no less than improved metabolism from the newly added muscle mass.
As for weight gain, adding muscle mass to those T7 through L3 vertebrae. This must be done with care. Yes, sounds like you are at least dealing with a bit of skinny fat. As you mentioned, it is really about fixing your posture.
Yoga & Posture
Yoga and other such exercises can actually be of help, if you can stay conscious enough while doing them. With my Body Type Four, yoga and the like were too much to handle. I had to come up with my own posture exercises and really get to know my back well. I felt it out, and worked the vertebrae that would respond at any given moment when working my posture.
As I pulled my shoulders back and carefully, attentively worked the vertebra(e) in my back that would respond, I readily worked my posture just as if I was doing arm curls with dumbells or leg extensions on the machine. I find the motion, the posture movement that properly extends my back as much as possible, like when doing a specific yoga posture, and then hold that posture position as long as I can.
By the time I am done, the specific vertebrae and muscles that I have worked are sore, just like the muscles would be in my arms or legs if I really worked them well.
Vertebrae and Spinal Extension (Posture)
Take care, learning your posture is a process in and of itself. Once you figure out how your vertebrae move and respond in that T7 through L3 range, really all your vertebrae and your entire spine and spinal column in relation to spinal extension and individual vertebra extension, you will get better and better at finding and holding your spinal extension/posture right to properly build the muscle mass on those vertebrae/in your stomach/abdominal area, and really any vertebra(e) in your back that are lacking muscle mass/balance.
However, as you build that T7-L3 muscle mass, be aware that you will also have to figure out how to build the leg muscles, all the muscles throughout the body, properly relative to each vertebra in that T7-L3 range. As you successfully build all that muscle mass, you will most probably have to learn how to walk right as well (re-read the Over Privilege White Guy (OPWG) book if you need more details on this). You will also most probably see an obvious, positive change in your metabolism.
Please let me know if you have any questions and keep me updated here on your Body Type Two progress with weight gain and muscle mass improvement.
Researcher, The Four Body Types Research