|Scott had been running cross country and track since he was a kid. He was now 16
and on his high school's cross country and track teams. In track he did the mile run. He
always liked the long distances. He wasn't very fast, but he had pretty good endurance. I
guess you could call him a jock, although using that word – the word that calls up images
of vibrant, muscular youths -- was a real stretch. He sure wasn't in the same league as
the muscular football players who strutted around the school like they owned it. Scott
was tall and skinny---a typical ectomorph—a naturally thin guy who just couldn't gain
any weight. At 5' 10" tall, Scott weighed all of 120 pounds. He had almost no muscle on
his body. Just skin and bones. But at least he could run. At everything else athletic, he
was a total flop. Weak and uncoordinated. Yeah, real weak. He was a flop at football, a
flop at basketball, a flop at sprinting, a flop at everything except long distance running.
And even there he wasn't very good. It was a real stretch to call him a jock.
As a distance runner, he never lifted weights. But last fall, after the cross country season was over, his track coach said all track athletes should work out with weights, at least a little bit. The distance runners could use light weights with lots of repetitions to keep their bodies toned up. Or if they wanted to, they could try heavier weights and see if they could add some muscle to their skinny bodies. Either way, he said the weights would help the athletes next spring for track. Scott decided he wanted to put on some muscle. He was tired of being skinny.
So Scott persuaded his mom to buy him some weightlifting equipment for Christmas and he set it up in his garage. It had a bench with a rack, a squat rack, a pulley machine for lat pulldowns and stuff, a couple barbells and dumbbells, and about 150 pounds of weights. Scott looked at all those plates and hoped to himself that someday he'd be able to lift all that iron.
Scott was the man of the house. He had a single mom. His mom and dad got divorced a year after his little brother Jake was born when Scott was three years old, and he never saw his dad anymore. He'd been acting as the man in the family for years. His mom worked full time, so it was Scott's responsibility to take care of his little brother after school until his mom got home from work at dinnertime. Scott also made sure Jake did all his chores, like washing dishes, cleaning up his room and helping to clean the house on Saturdays. Like I said, Scott was the man of the house.
Jake was three years younger than Scott. He was 13 years old and he'd always been kind of a fuck-up. Always getting into trouble. He was exactly the opposite of Scott, who is a very responsible kid and a great student in school. Jake never did his homework and barely got passed from grade to grade. Jake hated doing his chores, and more often than not Scott would have to force him to do them. Scott was way bigger and stronger than his little brother, so Jake had to obey him whether he liked it or not. Because of this, the two brothers got into lots of fights. Of course Scott always won. Jake did as little work around the house as possible. He preferred hanging out with his friends. His best friend was this obnoxious kid named Brandon, also 13 years old, who looked kind of like an overgrown Dennis the Menace. Brandon had blue eyes and blond hair and his hair looked like it only got cut about once a year. His hair always looked uncombed and wild.
Jake and Brandon weren't into sports at all. They just liked to hang out and get into trouble. Several times Scott caught them smoking cigarettes when he came home from cross country practice. He'd punch the two kids in their arms as punishment and then tell Brandon to get the fuck out of there. Then he'd make Jake go to his room until his mom got home. Brandon would give him the finger and a lot of lip, but Scott was about five inches taller and a lot stronger than the little 7th grader so there was nothing the obnoxious little punk could do but obey and go home. Brandon hated Scott for ordering him and Jake around all the time, but there was nothing he could do about it. Jake was about the same size as Brandon, 5' 5" tall and about 100 pounds. He was used to taking orders from his big brother. He didn't like it, but he knew he didn't have a choice. So he just went to his room and slammed the door. Jake and Brandon both looked like little street brats. While Scott had a skinny – you would almost say delicate - but somewhat in-shape body from his running, Jake and Brandon's bodies were just normal for kids their age. Not skinny, not fat, just kind of normal. Although they had both gone through puberty about six months earlier, their bodies looked the same as when they were younger. They looked like boys. Obnoxious healthy boys. They never played any sports or did anything else very physical. They just liked to hang around, listen to rap music, and get into trouble. Scott felt good that he was able to help his mom keep those two wild kids under control. He was the man of the house.
After he got the weights set up, Scott took his measurements. He knew he was skinny and he wanted to see just how much his muscles would grow from using the weights. His coach had gotten him all pumped up with stories about other kids on the track team who had gained 30 pounds of muscle in three months and who had put four inches on their chest, two inches on their legs and over and inch on their arms in that period. Scott could hardly wait. He wrapped the measuring tape around his skinny arms. His biceps measured 10-1/2 inches. He hardly had any bicep at all. His chest measured 34 inches and his legs 16 inches. Real skinny. His waist measured 29 inches. He didn't have a six pack at all, even though he was skinny. His waist was only 5 inches smaller than his chest, and he didn't have any muscle tone there. His abs were covered by a layer of fat.
He tacked up a big chart that came with the weight set showing all the exercises he was supposed to do. Exercises for his chest, shoulders, back, arms, legs and waist, all nicely explained on the chart. The chart showed the beginners, intermediate and advanced routines. Scott was a beginner, so that's the routine he was going to follow. He was stoked. He could hardly wait to put on some muscle. He put up a mirror too. He wanted to see his muscles bulge as they grew. He flexed and saw his little ectomorph muscles flex in the mirror. Not much now, he thought, but they're gonna start growing.
He started his first workout. He had thought he was in pretty good shape but he wasn't very impressed with his poundages. He weaker than he thought he would be, him being a track athlete and all. But he felt confident he would improve. He could only bench 65 pounds, curl 35 pounds, and military press 50 pounds. He did three reps of lat pulldowns with 60 pounds. He could squat with 90 pounds, which made him feel good. At least his legs were pretty strong.
Jake and Brandon came into the garage while he was working out. "You gonna turn into a muscleman?" asked Brandon mockingly. He laughed, pulled back the sleeve on his oversized tee shirt, and flexed his little arm. There was absolutely no muscle there. His skin was white and his arm was soft, with just a little bit of a bicep poking up. At least Scott had a little bit of tone in his muscles. Brandon didn't have shit. Brandon looked at his little arm and laughed. "I'm just as much as a muscleman as you are," he said, looking at the tiny bump of bicep that was barely noticeable in his arm. Scott wasn't going to take any shit from this little punk. "I'm working out for track, asshole," he said. "I'm a jock, which is more than I can say for you little punks. You little dweebs ain't shit. Now get the fuck outta here." He went up to the two obnoxious kids and grabbed them both by the shirt. He towered over the shorter boys and the skinny muscles in his shoulders and arms showed a little bit as he held their shirts. "I don't want to see you little dweebs in here any more. Just keep the fuck away from my weights. Got it?" He shook their bodies as hard as he could. Brandon looked at him with his wild blue eyes, lifted up his right arm and gave him the finger right in front of his face. Brandon could give the finger better than anyone Scott had ever seen. Something about the way he held his fingers and looked you in the eye. When Brandon gave you the finger, you knew you have been given the finger real bad. "Fuck off!" the blond boy yelled. Scott spun him and Jake around and shoved them out of the garage. "Total asshole," he said as he looked at Brandon walk away, joking with Jake. Brandon turned around and gave Scott the finger again, this time with both hands. That kid was no good. No good at all.
After Scott finished his workout, he left the barbell on the bench, loaded to 65 pounds, his maximum bench. He was looking to improve on that weight two days later when he was scheduled to take his next workout.
Two days later, after he had finished his running after school, Scott returned to the garage for his second weights workout. He could tell someone had been playing around with the weights. Instead of the 65-pound barbell on the bench rack, there was a barbell that only weighed 40 pounds. All the other weights were different too. "Those little assholes have been playing with my weights," he said to himself. "I'm should smash their little asses. But who gives a fuck. Just as long as they don't bother me I guess don't care if they play around with the weights. Fuck, they're just kids. Look—they could only bench 40 pounds. They're little dweebs compared to me. And they'll probably get tired of it after a few days. I'll just ignore the little assholes."
So he started his second workout. To his disappointment, he wasn't any stronger than they were two days before. His maximum bench press was still 65 pounds. His maximum curl was still 35, his maximum military press was still 50 and his maximum squat was still 90. "Oh well," he thought to himself. "These things take time. I can't really expect to get any stronger in just two days." When he was almost done with his workout, Jake and Brandon sauntered into the garage. "How's it goin', muscleman?" asked Brandon mockingly. "You gettin' bigger and stronger?" Scott stared at the little blond snot. "None of your business," he said. Brandon smiled. "Me and Jake are workin' out too. We decided we'd try out your weight set. We wanna be musclemen too. We're doin' the same exercises you're doin'." He pointed at the chart on the wall. "Yeah, I figured out you little creeps were using my weights," said Scott. He knew there was really nothing he could do to stop them. He couldn't be there all the time to keep them away. He was fully expecting they'd get tired of the whole thing after a week or so. "Looks like you were benching 40 pounds. Wow, I am so impressed. I can bench 65. I'm way stronger than you little dweebs."
"Yeah, that was our max yesterday," said Jake. "We could do three reps with that. Hey, Brandon, let's see if we got any stronger. Let's try some bench presses. Is that okay with you Scott? Can we just try a few benches?" Scott wasn't done with his workout yet, but his brother was so respectful in his request he couldn't say no. "Sure, go ahead," he said. He fully expected to see them do another three reps with the 40 pounds. After all, it had only been one day. Jake and Brandon each did 15 quick reps with 30 pounds as a warm-up and then loaded the bar to 40 pounds. Jake went first. Brandon stood behind him to spot. He lowered the bar and pressed it back up. "Feels lighter," he said. Then he lowered the bar and pressed it back up another seven times, with Brandon giving him a light spot for the last rep. "God! Eight reps!" he yelled. "I'm a lot stronger than yesterday!" He gave Brandon a high five. Scott couldn't believe what he had just seen. "Your turn, stud," Jake said to Brandon. The blond boy got on the bench and placed his hands on the bar. He lowered the bar and pressed it back up. "Fucking feather!" he yelled. Then he pressed it up and down another nine times, pretty slowly for the last three reps but not even needing a spot for his tenth rep. He crashed the bar onto the rack and jumped up off the bench. "Wow!" he yelled. "I can't believe it. That thing felt so heavy yesterday and it felt so light today! Those weights really work!" He moved his arms back and forth, stretching his pec muscles. Scott thought he could almost see some muscle bulging under Brandon's skin. Scott was stunned. "Lets add five more pounds," said Jake. The boys added a 2-1/2 plate to each side of the bar and Jake got on the bench. He lowered the bar to his chest and then pushed it up all the way. He did it! Then he lowered it again and pressed it up two more times with just a little help from Brandon at the end of the last rep. "Fucking A," he yelled as he jumped off the bench. He was really happy. Then Brandon got on the bench. He looked up at Scott with his sky blue eyes and stuck out his tongue. He was going to show off to the big teenager. He lowered the bar to his chest and pressed it up. Scott could definitely see some muscles bulging in his chest as he raised the bar. Then he did three more reps, needing a little spot from Jake for his fourth and final rep. He jumped off the bench. "Fuckin' strong!" he yelled. "Yesterday I could do three reps with 40. Today I can do four reps with 45. Those weights are great!" Jake and Brandon gave each other high fives again. Brandon pulled up the sleeve on his tee shirt and flexed his arm right in front of Scott's face. He and Scott both looked at the flexing bicep. It was still small, but is sure looked bigger than it was two days before. "Gettin' bigger. Gettin' stronger," said Brandon, looking approvingly at his muscle. "Pretty soon I'm gonna be able to kick your ass, fuckhead, and I'm gonna have a real good time doin' it." Scott's face turned red with rage. "Yeah, right, you little dweeb. We'll see who does the ass kicking around here." At that, he spun the 13-year-old brat around and rammed his knee into the kid's little ass. Brandon laughed as he walked over to Jake. "See ya later, bro, " said Jake. "We're gonna do our full workout tomorrow on your day off. I can hardly wait." Then the two 13-year-old boys strutted out of the garage, flexing their little muscles at each other. Scott just stood there in disbelief at what he had just seen.
What he had just seen was two mesomorphs. Two young mesomorphs on the day after their first workout with weights. Two young mesomorphs who had just discovered what they were. Unlike ectomorphs, whose bodies are naturally skinny and who have a very hard time putting on muscle, mesomorphs can put on muscle real easily. And unlike endomorphs, whose bodies are naturally big and fat and have a very hard time getting toned, mesomorphs don't put on fat. When they work out, they just put on muscle.
Here's what scientists say about mesomorphs:
Athletic Hard Body Rectangular Shaped Mature Muscle Mass Muscular Body Excellent Posture Gains Muscle Easily
"The mesomorph has well-defined muscles and large bones. The torso tapers to a relatively harrow and low waist. The bones and muscles of the head are prominent. Features of the face are clearly defined, such as cheekbones and a square, heavy jaw. The face is long and broad, and is cubicle in shape. Arms and legs are developed and even the digits of the hand are muscled."
Here's what scientists say about ectomorphs:
Definitive "hard gainer" Delicate Built Body Flat chest Fragile Lean Lightly muscled Small shouldered Takes longer to gain muscle Thin
"The extreme ectomorph physique is a fragile and delicate one. The bones are light, joints are small and muscles are slight. The limbs are relatively long in proportion and the shoulders droop. The ectomorph is a linear physique. Straight up and straight down, and may appear longer than he really is, due to the length of limbs coupled with lack of muscle mass developed on those limbs. The ectomorph is not naturally powerful and will have to work hard for every ounce of muscle and every bit of strength he can gain. The extreme ectomorph may have long fingers and toes. The neck is long, a pencil neck, you could say."
Most football players and most wrestlers are mesomorphs. The exceptions are the fat linemen and the fat heavyweight wrestlers, who are endomorphs. The mesomorphs are the real jocks. They're the muscular ones, the athletic ones, the ones who rule. Ectomorphs are the computer nerds, and yeah a few of them run long distance track. Most guys are a combination of ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Usually, one of the body types prevails, but it is not pure. There are very few pure ectomorphs, pure mesomorphs or pure endomorphs. But there are some. Brandon was a pure mesomorph. He was destined to be totally strong and muscular. He had absolutely no skinny genes or fat genes in his body. Jake was a 90% mesomorph with about 10% of the ectomorph genes of his brother. He was also destined to be really strong and muscular, almost as big and strong as Brandon. His 90% mesomorphism meant he was going to be buffer and stronger than 99% of all other kids. Brandon was going to be buffer and stronger than 99.9 % of all other kids. Brandon was one in a million.
Scott was an 85% ectomorph with about 10% of mesomorph genes. So he had only about 10% of the mesomorph genes that Brandon and Jake had. And he also had a little bit – about 5% -- of endomorph genes, which explained the layer of fat covering his abs. Both Brandon and Jake were going to get a lot bigger, a lot more muscular and a lot stronger than Scott. It was in their genes.
A kid who has never had any exercise may not even know he's a mesomorph. That was the situation with Jake and Brandon.. But when that kid starts lifting weights, he soon sees his muscles getting bigger and stronger. And if he's a predominantly a mesomorph, with very little ectomorph or endomorph genes, those muscles are going to get real big and real strong. Scott, being an ectomorph, had no idea of what was going to happen to Jake and Brandon. But he was about to find out. He had gotten the weights so he would become bigger and stronger. Now his little brother and his asshole friend Brandon were using the weights too. He was about to experience the Law of Unintended Consequences.
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