By popular demand, I would answer a question that seems to concern a surprising number of people.
It goes as follows: can an average man acquire the muscular development of “MattDoes Fitness” naturally a.k.a. without chemical enhancement?
I don’t follow the YouTube scene anymore and had to do some digging to find the necessary data.
Let’s first look at Matt’s stats:
A video by Matt entitled “3 Year Natural Body Transformation” contains the following info:
- He weighed around 170lbs (77kg) when he began lifting weights.
- He gained 40lbs (18kg) in a year; most of it looks to be lean body mass.
- He kept training and added additional 20lbs (9kg). [Note: the video says 8kg, but 20lbs are actually closer to 9kg]
In a clip entitled “10 Year Natural Body Transformation”, Matt reveals the following:
- At the end of his career as a triple jumper, he weighed around 79kg/173lbs
- After an injury, he focused on lifting. At his heaviest bodyweight, he reached 104kg/228.8lbs.
- He developed sick strength. His best lifts were: squat – 265kg/583lbs; bench – 180kg/396lbs; deadlift – 310kg/682lbs.
- For a long time, he trained as a powerlifter but switched to muscle construction exclusively.
- He dropped down to 10% bodyfat.
Unfortunately, neither of the videos reveals exactly how much he weighed at his lean peak, but there are a few clues that can narrow the number down:
- He competed in the 93kg/204lbs weight class.
- After the powerlifting competition, he cut more weight to lean out. Consequently, he probably went under 93kg.
- One of the site readers who follows him closely claims that Matt is 195lbs/88.63kg.
- The website bodywhat.com puts him at 93kg/204lbs.
Conclusion: It’s a little hard to determine how much Matt’s weight is/was in his optimal condition, but judging by the available stats, his bodyweight has to be hovering around 200lbs/90kg in a pretty lean shape.
Even when he was “fat” at 104kg/228.8lbs, he looked significantly leaner and better than the average permabulker.
What’s MattFitness’s height? Bodywhat.com puts him at 6’2”/188.9cm. I contacted three people in the comment sections of videos talking about Matt. One of them replied and confirmed that number.
There’s also an Instagram post on Matt’s official Instagram channel where he is standing next to Obi Vincent who is also listed at 6’2”/188.9cm. In the photo, Matt looks ever so slightly shorter because of body positioning. If he was to stand tall, he would more than likely be as tall as Vincent.
When we take this data into consideration, the question translates down to – can an average man who is 6’2”/188.9cm tall weigh around 90kg/200lbs at roughly 10% body fat naturally?
Note: Obviously, 6’2”/188.9cm and average should not be in one sentence since only a very small population of men are that tall, but the mixture is unavoidable in this case since the focus is on muscle construction.
Bone Structure is King Again
A 6’2” tall guy with very thick bones can get close to 90kg/200lbs and look fairly decent, although a true 10% body fat would require some mutant genetics that average guys shouldn’t have by definition.
My father is a little under 6’2” and weighed around 92kg/202lbs in his youth, but his body fat was 20-23% judging by his photos. Unlike me, he has a massive skeleton and looks fairly intimidating even at 62 years of age. My grandfather [his father] was the same size too.
If you are an ectomorph with small wrists and a slim body structure, you would have a really hard time satisfying the criteria because thin bones come with “compact” muscles by default.
I would even say that pure ectos have a higher chance to survive a fall from a 10 story building than to fill out their frames as nicely.
Muscle Bellies Are the King’s Brothers
While the skeletal structure holds the utmost importance when determining overall natural potential, the length of the muscles matters too. A long muscle offers a greater base for growth and nothing will change that.
Very often people with thin frames have short muscle bellies which is why some ectomorphs pay multiply anabolic fines and serve as an example of bad bodybuilding genetics.
As they say – “when it rains, it pours”.
My experience confirms that. I began lifting as a 6’1”/185cm ectomorph weighing 68kg/149.6lbs. When I got serious, I bulked up to 88kg/193.6lbs. That’s a gain of 44lbs/20kg. The catch is that a lot of it was fat – probably 70%. My waist exploded.
And no, I didn’t eat bad foods. In fact, that bulk was entirely based on clean nutrition. I’d never eaten healthier products in my entire life. [I didn’t consume sugar for over a year.]
Nonetheless, I had to lose weight since I didn’t like being fat. I normalized at 75kg/165lbs and got to 80kg/176lbs on a couple of occasions but went back.
Men with average or superior genetics for muscle construction will do significantly better. After all, I have three strikes against me:
- Slim bones [my wrist is 6.25-inches]
- Short muscles bellies [my calves, biceps and forearms have incredibly long tendons]
- Fairly slow metabolism
I assume that the people who’ve been asking me this question so persistently are fairly new to the bodybuilding game and are in their dreaming stage. I understand. I was there too. I may have been even more delusional than you because at the time the information on the subject was more limited than today.
But sooner or later, you will understand that very few individuals are blessed with great genetics for muscle construction. Then, you will pass through the 7 stages of grief before moving on and focusing on activities that will finally allow you to swim in the direction of the current.
It’s my observation that people make the most progress in life when they understand their limitations and go for what’s available.