MUSCLE BUILDING GENETICS: DO GENES MATTER IN BODYBUILDING?

Genetics play a large role in virtually everything we do.

We’re all born with different skills, tendencies and abilities, and these characteristics are a product of the things we learn and the genes we inherited from our parents.

Just as some people are naturally fast runners, naturally talented musicians, naturally skilled mathematicians and naturally good artists, some of us are naturally predisposed to building muscle at faster rates.

It would be both naive and ignorant to assume that we are all born on a 100% equal playing field when it comes to building muscle size and strength.

There is definitely a connection between genetics and bodybuilding success, and it can vary quite a bit from person to person.

Here are a few of the genetics factors that can come into play…


Genetics And Bodybuilding: A Few Key Factors


Testosterone Levels –
Testosterone is the most important muscle-building hormone in the body, and some people have naturally higher or lower levels.

Muscle Fiber Distribution –
Individuals with a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers will have greater muscle-building potential because fast-twitch fibers are most prone to hypertrophy.

Muscular Shape –
For the most part, there is very little you can do to influence the shape of an individual muscle. Muscles can become bigger or smaller, but their actual shape is determined by genetics.

Recovery Ability –
Some of us can naturally tolerate more exercise than others. Individuals who can recover quicker naturally have an advantage because they will be able to successfully train and grow more often than others.

Myostatin Levels –
The myostatin gene codes to “limit” the amount of muscle mass that you can build. This gene will be more or less active depending on the individual.

These are just a few of the many factors that come into play when examining the issue of genetics and bodybuilding.

There’s no doubt that Arnold Schwarzenegger trained extremely hard to win the Mr. Olympia contest 7 times, but without his fabulous genetic structure there’s no question things would have been different.

The real question is… SO WHAT?

Whatever hand you were dealt in the genetics department is what it is and cannot be changed. All you can do is make the best of what you have and become the best that YOU can be.

This applies not only to bodybuilding, but to every single area of life.

Whether you’re able to gain muscle at an above average rate, average rate or below average rate is something that is set in stone and cannot be changed. And to be honest, from a practical standpoint it is absolutely irrelevant.

Unless your goal is to become a world-class bodybuilder (a feat that is largely dependent upon genetics), absolutely anyone can build a muscular, impressive body as long they are willing to put forth the effort.

For some people it may simply take a shorter or longer time than others. It’s as simple as that.

You would have to be in the extreme lower percentile of the “bad genetics” group for it to be anywhere even close to a valid excuse for not sticking to your bodybuilding program.

For everyone else (the 99%+):  train hard, eat right, stay focused and very good things will happen as long as you are consistent.

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