Most people are aware that there is a link between a person’s genetics and their ability to build muscle.
Usually, suppose your body is not built in a certain way. In that case, gaining muscle mass quickly will be slightly more challenging, just as some people will find it difficult to keep muscle mass off if they are training to be light and lean for running or other sports.
However, genetics is not a good excuse not to even try to gain muscle. Although not everyone will be the next Mr. or Miss Universe, you can always earn more muscle than you currently have, particularly if you start from nothing.
Knowing the links between bodybuilding and genetics is important, of course, and it is essential to know your limits and listen to your body.
But never assume that nothing is to be gained just because you are not so genetically indisposed to growing muscle: working out always has positive outcomes.
Don’t listen to people who say ‘it’s all about genetics
We all know the people who attribute their great runners or swimmers’ bodies to genetics, and while people with bigger hands and wider shoulders tend to be better at swimming than the average person, it is not true that it is all down to genetics.
The people who train hard every day are the ones who are more likely to reach their goals. You can quickly be born with the perfect body for sprinting or long-distance running, but if you never go out to train, you will never be very good at it.
For this reason, do not heed those who say that they are just ‘naturally very muscular’ – it will only deter you and, the chances are, they spend many hours in the gym when you are not looking to maintain their physique.
This is not a competition; you should not let your genetics influence what you hope to achieve.
Don’t just focus on what comes naturally.
If you find that, during training, it is a lot easier to build mass on your thighs or your biceps, do not just exclusively train those parts.
Even though it may be a lot harder to gain mass on your calves (which is one of the most challenging places to gain mass for absolutely everyone, so you are not alone), you still need to work out those muscles to maintain them.
If you start to ignore parts of your body that are more difficult to train, you will start running into many problems.
Not to mention the problem of looking slightly strange if you exclusively train the top of your body to the detriment of your legs: no one enjoys the look of someone who has skipped leg day too many times!
Knowing your natural and inherent weaknesses is the first step to designing and following a better workout routine.
Suppose you are aware of your body’s physical limitations. In that case, you can create a workout that focuses on helping build the muscle you find slightly easier to build and keeping other parts of you strong and healthy.
This is where you must listen to your body and understand your genetic limitations and what your body was designed to do.
Having prioritized training can help you focus on putting more effort into the parts of the movement that do not necessarily come most effortless to you.
However, ensuring that you do these parts in training and not just skip over them will make it much easier to start seeing results. And you may find that the results are surprising.
What is ‘good’ genetics for bodybuilding?
No one is born ready for bodybuilding, per se. No one body type certainly lends itself perfectly to building muscle and losing fat. To a certain extent, therefore, most people should find it relatively easy to gain a little muscle and keep the fat at bay.
However, a few key aspects factor into bodybuilding and separate the good from the bad. Those who naturally have faster metabolisms, solid bone structure, and longer stomach muscles tend to see results quicker and easier than those who do not.
This does not mean that, if you only have two or one of these things, you will never see great results, but it does mean that if you have none of these things, it is unlikely that you will ever be a professional bodybuilder.
However, science has shown that anyone can gain muscle by exercising correctly and eating healthily, so do not despair!
Mind over matter
Whereas you cannot simply change your genetics, no matter how much you may want, there is a certain extent to which mentality plays a role in your workout.
If you have never before found it easy to gain mass in a particular area or general, you may feel disheartened about it, leading to you giving up even trying.
By enforcing prioritized training, you are ensuring that you concentrate on areas you never usually focus on, which means they will be getting much more attention than usual.
This can mean that the results, although relatively small compared to the results for your upper body, for instance, can be surprising and can make a huge difference.
This is one of the reasons why it is so important not to give up just because of your genetics: it certainly is not the end of the world, and a good workout routine and diet plan can make it possible to achieve your goals.