Muscle Building Genetics

August 19th, 2008 by Paul Johnson

These days, researchers are always talking about the components of genetics that contribute to our risk of disease, personality, and ability to gain or lose fat. Why is it so many bodybuilders I see, act like muscle building genetics is not a factor in bodybuilding? If everyone had the same muscle building genetics, there would be no pro-bodybuilders because everyone could be one if they took enough steroids and be strict on their diet. Unfortunately, not everyone will have equal muscle building or fat loss genetics.

Some bodybuilders will follow a strict diet and not drink alcohol and see their buddies drink and not be too strict on their diet and still gain muscle easier than them. It can be frustrating, but we have to face the fact that some of us will struggle building muscles more than others.

Muscle building Genetic Factors:

There are various components of the human physiology that play big roles in why have better muscle building genetics than others. The most obvious is your natural testosterone levels. There is a wide range of levels that men have that are considered in the normal range. Some men may even be naturally borderline low testosterone levels. Fortunately, there are ways to help increase testosterone levels naturally.

Another major component is your muscle type fiber makeup. Each person has a different percentage of type 1 vs type 2 that varies between muscles and persons. Type 1 and type 2 have very different functions. Type 2 hypertrophies (gets larger) much easier than Type 1 and also fatigue faster. Type 1 fibers are quicker and do better at endurance, but they don't have that much potential for long term hypertrophy. Heavy weight training has been shown to induce fiber changes in sub types to act more like type 1. However, the changes are small and since all of us weight train, it's not going to make up differences between others who lift weights.

Myostatin is another factor, rarely talked about because its a relatively new discovery. Rats were genetically modified a few years ago with lower amounts of myostatin. They turned into very muscular rats. Myostatin seems to put the brakes on muscle building and may be the biggest reason why everyone can only gain muscles to a certain point. Unfortunately, you can't do anything about lowering myostatin levels in the body. The levels in your body is purely genetics. Supplement makers have tried to claim their myostatin products builds muscles through blocking myostatin, but they are all scams. Genetically modifying humans through myostatin, might be something of the future though. I hope I never see that because it would take the fun out of bodybuilding, if others are able to change their genetics by paying a doctor a visit.