Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Have Bad Genetics?

Arnold Schwarzenegger genetics
Image via Instagram @schwarzenegger

Even the best have to overcome adversity to achieve greatness.

A lot of people point to genetics as being the number one reason for creating champions in bodybuilding. When you look at a great champion like Phil Heath, more often than not one thought that comes to mind is that the man was blessed with some above average genetics, hence the reason his nickname was “The Gift”. The fact that he competed in basketball at a pretty high level is testament to the fact that the man is a well rounded athlete. Those same genetics have brought him seven Mr. Olympia titles, and solidified him as one of the best bodybuilders to step on stage. But it brings about the question: is it possible to be a champion without having the best genetics?

Let’s take a look at the effects that genetics have on bodybuilders, and in particular, the genetics of the Austrian Oak.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Genetics

arnold schwarzenegger genetics

When you hear the name Arnold Schwarzenegger, many things come to mind; Mr. Olympia champion, multimillion dollar film star, politician, and the Godfather of bodybuilding. But I bet if you ask enough people you’d likely never hear the words “bad genetics” associated with the Austrian. Well don’t get us wrong, Arnold does have some pretty great genetics in his own right, showing off a shelf like chest, peaked biceps, and an incredible wingspan (wide lats). However, if you take a closer look you’ll see that the man possessed below average leg size and definition compared to his upper body, particularly in this calves. The Austrian Oak had to work tirelessly at building up the muscle group to its championship level stature.

But don’t just take our word for it. There’s someone else who shares our opinion on the subject. Check it out.


Genetics Don’t Define You

Arnold may have not had the best genetics, but despite that he pushed himself to the limit in order to overcome his shortcomings and become an all time bodybuilding legend. Don’t let Genetics be an excuse to not push yourself to the heights of glory.

You are able to outperform your own genetics, with a proper diet and training regimen, you can build fantastic amounts of muscle mass, or burn fat and get shredded, it is all in your own hands. The problem is that many people do not want to put in that hard work, and say that “they can’t” or “don’t have the genetics” for something, before they even try.

Do not be that person who blames their genetics for the shortcomings in their physique, be the person that outworks everyone else and sculpts something truly great. Genetics can certainly put someone at an advantage or disadvantage, but that does not mean you cannot surpass them with hard work.

Wrap Up

So what do you think? Do you need great genetics to be a bodybuilding champion? Did Arnold Schwarzenegger have bad genetics? Let us know in the comments below be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Cover photo credit: MuscleMecca.com

Jonathan Salmon
Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.