The painful truth about bodybuilding and genetics.
Genetics. That one painful or amazing word – depending on who you are. If you have good genetics, the world favors you. Things come easy to you in certain areas. Ever meet that person who never studies for a test but still gets A’s? Yeah, that’s genetics. If you have bad genetics (or just mediocre genetics), you hate these people. They don’t understand the amount of extra work “normal” people have to do in order to reach that elite level – whether it be in sports, strength, or intelligence.
In bodybuilding people often ask the question, “Does genetics really play such a large role in success?” The painful truth is – yes, yes it does. Now let’s be clear, good genetics doesn’t mean you will magically become Arnold Schwarzenegger with no work. Good genes don’t make you a champion, they simply effect how quickly results will be achieved. It effects how your body responds to the amount of work you put in.
To put it simply, if you put in the same exact amount of work as someone with amazing genes – that person will see far better results than you. Facts are facts. If you have a faster metabolism, you will keep lean muscles far easier. If you have super efficient satellite cells surrounding your muscle fibers, muscle growth will be achieved at a much faster rate.
For people with bad genes, this can be very frustrating. But the real problem is not a lack of genetics – it’s the question that we ask. There is nothing we can do about genetics, it’s something we are born with and have to live with. What we can change is our mindset. The question shouldn’t be “Are genetics important,” it should be “How do I maximize my own potential?”
It’s easy to get discouraged when you see a person with good genes earn great results twice as fast as you can – but you should avoid comparing yourself to those people. Instead of becoming discouraged you should become inspired. Let the heroes, the greats, and the champions inspire you to work harder. Avoid the phrase, “You can only be an Olympia champion if you hit the genetic jackpot.” In the end, it’s not a mistake to work hard and fail – it’s only a mistake if you don’t try to begin with.
Are you a hard gainer? Do you have trouble losing that extra fat? This will not be the death of you. You will have to work harder. You will have to experiment with your training. You will see results. As long as you are consistent with your training this will always remain true. It might be true that some athletes have a much easier time perfecting their physique – but if you think smart, keep a positive mindset, and push harder every day you will see results.