When you first decided to enter the forum of bodybuilding, weight training or just having fun lifting weights, the last thing you probably had on your mind was your genetic capabilities. Most likely, you stumbled onto pumping iron by virtue of just being at the right place at the right time where others were involved in weight training, and it piqued your interest. Maybe, you had someone in your family who was a little older than you who trained and allowed you to give it a try whenever you felt like it. Perhaps, you came across a muscle magazine somewhere and thought the people you saw on those pages looked cool or you may have grown up watching shows like He-Man or GI Joe and saw all the jacked cartoon characters performing awesome feats of strength. Whatever it was that drew you to this sport, it had nothing to do with you referencing your genetics first. You just knew you loved muscle and that was enough.
Fast forward to when you started to get more involved in the scene and that word ‘genetics’ would pop up every now and again during conversation. What did that mean for you then? Did you even understand it? Could you evaluate your own genetics by comparing yourself to others? Did you even know what you were looking for? How does one establish below average genetics for building muscle to average genetics to advanced genetics so early on in the journey? Hopefully, you ignored any talk about genetics and simply pursued what you grew to love and had a passion for which is training and improving your own body. Regardless of the fact that maybe your muscle and strength came slower or faster when compared to your buddies at the gym, none of that mattered because you were doing something you loved and wanted to be a part of as much as possible.
This brings us to present day and all of the knowledge that you have accrued over the years. You probably now know whether or not you have the genetics to be great in the strength world or bodybuilding scene or not. So, with what you know, how have you proceeded? Did you find out that you don’t build muscle at the rate others do who possess more superior muscle building genetics than you? Are you in the one percentile of individuals who can simply look at a dumbbell rack and grow? Has any of this information changed your approach to training? If it hasn’t changed a thing with your approach, then you are in fact above average in our world. You have taken whatever the genetic lottery has given you and improved upon it. You are consistent in your approach, are steadfast in your belief that you can build a better version of yourself, and you see no end in sight. That in itself, makes you above average, advanced and gives credence to the journey you have been on since that first day.
The message here is to never let what you have been given to work with be the reason you succeed. Your success relies on your will and determination to be better each day. No matter what your prowess is for building size, strength, and muscle, you can and will always be able to make what you do have better. It may not be on par with the best in the biz, but it’ll be on par with what you’re willing to put forth effort wise. Never give up, don’t ever allow an evaluation of your given talents to hold you back and keep training like the very first day you experienced that first pump. If you can do that, then you will advance your genetics and eventually realize, your true potential.
Author: Dana Bushell
Dana Bushell, a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University (BAHK, B.Ed) is an Educator, Writer, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Nutrition Advisor, Contest Prep/Lifestyle Coach and former competitive bodybuilder, who has been involved in the Fitness Industry for over 25 years. He has worked and written for major fitness publications and many popular bodybuilding sites, is a Gym Star Team member and works hard at teaching and promoting a fitness-based lifestyle in his career as a Physical Education Specialist.
Note from the Editors: To determine your genetic potential for building muscle, burning fat and a whole host of other things, check out www.fitnessgenes.com
Or you can simply have a look at your parents and grandparents (on both sides). Are they athletic, have muscular bodies, or naturally very lean? If so, you may have won the genetics jackpot! Chances are tho that you’re like the majority of us with average genetics. But have no fear! You can still develop a fantastic “above average” physique by training hard, eating right and by taking the very best supplements.