Are genetics everything?

bodybuilding, injury prevention, muscle gain, weight loss -

Are genetics everything?

In the fitness industry every little thing can give you an advantage or make things harder. One of these is genetics and this is something that we can’t control, and we can’t change. You may know someone who can do minimal training and eat like a pig but still stays ripped and makes gains in the gym all year around. If they are all natural, then the chances are that they just have good genetics which is why things are made easier. Although having good genetics may give you an example in some cases, they may not be a deciding factor when it comes to getting the most from your workout as there are also many other factors that control this. If your interested in haw your genetics can affect your performance, then read on as we are going to be discussing if genetics are everything when it comes to fitness.


What do your genes control?

The first thing we should do is establish what your genetics control. The answer to this would be everything and many of your features you actually inherit from your parents. This is obvious when it comes to looks as people from the same family end to look similar and have attributes that are the same. An example could be body weight, as if your family is overweight then its likely you will be as your genes control how you carry fat and weight and how your body stores calories. When it comes to the genes themselves these are made up of chemical bases called adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine and these are held together by a phosphate backbone in the DNA.

As we have said before your genes determine pretty much everything and this goes beyond physical. Things like your mood and way of thinking can also be inherited from your family and so can things like certain conditions or diseases. However, you may realise you have some features that you wouldn’t think and this can be due to certain genes being dominant and others being recessive. An example could be both of your parents being healthy but carry a recessive gene. This can cause their child to have the feature of the recessive gene which causes some difference between your family. This can be a reason for having slight difference with your family members like different eye colour or hair colour.


Having good genes can make things easier

Like we have just said your jeans have a say in pretty much everything you do and your features. As they impact your life so much it comes to no surprise that having good genes can make things easier and give you the advantage when it comes to exercising. A common thing is when people find it easy to lose fat and gain muscle naturally due to their genes. As this is the case, they will reap the maximum benefits as training as well will maximise this affect. One way your genes can help with muscle growth is by allowing your body to produce more of the proteins your muscles need to grow. An example is the protein a-actinin-3 which is produced in large quantities by the gene actn3. This particular protein strengthens fast twitch muscle fibres making them quicker to contract which will increase strength and muscle size as a result.

The gene actn3 is just one of many that can make your life easier when it comes to fitness and making gains. Other ways your genes can help you is by controlling your hormone balance for example someone might produce more testosterone naturally. As we know testosterone contributes greatly to muscle growth and fat loss so having more is great. Although you will have a increase or decrease in hormones due to your genes its likely not going to be dramatically large as this would be unhealthy. If you find your hormone levels seem to be imbalanced then the cause is likely something else other than genetics as this will have some impact but not dramatic effects.


Genes can also hold you back

One of the biggest excuses in the fitness industry is genetics and people use this as an excuse for not gaining muscle or losing fat. Although this is true to an extent, there are still many other things you can be doing to reap the benefits from working out. As your genes literally control pretty much everything in your body it comes to no surprise that in some cases, they can hold you back. An example of how they can do this is hard gainers. These are people that struggle to put on muscle mass and weight and one explanation for this can just be genetics. If your family tends to be quite skinny, then naturally you are going to be.

Although genetics can dictate what you look like naturally, we can always change this by training and eating. Your DNA also has an influence around many other things that come with training. For example, you could be more injury prone due to your genetics as this has control over things like bone density. So, if your bones are quite weak then you are more likely to get injured. So, if you find yourself getting hurt when you believe you should not the reason could be more than poor technique.


Genetics do matter …but they don’t

With everything we have said in this article and what you have heard about genetics it just seems like some people are lucky and having bad genetics can just put you far behind everyone else. This may be true in some cases but with the majority of people your genetics should put you at too much of a disadvantage. Granted those with good genetics have the upper hand but nothing can beat hard work and dedication. If you are training frequently and eating right and are only making a little bit of progress, then don’t worry as progress naturally is made slow. For example, you do not see great oak trees take 3 weeks to reach 20 ft high, so you should apply this same principle to yourself.

Also, you can never rely on just genetics to make progress, you will still have to put in some hard work. Your genetics is something that you can’t change so getting down over not having the best natural biceps isn’t going to help. The best thing to do is track your personal progress so you can see if you are making gains and how quickly. Your DNA changes as you get older, so this is not something to get worried about.


Overall, when it comes to genetics, they can play a big part in you life and especially when it comes to fitness and strength. You look like you due now because of genes and they control literally everything in your body. With that said you should not be worried if your genetics are not the best as hard work will still cause you to make gains. You may do it slower but its your own pace and if your making progress you don’t need to worry. If you look at all the athletes and professional bodybuilders not all of them had the best genetics but they did not let that get them down and strived to be the best they could be.