How Genetics Really Play in Your Physique

There are some truly amazing mutants out there. Did you know that Andy Bolton squatted 500 pounds and deadlifted 600 pounds the VERY FIRST TIME he attempted the lifts?

Thor Bjornsson recently competed in a strongman competition and deadlifted over 1041 pounds, and was seemingly at ease doing it?

An 18-year old Norwegian cyclist named Oskar Svendsen tested his vO2 max at 97.5?

It’s obvious then with people like this out there, some individuals respond better to training than others. But why? How can I become elite like they are in my sport? Is it even possible?

The Cold, Hard Truth

After you have lifted weights or competed in any sport, you begin to hit a wall, where progress and gains require more effort to achieve. Your continual progress is largely dependent on your genetics.

There are even some people who get no improvement from training and experience no results. First of all, count your lucky stars that you are not one of those! In the study, 585 people of all training backgrounds, sexes, and experience were trained and made a very wide range of progress. The people with the best genetic response increase their muscle by 59% and their 1 RM (repetition maximum) by a whopping 250%! For a few people (2%), there was no change in 16 weeks of progressive training.

Where Genetics Provide Benefit

Genetics can provide benefit in a variety of place, bone structure, height, cell sensitivity, muscle origin and insertion points, fat distribution (think about how differently people carry fat in parts of their bodies) and others.

Here’s Why Genetics Don’t Actually Matter

Obviously, it can be discouraging if you are religiously counting your macros, hitting your workouts, sleeping, managing your stress, and eating a healthy and varied diet, while you see someone else just cut out their evening beer and they lose weight and look amazing with little effort.

Obesity is about 70% genetic. But then why are obesity rates not higher?

How many people do you know that are overweight in a skinny family? Or vice versa, there is a family of heavily overweight people, but there are one or two that are in great shape?

The biggest impact in your life and how you look is how you take care of yourself. Diet and exercise can change your appearance more than your genetic proclivity to hold onto fat.

Hard Work Vs. Genes

While genes give an expression of what you look like, it can always be manipulated for whatever goals you have. If Arnold Schwarzeneggar (who clearly has great genes for building muscle) never lifted weights, there wouldn’t be exercises named after him!

You can manipulate your vO2 max, your squat, deadlift, sprint, endurance, and performance with old-fashioned hard work.

Genetics are secondary to hard work.

Repeatedly putting in the time, the effort, and the sacrifice is what makes you great. Your genes are important, but hard work always pays off more than talent and natural ability in terms of progress.

Be the best YOU you can be, and do YOUR best, not mine, or a celebrity’s. Then let the good genes that you do have, and your hard work speak for itself!


Need more motivation? Here’s how I can help you.

  • Like myFacebook Page HERE to get workout tips, recipes, meal prep ideas, and motivation quotes to help you on this journey. You can even use me as your support buddy!
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You’ve got this!

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