Does Genetics Actually Play a Role in Building Muscle?

Does Genetics Actually Play a Role in Building Muscle?

How many years have you been working out? Do you look in the mirror and not see any more progress or muscle growth? Is your nutrition and training program on point, yet, building muscle seems nearly impossible? You’re not alone. Some people will throw you under the bus and say you’re not training hard enough, but how much muscle growth comes down to genetics?

It goes without saying that you need to work incredibly hard and give your body enough time to build muscle and overall strength. It is all about the right training program, eating enough protein and focusing on your caloric intake, getting enough sleep for proper recovery, and being patient in order to see the progress. But did you ever feel that it is easier for some people than others? Well, you felt right. There are some people who seem to just walk through the gym doors, and they grow, while others seem to have all of the dotted connect yet still can’t put on any size.

Genetics, to some extent, determines how easy or challenging it is to build muscle and strength. It is true that everyone can see improvements if they train hard, eat right, and rest properly, but some people definitely seem limited.

Science has been opening new doors of inventions, technology, and the understandings of how genes impact all aspects of our lives. We know that it affects health, but now we see that it also determines our fitness abilities. Not everyone can be an elite athlete, no matter how hard they train.

DNA Testing

Are Your Genetics Good for Bodybuilding?

If you wonder if your genetics are good for building muscle, you can find that out quite easily. Lifestyle DNA tests have become quite popular these days, and they are incredibly affordable as well. You simply need to order a kit, send a sample to the designated testing center, and then wait for the results to come back.

These tests can also help you determine your ideal strengths and weaknesses regarding exercise, building muscle, or just maintaining a healthy weight.

Illustration of a muscular arm, and the word Myostatin

The Role of Genetics in Muscle Growth and Muscle Breakdown

To know if you have the genetics for building muscle, it is essential for you to know the role of genetics in muscle growth and muscle breakdown.

For instance, the gene MSTN stands for a protein which is known as myostatin. It is found primarily in muscle tissue, and the protein is responsible for restraining growth in muscle. MSTN causes a rare condition that sees an overgrowth of muscle and abnormal hypertrophy.

Illustration of the effects of testosterone decline in men over a two decade period

Testosterone and Decline in Building Muscle

One of the most significant genetic factors that causes a decline in muscle tissue is the regulation and production of testosterone. When this hormone declines, muscle mass becomes more difficult to grow, and loss of strength and tissue can result.

Low testosterone levels can be caused due to some medical conditions as well as aging. For instance, it is said that starting around the age of 30, testosterone in men will drop at a rate of 1-2% every year. That said, genes that regulate testosterone impacts muscle tissue indirectly.

Can Genetics Make Muscle Growth Stop?

Unless the person is suffering from a rare or severe genetic condition, there is always a way to promote muscle growth. The contrasts between most people in good health are not that great.

Some people can quickly gain muscle and strength after a couple of workouts per week, while others may take several weeks of training harder and maintain an incredibly strict diet to see the same results.

Illustration of slow twitch muscle fibers vs fast twitch muscle fibers

Muscle Fibers

Muscles can be hardwired to grow and build tissue quickly. Your muscles are made up of various types of muscle fibers and are generally labeled as fast-twitch or slow-twitch muscle fibers. Each type of muscle fiber serves a different function.

  • Fast-twitch muscle fibers are great for speed, strength, and power. But they are not good at endurance. They manufacture a lot of power, but on the other hand, they burn out quite quickly. These are the fibers we generally think of when attempting to build muscle.
  • Slow-twitch muscle fibers can withstand endurance but are not strong or powerful. They can last for a long time and increase stamina but do not produce much of any force that can help build lean muscle tissue quickly.

Fast-twitch muscle fibers grow when they get better at what they are doing.

Slow-twitch fibers also grow but at a much slower pace.

As an example, look at sprinters and long-distance runners. Long-distance running does not strengthen leg muscles when compared to barbell squats or sprinting. Don’t believe that to be true? Look at the leg size of sprinters versus distance runners. It’s night and day different, and the sprinter has much more lean muscle mass on the lower half of his or her body.

Muscle fibers are what’s truly determined by your genetics. While it is true that fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers can be somewhat like each other if you train specific ways, but a larger part of what determines the muscle fiber ratio is your genetics.

If the ratio is genetically higher in fast-twitch muscle fibers, the individual will build or grow muscle faster and bigger than if they were higher in slow-twitch muscle fibers.

Plan it out

Workout Plans Based Around Genetics

Fitness and nutrition experts can work with clients based on their unique genetic report results. Results include:

  • Exercise response
  • Weight loss tendency
  • Mental and physical potential
  • Injury risks
  • Recovery and more

Based on these genetics for building muscle results, a personal trainer can curate an exercise mode, intensity, and duration for a client. Scoring generally ranges from “below average” to “normal,” and then to “enhanced.” The score informs the personal trainer what the client’s fitness plan would look like.

Don't Blame Genetics

Is It Genetics or Simply Sandbagging Workouts and Recovery?

Overall, your genetics DO play a considerable role in how muscular you can get or look. With that being said, there are still a vast majority of the people out there who haven’t capped their true growth potential and can’t blame their genetics. They simply haven’t put all of the puzzle pieces together to truly stimulate muscle tissue growth and get the results they desire.

Don’t start blaming your genetics until you’ve ensured and are being honest with yourself on whether or not you are focused on the proper training protocol, the perfect nutrition plan, and the ideal amount of rest to properly recover and allow the muscle fibers to grow back bigger and stronger. Only YOU know the true answer behind that question, and if you lie about the answer, the only person you’re hurting is yourself.

Maximize Your Training and Recovery

How many times have you looked at a bunch of products but, in the end, had no idea what you actually need to get you the results you desire? Well, you’re not alone. For that reason, we created the NutraBio Complete Results Stack. This stack includes Pre, Intra Blast, Reload, 100% Whey Protein Isolate, Creatine Monohydrate, and Extreme Joint Care.

This stack checks every box and covers every base possible from a wants and needs standpoint. You get:

  • A powerful pre-workout to help you get through your most intense training sessions
  • An intra-workout product to help keep you hydrated and performance levels elevated throughout your entire workout
  • A recovery blend to speed up post-workout recovery and minimize muscle soreness
  • A delicious and high-quality whey protein isolate powder to help build and repair torn-down muscle fibers
  • A creatine product that replenishes ATP and cellular energy to enhance performance
  • A joint product to help keep your joints lubricated and protected to prevent injuries and mobility issues

When building muscle is what you’re after, the NutraBio Complete Results Stack provides you with everything you need. Take the guesswork out of the equation and put your focus where it needs to be – your training.