How To Know If You Have Good Genetics For Bodybuilding (2022)

The majority of your successes and failures are the result of factors that you don’t control, namely genetics and natural laws. Yet they shape your entire destiny.

We are all fighting for better physiques, but only a handful of us have been born to excel at this bodybuilding game.

The selection process is brutal and reminds me of earning money. Some people generate millions by being born at the right time and place whereas others who put in just as much, or sometimes, even more, effort, spend their entire lives counting pennies.

Hard Work

Successful people often attribute their successes to hard work and perseverance.

It’s true that to build something in your life, you have to work hard and consistently. You are not going to receive a reward without covering therequirements. Money and connections can be helpful, but they are certainly not a fix that works all the time. For example, if you aspireto become a good doctor, you have to study extremely hard. No one can do the work for you. Even if your father is the ultimate doctor, he cannot give you his skill. You have to earn it.

Hard Work Does Not Always Work

Unfortunately, or not, hard work does not always lead to success in life. If you are not in a position to collect the profits of your labor, you don’t benefit much from working hard. A good example would be the daily existences of most people. We trade our time for money. In order for someone to end up on the front page of a financial magazine, the little people have to work until their bones hurt. All rich CEOs are getting wealthy the exact same way – through exploitation.

Most companies hire people from Third World Countries to do the manufacturing process and pay them just enough not to die too quickly. The men and women in a similar position do not benefit greatly from working hard. The only ones that are truly getting richer are the shareholders and the management.

The same applies to the world of bodybuilding. Your genetic potential predetermines absolutely everything in terms of natural growth. Some are born with narrow shoulders and tiny bones while others have “pterodactyl” clavicles, thick wrists and a powerful response to training.


By default, a bigger bone comes with a bigger muscle. You will rarely see a man with tiny wrists and huge arms. The guys with the big bones are always more muscular. A good example would be Steve Reeves who had an insane bone thickness and was considered a very gifted bodybuilder competing in times when steroids were limited to early versions of testosterone.

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The slim boned bodybuilders can look very aesthetic at a low body fat, but as far as size is concerned, they will have a hard time reaching the standards of the big boned fellas.

Muscle Insertions

In general, there are two main types of insertions – long and short. Those who have short tendons can consider themselves lucky because they have a higher potential for muscular growth.

The longer the muscle is, the more fibers there are, and the more growth can occur. Conversely, people withlong insertions have short muscle bellies limiting growth.

A common example would be the calf muscles – all people with really big calves have short Achilles tendons and long bellies whereas those with long Achilles tendonsand short muscle bellies have small, puny calves. Training rarely resultsin measurable results for the second group.

How To Know If You Have Good Genetics For Bodybuilding (2)

In the image above, you can see Sergio Oliva who was known for his phenomenal insertions. He had incredibly short biceps tendons, which made his arms appear super full and allowed him to carry a ton of mass there.

In the next image, you see the back of Serge Nubret. Notice how his lats insert super low into his lower back. That’s considered a favorable muscle insertion, which allows the bodybuilder to build an extremely wide and complete back. However, not everybody has been blessed with similar insertions. Many have higher lats. As a result, their lower back area looks empty and soft.

(Video) How To Know if You Have Good Genetics for Bodybuilding?

How To Know If You Have Good Genetics For Bodybuilding (3)

Serge Nubret had a huge back but didn’t deadlift.

In the image below, you see Albert Beckles. He has super long arm and forearm tendons. He had a very good physique because his overall genetics are great but didn’t carry as much mass in the arm departmentas other great bodybuilders with fuller insertions (e.g., Arnold, Sergio, Nubret…etc.)

Of course, one could argue that a bodybuilder can develop his muscles regardless oftheirinsertionspoints, but at the end of the day, the guys with longer muscle bellies are much more likely to look like they lift.

Fast Metabolism

How To Know If You Have Good Genetics For Bodybuilding (5)

Another tool that you need to be successful in the world of bodybuilding is a fast metabolism. The faster your metabolism is, the easier it is to remain lean.

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Naturally, only a few are blessed with a similar extra. There are people who consumevery little food and still gain fat. Most of the time, it’s because they have extremely slow metabolisms.

There are also those who injectice cream three times a day on top of a regular diet and remain lean. That’s because their bodies are more efficient at using the macronutrients and energy received from the food. If you have a hard time gaining fat regardless of your poor nutritional habits, consider yourselfverylucky.

Small Hips, Wide Shoulders

To pull off the bodybuilding illusion, you need wide shoulders and small hips. This combination makes your back appear wider and bigger to the naked eye. All bodybuilders that are considered aesthetically pleasing have broad shoulders and small waists.

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In the image above, you see Lee Haney. He had a really wide back and small hips. His favorable shoulder to hip ratio helped him win Mr. Olympia 8 times.

Unfortunately, not everybody enjoysa similar structure. Somemen have shoulders just a little bit wider than their hips. (Jason Blaha comes to mind.) This can make or break a bodybuilder. Having child bearing hips may be great for powerlifting, but in bodybuilding, it’s considered a flaw.

Great Response to Drugs and Gorilla Organs

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The body’s response to drugs is another very important growth factor. There are people who get really big from small doses while others need more. Obviously, the less you need to look good, the better.

Organs of Steel

All successful bodybuilders share one thing in common – tough internal organs. You may be extremely gifted when it comes to structure, but to compete in professional and high-level amateur shows, you will have to take steroids. It’s impossible to keep up with the competition if you don’t. They are all druggies. You can’t naturally beat enhanced guys unless they are super lazy and/orhave a bad dealer.

(Video) How To Know if You Have Good Genetics for Bodybuilding? (Bones and Muscle Bellies)

All of the guys on the Olympia stage have been pinning their glutes for years. To sustain such an abuse, you need organs of steel. There are many unknown bodybuilders with deteriorated health due to drug abuse. If you don’t have a body that can toleratesteroids for years, you will never be a professional bodybuilder regardless of how hard you work.

A Working Brain

One of the best things you can ask for is a working brain. It helps with every mission, and building muscle does not make an exception. Having good decision-making skills can save your life and take you to the top.

You have to be smart in order to push forward while protecting yourself.

The better learner you are, the less struggle and frustration you will meet on your way to the plastic trophy.


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Bodybuilders need a steady source of income to buy drugs and food. Obviously, not everybody has that luxury.

The same applies to natural bodybuilding, although to a smaller degree. Having the resources to buy good food will help you a lot. Also, financial stability reduces your stress levels. Poverty issimplynot anabolic.

So, how can you know if you have good genetics for bodybuilding?

It’s really simple. If you have a decent structure and respond well to training and basic nutritional plans, you have good genetics for natural bodybuilding.

However, if you aspire to be a full-blown professional bodybuilder, you will have to bealmost immune to the negative effects of the drugs.

For many, staying natural is the best strategy. Trading your testicles and kidneys for biceps and a plastic trophy is not worth it.

(Video) Good Genetics - How Do You Know if You Have Them

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How do you know if you have good muscle genetics? ›

Well you'll see people with good genetics have a natural v taper they'll have wide clavicles they'll

Are my genetics good for building muscle? ›

Genetics impacts all areas of fitness and performance, including muscles and strength. From sprinters who have genes allowing them to develop more fast-twitch muscle fiber to endurance runners with genetics dictating muscle contraction speeds, genes determine our abilities to some degree.

Do you need good genetics to be a bodybuilder? ›

Bad genetics are visible in those who have a hard time building muscle. Those with better genetics are likely to build muscle faster than normal, follow a good workout routine much more efficiently and have better forearm and calf insertions.

Which genetics are best for bodybuilding? ›

A person with an “enhanced” genotype is perfect for bodybuilding. An enhanced person will see significant gains in muscle mass, losses in body fat and weight in response to regular strength training.

Is explosiveness genetic? ›

On the other hand, scientists confirm that explosiveness, which is dependent on muscle architecture and fibre composition of the body, is genetically determined. The role played by genetic factors in many features of athletic performance has been discussed in greater depth worldwide.

Is a long or short bicep better? ›

Having a short or long biceps brachii has its advantages and disadvantages. If the end goal for working out is to have big, full-looking arms even at rest, having long biceps is ideal. On the other hand, a higher bicep peak may be more attainable if an individual has short biceps.

Why are some guys naturally Muscular? ›

It comes down to hormones and genetics. Chances are, you've probably heard before that every body is different, and on a physiological level, that's really true. For example, some bodies are primed to put on muscle more easily than others.

Are chests genetic? ›

As mentioned, genetics plays a big role in how your chest muscles look. In terms of having 'bad' inner chest genetics, the origin of the pectoralis major muscles can attach to the sternum further apart from each other, leaving a gap.

Is a wide back genetic? ›

Far be it for me to say that genetics don't play a role in determining the width of a person's back. My sister nicknamed me “Big Back” when we were kids because I was lucky to have had a head start in the back department.

Are big biceps genetic? ›

What most people don't realise is that arm size is largely genetic. That also goes for the shape and peak of your bicep. Working out your arms will make them grow, but the extent of that relies on genetics.

Did Arnold have good genetics? ›

Arnold may have not had the best genetics, but despite that he pushed himself to the limit in order to overcome his shortcomings and become an all time bodybuilding great. Don't let Genetics be an excuse to not push yourself to the heights of glory.

How much genetics do bodybuilders play? ›

Bodybuilding, Strength Training, and DNA

Bodybuilders work hard to get chiseled bodies, but many also have a boost from their genetics. One important gene that has been studied and proven to impact strength and muscle size is called ACTN3. This gene codes for α-actinin-3, a protein in fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Which race is the most physically fit? ›

Asian Americans were the most active of all ethnic groups that year.
Prevalence of physical inactivity among adults in the U.S. as of 2020, by ethnicity*
CharacteristicPercentage of U.S. adults
Non-Hispanic White20.9%
Non-Hispanic Black28.2%
4 more rows
17 Feb 2022

Who has the world's best genetics? ›

1 position in the ranking is held by Eric S. Lander from the Office of Science and Technology Policy, US who has an h-index of 332.

Is chest gap genetic? ›

A chest gap is the separation of your pectoralis major muscles. It's normal to have a chest gap since there's no muscle body over your sternum. Some people have wider gaps than others as part of their natural anatomy, which is largely predetermined by genetics.

What muscles are genetic? ›

Skeletal muscle is a highly heritable quantitative trait, with heritability estimates ranging 30–85% for muscle strength and 50–80% for lean mass.

Are athletes born or made? ›

If you are a person with genes that respond better to training, then you may become “great” without having been born with “athletic genes.” However, this doesn't disprove that athletes are born because it is those genes that you are born with that allow you to make yourself into a great athlete.

How much strength is genetic? ›

Studies focused on similarities and differences in athletic performance within families, including between twins, suggest that genetic factors underlie 30 to 80 percent of the differences among individuals in traits related to athletic performance.

Which head makes biceps bigger? ›

The short head of your bicep is on the inside of your arm. The short head is usually the part of your biceps which helps to make your arm look bigger and fuller. Therefore, if you are trying to put more size on your arms, train your short head. On the outside of your biceps is your long head.

What makes bicep wider? ›

With standing bicep curls, you're going to develop the overall mass of your biceps. They aren't as complicated as preacher curls, but are highly effective for building bigger arms. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, use an underhand grip to hold the bar, and make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart as well.

Are long muscles stronger? ›

Therefore, a bigger muscle - in terms of its cross-sectional area - is also a stronger muscle. This means that individuals with long muscle bellies have the potential to be quite strong.

What is good calf genetics? ›

What Are Good Calf Genetics? With good calf muscle genetics, the proportion of Type II to Type I muscle fibers in your gastrocnemius is high, meaning the size and strength of your calf muscles is highly responsive to training.

What is good shoulder genetics? ›

With that logic, good shoulder genetics means that you have a long muscle belly in the shoulders. There should be no factors stopping a person with good shoulders from growing huge shoulder muscles. Good shoulder genetics might also mean that your shoulders are broader and wider.

What percent of people have ACTN3? ›

This variant form of the ACTN3 gene is very common in the general population. Approximately 20%-30% of the population (over 1 billion people worldwide) have two mutant genes (X/X genotype), and there is not any obvious effect on individuals who have either one or two copies of the variant gene.

What does having strong genes mean? ›

There really isn't a concept of 'strong' or 'weak' genes. In genetics, we refer to genes as dominant or recessive. Dominant genes (in a genetic pair called an allele) can be expressed even if there is only one in the pair. Recessive genes require two copies in the pair to express.

What muscle is harder to build? ›

Calves. Calf muscles are also considered as one of the most difficult to grow in the gym, to the point where many people give up trying. It turns out that the lower leg muscles are not that significantly different from other skeletal muscles.

Are calves 100% genetic? ›

Well, genetics do play a BIG role in how much calf growth your capable of. You probably already know if you have good calf genetics or not. If not, you're probably never going to have HUGE calves. The good news: calf growth IS POSSIBLE, even with bad genetics.

Are calves 90% genetic? ›

This hypothesis has since proved to be false, as the genes from your parents play a critical role in the way your calves are presented. According to this website, “calf growth is at least 90% genetic.” Your calves look the way they do because your mother or your father have similar characteristics.

Is a big chest genetic? ›

Well, like most body parts, the size and shape of our breasts can partly be attributed by our genes. But that doesn't mean that: They can't change (in fact they do, quite often) There are no other factors that influence their size.

Are big arms genetic? ›

What most people don't realise is that arm size is largely genetic. That also goes for the shape and peak of your bicep. Working out your arms will make them grow, but the extent of that relies on genetics.

Are chests genetic? ›

As mentioned, genetics plays a big role in how your chest muscles look. In terms of having 'bad' inner chest genetics, the origin of the pectoralis major muscles can attach to the sternum further apart from each other, leaving a gap.

What race has the ACTN3 gene? ›

Table 1
PopulationAllele frequency of 577XAllele frequency of 577R
Native American0.430.57
European White0.420.58
North Indian0.480.52
8 more rows
30 Oct 2012

How do I know if I have the ACTN3 gene? ›

Children can also give their blood samples to the nearest diagnostic center and find out which genes are responsible for their strength and endurance. By giving a unit of blood sample, a person can find out whether he is having ACTN3 protein in his muscles.

Is being fast genetic? ›

"But there is no single gene that accounts for speed and power, or for sprinting. From what we know so far it appears to be a really complex interaction of lots of genes. So it's impossible to say there's a west African genotype for sprinting, or an east African genotype for endurance running. Genes only play a part."

Who has stronger genes mom or dad? ›

Most people feel as though they look more like their biological mom or biological dad. They may even think they act more like one than the other. And while it is true that you get half of your genes from each parent, the genes from your father are more dominant, especially when it comes to your health.

How do you know if your genes are dominant? ›

If a person carries a heterozygous set of alleles (both uppercase and lower case letter of the gene) then the person will show the dominant trait (being that there is an uppercase letter present). For example, the brown eye allele is dominant, B.

Is intelligence genetic? ›

Like most aspects of human behavior and cognition, intelligence is a complex trait that is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.


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