Genetics & Muscle Building: Connection, Myths & Facts

genetics muscle building

Fitness and figure are still prominent topics in society, as are genetics and muscle building. After all, the desire to improve one's fitness attracts people of all ages and backgrounds. The goals are very different: build muscles, improve your physical condition, become more athletic or just get fitter.

Although fitness, genetics and muscle building are very exciting topics and exercise is worthwhile for everyone, many people come across a wealth of advice and methods that confuse them. As a byproduct of this stream of information, some myths surrounding genetics and muscle building have become established. We at GenoLine will take a closer look at these and the actual influence of your genes on your success.

The top 3 myths about genetics and muscle building and why they are so persistent

Behind many myths there is often a spark of truth or, in the context of genetics and muscle building, a spark of reality. There are more than just the following three myths about how genetics influence muscle building. However, the following three, which we will introduce and discuss, are the most well-known and persistent.

Myth 1: Targeted fat loss occurs through targeted exercises

A common misconception is that you can lose fat from specific areas of your body by performing targeted exercises on those areas. So when you want to lose belly fat, many people tend to do endless sit-ups and hope it works.

There is a real, but distorted, connection behind this statement: Targeted training helps with general fat burning and muscle building - as does genetics. However, this targeted training includes types of training and varies from person to person. The myth promotes the idea that exercising certain muscles will specifically “burn” fat in those areas. However, the body burns fat holistically and not specifically. However, targeted exercises can help strengthen the muscles in a specific area.

Myth 2: Women have to train differently than men

Many still believe that women need a special training program that is fundamentally different from that of men. The assumption behind this is mixed: On the one hand, many women fear that they would look like bodybuilders if they trained similarly to men. On the other hand, this myth also partly comes from the different predispositions between the sexes - that is, that women cannot tackle muscle building like men due to their genetics.

In truth, the basic principles of training for men and women are not significantly different. Women don't suddenly become bodybuilders just because they lift weights - even with heavy weights and intense training. The genetics for building muscle are different in women and tend to occur more slowly and to a lesser extent than in men. Women can and should do the same exercises as men to build strength and definition. As with any exercise, the following applies: it must be tailored to the individual and the goals.

Myth 3: With good genes you don't have to put in any work

This myth suggests that people with "good" muscle building genetics do not need hard work or discipline to be muscular or to build and maintain those muscles.

This comes from the idea that some people are simply "lucky" with their genes and more easily obtain the achievements or shape that others desire. The work that these people still have to put in is often overlooked.

There are no “good” or “bad” muscle building genes in the traditional sense. Human genetics vary in muscle building and other factors. This means that the potential muscle mass and size, but also their performance range, are predetermined. If you want to fully exploit this potential, you still have to train traditionally and pay attention to your decisions in general. Everyone, regardless of genetics, needs to put in the effort to build muscle in order to progress.

This is how your genetics actually influence your muscle growth

Your genetics actually influence your muscle growth and it's worth understanding in more detail how this works. There are a few key factors that determine how your genetics control your muscle growth:

  • Basal metabolic rate:
    Your basal metabolic rate, i.e. the amount of energy your body burns at rest, is influenced by your genetics. Building and using muscle increases this. People with a higher basal metabolic rate often have a higher metabolic rate and can in turn build muscle mass more easily.

  • Number of fat cells:
    The number of fat cells in your body is also predetermined. Some people naturally have more fat cells than others, such as the average woman compared to the average man. This can affect the distribution of fat in the body and how easily you lose or gain fat. Fat cells can also be added if your living and nutritional circumstances allow it.

  • Muscle cells:
    The number of muscle cells in your body is genetically determined and does not change. When building muscle, your genetics also determine the distribution of the different muscle fiber types in your body. Some people have more “fast” muscle fibers, while others have more “slow” muscle fibers. These fiber types influence how good you are at certain sports and how easily you build muscle mass.

  • Digestive/Metabolism Type:
    In addition to building muscle, your genetics also influence your type of digestion and your metabolism. You can easily find this out using metabolic analysis . Some people have a faster metabolism and can burn more calories, while others tend to store calories more easily. This can impact your diet and your ability to build muscle mass. An important subpoint here is your carbohydrate tolerance: Some people are better at converting carbohydrates into energy and storing them in the muscles, which is important for building muscle.

Building muscle: genetically determined, yes. But also in your hand!

So you can see that your genetics undoubtedly determine your muscle gain, but the good news is: you still have control over many important factors that affect your muscle gain and overall fitness.

For example, a key advantage on this fitness journey is the DNA fitness test . It gives you valuable and accurate insights into your genetics and how muscle building can be optimally designed for you.

In addition, you not only let your genetics determine your muscle building plan, but you can also pay attention to your diet, training and lifestyle. Once you know your dispositions, you can optimally determine the time, duration and intensity of your types of training. You can also achieve more than you think with an adapted diet, good sleep and social balance.