Many things in life come down to the luck of the draw. We all know of a healthy person who exercised regularly and ate clean who keeled over from a heart attack at the age of 50. We also all probably have a relative who smoke and drank every day of his life who is still alive and kickin’ well into his eighties. While we can eat healthy, train hard, and look both ways before we cross the street, we are all at the mercy of the genetics with which we are born. Here are a few areas of bodybuilding success which are blessed or limited based upon our genetics.
Male pattern baldness
Trey Brewer is one of the best amateur bodybuilders in the world. He carries well over 260 pounds of stage-ready muscle mass, and has graced muscle magazine covers at the young age of 22. Two years ago, he had a tight hairline, directly over his forehead. Today, he has the classic horseshoe seen on men double his age. Trey was the victim of male pattern baldness, a condition which affects many bodybuilders. If you fear baldness, you should avoid the use of anabolic steroids, which can accelerate this process greatly.
Some people sweat a great deal in the gym. Others hardly drip at all. The amount of sweat glands we have, the responsiveness to temperature, and the reception we display to external stressors are all innate functions that are built into our DNA. While everyone sweats more when the gym is 90 degrees or during 20-repetition squats, those with the genetic tendencies to sweat more will make much larger puddles. Accept it and do everything you can to keep your area clean for others.
Remember Brian Buchanan? This pro bodybuilder had a shoulder/waist ratio that would have made Steve Reeves envious. His waist was often described as “too small”, something we haven’t heard in a decade or two. Buchanan’s trim waist wasn’t the result of intelligent training or clean eating. It was just the hip-to-shoulder ratio with which he was born. Embrace your shape and train to make the most of it.
Some of us are born with quick metabolism, while others put on body fat just looking at food. If you gain weight easily, it will make muscle gains come more readily, but you will require more dieting and cardio to get in shape for shows. If you are blessed with a quick metabolism, gaining muscle will be hard and will require highly disciplined eating.
This caption would better be referred to tendon capacity. This is the amount of strength that a person has before he ever touches a weight. Legend has it Two-time Mr. Olympia winner Jay Cutler bench pressed 315 pounds the very first time he laid down on a bench. Some people are just built to move very heavy weights.
The bottom line
Embrace the genetics you possess, because you are stuck with them! Find ways to emphasize your strong points, and de-emphasize your weaker areas. Over time, your posing, training, and everything you do in bodybuilding will move you toward becoming the best version of you that you can be, given your genetic limitations and strengths.
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