How to find out your genetics for muscle growth?
Most newcomers to the gym are interested in the question of whether they have a genetic predisposition to bodybuilding, how quickly they can gain muscle mass and pump up. However, good genetics is not at all the ability to quickly build muscle, it is the ability to gain a minimum of fat with muscle growth.
The simplest home test to identify your genetics is to measure your wrist girth to determine your body type . In sports and mesomorphs and large-bone endomorphs, which are prone to gaining muscle mass, the width of the bones is usually several centimeters greater than that of naturally thin ectomorphs.
Body Type Wrist
To determine your body type, measure the girth of your wrist over the bone (that is, about the place where you wear the watch). In ectomorphs, the wrist girth is usually less than 17.8 cm, in mesomorphs from 17.8 to 19 cm, in endomorphs , more than 19 cm (1) . These figures are relevant for men and adolescents with a height of at least 160 cm.
However, it should be noted separately that most people cannot be attributed solely to one type of physique. A real person most often combines several types of physique in certain proportions at once. For example, the bottom of the body often has endomorphic characteristics, and the top is ectomorphic.
The genetic potential for rapid muscle growth depends not only on the type of physique, but also on the level of hormones in a particular person. Those who easily gain muscle naturally have higher levels of testosterone , lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and good skeletal muscle sensitivity to insulin.
Recall that testosterone directly affects muscle growth, low cortisol allows you to train longer and recover faster ( high cortisol destroys muscles), and the sensitivity of various body tissues to insulin affects weight gain, determining, in essence, which body tissue "takes" calories - fat or muscle.
How fast do muscles grow?
It is believed that the maximum rate of muscle mass gain in an average person is not more than 0.2 kg of muscle per week or about 1 kg per month (2) . Despite the fact that at first glance this figure seems excessively small, an increase of 12 kg of pure muscles per year can change the body of any person beyond recognition.
If your weight increases faster than 1 kg per month, then you are probably gaining not only muscle, but also fat or excess fluid - which is typical for endomorphs. That is why it is more important to monitor the "purity" of nutrition, and not just for high calorie content. In addition, you need to know how much fat is in your body .
It is important to mention that scientific research suggests that the key indicators of metabolism in different body types differ by about 7-18% (3) . The key difference is the body’s response to carbohydrates from food, the production of the hormone insulin, and the aforementioned tissue sensitivity to insulin.
At the same time, regular physical training significantly improves the body's ability to store carbohydrate energy precisely in the muscles (in the form of glycogen , which is the main fuel for the muscles), and not in fat. As a result, the body of athletes more efficiently turns calories from food into muscles, while in ordinary people, excess energy goes into fat.
Genetics for muscle growth: the main signs
- Athletic body proportions . In ectomorphs, the circumference of the chest, waist and hips is usually approximately the same, in endomorphs, the waist is most often noticeably wider than the hips and chest, and in a mesomorph with a narrow waist, the circumference of the chest is slightly larger than the circumference of the hips. Thanks to this mesomorph, it is easier to create a V-shaped sports figure with wide shoulders.
- The correct metabolism . If you do not feel an increased craving for sweets, do not suffer from gluttony at night, you can hardly gain excess weight and quickly get rid of it - your metabolism is most likely normal. Otherwise, you will have to restore normal tissue sensitivity to insulin through HIIT workouts.
- High testosterone . Elevated testosterone levels in men are characterized by a consistently high level of sexual desire and behavior that can be called aggressive. If you are happy to take risks and are ready to set ambitious goals for yourself, your testosterone is most likely above the norm.
Perseverance and desire to achieve a goal
No matter how "bad" your genetics are, regular physical training and a sports diet can always change your body for the better. Only time and a high level of self-motivation are needed. Remember that even Arnold Schwarzenegger in his early childhood was a thin and rather unsportsmanlike teenager.
That is why success and muscle growth are most often achieved not by those with perfect genetics, but by those who really want to change themselves. This desire makes them monitor their nutrition and carefully study information about muscle growth, and not just "go to the gym", spending time sitting on the simulator with a smartphone in hand.
A genetic predisposition to bodybuilding and rapid muscle growth is characterized by a mesomorphic body type with high testosterone, low cortisol and increased skeletal muscle sensitivity to the ability to absorb proteins and carbohydrates. However, the final contribution is always made by the motivation of a particular person.
- Predicting somatotype from body measurements. Damon, Albert; Bleibtreu, Hermann K .; Elliot, Orville; Giles, Eugene
- What is My Genetic Muscle Potential? Lyle McDonald, source
- Somatotype and indicators of metabolic fitness in youth. Peter T. Katzmarzyk1, Robert M. Malina, Thomas MK Song, Claude Bouchard, 1998, source