How Important are Genetics in the Muscle Building Process

By Jason Ferruggia

More ArnoldFor years and years we have all heard that genetics are the main factor determining exactly how successful you will be in your muscle building quest. While this is true, and in the end how big you eventually get will be determined by your genetics, the fact of the matter is most people never get anywhere close to their full genetic potential. So using this as an excuse is beyond lame.

Sure some guys have insane muscle building genetics and grow just by looking at a weight. They gain five pounds just by walking by the refrigerator and another couple just by doing a few warm up sets at the gym. I have always been envious and jealous of these guys. But since I don’t have those genetics I knew I couldn’t sit around and cry over spilled milk. I just had to be smarter and train harder. I knew I had to do everything right. My diet had to be better, my training had to be more well thought out and I need to sleep while they were out partying. And over the years I consistently got better results than guys who had much better genetics than I did. All because I had the right attitude and the determination to succeed that most of them didn’t. Sometimes great genetics can be an excuse to skip workouts or miss meals. But when you are a typical skinny guy hardgainer like me, you have to be dialed in 100% of the time.

The reality is that while some guys can build massive amounts of muscle on two or three meals per day and any old random workout that they pull out of some bodybuilding magazine, the majority of us will have to work a lot harder and be a lot smarter than that.

Don’t go to the biggest, strongest guy in the gym for advice. Because, most likely, what worked for him will not work for you. If you want to seek out advice from someone, go to the guy who has made the most significant progress. So if a guy weighs 250 but most of that is based on genetics and or steroid use and another guy weighs 190 but started at 135 a few years earlier, I would be much more interested in what the 190 pound guy had to say and see what he did to make such dramatic gains.

No matter what the naysayers may tell you, everyone who starts a proper muscle building program and sticks with it, while really busting their ass in and out of the gym, can gain massive amounts of muscle. Skinny guys come to my gym in New Jersey all the time and I routinely help them slap on 30-50 pounds of muscle. Rarely do they have Mr. Olympia winning genetics but they listen to everything I say and have an insatiable desire to succeed.

When genetics aren’t in your favor you have to avoid high volume workouts, you need to reduce the stress in your life, you need to sleep more, you need to eat more clean foods and you need to be 100% dedicated to this process 24/7, 365. The gains will come and before long no one will be calling you a hardgainer or talking about your crappy genetics anymore. Instead they will all be asking you how you got so damn jacked.

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