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Genetic muscle growth potential

Most beginners in the gym are interested in the question of whether they have a genetic predisposition to bodybuilding and how quickly they can be pumped. However, good genetics is not the ability to quickly build muscle, it's the ability to gain minimum fat.

The simplest test for revealing its genetics is measuring the circumference of the wrist to determine the type of physique. In the muscular masses of the mesomorphs and endomorphs prone to recruitment, the width of the bones is usually several centimeters larger than that of the lean nature of the ectomorphs.

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Body type by wrist circumference

To determine your body type, measure the circumference of your wrist over the bone. In ectomorphs, the circumference of the wrist is usually less than 17.8 cm, in mesomorphs it is from 17.8 to 19 cm, in endomorphs it is more than 19 cm( 1).These figures are relevant for men and adolescents at least 160 cm tall.

Note that most people can not be attributed exclusively to one somatotype. The concrete person most often combine in himself several types of physique in certain proportions. For example, the bottom of the body often has endomorphic characteristics, and the top - ectomorphic.

Genetic lucky

The genetic potential for rapid muscle growth depends not only on the type of physique, but also on the level of hormones in humans. Those who easily gain muscle, by nature have a higher level of testosterone, a lower level of cortisol and a good sensitivity of skeletal muscles to insulin.

Testosterone directly affects muscle growth, low cortisol allows you to train longer and recover faster, and the sensitivity of various body tissues to insulin affects weight gain( determining, in effect, which of the body tissues "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 a week or about 1 kg per month( 2).Despite the fact that this figure seems too small, an increase of 12 kg of pure muscles per year can change any body beyond recognition.

If your weight increases faster than 1 kg per month, then you probably gain not only muscle, but also fat or excess fluid - which is typical of endomorphs. That is why when dieting for weight gain, it is more important to monitor the "cleanliness" of food, and not just for increased caloric intake.

Sports metabolism

Scientific research suggests that the metabolic indicators for 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 insulin hormone and the above-mentioned sensitivity of the tissues to insulin.

In this case, regular physical training significantly improves the ability of the body to store the energy of carbohydrates in muscles, and not in fat. As a result, the body of athletes more effectively turns the calories coming from food into the muscles, whereas in ordinary people excess energy goes to fat.

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Good Genetics: 4 Signs of

  1. Sporting proportions of the body .In ectomorphs, the girth of the chest, waist and hips are usually approximately the same, in endomorphs the waist is most often noticeably wider than the hips and chest, while in the mesomorph with a narrow waist the chest girth is slightly larger than the hips. Thanks to this mesomorphs it is easier to create a V-shaped sports figure with broad shoulders.
  2. The correct metabolism is .If you do not experience increased cravings for sweets, do not suffer from overeating at night, hardly gain weight and quickly get rid of it - your metabolism is likely normal. Otherwise, you will have to restore the normal sensitivity of tissues to insulin by HIIT training.
  3. High level of testosterone .The increased level of testosterone in men is characterized by a consistently high level of sexual desire and behavior, which can be called aggressive. If you are happy to go to risk and are ready to set ambitious goals - your testosterone is more likely than normal.
  4. The ability to self-motivate .No matter how bad your genetics were, regular physical training and a sports diet can change it for the better. It only takes time and a high level of motivation. Remember that even Arnold Schwarzenegger in his early childhood was a thin and unsportsmanlike teenager.


Genetic predisposition to bodybuilding and rapid muscle growth is characterized by a mesomorphic body type with a high level of testosterone, a low level of cortisol and increased sensitivity of skeletal muscles to the ability to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates.

Scientific sources:

  1. Predicting somatotype from body measurements. Damon, Albert;Bleibtreu, Hermann K.; Elliot, Orville;Giles, Eugene
  2. What is My Genetic Muscle Potential? Lyle McDonald, source
  3. Somatotype and indicators of metabolic fitness in youth. Peter T. Katzmarzyk1, Robert M. Malina, Thomas M.K.Song, Claude Bouchard, 1998, source