How Much Influence Does Your DNA Have Over Muscle Growth?

Conquer Your Bodybuilding LimitationsIn our previous article, we examined how genetics played a role in determining how a bodybuilder would perform.

You learned that genes and DNA influence how a bodybuilder’s physique will develop, sometimes making it easier to make specific muscle gains such as being able to build bigger biceps with less training than another bodybuilder would.

You also learned that your genes are not the be-all and end-all of your path in bodybuilding. They are not “muscle-traps” and that the right workout and exercise routines can overcome any shortcoming or limitation that your genes may impose on you.

The relationship between bone size and muscle size was also raised and there’s no getting away from the fact that taller people with bigger bones are far more likely to develop a higher muscle mass that people with a smaller bone structure. Numerous scientific studies now support that fact.

However, don’t be put off or discouraged by such apparent physiological limitations.

If you’re like most people who have average genes then you just need better nutrition and a more rigorous training program to develop your muscles.

Do Other DNA-Related Factors Affect Muscle Gains?

Your DNA is the blueprint for your body; it determines  the color of your eyes, your hair color, the color of your skin and many other body traits. It also determines the number of muscle cells you have. And that number is different for everyone!

So those genetically gifted people who can build bigger muscles than average just have more muscle cells than the average person.

As an example, if one bodybuilder happens to have 150 million cells that form his back muscles and another bodybuilder has just 100 million muscle cells, then the first bodybuilder is more likely to build muscle mass faster and build more muscle.

No one actually measures their muscle cell count. Knowing the number would be of little use and be irrelevant to your progress in any case.

What we’re simply trying to point out is that some people are genetically predisposed to getting better physiques because of their DNA. But they still have to put in the work!

So don’t despair or be discouraged. As it turns out, around the time that the information about body muscle cell counts was published, it was found that muscle cells can actually divide and multiply, depending on a person’s regular physical regime.

So if you’re working out regularly and consuming enough protein, amino acids and other nutrients (i.e. you’ve got the right diet) needed to build more muscle tissue, then your DNA becomes a secondary factor. You can still hone a great symmetrical physique and achieve the size that a genetically gifted peer might more easily develop through an accident of birth. You just need to work a bit harder to achieve the same results. You will get there eventually!

What Part Does Testosterone Play?

Testosterone - The male HormoneMales have a hormone, known as Testosterone, in much more abundance than females. This hormone also plays a crucial role in how successful a bodybuilder is.

The hormone influences how the male body grows once puberty is reached.

Some males have a lot more Testosterone than others. While that can help them build muscle fast with a rigorous workout program, these guys are also naturally more driven and aggressive. A good trainer will harness those tendencies to get a bodybuilder to push themselves harder so they get the results they want faster.

Testosterone isn’t just in the body to help muscle development. It also affects personality and attitude. In addition to increasing aggressiveness and competitive spirit, a higher level of the hormone is known to be a factor in male pattern baldness.

Testosterone is what makes men, men. As levels decrease with advancing age, men start to lose that maleness that characterized their youth.

Females also produce testosterone but at a much lower level when compared to males. When a female produces (or ingests) a lot of testosterone, certainly more than she naturally needs, she can start to develop male characteristics – body hair, more axillary hair and even a deeper voice.

Females who take Testosterone supplements (and androgenic substances) to boost their bodybuilding performance run the risk of developing severe or chronic health issues later in life. This is because their bodies can react badly to an excess of Testosterone.

Should You Take Synthetic Male Hormones?

The safety of self-administering synthetic male hormone is still widely debated across the world. It’s no secret that professional bodybuilders use testosterone and human growth hormones to enhance their body’s natural ability to grow.

If you’re even considering using anabolic steroids or synthetic hormones, go talk to a doctor first. Taking these substances could alter your body in ways you don’t expect or anticipate and you should be aware of the downsides and dangers of using these substances before you make a decision. Get all the information you can first and weigh the pros and cons for yourself. Don’t make a decision on what someone else tells you is okay, gives great results, has no side effects, etc.

Bottom line, if you injure or damage your body through substance abuse or experimentation, you won’t be able to follow your bodybuilding dreams. So practice a safe and supervised bodybuilding training program and, preferably, steer clear of strange supplements and unregulated chemicals.