Is Your Muscle Building Potential Limited By Your Genes

It is​ clear that certain traits are handed down to​ us by our parents and unfortunately our ablility to​ grow muscles beyond certain limits is​ no exception. That doesn't mean to​ say hard work and carefully planned training won't have a​ positive effect on your physique - it​ just means that some people will inherit a​ greater abundance of​ the favored physical characteristics than others. Not everyone possesses the physical traits to​ become a​ champion, but you can work wonders with the raw material you do possess.

How responsive you will be to​ physical stimulation can be predicted to​ a​ certain extent by examining your somatype or​ natural body shape. Basically, there are three recognized body types:

1. Endomorphs - these individuals tend to​ be squat with a​ round torso, thick neck and short limbs.

2. Mesomorphs - these individuals tend to​ be musclar with broad shoulders, powerful chest and limbs and little body fat.

3. Ectomorphs - these individuals tend to​ be slim and are usually tall with little muscle and body fat.

The ideal bodybuilding physique tends more towards the mesomorph with broad shoulders, narrow hips with arms and legs of​ medium length. Two further inherited features have a​ role to​ play in​ determining muscle building potential, and these are muscle fiber density and neurological efficiency. Fiber density determines the size potential of​ a​ muscle while neurological efficiency refers to​ the relationship between the nervous system and muscles. This is​ relevant because, in​ all out effort genetically blessed individuals have the ability to​ activate up to​ 50% of​ the fibers in​ a​ given muscle compared to​ the average person's 30%. This allows greater scope for stimulating growth.

The fact that there is​ no easy way to​ measure fiber density or​ neurological efficiency is​ actually a​ blessing because the incentive remains for all of​ us to​ train hard and strive for improvement. Only a​ tiny minority of​ people have the genetic tools to​ become champions but the rest of​ us can go a​ long way to​ fulfilling our own personal goals.

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