Breaking Bad Genetics: 5 Facts
In this article we will explore the genetic factors involved in Training. These factors mainly revolve around the subject of Biomechanics. How your muscles perform exercises is vital to how they react to them, so we will determine what it is that separates good form and bad form, as well as genetic predisposition for performing exercises correctly or incorrectly. Those of us looking to getting the most out of our bodies regardless of genetics should know that learning from the most genetically gifted athletes is not the best way to obtain practical or beneficial knowledge. You should in fact try to learn from people who have earned their muscle and shape through good methodology, hard work and smart training. Below are 5 Training factors you should consider for making the most from your genetics!
1. Good Form
This seems obvious, but I can almost guarantee you that you aren't performing all your exercises correctly. Genetically, someone with plenty of Glycolytic muscle fibers will build muscle easily, and bad form itself won't be a huge limiting factor for them - but learning the correct form for all the exercises will ensure the highest potential for an individual no matter the genetics. Leaving your ego at the door so you can train your muscles correctly is the first step - increasing weight is just one factor of increasing Intensity and should be used sparingly. Click here to learn correct form for bodybuilding.
2. Skeletal Structure
Short, Tall, wide, slim, thick, thin, stocky, athletic, long limbs, short limbs, big boned, thin boned, big joints, small joints... there are so many factors involved in body type that don't involve muscle fibres. What body type are you? What exercises best compliment your frame? How long are your limbs? E.g. Squats are not great for anyone taller than 170cm because Bio-mechanically the force is not generated mainly through the thighs but mostly through the Glutes and Lower Back. Bench press is not great either if you have very long arms, as the pressure and tension on the shoulder joint at the bottom portion of the movement is very high (due to the elbows dropping far below the body while lowering to the chest), a problem non-existent in stocky short armed lifters. Dead Lifts also offer little to the taller trainee because of mechanical disadvantages. Choose exercises that suit your frame, ones that keep tension on desired muscles, and ignore the ones that don't.
3. Full Body Approach
You might find that genetically you will have stronger or bigger body parts than others. But this does not mean that you should neglect anything. A full body approach is vital to look (and feel) your best. If a body part is lagging behind then prioritise it in your workouts, but also never ignore a good body part either. Strength balance is important for posture and muscle expression, so never skip over muscle groups that you hate training, as having strength and development throughout the entire body will really help your stronger body parts feel great and help create the illusion of size. 4-5 exercises and 4 sets each per large muscle group, 2-3 exercises and 3-4 sets each per small muscle group.
We always have to mention Intensity when on the subject of Training because it is the most important factor when pursuing any fitness goal. There have been people with terrible Training Approach with amazing physiques, and people with perfect Training Approach with amazing physiques as well - the common denominator being that they both train with very high Intensity. Form is Queen when getting the very best from your body while avoiding Injury but Intensity is King. Challenging your muscles and going all out is how you force your body to change. If you are not being aggressive with your training, someone else is - and that person will get better results than you despite how much better your form, technique or genetics. Focus on the mindset you bring to each set so you can channel your inner beast and get Hungry for it.
5. New Stimulus
You don't want to learn from someone who is so genetically gifted that no matter what they do, they seem to change and grow. Whether you are gifted or not it makes sense to be methodical about Training Approach (the same goes for learning from 'enhanced' athletes). Your body doesn't quite like the same exact workout every time - it responds to new stimulus more than the same stimulus - this is because your body is excellent at adaptation, learning a stimulus then becoming good at handling it, fast. So, ideally we want to confuse and challenge our muscles as much as possible, we must use different variations of exercises and try to stimulate our muscles from all the angles. Never do the same exact order of exercises more that once or twice - change the order, use different machinery and free weight variations, incorporate different set structures (but always keeping reps relatively high - 8-12 reps) and don't leave the gym not knowing if you've challenged yourself! Click here for more info on muscle building factors.