Muscle Genetics

We have all known a friend who has thick legs without exercising. Or that he eats non-stop and has tight abs, the first thing we tend to think about: this is due to good muscle genetics.

While science has determined that genetics can have a real influence on musculature. It is true that this is not fixed, nor is it everything. (2,3,4,5)

This article details what is the influence of genetics on the body and how to know if a person has good genetics or not. Can genetics be changed with exercise?

Muscle Genetics – What is it?

Muscle genetics is the area of ​​genetics that studies the relationship between DNA information and a person’s muscular system.

Genetics are used to determine what is the muscle genetic potential with which one starts. That is, if you have good genetics that improve fitness for one type of sport or another.

Although it is not everything, good genetics is an advantage to gain muscle mass and improve sports performance.

The most basic thing to determine the type of genetics you have, is to resort to analysis of the type of physical texture . These can be done under the interpretation of energy expenditure and body type of each person.

However, the most accurate method of determining if a person has good muscle genetics is with a DNA analysis.

Influence of genetics on muscles

The relationship between genetics and muscles has been confirmed by research. (3,4,5)

Apparently the possibility of creating a greater or lesser amount of muscles is affected not only by sports performance, but also by a person’s muscular genetic influence.

One of the differences found is in the concentration of creatine phosphate between the different body types. Just as there is a difference in metabolic markers. (5)

For example, a mesomorph, the type of physical complexion with a sports tendency by nature, is associated with the possibility of achieving a higher percentage of muscle mass with less training.

Body types according to genetics

The creator of the theory of body types according to genetics was the American psychologist William Herbert Sheldon. (7) This theory was modified and is used today by sports professionals.

According to Sheldon, from birth one of the three body types according to genetics or body somatotype : endomorphic, mesomorphic, ectomorphic becomes dominant.

The ectomorphic body type is the one that has a tendency to be thin. The mesomorph is an athletic and muscular profile. And the endomorph with large bone structure and a tendency to gain weight.

In the beginning it was believed that the physical complexion was determined by genetic factors and this information could not be modified. Today it is known that over time it is possible to achieve changes in the body that can even alter muscle genetics.

In fact, most people do not belong to a single type of good or bad genetics. While the information contained in the DNA in cells cannot be modified; Diets and exercises can alter certain gene regulators that ultimately generate plasticity and generate changes in the expression of these genes.

How do I know if I have good genetics?

The simplest way to determine if a person has good muscle genetics is to determine the basal metabolic rate . This is a value that estimates the amount of calories your body uses at rest.

If when calculating the basal metabolic rate the values ​​remain above the upper range it is likely that you are ectomorphic, if they are in the middle you are mesomorphic and below you are endomorphic.

Also, interpreting body measurements, such as wrist, shoulder, or waist circumference can help. In some cases it corresponds to the genetics of each one. However, it is not a determining factor.

Other techniques, such as metabolic marker DNA techniques, can provide a much more precise approximation of muscle genetics.

Metabolic Markers – The Best Way to Determine If You Have Good Genetics

Current research affirms that the metabolic markers of the different types of physical build may differ by 7-18%. (3.5)

What does this mean? A difference in the amount of these molecules translates into changes in the body’s reaction to food such as carbohydrates, as well as explains the different hormonal levels.

Metabolic markings are used to determine if a person has good genetics or not and they are the ones that change the least with training. These can only be determined with a laboratory analysis.

Good muscle genetics and hormones

Another factor that is associated with good muscle genetic potential or not is hormonal levels. People with a tendency to gain muscle mass have naturally high levels of sex hormones (such as testosterone) and growth hormone .

Just as people with good genetics respond normally to insulin and have levels of the stress hormone cortisol often remain low.

If you are not one of the lucky ones who have good genetics you can take simple measures to increase testosterone levels such as including foods with magnesium and zinc. Avoid constant stressful situations and do yoga.

In any case, in no case should you use sports supplements that alter hormonal functioning without supervision. The side effects of anabolic steroids can wreak havoc on your metabolism, no matter how good genetics a person has.

How fast do muscles grow with good genetics?

The maximum speed at which an average person can gain muscle mass is considered to be 0.2 kg per week. That is, approximately 1 kg per month. (2)

If the weight gain is more than 1 kg per month, it is most likely that you are not only increasing lean muscle mass, but also fat and fluid stores.

Although this figure may seem insignificant, gaining 12 kg of lean muscle mass in a year is enough to totally change the physical complexion, and also cause changes in the genetic expression of a person.

5 characteristics of a man with good genetics

Here are 5 physical characteristics of a man with good genetics:

1. Athletic body proportions

In a person with good muscle genetics the chest is usually wide. The narrow waist and firm thighs. These characteristics correspond to a mesomorphic body type. Endomorphs tend to have wider hips, while ectomorphs have the width of the chest with the waist being usually equal.

2. Accelerated basal metabolic rate

A high basal metabolic rate is what distinguishes a person with good genetics from one with poor predisposition. Although changing this parameter is difficult, there are some strategies to achieve it, such as nutrition and physical exercise. One indicator that your metabolism is healthy is maintaining weight and not needing to eat sweet foods all the time.

3. Good levels of testosterone and growth hormone

Good levels of testosterone and growth hormone can be evidenced in men by increased energy as well as increased sexual activity. Regarding an excess of these hormones, the behavior can be seen as risky decisions with regularity, and it is somewhat impulsive. In this case, your testosterone levels are most likely too high.

4. Fast muscle recovery

A person with good muscle genetics does not need more than 72 hours to fully recover the muscles. The good news: even if your muscle genetics are bad , a variety of muscle recovery methods can be used to speed up the process.

5. Low body fat percentage

People with good muscle genetics tend to have a low percentage of body fat . To measure this parameter we recommend the use of a caliper and official charts.


Muscle genetics is the area of ​​genetics that is dedicated to the study of the relationship between DNA information and musculature.

Muscle genetic potential is the genetic predisposition that a person has for the increase or not of lean muscle mass.

A person with good muscle genetics is characterized by a fast basal metabolism , rapid muscle recovery, normal testosterone levels, and broad back and narrow waist proportions.

To determine the type of muscle genetics it is best to define both the physical texture and determine the associated molecular markers.

Once the body type has been found: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph, training strategies and diets must be developed to stimulate the muscular genetic potential of each person.

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