Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Genetics of Muscle Growth

An article detailing research from the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) at Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL) provides us with a better understanding about the genetics behind muscle growth. They focused on the genetics of "lean body mass" which is made up of mostly muscle (which is what gives one that massive but chiseled look that body builders have). Unfortunately, heredity plays a big part in growing muscle. This is why one person can work out for years and not achieve the results that another person (who has better genetics) can accomplish within a month of working out. A related article called The Truth About Body Building Genetics delves more into the specific genes that allow for some to gain muscle more easily than others. This research may help us better understand the process of aging and a condition called sarcopenia which results in decreased muscle mass at older age. Isolating the genes responsible for building lean muscle mass may help those affected with this condition so its possible to develop a treatment plan - or even help out the local scrawny gym rat who's frustrated at not being able to make gains like the big guys.


  1. I did not know that genetics had a hand in gaining muscle mass. If this research progressed I wonder if we would be able to prevent sarcopenia and allow aging individuals to keep muscle mass as they grew older. Maybe more research would also lead to a cure for aging, even if that came with undesirable consequences.

  2. I've been bodybuilding for quite some time now and I can confirm this is true for the most part but not entirely. I say that because I speak from experience and I don't consider myself genetically inclined to make more "gains" as an athlete, but I've made tremendous improvements compared to my other colleagues of better genetics. And this is due to how hard you're willing to work, diet/nutrition, optimal sleep, intensity of workout, frequency of how much you train each body part and most importantly how much knowledge you have of nutrition and training. My point is genetics do play a role in bodybuilding success but that is just another factor. Other factors as mentioned above are also equally important if not more.