Genetic Predisposition

Maximize Your Genetic Predisposition

One interesting recent topic of discussion within the scientific, as well as the gym community, has been if some people have a predisposed advantage within a certain realm of athleticism, and furthermore, is the development of certain muscle groups within those individuals a result of the activity, or is their ability to excel at the activity a by product of certain genetic predisposition? It’s a classic which came first, the chicken or the egg question.

As a teenager, one kid would say to me that he had achieved his superior arm development in comparison with mine and others, because as a kid, he had climbed a lot of trees. I would always sarcastically respond that I deeply regret having spent my summers as a youth reading dictionaries. The truth was that that guy has a genetic predisposition to gain arm mass quicker than most.

Did that aforementioned kid have bigger biceps and triceps than me and the other kids because he climbed more trees than us? No. It’s safe to say that we all engaged in quite an amount of tree climbing. It’s because he has better genetic predisposition which favors superior arm muscle development. Unquestionably, that would put him at a great advantage when it comes to such activities such as climbing trees, even as a little boy, if he is able to generate muscle tissue at a superior rate than others in an area as important as the biceps and triceps.

I have long made the argument that each case must be examined individually and that sweeping statements and broad categorical generalizations would be less than scientific, at best. In my experience, the answer to the chicken and the egg question, is usually both.

It’s not often that you will come across an avid cyclist with underdeveloped calf muscles, but I have seen it several times, and from very prolific riders. In their case, they have often times have imbalances within their hips, gluteals, piriformis’, etc, which they have compensated for stylistically. Case in point, is a long time personal training client of mine, who has been a very serious and accomplished cyclist for most of his 68 years. He has issues with his hips, and as a result, had very underdeveloped gluteal and hamstring muscles, as well as a very tight left psoas muscle. The result of these imbalances was him pedaling the big almost exclusively with his right quadricep muscles, and his calf muscles. We have since resolved the problem many years ago through what I call corrective flexibility training, and as a result, his cycling has gone on to be not just more efficient, but he’s also now considerably faster and possess much greater endurance.

Even in his compensatory phase, he was still putting younger riders in his rear view mirror, because of his adaptation to his anatomical limitations. Nothing, however, can compete with full balance and proper muscle and connective tissue length, balance, and relative strength to undertake a specific task.

So, does cycling, for example create the bigger muscles needed for the activity? Yes, and no. It surely helps with their development, but it isn’t the be all, end all. There needs to be a genetic component in place in order for this to happen at a high enough level for the muscles to be able to grow with minimal outside of the field efforts, such as weight training, for example.

If you are an athlete competing at any level from pee wee, to the pros, taking advantage of any good genetic advantage you may have by working diligently in the weight room, the yoga studio, etc, is a good idea. If you rely solely on your genetics, you’ll ultimately get passed up by someone who wanted the victory more and out worked you. Pairing your genetic advantages with consistent hard work gets the win. I don’t think that boy has bigger arms than me now.

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My name is Andy Bruchey and I founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition and sports specific training.
Genetic Predisposition
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Genetic Predisposition
Longtime Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey writes about the advantages some folks have when it comes to achieving their fitness goals. It's known as genetic predisposition.
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270