Often times an individual may wonder how they are recognized by a close acquaintance to their parents, or why they act in certain ways similar to them. Because it is all about genetics, which is the study of heredity. It studies how physical, behavioral traits and medical conditions are passed on from parents to their offspring.
A question that is commonly asked by many individuals, most especially body builders or trainers is, “Does my genetic makeup affect or influence the growth of my muscles?”. The answer is simple – yes it does. This article will clear all doubts on this subject matter.
Different factors play a role in the growth of muscles and most of these factors are genetically inherited.
The Body Type
There are three distinct body types which are genetically determined. They are the Endomorph, Mesomorph, and the Ectomorph. The endomorphs have a body-type which is solid but stores fat the easiest. They pose a rounded frame. The mesomorphs have a body type which predisposes them to build and grow muscles with less fat storage, hence they pose a more muscular frame. The ectomorphs neither store fat or grow muscles. They pose a thinner frame.
The Effect of Muscle Fibres
Muscle fibers are of two types; namely the fast twitch and slow twitch fibres with the former having a higher tendency to hypertrophy (increase in size) than the latter. The ratio of fast twitch muscle to slow twitch muscle in a person’s body is genetically determined, hence individuals with faster twitch muscle tend to experience faster muscle growth rate with less effort.
The Effect of Anabolic Hormones
The effect of testosterone, a steroid anabolic hormone on promoting muscle growth differentiates the amount of muscle growth in men and women with the former having more testosterone, hence more muscle growth. Other anabolic hormones include growth hormone which has an ‘insulin-like’ growth factor. Higher quantities of anabolic hormone in an individual increase the likelihood for their muscles to grow. This also implicates the effect of genetics on muscle growth.
The level of myostatin in an individual also determines the rate and amount of muscle growth. Myostatin gene is responsible for coding the limit to which an individual’s muscle can grow. This gene is more active in some individuals thus limiting their muscle growth.
Certain individuals are generally predisposed to handle energy consumption differently. People who consume energy slowly have an advantage of withstanding the rigors of bodybuilding and training activities. Consequently, these people tend to have more muscle growth than others.
Although a person cannot change his or her genetic makeup, one can take advantage of the knowledge of how genetic makeup affects muscle growth. In our next article, we will explain which workout routine works best for each body types. Along with a healthy diet, one can achieve a higher level of fitness than what they inherited at birth.