The word “genetics” is always brought up in the world of bodybuilding and the question that always gets asked is, are they really that important? Answering this question is simple yet difficult because they are a lot of variables involved, genetics are important and they do separate a world class bodybuilder from a regular gym rat but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Genetics in Bodybuilding are no different than in any other sport, there are athletes from different sports and backgrounds that are just naturally good at what they do, the same thing goes for music and even school, some people are good at it and others simply can’t keep up, why should bodybuilding be any different?
A lot of Pro Bodybuilder’s and Bodybuilding enthusiasts always talk about genetics and how they are the “only” factor that determines if someone will be a Mr. Olympia one day, this is completely false because there is no such thing as the perfect genetics or the perfect physique, a Bodybuilder can build his physique but to him it will never be perfect, Phil Heath and even Arnold Schwarzenegger have acknowledged the fact that their physiques could always be better and improved. Not one Mr. Olympia in the history of the sport has had the perfect physique, they all lacked something, Ronnie Coleman didn’t have great calves, Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t have great shoulders, Phil Heath is wide but not the widest and so on, we could keep going but that’s not the point of this article, the point is to show you that genetics aren’t everything.
All the people that talk about genetics don’t have a clue on what the perfect genetics are, some say long muscle bellies with a V- Taper look better on a physique, others disagree and think that good genetics equals round muscle bellies and small waists. In all reality all these so-called “experts” don’t know anything, genetically speaking a lot of bodybuilder’s had better starting points than Dorian Yates for example, he eventually won six Mr. Olympia Sandows because he worked for it, genetics are only the starting point, and they will only take you so far.
To answer our initial question, genetics are really important but without the proper discipline and hard work someone with the best genetics in the planet won’t amount to Bodybuilding greatness, it’s that simple. The body changes, no one can know what their potential will be until they get themselves to the gym and start hitting the iron, if these so called Bodybuilding experts would have met Kevin Levrone, Dorian Yates and maybe even Phil Heath before they started lifting they would have probably never thought they would be the Bodybuilding elite one day.
If you are reading this article it’s probably because you have wondered about where your genetics stand in particular and how they stack up, genetics don’t necessarily define you, let’s use Jay Cutler and Branch Warren as an example at the 1993 Teen Nationals, Branch won the overall against Jay because he had better shape and symmetry, eventually Jay went on to win the Olympia four times taking the title away from the Legendary Ronnie Coleman while Branch never won one. Stop worrying about what your body type is, what your physique looks like right now and what your potential may be, get yourself to work and envision what you want to look like, if you think your genetics are good work at it, if you think they’re not so good work at it even more until you reach your goals.