Genetics get the blame for situations within your control. A lot of people blame their genetics on their inability to gain muscle or lose weight.

But, while genetics certainly play a huge role in determining how big you are going to be, they are far too frequently used as an excuse to give up!


No matter how much size you build, you shouldn’t give up on the gym.

A lot can determine how much muscle you build or seem to build.

For example, androgen receptor density, muscle insertions, skeletal frame, height, proportions, etc., can all determine somebody’s overall look. Likewise, somatotype, metabolic rate, ghrelin/leptin/insulin sensitivity, thyroid activity, number of fat cells can all contribute to making it harder for some people to lose fat or stay lean — but you are still beholden to the laws of thermodynamics! The majority of overweight people who blame their genetics on their weight simply eat too much.

You don’t have bad genetics if you don’t look like Ronnie Coleman after 3 years of lifting.

It takes 5-10 years to come close to your genetic ceiling as a natural lifter; but guys want to give up after 6 months for only gaining 5lbs when, in reality, they eat like a bird and train like a sissy.

But, having said that, there are three quickly evident ways to know if you have good/bad genetics.

3 Quick Ways to Know if You Have ‘Good Genetics’ For Lifting Weights

good genetics

Ok, so for muscular development, to know if you have good genetics, you will have to look at three different muscle groups — neck, forearms, and calves.

These three small muscle groups are perfect determinants because they are difficult to train directly with meaningful progressive overload.

While they all play an auxiliary, stabilizing and isometric role many lifters avoid them all together.

The Neck is activated in a lifter’s context by keeping the head straight or slightly upwards during exercises such as the deadlift and squat. Martial artists supplement their neck training with bridges and twists to protect themselves from cervical and cranial injuries. Check out our guide to neck training for more information.

Forearms are activated by bringing the fingertips towards the palm or in twisting the lower half of the arm at the elbow joint. Again, they are often neglected by lifters who perform exercises such as rows, pullups, and deadlifts which all tax the forearms. Check out our article on forearm training for more information to avoid the tedium of wrist curls.

DEMIGOD Sale Thin Banner

Calves are activated by pointing the toes away from the body or pushing yourself off the ground and by stabilizing the ankle joint against unstable surfaces. Calves have become the subject of many jokes in the fitness community as a large proportion of lifters struggle to develop them Take a look at our article on how to get big calves without having to do calf raises.

As we previously mentioned, most guys who think they have poor genetics for building muscle simply don’t eat enough or train hard enough. We have both an article and a program to help you gain muscle if you believe this is you.

The late, great John Meadows discusses genetics in the video below.