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tompuderbaugh

A ran across a recent post on this message board that read --

"Bodybuilding I suspect is something like 80% genetics."


I think this poster is on the right track....But their percentage is too low.

I have been training with weights for almost 4 decades now and I have personally observed literally hundreds of weight trainers and bodybuilders over that time.

I firmly believe that success in "bodybuilding", specifically developing the kind of "oh, wow" muscles that people really stop and notice, is AT LEAST 95% inherited genetics. (And this figure may indeed be conservative!)

What I mean by this, is that unless you were lucky enough to pick the right parents (before you were born!), you will NEVER develop really large muscles. NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO. It just isn't in your genetic cards.

No matter what training program you follow, supplements you take, drugs you consume, or even have AJ himself as your personal trainer.....The average guy WILL NOT and CANNOT become the next Casey Viator (for example).

Now this doesn't mean that a person should give up if their Dad looks more like Woody Allen than Dick Butkus....Far from it. The rewards of a healthy, strong body are very worthwhile and worth pursuing.

But you've got to keep things in proper perspective.

I feel sorry for the guys who are constantly searching and looking for the latest training "holy grail"....You know what I'm talking about -- The final piece of the (training/nutrition/supplements/drugs) puzzle that will somehow catapult them to the body that they have always wanted.

The fact is: THE MAGIC BULLET ISN'T OUT THERE. At lease not to the degree that many hope. Your personal genetics will always be the limiting factor (and that was decided before you were even born). Sad perhaps, but nontheless true.

Dr. D has been preaching this for decades, with his balanced approach of a healthy training lifestyle coupled with healthy dose of realistic expectations.

It's just too bad that more people don't listen to him. It would save the Average Joe years and years of frustration.

I don't mean to start a "flame", but I had to get this off of my chest. I have seen too many fine men waste years of their lives striving for something that, for them, is flat-out physiologically impossible.

Better to spend that precious and irreplacable time becoming a better husband or father, building a business, furthering your education, deepening your connection with your Creator, helping society, etc.

Train yes, it is a fun and worthwhile hobby. But apply your limited time and resources towards something that will be more lasting. Life is short enough as it is.

Good training (and better balance) to all!

Tom Puderbaugh
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Anyone who isn't part of the small percentage of Mesomorphs (who take growth drugs) who then confuses themselves with Case Viator or the like, deserves the grief that befalls them in their training careers.

Only a child or a fool is fooled.

Regards,
Andrew
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spud

tompuderbaugh wrote:
Better to spend that precious and irreplacable time becoming a better husband or father, building a business, furthering your education, deepening your connection with your Creator, helping society, etc.


You mean that there is more to life than lifting weights? :o)

I completely agree. People take this stuff far too seriously.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

tompuderbaugh wrote:
A ran across a recent post on this message board that read --

"Bodybuilding I suspect is something like 80% genetics."


I think that's a gross understatement. I would put it at closer to 95%.

While any healthy person can dramatically improve their physique and fitness with proper training, only a rare few people can develop a body like Steeve Reeves or John Grimek.

Without the genetics to do so, the best training and drugs in the world won't transform someone into a champion bodybuilder.
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Michael Petrella

Ontario, CAN

This topic has come up before and I will respond the same way I always do.

Arthur jones told us that although you are accurate that most will never look like Casey almost everyone can develop a level of strength and size that would stun most people.

Here is my new outlook on the subject.

Look back to pictures from Tanny's gym or Gironda's gym or a bunch of people AJ trained from back in the day. They all looked great.

Truth is I think we are going to find out in the not so distance future that are current food supply, (ESPCIALLY IN NORTH AMERICA) has no where near the nutrition value of what people were eating 50 years ago. Here in Canada there is a big court decision going on to weather Canadians should be able to buy raw diary. Pasturization kills bacteria but also most of the nutrients in the milk. Just one more example of whats going on.

I think most are probably training hard enough to stimulate good gains but the limiting factor right now is going to be nutrition and NOT genetics.

Michael
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tompuderbaugh

Michael,

If you really believe that NUTRITION, not genetics is the culprit for lack of muscle building progress among healthy adult weight trainers, then I don't know what to tell you....

Other than you are wrong :)

Good training,

Tom Puderbaugh
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jn6047

I think that this is much too narrow of a view. I've seen plenty of skinny guys that trained hard/right and didn't gain anything. They chalked it up to being a hard gainer. I used that label for myself too. It got me no where.

Once I started looking at myself as average, and started identifying characteristics of my physique that were "above average" in my mind, then I was able to get past this hardgainer stigmatism. Since becoming friends with some of the top bodybuilders in Canada, I've realized that the mental aspect of this sport cannot be dismissed.

I agree with bigmike more than anyone in this thread. Food is the limiting factor in the size game, more than anything. Show me a hardgainer, and I'll show you someone who doesn't know how to eat for muscle gains. I know, I've been there before. show me someone "stuck" at 160lbs and I'll see someone who is to scared to eat more because of some study, or to scared to eat more because they don't want to blure their abs.

jn6047
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QmAn

For someone not on steriods etc...
who's about average/medium build to begin with...
5'7-5'11...
and with average genetics....

About
46 inch chest
16-17 inch arms

Those are muscular measurements not flabby.


Q
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Ryo

Switzerland

Measurements of the M.America since 1939 :

http://www.musclememory.com/...s/MrAsizes.html

Only a low percentage of men can achieve those measurements (and performances). Around 17'' lean arms for champions and maybe 16'' for average joe.
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marcrph

Portugal

Drew Baye wrote:
tompuderbaugh wrote:
A ran across a recent post on this message board that read --

"Bodybuilding I suspect is something like 80% genetics."


I think that's a gross understatement. I would put it at closer to 95%.

While any healthy person can dramatically improve their physique and fitness with proper training, only a rare few people can develop a body like Steeve Reeves or John Grimek.

Without the genetics to do so, the best training and drugs in the world won't transform someone into a champion bodybuilder.




You had better listen to Mr. Baye!

However, I think he was too conservative on his percentage, as I believe genetics account for 100%(yes I wrote 100%) of bodybuilding success. You either have great genetics, or unfortunately as most of us have found out, you don't.

Nothing, I repeat nothing can change that fact. If you had great genetics for bodybuilding, you most likely would not be reading this. All of the great bodybuilding champions had great genetics, not average, but great.

It is a given that all bodybuilding champions of the modern era took steriods. They certainly were not deficient in their food intake either.

On the other hand, it is apparent that results can be had readily in a short period of time. Anything after the initial gains will be hard to come by, and more easily lost. Casey gaining 63 pounds in a short period shows that rapid gains up to a point can be had, then diminishing returns set in.

HIT is the most efficient way to get these results.
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Michael Petrella

Ontario, CAN

Hello Tom

I am not going to say that Genetics don't matter. They most certainly do.
Im sure they limit how much size and strength you can put on. They may determine what is your peak.

Im saying for people that are no where near there peak, (and this is most people) there is something not allowing them to get to there genetic limits. I believe it is nutrition.

We have a serious problem getting good food in North America. Almost everything has been bastardized in one form or another.

Also I think we can all agree that a healthy body can put on more muscle. This is ofcourse assuming you are natural and taking steroids out of the equation. Define healthy though. More people today or getting sicker with all sorts of new degenerative diseases. The reason we are still living to somewhat decent ages are drugs. Eventually the drugs kill you and if the drugs to keep you alive for 10 years, what is your quality of life for those 10 years?

When I say somewhat decent ages, men like Paul C. Bragg believed everyone should be healhy and vibrant well over 100. Paul died in his 90's while swimming in the ocean. He was still in great health.

Genetics play a role, but best results well always come from a synergistic blend of rational training, proper nutrition and overall balance in life. This includes the very powerful and sometimes overlooked metal aspect already posted in this thread.

Michael
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EricB

Missouri, USA

On the issue of how healthy steroids are though, we've got fairly good examples of how the doses in the 60s/70s were not that harmful.

Arnold, Franco, Zane, Ferigno and others all seem to be doing fine healthwise compared to earlier clean BBers like Reeves, Gironda, and Grimeck. I doubt we'll see many of the current mass monsters reach 60 though.
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henry_bordeaux

EricB wrote:
On the issue of how healthy steroids are though, we've got fairly good examples of how the doses in the 60s/70s were not that harmful.

Arnold, Franco, Zane, Ferigno and others all seem to be doing fine healthwise compared to earlier clean BBers like Reeves, Gironda, and Grimeck. I doubt we'll see many of the current mass monsters reach 60 though.



EricB,

on the IRONAGE website they listed the following some time ago.

Arnold: Open heart surgery
Padilla: Open heart surgery
Michalik: Open heart surgery
Corney: Stroke
Mike Mentzer: Heart failure
Ray Mentzer: Kidney failure
Paul Grant: Kidney disease
Drasin: Multiple life threatening problems
Grymkowski: Heart attack
Boyer Coe: Open heart surgery


well...

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kurtvf

Arnie had a bicuspid aortic valve which is genetic and has zero to do with steroids, so cross him off your list.

I don't think that the argument is as simple as saying it is 80% genetics, 5% diet, 50% training, 63.8% steroids etc., etc. It is waaay more complicated than that, and it probably varies from individual to individual. Obviously to be a champion bodybuilder you need to be near the top in every category.

I think it is, however possible to make up for weaknesses in one area with extra attention in another. Yes, at the highest level genetics is extremely important, but among us mortals I think it is over rated and often used as an excuse. 99% of people I've seen fail over the years (in any field) do so because they aren't willing to put in years of grueling effort.
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QmAn

And Mike Matarazzo-open heart surgery

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jn6047

I don't put any stock in that list. How many guys in their 40-70s have these problems?

jn6047
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kurtvf

I agree, but it does seem to be more than you would expect and most of these guys are relatively young men.
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Tom Traynor

There was a story sometime ago RE: Flex Wheeler being just a mess now.
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veganmaster

henry_bordeaux wrote:
on the IRONAGE website they listed the following some time ago.

Arnold: Open heart surgery
[etc.]


Look, bodybuilders tend to be big meat and dairy eaters - which clogs their arteries and causes stroke/heart attacks etc. so you can't solely blame the steroids - though like cigarettes, they can exacerbate the problem. It's really about a lack of plant foods in the diet.

As an example, the Japanese smoke like bandits, yet have a very low incidence of lung cancer compared to the US - because their plant-based diet protects them (or at least it used to - as they have begun to eat more like the US, their disease rates are going up too).


Consider Dr. Dean Ornish's program for reversing heart disease, or Dr. John McDougall, or hell just take a look at basic nutritional science and you'll see that saturated fat and cholesterol are big risk factors (ONLY animal products contain cholesterol, and they are the main source of saturated fat too).

From the research I've read on overfeeding, you guys who are highlighting the importance of eating a lot are right on the money. In fact, the studies show that you can gain muscle without even using weight training or isometrics. Obese couch potatoes not only have tons more fat than slim folks, they indeed have more muscle - despite their sedentary lifestyle. This is something I'm very interested in - because the studies on protein supplements combined with weight training show muscle gain, but how much of it is simply due to the excess energy intake?
In one study a very large amount of excess carbs stimulated muscle and weight gain just fine - with zero additional protein intake. The evidence is strong that what matters is total excess energy, not protein specifically.

I'm one of these "average guys" so I find the discussion quite interesting. And I recall Drew posting or referencing a study that showed that actually, those who put on muscle at a faster rate because of their different genetics, actually had lower quality muscle to strength ratio. Not sure how relevant that is though?

If anyone wants, I can add a lot of scientific references where applicable, if you're interested. My ideas are never popular, but I do base them on scientific research ;)
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Tomislav

New York, USA

tompuderbaugh wrote:
A ran across a recent post on this message board that read --

"Bodybuilding I suspect is something like 80% genetics."


I think this poster is on the right track....But their percentage is too low.

I have been training with weights for almost 4 decades now and I have personally observed literally hundreds of weight trainers and bodybuilders over that time.

I firmly believe that success in "bodybuilding", specifically developing the kind of "oh, wow" muscles that people really stop and notice, is AT LEAST 95% inherited genetics. (And this figure may indeed be conservative!)

What I mean by this, is that unless you were lucky enough to pick the right parents (before you were born!), you will NEVER develop really large muscles. NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO. It just isn't in your genetic cards.

No matter what training program you follow, supplements you take, drugs you consume, or even have AJ himself as your personal trainer.....The average guy WILL NOT and CANNOT become the next Casey Viator (for example).

Now this doesn't mean that a person should give up if their Dad looks more like Woody Allen than Dick Butkus....Far from it. The rewards of a healthy, strong body are very worthwhile and worth pursuing.

But you've got to keep things in proper perspective.

I feel sorry for the guys who are constantly searching and looking for the latest training "holy grail"....You know what I'm talking about -- The final piece of the (training/nutrition/supplements/drugs) puzzle that will somehow catapult them to the body that they have always wanted.

The fact is: THE MAGIC BULLET ISN'T OUT THERE. At lease not to the degree that many hope. Your personal genetics will always be the limiting factor (and that was decided before you were even born). Sad perhaps, but nontheless true.

Dr. D has been preaching this for decades, with his balanced approach of a healthy training lifestyle coupled with healthy dose of realistic expectations.

It's just too bad that more people don't listen to him. It would save the Average Joe years and years of frustration.

I don't mean to start a "flame", but I had to get this off of my chest. I have seen too many fine men waste years of their lives striving for something that, for them, is flat-out physiologically impossible.

Better to spend that precious and irreplacable time becoming a better husband or father, building a business, furthering your education, deepening your connection with your Creator, helping society, etc.

Train yes, it is a fun and worthwhile hobby. But apply your limited time and resources towards something that will be more lasting. Life is short enough as it is.

Good training (and better balance) to all!

Tom Puderbaugh


Hi Tom Puderbaugh,

I don't think you speak for the average trainee, or Ellingtons view on results either.

I only agree you shouldn't have put so much time into training; think from your writing that you personally would have made better gains if you did focus on those other things and just followed a brief HIT routine - maybe one like Ellington has listed in Old School Bodybuilding. just turn to page 71 and you'll find some great motivational advice that can perhaps persuade you to lose your negative attitude.

There's a HIT rouine there that can put more than 4 and 1/2 inches on your arms in 18 months along with the data to back it up; and these are average gains. I've never been able to equal the results in that study and I find it very inspirational and the complete opposite of what you have to say. And the same goes for the rest of the info on that page:

I don't want to spoil the book for you, but the same page explains that you can probably put a lot more muscle on than you think you can, but you have to start with a good attitude.

I encourage you to read the book for yourself and see if it changes your outlook. Good luck with your training!


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Tomislav

New York, USA

EricB wrote:
On the issue of how healthy steroids are though, we've got fairly good examples of how the doses in the 60s/70s were not that harmful.

Arnold, Franco, Zane, Ferigno and others all seem to be doing fine healthwise compared to earlier clean BBers like Reeves, Gironda, and Grimeck. I doubt we'll see many of the current mass monsters reach 60 though.


Hi Eric,

I think Grimek epitomizes lifetime natural training; he's 60 years old in this picture and looks much bigger than arnold in t2 or t3, but he's much older and not on any drugs:

http://www.schwarzenegger.it/...grimek/jg35.jpg

Genetics or training? Grimek also squatted with upwards of 600 lbs throughout his career and well into his 70's, did partial presses with 1000 lbs, and did intense gymnastics exercises like the iron cross and the flag at bodyweights of up to 250 lbs (see some of hanging_sideways posts).

I think the results of natural lifetime training are inspiring, and that tremendous results are possible and have far more to do with heavy training and nutrition than genetics.

At 60 in that photo grimek looks to be well over 200lbs with 18 inch arms; inspiring.

Pro bodybuilders like Levrone also illustrate that it's not genetics; while close to 300 lbs when chemically assisted the under 200 lb (drug free? drug reduced?) version of Kevin with the 16 inch arms is smaller than most natural athletes who train seriously.

You don't need chemically enhanced athletes to illustrate hard training is the major factor and not genetics - just look at the Avatars and posts of BIO-FORCE and some of the other natural lifetime trainers right on this board.



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henry_bordeaux

Tomislav wrote:
EricB wrote:
On the issue of how healthy steroids are though, we've got fairly good examples of how the doses in the 60s/70s were not that harmful.

Arnold, Franco, Zane, Ferigno and others all seem to be doing fine healthwise compared to earlier clean BBers like Reeves, Gironda, and Grimeck. I doubt we'll see many of the current mass monsters reach 60 though.

Hi Eric,

I think Grimek epitomizes lifetime natural training; he's 60 years old in this picture and looks much bigger than arnold in t2 or t3, but he's much older and not on any drugs:

http://www.schwarzenegger.it/...grimek/jg35.jpg

Genetics or training? Grimek also squatted with upwards of 600 lbs throughout his career and well into his 70's, did partial presses with 1000 lbs, and did intense gymnastics exercises like the iron cross and the flag at bodyweights of up to 250 lbs (see some of hanging_sideways posts).

I think the results of natural lifetime training are inspiring, and that tremendous results are possible and have far more to do with heavy training and nutrition than genetics.

At 60 in that photo grimek looks to be well over 200lbs with 18 inch arms; inspiring.

Pro bodybuilders like Levrone also illustrate that it's not genetics; while close to 300 lbs when chemically assisted the under 200 lb (drug free? drug reduced?) version of Kevin with the 16 inch arms is smaller than most natural athletes who train seriously.

You don't need chemically enhanced athletes to illustrate hard training is the major factor and not genetics - just look at the Avatars and posts of BIO-FORCE and some of the other natural lifetime trainers right on this board.







tomislav,

grimek was born in 1910. the magazine is dated dec.'58.





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Tougher

Alberta, CAN

While genetics is definitely important in separating champions from average joes, I believe it's being used too often as a cop out by relatively new trainees who aren't growing. If you're not getting results, then you have to look at your training or your nutrition. If both of those are spot on, THEN you can say it's genetics.

If you are not putting on any muscle, but are not putting on any fat either, then you're not eating enough. Of course, the types of food eaten is extremely important, but that's a whole 'nother topic.

If you are not putting on muscle, but are putting on fat, then check your training - something needs to be changed.

Once these points have been addressed then go ahead and bring genetics in.

Again, while I whole heartedly agree that genetics is important in regards to how much muscle someone can put on, I don't think many people have reached their potential after 1 or 2 or more years of training. Someone who is 5?10, 150 lbs and has been training for two years shouldn?t be worrying about genetics quite yet. Now someone who is 5?10, 230 lbs and has been training for 15 years may need to accept the fact that they might not have the genetics to be, say, 250 lbs.

Ben
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Zenontheterrible

thank you 'tougher' i think what you said is right on.
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Tomislav

New York, USA

henry_bordeaux wrote:
Tomislav wrote:
EricB wrote:
On the issue of how healthy steroids are though, we've got fairly good examples of how the doses in the 60s/70s were not that harmful.

Arnold, Franco, Zane, Ferigno and others all seem to be doing fine healthwise compared to earlier clean BBers like Reeves, Gironda, and Grimeck. I doubt we'll see many of the current mass monsters reach 60 though.

Hi Eric,

I think Grimek epitomizes lifetime natural training; he's 60 years old in this picture and looks much bigger than arnold in t2 or t3, but he's much older and not on any drugs:

http://www.schwarzenegger.it/...grimek/jg35.jpg

Genetics or training? Grimek also squatted with upwards of 600 lbs throughout his career and well into his 70's, did partial presses with 1000 lbs, and did intense gymnastics exercises like the iron cross and the flag at bodyweights of up to 250 lbs (see some of hanging_sideways posts).

I think the results of natural lifetime training are inspiring, and that tremendous results are possible and have far more to do with heavy training and nutrition than genetics.

At 60 in that photo grimek looks to be well over 200lbs with 18 inch arms; inspiring.

Pro bodybuilders like Levrone also illustrate that it's not genetics; while close to 300 lbs when chemically assisted the under 200 lb (drug free? drug reduced?) version of Kevin with the 16 inch arms is smaller than most natural athletes who train seriously.

You don't need chemically enhanced athletes to illustrate hard training is the major factor and not genetics - just look at the Avatars and posts of BIO-FORCE and some of the other natural lifetime trainers right on this board.







tomislav,

grimek was born in 1910. the magazine is dated dec.'58.



Hi Henry,

You're right, he's about 50 in that pic, not 60; misread the date on the cover but I think everything still applies.

Here's another cover 8 years later where he has slimmed down some, but is still in better shape than the aforementioned athletes:

http://www.musclememory.com/...over.php?md;1;1



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