The topic of genetics is hotly debated in bodybuilding since it provides such a great excuse for one’s own shortcomings. Together with hormones, genetics get blamed for 99% of all failures in the quest for a better physique (“It’s not my atrocious eating! I just have the fat genetics!”). On August 9th, “Der Spiegel” had an article on a new research on genetics and the conclusion was that yes, genetics do matter, but the environment matters just as much. A 6 year old boy in Germany who was diagnosed with missing receptor cells for CKK, the satiety hormone (which meant that he never knew when he was full), was found to be rather slim. Why? His parents didn’t feed him more than he needed and made him participate in sports activities. His mother had the same genetic predisposition and was lean as well! The secret? You guessed it: Diet and Exercise!
The experiment was taken a step further with mice. The mice were all bred with the same DNA; they all carried the “fat gene”. Then 50% were given greasy high-caloric foods, and the other 50% a regular diet. The result? Drumroll, please… the mice that were fed greasy high-caloric foods turned out fat with sickly looking fur and eyes. The other group? Completely healthy! So while there are some undeniable genetic traits such as your height, eye color, etc., there is also a lot of leverage in regards to how much you let it manifest itself. Remember, you cannot change your genetics anyways, but you certainly can influence your life style!