Which muscles are the most limited by genetics? Some of mine seem to grow a lot slower than others.

Perhaps the question ought to be:

Which one isn’t?

You’ve probably heard this before, but ”it is depends on your genes’ and it depends on the proteins and other assorted growth factors that they express.

So therefore we must point our shotgunat the target, pull the trigger and hit all of them.

The concept of Anatomical Variation is a ubiquitous, highly influential factor dictating the shape, symmetrical & size characteristics of many anatomical features (or even, if a muscle is there at all) and displays some truly astonishing examples of differences in the general population.

Let’s take as a small example, the palmaris longus. In 86% of the population it is a tiny muscle on the underside of the lower forearm, proximal to the wrist. The unlucky minority of the rest of us (me included) lack it. Oh, well…I guess that we don’t really need it, anyway.

But gee, it sure looks good.

Palmaris Longus

No Palmaris Longus ☹️

Another example is the pyramidalis, nice little triangular shaped muscles in the lower abdomen located bilaterally on either side of the linea alba.

Tragically, 20% of us don’t have them.

Some people only have 6-packs, others 8.

Only two simple examples of muscles limited to non-existence by genetics. Missing muscle groups are really not that uncommon, but you can’t build what’s not there. As far as bodybuilders are concerned, absent muscles are the cruelest punishment for Original Sin that Great-Anatomist-In-The-Sky could possibly dish out to us.

Now the other hand, there are other, exceedingly rare cases, that result from an alteration (mutation) to a single nucleotide polymorphism (snp) affecting the MSTN gene, resulting in the absence of myostatin,.

Individuals with this genetic mutation have few limitations that put a limit or restrict muscle growth. This absence of a governing factor results in a proportionally large number of fast twitch muscle fibres and double-musculature. This blessed occurrence of genetic divinity , as far as bodybuilders are concerned, is the muscle-head’s equivalent of The Holy Grail or The Lord’s Provision of Manna (Exodus 16:14).

Just take a look at this guy in the photo below:

Behold here what the power of a single genetic mutation has wrought!

Consider this magnificent creature for a moment: he appears as a sort of impossible, heavily muscled prehistoric beast of epic mythic proportion. His immense size, all this muscle has been created without the hoisting of so much as a single bench press, deadlift or squat! (He really is a very lucky guy…well, at least until the local butcher shows up looking for a some Prime Cut).


Astounding, isn’t it?

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