9 Major Genetic Variables Affecting Fitness, Fat Loss, Muscle Development and Athletic Ability

Genetics is something that nobody can have control of (at this point in existence). Having strong or poor genetics is basically a roll of the dice and is out of the reach of any diet or exercise program known to man. While few have a severely quality or lacking genetic structure, many individuals can fall into positives or negatives in a wide array of categories. Knowing what to know in regards to your genetic predisposition can help you plan properly in your regimens and dieting plans. Continuing to be ignorant of what your body’s capabilities are can only mean an unfortunate lack of efficient progress in your strategy. Take the time to find out what it is you are predisposed to having ease or difficulty in. By knowing what you can easily achieve and what will take considerable effort, you can plan your dieting and training strategy to fit your situation perfectly.


Your Basal Metabolic rate is quite simply, the rate in which your body burns calories to perform all necessary functions. Think of your Basal Metabolic Rate as the base number of calories you need in order to have your body functioning well. If you are lucky enough to have a high Basal Metabolic Rate, then your ability to burn calories, even while at rest, is higher than those with normal or subpar BMR are. Those who have low Basal Metabolic Rates will have to work that much harder to up their metabolism. A high metabolism is useful for keeping the body from holding onto unneeded calories, which are then turned to sugar, and often fat.

Fat Cells

Fat cell counts are predetermined in individuals. Mesomorphic persons have a higher fat cell count than those with mesomorphic or ectomorphic body types. The concern with high fat cell counts is that the fat cell number increases over time, but never decreases. This means that those with high starting numbers simply have more work to do to keep excess fat off and out of their systems. While there is more work to do, this does not mean the battle over fat-control is lost. Instead, it simply means paying closer attention to how many calories you intake, especially simple carbohydrates like sugar. It also means having a more wary outlook on how often one must exert energy and participate in at least basic cardio.

Length of Reach

Your arm and leg length can cause your body to look larger or smaller depending on the disparity. Those with shorter arms and legs will appear to have a larger body. Just like fat cell numbers, this is not something that can be helped or improved over time. Instead, it simply means that the body may not take on the shape or figure that one wishes it too. There is no reason to assume that fat-burning, weight loss, or muscle building is thus an impossible task. Length of reach being shorter simply means that if you are looking for a lean and thin figure, it either will take considerably more work, or may be impossible to achieve to the level you desire.

Joint Thickness

Another associate frame distinction is the joint thickness. Many individuals will explain this as being “big boned.” In general, all this idea means is that the diameter of the wrists, ankles, and so forth are larger in proportion to the body. This is most common in endomorphic bodies. The size of the joint thickness has no effect on fat-burning or muscle-building capabilities. Thus, one should not become disillusioned if they have thicker joints.

Muscle Insertion

While all people have the same insertions from their muscles to their bone, there can be variations on the insertion point. What this will create is a difference in the capability of the muscle capability and mechanics. Certain people have certain types of muscle insertion points that allow them to have better, or strong, mechanics in particular actions. When we talk about individuals being naturally gifted at a particular action, we are often at least in part talking about their muscle insertions.

Muscle Fibers

A predetermined number of muscle fibers are at our whim. Those with higher counts of muscle fibers have a better opportunity of building muscle. Endomorphic and Mesomorphic individuals are usually much more capable of building larger muscles than ectomorphic persons build. This is because ectomorphic individuals, while often having higher metabolism, are also often without as many muscle fibers. Of course, this is not universally true. Higher muscle fibers are often associated with strength and power, and not instead with endurance or cardio capabilities.


Along with everything else, the way you digest is fixed by your genetics. Some people are blessed with the ability to take in more foods and still utilize a high level of nutrients. Others lack absorption capabilities at the same rate as those with quality digestive tracks. Not only is the capability of the intestine different amongst individuals, but the literal size of the tracks can vary rather greatly.


Some people are naturally capable of eating any food that is produced. From vegetables, to nuts, to fruits, and all types of meat, some can simply take in any nutrient type and process it properly. Unfortunately, others are not as lucky and must abstain from specific types of food. Others have more severe allergies and must avoid entire groupings of food. Allergies can vary greatly, and most do not know they have particular allergies until they experience the effects. The difficult part is finding out how to substitute the nutrients in an allergy food for another. This is doubly difficult if one already has self-imposed restrictions on particular foods. For examples, nuts are a quality protein and provide essential fats that the body can utilize. But some are allergic to nuts, and this become a frustrating fact if said person is already restricting their diet by being a vegetarian or vegan, as the nut’s protein cannot be utilized.

Response to Carbs

Carbohydrate sensitivity is an important factor when deciding how best to lose fat. This is because when one is sensitive to carbohydrates their body release insulin and will drop into a sort of “fat storing” mode that makes it difficult to burn the fat away. Knowing your general carbohydrate response is important since it can dictate whether or not your fat-burning strategy will take hold, or you are left feeling frustrated at the end of the week.