The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 22


Training clothing and equipment used for athletic training. Gear is also slang for bodybuilding drugs.


The inherited instructions, or genes, that determine much of how you look and function in general, and how you respond to training.

An exercise that may work well for a short, stocky man with legs and thighs that are short relative to his torso, may be dangerous for a lanky man who has long legs and thighs in proportion to his torso. A system of training that may work well for a thickly boned, athletic, and naturally muscular man may be useless for a man with a light bone structure and no athletic inclination.

Although beginners may need to individualize a given program to a degree, at least in some cases, this is a lesser concern than it may be at a later stage of training. Through experience and knowledge, you'll learn how your individuality affects your training.

Genetic factors affect much more than external body structure, and exercise selection. They also affect potential muscular hypertrophy (growth), and responsiveness to training. Some trainees can get very strong but without getting big — elite, lightweight powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters, for instance — whereas some trainees can develop big muscles without developing great levels of strength. Furthermore, some trainees can respond well to a volume and frequency of training that's overkill for most trainees, even when the latter are well conditioned to exercise.

Finding genetic advantages, marrying them with an activity or sport that exploits them, training diligently, consistently, and with passion, is how elite performers are produced. Most people don't discover their natural genetic advantages — provided they have some — or they discover them too late to make the most of them, or never marry them with the right activity to exploit them fully. But elite performers like Michael Jordan (basketball), Bradley Wiggins (cycling), and Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer), found at an early age activities that they were genetically extraordinarily suited to, and trained with great dedication and commitment to exploit their natural advantages. But it's highly unlikely that Jordan would ever have become an elite soccer player had he chosen soccer rather than basketball. Jordan failed at baseball after he temporarily retired from basketball. It's also highly unlikely that Wiggins would have become an elite basketball player had he chosen basketball over cycling, or that Ronaldo would have become an elite cyclist had he chosen cycling over soccer.

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