How do your genetics influence your training? [Video]

Mike Matthews from MuscleForLife interviewed Menno Henselmans about how your genetics influence your training.



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1:30 – How much do genetics affect speed of muscle growth & what are realistic expectations?

12:40 – What is the potential for muscle hypertrophy & size?

22:50 – What is the timeframe to reach your genetic potential?

25:50 – How do we predict the ceiling of our fat free mass?

35:20 – Is FFMI a hard and fast rule for the limits of a natural lifter?

49:10 – How much do genetics affect how your muscles look?

51:10 – How can you increase your bicep peak?

51:50 – Can genetics affect certain muscle groups responsiveness to training?

57:55 – What are muscle bellies and insertions, and how do genetics influence their look?

1:04:00 – Where can people find your work?



  1. Joms says:

    On a different note. Nice beard gains! I picture you and Alan Thrall doing a collaboration together. You’ll be like beard brothers!

  2. Chris says:

    Hi Menno, great interview as always.

    I think you confused the numbers for hypertrophy in %age of BW. You stated them for advanced trainees being ,25% of BW/week. Thats 1% of BW per month.
    Thats 800g a month for an 80kg person, or 9.6 kg/year.
    For an andvanced trainee, the most advanced category you gave.
    Maybe you meant month, as Mike Matthews was asking. I guess it got lost in the conversation.

    • Chris says:

      Hm, still doesnt add up: Because then, if its not 1%, but 0.1%BW in beginners/week – that would equate to 0.4%/month, thats 320g/m or 3.8kg/y @80kg.
      But I know you would aim for much higher numbers, esp in the first year as you pointed out in the video. Thats why Mike was so confused, bc he understood 1%/w for beginners (which you actually said at 17:47) and thought it was too much (it clearly is with 3.2kg/m or 19kg/half a year) – but 0.1 would be too little given your descriptions of the logarithmic nature of the time-hypertrophy curve.
      There must be a mix-up somewhere.

    • Vince says:

      Menno you definitely said 0.25% for advanced trainee, so that’s still about 0.77kg monthly lean mass gain for a 77kg guy? Please if you could kindly clarify.

  3. Al says:

    Hi Menno,

    Informative, excellent as always.

    Out of interest, for those in a similar position to you, aka close to a ceiling in terms of genetic potential, what do you recommend in terms of diet/training? If you’re in a position where you only stand to gain 1lb of muscle a year, or even a bit more but still not enough to make any kind of visual impact, is it still prudent to chase progressive overload?

    I’d guess at the following options:

    – Continue as normal. Attempt to roughly maintain bodyweight while still chasing strength gains, which presumably can still continue for a good while at least. Resign yourself to the fact you’ll never look much different aesthetically.
    – Find a way to “hover”, perhaps reducing training frequency but maintaining intensity to maintain current strength/muscle mass, resigned to the fact that any increases in strength won’t impact you aesthetically.
    – Smash a load of steroids

    I would imagine most that think they’re at this stage aren’t as close as they think, but just from a hypothetical standpoint (and a personal one for you i guess!) i’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

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