The study of epigenetics claims that we can change the way our DNA expresses. What this means is, that by changing our surroundings – what we do, eat, how long we sleep, and where all of that takes place – we can effectively change our potential.
This is still limited, but nontheless heartwarming. I have heard numerous times lines sounding like “he grew so fast, must have good genes”. Most of the times it has nothing to do with your genes. Perserverence and training smart. There is no shortcut.
Why I say this is limited? Because no matter how hard an averege person trains, they will never reach the athletic capabilities of Lance Armstrong, Rich Froning or Micheal Phelps. Those are the kind of people with amazing recovery rates. Training five times a day and improving, instead of doing damage to your body isn’t just a case of eating a ton of calories. Make no mistake, potential exists, but attributing someone else’s accomplishments to it isn’t fair. They work just as hard, if not harder, than other top-level athletes, they are just as smart, and conscious about their training. It just so happens that they have the right genes for it too.
Notice that those are extreme cases. Athletes that are one of a kind in the entire world. I don’t think we can throw around phrases in the gym like “he’s got better genes”, in small enviorments genes make little diffrence, the way they express is much more important. That can be manipulated to suit our goals. Don’t blame your genes, blame yourself for not being smart about your training, for missing a meal or for not getting enough sleep.
I have purposely avoided talking about performance enhancing drugs – regarding aforementioned athletes – in this entry because this is a topic that deserves a separate article.