For a long time, the bodybuilding community has been talking about the muscle building genetics of the black male. According to many, African roots are highly beneficial when your goal is to construct large amounts of aesthetic muscle mass.
Whenever people post a picture of a muscular man who happens to be black, the usual response is:
“He is black. He can gain muscle by playing cards and eating donuts all day.”
Is this really the case? Are black people incredibly gifted when it comes to building muscle mass?
It’s Not About Race. It’s About Personal Muscle Genetics
The black community is gifted in the field of athletics. This is backed by the fact that almost all top level running athletes are black. Track and field has always been dominated by black people, and it doesn’t look like the hegemony will end.
The fact that black people are good at fast and explosive sports such as sprinting has a direct effect on bodybuilding since both activities rely on fast twitch muscle fibers.
Fast twitch fibers have more potential for muscular growth than slow twitch fibers. This partially explains why people carrying a predominant amount of fast twitch fibers have larger musculatures.
However, there are “highs” and “lows” in every community. Some black people have good genetics for building muscle, but there are also many who don’t.
The fact that you’re black does not mean that you have superior genetics for building muscle mass by default. Muscle size depends on your personal genes and overall potential for growth rather than race.
The Slave Period
A lot of people attribute the muscle power of the black man to the slave period when blacks were forced to work day and night, and therefore, only the strongest survived.
It’s true that only healthy and strong people can endure similar torture, but it would be naive to conclude that slavery has altered the genetic pool so much.
It’s genetics. What are you going to do about it?
At the end of the day, our genes cannot be changed. We all have to work with what we have. Don’t overthink and focus on the things that you can push in a positive direction.