Do I Have Good Bodybuilding Potential? 5’9" 155-160

Some other relevant info:
I’m 18 years old and haven’t really trained in 2 years. Lifted weights about 2 times a week on and off from 14-16. I played football but besides that have been doing little to no activity for about 2 years
So my questions are:
How good are my genetics?
Strong points? Weak points?
What is achievable naturally for me?

Your genetics appear amazing. If my calculations are correct you will be able to go to the gym and get bigger for a while.
Based on your codes, I recommend lots of food and heavy weights.


You appear to be in good health and of sound mind. Thus giving you the potential to exercise hard and learn how to make progress. This are the key genetic components to success. Hard work and learning.

Strong points - age. At this age you are in “prime muscle building” mode.
Weak points - you are tiny.

Better than you have now. As an FYI a lot of guys on this site (or at least the ones I believe) think it is possible for most men to dead lift 275kg/600lb, and bench 160kg/350lb. When you can do that - you look kinda awesome.

With out being an arse - imagine if I walked into a French language class and said “Hi, do you think I’ll be any good at this? I did french at School. But gave it up. In the mean time I did Korean. What do you think?” That is you, now. No one has any idea of what you are potentially capable of. How could we be?

Rather than worry about what might happen - see what will happen. You are 18. You have about 3 years left of prime muscle gaining time in front of you. Hit the gym. Train dirty and eat clean. Get HUGE.

Start with super squats. It will not be easy. But if you do super squats, not only will you get bigger but every time you talk to a fellow meat head you’ll get to say “Yeah I ran super squats”.


If one is lean, I agree.

OP, you don’t have any noticeable weaknesses that would hold you back. The best approach is to assume you have good genetics and train.

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The red flag preventing your success is IMO: Why did you quit lifting weights two years ago? Unless you have a good answer, it doesn’t make any difference whether you have good genetics to put on muscle.


This sounds like you’re weighing your options on whether its worth your time to lift weights, the sole factor being whether you could “do well”.

Its like me saying “i only drove a car a little bit, but not recently. How good do you think i can be at it??”

Doesnt really make sense to me. Lift weights, stick to a program, eat properly, and see how it goes. Maybe you’ll explode with muscle, or maybe you won’t - average male can put on about 30lbs of muscle from an untrained state. See you there in 5-7 years if you stay true to the course.

Apologies, posts like this are a bit irritating to me because its like saying you wont waste your time if youre not going to be any good at it.

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You look like an average dude. So no… you don’t ‘look’ to have good potential. You could probably have a good physique though with many years of dedication to this hobby.

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A good rule of thumb is: if you have to ask if you have good bodybuilding genetics: you don’t.

Those with good genetics are told they have them. And encouraged to compete.


Based on your relaxed picture, you look like a moderately active teen who does push-ups and stuff. Based on your fully inhaled picture, I find it hard to believe you don’t workout. I guess that means you might have decent genetics.

A better way to discover your genetics is to train 4 days a week for 6 months without missing a session and then see your results. Is anyone in your immediate family in really good shape?

Non-applicable. Again, check back after 6 months of hard work to assess.

You’re 18 and untrained, so you have tons of potential to build muscle and drop fat, which means there’s tons you can achieve.

Do you mean average in general for men or average for bodybuilding genetics?

I’ve been told I have good genetics but I believe this website would be more unbiased

Average for men your age. Listen junior, the fact that you are repeatedly asking screams insecurity and need for validation. You are completely NORMAL. Nothing wrong with you. You don’t have an impressive natural build. I think @Chris_Colucci was being overtly nice or generous when he stated

Get off instagram, tik tok or whatever BS kids you age are following these days. You are fine. If you want to put some hard work in for a few years go for it. Please do actually, it would be good for you mentally and physically.

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Seems like the consensus is that I’m small right now, have average genetics. Can you show me an example of an untrained individual with above average genetics? Great genetics? It helps me understand where I stand.

Was it by someone who has an opinion worth having regarding bodybuilding?

If so, listen to that person and get instruction.

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Hurts to hear because it’s unmotivating but I think you’re right. And you’re correct I’m insecure as shit cause Because I know I’m pretty average.

well no shit. You haven’t been training and you expect to be something other than average??

if you want to know how good your genetics are - go to the gym and put some fucking work in. Not one person with an impressive physique got there by 3 hour long sets of ‘couch sits’.


To be fair, that comment was specifically referring to the “big chest inhale, suck in the stomach, puff out the lats” pose.

Seeing pics like that would entirely useless and unhelpful. Make you a deal though: Start a training log here and put in 8 weeks of consistent sessions, then someone can track down those examples for you.

I mean, by it’s definition, the vast majority of people are average.

You don’t wanna be? Then start training. If you decide not to start training because you think you have “bad” or average genetics, then you have zero bodybuilding potential.

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To go with @Chris_Colucci 's “start a training log” post, I will extend my typical offer that I will buy @John_alright_236 a kindle copy of “Super Squats” IF he promises to follow the program and diet for the full 6 weeks and log it all here on t-nation for us to follow.

An 18 year old trainee with some previous experience starting out will be an awesome subject for that.

Must log all workouts, daily nutrition and bodyweight changes. Before and after photos ideal, but not required.


What is a good 8 week program? What is the most efficient way of making progress in this amount of time? Routine? Diet?

Let me ask you why? Is it your ultimate goal and only purpose in life to step on stage and win the Olympia? Likely not. So again why? Almost every person responding here has close to average genetics with a few outliers. We all still plug away. When I was 18 I weighed 135lbs. I’m only 5’7" freaking inches tall. I grind my hardest though. You know what? Most ‘average’ dudes can pull of a physique thats very impressive with hard work and proper nutrition.