What will you do once you've reached your genetic potential?

I’ve come to a point where I know I have reached my full genetic potential. Over the last 7 years, 6 of which I have been completely dedicated to the sport, I have followed virtually every known program and diet meticulously. Although I look very fit and muscular I’ve come to realize that I will never pass off as a bodybuilder. Unfortunately this is as good as I’m going to get, give or take 5 LBS LBM.

I want to get feedback from others who have come to this conclusion and how this affects your training. Do you simply workout to keep the gains you’ve made? Are androgens [legal/illegal] an option you are considering? When do you raise the white flag?

I look forward to your comments. Thanks

Oh, really. raising eyebrow You know what that means? You can die now. I mean, what ELSE is there for you to do now? Where oh where can someone who has “hit their genetic potential” go from here?

Or, wait here's something to think about. You said that you've "have followed virtually every known program and diet meticulously" - so how about you go back and modify those programs for YOU. To fit YOUR needs. I know it sounds like I'm flaming you, but I'm not. I think you need to sit down and rethink your methods of training and nutrition. How can someone really ever know they have hit that "genetic potential" Answer? Never. Cuz, it'll never happen. I mean, let's look at Lance Armstrong, shall we? He has trained MUCH longer than you or I in his chosen sport (cycling) and everyone will recognize that he is a stud in cycling. But, you know what? He improves every year. He has NOT hit his potential. No way. Cuz, he adapts and modifies his training. Think about that. Learn about YOUR body. It's obviously time you do.

Thanks for the reply Patricia. And for the record I didnt take your comments as a flame;)

Obviously I have not tried every single training program. It impossible. Technically, by just adding one rep to one set makes it a different program. But after changing programs after every 3-6 workouts over 6 years you could imagine the wide spectrum I have covered.

Anyways, I didnt start this thread to debate my efforts and ability to tweak a training program.

Patricia, lets assume for a moment you did want to carry the same mass as Dorian Yates. Do you think you can ever attain such a level? Probably not huh? Thats alright, neither could I and NEITHER WOULD I WANT TO:) My point is that genetic potential is very real and one day give or take 1-2%BF and 5LBS LBM we will attain that level. [note: those are not scientific figures :P~]

I just wanted to know what kept people ticking once they hit that point. In other words what is YOUR ray of sunshine! I know ‘denial’ seems to work for some :smiley: :wink: lol

If not happy with this limit use AAS etc. If you don’t want risks, then get used to it.

Okay, cool, Sewerhooker. Hmmm, well, for the record: I will never ever resort to androgens/banned substances to attain ANY goal in the gym (strength or physique-wise). And I think as we all age, our goals change - you know in accordance to life situations and maturity. SO, my goals are completely different than when I began weight training at the tender age of 17. AND if I ever DO resemble Dorian Yates (for the record: “blewh”), shoot me - put me out of my misery! hee hee

Thanks, for clarifying your question. I use creativity as my primary tool for continued gains. And yes, the gains can be continued, even after 7-years of training. Cuz, you know even after all these years in the gym, I'm still learning, still making gains and still getting stronger. AND if you are indeed mentally cemented with "this is as good as it's ever gonna get" - you have just short changed yourself from ever making gains.

But after changing programs after every 3-6 workouts over 6 years you could imagine the wide spectrum I have covered.

?? Why change that often ? Why don´t you try just one program for a year or maybe longer.

This thread is evolving into a discussion of genetic potential, motivation, and training methods. Good reading, but I think the question is valid apart from those issues.

I’m 46. And there can come a time in life when you realize that your initial goals overreached your potential. So the deeper issue is, how do you address that realization? When Sewerhooker says, “this is as good as it gets, give or take five pounds,” yes, we know over time he might gain twelve more pounds, but the unspoken truth – with which I agree – is that he is coming to terms with the fact that he will not be the best at something which has been totally absorbing for years. And, since the bodybuilding mindset is so often one of ruthless focus, of “all or nothing” thinking, it’s not easy to embrace what we will never be. I don’t think living in sustained denial on that point is the answer.

And then, we try aphorisms like, “It’s all about the journey.” And, “You have the be the best YOU can be.” And “Think of how much better you look than the average guy.” But face it, those are goading statements to someone committed to excellence, when excellence is so hard to remove from a peer-acknowledged superiority.

I have no answers. We cannot live without acknowledging the common sense of our limits – limits that seem to get more real every training year. And yet, we cannot train without belief that we can be the best. Who sustains himself through years of training with the notion that someday he might be above average? The recreational lifter, maybe, but not most of us on this board.

The best workouts are summed up in one word: BELIEF. We are convinced we are growing, improving, speeding to our goal, and outdistancing the pack. And then, we open a magazine and see what others have been given, accomplished, and enhanced by whatever means, and we face the inarguability of our limits… which, when we start believing again, we refuse to accept.

There’s a word for this tension. It’s called “life.”

I am in the same boat. I feel like I have reached my genetic potentail. What keeps me going is I never really know if I have “truely” reach this limit so I keep striving for more. For the record I have been lifting consistantly for over 12 years, and have gone from 120lbs to current 185. The only way I am able to gain weight and strength every year is by alternating bulking and dieting. I bulk to 215 in the winter and diet to a ripped 185 in the summer. Next years goals are 220-225 bulk and 190 ripped. After training for so long one thing I realize is I don’t work out for anybody but ME!! If this wern’t the case I would have stopped a long time ago.

I believe that there’s very few people who ever reach their genetic limit. but lifting/dieting over several years, you will realize that it’s a process of diminishing returns. (not assisted by drugs)… also, is genetic potential age related ??? i think i’ve made a hell of an improvement if i can still have great lifts, BF %, and muscle size at 40 years old that i have now at 31. i’ve worked out for literally half my life and i’m no where close to rasing the white flag. i still have the desire and drive to grow, but i’m realistic at the same time.

Steve, nice post. Couldn’t be said better.

That genetic potential crap is something that a skinny guy made up. How will you ever know once you get there?

How many of us think that we truely had reached our genetic potential, and if we did, why do we continue to workout and diet if there’s nothing more to gain ??? it would be a waste of time… so obviously, like steve said, we all have that BELIEF.

Hey there is nothing necessarily wrong with staying in one place and looking EXACTLY the same year after year. Eventually we will all succumb to age if nothing else. Bill Pearl tells a story in one of his books of an older man who trained at his gym consistently for, I believe, 10 years. One day the old man came up to Bill and said “Bill I just don’t understand, I look exactly the same today as I did 10 years ago even though I’ve trained consistently the entire time”. Bill said something to the effect of “Well if you look exactly the same today as you did 10 years ago but yet you’re 10 years older that means you’ve turned back the clock 10 years!”

What keep me going? Is I don’t believe I have reached my potential. Hell, I be hard pressed to find a way to measure it! At one time the was an iron rule that you could only build your arms to 2.5 time your wrist size, without drugs. Well, I was able too.
Over the years my training goals have changed. In college I wanted to be Arnold. In the military, I adjusted my goals to fit peak fitness in may areas (Running, Swimming, Hiking, etc.) After the military, big muscles again. Now, it is back to a 80% of peak military fitness and focus on internal training (Aikido, Tai Chi and Chi Gung). I want to be “Socrates” from the book “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Milman and I still have twenty years of training to get there.
Will I try legal androgens (Mag-10), maybe, if at my age I can hold on to the results without having to repeat the process regularly. I don’t use creatine, because I regularly hike in the mountains and anything that quickly leaves my system, just doesn’t sit right with me. Last time I tried Androsol, to see what effect it would have on muscle loss and it seemed to slow it down.
Illegal androgens, never.
When do you raises the white flag? Never. A Ranger never quits!
Best of Luck.

Very good insight in these posts. When asked: “why do you lift weights at your age?” I tell them I am defying gravity. At the age of 61 the 25th of this month I am still winning the battle! My advise is, do the routines, keep the desire and good things will happen. I posted my picture on TMagPix for those of you who wonder if all this body building is worth while. T-Mag rules.

Try renegade training if you can handle it. You may think you’ve hit your potential but I seriously doubt it. Any haphazard combination of random progams you have used over the years cannot even compare to the absolute precision and built in recovery patterns the renegade way includes over time. You wil be amazed with mass gains as well, ahilw back I spoke to someone who sounded exactly like you did, “Ive hit my peak, blah blah blah blah”, and now 24 weeks later he is 25 pounds heavier and just as lean, speed and strength to boot.