“The thing about the genetics conversation is…it’s all bullshit.”

People love to talk about genetics. “If I had her genetics…” or “Yeah, but have you ever seen his parents, no wonder he’s so good.” I don’t have much patience for this conversation anymore. Ever notice the people always claiming genetics are the ones who can’t stay focused. Also the ones who supposedly are fit or strong because of their genetics are the most disciplined. As Brandon Lilly once said to me, “The thing about the genetics conversation is…it’s all bullshit.” I saw Brandon Lilly bench press 600 pounds in a T shirt. No tricks. No neoprene quintuple ply bench shirt. No BS. And it wasn’t because his dad or mom were strong.

I have a great friend named Jason. When Jason takes his shirt off he looks like a combination of Farnese Hercules and RoboCop. Jason’s son, Jadon, is an ODP (Olympic Development Program) gymnast at 10 years old. Jadon’s little body has more sinew than the entire cast of “300”. The kid looks like something Michelangelo cut out of stone. Jason’s dad, Florin, is 61 and looks like an older version of Jason. He can rip a phonebook in half faster than the genetics claimers could rip open a bag of Lays.

So obviously Jason, and now Jadon, are successful in their respective fitness arenas because of genetics, right? Wrong!

Jason’s dad, Florin, dedicated his life as a boy and young man to weightlifting sport. He had a secret dream to make the Olympic team and then flee communist Romania. He succeeded. His first born son, Jason, began his training as a boy. He started serious weightlifting at 17, and set many strongman national records all through his twenties. Jason is now 38 and still trains everyday. Jason’s first born son, Jadon, has come to my gym with his dad since he was a toddler. Jason would encourage Jadon to workout at his side, and Jason would stop to teach Jadon all that he knows. Jason is extremely encouraging to Jadon and is also adamant on Jadon’s commitment. When I stop by Jason’s house to visit with his family, Jadon can be found hanging on a set of gymnastic rings his dad hung up for him.

When I look at their family, I see exceptional examples being set. I see focus, dedication, and stick-to-it-ness. If you would like to call the passing on of character traits through exemplified action, genetics, you are welcome to, however it’s not going to help you with your lack of discipline. Find a community that will exemplify the focus you desire to have with your nutrition, that will support your training discipline, that will hold you accountable to your fitness goals, and you will be on your way towards “better genetics”. Or don’t, and teach your kids that their health and fitness aren’t in their control and they were doomed from the start.

Maven Fitness celebrates an active community committed to fitness progress.