Calculating Your Genetic Potential

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Genetic Potential, mass index and body mass. Now it’s actually possible to get some more very interesting information from these numbers, which is your FFMI. That’s your ‘Fat-Free Mass Index’, which is like a body mass index but a lot more accurate because it differentiates between muscle and fat.

And what’s more, is that there is an upper limit to what your FFMI can be naturally without using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. This is good because it lets us see just how much stronger we can get!

To work out your FFMI, all you need to do is use the following equation:
– FFMI = (LBM in kg) / (height in meters)2


So convert your lean body mass to kilograms, then divided it by the square of your height in meters.

Genetic Potential, Mass Index and Body Mass

So when I do this with my numbers, I get a score of 23.065. The maximum is generally agreed that you can score here is 25. Any higher than that and people will (perhaps rightly) suspect that you may be using steroids. This was the finding according to one study that surveyed a lot of natural athletes to see where they would peak.

This is your ‘genetic limit’ and beyond that, you’ll only really be able to add fat. It’s not a ‘perfect’ score either though and some individuals genuinely have been able to break through and go even further beyond (Dragon Ball Z quote…) even without steroids. But as a rule: this is how far you can expect to go.

So if I have an FFMI of 23.065 and the maximum is 25, that means I have achieved 92.26% of my genetic potential. Work out how close you are to achieving yours and you can start to picture just how much bigger you could potentially get.

Know this though: the closer you start to get to your genetic limit, the harder it will become to add on more muscle. This is why experienced athletes can often be quite jealous of beginners who still experience ‘noob gains’. But it’s good news if you’re currently very skinny because it means you’ll be able to start really piling on the pounds quickly with the right regimen.

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