Throughout my training career I've come across so many people who tell me they have 'bad genetics'. Research shows that genetics do impact our ability to build muscle, lose fat, and display athleticism. We all have issues with genetics that we have to work around. You may be predisposed to carrying excess fat. You may be lean but have stubborn areas of fat deposition which means you hae some trouble areas. Some men have trouble building muscle more than others, and some are muscular but have weak body parts.
No one has perfect genetics!
I've never trained anyone that didn't see any gains in lean muscle tissue or some loss in body fat. It may not come at the rate they want it at but there has always been visible changes. Some people respond best to variety, some to volume, some to intensity, some to frequency, and some to density. You have to discover the best stimuli for your body, which will evolve over time.
How you go about achieving your best self is where I see the divide. There is one thing I want to debunk that might help you continue to achieve your genetic potential.
Lie: Train for performance and strength, don't worry about looks.
Truth: Train for whatever will make you stay consistent.
I choose to do both powerlifting and bodybuilding because I love having both an objective goal and aesthetic goal. Powerlifting gives me an opportunity to be competitive in an objective sport while bodybuilding gives me the space to improve on my physique goals. But I will be a bodybuilder until my time has expired because I love everything it encompasses. I just can't stare in the mirror 24/7 so I need something that will motivate me in other ways to keep improving.
Having a goal outside of aesthetics does the mind good because it gives you something to look at instead of just being negative Nancy in the mirror on a daily basis. But I want to make something clear. If you lift regularly, you've earned the ability to choose your goals, no matter how frivolous they seem to others. But don't fantasize about looking better when you can't get your butt to set aside at least 30 minutes a day to exercise.
When attempting to achieve your own genetic potential I believe it is best to set out for objective goals such as strength, timed event, circumference measurements, etc. But if looking better, feeling better and being comfortable in your skin is important to you then please continue to allow that to be the bigger picture.
Think of it as the corkscrew method. Instead of going full-bore towards one goal in a linear manner, you're inching closer to it, while gradually strengthening everything else along the way. Like a corkscrew digging deeper into the wine cork, you're hitting other little goals as you get closer to the one that you want to achieve the most, and you're keeping it from becoming all-encompassing.