Extra muscle in african americans

Do black people have an extra muscle? This question is typically asked when people notice how black people often dominate the different sports. This is most especially true in sprinting, boxing and other games that require the movement of the legs.

The answer to this question is not a simple “yes” or “no”. To be able to answer it, I have to discuss first the various factors related to the answer.

Do Black People Have an Extra Muscle?

Here’s the answer, and the facts related to it.

No, black people at birth don’t have an extra muscle.

Black babies have the same number of bones and muscles as that of any race. They have also 300 bones (206 bones later on in adult life), and three types of muscles at birth: the skeletal muscles, the cardiac muscles and the smooth muscles; more than 640 muscles, up to 850.

However, there are vital factors that contribute to black dominance in sports, and why black men are often only perceived as athletes.

1. Speed in Baby’s Growth

An observation by journalist John Entine, disclosed – among other things – that black babies develop faster than white babies, but an extensive and empirical study under controlled environment has yet to be done to ultimately confirm this report.

2. Local Evolutionary Factors and Environment

The local evolutionary factors and environment in which most black people grew up in have shaped their body types.

A simple example is this: a child growing in the suburbs of Kenya will have more developed and toned muscles than a normal child in Europe because of his daily activities.

The black child would be:

Do african americans have an extra muscle in their leg

  • Attending school on foot amidst mountainous regions and inclement weather
  • Helping with the heavy household chores, such as chopping woods, carrying heavy loads of water
  • Running errands on foot amidst environmental impediments and nutritional deficiencies
  • Performing other strenuous tasks that tend to strengthen the body’s muscles and develop endurance

On the other hand, the child in America, or Europe, would ride a car to school, do light housework or none at all, and would perform tasks that require little use of his muscles.

Who do you think would perform better in sprinting? Naturally, the black kid.

3. Culture and The Nature

Culture and the nature also contribute to a person’s body development. It’s the culture in most African countries that children participate actively in rearing the family. Therefore, at an early age, they tend to hone their muscles endurance.

4. Presence of More ‘Fast-Twitch’ Muscle Fibers in Blacks

According to Claude Bouchard, a geneticist, who studied fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers, West African students had more of the larger fast-twitch fibers than the slow-twitch.

The fast-twitch fiber was associated with speed of movement and the adaptation of the individual to endurance training. This finding can support the supposition that genetics has indeed something to do with the black people’s incredible muscle endurance and strength.

5. Thigh Muscles in Kenyans Have More Blood Capillaries

Do black people have an extra muscle

Another study performed by the head of the Muscle Research Institute, Bengt Saltin, in Denmark proved that there are more blood capillaries and mitochondria in the thighs of the Kenyan experimental subjects than those of the Swedes.

The blood capillaries carry oxygen to the muscles; thus, allowing optimum performance of the muscles, while the mitochondria generate energy, which empowers the athlete to attain his peak performance.

6. Shorter Torsos and Longer Legs of Blacks

A study done at Duke University by a group of scientists revealed that majority of blacks have shorter torsos but longer legs, which is the ideal body structure for sprinting.

This is the same as saying that Americans are generally taller than their Asian counterpart. No one could contest this fact. So, Americans excel in swimming and basketball. Their taller built is ideal for dunking and swimming,when the length of the torso is an advantage.

These are the reasons why muscles of blacks have developed more their oxidative capacity, allowing the predominance of efficient fibers.

This had built their long endurance in sports, and had promoted their maximum performance in running or sprinting, while experiencing lesser fatigue.

Furthermore, you may want to watch these videos about why black athletes are bigger, stronger and faster.


Based on the above mentioned information, we can now conclude that black people don’t have an extra muscle, but their environment, culture, genes, and training have made them perform as if they have an extra muscle.

There are numerous factors that contribute to an athlete’s performance. But the most significant factor is his early endurance training.

If you want to dominate the sports you’re engaged in, you have to train as soon as you can handle the sport (around 3 years old for sprinting). Naturally, you have to choose a sport that is appropriate for you.

The primary thing to remember is that with early and proper training, you could also achieve what blacks athletes were able to accomplish.

Do you have any thoughts about the topic? You can leave them in the comment section below.