Many of you have seen or heard about Wendy the whippet – a dog with a rare genetic mutation that has led to her being called the Arnold Schwarzenegger of dogs.
The genetic mutation is a deficiency in myostatin, which is a growth factor that limits muscle tissue growth.
But that rare genetic defect does not occur only in the whippet breed. In fact, it can and has occurred in other animals… even in humans themselves!
Behold! The ultimate collection of myostatin deficient monstrosities!
Recently part of a genetics study done in the U.S. on mutation in the myostatin gene in whippets, people mistake her for a pitbull with a pinhead.
The uber-muscled whippets are called “bullies,” not because of their nature — Wendy likes nothing better than a good back scratch and isn’t shy about sitting in your lap to ask for one — but because of their size.
She’s about twice the weight of an average whippet, but with the same height and small narrow head — and the same size heart and lungs, which means she probably won’t live as long as normal whippets.
A heavily-bred breed that produces extraordinary amounts of meat.
Critics call Belgian blues “monster cows” and some countries have advocated eliminating the strain.
Belgian blue cattle have a natural mutation of the gene that codes for myostatin, a protein that counteracts muscle growth.
This mutation also interferes with fat deposition, resulting in very lean meat.
Muscle in a myostatin-deficient mouse; left, facial muscles, right, forelimb. Top is a normal mouse, bottom is a mouse expressing the mutant phenotype.
Scientists are able to delete the myostatin gene in mice. This is the result.
A muscle â€˜explosionâ€™ follows myostatin â€˜neutralizationâ€™. The control mouse (normal) is shown for comparison. The ActRIIB mice have a genetic defect that prevents myostatin from binding to its purported receptor. Follistatin mice are genetically modified to express high levels of follistatin; this also results failure of myostatin to bind to its receptor. The result in both cases is dramatically enhanced muscle mass. Similar studies indicate large reductions in body fat. Strength and caloric output also increase markedly.
Before he was 5 years old, he could hold 7 lbs. weights with arms extended, something many adults cannot do. He has muscles twice the size of other kids his age and half their body fat.
He was born to a somewhat muscular mother, a 24-year-old former professional sprinter. Her brother and three other close male relatives all were unusually strong, with one of them a construction worker able to unload heavy curbstones by hand.
A 21 month old toddler from Michigan with myostatin deficiency, he has 40 percent more muscle mass than normal, jaw-dropping strength, breathtaking quickness, a speedy metabolism and almost no body fat. Liam came into the world with many birth defects. He had a small hole in his heart, enlarged kidneys, frequently vomited and was born four weeks premature. Medical records indicated that his biological father was “unusually strong.”
“He could do the iron cross when he was 5 months old,” said his adoptive mother, Dana Hoekstra of Roosevelt Park. She was referring to a difficult gymnastics move in which a male athlete suspends himself by his arms between two hanging rings, forming the shape of a cross.
Two days after birth, he was able to fully stand-up and support his own weight. Months later, he began developing ripped abs, naturally doing pull-ups, inverted sit-ups, Olympic styled iron crosses, thigh muscles compared to that of Lance Armstrong and even punching holes into walls during tantrums (he accidentally gave his Mom a black eye once as well).
An American illustrator whose body doesn’t produce myostatin.
However, the wonders of science and hard work can surpass even those born with a myostatin deficiency.
Also known as Little Hercules, is renowned for his physique at an extremely young age. He started training at two years of age and by the time he was six was pressing 4 times more than his own weight. His father only allowed him to eat according to a strict diet, consisting of liquid nutrients and vegetables.
And then of course, there is former Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman and other bodybuilders who can develop physiques such as this:
One famous bodybuilder who allegedly has a myostatin deficiency was Kenneth “Flex” Wheeler, whose 2nd place finish in the 1999 Mr. Olympia competition can be seen in this video:
Unfortunately, Flex Wheeler’s career was cut short in 2000 after he suffered kidney failure and had to retire from professional body building.
But the real question is, what happens when someone with an even greater myostatin deficiency begins lifting weights, training properly and eating right?