02 November 18
What do your genes tell you about your fitness?
When you start working out, you have a specific goal in mind. You probably want to lose a few pounds after months of binge-eating or you feel the need to rock a set of toned abs to get yourself ready for your upcoming beach getaway. It’s also likely that you’ve finally decided to go for a complete lifestyle change in order to keep yourself fit and healthy.
In order to achieve their fitness goals, most people start off by trying a workout routine based on someone else’s recommendation, like that popular fitness buff they’ve been following on social media or the gym instructor at their local gym, thinking that they can get similar results if they follow the exact same routine. When they fail to see any improvements, they either look for a new personal trainer, change their gym membership, or even try their luck with some new supplement that promises to deliver results.
If you’re one of those people, it’s time to stop this nonsense. You’re not just wasting money, time, and energy, you’re also missing out on your own fitness potential.
People usually forget that their their body is unique in its own way which means that what works for other people may not work that well for them. As a matter of fact, your genetics play a huge role in influencing your body’s response to exercise.
Below are certain genetic variants or SNPs in your body that may have an impact on your fitness potential:
If you have this gene variant and you plan on losing weight, resistance training won’t work well for you. Your body is likely to develop higher fat volume if your workouts are mainly focused on resistance training. This explains why some people gain fat instead of losing it after incorporating dumbbell bicep curls, dumbbell tricep kickbacks, and other similar weight lifting exercises in their routine.
Commonly referred to as the LPL-S447X, this gene variant is specifically linked to great fat loss among those who are active in endurance programs. If you have this gene variant, endurance focused training such as running will work best for you.
Exercise is well-known for its ability to lower cholesterol levels and this common gene variant is part of the reason behind that. Engaging yourself in endurance-driven exercises can improve your cholesterol/lipid profile if you are carrying this SNP.
If you are carrying this SNP, aerobic exercises could be much more difficult for you because this variant has an effect on your aerobic capacity. Also, since this gene is involved in the body’s metabolism of glucose and fatty acids, it can cause your blood sugar levels to rise if you are obese, but will not have the same effect if you are not.
If there’s a specific sport you want to excel at, you’re probably wondering if your DNA can help you out. Well, there are specific gene variants that comprise the most distinguished athletes in the world and here’s a few examples:
This is one of the 10-15 selected SNPs that are correlated to athlete’s genetic potential on improved performance.
ACTN-3 has always been associated with the elite athletic performance of humans. It greatly affects the function of skeletal muscles enabling a person to accomplish forceful muscle contraction at an accelerated pace. This explains why people with this genotype have the evolutionary advantage in sports like sprinting and weight-lifting.
Having any of the elite athlete genes definitely gives you an edge. However, as much as our genetic makeup influences our performance, environmental factors such as our lifestyle and nutrition habits are just as important.
Maintaining that stability between your genes and your environment is the key to attaining a healthier and more fulfilling life, and the first step towards that is knowing precisely how your body responds to different exercises and foods, thereby allowing yourself to personalize a training and diet program that is guaranteed to meet your body’s unique requirements.