Maximise your potential by taking advantage of your genetics!
Several factors influence your ability to succeed with any specific training or nutrition plan including, training methods, life stress, recovery strategies, nutrition, body size, movement patterns, focus and genetics. As a strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer, I aim to create an informed plan based on the information we have, and collect as much useable data as possible throughout to inform me on your optimum approach. I’ve been doing this for years- and over time, it’s got some life changing results. Sometimes we get it perfect at stage one- you feel great, you achieve your goals, and you decide on the next big challenge. Other times, we know something needs to change to make it sustainable-we need to dig a little deeper to get to the REAL issues, and start to work with them to achieve your goals.
In both situations, the client information we have could be the same, similar build, training background and lifestyle- the interventions we make could be the same, but occasionally something is missing. Over time, we find the missing piece, but by this point the nutrition and training plans for both clients may look completely different. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for all, but why?
Here at FX we can monitor recovery, track nutrition, log training, and make small changes to make sure the training is ideal for them. If something doesn’t work, it’s not a disaster, its information. It guides the next phase, and means we can tweak the plan to achieve awesome results going forward. This approach of consistency has always been a part of our philosophy to get real, sustainable results.
But what if we could minimise the amount of time for trial and error- fast track to see the most likely response to a certain nutrition plan, training plan, and more. What if before we even start, we could see into your genetics, and use it to create the ideal recovery time, prehab work, workout structure, and nutrition plan– giving you complete confidence that you’re looking after every part of the equation.
Well now we can…. Almost.
Enter Genetic Testing
Until recently, we knew there was a part of the puzzle missing. We knew very little about how our genetics influenced our results, but it’s been clear for anyone working with athletes and fitness/ nutrition clients that people respond differently, regardless of how much you try to control. An element of this could be explained by what we can see and log (eg. nutrition, recovery work, movement dysfunction), but sometimes it was clearly something deeper. It was genetics.
With the rapid progression of science, we can now identify certain variations in genotypes, and more importantly, how they are likely to interact with specific variables (particularly with regards to health and fitness). Polymorphisms (variations) in genes occur- that’s what makes us individual. And they can have a big impact on how we our body would ask approach our training.
An example of this is recovery. Recovery from exercise has been shown to be dependent on several factors, including removal of free radicals. Variations in the SOD2 gene will impact on how well we are able to respond to free radical damage. Simply put, lower rates of free radical removal would indicate that longer recovery periods are needed. But enough of the science, you just need to know that variations happen in specific genetic positions, and this can have a big impact on how genes interact with different signals.
So what can this tell us (and what can it not!)?
Firstly, it’s important to note that genetic testing will NOT tell us what sport we will excel at. But it can give insights into how we should prepare for that sport, or how to achieve our fitness goals in a way that will complement our genotype.
Genetics in health and fitness has come a long way in the last few years, and can give an extremely valuable insight into how we are likely to respond to certain practices. However, performance, health and nutrition is complex, and we’re way off being able to conclusively test and report on everything…. even if we could, looking at things in isolation when it comes to the complex biological and social systems that we are and live in, would not tell us the full picture. Genetic testing is useful to minimise the trial and error associated with training and nutrition, and can help us to understand our bodies response to training and nutrition a little clearer.
Is this for me?
Here at FX Fitness Experience, we work closely with DNAFit, a genetic testing company at the forefront of this emerging area of nutrition and fitness training. Their rigorous screening process means they only report on the genes we know have an impact through years of dedicated research.
Through DNAFit, we can report on areas of fitness such as power vs endurance profile, recovery rate, overuse injury risk and more. In addition, the report can suggest linked nutritional factors including anti-oxidant need, predisposition to intolerances, caffeine, alcohol and carbohydrate sensitivity and more. Of course, genetics only tell a part of the story. Building the plan with this in mind can be useful to anyone at any level, providing that we look at the bigger picture.
This is where your fully qualified personal trainer/ strength and conditioning coach will help you to focus on what’s important, and use the knowledge to fast track past some of the trial and error associated in reaching your long term goals.
Don’t miss your opportunity to find out more about how genetic testing may help you at our FX Fitness Experience Open Day (FXPO) on Saturday 9th. Booking is essential to guarantee your place in the sessions.
To see an overview of the schedule, see below.View FX Open Day Schedule!
Josh Kennedy MSc, ASCC, NSCA-CSCS, DNAFit Certified Trainer.