DNA Fitness Test

Physical activity is essential for a healthy body and mind, but everyone responds differently to different types of exercises, whether the goal is to lose weight, improve muscle tone or run a faster marathon. Some overweight individuals will lose significant weight by starting a walking or running program, while others won’t lose much weight with this method, but may see great benefits from strength training at the gym. There is also wide variation in athletic ability, pain tolerance, susceptibility to injury and even exercise motivation. An individual’s upbringing, current lifestyle and genetic variation all contribute to these differences.

This test identifies genetic variants that influence athletic endurance, athletic power, muscular strength, response to exercise, exercise motivation, recovery rate, injury risk and pain tolerance. The results of this test allow individuals to obtain the most benefit from their exercise routine by following a personalized exercise plan based on their genetics.

NOTE: The genetic variants identified in this panel have been studied in Caucasian populations, but the same association may not be apparent in other ethnicities.

Athletic endurance is the ability to continue exercising for an extended period. Endurance events include long-distance running, swimming, cycling, mountain climbing and rowing, but we also require endurance to get through a game of soccer or rugby. Athletic endurance is influenced by genetic variations of:

  • PPARD – burning fat for energy
  • VEGFA – blood vessel formation to improve oxygen supply
  • ACE – blood pressure regulation and muscle efficiency
  • ADRB2 – turning off the fight or flight response
  • PPARA – slow-twitch versus fast-twitch muscle fibres

Athletic power combines strength with a speed ability to apply this strength in a quick motion. For example, a sprinter requires strength and speed for a rapid acceleration, while a baseball pitcher requires a very strong arm that can rapidly rotate resulting in pitches as fast as 100 mph! Athletic power is influenced by genetic variations of:

  • ACTN3 – the “sprinter” gene
  • AGT – blood pressure regulation and growth hormone levels

Strength training is physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction, which builds the strength and size of skeletal muscles. Muscular strength is influenced by genetic variations of:

  • ACVR1B – muscle signalling cascade that controls muscle mass and muscle strength
  • IL6 – messenger molecule and contributes to muscle growth

Response to exercise differs from individual to individual. Some people see greater benefits from endurance training, while others benefit more from strength training. Your exercise response is influenced by genetic variations of:

  • PPARGC1A – aerobic capacity improvements
  • PPARD – increases in “good” HDL-cholesterol
  • MCT1 – ability to use lactate as an energy source

Motivation, recovery, injury risk and pain tolerance are all influenced by genetic variations:

  • BDNF – exercise motivation
  • CRP – heart rate recovery
  • COL1A1 – risk of soft tissue injury
  • COL5A1 – risk of Achilles tendinopathy
  • COMT – pain tolerance and required morphine dose


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