By identifying my DNA DNAFit have explained the best way for me to reach my individual fitness and nutrition goals based on my genetics. I took a saliva swab at home and returned it via post before receiving my extensive report in just ten working days and these are my results.
The aim is to make my fitness goals more effective by identifying my bodies best responses and maximising my training and nutritional potential. A single change in a gene can alter its function by creating a different version of a protein and what stimulates it. By training we aim to stress the body, for muscles to react, adapt and become faster and stronger in their response so it’s important to understand the balance between power and endurance.
I’ve been identified as having a 60/40 spilt towards power meaning I get my best results when applying maximum muscle recruitment and using maximal force through lifting weights at a higher intensity, typically 4 sets of 3 reps. My best best results come from varying the stimulus with drop sets for a high to low range of weight. Supersets can also help me to hit endurance reps with compound exercises such as squats, squat jumps and box jumps providing me with maximal response from training.
For cardio it means that I’m naturally more attuned to high intensity interval training – 5 x 2min sprints – and the Fartlek system of varied speeds, so spin classes work better for me rather than a long slow cycle or marathon would. Considering I’ve already completed a marathon, 60km cycle, 10km and 5km runs for charity I’d always assumed that I have a fair level of cardiovascular endurance, which I do, but my best results come from sprints and HIIT when aiming to burn fat and boost my metabolism.
Recovery is essential to avoid overtraining muscles which have to repair and adapt to stresses in between workouts but thankfully I have a quick recovery response which means that I need just 24hrs between training each muscle group. However when it comes to detoxification I have the least effective version on the SOD2 gene which means that I don’t produce enough enzymes to remove free radicals from my body so it’s important for me to increase my antioxidants on a daily basis to recover properly after heavy training with a handful of blueberries and blackcurrants.
With a normal inflammatory response my muscles are able to recovery without feeling DOMS much to the entertainment of my training partners who all wince down the stairs after leg day as I merrily skip past them. This puts me into an ideal criteria for bodybuilding and I was thrilled to place second in my first bikini contest this year at Pure Elite after having my two children. Omega 3, ice and cold water soaks, compression clothing and muscle massage all help with muscle inflammation which I occasionally use as a preventative measure during particularly heavy sessions. For those who are slow to recover it’s important to alter training day to day in order to avoid over training muscles and undoing results.
It’s been identified that I’m at the highest risk of injury on the scale because of my GDFS and COL5A1 genes which are associated with collagen, bone and joint health putting me in danger of stress factors and arthritis. To minimise the risk of having an injury I can focus on resistance training to promote bone growth and density and increase force without impact. If I run outdoors it can damage my joints more easily so adapting to a soft surface such a grass is more favourable than running on the road, or better still hopping onto a cross trainer or bike will remove impact entirely. In focusing on my strength training I can also improve my control during movements to protect my joints and train my fine motor skills by isolating legs during squats. I’m naturally at risk of over-stretching because of my tight short tendons but thanks to my active lifestyle I’m highly flexible which has counteracted this.
Looking into my diet I’m thrilled to hear that I have a low sensitivity to carbs as I literally eat brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa and bananas day and night until their coming out of my ears! Because of my low sensitivity to fats and carbs it means that I take less calories from them and as a result they don’t make me put on weight which means I can happily have a high carb and high fat diet whilst others bloat and swell just from looking at a cupcake or burger! Those who are highly sensitive to carbs face bigger spikes in blood sugar levels when eating and are at a greater risk of developing diabetes. It’s pretty rare to see somebody with a low fat and low carb sensitivity such as me which makes me feel rather special and shows that I have my mums good genes for staying slim even after childbirth as I don’t easily convert dietary fat to body fat so I’m able to remain lean all year round.
I’m at medium risk from toxins in meat which damage DNA but because of my vegan diet this isn’t something that I have to worry about as I eat no meat, fish or dairy. Those who consume a lot of grilled meat, smoke or are exposed to pollution should try to consume more cauliflower, cabbage and kale to help the body to detox properly. Naturally it’s best to hit my RDA’s for nutrition through organic food sources but where there are gaps in a diet or raised needs then supplements are required, especially for my Omega 3 as I don’t eat fish so I take Udo’s Oil instead. Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron for which I’m anaemic without it. I’m also genetically less efficient at producing vitamin D from my skin and need to supplement this whereas others boost their intake through milk and oily fish that my diet lacks.
My salt sensitivity is fine so I can follow the standard RDA’s and due to my active lifestyle I sweat out salt effectively which reduces my levels further. I’ve amusingly discovered that my body is slow at breaking down alcohol in my blood which means that I don’t have to drink a lot to feel the effects of being drunk and makes for a rather cheap night out! Those who are fast at metabolising alcohol need far more alcohol to get drunk and as a result feel worse hangovers because of it so I’m certainly not complaining! I’m tolerant of lactose and gluten with a less than 1/2000 chance of being coeliac. In all this has been a highly informative, interesting and insightful look into my genetic makeup which identifies why my body responds how it does and I’m now far better equipped at maximising my results.