Endurance training - cycling

Genetics of Endurance Training


Exercise is one of the most important things for our well-being and good health. Nowadays, people

are well-aware about the health-risks as well the steps they should take to avoid that. No wonder

there are many health centers and gyms sprawled up in almost every corner of the cities.

Endurance training is one of its parts – it includes a long-term, moderate- muscle resistance

exercises that positively affect our health. Along with that, those exercises make losing fat possible

based on an individual’s endurance level and improves cardiac health. However, in spite of working

out a lot and following a rigid diet, it’s hard for some people to maintain that desired level of fitness.

The reason behind it is the person’s genetic make-up.

Along with playing a major role in our response to training, diet, and other external factors, genetic

factors also boosts or limit our physical and mental performance. It affects our potential in sports

and other physical activities.

There are two variations in Endurance –

Aerobic Endurance

Aerobic Endurance – One with oxygen, the body works at such level where the demand for fuel and

oxygen can be fulfilled by the body’s intake. CO2 and water are the only waste products formed

which get eliminated from the body through breathing and sweating.

A research on aerobic endurance shows that certain individuals respond better to training than

others. Thus, even if they have a lesser genetic potential for endurance, they might respond well to

training and develop their potential more than someone compared to someone whose genetic

makeup does not respond to the training.

Anaerobic endurance

This is more severe type of endurance where body uses maximum strength and works very hard

that the demand for oxygen and fuel exceeds the rate of supply (because of the vigorous nature of

the exercise) and the muscles need to depend on stored reserved fuel.

The genes –

When it comes to physical or athletic performance, two genes are widely studied – angiotensin-

converting enzyme gene (ACE) and α-actinin-3 gene (ACTN3). There are two variations found in the

human DNA in the ACE gene. Every person has two copies of the ACE gene; one from mother and

other from the father. Depending on the version of the genes the person receives from each of the

parent, the person’s collection of two can be one of the three combinations of the following – II, ID,

or DD.

The endurance, our genetic make-up and their compatibility to the physical efforts can be gauged

through genetic testing. This test at DGL is as simple and hassle-free as a normal blood test and

turnaround time is 4 weeks. It is recommended for all the people above 18 years of age. It is indeed

necessary to know about our genetic endurance to the exercise so that we can alter our workout

regime accordingly.

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