Tag Archives: video

Ralph Pethica: Improving My Fitness With Genetics

1_RalphPethica_QS Talk 2014 Powerpoint

One interesting aspect of personal data is how it can reveal what is unique about you. Nowhere is this more true than with genetic information coming from DNA testing kits. However, people are still at an early stage on how they apply that information to their lives. Ralph Pethica, who has a PhD in genetics, was interested in what his DNA could tell him about how to train more effectively. His findings were presented as an ignite talk at the 2014 QS Europe Conference.

What did Ralph do?
Ralph loves to surf. When it is the off-season, he trains so that his body will be in good condition for when the warm weather rolls back around. He used genetic research to inform how he designed his training plans.

How did Ralph do it?
Ralph used a 23andMe kit to find out his genetic profile. He researched those genes that have been found to have an impact on fitness to see his body should respond to exercise. For example, did he possess genes that gave him an advantage in building muscle with resistance training? He then modified his training routines to take advantage of this information and monitored his results (using the Polar watch and a Withings scale) to see whether his assumptions held up.

What did Ralph learn?
Ralph found out that he has genetic disadvantages when it came to strength training. This told him that progress in this area depended more on his lifestyle. In particular, he found that eating immediately after working out was important.

When it came to cardio exercise, he had a number of genetic advantages. The unexpected downside to this is that his body adapts quickly to any training regimen, resulting in a plateau. To get around this, he varied his training plan and monitored his results. On one day, he would cycle at a steady rate, while the next, he would use high-intensity intervals. His body seemed to respond to the varied training plan and he hit fewer plateaus. Without knowing which genes he possessed, and reading current research on those genes, it is unlikely that he would have discovered these effective customizations to his training plan.

Ralph has taken what he’s learned and built a tool called Genetrainer to help people use their genetic information to inform their fitness plains. You can check it out here.

Tools: Genetrainer, 23andMe, Polar RCX5, Withings Smart Body Analyzer

Posted in Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tereza Nemessanyi on Honestly Now

Tereza Nemessanyi started quantifying herself in a time of great loneliness, after both her parents had died and she was missing their advice. She asked her friends for advice, but she found it to be polite and not always honest. So she built an app, Honestly Now, to let people anonymously ask for and give each other frank advice. In the video below, Tereza talks about what she learned from this project, including how to calibrate whether something is worth stressing about. (Filmed by the New York QS Show&Tell meetup group.)

Posted in Videos | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Quantified Self San Diego #2 Meeting Recap

On Tuesday Evening, January 18th, another inquisitive, intelligent and enthusiastic group of individuals came together to share and learn at the 2nd Quantified Self San Diego.

The event was hosted by Paula Nenn and Summer Rogers of Optimal Health and Prevention Research Foundation.  Paula attended our 1st QSSD, and was so in tune with what we were doing that she immediately offered her support by offering to host our next meeting.

After everyone socialized a bit over beverages and healthy snacks we started off the evening with a talk from Nate Heintzman, Ph.D. from Calit2 and the Biomedical Informatics Group at UCSD.

He shared information about his blood sugar as measured by the Dexcom SEVEN PLUS on an important and stressful day for him – the day he interviewed for a faculty positon.

The information from the device shows how you could appear to be diabetic, when you are actually stressed! Check out his talk on HealthGeek.TV at this link. UPDATE: (slides here) Continue reading

Posted in Meeting Recaps, Videos | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Marco Castros on the Weighting Chair

Marco Castros loves food. He’s also interested in exploring the relationship we have with food, and how it changes depending on the company we are in. Marco spoke at the last New York QS Show&Tell meetup. In the video below, he describes how he hacked his Withings scale and designed a “Weighting Chair” that records the weight of anyone who sits in it. And yes, the chair tweets.

Marco Castros – Weighting Chair – 5-10 from Steve Dean on Vimeo.

Posted in Videos | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment