Improving My Fitness with Genetics
cognition | productivity | sports & fitness
Ralph discusses how he used genomic and activity tracking data to get better results from his fitness training. 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.
23andMe | GeneTrainer | Polar RCX5 | Withings Smart Body Analyzer
I’m going to give another of my classically unprepared but this time it’s about sport, same as before but a year’s more data and a little bit more of a message at the end of it. So this is all about how I use genetics to influence my training, so how do I improve my performance and get to my goal more easily. And we know that genetics has an effect on the way that we respond to exercise and we know what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.
So we’ve got this information in the background, and I don’t want to promote the tool too much here, so I’m going to keep that low and anyone who’s interested can go to the office hour. But these are my devices. So I use a 23andme kit, but with GenerTrainer sports watch and Scales.
And anyone who’s met me before this is my mission in life; just want to surf a lot, and so everything I do in sport is someway related to that. so you need some endurance, you need some power, you need a lot of time on your hands; you need various aspects.
So in the winter I’m mainly based in Paris and there it’s horrible, cold, and rainy so I spend a lot of time in the gym. So then I think, winter season I’m going to really boost the power. You know when I get back in the water I don’t get completely destroyed by the first wave that comes along. One thing I noticed I increased my strength pretty well. So if I keep going there, I’m doing my regime. I get some decent strength gains, but I don’t really gain a whole lot in the way of muscle. I mean I don’t gain visually much weight.
So looking at my genes what I find is that I don’t have a whole lot of advantages genetically. So if I look at the variations that are association with an improvement there I’m pretty low. So the classic thing would be I go crap, give up, go away. But actually what that means to me lifestyles more important okay.
So this is data from last year dated from this year, and so this year was actually pretty good for someone like me; I’ve got three and a half kilos more hopefully of muscle in the last four months, a part from a little bump where I went surfing. And I find that one of the most important things for me is like the speed of eating straight after doing exercise right.
What I’m doing in the gym, if I go in there and I do the same thing, I don’t get very many gains. If I start mixing things up and you know doing balances exercises and apply metric stuff and so forth I get a lot more out of it. So to recap here I don’t have a lot of advantages, and lifestyle to me seem the way that I train, even sleep as well very important that will allow me to get to my goal.
In the summer it’s a different story. Alongside the surfing I spend a lot of time on my bike, and there I just want to really you know get a lot of training volume up there. I want to be you know be able to do more on the bike.
And so looking at my genes, what I find is that I actually plateau super quickly. I get used to the exercise I’m doing very very fast. So I have some decent variations there. Some variations that push me to respond well, but as a result I get used to the exercises that I do.
So for me it’s all about changing things up, so I have to mix things like steady state training, tempo training, interval training. You know, each week has got to be composed of different types of exercise there, or otherwise I really don’t get a lot out of it. And what I’ve found is that when I do that. I increase my training load. So this is a bit quick for a graph like this, but what you take from it is that I basically ramp up my volume training over time and increase my fitness, but only when I mix it up a whole lot.
So you know to summaries this, I’m basically somebody who has got a few variants that are very useful for doing cardio exercising and endurance exercise. But I don’t get a lot out of my training unless I really really mix it up and really make it diverse. When I do that I get much more.
You know there’s a whole lot out there. You know this random list that I’ve just put on the board is the genes just from A to C that are associated in some way to changes that you respond to exercise. There’s a lot out there.
So this is one of the reasons I was inspired to build a tool to do that. and that’s all it is really to figure out what people want to do, what do there DNA say, and what can we see from their lifestyle, from their environment. When we put all of that together, then you have this kind of phenotype and genome type in the same place and this can give us a bit more information. And what we’re really going for, you know the future here is it right, and were we correct about our assumptions on the gene. This kind of feedback loop between all of this and the genetics again. And when we do that we should be able to get a lot more useful information out of it.
So this is a bit small here, but essentially my message is that you know how much is an effect is lifestyle and environment really having and how much of it is genetic. And I think an understanding of the more complex traits really depends on the tools and the stuff that we have in the QS community to really understand this.
If anyone wants to find out more, at 1:30 I’ll be doing an office hour.