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3436 Posted 272 Days Ago in: Training

How To Improve Your Flexibility?

Can you touch your toes? No bending knees are allowed! This is a question that frequently gets asked when someone’s flexibility comes into question, but it’s not only about that. If you want to become better at training, with reduced soreness, then being flexible is a key component in achieving your goals. By being flexible you won’t feel as stiff after a workout, or the following day, and you’ll be less likely to pick up niggling injuries that can disrupt your progress. What must be the main intended benefit of flexibility that is always discussed is the notion of an increased range of motion. You will be able to do exercises with more freedom, completing training that you never thought you could do before.

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3434 Posted 281 Days Ago in: Training

How effective is HIIT?

High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a method of aerobic exercise, and occasionally strength training, that is focused on intense periods of exercise and longer periods of rest than usual. For example, you would be running to almost your maximal capacity for a minute, and then resting for two minutes. This would then be continued for a period of 15 minutes (this is simply an example and, naturally, the length of exercises will vary according to your personal capabilities as the goal is not to expend all of your energy). HIIT exercises are normally not as long as regular exercises because of the high amount of energy you’re expending while “going all out”. It’s because of this that extended periods of recovery are required for your body to deal with the physiological adaptations that are occurring.

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3430 Posted 297 Days Ago in: Training

Planning Progression in Training

When we train, one of the things we want to happen is that we see improvements in our physical fitness. Whilst this isn’t the only reason most of us train (training can also reduce stress, and it can be a fun social activity), most of us do so to either perform better at sport, look better naked, or both. Being able to optimise your improvements from exercises is like baking a cake; sometimes you can overdo it, and your cake ends up ruined. Sometimes, you might underdo it, and your cake just doesn’t look ready. What we’re chasing is the Goldilocks principle; not too much, not too little, just the right amount.

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3429 Posted 300 Days Ago in: Training

Outdoor Workouts For Spring

The weather is getting better and you might start to feel like going to the gym might be waiting of the valuable time in the sun. Well why not take your workout outside? Have a look at our latest blog for some outdoor workout inspiration.

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3424 Posted 321 Days Ago in: Training

The Truth Behind Fitness Fads

The fitness industry is perhaps the main industry where consumers are constantly taken advantage of by people and companies keen to swindle them out of their hard-earned money, with the premise of providing them with a service that will give them that perfect body of rock hard abs and muscles that media messages throughout the world continuously manipulate us with. Visions of the ideal. And illusions of the real. These fads usually come and go at an alarming rate, and more often than not pull in a profit for whoever is marketing it, while people are still left without adequate results and not much else. And usually it comes as a result of a lack of common sense or desperation, which means that there’s no way your error is going to get your money back.

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3423 Posted 323 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Nutrition

The Ultimate Guide to Supplements: Part 2

When you’ve finally settled into your routine and are training regularly, you’ll start hearing about supplements you can take to increase your performance, recovery, and response to various types of exercise. The industry has exploded to the point where it is worth billions, and companies are constantly marketing products in new ways that promise to activate new muscles and make you bigger and stronger than ever before. But do these supplements actually work?

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3418 Posted 328 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

The Ultimate Guide To Supplements: Part 1

When you’ve finally settled into your routine and are training regularly, you’ll start hearing about supplements you can take to increase your performance, recovery, and response to various types of exercise. The industry has exploded to the point where it is worth billions, and companies are constantly marketing products in new ways that promise to activate new muscles and make you bigger and stronger than ever before. But do these supplements actually work?

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3416 Posted 335 Days Ago in: Training

Why do muscles hurt after training?

The exact biochemical cause of muscle soreness is not yet known, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know anything about it. We know, for example, that soreness typically occurs when you expose your body to a stress you are not used to, like trying a new exercise, workout or sport. The soreness is thought to be tied to the same microtrauma which causes muscles adapt to training. This ties in with another observation that soreness is significantly worse after eccentric training (lengthening muscles under load) which includes things like lowering weights and running downhill, and is known to cause more microtrauma than other training styles.

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3413 Posted 344 Days Ago in: Training

How To Get Your Training To Stick?

You’ve purchased the gym contract, gone a few times, spoken to friends about signing up for an upcoming race, made little white lies about how often you train, and everything’s petered out a little. That belly you wanted to lose for summer is still there, but you’ve accepted that your beach holiday may be clouded a little by self-consciousness because you just can’t get your training to stick.

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3412 Posted 345 Days Ago in: Training

Ditch The Wine, Hide The Chocolate, And Do Something To Really Get Your Partner’s Heart Racing This Valentine's Day

Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is a perfect time for a romantic dinner and an evening alone with your significant other. But, as may be aware, dinner followed by alone time is a regular occurrence for most couples so this Valentine’s Day we’re challenging you to do something a little more interesting, and challenging, for the both of you. Because the thought of staying in again for the umpteenth time should make you cringe – especially when there’s so much more you could be doing. So, without further ado, we give you our ideas for an active Valentine’s Day.

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3411 Posted 349 Days Ago in: Training

What are the best sports to get you lean?

We all have different fitness goals – some of us wants bigger muscles, some want to stay fit and improve their endurance. And some of us want to become leaner. If you’re in the last category but feel bored of going to the gym, read on! A great way to go about getting lean is playing sports. Not only are they fun, social, and foster a competitive spirit that will spill into your daily life, but they’re also extremely effective workouts where you don't even realise how much conditioning you’re allowing your body to go through. Mostly focused on cardio, the trick is to not do too much, and focus on sports that require intervals of intensity. This is because your body adapts to cardio and will become fuel efficient like never before. We’ve selected the top sports you should compete in to get the ultimate lean physique.

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3394 Posted 398 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

7 Ways Sleep Affects Your Training And Nutrition

How exactly do you stay in shape? There’s so much information going around but the key ingredients seem to be a healthy diet, coupled with aerobic exercise and strength training. Simple, right? Well, not so much… What’s the other key ingredient for losing weight, staying fit, and building muscle? The short answer – sleep. Think about when you’ve had a poor night’s sleep, for whatever reason, and then think about having to go to gym the next morning and stick to your low carb, low fat, or Mediterranean diet. More than likely, none of those things are going to be on your wishlist. And that’s because sleep massively contributes to our overall wellbeing and brain activity. Below we’ll take you through the ways in which sleep deprivation affects diet and exercise, and explain why getting enough sleep is crucial.

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3392 Posted 405 Days Ago in: Training

Best Christmas Gifts For The Friend Who's Really Into Fitness

Still trying to find a perfect gift for that friend who is really into exercise? Don’t worry, at DNAFit we specialise in this sort of thing, so take a look at five quick gift ideas for the fitness fanatic in your life that’ll be sure to go down well:

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3391 Posted 407 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Nutrition

Am I Normal? A review of over 17,000 DNAFit Results

When running customers through their DNAFit reports, a common question I am asked is “Are my results normal?” This is a tough question to answer, because it’s hard to define what normal actually is. For all the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) we test for, each individual genotype is quite common; the least common genotype occurs in about one in twenty people, which means that in the UK over three million people who have that specific version.

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3389 Posted 409 Days Ago in: Training

Gene in Focus - Part 31: IL6R

The next gene in our series of articles taking a closer look at those that make up the DNAFit reports is IL6R. This gene is closely related to IL6, which we discussed a few months ago, as it encodes for Interleukin-6 receptor, which is what IL6 binds to – influencing the action of IL6 within the body. There are two different alleles associated with this single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); the C allele and the A allele. Typically, those with at least one C allele tend to have higher levels of IL6R. This was shown in a 2004 study, whereby in a group of 70 subjects, those that were C allele carriers had significantly higher levels of IL6R. This is important because higher levels of IL6R within the blood tend to mean higher levels of IL6 too. For example, a 2007 study found that those with the CC genotype had almost 1.5 times higher levels of IL6 compared to AA genotypes, whilst AC genotypes had about 1.1 times higher levels.

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3388 Posted 414 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

Are protein shakes necessary when you're training?

If your training focus is to build or maintain muscle, then it’s good practice to support your training with increased macronutrient intake – especially protein. You can get protein from poultry, meat, seafood, eggs and a couple of other vegetarian sources, and it’s always best to aim to get the majority of your nutrition from whole foods. But if you struggle to take in enough protein through food alone, then you could benefit from getting an extra boost, and this is where protein shakes come in.

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3386 Posted 419 Days Ago in: Training

8 new fitness classes to try this winter

The world of fitness is in constant flux, rapidly changing as new techniques and exercises are fused with other recreational activities, in order to create brand new ways of training, keeping things fresh and fun. These new classes implement sports such as ballet, the inspiration of drumming, or take a revolutionary look at how to make classes such as spinning that much more engaging. Below we’ll be taking a look at new fitness classes that you should try if you’re keen on a challenge that could potential suit other interests in your life.

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3384 Posted 423 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in focus: Part 29 - TRHR

The next gene in our “Gene in Focus” series to get put under the spotlight is TRHR. This gene encodes for the thyrotropin-releasing hormone receptor, which is a receptor for a hormone called thyrotropic-releasing hormone (TRH), which is released from the hypothalamus. When TRH binds to TRHR, it causes a number of different cellular signals to occur, which in turn stimulate the thyroid gland to produce thyroxin, which in turn plays a role in the growth and development of skeletal muscle. Small changes in the TRHR gene mean that the hormone receptor is not quite as good at binding with TRH, which in turn can reduce or limit the amount of muscle that can be produced following training.

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3383 Posted 426 Days Ago in: Training

Indoor vs Outdoor Training

Many of us frequent the gym to get the majority of our exercise done, indoors, while other people prefer to take things on in the great outdoors – running, cycling, and making use of the hidden wonder the “outdoor gym”. But which one is actually better?

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3378 Posted 440 Days Ago in: Training

Yoga Poses To Help You Tone Up

You all need to know one thing before reading this: Yoga is legit exercise. Yoga may not make use of heavy weights so that you bulk up with massive muscles. And it sure doesn't stack up if you’re used to high intensity cardio sessions to get your heart pounding but it isn’t these things because it doesn't have to be.

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3376 Posted 447 Days Ago in: Training

The Guide To Training Over 40: If You Train

When we talk about training over 40 we don’t necessarily mean that when you hit 40 a switch immediately flips, resulting in you having to make drastic changes. Your body may theoretically be changing but there’s nothing like some good old fashioned lung-busting, blood pumping exercise to keep the hounds of age at bay.

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3375 Posted 450 Days Ago in: Training

The Guide To Training Over 40: Starting Out

We know how you feel… You’re older and have never really committed to training, or you may feel as though the prospect of getting in the gym or running on the road is too daunting – that’s it too late. It’s not. Although it may seem as though starting now may do more harm than good, it’s actually pretty much the opposite.

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3374 Posted 451 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 25 - TNF

This edition’s gene is TNF, which creates tumor necrosis factor. TNF is a pro-inflammatory cytokine - higher levels of TNF are associated with higher levels of inflammation, which can have an impact on various health risks, as well as our ability to recover from exercise. Higher levels of TNF following exercise are associated with higher levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP); this drives inflammation, requiring longer recovery times between hard training sessions.

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3373 Posted 454 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

The Guide To Training Over 40: What Happens To Your Body When You Get Older?

There are pros and cons as you get older, and a little more decline if you’re into training, but there are also interventions that you can make to adapt to changes and maintain a lifestyle of efficiency long into what is perceived as old age. First, we’ll take you through the changes that occur when you get older:

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3369 Posted 468 Days Ago in: Training

Have we been doing the wrong warm up this whole time?

Warming up before exercise or sport is done to prepare your body for the weighted lifts, intense running and sporting activity to come. It’s most important for sports because the movements that you make on, say, the football pitch are normally explosive and unpredictable. Think about it…

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3367 Posted 472 Days Ago in: Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 22 - BDKRB2

Our attention this week is on another gene that is found as part of our Peak Performance algorithm, which has been shown to enhance response to a resistance training programme. The gene we are focusing on this week is BDKRB2, which encodes for the bradykinin B2 receptor, which comprises one of the pathways through which bradykinin can exert its influence. Bradykinin itself is a protein that causes dilation (widening) of blood vessels, making it easier for blood to move to certain areas of the body. The effects of this gene are closely linked to the of ACE, which is a gene we met earlier in this series. Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme, which is produced by the ACE gene, also breaks down bradykinin, such that ACE II genotypes (who have lower levels of ACE) should theoretically have higher levels of bradykinin.

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3364 Posted 479 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 21: COL1A1

The next gene to be subject to our attention in this column is COL1A1, a gene that can play a role in determining your injury risk. COL1A1 encodes for Type-I collagen, which is one of the main constituents of collagen, a structural component found in ligaments and tendons.

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3362 Posted 484 Days Ago in: Training

7 awesome things your PT does for you

Being a personal trainer is more than just being the person who coaches a whole variety of people who want to build muscle, lose weight or stay fit. It’s about building a deeper relationship with people, which has to be based on trust. It’s not an easy job and it is often underestimated by a lot of gym-goers. Yes, they are fitness enthusiasts and a lot of them started just like you and me, but being a good and well-rounded personal trainer takes more than you think. PTs have to understand the way bodies work, that’s crucial but there’s also an element of psychology involved. Keeping people motivated while also satisfied with their workouts isn’t easy.

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3349 Posted 517 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

8 biggest mistakes you can make if you want bigger muscles

Whatever your fitness goal is, we all get discouraged when a heavy training regime brings us no or very little effect, especially if we can’t figure out why. Well, fear no more because DNAFit are here to bring you some mistakes that you may be making in the gym that are the reasons why your muscle building exercises aren’t working at their optimum level.

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3333 Posted 542 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Best tips to help speed up your injury recovery

It is possible to be proactive and do certain things to make you less likely to pick up injuries but they’re an ever present aspect of an athletic lifestyle. For this reason, we had a chat with our resident sports scientist who gave us few tips that can help you to get back on track faster than ever before. If you continuously struggle with injury and find that it takes forever for you to recover, then read on.

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3330 Posted 554 Days Ago in: Training

Beginners guide to exercising: Is gym really the only answer?

So you want to get fit but anyone you speak to always only mentions how well they’re lifting at gym or how the cardio they get from a spinning class or treadmill was killer. The thing is, the idea of having to go to a gym to reach your fitness potential is not appealing to you at all. The gym isn’t for everyone and although it makes getting into shape easier for a lot of people what you have to realise is that there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to go the gym route. Just like with your diet, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to optimum fitness and health.

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3325 Posted 569 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 9: VDR

The next gene in our series is VDR; the vitamin D receptor gene. This gene plays a role in how well our bodies can utilise vitamin D, which in turn can affect various different processes. Currently, VDR appears in three different sections of our report – power/endurance, vitamin D needs, and caffeine sensitivity.

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3323 Posted 581 Days Ago in: Training

10 foods that can help you get a better workout

You’re working out, eating well and are on the way to getting the results that you want but what if you knew what foods could take your results to the next level. It’s no use working out and not complementing that with a diet of the best foods for you so we’ve compiled a list of nature’s ‘superfoods’ that will not only assist you in having a better workout but also improve your pre and post-workout. We’re beginning to shift our focus past diet regimens and onwards to setting a benchmark for the healthiest diet out there. Some of these foods may be a little outlandish to you but we guarantee that they’re packed with vitamins and minerals and are essential for everyone’s health and vitality.

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3307 Posted 619 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 3: ACTN3

The next gene we are going to discuss in the focus series is ACTN3. It’s one of the most well studied genes with regards to sporting performance. ACTN3 codes for a protein that is found exclusively in the fastest kind of muscle fibres, type IIx, called a-actinin-3. Fast twitch muscle fibers can contract quickly and powerfully, and as such are linked to sprinting or weightlifting. Generally, people who are quick or strong will have plenty of type-IIx muscle fibers, whilst people who are better at long distance running will have more type-I muscle fibers (often called slow twitch muscle fibers).

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3286 Posted 717 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Alcohol and Exercise – Will you jeopardise your training by drinking?

in medium to large amounts and in close proximity to training, yes more than likely! As always there is slightly more to consider. Alcohol (ethanol) is both a drug and a nutrient (providing 7 kcal per gram), however it is not an essential part of the diet. Alcohol has effects across a wide variety of systems within the body, but for the context of this article I will focus on the effects of alcohol on training and recovery.

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3284 Posted 658 Days Ago in: Training

Can sleep be essential for your workout?

Our brain is very dependent on sleep. For many years, scientists have been wondering why sleep is necessary, and why it is essential for us to function. During the day our brains work hard, sending a lot of impulses through the nervous system and between our synapses. These impulses are essential even for basic activities like walking and breathing. But can sleep also have more impact on our bodies and our training?

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