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Highs & Lows, Using (and not using) Genetics in Elite Sport

Posted 121 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Industry News

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3487 Posted 147 Days Ago in: Training

Creatine and training

Creatine is a supplement that is used by weight lifters and athletes in order to increaser their performance levels, especially when it comes to high intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance training. It pulls water into the muscles and has been shown to increase people’s size, but there is no use in taking it and then not putting in the effort in the gym or on the sports field as you will quickly lose that water weight. The thinking behind why creatine is essential for performance is that it also assists with explosive power and if you are able to lift those one or two reps more at a higher weight every time you train then you will indeed see bigger gains, because of the overall effort that you’re putting in.

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3486 Posted 151 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

Food that can reduce inflammation

You see all those athletes and exercise models on Instagram? What if we told you that they suffer from the same thing as you do? Inflammation happens to everyone, it is part of our body’s natural response to damaged tissues and also plays a role in the immune system response. With modern day advances we are now able to see just how much inflammation you’re likely to feel from a strenuous bout of activity through the analysis of your genes. At DNAFit we look at four genetic inflammatory markers - IL6, IL6R, CRP and TNF. Variations in these genes give us a clue if you are predisposed to suffer significantly increased levels or slightly increased levels of inflammation. Knowing your predisposition of this biological phenomenon can make big differences to your training and even more so to your recovery strategies which necessitate your training schedule and ultimately your goals.

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3484 Posted 165 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

DNAFit Fitness Report FAQs

We’ve tested a lot of people at DNAFit over the years, and we’ve also got a lot of questions regarding our reports. In this article, our Head of Sport Science Craig Pickering is going to try and cover the answers to the most common questions regarding the fitness report, in the hope that it can increase people’s understanding of what it offer.

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3482 Posted 168 Days Ago in: Training

What is total body resistance training?

Total body resistance training, or TRX, was developed for people who can train anytime anywhere. TRX suspension training engages muscles that you didn’t even know you had! It can be done to strengthen all the muscles of your body and, most importantly, your core because you will be required to use your bodyweight to complete the movements. You can use TRX to do chest press, bicep curls, leg raises, rows and much more while only using your own power. The value in doing such training is that you will be activating your innate strength and creating resistance, making it different from normal bodyweight exercises.

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3480 Posted 175 Days Ago in: Training

Exercise for stress relief

Stress plays a major role in society and can be crippling to some, resulting in them underachieving and just not feeling up to it. It can affect our lives in various ways and is a symptom of society that needs to be stopped, one way or another.

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3478 Posted 183 Days Ago in: Training

Endorphins and Exercise

That feel-good feeling associated with exercise can be directly correlated to chemicals in the brain that stimulate the body to feel this way. These neurochemicals are known as endorphins and are produced in the brain as a reaction to stress and pain. They minimise the negative impact both of these can have on your wellbeing – mind and body – and can also lead to feelings of euphoria in some cases. One of these cases is during exercise. An interview with J. Kip Matthews goes on to explain how "endorphins are also involved in natural reward circuits related to activities such as feeding, drinking, sexual activity and maternal behaviour.”

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3475 Posted 196 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

How To Simplify Your Training?

Simplifying your training doesn’t mean making it easier… Making your training easier or taking shortcuts is a one-way ticket to poor results, plateauing and losing interest in a regular training regime. All the things that are counterproductive, offering no value to your life and adding to the frustration you may sometimes feel at just not making the progress that you expected to make when you first started training and everything was bright, shiny and new. What you always need to be aware of are your goals and that whether you want to get lean, build muscle, or burn fat the principle of making your training to easy-to-understand and follow will never change.

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3472 Posted 218 Days Ago in: Training

What is prehab and should you do it?

Prehabilitation describes a systematic approach to identifying common injuries within a specific sport or training regime and then designing an appropriate series of exercises that work toward minimizing their incidence. The identification of common injuries would thus lead to exercises targeting to certain body parts, such as the knees, shoulders, and neck that are at high risk when competing in sport. With this proactive approach to sport and exercise, these body parts with be strengthened and conditioned to the excessive amounts of strain that they undergo.

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3461 Posted 231 Days Ago in: Training

Is breathing important for your workout?

Breathing is often overlooked when people are trying to improve their performance levels. There is so much focus on physical training and diet that we do not take into account that breathing correctly during exercise is important as well. Breathing not only helps with allowing more oxygen to enter into your circulatory system but it also acts as an aid to improving your posture. Inhale deeply, allowing your belly to fill up, and then exhale. You will find that your posture when breathing correctly significantly improves, rather than if you were hunched over performing shallow breathing, or the type of breathing that we do not even take notice of.

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3440 Posted 249 Days Ago in: Training

What is the best way to train for a marathon?

As with any type of training, marathon training is about understanding and respecting what our bodies can handle whilst simultaneously aiming to maximize response in all the areas that can give us a performance benefit when race day comes. Increasingly, it is less about simply running as many miles as we can, and more about getting the most out of the miles that we actually do run.

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3436 Posted 273 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 282 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 298 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 301 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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3426 Posted 312 Days Ago in: Training

Phototherapy and exercise performance

Athletes are always looking for anything that can give them an edge in their training and competition. Quite often, this leads to new ideas and practices being formed, such as the use of ice baths after training, or high protein diets, which become part of everyday training practices for elite and recreational athletes alike. Every now and again, a certain technique or supplement is developed which doesn’t quite have the same take-up, perhaps because it is difficult to do, or because the research isn’t well publicised.

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3422 Posted 326 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

The Impact of the Gut on Sports Performance

The human body is a complex interaction of a number of different systems. When it comes to exercise, we tend to be interested in the physiological systems, such as the cardiovascular system (the heart, arteries and veins, which transport blood, and therefore nutrients, to our working muscles), the pulmonary system (the lungs, which allow us to absorb the oxygen that our cardiovascular system transports), and the musculoskeletal system, which allows us to move.

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3418 Posted 329 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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3417 Posted 332 Days Ago in: Training

New tech aiding training and recovery

In this day and age, we are surrounded with various bits and pieces of technology that promise to improve our fitness. This can range from the very cheap to the very expensive, with everything in between. In this article, I take a look at some of these pieces of technology that you can use to improve your training performance.

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3416 Posted 336 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 345 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 346 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 350 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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3408 Posted 354 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

How to build healthy habits?

As I write this, it’s coming to the beginning of February. This means that, for most people reading this, their New Years Resolutions will already be broken. It’s estimated that fewer than 10% of people are able to stick to their resolutions each year. If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in fitness and health, which means that your resolutions are likely fitness or health orientated. Failing to meet these new resolutions, which happens to most people, can have serious consequences, especially given that close to a third of people in the UK are classed as obese, and many don’t get sufficient exercise.

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3407 Posted 357 Days Ago in: Training

How often should you exercise?

A major question that you need answered more often than not when you start training is how often you should be training. The world is currently in a fragile balance between people into fitness and people who have allowed themselves to become too sedentary.

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3405 Posted 361 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Industry News, Nutrition

Sport Science Review 2016 Part 2

As part of my job role at DNAFit, I read a lot of different scientific papers from a wide range of disciplines within sports science. At the end of 2015, I reviewed the best bits of research I had come across in 2015 (click for Part One and Part Two), and in this two-part article I will share with you the papers that had the biggest impact on me in 2016.

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3404 Posted 364 Days Ago in: Training

What should you do after training?

Now that you’ve got the hard part out of the way, there’s probably something you’ve missed a beat on if after every gym session you’re feeling stiff and sore – which can keep you out of the gym for days. Thing is, while training is important, there are also steps that you need to take following your workout due to oxidative stress and the muscle damage that occurs that allows your body to morph into this new improved you. Recovery isn’t down to a few stretches or eating right, there are a whole myriad of factors at play here that you need to take care of to ensure that you’ll be at your peak every single day.

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3402 Posted 367 Days Ago in: Training, Industry News, Nutrition

Sport Science Review Part 1

As part of my job role at DNAFit, I read a lot of different scientific papers from a wide range of disciplines within sports science. At the end of 2015, I reviewed the best bits of research I had come across in 2015 (click for Part One and Part Two), and in this two-part article I will share with you the papers that had the biggest impact on me in 2016.

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3401 Posted 372 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

A day in the life of an athlete - Greg Rutherford

We all have different careers and unique day-to-day activities, but having a normal day job and a routine makes our days similar to each other. What’s interesting though, is finding out what those people who do things a little differently do every day. We connected with Olympic gold medal winner and Greg Rutherford MBE to find out what a day in the life of a professional athlete is like.

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3400 Posted 375 Days Ago in: Nutrition

How does it feel to go vegetarian for a month?

Our content writer Daniel volunteered to go meat-free for a month. Here's how he managed to cope and how it affected his everyday life and training.

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3399 Posted 384 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

Your New Year's Resolutions

Have you made your New Year’s resolution list yet? Love’em, or hate’em, they have been around for a while. History tells us that the origin of New Year’s resolutions is attributed to Babylonians in Mesopotamia some 4000 years ago. But it wasn't any New Year’s celebration. Resolutions were made over 12 days in March/April during the festival of Akitu. It is indicated that promises were made to the gods in the hope that these people would earn good favour in the coming year. This was even in the time before New Year’s was on January 1st, which was only established by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. and then cemented by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582.

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3394 Posted 399 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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3389 Posted 410 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 415 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 420 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 424 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 427 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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3382 Posted 431 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 28 - PPARGC1A

This week to turn our attention to PPARGC1A, or as we call it at DNAFit, “the one with the long name”. This gene encodes for a protein called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1a), which causes some of the positive changes that occur in our body following exercise. One of the ways that exercise can lead to improvements is through something called mitochondrial biogenesis, which is the production of new mitochondria within the muscle itself.

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3381 Posted 434 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

Should you eat before or after your workout?

Exercise, in reality, is only optimally beneficial when coupled with a perfectly balanced diet. So while we all spend the day eating and staying active, it makes sense that what we actually need to be eating for the best results, should be a priority. But what do should you eat before your workout, and after, to ensure that you’re giving yourself the best chance of reaching your goals?

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3378 Posted 441 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 448 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 451 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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3373 Posted 455 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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3371 Posted 459 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 24 - NRF2

This week we look in depth at NRF-2, a gene that appears in our power-endurance panel. This gene creates nuclear respiratory factor 2, which plays a role in allowing some of the improvements that happen following endurance training, including increases in the number of mitochondria we have, a process called mitochondrial biogenesis. There are a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within this gene, but the one we are most interested in is rs7181866, as this one has the most evidence supporting its inclusion in our panel.

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3369 Posted 469 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 473 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 480 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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3363 Posted 484 Days Ago in: Training, Industry News

How good is your fitness tracker actually?

In the last few days, various media outlets, have been reporting on a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, headed up by lead researcher John Jakicic, which shows that your brand new wearable device may not be the miraculous answer to losing weight – but is this really a surprise?

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3362 Posted 485 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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3361 Posted 487 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 20 - AGT

This week, we turn our attention in this blog to AGT, a gene that appears in both our fitness and diet reports. This gene plays a role in how well we respond to power-based training, and so appears in our power-endurance profile, and also plays a role in blood pressure control, and hence appears in our salt sensitivity section. AGT is similar to ACE, a gene we looked at earlier in this series, in that it creates a protein that can cause our blood pressure to go up or down – the protein in this case being called angiotensinogen.

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3360 Posted 491 Days Ago in: Training

Can you train while pregnant?

Training while pregnant is possible. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. During your pregnancy you’ll need to lower the intensity of your workouts but it doesn’t mean that you can’t stay in shape. In fact, if you’re already on a fitness regime and continue it throughout the period that you’re pregnant for it can also be highly beneficial to you and your baby.

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3358 Posted 497 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Genetics or training - what is the secret to becoming a star athlete?

Amongst all the records, achievements and scandals at Rio 2016, a small piece of history was written. Leila, Liina and Lily Luik from Estonia became the first identical triplets to compete against each other in a single event – the marathon. If this wasn’t proof enough that athletic talent runs in the family, there were at least 36 sets of siblings competing in the Rio Olympics, showcasing family dominance at the Summer Games.

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3356 Posted 501 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 18: PPARA

In this week's edition of our blog, we look at PPARA, a gene that affects how well we can respond to different types of training, and as a result appears in our power-endurance algorithm. PPARA creates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha, a protein which activates other genes, as well as being a regulator of fatty acid oxidation during exercise. The gene is activated when our cells aren’t getting enough energy, such as when we fast, or when we take part in exercise that uses up our energy stores, such as endurance exercise.

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3353 Posted 508 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 17: VEGF

This week, we look at a gene that plays a role in both the power/endurance and aerobic trainability aspect of our report. This gene is VEGF, and it creates Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, which plays a role in the creation of new blood vessels. This is a useful adaptation to aerobic training, because more blood vessels around the muscle mean better, more efficient transport of oxygen, as well as fuel sources such as carbohydrates and fats, to the muscle; this in turn improves how well a person can use oxygen and exercise aerobically. When we exercise, our muscle cells quite often don’t get as much oxygen as they need. This causes the VEGF gene to be “turned on”, with transcription upregulated and more VEGF formed – leading to this increased growth of new blood vessels.

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3352 Posted 511 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Alcohol and Diet - why there's more to it than just empty calories

The rise of clubs, bars serving craft everything, festivals and sports events have given rise to the modern drinking culture, with plenty of opportunities to binge. But if you put a premium on health, want to build muscle, lose weight or reduce the risk of diseases associated with regular alcohol consumption then reducing your intake can be beneficial. With social pressures, and the enjoyment factor, it’s unrealistic to expect to cut out alcohol all together, but these tips and tricks can give you some pointers to keep your consumption in check.

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3349 Posted 518 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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3343 Posted 522 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 15 - IL-6

This week, we turn our attention to IL-6, a gene that appears in a number of our trait reports – it can affect the power-endurance response, recovery speed, injury risk, and omega-3 requirements.

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3341 Posted 526 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Professional athletes and stress- how do they cope?

Everyone around the world is getting sport fever. The Olympics are back! Here at DNAFit we’ve done a little investigation into what role stress plays in athletic performance during the Olympics, and how the world’s top athletes deal with pressure to still go for the gold in their quest to be the best. We’ve drawn from a variety of theories to paint you a comprehensive picture of the complicated relationship between athletic performance and stress and the different ways in which it manifests.

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3338 Posted 532 Days Ago in: Training

Top fitness tech used by professional athletes

Technology has entrenched itself in the sports industry, becoming a crucial component to achieving optimum performance. The newest tech has advanced to the point where anyone can use it to improve their lifestyles and stay at their peak. While we’re all pretty clued up about the latest trendy tech wearables, we thought it’d be cool to really delve a little deeper into the technology being used at the highest level. With the Olympics coming up we’re all a bit athlete crazy. Here are a few top-of-the-range, high-end and revolutionary training technologies used by professional athletes to aid their fitness and sports performance.

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3336 Posted 536 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus: Part 13 - ADRB2

This week we turn our attention to a gene called ADRB2, which plays a role in response to exercise, VO2max trainability, and sensitivity to both fats and carbohydrates. When talking about ADRB2, we are actually interested in two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found in the gene, given the imaginative and catchy names of Arg16Gly and Gln27Glu. This gene codes for something called the beta-2 adrenergic receptor, whose job it is to bind to adrenaline.

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3335 Posted 539 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

How to reach your peak performance?

We tasked our DNAFit sports scientist with giving us insight into what athletes do in terms of their fitness and nutrition in order to stay at the highest level and always be on top of their game. Below you’ll find helpful tips and tricks to implement into your own daily life regarding what you eat and how you exercise, so that you too can reach peak performance and fulfil your fitness potential.

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3332 Posted 548 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Eating too much VS Eating too little

Food, we all love it, from limp, steamed green beans to thick, medium rare steaks with a pulse, there may be nothing more diverse but collectively loved than food in this world. We all know how great the perfect soft serve ice cream tastes, sprinkled with Oreos or a large popcorn from the movies covered in salt and butter, accompanied by an extra-large multi-flavoured slush is. It also goes without saying that if you want to keep trim, healthy and feeling great then you can’t indulge too much in all of this.

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3331 Posted 550 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene in Focus - Part 11: CRP

The next gene to be put under our spotlight is CRP. This gene affects both the aerobic trainability and recovery aspects of our report, as well as playing a role in the DNAFit Peak Performance algorithm. Small changes within this gene cause changes in the amount of CRP we would expect each person to have, both at baseline and following exercise. CRP stands for C-Reactive Protein, which is a marker for inflammation.

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3330 Posted 555 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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3327 Posted 568 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Are Antioxidants Important For Training?

We’ve all heard the word “antioxidant” but what does it even mean? Antioxidants are the front line in defense when it comes to combating free radicals that contribute to cell damage. They neutralize the effects of these free radicals, which are produced by your body, and reduce oxidative damage, which has been linked to degenerative diseases. But are antioxidants important when training?

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3325 Posted 570 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 582 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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3322 Posted 567 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Are you a Power or Endurance responder?

Do you struggle too find the right training method for your goals? You've probably come across all sorts of different advice offering the new best workout that will change everything. Every fitness craze effectively prescribes a one-size-fits-all approach for you to achieve your #FitnessGoals. What works for one is often less effective for another - that's because we're all different, and so is the way we respond to training.

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3320 Posted 589 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

6 Health Myths vs Reality

Do you ever occasionally feel as though everything that you’re told is an intricate system of lies and truths that whirl around in a spiral of fact and fiction, accepted and rejected? If your answer is no then surely you’re in on the cosmic joke. More often than not we find fads and what exactly is socially acceptable at the time moving in and out of popularity in the public sphere and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

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3318 Posted 595 Days Ago in: Training

10 habits to help you avoid overeating

Overeating is one of the main causes of depression and feelings of lethargy in humans today, which is never a good thing as it seems as though the rest of the world is geared towards staying fit and healthy. But when food is so tasty and excites the senses as your chewing and digesting it, how is it possible to stop from going from enjoying it to essentially becoming a glutton? Well, we’ve got a few tips for you that are actually very easy to follow. None of these crash courses that you feel overwhelmed by and are daunting to read. No, simply a few alterations to make during meal times to put the power back into your eating habits. See, you’re feeling better already!

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3316 Posted 602 Days Ago in: Training

What Happens to Your Body When You Run a Marathon?

Running a marathon is a huge physical and mental challenge and those 26.2 miles are going to have a big impact on your body, from your brain to your big toe. While most runners will be aware of the potential for cramp, sprains and sheer exhaustion there are other body consequences that you may not expect.

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3314 Posted 604 Days Ago in: Training

The Health Benefits of Regular Cardio Training

When you’re huffing, puffing and working up a sweat on the treadmill, it can seem like a lot of pain to burn just a couple of hundred calories. But cardio is about much more than burning energy. By getting your heart pumping hard you can feel better, improve your health, protect yourself against chronic disease and live longer. Cardio, short for cardiovascular, is any activity that speeds up your heart rate and increases your blood circulation. Whether you like to cycle, run, swim, dance or mix it up, cardio should be a key part of any fitness routine and a vital part of everyone’s life.

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3312 Posted 609 Days Ago in: Training

Fitness trackers - are they useful or just another gadget?

The nation’s Christmas stockings bulged with Fitbits, Jawbones and the like, promising to lead us to a leaner, lither and more healthy 2016. The wristbands or widgets, which monitor steps taken, calories burnt, heart rate and even sleep quality are hugely popular, but does the evidence support the hype? The sale of fitness tracking devices has grown exponentially, with sales of a £1.3 billion last year and some analysts predicting a staggering $50 billion by 2019. But recent research suggests that they may not be worth the investment.

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3310 Posted 613 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Industry News

A genetic based algorithm for personalized resistance training

The idea behind the research was to validate the algorithm DNAFit use to determine the best type of training for each person. We all know intuitively that we respond different to the same training; if you’ve ever had a training partner I’m sure its fair to say that you both did not see exactly the same improvements. The difference in improvements between individuals is partly genetic, and research in recent years has focused on identifying genes that can play a role in training response.

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3307 Posted 620 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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3304 Posted 626 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Gene In Focus - Part 2: COL5A1

The next gene in this series is another one that appears in two separate sections – COL5A1. This gene can have an effect on endurance performance and also injury risk; but the allele that increases injury risk also improves endurance performance; one of nature’s cruel jokes.

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3295 Posted 646 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Cortisol, stress and exercise

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is released into the bloodstream by the adrenal glands in a natural rhythm with our body’s sleep cycle. It peaks in the early morning helping us bounce out of bed and gradually falls, reaching a trough at 3 or 4 am when we should be soundly asleep.

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3293 Posted 704 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

Use your warm up wisely

For most of us, the need to warm up is two-fold: to enhance performance and prevent injury. Yet it’s often deemed a necessary evil. We all know it makes sense to raise your body temperature, increase your heart rate and circulation, loosen your joints and stretch your muscles before you play sport or exercise, but how often do we really take it seriously? Are we getting the most out of our warm ups? Are they making us better?

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3291 Posted 710 Days Ago in: Training

GPS – the tech that’s tailoring training

Although many professional teams have used GPS devices during training to monitor training loads and the fitness levels of their players, the sport will now join a host of others including rugby, Australian and American football, allowing teams to collect pin-point performance data during competitive matches. So how does it work?

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3288 Posted 750 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Industry News

Craig Pickering's Sports Science Review 2015 - Part 2

Welcome back to my Sports Science Review of 2015, yesterday we looked at some of my favourite findings in sports science from this year. If you missed it, take a look here. Today we're rounding up, looking at the latest findings in these areas: The ACTN3 Gene, Ice Baths, Stretching and Can You Outrun a Bad Diet?

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3287 Posted 751 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Industry News

Craig Pickering's Sports Science Review 2015 - Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of my review of the best sports science research in 2015. Note – by best, obviously I mean most interesting to me. Sports science is a large field, and can creep over into other disciplines also. Conducting a review on all the sports science-based research conducted in 2015 would be very time consuming, so just take this as it is. That said, hopefully this provides a nice overview of some contemporary issues in sports science at the moment.

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