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DNAFit Blog

Training To Your Genes: Power Bias

Posted 122 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics


Your power/endurance profile can give you a deep insight into the way to get the maximum results out of your training by adjusting to where you fall on the spectrum. This week, we focus on power bias and what this means for you.

When you first see your power/endurance profile it is important to note that this spectrum does not suggest that you’ll be better at power sports than endurance sports or vice versa. What it gives us an indication of is what your body is likely to adapt to in terms of body fat % decrease and muscle mass development from a genetically predisposed point of view.

In terms of response we mean: if you focused more on endurance activities you would improve/increase/maintain in muscle tone/very lean muscle mass with endurance based weight (high repetition weight) training and will have a greater fatigue resistance ability over a longer period of time. If you focused on power training- the response you would see is favourable muscle growth and great muscular speed, power and explosive development.

Training To Your Genes – Power-Bias

You’ll know that the insights that genetic testing can offer you can be invaluable in terms of your athletic fitness and training programme. You’re able to move away from the one-size-fits-all approach and tackle your training empowered by the knowledge about your genetic information that the DNA test gives you. The main aspect of the DNAFit fitness report includes an algorithm based on a combination of genes that tells you whether you respond better to power, endurance or mixed training.

What Does It Mean For Me?

Here we’ll be taking you through some of the best exercises to do if you’re a power responder but first, what exactly does this power response mean?

Being a power responder, naturally, means that your body responds better to exercises that are high in intensity and short duration which can be centred around big movements and heavy weights. You can deal with the strain of lifting more and you thrive on the intensity of it. Although it’s all about the big, the DNA test doesn’t intend to disillusion you from doing exercises that you like. Essentially the power response means that you’ll see bigger gains if you do sets with lower reps and heavier weights, around 80-100% of 1RM. By taking this into account you’re able to refocus your efforts in the gym, changing the way you normally train without, for instance, moving away from the cardio that you love to becoming a weight lifter. 


Olympic lifts require a high level of technique and skill. Its can improve your cardiovascular system, strength and muscular coordination, development and size as well as great improvements of rate of force development.

Exercises include:

-       Power/hang cleans

-       Squats

-       Clean pulls

-       Push-presses

-       Bench presses

-       Deadlifts

-       Snatch

-       Split jerk

Make sure proper technique is followed or you may pick up an injury.

Plyometric exercises are designed to train your muscles for maximum force production in the smallest period of time, which is exactly what you’re designed for. The reps are normally low, while the intensity and effort is high. Ideal for improving muscular power, speed and explosiveness and rate of force development.

Exercises include:

-       Plyometric push-ups

-       Box jumps

-       Burpees

-       Bounding

-       Plyo squats

-       Depth jumps

-       Hurdle jumps

-       Medicine ball throws

Sprints - To run a short distance at near maximal speed definitely taxes your anaerobic system, making it one of the purest power activities there is to do. A way to include sprinting for its purpose of demolishing your anaerobic system can come about in 2 general ways: SIT or Sprint Interval Training - this includes sprinting at maximal effort for a duration between 8 - 20 seconds then resting between 3 - 8 minutes then repeating this sequence for about  12 times in a session. An easier variation to include, especially useful for beginners is just your general HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training where you’ll run at near maximal speed (about 80% of your max heart rate) for 20 seconds then resting for 20 seconds and repeating the sequence for a duration between 15 - 30 minutes. Feel free to adjust the work to rest ratio to suit your fitness level!

Exercise circuits like modifications of tabata or circuit training are also a great way to train the genetically predisposed power responders. The major benefit is that they can be done anywhere, help burn fat, are time efficient and are a good combination of cardio and strength. You get a great workout since it involves compound movements meaning numerous joints and muscles are engaged.

Generally those with a high response to power can include relatively heavy weights within these sessions and exercises can vary from simplistic lifts to more complex lifts.

Exercises include:

-       Push-ups

-       Lunges

-       Squats

-       Burpees

-       Mountain climbers



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