Finding my FitnessGenes
Part of why I’m into fitness and nutrition is because I like to nerd out on science and I’m fascinated by the body. On the flip side, I fully believe in the power of intuition and trusting your gut–we can intensely know ourselves if we just listen.
I recently did the FitnessGenes test and I was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered: ultimately, what I knew about my fitness and nutrition inherently was only confirmed by what my genetic testing told me! I, of course, learned a lot of new information since they test you for 41 fitness and nutrition focused genes. From that point on they recommend plans for you based on your genetic testing. Basically, working out and eating for how your genes will respond best. Dope.
(I’m excited that I’ll be an affiliate with them this new year, so when my clients purchase I can tailor my programming even more specifically to their needs. So exciting! But back to the test and my results…)
Honestly, I thought before doing this that genetic testing took a lot more–blood work or a scan maybe? But it couldn’t have been easier. Just a spit, a shake and a send off to the mailbox and it was all done. My results were then in my FitnessGenes account a couple weeks later–41 little insights to the inner workings of my body that I didn’t know before.
Here are some of my genetic highlights that also reaffirmed things I “already knew about myself.”
I love endurance and high-intensity workouts as well as both cardio and strength training.
Here’s why: I have double alleles for the “endurance athlete and increased VO2 max” CKM gene as well as double alleles for the “sprinter” ACTN3 speed gene. On the flipside, I also have double alleles for the “increased muscle strength” ACVR1B gene as well as two copies of the normal CNTF gene which leads to higher strength values, especially in women. (Nothing like your genes confirming that you’re a strong female…wink, wink.)
So, when people ask, what do you like to do to work out and I annoyingly answer, “everything really!” well, I mean it. I find it fun to do all different types of workouts and upon reflecting about this more, it’s probably why I’ve attained many different certifications over the years and why my Feel This Burn method is a hybrid of different styles–dance, pilates, yoga, strength training, cardio, etc.
FitnessGenes recommended I take up more workouts like CrossFit (eek!) to see how I fare–they thought I’d be impressed with how I did in that method realm. Maybe something to try this year?
Caffeine and I have a tricky relationship.
Here’s why: I have two copies of the “slow metabolizer” CYP1A2 gene that’s associated with caffeine. FitnessGenes said it takes me at least 30 minutes for it to kick in versus the instant buzz some people get. This is partially why I gave up coffee for so long: I would notice instantly how the acidity bothered my stomach and not focus on any energy it eventually provided down the road. I gave up coffee for a couple years (after I used to heavily rely on it) and became a tea drinker (the best!). I’ve recently started introducing mushroom coffee or cold brews (they’re less acidic) a couple times a week before workouts or teaching and it’s extremely helpful. Coffee and I were in a serious relationship, then we broke up and now we’re getting back together.
Mornings are my jam.
Here’s why: I have two “early bird” alleles for the CLOCK gene. Not only am I more apt to be a morning person, but my workouts are more effective in the morning. This is all naturally true for me too. Though I like many different workouts, I don’t like working out at night–it feels tiresome to me, like I’m moving through molasses. Then, not to mention, I’m all jazzed up and can’t fall asleep. No bueno when you have sessions in the 6am hour.
When I’m sore, I feel it deeply and for a prolonged time.
Here’s why: I have two copies of the “slow lactic acid clearing” gene MCT1, so my muscles fatigue more quickly. FitnessGenes recommended to take more recovery time between sets and to increase my overall recovery time between high intensity workouts to ensure the lactic acid to clears. The increased recovery time between sets is super helpful to think about, but I think I naturally take more time in between HIIT workouts. If I do a HIIT class on a Tuesday, you’ll probably see me at yoga or pilates on a Wednesday. Doing HIIT two days in a row feels like I’m doing more harm than good and who wants to feel resentful toward a workout, amiright?
Those are just some highlights, but my general take away from all of this is empowerment. I’m empowered by the fact that my mindfulness and body awareness is not just a sham. I’m empowered by the knowledge provided by this test. And finally, I’m empowered by the fact that I now have a resource that I can return to.
So, of course, I highly recommend this. Check them out! And check in with my instagram (@feelthis___) and the blog for when I start offering a discount to my clients and followers. Cheers to knowing yourself better!