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If you’re not seeing results in the gym, there are a lot of things you can tweak: your diet, your exercise schedule, and the types of workouts you do, to name a few. But genetics is also a big factor. We’ve all had that thought on bad days: Maybe I’m just not cut out to succeed at this.
There are genes for aerobic fitness and for muscular power, for adaptability to training, and for the size and shape of your body. To understand how your DNA affects your fitness, we talked to someone who has extensively studied this exact question: Stephen Roth, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland. The gist is this: We each draw something different in the genetic lottery, but we can always improve on what we’ve got.
Here are some ballpark figures on heritability of athletic traits. The higher the heritability, the more you can blame genes, rather than training, for the difference between a couch potato and a star athlete.
- Aerobic fitness: about 40-50 percent heritable
- Strength and muscle mass: about 50-60 percent heritable
- Your mix of “slow twitch” and “fast twitch” muscle fibers (basically, whether your muscles are better at endurance or sprinting): about 45 percent heritable
- Height: about 80 percent heritable
- Competing in sports, at all: 66 percentheritable.
Read full, original post: How Much Does Genetics Really Affect Your Fitness?