DNA of sports: What can genes tell us about our athletic and running potential?

| | July 10, 2017

Imagine someone had tested my genes as a podgy kid and told me: [S]orry, it’s not through lack of effort that you are sub-mediocre [in athletics] – it’s down to your DNA. What then?

I was intrigued to find companies offering to do just that – test my DNA to determine my sporting potential...

I got in touch with DNAFit, the leading provider, and asked if they would blind-test my DNA plus a few other samples.


[W]hat can genetic testing tell us?

“What the tests and reports do is give you information on which to base your training, to have a better informed program,” [said former Olympic sprinter Craig Pickering, the company's head of sport science].

Citing one DNAFit-supported study on a small group of athletes, Pickering says that the results provide enough information to guide training, either towards power (short, sharp) or endurance (longer, slower) sessions. This insight, he says, relates to genetically determined trainability – rate of fitness gain – rather than aptitude.


According to [Athlome Project's founder, Professor Yannis Pitsiladis], although there is vast, exciting scope for genetics-guided training, the science has a very long way to go....

“Parents who’ve failed as athletes go buy this stuff, desperate for their kids to succeed … Selling direct to consumers is the problem,” [he said.]

[Note: GLP Executive Director Jon Entine has written a book on the genetics of sports: Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We're Afraid to Talk About It.]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Is running ability down to effort or DNA? And can it be proved?


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