The end of workouts that don’t work – DNAFit launches first gene-bespoke exercise programmes

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Scientists have launched the world’s first bespoke diet and fitness programmes based on your DNA, to help make them more effective.

“As a Trainer, I want to know as much as I can to make my clients perform better." - Matt Roberts, celebrity trainer

DNAFit has launched the world’s first bespoke fitness programmes based on your DNA.

The DNAFit exercise programmes - DNAFit Run, DNAFit Cycle and DNAFit Gym - will help runners, cyclists and gym goers ‘train smart’ and unlock their true athletic potential by detecting what type of exercise is best for them.

To tie in with the launch, a survey of 1,000 gym goers found only half (53%) think their workouts are working and 79% could be putting themselves at serious risk of injury by not following professional exercise plans.

63% said they made up their own plan with a further 1 in 7 (14.5%) admitting “I don’t really know what I’m doing.” Only 21% said they followed a plan set by the gym or a personal trainer.

And 54% of gym goers have stopped regularly going to the gym because they’re busy at work (30%), are too tired (29%), it’s too expensive (21%) and they failed to see the results (13%).

The DNAFit programmes have been developed by UK-based Lasarow Healthcare Technologies to help runners, cyclists and gym goers reach their true sporting potential. This is done by testing a body’s genetic ability to cope with power and endurance, assessing the injury risk of getting soft tissue or tendon damage and how much time is needed to recover between sessions.

The technology will help identify and develop the elite athletes of tomorrow by tailoring their training to their genes. Having the right genes has been estimated by scientists to account for 66% of athletic success. 1

The DNAFit products are ordered either online or through a DNAFit Accredited Personal Trainer and once a person has completed a mouth swab to collect their DNA, it’s sent away for genetic testing. They will then receive a bespoke 27 page three month fitness programme with dietary, training and recovery recommendations as well as online support from personal trainers and nutritionists.

The majority of genes tested by DNAFit reflect an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. In total 20 genes and their variants are tested – including ACTN3, the so called ‘power gene’. A test of Olympian power athletes revealed all had a variant of this gene.2

These genes split into three categories that will tell you your:

1.    Power and Endurance potential
2.    Injury Risk
3.    Recovery requirement

When a person receives their DNAFit report, they will be classified as a: Power, Mixed Power/Endurance or Endurance 'type', with a profile of their body’s soft tissue and recovery disposition.

Power-based athletes are most likely to excel at events that require rapid bursts of power such as weight lifting, power lifting, sprinting and possibly body building.

Endurance-based athletes, on the other hand, are most likely to excel at long distance events like road running, long-distance cycling and gym challenges that have no breaks in the routine.
They are the individuals most likely to become invigorated from back-to-back aerobics classes, but may struggle with high-intensity weight lifting.

Mixed Power/Endurance athletes should experience the best of both worlds: they can cope with reasonable duration of exercise, but not as much as endurance types and they can produce a decent turn of speed, but not as much as the power types. These people would suit middle distance running.

Other insights from DNAFit’s OnePoll survey of 1,000 gym goers revealed:

  •     Only half (53%) think their workouts work, 30% don’t know and 17% think they’re not
  •     68% of people go to improve their fitness, 61% go to tone up and 52% to lose weight
  •     Gym goers spend an average of three hours a week at the gym – 30 minutes more than NHS recommendation
  •     They spend the most time doing cardio work (42.5%) but that’s nearly half of woman (49.3%) compared to just a third of men (34.5%)
  •     Just over a quarter of all gym goers (26.8%) spend equal amounts of time using all machines
  •     A quarter of men (25.9%) spend most of their time on weights compared to only 7.2% of women, in spite of an increasing trend for woman to use weights to tone up
  •     43% of men think if they had an exercise plan that brought out their full potential they could have been professional sportsmen compared to 31% of women
  •     People spend on average £25 per month (or £300 a year) on gym and classes
  •     Most men would like a gym body like Daniel Craig (28%) or David Beckham (27%) followed by Gerard Butler (15%) Tom Daley (9.5%) Usain Bolt (9%)
  •     Women would most like to have a body like Kelly Brook (20%), followed by Holly Willoughby (16.5%), Olympic Gold Winner Jessica Ennis (16%) Kate Middleton (13%) and Pippa Middleton (11.5%). Ennis has slipped to third after a post Olympic bounce last October that had her as the favourite body, showing women are now wanting a more curvier figure
  •     Twice as many men as women go to the gym to look at the opposite sex (6.3% to 3.1%) and the same ratio go to find a new partner. (4.4% of men to 2% of women)

Celebrity Personal Trainer Matt Roberts added: “The trend in the fitness industry is for an increasing amount of personal data to define how we train. It is clear to me that understanding your DNA will form the bedrock of how programming will in future be carried out, whether your goal is to lose weight, perform better or prevent injury.

“There are many people who have struggled to achieve their fitness and wellness goals and, now, by understanding more clearly how we individually work, that struggle may be over.

“As a Trainer, I want to know as much as I can to make my clients perform better, whether they are day one beginners or international sports stars. Personally, I want to know how to get the most out of my own sports performance. DNA analysis gives me the best chance of achieving both.”

Dr Daniel Meyersfeld, who oversaw the development of DNAFit, said: “The DNAFit genetic test is aimed at both the elite athlete and the recreational fitness enthusiast looking to gain maximum return from their training time. We analyse genes that encode physiological factors such as circulation, blood pressure control, strength, cardio-pulmonary capacity, muscle fibre type specialisation, cardiac output, muscle and adaptability to training regimes.

“That means we can find out where your performance potential lies. Are you a sprinter or should you be spending hours training for marathons? Are you a long distance cyclist or a time trial specialist?

“Recent events in the news have shown the dangers of training without professional advice. I find it remarkable nearly 80% could be putting themselves at potential risk from gym injuries by following DIY exercise plans.

“The beauty of DNAFit is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each plan is tailored to a person’s individual ability to cope with exercise, assesses the risk of potential injury and how much time their body needs to recover,” said Dr Meyersfeld, who is CEO of DNAlysis Biotechnology and sits on the scientific advisory board of DNAFit.

Avi Lasarow, founder of Lasarow Healthcare Technologies, added: “This will revolutionise exercise as we know it. It means people will be able to work out more effectively, reduce the risk of injury and know that the plan they’re following is the right one for them.

“We know that 66% of our athletic potential is down to our genes. The DNAFit plans will help gym goers, runners and cyclists release their inner athlete!”

People can find out more about the products at http://www.dnafit.com.

For interviews email jen.roberts(at)commucan(dot)com or telephone 0207 549 0732.

References
1. Genome-Wide Linkage Scan for Athlete Status in 700 British Female DZ Twin Pairs (September 2007) - Marleen H. M. De Moor, Tim D. Spector, Lynn F. Cherkas, Mario Falchi, Jouke Jan Hottenga, Dorret I. Boomsma, and Eco J. C. De Geus

2 ACTN3 Genotype Is Associated with Human Elite Athletic Performance (July 2003)
Nan Yang, Daniel G. MacArthur, Jason P. Gulbin, Allan G. Hahn, Alan H. Beggs, Simon Easteal, and Kathryn North
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1180686/

Case study - Lucy Collins, 32,

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Jen Roberts

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