How to Develop a Workout Plan Based on Your Genetics

Training Tips

How to Develop a Workout Plan Based on Your Genetics

Reading Time: 6 minutes 43 seconds

By: ISSA

Date: 2020-03-06T00:00:00-05:00


You know each client needs a personalized program to achieve results. You also know a client's unique genetic makeup plays a pivotal role in program design. So, it's important to apply the necessary techniques to complement each client's distinct DNA sequence. In doing so, you will find that clients exercise more efficiently and achieve superior results. Let's dive deeper into programming considerations and learn why they go beyond a client's goals.

What is DNA Fitness Testing?

Genetic testing varies based on the purpose of the test. Results obtained from a DNA test provide insight on a client's health risk for illness or disease, weight-loss potential, lifestyle inhibitors, prenatal or newborn issues, and anything else a client wishes to test for.

DNA fitness testing helps you know more about your client's fitness traits:

  • Weight loss potential

  • Training responses

  • Energy utilization

  • Recovery needs

  • Injury risks

Determining the genetic makeup of a client is important for designing the right program to help them achieve their fitness goals. You can help teach your clients how to make personalized plans based on their DNA tests specific to nutrition and weight. DNA tests can serve as a starting point for not just your client, but also for families to pursue a healthy lifestyle together.

What Do Genetic Testing Results Provide?

Genetic testing allows you to design the most accurate programs. These programs are a reliable predictor of clients' future success. Genetic testing improves our programming abilities and helps avoid the trial and error process associated with training new clients.

Exercise alone has a great impact on a client's lifestyle. The impact amplifies through weight loss, an improved diet, increased muscle mass, and overall better health. This promotes optimal health and well-being. Your clients' test results apply to lifestyle habits and workout plans in a way that can improve their health, diet, and quality of life.

Fat Burning Capabilities

Genetic testing provides results regarding different genotypes and how certain genes influence a client's fat burning capability. The scoring spectrum for fat loss response to cardio demonstrates this.

Every client can lose weight—it is more about how quickly a client can access fat fuel sources during cardio exercise. The genes scored in this report tell a lot about a client's ability to lose fat from a three-day-per-week cardio program. The results give an "enhanced" or "normal" score to help trainers determine the action required for results.

The "normal" reading is the one you will see the most of. Even though all changes in mitochondrial adaptations from aerobic exercise are similar, clients still might improve fitness at a different rate depending on their unique results.

If your client's report shows an "enhanced" reading, they will experience more fat loss compared to other genotypes. The "enhanced" reading means that client will use stored fat for energy much quicker than a client whose reading is normal.

If a client receives "enhanced" scores, encourage them to take advantage of their genetic capability. When developing a workout plan, you now know to prescribe at least the minimum amount of cardio needed to get them to their health and fitness goals. This will help them burn even more fat than the average person.

Performance and Strength

Genetics impact a variety of performance-related traits:

  • Muscular strength

  • Primary muscle fiber types

  • VO2 max

  • Muscle mass

  • Height

  • Flexibility

  • Coordination

  • Intellectual ability

The body composition response to strength training is another scoring that can help determine what program to design for your client. For this scoring report, the "enhanced" genotype means a client will lose weight, decrease their body fat, and build muscle through strength training.

Most bodybuilders and power athletes have an "enhanced" genotype. Whereas the "normal" genotype client will need to train more often to get results. Emphasize the importance of nutrition and cardio for this client. Ensure they remain strict with their diet plan and cardio regimen.

The "below average" genotype for this scoring needs to consider more time in the gym with a lot of exercise variety. The client should include heavy weight lifting and high intensities to build muscle, increase strength, and achieve results that an enhanced genotype can with much less effort.

DNA results and the applied programs are still being affirmed through long-term studies. However, you should still help clients with the knowledge you do have by considering these items when developing a workout plan.

Body Response and Recovery

Systemic inflammation is another important score component that can help in prescribing recovery schedules. Each client has a unique training limit or capacity. The amount of inflammation response they have helps you confirm the amount of rest and recovery they need throughout the program.

A "well above average" score tells us the client's body can take longer to heal and recover. These clients need to put a strict emphasis on warm-ups, cool downs, and recovery techniques. Having days in the program where your client performs light cardio, yoga, stretching, or foam rolling is very beneficial for lowering inflammation.

Injury risk is important to note in this section especially with another "above average" result. Pairing this with sleep duration can make for the best recovery aid routine.

Some testing will encompass VO2 max and stroke volume factors. VO2 max is important to understand when working with athletes or clients who have performance goals. Stroke volume is the amount of blood the heart pumps out every beat. The more intense the exercise the higher the stroke volume.

A "normal" genotype will experience good improvements in stroke volume. An "above average" genotype will notice greater improvements. The more blood a client can move throughout the body the more efficient they will be.

Learn more about why you should encourage your clients to perform a home genetic test.

Workout Plans Based on DNA Fitness Testing

Fitness and nutrition professionals with expanded knowledge and qualifications in genetic testing can work with clients based on their unique DNA report results.

Results include weight loss tendency, exercise response, mental and physical potential, recovery, injury risks, and more. Scoring these key trait categories can tell a trainer a lot about the effect the exercise mode, duration, and intensity will have on a client's results. Scoring can range from "below average" to "normal" to "enhanced."

The scores inform trainers on what a client's fitness plan should look like. Suppose a client's results come back with a weight loss tendency score of "below average." This client will lose weight but must focus more on proper nutrition and exercise behavior that the average person. This tells us they are at a higher risk to gain the weight back if they deter too much from their regimen.

DNA testing companies provide scoring for fat loss response to cardio as well. With a "normal" score here you can expect to prescribe your client cardio 4-6 days per week for 45-60 minutes each day. The main difference between a "normal" and "enhanced" reading is that the "normal" score tells us that it takes longer for the client to utilize fat as fuel. Therefore, having them do more cardio for a longer duration is necessary to attain results.

Body composition response to strength training is another key factor where an "enhanced" reading is optimal and these individuals will require significantly less time on strength training to notice results.

Clients who score "enhanced" only need 1-2 days per week strength training to notice steady improvements. Although the enhanced reading should always take advantage of their genetic potential and do 3-4 days of strength training to get optimal results. These scores are similar to the principle of training based on specific body types.

What You Get with a DNA Test for Fitness

At-home DNA testing kits provide reports on exercise response, diet markers, diet type recommendations, food sensitivities, alcohol responses, and predispositions that clients may have. These are essential components in designing a customized workout plan.

Vitamins, minerals, and all nutrient deficiencies or requirements paired with optimal training types—power, endurance, and strength responses—can determine the extent of client results.

Other important aspects that support a well-developed workout plan are sleep quality, stress markers, and the effect of caffeine on the body. Not knowing these traits makes it difficult to tailor programs to each client.

When choosing which DNA fitness company to use, it is important to note the information you will receive. The report and all its details are crucial because you want to ensure you receive plenty of information regarding each specific client. Companies will often provide you with the tools and resources to interpret the reports; include these for clients to review.

Always look at company reviews, compare costs, and test conclusiveness. Gathering such details will help you discover the best one for your clients.

Increasing Motivation and Potential

As you can see, fitness professionals must gain a better understanding of genetic testing. Knowing how the results of these tests can impact a client's results will help you, the trainer, develop better workout plans. The information provided assists in prescribing the right amount of volume, intensity, and rest periods. The challenge becomes just right for each client.

DNA fitness tests lead to increased motivation and potential for each client. If they understand why they are doing the workouts you prescribe and that it is specifically for them they feel more confident.

You are not just telling them what to do, you are showing them why they are doing it where they can see it for themselves. Genetic testing reports show each person how much control they have on their results if they commit to the right workout plan. Client autonomy becomes the biggest component in producing long-lasting results.

If you want your clients' training to be based on DNA fitness testing, be sure to explore ISSA's DNA-Based Fitness Coach course. This course covers powerful tools and inside knowledge to be able to prescribe programs based on your client's DNA. These tools will set you apart from the rest.

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