A couple of months ago, I stumble upon the concept of DNA testing. There are several companies who offer, for a price, to analyse your DNA profile and send you your results with lifestyle recommendation. A scientific way to self-improvement. I’m game.
After doing a bit of research on Google, I settled on FitnessGenes.com – from their own words:
At FitnessGenes, we use the combination of your DNA and relevant lifestyle data to make evidence-based recommendations on the type of diet and exercise strategies that are most likely to be effective for you. Looking to shed fat or build muscle? Our scientific approach to optimal fitness can help you to personalise your plans and can help you reach your goals easier and faster.
If it’s something that interests you, and that you can afford (it’s not cheap, I paid $379 CAD for mine), I recommend trying it out. In this long Fitness Genes Review, I’ll explain what FitnessGenes is and does and talk about my results.
Please note that the article contains affiliate links – basically if you decide to try FitnessGenes by clicking a link on this page, I’ll get a small commission for the referral. Thanks.
So, what the heck is FitnessGenes?
FitnessGenes offers custom fitness and nutritional programs based on the results of a DNA test. You must first submit a saliva sample that provides the DNA for extraction and analysis.
In my case, I purchased their “FitnessGenes Muscle-Building System” on October 20. My “kit” was shipped the next day, and I received it a few days later, on October 25.
The kit is essentially a lab tube that you must fill out with your saliva. It comes with instructions about how to do it – it’s very simple.
I shipped back my sample, and got a confirmation from FitnessGenes that they received it on November 14.
My Results was finally ready on December 1st. All in all, the process took about 1 month (in part due to me shipping my sample from Canada to the UK).
FitnessGenes DNA Results
In my case, FitnessGenes provided an analysis and my results on 41 genes that they say directly influence my response to exercise and diet.
I can access a summary of my results in a user-friendly dashboard that explains in plain English how the genetic data can be best used for choosing a fitness and nutrition program. The dashboard also includes an individualized action blueprint listing more specific strategies for training and nutrition.
As you can see from the screenshots below, the report includes detailed descriptions of each gene analyzed and how it contributes to my overall performance and dietary needs as well as explanations of how combinations of genes can interact to enhance or inhibit exercise benefits.
The report also includes full citations of scientific evidence.
To be honest, it was a bit overwhelming at first. That said, I then spent a bit of time each day to read on 2-3 genes at a time and it was very interesting.
For instance, some genes and explanations confirmed things I suspected. For example:
- My genes correctly reflect my ethnic background and my eye color;
- My genes confirmed that I am lactose intolerant;
- My genes show that I’m less prone to over-eating, which is spot on.
The result also includes a plan for what is the best workout for my profile. My genes suggest:
- I do resistance/strength training;
- I do high-volume when I workout;
- I mix in HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
- I eat less frequent but higher calorie meals;
- I avoid refined grains and sugars;
- There a number of other specific recommendations for me…
Indeed, this can vary from one person to the other. Some personal genetic makeup is best served by longer workouts of lower intensity. Another genetic marker is for appetite and some people should time their meals accordingly.
Other FitnessGenes Features
Since this a FitnessGenes review, I’ll talk a bit about the general features they offer.
The Member Area includes a library of e-books complete with images and videos showing how to do different exercises and a glossary to assist users with scientific terminology. It also provides links to each of the FitnessGenes training plans. For example, if you don’t want to pay as much as I did, there’s a “starter plan”.
FitnessGenes offers several different fitness plans to choose from. All plans are gender specific, and plans are categorized by general fitness goals. Those who are interested in slimming down can choose the “Fat-Loss” or “Bikini Body” program.
For those who wish to bulk up, FitnessGenes offers a general “Muscle-Building” plan, the one I picked, as well as an option designed by fitness expert Scott Herman.
Once a general plan is chosen, professional trainers and nutritionists at FitnessGenes incorporate our genetic data to make the plan truly specific to our goals, current level of fitness, and genetic makeup.
All plans provide a weekly overview and clear instructions on the genetically optimized exercise routines suggested for each day. It is very detailed.
The Plans also give individualized tips on how our genetic makeup can enhance or inhibit a workout. For example, a plan may offer suggestions for increasing testosterone levels, decreasing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), or utilizing caffeine for maximum gains.
The Plans also include a nutrition calculator to suggest the number of calories and proportions of protein, carbohydrates, and fat that should be included in our daily meals and offers data-based suggestions on the timing of meals throughout the day. FitnessGenes suggests dietary supplements to mitigate vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused by particular genes.
My Personal FitnessGenes Review Summary
FitnessGenes provide a lot of info. I’m still digging through mine, and I haven’t really started implementing their training guide. Nutrition wise, their recommendations seem spot on for me so far.
One additional perk I found very useful is the private Facebook group all the members have access to. The CEO and co-founder of FitnessGenes, Dr. Dan Reardon, answers questions directly and offers tips and recommendations both for workouts and nutrition.
At the end of the day, I’m happy I did the DNA test – I learned a lot. If you can afford it, I recommend you try out FitnessGenes.com.