Studies have clearly shown that not all individuals respond equally to training, even when training variables are tightly controlled. This indicates that there is a genetic component to how well someone responds to resistance training. What are some of the genetic differences that play a meaningful role in one’s response to resistance training?


Researchers from the United Kingdom hypothesized that there are 15 performance-associated genes that could predict an individual’s response to power or endurance training. These 15 genes are involved in the regulation of muscle-fiber-type composition as well as muscle size, cytoskeletal function, muscle-damage protection, metabolism, circulatory homeostasis, mitochondrial biogenesis, thermogenesis, and angiogenesis. They then created two different training regimens, one for strength/power and the other for strength/endurance. After mapping their subjects’ DNA for the 15 genes of interest, they had them train using one of the two programs. The hypothesis was that those whose genes favored power would respond better to the power workouts and those who had endurance genes would respond better to the endurance workouts.


The main finding was that matching individual genotypes with the appropriate mode of training led to more substantial resistance-training benefits for both power and endurance genotypes.


The results of this study suggest that using genetic profiling to better match individual genotypes with specific training modalities may be a powerful tool to aid more personalized, and precise, resistance-training prescriptions in the future.


I personally have had my genome mapped and know that my muscles are built for power and not endurance, but this is something that I had come to realize many years ago by experience. With a little effort, individuals today can get their genomes mapped for less than $200, identify whether or not their genes favor strength/ endurance or strength/power using the 15 genes from this study, and follow a training routine that matches their genetic profile. – FLEX