The quest for peak athletic performance has always been at the forefront of sports science. Recent advances in genomics have opened new avenues, revealing how genetic factors influence an athlete's abilities, muscle growth, and recovery processes. This blog post explores these groundbreaking insights, delving into the intersection of genetics and sports performance.
The Genetic Blueprint of an Athlete
Athletic Performance and Genetic Markers
A study in 2023 by Pitsiladis et al., emphasized the multifactorial nature of athletic performance, influenced by both genetics and environmental factors. They identified 251 DNA polymorphisms associated with athlete status, shedding light on the genetic components of endurance, power, and strength. Notably, variants like AMPD1 rs17602729 C and ACTN3 rs1815739 C were linked to power and endurance traits, respectively.
Genetic Variability in Power Athletes
Another intriguing area of research is the identification of genetic markers associated with power athlete status. Over 69 genetic markers have been found to influence traits like strength, flexibility, and neuromuscular coordination. These markers play roles in muscle structure, inflammatory responses, energy metabolism, and more, underscoring the genetic underpinnings of power in sports.
The Role of Genetics in Muscle Hypertrophy and Recovery
Key Genes in Endurance and Metabolism
A bioinformatic study revealed the significance of lipid metabolism in endurance activities. Genes like Plb1 and Acad1 were pinpointed as crucial in metabolic differences, impacting endurance capacity. This finding suggests that tailored training and dietary plans, aligned with an athlete's genetic makeup, could enhance endurance performance.
Understanding the Genetic Influence on Training Response
The research on genes, athlete status, and training highlighted at least 36 genetic markers associated with elite athlete status. These markers offer explanations for variations in physical capabilities and responses to endurance and strength training. Such insights pave the way for personalized training regimens, optimizing athletic development based on individual genetic profiles.
Challenges and Future Directions
Despite these exciting developments, it's important to acknowledge that elite performance cannot be predicted solely based on genetic testing. As the studies suggest, the interaction between genetic and environmental factors is complex, and there is still much to learn about how these dynamics play out in sports performance.
The integration of genomics into sports science is revolutionizing our understanding of athletic performance. By identifying specific genetic markers, we can better comprehend and leverage the genetic components that contribute to an athlete's prowess, hypertrophy, and recovery. As research continues to evolve, the future of sports performance enhancement looks promising, with a more personalized and scientifically informed approach.
This review examines the role of incretin mimetics, particularly Semaglutide, Tirzepatide, and Retatrutide, in managing type 2 diabetes and obesity. It discusses their mechanisms of action, efficacy, potential effects on muscle health, and the importance of weight loss in diabetes management. The development of new incretin mimetics in clinical research is also highlighted.
Incretin mimetics, such as GLP-1 receptor agonists and dual/triple hormone receptor agonists, have become key in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity. These drugs are designed to mimic the actions of incretin hormones by targeting receptors like GLP-1 and GIP.
Semaglutide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, has shown effectiveness in reducing blood sugar levels and aiding weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes. Its primary mechanism involves enhancing insulin secretion and suppressing glucagon release, thus aiding in glycemic control and weight management.
Tirzepatide serves as a dual agonist for GLP-1 and GIP receptors. Clinical studies have indicated its effectiveness in lowering blood glucose levels and promoting significant weight loss, possibly exceeding the capabilities of GLP-1 receptor agonists alone.
Retatrutide, a triple hormone receptor agonist targeting GLP-1, GIP, and GCGR receptors, has demonstrated promise in reducing weight and improving metabolic health in clinical trials.
Importance of Weight Loss in Type 2 Diabetes
Weight loss, particularly fat loss, plays a crucial role in managing type 2 diabetes. It improves insulin sensitivity, reduces inflammation, enhances blood glucose control, improves lipid profiles, lowers blood pressure, and alleviates stress on the pancreas.
Impact on Muscle Building, Retention, and Recovery
The direct effects of incretin mimetics like Semaglutide, Tirzepatide, and Retatrutide on muscle building and recovery are not well established. However, these drugs may indirectly benefit muscle health through improvements in insulin sensitivity and overall body composition.
Emerging Incretin Mimetics
The development of new GLP-1 receptor agonists, GIP receptor agonists, and dual/triple agonists is underway. These drugs are undergoing clinical testing to evaluate their efficacy and safety.
Incretin mimetics, especially Semaglutide, Tirzepatide, and Retatrutide, represent a significant advancement in the treatment of metabolic disorders. They continue to be the subject of extensive research, particularly regarding their impact on muscle health and the development of new therapeutic approaches.
Resuming resistance training after recovering from a common cold or the flu requires a cautious and well-thought-out approach. Here's a tailored guide for getting back to strength training safely:
Recognizing the Right Time to Resume
L-Carnitine has become a term synonymous with health and wellness, especially among those seeking to enhance their fitness regime. But what is the substance that has garnered so much attention? Tracing back to 1905, when Russian scientists first isolated L-Carnitine, the journey of this compound through the years reveals a fascinating blend of history, science, and health benefits.
L-Carnitine's critical role is transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria for energy production, an insight that emerged from early 20th-century research. By the 1950s, the pathways for its synthesis in the human body were unveiled, with amino acids lysine and methionine playing pivotal roles.
The 1960s and 1970s brought L-Carnitine into the spotlight for its therapeutic potential, particularly in heart health due to its involvement in fatty acid metabolism. Fast forward to the 1980s and 1990s, L-Carnitine's reputation had burgeoned within the fitness circles for its perceived benefits in weight loss, performance enhancement, and recovery. Today, research has expanded into areas like neuroprotection and diabetic care, highlighting its significance in mitochondrial health and age-related conditions.
Understanding L-Carnitine's functions, we delve into its ability to improve workout endurance and reduce post-workout muscle soreness due to its role in energy production and reducing oxidative stress. It's also been linked to increasing the body's reliance on fat for energy, assisting with weight management.
The compound comes in various forms, tailored for specific needs – L-Carnitine L-Tartrate for athletic performance, Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) for cognitive benefits, and Propionyl-L-Carnitine for heart health.
Beyond fitness, L-Carnitine boasts additional health benefits such as aiding in reducing blood pressure, offering neuroprotective properties, and playing a role in blood sugar management.
However, as with any supplement, potential health risks must be considered, including digestive issues, a possible fishy body odor, and interactions with certain medications. Thus, it is paramount to consult a healthcare professional before integrating L-Carnitine into your diet. Typical dosages range from 500–2,000 mg daily, depending on individual goals and health profiles.
In conclusion, L-Carnitine's journey from a scientific discovery to a popular supplement underscores its potential in enhancing fitness and health. Yet, it's imperative to remember that supplements are just one piece of the wellness puzzle, complementing a balanced diet and regular exercise. Always consult with a healthcare provider to tailor a regimen that is safe and effective for your unique needs.
When it comes to fitness, most people tend to focus on the physical aspect of it – working out, eating healthy, and building muscle. While these are all important components of a healthy lifestyle, there is one aspect that often goes overlooked: mindset. Your mindset can make or break your fitness journey, and it’s important to understand how it affects your progress. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of mindset in fitness and how you can develop a positive and supportive mindset to help you achieve your fitness goals.
Why Mindset Matters
Your mindset can have a profound impact on your fitness journey. If you approach fitness with a negative or defeatist attitude, you are more likely to give up when faced with obstacles or setbacks. On the other hand, if you have a positive and growth-oriented mindset, you’ll be more likely to push through challenges and see your progress over time.
Additionally, your mindset affects your motivation and how you view setbacks. If you have a negative mindset, you’ll be more likely to see setbacks as failures and lose motivation to continue. However, if you have a positive and growth-oriented mindset, you’ll see setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow, which will keep you motivated and on track towards your goals.
Developing a Positive Mindset
So, how can you develop a positive and supportive mindset in your fitness journey? Here are some tips to get you started:
Mindset plays a crucial role in your fitness journey, and it’s important to understand how it can impact your progress. By developing a positive and growth-oriented mindset, you can stay motivated and achieve your fitness goals. Remember to focus on progress, embrace setbacks, surround yourself with positive influences, stay positive, and be kind to yourself, and you’ll be on your way to a successful fitness journey.
Show of hands, who has gone to their therapy this month? For those of you who didn't put your hand up...maybe think about stopping in. But for those of you who do partake, perhaps you have heard of the term distress tolerance.
This is the umbrella term to describe your ability to face negative emotions and events and react appropriately in order to not make things worse. From an emotional standpoint this can be used to deal with break ups, bad days at work, or just those shitty mental health days that tend to pop up every now and again. So how does this carry over into the fitness world?
There are going to be times when working towards your healthier you is going to suck. You don't want to stick to your diet because you feel tired and cranky, the last set was hard and you have two more sets to go, anything that motivates you to give up instead of power ahead. There are some tools we can put into the toolbox though to help us be more tolerant of these hard times.
The first skill is radical acceptance. This IS NOT approval of the situation. You are tired and do not feel like going to the gym. In this situation you do not have to tell yourself everything is ok. That it is ok you're tired and can get through it. This is approval. We are looking for radical acceptance. Take an honest look at yourself. If you understand that today is going to be difficult because your fatigue is making you more motivated to go home than to the gym then you can honestly handle the situation much better than sugar coating the truth.
The next tool is mindful thinking. After you have accepted the reality of how you feel and your situation, think about how you will feel after you do the workout, think about how once you start you can probably finish, or if things are so bad, that even one minute spent in the gym is better than completely avoiding it. Be in the moment and take everything for as it is in that exact second. You can always give one minute more of effort.
My personal favorite tool is grounding yourself in your senses. To say you feel tired isn't pain, pleasure, hot, or cold, it's the end result of not being motivated to do something. You may say you are tired but could sit in bed on Tik Tok for the next three hours no problem. So focus yourself on your 5 senses and feel how real those things are. Push the thoughts of being unmotivated from your mind and ground yourself in the simplest of feelings.
So radically accept the situation with no judgment just general, honest evaluation, mindfully think of your goals and the honest reality, and then simplify your thoughts to your most simplest feelings. These are just distress tolerance skills at their most basic so feel free to look more into it. This can help you next time you are afraid of your big lift or feel like skipping leg day.
One of the advantages to having a coach who knows what they are doing is you should always be doing the right amount of work to solicit a training adaptation. Coaching is an artform and there are a lot of tools in the tool box for a good coach to use to better serve their athletes. But if you were to get your hand on one of these tools, would you be able to relieve your coach of their duties and save that hard earned cash you are spending on them? Let us see.
One of the favorite, basic tools of many coaches is Prilepin's Table. It was developed by A.S. Prilepin after studying countless olympic lifters' training journals. Through rigorous application of exercise science, Prilepin created a table that would allow a good coach to apply sets, reps, and intensities to athletes that would make them absolute freaks. This did come from Russia in the 70s when their Olympic weightlifting was on a whole different tier. Below is a picture of Prilepin's Table.
So let's break down what we are seeing. The far left column outlines the intensity of the lift. The second column is giving a range for how many reps you will have to do in a given set at the intensity to best solicit a response. Optimal total reps is the hypothetical optimal amount of total reps an athlete should do on a given movement in a workout. The far right column gives an acceptable range of total reps one could do for a given movement depending on multiple factors.
So now that you have this knowledge you can just plug and play right?! No unfortunately not. Each athlete is different. There is a reason that there are ranges on a majority of these data points in the table.
There are things in the micro that affect how you would program an athlete. What is their total fatigue? Where are they at in the training cycle? Are they dealing with any injuries? How are you feeling this day?
There are also macro factors that will change how a coach will program an athlete. What is the training age of the athlete? Is this a pre contest prep run up or is this an off season general physical preparedness oriented block? Are there weight changes being made to the athlete? Also, this one is big, is the athlete even an Olympic weightlifter?!
Although this table has application in multiple strength sports, the specificity of this tool is best used for Olympic weightlifting or pure power expression sports. You couldn't program bodybuilders or general health clients to the parameters in the above table.
I know. You thought this article was going to empower you into being more autonomous. You could be freed of the chains of the monthly cost of your coach and make the same or better progress. But if this disheartened you, just know that this is only one of so many different tools a good coach will use to help program athletes. A good coach is worth the money and if you are seeing progress with an individual hold on and ride that train out. Good coach's are worth their weight in gold and you never have to worry about 1970s Russian sports science ever again.
The secret is....there is no secret. Everything you need to know is already out there at your fingertips for your use. But let's go over the key points to make sure you have all the needed resources to be able to push yourself in the proper direction.
The most important aspect of hypertrophy, the gaining of muscle tissue, is that you have to be in a caloric surplus or the gaining of muscle is already at a non starter. First, calculate your basal metabolic rate to know what the bare minimum amount of calories your body needs a day. From this add 10% of the overall value to put yourself in a slight surplus. MOST OF THESE CALORIES SHOULD COME FROM CARBS AND PROTEINS. Sticks of butter don't build physiques. Start here and increase your calories slowly so you see about a half pound increase, week to week, on the scale. If you consistently do this over the course of 12-16 weeks, you will see increases in muscle mass. But how much muscle? Let's discuss.
The way to preferentially build muscle over fat, outside of macronutrient breakdown, is to force adaptations in the weight room. There are two variables that effect our ability to force adaptations; Intensity and Load. Intensity is how close to failure you are. This can be counted in Reps in Reserve, Rated Perceived Exertion, or any other system that you find useful. There has to be a consistent effort to push the intensity in the gym in order to force adaptation. This is load aside! In order to gain muscle a 30-75% 1RM weight should be selected and taken to a high degree of difficulty in the 6-30 rep range. NO ONE REP MAXES. NO HEAVY TRIPLES. We aren't powerlifting at this point we have the ultimate goal of building muscle tissue so make all efforts geared towards that.
The final component in our muscle building triad is recovery. What are you doing to make sure that your body is ready enough to go train? Sleep is paramount. Are you getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night? If building muscle is important enough to you that you have made it this far into this article then you better be! Is your water intake AT LEAST at a gallon of liquids a day? If the answer to that was no then guess again. Are you training seven days a week because that is what it takes? Wrong stop doing that dumb shit. Give yourself time to rest. Dial back the volume of days and you will be surprised how much better you feel and you might also get some of that sweet, sweet progress you have been begging for.