To describe a person’s characteristics or achievements we often hear “it’s in the genes”. It is quite natural, and we can see with the naked eye that high parents often have high children, for example. Many of us also believe that other traits is inherited. Good and bad qualities. That it only follows the family. There is little you can do about it; we are just born that way.
For many decades, researcers have investegated which genes cause vulnerability to disease, physical and mental. Moreover, which genes associate with different personal characteristics. It was believed that our genetic material would reveal these connections, but so far, the results are disappointing: we are not very able to identify genes for obesity, addiction, ADHD, depression, and the like. We are nowhere near finding genes for self-discipline, personality, or motivation.
In a summary study the researchers could determine that less than fifteen per cent of children’s inherite school performance through specific genes, and that more than 85 per cent of the genes for school performance can not be found. And how these genes affect school performance, we are nowhere near understanding yet. We can see that body height is hereditary, but researchers can only find around twenty per cent of the genes that determine the height. Then 80 per cent remains. That is why there has long been talked about a crisis in genetic research; we know that many traits are hereditary. Large studies have been conducted with many hundreds of thousands of participants, but we are struggling to find the specific genes.
So how is this related to your training? First, if you think that your limit to getting in better shape lies in your genes, then you are probably wrong. Everyone is born with an enormous potential for positive development; the body is exceptionally malleable and adaptable. No one is born in bad shape, but many strive to take advantage of the body’s receptivity to become stronger, more agile, more enduring.
Secondly, research indicates that your fitness level is in your hands, not in your genetic material. If you manage to complete high-intensity training sessions a couple of times a week, your body will quickly respond to this and start processes that make you in better shape. Plus, you will feel better, and you will be in a better mood.
In other words, it is useless to think that one is born un athletic, lazy, or with other limitations. It is not written in the stars, or the genes, what level of physical fitness you should have. All bodies are trainable, including yours. Test it, and you will quickly find that it likes to be challenged.