About classification of muscle characteristics

Your genes affect your training it provides guidance on how to set up your training with respect to exercise, intensity and recovery time based on genetic conditions.

Exercise is an important part of a healthy life but your ability to perform during exercise is also affected by your genes. Several different genes affect your body's ability to assimilate training and various forms of exercise. The variants that you carry in genes like ACTN3 provide insight into muscle characteristics and the body’s condition for training. It provides guidance on how to set up your training with respect to exercise, intensity and recovery time based on genetic conditions. It is important to remember that genes are one of many factors that affect training. Regardless of which gene variants you carry, a balanced diet and regular and varied physical activity are an important part of health.

Several different genes affect your body's ability to assimilate training and various forms of exercise.

The ACTN3 gene

The gene ACTN3 which shows which specific muscle characteristics you carry and how they can affect your training.ACTN3 is a gene coding for alpha-actinin-3, a protein that acts as a major building block in rapid and explosive muscle fibres.

CC and CT genotypes of the ACTN3 gene provide the ability to produce the protein α-actinin-3, which is included in the construction of fast twitch muscle fibres. Alpha-actinin-3 also seems to have an influencing role in muscle energy metabolism which together creates a cellular environment that enables a high muscular capacity for power and speed. This provides greater opportunities in sports that require explosive power of muscles.

Individuals with the TT genotype of ACTN3 do not form alpha-actinin-3 in the muscles. This affects the muscle's ability for fast and explosive power development. People with this gene variant are more often seen among athletes in endurance sports, where muscles without alpha-actinin-3 consequently have a more stamina-adapted profile and are better able to use oxygen for energy production. This affects energy processes used in training and may mean that these people need less time for recovery before the next training session. Lack of an active ACTN3 gene is not always an advantage in endurance sports, even though the muscles have a capacity that is more directed towards this. Namely lack of muscular α-actinin-3 can be compensated by other proteins.

Over one billion people worldwide are estimated to carry the inactive TT genotype of R577X while the remaining percentage of the population expresses either genotype CC or CT. Athletes who practice sports that require explosiveness in muscles, such as sprinting and football, often have the CC genotype and form alpha-actinin-3 in their muscles. The function of alpha-actinin-3 enables the fast and explosive contractions required in these types of sports.


Reviewed: 2015-09-28

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