Athletic performance test

It is a well-known fact that the success of a sportsman depends on several factors, genetics being one of them. From all the sportsmen living and training in the same conditions, the best results are achieved by those who have more favourable hereditary prerequisites for this specific sport. It is easier to choose the most suitable sport for you, if you are aware of your hereditary prerequisites.

Intended for sport enthusiasts, this gene test provides a possibility to forecast whether a person has a bigger potential in sprint and strength training or endurance sports. Being successful simultaneously in sprint and endurance sports is possible only in exceptional cases. In real life the person who does not only have favourable environment conditions and sufficient motivation, but also has the most suitable gene set for the specific sport proves to be the most successful.

At the moment there is reliable data available for at least two genes that are interesting in respect of athletic performance. These are ACE and ACTN3 genes. Independent research has confirmed the connection between the genotype of ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) and athletic performance. ACE gene has two gene variants: ACE I and ACE D. Gene variant ACE I raises ability in endurance sports or, in other words, the bearer of this gene has averagely higher endurance. Researches have indicated a more frequent occurrence of this gene combination on many top sportsmen of several endurance sports (running, skiing, rowing, triathlon etc). The bearers of gene variant ACE D have, on the contrary, averagely better abilities of strength and speed. Several researches have indicated a more frequent occurrence of this gene variant on top sprinters, sportsmen of different sports connected with hurling and throwing and other representatives of various sports demanding explosive strength and speed. The observations, according to which the lower ACE activity is connected with the amount of increased slow muscle fibres and the higher ACE activity with muscular strength, are also in accordance with the abovementioned.

Another gene that affects the athletic peformance is alpha-acitinin-3 or ACTN3. Human beings have alpha-actinin-2 in all muscle fibres in their skeleton, however, alpha-actinin-3 only exists in fast muscle fibres. It has been proved that actinin-3 is responsible for fast and powerful contraction of muscles. ACTN3 gene exists in two gene variants: in case of variant R, the fast muscle fibres contain protein ACTN3, but in case of X allele this protein is not produced. This explains the tendency why ACTN3 deficient individuals can achieve better results in endurance sports. In short, it can be claimed that the X variant of ACTN3 gene gives certain advantages for endurance sports and the R variant of ACTN3 gives advantages for sprint and strength sports.

The combination of ACE and ACTN3 gene variants determines whether the individual is successful in sprint and strength sports (prevalence of D and R gene variants), endurance sports (prevalence of I and X gene variants) or whether the person is a so-called universal sportsman. For reassurance it may be mentioned that even if researches conducted among top sportsmen confirm the importance of genotype in achievement sport, there are still sportsmen with the “wrong” genotype among the absolute top sportsmen in different sports. Once again, this confirms that the environment plays as important role in the development of a sportsman as genetic prerequisites.