In the episode:
03:28 – An introduction to the series
8:00 – The health and fitness struggle
11:00 – Where DNA comes in
13:06 – The interior difference
18:20 – Does one size really fit all?
23:15 – Things you should look for in a DNA test
27:22 – How legit is the data?
32:47 – Why you should get a sample report
35:59 – Challenges of the training process
38:55 – Matching your workout to your genes
43:48 – James’s power and endurance scores
46:40 – Genes versus environment
48:16 – The tortoise and the hare
51:23 – What James’s genes mean for him
58:28 – What’s your risk of injury?
01:03:37 – Once you know your injury profile…
01:07:24 – Why you shouldn’t overtrain
1:10:20 – Recovery and oxidative stress
1:14:42 – Can we change our DNA?
1:17:56 – The price tag on genetic testing
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James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. Today, we’re talking the optimum strategy to health and fitness. It’s a series, and I’m doing it with my friend Jonny Deacon from the UK. Welcome to the call.
Jonny: Hi James! How are you?
James: I’m doing well, thanks Jonny. Part of it is thanks to you. You’ve been helping me out with some fitness and some ideas, some stretching videos. Today, you’re going to be revealing my special plan. But first, I just want to let our listeners know why we’re at this situation and give some backstory. Firstly, you can be contacted at MyDNACoach.com. I’m speaking with Jonny Deacon. He’s an expert at health and fitness, but also, he’s taking it into this new phase where you’re combining an understanding of DNA, which is our genetic makeup and a few other things, which we’ll get into in the show. If you haven’t listened to the first episode series that I did with Anita Chaperon, go back and listen to that first before the show, where I talk about my discovery of how DNA can really change the way we think about ourselves.
From my own perspective, I’d built up my business to a successful level after a long career, I quit that, started my own business, built that up, created some income resource for myself, I created some time resource for myself and focused more on things like relationships and passions. Of course anyone listening to this podcast knows I like to surf. But what I found was my body was in a lot of pain, and it got to the point where I eventually had to go off and get an MRI scan. You know I’d tried massages, I’d tried chiropractors, I tried lots of things and everyone was telling me to eat green juices, and do this, and do that, and get a foam roller, and it was all very helpful. People in my community have been super helpful.
There’s been a few key players. Certainly Angelo Castiglione helped me with the foam rollers because he trains top elite athletes. So I got one of those and a yoga mat. That was significantly helpful. Tamas has helped me with the way that I’ve been moving and helping me release some of this pressure that’s been on my neck. Anita Chaperon has been helpful with things like diet and DNA. And then I bumped into Jonny.
Apart from looking amazing in the pictures with the bulked body and the fitness, he’s very productive with the marketing and with the videos and an understanding of where it’s all going in the future. He’s been sending me information as well. He offered to take my DNA stuff to the next level. He sent me a kit, and I went off for my second DNA test, and this time, it was a different type of test, and Jonny will explain what’s different about it to the first one if you remember was the 23andMe.
What we’re going to do in this series, we’re going to do a three-part series to start with, which will be exploring the common mistakes that people make when they’re trying to get out of pain or transform their fitness or their health, and why a lot of the fitness programs just don’t work. Of course, keeping in perspective. When I did my MRI, I found out that I had osteophytes in my bones. Probably a lot of the things I’ve been doing, working with a computer, at a sit-down desk, or in an office job had been really harming my body, and as I’m now becoming more athletic and pursuing passions and hobbies, I want my body to last the long haul. I’m 45 years old now at time of recording, and I could easily live that much again, probably a lot longer by the time we get older, there’ll be much better technology. So I really need to take this seriously, and so do you.
If you’re working 12 hours a day, or grinding, or hustling, or whatever else they say, you need to pay attention to this. If you’re in your 20’s or 30’s, you’re probably just ignoring most of the warning signs, thinking it’ll be fine because you’ve got all the energy and health in the world, but you don’t. Reality will actually set in, and I want this information in front of you.
In the second part of this series, we’re going to talk about how the Kolbe can be useful in fitness and why psychology is just as important as biology. You know I’ve talked about Kolbe before. It’s something that we do with all of our managers in our business. It’s something I’ve done for myself and for anyone I coach, I do a Kolbe. I’ve never heard of it being used in the fitness world, but Jonny is not your everyday person.
The next episode, we’re going to go into the three pillars of discovery, leveraging pain, and power of habit. So I’m really looking forward to that stuff. Through the course of this series, we’re going to find out about where the health and fitness industry really isn’t on track. I can even share my own stories on that one. We’ll definitely be giving you some solutions throughout this.
Now, I’m sure it’d be appropriate to offer some kind of disclaimer that Jonny or I, we don’t know your personal situation, and of course you should always see a medical professional. Don’t take our advice as prescriptions. Just treat it as information that might sort of dislodge some ideas in your brain and to get you excited about taking the next step, whatever that is, but in the appropriate situation.
So Jonny, I’m going to hand over to you, and I think we might start out with firstly, is my synopsis of where we’re at reasonably accurate?
Jonny: Yeah, it totally is James. It’s just interesting, you mentioning about Kolbe, because I know that’s coming in the next part of this series. I don’t know if your members or your community know your numbers, if I can share them, but I definitely prepped and strategized around hitting those numbers. It’s interesting because understanding and uncovering DNA is just one part of it and that’s why I’m so excited about sharing a much bigger, broader holistic strategy, which I really if think people take this information, they can implement it and see some fantastic results, because I’ve done this for a while now, and it really does work.
James: If it’s relevant that you share my Kolbe or any of the tests that we got back from my DNA, I’d love you to share it because as I’m learning this and going through the journey, I think it’s probably going to be critical for us to understand what you’re actually doing and how it applies. Using me as a guinea pig or a case study is probably a good starting point because we’re not prescribing advice to anyone else. You’re just talking to me and you haven’t actually physically met me or done any hands-on assessment so again, this is by remote, but it’s a good guideline as to the possibilities that could be explored. And certainly, when you do pop over here to Australia, I’d love to meet you and do some sessions as well.
Jonny: Yeah, that would be wonderful James. I’m really excited about it. Thanks for the call. I’m really looking forward to sharing this information with your community.
James: So how do we get started on this? Why the health and fitness programs don’t work? I saw a few posters at the gym that I joined a week or so ago so that I can implement the exercises that you’re giving me, and they do seem out of date. They’re talking about stuff that I saw in the gym when I was doing it when I was in my 20’s, my early 20’s was the last time I went to the gym, 20 years ago. Nothing’s changed at all.
Why people struggle with health and fitness
Jonny: Yes. I think the question that I always ask from moving out of the commercial gyms and into a private studio and working with clients on a much deeper level is, I ask myself this question, why do most people struggle to optimize their health and fitness? It’s pretty much an epidemic from across all areas. I know your markets are mainly the US, Australia, and Europe, and the UK. This is in my travels an epidemic amongst people. To be honest with you, it’s like trying to put square peg into a round hole for most.
One of the things I hear all the time James is “I’m on a diet.” And most people try every diet under the sun to no avail. To just give you some statistics here from the UK, the NHS, which is our National Health Service, estimated that around 60 percent of people tried exercise and an exercise program at some time in their life. And to go more granular than that, we see people that have tried the 5:2 diet, 39 percent, Atkins at 31 percent, and even less fat and high protein between 25 and 49 percent.
So the reality of the situation is it seems that most people are in the guessing game. It starts really to become more about luck than judgement. To be honest, I’m glad I’m speaking to you about this. You’ve really taken action. I think most people wouldn’t want to risk their health with luck, and that’s really been a big driver for me getting into a granular level at this, and starting to look at how we can help people from a holistic point of view. The bottom line is that fitness strategies all look the same. It’s this one-size-fits-all approach, which is causing a failure within the industry, and it’s failing magnificently.
You’ll see from those posters when we spoke off air, I believe that there’s good in most people that get into the health and fitness industry. They have good in them that they want to make changes to people’s lives. But they’re poorly educated, and they don’t have the right role models around them to actually implement quality strategies and tactics.
James: Jonny, you could be talking about marketing. It’ll be exactly the same. This is why it makes so much sense to me. We can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. Almost everyone listening to this has been through Ryan Levesque’s ASK course or been exposed to the interviews I’ve done with him. We know that we need to segment, we need to split out our prospects into the appropriate levels of categories where they’re at, and we need to match things exactly for them. Why would it be any different in fitness? It just makes sense that we should stop guessing and do our research.
One of the significant things is certainly wasn’t around when I was going to the gym 20 years ago. It’s the ability for us to actually get an assessment of us. That’s the big change. So I think we should just do a little recap on that. When did this DNA thing come about, and is it still the early days? Why wouldn’t every person do this?
Why consider DNA?
Jonny: Sure. DNA has been around for a while in paternity testing. But it’s really emerging now within the health and fitness space. What’s so unique about your community and your listeners and the internet marketing space, there’s a real tipping point of earlier doctors and even innovators. That’s why I’ve been so keen to start working with clients in this area, because they’re open to new ideas. And very much within the commercial space across the spectrum of the health and fitness industry, trainers have no clue about this, let alone habit loops and looking at Kolbe testing. DNA is a different planet.
“We should not be treating everyone as a one-size-fits-all.”
I, and a few other experts in the industry, have had to take it upon ourselves to really kind of take the flag on this revolution because there are challenges ahead where, as this starts become more mainstream, there’s going to be people that really don’t know how to interpret data. It’s interesting the similarities you bring amongst marketing because you’re right about Ryan Levesque, we should not be treating everyone as a one-size-fits-all, a blanket approach. It’s really doing them a disservice. You’re right that a long time ago, 10 years ago, even five years ago, the standard protocol to going to the gym, and you’ll be able to know this from your recent case study, it’s the kind of usual, let’s do a quick movement test, let’s ask you a few questions, mainly qualitative, there’s no quantitative stuff in there, and take you straight on to the gym floor and kind of hope for the best, and it’s failing people.
The problem we have is that people are getting that first experience. They’ve had the courage, and it does take courage, just like being an entrepreneur, sometimes you have to do things without knowing it’s going to work out. And when people have the courage to see a personal trainer or a coach, that’s an investment in time and money. And if that first session, 45 minutes or an hour, isn’t good quality, then we can lose people.
So I’m really on a mission with this to be able to educate not just the trainers but also early adopters like your community. An extension of that as well is that you and I look very different James. If you were to see a photo of me and you standing together, that’s the wonderful thing about life, that we are different. But we’re also different on the inside.
People are different on the inside
James: You’re like the fit and muscle-y god, and I’m like the pudgy marketer. Yeah, you don’t have to rub it in.
Jonny: No, I don’t mean it like that at all. One of the things, I think you’ll find out and the listeners, that I’m a big believer in internal health and feeling fantastic and getting you optimized from the inside out, and normally looking good, and feeling good, and having lower levels of body fat are kind of secondary and third to that. But one of the things I would say is that people really forget. This is the take home. People really forget that we are very, very different on the inside. You can see the differences on the outside, but we’re completely different. And that stands from a very basic level of how we interact with the environment, how we metabolize nutrients and how we deal with toxins. They are just some very basic overviews.
What’s interesting from listening to your show, all 300 episodes, within the space of about two or three weeks, it was kind of love at first sight, is that you’ve spoken about in the past from research about Sapiens and A Brief History of Humankind, and that book, and I’m sure that your listeners might be familiar with it, it really caught my attention because it’s something that I read and been working with with clients, and not just my business, but trying to get people to think bigger in this area is that if you consider 200,000 years of evolution and you put that into time, genetic mixing only started in the last 20 seconds of a clock phase. So post-war mass genetic mixing was the last two seconds.
The point we’re making here is, and as you’ll see from that book along with another great one, The Journey of Man, which is A Genetic Odyssey with Spencer Wells, you can actually find that online, which he made a documentary of, the theme here is that people really don’t get that we caught up so fastly with technology, there’s such a growth in exponential technologies and across all areas of marketing, AI, and all facets of life, but our bodies are still so far away with catching up with this change. If one thing that listeners can leave with at the very start of this is to recognize and clearly understand that they’re different on the inside as well as the out, then we’ve already made a big step in listeners understanding that.
“Beyond just our physical appearance, we’re different in everything.”
James: This is not even a new idea. It’s at least 100 years old. It was in The Master Key System by Charles Haanel, which had something like, your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. I remember that was pretty profound. You’re right about us, we’re definitely not the same inside, because beyond just our physical appearance, it’s everything. It’s how we live, it’s how we accumulate wealth, how we grow businesses, how we relate to our peer groups. All this psychology is happening. It’s going to have an impact on how we apply our physical approach, isn’t it?
Jonny: Absolutely. This is one of the biggest tragedies of the health and fitness space, and I’m so pleased, and thankful, and grateful to have an opportunity to share this with your community, because if early adopters, and innovators, and forward thinkers that are into the internet marketing space, especially listening to you, can really champion this, it will start to bleed into other people’s lives, and their family and their friends, and really let them question some of the strategies, maybe if they’d had a coach currently, and they’re not seeing results or they’re seeing OK results, sluggish results, and they really have never from the start been treated as an individual, there’s so many intricacies to this and so many facets, but as a bottom line for quick starter, when we’re talking about Kolbe, for quick starters, the bottom line here is that just understand that you need this information to be able to build your strategy.
And it would just be like clients I suspect coming to you, the first thing you would do with them is to be able to do at that high-level Kolbe test, better understand them, then you do a really deep dive of qualitative measures and understand their business. It’s the same from the health and fitness perspective when I have a new client.
James: Absolutely. The first thing is I do a full business diagnostic and then I ask them to go and do the Kolbe test and send me that. When they send me that, I know how to deal with them on their first call. I know how to help them get the best possible results, what they’re likely to get stuck on, how we’re going to communicate together, and how we’re going to translate the potential into reality, which is called intellikey. I got that from Spin Selling.
Jonny, one of the things that happened is I sent off my DNA sample, and one of the ideas that you sort of proposed to me is that you’ll get results on that, and that it’d be fun to sort of go through those results on a call so that we can do the big reveal. I don’t know what the results are, which is exciting. I hope I passed the test. And then we can see what that actually means. But my basic understanding is that there’d be certain things that I could do or eat that would have almost no impact on my progress, and there’d be some things that would have a huge impact like the 80/20. Is that how it works?
Get away from the one-size-fits-all approach
“The world is living with a big genetic mix-up.”
Jonny: Yes. I mean it gets very, very granular with DNA. One of the things we definitely don’t want to do is kind of overburden people. When we start talking about DNA, there is a time and a place to do a DNA 101, but what we’d like to do is really kind of reveal the top markers from your results. I think just to draw a line under this, it’s safe to say that the world is living with a big genetic mix-up. The tests that you’ve done will allow you now to be removed from that genetic hot pot so to speak and in a blueprint, away from the one-size-fits-all approach. A person’s genes and our process in working with clients is definitely the starting point to that roadmap.
In terms of your reports, before we get into those, I feel there are some critical elements that would really help your listeners in moving forward with this. The reports that we consider, look at 45 genes, and there are some considerations that we should talk about when we go into that, but effectively, the reports are split up into three sections. A fitness report in relation to how you will perform in whatever activity you choose, I know that we built a surfing program for you.
James: Yes. Just on that, I’ve got one of the world’s first DNA-customized, psychologically-tailored, surf-specific fitness programs. Is that right?
Jonny: Pretty cool huh?
James: It’s amazing. You sent me some Wistia videos. It is literally a playlist of my introduction, explaining how the surfing and the genetics come together. How to breathe, how to fix a sore neck, how to paddle, how to move and be flexible, how to have endurance, how to build my power, and how I can even get more specific on the key muscle groups that are involved in that activity. So I’m pretty much going to be like Kelly Slater next year.
Jonny: That’s right, yeah. With me moving to Sydney, I feel like I’m going to be that kind of lad that stands on the beach with all the kit, and the best board, and knows all the lingo, and knows all of the movements, yet as soon as I get out there, I’ll be straight back in.
James: I thought you’d been surfing all your life from the words you were using. I mean that’s just a great example of specific-tailored research. You were talking my language. It’s so relevant that I can’t wait to go and watch these videos and apply these lessons in my local gym, which is only one block away. At least I’ve got something to do now when there’s no swell.
“All roads lead to having more fun.”
Jonny: Absolutely. All roads lead to having more fun and being a more proficient and efficient surfer without a doubt. When we look at that fitness panel, we’ll come into more detail about that fitness report, but the other side of it is nutrition. I really try to avoid the word “diet”. I think that diet allows a person to get out of something. It means that there’s an end point. Really, if you’re looking for a long life change, you want to be able to put this into a nutritional lifestyle shift. We can come into more detail about that. One of the things that I love about the testing company that we use is that they have a beautiful infographic, which you can print out and have on your desktop like I do, or stick on your fridge, whatever works for you.
But there are some points on this. There were some interesting conversations, discussions I was having with other experts based on your initial podcast episode. You guys did such a fantastic job of being able to build an introduction to DNA. But when we actually start delving a little bit further, I think there are some key critical elements that I’d like to share with your listeners should they be considering doing a DNA test. It’s also worth noticing that my company aren’t a genetics testing company, I’ve actually been working with a multitude of different testing companies to find the right one for my business and my clients. That’s been years’ worth, in fact, nearly four and half years’ worth when this technology first emerged, in testing and finding the best.
It’s been interesting listening to the feedback that you got from the first show you did because I feel like there is some critical elements here for people to have an education on before they select their test. If it’s OK to go through with those with you, I think it would be valuable for the listeners.
James: We should. I mean we should address the question. Someone’s going to be asking, where do I get the test? How do I get it? Can I contact you and get this organized?
Critical elements of DNA testing
Jonny: Yes. So the way that my company works, My DNA Coach is, we’re really experts in implementation, and we realize that DNA is just one part of this. So although DNA is incredibly fascinating and is absolutely a starting point for anyone’s transformation within health and fitness, it’s one of four distinct areas that we’ve identified. Now in choosing a test, we’re going to go through why I feel that this is the best test currently available. That’s not to mean that we wouldn’t change it in the future, but we’ve really done our research here. We really know our stuff in this area. So if people area interested in moving forward, they can absolutely do it with us, but the whole point of this series is that people will at least have the information to do it on their own, should they choose to.
The first critical element to this is you want to make sure that the test that you’re using has an algorithm. Now this should relate quite well to some of your listeners in your community in relation to the internet marketing space. There’s an extremely important reason for this. Firstly, it places more weight on the genes that are shown to have extensive research and are actually relevant to health and fitness. So most genetic tests only consider individual genes in isolation. What this means is it allows for limited interpretation of the results. So if you have an algorithm like Google’s algorithm, I know you’ll know a lot more about that than me, but it’ll consider multiple gene interactions together.
James: A lot of people would like to think they know how it works, but they don’t actually publish it, which is part of the secret, I think. Keep them guessing.
Jonny: Sure. Absolutely. Well, in relation to a good quality genetics test, really what this algorithm does is it takes research and literature that it continues to exponentially grow within the genetic space. A quality one will include those updates and interpretations of the results.
To give you an example, it’s very common for testing companies without an algorithm to base their results on research, which could be 10, even in some cases, 15 years old. And it’s simply become redundant and outdated. Yet for the end user, like you and your community, they’re none the wiser. So you really want to find, ensure an algorithm that will allow you to have greater personalization and makes the result more robust and research focused. And primarily, the key thing here is usable.
I know that from the first podcast episode, there was mentions of going to different sites and grabbing different information from other places. The problem with that is, is that not all of these sites are robust. The research could come from various different sources, which potentially haven’t been clinically proven or robust enough for the research. It’s very important that you use a test with an algorithm. That will be the first marker on them.
The second one is to ensure that the test has a minimum, an absolute minimum of three peer-reviewed studies behind each gene. Now the algorithm, if you decide not to go with an algorithm-based genetics test, then you want to make sure that there is an absolute three minimum peer-reviewed studies.
Ironically James, this actually needs to be done on humans. Surprisingly, you’ll find a lot of this research will be actually done on mice. And that’s actually very commonplace. So when you start digging in a little bit deeper and scratching the surface, you want to have robustness around this. This is a very new technology, and there is definitely a difference between quality, between various tests.
The further thing on here is to ensure that you avoid what I like to term as an entertainment-based testing company. So basically those who do not have to adhere to clinical guidelines. The key one here is such as destroying your DNA sample after reports are completed. Now shockingly, these testing companies are also keen to store your information for future use and potentially sell it to third parties, such as pharmaceuticals in creating drugs or any other commercial gain. So I know that that question has come up a lot within my community and my clients, and that’s something that we’re very strict on working with a test that has clinical robustness.
James: Yeah. When it comes to the tests for my own results, I’m really looking for quality because it’s a big deal. It’s a personal thing, but it’s something that I would consider a foundation to where I’m going to go next. So the two main questions that seem to come up a lot were, how do I know the data is legit?, and the other one is, what are they going to do with this information? Because I notice some people hover over the line thinking, am I going to send this in or not? What am I signing away for? What if they share this information? My answer to the second one was, I guess you could expect it’s going to end up somewhere or that someone might link it to you or whatever, but I would also… as long as I know what my DNA is, that’s the most important person who knows what it is, because I can make a big difference for the rest of my life knowing that information, but I don’t know what they could do with it. And I’m not planning to commit crimes or anything. What about your thoughts on those two questions?
Is it legit?
Jonny: Yes. I mean it comes up a lot. More of the questions I’ve been asked before is Dolly the sheep. With the greatest respect, this is so emerging for some people. Your listeners and community are very forward thinking. Out of a percentage of 100, I would say two to three percent are starting to get to grips with this. So we’ve got a long journey ahead. It’s really right, it’s ethically right to be able to have people such as myself, qualified people that have spent a lot of time with the research and actually using this in the real world in terms of clinical implementation and practice, to actually set some frameworks that currently are quite the wild, wild West, so to speak.
I mean the health and fitness industry, from my opinion, and I still believe this is very much the wild, wild West. In the UK, we do have a body of some sort, I won’t mention their name, but you can or cannot be a member of that, I don’t know how it is in Australia and US, but it’s very easy for personal trainers, “coaches,” to be able to get into the industry. When in that space, there’s already challenges with qualified people being able to give the right information, let alone from a genomic point of view, with mutagenics and mutagenomics in this area, in this sphere, because the reality of the situation is, James, if you’re a testing company, from their perspective, they want to sell as many tests as possible.
James: That’s exactly right. I felt like I was in a sales process when I did my one-hour consult. It was more or less, try these stretches, your body is in bad shape, what would stop you getting fit, by the way I can do personal coaching. That was pretty much it. And showed me a couple of machines. But if I didn’t know all the stuff I already knew from when I did the gym before – by the way, just for context, I used to go four days a week for like eight years, from my teenage years through to my early 20’s, so I was right into it. I had a great body at that time. If I didn’t know that stuff, I wouldn’t have had a clue about how to use the weights, which ones to use. I think my guy was a nice guy, but he was most interested in selling personal coaching rather than tailoring the program for me. Oh and by the way, my advice was just do a total body workout three times a week, 12 reps each time, that was it.
Jonny: Really? I mean that is a great example of the guessing game because I mean, I’ll just give you very quickly before we delve into your reports, he got one right there. We know that the optimum rest time for you is 48 hours between very vigorous sessions from various markers from your genome, from your genetics.
James: Right. In my old days, I wouldn’t go back to the gym and work the same body part if it was still sore from lactic acid build up. That would usually take two or three days. From the time I couldn’t drive home in my car because my leg was shaking so much from doing leg press. It would take days until that lactic acid recovered and my muscles felt ready for another workout.
Jonny: Absolutely. And that’s something we can really talk about in terms of inflammation and Omega 3 need without a diet within your report. So that’s very exciting to come on to.
James: So I used to do like the three different body group type thing where I was only working one part of the body hard each week. You know, like combining different things rather than all muscles every time type program.
Jonny: Absolutely. And I think as you bring up a good point actually here is that we absolutely know that people can get results without DNA, but what we’re actually looking at here is how efficient is it? If you’re using a family car to go off the dunes in Australia somewhere in out the outback or somewhere with rough terrain in North Scotland, you’d be far better equipped with a Defender 90 Land Rover. It could get you there. It might just about, but how are you going to feel at the end?
This is the big thing. You can absolutely get results if you exercise. That’s a win. I champion that because I want people to be healthy and be optimized from a nutritional point of view. But how do you know through that trial and error report that you could be getting even faster results or better results? That’s why this is so groundbreaking. This is quite so revolutionary, without a doubt.
James: How exciting. So are we ready for the big reveal?
Jonny: Yes. Just a couple of final points on this that people could look out for.
James: [laughs] Whew! The excitement, it’s building.
Get a sample report
Jonny: Yes, yes. The last couple of things on here is definitely ask for a sample report. That will become even more clearer when I share with you, and we can obviously put links to the samples of my reports. If people want to see my own DNA, we can put yours up or mine. The point I’m making here is you want to be able to have access to this. So even if you’re not going to use a trainer, we can actually have markers that are very easy for people to access. So you want a report that has marker scales on it to really dig into the data properly. If you have an overwhelming amount of data, which people then have to go to lots of different sites and check, that can become completely overwhelming for people. It can actually turn people off. This is why the Kolbe is so important.
If you’ve got someone who’s a very high quick starter or even an implementer who likes using the hands a lot and very physical, they’re just not going to spend the time researching this. But if you’re a really, heavy factfinder, perhaps Anita was, I have a lot of factfinders within my community. And I work really well with them even though I’m a quick starter because I know what they need. They all want to dig into these genes. They’ll want more, and more, and more information before they take action. So one of the things I would say is find a sample report and look at what that looks like from that perspective.
And then the final thing is make sure the test only includes genes which are measurable and modifiable. That is you know the versions of the genes that you can modify via your environment to create the best outcome in your training and nutrition. So there’s a whole host of ethical issues with information that you can’t affect positively. So to keep things really simple, have sliding markers so that you can access the information really quickly and easily, and make sure that you’re getting reports and genetic tests that you can have a positive effect on from the moment you know it, because there’s no point in saying to someone, you have blue eyes, when you want brown eyes, because there’s not a lot you can do about that unless you wear contact lenses or get an eye transplant.
James: That is fantastic. Alright. So are we ready for the big reveal now?
Jonny: Yes, yes, if you are ready.
James: I am. Alright Jonny, tell me, what does my fitness report reveal?
Jonny: So James, best to start off with kind of a context for these reports, and just to remind listeners in your community that there’s no right or wrong with these reports, and what we’re trying to do is make the path much more efficient for you and whatever your goals are, whatever your genes reveal won’t change those goals. So we know that you’re a big man of surfing, and that’s your passion. We would go about that from a genetics point of view of understanding and discovering your genetics, and then starting to map a plan and a strategy that relates to your environment, so the things that you change in your environment will start to have a positive effect on the genes that you have.
So we’re all dealt a certain amount of cards, and it’s about how we influence those cards. And another good analogy which you’ve used before is that the gun, the loaded gun is actually your genes, the bullets are your genes, and you’re pulling the trigger is your environment. So you absolutely have an effect on that, and that’s the whole beauty of this.
The challenges of the training process
For marketers, and your audience, and people just in general that are very busy, there’s plenty of different demands pulling most people all over the place, and sometimes it’s hard enough just getting to the gym. I know that you recently just joined and had your own very special experience there.
James: It’s getting more special by the day. I had some great follow-up. I had a great email today, perhaps I can read it to you, because I thought it was good. I mean the industry, maybe it’s evolved more than you’re giving it credit for, Jonny.
James: Let’s see. My trainer, we’ll just call him Ted, for anonymity sake. It’s not his real name, but just because it’s nice. Sent me an email, he said, “Hey James, just touching base to see how everything’s going. Let me know your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Cheers, Ted.” Which is lovely, you know? I said, “Hello Ted. Thoughts: I’m thinking about new lands and adventures. Feelings: I’m feeling in love. Emotions: I’m happy to be alive. I hope all is well with you, too. Regards, James.”
I don’t know, I still feel like I’m part of a sales process rather than a solution process.
Jonny: Yes, absolutely. And as I said, the training process is extremely difficult for anyone. And if you actually manage to get to the gym, the questions I always ask from a genetics point of view is, how can you ensure that you’re doing the right type of training, and how do you know that you’re maximizing your training time and being efficient? And when that time is short, really, do you have the time to waste doing an exercise program that just isn’t what you want or fit for you?
So there is a secret here there is a hack. Training theory doesn’t actually know your optimal number of reps for you. So most strength programs, probably like the one Ted would get you going on, will say to lift anywhere between six and 15 repetitions. But here’s the thing, James, which one is it? Should you lift six reps, or 15?
Now we know, most people know that motivation to train can be extremely fragile, especially early on when people have that courage to be able to actually start doing something about their health and fitness. And if people don’t get the results that they want, most often and in most cases, people become disillusioned. And I’ve seen it so many times, people actually completely quit the gym, and they never really come back, because they’re so bruised from the first experience.
This is a big challenge for us, so knowing your genes is really a confident and strategic way to actually start to train to the best suited way to you. And if you follow a general cookie cutter training program, it’s just not going to take into consideration your genetic makeup. So you’re really kind of guessing, and that’s what we really want to avoid with these reports.
The genetics-exercise connection
This leads us on to actually having a look at the first marker within your fitness report. You can actually now look at versions of your genes that you have, which give you a power or an endurance score as a percentage. Now if you just take in a little bit more about this James, the percentage gives you insight into the best type of training for you, and how much time you should spend on each aspect.
Now just to quantify this for listeners, power training is high-intensity. It’s something like lifting heavy weights in the gym such as seven sets of three reps, or high-intensity interval training for your cardio, like sprints. Endurance training is classified as moderate-intensity, high volume work such as lifting moderate weight for a high number of reps. Think three sets of 15 reps. Or long, steady-duration kind of marathon-based training exercise.
Now here’s the interesting thing. Your percentage split guides how much time you spend on each. So for example, someone’s results come back plus 65 percent power, they should spend predominantly most of their time doing power-based training. Likewise for endurance, if it’s 65 and over for endurance, they would spend most of their time doing endurance. And then somewhere in the middle, like 35 percent to 65 percent, that would be a mixture of both.
Now this is really revolutionary, and I know that some of your listeners might be quite skeptical, especially if they’ve trained before and they’ve been getting results. But what we’re looking at here is speeding up and being far more efficient to you.
So let’s give you some scientific evidence here. On this research, a genetic firm got a group of sports people and gave them a DNA test. Now once they got the results, they placed these athletes into two groups – those doing genetically matched training, and those doing genetically mismatched training. Now a handful of people know about this research, and I’m more than happy to link this in the show notes for you, for those factfinders out there.
Eighty-six university students at a scholarship level were given an eight-week program. Half were genetically matched their predispositions and half were genetically mismatched against power and endurance profiles. And what this means is, they were all given the same test at the start and end, but the results were dramatically different depending on whether they worked their genes or not. And here are the results: those in the power score and endurance score nearly tripled their results in the same amount of time working to their genetics. The take-home message from this study is that everyone improves with exercise, we know that, it’s an absolute win, but those doing genetically matched training will see nearly three times the improvement.
It’s really groundbreaking stuff, mate. And if we dig in a little bit deeper with this, this is where it starts getting incredibly interesting for you before we reveal your power endurance score. Eighty-two percent of the participants who showed little to no improvement were from the genetically mismatched group, while 83 percent of those who improved the most were from the genetically matched group. And if you’re still sitting on the fence, genetically matched training improved the likelihood of significant improvements by 21 times in power, and 28.5 times in endurance, compared with those on the mismatched program.
James: That’s a huge, huge gain.
Jonny: It’s game-changing. And on my podcast at My DNA Coach, I’ve spent time going through pretty much every expert in the world within sports genetics, and one which I’ve built up a very good relationship, Nick Jones, kind of the leading authority within sports genetics. And when I had him on the show, I’ve had him on the show twice, we really dug in with these numbers, and he did the first part of this research. And to give your listeners some context, let’s take it away from that study. That’s the difference between losing a kilo across four to six weeks, to three kilos. So when you’re starting to put this into context in the real world, not that that would be everyone’s goals, but with science now proving that we can get this much of an advantage, I’m at a loss why people wouldn’t want to take the steps to actually get this information like you’re doing now.
James: That’s what someone asked me today, Jonny, is “Why would you want to get your DNA done?” And I said, “Why wouldn’t you want to get it done?” And the statistics you’re coming back with again, I think they’re a great overlay for what you might expect if you were to apply segmented marketing to an email list, you would get significant percentage results like this. It just makes sense to me that if you tailor a program to a specific person, that you’re going to get better results. But I’ve got to tell you, I’m pretty keen to know what my results are.
James’s power and endurance results
Jonny. Totally. So your power score is 51.2 percent, and your endurance was 48.8 percent. You really are, straight up, mixed. It’s very rare that I’ve seen completely down the line with the 50/50 split.
Let’s give you some context about what that means. Now normally when I’m sitting with clients, I’ll ask them if they did most play sports at school, you know, normally athletics, because that’s quite a good example. Generally, people I’ve asked kind of have a mixed response with this. I say, “Look, did you enjoy doing more sprint-based activities, or did you have more aptitude for doing long distance, like marathon running, or was it something power-related, like shot put or javelin?” And those that play sport will inherently have a kind of idea. But parts of those that used to go behind the bike shed and have a fag or two, whatever, their environment might not have allowed them to actually have that experience.
So I’m always interested to find out, I know that you have a sailing background, and now you’re into surfing, when you were at school, did that 50/50 split come through at all?
James: Yeah, basically what you’re saying is I’m not particularly good at anything. I’m not a specialist. In life, and in every profiling tool that I’ve done, I tend to be an all-arounder. I’m somewhere in the middle. I view myself as creative and analytical. I think I’m expressive and amiable. Whenever there’s these things, whatever they are, I somehow end up in the middle. My sailing sport is a great example of a sport that requires elements of power and elements of endurance. It can go for a couple of hours, you have to do intensive power things like pulling up halliards (that’s the rope that pulls the sails up), pull them back down again, switch from side to side, so it requires explosive power and also endurance. And also teamwork, and also communication, and also understanding of technology and equipment, dealing with the pressure of being in front, it’s a team sport.
So yeah, I’m not surprised that I’ve come up somewhere in the middle. That probably means that I may not be an Olympic weightlifter or an Olympic sprinter, that I’m more likely to be good in… I would say, I’m reasonably OK in most things, but I’m not outstanding in anything.
Jonny: Well, remember with this, James, it’s definitely not about being good or bad. And the whole point of this, when I do present this for people, sometimes people that are very Olympic lifting, like I do a lot of Olympic lifting, like snatch work and clean and press and jerks, and I have 60 percent endurance profile. Now what we’re saying here is it’s not to do with you can’t do those, but your training we would modify to be able to suit the sport or whatever you’re wanting to do in terms of relation with your health and fitness goal.
What makes someone “a natural”?
James: If someone had a very high percentage of power, would they be more likely to be what we’d call a natural at that type of activity?
Jonny: Yeah, there’s a really interesting (it’s a great question) a really interesting book called The Sports Gene by David Epstein, and this talks about an example of someone that did a genetics test between two high jumpers, which requires a lot of power. And there was an individual who had an extremely high endurance profile but trained from the age of four years old because his father was a Swedish high jumping champion. And he was in a lineup with an individual who was over 80 percent power, and he literally used to play basketball in the Caribbean, and someone spotted him jumping extremely high. And it turned out that from memory, the guy with the endurance profile won the gold that year, but the following four years in the next Olympics, the guy with the high power profile won.
And the point I’m making here is, your environment can absolutely determine how these genes are expressed. It’s absolutely not the be-all and end-all, and it’s not good or bad. And when we actually dig into these genes and actually look at specific genes, when we spoke earlier about the algorithm which takes all of these genes and wakes them based on the research that is behind each gene, what’s interesting about your results is, you actually have a really good propensity in both. So it’s not as much of what you’re thinking about it being kind of like a medium, it’s actually whatever you decide to tap into, you have the genes available for both of those profiles.
Slow-twitch muscle versus fast-twitch
Now, there’s a gene in particular, especially within the whole realm of both of these called ACE, which is known as the ACE gene. Now there’s two forms of this. There’s the tortoise version, so the slower version, which is in relation to slow-twitch muscle fibers, and then the hare gene, which is in relation to fast-twitch twos, which gives you that real power for your sprint-based activities. Now studies have found that the I version of this is associated with improved endurance performance, and increased percentage of slow-twitch muscle fibers, which we spoke about, and which is also great for like, marathon runners and long-distance bike riders, and people with this version also likely tap a slightly VO2 max reading. That’s the amount of oxygen that the body is capable of utilizing when they’re really going for it, and it measures their aerobic work in terms of oxygen getting into their system.
In comparison, those with the D version are associated training related to strength gains and power performance. So their quadricep muscle strength increases, and is more efficient, and people with this snip have a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers and snips just a single nucleotide polymorphism. That’s the term that we give to people with variations in their DNA code. The point I’m making here is, you actually have both versions of this. You have the inserted and the deleted version on that ACE gene, which means that when you reach for certain sports, you actually have the genes there to be able to utilize.
Now what’s interesting when we look into more detail of your power profile, there’s one gene in particular called the ACTN3 gene, which is one of the most researched gene within sports performance. And what’s interesting about this, James, is you mentioned power. You actually have the CC version of this, which is almost like the highest version from a power perspective. Now you can either have a CC, a CT, or a TT version. And if you have the TT version, it’s not that you’re bad, it’s just that you have many more slow-twitch muscle fibers, which means that you have less thickness in the muscle, which makes it easier for you to do endurance-based sports.
Now, you’ll see a lot of long-distance runners at the Olympics, or marathon runners, they’re very lean, and their muscle mass is quite small, which they have a higher propensity of activating their slow-twitch muscle fibers. What’s interesting with you, with that CC version, actually every single Olympic sprinter that’s ever been genetically genotyped has that version of the CC. So we can safely say that if you were to start to go and train towards that power profile, we would really start to see good gains in that in relation to growing good quality lean muscle mass. It would be easier for you with that C version to put on a higher recruitment of those fast-switch twos.
Also interestingly, if you were to activate that through power training, you’d have high-releases of testosterone compared to TT versions, and actually, to not lose people on this, but for the factfinders, there’s something called mTOR, which is a muscle stimulant pathway which turns on something called hypertrophy. And all hypertrophy is is a fancy word for increased lean muscle mass growth.
James’s results from a training standpoint
And I now know, as your trainer, compared to Ted, that I can activate that gene for doing various different forms of power training with you, if you were to say to me, “Look, Jonny, I need an extra five kilos of lean muscle mass here, what’s the fastest way for me to get this?” It could be because you want to look better on the beach, it could be because you need more quad strength in your legs for surfing, whatever it is, I’ll now know that I can turn on that pathway through doing things like getting you on the squat rack, doing slowed-down movements of 10 seconds to drive the mTOR to be able to get you results faster.
And to just take this back to a 30,000 foot view, to not lose listeners on this, the reason I’m giving you so much detail is, by just doing one swab, I now know more information than Ted would ever know after training you for five years, and he still wouldn’t know this information.
James: Yeah, I don’t think he’s up with it just now, that’s for sure. Nice guy, though. But this is really fascinating, and it certainly, I want to think back to when I used to train. And even my own experience, this might sound a little bit optimistic, or deluded even, but I think I’ve had four sessions in the gym since I joined at the beginning of last week, so a week and a half into it, but I think I’ve already transformed my body to some extent. I feel a little bit more powerful, and a little bit skinnier, combined with a continuation of my other activities and eating well. Eating very well, actually. But eating well could be redefined by what you’re about to tell me about diet as well, so I’m very interested in how I can optimize that to make sure that I get the best version of me as well.
Jonny: Absolutely. And for those listeners that are kind of going oh, hey, I’m a marathon runner, I run the Sydney marathon or the London marathon or the New York marathon, I’m really interested in that, let’s just use your results as an example. There’s two genes on that panel within the algorithm called PPARGC1A, and PPARA. Now what they’re in relation to is something called mitochondrial biogenesis. So effectively, that’s how many mitochondria you have at cellular, and how efficient they are. And they drive energy in the cell, so they’re really in relation to something called ADP and ATP conversion.
Now we’re looking at your genes, you have a lot of those, and they’re extremely efficient. And what that means is that you can really tap into that and we can start to elevate those mitochondria properly with your training. But the thing is, when you look at that percentage score, if we take a step back, we now know just from that percentage score and the research around that, even if we were just to take a quick start, bottom line approach, your programming, which I’ve already done for you, has a nice even split across it now. So you’ll find within that program that I sent you and the way that we work with clients, there’s a session on endurance in the week, there’s a session on power, and then there’s a nice mobility session for you in relation to your sports performance for your surfing.
See, we now know using science that you have a lovely, even split which is optimized to you in terms of getting you much more efficient and faster results.
Now, the next marker on this, James, is a VO2 max reading score. Now remember, with all these scores, it’s not good or bad. But what this allows the trainer and the client, if they don’t decide to work with a trainer and they want to do this themselves, unlike most DNA reports, this gives you a scale, a very easy sliding marker which goes from very low to very high. And your VO2 max came back at medium. Now what this means is, there’s something called VEGF gene, which basically has the ability to build new blood vessels quickly within the muscle. And VO2 max, as we said before, is a measure of how well you utilize oxygen.
Now if you come back a version of medium on the scale, it doesn’t mean that it’s good or bad and you can never reach the goal of someone that’s very high. But someone that’s medium, low or very low, as a trainer, I would know that if you’re starting in the gym with me, you’re probably going to have a little bit of a tougher time if I put you on something like doing long-cycle bike rides at the start to get you warm and doing interval training and asking you to go on 45-minute runs. You’re probably going to lose motivation pretty quick with that, because the results are going to come slower. So that just means that I would put you in a program where it’s more hidden, so we would do circuit-based stuff to really hit that power profile, but do them for longer duration…
James: Like surfing? That’s the thing that I would keep doing, because I love it so much, and that’s how I’ve increased my fitness more than anything else in my life, is finding an activity that I love doing that’s not classed as training or fitness, it’s just a fun activity. So yes, you’re right about disguising it, you’re absolutely right about me being very unmotivated by a long, long run. I’ve always resisted that, I’ve considered myself not to be a runner. I feel like it’s bad on my joints as well, but I’ve just not ever been excited about long-distance type cardio stuff.
Jonny: Absolutely, James. And I’ll give you an example of this. I’ve got clients that have no interest in running, but they’re running for a charity, they’re running for a lost family member or a partner, and they’re running the London marathon, and when they come to me and we do the DNA results, they’ve had years of misery with it, because they’ve come back over 80 to 85 percent power profile. And their VO2 max is medium or below, and in some cases very low, even though from the genetic test that we do, that’s less than 12 percent.
The point I’m making here is, in knowing that information, training them for a marathon, I wouldn’t do the traditional three times 10 kilometers a week, let alone looking at their injury profile, which we’ll come onto, with knees and ligaments. I would just say, “Look, we know this is what’s come back from your genetic profile. Let’s actually put in circuit-based training with you, and when you’re going to do runs now, you’re going to do five kilometers or two and a half kilometers, but within those, you’re going to do 30-second sprints, and then you’re going to do a two-minute gentle jog.
Thirty-second sprints, and that’s going to activate really nicely their power profile, and they’re going to get far more efficient results doing it that way than just doing the traditional Google “How do I train for a marathon?”, I’ll make sure that I’m running for a steady state for an hour and a half where I can just about talk and I’m a little bit breathless. That’s just so archaic. It’s just so traditional and so dated and it really is about time that trainers are aware of this, and they can start to get sport specific and passion-based specific, like you said with doing surfing.
James: Well, I found on that Concept3 rowing machine, about five minutes is my threshold before I get totally bored. Like five minutes going pretty hard, that’s just about right.
Next marker: injury
Jonny: Absolutely, mate, and it brings us on neatly to the next marker on your fitness report, which is an injury panel. And if a person’s about to embark on health and fitness transformation, it can be completely derailed if someone gets injured within the first few weeks or months, and I’ve seen this time and time again with other trainers. Now, here’s the question: what if you could actually know your genetic injury risk before actually getting injured, and actually put in prehabilitation upstream? I think it’d be a little bit of a game-changer for listeners to be able to access this information, and rather than you’re second guessing, or waiting or worrying, you can actually proactively attack your at-risk areas. So instead of dealing with those same old niggles catching up with you or a sudden injury dashing your dreams with your transformations within your health and fitness, you can actually start to be much, much more strategic.
Now, I know that this is a subject that’s close to your heart, we started kind of accessing some more information about your troubles with, I know that your listeners know about this, in terms of your issues with your back.
James: That’s right. I mean, here’s the thing, when you go to the gym, they ask you what operations have you had, what bones have you broken, what medical conditions, etc. What you don’t know is what you don’t know. So how do I answer, hey, you know, I’ve got arthritis or whatever? Because I didn’t know that until last year. So here I am, wondering why I feel so stiff and sore during winter, and I swear I can feel my neck when I turn my head from side to side – when I could turn. I couldn’t even turn, it was so stiff. But I didn’t actually know, so I wouldn’t be able to fill out a form for something I don’t know, but wouldn’t it be good to be able to get some markers that indicate the likely things to be on the lookout for?
Like for example, I know that I have slightly more hair loss than other people, because I can see that. It’s on the outside. But it actually came back in my genetic report, the first time I did it, that I’m less likely to have hair than other people. Who knew?
Jonny: Yeah, absolutely. And I think this is going to be very, very interesting for you. So, recent research has identified some key genes associated with injuries from a health and fitness perspective, and the first gene on this injury panel is call GDF5. Now, roughly one third of people have the TT genotype of GDF5, which puts them at a significant risk of suffering from tendon and ligament-based injuries, but specifically, osteoarthritis and bone function. Now, TT’s the greatest risk. You actually have the TT++, which puts an extreme weight on this. You’re the highest-risked category of this.
Now, we’re going to dig in a little bit more about what that means, but it definitely isn’t something you should be overly worrying about, it’s something that we should absolutely be praising. And as I’ve said in previous emails and correspondence with you, identifying this information is just world class for us now, because we can really start putting in preventative measures upstream before more things happen, rather than go through this trial and error, having these things happen and then kind of putting in resolutions from that point.
The same research was conducted and it ran other genes that are now present on this panel from your report, which is called COL1A1 and COL5A1. And these genes are involved in the production of Type 1 and Type 5 collagen. Most people have heard of collagen. These are important components of ligaments and tendons, and they’re in your elbows, your ankles and your knees.
Just to give you some research here, in 2009, research looked at the effect of COL1A1 gene on anterior cruciate ligament, which is your ACL, which most people have heard of. The ACL is a ligament which plays a crucial role in supporting our knees, and it’s commonly injured with twisting of the knees. I’ll give you some statistics here. Injuries to the ACL are extremely common, with 100,000 occurring in the US alone per year. Now, what the study found was that individuals with the TT genotype of COL1A1 were much less likely to suffer an ACL injury, illustrating that this genotype have a protective effect against this type of injury.
Now with COL5A1, the research has again looked at Achilles tendon injuries, and the Achilles tendon is at the bottom of your calf to your ankle, and it accounts for over an estimated 230,000 injuries in the US alone per year, with 66,000 of these stopping participants in sports for over a month to six weeks. And what they found here was that the CC genotype again had that protective element, whilst the TT was at biggest risk.
What’s interesting here about your results, across that GDF5, COL5A1 and COL1A1, you were the highest risk of all of the G markers on our reports. That put you up from a scale of very low to very high, at the top. This is interesting for me to know this, because I’m going to ask you a few questions now, because I think the listeners would get real value from this.
Responding to an injury profile
We had a very short consult in building up our relationship about some of the challenges that you’ve had with injuries. But to give you some context, and move you forward, I now know from a training perspective, in training you, there is a lot of protocols we would do to be able to start strengthening those regions, and just one example of that is shoulder health for surfers. You’ll know a lot more about this than me, but from my research on forums and building out your program, I know that rotator cuff and serratus anterior and all of your ligaments that attach your sternocleidomastoid muscle, which is a fancy word for the big muscle that goes from the back of your ear to your trap, down towards your shoulder, these are key elements and components of your structure of surfers’ movement when they’re paddling out and balancing a wave. I now know from a training perspective in the gym or on the beach where you’re getting strength training, we need to put prehabilitation exercises in place for those.
I hope that doesn’t come across in a bad way, in terms of scaring you. I always say to clients, this is a praise moment. This is a fantastic moment, because we now know that you’re at that risk, and we can start taking charge of it and take responsibility for it.
James: No, I think it’s fantastic. I mean, again, when I went to the Maldives a year ago, and we surfed three times a day for a week, and then I went home for a week to recover and change boards, and then I went back for another week, and we surfed three times a day, by the end of that second week my left shoulder where the top of my arm joins my shoulder, it wore out. And I lost capacity there, and it was starting to niggle, as I call it. So I was getting the warning signs, and I backed off.
And then when I got home, a week later, I went for a surf in pretty small conditions, and as I was paddling for a wave that left arm just wasn’t, it wasn’t giving me any power. It was like 15 percent power instead of a hundred percent. And I just decided not to continue with that wave, but the wave caught me, rolled me over, slammed the board into my face and I got seven stitches. So for anyone looking at my videos, wondering why I’ve got this scar above my left eye, that’s because I blew out my left shoulder from over-surfing it.
So yeah, it’s great for me to know where is my risk of having a blow out, because I actually don’t want to have injuries to keep me out of the water. That’s why I’ve held off skateboarding or doing dangerous activities before a surf trip. I don’t want to have to give it up.
Jonny: Totally. And because you’re sensible and responsible, we now know that you can set aside part of your training focus on strengthening these tendons and ligaments. And again, to just give listeners some context, if there’s anyone out there that’s had issues with their ACL or ankle stability through their Achilles tendon, if you’ve come back with high to high risk marker, we just now know that we can do loads of exercises, centric loading, which is a fancy word for coming down slowly in movements.
And the best example I can give of this is if you’re doing calf raises with a bar or with dumbbells in your hands. That would be coming up onto your toes, squeezing for the contractions, squeezing your calves really hard, and then coming down really, really slowly for five to 10 seconds, rather than just coming up, down, up, down, up, down. And that’s just going to really give the tendon full lengthening and shortening, and it’s going to really start to activate strength there. And this doesn’t happen overnight, but over a compound effect of months and years, we really start lowering that environmental risk to your genes. So it’s incredibly empowering. And it really segues us on nicely to looking at your final marker on your fitness report, which was your recovery marker.
The recovery marker
Now recovery’s an interesting one, and it really looks at people potentially overdoing it in training, and kind of this myth of going to the gym five times a week, or going every day in some cases for people. It really allows people to train too hard and recover too little, and it can cause major issues within the general public when they’re training.
James: Well, it’s exactly like business, right? It’s all these grinders and hustlers who work 18 hours a day, and don’t get enough sleep, and they get burnt out, and worn out, make crappy decisions, make terrible mistakes. They don’t recover or refresh or let their brain reset with sleep, for example. And I’m all over that. There’s so many podcast episodes on sleep on this show, because it’s so critical. I’m absolutely not surprised that people overtrain, because more is not more. Often, less is more. That minimum effective dose, or just the right amount of training could get you a significantly better result than doing too much, right?
“More is not more.”
Jonny: Perfect. It’s exactly what I was about to say, and if you’re going into the gym tired, and your profile’s coming back with a much slower recovery time, it can cause major issues. Not just in terms of extra fatigue, but if you overload for too long, your immune system can actually become very, very weak, and you’re much more susceptible to becoming very, very poorly. And actually, people don’t realize this, but if you train consistently without your body almost knowing it and you’re piling on constant training, constant poor nutrition in terms of antioxidant requirements, which we’ll speak about in the nutrition reports, over a long period of time this fatigue actually starts to turn into symptoms that can relate to chronic fatigue. And that can lead to all kinds of issues with depression and all other miserable experiences.
Overtraining is very, very serious, and you need to take it seriously, and it blows my mind, mate, when I see trainers that will just destroy their clients. Any trainer can take a client and just destroy them and do endless burpees and then put them on the press and then get them doing skipping but it’s just so archaic. It’s just so old school, and we’ve really moved ahead from it, and if you’re doing that with a client that has a very, very long recovery time and needs that recovery, and you’re bashing them every single day, that’s just doing a disservice to your client and there’s all kinds of ethical issues with that.
So the technology is here now to be aware of that. And we have a much better understanding now to when to go hard, and when to go easy, not just in a gym but doing activities like yourself and surfing to maximize your training. And how we do this is we look at two groups of genes – GSTM1, GSTT1, and SOD2. And they all play a role in determining how well you deal with oxidative stress.
Dealing with oxidative stress
Oxidative stress, the best analogy I like using here is a fishing boat that goes out to sea in the Atlantic or a coastline that’s near you. And if it’s salt water, you don’t look after that boat and it’s constantly going out to sea, and you’re getting lots of fishing coming in and business is booming, eventually, if you don’t look after it and clean it properly with fresh water, then it’s going to start to rust. And exactly the same thing happens internally, which you can’t see in your body, if you train without getting the right nutrition in. Because oxidative stress is the natural rusting of your body.
Now, byproducts of training is muscle breakdown, which is a good thing, because it allows room to be able to grow more lean muscle mass, and that’s great for a whole host of reasons. But the problem is, if you don’t get the right nutrition in and antioxidants to be able to deal with that oxidative stress and flush it out of your system, then that can build up to a huge byproduct of oxidative stress within your system. And inflammation issues start happening, and your ability to be able to progress in terms of performance, and also in terms of internal health are really hampered.
And in terms of inflammation response, which I’ll dig in a little bit more detail about for you now, there’s certain genes here in our panels which are called IL6. IL6, RTNF and CRP, which determine how much inflammation you might have following a training session, and how quickly that inflammation will return to normal. Now as I’ve said before, oxidative stress and inflammation are both good things, as they enable us to adapt to exercise. But if you go for too long, depending on what your results are, it can cause problems of under-recovery.
So what does this mean in context for the individual? If you have a fast recovery speed, this means that you can handle a higher number of intense sessions. Typically what we say is four sessions per week with a minimum of a 24-hour recovery period between. Now those with a medium, which is you, James, should have around about 48 hours between their hardest sessions, for a maximum of three per week. And I’ve started to put that protocol into your training.
Now that’s not to include something all the time with surfing, and I’ll start to understand that more as we work together, but in terms of a training perspective from the gym, there’s absolutely no way I would get you in to do a vigorous, out-of-control session every single day. And actually, I wouldn’t do it every other day. I would give you that 48 hours’ rest, actually properly get yourself back to recovery from a scientific perspective, and then get you in to go hard again. Because it’s just not going to be value to you and it’s not going to be value to your training.
The final one on here is low to very low. That’s a slow recovery speed, and from my recommendations, I would look at something between 72 hours between your hardest training sessions, of a max, very max three sessions per week. In some cases, two. So we’ve gone from a very traditional, three times or four times a week, this is what all the pros say, quote unquote on Instagram, when actually what we should be doing is look at the individual genes and go and look, this person needs way more time to recover than this other person.
James: Is it my whole body, or is it the muscle group?
Jonny: This is in relation to markers to do with inflammation and antioxidant stress. Now inflammation can show up in a whole host of areas. If your injury risk profile come back with GDF5 being a high risk, which we spoke about before COL1A1 and COL5A1 in and around those tendon ligaments, if someone with a high injury risk in those areas comes back, I would tend to find those would be the areas that would go first.
But there’s also the other side of you, where the lack of nutrition based on your genome of actually feeling just very low and under par, and not normally coming back to a normal optimization after sessions. So a good example of that would be the following morning after you’ve had a training session, you feeling, wow, I’m feeling really sluggish today. And that’s quite a normal feeling after training, but for you that might bleed into the following day. That’s why we would recommend a 48-hour rest period.
Can you change your DNA?
James: Nice. I’ve got a random question here, because somebody asked me this. Or someone actually told me this, and it was on Facebook, so it has to be true. They said there’s some research that suggests you can change your DNA. Is that true or false?
Jonny: Yeah, so in part, if they were explaining it to you in the correct way, there is some truth in that. And what we mean by that is we look at expanding research called epigenetics, which looks at how the expression of your genes evolve based on your environment. What’s interesting within this field is that it’s ever expanding, there’s more and more research coming into it and more money, especially under a range of pharmaceuticals and drug companies.
Epigentics, effectively, is how your environment starts to shape and turn off and on genes through your lifestyle. And it relates back to what we spoke about at the start of this series, of using an algorithm and having confidence in a test with an algorithm. Because what that really does is it, rather than looking at single nucleotide polymorphisms, i.e. one single snip in genes, we look at genes together, like we’ve done here, with looking at your GDF5, COL1A1, COL5A1. We look at them as a much bigger group of genes and how they interact together, and then the expression of those genes through your environment.
So when you’re given your DNA, quote unquote, from your parents, yes that’s what you’re given in relation to most genes. We talk about things like the example we use with the eye color you’re given, you really can’t change that unless you put contact lenses in or you have an eye transplant. But absolutely the genes that we look at in our reports are things that you can have a positive effect on, i.e. through what you put in your mouth through your food, you can start to turn on, so rise up or dampen down certain expressions of genes. And that’s through that epigenetics science based from. It’s called nutrigenetics, so from what the nutrients that you’re putting in your body, in relation to your genome, your genetics. It’s a very expanding field.
To answer your question, in part there’s some truth in that. But there’s a lot more detail to it than just saying, you can absolutely change everything in your DNA, because we know that we can’t do that.
Now, it brings on some really good ethical points from when you had your first episode and the foundation episode. I am very conscious of only working with genetics test that clients and individuals can have a positive lifestyle change from the moment they have access to that information. I know from some testing companies, which I won’t name names, they will tell you a whole bunch, loads of pages, pages of raw data of things which actually would worry people in that they can’t change. Now that’s probably an episode in itself, but I think you need to be very conscious when you’re starting to work with the technology, that you’re doing it in a way where it’s ethically based. And I think that starts with the trainer in terms of their selection and what the right testing companies are doing.
The cost of genetic testing
James: Another question I get is, how much does it cost?
Jonny: It can vary. The best example, I was thinking about this the other day before coming on this show and relating it to your listeners, when you worked in the Mercedes dealership. The experience that you had, the access to information, the curation of how that’s laid out for you in terms of the process of being asked really good quality questions, understanding what your needs are. I feel that the tests that we use do that in a way where they present the data properly, they allow really good usability and accessibility in comparison to others, which give you very much a raw data experience.
And the price can vary from country to country. I believe that raw file of various different information can be about a hundred bucks, I think, or a hundred quid, and it can go right up to anywhere between 400 to 500 quid or $600 to $700 for the test.
Now I was talking before about the quality of tests. Our company, my company, we’re not a testing company, we’re in the really good position where we can actually select the correct genetics tests for the needs of our clients. And we’ve opted for much higher premium tests which meets our criteria as a company, which I’ve spoken about before when we gave those five critical, important factors for choosing a test.
James: Perfect. Well, just to finish off this world’s longest podcast Part 1, I just want to say a big thank you to whoever’s transcribing this because of all the fantastic new words that we’re going to have to look up. Not just the length. But at least you speak very clearly, Jonny. Tell me, do we have time to squeeze in my diet report to round out this epic Part 1 of a three-part saga?
Jonny: It’s full, there is a lot of detail in this, and even when I go for a summation approach, and a bottom line quick start approach, there’s lots of good quality info on this, so I don’t think I would do it justice if I skimmed, but it’s up to you.
James: Why don’t we roll it into the next episode? We’ll start off Part 2 with that, where we’re also going to be delving into our Kolbe, our psychology, and how that impacts the rest of the experience of what we’re doing here and how we can improve ourselves. We’re also going into the power of habit, we’re going to figure out, and I did lightly touch on this with Anita before, about how important habits are with the morning power routine series, so you can go and have a listen to that as a warm up.
In podcast 3 of this series, we’ll be looking at the failure of the health and fitness industry. We’ve already had some fun with that, and by the way, if Ted’s listening, I love you, mate, you’re a lovely guy. And as Jonny said, it’s not your fault. But I’ve found a guy, I believe I found a world expert.
This is fascinating to me, I know it’s unconventional to have something like this on a business-related podcast, but I would venture to say, if you want to get the best results you can in your life, then building a great business is a fantastic way to build up wealth, to get time freedom, to take advantage of leverage, to do all the good stuff I talk about with profit. And supporting that, if you eat well, if you sleep well, if you train well, if you want to live longer, if you want to enjoy your activities more… I had a two-hour surf today, Jonny, I’ve amped up my ability to stay out there when the swell’s on, and this is important to me.
So please, take what we’re saying here, see how it applies to you, in your situation. See if it fires you up or gets you motivated to explore this more. Jonny, what’s your podcast we can go and listen to? I listened to a couple of episodes, they’re nice and punchy with a lot of great content. Give it a shout out.
Jonny: Yeah, the name is My DNA Coach, it’s on iTunes. We basically take every marker from what we talk about on the reports, and we deep dive those with leading experts and I get various different guests in the show. We also go for case studies, but more importantly we take a step back and actually look at the other elements which do cover the why discovery, Kolbe, and also power of habits, and how that then relates to a strategy for the individual. For those factfinders, you can definitely find out much, much more information on what we’re doing here.
James: Right. So I’m really interested to find out about my diet report, and that’s coming up in the next episode. But just a quick summary here, in terms of my fitness, I’m somewhere balanced between power and endurance, I’m somewhere in the middle of the VO2 max score, I’m more prone to certain types of injuries, and I need a couple of days to recover when I do some high-intensity workouts. Is that right?
Jonny: Absolutely. That 48-hour period between hard sessions, yes.
James: That sounds good. I could watch a Netflix series or something instead.
Jonny: Yes. And once you get this information, and there’ll be individuals that just love the detail of this, but really, when you take a step back, the bottom line is find someone that can take this abundance of raw data and actually implement it for you. Whether that’s us or someone close to you, whatever it is, make sure that they really understand your needs, because it’s all very well having this information, but like most people that buy information products, if you actually don’t rip open the seal, then you’ll never be able to actually get the information out and utilize it in your day to day strategies.
James: There you go. James Schramko here, been listening to Part 1 of a three-part series, called The Optimum Strategy To Health And Fitness. I’ve been speaking with Jonny Deacon from MyDNACoach.com. If you liked this show, if you learned something new, just give us a shout out. Comment right below the episode at SuperFastBusiness.com/blog, you’ll be able to look up the episode. We list all episodes that we’ve ever done, and there’s over 500 there for you to have a look through.
And also, why don’t you share it on Facebook, because you probably know someone who might benefit from this whole concept of treating a health and fitness program instead of a one-size-fits-all, why guess? Why just do a one-size-fits-all program if you can actually find out who you are and what might get you a better result, based on the amazing statistics that Jonny revealed in this episode? So for now, we’re over and out. We’ll be back on the next episode, and we’ll be talking about diet reports and mindsets and habits. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Thanks, Jonny.
Jonny: Thanks, James.
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