Health Testing Reviews for Fitness Genes

Kit
Prices start at £129.00

At a Glance

Editor's Rating:
Customer Service:
Clarity of Results:
References Cited:
Value for Money:

Screenshots

Summary

In summary, I would highly recommend the Fitness Genes test to someone serious about their physical fitness. I found the results to be extremely accurate, the advice was highly personalised and told me exactly what I needed to do.

Most of the studies which backed up the results were cited, but you had to hover over certain words to see the citation and you couldn’t cut and paste it. I wish it had been easier to follow up on the studies.

I was a little dismayed that after ordering I began to receive regular emails prompting me to complete voluntary questionnaires. There was no unsubscribe link in the emails and there was no option to take myself off the mailing list in the account.

That said, the test is excellent value for money and will help beginners, novices and experts perfect their training regimen and achieve their fitness goals.

Full Review

My approach to physical fitness has normally been to run regularly, cycle, and to try to do some press-ups and sit-ups every morning. Although this yields marginal results, I’ve often wondered if more tailored, more specific advice would help me get better results. The Fitness Genes (formerly Muscle Genes) test seemed like a great way to answer this question and help me fight my flab!

Product Expectations

I was really impressed with the Fitness Genes site – they have a very clear explanation of what their results will help you do: Lose fat, build muscle, and get fitter. I learned that they test for 40 genetic variations which influence the types of training I should undertake, and the supplements that my body will respond to.

I was told the results would include guidelines for how hard I should train, how often, and when. They’d also indicate what I should be eating and how much.

After checking out the testimonials, videos and FAQ section on the site, I decided to order the Fitness Genes Analysis Kit to start with.

Ordering Experience

Ordering the kit was easy but I was surprised that the price displayed at the top of the ordering page was asterisked, indicating that it didn’t include postage, packing or VAT. On the plus side, I learned that in addition to my results, I’d receive online membership, and access to their eBook library and video education vault. After clicking the ‘Buy now!’ button I was sent to PayPal to buy the test.

I received the kit in the post which included a saliva collection tube that was really easy to use, and it was great to see that the return postage had been paid. Four working days after sending it back to Fitness Genes I received confirmation that it had been received, and was told I could expect my results in four weeks.

Online Registration

There were clear instructions that I should register my kit online before I send the sample back to Fitness Genes.

Registration was easy, I just had to enter some basic information, verify my email address and the unique code on the saliva collection tube. Before completing the process I had to accept the terms and conditions which were outlined on another page.

I felt the risks and considerations of taking the test were responsibly stated in the Ts & Cs. I learned that my results would be anonymised and used by Fitness Genes for research and development. I was interested to note that the Ts & Cs gave Fitness Genes the right to sell my anonymised genetic data. I was also surprised to see that Fitness Genes would keep my organic sample indefinitely unless I asked that it be destroyed.

I have to admit that at over 6,500 words (22 pages); the Ts & Cs weren’t easy to go through. Most other providers keep their Ts & Cs to 2-4 pages, so I didn’t understand why Fitness Genes required me to agree to so many more clauses.

The Results

Three weeks after returning the sample I received an email to say that my results were ready. I was sent to a ‘Welcome’ page after logging in to the online account and could see there were five main sections: ‘Results’, ‘GTS’, ‘eBooks’, ‘Videos’ and ‘Glossary’.

Results Section: Results

At the top of this section it was recommended that I read up on the basics of genetics and click-through to their ‘Introduction to genetics’ page. They provided a clear explanation of what DNA was and went through an example result. I thought this page was excellent as it explained why variations in our genes cause our bodies to produce different proteins, and how this affects the physical traits we possess.

I was then shown my results for genes associated to: Caffeine Metabolism, Speed, Fat Burning, Hypertrophy, Endurance, Aerobic Capacity, Muscle Volume, Metabolism, Lactose Intolerance and Obesity.

One of the results I was especially interested in was my ‘Gene for Metabolism’ result (shown below):

My Gene for Metabolism result.

My Gene for Metabolism result.

I learned that I have a variant of the UCP2 gene that causes me to have a slow metabolism. I’ve definitely found this to be the case – if my calorie intake increases and I don’t step up the exercise, I gain weight fast, much faster than my friends. In a way I was pleased to learn that my genes have made it harder for me to lose weight, I felt I didn’t have to be so hard on myself for making slow progress. I was also interested to read that a slow metabolism is a more efficient metabolism, meaning that my muscles require less energy than average, and that I’m better suited to endurance training. I’ve known for a long time that endurance activities such as long-distance running, cycling and rowing come easy to me, so this result makes perfect sense to me.

On clicking ‘Read more about UCP2’ I was taken to another section (shown below) which gave me more information about the gene , showed how common the variations of the gene are, and gave me the opportunity to see what it would mean had I possessed a different variation.

A section dedicated to the UCP2 gene.

A section dedicated to the UCP2 gene.

I felt the information was pitched at the perfect level – informative, easy to read and concise.

Another result that caught my eye was my ‘Gene for Fat Burning’ result (shown below):

My Gene for Fat Burning result.

My Gene for Fat Burning result.

I read that I possessed a variant that helps me shift my metabolism from burning carbohydrates to burning fat when exercising. This variant contributes to good endurance performance, and provides more evidence as to why I’ve found I’m better suited to endurance sports.

The next result I looked at was my ‘Gene for Aerobic Capacity’ result (shown below):

My Gene for Aerobic Capacity result.

My Gene for Aerobic Capacity result.

I read that I possessed a variant that’s associated to having slow-twitch muscle fibres, and resistance to inflammation and oxidative damage. Yet again, this was a variant that was linked to endurance athletes. The information provided was fascinating, helping me to understand slow and fast-twitch muscle fibres, and why this should have a bearing on my training programme.

Some of the other interesting results included my ‘Gene for Caffeine Metabolism’ result; apparently my DNA makes me a fast caffeine metaboliser which I’ve found to be the case. I was surprised to learn that caffeine should have a positive effect on my swimming and rowing performance, but I have to admit that I perform better in spin class if I’ve had a cup of coffee beforehand. Fitness Genes provided a wealth of information about caffeine metabolism, and I was a little overwhelmed by the volume of research and advice.

My ‘Gene for Muscle Volume’ result indicated that my muscles are prone to getting stronger as opposed to bigger when undertaking resistance-type training. I found the related information to be quite complex, and it wasn’t clear if the variant I possessed meant I produced more or less interleukin-15 – the protein that the gene for muscle volume codes for – and I didn’t see how this result would impact my approach to training.

Lastly, the results showed I was lactose tolerant, which I am, and that I have a normal obesity risk, which has been backed-up by another genetic test I’ve taken.

At the bottom of the Results section I was told that analyses for a further six genes would soon be uploaded to my account, and that these are linked to the following attributes: Eye Colour, Folic Acid, Lactic Acid Processing, Salt Sensitivity, IGF-1 and Growth Hormone and Circadian Rhythm.

Results Section: Action Blueprint

The ‘Action Blueprint’ section contained my recommended training and nutrition strategies.

I was given my recommended work-out frequency according to whether I felt I was ‘Beginner’, ‘Intermediate’ or ‘Advanced’. The recommendations outlined how often I should work each major muscle group, the optimal recovery period, and examples of the work-outs were provided. I felt I was ‘Intermediate’ and advised to work each major muscle group twice a week, and that the work-out could be a 4-day upper- and lower-body split, or a push/pull/legs split. It was great to see that the advice was so specific.

I was then told my body should respond well to a high-volume form of resistance/strength training, and a table was provided with detailed recommendations (shown below):

My high-volume resistance/strength training recommendation.

My high-volume resistance/strength training recommendation.

Again, I was blown away by the specificity of the advice, it was like a personal trainer had put a training plan together just for me! Not only was I given a recommended number of sets, reps and optimal rest range, but hovering over highlighted terms (e.g. ’16 per workout session’) provided an explanation of the term if I needed it.

It was recommended that my training regimen should be on the fast end of tempo prescriptions, and that I’d respond best to High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). I learned that my body is likely to become accustomed to traditional cardio, reducing my ability to burn away excess fat, and that HIIT would help me overcome ‘fat-loss plateaus’. I have to admit that when I train regularly for a period of 3-6 months with cardio activities only; my fat burning rate drops after just a few weeks, so this advice made sense.

Advice was provided about the supplements I should take, centered on protein, creatine and beta alanine. There was an explanation of why these supplements were important, and recommended doses were provided.

There were sections on blood flow and vasodilation, optimising recovery, carbohydrate sensitivity, and susceptibility to oxidative damage. The importance of these elements was explained clearly and concisely in relation to my genetic results, and detailed nutritional advice was given.

Results Section: GTS

There was a section in the account dedicated to the Genetic Training System (GTS) Challenge. The GTS Challenge is an 8-week training program, nutritional plan, supplements plan and online coaching package. It’s only open to those who’ve taken a Fitness Genes test and costs $98. I liked the sound of online coaching to help me put the advice I’ve received into practice, but decided not to opt for this just yet.

Results Sections: eBooks, Videos & Glossary

The eBooks section contained links to seven eBooks. These were guides to things like HIIT, sports supplements, sports nutrition etc. Unfortunately the links were broken and I was unable download the eBooks or view them online.

There were videos on 13 types of supplement. Each was a few minutes long and very informative.

The glossary covered 40 terms that had been used in my results, and although I hadn’t needed to refer to it when reviewing the advice, the definitions were clear and easy to read.

Summary

In summary, I would highly recommend the Fitness Genes test to someone serious about their physical fitness. I found the results to be extremely accurate, the advice was highly personalised and told me exactly what I needed to do.

Most of the studies which backed up the results were cited, but you had to hover over certain words to see the citation and you couldn’t cut and paste it. I wish it had been easier to follow up on the studies.

I was a little dismayed that after ordering I began to receive regular emails prompting me to complete voluntary questionnaires. There was no unsubscribe link in the emails and there was no option to take myself off the mailing list in the account.

That said, the test is excellent value for money and will help beginners, novices and experts perfect their training regimen and achieve their fitness goals.

Please note that we were invited to take the test free of charge.

Click here to visit the Fitness Genes website to learn more about the DNA test they offer.

Fitness Genes' Response

Dear DNA Testing Choice,

Thank you for your review of our product, I am glad you found it a positive experience! I’d be happy to respond to some of the points you’ve highlighted:

Our new ecommerce site now has an all inclusive price, so you don’t have to worry about additional hidden costs at check-out.

With regards our Terms & Conditions, we take our responsibility to our customers very seriously, and spent significant time drawing up our T&Cs to balance confidentiality with our ability to perform future research that will lead to better outcomes for all our customers. We do not test under 18’s and as you’ve noted, we give every customer the right to opt out and have their DNA destroyed once their analysis is complete, an important addition for us from an ethical standpoint.

Thank you for your feedback on the citation issue. As you’ll see from recent additions to the site we are trialling some alternative means of displaying references that hopefully will make it easier for you to follow up on studies of interest.

Finally, I was sorry to hear that you were dismayed to receive our emails regarding our voluntary surveys. As a science-led company, it is important to us to back up our recommendations with our own research. By filling in these surveys our customers provide us with data that we can analyse in line with their genotype to see which elements of our recommendations are sound, and which might not be as strongly associated as the current research suggests. We carry out many of these studies in association with academic groups, and this helps us make the information we deliver more accurate. I absolutely appreciate your concern at not having the option to unsubscribe though, and will feed this back to our support team to ensure an opt out clause is made clear for the future.

Thank you again for your review.

Best regards,

Dr Samantha Decombel
Chief Science Officer, FitnessGenes Ltd. (formerly MuscleGenes)

Index

  • Summary
  • Full Review
  • Product Expectations
  • Ordering Experience
  • Online Registration
  • The Results
  • Results Section: Results
  • Results Section: Action Blueprint
  • Results Section: GTS
  • Results Sections: eBooks, Videos & Glossary
  • Summary