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Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be naturally fit? Or why some people are able to improve their fitness levels and adjust to training faster than others? Could your genetics play a role? Let’s take a look.

Natural fitness levels and the rate at which you can improve your fitness levels is, in part, up to your genetic profile. In addition to your genetics, your environment and training also play a role in determining these outcomes.

While your genetics cannot tell us what your current VO2max score is, it can help us determine how quickly you will be able to improve your VO2max and what type of aerobic training will lead to the fastest improvements. Your genetic profile will provide an indication of whether you should use either steady-state cardio or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to improve your VO2max. VO2max refers to the rate at which your body uses oxygen while you train. The quicker oxygen moves through and is utilised by the body, the quicker nutrients are transported and utilized throughout your body. This increased use of nutrients, such as carbohydrates and protein, contributes to an increase in fitness levels and can help you reach your peak fitness level a lot faster.

A variety of different formulas can be used to determine what your current VO2max score (the rate at which your body currently uses oxygen while you train) is. However, the most accurate way to determine this score is in a sports science lab.

Things you need to do before the test:

  • Do not eat or drink anything for at least 3 hours before the test
  • Plan to wear dry and comfortable clothing for the test

Choosing your test:

  • With the help of your sport scientist, you can choose to do the test using either a stationary bicycle or a modified treadmill.

During the test:

  • The sport scientist will fit you with a face mask, which will be connected to a machine that measures:
    • Your respiratory rate
    • Concentration of oxygen you inhale and exhale
    • Concentration of carbon dioxide you inhale and exhale
  • The test will take 10-20 minutes

After the test:

  • Expect to be tired and out of breath, as the test is intensive
  • Allow yourself adequate time to recover
  • Remember to drink plenty of water after the test. This is essential to help replace all the fluid you lost from sweating

Once the test is complete you will receive your score, which provides an indication of your current aerobic fitness level. The higher your score, the higher your aerobic fitness level. However, do not get discouraged by a lower score! As soon as you know your score, low or high, you can work to improve it.

Uncovering your genetic profile and finding out how your body responds to specific exercises will allow you to tweak and individualize your training routine. This will help you to make every minute of exercise count. To find out how quickly you may be able to improve your VO2max score and which type of training will help you do it, make the better choice and choose FitwellgxTM.


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