Genetics play a massive role in how well your workout can go. Unfortunately for some people, no matter how hard they work out, how well they eat, or how well they sleep, they simply aren't achieving the results they set out for. Mike Bracko in "Sucess in Our Genes--And Smart Programming" writes that "it's possible that these [people] have a genetic makeup that resists traditional exercise programs."
So if you're one of those people who cannot get results with a traditional workout program, then you absolutely need to restructure your workout program in a way that differs from what works for people who are able to easily respond to any type of workout.
Genotype is the biggest determinant of a person's response to exercise. In fact, genotype plays such a large role that some people have an adverse reaction to cardio! Bouchard et. al. in a 2012 HERITAGE study noted that an adverse response to exercise occurred in individuals that negatively affected their systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, fasting HDL cholesterol levels, and insulin. The HERITAGE study concludes that "some people had adverse reactions to regular cardio exercise, though the causes were unknown." However, do not let this finding discourage you from working out. Even people limited by their genes can still find success with the correct programming that falls outside of traditional workout guidelines.
What must occur in order for non-responders to become responders is to actually add intensity to cardio. If you're the type who doesn't respond well to exercise, continuously running five miles and then bumping it up to six miles because you didn't see results with five miles isn't going to do much. For example, you can replace that five mile run with cardio intervals. In fact, Bracko points out that "cardio with intervals does more for VO2max than continuous exercise, particularly if the intervals are of longer duration." I personally prefer doing nontraditional forms of cardio since I find regular cardio pretty boring. I love HIIT routines, and while I make my own routines now, I heavily utilized Fitness Blender for many of my past routines. They have workouts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers.
If you are just starting out, here are a few steps you can follow to gradually build up your stamina in order to handle HIIT training:
Overall, if regular exercise is not getting you results, adding duration and intensity to your program should ultimately give you that boost you need. I'd also advise trying a few group classes, like yoga or Pilates. If you have any specific questions about what you can do to better your current routine, feel free to contact me on my contact page.
Bracko, M. (2016). "Success in Our Genes--And Smart Programming." Idea Fitness Journal, 40-7.
ACE Certified Personal Trainer, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, nutrition coach, young adult author, moody ballerina.
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The views expressed on this blog are entirely my own. Any advice I offer is not to be taken as medical advice. If you think you have contraindications to exercise, please see your physician before implementing any sample workout plans I present on this blog.
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