The question of low weight high reps or heavy weight low reps has raged on for years in the bodybuilding world. Most texts point towards a middle range being superior for muscle hypertrophy which is around 8 – 12 reps. However multiple elite bodybuilders all utilise slightly different training protocols to reach their level, some do high reps and high time under tension (TUT) with others sticking with some strength work and some do strength work with extra higher (bodybuilding) ranges being peppered within.
Muhdo gives clients a TUT range to use from the DNA results, this range changes to the goal they wish to have whether that be bodybuilding, endurance or power. Throughout data gathering certain correlations begin to show and these can be used to further DNA testing algorithms.
The gene ACTN3 has long been linked with power output with multiple texts linking those with the C variant with sprinting prowess .
One of the many genes tested by Muhdo is this gene, in particular the SNP rs1815739 and through some study we have found the following.
In male Caucasian bodybuilders (n=19) aged between 23-25 with a minimum of 2 years experience in resistance training showed a better hypertrophy response from some strength training being incorporated into their programme if they had the CC variant in ACTN3 (rs1815739).
The intervention is simple – to complete 4 main compound movements with a 5×5 (3s per rep) protocol (instead of the standard 6-15 reps) which was used over 8 weeks with a progression of resistance every 2 weeks if applicable/possible.
The exercises in question:
Flat Bench BB
Deadlift Standard BB
Back Squat BB
Cable or Bent over Row (BB)
How did the results look?
Average Results Table:
|Arm Circumfrence (flex) Inch Pre||Arm Circumfrence (flex) Inch Post||Upper Leg Circumfence Inch Pre||Upper Leg Circumfrence Inch Post|
The CC variant group showed the best results with nearly an inch extra on the arms and over an inch on the thigh. However the other two groups showed little difference, showing that it may be a particular few that gains this benefit.
|participant||ACTN3 (rs1815739)||Arm Circumfrence (flex) Inch Pre||Arm Circumfrence (flex) Inch Post||Upper Leg Circumfence Inch Pre||Upper Leg Circumfrence Inch Post|
Overall more research into the area is required to come to a decision on why this affect was occurring in the CC group. Chris Collins from Muhdo explains:
“Looking at just one gene and one snp is useful in designing a robust algorithm to help create a persons training plan, however it must always be taken as one of many gene variants and environmental factors that decide upon a training outcome”