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Working out for your genes

A major genetics study aims to uncover why people get different results from the same workout.

Victoria University researcher Dr Nir Eynon said genetic variation was part of the reason not everyone got the same results from exercise, but the extent to which various genes were responsible was only now being understood.

Research has shown the link between the ACTN3 gene and better results from physical training, but a large-scale trial to prove that link’s extent has not been carried out - until now.

“For the first time on a large scale this study will explain why you can have two people at the same base fitness, eating the same foods and doing the same workout three times a week, but one increases their oxygen capacity by 30% and loses 2 kg while the other increases their oxygen capacity by just 5% and doesn’t lose any weight,” Dr Eynon said.

Researchers are now looking for 18 to 40 year old men to participate in a 4 week high intensity exercise program to see how they respond.

“Participants will complete a cutting edge high intensity training regime that should elicit better results than whatever program they are currently involved in, delivered by leading sports scientists in our facilities here at the Institute of Sport, Exercise & Active Living,” he said.

Participants will have their genetics and other physiological information tested before, during and after the training program, involving three exercise sessions per week. They will also receive an individual consultation and nutritional advice from a dietitian.

“This research will lead to better targeted individual training programs if coaches can eventually know what you are programmed to respond to most effectively. In the short term, for those participating, it’s a great chance to get some good results from a workout and learn about your body and how it responds to first class training,” he said.

Victoria University has received funding from the Australian Research Council to conduct this research. 

To learn more about this study visit or contact Dr Nir Eynon on (03) 9919 5615; 0451 440 796 or [email protected]


Available for interview and photo opportunity in labs

Available for interview:

Dr Nir Eynon, Researcher

Institute of Sport, Exercise & Active Living, Victoria University

(03) 9919 5615; 0451 440 796; [email protected]


Media contact:

Michael Quin, Research writer

Public Affairs Department, Victoria University

(03) 9919 9491; 0431 815 409; [email protected]

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