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PLoS One. 2018 Nov 28;13(11):e0207597. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207597. eCollection 2018.

The magnitude of Yo-Yo test improvements following an aerobic training intervention are associated with total genotype score.

Author information

Institute of Coaching and Performance, School of Sport & Wellbeing, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom.
Exercise and Nutritional Genomics Research Centre, DNAFit Ltd, London, United Kingdom.
Suraci Consultancy, Portsmouth, United Kingdom.


Recent research has demonstrated that there is considerable inter-individual variation in the response to aerobic training, and that this variation is partially mediated by genetic factors. As such, we aimed to investigate if a genetic based algorithm successfully predicted the magnitude of improvements following eight-weeks of aerobic training in youth soccer players. A genetic test was utilised to examine five single nucleotide polymorphisms (VEGF rs2010963, ADRB2 rs1042713 and rs1042714, CRP rs1205 & PPARGC1A rs8192678), whose occurrence is believed to impact aerobic training adaptations. 42 male soccer players (17.0 ± 1y, 176 ± 6 cm, 69 ± 9 kg) were tested and stratified into three different Total Genotype Score groups; "low", "medium"and "high", based on the possession of favourable polymorphisms. Subjects underwent two Yo-Yo tests separated by eight-weeks of sports-specific aerobic training. Overall, there were no significant differences between the genotype groups in pre-training Yo-Yo performance, but evident between-group response differentials emerged in post-training Yo-Yo test performance. Subjects in the "high" group saw much larger improvements (58%) than those in the 'medium" (35%) and "low" (7%) groups. There were significant (p<0.05) differences between the groups in the magnitude of improvement, with athletes in the "high" and medium group having larger improvements than the "low" group (d = 2.59 "high" vs "low"; d = 1.32 "medium" vs "low"). In conclusion, the magnitude of improvements in aerobic fitness following a training intervention were associated with a genetic algorithm comprised of five single nucleotide polymorphisms. This information could lead to the development of more individualised aerobic training designs, targeting optimal fitness adaptations.

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Conflict of interest statement

We have read the journal's policy and the authors of this manuscript have the following competing interests: Craig Pickering is an employee of DNAFit Ltd, a genetic testing company. Bruce Suraci is owner and founder of Suraci Consultancy, a football coaching consultancy service, and is a contractor to DNAFit Ltd. The genetic testing in this study was carried out by DNAFit Ltd, utilizing a commercially available product. Both CP and BS state that these competing interests do not alter their adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

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