Athletics & Exercise

Athletic performance is based on genetics — and the time and dedication you put in to practicing your sport!  Research shows that at the elite level, genetic variants that impact muscle composition make a difference.


  • ACTN3 gene: Muscle type and athletic performance
    The ACTN3 gene codes for actinin alpha-3, a protein found in fast-twitch muscles. Some people don’t produce this protein, which changes the composition of their muscles. Elite athletes may be limited by this genetic change.
  • AMPD1 deficiency causes sore muscles after working out
    Do you end up getting sore after pretty much every workout at the gym? It could be that a deficiency caused by the AMPD1 genetic variant is the cause.
  • PPAR-Delta: Burning off the Fat
    PPARδ is a key player in how and when your muscles burn fat for fuel. Genetic variants in the PPARD gene impact how well your muscles utilize fatty acids. These variants also impact how much of a fat-burning benefit you get from exercise.
  • Athletics Report
    Utilize our Athletics Summary Reports with your 23andMe or AncestryDNA genetic data to see which articles may be most relevant to you. These summaries are attempting to distill the complex information down into just a few words. Please see the linked articles for details and complete references. (Member’s article)
  • Motivation to exercise? It’s genetic
    A new study in the journal Behavioral Brain Research paints a fascinating picture of why some people are more motivated to exercise. The study looked at the dopaminergic system to see how people’s genetic variants could alter the ‘reinforcing value’ of exercise.
  • Athletic Performance Genes
    If you are at the top of your sport and looking to optimize, genetics comes into play, affecting muscle composition and endurance.