Not genetically athletic? Tips to still get extra fit

Some people work out just as hard as their training partner and do the right things when it comes to diet, but don’t make the same gains.
They don’t lift as much, run as fast or get as toned.
Sometimes it just comes down to genetics, but before you get really frustrated consider tweaking your training regimen to suit your strengths and make up for your genetic deficiencies.
“There are clearly genetic constraints on many things that we view as athletic abilities,” stated Mark McClusky, the author of “Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science Is Creating a New Generation of Super-Athletes—and What We Can Learn from Them.”
Genetics influence how a person reacts to exercise and what’s effective for one person might not help someone else nearly as much.
If you’re not getting the results you want, consider changing up your routine. Here are some tips to get extra edge:
1. If you’ve been working out by yourself, or with just one or two partners and not making much progress, maybe becoming part of a group will help.
Becoming part of something like a running or bicycle club, or yoga group, can really add motivation and fun for some people.
2. Change up the way you lift. If lifting weights with lots of high reps, consider upping the weight and doing less reps.
Some people need to consider doing the opposite, going from lower reps to higher reps.
Different muscle fiber types react differently.
3. Learn more about interval training. Some people can just naturally process oxygen faster, but if you struggle with cardio consider trying to improve your conditioning with more high-intensity intervals. Almost everyone can improve their cardio capability, although genes make it harder for some than others Add a couple high-intensity interval workouts each week, in which you push extra hard for 1 or 2 minute intervals then go back to a normal pace or even rest for a minute.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at