When I did my very first fitness course, we were taught that genetics didn’t make a difference.
I remember being told that the reason that nearly all successful sprinters were black was nothing to do with the colour of their skin.
And to suggest it was would be racist.
It was more societal, apparently.
“Running out of poverty” was a phrase I remember being used.
Try telling that to Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey.
Who paused his successful career as a stockbroker to become the fastest man ever during the late 90s.
Surely suggesting that all black sprinters are from ‘poverty’ is far more racist than suggesting a slight genetic difference is, anyway?
A couple of years ago Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre become the first white man to run 100m in under 10 seconds.
After 103 black guys had.
100 of whom were of ‘West African heritage’.
Seems fairly compelling to me.
That and all the muscle fibre tests that have consistently shown a small, but significant difference in the levels of fast twitch fibres across different races.
Just enough so that if you take two guys who both train incredibly hard and consistently and eat, hydrate, etc, etc equally well……..
But one has slightly more favourably genetics…….
He could be that fraction of a second faster that makes all the difference.
So, in 100m, genetics is a factor.
But only a factor.
Imagine if I claimed the only reason Usain Bolt was faster than me was because of our skin colour.
You would, rightly, laugh at me.
Whilst pointing out that I do no specialised sprint training.
And have only run 100m on a track a few times in nearly two decades.
They are much bigger factors in this case than genetics.
Having worked with hundred, maybe thousands, of people,over the years……..
We have noticed different people respond differently.
Get two people doing exactly the same exercise, eating the same, etc…….
And they can respond at different speeds.
Whether we want to call it genetics, or something else, different people can respond differently.
We have yet to meet someone who eats healthily (by our definition) and exercises regularly and effectively (again, by our definition)……….
Who isn’t getting in better shape / improving their health.
The speed of progress may vary person to person, sure.
But, if someone’s weight, body shape, etc isn’t how they’d like it……..
There’s something they’re not doing, or could do differently.
Not to say they have to, of course.
It’s their body to do with as they wish.
Who would we be to say otherwise?
But, much like I can’t really blame my genetics for not being a better sprinter when I’m not doing what I could to get faster……..
Blaming genetics when someone isn’t doing what they could to change things………
Saying “It’s my genetics” whilst eating shite and not exercising effectively…….
Is doing them a disservice.
It’s a self limiting brief that could be holding you back?
Jon ‘Pretty fly for a white guy’ Hall and Matt ‘Fastest 15 year old in Buxton’ Nicholson
P.S. Two weeks to the find-out-more meeting for the November-December 8 week challenges. As before, we’ll be offering a ‘5lbs Christmas lee-way’ so there’s no reason to “leave it to the New Year”. Check myrise.co.uk/briefing-meeting 🙂
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