Dr. Lon Kilgore’s Genetic Potential

Rest Day Read (SR-34)
Genetic Potential by Dr. Lon Kilgore
“Humans are built to be active to survive, but the modern sedentary lifestyles lead to inactivation of the genes related to survival (the fitness and performance genes)”
“What is preferable for most of us is a broad-spectrum adaptation that will make a more functional human animal. To be truly fit to survive, fit to live, fit to work, fit to play, we need to drive across-the-board adaptations, aerobic and anaerobic, metabolic and structural, and we need a system of training that activates every performance gene in its path. Unlike weight training or traditional endurance work alone, Cross-Fit style mixed-mode training capitalizes on an athlete’s complete set of performance-related genes and produces a comprehensive fitness adaptation.”

Dr. Lon Kilgore hits the nail on the head with this article. Genetically, we Homo sapiens are designed and programmed to lead a physical lifestyle, yet we are constantly inventing and choosing ways to avoid or hide from our genetic destiny. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this complex problem, become physically active and become physically active across the board with a variety of strength, power and endurance activities. There is great wisdom in Dr. Kilgore’s words, but we must implement these ideas and begin to use exercise to trigger the dormant genetics we have neglected. Change will happen. It has to happen, it is written in you genes.
Dr. Kilgore is one of the best in my opinion. Of course, being a Kansas State University A&P graduate doesn’t hurt, but he has a tremendous gift for breaking down the complex principles of kinesiology and anatomy & physiology into digestible pieces. His book, Starting Strength, co-authored by weightlifting legend Mark Rippetoe, is a must read for anyone interested in strength training the correct way and a foundation of my personal library. It is a well of information and technique perfectly suitable for self-teaching the basics of strength training in a safe and correct manner. I highly suggest owning and reading this book.
When I used to be the volunteer summer strength and conditioning coach at Clay Center Community High School, my whole program was based on the genetic potential our athletes. We are population of genetically middle/low weight wrestlers. Athletic, explosive, talented, but not big. We could not do anything about our physical size, so we focused on developing explosive powerful athletes that would play violent, aggressive football. Our credo was to get a little more explosive, get a little more stronger, get a little more faster every day! More on this later…

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