View Full Version : Who Has The Speed Gene?

06-15-2010, 10:37
The attached Sports Illustrated article is a pretty interesting look into how much/little genetics has to do with athletic ability.


06-15-2010, 12:15
A better question than "who has the gene" is "who makes the most of their potential"?

The genetic side of things probably has much to do with the "Matthew Effect".
Malcolm Gladwell addresses some of this in Outliers.
It is true that a head start is a head start.

IMO, expectations have a huge effect.

Spent some time training my mother.
She had always been athletic, but never spent much time in the weight room.

I gave her no cues as to what was "reasonable" for her to lift.
After a couple dozen workouts, she could flat bench 135lbs.
She was 5'8", 115 lbs, and 51 years old.

Did something similar with a friend of mine.
He was "weak" in most lifts.

He had never seen anyone doing the O-lifts other than me.
Trained him, gave him no cues as to what was "reasonable".

He could power-snatch more than he could bench, with minimal training.

My father knew that there are certain perfomance limits which assert themselves as you get older.
He refused to calculate what was "reasonable".

When he was 50, he ran a 1500m in 4:14 (equivalent to about a 4:34 mile) and he also ran a half-marathon in 1:10:44 (about 5:40/mile pace).

Bottom line: mind over matter, time and dedication yield results.