Exercise confers myriad health benefits and physical inactivity is a modifiable risk factor for many non-communicable chronic diseases. However, individual responsiveness to guideline-based exercise programs is idiosyncratic for health and fitness outcomes. It is not known whether the response of individuals to distinct exercise modalities tend to be concordant or whether there is a genetic contribution to variation in exercise responsiveness.
Healthy, young adult (16–40yrs) monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs were recruited and randomly assigned to 3 months of endurance or resistance exercise training. Twin pairs trained together. After 3 months of training in their randomly assigned mode, a washout period of 3 months was observed before twin pairs crossed over to complete 3 months of the alternate exercise intervention. Measures of cardiac morphology and function, cerebrovascular function, cognitive performance, peripheral artery function, biochemistry, blood pressure, body composition, skeletal muscle strength and cardiopulmonary fitness were collected before and after each exercise intervention (i.e. at weeks 0, 12, 24 and 36).
We adopted exercise modalities that produce distinct haemodynamic and physiological stimuli for physiological adaptation and recruited MZ and DZ twin pairs to address questions such as; do individuals exhibit concordant responses to distinct exercise modalities? and what is the genetic contribution to adaptation resulting from distinct training modalities? The results of this study will provide insight into the genetic and environmental contribution to exercise response to distinct modes of training, with implications for determining the optimal approaches to exercise prescription.