As bodybuilders, we spend a lot of time talking about genetics, especially when talking about our ultimate potential and maximum natural (and chemically assisted) limits. Talking about genetics has almost become cliché. Now, however, scientists have made a remarkable discovery: Your risk of injury may be genetically determined.
Using recent advances in genetics and tendon and ligament research, scientists in Cape Town, South Africa, have implicated the COL1A1 gene in soft tissue and ligament injuries. This has been confirmed as an explanation for why some people are predisposed to injuring their Achilles tendons, knees, and rotator cuffs and shoulders.
So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: You should continue to train all-out, but you have to train your body. That means knowing your genetic risk factors and changing your training to accommodate them. Let’s face it: You can’t grow when you’re injured. Injuries suck! So train hard and smart, and you’ll stay injury-free on your one-way trip to Muscletown.
Source: Collins M, Raleigh SM. Genetic risk factors for musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries.
Med Sport Sci. 2009;54:136-149. Epub 2009 Aug 17.