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Dr. Pescatello is involved with the largest exercise genomics study to date, Functional Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) Associated with Human Muscle Size and Strength (FAMuSS NIH R01 NS40606-02). The primary aim of FAMuSS was to identify genetic factors that determine the response of health-related fitness characteristics to resistance exercise training (RT). About 1300 young, overweight men (42%) and women (58%) were recruited and genotyped for ~500 genetic variants in FAMuSS. Volunteers completed the Paffenbarger Physical Activity Questionnaire to assess energy expenditure (kcal•wk-1) and time spent (hr•wk-1) in light, moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity; sports and recreation; total physical activity; and sitting. They then performed a progressive, unilateral RT program of the non-dominant arm. Before and after RT, muscle strength was measured with the maximum voluntary contraction and one repetition maximum, while MRI measured muscle, fat and bone mass and volume. Participants in this session will learn about basic genetic terminology, the FAMuSS study, and how genetic variants associated with obesity also associate with physical activity. The session will conclude with examples of how genetic predispositions to be physically active can be used to personalized exercise prescriptions for avoiding weight gain and/or maintaining successful weight loss maintenance.
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