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  • To be the best athlete, musician, or even gamer, you have to train relentlessly. But

  • to what degree does natural talent come into play? Are some of us just born with a better

  • chance to be the best at what we do?

  • To study this question in sports, scientists have tried subjecting untrained individuals

  • to identical exercise regimes, to see if the same amount of training would lead to varying

  • results. Not so surprisingly, different individuals saw different improvement - some improved

  • in leaps and bounds while others seemed stagnant. But interestingly, individuals who were related

  • by blood saw similar improvements, indicating that their genetics played a role in their

  • athletic potential. If your parent or sibling saw incredible results from training, so would

  • you. These individuals are considered 'high responders' to training.

  • After statistical analysis of endurance, it was determined that 50% of athletic improvement

  • was linked to genetics. In other words, great athletes are born with great genes.

  • With time, scientists have been able to isolate particular sets of genes which they believe

  • are responsible for these traits. High responders have them and experience significant improvement,

  • regardless of how fit they are to start. On the other hand, if your genes deem you a 'low

  • responder' for endurance training, cross-country skiing may not be for you.

  • But even before training, scientists noticed something else; individuals all had different

  • baseline endurance levels as well. Without any training, some individuals were simply

  • more fit than others. It turns out, a different set of genes give some people a higher baseline.

  • In the case of endurance, these genes can code for larger volumes of blood, which are

  • generally only seen in trained athletes.

  • So, you can have a high baseline or high trainability - or both! And it's likely that our greatest

  • athletes train as hard as they can, on top of having some great genetics. It seems that

  • talent is trainable, under the right circumstances.

  • So have you got what it takes to be an Olympic athlete? Science says, you'll never know until

  • you try.

  • Don't forget: we have a new video out every day of the Olympics.

  • Can't wait? Our amazing partners at the CBC already have five of the videos up now for you to binge on.

  • Just head to to watch them before anyone else. Link in the description.

  • But we also want to know your questions for this special series. Use the hashtag ScienceSays and let us know your burning olympic questions.

  • And subscribe for more awesome science videos!

To be the best athlete, musician, or even gamer, you have to train relentlessly. But

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B1 training endurance baseline genetics improvement talent

Talent vs Training

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    hihi teacher posted on 2014/08/03
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