Is DNA Testing Worth the Hype?
*This post may contain referral links for products we love, and all opinions are our own. Blogilates.com earns a small commission from these links, at no additional cost to you.
You know I’m kind of obsessed with data. I’m constantly tracking and problem-solving in both my business and my personal life. I spend hours looking at sales trends, taking polls on IG to perfect designs, and journaling my goals so I can reflect later and build. During my 90 Day Journey, I tracked every rep, weight lifted, and mile time so I could see all signs of progress!
I’m sure you can imagine I didn’t hesitate AT ALL when I had an opportunity with CircleDNA to gather the deepest, most personalized data possible about myself! So I got my CircleDNA Premium Kit (which is LITERALLY the most detailed DNA kit in the world!), did the cheek swab, sent it in and then OMG you guys they gave me over FIVE HUNDRED data reports!!! My dream, truly.
Months later, I’m still nerding out over the results and I wanted to give you a little update on how I’m using what I’ve learned so far!
View this post on Instagram
All bodies are not the same
So first thing first – the huge thing about this test for me was the way it confirmed that all bodies are NOT the same. I’ve been saying and believing that we’re all different and that different things work for different people for yearrsss but the confirmation of that from this test was everything.
How CircleDNA works
How can DNA tell you about your fitness? Let’s get science-y.
Circle uses Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) to scan all of your protein-coding genes. This gives millions (literally) of data points to ensure a comprehensive and accurate look at your genetic blueprint. Like, 99.9% accurate. What’s really crazy is how it seems like this should require something invasive to get such a deep look into your DNA…but it doesn’t! Just a simple saliva swab that you mail back to the Circle lab (this is totally free – they send you a label and everything!).
Over 20 categories of reports from ONE saliva swab
I know, isn’t that CRAZY?! I’m not sure what I expected when I got my results but omg I was so fascinated to see how my DNA could tell me about things like my skin, sleep and even behavior. Like what?
I was most excited about the nutrition and fitness categories. I was in the middle of my 90 Day Journey to Muscle, and struggling for that last 30 day stretch. I was having a hard time pinpointing what exactly was going to work for my body to hit my goal, which was to build as much muscle as possible.
People were yelling at me on my posts, saying I was doing everything wrong. My workouts were wrong. I wasn’t eating enough. But I felt like I had a pretty good handle on what DOES work for me, because putting on muscle has been a challenge for me my entire life. Again, all bodies are DIFFERENT. So mentally, I was feeling stuck.
I’ll get more into those results in a minute, because first I have to mention some of the other reports I got from my test. They included:
– Stress and sleep (sleep was also huge on my journey!)– Behavior– Skin (always figuring this out)– Disease risk– Physical traits– Success traits– Music and dance (so fun!)– Brain health– Family planning
There were times with my results that I was like YEP that is totally me and then other times when I felt like I was learning about myself or making connections about things I struggle with. For example – my test totally confirmed that I’m a supertaster!!
The disease risk reports were super interesting too because they make you aware of certain diseases and health conditions that you may be at higher risk for. It’s like a step beyond family history that simply puts things on your radar so you can be as proactive as possible. CircleDNA identifies elevated risk for things like asthma, kidney disease, hypothyroidism, cancer, migraine, allergies, and more. There’s a specific report for cancer risk that identifies risk for 35 types of cancer.
Of course this is in no way a diagnosis and isn’t meant to scare anyone. I’m using the info from my test as an opportunity to chat with my doctor about what I should have on my radar based on my results and any lifestyle changes I should make. Remember – the data here are about risk based on your DNA.
Same with family planning. Even though I didn’t take this test specifically for these reports (you totally can btw with the CircleDNA Family Planning kit), I think it’s good for couples to have some awareness about anything they may be a carrier for and other information that can be passed down to future generations.
What I’ve changed with fitness and nutrition
So…now that it’s been a few months since my 90 Day Journey ended, have I changed my workouts and diet based on these results?
Just like I plan on talking with my doctor about some of the medical reports, I talked with our dietitian to learn more about HOW I can apply this data to my eating habits, and with a certified fitness instructor about how I should approach my workouts and goals based on my findings from this test.
My biggest nutrition takeaway from my reports was SO MANY SENSITIVITIES. I’ve been pretty open with you in the past about why I avoid certain foods as much as I can. Dairy always makes me bloated and triggers my skin to break out. I have the worst reaction to alcohol and it tastes like actual poison. Chocolate and arugula taste sooo bitter no matter what I do. I feel a lot better overall when I don’t eat a lot of grains.
And if you peek at the reports for things I’m at higher risk for … it’s all there.
So of course when I talked with our dietitian Breanna, she was super supportive of continuing to simply listen to my body.
“There’s nothing wrong with avoiding the foods that you can pinpoint for making you feel uncomfortable in any way. But to confirm whether or not you’re truly sensitive or intolerant to these foods, I’d recommend seeing a dietitian who specializes in allergies or an allergist who can properly test you.”
She went on to encourage me to get further testing if my symptoms interfere with my daily life or become difficult to manage. For me, I’ve gotten pretty familiar with my “problem” foods and how often I can handle them before I notice things like bloating and acne creeping back up again.
My body’s optimal training type
During my last 90 Day Journey, everyone wanted to tell me how THEY thought I should be planning my workouts. According to some people, I was doing too many reps. My weights weren’t heavy enough. I was doing too much cardio. And even though my gut told me I felt better doing my workouts how I planned, I still switched during the second month to lower reps and higher weights.
And guess what? I put on MORE lean mass doing it the first way, MY way.
I got my CircleDNA results right before I started Month 3. When I saw my fitness reports, everything clicked.
Here’s what it says about my optimal training type:
The report literally described the way my muscles are designed and the best way to achieve results as…exactly what I had been doing. “Many reps, with slightly lighter weights.”
I asked my friend and fellow fitness instructor Jules Fultz for her thoughts on these results because who knows, maybe I’m just reading the results how I WANT to see them? I knew she’d be brutally honest with me 😉 She said:
“It makes sense to optimize exercise enjoyment by aligning your routine around what suits your body from the inside out.”
And she’s totally right. It DOES make sense. Also I love how she mentioned enjoyment. The past few months post-journey has been proof that for me, if there’s no JOY in my fitness, it’s not working – no matter what bodybuilders say is the “best” way.
So when I talked with Jules about what my future workouts should look like based on these results, she confirmed what I thought: focusing on strength AND cardio. Sticking with higher reps and medium weights, which is honestly what I enjoyed most on my 90 day journey.
So, I’ll be doing a mixture of Pilates, weightlifting, running, and hopefully I can add in a few dance classes. I love dance so much and it is such a great cardio workout that doesn’t feel like cardio.
If you know me, you already know that I feel like there is no “best” way for every person to work out. Everyone is SO different! So you have to listen to you body and do what gets you motivated and excited.
“I think the moral of the story is you need to find the workout that works for your body just like with food,” says Jules.
Both Jules and I have been teaching group fitness classes for a long time, and the truth is, we’re not burnt out because we find ways to keep it interesting through change! Whether it be changing the workout routine itself, trying a new class with a new instructor, embarking on a challenge, changing the time you do your workouts, or even changing the clothes and shoes you’re wearing – change is necessary!
Wanna try CircleDNA?
Isn’t this stuff SO INTERESTING?!
Obviously, like so many other things in fitness and wellness, this is just a tool that might help you understand your body a little better. If you want to give it a try, there are a couple to choose from, depending on your needs!
Vital DNA Test – This is a comprehensive wellness test that gives you over 60 reports on diet, fitness, and wellness.
If you choose Vital and decide that you want to go deeper, it’s super easy to upgrade to Premium. Just pay for the upgrade and they’ll use the data from your original cheek swab. No need to retest!
Premium DNA Test – This is what I did! This one is like an upgrade to the Vital test, and gives you over 500 reports on wellness, disease risk, ancestry, and family planning. The detail on this one is soooo crazy.
The process is the same for any test you do and it’s seriously so easy. They send you everything you need in the kit, which is really just a cheek swab. You follow the instructions to swab your cheek, and send it back to Circle in a postage-paid package! Then you get your results SO FAST – I couldn’t believe it. Oh and every test includes a 1-hour health and genetic consultation to answer any questions you have about your results!
Whatever test you decide to try, make sure you use code 20BLOGILATES for 20% off on the CircleDNA website!!