So what’s up with this picture? Who are they? What the significance and relevancy? Otto and Ewald are two identical German twins, but you’d never know it by looking at them. Identical twins share virtually same genetic blueprint. So how could they look so different? Answer: genetic expression. Specifically, the different ways they exercised and how it made their SAME genetic blueprint express itself differently.
So here’s what’s up, both twins are athletes. Otto runs distance, Ewald competes in the field events (discus, shot put, hammer throw, etc.). The different types of training (one, low-intensity cardio; the other, high-intensity resistance-type training) resulted in two very different body types, even for a pair of humans with the exact same genetic code.
So what can we learn from looking at these twins? Well first is that what we do, in terms of exercise, can produce radically different results. We have alot of influence over what our bodies look like. Second, if you’re looking to gain muscle, interval training is going to be optimal.
Interval training is a type of physical training that involves bursts of high intensity work. This high intensity work is alternated with periods of rest or low activity (the intervals in interval training). The term can refer to any cardiovascular workout (e.g. cycling, running, rowing, etc.) that involves brief bouts at near-maximum exertion interspersed with periods of lower-intensity activity.
Scientifically, here’s what happened:
It turns out that Otto’s more low intensity stimulation decreased ATP concentrations and activated AMP kinase. This inhibited stimulation of TSC2 so that mTOR-mediated myofibrillar stimulation did not occur. In Ewald’s case, the genes got another signal: high intensity contraction stimulated PKB activity, increasing TSC2 and activating the mTOR signal, resulting in markedly increased myofibrillar protein synthesis.
So, a low intensity signal turns on different genes and signal cascades than a high intensity signal. Low intensity — no muscle protein synthesis. High intensity — markedly increased muscle protein synthesis. Same genes, different signals, different bodies.
In summary, decide what kind of body you want to create. If you want to be a long distance runner, so be it. However, if you’re looking to cut fat and become more muscular, choose your exercise wisely. Your genes are going to express themselves according to what you DO. Specifically, LIFT HEAVY THINGS, do sprints, look up and study interval training techniques. Shock and traumatize your body by exerting 100% effort.