As well as being a marker for good health, having a high aerobic capacity enables your body to work harder during prolonged exercise. Some of us are lucky enough to have a naturally high aerobic capacity due to our genes. A variation in the PGC1A gene is associated with greater baseline aerobic fitness. Your FitnessGenes result tells you which version of this gene you have and how it affects you.
Source: 1000 Genome Project. Global averages for both sexes
The PGC1A gene produces a protein which is important for cellular respiration. Essentially, it plays a role in control of the metabolic pathway that we use for fuel when we do aerobic exercise. The main effects of the PGC1A gene include:
One particular DNA variation in this gene has been linked to aerobic capacity in a wide range of different studies. The G allele of PGC1A is linked to higher baseline levels of the PGC1A protein on average and tends to be found at higher frequencies among elite-level endurance athletes than the alternative S allele.