T Nation

MAOA Gene, Aggression, and Lifting?

Anyone familiar with it?

There’s a hypothesis I would like to test…

I wonder if the percentage how many world class athletes/ powerlifters have the aggressive/ “warrior” version of the MAOA gene compared to the rest of the populace?

Not sure this is something that could easily be tested without major cooperation.

A lot of people talk about genetic limitations… This being a genetic aspect, I wonder if having this particular version of the gene is conducive to bigger lifts… I mean, the more I think about it, less averse to taking risks, rage, aggression, are all pretty common things that we all have, and most of us have worked on harnessing it or controlling it, finding a healthy outlet (like lifting).

What ya think? Am I completely off track or might there be some merit to this thought?

I think it’s a really good question, but I’m not so sure.

One thing that tends to also be noticeable in people who supposedly have this type of mutation of the gene is that they are impulsive and lack discipline (manifested in its most extreme case in the congenital disease known as Brunner syndrome).

In my experience, these are not the traits of an accomplished athlete, or a skilled warrior.

But genetics are still just starting to be understood, and I doubt that any personalities can be described merely on the activity of one particular gene.

Edit: That said, I’ll be getting one of those genetic profile tests early next year, so what the heck, if there’s someting relevant in my profile for this particular discussion, I think I’ll post it.

I’ll figure out a way to get tested myself. Would go a long way explaining why I was so aggressive and a pain in the ass during my childhood.

While all of those things are true, a lot of the time the most negative aspects of them are apparent in people who are abused as children. I don’t really know what to constitute abuse, things were different when I was a kid, I got disciplined via belt, and giant wooden soup spoon.

Really what I’m trying to get at is that there are things that are ideal for training people to control their anger… For me the first one was Judo. You aren’t going to be worth a shit as a judoka if you are impulsive or angry. You are worth a shit if you have good technique, focus, timing and some hand strength. Learning focus and technique, timing are all training to control impulse…

Really I think that perhaps, if 1/3 of the populace has this genetic mutation, many of us must have learned to harness it… If it’s an energy that other people don’t have, then it’s something I view as an extra for someone who lifts… If you can turn your anger and rage on at will, and focus it, that is probably conducive to a good lift and possibly an advantage, where without the discipline and control it is a huge disadvantage.

You know, I’ll be honest in that I kind of dismissed your (the OP) notion at first – probably because I don’t want to believe that so much behavior is decided by one gene mutation – but now that I’ve had a few days to think about it, I’m going to be REALLY curious as to how the genetic test turns out, and yeah I will share the info if it’s positive on this gene. Thinking on my own history, I’ve always been looking for an outlet and focus for my aggressive tendencies. I think I’ve done pretty well, as I’m not a hostile person to be around, but the feelings are there and I definitely use the energy from said aggression in various forms of training.

When are you planning on getting tested, and what company are you planning on using? In about a week, I’m ordering my testing kit, I assume I’ll have the results probably in February.

I was planning on seeing if my regular doctor can have it checked out when I do my annual blood work… I’m not sure what company to trust if I go outside my doc… Everywhere I’m seeing the warrior gene test kit, being that this is a sales pitch for something I want, it’s too convenient for me to just trust…

So far I haven’t found anything I trust quite yet.