BCCI introduces DNA/genetic fitness test for Team India to improve fitness level

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BCCI introduces DNA/genetic fitness test for Team India to improve fitness level

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SportsCafe Desk


The Indian cricket board has introduced DNA/genetic fitness test for cricketers to help them improve their speed, in-fat burning, endurance, recovery time, and muscle building. Earlier, the team used to undergo Skinfold Test for body fat measure percentage and then switched to DEXA test.

It is known fact that Team India skipper Virat Kohli is a fitness freak and he wanted his team also maintain the level. BCCI took a step to raise the fitness bar. Now, the Indian cricketers are undergoing DNA test that reveals the genetic fitness blueprint of an individual.

It has been learned that this move was taken after the recommendation of team trainer Shankar Basu, so that he can plan a more comprehensive fitness programme for the team. 

The DNA test or generic fitness test result gives an idea about how 40 plus genes are related to a person’s fitness, health, and nutrition. Then each cricketer’s DNA data is combined with the environmental data, which is the individual’s body weight and diet, for an all-round analysis. The DNA test was first introduced in the NBA (basketball) and the NFL in the United States. 

“Yes, we have started the DNA test for the Indian cricket team for some time now. It is basically in line with the new fitness parameters, which has been set by the team management, a senior BCCI official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

“The idea was mooted by Shankar Basu and it has proved to be extremely beneficial. For conducting each and every player’s test, the BCCI spends between Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 which is a nominal amount.” 

Earlier the Indian cricket team used to undergo Skinfold Test for body fat measure percentage and then shifted to DEXA test.

“Skinfold test was used primarily for a long time but it was found out that results related to body fat percentage were not accurate enough. Then there was a switch to DEXA test for calculation of body fat percentage.

“The DNA test is being done so that the body’s needs are known to maintain a particular fat percentage,” the official, who is aware of the module, further added.

As of now, the permissible body fat percentage limit for a senior national team player is 23 percent, which is standard for most of the international cricket teams, including Pakistan and New Zealand. It is seen that despite rigorous amount of training, some of the players did not even know why they were not able to bring down their fat percentage to a certain level.

“Some of them have been having copious amount of milk since childhood as it is a common belief that milk gives you strength. Then they found out that despite training, their body is not able to measure up to the demands of modern day game.

“When this test started, some players understood that they are lactose intolerant or some who have fetish for mutton biryani know what their body needs after eating a particular kind of food,” he added.

In the current squad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the player whose strength and stamina has tremendously improved and he has been consistently playing ODIs, and T20 Internationals. Bhuvneshwar has played 19 ODIs and 7 T20 Internationals since the start of Champions Trophy just because of a new fitness routine that was prepared after getting his genetic fitness report.

The DNA test is believed to test the body’s abilities and what kind of diet and exercise are most effective for a particular player. On the basis of the report, trainer Basu has to prepare a detailed workout and nutrition guide for each player keeping an eye on their respective physical needs.

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