Back in the day, endurance athletes used traditional threshold training encompassing both high volume and high intensity. This technique might work for novice athletes, but it only slightly improved the performance of highly trained runners and cyclists, and may contribute to overtraining. A study published in theJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research compares this program to polarized training.
Analyzing 5 studies, scientists put the traditional model up against an undulated non-linear periodization program where individuals limit time spent training at race pace by separating high-intensity workouts with one or more slow long-distance sessions. They found this new model superior to the old school approach for increasing aerobic endurance, especially when high-intensity sessions were performed as intervals.
True Strength Moment: There’s always a new way to train for performance improvement, and this one might help elite athletes keep on top of their game without overdoing it.
Power and speed training can really add something to your team sports performance. There are more than a couple of ways to approach this challenge and squat jumps are an excellent option. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests it can be altered to achieve very different outcomes.
Twenty-four elite high school aged soccer players were assessed before and after 6 weeks of lower body power training 3 days a week. Some maximized the velocity of their jumps while other decreased velocity. Performance increased for both groups. The greatest gains in 1 rep max came with reduced velocity squats while the fastest 5 to 20 meter sprints resulted from increased velocity.
True Strength Moment: Now you have a couple different options for bringing up sticking points. Make adjustments depending on which areas of your game you need the most work.
It isn’t very often you find a diet program encouraging people to eat more. Most adults on a weight loss diet are cutting their consumption of fat, carbohydrates or pretty much everything. A study published in the journal PLOS Medicine suggests a simple approach shown to be effective over a 24-year period.
Analyzing data from 133,468 American adults from the Nurse’s Health Study, Health Professional’s Follow Up Study and Nurse’s Health Study II, researchers determined that each extra daily serving of fruit was associated with about a quarter of a pound weight loss over 4 years. It was about the same for each extra serving of non-starchy vegetables.
True Strength Moment: The trick here is to choose your vegetables wisely. Where non-starchy vegetable consumption was associated with weight loss, consumption of starchy vegetables had the opposite effect. Over the same 4-year period, a 1.13 pound weight gain was estimated for pea consumption and just over 2 pounds would be gained by eating corn.
No serious team sports athlete wants to get fatigued in the heat of the competition. If you’re preparing to take the field of a hot afternoon, the findings of a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism may be of interest.
Researchers had non-elite male team sports athletes take part in a simulated repeat-sprint test under hot, hypoxic conditions. On separate occasions, they got 3 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight, 14 grams of essential amino acids or a supplement containing both ingredients.
The caffeine and amino acid combination helped subjects keep pace with sprint performance more effectively than placebo or either of the single-ingredient supplements. It also helped reduce decreases in quadriceps activity and lower oxygenation in the brain’s frontal cortex
True Strength Moment: This study suggests that a combination of essential amino acids and caffeine might help driven competitors maintain their performance longer under less than ideal conditions. The best place to test this hypothesis would probably be during a demanding practice session.
There’s more than one way to do any style of workout. Consider high-intensity exercise, which typically includes running and cycling. Here’s what happens when you add kettlebells to the mix. If you’ve been shown how to use these handled weights, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Researchoffers an interesting workout to consider working into your routine.
Researchers had 8 male volunteers perform 12 minutes of kettlebell swings using a Tabata regimen of 5 minutes to warm up, 8 intervals of 20-second all-out effort with 10 seconds between sets and 2 minutes to cool down. For the next session, subjects did three 30-second sets of all out cycling with 4 minutes of recovery between sets. Oxygen consumption and calorie burning were both higher during kettlebell training.
True Strength Moment: Interval training with kettlebells appears to offer a great alternative to your typical cardio day options. You’d think the benefits of this type of training would be limited to younger, more physically fit adults. A post on today’s ABB Performance Blog suggests otherwise.