20 KM Race Pacing Strategy

For efforts lasting longer than 4 minutes, it’s generally accepted that an even pacing strategy works best. But that might not be the case for endurance competition. A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology put this pacing technique to the test with cyclists who compete in 20 kilometer events.

Researchers had 15 experience cyclists complete 3 self-paced 20 KM time trials before having them try to maintain a steady pace for the entire 20 KM. Even though the intensity of this steady pace race was matched to their best self-paced effort 9 subjects were unable to complete the event due to a more rapid buildup of blood lactate.

True Strength Moment: In the case of endurance events, distributing the work at an uneven parabolic pace allows competitors to exceed their maximum sustainable power output. So start fast, take a breather and finish big.


You’re planning on jumping back into a regular fitness routine right after the new year begins. What type of training is going to provide the biggest return on your investment in gym time? A study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise shows what 42 inactive male subjects in their mid-20s accomplished.

These volunteers performed either 5 minutes of sprint interval training (SIT), 13 minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT) or 40 minutes of steady state aerobics 5 days a week for a total of 8 weeks. All subjects significantly increased their capacity for exercise, with the greatest gains seen in the HIIT group.

True Strength Moment: If calorie burning is your goal, the SIT group sweated out 100 calories per session while HIIT burned up an estimated 180 calories per gym visit. Steady state cardio was the calorie-burning champion at 360 per session, so if time isn’t an issue that might be your best approach. In terms of time efficiency, it’s hard to top HIIT.


The holiday season brings what seems like endless opportunities to overindulge. Obviously, exercising restraint is your best option. But if things get out of hand for a week or so, you can always nullify some of the downsides to taking in extra calories with intense training. That’s what a study published in The Journal of Physiology suggests.

Researchers had 26 active men in their mid-20 consume 50% more calories than usual for 7 days. Some reduced their level of exercise to walking 4,000 steps a day while others increased physical effort by taking on 45 minutes of treadmill running at 70% of exercise capacity. Relatively inactive subjects saw a doubling of the insulin response to glucose along with changes in the expression of 17 fatty tissue genes. Those who exercised intensely each day didn’t experience either of these effects, even with the calorie surplus.

True Strength Moment: Intense exercise can keep you ahead of the calorie curve for a while, but don’t count on cardio being a long-term solution for overeating. Six pack abs are built in the kitchen. Just don’t take it to the extreme. Today’s Performance Blog shows what can happen when athletes lose too much weight too quickly.


Low Vitamin D Brain Drain

Most active adults associate vitamin D with bone health. Like other micronutrients, the sunshine vitamin plays important roles in numerous other functions. A study published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine highlights vitamin D’s importance to cognitive acuity.

Since many elderly adults are vitamin D deficient, researchers fed middle-aged lab rats a diet with low levels of vitamin D for several months. Not only did the brains of these rats suffer from free radial damage, but learning and memory tests showed impaired mental performance.

True Strength Moment: During the winter months, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D through exposure to sunshine. This is especially true for those living in the northern latitudes. Unfortunately, aside from the flesh of cold water fish, it’s difficult to get enough vitamin D through natural food sources. Taking a high potency multivitamin can help you cover nutritional gaps.


Injury Rate For CrossFit Training

Introduced just 12 years ago, CrossFit has become so popular that practitioners typically have more than one box, or gym, to choose from in their area. If you’re tempted to take on a WOD (workout of the day) involving varied functional movements performed at high intensity, consider the findings of a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research which is among the first to calculate CrossFit training injury rates.

After receiving 132 responses to an online questionnaire, scientists determined that routine CrossFit training results in around 3 injuries for every 1,000 hours of exercise. This is similar to the rates estimated for Olympic weight training, power lifting and gymnastics and lower than what’s typically experienced playing contact team sports like football and rugby.

True Strength Moment: Of the 186 injuries reported, only 9 required surgery. Most involved the shoulders and back. Despite fears that CrossFit training might contribute to excessive muscle breakdown, no incidences of rhabdomyolysis were reported.

4 Week Cutter Program from ON


One look in the mirror tells you that significant progress has been made since the end of your bulking stage. But if your look could stand some physique fine tuning, this physically demanding 4-week program might help. Change the order of exercises and set/rep schemes weeks 2-4 to keep it interesting – and keep your muscles working hard to adapt. The first day you try this you’ll realize the calorie burning and muscle building potential. Be sure to include 25 minutes of cardio each day to maximize fat burning.