You can sprint intervals, cycle in intervals, even incorporate resistance into your interval training. For those who want to try something new and different, a study published in the Journal of Sports and Conditioning Research looks at what you can achieve from interval training in an Olympic sized pool.

Scientists assigned 24 former competitive swimmers to swim freestyle intervals at 50 meter or 100 meter distances. The 50 meter swimmers did 12 to 16 bouts with 15 seconds of rest between each. The 100 meter swimmers did 6 to 8 bouts and got 30 seconds in between.

After 8 weeks of training, both interval distances improved 100 meter and 400 meter swimming performance with increased stroke length and greater maximal aerobic speed. There were no significant differences between groups, and 50 meter sprint times remained unchanged.


Depending on the goal you’re working toward, there are a number of different ways to structure a weight training workout. If you’re looking for a new program to change up a stale routine, consider the findings of a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.

In random order, 34 men with weight training experienced were assigned to use a specific workout twice a week for 6 weeks. The strength workout was 4 sets of 6 reps using 85% of one rep max (1RM) with 900 seconds of total rest. The hypertrophy workout was 5 sets of 10 reps using 70% 1RM with 360 seconds rest. Cluster 1 consisted of 4 sets of 6/1 reps using 85% of 1RM with 1,400 seconds rest and cluster 2 was 4 sets of 6/1 reps using 90% of 1RM with 1,400 seconds of rest.

Compared to measurements taken before the intervention, the strength workout improved 1RM by an average of 12% and the cluster 2 routine racked up 13% more 1RM strength. These programs also provided more time under tension and greater impulse generation. For comparison, 1RM strength gains were 8% with the hypertrophy workout.


Protein helps rebuild muscle tissue from the breakdown of intense training. Rapidly digesting whey protein is popular post-workout to kick-start the recovery process, and slowly digesting casein can help keep the process going throughout the night while you sleep. An interesting study published in The Journal of Nutrition shows how both of these dairy proteins might help reduce caloric intake.

Researchers fed obese lab rats a high-fat control diet for 8 weeks before assigning them to an experimental diet. Some got whey protein where 26% of the calories came from whey with another 14% from egg white. Casein consuming rats got 26% of their calories from casein and another 14% from egg white. Another group got a combination where 13% of calories came from whey, 13% from casein and 14% from egg white.

Food intake decreased by 17% to 37% during the first 2 weeks of a whey or casein protein diet. Fat mass was reduced by 21% to 28% with whey and between 17% and 33% with casein. The decrease in caloric intake was 18% to 34% during the first 4 days of the whey plus casein diet, and remained 30% on the 28th day of the protein diet.


As discussed in yesterday’s post, everyone’s a little unique in terms of how the body responds to diet and exercise. For some insight into how excess body fat might impact your transformation efforts, consider this study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers fed 10 normal weight, 10 overweight and 10 obese subjects 170 grams of lean pork containing 36 grams of protein and 3 grams of fat before collecting blood and muscle biopsy samples. Normal weight subjects showed a greater muscle protein synthesis response compared to overweight and obese subjects. This might contribute to a buildup of fat mass for those who already have more then they should.
Read more at  Optimum Nutrition’s Blog (VISIT BLOG)


When you’re cutting calories, you’re likely to lose weight. But some of that weight is going to come from lost muscle mass rather than body fat. A study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests a tactic that can help preserve muscle mass while trying to shed body fat.

Researchers put overweight inactive women on a calorie restricted diet, enrolled them in an endurance exercise program or both protocols for just over 16 weeks. Calories were reduced by 10% to 20% and endurance exercise amounted to 7.4 hours a week for the exercise only group or 4.4 hours per week for the exercising calorie cutters.

All groups ended up losing around 7% of their original body weight, and the calorie restriction group lost about 2% muscle mass. The calorie reducing exercise group only lost around 1% muscle mass and the exercise only group didn’t lose any.
Read more at Optimum Nutrition’s Blog (Visit Blog)