Researchers have tested caffeine under a variety of individual performance and team sports conditions. What about women who want a boost in the weight room? A study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness investigates caffeine’s potential on a circuit of popular resistance exercises.
Eight women with at least a year of weight training experience performed hack squats, bench press, knee extensions and pull downs to exhaustion on 2 separate occasions. During one workout, they received a placebo. They got 6 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight 30 minutes before the other training session. Caffeine increased reps to exhaustion and had a tendency to improve strength.
It’s no unusual for 20 and 40 meter races to be won by fractions of a second. What can you do to shave about half a second off your best time? A study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness suggests plyometric jumps using a weighted plate.
Two days apart, 10 male track and field athletes raced 20 and 40 meters. On one occasion, after their usual warm up, they did jumps holding a plate weighing 24.7 pounds. They didn’t use this experimental treatment on the other race day. The jumps decreased finish time by an average of 0.459 seconds in the 20 meter event and 0.405 seconds for the 40.
All water that has been exposed to oxygen is oxygenated, but some water bottlers have increased the levels of oxygenation with oxygen gas. There are athletes who consume this type of water with the idea that it might improve athletic performance. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition looks into the subject.
Experienced male runners drank 3 bottles of oxygenated water during a 30-minute rest period, another bottle while running a 5,000 meter time trial and 2 more bottles during 30 minutes of passive recovery. Compared to runners who got a placebo, runners who drank oxygenated water experienced faster lactate clearance during recovery. There were no differences in time trial performance or muscle tissue oxygen saturation.
If strength and power are important to success in your sport, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research might be of interest. The paper compares the effects of 6 weeks of bench press training with or without the use of elastic bands.
Twice a week, 16 youth league rugby players took part in strength and power development training. Some used elastic bands to deliver 20% of the load on the bench press. Velocity and power were measured at 35%, 45%, 65%, 75%, and 85% of one rep max (1RM) before and after the program.
Both groups increased velocity and power. Variable resistance training with bands produced greater increases in bench press 1RM. Increases in velocity and power were greater at heavier loads for the variable training group compared to lighter loads, where there were smaller differences between groups.