Dynamic stretching and range of motion



Track and field athletes have a couple different options for warming up before training or competition. One popular protocol involves dynamic stretching, and a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine recently tested its potential on 12 healthy volunteers.
 

Subjects applied four 30-second sets of dynamic stretching to ankle joints. Measurements taken before and after the warm up showed increased range of motion immediately after stretching. The effect lasted for 15 minutes without changing the mechanical properties of muscle tendons.

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Comparing Compound Pull Movements


 To get in more days of training and allow adequate time for recovery, weight lifters often split their workouts between upper and lower body muscle groups. You can also split training sessions between pushing and pulling movements. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance compared the force production characteristics of three pulling compound movements.

Researchers had 16 men with weight room experience stand on a force plate while doing reps of the hang power clean, jump shrug and hang high pull. They found that jump shrugs produced the highest relative peak force and greatest rate of force development. Jump shrugs also produce different force-time characteristics during the final stage of the movement.

Putting the spin on food choices


You’ve been told to eat your fruits and vegetables since childhood. That hasn’t stopped many adults from at least partially ignoring the advice. A Stanford University study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that when vegetables are described in exciting terms consumption increases.
 

On different days, beets, green beans and carrots were described in different ways at the university cafeteria. They were always prepared the same way. Indulgent phrases like “Sweet Sizzlin’ Green Beans” and “Twisted Citrus Glazed Carrots” had 25% more people choosing that vegetable compared to basic descriptions like beans and carrots. Indulgent descriptions also increased the amount of vegetables consumed by 23%.

I am eating healthy but can’t lose weight



By Ibrahim Farrukh – Fitness and Nutrition Advisor [First Nutrition]

“Help me! I can’t get more fit despite the fact that I eat healthy food and workout daily. A large portion of my dinners incorporate lean meats and loads of veggies. Alternate foods I eat are organic products, low fat dairy, nuts, beans, and entire grains. Once in a while eat food that contains sugar or a cheat meal. Why can’t I make any progress and get more fit?

A few things come into the scene when we tackle this:

First of all, you should track the quantity you eat and drink and not only the quality. 
Every person has a BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which is the number of calories your body metabolizes while sedentary (in rest). This BMR decreases with age, and therefore the number of calories you consume should decrease respectively.
Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)
Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)
Calculating the BMR allows you to know the right amount of calories to consumer per day, and according to your goal (lose weight or gain weight) you decide how much calories to add or take out.
Using the BMR above, and depending on the activity level, we can calculate the caloric need:
To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:
If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2

If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375

If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55

If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725

If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9
For example, if your BMR is 1745, and you are sedentary, multiply your BMR (1745) by 1.2 = 2094. This is the total number of calories you need in order to maintain your current weight.
Once you know the number of calories needed to maintain your weight, you can easily calculate the number of calories you need to eat in order to gain or lose weight:
Another important factor is selecting your macros. Always try to get enough protein. Fabricate your dinners and snacks around a decent wellspring of protein, and go for 0.7 to 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight every day. For example, if you weigh 90 kgs and need to get to 85 kgs, utilize 85 kgs to figure the 0.7-1 gram rule.
Depending on your goal, take a look at your calorie intake and mark it by 500 kcal less. For example, if you burn 2000 kcal per day, plan your meals to target 1500 kcal per day. This deficiency in calories will keep you feeling lighter and help you maintain your weight and body composition through the years.
Remember every 1g protein = 4 kcal, 1g carbohydrates = 4 kcal, 1g fat = 9 kcal. 
Calculate all your food to meet the desired intake of calories daily.
Finally, try to have five to six small meals a day, making sure you eat properly but not till fullness. 
​References:

Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basal_metabolic_rate

http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/harris-benedict-equation/​

Reducing Muscle Soreness



It’s not unusual to ache for a couple days after a demanding workout, especially if you’ve taken some time off from regular training. The condition is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests 200 ml of watermelon juice enriched with 3.3 grams of citrulline and 22 mg of ellagitannins from pomegranate concentrate can help. 

Nineteen young male subjects consumed one of four beverages before a session of squats. The watermelon/citrulline/pomegranate combination helped increase peak force an average of 3% and reduced muscle soreness compared to placebo. Subjects who used the 3-ingredient stack reported no muscle soreness after 48 hours.

Reach Greater Heights with Plyometric Training



Depending on your sport, being able to jump higher can be a significant competitive advantage. Athletes who want to elevate their game often turn to plyometric box jump type exercises. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looks into what 8 weeks of plyometric training has to offer. 

Ten men and women in their early 20s were evaluated before and after 8 weeks of plyometric training. The program helped increase countermovement jump height by an average of 12%. Muscle contraction time was reduced along with muscle tone.