Legs Pull Their Weight On Arm Day


Working out in the weight room every day requires some planning. For instance, it’s not unusual for strength training practitioners to split their workouts between upper and lower body muscle groups to allow enough time for recovery. But working your arms doesn’t mean your legs are taking the day off, even when you’re seated. Consider the findings of a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.

Researchers had 11 male subjects perform seated arm cranks in incremental and maximum effort trials. On one occasion, they sat normally and on another had their legs secured to prevent feet from touching the floor. Maximal oxygen consumption was reduced by around 14% during the incremental stage with restricted legs. Maximum power also decreased by an average of 29% in the restricted condition.

Originally posted on optimumnutrition.com

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Caffeine Performance Goes The Distance


In addition to providing energy, caffeine reduces the perception of fatigue. You can see why it’s popular with weight room warriors. But caffeine’s potential isn’t limited to strength training. A study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport looks at caffeine use by endurance athletes.

Researchers analyzed 40 peer-reviewed articles on placebo controlled trials during endurance races. They found that the effect size of caffeine’s performance enhancing benefits increases with the duration of the event.

Breakfast & Carbs Before Training


You’ve probably heard the term ‘fasted cardio’ used when cardiovascular exercise takes place without consuming any food since the previous evening. The idea is to use the body’s fat stores for energy, but a study published in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests this might not be the best approach.

Researchers at the University of Bath tested the blood glucose and muscle glycogen levels of 12 healthy male subjects after an hour of cycling. On one occasion, they ate a bowl of oatmeal prepared with milk 2 hours before the workout. On another, they didn’t eat anything.

Eating breakfast increased the rate carbohydrates were burned during exercise. Not just the carbs consumed at breakfast, but also carbs stored in muscle as glycogen. Having breakfast before exercise also increases the rate food consumed after training is digested and metabolized.

Muscle Gains for Different Protein Powder


What’s the right amount of protein for reaching your goals? It depends on the goal, of course. If you’re an aspiring female physique competitor, a study recently published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism offers interesting insight.

Seventeen women in their early 20s participated in an 8-week resistance training program. During this period, some subjects consumed 2.5 grams of protein per kg of body weight each day while others consumed 0.9 grams per kg of body weight on a daily basis.

Subjects on the higher protein diet gained an average of 4.6 pounds of lean mass while losing about 2.4 pounds of body fat. Subjects on the lower protein diet gained an average of 1.3 pounds of lean mass while shedding about 1.5 pounds of fat.

All subjects realized increases in strength with no differences between groups.