New research from the University at Buffalo suggests the thermal comfort of young men and women can vary during exercise and the recovery stage. Findings were published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Ten men and 10 women in their early 20s rode a stationary bike at a low intensity while wearing a neck cooling device operated by the subject. Despite similar changes in skin temperature during exercise, female subjects wanted more cooling compared to their male counterparts.
During continued monitoring after exercise, the skin temperature of men gradually returned to normal levels in about 1 hour. Although their skin temperature returned to normal in about 10 minutes, women continued to desire more neck cooling, suggesting their core temperature remained elevated.
All kinds of athletes use stretching to help improve flexibility and extend range of motion. There are a couple of ways to perform this type of exercise, and a study published in theInternational Journal of Sports Medicine offers suggestions for getting the most out of the practice.
In a review of papers that included 23 articles, researchers found that all stretching protocols improved range of motion over a long-term period, but that static stretching was superior to ballistic and PNF techniques. In another finding, optimal range of motion results were obtained not during a single session, but over time with sessions 5 days a week lasting at least 5 minutes weekly.
If you use your hands to compete in your sport, having greater strength and control might give you the edge you’re looking for. Consider the findings of study on 6 weeks of wrist training published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
Subjects were tested before, at 2-week intervals during, and after completing the program. Wrist joints were worked in 6 directions: Flexion, extension, pronation, supination, radial deviation and ulnar deviation. Subjects showed a decrease in motor control errors after 2 weeks of training. Maximum wrist strength increased in all 6 directions after 4 weeks.
It’s not unusual to see athletes rolling different muscle groups across a foam cylinder. Is there anything to this practice, or is it just another fad? A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows what foam rolling can and probably won’t do for recovering muscle groups.
Thirty-seven men raced forty 15-meter sprints. For the next 4 days, hip range of motion, hamstring muscle length, vertical jump height and agility were tested. Some subjects performed foam rolling each day before testing while others didn’t. Although there was no effect on hip range of motion, hamstring length or jump height, agility was less impaired in the foam rolling group compared to subjects who didn’t use this simple tool.
A physically fit man is typically stronger than women of the same level fitness, but women have the upper hand when it comes to muscle endurance. Consider the findings of a study from the University of British Columbia conducted in collaboration with the University of Guelph and University of Oregon.
Researchers had 8 men and 9 women matched for their levels of fitness flex their foot against an array of sensors 200 times as fast as they could. The speed, power and torque of their movements were recorded along with fatigue. Male subjects were faster and more powerful, but also fatigued more quickly than female subjects.
You’ve probably heard the term runner’s high. It’s usually associated with long distance running. The release of endorphins in the brain is behind this effect. A new study conducted at the University of Turku shows that endorphins are also released during High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Using positron emission tomography, researchers determined that HIIT significantly increased the release of endorphins compared to a steady state moderate intensity 1-hour run. Scientists theorized this might help your body compensate for the physical and emotional stress of intense exercise.
You’ll find active adults with a variety of different goals working in the weight room to develop bigger muscles. If you’re in the game to get stronger, you might be interested in the findings of a study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Thirty-eight volunteers with no weight training experience took part in an 8-week program that included chest press and leg extension exercises. Some did a high-volume protocol involving 4 sets of reps to failure using their 8 to 12 rep max (RM). Others conducted a simple 1RM test where subjects attempted up to 5 maximal reps.
Although muscle size and endurance increased more for subjects in the high-volume training group, increases in 1RM strength were about the same for both groups.
People who love to lift typically don’t look forward to cardio day. That’s also the trend among runners and cyclists on the days they set aside for strength training. A study from the University of Utah looks into this separation of performance traits using lab mice.
Researchers observed how effectively some mice protected their territory by fighting off other mice. They also measured the running efficiency of mice using a treadmill.
Rodents that were successful fighters burned more oxygen while running compared to less successful fighters. Although there weren’t significant differences in body mass between runners and fighters, scientists theorized there might be small physiological differences.
You might have heard that stretching can have a negative impact on physical performance. Does this happen with all types of stretching, and how long does the effect last? A study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness offers insight into these questions.
Over the course of 3 days, researchers had 12 male taekwondo athletes sprint 20 meters before and after 3 types of stretching exercises: static, ballistic and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). Sprint times increased after all types of stretching, and the effect lasted for 15 to 20 minutes with static and PNF techniques. Sprint times recovered after only 5 minutes with ballistic stretching.
As a general rule, you should allow at least 48 hours for each muscle group to recover from weight training. Exercising different muscles on different days is one way to work around this schedule, but a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests super sets might require a different approach.
Twenty-five physically active men performed 5 sets of 8 to 10 reps max on 4 different exercises: 2 targeting the legs and 2 for the shoulders. Some did super sets while other subjects separated these exercises. Super sets generated higher muscle activity as well as markers of muscle damage. Researchers concluded that 5 days was not enough time for complete muscle recovery.
When you hydrolyze a protein, you break larger pieces down into smaller pieces. What might this process offer active adults who incorporate hydrolyzed whey into their supplementation strategy? A study published in Journal of the American College of Nutrition offers some interesting findings.
Researchers gave 56 men with weight training experience a 30 gram serving of whey protein concentrate or hydrolyzed whey concentrate twice daily for 8 weeks. During this time, subjects performed 2 upper body training sessions and 2 lower body training sessions each week.
After the training period, upper body one rep max (1RM) increased 4% to 7% and lower body 1RM increased 24% to 35% with no significant differences between groups. Subjects who got hydrolyzed whey concentrate lost an average of 6% body fat. Subjects who received a carbohydrate placebo gained around 4.4% body fat.
We’re all a little different in terms of physiology. That’s why some people have an easier time building muscle and losing fat compared to others. In addition to these individual differences, what we eat can have an impact on the maximal rate of fat oxidation during exercise. Consider the findings of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers used indirect calorimetry to determine the maximal fat oxidation rates of 305 healthy adult subjects. The average maximal rate of fat oxidation was 0.55 grams per minute. After analyzing dietary intake in the 4 days leading up to testing, they found carbohydrate consumption had a negative association with fat oxidation and fat consumption had a positive association. The variability was around 2.6%.
Resting too long between sets can reduce the effectiveness of your power development workout. It’s also an easy way to annoy people waiting their turn on the equipment. If you’re not sure how to plan this element of your weight training, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research offers some guidelines to consider.
The peak power output of 18 men and 20 women was used to group subjects by strength. Then all subjects did 5 sets of bench throws for 8 reps using 40% of their 1 rep max. Factoring in reported rates of perceived exertion, ability to maintain power output and muscle soreness 48 hours after training, stronger subjects only needed 2 minutes of between sets rest while weaker subjects required 3 minutes.
Nitrates and other nitric oxide supporting ingredients are popular components of many sports nutrition supplements. What can they do for your weight room workout? A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research put nitrates to the test using a dozen recreationally active men on the bench press.
Some subjects were given 400 mg of nitrate while others got a placebo before performing 3 sets to failure using 60% of their one rep max. All got 2 minutes of rest between sets. Even though there were no real differences in ratings of perceived exertion or lactate buildup, nitrate supplementing subjects did significantly more reps to failure and lifted a greater total amount of weight.
Back in 1963, researchers found that substituting while bread with bread containing 140 grams of rolled oats lowered LDL cholesterol. Now a meta-analysis of 58 controlled trials published online in the British Journal of Nutrition attempts to get more specific on the cardiovascular benefits of eating oat fiber.
Analyzing the diets of 4,000 subjects from around the world, researchers estimated that daily supplementation with 3.5 grams of beta-glucan fiber from oat could lower LDL cholesterol by an average of 4.2%. Working some into your diet isn’t likely to tip the scale too much. One cup of cooked oat bran amounts to just 88 calories.
Insulin sensitivity is a condition where insulin can’t effectively regulate blood levels of the glucose the cells in your body use for energy and other functions. Since a couple hours of moderate intensity exercise actually increase blood sugar levels, a University of Michigan study published in the journal PLOS ONE looks into the impact of diet.
Thirty two healthy women were fed meals where either 30% or 60% of the calories came from carbohydrates. After the 3rd meal, subjects in the low carb group showed a 30% reduction in insulin resistance. There was no reduction in the higher carb group, and the amount of carbs they consumed was within the range of Department of Health and Human Services recommendations…
Low levels of testosterone can lead to fatigue as well as decreased muscle and bone mass. Fortunately, your body’s natural production of this hormone can be altered through diet and exercise. A study presented at the Integrative Biology of Exercise 7 meeting in Phoenix, Arizona measured the effect of 12 weeks of aerobic exercise on 16 normal eight and 28 overweight men.
Researchers had subjects walk or jog for between 40 and 60 minutes per session performed 1 to 3 days per week. At the end of the program, overweight subjects had lost weight and significantly increased testosterone levels. Results were best in subjects who exercised vigorously. Normal weight subjects did not see such a dramatic testosterone increase.
Your body’s preferred fuel source for short bursts of intense effort is muscle glycogen. Consuming carbohydrates after exercise can help replace the glycogen used during a weight training workout, and a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology provides insight into how you can optimize the process.
During the first 4 hours following exercise, glycogen resynthesis can be stimulated with 1 gram of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight. So the carbohydrate consumption target for a 150 pound athlete would be around 68 grams. How you eat carbohydrates throughout the rest of the day should be geared toward meeting the demands of tomorrow’s training or competition.
New research reveals just how much protein you need after a workout to optimize muscle building.
The conundrum surrounding post-workout nutrition isn’t so much about what to eat as much as how much to eat. You and I both know protein needs to be a priority following a workout, but the jury is still out on how much protein is needed to maximize muscle growth and repair.
Fortunately, new research has shed some light on the matter. A study published in Physiology Reports sought to determine the impact of two different post-workout protein portions following exercise. Furthermore, it also sought to determine how varying amounts of protein post-workout influenced individuals with significantly different amounts of lean body mass.
Subjects were split into four groups as follows:
- Low Lean Body Mass (LLBM), 20 grams of whey protein
- Low Lean Body Mass (LLBM), 40 grams of whey protein
- High Lean Body Mass (HLBM), 20 grams of whey protein
- High Lean Body Mass (HLBM), 40 grams of whey protein
Each group received their protein following two total-body workouts.
Researchers observed a 20 percent greater uptick in post-training muscle-protein synthesis in subjects consuming 40 grams of whey protein compared to those consuming 20 grams. What didn’t make much difference was whether the subjects had low or high lean body mass.
As long as they had the higher amount of protein, they tended to experience a greater degree of muscle- protein synthesis.
How To Eat 40 Grams Of Protein Post-Workout
Although this study was small and the first of its kind, the results suggest that striving to consume 40 grams of protein post-workout is the way to go if you want to add muscle, regardless of your size. The authors speculate that this is especially true if you follow a total-body training style.
That’s because more muscle breakdown is occurring throughout the body compared to a single-body-part split. “Speculate” is the operative word, though. Single-body-part splits were not included in this study.
Rather than having to face two monstrous chicken breasts after your workout, consider one of these seven muscle-building meal combinations to meet your post-workout protein quota!
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt + 1 scoop whey protein + 1/2 cup blueberries = 43 g protein
- 6 oz. salmon fillet + 1 cup quinoa + 1 cup broccoli = 45 g protein
- 4-oz. can albacore tuna + 1/2 cup canned navy beans + 2 cups baby spinach + 1 cup cherry tomatoes = 43 g protein
- 1 cup cottage cheese + 4 tbsp hemp seeds + 1 cup chopped pineapple = 42 g protein
- 6 oz. chicken breast + 1 cup brown rice + 2 cups baby kale = 42 g protein
- 6 oz. sirloin steak + 1 medium sweet potato + 2 tbsp pesto = 40 g protein
- 1 cup low-fat milk + 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt + 1 scoop whey protein powder + 1 tbsp almond butter + 1 frozen banana = 44 g protein
- Macnaughton, L. S., Wardle, S. L., Witard, O. C., McGlory, C., Hamilton, D. L., Jeromson, S., … & Tipton, K. D. (2016). The response of muscle protein synthesis following whole‐body resistance exercise is greater following 40 g than 20 g of ingested whey protein. Physiological Reports, 4(15), e12893.
Continue reading How Much Protein Should You Consume Post-Workout?
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.
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)
Back in 1953, researchers discovered that London bus drivers had a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease than conductors working the same bus. It was the difference between sitting all day and moving around. A new study published in The Lancet looks into the level of exercise needed to negate the effects of driving to work and sitting at a desk 8 hours a day.
Scientists analyzed 16 studies involving more than 1 million adult subjects and grouped them by level of daily exercise. They found that 60 to 75 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day was enough to make up for the risk created by being inactive for more than 8 hours a day.
Need another reason to keep active? Research from the University of Central Lancashire suggests you’re more likely to reach for unhealthy food choices after completing or boring task. Not only does boredom influence decisions about food quality, it also seems to play a role in the quantity consumed.
Forty-five subjects snacked while watching either boring or funny videos. By weighing treat bowls after the video viewing, researchers determined how many healthy and unhealthy snacks were consumed. They theorized that boredom leaves you with low levels of the feel-good brain chemical dopamine, so we compensate by eating sugar and fat to stimulate its release. Going for a run might be a better alternative.
Bodybuilders have been known to carb cycle during a diet, increasing carbohydrate intake on certain days to trick their metabolism into not slowing down so much from caloric restriction. Endurance athletes like to load up on carbs before long distance race events, and a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) suggests going overboard with carb loading might be hard on your heart.
Researchers from Vanderbilt and the University of Alabama Birmingham gave 33 subjects a 264 calorie carbohydrate shake. This high-carb load suppressed the heart’s production of a hormone called ANP by 25% over several hours. Because ANP helps rid your body of excess salt and reduces blood pressure, restricting this process can contribute to salt retention and hypertension.
Cutting down for summer or a physique contest is one thing. Researchers from the Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute in Jena, Germany found that cutting calories long-term can have both positive and negative consequences, as a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicinesuggests.
A few years back, scientists were able to extend the lifespans of worms, fruit flies and lab rats through caloric restriction. Sometimes they lived 50% longer than normal. More recently, tests on mice showed that 30% food restriction slowed the aging of stem cells while reducing production of blood cell lymphocytes used for immune defense up to 75%
Got a busy day ahead of you? Fuel up with a healthy breakfast and make sure you get a fair share of protein. A study on obese and normal weight children published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests protein at breakfast can increase both energy expenditure and fat oxidation.
Some subjects were fed a breakfast with a macro-nutrient distribution of 21% protein, 52% carbohydrates and 29% fat while others sat down to a meal of 4% protein, 67% carbohydrates and 29% fat. The average rate of fat oxidation for all subjects was 16% higher with the high-protein breakfast, and overweight children burned more energy in the 4 hours following the high-protein meal.
True Strength Moment: Because approximately 1 out of 3 children between the ages of 2 and 19 are considered obese, this is important research. Subjects also reported a greater feeling of fullness after the high-protein breakfast, even though all subjects consumed about the same amount of food at a buffet later in the day.
When training for muscle gain we push our bodies to places they haven’t been before. The structure of our routine changes – weights increase and the intensity of workouts increases too.
We understand that in order to build muscle and size we must create a stimulus that challenges us, causing our muscle fibres to breakdown, repair and adapt (grow). Training within our comfort zone will only allow us to maintain our existing level of strength and fitness. By placing more demand on our bodies, it becomes paramount that we are eating the correct foods and taking the right supplements to promote the process of recovery.
Continue reading SUPPLEMENTS THAT AID MUSCLE GAIN
Active adults who train intensely typically choose complete proteins containing all of the Essential Amino Acids to kick-start recovery. A new study from the University of East Anglia found a correlation between regular consumption of 7 amino acids from meat, fish, dairy, beans, lentils, broccoli and spinach, and cardiovascular health.
Examining data on 2,000 normal weight women in the TwinsUKregistry, researchers found evidence that higher consumption of these amino acids might be associated with lower blood pressure and less arterial stiffness.
True Strength Moment: The 7 amino acids singled out in this research were arginine, cysteine, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, leucine and tyrosine. An interesting mix of Essential, Conditionally Essential and Non-Essential amino acids.
Everybody wants a lean, muscular physique. Like anything worth having, wanting it isn’t enough. You have to commit to a rigorous diet and training program that will tax your strength mentally as well as physically. To help you satisfy both of these demands, ON’s Essential Amino Energy combines a powerful ratio of rapidly absorbed free-form amino acids with natural energizers and N.O. boosting ingredients to help you reach your next level – including muscle-building BCAAs and arginine to help support intense, vascular pumps.* At 10 calories per serving, it’ll make a big impression without denting your diet. Mix up Essential Amino Energy anytime you want to dial up mental focus, physical energy N.O. production, and recovery support.*
Free Form Amino Acids for Rapid Uptake*
Essential Amino Acids including BCAAs
Supports Recovery Before, During, & After Exercise*
Train Longer & Harder with Beta-Alanine*
Supports Nitric Oxide Synthesis*
Only 10 Calories and 0 Grams of Sugar per Serving
Consuming a lot of white bread, white rice and sugar sweetened soft drinks can go to your waistline, and research from Columbia University Medical Center suggests it can also weigh heavily on your mood. Analyzing data from 70,000 older women who participated in the National Institutes of Health Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study between 1994 and 1998, researchers found that consuming highly processed carbohydrates can elevate the risk of depression.
True Strength Moment: Highly refined carbohydrates elevate blood sugar levels. If the level gets high enough, your body releases hormones to try and reduce blood sugars. This hormonal response can have an impact on mood and fatigue. For a tip on potentially lifespan extending foods, read today’s Performance Blog at ABBperformance.com
Most active adults supplement creatine to build muscle size, strength and power. Numerous studies have shown creatine monohydrate to support these goals, and research recently published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercisesuggests the ingredient might also support bone mineral density in older adults.
Forty-seven older women supplemented with 0.1 gram of creatine per kg of body weight or a placebo while training with weights 3 days each week. After a year, subjects who used creatine showed a reduced rate of lost bone mineral density and greater bone bending strength compared to placebo.
In addition to improved bone health, subjects who supplemented with creatine increased bench press strength by an average of 64% compared to 34% for subjects who were given a placebo.
Carnitine is synthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine. Many active adults use it in supplemental form, but its impact on exercise performance isn’t well understood. Research published in the journal Cell Metabolism shows how this popular ingredient works with an enzyme called carnitine acetyltransferase, or CrAT, to increase muscle stamina in mice.
Scientists created a group of mice with CrAT deficiency in skeletal muscle. Compared to normal rodents they tired of exercise earlier. Then both groups were supplemented with carnitine. As expected, there was no change in the CrAT deficient mice. But the normal mice showed an even greater tolerance for exercise.
True Strength Moment: Researchers think that carnitine works with the CrAT enzyme to optimize muscle energy metabolism in mice. How or even if this mechanism works in a similar way for humans is unknown.
عشرون عاما من التميز والتقدم بدعمكم و تواصلكم المستمر زبائننا الأعزاء نحتفل اليوم بعيدنا العشرين على تأسيس الشركة الأولى للأغذية الرياضية وتاليا نبذة عن تأسيس الشركة
عندما بدأت قبل عشرون عاما من اليوم شركة الأولى للأغذية الرياضية بممارسة أعمالها داخل الأردن, وكانت الأولى في الأردن ومعظم دول الشرق الأوسط المتخصصة بالغذاء التكميلي للرياضيين
حيث كانت البداية بإستيراد نوعيات مختلفة من المكملات الغذائية للرياضين والعمل بمجال الجملة والبيع للنوادي الرياضية وفي عام 1998 تم إفتتاح أول فرع لبيع التجزئة في عمان/العبدلي-مجمع الفريد وأصبحت الشركة رسميا الوكيل الحصري لشركة اوبتيمم نيوترشن
(Optimum Nutrition) في معظم دول الشرق الاوسط وشمال افريقيا وانتشرت فروع الشركة في الاردن و لبنان والعراق ومصر وليبيا وتونس خلال السنوات اللاحقة
تقوم فلسفة الشركة الاولى للأغذية الرياضية على مبدأ بسيط ,نحن نبحث باستمرار عن أفضل المنتجات العالمية و التي تحتل تراتيب متقدمة في التصنيفات العالمية, و بعد تجربتها من قبل كادرنا المتخصص نقوم بشراء كميات كبيرة لنحصل على افضل الاسعار وفى اللحظة التى يصبح فيها سعر المنتج متناسبا مع مجموعة الفوائد والمزايا والتوقعات التى يقدمها المنتج للزبائن, نقوم بتقديم عروضنا التي يتم تصميمها وفق إحتياجات الزبائن و التى بدورها تحمل خصومات هائلة لصالح المستهلك
نعمل فى الأولى للأغذية الرياضية حاليا مع أربعة وعشرين شركة عالمية من أصل أكثر من خمسمائة شركة تعمل في هذا المجال , حيث يتم إختيار الشركات بعناية فائقة بعد دراسة وافية عن المنتج و تركيبتة و أراء آلاف المستخدمين له حول العالم من خلال الإنترنت و بتجربته فعليا من قبل طاقمنا و دراسته بقسم الدراسات والأبحاث المختص بهذه العملية الدقيقه
وفي اللحظة التي تفشل فيها أية شركة في تقديم منتجات ذات قيمة مميزة و مواصفات عالية , يتم التخلى عنها فورا وإستبدالها بواحدة من الشركات الناشئة و المميزة
ولان العنصر البشري مهم جدا في تقديم خدمة ما قبل البيع وللتعرف على احتياجات كل عميل بدقة فإن فريق الأولى للأغذية الرياضية يتم ايضا اختيارهم بعناية فائقة ويتم تدريبهم لفترة زمنية طويلة قبل السماح لهم بتقديم خدماتهم للزبائن ويخضعون لمعايير صارمة في التقييم للحفاظ على مستوى رفيع من الاداء
اننا ندين بهذا النجاح الكبير الذي وصلنا اليه الى زبائننا الكرام الذين ابدو ثقتهم الكبيرة بطريقة عملنا ودعمهم لنا منذ البداية كمزود رئيسي لكل احتياجاتهم سواء في الاردن او باقي دول المنطقة
( زبائننا الكرام … شكرا جزيلا لكم )
Gains aren’t made in the gym. That’s where muscle tissue is broken down. Size and strength is built up when your muscles recover from the breakdown of resistance training. So how long does this process take? A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Researchsuggests the duration might vary between exercises.
Sixteen men in their mid-20s with significant weight training experience performed 8 sets of preacher curls with one arm and seated rows with the other using 10 reps max resistance. Peak torque decreased 15.1% for multi-joint exercise and completely recovered 24 hours post-workout. The decrease was 26.8% after single-joint movements and peak torque remained 8.4% lower than pre-workout measurements 24 hours later. Delayed onset muscle soreness was also greater and took longer than 72 hours to recover for the single-joint movement.
True Strength Movement: This research shows the importance of changing up your training day to day. If you don’t give your muscles enough time to fully recover, you might be robbing yourself of some hard earned gains.
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Doing cardio on an empty stomach, usually first thing in the morning, is supposed to help you burn more body fat than eating before your run, ride or swim. But is this scientific fact or just another popular gym myth?
A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition compared the effects on 20 young female subjects who adhered to a hypocaloric diet for a month. Half of these subjects put in an hour of steady state cardio exercise 3 days a week without eating since the previous evening. The other half eat breakfast before training. All adhered to a diet designed to burn more calories than consumed. At the end of the program, both groups lost weight and reduced fat mass.
Conclusion: There were no significant differences between groups. As long as you’re cutting calories, having a small, balanced meal before training might outweigh the benefits of not eating first.
Compression clothing has been appearing on the basketball court, in endurance races and now in the weight room. Can this specialized athletic wear enhance your recovery bounce back? A study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise put it to the test after a session of whole body weight training.
Nine subjects with weight room experience performed 10 reps for 3 to 5 sets lifting 70% of one rep max on 9 different exercises. For one workout, they wore compression garments. During a similar session days later, they wore normal gym clothes. Upper body strength significantly improved just 3 to 8 hours after training, but it took lower body muscles more time for strength to recover.
True Strength Moment: It’s worth noting that upper arm and thigh circumference was a lot bigger after training when subjects didn’t wear compression garments. So it could come down to a choice between regaining strength or appreciating the pump.
Everybody keeps track of their fitness journey in one way or another. If your benchmark is setting a new personal best, and you’ve reached a sticking point on squat performance, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research offers a variable resistance warm up that might help you grind out a higher one rep max (1RM).
After determining squat 1RM for 16 recreationally active men in their mid-20s, on separate occasions these subjects returned to perform 2 sets of 3 reps using 85% of their 1RM with free weights or banded free weights where band tension generated 35% of the load. 1RM squat was then tested 5 minutes after this short workout. Variable resistance significantly increased 1RM on the final lift.
True Strength Moment: Band resistance potentiated maximal lift performance without changing knee angle or muscle activity. It only slowed the velocity of concentric and eccentric contractions. Give this technique a try to see if it can help boost your best effort on leg day.
Essential fatty acids help facilitate muscle growth in a number of ways. One such way is through the formation of eicosanoids –molecules which exert control over bodily systems such as immunity and inflammation, and act as molecular messenger in the CNS (central nervous system). Eicosanoids can also be classified into prostaglandins, leukotrienes and thromboxanes. Prostaglandins are of the most importance to muscle growth. They:
- Increase sensitivity to insulin
- Help maintain normal levels of testosterone – the primary, male androgen hormone
- Increase the body’s secretion of growth hormone
- Increase the synthesis of protein in muscle cells
These functions are critical to achieving muscle growth during intensive training. In addition, EFAs powerfully affect the formation of fat tissue and fat metabolism. All the Omega-3s increase the breakdown of body fat; they also encourage the body to burn stored fat as fuel.
Beyond the immediately apparent effects on muscle growth and body composition, essential fatty acids help reduce inflammation, heal injuries, speed recovery and strengthen the immune system (important when engaging in repetitive movement with heavy weights and physical exertion that can weaken immunity); and improve sleep, concentration, stamina, increase blood-oxygen levels and improve cardiovascular function (all of which lead to more effective and intense workouts).
Research shows that to maximize muscle growth, decrease body fat and improve general health, men may consume between 3 and 3.5 grams of EFAs from all sources (food and supplements) daily; women may consume between 2.5 and 3 grams from all sources daily.
Essential fatty acids are found in foods and supplements. The downside of food sources is that many (fish and fully pastured – grass fed – cattle being exceptions) are higher in Omega-6 than Omega-3.
Supplementing with Optimum Nutrition’s Flaxseed Oil or Fish Oil remains the easiest way to get your daily recommended value of EFA’s.
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There are more than a few grams per pound and grams per kilogram protein recommendations out there for you to calculate. But an easier to hit target was presented in an education session at SupplySide West.
According to the research, the average daily protein recommendation of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight works out to around 50 grams a day for normal size adults. Because this represents the minimum amount of protein needed, it was recommended that less active adults get at least 90 grams of protein per day and very active adults aim for a total of 120 grams of protein per day.
True Strength Moment: Since we’re all a little different physiologically speaking, this generalized protein benchmark won’t likely produce the same results for everyone. It might be a good starting point for figuring out the best daily amount of protein for your needs. Try it out for a month or two, and adjust as needed to support 2014 goals.
You’ve probably heard that averaging less than 6.5 hours of sleep a night or getting more than 8.5 hours of sack time is associated with a higher percentage of body fat. A new study published in theAmerican Journal of Health Promotion confirms these findings while suggesting that going to sleep and waking up at a consistent time of day is a habit related to lower body fat.
Researchers studied the sleep habits of 300 female college students over several weeks. They found that subjects with more than 90 minutes of daily variation in their sleep and wake times tended to have more body fat than subjects who adhered to a schedule that varied less than 60 minutes day to day.
True Strength Moment: Training yourself to go to bed and wake up pretty near the same time each day is simple enough, and to increase the quality of your sleep keep the temperature of your bedroom low while making the environment as quiet and dark as possible. Regular exercise also contributes to sleep quality.
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High Intensity Interval Training is popular with active adults who appreciate an intense workout even when they’re short on time. The results can equal what you’d get out of a less intense workout lasting twice as long. A study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise examines what added intensity brings to your game.
Researchers had inactive female subjects in their mid-20s engage in high or moderate intensity interval training on a stationary bike. The high intensity workout was performed at 80% to 90% of capacity while moderate cycling was restricted to 60% to 80% of maximum effort. All subjects completed six and ten 60-second sets separated by active low intensity recovery. They trained three times weekly for a total of 12 weeks. Fat oxidation was more dramatically increased with HIIT, but neither group realized significant improvements in body weight, fat reduction or waist circumference.
True Strength Moment: The study brief didn’t mention anything about diet, so it’s hard to know what these subjects were eating during the 12-week program. Fat oxidation was increased for both groups, so that’s a positive development. Unfortunately, it only makes a difference if training efforts are complemented by sensible eating.
If you’re thinking a couple minutes of treadmill running can make up for a candy bar moment of weakness, some calculations from Harvard Health Publications HEALTHbeat might change your mind. That few minutes of enjoyment a typical candy bar brings will require about 45 minutes on the treadmill to erase.
The magic number is 3,500. This represents the number of calories in one pound of body fat. Walking or jogging burns about 100 calories per mile, so you’d have to put in 35 miles to lose one pound of body fat. That’s about 9 miles more than a marathon.
True Strength Moment: If this sounds discouraging, consider the power of calorie reduction. By cutting 250 calories out of your daily intake, you could lose a pound of body fat in a little more than a week just by walking for 30 minutes a day. Weight training helps increase your resting metabolic rate, so you burn more calories even when you aren’t exercising. Now you’ve got the needle moving in the right direction.
Many active people are focused on the amount of proteins, carbs and fat they consume each day. But you were told to eat your fruits and vegetables for the micronutrient support. Vitamins and minerals have important roles in numerous metabolic functions, and a study from Arizona State University suggests one micronutrient in particular can weigh in on weight loss efforts.
A group of 20 obese men and women were put on a calorie-restricted diet providing 40 mg of vitamin C daily, which is 67% of the recommended daily allowance. Half of these subjects were given a 500 mg vitamin C capsule each day while the rest got a placebo. All subjects lost an average of 9 pounds during the intervention, but those with higher levels of vitamin C tended to oxidize fat at a higher rate.
True Strength Moment: High levels of vitamin C didn’t accelerate fat burning, but low levels did appear to interfere with fat oxidation. Don’t let a lack of micronutrient support hold back your diet plans. If you aren’t getting a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, a high-potency multivitamin might provide you with nutritional insurance.
Creatine is an organic acid naturally produced in your body by amino acids. It supplies energy to all cells, especially muscle cells where it increases the formation of ATP. Protein is also composed of amino acids, and a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition looks at the safety of creatine supplementation while adhering to a high-protein diet.
Subjects loaded creatine or a placebo by consuming 20 grams per day for 5 days followed by a 5 gram daily maintenance dose. They continued this supplementation routine for 12 weeks while sticking to a high-protein diet. Assessments of kidney function before, during and after the program revealed no significant differences.
True Strength Moment: This study adds to a mountain of research conducted over several decades. Creatine monohydrate ranks as one of the most studied sports supplements. It has consistently been shown to safely enhance muscle size, strength and power while assisting with exercise recovery.
There’s at least one type of completion where muscle mass holds back your performance. Even with greater strength and more muscle, sprinters can’t win a distance race against marathon-trained athletes. According to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, these athletes are separated by a protein called PGC-1alpha.
Aerobic endurance-trained effort is fueled by oxygen. Anaerobic exercises like weight lifting and sprinting let muscle produce energy without oxygen. This leads to the buildup of lactate which results in fatigue. Endurance training stimulates the production of the PGC-1alpha protein which alters enzyme composition to reduce lactate production.
True Strength Moment: Both competitive and recreational athletes tend to plan their training around performance in a single sport. This research illustrates the metabolic changes training can produce. Of course, there’s nothing that says a sprinter can do some distance work. Marathoners might have something to gain in the weight room. Rounding our deficits in physical ability won’t hurt your performance.
Everyone’s favorite choice for energy is caffeine. Your options include coffee, tea, soda and performance beverages formulated for pre-workout use. Nutrient savvy athletes recognize carbohydrates as a reliable source of lasting energy, especially if you go with slowly digested complex carbs from sources like sweet potato, asparagus and brown rice. A study published in the journalSLEEP explored the impact of fats on energy.
According to researchers, protein didn’t affect energy levels, but fat consumption can decrease energy and alertness regardless of your age, gender, amount of daily caloric intake or body weight. A study of 31 healthy subjects aged 18 to 65 showed that fat consumption can weigh heavily on sleepiness even if you enjoyed a solid 8 hours of sound slumber the night before. Of course, your body needs healthy fats for a variety of functions. The trick is to avoid over-consumption.
The time you spend sleeping is also the longest your body goes without nutrition. This potentially catabolic situation is best handled with a slow digesting protein before bed and a high-protein meal in the morning to break this fast.
Cortisol is a catabolic hormone produced in response to stress, including intense exercise, and it can decrease amino acid uptake by muscle tissue. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research offers tips on controlling morning cortisol levels before competition.
Eleven swimmers had their cortisol levels measured upon waking on the day of an actual swim meet, and also on a pre-determined day with no competition scheduled. Although levels weren’t all that different day to day, cortisol tended to increase with feelings of tension and anxiety.
True Strength Moment: If you’re facing the best of the best, it’s only natural that you’ll feel some pressure in the build-up to competition. Athletes who train themselves to effectively control their emotions might also be able to dodge any potential side effects that elevated cortisol might add. Winning isn’t all in your head, but it takes more than muscle to succeed at the elite levels of any sport.
There’s an old saying about abs being built in the kitchen. Any bodybuilder can tell you that a commitment to clean eating goes well beyond maintaining a beach body 6-pack. Just be careful how much time you invest in food preparation. A study prepared by graduate students at Ohio State’s University of Public Health suggests there’s a tradeoff between time spent in the kitchen the how long you train at the gym.
Analyzing data on more than 112,000 adults who responded to the Census Bureau’s American Time Use Survey between 2003 and 2010, researchers determined that the average man spends 17 minutes preparing food and 19 minutes exercising. The average for women was 44 minutes of food preparation compared to 9 minutes of exercise. Every 10 additional minutes of food preparation raised the chance that you’ll decide not to exercise that day by 3%.
True Strength Moment: To save time and effort, you can prepare a week’s worth of meals all at one time. Store these small mini-meals in resealable containers or storage bags in your refrigerator before packing a day’s worth into a cooler. This helps eliminate restaurant temptations while leaving you with more time for training.
University of Michigan researchers exploring the relationship between muscle type and metabolism believe the white muscle built up through resistance training helps control blood sugars. An analysis of data published in the journal Nature Medicine suggests that a protein called BAF60c might play an important role in the formation of white muscle
Red muscle is prevalent in athletes who engage in long-duration endurance exercise. The mitochondria rely mostly on fat oxidation to generate ATP for energy. White muscle uses glycogen as the primary fuel source for short but intense bursts of power, which is why this type of muscle is prevalent in sprinters, body builders and weight lifters.
True Strength Moment: Although muscle type might play an important role in metabolism, your choice of carbohydrates can have a more immediate impact. To avoid the surge of energy and crash associated with fast-digesting sugary carbohydrates, choose complex carb sources like asparagus, sweet potato, oatmeal and brown rice. Consumed in small quantities at feedings spread every 2 to 3 hours apart, complex carbs can provide sustained energy to those who rely on strength and power.
A couple studies have shown that inspirational music can help you maintain intensity during a demanding cardio day. Now a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that a catchy beat can positively influence short-term recovery – even without the music.
Ten recreationally active men in their mid- to late 20s ran all-out for 6 minutes on 3 separate occasions. During the first session, they recovered for 15 minutes with no soundtrack. The next time, motivational music was played, and after the final run only the beat from that same motivational music was played. Music and the beat increased activity during active recovery which lowered lactate levels as well as the perceived rate of exertion.
True Strength Moment: Although music worked slightly better than just a beat, both produced better results than non-structured active recovery. This might have something to do with the way most people unconsciously alter their pace to keep time with a tune. It appears that keeping your feet moving after an intense cardio workout improves both actual and perceived rates of recovery.
Glutamine has many direct and indirect effects on weight loss. Moreover, taking glutamine can improve your fitness level, body composition and overall health. Glutamine has powerful effects on the immune system, muscles, digestive tract, liver and brain. In fact, it is the single most abundant amino acid in your body. The glutamine that is synthesized in the body or ingested from food might not be enough for individuals who train frequently, endure chronic stress or have weakened immune systems
Glutamine also increases muscle volume by drawing water and carbohydrates into muscle cells. Glutamine boosts metabolism and fat burning. Not only does it increase fat burning when taken before and during exercise, it also boosts your resting metabolic rate. Glutamine’s effect on immune function helps you stay healthy so you do not miss workouts. By improving muscle recovery, glutamine allows you to hit the gym more frequently with less muscle soreness. Taking even small amounts of L-glutamine increases the secretion of growth hormone, which is a potent fat burning substance.
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To achieve your goal of bulking up, please keep in mind that gains take time, perseverance and a synergistic routine of working out, eating well and correct supplementation. However, there are some core principles to keep in mind for weight gain:
- Make certain that you are consuming 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day from all sources. These should mostly be from whole foods and then supplementing accordingly to achieve your daily quota
- Do short, intense workouts
- Make certain you are getting adequate sleep
- Never miss a meal
Within the ON range are a number of products that can help you on your journey. We offer two weight gainers, either Serious Mass or Pro Complex Gainer. If you have a very difficult time gaining weight and are the type of person who just cannot get enough calories in a day, Serious Mass is for you. Otherwise, our lean gainer, Pro Complex Gainer, would be more appropriate. This product is intended to be taken between meals and/or before bed.
In addition, within any muscle building regime, Creatine plays a key role for strength and recovery. It’s available in two different formats: Creatine caps or Micronized Creatine Powder. These products, paired with a good multivitamin and balanced diet, will help you to reach your end goal successfully.
If your idea of cardio day is an hour-long jog or bike ride, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests supplementing with the Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) leucine and other Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) can increase your body’s protein synthesis response during the recovery phase.
Researchers had 8 healthy adults cycle on a stationary bike for an hour at 60% of maximum capacity. All received a drink containing 10 grams of EAAs. Some contained 3.5 grams of leucine while others had only 1.87 grams of leucine. The increased concentration helped subjects realize a greater degree of protein synthesis during recovery.
True Strength Moment: Protein synthesis is one of the key mechanisms involved in building muscle size and strength. While all of the EAAs have a role in fueling this process, this study puts the BCAA leucine in the spotlight. A number of ON products offer BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine to isoleucine and valine.
What qualities separate the very best players from good ones? Work ethic, determination and natural ability, sure. But a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise suggests a player’s ability to rapidly act on visual cues might also factor into the top competitor equation.
Researchers recruited 8 elite soccer athletes along with 8 lower level players and had all take part in a soccer-specific drill where reactions to simulated opponents during match play were analyzed. While intermittent exercise improved visual and cognitive processes for both groups, the elite players displayed better anticipation by focusing on a greater number of areas in a shorter time span. The non-elite athletes didn’t process the action that quickly or accurately.
True Strength Moment: Is there a technique for teaching yourself to focus more quickly and accurately on opponents during competition? There are probably a number of different drills you could practice, but on-field experience might be the best way to gain the upper hand. It’s one of the reasons elite players spend very little time on the bench.
If you’re like most people, you probably dine out at restaurants 4 or 5 times each week. Those are the numbers aLivingSocial Dining Out Survey reported recently. Factor in an estimate made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that adds 2 pounds per year for each additional meal eaten outside of your home’s kitchen, and you’ve got a weighty issue.
True Strength Moment: People who travel a lot don’t always have the option of preparing their own meals, but there are things you can do to keep restaurant food from adding too much flab to your frame. Don’t order fried foods, minimize the sauces and high-fat dressing, and keep portion size under control using visual cues. An amount between a deck of cards and your clenched fist is a sensibly sized portion.
Via @Team_ON optimumnutrition.com