Category Archives: Training

Going Heavy On Leg’s Day?


You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “go heavy or go home.” If you’re new to the weight room or just getting back after taking an extended break, a study recently published in the journal Medicina dello Sport suggest this might not be the best advice for beginners.

Researchers had 28 men with no weight lifting experience perform 4 sets of leg presses using 60%, 80% or 100% of their one rep max (1RM). Each set was performed to failure. Ratings of perceived exertion were highest for the 100% 1RM workout, as you might expect. Subjects using this load also reported more muscle soreness 72 hours after training. Start out with a moderate load and work your way up to greater intensities.

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Training Frequency Vs Training Volume


It’s not unusual to see the same people training in the weight room every day the gym is open. You’d think there would be a huge payoff in gains for training nearly every day, but a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests there might not be when frequency is equalized for training volume.

Twenty eight men with weight training experience took part in a 6-week program. Before and after, they were assessed for squat one rep max (1RM), bench press 1RM, deadlift 1RM and powerlifting total. Fat mass and muscle mass were also calculated.

Some subjects trained 3 days a week and some trained 6 days a week with both programs equalized for training volume. After 6 weeks, both groups showed significant increases in muscle size and strength with no additional benefits seen in 6-day-a-week training.

GAIN STRENGTH FROM TAKING TIME OFF


Experienced weight room warriors understand the value of allowing enough time for muscle recovery. How would taking 3 to 5 days off impact your path to greater gains? If your goals include getting stronger, a study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research suggests short periods of no weight training can be beneficial.

Eight men with resistance training experience took part in a pair of 4-week strength training programs. They took 3.5 or 5.5 days off after the second 4-week session. Compared to tests taken before the first program started, countermovement jump height and isometic bench press peak force were greater after both periods away from the gym. Scientists theorized these improvements might have been the result of decreased neuromuscular fatigue.

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.

In between set rest and power training



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.

Polemetric Jumps for faster sprints



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.

EATING OATS CAN REDUCE CHOLESTEROL



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.

FEWER CARBS CUTS INSULIN RESISTANCE



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…

How Much Protein Should You Consume Post-Workout?


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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.[1] 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:

  1. Low Lean Body Mass (LLBM), 20 grams of whey protein
  2. Low Lean Body Mass (LLBM), 40 grams of whey protein
  3. High Lean Body Mass (HLBM), 20 grams of whey protein
  4. 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
References
  1. 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 Reports4(15), e12893.

Continue reading How Much Protein Should You Consume Post-Workout?

INTERVAL TRAINING FOR SWIMMERS



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.

How To Beat 8 Hours of Sitting


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.

via @optimumnutrition

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START YOUR DAY WITH PROTEIN


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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.

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RISKS OF HIGHLY REFINED CARBS


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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

CREATINE & BONE MINERAL DENSITY



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 Boosts Stamina


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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.

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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
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HOW LONG DOES RECOVERY TAKE?


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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.

Via @optimumnutrition
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DOES FASTED CARDIO BURN MORE BODY FAT?


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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.

SPEED + STRENGTH FOR THE WIN


Endurance runners aren’t a common sight in the weight room, and they typically don’t spend a lot of time working on sprinting speed, but a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiologysuggests a workout combining both elements might help improve race performance along with running economy.

Half a group of 21 male runners continued on with their normal endurance training while the rest took part in an 8-week intervention that added 30-second sprints and heavy resistance training to their workouts. Twice a week they lifted weights at 80% to 90% of their one rep max (1RM) and twice a week they sprinted in blocks of 30 seconds while reducing the time they spent on traditional endurance work by 42%.

After 4 weeks, the sprinting and weight training group cut around one and a half minutes off their 10K race time. There were no additional improvements in 10K performance after 8 weeks, but they did see quicker times in 1500 meter events. Compared to subjects who never changed their training, the experimental group finished about 15 seconds faster.

True Strength Moment: Whether it’s more than a minute shaved off a 44-minute event or cutting 15 seconds off a 5-minute race, taking your training to a place where others don’t can make all the difference.

Why are EFAs important for muscle growth?


Essential-fatty-acids

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).

Getting Enough

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.

Sources

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.

SIMPLIFIED PROTEIN CALCULATION


Simplified Protein Calculation

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.

CONSISTENT SLEEP CUTS BODY FAT


Consistent Sleep Cuts Body Fat

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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HIIT INCREASES FAT OXIDATION


HIIT Increases Fat Oxidation

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.

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WEIGHT LOSS MATHEMATICS


Weight Loss Mathematics

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.

VITAMIN C’S IMPACT ON BODY WEIGHT


Vitamin C's Impact On Body Weight

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.

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CREATINE ON A HIGH-PROTEIN DIET


Creatine On A High-Protein Diet

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.

PROTEIN BEHIND DISTANCE & SPEED


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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.

HOW MACRONUTRIENTS IMPACT YOUR ENERGY


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.

DON’T START RACE DAY CATABOLIC


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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.

PERSONALIZE YOUR POWER TRAINING


We’re all a little different, physiologically speaking, and some people have longer arms than others. Does it make any difference if you’re working a power training routine? A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that arm length can have an impact on maximal power, and offers suggestions for individualized power training.

Scientists measured the upper arms, forearms, and total arm length of 26 professional rugby players before testing them on a bench press. Peak power was achieved using loads between 20% and 60% of one rep max (1RM), and maximal power was achieved at 30% of 1RM. But for subjects with longer upper arms, maximum power was closer to 22% of 1RM.

True Strength Moment: Adjusting resistance to power train specifically for your build is just another way to take it to the next level with individual differences. If that makes your training more effective, it’s definitely worth the effort.

DIET’S INFLUENCE ON TRAINING


Diet’s Influence On Training

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.

RED & WHITE MUSCLE DIFFERENCES


Red & White Muscle Differences

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.

فوائد المكملات الغذائية للرياضيين


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يعتقد العديد من اللاعبين ان المكملات الغذائية قابلة للاستغناء و ليس يحتاجها اى شخص, و هذا اعتقاد ليس صحيح تماما و قد يكون غرور هؤلاء اللاعبين هو المانع الاكبر امامهم من شراء المكملات نظرة لخبرتهم فى هذه الرياضة و مدة تدريبهم الطويلة و لكن هناك اسباب فى غاية الاهمية لشراء المكملات الغذائية و منها الاتى:

فوائد المكملات الغذائية للرياضيين

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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BULK UP


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

Pro Complex Gainer  Serious Mass

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.

Creatine Powder

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.

LEUCINE FOR STEADY STATE CARDIO


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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 MAKES AN ATHLETE ELITE?


What Makes An Athlete Elite?

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.

THE DAMAGE DONE BY DINING OUT


The Damage Done By Dining Out

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

 

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VEGETABLES CAN HELP YOU GET LEANER


Whether you were one of those kids who never ate your vegetables, or have become convinced as an adult that carbohydrate foods make you fat, there’s a lot to like about regular vegetable consumption — especially for active adults who are working hard to diet down for swimsuit season. Most garden vegetables are naturally low in calories and typically don’t contain a lot of sugar or fat either. Even though vegetables aren’t considered energy dense, most contain abundant amounts of micronutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals which can help your body more effectively process protein, carbs and fat.

In addition, vegetables tend to contain lot of dietary fiber and digesting all this bulky food forces your body to burn more calories. This quality makes fresh vegetables and excellent choice for any dieter, as long as you hold the salad dressing and other condiments to a minimum.

Most strength athletes focus their carbohydrate consumption on complex carbs like oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain bread and sweet potatoes. Broaden your selection to include broccoli, green beans and a colorful assortment of raw vegetables for salads, and you’ll benefit from low calorie nutrients along with plenty of filling fiber.

FIT PEOPLE ARE UP FOR A CHALLENGE


Fit People Are Up For A Challenge

Among the many benefits of exercise is the way it helps you beat stress. But does that mean people who make a point of staying fit can handle stressful situations better? A study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise suggests there may be some truth to that assumption.

Researchers assigned 8 subjects with a below average level of fitness and 8 very fit subjects to cycle on a stationary bike for 37 minutes at 60% of capacity. For the next trial, these same volunteers were given complex metal problems to solve while cycling for 20 minutes. Not only did the dual task increase anxiety for the less fit subjects, compared to their in-shape counterparts they produced greater amounts of the catabolic hormone cortisol.

True Strength Moment: Why are active adults who exercise regularly better able to handle difficult situations? These are the kind of people who are used to setting and achieving ambitious goals, so that could be a factor. Whatever the reason, their hormonal response to exercise makes it easier to recover and come back for more.

OPTIMIZING PERFORMANCE WITH CARBS


Optimizing Performance With Carbs

Pretty much anyone who’s into endurance exercise realizes the value of carbohydrate energy. But like strength athletes and their protein, there’s always the question of how much and what type produce optimal results. A study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exerciseput different amounts of different carbs to the test using 51 cyclists and triathletes.

Trials started out with a 2-hour ride at 95% of capacity and finished up with a 20 km time trial. Subjects were told to post the fastest time possible. Carbohydrate drinks contained equal parts glucose, fructose and maltodextrin. Over 160 minutes of performance, researchers estimated that the optimal rate of consumption was 78 grams for every hour of effort.

True Strength Moment: To help your muscles recover from a cycling event like this one, you might consider ‘stacking’ that carbohydrate performance beverage with powdered protein. The relatively high BCAA concentration found in whey could help minimize the breakdown of muscle tissue during intense exercise.

Increasing Your Metabolism With These Tips


Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to focus on getting into your best shape yet. Increasing your metabolism will help to burn excess body fat as you work hard in the weight room to build muscle. Here are some tips to help get your metabolism going strong:

Increase Training Intensity – Changing the look of your body requires more than fat loss. Developing muscle mass will play an important role in attaining this goal. To help the process along, try increasing your training intensity. This can be accomplished by adding more weight to the barbell or dumbbells, spending less time resting between sets or doing more reps.

Eat the Right Amount of Macronutrients — Your kitchen based efforts to lose fat and gain muscle will have to go well beyond cutting calories. It’s vital to eat the right amount of protein, carbs and fats. Getting enough protein (at least one gram for each pound of body weight) helps active adults recover from weight training. Balancing carbs and fats is also important for fueling exercise performance. Sticking to a low fat diet will allow for a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates.

Using Cardio Correctly – Adding moderate amounts of cardiovascular effort to your training program will help to reduce body fat, but it’s important not to overdo the cardio. Too much time on the treadmill or stationary bike can work against your efforts to build muscle. A good starting point is 3-4 days a week, beginning with 20-30 minute sessions.

PROTEIN TYPE & TIMING TIPS


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There’s always been a lot of confusion about which protein to use, how much and when. The December edition of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a review of studies to determine the validity of previous research. The conclusions outlined here should be of interest to anyone with a goal of developing muscle hypertrophy (size) and strength.

The research suggests weight lifters interested in building muscle size should try to consume 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day. Since 1 kg equals 2.2 pounds, 1 gram per pound of body weight is about right for the upper end of this recommendation. You should also try to consume 44 to 50 calories per kg of body weight per day, which works out to 20 to 23 calories per pound.

Whether you choose to drink a protein shake pre- or post-workout, the study suggests you can expect increased physical performance, recovery, muscle mass and strength. When choosing a protein, make sure each serving includes 3 to 4 grams of the BCCA leucine to promote protein synthesis. A quality whey shake should meet that need, and combining it with a fast-digesting carb like glucose or maltodextrin helps modulate protein synthesis. Essential amino acids and dextrose work best when consumed pre-workout.

True Strength Moment: Now that you have a better idea of what nutrition support to use and when, the research concludes with a recommendation for experienced lifters looking to enhance muscle size and strength: Plan a weight training routine lasting at least 10 to 12 weeks around compound movements for both upper and lower body.

ZMA: How Can it Help You



ZMA
 
A lot of bodybuilders have tried prohormones, hoping to find a legal and effective way of increasing their testosterone levels. However, new research has surfaced indicating that prohormones may not be the best choice for athletes looking to enhance their anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength, since there are many side-effects associated with prohormone supplementation.
 
In fact, there is an amazingly effective new sports performance product called ZMA(a precise combination of zinc and magnesium) that has been clinically proven to significantly increase both anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes.
Zinc, magnesium and vitamin B-6 are all involved in metabolic processes of the body, and play a vital role in protein synthesis. During exercise these nutrients are lost, either through perspiration or metabolism. The function of ZMA supplementation then, is to replace these nutrients which, in turn, may facilitate a number of processes that may improve athletic performance.
 
ZMA is a very effective sleep aid and is recommended to be taken 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Many athletes fail to realize how important it is to get a deep and restful sleep. Healing, tissue repair, anabolic hormone production and muscle growth are maximized during sleep, so quality sleep is extremely important to athletes.

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PUTTING BETAINE IN THE MIX


Putting Betaine In The Mix

Betaine was included in Platinum Hydrobuilder, ON’s all-in-one muscle recovery formula, because regular use can promote exercise performance. A recent study published in the Journal of Physiology illustrated this point using lab rats supplemented with and without beetroot juice, which is a rich source of dietary nitrate, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and betaine.

For 5 days, some rodents drank water with beetroot juice added while others drank plain tap water. A 20 minute treadmill run at a 5% incline showed supplemented rats had improved blood flow to fast twitch Type II muscles. Boosting blood and oxygen delivery to muscles improved exercise performance.

True Strength Moment: Improving blood flow to Type II muscle fibers can benefit both aerobic and anaerobic forms of exercise since IIb intermediate fast twitch fibers can use either metabolism to power your training.

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Anti-catabolic Supplements


100% Casein Protein

Casein protein: An extremely slow digesting protein have demonstrated steady release of amino acids for an incredible 7 hours. While whey protein may increase protein synthesis to a very high degree,  micellar casein is much more important in preventing muscle breakdown especially when taken before bed.

Glutamine Powder

Glutamine: 61% of your skeletal muscle is glutamine! Glutamine is majorly depleted during intense training sessions decreasing body’s immunity. Supplemental glutamine prevents  your muscle from being eaten up (catabolized) to provide glutamine to other cells of the body.

 

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Anti-oxidants (Vitamins and Minerals): The post workout stress is highly catabolic. The  free radicals released during the workout are highly unstable ions eating away the muscle tissue. Stabilizing them is the top priority to kick-start the anabolic process. Anti-oxidant nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, Phytochemicals etc stabilize the free radicals and keep check on their catabolic effects, especially post-workout.

 

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BCAAs: Branched chain aminos are excellent anti-catabolics. No matter what, in the process of energy production during workouts, these are definitely used. Providing specifically BCAAs ensures the body doesn’t take them from the existing muscle tissue, hence preventing muscle loss.

COMBINING CIRCUIT & INTERVAL TRAINING


Setting up a circuit of resistance training exercises can provide you with a great workout while getting you out of the gym much faster than working a more traditional series of sets and reps. So can interval training, where you alternate between high and low intensity. Which works best? A study published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine tested several variations of this theme on eleven recreationally active women.

After determining individual strength and exercise capacity, subjects undertook three different training sessions on non-consecutive days. They engaged in circuit training with weights, aerobic circuit weight training and combined circuit interval training.

The program combining circuit and interval training produced the highest heart rates and levels of perceived exertion while also elevating blood lactate to the greatest degree. The next most challenging program was aerobic circuit weight training. Put these results to the test and take the ‘routine’ out of your current program.

SHAKES DELIVER AMINO ACIDS FASTER


Shakes Deliver Amino Acids Faster

Whey protein is popular with all types of athletes because, in addition to being a complete protein source containing all of the Essential Amino Acids, it digests rapidly so those aminos can go right to work supporting muscle recovery. How fast? A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism compared the amino acid response of liquid protein sources to solid food.

Using two groups of trained and untrained volunteers, researchers determined that drinking a liquid form of protein like a whey shake helps you achieve peak blood levels of amino acids twice as fast as proteins from solid foods. Peak concentrations were reached in 50 minutes with liquids compared to 100 minutes when food needed to be digested.

True Strength Moment: Although total amino acid levels were similar across all protein sources, skim milk elevated concentrations of the BCAA leucine fastest, reaching a peak in just 25 minutes compared to all other foods. For more on the importance of this branched chain amino acid and the conditionally essential amino acid glutamine, read today’s Performance Blog post atABBperformance.com

THE IMPORTANCE OF GLUTAMINE


The mammalian target of rapamycin, more commonly known as mTOR, plays an important role in regulating cell growth and protein synthesis. mTOR Complex 1 (mTORC1) is the part of this function responsible for integrating nutrient, growth factor and energy input. The BCAA leucine has a reputation for stimulating protein synthesis, and it’s a key modulator of mTORC1. A recent study published in the journal Amino Acids suggests that glutamine can activate mTORC1 independent of leucine.

As the most abundant amino acid in muscle, many strength athletes supplement with glutamine to aid the recovery process. It’s a conditionally essential amino acid, so when levels are depleted through intense physical effort your body may not be able to completely replace these aminos quickly enough. If you’re elevating the intensity of your workout for a bulking phase or competition preparation, adding 5 grams of L-glutamine to your post-workout shake might help take your recovery to the next level.

ABS WORKOUT FOR JUMP PERFORMANCE


Abs Workout For Jump Performance

It’s reasonable to assume that training your abdominal muscles can help you jump higher. Many team sports athletes can benefit from enhanced jumping ability, and a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research takes a novel approach to training deep abdominal muscles.

A group of 14 elite college soccer players was separated into two types of abdominal training. Some subjects concentrated on ‘hollowing’ or drawing in the stomach area to train the transversus abdominis muscles, while the rest performed ‘bracing’ moves which mimic the tensing up reaction you’d have right before being punched in the stomach. After 8 weeks, the bracing group increased jump height by 8.8% and the hollowing group jumped an average of 16.9% higher.

True Strength Moment: In addition to sit ups, leg raises and bridges, try working some of these simple hollowing and bracing movements into your abdominal training routine. It could help you get a jump on competitors in team sports while building up an impressive six pack look.

EXERCISE DURING COLD & FLU SEASON


Exercise During Cold & Flu Season

It’s that time of year when you’re more than likely to hear people sniffling or coughing at the gym. While it’s always a good idea to use a gym towel to wipe down anything you’ll be grabbing during your exercise session, a story published online at ScienceDaily.com offers some tips on working through an illness of your own.

Generally speaking, it’s probably okay to hit the gum if your symptoms are from the neck up. Like a sore throat or runny nose. Exceptions to that rule include if you’re running a fever or so congested you have trouble breathing. If you do decide it’s okay to train, take it easy. Your body is using energy to battle an illness, so don’t push your session the way you would if you felt great. Use the same approach when getting back into your routine after taking time off to shake a cold. Dial down the intensity as well as the duration of your workout.

True Strength Moment: Remember that first tip about wiping down surface areas your hands will touch? If you do go to the gym with a minor head cold, be considerate of the other people. Don’t take part in a group class or play team sports until you’re sure you won’t pass an illness on to anyone.

HIIT IS A SMART MOVE FOR ANYONE


HIIT Is A Smart Move For Anyone

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a great option when you’re pressed for time, because the intensity of the exercise lets you get in a full workout in about half the time you’d spend doing steady-state cardio. Research conducted at the Montreal Heart Institute found that 4 months of twice weekly HIIT can improve brain function while trimming your waistline.

Scientists recruited six middle aged adult subjects with a body mass index between 28 and 31, which is considered overweight to obese. In addition to HIIT these volunteers also trained with weights twice a week. The result was a slimmer waistline, decreased fat mass, improved cognitive function and greater insulin sensitivity.

True Strength Moment: Four months from now it’ll be late February, which is right about the time many people start regretting all that holiday feasting. If you’re wondering how to get cut down into swimsuit shape for summer, keep the results of this study in mind.