Sport Topics & News Magazine & : Sports Nutrition https://sport-topics.com/rss/category/sports-nutrition Sport Topics & News Magazine & : Sports Nutrition en Copyright 2022 Sport&Topics.com & All Rights Reserved. The 10 Best Front Delt Exercises https://sport-topics.com/the-10-best-front-delt-exercises https://sport-topics.com/the-10-best-front-delt-exercises Front delt exercises are a bone of contention among fitness folks.

Some say that to develop your front delts fully, you have to spend time training them directly with front delt isolation exercises.

Others believe this is wasted labor. According to them, pressing exercises train your front delts better than isolation exercises, so there’s no need to waste your time with front delt raises and the like, provided you’re already doing plenty of pressing.

Who’s right?

Learn the best front delt exercises, according to science, in this article.

What Are the Front Delts?

The deltoid muscles—or “delts”—are the muscles that cover your shoulder joints and help your upper arms move forward, upward, and backward.

Each deltoid is made up of three sections or “heads:” the anterior deltoid, the lateral deltoid, and the posterior deltoid

Here’s how they look on your body:

Shoulder-Muscles (1)

The anterior deltoids are commonly referred to as the “front delts” because they’re located on the front of your body. Their main function is to assist shoulder flexion (bringing your arms from by your sides in an arc until they’re above your head), though they also play a role in stabilizing the shoulder joint.

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How to Train the Front Delts, According to Science

Multiple studies show that the front delts are heavily involved in all pressing exercises, more so than during front delt isolation exercises like the front delt raise.

As such, there’s no reason to do front delt isolation exercises in your program, provided it already includes plenty of heavy pressing exercises, such as the overhead press, bench press, and Arnold press.

Research also shows that the more upright you are during a pressing exercise, the more the front delts contribute. For example, while the dumbbell bench press, incline dumbbell bench press, and shoulder press all train the front delts to a high degree, the incline variation trains them more than the flat variation, and the shoulder press (which involves sitting upright) trains them the most.

Lastly, there’s some evidence that pressing exercises involving dumbbells increase front delt activation more than barbell exercises. Some people take this to mean that dumbbell exercises are superior to barbell exercises for training your front delts.

There are three reasons this probably isn’t the case:

  1. More muscle activation doesn’t always lead to more muscle growth.
  2. You typically can’t lift as much weight on dumbbell exercises as you can on barbell exercises, which limits their muscle-building potential.
  3. Progress on dumbbell exercises is often slower than progress on barbell exercises, which means you can’t progressively overload them as effectively.

That said, there are benefits to using dumbbells for training your front delts.

For instance, dumbbells allow you to use a slightly longer range of motion, which is generally better for muscle and strength gain, and they train both sides of your body independently, which helps you identify and correct muscle and strength imbalances because one side can’t “take over” from the other.

Dumbbell exercises also allow your limbs to move more freely than many barbell exercises, so you can slightly alter your movements to avoid pain. This makes them helpful when “training around” an injury or if barbell exercises aggravate your shoulders, elbows, or wrists. 

Thus, the best way to train your shoulders is with a mixture of compound barbell and dumbbell pressing exercises at varying inclines that allow you to lift heavy weights safely and progress regularly.

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The Best Front Delt Exercises

1. Standing Overhead Press

7.PUSH-Standing Barbell Overhead Press

How to:

  1. Set a barbell in a rack at the same height as your upper chest
  2. Grip the bar with a shoulder-width grip and your palms facing away from you.
  3. Unrack the barbell and take a small step backward with each foot, keeping your wrists stacked over your elbows, and your elbows tucked close to your sides. 
  4. Plant your feet just outside of shoulder width, brace your core, squeeze your glutes, and push the bar toward the ceiling. 
  5. Once your arms are straight and your elbows are locked out, reverse the movement and return to the starting position.

2. Seated Overhead Press

8.PUSH-Seated Barbell Overhead Press

How to:

  1. Set up an upright bench in a squat rack or power rack, or use a seated barbell overhead press station.
  2. Sit in the seat and press your back against the bench, reach your arms overhead, and note the height of your wrists in relation to the rack—this is the height you should set the barbell on the hooks.
  3. Set the barbell on the hooks at the appropriate height, sit down, and grip the bar with a shoulder-width grip and your palms facing away from you.
  4. Unrack the barbell and lower it to your collarbone.
  5. Once the bar reaches your collarbone, press the bar toward the ceiling and return to the starting position.

3. Shoulder Press

Before-After-blogpost-seateddumbbel

How to:

  1. While sitting on an upright bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest them on your thighs. 
  2. Hoist the dumbbells up so you’re holding them just above your shoulders with your palms facing away from you, nudging them with your thighs to get them into position.
  3. Press the dumbbells straight up toward the ceiling until your arms are straight and your elbows are almost locked. 
  4. Lower the dumbbells and return to the starting position.

4. Arnold Press

Before-After-blogpost-Arnold

How to:

  1. While sitting on an upright bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest them on your thighs.
  2. Hoist the dumbbells up so you’re holding them just in front of your shoulders with your palms facing toward you, nudging them with your thighs to get them into position.
  3. Press the dumbbells straight up over your head while rotating your wrists until your arms are straight, your elbows are locked, and your palms are facing away from you.
  4. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position.

5. Incline Bench Press

inclinebarbellpress

  1. Lie on a bench that’s angled at 30-to-45 degrees and place your feet flat on the floor. 
  2. Pull your shoulder blades together and down, and without lifting your butt or shoulders off the bench, slightly arch your back. 
  3. Grab the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, take a deep breath, brace your core, and unrack the barbell.
  4. Bring the barbell to your upper chest, making sure to keep your elbows tucked at about a 45-degree angle relative to your body. 
  5. When the bar touches your chest, explosively press the bar back to the starting position.

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6. Incline Dumbbell Press

4.PUSH-Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

How to:

  1. While lying on a bench that’s angled at 30-to-45 degrees, hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest them on your thighs. 
  2. Lie back, hoisting the dumbbells up so you’re holding them on either side of your chest by giving them a nudge with your thighs.
  3. Press the dumbbells straight up over your upper chest until your arms are straight and your elbows are locked.
  4. Lower the dumbbells to the starting position.

7. Bench Press

1.PUSH-Barbell Bench Press

How to:

  1. Lie on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor, directly under your knees. 
  2. Pull your shoulder blades together and down, and without lifting your butt or shoulders off the bench, slightly arch your back. 
  3. Grab the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, take a deep breath, brace your core, and unrack the barbell.
  4. Bring the barbell to the middle of your chest, making sure to keep your elbows tucked at about a 45-degree angle relative to your body. 
  5. When the bar touches your chest, explosively press the bar back to the starting position.

8. Close-Grip Bench Press

6.Close-Grip Bench Press

How to:

  1. Lie on a flat bench, pull your shoulder blades together and down, and without lifting your butt or shoulders off the bench, slightly arch your back.
  2. Grip the barbell with a shoulder-width grip or slightly narrower and unrack the barbell so it’s directly above your chest.
  3. Lower the barbell to your lower chest while keeping your elbows tucked at about a 30-degree angle relative to your torso.
  4. When the bar touches your chest, explosively press the bar back to the starting position

9. Dumbbell Bench Press

Dumbbell Bench Press

How to:

  1. While sitting on a flat bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest them on your thighs. 
  2. Lie back and bring the dumbbells up so you’re holding them on either side of your chest by giving them a nudge with your thighs.
  3. Press the dumbbells straight up over your chest until your arms are straight and your elbows are locked. 
  4. Lower the dumbbells to the starting position.

10. Dip

5.PUSH-Dip

How to:

  1. If you’re using a dip belt, wrap the chain around your waist, add the desired amount of weight to the chain, and fasten the carabiner.
  2. Grab hold of both handles of a dip bar or dip station, then press yourself up by straightening your arms and gently jumping off the ground so that your arms are straight and supporting your entire body weight. 
  3. Keep your torso upright to emphasize your triceps, bend your knees to keep your feet from touching the ground, and lower your body by bending your elbows until your upper arms are roughly parallel to the floor.
  4. Press hard into the handles to drive your body back up to the starting position.

The Best Front Delt Workout

As I explain in my fitness books for men and women, Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger, the best way to develop any muscle, including the front delts, is to train it in different ways, from different directions, and at different angles.

Here’s a front delt workout that does just that:

  • Standing Overhead Press: 3 sets of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min rest
  • Incline Bench Press: 3 sets of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min rest
  • Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 6-to-8 reps with 2-to-3 min rest
  • Dip: 3 sets of 6-to-8 reps with 2-to-3 min rest

(And if you’d like even more specific advice about what exercises to include in your training program to reach your health and fitness goals, take the Legion Strength Training Quiz, and in less than a minute, you’ll know the perfect strength training program for you. Click here to check it out.)

The post The 10 Best Front Delt Exercises appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Mon, 19 Dec 2022 06:17:22 -0800 Sportsman
Kaged MINDSET Nootropic Explained: Smart Supplement with Cereboost https://sport-topics.com/kaged-mindset-nootropic-explained-smart-supplement-with-cereboost https://sport-topics.com/kaged-mindset-nootropic-explained-smart-supplement-with-cereboost The long awaited nootropic supplement from Kaged is here to close down an epic year — one that they started with a bang thanks to their incredible Pre-Kaged Elite pre-workout. This is a nootropic done the Kaged way: with innovation, […]

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Sun, 18 Dec 2022 22:21:14 -0800 Sportsman
How Rohit Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Lose 31 Pounds and 9% Body Fat https://sport-topics.com/how-rohit-used-bigger-leaner-stronger-to-lose-31-pounds-and-9-body-fat https://sport-topics.com/how-rohit-used-bigger-leaner-stronger-to-lose-31-pounds-and-9-body-fat The post How Rohit Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Lose 31 Pounds and 9% Body Fat appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Sun, 18 Dec 2022 05:14:55 -0800 Sportsman
Kaged MINDSET Nootropic is Coming! https://sport-topics.com/kaged-mindset-nootropic-is-coming https://sport-topics.com/kaged-mindset-nootropic-is-coming Look at what’s been spotted: The Kaged Mindset nootropic!

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Kaged Mindset is Coming

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Sun, 18 Dec 2022 01:31:53 -0800 Sportsman
Revive MD Gut Health+ Targets Harmful Bacterial Overgrowth https://sport-topics.com/revive-md-gut-health-targets-harmful-bacterial-overgrowth https://sport-topics.com/revive-md-gut-health-targets-harmful-bacterial-overgrowth It’s been over two millennia since the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates — a man who is widely considered the founding figure of Western medicine and is commemorated by the Hippocratic Oath — wrote that all disease begins in the gut[…]

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Sat, 17 Dec 2022 05:26:45 -0800 Sportsman
Research Roundup #28: Weight&Loss Maintenance, Powerlifting Risk, and Weightlifting While Pregnant https://sport-topics.com/research-roundup-28-weight-loss-maintenance-powerlifting-risk-and-weightlifting-while-pregnant https://sport-topics.com/research-roundup-28-weight-loss-maintenance-powerlifting-risk-and-weightlifting-while-pregnant It’s estimated that there are over 2+ million scientific papers published each year, and this firehose only seems to intensify.

Even if you narrow your focus to fitness research, it would take several lifetimes to unravel the hairball of studies on nutrition, training, supplementation, and related fields.

This is why my team and I spend thousands of hours each year dissecting and describing scientific studies in articles, podcasts, and books and using the results to formulate our 100% all-natural sports supplements and inform our coaching services. 

And while the principles of proper eating and exercising are simple and somewhat immutable, reviewing new research can reinforce or reshape how we eat, train, and live for the better. 

Thus, each week, I’m going to share three scientific studies on diet, exercise, supplementation, mindset, and lifestyle that will help you gain muscle and strength, lose fat, perform and feel better, live longer, and get and stay healthier. 

This week, you’ll learn the “secret” to keeping weight off when you finish dieting, how risky powerlifting is, and if doing HIIT while pregnant is healthy.

And the “secret” to weight-loss maintenance is . . .

Source: “Successful weight loss maintenance: A systematic review of weight control registries” published on February 12, 2020 in Obesity Reviews.

Losing weight is tough.

But as anyone who perennially maintains a trim physique will tell you, the real challenge isn’t losing weight but keeping it off.

That’s why most people regain any weight they lose when they finish dieting.

This problem is so prevalent that for the past few decades, scientists at several universities have been gathering information from successful dieters about what helped them lose weight and keep it off.

Recently, scientists at the University of Lisbon pooled and analyzed these weight-loss “registries” to see if they could spot trends that might help others maintain weight loss.

Their results showed that the best strategies for keeping weight off are:

Among the least frequently reported strategies were following a “special diet,” consuming weight-loss supplements, and, interestingly, receiving professional help from a hypnotist, weight-loss group, or personal trainer.

The results also showed that maintaining weight loss becomes gradually easier, perhaps because the behaviors that ensure successful weight-loss maintenance become habits that demand less conscious effort.

At a time when silver bullets such as fad diets and weight-loss supplements are as popular as ever, these results are a valuable reminder that those who successfully lose weight and keep it off avoid these distractions and focus on what works: following a protein- and fiber-rich diet that’s mainly composed of minimally processed, nutritious foods and regularly exercising.

The only two surprises were the results regarding breakfast and professional help.

Most research shows that breakfast eaters are about as likely to lose weight and keep it off as breakfast skippers, which is why I still think you should eat or skip breakfast based on your preferences.

Likewise, a mountain of evidence shows that seeking diet advice from a qualified professional aids weight loss and maintenance. While the dieters in this study tended not to seek professional help, there’s nothing to suggest it wouldn’t have made their weight-loss journey easier.

For instance, the dieters also identified “emotional eating” (eating to soothe negative emotions) as one of the biggest barriers to enduring weight loss. An effective way to deal with emotional eating is to have contingency plans when emotions strike. 

Fathoming these plans alone can be challenging, but they become more manageable with guidance from an experienced coach.

That’s why I think getting help, whether from trusted online sources, podcasts, books, or coaches, is an indispensable tool for ensuring long-lasting weight loss for some people.

(And if you’d like an expert to give you everything you need to build your best body ever, including custom diet and training plans, exercise technique coaching, emotional encouragement, accountability, and more, contact Legion’s VIP one-on-one coaching service to set up a free consultation. Click here to check it out.)

TL;DR: The best ways to ensure long-term weight loss are following a protein- and fiber-rich diet that’s mainly composed of minimally processed, nutritious foods and exercising regularly.

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Powerlifting isn’t dangerous.

Source: “Safety of powerlifting: A literature review” published on January 19, 2021 in Science and Sports.

Many people think the “Big 3” are dangerous.

That is, they think squatting thrashes your knees, deadlifting is detrimental to your lower back, and benching banjaxes your shoulders.

You can find plenty of videos of powerlifters injuring themselves, too, but how common is this really? 

Are these incidents the exception or the rule? 

That’s what scientists at the University of Murcia wanted to puzzle out by reviewing the data from 11 studies involving 763 powerlifters—athletes who spend the vast majority of their training time practicing the squat, deadlift, and bench press

The results showed that, on average, powerlifters suffer 1-to-4.4 injuries per 1000 hours spent training. The most common injuries in non-disabled athletes were to the shoulders, lower back, hips, and knees, and the shoulders, pectorals, and elbows in paralympic athletes (though this is because the bench press is the sole lift performed in paralympic powerlifting).

To put these figures into perspective, injury rates in soccer (15 per 1000 hours), running, and CrossFit (both ~10 per 1000 hours) are all significantly higher, making powerlifting a relatively safe sport. 

How do these numbers relate to the average weightlifter?

Most gym-goers don’t follow programs that are as rigorous as powerlifting programs. For example, my Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger programs for men and women include exercises like the squat, deadlift, and bench press, but these aren’t the sole focus. 

This is significant because limiting the time you spend doing these exercises reduces your risk of them causing repetitive strain injuries.

What’s more, programs like Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger don’t involve training as close to your one-rep max as most powerlifting programs, which means they don’t beat up your joints and connective tissues as much, further reducing your risk of injury.

As such, most recreational weightlifters probably have a similar injury rate to bodybuilders, which according to this study, is about 1 injury per ~4000 hours of training.

Even then, you can take steps to reduce your risk further. 

If you’re prone to low-back problems, switching to the sumo or trap-bar deadlift instead of the conventional deadlift may help since both variations place less stress on your spine.

Or, if back squatting irritates your knees, try the more knee-friendly front squat. You could also lower yourself slower during the squat. This gives you more control and prevents you from “falling” into positions that stress your knees.

And if your shoulders cry uncle while bench pressing, do the following:

  • Tuck your shoulder blades down and squeeze them together for your entire set.
  • Use a 1.5 times shoulder-width grip or narrower.
  • Keep your elbows at a 30-to-60-degree angle relative to your torso.
  • Touch the bar on your chest at nipple height.
  • Only do 3-to-6 weekly sets of the flat barbell bench press (this doesn’t mean you can’t do other pressing exercises like the incline bench press, dumbbell bench press, dip, and so forth).

TL;DR: Powerlifters can expect 1-to-4.4 injuries per 1000 hours they spend training, which makes powerlifting significantly safer than soccer, running, and CrossFit.

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Doing HIIT while you’re pregnant improves blood flow to your baby.

Source: “Acute fetal response to high-intensity interval training in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy” published on August 25, 2021 in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

For many women, pregnancy is not the time for exercise.

Instead, it’s a time for resting, nesting, and prepping for when their baby arrives, all of which, they believe, leaves little time to train.

However, research shows that exercising during pregnancy confers many physical and mental health benefits to both mother and child, before, during, and after birth. That’s why scientists are keen to find ways to make exercising during pregnancy as time-efficient and accessible as possible.

Some believe the answer is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). 

HIIT involves repeated bouts of almost all-out exercise interspersed with periods of low-intensity recovery. One of the main benefits of HIIT workouts is that they’re typically short, which should make them easier to schedule for expectant mothers. 

The only problem is that while research shows that HIIT workouts don’t harm an unborn baby (provided you stay below 90% of your maximum heart rate), we know little about how HIIT affects a fetus.

To help clarify this blindspot, scientists at Queen’s University had 14 active pregnant women in their third trimester do 3 rounds of a HIIT-style weightlifting circuit involving the kettlebell swing, banded chest press, goblet squat, dumbbell row, lunge, and Pallof press.

The women did each exercise at near maximum intensity (about an 8 on the RPE scale) for 20 seconds, then took 1 minute of active rest between exercises, during which time they marched in place. Once they’d finished a full circuit, they took 2 minutes of complete rest. The entire workout took 25 minutes and included just 6 minutes of intense exercise.

The results showed that HIIT-style weightlifting had no adverse effects on fetal heart rate or umbilical blood flood. The training also significantly improved blood flow through the umbilical artery, sending more blood and oxygen to the developing baby.

While we’ve known for some time that exercising during pregnancy is healthful, this is the first study to show that HIIT-style weightlifting offers significant benefits to an unborn child. You don’t need to train for long, use specialized equipment, or have much space to get these benefits either, which will hopefully encourage more women to stay active during pregnancy.

Of course, not everyone can train when they’re expecting, so be sure to clear any training program you undertake while pregnant with your doctor. However, if you’re medically cleared to train during pregnancy, and you want a simple program to keep you and your baby healthy, do the following program on 3 non-consecutive days per week:

Full-Body Pregnancy Workout

TL;DR: HIIT-style weightlifting during pregnancy is safe for mother and child and improves blood flow and oxygen supply to the developing baby.

The post Research Roundup #28: Weight-Loss Maintenance, Powerlifting Risk, and Weightlifting While Pregnant appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Fri, 16 Dec 2022 12:02:55 -0800 Sportsman
Ep. #1003: Q&A: Refeeds While Cutting, Sleep Problems, My Motivation to Train, and More https://sport-topics.com/ep-1003-qa-refeeds-while-cutting-sleep-problems-my-motivation-to-train-and-more https://sport-topics.com/ep-1003-qa-refeeds-while-cutting-sleep-problems-my-motivation-to-train-and-more

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on YouTube

What’s the best rep range for newbies? Should you do long fasts? How do sleep problems affect muscle gain and fat loss? How often should you refeed while cutting? How can women be healthy while minimizing weight gain during pregnancy? All that and more in this Q&A podcast.

Over on Instagram, I’ve started doing weekly Q&As in the stories, and it occurred to me that many podcast listeners might enjoy hearing these questions and my short answers. So, instead of talking about one thing in an episode, I’m going to cover a variety of questions. And keep in mind some of these questions are just for fun. ????

So if you want to ask me questions in my Instagram stories, follow me on Instagram (@muscleforlifefitness), and if I answer your question there, it might just make it onto an episode of the podcast!

If you like this type of episode, let me know. Send me an email (mike@muscleforlife.com) or direct message me on Instagram. And if you don’t like it, let me know that too or how you think it could be better.

Timestamps:

0:00 – Join my podcast giveaway! http://muscleforlife.show/giveaway

2:09 – What is your motivation to keep training since your strength gain has drastically slowed down?

7:16 – Would you recommend 8 to12 or 4 to 6 reps for slim newbies during the first steps?

14:19 – What are your thoughts on long fasts done regularly for 48 hours or longer? 

16:26 – How often should refeed days happen?

19:32 – Does sleep apnea have a big effect on muscle gain and fat loss or is it minimal?

20:30 – How can women be healthy and minimize weight gain during pregnancy?

21:17 – Do I need specific gym shoes or do running shoes work?

21:52 – What are some of the signs your body needs to reverse diet?

Mentioned on the Show:

I’m giving away over $1,000 worth of prizes to commemorate the 1,000th episode of Muscle For Life! Join the giveaway here: http://muscleforlife.show/giveaway

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Ep. #1003: Q&A: Refeeds While Cutting, Sleep Problems, My Motivation to Train, and More appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Fri, 16 Dec 2022 12:02:55 -0800 Sportsman
Core Nutritionals FURY Pre&Workout v2 Arrives at Vitamin Shoppe https://sport-topics.com/core-nutritionals-fury-pre-workout-v2-arrives-at-vitamin-shoppe https://sport-topics.com/core-nutritionals-fury-pre-workout-v2-arrives-at-vitamin-shoppe Core Nutritionals’ FURY pre-workout, long regarded as one of the most potent products in its category, is getting a redesign – and we’re all about it. It’s only available at The Vitamin Shoppe for an exclusive time, before being […]

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The post Core Nutritionals FURY Pre-Workout v2 Arrives at Vitamin Shoppe first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Fri, 16 Dec 2022 11:16:40 -0800 Sportsman
MuscleTech Augmented Reality Brings Product Education https://sport-topics.com/muscletech-augmented-reality-brings-product-education https://sport-topics.com/muscletech-augmented-reality-brings-product-education Far from being content to white-label the same products and ingredients as so many others do in the industry, the visionaries at MuscleTech like to surf on the cutting edge.

Back in August, we wrote about the release of MuscleTech’s […]

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Thu, 15 Dec 2022 20:56:49 -0800 Sportsman
AstroFlav IsoMix New Flavor: Strawberry Done Right https://sport-topics.com/astroflav-isomix-new-flavor-strawberry-done-right https://sport-topics.com/astroflav-isomix-new-flavor-strawberry-done-right Since 2019, we’ve been covering AstroFlav with gusto – and for good reason. AstroFlav comes out with excellent, science-based formulas, but they really set themselves apart with their flavors.

As many supplement ingredients become more widespread and commodified, there is […]

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Thu, 15 Dec 2022 20:56:49 -0800 Sportsman
Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad for You? https://sport-topics.com/are-artificial-sweeteners-bad-for-you https://sport-topics.com/are-artificial-sweeteners-bad-for-you Are artificial sweeteners bad for you?

Despite decades of research attempting to answer this question, most experts aren’t sure.

Some say they’re benign or even somewhat beneficial if they’re substituted for caloric sweeteners like sugar. 

Others claim even the tiniest amounts (like that found in a stick of sugar-free gum) pose a serious health risk.

In this article, we’ll look at what science says about the health effects of eating artificial sweeteners, so you can decide for yourself whether you should consume them. 

What Are Artificial Sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners, also known as “sugar substitutes” or “high-intensity sweeteners,” are chemicals used to sweeten foods. 

They come in two types: Nutritive and non-nutritive sweeteners. Nutritive sweeteners contain calories, while non-nutritive sweeteners contain few or no calories.

Artificial sweeteners are far sweeter than table sugar (up to 20,000 times sweeter), which means you only need to use a tiny amount to achieve a similar level of sweetness.

There are six FDA-approved artificial sweeteners:

  1. Advantame: Advantame is approximately 20,000 times sweeter than sugar and contains no calories.
  2. Acesulfame potassium: Acesulfame potassium (also called acesulfame K, acesulfame potassium, or Ace-K) is sold under the brand names Sunett and Sweet One. It’s ~200 times sweeter than sugar, contains no calories, and is often combined with other sweeteners.
  3. Aspartame: Aspartame brand names include Nutrasweet, Equal, and Sugar Twin. It’s ~200 times sweeter than sugar and contains 4 calories per gram.
  4. Neotame: Neotame is sold under the brand name Newtame, is ~7,000-to-13,000 times sweeter than sugar, and contains no calories.
  5. Saccharin: Saccharin brand names include Sweet and Low, Sweet Twin, Sweet’N Low, and Necta Sweet. It’s ~200-to-700 times sweeter than sugar and contains no calories.
  6. Sucralose: Sucralose is sold under the brand name Splenda, is ~600 times sweeter than sugar, and contains no calories.

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Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad for You?

People fear that artificial sweeteners harm health in many ways, but the most common concerns are that they cause cancer, diabetes, and weight gain and damage your gut health.

Let’s look at what science says about each of these worries.

Artificial Sweeteners and Cancer

The fear that artificial sweeteners cause cancer dates back to 1970 when a study showed that mice that consumed huge amounts of saccharin and cyclamate (an artificial sweetener that the U.S. regulatory authority subsequently banned) had an increased risk of bladder cancer.

Over the following decades, multiple studies showing no link between artificial sweeteners and cancer risk in humans tempered these concerns.

Recently, a large cohort study conducted by scientists at Sorbonne Paris Nord University rewakened this worry when it found that people who consume artificial sweeteners (particularly aspartame and acesulfame-K) had a higher risk of cancer than those who didn’t.

While a cursory glance at these results paints an unsettling picture, a more thorough reading uncovers a couple of reasons to be wary of the findings.

First, it was an observational study, which means it can only show that artificial sweeteners and cancer are correlated, not that one causes the other. 

Given that the artificial sweetener consumers with the highest cancer risk were also more likely to smoke, be less physically active, have diabetes, and eat less fruit, fiber, vegetables, and whole grains and more salt and sugar than those who didn’t eat artificial sweeteners, other confounding variables likely contributed to their higher cancer risk.

Second, the researchers found that people who ate artificial sweeteners in small amounts had a higher cancer risk than those who ate them in large amounts. This is strange since if artificial sweeteners “cause” cancer, you’d expect to see a dose-response relationship, where the more you eat, the higher your risk of cancer—but this isn’t the case.

It’s also worth putting the findings of this study into perspective. 

Based on the findings, many media outlets reported that artificial sweeteners “increase cancer risk by 13%,” which is a scary thought. This isn’t exactly what the study found, though.

The results actually showed that people who consume artificial sweeteners have a 13% relative increase in cancer risk compared to those who don’t. A relative increase, however, isn’t the same as an absolute increase.

For example, if you usually have a 5% risk of cancer, and you eat artificial sweeteners, causing a relative increase in cancer risk by 13%, your overall cancer risk is now 5.65% (your overall cancer risk would only jump to 18% if it were an absolute increase).

In other words, even if we were to take these results at face value, the effect of artificial sweeteners on cancer risk is relatively small—smaller than the effect of eating red meat on cancer risk, according to some research.

At bottom, most studies suggest there’s no link between artificial sweetener intake and cancer, and those indicating otherwise show that any risk is negligible. As such, it’s probably safe to conclude that artificial sweeteners have either no or minimal effect on cancer risk.

Artificial Sweeteners and Diabetes

While there appears to be an association between artificial sweeteners and diabetes, we don’t yet understand whether artificial sweeteners contribute to or help prevent diabetes.

For instance, several studies have shown that artificial sweeteners don’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels in humans. This is typically beneficial for metabolic health (and thus diabetes risk) since maintaining relatively low blood sugar and insulin levels is generally better than having high levels.

Conversely, several observational studies have linked consuming artificial sweeteners with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

Again, observational studies can’t tell us that artificial sweeteners cause diabetes, only that people who develop diabetes also regularly consume artificial sweeteners. Nonetheless, this suggests a connection between consuming artificial sweeteners and diabetes risk.

Animal research muddies the waters further.

Some studies on rodents and animal cells show that artificial sweeteners “disrupt” the gut microbiome (the microbes in your intestines), triggering the release of inflammatory proteins that interfere with insulin’s ability to remove glucose from the blood, which could lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.

Others, however, show that rats given artificial sweeteners produce more short-chain fatty acids.

Short-chain fatty acids are compounds produced by the “friendly bacteria” in your gut that are crucial for maintaining optimal metabolic and intestinal health and that may increase fat burning, limit fat storage, and fight inflammation, all of which can help you avert diabetes.

Since most human research suggests that artificially sweetened food and drinks are generally better for metabolic health than sugary alternatives, it’s likely safe to consume them in moderation. 

Still, we need more long-term human research before we can definitively say that artificial sweeteners positively affect diabetes risk.

This is really the biggest rub with artificial sweeteners: we just aren’t sure what the long-term effects are for all of them. 

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Artificial Sweeteners and Weight Gain

Artificially sweetened food and drinks typically contain fewer calories than sugary alternatives, so many people use them to aid weight loss. Research on how artificial sweeteners affect body weight isn’t always clear, though.

For example, while there’s evidence that artificial sweeteners increase your appetite and cravings for sweet treats and thus contribute to weight gain, other research shows that people who substitute sugar-sweetened food and drinks with artificially sweetened fare feel less hungry, eat fewer calories, and find losing weight easier.

What’s more, multiple observational studies have uncovered a link between consuming artificial sweeteners and obesity. However, most randomized controlled trials (the “gold standard” of scientific research) show consuming artificial sweeteners in place of sugar aids fat loss.

Given the results of the highest-quality research, it’s safe to assume that artificial sweeteners aid weight loss for most people.

Artificial Sweeteners and Gut Health

Your gut microbiome and the fermented products it creates are key to numerous aspects of your health, including your body weight, insulin sensitivity, metabolic health, immune function, and sleep.

Most human and animal studies show that artificial sweeteners alter the composition of your gut microbiome, which means they could affect your health—though not necessarily negatively.

For example, as we’ve already seen, artificial sweeteners increase short-chain fatty acid production. While research suggests this reduces appetite and increases calorie and fat burning in animals, some human research has tentatively linked it to obesity. One way it might do this is by enabling the body to “extract” more energy (calories) from foods that would otherwise pass through your body undigested.

That said, other human and human cell studies have found that short-chain fatty acids may regulate appetite and increase energy expenditure. This would likely improve body weight and thus insulin sensitivity and metabolic health. 

There are three more studies in living humans worth mentioning.

In one, researchers found that the gut microbiome of 4 out of 7 healthy people changed after consuming large amounts of saccharin, which inhibited how their bodies’ controlled blood sugar for as long as 7 days after the trial.

In another, researchers found that saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, and stevia altered the gut microbiome in healthy people, and that saccharin and sucralose elevated blood sugar levels.

And in the last, researchers found that feeding people large amounts of saccharin had no effect on the gut microbiome or blood sugar control.

Given the conflicting evidence, it’s too early to say whether artificial sweeteners damage gut health or not. Until scientists conduct more research in humans, the safest bet is to consume artificial sweeteners in moderation or not at all.

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Conclusion

Research on how artificial sweeteners affect human health is still early days, so it’s hard to draw firm conclusions about their long-term effects.

That said, current evidence suggests that artificial sweeteners aren’t the health hazard many claim they are. If they increased disease risk and ruined our metabolic health the way some suppose, long-term trials probably would have served up more hints this is the case—but they haven’t.

In most cases, studies report negligible effects on metabolic health, with some suggesting artificial sweeteners offer some benefits.

Still, there are plenty of tip-offs in the literature to suggest artificial sweeteners aren’t all good. Thus, the best thing to do for now is to consume them in moderation or not at all. 

It’s also important to remember that every artificial sweetener is a unique molecule with its own effects on the body. Just because one artificial sweetener is proven to be relatively safe or unsafe doesn’t mean you can apply those findings to the rest of them. 

In other words, you need to look at each one individually when deciding what the risks and benefits are. 

The post Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad for You? appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Wed, 14 Dec 2022 09:03:35 -0800 Sportsman
Ep. #1002: John North on Minimalist Training Programs https://sport-topics.com/ep-1002-john-north-on-minimalist-training-programs https://sport-topics.com/ep-1002-john-north-on-minimalist-training-programs

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on YouTube

How little training can you get away with while still making progress or at least maintaining what you’ve already built? 

There’s been a recent trend in the fitness space that more training volume is better. That’s great if you have lots of time to train, but not everyone wants to spend as much time as possible in the gym. 

In fact, many people want to know how to optimize their training so they can get more out of less. 

So, how little training can they get away with? The answer is that it’s less than many people think, and that’s what you’re going to learn about in this podcast.

Returning to the podcast is John North, and we’re discussing minimalist training and time-efficient workouts. In case you’re not familiar with John, he and I have been working together behind the scenes for years on articles, books, podcasts, and other content. In fact, he’s the Director of Content for Legion. 

He’s also completed over 100 triathlons and cross-country, cycling, and adventure races, has squatted and deadlifted over 400 pounds and bench pressed over 300 pounds, and has researched and written for over a dozen organizations, including the National Institutes of Health. So he walks the walk and know a thing or two about both endurance and strength training, and helping people get into the best shape of their lives.

In our discussion about minimalist training programs, we chat about . . .

  • Quality versus quantity when it comes to your workouts
  • The “minimum effective dose” of training depending on your goals and experience level
  • How to program short workouts and create effective minimalist programs
  • Training frequency and splitting up longer workouts into shorter daily sessions
  • How much training is needed to maintain your physique
  • And more . . .

So, if you’re curious about how much training you really need to do to make progress or just maintain your size and strength, and how to program minimal workouts, you’re going to enjoy this podcast!

Timestamps:

0:00 – Join my podcast giveaway! http://muscleforlife.show/giveaway

6:10 – Could you do 15-30 minutes of strength training per day and still produce decent results?

13:18 – Is there significant benefits to training seven 15 minute strength training workouts as opposed to doing two or three longer strength training workouts?

20:17 – What is that threshold range? 

35:09 – How would you program shorter workouts?

39:28 – If you’re working out 3 days per week, do you recommend a full-body or split routine? 

1:02:36 – Is there anything you would like to add?

1:18:54 – Where can people find your work?

Mentioned on the show: 

I’m giving away over $1,000 worth of prizes to commemorate the 1,000th episode of Muscle For Life! Join the giveaway here: http://muscleforlife.show/giveaway

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Ep. #1002: John North on Minimalist Training Programs appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Wed, 14 Dec 2022 09:03:35 -0800 Sportsman
NSWIS Unveils Nutrition Program https://sport-topics.com/nswis-unveils-nutrition-program https://sport-topics.com/nswis-unveils-nutrition-program Considered the first of its kind in Australia, NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) has unveiled a nutrition education program for emerging and developing athletes. 

“This online program is designed to develop foundation nutrition skills and broaden the knowledge of emerging athletes,” NSWIS Sports Dietitian Rebecca Haslam said. 

“The course teaches them how nutrition can be a vehicle to improve their performance.” 

The program delves into the basics of the five food groups, macronutrients such as carbohydrates and protein and micronutrients like iron and calcium. It then focuses on nutrition for pre and post training and nutrition for competition.  

“It’s very engaging with video, infographics, flip cards, downloadable work sheets, and animations, which are a fun way to get across concepts that might be a bit tricky to understand,” Rebecca said.  

Comprised of four modules, the program is aimed at 14 – 17-year-old athletes and encourages parents to participate in the learning journey.   

“If the parents are on the same page, it is a lot easier for the athletes to implement better nutrition practices.” 

The program also supports athletes as they start to travel for their competition.  

“It provides information on how to make better nutrition choices when travelling, how to sync nutrition with their competition timeline and how to eat on a budget.  

“The athletes can refresh and come back to the key parts when they need to and look for information such as – what I should be eating when I am competing?” 

The content is simple enough for younger athletes to grasp and older athletes could also benefit from the knowledge. 

“It’s self-paced and each module has a learning activity and reflection that reinforces learned knowledge and asks the athletes to demonstrate they know how to implement the skills and knowledge they have acquired.” 

The program facilitates self-directed learning and is available on demand. It is comprised of four modules, each taking approximately 30 minutes to complete. 

“Ultimately this course will prepare our emerging athletes with the knowledge and skills they require to enhance their sport performance.”  

Over the last 18 months NSWIS has embarked on a digital transformation journey with the goal of enhancing the transfer and impact of learning experiences for athletes.  A key priority is delivery of a curriculum that supports a balanced athlete lifestyle and improves sport performance. The foundations of nutrition for sport performance course is the first step in this process. 

“A lot of thought and care has gone into the learning design of this course to shape good nutrition habits and practices,” Mike Girven, NSWIS Senior Coordinator, People Development said.

NSWIS

The post NSWIS Unveils Nutrition Program appeared first on NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS).

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Wed, 14 Dec 2022 02:01:21 -0800 Sportsman
What are Food Sensitivity Tests and How Accurate Are They? https://sport-topics.com/what-are-food-sensitivity-tests-and-how-accurate-are-they https://sport-topics.com/what-are-food-sensitivity-tests-and-how-accurate-are-they If you struggle with digestive issues, like gas or bloating, you may be wondering if something you’re eating is to blame. At-home health testing kits have become increasingly popular and food sensitivity tests are marketed to individuals looking for insight into how their diets are impacting their bodies.

There’s no denying the appeal of at-home testing. It seems easier and more convenient than scheduling a doctor’s office visit and results are often accessible by cell phone or computer within 1 to 2 weeks. But how accurate are the results and is a food sensitivity test really the best option to pinpoint the root cause of your issues?

In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about food sensitivity testing.

What are food sensitivity tests?

Food sensitivity tests are designed to analyze how your body reacts to certain foods to help you pinpoint what may be contributing to digestive troubles and other health issues like headaches, brain fog, and acne. 

Unlike a food allergy, food sensitivities do not cause life-threatening symptoms and may not present immediate symptoms. Food sensitivities also differ from food intolerances, which are an inability to digest certain foods. Food sensitivity tests do not test for food allergies or intolerances.

Symptoms of a food sensitivity are often dependent on how much of a given food you eat and may include:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Bloating

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Gas

  • Nausea

These symptoms are common and food may not always be to blame. Many factors can cause digestive distress, including:

How does food sensitivity testing work?

A food sensitivity test requires you to mail in a sample of blood or saliva, which measures antibody levels for a long list of foods — usually upwards of 100 different foods. 

Food sensitivity testing should not be confused with food allergy testing, which measures different types of antibodies. Food sensitivity tests measure IgG or immunoglobulin G, and food allergy tests measure immunoglobulin E (IgE).

Results are provided for each food tested. The foods are usually given a score or color-coded by the amount of IgG antibody that was detected. Foods with the highest levels of IgG are considered the foods you are sensitive to and should remove from your diet.

Some food sensitivity tests include basic information on completing an elimination diet once you receive your results.

Accuracy of At-home Food Sensitivity Test Kits 

Antibody testing sounds scientific, but it turns out IgG antibodies are not a reliable method for identifying food sensitivities. 

Researchers have concluded that IgG in the blood is a normal immune response that occurs with exposure to all kinds of food in healthy people. In fact, researchers believe high IgG scores may actually be a sign of food tolerance. While other types of antibodies may indicate an allergy or infection, the presence of IgG is not a cause for alarm. 

It’s no surprise that foods you eat often (i.e. more exposure) may have higher IgG scores and be flagged as a potential trigger on food sensitivity tests. 

Food sensitivity testing may lead you to unnecessarily eliminate foods, which can increase your risk for nutrient deficiencies, create feelings of deprivation, increase stress around food choices, and contribute to disordered eating. Food sensitivity tests are also limited in the number of foods they test for, so they could miss a potential sensitivity.

For these reasons, many healthcare professionals and organizations, including the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, do not recommend the use of food sensitivity tests.

An elimination diet, where you identify and remove suspected trigger foods for a period of time and then reintroduce them, is the best way to determine whether you may have a food sensitivity. 

The bottom line? A food sensitivity test likely won’t produce reliable results, which doesn’t help you improve your health and is a waste of your time and money.

Alternatives to Food Sensitivity Tests

If you suspect something in your diet isn’t agreeing with you or is causing digestive distress, there are a few options to help you get answers.

Start by keeping a food journal. For several weeks, record everything you eat and drink in a day. Note the timing of your meals and portion sizes, if possible. If you experience symptoms like bloating or diarrhea, write down when they occur. 

Checking in with your doctor is a good idea to rule out other conditions that may be causing symptoms.


Individual nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian can help you review your food journal, detect patterns, and link symptoms to potential trigger foods. We can also provide guidance on how to safely complete an elimination diet, such as a low FODMAP diet, to determine whether your suspected triggers are truly causing your symptoms. Reach out to us to get started today.

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Tue, 13 Dec 2022 11:13:17 -0800 Sportsman
CORE Nutritionals 12 Days of Crushmas Arrives for 2022 https://sport-topics.com/core-nutritionals-12-days-of-crushmas-arrives-for-2022 https://sport-topics.com/core-nutritionals-12-days-of-crushmas-arrives-for-2022 Merry Christmas PricePlow Nation!

Our friends at CORE Nutritionals have begun their annual 12 Days of Crushmas Holiday promotion, and they’ve kicked it off with a bang on founder/CEO Doug Miller’s YouTube channel:

Merry Crushmas 2022: Crush Hard

The above […]

Continue Reading →

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Tue, 13 Dec 2022 10:54:02 -0800 Sportsman
Myprotein The EAAs Intra&Workout Gets 2 New Refreshing Flavors! https://sport-topics.com/myprotein-the-eaas-intra-workout-gets-2-new-refreshing-flavors https://sport-topics.com/myprotein-the-eaas-intra-workout-gets-2-new-refreshing-flavors Myprotein is, of course, a company highly dedicated to the craft of standard (and sometimes novel) proteins, but their contributions to the supplement industry don’t end there. They’ve been on the march, with more powders, use cases, and flavors conquered.[…]

Continue Reading →

The post Myprotein The EAAs Intra-Workout Gets 2 New Refreshing Flavors! first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Tue, 13 Dec 2022 10:54:02 -0800 Sportsman
Rhaponticum Carthamoides: The MAX Phytoecdysteroid Source https://sport-topics.com/rhaponticum-carthamoides-the-max-phytoecdysteroid-source https://sport-topics.com/rhaponticum-carthamoides-the-max-phytoecdysteroid-source In 2022, most consumers of the sports supplement industry have likely noticed a large increase in supplements based upon turkesterone. This naturally-occurring plant-based steroid is in a class of compounds known as phytoecdysteroids, which has seen a large […]

Continue Reading →

The post Rhaponticum Carthamoides: The MAX Phytoecdysteroid Source first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Tue, 13 Dec 2022 03:44:06 -0800 Sportsman
A "Call In" to Corporate Employers and Managers https://sport-topics.com/a-call-in-to-corporate-employers-and-managers https://sport-topics.com/a-call-in-to-corporate-employers-and-managers “Call in”: to enlist someone’s aid or services

“Call out”: draw critical attention to someone's unacceptable actions or behavior
[source: Oxford English Dictionary]

This piece is a friendly “call in” to the corporate-oriented employers and managers out there. [and if you are an employee of a corporation, I’d love for you to still read this piece!]

While it may sound semi-plush to have a desk job, the approximate 8-12 hours per day + 4-6 days per week of “desk jockeying” isn’t always a health-promoting environment.

From my outsider eyes and ears (although I did work in the corporate world for 8 years), there are many options for managers and C-suiters to make change in the workplace that supports their teams positively and provides a culture for a better level of self-care.

I realize it’s not a snap of the finger change, nor one that is necessarily cost-free at the outset. But if you invest the time to observe and learn from your teams and be a leader in health-promoting behaviors and environments, you will most likely notice the Wins in the team vibe, work output, and even potentially in a reduction in health insurance costs and reduced number of sick days.

A few ideas and thoughts to share:

  1. Figure out ways to encourage and support frequent desk breaks and movement throughout the day. In fact, consider a desk break as an integral part of the work day. It’s analogous to taking a recovery day from exercise. Even though we don’t feel like we’re doing anything, the body and mind refresh and rejuvenate when we take a break. And when we return to training (or the desk), we are rarin’ to go.

    It doesn’t take more than about 6.5 seconds when talking with a physical therapist to learn that sitting at a desk for hours on end is no bueno for our body parts. And it doesn’t take much longer than 8.7 seconds to find out from any health practitioner that excess sitting (and staring at screens) doesn’t help cognition, focus, and attention. So, overall productivity really isn’t optimal and health insurance costs rise due to inflexible, immobile, and weak bodies.

    Brains and bodies get fried, so let’s get them moving and stretching more. Standing desks, fitness watches, “movement minutes”, walking meetings… there are lots of ways to get people to take a break and to provide support in doing so.

  2. No one should have to eat at their desk or feel guilty to step away to nourish their body and brain. Provide a variety of break areas for eating (indoor and outdoor, especially for those who aren’t into co-mingling). Additionally, note that some people eat at different hours of the day so consider removing the rule that people need to eat lunch exactly at high noon.

  3. Catered meals, free snacks, and the special occasion celebrations…I’m betting you anticipate me saying something like “Whatttttt? You support Donut Friday?” Nah, I’m not going to pick on that, but it would be neato if you surveyed your staff to learn their input and dietary preferences.

    You can also have a Registered Dietitian work with your Human Resources Department to figure out improvements in food availability and offerings within your budget. Your workplace doesn’t need to be donut-free or a “celery sticks only zone”, but I’m betting there are some compromises that actually better support the team as a whole and on an individual level.

  4. How about incentives? Honestly, the company Weight Loss Challenges need to be gone forever. Instead, you can better serve your teams by providing sustainable wellness frameworks without gimmicks and short-term (dumb) contests.

    Think about covering gym memberships, arranging reduced fees on meditation apps, allocating office space for a “stretch zone”, providing paid time off to see a doctor or other medical professional, lunch and learns, access to a Dietitian and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach, and offering flexible work hours.

    There really are lots of ideas and yes, some of these cost you some coin up front. But remember, the more you invest in your employees’ health, the more likely they are to thrive (personally and professionally) and contribute to the company’s success.

  5. Managers and C-Suiters: Be a role model. I’m guessing I don’t need to explain this and you know what I mean. Inspire change while inviting the sharing of ideas from your staff. There’s not one way to do Wellness. Step out of the box and step forward.

Thanks for reading… and let me know what you’re doing at your company, what you’d like to see, or even how I can help.

-Dina

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Mon, 12 Dec 2022 21:29:24 -0800 Sportsman
How to Do the Meadows Row: Form, Muscles Worked, and Alternatives https://sport-topics.com/how-to-do-the-meadows-row-form-muscles-worked-and-alternatives https://sport-topics.com/how-to-do-the-meadows-row-form-muscles-worked-and-alternatives The Meadows row is an upper-body pulling exercise involving a barbell and a landmine attachment.

It’s a mainstay of many strength training programs because it helps you to train your entire back without putting much stress on your spine. 

It also allows you to train your back unilaterally, which means it’s useful for evening out any size and strength imbalances you might have.

In this article, you’ll learn what the Meadows row is, why it’s beneficial, how to use proper Meadows row form, the best Meadows row alternatives, and more.

What Is the Meadows Row?

The Meadows row is a back exercise performed in a staggered stance using a barbell and a landmine attachment.

It was invented by former bodybuilder, trainer, and online fitness personality John “Mountain Dog” Meadows (hence the name).

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Meadows Row: Benefits

1. It trains your entire back.

Research shows that horizontal pulling exercises, like the Meadows row, train your entire back, including your lats, rhomboids, traps, rear delts, infraspinatus, teres major and minor, and erector spinae.

Exercises that train several muscle groups simultaneously are called compound exercises. They’re useful because they allow you to lift more weight safely, which is generally better for muscle and strength gain. 

They’re also more time-efficient because you don’t have to do several exercises to train each muscle group separately.

And if you want a program that contains all the best compound exercises for training your entire body, check out my fitness books for men and women, Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger

(Or if you aren’t sure if Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger is right for you or if another strength training program might be a better fit for your circumstances and goals, take Legion Strength Training Quiz, and in less than a minute, you’ll know the perfect strength training program for you. Click here to check it out.)

2. It’s ideal for people with lower-back problems

Unlike many other compound back exercises, such as the barbell row and deadlift, the Meadows row exercise allows you to brace your torso against your leg, which means it lightens the load on your spine (when performed correctly). 

This makes it ideal for people trying to train around a back injury.

3. It trains your back unilaterally.

The Meadows row is a unilateral exercise, which means it allows you to train one side of your body at a time. 

This is beneficial because unilateral exercises . . .

  • May enable you to lift more total weight than you can with some bilateral exercises (exercises that train both sides of the body at the same time), which may help you gain more muscle over time
  • Help you develop a greater mind-muscle connection with your lats, traps, and rhomboids because you only need to focus on one side of your body at a time
  • Help you correct muscle imbalances, because both sides of your body are forced to lift the same amount of weight (one side can’t “take over” from the other)
  • May improve several aspects of your athletic performance more than bilateral exercises

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Meadows Row: Muscles Worked

The Meadows row trains all of your back muscles, including the . . .

  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Trapezius
  • Rhomboids
  • Teres major and minor
  • Infraspinatus
  • Posterior deltoid

It also works the erector spinae, forearms and biceps to a lesser extent, too.

Here’s how the main back muscles worked by the Meadows row look on your body:

Back-Muscles-v2

Meadows Row: Form

The best way to learn how to perform the Meadows row is to break it into three parts: set up, row, and extend. 

before-after-Blogpost-Size-24.11.2022

1. Set Up

Wedge one end of a barbell into the corner of the room or insert it into a landmine attachment and load the other end with weight. 

Position your right foot perpendicular to the barbell and around 6-to-8 inches from the weighted end. Place your left foot 6-to-8 inches behind the weight plates (staggered stance), with your toes facing whatever direction is most comfortable. 

Bend both knees, bend over at the waist so your back is almost parallel with the floor, and place your right forearm on your right thigh. 

While keeping your back flat, grab the end of the barbell with your left hand. If you’re using lifting straps, wrap the strap around the barbell.

2. Row

Keeping your back flat, pull the barbell until your left hand touches your torso and your elbows are about 8-to-10 inches from your left side.

(Tip: A helpful cue is to imagine touching the ceiling with your elbow.)

3. Extend

Once your hand touches your torso, reverse the movement and return to the starting position. This is a mirror image of what you did during the row.

Don’t let the weight yank your arm back to the starting position or try to extend your arm slowly. The entire “extension” should be controlled but only take about a second.

When you’ve completed the desired number of reps, switch sides and repeat the process with your right arm.

Here’s how it should look when you put it all together:

Gif-v1

Some Nutritionists Charge Hundreds of Dollars for This Diet "Hack" . . .

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The Best Meadows Row Alternatives

1. One-Arm Dumbbell Row

18.PULL-One Arm Dubbell Row

The one-arm dumbbell row trains your back similarly to the Meadows row. The benefit of the one-arm dumbbell row is it’s slightly easier to set up than the Meadows row. 

The downside, however, is you can only progress up to the heaviest dumbbells available in your gym (usually around 100 pounds), whereas with the Meadows row you can continue to add weight for far longer. 

This is significant because lifting heavier weights over time is the best way to maximize the muscle-building effects of weightlifting.

2. Seated Cable Row

22.PULL-Seated Cable Row

The seated cable row trains your back about as well as the Meadows row. Using a cable instead of a barbell puts constant tension on your muscles throughout each rep, which trains your back muscles slightly differently.

3. Barbell Row

barbellrow

Because you use a bit of leg drive to get the bar moving, you can generally lift more weight with the barbell row than you can with other back exercises. This is one of the reasons research shows that the barbell row is highly effective for training your entire back.

The post How to Do the Meadows Row: Form, Muscles Worked, and Alternatives appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Mon, 12 Dec 2022 13:37:08 -0800 Sportsman
Ep. #1001: Can Seed and Vegetable Oils Ruin Your Health? https://sport-topics.com/ep-1001-can-seed-and-vegetable-oils-ruin-your-health https://sport-topics.com/ep-1001-can-seed-and-vegetable-oils-ruin-your-health

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on YouTube

Refined oils (and especially vegetable and seed oils) have become a big part of the Western diet, and they’re generating a lot of controversy these days. Especially on social media, many people are saying that these oils are one of the driving factors in the large increase in various diseases like cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Do we need to eliminate refined oils from our diet altogether? If we don’t, are we imperiling our health and dramatically increasing our risk of various types of disease and dysfunction? 

This podcast is my evidence-based answer to those types of claims and to the questions that more and more people are asking me these days about these oils. 

Timestamps:

0:00 – Join my podcast giveaway! www.muscleforlife.show/giveaway

2:16 – What are refined oils?

3:20 – What happens to our body when we eat refined oils?

8:58 – How do refined oils oxidize when you cook them?

11:24 – What are the cardiovascular effects of refined oils?

13:19 – What are trans fat?

15:48 – What is your position on refined oils?

Mentioned on the Show:

I’m giving away over $1,000 worth of prizes to commemorate the 1,000th episode of Muscle For Life! Join the giveaway here: www.muscleforlife.show/giveaway

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Ep. #1001: Can Seed and Vegetable Oils Ruin Your Health? appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Mon, 12 Dec 2022 13:37:08 -0800 Sportsman
5% Nutrition Hydrate STK: Not Your SAMe Ol’ Electrolyte Supplement https://sport-topics.com/5-nutrition-hydrate-stk-not-your-same-ol-electrolyte-supplement https://sport-topics.com/5-nutrition-hydrate-stk-not-your-same-ol-electrolyte-supplement

Hydration has been all the rage the past couple of years, with numerous electrolyte supplements taking the world by storm — going beyond the sports nutrition industry and making it into grocery stores as well. It’s clear that we, as […]

Continue Reading →

The post 5% Nutrition Hydrate STK: Not Your SAMe Ol’ Electrolyte Supplement first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Mon, 12 Dec 2022 05:41:00 -0800 Sportsman
How Heather Used Thinner Leaner Stronger to Lose 23 Pounds and 9% Body Fat https://sport-topics.com/how-heather-used-thinner-leaner-stronger-to-lose-23-pounds-and-9-body-fat https://sport-topics.com/how-heather-used-thinner-leaner-stronger-to-lose-23-pounds-and-9-body-fat The post How Heather Used Thinner Leaner Stronger to Lose 23 Pounds and 9% Body Fat appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Sun, 11 Dec 2022 20:22:45 -0800 Sportsman
Leg Day Workout: 9 Exercises For More Muscle Mass And Strength https://sport-topics.com/leg-day-workout-9-exercises-for-more-muscle-mass-and-strength https://sport-topics.com/leg-day-workout-9-exercises-for-more-muscle-mass-and-strength Leg day can be and should be your most intense training day of your workout split. On leg day you’re doing more work, because your legs are the biggest muscle group of the body. They provide the foundation for all your other muscle groups. And to grow them takes time, effort, and energy.

Leg Day Workout

Your legs consist of several major muscle groups, namely your quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus. When you train your legs using a conventional training split, whether it be push pull legs (PPL), or a split between chest and triceps, back and biceps, and shoulders and legs, you’re most likely going to train your legs twice per week if you’re consistent and lift six days per week with one rest day.

For all those trying to grow that ass, three leg days per week, with heavy volume, is where you want to be, with added accessory work.

To grow your legs, not only do you need to focus on them multiple times per week, but your leg days should incorporate several different leg exercises to focus on each and every muscle group. You may even want to split your leg days, into specific muscle groups (I.e. Monday – quads, Thursday – Hamstrings), with accessory lifts on each day.

Lifting legs, will help increase metabolism, improve strength, and assist in heavier accessory lifts, for better power and strength. 

Leg Day Muscles Worked

QUADRICEPS (QUADS)

The quadriceps are a group of muscles on the front of the thigh. They consist of four distinct muscles: the rectus femoris, the vastus lateralis, the vastus intermedius, and the vastus medialis. They are responsible for extending the leg and helping with movements such as walking, stepping, and jumping.

HAMSTRINGS (HAMMIES)

The hamstrings are a group of muscles on the back of the thigh. 

The semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris muscles comprise the hamstrings. Starting at the pelvis and running posteriorly along the length of the femur, the majority of muscles within the hamstring cross both the femoroacetabular and tibiofemoral joints. You use them to walk, climb stairs, do squats and perform many other leg movements.

GLUTEUS MAXIMUS (GLUTES)

Your glutes are the biggest muscles in your body. Your glutes are comprised of three specific muscles, in your trunk.

The Gluteus Maximus - the biggest muscle in the booty (grab it), The Gluteus Medius - the second biggest muscle that wraps around the hips (more on the side), The Gluteus Minimus - the smallest muscle in the butt that sits under the medius

To build your glutes, it’s crucial that you activate your glutes. You can squat and deadlift all you want, but if you’re not activating your muscles, you’ll never add more muscle mass.

RELATED ARTICLE How To Grow A Bigger Butt In 30 Days

Glute Activation 

Glute activation refers to activating, or “firing up” the glute muscles in order to build more muscle and strength.

Often times when you have improper form and minimal extension and flexion through squat and leg movement exercises, you don’t actively engage or contract your glutes muscles. Without activation, you’ll never be able to build a bigger butt. 

The problem is that when you squat and deadlift, your body forgets to use your glutes, and overcompensates using other muscles. Your lower back, hamstrings, and quads are often the culprits and will take on the extra load. This can lead to lower back pain, hip pain, and create muscular imbalances. If your glutes aren’t firing properly then you can become “quad dominant, resulting in massive quad muscles, with little to no butt.

9 Best Leg Day Exercises

1. Squats

First and foremost, we’re going to drop into the squat. Leg day is not truly a leg day without squats. There are multiple variations of this exercise, and each one has its own individual nuances, which make them effective. No matter the variation, squats will focus on your quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings.

You can utilize the traditional barbell back squat, dumbbell squats, box squatspistol squatslandmine squatsfront squats, sumo squats, hack squats, Jefferson squats, or Zercher squats. It really just depends on what you’re most comfortable with, and how it complements your range of motion. Switching things up every few weeks is also good to initiate more muscle hypertrophy.  

The back squat is a compound functional movement, that recruits multiple muscle groups, joints, and stabilizing muscles. Back squat focuses and builds lower body strength and core stability, which is the foundation to several compound movements in functional training modalities. 

The squat is a bilateral movement that helps build full-body strength. Squats, and back squats in general, demand a strong posterior chain, hamstrings, quads, and a substantial amount of midline stability as well as ankle mobility. 

How To Squat

  • Stance will vary from person to person, however feet should be between hips and shoulder width apart with your toes slightly pointed outward
  • spine neutral chest open and shoulders back, make sure your heels are firmly planted into the ground as your weight will shift into your heels through the movement progression
  • send your hips back on the descent like you're trying to sit in an invisible chair 
  • bend your knees with your chest open and lifted until parallel with the ground.
  • press through your heels and push straight back up to standing position 

2. Deadlifts

Deadlifts another major compound movements, have many known full body benefits and are extremely crucial in the development of total-body strength, proper hip function, core strength, and spine stabilization (which can reduce the risk of lower back injuries). Deadlifts recruit multiple muscle groups, joints, and stabilizing muscles, specifically targeting the hamstrings

Deadlifts can add a ton of performance and health benefits to your leg day workout and should always be included at least once per week in your training program.

How To Deadlift

  • Stand with feet hip- to shoulder-width apart. Rest your shins against the bar.
  • Hinge at the hips and sink back into your glutes while keeping your spine extended and chest lifted up toward the ceiling.
  • Grip the bar with one hand facing palm-up and the other hand facing palm-down. This over-under grip is for safety and can keep the bar from rolling out of your hands.
  • Squeeze the bar with your hands as you sink back into your hips. As you sink into your hips, think about pulling your back and down to engage the lats. This will help keep your low-back stable. 
  • For the pull:
  • Push your feet into the floor to straighten your legs and lift your chest as you lift the weight off the floor. As you stand up, think about pulling back on your knees and pushing your hips forward.
  • Finally, for the lockout:
  • At the top of the movement, hold your shoulders back as you keep your spine straight and tall. Pause for a moment before descending into the lowering phase.
  • Slowly push your hips back while keeping your spine long and chest lifted into the air.
  • Use your thigh muscles to resist the downward pull of gravity as the weight lowers back to the floor.
  • At the bottom, pause, reset your hips and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  • Push your feet into the floor to straighten your legs and lift your chest as you lift the weight off the floor. As you stand up, think about pulling back on your knees and pushing your hips forward.
  • At the top of the movement, hold your shoulders back as you keep your spine straight and tall. Pause for a moment before descending into the lowering phase.
  • Slowly push your hips back while keeping your spine long and chest lifted into the air.
  • Use your thigh muscles to resist the downward pull of gravity as the weight lowers back to the floor.
  • At the bottom, pause, reset your hips and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

3. Bulgarian Split Squats 

The Bulgarian-split squat is a single-leg squat variation, similar to a squat and lunge combined. Compared to a traditional barbell squat, it removes all the pressure and load from your lower back, and places it directly into your legs. The stabilizing leg of the Bulgarian split-squat is elevated behind you, which allows greater range of motion and depth, to achieve greater muscle hypertrophy, and strength gains in your glutes and quadriceps. Bulgarian split squats are key for building bigger quads and glutes, as well as functional midline stability. With a wider range of motion you’ll also focus on your hip flexors. The split squat is a must-have leg day workout exercise.

How To Split Squat

  • Start with your feet hip-width apart. with the right foot forward and the left foot placed back behind the body on a bench or box that is about knee-height, or just below knee height.
  • Keeping your shoulders stacked directly above your forward-facing hips, begin to descend into a lunging position. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in both hands in a vertical position hanging on each side of your body.
  • Keep your back straight while lowering your left knee towards the floor
  • Go as low as you can while still ensuring your chest is staying open and the front knee is not protruding out in front of your toes.
  • When your left knee lowers, press your right foot into the ground, pull back on the right knee, and push the top of the left foot into the box to return to standing.

4. Hack Squats

The hack squat is a compound strength movement and squat variation. However, instead of using free weights the hack squat is a machine-based exercise. The hack squat is an excellent auxiliary movement that can assist in developing better squat form and improve strength gains. A hack squat machine works just like a traditional barbell back squat, yet with a few variations. The hack squat is positioned at a 45-degree angle, which provides for a more controlled movement, placing less physical demand on your joints, and providing a deeper range of motion. Range of motion is a key contributor to muscle growth; therefore, the hack squat can benefit you by achieving more strength and gaining more lean muscle mass in a controlled and fixed motion.

How To Hack Squat

  • Load the machine with your desired weight
  • Step onto the platform and place your feet shoulder-width apart with toes slightly pointed out
  • Place your shoulders firmly under the pads, retract your scapulae and grip the bars.
  • Keep your back on the pad and head up at all times
  • Inhale, brace your core, and disengage the safety bars on the machine
  • Keep your legs straight without locking your knees
  • Descend keeping your form and movement smooth just below parallel, slightly less than a 90 degree angle.
  • Begin to raise and push the machine back up through your heels and exhale.
  • Fully extend your knees and hips
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps 

5. Dumbbell Sumo Squat

Sumo squat is a functional strength training movement and a variation of the traditional squat. Sumo squat differs from the front squat or back squat in positioning, muscles worked, and load. The key difference in the sumo squat, is that you take a wider stance, with your feet turned out. While the sumo squat still works the quadshamstrings, glutes, and calves, the positioning stimulates the inner thighs as well. 

One of the best, is using a single dumbbell, with a wide stance. Why this variation is so great, is because you can emphasize your range of motion, one of the critical factors in building more gains. 

How To Sumo Squat

  • The conventional way to perform a sumo squat is with a single dumbbell, or kettlebell.
  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width with your feet pointed at a 45 degree angle.
  • Holding a dumbbell from the top on one end, push your hips back and squat down slowly, keeping your upper back straight and chest open and up.
  • Pushing through your heels, engage your core and come down until the dumbbell slightly touches the ground, or until your legs are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause, then push back through your heels, chest up and core braced.
  • Repeat for as many reps as needed.

6. Lunges

Lunges are a fundamental to your leg day workout, which can add more size and strength to your legs. With an emphasized range of motion lunges effectively stimulate your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, to help build more lean muscle mass. If you want to build a bigger butt, lunges are one of the best exercises to help you get there.

Lunges can emphasize a deeper and pronounced range of motion, which is a fundamental piece in contracting your quads, and focusing on your balance, coordination, and core stability.

The great thing about lunges, is that there are many effective and efficient variations, you can utilize on your leg day workout. You can use multiple implements such as a dumbbell, plate, barbell, EZ bar, or kettlebells, and change up the frequency and times. You can overhead lunge, single overhead lunge, and the list goes on. Standard walking lunges through, or reverse lunge will get the job done for leg day.

How To Lunge

  • Bend the knees and lower your body until the back knee is a few inches from the floor. At the bottom of the movement, the front thigh is parallel to the ground, the back knee points toward the floor, and your weight is evenly distributed between both legs.
  • Push back up to the starting position, keeping your weight on the heel of the front foot.
  • Take a step forward, keeping that thigh parallel with the ground, lower the opposing leg, until your back knee is near the floor, and push back up to starting position. 
  • Alternate legs and keep walking.

7. Glute Bridge/Hip Thrust

Whether you associate big strong glutes with attractive aesthetics in a pair of jeans or if you see the association between a big butt and athleticism, just about everyone can benefit from the glute bridge exercise. A glute bridge is just what it sounds like, a bridge (with your body) using the power from your glutes. While there are a lot of glute bridge variations, the most straightforward and easiest to perform is by laying on the floor or with a glute bridge machine. With the feet at a 90 degree angle, you simply drive your hips to the ceiling, and right back down.

How To Glute Bridge

  • Start by laying flat on your back on the ground
  • Making sure that there is no gap between your back and the floor, press your core into the ground, feeling the hips get in line with the spine (no arching)
  • From here, begin to walk the feet towards the booty, until you reach a 90 degree angle
  • Pressing your feet firm into the ground, with your arms flat out to the side, and your chin tucked so that your spine is straight, all you have to do is extend your hips towards the ceiling
  • You’ll want to still not arch your back, keeping good posture, and squeezing the booty to power the hip drive
  • Once you pause for a second at the top, gently come down with the same form, not arching, pressing the feet and the arms into the ground
  • Repeat for as many reps as desired and add a weight, or a band, or another piece of equipment to make the movement more challenging

8. Romanian Deadlifts (RDL)

The Romanian deadlift is slightly different than the traditional deadlift and one of the best exercises for your leg day workout. Although both movements will increase strength and muscle hypertrophy in the posterior chain muscles, Romanian deadlifts emphasize and target the hamstrings, as opposed to the glutes [R]. Electromyography (EMG) studies show that conventional deadlifts target and recruit the gluteus and rectus femoris muscles more so than the RDL, due to the biomechanical differences in exercise technique as the conventional deadlift starts and finishes more in a sitting position than the RDL with significantly more knee and hip flexion.

The primary muscles involved in the RDL are the posterior chain muscles, including the erector spinae, trapezius, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and adductors. The hips will also hinge much more than a traditional deadlift.

How To Romanian Deadlift

  • Stand tall with your feet shoulder width apart. Grab a loaded barbell, stand it up pushing your hips back and hold it directly in front of your thighs, with your hands set slightly wider than your thighs.
  • Start with knees slightly bent at 15 degrees and slowly lower the weight, keeping the barbell close to your legs as you descend, hinging at the hips and keeping your back straight. Keep your core engaged and tight as you keep your torso straight.
  • Lower the weight until you feel a slight stretch in the hamstrings, normally just past the knees. Keep your torso upright, arms straight and shoulders rounded drawing your shoulder blades back towards your spine.
  • Drive your hips forward, and use your hamstrings to push the weight back up to standing position and repeat.

9. Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

One of my favorite exercises for leg day, single-leg Romanian deadlifts are one of the more challenging stability and unilateral exercises for people to complete. As it challenges your midline stability, it actively lights up your posterior chain, primarily the erector spine and hamstrings, standing as a great warm-up or focus piece for movements demanding posterior chain activation. You can perform this movement with a barbell, dumbbell(s), or a kettlebell(s).

How To Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

  • Standing with feet together, arms fully extended holding the weight in front of the hips, tilt your upper body forward, and begin to send on the leg back to counter-balance the weight.
  • Actively squeezing the glutes throughout this movement will engage the posterior chain. Begin this movement going to the knee and only go lower if pain, discomfort, or severe stiffness do not present themselves. 

What To Eat On Leg Day

You have to eat, to grow. Of course, muscle growth cannot occur without resistance training. However, for your body to build and rebuild muscle tissue, it must be in a positive protein balance, which means you need to eat more protein, than your body is utilizing to rebuild muscle mass. Not eating enough protein will actually cause you to lose muscle mass, not gain it. Protein is also not the only macronutrient your body needs to replenish and rebuild. Your body requires fuel from high quality proteins, heathy fats, and complex carbohydrates to maximize muscle growth and gains.

Leg day requires a lot of energy, which means you need an energy packed pre-workout meal to help you dominate your training. Adding in carbohydrates like oats, rice, or Clean Carbs from Swolverine is ideal for the best performance. 

Eating a great post-workout meal is also just as important to build, rebuild, and recover. Make sure your calories are higher on leg day to account for the energy requirements. 

RELATED ARTICLE 16 Of The Best Muscle Building Foods To Get Big Thighs

Keep Up The Intensity

Intensity means more than just endurance, it means work output and effort. To have a successful leg day, you need to keep your heart rate up, be consistent with your reps, and sets with close to maximum energy output. If the loaded weight is easy to move, then stack on more plates. The weight needs to be challenging, unless your body will not force adaptation, and change. 

Hydrate

The last piece to a successful leg day, is adequate hydration. Drinking an water and adding electrolytes ,will help your body with protein turnover, and regulating your energy and weight. When you regularly drink water throughout the day, it’s been shown that your resting energy expenditure (calorie burning) can increase up to 30%! [R] In more technical terms, this is called water-induced thermogenesis and by increasing it, you can burn more calories at rest. In order to increase your water-induced thermogenesis and calorie burning process, it’s generally recommended that you drink about 34 ounces of water per day (1 liter).

One study had a cohort of women drink 34 oz per day, without any other lifestyle changes (except drinking more water) for 12 months which resulted in 4.4 lbs of weight loss. [R] Drinking more water, will help you change the composition of your legs and body, resulting in thicker thighs.

More electrolytes will help muscle contraction and fulfill energy requirements, for better performance and recovery. Drink Swolverine's INTRA during your workout the best results. 

Leg Day Workout Example

EXERCISE SETS/REPS
Squats 5 - 15,12,12,10,8
Deadlifts
5 - 15,12,12,10,8
Lunges 4 - 20
Split Squat 4 - 15,12,10,10
Romanian (RDL)

4 15,12,10,10

 


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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 17:10:04 -0800 Sportsman
Back And Bicep Workout For More Muscle And Strength https://sport-topics.com/back-and-bicep-workout-for-more-muscle-and-strength https://sport-topics.com/back-and-bicep-workout-for-more-muscle-and-strength Back and biceps go together like peanut butter and jelly. Most pulling movements, stimulate your biceps as a secondary muscle, therefore, back and biceps are often paired together on the same day. But what exercises do you need to perform on your back and biceps training day to maximize gains. We’re going to talk about how to get the most out of your back and biceps workout to maximize your gains.

Back And Biceps Workout 

Almost all exercises, even when performed in isolation still stimulate secondary muscles. When performing back exercises, you also stimulate your biceps, which is why back and biceps are traditionally paired together. For example, when you perform a seated row, you also pull with your biceps as the secondary or tertiary mover.

RELATED ARTICLE The 5 Best Bicep Exercises For More Muscle

The same principle applies to chest and triceps, hence why these muscle groups are also often paired together, since the triceps are stimulated when performing exercises like barbell bench press, or pushups.

RELATED ARTICLE The 5 Best Back Exercises For Size And Strength

 

What Back Muscles Will You Be Working

The muscles in your back can be divided into three groups; superficial, intermediate, and deep muscles also known as intrinsic muscles. 

Trapezius The trapezius, or "traps" are a long, triangular shaped superficial muscle, which creates a trapezius shape on the upper back. The proximal region connects from the skull, with its most distal portion from the cervical to lower thoracic spine. 

Latissimus Dorsi The latissimus dorsi originates from the lower part of the back, where it covers a wide area, and accentuates to form the desired V-shape. The lats have a broad origin – arising from the thoracic spine between T6-T12, thoracolumbar fascia, iliac crest, and the inferior three ribs. Back exercises such as the lat pull down, seated rows and bent over row, will target the latissimus dorse and middle back or rhomboids. 

Levator Scapulae The levator scapulae is a small strap-like muscle. It begins in the neck, and descends to attach to the scapula.

Rhomboids Rhomboids are split into two muscles, the rhomboid major and mind. The rhomboid minor is situated superiorly to the major. The major starts from the spinous processes of T2-T5 vertebrae, while the minor originates at the bottom of the cervical spine at C7.   

What Arm Muscles Will You Be Working

It's important to understand which muscles you’re targeting, to during each exercise, to properly activate and focus on those muscles when performing each rep. With more thought behind your movement, you'll perform each rep and each set with more efficiency, and have better outcomes. 

Biceps Brachii The biceps brachii, or biceps for shorts have two heads and are located on the anterior (front) part of your upper arm between the elbow and the shoulder. Your biceps assist in elbow flexion (bending your arm at the elbow), supination (moving from palm down to palm up), and with shoulder flexion (raising your arm in front of you).

Triceps Brachii The triceps are located on the posterior (back) part of your upper arm between the elbow and shoulder directly below your bicep. Your triceps contain three different heads (short, medial, and long). Triceps assist in elbow extension (straightening your arm at the elbow) and shoulder extension

Brachioradialis The brachioradialis, or more commonly known as your forearm attaches slightly above the elbow to the humorous and near your wrist. Your brachioradialis assists the biceps in elbow flexion, and assists with supination and pronation of your forearm.

Brachialis The brachialis, is more distal to the bicep, (lies beneath) and assists in flexion of the elbow.

6 Best Back Exercises For More Muscle

1. Pull Ups

The pull-up could be the best back exercise eliciting full muscle contraction and optimal muscle growth. Each variation of pull up, either wide, narrow, or neutral grip, has its own distinct advantages in muscle development and range of motion. Pull ups, are a key back movement to include in your back day training split, to achieve better back strength and definition. EMG research shows that the concentric phase, or lifting phase of the pull up, results in significantly greater muscle activation of the lats, middle traps, and secondary muscle groups such as the pecs, forearms, and biceps [R].

How To Pull Up

  • Jump and grab the bar with a shoulder width or narrow grip
  • With an overhand or pronated grip pull yourself up until your chin reaches over the bar
  • Hold at the top contracting your scapulae and release back to starting position

2. Single Arm Dumbbell Row 

The single dumbbell row is a unilateral isotonic exercise, meaning only one side of the body is used in order to product muscle contraction. Traditionally, the single arm cable row is performed kneeling with one knee on a bench, however you can also bend with one arm resting on your knee while you row as well. The single-arm dumbbell row performed on a bench row will provide more stabilization to lift heavier loads by providing optimal core and spinal stabilization. The main targeted muscle group during a single arm dumbbell row is the latissimus dorsi (Lats).

How To Single Arm Dumbbell Row

  • Place on knee on the bench, with your opposing foot firmly planted into the ground, with your back at a 90-degree angle.
  • Grab the dumbbell with your hand opposite of the knee on the bench.
  • Place your opposing hand on the bench gripping the side outside of our knee
  • Look straight ahead and let the dumbbell hand, stretching your lat and shoulders.
  • Pull the weight back, with your hand placed firmly on the handle and pull keeping your elbow tight and tucked close to your body, keeping your back straight avoiding any additional movement.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blade and contract, holding for 1-2 seconds.
  • Return the dumbbell slowly with control, until you feel a stretch in your lat, and shoulder keeping your back straight, then repeat.

3. T-Bar Row

The T-Bar Row is an isolated movement strength movement. Although despite being an isolated movement, it does activate several muscle groups, such as the latissimus dorsi or lats, rear delts, and smaller secondary muscles such as the biceps and stabilizing muscles; hamstrings, glutes and abdominals. 

How To T-Bar Row

  • Add a manageable amount of weight to the t-bar machine
  • Place your feet at shoulder width behind yourself on the back of the machine, on the foot plate
  • Facing chest down, grab the handles of the t-bar machine and move over directly beneath you. 
  • Tighten and engage your core, then pull the t-bar row towards you (similar to a bench press in reverse).
  • Retract your scapulae and squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement, sweeping your elbows back. 
  • Reverse the movement and slowly extend your arms without allowing your shoulders or chest to roll forward as you extend maintaining good posture throughout the exercise.

4. Lat Pulldown

The few studies which have been published investigating the effects of the lat pulldown, show that is it extremely effective for targeting and isolating the lats for further muscular development. The lat pulldown is not a compound exercise by traditional standards, however like many other exercises it does stimulate other muscles within the arms, back and shoulders such as the deltoids, rhomboids, and stabilizers such as the rotator cuff [R].

How To Lat Pulldown 

Lat pulldowns are performed at a workstation using cables, and stackable plates for increased load and resistance. 

  • Start out by adjusting the lat pulldown machine to fit your body, with the seat and pads.
  • Adjust the pads, so that your knees are placed securely below with your feet flat on the floor and the hips and knees at a 90° angle.
  • Reach up and grasp the bar slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Draw in and brace your core, tightening your muscles for better spinal stability
  • Slightly lean back your torso 20°-30° to match the line of the pull down with your latissimus dorsi
  • Keep your spine in a neutral position and avoid excess lumbar extension
  • Pull the bar down to your chest, bringing your elbows back focusing on your scapulae retraction/depression (squeezing your shoulder blades together).
  • Lower the bar until you feel a slight stretch in the pectorals and your lats fully contract your scapulae retract together.
  • As you let the weight raise back up, keep your trunk and core stabilized and avoid swinging through the movements, keeping good posture and fluid motion throughout the lift
  • Maintain full control over the bar and weight when allowing the bar to rise, to enable an ideal eccentric muscle contraction.

5. Seated Cable Row

Seated cable row utilizes a cable pulley workstation. Seated at a bench with your feet shoulder width apart in front of you, seated cable is an excellent all around exercise, which will help build the latissimus dorsi, forearms, biceps, and dynamic muscle stabilizers.

Studies use EMG (Electromyography), to determine the best exercises for each muscle group. An EMG device measures extremely small amounts of electric stimulation generated by muscles below the surface of the skin. Studies suggest that seated cable row, stimulates over 80% of the muscle fibers involved in this exercise, making it a must have in your back and biceps workout.

How To Seated Cable Row 

  • Sitting on the bench/platform place your feet shoulder width apart with your knees bent and grasp the cable attachment.
  • Often times, the grip will be a triangle handle, for a close grip position, but it also may be switch out for a bar, in case you want a wide-grip variation.
  • Brace your core with your feet firmly planted into the platform foothold and pull the handle and weight back.
  • Pull the weight back, with your hands placed at the top of the attachment, towards your belly button or lower abdomen, keeping your back straight with a slight 10 degree angle and minimal movement.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together on the concentric (pulling) portion of the movement, and retract your scapulae
  • Return the handle forward, until you feel a stretch in your lats, and shoulders keeping your back straight, until your arms are fully stretched in the eccentric phase, and return and repeat.

5 Best Bicep Exercises To Build More Muscle

1. Dumbbell Preacher Curl 

The dumbbell preacher curl can effectively isolate your biceps, inducing more stimulation directly to the muscle tissue, increasing muscle hypertrophy. More isolation, with better contraction, flexion, and full range of motion, will help produce bigger gains. 

How To Do A Dumbbell Preacher Curl

  • Grab a dumbbell and place your elbow flush on a preacher curl, or incline bench at 55 degrees.
  • Slowly lower your arm, and contract your muscles, effectively isolating your bicep.
  • Raise back up squeezing your bicep as you curl the dumbbell

2. Incline Bench Dumbbell Curl

The incline dumbbell curl can be a great addition to your arm day workout split. While performing an incline dumbbell curl, your arms tend to move behind your body, increasing the range of motion and creating a deeper stretch, which is why it's one of the best bicep exercises.

How To Do An Incline Dumbbell Curl

  • Position the incline bench at 55-65 degrees.
  • grab two dumbbells are let your arms hang at your sides, slightly behind your shoulder.
  • Using a supinated grip, curl the dumbbells towards the shoulders.
  • Once your biceps are contracted, lower the weights back down, and repeat.

3. EZ Bar Curl 

The EZ Bar curl is one of the most tried and true bicep exercises to build bigger biceps. Electromyographic studies have shown that EZ bar curls generate more activity of the biceps brachii and brachioradialis while performing them when compared to other bicep movements such as the straight bar or barbell bicep curl[R].

How To Do An EZ Bar Curl

  • Grab an EZ bar at a comfortable weight.
  • Start with the EZ bar at your thighs, with your hands positioned on the knurled grip of the bar, 
  • Standing shoulder width apart, fully contract your arms all the way to your shoulders and curl the EZ bar, and lower down the bar slowly with control, keeping your elbows tucked at your sides. 

4. Twisting Dumbbell Curl 

One of the best and most popular bicep exercises, is the twisting dumbbell curl. The twist activates your forearms, and the head of the bicep, for a more effective arm workout.

How To Do A Twisting Dumbbell Curl

  • Grab two dumbbells at a comfortable weight.
  • Positioned at your sides with your palms faced in, begin to curl one arm towards your shoulder
  • Twist the dumbbell, so that your palms face your chest, as you contract your bicep.
  • Once you get to the top of the curl, keep twisting slightly to isolate the bicep and contract your muscle for 1-2 seconds
  • Release, lower the weight back to your side, and repeat.

5. Zottman Curl

The Zottman curl Is it very effective bicep dumbbell exercises that combines a conventional bicep curl with a reverse curl.

This strength training movement is an exceptional exercise to add to your training day split to help fully contract your bicep while also progressively overloading your forearms on the eccentric phase of the lift.

How To Zottman Curl

  • Standing holding a dumbbell in each hand
  • Rotate your wrists into a supinated position (palms facing upwards). Arms fully extended and resting by your sides
  • Place your feet shoulder width apart to establish a solid base
  • Contract and isolate your biceps as hard as you can and curl the dumbbells upwards as you bend your elbows
  • Pause at the top of the movement. 
  • Rotate your wrists into a pronated position (palms facing the floor)
  • Slowly lower and deload down until your arms are extended
  • Twist the dumbbells back into the starting position as described at above (palms facing upwards) for the next rep
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps

How Many Reps And Sets For Back And Biceps Workout

With any resistance training program, the goal is to build more muscle, more strength, and better muscular endurance. When you start, your program should incorporate a standard 3 sets for each exercise, starting with 15,12,10 rep scheme, to build more muscular endurance. 

RELATED ARTICLE How Many Sets And Reps For Improved Performance

After the first four weeks, try and increase the volume, to 4 sets per exercise, using progressive overload, and increasing the weight overtime. As your goal transitions into building more strength, increase the weight and lower the reps to 12,10,10,8. 

RELATED ARTICLE How To Create An Effective Split Workout Routine

To stimulate muscle growth and achieve consistent progression your body needs added physical stress (resistance training) to increase muscle mass and strength, by way of adaptation.

The human body will not change unless it’s forced to do so. With greater demands placed on your body, it’s essentially forced to adapt to those changes, to add muscle gain and growth.

Although the back and biceps work together on almost all compound upper-body pulling movements, the amount of volume and work, is vastly different. The biceps are a small muscle group and therefore, do not need as much stimulation as the back. Five to six exercises for your back is ideal, where 3-4 is ideal for your biceps. Using a 2:1 ratio for back to biceps exercises total in a given workout, is an easy way to designate how much work you should be performing. 

Back And Biceps Workout: Takeaway

You'll get the most out of your training split, by working back and biceps together. Since the biceps are the secondary and tertiary mover in all pulling movements with the back, it only makes sense to train them together for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. With progressive overload, high intensity, and proper nutrition, you'll stack gains and a more defined physique quickly.


Need Help With Optimizing Your Diet And Nutrition Plan To Finally Get The Results You've Been Waiting For?

The Swole Kitchen provides 1:1 nutrition coaching, macro coaching, and custom meal plans to help guide you to becoming the best version of yourself. We teach you how to enjoy the foods you love in the right amounts, so you can fit into your favorite pair of jeans, hit your health and fitness goals, and be healthy and happy. We guide you through making sound nutritional decisions and teach you along the way, so you can learn how to take control of your health, and discover what if feels like to live again.
SWOLVERINE IS AN ENDURANCE ATHLETE AND ACTIVE LIFESTYLE BRAND. MADE FOR THE ELITE ATHLETE, AND THE STRONG-WILLED OUR PRODUCTS WERE DESIGNED TO FUEL YOUR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE. WE PERFORM WHEN YOU PERFORM. 

We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle.

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 17:10:03 -0800 Sportsman
Strength Training Vs Hypertrophy Training https://sport-topics.com/strength-training-vs-hypertrophy-training https://sport-topics.com/strength-training-vs-hypertrophy-training Hypertrophy and strength are the two main focal points of resistance training. Both are interconnected and complement one another, to build more muscle size and more strength. Resistance training is one of the most beneficial types of training you can do for your body, whether it’s with free weights, body weight, medicine balls, or resistance bands, training under tension, is proven to help improve cardiovascular health, reduce injury, increase functional strength, improve mobility, and enhance longevity. We are going to talk more about the differences between strength vs hypertrophy training, how they are connected, and which you should focus on.

What Is Hypertrophy Training

No matter if you are training to gain more muscle or training to gain more strength, it all starts with resistance training. Resistance training or applying repeated stress and trauma to your muscle tissue indicates and signals a need to build more muscle and strength to accommodate heavier loads, more workout volume, and increased workout intensity to protect itself from future stress. Muscle hypertrophy refers to an increase in the size of muscle cells and total muscle mass from physical stress. Hypertrophy is often achieved with resistance training and progressive overload to break down and rebuild muscle tissue, resulting in more total muscle mass and bigger gains.

RELATED ARTICLE What Is Progressive Overload

The human body is comprised of 650 skeletal muscles, composed of thread-like myofibrils and sarcomeres which can achieve growth, through two ways - muscle stimulation from repeated muscle contraction and muscle repair. The metabolic change for how muscles grow, is an increase in net muscle protein balance, which is simply the difference between muscle protein synthesis (I.e. the muscle building process) and muscle protein breakdown. An increase in net muscle protein balance, is a direct response to resistance training and nutrition which stimulates the anabolic response through muscle protein synthesis, increasing muscle hypertrophy [R].

RELATED ARTICLE How Do Muscles Grow

Muscle growth takes place in two different forms, hypertrophy, and hyperplasia. Hypertrophy is an increase in muscle size due to an increase in the size of muscle fibers, while hyperplasia is an increase in the total number of muscle fibers. Hypertrophy is achieved through increased muscle tension and physical stress, breaking down muscle fiber. Growth is a result from overcompensation to protect the body from future stress, or what we call the repair process [R]. An immune system response is triggered during the repair process leading to inflammation, and the natural cleansing process, signaling the body to grow and repair muscle fiber.

Satellite cells, located on the outer surface of the muscle fibers, facilitate the growth and repair of skeletal muscle tissue, when activated from physical stress or trauma, and resistance training which can last up to 48 hours post workout.

During hypertrophy the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than muscle protein breakdown leading to greater numbers of actin and myosin filaments in the myofibrils. Muscle hypertrophy can also occur when muscles are stretched to a greater than normal length. Full range of motion through exercise movements cause new sarcomeres to be added to the ends of muscle fibers where they attach to the tendons. Therefore, exhibiting full range of motion is vital to induce muscle hypertrophy and stack on more gains. Research also indicates that peripheral fatigue, (I.e. burnout sets) induce a greater amount of muscle hypertrophy, as the muscles are worked to failure.

A hormonal response is triggered during hypertrophy, releasing growth factors such as insulin like growth factors, fibroblast, and hepatocyte growth factors. Other hormones are also released which stimulate muscle hypertrophy such as testosterone, cortisol, and human growth hormone, which regulates cell activity and stimulates muscle protein synthesis.

An increase in total workout load or overall volume, progressive overload, or an increase in weight over the course of your training period, and implementing a full range of motion through your lifts, are the key factors for inducing change to muscle tissue and achieving muscle hypertrophy.

RELATED ARTICLE What Is Muscle Hypertrophy

What Is Strength Training

Strength training, a mode or protocol of training, is somewhat synonymous to resistance training. You cannot achieve strength, without increasing lean muscle tissue. You can however focus upon strength, as opposed to muscle hypertrophy.

RELATED ARTICLE How To Get Stronger in 3 Simple Steps

Resistance training program variables such as reps, sets, intensity, tempo, and volume, dictate the outcomes of your training program. Strength and muscle mass are linearly correlated, meaning the more hypertrophic your training, the more strength you’ll gain. Strength is the ability of the nervous system to recruit muscle fibers when needed, to produce initial tension, to overcome an external force. Strength is a neuromuscular adaptation, largely dependent upon the mind muscle connection.

For muscular strength to occur, exertion and stress needs to be placed on the muscle fibers, leading to damage and fatigue. Intensity must be high enough to exert stress, but low enough to finish the rep protocol and allow sufficient reps to exhaustion.

Training for maximal strength occurs with higher levels of intensity, which is inversely related to reps. Thus, the higher level of intensity, the lower number of reps performed.

For maximal strength, research conclusively shows that low reps with heavy weight vs high reps with low weight will elicit the most strength gains. That’s not to say however that strength does not occur with high rep protocols, that prescribe more volume. Intensity is also crucial when it comes to building strength. With less prescribed reps, intensity will need to increase. Resistance exercise intensity is commonly prescribed as a percent of 1 repetition maximum (1RM). Therefore, strength will occur with a prescribed 1-5 reps, at 80-90% of your one rep max (1RM).

RELATED ARTICLE: How Many Reps And Sets For More Muscle And Strength

Hypertrophy Vs Strength Training

No matter the focus of your training, resistance training will lead to both muscle hypertrophy and induce changes in muscle strength. They occur simultaneously. However, you can adjust your training to focus on either hypertrophy or strength training.

Hypertrophy requires more total workout volume, meaning a higher number of sets and reps, to produce a change in muscle size. Strength training will focus upon heavier weight with less reps. Compound lifts such as the bench press, squats, and deadlifts will help build more strength, as they stimulate multiple muscle groups and joints at the same time. This means that you’ll build the greatest amount of strength, in the shortest period of time. Even without heavy weight, compound movements will still help you get stronger, faster, than simply using isolated movements such as bicep curls or exercise machines. 

No matter what protocol you focus on, resistance training will help build both hypertrophy and strength. 


Need Help With Optimizing Your Diet And Nutrition Plan To Finally Get The Results You've Been Waiting For?

The Swole Kitchen provides 1:1 nutrition coaching, macro coaching, and custom meal plans to help guide you to becoming the best version of yourself. We teach you how to enjoy the foods you love in the right amounts, so you can fit into your favorite pair of jeans, hit your health and fitness goals, and be healthy and happy. We guide you through making sound nutritional decisions and teach you along the way, so you can learn how to take control of your health, and discover what if feels like to live again.
SWOLVERINE IS AN ENDURANCE ATHLETE AND ACTIVE LIFESTYLE BRAND. MADE FOR THE ELITE ATHLETE, AND THE STRONG-WILLED OUR PRODUCTS WERE DESIGNED TO FUEL YOUR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE. WE PERFORM WHEN YOU PERFORM. 

We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle.

]]>
Sat, 10 Dec 2022 17:10:02 -0800 Sportsman
The Best Pre Workouts Of 2022 For You & The Gym https://sport-topics.com/the-best-pre-workouts-of-2022-for-you-the-gym https://sport-topics.com/the-best-pre-workouts-of-2022-for-you-the-gym What Are Pre Workouts | How We Choose | Stimulant-Free Pre Workouts | Mild Pre Workouts | Stimulant-Heavy Pre Workout | FAQ | Warnings And Side Effects | Disclaimer

With the New Year quickly approaching it’s time to wrap up our post-pandemic era with new resolutions and bigger achievements. When it comes to achieving your fitness goals, a pre workout can come in handy for pushing you through each workout. But, pre workouts come in all different flavors and potencies. And that’s why today we’re going over some of the best pre workouts 2022 has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a stimulant free option or to max out of caffeine, we got you covered.

Section Divider: What Are Pre Workouts?

What Are Pre Workouts?

If you’re new to supplements, you should first understand what a pre workout is. A pre workout is a type of supplement that can promote an increase in energy, improve blood flow, stamina, and focus. Pre workouts are for a great option individuals looking to release their potential. These supplements can do this through giving you the boost you need to get in the gym and through your workout. Or by assisting you with pushing past your limits, lifting heavier, and get that one more rep in.†

Section Divider: How We Choose The Best Pre Workouts

How We Choose The Best Pre Workouts:

Firstly, its important to note that our reviews are in no particular order. While we do our best to review each product as accurately as possible, our reviews are based on anecdotal feedback, customer purchasing history, and the label. Individual results and experiences will vary. Additionally, this is not an exhaustive list of great pre workouts. Pre workouts are constantly developing and improving, so the newest top pre is just around the corner.

Section Divider: Best Stimulant-Free Pre Workouts 2022

Best Stimulant-Free Pre Workouts 2022:

One of the first selections options you’ll have to decide on is whether or not you want stimulants in your pre workout. Stimulants can play a role in your energy, motivation, and focus. But, there are some individuals who shouldn’t would be better without the added stimulants. For example, anyone with a sensitivity to stimulants like caffeine or individuals that workout late in the evening. But, stim-free can still pack a punch in gym through boosting endurance, stamina, and blood flow. This makes stim-free pre workouts great for beginners and for stacking.†


King Of Pumps By Chemix:

King of Pumps Supplement FactsWhat To Expect:

  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Larger Pumps†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $2.50
Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Betaine Anhydrous, Glycerpump™, Endo-Pump™, VasoDrive-AP™, Gymnema Sylvestre, S7™
Top Selling Flavor: Orange Sherbet

How To Take King Of Pumps:

The manufacturer recommends taking one (1) full serving (one scoop) with 8-10oz of water at the beginning of your workout.

King Of Pumps Review By Kelly: “BF said the pump was stooopid. First time purchasing any of the chemix products. Great results!!”


SuperHuman Pump By Alpha Lion:

SuperHuman Pump Supplement Facts

What To Expect:

  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Focus Boost†
  • Larger Pumps†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $1.02
Ingredients: Citrulline Malate, Beta Alanine, HydroPrime™ (Glycerol Powder),Organic Lion’s Mane, AlphaSize® (Alpha GPC), S7™, Huperzine A, AstraGin®
Top Selling Flavor: Mango Veiniac (Mango Strawberry Sherbet)

How To Take SuperHuman Pump:

The manufacturer recommends taking one (1) servings (one scoop) 15-30 minutes before your workout.

SuperHuman Pump Review By Johnny: “This product definitely stacks well on its own or with any Alpha Lion Pre. Extremely well done pump formula.”


Ryse Blackout Pump By Ryse:

Ryse Blackout Pump Pre Workout Supplement Facts

What To Expect:

  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Larger Pumps†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $1.60
Ingredients: Betaine Anhydrous, L-Taurine, Arginine Nitrate, Betaine Nitrate, Sodium Nitrate, VasoDrive-AP, Theobormine
Top Selling Flavor: Unflavored

How To Take Ryse Blackout Pump:

The manufacturer recommends taking one (1) servings (one scoop) 10-12oz of cold water consume 15-30 minutes prior to exercise. 

Ryse Blackout Pump Review By Trent“I am a huge Ryse Supps fan. I love to mix the Electric Lemonade pump and the Baja Burst pre workout together. Not only does it taste amazing, but it works like a charm. My pumps at the gym are the best that they have ever been. Strongly recommend to anyone looking to improve their gym pumps.”

Section Divider: Best Mild Pre Workouts 2022

Best Mild Pre Workouts 2022:

If you’re familiar with pre workouts and have mid-tolerance to stimulants, a mild pre workout might be what you need to ready up the ante. Here, “Mild Pre Workouts” refers to pre workouts with caffeine levels up to 250mg per serving. However, with some pre workouts in this section, users may take additional servings which may be too intense for some individuals. 


Psychotic Black By Insane Labz:

Psychotic Black Supplement Facts

What To Expect:

  • Energy†
  • Increased Power Output†
  • Focus Boost†
  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Larger Pumps†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $.85
Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, Beta Alanine, Taurine, L-Tyrosine Caffeine Anhydrous, Di-Caffeine Malate, Caffeine Citrate, AMPiberry (Juniperus Communis)
Top Selling Flavor: Watermelon
Caffeine Per Serving: *200mg

How To Take Psychotic Black:

The manufacturers recommend taking one serving (one scoop) in 8-12 oz. of water to assess tolerance. Once tolerance has been assessed, take one to two servings, 30 minutes before activity. Never consume more than two serving in a 24 hour period. Do not take within 4 hours of bedtime.

Psychotic Black Review By Esteban: “Lo mejor de lo mejor calidad en todo su esplendor, muy recomendó pero ojo no es para novatos (The best of the best quality in all its splendor, highly recommended but be careful not for novices)”


C4 Original Pre Workout By Cellucor:

C4 Pre Workout Supplement FactsWhat To Expect:

  • Energy†
  • Increased Power Output†
  • Focus Boost†
  • Improved Mood†
  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $.85
Ingredients: CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine, Creatine Nitrate, Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (AAKG), N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Caffeine Anhydrous, Velvet Bean Extract, Theacrine
Top Selling Flavor: Fruit Punch
Caffeine Per Serving: *150mg

How To Take C4 Original Pre Workout:

The manufacturers recommend taking one serving (1 level scoop) with 6oz of water, 20-30 minutes before training.

C4 Original Pre Workout Review By Brian: “I’m hooked on C4. The caffeine really helps get me moving for my early morning workouts. I’m able to keep the same energy throughout my workouts and it shows.”


Jack3d Pre Workout By USP Labs:

Jack3d Pre Workout Supplement Facts

What To Expect:

  • Energy†
  • Focus Boost†
  • Increased Power Output†
  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $.84
Ingredients: Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (AAKG), Creatine Monohydrate, Beta Alanine, Caffeine, 2-Aminoisoheptane HCL, Geranium Extract, Yohimbe Extract, Schisandra Chinensis
Top Selling Flavor: Rocket Pop
Caffeine Per Serving: *135mg

How To Take Jack3d:

The manufacturers recommend taking 1-3 scoops with 6-12oz of cold water 30-60 minutes before resistance training. Do not exceed three (3) scoops per day.

Jack3d Review By Rodrigo: “TREINO NA MEDIDA CERTA. SEM PASSAR MAL E COM MUITA ENERGIA. (TRAINING IN THE RIGHT MEASUREMENT. WITHOUT GETTING SICK AND WITH LOTS OF ENERGY.)”


Venom Pre Workout By Dragon Pharma:

Venom Pre Workout Supplement Facts

What To Expect:

  • Long-Lasting Energy†
  • Focus Boost†
  • Improved Mood†
  • Increased Power Output†
  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Larger Pumps†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $.50
Ingredients: Beta Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous, Arginine Silicate Inositol (Nitrosigine), L-Tyrosine, Caffeine Blend (Caffeine Anhydrous & Infinergy (Dicaffeine Malate)), N-Palmitoylethanolamide, L-Dopa (Mucuna Pruriens Extract), L-Theanine, Black Pepper Extract, Yohimbine HCL, Huperzine A
Top Selling Flavor: Pina Colada
Caffeine Per Serving: *212.5mg

How To Take Venom:

The manufacturers recommend assessing your tolerance first by taking the small scoop with 5oz of water 15 minutes before your workout. However, if you have a high tolerance to stimulants, you may take one large scoop with 12oz of water. Do not exceed one large scoop within a 24 hour span. To avoid sleeplessness, do not take within 4 hours of bedtime.

Venom Review By Rafael: “Very good pump and focous! Recommend!”


Noxipro Pre Workout By CTD Sports:

Noxipro Pre Workout Supplement Facts

What To Expect:

  • Long-Lasting Energy†
  • Focus Boost†
  • Increased Power Output†
  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $.70
Ingredients: Beta Alanine, Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (AAKG), Fibersol-2, Creatine Monohydrate, Caffeine, Infinergy, Naringenin, Theacrine, Alpha Yohimbine, Huperzia Serrata Extract, Capsicum Annum Extract
Top Selling Flavor: Fruit Punch
Caffeine Per Serving: *200mg

How To Take Noxipro:

The manufacturers recommend taking one serving (one scoop) with 4-8oz of cold water 30-45 minutes before training.

Noxipro Review By Johnny: “I’ve used this product for years I love it.”

Section Divider: Best Stimulant-Heavy Pre Workout 2022

Best Stimulant-Heavy Pre Workout 2022:

This section is for all our stim-junkies and not for anyone with a stimulant sensitive. In combination to caffeine, these pre workouts typically feature other stimulants like theacrine, yohimbine, and 2-aminoisoheptane (DMHA). If you’re advancing from a mild pre workout or unsure of your tolerance to stimulants, we and manufacturers recommend to start off with half a scoop.


Wicked Pre Workout By Innovative Labs:

Wicked Pre Workout Supplement Facts

What To Expect:

  • Energy†
  • Focus Boost†
  • Increased Power Output†
  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $1.17
Ingredients: Beta Alanine, L-Citrulline Silicate, Red Wine Extract, Creatine Nitrate, 2-Aminoethanesulfonic Acid Silicate (Taurine), Agamatine Silicate, (N-(aminoiminomethyl)-beta-alanine), D-Ribose, Creatinol-O-Phosphate, Caffeine Anhydrous, 2-Aminoisopheptane HCl, Histidine, Rauwolfia Serpentina Extract
Top Selling Flavor: Grueling Grape
Caffeine Per Serving: Undisclosed

How To Take Wicked:

The manufacturer recommends taking one (1) scoop to access personal tolerance. Once tolerance has been assessed, you may increase dosage to 2 scoops in 6-8oz of water.

Wicked Review By Rob: “Tastes great. Take a long time to kick in, last longer then other pre workouts. Needs a little more kick to be a great pre workout”


Woke AF By Bucked Up (Das Labs):

Woke AF Pre Workout Supplement Facts

What To Expect:

  • Energy†
  • Focus Boost†
  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Larger Pumps†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $1.77
Ingredients: Citrulline Malate, Beta Alanine, Caffeine Anhydrous, AlphaSize® (Alpha GPC), Taurine, Dendrobium, Deer Antler Velvet Extract, Synephrine HCL, AstraGin®, ActiGin®
Top Selling Flavor: Blue Raz
Caffeine Per Serving: *333mg

How To Take Woke AF:

The manufacturers recommend taking one (1) scoop into 6-9oz of water 15-30 minutes prior to physical activity. Due to it’s potency, they recommend taking no more than one (1) scoop. Do not exceed one (1) scoop in 24 hours.

Woke AF Review By Matt: “One of the best, only thing was I ordered the wrong flavour. It kept me going up to 90 minutes before I got tired, usually after 45 to 50 minutes and I’m burnt out.”


Psychotic Gold By Insane Labs:

Psychotic Gold Supplement Facts

What To Expect:

  • Energy†
  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Larger Pumps†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $1.14
Ingredients: Beta Alanine, L-Citrulline Malate, Agmatine Sulfate, Caffeine Anhydrous, Caffeine Citrate, AMPiberry, OXYGOLD, Rauwolfia Vomitoria Extract
Top Selling Flavor: Orange
Caffeine Per Serving: *325mg

How To Take Psychotic Gold:

The manufacturers recommend mixing 1 serving (one scoop)  in 8-10oz of water once daily, 30 minutes before activity. Never consume more than 1 serving in a 24 hour period. Do not take within 4 hours of bedtime.

Psychotic Gold Review By Linda: “I started with 1/2 a dose the went up to a full scoop. Really turns up the heat in my body. I’ll have to try some other flavors”


Dust X By Blackstone Labs:

Dust X Pre Workout Supplement Facts

What To Expect:

  • Energy†
  • Focus Boost†
  • Improved Mood†
  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Larger Pumps†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $1.80
Ingredients: Citrulline Malate, Beta Alanine, Agmatine Sulfate, L-Tyrosine, Dimethylaminoethanol, Phenylethylamine, Caffeine Anhydrous, 2-aminoisoheptane, Nelumbo Necifera, Huperzine A
Top Selling Flavor: Pineapple Mango
Caffeine Per Serving: *350mg

How To Take Dust X:

The manufacturers recommend mixing one (1) scoop of Dust X in 8-10oz of water 30 minutes before working out. Due to extreme potency, new users may want to asses tolerance with one half (1/2) scoop first.

Dust X Review By David: “The best and strongest I’ve taken so far with no crash!!”


BZRK By Black Magic Supply:

BZRK Pre Workout Supplement Facts

What To Expect:

  • Energy†
  • Focus Boost†
  • Improved Mood†
  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Increased Power Output†
  • Larger Pumps†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $1.80
Ingredients: Citrulline Malate, BetaO, GlycerPump, Betaine Anhydrous, Tyrosine, Caffeine Anhydrous, N-Isopropylnorsynephrine, Kola Nut Extract, N-Methyl Tyramine, Higenamine HCl, Neurofactor, Huperzine A
Top Selling Flavor: Crystal Blue
Caffeine Per Serving: *350mg

How To Take BZRK:

The manufacturers recommend using BZRK on training days only. New users may want to begin with a half scoop while experienced users may take a full scoop. Mix one (1) scoop with 6-8oz of water and consume 15-20 minutes prior to training. To avoid sleeplessness, do not use within 6 hours prior to sleep. Do not consume more than 1 scoop in any 24 hour period.

BZRK Review By N/A: “I’m a loyal user of this- love the Blue, Hateraid and Orange Cooler! Doesn’t make me shaky but definitely gives the boost I need for a workout.”


Psychotic Pre Workout By Insane Labs:

Psychotic Supplement Facts

What To Expect:

  • Energy†
  • Focus Boost†
  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Increased Power Output†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $1.00
Ingredients: Beta Alanine, Creatine Monohydrate, Caffeine Anhydrous, AMPiberry, OXYGOLD, DMAE, Rauwolfia Vomitoria Extract, Huperzine Extract
Top Selling Flavor: Fruit Punch
Caffeine Per Serving: *300mg

How To Take Psychotic:

The manufacturers recommend assessing your tolerance by taking a half scoop for the first. After tolerance has been assessed, you may progress to a full scoop when needed.

Psychotic Review By VALBER: “Insane Labs Psychotic gives me the energy and the resistance to perform mine and my clients more demanding workouts everyday at the gym.”


Mesomorph By APS Nutrition:

Mesomorph Pre Workout Supplement Facts

What To Expect:

  • Energy†
  • Focus Boost†
  • Enhanced Endurance†
  • Increased Power Output†
  • Larger Pumps†
  • Improved Performance†
Price Per Serving (USD): $1.14
Ingredients: Beta Alanine, L-Citrulline DL-Malate, AAKG, Di-Creatine Malate, L-Taurine, Creatine Nitrate, Ascorbic Acid, Creatinol-O-Phosphate, Agmatine Sulfate, Glucoronolactone, Methylxanthine (Caffeine) Anhydrous, 2-Aminoispheptane HCl, Geranium Extract, Theobromine, Naringin, Quebracho Blanco Extract
Top Selling Flavor: Rocket Pop
Caffeine Per Serving: *300mg

How To Take Mesomorph:

The manufacturers recommend assessing your tolerance first before taking a full scoop. Start by taking a half scoop for the first couple of days until tolerance has been assessed.

Mesomorph Review By Welison: “Mesomorph é o melhor pré treino da atualidade. Consegue dar força, pump, vasodilatação e energia ao mesmo tempo. O ponto negativo é o custo benefício por ter apenas 25 doses. (Mesomorph is the best pre workout today. It manages to give strength, pump, vasodilation and energy at the same time. The negative point is the cost benefit for having only 25 doses)”

Section Divider: Top Pre Workout FAQs 2022

Top Pre Workout FAQs 2022:

In this section, we’ll be diving into some of your most frequently asked questions about pre workouts!

What Is The Best Pre Workout For Women?

In 2022, there are pre workouts specialized and marketed for anything and anyone. But, when it comes to deciding the best pre workout for women, there is no need for a specialized pre workout. Additionally, most pre workouts marketed to women are not formulated to meet women’s specific nutritional needs. Therefore the supplements on this list are appropriate for any healthy adult, regardless of gender. However, pre workouts are not recommended for individuals pregnant or nursing, could be pregnant, or are attempting to become pregnant. Instead of searching for pre workouts marketed to women, we recommend avoiding ingredients that may increase testosterone. †

Can I Stack A Fat Burner With My Pre Workout?

We would be careful of consuming multiple high-stimulant products within 24 hours. If you are looking for a pre workout to boost metabolism and promote weight loss, we recommend trying products like:

What Should You Look For In A Pre-Workout?

Pre workouts often share multiple ingredient that are researched-backed to improve exercise performance. However, dosages can range and impact your results. Therefore, when comparing ingredients, pre workout-seekers should look at both the ingredient and dosages when applicable.

Here are some great pre workout ingredient to look out for:

  • Caffeine Anhydrous: One study’s results suggest caffeine dosages at around 3-6mg/kg may help increase aerobic-based performance. However, there weren’t any additional performance improvements at higher doses. (1) So, for example, at around 120lb (~55kg), the optimal range of Caffeine would be around 165mg-330mg.†

  • Theobromine: Studies utilize a range of doses for theobromine, often between 250mg-1000mg. (2)  

  • L-Tyrosine: L-Tyrosine is commonly in doses of 500–2,000mg. (3,4)

  • Beta Alanine: The clinical dose range for beta alanine is 2-5 grams. (5)

  • Betaine Anhydrous: Clinical effects of betaine are often studied with doses ranging from 500 to 20,000 mg/day. But dosages of 2.5 g/day for at least 14 days to 6 weeks has shown potential to enhance strength-based performance. (6,7

  • L-Citrulline: Generally, research on L-citrulline uses dosages between 3-6 grams. But, taking more than 6 grams may help promote oxygen content in muscles. (8,9)

  • Creatine Monohydrate: Creatine is dosed between 2.5 grams to 5 grams. (10

When Should You Take Pre-Workout?

Most pre workout manufacturers recommend consuming your pre workout within 2-30 mins before training. We recommend reading your pre workouts specific instructions and guidelines from it’s manufacturers.

Do I Have To Cycle Pre Workout?

You may want to consider cycling your pre workouts if you find yourself going heavy-stimulant pre workouts and not feeling the effects of the stimulants. This can look like titrating down your caffeine and other stimulant dosages with half a scoop, trying mild pre workouts, or opting for stimulant free pre workout. †

Section Divider: Wrapping Up

Wrapping Up!

And this marks the end of our post on the best pre workouts for 2022. Thank you for reading! And as always, if there was something that wasn’t clear, another question you might have, or if you have another idea for a blog, Email Us!

Are you looking for more to read? Checkout our other blogs!

Section Divider: Warnings And Side Effects

Warnings And Side Effects:

Read entire label before taking products mentioned in this post. As with any supplement, check with your physician before use. Do not use these product if you have any current or previous medical condition of any kind. Such conditions may include but are not limited to the following:

  • High or low blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Arrhythmia
  • Palpitations
  • Any heart, thyroid, or liver condition
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Prostate enlargement or inflammation

Do not use if you are nursing or pregnant. Do not use if you are taking an MAOI. If any adverse symptoms occur stop use immediately and consult a physician. Keep out of reach of children.

Allergen Warning: Products in this post may be manufactured in a plant that also processes egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish, crustaceans/shellfish, and wheat products.

Section Divider: Disclaimer

Disclaimer:

†Please note the intention of the information provided is for reference only. Furthermore, we are in no way providing medical advice or instruction. Instead, the information provided in this guide/blog utilizes anecdotal information and available studies/reviews. While our goal is to maintain and display accurate information, we can’t guarantee it represents the latest formulation of the product or information. Therefore, please visit the manufacturer’s website if you have any concerns. Also, the information above does not represent our views here at Same Day Supplements. Instead, these are the manufacturers’ and users’ views and information. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. Finally, the intention of these products is not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

The post The Best Pre Workouts Of 2022 For You & The Gym appeared first on Supplement Reviews Blog.

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:46:57 -0800 Sportsman
The Best Recovery Supplements For Muscle Growth (Guide) https://sport-topics.com/the-best-recovery-supplements-for-muscle-growth-guide https://sport-topics.com/the-best-recovery-supplements-for-muscle-growth-guide How To Improve Muscle Recovery | What Are Recovery SupplementsTypes Of Muscle Recovery SupplementsWarnings And Side Effects | Disclaimer

How do you get the most out of your training? By fueling your body with proper nutrients and supporting the gaps with dietary supplements! And that’s where we come in to help you determine which recovery supplements to take and when to take them.

Section Divider: Tips To Improve Muscle Recovery

How To Improve Muscle Recovery:

While supplements can support your muscle growth and recovery, it essential to be proactive in your muscle recovery before and after the gym. Here, we’ll discuss ways you can improve muscle recovery today!

Food & Hydration: (1,2,3)

Eating an overall healthy diet is the best way to ensure you get all the nutrients essential to repairing your muscles and improving performance. This can mean increasing your protein intake while reducing your consumption of processed foods. But protein isn’t the only star for muscle growth and recovery. Consider adding more fruits and vegetables throughout your diet. Also, staying hydrated throughout your day is essential for muscle recovery, as dehydration can impair your muscles’ ability to repair themselves.†


Active-Rest: (4,5)

Including active rest days (active recovery) into your workout routine means introducing more low-intensity, low-impact exercises like yoga or cycling. You can promote blood flow and tissue repair by including active rest days without further stressing the body. Studies suggest that 20 minutes of post-exercise active recovery involving the same muscle groups during exercise effectively reduces muscle fatigue. Additionally, a study found active recovery supported more training benefits without increasing total training commitment time.†


Sleep: (6,7)

Sleep is one of the largest parts of recovery. Research suggests sleep deprivation is a cause of muscle loss and muscular atrophy. But sleep deprivation impacts other areas of muscle growth as well. Bad sleep can have negative impacts like decreasing growth hormone levels, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-1) levels, and even testosterone. The reductions of all these hormones can play a large role in maintaining muscle mass. Additionally, insufficient sleep may also increase cortisol and result in fat retention.†

Section Divider: What Are Recovery Supplements

What Are Recovery Supplements? (8,9)

Recovery supplements feature dietary supplements that can support exercise performance, improve protein synthesis, and support overall well-being.†

Why Do You Need Recovery Supplements?

When you exercise, fibers in your muscles stretch and tear. Depending on the intensity of your exercise, these micro-tears can result in muscle soreness. Where during recovery, cells repair these micro-tears muscle fibers. The repaired fibers form new muscle protein strands that can be larger and stronger. But repairing muscle fibers is only one part of the recovery part. During exercise, your body begins metabolizing carbohydrates and fats for ATP to contract skeletal muscle. The longer the workout, the more substantial the loss from these triglyceride stores. Here, recovery supplements aim to replenish these stores and increase cellular energy.†

Signs of Overtraining: (10)

  • Fatigue†
  • Loss of Motivation/Concentration†
  • Insomnia†
  • Irritability†
  • Tachycardia†
  • Hypertension†
  • Restlessness or Anxiety†
  • Weight Loss†
  • Muscle Soreness†

Section Divider: Types Of Muscle Recovery Supplements

Types of Muscle Recovery Supplements:

While some recovery supplements support muscle protein synthesis, others reduce muscle soreness. Additionally, there are recovery supplements that can assist with reducing muscle fatigue. So what types of muscle recovery supplements are best for you? It depends on your goals!

Here are some of the best recovery supplements for your goals:

Section Divider: Amino Acids

Amino Acids:

Results from research indicate amino acid supplementation may potentially reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness, while improving muscle function, fatigue, and recovery. (11


What Are BCAAs?

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) consist of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. Because these amino acids cannot be produced by your body, they are essential and need to be obtained from your diet.

BCAAs Benefits: (11,12,13)

  • Decrease Cortisol Response†
  • May Support Increased Testosterone†
  • Reduce Muscle Damage & Breakdown (Anticatabolic)†
  • Decrease Muscle Fatigue†
  • Reduce Muscle Soreness†

BCAA Dosing:

Recent research suggests 12 g of BCAAs per day is optimal for promoting ergogenic effects. However, a separate study suggests 0.22 g/kg body mass/day of BCAA for eight days is sufficient to reduce perceptions of soreness. (12,13)

Nutrex BCAA 6000:

Nutrex BCAA 6000

Price Per Serving (USD): $.50
Key Features: Enhanced Protein Synthesis†, Improved Muscle Recovery†, 2:1:1 BCAA Ratio†
Flavors: Fruit Punch, Watermelon, Green Apple

How To Take Nutrex BCAA 6000:

The manufacturers recommend mixing one (1) scoop in 8-10oz (250-300 mL) of cold water and drink between meals. On training days drink one serving 30 minutes before or during exercise.

Nutrex BCAA 6000 Review By Samuel: “Excelente produto funciona como esperado (Excellent product works as expected)”


What Is Glutamine?

Glutamine is another important amino acid for the body, but unlike BCAAs, glutamine is only a conditionally essential amino acid. Conditionally essential amino means the body can produce it naturally, but there may be times you’ll need to supplement it.

Glutamine Benefits: (14,15,16,17,18)

  • Support Immune System†
  • Improve Gut/Digestive Health†
  • Promote Muscle Recovery†
  • Reduce Muscle Fatigue†
  • Support Heart Health†

Glutamine Dosing:

Research indicates glutamine may be effective at doses between 15 and 30 g daily or 0.3 g/kg/day.(17,18)

AllMax Nutrition Glutamine:

AllMax Nutrition Glutamine

Price Per Serving (USD): $.19 (1000G)
Key Features: Enhanced Immune Function†, Improved Muscle Recovery†, Anti-Catabolic†
Sizes: 100G, 400G, 1000G

How To Take AllMax Nutrition Glutamine:

The manufacturers recommend mixing one (1) rounded teaspoon (5g) in water or juice once daily. For training sessions and athletic events, take approximately 30 minutes prior to training and immediately after training to help prevent muscle tissue breakdown and aid muscle recovery. At times when you are not training, mix 1 rounded teaspoon (5g) in water or juice approximately 45-60 minutes prior to meals.

AllMax Nutrition Glutamine Review By Gilmar: “First time a bought this Allmax Glutamine to help on my recovery. Very happy with the results!”


What Is Creatine?

Creatine, similar to BCAAs, is a combination of three amino acids; L-Arginine, Glycine, L-Methionine. Your body can naturally produce creatine, but its is also stored in the form of phosphocreatine. These creatine stores are primarily in your muscles, where it’s used for energy.†

Creatine Benefits: (19,20,21,22,23)

  • Promoting Strength†
  • Increased Cell Hydration†
  • Reduced Protein Breakdown†
  • Lower Myostatin Levels†
  • Improve Exercise Performance†
  • Boost Muscle Recovery Recovery†
  • Increase Lean Muscle Mass†

Creatine Dosing:

Research suggests a dose of 0.3 g/kg/day for 3–5 consecutive days or 20 g/day for 5–7 successive days is sufficient for promoting ergogenic benefits. Whereas taking 3–5 g/day over 4 weeks can increase creatine stores, promote performance, improve recovery, increase muscle growth. (19,21)

Life Extension Creatine Caps:

LE Creatine Capsules

Price Per Serving (USD): $.17
Key Features: Promotes Exercise Performance†, Improved Muscle Recovery†, Supports Energy Metabolism†
Sizes: 120 Caps

How To Take Life Extension Creatine Caps:

The manufacturers recommend taking two (2) capsules twice daily with water or juice, or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner.

Life Extension Creatine Caps Review By Ralph: “A same day supplements é um excelente site para comprar autênticos suplementos, recomendo muito. achei essa creatina muito fácil de tomar.comecei a tomar a pouco tempo e já sinto que a minha performance, força já estão melhorando! (Same day supplements is an excellent site to buy authentic supplements, I highly recommend it. I found this creatine very easy to take. I just started taking it and I already feel that my performance and strength are already improving!)”


What Is Citrulline?

Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that is commonly supplemented before exercise to promote exercise performance. When supplementing with citrulline, it is metabolized in the kidneys and then converted to the amino acid to l-arginine, which can then increase nitric oxide synthesis.† (24,25)

Citrulline Benefits: (24,25,26,27)

  • Improve Blood Flow†
  • Reduce Fatigue†
  • Increase Power Output†
  • Improve Endurance†
  • Enhance Vasodilation†
  • Increase Protein Synthesis†

Citrulline Dosing:

Research currently suggests a dose of 3 g/day to 10 g/day is sufficient for promoting ergogenic benefits. (24)

NOW Foods L-Citrulline:

NOW L-Citrulline Product Page

Price Per Serving (USD): $.33 (90VCaps)
Key Features: Promotes Exercise Performance†, Improved Muscle Recovery†, Supports Protein Metabolism†
Sizes: 90 VCaps, 180 VCaps

How To Take NOW Foods L-Citrulline:

The manufacturers recommend taking one-two (1-2) capsules 1 to 2 times daily between meals.

NOW Foods L-Citrulline Review By Darren: “Taking it for about 3 weeks now and my veins are starting to bulge out with intense workouts.”

Section Divider: Whey Protein

Macro-Nutrients:

Diet and nutrition play a huge role in your post workout recovery as well. Where researchers indicate the food you consume throughout post-exercise recovery can optimize the skeletal muscle adaptive response, improve protein synthesis, reduce inflammation and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).†


Whey Protein:

One of the most popular muscle recovery supplements is whey protein. This is because whey protein contains all nine essential amino acids. However, other options for protein supplements are available for individuals avoiding whey/dairy.

Checkout Vegan Protein Options.

Whey Protein Benefits: (28,29,30,31,32)

  • Enhance GSH Production†
  • Decrease Muscle Soreness†
  • Stimulate IGF4†
  • Reduce Cholesterol†
  • Promote Digestive Function†
  • Support Blood Pressure†
  • Increase Muscle Growth†

Protein Dosages:

Researcher suggests 1.6–2.5 g/kg/day of protein divided in several meals or 20–35 g of protein per meal is optimal for muscle mass maintenance and to catabolism. (32)

Dymatize ISO 100:

ISO 100 By Dymatize

Price Per Serving (USD): $1.32 (1.6LB)
Key Features: Super Fast Digesting†, Improved Muscle Recovery†, Reduced Soreness†
Flavors: Dunkin Cappuccino, Dunkin Mocha Latte, Cocoa Pebbles, Fruity Pebbles, Gourmet Vanilla, Gourmet Chocolate

How To Take Dymatize ISO 100:

The manufacturers recommend mixing one (1) scoop to 5-6 fl. oz. (150ml-180ml) of water, milk, or your favorite beverage and mix thoroughly.

Dymatize Nutrition Iso 100 Protein Review By Bryan: “I got the new dunkin flavors and they taste amazing. I love how it also has caffeine it in. Perfect for a coffee replacement.”


Carbohydrates:

Working out intensely can deplete your muscle stores of glycogen, the stored form of glucose. Because of this, post-workout carbs is essential for promoting muscle glycogen replenishment. (33)

Carbohydrate Supplement Benefits:(33,34,35,36)

  • Improve Sports Performance†
  • Delay Muscle Fatigue†
  • Increase Work Capacity†
  • Enhance Recovery†
  • Repletion Glycogen Stores†

Carbohydrate Dosages:

According to experts, 5–7 g/kg/day of carbohydrates is optimal for a moderate exerciser for benefits like replenishing glycogen stores. However, individuals with more intense training routines may require up to 8–12 g/kg/day of carbohydrates. (36)

Universal Nutrition Carbo Plus:

Universal Nutrition Carbo Plus

Price Per Serving (USD): $.29
Key Features: Improved Endurance†, Improved Muscle Recovery†, Increased Power Output†
Flavors: Unflavored

How To Take Universal Nutrition Carbo Plus:

The manufacturer recommends to slowly blend one (1) scoop into 8-10oz of your beverage of choice. For best results, use at least twice daily and consume one (1) serving within two (2) hours of exercise.

Universal Nutrition Carbo Plus Review By Andy: “Great option for post workout recovery. I like to add it with my protein shake.”


Fats:

Fats like Omega-3 in contain “resolvins”  that are popular for their ability to resolve/reduce inflammation.(37) Fish oil is an example of a dietary source for Omega-3 and is generally derived from cold-water, fatty fish.

Fatty Acids Benefits: (38,39,40,41,42,43)

  • Support Heart Health†
  • Improve Metabolism†
  • Reduce Inflammation†
  • Improve Muscle Growth†
  • Reduce Blood Pressure†

Fish Oil Dosage:

Currently, there are no conclusive recommendations for EPHA and DHA, a dosage of 250–500 mg per day of combined EPA and DHA may be sufficient for healthy adults.† However some studies suggest larger doses of around 2000-5000 mg of combined EPA and DHA may be necessary for benefits. (43)

Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil:

Optimum Nutrition Fish oil

Price Per Serving (USD): $.10
Key Features: Reduce Inflammation†, Improved Blood Pressure†, Support Heart Health†
Sizes: 100 Softgels, 200 Softgels

How To Take Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil:

The manufacturer recommends take one (1) softgel up to three (3) times daily with meals.

Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil Review By Michael: “O melhor da categoria. Excelente custo benefício!!! (The best in the class. Excellent value for money !!!)”

Section Divider: 24-hour Supplements Guide

Herbs & Adaptogens:

Adaptogens are a class of metabolic regulators derived from plants, which can support and enhance the body’s resilience to stress. These properties can expand in promoting cognitive and physical performance. (44,45)


What Is Rhodiola?

Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogen commonly used in folk medicine in Eastern Europe and China. Current research indicates the chemical composition of rhodiola rosea (including salidroside and rosavin) can reduce fatigue and improve endurance. (46)

Rhodiola Benefits: (46,47,48,49,50)

  • Reduce Cortisol Levels†
  • Alleviate Fatigue†
  • Improve Symptoms of Depression†
  • Increase Cognitive Functions†
  • Enhance Exercise Performance†

Rhodiola Dosage:

Research on rhodiola utilizes a wide range of dosages. However, participants experienced positive effects from 100-1500 mg/day. (50)

NOW Foods Rhodiola:

 

NOW Foods Rhodiola Product Page

Price Per Serving (USD): $.30 
Key Features: Improves Performance†, Improved Muscle Recovery†, Promotes Cognitive Functions†
Milligrams Per Serving: 500 mg

How To Take NOW Foods Rhodiola:

The manufacturer recommends taking one (1) capsule 1 to 2 times daily on an empty stomach. Store in a cool, dry place after opening.

NOW Foods Rhodiola Review By Kim: “I’m giving this 5 stars because it definitely works as far as what I wanted to take it for… (acne, anxiety, weight loss). My acne nearly cleared up in 2 weeks, I lost 5 pounds, and while it doesn’t directly help my anxiety, I don’t have the “after effects” of panic such as feeling drained, headachy, etc.”


What Is Ashwagandha?

Similar to rhodiola, ashwagandha is an adaptogen. Ashwagandha is a popular supplement for its anti-anxiety and stress-relieving effects. (51,52)

Ashwagandha Benefits: (51,52,53,54,55,56,57,58)

  • Reduce Cortisol Levels †
  • Improve Sleep†
  • Enhance Exercise Performance & Recovery †
  • Improve Inflammation †
  • Support Cognitive Functions†

Ashwagandha Dosage:

Most studies on Ashwagandha use dosages of 250–600 mg of the root extract daily. These dosages can be broken up into a morning and evening dose. Some individuals may prefer to take Ashwagandha with a meal.†

Swanson Ultimate Ashwagandha KSM-66:Swanson Ultimate Ashwagandha KSM-66 Product page

Price Per Serving (USD): $.15 
Key Features: Promote Relaxation†, Improved Muscle Recovery†, Manage & Reduce Stress†
Milligrams Per Serving: 250 mg

How To Take Swanson Ultimate Ashwagandha KSM-66:

The manufacturer recommends take one (1) veggie capsule one to two times per day with water.

Swanson Ultimate Ashwagandha KSM-66 Review By Brittany: “I have small bouts of anxiety and trouble sleeping at night. I was recommended this product and for the price and quality of it, you can beat it. Whenever I am feeling anxious, this product puts me at ease. This supplement makes it very easy to sleep at night.”


What Is Ginseng?

Panax ginseng is an adaptogen common in Eastern Asia for treating ailments like hypertension. Current research suggests this plant may also have neuroprotective properties and support the immune system.†

Ginseng Benefits: (59,60,61,62,63,64,65)

  • Reduce Muscle Fatigue†
  • Enhance Recovery†
  • Decrease Muscle Soreness†
  • Improve Cognitive Performance†
  • Improve Stamina†
  • Anti-Inflammatory†

Ginseng Dosage:

Studies for ginseng tend to utilize dosages ranged from 200mg to 3000mg.†

NOW Foods Panax Ginseng:

NOW Panax Ginseng

Price Per Serving (USD): $.18 
Key Features: Anti-Inflammatory†, Improved Muscle Recovery†, Improve Cognitive Performance†
Milligrams Per Serving: 1,000 mg

How To Take NOW Foods Panax Ginseng:

The manufacturer recommends taking two (2) capsules 1 to 2 times daily as needed.

NOW Foods Panax Ginseng Review By Sam: “This is one top quality brand! Love the energy I get from this product! I been using ginseng for more than 35 years and find this brand to be one of the best!!”


What Is Turmeric/Curcumin?

Curcumin is the primary bioactive substance in turmeric that provides the plants yellow pigment. This compound is popular for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Turmeric/Curcumin Benefits: (66,67,68,69)

  • Anti-Inflammatory†
  • Boost Antioxidant Production†
  • Supports Joint Health†
  • Improve Cognitive Health†
  • Reduce LDL Cholesterol†
  • Support Muscular Recovery†

Turmeric/Curcumin Dosage:

Unfortunately, turmeric/curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body on it’s own. However, studies often use piperine, a compound found in Black Pepper, to improve it’s bioavailability. Here, dosages of around 150–2500 mg of curcumin combined with piperine may support muscle recovery.†

Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Turmeric 95:

Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Turmeric 95 Product Page

Price Per Serving (USD): $.50
Key Features: Supports Healthy Joint†, Improved Muscle Recovery†, Immune System Booster & Antioxidant†
Milligrams Per Serving: 500 mg

How To Take Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Turmeric 95:

The manufacturer recommends take two (2) tablets twice daily with a meal.

Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Turmeric 95 Review By Danny: “Works great. I use this as a natural anti-inflammatory supplement. I noticed reduced swelling and aching afterward”


What Is Black Currant?

Black currant is a superfood with high profile of polyphenols. Research on this superfood suggests black currant may be superior among berries for improving athletic performance.†

Black Currant Benefits: (70,71,72)

  • Enhance Performance†
  • Anti-Inflammatory†
  • Improve Cognitive Health†
  • Supports Heart Health & Immune System†
  • Improve Metabolism†

Black Currant Dosage:

Researchers suggest consumption of black currant for 7 days at a dose of 105–210 mg anthocyanins is sufficient for improving signs of muscle damage.†

Swanson Black Currant Extract:

Swanson Black Currant Extract Product Page

Price Per Serving (USD): $.53
Key Features: Support Eye Health†, Improved Muscle Recovery†, Supports Cardiovascular Health†
Milligrams Per Serving: 200 mg

How To Take Swanson Black Currant Extract:

The manufacturer recommends taking one (1) veggie capsule per day with water.

Swanson Black Currant Extract Review By Eva: “After reading about this, I decided to try this supplement for our eyes instead of bilberry. It seems to be working and it less expensive, which is great!”


What Is Tart Cherry?

Tart Cherry is a plant rich in phenolic compounds with high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This super-fruit is quickly becoming a popular natural ergogenic aid for endurance athletes due to its high profile of polyphenols.†

Tart Cherry Benefits: (73,74,75,76,77)

  • Anti-Inflammatory & Antioxidant Properties†
  • Improve Exercise Performance†
  • Support Muscle Recovery†
  • Enhance Sleep Quality†
  • Improve Immunity†

Tart Cherry Dosage:

While, research varies in dosages, it appears a dose of at least 1200 mg/day is necessary to see ergogenic effects and muscle recovery. However, for performance enhancements, a dose of ~465 mg/day may be sufficient.†

Life Extension Tart Cherry:

Life Extension Tart Cherry

Price Per Serving (USD): $.20 (60 VCaps)
Key Features: Support Joint Health†, Improved Muscle Recovery†, Promotes Heart & Brain Cell Health†
Milligrams Per Serving: 480 mg

How To Take Life Extension Tart Cherry:

The manufacturer recommends one (1) capsule once or twice daily, or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner.

Life Extension Tart Cherry Review By Jim: “I want the benefits of cherry juice, but my low carb diet limits how much I can drink. These capsules give the concentrated goodness without the carbs. I can take these daily.”

Section Divider: Wrapping up!

Wrapping Up!

And this marks the end of our post on Recovery Supplements. Thank you for reading! And as always, if there was something that wasn’t clear, another question you might have, or if you have another idea for a blog, Email Us!

Are you looking for more to read? Checkout our other blogs!

Section Divider: Warning And Side Effects

Warnings And Side Effects:

Keep out of reach of children. Products in this blog may contain milk, egg, and soy ingredients or manufactured on shared equipment which also processes products containing wheat, shellfish, fish, tree nuts and peanuts. Consult your physician prior to using these products or any other supplement or if you are taking any OTC or prescription medications. Discontinue use immediately and consult your health care professional if you experience any adverse reactions. Do not use these products if you are pregnant, contemplating pregnancy or nursing.

Section Divider: Disclaimer

Disclaimer:

†Please note the intention of the information provided is for reference only. Furthermore, we are in no way providing medical advice or instruction. Instead, the information provided in this guide/blog utilizes anecdotal information and available studies/reviews. While our goal is to maintain and display accurate information, we can’t guarantee it represents the latest formulation of the product or information. Therefore, please visit the manufacturer’s website if you have any concerns. Also, the information above does not represent our views here at Same Day Supplements. Instead, these are the manufacturers’ and users’ views and information. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. Finally, the intention of these products is not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

The post The Best Recovery Supplements For Muscle Growth (Guide) appeared first on Supplement Reviews Blog.

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:46:57 -0800 Sportsman
The top 8 most common stress&related questions, answered. https://sport-topics.com/the-top-8-most-common-stress-related-questions-answered https://sport-topics.com/the-top-8-most-common-stress-related-questions-answered The irony is that it’s kind of stressful to find answers about stress.

There’s so much conflicting information out there.

But if you’re a health and fitness professional, your clients—maybe even your friends and loved ones too—will likely turn to YOU for counsel.

They’ll ask things like:

“Is stress REALLY toxic?”

“Do you think stress caused this belly fat I can’t lose?”

And:

“Are these red bumps from stress?”

(Why does everyone insist on showing you their rashes??)

You want to help, but coming up with the right answers can be hard, because:

The right answer depends.

It depends on WHO the asker is, WHAT their goals are, WHERE they’re starting from, and HOW MUCH they’re willing and able to change

The truth is, one-size-fits-all answers to stress-related questions don’t exist.

However, you can build a strong foundation of knowledge about stress that can help you answer these questions with more confidence and expertise.

In this article, we’ll try to give you some resources to do that.

If you want, read the following Q and As from top to bottom. Or, just jump to the ones that interest you the most:

Question #1. Is stress really bad for you?

Question #2. What are the signs of stress?

Question #3. Is stress making me gain / lose weight?

Question #4. How can I stop stress eating?

Question #5. How do I get rid of stress?

Question #6. How do I fit in stress-management strategies and self-care?

Question #7. Is there a diet that will help reduce stress?

Question #8. Is there any way to cool stress fast?

Question #1. Is stress BAD for you?

Yes and no. It’s all about the right amounts—for YOU.

The relationship between stress and health has gained a lot more attention and validity in the past 30 years.

As a result, you’ve likely learned to associate stress with all kinds of terrible things: heart attacks, hair loss, early death.

And while excessive, unrelenting stress definitely erodes health, let’s clear something up:

Not all stress is bad.

In fact, in order to thrive, we actually need some stress to feel juicy, purposeful, and alive.

Graph shows a reverse bell-curve where very low stress reduces performance, medium stress optimizes performance, and very high stress reduces performance

As the above chart shows, it’s all about finding a stress “sweet spot.”

Go too far in either extreme, and you’ll feel crummy.

How do you find your stress “sweet spot”?

Stress that’s long-lasting, relentless, and demoralizing is also the kind of stress that’s associated with depression and anxiety, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer.1

If you’re dealing with those kinds of stressors, consider where you have control, and try to reduce—or even avoid—them when you can.

Also, ask for help. Sometimes having another person around to tackle a problem with you makes the difference between feeling like you’re drowning and feeling like you’ll make it to the shore.

On the flip side, when stress occurs in shorter bursts, and you feel like you have some control over it, as well as opportunities to recover in between, it can actually help you become stronger and more resilient over time.

This kind of stress tends to feel empowering: It helps build you up; not break you down.

One big complication…

What feels stressful is highly subjective.

Turns out, your perception of stress has a big impact on how stress feels—and what it does to your health.

If you believe stress is always terrible and should be avoided at all costs, you’ll be more likely to cling to your comfort zone, fear the future and what could happen, and steer clear of situations that could lead to growth.

(You’re also more likely to experience the negative health effects of stress, like high cortisol.2)

In a cruel self-fulfilling prophecy, stress actually does become more harmful.

However, if you believe stress can make you stronger, wiser, and more resilient, you’ll be more likely to proactively solve problems, seek out challenging experiences—and benefit from stress in your life.

Luckily, you have some control over your perception.

In the spirit of helping you shift your perspective, here are some examples of how some stress can actually enrich various aspects of life:

▶ Stress can strengthen relationships. Some conflict is actually crucial for healthy, secure relationships—it’s a pathway to better understand others. By working through things together, we grow together.

▶ Stress can make you smarter. Managed effectively, stress helps you focus your attention, plan for future challenges, and enhance memory and learning. Stressors might even feel like fun puzzles to solve.

▶ Stress can build muscles and endurance. This is probably the most obvious example, but most of us know that intermittent physical stress—say, from a workout—couped with appropriate recovery helps your body become stronger and more capable.

Choose to believe that stress has the capacity to benefit you. It can help you learn, grow, and live a bigger, more adventurous and meaningful life.

LEARN MORE:

Question #2. What are the signs of stress?

The signs and symptoms of stress depend a little on whether the stress is acute or chronic.

Acute stress (think: a car just swerved in front of you) generally causes your sympathetic nervous system to ramp up, which releases hormones such as epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol.

With acute stress, you might notice:

  • Your heart beats a little faster
  • Your breathing gets deeper and quicker
  • You feel a burst of energy, alertness, giddiness, and/or focus
  • You might feel a little shaky or even nauseous, if the stress was intense

The stress response is built-in. You don’t have to think consciously about it; your body just responds automatically in this way to all stressors.

Luckily, the recovery response is also built-in. Once a threat recedes, your heart rate and breathing will return to normal, and you’ll feel calm again.

Two graphs compare acute stress versus chronic stress. In acute stress, stress coupled with deep recovery leads to better performance over time. In chronic stress, stress coupled with inadequate recovery leads to worse performance over time.

Chronic stress is when that sympathetic activation lasts for days, weeks, or months, without adequate opportunities for recovery.

Just like a rollercoaster, stress can feel energizing in short bouts—but like a nauseating nightmare if you can’t get off the ride. Not surprisingly, chronic stress is more likely to take a toll on your physical and mental health.

Signs of chronic stress include:

  • Excessive worrying or anxiety
  • Low mood or energy
  • Poor appetite, OR an increased desire to “stress eat”
  • Digestive problems like heartburn or constipation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Unfocused or foggy thinking
  • Feeling isolated or irritable with others
  • Frequent colds, flus, or infections
  • Trouble recovering from workouts, or aches and pains in general
  • Low sex drive

While the stress response is normal and helpful for short-lived bouts of challenge and excitement, we’re not meant to live in a constant state of activation and threat.

Stress feels best when it’s broken up with periods of recovery.

READ MORE:

The difference between stress and anxiety

Everyone experiences stress.

Most people will also experience anxiety.

(At least to some degree, at some point.)

Anxiety often involves physical symptoms—tension, increased heart rate, sweating.

But the hallmark aspect of anxiety is a persistent feeling of apprehension or dread.

Although this feeling sometimes seems like it arises from nowhere, it’s usually caused—and perpetuated—by negative thoughts and ruminations like, “I’m never going to get through this” or “Everyone is going to judge me.”

(Overly negative or catastrophic thoughts are also called “cognitive distortions.” Read more about how to deal with them here: The thought tool that can lower your stress instantly)

Stress usually starts in response to an event or situation, and ends when that situation has resolved.

But with anxiety, the “threat” tends to persist even beyond the scope or duration of the event.

While stress can trigger helpful adaptations, anxiety tends not to be super productive. In excess, it can feel pretty debilitating.

The good news

Many stress management techniques are also effective at reducing anxiety.

Journaling, exercise, social connection, and relaxation exercises like breathwork or positive visualization can help with both stress and anxiety.

However, if anxiety is especially intense, long-lasting, or interferes with your quality of life, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional like a therapist or a family doctor.

If you’re a coach, remember that you’re not qualified to diagnose or treat clinical anxiety or depression. If your client struggles with either, the best way you can support them is to refer out to a medical professional who specializes in mental health.

(Trying to help clients with their mental health? Read this first: “I’m a coach, not a therapist!” 9 ways to help people change while staying within your scope)

Question #3. Is stress making me gain / lose weight?

Possibly.

But more likely, stress is affecting your behaviors. And eating behaviors definitely affect body composition.

Here’s how it works

When you’re stressed, your physiology changes—at least temporarily.

Your body’s acute stress response and the accompanying spike in adrenaline releases stored glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream so you have energy to deal with whatever challenge you’re facing.

This increase in blood sugar can reduce your appetite, making you push away your sandwich even if you haven’t eaten all day.

The stress response also dampens digestion.

Even when you do eat, food might feel like it’s just sitting in your gut not moving anywhere, or it might blast through you so fast that you’re afraid to stray too far from a washroom. Because digestion is compromised, you also may not adequately absorb your food.

It’s through both loss of appetite and loss of absorption that some people lose weight during periods of stress.

On the other hand, weight gain during periods of stress is just as common.

Especially when stress becomes chronic, the stress hormone cortisol increases. Cortisol can increase appetite, especially for carbohydrate- and calorie-rich foods.3 4

Most people find eating pleasurable and soothing, so turning to food during times of stress is a common (and understandable) coping mechanism. Of course, when this becomes a habit, excess calories over time can lead to weight gain.

If that’s something you struggle with, check out the next answer below.

READ MORE:

Question #4. How can I stop stress eating?

More than 60 percent of our new clients list emotional or stress eating as a major nutrition challenge. What’s more, over 50 percent say they also “get intense cravings” and “snack when not hungry.”

Graph shows results of a poll where participants were asked “What’s your biggest nutritional challenge. The most popular answer was “Emotional/stress eating.”

If you relate, it might be a relief to know you’re not alone. Of course, that’s little consolation when your hands are fumbling for crumbs at the bottom of a freshly opened bag of peanut butter pretzel bites.

But what if you realized this behavior occurs…

  • Every time your mom calls?
  • On Sunday nights, when you’re dreading the start of a new week?
  • Whenever you see, smell, or hear something that reminds you of your ex?

Emotional eating and intense cravings are typically part of a pattern of behavior that’s triggered by a specific experience—a thought, feeling, and/or situation.

If you can identify the trigger, you can disrupt the pattern of behavior and make different choices.

Use the “Break the chain” worksheet to help clients identify their emotional and stress eating triggers. Then, apply the step-by-step strategy at the end of it to create and strengthen alternative coping mechanisms.

READ MORE:

Question #5. How do I get rid of stress?

You’ll never entirely rid your life of stress.

Nor would you want to.

As we’ve mentioned, stress is a normal—even good—part of a full, meaningful life.

However, many of us end up with stress levels that feel overly disruptive or unhelpful.

Sometimes, that’s impossible to avoid. At some point, most people will face very difficult periods of unavoidable stress: illness, injuries, financial hardships, natural disasters, or a pandemic.

But often, you have some control. Maybe even more than you think.

At PN, we use an exercise called The Spheres of Control.

(If you want, fill out your own spheres of control using this free worksheet.)

Image shows three circles nested within each other. The biggest circle includes things over which you have no control, like the weather. The middle circle includes things over which you have some control, like your schedule. The smallest center circle includes things over which you have total control, like your mindset.

With the Spheres of Control exercise, you identify what areas you truly have power over and focus more on them.

This often not only helps people feel less overwhelmed and stressed, but also more effective, capable, and in control.

What about those areas you have zero control over?

By seeing the reality on paper (or a screen), you can give yourself permission to stop wasting precious energy trying to control the uncontrollable. And that in itself can help relieve stress and anxiety.

READ MORE:

Question #6. How do I fit in self-care?

Sometimes, adding more recovery can be just as effective as reducing stress.

When you recover, you regain, restore, or recuperate what you’ve lost. And you return to your baseline state of wellbeing, health, and performance.

Sounds great, except… what if you feel like you don’t have time to ADD anything else, even if it’s good for you?

A paradigm shift that might help

Instead of looking at stress management as an “on” or “off” switch—you’re either doing ALL the things or NOTHING—think of it more like a “dial.”

The image below shows what stress recovery might look like on a continuum, from devoting five minutes a day to something restorative, all the way to basically making it your job to be a Master of Chill.

(If you want to see how this concept applies to other habits—like those related to nutrition or fitness—check out this infographic: Never press “pause” on your health and fitness again)

Image shows a dial illustrating the range of actions you can do to reduce stress, starting from least effort, to most effort. A “1” represents 5 minutes of de-stressing, whereas a “10” represents filling most days with relaxing and restorative activities.

To apply this concept, start by identifying your baseline: Are your stress management practices currently at a 1 or 2? Or maybe even a 0?

If so, no judgment. This is just your starting point.

Think about what “a little better” might look like.

Even by one or two “notches.”

Might you add five minutes of journaling to your evening routine? Or a 10 minute walk to get some sun and fresh air in the morning? Consider what just a little better might look like, and start there.

For the extra frazzled, it might help to know that sometimes the BEST time to start a new habit is when you’re busiest.

If you can learn to fit stress management practices into your life when you’re swamped, it’ll feel like a breeze to keep them in there—or even build on them—when life settles down.

(And if life never settles down, at least you didn’t delay your self-care further waiting for the “perfect time.”)

READ MORE:

Question #7. Is there a diet that will help reduce stress?

All over the internet, you’ll find curative diets for stress and anxiety. They put food into neat little categories, and so long as you ONLY eat “do” foods—and judiciously eliminate “don’t” foods—your stress will go away.

If only feeling better were that simple.

Truth is, good mental health depends on many different nutrients from many different foods, as well as a set of fundamental nutrition principles, like:

  • Getting enough energy (calories) to cover your energy needs
  • Meeting macronutrient (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) and micronutrient (vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients) needs
  • Drinking enough water
  • Eating at regular times, whatever that means for you
  • Consuming mostly minimally-processed foods (like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, animal proteins, and dairy)
  • Eating slowly and mindfully
  • Enjoying your food, and the company you share it with

Consistently neglecting the above can add stress.

Prioritizing them—which doesn’t mean doing them perfectly—is probably the most effective nutrition strategy to reduce stress.

If that list looks overwhelming, just start from wherever you are right now, and simply aim to eat “a little better.”

Image shows a horizontal scale going from red (needs improvement) to green (doing awesome). If you are in the red, you may try aiming for orange or yellow, or just a little bit better, before you get to green.]

Choose one practice to work on from the above list, and in a couple of weeks, evaluate whether you’re ready to build on it.

Master the fundamentals, and you’ll see that they’re pretty effective on their own, no magic diet needed.

READ MORE:

Question #8. Is there a way to calm stress fast?

No matter what’s going on in your life, one of the most effective, accessible ways to cool stress FAST is simply to breathe.

Slow, deep breathing stimulates your vagus nerve (the main nerve of your “rest-and-digest” system), which can help relax your whole body.

In turn, this reduces not only your physiological response to stress but also your emotional response.

When you’re calmer and more relaxed, you make better decisions. You’re able to focus better. You feel more in control. And deliberate breathing techniques can help.

One breathing technique we like is called “Box breathing.” It breaks the breath cycle into four 4-second-long stages (like the four sides of a square).

Here’s how to do it

  1. Take a four-second inhale through your nose. But don’t just “breathe into your belly.” Try to pull the air into your chest and mid-back without letting your ribs flare out. (You’ll feel some tension in your abs.)
  2. Hold your inhale for four seconds.
  3. Exhale for four seconds. Imagine that you’re slowly blowing out a big sigh. Keep your body relaxed, but put a little tension into your abs so that you feel them pulling your ribs down and in, toward your spine.
  4. Hold your exhale for four seconds.

Repeat as many times as you’d like. (And feel better.)

READ MORE:

Stress is uncomfortable, but it also helps us grow.

If you’re stressed about answering your clients stress-related questions, think of it this way:

This is an opportunity to expand and deepen your knowledge and coaching skills.

(See? We’re applying a resilience-building mindset already!)

Being a coach who helps clients manage their stress involves, yes, knowing about stress.

But it also means being a fellow human who can relate to their struggles.

Alongside your clients, you can use your knowledge about stress and recovery to take on challenges, and grow into a better coach—and person—than you were before.

References

Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article.

1. Mariotti, Agnese. 2015. “The Effects of Chronic Stress on Health: New Insights into the Molecular Mechanisms of Brain-Body Communication.” Future Science OA 1 (3): FSO23.

2, Uphill, Mark A., Claire J. L. Rossato, Jon Swain, and Jamie O’Driscoll. 2019. “Challenge and Threat: A Critical Review of the Literature and an Alternative Conceptualization.” Frontiers in Psychology 10 (July): 1255.

3. Chao, Ariana M., Ania M. Jastreboff, Marney A. White, Carlos M. Grilo, and Rajita Sinha. 2017. “Stress, Cortisol, and Other Appetite-Related Hormones: Prospective Prediction of 6-Month Changes in Food Cravings and Weight.” Obesity 25 (4): 713–20.

4. Yau, Y. H. C., and M. N. Potenza. 2013. “Stress and Eating Behaviors.” Minerva Endocrinologica 38 (3): 255–67.

If you’re a health and fitness pro…

Learning how to help clients manage stress and optimize sleep can massively change your clients’ results.

They’ll get “unstuck” and finally move forward—whether they want to eat better, move more, lose weight, or reclaim their health.

Plus, it’ll give you the confidence and credibility as a specialized coach who can solve the biggest problems blocking any clients’ progress.

The brand-new PN Level 1 Sleep, Stress Management, and Recovery Coaching Certification will show you how.

 

The post The top 8 most common stress-related questions, answered. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:43:05 -0800 Sportsman
Spaghetti Squash Bake https://sport-topics.com/spaghetti-squash-bake https://sport-topics.com/spaghetti-squash-bake Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite options when wanting less of the “carbohydrate heaviness” that comes with traditional pasta. Spaghetti squash is also fairly inexpensive per pound, easy to cook, and can be used as a substitute in most all pasta dishes. It is naturally gluten-free and low calorie with ~5x fewer calories per gram compared to angel hair pasta.

If you’re new to preparing spaghetti squash, make sure you have a sharp knife on hand and spend a few minutes checking out tips for how to cut and clean one. I prefer the “cross cut” rather than the “length-wise” cut as shown here. [On a side note, I also save the seeds and roast them separately since they are edible and delicious!]

Recipe Ingredients for Italian style Bake:

  • whole spaghetti squash, about 2 pounds

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • ~1 lb of protein of choice - I used ground lean turkey but you can use any ground meat/poultry, Italian style sausage, or a meat substitute of your liking

  • veggies of choice - I used bell pepper, canned fire roasted diced tomatoes, bella mushrooms, and white onion

  • shredded mozzarella - I bought it already shredded to save time

  • fresh minced garlic, 2-3 cloves

  • salt, pepper, and other fresh or dried herbs such as oregano and basil

Preparation Steps:

  1. Clean, cut, and cook the spaghetti squash. You can microwave, oven bake, or use an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. I use my Instant Pot (reference the guidance provided here). After the squash has cooked, use a large fork to scrape out the “noodle strands” into a colander to drain off the liquid as it cools.

  2. Heat oven to 350F.

  3. Heat drizzle of olive oil and sauté your veggies and protein of choice. Add your seasonings. You can opt to cook the veggies and protein in separate pans or all together in one pan.

  4. Lightly oil (or use an oil spray) the bottom of a large glass casserole dish (9x13). Then do one or more layers of the spaghetti squash, veggies, protein, and cheese. I did 2 layers for fun…kinda like lasagna prep. See the pics below for the progression.

  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese has melted.

  6. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, serve and enjoy!

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Let me know if you try out “the bake”! Tag @nutritionmechanic on Instagram or @mechanicdina on Facebook. I’d love to see your creation!

-Dina

 

Not your mama’s casserole

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:35:26 -0800 Sportsman
Reflection before moving forward https://sport-topics.com/reflection-before-moving-forward https://sport-topics.com/reflection-before-moving-forward Several years ago, I came up with the not-so-snazzy acronym of “RARA”:

  • R: Reflect

  • A: Assess

  • R: Resolve

  • A: Act

It was close to the end of a calendar year and so the bombardment of diet challenges and “new year, new you” slogans were flooding the email inboxes, TV ads, and social media feeds. I can’t imagine it will be any different this year… in fact, probably worse given that over 70% of adults in the USA are on at least one social media platform.

Before hopping on any of the new year buzzapedia that’s about to hit your eyeballs pretty hard, I’d like to vote for spending a few minutes in the RARA world. It’s a different brain exercise that will help you plan and prepare for a successful year ahead. Or at least give you more direction for where you want to go (not where all the other noise seemingly wants you to go).

The RARA deets below are given in the context of health, nutrition, and fitness, yet the general intention of RARA can apply to career paths and other life choices we have.

Reflect:  Ponder this past year in the context of health and fitness (or athletic progress if you are an athlete). Some questions that may help with the reflection process include:

  • What has gotten better, worse, or stayed the same?

  • Have you been injured frequently, experienced a loss of strength or speed, or struggled to maintain energy in your daily living and during training? Are you living each day with a high mojo level?

  • How is your body changing with the aging process? (Do you even know?)

  • Did your races or events turn out the way you hoped?

Take the time to think about the successes, defeats, and stalls without judgement.  There are few of us who will find that everything is perfect with no room for improvement on some level.

 
 

Assess:  With what you have noted from your reflections, now take some time to piece it apart. This may require another set of eyes from a health practitioner, therapist, or coach, but a goal here includes determining the influences or contributors to progress and success, or the lack thereof.

Did you let nutrition or exercise fall by the wayside?  Did you overwork yourself or take on too much? Have you even made yourself a priority? How did you attend to sleep, stress management, and other healthful habits? 

Your personal assessment process can be difficult, but it is a necessary step in order to get a better grasp of what needs to change. I also suggest including an assessment of behaviors you are willing to modify towards positive outcomes in your life. It’s all well and good to know what you are supposed to do, but entirely irrelevant if you do not connect to the values of these behaviors.

Resolve:  Many people tend to skip the aforementioned two steps and jump to the New Years Resolutions. Unfortunately, the success rate for these folx is very low. It makes sense why - you can’t just say you want to do amazing things without taking the time to understand how you got to where you are now.  So, be sure you’ve done adequate self-reflection and self-assessment before starting your resolution list.

What are the (small) things you need to modify to begin tackling the areas of needed improvement? Think about the changeable aspects in your environment, your support network, your “daily system”, your mindset and dig in. Make a list of the process goals that will support your overall outcome goal(s) and scale it small. Our brains want to go for the big kahunas, but you gotta reign it in and pull it back. Stay focused on all the little steps that are going to get you where you ultimately want to be.

A big mistake people make is trying to make huge changes way too fast and being hyper-focused on the outcomes rather than the processes and systems. If you want to be more successful, you gotta start small and work on mastering that li’l repeated behavior(s).

Act:  Now we take steps forward. The world is your oyster, so to speak. You’ve done your homework on “Project You” so give the plan your best effort, one step and one day at a time. Over and over.  In the words of James Clear, “Build the behavior first. Worry about the results later.”

You will have bumps in the road and occasional setbacks. So long as you have the courage and patience to get back on the horse (and learn from those setbacks), you will keep going forward towards the successes you desire and building the life in which you live fully.

Alright, readers, I wish you good RARA time. And if you care to share with me how you’re doing, drop me a note - I’d love to hear about your journey.

-Dina

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:35:25 -0800 Sportsman
Do ketone esters increase EPO? https://sport-topics.com/do-ketone-esters-increase-epo https://sport-topics.com/do-ketone-esters-increase-epo Ketone esters have received a lot of attention amongst elite athletes but also in the media. We covered the potential role of ketones in these previous blogs (effects on glycogen and performance and ketone bodies: fuel or hype?). Athletes have used ketones for the fuel they can provide, but there is increasing evidence that ketones act as signalling molecules as well as fuel. In fact, the role of ketones as a fuel during exercise has been questioned, since the amount of ingested ketone that can be used as fuel during exercise has been measured and is relatively low (1).

The ingestion of ketone esters can increase serum ketone body concentrations and serum EPO

In what ways might ketone bodies act as signals?

Ketone bodies could have wide ranging effects in a variety of tissues. We were interested to understand if ketones might affect aspects of red blood cell production. The idea came from an observation in people with diabetes treated with specific drugs that have a side effect of increasing ketone bodies. This treatment has been shown to increased markers of red blood cell mass (haematocrit and haemoglobin). In addition, athletes on a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet also show increases in these markers of red blood cell mass (2).

This prior evidence provided some hints, but because drugs and ketogenic diets have wide-ranging effects over and above simply increasing ketone body levels, and because these markers of red blood cell mass can also be influenced by other factors (such as plasma volume), the role of ketone bodies in red blood cell production was still unclear. If ketone bodies could alter red blood cell mass, then this could provide a benefit to both athletes and clinical populations, as the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood can be increased, in turn, potentially improve endurance performance.

Why study EPO with ketone esters?

Increasing red blood cell mass can take several weeks, and ketone supplements are not cheap. Therefore, before investing time and resource into a longer-term study, we wanted to understand the proof-of-principle: do ketone esters have the potential to increase red blood cell mass? The main hormone which regulates red blood cell production is erythropoietin (EPO).

The main hormone which regulates red blood cell production is erythropoietin (EPO).

EPO is of course known as a banned drug for this reason, but it can also be stimulated in natural ways such as altitude training. Being at altitude can stimulate the body to produce EPO. Therefore, if ketone esters can increase EPO in the short term, this suggests they have potential to alter red blood cell mass in the longer term. Longer-term studies with measures of red blood cell mass would still be needed to understand if ketone esters do increase the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, but if ketone esters do not increase EPO in the short-term, then longer-term studies on red blood cell mass make less sense to invest in.

So do ketone esters increase EPO?

One prior study had provided people with an infusion of ketone bodies directly into a vein, and found increased EPO levels in the blood, and increase bone marrow activity (indicating increased red blood cell production) (3). However, the levels of ketone bodies in the blood were very high, and these people were studied in the fasting state and at rest. These factors mean that this might not translate to athletes, as exercise itself can stimulate EPO production, and ketone esters do not achieve the blood levels of ketones seen with infusion into a vein. Therefore, these factors might mean that ketone esters do not increase EPO in athletes. To answer this question, we asked 9 healthy males to complete a 1-hour bout of cycling intervals to mimic a training session with the aim of increasing the natural production of EPO with exercise (4). After exercise, these people drank recovery drinks containing carbohydrate and protein, with and without ketone esters (290 mg ketone monoester per kg body weight per hour for 3 hours).

This proof of principle study showed that ketone esters (in high doses) can increase EPO. Whether this will also have effects on RBC mass and performance remains to be determined.

Summary

We found that peak EPO levels after exercise were ~20% higher with ketone esters compared to the carbohydrate and protein alone. This increase is roughly similar to what has been observed with exposure to ~2000 m altitude. Of course, this is a high dose of about 20 grams for a 70kg person and this would have to be repeated daily for long periods of time, so it will also be expensive. This study showed that ketone esters can increase EPO. Whether ketone esters actually increase EPO enough, and also long enough, to cause changes in RBC over time, remains to be determined.

This study showed that ketone esters can increase EPO. Whether ketone esters actually increase EPO enough, and also long enough, to cause changes in RBC over time, remains to be determined.

What next?

There are many remaining questions to be answered. For example, what is the minimum (or optimal) dose of ketone esters for EPO production? What is the mechanism by which ketone esters increase EPO? Does supplementing with ketone esters increase red blood cell mass and longer-term performance? All these questions will require more research, but this initial study at least provides the proof-of-concept on which to build on, and the future of research on ketone esters for human health and performance looks interesting.

Related blogs

References

  1. Dearlove DJ, Harrison OK, Hodson L, Jefferson A, Clarke K, and Cox PJ. The Effect of Blood Ketone Concentration and Exercise Intensity on Exogenous Ketone Oxidation Rates in Athletes. Medicine and science in sports and exercise 53: 505-516, 2021.
  2. McKay AK, Peeling P, Pyne DB, Welvaert M, Tee N, Leckey JJ, Sharma AP, Ross ML, Garvican-Lewis L, and Swinkels DW. Chronic adherence to a ketogenic diet modifies iron metabolism in elite athletes. Medicine and science in sports and exercise 51: 548-555, 2019.
  3. Lauritsen KM, Sondergaard E, Svart M, Moller N, and Gormsen LC. Ketone Body Infusion Increases Circulating Erythropoietin and Bone Marrow Glucose Uptake. Diabetes Care 41: e152-e154, 2018.
  4. Evans E, Walhin J-P, Hengist A, Betts JA, Dearlove DJ, and Gonzalez JT. Ketone monoester ingestion increases post-exercise serum erythropoietin concentrations in healthy men. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism 2022. DOI: 10.1152/ajpendo.00264.2022
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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:32:48 -0800 Sportsman
An ice bath for muscle growth? https://sport-topics.com/an-ice-bath-for-muscle-growth https://sport-topics.com/an-ice-bath-for-muscle-growth You have probably seen footage of well-built athletes such as Usain Bolt, Anthony Joshua, or Cristiano Ronaldo that have immersed (parts of) their body into ice cold water. There has

been this interesting interview with Football Manager Carlo Ancelotti about Cristiano

Ronaldo during his time at Real Madrid F.C. “…Cristiano Ronaldo, a self-motivating near-

cyborg who took 3am ice baths in the Real Madrid’s training complex. “Even though he had

Irina Shayk waiting for him at home!” Ancelotti yelps, referring to the Portuguese’s former

lover...” (1).

Given that these top athletes use cold-water immersion (even during the night), it has been

one of the most popular and frequently applied recovery strategies. However, if your aim is

to increase gains in muscle mass, how good is it then to immerse yourself in such an ice

bath? Will it help or actually hinder the capacity for muscle growth? Before answering that question let’s first look (briefly) at the impact of cooling on our body.

Impact of cooling the body

It is well-documented that cooling the body after exercise reduces both muscle temperature

and blood flow. Given these physiological changes, it has been claimed that this will improve the post-exercise recovery process. Indeed, there is evidence that cooling after exercise can decrease sensations of muscle soreness, likely because cold-induced decrements in tissue temperature lower acetylcholine production and nerve conduction velocity, which exerts an analgesic (pain reducing) effect. Furthermore, post-exercise cooling has been shown to lower muscle swelling and improve exercise performance in a subsequent exercise session (note: in some, but not all, studies). So, yes there could be reasons for athletes to cool the body after exercise. However, there is also data to suggest that cooling may not be beneficial for post-exercise recovery and/or that the possible benefits are (for a large extent) due to a placebo effect (i.e., it feels good “and works” for someone merely because that person has a belief that it works) (see discussion section of (2) for more information and references).

"Cooling may not be beneficial for post-exercise recovery and ... the possible benefits are (for a large extent) due to a placebo effect"

Although cooling may have benefits for some aspects of recovery, recent evidence has

shown that post-exercise cooling could in fact be detrimental when the aim is to build our

muscle mass. Previous work has shown that both anabolic signaling and ribosomal

biogenesis is impaired following post-exercise cold-water immersion (3, 4). Both these

processes are key for stimulating muscle protein synthesis (which is important for repairing

muscle damage and the muscle growth response). Therefore, our question was: “how good

is cold-water immersion actually when looking at the muscle protein synthesis response

during recovery from exercise?”

In order to answer this question, we decided to conduct an acute as well as longer-term

experiment (5).

Acute (single day) muscle protein synthesis experiment

We recruited 12 healthy young male adults that were familiar with resistance-type exercise.

We asked them to come to our laboratory and let them perform a resistance-type exercise

session followed by one leg that was immersed (for 20 minutes) into cold water (8°C) and

the other leg into thermoneutral water (30°C). Immediately after water immersion we also

gave 20 grams of an intrinsically labeled (milk) protein shake. This “intrinsically labeled”

means that we had some amino acids within that protein shake “specifically labeled” so we

could see exactly where those amino acids would end up in the body and, particularly, in the muscles. Together with an infusion with tracers and taking blood and muscle samples for 5 hours after post-exercise water immersion, we could then exactly see what happened to the amino acids from the protein shake into our muscles and what happened to muscle protein synthesis.

What did we find?

When looking at what happened to the amino acids from the protein shake, we observed

that substantially less of these amino acids were being incorporated into the leg muscle that

was cooled (8°C) compared to the leg that recovered at the normal (30°C) temperature.

Cold water immersion with one leg in water of 8 degrees C and one leg in water of 30 degrees C

In addition, we also observed a clear impairment in post-exercise muscle protein synthesis in the cooled leg, compared to the thermoneutral leg (30°C) over the first 5 hours of post-exercise recovery. Therefore, this clearly shows a negative effect of post-exercise cold-water immersion on muscle protein synthesis during recovery from exercise.

As most people are obviously mostly interested in seeing whether their long-term gains

would be impacted (or not) by cooling as a recovery strategy, we also wanted to know

whether these acute findings would translate into longer-term findings.

Longer-term (2-week) muscle protein synthesis experiment

We also applied a 2-week experiment, where we asked the same individuals to come to our

lab during a 2-week period to perform 7 exercise sessions (on non-consecutive days) after

which we again performed the same cold water immersion procedure (20 min of one leg in

cold (8°C) and one leg in thermoneutral (30°C) water). Subsequently, we also provided a 20

g protein shake after every session. By providing our participants every day with an oral

tracer, we could determine muscle protein synthesis over the 2-week period.

Effects of cold water immersion (ice bath) on muscle protein synthesis after one sessions and after repeated session

What did we find?

We observed similar findings as in our acute experiment, as we again found that muscle

protein synthesis was substantially lower (by 12%) over the full 2-week period in the leg that

was cooled after every exercise session compared to the thermoneutral leg. So, we showed

indeed that the acute (negative) effects of post-exercise cold-water immersion translate

into the longer-term.

Cold-water immersion and gains in muscle mass and strength

So far, we have been talking about muscle protein synthesis, which is (as I mentioned) an

important process for repairing muscle damage and the muscle growth response. However,

albeit being an important component, increases in muscle protein synthesis do not

necessarily reflect gains in muscle mass over a long-term period. Therefore, it is also

important to look at studies that actually measured gains in muscle mass (and strength)

over even more prolonged periods. In line with our muscle protein synthesis findings,

previous well conducted experiments have indeed shown that post-exercise cold water

immersion also attenuates skeletal muscle fiber hypertrophy (6), as well as gains in muscle

mass and strength (4).

Effects of cold water immersion (ice bath) on muscle protein synthesis after one sessions and after repeated session

Conclusion

Despite many athletes still performing cold-water immersion, based on well conducted

experiments, we can now conclude that if the goal is to increase gains in muscle mass and

strength you should avoid cold-water immersion as a strategy for post-exercise recovery.

Access our 'Ice bath or hot bath for athletes? webinar recording through this link.

Join the webinar on cold and hot water immersion for recovery

Reference

  1. https://www.ft.com/content/720cae92-1c32-11e6-a7bc-ee846770ec15?siteedition=intl
  2. Thesis Cas Fuchs “Strategies for Post-Exercise Recovery”: https://cris.maastrichtuniversity.nl/en/publications/strategies-for-post-exercise-recovery
  3. Figueiredo VC, Roberts LA, Markworth JF, Barnett MP, Coombes JS, Raastad T, et al. Impact of resistance exercise on ribosome biogenesis is acutely regulated by post- exercise recovery strategies. Physiol Rep. 2016;4(2)
  4. Roberts LA, Raastad T, Markworth JF, Figueiredo VC, Egner IM, Shield A, et al. Post-exercise cold water immersion attenuates acute anabolic signalling and long-term adaptations in muscle to strength training. J Physiol. 2015;593(18):4285-301
  5. Fuchs CJ, Kouw IWK, Churchward-Venne TA, Smeets JSJ, Senden JM, Lichtenbelt W, et al. Postexercise cooling impairs muscle protein synthesis rates in recreational athletes. J Physiol. 2020;598(4):755-72
  6. Fyfe JJ, Broatch JR, Trewin AJ, Hanson ED, Argus CK, Garnham AP, et al. Cold water immersion attenuates anabolic signaling and skeletal muscle fiber hypertrophy, but not strength gain, following whole-body resistance training. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2019;127(5):1403-18
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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:32:48 -0800 Sportsman
A hot tub for bigger muscles? https://sport-topics.com/a-hot-tub-for-bigger-muscles https://sport-topics.com/a-hot-tub-for-bigger-muscles Should we heat our muscles after exercise to stimulate muscle growth? In a recent blog (see blog post) we discussed some of the research demonstrating that a cold bath after exercise may lowers muscle protein synthesis as well as gains in muscle mass and strength. So, if the main goal is to promote muscle growth, we suggested that it is not smart to use cold-water immersion as a recovery strategy following resistance exercise.

Hot water immersion after exercise does not help recovery despite increase in blood flow

The reasons by which cold-water immersion likely impairs muscle growth, is due to its effects on reducing skeletal muscle temperature and blood flow. A reduction in muscle temperature will lower (anabolic) enzyme activity and a reduction in blood flow. This reduction in blood flow will lower the provision of amino acids towards the muscle (which is an important process for stimulating muscle growth). One could speculate that hot water immersion could elevate muscle temperature and blood flow and have the opposite effects.

So, we were interested in finding out whether increasing muscle temperature and blood flow could actually improve muscle growth.

Applying hot-water immersion following exercise will increase muscle temperature and blood flow.Therefore, could this be an effective strategy to increase muscle protein synthesis and long-term gains in muscle mass and strength?

In order to answer this question, we decided to conduct an experiment to assess the effect of hot-water immersion following resistance exercise on muscle protein synthesis (1).

Muscle protein synthesis experiment

We recruited 12 healthy young male adults that were familiar with resistance-type exercise. We asked them to come to our laboratory and let them perform a resistance-type exercise session followed by one leg that was immersed (for 20 minutes) into hot water (46°C) and the other leg into thermoneutral water (30°C). Immediately after water immersion we also gave 20 grams of an intrinsically labeled (milk) protein shake. This “intrinsically labeled” means that we had some amino acids within that protein shake “specifically labeled” so we could see exactly where those amino acids would end up in the body and, particularly, in the muscles. Together with an infusion with tracers and taking blood and muscle samples for 5 hours after post-exercise water immersion, we could then exactly see what happened to the amino acids from the protein shake into our muscles and what happened to muscle protein synthesis.

NO difference in protein synthesis with hot water

When looking at what happened to the amino acids from the protein shake, we observed that there was no difference in their incorporation into either the leg muscle that was heated (46°C) or the leg that recovered at the normal (30°C) temperature. In addition, we also did not observe any difference in muscle protein synthesis over 5 hours following exercise between the heated or thermoneutral leg. Therefore, our acute experiment did not show any benefit of hot-water immersion for increasing muscle protein synthesis following exercise.

Would this also mean that there is no benefit of hot-water immersion in increasing muscle mass and strength gains following more prolonged resistance exercise training over several weeks or longer?

No effect of hot water immersion after exercise on protein synthesis
Long term effects of hot baths after exercise

There is only limited data available looking into the effects of hot-water immersion as a heating strategy following resistance exercise training. However, the available evidence so far does not show that hot-water immersion helps making more gains in the gym. Recently, a paper came out looking into the effects of 4 weeks of hot-water immersion (15 min at 39°C) following resistance exercise (2x per week) in highly trained rugby athletes during an in-season competition phase. The authors did not report any benefit of hot-water immersion on lean body mass after 4 weeks (2). Of course, this study was only 4 weeks and also in-season, so it was not necessarily expected that there would have been (substantial) gains in lean body mass. However, it does not support the suggestion that hot-water immersion is a potent strategy to further increase gains in muscle mass over weeks of resistance training.

No benefits of 4 week hot bath use for muscle mass and strength

There is also some unpublished work, available online (3). In this study the authors looked into the effects of 10 weeks of resistance exercise training and whether hot-water immersion (10 min at 45°C) following each resistance exercise session (2x per week) would lead to more gains in muscle mass and strength. In line with the acute muscle protein synthesis and the 4-week training study, they also did not observe any benefits of repeated post-exercise hot-water immersion on increasing gains in muscle mass and strength over a 10-week training period.

so far there is no reason to assume that going into a hot tub following resistance exercise will not result in greater gains in muscle mass and strength.
Conclusion

Despite limited evidence, there is so far no reason to assume that going into a hot tub following resistance exercise will not result in greater gains in muscle mass and strength. The good news is that if you really enjoy a hot tub after exercise, it will also not hinder your gains in muscle mass and strength. So, you can still apply it without worrying (which is not necessarily the case with cold-water immersion).

References
  1. Fuchs, C.J., et al., Hot-water immersion does not increase postprandial muscle protein synthesis rates during recovery from resistance-type exercise in healthy, young males. J Appl Physiol (1985), 2020. 128(4): p. 1012-1022.
  2. Horgan, B.G., et al., No effect of repeated post-resistance exercise cold or hot water immersion on in-season body composition and performance responses in academy rugby players: a randomised controlled cross-over design. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2022.
  3. McGorm, H., The effects of hot water immersion on recovery, performance and adaptation to resistance exercise. PhD Thesis, 2019
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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:32:48 -0800 Sportsman
Healthy Filling Snacks https://sport-topics.com/healthy-filling-snacks https://sport-topics.com/healthy-filling-snacks Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:29:11 -0800 Sportsman Healthy Savory Snacks https://sport-topics.com/healthy-savory-snacks https://sport-topics.com/healthy-savory-snacks Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:29:10 -0800 Sportsman Healthy Snack Ideas https://sport-topics.com/healthy-snack-ideas https://sport-topics.com/healthy-snack-ideas Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:29:09 -0800 Sportsman Does Tongkat Ali Boost Sex Drive, Testosterone, and Athletic Performance? https://sport-topics.com/does-tongkat-ali-boost-sex-drive-testosterone-and-athletic-performance https://sport-topics.com/does-tongkat-ali-boost-sex-drive-testosterone-and-athletic-performance Tongkat ali is a plant from Southeast Asia that’s traditionally used in herbal medicine. 

Recently, it’s become popular in the health and fitness space because some people believe it also boosts testosterone, libido, and athletic performance.

Is this true, or are supplement sellers guilty of overhyping its benefits?

Here’s what science says.

 

What Is Tongkat Ali?

Tongkat ali, also referred to as longjack, Malaysian Ginseng, and Eurycoma longifolia Jack, is a herbal folk medicine native to Southeast Asia.

Over the centuries, people have used tongkat ali to treat a range of maladies, including low-back pain, indigestion, fever, jaundice, malaria, dysentery, and high blood pressure, but its most common use is as an aphrodisiac.

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What are Tongkat Ali Supplements?

Tongkat ali supplements are pills containing tongkat ali powder that people take as dietary supplements.

Typically, men take tongkat ali supplements to treat conditions that affect their sexual health, such as erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, and male infertility.

Recently, tongkat ali supplements have become increasingly popular among weightlifters because many believe they boost testosterone and athletic performance.

Tongkat Ali: Benefits

Here are the most commonly claimed benefits of tongkat ali and what science says about each.

Tongkat ali and Testosterone

Studies on rodent cells and “sexually sluggishrats (rats with little interest in sex) show that tongkat ali may increase testosterone, though research on castrated rats failed to replicate these findings. 

One study showed that healthy rats given tongkat ali for 12 weeks gained more muscle than rats that didn’t receive a supplement over the same period, hinting that tongkat ali may crank up testosterone production. Unfortunately, the researchers didn’t measure testosterone levels in this study.

Human studies show that supplementing with tongkat ali may boost testosterone production in men with low testosterone.

For example, in one study conducted by scientists at the University of Santa Catarina State, men with low testosterone who supplemented with tongkat ali for 6 months increased their testosterone levels by 43%. In the same study, men who only lifted weights 3 days per week increased their testosterone by ~30%, and those who lifted weights and took tongkat ali saw an almost 50% rise in “T.”

While these increases seem large, these men started with low testosterone. Thus, even though the gains were significant, they were just enough to take the men out of the “low” range and into the “natural” range. If you already have healthy levels of testosterone, it’s unlikely that you’d experience similar increases from tongkat ali supplements.

For instance, the only study to show that tongkat ali boosts testosterone in young, healthy men showed that taking 600 mg per day (a large dose) increased testosterone by 15% after 2 weeks. 

Although this result is promising, the increase is likely too small to significantly affect body composition. What’s more, the researchers didn’t follow up with the participants, so we don’t know how short-lived these increases were.

Several studies also cite research conducted by MI Tambi to bolster their argument that tongkat ali increases testosterone. Tambi’s studies showing the positive effect of tongkat ali on testosterone aren’t available online, though, making it impossible to assess their credibility. 

The only other evidence that tongkat ali affects testosterone levels comes from studies funded by supplement companies that make a tongkat ali supplement. Some of these studies suggest that tongkat ali increases testosterone, and others don’t, making it difficult to draw a conclusion either way.

At bottom, the research on tongkat ali’s effect on testosterone is hit or miss. Most research suggests that men (and animals) with low testosterone may benefit from taking tongkat ali. For everyone else, there’s little evidence that it’s effective. 

Tongkat ali and Male Sexual Health

Multiple studies show that tongkat ali has aphrodisiac effects in rats that are sexually sluggish, naive, and experienced; asexual; or otherwise healthy.

Research in humans is promising, too. In one study conducted by scientists at Universiti Sains Malaysia, men who supplemented with 300 mg of tongkat ali extract daily for 6-to-12 weeks increased subjective measures of libido by -8-to-11%.

Animal and human studies also show that tongkat ali positively affects erectile dysfunction and increases fertility by improving sperm motility and concentration.

Thus, there’s reasonable evidence that tongkat ali improves male sexual health, especially for those suffering from low libido, erectile dysfunction, and poor fertility.

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Tongkat ali and Athletic Performance

There’s no evidence that tongkat ali enhances endurance performance, though some small-scale studies and published abstracts show it has a positive effect on strength.

For example, in one study published in the International Journal of Engineering Research and Sports Science, men who took 100 mg of tongkat ali daily and performed circuit training 3 times weekly for 8 weeks increased their strength significantly more than those who took a placebo and followed the same training program.

The group taking tongkat ali also increased their overall muscle mass by 4%, while the placebo group gained no muscle.

Other studies that show dramatic improvements in strength after taking tongkat ali are funded by supplement companies whose primary product is a tongkat ali supplement. Interestingly, these studies also show that tongkat ali doesn’t change your body’s ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone.

This is significant because supplements (*cough* steroids *cough*) that significantly boost strength  ordinarily alter this ratio, making them easily detectable by drug tests. 

This prevents athletes who compete in drug-tested competitions from taking these supplements—if they did, they’d be “popped” for doping.

In other words, the authors of these papers claim that tongkat ali greatly boosts strength in a way that makes it undetectable to the drug tests used by organizations such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)—which is convenient. 

While we can’t say for certain that these results are colored by financial interest or the result of scientific malpractice, it’s sensible to wait until a disinterested third party replicates them before taking them as read (which hasn’t happened yet).

Tongkat ali and Stress

Some people believe supplementing with tongkat ali reduces stress hormone levels and improves mood. However, there’s little strong evidence this is true.

One study published in the Japanese Journal of Pharmacology found that tongkat ali treated symptoms of anxiety as well as anti-anxiety medication in mice. 

In another study funded by a tongkat ali supplement manufacturer, 63 adults suffering from stress reduced cortisol levels by 16% after taking 200 mg of tongkat ali daily for a month.

Furthermore, an observational study published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging found no difference in depressive symptoms between people who took tongkat ali as part of their supplement regimen and those who didn’t.

Given the lack of good research on the effect of taking tongkat ali on stress, it’s impossible to say whether tongkat ali can help treat stress.

Tongkat Ali: Side Effects

Despite its long-term use in Southeast Asia, we know little about tongkat ali’s safety profile.

That said, most studies report few side effects.

As with most herbal supplements, tongkat ali supplements may contain natural toxins or microbial contaminants or be contaminated with toxins and heavy metals. 

For example, in two studies conducted by scientists at University Science Malaysia, researchers found that out of 100 tongkat ali products, 17% contained dangerously high levels of lead, and 26% contained dangerously high levels of mercury.

Taking products that contain high levels of heavy metals can cause side effects such as loss of appetite, headaches, hypertension, abdominal pain, kidney dysfunction, fatigue, sleeplessness, arthritis, hallucinations, and vertigo.

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Tongkat Ali: Dosage

Most studies use doses of 200-to-400 mg per day.

Some short-term research suggests taking up to 1.2 grams per day is safe, though we don’t know if it confers any benefit or if it’s safe to take this amount over a longer period.

Research suggests that it’s only safe to take tongkat ali orally, as any other means could enhance toxicity by ~100-fold. In the same writeup, the researchers suggest doses of 195 mg per pound of body weight per day and over are toxic and may increase the weight of your liver, kidneys, spleen, and testes. 

FAQ #1: What’s the best tongkat ali supplement?

There’s little scientific evidence that tongkat ali boosts testosterone in healthy men, improves athletic performance, or reduces stress. As such, I can’t recommend any tongkat ali supplements, let alone say which is best.

If you want science-backed supplements that have similar effects to tongkat ali, here’s what I recommend:

  • Nigella sativa, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), and ashwagandha root extract: Together, nigella sativa, CoQ10, and ashwagandha root extract can increase testosterone levels, protect sperm structure and function, and help restore lost fertility in men. If you want a multivitamin that contains clinically effective doses of all three, and 28 other ingredients designed to enhance your health and mood and reduce stress, fatigue, and anxiety, try Triumph.
  • Creatine: This will boost muscle and strength gain, improve anaerobic endurance, and reduce muscle damage and soreness from your workouts. If you want a 100% natural source of creatine that also includes two other ingredients that boost muscle growth and improve recovery, try Recharge.
  • Rhodiola rosea and bilberry extract: Studies show that rhodiola rosea improves mood and reduces symptoms of stress and depression, and bilberry extract enhances mental well-being. If you want a supplement that contains clinically effective doses of both, and two other ingredients that balance hormone and energy levels and reduce stress and fatigue, try Vitality.

(Or if you aren’t sure if these supplements are right for your budget, circumstances, and goals, take the Legion Supplement Finder Quiz! In less than a minute, it’ll tell you exactly what supplements are right for you. Click here to check it out.)

FAQ #2: Are the “tongkat ali before and after pictures” you find online real?

Because many supplement sellers claim tongkat ali boosts testosterone, they often market their products with “tongkat ali before and after pictures“ showing men who have gained muscle and lost weight.

You probably shouldn’t believe these pictures, though.

Supplement companies produce these images to sell their products, which means there’s a good chance they’ve been doctored to appear more impressive than they are.

Or, they simply show men who improved their body composition with other proven methods like high-protein dieting and strength training and are attributing the benefits to tongkat ali.

If you’d like to follow an exercise and diet program that will help you gain muscle and lose fat like clockwork, check out my fitness books for men and women, Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger.

(Or if you aren’t sure if Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger is right for you or if another strength training program might be a better fit for your circumstances and goals, take Legion Strength Training Quiz, and in less than a minute, you’ll know the perfect strength training program for you. Click here to check it out.)

FAQ #3: Should I believe online tongkat ali reviews?

Probably not.

There’s little evidence that tongkat ali supplements boost testosterone and athletic performance or lower stress. Anyone who writes a review stating otherwise is probably experiencing the placebo effect or has been paid by a supplement company to promote their product.

The post Does Tongkat Ali Boost Sex Drive, Testosterone, and Athletic Performance? appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:26:26 -0800 Sportsman
Research Roundup #27: Optimal Triceps Training, Fitness for Desk Jockeys, and Weight Cutting https://sport-topics.com/research-roundup-27-optimal-triceps-training-fitness-for-desk-jockeys-and-weight-cutting https://sport-topics.com/research-roundup-27-optimal-triceps-training-fitness-for-desk-jockeys-and-weight-cutting It’s estimated that there are over 2+ million scientific papers published each year, and this firehose only seems to intensify.

Even if you narrow your focus to fitness research, it would take several lifetimes to unravel the hairball of studies on nutrition, training, supplementation, and related fields.

This is why my team and I spend thousands of hours each year dissecting and describing scientific studies in articles, podcasts, and books and using the results to formulate our 100% all-natural sports supplements and inform our coaching services. 

And while the principles of proper eating and exercising are simple and somewhat immutable, reviewing new research can reinforce or reshape how we eat, train, and live for the better. 

Thus, each week, I’m going to share three scientific studies on diet, exercise, supplementation, mindset, and lifestyle that will help you gain muscle and strength, lose fat, perform and feel better, live longer, and get and stay healthier. 

This week, you’ll learn one of the best triceps exercise, how you can improve your health by working out at your desk, and how cutting weight affects combat athletes’ performance.

 

The overhead triceps extension is an excellent triceps exercise.

Source: “Triceps brachii hypertrophy is substantially greater after elbow extension training performed in the overhead versus neutral arm position” published on August 11, 2022 in European Journal of Sport Science.

Bodybuilders have often said that you “feeling the stretch” during exercises produces better results. Put more scientifically, if your muscle is elongated while being trained, it grows more. 

There wasn’t much hard evidence for this theory until recently, when new evidence suggested that bodybuilders might be onto something. 

A good example of this is a study conducted by researchers at Ritsumeikan University, in which the researchers had 21 newbie weightlifters do 2 weekly triceps workouts for 12 weeks. 

In each workout, the participants trained one arm with the overhead triceps extension, and the other with the triceps pushdown. They did 5 sets of 10 reps for each exercise.

The researchers chose these exercises because the overhead triceps extension fully stretches the long head of the triceps, whereas the triceps pushdown doesn’t. Accordingly, they thought the overhead triceps extension would cause more growth in the triceps long head, but that the lateral and medial heads of the triceps would be equally well trained by both exercises.

And they were right. 

The results showed that the overhead triceps extension led to significantly more growth in the triceps long head (+28.5% vs. +19.6%), which makes sense since it trains the long head at a longer muscle length. Surprisingly, though, it also caused more growth in the lateral and medial heads than the pushdown (+14.6% vs. +10.5%).

It’s not exactly clear why the overhead triceps extension caused more growth in the lateral and medial heads of the triceps, especially since both exercises trained those heads of the weightlifters’ triceps through similar ranges of motion at comparable muscle lengths.

One hypothesis offered by the researchers was that your triceps receive less oxygen when your arms are extended over your head. This creates hypoxic stress in your muscle cells, which some research suggests can increase muscle growth. 

Regardless of the reason, this study offers a very actionable takeaway: The overhead triceps extension is a fantastic exercise for training all heads of your triceps. If you don’t have it in your program already, it’s high time you added it.

If you want a program that contains all of the best exercises for training your entire body, including the overhead triceps extension, check out my programs for men and women, Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger.

(Or if you aren’t sure if Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger is right for you or if another strength training program might be a better fit for your circumstances and goals, take Legion Strength Training Quiz, and in less than a minute, you’ll know the perfect strength training program for you. Click here to check it out.)

TL;DR: The overhead triceps extension effectively trains all three heads of the triceps.

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Stuck at your desk most of the day? Do mini workouts to stay healthy.

Source: “Walking or body weight squat “activity snacks” increase dietary amino acid utilization for myofibrillar protein synthesis during prolonged sitting” published on September 1, 2022 in Journal of Applied Physiology (1985).

“Sitting is as bad for you as smoking.”

In recent years, claims like this have become commonplace in the health and fitness space, primarily as a way to scare idle office workers into exercising. And while it’s more wrong than right, there’s plenty of evidence that people who spend hours per day sitting (most people who work a desk job) have generally worse health than more active individuals.

One way sitting can negatively impact your health is by increasing your risk of developing anabolic resistance, which is a condition where muscle protein synthesis (MPS) rates remain muted, even after you eat protein or exercise.

In other words, if you develop anabolic resistance, behaviors that would usually signal to your body to build muscle have little effect. Over time, this may cause muscle loss, which can negatively impact your health in myriad ways.

One potential way to combat this effect is to do mini workouts throughout the day at your desk (so-called “activity snacks”).

Some preliminary evidence suggests this strategy might mitigate the negative effects of prolonged sitting, which is why researchers at the University of Toronto conducted this “proof-of-principle” study. 

(A proof-of-principle study is a small-scale study that scientists use to show that an intervention is worthy of future research based on the potential it has shown in early-stage trials.)

They had 12 healthy people who commonly sat for more than 7 hours per day do 3 trials, each lasting 7.5 hours:

  1. Uninterrupted sitting
  2. Sitting with 15 “bodyweight squats” (getting out of a chair and sitting down again) every 30 minutes
  3. Sitting with 2 minutes of regular-pace walking every 30 minutes

During each trial, the researchers gave the participants a liquid breakfast and lunch that collectively  provided 50% of their daily calories (55% from carbs, 30% from fat, and 15% from protein). Each trial started with the participants eating breakfast, immediately after which they performed the first activity snack. They then only got up to do subsequent activity snacks or go to the bathroom.

Blood tests and muscle biopsies showed that squatting and walking had a moderate-to-large positive effect on MPS rates compared to sitting, though the difference wasn’t statistically significant.

Given the size and scale of this study—it only had 12 young, healthy participants, and each trial only lasted 7.5 hours—it’s not surprising that the results didn’t reach statistical significance. They would have probably been more pronounced if obese individuals had done each trial for a week, for instance.

Nevertheless, what this study hints at is important: doing little bouts of simple exercise throughout the day likely has a beneficial effect on MPS and may help stave off anabolic resistance over the long term.

Without getting too far into the weeds, the results also showed that squatting and walking alter MPS rates in complementary ways, which indicates doing a mix of strength- and endurance-type exercise is probably better than doing either in isolation.

Thus, if you don’t already, try not to sit for too long during the day. This may seem like a tall order if your job involves sitting at a desk for hours at a time. Fortunately, the exercise you do needn’t be strenuous—a few minutes of walking; 15-to-20 squats, lunges, or push-ups; or a mix of both every half hour should suffice. 

And in most cases you can do these exercises at your desk. No excuses.

TL;DR: Breaking up long periods of sitting with short bouts of light exercise (air squats, push-ups, walking, etc.) may reduce your risk of anabolic resistance, improving your health over the long term.

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“Weight cutting” doesn’t offer much of a competitive advantage to martial artists.

Source: “Effects of Weight Cutting on Exercise Performance in Combat Athletes: A Meta-Analysis” published on May 6, 2022 in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance.

“Weight cutting” is commonplace in combat sports.

It involves an athlete drastically reducing their body weight (usually by severely dehydrating themselves) in the days before competing so that they qualify to compete in a lower weight division than they could if they maintained their regular body weight.

For example, the UFC fighter Alex Peirera supposedly cut almost 50 pounds for to his fight against Israel Adesanya (going from 233 to 185 pounds).

Once an athlete has “weighed in” (had their weight checked by officials), they typically take on large amounts of fluid and food to regain their lost weight. This allows them to legally gain a competitive advantage by competing at a higher weight than permitted by their weight category.

However, weight cutting and subsequent weight regaining can detrimentally impact an athlete’s health, especially when taken to extremes. For example, weight cutting can lower blood volume levels, increase heart rate, impair body temperature regulation, deplete glycogen, unsettle hormones, hinder muscle endurance, and more, and regaining weight can impair hemoglobin mass, blood volume, and blood glucose levels. 

That said, studies don’t always agree on the performance implications of weight cutting and regaining for combat sports, with some suggesting that these markers of poor health don’t necessarily translate into impaired performance (at least not in the short term).

As such, scientists at Charles Sturt University conducted a meta-analysis of 17 studies investigating weight cutting and performance to see if they could spot trends in the data that smaller studies missed.

Their results showed that athletes are likely slightly weaker and less able to repeatedly perform bursts of intense movement (throw multiple punch combinations or shoot for several successive takedowns, for example) after they cut weight. There’s not enough data to say how much regaining the weight after a cut mitigates these effects, but the current evidence suggests it probably doesn’t fix them entirely.

That said, these findings are still tentative. Most of the studies that initially met the criteria in this meta-analysis were thrown out for being too poor quality or biased. Those that remained had very different designs, reported the data in dissimilar ways, and involved diverse sets of athletes.

These caveats aside, the fact remains that cutting weight doesn’t seem to offer much benefit. As well as hindering health, it has no positive effect on performance. The only upside is that if you cut weight “better” than your opponent, you may have a size advantage come fight night.

That’s not nothing—all else being equal, a bigger fighter will beat a smaller one more often than not—but if it comes at the price of your health, strength, and endurance, it may be time to rethink your weight class or dieting strategy. 

TL;DR: Weight cutting in combat sports hinders health and has no positive effect on athletic performance, though it may still give you an advantage if you weigh more than your opponent during the fight.

The post Research Roundup #27: Optimal Triceps Training, Fitness for Desk Jockeys, and Weight Cutting appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:26:26 -0800 Sportsman
Ep. #1000: Says You! Reverse Pyramid Training Is the Best Periodization Scheme https://sport-topics.com/ep-1000-says-you-reverse-pyramid-training-is-the-best-periodization-scheme https://sport-topics.com/ep-1000-says-you-reverse-pyramid-training-is-the-best-periodization-scheme

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on YouTube

Is reverse pyramid training (RPT) the best way to periodize training for most people? What are the pros and cons compared to the double progression and linear progression schemes I recommend in my books? In what circumstances would I recommend reverse pyramid training instead? Find out in this podcast.

I’ve written and recorded a lot of evidence-based content over the years on just about everything you can imagine related to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy.

I’ve also worked with thousands of men and women of all ages and circumstances and helped them get into the best shape of their lives.

That doesn’t mean you should blindly swallow everything I say, though, because let’s face it—nobody is always right about everything. And especially in fields like diet and exercise, which are constantly evolving thanks to the efforts of honest and hardworking researchers and thought leaders.

This is why I’m always happy to hear from people who disagree with me, especially when they have good arguments and evidence to back up their assertions.

Sometimes I can’t get on board with their positions, but sometimes I end up learning something, and either way, I always appreciate the discussion.

That gave me the idea for this series of podcast episodes: publicly addressing things people disagree with me on and sharing my perspective.

Think of it like a spicier version of a Q&A.

So, here’s what I’m doing:

Every couple of weeks, I’m asking my Instagram followers what they disagree with me on, and then picking the more common or interesting contentions to address here on the podcast.

And in this episode, I’ll be tackling the following . . .

  • Reverse pyramid training is better than double progression and linear progression and is the best way to periodize your training.

Timestamps:

0:00 – Join my podcast giveaway! http://muscleforlife.show/giveaway

3:08 – What is reverse pyramid training?

10:58 – What are the benefits of reverse pyramid training?

19:52 – What are the downsides of reverse pyramid training?

32:26 – What are your final thoughts on reverse pyramid training?

Mentioned on the Show:

I’m giving away over $1,000 worth of prizes to commemorate the 1,000th episode of Muscle For Life! Join the giveaway here: http://muscleforlife.show/giveaway

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Ep. #1000: Says You! Reverse Pyramid Training Is the Best Periodization Scheme appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:26:25 -0800 Sportsman
17 Best Electrolyte Water Brands | Best Bottled Water With Electrolytes https://sport-topics.com/17-best-electrolyte-water-brands-best-bottled-water-with-electrolytes https://sport-topics.com/17-best-electrolyte-water-brands-best-bottled-water-with-electrolytes Do you ever wish you could step up your hydration game, but feel hindered because you’re sick of drinking plain water all day? Well, you’re in luck because today you’re going to learn the best electrolyte water brands and best bottled water with electrolytes from a pro sports dietitian. Achieving adequate hydration each day is […]

The post 17 Best Electrolyte Water Brands | Best Bottled Water With Electrolytes appeared first on FWDfuel Sports Nutrition.

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:13:35 -0800 Sportsman
6 Benefits of Ginger Shots | BEST Ginger Supplement for Inflammation | FWDfuel https://sport-topics.com/6-benefits-of-ginger-shots-best-ginger-supplement-for-inflammation-fwdfuel https://sport-topics.com/6-benefits-of-ginger-shots-best-ginger-supplement-for-inflammation-fwdfuel We have all heard it a thousand times; “there are so many benefits to ginger shots!”, “I take ginger every morning!”, “Ginger helps with inflammation!” but oftentimes, we are still left wondering “how” and “why.” If you’re sitting here nodding your head in agreement, you have come to the right place!  While yes, ginger is […]

The post 6 Benefits of Ginger Shots | BEST Ginger Supplement for Inflammation | FWDfuel appeared first on FWDfuel Sports Nutrition.

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 16:13:34 -0800 Sportsman
How to Improve Gut Health for Cold and Flu Season https://sport-topics.com/how-to-improve-gut-health-for-cold-and-flu-season https://sport-topics.com/how-to-improve-gut-health-for-cold-and-flu-season Looking for ways to boost your immune system during cold and flu season?

Tip: 70% of your immune system is in your gut!

The wise saying “you are what you eat” is testimony to the importance of our digestive tract, and there is plenty of information available to learn about the amazing role our guts play in our health, and immunity.

The easiest way to immediately improve your digestive tract is with probiotics, and by getting good bacteria from fermented foods. Luckily, there is an inexpensive way to create probiotic-packed fermented foods at home!

I love do-it-yourself recipes that are cheap and easy, such as How to Make Your Own Sports Drink and How to Make Your Own Collagen-filled Bone Broth.

So, here are 3 easy recipes to make fermented foods at home and build up your gut health with ingredients you probably already have!

Watch the video for my tips, and see the recipes below. ????

Recipes

Fermented Garlic Honey

Instructions:

  • Fill a glass jar half to 3/4 full of peeled organic garlic (watch the video for my tips!)
  • Pour raw honey over the garlic, leaving at least 1 or 2 inches at the top of jar.
  • Loosely cover the jar with a lid so that gas can escape.
  • Put jar in a dark place to allow the fermentation process to start, and place in a container to catch any honey that leaks out.
  • During the next 2 weeks, open the lid to allow the gas to escape once or twice a day (set a reminder for yourself).
  • For the first several days, rotate the jar to flip to upside down one day (secure the lid first!), and then right side up the next day.
  • Allow about a month for fermentation, and the more time it sits – the better.

Tips:

Bubbles may appear and that shows you that it’s fermenting.  After several days the honey will liquefy the garlic will soften. Store your fermented honey garlic in a dark cool space.

Uses:

You can eat the cloves, use the honey as a cough syrup, or use it as a delicious and healthy marinate for foods like salmon, and Asian dishes.

How to Improve Gut Health for Cold and Flu Season_Fermented Foods

Apple Cider Vinegar

Instructions:

  • Fill the glass jar 3/4 full with apple peels and cores, or even slices.
  • Make a mixture of sugar-water that will be enough to match the size of your glass jar. The ratio is 1 tablespoon of sugar per 1 cup of water.
  • Stir the sugar into the water until it’s mostly dissolved, and pour over the apple scraps until they are completely covered. (Important – 2 inches of room at the top of the jar).
  • Loosely cover the jar with either a coffee filter, or fabric with an elastic band.
  • Place the jar in a dark and warm spot for 2 weeks.
  • Stir it around every couple of days and skim off any scum that develops on the surface.
  • After 2 weeks, strain the contents so the liquid is captured and the scraps can be discarded (or feed them to your chickens!).
  • Set the strained liquid aside for another 2 to 4 weeks in a dark and warm spot.

Tips:

By now, the vinegar will have a sweet apple cider smell, but if it’s missing that sharp tang or vinegary smell and taste, then you’ll know it needs to sit for a bit longer. When you’re satisfied with the taste of your vinegar, you can cap it with a lid and store it as long as you like. It won’t go bad!

Don’t worry if you see a gelatinous blob in your vinegar solution – that’s a good thing! This is the infamous vinegar “mother”, which can actually be used to jump-start future vinegar batches. Either remove it and store it in the fridge, or leave it to float in the vinegar.

Uses:

Your homemade apple cider vinegar is perfect for adding to your drinking water, taking a spoonful to help settle an upset stomach, for cooking, cleaning and everything else you find if you research its many uses!

Fermented Red Cabbage (Sauerkraut)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 3 cups water (preferably filtered)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
  • Peppercorns (optional)

Instructions:

  • Sterilize a 32 ounce wide-mouth glass mason jar.
  • Stir the salt and water together in a measuring cup until salt is fully dissolved.
  • Add the peppercorns (optional) at the bottom of the sterilized jar
  • Add the shredded red cabbage to the jar (important – leave 1 inch of space at the top of the jar).
  • Pour the brine solution into the jar so that it covers all the cabbage.
  • Top with either a fermentation weight or a small dish to make sure the cabbage stays completely submerged in the brine (watch video to learn more).
  • Screw on either a regular lid or a ‘burp’ lid and store somewhere out of direct sunlight.
  • If you used a regular metal screw on lid, be sure to release the build-up of gasses once or twice per day.

Tips:

Seeing bubbles in the jar is a sign of successful fermentation. Allow 1 to 2 weeks to ferment, but start tasting after 1 week to test when it’s to your liking. Then put in the refrigerator and enjoy! Consume within 1 month.

I’d love to hear from you if you try either of these recipes! So leave your comments below!


 

Need support to get healthier, leaner, and stronger? Contact me any time to schedule a free 15-minute consultation, so we can discuss your particular situation and goals.

What’s the fastest way to boost your performance without supplements? Download this free report:

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Want to get stronger, faster and healthier so you can PR your next race/competition, improve your relationship with food and feel confident in your body? Join the Sustainable Sports Nutrition Academy! This 100% online, self-study program compiles everything I’ve learned as a Sports Dietitian for over 10 years. Check out everything that’s included –

The Sustainable Sports Nutrition Academy

The post How to Improve Gut Health for Cold and Flu Season appeared first on Elite Nutrition and Performance.

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 15:59:28 -0800 Sportsman
Must Have Ingredients for a Professional Baker https://sport-topics.com/must-have-ingredients-for-a-professional-baker https://sport-topics.com/must-have-ingredients-for-a-professional-baker If you want to be a professional baker, then it is important to learn about the right ingredients. Some ingredients are going to stay with you throughout in your professional baking career. So it is important to have a clear idea about these must haves.

1. Yeast

The first and most important ingredient for a professional baker is yeast. Yeast is a living organism that breaks down sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol, making bread rise. Without yeast, you cannot make bread.

Some breads require active dry yeast, while others require instant or rapid-rise yeast. Active dry yeast requires to be activated before adding it to your starter.

To do this, stir it in a jar until it foams up, then cover it with cheesecloth or a paper towel and let it sit for 20 minutes. When kneaded, you can mix it with just enough flour to form a soft dough ball. This will activate it.

Instant or rapid-rise yeast is mixed directly into your starter without being activated beforehand; you can use either type of yeast in this recipe.

2. Cake flour

Cake flour is made from soft wheat, so it may be more difficult to find than other types of flour. If you’re looking for it at your local store, make sure they’ve got cake flour available before purchasing any other item. It’s used in cakes, cookies, biscuits, pie crusts (and pancakes).

3. Bread flour

Bread flour is high-gluten flour, which means it has a higher percentage of protein than all-purpose flour. This makes bread rise more elevated than other baked goods and more suitable for making pizza dough or other crusty baked goods.

Flour

Bread flour can be used in place of all-purpose recipes where you’re looking to create an especially chewy texture or add elasticity (like bagels).

Bread flour comes in many varieties: plain white, whole wheat, rye flour, or any combination thereof. There’s also the gluten-free flour alternatives.

4. Sugar

Sugar is used to sweeten a dish or as a preservative and makes cakes moist and tender. It may be necessary to use some salt in order to balance the sweetness of other ingredients. It is the must have ingredient for romantic dinners to casual takeaways.

5. Aquafaba

Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas and can be used as an egg substitute in baking. The consistency of aquafaba can be changed by cooking time, bean type (or seasonings), and even your preference.

Some people prefer their cakes to have more air than others, so if you want something light and fluffy for your cake recipes or cupcakes, try using about 1/4 cup at room temperature for every 1 cup of all-purpose flour (like Cake Flour).

If you want something richer with less moisture content (like Cupcake Flour), add only 3 tablespoons per recipe instead!

6. Agar Agar

Agar-agar is a gelatinous substance made from seaweed. It’s used in vegan meringues, jellies, custards, and puddings.

7. Cocoa Powder 

Cocoa powder is a must-have ingredient for any baker. It’s used in chocolate cakes, cookies, and other baked goods.

Cocoa powder comes from roasted cocoa beans and contains a lot of fat (about 30%) and some sugar (about 15%). It has a good amount of flavonoids and antioxidants that help prevent heart disease and cancer. Cocoa powder is also rich in iron which helps keep your blood healthy.

8. Chocolate Chips

Chocolate chips are a great way to add chocolate flavor to your recipes. They’re made from chocolate and sugar, but they’re not the same as baking chocolate. They come in different styles and flavors, so choosing one that works best with your recipe is important.

Conclusion

The key takeaway from all this is that it’s important to remember what kind of ingredients work best for you if you are a professional baker.

The post Must Have Ingredients for a Professional Baker appeared first on Girl Cooks World.

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 15:58:14 -0800 Sportsman
5 Things You Should Know Before Ordering Seafood In Restaurants https://sport-topics.com/5-things-you-should-know-before-ordering-seafood-in-restaurants https://sport-topics.com/5-things-you-should-know-before-ordering-seafood-in-restaurants Have you ever found yourself staring blankly at a restaurant menu, unable to decide? If you’re at a loss on what dish to opt for, know that you’re not alone. With so many different options, choosing just one dish can take a lot of work. 

However, when it comes to seafood, there are some factors you need to consider before making your selection. Remember that this food is often delicate and requires precise cooking preparation, so it would be best to familiarize yourself with each seafood before placing your order. 

That said, here are five things you should know before ordering seafood in restaurants:

1. Know What’s In Season 

To enjoy some delicious seafood, knowing what’s in season is essential. After all, you want to ensure your meal is satisfying. Furthermore, out-of-season seafood can be incredibly expensive. It’s worth noting that when seafood is in season, there’s an abundance of it; thus, prices tend to be lower. 

In addition, the seafood is of superior quality since they were caught more recently. So, how do you know what’s in season? One way is to ask the waiter or waitress at your preferred seafood restaurant. They should be able to tell you what’s available and fresh. You can also do a quick online search or consult a seasonal chart.

2. Consider Your Preparation Preferences 

If you’re planning on ordering seafood at a restaurant, it’s crucial to consider your preparation preferences beforehand. Otherwise, you might end up with a dish you’re not happy with. If you like your seafood cooked all through, you’ll want to look for grilled, baked, or sautéed meals in the menu. These cooking methods will ensure that your fish is nice and moist inside without being overcooked. 

On the other hand, if you prefer your fish rare or medium rare, then you’ll want to look for menu choices that are seared or pan-fried. These cooking preparations will give you a little char on the outside while keeping the inside nice and pink. Moreover, if you’re a fan of raw seafood, then you’ll want to look for restaurants that serve sushi or ceviche. 

3. Watch Out For Allergies 

Despite its widespread availability on restaurant menus, seafood is a common allergen. Small amounts of fish or shellfish might trigger an allergic reaction in people sensitive to seafood. Mild symptoms include irritation around the eyes and a runny nose, while severe symptoms can cause trouble breathing and swelling. In some cases, anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction, can occur. 

If you have a seafood allergy, you must be aware of the potential risks before ordering in a restaurant. Talk to your waiter or waitress about your allergy and ask about the ingredients in each dish. Some restaurants may be able to accommodate your allergy by making substitutes or avoiding cross-contamination. 

However, other restaurants may not be able to take the necessary precautions. Therefore, it’s always best to play it safe and choose another restaurant if you’re unsure about the quality of the seafood and the safety of the meal preparation. 

4. Check For Sustainability

You might not think twice about ordering seafood when you’re out at a restaurant. However, it’s possible that the seafood you’re eating may come from a non-sustainable source. Overfishing has a destructive effect on marine life and is a significant concern in many regions worldwide. Consequently, it’s essential to ensure that the seafood you order is caught sustainably. 

You can tell if a seafood dish is sustainable by looking for certain elements. It’s important to first verify that the restaurant is a certified Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) member. This organization promotes sustainable fishing practices and only certifies seafood that meets its high standards.   

Then, ask the waiter or chef where the seafood was sourced from. This should raise red flags if they can’t provide you with this information. Finally, research popular seafood dishes to see which ones are most likely sustainable. 

5. Consider The Portion Size Of Orders

The next time you’re out at a seafood restaurant, take a moment to consider the portion size of your order. A standard serving of fish is typically around 3 ounces or about the size of a deck of cards. However, many restaurants tend to serve much larger portions. 

It’s not uncommon to see entrées weighing 8 ounces or more. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a hearty meal, it’s essential to be mindful of the calories and cholesterol that come with more significant portions.

If you’re trying to eat a heart-healthy diet, ordering a smaller portion or sharing your fish or shellfish order with others can make a big difference. Therefore, the next time you’re craving seafood, remember to consider the portion size before placing your order.

Takeaway

When you’re ordering seafood at a restaurant, it’s essential to do your research. Make sure you know what cooking methods are used and whether or not the seafood is sustainable. Always watch out for allergies and be mindful of portion sizes when ordering. By following this guide mentioned above, you’ll be guaranteed to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal without any regrets.

The post 5 Things You Should Know Before Ordering Seafood In Restaurants appeared first on Girl Cooks World.

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Sat, 10 Dec 2022 15:58:13 -0800 Sportsman
Raw PRE Rocket Pop: Nostalgic and Sensibly Stimulating https://sport-topics.com/raw-pre-rocket-pop-nostalgic-and-sensibly-stimulating https://sport-topics.com/raw-pre-rocket-pop-nostalgic-and-sensibly-stimulating roSince Raw Nutrition‘s awesome partnership with Chris Bumstead, we haven’t had many chances to write about Raw’s pre-Chris products. While Chris has brought a level of pure mass and energy to Raw’s newer lines, we also love to appreciate […]

Continue Reading →

The post Raw PRE Rocket Pop: Nostalgic and Sensibly Stimulating first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Sat, 10 Dec 2022 15:40:13 -0800 Sportsman
CORE Nutritionals Leaks Core PEAK Stim&Free Pump & Power Pills https://sport-topics.com/core-nutritionals-leaks-core-peak-stim-free-pump-power-pills https://sport-topics.com/core-nutritionals-leaks-core-peak-stim-free-pump-power-pills Things have been busy at Crush It HQ! Core Nutritionals has three major things on the way:

Core FURY v2 Announced

Founder and CEO Doug Miller unleashed the long-awaited Core FURY v2 bottle, which you can see here disclosed on […]

Continue Reading →

The post CORE Nutritionals Leaks Core PEAK Stim-Free Pump & Power Pills first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Sat, 10 Dec 2022 15:40:13 -0800 Sportsman
The Top 5 Supplement Industry Trends from SupplySide West 2022 https://sport-topics.com/the-top-5-supplement-industry-trends-from-supplyside-west-2022 https://sport-topics.com/the-top-5-supplement-industry-trends-from-supplyside-west-2022 SupplySide West 2022 has come and gone, but this year’s annual trip to Las Vegas left a lasting impression. SupplySide West (SSW) is an annual industry trade show run by Informa Markets that gathers professionals across the supply chains of […]

Continue Reading →

The post The Top 5 Supplement Industry Trends from SupplySide West 2022 first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Sat, 10 Dec 2022 15:40:13 -0800 Sportsman
The top questions people ask about sleep—and how to answer them https://sport-topics.com/the-top-questions-people-ask-about-sleepand-how-to-answer-them https://sport-topics.com/the-top-questions-people-ask-about-sleepand-how-to-answer-them Reviewed by Jennifer Martin, PhD


Google hears about everyone’s sleep problems, at all hours of the night.

And chances are, if BILLIONS of people are wondering why they can’t sleep, why they keep waking up at night, what they can do to fall asleep faster, and how long they should be sleeping, your clients are wondering, too.

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about the sleep problems your clients are likely to struggle with the most, along with science-supported practices that can help.

In this article, we’ll try to give you some resources to do that.

If you want, read the following Q and As from top to bottom. Or, just jump to the ones that interest you the most:

Question #1. Why can’t I sleep?

Question #2. Why do I keep waking up at night?

Question #3. How much sleep do I need?

Question #4. Why do we sleep?

Question #5. What’s the best way to track sleep?

Let’s start with the top sleep question people type into Google—likely bleary-eyed, at 3 am…

Why can’t I sleep?

Technically, everyone can sleep. Stay awake long enough and sleep will absolutely find you. Our sleep drive is built into our biology.

So when someone types “why can’t I sleep?” into Google, what they’re really asking is:

“Why does it take so long for me to fall asleep?”

Usually, one of the following is going on, says Chris Winter, MD, author of The Sleep Solution and The Rested Child, and co-author of Precision Nutrition’s Sleep, Stress Management, and Recovery Coaching Certification.

Answer #1: You have anxiety over not being able to sleep.

Here’s a common scenario:

You go to bed at your usual time.

Twenty minutes go by. Then an hour. Blink. Blink. Still awake.

As you toss and turn, you think things like, “Ugh, again? WHY?! Tomorrow‘s going to be a disaster! I NEED to sleep… NOW!”

Naturally, those thoughts lead to anxiety, and trigger the release of brain chemicals that keep you alert and (gulp) awake.

To break this maddening cycle, address and reframe the underlying thoughts and emotions. You’ll likely discover you have some unhelpful and maybe even unrealistic beliefs about sleep.

Rather than berating yourself for not sleeping, consider gently reminding yourself that…

▶ You’ll fall asleep eventually. Like we said earlier, all humans have an innate drive and capacity for sleep.

▶ You’re likely getting more sleep than you realize. According to Dr. Winter, most people aren’t aware of their lightest sleep phases. They think they’ve spent most of the night awake when, in fact, they slept several hours.

▶ Occasional sleep loss is normal. Especially during times of excitement, anticipation, change, or stress. For most, this is a temporary phase. Trust that your sleep will recalibrate eventually.

(For more ideas on how to break free from sleep anxiety read: How to Sleep Better When Nothing Helps You Sleep Better)

Answer #2: You have an afternoon coffee habit.

Caffeine blocks the function of adenosine, a neurochemical that makes you sleepy.

But that doesn’t mean you have to give up caffeine entirely.

Some people find that cutting back—say, having just one espresso shot instead of two—ameliorates their sleep issues.

Other clients have told us that they’re okay if they have caffeine before noon, but not after.

Answer #3: You sleep in.

It takes about 16 hours of wakefulness for enough adenosine to build up in your brain to nudge you into slumber.

So, waking up later means you probably won’t feel sleepy until later.

(In other words, do the math: Sleeping in until 10 am might mean that your brain isn’t ready to rest until about 2 am.)

It’s tempting to keep hitting snooze, especially if you slept crummy the night before, but do your best to get out of bed at a reasonable time, and you’ll set yourself up better for a reasonable bedtime.

Answer #4. You don’t get much sunlight, especially in the mornings.

Most organisms, including humans, have evolved to organize their physiological processes in response to light and dark.

Morning sunlight in particular seems to help set the body’s circadian rhythm, helping you feel tired when it gets dark in the evening.

Try to get 10 to 20 minutes of sunlight within two hours of waking up. (And yes, overcast days still count!)

Answer #5. You snuggle up to screens in the evening.

Melatonin increases sleep drive as night approaches, but it requires relative darkness to do its work.

Light from phones, tablets, televisions—also known as blue light—and even overhead incandescent lighting can disrupt this sleep-promoting hormone, making sleep elusive.

As the sun begins to lower, lower the lighting in your house too. If you can, limit screen time especially in the hour before bedtime.

5 evergreen strategies to improve sleep

Sleep hacks come and go, but these five principles of good sleep are nearly universally recommended by sleep experts and good sleepers alike:

1. Keep your sleep-wake schedule consistent. ​​

Wake at roughly the same time each day (including weekends) and hit the sack around the same time each evening.

2. Use a pre-sleep ritual.

About 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed, get into wind-down mode. Turn off screens. Dim the lights. Relax with a bath, stretching, or time with a book. By doing the same behaviors each evening, you’ll train your brain to know it’s bedtime.

3. Avoid high-fat, high-calorie evening meals.

Consume moderately sized meals no later than 3 hours before bedtime. Eat meals higher in carbohydrates and protein rather than high-fat meals, which can worsen sleep quality in some people.

4. Avoid energizing exercise in the evening.

Schedule weight lifting and intense cardio earlier in the day. Closer to bedtime, opt for calming, gentle movements like walking or slow yoga.

5. Keep your room dark.

If possible, make your bedroom as dark as possible or consider wearing a sleep mask. That way, you reduce interference from street lights or other lights in your environment, which can inhibit melatonin.

(For more science-based advice to get more rest, read: How to Sleep Better: Your 14-Day Plan for Better Rest)

Why can’t I sleep through the night?

Lots of people wake at night—and Dr. Winter wants to tell you it’s no big deal.

Here are a couple of scenarios that often distress people, but are actually totally normal:

▶ Early waking: You’re wide awake at 5 am, a full two hours before your alarm. Even though you think you should be sleeping longer, your brain might be fully recharged and ready to slay your day.

▶ Biphasic sleep: You sleep for several hours, then wake and feel alert for 45 minutes or so, and then go back to sleep for several more hours. If that’s you, drop any anxiety over your mid-night waking; just assume it’s normal, read for a little bit, then let yourself fall back asleep when you’re ready.

For both of the above situations, if you feel rested and alert during the day, there’s no true sleep problem, says Dr. Winter.

On the other hand, if it seems as if no amount of sleep will fix how tired you feel, consider whether any of the common offenders might be interfering with your ability to sleep through the night.

What Wakes People During the Night

If you’re someone who has trouble falling asleep again after you’ve woken up in the middle of the night, it might help to prevent disruptions from happening in the first place.

Take a look at the following list of common nighttime troublemakers, and see where you have control modifying or avoiding them:

▶ Alcohol: Having a nightcap (or two) often helps people feel more relaxed—and maybe even fall asleep faster. But as alcohol metabolizes, your body experiences “rebound” arousal, causing a fitful sleep.1

▶ Caffeine: As mentioned, caffeine blocks the function of adenosine, a neurochemical that makes you sleepy. Try to avoid caffeine—not just coffee, but caffeinated soda, too—a minimum of six hours before bedtime.

▶ Intense evening exercise: A natural effect of intense exercise is an increase in cortisol, a hormone that makes us feel alert. Some people find that if they exercise vigorously too late in the evening, they still feel “pumped up” when it’s time to sleep.

▶ Sedentary lifestyle: Research shows that people who are chronically deprived of physical activity are more likely to struggle with insomnia.2 This can create a vicious cycle, because if you’ve slept poorly the night before, you might be inclined to stay in bed or on the couch the next day. Even if you’re tired, get your steps in. One study showed sleep quality was better in those who walked more.3

▶ Smoking cigarettes: Nicotine is a stimulant. So, much in the way that caffeine can jangle your nerves too close to bed, so can cigarettes (or vaping).

▶ Drinking liquids too close to bed: Have a recurring dream where you’re running around trying to find a bathroom, and every stall is locked? Avoid drinking liquids two to three hours before bed, and you’ll be less likely to be tormented in the middle of the night with a full bladder.

▶ Snoring spouse: Snoring isn’t grounds for divorce, but it’s definitely grounds for investing in a good pair of earplugs. Or maybe separate bedrooms. (And if your spouse sounds like a lawnmower, get them to ask their doc about it. Snoring is a common sign of sleep apnea.)

▶ Pets and children: Co-sleeping with pets or children sounds cozy, but if it’s disrupting your sleep, it might not be worth it. Set Rover up with a dog bed (maybe in a separate room). If kids keep coming into your bed at night, calmly walk them back to their room, and tuck them in. With consistency, most kids (and pets) learn to sleep on their own.

In addition to the above, talk to your doctor about your sleep. It might be worth getting screened for sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and other conditions that disturb sleep.

How much sleep do I need?

On average, most people need somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.

But that’s an average, not a good-health edict.

“There are people who require slightly more and slightly less sleep,” says Dr. Winter. Above- and below-average sleepers fall into three main categories:

▶ Natural short sleepers feel spunky and clear-headed with just six or seven hours of shuteye.

▶ Natural long sleepers need 10 or more hours in order to feel refreshed.

▶ Children, teenagers, and many young adults need more sleep for their developing bodies and brains.

Meanwhile, others sleep 14, 17, 24 or more hours with very little interruption—and still wake feeling tired.

“If you’re one of these people, it might be an indication that there is something wrong with your sleep quality, not necessarily the quantity,” Dr. Winter says.

For example, sleep disorders like sleep apnea can disrupt sleep, causing people to sleep more hours and still wake feeling unrefreshed. These disorders require medical treatment, so mention any concerns to your doctor.

(Read more: What Happens When You Sleep Too Much?)

Why do we sleep?

Researchers haven’t figured out exactly what sleep does, but there’s one thing they’re sure of:

Sleep is important.

Every physiological process, in some way, is regulated or influenced by sleep.

Getting enough good-quality sleep:

  • Improves your mood and your ability to manage your emotions
  • Makes you less impulsive (which helps you make better decisions)
  • Helps you learn and remember
  • Improves thinking, concentration, and attention
  • Keeps your brain healthy
  • Helps you regulate your appetite, plus preserve and repair valuable lean tissue like muscle and bone
  • Regulates blood sugar and lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides

What’s the best way to track sleep?

If you spend time reading Precision Nutrition’s content, you’ll see we’re funny about the word “best.”

That’s because the BEST advice for any one person depends on their sex, age, genetics, lifestyle, preferences, and an array of other factors.

This “no best” philosophy applies to diets, stress management techniques, exercise, and, yes, even sleep trackers.

Because there’s no one “best” way to track sleep, it’s better to simply present clients with options. Then, they can decide on the best approach—for them.

Below we’ve listed some of those options, starting with the least expensive.

Sleep tracking option #1: The sleep diary

For about a month, get your client to track:

  • What time they flipped off the lights at night
  • What time they got up in the morning
  • Whether they woke up in the middle of the night
  • If they napped during the day (and if so, for how long)

On top of that, get them to keep notes on how they feel during the day, especially during low-stress activities such as watching television or reading.

Do they feel alert? Or ready to snooze whenever they stop moving?

At the end of the month, look over the log together and see if you can spot any patterns. (For example, does a daytime nap seem to increase the likelihood of having a disrupted sleep at night? Or not?)

If a client generally feels spunky during the day, that’s a good sign they’re getting all the sleep they need.

On the other hand, if they’re nodding off during dinner, try prioritizing sleep until they’re getting seven to eight quality hours per night.

If your client is consistently struggling to fall or stay asleep—and they feel zombie-like during the day—encourage them to mention it to their doctor.

Sleep tracking option #2: Commercial sleep trackers

At-home devices aren’t always as precise as many manufacturers claim.

While technologies are improving significantly, and some devices and apps are better than others, many of them just aren’t very accurate when it comes to precisely monitoring specific stages of sleep.

They are, however, pretty good about telling you how long you slept. These trackers are especially helpful for…

▶ People struggling with insomnia

Most people aren’t aware of their lightest sleep phases. They think they’ve spent most of the night tossing when, in fact, they slept several hours.

As a result, these devices can often help folks with insomnia realize that they’re getting more sleep than they realize.

▶ Anyone who’s experimenting with a new sleep strategy

Whether you’re using a white noise machine or turning down your thermostat a few degrees, these devices can help you see whether the tactic actually led to improved sleep.

On the downside, monitoring can make some people more anxious or obsessive about their sleep… which means they get even worse sleep.

(Read more about tracking health metrics and anxiety: Are Fitness Trackers Worth It?)

Sleep tracking option #3: Sleep studies

Requested by a physician, a sleep study can help your doctor determine whether you have a health problem that’s interfering with sleep.

Home-based sleep studies are an accessible and relatively inexpensive way for physicians to test for sleep apnea, when breathing repeatedly stops and starts during the night.

To diagnose other health conditions, your physician may ask you to spend a night in a sleep lab.

How to help sleepless clients

As you might have learned from personal experience, if you tell clients about all of the horrible things that will happen if they don’t get more sleep, their sleep will likely get worse.

(Thanks, sleep anxiety.)

Another losing strategy: Pushing the same so-called magical sleep protocol on everyone.

Truth is, no ONE practice will help every single client.

That’s why, to truly benefit your clients, we recommend experimenting.

✅ Talk about a wide range of possible changes and how they might help

✅ Ask, “What are you willing to try?” Then pick 1-2 actions they’re ready, willing, and able to commit to for a period of time (two weeks is a good frame)

✅ Gather data over time. Then ask: Is this making your sleep better? Worse? The same?

Use what you learn from the above process to iterate. Eventually, your client will discover the set of practices that works best—for them.

If you’re a health and fitness pro…

Learning how to help clients manage stress and optimize sleep can massively change your clients’ results.

They’ll get “unstuck” and finally move forward—whether they want to eat better, move more, lose weight, or reclaim their health.

Plus, it’ll give you the confidence and credibility as a specialized coach who can solve the biggest problems blocking any clients’ progress.

The brand-new PN Level 1 Sleep, Stress Management, and Recovery Coaching Certification will show you how.

The post The top questions people ask about sleep—and how to answer them appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Sat, 19 Nov 2022 08:57:16 -0800 Sportsman
Research Roundup #25: Exercise Non&Response, The Healthiest Way to Bulk, and Fish Oil and Recovery https://sport-topics.com/research-roundup-25-exercise-non-response-the-healthiest-way-to-bulk-and-fish-oil-and-recovery https://sport-topics.com/research-roundup-25-exercise-non-response-the-healthiest-way-to-bulk-and-fish-oil-and-recovery It’s estimated that there are over 2+ million scientific papers published each year, and this firehose only seems to intensify.

Even if you narrow your focus to fitness research, it would take several lifetimes to unravel the hairball of studies on nutrition, training, supplementation, and related fields.

This is why my team and I spend thousands of hours each year dissecting and describing scientific studies in articles, podcasts, and books and using the results to formulate our 100% all-natural sports supplements and inform our coaching services. 

And while the principles of proper eating and exercising are simple and somewhat immutable, reviewing new research can reinforce or reshape how we eat, train, and live for the better. 

Thus, each week, I’m going to share three scientific studies on diet, exercise, supplementation, mindset, and lifestyle that will help you gain muscle and strength, lose fat, perform and feel better, live longer, and get and stay healthier. 

This week, you’ll learn what to do if you feel like you aren’t getting fitter despite training properly, the healthiest way to bulk, and whether fish oil boosts post-workout recovery.

Here’s what to do if you aren’t getting fitter (despite training properly).

Source: “Individual differences in the responses to endurance and resistance training” published on December 21, 2005 in European Journal of Applied Physiology.

“No matter what I do, I just can’t seem to get any fitter.” 

This is the conclusion many people reach after their first few months of training when the rapid progress they initially experienced stagnates, and further gains seem impossible to come by.

Is it really the case that exercise only benefits some people for a short while (during their “newbie gains” phase), after which they stop getting noticeably fitter? Or is it simply that they haven’t found a form of exercise that works for them long term?

This is what scientists at Merikoski Rehabilitation and Research Centre wanted to understand when they split 73 men and women into a cardio group and a weightlifting group.

For 2 weeks, the cardio group did endurance training, and the weightlifting group did strength training 5 days per week. 

After 2 weeks, everyone stopped exercising (or returned to their old exercise habits) for 2 months, then came back to the lab to undergo the same process. The only difference was that this time, those who did endurance training lifted weights and vice versa.

The results showed that after the first 2 weeks, some people in each group responded well to training (measured using VO2 max, which is an indicator of endurance that can increase due to cardio or weightlifting), others responded a little, and still others saw no gains.

When the groups switched programs, the researchers found that the people who got the smallest gains from cardio got the biggest gains from weightlifting and vice versa. Thus, these supposed “non-responders” responded quite well to exercise when it was tailored to their unique physiology. Here’s a graph to illustrate:

Different Responses to Cario and Weightlifting

The most important nugget to take away from this study (and others like it) is that it’s improbable that exercise will just “stop working” for you, though you may need to periodically alter your training to make progress.

For example, if you begin your training career doing high-rep weightlifting and find your progress stalls within the first few months, you should probably try a program that has you lifting heavier weights, such as Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger

And if that doesn’t work for you, you could try your hand at bodybuilding, powerlifting, powerbuilding, strongman, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, circuit training, or something else.

And if you’d like help choosing the best strength training program for your circumstances and goals, take the Legion Strength Training Quiz, and in less than a minute, you’ll know the perfect strength training program for you. Click here to check it out.

TL;DR: The same workout program might not work equally well for everyone, but everyone can benefit from some kind of exercise—you just have to find the right type for you.

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The healthiest way to bulk? Eat plenty of protein.

Source: “Protein Overfeeding is Associated with Improved Lipid and Anthropometric Profile thus Lower Malondialdehyde Levels in Resistance-Trained Athletes” published in January 2017 in International Journal of Sports Science.

Most fitness buffs enjoy bulking.

What’s not to like about eating satisfyingly large meals, having sky-high energy levels, and building muscle?

Bulking is still just a form of controlled overeating, though, and some worry that this can lead to negative health consequences related to gaining body fat. For example, research shows that during a bulk, your body fat percentage and blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels rise, which can increase oxidative stress, systemic inflammation, and insulin resistance.

Fortunately, researchers at the Federal University of Ceará may have uncovered a way to keep you in tip-top health, even while “gaining,” “massing,” or whatever other term you want to use for “bulking.” 

They took 19 bodybuilders who were bulking (eating ~23 calories per pound of body weight per day—which is a lot) and split them into a standard bulking group and a high-protein bulking group based on how much protein they ate each day.

The bodybuilders in the standard bulking group were eating ~0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight. In contrast, the bodybuilders in the high-protein bulking group were eating ~1.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. The bodybuilders in each group were also eating similar amounts of fat and fiber, though those in the standard bulking group were eating more carbs and cholesterol.

The researchers then ran a barrage of blood tests and found that the bodybuilders in the high-protein bulking group had better cholesterol levels, less body fat (particularly around the waist), and less oxidative stress and better health overall as a result.

On the face of it, this looks like yet another homerun for high-protein dieting—the more protein you eat while bulking, the less fat you gain, and the healthier you’ll be, right? 

The truth isn’t quite this crystalline.

The main fly in the ointment here is that the researchers didn’t control the bodybuilders’ diets during the study, which opens up the possibility that some other variable was responsible for the superior results in the high-protein group. 

For instance, it’s possible that the group eating twice as much protein—which is very satiating—also felt more full and ate less. In essence, eating more protein helped keep them from overeating, which is one of the main reasons people gain fat and undermine their health when bulking. 

By my lights, this is the most likely explanation, but it’s also possible that bodybuilders who ate more protein were also more aware of their macronutrient intake and health conscious in general, and that the folks who ate less protein followed more of a “see food,” anything-goes bulk. And if this is the case, they may have also supplemented more intelligently. Or got more sleep. Or some combination of all of these factors. All of which could explain the differences in health.

For instance, it’s possible (though unlikely) that the high-protein bulking group gained less fat and had a more favorable blood lipid profile because they ate fewer carbs, not because they ate more protein. Or maybe the standard bulking group ate considerably more calories than they reported, which would explain why they had higher body fat levels. 

Then again, it’s also possible that there is some inherent advantage to upping your protein intake while bulking.

Previous research shows that people who eat a high-protein diet either gain similar amounts or less fat than those who eat a low-protein diet, even when the high-protein diet contains more calories. This would explain why the bulkers who ate more protein found it easier to keep their body fat percentage lower.

There’s also no evidence that eating a high-protein diet negatively impacts blood biomarkers, which means there could be some advantage to getting more calories from protein than other “macros.” 

For now, though, there isn’t enough research to show there’s much benefit of eating more than about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day while bulking. That said, this is another hint that high-protein dieting is healthful and superior to other diets when it comes to optimizing body composition.

And if you want a clean, convenient, and delicious source of protein that makes hitting your protein target easier and more enjoyable, try Whey+ or Casein+.

(Or if you aren’t sure if Whey+ or Casein+. is right for you or if another supplement might be a better fit for your budget, circumstances, and goals, then take the Legion Supplement Finder Quiz! In less than a minute, it’ll tell you exactly what supplements are right for you. Click here to check it out.)

TL;DR: Eating a high-protein diet while bulking may help you gain less fat and stay healthier, although this may simply be due to helping you avoid overeating.

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Fish oil boosts post-exercise recovery.

Source: “Impact of Varying Dosages of Fish Oil on Recovery and Soreness Following Eccentric Exercise” published on July 27, 2020 in Nutrients.

Most people know that to get the most out of training, you have to recover effectively.

That’s why they’ll try almost any gadget or gizmo to expedite the process, including compression garments, massage guns, and cryotherapy.

Sometimes, however, the best solutions aren’t quite so fancy-dan.

Take omega-3 fatty acids.

Scientists have known for a long time that omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory and pain-inhibiting properties, which is likely why it boosts post-exercise recovery.

What’s the best way to take fish oil to suppress soreness after exercise, though?

That’s what researchers at Kennesaw State University wanted to find out when they split 32 experienced weightlifters into 4 groups:

  1. A group that took 2 grams of omega-3 (1400 mg EPA+DHA) daily
  2. A group that took 4 grams of omega-3 (2800 mg EPA+DHA) daily
  3. A group that took 6 grams of omega-3 (4200mg EPA+DHA) daily
  4. A group that took a placebo daily

Each group took their fish oil supplement for 52 days. On day 49 of the study, all of the weightlifters did a grueling workout designed to cause muscle damage consisting of 10 sets of 8 reps of the squat using a 4-second eccentric (lowering) phase and 70% of their one-rep max, followed by 5 sets of 20 reps of bodyweight split jump-squats.

In the hours and days following the workout, the researchers took blood samples from the participants to understand how each supplement affected markers of muscle damage.

The results showed that creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase levels were similar in the placebo, 2-gram, and 4-gram groups but lower in the 6-gram group, suggesting that those who took 6 grams of fish oil suffered the least muscle damage.

To test physical recovery, the researchers also measured the participants’ vertical jump height in the hours and days after the workout. They found that the weightlifters in the 6-gram group had the smallest dip in performance and returned to full strength faster than all other groups:

Effect of Fish Oil on Recovery

The researchers tested physical performance using an agility, sprint, and strength test, too, but the results didn’t uncover anything noteworthy (though the 6-gram group tended to recover more fully after these tests than the other groups).

Finally, the researchers asked the weightlifters to rate how sore they felt and found that those in the 6-gram group experienced significantly less subjective soreness than the weightlifters in the other groups. The weightlifters in the 6-gram group also recovered quicker over the following days.

These findings somewhat jive with the results of previous studies. The only difference is that other studies have shown that fish oil boosts recovery at slightly lower doses than 6 grams per day (most suggest 4 grams is more than adequate).

There’s likely a simple explanation: The workout used in this study was brutal. If you did a challenging workout rather than a masochistic one, lower doses of fish oil are probably sufficient.

Bottom line, supplementing with 4-to-6 grams of omega-3 per day will likely improve your recovery from training in small but meaningful ways . . . at least in the short term.

This brings us to an important caveat, which is that reducing inflammation and muscle soreness isn’t always desirable. Inflammation is an important part of the muscle-building process, and although reducing it can help you feel better in the short-term, it may also undermine your long-term gains. This is why, for instance, anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen and ice baths (which reduce swelling, soreness, and inflammation) seem to interfere with long-term muscle growth.

When weighing the pros and cons, I’d say the best course is to consume the clinically effective dose of omega-3s for supporting health, but no more, at least until there’s more research showing that these higher doses don’t interfere with your gains.

And if you’d like a 100% natural high-potency reesterified triglyceride fish oil made from deep-water Peruvian anchovies and sardines, check out Triton.

(Or if you aren’t sure if Triton is right for you, take the Legion Supplement Finder Quiz! In less than a minute, it’ll tell you exactly what supplements are right for you. Click here to check it out.)

TL;DR: Taking 4-to-6 grams of fish oil per day boosts post-exercise recovery and reduces soreness, but it could also interfere with muscle growth over time.

The post Research Roundup #25: Exercise Non-Response, The Healthiest Way to Bulk, and Fish Oil and Recovery appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Sat, 19 Nov 2022 08:35:51 -0800 Sportsman
Ep. #991: Q&A: Fat Intake, Blood Work, Getting Lean Without Cardio, Farmer’s Walks, and More https://sport-topics.com/ep-991-qa-fat-intake-blood-work-getting-lean-without-cardio-farmers-walks-and-more https://sport-topics.com/ep-991-qa-fat-intake-blood-work-getting-lean-without-cardio-farmers-walks-and-more

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on YouTube

How lean can you get without cardio? Are farmer’s walks beneficial? When will Legion be in retail stores? How much fat should you eat every day? Should you get blood work done or check your testosterone levels? Can you use a neutral grip on the dumbbell bench press? Should you do fulcrum deadlifts? All that and more in this Q&A podcast.

Over on Instagram, I’ve started doing weekly Q&As in the stories, and it occurred to me that many podcast listeners might enjoy hearing these questions and my short answers. So, instead of talking about one thing in an episode, I’m going to cover a variety of questions. And keep in mind some of these questions are just for fun. ????

So if you want to ask me questions in my Instagram stories, follow me on Instagram (@muscleforlifefitness), and if I answer your question there, it might just make it onto an episode of the podcast!

If you like this type of episode, let me know. Send me an email (mike@muscleforlife.com) or direct message me on Instagram. And if you don’t like it, let me know that too or how you think it could be better.

Timestamps:

0:00 – My free meal planning tool: buylegion.com/mealplan 

2:50 – Why is birthday cake Legion Whey + so damn tasty?

4:06 – Is it important to get testosterone tested when you’re young for future comparison?

6:27 – It’s been four weeks and I’ve lost eight pounds on the scale. Why can’t I see the difference in the mirror?

8:53 – On dumbbell press, flat, and incline, should I do neutral grip or pronated?

9:36 – What is the recommended daily fat intake?

10:20 – What are your thoughts on farmers walks? Are they beneficial enough to add to my program?

10:55 – When will Legion supplements be sold in stores?

14:19 – What are your thoughts on fulcrum deadlifts? Are they worth it or are they just another fad?

15:07 – Do you ever do pull ups or calisthenics as part of your training? 

15:41 – What is the best way to deadlift without hitting your junk at the top of the exercise?

16:00 – My uncle got triple vaccinated and shortly after became a cuckold. Is that correlation or causation?

16:23 – What is the ideal rest period between sets for hypertrophy?

18:19 – How low can you get body fat percentage with good diet and training with no cardio?

Mentioned on the Show:

Want a free meal planning tool that figures out your calories, macros, and micros, and allows you to create custom meal plans for cutting, lean gaining, and maintaining in under 5 minutes? Go to https://buylegion.com/mealplan and download the tool for free! 

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Ep. #991: Q&A: Fat Intake, Blood Work, Getting Lean Without Cardio, Farmer’s Walks, and More appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Sat, 19 Nov 2022 08:35:51 -0800 Sportsman
Ep. #990: Menno Henselmans on Stretch&Mediated Hypertrophy https://sport-topics.com/ep-990-menno-henselmans-on-stretch-mediated-hypertrophy https://sport-topics.com/ep-990-menno-henselmans-on-stretch-mediated-hypertrophy

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on YouTube

Does training at different muscle lengths affect how quickly the muscles grow? In this interview, Menno Henselmans and I discuss new research on stretch-mediated hypertrophy and the role muscle lengths play in combination with mechanical tension. This is something Mike Israetel and I briefly touched on in our recent interview on partial reps versus full-ROM training, but in this discussion, Menno and I talk about the latest science of resistance training at long muscle lengths, including a new meta-analysis that isn’t published yet. 

Menno has been on my podcast many times on my podcast, but in case you’re not familiar with him, he’s a former business consultant turned international public speaker, educator, writer, published scientist, and physique coach who’s passionate about helping serious athletes attain their ideal physiques.

In this interview, Menno and I talk about . . .

  • What stretch-mediated hypertrophy is, possible mechanisms behind it, and whether you should modify your training to incorporate more of it
  • Active tension versus passive tension
  • The actual reason why full-ROM training is effective
  • Specific guidance on how to modify and tweak exercises for more loaded stretching  (including Bayesian curls, flyes, leg extension tips, and “skull-overs”) 
  • Static stretching between sets (its effects and whether you should do it)
  • And more . . .

So if you want to learn what the science says about training at longer muscle lengths, and how to incorporate more stretch-mediated hypertrophy in your program, definitely check out this interview!

Timestamps:

0:00 – My award-winning fitness books for men and women: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

4:22 – What is stretch-mediated hypertrophy?

6:28 – What is passive tension and active tension? 

11:00 – Can muscles get longer, not just bigger?

15:34 – What are your thoughts on modifying full range of motion training?

28:06 – Are there modifications to exercises that can make them more efficient?

42:21 – What are your thoughts on different height positions for flyes? 

45:03 – Can you explain skull overs?

48:17 – Are there any other modifications you want to cover?

50:15 – Does the position of the wrists affect pec activation? 

58:22 – Where can we find you?

Mentioned on the show: 

My award-winning fitness books for men and women: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

Menno’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmO2dykYM3nlb5BtsXxp9ZQ

Menno’s Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/mennohenselmans

Menno’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/menno.henselmans/

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Ep. #990: Menno Henselmans on Stretch-Mediated Hypertrophy appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Sat, 19 Nov 2022 08:35:51 -0800 Sportsman
Introducing Fungies: Mushrooms in Delicious Gummy Form! https://sport-topics.com/introducing-fungies-mushrooms-in-delicious-gummy-form https://sport-topics.com/introducing-fungies-mushrooms-in-delicious-gummy-form Fungi is all the rage. And what’s not to love? They grow like … fungus… and have a truly staggering array of nutritional properties that get the body, and brain, kicking in high gear. Today, we’re introducing you to […]

Continue Reading →

The post Introducing Fungies: Mushrooms in Delicious Gummy Form! first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Sat, 19 Nov 2022 07:36:26 -0800 Sportsman
Ep. #989: Everything You Need to Know About the Smolov Squat Program https://sport-topics.com/ep-989-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-smolov-squat-program https://sport-topics.com/ep-989-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-smolov-squat-program

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on YouTube

You may have heard of the Smolov squat program, which is a high-volume, high-frequency specialization routine intended to boost your squat fast. It’s also supremely difficult. So, is it worth the effort, or is it just an exercise in masochism? In this podcast, you’re going to learn what the Smolov program is, whether you should try it, how to do the program correctly if you do want to give it a shot, and more.

Timestamps:

0:00 – Find the Perfect Strength Training Program for You: www.muscleforlife.show/trainingquiz

1:59 – What is the Smolov program?

3:18 – Who shouldn’t do the Smolov program?

5:36 – How does the Smolov program work?

9:06 – What does the Smolov training program look like?

19:08 – Will this help you build muscle?

20:10 – How effective is the Smolov program?

20:39 – What is the Smolov Junior training program?

21:08 – Can you train other body parts while following the Smolov program?

24:19 – How do you do the calculations to follow the program?

Mentioned on the show: 

Find the Perfect Strength Training Program for You in Just 60 Seconds: http://www.muscleforlife.show/trainingquiz

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Ep. #989: Everything You Need to Know About the Smolov Squat Program appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Wed, 16 Nov 2022 06:20:29 -0800 Sportsman
The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Weightlifting https://sport-topics.com/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-weightlifting https://sport-topics.com/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-weightlifting Getting started with weightlifting can be overwhelming.

Choosing which exercises to do, learning how to do them correctly, knowing when and how to add weight or reps, deciding how many sets to do and how many days per week to train . . . it all seems about as straightforward as computing calculus with an abacus. 

In reality, though, weightlifting is one of the simplest sports to master, requiring far less know-how and technical proficiency than most.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get going in the gym, the best beginner weightlifting program, and more.

What Is Weightlifting?

Weightlifting, also known as weight training, strength training, or resistance training, is a type of physical exercise that involves performing movements against resistance to gain muscle and strength.

Often, the “tools” you use to create resistance are barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells (collectively known as free weights), though you can also use weightlifting machines, resistance bands, and your body weight.

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The Benefits of Weightlifting

1. It builds muscle.

As you probably know, weightlifting helps you build muscle. What you might not realize, however, is how quickly you gain muscle when you start lifting weights.

For example, in one study conducted by scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 38 greenhorn weightlifters who trained 4 days per week for 12 weeks gained up to ~12 lb of muscle (while losing fat!).

Having muscle is important because it makes performing everyday tasks easier, protects you against injury, boosts your athletic performance, extends your life expectancy, and helps you maintain good metabolic health, reducing your risk of numerous metabolic diseases that can negatively affect your body composition and health.

2. It burns fat.

Several studies show that lifting weights increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR—the number of calories you burn at rest), making it a great way to support long-term weight loss.

The main reason for this is that muscle mass burns more calories at rest than fat, so your body burns more calories even when you aren’t training.

Furthermore, when we lift weights, our muscles release special fluid-filled particles into our blood called extracellular vesicles. As these special particles leave our muscles, they carry strands of genetic material called miR-1, which they then deposit in neighboring fat cells. 

Importantly, when miR-1 is in muscle tissue, it hinders muscle growth, but once it’s deposited in fat cells, it hastens fat burning. In other words, lifting weights causes subtle shifts in the expression of certain genes that accelerate muscle growth and fat burning.

3. It boosts health.

Weightlifting boosts your health in myriad ways, including improving your body composition, blood pressure, blood glucose level and insulin sensitivity, mobility and physical function, blood lipid profile, bone mineral density and bone health, cognition, and immune function.

It also lowers your risk of countless diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

4. It improves sleep.

Getting sufficient sleep (7-to-9 hours per night for most people) is paramount for maintaining good health and well-being. 

Despite this, around one-third of Americans don’t sleep enough, 5-to-15% suffer from insomnia, and one-third report waking at least three times per night.

Sleep disturbances like these reduce sleep quality and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, depression and anxiety, and death from all causes. They also make you more likely to lose focus and be less productive during the day, and increase your risk of being involved in potentially life-threatening accidents.

Studies show that lifting weights increases the quality and quantity of your sleep and how well you function during the day.

5. It improves your quality of life.

Studies show that weightlifting increases your self-efficacy, self-esteem, and self-worth, reduces anxiety, boosts mood, and helps you stay independent as you age, which collectively improve your mental well-being and quality of life.

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Getting Started with Weightlifting

Before you start weightlifting, it pays to have a plan that optimizes your time in the gym and ensures you stay safe.

Let’s go over the main things you need to know.

How Often Should You Train?

It’s common to see fit people bragging about how much time they spend training each week (#nodaysoff).

While training hard is commendable, training intensely for 6 or 7 days per week is a good way to burn out, physically and psychologically.

The best way to avoid this is to train enough to spur progress but not so much that you risk your health or well-being.

A good starting place for most people is training 3 days per week, preferably on non-consecutive days. For example, you could train on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and take the other days of the week off lifting.

The only caveat is that as you become more experienced, you may need to increase your training frequency (the number of workouts you do per week) to continue progressing. This isn’t necessary in the beginning, though, so stick with 3 days per week until progress stalls.

You can train more often than this if you want to, but it’s usually not necessary.

How Many Sets Should You Do Per Workout?

A set is a number of repetitions (reps) of an exercise performed back-to-back without rest.

For example, if a workout calls for 3 sets of 10 reps of bench press, you’d unrack the bar, do 10 reps (1 set), re-rack the bar, rest, and then continue like this until you finish all 3 sets. 

Beginner weightlifters only need to do ~10-to-12 weekly sets per major muscle group to make excellent progress.

How Many Reps Should You Do Per Set?

Despite what some “experts” say, you don’t need to do 20+ reps per set to build muscle. 

While it’s possible to build muscle using high rep ranges, research shows that they’re only effective if you take each set to failure (the point at which you can’t complete a rep despite giving maximum effort).

There are two problems with this training style: doing high-rep sets is extremely unpleasant (sets take longer, feel harder, and cause more fatigue than lower-rep sets) and training to failure regularly can increase your risk of injury.

By increasing the weight and doing fewer reps per set, however, you can produce a powerful muscle-building stimulus without busting a gut or training to failure.

That’s why I recommend you do all your training in the 6-to-10 rep range, which means lifting weights between 70-to-80% of your one rep max (the most weight you can lift on an exercise for one rep).

As you become more accustomed to weightlifting, working in even lower rep ranges (4-to-6, for example) may help you gain strength even more effectively, but this isn’t necessary while starting out.

What Type of Exercises Should You Do?

There are two types of weightlifting exercises: compound exercises and isolation exercises.

A compound exercise involves multiple joints and muscles. For example, the squat involves moving the knees, ankles, and hips and requires a whole-body coordinated effort, with the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes bearing the brunt of the load.

An isolation exercise involves just one joint and muscle. For example, the biceps curl involves moving the elbow and trains the biceps only.

Compound exercises should make up the lion’s share of any well-designed weightlifting program. The main reason for this is that compound exercises allow you to train dozens of muscles simultaneously, allowing you to lift more weight safely, which is generally better for muscle and strength gain.

Additionally, they allow you to train more efficiently (one compound exercise can do the work of several isolation exercises) and raise testosterone and growth hormone levels more than isolation exercises. 

While hormonal changes like these don’t influence muscle gain as much as some people would have you believe, they’re beneficial nonetheless.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid isolation exercises altogether, though.

A good rule of thumb is to spend about 80% of your time in the gym doing compound exercises and the remaining 20% doing isolation exercises.

How Do You Use Proper Form?

To use proper form, you need to control how your body and the weight are moving in each rep. You should always feel like you’re using your muscles to execute the movements, not gravity or momentum.

For example, when doing the dumbbell bench press, instead of relaxing your pecs and arms and allowing the dumbbells to drop toward your chest, you should keep your upper-body muscles tight as you lower the weights.

An excellent way to ensure you maintain control during an exercise is to use the correct amount of weight. To determine what the correct amount of weight is for each exercise, start light, try it out, and increase the weight for each successive hard set until you’ve dialed everything in.

You also need to use a full range of motion, which means you should bend and straighten your joints as far as anatomically possible (or comfortable) during a given exercise. 

For example, a full range of motion in the bench press requires that you lower the bar until it touches your chest, then press upward until your arms are straight.

Using a full range of motion is important because:

  1. It increases muscle and strength gain.
  2. It helps you avoid injury by allowing your entire joints to share the strains of strength training rather than concentrating the stress on smaller areas of your joints.

In sum, proper form is achieved when you move an appropriate weight through the right range of motion with proper technique.

How Do You Warm Up?

Doing a thorough warm-up before your first exercise in each workout helps you troubleshoot your form, “groove in” proper technique, and increase the temperature of and blood flow to your muscles, which can boost your performance and thus muscle and strength gain over time.

Here’s the protocol you want to follow before your first exercise of each workout:

  • Roughly estimate what weight you’re going to use for your three sets of the exercise (this is your “hard set” weight).
  • Do 6 reps with about 50% of your hard set weight, and rest for a minute.
  • Do 4 reps with about 70% of your hard set weight, and rest for a minute.

Then, do all your hard sets for your first exercise and the rest of the exercises for that workout.

How Do You Progress?

As I explain in my fitness books for men and women, Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger, the best way to maximize the muscle-building and strengthening effects of weightlifting is to strive to add weight or reps to every exercise in every workout (also known as progressive overload).

To do this effectively, follow this rule: once you hit the top of your rep range for one set, add weight.

For instance, let’s say your workout calls for 6-to-8 reps of the deadlift. If you get 8 reps for a set, add 5 pounds to each side of the bar (10 pounds total) for your next set and work with that weight until you can (eventually) lift it for 8 reps, and so forth.

If you get 5 or fewer reps with your new (higher) weight on your next sets, reduce the weight by 5 pounds to ensure you can stay within your target rep range (6-to-8) for all sets.

Follow this pattern of trying to add reps or weight to every exercise in every workout. This method is known as double progression, and it’s a highly effective way to get fitter and stronger.

How Long Should You Rest Between Sets?

Resting enough between sets is vital because it gives your heart time to settle down and prepares you to give maximum effort in your next hard set.

Research shows that resting 1-to-5 minutes between sets is optimal. In practice, the best way to do this is to rest 1-to-2 minutes between hard sets for smaller muscle groups, like the biceps, triceps, and shoulders, and slightly more (3-to-5 minutes) between hard sets for your larger muscle groups, like your back, chest, and legs.

How Often Should You Take a Break From Weightlifting?

You may have heard that you should periodically take breaks from training to allow your body to recover completely. While this can work if you’re feeling particularly beaten up, it’s rarely necessary.

A better approach is to use a deload, which involves reducing your workout volume and intensity for a period, usually a week.

I recommend you use a deload every ninth week of training using the following protocol:

  1. Do half as many sets as you did the previous week per exercise. (If you normally do an odd number of sets, you can decide whether to round up or down based on how ragged you’re feeling.) 
  2. Warm up and use heavy weights as usual, but do half as many reps as the upper end of your target rep range calls for. For example, if your workout calls for 6-to-8 reps per set, then do 4 per set while deloading.

Which Supplements Should You Take?

You don’t need to take supplements to gain muscle and strength, but the right ones can help.

Here’s what I recommend for beginner weightlifters:

  • 0.8-to-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. This provides your body with the “building blocks” it needs to build and repair muscle tissue and help you recover from your workouts. If you want a clean, convenient, and delicious source of protein, try Whey+ or Casein+.
  • 3-to-5 grams of creatine per day. This will boost muscle and strength gain, improve anaerobic endurance, and reduce muscle damage and soreness from your workouts. If you want a 100% natural source of creatine that also includes two other ingredients that will help boost muscle growth and improve recovery, try Recharge.
  • One serving of Pulse per day. Pulse is a 100% natural pre-workout drink that enhances energy, mood, and focus; increases strength and endurance; and reduces fatigue. You can also get Pulse with caffeine or without.

(And if you’d like even more specific advice about which supplements you should take to reach your health and fitness goals, take the Legion Supplement Finder Quiz, and in less than a minute, you’ll know exactly what supplements are right for you. Click here to check it out.)

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The Best Beginner Weightlifting Workout Program

Below is a 3-day full-body beginner weightlifting routine that includes all the best muscle-building exercises and uses the right number of weekly sets to promote hypertrophy without wearing you to a frazzle. 

For best results, perform each workout on non-consecutive days. For example, you could do Workout 1 on Monday, Workout 2 on Wednesday, and Workout 3 on Friday.

The-Legion-Beginner-Weightlifting-Program

And if you like the look of this training program, but you’d like even more options, such as an intermediate and advanced plan, check out my fitness book for absolute beginners of any age, Muscle for Life.

(Or if you aren’t sure if Muscle for Life is right for you or if another training program might be a better fit for your circumstances and goals, then take Legion Strength Training Quiz, and in less than a minute, you’ll know the perfect strength training program for you. Click here to check it out.)

The post The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Weightlifting appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Wed, 16 Nov 2022 06:20:27 -0800 Sportsman
10 Tough Fitness Truths You Need to Hear https://sport-topics.com/10-tough-fitness-truths-you-need-to-hear https://sport-topics.com/10-tough-fitness-truths-you-need-to-hear Many people say the best diet and exercise regimens are the ones you can stick to. This is true insofar as compliance is concerned—consistency is the watchword of winners—but it misses a crucial caveat: Efficacy. No matter how well you stick to a diet or exercise routine that doesn’t work, you’re nowhere. The goldilocks zone, then, is the overlap between what you can stick with and what works.

And while that territory is larger than you might think—you have a lot of latitude in how you can eat and exercise to achieve your health and fitness goals—there are boundaries. For example . . .

  1. Too many of even the “healthiest” calories will cause weight gain. Energy balance is a rough mistress.
  2. You can look like a model of fitness and feel like a measure of death. Don’t mistake big muscles and little waists for picture-postcard health.
  3. If you try to lose more than 0.5-to-1% of your bodyweight per week, your chances of success (and satisfaction with the results) tumble. Patience is more important than pain tolerance.
  4. Organic/vegan/gluten-free/etc. junk food is still junk food. Sorry but not sorry.
  5. The best way to lose weight if your blood is type A? Calorie deficit. B? Calorie deficit. AB? Keto. Just kidding. It’s a calorie deficit.
  6. It’s a lot easier to eat too much fat than it is to eat enough protein. By a long way.
  7. Grains can make you fat. Seed oils can make you fat. Sugar can make you fat. Nuts can make you fat. Cheese can make you fat. Fruit can make you fat. Starches can make you fat. Eggs can make you fat. The moral? Just about anything can make you fat if you eat too much of it.
  8. There are no “weird tricks” for melting belly fat; pills, powders, or potions for packing on muscle; or “biohacks” for supercharging your chakras with higher vibrations of the green tea infinity. There’s only the work.
  9. Aside from (maybe) your immediate family and closest friends, most people either don’t care whether you reach your fitness goals or would rather see you fail. So stop seeking validation
  10. To get the body and health you want, you have to deserve what you want. So slug it out one inch at a time, day by day, because eventually—if we live long enough—most of us get what we deserve.

Some people try to snub such “tough fitness truths” for more comforting myths and fictions, but the sooner you can find, accept, and adapt to them, the sooner you can get on the glide path to your best body ever. Because most of your results come from repeating the rudiments over and over for a long time. Most everything else is window dressing.

The post 10 Tough Fitness Truths You Need to Hear appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Wed, 16 Nov 2022 06:20:27 -0800 Sportsman
Do You Fear Cluttering Your Kitchen? Learn When to Replace What! https://sport-topics.com/do-you-fear-cluttering-your-kitchen-learn-when-to-replace-what https://sport-topics.com/do-you-fear-cluttering-your-kitchen-learn-when-to-replace-what The kitchen deserves the most attention in your house. You want to keep it updated and hygienic to avoid troubles with your health and daily routine. Generally, good upkeep extends the lifespan of this overused home area. Hence, it makes sense to review all the appliances and nooks from time to time to ensure they are doing fine. If you are not a hoarder, you will want to avoid adding unnecessary items unless required. The risk of piling can be more applicable to smaller items. You will only buy heavy-duty products like fridges, dishwashers, cooking ranges, and others when there is a genuine need. After all, it’s impossible to have two fridges in a tiny or medium size kitchen. Then, you may not want to dent your savings by indulging in frequent big-ticket purchases.

You don’t have to worry about these factors when buying a farm sink. These mostly come with reasonable price tags, and then there can be just one sink area in the kitchen. So, replacement is the only option. Plus, this is one of the most overused corners. You want to maintain your busy schedule even if your sink looks slightly dull and tired.

Nevertheless, as a reminder, cluttering doesn’t happen through these appliances. Cookware and smaller gadgets typically pose this risk because you may be unaware of their lifespan. Careful use and maintenance can increase their life expectancy, but there will be a time to bid them goodbye. So, let’s delve into this aspect.

Different types of cookware

You can divide these kitchen items into two distinct categories – nonstick utensils and stainless-steel vessels. A Chicago hotel’s chef informs that nonstick pans and pots don’t survive long. When you notice scratches in the bottom or food sticks to the base, it’s better to replace them. Some householders may replace them because of the amount of elbow grease involved in cleaning them. But there is a more practical reason to discard them immediately. Scratched cookware items like these release dangerous chemicals and damage your health.

Then, some people continue to use their stainless-steel pans and pots even after 50 years. It doesn’t pose chemical risks. Some of them become discolored or develop spots due to overuse. Still, these marks don’t interfere with the food quality. But you will want to reconsider your decision to retain them if their handles have become loose. You want to avoid hurting yourself with hot items because of the broken handle that may come out when you need it the most to tighten your grip on the utensil.

Electrical units

Coffee makers, toasters, blenders, food processors, and electric kettles are essential kitchen items that make your daily cooking tasks faster and more efficient. Toasters usually suffer due to the accumulation of crumbs that block them and don’t allow them to work correctly. Rust on the surface and the lengthy time required in toasting can be a few signs that this device needs an upgrade. With blenders, you must watch for indications like leakage in the bottom or a burning smell when used. Although high-end models last a lifetime, you may have to keep an eye on this if it’s inexpensive. Similarly, electric kettles don’t need frequent replacement if you clean them and use them properly. Still, if your kettle takes more time to heat a liquid, you can replace it.

Food processors in good shape will have their blades sharp for smooth grinding. Coffee makers reveal their health when they stop brewing your coffee as flavorful as they used to.

Kitchen tools

Graters and zesters can be the little things in the kitchen, but their contribution to your meal prep can be massive. You depend on them for handling cheese, ginger, and garlic – the most commonly used cooking ingredients. The graters need to be razor-sharp. If they demand more grating effort from your end, switching to a new option is better. When you apply more force to the grating, the tool will shift and hurt your fingers or hands. Wooden tools like rolling pins and others may develop cracks, becoming a favorite spot for bacteria. Likewise, you can decide the fate of your rubber spatulas. Cracks and breaks reveal their weakness. With knives and peelers, you don’t have to think twice if their sharpness has reduced, and they slip from your hand frequently as you exert more to do the cutting and peeling job.

Aren’t these decisions simple?

You may think these are minor issues. Such tools may not be as risky as something that causes fire or significant accidents. You must take everything seriously in the kitchen, as things sometimes go awry without any visible warnings. Nevertheless, if you didn’t know, studies suggest that as many as 322k people visit emergency rooms annually for cuts caused by knives to treat finger avulsions and lacerations. Due to choppers and slicers, about 25 thousand people visit the ER for the same treatment. Blenders and food processors account for 3500 to 8400 visits annually, while coffee maker cases can be in the range of 4500 and more.

Remind yourself of these possibilities when taking things in your kitchen for granted. Of course, these numbers need to indicate whether older tools have been the culprits. Still, precaution is your safety. A safe kitchen houses all the efficient tools in good shape and form.

Appreciating fresh kitchen interiors is one thing, but it’s crucial to think of making the environment safer as a priority. Keep stock of all the things you regularly use during cooking and serving. Avoid the urge to save a few dollars when significant risks are there. If you are okay with spending on the appearance of this place, you should take even less time to replace the most valuable items. Some homeowners get new tools to avoid the risks. However, they keep the older ones. It eventually leads to cluttering issues. Hence, be careful of this behavior or habit too. There is no fun in wasting precious square footage on something damaged. Anyway, put your kitchen on order and enjoy your cooking.

The post Do You Fear Cluttering Your Kitchen? Learn When to Replace What! appeared first on Girl Cooks World.

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Wed, 16 Nov 2022 06:00:08 -0800 Sportsman
Caesar Bacarella of Alpha Prime Tells His Amazing Story https://sport-topics.com/caesar-bacarella-of-alpha-prime-tells-his-amazing-story https://sport-topics.com/caesar-bacarella-of-alpha-prime-tells-his-amazing-story

By now, if you’re a follower of fitness and nutrition, there’s a great chance you’ve tried — or at least heard of — the phenomenal AP PrimeBites Protein Brownies. In less than a single year, they’ve become the hottest […]

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The post Caesar Bacarella of Alpha Prime Tells His Amazing Story first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Wed, 16 Nov 2022 05:48:23 -0800 Sportsman
Umzu ZUUM: A Naturally&Minded Pre&Workout Supplement https://sport-topics.com/umzu-zuum-a-naturally-minded-pre-workout-supplement https://sport-topics.com/umzu-zuum-a-naturally-minded-pre-workout-supplement Most new active nutrition supplement brands make their debut with a pre-workout supplement, since pre-workouts are such industry mainstays. But with so many competing for room on the shelves, we’re often left with an abundance of copycat formulas, gimmicks, or […]

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The post Umzu ZUUM: A Naturally-Minded Pre-Workout Supplement first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Wed, 16 Nov 2022 05:48:23 -0800 Sportsman
Arms Race Nutrition Elevation: Pecan Pie Flavor Grandma Would Love https://sport-topics.com/arms-race-nutrition-elevation-pecan-pie-flavor-grandma-would-love https://sport-topics.com/arms-race-nutrition-elevation-pecan-pie-flavor-grandma-would-love In addition to their Apple Pie Moonshine announcement, Arms Race Nutrition is embracing the fall spirit with an incredible, seasonably appropriate flavor of their Elevation whey protein isolate powder:

Pecan Pie!

Thanksgiving dessert after every workout

The importance of […]

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The post Arms Race Nutrition Elevation: Pecan Pie Flavor Grandma Would Love first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Wed, 16 Nov 2022 05:48:23 -0800 Sportsman
AstroFlav VeganMix: Complete Plant Protein with Out of This World Flavor! https://sport-topics.com/astroflav-veganmix-complete-plant-protein-with-out-of-this-world-flavor https://sport-topics.com/astroflav-veganmix-complete-plant-protein-with-out-of-this-world-flavor plantSince bursting onto the supplement scene in 2019, AstroFlav has established themselves as a cut above the rest when it comes to customer relationships and flavors. Their development process is driven by a constant loop of feedback from their fanbase, […]

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The post AstroFlav VeganMix: Complete Plant Protein with Out of This World Flavor! first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Fri, 11 Nov 2022 19:39:43 -0800 Sportsman
Ep. #988: Says You! Fruit Isn’t as Healthy as People Claim https://sport-topics.com/ep-988-says-you-fruit-isnt-as-healthy-as-people-claim https://sport-topics.com/ep-988-says-you-fruit-isnt-as-healthy-as-people-claim

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on YouTube

Some people claim eating fruit is a problem because modern fruit is very different from the fruit humans were eating thousands of years ago. Not only is modern fruit larger and more sugary, they say, but now we’re eating a much larger quantity and variety of fruit than we ever did. This is contributing to obesity and other diseases. Is there any truth to these claims? Is modern fruit that different from ancient fruit? Does it matter? Find out in this podcast.

I’ve written and recorded a lot of evidence-based content over the years on just about everything you can imagine related to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy.

I’ve also worked with thousands of men and women of all ages and circumstances and helped them get into the best shape of their lives.

That doesn’t mean you should blindly swallow everything I say, though, because let’s face it—nobody is always right about everything. And especially in fields like diet and exercise, which are constantly evolving thanks to the efforts of honest and hardworking researchers and thought leaders.

This is why I’m always happy to hear from people who disagree with me, especially when they have good arguments and evidence to back up their assertions.

Sometimes I can’t get on board with their positions, but sometimes I end up learning something, and either way, I always appreciate the discussion.

That gave me the idea for this series of podcast episodes: publicly addressing things people disagree with me on and sharing my perspective.

Think of it like a spicier version of a Q&A.

So, here’s what I’m doing:

Every couple of weeks, I’m asking my Instagram followers what they disagree with me on, and then picking the more common or interesting contentions to address here on the podcast.

And in this episode, I’ll be tackling the following . . .

  • Modern fruit is a problem because it’s very different from the fruit humans were eating thousands of years ago. Modern fruit is contributing to obesity and other types of disease.

Timestamps:

0:00 – Check out my new probiotic, Biome! https://buylegion.com/biome

2:35 – Is fruit bad for you?

4:06 – Is there too much sugar in modern fruits?

Mentioned on the show: 

My new probiotic, Biome, is here! Check it out: https://buylegion.com/biome

Biome is the only 100% natural probiotic supplement with clinically effective doses of 4 scientifically proven ingredients for improving the health and function of your digestive system, including your gut barrier, and promoting a leaner body composition. Grab a bottle here: https://buylegion.com/biome

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Ep. #988: Says You! Fruit Isn’t as Healthy as People Claim appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Fri, 11 Nov 2022 13:12:54 -0800 Sportsman
Research Roundup #24: Hard vs. Soft Food, the Best Hamstring Exercise, and Massage Guns and Flexibility https://sport-topics.com/research-roundup-24-hard-vs-soft-food-the-best-hamstring-exercise-and-massage-guns-and-flexibility https://sport-topics.com/research-roundup-24-hard-vs-soft-food-the-best-hamstring-exercise-and-massage-guns-and-flexibility It’s estimated that there are over 2+ million scientific papers published each year, and this firehose only seems to intensify.

Even if you narrow your focus to fitness research, it would take several lifetimes to unravel the hairball of studies on nutrition, training, supplementation, and related fields.

This is why my team and I spend thousands of hours each year dissecting and describing scientific studies in articles, podcasts, and books and using the results to formulate our 100% all-natural sports supplements and inform our coaching services. 

And while the principles of proper eating and exercising are simple and somewhat immutable, reviewing new research can reinforce or reshape how we eat, train, and live for the better. 

Thus, each week, I’m going to share three scientific studies on diet, exercise, supplementation, mindset, and lifestyle that will help you gain muscle and strength, lose fat, perform and feel better, live longer, and get and stay healthier. 

This week, you’ll learn whether the consistency of the food you eat affects weight loss, the best isolation exercises for training your hamstrings, and if using a massage gun improves flexibility.

Eating hard foods may boost weight loss.

Source: “Texture-based differences in eating rate influence energy intake for minimally processed and ultra-processed meals” published on July 6, 2022 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Some scientists speculate that one of the reasons eating ultra-processed food causes weight gain is that it tends to be softer, which means you typically eat it more quickly. And when you eat more quickly, your “hunger hormones” don’t have enough time to communicate fullness, which often means you overeat.

To test this theory, scientists at the Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation had 50 people consume 4 different meals on 4 separate occasions to assess how different textures and degrees of processing affect food intake.

The foods the diners ate were either soft-textured and minimally processed, soft-textured and ultra-processed, hard-textured and minimally processed, or hard-textured and ultra-processed. In each condition, the diners ate until they were comfortably full.

The results showed that diners ate more soft- than hard-textured food because they could eat it more quickly.

The diners ate the most calories during the soft-textured ultra-processed meal, followed by the soft-textured minimally processed meal, then the hard-textured ultra-processed meal, and finally, the hard-textured minimally processed meal. This pattern was the same for the rate of energy intake (calories consumed per minute) in each meal.

Despite these results, the diners felt equally full after each meal. They also consumed about the same number of calories throughout the remainder of the day, regardless of which test meal they ate. That is, when they ate fewer calories during the test meal, they didn’t compensate by eating more later in the day.

The findings from several other similar studies bolster these results, too. 

If you want help controlling your appetite and limiting your food intake while dieting to lose weight, it’s sensible to get the majority of your calories from foods that require a bit of chewing. 

Of course, most whole, nutritious, minimally processed foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, seafood, and meats fit this description, so this is really just more reason to prioritize these foods over nutritionally bankrupt fodder. 

(And if you’d like even more advice about which foods you should eat to reach your health and fitness goals, take the Legion Diet Quiz, and in less than a minute, you’ll know exactly what diet is right for you. Click here to check it out.)

TL;DR: One of the reasons whole foods help you stay lean is they’re usually harder and require more chewing. This forces you to eat more slowly, which helps prevent overeating.

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Seated leg curls are one of the best hamstrings exercises you can do.

Source: “Muscle Recruitment Pattern of The Hamstring Muscles in Hip Extension and Knee Flexion Exercises” published on March 31, 2020 in Journal of Human Kinetics.

There are two main ways to train your hamstrings: hip extension and knee flexion.

Exercises that involve moving your abdomen away from your thighs, such as the deadlift, Romanian deadlift, and glute bridge, train hip extension, and exercises that involve bringing your ankles closer to your butt, such as the seated and lying leg curl and nordic curl, train knee flexion.

So many choices . . . but which is best if you want big gams?

That’s the question scientists at Jobu University wanted to answer in this study.

The researchers had 7 untrained men do 4 workouts on 4 separate occasions, 3 days apart. In each workout, the weightlifters did 1 of 4 exercises:

  1. Lying leg curl
  2. Seated leg curl
  3. Donkey kick with the knee bent at 90 degrees
  4. Donkey kick with a straight leg

In each workout, the weightlifters did 2 sets: 1 set of 3 reps and 1 set of 30 reps.

The results showed that the leg curl variations trained the hamstrings more than the donkey kick variations and that the weightlifters could generate more force and activate more muscle on the seated leg curl than the lying leg curl.

In other words, the seated leg curl was the most effective exercise for training the hamstrings, even more so than the lying leg curl. Here’s a graph illustrating the differences:

Hamstrings Exercises MRI Results

The researchers believed this was because the seated hamstring curl trains your hamstrings through a full range of motion (ROM) when fully stretched, which tends to be better for muscle growth.

In comparison, lying leg curls train your hamstrings through a full ROM but not when fully stretched, and exercises like deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, and good mornings train your hamstring when stretched but not through a full ROM.

Cool cool cool, but does this mean the seated hamstring exercise is the only exercise you should do for your hammies? 

Not necessarily.

Compound exercises that allow you to lift heavy weights and effectively implement progressive overload should always be the nucleus of a well-designed lower-body workout. That’s why they take precedence in my programs for men and women, Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger.

However, based on the results of this study and others like it, it’s probably sensible to choose the seated hamstring curl as your go-to hamstring accessory exercise most of the time.

(And if you’d like even more specific advice about what exercises to include in your training program to reach your health and fitness goals, take the Legion Strength Training Quiz, and in less than a minute, you’ll know the perfect strength training program for you. Click here to check it out.)

TL;DR: The seated leg curl is one of the most effective exercises for developing your hamstrings.

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Using a massage gun before training makes you more flexible.

Source: “The Acute Effects of a Percussive Massage Treatment with a Hypervolt Device on Plantar Flexor Muscles’ Range of Motion and Performance” published on December 10, 2018 in Journal of International Medical Research.

Massage guns have become increasingly popular as a post-workout recovery gadget in the past few years. 

Even more recently, massage gun manufacturers have begun claiming that they’re the perfect pre-workout tool, too, capable of loosening up tight muscles and increasing your flexibility without hindering your performance.

Is this accurate or marketing bunkum?

To find out, scientists at the University of Graz invited 16 recreational athletes to participate in two tests. In both, they strapped the athletes’ ankles to an isokinetic dynamometer, a machine that tests a joint’s range of motion (ROM) and strength. 

The difference was that in one test, the researchers massaged the calf of the tethered leg using a massage gun for 5 minutes and in the other, they didn’t (this acted as the “control condition”).

The results showed that in the control condition, the athletes experienced no changes in flexibility or strength after sitting with their feet in an isokinetic dynamometer. No surprises there.

After the massage, however, the athletes’ ankle ROM increased by ~5.4 degrees without losing strength (measured using maximum voluntary contraction in newton meters, or Nm). Here’s a table of the results:

Massage Gun ROM Change

It’s not exactly clear how massage guns increase ROM, though it’s likely due to two factors:

  1. Massage guns put pressure on your muscles, skin, and fascia, which may alter the viscosity of the fluid in these areas, allowing you to move more freely.
  2. Massage guns may decrease pain perception, allowing you to stretch further without discomfort.

Regardless of the mechanism, the important thing is that these results and those of a similar study show that massaging your muscle with a massage gun before exercising increases your flexibility without thwarting your performance.

This is important because many people stretch before training, which may help you feel looser, but also likely makes you perform worse. Thus, using a massage gun is a viable alternative to stretching that provides all the benefits, without the demerits. 

Let me add a rider to these results: While the study showed that massage guns increase flexibility, they didn’t show this actually improved performance, reduced the risk of injury, improved exercise technique, or really did anything useful. Thus, it’s not evidence that flexibility is inherently good, but if inflexibility happens to be an issue for you (perhaps tight shoulders makes it difficult to bring the bar to your chest while bench pressing, for instance), a little massage gunnery might be helpful. 

TL;DR: Using a massage gun to massage a muscle for 5 minutes before training makes you more flexible without reducing your performance.

The post Research Roundup #24: Hard vs. Soft Food, the Best Hamstring Exercise, and Massage Guns and Flexibility appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Fri, 11 Nov 2022 13:12:53 -0800 Sportsman
The Complete Guide to Human Growth Hormone Supplements https://sport-topics.com/the-complete-guide-to-human-growth-hormone-supplements https://sport-topics.com/the-complete-guide-to-human-growth-hormone-supplements Human growth hormone supplements are all the go nowadays.

According to the companies and ex-basketball stars that peddle them, they’re the answer to increased muscle growth and fat loss, child-like energy levels, and deep, restful sleep.

And if you’re like many folks, this sounds too good to be true. 

Is there really such a thing as a natural “HGH booster?” 

Is there any science behind these products?

And even if they work, are human growth hormone supplements safe?

Get an evidence-based answer in this article.

 

What Is Human Growth Hormone?

Human growth hormone (HGH), also known as somatropin or simply “growth hormone,” is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland.

HGH is responsible for regulating growth during childhood and adolescence, though it also figures prominently in fat burning and muscle growth.

Specifically, HGH causes fat “mobilization,” which means it helps your body release the fatty acids stored in fat cells, and it promotes the release of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which triggers muscle growth, blunts muscle breakdown, and further encourages fat mobilization.

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What Are Human Growth Hormone Supplements?

Human growth hormone supplements are dietary supplements that contain ingredients purported to increase your body’s HGH levels.

They differ from human growth hormone injections, which are a medical treatment that doctors administer to people with human growth hormone deficiency and conditions associated with poor growth.

Some bodybuilders also use human growth hormone injections to boost their HGH to supraphysiological levels, hoping to increase muscle gain and fat loss beyond what’s possible naturally. Using human growth hormone injections in this context is illegal and can harm your health.

For example, research shows that using human growth hormone for bodybuilding can hinder heart health, cause insulin resistance, and increase your risk of blood, breast, colon, prostate, and endometrial cancer. 

Human Growth Hormone Supplements: Benefits

The most commonly claimed benefits of human growth hormone supplements are increased muscle growth, strength, fat loss, and energy, accelerated recovery from training, fewer aches and pains, and improved mood and sleep.

To achieve this, supplement companies create supplements containing gobs of ingredients, all of which, they say, boost HGH production.

Are these ingredients really beneficial, though?

Let’s look at what science says about some of the most common HGH supplement ingredients to find out.

Lysine

Lysine, or L-lysine, is an essential amino acid (an amino acid your body must obtain through your diet) that plays a part in muscle protein synthesis and cellular function.

Research shows that supplementing with lysine alone doesn’t boost HGH levels. 

While some research shows that combining lysine with the amino acid arginine may increase HGH levels, other studies show the increase is too small to make any meaningful difference to body composition.

Therefore, there’s little evidence that supplementing with lysine increases HGH levels to a significant degree.

Arginine

Arginine, or L-arginine, is an amino acid that your body uses to synthesize nitric oxide, a substance that relaxes your blood vessels, regulates blood flow, and improves athletic performance.

Similarly to lysine, taking arginine alone doesn’t boost HGH. This may change when combined with lysine, but this evidence is inconclusive.

One study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness showed that combining arginine with the amino acid ornithine significantly increased HGH levels in men who also followed a weightlifting program.

There are two problems with this study, though.

First, several studies show that strength training alone increases HGH levels. As such, it’s impossible to know whether the participants experienced increased HGH because of the supplement or because they lifted weights.

Second, subsequent research has called into question the methods the scientists used. For example, the authors measured the participants’ weight using a spring scale, their body fat percentage using calipers, and their body fat mass using a tape measure, which are all prone to significant error.

Another study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that men who supplemented with arginine and ornithine had higher HGH levels than men who took a placebo after completing a weightlifting workout.

The same problem persists, however: The participants took two supplements, making it impossible to know which was responsible for the increase in HGH. What’s more, studies using similar supplement combinations have failed to replicate the results.

At bottom, there’s almost no reason to believe arginine affects HGH levels.

Ornithine

Ornithine is an amino acid that’s involved in the urea cycle, a process that balances out urea and ammonia levels in the body.

As we’ve already seen, studies looking at the effect of taking ornithine and arginine on HGH are inconclusive. Similar research shows that taking ornithine in combination with tyrosine doesn’t raise HGH levels, either.

Results from studies investigating how ornithine alone affects HGH show that taking large doses may increase HGH for a short time. Although this result seems encouraging, there are two caveats.

First, to raise HGH levels, you have to take an impractically large dose of ornithine that’s highly likely to cause severe stomach cramps and diarrhea.

Second, these studies only consider HGH changes over 90 minutes. For growth hormone to have an appreciable effect on muscle building and fat loss, it needs to be elevated for far longer (days or even weeks).

Taken together, there’s little evidence that ornithine meaningfully increases HGH levels.

Glutamine

Glutamine is the most abundant and versatile amino acid in the body.

Most research looking at glutamine’s effect on HGH levels is conflicting, with some studies showing taking glutamine increases HGH (at least for a short while) and others demonstrating the opposite (even after weightlifting).

In one notable study conducted by scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, researchers found that taking a supplement containing glutamine (as well as lysine, arginine, and several other ingredients) increased HGH levels by 682% after just 2 hours. 

(The same lab released a subsequent paper detailing the mechanisms behind this staggering result.)

While these results seem promising, the scientists who conducted the study work for the company that makes the supplement they used. Thus, it’s probably sensible to be chary of these findings until a disinterested third party replicates them (which hasn’t yet happened).

Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a special type of amino acid that acts as an “inhibitory” neurotransmitter, which means it prevents chemical messages from being passed from neuron to neuron.

It also plays a key role in reducing stress and inducing sleep.

While research shows that taking GABA post exercise can increase HGH levels, the increases are too tiny and temporary to affect body composition.

Deer Antler Velvet

Deer antler velvet is the soft hair that covers a deer’s (or elk’s) antlers that’s been used in traditional Chinese medicine for millennia.

To make deer antler velvet supplements, supplement companies remove a deer’s antlers, then strip, dry, and grind the velvet into a powder. The powder is then packed into pills or dissolved in liquid, ready for ingestion.

Deer antler velvet contains IGF-1. Since HGH and IGF-1 are closely related, many people think that taking deer antler velvet may boost HGH.

However, there’s no evidence that supplementing with deer antler velvet increases IGF-1 or HGH.

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Mucuna Pruriens

Mucuna pruriens, also commonly known as velvet bean and cowhage, is a climbing shrub in the legume family that’s native to Africa and Asia and cultivated in North America. It produces hair-covered seeds that cause intense itching if they touch your skin.

These seeds contain levodopa (L-DOPA), which is an amino acid involved in the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates your mood, cognition, and motivation to exercise.

While older research suggests supplementing with L-DOPA may increase HGH, there’s no evidence the increase is large or lasting enough to benefit body composition. 

What’s more, there’s little reason to believe that taking Mucuna pruriens has a similar effect.

The only evidence comes from a study conducted by scientists at the University of Memphis, in which participants experienced an increase in HGH after taking a supplement containing Mucuna pruriens and safed musli.

Given that the supplement contained two ingredients, the participants exercised regularly (although not within 48 hours of the study), and a supplement company that sells the supplement used in the study funded the research, it’s difficult to know how reliable these results are.

Thus, there’s no strong evidence that Mucuna pruriens boosts HGH.

Astragalus

Astragalus is a herb used in traditional Asian medicine, most often as a tonic or diuretic. 

Some research on rats and rat cells suggests that astragalus may increase HGH secretion, but there’s no evidence that the same is true in humans. 

Until we have more compelling research, it’s safe to conclude that astragalus doesn’t increase HGH.

Human Growth Hormone Supplements: Side Effects

Here’s a rundown of the most common side effects associated with the ingredients above:

  • Lysine: Common side effects associated with taking large doses of lysine include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, skin rash, dizziness, and headache.
  • Arginine: Arginine is generally considered safe, though some who take it may experience gastrointestinal upset.
  • Ornithine: Taking large doses of ornithine can cause severe stomach cramps and diarrhea.
  • Glutamine: Short-term glutamine use isn’t associated with any adverse side effects, though some research suggests long-term usage may negatively affect health in numerous ways, including compromising immune function, increasing cancer risk, and impairing gut and kidney health.
  • GABA: Most studies suggest GABA is well-tolerated. That said, some people report feeling a burning sensation on the throat, breathlessness, lethargy, and weakness in the legs following GABA ingestion.
  • Deer Antler Velvet: There are no known side effects associated with taking deer antler velvet.
  • Mucuna Pruriens: Most people don’t experience negative side effects from taking Mucuna pruriens. However, because Mucuna pruriens contains L-DOPA, it can have the same side effects as levodopa, which include nausea, vomiting, anxiety, low blood pressure, and dyskinesia (involuntary muscle movements).
  • Astragalus: Supplementing with astragalus may cause rash, itching, nasal symptoms, or stomach discomfort, but these are uncommon.

Some Nutritionists Charge Hundreds of Dollars for This Diet "Hack" . . .

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Conclusion

Despite what many supplement companies claim, there are very few natural ingredients that raise HGH levels in humans. Those that do, only increase HGH for a short while and not enough to significantly impact muscle gain and fat loss.

What’s more, HGH supplements often have adverse side effects. These side effects aren’t always dangerous, but they’re nonetheless undesirable.

Fortunately, there are more practical and reliable ways to increase HGH without taking supplements: lifting heavy weights and losing excess body fat. 

Research routinely shows that intense weightlifting and lowering your body fat percentage increase HGH more than any legal supplement ever will. 

And if you want an exercise program that includes plenty of heavy lifting and a diet plan designed to help you lose fat like clockwork, check out my fitness books for men and women, Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger

(Or if you’re not sure if Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger is right for you, take the Legion Strength Training Quiz, and in less than a minute, you’ll know the perfect strength training program for you. Click here to check it out.)

The post The Complete Guide to Human Growth Hormone Supplements appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Wed, 09 Nov 2022 06:59:26 -0800 Sportsman
Ep. #987: Cody McBroom on Who Should and Shouldn’t Reverse Diet https://sport-topics.com/ep-987-cody-mcbroom-on-who-should-and-shouldnt-reverse-diet https://sport-topics.com/ep-987-cody-mcbroom-on-who-should-and-shouldnt-reverse-diet
Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on YouTube

What’s the best way to end a cut once you’ve reached your body fat goal? Should you slowly ramp up calories and reap the purported benefits of a reverse diet, or is that a waste of time or worse, potentially negative? Is it better to increase your calorie intake right to maintenance, or will that result in gaining back the fat you lost due to metabolic adaptation? 

There’s been a bit of controversy in the fitness space in recent years over reverse dieting. In fact, it’s something I’ve changed my mind about over the years as the research panned out. In this interview, I chat with Cody McBroom about the science of reverse dieting and when it makes sense for everyday fitness folks. 

Because while there’s no denying the usefulness of science and fitness research, real life isn’t a laboratory. Unscientific methods can still prove useful, and sometimes for surprising reasons. So what does the science say about reverse dieting, and how does that compare with the practical utility of slowly increasing calories after a cut?

Cody is a repeatguest on my show, but in case you’re not familiar with him, he’s the CEO and founder of the Tailored Coaching Method, a lifestyle training and nutrition coaching company (that also coaches how to coach), and host of the Tailored Life podcast. In other words, Cody not only has a background in evidence-based fitness, but also years of in-the-trenches experience working with clients and figuring out what works and what doesn’t in the real world.

In this interview, Cody and I talk about . . .

  • What reverse dieting is, the purported benefits, and what science says about it
  • How a slow increase in calories can affect dietary compliance and self control when ending a cut
  • How people respond differently to eating more food
  • Who can benefit from a reverse diet, why, and whether you should do one
  • Reverse diets versus recovery diets
  • The negative effects of calorie deficits and how to know if it’s time to reverse diet
  • And more . . .

So, if you want to learn what science says about reverse dieting, how reverse dieting pans out in the real world, whether you should reverse diet, and a lot more, don’t skip this episode! 

Timestamps:

0:00 – Try Triton today! Go to https://buylegion.com/triton and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!

12:15 – What are your thoughts on reverse dieting?

43:02 – How lean do you need to get before you start running into issues?

51:58 – Have you worked with people that can slowly increase their maintenance calories over time and maintain their body composition?

Mentioned on the Show:

Try Triton today! Go to https://buylegion.com/triton and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!

The Tailored Life Podcast: https://tailoredcoachingmethod.com/podcast/

Cody McBroom’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cody.boomboom/

Cody’s website: https://tailoredcoachingmethod.com/

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Ep. #987: Cody McBroom on Who Should and Shouldn’t Reverse Diet appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Wed, 09 Nov 2022 06:59:25 -0800 Sportsman
Kaged Whey Protein Isolate: New Branding, Same ProHydrolase Power https://sport-topics.com/kaged-whey-protein-isolate-new-branding-same-prohydrolase-power https://sport-topics.com/kaged-whey-protein-isolate-new-branding-same-prohydrolase-power The Kaged rebrand continues through 2022, and autumn brings us updated Kaged Whey Protein Isolate tubs – renamed from “Micropure Whey Isolate”.

Kaged Whey Protein Isolate has the same fantastic formula — a pure whey isolate that’s third-party lab […]

Continue Reading →

The post Kaged Whey Protein Isolate: New Branding, Same ProHydrolase Power first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Tue, 08 Nov 2022 15:32:37 -0800 Sportsman
Myprotein THE Thermo&X: 100mg Caffeine Fat Burner High in Theacrine, Theobromine https://sport-topics.com/myprotein-the-thermo-x-100mg-caffeine-fat-burner-high-in-theacrine-theobromine https://sport-topics.com/myprotein-the-thermo-x-100mg-caffeine-fat-burner-high-in-theacrine-theobromine As you can probably guess from their name, Myprotein specializes in high quality protein supplements, but in recent years they’ve branched out into tons of other product categories. This is especially true with their Pro Range, which has […]

Continue Reading →

The post Myprotein THE Thermo-X: 100mg Caffeine Fat Burner High in Theacrine, Theobromine first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Tue, 08 Nov 2022 15:32:37 -0800 Sportsman
Healthy Low Carb Snacks https://sport-topics.com/healthy-low-carb-snacks https://sport-topics.com/healthy-low-carb-snacks Tue, 08 Nov 2022 08:19:02 -0800 Sportsman How to Do the Seated Overhead Press: Muscles Worked, Form & Alternatives https://sport-topics.com/how-to-do-the-seated-overhead-press-muscles-worked-form-alternatives https://sport-topics.com/how-to-do-the-seated-overhead-press-muscles-worked-form-alternatives Overhead pressing is one of the most effective ways to build your shoulders.

And while there are many overhead pressing exercises to choose from, one that definitely deserves a place in your program is the seated overhead press.

That’s because it allows you to lift heavy weights safely and progress regularly, which is vital for gaining muscle and strength.

In this article, you’ll learn what the seated barbell overhead press is, why it’s beneficial, which muscles it works, how to do it with proper form, the best seated overhead press alternatives, and more.

What Is the Seated Overhead Press?

The seated overhead press is an upper-body exercise that involves pressing a barbell vertically over your head from a seated position.

It’s almost identical to the standing overhead press, the only difference being you perform the seated overhead press while sitting on a bench in the middle of a squat rack instead of standing.

Seated vs. Standing Overhead Press: Which Is Better?

The standing press outshines the seated variation when it comes to full-body muscle engagement, training most of the muscles in your upper body and many more in your lower body, too.

The seated press tops the standing variation in other areas, though: 

  1. It emphasizes the shoulder muscles more.
  2. It allows the use of slightly heavier weights.
  3. It’s easier to perform correctly.

In other words, they both have benefits, which is why it doesn’t make sense to think in terms of seated vs. standing overhead press. Instead, you’ll likely benefit from including both exercises in your program.

A good way to do this is to include the seated overhead press in your program for 8-to-10 weeks of training, take a deload, then replace the seated overhead press with the standing overhead press for the following 8-to-10 weeks of training.

Then, you can either continue alternating between the exercises every few months or stick with the one you prefer.

This is how I personally like to organize my training, and it’s similar to the method I advocate in my fitness books for men and women, Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger

(And if you’d like even more specific advice about how you should organize your training to reach your health and fitness goals, take the Legion Strength Training Quiz, and in less than a minute, you’ll know the perfect strength training program for you. Click here to check it out.)

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Seated Overhead Press: Benefits

Most people think of the seated barbell overhead press as a shoulder exercise.

While it’s true that the seated overhead press trains all three heads of the deltoids to a high degree, it also effectively trains several other major upper-body muscle groups, including your back, abs, pecs, and arms.

It’s also well suited to helping you gain muscle and strength because:

  1. It’s a barbell exercise, so it allows you to train with heavy weights, which is important for getting stronger over time.
  2. It doesn’t require as much balance as the standing variation, so learning and performing it is more straightforward.
  3. It’s easy to set up, so you don’t have to waste energy or risk injury getting into position the way you might during the dumbbell overhead press.
  4. It allows you to add weight in small increments, which is important for long-term progress.

Moreover, the seated overhead press allows you to handle 10-to-20% more weight and progress faster than the standing variation, which means it’s excellent for progressively overloading your shoulder muscles.

The only downside compared to the standing press is that it doesn’t activate as much whole-body muscle, giving you slightly less muscle-building bang for your buck.

Seated Overhead Press: Muscles Worked

The main muscles worked by the seated overhead press are the . . 

Here’s how they look on your body:

Shoulder Press Muscles Worked

Seated Overhead Press: Form

Seated Barbell Overhead Press before after

The best way to learn how to do the seated overhead press is to split the exercise into three parts: set up, descend, and press.

Step 1: Set Up

Place an adjustable bench (set to the upright position) in the middle of a squat rack facing out of the rack. Sit in the seat, press your back against the backrest, and reach your arms overhead. Take note of the height of your wrists in relation to the rack—this is the height you should set the barbell on the hooks.

Adjust the rack’s hooks to the desired height, set the barbell in the hooks, and sit down. Plant your feet on the floor just outside of shoulder-width with your knees bent at 90 degrees, and drive through your feet to push yourself against the backrest.

Grip the barbell as hard as possible with your palms facing away from you and thumbs wrapped around the bar, slightly wider than shoulder-width. Hold the bar low in your hands, closer to your wrists than your fingers. Bend your wrists just enough to allow the bar to settle into the base of your palms, but not fold back at a 90-degree angle.

Here‘s how your wrists should look:

Proper-Overhead-Press-Wrist-Position (1)

Take a deep breath into your stomach, lift the bar off the hooks, and hold it with your arms straight, directly above your head.

Step 2: Descend

Keeping your elbows flared at around 45 degrees relative to your torso, lower the bar to the height of your collarbone, taking care to move your head backward as the bar nears the top of your head.

Don’t let the barbell fall toward your torso or try to lower it slowly—the entire descent should be controlled but take less than a second.

Step 3: Press

While driving your feet into the floor and your back against the backrest, push the bar toward the ceiling. As soon as the bar passes your eyes, push your head and chest forward and under the bar. Keep pushing until your arms are straight and you return to the starting position.

Here’s how it should look when you put it all together:

Seated Overhead Press gif

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The Best Seated Overhead Press Alternatives

1. Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press

Dumbbell Shoulder Press before after

The seated overhead dumbbell press trains the shoulder, triceps, and upper chest similarly to other overhead pressing exercises. The main benefits of the seated overhead dumbbell press are that it has a longer range of motion than the barbell variation, which tends to be better for muscle growth, and it trains each side of your body independently, so it’s a good exercise for finding and fixing muscle imbalances.

2. Machine Seated Overhead Press

Machine Seated Overhead Press

Generally speaking, machines aren’t as effective as free weights for gaining muscle and strength. Still, the machine seated overhead press is a viable option if you’re working around an injury or want to change up your training.

3. Arnold Press

Arnold Press

The Arnold press trains the shoulders in a similar way to the seated overhead press, but because of the way you rotate your wrists in the Arnold press, you emphasize your side delts slightly more. That said, you can lift more weight on the seated barbell overhead press than on the Arnold press, which likely makes the gains from both exercises more or less equal.

The post How to Do the Seated Overhead Press: Muscles Worked, Form & Alternatives appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Tue, 08 Nov 2022 08:16:20 -0800 Sportsman
Ep. #986: These Are Some of the Worst Diet Takes Out There https://sport-topics.com/ep-986-these-are-some-of-the-worst-diet-takes-out-there https://sport-topics.com/ep-986-these-are-some-of-the-worst-diet-takes-out-there

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on YouTube

Do 95% of diets fail, or is the problem dieters? Does counting calories give you an eating disorder? Is it possible to be in a calorie deficit for years without losing weight? In this podcast, you’re going to hear a bunch of common, bad diet takes. Listen to this podcast and let me know your thoughts! What bad diet takes have you heard?

Timestamps:

0:00 – Please leave a review of the show wherever you listen to podcasts and make sure to subscribe!

3:44 – Try Recharge today! Go to https://buylegion.com/recharge and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!

Mentioned on the Show:

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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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Tue, 08 Nov 2022 08:16:19 -0800 Sportsman
Eating for Boxing https://sport-topics.com/eating-for-boxing https://sport-topics.com/eating-for-boxing
3 Boxing images split

Eating for Boxing

Over the years I have gained a lot of experience working with boxers and other combat sport athletes and many of the same issues seem to arise every time. Due to the nature of the sport, getting their nutrition wrong can have a serious affect on both performance and health. In this article I will be highlighting some of the issues that can be seen in boxing as well as useful advice to explain what boxers can do to improve their training and competition performance.

Boxer in a training session

Training Diet

Getting nutrition right for training can make a break a boxers main fight as it is where they will gain strength and cardiovascular fitness which translates into punching power and the ability to last the full fight should it go the distance and more importantly it is responsible for their weight which determines which weight category they are. The issue with weight is that it only tells a fighter how heavy they are, not what is going on within their body in terms of fat and muscle, which is what will make the difference in performance. More muscle = more power = harder punches.

In order to get the most out of training sessions, it is essential that boxers are adequately fuelled and hydrated, while ensuring a good intake of micronutrients to help prevent illness and promote effective recovery.

The quality of the diet is also extremely important. Consuming good sources of carbohydrate from things like grains, cereals, fruits, vegetables etc will help to provide fuel and promote recovery. There are a number of factors that determine how much carbohydrate should be consumed, including weight, lifestyle and training volume/intensity but it will likely be in the region of 5-10g/kg body weight.

Protein intake is something that must be consistently achieved and plays a huge role in a boxers diet and is often one that people get wrong for a number of reasons, primarily muscle growth, repair and recovery. Protein intake should be spread out over the full day, in moderately sized portions including those from snacks and post-exercise recovery. Protein intake for boxers should be around 1.6-2g/kg body weight, but this is dependant on a number of factors.

To put these into context, ahead of his title defence against Dillian Whyte on the 23rd April, Tyson Fury weighed in at 126kg. For his training he would be looking at consuming around 250g protein and could be as much as 1000g of carbohydrate in the height of his training.

Hydration

One of the big issues with boxing and combat sports in general, is the weight categories. Many athletes are very conscious about their weight and as a result, will not replace thier sweat losses sufficiently to avoid their weight going up. However, this weight increase is necessary as it is rehydrating fluid losses, it is not an increase in body fat. So, it is essentially showing thier true weight.

Dehydration is an incredibly serious issue in boxing. It can lead to a reduced power output (weaker punches), reduced aerobic and anaerobic capacity (basically fitness), impaired reaction time and reduced cognitive function. If you think of this in the context of a boxing fight, a reduction in any of these things could quite easily be the reason for someone losing. Due to the nature of the sport, suffering from dehydration and getting punched in the head for several minutes can worsen the consequences of concussions or head injuries which could be very serious.

Boxer wiping sweat with a towel
Boxing Fight

Weight Cutting

Weight cutting is unfortunately a common aspect of combat sports and is something that many athletes try to use to gain an advantage over their opponent. The idea being that they can weigh significantly higher than their weight class then chronically dehydrate themselves and heavily restrict their food intake to promote extreme weight loss in time for the weigh in. Following this, they will try to rehydrate and refuel back to their normal weight so they are at a heavier weight and thus, have an advantage over their opponent. However, if they have chronically dehydrated/under-fuelled, it is very unlikely that they will be able to adequately replace all of this in time for the fight so they will most likely fatigue early.

I can’t stress enough how dangerous it is to do an extreme weight cut like this. There have been many athletes die as a result of doing this, so please remember that your safety is much more important than a boxing fight!

For boxers and coaches, it is important that they understand the difference between long and short term weight loss, how they will impact the performance in the ring and they should have a strategy for both. Reducing weight in the long term is about losing body fat and the focus should therefore be on reducing total energy intake to achieve this while still providing sufficient fuel for training sessions and recovery.

In the short term, there are various strategies that can be adopted to allow for safe weight loss to make weight. These include: a mild fluid reduction, reducing salt intake and having a low residue diet (low fibre foods). I would recommend that boxers remain no more than 2-3% of their fight weight 1 week before. This is a safe amount of weight to be able to drop in that time without risking performance or athlete safety.

Other Considerations

Boxing nutrition is incredibly complex and there are so many things that need to be considered when working with boxers and it is recommended that professional guidance should be sought if a fighter struggles with achieving weight safely or find there are issues with training nutrition.

Other common nutritional considerations for boxers include:

Nerves

Many athletes suffer from nerves going into a competition which means they really struggle to eat prior to the fight. When this is the case they should look at foods that are light, easy to digest, low in fibre or even liquid foods as they are gentler on the gut.

Recovery

Eating after training and competition is really important as the body needs to repair damaged muscles, replace fluid losses and glycogen stores. For this to be effectively achieved, a protein and carbohydrate rich meal or snack and plenty of fluids should be consumed as soon as possible after finishing exercise, ideally within about 20-30minutes.

Young athletes

Young athletes have the issue that they are still growing and coaches can unfortunately push them to achieve a specific weight, despite the fact it is inevitable that they will get heavier and they risk the athletes physical development being affected. They should be allowed to move up weight divisions as they get older and grow, with the focus being on trainingskill development and promoting a healthy diet, NOT WEIGHT LOSS! 

Young boy with boxing gloves

Make it a day to remember

If you are a boxer or coach and are looking for nutritional support to optimise your performance in the ring, please get in touch to find out how I can help you.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media to get more updates about the event and subscribe to my YouTube channel where you will see videos of the route and lots of nutritional advice and tips on how to enjoy the day.

Sauna suits are a common weight loss tool in boxing, but are extremely dangerous. Find out why!

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Mon, 07 Nov 2022 11:13:11 -0800 Sportsman
Personal Trainer & Sports Nutritionist: Coming Soon https://sport-topics.com/personal-trainer-sports-nutritionist-coming-soon https://sport-topics.com/personal-trainer-sports-nutritionist-coming-soon
3 pictures, Female squatting, man deadlifting and older man dumbbell bench pressing with spotter

Personal Trainer & Sports Nutritionist: Coming Soon

As a professional sports nutritionist who has studied for 7 years to gain the qualifications and working in the field for many years, I have gained a lot of valuable experience in the fitness industry. It is well known that nutrition and exercise go hand in hand and I see so many people training very hard but not getting the results they want due to a lack of nutritional knowledge, lack of guidance or receiving advice that is just wrong and will end up causing more harm.
I hear so many horror stories of nutrition advice that has been given to people by personal trainers or read on social media, the internet or peers etc which can make it much harder to reach the goals as well as being potentially dangerous. I want to be able to provide a service that you know will give you everything you need in one place and that you know is reliable and science based.
My aim is to combine nutrition support for general health and fitness as well as other sports such as marathons, triathlons, endurance cycling etc with personal training to ensure everything is in one place to make it easier for you as well as cheaper as it will all be one big package, instead of paying for both separately.
I have recently passed the level 2 gym instructor qualification which means i am one step closer to achieving my target of the end of Summer 2022 to become a fully qualified personal trainer.
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Benefits

  • Personalised training plans and professional nutrition support
  • Increase accountability
  • Learn and understand all aspects of nutrition
  • Help with goal setting
  • Save money. No need to hire a personal trainer and sports nutritionist… It is all in one place
  • Support for all levels of sport, health and fitness.
    • I have worked with clients ranging from beginners right up to professional athletes, improving their nutrition and performance. This will be combined with personal training to give the ultimate training and nutrition support package.
  • Plus much more

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Get In Touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch

Check out this video for a homemade protein shake, with NO SUPPLEMENTS. This is just another benefit of working with a personal trainer who is a fully qualified sports nutritionist. You will get valuable tips and advice like this.

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Mon, 07 Nov 2022 11:13:10 -0800 Sportsman
Training & Nutrition for Golf https://sport-topics.com/training-nutrition-for-golf https://sport-topics.com/training-nutrition-for-golf
Training and Nutrition for Golf

Training & Nutrition for Golf (And why it is important)

Training

Golf is a sport that requires a great deal of skill and is played recreationally right up to elite level in international tournaments including the Ryder Cup, The Masters, The Open Championships, The US Open and the US PGA, but when it comes to training, if you want to improve on the course, you must be training more than just the technical element of the game (driving, putting, chipping etc).  It doesn’t matter what level of golfer you are; a well-planned resistance training programme will really help you to improve your game for a number of reasons. 

  1. Improving your power
  2. Reducing imbalances between each side of the body
    1. Sports like golf in which you use the same side of the body repetitively, in this case the swing rotation, can cause imbalances between the 2 sides of the body which increases the likelihood of injuries. Incorporating a resistance training programme can help to reduce these imbalances
  3. Reduces muscular imbalances
    1. Similar to above, muscular weaknesses can also occur due to training one side more than the other. In the case of a golfer, lower back tends to be weaker than the upper back. If left unchecked increases the likelihood of an injury.
Golfer

Introduction

Golf requires a mix of strength, flexibility and aerobic fitness. A golfer needs to be physically fit in order to cover a large distance of walking. If this is lacking and fatigue sets in, it will have an effect on mental performance which in turn will cause a decline in physical performance.

The main strength considerations for golfers should include glutes, hip stability and core strength. Another part of the game that will likely be forgotten about is carrying the clubs around the course, unless you are lucky enough to have a caddy or a golf cart that is. A fully loaded golf bag can weigh around 13kg, which if you are constantly lifting up, putting down and carrying around all day is likely to cause some fatigue which will have a negative effect on your game. Incorporating exercises that basically work on carrying heavy things and walking will be very useful.

The overall training for golf should focus a lot of strength training but you should also make sure you are incorporating aerobic training.

With the way the golf season runs, periodisation of training is very important. This mean that the training programme is broken up into multiple phases, in this case I have split it into 4 different phases that will focus on a different area of fitness and will aim to develop these to provide the optimum benefits for your game, which i will discuss in more detail.

    • Phase 1: Pre-season – Preparation for the season starting, building muscle size, flexibility and functional muscle strength that will all translate into your performance on the course. During this period, you will be wanting to build strength and muscle which will require you to lift moderately heavy weights on the build-up to the next phase which will be then focusing on increasing power.
    • Phase 2: Pre-season – Season starting – This phase you will be working up to the season starting so your training intensity will increase and you will be emphasising on building maximum power. In golf, power is extremely important, it can mean a better shot off the tee, better approach shots from the fairway, playing a good shot out of a bunker and increasing length of shots.
    • Phase 3: In season – By this point you should be in peak condition so you will be focusing on maintaining strength and power
    • Phase 4: Off season – After the season finishes you should be looking to rest and recovery for a while, just maintaining some light training before getting ready for preseason starting again.

According to the PGA, “The average course length on the PGA Tour is approximately 7,200 yards. That’s 4.09 miles. And the average PGA Tour pro plays 78 rounds per year. Combine those two stats and you get 319 miles travelled by the average pro every season.” That is about from Edinburgh to Birmingham or just over 12 marathons. Obviously this can vary massively from player to player depending on course length, how good they are playing (think rogue shots could add a good distance on)

Phase 1: Pre-Season

You may think that the upper body is the most important part to train for a golfer, however when you break down the action of the swing, you will notice that the hips, gluteals, upper legs and core are equally as important which is why your training programme should reflect this and contain exercises that work all of these muscles.

Good exercises to do

  • Barbell squat, dumbbell squat
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Bicep curl
  • Dumbbell bent over row
  • Dumbbell tricep extentions or cable pushdowns
  • Lat pulldown

Remember when you are training that you must be focusing on your form during the preseason phase. Make sure you are not pushing too heavy with the weights which may result in your form deteriorating and could lead to an injury. Don’t work to failure, focus on form.

pexels-victor-freitas-841130
Golf ball on tee

Phase 2: Pre-Season - Season Starting

This is when you will shift your focus to power, following the strength you will have built up in phase 1. The definition of power is the ability to perform strength based movements quickly. In the case of golf, you will see this in abundance with most swings.

Training power requires a higher weight with less reps to develop the explosive nature you are looking for. It is very important when training for power that you rest adequately between reps. This can be up to 5 minutes. The weight should be about 90-95% of your 1 rep max, so a heavy weight with less reps and a higher rest time.

Good Exercises

  • Barbell or dumbbell hang clean
  • Cable push-pull
  • Cable wood chop
  • Medicine ball push press
  • Medicine ball standing twist

Phase 3: In Season

Following a successful pre-season in phase 1 and 2 you will now be entering the important part of your sport… the actual season when you hit the course competitively. In regards to training, you are not actively trying to build strength or power at this point so your main focus is to maintain the strength and power you have developed in preseason for the duration of the season. The best way of doing this is to alternate the previous 2 phases each week. E.g. Week 1: Phase 1 training. Week 2: Phase 2 training. Week 3: Phase 1 training etc for 4 weeks then have a week off for recovery where you could do light training instead.

When it comes to training, it is important that you plan when your sessions are going to be to fit around your on course training sessions. The most beneficial plan would be to avoid doing weight training and on course practice on the same day to avoid fatigue.

Players on golf course
Young woman doing hard exercise at the gym with a personal trainer.

Phase 4: Off Season

This is when you should be recovering following a long, hard and hopefully successful season. You should aim to stay active by doing exercise like running or other things you enjoy as well as reviewing your season to understand what you need to work on once preseason comes around again.

Nutrition For Golf

More recently there has been a switch for top golfers to be fitter, leaner and have more consideration of their diet than before. It has been said that golfers carrying excess skin folds could make a player more susceptible to fatigue and as a result more likely to suffer a reduction in concentration and skill. Looking at Rory McIlroy in around 2015, he had dropped his body fat considerably and gained a lot of muscle mass following a serious back injury which kept him out of action for a long time. This change in focus towards his diet helped him improve his performances on the course.

As a golfer, carrying excess body fat can really increase the likelihood of getting injured. So, it is very important that a well-planned diet is achieved to support the training phases mentioned above.

Healthy Food
Water drinking

A Golfers Diet

  • A well-balanced diet containing a variety of foods from every food group each day.
  • There should be a focus on nutrient rich carbohydrates, including bread, cereals (rice, pasta etc), fruit and vegetables.
  • The amount of fat should be kept low with the emphasis being on foods rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats such as avocado, nuts, plant based oils and fish. Saturated fats such as butter, oil, cream, cakes, biscuits, fried foods etc should be avoided.
  • A moderate amount of protein should be consumed. This should be coming from lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, low fat dairy products, legumes and whole grain cereals
  • Maintain effective rehydration. The body needs to be properly hydrated in order to perform at the optimum level. Fluids should be consumed regularly throughout the day and during training sessions. The best option is water, however if sweat losses are high then it may be a good idea to include a sports drink.

Although you are building up to the competition phase of your training, it is important that your diet reflects the training you are doing all year round. If you aren’t giving it what it needs in pre-season when you are actively trying to build muscle, you will struggle to see the success you are aiming for, and this will then have an effect on your performance when it comes to competitions.

Competition Requirements

During a competition players need to maintain concentration and skill level over a long period of time, sometimes as long as 5 hours, sometimes over a period of a few days.

Once fatigue occurs, a reduction in skill level can be expected. This can be for a number of reasons including dehydration and low blood sugar levels.

These tips can help to reduce the likelihood of these instances occurring:

  • Having a carbohydrate based meal around 2 hours before the start of play.
  • Make sure you bring adequate provisions onto the course, including carbohydrate based snacks.
  • Experiment during practice rounds to work out a plan for fluids and foods to find out what suits you best.
  • Carbohydrate drinks such as milk and sports drinks are a good way of consuming fluids and carbohydrates.

If you require support with your training and nutrition to help you improve your golf performance, check out my personal training and nutrition consultancy services. As a professional sports nutritionist and personal trainer, you know you will be getting everything you need all in one place.

Bag of golf clubs

Make it a day to remember

If you are a golfer or coach and are looking for personal training/nutritional support to optimise your performance in any sport, please get in touch to find out how I can help you.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media to get more tips and advice

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Mon, 07 Nov 2022 11:13:09 -0800 Sportsman
How Karen Used Thinner Leaner Stronger to Lose 11 Pounds and 5% Body Fat https://sport-topics.com/how-karen-used-thinner-leaner-stronger-to-lose-11-pounds-and-5-body-fat https://sport-topics.com/how-karen-used-thinner-leaner-stronger-to-lose-11-pounds-and-5-body-fat The post How Karen Used Thinner Leaner Stronger to Lose 11 Pounds and 5% Body Fat appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Sun, 06 Nov 2022 07:55:14 -0800 Sportsman
Universal Animal Micronized Creatine: Supercharge Your Muscle Growth https://sport-topics.com/universal-animal-micronized-creatine-supercharge-your-muscle-growth https://sport-topics.com/universal-animal-micronized-creatine-supercharge-your-muscle-growth Whey protein and creatine: the twin pillars of modern sports supplementation. If you’re here with us on the Priceplow Blog, there’s a zero-percent chance you haven’t heard of creatine, and only a slightly larger chance that you’ve never taken it. […]

Continue Reading →

The post Universal Animal Micronized Creatine: Supercharge Your Muscle Growth first appeared on The PricePlow Blog. ]]>
Sat, 05 Nov 2022 23:25:48 -0700 Sportsman
Deep down inside of you is that passion to reach your goal https://sport-topics.com/deep-down-inside-of-you-is-that-passion-to-reach-your-goal https://sport-topics.com/deep-down-inside-of-you-is-that-passion-to-reach-your-goal fitness970

The post Deep down inside of you is that passion to reach your goal appeared first on TNT SUPPLEMENTS.

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Sat, 05 Nov 2022 00:20:43 -0700 Sportsman
“I will later” didn’t get anybody anywhere! https://sport-topics.com/i-will-later-didnt-get-anybody-anywhere https://sport-topics.com/i-will-later-didnt-get-anybody-anywhere fitness1016

The post “I will later” didn’t get anybody anywhere! appeared first on TNT SUPPLEMENTS.

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Sat, 05 Nov 2022 00:20:41 -0700 Sportsman
The signs of a bloody good workout! https://sport-topics.com/the-signs-of-a-bloody-good-workout https://sport-topics.com/the-signs-of-a-bloody-good-workout fitness1239

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Sat, 05 Nov 2022 00:20:39 -0700 Sportsman
Does Sauna Increase Human Growth Hormone (HGH) https://sport-topics.com/does-sauna-increase-human-growth-hormone-hgh https://sport-topics.com/does-sauna-increase-human-growth-hormone-hgh Sitting in a hot dry sauna can provide your lungs, muscles, brain, and body the therapeutic moisture and heat it needs to detoxify and relax, but did you know that sitting in a sauna can raise your levels of human growth hormone? It’s true. Several studies suggest that specific sauna protocols can in fact increase HGH and reduce oxidative stress.

Do Sauna’s Increase Human Growth Hormone (HGH) 

It’s true: since the 70’s, studies have suggested that sitting in the sauna can induce changes in the secretion of hormones, particularly human growth hormone (HGH).

HGH is produced by the pituitary gland and spurs growth in children and adolescents. It also helps to regulate body composition, body fluids, muscle & bone growth, sugar & fat metabolism, and possibly heart function.

A study published in 1976 examined the effects of high temperature sauna on 55 healthy participants. The study found that the effects of high temperature (80-120 degrees Celsius) from sitting in the sauna raised HGH levels nearly 150% as well as plasma renin activity by 100% [R].

Noradrenaline is usually the only catecholamine, a type of neurohormone (a chemical that is made by nerve cells and used to send signals to other cells), raised by the sauna in people accustomed to it.  

The secretion of the antidiuretic hormone is increased, and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is activated. The concentrations of the growth hormone and prolactin in particular secreted from the anterior pituitary are significantly increased [R].

Changes in cortisol levels are also experienced during sauna. Hormonal changes and levels induced during sauna are normalized, however, within a few hours after heat stress is reduced.

Benefits Of Sauna On Athletic Performance

Increases in core temperature via adaptation through modalities like sauna can promote physiological changes that result in increased endurance, more muscle mass, and an increased tolerance for induced stress.

Resistance training and lifting weights is nothing more than placing more physical stress on your body to induce changes in body composition and produce adaptation. Much in the same way that resistance training can acclimate your body for improved stress and physiological change, heat acclimation can do the same for endurance.

Enhanced Endurance Capacity 

If you have ever run long distance, are an avid climber, or log a ridiculous number of miles on the pavement cycling, your intuition will tell you that increased core temperature will induce strain, stress, and increase time to exhaustion. However, what you may not know is that heat acclimation, via sauna or ways independent of aerobic activity, may in fact produce adaptations that can later reduce the attenuation caused by heat to further enhance endurance capacity and performance.

The concept of acclimating to heat independent of aerobic activity is referred to “hyperthermic conditioning.”

Hyperthermic conditioning optimizes blood flow to the heart, muscle tissue, and skeletal system because it increases the plasma volume. Because of this, training adaptations and physiological changes will occur such as:

  • Improved cardiovascular function with lower and stabilize heart rate
  • Lower core body temperature during endurance activity
  • Higher sweat activity and sensitivity through adapted thermoregulation
  • Reduced rate of glycogen depletion leading to better recovery
  • Increased rate of oxygen transport
  • Increased red blood cell count 

One study published in Journal Of Science and Medicine In Sports found that sauna increased the time to exhaustion by 32%, accompanied by a 7.1% increase in plasma volume, and 3.5% increase in red blood cell (RBC) count with a 3 week, 30 minute post-workout sauna protocol [R].

Muscle Hypertrophy 

Resistance training produces more muscle hypertrophy. Heat also induces muscle hypertrophy. Therefore, adding in a post-workout sauna session can complement your training and optimize athletic performance outcomes.

At any given time, your body is maintaining and building new protein cells, while degrading and cannibalizing old protein cells. Hypertrophy involves both an increase in muscle cells' size and strength. The important part of muscle protein synthesis is to be in a positive balance. Hyperthermic conditioning reduces protein degradation and muscle mass breakdown, therefore, resulting in a positive amino acid and protein balance.

Brain Activity

Modulation of core temperature could largely be responsible for increased brain activity and betterment of learning, memory, and ameliorating depression & anxiety stimulating the beta-endorphin system.

One of the ways the brain responds to heat is by the production of heat shock proteins.

Norepinephrine helps with focus and attention, while prolactin promotes myelin growth: this makes your brain function faster, which is key in repairing nerve cell damage.

Studies have shown that sauna can increase norepinephrine between 300-500% and prolactin up to 500%.

Does Sauna Increase HGH: Takeaway

Sitting in the sauna post-workout can in fact raise circulating HGH thereby helping rebuild and repair muscle tissue for better athletic performance. Hyperthermic conditioning can help your body adapt and acclimate to an increase in core body temperature, inducing greater changes in endurance capacity, brain activity, and hormonal activity.   


Need Help With Optimizing Your Diet And Nutrition Plan To Finally Get The Results You've Been Waiting For?

The Swole Kitchen is an exclusive membership opportunity for those who are looking to pursue a performance-driven lifestyle. By combining wellness consulting, nutritional lifestyle improvement, and 1:1 customized nutrition plans to our members, our programs aim to optimize human potential. In each of our programs, you’ll receive guidance to reclaim your health, fuel your lifestyle, and pursue performance ambitions, all while learning how to make nutritional decisions from a place of self-trust and intuition. All of our coaches are committed to providing the highest level of results-driven wellness to our members.
SWOLVERINE IS AN ENDURANCE ATHLETE AND ACTIVE LIFESTYLE BRAND. MADE FOR THE ELITE ATHLETE, AND THE STRONG-WILLED OUR PRODUCTS WERE DESIGNED TO FUEL YOUR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE. WE PERFORM WHEN YOU PERFORM. 

We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle.

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Sat, 05 Nov 2022 00:17:56 -0700 Sportsman
6 Ways To Master The CrossFit Split Jerk https://sport-topics.com/6-ways-to-master-the-crossfit-split-jerk https://sport-topics.com/6-ways-to-master-the-crossfit-split-jerk Putting weight up an overhead on a barbell is arguably one of the most challenging things to do in CrossFit. That’s why we’re going to give you 6 ways to improve and master the CrossFit split jerk so you can finally feel like the baddie that you really are. Tired of being held back, not having the right form, or the confidence behind this movement in your training? Well sit down, and turn that brightness on your screen up, because you’re about to learn!

What Is The CrossFit Split Jerk

The split jerk can be done in just about any training setting, however, it is most commonly seen in Olympic Weightlifting and CrossFit. The CrossFit split jerk is an advanced movement for getting the barbell from the front rack position up and overhead. While you may be familiar with the CrossFit Clean and Jerk, which does the same thing, the difference is that with the CrossFit Split Jerk the legs are split in the final position. Depth is increased in the center plane of the body, the legs are in a split or lunge-like position, and the body is able to support more load overhead.

6 Ways To Master The CrossFit Split Jerk

CrossFit Split Jerk - Swolverine

1. Dip and Drive In A Straight Line

Controlling the dip as you lower you body is extremely important to generating optimal force and power to get the bar up and overhead. The other important part? Dipping and driving in a straight line. The more straight you can keep your bar path the split of the legs is going to be more efficient. You don’t want to use your arms nearly as much as you will need to use your legs, and after all, it makes sense given that the leg muscles are so much bigger and stronger than the upper body. So if you’ve got those strong legs and you’re not able to get the bar overhead as best as possible, drop the weight (or grab a PVC), take some videos from the side, and take a look at where your bar path is going wrong and how to get it as straight as possible for the strongest CrossFit split jerk possible.

2. Improve Mobility To Hold The Bar (Not In Your Fingertips)

This is a big one and it took me, personally, quite a long time to really click into. For others though, this one comes more naturally, and most often its because those people are stretching and working on their mobility just as much as their regular training. If you’re having trouble in the front rack position, getting the bar into the palms of your hands and not your fingertips, then you may need to consider your thoracic mobility, your forearm/wrist mobility, or loosening up other areas of the body like the lats, biceps, chest, and triceps. Without this mobility you may not be able get the bar into a position in which you feel confident to get the bar up and overhead, in a straight line, with a powerful dip and drive.

CrossFit Split Jerk - Swolverine

3. Keep the Elbows Slightly In Front

Speaking of front rack positioning and where to feel the most confident in this position, keeping your elbows slightly in front is going to be another way to master the CrossFit split jerk a little better. Unlike the front squat, your elbows shouldn’t be directly in front of you so that your shoulders can move more naturally and proficiently when getting the bar from the front rack position to up and overhead. Again, as mentioned previously, if this is difficult for you then you may want to put the weight down for a bit to improve mobility.

4. Press In The Split Stance

If you’re not sure where you should end up with the bar overhead in your split squat stance then we recommend getting into the split stance with the bar in the front rack position. From here, you can use this exercise to actually figure out where the body should be when the bar is overhead. This activity also can build strength in the upper body which often is a limiting factor for athletes when progressing towards higher weights when performing the CrossFit split jerk.

CrossFit Split Jerk - Swolverine

5. Make Noise With Your Feet

Sound is an important piece of mastering the CrossFit split jerk. If you’re not making sound with your feet this may be a good indication that you’re moving too slowly or that your feet aren’t actually making it to the right position. While yes, getting the feet into the right position with power and force can take time, it is an easy little cue you can remember without overthinking the entire movement.

6. Have A Clean Recovery Position

The final piece of stringing together the movement and mastering the CrossFit split jerk is having a clean recovery position. This means that you’ve hit the movement, but haven’t quite made it official, at least until you get back into the standing position from the split foot receiving position. So how do you do it? You take a half step backwards with the front foot first, then bring your back foot to meet the front foot. It is VERY important that you do not step with the back food first so that you can maintain control of the bar as efficiently and as safely as possible. While you may be able to get away with a poor recovery position at first, as you progress to higher weights, having a clean recovery position and stepping with the front foot first is crucial to mastering the CrossFit split jerk.

CrossFit Split Jerk - Swolverine

How To Do A CrossFit Split Jerk

The CrossFit split jerk can be practiced from the rack, blocks, or cleaned up into the front rack position from the floor.

1. Start with your barbell by getting into the front rack position. With your feet hip-width apart, align your elbows so that they’re slightly in front of the bar, but not in a full front rack position.

2. Holding the bar with a firm, tight grip, with the chest up high and the core braced, take a deep breath and dip the body straight down.

3. As you reach your dip, drive the knees out, and explosively force the body straight back up, generating force to get the bar up and lifted off of the shoulders

4. As the bar raises from the dip drive from the body, move the head out of the way, and press under the barbell. At this same time, the hips and legs will begin to rapidly extend into the ‘split’ position while you press under the bar

5. Receive the bar in the lunge position, with arms locked out tight, core braced, and the heels on the ground (front toe should be slightly pointed inward)

6. With the bar still overhead, complete the movement by bringing the front foot back, the back foot forward, and standing tall in the full lockout position overhead

7. Either re-rack the bar on your shoulders or bring it forward and to the ground safely

CrossFit Split Jerk: Takeaway

Building strength in CrossFit takes time and patience, especially when it comes to not only improving, but mastering, a complicated and strength based movement like the CrossFit Split Jerk. That being said, by implementing the tips we mentioned previously, with practice and time, you’re going to be that weight crushing baddie you’ve been wanting to be.


Need Help With Optimizing Your Diet, Nutrition, And Training Plan To Finally Get The Results You've Been Waiting For?

The Swole Kitchen provides 1:1 nutrition coaching, macro coaching, and custom meal plans to help guide you to becoming the best version of yourself. We teach you how to enjoy the foods you love in the right amounts, so you can fit into your favorite pair of jeans, hit your health and fitness goals, and be healthy and happy. We guide you through making sound nutritional decisions and teach you along the way, so you can learn how to take control of your health, and discover what if feels like to live again.
SWOLVERINE IS AN ENDURANCE ATHLETE AND ACTIVE LIFESTYLE BRAND. MADE FOR THE ELITE ATHLETE, AND THE STRONG-WILLED OUR PRODUCTS WERE DESIGNED TO FUEL YOUR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE. WE PERFORM WHEN YOU PERFORM. 

We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle.

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Sat, 05 Nov 2022 00:17:55 -0700 Sportsman
Expanding the Arena Initiative& April https://sport-topics.com/expanding-the-arena-initiative-april https://sport-topics.com/expanding-the-arena-initiative-april
Our April’s edition of Expanding the Arena Initiative features Judith R. Lazo, RD. Judith has a wealth of knowledge in the dietetic field from her extensive experience. She shared with us about her experience promoting health and wellness in the school system as well as her most recent passion working as a nutrition educator and consultant at a local gym in Camden, New Jersey.


1. What is your educational background and how long have you been an RD? Do you have any additional credentials relevant to your position?



I graduated from Drexel University in 1975 with a B.S. in Nutrition and Foods. It was after graduation I decided to become a dietitian. I started working as a Dietetic Technician 6 months after graduation. While I was in the position, it was determined I was actually performing the job of a dietitian. The head dietitian agreed to mentor me for three years with approved experience by the American Dietetic Association. Shortly thereafter, I applied to take the licensing exam and have been licensed since 1980. In addition, I am qualified to teach Consumer Sciences and elementary school.  I spent 11 years in long-term care as a head dietitian, 9 years as a public health nutritionist, and 18.5 years as an educator. I maintained my license over the years knowing I wanted to re-enter the field at some point.

2. How did you achieve your position/ how did you get started with your current position?


When I retired in 2013, I began volunteering at a small private school in the City of Camden, New Jersey. I knew there was a new food service program and got involved. The Director of Wellness and I collaborated, and I was written into a grant with the Horizon Foundation.

The school created the Urban Chef’s program in order to train residents to become food service workers/chefs.  I mentored several chefs, wrote the school menus, started taste tests in the cafeteria, and taught nutrition in the classroom.  Working with the Wellness Director, we implemented movement in all classrooms several times a day and a longer period during the school day in addition to recess. This went along with Trauma Informed Classroom education the teachers were receiving because most of our students have been exposed to severe trauma. Our student population has a high percentage of overweight students. Getting them to move throughout the day would help both issues.


Breakfast was started at the school with the students coming to the cafeteria. There was low participation, and knowing how breakfast improves student behavior and focus, I implemented it in the classroom. We have had breakfast in the classroom for 2 years and the teachers have noticed a marked improvement with the attention and learning.

I teach nutrition and healthy cooking classes to grades 3-8. I’ve included 5-10 minutes of exercise this year with every class. It’s a struggle. The girls are self-conscious, and some of the students are difficult to motivate to join in. I’m trying different music styles with guided and non-guided instruction.


Last year, we had some dollars left in the grant, and we had a 6-week nutrition and exercise program utilizing a personal trainer who came in weekly 2 days a week. There was a small monetary prize for the winner who lost the most weight. I provided some meal plans for the participants. One of my goals is to get the staff moving! That’s next.


In addition to this, I’ve been training at a small gym for 9 years. The owner started weight loss challenges a few years ago. I felt the need to get involved because he was only offering a 1200 calorie extreme plan he got from somewhere. I began offering alternative plans with higher calorie levels, more variety and included popular diets like the Mediterranean. I tailored them to different calorie levels. Most of the clients I have found want to have what they are going to consume in black and white.

I provide information on how to make the most of their workouts regarding fueling before and after, whether it’s at the gym or an upcoming triathlon or half marathon. In addition, I’ve counseled several gym clients for free. The owner has referred them to me, and in turn, I counsel and barter for free training sessions. I’ve given free seminars for the clients on topics ranging from meal prep to so called super foods.


The owner of the gym has been taken in by different fads. We have discussed in length Juice Plus, taking protein powders, different fad diets, meal replacements, etc.  I know I’m making headway with him; although, there are setbacks from time to time. For the current weight loss challenge I consulted with the owner about running a 6-week session rather than 3-week session, knowing it takes at least a month to instill a routine/habit of going to the gym or making healthier changes to your intake. I won out on the length of the challenge and lost out on my offer to counsel individuals for free about nutrition goals. His idea was to eliminate a food for 2-weeks then reintroduce gradually. I feel like pulling my hair out!

3. What key areas of knowledge/experiences did you need to have before this job?

I have had to educate myself through online classes in order to feel confident in counseling and sports nutrition. Don’t forget, I have been out of college for years, and when I was in college, courses in sports nutrition weren’t in the curriculum. I believe my years as an educator helped with being able to speak in front of groups. 20 years working in long-term care and public health nutrition have given me a solid background in the entire life cycle and related health issues.

4. What are the highs and lows of your position?


I would say at my age of 67, it’s daunting to think of working in sports nutrition. I’m older and need more education in the field. I strive to take courses related to sports nutrition. I’m contemplating certification as a trainer. Why? There’s a need in the older population and in corporate wellness. Having credentials in both fields could ensure work in the field I love. There are many young men and women doing now what would have been an awesome job for me 40 years ago. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much interest then. I wonder if I will get hired and plan to try.


5. What is a typical day for you?


My typical day begins with a healthy breakfast, going to the gym or getting outside to walk/run/bike. I teach 3 days a week. Posting on social media on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram has been enjoyable. I find there’s quite a bit of false information and try to right it. I have more time to post working part-time. On the weekends you can find me racing my single-handed Sunfish on the nearby river or somewhere at the Jersey shore. I cook from scratch on the weekend planning for the week ahead.  
6. What advice would you share with an RD (or RD2be) that is interested in a similar career path?


I would recommend getting your feet wet in as many areas of sports nutrition as possible. Free advice is greatly appreciated and may lead to paid jobs in the future. Offer to talk to local school athletic associations, colleges, gyms, senior centers, food banks, and small companies that might not be able to provide sports and/or nutrition to their employees is another area.


7. What are some of your interests outside of work? 

My interests outside of work are healthy cooking/eating, racing my sailboat, working out, and spending time with my family. 

8. What do you love about your career/job?

I have enjoyed nutrition and foods for over 40 years. I enjoy helping people realize they can be successful with a healthy lifestyle related to food.


9. Is there a course you took in undergrad or grad school that has helped you in your current role?


I can’t really say any one course was outstanding in school. Actual job experience is the best way to gain confidence.


10. What are some of the unique nutritional considerations you must consider for the group(s) you work with?


In my work with the school, I have to consider the economics of the families along with related health issues that may be inherited or be the result of the environment. There are many outside influences. Students aren’t allowed to go outside and play due to dangerous neighborhoods. Parents aren’t active or are working and don’t have time to exercise and be a positive role model.



At the gym, 

it’s a challenge to have clients learn about lifestyle changes and avoid yo-yo weight gain. I see clients come in for 3-weeks and lose weight and inches, and then they disappear. A few months later, they are back and so is their weight. Educating the owner on how to maintain clients and have them be accountable in order make permanent change has been a unique task. I would love to have more input and counsel clients individually for a longer period of time. I’m treading water lightly here and hope to see the day it happens. I’m not sure, but I think when the bottom line is dollars, most gym owners are more concerned with clients walking in the door rather than the entire package of exercise and nutrition. I know their knowledge is limited. I can’t tell you how many gyms are running weight loss challenges using supplements and extreme eating plans and not using the expertise of an RDN. If I can figure how to bridge the gap, it will be monumental.




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Sat, 05 Nov 2022 00:08:10 -0700 Sportsman
Expanding the Arena & March Edition https://sport-topics.com/expanding-the-arena-march-edition https://sport-topics.com/expanding-the-arena-march-edition Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE
For March, we had the privilege of interviewing Derek Hughes MS, RD/ LDN, CSSD, ACSM-EP from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Derek has an extensive educational background and works as a Safety and Wellness Program Manager for first responders through Broward County Sheriff’s Office.


What are your main job duties?


I am tasked with evaluating and addressing safety, wellness, fitness and nutritional behaviors for 5400 first responders at 70 different worksites across the greater Fort Lauderdale area.  My role includes a combination of need/risk assessment, employee education, hands-on-training, creating informational materials, program promotion, management of staff, and the coordination of community partners for collaborative initiatives.


What is your educational background and how long have you been an RD? Do you have any additional credentials relevant to your position?


I have a BS in Exercise Science and an MS in Human Nutrition.

I have been an RD/LDN for approximately 3 years, with 23 years in health promotion.

I have received certifications from NSCA (CSCS, CPT), ACSM (EP-C), CrossFit (Level 1 Instructor), CISSN, USATF (L1 Coach), USW (SPC), Cooper Institute (LEFS), O2X Tactical Athlete Performance, AHA (BLS Instructor), Fitness Institute International (CPTS), FDLE (General & Defensive Tactics Instructor), and have gone through training courses from EXOS, YMCA, TSAC, and others. 

How did you achieve your position/ how did you get started with your current position?


I began working with first responders in 2006 as BSO’s Fitness Specialist, then became their Nutrition/Wellness Educator funded by their Aetna healthcare after grad school.  When I passed my RD exam, I came back full-time to BSO as their Wellness Coordinator before being promoted to an expanded role as Safety & Wellness Program Manager. 


What key areas of knowledge/experiences did you need to have before this job?


My current role requires a combination of health evaluation and wellness promotion experience combined with public speaking and professional writing skills.  This should be supported by knowledge of nutrition, fitness, and performance enhancement, as well as the ability to perform needs assessments, organizational policy proposals and the vision to orchestrate change in a complex environment.


What are the highs and lows of your position?


Sometimes the red tape and meetings slow down progress, but it is great when we achieve our organizational objectives. The most troubling thing to me is when we occasionally lose a firefighter or law enforcement officer to something that might have been preventable, be it heart attack, suicide, cancer or driving too fast for the road conditions.  I love when projects we work on expand to benefit public safety personnel in the states across the nation.

What is a typical day for you?


About 60-percent of my current role is desk-side, coordinating wellness promotion events and health screenings, evaluating employee health/safety information, writing articles, marketing fitness challenges, creating presentations and promotional materials, and so forth.  About twice a week, I do some kind of employee wellness education (presentation, cooking demo), performance enhancement training, or fitness testing for our first responder groups.  A few times per month, I work with community health partners on various projects (collaborative meetings, wellness fair participation, provide lectures, or workshops).

What advice would you share with an RD (or RD2be) that is interested in a similar career path?


Work to build diverse wellness-related knowledge and skills.  Don’t be afraid to take advantage of opportunities to in the allied health field that challenge you and force professional growth.  Be sure to refer to other healthcare practitioners (psychologists, physicians, specialists) when appropriate.


What is your greatest strength/weakness as a dietitian?

I feel that my breadth of knowledge and ability to communicate in various formats are my strengths. However, the jack of trades is often a master of none.  If you cover a wide range of wellness areas, like myself, you may never be the best in any single subject.  I feel that I am a generalist, and not an expert in clinical or some other specific areas of dietetics.  The beauty of the dietetics field is that there are many different types of needs and positions to suit our unique skill sets.


What are some of your interests outside of work?

I love to stay active, doing a lot of High Intensity Interval Training.  I also compete in several USATF Masters/Open track meets each year, and run many 5k events with my school-age daughters for fun.  Concern for social injustice has also been driving me to get progressively more involved with community affairs.


What aspect of sports nutrition (or any other area of dietetics) interested you to pursue it as a career?


As an athlete and then exercise physiologist, I was often mesmerized by the ability of the nutritional approach to unlock greater physical development, health outcomes and performance potential.  That curiosity led me to pursue a graduate degree in human nutrition and to eventually become a dietitian.  As a fitness specialist, I had provided a lot of corporate and community wellness education, which frequently included nutrition information.  I also did a lot of lifestyle assessment and recommendation for clients but felt constrained to giving general guidelines, dietary examples, and referring patients with medical issues.  Becoming an RD was necessary to bridge that gap in knowledge and scope of practice.


Why have you decided to work with athletes or similar groups?

I find working with “tactical athletes” to be very satisfying, as I get to protect the people who are out there protecting our communities.  Improving their fitness and nutrition increases job performance, enhances public perception, and saves lives of first responders and the community we serve.


How do you deal with the daily stresses presented to you in your career?

I like challenges and find routine and monotonous work to be very boring.  The moment I begin to get a program running smooth and efficiently, I begin looking for new opportunities to increase my sphere of positive influence, either within the organization or elsewhere in the community.


Prior to getting your credentials, did you have any experience in nutrition (i.e. food service, volunteering, etc.)?


I worked part-time at in a couple of restaurants in high school and volunteered at a nearby hospital for experience with clinical nutrition and foodservice.  A private practice dietitian was also kind enough to let me shadow her for a semester during grad school.  I had done a tremendous amount of wellness-based lifestyle counseling for “apparently healthy” individuals, referring those with known or suspected disease to appropriate health professionals.


What do you love about your career/job?

I love that I am trusted to assess the need in our employee population and the public safety field at large and address each issue as appropriate.  I also enjoy collaborating with experts and researchers from top universities to study knowledge gaps, working with community partners (e.g. DOH, CDC, YMCA, AHA) to improve local and national wellness, and teaming up with working groups (e.g. IAFC, FEMA, DOJ and NIJ) to make our first responders more safe and healthy.


Is there a course you took in undergrad or grad school that has helped you in your current role?


I love to learn, so I enjoyed most of my coursework.  I think community nutrition and research methods were both particularly helpful, as much of my work  centers around developing an understanding of various issues and addressing them with best practices supported by evidence-based research.


What are some of the unique nutritional considerations you must consider for the group(s) you work with?


I work primarily with law enforcement and detention officers, firefighter/paramedics, and our civilian support staff.  Our tactical athletes do end up battling some long fires or responding to intense and extended emergency call-outs in the Florida heat, as well as doing physically demanding training and performance testing in the academy and in-service.  Being well hydrated and adequately fueled for these duties is important and starts well before the alarm bells go off. However, sudden cardiac death (MI) is the leading cause of line-of-duty-death (LODD) among firefighters (45% annually) and third leading cause of LODD among officers (behind vehicular accidents and gunshot wounds).  As such, I am always working to increase their awareness of proper nutrition, adequate fluid intake, health screening, and the right kinds of fitness training to prepare them for this unique occupational stress. 













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Sat, 05 Nov 2022 00:08:10 -0700 Sportsman
Expanding the Arena Initiative & May Edition https://sport-topics.com/expanding-the-arena-initiative-may-edition https://sport-topics.com/expanding-the-arena-initiative-may-edition