Volume #20

 Hey there my friend. I hope you are ready to kick start the weekend. Feel like partying but don’t want to ruin your progress? Party my friend, and party hard (I know I will)- no reason to spend time on aesthetic perfection if you are to sit home alone with a can of tuna. Get out there and show off.

It’s about enriching you life, remember that.   Also just wanted to do a quick shout-out to my client Susanne (Swedish blog here) who is about to finish her 30 kilo (66 lbs) weigh loss. In the beginning, people kept telling her that she was doing it all wrong and in the beginning it really was messing with her head.

Now, 30 kilos lighter she does not question my methods any more.  What the secret is? She worked her ass of. And did she fall… Over and over and over again, wanting to give up every single time. But she did not (You really think I’d allow that?) So she kept failing. Over and over and over again.

Too bad, she picked an online trainer who LOVES failures. Because every time you fail, you learn something new. And while she did fail over and over and over again, she did not make the same failure twice, because we found methods to handle similar situations in the future. And she keeps falling, only now, she is falling with 30 kilos less bodyweight and it’s not as hurtful any more, and really easy to get back up.   Take care of yourself, nerd out bud. And if you are not already a member of the Lift Heavy VIP family, make sure you enter your name and best e-mail in the opt-in box on your right.

Make sure you keep supporting my work by sharing this article with your friends and followers. We need to spread the science and integrate it with the  massive amounts of personal experience that is already out there-  so we can make the best and most effective programs for ourselves and our clients. Also, hit me up on FacebookTwitter and Google+. Interacting with like-minded on day to day basis is one of the main reasons I run this site. Lastly,  feel free to leave any questions or feedback in the comments below, I look much forward to hearing from you.

Are changes in maximal squat strength during preseason training reflected in changes in sprint performance in rugby league players?

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Mar;26(3):772-6 Authors: Comfort P, Haigh A, Matthews MJ Abstract: Because previous research has shown a relationship between maximal squat strength and sprint performance, this study aimed to determine if changes in maximal squat strength were reflected in sprint performance. Nineteen professional rugby league players (height = 1.84 ± 0.06 m, body mass [BM] = 96.2 ± 11.11 kg, 1 repetition maximum [1RM] = 170.6 ± 21.4 kg, 1RM/BM = 1.78 ± 0.27) conducted 1RM squat and sprint tests (5, 10, and 20 m) before and immediately after 8 weeks of preseason strength (4-week Mesocycle) and power (4-week Mesocycle) training. Both absolute and relative squat strength values showed significant increases after the training period (pre: 170.6 ± 21.4 kg, post: 200.8 ± 19.0 kg, p < 0.001; 1RM/BM pre: 1.78 ± 0.27 kg·kg(-1), post: 2.05 ± 0.21 kg·kg(-1), p < 0.001; respectively), which was reflected in the significantly faster sprint performances over 5 m (pre: 1.05 ± 0.06 seconds, post: 0.97 ± 0.05 seconds, p < 0.001), 10 m (pre: 1.78 ± 0.07 seconds, post: 1.65 ± 0.08 seconds, p < 0.001), and 20 m (pre: 3.03 ± 0.09 seconds, post: 2.85 ± 0.11 seconds, p < 0.001) posttraining. Whether the improvements in sprint performance came as a direct consequence of increased strength or whether both are a function of the strength and power mesocycles incorporated into the players’ preseason training is unclear. It is likely that the increased force production, noted via the increased squat performance, contributed to the improved sprint performances. To increase short sprint performance, athletes should, therefore, consider increasing maximal strength via the back squat.  

Postactivation potentiation: effect of various recovery intervals on bench press power performance.

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Mar;26(3):739-44 Authors: Ferreira SL, Panissa VL, Miarka B, Franchini E Abstract: Postactivation potentiation (PAP) is a strategy used to improve performance in power activities. The aim of this study was to determine if power during bench press exercise was increased when preceded by 1 repetition maximum (1RM) in the same exercise and to determine which time interval could optimize PAP response. For this, 11 healthy male subjects (age, 25 ± 4 years; height, 178 ± 6 cm; body mass, 74 ± 8 kg; bench press 1RM, 76 ± 19 kg) underwent 6 sessions. Two control sessions were conducted to determine both bench press 1RM and power (6 repetitions at 50% 1RM). The 4 experimental sessions were composed of a 1RM exercise followed by power sets with different recovery intervals (1, 3, 5, and 7 minutes), performed on different days, and determined randomly. Power values were measured via Peak Power equipment (Cefise, Nova Odessa, São Paulo, Brazil). The conditions were compared using an analysis of variance with repeated measures, followed by a Tukey test. The significance level was set at p < 0.05. There was a significant increase in PAP in concentric contractions after 7 minutes of recovery compared with the control and 1-minute recovery conditions (p < 0.05). Our results indicated that 7 minutes of recovery has generated an increase in PAP in bench press and that such a strategy could be applied as an interesting alternative to enhance the performance in tasks aimed at increasing upper-body power performance.

A reliable method for assessing rotational power.

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Mar;26(3):720-4 Authors: Andre MJ, Fry AC, Heyrman MA, Hudy A, Holt B, Roberts C, Vardiman JP, Gallagher PM Abstract: Rotational core training is said to be beneficial for rotational power athletes. Currently, there has been no method proposed for the reliable assessment of rotational power. Therefore, our purpose was to determine the test-retest reliability of kinetic and kinematic rotational characteristics of a pulley system when performing a rotational exercise of the axial skeleton in the transverse plane to find out if this would be a reliable tool for evaluating rotational power. Healthy, college-aged men (n = 8) and women (n = 15) reported for 3 testing sessions. The participants were seated on a box, and they held the handle with both arms extended in front of their body, starting their motion with their torso rotated toward the machine. All the participants rotated their torso forcefully until they reached 180° of rotation, and they then slowly returned to the starting position, 3 times per trial, with 3 loads: 9% body weight (BW), 12% BW, and 15% BW. The repetition with the greatest power for each trial for each load was analyzed. The mean peak power repetition (watts) for all the subjects was 20.09 ± 7.16 (9% BW), 26.17 ± 8.6 (12% BW), and 30.74 ± 11.022 (15% BW) in the first training session and 22.3 ± 8.087 (9% BW), 28.7 ± 11.295 (12% BW), and 33.52 ± 12.965 (15% BW) in the second training session with intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.97 (9%BW), 0.94 (12%BW), and 0.95 (15%BW). When the participants were separated by sex, there were no significant differences between groups. Based on these results, it was found that a pulley system and an external dynamometer can be used together as a reliable research tool to assess rotational power.

Occurrence of fatigue during sets of static squat jumps performed at a variety of loads.

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Mar;26(3):677-83 Authors: Thomasson ML, Comfort P Abstract: Research has identified that the optimal power load for static squat jumps (with no countermovement) is lower than the loads usually recommended for power training. Lower loads may permit the performance of additional repetitions before the onset of fatigue compared with heavier loads; therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the point of fatigue during squat jumps at various loads (0, 20, 40, 60% 1-repetition maximum [1RM]). Seventeen professional rugby league players performed sets of 6 squat jumps (with no countermovement), using 4 loading conditions (0, 20, 40, and 60% of 1RM back squat). Repeated measures analysis of variance revealed no significant differences (p > 0.05) in force, velocity, power, and displacement between repetitions, for the 0, 20, and 40% loading conditions. The 60% condition showed no significant difference (p > 0.05) in peak force between repetitions; however, velocity (1.12 + 0.10 and 1.18 + 0.11 m·s(-1)), power (3,385 + 343 and 3,617 + 396 W) and displacement (11.13 + 2.31 and 11.85 + 2.16 cm) were significantly (p < 0.02) lower during repetition 6 compared with repetition 2. These findings indicate that when performing squat jumps (with no countermovement) with a load 6 repetitions can be completed without inducing fatigue and a minimum of 4-6 repetitions should be performed to achieve peak power output. When performing squat jumps (with no countermovement) with a load equal to the 60% 1RM only, 5 repetitions should be performed to minimize fatigue and ensure maintenance of velocity and power.

Salivary hormonal values from high-speed resistive exercise workouts.

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Mar;26(3):625-32 Authors: Caruso JF, Lutz BM, Davidson ME, Wilson K, Crane CS, Craig CE, Nissen TE, Mason ML, Coday MA, Sheaff RJ, Potter WT Abstract: Our study purpose examined salivary hormonal responses to high-speed resistive exercise. Healthy subjects (n = 45) performed 2 elbow flexor workouts on a novel (inertial kinetic exercise; Oconomowoc, WI, USA) strength training device. Our methods included saliva sample collection at both preexercise and immediately postexercise; workouts entailed two 60-second sets separated by a 90-second rest period. The samples were analyzed in duplicate for their testosterone and cortisol concentrations ([T], [C]). Average and maximum elbow flexor torque were measured from each exercise bout; they were later analyzed with a 2(gender) × 2(workout) analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures for workout. The [T] and [C] each underwent a 2(gender) × 2(time) ANOVA with repeated measures for time. A within-subject design was used to limit error variance. Average and maximum torque each had gender (men > women; p < 0.05) effects. The [T] elicited a 2-way interaction (p < 0.05), as men incurred a significant 14% increase over time, but women’s values were unchanged. Yet multivariate regression revealed that 3 predictor variables (body mass and average and maximum torques) did not account for a significant amount of variance associated with the rise in male [T]. Changes in [C] were not significant. In conclusion, changes in [T] concur with the results from other studies that showed significant elevations in male [T], despite the brevity of current workouts and the rather modest volume of muscle mass engaged. Practical applications imply that salivary assays may be a viable alternative to blood draws from athletes, yet coaches and others who may administer this treatment should know that our results may have produced greater pre-post hormonal changes if postexercise sample collection had occurred at a later time point.

Mechanical load and physiological responses of four different resistance training methods in bench press exercise.

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Jun 11; Authors: Buitrago S, Wirtz N, Yue Z, Kleinöder H, Mester J Abstract:  The purpose of the study was to compare the mechanical impact and the corresponding physiological responses of four different and often practically applied resistance training methods (RTM). Ten healthy male subjects (27.3 ± 3.2 years) experienced in resistance training performed one exhausting set of bench press exercise until exhaustion for each of the following RTM: Strength endurance (SE), fast force endurance (FFE), hypertrophy (HYP) and maximum strength (MAX). The RTM were defined by different lifting masses as well as different temporal distributions of the contraction modes per repetition. Mean concentric power (P), total concentric work (W) and exercise time (EXTIME) were determined. Oxygen uptake (V[Combining Dot Above]O2) was measured during exercise and for 30 minutes post-exercise. Mean V[Combining Dot Above]O2, volume of consumed O2 and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) were calculated over 30 minutes of recovery. Maximum blood lactate concentration (LAmax) was also determined post-exercise. P was significantly higher (p < 0.01) for FFE and MAX compared to SE and HYP. W was significantly higher for FFE than for all other RTM (p < 0.01) and it was also lower for SE than for MAX (p < 0.05). EXTIME for SE was significantly higher (p < 0.01) than for all other RTM, while EXTIME for MAX was significantly lower (p < 0.01) than for all other RTM. Mean V[Combining Dot Above]O2 was significantly higher during FFE than during all other RTM (p < 0.01). Consumed O2 was significantly higher (p < 0.05) during SE than for HYP and MAX and it was also significantly higher for FFE and HYP compared to MAX (p < 0.05). LAmax was significantly higher after FFE than after MAX (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in EPOC between all RTM. The results indicate that FFE as well as MAX are adequate to train muscular power despite the discrepancy in the external load. As FFE performance achieves the highest amount in mechanical work, it also may elicit the highest total energy expenditure. FFE challenges aerobic metabolism most and SE enables the longest EXTIME, indicating both are appropriate to enhance aerobic muscular capacities. EPOC and LA values may indicate that energy needs covered by anaerobic metabolism are not higher during HYP and MAX compared with the RTM of lower external load.

Electromyographic activity and 6-RM strength in bench press on stable and unstable surfaces.

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Jun 11; Authors: Saeterbakken AH, Fimland MS Abstract: The purpose of the study was to compare six-repetition maximum (6-RM) loads and muscle activity in bench press on three surfaces, namely stable bench, balance cushion and Swiss ball. 16 healthy, resistance-trained males (age 22.5±2.0 years, stature 1.82±6.6 m, and body mass 82.0±7.8 kg) volunteered for three habituation/strength testing sessions, and one experimental session. In randomized order on the three surfaces, 6-RM strength and electromyographic activity of pectoralis major, deltoid anterior, biceps brachii, triceps brachii, rectus abdominis, oblique external and erector spinae were assed. Relative to stable bench, the 6-RM strength was ∼93% for balance cushion (P≤0.001) and ∼92% for Swiss ball (P=0.008); the pectoralis major EMG activity was ∼90% using the balance cushion (P=0.080) and ∼81% using Swiss ball (P=0.006); the triceps EMG was ∼79% using the balance cushion (P=0.028) and ∼69% using the Swiss ball (P=0.002). Relative to balance cushion, the EMG activity in pectoralis, triceps and erector spinae using Swiss ball was ∼89% (P=0.016), ∼88% (P=0.014) and ∼80% (P=0.020), respectively. In rectus abdominis, the EMG activity relative to Swiss ball was ∼69% using stable bench (P=0.042) and ∼65% using the balance cushion (P=0.046). Similar EMG activities between stable and unstable surfaces were observed for deltoid anterior, biceps brachii and oblique external. In conclusion, stable bench press had greater 6-RM strength and triceps and pectoralis EMG activity compared to the unstable surfaces. These findings have implications for athletic training and rehabilitation, as they demonstrate an inferior effect of unstable surfaces on muscle activation of prime movers and strength in bench press. If an unstable surface in bench press is desirable, a balance cushion should be chosen instead of a Swiss ball.

Impact of External Resistance and Maximal Effort on Force-Velocity Characteristics of the Knee Extensors during Strengthening Exercise: a Randomized Controlled Experiment.

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Jun 11; Authors: Van Roie E, Bautmans I, Boonen S, Coudyzer W, Kennis E, Delecluse C Abstract: It remains controversial whether maximal effort attained by high external resistance is required to optimize muscle adaptation to strengthening exercise. Here, we compared different training protocols reaching maximal effort with either high resistance (HImax, 80% of one repetition maximum (1RM)) or low resistance (LOmax, ≤40% 1RM). Thirty-six young volunteers were randomly assigned to 9 weeks leg extension training at either HImax (one set of 10-12 repetitions at 80% 1RM), LO (one set of 10-12 repetitions at 40% 1RM, no maximal effort), or LOmax (one set of 10-12 repetitions at 40% 1RM, preceded (no rest) by 60 repetitions at 20-25% 1RM). Knee extension 1RM was measured pre and post intervention, and before the 7, 13, and 19 training session. Pre and post intervention, knee extensor static (PTstat) and dynamic (PTdyn) peak torque, maximal work (MW), and speed of movement at 20% (S20), 40% (S40) and 60% (S60) of PTstat were recorded with a Biodex dynamometer. All groups showed a significant increase in 1RM, with a greater improvement in HImax from the 13 session on (pAcute Effect of Passive Static Stretching on Lower-body Strength in Moderately Trained Males.J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Jun 11; Authors: Gergley JC Abstract: The purpose of this investigation was conducted to determine the acute effect of passive static stretching of the lower-body musculature on lower-body strength in a one repetition maximum (1RM) squat exercise in young (18 -24 yrs.) moderately trained men (N = 17). Two supervised warm-up treatments were applied before each performance testing session using a counterbalanced design on nonconsecutive days. The first treatment consisted of an active dynamic warm-up (AD) with resistance machines (i.e. leg extension / leg flexion) and free weights (i.e. barbell squat) while the second treatment added passive static stretching (PSS) of the lower-body plus the AD treatment. 1RM was determined using the maximum barbell squat following a progressive loading protocol. Subjects were also asked to subjectively evaluate their lower-body stability during 1RM testing sessions for both the AD and PSS treatments. A significant decrease in 1RM (8.36 %) and lower-body stability (22.68 %) was observed following the PSS treatment. Plausible explanations for this observation may be related to a more compliant muscle tendon unit (MTU) and / or altered or impaired neurological function in the active musculature. It is also possible that strength was impaired by the PSS due to joint instability. The findings of this study suggest that intensive stretching such as lower-body PSS should be avoided prior to training the lower-body or performing the 1RM in the squat exercise in favor of an AD dynamic warm-up using resistance training equipment in the lower-body musculature.

 Treatment for severe and enduring anorexia nervosa: A review.

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2012 Jun 13; Authors: Hay PJ, Touyz S, Sud R Abstract: Objective: Many patients with anorexia nervosa develop an intractable and debilitating illness course. Our aims were to (i) conduct a systematic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of treatment for chronic anorexia nervosa participants, and (ii) identify research informing novel therapeutic approaches for this group.Methods: Systematic search (SCOPUS plus previous reviews date 2011) of literature for (i) RCTs of treatment that included anorexia nervosa participants with a mean duration of illness of at least 3 years, (ii) studies reporting new treatments addressing factors associated with chronicity.Results: Evidence of efficacy for treatment approaches in severe and enduring anorexia nervosa is limited. Only one unpublished RCT designed to test a specific psychological approach for these patients was identified. There is a probable advantage for specialist psychotherapy over treatment as usual, and a promising study of relapse prevention with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for anorexia nervosa (CBT-AN). Open trials have, however, reported developments in psychological therapies that warrant further specific evaluation. These include forms of CBT modified for anorexia nervosa, cognitive remediation therapy with emotion skills training, the Maudsley Model for Treatment of Adults with Anorexia Nervosa, the Community Outreach Partnership Program, Specialist Supportive Clinical Management and the approach of Strober with its emphasis on therapeutic alliance and flexible goals.Conclusions: Treatment trials need to move beyond targeting core eating disorder pathology (primarily weight restoration) and examine efficacy and effectiveness in minimising harm and reducing personal and social costs of chronic illness. There is also a need to develop better definitions of chronicity, with or without treatment ‘resistance’ specifiers

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