Volume #3


Hey guys!

It’s absolutely ridiculous how fast the week passed but I’m more then happy it’s Friday and once again time to get your geek on with another Geeky Friday! In case you missed my latest article on exercise and chronic fatigue you can check it out here (pop-up). I’ve had an awesome week doing what I do best: helping the not so fortunate and lifting heavy stuff. Had a few big lifts myself (including a big bench PR)  this week but more than anything spent quite some time in the gym with my younger brother, getting him prepared for two big PR attempts. The guy is a goddamn machine, increasing his strength and body composition in plain out ridiculous pace. He is only 16 years old, weights 78 kilos and it was no more then 15 months since he first stepped into the gym. See the video below to see how the PR attempts went. You might also want to check out this article if you’re interested in how he started out to get where he’s at today training-wise.

This week I’ve come over some interesting research looking at stuff such as if caffeine can increase load preference when sleep deprived, comparing conditioning versus resistance training in type 2 diabetics, muscle damage and hypertrophy, comparing weightlifting to kettlebell training, long term effects of slow versus fast weight loss in elite athletes and much much more. Pick the studies you find interesting and get your geek on, glad to help you end this week smarter then it started.

Acute caffeine ingestion increases voluntarily chosen resistance training load following limited sleep.

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2012 Feb 15;

Authors: Cook C, Beaven CM, Kilduff LP, Drawer S

Abstract INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to determine whether caffeine ingestion would increase the workload voluntarily chosen by athletes in a limited sleep state. METHODS: In a double-blind, crossover study, sixteen professional rugby players ingested either a placebo or 4 mg·kg-1 caffeine 1 h before exercise. Athletes classified themselves into non-deprived (8 h+) or sleep-deprived states (6 h or less). Exercise comprised four sets of bench press, squats, and bent rows at 85% 1-RM. Athletes were asked to perform as many repetitions on each set as possible without failure. Saliva was collected prior to administration of placebo or caffeine, and again prior to and immediately after exercise and assayed for testosterone and cortisol. RESULTS: Sleep deprivation produced a very large decrease in total load (p = 1.98 x 10-7). Caffeine ingestion in the non-deprived state resulted in a moderate increase in total load with a larger effect in the sleep deprived state resulting in total load similar to those observed in the non-deprived placebo condition. Eight of the sixteen athletes were identified as caffeine responders. Baseline testosterone was higher (p < 0.05) and cortisol trended lower in non-sleep deprived states. Changes in hormones from pre-dose to pre-exercise correlated to individual workload responses to caffeine. Testosterone response to exercise increased with caffeine compared to placebo, as did cortisol response. CONCLUSIONS: Caffeine increased voluntary workload in professional athletes, emphasised further under conditions of self-reported limited sleep. Caffeine may prove worthwhile when athletes are perceived as tired, especially in individuals identified as responders.

Metabolic Effects of Aerobic Training and Resistance Training in Type 2 Diabetic Subjects: A randomized controlled trial (the RAED2 study).

Diabetes Care. 2012 Feb 16;

Authors: Bacchi E, Negri C, Zanolin ME, Milanese C, Faccioli N, Trombetta M, Zoppini G, Cevese A, Bonadonna RC, Schena F, Bonora E, Lanza M, Moghetti P

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To assess differences between the effects of aerobic and resistance training on HbA(1c) (primary outcome) and several metabolic risk factors in subjects with type 2 diabetes, and to identify predictors of exercise-induced metabolic improvement.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Type 2 diabetic patients (n = 40) were randomly assigned to aerobic training or resistance training. Before and after 4 months of intervention, metabolic phenotypes (including HbA(1c), glucose clamp-measured insulin sensitivity, and oral glucose tolerance test-assessed β-cell function), body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous (SAT) adipose tissue by magnetic resonance imaging, cardiorespiratory fitness, and muscular strength were measured.

RESULTS: After training, increase in peak oxygen consumption (VO(2peak)) was greater in the aerobic group (time-by-group interaction P = 0.045), whereas increase in strength was greater in the resistance group (time-by-group interaction P < 0.0001). HbA(1c) was similarly reduced in both groups (-0.40% [95% CI -0.61 to -0.18] vs. -0.35% [-0.59 to -0.10], respectively). Total and truncal fat, VAT, and SAT were also similarly reduced in both groups, whereas insulin sensitivity and lean limb mass were similarly increased. β-Cell function showed no significant changes. In multivariate analyses, improvement in HbA(1c) after training was independently predicted by baseline HbA(1c) and by changes in VO(2peak) and truncal fat.

CONCLUSIONS:Resistance training, similarly to aerobic training, improves metabolic features and insulin sensitivity and reduces abdominal fat in type 2 diabetic patients. Changes after training in VO(2peak) and truncal fat may be primary determinants of exercise-induced metabolic improvement.

Does exercise-induced muscle damage play a role in skeletal muscle hypertrophy?

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Feb 15;

Authors: Schoenfeld B

Abstrac: Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) occurs primarily from the performance of unaccustomed exercise, and its severity is modulated by the type, intensity, and/or duration of training. Although concentric and isometric actions contribute to EIMD, the greatest damage to muscle tissue is seen with eccentric exercise, where muscles are forcibly lengthened. Damage can be specific to just a few macromolecules of tissue or result in large tears in the sarcolemma, basal lamina, and supportive connective tissue, as well as inducing injury to contractile elements and the cytoskeleton. Although EIMD can have detrimental short-term effects on markers of performance and pain, it has been hypothesized that the associated skeletal muscle inflammation and increased protein turnover are necessary for long-term hypertrophic adaptations. A theoretical basis for this belief has been proposed, whereby the structural changes associated with EIMD influence gene expression, resulting in a strengthening of the tissue and thus protection of the muscle against further injury. Other researchers, however, have questioned this hypothesis, noting that hypertrophy can occur in the relative absence of muscle damage. Therefore, the purpose f this paper will be twofold: 1) to extensively review the literature and attempt to determine what, if any, role EIMD plays in promoting skeletal muscle hypertrophy, and; 2) to make applicable recommendations for resistance training program design.

Effects of Weightlifting vs. Kettlebell Training on Vertical Jump, Strength, and Body Composition.

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Feb 15;

Authors: Otto WH, Coburn JW, Brown LE, Spiering BA

Abstract: The present study compared the effects of six weeks of weightlifting plus traditional heavy resistance training exercises vs. kettlebell training on strength, power, and anthropometric measures. Thirty males were randomly assigned to one of two groups: 1) weightlifting (n = 13; mean ± SD, age: 22.92 ± 1.98 y; body mass: 80.57 ± 12.99 kg; height: 174.56 ± 5.80 cm); or 2) or kettlebell (n = 17; mean ± SD, age: 22.76 ± 1.86 y; body mass: 78.99 ± 10.68 kg; height: 176.79 ± 5.08 cm) and trained two times a week for six weeks. A linear periodization model was used for training; weeks 1-3 volume was 3×6 (kettlebell swings or high pull), 4×4 (accelerated swings or power clean), and 4×6 (goblet squats or back squats) and volume increased during weeks 4-6 to 4×6, 6×4, and 4×6, respectively. Participants were assessed for height (cm), body mass (kg), and body composition (skinfolds). Strength was assessed by the back squat 1RM while power was assessed by the vertical jump and power clean 1RM. The results of this study indicated that short-term weightlifting and kettlebell training were effective at increasing strength and power. However, the gain in strength using weightlifting movements was greater than that for kettlebell training. Neither method of training led to significant changes in any of the anthropometric measures. In conclusion, 6 weeks of weightlifting induced significantly greater improvements in strength compared to kettlebell training. No between-group differences existed for the vertical jump or body composition.

Long-term effect of weight loss on body composition and performance in elite athletes.

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2011 Oct;21(5):426-35

Authors: Garthe I, Raastad T, Sundgot-Borgen J

Abstract: CONTEXT: When weight loss (WL) is needed, it is recommended that athletes do it gradually by 0.5-1 kg/wk through moderate energy restriction. However, the effect of WL rate on long-term changes in body composition (BC) and performance has not been investigated in elite athletes.

PURPOSE: To compare changes in body mass (BM), fat mass (FM), lean body mass (LBM), and performance 6 and 12 mo after 2 different WL interventions promoting loss of 0.7% vs. 1.4% of body weight per wk in elite athletes.

METHODS: Twenty-three athletes completed 6- and 12-mo postintervention testing (slow rate [SR] n = 14, 23.5 ± 3.3 yr, 72.2 ± 12.2 kg; fast rate [FR] n = 9, 21.4 ± 4.0 yr, 71.6 ± 12.0 kg). The athletes had individualized diet plans promoting the predetermined weekly WL during intervention, and 4 strength-training sessions per wk were included. BM, BC, and strength (1-repetition maximum) were tested at baseline, postintervention, and 6 and 12 mo after the intervention.

RESULTS: BM decreased by ~6% in both groups during the intervention but was not different from baseline values after 12 mo. FM decreased in SR and FR during the intervention by 31% ± 3% vs. 23% ± 4%, respectively, but was not different from baseline after 12 mo. LBM and upper body strength increased more in SR than in FR (2.0% ± 1.3% vs. 0.8% ± 1.1% and 12% ± 2% vs. 6% ± 2%) during the intervention, but after 12 mo there were no significant differences between groups in BC or performance.

CONCLUSION: There were no significant differences between groups after 12 mo, suggesting that WL rate is not the most important factor in maintaining BC and performance after WL in elite athletes.

Divergent muscle functional and architectural responses to two successive high intensity resistance exercise sessions in competitive weightlifters and resistance trained adults.

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Feb 16;

Authors: Storey A, Wong S, Smith HK, Marshall P

Abstract: Peak force (PF), contractile rate of force development (RFD) and contractile impulse (CI) are of great importance to competitive weightlifters (WL). These athletes routinely perform successive bouts of high-intensity resistance exercise (HIRE) within the same day (double-day training) with the aim of improving muscular function and weightlifting performance. The purpose of this investigation was to determine and compare the PF, contractile RFD and CI responses to double-day training between WL and resistance trained (RT) adults (n = 16 per group). Furthermore, we sought to establish whether acute changes in muscle function were associated with acute changes in muscle architecture. Isometric front squat PF, contractile RFD, CI and the pennation angle (θ(p)), anatomical and physiological thickness of the m. vastus lateralis (VL) were determined before and after two equivalent HIRE sessions separated by 4-6 h rest. Each session consisted of ten single repetitions of the dynamic barbell front squat interspersed with 2-min rest, using a load equivalent to 90% of the pre-session PF. Weightlifters demonstrated greater PF at all time points when compared to RT adults and exhibited no significant within or between session changes in PF, contractile RFD or CI. Conversely, RT adults demonstrated within- and between-session decreases in PF and between-session increases in contractile RFD and CI. As no correlations were found between the relative within-session changes in muscle function and the concomitant changes in muscle architecture, other factors must contribute to the divergent responses in PF, contractile RFD and CI between WL and RT adults.

The effect of short-term resistance training on hip and knee kinematics during vertical drop jumps.

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Feb 15;

Authors: McCurdy K, Walker J, Saxe J, Woods J

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a weight-bearing, free-weight resistance training program alone on knee flexion, hip flexion, and knee valgus during unilateral and bilateral drop jump tasks. Twenty nine young adult females with previous athletic experience were randomly divided into a control (n = 16) and resistance training (n = 13) group. The resistance training group completed 8 weeks of lower-extremity, weight-bearing exercises using free weights while the control group did not train. A pre- and posttest was conducted to measure knee valgus, knee flexion, and hip flexion during a unilateral (30 cm) and bilateral vertical drop jump (60 cm) for maximum height. Joint angles were determined using 3D electromagnetic tracking sensors (Motion Monitor, Chicago, IL.). Initial training intensity for the bilateral squat was 50% of the subject’s 1RM, which increased 5% each week to 85% during the final week. Sets and repetitions ranged from 2-4 and 4-12, respectively. The training loads for all other exercises (lunge, step up, unilateral squat and Romanian dead-lift) increased from 15RM to 6M from the initial to the final week. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to determine differences in the hip and knee joint angles. No significant differences for knee valgus and hip flexion measures were found between groups after training; however, knee flexion angle significantly increased in the training group from the pretest (77.2 ± 4.1°) to posttest (83.2 ± 3.7°) during the bilateral drop jump. No significant changes occurred during the unilateral drop jump. Bilateral measures for knee flexion, hip flexion, and knee valgus were significantly (p < 0.05) greater than the unilateral measures during the drop jump task, which indicate an increased risk for ACL injury during unilateral drop jumps. The data support that the strength and conditioning specialist can implement resistance training alone during short-term training period to reduce the risk of ACL injury by increasing knee flexion during a bilateral drop jump task. Increased knee flexion angles after resistance training may indicate a reduced risk for knee injury from improved neuromuscular control resulting in a softer landing.

Case study: bone mineral density of two elite senior female powerlifters.

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Mar;26(3):867-72

Authors: Walters PH, Jezequel JJ, Grove MB

Abstract:The purpose of this case study was to examine the bone mineral density (BMD) of 2 women, aged 48 and 54 years, who had engaged in high-intensity resistance training for >30 years each and gained national prominence for their lifting performances. Each subject was measured using a dual x-ray absorptiometry (GE Lunar Prodigy, Fairfield, CT, USA) for both the BMD (grams per centimeter squared) and bone mineral content (grams) of the lumbar spine, dual femur, and total body. The Z and T scores of the 49-year-old subject were significantly higher than either age and gender-matched or peak BMD norms (lumbar spine Z + 2.2, T + 1.8, femoral mean Z + 1.1, T + 0.6, total body Z + 2.4, T + 2.0). The Z and T scores of the 54-year-old mark the largest ever reported in the literature for a Caucasian woman of this age (lumbar spine Z + 2.8, T + 2.2, femoral mean Z + 1.4, T + 1.9, total body Z + 2.6, T + 3.0). Although these results do not prove any causal relationship between long-term high-intensity strength training and elevated BMDs among women, they do raise questions that some type of relationship may exist

There you go, I’ve done my part. Now it’s time for you to do yours! Make sure you share 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.


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