Volume #5

Finally, it’s Geeky Friday!

I’ve been having an incredibly hectic week, working in the ER this week and things has just been absolutely insane. So no long introduction this week, let’s get to the geeky part as soon as we can and I’m off to hit the gym before going to work.

Oh, and feel free to try the ‘share’ buttons on your left when you’re done reading. Magic things will happen ;-)

The strength and conditioning practices of strongman competitors.

J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Nov;25(11):3118-28

Authors: Winwood PW, Keogh JW, Harris NK

Abstract:This study describes the results of a survey of the strength and conditioning practices of strongman competitors. A 65-item online survey was completed by 167 strongman competitors. The subject group included 83 local, 65 national, and 19 international strongman competitors. The survey comprised 3 main areas of enquiry: (a) exercise selection, (b) training protocols and organization, and (c) strongman event training. The back squat and conventional deadlift were reported as the most commonly used squat and deadlift (65.8 and 88.0%, respectively). Eighty percent of the subjects incorporated some form of periodization in their training. Seventy-four percent of subjects included hypertrophy training, 97% included maximal strength training, and 90% included power training in their training organization. The majority performed speed repetitions with submaximal loads in the squat and deadlift (59.9 and 61.1%, respectively). Fifty-four percent of subjects incorporated lower body plyometrics into their training, and 88% of the strongman competitors reported performing Olympic lifts as part of their strongman training. Seventy-eight percent of subjects reported that the clean was the most performed Olympic lift used in their training. Results revealed that 56 and 38% of the strongman competitors used elastic bands and chains in their training, respectively. The findings demonstrate that strongman competitors incorporate a variety of strength and conditioning practices that are focused on increasing muscular size, and the development of maximal strength and power into their conditioning preparation. The farmers walk, log press, and stones were the most commonly performed strongman exercises used in a general strongman training session by these athletes. These data provide information on the training practices required to compete in the sport of strongman.

Resistance training, visceral obesity and inflammatory response: a

Obes Rev. 2012 Mar 2;

Authors: Strasser B, Arvandi M, Siebert U

Abstract:Intra-abdominal obesity is an important risk factor for low-grade inflammation, which is associated with increased risk for diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. For the most part, recommendations to treat or prevent overweight and obesity via physical activity have focused on aerobic endurance training as it is clear that aerobic training is associated with much greater energy expenditure during the exercise session than resistance training. However, due to the metabolic consequences of reduced muscle mass, it is understood that normal ageing and/or decreased physical activity may lead to a higher prevalence of metabolic disorders. Whether resistance training alters visceral fat and the levels of several pro-inflammatory cytokines produced in adipose tissue has not been addressed in earlier reviews. Because evidence suggests that resistance training may promote a negative energy balance and may change body fat distribution, it is possible that an increase in muscle mass after resistance training may be a key mediator leading to a better metabolic control. Considering the benefits of resistance training on visceral fat and inflammatory response, an important question is: how much resistance training is needed to confer such benefits? Therefore, the purpose of this review was to address the importance of resistance training on abdominal obesity, visceral fat and inflammatory response.

Reactive hyperemia is not responsible for stimulating muscle protein synthesis following blood flow restriction exercise.

J Appl Physiol. 2012 Feb 23;

Authors: Gundermann DM, Fry CS, Dickinson JM, Walker DK, Timmerman KL, Drummond MJ, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB

Abstract: Blood flow restriction (BFR) to contracting skeletal muscle during low-intensity resistance exercise training increases muscle strength and size in humans. However, the mechanism(s) underlying these effects are largely unknown. We have previously shown that mTORC1 signaling and muscle protein synthesis are stimulated following an acute bout of BFR exercise. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that reactive hyperemia is the mechanism responsible for stimulating mTORC1 signaling and muscle protein synthesis following BFR exercise. Six young men (24 ± 2y) were used in a randomized cross-over study consisting of two exercise trials, low-intensity resistance exercise with BFR (BFR trial) and low-intensity resistance exercise with sodium nitroprusside (SNP), a pharmacological vasodilator infusion into the femoral artery immediately after exercise to simulate the reactive hyperemia response after BFR exercise (SNP trial). Post-exercise mixed muscle fractional synthetic rate from the vastus lateralis increased by 49% in the BFR trial (P0.05). BFR exercise increased the phosphorylation of mTOR, S6K1, rpS6, ERK1/2 and Mnk1 (P0.05). We conclude that reactive hyperemia is not a primary mechanism for BFR exercise-induced mTORC1 signaling and muscle protein synthesis. Further research is necessary to elucidate the cellular mechanism(s) responsible for the increase in mTOR signaling, muscle protein synthesis and hypertrophy following acute and chronic BFR exercise.

Preventive effect of eccentric training on acute hamstring injuries in men’s soccer: a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

Am J Sports Med. 2011 Nov;39(11):2296-303

Authors: Petersen J, Thorborg K, Nielsen MB, Budtz-Jørgensen E, Hölmich P

Abstract: BACKGROUND: The incidence of acute hamstring injuries is high in several sports, including the different forms of football.
PURPOSE: The authors investigated the preventive effect of eccentric strengthening of the hamstring muscles using the Nordic hamstring exercise compared with no additional hamstring exercise on the rate of acute hamstring injuries in male soccer players.
STUDY DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.
METHODS: Fifty Danish male professional and amateur soccer teams (942 players) were allocated to an intervention group (461 players) or a control group (481 players). Players in the intervention group conducted a 10-week progressive eccentric training program followed by a weekly seasonal program, whereas players in the control group followed their usual training program. The main outcome measures were numbers of overall, new, and recurrent acute hamstring injuries during 1 full soccer season.
RESULTS: Fifty-two acute hamstring injuries in the control group compared with 15 injuries in the intervention group were registered. Comparing intervention versus the control group, overall acute hamstring injury rates per 100 player seasons were 3.8 versus 13.1 (adjusted rate ratio [RR], 0.293; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.150-0.572; P < .001). New injury rates per 100 player seasons were 3.1 versus 8.1 (RR, 0.410; 95% CI, 0.180-0.933; P = .034), whereas recurrent injury rates per 100 player seasons were 7.1 versus 45.8 (RR, 0.137; 95% CI, 0.037-0.509; P = .003). Number needed to treat [NNT] to prevent 1 acute hamstring injury (new or recurrent) is 13 (95% CI, 9-23) players. The NNT to prevent 1 new injury is 25 (95% CI, 15-72) players, and NNT to prevent 1 recurrent injury is 3 (95% CI, 2-6) players.
CONCLUSION: IN male professional and amateur soccer players, additional eccentric hamstring exercise decreased the rate of overall, new, and recurrent acute hamstring injuries.

 Fish-oil supplementation enhances the effects of strength training in elderly women.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Feb;95(2):428-36

Authors: Rodacki CL, Rodacki AL, Pereira G, Naliwaiko K, Coelho I, Pequito D, Fernandes LC

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Muscle force and functional capacity generally decrease with aging in the older population, although this effect can be reversed, attenuated, or both through strength training. Fish oil (FO), which is rich in n-3 (omega-3) PUFAs, has been shown to play a role in the plasma membrane and cell function of muscles, which may enhance the benefits of training. The effect of strength training and FO supplementation on the neuromuscular system of the elderly has not been investigated.
OBJECTIVE: The objective was to investigate the chronic effect of FO supplementation and strength training on the neuromuscular system (muscle strength and functional capacity) of older women.
DESIGN: Forty-five women (aged 64 ± 1.4 y) were randomly assigned to 3 groups. One group performed strength training only (ST group) for 90 d, whereas the others performed the same strength-training program and received FO supplementation (2 g/d) for 90 d (ST90 group) or for 150 d (ST150 group; supplemented 60 d before training). Muscle strength and functional capacity were assessed before and after the training period.
RESULTS: No differences in the pretraining period were found between groups for any of the variables. The peak torque and rate of torque development for all muscles (knee flexor and extensor, plantar and dorsiflexor) increased from pre- to posttraining in all groups. However, the effect was greater in the ST90 and ST150 groups than in the ST group. The activation level and electromechanical delay of the muscles changed from pre- to posttraining only for the ST90 and ST150 groups. Chair-rising performance in the FO groups was higher than in the ST group.
CONCLUSIONS: Strength training increased muscle strength in elderly women. The inclusion of FO supplementation caused greater improvements in muscle strength and functional capacity.

Effects of exercise and physical activity on knee osteoarthritis.

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2011 Dec;15(6):423-30

Authors: Esser S, Bailey A

Abstract:Exercise is one of the most discussed and controversial nonpharmacologic management strategies for osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Health care providers and patients share varied and often pseudoscientific beliefs regarding the effects of exercise on knee OA formulated on outdated notions of the etiology, pathophysiology, and progression of the condition. Based on the contemporary literature, regular light to moderate physical activity has both preventive and therapeutic benefits for individuals with knee OA. Exercise regimens with strong evidence of benefit include those that focus on aerobic/cardiovascular conditioning and lower extremity strength training. Health care providers should confidently incorporate exercise recommendations into clinical management and offer patients evidence-based and individually tailored exercise prescriptions to help manage the painful and often disabling symptoms of this condition.

Exercise in type 2 diabetes: to resist or to endure?

Diabetologia. 2012 Mar 6;

Authors: Roden M

Abstract:There is now evidence that a single bout of endurance (aerobic) or resistance exercise reduces 24 h post-exercise subcutaneous glucose profiles to the same extent in insulin-resistant humans with or without type 2 diabetes. However, it remains to be determined which group would benefit most from specific exercise protocols, particularly with regard to long-term glycaemic control. Acute aerobic exercise first accelerates translocation of myocellular glucose transporters via AMP-activated protein kinase, calcium release and mitogen-activated protein kinase, but also improves insulin-dependent glucose transport/phosphorylation via distal components of insulin signalling (phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1, TBC1 domain family, members 1 and 4, Rac1, protein kinase C). Post-exercise effects involve peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α and lead to ATP synthesis, which may be modulated by variants in genes such as NDUFB6. While mechanisms of acute resistance-type exercise are less clear, chronic resistance training activates the mammalian target of rapamycin/serine kinase 6 pathway, ultimately increasing protein synthesis and muscle mass. Over the long term, adherence to rather than differences in metabolic variables between specific modes of regular exercise might ultimately determine their efficacy. Taken together, studies are now needed to address the variability of individual responses to long-term resistance and endurance training in real life.

Myostatin inhibition induces muscle fibre hypertrophy prior to satellite cell activation.

Authors: Wang Q, McPherron AC

Abstract: Muscle fibres are multinucleated post-mitotic cells that can change dramatically in size during adulthood. It has been debated whether muscle fibre hypertrophy requires activation and fusion of muscle stem cells, the satellite cells. Myostatin (MSTN) is a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth during development and in the adult, and MSTN inhibition is therefore a potential therapy for muscle wasting diseases, some of which are associated with a depletion of satellite cells. Conflicting results have been obtained in previous analyses of the role of MSTN on satellite cell quiescence. Here, we inhibited MSTN in adult mice with a soluble activin receptor type IIB and analyzed the incorporation of new nuclei using BrdU labelling by isolating individual myofibres. We found that satellite cells are activated by MSTN inhibition. By varying the dose and time course for MSTN inhibition, however, we found that myofibre hypertrophy precedes the incorporation of new nuclei, and that the overall number of new nuclei is relatively low compared to the number of total myonuclei. These results reconcile some of the previous work obtained by other methods. In contrast with previous reports, we also found that Mstn null mice do not have increased satellite cell numbers during adulthood and are not resistant to sarcopenia. Our results support a previously proposed model of hypertrophy in which hypertrophy can precede satellite cell activation. Studies of the metabolic and functional effects of postnatal MSTN inhibition are needed to determine the consequences of increasing the cytoplasm/myonuclear ratio after MSTN inhibition

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 Facebook,Twitter 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.

In strength,


PS. Want more? You can find the old Geeky Friday posts under the RESEARCH category!


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