Volume #6

And we’re back with another smoking hot edition of Geeky Friday – you’re free weekly source for new hot research on fitness & health, nutrition, supplementation and other awesome shit. This week’s edition is the biggest one thus far so get your cup of coffee, sharpen your pencil and get your geek on.

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.

I wish you all an awesome weekend including resting, socializing and lifting heavy stuff.

In strength,


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

The effects of resistance training on ApoB/ApoA-I ratio, Lp(a) and inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Endocrine. 2012 Mar 11;

Authors: Kadoglou NP, Fotiadis G, Athanasiadou Z, Vitta I, Lampropoulos S, Vrabas IS

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of resistance training (RT) on novel cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We enrolled 52 overweight/obese, type 2 diabetic patients, with inadequate glycemic control (HbA1c > 6.5 %), but without overt diabetic vascular complications. Participants were randomly assigned into two equivalent groups (n = 26): (1) Resistance exercise group: subjects underwent a supervised RT program (3-times/week, 60 min/session, 2-3 sets of 8 machine-weight exercises, 60-80 % of one-repetition maximum). (2) Control group (CG): at study entrance, they received a structured exercise counseling to increase daily physical activity. Clinical parameters, cardiorespiratory capacity, glycemic and lipid profile, apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I), apolipoprotein B (ApoB), Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)], insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), high-sensitivity CRP (hsCRP), fibrinogen were measured before and after 3 months. RT significantly reduced glycemic indexes, insulin resistance and systolic blood pressure, compared to CG (p < 0.05). Moreover, exercise-treated patients conferred a remarkable downregulation in ApoB levels (from 135.92 ± 30.97 mg/dL to 85.9 ± 26.46 mg/dL, p < 0.001) as compared to CG (from 126.33 ± 36.59 mg/dL to 116.23 ± 27.52 mg/dL, p = 0.872) (p < 0.001). Similarly, ApoB/ApoA-I ratio was considerably decreased in REG rather than CG (-0.32 ± 0.09 vs 0.02 ± 0.01, p < 0.001). Notably, ApoA-I, Lp(a), hsCRP, fibrinogen, the rest of lipid parameters, body weight and exercise capacity remained unaltered in both groups (p > 0.05). Among variables, HOMA-IR reduction was found to be an independent predictor of changes in ApoB/ApoA-I ratio (R (2) = 0.406, p = 0.041) in REG. Long-term RT ameliorated glycemic control, insulin sensitivity and ApoB/ApoA-I ratio in individuals with T2DM. Although we did not observe significant benefits in the rest of cardiovascular risk factors, our results indicate a merely beneficial impact of RT.

Evaluation of training efficacy for improving maximal voluntary contraction without noticeable hypertrophy

Fiziol Cheloveka. 2011 Nov-Dec;37(6):89-97 (Fulltext in Russian)

Authors: Netreba AI, Bravyĭ IaR, Makarov VA, Ustiuzhanin DV, Vinogradova OL

Abstract: The aim of the study was to estimate efficiency of the strength training protocol designed to improve maximal voluntary contraction without development of muscle hypertrophy. The principal difference between chosen training protocol and classical strength training was that the number of training movements during training session was increased to improve the motor skill, and rest periods between the training movements were increased as well to minimize damage of muscle fibers, which is one of the factors inducing muscle hypertrophy. Knee extensors of right leg in 11 physically active males were trained 4 times a week for 4 weeks. Evaluation of force-velocity characteristics with simultaneous recording of EMG-activity was performed in both trained and untrained legs immediately before, during and several times after the 4 wks training period. Before and after training the size and contractile properties ofipsi- and contralateral knee extensors were evaluated by MRI and twitch interpolation technique. Maximum strength gains after 4 week of training were about 17% in both trained and untrained legs and did not differ significantly from each other. A noticeable increase of EMG-activity during contraction was also found for both legs after 4-wks training period. The observed changes were not accompanied by any significant changes of muscle size, demonstrating the “neural” nature of the training effects.

Changes in Physical Fitness Predict Improvements in Modifiable Cardiovascular Risk Factors Independently of Body Weight Loss in Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes Participating in the Italian Diabetes and Exercise Study (IDES).

Diabetes Care. 2012 Mar 7;
Authors: Balducci S, Zanuso S, Cardelli P, Salvi L, Mazzitelli G, Bazuro A, Iacobini C, Nicolucci A, Pugliese G,

Abstract: OBJECTIVE Physical fitness is inversely related to mortality in the general population and in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Here, we present data concerning the relationship between changes in physical fitness and modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in subjects with type 2 diabetes from the Italian Diabetes and Exercise Study.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Sedentary patients with type 2 diabetes (n = 606) were enrolled in 22 outpatient diabetes clinics and randomized to twice-a-week supervised aerobic and resistance training plus exercise counseling versus counseling alone for 12 months. Baseline to end-of-study changes in cardiorespiratory fitness, strength, and flexibility, as assessed by Vo(2max) estimation, a 5-8 maximal repetition test, and a hip/trunk flexibility test, respectively, were calculated in the whole cohort, and multiple regression analyses were applied to assess the relationship with cardiovascular risk factors.RESULTS Changes in Vo(2max), upper and lower body strength, and flexibility were significantly associated with the variation in the volume of physical activity, HbA(1c), BMI, waist circumference, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), coronary heart disease (CHD) risk score, and inversely, HDL cholesterol. Changes in fitness predicted improvements in HbA(1c), waist circumference, HDL cholesterol, hs-CRP, and CHD risk score, independent of study arm, BMI, and in case of strength, also waist circumference.CONCLUSIONS Physical activity/exercise-induced increases in fitness, particularly muscular, predict improvements in cardiovascular risk factors in subjects with type 2 diabetes independently of weight loss, thus indicating the need for targeting fitness in these individuals, particularly in subjects who struggle to lose weight.

Influence of training years on upper-body strength and power changes during the competitive season for professional Australian rules football players.

J Sci Med Sport. 2012 Mar 5;

Authors: Hrysomallis C, Buttifant D

Abstract:Objectives: To determine if upper-body strength or power changes during the competitive season for elite Australian rules footballers and what influence the number of training years has on any changes. Methods: Twenty elite Australian rules footballers were assessed at preseason, in-season and postseason. Strength was assessed by the 1 repetition maximum bench press and power was assessed by bench press throws. Athletes’ results were analysed as a whole group as well as being divided into two groups according to training years: less than 3 years training and greater than 3 years training. All athletes performed the same resistance training program. Results: There were no significant differences in height, body mass, or skinfold measurements between the two age groups. As a whole group, there was no significant change in 1 repetition maximum bench press. There was a small but significant decrease in mean bench throw power in-season (525W) compared to preseason (542W) and it then increased at postseason (541W). Within group analysis revealed the in-season decrease in upper-body power was largely pertaining to the younger athletes. The older group maintained their upper body power levels while the younger group decreased power in-season (4%) before regaining it again at season’s end. Conclusion: Older footballers were able to maintain their upper body power while the younger footballers had a small but significant decrease in-season before regaining it by season’s end. The overall volume of training and playing appears to have affected the younger athletes’ power more than older athletes. Both age groups maintained upper body strength.

The Effect of Variety on Physical Activity: a Cross-Sectional Study.

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Mar 5;

Authors: Juvancic-Heltzel JA, Glickman EL, Barkley JE

Abstract:It has been repeatedly demonstrated that increasing the variety of available food and purchasing options reliably increases eating and consumer spending behavior respectively. However, the potential pro-behavioral effect of increasing the variety of exercise equipment options on the amount of exercise individuals perform is very limited. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the amount, enjoyment (liking) and effort perception of resistance training exercise versus sedentary alternatives during a high variety (HV) resistance exercise equipment condition (10 choices) versus a low variety (LV) equipment condition (two choices). During each condition (HV) and (LV), children (8-12 years), young adults (18-26 years), and older adults (≥ 60 years) had free choice access to both resistance exercise equipment and sedentary activities for a total of 20 minutes. The amount of time allocated to resistance exercise, the total number of repetitions performed, and session liking were measured during each condition. Participants significantly (p ≤ 0.05 for all) increased: repetitions performed (126.4 ± 71.7 vs. 88.0 ± 48.8), the amount of time allocated for exercise (14.3 ± 6.3 min vs. 12.1 ± 6.5 min) and liking (8.1 ± 1.5 cm vs. 7.1± 2.1 cm) during the HV condition relative to the LV condition. RPE was not significantly (p = 0.13) different from HV (4.2 ± 2.4) to LV (3.8 ± 2.3). Increasing the variety of exercise equipment available to children, young and older adults increased their exercise participation and enjoyment of that exercise without altering their perceived exertion. The practical application from this research is that increasing the variety of exercise equipment available to one';s clients may increase their exercise adherence.

Energy intake and appetite-related hormones following acute aerobic and resistance exercise.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2011 Dec;36(6):958-66

Authors: Balaguera-Cortes L, Wallman KE, Fairchild TJ, Guelfi KJ

Abstract: Previous research has shown that resistance and aerobic exercise have differing effects on perceived hunger and circulating levels of appetite-related hormones. However, the effect of resistance and aerobic exercise on actual energy intake has never been compared. This study investigated the effect of an acute bout of resistance exercise, compared with aerobic exercise, on subsequent energy intake and appetite-regulating hormones. Ten active men completed 3 trials in a counterbalanced design: 45 min of resistance exercise (RES; free and machine weights), aerobic exercise (AER; running), or a resting control trial (CON). Following exercise or CON, participants had access to a buffet-style array of breakfast foods and drinks to consume ad libitum. Plasma concentrations of a range of appetite-regulating hormones were measured throughout each trial. Despite significantly higher energy expenditure with AER compared with RES (p < 0.05), there was no difference in total energy intake from the postexercise meal between trials (p = 0.779). Pancreatic polypeptide was significantly higher prior to the meal after both RES and AER compared with CON. In contrast, active ghrelin was lower following RES compared with both CON and AER (p ≤ 0.05), while insulin was higher following RES compared with CON (p = 0.013). In summary, the differential response of appetite-regulating hormones to AER and RES does not appear to influence energy intake in the postexercise meal. However, given the greater energy expenditure associated with AER compared with RES, AER modes of exercise may be preferable for achieving short-term negative energy balance.

Effects of strength and aerobic-based training on functional fitness, mood and the relationship between fatness and mood in older adults.

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2011 Sep;51(3):489-96

Authors: Martins R, Coelho E Silva M, Pindus D, Cumming S, Teixeira A, Veríssimo M

Abstract: AIM: Physical independence and positive mood states contribute to successful aging. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of aerobic and strength-based training programs on functional fitness and mood in older adults, and to assess the relationship between adiposity and mood states.
METHODS: Seventy eight participants (age 65 to 95 year old) were randomly assigned to a control group, aerobic training (AT), or strength training group (ST). Functional fitness was assessed using dimensions of the Senior Fitness Test battery relating to lower and upper body strength and flexibility, velocity, agility and dynamic balance, and aerobic endurance. Mood states (depression, tension, fatigue, vigour, anger, and confusion) were determined using the POMS-SF questionnaire. Participants were evaluated at the baseline and at the end of a 16-week exercise programme.
RESULTS: Both the ST and AT groups improved their functional fitness following the 16 week training. Body Mass Index (BMI) was positively associated with tension (r=0.30; P CONCLUSION: Results support the idea that strength-based training can be as effective as aerobic-based training in improving physical skills that contribute to functional mobility in later years. Positive associations between increased BMI and mood disturbance were also found. Physical training also contributed to some improvements in mood.

Exercise order affects the total training volume and the ratings of perceived exertion in response to a super-set resistance training session.

Int J Gen Med. 2012;5:123-7

Authors: Balsamo S, Tibana RA, Nascimento Dda C, de Farias GL, Petruccelli Z, de Santana Fdos S, Martins OV, de Aguiar F, Pereira GB, de Souza JC, Prestes J

Abstract:The super-set is a widely used resistance training method consisting of exercises for agonist and antagonist muscles with limited or no rest interval between them – for example, bench press followed by bent-over rows. In this sense, the aim of the present study was to compare the effects of different super-set exercise sequences on the total training volume. A secondary aim was to evaluate the ratings of perceived exertion and fatigue index in response to different exercise order. On separate testing days, twelve resistance-trained men, aged 23.0 ± 4.3 years, height 174.8 ± 6.75 cm, body mass 77.8 ± 13.27 kg, body fat 12.0% ± 4.7%, were submitted to a super-set method by using two different exercise orders: quadriceps (leg extension) + hamstrings (leg curl) (QH) or hamstrings (leg curl) + quadriceps (leg extension) (HQ). Sessions consisted of three sets with a ten-repetition maximum load with 90 seconds rest between sets. Results revealed that the total training volume was higher for the HQ exercise order (P = 0.02) with lower perceived exertion than the inverse order (P = 0.04). These results suggest that HQ exercise order involving lower limbs may benefit practitioners interested in reaching a higher total training volume with lower ratings of perceived exertion compared with the leg extension plus leg curl order.

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 and improvement effects of exercise training and supplement intake in white adipose tissues on obesity and lifestyle-related diseases.

Environ Health Prev Med. 2012 Feb 24;

Authors: Sakurai T, Ogasawara J, Kizaki T, Ishibashi Y, Sumitani Y, Takahashi K, Ishida H, Miyazaki H, Saitoh D, Haga S, Izawa T, Ohno H

Abstract:Recent increases in the number of obese individuals and individuals suffering from lifestyle-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, that accompany obesity have become a serious social problem. White adipose tissue (WAT) is more than a mere organ for storage of energy; it is also a highly active metabolic and endocrine organ that secretes physiologically active substances collectively known as adipokines, including tumor necrosis factor-α and adiponectin. Dysregulated expression of adipokines in WAT that is hypertrophied by obesity has been closely associated with the phenomenon of insulin resistance. Therefore, WAT is currently considered to be one of the tissues that promote lifestyle-related diseases. Reduction of excess WAT that results from obesity is seen as an important strategy in preventing and improving lifestyle-related diseases. This review shows that exercise training as well as intake of supplements, such as polyphenols, is one strategy for this, because this regimen can result in reduction of WAT mass, which affects the expression and secretory response of adipokines.

Green tea extract supplementation gives protection against exercise-induced oxidative damage in healthy men.

Nutr Res. 2011 Nov;31(11):813-21

Authors: Jówko E, Sacharuk J, Balasińska B, Ostaszewski P, Charmas M, Charmas R

Abstract:The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a long-term (4-week) green tea extract (GTE) supplementation in combination with strength training on selected blood markers of oxidative stress and muscular damage after a short-term exercise in previously untrained men. We hypothesized that GTE supplementation would elevate antioxidant potential and attenuate exercise-induced oxidative stress and muscular damage. Thirty-five male students were exposed to 4 weeks of strength training and received (in a randomized, double-blind design) GTE (n = 17; 640 mg polyphenols/d) or placebo (P; n = 18). Before (term I) and after 4 weeks of strength training and supplementation (term II), students performed a short-term muscular endurance test. Blood samples were collected at rest, 5 minutes after the muscular endurance test, and after 24 hours of recovery. Supplementation with GTE enhanced plasma total polyphenols at rest and 5 minutes after the muscular endurance test. Supplementation also contributed to the rise of resting total antioxidant status in plasma. Throughout the experiment (terms I and II), a reduction in plasma lipid hydroxyperoxides was observed 24 hours after the muscular endurance test. Four weeks of strength training resulted in an increase in plasma lipid hydroxyperoxides at rest, but only in the P group. In term I, the muscular endurance test induced an increase in activity of creatine kinase in plasma after 24 hours of recovery in both the P and GTE groups. In term II, plasma creatine kinase activity after 24 hours of recovery was elevated only in the P group. In conclusion, in previously untrained men, dietary supplementation with GTE (in combination with strength training) enhances the antioxidant defense system in plasma at rest and, in turn, may give protection against oxidative damage induced by both short-term muscular endurance test and long-term strength training.

Electromyostimulation–a systematic review of the influence of training regimens and stimulation parameters on effectiveness in electromyostimulation training of selected strength parameters.

J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Nov;25(11):3218-38
Authors: Filipovic A, Kleinöder H, Dörmann U, Mester J

Abstract: Our first review from our 2-part series investigated the effects of percutaneous electromyostimulation (EMS) on maximal strength, speed strength, jumping and sprinting ability, and power, revealing the effectiveness of different EMS methods for the enhancement of strength parameters. On the basis of these results, this second study systematically reviews training regimens and stimulation parameters to determine their influence on the effectiveness of strength training with EMS. Out of about 200 studies, 89 trials were selected according to predefined criteria: subject age (7 days). To evaluate these trials, we first defined appropriate categories according to the type of EMS (local or whole-body) and type of muscle contraction (isometric, dynamic, isokinetic). Unlike former reviews, this study differentiates between 3 categories of subjects based on their level of fitness (untrained subjects, trained subjects, and elite athletes) and on the types of EMS methods used (local, whole-body, combination). Special focus was on trained and elite athletes. Untrained subjects were investigated for comparison purposes. The primary purpose of this study was to point out the preconditions for producing a stimulus above the training threshold with EMS that activates strength adaptations to give guidelines for implementing EMS effectively in strength training especially in high-performance sports. As a result, the analysis reveals a significant relationship (p < 0.05) between a stimulation intensity of ≥50% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC; 63.2 ± 19.8%) and significant strength gains. To generate this level of MVC, it was possible to identify guidelines for effectively combining training regimens (4.4 ± 1.5 weeks, 3.2 ± 0.9 sessions per week, 17.7 ± 10.9 minutes per session, 6.0 ± 2.4 seconds per contraction with 20.3 ± 9.0% duty cycle) with relevant stimulation parameters (impulse width 306.9 ± 105.1 microseconds, impulse frequency 76.4 ± 20.9 Hz, impulse intensity 63.7 ± 15.9 mA) to optimize training for systematically developing strength abilities (maximal strength, speed strength, jumping and sprinting ability, power).

Power-load curve in trained sprinters.

J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Nov;25(11):3045-50

Authors: Alcaraz PE, Romero-Arenas S, Vila H, Ferragut C

Abstract: The levels of lower-limb strength and power can distinguish between athletes of different levels in a number of sports, specifically in sprinting. In this sense, the purposes of this study were (a) to define the power–load curve in a modified half squat machine in trained sprinters in the competitive cycle and (b) to correlate the peak power (PP) production with 60-m sprint performance. In this sense, a cross-sectional study was carried out with 10 national level sprinters. After the calculation of 1 repetition maximum (1RM) of the participants, a progressive test, which consisted of moving loads of 30, 45, 60, 70, and 80% of the 1RM as quickly as possible in the concentric phase, was performed. It was found that PP occurred at 60% of 1RM. The power output with all loads was not significantly different (p ≤ 0.05) from each other. No significant correlations were found between 60-m performance and PP with the different loads. Therefore, we may conclude that the sprinters of national level analyzed present values of PP output, in the competitive period, near to 60% of 1RM in the half squat exercise; however, this power is not significantly different from the other loads.


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