Volume #9

Hey guys,

Hope you are ready for another edition of Geeky Friday. This week’s has been pretty quiet research-wise, maybe the publishers are feeling a bit lazy with the Easter coming up. Anyway, here’s some of the interesting stuff that has been dropping in to my mail inbox and RSS reader this week, including new science on training, whey protein, anabolic steroids, essential tremor and more.  Hope you learn something new!

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.

Have an awesome Easter everybody!

In strength,


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

Effects of two contrast training programs on jump performance in rugby union players during a competition phase.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2012 Mar;7(1):68-75
Authors: Argus CK, Gill ND, Keogh J WL, McGuigan MR, Hopkins WG

Abstract:PURPOSE: There is little literature comparing contrast training programs typically performed by team-sport athletes within a competitive phase. We compared the effects of two contrast training programs on a range of measures in high-level rugby union players during the competition season.
METHODS: THE programs consisted of a higher volume-load (strength-power) or lower volume-load (speed-power) resistance training; each included a tapering of loading (higher force early in the week, higher velocity later in the week) and was performed twice a week for 4 wk. Eighteen players were assessed for peak power during a bodyweight countermovement jump (BWCMJ), bodyweight squat jump (BWSJ), 50 kg countermovement jump (50CMJ), 50 kg squat jump (50SJ), broad jump (BJ), and reactive strength index (RSI; jump height divided by contact time during a depth jump). Players were then randomized to either training group and were reassessed following the intervention. Inferences were based on uncertainty in outcomes relative to thresholds for standardized changes.
RESULTS: There were small between-group differences in favor of strength-power training for mean changes in the 50CMJ (8%; 90% confidence limits, ±8%), 50SJ (8%; ±10%), and BJ (2%; ±3%). Differences between groups for BWCMJ, BWSJ, and reactive strength index were unclear. For most measures there were smaller individual differences in changes with strength-power training.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that high-level rugby union athletes should be exposed to higher volume-load contrast training which includes one heavy lifting session each week for larger and more uniform adaptation to occur in explosive power throughout a competitive phase of the season.

Whey Protein does not Enhance the Adaptations to Elbow Flexor Resistance Training.

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Mar 28;

Authors: Erskine RM, Fletcher G, Hanson B, Folland JP

Abstract: PURPOSE: It is unclear whether protein supplementation augments the gains in muscle strength and size observed following resistance training (RT), as limitations to previous studies include small cohorts, imprecise measures of muscle size and strength, and no control of prior exercise or habitual protein intake (HPI). We aimed to determine whether whey protein supplementation affected RT-induced changes in elbow flexor muscle strength and size. METHODS: We pair-matched 33 previously untrained, healthy young men for their HPI and strength response to 3-wk RT without nutritional supplementation (followed by 6-wk no training), and then randomly assigned them to protein (PRO; n = 17) or placebo (PLA; n = 16) groups. Participants subsequently performed elbow flexor RT 3 d/wk for 12-wk and consumed PRO or PLA immediately before and after each training session. We assessed elbow flexor muscle strength [unilateral 1-RM and isometric maximum voluntary force (MVF)] and size [total volume and maximum anatomical cross-sectional area (ACSAmax) determined with MRI] before and after the 12-wk RT. RESULTS: PRO and PLA demonstrated similar increases in muscle volume (PRO, 17.0 ± 7.1% vs. PLA, 14.9 ± 4.6%; P = 0.32), ACSAmax (PRO, 16.2 ± 7.1% vs. PLA, 15.6 ± 4.4%; P = 0.80), 1-RM (PRO, 41.8 ± 21.2% vs. PLA, 41.4 ± 19.9%; P = 0.97) and MVF (PRO, 12.0 ± 9.9% vs. PLA, 14.5 ± 8.3%; P = 0.43). CONCLUSION: In the context of this study, protein supplementation did not augment elbow flexor muscle strength and size changes that occurred after 12-wk RT.

Anabolic androgenic steroid use is associated with ventricular dysfunction on cardiac MRI in strength trained athletes.

Int J Cardiol. 2012 Mar 27;
Authors: Luijkx T, Velthuis BK, Backx FJ, Buckens CF, Prakken NH, Rienks R, Mali WP, Cramer MJ

Abstract:BACKGROUND: Uncertainty remains about possible cardiac adaptation to resistance training. Androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS) use plays a potential role and may have adverse cardiovascular effects. OBJECTIVE: To elucidate the effect of resistance training and of AAS-use on cardiac dimensions and function. PARTICIPANTS: Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) were performed in 156 male subjects aged 18-40years: 52 non-athletes (maximum of 3exercise hours/week), 52 strength-endurance (high dynamic-high static, HD-HS) athletes and 52 strength (low dynamic-high static, LD-HS) trained athletes (athletes ≥6exercise hours/week). 28 LD-HS athletes denied and 24 admitted to AAS use for an average duration of 5years (range 3months-20years). RESULTS: No significant differences were found between non-athletes and non-AAS-using LD-HS athletes. AAS-using LD-HS athletes had significantly larger LV and RV volumes and LV wall mass than non-AAS-using LD-HS athletes, but lower than HD-HS athletes. In comparison to all other groups AAS-using LD-HS athletes showed lower ejection fractions of both ventricles (LV/RV EF 51/48% versus 55-57/51-52%) and lower E/A ratios (LV/RV 1.5/1.2 versus 1.9-2.0/1.4-1.5) as an indirect measure of diastolic function. Linear regression models demonstrated a significant effect of AAS-use on LV EDV, LV EDM, systolic function and mitral valve E/A ratio (all ANOVA-tests p

Resistance training can improve fine manual dexterity in Essential Tremor patients: a preliminary study.

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Mar 23;

Authors: Sequeira G, Keogh JW, Kavanagh JJ

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To determine if a short-term resistance training (RT) program of the upper limb can improve strength, fine manual dexterity, and quality of life in individuals with Essential Tremor (ET). DESIGN: Single group, dual pretest-posttest intervention study. SETTING: General community. PARTICIPANTS: Six participants (age: 74 ± 7 years) clinically diagnosed as having ET (years diagnosed: 19 ± 7 years) were recruited into the study. INTERVENTION: A 6-week RT program involving unilateral dumbbell bicep curls, wrist flexion and wrist extension exercises twice a week. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Upper limb strength determined from 5 repetition maximum (5RM); Fine manual dexterity determined from the Purdue Pegboard Test (PPT) for the hand of most affected limb, the hand of the least affected limb, both hands, and a bilateral assembly task; Quality of life determined from the Short Form 36 (SF-36) and the ET specific Quality of Life in Essential Tremor (QUEST). RESULTS: The RT program resulted in significant increases in four of the six upper limb strength measures. Significant improvements in the PPT were observed for the single hand components of this test. PPT performance improved immediately following RT when using the most affected limb, but these changes took longer to be observed for the least affected limb. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, fine manual dexterity improved in ET patients following a simple RT program. The findings of this preliminary study provide clear evidence that RT is worthy of further investigation as a therapy for improving functionality in ET patients.

Maximal strength on different resistance training rowing exercises predicts start phase performance in elite kayakers.

J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Apr;26(4):941-6

Authors: Ualí I, Herrero AJ, Garatachea N, Marín PJ, Alvear-Ordenes I, García-López D

Abstract: This study aimed to examine the relationship existing between maximum strength values in 2 common resistance training row exercises (bilateral bench pull [BBP] and one-arm cable row [OACR]) and short sprint performance in elite kayakers. Ten junior kayakers (5 women and 5 men) were tested on different days for 1 repetition maximum (1RM) and maximal voluntary isometric contraction in both exercises. Moreover, a 12-m sprint kayak was performed in a dew pond to record split times (2, 5, and 10 m), peak velocity, distance completed considering the first 8 strokes, and mean acceleration induced by right blade and left blade strokes. No differences (p > 0.05) were observed when right and left arms were compared in sprint testing or strength testing variables. Maximal strength values in BBP and OACR were significantly correlated with short sprint performance variables, showing the bilateral exercise with slightly stronger correlation coefficients than the unilateral seated row. Moreover, the relationship between strength testing and sprint testing variables is stronger when maximal force is measured through a dynamic approach (1RM) in comparison with an isometric approach. In conclusion, maximal strength in BBP and OACR is a good predictor of the start phase performance in elite sprint kayakers, mainly the 1RM value in BBP.

Muscle onset can be improved by therapeutic exercise: a systematic review.

Phys Ther Sport. 2011 Nov;12(4):199-209

Authors: Crow J, Pizzari T, Buttifant D

Abstract:OBJECTIVES: To determine whether therapeutic exercise can improve the timing of muscle onset following musculoskeletal pathology, and examine what exercise prescription parameters are being used to achieve these effects.
PARTICIPANTS: People with a musculoskeletal pathology.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Muscle onset timing as measured by electromyography.
RESULTS: Sixteen investigations were identified containing 19 therapeutic exercise groups. Three exercise modes were identified including: isolated muscle training, instability training, and general strength training. Isolated muscle training is consistently shown to have a positive effect on the muscle onset timing of transversus abdominus in people with low back pain. There is some evidence from cohort studies that instability training may change muscle onset timing in people with functional ankle instability, however controlled trials suggest that no effect is present. General strength training shows no effect on muscle onset timing in people with low back or neck pain, although one cohort study suggests that a positive effect on gluteus maximus may be present in people with low back pain.
CONCLUSION: Therapeutic exercise training is likely to improve muscle onset timing. Additionally, isolated muscle training appears to be the best exercise mode to use to achieve these effects.


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