What does training to failure actually achieve?

Another great one from Chris Beardsley at Medium.com

Over the last few years, researchers have discovered that it is possible to achieve meaningful muscle growth when lifting light weights, so long as sets are performed to muscular failure.

Additionally, some studies indicate that training to failure may lead to more hypertrophy than avoiding failure.

Muscular failure during strength training is simply the point at which fatigue is high enough to prevent a muscle from exerting the amount of force necessary to complete the current repetition, with a given load. Yet, if we lower the weight after reaching failure (as when using drop sets), we can immediately continue exercising.

So why does achieving this level of fatigue during strength training help increase the amount of muscle growth that occurs? And does it always apply, or are there some situations when it is not necessary?

You should keep reading this article.  To do so, go here.

Advertisements

The Ultimate Science-Based Resistance Training Routine for Older Adults – HITUNI

There’s a new study out by James Steele et al. regarding more successfully-adhered to training protocols for older adults.  “Our hope is that discussion of these specific recommendations, and provision of an example minimal dose workout, will promote resistance training participation by persons who might otherwise have not engaged. We also encourage medical professionals to use this information to prescribe resistance exercise like a drug whilst having an awareness of the health benefits and uncomplicated methods.”

These are the same protocols that I use today at Crescent City Strength.  For me, it’s same as it ever was, going back to 1986 when I was a Nautilus HIT trainer.  Research keeps opening our eyes to more and more benefits of HIT training, but the protocol has not significantly changed since Arthur Jones described it a half a century ago.

As usual, HITUNI does a breakdown better than I ever could, so I’m going to do the lazy (or smart?) thing and link their article with an excerpt.  I hope you click through and read the whole thing, then call me if you want to get set up.

FYI, I have nothing to do with HITUNI, other recommending the site to anyone who wants to learn more about High Intensity Training.  With so much exercise mis-information out there, especially about HIT, they are the REAL DEAL.


The Ultimate Science-Based Resistance Training Routine for Older Adults

On 28th September 2017, a mini review into resistance training for older adults was published in Experimental Gerontology titled “A minimal dose approach to resistance training for the older adult; the prophylactic for aging”.

This is a very exciting piece of research, thrilling for the simplicity and practicality of its conclusions and recommendations. It is the kind of paper that I want to beam into the hands of every individual over the age of 60 and every health influencer of that age group too. Scratch that, if all other resistance training research on earth was somehow decimated and just this document was left to become the blueprint from which all adults of any age begin their resistance training journey, the world of exercise would be a better place. No hype, no marketing b.s., no unnecessary complexity- just simple, safe and beneficial greatness.

Continued here.

Effect of Low vs. High Intensity Exercise Training on Biomarkers of Inflammation and Endothelial Dysfunction — PubMed

PubMed

Tenório TRS, Balagopal PB, Andersen LB, Ritti-Dias RM, Hill JO, Lofrano-Prado MC, Prado WL.

PURPOSE:

To investigate the effects of a low vs. high intensity aerobic training on biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in adolescents with obesity.

METHODS:

Sixty-two adolescents with obesity (age: 15±14 years, BMI: 34.87±4.22 kg.m-2) were randomized to receive either a high intensity training (HIT, n=31) or a low intensity training (LIT, n=31) for 24 weeks. All participants also received nutritional, psychological and clinical counseling. Leptin, total and subtype leukocyte counts, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6, myeloperoxidase, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) were obtained at baseline and after 24 weeks.

RESULTS:

HIT reduced neutrophils (from 4.4 ± 1.9 to 3.6 ± 1.3 μL-1 x103; p= 0.01) and monocytes (from 7.2 ± 2.5 to 5.2 ± 1.8 μL-1 x102; p< 0.01), but LIT increased neutrophils (from 4.5 ± 1.7 to 5.2 ± 3.3 μL-1 x103; p= 0.01). While TNF-α increased in LIT (from 13.3 (7.5) to 17.7 (10.8) pg.mL-1; p= 0.01), it decreased in HIT (from 12.4 (7.5) to 11.3 (6.2) pg.mL-1; p= 0.01). No changes in leucocyte counts, sICAM-1, sVCAM-1 and homeostasis assessment model for insulin resistance were observed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Both HIT and LIT improved the inflammatory profile. The study, however, indicated that the number of biomarkers and the magnitude of changes were higher in the HIT compared to LIT.

 
 

Firmer, Fitter frame linked to firmer, fitter brain — ScienceDaily

ScienceDaily.com
Date:  August 15, 2017
Source:  National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
Summary:  To determine why more aerobically fit individuals have better memories, scientists used magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), which measures the elasticity of organs, and found that fit individuals had a firmer, more elastic hippocampus—a region of the brain associated with memory.

Scientists have observed that more aerobically fit individuals have better memories. To investigate this phenomenon, they used magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), which measures the firmness and elasticity of organs, and found that fit individuals had a firmer, more elastic hippocampus — a region of the brain associated with memory. The method could provide early diagnosis and potential interventions in the initial stages of neurodegenerative disease.

“MRE is a technique that has been used in organs like the liver, where it can assess the tissue stiffness and offers a reliable, non-invasive method for diagnosing hepatic fibrosis,” explains Guoying Liu, Ph.D. Director of the NIBIB program on Magnetic Resonance Imaging. “This study now demonstrates the tremendous potential for MRE to provide new quantitative biomarkers for assessing brain health as it relates to physical fitness. This is particularly significant given the rise in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease occurring in the U.S. and worldwide.”

The research was performed by Aron K. Barbey, Associate Professor, Departments of Psychology and Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, along with his colleagues at Illinois, and with collaborators from Northeastern University in Boston and the University of Delaware. Their results are reported in the March issue of the journal NeuroImage.

The work was based on well-established observations of atrophy and reduced size of the hippocampus in cognitively declining seniors and developmentally delayed children. Given that long-known phenomenon, the researchers were puzzled by the fact that in young adults there was a correlation between fitness and memory, but the size of the hippocampus was the same in both groups.

“Most of the work in this area has relied on changes in the size of the hippocampus as a measure of hippocampal health and function. However, in young adults, although we see an increase in memory in more aerobically fit individuals, we did not see differences in hippocampal size,” said Barbey. “Because size is a gross measure of the structural integrity of the hippocampus, we turned to MRE, which provides a more thorough and qualitative measure of changes associated with function — in this case memory.”

The investigators explained that MRE gives a better indication of the microstructure of the hippocampus — the structural integrity of the entire tissue. And it does this by basically “bouncing” the organ, very gently, and measuring how it responds.

MRE is often described as being similar to a drop of water hitting a still pond to create the ripples that move out in all directions. A pillow under the subject’s head generates harmless pulses, known as shear waves, that travel through the hippocampus. MRE instruments measure how the pulsed waves change as they move through the brain and those changes give an extremely accurate measure — and a color-coded picture — of the consistency of the tissue: soft, hard and stiff, or firm with some bounce or elasticity.

The healthy hippocampus is like a firm pillow that quickly bounces back into shape after you press your finger into it as opposed to a mushy pillow that would retain your finger mark and not rebound to its original shape.

The researchers studied 51 healthy adults: 25 men and 26 women ages 18-35. They measured the participants’ performance on a memory test as well as their aerobic fitness levels, and used MRE to measure the elasticity of the hippocampus.

They found that those with higher fitness levels also had more elastic tissue in the hippocampus and scored the best on memory tests. Given the many studies showing the association between hippocampal health and memory in seniors and children, which was based on the size of the hippocampus, the results strongly suggest that MRE is a method that reveals that there is also an association between the health of the hippocampus and memory in young adults.

Said Barbey, “MRE turned out to be a fantastic tool that enabled us to demonstrate the importance of the hippocampus in healthy young adults and the positive effect of fitness. We are excited about using MRE to look at other brain structures and diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, that involve cognitive impairment. We hope to see if and how MRE might be a valuable tool for early diagnosis and treatment of a number of neurodegenerative diseases.”

“And, of course, if these results are more widely disseminated,” Barbey concludes, “they could certainly serve as tremendous motivation for people concerned about getting forgetful as they age, to get moving and try to stay fit.”

The work was supported by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and bioengineering though grants EB018320 and EB001981. Additional funding was provided by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), and the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

Materials provided by National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hillary Schwarb, Curtis L. Johnson, Ana M. Daugherty, Charles H. Hillman, Arthur F. Kramer, Neal J. Cohen, Aron K. Barbey. Aerobic fitness, hippocampal viscoelasticity, and relational memory performance. NeuroImage, 2017; 153: 179 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.03.061

Cite This Page:

 
 

An hour per week at the gym lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome — ScienceDaily

time to workoutLess than one hour of resistance exercise training per week lowers the risk of developing metabolic syndrome (cardiovascular risk factors such as overweight, high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar). This was shown by a study involving more than 7,000 participants from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study (ACLS) in the USA. The beneficial effects of resistance exercise were independent from the amount of aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling. An international team of researchers, led by Esmée Bakker of Radboudumc published these findings on June 13 on the website of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Continued at Source: An hour per week at the gym lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome — ScienceDaily

Why intensity is not a bad word: Optimizing health status at any age.

Author information

 CutAbstract

Age-related declines in health and function make locomotion increasingly difficult leading to reductions in non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), skeletal muscle size and strength, and increased adiposity. Exercise is an important strategy to attenuate loss of function through the life cycle. Despite claims to the contrary, high-intensity exercise is important for the prevention of obesity and sarcopenia with advancing age. Therefore, the purpose of this mini-review is to present literature supporting the contention that low volume, high-intensity aerobic and/or resistance training can slow sarcopenia, sustain ease of movement, stimulate NEAT, and attenuate the accretion of fat mass.

KEYWORDS:

Energy expenditure; Exercise economy; High-intensity exercise; Physical activity; Resistance training; Sarcopenia

Middle-Age Fitness Helps Ward Off Stroke Later: MedlinePlus

Study finds this one thing reduces risk by 37 percent

Thursday, June 9, 2016:  Physical fitness in middle age may lower your risk of stroke after 65, a new study finds.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that healthy mid-life behaviors pay off as we age, and lower our risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke,” said Dr. Ralph Sacco, chairman of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He was not involved in the study.

Among nearly 20,000 adults in their mid to late 40s, researchers found the most fit had a 37 percent lower risk of having a stroke after 65, compared with the least fit.

The protective effect of fitness remained even after the researchers accounted for risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and an abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation.

“Incorporating exercise and regular physical activity in one’s day-to-day routine is important to improve fitness and lower risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases in older age,” said lead researcher Dr. Ambarish Pandey. He is a cardiology fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Continued at: Middle-Age Fitness Helps Ward Off Stroke Later: MedlinePlus

Regular exercise at any age might stave off Alzheimer’s: Fitness level correlates with increased blood flow to essential areas of brain — ScienceDaily

Recent research suggests that exercise might provide some measure of protection from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. A group of researchers led by Nathan Johnson PT, DPT, PhD of the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences, was able to demonstrate a positive correlation between fitness and blood flow to areas of the brain where the hallmark tangles and plaques of AD pathology are usually first detected. Thirty men and women ages 59-69 were put through treadmill fitness assessments and ultrasounds of the heart. Then they received brain scans to look for blood flow to certain areas of the brain.

“We set out to characterize the relationship between heart function, fitness, and cerebral blood flow, which no other study had explored to date,” Johnson said. “In other words, if you’re in good physical shape, does that improve blood flow to critical areas of the brain? And does that improved blood flow provide some form of protection from dementia?”

The results showed blood flow to critical areas of the brain — and so the supply of oxygen and vital nutrients — was higher in those who were more physically fit.

Full story at source: Regular exercise at any age might stave off Alzheimer’s: Fitness level correlates with increased blood flow to essential areas of brain — ScienceDaily

Do You Even Lift? Why Lifting Weights Is More Important For Your Health Than You Think | IFLScience

Nice to see weight training getting its due in the press.


Regular participation in muscle strengthening activity such as weight or resistance training has many health benefits. However, this mode of exercise has been largely overlooked in Australian health promotion. Our recent research shows a large majority of Australians do not engage in muscle strengthening activity. Muscle strengthening activity usually includes exercise using weight machines, exercise bands, hand-held weights, or own body weight (such as push-ups or sit-ups). When performed regularly, muscle strengthening activity leads to the improvement or maintenance of strength, size, power and endurance of skeletal muscles.

Historically, most public health physical activity recommendations have predominantly promoted moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity (such as brisk walking or jogging). However, the current Australian guidelines issued in 2014 are our first national public health guidelines to additionally recommend muscle strengthening activity. They recommend an adult “do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days each week”.

Continued at: Do You Even Lift? Why Lifting Weights Is More Important For Your Health Than You Think | IFLScience

Higher muscle mass associated with lower mortality risk in people with heart disease

ScienceDaily.com
CutDate:  April 22, 2016
Source:  University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences
Summary:
Cardiovascular disease patients who have high muscle mass and low fat mass have a lower mortality risk than those with other body compositions, researchers have found. The findings also suggest that regardless of a person’s level of fat mass, a higher level of muscle mass helps reduce the risk of death.

Full Article

Researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA found that cardiovascular disease patients who have high muscle mass and low fat mass have a lower mortality risk than those with other body compositions. The findings also suggest that regardless of a person’s level of fat mass, a higher level of muscle mass helps reduce the risk of death.

This findings indicate the importance of assessing body composition as a way to help predict cardiovascular and total mortality in people with cardiovascular disease.

Background

In previous studies on the relationship between body composition and mortality, the researchers used a simpler clinical measure of body composition called the bio electrical impedance scale. They noted a possible protective effect of muscle mass on both mortality and metabolism in healthy people. The new study extends the findings from the earlier research using dual X-ray absorptiometry, a more rigorous method of measuring body composition.

The researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999 to 2004, of 6,451 participants who had prevalent cardiovascular disease. Each subject was categorized into one of four groups:

  • low muscle/low fat mass
  • low muscle/high fat mass
  • high muscle/low fat mass
  • high muscle/high fat mass

Those with high muscle mass and low fat mass had the lowest risk of cardiovascular and total mortality.

Impact

Because people with higher muscle mass were more likely to have a high body mass index, the findings could explain the “obesity paradox,” which holds that people with a higher BMI have lower mortality levels.

The findings also highlight the importance of maintaining muscle mass, rather than focusing on weight loss, in order to prolong life, even in people who have a higher cardiovascular risk. The authors suggest that clinicians encourage their patients to participate in resistance exercises as a part of healthy lifestyle changes, rather than focusing primarily on, and monitoring, weight loss.

Authors

Dr. Preethi Srikanthan, associate clinical professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology at the David Geffen School of Medicine, is the study’s primary investigator. The study’s co-authors are Dr. Tamara Horwich, health sciences clinical professor of medicine, division of cardiology, and Dr. Chi-hong Tseng, adjunct associate professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research.

The study was published in the American Journal of Cardiology.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. The original item was written by Enrique Rivero. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Preethi Srikanthan, Tamara B. Horwich, Chi Hong Tseng. Relation of Muscle Mass and Fat Mass to Cardiovascular Disease Mortality. The American Journal of Cardiology, 2016; 117 (8): 1355 DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2016.01.033