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.

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The Complete Beginner’s Guide to High Intensity Resistance Training (HIT): What it is, how it compares to other forms of exercise and the results you can expect to get (part 1) – HITUNI

HITUNI has a well researched, succinct 3-parter about what HIT is and how to use it.  I’m so glad they wrote it.  I really hate the more “marketing” side of the training business, and these guys do my work for me.  If you are new to the concept of HIT, this is a great start.  And when you’re done, give me a call.  I’ll get you started.

Here’s a snippet:

HIT vs Cardio HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

Sometimes high intensity interval training gets called HIT too and this can cause confusion!

High intensity interval training is a form of cardiovascular (CV) exercise involving sprint intervals- traditionally that type of exercise was always known as High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. At some point one of the I’s got dropped though and it is now often referred to as HIT, too!

CV focused high intensity interval training (HIIT) is like the cousin of High Intensity Resistance Training (HIT), and is an effective form of applying traditional CV exercise, such as stationary cycling, for CV fitness benefits. Whilst sprint intervals are excellent at providing CV fitness they do lack when it comes to providing a balanced strengthening stimulus for the musculature of the whole body.

The same is not however true in reverse: although High Intensity (Resistance) Training uses workouts that consist of exercises that are traditionally considered strength training exercises, the effect of applying these exercises in a highly intense manner produces similar CV health benefits as the more traditional CV modalities (e.g. stationary cycling).

In many ways HIT (resistance training!) is the ultimate all-in-one workout protocol as it stimulates hypertrophy, strength increases and CV benefits together. When training to momentary muscular failure (as per HIT) the acute metabolic and molecular responses do not differ from traditional endurance training and myocardial function is maintained or even enhanced.

Here’s a mega-table comparing HIT with all these exercise modalities. Scroll right and left to see all of them. Do you have any more you’d like to see here? Suggest in the comments below.

For the full article, go here.

Part 2 is The Complete Beginner’s Guide to High Intensity Resistance Training (HIT): full-body workouts, types of exercise, technique and momentary muscular failure (part 2)

Part 3 is The Complete Beginner’s Guide to High Intensity Resistance Training (HIT): Recommended routine, order of exercises, tempo, time under load, rest between exercises and frequency of training (part 3)

And if that’s not enough, I recommend Body by Science: A Research Based Program to Get the Results You Want in 12 Minutes a Week by John Little and Doug McGuff.

Of that’s still not enough, you are not a newbie, and you need deeper material  email me.

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.

 
 

Girls with poorer motor skills more likely than boys to be obese — ScienceDaily

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Date:December 19, 2016

Source:Coventry University

Girls with poorer motor skills more likely than boys to be obese Date: December 19, 2016 Source: Coventry University Summary: Young girls who exhibit a poor mastery of fundamental movement skills (FMS) are more likely to be obese than boys who have similarly low skills, according to research.

Source: Girls with poorer motor skills more likely than boys to be obese — ScienceDaily

FULL STORY

Young girls who exhibit a poor mastery of fundamental movement skills (FMS) are more likely to be obese than boys who have similarly low skills, according to research led by Coventry University.

The study — which won an award at the recent British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences conference — assessed among other things the running, catching, and balance skills of 250 girls and boys between 6-11 years, categorising their FMS as either low, medium or high.

Researchers at Coventry University, working in collaboration with Middlesex University and the University of South Carolina, then cross-referenced the kids’ motor skills with their body fatness to investigate the relationship between the two. The children’s habitual physical activity was also taken into account.

The researchers found that:

  • body fatness was significantly higher among girls in the low FMS category compared with boys in the same category;
  • body fatness was higher for girls in the low FMS category compared with girls with medium or high fundamental movement skills;
  • there was no significant difference in body fatness across the low, medium and high FMS categories for boys.

Lead researcher Professor Mike Duncan, an exercise physiologist in Coventry University’s Centre for Applied Biological and Exercise Sciences, said “We know from previous studies that primary school children with a higher body mass index are likely to have poorer fundamental movement skills, but our research is aiming to understand this relationship in more detail — particularly how gender may play a role.

“What we’ve found is significant because it signals a need to review the strategies we have to enhance motor proficiency in girls, and means we should be engaging health practitioners and PE teachers to help explore and understand how additional opportunities or different techniques may be required compared with boys.

“The next big question — which we’re continuing to research — is whether developmental delays in acquiring these motor skills, whether in girls or boys, may actually be the cause of children gaining unhealthy weight status.”


Story Source:

Materials provided by Coventry University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Increased physical activity associated with lower risk of 13 types of cancer | National Institutes of Health (NIH)

A new study of the relationship between physical activity and cancer has shown that greater levels of leisure-time physical activity were associated with a lower risk of developing 13 different types of cancer. The risk of developing seven cancer types was 20 percent (or more) lower among the most active participants (90th percentile of activity) as compared with the least active participants (10th percentile of activity). These findings, from researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the American Cancer Society, confirm and extend the evidence for a benefit of physical activity on cancer risk and support its role as a key component of population-wide cancer prevention and control efforts.

The study, by Steven C. Moore, Ph.D., NCI, and colleagues, appeared May 16, 2016, in JAMA Internal Medicine. Hundreds of previous studies have examined associations between physical activity and cancer risk and shown reduced risks for colon, breast, and endometrial cancers; however, results have been inconclusive for most cancer types due to small numbers of participants in the studies. This new study pooled data on 1.44 million people, ages 19 to 98, from the United States and Europe, and was able to examine a broad range of cancers, including rare malignancies. Participants were followed for a median of 11 years during which 187,000 new cases of cancer occurred.

The investigators confirmed that leisure-time physical activity, as assessed by self-reported surveys, was associated with a lower risk of colon, breast, and endometrial cancers. They also determined that leisure-time physical activity was associated with a lower risk of 10 additional cancers, with the greatest risk reductions for esophageal adenocarcinoma, liver cancer, cancer of the gastric cardia, kidney cancer, and myeloid leukemia. Myeloma and cancers of the head and neck, rectum, and bladder also showed reduced risks that were significant, but not as strong. Risk was reduced for lung cancer, but only for current and former smokers; the reasons for this are still being studied. “Leisure-time physical activity is known to reduce risks of heart disease and risk of death from all causes, and our study demonstrates that it is also associated with lower risks of many types of cancer,” said Moore. “Furthermore, our results support that these associations are broadly generalizable to different populations, including people who are overweight or obese, or those with a history of smoking. Health care professionals counseling inactive adults should promote physical activity as a component of a healthy lifestyle and cancer prevention.” Leisure-time physical activity is defined as exercise done at one’s own discretion, often to improve or maintain fitness or health. Examples include walking, running, swimming, and other moderate to vigorous intensity activities. The median level of activity in the study was about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week, which is comparable to the current recommended minimum level of physical activity for the U.S. population.

Source: Increased physical activity associated with lower risk of 13 types of cancer | National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Three lessons gut microbes have taught us about antibiotics — ScienceDaily

Not sure why the alternatives mentioned in this article don’t say anything about eating more (volume and variety) cultured foods, but … whatever.  Science!  – jk


Antibiotics have proven to be a double-edged sword: capable of killing a range of bacteria that cause infections, but also depleting our gut microbes, impairing our immune system, and increasing vulnerability to infection by superbugs. The lessons learned from how antibiotics impact the body, both positively and negatively, are identifying new approaches to prevent and/or correct the adverse side effects on our “good” gut bacteria, say authors of a Review published May 10 in Trends in Molecular Medicine.

Continued at Source: Three lessons gut microbes have taught us about antibiotics — ScienceDaily

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

Antihistamines affect exercise recovery, may or may not be a problem

ScienceDaily.com
Date:  April 14, 2016
Source:  University of Oregon
Summary:
After vigorous exercise, some 3,000 genes go to work to aid recovery by boosting muscles and blood vessels, but in the presence of high doses of antihistamines almost 27 percent of the gene response is blunted, according to researchers.

Source: Antihistamines affect exercise recovery, may or may not be a problem: Research identifies 3,000 genes that are busy after exercise, including 795 that are altered by strong doses of histamine blockers — ScienceDaily


Full Story

After vigorous exercise, some 3,000 genes go to work to aid recovery by boosting muscles and blood vessels, but in the presence of high doses of antihistamines almost 27 percent of the gene response is blunted, according to University of Oregon researchers.

Whether the antihistamine effect on 795 affected genes might suggest a problem for competitive athletes and devoted exercisers, however, is not known, said John R. Halliwill, professor of human physiology. He was one of 10 co-authors of the study now online ahead of print in the Journal of Physiology.

Histamine is a substance in the body that responds to pollens, molds, animal dander, insect bites and other allergens. Too much response in some people fuels uncomfortable allergic reactions, prompting the use of antihistamines.

Halliwill discovered in 2005 that histamines also relax blood vessels, increasing blood flow that aids post-exercise recovery. That emerged from his original focus on why some people, including athletes, pass out after vigorous physical exertion. He later found a link between an over-activation of two histamine receptors to drops in blood pressure.

The new study — led by doctoral student Steven A. Romero and in collaboration with Hans Dreyer, a departmental colleague who studies muscle physiology — expanded the research to a wider genetics level. Researchers sequenced RNA, molecules essential for protein synthesis and signaling among genes, with state-of-the-art equipment in the UO’s Genomics Core Facility.

“We were looking for pathways associated with the growth of new blood vessels,” said Halliwill, who is director of the department’s Exercise and Environmental Physiology Lab. “We saw evidence of that, but we also saw gene expression associated with glucose uptake by muscles, restructuring of muscle in response to exercise, immune responses and intercellular communications.”

In the research, 10 men and six women, all 23-25 years old, physically fit and active, performed an hour of knee-extension exercise at 60 percent of their peak power, about 45 kicks per minute. Biopsies were done before and three hours after exercise to obtain samples of the quadriceps (vastulus lateris), skeletal muscles on the side of the thighs.

Eight participants took 540 milligrams of fexofenadine and 300 milligrams of ranitidine — levels nearly three times the recommended dosages of the over-the-counter antihistamines. Each target one of the two known histamine receptors involved in recovery responses.

During exercise, blood flow, blood pressure and heart rate were monitored. The three-hour recovery window allowed the team to study gene transcription slightly beyond previous work that had found histamine improved blood flow for two hours after exercise.

The antihistamines had no effect prior to exercise and little influence on gene expression at the conclusion of the workout. Three hours after exercise 88 percent of the 795 genes affected by the antihistamines mostly responded with lower levels of expression.

“Histamine, a substance that we typically think of negatively and is most often associated with seasonal allergies, is an important substance contributing to the normal day-to-day response to exercise in humans,” said Romero, who is now at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas on a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health.

In their conclusion, the authors noted that the research highlighted only a small fraction of genes likely involved in signaling pathways influenced by histamine receptors activation during recovery.

“Our data really highlight that there remain many unanswered questions regarding the use of exercise to promote beneficial adaptations in humans, Romero added. “Integrative physiologists from across the world have spent a great deal of effort conducting elegant studies in humans and yet we still have much work left to do.”

A key question is whether people should avoid taking antihistamines when they exercise. It’s too early to make that call, Halliwill said.

“We’ve got more work that we have to do,” he said. “We need to do a training study in which we put people on histamine blockers and see if their adaptations to exercise training are as robust or diminished. There are a lot of redundancies in physiological systems. I wouldn’t be surprised if blocking histamine receptors ends up being overcome by something else, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if we can demonstrate that some responses to exercise training do become blunted if you take high doses of histamine blockers.”


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Oregon. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Steven A. Romero, Austin D. Hocker, Joshua E. Mangum, Meredith J. Luttrell, Douglas W. Turnbull, Adam J. Struck, Matthew R. Ely, Dylan C. Sieck, Hans C. Dreyer, John R. Halliwill. Evidence of a broad histamine footprint on the human exercise transcriptome. The Journal of Physiology, 2016; DOI: 10.1113/JP272177

What can we learn from people who stay mindlessly slim

ScienceDaily.com

Date:  February 11, 2016

Source:  Cornell Food & Brand Lab

Summary:
You know that one friend that never worries about weight and seems to stay effortlessly slim? That friend, and others like them might unknowingly possess secrets to helping those who struggle with their weight.

“These strategies include: eating high-quality foods, cooking at home, and listening to inner cues in order to stay slim. Also they didn’t indicate feeling as guilty as the other group about overeating. Furthermore, mindlessly slim people were more likely to have an enjoyment-based, internally informed approach to food and eating.”

FULL STORY

You know that one friend that never worries about weight and seems to stay effortlessly slim? That friend, and others like them might unknowingly possess secrets to helping those who struggle with their weight.

New Cornell Food and Brand Lab research findings have helped to uncover lifestyle secrets of the “mindlessly slim.” The Food and Brand Lab researchers created the Slim by Design Registry (now called the Global Healthy Weight Registry) to survey adults who have successfully maintained a healthy body weight throughout their lives. Those who voluntarily signed up for the registry answered a series of questions about diet, exercise and daily routines. The infographic included in this release illustrates initial findings from all registry respondents.

The researchers then divided the respondents into two groups. Group one, the mindlessly slim, consisted of 112 adults who reported that they didn’t maintain strict diets. The other group consisted of those who dieted regularly, thought about food frequently and were highly conscious of what they ate. “We wanted to see what health behaviors differed between those struggling to lose or maintain weight and the mindlessly slim,” explains Brian Wansink, PhD, co-author, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and author of Slim by Design. “We wanted to find the small or simple behaviors that might have a big impact.”

After comparing the responses from each group, the researchers found that mindlessly slim individuals were more likely to use strategies that differ from traditional recommendations for weight loss or maintenance. These strategies include: eating high-quality foods, cooking at home, and listening to inner cues in order to stay slim. Also they didn’t indicate feeling as guilty as the other group about overeating. Furthermore, mindlessly slim people were more likely to have an enjoyment-based, internally informed approach to food and eating.

“These results are encouraging because they imply that instead of putting restrictions on one’s diet and avoiding favorite foods, weight gain could be prevented early on by learning to listen to inner cues and putting emphasis on the quality instead of the quantity of food,” says lead researcher Anna-Leena Vuorinen, of VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland, PhD student at the University of Tempere, and former visiting scholar at the Food and Brand Lab.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Cornell Food & Brand Lab. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.