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.

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

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

Strength training helps older adults live longer — ScienceDaily

ScienceDaily.comSenior Woman In Gym
Date:  April 20, 2016
Source:  Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Summary:
Older adults who met twice-weekly strength training guidelines had lower odds of dying, a new analysis concludes. The study is the first to demonstrate the association in a large, nationally representative sample over an extended time period, particularly in an older population.

Full Story

Older adults who met twice-weekly strength training guidelines had lower odds of dying in a new analysis by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Columbia University. The study is the first to demonstrate the association in a large, nationally representative sample over an extended time period, particularly in an older population.

Many studies have previously found that older adults who are physically active have better quality of life and a lower risk of mortality. Regular exercise is associated with health benefits, including preventing early death, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

But although the health rewards of physical activity and aerobic exercise are well established, less data has been collected on strength training.

Over the past decade, researchers have begun to demonstrate benefits of strength training on strength, muscle mass and physical function, as well as improvements in chronic conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, low back pain and obesity. Small studies have observed that greater amounts of muscle strength are associated with lower risks of death.

Read more at Strength training helps older adults live longer — ScienceDaily

Training to prevent strain injury? Contraction mode matters

Or Why It’s Important To Accentuate The Negative.Training
Date:  April 1, 2016
Source:  American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
Summary:
Hamstring injuries are the most common noncontact injury in elite sport. Despite increased research efforts, these injury rates continue to rise. Recent evidence has shown that short muscle fiber lengths can increase the risk of hamstring injury in elite soccer players. This study aimed to see how fascicle lengths change following training interventions of either lengthening or shortening contractions.

Hamstring injuries are the most common noncontact injury in elite sport. Despite increased research efforts, these injury rates continue to rise. Recent evidence has shown that short muscle fiber lengths can increase the risk of hamstring injury in elite soccer players. This study aimed to see how fascicle lengths change following training interventions of either lengthening or shortening contractions.

Twenty-eight healthy males trained three times per week for six weeks, followed by a reassessment after four weeks off. Those who trained with lengthening contractions saw a rapid (<14 days) increase in fascicle length, with a loss of any gains following the four weeks off at the end. Those who trained with shortening contractions saw a rapid (<14 days) reduction in fascicle length, with no changes following the four week break.

These findings have implications for injury prevention and rehabilitation practices which should consider the contraction mode and the effect of de-training. An example from elite soccer is prescription of a lengthening training intervention (e.g. Nordic Hamstring Exercise) to an athlete.

This works great, unless the athlete stops doing the exercises in-season or goes on holiday at the end of the season.

Then, all of the hard work is for nothing, with significant reductions in muscle fiber length and potential increases in injury risk.

HIT Body Weight Training

Not up for personal one-on-one sessions with Jean?  No worries.  Our HIT Body Weight Training Classes are 45 minutes of energetic high intensity training in a small group setting using nothing but your body as the mechanism for change.

Think that’s not long enough to change your body?  The principles of HIT have been repeatedly proven by exercise scientists over the last several decades.  You CAN make positive changes to your strength and physique with the knowledgeable application of those principles.

HIT has become so synonymous with quickly and safely improving strength that it is now frequently an advertising hook by big box gyms whose “instructors” are untrained fly-by-night temporary employees.

Our classes are taught by Jean Kottemann, a trainer in New Orleans for with over 17 years of experience training in the HIT method.

Benefits of HIT include:

  • Increased strength and muscular function
  • Increased cardiovascular fitness (yes, it’s “aerobic”)
  • Improved flexibility and/or range of motion
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved immune function
  • Takes less time than traditional exercise methods
  • Look and feel better

 

 

 

Intensive exercise with intervals ‘more effective’

Date:  January 19, 2016
Source:  University of Leicester
Summary:
Short bursts of intensive exercise provide a more “time-efficient” and realistic way of preventing, delaying and managing Type 2 diabetes and also losing weight, a study has found. Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are linked, with over 80 per cent of people with the condition classed as overweight or obese — diet and physical activity interventions are the cornerstones for management of both conditions.
FULL STORY

Short bursts of intensive exercise provide a more “time-efficient” and realistic way of preventing, delaying and managing Type 2 diabetes and also losing weight, a study has found.

Small amounts of vigorous activity in quick successions are more “effective” compared to longer forms of exercise optimising the body’s ability to use and store blood sugar, the research by the University of Leicester and the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) has found.

The paper ‘The effects of high-intensity interval training on glucose regulation and insulin resistance: a meta-analysis’ has been published in the journal Obesity Reviews.

Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are linked, with over 80 per cent of people with the condition classed as overweight or obese — diet and physical activity interventions are the cornerstones for management of both conditions.

The effects of exercise on Type 2 diabetes and improving the body’s ability to use insulin to absorb blood sugar are well established, but its impact on weight regulation is more controversial.

The guidelines for weight loss suggest that 200 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week are required for long-term reductions, but previous research found that only five per cent of people in some industrialised countries achieve this amount. Recently, however, effects of physical activity on health in the absence of weight loss, have emerged.

In response, the study has proposed high-intensity interval training (HIIT) as an alternative: “time-efficient exercise intervention that may bring about similar benefits to moderate-intensity aerobic exercise.”

Researcher Charlotte Jelleyman said: “This study involved a meta-analysis of experimental research, allowing us to pull together evidence and establish cause and effect. We have demonstrated that HIIT conveys benefits to cardiometabolic health which in the cases of insulin resistance and aerobic fitness may be superior to the effect of traditional continuous training.

“HIIT may therefore be suitable as an alternative to continuous exercise training in the promotion of metabolic health and weight loss, particularly in those with Type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. However, given the identified limitations, more research is needed to determine both behavioural responses and clinical benefits over the longer term.”

The NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity BRU is a national centre of excellence in diet, lifestyle and physical activity based in Leicester and Loughborough. It harnesses the power of experimental science to explore and develop ways to help prevent and treat chronic disease.

Regular exercise critical for heart health, longevity

strong heart

Copyright: dejanj01 / 123RF Stock Photo

 Just exercise, y’all.  I can help you get started.

Experts encourage physical activity for heart disease prevention

Date:  January 18, 2016
Source:  American College of Cardiology
Summary:
The majority of citizens in developed countries should not be concerned by potential harm from exercise but rather by the lack of exercise in their lives, according to a clinical perspective.

 

FULL STORY

The majority of citizens in developed countries should not be concerned by potential harm from exercise but rather by the lack of exercise in their lives, according to a clinical perspective published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology from the ACC Sports and Exercise Cardiology Leadership Council. According to the council, small amounts of physical activity, including standing, are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but more exercise leads to even greater reduction in risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

“The evidence with regard to exercise continues to unfold and educate the cardiovascular clinical community,” said JACC Editor-in-Chief Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D. “The greatest benefit is to simply exercise, regardless of the intensity, while the danger is two-fold: to not exercise at all or to exercise intensely, without due preparation.”

Studies have shown that regular physical activity reduces a person’s risk of death from cardiovascular disease; however, only half of U.S. adults meet the federally recommended guidelines of 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity exercise.

In this report, the American College of Cardiology Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council examined recent research on the volume and intensity of aerobic exercise required for favorable cardiovascular health. With the rise in participation in endurance races over the past three decades, they also address the question of whether or not there is an amount of exercise that increases cardiovascular disease risk.

The council found that moderate and vigorous intensity exercise in amounts lower than the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline recommendations still significantly lower mortality risk in different populations around the globe. Increasing the amount of moderate intensity exercise a person engages in results in increased reductions in cardiovascular disease mortality; however, the reductions in cardiovascular mortality benefits from vigorous intensity exercise do level out at a certain point.

There is no evidence for an upper limit to exercise-induced health benefits and all amounts of both moderate and vigorous intensity exercise result in a reduction of both all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality compared to physical inactivity.

While controversial, a few limited studies have raised the concern that high volumes of aerobic exercise may be as bad for cardiovascular outcomes as no exercise at all. According to the council, the possibility that too much exercise training could be harmful is worthy of investigation, but research results show that even for the very active, life-long endurance athletes, the benefits of exercise training outweigh the risks.

“The public media has embraced the idea that exercise may harm the heart and disseminated this message, thereby diverting attention away from the benefits of exercise as a potent intervention for the primary and secondary prevention of heart disease,” said Michael Scott Emery, M.D., co-chair of the ACC Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council.

For cardiovascular disease patients, exercise can save lives, but one study showed that only 62 percent of heart attack patients were referred to cardiac rehabilitation at hospital discharge. Of those, just 23 percent attended more than one rehab session and only 5.4 percent completed more than 36 sessions.

“The available evidence should prompt clinicians to recommend strongly low and moderate exercise training for the majority of our patients,” Emery said. “Equally important are initiatives to promote population health at large through physical activity across the life span, as it modulates behavior from childhood into adult life.”


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Thijs M.H. Eijsvogels, Silvana Molossi, Duck-chul Lee, Michael S. Emery, Paul D. Thompson. Exercise at the Extremes. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2016; 67 (3): 316 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.11.034

Exercise to reduce lower back pain

Pardon me while I engage in a personal note to my clients:  The following is why I have you do the form we do on back and — well — ALL exercises.  I train you so that you are creating a strong foundation under those bigger showier muscles.  There’s a way to do that.  And a way to do the opposite.  Don’t do the opposite.  Do what I say and don’t argue.

Exercise to improve skill and coordination can help reduce lower back pain, new research shows

FULL STORY

A new Cochrane Review published today shows that targeting exercises to muscles that support and control the spine offers another strategy to reduce pain and disability caused by lower back pain.

Lower back pain is one of the most common health conditions worldwide. It can have substantial health and economic costs as people experience disability and general ill health, leading them to need time off work.

Motor control exercise is a popular form of exercise that aims to improve coordination of the muscles that control and support the spine. Patients are initially guided by a therapist to practise normal use of the muscles with simple tasks. As the patient’s skill increases the exercises become more complex and include the functional tasks that the person needs to perform during work and/or leisure activities.

The new study, published today in the Cochrane Library, gathered together data from 29 randomized trials involving a total of 2,431 men and women, aged between 22 and 55 years old. The trials investigated the impact of using motor control exercises as a treatment for lower back pain compared with other forms of exercise or doing nothing.

The Cochrane authors found that people who used motor control exercises experienced improvements, especially in pain and disability compared with minimal intervention. When compared with other types of exercise at intervals between 3 and 12 months motor control exercise provided similar results for pain and disability.

Lead author, Physiotherapist Bruno Saragiotto, from The George Institute, University of Sydney, Australia, said, “Targeting the strength and coordination of muscles that support the spine through motor control exercise offers an alternative approach to treating lower back pain. We can be confident that they are as effective as other types of exercise, so the choice of exercise should take into account factors such as patient or therapist preferences, cost and availability. At present, we don’t really know how motor control exercise compares with other forms of exercise in the long term. It’s important we see more research in this field so that patients can make more informed choices about persisting with treatment.”


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Saragiotto BT, Maher CG, Yamato TP, Costa LOP, Menezes Costa LC, Ostelo RWJG, Macedo LG. Motor control exercise for chronic non-specific low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012004

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