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Research explained

08

Mar'19

The Impact of Training on Muscle Fiber Types

We recently received a great question about muscle fiber types from an individual taking the HITuni personal trainer course. The student was concerned that when an individual partakes in HIT, there may be conversion of IIx fibers to IIa fibers. He pondered that if this does happen, then it might be a negative for aging muscle, as it would speed up the loss of the fastest-twitch fibers. He asked if I thought this was problematic. This is a valuable question and gives a springboard to dive into the fascinating subject of fiber types from a slightly different perspective than my …

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25

May'18

17 Myokines You Need to Know About Today

Skeletal muscle tissue is made up of muscle fibers, connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Under the control of the somatic nervous system (SNS), skeletal muscle produces force, creates movement. Muscles get bigger and stronger if you exercise, smaller and weaker if you don’t…simple. This is the basic understanding of muscle that most of us have. There is however more benefit to exercising muscle tissue which we are not able to directly observe, and which science is only just beginning to reveal. It was my recent conversation with Doug McGuff, MD, that lit a fire under my desire to understand …

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21

Mar'18

Attentional Focus: Internal vs external Visualization during Resistance Training

Today I want to look at where attention should be placed during resistance training: is it best to focus on simply lifting the weight or is it better to focus on the contraction of the targeted muscle tissue? A research paper was recently published covering this very topic so we will delve into this paper as well.   What is attentional focus? This term simply refers to what is it that are you focused on or thinking about, whilst you are engaged in an activity. During High Intensity Resistance Training (HIT) you can perform exercises with an external attentional focus …

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15

Mar'18

Do multi-joint exercises alone provide enough of a stimulus for optimal strength and hypertrophy?

In this post, I want to look at the two types of exercises that make up all resistance training workouts: multi-joint (MJ) and single-joint (SJ) exercises. What is the difference between them, is one type superior to the other, and when should we be doing both? Let’s begin by defining our terms and giving examples.   Definition and example of a single-joint exercise A single joint is exposed to a resistance that provides a significant stimulus intended for the muscles responsible for one joint action. For example, there are four possible joint actions at the knee: flexion, extension, internal rotation …

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08

Mar'18

HIT vs HIIT, Sprints vs Resistance Training: What’s the Difference?

Is there a physiological difference in response between sprinting all-out (on a bike, treadmill, rowing machine etc) until you are unable to maintain a peak cadence level versus performing a high effort resistance training (RT) exercise? Due to a perceived dichotomy between cardiovascular exercise and resistance training, this is not a question that has been significantly explored in the scientific literature. A recent research paper published in PeerJ, titled “Similar acute physiological responses from effort and duration matched leg press and recumbent cycling tasks” and authored by James Steele, Andrew Butler, Zoe Comerford, Jason Dyer, Nathan Lloyd, Joshua Ward, James …

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12

Feb'18

Optimal Protein Intake for Strength and Size

The New York Times reported yesterday on an interesting research paper published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine1. This meta-analysis looked at the effects of protein supplementation on muscle mass and strength increases in individuals engaged in a resistance training program.   Does supplementing with protein provide additional benefits over resistance training alone? The research highlights the likelihood that the current RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for protein is inadequate if you are resistance training to build muscle and get stronger. The authors also suggest that increased protein intake whilst engaging in resistance training is particularly important for those over …

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04

Oct'17

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 …

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20

Sep'17

Regular exercise won’t save you from the dangers of sitting

You’ve probably heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”. A strong and attention capturing statement indeed and one that implies a familiar activity has deleterious effects on our long-term health. Perhaps conjuring thoughts in the reader of diseases associated with smoking such as cancer and heart disease. One may also infer that sitting is addictive, that the comfortable looking armchair is luring us seductively to an early grave. I want to find out if there is any merit to this attention-grabbing headline and if so, what we can do to protect ourselves from the ravages of…sitting?   What are …

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13

Sep'17

Resistance training can reverse ageing

In March this year, the BBC reported that a drug had been trialled in animals that could reverse certain aspects of ageing causing old mice “to restore their stamina, coat of fur and even some organ function.” Inspired by this, I wanted to understand more about how the ageing process works and if exercise can have a similar effect on the body; can exercise reverse ageing?   What are senescent cells? This trial drug, a peptide worked by reducing the number of senescent cells in the mice. As we age, irreparable DNA damage begins to accumulate in cells, one of three …

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13

Mar'15

Pre-Exhaustion Technique and REX Conference 2015

In the exercise world, there is often fierce debate over protocol, application and technique. At its most productive this debate can spur on experimentation, enabling us to refine the application of exercise protocol. Sometimes we need to question elements of the protocol that have been ingrained in HIT since its inception or since the time of its initial popularity in the 70s and 80s: the original Nautilus era. In this post I want to discuss a research paper that does just that, one that I have been meaning to write about for a while. Researchers James Fisher, Luke Carlson, James …

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