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Science

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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26

Jun'18

The Rough Guide to Testosterone

This post is all about testosterone (T), we’ll look at what it is, what it does and where it comes from. We’ll cover the reasons that it is an important hormone for women as well as men and how low testosterone levels negatively impacts both sexes. We will detail some of the symptoms of low testosterone and what you can do about them. Then we will look at what the latest research reveals about the impact of exercise, both resistance training and aerobic, on acute and long-term levels of testosterone. By the end of the article, you’ll know a lot …

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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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25

Apr'18

The Long Read on Muscle Fibers: Types, Strength, Hypertrophy and Training Optimization

Have you ever thought about your muscles? Have you considered how muscle contracts, how some people can lift an impressive amount of weight but only a few times, others unable to lift as much are able to endure a moderate load for much longer? Some have muscles that appear to rapidly grow in response to training, for others there is less obvious external change (yet still much of benefit happening internally). The different types of muscle fiber and their proportional representation in your muscles play a crucial role in your physical expression. To get the most out of exercise: Do …

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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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11

Jun'15

Metabolism, in the mind’s eye

In my experience, most high-intensity training (HIT) practitioners don’t focus on metabolism. It’s hard to blame them. Discussion of force, velocity, muscle tension, and momentary muscle failure have real-world applications that clients can knowingly experience. Metabolism is practically invisible and lacks easily accessible realtime metrics that we can share with our clients. However, we would be remise if we didn’t share the truly amazing adaptations that occur within seconds of finishing a HIT session. The energy systems Before we jump into the adaptations that occur from HIT, a basic understanding of metabolism is necessary. Most people are familiar with the …

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19

Dec'14

MMF better than RP: Strength and Body Composition Results (part 3)

The first two posts relating to this piece of research (The effects of low volume resistance training with and without advanced techniques in trained participants. Jürgen Giessing, James Fisher, James Steele, Frank Rothe, Kristin Raubold, Björn Eichmann) looked at the reasons we consider this research paper to be of value, the exercise protocols used and the differences in protocol between the three groups (ssRM, ssMMF and ssRP). In this post, we will look at how the researchers gathered the data and the actual results of the study in detail and we will take a look at the conclusions that can …

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02

Nov'14

Momentary Muscular Failure better than Repetition Maximum: Protocol Differences (part 2)

Last week, I wrote about a new piece of exercise research (The effects of low volume resistance training with and without advanced techniques in trained participants), and what makes this research valuable. I covered aspects such as the basic protocol that the three groups performed and the similarities between the specific exercise routines performed by each group. In this post, I want to discus how the protocols studied, differed between the groups – in effect what is it that the research actually looks at and provides data about.   Remember that the three groups were: ssRM: individuals in this group performed a single set to (self-determined) Repetition …

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