Tag Archives: high-intensity exercise

The Sports Drink Trick You Probably Don’t Know

21 Nov

Sports-Drinks[1]Found recently, in a Men’s Journal article…

The Sports Drink Exercise Trick

Swishing a sports drink around in your mouth and then spitting it out might sound like a nonsensical way to boost performance, but it’s been nearly a decade since research first suggested that rinsing improves your workout. A study by sports scientists at University of Central Lancashire last April found that during an hour-long workout, cyclists who swished carbohydrate-rich sports drinks for longer covered more distance and felt less tired than after a five-second rinse or rinsing with water.

How the trick works may surprise you. Brain scans show that specific regions light up when carbs are in your mouth. The longer you rinse, the more time the carbs have to stimulate sensors in your brain, says study author Lindsay Bottoms. “The concept of mouth rinse supports the idea that the brain is very much playing a key role in fatigue,” says Bottoms.

Swishing is most beneficial during relatively short, intense workouts. Not only can the rinse give you a performance boost of about 2 percent, but it also helps avoid indigestion from swallowing carbs during workouts. “When performing high-intensity exercise lasting less than 60 minutes, using a carbohydrate rinse for 5-10 seconds can improve performance,” says Bottoms. “It could potentially allow you to train harder.” If you’re doing a couple hours of exercise, however, rinsing will start to lose its effect since your muscles really do need more carbs.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Why Are You Still Jogging?

3 Jun

Adrian Peterson, Leon HallLong duration aerobic exercise (AE) is well-known for its impact on exercise performance, particularly with regard to enhanced maximal aerobic capacity.  However,high-intensity sprint training (HIT) can yield similar, and even better, results than aerobic exercise, with less time spent training.  Research indicates that AE is not required to improve metabolic/cardiovascular fitness and, in some cases, may be less effective than HIT.

Although AE is beneficial — and any exercise is generally better than none — there are some consequences of AE that should be considered:

  • Long-duration AE can elevate cortisol, an inflammatory hormone (released as a response to stress) that promotes muscle loss (via protein breakdown) and fat storage.
  • Chronic AE increases the amount of slow-twitch (Type 1) muscle fibers, decreasing the potential for power production and compromising anaerobic exercise performance.

HIT, in addition to yielding comparable metabolic benefit (as compared to AE), decreases overall body fat, increases lean body (muscle) mass, and promotes development of fast-twitch (Type IIa) muscle fibers.

If you’re an athlete, pick up the pace and add sprint and interval training to your cardio training regimen.

If you’re not an athlete, you too should pick up the pace.  Increasing the intensity of your cardio training applies broadly to walking, running, and biking; as well as the treadmill, elliptical, and stairclimber.

Researchers note that AE may be an acceptable exercise choice for anaerobic athletes if used minimally and far away from the competitive sport season.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

How Exercise Affects Your Health

18 May

1175_l[1]Exercise, as it relates to your immune system, can be good and bad.  Regular, moderate-intensity exercise can help to protect you against some diseases (especially those that involve the upper  respiratory tract, like colds).  However, overdoing it can have the  opposite effect and reduce immunity.  You’ve got to know how much  exercise is enough; when you should exercise and when you should not;  and which types of exercise are appropriate for your physical condition.

How does exercise boost immunity?

Exercise has been shown to increase the production of certain cells (macrophages) that attack the kinds of bacteria that can trigger upper-respiratory diseases.  Cells that promote immunity circulate through the  system more rapidly, and they’re capable of killing both viruses and  bacteria. After exercising, the body returns to normal within a few hours, but regular exercise appears to extend periods of immunity.

It is also believed that the temporary rise in body temperature that occurs during exercise may inhibit the growth of  bacteria.  This process allows the body to fight infection more effectively.  Exercise also slows the release of stress-related hormones, which can increase the likelihood of illnesses.

However, too much exercise appears to negatively affect immunity.  One study found that 90 minutes or more of high-intensity exercise (marathons, endurance races, etc.) makes a person more susceptible to illness for up to 72 hours after working out.  During exercise, the body produces two hormones — cortisol and adrenaline — that raise blood pressure, elevate cholesterol levels, and temporarily weaken the immune system.

Heavy, long-term exercise could increase the amount of white blood cells and increase the presence of stress-related hormones.  Marathon and triathlon athletes are particularly vulnerable to increased susceptibility to infection, although susceptibility doesn’t automatically lead to infection.

Should you exercise when you’re sick?

It’s typically safe to exercise at a low intensity if you have “above-the-neck” symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, sore throat).  If those symptoms diminish during the  first few minutes of exercise, it’s safe to increase your exercise intensity level.  Exercise is not recommended if you have “below-the-neck” symptoms (fever, sore muscles or joints, vomiting, diarrhea, or a cough that produces mucous).  If you have those symptoms, it’s better to let the cold run its course before you resume physical activity.

What else can you do to stay healthy?

  • Minimize stress
  • Eat well (vitamins and minerals)
  • Get enough rest, sleep
  • Maintain reasonable weight
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoid sick people
  • Get a flu shot

Bottom line

Regular, moderate-intensity exercise (about 30+ minutes per day) can help your body resist a variety of diseases.  High-intensity endurance activities that last 90 minutes or more may increase your susceptibility to infection for up to three days.  As with diet and other health-related behaviors, an exercise program that consistently and progressively challenges your body, without overdoing it, is the most sensible training strategy.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Improve Cardiovascular Fitness with Kettlebell Training

2 Sep

1299165789_phd_hype_-18%20(Large)[1]High-intensity kettlebell training “significantly improved aerobic capacity… and could be used as an alternative mode to maintain or improve cardiovascular conditioning,” according to a study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

20 minutes of kettlebell training — consisting of 15 seconds of alternating work and rest — can significantly improve aerobic capacity when performed 3 days a week for 4 weeks.

In the JSCR study, subjects improved aerobic capacity by about 6% (as measured by VO2max) after four weeks of training.

Kettlebell swings, snatches, cleans, and presses — performed according to the aforementioned work-rest interval — provide for a great total-body strength and cardio workout.

Remember to keep the intensity high (especially if your goal is to improve aerobic capacity), as higher exercise intensities have been shown to elicit greater improvements in VO2max than lower exercise intensities.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

The Sports Drink Trick You Probably Don’t Know

21 Aug

Sports-Drinks[1]Found recently, in a Men’s Journal article…

The Sports Drink Exercise Trick

Swishing a sports drink around in your mouth and then spitting it out might sound like a nonsensical way to boost performance, but it’s been nearly a decade since research first suggested that rinsing improves your workout. A study by sports scientists at University of Central Lancashire this April found that during an hour-long workout, cyclists who swished carbohydrate-rich sports drinks for longer covered more distance and felt less tired than after a five-second rinse or rinsing with water.

How the trick works may surprise you. Brain scans show that specific regions light up when carbs are in your mouth. The longer you rinse, the more time the carbs have to stimulate sensors in your brain, says study author Lindsay Bottoms. “The concept of mouth rinse supports the idea that the brain is very much playing a key role in fatigue,” says Bottoms.

Swishing is most beneficial during relatively short, intense workouts. Not only can the rinse give you a performance boost of about 2 percent, but it also helps avoid indigestion from swallowing carbs during workouts. “When performing high-intensity exercise lasting less than 60 minutes, using a carbohydrate rinse for 5-10 seconds can improve performance,” says Bottoms. “It could potentially allow you to train harder.” If you’re doing a couple hours of exercise, however, rinsing will start to lose its effect since your muscles really do need more carbs.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Why Are You Still Jogging?

26 Apr

Adrian Peterson, Leon HallLong duration aerobic exercise (AE) is well-known for its impact on exercise performance, particularly with regard to enhanced maximal aerobic capacity.  However, high-intensity sprint training (HIT) can yield similar, and even better, results than aerobic exercise, with less time spent training.  Research indicates the AE is not required to improve metabolic/cardiovascular fitness and, in some cases, may be less effective than HIT.

Although AE is beneficial — and any exercise is generally better than none — there are some consequences of AE that should be considered:

  • Long-duration AE can elevate cortisol, an inflammatory hormone (released as a response to stress) that promotes muscle loss (via protein breakdown) and fat storage.
  • Chronic AE increases the amount of slow-twitch (Type 1) muscle fibers, decreasing the potential for power production and compromising anaerobic exercise performance.

HIT, in addition to yielding comparable metabolic benefit (as compared to AE), decreases overall body fat, increases lean body (muscle) mass, and promotes development of fast-twitch (Type IIa) muscle fibers.

If you’re an athlete, pick up the pace and add sprint and interval training to your cardio training regimen.

If you’re not an athlete, you too should pick up the pace.  Increasing the intensity of your cardio training applies broadly to walking, running, and biking; as well as the treadmill, elliptical, and stairclimber.

Researchers note that AE may be an acceptable exercise choice for anaerobic athletes if used minimally and far away from the competitive sport season.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

How Exercise Affects Your Health

15 Apr

1175_l[1]Exercise, as it relates to your immune system, can be good and bad.  Regular, moderate-intensity exercise can help to protect you against some diseases (especially those that involve the upper  respiratory tract, like colds).  However, overdoing it can have the  opposite effect and reduce immunity.  You’ve got to know how much  exercise is enough; when you should exercise and when should not;  and which types of exercise are appropriate for your physical condition.

How does exercise boost immunity?

Exercise has been shown to increase the production of certain cells (macrophages) that attack the kinds of bacteria that can trigger upper-respiratory diseases.  Cells that promote immunity circulate through the  system more rapidly, and they’re capable of killing both viruses and  bacteria. After exercising, the body returns to normal within a few hours, but regular exercise appears to extend periods of immunity.

It is also believed that the temporary rise in body temperature that occurs during exercise may inhibit the growth of  bacteria.  This process allows the body to fight infection more effectively.  Exercise also slows the release of stress-related hormones, which can increase the likelihood of illnesses.

However, too much exercise appears to negatively affect immunity.  One study found that 90 minutes or more of high-intensity exercise (marathons, endurance races, etc.) makes a person more susceptible to illness for up to 72 hours after working out.  During exercise, the body produces two hormones — cortisol and adrenaline — that raise blood pressure, elevate cholesterol levels, and temporarily weaken the immune system.

Heavy, long-term exercise could increase the amount of white blood cells and increase the presence of stress-related hormones.  Marathon and triathlon athletes are particularly vulnerable to increased susceptibility to infection, although susceptibility doesn’t automatically lead to infection.

Should you exercise when you’re sick?

It’s typically safe to exercise at a low intensity if you have “above-the-neck” symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, sore throat).  If those symptoms diminish during the  first few minutes of exercise, it’s safe to increase your exercise intensity level.  Exercise is not recommended if you have “below-the-neck” symptoms (fever, sore muscles or joints, vomiting, diarrhea, or a cough that produces mucous).  If you have those symptoms, it’s better to let the cold run its course before you resume physical activity.

What else can you do to stay healthy?

  • Minimize stress
  • Eat well (vitamins and minerals)
  • Get enough rest, sleep
  • Maintain reasonable weight
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoid sick people
  • Get a flu shot

Bottom line

Regular, moderate-intensity exercise (about 30+ minutes per day) can help your body resist a variety of diseases.  High-intensity endurance activities that last 90 minutes or more may increase your susceptibility to infection for up to three days.  As with diet and other health-related behaviors, an exercise program that consistently and progressively challenges your body, without overdoing it, is the most sensible training strategy.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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