Keeping Up with Current Research (February 2022)

Research can provide golden information to health and fitness professionals. Here are some recent findings to help you stay ahead of the pack:

Diverging metabolic effects of two energy restricted diets differing in nutrient quality: a 12-week randomized controlled trial in subjects with abdominal obesity

A high nutrient quality 25% energy restriction diet is more beneficial for cardiometabolic health than a low nutrient quality 25% energy restriction diet. Overweight insulin sensitive subjects may benefit more from a high than a low nutrient quality energy restriction diet with respect to weight loss, due to potential attenuation of glucose-induced lipid synthesis in adipose tissue.

Note: When it comes to calories, favor quality over quantity! Learn more in Lean & Mean.

Various Factors May Modulate the Effect of Exercise on Testosterone Levels in Men

Regardless of pre-existing conditioning, body weight, or age, sufficient evidence indicates that resistance exercise, when combined with larger muscle involvement (multi-joint movements), bigger exercise volume, sufficient intensity (moderate/high), and short resting intervals between training sets, may result in optimal acute increases in serum testosterone concentrations.

Note: A great way to boost testosterone and increase muscle mass is to follow moderate rules in the gym.

A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression on the Effects of Carbohydrates on Sleep

The current results highlight the effect of nutrition, and especially carbohydrates, on sleep. It was observed that a lower quantity of CHO intake significantly increases N3 stage sleep and higher dietary CHO intake significantly prolongs REM stage sleep.

Note: Another way that seems to improve REM sleep is to do yoga in the evening.

Manipulation of Dietary Intake on Changes in Circulating Testosterone Concentrations

The health benefits of red wine have been well-examined, and in recent decades studies have reported that red wine consumption has antioxidant, lipid regulating, and anti-inflammatory effects. Interestingly, red wine has also been reported to result in aromatase inhibition. There have been five red wine varieties that have been reported to have aromatase inhibition activity, with the most active being cabernet sauvignon.

Note: Make cabernet sauvignon your wine of choice, just keep in mind that too much can disrupt your REM sleep.

Muscle Hypertrophy Is Affected by Volume Load Progression Models

In conclusion, a repetition zone resulted in a greater volume load progression rate and muscle cross-sectional area gains compared with a percentage of 1 repetition maximum, with no differences in accumulated volume load and muscle strength gains between progression models.

Note: More evidence to support the following excerpt from my book, The Elite Trainer: “Rather than a % of maximum, prescribe a repetition number to perform, which ultimately dictates the training effect, and then find the appropriate load to accomplish that goal.”

Replay of Learned Neural Firing Sequences during Rest in Human Motor Cortex

Participants took a nap before and after playing a neurally controlled sequence-copying game that consists of many repetitions of one “repeated” sequence sparsely interleaved with varying “control” sequences. Both participants performed repeated sequences more accurately than control sequences, consistent with learning.

Note: Not only is napping a potent restoration method and one of the most powerful recovery boosters available, but it can also improve the performance of subsequent workouts through the replay of neural firing sequences.

Individual Muscle Adaptations in different Resistance Training Systems in Well-Trained Men

Using a within-subject design we compared the individual responses between drop-set (DS) vs. traditional resistance training (TRAD) (n=16) and crescent pyramid (CP) vs. TRAD (n=15). Muscle cross-sectional area (CSA), leg press and leg extension 1 repetition maximum (1-RM) were assessed pre and post training.

In conclusion, all protocols induced similar individual responses for CSA.

Note: Don’t get too fancy with your training. Traditional resistance training works just as well as other methods.

Handgrip Strength Asymmetry and Weakness Are Associated With Future Morbidity Accumulation in Americans

Handgrip-strength asymmetry, as another potential indicator of impaired muscle function, is associated with future morbidity status during aging. Exercise professionals and related practitioners should consider examining asymmetry and weakness with handgrip dynamometers as a simple and noninvasive screening method for helping to determine muscle dysfunction and future chronic disease risk.

Note: A handgrip dynamometer can also be used to determine if sufficient recovery has occurred prior to training.

Muscle volume vs. anatomical cross-sectional area: Different muscle assessment does not affect the muscle size-strength relationship

Twenty-four healthy males underwent an MRI examination to measure pectoralis major (PM) muscle size, and maximal isometric and dynamic contractions (by one repetition maximum, 1RM) were performed. Correlations between maximal isometric voluntary force (MVF) and dynamic strength (1RM) with muscle size variables [three images from the largest part of PM (CSA3MAX), three images accounting for the shape -first image, middle image, final image- of the PM (CSA3), and MV] were performed. The correlation between 1RM with MV, CSA3, and CSA3MAX were 0.84, 0.832, and 0.727 (p < 0.001), respectively.

Note: The relation between strength and size is strong!

Relationship Between Muscle Swelling and Hypertrophy Induced by Resistance Training

A significant positive correlation was found between muscle swelling and muscle hypertrophy. This study suggests that the greater the muscle swelling immediately after the first session of resistance training, the greater the muscle hypertrophy after resistance training.

Note: Don’t go too light when starting a new program. Keep a detailed training log and refer back to your previous numbers so that you start at an appropriate level.

Effects of Resistance Training Intervention along with Leucine-Enriched Whey Protein Supplementation on Sarcopenia and Frailty in Post-Hospitalized Older Adults: Preliminary Findings of a Randomized Controlled Trial

In conclusion, the implementation of resistance training programs after hospitalization in older adults should be prioritized to combat sarcopenia and frailty immediately.

Note: Here’s what you need to do to get in shape after the age of 50.

Does Strength-Promoting Exercise Confer Unique Health Benefits? A Pooled Analysis of Data on 11 Population Cohorts With All-Cause, Cancer, and Cardiovascular Mortality Endpoints

In conclusion, participation in any strength-promoting exercise was associated with a 23% reduction in all-cause mortality and a 31% reduction in cancer mortality. In terms of mortality risk reduction, adherence to the strength-promoting exercise guideline on physical activity appears to be at least as important as adherence to the aerobic guideline. Our results support the value of specifically promoting adherence to the strength exercise guideline over and above the generic physical activity targets.

Note: Research has shown that the top ten biomarkers of aging can be improved through strength training and if you want to live longer, make exercise, in particular strength-promoting exercise, your drug of choice.

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