Sunday, November 9, 2014

Fitness Friday - Fitness News You Can Use (Sunday Edition)

Due to a browser crash (apparently Firefox is unstable with 100+ tabs open), this week's Fitness Friday is a couple of days late, but the posts are still fresh.

Lots of good stuff this week, including research on fat intake and body composition, garlic for a healthier prostate, impact of antioxidants on muscle growth, the many benefits of creatine, complexes for muscle fat loss, and how time under tension can increase strength and muscle size.

Weight gain? The kind of fat in your diet helps determine how much muscle mass you build up

If you gain weight, the kind of fat in your diet partly determines the amount of fat and the amount of muscle in your newfound kilograms. The unsaturated fatty acids in sunflower oil stimulate the growth of muscle; the saturated fatty acids in palm oil – found in many processed foods – lead to an increase the amount of fat. Researchers at the University of Uppsala in Sweden report on this in Diabetes

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Garlic, prostate cancer and Death Receptor-4

Garlic, prostate cancer and Death Receptor 4

The more leeks, onions, chives or garlic that men eat, the less likely they are to develop prostate cancer. Epidemiologists at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing discovered the prostate-cancer inhibiting properties of the Allium vegetable family when they gathered and reanalysed data from 9 big epidemiological studies. They looked at data on 132,192 men in total.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(7):4131-4.

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Do Antioxidants Impede the Benefits of Exercise?

Breaking Muscle
Craig Marker - Contributor - Psychology and Research
More Articles from this Author

Antioxidants have been shown in multiple studies to impair the benefits of exercise. But newer theories of antioxidants propose that the reactive oxygen molecules thought to be so harmful actually set in motion important reactions in the body that make us stronger in the long run.

RELATED: Antioxidants Have Mixed Effects on Performance

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Creatine: A Versatile Supplement

Creatine is one of the few supplements that has stood the test of time. I can recall first taking it when I was in high school over 20 years ago. I’m pretty sure it’s the most well-research supplement in the literature, with thousands upon thousands of articles on the topic. HERE is a Wikipedia link to creatine in case you’d like to learn the basics. Over the years, I’ve stumbled across some interesting research on creatine. I decided to compile some of these study abstracts together into an article. When sifting through the entire body of research, it seems that creatine does not enhance testosterone or growth hormone output (one study showed increased growth hormone, but several others have shown no effect), does not work as well in the elderly as it does with younger subjects, does not reduce muscle damage (one study showed that it did, but several others showed that it did not), does not improve the plasma-lipid ratio during aerobic training, and does not alter insulin sensitivity.
However, creatine does indeed lead to some very favorable outcomes. It’s also very safe and well-tolerated. In the abstracts below, you will note that creatine....
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Note: despite the title of this post, guys will definitely benefit from these complexes.

3 Complexes for Rapid Female Fat Loss 

by TC | 11/04/14

Here's what you need to know...

  • CrossFit generates a lot of controversy, but everybody agrees that it does great things for the female body. Not interested in CrossFit? Do complexes.
  • Complexes provide the same kind of exertion, the same type of fat burning and strength building, and they require very little equipment or time.
  • Complexes are simply a series of movements performed with a barbell, dumbbell(s), or kettlebell(s) where you finish each rep of one movement before quickly moving onto the next movement.
  • They can be done after your regular workout as a fat-burning, muscle-shaping finisher. However, they're so effective, many women would be better off replacing their entire workout with complexes.
CrossFit? No Thanks.

CrossFit has its fans and its detractors, but the one thing everyone seemingly agrees on is that the women who do it look pretty darn good.

As powerful a lure as looking pretty darn good might be to a lot of non-CrossFit women, the idea of joining a "box" probably freaks many of them out. It could be that you were never one to join sororities in college and the notion of all that rah-rah stuff and allegedly friendly competition makes you get frown lines around your mouth.

Maybe CrossFit comes off just a little bit too much like a cult and you're in no mood to give away all your worldly possessions and swear allegiance to its founder. Others might cringe at the idea of doing all those bunion-pounding sprints. Or, it could simply be that you don't know how to do some of those Olympic lifts.

If it's the last option, you're not alone. There are thousands of female (and male) bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts who can't do a proper snatch, clean and jerk, or muscle-up on gymnastic rings. Either they didn't learn how do to them in gym class, no one in a commercial gym taught them, they didn't bother to seek out a qualified coach, or they were just plain klutzy and were worried about impaling innocent bystanders.

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Create Tension, Build More Muscle 

by James Chan | 11/05/14

Here's what you need to know...

  • High mechanical tension is the primary stimulus for muscle growth. The more tension you create within a muscle, the more size you'll build.
  • The tension must be long in duration, at least 20 seconds.
  • The tension must also be high throughout the entire range of motion.
  • Set extenders accomplish all three things – they create high tension for a long time throughout the entire range of motion.
  • Set extenders are when you hit a muscle group with a series of two or more exercises done in consecutive order with little or no rest.
Why are some exercises better for developing muscular size than others? 

Ultimately, high mechanical tension is the primary stimulus for muscle growth. The more tension you can create within a muscle, the more size you'll build. To maximize muscular growth, the tension has to meet the following criteria....

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