Have you ever endured an Arctic ice bath after an intense few hours at the gym? Not the nicest experience, but one that many swear by as an aid to muscle recovery and growth – a theory currently being dismissed.
New research published in the Journal of Physiology reviewed 21 physically active men as they performed strength training twice a week for 12 weeks; half the group
endured a ten minute post-workout ice bath and the other half had a warm down on an exercise bike. The results found that muscle strength and mass had increased more in the warm-down group, and that muscle ‘stem cell’ activity – needed for bigger, stronger muscles – was blunted for two days in the ice bath group. So there’s no need to take the plunge after the gym, just jump on the bike instead.
In amongst the never-ending quest for fat loss, a new research study has claimed that – contrary to popular belief – cutting dietary fat from your diet is more beneficial to overall fat loss than cutting carbohydrates.
In a study published by the US National Institute of Health in the journal Cell Metabolism , 19 adults with obesity were closely monitored for two two-week periods; in the first two weeks, 30% of baseline calories were cut through carbrestriction, and in the second two weeks calories were cut through fat reduction. The results showed that whilst cutting carbs allowed for more body fat to be burned, cutting fat allowed for more overall body fat loss. The lead researcher, PhD Kevin Hall, said that this study demonstrated that, whilst all calories are not created equally regarding fat loss, over the long term its pretty close. More carbs for us then!
Dog Friendly Fitness
For all you enthusiastic dog owners out there wishing you could workout with your pooch, soon you may be able to do just that.
A new outdoor fitness class titled Feet & Paws doesn’t just focus on your fitness, but your pup’s too. In Santa Monica, California, founder Tracy James gets you working up a sweat with moves such as burpees and squats, whilst also paying attention to the canines in the class – including dog massages at the end. She also uses the dogs as motivation for the owners to keep going, and gives advice on how to control the dogs outside of class. The classes vary in their levels of ability, with one titled ‘New Paws on the Block’ specifically designed for newcomers. So if there’s no one to look after the dog while you workout, or if you think your pet could shed a few pounds, this seems like the perfect solution – one that we predict could hit these shores, and become very popular amongst dog lovers.
With the 2016 Rio Olympics fast approaching, some have decided to take a slightly different route to get to the Games.
A group of London rowers are planning to row 6,700 miles across the Atlantic to the South American capital, taking with them the London Olympic legacy. Starting down the Thames, they’ll then switch to their bikes to ride 1,600 miles to Gibraltar, before rowing 1,500 nautical miles to Cape Verde. They’ll then face the most challenging part of the journey – rowing 1,600 nautical miles without support for three months, heading towards the North Coast of Brazil. Once land is in sight, they’ll jump back on their bikes to cycle 1,800 miles to French Guyana before hitting the water for the final leg along the east coast of Brazil, finishing off at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic opening ceremony. Altogether their trip will last around 21 weeks, and if successful they hope to break the world record for a mixed crew – they’ll certainly deserve it. Good luck!
If you thought bodybuilding was just for meat eaters, think again.
More and more men and women have started joining the world of bodybuilding using plant-based vegan diets, proving that animal protein is not essential to getting ripped. Some have even suggested veganism to be better for bodybuilding, with last year’s Mr Universe winner Barney du Plessis saying that ditching meat gave him more energy and faster post-workout recovery times. So what does the vegan bodybuilding diet look like? According to German bodybuilder Arvid Deck, legumes, grains and oatmeal have been key in maintaining his ripped physique, whilst others also rely on beans and plant-based products such as tofu and vegan protein powders. The Naturally Fit Games – a sporting event held in Texas – has also recently seen a rising number of plant-power bodybuilders competing, including last year’s novice heavyweight bodybuilder winner Erin Fergus. Sounds like plant power is the new trend – who knew animal products were so last season?
The end of Exercise
If you hate the gym but love throwing shapes on the dance floor and you want to shed a few pounds, then you may just be in luck.
CIZE is the new dance fitness program that promises you’ll have such a good time dancing off those calories, you’ll forget you’re doing exercise. Created by world-renowned choreographer Shaun T, this program looks to improve your dance skills in just 30 days with step-by-step, move-by-move tutorials leading into full-body dance combinations. The routines themselves look to engage every muscle group within the body, and incorporate cardio training, core strengthening and toning moves for a full body workout each time. CIZE has also been designed for all levels and dance abilities, making sure that everyone can join in, have a good time and reap the body benefits.
Spicy Solution to Strength Loss
As a regular gym goer, you’ll know that short-term muscle strength loss is an inevitable part of the recovery process.
However, new research results have found that ginger may be a solution to this. In a recent study, participants performed high-intensity arm exercises, inducing muscle damage. Prior to the exercise, half had taken a ginger supplement for five days and the other half had taken a placebo. After the exercise, both groups experienced strength loss, but the time taken to recover their strength differed vastly. Those that had taken ginger found that their strength improved 48 hours after the exercise, as opposed to 72 hours for the placebo group. Sounds like great news for those of us killing it in the gym and suffering afterwards. To get your ginger fix, try ginger tea as part of your pre-workout routine – it’ll be a tasty way to ensure fast results after your session.
Fitness trackers and wearables have become the musthave fitness accessory, boasting the ability to track your progress and stats as you workout.
Now, this concept has been taken one step further, offering those in wheelchairs the chance to track their own progress as well. Austin-based design and development studio Chaotic Moon Studios have created a prototype named Freewheel. This tracker is said to take note of attributes that others ignore, including the muscles used to push the chair and the condition of the road or surface. It uses Hall effect sensors, a barometer, a gyroscope and an accelerometer to measure qualities including speed, acceleration, distance, altitude and incline/decline. It can also transmit the data collected through Bluetooth, connecting to wearable devices for heart rate monitoring. Here’s hoping it arrives on the market soon – sounds like a winner.