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June 3 - 2013
Are Strength & Endurance Training Compatible?

 Welcome back to yet another world famous fitFLEX Blog! We're adding new features and sections to the website each month to help you all truly get the results, advice and guidance that you need to succeed - free. Feel free to post your questions or share reviews and answer in the community to help out your fellow soldiers! In the meanwhile, let's take a closer look at the connection of mixing different types of training styles; more specifically, endurance and strength training.

 Studies in the past pointed to problems that occur when you combine strength training with an endurance activity such as aerobics, due to the fact that these forms of exercise stimulate opposing cellular processes. For ex-ample, aerobics were found to stimulate energy-producing parts of the cell called mitochondria and increase blood vessels to carry more oxygen to cells. Strength training, on the other hand, decreased mitochondria and increased cellular protein synthesis. The early re-searchers concluded that doing too many aerobics prevented strength gains, while heavy strength training had little effect on endurance capacity.

 More recent research from Canada, however, shows that you can do both strength and endurance training if you do moderate amounts of exercise. Subjects performed moderate strength training using a leg press machine for six sets of 15 to 20 reps with the heaviest weight possible. The endurance workout consisted of cycling for five three-minute sets at 90 to 100 percent of

aerobic capacity, resting between sets. Subjects trained three days a week for 22 weeks.

 The results showed that either exercise alone increased both strength and endurance; doing both exercise forms increased strength and endurance even more. The researchers also observed that after five months the percentage of slow-twitch muscle fibers increased. This could pose a problem for those people interested in increased muscle growth because the fast-twitch fibers generally hypertrophy, or grow, far faster than do slow-twitch, or endurance, muscle fibers.

May 9 - 2013
What is Alpha Lipoic Acid and What Can it Do for Me?

 There really is no better motivator than the warm Spring weather to get back in to shape or shed those pounds the long winter months came with. As always, we encourage you to continue to work hard and never give up - even if you might have a slip or two the season. You can do it!

 With so many questions from our visitors each day, we're going to handle another common one. The topic of the supplement alpha lipoic acid is something of a mystery to many athletes even though it's found in many of their daily supplements. Here's our take on it to help guide you guys along with a better understanding.

 Some supplement manufacturers suggest that 200 to 400 milligrams of ALA improves insulin sensitivity and function in non diabetic athletes, ultimately increasing glucose and creatine transport and positively affecting muscle protein metabolism. However, studies indicate that although ALA can improve glucose transport in some people, the amount required to see an effect is about 10 times

greater than that typically found in ALA/creatine products. Research clearly shows that for ALA to have a positive effect in both normal and insulin-resistant muscle, the supplement must be taken in large amounts, usually between VA and 3 grams.

 Another question is whether ALA is beneficial after exercise. Large amounts of ALA can have a positive effect on glucose transport in sedentary people, but does this apply to athletes as well? Probably not, says Dr. James Barnard, professor of physiological sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Barnard explains that exercise improves insulin sensitivity to a much greater degree than ALA does. He also notes that insulin resistance is virtually nonexistent in non diabetic individuals who train regularly, so they shouldn't need ALA. Exercise-mediated effects on glucose and creatine transport, as well as on protein metabolism, clearly overshadow the effects of ALA on the same parameters.

 The bottom line: ALA is a good antioxidant, but small amounts of it in conjunction with dextrose and creatine have not been shown to duplicate insulin effects in non diabetic exercising athletes. Also, ALA has not been demonstrated to improve creatine or glucose transport in athletes. ALA on its own or in other supplements might give a small immunity boost, but it probably won't help you get more from your creatine.

April 1 - 2013
Exercise and Nutrition to Help Prevent Cancer

 Spring has finally rolled around the bend and it's time for outdoor activities and fitness again! With the warm weather approaching it is much more realistic to be more active and live a healthier lifestyle. So choose a daily activity such as walking, jogging, roller blading and start getting back in shape! Speaking of health, this month we're going to tackle an issue that truly does affect many people in the world and in most cases someone that we personal know in our lives - cancer. Let's look at the benefits of nutrition and exercise towards battling this killer. To begin, we'll take an actual question submitted just last week to go with.

 Question: My mother smokes cigarettes at home all the time. I've heard that secondhand smoke is just as bad as smoking itself. While I'm trying to get my mom to quit, is there anything I can do with my diet or exercise to help lower my risk of getting lung cancer?

 Answer: We agree, having your mother quit smoking would be the most beneficial solution to your problem. In the meantime there are several ways in which you can alter your diet to lower your risk of cancer. Eating vegetables that are high in beta-carotene has been shown to lower the risk of cancer, and recent research indicates that several other vegetables are just as effective. These include tomatoes, dark-green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage. Other changes you can make in your diet to lower your risk of cancer include decreasing your intake of foods that are high in cholesterol and fat. These dietary manipulations will also be beneficial for your mother or any smoker who cannot kick the habit.

March 14 - 2013
Upset Stomach or Diarrhea before Training Sessions

 One of the most common questions we get asked here that you don't always find the answer to is pre-training nerves or more specifically diarrhea. What causes this tension and annoying dilemma. This month we dive right in and get to the bottom of this once and for all!

 So let's say that you are one of those individuals whom often experience un-wanted diarrhea before a big workout or aerobic activity. Could this be caused by nerves or by something that you are eating?

 Without knowing more of your medical and dietary history, it is difficult to pinpoint the culprit. Both diet and nerves may play a role in your disorder. Many people experience diarrhea prior to competition solely due to nervous tension. Athletes who consume sugary foods or drinks before or during athletic activity thinking that the sugar will provide the advantage of extra energy, however, sometimes get an unwanted reaction instead diarrhea.

 This can happen if the intestines react to the activity (or the nervousness that may accompany competition) by moving their contents along more rapidly than usual. The undigested disaccharides or unabsorbed monosaccharides arriving in the colon result in the now familiar con-sequences. Even the specially formulated sports drinks designed for athletes are generally too high in sugars for some people's systems to absorb them well; most of these drinks, if they contain sugar, should be diluted to reduce the likelihood of diarrhea.

 Monitor yourself to see if you are eating anything different during the occasions on which you experience the problems. If so, then the problem will be easy to remedy; simply eat the way you do when the problem doesn't occur, taking into consideration both what and when you eat. If the problem still persists and the diarrhea becomes too debilitating, you may want to consult a doctor.

February 20 - 2013
Exercising because your love it - The pleasure principle!

 Well here we go again with another popular fitFLEX monthly BLOG feature. This month we're going a bit more in-depth to the heart of training and why we do it. We hope everyone had an excellent winter and we thank you all for visiting our community and participating daily. With 10 years under our belt, we're proud to be the authority on not just supplement reviews, but slowly and surely a complete guide to your health and fitness goals! See you next month!

 Bodybuilders live for the pain- or so it seems. "No pain, no gain," "C'mon, grind out another rep," "Feel the burn." A little masochistic, to say the least, but this is the center of the bodybuilder's existence; it's pleasurable. Pain in the gym means growth in the recovery phase, so bring on the blowtorch!

 Sometimes, though, it can get a little out of hand, and the pain you used to love to hate turns into a villain that wrecks your gym existence. Injuries start to appear along with restlessness at night and "the shakes" at the oddest times during the day.

 Overtraining, nervous system burnout - call it what you may, but one thing's for certain: When these symptoms are part of your present, your gains are going to go nowhere but down in the future if you relentlessly persist.

 Seeing bodybuilders close to this condition makes me think back to when I was into powerlifting. I vividly remember psyching up for each heavy day: My hands would get sweaty, the adrenaline would start to flow, and I'd feel alive. The gym was my solace, a stress release that I couldn't live without.

 But this feeling never lasted. After six weeks or so of heavy training the 3 invigorating jolt would eventually turn into skin-crawling dread. My stomach would churn, I'd get nauseous, and sometimes I'd even get the runs (not exactly conducive to a heavy squat workout, believe me). Then after the workout I'd come home and knock out on the couch for an hour. I should've known something was wrong, but I had to keep pushing at the gym or everything I'd worked for would be lost-no pain, no gain, right?

 Wrong! At that point in time, when my euphoria turned into nausea, I should've switched to a maintenance routine-cut down the sets a bit and quit going to all-out failure-periodization, as it's called. (Actually, what I should've done was take at least a week off and then go to the maintenance program, but that's impossible for most headstrong young pumpers.)

 The point is, when you find no pleasure in the pain, it may be time to back off a bit. You shouldn't force yourself to live with impending anxiety. Go easy for as long as it takes for that need to return-when pain feels like a competitive friend, not a discouraging foe.

 Remember, you work out because you love it. That's the pleasure principle. When loving it turns to loathing it, pull back on the reins. Your nervous system will thank you, you'll reach new levels of development during your next intensity phase, and you'll enjoy making the iron a big part of the rest of your life.

January 1 - 2013
How to Get in Shape Injury Free - Rotator Cuff Exercises

 2013 has finally arrived and with a new year comes new goals and accomplishments to be set and reached. Being the biggest supplement reviews, questions and answers resource on the internet today, we are here to help you reach your health and fitness goals! Millions of visitors have gained knowledge and shared their experience with our community and we're looking ahead to the

next million and beyond. We strongly encourage you to browse our unlimited resources dealing with not just supplementation but exercise, nutrition and your well-being. We provide the tools and support, all you have to do is take the first step and never look back. We're here for you, for 2013 and beyond!

 To continue with our monthly BLOG tradition, we will deal with a popular topic that we are faced with each day in our inbox from visitors just like you. This time we dive into how to correctly perform rotator cuff exercise to strengthen your shoulder joint and help prevent injuries with your resistance training.

 including rotator cuff exercises in your workout routine is essential for both men and women of all levels of experience. The cuff muscles are all too often neglected, leading to shoulder injury. When it comes to strengthening the rotator cuff, many trainers demonstrate the exercises with the elbow elevated at 90-degrees, perpendicular to the body, in the so-called "high-five" position. However, in my opinion as a shoulder surgeon, this is not the ideal position to work the rotator cuff muscles, for two scientific reasons.

 #1 The external rotation exercise works the infraspinatus and teres minor muscles, which attach at the back of the scapula (or shoulder blade). The internal rotation exercise develops the subscapularis muscle attached to the front of the scapula. When these muscles contract, the humerus bone of the upper arm is rotated outward or inward. The anatomic axis of these muscles is with the elbow close to the side of your body. In other words, this is their preferred mechanical state. Doing the rotation exercises with the elbow elevated at 90-degrees is a less favorable position for these muscles.

 #2 If you have a shoulder injury, the "high-five" position makes the joint vulnerable. Doing exercises with the arm in this position can irritate the rotator cuff, causing impingement or tendonitis. So, doing rotator cuff exercises in the high-five position can actually create the shoulder problem that you 're trying to prevent. What s more, if you are trying to rehabilitate a damaged rotator cuff, doing the exercises with elbow elevated is counterproductive, and can make the injury worse. The bottom line? If you wish to build your rotator cuff in the safest biomechanical way, you II choose my method: Do the internal and external rotation exercises using a cable-pulley or a rubber exercise band, with your elbow close to the side of your body.


Rotator Cuff Exercises

The Pleasure Principle

MARCH 14th
Pre-Training Nerves

Cancer Prevention

MAY 9th
Alpha Lipoic Acid

JUNE 3rd
Compatible Training

2012 BLOG Archives

Healthy Recipes Ideas
Milk for Athletes
Milk for Athletes
Watermelon Benefits
Speed Workouts
Squat Routines
The Best Pull-Down
Speed of Reps
Ginger Root Benefits
Are MRP Shakes Useful?
Breathing during Presses
Circadian Rhythms?


2011 BLOG Archive

Benefits of Hummus
Staying Committed
Improving Bench-Press
Bench Press Warm-ups
Benefits of Vitamin E
Dieting and Sodium
Are you Over Training?
Best Fruit Choices
Carbs for Training
Sleep & Valerian Root
Post-Workout Meals
Windows of Oppurtunity


2010 BLOG Archive

Tips to Get in Shape
Self Evaluation
Top 10 Dieting Tips
Beat Overtraining
Stretch Marks
Perfect Midsection
Training Intensity
Immune System
Supplement Benefits
Strength Performance
Ginseng Supplements
Alternative Proteins


2009 BLOG Archive

New Years Resolutions
Supplement Essentials
Pregnancy & Fitness
Elbows In or Out?
Biceps Training
Making Solid Gains
How High is Too High?
Descending Sets
Mental Pump Up!
Lagging Triceps!
Learn from Watching!


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