Best of June 2017
Welcome to the June edition of our Best of the Month series. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best new health- and performance-related research, articles, podcasts, and videos that we found on the internet over the past month. By no means is this list exhaustive, just some of the things that we came across and liked from June 2017. As always, we appreciate all of the love and critiques that we get from you guys, and we appreciate your continued support and passing along of this information!
Here are a few of the big takeaways that we got from the info this month:
- Coconut oil won’t kill you, nor will any other saturated fats (but don’t forget that whole moderation thing). Continue to eat and cook foods in coconut oil if you like it and feel good with it.
- Manual therapy is neither the ultimate healing tool, nor simply a useless way of placeboing people. While we certainly don’t fully understand the mechanisms of how manual therapies work, they undoubtedly can be beneficial in getting people to feel less pain/tightness, increasing ROM, and returning people to the activities that they love.
- Showing up to the gym every single day and killing ourselves has a romantic feeling. But in reality, it wears us down, decreases our quality of life, and can ultimately prevent us from reaching our goals. We need to find a balance in our training and lifestyle between working harder and working smarter. Different situations call for different approaches, and we need to be fully aware of when to utilize each.
- Having an optimal mindset is without a doubt one of the most important factors in predicting whether we will be successful in our goals, no matter whether we want to simply lose 20lbs or win a gold medal at the Olympics. Mindset controls how we perceive the work that we do, and it ultimately will decide how far we can go.
- The vast majority of recovery tools and training aids do not work the same for everybody. Whereas one person may feel great and be able to perform better after an ice bath, for another athlete it may do absolutely nothing. We need to look at ourselves and the athletes we work with as unique individuals. When it doubt, try things, continue doing what works and get rid of the things that don’t!
Okay, enough from me, here is our Best of June 2017:
- Lately we’ve been reading a lot of the research reviews and breakdowns that Adel Moussa has been putting together over at SuppVersity. Here are a few of our favorites from the last month:
When strength coaches are working with athletes, it is vitally important that they know whether a training program is working or not. Typically, in order to assess whether a program is working well, strength coaches will implement regular strength testing on benchmark exercises. However, as this important review shows, many environmental factors can influence the result of a strength test. These factors can have a surprisingly big effect, which is a huge problem when high-level athletes are involved, because they will only make small gains in strength over a training program. Failure to make sure that strength or athletic performance tests are always performed under the exact same conditions can therefore deceive us into thinking that a training program has worked (when it has not) or not worked (when it has). ——————– #sandcresearch #strengthandconditioning #strengthtraining #strength #sportsscience #biomechanics #research #performance #science #infographic #infographics #reliability #internalvalidity #testretestreliability #validity #testing
- We love the work that Chris Beardsley has been doing lately. He takes some complicated sports science and breaks it down into easy to follow graphs and explanations. His Instagram is a must-follow if you’re interested in performance physiology and sports science:
- Some still feel that placebo is a dirty word, when in reality, it’s one of the most important tools that we can use. Those that understand how to control mindset and perception are most oftentimes those that get the most out of themselves and others. In this particular study, they looked at the role that mindset and placebo play in perceived exertion during exercise:
- Yet more awesome sports research infographics from Yann Le Meur over at YLM Sports Science. Please follow him on social media, his work is doing a great job of bringing complicated research to the masses. This month he put out some really cool new infographics looking at evidence-based predictors of athletic talent, psychological predictors of injury, and a comparison of periodized vs. non-periodized training for maximal strength:
- A new research article looking at the difference between addressing the foot and the knee when it comes to the treatment of patellofemoral pain. Interesting findings:
- This study looked at the effects of cold water immersion (ice baths) on recovery in Olympic weightlifters. Two interesting conclusions were drawn from the data. First, overall they found that CWI did not help with recovery. Second (and more important in my opinion), they found that results were incredibly different between participants and some responded really well to CWI while others didn’t. Shows that CWI, like most recovery tools, should be assigned on a case-by-case basis depending on how the athlete responds to it (if it makes you feel better do it, if not, don’t):
- If you were anywhere near the performance/health/nutrition world this month you undoubtedly heard about the new USA TODAY article (backed by American Heart Association recommendations) entitled “Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy.” The AHA’s basic argument was that coconut oil is almost entirely composed of fat (specifically saturated fat) and that because of that, it isn’t a healthy food to consume. This not only reinforces the AHA’s biases towards vegetable oils, but it’s reinforces a poor line of thinking when it comes to determining what is “healthy” and “not healthy” to consume. We read a number of awesome articles that dove deeper into these claims, but this one from Onnit‘s Sean Hyson was our favorite:
- On a similar note, this month we also saw an incredibly in-depth and well-thought-out article looking into sugar. As with fat, sugar is a very contentious topic these days, as some people feel that it’s fine and can easily be integrated into a healthy diet, whereas other people feel that we should 100% remove it and that it’s a dangerous drug. As always, the truth lies somewhere in between. Brian St. Pierre and Krista Scott-Dixon break down sugar, what it does in the body, why it’s important (and maybe not as bad as we thought it was), but also in what situations it can get us in trouble:
- Blood flow restriction (BFR) is all the rage these days, and for good reason. There is some pretty cool research showing it’s effects particularly when it comes to building muscle as lower training loads. But is it safe to wrap a cuff around a limb, cut off a large chunk of blood flow to the area, and then workout? The Barbell Physio Dr. Zach Long does a nice job of looking into it:
- Yes, yes, and more yes to this article. In the last few months/years it’s become really cool in the physio world to bash manual therapy and dismiss it as simply a fancy placebo that somehow we are using to con patients into feeling better. This couldn’t be further from the truth. That being said, we also really don’t fully understand how manual therapy works, and many of the proposed mechanisms that we’ve had have since been found to be false. Dr. Doug Kechijian, in his recent article for Resilient Performance Physical Therapy, address all of these ideas beautifully and comes to a very sensible stance on the role of manual therapy:
- This month Mike Reinold gave us his 6 favorite hip mobility drills and we love all of them. Check out the videos and give them a try:
- Biceps tendinopathy can be one of the most frustrating things for an athlete to deal with. Oftentimes it feels like any upper body training will exacerbate symptoms and no matter what they do, it won’t go away. This month Jason Eure wrote a killer article addressing biceps tendinopathy and some of the best strategies for effectively training through it:
- In order to come up with an effective treatment strategy for any condition, we have to understand the underlying physiology behind it. Marcos Lopez does a great job of not only presenting some background understanding of low back pain, but also how he was able to use that knowledge to develop a successful intervention for a patient. Great stuff here for any practitioner to check out:
- Our warmup is a great opportunity to set the stage for an awesome and productive training session. Unfortunately many athletes neglect this time or drag out their warmup unnecessarily. Andrew Millett give us a great template for how to approach our warmup, with specific test-intervention-retest strategies for improving mobility and getting our nervous system firing on all cylinders:
- There are various communities around the world that have figured out how to live unusually long, healthy, and happy lives. We have labeled these areas as “blue zones”. Okinawa, Japan happens to be one of these communities. Matt McLeod takes a look at what the people of Okinawa are doing right and why they are able to live so long. All of the things that McLeod looks at are things that we can address in our own daily lives as well:
- One of the hardest aspects of training/diet/life is understanding when to work smarter, when to push harder, and when you really have to do both. This month Nia Shanks wrote an incredible article looking at just that. She uses training and diet as her main examples, but the concepts can be applied to almost any aspect of life:
- Dan Pope of Fitness Pain Free begins his two-part series looking at the seven most common reasons why your shoulders get hurt. This is all great info and we are looking forward to part 2 of this post:
Excellent Podcasts & Videos
- Few people in the performance nutrition world are as sought after as Mike Dolce. He has quickly become the go-to guy for MMA fighters to use to safely cut weight while maintaining optimal performance. In this episode of Barbell Shrugged, the guys have an awesome conversation with Dolce about optimizing diet/nutrition for ultimate performance. We really enjoyed this podcast:
- We’ve been huge fans of Mark Divine and his book Unbeatable Mind. He recently began doing a podcast and this month he had two amazing guests. First he had real live superhuman Wim Hof on to talk about using breath and the cold to perform your best. The next podcast was with adventurer Erik Weihenmayer. I first heard about Erik this month on a great episode of the Joe Rogan Experience that’s worth checking out, so I was excited to hear his conversation with Mark Divine. Weihenmayer is a blind man who has scaled all seven summits and kayaked down the Grand Canyon on his own. He is a super inspirational guy who doesn’t put limitations on what is possible. This podcast could quickly become a new favorite:
- With eight CrossFit Games appearances and a win in 2008, it’s safe to say that Jason Khalipa is one of the fittest human beings on planet Earth. This month he sat down with Tim Ferriss for an interesting conversation on what it takes to train and compete at the highest level, the necessity of finding a “why”, some tips for developing a sustainable workout program, and much more:
- A couple of really cool podcasts this month from Scott Iardella. First, he talks with PJ Nestler, the man who trains some of the top MMA athletes, on sport-specific training and some of the best and most underutilized exercises. Next he talks with Dr. Kathy Dooley, a chiropractor who dedicated her career to truly learning anatomy, and then teaching it to practitioners. She is incredibly smart and just hearing her talk about the importance of really knowing your shit had me reaching for the anatomy book:
- We’ve become huge fans of the videos that FXNL Media has been putting out looking at important topics in medicine. They have great people explaining complex issues in clear and concise ways. This month they had Dr. Shawn Thistle on to debunk some of the most common chiropractic myths, and we think he did a good job of it:
- There is so much discussion and debate about the tools that we use as physios to get patients to feel/perform better. The research is always advancing, and our understanding is continually improving. Mike Reinold sat down with Phil Page at a recent conference to discuss the research specifically when it comes to kinesiology tape, self-MFR, and topical analgesics:
That’s it folks. I hope you enjoyed our Best of June 2017 and can use this information to further your own (and the people you work with’s) pursuit of higher performance! As always, we appreciate your feedback and comments, so either comment below or hit the contact button up top and shoot us an email. If you enjoyed this edition of our Best of the Month, or any of our other awesome original content and compilations, please subscribe to our free email service below!
– Dr. Trent Anderson DC CSCS
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