Best of January 2017
Welcome back, here’s our first Best of Month of 2017. We hope the year is off to a great start for you and that you’re already exceeding your own expectations and goals for the year. If not, that’s okay too, there’s plenty of time left. The real success (and goal) comes in being better today than we were yesterday. We hope that the information in this review will help you to do that.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best new 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 January 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:
- Being fit/healthy and performing at a high level is hard. There are no short cuts or quick fixes. Learning to delay gratification is a key to being successful.
- Our bodies are designed to have constantly changing environmental stimuli, and the more time that we can spend in adverse conditions (such as cold/hot), the better off we’ll be.
- Science can only point us in the right direction, it can’t tell us what our experience will be. The only way to truly know if something works or doesn’t work for us is to experiment with it ourselves.
- Quality sleep and stress management (they go hand in hand) are crucial for us getting the most out of our training, and ultimately they determine to a large extent how we feel and perform.
- Having a regular mental practice is critical for improving every aspect of our lives.
Here is our Best of January 2017:
- Interesting study looking at the effect on muscle-building blood markers after strength training, with and without drinking alcohol. The results interestingly showed that alcohol ingestion may blunt muscle growth more so in men than in women:
Hypertrophy arises because of a sustained excess of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) over-and-above muscle protein breakdown. MPS can be elevated by both mechanical loading and protein consumption, and the effects of each seem to be additive. Previous research has identified a phenomenon known as the “muscle-full” effect. This is the idea that when amino acid delivery reaches a certain level (approximately 20g of protein), muscle cells cease to use them as a substrate for MPS, but instead divert them toward oxidation. Even so, previous studies investigating the "muscle-full effect" have used only lower body workouts, and have not assessed the effect of bodyweight. So until now, we did not know whether whole-body workouts or heavier people (both which use more muscle mass during training) would require >20g of protein. This study investigated both of these questions! ——————- #sandcresearch #strengthandconditioning #strengthtraining #strength #sportsscience #biomechanics #muscle #muscleproteinsynthesis #mps #hypertrophy #protein #supplements #postworkout #gains #workout Thanks to Dave Hughes, PhD for collaborating on this infographic
- The last couple of months, we’ve been profiling some of Chris Beardsley‘s work with interpreting strength and conditioning/muscle physiology research. His Instagram is such a good resource, as it’s full of charts and graphs along with explanations of results and conclusions. This allows any to save tons of time and energy by not having to dissect and reread these articles over and over again to come up with a takeaway point. If you don’t already, follow him on Instagram by clicking on the link below:
- More research supporting a dynamic movement warm-up over foam rolling before a workout. Getting your body moving (increasing body temperature and priming the nervous system) is the best way to increase ROM and decrease feelings of stiffness:
- Interesting study looking at the effect of manipulation of the talocrural joint on performance in athletes with chronic ankle instability. They found a significant increase in performance in a couple of different tests in the group that was manipulated over the sham group:
- Yann Le Meur moved his sports science infographics over to a new site this past month, and we highly recommend that you check it out- YLM Sports Science. This month he put out some really interesting new infographics:
- New review and meta-analysis looking into what happens when multiple manual therapists try to feel/find the same trigger points. Results show that there is very little agreement between therapists. Depending on your own biases, there are a number of ways of looking at this information. Definitely food for thought/discussion:
- This article, from James Krieger and Bret Contreras is one of our favorite recent articles, and the message is so important right now. We get so obsessed with the conclusions of research studies that we often forget that in almost every study, the outcomes are all over the board. Just because “X” may have on average increased/decreased people’s “Y” by “Z”, doesn’t mean that everyone in the study experienced that. Oftentimes subjects actually have the opposite (or no change in) outcome of what the masses of the study experienced. And, even more importantly, just because a study had an average measured experience, it doesn’t mean that you will have that experience. Training, recovery, medicine, and performance are all very unique to the individual, and no study can tell you what will work for you. You may use the science to point you in a certain direction, but at the end of the day, you have to try different things and see what your experiences with them are:
- Really good article from Dr. Joel Seedman, dissecting single leg RDLs and unilateral hip hinges. These are such important exercises for the entire body- building stability, mobility, strength, and symmetry. They’re also exercises that even the most advanced of athletes commonly mess up. No matter what level you’re at, you’ll learn something from this article:
- A brilliant, and in-depth, look at what tendinopathies are and how to train around them. While this article, from Jason Eure, specifically focuses on the petellar tendon, many of the principles presented can be applied to any chronic tendon pain. A great read for clinicians, coaches, and athletes alike:
- While we usually try to shy away from “Top Fitness Experts…” lists, this list of core exercises, compiled by Sarah Ellis Duvall, is one that’s definitely worth checking out. There’s a mix of both traditional exercises, and new ones that you probably haven’t seen before. These exercises are all great for building stability and strength, and each has an accompanying video which makes them easy to learn:
- Please, even if you don’t read this post now, at least open it up and bookmark it. Dr. Jarod Hall has put together an absolutely incredible list of resources for any clinician to read. If you’re a student, the info in this post will probably teach you more valuable lessons than you will learn in your entire 3-5 year program. If you’re already a doc/clinician, these articles will most likely question a lot of your beliefs and how you practice. While this information undoubtedly supports Hall’s baises (and maybe not yours), you still should read every article on this list. He even has it split up into weekly “assigned reading”, which we think that it’s the perfect way to approach taking in all of this info:
- In a world that’s obsessed with quick fixes and instant gratification, the ability to understand and practice delayed gratification has become the difference between those who succeed and those who fail. Shane Trotter dives into this topic and looks at not only how to create this skill in your own life, but also how and why it’s so important to teach to young people. Whether you’re a coach or an athlete, this article is worth checking out:
- Dr. Zach Long, with the help of some knowledgeable friends, has put together a great list of exercises for addressing muscular imbalances. These exercises are not only great for helping to get out of pain, but also for decreasing energy sucks in your movement and building efficiency and performance:
- Sian Smale and Alicia Rayner have been putting out some of the absolute best resources for approaching specific pain and injuries, and this month, their look at athletic groin pain was no different. Whether you work with people who experience groin pain, or you’ve experienced it yourself, this in-depth, but approachable, series is definitely worth checking out:
- It’s getting to that time of year where the New Year’s excitement is wearing off and many people’s health/fitness/performance goals are going down the shitter. Justin Kompf explores why it’s so important to accept the fact that being healthy is difficult and what to do about it. He explores the mental aspects of making big changes, sticking to a routine, not allowing negative thoughts to control (dismantle) our progress, and how we can mentally reframe our thinking so that our journey is a positive (and successful) experience:
Excellent Podcasts & Videos
- You guys know that Max Shank is one of our absolute favorite people in the fitness/personal development world. He not only has one of the coolest philosophical outlooks, but he also can back it up with some rock-solid information and beastly performances. This month, he was on the Barbell Shrugged podcast to discuss addressing and fixing shoulder dysfunction and his book Simple Shoulder Solution. If you haven’t yet, we strongly recommend that you check this book out (here’s the review that we did of it when it came out). If you struggle with shoulder pain, poor mobility, or simply want to perform better, this conversation is for you:
- We focus so much on our physical training, yet there is still a stigma attached to training the mental aspects of performance. Bottom line though is you can’t be your best self without training your mind. We’ve shared quite of few of Michael Gervais‘ Finding Mastery podcasts with you guys, but this was one of our absolute favorites. He has SEALFIT founder Mark Divine on the podcast to talk mindfulness, training the mind through movement, visualization, mental preparation, and so much more. This is a must-listen-to episode:
- It’s always a treat when Joe Rogan has Dr. Rhonda Patrick on the podcast. She is one of the very best in the world at taking complex diet and health research and turning it into usable information. In this podcast they discuss inflammation, the mood benefits of difficult exercise, eating/sleeping with your circadian rhythm, and a whole host of new compounds to promote health and performance:
- Sleep is one of the absolute most important aspects for performing our best. We spend all day breaking down our bodies and learning new skills, but the only way that we can capitalize on our training is by getting good deep sleep. Too many people end up not becoming their best because they lack proper sleeping habits. The guys from Barbell Shrugged address this with former Navy Seal, medical doctor, and sleep expert Dr. Kirk Parsley. They go deep into sleep, stress management, meditation, much more:
- You guys who follow us know that we’re huge fans of Wim Hof and the ideas that he’s spreading on how to control and enhance our physiology to be able to perform and feel our best. But what happens when an investigative journalist goes to a Wim Hof retreat to try to debunk him. Scott Carney did just that, and what this self-professed “regular dude” found was that in a short period of time, he was able to feel and perform better than he ever had before. This month Scott Iardella had Carney on the podcast to discuss his experiences with breathing and exposure to extreme environments, and why everybody should, at the very least, start taking cold showers:
- Squats and Deadlifts are arguably the most important whole-body movements for developing strength. Each one has a ton of different variations, with each variation emphasizing a different part of the body. It can get confusing sometimes to know why to choose a certain variation over another, whether it be for performance, or as a modification to avoid pain. Dr. Ryan DeBell, and Dr. Dan Pope put out these awesome videos this month looking at exactly that:
That’s it folks. I hope you enjoyed our Best of January 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!
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