Friday, February 27, 2015

The Latest Exercise Science: Weights During Pregnancy, Barbells for Bariatric Surgery Patients and Hypertensives, Mouthguards & Performance Garments and Much More

Performance garments appear to be particularly beneficial for female trainees.
I have to admit that there are no real "block buster" studies to talk about. This does not mean, though, that there were not interesting new papers on exercise science at all. Instead of lengthy elaborations on one or two papers I will thus provide you with a concise overview of the most recent papers from the The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research - an overview that includes only papers that have already been published. A review of those that are still ahead of print will follow as soon as the server problems over at Lippincott are settled and I can access them ;-)
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Read the Latest Ex. Science Update
  • Physical conditioning for NASCAR pit crew members and hamstring flexibility - Ferguson, Davis, Lightfoot, and Timothy published a paper on a topic which may not look very interesting for most of you. What stands out, however, is the fact that the scientists results showed that hamstring flexibility (p = 0.015), a parameter that is also relevant for soldiers, where it is associated with decreased lower extremity overuse and other injuries in athletes and normal individuals (Worrell. 1991; Boden. 2000), is a significant predictor of NASCAR Sprint Cup Pit Crew athlete performance. 
  • Barbells for bariatric surgery patients? If that's a question, the answer is "yes!" That's at least what the results of a recent study by Huck (2014) indicates. The purpose of the corresponding preliminary study was to evaluate the feasibility of a 12-week supervised, resistance training (RT) program and its short-term effects on physical fitness and functional strength for this population.

    A total of 15 patients with morbid obesity who underwent bariatric surgery participated in this quasi-experimental study. Patients were divided into 2 groups: 7 patients (age: 53.6 ± 8.2 years, body mass index [BMI]: 37.7 ± 6.3 kg·m−2) in an RT program and 8 patients (age: 44.0 ± 9.7 years, BMI: 32.7 ± 4.2 kg·m−2) following usual care.
    Figure 1: While the beneficial effects on body comp. (left) did not differ significantly between the two groups, the beneficial effects on VO2max and the sit-to-stand test (STS) were (Huck. 2014).
    While no group characteristics were significantly different at baseline, only the RT group exhibited significant improvements in VO2max (p = 0.025) and functional strength, as well as the sit-to-stand test (STS | p = 0.025). Furthermore, there were non-significant advantages in terms of the body composition.

    It should thus be obvious that losing weight alone is not as effective as a combination of the surgery induced weight loss with supervised resistance training to safely facilitate improvements in strength and physical functioning, increasing the patient's capacity to perform activities of daily living after bariatric surgery.
  • Moderate resistant training is as safe for pregnant women as it is for non-pregnant women - At least when we use the differential cardiorespiratory responses in pregnant and nonpregnant women during the execution of resistance exercises for upper and lower body as a safety measure.

    How To Get Rid Of Pregnancy Weight? Exercise, Diet Or A Combination Of Both? What Works And Is Safe? Plus: Full Breastfeeding Alone Sheds 12kg of Pregnancy Weight | read more.
    According to a recent study by Bgeginski, et al. (2014) the pressure response to exercise is unaffected by pregnancy. Therefore the simple resistance training protocol with pec dec flies and bilateral leg extensions that was used in Roberta Beginski's latest study should be considered "safe" for pregnant women. Whether the same goes for heavy squats and deadlifts is yet imho questionable. In view of the fact that Brankston et al. (2004) were able to demonstrate that resistance exercise that involved squats (with outturned knees), military press, knee extension, hamstring curl, bench press, lateral pull down, seated row, and triceps press decreases the need for insulin in overweight women with gestational diabetes mellitus, a light resistance training protocol should not be considered a no-go for pregnant women.
  • Combining strength and endurance training is an effective anti-hypertensive" - That's the result of a recent study by Menêses et al. (2014) which shows that regardless of the order of endurance and resistance exercises, combined exercise sessions (endurance (50–60% of heart rate reserve) followed by resistance exercise (50% of 1 repetition maximum) (E + R), and resistance followed by endurance exercise (R + E)) abolish increases in BP observed in a control condition due to a reduction in peripheral vascular resistance and increases in cardiac output.
    Figure 2: BP (mmHg) changes during rest vs. exercise in 19 hypertensive women (Menêses. 2014).
    It is thus only logical that the authors recommend that "combined exercises should be prescribed to individuals with hypertension to control their BP, regardless of the order they are accomplished" (Menêses. 2014).
  • Correct you jaw posture w/ custom made mouthguard may improve your exercise performance - For the 10 well-trained amateur road cyclists (34 ± 6 years) who performed an incremental cardiopulmonary exercise test to exhaustion on a frictional braked cycle ergometer in a recent study by Piero et al (2014), using a custom made mouthguard resulted in significant increases in work rate at respiratory compensation point (281 ± 32 vs. 266 ± 19 W, p = 0.04) and at maximal exercise (353 ± 44 vs. 339 ± 38 W, p = 0.004).
    Figure 3: Effects of wearing a custom made mouthguard on maximal wattage and wattage at the respiratory compensation point (RCP) in 10 well-trained cyclists during std. exercise tests (Piero. 2014). 
    As Piero et al. point out, "[t]he PM also resulted in an average 8% lower Δ/ΔWR (9.5 ± 1.1 vs. 10.3 ± 1.1 ml·W−1·min−1, p = 0.06)", a result of which the authors emphasize that it is "to the best of [theri] knowledge" the first to prove that a dentistry-designed mouthguard has significant beneficial effects on the physical performance of road cyclists. 
I've covered one of the most exciting studies on the ergogenic effects of citrulline malate that was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in a previous article with the title "8g/day Citrulline Increase Leg Workout Performance - More Reps on Leg Press, Hack Squat & Leg Ext. in Exp. Gymrats". 
And there is more: Hooper et al. (2014) confirm the beneficial effects of athletic performance garments on the thermoregulatory response during exercise in a study that found "dramatic increases in the comfort of P[erformance] garments" during anaerobic tasks and "also revealed dramatic sex differences, where women seem to be much more sensitive to the benefits of P garments" (Hooper. 2014).

And Scott et al. (2014) are able to show that a hypoxic stimulus during high-intensity resistance exercise does not alter physical performance during repetitions and sets or affect how strenuous exercise is perceived to be. Practically speaking this means that "[t]his novel training strategy can be used without adversely affecting the physical training dose experienced and may provide benefits over the equivalent [normoxic] training" (Scott. 2014) | Comment!
  • Bgeginski, Roberta, Bruna Pereira Almada, And Luiz Fernando Martins Kruel. "Cardiorespiratory Responses Of Pregnant And Non-Pregnant Women During Resistance Exercise." Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research/National Strength & Conditioning Association (2014).
  • Boden, Barry P., et al. "Mechanisms of anterior cruciate ligament injury." Orthopedics 23.6 (2000): 573-578.
  • Brankston, Gabrielle N., et al. "Resistance exercise decreases the need for insulin in overweight women with gestational diabetes mellitus." American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 190.1 (2004): 188-193.
  • Ferguson, David P., Adam Davis, and J. Timothy Lightfoot. "Optimizing the Physical Conditioning of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pit Crew Athlete." Journal of strength and conditioning research/National Strength & Conditioning Association (2014).
  • Hartig, Donald E., and John M. Henderson. "Increasing hamstring flexibility decreases lower extremity overuse injuries in military basic trainees." The American journal of sports medicine 27.2 (1999): 173-176.
  • Hooper, David R., et al. "Synthetic Garments Enhance Comfort, Thermoregulatory Response and Athletic Performance Compared with Traditional Cotton Garments." Journal of strength and conditioning research/National Strength & Conditioning Association (2014).
  • Huck, Corey J. "Effects of Supervised Resistance Training on Fitness And Functional Strength in Patients Succeeding Bariatric Surgery." Journal of strength and conditioning research/National Strength & Conditioning Association (2014).
  • Menêses, Annelise Lins, Et Al. "Influence Of Endurance And Resistance Exercise Order On The Post-Exercise Hemodynamic Responses In Hypertensive Women." Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research/National Strength & Conditioning Association (2014).
  • Piero, Malpezzi, et al. "Influence of a custom made maxillary mouthguardguard guard on gas exchange parameters during incremental exercise in amateur road cyclists." (2014).
  • Scott, Brendan R., et al. "Physical performance during high-intensity resistance exercise in normoxic and hypoxic conditions." Journal of strength and conditioning research/National Strength & Conditioning Association (2014).
  • Worrell, Teddy W., et al. "Comparison of lsokinetic Strength and Flexibility Measures Between Hamstring Injured and Noninjured Athletes." Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 13.3 (1991): 118-125.