|Whey protein can help you shed body fat while upping your PB on squats.|
- 24h-pre = optimal timing for performance enhancing low-intensity 'pre-conditioning' (Tsoukos. 2017) -- In their latest study, US and Greek researchers examined the often-overlooked delayed effects of a power type training session on explosive performance.
Seventeen well-trained male power and team-sport athletes (age: 22.7+/-5.5 y, height: 181+/-8 cm, body mass: 80.7+/-8.6 kg, body fat: 9.2+/-1.7 %, 1-RM half-squat: 163+/-29 kg) performed four sessions (2 experimental and 2 control) one week apart in a randomized and counterbalanced order. Explosive performance was assessed before, 24 and 48 h following a low-volume, power-type training session (5 x 4 jump squats at 40% 1RM with 3 min rest), as well as before and after 24 and 48 h of rest (control).
Figure 1: Time course of changes in countermovement jump (CMJ) performance (Tsoukos. 2017).
In that the scientists observations that, compared to baseline, the reactive strength index (RSI) improved by 10.7 +/- 2.1% only at 24 h, provides additional evidence that 'pre-conditioning' w/ a low volume workout 24h before a competition is the way to go "before competition or a high-quality training session to improve their performances" (Tsoukos. 2017).
- Whey for strength, no carbohydrate for endurance improvement while dieting? (Wesley. 2017) -- A recent study from the College of Charleston yielded not on, but two noteworthy results: (a) the pre- and post-supplementation with 2x28g of whey protein will non-significantly enhance your body fat loss (over isocaloric carbohydrate control) and help you maintain lean mass, and it will (b) also allow you to keep gaining strength while dieting.
In their 8-week study, Wesley et al. put sixteen resistance trained men (24+/- 1.6 years of age), who had been on a regular, consistent resistance training for at least two years prior to the onset of the study, and were currently engaging in whole body resistance training, on a combined diet + exercise (bodybuilding split style resistance-training, 60-90 min 4 days per week | Chest/Triceps, Day 2: Legs, Day 3: shoulders, Day 4: Back/Biceps) regimen. All subjects...
Table 1: Diet card for an off-day (Wesley. 2017). Figure 2: Absolute changes (kg) in lean and fat mass (Wesley. 2017). Figure 3: Changes in squat and bench press performance (Wesley. 2017).
So, whey is vastly superior? Well, I guess "vastly" would be too much. After all, not all differences are statistically significant and the higher CHO intake in the CON group even allowed for a statistically significant increase in lower body and upper body repetitions to fatigue in the CON group (p<.05). For people focussing on strength endurance, the 2x28g of whey protein are thus not necessarily the best choice. For almost all other variables gymrats are interested in (body composition, bench press & squat strength etc.), the provision of 2x28g of whey protein before and after workouts is yet the better of the two supplementation options.
Figure 4: In contrast to what you would expect from a study assessing the effects of cooling on handgrip strength, the scientists used an expensive whole body cryo-therapy device, the "Space Cabin" by the "Criomed Ltd" (de Nardi. 2017).
Don't go mad if you don't own a "Space Cabin" (see Figure 2), it's not yet worth it. After all, the question whether the results translate to more relevant muscle parts is not the only issue one can have with the study at hand. With an inter-group difference of only 1.9kg (treatment) vs. 0.52 kg (no treatment), the absolute change is very small.
But let's not get judgemental before we have at least looked at the study design: For practical reasons, the authors of the study at hand tested the change in maximum handgrip strength (JAMAR Hydraulic Hand dynamometer), not the previously mentioned quads or biceps in two-hundred healthy, who were randomly assigned to be treated with single partial-body cryotherapy (PBC) session before the test or no treatment [a placebo treatment would have been nice, but honestly, how would you do that - after all, the subjects would certainly have noticed if the Space Cabin by Criomed Ltd the scientists used (see Figure 4) was not even turned on, no?].
Figure 5: Pre- (T0) vs. post-test (T1) handrgrip strength (de Nardi. 2017).
In view of the fact that (a) grip strength is usually not the rate limiting parameter in sports, and that (b) the improvements are not exactly impressive, though, you may agree with me that the word "preliminary" are of great importance, here and that it is thus too early to conclude that "[t]he results of the study implies that PBC could be performed also before a training session or a sport competition" (de Nardi. 2017).
- De Nardi, et al. "Acute effects of partial-body cryotherapy on isometric strength: maximum handgrip strength evaluation." Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: Post Acceptance: January 20, 2017.
- Tsoukos, et al. "Delayed effects of a low volume, power-type resistance exercise session on explosive performance." Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: Post Acceptance: January 24, 2017.
- Wesley, et al. "Effect of Whey Protein in Conjunction with a Caloric-Restricted Diet and Resistance Training." Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: Post Acceptance: September 10, 2015