|Cannabis is bad for athletes,... well, unless they're asthmatics; and in that case they'd better use beta-agonists, which have welcome previously discussed ergogenic "side effects".|
In today's installment we'll deal with cannabis, shoe cushings and the brain building (BDNF boosting effects) of hypertrophy-oriented resistance training... and, not to forget, the fallacy of taking into account only exercise-induced stressors, when you periodize your training.
- Cannabis, how bad is it for athletes? (Kennedy 2017) -- While most serious athletes would probably never even think about smoking dope, many wanna-be fitness athletes don't want to or can no longer stay away from cannabis. For this group of people, in which some even claim their physical performance would benefit from THC abuse, it is quite unfortunate that there are only 15 published studies have investigated the effects of THC in association with exercise protocols.
Figure 1: Don't lie to yourself, that pot you're smoking ain't ergogenic, bro.
Moreover, the review by Kennedy highlights that some subjects could not complete an exercise protocol because of adverse reactions (e.g. palpitations, or sudden weakness) to cannabis. Rather than to take cannabis, athletes who have become addicted to cannabis should and could use exercise to reduce their cannabis cravings; after all, Baily et al. (2012) were able to show that cannabis cravings decrease sign. with moderate exercise.
- Shoe cushioning injury-protective only during unexpected movements (Fu 2017) -- Even though the sneaker industry tries to generate the opposite impression, to date, few rigorous scientific studies have been conducted to understand the impact mechanics and muscle activation characteristics of different landing tasks and the influence of shoe properties.
Barefoot or Shod? A Question of Faith & Science: Science Says It's Safe and Economic, Practitioners Say "It's Making Me Faster & Helped Me Get Rid of Nagging Injuries!" | more
As already hinted at in the bolded lead to this bullet-point, the beneficial effects of an extra cushioning were observed in the male collegiate basketball players, who performed bipedal landings from self-initiated and unexpected drops (SIDL and UDL) from a 60-cm height wearing highly cushioned basketball shoes (Bball) and less cushioned control shoes (CC) in the study at hand, were observed only in the unexpected condition.
More specifically, both peak vertical ground reaction forces (GRF) and heel acceleration were significantly lower in Bball compared to CC. Furthermore, the EMGRMS of TA, RF, VL, and BF muscles showed a significant decrease in Bball compared to CC within the 50 ms after contact.
- Hypertrophy training ain't making you dumb, but smart (Marston 2017) -- Previously, the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF | promotes the survival of nerve cells (neurons) by playing a role in the growth, maturation (differentiation), and maintenance of these cells) has been shown to increase in an intensity-dependent manner in response to aerobic exercise. In the absence of evidence from resistance training studies, however, you would often read that this increase in the "brain building hormone" was exclusive to aerobic training. That this is by no means the case has just been shown in a recent study in eleven untrained to intermediately trained males (age: 25.0 ± 1.3 yr) and five untrained females (age: 23.2 ± 1.1 yr).
All subjects undertook the same two bouts of resistance exercise: strength (five sets of five repetitions, 180 s recovery) and hypertrophy (three sets of ten repetitions, 60 s recovery), both implemented to fatigue to examine the effect on serum BDNF and blood lactate levels immediately post-, and 30 min post-exercise.
Figure 2: Absolute (left) and changes in BDNF level (right) in the two study groups (Marston 2017).
The fact that the levels declined non-significantly after 30 minutes should not scare you, by the way, similar effects have been observed for the allegedly healthier "cardio" (=aerobic) training in the past, as well.
- Bailey, Stephen P., Evan Adler, and Laura Hamilton. "Impact Of Aerobic Exercise Of Varying Intensities On Craving In Cannabis-dependent Adults." Medicine in Sciene and Sports and Exercise. Vol. 44, 2012.
- Buckner, et al. "The General Adaptation Syndrome: Potential misapplications to resistance exercise." Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. Available online 21 March 2017.
- Fu, et al. "Shoe Cushioning Reduces Impact and Muscle Activation during Landings from Unexpected, but not Self-initiated, Drops." Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. Available online 21 March 2017.
- Kennedy, et al. "Cannabis: exercise performance and sport. A systematic review." Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. Available online 21 March 2017.
- Marston, et al. "Intense resistance exercise increases peripheral brain-derived neurotrophic factor." Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. Available online 21 March 2017.