Strength And Balance Training, Personal Trainer in Pasadena. Schedule your class or personal training session now (323) 327-9201
Strength And Balance Training, Personal Trainer in Pasadena. Schedule your class or personal training session now (323) 327-9201
Intermittent Fasting - two things to consider
BY BRIAN FRANK
1) what “eating window” time of day is best for you?
2) Your body type and IF
I have practiced IF on an off for the past 5 years or so and while the results can be impressive, it does take some getting used to, including initial feelings of hunger and empty stomach growling. These do subside in the first weeks as your body adjusts to this new pattern of caloric intake. However, I have not seen much written about employing IF during periods of mid to high volume training and or intensity. Another area that receives little, if any, attention in the IF discussion is body type and how each may respond. I’m scratching the surface on these subjects here and will continue to expound on them in future issues of EN and ENW.
I have most often practiced and found the 16 hours of fasting with an 8 hour “food” window to be the easiest to manage with my work and workout schedule. My eating hours are being between 11 AM and 7 PM, or noon to 8 PM in the summer when I want to ride and eat later in the day. For those of you who mostly workout after work, this pattern works well and allows for consistent use of Whey/Glutamine before bed for HGH spike after fasting for 3 hours or more.
However, for those of you who do your training early in the morning, you are accustomed to working out from a fasting state, so this is not new. However, waiting until 11 or noon to begin eating is challenging from both hunger and recovery/repair perspectives. If this is how you train most of the time, shifting your 8 hour food window earlier in the day is necessary, to say 8-9 am to 4-5 PM. This allows you to take maximum advantage of your post workout recovery window, but makes for an early dinner and a long evening with no snacking. But, if you want to lean out a lot, this eating pattern works extremely well.
Still another option when workout volume and intensity are high, shortening the fasting window to 14 or even 12 hours will still give excellent results and allow you to have a long enough eating window to have a good meal after both your AM and PM workouts.
Intermittent Fasting, Body Type - another consideration
When I first became serious about weight lifting in college, I studied Bill Sheldon’s three Somatypes; Ectomorph - lean, hyper metabolism, Endomorph - naturally higher body fat, slower metabolism and the Mesomorph - the perfect mix of the two, Adonis figure, olympic athlete, etc. It was then I learned, much to my chagrin, that I am an Endomorph.
I think it’s critical to know your body type, so you know how to train and eat.
However, today Somatypes does not seem to be much discussed or applied to training and diet principles, which is unfortunate. When considering Intermittent Fasting, this should be the starting point in my mind.
Ectomorph - Being lean and maintaining your ideal weight is so easy, you can’t help it. I do not think that Ectomorphs thrive on IF. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done, but it won’t be fun! Ectomorphs are necessarily fixated on not losing weight/lean muscle mass and have to eat sufficient calories every day and always consume calories during training to avoid this problem. Over the age of 50 gradual muscle loss is a major concern that should be proactively addressed with adequate daily protein intake and avoiding long periods without food during the day.
Mesomorph - IF works well to get super lean and shed those couple of pounds that you don’t need. You are so gifted naturally, you don’t really need much help. Of course, if you do get serious about your diet and practice IF, you likely will be winning most of the time.
Endomorph - That’s me and is the most common female body type. We struggle with easy weight gain, must restrict calories and workout to prevent it. We are prone to insulin resistance, hypoglycemia and type II diabetes later in life. On the flip side, we can be fat burning machines that never bonk! Honestly, without a doubt, Intermittent fasting combined with sugar and starch restriction is what our body’s crave and thrive on! To be clear, eliminating the sugar and starchy carbs is the #1 factor, but IF specifically improves insulin function, increases HGH levels while also reducing levels of our hunger hormone, Grelin.
** These statements are not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition or give medical advice. You should consult a licensed health care professional before making significant changes to your diet or supplement routine.
NuFitPros takes your fitness goals seriously. We understand that reaching a healthy body composition is more important than simply losing weight. Our goal is to help you understand the difference and reach your goals. Call (323) 327-9201.
The lovely world of cardio, we have to love it right? Cardio has countless benefits for the human body, so it must be good for us, right? How else do you think all the celebrities stay so skinny and “toned?”
How many times have you seen people get to the gym and hop on a cardio machine and just gas themselves, and not to mention go do some resistance training right after. Or what about when someone gets done from an intense lifting session, then goes off and does an intense cardio session?
We know you’ve seen this before and we are not going to get into the psychology of why people do this because that could be a whole other article itself. We are more focused on is it optimal to perform cardio pre and post workout? With a specific focus on which cardio modality (type of cardio you do) is the best to perform to avoid the interference effect of strength, power, and hypertrophy gains?
But before we give you the answer, it’s vital that we always have to take people’s goals, activity level, overall health, and training experience into consideration before anything. So please read this with an open mind and a non-black and white answer, all or nothing approach.
When we refer to the interference effect, we are talking about the interference of strength, power, and hypertrophy gains (muscle growth) when doing cardio pre or post workout. This topic of discussion has been floating around for quite some time now, whether concurrent training is optimal or not.
We all have our biased opinions, but what is the correct cardio modality to do pre and post workout and should we even be doing cardio pre or post workouts? That is the million dollar question that many of us would like to know.
Why continue to keep robbing your hard earned gains and progress if you don’t need to. Instead, why not continue to maximize your overall potential the correct way instead of shooting yourself in the foot? As always, we bring scientific based evidence to the table to get to the bottom of these popular topics, because the research doesn’t lie folks.
Before we delve into the research, we want to quote what Brad Schoenfeld said:
“There is no one cookie-cutter recommendation I can provide that will be ideal for everyone. People have varying responses to exercise programs. Large inter-individual differences are seen in any research protocol.
Thus, in giving advice on a topic such as this, I can only provide general recommendations that must be individualized based on a variety of genetic and environmental factors. This is the essence of evidence-based practice, which should form the basis of every fitness professional’s decision making process.” (1)
We can’t agree more with this statement and we truly feel this statement is a legitimate and valid way of viewing such a topic like this one.
We are certain we can all agree that there are numerous different cardio modalities out there today. To name a few modalities that have more ground-reaction force with higher impact are:
Pretty much all the badass cardio workouts that we look forward to doing.
Cardio modalities that minimize ground-reaction forces are:
The stuff we like to watch TV on or read magazines ;)
These are all great choices whether you use them in the form of HIIT or LISS, but which modality is more optimal to prevent the interference effect and when should you do these you ask? Let’s delve into some research shall we.
Layne Norton and Jacob Wilson claim that when you choose a cardio modality such as running or sprinting after a resistance training bout, the ground-reaction force (think sprints) and distance causes more muscle damage as opposed to a modality with less impact such as cycling instead. Cycling seems to be more similar to hip and knee flexion as opposed to running because it’s biomechanically interfering with squat and leg press patterns. This muscle damage seems to be coming from the eccentric components when running and sprinting (2).
Norton and Wilson make a valid point in the essence that if you are going to do cardio post workout, make sure you do it in the form of an opposing muscle group. Let’s say you did a grueling lower body workout, you would then want to do cardio in the form of using your upper body, something like rope slams because otherwise if you go and run or do sprints you are going to get a complete interference effect and possibly get injured.
After resistance training you have mTOR (cell growth) being ramped up and protein synthesis (making of new proteins) being turned on and when you do cardio after resistance training you get such high drastic rises in AMP kinase (signaling cascade for ATP production) that it ends up shutting off protein synthesis. In easier terms, cardio after weights interferes with the muscle growth phase and a good analogy is after training you turn the faucet on for muscle growth and when too much cardio is being done or after training, it shuts the faucet off.
As for pre workout cardio, this tends to be a little trickier than post workout cardio and we say this because it really depends on a lot of factors such as: What muscle groups are you training that day? What form of cardio are you doing pre workout (low, moderate, or high intensity)? What modality will you use? Are you in a low calorie and glycogen depleted state?
A Study in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise shows 30 minutes of jogging pre workout decreases volume of spinal discs and leads to a reduction in the amount of weight you can load on your back (3). For example, if you did a moderate-high intensity cardio bout such as jogging before squats it’s probably not a good idea because it will lead to decrements in strength and negatively affect your squats. Jogging shows to have a lot of muscle damage in the quads, hams, and glutes, so this will definitely affect your squat game.
A 2012 study in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition showed extended periods of moderate volume concurrent strength, power, and endurance training interferes with explosive strength development (4). This is not something you want if you’re trying to increase your 1 rep max on squats and deadlifts.
The data is pretty clear that performing moderate-high intensity cardio pre workout will lead to decrements in strength and power with your resistance training. Perhaps doing cardio earlier in the day and performing resistance training later in the day will not have a negative impact on either the performance or the measured markers of the exercise induced growth stimulus the resistance training session will have. However, we highly encourage doing resistance training and cardio on separate days as this would be the most optimal route to go.
In a study by Wilson et al. a large body of research indicates that combining aerobic and resistance exercise (concurrent training) has a negative effect on gains in muscular strength and size (5). There is credence to the underlying concept that catabolic processes predominate to a greater extent in aerobic training, and concurrent exercise therefore has the potential to impair muscular gains.
There is even evidence that cardio can blunt the satellite cell response (helps with muscle growth) to a bout of resistance exercise and therefore potentially impair the protein-producing capacity of muscle (6). With that said, why are people still considering doing cardio pre or post workout if clearly the evidence indicates that it can potentially inhibit muscular gains, strength, and power?
Burn more calories, increase muscle, and acutely increase your metabolic rate, sounds good, right? This is where the famous HIIT cardio would come into play. When you think of HIIT, high intensity and high stress should be taken into consideration.
What we have to keep in mind is that stress has to be recovered from, just like the stress from weight training. Last time we checked HIIT cardio is done during the week along with resistance training. If you are still recovering from a HIIT cardio session to the point that it affects your ability to lift weights, then it can be detrimental to your gains. If there is a significant eccentric component (sprinting and running), or high level of impact, HIIT can cause problems in your overall training and potentially lead to chronic overuse injuries.
You have to be cautious and smart when incorporating HIIT into your training protocol because it seems that the work to rest ratios in HIIT intervals are very similar to resistance training sets and your number one focus should be on progressive resistance training.
Here are some ways to avoid the interference effect:
We believe that the research is pretty clear here when it comes to this particular topic. Clearly there is no black and white answer, sorry to disappoint, but at least we have a great indication of what to do and when not to do it. It’s tough to predict that anyone can avoid any interference effect when it comes to aerobic or anaerobic training.
Just like anything else you have to compensate something. We are not all built like machines and able to handle the same workload as others. Genetics always play a vital role in how someone responds to training. Other factors such as nutrition, stress, sleep, occupational activity, etc. All must be taken into account.
Refer back to Brad Schoenfeld’s quote if needed, it pretty much tells you there are only general recommendations that can be given here. The best thing to do is choose the correct cardio modality that suits your training and goals. Always train hard, think logically, and but most importantly train smart.
(1) Schoenfeld, AARR Research Review. Cardio Roundtable Discussion. February and March 2013.
(2) Norton, L & Wilson J. Muscle college radio with Dr. Layne Norton & Dr. Jake Wilson. http://www.rxmuscle.com/2013-01-11-01-57-36/muscle-college/7694-muscle-c...
(3) Kingsley, MI., et al., Moderate-Intensity Running Causes Intervertebral Disc Compression in young adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2012.
(4) Mikkola, et al., Neuromuscular and cardiovascular adaptations during concurrent strength and endurance training in untrained men. Int J Sports Med. 2012.
(5) Babcock, L, Escano, M, D’Lugos, A, Todd, K, Murach, K, and Luden, N. Concurrent aerobic exercise interferes with the satellite cell response to acute resistance exercise. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 302: 2012.
(6) Wilson, J.M., et al., Concurrent Training: A Meta Analysis Examining Interference if Aerobic and Resistance Exercise. J Strength Cond Res, 2011.
9 Things to Know
When it comes to increasing muscle size or definition, you’ve probably been told that lifting weights breaks down a muscle, which then becomes stronger or bigger as a result of the repair process. But is this really true or simply another one of the common gym myths that is passed along from more seasoned veterans to newbies?
Well, unlike many common gym myths, this claim is actually based in fact because resistance training to the point of fatigue does indeed cause muscle damage. Specifically, that damage occurs to the proteins that comprise muscle fibers. Muscles are bundles of individual fibers wrapped in fascia and connective tissue. The smallest components of muscle fibers are the actin and myosin protein microfilaments. The sliding filament theory suggests that actin and myosin overlap, and that when they receive the signal from the central nervous system to contract, they slide across one another to create a force-producing, muscle-shortening action.
There are two types of overload that can stimulate muscle growth: metabolic and mechanical. Metabolic overload refers to the amount of work that a muscle performs that depletes it of its available supply of energy. As a muscle is repeatedly exercised to the point of fatigue, the muscle cells adapt to hold more glycogen for fuel. Because 1 gram of glycogen can hold on to 3 grams of water, when a muscle stores more glycogen it can increase in size due to the extra glycogen and attached water.
Mechanical overload refers to the structural damage that occurs to the actin-myosin protein filaments as a result of strenuous exercise like weightlifting or explosive plyometrics. The muscle damage initiates a repair process in which certain hormones, along with the macronutrient protein, synthesize new satellite cells, which are used to repair the damaged muscle fibers. In other words, the role of protein is to help repair tissues damaged by exercise.
Read on to learn nine things about the role that protein plays to support the body during and after exercise.
Author Pete McCall Health and Fitness Expert
These days, Americans can't live without their phones. They can't sleep without them either. According to Sleep.org, almost 72 percent of kids ages 6 to 17 have at least one electronic device in their bedroom when they sleep. Adults? Probably nearly all of them.
Yet overuse of those same devices can inhibit sleep, and sleep is vital for our health in numerous ways. It helps us wake refreshed, keeps our skin looking healthier, our energy levels maintained better throughout the day, and improves our health overall. Things like blood pressure, blood sugars, resting heart rate, and other important health factors stay more leveled out with the right amount of sleep.
Read on for some details from NuFitPros.
When Our Phones Are Harmful
The big issue with our phones mostly comes down to addiction. We're so tied to our phones that we don't go anywhere without them, including to bed. But phones can mess with our sleep in critical ways. It can take you longer to fall asleep, affect your circadian clock rhythm, suppress the hormone that helps you fall asleep (melatonin), decrease your REM sleep, increase your alertness, and make you more tired the next day. Healthline explains the blue light your phone emits is also part of what hurts you and causes some of these concerns.
There are things you can do to reduce the adverse effects of your phone on your sleep, though, and it's as simple as turning your phone on silent or Do Not Disturb mode overnight, putting it further away from your bed, getting a blue light blocking app or glasses, and other healthy habits.
Our Phones Can Help, Too
Phones aren't all bad, though, and there are many positive ways they can actually help with creating positive sleep habits as well. If used responsibly, they can track sleep, help you fall asleep, help with creating a sleep routine, and more.
This app not only analyzes your sleep so that you can learn more about your sleep patterns, like your snoring habits or when you're in REM sleep, but it also has the ability to wake you up when you're in light sleep so that you'll wake more refreshed and ready for your day. You simply give it a time frame that you need to be awake in, and it will choose the best time in that window. It's pretty ingenious what the Sleep Cycle app can do.
Sleep Genius is an app that was developed as a way to help NASA astronauts fall asleep. It uses sounds that can help your brain work through a complete sleep cycle. This enables you to fall asleep faster, sleep better, and wake up at the optimal time for your body. It’s a pricey investment, but it also has the most cutting-edge features.
Headspace is a great app for helping you meditate before bed, get calm, or even enjoy some soothing sounds to help you fall asleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night, it even has a quick meditation to help you fall back asleep quickly. Each one is three minutes or so, but you can also choose longer ones. The great thing is that this app works for all times of the day.
Upgrade Your Phone to Enjoy More Apps
To get the most out of your smartphone for the purpose of helping sleep, it's best to have the latest option out there. There are numerous models to choose from, and having a great plan is a must, too. Look for a provider who offers unlimited data and a broad selection of the latest devices with competitive pricing. That way, you can get an affordable phone with top-notch battery life (important for apps you're running overnight). You can also enjoy the most connectivity for syncing wearables and trackers, and the best and most up-to-date operating systems. This may call for upgrading your wi-fi as well, so check into the latest and most robust modems on the market.
While your smartphone can help you sleep, don’t neglect other practices that promote sleep. You’ll want to exercise regularly and not too close to bedtime. Look to reduce stress before you head off to bed by practicing meditation and taking some deep breaths. Consider your sleep environment as well. Your bedroom should be quiet, dark, and cool, and if it isn’t, consider purchasing a white noise machine and some blackout curtains. When it comes to your phone and sleep, there are pluses and minuses. When used responsibly, a smartphone is a great tool to help you get the rest you need. So be sure to use your phone wisely, and make sleep a priority. Your happiness and well-being depend on it!
NuFitPros is a Pasadena-based fitness center offering Spinning classes as well as Strength and Balance classes for overall mind and body health.
Schedule your class or personal training session today! (323) 327-9201