Archive for exercise research, fat loss, news
As we spring into 2013 with our New Year’s resolutions plans in full gear, it’s good to remember what’s worked successfully in the past – and, of course, what hasn’t. After all, you know what they say: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
That said, there was a bit of controversy recently over a study from Duke University that looked at what type of exercise worked better for fat loss – aerobic or resistance training – and found that aerobic training was the more effective of the two.
An interesting study in this month’s Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests not.
First, I want to extend heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims in last week’s Colorado shooting. The massacre was probably the most horrific since Columbine, and all of us here at FocusNYC and FPTI are thinking of you.
Second, in light of recent discussions regarding the FDA’s approval of weight-loss pill Qsymia, as well as the weight loss of celebrities like Rex Ryan, Jordin Sparks and Matthew McConaughey, I figured it timely to bring up a few interesting findings from recent research in the area:
1. BMI officially sucks. We’ve known for a while that Body Mass Index (BMI) – a simple weight-to-height ratio – isn’t a terribly accurate measure of body composition, particularly for athletic and obese population. But because of a recent study published in PlosOne, we now know just how inaccurate it can be. According to dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans (a “gold standard” in body composition analysis), 64% of study subjects classified as obese – yet only 26% had a BMI that categorized them as such. That’s a HUGE difference; a whopping 38% to be exact.
2. BAI sucks a little less. Not to be confused with BIA (“bioelectrical impedance analysis”), BAI stands for “Body Adiposity Index;” this is a ratio of hip circumference (rather than weight) to height.
You might remember THIS POST from a while back, revealing personal trainer Drew Manning’s plan to eat junk food and stop exercising in order to get fat and put himself in his clients’ shoes, and then attempt to lose the weight again.
“I decided to do something that, let’s face it, most personal trainers will never do. I accepted the small possibility that maybe my clients were right and I was wrong. Maybe I didn’t get where they were coming from…If my message of health and personal accountability wasn’t sinking in with my clients, maybe I didn’t get how hard the road from unhealthy to healthy really was.”
This excerpt from Drew’s newly released book explains the motivation behind his little experiment. But how’d his plan turn out? To give you an idea, here’s Drew about year ago, six months ago and today:
It’s thought to be a survival mechanism: The more energy we can extract from food, the longer it will sustain us. Thanks to Brent for sending me THIS ARTICLE, which discusses research showing that cooking food increases its energy value.
According to Men’s Health, it takes over 22,000 crunches to burn just one pound of belly fat. By now, I think (at least I hope…) we know there’s a better way…
…to both burn fat and train the midsection.
Performing 22,000 crunches is not only an inefficient way to see your abs, it’s also an inefficient and potentially dangerous way to train them. This type and magnitude of repetitive spinal loading has been shown to damage discs and result in low back pain. The primary function of the core musculature isn’t really to move the spine; it’s to protect the spine from various forces that attempt to move it – which means we should probably train it to do this more efficiently.
As you can see, these are tough… But you can also do them from your knees to make them a little easier. Slide out only as far as you can go without arching your back, and let your elbow bend on the non-sliding arm.
This is a question that gets a lot of attention by fat-loss gurus and educated professionals alike. The funny thing is, there’s discrepancy among all of them, as both empirical and laboratory evidence have produced mixed results.
This could simply be a result of individual variability in response (see THIS POST). And although there has been some evidence suggesting that training in a fasted state results in a higher percentage of fat used for fuel, I always recommend eating before training in order to have the energy to work as hard as possible and maximize EPOC, or the amount of fat burned after the workout. The results of a recent study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggest the same.
You know summer isn’t far away when people start running outside…
And smiling at the same time!
We’re in the second week of January and you’re probably already sick of being bombarded by the media with fad diet plans and news about weight loss.
We know what the dollar-driven advertisers want you to think, but what does the research actually say about these things?
1. I’m working with the strength & conditioning department at Columbia this semester and they have a pretty cool way of teaching proper back squat technique. Here’s how to do it:
- Remove the catch bars from the rack.
- Rest the bar on the backs of your shoulders (high-bar position). NOTE: This exercise is really meant to be done with just the bar (65 lbs. MAX).
- Walk forward in the rack as far as you can until the bar hits the posts.
- Set your feet at about hip width but DO NOT MOVE THEM BACK.
- Sit your hips back and descend into a squat. THE BAR SHOULD GLIDE AGAINST THE POSTS.
- Push back up to the starting position. THE BAR SHOULD GLIDE AGAINST THE POSTS.
The idea is that by constraining the bar to a vertical path, you can’t lean forward from the torso (thereby reducing torque on the low back) and you have to sit your hips back first. But the key is to NOT move your feet back after you walk forward in the rack. So it’s kind of like a Smith machine squat, except not stupid.