There are a number of studies that get published daily in the nutrition and fitness realm. Some are defiantly more pertinent than others.
Recently we had a couple which made us sit up and taken notice, with some practical tips for our gym routines.
Be explosive with your reps
Researchers at the Universityof Romesuspected that strength athletes tend to lift the weights at the speed they find easiest – which is probably not the speed that will produce the best results.
The researchers performed experiments with 20 subjects in their forties, all of whom had been doing weight training for 18-19 years. They were divided into 2 groups. One group trained as they had always done, moving the weights at their own preferred speed for the bench press.
The other group did the bench press at a fixed speed. They basically lifted the weight as fast as they possibly could.
After three weeks the researchers observed that the maximal strength of the group who had lifted at their own preferred speed had remained static. But the of the group who were forced to lift the weights explosively had increased their strength by 10.2 percent.
This confirms what a number of trainers have been talking about for a loooong time (including Christian Thibedau) who believes you should lift the weight as fast as humanly possible.
Good advice we feel.
Caffeine is an egogen
Another study published at the Coventry University, UK has proven what gym junkies have known forever and a day; take caffeine about 30-60 minutes pre workout and your workouts will improve significantly.
The study recruited 13 resistance trained males, who either ingested an energy drink containing 179mg of caffeine or a placebo 60 minutes pre workout in a cross over fashion.
The participants did a workout comprising of bench press, deadlift, rows and squats (all taken to failure) with a moderate weight (60% of their 1RM).
The researchers reported the following results:
- Participants completed significantly greater repetitions to failure, irrespective of exercise, in the energy drink condition.
- Rating of perceived effort was significantly higher in the placebo condition
- The energy drink positively enhances psychophysiological factors related to exertion in trained males
So those participants who used caffeine pre workout were able to do more repetitions before they reached failure, felt as if their workout was easier, and were generally more pumped about training. Sound familiar? If this is something you’re going for, be sure to try out Jack3d micro, the latest pre workout supplement to hit the market. It contains caffeine and a number of other proven ergogens.
1. Padulo, J., Mignogna, P., et al. Effect of Different Pushing Speeds in Bench Press. International Journal of Sports Medicine. February 2012. Published Ahead of Print
2. Duncan MJ et al. The acute effect of a caffeine containing energy drink on mood state, readiness to invest effort and resistance exercise to failure. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Nov 23. [Epub ahead of print.]