Posts Tagged ‘strength’

Muscle Myths

Thursday, January 14th, 2021 | Books

Muscle Myths: 50 Health & Fitness Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making is a book by Michael Matthews. I don’t think it’s the cyclist. It’s a pretty good book. There are academic references and most of the stuff agreed with what I have been taught in an academic setting, which is a more legit version of confirmation bias.

Below, I’ll discuss some of my key takeaways. The book’s claims are in quote marks with my commentary next to it.

“Free weights work better than machines.” Machines isolate muscles which can be useful if you need to train specific muscles, but if you just want to generally get stronger, free weights are my goto as well.

“Aim for 1-6 reps with at least 3-minute rest between sets.” If you want to get strong use heavy weights and low reps. If you want to get big muscles you might want to do things differently. Or maybe get over your ego ;).

“You don’t need strong abs, just a body get percentage under 12%.” If I ever get my body fat down to 12% I will be excited to find out if this is true.

“Training in a fasted state (2-3 hours of not eating) will accelerate fat burning but also muscle breakdown.” Yes! Someone finally talked about this. If you don’t have any glycogen left, you break down muscle and not fat. So, you need to pick whether you want to gain both or lose both.

“BCAA supplements will suppress muscle breakdown and green tea extract at 600-900 mg per day can help, too.” Interesting. I would like to burn fat and maintain muscle. But I don’t know enough about these supplements to comment.

“You need phases of bulking and cutting because you cannot do both.” As discussed above.

“Low rep heavy weights increase your metabolic rate, too.” If true, another reason to lift heavy.

“High-intensity cardio can burn fat but we don’t know why. Possibly by raising the metabolic rate.” Yep, it’s a mystery. When you do HIIT, you burn glycogen and the body cannot convert fat into glycogen because they are totally different. So, how does it burn the fat? We don’t know. But it seems to, so HIIT can be an alternative to long slow runs in the fat-burning zone.

“Cardio and strength training should be separate.” Controersial. Matthews recommends strength then cardio, but British Triathlon say it should be cardio then strength.

“Size of meal is not important so you can eat large or small, and eat breakfast or not. Calories are what matters.” Alas, one single 5,000 kcal meal isn’t going to be the secret path to skinny. Nor is a small meal every 30 minutes.

“Not drinking water with meals is nonsense.” Of course it is! Who said this? You should drink water with meals because it will make you feel satiated quicker.

Controlling hunger

I like this list because it is pretty similar to the list I use in my Nudge Nutrition course and it is always comforting to know you haven’t just made stuff up.

  • Eat lots of protein (30-40% of your intake)
  • High carb low-fat to increase your leptin levels
  • Drink water
  • Eat fibre
  • Avoid high GI foods
  • Eat slowly
  • Get enough sleep

Supplements that work

I like this list, too. Caffeine and creatine are widely recognised as effective.

  • Protein powder
  • Creatine
  • Vitamins you are deficient in
  • Fish oil
  • Glutamine
  • Pre workout energy drink

Upper body workout

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020 | Sport, Video

This is a 30-minute upper body workout for endurance athletes. It is perfect for triathletes, runners and cyclists. Even though our legs are doing most of the work, having upper body strength is important for maintaining good form and running economy. In this class, we’ll go through some strengthening and flexibility exercises for our arms, shoulders and upper body.

Balance workout

Friday, July 31st, 2020 | Sport, Video

The third workout in my strength and conditioning series is all about balance. Balance is super important in triathlon. If you think about a race, you spend none of it with both feet on the ground. You’re in the swim, pushing down with each leg in turn on the bike, or running, which by definition means having one foot off the ground at all times.

As such, having good balance means you can maintain good technique and therefore avoid injury, and also significantly contributes you your economy: the less energy you can waste swaying side-to-side, the more energy you will have to drive yourself forward.

Legs workout

Friday, July 24th, 2020 | Sport, Video

Following on from my core workout last week, the second in my series of strength and conditioning workouts for endurance athletes focusses on legs.

Try to keep your knee behind your toes when doing lunges. I couldn’t find the part of the video to add a note to it.

Core workout

Monday, July 13th, 2020 | Sport, Video

There isn’t much triathlon-specific strength and conditioning stuff on YouTube, so I have put my strength & conditioning coaching qualifications to good use and made one. I’m pretty happy with the results. I had to do some noise reduction on the video as the microphone kept getting ruffled, but once that was applied everything sounded good. If it’s popular, I plan to make some more.

Pilates

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 | Sport

Yesterday, I did my first pilates session. It was led by Alison at Yoga Hero.

It is sort of similar to yoga, but sort of different. There is strength work and there is a connection to the breath. But pilates is more straight-up strength. It’s yoga without all of the ethereal magic sprinkled in. Some of the stuff was really hard and I think I’ll be borrowing the ideas for my home strength and conditioning routine.

First impressions are that I enjoyed it, but not as much as yoga. I like the magic, just a little. But most of all I think I like savasana. But I will definitely be back to pilates; it will be a nice supplement to working out at home.