Back to Back Issues Page
Sporting Excellence #0013 => Apr 2006
April 18, 2006
APRIL 2006

This newsletter is brought to you by:

http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com

You can view back issues online here:

http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/Sporting_Excellence-backissues.html

-------------------------------------------------------

TABLE OF CONTENTS - APRIL 2006

-------------------------------------------------------

Here's the contents in brief for this issue of Sporting Excellence

1. Olympic Weightlifting Routine for Athletes

2. Power Cleans in Sports Specific Conditioning

3. Pseudoephedrine Enhances Performance in 1500-m Runners

4. Self Myofacial Release for Rehab & Performance Enhancement

5. Sample Powerlifting Routine

6. Growth Hormone and Muscle Strength

7. Pre-Event Fuelling for Peak Performance

8. Integrated Training for Improved Cycling Performance - Part 1

-------------------------------------------------------

1. Olympic Weightlifting Routine for Athletes

This Olympic weightlifting routine is an example of how athletes can incorporate Olympic-style lifts like power cleans and snatches into a strength training program. It is designed for individuals who have little Olympic lifting experience but who do have a significant strength base...

http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/olympic-weightlifting-routine.html

-------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------

2. Power Cleans in Sports Specific Conditioning

And here is a detailed description and animation of how to perform one of these Olympic-style lifts - the power clean. Of course this is no substitute for proper "in-person" coaching!

http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/power-clean.html

-------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------

3. Pseudoephedrine Enhances Performance in 1500-m Runners

Pseudoephedrine is an over-the-counter drug used to relieve nasal and sinus congestion. Ephedrine is banned by the IOC, IAAF, the USOC and the NCAA. However, pseudoephedrine was recently removed from the banned substance list by the International Olympic Committee and placed on the monitoring program (from January 2004).

Few studies have investigated the effects of pseudoephedrine on exercise performance. This recent 2006 study aimed to investigate the effects of pseudoephedrine on 1500-m running performance. In a double-blind, randomized crossover design, seven male athletes completed two 1500-m running trials on an outdoor track after having completed a familiarization trial.

All trials were 7 days apart. After a 12-hour overnight fast, subjects reported to the laboratory and received a standardized breakfast (energy asymptotically equal to 500 kcal 50% carbohydrate). Subjects were given either 2.5 mg.kg(-1) bodyweight pseudoephedrine or 2.5 mg.kg(-1) bodyweight maltodextrin (placebo) in gelatin capsules 70 min before the start of the warm-up, which started 20 min before they ran 1500 m all-out. Pre- and postexercise blood samples were collected and analyzed for lactate and glucose concentrations, partial pressure of oxygen (PO2) and carbon dioxide (PCO2), and percent oxygen saturation.

Results showed that pseudoephedrine significantly decreased time to completion of 1500-m time trials by 2.1% (from 279.65 +/- 4.36 s with placebo to 273.86 +/- 4.36 s with pseudoephedrine) with no reported side effects. No changes in the measured blood parameters were found, suggesting a central effect of pseudoephedrine rather than a metabolic effect.

Pseudoephedrine enhances performance in 1500-m runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Feb;38(2):329-33 Hodges K, Hancock S, Currell K, Hamilton B, Jeukendrup AE.

-------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------

4. Self Myofacial Release for Rehab & Performance Enhancement

Self myofascial release techniques can have a number of performance and rehabilitation benefits. With just the aid of a foam roll and a few simple exercises, athletes can reduce chronic muscular pain...

http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/self-myofascial-release.html

-------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------

5. Sample Powerlifting Routine

A powerlifting routine (not to be confused with Olympic weightlifting) can be one of the most intense and demanding forms of weightlifting. Although it will consist of relatively few exercises, each is completed with near maximal effort...

http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/powerlifting-routine.html

-------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------

6. Growth Hormone and Muscle Strength

Thousands of athletes in many sports spend millions of dollars on growth hormone and growth hormone promoters in the hope that it will help them grow larger muscles, become stronger and therefore be better athletes. Researchers from Winnipeg reviewed the scientific literature and found that there is no controlled data to show that growth hormone helps make athletes stronger Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, Volume 12, 2002).

As you age, blood levels of growth hormone drop. A 1990 study from the University of Wisconsin showed that taking growth hormone enlarges muscles. Since then equal numbers of studies support and refute that growth hormone increases muscles and decreases fat.

Growth hormone is a protein that is destroyed in the stomach, so it can only be given by injection, and growth hormone injections can only be given legally by prescription, so most of the advertised products are "growth hormone releasers" which are taken by mouth, not by injection. They do not contain ANY growth hormone. The advertised products are amino acids, the building blocks of protein, the same as the protein you get in your food. Eating anything raises your blood level of growth hormone temporarily, and protein raises it a little bit more than fats or carbohydrates. So any food can be sold as a growth hormone releaser without lying, but food sources of protein are a lot less expensive than the pills. The growth hormone releaser products are nothing but ordinary protein from soybeans, tuna or milk.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin has been a radio talk show host for 25 years and practicing physician for more than 40 years; he is board certified in four specialties, including sports medicine. Read or listen to hundreds of his fitness and health reports at http://www.DrMirkin.com

-------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------

7. Pre-Event Fuelling for Peak Performance

Some athletes avoid eating before competition because they think it will cause stomach cramps and nausea. Unless you eat immediately before your event this is unlikely to happen. Your performance may suffer though if you donít eat before your game or competition. For those athletes that avoid eating a meal their liver glycogen storage (main source of glucose) can be decreased by as much as 80% depending on whether they compete in the morning or later in the day.

During exercise athletes primarily rely on pre-existing glycogen stores and fat stores. If your pre-event meal is eaten at the proper time then you will be assured that your glycogen stores are plenty full and this will optimize performance. Liquid meals can also be an advantage by digesting more rapidly than solid foods as well as provide hydration. Liquid meals can be eaten closer to competition because they are emptied from the stomach quickly. Pre-event snacks within 1 hour of competition or practice can be more beneficial to athletes that exercise longer than 60 minutes.

It is important to choose primarily carbohydrates before an event because they digest quickly and are readily available for fuel. You can still eat some protein and fat with your meal but high fat meals may leave you feeling sluggish and uncomfortable.

Here are some guidelines for when to fuel prior to your event:

3-5 hours before event -- large meal -- 300-500Kcal
2-3 hours before event -- small meal -- 200-300Kcal
1-2 hours before event -- liquid meal -- 100-200Kcal
< 1 hours before event -- snack -- 50-100Kcal

By Jayson Hunter, Rd, CSCS of http://www.sportspecific.com

-------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------

8. Integrated Training for Improved Cycling Performance - Part 1

As we all know cycling is a great way to improve your overall cardiovascular fitness. However, what you may not know is that over time the demands of cycling can lead to muscular imbalances which can limit the body's ability to perform at peak level and dramatically increase chance of both over-use injury and chronic pain.

To get a clearer idea of how these imbalances can occur we'll take a look at the riding posture starting from the feet and moving up to the head: Pedaling places a lot of stress on the calves. Tight calves can cause the feet to flatten and place undue stress on the heel cord, plantar fascia and knees. The major muscles involved in cycling are the quadriceps. You can see that by looking at any professional cyclist. However, miles of cycling in the bent over cycling position can create tightness in the quadriceps and the psoas (hip flexors).

These tight quads and hip flexors pull the pelvis out of optimal position into a forward tilt. This anterior tilt of the pelvis sets in motion a cascade of muscle imbalance. The forward tilt of the pelvis causes an increased arching of the lower back. This over loads the muscles of the lumbar spine while at the same time lengthens and weakens the abdominals. Another muscle group negatively affected by these dominant quads and hip flexors are the gluteals. The glutes are a major pelvic stabilizer and the main hip extensors of the body. Tightness and over-activation of their opposing hip flexors cause the glutes to become weak and under-active. In this situation, because the glutes cannot effectively extend the hip, the hamstrings must pick up the slack. As a result, the hamstrings get over worked and become tight.

Moving up to the shoulders and mid-back, we see the back rounded. A rounded upper back causes the shoulder blades to elevate and protract. As a result, the muscles in the chest and upper trapezius become tight leaving the shoulders hiked up and pulled forward. Tight pecs major and upper traps weaken the mid-back and scapula stabilizers. Weak scapula stabilizers can place undue stress in the shoulder joint during overhead movements while tight upper Traps are a major contributor to neck tension and pain.

The last body part to look at is the head. Cycling posture pulls the head forward. The cervical spine was designed to efficiently support the head and evenly distribute its weight among the seven cervical vertebrae. As the head is pulled forward the distribution of its weight shifts and more force is placed on the vertebrae at the base of the neck. This can lead to calcium deposits and arthritic changes in the cervical vertebrae. A forward head also leads to tightness of the neck flexors and weakening of the neck extensors. This places undue stress on the muscles in the back of the neck and commonly results in neck pain and tension head aches.

As you can see, cycling can cause some serious muscle imbalances that can lead to pain in the body. In Part 2 (next issue) we will look at how to correct these imbalances using an integrated training approach that encompasses muscle balance, postural efficiency, core stability and flexibility.

Dave Radin, CSCS, NASM-CPT, is a personal trainer with Precision Fitness. Precision Fitness is located in the Lake Norman area of Charlotte, North Carolina. Check out their website at http://www.lakenormanfitness.com. You can contact Dave at Precision Fitness at 704-662-8664, or by email at dave@ncprecisionfitness.com.

-------------------------------------------------------

That's it for this issue of Sporting Excellence.

Remember if you have any questions regarding this issue's content (or sports training in general) I can be contacted at:

http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/contactus.html

All the best,

Phil Davies (editor)

Back to Back Issues Page