|This is just a random selection of the unlimited movement patterns your body has been designed to execute - don't make the mistake and rely on only one of them!|
I have nevertheless been able to compile another potpourri of studies of which I would hope that one or the other will enlighten or at least entertain you. That being said, let's get started with this weeks installment of the Exercise Science Special of "On Short Notice", here at the SuppVersity...
HIT it short, hit it hard, hit the glucose and be smart! Yo, this awesome rhyme would be my advice to the very busy chubby manager-types with compromised insulin sensitivity out there and it's based on the results of a very recent study by scientists from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences of the University of Glasgow in the UK (Whyte. 2012)
|Figure 1: Power, workload (top) and metabolic effects of SIT and ES regimen (vs. control; bottom)|
- decreases is RER and carbohydrate oxitation, and
- increases in fatty acid oxidation
In other words: A single all out sprint on a braked cycle ergometer (as fast as you can; with obviously decreasing power in the course o the sprint) elicits greater metabolic effects within a 85% shorter timespan (198s vs. 1360s!), than work-matched classic HIIT training, with allegedly very long periods of active recovery.
That being said, I strongly caution against taking the results of this study as an incentive to perform the classic "go as fast as you can, for as long as you can" HIT sessions on exercise bikes, treadmills or ellipticals - those SUCK! *full stop* Be smart and either perform that one 3min sprint (if you really have no more time), or modify your HIIT training to incorporate longer high intensity phases (45-90s) at a work to active recovery ratio of 1:3 - 1:2, so that a resulting workout could look like that 4x 60s sprints, interspersed by 120s of active recovery. I would bet money that this protocol outperforms a work-matched continuous sprint in terms of its immediate and long-term metabolic effects.
Opioid-like effects of exercise depend on intensity I guess you will be familiar with the term "runner's high"? Now, while the latter is usually ascribed to the exercise induced release of serotonin, the improved affect, the sense of well-being, the anxiety lowering and calming effects of exercise are probably mediated by the release of endocannaboids, of which scientists from the University of Arizona, the University of Texas Health Science Center and the Eckert College in St. Petersburg, Florida, have recently shown that the levels of these endogenous THC-like compounds depends on the intensity of the workout (Raichlen. 2012).
In conjunction with the results of another recent study that has been conducted at the Stanford University, it becomes evident that these results could actually be more than just "scientific masturbation", so to say. The Stanford researchers compared the reactions of 41 female patients who had recovered from major depressive disorder (MDD) and those of 40 healthy control, both of whom had been randomly assigned to either exercise for 15 minutes or quiet rest, to two sad mood inductions (once before and once after exercise or rest) and found that
"[while r]ecovered depressed participants who had not exercised exhibited higher NA [neagtive affect] after the second sad mood induction [...], both recovered depressed participants who had engaged in acute exercise and healthy control participants showed no increase in NA in response to the repeated sad mood induction." (Hogan .2012)A reaction that goes against the so-called sensitization effect, which describes the tendency of depressed people (or people with a propensity to develop depression) to react with an increased level of negative effect to a repeated negative stimulus (Eisenstein. 2001) and would thus predict an increase in negative affect in response to the second stimulus as it was observed in the non-exercise group (figure 2, red box).
|Figure 2: Negative and positive affect after 1st and second sad mood induction (left) and before and after exercise (right), respectively, in 41 female patients who had recovered from major depressive disorder (data from Hogan. 2012)|
"However, in contrast to our hypothesis, we did not find any interaction between exercise condition and diagnostic group in level of reported PA following the repeated sad mood inductions that would be consistent with the notion of sensitization or habituation." (Hogan. 2012)And who knows, if the exercise intensity had been higher, so that there had been more anandamide and other endocannaboids floating around in the brains of the study participants, this could even have changed the positive affect trajectory from the first to the second filmic sad mood induction? "Yo, that's so sad... hahaha" ;-)
|Image 1: Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima fatty rats (OLETF, right) have a genetic disposition to develop type II diabetes.|
According to the recently published paper by Nathan T. Jenkins and his colleagues, metformin and exercise do in fact work synergistically - at least as far as the obesity induced inflammation is concerned. While metformin decreased the pro-inflammatory overexpression of leptin, the rodents that have been exposed to an endurance type exercise regimen exhibited higher levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, which limit and ultimately terminate inflammatory responses (Moore. 2001).
Not just in view of the fact that IL-10 has also been implicated in the prevention and even treatment of auto-immune diseases, such as lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis (Beebe. 2002), I would always choose exercise over metformin - this is all the more true, if you are not morbidly obese in the first place!
And if you want to go even one step further, you simply add couple of interval sprints to the equation as those have been shown - in the same rodent model, by the way - to elicit greater improvements in HbA1c, the long-term marker of glucose management that "classic" steady state endurance exercise (Martin. 2012). Since the latter were mediated via differential microvascular changes than those Martin et al. observed in endurance trained OLETF rats, it is furthermore almost certain that they will add up. Probably not 1+1, but 1.5 and even 1.1 would still be better than 1.0, wouldn't it?
The scientists call that which Joe is lacking a feeling of "self-effiacy", when he is going to the gym training next to his 75lbs lighter cousin, lifting sissy weights and looking like a fat balloon.
No wonder he is falling off the wagon! Specifically, if you also take into consideration that in addition to the missing feeling of accomplishment, which increases his chance of non-compliancy by 19%, Joe also exhibits most of the other features Nam et al. have found to increase the chance of dropping out, specifically,
- low fitness - 26% increased chance of dropout and
- higher insulin resistance - 17% increased chance of dropout,
So what's the take home message, here? Cousin or not, people won't do well on cookie cutter plans that won't allow them to make, see and feel progress.
|Isn't it astonishing how versatile and important these stem cells from the bone marrow are (image NIH. 2001)|
With it's likewise statistically significant effect on the proportion of whole BM cells in G(2)/M phase of cell cycle (p<0.05 and an increase in the number of spleen colonies (+48%, p<0.05) in those "model patients" who received transplants from the exercised compared to transplants from sedentary mice, it is thus likely that people who exercise regularly will benefit from both the quantitative increase, as as well as the qualitative improvements these multipotent stem cells, which give rise to all the blood cell types from the myeloid (monocytes and macrophages, neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, erythrocytes, megakaryocytes/platelets, dendritic cells), and lymphoid lineages (T-cells, B-cells, NK-cells), undergo in response to a moderate amount of exercise.
Finally acknowledged: "[C]ombination exercise g[ives] greater benefits for weight loss, fat loss and cardio-respiratory fitness than aerobic and resistance training modalities", alone! And this is only the first part of the conclusion of a recently published paper by Suleen S Ho, Satvinder S Dhaliwal, Andrew P Hills and Sebely Pal, who explicitly suggest that
"Therefore, combination exercise training should be recommended for overweight and obese adults in National Physical Activity Guideline" (Ho. 2012)How the scientists came to that conclusion? Well they could simply have read the SuppVersity news, but instead they conducted a 12-week trial, in the course of which 97 overweight or obese men (n = 16) and women (n = 81) (BMI >25 kg/m² or waist circumference >80 cm for women and 90 cm for men), aged 40 to 66 years, were randomly assigned to a either aerobic, resistance or combined training regimen (n=16 for each) or a sedentary control group (n=15). The results, spoke for themselves.
|Figure 3: Changes in body fat (%; top) and VO2Max (bottom) in the course of the 12-week trial (based on Ho. 2012)|
- body weight (-1.6kg),
- body fat (-1.9kg or 1% body fat),
- android (=visceral) fat (-1.3kg),
Is there maybe more room in your training regimen for slow reps, than you may have thought? If you go by the statement "Slow speed-resistance training induced a greater adaptive response compared to training with a similar resistance at 'normal' speed" from a paper by Mark D. Schuenke and his colleagues from the University of New England, the Rocky Vista University, the College of Health Sciences and Profession and the Ohio-University that was published in the October Issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology (Schuenke. 2012), it would seem so.
If you do however take a closer look at the actual results you realize how important the adjoining qualificatory remark "However, training with a higher intensity at 'normal' speed resulted in the greatest overall muscle fiber response in each of the variables assessed" really is. After all, the "intensity" is per definitionem 20-45% higher in a classic strength training regimen compared to the often laughed at slow-speed resistance training (SS), which was - at least in the study at hand - defined as follows:
- SS: 6-10 reps, super-slow (10s) concentric (no typo!) and slow (4s) eccentric TUT, 40-60% of the individual 1-RM
- TS: 6-10 reps at 80-85% 1-RM
- TE: 20-30 reps at 40-60% 1-RM
|Figure 4: Changes in body composition (left) and changes in muscle fiber cross-sectional area (all expressed relative to group baseline; data calculated based on Schuenke. 2012)|
So what's the take home message here? If you want some diversity, you can incorporate super slow sets into your regimen... but do you have to? At least based on the results of the study at hand, which was unfortunately conducted with untrained young women (who by the way love this alternative training styles) and is therefore not exactly representative for the average advanced trainee, the answer is "rather not, no!"
What neither the advanced nor the rookie who is striving to improve his or her body composition should do, however, is to train in the hilarious strength endurance range of 20-30 reps per set. If you want to build muscular endurance you either go out sprinting, beat the punching bag or do plyometrics.
As I know you, you still want more, hah? Well, too much volume is not good for you and in case you cannot wait until next week, there will be some intriguing exercise news in the days to come, probably more on the SuppVersity Science Round-Up with Carl Lanore, on the Super Human Radio Network on Thursday, this week and obviously every day on the SuppVersity Facebook Wall @ www.facebook.com/SuppVersity - like it and always be the first to now!
- Beebe AM, Cua DJ, de Waal Malefyt R. The role of interleukin-10 in autoimmune disease: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and multiple sclerosis (MS). Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2002 Aug-Oct;13(4-5):403-12.
- Eisenstein, E. M., Eisenstein, D., & Smith, J. C. The evolutionary significance of habituation and sensitization across phylogeny: A behavioral homeostasis model. Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science. 2001; 36, 251–265.
- Ho SS, Dhaliwal SS, Hills AP, Pal S. The effect of 12 weeks of aerobic, resistance or combination exercise training on cardiovascular risk factors in the overweight and obese in a randomized trial. BMC Public Health. 2012 Aug 28;12(1):704.
- Jenkins NT, Padilla J, Arce-Esquivel AA, Bayless DS, Martin JS, Leidy HJ, Booth FW, Rector RS, Laughlin MH. Effects of Endurance Exercise Training, Metformin, and their Combination on Adipose Tissue Leptin and IL-10 Secretion in OLETF Rats. J Appl Physiol. 2012 Sep 27.
- de Lisio M, Parise G. Characterization of the Effects of Exercise Training on Hematopoietic Stem Cell Quantity and Function. J Appl Physiol. 2012 Sep 27.
- Martin JS, Padilla J, Jenkins NT, Crissey JM, Bender SB, Rector RS, Thyfault JP, Laughlin MH. Functional adaptations in the skeletal muscle microvasculature to endurance and interval sprint training in the type 2 diabetic OLETF rat. J Appl Physiol. 2012 Aug 23.
- Moore KW, de Waal Malefyt R, Coffman RL, O'Garra A. Interleukin-10 and the interleukin-10 receptor. Annu Rev Immunol. 2001;19:683-765.
- Nam S, Dobrosielski DA, Stewart KJ. Predictors of Exercise Intervention Dropout in Sedentary Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes. J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2012 Sep 24.
- National Institute of Health (NIH). Stem Cell Information Webpage. June 17, 2001. < https://stemcells.nih.gov/info/2001report/chapter4.asp > retrieved on Oct 01, 2012.
- Raichlen DA, Foster AD, Seillier A, Giuffrida A, Gerdeman GL. Exercise-induced endocannabinoid signaling is modulated by intensity. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Sep 19.
- Whyte LJ, Ferguson C, Wilson J, Scott RA, Gill JM. Effects of single bout of very high-intensity exercise on metabolic health biomarkers in overweight/obese sedentary men. Metabolism. 2012 Sep 19.