Monday, June 23, 2008

The Skinny on CLA - Does It Really Help You Get Ripped?

There sure are a lot of claims about CLA, but for all of the claims it appears that there aren’t very many real, concrete and verifiable answers. Some people claim that CLA helps you lose weight, while others dismiss it as a useless supplement ingredient that has become the victim of its own hype.

So what’s the REAL story? Does CLA really help you get ripped?

A new study shows that while CLA doesn’t do much for losing fat directly, it may help with improving insulin function. Insulin, a hormone secreted by your pancreas, is critical for losing body fat and improving insulin function. So, by keeping insulin levels low CLA may help with fat loss indirectly, or at least help prevent fat gain.

But there’s a catch: CLA is a lipid with twice the number of calories of protein or carbohydrates. So, while bodybuilders who are leaning up for a contest can use CLA to help reign in insulin 12 weeks out from contest day, CLA shouldn’t be used up until the day of the contest as its calories may make fat loss more difficult the leaner you get.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: Use CLA in the beginning weeks of your contest prep, but cut it off as you get lean. In this way you’ll take advantage of its effects on insulin, you’ll support your hormone function when dieting down, all without gaining fat in the final weeks before contest time.

- FUSION Research Team

Source: Jing-Jing Li, et al. Anti-obesity effects of conjugated linoleic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2008, 52, 631 – 645.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tendon Injury? Go Ballistic!

Let’s face it: injuries suck, but they’re going to happen when you train all-out for unparalleled muscle growth that makes you the envy of everyone in your gym. In fact, for many bodybuilders – especially the top level professionals – injuries are chronic and are an accepted side-effect of being the best. Simply: being injured comes with the territory when you give your all.

Many different kinds of injuries exist, but the most common are muscle, nerve, joint and tendon injuries, with tendon injuries being among the most annoying, painful, debilitating for bodybuilders. Thankfully, new research shows that far from sitting still and quitting training, going ballistic is the answer for fast recovery.

Specifically, researchers now believe that ballistic stretching helps joints become more compliant, resulting in accelerated increases in range-of-motion and functionality following injury.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: Rather than sitting home and nursing an injury while neglecting your training, the science shows that you should instead utilize ballistic stretching to get back into top form.

- FUSION Research Team

Source: E Witvrouw, et al. The role of stretching in tendon injuries. Br J Sports Med 2007;41:224–226.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Does Ice Water REALLY Help?

We’ve all been told that icing a sore muscle really helps to reduce the swelling and soreness that comes with exercise, and is the best way to speed recovery so you can get back into the gym and back to hard-training and rapid growth.
But new research seems to turn this idea on its head.
Scientists recently tested whether immersing your quads in ice water after exercise had any effects on keeping Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) at bay. The results?

“The protocol of ice-water immersion used in this study was ineffectual in minimising markers of DOMS...”

Researchers concluded their findings with the startling conclusion that “This study challenges the wide use of this intervention as a recovery strategy by athletes.”

Here’s your FUSION FACTOID: For the time being, it looks like you no longer have to immerse your body parts in frigid ice-water to speed recovery. In fact, you’d probably be better off just drinking said ice-water according to this study. We think that plenty of stretching, a diet rich in proteins and garlic, and the use of anti-inflammatory enzymes and BCAA’s is the way to GROW faster than ever.

- FUSION Research Team

Source: Kylie Louise Sellwood, et al. Ice-water immersion and delayed-onset muscle soreness: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Sports Med 2007;41:392–397.