Monday, November 24, 2008

Still Working Out at a Crappy Gym?

Bodybuilders love to keep it “hardcore” ­– hard, heavy and growing. Let’s face it: Muscle is all that matters, right? Yes. And, working out in a “hardcore” gym like the pros of old, with well-used equipment, will get you huge fast, right? Not quite.

A new study by researchers in California showed that while barbells and dumbbells are balanced when new and therefore can move in space correctly, stimulating correct muscle growth, old, well-used equipment undergoes continuous microchanges. This can result in unequal total weight distribution, meaning that one end of the barbell or dumbbell can be heavier than the other. This can lead to incorrect and unbalanced movement, ultimately leading to incorrect and unbalanced muscle growth, and possibly injury over time.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: Muscle growth is job number one, so get into the best-equipped and best-maintained gym your money can buy. The equipment might not be as old as bodybuilding itself, but it will be balanced, more effective and far better at getting you huge in a hurry!

- FUSION Research Team

Source: Chiu, et al. The influence of deformation on barbell mechanics during the clean pull. Sports Biomechanics. May 2008; 7(2): 260–273.

Monday, November 17, 2008

This Is Your Body On Cow Protein

Supplement makers are always looking for an edge - always looking for new ways to get your attention and your supplement dollars. To this end they are constantly innovating and developing their products, and are always searching for new ingredients to fuel your growth.

In the past several years, some companies have stumbled upon Bovine lactoferrin - a specialized cow protein found in cows milk that is supposed to have antibacterial power. Naturally, bodybuilders have been skeptical - and this ingredient hasn't really caught on. All of that may change, because new science shows that this stuff actually works - and works well!

A study appearing in Nutrition Research has found that taking Bovine lactoferrin by mouth can actually keep your immune system strong by not only killing opportunistic bacteria - like those that hang around in-wait when you're over-trained - but it can also protect your muscles by powerfully killing off harmful oxidants and free radicals that keep you inflamed and stunt your muscle growth.

So here's your FUSION FACTOID: It turns out that cow protein is good for you after all - and we're not just talking about meat or milk. Specialized cow proteins - Bovine lactoferrin - can keep you healthy, keep you training and, ultimately, keep you on the road to Muscletown!

- FUSION Research Team

Source: Ann M. Mulder, et al. Bovine lactoferrin supplementation supports immune and antioxidant status in healthy human males. Nutrition Research 28 (2008) 583 – 589.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Protect Your Liver: Avoid Processed Dietary Oils...

We hear all the time that we should avoid processed foods, instead opting for healthy “clean” options that are straight from nature – fresh fruits and vegetables, complex grains and carbohydrates, and lean meats such as chicken and beef.

Rarely, however, do we hear about cooking oils – but a new study has changed that.

A new study by Austrian researchers found that consuming processed cooking oils such as linoleic acid not only promotes inflammation throughout your body but also prevents the death of cancer cells in your liver, contributing to your risk of getting liver cancer. Cooking with processed oils at high heat also increases their potential side effects.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: If you’re going to use oil when you cook, skip the processed junk. Instead, use small amounts of olive or coconut oil on low heat. By doing this, you’ll not only eliminate excess calories that make you fat but also eliminate side effects and possibly save your liver from inflammation and cancer.

- FUSION Research Team

Source: Rohr-Udilova, N. V., et al. (2008). Lipid hydroperoxides from processed dietary oils enhance growth of hepatocarcinoma cells. Mol Nutr Food Res, 52, 352–359.