Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Workouts Hurt...Carbs Help.

You work hard to build muscle – lots of it. But with hard work comes the risk of getting sick and an increased vulnerability to infections of opportunity, such as upper respiratory tract and ear infections.

It’s well-known that drinking a carbohydrate drink after your workout is a great way to help offset the hard effects of training on the immune system. A new study by researchers from the University of South Carolina tested the effects of two specific carbohydrate types on markers of immune system strength. They found that glucose and oat beta-glucan reduced susceptibility to infection following stressful exercise.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: Exercise can make you sick, but carbs can fix what ails you. The key is to use the right kinds. Although sucrose and other refined sugars are used in sports drinks, the research shows that a solution of 50% oat beta-glucan and 6% sucrose is highly effective not only as a post-exercise carbohydrate source but also in strengthening your immune system. And this means you can train harder and longer without getting sick.

Source: EA Murphy, JM Davis, MD Carmichael, et al. Benefits of oat β-glucan and sucrose feedings on infection and macrophage antiviral resistance following exercise stress. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 Aug 19;297:R1188-R1194.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ironically, the Islamic Solidarity Games are cancelled because of disagreement.

It was announced today that the Islamic Solidarity Games have been officially cancelled because the organizers couldn’t agree on referring to Gulf as either the Persian Gulf or the Arab Gulf. This dispute over the name of the Gulf has been a sensitive issue for some time for the countries bordering it. The problem arises because the terms Arab and Persian refer to two distinct cultural groups within the region. Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates prefer the term Arab Gulf, while Iran, who was the host of the event, is a Persian nation. The federation said Iran had taken, "unilateral measures concerning logos used on printed material and medals," in a statement sent to Reuters news service. “It is such a shame the games were cancelled again, because it is one of our main tryouts before the Guangzhou games,” said Sony Kasiran, the head of athletes’ development for the Indonesian Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Association (Pabbsi).

Sources: Reuters, The Jakarta Globe

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Does cardio really make a difference?

It's the debate that continues to rage: the cardio debate. Some experts claim that cardio costs you muscle, and others claim that cardio is essential – that without it, you simply won’t grow. For years, there have been no clear answers – until now.

Researchers conducted a study measuring cardio training’s influence on the size and function of muscles. For 12 weeks, study participants underwent ergometer training, doing no other form of workout. After 12 weeks, researchers found that quadriceps muscle volume increased by 12 percent and power generated from the knee extensor increased by 55 percent.

Biopsies showed that the cardio training alone increased participants’ type I muscle fiber size by up to 21 percent and increased type I fiber power generation by 28 percent.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: This study is a smoking gun! Not only is cardio important just for general health, but this study shows that doing cardio helps physically change the structure of muscles, leading to “pronounced muscle hypertrophy.” So be sure to incorporate cardio into your training program. It’s no longer a question of if you should do cardio to build muscle, but only a question of when and how much.

Source: Harber MP, Konopka AR, Douglass MD, et al. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 Nov;297(5):R1452-9. Epub 2009 Aug 19.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Don’t be creepy to the booth babes

It’s hard in a sport that’s driven by the perfection of the human form not to be taken by the voluptuous near-perfection of the booth babes. And really, if they aren’t making you sit up and take notice, they’re not doing their jobs. But there are, of course, limits. Take a look at this little “documentary” about what the booth babes had to go through at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas last weekend. And don’t kid yourself: A group of bodybuilders aren’t automatically smoother than electronics geeks. So be nice, not creepy. Then again, if I were sitting next to a Suicide Girl on a flight, I’d be doing some flirting too. I just hope I’d come up with something better than, “It makes me so horny.”

$10,000 to glory or How not to bribe your way to success in bodybuilding

If you haven’t heard about it yet, here’s the scoop. Back in April, the IFBB suspended the Asian Bodybuilding Federation (ABBF) and its Secretary General Paul Chua for allowing three expelled bodybuilders who had previously tested positive for banned substances to participate in the Doha Asian Games three years ago.

One of those banned athletes, 43-year-old Chan Yun To, has recently been charged by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption with conspiring to offer a US$10,000 bribe to ABBF Secretary General Paul Chua. Chan won the gold at the Doha Games in the 75 kg weight division.

The chairman of the China Bodybuilding and Fitness Association, Simon Chan Siu Man, 39, has also had five charges laid against him due to his involvement in related incidents. Three of the charges against him are for bribery; he also faces one for fraud and one for conspiracy to defraud.

The lesson here? What’s the point of bribing your way into a competition? Drawing attention to yourself – say, by winning – isn’t a good idea, and if you’re not going to try to win, what’s the point?

Source: The Standard

Friday, January 08, 2010

Popeye's® Athlete of the Month.

New FUSION Athlete Darnell Collins has just been acknowledged as Popeye's® Athlete of the Month: January 2010.

Looking at this pic, it's pretty easy to see why. Way to go Darnell!


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Think You Can?

We’ve all heard the maxims: If you can see it, you can achieve it. If you want something badly enough – if you just think about it and visualize it – you’ll get what you want. Unfortunately, that’s not how the world works … at least, not most of the time.

As bodybuilders, however, we’re a different breed. We see the lift before we do it, feel the pain that comes from stretching muscle and relish the growth pains afterward. For us, the standard rules don’t apply. We use visualization because it actually works.

But what can you do if you want results and have switched up your program but simply can’t get the results you want? It’s simple: Get inside your own head and switch it up!

A ton of psychological research shows the connection between what you believe happens in the gym and your workout success. More specifically, researchers have shown that the more you feel in control of your workout and that you’re getting results from this control, the better you feel about your workout and the more you feel like you can make changes and overcome potential obstacles and difficulties. And researchers say it’s simple: You have to make your own breaks.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: Working out is hard work. It’s demanding but worth it. If you are stuck in a rut and feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel – no solution, no way out – change your thinking. Instead of trying to do something you can’t do or continuing to do the same thing without results, do something specifically to give yourself a sense of confidence and control. Do your favorite exercise or a week of your easy routine. This will not only give your body a break from the constant stress of high-intensity, balls-to-the-wall training but also give your mind time to relax and recuperate from continual frustration. So next time, you’ll be physically and mentally charged for victory!

Source: Coffee P, Rees T, Haslam SA. Bouncing back from failure: The interactive impact of perceived controllability and stability on self-efficacy beliefs and future task performance. J Sports Sci. 2009 Aug 19:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Monday, January 04, 2010