Exercise Prescription for Young Athletes: Combating the Prevalence of Childhood Obesity by Carlyn Waffa

[Carlyn Waffa is a senior at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is majoring in Exercise and Sport Science, and is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. She is currently an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab.] In the United States, childhood obesity affects roughly 12.7 million children and adolescents between the ages of two and nineteen years old, with the rate of obesity positively correlated with age (Ogden, 2015). Since 1980, the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents has almost tripled (MDH, 2013). Recent research suggests that a child’s body composition by the time that they are just five years old is telling of what their body composition will be for the rest of their life. In one study, almost half of the children who were overweight in kindergarten grew into obese adolescents, and so on (Cunningham, 2014). An alarming pattern of inactivity has consumed the nation – with daily participation in physical education classes declining across America (CDC, 2011). The negative effects of physical inactivity are numerous and include an increased chance of developing hypertension, heart disease, osteoporosis, colon and breast cancer, type II diabetes and obesity.  What has become evident is that children need to be engaging in more physical activity in order to dodge the looming consequences of physical inactivity later in life. In the 1970’s and 1980’s resistance training for adolescents was stigmatized because of a presumed high risk of injury. In 2017, this notion is erroneously cited, despite being obsolete. Typically, resistance training injuries occur due to poor training, excessive loading, poorly designed equipment, or free access to equipment. Nevertheless, these injury factors do not have any correlation with an athlete’s age, [...]

By | February 24th, 2017|Training Info|0 Comments

Exercise Induced Asthma in Athletes by Ryan Burkholder

[Ryan Burkholder graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University receiving a BA degree in Health and Human Kinetics. Ryan also ran Cross Country and Track for Ohio Wesleyan University. ] In the last twenty years, the prevalence of exercise-induced asthma (EIA) in teenage distance runners has increased dramatically. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that has an affect 14.6 million Americans. Of that number, 10.4 million are under the age of 45 and 4.8 million in children. Asthma cost more than $4.6 billion per year in medical care and time lost from school and work. There is no known cure for asthma, but it can be controlled.(Gordon, 2015) EIA, more specifically, is an intermittent narrowing of the airways accompanied by the individual experiences wheezing, chest tightness, coughing with of presence of lung inflammation (Bernhardt 2016). EIA occurs when you are mainly working out and exercising. The time that people would experience these symptoms would be around 5 to 20 minutes after they started the workout or 5 to 10 minutes after a short exercise that has stopped. (DerSarkissian, 2016) EIA will mainly occur when you are in a cold weather or where the air is pretty dry. You should keep an inhaler on hand in case you have symptoms while you're working (Benaroch 2015). When an asthma attack does occur the best thing to do is to stop what you are doing and take the inhaler. If you do not have your inhaler the best thing to do is to take deep breaths, drink cold water, put your hands on head to open up your lungs, and remain upright. To potentially prevent an asthma attack from happening you should make sure you take your [...]

By | February 22nd, 2017|Training Info|0 Comments

The efficacy of intermitting fasting for weight loss by Chris Graham

[Chris Graham is a graduate student at The University of Texas at Tyler and is currently studying Kinesiology. He is currently a sport performance intern at Athletic Lab.] Intermittent fasting (IF) has been popularized in the recent years as a method of weight loss and there are many people who claim to have found success using this method. What exactly is IF, and is it an effective and sustainable method to achieve weight loss? First off, IF is the practice of not consuming food for an extended period of time (typically 12+ hours) which is called your “fasting” time. This is followed by a “feast” time where you can eat ad libitum. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this, but one of the most common is to alternate fast and feast days for an extended period (3-8 weeks). In a recent review comparing IF and caloric restriction in overweight and obese individuals, Varaday (2011) found that both diets had similar results on weight loss 4-8% from IF and 5-8% from caloric restriction. However, in the IF studies 10% of the weight loss was from fat free mass compared to 25% in the caloric restriction studies (Varaday, p. e599). This retention of more fat free mass compared to regular caloric restriction proved to be more beneficial in improving body composition, and may be a result of average HGH increases of 1,300% in women, and nearly 2,000% in men during a 24-hour fast (Intermountain Medical Center, 2011). This spike of HGH protects your current muscle mass while also stimulating the breakdown of fat cells. In a separate study examining the effects of IF in resistance trained individuals, one group was assigned a “time restricted feeding [...]

By | February 16th, 2017|Nutrition Info|0 Comments

Mike Young presents at 3rd Annual SMI Strength & Conditioning Symposium

Athletic Lab's Dr. Mike Young presented on "Developing Physical Capacities for Speed and Power" at the 3rd Annual SMI Strength & Conditioning Symposium. The symposium was hosted by Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC and featured presenters from UNC Charlotte, Strong Rock Christian School, Wofford College and Newbury College. If you are interested in having Dr. Young or any other member of the Athletic Lab staff speak privately or at an event please contact us for details.

By | February 16th, 2017|News|0 Comments

Common Injuries in CrossFit and Methods of Prevention by Brandon Gremillion

[Brandon is a student at the University of Mount Olive majoring in Exercise Science. He is currently an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab.] CrossFit is an exercise phenomenon that has sparked interest in many people and gyms across the nation. CrossFit was designed with the goal to, “build a program that would best prepare trainees for any physical contingency-prepare them not only for the unknown but for the unknowable as well” (Glassman, 2007). This sounds pretty good, right? It gets even better with the fact that CrossFit offers competitions on a reginal, national, world scale, and of course on a personal scale. As with any form of exercise there will be some downsides to a program; for CrossFit this is the gained reputation for its tendency to cause injuries. The reasons for injury in CrossFit are often a combination of poor technique combined with heavy loading. The overuse of a muscle can also lead directly to injury in an individual. Common injuries include but are not limited to the following: shoulder, low back injuries, knees, wrist, elbow, neck, chest, and foot injuries (Weisenthal, Beck, Maloney, DeHaven, & Giordano, 2014). Shoulder and low back injuries consume the majority of CrossFit related injuries. The common injuries of the shoulder include subacromial impingement, labrum tears, and rotator cuff tears (see Figure 1, 2, & 3 for common injury sites). The shoulders are mostly injured due to a result of a gymnastic movements performed during training (Weisenthal, Beck, Maloney, DeHaven, & Giordano, 2014). Examples of gymnastic movements commonly seen in CrossFit would be muscle ups and pull ups. A technique commonly performed during muscle ups and pull ups is “kipping” which if done incorrectly can severely damage the upper [...]

By | February 15th, 2017|Training Info|0 Comments

Low Bar vs. High Bar Squat by Zach Chokr

[Zachary Chokr is a senior at North Carolina State University majoring in Psychology, minoring in Sports Science, and a Certified Personal Trainer under the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He is currently an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab.] The squat has biomechanical and neuromuscular similarities to a wide range of athletic movements. Thus, it is one of the most frequently used exercises in the field of strength and conditioning; and is a core exercise designed to enhance athletic performance. In addition, it is an indispensable component of competitive weightlifting and powerlifting that is regarded as a cardinal test of lower-body strength (Schoenfeld, 2010, p. 3497). For some reason, the first question ‘gym bros’ always seem to address is how much someone can bench press, but is that really defiant of your strength? There is no greater love-hate relationship than that of leg day; waking up in the morning with your legs so sore that you are forced to waddle helplessly like a penguin. But hey, on the bright side it shows you’re working hard and I commend you for that. I promise, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. On the more technical side, once you are familiar with the back squat, there are variations that can be performed to adjust the angles and torques placed on the joints that affect the force applied to the low back, legs, and hip musculature by shifting the location of the bar on the back which can provide specific advantages to your personal goals. By changing the location of where the bar sits on your back, you are also changing the bar’s center of gravity and where the load is placed through the body which [...]

By | February 14th, 2017|Training Info|0 Comments

Lab Rats: Date Night Edition

Have you and your significant other been wanting to go out with just the two of you or get together with some friends for a night out? Use this Lab Rats get-together as an opportunity to know that your kids are getting in some activity, a quality snack, and a movie with friends. The Lab Rats program offers kids the opportunity to develop basic physical competencies and general fitness in a fun and engaging environment. The goal is to empower children and promote a healthy lifestyle with physical activity. The class is designed to be challenging and fun with just the right amount of competitiveness. Here are a few important details: When: Friday February 24th @ 6:30 - 9:00pm Duration: 60 minutes of activity; 90 minutes of movies Ages: 4-9 years old Cost: $20 for the first child in the family; $12 for each additional child. A maximum of 12 children will be allowed to attend. We will provide a healthy snack after the activity for each child. Contact a staff member if you're interested in having your children attend.  

By | February 13th, 2017|News|0 Comments

Athletic Lab supports Special Olympics NC

For the fifth consecutive year, Athletic Lab will support local Special Olympics athletes in their quest for success in sports. Athletic Lab has provided training and facility access for the athletes of Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) as well as fund raised for the organization. This year, Athletic Lab will host SONC on Fridays at 3pm from March 17 through May 26th. The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

By | February 13th, 2017|News|0 Comments

Save Big with Athletic Lab’s Family Plan

Effective immediately, Athletic Lab is pleased to offer a new and updated Family Plan. The plan is designed to provide an affordable way for entire families to train at Athletic Lab and take advantage of all our group service offerings. This membership allows adults to attend Performance Fitness (including Cary CrossFit) classes. Youth and high school athletes will have access to Scholastic group training classes. Children will have access to our Lab Rats program. The family plan purchases 36 total sessions that can be divided across as many as 4 individuals over the course of the month. For a family of 2 parents and 2 children this plan is as much as 40% off the combined cost of individual plans. Here are the details of the membership: $399.95 / month with a 3 month commitment An additional 10 sessions (and one family member) may be added to the membership for $74.95 / month Individuals may be any combination of adults and / or kids living under the same household (proof of residency may be required) Membership entitles the family to 36 total visits each month These sessions can be used / distributed between as many as 4 people at the discretion of the family Children in grades 2 through 6 may join the Lab Rats program Youth in grades 7 through 12 may join our Scholastic Sports Performance group training classes Adults may join any of our Performance Fitness classes (including Cary CrossFit) Unused sessions do not roll over to subsequent months No refunds or accounts holds will be granted Payment must be made automatically by bank draft Your account will be billed monthly No additional discounts may be applied If you’re interested in taking advantage of this amazing offer please contact [...]

By | February 8th, 2017|News|0 Comments

Setting Realistic Goals: Yo-Yo Dieting and Post-Starvation Obesity by Carlyn Waffa

[Carlyn Waffa is a senior at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is majoring in Exercise and Sport Science, and a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. She is currently an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab.] An athlete’s metabolism, or their physiological capacity to transform chemical energy in food (kcal) to other types of usable energy in the body, is an adaptable mechanism that adjusts based on substrate availability and imposed physical demands. In athletes, weight cycling is a common phenomenon. Just like a yo-yo oscillates up and down, an athlete’s weight may go up and down in the same fashion, as an athlete’s weight frequently fluctuates between “in-season” and “off-season” training schedules. Weight loss phases are achieved from a caloric deficit, which may be the result of increased exercise or caloric restriction – or a combination of the two. Nonetheless, quick-fix, short-term methods of weight-loss are not employed without consequence. Recent research suggests a causal link between the number of times an athlete cyclically loses and regains weight and a higher percentage of body fat later in life (Saarni, 2006). Oscillating weight loss and gain wreaks havoc on an athlete’s metabolism, and the success rate of long-term weight loss from yo-yo dieting is painfully low. In fact, while dieting may work for an athlete to “make weight” in the short term, cyclical weight loss and regain is detrimental to weight control in the long term – and may even predispose an athlete to obesity later in life (Saarni, 2006). Dieting can create a caloric deficit, or a negative energy balance, within the body. This is a less-than ideal situation from a biological perspective, as the human body naturally [...]

By | February 8th, 2017|Nutrition Info|2 Comments