Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness by Anthony Williams
Ever wonder why you feel fine right after your workout but you get progressively more sore in the 24-48 hours following. This nice guest blog will tell you what’s happening.
[This is a guest blog by one of our Athletic Interns, Anthony Williams, an Exercise Science student from NCCU]
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be described as muscle pain, soreness, or stiffness that presents itself within the body after a day or two after exercise. Most of the time DOMS occurs when you begin a new exercise program, change your routine, or increase your intensity when you exercise. Some people new to exercise are not aware of DOMS, but actually it’s a normal process to a new exercise. This also enables your body to adapt and help lead to greater strength, gains and stamina as your muscles recover.
Studies indicate that DOMS is related to microscopic tearing of the muscle fibers and the amount of tearing relates to how hard and how long you exercise. Basically any movement you are not accustomed to can lead to DOMS. It’s been shown that eccentric muscle contractions or movements that contract muscles while they lengthen can cause the most soreness. An example would be downward motion when lowering the weight on a bicep curl, or the downward motion of squats and push-ups. At the present time, there is no known way to treat DOMS however ice and anti-inflammatory medications may reduce discomfort.
Athletic Lab Weightlifting Open a HUGE success
Athletic Lab hosted its first Olympic weightlifting meet on January 28th. Forty competitors from around the Southeast competed in the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. The meet was sanctioned by USA Weightlifting and several athletes posted nationally competitive marks in their respective age and weight classes. Athletic Lab’s Mike Young won top male lifter.
Athletic Lab Weightlifting Open and Schedule Changes for Saturday / Sunday
This Saturday (January 28th), Athletic Lab is hosting our first Olympic Weightlifting competition. As a result, all Saturday classes will be cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience. If you are interested in watching the competition admission is free. To make up for the lost classes, we will be holding a CF / Performance Fitness class on Sunday at 2pm. No reservation is required.
Stretching and Athletic Performance by Sarah Gilmore
[This is a guest blog by one of our Athletic Interns, Sarah Gilmore, an Exercise Science student from UNC]
Stretching: It’s not a new concept and the majority of exercisers could list at least a few simple stretches without any trouble. Despite the pervasive knowledge of what stretching is there still exist many questions about its effects. Does stretching reduce post-exercise muscle soreness? Does it prevent injuries? Does stretching improve performance? Does it actually do anything at all? Stretching is a heavily debated topic among exercise specialists. It seems that everyone has their own idea as to what kind, how long and if it should be performed at all but what does the research actually say about stretching’s effects?
Recent studies have been supporting people’s notions that stretching may not yield all of the claimed results. A study of 77 individuals in 2002 performed by Dr. Robert Herbert found that on average there was only a 2mm reduction in muscle soreness on a 100mm scale, a negligible difference in most athletes’ minds. This same study also found that reduction in injury hazard was a mere 5% among participants. On the other hand, when it comes to performance improvement, studies such as one published in the 2006 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research have found dynamic stretching warm-ups to improve performance on a variety of power output and agility tests. Interestingly, those same studies have revealed that static warm-ups actually decrease strength and power output slightly. Based on these conclusions, there is a need for reconsideration of the pre-exercise static stretching routines that are commonplace in many exercise settings. Performance improvement is a goal of most exercisers so even though stretching warm-ups do not appear to reduce the soreness or risk of injury during exercise, a dynamic stretching routine should be included to maximize workout results.
For the individuals whose workouts are not based upon performance results it is worth noting the numerous emerging studies that cite stretching as a source of stress relief. Yoga studios and group yoga classes have grown significantly in popularity during recent years as participants consistently rave about its relaxing effects. While buying a yoga mat and signing up for the next available class is not for everyone, there is still hope for stress relief. Finding a little bit of time during the day, maybe just a few additional stretches at the end of your workout, could help alleviate that built up tension from a day full of screaming kids and frustrating co-workers.
Track Speed by Drake Webster
[This is a guest blog by one of our Athletic Interns, Drake Webster, an Exercise Science student from ECU]
How many kids today do you know that their favorite sport is track? Or how about kids that actually run track in the first place? Me either. Youth sports are dominated by football, soccer, basketball, baseball and more of the traditionally major sports. The problem with this is that most people stick with a sport they are good at or have played for awhile. So speed development gets pushed aside because of its association with track and field. Most would say that they have no interest in track because they are either busy with other sports or they find it less fun. Now a days there is a lot of sport specific training for every sport which is important, but it some times comes at the neglect of true speed work. If you think about what track actually consists of you will realize it’s the same basis of all sports. Running, jumping, and technique are the main aspects of track and every athlete knows that these are also the main aspects of every sport. The difference is when coaches begin to get away from these aspects and only focus on other sport specific skills. These sport specific skills are needed to learn how to play the game but coaches should not take out the basis of the sport itself. Track speed involves working on running mechanics, jumping mechanics and speed work. These things are often forgotten about when training for a sport. If you are one of those athletes that are trying to compete at the highest level but haven’t reached it, try adding track workouts to your training and get back to the basics of your sport. If you learn how to run better, jump higher and also get faster, you will be that much better at your sport.
Hypertension and Exercise by Matthew Jessee
[This is a guest blog by one of our Athletic Interns, Matthew Jessee, an Exercise Science student from Appalachian State University]
According to the Center for Disease Control 1 out of every 3 Americans suffers from
hypertension. Healthy blood pressure levels are less than 120mmHg systolic/ 80mmHg
diastolic. Hypertension is a chronic elevated blood pressure in the arteries. Arteries are
important because they supply blood from the heart to different areas of the body so it can
maintain vital functions necessary for good health. This process becomes less efficient in
those suffering from hypertension. The heart winds up having to work harder to get blood to
the working systems of the body. Chronic high blood pressure can lead to an enlarged heart,
aneurysms, vision problems, and even heart attacks.
There are medications that treat high blood pressure. Like other medications they can be
very expensive, and a pain to take. Exercise is another way to treat hypertension. Acute
physical activity has been shown to reduce blood pressures immediately after, and for a
prolonged period following exercise. This phenomenon is known as post-exercise hypotension;
hypotension meaning low arterial blood pressure. During exercise the nervous system is
responsible for contracting and dilating blood vessels in order to direct blood flow to the
working muscles. After activity, the arteries stay dilated which allows the blood to flow easier.
This doesn’t require the heart to work as hard during this time. Long term exercise can help
to permanently reduce blood pressure. As you become more trained the body becomes more
efficient in these cardiovascular processes. In the end, regular physical activity is an inexpensive
way to treat the causes of hypertension rather than just the symptoms.
Importance of Preparation for College Play by Stephanie Shaw
[This is a guest blog by one of our Athletic Interns, Stephanie Shaw, an Exercise Science student from ECU]
You have been recruited to play at the collegiate level. The National Letter of Intent is signed or
going to be signed within the next month. Your technical skills for the sport are worthy so now you are
ready to play in college, right?
What many athletes, especially females, forget about when coming into college is the strength
and conditioning aspect of the sport. The competition in college is very different than in club or
high school athletics. Think about it, the team you are about to go play for is not only practicing but also
going through strength and conditioning training with a strength coach all spring. Why should you be
doing any different? This means it is very important to be prepared before going in especially for fall
season sports. Teams that compete in the fall such as football, soccer, and volleyball have only a week
or two of training with the team before being thrown into the season.
Coming into college strong and developed will help with injury prevention. I play on the East
Carolina Women’s Soccer team, and our coach always says that if an incoming freshman can make it
through the first fall without injury, their chance for injury for the remainder of their career is
significantly reduced. Why not decrease that risk even more by starting to work on your speed, strength,
and conditioning and agility right now. I tore my ACL freshman year and believe if I was better prepared
coming in it would have reduced the risk of tearing it.
Supplements to Boost Your Performance: Creatine by John Grace
[This is a guest blog by one of our Athletic Interns, John Grace]
Most likely, all of you “gym rats” at one time have heard of creatine and all the magical powers that come along with it. Well some of these “magical powers” are legitimate and have science to back them up. Creatine, simply put, increases muscle energy availability. Our cells store their energy as adenosine triphosphate or ATP. The amount of ATP in our cells directly relates to the amount of work our muscles can perform. ATP is then regenerated with the help of creatine during exercise.
Creatine is naturally produced in the body and is found in most diets in the form of fresh meats. So why supplement with creatine, if our body already produces it? Supplementation allows your body’s creatine stores to be more readily available for immediate use by the muscles. Creatine, behind protein powders, is the most studied sports supplement on the market and has long been shown to increase maximum power output (lifting heavier weights, sprinting faster, etc.).
In a study published by the “Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research”, they took sixteen collegiate football players for a 10 week period and randomly put each into a creatine monohydrate supplementation group (5 grams per day) or a placebo group. Pretesting and post-testing consisted of 1 repetition maximum bench press, squat, and power clean. Results discovered the creatine group significantly increased strength and power, while the placebo group showed no significant change.
As you can see, these athletes improved strength and power from 5 grams a day of creatine monohydrate supplementation. The standard dosing on most creatine products is 5 grams, but anywhere from 5g to 20g per day has been deemed safe and effective. If you are looking to PR on your next big lift, consider supplementing with creatine.
Athletic Lab in 2012
Athletic Lab had a banner year in 2011 thanks to our amazing members. We’re looking forward to making 2012 even better and we’re excited to be improving our offerings to ensure that our equipment and services always meet the highest standards possible. We’ve recently taken member polls to determine what we’re doing well and what we need to improve upon. We’ve even formed a panel of some of our most regular members to help us improve our service and coaching. When you speak, we listen!
Additionally, we’re adding more equipment to what is already one of the most well-equipped sport performance training center in the country. We either have or will shortly the following new equipment:
- Over 200 lbs of additional “change” plates for our Olympic lifting stations
- A climbing rope for our massive pullup rig
- 9 additional kettlebells (almost doubling our existing set)
- More mini-hurdles that are used for agility training and in the WODs of our CF/Performance Fitness classes
- More elastic bands to be used for resistance in some exercises as well as assistance on pullups
- A BodyMetrix Ultrasound system for quickly and accurately determining a person’s body composition
In addition to equipment, we’re also adding more services. On Saturday’s we plan to hold Yoga for Athletes sessions. This Saturday is the first session and it’s FREE for all to try. These sessions will be lead by Reuben Schooler and cost $15 each or $54 for 4 sessions following this first week. We also now offer full body composition screening using the Bodymetrix system and should be adding additional class slots to the CrossFit / Performance Fitness, and possible the Scholastic classes shortly.
2012 New Years Promotions
To bring in the New Year we’re offering two promotions for our CrossFit / Performance Fitness class:
One free week of classes for New Members. Guests must have a local address. The FREE trial period begins on the date of your first class and continues for 7 days. You may come in as many times as you’d like during that period.
The second promotion is a ‘buy two, get one.’ If you sign up for 2 months of monthly unlimited CrossFit / Performance Fitness training you will receive a free month of training. That’s right….you pay for two and you get one for free. This is the perfect opportunity to try us out and see amazing results. The rules of the promotion are as follows:
- Must be a new member.
- Only applies to monthly unlimited memberships for the CrossFit / Performance Fitness classes.
- Cost of monthly unlimited membership will be amortized over 3 months ($99.95 / month).
- You must sign up for automatic payment.
- You must sign up BEFORE January 31st, 2012.