CF Endurance Classes at Bond Park and Lake Crabtree
We have two great Saturday classes lined up in the coming weeks:
On Saturday, May 25th, the 9:00 am CF Endurance class will workout at Bond Park. We will be meeting at the picnic tables by the boat house. Here are directions from Athletic Lab to Bond Park.
On Saturday, June 29th, the 9:00 am CF Endurance class will be working out at Lake Crabtree Park. We will meet at the boat rental station. Here are directions from Athletic Lab to Lake Crabtree Park
Classes Cancelled for Saturday May 18th
All classes will be cancelled on Saturday, May 18th due to the Spartan 300 Challenge to support the Special Olympics of North Carolina. The event registration is at 8:30am for those participating and is scheduled to start at 10:00am for those spectating. We hope that you can make it out to support the competitors in an amazing event for the Special Olympics of North Carolina.
[This post is written by Chris Hoina, CSCS - Athletic Development Coach at Athletic Lab]
Recently the question has been asked, what are the signs and symptoms of overtraining? Before we continue onto the signs and symptoms, it’s probably important to define and explain what overtraining actually is. While you may never experience this syndrome, it’s still important to address the potential threat and take steps to prevent it from occurring.
Overtraining syndrome is known by many names. Some may call it burn-out or just refer to the feeling of staleness, heaviness, or low motivation to achieve. As defined by Smith (2004) overtraining occurs when “an athlete is training intensely, but, instead of improving shows a deterioration in performance, even after an extended rest period” (p. 185). Put another way, overtraining is simply the imbalance between adaptation and time allotted for recovery (Sims, 2001). The body needs to be stressed just beyond its comfort zone in order to adapt, this is how we see gains in performance. However, when the stress and frequency outpace recovery the effects can often be deleterious.
While overtraining can manifest in many ways (psychological, physiological, biochemical, and immunological) you will probably notice first a change in mood followed by declines in performance (Smith, 2004). As an example, the first signs of overtraining will be psychological in nature; the athlete may go from an outgoing enthusiastic presence to being constantly tired, depressed and uninterested in training or competing (Smith, 2004).
While overtraining will affect athletes in different ways, the best thing that you can do is to be aware of its existence. Smith (2004) states that while a general consensus to overtraining does not exist it appears that overtraining is related to an increase in volume and/or intensity of training, or a consistently high volume of training/competing over an extended period of time, with insufficient time for recovery. If you fit this profile or think you might be at risk, consider the following recommendations:
- Monitor performance by maintaining records of training and competition
- Don’t increase exercise abruptly; follow the 10% weekly increase rule
- Have at least one complete rest day (active recovery doesn’t count)
- Variety in training schedule
- Vary heavy load and light load days
- Eat a well-balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, protein, and micronutrients
- Avoid treating with anti-depressants; determine if overtraining is the underlying cause
- Consider stress elsewhere in life as this stress can be additive to the physical stress of training (Smith, 2004)
Keep these recommendations in mind and you should be fine. Hopefully, with proper training and recovery you’ll never find yourself in a position of being over trained. Remember, like most other areas, prevention is the best treatment.
Sims, S. (2001). The overtraining syndrome and endurance athletes. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 23(1), 45-46.
Smith, L. L. (2004). Tissue trauma: The underlying cause of overtraining syndrome. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 18(1), 185-193.
USAW Level 1 Course a HUGE Success
For the second year in a row we’ve had a massive turnout for our USAW Level 1 Course. Coaches, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts from across the Unites States gathered at Athletic Lab to gain knowledge and experience in the sport of weightlifting from an excellent coach in Harvey Newton. We would like to thank all of the students, our excellent staff for hosting, Chris Garrett for coordinating, and Coach Newton for instructing another successful USAW weekend at Athletic Lab. You can see all of the pictures from the USAW Level 1 Course here.
Posted on 04/29 at 02:09 AM
2nd Annual Athletic Lab Weightlifting Open
We are pleased to announce our 2nd Annual Weightlifting Open. Athletic Lab will be hosting a USAW sanctioned meet on October 19th, 2013. The meet will consist of the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. This event is open to all USAW registered members. If you do not have a USAW membership, you can sign-up here.
This competition is limited to 60 weightlifters. While the Athletic Lab Open is months away, we fully expect to sell out very quickly: REGISTER NOW
A singlet is not required to compete unless you would like your total to count toward a national event. If you choose not to wear a singlet, you must wear clothing that does not cover the knees or the elbows at any point during your attempts. Weightlifting shoes are not required, but are highly recommended. Weightlifting shoes must be worn for your total to count toward a USAW national competition.
Early registration (submitted before October 1st, 2013) $40
Late registration (submitted on October 1st, 2013 or later) $55
Weigh-ins will be held two hours in advanced of your lifting session.
Competitive weight classes:
56 kg (123 lb)
62 kg (137 lb)
69 kg (152 lb)
77 kg (170 lb)
85 kg (187 lb)
94 kg (207 lb)
105 kg (231 lb)
48 kg (106lb)
Please call or email Athletic Lab with any questions regarding this event:
4 Tips For A Bigger Power Clean
The power clean is an excellent exercise to develop power and strength. While it is fairly simple to teach a group of athletes how power clean in a competent manner, it takes countless reps to maximize potential in this lift. Here are a few things to consider to maximize efficiency in the power clean.
1. Proper starting position:
Arguably, the most important position is your starting position. The start position correlates very well with the amount of success an athlete has with the lift. The starting position is something you have complete control over. You can take all the time you need to set up. Get it right.
There is more than one way to get to the top of the hill, but there are certainly a few things every athlete must do to be proficient at this lift. Chest up, shoulders back, back tight. We refer to the start position as the “Silver Back Gorilla position”.
I see far too many athletes relaxed in this start position. There should be built up tension from the start. This additional tension will transfer more power during the initial pull.
There is much debate as to whether it is more beneficial to start with the shoulders in advance of the bar, on top of the bar, or behind the bar (yes, some elite lifters start with their shoulders behind the bar). Again, there is more than one way to get to the top of the hill, but for the purpose of minimizing errors; beginning athletes should start with the hips just higher than the knees and the shoulders in slight advance of the bar.
2. Keeping the bar close:
The closer the bar is to your body, the more control over the bar you have. If the barbell starts travelling away from your body, you will find that the barbell will have more control over you. Keeping the bar tight to the body can help keep your weight concentrated in the right area of the foot throughout the lift.
The bar position throughout the lift can also facilitate a proper catch position. Proper rack position will be addressed later on.
3. Hit the power position:
The power position is quite often overlooked by coaches and athletes. The power position I’m referring to is when the bar reaches mid-thigh. When the bar reaches this point in the lift you should see the athlete’s chest open up and become more vertical and knees rebend under the bar. This subtle movement will put an athlete in the best position to transfer the most power into the bar.
Think of this position as a vertical jump. It is difficult to get high vertical jump test score when you don’t bend the knees. This is the same type of movement that is required to launch the bar up in a power clean. You clearly won’t be able to get as high off the ground as you would in a vertical jump, but leaving the ground is important to generate more power.
4. Rack the bar properly:
The lift isn’t over yet. Racking the bar correctly will allow for a clean, balanced lift and decrease the likelihood of injury to the wrist and hand. The last time I checked, the goal of training is to keep athletes healthy, not on the sideline.
With the elbows pointing straight ahead, the bar should rack nicely across the deltoids with the bar in close proximity to the throat. The weight of the bar should be resting on the shoulders and only guided by the fingertips. It is common to feel uncomfortable in this position at first as it may feel like the bar is choking you. Repetition is important. Overtime, you won’t even notice that it’s there.
Keep these four things in mind when training the Power Clean. Poor technique is often the culprit of poor power clean, not immature strength and power qualities.
To Supplement or Not To Supplement by Justin Hardy
[This post is written by Justin Hardy who is currently working as a Sport Performance Intern at Athletic Lab]
In today’s vast market, the everyday consumer is constantly bombarded with advertisements about the newest health products. There are countless ridiculous ‘miracle pills’ that claim to slim your waistline by the day. Obviously, a lot of products are bogus, but there are some good ones out there that can aid performance or facilitate recovery.
Two of the most popular and researched supplements on the market are creatine and beta-alanine.
Creatine is a substance that is naturally found in meat products and is also synthesized by the body.
How Creatine Can Help:
The body naturally creates ATP (energy) through the combination of ADP and PhosphoCreatine (PCr). The enzyme that facilitates this process is creatine kinase. Supplementing with creatine can increase these stores of PCr, thus increasing the potential for energy production. The body uses this system to rapidly create energy in short, high intensity activities.
Dose and Benefits:
Twenty grams/day of creatine for 4 to 6 days has shown to increase creatine stores in the body by 20%. When ingested with carbohydrates there is potential for even greater increases in creatine stores. Studies show that this amount has positively increased short, repeated, intense exercise performances. It has not been shown to positively aid endurance events, as different energy production systems take precedence.
There have been few long term studies on creatine; the only adverse effects found are occasional GI distress and temporary water mass gain during supplementation. Effects are reported to disappear once supplementation is stopped.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is found naturally in the body and is synthesized by the liver. It can be consumed in various meats such as beef, chicken, and turkey.
How Beta-Alanine Can Help:
When beta-alanine is consumed in a meal it is in a dipeptide form. The dipeptide carnosine (beta-alanine + amino acid histidine) is the primary form, and is what supplies the body with performance effects. Skeletal muscle has a relatively low concentration of beta-alanine, compared to histidine and carnosine, and is the rate-limiting factor.
Beta-alanine helps maintain the acid-base homeostasis within muscle through the buffering of Hydrogen ions (H+). It is estimated to buffer up to 40% of these ions in skeletal muscle, created by high intensity exercises. Carnosine is also located in other excitable tissue, other than skeletal muscle, such as the brain and heart. Some studies have shown that beta-alanine supplementation, which combines to form carnosine, could help protect the neurons in the tissue, protecting against degenerative diseases.
Dose and Benefits:
20 to 40 mg/kg of body weight has shown to significantly increase the blood’s beta-alanine levels, but were accompanied with adverse affects of tingling of the skin. A smaller dose of 10mg/kg was found to increase beta-alanine stores at a lower capacity, without the effect of skin tingling. Studies have shown that beta-alanine can delay fatigue in repeated exercise bouts lasting 60 to 240 seconds, such as 400m high intensity running, however it did not improve race time. Beta-alanine was shown to have no effect when activity was shorter than 60 seconds. Evidence lacks for significant gains in max strength such as lifts with a low number of repetitions.
Paresthesia or skin tingling is the only known side effect.
1. Grande, B. (2005). Creatine Supplementation. Strength and Conditioning Jorunal, 27(1), 62.
2. Hoffman, JR., (2012). Beta-Alanine Supplementation, 11(4), 189.
Upcoming Nutritional Seminars at Athletic Lab
We have two guest speakers coming to Athletic Lab in the following weeks. Dr. Smith-Ryan of UNC Chapel Hill and Steve Beck of Custom Fit Meals will graciously be presenting free seminars on hot nutritional topics.
Saturday, May 4th at 9:00am: Supplements for Sports Performance - Dr. Smith-Ryan of UNC Chapel Hill.
Saturday, May 11th at 2:00pm: Popular Nutrition Strategies and Real World Eating - Steve Beck of Custom Fit Meals.
Seats are limited. Reserve your spot now.
Abbie Smith, PhD, CSCS, CISSN joined the Department of Exercise and Sport Science as an assistant professor in July, 2011. Dr. Smith completed her undergraduate degree from Truman State University (Kirksville, MO) in Health and Exercise Science, and she completed her graduate work in Exercise Physiology from the University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK; MA and PhD), where she served as the coordinator of the Metabolic and Body Composition Laboratory.
Abbie’s research interests center around exercise and nutrition interventions to modify various aspects of body composition, cardiovascular health, and metabolic function in obese, elderly, and women. She is an active researcher in the field of sport nutrition and exercise performance, in both young and old athletes. Some of her primary work has focused on beta-alanine, creatine, and proteins/amino acids. She is also interested in applied aspects of neuromuscular fatigue.
Dr. Smith is an active member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). Abbie also contributes to the field through many peer-reviewed manuscripts, scholastic book chapters and multiple International and National presentations
Steve Beck of Custom Fit Meals is a trainer and nutrition coach. He has 20 years of weight training experience. He has worked with all types of clients from weight-loss, pregnant mothers, and athletes, to post-operative. He has experience helping people of all ages feel and look better. Steve is certified through ACSM, NASM as a Corrective Exercise Specialist, and is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Lean Eating Coach.
Athletic Lab Partners with Special Olympics
We are extremely proud to announce our partnership with the Special Olympics of North Carolina.
Athletic Lab and the Cary Police Department will be hosting the Spartan 300 Challenge Saturday, May 18th at Athletic Lab to benefit the Special Olympics of North Carolina.
The Spartan 300 Challenge
1.5 mile run
1.5 mile run
300m kettlebell run
The athlete must complete all portions of the Spartan 300 Challenge, in the order above, as fast as possible.
Teams of four athletes will complete the Spartan 300 Challenge as fast as possible. Each team member will be responsible for completing their given exercise as fast as they can. One team member will be responsible for running each portion of the workout, while the other three team members will be responsible for completing their designated exercise of 100 push-ups, 100 squats, or 100 burpees.
Join us for a great cause and sign up by printing out the registration form or picking one up at Athletic Lab.
Individual (16+ years old) $40
4 Person Team (paying as a group) $140
Please submit registration and donation by May 15th on a first come first serve basis to the address below.
There is a 100 competitor limit so register early to secure your spot.
Special Olympics North Carolina
c/o Dot Kohlbach
2200 Gateway Centre Blvd., Ste.201
Morrisville, NC 27560
Credit Card payments will be accepted via phone by calling Dot Kohlbach at 919-719-7662, ext. 119.
Fax registration to 919-719-7663, attention Dot Kohlbach.
Unleash your inner Spartan and sign up now to support a great cause.
Hydration in Sports by Cliff Scarborough
[This post is written by Cliff Scarborough who is currently working as a Sport Performance Intern at Athletic Lab]
When it comes to sports performance, maintaining a healthy level of hydration is one of the key elements in the ability to produce great results. The National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), states that improper hydration can lead to negative performance during practice as well as competition due to lack of muscle lubrication which effects muscle elasticity, strength and endurance. Evaporation is usually the primary mechanism of heat dissipation in an effort to assist the body in regulating core temperature, which rises if the body cannot adequately evaporate sweat. During this process, there is a loss of valuable fluids. Dehydration occurs when an athlete’s sweat loss exceeds fluid intake. The rate of sweat loss is determined by the intensity of exercise, environmental conditions, acclimatization state, clothing (type and color), and baseline hydration status along with individual sweat rate. The term dehydration, is defined by a 2% loss of body weight. This begins to compromise physiology and can start to have negative influences on performance. When an athlete experiences heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke he or she is usually higher than 3% past dehydration.
Most athletes do not drink the proper amount of water; however, it is possible to improve drinking behaviors through education, increasing accessibility and optimizing palatability. It is also important to avoid over-hydrating because it can potentially compromise physical health and performance as well. It is recommended that athletes consume 17 to 20 ounces of water or sports drink 2 to 3 hours prior to exercise, another 7-10 ounces 10 to 20 minutes before starting exercise to ensure proper hydration and 7-10 ounces of fluids every 10 -20 minutes once exercise has started. For rehydration, The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that you gradually drink about 23 fluid ounces of fluid for every pound of weight lost during exercise.
Other general recommendations to hydrate properly are as follows:
- Ease of access to beverages.
- Individual containers to insure easy monitoring of intake.
- Athletes should be checked for hydration through urine color or pre-exercise body weight before practice.
- Rehydration should take place within two hours after exercise or practice is done. Cool water for rehydration, carbohydrates for glycogen replenishment and electrolytes to speed up rehydration.
Another factor that should be taken into consideration when monitoring an athlete’s hydration state is weather change and timing of competition or practice to ensure proper fluid intake.
To decrease the likelihood of dehydration and the negative side effects, events should be scheduled in the cooler part of the day. Light colors should be worn over darker colors and athletes should be encouraged to educate themselves on hydration protocol to ensure their own safety while exercising or competing.
Sports drinks like Gatorade that have less the eight percent carbohydrates (CHO) and sodium are recommended for consumption. These drinks are absorbed easily and are well tolerated by the body. Beverages containing more than eight percent carbohydrates (CHO), caffeine, carbonation, and alcohol should be avoided because of the high risk of dehydration associated with urine production, or decreased voluntary fluid intake.
1 Sawka MN, et al. (2007). Exercise and fluid replacement. American College of Sports Medicine; . American College of Sports Medicine position stand. . Med Sci Sports Exerc ;39:377-390.
2 Jason Brumitt. (2004). NSCA’s Performance Training Journal.
3 National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC), POSITION STATEMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HYDRATION TO MINIMIZE THE RISK FOR DEHYDRATION AND HEAT ILLNESS. April 2008