Week's Best in BS Free Fitness - Vol 36

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Being dehydrated by as little as 2% can have a negative impact on athletic performance. [1, 2] This effect is amplified during endurance training done in hotter environments and over longer durations due to greater loss of water and electrolytes through sweat. [3, 6] There's limited research examining the effect of fluid intake on intermittent, resistance and sport-specific exercise performance. [4] A meta-anaylsys that looked at 28 manuscripts found hypohydration has decrements in muscle endurance, strength, and anaerobic power and capacity, but this had less of an effect in trained individuals. [6] In any case, staying hydrated is a good idea for both performance and health reasons. But how much water should we be consuming, and what indicators can we use to gauge hydration levels? Since sweat rate [6], training protocols and environmental factors are highly variable between individuals, general recommendations such 3.0 L/day for men and 2.2 L/day for women may not be sufficient. First, your thirst is actually a good indicator of how much water you should be consuming. #rocketscience A meta-analysis that looked at the effects of exercise induced dehydration on time trials (TT) in cyclist suggests that "drinking according to the dictate of thirst was associated with an increase in TT performance compared with a rate of drinking below or above thirst." [5] As far as the latter part of that statement, drinking too much fluid may cause gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort, impeding performance. [6] Second, the colour of your urine can also be a good gauge of hydration levels. Try to drinking enough water to maintain a lighter urine colour. As your urine colour darkens, try to increase your water intake. References: 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10198142 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8002117 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4033401 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5357466/ 5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21454440 6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26178327

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Training frequency refers to how many times per week a muscle group is trained. A systematic review and meta-analysis looked at 10 studies on different weekly resistance training frequencies affect on hypertrophy. [1] The studies suggest that major muscle groups should be trained at least twice a week to maximize muscle growth. A study by Schoenfeld et. al compared a training split that trained muscle groups 1x per week to a full-body routine that trained muscle groups 3x per week on a volume equated basis, in well trained males. [2] They found greater increases in hypertrophy with the total body group, with no significant differences in strength. A general recommendation would be to train muscle groups at least 2x per week, with a higher training frequency of 3x per week (or more) potentially being more beneficial for advanced lifters. _______________________________ In a previous post we discussed training intensity, which refers to a percentage (%) of how close the load being lifted is to your 1 repetition maximum (1RM). . So if a lifters 1RM is 500 lbs on the deadlift, his coach can say hey, I want you to do 75% 1RM (375 lbs) for 4 sets of 6-8 reps on Monday, and 90% 1RM (450 lbs) for 3 sets of 2-3 reps on Thursday. As a lifters 1RM goes up, the weight used to train also goes up. Next we'll discuss training volume. References: 1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27102172 2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25932981

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Wilfredo Thomas