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Strength Training Tips

When is the best time to workout?  A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reports that men make equal gains in muscle and strength whether they work out in the morning or in the evening. Bottom line: be consistent.

Anything new about Protease? A stomach enzyme could make you stronger. Protease, a digestive enzyme that helps your body break down proteins, appears to lessen muscle inflammation that occurs after resistance training, say Baylor University researchers. Faster recovery means you can lift more weight on subsequent trips to the gym. Study participants experienced benefits within 3 weeks of taking daily protease supplements.

While in training, how much protein should I ingest at each meal? University of Texas Medical Branch scientists found that eating 30 grams of protein at one meal helps muscle growth as much as taking in 90 grams does. Try smaller meals (3 to 4 hours apart) for a more efficient approach to repairing your muscles.

What’s the latest on creatine? According to researchers at the University of Tulsa, creatine monohydrate is still the best form of this popular muscle builder. Creatine ethyl ester (CEE), a more expensive and supposedly more effective product, doesn’t live up to its claims, the scientists say. “Once it’s in the bloodstream, CEE completely breaks down into creatine and alcohol in less than 10 minutes,” says study author Gordon Purser, Ph.D. “This chemical instability limits the amount of creatine that actually makes its way to your muscles.”

What about protein shakes? Drinking an UltraMeal protein shake by Metagenics before, during, or after weight training  speeds fat loss. I find that clients who drink an UltraMeal shake lose more fat and gain more lean body mass than those who do not drink a shake.

What’s the best reps and sets to use? For the fastest results, change the number of reps you perform every time you hit the gym. In a Brazilian study, people who alternated upper- and lower-body training days gained more strength when they rotated among 4, 10, and 15 repetitions each workout. They outperformed those who did the same number of reps every session or even shifted rep counts weekly. That’s because changing the load recruits different muscle fibers, which lets you train your muscles completely, the researchers say.

Anything new for soreness? Researchers at the University of Georgia discovered that ginger supplements may reduce muscle soreness. The best part? Less discomfort improves range of motion, which helps you pack on more muscle. A change was noticed within 11 days using 2 grams of ground ginger each day.

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