Posts & Resources

118 Fitness Facts

In the information age, a remarkable amount of information on anything at all can be found under your fingertips. It can be an overwhelming task deciding what has validity, applicability and where to invest your time and attention.

So, to save us all some time, here is a short list of things relating to exercise, recovery and life in general that have experientially and evidentially proven to be helpful.

1. Move often
2. Movement is a skill. Good movement takes practise
3. Mobility before stability
4. Move in different directions
5. Train movements, not parts (the body is a complex, dynamic SYSTEM)
6. Push
7. Pull
8. Squat
9. Hinge
10. Lunge
11. Lift
12. Brace
13. Rotate
14. Carry
15. Grip
16. Hold
17. Drag
18. Climb
19. Crawl
20. Roll
21. Balance
22. Jump
23. Hop
24. Bound
25. Throw/Catch
26. On two legs, and one
27. Learn to march and skip
28. Move sideways
29. Move backwards
30. Walk daily
31. Swim
32. Run
33. Sprint
34. Running and sprinting are not the same thing
35. Calisthenics
36. Play different sports
37. Play
38. Smile
39. Laugh
40. Relax more
41. Read more
42. Breathe deeply and slowly
43. Practise meditation/mindfulness
44. Do crosswords/learn a language (it’s good for the brain)
45. Sleep atleast 8 hours each night
46. Take power naps
47. Sit differently
48. Get away from your desk often
49. Drink more water
50. Eat more vegetables
51. Eat breakfast
52. Eat enough
53. Eggs are not bad for you
54. Supplements aren’t magic
55. Invest in your health
56. Fasted Training, Low Carb and Detoxes are largely overrated
57. Balanced nutrition = 90% healthy choices + 10% having a life
58. Take your shoes off
59. Strengthen your feet
60. Wash your hands
61. Take the stairs
62. Go outside often
63. Have a morning ritual
64. Do cardio (aerobically fit people live the longest, AND have better quality of life)
65. Intervals are hard, but time efficient. (perhaps not the best option for beginners)
66. Work on mobility maintenance DAILY
67. Healthy joints need movement
68. Get strong in stretch
69. Mobility = flexibility + CONTROL
70. Flexibility, without control is risky
71. Static stretching is overrated
72. Stability is not strength (you need both)
73. Strength is functional
74. Strength is protective
75. Strength is relative
76. Train to become robust
77. Use different implements (barbell/dumbbell/kettlebells etc)
78. Train for Power
79. Train velocity
80. Bodyweight before added resistance
81. Light before heavy
82. Slow before fast
83. Bilateral before unilateral
84. Stable before unstable
85. If it’s painful, don’t do it
86. If you’re injured, do what you can (within recommended guidelines)
eg. Can you modify an exercise, or train around an injury? Can you train anything at all?

87. Do the basics well
88. Do less, better (80:20 Rule)
89. Large movements
90. Full ROM
91. Perfect technique always
92. If you don’t know what perfect technique is, seek out a good strength and conditioning coach
93. If you’re new to training, seek out a good strength and conditioning coach
94. Good strength and conditioning coaches aren’t cheap, and cheap ones aren’t good
95. Have S.M.A.R.T. goals (successful people do)
96. Have a plan
97. Firm goals, flexible methods
98. Keep a training diary
99. Track progress, and progress appropriately
100. Manage training fatigue
101. Manage stress
102. Change/tweak your program every month or so
103. Strategic exercise variation
104. One size does not fit all (re exercises and plans)
105. Consistency is key
106. Ask for a spot
107. Share your equipment
108. Put your weights away
109. Build your team (people with a strong social support network perform better)
110. Join a group or train with friends (social dynamics matter)
111. Take time away from training once in a while
112. Take holidays
113. Work + Rest = Success
114. Fitness is simple, not easy
115. Show up, do something
116. Accumulate small wins
117. Focus on process, not the outcome
118. Aim for progress, not perfect

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The Deload

<blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-version=”7″ style=” bac

Deload week for miss @bellaogrady 🤗🤗 . One of our strategies to manage fatigue and keep our athletes progressing and healthy through periods of overload training is to peak each training block with a deload week. . 📈📈📈📉🎯🔄 . A deload week serves to 👇 . 1️⃣Reduce cumulative fatigue while providing enough of a stimulus to conserve most training adaptations. 2️⃣Promote a restocking of energy stores, tissue healing and recovery of many of the body's systems. 3️⃣Reduce lethargy due to inactivity, and reduce soreness that can occur with a new training cycle. 4️⃣Increase sensitivity to the training stimulus and prepare the athlete for another productive training cycle. . 😴🔋🙋💪🏋️‍♀️🏃‍♀️⚡️💨🏅🔄 . What can you do? 🤔📝 . 1️⃣Provide enough of a consistent overload to garner cumulative adaptation and fatigue to need a deload in the first place 🤔 2️⃣At the end of each overload period (typically between 3-5 weeks) train one week with reduced loading. 👉working with 50-70% of your usual volume and intensity works well. 👉🔎Half sets, half reps, half load. . Specific needs will vary depending on the individual athlete and training type. 🏋️‍♀️@bellaogrady 🎥 @dannyleejames #deload #rest #recovery #weightlifting #olympicweightlifting #olift #clean #powerclean #sprinter #hurdles #track #athletics #movement #flexibility #mobility #stability #strength #power #speed #physiotherapy #performance #fitness #health #exercise #training #surryhills #sydney #australia

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Nine Training Considerations for Females

One of the more welcome trends around mainstream gym use in recent times has been the closing gap in gender participation rates, and a rising surge of females moving towards strength training to support their aesthetic, athletic, and health endeavours.

While on the surface there don’t appear to be many training approach differences, we have sought to outline with this brief article some of the key gender specific considerations relating to training that perhaps may not be so well known.

 

1. There are no significant differences between genders until the onset of puberty
After puberty onset, there are changes in mass, structure, and tissue distribution. Males tend to carry more muscle mass, have greater bone mineral density and skeletal integrity, and females tend to carry greater relative amounts of adipose tissue (similar absolute amounts, spread across a smaller frame). Post puberty onset, there also appears to be a trend in females for quadriceps strength to increase relative to body mass while hamstring strength remains largely unchanged. This can lead to muscular imbalances, quadriceps dominance and relative weakness in the posterior chain.

2. Females have up to 9x times greater risk of non-contact ACL tears
Predisposing biomechanical factors such as wider pelvis (Q-angle) which increases rotational forces at the knee, greater quadriceps dominance, ligament laxity and generally lower physical strength exposes females to increased risk of non-contact ACL tears, and patellofemoral pain. A balanced strength and movement skill training programme has proven beneficial in reducing the risk of these common injuries.

3. Many of the primary differences in performance and metabolism are related to differences in size and body composition, rather than gender alone
Most of the true gender specific variances can be attributed to differences of muscle fibre type and sex hormone production.

4. Females and muscle growth
Testosterone is one of the primary hormones responsible for muscle growth, and post exercise repair. Both men and women produce the same hormones but differ in the amounts. Producing approximately 20 times less testosterone as males and higher amounts of estrogen, it is difficult for females to gain appreciable amounts of muscle mass.

5. Females have approximately 2/3 total muscle mass compared to males,
consisting of ½ upper body mass, ¾ lower body mass, and are on average 10% shorter. When factoring in total muscle mass per unit of height, a similar amount of total muscle mass would reduce relative strength (the measure of maximal strength in relation to body mass) level differences considerably between sexes.

6. Females benefit from similar resistance training responses as males
Although females tend to carry less muscle tissue, females can gain proportionally the same amount of strength and size as males in response to a resistance training programme, relative to mass. This means that females will gain the same percentage, of a smaller relative total mass.

7. Females tend to exhibit better metabolic health.
Despite having 2/3 muscle mass, twice the amount of fat mass as males and typically slower metabolisms, females tend to exhibit better metabolic health, specifically:

– Elevated fasting blood glucose rates are lower
– Whole body blood glucose clearance is faster
– Faster rate of glucose uptake into muscle

The hormone Estrogen is also thought to play a role in the healthier metabolic profile of females, linked to improved glucose usage.

8. Females exhibit a lower inflammatory response to resistance training
and will sustain less muscle damage than males in response to a sufficient overload stimulus. This may be one of the contributing factors to lower muscle hypertrophy levels in comparison to the training response seen in males.

9. Females are less suited for explosiveness, but are more fatigue resistant, and recover faster between bouts of effort
Females have slower muscle contractile capabilities, due to a lower concentration of Type II muscle fibres compared to males, and a lower storage capacity for anaerobic substrates and enzymes. Females however do have a higher proportion of fatigue-resistant Type I muscle fibres, and a greater capillary density, making women more suited for oxidative efficiency or aerobic work, and sustained lower-intensity muscular work. This means that overall, females tend to be less capable for short bursts of high-intensity effort, and more suited to sustained sub-maximal efforts.

Note: While females may have a lower anaerobic efficiency than males, anaerobic pathways incur a greater metabolic cost, producing more metabolic waste and fatigue. Females also metabolize a greater proportion of fat for energy at any given exercise intensity and rely less on glycogen stores, all of which contributes to females being less fatiguable. 

 

Takeaway training considerations for females: 

-Many of the main gender differences revolve around fibre type and sex hormones.

-Certain biomechanical factors can expose females to greater risk of non-contact knee injuries.

-Have similar relative strength as males, and respond similarly to resistance training.

-Have lower absolute strength and power, lower relative power.

-Do not hypertrophy to the same extent as males.

-Are less suited for short explosive bursts of activity, and more suited to sustained sub-maximal efforts or volume.

-Have greater work capacity, have better recovery after bouts of effort and sustain less muscle damage.

-Have better metabolic health: Greater insulin sensitivity, and utilise more fat for energy at any given exercise intensity (also contributing to females being less fatiguable).

Have you heard about HERo, our Women’s Strength and Conditioning Group?
HERo is a group training program dedicated specifically to meet the exercise needs of active women & female athletes.
Contact Sophie, at Sophie@centralperformance.com.au

 

References and further reading:

Gender differences in strength

Upper to lower body muscular strength and endurance ratios for women and men

Sex differences in strength and fatigability

Muscle size responses to strength training in young and older men and women

Response to resistance training in young women and men

Sex differences in muscle strength in equally-trained men and women

Age and sex effects on energy expenditure

Comparison of upper body strength gains between men and women after 10 weeks of resistance training

A comparison of maximal power outputs between elite male and female weightlifters

Sex Differences in Strength and Power Support the Use of a Mixed-Model Approach to Resistance Training Programing

Endocrine profiles in 693 elite athletes in the postcompetition setting

Direct and indirect effects of leptin on adipocyte metabolism

Gender differences in muscle inflammation after eccentric exercise

Variability in muscle size and strength gain after unilateral resistance training

Gender differences in strength and muscle fibre characteristics

Gender differences in skeletal muscle substrate metabolism – molecular mechanisms and insulin sensitivity

Sex differences in exercise metabolism and the role of 17-beta estradiol

Gender difference in circulating leptin level and leptin sensitivity

A longitudinal evaluation of maturational effects on lower extremity strength in female adolescent athletes

Age and gender comparisons of muscle strength in 654 women and men aged 20–93 yr

Males have larger skeletal size and bone mass than females, despite comparable body size

Are gender differences in upper-body power generated by elite cross-country skiers augmented by increasing the intensity of exercise?

The metabolic significance of leptin in humans: gender-based differences in relationship to adiposity, insulin sensitivity, and energy expenditure

Higher skeletal muscle α2AMPK activation and lower energy charge and fat oxidation in men than in women during submaximal exercise

Physical exercise and menstrual cycle alterations. What are the mechanisms?

Effects of menstrual cycle phase on athletic performance

3 Tips on training today’s female athlete 

Non-contact knee injuries in the female athlete

 

Why We Don’t Do ‘Girl Push Ups’ and What We Do Instead

Main Points:
1. The push up is not only a foundational upper body strength exercise, it is also a dynamic core stability exercise.
2. If you cannot perform full-length push ups, there are better alternatives than the kneeling push up that are safer and have a much higher return.
3. Appropriate exercise selection + consistently excellent technique + smart work is key to progressing safely.