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Concept: Bodybuilding


The purpose of this review was to determine whether past research provides conclusive evidence about the effects of type and timing of ingestion of specific sources of protein by those engaged in resistance weight training. Two essential, nutrition-related, tenets need to be followed by weightlifters to maximize muscle hypertrophy: the consumption of 1.2-2.0 g -1 of body weight, and >=44-50 of body weight. Researchers have tested the effects of timing of protein supplement ingestion on various physical changes in weightlifters. In general, protein supplementation pre- and post-workout increases physical performance, training session recovery, lean body mass, muscle hypertrophy, and strength. Specific gains, differ however based on protein type and amounts. Studies on timing of consumption of milk have indicated that fat-free milk post-workout was effective in promoting increases in lean body mass, strength, muscle hypertrophy and decreases in body fat. The leucine content of a protein source has an impact on protein synthesis, and affects muscle hypertrophy. Consumption of 3–4 g of leucine is needed to promote maximum protein synthesis. An ideal supplement following resistance exercise should contain whey protein that provides at least 3 g of leucine per serving. A combination of a fast-acting carbohydrate source such as maltodextrin or glucose should be consumed with the protein source, as leucine cannot modulate protein synthesis as effectively without the presence of insulin. Such a supplement post-workout would be most effective in increasing muscle protein synthesis, resulting in greater muscle hypertrophy and strength. In contrast, the consumption of essential amino acids and dextrose appears to be most effective at evoking protein synthesis prior to rather than following resistance exercise. To further enhance muscle hypertrophy and strength, a resistance weight- training program of at least 10–12 weeks with compound movements for both upper and lower body exercises should be followed.

Concepts: Protein, Amino acid, Glucose, Muscle, Physical exercise, Strength training, Exercise physiology, Bodybuilding


This study investigated Montmorency tart cherry concentrate (MC) supplementation on markers of recovery following prolonged, intermittent sprint activity. Sixteen semi-professional, male soccer players, who had dietary restrictions imposed for the duration of the study, were divided into two equal groups and consumed either MC or placebo (PLA) supplementation for eight consecutive days (30 mL twice per day). On day 5, participants completed an adapted version of the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LISTADAPT). Maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC), 20 m Sprint, counter movement jump (CMJ), agility and muscle soreness (DOMS) were assessed at baseline, and 24, 48 and 72 h post-exercise. Measures of inflammation (IL-1-β, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, hsCRP), muscle damage (CK) and oxidative stress (LOOH) were analysed at baseline and 1, 3, 5, 24, 48 and 72 h post-exercise. Performance indices (MVIC, CMJ and agility) recovered faster and muscle soreness (DOMS) ratings were lower in the MC group (p < 0.05). Additionally, the acute inflammatory response (IL-6) was attenuated in the MC group. There were no effects for LOOH and CK. These findings suggest MC is efficacious in accelerating recovery following prolonged, repeat sprint activity, such as soccer and rugby, and lends further evidence that polyphenol-rich foods like MC are effective in accelerating recovery following various types of strenuous exercise.

Concepts: Inflammation, Effectiveness, Lactic acid, Exercise physiology, Bodybuilding


A previous meta-analysis showed that maximal oxygen uptake increased by 3.51 mL/kg/min (95% CI 3.07 to 4.15) during a recreational football programme of 3-6 months in comparison with continuous moderate-intensity running, strength training or a passive control group. In addition, narrative reviews have demonstrated beneficial effects of recreational football on physical fitness and health status.

Concepts: Scientific control, Exercise, Strength training, Review, Meta-analysis, VO2 max, Physical fitness, Bodybuilding


We investigated functional, morphological and molecular adaptations to strength training exercise and cold water immersion (CWI) through two separate studies. In one study, 21 physically active men strength trained for 12 weeks (2 d⋅wk(-1) ), with either 10 min of CWI or active recovery (ACT) after each training session. Strength and muscle mass increased more in the ACT group than in the CWI group (P<0.05). Isokinetic work (19%), type II muscle fibre cross-sectional area (17%) and the number of myonuclei per fibre (26%) increased in the ACT group (all P<0.05) but not the CWI group. In another study, nine active men performed a bout of single-leg strength exercises on separate days, followed by CWI or ACT. Muscle biopsies were collected before and 2, 24 and 48 h after exercise. The number of satellite cells expressing neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) (10-30%) and paired box protein (Pax7)(20-50%) increased 24-48 h after exercise with ACT. The number of NCAM(+) satellitecells increased 48 h after exercise with CWI. NCAM(+) - and Pax7(+) -positivesatellite cell numbers were greater after ACT than after CWI (P<0.05). Phosphorylation of p70S6 kinase(Thr421/Ser424) increased after exercise in both conditions but was greater after ACT (P<0.05). These data suggest that CWI attenuates the acute changes in satellite cell numbers and activity of kinases that regulate muscle hypertrophy, which may translate to smaller long-term training gains in muscle strength and hypertrophy. The use of CWI as a regular post-exercise recovery strategy should be reconsidered. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Muscle, Physical exercise, Exercise, Muscle contraction, Muscular system, Strength training, Exercise physiology, Bodybuilding


Tracy, BL and Hart, CEF. Bikram yoga training and physical fitness in healthy young adults. J Strength Cond Res 27(3): 822-830, 2013-There has been relatively little longitudinal controlled investigation of the effects of yoga on general physical fitness, despite the widespread participation in this form of exercise. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the effect of short-term Bikram yoga training on general physical fitness. Young healthy adults were randomized to yoga training (N = 10, 29 ± 6 years, 24 sessions in 8 weeks) or a control group (N = 11, 26 ± 7 years). Each yoga training session consisted of 90-minute standardized supervised postures performed in a heated and humidified studio. Isometric deadlift strength, handgrip strength, lower back/hamstring and shoulder flexibility, resting heart rate and blood pressure, maximal oxygen consumption (treadmill), and lean and fat mass (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) were measured before and after training. Yoga subjects exhibited increased deadlift strength, substantially increased lower back/hamstring flexibility, increased shoulder flexibility, and modestly decreased body fat compared with control group. There were no changes in handgrip strength, cardiovascular measures, or maximal aerobic fitness. In summary, this short-term yoga training protocol produced beneficial changes in musculoskeletal fitness that were specific to the training stimulus.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Exercise, Strength training, Aerobic exercise, VO2 max, Physical fitness, Bodybuilding, Bikram Yoga


Previous strength training with or without the use of anabolic steroids facilitates subsequent re-acquisition of muscle mass even after long intervening periods of inactivity. Based on in vivo and ex vivo microscopy we here propose a cellular memory mechanism residing in the muscle cells. Female mice were treated with testosterone propionate for 14 days, inducing a 66% increase in the number of myonuclei and a 77% increase in fibre cross sectional area. Three weeks after removing the drug, fibre size was decreased to the same level as in sham treated animals, but the number of nuclei remained elevated for at least 3 months (>10% of the mouse lifespan). At this time, when the myonuclei-rich muscles were exposed to overload-exercise for 6 days, the fibre cross sectional area increased by 31% while control muscles did not grow significantly. We suggest that the lasting, elevated number of myonuclei constitutes a cellular memory facilitating subsequent muscle overload hypertrophy. Our findings might have consequences for the exclusion time of doping offenders. Since the ability to generate new myonuclei is impaired in the elderly our data also invites speculation that it might be beneficial to perform strength training when young in order to benefit in senescence.

Concepts: Metabolism, Muscle, Testosterone, Muscle contraction, Muscular system, Nerve, Anabolic steroid, Bodybuilding


To examine the independent associations between physical activity (PA) intensities, sedentary time (ST), TV viewing, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and muscular fitness (MF) with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in youth.

Concepts: Obesity, Cardiovascular disease, Physical exercise, Exercise, The Independent, Cardiorespiratory fitness, Physical fitness, Bodybuilding


The impact of Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) concentrate (MC) on physiological indices and functional performance was examined following a bout of high-intensity stochastic cycling. Trained cyclists (n = 16) were equally divided into 2 groups (MC or isoenergetic placebo (PLA)) and consumed 30 mL of supplement, twice per day for 8 consecutive days. On the fifth day of supplementation, participants completed a 109-min cycling trial designed to replicate road race demands. Functional performance (maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC), cycling efficiency, 6-s peak cycling power) and delayed onset muscle soreness were assessed at baseline, 24, 48, and 72 h post-trial. Blood samples collected at baseline, immediately pre- and post-trial, and at 1, 3, 5, 24, 48, and 72 h post-trial were analysed for indices of inflammation (interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor alpha, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP)), oxidative stress (lipid hydroperoxides), and muscle damage (creatine kinase). MVIC (P < 0.05) did not decline in the MC group (vs. PLA) across the 72-h post-trial period and economy (P < 0.05) was improved in the MC group at 24 h. IL-6 (P < 0.001) and hsCRP (P < 0.05) responses to the trial were attenuated with MC (vs. PLA). No other blood markers were significantly different between MC and PLA groups. The results of the study suggest that Montmorency cherry concentrate can be an efficacious functional food for accelerating recovery and reducing exercise-induced inflammation following strenuous cycling exercise.

Concepts: Inflammation, C-reactive protein, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, Cherry, Bodybuilding, Cherries, Montmorency cherry, Sour cherry


Hurley, CF, Hatfield, DL, and Riebe, DA. The effect of caffeine ingestion on delayed onset muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res 27(11): 3101-3109, 2013-The beneficial effects of caffeine on aerobic activity and resistance training performance are well documented. However, less is known concerning caffeine’s potential role in reducing perception of pain and soreness during exercise. In addition, there is no information regarding the effects of caffeine on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The primary purpose of this study was to examine the effect of caffeine ingestion on muscle soreness, blood enzyme activity, and performance after a bout of elbow flexion/extension exercise. Nine low-caffeine-consuming males (body mass: 76.68 ± 8.13 kg; height: 179.18 ± 9.35 cm; age: 20 ± 1 year) were randomly assigned to ingest either caffeine or placebo 1 hour before completing 4 sets of 10 bicep curls on a preacher bench, followed by a fifth set in which subjects completed as many repetitions as possible. Soreness and soreness on palpation intensity were measured using three 0-10 visual analog scales before exercise, and 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 hours after exercise. After a washout period, subjects crossed over to the other treatment group. Caffeine ingestion resulted in significantly (p ≤ 0.05) lower levels of soreness on day 2 and day 3 compared with placebo. Total repetitions in the final set of exercise increased with caffeine ingestion compared with placebo. This study demonstrates that caffeine ingestion immediately before an upper-body resistance training out enhances performance. A further beneficial effect of sustained caffeine ingestion in the days after the exercise bout is an attenuation of DOMS. This decreased perception of soreness in the days after a strenuous resistance training workout may allow individuals to increase the number of training sessions in a given time period.

Concepts: Strength training, Weight training, Lactic acid, Exercise physiology, Stretching, Muscle hypertrophy, Bodybuilding, Delayed onset muscle soreness


Resistance training-induced muscle anabolism and subsequent hypertrophy occur most rapidly during the early phase of training and become progressively slower over time. Currently, little is known about the intracellular signaling mechanisms underlying changes in the sensitivity of muscles to training stimuli. We investigated the changes in the exercise-induced phosphorylation of hypertrophic signaling proteins during chronic resistance training and subsequent detraining. Male rats were divided into 4 groups: 1 bout (1B), 12 bouts (12B), 18 bouts (18B), and detraining (DT). In the DT group, rats were subjected to 12 exercise sessions, detrained for 12 days, and then were subjected to 1 exercise session before being sacrificed. Isometric training consisted of maximum isometric contraction was produced by percutaneous electrical stimulation of the gastrocnemius muscle every other day. Muscles were removed 24 h after the final exercise session. Levels of total and phosphorylated p70S6K, 4E-BP1, rpS6, and p90RSK levels were measured, and phosphorylation of p70S6K, rpS6, and p90RSK was elevated in the 1B group compared to control muscle (CON) after acute resistance exercise, while repeated bouts of exercise suppressed those phosphorylation in both 12B and 18B groups. Interestingly, these phosphorylation levels were restored following 12 days of detraining in the DT group. On the contrary, phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 was not altered with chronic training and detraining, indicating that with chronic resistance training, anabolic signaling becomes less sensitive to resistance exercise stimuli, but is restored after a short detraining period.

Concepts: Metabolism, Exercise, Muscle contraction, Muscular system, Strength training, Resistance training, Isometric exercise, Bodybuilding