Strong & Explosive with Creatine

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Creatine is one of the few supplements that has a lot of cold hard evidence to back up what it does. Creatine is a naturally high energy molecule in the body that is used in the short duration high intensity phosphocreatine system. This system, also called the ATP-PC system fuels short bursts of energy with intracellular stores of creatine when the need can’t be met with oxygen. The creatine molecule is stored in the muscle and has high energy phosphate bonds. It it the detachment of the phosphate bonds that releases energy.

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High intensity intervals just got easier.

Meat, fish and eggs can provide some creatine in the food form, however real effects are best gained with creatine powder. Supplementing with creatine is most common among strength and power trainees. If your training demands short burst of all out intensity, taking creatine is proven to help you recover faster from each intense bout and go hard for the next one. Although some of the effect will lessen when you stop taking creatine many of the benefits are lasting. The biggest plus is that you can push harder, you can build more muscle and train more frequently.

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Creatine is water soluble and mixes easily with most protein powders.

Creatine can be taken in cycles or can be loaded to build up stores in the muscles. Cycling creatine refers to taking a set dose for a period of time and followed by stopping the dose. To load creatine, slightly higher doses are taken each day. When taking creatine, you must ensure you stay well hydrated. Creatine is stored with water in the muscle, so naturally you will need to consume more water. To prevent stomach issues, creatine is best taken with meal and dissolved in a glass of water.

One of the newer findings on creatine is that it has positive effects on mental clarity and decision making. This effect is especially prominent in older adults. Creatine is stored in all types of body cells and can provide energy during conditions of stress or low oxygen. It is by this mechanism that creatine supports all body cells, not just the muscle!

References
Greenwood, M., Farris, J., Kreider, R., Greenwood, L., & Byars, A. (2000). Creatine supplementation patterns and perceived effects in select division I collegiate athletes. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 10(3), 191-194.

Persky, A. M., Brazeau, G. A., & Hochhaus, G. (2003). Pharmacokinetics of the dietary supplement creatine. Clinical pharmacokinetics, 42(6), 557-574.

Rawson, E. S., & Venezia, A. C. (2011). Use of creatine in the elderly and evidence for effects on cognitive function in young and old. Amino Acids, 40(5), 1349-1362.

NEW Facility & NEW Classes!

New Edge Fitness Inc. private training facility is NOW OPEN! NEW facility means NEW classes.

Are you asking yourself what this bootcamp is about?
Are you asking yourself what is “New Edge Fitness” about?
Are you curious if you can even make it through these bootcamps?

We are excited to welcome you to the “New Edge” Family where we are committed to helping people achieve their optimal level of health and fitness. Our bootcamps are designed to increase the longevity of your life and equip you with the strength to conquer all of your life challenges. Our coaches designed 6 classes throughout the week to accommodate all levels of fitness and they will encourage you to push past your limitations.

Get in touch with us to receive your complimentary class pass by emailing us at info@newedgefitness.ca

We are looking forward to the day you walk through our doors, and in the words of the legend himself “earn your respect not only from us, but yourself” – Ibby Ali

Contact us at (778)833-2208 to book your COMPLIMENTARY 30min Personal Training consultation or email us at info@newedgefitness.ca to receive your complimentary Bootcamp pass. Time to train the New Edge way!

Working Out vs. Training

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This week, as New Edge begins at the new facility we look at the difference between working out and training. If you had a chance to join in one of the opening day bootcamps I hope you can feel your legs again. If not, you missed out, but there will be much more of that to come!

Training is here defined as structured exercise that is varied progressively with the intent of achieving a specific outcome. Training programs follow some type of periodization. This could be linear, undulating or non-linear periodization. The volume and intensity of the training change over the training cycle to bring up weak areas and maintain overall strength. Training begins with higher volume, low intensity work to reinforce technique. Once technique is improved to some level, the intensity of training increases. Finally the volume and technique can be increased together to peak the athlete for a max performance. This is what one of my coaches call “shock week”. Recovery is always a big consideration during the peaking phase of training.

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Working out is defined as physical movement that raises the heart rate and uses the skeletal muscles. Structure and progression are not emphasized and the activities tend to be chosen arbitrarily. High intensity tasks like flipping tires, battle ropes and tire slams come to mind. These exercises are fun, but doing this mix everyday will not make you better at much. Working out can achieve many great things and it’s worth doing just for the social element of hanging out with like minded people. Other benefits include mental clarity, stress reduction, cardiovascular fitness and strength and muscle gain in a complete beginner.

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Both working out and training are important for lifters and athletes. If you have a specific outcome in mind, then training will be the biggest part of what you do in the gym. Sure, it will not look impressive day to day, but over time the foundation you build by working progressively will be indestructible. If you want to stay healthy and don’t have a something to train for, working out is a good way to maintain your fitness, however good results don’t happen by accident. Choosing a few exercises to do each day at random will not get improvements a fast as a well designed training program. Try something new and decide what type of training is best for getting to where you want to get. See you all in the gym!

References
Brown, J. (2002). Training needs assessment: A must for developing an effective training program. Public Personnel Management, 31(4), 569-578.

Izquierdo, M., Häkkinen, K., Ibanez, J., Garrues, M., Anton, A., Zuniga, A., … & Gorostiaga, E. M. (2001). Effects of strength training on muscle power and serum hormones in middle-aged and older men. Journal of applied physiology, 90(4), 1497-1507.

Penedo, F. J., & Dahn, J. R. (2005). Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity.Current opinion in psychiatry, 18(2), 189-193.

 

Overhead Squats for Shoulder Stability

 

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Nothing is better than overhead squats to keep you honest about your shoulder stability. New lifters first trying this exercise are often seen struggling with a light bar trying their utmost to stay upright. One of the benefits of overhead squatting is shoulder stability. This week New Edge shows you why and how to make your shoulders stable and sturdy for lifting.

Many lifters focus entirely on shoulder size and strength and neglect movements that train fine control at this joint. Without training shoulder stability overhead lifts feel shaky and difficult to control. If however, going overhead is painful or feels tight, getting a mobility assessment and soft tissue treatment is recommended. If you currently have shoulder pain or feel pinching in the shoulder when moving overhead, get this checked out by a professional before training overhead movements.

Grab a light bar and hold it with your hands spaced wide so that the bar touches your hip when you hold it. Press the bar overhead and think about stretching the bar like it’s a rubber band. Point your arm pits forward. Elbows should be pointed backwards. Now perform a squat!

Once the basic movement is easy to do with the light bar you can progress on.

Make the overhead squat more challenging:

1) Add more weight to the bar. This challenges the body’s structures by adding more downward force.

2) Narrowing your grip width. This isolates more of the shoulder muscles and forces them to work at the limit of their range of motion.

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Elbows back, armpits forward and midsection aligned. Beautiful.

Shoulder stability is important if you want to train for as many years as possible and perform to your highest potential. In most cases a lifter faced with this instability overhead must go back to a lighter working weight. Be patient and keep up with post- workout recovery! Next week New Edge looks at hip external rotation in the squat.

References
Jaggi, A., & Lambert, S. (2010). Rehabilitation for shoulder instability. British journal of sports medicine, 44(5), 333-340.

Ronai, P. (2005). Exercise Modifications and Strategies to Enhance Shoulder Function. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 27(4), 36-45.

Overhead Squats

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Overhead squats are one of my favorite lifts. I love the feeling of locking out under and heavy weight and then driving it up with my legs. I also love using them to teach correct squat form. The overhead squat is great at keeping a lifter honest about their midsection strength, hip flexibility and shoulder stability. Much can be learned about how someone moves by watching how they tackle the overhead squat. Today we look at midsection stability in the overhead squat!

The overhead squat is excellent for training pelvic position and control in the back and abdominal muscles. As can be seen in the figure below the muscles of the back, abs, hips and legs create opposing forces in the pelvis and spine. Effective squatting must train you how to balance these forces and keep the pelvis and spine in a neutral position.

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A simplified version of the muscular forces that contribute to anterior and posterior pelvic tilt.

To train the overhead squat begin with a dowel. Use weight by progressing slowly, once you have the technique mastered with the dowel. It is completely normal if it feels difficult at first to reach the depth you are used to squatting to. Most importantly, have a coach or other experienced lifter watch and make sure you spine position is neutral when you begin and that it doesn’t change from this position as you squat.

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A beautiful example of neutral spine and pelvis position with the bar overhead.

Think of staying tight under the bar. Lock your midsection in place and control it by not letting anything go loose until you have put the bar down. Next week we dig deeper into overhead squats and look at hip flexibility and shoulder stability in this lift. Happy squatting!

References
Anderson, K., & Behm, D. G. (2005). Trunk muscle activity increases with unstable squat movements. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, 30(1), 33-45.

Staugaard-Jones, J.A. (2012). The Vital Psoas Muscle: Connecting Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Being. North Atlantic Books

SI Joint Pain

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SI joint pain is one of the most common forms of back pain in lifter. It is also a difficult problem to solve unless you know how to deal with it. Resolving pain in this area will not only rebalance your training, and prevent further pain in the back and hip area, but will also improve your posture.

The sacroiliac joint refers to the area where the sacrum meets the ilium bone. The primary function of this joint is to transfer upper body loads to the lower body. With this in mind it is easy to see how critical it is to being able to weight train.

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SI joint pain referral zones

The SI joint is stabilized by the cross shaped muscle and fascia connections that are made up of links from under the foot, the lower leg, the IT band, the glutes and the lats. Any weakness in these muscles on either side of the body will alter the balance of pull at the SI joint and cause irritation in the area.

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Cross shaped muscle and fascia connections that stabilize the SI joint

Internal compression forces on the joint can cause other low back muscles to compensate and develop other imbalances. Exercises for this area need to focus on external rotation and abduction at the hip. Next week we look at several exercises to train that are excellent for strengthening the SI joint.

References
Brolinson, P. G., Kozar, A. J., & Cibor, G. (2003). Sacroiliac joint dysfunction in athletes. Curr Sports Med Rep, 2(1), 47-56.

Laslett, M. (2008). Evidence-based diagnosis and treatment of the painful sacroiliac joint. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, 16(3), 142-152.

Richardson, C. A., Snijders, C. J., Hides, J. A., Damen, L., Pas, M. S., & Storm, J. (2002). The relation between the transversus abdominis muscles, sacroiliac joint mechanics, and low back pain. Spine, 27(4), 399-405.

HIIT it UP for Fat Loss

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It’s Christmas time again! Despite the best intentions, all the late nights out eating with friends and family leave most lifers with fat loss on their minds. Hitt or high intensity interval training has become the method of choice for fat loss over the last 10 years. The science behind hiit is based on EPOC which stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. When exercising at a high intensity the body’s metabolism must continue to work at a higher rate to account for the activity long after you have left the gym. This benefit makes hiit especially appealing for those who want to still have a life outside the gym.

Like any training method hiit must be paired up with good eating and sleeping habits for best results. Long term use of hiit without proper nutrition and lifestyle habits can halt fat loss. Once a good lifestyle is in place, HIIT is an effective, time efficient stimulus for inducing muscle adaptation.

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HIIT can be used either as a stand alone workout or added to the end of training. Hiit done on its own is great for building an aerobic base with wasting a huge amount of time on steady state cardio. Hiit done after a heavy lifting session is excellent for strengthening the anaerobic system, while creating aerobic capacity. Aerobic capacity is what allows fat to be used for energy in the cell. This process is dominant at rest and during light activity. By using higher intensities that emphasize the short term energy systems, aerobic fat burning can be used more readily at rest.

  • The optimal duration for HIIT in intermediate lifters is 15 minutes and can be done up to 4 times per week.
  • Use intervals that are in a 2:1 ratio, for example 60 seconds low intensity alternated with 30 seconds high intensity.

Although extremely demanding, HIIT is done in low volumes and high intensity which makes it relatively less stressful than long duration moderate- high intensity training. HIIT has be found to enhance the use of glucose and fats in the muscle and improve overall metabolic health. Fats and stored carbohydrates become better used for energy as a result of this type of training. Better body composition is one of the main benefits, along with feeling stronger and less out of breath. Next week New Edge gives you some ideas on how to HIIT it up!

References

Gibala, M. J., & McGee, S. L. (2008). Metabolic adaptations to short-term high-intensity interval training: a little pain for a lot of gain?. Exercise and sport sciences reviews, 36(2), 58-63.

Laursen, P. B., & Jenkins, D. G. (2002). The scientific basis for high-intensity interval training. Sports Medicine, 32(1), 53-73.

Weston, A. R., Myburgh, K. H., Lindsay, F. H., Dennis, S. C., Noakes, T. D., & Hawley, J. A. (1996). Skeletal muscle buffering capacity and endurance performance after high-intensity interval training by well-trained cyclists. European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology, 75(1), 7-13.

Choosing Your Trainer

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New year’s resolution season is fast approaching. For many who fail on their resolutions, accountability and proper progression are missing. These are things that a good trainer can provide coaching on. Having a training certification alone, however does not qualify a trainer to work with you effectively. Here are some characteristics your new trainer should demonstrate:

1) Makes a program that fits you.

This is a no brainer, but pick a fitness professional who actually puts the time and effort in to create you a program. The trainer should use some variation of movement assessment to show you where you are at. The workout should then be created just for you based on the assessment. Most trainers have a set of go to exercises that all their clients will do at some point. If, however you notice that each client gets the same workout Wednesday training session, then you should look elsewhere for training.

2)Are able to admit that they don’t have all the answers.

Trainers who pretend to know all the answers are a real thing. Sure, your trainer will be more knowledgeable than you in the area of strength and conditioning, but pretending to be an expert on other health and nutrition topics is a red flag and shows that they many have stopped learning and working towards expertise.

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3) Are open to new approaches.

A good trainer will stay on top of research and trends. They will demonstrate the ability to evaluate new information by choosing to use what is valuable and discard what isn’t. Skilled trainers don’t pick a “hot new” trend and jump on to it as the only way to train human beings. Fitness trends come and go and the top trainers know that while most trends may have a small take-away, most are a waste of time and money.

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The basics of training and really very simple and not a sexy as some trainers make it out to be. Effective training is simple and personal, not glamorous and uniformly applicable to everyone. Some exercises and training techniques simply will not work for certain clients. This becomes especially evident if you work with those with disabilities or those recovering from injuries and accidents.

trainer44)Free of gym induced injuries.

This one is obvious, yet often overlooked. It is a simple question of whether the trainer knows what they are doing and understands proper movement progression. A fitness professional who has blown their back or pulled their muscles in the gym may unwittingly give you poor recommendations on how you reach your goals. The gym is not an unpredictable sports field or boxing ring. In theory, no one should get injured in the gym. Yet, there are trainers who don’t understand movement progression and overall health who many injure themselves and eventually their clients. If you’re trainer has glory stories of blowing their achilles tendon doing box jumps, stay far far away.

 

 

 

HOLIDAY BOOTCAMPS!

Need an extra little push before you indulge over the holidays? New Edge Fitness will be offering COMPLIMENTARY Bootcamps Tuesday December 15 and Thursday December 17 at 10:30am. If you’ve never trained with us…now is your chance!

Email info@newedgefitness.ca or call (778)998-6586 to reserve your spot!

Epsom Salts for Workout Recovery

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Muscle soreness after heavy lifting can be very uncomfortable. Going down stairs, sitting down, and lifting up your arms can make you cringe and rethink moving. Among exercise professionals this soreness is known as delayed onset muscle soreness. It begins within 12 hours after training and lasts up to 72 hours. With increased training the resistance to muscle soreness improves. Recovery is as much a part or your training as lifting is.

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Delayed onset muscle soreness it thought to result from micro tears occurring in the muscle cells during repetitive contraction. An inflammatory process brings as the body tears down and recycles the damaged proteins. The muscles are temporarily weaker, but once repaired the muscle cells are stronger.

Recently a friend of mine who is an emergency room nurse, told me that a new lifter, unaccustomed to this type of achy muscle soreness came into the emergency room demanding treatment. After hearing that he had just started back at the gym she knew it was nothing serious. A lifter herself, this nurse assured him that his achy muscles were normal after working so hard out of the ordinary. She recommended he take an Epsom salt bath and sent him on his way.

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Calcium is released in the muscle cell when an electric impulse from the brain is received at the neuromuscular junction. With repeated contraction, it is theorized that the calcium that is released is not cleared from the cell. As a result muscles will feel tight and as though they are in a perpetual state of contraction.

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The above diagram shows the release of calcium in the muscle as a neural impulse is received.

Epsom salts are one of the best recovery tools for reduce muscle inflammation and preventing stiffness in the days following training. As a plus, Epsom salts increase blood levels of magnesium and are great for reducing bloating and water retention. Koinig et al, found that knee surgery patients who were administered magnesium, during and after surgery used fewer pain medications.

Epsom salts are composed of magnesium sulfate, which is absorbed through the skin. Epsom salts have been found to increase blood magnesium levels faster than oral supplements. Athletes tend to have higher magnesium needs than the general population. There is much higher turnover in the body due to more metabolic reactions taking place. The current recommendation for Epsom salts is 300-400g, 2-3 times per week for 10-20 minutes after heavy or high volume training.

References

Greenfield, B. 26 Top Ways To Recover From Workouts and Injuries with Lightning Speed.

Koinig, H., Wallner, T., Marhofer, P., Andel, H., Horauf, K., & Mayer, N. (1998). Magnesium sulfate reduces intra-and postoperative analgesic requirements.Anesthesia & Analgesia, 87(1), 206-210.

Nica¹, A. S., Caramoci, A., Vasilescu, M., Ionescu, A. M., Paduraru, D., & Mazilu, V. (2015). Magnesium supplementation in top athletes-effects and recommendations. Medicina Sportiva, 11(1), 2482-2494.

Redmon, G. L. (2015). WHEN PAIN MEDICINE AND EXERCISE COLLIDE.Alternative Medicine, (22), 48.