- "The Best Exercises for the Arms"
- "Injury Prevention - The Shoulder"
- "Massage Therapy Benefits"
- "Nutrition - Carbohydrates and Protein"


In this book review, I will examine a unique approach to determining the effectiveness of different exercises to target certain muscles. Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans show biochemical changes in a muscle after exercise. Unfortunately, only the limbs could be measured due to the machine design but the book summarized the muscles that contribute to the specific exercises that could be tested.


Anatomy - 3 possible muscles to use:

   - short-head (medial), long-head (lateral), brachialis (deep)

iBarbell curl

: greatest stress on the short-head

: a narrow-grip on the bar increases the stress of long-head and brachialis

ii)  E-Z bar curl

: same as Barbell curl (more muscles stressed with a narrow grip)

iii)  Dumbbell (DB) curl

starting with palms facing the body, then rotating to palm-up during curl greatly stresses both heads of the biceps, some stress of the brachialis
starting with palm-up and continue with palm-up for entire curl less stress on the long-head

v)  Seated incline DB curl

      : greatly stresses both heads of the biceps, some use of the brachialis

v)  Hammer curl: greatest stress on the long-head


Anatomy - 3 possible muscles

         - long-head (middle), lateral-head, medial-head

i)  Parallel bar dips

:: stresses all 3 muscles

ii)  Pushdowns

[straight-bar, narrow-grip] stresses the long and lateral heads
[rope] stresses all 3 muscles when you turn the palms down at the bottom of the movement
[angled bar] stresses all 3 muscles

iii)  Single-arm reverse-grip (palm-up) extension

      : stresses all 3 muscles

iv)  Overhead rope extension

      : stresses the lateral head

v)  Single-arm overhead dumbbell extension

      : stresses all 3 muscles

vi)  Lying-E-Z bar extension (French press)

      : greatest stress on long-head, some stress on the other 2 muscles

vii)  Narrow-grip bench press

      : greatest stress on the medial and lateral muscles

viii)  DB kick-back

      : greatest stress on the lateral and medial heads

ix) Shoulder press (trains the deltoids primarily BUT/ is assisted by the triceps)

      : greatest stress on the medial and lateral muscles

: does not stress the long-head

x)  DB pullover (trains the lats primarily BUT/ is assisted by the triceps)

      : greatest stress on the long head

In summary, DB curls and weighted triceps parallel bar dips may help get the greatest training stimulus from the least amount of work. Next time, the BEST, MOST EFFECTIVE, leg exercises!


A)  Incline barbell presses

      : the higher on the chest that the bar is lowered (i.e. closer to the neck), the greater

  the stress/stretch that will be applied to the shoulder joint/capsule

: therefore, the possibility of overstretching the ligaments occurs, so try to lower

  the bar "away" from body (i.e. closer to bottom of chest muscle)

B)  Rotator cuff

      : composed of 4 muscles (& their tendons) holding the shoulder in place

  (holds the humerus bone in the glenoid/shoulder cavity)

      : "supraspinitus"

* the most often injured muscle

(mostly from repetitive overhead acts, i.e. swimming and throwing)

* functions to abduct and externally rotate the arm

(take arm back in a throwing motion)

      : injury-causing exercises include

i)  Behind-the-neck presses or pulldowns

      : the movement pulls the shoulders back and may result in an impingement

 of the rotator cuff tendons under the anterior surface of the acromion (the

 bone above the shoulder joint)

ii)  "Arnold" presses

      : this exercise should be avoided because the rotational component can

  cause injury

: the shoulder joint is not designed to twist when under a heavy load

: the rotation forces the humerus head under the acromion and can impinge

  the tendons (impingement = inflammation = tendinitis)

: if you have never tried or heard of this exercise, keep it that way! It is no

  more beneficial than a regular shoulder press.


Everybody loves a good massage, especially when delivered by a qualified masseur after a hard training session or competition. Massage is "a manipulation of soft tissues with the hand". There is no question that the massage feels fabulous and helps us relax, but does it confer any advantages to physiological recovery or the healing of injuries? Let's go over the benefits and myths massage has to offer.

i)  massage aids circulation

* vigorous massage increases blood flow to superficial (below skin) blood vessels in the area being worked upon

* HOWEVER, it probably does not increase DEEP muscle blood flow

* Massage probably does not increase metabolite (lactic acid) removal because the body does this very effectively on its own

* Massage does not provide a proper warm-up (warm-up must be activity-specific)

ii)  pain reduction

* athletes may get a large psychological benefit from a massage

* this CAN make a difference in performance

iii)  swelling reduction

* DO NOT massage an acute injury (i.e. fracture, sprain, or strain) because this may increase the injury/inflammation response

* DO NOT apply heat to an acute injury because it may worsen the injury

* Massage can benefit areas of chronic edema (fluid build-up) such as the lower legs for individuals on their feet all day

iv)  increases mobility and helps lengthen soft-tissues

* this may help individuals recover from injury and regain function

In summary, massage can be a vital component of the health of an athlete, even if it is just beneficial for relaxation and piece of mind.



There are 2 basic categories of carbohydrates.

i)  Simple carbohydrates

* glucose, fruit sugar/fructose, milk sugar/lactose

* table sugar is sucrose (a combination of fructose and glucose)

* glucose is quickly absorbed and results in increased insulin levels

* insulin drives blood sugar into cells and causes

: a quick burst of energy

: fat storage if carbohydrates are consumed in excess of need

* the elevated insulin and blood sugar levels can quickly fall resulting in:

: fatigue (following that "sugar" rush)

: hunger (ever feel hungry after eating a big bowl of pasta?)

ii)  complex carbohydrates (plant starches)

* slowly digested and absorbed

* stabilizes blood sugar and provides a long-term energy source

Another factor in the body's response to CHO intake is the GLYCEMIC INDEX (GI).

* a high-GI food (white bread) rapidly increases insulin

* high-GI foods are often processed, high-sugar snacks

* a low-GI food (oatmeal) slowly raises insulin and stabilizes blood sugar

* low-GI foods are vegetables, fruits, legumes, and dairy products

The confusing part...

Fruits contain a simple sugar (fructose) BUT/ most fruits have a low GI value! The low GI value occurs because fructose is slowly absorbed and therefore most fruits serve as excellent long-term energy sources!


Is all protein created equal? All protein sources have a "biological value" (BV). 

Biological value = "the efficiency with which food protein is mad into body tissue"

              OR "the amount of nitrogen retained from the food for tissue growth"

              = it determines the net protein utilization by the body

Animal products generally have a high BV and plant products generally have a low BV.


      : % of the protein that is used for lean tissue synthesis

Whey = 100%

whole egg = 94% 

milk = 82%

beef = 67%

whole wheat breads = 49%

rice = 57%

peanuts = 55%

Remember that excess/unnecessary amounts of carbohydrates, protein, or fat all have the tendency to be stored as fat! However, if you are limiting your food/calorie intake, listen to your body. Your brain must have carbohydrates (sugar) and without blood sugar your body will demonstrate these signs: dizziness, disorientation and fatigue. Then it is essential to feed your body and brain!

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