CB CB Athletic Consulting, Inc. Training Report
- www.cbathletics.com


ISSUE #110


If you review the CB Athletics Archives, you'll get expert insight from the world's best strength coaches, especially Alwyn Cosgrove, CSCS, a consultant to Men's Health magazine.

Alwyn has worked with about 30-40 competitive martial artists, as well as athletes from these sports: figure skating, motocross, supercross, running, mountain biking, boxing, football, soccer, rugby and baseball. Check out his first interview in Issue 93 as well as his own website: www.alwyncosgrove.com.

1 - Berardi's Steps to Optimal Post-Workout Nutrition

This interview was originally posted at grrlathlete.com, Issue 13.

John Berardi is world renowned for this nutrition, supplement and training advice. After 10 years of nutrition and exercise consultation and over 100 published articles on these topics, John founded Science Link, Inc. - Translating Research into Results and www.johnberardi.com - Human Performance and Nutrition Consulting.

Through his consulting businesses, John works with a diverse client population including high-level athletes wanting to win medals and championships. Furthermore, John will be completing his PhD with a specialization in exercise and nutritional biochemistry. To say that this guy knows his stuff is an understatement.

In this issue, we decided to pick John's oversized brain (no really, he does have an abnormally large head) to get his thoughts on a very important topic - Post Workout Nutrition.

grrlAthlete.com: John, what have you found to be the biggest mistake in post-workout nutrition by athletes, and female athletes in particular?

John Berardi:
The biggest mistake people are making is not doing anything at all about post-workout nutrition! Nutritionally, most people don't plan for success - not even many of the most elite of the elite that we regularly work with.

I learned this lesson when I started working with a group of Canadian Olympians a few years back. When I spoke with them about their nutrition and supplementation I was flabbergasted with their lack of nutrition knowledge. Now, prior to this time I would have anticipated nutritional ignorance or misinformation from the average person but not from elite athletes. But I was wrong. In fact, the athletes were just about as misinformed as the general public.

After re-evaluating my premises, I realized that because most athletes can stay lean and fit from high volumes of training, their poor nutritional choices could be masked by a body that looks well nourished and healthy. Also, because they are already elite, they think they must be "dialed in". It's unfortunate that most of them never know just how outstanding they could be if they really took care of their nutrition.

So, once I get a hold of their programs, those already good-looking bodies usually change as their fat mass decreases and muscle mass increases. But even more importantly, they also improve their performance. This is why I spend a lot of time with my clients and athletes (even the ones that already look great); educating them about making appropriate food choices and helping them improve the timing of their intake.

Read the remainder of the interview at: grrlathlete.com, Issue 13

2 - The Facts About Fitness

Christian Finn is the editor of the website and e-mail newsletter "The Facts About Fitness". Christian has a Master's degree in Exercise Science and is one of the UK's top fitness experts. He also has a column in the new Men's Health publication, Men's Health Muscle. Christian's site is www.thefactsaboutfitness.com/

As certified personal trainer, Christian has spent more than a decade working with people of all shapes and sizes. Christian takes pride in reviewing the latest scientific research in the areas of diet and exercise and bringing it to the masses via his newsletter.

CBAthletics.com: Christian, according to the research, what are the roles of cardio and interval training in a fat loss program?

Christian Finn:
Well, I class interval training as a form of cardio. It definitely helps, though I think that the benefits are often overstated. Interval training works well for some people because it helps to increase the number of calories burned both during and after exercise. I think 2-3 bouts of aerobic exercise each week is about right.

CB: Do you have any additional specific recommendations on interval training, such as length of the interval or type of equipment to use for optimal fat loss? Is there any research on this?

I've never seen any research directly comparing different interval training programs in terms of their effect on fat loss. I think you'd need to follow a lot of subjects (especially if they're well-trained) for at least six months in order to detect a "statistically significant" effect.

That said, I have seen evidence to show that shorter intervals increase fat oxidation to a greater extent than long intervals.

In this research, the treadmill speed was identical during both the short and long interval workouts. Moreover, the ratio between work and recovery bouts was also the same, meaning that the total amount of time spent running on the treadmill (16 minutes) was identical.

Despite the fact that exercise intensity and duration were kept constant during both trials, there were large differences in the number of fat calories burned for energy. In fact, the number of fat calories burned was approximately three times LOWER during the long interval workout.

Plus, I find that shorter intervals "feel" a lot easier, especially when you're following a diet where carbohydrate intake is restricted. Intervals lasting 30-60 seconds are hard work!

I don't believe that any type of cardiovascular exercise machine is significantly better than another. Of course, some might burn a few more calories than others. But I usually tell people to do the form of exercise they enjoy and will keep doing. For me, jogging burns no calories at all. That's because I absolutely hate it, so I never do it!

CB: What about strength training? What is the role of strength training in achieving the lean physique?

Usually, I don't find that people get much stronger when they're trying to get lean. If someone is able to maintain their strength while losing a significant amount of fat, they're doing well.

Training with weights helps to preserve lean muscle, which is important in keeping the metabolic rate elevated. Studies show that weight training also increases the number of calories burned after exercise, although this depends a lot on the type of training involved.

Most people have the wrong idea, and end up doing lots of repetitions with a light weight. They also take too much rest between sets. As you know, this is a mistake. But when they get it right, the results are usually impressive. Again, 2-3 bouts of weight training each week is about right.

CB: What does the research suggest about optimal repetition range and exercise selection for fat loss-muscle maintenance programs?

Rather than performing numerous exercises designed to "isolate" individual muscles, a far better approach is to use multi-joint movements that burn more calories. The bench press, for example, involves more muscles and increases energy expenditure to a greater extent than the triceps kickback.

Make sure to perform 8-12 repetitions per set. Studies show that low repetitions (3-6) with a heavy weight or high repetitions (15-25) with a light weight aren't as effective at raising your metabolic rate. This repetition range is also a great natural way to boost growth hormone and testosterone levels. Both of these hormones help you lose fat and build muscle.

Keep your rest periods between sets short. Shorter rest times (60-90 seconds) are more effective than longer rest times (4-5 minutes) at increasing your metabolic rate after exercise.

CB: Thanks Christian. We appreciate the insight and look forward to a future interview on building muscle.

The information on cbathletics.com is for education purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice or attention of health-care professionals. Consult your physician before beginning or making changes in your diet or exercise program, for diagnosis and treatment of illness and injuries, and for advice regarding medications.

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