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


ISSUE #111

1 - Check It Out

You know you can't get enough of CB Athletic Consulting training info…so get the May issues of Men's Health and Men's Fitness.

In Men's Health, CB helps author Scott Quill explain when and how to use supersets, drop sets, and other "sets" for various training goals.

Then catch a triple dose of CB in the May issue of Men's Fitness. Not only do you get the regular Textbook Muscle column (p. 134) and some exercise tips in the article "Classics Revisited", but you also get Part 1 of the 3-part "Beach Muscles" workout routine. There aren't a lot of free CB Athletic Consulting workouts available on-line or in magazines, so check this one out while you can.

2 - Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance

Get the latest scientific evidence on back exercise - what helps and what hurts, and why, from world renowned authority Stuart McGill, Ph.D. Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance provides professionals with the evidence base to design and prescribe the best exercise programs for the back.

Professor McGill's unique approach is based upon years of scientific research into back function of injured people through to elite athletes. His expertise is sought by governments, corporations, professional sports teams and athletes. A complete description of a 5 stage program is provided.

Examples are provided for each stage within a bad back rehabilitation program together with performance enhancement programs for athletes. Beginning with recognizing and re-patterning perturbed motor programs and progressing to the enhancement of stability, then endurance, the final stages continue with strength, power and agility training. Each step is well illustrated and instructive.

Added to this are general approaches to assess the demands of individual activities and sports and how to identify the critical components that need specific focus in an individuals' back. Dr McGill's style makes for an easy read of this thorough and rich resource.

Be prepared for a new approach. Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance is a myth buster! The book is now available at: www.backfitpro.com

3 - Role of Strength Training in a Fat Loss Program

(Adapted from the upcoming "Beastly Transformation" book by Christian Thibideau)

I'll say it once and for all: the purpose of strength-training while dieting is primarily to prevent muscle loss while on a caloric deficit diet.

A lot of gurus now like to use strength training exercises to burn fat by using long series (15-20+ repetitions) and short rest intervals (30-60 seconds). Their logic is that this form of training increases growth hormone output. GH being a lipolytic (increase fat usage) hormone they argue that a training method leading to a production of GH will naturally lead to an important fat utilization. This theory is interesting however in the real world it is just not that effective.

Why? Consider that when a bodybuilder uses exogenous human growth hormone a minimum dose of 2IU per day for at least 3 months is required to produce noticeable changes. Many bodybuilders even argue that below 4IU per day is useless for body composition purposes. The medical dose recommended for GH is around 0.20 to 0.5 IU/kg per day, so for a 90kg individual (200lbs) this comes up to a daily dose of 2.6 to 6.5IU. And this is for medical use, which is often too low to cause any "bodybuilding" results. As a comparison, the natural production of GH by the body varies from 1IU to 2IU per day (so maybe 0.25 to 0.5IU during exercise). So it is unlikely that the slight, transient, increase in GH levels from strength training would cause any significant short term improvements in body composition.

(CB Note: In no way does the above example condone the use of GH or other drugs. The example serves only to support the author's argument.)

High-intensity strength exercises (in the 70-100% range) are better than low intensity strength exercises (in the 40-70% range) while dieting. The higher training loads helps you preserve strength and muscle while on a hypocaloric diet much better than super-high volume/low intensity workouts.

We've been brainwashed by the various muscle magazines to believe that you should do high reps training for definition. This is absolutely ridiculous! Sure you use a little more energy, but think about it: the higher the training volume, the more energy you need to recover. The more glycogen you burn while strength training, the more carbs you'll need to recover and progress. While on a hypocaloric diet your body has a lowered anabolic drive, meaning that it can't synthesize as much protein into muscle as if you were eating a ton. A super-high volume of work leads to a lot of microtrauma to the muscle structures; a lot of microtrauma requires a great protein synthesis increase.

So if you use high-volume/low-intensity training while dieting you'll breakdown more muscle and build up less. Not exactly good news! Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of high-reps training is an increase in blood and nutrient flow to the muscles, but if you have a reduced amount of nutrients available in your body, this benefit is pretty much wasted.

This article was originally published in Christian Thibideau's Modern Strength Newsletter. You can subscribe by sending an email to Christian at: the_beast@t-mag.com or access the online archives at: www.angelfire.com/ct3/modern-strength

4 - Taylor-Made Triathlon Training

Craig Taylor (B.Kin, M.Sc., NSCA-CPT) is a NCCP certified Triathlon Coach, and recently spent some time at Canada's National Triathlon Training Centre in Victoria, BC. Coach Taylor is now available to answer your Triathlon Training questions. Email your questions to cb@cbathletics.com and we'll forward them on to Coach Taylor. Here are some starter points…

Q: Coach Taylor, can you recommend a comprehensive Triathlon Training book?

I think the most comprehensive is Joel Friel's "Triathlon Training Bible". It's about 6 years old now, but still very relevant to the age group triathlete and it deals with a lot of issues around self-evaluation and long term planning. www.slowtwitch.com is also a very good website for triathletes.

Q: Coach Taylor, do you have some basic tips for the recreational athlete or beginner preparing for their first triathlon?

Here are a few great tips:

  1. Prioritize your Training:
    If you really want to get faster, rank the swim, bike and run in order from weakest to strongest. Athletes should prioritize their training in the same order as this list, working the weakest sport the most, and the strongest sport the least

  2. Consistency in Training:
    Triathletes should strive to maintain consistency in their training, rather than continually pushing the boundaries of volume and intensity. Too often, endurance athletes and triathletes in particular, adhere to the notion that 'more is better'. Although they may achieve a few weeks of high volume training, they inevitably find this to be unsustainable, and usually end up sick or injured. By the time they recover, they are much farther behind than they would have been if they had adhered to a consistent schedule of appropriate training.
  3. Smart Pacing when Racing:
    During endurance races, research shows that athletes who practice 'even-pacing' or 'negative-splitting' will perform best in a race. To 'even-split' a race is to complete the second half as fast as the first, while achieving a 'negative-split' means that the athlete must complete the second half of the race faster than the first half.
    In a triathlon, this means that triathletes should be encouraged to save their high intensity efforts until they are well into the run. Too often, athletes start the race too fast, resulting in poor performances. This reduction in performance is usually caused by a combination of the following factors: excessive lactate production, glycogen depletion and/or dehydration.
  4. Value for your Money:
    Triathlon has long enjoyed a reputation as the birthplace of many innovative technologies designed to make athletes faster. This is particularly true of cycling, but applies equally to swimming and running.

Triathlon can therefore quickly become an expensive sport for those athletes looking to shave seconds and sometimes minutes, off of their race times. Before making a big purchase, athletes should carefully consider the value they're getting. Put another way, what is the time benefit per dollar one can expect from a given piece of hardware?

Dollar for dollar, aero bars are the best buy. For $75 to $300+ (depending on how fancy you want to get), cyclists can instantly increase their average cycling speed by 1-3km/hr due to improved aerodynamics. This is 'free speed' since their race performance will improve despite no change in their fitness.

Racing wheels are also another choice for the cyclist looking for 'free speed'. Ranging from approximately $1000 to $2000 per pair, racing wheels are much more expensive than aero bars, and may not offer the same advantages. This is because the aerodynamic properties of racing wheels are more advantageous at higher speeds.

For example, an athlete who is able to average 40km/hr during the cycling leg can expect a 1-2 min advantage per hour when using racing wheels. Most recreational athletes do not perform at this level, and would not receive the same benefit from the wheels. Something to consider the next time you're at your local bike or triathlon shop.

Craig Taylor (B.Kin, M.Sc., NSCA-CPT) is a NCCP certified Triathlon Coach, and is currently working at Canada's National Triathlon Training Centre in Victoria, BC. Coach Taylor trains athletes and the general population in Hamilton, ON, and in Toronto, ON at Totum Life Sciences www.totum.ca.

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.

CB Athletic Consulting Inc.

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