Workout of the Week
Aim to Perform this workout 2-3 times this week if manageable
Perform 2 sets with minimal rest before beginning the main workout
*Complete each exercise with the same letter heading with little to no rest in-between
*Repeat each tri-set a total of 3 times
*Rest 90-120 sec between tri-sets
A1: Goblet Side Lunge x 10-12 reps each side
A2: Jump Squats x 10-12 reps
A3: Curtsy Squat x 10-12 reps
B1: Walkouts w/ Push Ups x 10 reps
B2: Snow Angels x 10 reps
B3: Seal Push Ups x 10 reps
B4: Plank x 30 seconds
Follow these cool down exercises. Be sure to take your time and connect mind w/ body!
Weekly Article Post
Are plant-based diets any better or worse than more traditional omnivore diets?
Plant-based diets are a very contentious topic, especially amongst athletes and for the most part, people tend to plant their feet in one camp or the other and rarely give any ground. So, I wanted to find out if there were any significant health outcomes that favored a plant-based or omnivore diet. I found an article from researchers in Point Loma Nazarene University and Arizona State University that covered some considerations for the environmental impact, protein quality, and exercise performance of plant-based diets (PBD).
First, there are some benefits of a plant-based diet (but keep in mind my previous article on the pitfalls of nutritional research). Some observational studies show that vegetarians tend to have better cardiovascular health, reduced morbidity and mortality from heart disease, less risk of developing cancer (especially amongst vegans), less risk of developing Type II Diabetes, reduced risk of developing metabolic syndrome, and lower all-cause mortality. Certainly, many of these positives could be correlated to having a lower BMI, but there is no doubt that those who enjoy a plant-based diet may also enjoy some of these benefits. Those who eat PBD also have less inflammation biomarkers (like c-reactive proteins and oxidative stress markers), as well as reduced visceral fat and better insulin sensitivity.
What about protein?
I think the main question that vegans/vegetarians get asked is the protein their eating as good as animal-based proteins. One noticeable difference is the concentration of branched-chain amino acids (which promote muscle protein synthesis) which are higher in animal-based proteins. The rate of absorption can vary between the two diets, where whey protein is synthesized faster than soy proteins (though both are considered to be “fast” digestible proteins).
What do these differences mean for performance?
Of the performance parameters measured when comparing the two diets (like VO2Max, total power, peak power) show any meaningful differences. There needs to be more clinical research done, especially with different populations, to see if there are differences with either diet when comparing anaerobic and aerobic performance, but so far the intervention studies done don’t show significant changes.
The biggest take away from this article is that plant-based diets do not restrict performance, but like any diet intervention, it needs to be done smart and it needs be balanced. So, if anyone is interested in a plant-based diet, but is unsure of the health benefits or risks, you can refer them here.
Weekly Nutrition Tip
This week, and in the weeks following, I want to go over how to safely take certain dietary supplements.
This week I wanted to talk about creatine.
What is Creatine?
Creatine monohydrate is, to date, is one of the most popular as well as the most scientifically examined dietary supplements. It is an endogenous (created in the body) substance that aids in regeneration of energy and is stored mostly in skeletal muscle.
How can it help me?
Creatine supplementation has repeatedly been shown to improve high-intensity exercise capacity, increase muscle mass, and muscle performance (when coupled with resistance training). It does this by influencing high-energy phosphate metabolism, cellular hydration, muscle protein synthesis, anabolic growth factors, and by reducing inflammation markers.
How/when should I take creatine?
Creatine is utilized best when taken in proximity to a workout. Meaning, creatine works best when taken close before or after your workout. There is a loading phase that tapers off into a lower, more stable dose afterwards, and more information on the specific amounts can be found on most all creatine supplement packaging information.