Five for Friday
1. "The Best Form of Cardio" by Layne Norton
The debate over what is the best form of cardio for losing body fat will rage for years to come, just as it has done for the last five decades.
Pick up any bodybuilding magazine, and you'll likely see all the IFBB pros talking about how they do three hours of steady state cardio every day when training for a contest. They're so petrified they'll lose muscle mass exerting themselves that they stick to as low intensity as possible - the theory being that during long bouts of very low intensity cardio your body burns primarily fat tissue, when during high intensity it mainly burns carbs, and in severe cases, when under-nourished, it burns muscle mass.
The trouble is, you're not an IFBB.
*Oh, Sorry buddy, didn't see you there - this article's not for you*
For most people, high intensity interval training is the way to go. It burns more calories, provides a bigger metabolism boost, more fat loss and has a much higher positive impact on fitness. There's certainly a place for low to moderate steady state cardio, but most of time, you want to be busting your arse with some hill sprints, prowler pushes, kettlebell swings or bike trainer intervals, not plodding away on the cross trainer reading "Fifty Shades of Grey."
2. "Computer Use + Exercise = Reduced Memory Loss" by Dr. Jonny Bowden
We've all got the scatty old neighbour with eighty-five cats or the crazy great Aunt who can never remember your name. Here's what you can do for them - buy them a computer, and get them to lift weights.
According to Dr. B, a recent study showed that older people who exercised and partook in regular physical activity at at least moderate intensity were far more mentally aware, and had less signs of cognitive impairment.
I guess it should be Silver Surfers in both senses then.
3. Does Diet Soda Actually Dehydrate You?
This blog was posted on Facebook recently, and it's pretty awesome.
If you read my blog regularly, you'll know that I'm a fan of diet drinks for beating sugar cravings and satisfying a sweet tooth. I don't think the insulin spike they potentially cause is anywhere near enough to promote any fat gain, and I certainly don't think the aspartame in them causes cancer. (Unless you're a lab rat specifically bred to be prone to fast developing cancers, and are consuming your body-weight in aspartame every day. In which case, you'd better cut them out.)
I also don't buy into the dehydration myth. Just like tea and coffee, while there may be very milk diuretic effects, the amount of fluid you take in far outweighs any you might lose. For a far better summary than I can give, check the link above.
4. "The Best Athlete: Bolt vs. Phelps" by Charles Poliquin
Like many of you, I watched a fair bit of the London Olympics this past few weeks - it was hard not to, with it being on pretty much 24 hours a day, and getting caught up in the euphoria of team GB's amazing performance.
Here's an interesting article from Charles Poliquin on whether Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps is the better athlete. They're both absolutely phenomenal, and despite what this article says, I'm still on the side of Phelps.
5. "Overcoming Fear" by Ben Bruno
Here's a non-training blog to finish off this week.
We all have fears that stop us from doing something and usually it's the fear of the unknown and of failure. But sometimes, when an opportunity presents iteself, you've got to put your fears to one side and just go for it.
If you don't try, you'll never know.