Tag: Running

The History of Carbohydrate Loading

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As a teenager the advice I got when it came to diet and exercise was often problematic to say the least. We lifted too heavy, with terrible form and took far too little rest. This, we were told, would make us better rugby players or something to that effect. When it came to diet, we were told to ‘carb load’ before big games or tournaments to make sure we had that competitive edge. For those of you experienced in such matters, you can probably guess what happened when a team full of 18 year olds were told to load up on carbs. Yep… we had big bowls of pasta, copious amounts of sandwiches and even potato waffles just to be safe. 18 year old me wasn’t complaining but it seemed like an odd concept even at the time.

Fast forward to today and I’ve played around with every diet imaginable from fruit fasting to keto. One area that has always perplexed me though is ‘carbohydrate loading’ before a big event. Nowadays my friends who run marathons continue to swear by it while those in the lifting community advise low to moderate carbs around workout times. Nutrition will always be a contested arena and to that end, today’s post explores the birth of carbohydrate loading as a scientific concept in 1967 and examine its remarkable rise in popularity soon after.

The Birth of Tabata Training

Training while travelling has always been a pain for me. While I try my best to find hotels close to gyms or with some adequate facilities, chances are I’ll get caught out every once and a while. Though not boasting the largest lifting numbers, certainly much lower than much of the site’s readership, there are times when even I’m confronted with weights too light for a decent workout. This has been the case at several points this summer when travel to remote locations has brought me into the domain of cheap, ill equipped and frankly strange hotel gyms. On the latter point, one gym boasted solely lime green dumbbells weighing no more than 25 pounds. That such devices ever seemed like a great idea is…quite frankly…mind boggling.

Once my panic attacks/anger passes, I get to work as best I can and in this regard tabata training, especially when it comes to training with a short amount of time, has been a godsend. For those unaware, Tabata training is a relatively straightforward concept. Exercise for twenty seconds at a high intensity, rest for ten seconds and then repeat for 8 rounds. While the initial research concerned itself primarily with cardiovascular forms of training such as bike riding, subsequent proponents have used Tabata style training for a range of bodyweight and free weight systems. So in today’s post we’re going to examine the history of Tabata training. Who invented it? How did it become so popular and how can it best be used in the average gym.

Running by John McCallum (1967)

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Known more for his incredible bulking routines than a love of aerobics, the following article comes from John McCallum, one of physical culture’s best known writers in the twentieth-century. Seeking to marry aerobic and anaerobic forms of exercise, the article (first published in 1967) is an interesting reminder that the idea of ‘cardio’ having a place in bodybuilding has a long rooted history.

Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada. It’s nestled on the west coast about 25 miles north of the American border, with the blue Pacific on one side of it and snow capped mountains on the other. “Where else,” the natives say, “can you lie on the beach all morning and ski in the mountains half an hour later?”

The northern tip of the city consists of 1000 square acres of sylvan beauty. It’s called Stanley  Park, and it draws people like a magnet. On a Sunday afternoon you can see everything from a busload of nuns feeding the monkeys to 300 hippies holding a love-in.

The History of the Foam Roller

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What could be simpler? Just hop on a piece of foam and roll up and down… anyone could do that right? Yes, anyone can but few do. Why? Mainly because it hurts. It’s effective but my god is it sore.

Yes today we are talking about the foam roller, the cost-effective means of massaging aching muscles and forcing you to embrace pain during your rest days. Who invented the foam roller? What was its purpose and how did it end up in gyms across the world?

By the end of the article you’ll have the answers to these questions and perhaps have a new found appreciation for the $20 torture device.

Guest Post: Cardio Exercise and its History in Health and Fitness

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Cardio is a form of exercise that results in an increased heart rate as well as improved muscular functioning which ultimately leads to general body fitness. Cardio as a form of physical exercise, involves engagement of larger body muscles, often referred to as gross motor activities. Apart from raising the heart rate during exercise, cardio exercise also enables our muscles to maintain a good shape and condition. This results in a more healthy and efficient functioning body, while helping us to achieve the primary goal of cardio exercise, which is a stronger cardio vascular system that is characterized with more capillaries carrying more oxygen to the muscular cells. Increased oxygen supply in turn allows your body to break down more fat during exercise as well as during resting period.

Low intensity exercise rates for an elongated period of time enables you to participate in the cardio form of exercise. For instance, engaging your body in rhythmic exercises for more than 15 minutes while maintaining 60 to 80% of your maximum heart rate is an ideal way of taking part in cardio exercise. This leads to a number of health and fitness benefits such as increased stamina, control of body weight and other benefits related to psychological and mental functioning of the body including reduced anxiety and enhanced moods.

Guest post: Nike’s waffle shoes or how inspiration comes from the unexpected

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Running shoes do not have too long of a history, with the first pair being developed around 200 years ago. They were initially made from leather and each decade brought a number of changes, such as the rubber soles and spikes. Companies began manufacturing sneakers in the 1930s, with running shoes being used by athletes from all over the world and in major competitions, including the Olympics. In the 1970s, Bill Bowerman, the co-founder of Nike, one of the major names in the industry, changed the world of the running shoe forever. And it all started with a waffle iron.

Guest Post: The Summer Beckons: Time to Take your Cardio Routines Outside

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Our latest post comes from the wonderful and talented Samantha Olivier from Ripped.me. We’re delighted to have Samantha featured on the site again and know you’ll enjoy her latest piece.

Aerobic activity is essential for the health of the body and mind. Take the example of cardio, which improves your mood, reduces body fat and cholesterol levels, and enhances heart and lung functions. People seem to lose sight of these benefits or downplay their importance. Even those who are active are unable to distinguish between what really does the trick and all the modern gimmicks and fads. Well, if you ask me, it is time to get back to the good old basics. The great outdoors awaits.

Guest Post: Painful Feet – Causes, Precautions, Solutions And Appropriate Exercises

Many runners quit running due to foot pain which can often be chronic and quite debilitating. The problem is that some of the foot conditions are associated with running and other athletic activities. It is a shame that people give up to the pain and stop running or exercising because of these foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, bunions and other painful problems.

The bigger problem is that these conditions and other painful issues in the feet occur due to being overweight and inactive. This happens because of the bigger weight and strain of the body weight on the feet and the arches.
This is why, it is important to stay active even if you are suffering from soreness and pain in the feet!

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Here are some tips on resolving the problems with foot pain, as well as some ideas of simple forms of exercise which can help you stay active, and keep you from gaining weight and putting an extra strain on those feet:

6 Ways to Avoid Sports Injuries

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Image Source: Wikimedia

When it comes to sports and fitness, it’s essential to respect your body and not abuse it. A lot of the time injuries can’t be helped, but there are ways to avoid them, which any serious sports enthusiast should know about. You need your body to run like a well oiled machine if you want to perform well. Keep these tips in mind for next time you train.

Guest Post: Carb Loading – The Truths And Myths Of Loading Carbohydrates Before An Endurance Race

The following post comes from the hugely talented Cara Haley from  Comforthacks.com and Fitaholicgear.com. An excellent read for both endurance athletes and bodybuilders seeking to manipulate their carbohydrates before a strenuous session, the article will no doubt be of interest…Enjoy!

If you are a runner, you have probably heard and are doing your carb loading before a marathon or another endurance race, but the question is – are you doing it properly?

Carbohydrate loading is crucial for the proper preparation for any endurance running test, but it is important to understand what it actually should consist of so that you make sure that your body has been properly fueled to complete the marathon or other race you are preparing for.

Car loading is not just eating a big pasta dish on the night before the race, it is more of a lengthier and systematic carb loading practice which you should practice for a few weeks while preparing for a marathon or ultra-marathon. This is important so that your muscles get maximum glycogen storage so necessary for the race.