Popular Mechanics: "Debunking the 3 Biggest Exercise Myths"

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    Aug 30, 2011 1:18 PM GMT
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/life-extension/debunking-the-3-biggest-exercise-myths

    Stretching Prepares Your Body for Exercise
    Stretching before exercise is a sacred ritual, but researchers have been finding that it actually slows you down. Florida State researchers recently showed that stretching before a run makes you about 5 percent less efficient, meaning you have to burn more energy to run at the same pace. This year, Italian researchers studying cyclists discovered why stretching is counterproductive. They found evidence that toe-touching stretches change the force-transmission properties of muscle fibers and alter the brain signals to muscle, reducing exercise efficiency by about 4 percent. Furthermore, there's insufficient scientific evidence that pre-exercise stretching reduces injury risk.

    Loss of More than 2 Percent of Your Body Weight During Exercise Degrades Performance
    This debate, popular among exercise gurus and professional trainers, centers on how much water weight an athlete can lose without sacrificing performance. Lab tests have suggested that a body-weight loss of more than 2 percent impairs athletic performance. This information has become accepted. But a study of marathon runners in France published late last year found exactly the opposite. The fastest finishers were the most dehydrated, having lost 3.1 percent of their body weight, while the slowest finishers lost only 1.8 percent. It turns out that the body has hidden reservoirs that can generate several pints of water during exercise. For example, when your body burns fat or carbohydrates to fuel muscles, one of the byproducts is H2O. So drinking water when thirsty—and no more—is the best course of action.

    Cold Packs In Your Hands Can Cool Your Whole Body - Useful Device or Gimmick? Texas-based Cool Palms is offering a simple new "core cooling device": a frozen gel pack that athletes strap to their palms.
    DARPA-funded studies find that palm-cooling doesn't lower core temperature because the cooling surface area is too small. On the other hand, University of New Mexico researchers found that weight lifters could bench-press 30 percent more wearing palm-coolers between sets, suggesting that just feeling cool can boost performance.


  • Lincsbear

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    Aug 30, 2011 4:29 PM GMT
    Interesting article.
    On stretching,the first thing to do before exercise is actually to do a ten minute warm up ie jog gently/walk briskly to get the blood flowing to the limbs and raise body temperature.Then do some 'dynamic stretching' that controlledly mimics the coming exercise;for example,with running its mainly leg stretches like walking lunges,squats.
    After exercise,do a cool down,then when your body`s still warm,do 'static' stretching like hamstring stretch,hip stretch,calf stretch(even toe touching!)-those muscles you`ve just used-as longer ones work more efficiently in the long run.
    I`ve seen my performance improve after starting to use this regime.
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    Aug 30, 2011 4:46 PM GMT
    It's about time more research went into stretching pre-workout...although it's not the first I've seen of this.
    I only do mild stretching between sets to stay loose, and save the "real" stretching for off days.
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    Aug 30, 2011 4:50 PM GMT
    Can someone tell me more about the third one- you can bench up to 30 percent more by cooling down between sets?
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    Aug 30, 2011 4:52 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidIt's about time more research went into stretching pre-workout...although it's not the first I've seen of this.
    I only do mild stretching between sets to stay loose, and save the "real" stretching for off days.


    One of my assistant coaches in high school did a bunch of research on pre-workout stretching. According to her, active stretching is the way to do it. It is more about getting your blood pumping rather than reaching and grabbing your feet for 5 minutes. I don't know the science behind it, but it seems to make sense. I heard the same thing that passive stretching can actually reduce performance...however I still try to stretch out my lats and tris before I swim because I tend to cramp up.
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    Aug 30, 2011 5:03 PM GMT
    I am totally suspicious of any exercise or activity which contains the word 'core' these days. It has become a meaningless and idiotic buzzword.
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    Aug 30, 2011 5:09 PM GMT
    Mil8 saidI am totally suspicious of any exercise or activity which contains the word 'core' these days. It has become a meaningless and idiotic buzzword.


    Except in "core temperature".

    Another one, stupid and meaningless: "long, lean muscles" or "long, lean look". Seriously, the span from origin to insertion is basically fixed in most adults. If the muscle gets longer it'll look more bulgey, less lean.
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    Aug 30, 2011 5:14 PM GMT
    If we are going the way of personal hates in fitness: functional fitness.

    I just want to look good "Functional" is not fucking use to me. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Aug 30, 2011 5:40 PM GMT
    So what about stretching my legs & shoulders before doing squats? According to the research, is that a no-no?
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    Aug 30, 2011 5:58 PM GMT
    mickeytopogigio said
    Except in "core temperature".


    You mean the one done with the ear thermometer or the one done in the butt? Big difference you know.icon_lol.gif