Applied Bodybuilding Research - 4-01-08!

Learn more from these studies about red cabbage, building better abs, solid meals vs MRPs, and more. Check them out.

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Eat Red Cabbage
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Most bodybuilders know that eating a wide variety of colored vegetables is good for you, and new research shows that red cabbage is one of the healthiest vegetables that you can eat.

There is a general trend within the scientific community to re-examine many of the foods we've been eating for years, in hopes of finding new and potentially efficacious compounds.

Scientists from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) re-examined red cabbage because they wanted to study the role of anthocyanins - plant flavonoids - and how these flavonoids behave in the bloodstream. As a result of their new research, scientists identified 8 previously unknown flavonoids, bringing the total to 36. This is one of the highest flavonoid concentrations of any vegetable.

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The anthocyanins in red cabbage are extremely powerful, exhibiting strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects, and protecting from cancers, promoting a healthy heart and improving brain function. In fact, researchers discovered that the anthocyanins in red cabbage were twice as powerful as vitamin C at scavenging for free-radicals that cause oxidative damage.

As if that were not enough, red cabbage is also a powerful muscle-building food as it contains indole-3-carbinole (I3C), a compound that promotes healthy estrogen metabolism, making estrogen elimination easier, thereby minimizing estrogen effects and increasing the effects of testosterone.

Bodybuilders should not only eat red cabbage for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, but also because red cabbage promotes a muscle-building hormone profile.

Source:

  1. US Department of Agriculture (2008, March 11). When It Comes To Red Cabbage, More Is Better.

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Want Abs? Get Ball(s)
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When you see a bodybuilder with a great set of abs, you know that they've worked their @ss off in the gym for months on end, doing crunches and cardio to get into perfect shape. Getting abs is hard work. Now, science just made that work a little easier by making us a smarter.

Japanese researchers have tested the effectiveness of the traditional crunch versus performing crunches on an exercise ball placed under the lower back. To measure the effectiveness of crunches done on the floor versus on an exercise ball, researchers used electromyography - a technique that measures muscular electrical activity during exercise.

Exercise Ball Crunches Exercise Ball Crunches
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Exercise Ball Crunch.

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Scientists found that using an exercise ball while doing crunches increased the muscular load on the upper and lower parts of the rectus abdominus and external oblique muscles better than performing the crunch on the floor. In other words, using the exercise ball increased the effectiveness of the crunch by working the muscle better and harder.

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This is good news for bodybuilders who spend a lot of time doing ab work. While crunches are still good to do the old-fashioned way - on the floor - now the use of an exercise ball offers a way to increase your intensity by giving your abs a better workout in the same amount of time, ultimately giving you that six-pack faster.

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Source:

  1. Journal Strength Conditioning Research, 21:506-509. 2007.

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Dieting Down? Eat Solid Meals
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Dieting down to get into shape is hard work - it requires planning, discipline and overcoming the inevitable food cravings that come from avoiding the foods that make you feel good and make you fat.

When dieting down, MRP's - meal replacements - are a critical component of any nutrition plan as studies show that people who use meal replacements in place of one or two meals daily lose more body fat than people who do not. But now studies show that the solid foods that are being replaced by MRP's may be the key to stopping the cravings that can derail your nutrition plan altogether.

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A study published in the International Journal of Obesity examined the effects of consuming liquid meals or solid meals when hungry, and measured the time until the study participants become hungry again after eating.

Researchers found that while liquid meals were by far the most convenient and most readily consumed, the people who used liquid meals instead of solid meals ate up to 20% more calories, and were hungrier sooner than the people who ate solid meals.

The researchers concluded that solid meals tend to prevent hunger and overeating more than liquid meals.

This study helps explain something that every bodybuilder knows: sometimes solid food just "hits the spot" in a way that a liquid MRP doesn't.

MRP
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Sometimes Solid Food "Hits The Spot"
In A Way That An MRP Doesn't.

So, next time you're hungry and it's time to reach for the MRP, consider your options: if you think you're still going to be feeling hungry after drinking your MRP, and that this might cause you to crave food until your next meal, reach for a solid meal instead - chicken, vegetables, rice, etc.

Source:

  1. International Journal Obesity, in press; published online June 19, 2007.

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VT For DOMS
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DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness - is a major problem for hard-training athletes of all ages. Whereas normal muscle soreness occurs immediately following a workout and lasts for up to 36 hours, DOMS is far different: it sets in about 72 hours post-workout, severely restricts range of motion and functionality and is very painful.

In the past several years researchers have been studying DOMS and have expanded our understanding of the condition. Now, there is a potential new therapy to prevent DOMS: VT - vibration therapy.

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In a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers randomly assigned 50 volunteers to either a control or manipulation group. While the control group exercised and received no VT, the manipulation group received VT at 50hz in the left and right quadriceps, hamstring and calf muscles for one minute prior to exercise.

Researchers found that VT applied immediately prior to exercise can significantly control DOMS and even prevent DOMS onset.

DOMS
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DOMS Is A Major Problem For Hard-Training Athletes.

It is not known exactly why VT appears to work, and more research is being done to investigate further. Either way, it's good news for bodybuilders and may lead to real treatments that make lifting hard a little less painful.

Source:

  1. Br J Sports Med 2007;41:145-148.

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