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Sports Science Monthly – October 2017

Welcome to another issue of Sports Science Monthly. This month, we start with an article looking at a hot topic: mindfulness training. Mindfulness has been a buzzword in daily life, from bio-hacking gurus, and in the realm of sports performance. We’ll take a look to see if the science backs up the claims. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – September 2017

Welcome back to another edition of Sports Science Monthly. This month we take a look at the practical use of sports science in coaching, and issues that arise in that relationship; the effect of body mass on ice baths; the impact of genetic variation on concussion risk; recovery for team sports; placebo effect; and individualized training based on HRV. Read more

Genetics, recovery, and individualization

When we exercise, a large range of different processes occur within our body. At the muscular level, we cause trauma to the muscle fibres. Within our cells, we cause oxidative stress, producing free radicals that damage cellular structures. We initiate an inflammatory response, stimulated by the release of cytokines such as interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor. All of these sound bad, but the context is important. Too much – either in terms of frequency, intensity, or duration – of these processes is damaging to athletes; it’s known as fatigue. The flip side of this is that these processes, and many others that occur as a result of exercise, allow us to adapt to exercise. This means that exercise adaptation is a constant balancing act between stress, which acts as a stimulus for adaptation, and recovery from this stress, which is where adaptation itself occurs. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – August 2017

Welcome to this month’s edition of Sports Science Monthly, where we take a look at recent research in the realm of sports science. In this edition, we take a look at running coordination, the nature vs nurture debate, causes of illnesses and injuries, vitamin D supplementation, caffeine, and test familiarization. Read more

GAINcast Episode 77: More Odds and Ends

Every few months we take a look back at all the short topics we’ve wanted to cover but haven’t had the time. Well, now’s the time. On this episode we take a quick look a several diverse topics. We start off by discussing categorical thinking and its impact on velocity based training, energy systems, and other areas of training. Then we look at genetic testing, training speed, EMGs, FMS, and several other topics. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – July 2017

Welcome back to another monthly installment of our sports science round up. This month, we look at low carbohydrate, high fat diets; usually this is the context of endurance performance, but this time we look at it from the perspective of power performance. We also have an interesting case study of unexplained underperformance syndrome, commonly referred to as overtraining, and papers examining mechanisms underpinning muscle hypertrophy, stretching, chronotype, and the genetics of injury. As always, we finish with a quick fire round-up of other interesting papers that have caught my eye this month. Read more

In Defense of Laziness

Recently, I came across an interesting discussion on social media, pre-empted by this tweet from @damselndadugout: Read more

Gene Doping: A Primer

The standard story in life is that we have to play the hand we’re dealt. We can’t choose our genes, and so we have to make the most of what we have, optimizing our training techniques and lifestyle in order to reach our potential, whatever that might be. But this standard story is slowly changing and this might have a major impact on sport. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – May 2017

This month we take a look at new research on how genetic variations might affect psychological skills, the differences between physiological and biomechanical training load monitoring, synthetic tendons, and practical issues in sports nutrition. To start off with, however, we dive into the interplay between energy intake and overtraining syndrome. Read more

GAINcast Episode 23: Being the Best

What does it take to be the best? Well for starters it takes talent, but at the highest level talent is not the deciding factor. It comes down to the decisions athletes make along the way. In this episode Vern shares the traits he sees as requirements to be the best based on five decades of experience working first hand with many of the best across different sports. Read more