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Tips of the week Perform flying movements with a partner

Tipps der Woche Führe fliegende Bewegungen mit einem Partner aus

This is an excellent exercise if your shoulder muscles tend to take on too much work during chest training.

Flying movements with manual resistance

  1. Lie on an incline bench with a slight incline and perform a set of strict flying movements with a pair of moderately heavy dumbbells, gradually going deeper and deeper into the stretch at the bottom of the movement with each repetition. Don't force this stretch, let your movements increase the range of motion on their own.
  2. When you reach the point of muscle failure, drop the dumbbells and pick up a lighter pair of dumbbells. Perform more strict reps, with your training partner now gently pushing your elbows down as you lower the weight, forcing you to fight the resistance. Make sure that your training partner stops pushing at the lowest point of the movement. At this very fragile point of the movement, additional pressure is dangerous.
  3. Move the dumbbells back up and repeat the process. Your training partner should adjust the amount of pressure they apply to your level of fatigue. Therefore, make sure to choose your training partner wisely.

Expect to be exhausted quite quickly. If this is not the case, then your training partner has not applied enough pressure. What makes this exercise better than flying movements with bands, chains or on the cable pulley is the fact that your training partner can also adjust the pressure during the repetition. There is therefore no need to stop, change the equipment, etc. He simply pushes with more or less resistance.

When should you perform this exercise?

Flying movements with manual resistance are best performed after chest press training.

Tip: How strength athletes should interpret blood values

Have you had your blood values checked? Good, but as an athlete there are a few things you need to know - things your doctor might not know.

By Ryan Bergren

Source: https://www.t-nation.com/living/tip-how-lifters-should-read-lab-results

Athletes are different

It's not that an athlete's body works differently than a non-athlete's body. It's much more about the stress the body is put under when someone is exercising intensely. Heavy training doesn't affect all blood values, but it does change some key values that can serve as markers for overall health.

Heavy training causes trauma and stress to the body. Resistance training damages muscle fibers, which leads to the release of different enzymes. Intense running can cause enough muscle damage to change the color of urine due to hemolyzed red blood cells. Hydration levels can fluctuate depending on the training environment. Nutrition is another area that can affect blood levels of various enzymes and markers.

Basics of laboratory values

Blood values are usually grouped together and each of these groups measures different biomarkers that are indicators of the health of different organs and functions of the body.

Each lab value has a normal range, called the accepted range or reference range. Any value that is outside the reference range is considered abnormal. As you can imagine, a larger deviation from the reference range requires more attention.

You can think of the different blood values as pieces of a puzzle. They don't tell you the whole story, they are just one chapter.

Common abnormal blood values

1 - Creatine kinase (CK) levels

Creatine kinase is found in the mitochondria and cytoplasm of skeletal and cardiac muscle, in the brain and in various visceral tissue types. Their primary function is to generate and promote the transport of energy-rich phosphates.

Skeletal muscle, myocardium and nervous tissue are the primary sources of CK-MM, CK-MB and CK-BB. This enzyme catalyzes the reaction of forming energy-rich ATP molecules from ADP. ATP is the energy source of cells for the execution of various reactions and in skeletal muscle ATP is used for the contraction of muscle fibers.

An increase in CK levels is primarily used to diagnose neuromuscular diseases and acute myocardial infarction. Neuromuscular diseases include myopathies, muscular dystrophies, drug-induced myopathies, neuroleptic malignant syndrome and seizures. Since CK levels can be elevated in response to muscle tissue breakdown, intensive training, trauma, severe tremors and even EMG studies can lead to misdiagnosis.

So if your CK levels are elevated, then there is a possibility that this is due to disease, but the levels could also be elevated due to muscle damage that occurred during exercise. These elevations can persist for up to 7 days after training. The more muscle damage that has occurred during exercise, the more the CK levels will rise and the longer they will remain elevated.

2 - BUN (blood urea nitrogen)

BUN is a measure of urea levels in the blood. Urea is made from ammonia, which is toxic to the body in high amounts. At normal pH levels, ammonia is converted to urea, which is filtered and excreted by the kidneys. Ammonia is produced during the breakdown of nitrogen.

One place we find nitrogen is in amino acids - the building blocks of protein. As more protein is broken down, more nitrogen is released and more ammonia is generated. This ammonia is converted into urea and excreted (the ammonia cycle).

A high-protein diet in combination with hard training leads to a higher protein turnover, which results in an increase in urea production, which is perfectly fine. This increased protein turnover can increase BUN levels, which can be a sign of kidney dysfunction and dehydration for your doctor. Make sure your doctor knows the possible reasons for elevated BUN levels to avoid drawing the wrong conclusions.

3 - Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST)

The liver plays many roles in the body. Among other things, it plays a role in the conversion of amino acids. Two enzymes involved in the conversion of amino acids are ALT and AST. These enzymes are commonly used as markers of liver damage.

ALT is mainly found in the liver, which is why it is more specific for hepatocellular damage (liver damage). AST is found in the cytosol of many cells such as muscle, liver, brain, lung and pancreatic cells, making it less specific for the liver. AST and ALT can both be elevated after acute exercise. One study found that levels can be elevated for up to 7 days after exercise in men who are not used to training with weights.

The muscle damage induced by intense endurance training or intense training with weights releases these enzymes into the bloodstream, which can lead to an abnormal blood test.

It has been shown that high-protein diets can also increase the concentrations of these enzymes. This increase has nothing to do with liver damage. The body regulates the production of these enzymes upwards when you consume more protein.

It is easy to see that a combination of hard training and a high protein diet can cause increases in AST and ALT levels. Of course, a disease process could also be involved, which is why you should not simply ignore such elevations in general, especially if they occur in combination with other symptoms such as abdominal pain, jaundice, changes in the color of the stool and a darkening of the urine.

In addition, alcohol and certain medications can also cause an increase in liver enzyme levels.

Summary

  • Heavy and hard training can cause abnormalities in certain blood values, which should be taken into account by the doctor.
  • Muscle damage increases the release of CK, ALT and AST, which can also be elevated in various diseases.
  • Talk to your doctor about these factors to make sure they are aware that you are training hard.

I would like to emphasize again that this is not a guide to ignoring deviations in blood values from the normal range. Use this information to inform your doctor about possible causes of abnormal blood values.

TIP: Try these cheesecake cookies

Easy-to-make protein-rich cookies that are simply stunning

By Dani Shugart

Source: https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/tip-make-these-cheesecake-cookies

Preparing cheesecake can be time-consuming. Eating more than one slice is frowned upon by the figure-conscious. And you only get it on special occasions. Why not simplify the recipe, cut out a ton of calories, keep the flavor and bake cookies that you can have ready in minutes?

Ingredients

  • 250 grams quark (your choice: low fat, 20% fat or 40% fat)
  • 3 scoops of vanilla or chocolate flavored protein powder
  • One heaped cup of frozen raspberries or blueberries

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
  2. Mix the protein powder with the quark. Add the berries and mix well until you have a creamy mixture. The berries should soften and color the batter pink.
  3. Spread baking paper on a baking tray and use a spoon to form 9 cookies from the dough.
  4. Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes. Break one open and see if it is done baking or insert a toothpick into one of the cookies. If no dough sticks to the toothpick, the cookies are done.

Nutritional value: if you use low-fat quark, each cookie contains about 59 kcal, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of fat.

Tip: Perform approach-jump supersets for the biceps

These supersets are brutal. And smart. But mostly brutal. And they'll produce biceps growth beyond anything else.

By Charles Poliquin

Source: https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-do-fixation-insertion-super-sets-for-biceps

In the field of kinesiology, the origin of a muscle is the point where the muscle is attached to the bone and the insertion is at the more mobile of the two structures connected by the muscle. If you can perform superset exercises that combine these two opposing functions, then you stimulate muscle fibers at both ends and you achieve supercompensation.

Here's a nasty superset for the biceps:

  1. Perform 4 to 6 pull-ups with a tight underhand grip.
  2. Pause for 8 to 10 seconds.
  3. Then perform 8 to 10 repetitions of dumbbell incline bench curls.
  4. Perform a total of 5 of these supersets, resting about 2 minutes between supersets.

Here's what happens

When you perform pull-ups with an underhand grip, the elbow is the origin and the attachment is at the shoulder. If you then perform incline bench curls, it's the other way around: the origin is at the shoulder and the attachment is at the elbow. From a mechanical point of view, you are performing two extremes and inducing muscle damage to an extent that goes beyond anything else.

Tip: Perform planks the smart way.

If you can hold planks for several minutes, you're doing something wrong. Here's a better, safer and more effective way.

By Dr. John Rusin

Source: https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-plank-the-smart-way

Planks started out as a noble idea. They quickly became an exercise that anyone could do without much practice. Simply place your elbows on the floor, stretch your body and hold this position for 5 minutes at a time. And soon after, you'll have a solid core that will protect you from back pain and injury.... Wait, not so fast.

The primary problem with traditional planks is a lack of activation of the deeper core muscles over an extended period of time. Progression in traditional planks is achieved by extending the time of the hold in conjunction with increasing the external load on the body. Extended sets can cause postural problems and chronic trauma to the anterior ligaments of the pelvis.

The core is not designed to be activated in isolation over a prolonged period of time. Instead, the deep and superficial muscles must have the ability to be repeatedly activated with maximum force over time.

A better version of planks

RKC Planks can be effectively integrated into any type of training session. Depending on the exercises and the focus of the training session, RKC Planks can be used as a dynamic warm-up or a metabolic finishing exercise.

RKC Planks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xPnXjshSXg

  1. Place your arms slightly further forward than you would with traditional, ineffective planks.
  2. Contract your glutes and quadriceps as hard as you can until your body starts to shake.
  3. A good RKC Plank is a full body contraction that lasts 8 to 10 seconds. A pre-workout option could be three repetitions with about 5 seconds rest between repetitions.

It's time to ditch traditional planks and give them an update with a version that actually involves effort.

Source: https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-do-partner-flyes-for-bigger-pecs

By John Meadows

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