As personal trainers, it is up to you as a fitness professional to present your potential client with a proper introductory process. This means an efficient and COMPLETE client intro packet. Intro packets should be presented to potential clients during initial consultations. Below, Jabai Performance discusses how to align the right packet for your clients no matter who you are working with.
Supplementation has taken the fitness industry by storm, displaying broken promises of better performance and enhanced physiques. We turn toward pills and powders to fix our performance and appearance “concerns”… But can we even be sure that the ingredients are accurate on the label? Can you be sure companies aren’t adding in additives to their products?
What better way to know EXACTLY what you are consuming than to MAKE IT YOURSELF!
Making your own pre-workout can 1. establish as to what you are consuming, 2. cut costs depending on if budget is a concern of yours, and 3. enable you the ability to adjust individual ingredient intake/dosage depending on tolerance and performance demands.
This article displays what products I purchase via Amazon, the dosage/servings per product, and price per servings/day for consuming the blend.
None of this information is displayed as medical advice. This article’s purpose is to display what I utilize for pre-workout, products you can purchase when creating your own, how I save money creating my own formula, and how I mix and match dosages.
List of Ingredients: Citrulline Malate, Agmatine, Creatine Monohydrate, Conjugated Lipoleic Acid, Carnitine, and Propel Electrolytes
Individual Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength Responses to High vs. Low Resistance Training Frequencies
As health and wellness professionals, you might have found yourself being involved in a debate or discussion whether high frequency or low frequency resistance training would result in the highest amount of muscular gain and strength output. A heavy topic within our professional community lies on the discussion of resistance training weekly frequency and its effect on muscular hypertrophy and strength development (Damas et al., 2019). To explore this discussion, Damas et al. (2019) conducted a study to investigate the muscular and strength adaptations of male subjects with ages ranging from 18 to 30 years. The researchers of the study utilized previous research “showing the time course of increases in muscle protein synthesis after [resistance training] session (lasting ∼24–48 hours after session (Damas, et al., 2019), to confirm their desire to explore the impact that different frequencies of resistance training bouts have on muscle hypertrophy and strength. Damas et al. (2019) stated in their research that previous studies discovered similar improved in muscle hypertrophy and strength in untrained individuals after 8 weeks through performing resistance training 2, 3, or 5 times per week, “even with a higher 8-week accumulated total training volume (TTV) for the higher frequency (sets × reps × load) (Damas et al., 2019).” Before performing the study, researchers received clearance from the Federal University of São Carlos Ethic Committee, received signed informed consent forms from all participants, and aligned the study to stay “in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the Helsinki declaration (Damas, et al., 2019). The researchers decided to assess the cross-sectional area of the vastus lateralis muscle of the subjects prior and post 8 weeks of the resistance training protocol. Subjects were to perform their training protocol of 3 sets of their 9-rep maximum to 12 rep maximum until muscular failure. All subjects were allowed a 2-minute rest period between each set, due to the researchers’ claim of sufficient rest for generating hypertrophy and strength adaptations (Damas, et al., 2019). Subjects utilized each leg as individual testing units, categorizing one leg in the high frequency (HF) training protocol (legs allocated to the 5× per week resistance training protocol) and the other in the low frequency (LF) training protocol (legs allocated to 2 or 3× per week resistance training protocol). The changes in muscle cross-sectional area, accumulated total training volume, and 1 rep max values were compared between high frequency and low frequency using paired t-tests. Participants were classified as “responders” or “nonresponders” to resistance training based on the evaluated t-tests. The high frequency training units had accumulated more total training volume than the low frequency training units. In regards to muscular hypertrophy, 31.6% of subjects (6 participants) responded more to high frequency resistance training, while 36.8% of subjects (7 participants) responded more to low frequency. The 31.6% of subjects remaining (6 participants), showed no difference in the “hypertrophic responses between training frequencies (Damas, et al., 2019).” In regards to muscular strength 26.3% of subjects (5 participants) increased their 1 rep max value for high frequency, 15.8% of subjects (3 participants) and the other 57.9% of subjects (11 participants) showed similar responses in both high frequency and low frequency resistance training protocols. Cross-sectional area and total training volume had absolutely no significant correlations.
Damas, et al. (2019) research study on muscular and strength adaptations to high frequency and low frequency resistance training explored adaptations to specific training protocols but did not give us some detailed insight to the actual training. With the sets, reps, and intensity specified, it could have been more unique and insightful for the researchers to display the progression in 1 rep max, weight performed during training, and output progression of each individual. The data on training progression would allow viewers to observe and analyze each individual during the study. I’m sure the data was collects, but seemed unimportant to the researcher to display within the actual article. Along with training load, we have a lack of understanding of the actual repetition tempo performed by each individual. Some participants might have controlled the eccentric phase of the exercise while others allowed relaxation and ceased tension of the quadriceps. Tempo and tension are vital in understanding muscular hypertrophy and strength. Another topic of discussion in regards to the research could be the specific exercise selection. I bet the researchers chose the leg extension due to its isolation of the quadricep muscles, but do you think a compound exercise might display different results? If you performed a back or goblet squat, would full body integrity, lower back fatigue, and overall energy output be a factor in resistance training frequency, volume, and intensity? The study was conducted on untrained individuals utilizing a leg extension machine, eliminating so many real-world application factors and variables. As fitness professionals, you must understand how you could and how you shouldn’t apply this in an exercise prescription based on accumulated overall, nerve, and muscular fatigue of the participant. The limitations of the study, and those that could impact a study conducted on free weight training, could include the variability of exercise form and muscular contraction. You would then have to enforce proper form, supervise sessions, and regulate bar path to fully determine progression. With this, torque based on limb length might also be vital to understanding the impact that a specific training load has on the musculature of an individual.
I chose to analyze the literature and display my understanding of the content due to the fact that the discussion on whether low frequency or high frequency resistance training is better for muscle hypertrophy or strength gains is carried out among many facilities that I service. I find it fascinating to be able to display research studies and proven data behind anything I state or present. This article might not be the make or break to understanding training frequency, but it definitely helps fight the battle. I did find this piece very relevant and informative due to the importance that proper training prescription has on my job and career with injury prevention for first responders. The more information I can gather on resistance training and injury prevention, the better I can service first responders all over the nation.
When it comes to performance, whether it be for athletic performance for a sport or performance within a recreation setting, most individuals are exercising to become a better version of themselves. With improvements comes the want for an edge or to acquire their goals at the fastest rate possible. Not everyone understanding the concept of time and progression, but even then, we try to get the most out of every session. Whether we have lack of sleep, long day of work, or simply lack of “motivation: to train, there is typically one drug we turn to in order to light a fire under us and get the job done.
Caffeine-based products (typically in the form of Caffeine Anhydrous) might be the most common form of pre-performance or pre-workout supplementation in the American culture, being as that caffeine follows water in being the most common beverage consumed world wide (Cappelletti, Piacentino, Sani, & Aromatario, 2015). Most of us know the effects of caffeine, as we have either ingested it in some form or fashion over our lifetime. You might remember the surge of energy, hype, and focus. This means we have a basic understanding of the signs of the effects that go on in our body. But maybe, just maybe that’s a very small portion of what is happening. Let’s explore how caffeine works and the pros and cons to consumption.
First off, we notice the effects of caffeine rather fast due to the small 30 to 60 minute window that it takes to reach maximum plasma concentration, although there are some differences in timing due to individual circumstances. The small window is primarily due to the short time it takes for caffeine to be transferred into the circulatory system after being quickly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. After absorption occurs, caffeine is then transferred to “all the body tissues and crosses the blood-brain, blood-placenta, and blood-testis barriers (Cappelletti, et al., 2015).”
With the never-ending debate on whether caffeine is “good” or “bad”, we can take a moment to briefly explore a couple of the pros and cons to caffeine consumption.
Caffeine, in the dosage of 8 mg/kg body weight, coingested with carbohydrates, is responsible for higher rates of post-exercise muscle glycogen stacking in comparison to the ingestion of carbohydrates alone in well-trained athletes after the depletion of glycogen that follows exercise (Cappelletti, et al., 2015).” This means that caffeine, at the right amount, would assist carbohydrates in the absorption and utilization process.
By stimulating HSL activity and inhibiting glycogen phosphorylase activity, caffeine increases lipolysis through transitioning the substrate preference to lipids, rather than glycogen (Cappelletti, et al., 2015).
Caffeine agonist stimulation of endogenous nitric oxide production through augments endothelium-dependent vasodilation by in young, healthy individuals (Cappelletti, et al., 2015).
Caffeine improvements cognitive performance and increases wakefullness and alertness (Cappelletti, et al., 2015). Vasodiation meaning the widening or increase in diameter of blood vessels. An increase in blood vessel diameter could result in increasing blood flow and nutrients to the body.
Caffeine may aid in the treatment and prevention of the effects of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s (Cappelletti, et al., 2015).
High doses of caffeine has shown to induce phosphodiesterases inhibition and adenosine antagonism. Adenosine is a negative inotropic and chronotropic agent in the heart, acting through specific receptors. “The blockade of cardiac adenosine receptors inhibits adenosine’s effects and can cause tachycardia and arrhythmias through intense β1-receptor activity (Cappelletti, et al., 2015).”
If you knew that ingestion of a drug would increase your chances of obtaining heart arrhythmias, would you continue to consume that product daily? It is shown that due to caffeine in higher concentrations, intracellular cAMP and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) are increased by a nonspecific phosphodiesterases inhibition, which will then affect cardiac contractility secondary to calcium release. The latter mechanism may increase the susceptibility for arrhythmias is increased via the latter mechanism described (Cappelletti, et al., 2015).
Caffeine can influence antagonism of A1 and A2 receptors, possibly resulting in seizures and cerebral vasoconstriction (Cappelletti, et al., 2015).
Possible Short Term Effects
With proper dosing, caffeine’s effect of higher rates of post-exercise muscle glycogen stacking could aid in training recovery. This could lead to both short term and long term performance and improvement.
Vasodiation of bloodvessels resulting from consumption of caffeine could aid in the performance and recovery of training. Increased performance in training results in better progression, while increased performance in competition possibly creates a favored outcome of sport.
Possible Long Term Effects
Just like any drug, we could investigate the possibility of addiction as well as withdrawal. After long term ingestion of caffeine by an individual comes to a sudden stop, individuals experience a withdrawal syndrome dominated by fatigue and headache (Cappelletti, et al., 2015). The withdrawal might indicate the body’s desire to continue use of the drug or concept that consumption limits or inhibits receptors within the body that result in heachaches or fatigue with the elimination of caffeine ingestion.
With the chances of heart arrythmias increased with high doses of caffeine consumption, we must consider the fact that long term use might further increase the odds of this happening. The same could be said for cerebral vasoconstriction and seizures.
Due to caffeine’s ability to increase lipolysis, long term use could aid in a fatloss supplement protocol, with consideration of the cons to utilizing the drug. Any and all drugs/supplements should be reviewed with your doctor or physician. Now, at the end of the day, I doubt many people actually do that. But if you ever have any questions or concerns, please discuss your possible intake with a qualified individual. And yes, not just your prep or fitness coach.
Although caffeine supplementation possesses cognitive, metabolic, and performance effects, the consumption of the product is of the athlete’s decision. The best thing you could do is inform and refer out when in doubt.
Neuromuscular Activation of the Vastus Intermedius Muscle during Isometric Hip Flexion
Saito, and Akima (2015) conducted research on the activation of the vastus intermedius versus the rectus femoris during isometric hip flexion. With the quadriceps femoris aiding in knee extension, the bi-articular muscle of those being the rectus femoris also aids in hip flexion. Previous literature displays evidence that the vastus intermedius and the rectus femoris may be able to coactivate during certain phases of walking or running that involves hip flexion. Due to the fact that the researchers knew the vastus intermedius and rectus femoris coactivated during hip flexion movements, they decided to conduct a study at what magnitude does the vastus intermedius activate during isometric hip flexion tests (Saito, and Akima, 2015).
Saito, and Akima’s study (2015) involved gathering 10 healthy men of various ages with a health background of no previous knee surgery. The men had physical activities levels ranging from untrained to those that partake in physical activity regularly. All participants were briefed on the study, then asked to provide consent for testing purposes. The first phase of testing with the subjects involved placing the hip joint at angles of 90 degrees, 110 degrees and 130 degrees then performing muscular voluntary contractions of an isometric knee extension. The testing then involved a hip joint angle of 90 degrees and performing isometric knee flexion task. The contractions were to be performed twice for a duration of 3 seconds, then followed by a rest period equivalent to or greater than 1 minute between attempts. An additional attempt occurred if the torque being generated differed by more than 5% value than the previous knee torque. The second phase of testing with the subjects included performing voluntary contractions of hip flexion during hip joint angles of 90 degrees, 110 degrees, and 130 degrees.
Participants completed three submaximal contractions of various submaximal target torques of 25%, 50%, and 75% of the maximal voluntary contraction with a rest duration equivalent to or greater than one minute. The duration of contraction lasted for 3 seconds while sustaining the torque target line. To gather the information, researchers recorded EMG signals through electrodes attached to the vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, and vastus medialis, rectus femoris, and bicep femoris. Electrodes were placed in designated areas after the location on the limb was properly prepped and specific tools were utilized to locate proper electrode placement. The data collected by the researchers were gathered via IBM SPSS statistics software. Researchers analyzed hip flexion and isometric knee extension torque during maximal voluntary contractions at the observed joint angles utilizing a “two-way (hip joint angle × movement) analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures (Saito, and Akima, 2015).” The researchers then observed the EMG signals from the quadriceps femoris muscles during the hip flexion tasks and analyzed them using “a two-way (muscle × torque and hip joint angle) ANOVA with repeated measures (Saito, and Akima, 2015).” The study stated a delay of the vastus intermedius activation after the rectus femoris, which was 230–240 ms. This delay in time between the activation of the two muscles during isometric flexion and knee extension was also analyzed via a “two-way (hip joint angle × movement) ANOVA with repeated measures (Saito, and Akima, 2015).” P < 0.05 was established as the level of statistical significance. Maximal voluntary contractions during hip flexion and knee extension differed in torque exertion. Maximal voluntary contraction of isometric hip flexion torque for the joint angle of 90 degrees (134.8 ± 18.4 Nm) was less than the torque of 110 degrees (161.0 ± 23.6 Nm) and 130 degrees (171.7 ± 23.8 Nm). The maximal voluntary contraction of isometric knee extension torque did not differ greatly between the different hip joint angle (90 degrees, 110 degrees and 130 degrees; 197.3 ± 39.5, 212.9 ± 45.8 and 213.2 ± 53.9 Nm respectively). During the normalized EMG, the RF showed significant higher maximal voluntary contraction than the vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, and vastus medialis. The vastus intermedius showed higher contraction levels than the vastus medialis when the high joint angle was 110 degrees and 130 degrees. These results provide evidence that during hip flexion, the rectus femoris activates prior to the vastus intermedius.
Reflection & Application
The research that Saito, and Akima (2015) published gave me better insight on the role that the individual quadriceps femoris muscles play during either knee extension or hip flexion. Both movements are essential and vital functions during day to day tasks such as walking or running. Given the data collected by the provided study, we can conclude that the vastus intermedius might be seen as a secondary support system for stability during knee or hip function (depending on movement). With the muscle being activated after the rectus femoris, training selection for that area of stability might have to involve a longer contractile time frame, allowing the muscle to fully respond to the stimulus. This could mean setting a given tempo for concentric phases of exercises, as long as the individual partaking in the fitness training consciously follows the protocol. Then, we would also have to explore the activation and recruitment of the vastus intermedius during the eccentric function of the quadriceps. If the individual is going through a loaded squat movement, this loads the quadricep femoris muscles during an eccentric phase creating hip flexion, but also generating knee flexion. The study evaluated knee extension or hip flexion, but what if knee flexion and hip flexion occur in the same movement? What does that mean for vastus intermedius recruitment? I believe this study could be an amazing tool for studies ahead. Although the results provide a great understanding about the role of the vastus intermedius, I think that the data provides a starting point in which researchers could begin in any given direction. There isn’t a set second step to the research that could branch from this study. The researchers could continue to understand that particular muscle in the quadriceps femoris, look at different movement patterns effected by those muscles, or even compare different ages or genders on muscular development and muscle fiber recruitment. With that being said, I believe the study was very unorganized when it came to participant selection. There were only 10 subjects being evaluated, and even then, the physical fitness and activity level was not regulated. It would have been a better study if the researchers had maybe gathered 10 beginner, 10 intermediate, and 10 elite level athletes that would at least illustrate a sense of ranking level and muscular development. I don’t believe the study was a waste at all, since it did provide a baseline for the understanding of these muscle groups. I chose this study because I love understanding the mechanics of the body. As I continue to learn, I can implement the knowledge gained toward programs that encourage injury prevention. With injury prevention comes prehab and return to work recovery protocols. I do believe a deeper understanding of human anatomy, biomechanics, and exercise science will highly benefit my programs as they continue to develop.