The optimum time to train

there are many biological factors that are important for muscular hypertrophy like hormone levels, age, sex, muscle fiber type, diet, among others. These factors have been recognized as extremely important for the hypertrophic adaption to strength training. Many of these factors, however, are known to vary throughout the day. Can the daily differences in the above factors like hormone levels, affect the adaptive response to strength training? What time of day is the best time to train?

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research set out to examine the effects of time-of-day-specific strength training on muscle hypertrophy maximal strength in men. The training group underwent a 10 week preparatory training regimen. Afterwards, the subjects were randomized to either a morning training group or an afternoon training group. The groups trained for another 10 weeks with training times between 07:00 and 09:00 hours and 17:00 and 19:00 hours in the morning group and the afternoon group respectively. Cross-sectional areas and volume of the quadriceps femoris were obtained by magnetic resonance imaging at weeks 0, 10, and 20. Maximum voluntary isometric strength during unilateral knee extensions and the half squat one repetition maximum were tested at weeks 0, 10, and 20.

The entire 20-week training period resulted in significant increases in maximum voluntary contraction and 1RM in both training groups. In this study, the magnitude of muscular hypertrophy and strength did not statistically differ between the morning or afternoon group. However, this study was of short duration and like most research concerning physical improvement through exercise, there needs to be more subjects over longer periods of time.
(J Strength Cond Res 23(9):2451-2457)


10 things you should and shouldn’t do

The following is a list from an article on From begginners to advanced lifters and health enthusiasts, I think all will benefit from this article. Many people, no matter what their level never seek professional advice, and consequently continue to stall their progress with basic mistakes. Do your self a favor read the following, read the article and incorporate it into your fitness lifestyle.

1. You shouldn’t work your abs everyday.
2. You should keep a training Log.
3. You shouldn’t use the pull-down machine like a rowing machine.
4. You should keep your protein intake high.
5. You shouldn’t eat a diet high in carbohydrates.
6. You shouldn’t use your entire body to do curls.
7. You should warm up before every workout.
8. You should make recovery your #1 priority.
9. You shouldn’t scream while training in a gym.
10. You should visualize your goals.


Stay positive in the gym

When I first started seriously working out in the gym in college, I was fortunate enough to train with my roommate and one of my best friends, Jim. He?s easily one of the most positive guys I know and it was a pleasure to work out with him on a daily basis.

One of Jim?s theories when working out is to always keep things positive. In other words, don?t bitch, don?t look at the clock wondering when you?ll be done and no negative reinforcement when the other person was doing one on one battle with the weights.

Sometimes when I?m training now, I can still hear Jim say, ?Easy weight man ? you got this.?

One summer in between years at college, I went home and decided to work out with another friend of mine. (Jim and I lived in different states, so we couldn?t train together in the summer.) It was amazing the differences between he and Jim. Instead of, ?You got this weight ? no problem,? I heard, ?Come on you piece of shit ? this weight is defeating you.?

I asked my summer training partner why all the negative talk and he simply stated, ?Because I train better that way.? Hey, some people do train better when they?re partner is degrading them into pushing up the weight. Doesn?t make much sense to me, but hey, whatever knocks your skirt up, I guess.

I worked out with my friend for about a week and then told him I wouldn?t be making any more trips to the gym with him. His berating style sucked the life out of me and going to the gym every day became a chore. Remember that when you?re working out with your partner. I now work out with a friend that follows my routine and my instruction. I never use negative reinforcement with him and he has since said that working out is starting to become fun, even though it never was before. To me, keeping things positive, whether it be in the gym or life in general, is always the better way to go.

For more articles on negative reinforcement, check out this one by Men’s

On a side note, congratulations to Jim and his new fianc? Autumn for recently deciding to tie the knot. They make a great couple and I know they have a lifetime of great things to come.


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