“Effects of High Intensity Dynamic Resistance Exercise and Whey Protein Supplements on Osteosarcopenia in Older Men with Low Bone and Muscle Mass. Final Results of the Randomized Controlled FrOST Study.”
The takeaway from this is that it is never too late to make a difference in your health. To quote the authors
Why is this important?
Whilst I appreciate this paper does not relate directly to triathletes, I think we can all accept that we will all become old at one point in our life or know some people (read parents or grandparents) that are older than us and this can be applied. Recently there has been a lot of interest in sarcopenia, sarcopenic obesity and osteosarcopenia. For those unaccustomed to these words, they relate to progressive loss of muscle as we age, loss of muscle as we age whilst getting fatter and loss of muscle with concurrent loss of bone density respectively. All pretty grim reading and a very real issue in today’s society and potentially a major health crisis in the making.
What was studied?
This study was cool because they recruited a group of 74+-year-old men - think about your dad right about now. Forty-three in total and had them follow a resistance training program on machines over the course of 18 months. The training was performed twice a week and they periodised the training with changes to repetitions, sets, time under tension and speed of lifting in line with a training program that someone much younger may follow.
Consensus statement - Sleep and the athlete: narrative review and 2021 expert consensus recommendations
Why is this important?
Sleep is increasingly being recognised as a crucial element to health, recovery and ultimately performance. This performance element extends beyond the swim, bike or run and into everyday life and performing at your best. I have recently written a new article for Triathlete magazine that reviews the effect of alcohol on sleep, heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV) with me being the N= 1. There were certainly some insights and I encourage each of you to read it and to also explore what I describe with your own social experiment.
Please remember that wearables are only as good as the information they collect and as discussed later, most are likely to be inaccurate and overestimate (much like activity performed and calories burnt). Also, important to note, data is one thing, don’t obsess over it - how you wake and feel on a day to day basis is likely to be just as good an indicator to how you are sleeping.
Why is this important?
Another interesting study that looked at glucose control in relation to sleep quality and coffee consumption. The role of caffeine and its role in improving exercise capacity is well established yet the role of caffeine on fat burning and glucose control is a little less clear.
There is a fair bit of media coverage at the moment relating to sleep and its effect on glucose control and insulin sensitivity. It has been proposed that one night of bad sleep can negatively impact the following days control from a physiological standpoint - poor glucose control and reduced insulin sensitivity. Further to this, a bad night's sleep can impact your decision making by influencing areas of the brain that like reward and push you towards sweet and fatty foods. Pretty incredible. Couple this with prior research highlighting differing responses to coffee in the morning, the study sought to answer a few questions relating to the impact of sleep quality, black coffee and a high carbohydrate drink on glucose control.
The issue I have with this study is that who the hell drinks a sugar containing beverage for breakfast? If you are doing that, you have bigger concerns than your morning black coffee. It would have been great to compare the sugar drink with a high protein food choice and reveal the blood glucose response. This would have been minimal despite the coffee and perhaps led to some further insight into the choice of food for breakfast can significantly impact your blood glucose levels. The other interesting aspect about this study is that research completed in 1967 reported a similar effect on glucose levels after black coffee consumption.
I will keep it succinct,
I am including this paper as it was part of the inspiration for the Tinlane system. James Morton and Graeme Close were lecturers of mine in London and their research has been a major influence on my approach to nutrition with clients. In this paper it describes how macronutrients, in particular carbohydrates, can be periodised in a similar fashion to exercise training and that the fuel being consumed should reflect the work that is to be done and also what the intended goal of that session is to achieve.For me, this makes complete sense and really helps me describe to clients what my strategy is with regards to carbohydrates as a fuel source.
What is frustrating in the nutrition world is the notion that only one approach can be utilised when it comes to creating a meaningful change in an individual. This may be the result of research often investigating single nutrition strategies and then those results being misinterpreted or misrepresented to the wider public, especially when a marketing label can be applied.
Something I tend to repeat is that carbohydrates and fat are both worthy fuel sources for the right type of training. Science has shown that depending on intensity, differing fuel substrates will be used. If you manipulate those fuel sources in line with your training then you can achieve many differing goals, whether that be fat loss, peak power output, time to fatigue or gut training.
With some careful thought, a rewarding athlete-coach relationship can be yours.
by Jordan Blanco of Avid Endurance
You may be considering getting yourself a triathlon coach. But how exactly does a person go about choosing the right coach? We caught up with three triathlon coaches for their advice on finding your perfect match for the new year.
Define your goals: as with any decision, selecting the right coach starts with a review of your needs and goals. Work through the below checklist of things for you to consider before talking to coaches.
A. Level of experience. Are you a beginner lining up for your first IRONMAN race with the single goal of completing it within the time limit? Or do you have several seasons of racing under your belt and you’re now looking to take your abilities to the next level?
AJ Johnson is a USAT Level I coach with D3 Multisport. "If you are looking to be on the top step of the podium you want a coach that has previously coached athletes to that level," he says. "Conversely, beginner athletes would be best served by hiring a coach that specializes in first-time athletes."
Being very clear about your goals and needs will help you better evaluate the variety of coaches and coaching plans available.