Carbohydrate

carbohydrate, bread, rice, pasta, potato

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in nutrition to stay in shape. I read some advice from Arnold Schwarzenegger and I learned some good stuff.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the body. All carbohydrates are sugars that are molecules containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Glucose is synthesis by plants through the photosynthesis process (using the sun’s energy) or by animals during the glycogen synthesis process. But be careful when I talk about glucose (sugar), I’m not talking about table sugar. There are several categories of glucoses (sugars). Here they are:

Monosaccharides

  • Glucose (blood sugar)
  • Fructose (fruit sugar)
  • Galactose (a kind of milk sugar)

Oligosaccharides

  • Sucrose(table sugar)
  • Lactose(milk sugar)
  • Maltose (malt sugar)

Polysaccharides

  • Plant polysaccharides(starch and cellulose)
  • Animal polysaccharides (glycogen)

The speed of which carbohydrate metabolized are measured with the glycemic index. A high glycemic index (a large increase in serum glucose) indicate that carbohydrates metabolized rapidly. A low glycemic index (a small increase in serum glucose) indicates that carbohydrates metabolized slowly or differently.

What’s cool now I being able to check the gylcemic index of foods on internet. For example, Chinese restaurant rice has a very high glycemic index compared to brown rice or wild rice.

carbohydrate, bread, rice, pasta, potato

Carbohydrates are the easiest type of food to turn into energy for the body. When carbohydrates converted to glucose, glucose circulates in the blood and helps muscle contraction. Glycogen in the muscle and liver stored for future use. A supply of carbohydrates is necessary for an ambitious bodybuilder for several reasons:

  1. Carbohydrates are a basic type of energy. Carbohydrate stored in the muscles in the form of glycogen will allow to train intense and heavy.
  2. Size of muscles increases when the body stores glycogen and water in individual muscle cells.
  3. Carbohydrates in the body have an effect that prevents the body from burning excess protein to create energy.
  4. Glucose is the main source of energy for the brain to be operational. Carbohydrate deprivation can have very negative effects on mood, personality and mental abilities.

There is a reason why carbohydrates are really needed as fuel for a workout. This is because most exercises are anaerobics exercises. Anaerobics exercises are flushed through intense puffs and exceed the body’s ability to provide enough oxygen to sustain the effort. But the carbohydrates structure allows to continue feeding the muscles during an exercise for a short period without oxygen. Therefore, when you do intensive weight training or you run a 100 meter sprint, your energy for these efforts is mainly composed of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrate supplement

carbohydrate, supplement, powder

Intense training creates a demand in the body to replace glycogen and amino acids. Be careful that your body contains enough carbohydrates after training, otherwise your body may start using amino acids (protein) as a source of energy. The period during which the body is in very high demand for carbohydrates is shorter than for proteins. The best results are obtained when you give the necessary carbohydrates to your body about 20 minutes after your training.

This need for immediate replacement of glycogen is the reason why many bodybuilders use a carbohydrate supplement after training with a protein supplement. It’s very useful when you do a strength training with a cardiovascular session (treadmill, stepper or bike). If you do cardio too soon after your strength training, you’ll be depriving your body of carbohydrates. And as you lack energy, your body will quickly use your amino acids (protein) to create the energy that is missing.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Stress Fractures

stress. fractures, tibia, fibula

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

A stress fracture is an overuse injury. Human body creates a new bone to replace a bone that has been broken due to the stress of everyday life. This process is done every day to keep the balance. Unfortunately, this balance can be disrupted because of excessive physical training. There are several factors that can prevent the body from creating enough bone and this make microcracking, called « fracture stress ».

The most common factor of fracture stress is an excessive increase in the intensitiy or frequency of physical activity without adequate rest period. Other factors are nutritional deficiencies, mechanical influences, lack of sleep, systemic factors (hormonal imbalance, etc.) and metabolic bone disorders.

There are case of development of eating disorders and/or amenorrhea (infrequent menstrual periods) for some female athletes who are preparing for a competition. These 2 conditions can create a decrease in estrogen that can decrease bone mineral density. This increase the risk of stress fractures.

Stress fractures are often seen in athletes (especially runners) or military recruiting. For an athlete, 1.6km run is 110 tons of force absorbed by the legs. Bones aren’t made to resist this force (energy) so it’s the muscles that have the function of absorbing shocks.

When the muscles get tired, they stop absorbing the forces and eveything transferred to the bones. Stress fractures occur in almost all bones but are more common in lower bone, expecially the tibia. Depending on the type of sport, there’re distinctive stress fractures such as the elbow in throwing sports, the ribs in golfing and rowing, the spine in gymnastics, the lower extremity in running activities and the foot in gymnastics and bascketball.

Diagnosis

stress, fracture, foot, metatarsal, 5th
stress, fracture, foot, x-rays, metatarsal,2nd

Stress fractures create pain in a limited area directly above the tip of the bone where the fracture occurred. The pain is raw because of physical activity and relived with rest. The sensitivity of the bones is the most obvious conclusion to the physical examination.

With regard to X-rays, this isn’t a tool that actually helps to diagnose an early stress fracture because the bone often looks normal and the microcracking aren’t visible. It’s difficult because after several weeks of rest, the bone begins to repair itself and shows a healing reaction or callus on X-rays.

An early stress fracture is usually confirmed by a bone scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Treatment

Stress fractures are generally classified as low-risk (will not become a serious fracture) or high-risk (will become a serious fracture).

Low-risk stress fractures usually require a rest period of 1-6 weeks of limited weight bearing activity progressing to full weight bearing may be necessary. Return to physical activity should be a gratual process.

Low impact activities like swimming or biking are recommended to maintain cardiovascular condition when the pain is gone. When the patient can comfortably perform low impact activities for long, pain-free periods, the patient can begin high-impact activities.

High-risk stress fracture have the danger of becoming a complete fracture. For athletes suffering from chronic pain and having normal x-rays results, it’s recommanded to use a bone scan or MRI. High-risk stress fractures should be treated as traumatic fractures (with cast or surgery) because of complications.

Prevent

food, vitamin,d, carrot, papay, meat, ,egg, chees, broccoli, fish, sweet, potato, mango, pepperoni, apricot, peach, melon, avocado
calcium, food, almond, amarant, grain, aparagus, apricot, artichoke, baked, bean, haricot, blackberry, blackstrap, molasse, blackcurrant, bok, choy, brazil, nut, bread, wholemeal, brocolly, chickpeas, cinnamon, edamame, soya, fennel, kale, kidney, olive, orange, sesame, seed, milk, spring, green, tofu, swede, walnut, watercress

Here are tips developed by AAOS to help to prevent stress fractures :

  • When an athete does a new sport activity, it’s necessary to program progressive goals. For example on the 1st day, don’t run 8km but rather increase the distance gradually per week.
  • Cross-training => Alternate activities to achieve the same fitness goal helps to avoid stress fracture injuries. For example to achieve a cardiovascular goal, alternate cycling and running (cycling one day and riding the other day) is excellent. Adding strength training and doing flexibility exercises help improve performance.
  • Have and maintain a heathy diet with foods rich in calcium and vitamin D.
  • Use good equipment. Don’t use running shoes, gloves, etc, very old and very worn.
  • If during physical activity it start to swell or the pain starts, stop the activity right away. It’s essential to rest for a few days. If the pain continue, you should see an orthopedic surgeon.
  • It’s important to recognize early symptoms and treat them appropriately to return to the sport with a normal level of play.

Stats

  • Stress fractures occur less frequently in those of black African descent than in Caucasians, due to a generally higher BMD (bone mineral densitiy) in the former.
  • Women and highly active individuals are also at a higher risk, The incidence probably also increases with age due to age-related reductions in BMD.
  • Children may also be at risk because their bones have yet to reach full density and strength.
  • The female athlete triad also can put women at risk, as disordered eating and osteoporosis can cause the bones to be severely weakened.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

How To Do Squat

squat

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Squat is the #1 exercise for bodybuilding because it works a lot of the muscular system and is great for the cardiovascular system. Squat allows to have a good thoracic expansion and a good respiratory capacity.

  • Standing in front of the barbell resting on the support. Put yourself under the barbell and place the barbell on your trapezius a little higher that the posterior deltoids. Take the barbell with a pronated grip. The spread of the hands is variable according to the morphology. Pull your elbows backwards.

  • Inhale deeply (to maintain an intrathoracic pressure that will prevent your torso from sagging forward). Arch you back slightly, squeeze your abs, look forward and take off the barbell.

  • Back 1 or 2 steps. Stop with your feet parallel (or slightly outward). Your feet are about your shoulders width. Squat down by tilting your back forward (the flexion axis passing through the hip joint). Control the descent without rounding your back to avoid injury.

  • When your femurs arrive horizontally, do an extension of your legs by straightening your torso to return to the starting position. Exhale at the end of the movement.

Squat works mainly quadriceps, glutes, adducteurs, erector spinae, abs and hamstring.

Note

Squat is one of the best moves to develop the gluteal curve.

2 ways to place the barbell

squat barbell posiiton

  1. On trapezius

  1. On deltoids and trapezius like powerlifters

Variants

  1. People with stiff ankles or long femurs can place a wedge under the heels to avoid too much torso inclinaison. This allows to postpone a part of the effort on quadriceps.

  2. The barbell’s position may be on the back (on the posterior deltoids). This reduce the cantilever by increasing the lifting power of the back which allows to take heavier weights. This is a technique used by powerlifters.

  3. It’s possible to do squat with the Smith machine, which makes it possible to avoid the torso inclinaison and to locate the effort on quadriceps.

How to place the feet

The feet position is important during the execution of the classic squat (feet apart at about the shoulders width). Feet should be in parallel or slightly outward. What is most important is to respect the person’s morphology and to place the feet in the physiological axis of the knees. For example, if you walk with your feet out, squat with your feet out.

Different torso’s inclinaison according to the morphologies

squat morpology

  1. Short legs, long torso : slightly inclined torso, weak cantilever

  1. Long legs, short torso : very inclined torso, important cantilever

Good position

squat good position

During the squat, the back should be as straight as possible throughout the movement. According of the morphologies (long/short legs, stiff/flexible ankles) and the different execution’s technique (feet’s position, use of compensated sole, barbell in up/down position), the torso could be very inclined or slightly inclined because flexion is done at the hip joint.

Bad position

squat bad position

It’s necessary not to round the back while performing the squat because this can create injuries in the lumbar region and spinal disc herniation.

Note

To really feel the work of the glutes, it’s necessary to have the thighs horizontally.

1-2-3 : negatives phase

4: full squat

squat full

 

It’s possible to have thighs lower than horizontal to better feel the glutes work but this technique can be done only by people who have short femurs or flexible ankles. It’s necessary to be very careful with the full squat because it is really easy to round the back.

Attention

For all exercises done with very heavy weight, it’s necessary to perform a « blocking » :

  1. Take a deep breath and block the breathing to fill the lungs like a balloon. This stiffens the ribcage and prevents the top of the torso form tilting forward.

  2. Squeeze abs stiffens the belly, This increases the intra-abdominal pressure and prevents the torse form sagging forward.

  3. By slightly arching the lower back with lumbar squeeze, this allows to have the spine’s bottom in extension.

These 3 simultaneous actions is what we call « blocking ». This « blocking » has the function of avoiding the rounding or bending of the spine because with very heavy weights, it can create disc herniations .

 

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Calories Are Good Or Bad

calories

I read a Nerd Fitness article and there is good stuff.

In the world of nutrition, we can find contradictory things. It depends of the point of view of people about food :

  • I’m Paleo and I eat only meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts.

  • My diet is based on my macros (protein, carbs, fats). Paleo is ridiculous.

  • Fool, a calorie is a calorie. You can lose weight by eating less.

  • I have a good physique and I eat pizza. I’m weird

Each person has his/her vision about « eat healthy ». It for this reason that this theme is confused with a lot of contradictory scientific studies.

What’s this

what's this

A calorie is a unit of energy

This is the equalent of 4.184 absolute joules (that is different of 1.21 gigawatts.

Here what is means : 1 calorie of food is equivalent to 1 kilocalorie that is the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of 1gr of water from 15C° to 16C°.

In a certain way we can say that a calorie is a calorie but what is interrests us is « does different kind of calorie affect our body differently ? »

  • Is what 1000 calories of cookies is the same as 1000 calories of grass-fed steak and vegetable ?

  • Does our body treat these foods differently or it’s only energy in and energy out ?

  • Does the type of food affect our body other than just to lose weight and gain muscle ?

These questions create a lot of debates and on internet everything is amplified with people who show scientific studies. Internet is good to debate but we’ll go deeper.

First step

first step

It doesn’t matter the « nutritional philosophy » you have, but something is obvious. How you eat is responsible of 80-90 % of your success ou your failure.

You can improve you cardiovascular heath by running a lot but if your goal is to transform your body, how you feed your body will play an important rôle.

Training (exercices) have a role of support of maintenance of the body.

When we talk about pure weight loss, eat less calories that you burn each day is the key of the equation.

But we want do everything to avoid to have heart disease and diabetes. It for this reason we need to focus on the food’s type that we eat and the amount of food that we eat.

Calories are equal to loss weight

equal

A person eat around between 3000 and 3500 calories per day of everything he/she wants. And now, he/she wants to lose weight.

This person decides to eat 2200 calories per day by eating less. This person doesn’t change what he/she eat but change proportions.

This person see that he/she loses weight, it’s good and it’s possible that he/she feels unhappy because he/she decreased drastically his/her normal amount of calories. Yet, it’s a good step in the right direction.

When we consume on average less than 500 calories per day, we burn 500 calories that we have in excess in our body. We can combine this with exercice and we can lose aound 0.45kg (1lb) of body mass per week.

As quoted on Examine.com , « a net negative energy balance…is responsible for weight loss ».

You noticed, it says « lose weight » and not « lose fat ».

It’s at this point that the big problems begin. People eat less and it’s enough for them.

We know our body react differently to certain types of food like sugar. Certain food fill the stomach more than other without have a lot of calories (vegetable). And others fill us less the stomach with a lot of calories (soda, cookies and candy).

Remember that all processed foods are scientifically created so that you are always lacking this type of food as a drug addict.

Use small plates is very effective to help to eat less. A study from Cornell University  found that if they gave people a large tub or a medium tub of popcorn, and then gave them stale popcorn, the size of the tub mattered far more than the staleness of the popcorn in determining how much people ate !

We’re not rational creatures. Some food are dense in calories and low in nutrients and make us hungry all day.

Compared to a diet of vegetables and meat, it’s the opposite. It’s food low in calories and dense in nutrients and we have a sensation of satiety. Which make it easier the reduction of calories to lose weight.

If you have a lot of weight to lose, eat less to start to be in the good direction.

Now if you want an athletic body, it’s a little bit different. There is 2 type of food that affect the composition of our body and our athletic performances.

Eating for health and success

health success

To have an athletic body, you must take care about your macros (a certain amount of fats, carbs and protein).

It’s clear that 100 grams of vegetables carbohydrates is not equal to 100 grams of candy :

  • Consideres that sweets and processed food are created for you to eat and buy more like a drug addict.

  • Look the difference of micronutrients between vegetables and candy

  • Pay attention of your energy after eating vegetables and sweets/candy. With which you have the most energy ?

We searching a way to eat that allow us to have a good look/appearence and to feel good. A diet that takes us away from the hospital and allows us to enjoy life.

Look, if you like the idea to eat less but you don’t like the idea to count calories and macros each day, you can hack something. Stay focus on a type of food : Real food !

Instead to count calories

At each meal, have 1-2 vegetables in your plate (or the half of the plate) and have a great source of protein.

Not aim to lose weight for a few weeks

Track your calories and macros for few days or 1 week to analyze what you eat. Take note, note the size of portions and do the total of the quantity of the day. This allows you to plan your meals during the day and during all the year.

We know that eat less and to more physical activity, help us to lose weight and we are still overweight. Eat less isn’t a permanent solution because there is also the element of behavioral psychology.

Real food

It’s simple, our body is a complex machine. And even if a calorie is a calorie is a simple equation to lose weight, each « health » factor can be affected by the quality and nutrients of this calorie.

For this reason, I want you eat real foods, decrease sugar and think long term (new habits) rather than the 12-weeks formulas.

What methods you used and that didn’t work ?

What are your goals ?

-Steph

P.S. Do you want a free training program ? Click here 

Fitness History – United States (1865 – 1900) Part 9

united states post civil war

United States – Post Civil War

united states post civil war

One of the most important events regarding the modern fitness in the United States was the industrial revolution that led to cultural changes in the country. The advances in industrial and mechanical technologies have replaced labor-intensive jobs. Rural life changed to an urban life. The life of the new city generally required less movement and work than rural life, which has led to reduced levels of physical activity.

At the turn of the century, the most common causes of death were influenza, polio, rubella and other infectious diseases. The risk of illness and death from infectious diseases were relieved by the discovery of Penicillin. The cost of industrialization and urbanization has become obvious in the 1950s and 1960s. An epidemic of hypokinetic diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes, never before prevalent, began to be recognized as the main causes of illness and death. The improved lifestyle brought in part by the industrial revolution also brought with it an unwanted and alarming cost to health.

Physical education

united states post civil war

After the end of the civil war in 1865, Swedish and German gymnastics experienced an average growth in popularity. However, the most popular form of gymnastics during this period was « The New Gymnastics » introduced by Dioclesian Lewis. Individuals who played an important role in the development of fitness during this period were Edward Hitchcock, William Anderson and Dudley Sargent.

Hitchcock knew the results of its fitness programs (combination of differents gymnastics) to improve health. He also introduced the concept of using anthropometric measures to assess progress in fitness. Sargent added scientific research to teaching fitness and developed organized teaching methods for instructors. Anderson’s work focused on physical education instruction was the development of fitness in a professional organization.

An interesting argument developed during the post Civil War period, still exists today. Several physical education instructors believed strongly in the value of incorporating exercise programs that would improve health-related fitness. However, sports were also gaining popularity in the United States during this era. Therefore, the majority of physical education programs were focused on sports and games. The debate between health-related fitness and skill-related fitness physical education programs continues to exist.

That’s all for today. Soon the rest of the fitness history

-Steph