Getting prepared and taking the first steps to start on a fitness journey can be the most difficult part of getting into shape. Between how hard it can be to change your lifestyle choices, the determination required to maintain a fitness routine, and the need for the right space and equipment to do so, the journey can be tough. However, that doesn’t mean you need to handle this process alone. At Platinum, we’re ready to assist and guide you in this journey, starting with these 6 steps to starting up a fitness routine at our facilities!

– Start your sessions with a warm-up. From your first session, through weeks into your routine, even years into a standard fitness routine, warming up is a crucial step to this process. Not only does it loosen up your muscles and get your blood flowing, but it can help switch your mindset into a focus on fitness as well as prepare your body to prevent injury and strain. What do you do to warm up? Consider about 20 minutes of cardio on an elliptical or treadmill!

– Start small. Workout in short increments to start with, with easy levels, at smaller numbers, and for a shorter overall time. For instance, try using a 15 lb weight if that feels relatively easy for you, instead of going for a higher number. Only do 10-20 reps to begin instead of aiming for as many as possible. Limit this portion, after your warm-up and before your cool-down, to only about half an hour. The important part of this is building up a routine that’s manageable without the risk of overdoing it and risking injury or hurting your morale. It will give you a building block to set as your minimum that you can work to gradually increase upon it.

– Save the cool-down time for after your primary workout session. It’s crucial that you don’t take many breaks during your workout routine! Building up that intensity, sweating, and making sure your heart rate is increasing are important parts of working out, so don’t take breathers between every machine or frequent, unneeded breaks to sit down and cool off. Take a break if you feel the need for one, but try to keep it in your mind to limit them.

– Switch between different parts of your body. Especially when starting out, spending all of your time focusing on one area of your body will not only prevent a thorough workout, but it can cause overstrain that can lead to loss of morale or even injury. Switching between different body parts and workout types will help you get a more complete experience in a safe, beneficial manner!

– Cool down afterward. To finish off your workout, give yourself a cool down period of about 10 minutes of cardio to wrap up your efforts. This gives you one more chance to increase that heart rate, burn off the excess energy, and leave you feeling invigorated but, hopefully, tired in a way that’s satisfying. You can also spend part of this time stretching, flexing the muscles you’ve just put to work and easing them back into motion.

– Treat yourself! Why not give yourself encouraging treats to help along the way, like a great snack, a movie in one of our theater rooms, or even a visit to our sauna or the FACE.It Aesthetics spa! This will help you keep up your motivation and give you a positive note to end your gym trip on.

Congratulations! Trying out these steps means you’re well on your way to starting a fitness routine, which can be a big, life-changing decision. Many get caught up on the thought of it, but following through and reading along with our advice means you’ve got the determination to take this journey one step at a time. Your next step? Sign up for one of our FREE 7-day passes and test out these steps for yourself!

Physical education is crucial especially to those that are still young and maturing, not only in helping them to grow strong and maintain wellness but in instilling good health habits that will last a lifetime. Does your child’s school have P.E.? A great alternative or additional option is to start bringing your kids with you to the gym! Even your older kids and those in college, students have physical fitness needs that need to be met, and fitness should be a lifestyle, not just an option for a social hour at school or made a requirement. We’re here at Platinum Fitness to not only help meet your family’s fitness needs but to help encourage kids to enjoy their healthy choices!

Nutrition, fitness, and general wellness are important to emphasize— no matter the age of your children, it’s never too late to start! We know that parents want the best lives possible for their kids and we’re here to help build this strong physical foundation so that these dreams can be more easily attainable. Being there to support and join in your child’s fitness journey gives them a pillar of support and role model, but also grants you a fitness partner for motivation and all too valuable family bonding time.

Platinum Fitness also works with various schools and program directors who are looking to incorporate physical education into their student’s routines. According to the CDC, children ages 6-17 should have a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Is your family staying active and reaching this amount of daily physical activity?

Platinum can also help you with fitness goals for your children, from developing skills in our classes to maintaining a healthy body and even to honing their bodies for specific sports. We have a wide range of classes to discover, which can become hobbies and skills that they can carry on further in life. From self-defense, dancing, lifting, we have a lot to offer to suit your kid’s abilities and preferences! Our selection of equipment can assist in increasing agility, building strength, and finding better ease with the movement needed for their sports activities.

That’s not all! Fitness isn’t just about the benefits it can have on your body, but about how fun some of these routines can be! Our locations also each offer cinema rooms for use as well as childcare services run by employees dedicated to engaging with your children while you get your workout in. Your trips to the gym can be fun family outings— make it a lasting routine!

Right now at our Oracle location, we’re offering a FREE Body Composition Analysis and Fitness Assessment to those who are ready to get in shape, or for those who want to see where they stand with their goals. For families looking to start a fitness journey together, this is a perfect opportunity! Call and make an appointment with a personal trainer today while there’s still room!

February means that the month of love is here, and we want to help you fall in love with all that Platinum Fitness has to offer! Even if traditional fitness concepts aren’t exactly romantic to you, we’re confident that we have something to offer everyone within our wide spectrum of offerings. Between our variety of classes, our wide array of amenities, and even our childcare centers, we’re ready to woo you this month! Let us give you a rundown of all the reasons you have to come in and start this budding fitness romance:

  • If you need a little extra fun and energy in your fitness routine, then consider checking out our variety of classes! Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a fitness guru, we have a level appropriate for your abilities and your schedule. We also offer a selection to suit your preferences, whether it’s a focus on flexibility, strength, cardio, or otherwise!
  • Looking to spend more time with your partner for the month of love? Consider sharing a workout routine with them! Having a partner in fitness is one of the strongest motivations a person can have in striving towards their fitness goals, so why not share them with your loved one? Include your partner in your workout routine– we’ll be happy to have you both! You can even try out an array of couple exercises, check this list out for examples! 
  • If you don’t want to leave your kids at home while you hit the gym, then no worries! All three of our locations are equipped with childcare centers that have trained employees to keep your kids active and entertained. Rest easy and get a little bit of peace within our facilities! This is an excellent chance to get some much-needed you time during the week or to give your kids the chance for a fun outing to break up your family’s daily routine.
  • Speaking of peace, find some of your own while you’re being pampered at FACE It.Aesthetics! With a variety of services from facials to waxing, we’re ready to individualize our offerings just for you with a free personal consultation. All Platinum members receive 15% off spa services year round, so you can even enjoy all of this at a discounted rate! Show yourself some love this month by stopping in for some beauty therapy!
  • Not convinced you’ll fall for us yet? No problem! We’re happy to give you the chance to try out Platinum Fitness for FREE for 7 days! Visit here to claim a free 7-day pass that will allow you to check out our services for yourself! Try adding us to your routine for the week and see what our atmosphere, equipment, and professional trainers can do for you. What are you waiting for?

At Platinum, we’re here for you with a variety of services and offerings meant for people from all walks of life and ability levels. Whether you’re just starting on your fitness journey, you’re in the middle of the path, or you’ve been training your whole life, our facilities have a lot to offer you, and our fitness trainers are always there to help guide you on your way! Contact us today to learn more!

Join us in celebrating the New Year by welcoming 2018 with new goals and resolutions! Making new goals to abide by in the new year is all about coming up with achievable goals, creating a workable plan, and reaching out to resources that will help you along the way. When it comes to your fitness and physical training needs, our three Platinum Fitness locations are here and ready to help you make resolutions to follow through with!

Whether your goals are focused on nutrition, improving your physical fitness level, or even achieving body image goals, we’re here to help you along the way. Staying active and maintaining a healthy body are both strong goals to start with, then adjustments can be made depending on your current fitness and health. If you’re working on achieving body improvement goals, then consider what areas you’d most like to work on, or which you’ve been neglecting the most in your current routine. These may be the best areas to really focus in on and to prioritize in your routine!

The beauty of Platinum Fitness extends well beyond the fact that we have 3 locations catering to all of Tucson. We also offer a wide variety of classes and fitness options to choose from. To name just a few:

· We are one of the few remaining Tucson locations for the Silver Sneakers Program .

· CrossFit is a global phenomenon that challenges the world’s fittest but is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect program for any committed individual, regardless of their experience. At our Golf Links location, we house Crossfit East Tucson.

· We have our Studio Fit classes at all locations which are a great way to kick-start your fitness resolution with a certified trainer at the helm.

Our FREE 7-day pass is a great way to come in and experience all of the Platinum Fitness offerings. Our trainers are here to help you not only achieve, but to make plans based on your personal goals. We’re ready to help personalize your gym experience, and to work alongside you this new year.

If fitness is a goal of yours then you should consider making it an important part of your new year’s resolutions! Stand by your goals by having a workable plan, designed just for you with the help of all that we have to offer. At Platinum we are all about serving your needs and achieving your goals, so come in to any of our locations today to get started!

The start of the holiday season brings many temptations— temptation to stay comfortable at home instead of working out, to eat all of the festive dishes instead of watching for your nutrition, and to overall lose track of your fitness and health goals in order to celebrate. Celebrating throughout the holiday season doesn’t mean you have let your goals pass you by unattained! If you keep track of your holiday meal nutrition and your physical training, then you don’t have to face this common setback.

While it may be tempting to reach for that extra slice of pie or to lose track of what you’re putting into your system with the big holiday meals ahead, try instead to really think about the goals you’ve set and how this time can play into helping them rather than deter them. Staying on track doesn’t have to mean completely avoiding holiday meals — enjoy the festive foods, but stay aware of how much and what you’re taking in to keep yourself balanced and on track. You can even make your holiday plans with these needs in mind, pick a menu that will ultimately help you in achieving your nutrition goals, and try new recipes that will bring you that same warm holiday feeling without the guilt.

For example, try looking into different Paleo cookbooks or blogs. Many recipes still include the holiday, comfort food staples such as your holiday ham, chicken, potatoes and dinner rolls, but they cut out the ingredients that weigh you down. If you’re interested in checking out some options for new recipes, one author who is active online and on the shelves is Danielle Walker. She actually has a cookbook that goes through holiday traditional recipes in order of the year, her recipe for a holiday ham can be found here .

Nutrition coupled with training is the perfect combo to stave off holiday weight gain or losing your fitness progress. Physical training will keep your momentum up and balance all that you may eat this time of year. With your fitness goals in mind, step into the holidays with the mindset that this season is not unlike the rest when it comes to gym schedule obligations! Stay ahead by keeping to your schedule and viewing the holiday season as a special time to enjoy with those closest to you, but ultimately it’s just like any other day when you hit the gym. 

As you know, at Platinum Fitness, we are not a revolving door. When we say that we mean that our members and their goals are our priority and are our goals too. We want you to enjoy the holidays without guilt and go into the new year on track rather than having to start over again. Don’t be afraid to vent to your trainer or the front desk about the temptations you’re facing at the holiday parties, we are all here for the common goal of attaining a platinum level of health and fitness, so your struggles are our struggles and we are here to fight through them with you.

If you’re looking for a place to kick-start your physical training needs or help with maintaining your goals as a whole, then check out our offerings at Platinum Fitness! You can even share the gift of fitness with your friends and loved ones to help keep you motived as a team this holiday season! Check out our free 7-day memberships to get started, or give us a call today!

Deadlifting is very much in vogue. It’s fashionable to setup to the bar, and load the weights until it bends… but is it necessary?

To that end, we should ask ourselves, “Why do I deadlift?”

 

Reason #1: Deadlifting Makes Me Strong

Many use the deadlift as their measure of strength. However it’s important to first define what “strength” is.

For the typical gym rat, strength is usually load-based, or simply how much weight they can lift. In this context, the deadlift makes perfect sense, as it’s a stable, predictable, and easy to groove movement.

But in athletics it isn’t nearly as cut and dried. How many times have we seen wrestlers, gymnasts, martial artists, etc., that are strong in their chosen sport, yet can’t pull to save their lives?

To that end, if you’re strong in your sport and dominating the competition, does your deadlifting prowess even matter?

Before we can establish a correlation of strength to a given activity, we need to assess how accurately it challenges our body in specific measures relevant to that activity. The problem with using the deadlift is that it’s easy to mask and compensate for deficiencies in many areas. Therefore, we must question if it’s truly an accurate measure of “functional” strength, which brings us to reason number two.

 

Reason #2: Deadlifting is Functional

Coaches often say the deadlift carries over to many daily functions. The truth of the matter is that the deadlift has many holes in its translation to most sporting and daily functions.

The deadlift, while a free weight movement, is movement in only one dominant plane, sagittal. However, most daily and sporting activities require us to move and stabilize in many planes of motion.

Furthermore, according to back expert Stuart McGill, the majority of low back issues are not due to maximal strength issues, but rather poor strength-endurance and bad motor patterns. Because the deadlift is such a stable and grooved exercise, it’s easy to build compensation patterns that could actually be detrimental to our low back health.

Finally, concerning sporting performance, legendary biomechanics expert and one of the first U.S. coaches to spend time with Soviet sport coaches, Dr. Michael Yessis, states that the Russians found two main causes of injury:

Extreme range of motion
Eccentric load
Leaning too hard on the deadlift for “sport performance training” can be misleading as neither of these two variables are addressed. Fact is, many coaches remove the eccentric component of the deadlift altogether.

 

Reason #3: It Works the Posterior Chain

The synergy of the hamstrings, glutes, and low back to produce power and strength is an extremely important component to many sports. Yet there are many ways to accomplish this other than just performing deadlifts.

The basic hip hinge component of deadlifting is vital to learn for both performance and low back health. But as we continue to add load, this basic point of deadlifting could be potentially lost.

The term “optimal strength” refers to the point in loading where the chosen lift ceases to provide a carryover to the performance goal.

This is extremely important when training athletes as trying to make an athlete go from a 450-pound deadlift to 500 pounds may come at a significant cost to their movement skills, but have little benefit to their performance.

For the non-powerlifting lifter, the same decisions need to be made in programming. Can we get the same or similar effect but with less spinal compressive movements?

 

Reason #4: I Like Lifting Heavy Stuff

I won’t argue this point – heck, it’s fun to lift big loads off the ground. I used to enjoy it as well, but I noticed that the heavier my loads got, the more time I had to spend warming-up, pre-habbing, doing corrective exericse, etc. It seemed as though more time was spent preparing and healing from the lift than actually training.

As a coach it can be a trap to make our clients perform the methods and drills we love to do ourselves. Yet if we start to look at our programs with a critical eye, we may be able to develop far more effective programs and still move well and be strong!

What Do I Do?

The deadlift can serve as a great base for teaching the hip hinge and developing some general strength. However, we should look to progress after we establish these patterns at appropriate loads. Progressing doesn’t mean loading the deadlift to Elite proportions, but moving to more complex patterns of movement, speed, and body position.

The Influence of Single-Leg Training
I know, no one ever wants to wear the “90-pound dumbbell single-leg deadlift club” T-shirt, but these movements may take your training and performance further than joining the 600-pound deadlift club.

At a certain point the bilateral lifts have diminishing returns. As loads get heavier, shearing forces and spinal compression diminish movement quality, not to mention increase the risk of injury. This is where single-limb movements start to really shine.

Interestingly, here the benefits of single-leg training have little to do with promoting “symmetry” but rather providing a form of asymmetrical loading.

Asymmetrical loading exercises effectively train trunk and spinal stability. As McGill notes, “Though the spine remains upright, it’s subject to enormous compressive, bending, twisting, and shearing loads.”

While we’re seeing some of these drills appear in more training programs, their versatility, progression, and complexity have yet to be maximized. The following exercises are a very good start. (I’ve also included a video at the end of the descriptions that shows how to do each of these movements.)

In the end, it’s best for you to execute good programming, starting with cycling movements and determining if deadlifts are even the answer to your training goals.

Remember, the really cool kids aren’t the ones hitting deadlift PR’s – they’re the ones achieving their training goals.

For a closer evaluation of your training regime, see one of the many skilled trainers at Platinum Fitness today!

Source: http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=4971669

A diet containing complex carbs – read ‘lots of dietary fibre’ – makes rats with a dodgy pancreas slimmer and more muscled, we wrote a few days ago. A similar diet has the same effect on mice with a normal pancreas, researchers at the Children’s Hospital Boston discovered. What’s more, carbohydrates that are difficult for the body to absorb made the animals more physically active.

The researchers divided a group of male mice into two groups. Both groups were given a diet that consisted for 60 percent by weight of starch for a period of 40 weeks. In the control group the starch used consisted entirely of amylopectin; and in the experimental group it consisted of 40 percent amylopectin and 60 percent less easily absorbed amylose.

The difference between amylose and amylopectin lies in their structure. Amylopectin is a branched chain. The digestive enzymes can loosen the glucose molecules from the amylopectin at different locations at the same time and absorb them. This process goes pretty fast. Amylose, on the other hand, is a straightforward chain of glucose units.

To be digested the units have to be loosened one by one, and that takes time. Most of the glucose molecules are not absorbed by the body.

The sugar chains that are not absorbed form an ideal medium for beneficial micro-organisms in the large intestine to feed off. These convert glucose into short-chain free fatty acids. Researchers suspect that the positive effects of fibre – fibre is a collective noun for all carbohydrate chains that your small intestine can’t digest, and which are partially or wholly fermented in the large intestine by micro-organisms – are partly a result of the work of the short-chain fatty acids. These are thought to boost the metabolism a little.

The starch combination had no effect on body weight, but it did affect fat mass. That means that they built up more lean body mass.

The researchers came up with two partial reasons for the positive body recompositioning effect of the slow carbs. The respiratory quotient [RQ] of the mice that ate slow carbs was lower. That means that they burned a little more fat and less carbs. But perhaps a more important factor was that the mice moved more.

The researchers registered the mice’s movement by placing light-sensitive sensors in their cage, and the mice that ate slow carbs moved more. So they were more physically active. “Higher levels of physical activity are characteristically associated with greater lean body mass”, the researchers suggest cautiously. Between the lines you can see that they don’t think that that little bit of extra exercise in the SAC mice doesn’t explain their different body composition. Nevertheless, the increase in physical activity is in itself interesting.

“A low glycemic diet could increase spontaneous physical activity level, a possibility that might have important implications for the prevention and treatment of obesity and promotion of physical fitness”, the researchers conclude.

For more information about how this and other nutritional subjects, be sure to contact one of our personal trainers today. Not a member? Take advantage of the 50% off voucher now!

Source:
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Nov;295(5):E1126-31.

Source: http://www.ergo-log.com/slowcarbsmuscular.html

Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have shown that people with a good vitamin D supply are at lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus. The study, which was conducted in cooperation with the German Diabetes Center and the University of Ulm, will be published in the October edition of the scientific journal Diabetes Care.

New tests performed on participants of the KORA study have shown that people with a good supply of vitamin D have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus, while individuals with lower concentrations of vitamin D in their blood have a higher risk. This effect could be attributable, amongst other things, to the anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D. The result of the study, which was conducted at the Helmholtz Zentrum München in cooperation with Dr. Christian Herder of the German Diabetes Center in Düsseldorf and Dr. Wolfgang König, Professor of Medicine/Cardiology at the University of Ulm, could have direct consequences for the prevention of this common disease.

“Vitamin D deficiency is relatively widespread due to our modern way of life and the geographical latitude of Germany. In the winter months, in particular, people often do not receive adequate supplies of the vitamin because of the lack of sunlight,” explains Dr. Barbara Thorand of the Institute for Epidemiology II at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. “If follow-up studies confirm our results, a targeted improvement in the supply of vitamin D to the general public could at the same time reduce the risk of developing diabetes.” The human body can produce vitamin D itself if it has sufficient exposure to sunlight. The UVB radiation in natural daylight splits the precursor of vitamin D, 7-dehydrocholesterol, in the skin and forms provitamin D3. Further vitamin D synthesis occurs in the liver and kidneys. In addition, the supply can be improved by eating specific foods, such as oily fish, eggs and milk products, or by taking vitamin D supplements.

More than six million people in Germany suffer from Type 2 diabetes mellitus, and the number of undiagnosed cases could be equally high. Up to now, there has been no cure for this common disease. Type 2 diabetes is a disorder of glucose metabolism. It is characterized by a loss of insulin action and a drop in the levels of the hormone produced by the body. The mechanisms that trigger the disease have not yet been fully clarified. However, it is known that diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. The objective of the Helmholtz Zentrum München is to understand the mechanisms that cause common diseases and to develop new approaches with regard to their diagnosis, therapy and prevention.

For more information about how this and other supplements can enhance your training regime, be sure to contact one of our personal trainers today. Not a member? Take advantage of the 50% off voucher now!

Story Source:
The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen – German Research Centre for Environmental Health.

Journal Reference:
B. Thorand, A. Zierer, C. Huth, J. Linseisen, C. Meisinger, M. Roden, A. Peters, W. Koenig, C. Herder. Effect of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D on Risk for Type 2 Diabetes May Be Partially Mediated by Subclinical Inflammation: Results from the MONICA/KORA Augsburg study. Diabetes Care, 2011; 34 (10): 2320 DOI: 10.2337/dc11-0775

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111004132813.htm

Fatigue resistance is very important for muscle growth. After all, the less you tire, the more reps and sets you can complete, and the greater the drive for muscle growth. There are number of supplements on the market that claim to decrease muscular fatigue, but none have received more scientific support than beta alanine. Here is a primer on the research backed benefits to beta alanine supplementation.

What is beta alanine and where does it come from?
Beta alanine is a non-proteinogenic amino acid, meaning that it is not involved in synthesizing proteins. As a dietary source, foods don’t generally contain beta alanine in high concentration. Rather, it is formed in the body by the hydrolysis of di-peptides (i.e., carnosine, anserine, and balanine) when we eat protein-rich foods (like fish, chicken, and beef). The liver is also capable of synthesizing beta alanine from pyrimidine neucleotides, through uracil and thymine degradation.

 

Fatigue resistance is very important for muscle growth. The less you tire, the more reps and sets you can complete.

 

How does it work?

Carnosine is produced in skeletal muscle from beta alanine and histidine, where beta alanine is the rate limiting factor; thus, when beta alanine is available in surplus (i.e., supplemented) it elevates the body’s muscle carnosine levels. In fact, it has been shown that dietary supplementation of beta alanine for only 4 weeks can increase muscle carnosine levels by more than 60%.

Scientists were first motivated to understand how elevating muscle carnosine levels may help exercise performance based on the following: 1) animals who have a great capacity for prolonged high intensity exercise also have high intramuscular carnosine levels; and 2) carnosine levels are relatively higher in fast-twitch versus slow twitch muscle fibers. Since then, research has also found that bodybuilders have elevated carnosine levels in quadriceps (vastus lateralus) muscle.

The main mechanism by which high muscle carnosine levels aid in muscle function and performance is through its ability to significantly buffer skeletal muscle pH (acidity) during high intensity/fatiguing exercise. Since one of the primary causes of fatigue during exercise is metabolically mediated decreases in pH (or acidosis), then it follows that increased intramuscular carnosine levels would be beneficial to bodybuilders. It must also be mentioned that muscle carnosine also acts as a potent antioxidant and metal chelator. As such, through its effects on free radical scavenging, many scientists hypothesize that high carnosine levels prolong neuromuscular excitation-contraction coupling.

In resistance trained men, 4-weeks of beta-alanine supplementation led to a 22% increase in the number of reps they could complete during an experimental resistance-training session (compared to a placebo group).

 

Beta alanine and fatigue resistance
Since beta alanine acts to increase muscle carnosine levels and buffer changes in pH, then it follows that its erogogenic potential would be most apparent during high intensity exercise where there are increases in lactic acid. In one study, beta alanine supplementation was shown to improve anaerobic threshold and increase the power output achieved at lactate threshold. In a congruent study, it was observed that women who took beta alanine had an almost 14% increase in the ventilatory threshold during maximal cycling exercise. These data indicate that beta alanine supplementation leads to a great decrease in acidity in muscle cells, which allows you to workout harder with less lactate build-up, thus delaying fatigue. In resistance trained men, 4-weeks of beta-alanine supplementation led to a 22% increase in the number of reps they could complete during an experimental resistance-training session (compared to a placebo group). Additionally, in football players undergoing a strength-training regimen, 30-days of beta alanine supplementation, resulted in significantly higher training volume and lower subjective indices of fatigue compared to those who took a placebo.

Finally, studies have also shown that beta alanine supplementation can delay neuromuscular fatigue. Research has shown that 28-days of supplementation can increase the work capacity at fatigue threshold. Interestingly, a subsequent study conducted by the same research team showed no effect of creatine supplementation on decreasing neuromuscular fatigue; thus, illustrating that this effect is unique to beta alanine supplementation. These benefits of beta alanine supplementation on neuromuscular fatigue are likely due the enhanced antioxidant effects from the resulting elevated carnosine levels.

 

Beta alanine and sports performance enhancement
A recent study looked at beta alanine supplementation on rowing performance in elite level rowers. Rowers either took 5g of beta alanine or a placebo and were evaluated during a 2000 m rowing ergometer test. The researchers found that those who took beta alanine completed the 2000 m test 4.3 seconds faster than those who took the placebo. The performance benefits in the beta alanine group correlated with up to 45% greater carnosine content in their calf muscles. In another investigation, elite cyclists were given either beta alanine (2-4g) or a placebo for 8 weeks and tested on cycling sprint performance after a 110-min simulated endurance road race. It was found that average power and peak power (during sprinting) increased by 5 and 11% respectively in the beta alanine group compared to placebo.

 

Beta alanine and body composition
It should come as no surprise that training with beta alanine supplementation has been associated with improvements in body composition. After all, with delayed or decreased fatigue and increased training volume, your training sessions become more laborious. In a recently published study, it was found that those who completed a high intensity interval training program combined with beta alanine supplementation had improved gains in lean mass and fat loss compared to those who trained while taking a placebo. In an earlier study, researchers found stacking beta alanine with creatine led to synergistic increases in lean body mass in college football players undergoing a resistance-training regimen.

 

Safety
This amino acid is generally safe to take in moderate doses; however high single doses (>800 mg) have been shown to cause tingling/numbness (paresthesia) in hands and skin that disappear within an hour of ingesting. One other concern is that high doses of beta alanine may create an osmotic gradient that can decrease the body’s taurine levels (taurine is important for the maintenance of healthy heart function). As such, using a moderate dosing schedule will assure that you get all of the performance benefits, with no side effects.

As you can see, beta alanine is an interesting ergogenic supplement that has received a ton of scientific investigation over the past 5 years. Although there is little to no evidence showing its direct effects on anabolism or strength gains, there is an abundance research illustrating its positive effects on fatigue resistance.

For more information about how this and other supplements can enhance your training regime, be sure to contact one of our personal trainers today. Not a member? Take advantage of the 50% off voucher now!

 

 

References:
Van Thienen R, Van Proeyen K, Vanden Eynde B, Puype J, Lefere T, Hespel P. Beta alanine improves sprint performance in endurance cycling. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Apr;41(4):898-903.
Artioli GG, Gualano B, Smith A, Stout J, Lancha AH Jr. Role of beta alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Jun;42(6):1162-73.
Derave W, Everaert I, Beeckman S, Baguet A. Muscle carnosine metabolism and beta alanine supplementation in relation to exercise and training. Sports Med. 2010 Mar 1;40(3):247-63.
Baguet A, Bourgois J, Vanhee L, Achten E, Derave W. Important role of muscle carnosine in rowing performance. J Appl Physiol. 2010 Oct;109(4):1096-101. Epub 2010 Jul 29.
Hoffman JR, Ratamess NA, Faigenbaum AD, Ross R, Kang J, Stout JR, Wise JA.Short-duration beta alanine supplementation increases training volume and reduces subjective feelings of fatigue in college football players. Nutr Res. 2008 Jan;28(1):31-5.
Stout JR, Cramer JT, Zoeller RF, Torok D, Costa P, Hoffman JR, Harris RC, O’Kroy J. Effects of beta alanine supplementation on the onset of neuromuscular fatigue and ventilatory threshold in women. Amino Acids. 2007;32(3):381-6. Epub 2006 Nov 30.
Hoffman J, Ratamess NA, Ross R, Kang J, Magrelli J, Neese K, Faigenbaum AD, Wise JA. Beta alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med. 2008 Dec;29(12):952-8. Epub 2008 Jun 11.
Hoffman J, Ratamess N, Kang J, Mangine G, Faigenbaum A, Stout J. Effect of creatine and beta alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Aug;16(4):430-46.
Harris RC, Tallon MJ, Dunnett M, Boobis L, Coakley J, Kim HJ, Fallowfield JL, Hill CA, Sale C, & Wise JA (2006). The absorption of orally supplied beta alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis. Amino Acids 30, 279-289.
Hill CA, Harris RC, Kim HJ, Harris BD, Sale C, Boobis LH, Kim CK, & Wise JA (2006). Influence of beta alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity. Amino Acids.
Tallon MJ, Harris RC, Boobis LH, Fallowfield JL, & Wise JA (2005). The carnosine content of vastus lateralis is elevated in resistance-trained bodybuilders. J Strength Cond Res 19, 725-729.
Zoeller RF, Stout JR, O’kroy JA, Torok DJ, & Mielke M (2006). Effects of 28 days of beta alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on aerobic power, ventilatory and lactate thresholds, and time to exhaustion. Amino Acids.

Source: http://www.prosource.net/content/articles/Articles-by-ProSource/beat-fatigue-with-beta-alanine.aspx

Weight Loss

Gaining a large amount of fat can take years, so it should come as no surprise if losing it isn’t a quick process. Leaning out requires long-term changes in lifestyle, from stress management to exercising to eating properly. But what is eating properly? To this multi-headed question, we need to bring more than one answer.

Do Calories Matter?

Whereas water is the main culprit behind daily fluctuations, the weight you gain or lose in the long run depends primarily on your caloric intake. If you eat more than you burn, you gain weight; if you eat less than you burn, you lose weight. But is this weight fat or muscle? Most often, it is both, but how much of each depends on both exercise and diet composition (fat, protein, carbohydrate, and alcohol).

 Do Diets Work?

Hypocaloric diets (diets based on caloric restriction) all promote weight loss. Yet they often fail. Why? Because most people quit. Either they find the diet to difficult to continue or, having reached their goal, they decide they don’t need to diet anymore. In either case, they return to their old eating habits.

Unfortunately, fat cells have a slow turnover rate. They don’t immediately die when you starve them; they just shrink. Feed them again and you’ll find it quite easy to regain whatever weight you lost.

Which diet is the best for me?

The one that works for you. Some people swear by intermittent fasting; others will tell you that you should eat many small meals. Both are valid options. What matters, at the end of the day, is how much calories you have consumed. The best diet for you is the one you’ll stick to.

Of course, it is easier to stick to a diet that doesn’t make you ravenous. To promote satiety, you should favor foods rich in protein or with a high water content (fruits and vegetables). Although fat also promotes satiety, it has the downside of being calorically dense: A tablespoon of olive oil has the same caloric content as small potato!

Another benefit of protein is that it helps build muscle (when you eat more calories than you burn) and helps preserve muscle (when you eat fewer calories than you burn).

 What about the latest fad diet?

Most fad diets have two things in common: They restrict food choices, which makes it easier to count calories, and they’re very low in carbohydrate, which results in rapid weight loss—in the form of water.

How does that work? Very simply. Our body first stores carbohydrate in the form of glycogen. Only when our glycogen stores are full does the spare carbohydrate we consume get stored as fat. But what happens when we don’t supply our body with enough carbohydrate to replenish our glycogen stores? The water that was used for storage gets excreted.

Shedding several pounds in a couple of days can be exciting, but don’t be fooled: It’s only water. On a reasonable, healthy hypocaloric diet, you can expect losing one or two pounds of fat a week.

If I’m restricting calories, how do I stay out of starvation mode?

When a body enters “starvation mode,” its resting metabolic rate drops. It uses less energy for its most basic needs, and fat loss slows to a crawl. This could be scary, except that it largely doesn’t happen.

Starvation mode is something of myth, which started after a notorious experiment that literally starved its subjects. If your diet has you fasting for several days, then yes, you may experience a sharp drop in resting metabolic rate. You will also lose a lot of lean mass as your body starts cannibalizing your muscles for the protein it needs to insure its most vital functions. The smaller changes in energy expenditure resulting from caloric restriction, however, don’t have such a drastic effect.

Eating for weight loss is a bit of an iterative process: You estimate your caloric needs, then you adjust your estimate according to how your weight evolves from one month to the next (or one week to the next, but certainly not one day to the next!).

Finally, a weekly cheat meal isn’t going to ruin your diet. In fact, such a “refeed” may even help you stick to your diet by making it more bearable.

Is saturated fat bad for me?

There is some evidence that saturated fat may be less than ideal. Not a really strong statement. There is stronger evidence that unsaturated fats are beneficial, though, so if your diet is limited in fat, better eat less saturated fat and more unsaturated fats.

Are carbs bad for me?

It depends on your goals. If you are trying to lose weight, you need to eat less, and it is better to cut on carbohydrate than on protein or good fats. That said, and contrary to what some people would like you to believe, none of the macronutrients (protein, fat, or carbohydrate) are intrinsically bad for you.

So what is eating properly?

There is more to eating properly than what we’ve discussed here. Eating properly also means getting enough fiber and micronutrients (notably vitamins and minerals) through a wide selection of mostly unprocessed foods. But when it comes to gaining or losing weight, the answer is simple. If you want to gain weight, eat more than you burn. If you want to lose weight, eat less than you burn. In either case, consume 1.0–2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day (0.45–1.00 g/lb/day). And don’t forget to exercise and see a Platinum Fitness Trainer today!

Source: Examine.com is a Canadian company that runs an online encyclopedia focused on health, nutrition, and supplementation. The Examine.com team includes scientists, editors, and peer reviewers from multiple academic and research institutions. View all Articles by Examine.com

Read more at: http://www.trainerize.com/blog/a-beginners-guide-to-eating-for-weight-loss/