At Hall Personal training, we ensure we stay on top of the latest research in the health, fitness, strength and conditioning journals. That way we know we are providing the best possible advice to our clients, combining theoretical knowledge with our years of practical experience.
Our junior trainer Tobi has scoured the research for January to see what’s new in the fitness industry and provide some top tips you can introduce into your training straight away!
1. Heavy loads are better than moderate loads for increasing strength.
A recent study study compared the effects of heavy loads (2-4RM) versus moderate loads (8-12RM). Heavy load training led to an increase of 30% in 1RM back squat and 14.5% in 1RM bench press, whereas 16.7% and 10.5% respectively were noticed in the moderate load group.
Although the study was unable to find the exact mechanism that led to the strength gains in the heavy load group, this is still valuable information and is definitely worth considering if you’re looking to increase your strength.
2. Looking to increase your 100m sprint time? Try Blood Flow Restriction training.
Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training is when you use lighter loads in the region of 20-30% of 1RM, and restrict blood flow using an item such as a resistance band, a technique commonly used during hypertrophy training.
When performing 6 sets of 100m sprints at 60-70%, sprint times were reduced by 0.38-0.24s. This was compared to a normal programme without the use of BFR. Although times decreased, the difference was less than the difference observed in the BFR group. So next time you decide to increase sprint times, slap on a resistance band, restrict that blood flow and get sprinting.
3. If you’re a footballer and have ever had an ankle injury, then this tip is for you
I’m a footballer and I’ve had many ankle injuries that just kept coming back. I couldn’t quite figure out why, but a study is now suggesting that hip extension strength could be the cause. Over a three-season period they collected data which suggests that low hip extension strength increased the incidence of injury. They concluded that footballers were not able to rely on their hip strength during running, jumping or agility type movements. It’s not known whether increasing hip strength would reduce the incidence of injury but I myself have been working on my glutes the last few months and have noticed that I no longer get any pain in my ankles. Exercises such as glute bridges or hip thrusters should do the trick.
4.Try the 3/7 protocol for building strength
It’s widely known that long rest periods have been used for developing strength and shorter rest periods have been used to develop hypertrophy. The 3/7 approach adopts an incremental approach in the number of repetitions per set (5 sets in total) with 15 seconds of rest between sets. A new study found that the 3/7 protocol led to greater gains in strength (29.8%) compared to a standard set of 4x6, with a rest time of two and a half minutes (21.8%).
5. Males are more likely to suffer from groin pain compared to women
The groin is the inner part of our thighs, which is made up of a group of muscles known as the adductors. The adductor group consist of the adductor longus (most commonly injured muscle), adductor magnus, adductor brevis, gracilis and the tiny pectineus. In females, the rectus abdominals (or abs) inserts onto the pubic bone where as in males it inserts into the gracilis (one of the adductor muscles).
Women have wider hips than men (90 vs. 65 degrees ) that can affect the line of pull of the adductor muscles.
Sports that require a sudden change of direction e.g. football, rugby, tennis and badminton to name a few, tend to see a lot more groin injuries in men. Adductor training can help prevent this from happening and the work ratio of adductor to abductor work should be greater than 80% in favor of the adductors.
Exercises that strengthen your adductors include, Romanian deadlifts, wide stance squats, lateral lunges or the traditional adductor machine.
1.Differential Effects of Heavy Versus Moderate Loads on Measures of Strength and Hypertrophy in Resistance-Trained Men. Schoenfeld, B. J., Contreras, B., Vigotsky, A. D., & Peterson, M. (2016). Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 15(4), 715.
2. Low Intensity Sprint Training With Blood Flow Restriction Improves 100M Dash, by Behringer, M., Behlau, D., Montag, J., McCourt, M. & Mester, J. (2016). The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research
3. Hip Strength As An Intrinsic Risk Factor For Lateral Ankle Sprains In Youth Soccer Players: A 3-Season Prospective Study. De Ridder, R., Witvrouw, E., Dolphens, M., Roosen, P., & Van Ginckel, A. (2017). American Journal Of Sports Medicine.
4. Effect Of A Strength Training Method Characterized By An Incremental Number Of Repetitions Across Sets And A Very Short Rest Interval. Laurent, C., Penzer, F., Letroye, B., Carpentier, A., Baudry, S., & Duchateau, J. (2016). Science & Sports.
5. Anatomical and morphological characteristics may explain why groin pain is more common in male than female athletes. Schache, A. G., Woodley, S. J., Schilders, E., Orchard, J. W., & Crossley, K. M. (2016). British Journal of Sports Medicine.