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The De-Stress Vitamin

If life is getting hectic, try popping 500 milligrams of vitamin C. A study published in the Pakistan Journal Of Biological Sciences looked at two groups of high school students. One group was given 500 milligrams of vitamin C a day, and the other group was given a placebo. Before the experiment, vitamin C levels, blood pressure, and anxiety levels (using the Beck Anxiety Inventory test) were measured in all subjects.
After 14 days the two groups were re-tested. The subjects who took the vitamin C showed less anxiety than before they started the supplement regimen, moving from a classification of “moderate anxiety” to “low anxiety.” The study authors concluded their findings by stating that “…  this study suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C can help to reduce anxiety levels and possibly increase academic performance among anxious students.”

http://www.ironmanmagazine.com/the-de-stress-vitamin/

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Intensity Audit

Do you go hard enough in the weight room? Most of us think we do, but it’s not always the case. A recent study published in The Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research described two groups of trained subjects who participated in three separate workouts. The first was 10 reps of a leg press, bench press, leg extension, and arm curl. The next workout was a one-rep max of those four exercises, and the third was 10-rep max of the same movements.
One group worked out by themselves, and the other group was under the supervision of a personal trainer. The group under the auspices of a trainer chose significantly heavier loads in all of the lifts. The largest difference was in the lower-body exercises. Interestingly, even the group who had the trainer chose weight that was quite a bit lighter than their 10-rep max indicated.

http://www.ironmanmagazine.com/intensity-audit/

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Hitting Below The Belt

The Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research recently published research indicating that specific training programs focused on lower-body muscle hypertrophy and upper-body maximal strength can result in greater strength and power gains in the upper body. For six weeks, a group of resistance-trained young men were instructed to perform either a high-weight low-rep program for both upper and lower body (four to five reps at 88 to 90 percent of their maximum effort), or a high-weight low-rep program for just the upper body and a more hypertrophy-focused workout for the lower body (10 to 12 reps at 65 to 70 percent of max effort).
At the end of the experiment, the group who used the high-rep range for their legs saw greater increases in strength and power gains in the upper body and lost more body fat than the group who did low reps for their whole body.

http://www.ironmanmagazine.com/hitting-below-the-belt/

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Ripped Like 007

If you ever wondered how James Bond managed to stay in fighting shape while slamming down martinis left and right, the secret appears to be in the olives. Research published in the journal Immunity & Ageing described how a group of people ages 18 to 65 who ate a dozen green olives a day for 30 days lost approximately 2.2 pounds of fat and gained about the same amount of muscle.
Researchers suspect that conjugated linoleic acid content of the olives might get the credit, or possibly the presence of oleuropein, a phenol that has been shown to boost testosterone levels and encourage anabolism in animal studies. While this was a rather primitive study (no control group involved), it’s an easy N=1 experiment to reproduce. After all, olives are cheap, and with only about 40 calories per ounce (approximately 14 olives), they’ll hardly derail your diet. Just be sure to hold the gin.

http://www.ironmanmagazine.com/ripped-like-007/

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Post-Workout Fat Loss

Powerlifters and mass monsters should mix their post-workout whey protein with a hefty dose of fast-acting carbs, but a recent study seems to indicate that if you’re trying to get lean, you should leave the sugar out. Research published in the Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition described three groups of novice weight trainers who were each given a different beverage immediately after a session in the gym. One group was given straight carbs, the other straight whey protein, and the third group consumed approximately equal doses of both carbs and whey protein.
After 12 weeks of training, all three groups added muscle size and strength. The group who took in only carbs lost no body fat. Both whey groups lost body fat, but the one who consumed the whey protein without carbs lost significantly more fat. What’s more, the whey-only group lost more fat off their abdomen than the others.

http://www.ironmanmagazine.com/post-workout-fat-loss/

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