Exercise Update

Exercise Update


Running Away From Cancer

Here’s another reason to feel great about your career: Researchers from the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health) say that increasing physical activity can lower the risk of 13 types of cancer.

In a new study, these researchers looked at data on 1.44 million adults. “For years, we’ve had substantial evidence supporting a role for physical activity in three leading cancers: colon, breast, and endometrial cancers, which together account for nearly 1 in 4 cancers in the United States,” said Alpa V. Patel, PhD, one of the study’s co-authors from the American Cancer Society. “This study linking physical activity to 10 additional cancers shows…that physical activity has far reaching value for cancer prevention.”

The study’s lead author, Steven C. Moore, PhD, says that these results can be generalized to include a diverse group of people, including those who are obese or have a history of smoking. The median level of activity in the study was about 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activities per week.

“Increased Physical Activity Associated with Lower Risk of 13 Types of Cancer | National Institutes of Health (NIH).” U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 21 July 2016.

A New Venue For Street Workouts

Street workouts are nothing new. The Spartans in ancient Greece performed outdoor calisthenics to build strength and speed. What is new? This discipline’s recent resurgence in popularity around the world.

One facility with a unique approach is Street Workout Academy in Santa Monica, Calif. In addition to offering outdoor classes focused on calisthenics and functional training, this company also brings street workouts into a studio setting. Its program features a mix of acrobatics, break dance, calisthenics, freestyle gymnastics, martial arts, parkour, pole fitness and yoga. Also notable is the “non-commitment” policy; clients purchase all-access punch cards rather thana membership.

By limiting group training to eight participants, Street Workout Academy strives to foster teamwork, high intensity, and motivation for clients at every fitness level. The studio also hosts workshops, private sessions and healthy lifestyle workshops. Learn more at streetworkoutacademy.com.

Heartwarming News For Elite Athletes


Research shows that endurance exercise for a prolonged time does, in fact, result in structural changes to the heart—in particular the enlargement of the right ventricle. The general consensus has been that these changes are a healthy adaptation of the heart muscle, but only recently did a study finally put to rest the concerns about possible long-term effects.

The potential heart hazards of endurance exercise have been deliberated by the medical community for over a century—and by the media whenever an elite athlete dies of a sudden cardiac event. This study, by a team of cardiologists and sports medicine physicians from Saarland University in Germany, compared the hearts of 33 elite athletes to the hearts of men with a similar profile (age, weight and size) but no participation in endurance exercise. The group of athletes included former Olympians, as well as previous Ironman participants and champions, all of whom have been training at an elite level for about 30 years and still continue to train for an average of about 17 hours a week. The Saarland investigators were able to confirm that the hearts of these athletes were, as expected, significantly larger and stronger than those of members of the control group. “But we found no evidence of lasting damage, pathological enlargement or functional impairment of either the right or left ventricle in the athletes who had been doing long-term intensive elite-level endurance exercise,” says Philipp Bohm, MD, co-author of the study.

“Is Endurance Training Bad for You?” EurekAlert! N.P., N.D. Web. 21 July 2016.

Beat Your Plateau With AEL

Hitting a plateau in strength training? The solution might lie in accentuated eccentric loading (AEL). This method is based on the principle of repetitive muscle contractions applying a greater external load during the muscle’s lengthening (the eccentric phase of the lift) than in the shortening (the concentric phase).


To determine the effects of AEL, scientists separated 28 strength training experienced males into three groups. Two were exposed to supervision, motivation, greater loading intensities, immediate post-training protein consumption and assistance at concentric failure. One of these groups used AEL and the other used isoinertial training, in which the same weight is used in both the eccentric and concentric phase. The third group continued their normal routine. After five weeks, the AEL group displayed a remarkable increase of force production, work capacity, muscle activation and resistance.

“This is no magic pill that will suddenly create huge differences over systematic hard work, smart periodization and nutrition,” notes the study’s lead author, Simon Walker, PhD, from the Department of Biology of Physical Activity at University of Jyväskylä, Finland. “But [AEL] can give a boost or kick-start to overcoming a plateau in strength and muscle mass development.”

“Overcome Strength-training Plateau with Accentuated Eccentric Loading.” EurekAlert! N.P., N.D. Web. 21 July 2016.
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