Carnitine : Facts or Fiction

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Carnitine as a fat burner

Carnitine, much like creatine (even though their functions are quite different) is a supplement that has been available for years (even decades). It has always been categorized by common wisdom as a « fat burner » or « fat mobilizer », and considered by better informed parties as a placebo product because no study (until very recently) had been able to prove the efficacy of oral carnitine supplementation regarding fat oxidation. Continue reading

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The influence of temperature on training and performances

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Not everyone has the comfort to work out and train in a tempered and cozy gym with constant temperature and humidity, wether it is for practical or financial reasons, or because the very discipline that is being trained requires a particular and sometimes extreme environment.

The influence of temperature on training and performances is as diverse as it is critical, and sometimes, even a few degrees can make a world of difference.

Temperature can influence physical performances on different levels : first, the ambient temperature is going to have an impact on the  body and metabolism as a whole. Then, if exposure to extreme temperature is prolonged, and ends up cooling down or warming up particular tissues, a change in muscle temperature for instance, it can also have a big impact on performances. Also, living in a specific climate, even if one actually trains inside in a neutral, tempered environment, can have some influence on training and recovery. Continue reading

The importance of a good posture

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Posture is defined as the composite of the position of all the joints of the body at any given moment. Simply said it is how we carry ourselves.

Also, it is important to acknowledge and differentiate static and dynamic posture. Static being the position of all our joint when we are not moving as opposed to dynamic when our body is performing a motion. To elaborate from the previous statement, « good » posture would be the composite « IDEAL » position of all the joints in our body at any given moment.

It might seems like something given and granted… After all, our knees, shoulders and pelvis are ALWAYS in the same position… or are they ? Continue reading

My five month experience in a Crossfit box

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Above : Three times Crossfit champion Rich Froning Jr., known as “the fittest man on earth”.

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Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program, not to be mistaken with a specialized fitness program. It is a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of the ten recognized fitness domains ; cardiovascular, respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. (1.)

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The benefits of physical activity on brain health and cognitive functions

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We are constantly reminded of how exercise affects positively our physiology as well as our esthetics, and how important it is to stay physically active throughout life to age well. And although these considerations have real value, I think it is a bit limited.

Indeed, we are now starting to realize, thank to a constant progress of science, that our body is an integrated system, and that no action, or influence imposed on our body (understand  « body » as a whole, not just the bony/fleshy mechanical envelope) wether external or internal, can be looked at from a restricted and limited point of view, and that for an actual response to a given stimulus to occur, the entire human mechanism is put in motion in a holistic way.

Let me illustrate this with an example related to health and fitness :

If John wants bigger biceps (endurance athletes/enthusiasts please stay with me, this concerns you also, just think of John as a triathlete getting ready for an IronMan run), he is going to go to the gym and engage in a particular routine that will focus on stimulating his biceps, and hopefully, he will end up with bigger guns… But the reality of what is happening isn’t limited to his biceps brachii muscles.  A host of endocrine, nervous, muscular, conscious and unconscious reactions are going to occur to allow for his biceps to be trained and later on, if the adequate anabolic environment is provided, grow.

This was a lengthy introduction but I think this point needed to be made : Whatever your goals or your speciality in life, even if those are more of an intellectual nature, you should ALWAYS look at your body as an intricate, interrelated system and how this relates to your daily performances.

To illustrate this essential fact, and to give substance to my allegations, I am going to introduce you to a fact that might be new to you : Physical activity has the potential to increase cognitive functions, orientation and improve overall emotional state. Continue reading