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

Mon expérience de cinq mois dans une « box » Crossfit

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Ci-dessus : Rich Froning Jr. triple champion du monde Crossfit, “l’homme le plus fit au monde”.

English version here

Crossfit est un programme de sport basé sur la force et le conditionnement physique, à ne pas confondre avec un programme d’entraînement spécifique. C’est une tentative délibérée d’optimiser les compétences dans chaque domaine d’aptitudes physiques ; le cardiovasculaire, l’endurance respiratoire, la résistance, la force, la souplesse, la puissance, la rapidité, la coordination, l’agilité, l’équilibre et la précision. (1.)

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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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All you need to know about Creatine supplementation

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In today’s health and fitness world, new, supposedly revolutionary, supplements are being released daily. These products are being advertised as the next big thing that is going to change the way people train and progress.

But the rate at which these products are released is so high, that there is no way for the science world to keep up with conclusive studies to tell us what really works and what is bogus…

In my opinion, hard work, dedication, discipline and science are the real keys to progress and success, however there are a few products, backed up by years of experimentation and several serious studies, that have proven their efficiency and potency. One of those being creatine.

Even though creatine supplementation is nothing new, it is worth noting that despite the fact that it is one of the most studied and scientifically supported supplement, it still generates controversy and a lot of people are still confused about its use and effects. Continue reading

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