2017 was a great year for strength athletes everywhere. Unfortunately, the year has come to an end and it's time to move on. With that in mind, there are three things we can remember in order to continue progressing as strength athletes.
Rolling is Good for Progress
Last year we saw a massive influx of rollers at the gym. And why wouldn't you, rolling and myofascial release has been shown to promote recovery, reduce injury rates and improve lifts.
A recent Meta-Analysis tackled the debate to see if rollers do actually work. Research shows without a doubt, foam rolling and myofascial release promote short-term advancement in range of motion without limiting performance.
When you couple this statement with science discussing muscle hypertrophy (increasing cell size) we can see that having the capacity to lift with a greater range of motion will bring more muscle activation, especially in your big lifts like squats and deadlifts.
A balanced Diet will Always Prevail
2017 saw a massive rise in new diets and dietary restrictions. We are not here to say in any way that altering your nutrition and restricting food sources is a bad thing. Being conscious of what you eat is very important to your overall success in weight loss and muscle gain.
As a company that thrives on clinical information, it is important to note that the diets that work most often are ones that are balanced. Research shows that a diet high in fruit, vegetables and lean protein has been shown to be the most effective in multi-year participants (long-term weight loss).
We all know that fruit, vegetables and lean protein sources are healthy foods. Don't complicate things by restricting your dietary intake. Balance your plate with all the macronutrients that your body needs in order to lose weight and promote lean muscle mass.
Train with Variety
So many people go to the gym with the sole purpose of losing weight and miss out on the most effective method to promote weight loss.
2017 saw many new workout variations. Tabata, HIIT training, new strength principles - yet the most effective method to promote weight loss, enjoyment and strength adaptations is a combination of it all. Unless you are an Olympian training for a specific goal there is no need to isolate your exercise.
Research shows that in normal populations a variety of exercise promotes the greatest adherence, weight loss and gains in lean muscle mass. We must not forget the importance of enjoying our training regime - having variety ensures this.
Last year was rich with new methods for success, yet the old methods are ones that have been researched to work.
In order to make the most of 2018, remember these three aspects of your health and fitness goals.