Tag Archive: resistance


I have officially put on my big girl panties and have moved to http://www.moniquesfitness.com

You will still get your updates with recipes, research, etc.

moniquesfitness.com is under construction but I hope to see you there soon.


Nutrition For Recovery

Athletes are always seeking ways to enhance performance and delay fatigue. Muscle glycogen is the major fuel source during prolonged, moderate to high-intensity exercise, and there is a direct relationship between depleted muscle glycogen and fatigue. Therefore, muscle glycogen repletion is vital to recovery time and maintaining top performance for athletes at all levels (1). Glycogen repletion is important to ensure an athlete’s quick muscle recovery for subsequent practices, especially those who train, or must compete, multiple times in a single day (1). Timing, composition and the quantity of a post-exercise meal or snack is dependent upon the length and intensity of exercises, timing of the next exercise session, as well as an individual’s needs (1).

Carbohydrates For Recovery—

How Much?

The current recommendation for daily carbohydrates (CHO) consumption is 5 – 7g CHO/kg/day for the general athlete and 7 – 10g/kg/day for the endurance athlete (1). Consuming CHO immediately after exercise accelerates glycogen repletion (10) because there is increased blood flow to the muscles, which results in heightened sensitivity to insulin (9). Sufficient CHO ingestion over the next 24 hours is also important. Current recommendations are to consume 1 – 1.5g of CHO/kg of body weight within 30 minutes after exercise and then again at 2-hour intervals for the next six hours (1). See Table 1 for some ideas on what to consume within 30 minutes post-exercise.

Carbohydrates For Recovery—

What Type?

The type of carbohydrate (CHO) an athlete consumes after exercise can affect how much and how quickly he or she resynthesizes glycogen. Foods and/or beverages containing glucose/ sucrose, and those having a high glycemic index are preferred. Glucose and sucrose are preferred over fructose (1), as fructose promotes a lower level of glycogen resynthesis as compared to glucose (3) and larger amounts of fructose may promote gastrointestinal distress due to its slower absorption rate(3). High glycemic index foods induce higher muscle glycogen levels as compared to low glycemic index foods (1). Readily available foods, such as whole grain cereal and skim milk, have been found to be an effective post-exercise fuel (2). In fact, one study found that the carbohydrate to protein combination found in a bowl of whole grain cereal and skim milk had a similar effect on muscle glycogen repletion as did sports drinks (2). The combination was also found to positively affect protein synthesis. From this research, it seems that whole foods can be a good alternative to commercial sports drinks, if preferred by the athlete.

Endurance exercise

Endurance athletes may benefit from consuming protein along with carbohydrates after exercise as this combination has been shown to reduce markers of muscle damage and improve post-exercise recovery. This could also have a positive effect on subsequent performances (8). Some studies have demonstrated a benefit of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) on muscle recovery (6). BCAA’s appear to affect muscle protein metabolism during and after exercise and prevent muscle damage induced by exercise (6). The release of amino acids from muscles is decreased when BCAA’s are ingested (6).

Resistance Exercise

The goal for athletes in resistance-type exercise is to increase muscle mass and strength. The nutrition intervention for this type of activity involves stimulating net muscle protein gains during recovery. PRO ingestion increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis and inhibits protein breakdown after training (10). One study found that during prolonged resistance training, post-exercise consumption of CHO and PRO, 1 – 3 hours after resistance training stimulated improvements in strength and body composition better than a placebo (3). Essential amino acids in a dose of 40g have regularly shown to have an effect in promoting muscle protein synthesis and CHO may enhance this effect (3). The findings suggest ingesting 50 – 75g CHO with 20 – 75g PRO after heavy resistance training (3). Furthermore, adding 10g of creatine has shown to produce a significant increase in body mass as compared to just CHO and PRO (3). See Table 2 for possible CHO and PRO combinations.

Bottom Line

Nutrition post-exercise has been proven to promote recovery for athletes. Post-exercise nutrition has been shown to increase strength and muscle mass in athletes who participate in resistance-type exercises. Timing, composition and amount of post-exercise food is dependent upon the individual, timing of the next exercise session and the activity performed. 


1. American Dietetic Association. Position of the American Dietetic

Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports

Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. Journal of the American

Dietetic Association. 2009(109).

2. Kammer L, Ding Z, Want B, Hara D, Liao Y, Ivy J. Cereal and nonfat milk

support muscle recovery following exercise. Journal of the International

Society of Sports Nutrition. 2009(6).

3. Kerksick C, Harvey T, Stout J, Campbell B, Wilborn C, Kreider R,

Kalman D, Ziegenfuss T, Lopez H, Landis J, Ivy J, Antonio J. International

Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: Nutrient timing. Journal of the

International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2008(5).

4. Miller SL, Gaine PC, Maresh CM, Armstrong LE, Ebbeling CB, Lamont

LS, Rodriguez NR. The Effects of Nutritional Supplementation Throughout

an Endurance Run on Leucine Kinetics During Recovery. International

Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2007(17).

5. Mizuno K PhD, Tanaka M PhD, Nozaki S PhD, Mizuma H PhD, Ataka

S MD, Tahara T PhD, Sugino T MSc, Shirai T MSc, Kajimoto Y PhD,

Kuratsune H PhD, Kajimoto O PhD, Watanabe Y PhD. Antifatigue effects

of coenzyme Q10 during physical fatigue. Applied Nutritional Investigation.


6. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid

supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle

recovery and the immune system. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical

Fitness. 2008(48).

7. Rowlands D, Thorp RM, Rossler K, Graham DF, Rockell MJ. Effect of

Protein-Rich Feeding on Recovery After Intense Exercise. International

Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2007(17).

8. Saunders, Michael J. Coingestion of Carbohydrate-Protein During

Endurance Exercise: Influence on Performance and Recovery. International

Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2007(17).

9. Stout, Andrew. Fueling and Weight Management Strategies In Sports

Nutrition. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2007(07).

10. Van Loon, Luc J.C. Application of Protein or Protein Hydrolysates to

Improve Postexercise Recovery. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and

Exercise Metabolism. 2007(17).

Taken from: NSCA’s Performance Training Journal Volume 9, Issue 2

Muscle (Resistance) Training

I know that you probably look through magazine after magazine looking for workouts. Well NEWS FLASH: Resistance training is an individual process! Which means what works for someone else may not work for you. The foundation of any EFFECTIVE muscle training program follow these 5 steps:

  1. Specificity of training- only muscles that are trained will adapt and change in response to a resistance program
  2. GAS principle- General Adaptation Syndrome has 3 stages of adaptation: (1) the “alarm” stage caused by physiological stress; (2) resistance stage when the body adapts to demands placed on the body; (3) exhaustion stage, which happens when you overtrain.
  3. SAID principle- Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands is the fact that adaptation will be specific to the characteristics of the workout used
  4. Variation of training- No program can be used without changing the exercise stimulus over time.
  5. Prioritization of training- It’s difficult to train for all aspects of strength fitness. With periodized training you need to focus or prioritize your goals over each training cycle.

Exercises can be designated as primary exercises (i.e. leg press, bench press: prime movers; large muscle group), assistance exercises (i.e. train one muscle group: triceps pushdown, dumbbell biceps curl), structural (i.e. involves multiple joints: power clean, deadlift), or body part specific (i.e. isolate specific muscle groups: leg extension, seated leg curl). Structural or multi-joint exercises require neural coordination among muscles.

Here are some tips for the order of exercises:

  • Target large muscle groups before small muscle groups
  • Perform multi-joint exercises before single-joint exercises
  • Alternate push and pull exercises for total body sessions
  • Alternate upper and lower body exercises for total body sessions
  • Perform exercises for your weaker points before exercises for your stronger points
  • Perform Olympic lifts before basic strength and single-joint exercises
  • Perform power exercises before other exercise types
  • Perform more intense exercises before less intense ones

There are a number of muscle training programs but I’m only going to discuss the most common training programs that are used:

  • Periodization Training: Preferred method, allows for many different types of workouts, training programs, born from the SAID principle and refers to the need to gradually increase the amount of stress placed on the body in order to continually stimulate adaptations
  • Circuit Training: 8-12 exercise stations are chosen and the exercises are performed in a circuit one after the other, then repeats the circuit 1-3 times, aims to address cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance, time effective if you have a limited amount of time to work out
  • HIT Training: known as High-Intensity Training, perform one set of 8-12 reps of each exercise until failure, haven’t been proven to be effective as compared to periodized training
  • Pyramid or Triangle Training: popular with powerlifters, gradual increase in resistance and a decrease in reps with each set of a single exercise, ex: 10RM, 8RM, 6RM, 4RM, 2RM, 4RM, 6RM, 8RM, and 10RM with the resistance set to allow only the listed number of reps (which means calculating your 1RM, refer to: https://moniquesfitness.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/making-your-workout-work-for-you/)
  • Super Set Training: term that is used to describe alternating 2 exercises for two different target muscle groups, can be opposing muscle groups (i.e. biceps and triceps) or groups at different joints (i.e. quads and deltoids), can be created two ways- examples: (1) biceps curl 10RM, triceps pushdown 10RM. Repeat 3 times with no rest between exercises; (2) lat pull down 10RM, seated cable row 10RM, bent-over row 10RM. Rest one minute between each exercise. Repeat 3 times.
  • Split Routine Training: time-consuming, allows you to maintain a higher intensity of training for a particular body part or group of exercises