Fat and body fat levels – cyclists

As competitive cyclists search for ways to improve their workouts and performances, they often focus on their body-fat levels. Most cyclists want to get rid of surplus body fat so that they will have less ‘excess baggage’ to carry as they train and compete. Paradoxically, although cyclists hate flabbiness, many of them actually take in […]

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How endurance training helps women keep their weight down

Endurance training leads to metabolic changes which favour leanness in women. That is the main conclusion of a Canadian study which compared the thermogenic (energy-burning) response to food and other metabolic changes after eating in 12 endurance-trained and 13 untrained women. The trained subjects were distance runners or triathletes, who had been training for at […]

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Dietary performance enhancement

Burning more fat to increase periodisation Many athletes are familiar with the concept of training ‘periodisation’, where training volume and intensity are deliberately structured in distinct phases in order to peak for a specific event, while allowing adequate recovery. In recent years however, ‘dietary periodisation’ has been proposed for endurance athletes as a way of […]

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Conjugated linoleic acid – does it aid fat loss?

Is conjugated linoleic acid really a magic route to fat loss and a healthy old age? Lies, damn lies and supplements! At least, that’s the way it can seem in the world of performance-enhancing sports supplements. All too often, the mere mention of a theoretical and untested benefit of a metabolic intermediate or obscure nutritional […]

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Body fat – improve your immunity and endurance levels

Athletes: increase your body fat levels! The relative importance of fat in the athlete’s diet has been undervalued, with potentially harmful effects on immunity as well as endurance performance, according to New York researchers reviewing the effects of diet on immune function in athletes. ‘It is of great concern,’ they comment, ‘that many athletes are […]

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Exercise intensity and body composition

Low intensity exercise is best for overall weight loss, while high intensity exercise is best for maintaining muscle mass, according to a new study from Greece. The researchers set out to compare the effects of two exercise training programmes (both expending equal amounts of energy but one of low and one of high intensity) on […]

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Body composition and sport

Why weight is a poor performance indicator At a glance: Body weight and BMI are poor predictors of body fat; Most sportsmen and women will perform best at a specific body fat percentage; Maintaining a constant body weight is no guarantee of a constant body fat percentage; Simple measurement and management techniques are described for […]

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Fat burning zone

Why athletes, fitness enthusiasts and slimmers should steer clear of the fat burning zone Gary O’Donovan explains why high-intensity exercise is the best bet for training and weight loss The concept of the fat burning zone is highly attractive to the exercise enthusiasts of today, many of whom are more interested in weight loss than […]

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Swimmers – is fatter faster?

Swimmers tend to be fatter than other athletes, but most swimmers and their coaches believe that slimming down can lead to swifter swim performances. In fact, they seem to think that swimmers should be just like top-level runners and cyclists, with equally low levels of body fat. The knock on fat is that it is […]

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