Underperforming, Overreaching or Overtraining?

What are overreaching and overtraining? Overtraining is a phrase commonly used in competitive sport. True overtraining syndrome is actually quite rare, but the spectrum of conditions that come under the umbrella of unexplained underperformance syndrome can affect athletes more frequently. There are three main subsets of this syndrome. The first is named functional overreaching. ThisContinue reading “Underperforming, Overreaching or Overtraining?”

Sleep, Recovery and Growth Hormone

Sleep is a basic human need. For athletes and those vying for peak physical performance, adequate sleep is one of the most essential factors in achieving that goal. Sleep may be the most important aspect of recovery due to its vital role in tissue growth and repair. It also has roles in neuromuscular performance, cognitiveContinue reading “Sleep, Recovery and Growth Hormone”

Altitude and Functional Fitness

Altitude is generally described as 1200m or higher above sea level. On ascent to altitude, atmospheric pressure is reduced, and therefore air molecules are more spread out than at sea level. This means that although the percentage of oxygen within the air does not change, the partial pressure is reduced, decreasing the amount of oxygenContinue reading “Altitude and Functional Fitness”

Active Recovery- Aren’t we just Building an Aerobic Base?

Active recovery is a term which is popular in the functional fitness space. When competitive athletes are asked how often they train, a common structure appears to be ‘five days a week, one day of complete rest and one day of active recovery’. But what does active recovery mean and what is its purpose? TheContinue reading “Active Recovery- Aren’t we just Building an Aerobic Base?”

Do Muscle Stimulators Enhance Recovery?

What is a Muscle Stimulator? Also known as an electrical nerve stimulator, or TENS machine, these are devices which stimulate low frequency electrical pulses through electrodes placed on the skin, inducing short and low intensity muscle contraction. The most common brand-named devices used in the functional fitness world are Compex and PowerDot, however it isContinue reading “Do Muscle Stimulators Enhance Recovery?”

What is VO2 Max?

What is VO2 max? VO2 max is the maximal amount of oxygen an individual can utilize, typically over one minute during an intense, maximal effort. It reflects the maximal capacity of the individual to perform aerobic work. It is generally seen to be the gold standard measure for a person’s aerobic fitness. (1) Oxygen is required by skeletal muscles for the aerobic metabolism of glucose and fatty acids, our bodiesContinue reading “What is VO2 Max?”

Does Nasal Breathing Really Improve Performance?

Does the way we breathe during exercise affect our performance? I think most of us probably don’t think too much about it, when we’re mid workout, gasping for breath, we’re just doing everything we can to keep moving. For elite competitors however, for those fighting for that extra 1%, these kinds of considerations can be extremely important. I’ve noticed a few high-level athletesContinue reading “Does Nasal Breathing Really Improve Performance?”