Category Archives: muscles
Comment les muscles – véritables moteurs de l’activité sportive – réagissent-ils pendant l’effort? De quoi sont-ils composés et à quelles lois obéissent-ils? Portrait « intimiste » de ces artisans du mouvement.
Selon le type de sport qu’il pratique, un athlète peut compter sur trois mécanismes de production différents d’énergie (ATP) pour se mettre en action : ATP-CP, ATP-glycogène et ATP-oxygène. Voyons comment fonctionne chacun de ces trois mécanismes qui, au demeurant, peuvent se chevaucher selon le type d’effort commandé au muscle.
Le sprinter de 100 mètres
Le coureur de 800 mètres
Des mécanismes superposés
De façon générale, nos muscles font appel aux trois mécanismes de production d’énergie (ou d’ATP), durant la pratique d’une activité sportive. À titre d’exemple, au cours d’un match de basket-ball ou de hockey, les trois systèmes se superposent pour fabriquer de l’ATP : pendant un saut ou un lancer, les muscles font appel au mode ATP-CP; si l’on suit un adversaire de près pendant plusieurs secondes, c’est le mode glycogène anaérobie qui agit; et, naturellement, le système à oxygène fonctionne pour l’ensemble de la durée du match.
Tel est d’ailleurs le principe de base de l’entraînement intensif visant à augmenter la masse musculaire : on « blesse » les muscles afin qu’ils se bâtissent plus vite et plus forts, ce qui les rend plus performants et plus endurants.
Chevalier R, À vos marques, prêt, santé!, Éditions du Renouveau Pédagogique, 3e édition, 2003.
Favre-Juvin A, Genas MH, Les besoins nutritionnels du sportif : aspects théoriques (111b), Corpus médical, Faculté de Médecine de Grenoble, Décembre 2002.
Kraemer WJ et al, Énoncé de principe de l’American College of Sports Medicine : Modèle de progression en entraînement de musculation pour les adultes sains, Medicine Science of Sports Exercice, Vol. 34, No 2, 2002, 364-80.
By: Denny Watkins
Here’s a guaranteed motivation killer: After months or years of dedicated lifting, you realize that you’ll never bench your body weight, jump high enough to reach the rim, or hit double digits on pullups. It’s just not in the cards. You start to wonder why you even bother.
It may seem unfair, but there will always be guys—some of whom inevitably find their way to the bench or squat rack next to yours—who seem born to excel at certain exercises. The truth is, they were. And you weren’t. But that’s no excuse to cancel your gym membership. “Even if your body proportions aren’t ideal, you can still perform exercises that maximize your body’s potential,” says Todd Durkin, C.S.C.S., the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego.
So don’t give up. Instead, sack up and tackle the problem head-on. Here are some common traits that can lead to frustration in the weight room, and ways to make the most of what you have to build a better body.
The bench press may be a barometer of masculinity, but it discriminates against long-limbed lifters. While the distance the bar travels does limit both performance and results, long arms can also set you up for injury. A tall man’s balland-socket shoulder joint—the place where his upper-arm bone meets his shoulder blade—is more vulnerable than a shorter man’s. “You actually drive your arm bone into the joint, setting yourself up for rotator-cuff injuries down the road,” says Martin Rooney, P.T., C.S.C.S., of the Parisi Speed School.
The workaround: With medicine-ball throws, you can focus on speed instead of on lifting weight. “You’ll work more of the fast-twitch muscle fibers that come into play during quick movements,” says Durkin. No medicine ball? Do 3 to 5 sets of as many pushups as you can in 30 seconds
Lying Medicine-Ball Throw
Lie on your back, using both hands to hold a heavy medicine ball against your chest. Push the ball just high enough into the air that it leaves your hands. Catch it, and immediately bring it back to your chest for the next throw. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds. Rest, and do 4 more sets.
“Most of the big powerlifters you see have a short, stocky build,” Rooney says. It serves them well on squats and bench presses. But when the bar starts on the floor, as with the deadlift, short arms force you to drop into a lower starting position. That changes your leverage and adds strain to your back.
The workaround: “With a sumo deadlift, placing your legs farther apart helps your hands start closer to the ground,” Rooney says. It also allows you to begin with a more upright torso, taking stress off your lumbar spine.
Stand with your feet about twice shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out. Squat and grab the center of the bar using an overhand grip, with your thumbs 12 inches apart and your torso almost perpendicular to the floor. Without allowing your back to round, thrust your hips forward and stand up with the barbell. Then lower it, keeping it as close to your body as possible. Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps.
Short-armed men tend to have smaller mitts; this makes holding the bar harder for them. A small hand’s grip gives out faster, reducing the amount of work you can do on pulling exercises, says Rooney.
The workaround: Since you can’t grow longer fingers, focus on your forearm endurance with grip training, Rooney says. Add these exercises to the end of any workout.
Grab a pair of heavy dumbbells and let them hang naturally at arm’s length next to your sides. Walk forward as long as you can, and then put the dumbbells down and rest. (If you last longer than 1 minute, use heavier weights.) Do this 3 to 5 times.
Towel Bar Hang
Wrap a towel around a pullup bar. Grab the towel using an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Hang for 20 seconds, rest, and repeat.
If you rolled a quarter off the back of your head, would it hit anything on the way down? If not, you have a flat back, most likely caused by a pelvis that’s tilted backward at the top. A tilted pelvis puts your lower back in a vulnerable position, setting you up for spinal injuries.
The workaround: Strengthen your hip flexors. Once they’re in shape, they’ll pull your pelvis back to neutral and improve your posture, says Eric Cressey, C.S.C.S., cofounder of Cressey Performance, in Hudson, Massachusetts.
Lying Psoas March
Lie on your back with your right leg on the floor and your left leg off the floor and bent 90 degrees. Loop an exercise band under your right foot and over the top of your left foot. (You can also use a low-pulley cable with an ankle strap, looped around your left foot.) Keeping your right leg steady, pull your left knee toward your chest without your lower back tucking beneath you. Pause, and return to the starting position. Do 10 to 12 reps; switch legs and repeat.
For tall men—basically anyone over 6 feet—the back squat can present two problems, says Durkin. The first involves physics: The longer the bones in your legs, the farther the bar has to travel on each rep and the harder your muscles need to work to lift it. Even with perfect form, you’ll have a tougher time adding size and strength. Men with shorter bones can do more reps with heavier weights.
The second problem is that your form is probably flawed. Longer bones have more opportunity to make false moves. You might struggle to keep your lower back in a neutral position (slightly arched) throughout the full range of motion. Or you might lean forward as you tire, putting stress on your lower back.
The workaround: Choose leg exercises that achieve more with less weight, such as the stepup. “You can work your legs hard but with potentially less back strain,” says Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S., co-owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training.
Holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length next to your sides, stand in front of a step or bench that’s about 18 inches high. Place your left foot flat on the step; your left knee should be bent 90 degrees. Push your left heel into the step and lift yourself up until your left leg is straight and you’re standing on one leg on the bench. Lower yourself to the starting position. Do 8 to 10 reps and switch legs. To make it harder, place a barbell across your back.
Everyone is born with flat feet, but most people develop their shock-absorbing arches in childhood. Sometimes, however, the arches never form properly, or they fall from repeated stress, injuries, or some combination of the two. Either way, you end up with feet that can pronate—roll inward—when you walk, run, or jump.
Flat feet can also limit your strength and power in the weight room. “When you pronate, you’re in deceleration mode,” says Cressey. “Your foot needs to roll in the opposite direction to push off.” That affects your strength on squats and deadlifts, and acts like ballast when you jump.
The workaround: Your glutes and hamstrings act as “anti-pronators,” Cressey says. Strengthen them, and you can compensate for the loss of power caused by your feet.
Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips off the floor by flexing your glutes so your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Pause, and lower your hips. Do 3 sets of 15 reps; when it becomes too easy, lift one foot off the floor and do a single-leg hip raise. Start with your weaker leg and repeat the set with your stronger leg.
Sure, women love a guy with a chiseled six-pack. But that’s not the only body part they check out at the beach (or in bed). And while each woman has a different favorite muscle, these ten (in no particular order) are at the top of every female’s “what I notice” list. Take a look, then head to the gym and start sculpting.
You could have biceps the size of bowling balls, but if you’ve got the beginnings of a gut, any discriminating woman will think twice before considering you boyfriend material. Their fear: A little excess midriff meat now means one fat, sloppy bastard in 10 years.
Women see strong forearms and think you can do everything: Fend off a mugger, build a house, and maintain a dexterous touch long enough to leave them extremely satisfied. So roll up those sleeves, and let ’em have a look.
A Nice Butt
Women check out your butt because it’s a clue to your worthiness as a physical specimen. If you’re in great shape, it carries high. Otherwise, your rear end droops like a sack of old potatoes. Old, hairy potatoes.
A Broad Back
A wide back is essential for a V-shaped torso, and women’s attraction to it is ancestral. “When it was important that our mates protect us from woolly mammoths on the plains, we looked for a gene pool that could provide us with protection,” says Pega Ren, Ed.D., a sexologist in British Columbia.
“The shoulder muscles are really the muscles of love and war,” says Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., author of Survival of the Prettiest. They also make the whole look when combined with a broad back. Strong shoulders literally sweep women off their feet.
“Women want an overall sense of strength and fitness,” says Etcoff. “If a man looks as if he can lift something but can’t run, it looks disproportionate.”
A Big Chest
“Women treasure your chest as much as you do theirs,” says Emily Dubberley, a sex expert based in the UK. “Touching, kissing, and licking a man’s chest is undoubtedly a turn-on for most women.”
In a poll of Cosmopolitan readers, 1 out of 5 women confessed that nice biceps on a man makes them “absolutely melt.”
Many women prefer being on top because it lets them lean forward to rub against your pubic bone. Having well-conditioned hamstrings and glutes makes it easier to meet her halfway for more pleasure.
Straight up, you’re a soldier.
You tirelessly show up at the gym as scheduled for your four, or even five workouts per week — and you’ve built a pretty damn impressive physique to show for it.
The 160-pound, ACE certified personal trainers at your gym, daunted by your presence, approach you when no one’s around and ask questions about what muscle group your current exercise is good for, and why it’s more effective than their one-legged dumbbell stiff deadlift-bent-over row/triceps kickback while standing on the BOSU abomination.
Long story short, at your gym, you’re the man. The hard work and consistency combined with good, intelligent, Testosterone-ish programming has paid off.
So what’s the problem?
You’re your own worst critic, and you’re running out of ideas and tools to bring your body one step closer to the “freak” category. As my last article pointed out, applying some specific exercises to a few small muscle groups can improve the effectiveness of your lifts, resulting in not only more strength, but also more muscle-building potential. So you’re doing it.
For my new “weak links” article, I took things from a different perspective. Improving performance in your workouts is paramount, but what about looking at things from a strictly cosmetic angle?
Maybe you just feel you can’t get that coveted, full V-taper? Or maybe your delts, rather than look like bowling balls, look more like something you’d find on a pool table?
These kind of issues plague many an intermediate (and even advanced) bodybuilder, so it’s time to conquer them once and for all with some crisp ideas to take your physique to the next level.
And yes, I mentioned intermediate and advanced lifters, so I’ll say this now: If you’re a skinny bastard, move on to the next article. This stuff doesn’t apply to you. Eat, sleep, and follow any of the quality beginner routines found on Testosterone. It’s amazing how many “weak points” magically disappear after you gain 30 pounds of newbie beef.
The “V-taper” I’m referring to is the ratio of width between the shoulders, chest/ribcage, and waist.
Many aspiring bodybuilders will seek out exercises to build the shoulders and lats specifically while following a “clean” (read: starvation) diet to ensure the waistline stays small.
Not a great plan for most of us.
Generally, eating a “get ripped-stay ripped” diet is a bad idea when addressing a weak point. Muscles need nutrients to grow, and unless you’re exceptionally gifted, trying to maintain your 8-pack all year round is a one-way trip to the dreaded zip code of Physique Stagnation, USA.
Try playing the “illusion game” from the other side: Instead of dieting your midsection down to achieve that coveted V-shape, work on developing your shoulders and upper back to give the illusion of being wider up top.
After you’ve added a few valuable pounds of physique-altering mass, you can always hop back on your favorite fat-loss diet to drop whatever scant amounts of unwanted flab that may have found a home around your obliques and lower back.
With that little bit of business out of the way, here are the routines to get those forgotten muscle groups growing.
Neglected Muscle Group: Rear Deltoids
A solid set of rear delts can do wonders in bringing up the size of the shoulders, not to mention expanding shoulder-to-shoulder width.
They also help improve posture by externally rotating the arm, something that not only makes your chiropractor happy, but also contributes to an overall more impressive-looking physique by making the chest appear more prominent.
Reverse flies, wide grip rows, and high pulls all may be good choices to hit these bad boys, but it’s time for a couple of new ideas.
Remembering the muscle’s action can lead us to make some good choices to target a stubborn muscle group. Here’s a great combo to try out:
A1) Seated DB power cleans, 10 reps (see video on right)
A2) Face pulls, 10 reps (Make sure to keep the elbows high and pull the fists right over the head!)
A3) Blast strap wide grip rows w/external rotation, 10 reps (See photos on right.)
Note: There is a strong rotary component to all of the above exercises. Conventional rear delt movements like wide grip rows, reverse flies, and high pulls all maintain a fixed position of the humerus during the movement (from a rotary perspective), therefore not giving the rear delts the most bang for their buck.
Perform 4 rounds of this tri-set to finish your shoulder workout and let the gains begin.
Another thing to think about is whether the rear delts are actually firing during other compound movements.
For instance, the correct finish position of a regular grip lat pulldown will require the rear deltoids to be active in keeping the elbows pushed under the bar, rather than flared back behind the body.
Simply thinking “elbows under” while keeping the shoulders depressed at the end of the movement can help achieve this.
Neglected Muscle Group: Serratus
The serratus anterior are located just under the arm on the ribcage and are embedded within the lats. Developing the serratus can be a huge asset for bodybuilders seeking greater upper body width: just watch bodybuilders do a classic lat spread and notice the added density a developed serratus anterior brings. In a very lean bodybuilder, they look like a bunch of ripe bananas covered in Pro Tan.
Truth is, unless you’re a boxer, MMA fighter, or some kind of athlete that does explosive pressing, throwing, or punching movements, most training neglects the use of this muscle group.
The serratus elevates and protracts the scapulae, and nearly every upper body movement in the weight room asks for the scapulae to be depressed and retracted (“shoulders set” position) in order for the movement to be performed correctly.
Most people wouldn’t think there are many ways to specifically target this muscle group, but I came prepared:
Serratus Front Raise — Set up an incline bench in front of a cable machine. Set the pulleys at the bottom and sit down in the bench, facing the machine. Begin a front raise movement, except don’t focus on the deltoids being the prime movers. Keep your elbows slightly bent and let the serratus pull your shoulders apart and upwards.
Don’t pull too high — level with the face should be the correct landmark for the finish position. (See video on right.)
Serratus Push Ups — Perform a standard pushup, except at the end of each rep, “unlock” your shoulder blades and allow them to move away from one another, bringing your chest as far away from the floor as possible.
Kettlebell Windmill — Another option is the Kettlebell Windmill. Relax Joe Hardcore, this ain’t no steenking functional training lift — just an exercise where the KB is the right tool at the right time. (See video on right)
So you’re wide as a barn door and someone looking at you from straight on would say that you have some good development. Problem is, you virtually disappear once you turn sideways.
The “two dimensional” look is something I personally battled for ages before realizing just what was going on. The reason you’re still not filling out those XL T-shirts is simply because you have no trunk volume.
In other words, regardless how wide you get, if there’s no volume or density from front to back, you’ll be stuck in the “slim bastard” category at Men’s Wearhouse for life.
Getting more trunk volume can come from expanding the ribcage along with thickening the fibrous properties of the muscles on the front and back of the body. Any takers?
If so, here are some prescriptions for what ails ya’.
Olympic Lifts for an Olympia Body
If you’ve ever watched a weightlifting competition on TV, you might’ve notice something in common with the athletes’ body types: they all have relatively small arms but a ton of bulk through their torso (abdominals, lower and mid back).
This makes sense as the abdominals are responsible for rapidly recruiting and transferring the energy required to move the bar up to the roof. In English, lifting heavy stuff fast will potentiate a muscle to grow.
We all know Oly lifts aren’t performed as arm movements — the abs are dominantly involved in projecting the bar up into the finish positions in the clean, split jerk, and snatch.
Throwing any of these exercises into your program can help give you that added depth or density through the torso that you long for, not to mention adding inches to your traps almost overnight, thanks to the explosive nature of the lifts.
(For a refresher on performing these lifts, check out this classic from Coach Thibs.)
Turn Up the Volume on Your Ribcage
The intercostal muscles lie in between each rib in the ribcage. Increasing their size can result in “widening” the ribcage, so to speak.
Pullovers with a heavy dumbbell are a great exercise to hit the intercostals, and they play a double role because they pre-stretch the pec minor; often a tight muscle on many lifters I’ve worked with.
It’s important to really allow the weight to “open up” the ribcage at the bottom of each rep, and then “pull through” with the lats and abdominal muscles.
For God’s Sake, Just Deadlift!
If you’re expecting some long-winded paragraph on why deadlifts are important for trunk thickness, you must be new to this site. They involve so much of everything that it’s almost a crime not to do them. The entire back gets a ton of thickness, and from a physiological level, the hormonal response is tremendous for packing on appreciable size, FAST.
Here’s another way to look at it: How many 600lb-plus deadlifters can you think of that have skinny torsos that lack fullness? End of discussion.
So what would a “trunk volume” exercise combination look like? I’ve always been a fan of the vertical push/pull scheme, so ideally I’d scheme things in a “3 to 5 sets of 5 reps” framework to ensure the high threshold motor units (HTMU’s) are getting sufficiently hit.
Here are a few effective options:
A1) BB Deadlift, 3-5 x 5 reps
A2) BB push press, 3-5 x 5 reps
B1) BB hanging snatch, 3-5 x 5 reps
B2) Dragon flags, 3-5 x 5 reps
C1) Pullovers, 3-5 x 5 reps
C2) Zercher squat, 3-5 x 5 reps
In all supersets, rest as long as necessary between sets.
Adding these supersets to the beginning of your workouts will provide the added volume needed to build some size on your ribs.
Of course, make sure you’re not doing the same movement as your actual workout (i.e., don’t choose my “Day 1” protocol on the day of a full deadlift workout).
Also, depending on the nature of your actual workout, I’d recommend adjusting the percentage of the load you lift. It may not always be fitting to use your actual 5-rep max, especially if you have lots of heavy lifting planned in your workout.
However, if your workout is a high volume, sub-maximal workout, by all means lift nice and heavy! It will also ramp up your nervous system for a solid performance going forward.
Full chest development is hard to come by. Many lifters shy away from doing as much incline chest work as they do flat, due in part to the flat bench being the most glamorized lift this side of the Atlantic.
As a result of this misguided fascination, the average North American lifter usually displays much greater development of the sternal pectoralis than the clavicular pectoralis (or upper chest).
Incidents of bodybuilders with too much upper chest and no lower chest are rarer than Lindsay Lohan acing a roadside sobriety test, yet the opposite can be found in abundance in any commercial gym. Remember how Arnold could balance a glass of beer on his pumped up pecs? Most lifters I see would struggle to support a shot glass.
So what can aid in getting the chesticles nice and balanced? Once again, I revert back to the tri-set.
A1) BB incline 1½ reps press, 8 reps
Lower the bar to the chest, then raise to the halfway point. Lower the bar again to the chest, then raise to full extension. This keeps the triceps “uninvolved” for each half rep you do, giving the upper chest twice the amount of work to do per set.
A2) Boyce cable fly, 12 reps (See video on right.)
A3) Suicide push ups, to failure
Make sure to keep hips high, and allow the head to travel as far towards the floor as possible. (See photos on right).
This can work wonders to bring up a lagging upper chest, and soon you’ll have a manly shelf to rest your iPhone/protein shake/female friend on when your hands are full.
As mentioned earlier, this isn’t an “Intro to size” article; it’s a look at a few little things to think about adding into the mix to take your already “good” body to the “great” level.
Yeah, it may make your workouts run a little longer; hell, it may even mean tweaking your program so that you’re in the gym an extra day per week.
At the end of the day, I’ll bet you’ll be glad you did it.
By: Adam Campbell
But forget about your alleged high-revving metabolism, says Doug Kalman, R.D., director of nutrition at Miami Research Associates. “Most lean men who can’t gain muscle weight are simply eating and exercising the wrong way,” he says.
Here’s your fix: Follow these 10 principles to pack on as much as a pound of muscle each week.
Maximize Muscle Building
The more protein your body stores—in a process called protein synthesis—the larger your muscles grow. But your body is constantly draining its protein reserves for other uses—making hormones, for instance. The result is less protein available for muscle building. To counteract that, you need to “build and store new proteins faster than your body breaks down old proteins,” says Michael Houston, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Virginia Tech University.
Shoot for about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, which is roughly the maximum amount your body can use in a day, according to a landmark study in the Journal of Applied Physiology. (For example, a 160-pound man should consume 160 grams of protein a day—the amount he’d get from an 8-ounce chicken breast, 1 cup of cottage cheese, a roast-beef sandwich, two eggs, a glass of milk, and 2 ounces of peanuts.) Split the rest of your daily calories equally between carbohydrates and fats.
In addition to adequate protein, you need more calories. Use the following formula to calculate the number you need to take in daily to gain 1 pound a week. (Give yourself 2 weeks for results to show up on the bathroom scale. If you haven’t gained by then, increase your calories by 500 a day.)
A. Your weight in pounds.
B. Multiply A by 12 to get your basic calorie needs.
C. Multiply B by 1.6 to estimate your resting metabolic rate (calorie burn without factoring in exercise).
D. Strength training: Multiply the number of minutes you lift weights per week by 5.
E. Aerobic training: Multiply the number of minutes per week that you run, cycle, and play sports by 8.
F. Add D and E, and divide by 7.
G. Add C and F to get your daily calorie needs.
H. Add 500 to G. This is your estimated daily calorie needs to gain 1 pound a week.
Work Your Biggest Muscles
If you’re a beginner, just about any workout will be intense enough to increase protein synthesis. But if you’ve been lifting for a while, you’ll build the most muscle quickest if you focus on the large muscle groups, like the chest, back, and legs. Add squats, deadlifts, pullups, bent-over rows, bench presses, dips, and military presses to your workout. Do two or three sets of eight to 12 repetitions, with about 60 seconds’ rest between sets.
Have a Stiff Drink
A 2001 study at the University of Texas found that lifters who drank a shake containing amino acids and carbohydrates before working out increased their protein synthesis more than lifters who drank the same shake after exercising. The shake contained 6 grams of essential amino acids—the muscle-building blocks of protein—and 35 grams of carbohydrates.
“Since exercise increases bloodflow to your working tissues, drinking a carbohydrate-protein mixture before your workout may lead to greater uptake of the amino acids in your muscles,” says Kevin Tipton, Ph.D., an exercise and nutrition researcher at the University of Texas in Galveston.
For your shake, you’ll need about 10 to 20 grams of protein—usually about one scoop of a whey-protein powder. Can’t stomach protein drinks? You can get the same nutrients from a sandwich made with 4 ounces of deli turkey and a slice of American cheese on whole wheat bread.
But a drink is better. “Liquid meals are absorbed faster,” says Kalman. So tough it out. Drink one 30 to 60 minutes before your workout.
Lift Every Other Day
Do a full-body workout followed by a day of rest. Studies show that a challenging weight workout increases protein synthesis for up to 48 hours immediately after your exercise session. “Your muscles grow when you’re resting, not when you’re working out,” says Michael Mejia, C.S.C.S., Men’s Health exercise advisor and a former skinny guy who packed on 40 pounds of muscle using this very program.
Down Carbs After Your Workout
Research shows that you’ll rebuild muscle faster on your rest days if you feed your body carbohydrates. “Post-workout meals with carbs increase your insulin levels,” which, in turn, slows the rate of protein breakdown, says Kalman. Have a banana, a sports drink, a peanut-butter sandwich.
Eat Every 3 Hours
“If you don’t eat often enough, you can limit the rate at which your body builds new proteins,” says Houston. Take the number of calories you need in a day and divide by six. That’s roughly the number you should eat at each meal. Make sure you consume some protein—around 20 grams—every 3 hours.
Make One Snack Ice Cream
Have a bowl of ice cream (any kind) 2 hours after your workout. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, this snack triggers a surge of insulin better than most foods do. And that’ll put a damper on post-workout protein breakdown.
Have Some Milk Before Bed
Eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein 30 minutes before you go to bed. The calories are more likely to stick with you during sleep and reduce protein breakdown in your muscles, says Kalman. Try a cup of raisin bran with a cup of skim milk or a cup of cottage cheese and a small bowl of fruit. Eat again as soon as you wake up. “The more diligent you are, the better results you’ll get,” says Kalman.
By: Maureen Callahan, M.S., R.D.
It’s a battle royale, with cheese. In one corner of your mind, there’s the satisfaction of that trim, hard body you’ve built. In the other, there’s the hamburger—juicy, tasty, covered with a blanket of melted Cheddar. Or maybe your struggle is against nachos. Or crispy fish and chips. Or pizza. Hard to believe there ever was a time when mankind could be seduced by an apple, isn’t it?
To avoid temptation, you could wire your refrigerator to deliver a shock every time you open the door. Or you could continue eating pizza, nachos, burgers—all of your favorite comfort foods—without guilt. It can be done. With a few easy tweaks, just about any food can be transformed into good stuff that satisfies your nutritional needs, your tastebuds, and even your nostalgic cravings. Make your comfort foods this way and you’ll have our blessing to pig out.
What’s so bad?: Ground beef is shot through with fat, and that white-bread bun offers little but rapidly digested simple sugars.
Make it better: Start with extra-lean ground beef—if you don’t overcook it, it’ll taste great. Chop up some onions and thawed frozen spinach and mix them into the beef. The vegetables add vitamins and replace some of the moisture lost when you switched to leaner ground beef. Better yet, build those burgers with grass-fed beef or lean ground buffalo, at roughly 4 grams (g) of fat per 4 ounces. Researchers at Purdue University found that wild game and grass-fed meats have higher levels of good-for-the-brain and good-for-the-heart omega-3 fatty acids. Top it all off with a whole-wheat bun for some fiber.
You lose: 6 g saturated fat
You gain: Allicin, 47 micrograms (mcg) beta-carotene, 5 g fiber
Breakfast Sausage-and-Egg Biscuit
What’s so bad?: The sausage patty is fatty (about 10 g per puck), and the biscuit is nearly devoid of nutrition yet contains 8 g fat.
Make it better: Do this yourself—it takes 3 minutes, about the time you’d sit in the drive-thru lane. Beat an egg in a small bowl and nuke it for 1 to 2 minutes. Top it with warmed-up Canadian bacon—a great precooked source of lean protein with only 2 g fat—and slide it into a whole-wheat English muffin. And have it with a glass of grapefruit juice (good luck finding that at McDonald’s) instead of OJ. Drinking grapefruit juice before a meal helps decrease insulin levels and promote weight loss, according to research from the Scripps Clinic in San Diego.
You lose: 4 g saturated fat
You gain: 6 g protein, 4 g fiber, 94 milligrams (mg) vitamin C
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
What’s so bad?: The 18 g saturated fat you take in from the butter and slabs of oily cheese. And the white bread is pointless.
Make it better: Use whole-wheat bread with part-skim mozzarella in between. Crisp it in a skillet moistened with a little olive oil. Losing the finger-licking buttery bliss is worth it. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that an olive oil-rich diet can drop your chances of dying of cancer or heart disease by 23 percent. To protect your prostate, add a couple of lycopene-packed tomato slices. Likely to work late? Throw in a slice or two of lean ham. That will jack up the protein count, keeping your appetite in check.
You lose: 10 g saturated fat
You gain: 11 g protein, 5 g fiber, 1,000 mcg lycopene
What’s so bad?: Oil-pooling pepperoni, to start. Then a huge calorie count that comes mainly from simple carbs and saturated fat.
Make it better: Opt for a thin crust (fewer refined-flour carbs), use half the cheese, and replace the pepperoni or sausage with chicken breast, a lean protein that has just 1 g fat per ounce. (A little barbecue sauce is okay. Great, in fact.) The chicken gives you more muscle-building protein and a ratio of protein to fat that better satisfies the appetite. Add some sliced onions and peppers to rack up a little fiber and some immune-boosting allicin.
You lose: 10 g saturated fat
You gain: Allicin, fiber, twice the protein
Fish and Chips
What’s so bad?: There’s fat everywhere—the breaded and fried fish, the greasy potatoes, and the creamy coleslaw.
Make it better: You love the crunchy crispiness, right? Try pan-seared salmon—it’ll crisp up real nice—for a healthy dose of cholesterol-lowering omega-3 fats and a potential brain boost. A new UCLA study on mice suggests that DHA, one of the fats found in high levels in fish like salmon, helps repair memory damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Roasted potato wedges sprayed with a little olive oil are infinitely better than fat-soaked fried “chips.” Grab a bag of finely chopped coleslaw makings at the grocery store and use either low-fat mayonnaise or, better yet, a tangy vinegar-and-oil dressing.
You lose: 8 g saturated fat
You gain: 4 g omega-3 fats
What’s so bad?: Just 13 ordinary corn chips contains 120 calories and 6 g fat, and you haven’t yet ladled on the electric-orange cheese product, the greasy spiced hamburger mixture, or the sour cream. Do that and you’re hoisting 26 g saturated fat into your mouth. Add thirst-inducing pickled jalapeño-pepper slices and you’re getting a day’s worth of sodium in this 1,129-calorie pile.
Make it better: Start with baked corn chips (less fat), add cooked pinto beans for fiber, and use reduced-fat sharp Cheddar and lean ground round. Top with cancer-fighting diced tomatoes (for lycopene) and diced fresh jalapeño pepper—it has no added salt but still delivers plenty of kick. The whole concoction is leaner, tastier, and way better for you. Go ahead, have some more.
You lose: 677 calories, 22 g saturated fat, 2,500 mg sodium
You gain: 14 g fiber, 2,300 mcg lycopene
Types de blessures musculaires
Sa représentation classique nous montre un tissu musculaire renflé en son milieu, qui se poursuit aux extrémités par 2 tendons. Il est formé de plusieurs fibres, fines, longues (certaines font la longueur du muscle), disposées parallèlement, groupées en faisceaux et séparées par du tissu conjonctif. Cette armature fibreuse permet la transmission de l’énergie de la fibre musculaire vers le tendon.
La principale caractéristique d’un muscle est sa capacité à se contracter en produisant le mouvement.
Les muscles sont constamment en contraction légère; c’est ce qu’on appelle le tonus musculaire. Ce tonus peut se modifier de façon pathologique au cours d’une blessure à des fibres musculaires ou à un tendon.
Un raidissement d’un muscle accompagné d’une douleur intense.Crampe musculaire
Élongation ou claquage
Contrairement à ce que l’on a longtemps cru, les étirements pratiqués avant l’activité physiquene diminuent pas le risque de blessure musculaire et pourraient même être un facteur aggravant s’ils sont effectués sur les muscles « à froid ». Il vaudrait mieux les faire aprèsl’activité physique.
Par contre, un bon échauffement avant d’entreprendre une activité intense permettrait de réduire grandement les risques de blessure (voir plus bas Prévenir l’élongation et Les besoins de base du sportif).
Prévenir les crampes musculaires
Prévenir les contusions
Important. Respecter son traitement du début à la fin. Cela réduit le risque de blessures subséquentes et de myosite ossifiante, une complication irréversible qui peut se produire à la suite d’une contusion ou d’une élongation moyenne ou grave. Elle se caractérise par la formation de tissu osseux à l’intérieur du muscle.
Traitement des crampes
Traitement de l’élongation et de la contusion
Attention. Toute application de chaleur, tout étirement et tout massage sont formellement proscrits. La chaleur dilate les vaisseaux sanguins, donc amplifie le saignement et l’inflammation. Les étirements musculaires risquent d’aggraver les blessures d’élongation. Quant au massage (et même la palpation), il peut intensifier la douleur, aggraver les lésions et provoquer une hémorragie.
Les blessures musculaires peuvent être prévenues la plupart du temps en ayant une pratique sécuritaire de l’activité physique. L’échauffement accompli avant le sport (et non les étirements!) a un rôle capital dans la prévention.
Finalement, si malgré toutes ces précautions vous avez quand même subi une blessure musculaire, vous pouvez éviter qu’elle ne s’aggrave en appliquant la technique « GREC » et en évitant les massages, les étirements et la chaleur.
Dre Susan Labrecque, M.D.
Révision médicale (mai 2010) : Dre Susan Labrecque, M.D., diplômée en médecine sportive, M.Sc. Kinanthropologie, B.Sc. Éducation physique
Mise en garde. Attention de ne pas masser le muscle qui vient de subir une élongation ou unecontusion en appliquant l’un ou l’autre des traitements suivants. En effet, le massage est déconseillé dans les 72 heures qui suivent la blessure.
Acupuncture, massothérapie, technique Alexander.
Arnica, hamamélis de Virginie, millepertuis.
Huile essentielle de lavande, emplâtre analgésique Tokuhon (Médecine traditionnelle chinoise).
Appliquer, de 2 à 4 fois par jour, un onguent ou une lotion renfermant de la consoude (racine ou feuilles). Consulter notre fiche Consoude.
Mise en garde
La Commission E recommande de limiter l’usage topique de la consoude à un maximum de 6 semaines par année, pour éviter une possible accumulation de pyrrolizidines (une substance toxique pour le foie) dans l’organisme. Cette mise en garde ne s’applique toutefois pas au Canada, où les fabricants de crèmes et d’onguents à base de consoude doivent prouver que leurs produits ne contiennent pas de pyrrolizidines.
Prendre de 125 mg à 500 mg, 3 fois par jour.
L’arnica peut être appliquée sur la peau sous forme d’onguent, de gel ou d’autres façons. Voir notre fiche Arnica.
Consulter la fiche Hamamélis de Virginie.
Appliquer localement de l’huile de millepertuis, de 1 à 3 fois par jour.
On peut préparer une huile à massage en diluant de 1 à 4 gouttes d’huile essentielle dans 1 c. à table d’huile végétale. Masser légèrement les endroits atteints pour faire pénétrer.
Pour usage externe seulement. Nettoyer et assécher l’endroit blessé avant de poser l’emplâtre. Couper un morceau de la grandeur désirée et appliquer sur la partie atteinte. Appliquer durant 1 à 2 heures tout au plus, de 3 à 4 fois par jour.
Les approches suivantes concernent les élongations musculaires. Elles sont contre-indiquées dans les 3 jours qui suivent la blessure (en phase aiguë), mais peuvent servir de traitement complémentaire en période de réadaptation. Consulter un professionnel dûment formé.
Répertoire électronique des physiothérapeutes ou thérapeutes spécialisés en réadaptation physique.
Pour en savoir plus sur les médicaments : comment les prendre, quelles sont les contre-indications et les interactions possibles, etc.
Recherche et rédaction : Équipe PasseportSanté.net
Mise à jour : mai 2010
Note : les liens hypertextes menant vers d’autres sites ne sont pas mis à jour de façon continue. Il est possible qu’un lien devienne introuvable. Veuillez alors utiliser les outils de recherche pour retrouver l’information désirée.
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Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (Ed). Diseases & Conditions –Sprains & Strains, MayoClinic.com. [Consulté le 30 avril 2010]. www.mayoclinic.com
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