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Highs & Lows, Using (and not using) Genetics in Elite Sport

Posted 215 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Industry News

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3487 Posted 241 Days Ago in: Training

Creatine and training

Creatine is a supplement that is used by weight lifters and athletes in order to increaser their performance levels, especially when it comes to high intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance training. It pulls water into the muscles and has been shown to increase people’s size, but there is no use in taking it and then not putting in the effort in the gym or on the sports field as you will quickly lose that water weight. The thinking behind why creatine is essential for performance is that it also assists with explosive power and if you are able to lift those one or two reps more at a higher weight every time you train then you will indeed see bigger gains, because of the overall effort that you’re putting in.

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3486 Posted 245 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

Food that can reduce inflammation

You see all those athletes and exercise models on Instagram? What if we told you that they suffer from the same thing as you do? Inflammation happens to everyone, it is part of our body’s natural response to damaged tissues and also plays a role in the immune system response. With modern day advances we are now able to see just how much inflammation you’re likely to feel from a strenuous bout of activity through the analysis of your genes. At DNAFit we look at four genetic inflammatory markers - IL6, IL6R, CRP and TNF. Variations in these genes give us a clue if you are predisposed to suffer significantly increased levels or slightly increased levels of inflammation. Knowing your predisposition of this biological phenomenon can make big differences to your training and even more so to your recovery strategies which necessitate your training schedule and ultimately your goals.

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3484 Posted 259 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics

DNAFit Fitness Report FAQs

We’ve tested a lot of people at DNAFit over the years, and we’ve also got a lot of questions regarding our reports. In this article, our Head of Sport Science Craig Pickering is going to try and cover the answers to the most common questions regarding the fitness report, in the hope that it can increase people’s understanding of what it offer.

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3482 Posted 262 Days Ago in: Training

What is total body resistance training?

Total body resistance training, or TRX, was developed for people who can train anytime anywhere. TRX suspension training engages muscles that you didn’t even know you had! It can be done to strengthen all the muscles of your body and, most importantly, your core because you will be required to use your bodyweight to complete the movements. You can use TRX to do chest press, bicep curls, leg raises, rows and much more while only using your own power. The value in doing such training is that you will be activating your innate strength and creating resistance, making it different from normal bodyweight exercises.

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3480 Posted 269 Days Ago in: Training

Exercise for stress relief

Stress plays a major role in society and can be crippling to some, resulting in them underachieving and just not feeling up to it. It can affect our lives in various ways and is a symptom of society that needs to be stopped, one way or another.

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3478 Posted 277 Days Ago in: Training

Endorphins and Exercise

That feel-good feeling associated with exercise can be directly correlated to chemicals in the brain that stimulate the body to feel this way. These neurochemicals are known as endorphins and are produced in the brain as a reaction to stress and pain. They minimise the negative impact both of these can have on your wellbeing – mind and body – and can also lead to feelings of euphoria in some cases. One of these cases is during exercise. An interview with J. Kip Matthews goes on to explain how "endorphins are also involved in natural reward circuits related to activities such as feeding, drinking, sexual activity and maternal behaviour.”

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3475 Posted 290 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

How To Simplify Your Training?

Simplifying your training doesn’t mean making it easier… Making your training easier or taking shortcuts is a one-way ticket to poor results, plateauing and losing interest in a regular training regime. All the things that are counterproductive, offering no value to your life and adding to the frustration you may sometimes feel at just not making the progress that you expected to make when you first started training and everything was bright, shiny and new. What you always need to be aware of are your goals and that whether you want to get lean, build muscle, or burn fat the principle of making your training to easy-to-understand and follow will never change.

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3472 Posted 312 Days Ago in: Training

What is prehab and should you do it?

Prehabilitation describes a systematic approach to identifying common injuries within a specific sport or training regime and then designing an appropriate series of exercises that work toward minimizing their incidence. The identification of common injuries would thus lead to exercises targeting to certain body parts, such as the knees, shoulders, and neck that are at high risk when competing in sport. With this proactive approach to sport and exercise, these body parts with be strengthened and conditioned to the excessive amounts of strain that they undergo.

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3461 Posted 325 Days Ago in: Training

Is breathing important for your workout?

Breathing is often overlooked when people are trying to improve their performance levels. There is so much focus on physical training and diet that we do not take into account that breathing correctly during exercise is important as well. Breathing not only helps with allowing more oxygen to enter into your circulatory system but it also acts as an aid to improving your posture. Inhale deeply, allowing your belly to fill up, and then exhale. You will find that your posture when breathing correctly significantly improves, rather than if you were hunched over performing shallow breathing, or the type of breathing that we do not even take notice of.

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3440 Posted 343 Days Ago in: Training

What is the best way to train for a marathon?

As with any type of training, marathon training is about understanding and respecting what our bodies can handle whilst simultaneously aiming to maximize response in all the areas that can give us a performance benefit when race day comes. Increasingly, it is less about simply running as many miles as we can, and more about getting the most out of the miles that we actually do run.

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3436 Posted 367 Days Ago in: Training

How To Improve Your Flexibility?

Can you touch your toes? No bending knees are allowed! This is a question that frequently gets asked when someone’s flexibility comes into question, but it’s not only about that. If you want to become better at training, with reduced soreness, then being flexible is a key component in achieving your goals. By being flexible you won’t feel as stiff after a workout, or the following day, and you’ll be less likely to pick up niggling injuries that can disrupt your progress. What must be the main intended benefit of flexibility that is always discussed is the notion of an increased range of motion. You will be able to do exercises with more freedom, completing training that you never thought you could do before.

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3434 Posted 376 Days Ago in: Training

How effective is HIIT?

High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a method of aerobic exercise, and occasionally strength training, that is focused on intense periods of exercise and longer periods of rest than usual. For example, you would be running to almost your maximal capacity for a minute, and then resting for two minutes. This would then be continued for a period of 15 minutes (this is simply an example and, naturally, the length of exercises will vary according to your personal capabilities as the goal is not to expend all of your energy). HIIT exercises are normally not as long as regular exercises because of the high amount of energy you’re expending while “going all out”. It’s because of this that extended periods of recovery are required for your body to deal with the physiological adaptations that are occurring.

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3430 Posted 392 Days Ago in: Training

Planning Progression in Training

When we train, one of the things we want to happen is that we see improvements in our physical fitness. Whilst this isn’t the only reason most of us train (training can also reduce stress, and it can be a fun social activity), most of us do so to either perform better at sport, look better naked, or both. Being able to optimise your improvements from exercises is like baking a cake; sometimes you can overdo it, and your cake ends up ruined. Sometimes, you might underdo it, and your cake just doesn’t look ready. What we’re chasing is the Goldilocks principle; not too much, not too little, just the right amount.

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3429 Posted 395 Days Ago in: Training

Outdoor Workouts For Spring

The weather is getting better and you might start to feel like going to the gym might be waiting of the valuable time in the sun. Well why not take your workout outside? Have a look at our latest blog for some outdoor workout inspiration.

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3426 Posted 406 Days Ago in: Training

Phototherapy and exercise performance

Athletes are always looking for anything that can give them an edge in their training and competition. Quite often, this leads to new ideas and practices being formed, such as the use of ice baths after training, or high protein diets, which become part of everyday training practices for elite and recreational athletes alike. Every now and again, a certain technique or supplement is developed which doesn’t quite have the same take-up, perhaps because it is difficult to do, or because the research isn’t well publicised.

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3422 Posted 420 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

The Impact of the Gut on Sports Performance

The human body is a complex interaction of a number of different systems. When it comes to exercise, we tend to be interested in the physiological systems, such as the cardiovascular system (the heart, arteries and veins, which transport blood, and therefore nutrients, to our working muscles), the pulmonary system (the lungs, which allow us to absorb the oxygen that our cardiovascular system transports), and the musculoskeletal system, which allows us to move.

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3418 Posted 423 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

The Ultimate Guide To Supplements: Part 1

When you’ve finally settled into your routine and are training regularly, you’ll start hearing about supplements you can take to increase your performance, recovery, and response to various types of exercise. The industry has exploded to the point where it is worth billions, and companies are constantly marketing products in new ways that promise to activate new muscles and make you bigger and stronger than ever before. But do these supplements actually work?

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3417 Posted 426 Days Ago in: Training

New tech aiding training and recovery

In this day and age, we are surrounded with various bits and pieces of technology that promise to improve our fitness. This can range from the very cheap to the very expensive, with everything in between. In this article, I take a look at some of these pieces of technology that you can use to improve your training performance.

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3416 Posted 430 Days Ago in: Training

Why do muscles hurt after training?

The exact biochemical cause of muscle soreness is not yet known, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know anything about it. We know, for example, that soreness typically occurs when you expose your body to a stress you are not used to, like trying a new exercise, workout or sport. The soreness is thought to be tied to the same microtrauma which causes muscles adapt to training. This ties in with another observation that soreness is significantly worse after eccentric training (lengthening muscles under load) which includes things like lowering weights and running downhill, and is known to cause more microtrauma than other training styles.

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3413 Posted 439 Days Ago in: Training

How To Get Your Training To Stick?

You’ve purchased the gym contract, gone a few times, spoken to friends about signing up for an upcoming race, made little white lies about how often you train, and everything’s petered out a little. That belly you wanted to lose for summer is still there, but you’ve accepted that your beach holiday may be clouded a little by self-consciousness because you just can’t get your training to stick.

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3412 Posted 440 Days Ago in: Training

Ditch The Wine, Hide The Chocolate, And Do Something To Really Get Your Partner’s Heart Racing This Valentine's Day

Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is a perfect time for a romantic dinner and an evening alone with your significant other. But, as may be aware, dinner followed by alone time is a regular occurrence for most couples so this Valentine’s Day we’re challenging you to do something a little more interesting, and challenging, for the both of you. Because the thought of staying in again for the umpteenth time should make you cringe – especially when there’s so much more you could be doing. So, without further ado, we give you our ideas for an active Valentine’s Day.

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3411 Posted 444 Days Ago in: Training

What are the best sports to get you lean?

We all have different fitness goals – some of us wants bigger muscles, some want to stay fit and improve their endurance. And some of us want to become leaner. If you’re in the last category but feel bored of going to the gym, read on! A great way to go about getting lean is playing sports. Not only are they fun, social, and foster a competitive spirit that will spill into your daily life, but they’re also extremely effective workouts where you don't even realise how much conditioning you’re allowing your body to go through. Mostly focused on cardio, the trick is to not do too much, and focus on sports that require intervals of intensity. This is because your body adapts to cardio and will become fuel efficient like never before. We’ve selected the top sports you should compete in to get the ultimate lean physique.

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3408 Posted 448 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

How to build healthy habits?

As I write this, it’s coming to the beginning of February. This means that, for most people reading this, their New Years Resolutions will already be broken. It’s estimated that fewer than 10% of people are able to stick to their resolutions each year. If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in fitness and health, which means that your resolutions are likely fitness or health orientated. Failing to meet these new resolutions, which happens to most people, can have serious consequences, especially given that close to a third of people in the UK are classed as obese, and many don’t get sufficient exercise.

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3407 Posted 451 Days Ago in: Training

How often should you exercise?

A major question that you need answered more often than not when you start training is how often you should be training. The world is currently in a fragile balance between people into fitness and people who have allowed themselves to become too sedentary.

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3405 Posted 455 Days Ago in: Training, Genetics, Industry News, Nutrition

Sport Science Review 2016 Part 2

As part of my job role at DNAFit, I read a lot of different scientific papers from a wide range of disciplines within sports science. At the end of 2015, I reviewed the best bits of research I had come across in 2015 (click for Part One and Part Two), and in this two-part article I will share with you the papers that had the biggest impact on me in 2016.

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3404 Posted 458 Days Ago in: Training

What should you do after training?

Now that you’ve got the hard part out of the way, there’s probably something you’ve missed a beat on if after every gym session you’re feeling stiff and sore – which can keep you out of the gym for days. Thing is, while training is important, there are also steps that you need to take following your workout due to oxidative stress and the muscle damage that occurs that allows your body to morph into this new improved you. Recovery isn’t down to a few stretches or eating right, there are a whole myriad of factors at play here that you need to take care of to ensure that you’ll be at your peak every single day.

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3402 Posted 461 Days Ago in: Training, Industry News, Nutrition

Sport Science Review Part 1

As part of my job role at DNAFit, I read a lot of different scientific papers from a wide range of disciplines within sports science. At the end of 2015, I reviewed the best bits of research I had come across in 2015 (click for Part One and Part Two), and in this two-part article I will share with you the papers that had the biggest impact on me in 2016.

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3401 Posted 466 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

A day in the life of an athlete - Greg Rutherford

We all have different careers and unique day-to-day activities, but having a normal day job and a routine makes our days similar to each other. What’s interesting though, is finding out what those people who do things a little differently do every day. We connected with Olympic gold medal winner and Greg Rutherford MBE to find out what a day in the life of a professional athlete is like.

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3400 Posted 469 Days Ago in: Nutrition

How does it feel to go vegetarian for a month?

Our content writer Daniel volunteered to go meat-free for a month. Here's how he managed to cope and how it affected his everyday life and training.

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3399 Posted 478 Days Ago in: Training, Nutrition

Your New Year's Resolutions

Have you made your New Year’s resolution list yet? Love’em, or hate’em, they have been around for a while. History tells us that the origin of New Year’s resolutions is attributed to Babylonians in Mesopotamia some 4000 years ago. But it wasn't any New Year’s celebration. Resolutions were made over 12 days in March/April during the festival of Akitu. It is indicated that promises were made to the gods in the hope that these people would earn good favour in the coming year. This was even in the time before New Year’s was on January 1st, which was only established by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. and then cemented by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582.

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