April 10, 2013
Adipose Tissue Resting Energy Expenditure Higher in Women than Men

Apologies for the period of dormancy.  I’m back and I’m bringing you new articles every Wednesday.  With that said, here we go.

Introduction:  Men and women store fat on different areas of the body.  Women store fat in larger amounts of subcutaneous adipose tissue (the fat under the skin) and men store more visceral fat (the fat around the organs).  In general, women have more body fat than men.  How much adipose tissue contributes to whole body metabolism is not well known; therefore, this was the aim of the study.

Methods:  This was a large cohort coming from hundreds of men and women.  The researchers looked at adipose tissue gene expression as well as expression of genes involved in mitochondrial function.

Results: 

  • For the two sexes, fat mass and fat free mass positively correlated with resting metabolic rate (when one went up, the other went up).  
  • Women have a higher metabolic rate per kilogram adipose tissue than men.
  • Women have a higher expression of genes related to mitochondrial function than men.
  • Women have a higher number of brown adipocytes in subcutaneous adipose tissue than men.

Discussion:  Just to give you an idea of the relative contributions of tissue to basal metabolic rate (BMR), the brain and internal organs account for 70-80% but only make up 5% of the body weight.  Skeletal muscle, which everyone in your gym says influences BMR the most, is 20 times lower than the internal organs.  Skeletal muscle accounts for about 15% of a person’s BMR.  Adipose tissue falls in at around 6% of BMR so we can say it is not that active of a tissue.  

From the lab to the gym: So what’s the main takeaway of this study?  The practical message is from bullet point 4 of the results and particularly a molecule found in those brown adipocytes known as UCP1.  UCP1 is a protein that allows the mitochondria to create heat in the brown adipocytes.  Women have a higher amount of UCP1 in their subcutaneous adipose tissue (the fat you want to lose under your skin).  Therefore, this study suggests that women have a higher capacity to burn calories by converting energy to heat.  Of course the internal organs and muscle are going to contribute the most to your BMR, but the higher metabolic rate of adipose tissue in women gives them an advantage to burn more calories in a resting state than men.

Nookaew et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Feb;98(2):E370-8.

April 7, 2013

hotspitta asked: I have a workout song

I’m always down for submissions of gym bangers.

All the best,

Nick

April 7, 2013

trappedinmymiiind asked: Opinions on amino acid supplements?

I believe in BCAA’s, particularly leucine for its ability to promote protein synthesis.  As far as a performance advantage I believe you’re looking at a 1-3% increase in performance, which is actually around the typical performance increase you get from caffeine ingestion prior to exercise.  It doesn’t seem like a lot but if you’re an athlete looking for that small edge that 1% can matter.

All the best,

Nick

April 7, 2013

gradstudenttiffany-deactivated2 asked: Hey Nick! So happy that I ran across your blog. I myself have a BA in Exercise Science and am currently working on my Masters. There is something that I have been researching on my own for quit awhile as I have been trying to find the best formula for weight loss and more specifically cutting quit a bit of fat weight in the shortest amount of time while preserving muscle. What is your opinion on how much cardio is too much? and what is the best form of cardio in your opinion? HIIT, fasted, LSD

HIIT

All the best,

Nick

April 7, 2013

imakeitrein asked: Is an ice bath (or any cold therapy) or a hot tub (or any heat therapy) ideal post workout, particularly post weight lifting? What are the pros and cons of both? And are air compression devices (like pro athletes use) really worth the money or should I just stick to hot and cold therapies?

I got you here.

All the best,

Nick

April 7, 2013

sungazersounds asked: Hi Nick! Excellent blog. I always love your info. Have you heard of hypertrophy-specific training? There seems to be a lot of research backing up the protocol but I can never be sure. Any thoughts on what type of routine is really the most effective for inducing hypertrophy?

Nick’s three keys to hypertrophy:

1.) Time under tension (emphasizing eccentric training and slow repetitions)

2.) Cell swelling (da pump)

3.) Altering the metabolic milieu of the muscle (resting shorter periods between sets)

All the best,

Nick

April 7, 2013

o-lympussy asked: protein shakes and creatine, do they work?

Whey protein and creatine monohydrate.

All the best,

Nick

April 7, 2013

isaacsuazo asked: What is your opinion, on of one of my clients is looking to see hypertrophy but stay lean. I don't know if I want to have my client do cardio before our workout, after our workout or in two completely separate workouts. What do you suggest?

Two completely separate workouts.  The reason being they are two completely different energy systems, resistance training and endurance training, and because of this I’ve always been an advocate of separating them as to not get mixed cellular signals.

All the best,

Nick

January 31, 2013
Mythbusting obesity and some actual facts.

A fresh article was published in the New England Journal of Medicine yesterday that looks at the most common myths, presumptions, and facts about obesity.  What really makes this paper intriguing is that the authors used internet searches to find these.  Since some of you might not have assess to the full text, or not have the time to read the entire article, I’ll highlight some of them for you below.

The myths (the authors define myths as “beliefs held true despite substantial evidence refuting them”)

  • Small sustained changes in energy intake or expenditure will produce more substantial long-term weight changes.
  • Setting realistic goals for weight loss is important; otherwise, people will become frustrated and likely lose less weight.
  • Slower gradual weight loss is better than large rapid weight loss in regards to long-term outcomes.
  • PE classes in school play an important role in reducing or preventing childhood obesity.
  • A bout of sexual activity burns 100-300 kcal for each participant. (The authors state the actual numbers are more like 14-21 kcal considering the average sexual experience lasts 6 minutes, ouch).

The presumptions (the authors define presumptions as “unproved yet commonly espoused propositions”)

  • Eating breakfast each day as opposed to skipping it is protective against obesity.
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables will result in weight loss or less weight gain, regardless of any other behavioral or environmental modifications.
  • Weight cycling (yo-yo dieting), is associated with increased mortality.
  • Snacking contributes to weight gain and obesity.
  • An individual’s environment (parks, recreational playgrounds, etc.) influence the incidence and prevalence of obesity.

THE FACTS (“sufficient evidence to be considered empirically proved”)

December 1, 2012
This week in exercise science.

"The worst thing that can happen to you is not striving for what you want.  No is halfway to yes, as far as I’m concerned."

-Jake Steinfeld

Have a good weekend!

Nick