Time to bin your Whoop? Introducing the next generation of performance trackers.
One of the most exciting frontiers in sports performance right now is the ability to individualize and adapt your training, recovery, and diet based on actionable data. The days when this level of insight was only available to those with access to a sports science lab are nearly behind us. Whoop and others have opened the door with their wearable technology, but in this week's Recovery Club, we're going to explore two performance trackers currently available that put specialized sports science lab equipment in your pocket, allowing you to become a better athlete.
Palm Cooling. As powerful as anabolic steroids?
In one of the landmark studies on palm cooling for athletic performance, the Dr overseeing the study called the strength gaining effects of this relatively unknown piece of technology ‘on par to that of anabolic steroids’.
Tour De France and Nutritional Recovery. Insights From The World’s Hardest Carb Binge.
The Tour De France is a research and development testing ground for the most efficient ways of burning energy in the human body, masquerading as a 23 day, 182km cycling race. Each day a rider can burn up to an astonishing 7000 calories over the 5 - 6 hours they spend in the saddle - and so refueling has become an art in its own right. A sport within a sport.
The Immune-Enhancing Effect of Cold Water Exposure
Can cold water actually stop you from getting sick? In the largest study of its kind, with over 3000 participants, researchers found that people who practice deliberate cold water immersion are 54% less likely to call in sick to work. There are many more studies like this that link cold water exposure to improved immune function, but what’s actually happening inside the body to stop you from getting ill? The key to understanding how our body's immune system interacts with the cold starts with the spike of norepinephrine and epinephrine (noradrenaline and adrenaline) that is released when we get into an ice bath. The sudden release of these two chemicals stimulates the production of immune cells like Interleukin 6, T-Lymphocytes, and B-Lymphocytes, all of which correlate with improved overall immune function. These effects were first recorded in a study published back in 1996 when participants were put in 14-degree Celsius water for 60 minutes at a time, and then their blood was analyzed. They discovered the trends between norepinephrine and epinephrine release with elevated levels of immune cells and immune molecules. The triggering of these immune cells and immune molecules makes us more resistant to bacterial or viral infections. These responses were recorded in the famous ‘Wim Hof’ study, where participants combined deliberate hyperventilation and cold water exposure to spike their levels of norepinephrine and epinephrine before being injected with endotoxins that would infect them with the flu. The control group got sick, really sick, vomiting and diarrhea sick. Those who had artificially activated their immune system didn’t, or avoided any significant symptoms. However, it’s important to note that chronically elevated levels of both norepinephrine and epinephrine can be detrimental to immune function in the long term. Consistent overexposure to these chemicals, especially elevated levels later on in the day, can actually harm immune system function. So if you’re looking to use cold water exposure to enhance your natural immunity, time them early on in the day and don’t overdo it. It’s important to remember as well that if you’re already feeling quite sick, it’s too late - let your body focus its resources on healing you rather than further adapting to external stressors.
Add a turbo to your cardio with Cordycep mushrooms
The benefits of this fungus were an open secret within Chinese high society until the early 1990s when Chinese Olympians began breaking world records in the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m events. Their coach attributed their success to a diet rich in a fungus rumored to enhance cardiovascular function, and the secret of Cordycep Sinensis was out.
The Zinc Advantage: The science behind zinc and athletic performance.
Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions, including immune function, protein synthesis, and wound healing. But did you know that zinc can also benefit athletic performance? In this blog post, we'll explore the scientific research behind the benefits of zinc for athletes, how to know if you need to start taking zinc, as well as the best protocol for supplementation.
Explosive Gains: The Power of Ballistic Stretching
As athletes, we’re always trying to maximize our athletic performances, so it’s important to have a comprehensive approach to training that addresses both strength and flexibility. While static stretching is great for increasing flexibility, there's another type of stretching we can incorporate into our recovery and warm up protocols to enhance performance: ballistic stretching.
The Breathing Technique To Transform Your Recovery.
Last Sunday we invited our community to come down for the ultimate way to end the week, enjoying a session in mobility and breathwork at the newly opened ON store in London. Together, we learned the science of how nasal breathing can improve our recovery, boost performance and even improve immunity from breath work coach James O’Keefe. If you want to join us for our next Recovery Club on Sunday 26th of Feb, sign up on our Eventbrite here, it's totally free to attend --> Sign Up The basic principle of the nasal breathing technique centers around enhancing our production of nitric oxide. As air passes over paranasal sinus epithelial cells, an enzyme causes the creation of the molecule nitric oxide which mixes with the inhaling air and is absorbed through our lungs. Nitric oxide is a powerful vasodilator, meaning it can relax and widen blood vessels. This increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to tissues throughout the body. The benefits are undeniable and have been studied in sports science for some time now. They include: Reduced exercise-induced inflammation: One study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that exercise-induced inflammation can lead to soreness, stiffness, and reduced performance. They analysed how Nitric oxide reduces the inflammation markers of trained athletes in the body, which can help to speed the recovery process. Increased oxygen delivery to muscles: Another study looked at nitric oxide and its function to help to dilate blood vessels, which increased blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles of athletes in the study. This can improve exercise performance and delay fatigue during prolonged or intense exercise. Improved immune function: Something a lot of athletes suffer with is that intense exercise can suppress the immune system, increasing the risk of infection. Nitric oxide has been shown to have immune-boosting effects, which can help to reduce this risk. What James taught us was a simple breathing technique, we sat up tall, allowing for the shoulders to relax and creating a nice big space for the lungs to expand into. We then inhaled for 5 seconds through the nose and then exhaled for 6. We performed this for several minutes but it’s suggested you do a few several minute sessions of this per day, especially before you go to sleep at night. It’s so simple, so powerful and there are ways you can turbo charge your nitric oxide. Eating green leafy vegetables that are rich in nitrates will enhance your natural production. Also, using mouth tape at night forces the mouth shut and causes your body to nasal breath throughout the night.
OPERATION METABOLIC DOMINANCE - the secretive military experiment to make super endurance athletes
In the early 2000s DARPA, the advanced scientific research arm of the US military, began a project pouring tens of millions of dollars into studies that sought to answer the question: can we hack the way our bodies process energy to create super endurance?
A lesson in goal setting from an Olympic Triathlete
Our mission from day one has been to improve the performance of every athlete we meet - that’s why every month this year we are running ONE STEP CLOSER events exclusive to the MyoMaster community, to give you the chance to learn from and train with the best athletes in the UK. All with the aim of taking you ONE STEP CLOSER to your ultimate goal. Last Sunday we kicked off our first event with double Olympic medalist and Commonwealth Champion triathlete Alex Yee MBE for a masterclass in goal setting. The insight was invaluable and so for everyone who couldn’t attend, we wanted to share with you how an elite athlete sets their goals and what they do to make sure they achieve them. Set Your Big Goals First The very first step is knowing exactly what you want to achieve, sounds simple right? The trick though is being precise and understanding the implications of that goal. For Alex, his goal for 2023 is to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics, specifically securing the one guaranteed place on the team which is achieved by taking a podium finish at the Paris 2024 test event. The other two places in the team are awarded by recommendations from British Triathlon based on race performances throughout the year. In practical terms, Alex now can focus his attention on one specific race this season held on August 17th in Paris and that will take him a little under 2 hours to complete. Everything he does from now will be to achieve that result. A clearly defined and precise goal. Break Your Goals Down. The next step is to start working backwards from your big goal and breaking it down into smaller ones. A great way to do this is start with some established time frames, key dates or areas of your training that need attention, for example.. In order to achieve that podium finish on August 17th I need to: Run a PB time at a race on May 28th. Consistently hit target times during training block in June / July on the bike. Swim a PB time at a race on July 9th. From there you can break each one of these goals down even further into even smaller chunks that can assessed on monthly or even weekly levels, for example In order to Run a PB time at a race on May 28th I need to: Hit target times in training block throughout May. Improve on 5km pace by 3 seconds p/km in March Improve on 10km pace by 2 seconds p/km in April From there you can keep breaking your goals down until you get to small daily goals that will build up to you achieving your ultimate goal. Stay On Track And Perfect Your Processes. Setting your goals is just the beginning, the real work is staying on track and making sure all the processes you put in place move the needle in the right direction. For Alex, he builds standardised sessions, like a specific interval running session, into his training block that he repeats regularly to give him and his team a great indication of how he is performing and where he’s tracking against his performance targets. Now, Alex has been doing these sessions for years so he has great data on his improvements but it’s something we can all easily incorporate into our own training plans to ensure we’re staying on track. Then it’s all about perfecting your processes, from the time you’re eating meals before training to getting the right amount of sleep. Perfecting each one of these processes is a marginal gain but collectively together that can be the difference between achieving your goal or missing it. It’s Never Too Early To Start. A few hours after our session on Sunday, Alex flew out to Australia where he’ll be staying for the next 4 weeks with a primary focus on open water swimming. Why? Because in 5 years time at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics the swim will be in open water, as will the 2032 games in Brisbane. Unlike a lot of the athletes from warmer climates who regularly swim in the sea as part of their training, Alex doesn’t get that opportunity here in the UK, and swimming with waves and tidal currents is a whole new skill that he’s already recognised he’s behind the curve on. When it comes to achieving big performance based goals, think big, start now.
3 QUESTIONS EVERY ATHLETE NEEDS TO ASK BEFORE BUYING THEIR NEXT CBD PRODUCT…
Every athlete is looking for the best natural ways to improve their recovery, enhance their performances and usually manage a bit of pain along the way. So when CBD products burst onto the scene following the removal of CBD from the World Anti-Doping Agencies banned substances list, a lot of athletes bought or tried CBD products and had incredible results.
Injuries and the Come Back Mentality
The day before I signed my first professional contract at Northampton Saints and fulfil my dream of becoming a professional rugby player I tore all the ligaments in my knee so badly the surgeon thought I would walk with a limp again for the rest of my life, let alone play rugby again.
3 key insights on salt and hydration for athletes
Salt, which primarily consists of sodium, is essential for hydration - as a general rule in the body, water goes where there’s salt. Getting too much sodium concentration in the brain for example is bad for neurons, the cells draw in water and swell causing literal swelling of brain tissue. Too little sodium and the brain draws in water from extracellular space that results in reduced brain function.
3 Ways Deep Sleep Enhances Muscle Recovery
Getting your sleep right is vital for performance gains and at MyoMaster we believe sleep is the most underused performance enhancer available to every athlete on the planet. At some point or another we’ve all been in a sleep deficit while attempting to train at maximal capacity and it never ends well. We’re more prone to injuries, our focus is reduced and when the going gets really tough, it feels like there’s nothing in the tank to really push on and hit those elusive PBs.
Understanding testosterone and recovery. 3 fundamentals every athlete should know.
Enhancing the mechanism of muscle protein synthesis is probably the most important benefit of testosterone when it comes to athletic recovery. The more we break our muscles down during training and competition, the greater the need for muscle protein. There have been many studies on this over the years but there are a couple key ones to take note of.
What makes Kipchoge so fast…and some other cool stuff I learnt at the London Marathon medicine conference
It’s no secret that Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest marathon runner of this decade, having broken the 2-hour barrier in Vienna in October 2019, the reigning Olympic champion and world record holder which he set in Berlin in September 2022.
How to increase muscular range of motion without losing strength: the science behind using a massage gun to warm up.
Effective warm ups are key to effective workouts that help you progress as an athlete. Warming up is a discipline and a skill. Done correctly, a great warm up will allow you to train at your maximum capacity with a decreased injury of risk, consistently.
The cheat code to greater strength and aerobic capacity using Blood Flow Restriction training
Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) is a training and recovery method pioneered by Dr Sato in Japan during the early 1970s. It involves applying a pneumatic tourniquet to a limb and inflating it until it restricts the blood flow, causing blood to pool in the limb.
The secret to improving your VO2 max without getting off the sofa using electro muscle stimulation (EMS)
Your V02 max is one of those vital stats that endurance athletes should always be trying to improve. In short it is the maximum amount of oxygen the body can utilise during exercise. The more oxygen the body can utilise the more power you can exert for longer periods of time.
3 ways to start your day that will improve your sleep, recovery and athletic performance.
Sleep is the foundation that your athletic performance is built on - and like every other aspect of athletic performance consistency is everything. Routinely getting high quality restorative sleep can dramatically improve your physical capabilities and cognitive function, turning you into a better athlete.
Collagen - the secret weapon for endurance athletes.
Collagen is a structural protein that is integral to the health of your tendons, ligaments, bones and cartilage. Critically, there are a number of types of collagen with Type 1 making up 80% of all collagen and the one that will be the focal point of our supplementation protocol.
Introducing The MyoBall
Enter the MyoBall. A wireless, state of the art, trigger point massage ball, the MyoBall goes wherever you go and allows you to target those deep, hard-to-reach knots and niggles.
3 Supplements That Will Change The Way You Sleep.
Getting great quality sleep is the foundation for athletic performance, you simply can’t out train a bad night sleep. Poor sleep leads to poor muscle recovery and an increased risk of injuries
Performance enhancing protocol: the 3 most effective recovery strategies to reduce the stress hormone cortisol.
The stress hormone cortisol has a catabolic effect on your muscle tissue, meaning it breaks it down and further reduces anabolic hormones like IGF-1 and GH that actually help muscle growth from being released in the body. It also has a knock on effect on your sleep, your metabolism and even your immune system.