0800 040 7526
Science and training techniques have come a long way since the revival of the Olympic games by their founder Pierre do Coubertin in 1894. Technology is now used extensively in all aspects of training, but it’s not just reserved for the elite athletes. You too can have a go at some high tec training methods at facilities in London.
Hypoxic chambers mimic the effects of training at altitude. This encourages the body to produce more oxygen carrying red blood cells, enhancing its ability to take in and utilise oxygen. Upon returning to lower levels you will have an increased capacity to train anaerobically and with improved recovery. The Altitude Centre in London has chambers available for one hours sessions. Each session is £25.
Precision hydration is a method of analysing your sweat and then prescribing correct amounts of salts, electrolytes and minerals in a tablet form. It’s £95 for an assesment – www.myh2pro.com
Gravity defying running is a method of training much used by footballers, runners and soldiers. Special treadmills use air pressure ( a bit like an air hockey table) to reduce your bodyweight by as much as 80%. Balance in London charges £100 for 300 minutes.
Cryotherapy chambers involve being exposed to extreme cold for short periods of time. Famously used in Poland by the Welsh rugby team temperatures of -80 to -120 degrees cecius reduce inflammation and improve recovery after exercise. Whole-body cryotherapy is available at Champneys Tring, www.champneys.com The sessions cost from £35 (a course is recommended).
Swedish researchers have discovered that a nitrate found naturally in the green leafy vegetable boosts muscle power. This discounts the traditional theory that Spinach is great for you due to its high iron content.
Scientists at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet carried out tests on mice, discovering that nitrate found in high quantities in spinach boosts the production of two proteins in the body essential to muscle strength.
In the study, the team placed nitrate directly into the drinking water of a group of mice for a week, at doses that could realistically come from a normal diet.
The mice given the nitrate developed significantly stronger muscles due to a increase in two proteins found naturally in the muscles and used for storing and releasing calcium, which is needed to make muscles contract.
While no effect could be seen in the slow-twitch muscle fibres (these are used for moderate exercise usually at less that 60% of maximum effort), the scientists saw a clear change in the fast-twitch muscles used for strength and more high-intensity exercises.
Translated into human terms, consuming nitrates increases the muscle strength available for activities like lifting weights, sprinting up a steep hill and other power based sports. It also boosts endurance.
A week into the experiment, the team examined different muscles on the legs and feet with the most dramatic effect being observed in the extensor digitorum longus muscle, which extends down the tibia (the weight bearing bone in the lower leg) and the flexor digitorum brevis muscle of the foot.
“We were rather surprised by this ‘mighty mouse’ as the muscle strength in their legs and feet had dramatically increased after seven days,” the research group leader, Dr Hakan Westerblad, said.
Late middle-aged and elderly mice were deliberately chosen. The researchers hope their findings will be most beneficial for aged people with muscle weakness and muscle diseases and help develop new treatments. The research team aims to carry out studies on humans soon.
We are in the process of adding our blog to Technorati, so please excuse the code below which has nothing to do with this particular blog post.