More Magnesium = More Strength
Nutritionists and medical professionals have long touted magnesium as one of the most healthy minerals for the human body, necessary for hundreds of processes. The problem is that most of us are deficient in this mineral, even though the Australian RDA (300mg-420mg/day) is well below what recent research is recommending (400mg-800mg/day). In fact, the majority of Western societies consume far less than even the RDA, thanks to nutrient-deficient processed foods we’ve come to know and love.
This is bad news if you value your strength, thanks to a recent study from the University of Palermo, Italy. Researchers took data from 1138 elderly men and women (average 67 years old), evaluating their muscle strength with a variety of tests. The researchers found a clear relationship between the concentration of magnesium in the subjects’ bloodstream, and their strength performance on tests.
We know that with so many athletic functions, let alone health functions within the body, magnesium deficiency is a serious issue for any athlete. Now we have clear data that a deficiency in this key mineral can hinder your strength gains. Want more magnesium in your diet? Eat more nuts, leafy greens and/or take a magnesium supplement.
Fight Cancer with Iron
Source: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev
If you’re wondering whether having high strength levels has any benefits aside from what you see in the mirror, here’s some proof – muscle is anti-cancerous.
Data from a US clinical trial in Dallas, USA between 1980–2013, included 8677 men aged 20-82 years. The participants’ muscular strength (one-rep max for leg press and bench press), body fat percentage and waist circumference were compared to the subjects’ rates of cancer over the same time period.
The researchers concluded that ‘higher levels of muscular strength are associated with lower cancer mortality risk in men’. Not only did more muscle mass reduce cancer mortality rates in these men, but so did lower body fat levels, with more muscle and less fat bringing the holy grail of cancer-free results. The researchers believe that the body’s muscle stores helped to remove anabolic hormones from the bloodstream, reducing their ability to promote cancer growth.
The takeaway here is easy – keep up your strength training for lower risk of all forms of cancer.
Jump Higher with Deadlifts
Source: J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Jan;29(1):1-10
We all know that deadlifts are one of the best overall exercises you can do for size, strength and power. The help to build nearly every muscle in the body, and particularly the quads, hamstrings, traps, lats, erectors and glutes.
Fresh research from the Human Performance Laboratory at Texas Tech University, USA has shown that deadlifts also boost the rate of torque and vertical jump performance. No, deadlifts don’t make you slower!
The training subjects in this case were novices who performed deadlift training twice a week, for five sets of five reps. All participants were aged 18-30, and the study tested both males and females. There was a control and a training group. After 10 weeks of training, the deadlift trainees increased the torque ability of their knee extensors and flexors between 18-49%, as well as a 7.4% increase in vertical jump height over the control group.
If you play sport of any sort you’ll want performance boosts like these. Think of sprinters, rugby players, basketballers and soccer players – the ability to generate power in the legs and to increase jump performance is vital to your results on the field. So make sure you do your deadlifts.
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