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BridgeAthletic

At Bridge, we are all athletes and coaches first. As athletes, our team has experienced everything from riding the pine on JV, to winning NCAA championships, to competing in the Olympic Games. As coaches, we have helped countless athletes reach their full potential, winning everything from age group section championships to Olympic Gold Medals.
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Recent Posts

Barefoot Running: Is it for you?

Posted by BridgeAthletic on Jun 28, 2019 6:56:28 AM

Run Free: Consider Less Cushion

Ever since Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia clinched his record 2:15:16 record in the 1960 Olympics, the running community has sought to identify the benefits of barefoot running.

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Topics: Performance Trends

Foam Rolling and Effects on Core Strength

Posted by BridgeAthletic on Jun 28, 2019 6:47:02 AM

Great for Sleep, Ambivalent for Strength?

This is the latest in a trend of research investigating the true benefits of foam rolling. Researchers in this study turned to core strength endurance, balance, muscle performance and range of motion to critique the value of a foam rolling protocol on an 8-week training plan. They found foam rolling had no effect on dorsal trunk strength, muscle performance (via horizontal jump testing) and balance. However, they did find hamstring flexibility was improved by a foam rolling intervention.

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Topics: Performance Trends

Tempo Training and Focus on Eccentric Cadences

Posted by BridgeAthletic on Jun 28, 2019 6:23:04 AM

 
 

 

Polish researchers just cracked the code for powering through your next testing session. They studied the different responses elicited from eccentric (ECC) and concentric (CON) cadences on power and velocity, finding that ECC and CON cadences significantly impact the efficiency of resistance training. This new research questioned both the effects of movement tempo on power and velocity as well as the effects of different ECC cadences on CON velocity of movement and power output. 

Break this Down for Me...

The Method

Researchers found 30 young adult males to perform two stages of bench press tests. Participants were required to have a one year minimum of strength training experience and were able to perform a BP with a load of at least 120% of their body mass. Each subject performed three sets of the bench press (BP) using 70% 1RM at two different tempos: 2/0/X/0 eccentric regular cadence (ECCREG), and 6/0/X/0 eccentric slow cadence (ECCSLO). 

The tests were performed using regular (2s) and slow (6s) ECC. The CON phase was performed at max possible speed. Researchers used a ‘Tendo Power Analyzer’ (Tendo Sport Machines) to evaluate bar velocity. Participants rested between intervals for 5 minutes. The interval between the 2 testing stages was 7 days.

What it Means

While many studies have determined the ideal level of load for peak power, this is the first of its kind to consider movement velocities, both in the ECC and CON phases of resistance exercises. Researchers found the effects on max power and velocity and average power and velocity were significantly different between the ECCREG (2/0/X/0) and the ECCSLO (6/0/X/0) tempos, indicating that a slow ECC cadence unsurprisingly decreases power and velocity during the CON phase of a BP. So while tempo work isn’t going to improve max power, increasing time under tension is well known for building lean muscle growth, strengthening connective tissue, and increasing performance while decreasing CNS stress. Not to mention, moving more slowly through a movement can help novice athletes increase strength while maintaining proper movement mechanics.

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Watch Out for...

How coaches and researchers begin to experiment with the duration of ECC during a movement to introduce new stages of periodization in the development of power.

the PowerUp

The results of this study prove that it is not only the dynamic transition from the ECC to CON that influences power variables, but also the duration and velocity of the entire ECC movement. Although the results of this study suggest that the introduction of a slower movement cadence in the ECC range leads to a decline in power and velocity values, this does not relate to chronic stages of muscular adaptation where studies agree eccentric training can help build muscle

As this research was conducted during a short period of time, we’re keen to see how subjects would perform after maintaining either regular or slow ECC training across a multi-week phase.

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Topics: Performance Trends

Try Upper Body HIIT Circuits

Posted by BridgeAthletic on Jun 17, 2019 9:45:00 AM

We See You, Biceps

 

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Topics: Training Tips

Late Night Practices Impact Sleep Quality

Posted by BridgeAthletic on Jun 10, 2019 7:24:55 PM

The Latest

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Topics: Performance Trends, Recovery, sleep, News

Exercise Will Improve Your Memory

Posted by BridgeAthletic on Jun 3, 2019 9:15:43 AM

The Latest

This latest study out of Maryland suggests acute exercise can improve our ability to recall general world and cultural-specific knowledge. Though, aren’t we all willing to forget that last episode of Game of Thrones?


While studies have shown us that regular exercise over time impacts the brain’s memory network (especially within the hippocampus), most of those have focused on short-term (episodic) memory. This is the first of its kind to examine semantic memory which is important as semantic memory is one of the first to be impacted by neurocognitive diseases.

Break this Down for Me...

The Method

Participants’ semantic memories were tested both after exercise and at rest. For the exercise portion, participants completed 30 minutes of continuous cycling. Researchers called on previous studies which found moderate exercise enhances cognition to a greater degree than light or high-intensity exercise. After being introduced to Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), participants were asked to select their workload based on an intended RPE of 15, a “hard” level of effort. RPE and Heart Rate (HR) were measured every 5 minutes. Subjects were given a 5-minute warmup and cooldown. Following the cycling session, researchers placed subjects in a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner (fMRI).

 

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Measuring Semantic Memory Activation

Since the failure to recall familiar names is the most common memory complaint among older adults, researchers chose to measure semantic memory by displaying the names of 30 easily recognized entertainers, politicians, and sports figures. They also displayed the names of 30 non-famous individuals, chosen from a local phone book. This method of testing is called The Famous Names Task (FNT). We checked, it’s a real thing.Researchers considered both accuracy (% correct) and response time (ms) in their results.

Researchers then created activation maps looking at both the responses to famous and non-famous names for both the exercise and rest test sessions. Their hypothesis? That the brain would show less activity (less effort) after exercise. Yep, sounded strange to us too. You see, this same group conducted a similar study in 2013 which found that a 12-week program of treadmill walking changed the way the brain processed semantic memory. Thus, leading them to believe a similar result would present itself after one training session. That didn’t happen. Instead, the scans showed increased brain activity in the areas influencing semantic memory.

What it Means

These findings suggest that the brain, like our muscles, is most active and burns the most energy at the first signs of strain, but becomes more efficient following long-term exercise protocols. Given the 2013 results which found the brain used less energy after a multi-week plan, researchers have concluded that the brain can be trained to respond more efficiently as we increase exercise frequency. Coupled with previous studies that prove higher performance on the FNT leads to greater chances of cognitive stability over time, this new research begins to uncover how acute exercise fuels greater engagement in the semantic network which could improve cognitive function in healthy older adults.

Watch Out for...

How this impacts preventative treatment protocols for older adults predisposed to neurodegenerative symptoms. The WHO just finished their first study on exercise, diet and lifestyle and how these factors impact your risk for dementia.  

the PowerUp

Like all studies, this one’s not without its limitations. With a small sample size of active, cognitively healthy subjects, the study solely explored the network connected to semantic memory. However, as single sessions are the building blocks of chronic exercise, understanding the changes induced by acute exercise provides new insight into the association between exercise and memory. We’ll look forward to seeing how it will support larger studies, focused on how acute exercise could impact already impaired individuals or how such results impact sedentary lifestyles.  

 

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Topics: Performance Trends

Improving Scores on the Ranger Physical Assessment Test

Posted by BridgeAthletic on May 13, 2019 2:09:00 PM

S&C's Impact on US Rangers

This is the latest in a series of research (covered in previous editions of the PowerUp) that promotes the value of S&C for the tactical community.

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Topics: Performance Trends, Coaching Tips, News

The (Legacy) Effects of Training

Posted by BridgeAthletic on May 3, 2019 5:06:33 AM

The Latest

Researchers at Duke University have found a mere eight months of vigorous exercise training may lead to a higher fitness level 10 years later, proving that the ‘legacy effect’ can support us well into our later years.

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Topics: Performance Trends, News

Strength Training for Your Breath: IMST Uncovered

Posted by BridgeAthletic on May 1, 2019 3:36:48 PM

 

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Topics: Performance Trends, Recovery, News