AVOID Doing This Before Training!

In this weeks sports science news, social media killing your gains!, running shoes, PAP effect for boxers

Eric Curry

By Eric Curry
Last updated: June 25th, 2024
4 min read

This week in the world of sports science, here’s what happenedā€¦

  • Social media is killing your gains!
  • Do modern running shoes hinder optimum foot function?
  • Boxing-specific post-activation potentiation

Social media is killing your gains!

(Image: Ladders)

A recent LinkedIn post by highly regarded Strength and Conditioning Coach Jack Tyler has attracted significant attention, garnering nearly 400 engagements along with numerous insightful comments. In his post, Tyler claims that “Social media is literally killing your gains.” He cites a relevant 2021 study to support his point.

The study delved into the influence of social media on training performance. Participants were tasked with either viewing a 30-minute documentary or engaging in 30 minutes of social media scrolling on their smartphones before completing three sets of half-back squats to failure.

The study revealed that 30 minutes of social media usage substantially decreased the participants’ overall volume load during a resistance training session in comparison to 30 minutes of documentary viewing, resulting in an approximate 15% reduction. This outcome highlights that pre or intra-workout social media browsing induces mental fatigue, detrimentally impacting exercise performance. Consequently, the researchers advocate avoiding social media before resistance training sessions to optimise performance.

It’s worth checking out Tyler’s LinkedIn post. There are some really interesting comments too! Some people completely agree with the study, while others are not so sure. And then there are some funny ones – like someone suggesting it might have been “thumb day” at the gym!

So, if you’re at the gym scrolling through social media, maybe it’s best to put your smartphone away – unless, of course, you’re scrolling through SFS Weekly!

Do modern running shoes hinder optimum foot function?

Scary Truth About Running Shoes! (YouTube)

Here at SFS Weekly, we recently featured a video from Dr. Adam Horschig of Squat University discussing the impact of raised-heel shoes on foot health. Another video from Horschig, released earlier this month, has sparked a lot of discussion.

In the YouTube video, Horschig provides insights into the problems with modern running shoes. Many modern running shoes are designed with a toe spring, which tilts the front of the shoe off the floor. While this design is meant to make the foot roll forward more naturally, Horschig argues that it could lead to shortened muscles in the front of the foot, potentially causing long-term foot pain.

Additionally, most modern running shoes have a significant heel height, which Horschig suggests can lead to negative changes in the calf muscles and Achilles tendon over time, affecting ankle mobility.

Horschig also points out the issue of narrow toe space in modern running shoes, which may restrict natural foot function.

Horschig recommends seeking a cushioned shoe with no toe spring, minimal heel height, and ample toe space. If you’re interested in running, I highly recommend checking out his informative video for tips on choosing the right running shoe.

While we are on the topic of shoes, why not check out our recent blogs on shoes:

We Tested The Best Weightlifting Shoes In 2024 (Olympic Lifting, Squats, & More)

Best Boxing Shoes (2024): Budget, Wide Feet, & More

Boxing-specific post-activation potentiation

Image (Human Kinetics Journal)

A recent study featured in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research presented a practical approach to improving punch force through boxing-specific post-activation potentiation exercises. The study, conducted with 10 male senior elite amateur boxers, explored the effects of isometric punch and elastic resistance punch protocols on punch force and countermovement jump performance.

The results indicated that both the isometric punch and elastic resistance punch protocols led to modest but meaningful increases in punch force. However, neither protocol showed improvements in countermovement jump performance. The researchers suggested that integrating the isometric punch and elastic resistance punch protocols into a boxer’s warm-up routine could induce a post-activation potentiation effect for punch power. They also noted that while the isometric punch protocol appeared superior for enhancing punch power, individual response-based protocols might be more effective due to high interindividual variability in the results.

A limitation of the study was the use of a simulation bout instead of a real boxing match or competitive sparring session. Despite this limitation, the study offers valuable insights for individuals seeking to enhance boxing punch power, making it a worthwhile read for boxing enthusiasts and practitioners alike.

If you are interested in this topic, check out our excellent podcast “How World Champion Boxers Train For Elite Punching Power

From us this week:

>> New course: Behaviour Change
>> New podcast: Unlock Performance Potential With Jump Profiling
>> New infographic: Heart Rate Variability
>> New article: TeamBuildr: Everything You Need To Know

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Eric Curry

Eric Curry

Eric is a Strength and Conditioning Coach from Ireland. Eric holds a MSc in Sports Strength and Conditioning and an undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise. Eric is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA. Eric currently works as a Strength and Conditioning Coach in Ireland predominantly with youth performance Tennis players. Eric also has experience working with athletes from basketball, martial arts, football, hurling, and Gaelic football.

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