Are you in a Plateau? Supplements? Post-workout for busy people

Today we discuss:
– How to know if you are plateauing and what to do about it
– Supplements – are they good?
– Post-workout for Busy People?
gauging improvement, post-workout easy recovery, quick fixes + potions
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Past podcasts that are relevant to supplements and studies


Position Stands and resources to learn HOW and WHY and WHO

Globally on Supplements

  • Additive effects (Trent Stellingwerff)
  •  magic pill – looking for quick fix vs. longer-term focus – ignoring the skill/mental/tactical aspects
  • Enjoy benefits of linear gains / being a beginner – well thought out training should elicit benefit

Things to ponder when considering a supplement

  • Think who am I and what am I trying to do ? do you need more muscle? Are you not recovering as fast as you could be
  • Is there a way to get this through diet? (ie. sleep!, whey / bcaa in dairy protein, improving the balanced diet of fats/proteins vs. high sugar/low quality)
  • is there a mechanism for why this should work? (ie.
  • Is it practical to use in your life/sport (ie. Side effects and time to use/apply)
  • SIDE EFFECTS – GI distress, BLUNTING of adaptations, no/negative responders,
  • Is this company selling something? influencer?
  • Is it a proprietary blend or something odd or do you recognize the active ingredients (or the ingredients in general)
  • Is it banned or from a reputable source (quality control / NSF)


Trent Stellingwerff supplement recommendations what works

  • The vast majority of training and competition load and recovery is achieved through proper diet and recovery practices (such as recovery nutrition immediately post-training, quality sleep, afternoon naps, low surrounding external stresses and paramedical support). To aid in this process, athletes have looked towards supplements. However, only a hand-full of supplements have been shown to possibly aid in this process during very intense training and competition schedules. The majority of the supplement’s have no scientific support and just result in added and unwarranted expenses to an athlete. However, there are a few supplements that do have scientific support, which can be utilized by an athlete already exercising good general nutrition and recovery practices— this needs to be taken care of first! A poor diet and recovery practices cannot be compensated for by a supplementation regime. Further, regular blood analysis should be completed to check for any abnormalities. Finally, it cannot be stressed enough that when purchasing supplements the athlete needs to be extremely cautious regarding potential inadvertent doping. Look for 100% pure-products from reputable companies that have also been certified by either NSF:


Lying to Win—Placebos and Sport Science

  • Trent Stellingwerff addressed an inconvenient truth in sport science; when it comes to performance-enhancing effects of popular ergogenic aids, marginal gains do not aggregate. The 1% to 3% improvements observed with many ergogenic aids are rarely additive.7–9 Why might this be the case? One possible explanation is that that many ergogenic aids ultimately act on a central mechanism that regulates performance. As a result, most evidencebased supplements merely allow an athlete to “dig a little deeper.” Sport scientists have often observed that just believing in a novel and exciting performance-enhancing treatment can produce improvements in performance regardless of introducing a real treatment effect



Science of sport

  •  the same article, I found the statements by a good friend, Trent Stellingwerff, very intriguing.  Stellingwerff brought up the fact that the effects of proven ergogenic aids don’t aggregate.  Meaning that if we get a 2% boost from caffeine, another 1% from beta alanine, and 2% from beet root juice, if we took all of them, we don’t get a 5% bump in performance.  They all act on different physiological systems, so why is there no additive effect?  The authors speculate that, they all act on a central mechanism that regulates performance (i.e. like the one talked about with fatigue above).
  • What it means to me is instead of telling an athlete to take this drink that you know is a placebo to improve performance, give them something that actually seems to, and sell it hard that it does.  Don’t just say, this may or may not work, or give the research speak that in 10 studies it improved performance but in 3 it didn’t so hopefully you are in the 10.  Say that this stuff works really well, it’s strongly research-backed (10 vs. 3 is strong!), and it works because of X, Y, and Z.


3) Runner waking up early to run, what to eat after for recovery while busy with kids and getting to work?

Polarized Training, HIIT & Athletic Needs – Stephen Seiler

Sport Science, Polarized, Training, 80:20, Coaching, Training, Hierarchy of Needs

Sports scientist Stephen Seiler joins us today to talk about Polarized Training, or intensity distribution, as well as a related concept he came up around the ‘Hierarchy of Endurance Training Needs’.

We cover some really interesting and practical information that you can take to your own training patterns today. Regardless of your training the idea that we should have focus and a purpose to our intensity and volume should resonate.

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 A researcher in Norway, originally from Texas. Well known for his work on polarized training, or intensity distribution, as well as many topics around adaptations to training, especially in endurance sport. He loves rowing and cycling.


Show Notes 


Book of sports physiology got him into it

Twitter – rowing and Flanders on same day!
   – likes rowing and cycling


Why research rowers/cyclist ? Has done both but availability of subjects. Need enough
    – cycling popular in Norway as is cross-country skiing
     –  questions he looks at training process and generalities and


Elite vs. amateur -> there are differences but also some commonalities
   – elites have time and can train as much as can
    – best athletes train a lot
Amateur have limits on time
BUT -> there is intensity distribution of time And recreational need that almost more! Not limited by NEED to recover like elites. That is the problem (the black hole) medium intensity
 –  => Black hole workouts (training in middle intensities where feels good, ’30min run’ ) LINK to Outside article
 – the most common mistake
 – regression to the mean


80:20 – (polarized)
   – does the concept apply if someone is not very fit, i.e if they can’t run ‘easy’????
   – 2mmol threshold reach before even run if overworked (ie. no aerobic system). See improvement with easy training


Marco Altini case study from HRV4Training data:
  – have  to ‘rework’ ‘reset’ them
  – the time crunch may have to re-distribute time to try and push duration one session a week
   – add goals to the session (efficiency etc) don’t ‘just run’


Media influence and interpretation of training
  – draw hypothesis from observation
 – test on slightly less elite (have access to)
 – tempting to make research readable/ applicable
  – reporters and headlines
Hierarchy of Endurance Needs
hierarchy seiler athletic needs
– Hype of training / quick fixes
 – need to establish basics
 – buying gains,
– the pyramid/hierarchy of endurance needs
      -> inspired by Hype Cycle or Curve (link) that has expectation, dissolution,
 – the basics aren’t sexy/ profitable
 – all about doing the work
  – also similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy


Basics first (volume, HIT, distribution)
Then other stuff (periodization, blocks, altitude, peaking etc)

-> higher elements have risk: low-cost reward (response, sickness, decrease training)

– average person focus low-cost techniques
– eating the cake vs. making the cake
– aerobic conditioning allows fast recovery
*most viewed on research gate


  – xc and rowers cross train due to access, may not be optimal
  – still seek specificity – hilly terrain, use poles, roller skis
  – never too far from key muscle groups
  – runner


Sufferfests –
 – the tendency to regress to mean
 – fitness center etc
 – hard to tell someone to do. 2 hr jog
 – be careful!!


Elites discipline
  – Bjørn Dæhlie famous skier ran slowly but for extended periods
 – “planning the work, and working the plan”
 – not influenced by others (half- wheel etc)


Coolest experiment?
 – alpine skiers o2 consumption,
  – in the field, very neat to challenge in the field
New discoveries with lots of data now ??
-> new era/stage of sports science moving to Big Data … how to synthesize aNd figure out what matters
-> narrow to useful tools
-> can’t underestimate coach’s feel, art of coaching and technology can confirm or sometimes change

Best books – come back to
Gladwell’s books  – Gladwell’s books
Glicks – chaos/butterfly effects in “Making New Science Book” 
– don’t discount older books on reinvent wheel

Tracey Drews – Best Training for Older Athletes, Decrease Nerves on Testing Days

Avoid Testing-Day Nerves, Training for older athletes, Weight-Loss

This week we talk to Tracey Drews, a coach with CTS. Tracey works with athletes of all types but has had great success with masters athletes who aim to pursue peak performance in their sport. There are topics for all athletes this week including beating testing nerves, how to loose weight, and how to become a coach.

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Continue reading Tracey Drews – Best Training for Older Athletes, Decrease Nerves on Testing Days