Your typical barbell doesn't bend much, even when loaded down with plates. There’s a new type made to be more flexible. It provides an unstable load you have to work harder to control. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research put this tool to the test on the bench press.
Fifteen men with several years of weight training experience performed 2 sets of 5 reps using a typical barbell loaded with 75% of their one rep max. Then they repeated this mini workout using a flexible barbell with 60% of their one rep max suspended from elastic bands. Movement of the flexible barbell was less predictable than the traditional barbell. To control the unstable load, subjects had to contract their muscles in a more stable pattern, staying tighter throughout the movement.   
General News

Caffeine is the world’s most popular stimulant. It’s found in coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks. Everyone responds to caffeine a little differently, and the dose can make a big difference in the energizing effect. Consider the findings of a University of Georgia study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior.
Female college students who reported getting less than 6 ½ hours of sleep per night were put in a simulated office environment. Some got a placebo or a capsule containing 50 mg of caffeine. That’s about what a 12 ounce can of soda provides. Others walked up and down stairs at a normal pace for 10 minutes. Caffeine and placebo conditions weren’t all that different, but exercise energized subjects for a short period of time.

On Friday and Saturday, Frank Fata, Bianca Berry, Sarah Brown, Dave Williams, Stephanie Fisher, Eugene Moore, Qaden Majeed, Jessica Nightingale and Lindsey Renee will be at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, NC for the Europa Get Fit & Sports Expo. Stop by the ON booth to meet the athletes, and get samples and swag. Also on Friday, Michael Del Zoppo will be sampling ON quality at the Grand Opening of Eat Rite Foods, 1 Delaware Rd. in Kenmore, NY from 5 PM to 8 PM. Then on Saturday, Jessica Vasquez will be at Nutrition Depot, 586 Sawdust Rd. in Spring, TX from Noon to 3 PM.
Also on Saturday, Team ON athletes will be sampling at Vitamin Shoppe stores coast to coast. Anna Starodubtseva will be at the Brooklyn, NY location at 1326 Kings Highway from 3 PM to 5 PM, and Ashley Mayer will be at the Boise, ID store at 347 N. Milwaukee St. from 11 AM to 2 PM. Brock Cunico will be sampling at Vitamin Shoppe, 4359 W. Wisconsin Ave. in Appleton, WI from 2 PM to 5 PM, and Danielle Merrell will be at the Glendale, CA location, 401 N. Glendale Ave. from 1 PM to 3:30 PM. Jacqueline Sobotka will be sampling at the Clearwater Shoppes Shopping Center store at 3730 E. 82nd St. in Indianapolis, IN from 3 PM to 6 PM, and Jason Powell will be at Vitamin Shoppe, 19712 Katy Freeway in Houston, TX from 11 AM until 2 PM.
Also on Saturday, Jessica Paxson-Mone will be at Vitamin Shoppe, 2405 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd. in Dayton, OH from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM, and Jim Collins will be at the Cincinnati, OH store located at 3831 Edwards Rd. from Noon until 4 PM. Kate Osman will be at the Corpus Christie, TX Vitamin Shoppe in Moore Plaza, 5425 South Padre Island Dr. from 11 AM to 2 PM, and Luke Boehm will be at the store located at 20273 Rt. 19 in Cranberry Township, PA from 10 AM until 1 PM.
Saturday sampling at Vitamin Shoppe continues with Pierre Vuala at 1101 5th St. in Miami Beach, FL from Noon until 3 PM, and Rachel Cammon at 385 S. Colorado Blvd. in Denver, CO starting at 11 AM. Meet Maria DiNello and Kori Kasper at Vitamin Shoppe, 1995 W. Jefferson St. in Naperville, IL, and get samples from 10 AM to Noon. Tarah Andrews will be at the Minneapolis, MN store, 3052 Excelsior Blvd. from 10 AM to 2 PM, Rachel Ponder will be at the Ft. Smith, AR store, 3901 Phoenix Ave. from 1 PM to 3 PM, and Whitney Wiser will be at Vitamin Shoppe, 3904 Hillsboro Pike in Nashville, TN from 11 AM until 1 PM. See you out there!