Supplements

Sodium bicarbonate is known to chemistry students as NaHC03 and to people preparing food in the kitchen as baking soda. This form of salt has a number of uses, and a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests it might be able to help reduce neuromuscular fatigue.
 
Ten basketball players consumed 0.2 grams of sodium bicarbonate per kilogram of body weight or a placebo 90 or 60 minutes before participating in a simulated game. Baking soda did help reduce knee extensor muscle fatigue, but didn’t improve 15 meter sprint time or layup scoring percentage. Researchers speculate that sodium bicarbonate might help protect the contractile elements of muscle fibers.
 
Training

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a popular way to intensify your cardio day. Adding an anaerobic element to that HIIT workout might benefit athletes in a variety of sports, and a study published in the journal Medicina dello Sport tests this theory on soccer and basketball players as well as cyclists.
 
Forty-four athletes were tested before and after performing 8 weeks of maximum velocity sprint-endurance intervals twice a week. Active recovery periods started with a 1:2 work to rest ratio, progressing to 1:1 and finally a 2:1 ratio of work to rest.
 
Compared to before the program began, maximum oxygen uptake increased 0.8% to 6.5% with basketball players realizing the best results. Anaerobic threshold improved between 5.8% and 9.7% with no difference between types of athletes.
 
Training

It’s not unusual for weight room regulars to look forward to their turn on the bench press. Squats are another story. A study recently published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests recovering from a leg day workout might not be the same as when your work upper body muscle groups.
 
A dozen healthy young males performed 5 sets of 2-minute maximal voluntary contractions using knee extensor muscles. They got 8 minutes of rest between sets. On another day, they did the same workout using elbow flexors.
 
The average decrease in a subject’s ability to contract muscles was 12% greater after training leg muscles. White total fatigue was greater on legs, peripheral fatigue was greatest when working the elbows.