Nutrition

It’s not unusual for people trying to lose weight to cut out certain types of food or drastically reduce calories. A more conventional approach is to modestly reduce caloric consumption over a long period of time. How does that impact aerobic capacity and muscular strength? Consider the findings of a study recently published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
 
Researchers put 218 normal weight and overweight male and female subjects on a diet that reduced daily caloric consumption by about 11%. Before the intervention, 1 year into the program and 2 years after starting, subjects took an incremental treadmill test and knee strength test. Average bodyweight decreased by about 17 pounds while exercise capacity increased relative to body mass. Strength remained unchanged.
 
Training

There's a thorry among some weight room regulars that raising the heels of your feet might reduce the risk of back injury during squats. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research put this idea to the test using 14 recreational male and female lifters between the ages of 15 and 50.
 
Subjects performed barbell back squats using 80% of their one rep max barefoot, on a flat surface and on a heel raised platform. The raised heel position did not significantly change trunk or lower body muscle activation. Knee and spine positioning also remained pretty much the same, suggesting this tactic might not be all that useful for injury prevention.
 
General Fitness

Track and field athletes have a couple different options for warming up before training or competition. One popular protocol involves dynamic stretching, and a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine recently tested its potential on 12 healthy volunteers.
 
Subjects applied four 30-second sets of dynamic stretching to ankle joints. Measurements taken before and after the warm up showed increased range of motion immediately after stretching. The effect lasted for 15 minutes without changing the mechanical properties of muscle tendons.