Alex Hutchinson: Brain Training to Boost Performance, Plus: Concurrent Training and Static Stretching – What’s the Bottom Line?
February 25, 2015
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Alex Hutchinson is a writer, physicist and athlete who is a wealth of information on everything in the exercise science world. Alex’s popular blog Sweat Science is featured on runnersworld.com/sweat-science, and on it he highlights the best research going on involving running, endurance sport, athletic performance, nutrition and more. His book: Which Comes First Cardio or Weights is another fabulous source of research-backed truths on the science of exercise.
On this show we cover three major topics including:
- Brain Training Boost Endurance
- The concepts of brain training and combining cognitive and physical tasks,
- What are the results?
- How does this differ from and relate to the Central Governor Theory,
- Mental training athletes were “training themselves to tolerate a harder perceived effort, so when the cognitive task was removed, the effort felt easier.”
- When should you avoid the cognitive and just focus on the physical?
- Practical applications and takeaways from this approach? is it worth it?
- Brain Plasticity in Skill vs. Endurance Sports,
- What is brain plasticity?
- Why do skill athletes show greater motor cortex plasticity?
- Always learning vs. mastering a sport so you go on “autopilot” – pros and cons.
- Personal examples from Alex and Tawnee,
- Brain Training in Your Training Program:
– Thoughts on how we can tie together our brain and training (mind body connection) — i.e. listening to our bodies as the best way to decide how to workout – intensity, duration, etc.
– Mention of Run by Matt Fitzgerald,
- More on brain training,
- Mental imagery.
- Setting the record straight: Does strength training hinder endurance adaptations? Is it generally good or bad for runners or triathletes – and does the type/intensity of strength training depend?
- What does the research say on order of strength vs endurance if you are to do them as back-to-back workouts? Again, does the type of workout for each matter?
- Lunge matrix example.
- The research on static stretching before a workout? Ya or nay?
- No research to show that stretching reduces injury risk, and in fact it can have negative consequences on RPE, etc.
- Alex’s standup desk mentioned.