ARX Impresses at the 2022 TACSM Conference in Waco!
We recently spent a couple of days is Waco, Texas and sponsors and exhibitors at the Texas Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine or TACSM, a multi-disciplinary professional and scientific society dedicated to the generation and dissemination of knowledge concerning the motivations, responses, adaptations, and health aspects of people engaged in sport and exercise.
TACSM Strength Training Research In Support of ARX
We’re trying to democratize strength training, and towards that end we are very interested in promoting solid research and its prolific spread into the practical training community.
There were many, many studies presented at the conference. Three that were of particular interest to us were:
- Resistance Training may Mitigate Age-related Decline in Physical Function—whereas the bone and muscle loss associated with aging (“sarcopenia”) is widespread and increasing each year, this group of researchers observed evidence that resistance-trained older adults outperformed their non-resistance-trained peers, and their data suggest that older adults who engage in regular resistance training maintain physical function similar to that of younger adults.
- Resistance Training and Quality of Life Among Younger and Older Adults—the researchers found that older populations that engage in strength training have similar physical quality of life scores as younger populations that engage in strength training, and that resistance training may be an effective modality to improve or maintain quality of life as individuals move from the younger to the older age group.
Light Therapy Device for Entrainment of Circadian Rhythm Desynchronization in Microgravity—okay fine, this one’s not directly about strength training, but any further research that promotes circadian rhythm health is right up our alley. Robust circadian rhythm = robust recovery from strength training = production of desired adaptive responses. In this study, a light therapy device was shown to help entrain the circadian cycles of astronauts without access to the 24-hour day/night cycle of Earth. Very cool implications for those in far northern or far southern latitudes, as well as those whose lifestyles compel them to live mostly indoor lives.
Let’s Have a Talk: “Viewing Muscle Hypertrophy Through a Magnifying Glass,” by Dr. Mike Roberts, Ph.D.
We were extremely proud to also sponsor Dr. Mike Roberts, Ph.D. as he presented recent research in a talk entitled, “Viewing Muscle Hypertrophy Through a Magnifying Glass.”
You can imagine why we were so interested in sponsoring this talk in particular.
If you recall from our writing on How Exercise Works, there’s a basic repeatable pattern of Stimulus => Organism => Response.
ARX maximizes the exercise stimulus more efficiently, safely, and quantifiably than any other tool currently available. So we’ve got that covered.
What Dr. Roberts’ talk covered, instead, was the mechanisms involved in Step 2 of that process. Exactly how does the organism produce the type of adaptive responses that ARX workouts provoke?
Talk Nerdy To Me
The most intriguing (to us) elements of his presentation were as follows:
- Myofibrils inside the sarcolemma are not arranged in parallel cylinders like a tube of raw spaghetti noodles, which is the image you’ll see in physiology and medical textbooks. Instead, we now know that they are arranged into an intertwined web of contractile fibers that cross over, interrupt, and fork off from each other.
- Mitochondria inside muscle cells are not circles or “jelly beans,” but are instead a reticulum/web that exists along the length of the muscle fiber web. Far more integrated than previously thought.
- It used to be agreed that damage to the muscle fibers (best accomplished through properly-loaded eccentric contractions) provokes the differentiation of satellite cells and the deployment of macrophages, and these were the only mechanisms by which the body repaired the damage to build more muscle tissue. But we now have evidence that muscle damage actually causes new nuclei to be migrated to the site of the damage through microtubules. After localized damage, myonuclei migrate to injury sites and locally deliver messenger RNA for cellular reconstruction. Repair of this type without satellite cells was thought to be impossible until this 2021 study described this phenomenon.
- It’s been understood for a while that resistance training favorably alters our gene expression. But we now have evidence that resistance training also alters the mitochondrial DNA in favorable ways as well. This study is the first evidence showing that strength training alters the mitochondrial DNA methylation environment in skeletal muscle. The observed alterations may enhance mitochondrial gene transcription, and strength training evokes mitochondrial methylation profiles in older subjects to mimic younger subjects. In other words, strength training not only makes your DNA function like a younger person, it actually alters your mitochondrial DNA to perform like a younger person.
If I lost you on these three points, no worries. This is cutting edge stuff, and I promise we’ll always be here to summarize and help you separate the signal from the noise.
A Distinct Success
While it’s always a pleasure to give people their first ARX experiences—and we did a LOT of that over the two days of the conference—it is equally important to us that we help the field of exercise research and the health industry move forward in knowledge while helping provide practical solutions.
We build the tools that produce the results, and the research community studies why it’s working. Both are necessary, and we appreciate the opportunity to share ARX with this group of forward thinkers.
A big thanks to everyone involved, and we’ll see you next year!
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