Muscle News Daily April 28 2014, 0 Comments

Can genetic testing predict who will gain muscle and improve their cardio fitness?

This is usually the stuff of science fiction. Imagine if you can take a simple test to predict if you have any chance of getting the muscles you only dreamed of. Imagine if you can predict if your sweating at the gym will pay off with better cardio fitness. Imagine no more. I've seen a few of these studies in the literature over the last couple of years. Seems like there are tests out there that can predict this very issue. First, lets take a look at the new research study that got me thinking on this.

The latest study looked at skeletal muscle transcriptomes (no, there isn't a simple translation to these big words!) and found that these were widely different among groups described as non responders, modest responders and extreme responders to gaining muscle after resistance training. It doesn't stop there.

A previous study (the full free article can be found here) found that the high responders to resistance training demonstrated differential regulation of skeletal muscle micro RNA expression. In plain English, our ability to gain muscle may already be predetermined, when we always thought that things like sex, age, diet, physical activity level and previous training status were responsible. 

How about cardio fitness? Similar results exist. A study in 2010 showed that a simple test can predict whether you're going to see the best gains after exercise training. (full study is here)The researchers even set up a company to take advantage of this testing. Check out the company website here

What causes more arthritis after ACL reconstruction? Bone-patellar-tendon-bone autografts or hamstring autografts?

An interesting new study pitted the two procedures against each other, looking at a minimum time frame of 5 years after reconstruction. They looked at 12 random controlled trials. The verdict? Most parameters weren't different, such as return to preinjury activity, extension deficit, flexion deficit, etc. However, radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis was more predominant in those that received the bone-patellar-tendon-bone autograft. The study also found an increased incidence of anterior knee pain and kneeling pain through their meta -analysis. Like so many other studies, they still recommend more high quality trials, but its certainly something to take into consideration if you are looking to get ACL repair, or if you need to offer some advice to your patient or client. 

Is it really beneficial to add passive extension mobilization to an exercise program for osteoarthritis of the knee?

As trainers and health professionals, we're seeing increasing trends to get the patient or client more active. Exercise always seems to be the main focus of any recovery or increase in performance. However, lets not forget some of the old treatment techniques such as mobilization. A study in the journal Knee found that combining passive mobilization and exercise significantly improved extension range of motion. Good to see that it reinforces the old philosophy of not putting all your eggs in one basket. Use a combination of treatment techniques and you'll always get better results.