Effects of Different Forms of Resistance Training on Athletic Performance in Soccer

Author: Erik Sigman

In the past two decades there has been an increased discussion on the benefits and drawbacks of resistance training in regards to athletic performance in soccer. When it comes to emphasis on athletic enhancement, soccer has just recently become a sport where collegiate and professional teams have made athletic development a larger priority for players. There seems to be two camps when it comes to the debate on whether soccer players should incorporate resistance training in their training routine. Those in the first camp tend to think in a sense that resistance training won’t help a soccer player become better at “soccer skills” like dribbling, passing, shooting etc. The second camp tend to have the view point that soccer is evolving to become much more reliant on a player’s physical capabilities and resistance training may help athletic development in areas like speed, agility, and explosive power (Silva et al. 2015). Regardless of what camp one may fall into, there are some common beliefs in regards to the benefits and drawbacks of resistance training that the soccer world has adopted. Benefits include increased athletic ability in soccer specific actions like sprinting, cutting, jumping, and explosiveness (Turner and Stewart 2014). Drawbacks include player’s putting on unnecessary muscle mass, becoming “blocky” or “bulky”, and the injury risk of doing resistance training. With all that being said, let’s look at what the research says regarding resistance training and athletic performance in soccer.

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How Does Alcohol Consumption Cause Damage to the Body and Impair Athletic Performance?

Author: Sydney Yotter

It is common knowledge that heavy alcohol consumption has negative effects on the
human body and athletic performance, but how exactly does alcohol affect the body? Excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to decreased efficiency of the immune system, inhibition of reproductive properties, heart problems, damage to the digestive system, decreased brain functionality, problems with waste removal from the body, and decreased bone mineral density (Atkins 2019). While all of these complications can affect an individual’s daily life, one of the most studied consequences of alcohol consumption is lowered bone mineral density, which can lead to a degenerative disease known as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can cause more frequent fractures, especially hip fractures, because of how thin and weak the bones can become. The bone mineral density in individuals with osteoporosis is much lower compared to the healthy bone mineral density of young adults (Chen et al. 2007). Risk for osteoporosis increases for postmenopausal women, due to the lack of the hormone estrogen in their bodies after menopause,
and with age. It makes sense that heavy alcohol consumption would have these damaging effects on our bones, but numerous studies also point towards moderate drinking as a risk factor for low bone mineral density. According to a systemic review and meta-analysis study, those who consume just 1-2 alcoholic drinks per day (14 g or 0.6 oz of pure alcohol) are 1.34 times more likely to be at risk for osteoporosis than those who consume zero alcoholic drinks per day (Cheraghi et al. 2019). Let’s take a closer look at how exactly alcohol works on the skeletal system.

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Altitude Training and How it Affects Athletic Performance

Author: Carmen Houck

As someone who grew up in Colorado, altitude has always been a hot topic of conversation. From people coming to visit and mentioning how they tire quickly to experiencing the difficulty to breathe while climbing 14ers (14,000+ foot peaks), it is a topic that came up
frequently among friends and family. As I got older and started learning more about how the body works, I started seeing the science and rationale behind all those conversations I had growing up. For most people, high altitude just means it’s harder to breathe, but why?

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Fad Diets for Athletes

Author: Annika Weisjahn

There are new diets and trends that seem to come up every year. While fad diets may be very popular and relatively harmless to the regular population, there may be more things to consider when looking at these diets through the eyes of an athlete. These diet plans often need modification to make sure that they are meeting their energy needs, macronutrient, and micronutrient intakes are met to fuel their training and performance goals. (1) A popular trend in these diets is to restrict carbohydrate intake; however, it is also shown that impaired physical performance can also be attributed to a low carbohydrate diet (2). Most people working in the exercise science field will say carbohydrates must make up the better part of an athletes diet if they want to perform at their peak level (2). This is important because in order to fuel muscles in a high intensity workout, they need glycogen in which they get from carbohydrates. However, it is not just carbohydrates that are important to fueling a workout; if you are working out for longer than a few minutes, a workout is fueled by a combination of intra-muscular and extra-muscular carbohydrates, lipids, and a small amount of amino acids (3).

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The Benefits of Dynamic and Static Stretching on Flexibility and Athletic Performance

Author: Nolan Wright

Introduction:

Throughout the average American student’s primary education, from as early as elementary school to as late as high school, PE class was required for every student. At the beginning of class, before we participated in whatever activity our PE teacher had planned for us, she would lead us in stretches because we were taught that stretching would prevent injuries during class. While this is a well-known truth, I do not remember our gym teacher teaching us about how different types of stretching can have different impacts on our athletic performance. I did not even know that there were multiple types of stretches! The reality is that stretches can be divided into two groups, static and dynamic stretches, and your performance and flexibility will depend on which type of stretches you decide to do before your exercise.  

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Effects of Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation on Muscular Strength and Sprint Performance

Author: Shane Feller

Introduction 

The sports supplement industry generally receives a lot of negative feedback from the public due to the tendency of companies to overprice supplements, produce supplements that don’t work as well as they are advertised, and release supplements without much scientific evidence and research supporting their claims.  However, one supplement that has a lot of research backing its claims, is creatine monohydrate. The most well researched sports supplement on the market, with over 700 studies testing its efficacy, creatine monohydrate has strong scientific evidence supporting itself as an effective supplement for muscular strength and lean muscle growth, while being fairly cheap in its base form compared to most supplements. In fact, price ranges for 40 servings of creatine are between $10 and $20. Generally, overpricing of creatine occurs when in the forms of creatine HCl and creatine ethyl ester, which don’t have nearly as much scientific research behind them, and usually contain an artificial flavor addition1.

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Effect of Flexibility on Athletic Performance

Author: Collin Seymour

Flexibility seems to have a big impact in how athletes perform. As an athlete myself, I have felt my body become less flexible over the years. In high school, I felt as though I was extremely flexible, mainly due to my hurdling background in track, but now I’m unable to stretch my legs or arms nearly as far as I used to. This is one of the reasons why I became more interested in how big of a role flexibility plays in athletic performance.

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The Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Muscular Strength and Endurance

Author: Travis Kerr

Intermittent fasting, a common dietary strategy, has gained popularity in the past few years. Many people have implemented this type of diet to assist in trimming fat, without understanding the effects that it can have on strength and endurance performance. There are many ways to implement this type of diet (e.g. 16 hours fasted/8 hours fed, 20 hours fasted/4 hours fed, alternate day 24 hour fasting, etc.), which can lead to differences in results. This is because depending on the type and length of intermittent fast that is chosen, the total daily caloric intake is likely to change.

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