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For every issue, we draw from the members of the Atlas Fitness staff and team of health and fitness experts to answer your questions on: diet and nutrition, strength and triathlete training, general conditioning, powerlifting, kettlebell sport and conditioning, yoga, and much more. What diet, exercise, and conditioning questions have you always wanted to ask? What information would help you achieve your health, fitness and competition goals? Send your questions to team@atlasfitnessdc.com.

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Muscle Groups and Training

By Garrett Giles

To understand muscle groups and how training certain muscle groups can be advantageous to your workout and increase efficiency, we must first understand muscle contraction and muscle recruitment. Skeletal muscle is made up of very small contractile units. There are two types of units: thick filament called myosin and thin filament called actin. These filament slide over each other thus causing a muscular contraction. Myosin has finger like structures that grab onto the actin, and then pulls the actin to cause a contraction. In order for the myosin to attach on the actin a few other processes must happen first. First, an action potential, also called a nerve impulse, is sent to the muscle via the T- tubules, which then releases calcium from the Sarcoplasmic Reticulum. The calcium then binds onto a structure which sits on the actin called troponin. Once calcium is attached to the troponin, tropomyosin, which acts like a cover keeping myosin from attaching, moves allowing myosin to complete the cross-bridge and grab ahold of the actin to then perform a muscle contraction.

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  • Posted 02.05.17 | Share  


Patience & Community Are Key to Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

On the first, second, third, fourth and fifth of January, you’re committed — so devoted to making real change. 2017 will be the year you start exercising. You’re going to eat healthier and you’re determined to lose weight. You’re excited. You’re ready! But by the ninth, or January 10, the post-holiday slump sets in, and you’re already feeling overwhelmed.

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  • Posted 01.16.17 | Share  


Body Composition Measurements and Why They May Not Be That Important

By Dr. Marc Luko

With the start of a new year comes new fad diets, weight loss programs, and sparked interest in “finally using that exercise bike I bought two years ago.” As a strength and conditioning coach, I am all about individuals meeting their health and fitness goals. With that said, I find that there are some out there that may be looking at the wrong metrics when it comes to determining whether or not they are “fit”, or, losing fat.

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  • Posted 01.02.17 | Share  


You Can (& Should) Still Exercise While on (holiday) Travel

Millions of Americans, more than a few in Washington DC are packing their bags and making travel plans home to spend Christmas with family; maybe you’re among them, and maybe you’re looking forward to a few days to rest, recharge, and relax.

Enjoy. You’ve earned it! But don’t let that hard work end now. Plan to eat a healthy breakfast; avoid excessive alcohol consumption; take a small piece of pie, or say no to dessert altogether; and always, always stick to your exercise routine.

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  • Posted 12.26.16 | Share  


The Most Effective Warmup

By Dr. Marc Luko, PT,  DPT, CSCS

The warmup is one aspect of a workout that is often neglected. Many are quick to go straight to the “meat” of the workout without allowing their bodies time to prepare for the task at hand. Whether at our desks, in the car, or on the couch, many of us spend most of the day sitting down. The issue is that we spend hours being seated with bad posture, which does not stimulate our postural muscles (think: core muscles) or the largest muscle in our body…our glutes. Going straight from seated posture to performing deadlifts and bench presses can lead to injury for that very reason. Let’s think of it this way, if you are about to drive a stick shift, you don’t go straight into fourth gear. In order to go to faster speeds (i.e. working out), you need to switch through all of the preceding gears (i.e. warmup), first. In this article, I am going to address four key components of a warm-up and their importance in your workout routine.

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  • Posted 12.04.16 | Share  


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