Hump Day Hustling – Weekly Research Summary – April 26, 2023

Should you wear a lifting belt? Are seed oils the toxic villain they are made out to be? Answers to those questions and more in this week’s Hump Day Hustling! Enjoy, and if you want to dive deeper with ICE Physio check out our Upcoming Course Dates and Locations


Should you wear a belt?

The weight lifting belt has a way of stirring up incredibly strong opinions which leaves the average patient and/or gym goer without clear guidance when it’s time to do some heavy pulling. Fortunately, The Barbell Physio blog has come through with this review of recent literature to set the record straight. Key take aways: Belts don’t make your core weak, they increase intra-abdominal pressure for a stiffer spine, and allow an athlete to lift more weight.

Bias Check

Achilles loading: What do we actually know?

In our perfect world a clear cut relationship between proper loading, tissue morphology changes, and functional progression should exist. In the real world this recent systematic review makes it clear we’re nowhere near that level of clarity. In short , this paper includes 17 studies looking at pain and disability and its relation to achilles tendon structure change for exercise therapy for Achilles Tendinopathy. Unfortunately No studies reported the relationship between changes in pain and disability and changes in muscle structure and function as it seems we just do not have this process standardized yet. The good news is regardless of exercise protocol folks improved, but we do need to maintain a healthy humility about what our loading is doing at a cellular level until more data surfaces!

Menstrual Cycle

Does it play a role in performance?

Study Link

N = 26 (relatively young at a mean age of ~26 years old, relatively healthy with > 150 min/exercise performed per week, not currently using hormonal birth control, and with a consistent pattern of a normal menstrual cycle)

Intervention: maximal treadmill bout to exhaustion (Bruce Protocol) in both follicular & luteal phases. They also subjectively kept a diary for 3 months to chronicle both symptoms and perception of symptoms on their performance

Results: No statistically significant difference in time to exhaustion or stages complete before failure between phases

TLDR: The phases themselves appear to have no effect on performance, but the belief & perception that the phases do have an effect then directly affects performance.

Seed Oils

The villain they’re made out to be?

It’s very common to hear social media influencers recommend against consumption of seed oils due to causing weight gain, inflammation, and increase in overall chronic disease. Does the evidence back up their enthusiasm?

This open access 8-week, double-blind study examined 42 subjects consuming cottonseed oil (“high-fat”) vs. olive oil (“low-fat”), providing almost all of the food that subjects ate each day.

Subjects consuming the high-fat seed oil reported higher levels of self-reported fullness while also experiencing a statistically significant decrease in circulating ghrelin levels. Overall, the seed oil group actually ate less food than the olive oil group. Both groups experienced decreases in bodyweight, body-fat levels, and BMI.

The fear behind seed oils appears to be unwarranted. Although these results are not conclusive, it seems like we should even be recommending them due to the additional benefits found on feelings of fullness with reduced levels of ghrelin.

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PTonICE Rewind

Did you miss any of our ICE Physio podcasts last week? Well here you go!

Monday: “The what, when, and how of Kegels” (Rachel Moore)
Tuesday: “Tips for improving wrist extension” (Eric Chaconas)
Wednesday: “Put discomfort on display” (Julie Brauer)
Thursday: “Pipeline over product” (Jeff Moore)
Friday: “Protein: a 1 or a 0” (Alan Fredendall)

Thank You! – ICE Faculty

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📢 On Virtual ICE next week we’ll be chatting “Integrating structured mentorship into the clinic” with special guest Tommy Quinzi! Not in our virtual mentorship program? Find out how to enroll and learn more HERE