• Article

#WHOOPEd Digest, Vol. 31

By Allison Isham

#WHOOPEd Digest, Vol. 31

Cold water immersion as a recovery technique, tips to increase your time asleep, and exercise as a stress reducer.

Monday, December 11th

Looking to reduce injury risk by 30 percent? The FIFA 11+ is traditionally a soccer warm-up, but easy to implement with any sport

  • Non-contact injuries are usually attributed to inappropriate warm-up, muscular fatigue and muscle imbalance.
  • The FIFA 11 program is based on performing this warm-up twice a week, over the course of 10-12 weeks.
  • A study by Sadigursky et al. searched research databases. The sample consisted of 6,334 players, who were split into two groups, an intervention group and a control group.
  • The intervention group had 779 injuries while the control group had 1,219 injuries.
  • Conclusion: FIFA 11 warm-up program can lead to a 30% injury reduction.

Tuesday, December 12th

Tips to increase your hours of sleep

  • Set a regular bedtime and wake time, try to keep them consistent.
  • The environment you sleep in should be conducive to good sleep. For example, curtains to darken the room and reserving your bed for sleep and only sleep.
  • In the evenings, it is important to avoid caffeine. It is also helpful to avoid large, fatty meals.
  • Stress and anxiety can prevent sleep onset or sleep in general. Try to do peaceful exercises such as meditation or paced breathing.

Wednesday, December 13th

Ever wonder how, in a crowded restaurant, we are able to focus on a friend speaking despite other conversations or other stimulus? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have found a new non-invasive approach to how the brain selects sounds

  • A new approach to how the brain singles out a specific stream of sounds from other distracting sounds has been developed by scientists at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Lori Holt, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon, states “deficits in auditory selective attention can happen for many reasons–concussion, stroke, autism or even healthy aging. They are also associated with social isolation, depression, cognitive dysfunction and lower work force participation.”
  • The study involved eight adults listening to a series of short-tone melodies. They listened to one tone while ignoring a distracting tone, then let the scientists know what they heard.
  • Frederic Dick, professor of auditory cognitive neuroscience at Birkbeck College and University College London, states “Like earth scientists who try to understand what combination of soil, water and crop conditions makes some land better for growing a certain crop, as neuroscientists we can start to understand how subtle differences in the brain’s functional and structural architecture might make some regions more ‘fertile ground’ for learning new information like language or music.”

Thursday, December 14th

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR): What is it, how it works and how to implement it into training

  • Clinicians and athletes add blood flow restriction (BFR), to low-load resistance exercises in order to enhance strength and hypertrophic responses.
  • Some individuals do not have the capacity to strength train with heavy loads, whether it be anatomical etc, thus BFR is beneficial for those that need an alternative.
  • However, elite athletes can also benefit from BFR as well.
  • BFR can be used with low loads (20-40% 1 rep max (RM)), short inter-set rest periods (30-60 secs), or relatively high training volumes (50-80 reps per exercise)
  • Consult a clinician or seek information on how to apply BFR safely prior to independently trying this training method.

Wednesday, December 20th

Cold water immersion post HIIT workout, could enhance adaptive and recovery response to training

  • A study by Joo et al., had nine males complete an intermittent running protocol. The protocol consisted of eight 3-minute bouts at 90% V02 max.
  • There was a 3-minute active recovery between the running sequences. Post the completed exercise, the group was split and randomly chosen to recover in a seated rest, or cold water immersion (CWI) (10 minutes at 8 degrees celsius).
  • The study found that after high-intensity exercise, the group that recovered with CWI had a greater adaptive response to acute exercise. The CWI “augments the acute-induces expression of PGC-1beta mRNA in human skeletal muscle compared to exercise,” per se.

Thursday, December 21st

“Can’t Switch Your Focus? Your Brain Might Not Be Wired for It”

  • John Medaglia PhD, and assistant professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University, along with his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania have recently tested 30 subjects on what is called “cognitive flexibility.”
  • Cognitive flexibility is defined as “the brain’s ability to transition from thinking about one concept to another. Think from one dimension (i.e. color of an object) to another (i.e. shape of an object).”
  • The study occurred while the subjects brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning.
  • It suggests some brains are able to switch at a demand due to nature.
  • “Our behavior is determined both by the way is structured, and, to some extent, the way it is dynamic, or changes over time.”- Medaglia
  • The architecture of the white matter of the brain, and the alignment, was associated with greater cognitive flexibility.

Friday, December 22nd

Here’s Why You Should Definitely Keep Running During Stressful Times

  • When stress occurs, there are two trains of thought: continue to exercise to help cope with stress, or address the source of stress and exercise later. New research suggests the first thought is most beneficial.
  • A University of Maryland study found that people who worked out for a half hour and then looked at unpleasant images for 15 minutes had less anxiety than those who did nothing and then saw the images.
  • “The researchers also studied ‘negative affect reactivity,’ or how you emotionally experience unpleasant effects.”
  • Take home point: exercise can help minimize the effects of stressful situations. It doesn’t have to be difficult, just get your blood pumping.


Make sure to check out @whoop on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.