Exercise Physiology; Strength & Conditioning; Exercise Prescription and Programming; Orthopedic Physical Therapy; Clinical Application of Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Therapy
Blood flow restriction; Human and Sport Performance; Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Kyle Coffey, PT, DPT, ACSM-EP is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is a proud "Double Riverhawk."
Coffey is a licensed physical therapist in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New Hampshire and has extensive clinical experience with a variety of patient and client populations in community, hospital, and private practice settings. He holds credentials as a Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP) from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Coffey is also a clinical expert in the application of blood flow restriction and has created and teaches continuing education courses on the syllabu throughout the country and internationally.
Coffey is an active member in national and regional professional organizations associated with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is currently serves on ACSM’s Communications and Public Relations Committee.
This final installment of Design Techniques gives a brief history of the column, tracing its development and maturation, a topical index of the column's back issues, links to related discussion forum topics, and a hint of what's to...
In this installment of his Design Techniques column, Bill Venners discusses the ways in which static fields and methods, which exist outside of objects, fit in a design that's object-oriented. (1,500 words)
In this installment of Design Techniques, Bill gives advice on using runtime class information in Java programs. He talks about the method area of the JVM and the structure of Java objects, upcasting and downcasting, polymorphism and...
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In this installment of my Design Techniques column, I describe my process to understanding Java's interface. I talk about multiple inheritance and the diamond problem, polymorphism and dynamic binding, separation of interface...
In this installment of the Design Techniques column, I propose "the canonical object" as a Java idiom. The article discusses the fundamental services that all objects in general should offer, shows how objects can offer these...
In this installment of the Design Techniques column, Bill proposes the "event generator" as a Java idiom. The article provides a background on the concepts of patterns and idioms, describes the observer pattern, and demonstrates...
This installment of the Design Techniques column gives you design guidelines that pertain to thread safety. It provides a background on the concept of thread safety and shows several examples of objects that are and are not...
This installment of the Design Techniques column discusses design guidelines that pertain to exceptions. It focuses primarily on how to decide when to use exceptions, and gives several examples from the Java API that illustrate...
This installment of the Design Techniques column discusses the design guidelines that pertain to the end of an object's life. Columnist Bill Venners gives an overview of the rules of garbage collection, discusses finalizers, and...
In this installment of the Design Techniques column, brush up on how -- and why -- to divide a class's functionality among its methods. Ever the minimalist, Bill Venners demonstrates how to maximize method cohesion while keeping...
This installment of the Design Techniques column shows how some fundamental software design techniques, like avoiding special data values and minimizing method coupling, apply to Java. (4,000 words)
This installment of the Design Techniques column begins with a quick look at object-design fundamentals, then goes on to discuss various approaches to designing initializers and constructors so as to facilitate the proper...
This first installment of the new Design Techniques column introduces the column and discusses the larger issues involved in designing Java programs. In addition, we'll examine the software development process in general, describe the...
Investment strategies are like diets. People keep switching them, trying to find the Holy Grail. Often it is all about following the latest trend.
Like with diets, applying advanced investing techniques includes two key factors: personalization and consistency. You have to discover what suits your style and commit to it.
This guide gives you an outlook on advanced investing techniques, but if you want to enrich your knowledge you can check Benzinga’s overview of the Best Investment Management Courses.
Taking an investment strategy to the next level is important to maximize returns. Below are five advanced investing strategies to step up your investment.
It is no secret that financial markets move in cycles. Like the four seasons of the year, markets emerge, grow, mature and wither.
Timing the market is attempting to take advantage of the perceived market moves. By applying fundamental and technical analysis, it is possible to outperform simple indexing strategies.
The four stages of a market cycle are:
Characterized by pessimistic sentiment, accumulation starts at or around the bottom of the bearish market. At this point, the retail market has capitulated and the smart money begins to buy and accumulate large positions. The media is bearish, but the market is not making lower lows.
According to legendary fund manager Peter Lynch, this is the time when people are not talking about stocks.
The market has broken out of the bottoming range. Institutions and informed investors recognize this and double down on their best ideas. Charts start showing clear higher highs and higher lows. Eventually, trends reach full market participation — even minimum wage employees are talking about stocks.
This is the top of the market. Sentiment is bullish. Smart money recognizes this and starts selling to market participants. Supply overwhelms the demand and the market structure starts breaking — technically characterized as price pushes through key moving averages (50-day, 200-day) and reversal patterns like double tops or head and shoulders. Volume will be high.
The market starts to turn down sharply. Investors who held for too long along with those who bought near the top are in panic mode. Their selling drives the market down while the smart money waits on the sidelines. This phase can occur on catalyst news like the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.
Fundamental analysis means studying every aspect of the company to unearth true value. It entails digging through the financial statements or calling the investor relations department.
Although it might sound nerdy and academic, fundamental analysis is widespread. A parallel activity is betting.
A few key concepts in fundamental analysis include:
By combining these concepts you’ll answer one of the most common questions in finance: “Is a stock, at its current price, cheap or expensive?”
Technical analysis is a methodology of price forecasting based on historical data — price and volume. The basic premise of technical analysis is that identifiable chart patterns tend to repeat over time.
Fundamental analysts often criticize technical analysis and label it as pseudoscience; however, some patterns work well enough to generate actionable ideas.
Since its modest beginnings in the late 1800s, technical analysis grew into an impressive collection of concepts. Here are three fundamental ones that you should know.
Support and resistance: Levels on the chart where the price struggles to break through. When a price falls to a certain level but cannot proceed further, traders might say that it has found support.
Tactical asset allocation is an advanced investing strategy that focuses on portfolio management to maximize investment portfolio returns. Tactical asset allocation focuses on the balance between the three primary asset classes (stocks, bonds, cash).
Depending on your risk aversion, your initial plan can be 60% stocks, 35% bonds and 5% cash. Yet, as you start recognizing the market maturity (late markup phase), you might reduce the exposure to stocks and end up with 45% stocks, 45% bonds and 10% cash. At the very end of the market cycle, you might be completely in bonds and cash. Now the cycle restarts, and you can get overweight in stocks at cheap valuations.
Although on the institutional level tactical asset allocation might involve complicated quantitative strategies, as a retail investor you can keep it simple. Keeping an eye on the market cycles and doing a simple tactical asset allocation can have a positive outcome on your absolute returns.
Investments into any asset class excluding stocks, bonds or cash are alternative investments.
Innovative alternative investments also exist.
Collectible items: As a modern variant you might see Nike sneakers, Lego sets or Pokémon cards. These offer potentially high returns but have drawbacks like storage costs, liquidity and the prerequired expertise.
Online businesses: Although they offer a potentially high return on investment (ROI), they need significant expertise to run properly. Nonetheless, projects like EF Capital are solving this problem by turning online businesses into high-yield passive income. As online businesses mature, you might see them become the next hot asset class.
After expanding your knowledge, you might start to overthink your investments. If finance is not your main career, be ready to resist this urge. Overthinking may lead you down the rabbit hole of diminishing returns, where you will spend many hours squeezing a few more points out of the market.
A good rule of thumb would be to check on your investments quarterly. By then you will have data on earnings reports, central bank rates and plenty of other news events. If a certain investment is not performing as expected, be ready to scale out and allocate your money to better opportunities.
Advanced investing techniques offer you an opportunity to create strong returns.
No matter what your profession is, your particular set of skills might provide you an advantage over a finance professional since the latest developments in your industry will reach you much faster.
By understanding the cyclical nature of the stock market, fundamental analysis, technical analysis, tactical asset allocation and alternative investments, you can develop a framework that will work in any market condition. That time might be one of the best investments you will make.
Value investing is a strategy that involves researching and analyzing undervalued assets and waiting for the market to recognize their true value over time. It requires patience and a disciplined approach and is popular among investors like Warren Buffett.
The best investment strategy depends on individual factors such as goals, risk tolerance, time horizon and stock market conditions. Diversifying investments across asset classes is recommended to spread risk and potentially maximize returns. Taking a long-term perspective and avoiding emotional investment decisions is beneficial. Thorough research, staying updated on market trends and seeking professional advice are important. Ultimately, the best trading strategy aligns with an individual’s goals and risk appetite.
To formulate an investment strategy, you need to identify your goals and risk tolerance. Research different investment options and consider diversification. Stay updated on market trends and economic indicators. Regularly review and adjust your strategy and consult a financial adviser for guidance.
Despite its 48-month run of more than one million firearms purchased in the U.S., firearm sales have decreased in July 2023 according to the FBI and NSSF. Is this a fact of "the summer lull," or is the market beginning to stabilize after its reaction to social unrest and a world-wide pandemic?
Imagine you’ve just completed a tough upper-body workout. Your muscles feel a bit tired, but all in all you’re able to go about the rest of your day just fine.
The next morning, you wake up and realize the back of your shoulder blade feels stiff. When you rub your shoulder muscles, it feels like you’re prodding a little gumball under your skin. Every time you try to move it around, the area feels tight, with slight pangs of pain.
Over the course of the next few days, your back slowly loosens up and eventually your shoulder returns to feeling normal. It’s probably something you’d like to avoid or minimize in the future if possible, though. So what was going on with that muscle knot?
I’m an exercise physiologist. The goal of much of my research is to understand how different movements and forms of exercise place stress on the muscles. Figuring out programs to maximize performance, regardless of training goal, goes beyond what to do during the workout – it’s also about how best to prepare for and recover from the stress exercise places on the body.
Some of the most common questions I’ve heard during my years as a personal trainer and researcher in this field involve muscle knots. What are they and how can you get rid of them when they happen?
The knots you detect in your muscle, which may feel as small as a marble or even as large as a golf ball, are called myofascial trigger points. The fascia is the thin layer of connective tissue that surrounds the muscle.
When your muscle gets damaged – even just a little – it can cause inflammation in the bands of muscle and the fascial layer above. And that clump of inflamed tissue is a myofascial trigger point. The little lumps are typically tender to the touch and can limit your range of motion or lead to pain during various movements. Muscle knots don’t show up on medical imaging scans, and researchers are still trying to figure out the exact physiological mechanisms within the muscle that cause this reaction.
Myofascial trigger points tend to develop when a muscle is irritated by a new or more-strenuous-than-usual repetitive motion. For example, you may develop knots in the muscles you stressed the most during a particularly intense day of exercise. They can also crop up if you introduce a new movement pattern to your daily workout. Imagine adding a couple of days of running to your typical weekly routine of just lifting weights. Since running is a new movement, you may notice some knots in your calves, which you asked to do a lot of new work.
You don’t need to be a gym rat, though, to be familiar with muscle knots. For instance, if you are consistently hunched over a computer all day, you may notice knots developing in your upper back and shoulders. Most people wouldn’t consider sitting at a desk strenuous, but holding one position for hours at a time places stress on your muscles. Enter muscle knots.
One of the simplest solutions to the problem of muscle knots is to just wait. It takes time for the muscles to adapt to a new motion or recover from stress. Usually within a week or two a muscle knot will resolve on its own.
You can also help speed the process of recovery. Some options include massages; dry needling, which involves injecting a very thin needle into the trigger point to attempt to break up some of the tissue and increase blood flow to the area; and even electrical stimulation. The goal of each technique is to decrease the tautness of the fascia and muscle in the area and increase blood flow. More blood passing through provides nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissue, enhancing recovery.
While these techniques are worth considering, there are other more cost-effective things you can do yourself at home. A fairly simple way to help alleviate muscle knots is stretching. Stretching may be particularly valuable if you typically sit in an awkward position all day long. Muscles held that way under consistent stress for several hours benefit from being put through different ranges of motion. For example, after sitting for a while, some simple shoulder rolls and neck rotations can alleviate some of the tension in those muscles, helping to avoid or reduce the accumulation of muscle knots.
Another method you can try at home is called self-myofascial release. The idea behind it is the same as massaging, except this method can be done in the comfort of your own home using a foam roller, rolling device, a hard ball, like a lacrosse ball or softball, or even a small piece of PVC pipe.
For example, if you have knots in the quadriceps muscle group on the front of your thigh, you can lie on a foam roller and gently roll your leg back and forth on it. Alternatively, you can roll the device up and down the muscle group, keeping the pressure within your comfort range. Because you apply as much pressure as you like, you’re able to work within your own pain tolerance – a benefit, since it can be uncomfortable to alleviate myofascial trigger points. You can use this technique across the body anywhere you have muscle knots.
While they can be annoying, muscle knots are nothing to worry about. Remember, being consistent with exercise habits and moving throughout the day can help keep knots from developing in your muscles in the first place. If you do notice muscle knots popping up, simply stretching at the end of the day or going through some self-myofascial release techniques are simple, effective ways to help alleviate this issue and avoid future problems.
This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. The Conversation has a variety of fascinating free newsletters.
It was written by: Zachary Gillen, Mississippi State University.
Zachary Gillen does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
John Freedman's articles specialize in management and financial responsibility. He is a certified public accountant, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and has been writing since 1998. His career includes public company auditing and work with the campus recruiting team for his alma mater.
This article originally appeared on Trail Runner
One of the notable syllabus that popped up at the American College of Sports Medicine conference earlier this month was muscle oxygen monitoring. (For more from the ACSM conference, see my previous updates on supershoes and sports psychology.) I wrote an article last year on muscle oxygen sensors, wondering if they would turn out be "the next great fitness wearable." They're not there yet, but the new research at ACSM and elsewhere is attempting to build a case.
Quick background: muscle oxygen sensors for athletes are matchbox-sized devices that you stick onto a relevant muscle. For runners or cyclists, that's somewhere on your legs. The device uses near-infrared spectroscopy to assess what fraction of the hemoglobin and myoglobin molecules in the tissue are carrying oxygen. If the number is increasing, it means that your heart and lungs are delivering more oxygen than the muscle is using. If it's decreasing, it means demand exceeds supply and exhaustion awaits. The main player in the muscle oxygen space is Moxy, whose devices currently sell for $879.
The new results at ACSM come from a group led by Brett Kirby at Nike, working with other key members of Nike's Breaking2 team: former colleague Brad Wilkins of the University of Oregon, plus Ida Clark, Anni Vanhatalo, and Andrew Jones of the University of Exeter. And the question it addresses is very relevant to the pursuit of a two-hour marathon: is muscle oxygen still a useful metric after you've already been exercising for two hours?
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Back in 2021, Kirby and colleagues published data showing that muscle oxygen measurements can reveal when you've crossed a "critical metabolic rate," and how much time you have left before exhaustion once you've crossed it. The new data compares quadriceps muscle oxygen data taken during all-out three-minute sprints when you're fresh to similar data taken after two hours of moderately hard cycling. The absolute numbers are different: you actually maintain higher muscle oxygen levels when you're exhausted, presumably because other sources of fatigue prevent you from digging as deep during the sprint. But the muscle oxygen trends--how quickly it's increasing or decreasing--still accurately predict when you'll provide up. That's a big step toward demonstrating that muscle oxygen might be useful in the field, not just the lab.
Another new study, this one published earlier this month in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, makes the case that muscle oxygen sensors might be able to replace cumbersome lactate testing in some contexts. It was led by Philip Batterson of Oregon State University (and also includes Kirby and others as co-authors). Lactate testing has been used in exercise science labs for decades, and in latest years portable lactate monitors requiring a drop of blood from a finger or ear prick have grown in popularity. After I wrote about the "Norwegian Method" of double threshold training, which relies heavily on lactate testing to maintain the appropriate intensity, the main question I got was how to implement this sort of training without the hassle of repeated lactate testing. I didn't have a great answer.
The new study essentially administered a standard lactate testing protocol, alternating three minutes of running with 30 seconds of rest (during which the blood was collected for lactate testing), with the intensity of the running stages ramping up until the subjects reached exhaustion. This sort of test produces a characteristic lactate curve, from which you can calculate two distinct thresholds: LT1, where lactate first begins increasing from its resting values, and LT2, sometimes called lactate turnpoint, where it increases more sharply and will never stabilize even if you keep the pace the same. (For more on the admittedly confusing terminology of thresholds, see this deep dive.)
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During the lactate test, the subjects also wore Moxy monitors on their quadriceps (and elsewhere, which we'll ignore). The key finding is that muscle oxygen produced a curve just like the lactate curve, with two identifiable thresholds that were statistically indistinguishable from the lactate thresholds. This suggests that a muscle oxygen monitor, which requires no bloodletting or inconvenient breaks in your workout, might be able to stand in for lactate testing.
There are some caveats. Most notably, it's not the real value of muscle oxygen that gives you the information you need. Instead, it's the trend: how quickly it's increasing or decreasing. And there's another catch: whenever you rest, muscle oxygen increases sharply. Then when you start exercising again, it decreases sharply before settling down to a more steady slope. So the analysis in the new study (and previous studies) ignores all readings during the first 60 seconds of each exercise stage, then calculates the slope from the subsequent data.
Here's some trial data from one of the incremental tests. The dots show muscle oxygen readings. Whenever the curve is increasing sharply, those are the 30-second rest periods. When it's decreasing sharply (red lines), that's the data that's omitted. The "real" slopes are shown with orange lines:
The key thing to notice here is that at the lower intensities early in the test (on the left), the orange slopes point upward. That means oxygen supply is greater than demand in the muscle. At the higher intensities later in the test (on the right), the slopes are progressively steeper downward. That means demand exceeds supply. The critical metabolic threshold, where the orange line would be horizontal, would be at a pace somewhere between the third and fourth stages. Plotting the slopes of the orange lines on a separate graph gives you the equivalent of a lactate curve, and should enable you to use real-time muscle oxygen readings to stay at a desired intensity level if you decide to try training Norwegian-style.
There's still a lot of math going on here. When I spoke to researchers in this space last year, the general sentiment was that muscle oxygen offered useful insights, but that the challenge would be making those insights accessible (not to mention affordable) to the average consumer. I think that assessment remains true for now, but you can start to see glimmers of what a hypothetical consumer-friendly muscle oxygen sensor might look like in the future--and, more importantly, why you might want one.
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Founder of BeUniqueness.
Navigating the intricacies of B2B operations and maintaining a high-level customer experience can be quite a challenge, especially when confronted with budget constraints. However, a thorough understanding of the customer journey, complemented by cost-effective strategies, can remarkably elevate this experience.
Drawing from my years working in B2B marketing, here are 12 budget-friendly techniques that can uplift the customer experience your B2B enterprise provides.
Understanding your customers' needs, preferences and desires is crucial to meeting and exceeding their expectations. You can use tools like customer surveys and customer relationship management platforms to get essential insights about your customer base. These tools offer a nuanced understanding of customer preferences, which can help you formulate future strategies.
Thoroughly map out your customer journey, from discovery to purchase. This way, you can anticipate their needs at every stage and provide an exceptional customer experience that caters to their specific requirements.
A clear depiction of the customer journey also will enable you to pinpoint areas for improvement, leading to a better-aligned strategy and heightened customer satisfaction.
A personalized approach to communicating with customers demonstrates your commitment to offering them a superior customer experience. If you're writing emails to customers, address them by name. If you're crafting social media content, make sure it resonates with their needs and preferences.
With the power of personalized communication, you can forge stronger bonds with your customers, fostering a sense of trust and loyalty that extends beyond mere transactional relationships.
It's not always a cakewalk to deliver exactly what the customer is expecting. But here's the thing, even when the results aren't exactly what they hoped for, as long as you keep your customers updated, you're usually golden, in my experience.
And no matter how rocky the ride gets, it's crucial to be honest. Say a customer is asking for information that you don't have yet. There's no point in playing hide and seek, right? It's better to just say, "I'm in the same boat as you, still waiting, but I promise I'll keep you posted."
In a nutshell, what's important in B2B is customer service that's as clear as a bell, honest and always on point. That's my secret sauce in this field.
Customer data offers insights into their behavior and requirements. By leveraging this data, you can cater to customer needs before they explicitly express them and enhance your customer experience through targeted strategies and personalized interactions.
Employee training is crucial for ensuring that your team can deliver superior customer experiences. A team that understands the nuances of customer service and can exceed customer expectations will be a valuable asset to your company.
Invest in regular and comprehensive training programs to equip your team with the necessary skills and understanding to deliver on this front. Well-trained employees can significantly enhance the customer experience, offering a level of service that is both efficient and personalized.
A user-friendly website is an essential component of a superior customer experience. Your website should be easy to navigate and quick to load, and it should offer value to the visitor. Conduct regular audits of your website to identify areas for improvement.
An optimized website not only improves customer experience, but it also increases the likelihood of return visits.
Offering multichannel support increases accessibility for your customers. Provide multiple touchpoints for communication, including email, phone, live chat or social media, to enable customers to reach out via their preferred method. This approach acknowledges the diverse communication preferences of customers, catering to their convenience and ensuring a smooth and seamless experience.
Responding to customer inquiries promptly and effectively demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction. Quick and effective resolution of issues fosters a sense of trust and reliability.
The more responsive you are to your customers' needs and concerns, the more they feel valued and cared for. In the fast-paced world of B2B operations, responsiveness can significantly influence customer perception, thereby shaping their overall experience with your brand.
Customer feedback can offer valuable insights into their needs and your performance. Regularly gathering such feedback will help you understand their requirements better and make improvements in your offerings accordingly.
B2B events are an excellent platform for understanding industry trends and interacting with potential customers. The valuable insights you gain from these events can guide your strategy for improving your customer journey.
Social proof, in the form of testimonials and case studies, can help you build trust with potential customers. It also serves as a powerful tool in building credibility, convincing prospective customers of the quality of your offerings based on the positive experiences of others.
When potential customers trust you, they're more likely to have a better overall experience with your brand.
Improving the B2B customer experience is a comprehensive task that involves understanding your customers, analyzing their journey and optimizing your business strategies to meet their needs.
With these cost-effective strategies, you can craft an experience that satisfies your B2B customers and makes them advocates for your brand. When your customers succeed, so do you.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?