Memes and Motivational Posters #29

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Memes and Motivational Posters #29

Varying Weight Training Intensity Increases Growth Hormone In Women

How Weight Training Increases Growth Hormone

This study produced by the American Physiological Society found that women who are involved in a long term weight training program will produce more growth hormone. The study involved  the following scientists and universities : Kraemer, Jeff S. Volek, Barry A. Spiering and Carl M. Maresh of the University of Connecticut, Storrs; Bradley C. Nindl, U.S Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, Mass.; James O. Marx, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Lincoln A. Gotshalk, University of Hawaii at Hilo; Jill A. Bush, University of Houston, Texas; and Jill R. Welsch, Andrea M. Mastro and Wesley C. Hymer, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Penn.  It seems that the female body is more complex than previously thought. This study was produced in 2006 and was published the American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism. The investigation shows that women are capable of building strength and muscle. It also allowed physiologists to understand to a greater degree how weight training in general improves metabolic function and muscle mass. Growth hormone was responsive to moderate and heavy exercise under regimens that contained 3 to 12 repetitions with varying loading. If women are attempting to build as much strength as possible then their load bearing activities must vary. This is also beneficial for building a stronger skeleton and avoiding bone related diseases. The role of endocrine function is more intricate than previously thought. This is why women’s endocrine physiology must be considered to create training programs to enhance performance.

         Hormones are chemical messengers that are transported through the blood stream. They are directed by an endocrine gland  or isolated gland cells which allows for a physiological response to be triggered. This happens in cells that contain receptors for a particular hormone. Hormones can be categorized in three different classes.

Hormone function

These classes are peptides, monoamines, and steroids. The pituitary gland must labor hard to maintain  Hypothalamic–pituitary–target-organ axis. Hormones are just one way in which the human body can communicate from cell to cell. Gap junctions, paracrines, and neurotransmitters perform these functions. Growth hormone acts as a repair worker acting as a builder. Its function is anabolic based. Somatotropin (growth hormone)  expains why children rapidly grow when the reach a particular stage in puberty. The pituitary gland is the conductor, which resides near the hypothalamus. It has a posterior  and anterior  section which both sections produce hormone for the body.  Hormones are not only important to communication between organ systems, but they do effect the performance and training of an athlete.

     The endocrine function is different for females compared to males. It was once believed that women were at a physical fitness disadvantage, because they produced more estrogen. Men’s greater testosterone allows for a body of lower body fat percentage and more muscle mass. However, it seems that when women train at a certain intensity, growth hormone acts a source of muscle and bone development. So, there is not a hormonal disadvantage rather a physiological difference. If the female body does not produce high amounts of testosterone, it merely relies on another hormone to produce bone and muscle growth in response to stimuli.  Depending on the fitness training stimuli the results would be better for building strength on ones that cause growth hormone to respond. Growth hormone is produced in the pituitary gland and has other functions. It contributes to halting tissue break down, fighting stress fractures, and improves metabolic function.

Growth hormone molecules  are composed of 191 amino acids. These molecules are capable of fragmenting into smaller units. These fragments can attach themselves to other molecules. Growth hormone can also attach itself to binding protein. There exists 100 variations of the growth hormone molecule. Growth hormone comes in different forms depending on its function and role in a particular task.  What researchers did in this study was to used the technique of measuring immune response. Immunoassays are examinations that are conducted by physiologists to detect changes in the immune system. The   tibia line rat growth assay also detects biological function of hormones.To find out more the experiment involved subjects doing exercise for a certain period of time.

        The experiment involved subjects separating into two groups. The first group would train upper bodies only. The second group of participants would perform total body training . The reason for separating the training in this fashion was obvious. If women have lower levels of upper body strength and can increase it through training, it would be easier to detect hormonal or physical changes in this region. Women do not have stronger legs than men, but are closer in strength to men in that region of the body.

There was also a subdivision within those groups. Half used heavier  weights with fewer repetitions. The other sections used lighter one with a more repetitions going up to twelve. Blood samples were acquired both prior and after the training experiment. This experiment lasted for 24 weeks. This was enough to make several conclusions and assessments. The presence of growth hormone depended on the exercise or training regimen used. Growth hormone’s appearance varied with the test used  for detection. This implies that the pituitary gland adjusts the amount of growth hormone relative to weight training stimuli. The body possibly has the ability to adjust the amount of growth hormone or type depending on the activity. The larger sized variants of growth hormone will be produced more if a woman does more heavy lifting.

sperling_fig2_450_288_42087 Growth hormone has multiple functions in the human body. There is a possibility that it has an effect on muscle fiber distribution fiber itself. Growth hormone also contributes to both amino acid transport and metabolic tissue energy expenditure. There are different types of growth hormone, but they will not respond in the same way. It is unknown what effect oral contraceptives would have on women in relation to this. The authors of the study intend to investigate that further. There should be some factors that could have effected the experiment. The tests given may not be as precise when measuring hormone changes in the blood stream. It does not seem like a major factor, however could women’s menstrual cycles effected them during the training sessions? Also it should be accounted for the fitness level of the participants. If there were women who had weight training experience, this may cause an alteration in data. If another experiment were to be done it may have to be another subdivision with women in an experienced or non-experienced weight training group. So far, it looks as if this is correct, but it needs more study.

           This would seem like an advantage in terms  of endocrinology in regards to women embarking on fitness programs. This would not be enough to close the physical strength gap between the sexes. Growth hormone as the study indicates functions similar in a role of what testosterone who do in a male under a particular training regimen. It is not an exact substitute, rather it is a difference produced from sexual dimorphism. Puberty and the physical changes that come from it explain the differences in elements of physical fitness capacity. Women produce lower levels of testosterone, but it does serve a purpose in their bodies. Bone strength and ovarian function are the roles testosterone plays in females. The hormone may also be important to women’s sexual functioning as well. The physical changes are documented by the Tanner scale, a chart that displays the gradual development of the body during puberty. James Tanner developed the modern growth chart as a guide for pediatricians. He also was a pioneer in using human growth hormone to treat children with endocrine disorders related to body development. During the tanner stages men’s testicles will increase in size increasing the amount of free testosterone in the body. Ovaries produce more estrogen compared to androgens. There are five stages on the tanner scale in which genitals and body composition will change due to the function of the endocrine system. Pubic hair emerges in both sexes and physical growth will transition a child’s body to a full grown adult. Men get their strength spurts around the fourth and fifth tanner scales. Women do not get strength spurts during this stage of the human life cycle.

Prior to puberty there is no difference in strength levels between boys and girls. When puberty causes hormonal changes which increases men’s physical fitness capacity. This mean under the same  training conditions women would not reach the same strength levels. Theoretically, if a woman were to train with a method that increased her somatotropin levels, she may get stronger than she would have with another technique.There still is a question about what are the full extent of women’s physical capabilities see as it has only been recently that there has been study on this subject. The nature and function of hormones relative to training seems more intricate than what exercise physiologists would have expected. This new information could also contribute to medical advancements as well. There is still more to learn about the human body and women’s bodies in particular.

 

 

Varying Weight Training Intensity Increases Growth Hormone In Women

Mina Farook: The Main Reason Women Should Build Muscle

Why Women Should Build Muscle

Mina Farook a weightlifter and athlete explains why women need to build muscle. This is not for the purpose of a fitness trend or sudden leisure activity, rather for the improvement and maintenance of women’s health. As more information is being uncovered by biology and health science, there are more techniques to combat chronic illness and other health risks. Women should be physically active to have a high quality of health. Women on average live longer than men. Having longevity also increases the risk of getting age related diseases such as dementia or heart disease. Taking the necessary steps to preserve health can reduce risk factors. Mina Farook hopes that women building muscle will be the next beauty trend. To a degree it has, with crossfit and women’s involvement in sport at a record high. Farook gives a basic explanation of strength training and proceeds to give the benefits it gives in terms of health. Strength training can improve not only muscle and bone health, but protect the body at a cellular level.

       The general definition of strength training as Farook explains involves using resistance to induce muscular contraction. This results in the building of strength, anaerobic endurance, and skeletal muscle. One misconception must be addressed. A persistent myth is that women’s bodies are not designed for strength and that such training is not for women. These ideas are false and based around the frailty myth. Women’s muscle cells are the same compared to men’s muscle cells. The difference is related to muscle fiber type, size, and endocrinology. Women could benefit more form strength training. Another myth is that women cannot not build muscle. This is incorrect as well. Muscular hypertrophy can be induced by weight training. Depending on diet and training method women can gain considerable size on relative to their skeletal frame.

Women’s bodies can respond to training stimuli. There has been a longtime stigma about women and exercise, which as been decreasing over the past decades. The old pseudoscientific convictions are being discredited about women’s physical abilities. Women can now enjoy the health and psychological benefits of physical activity. There is a possibility that strength training may be a good anti-aging technique. Besides the obvious health benefits there is also a paradigm shift that women go through in the fitness culture. Farook explains it best as “imagine a process of living that actually makes you super human.” She delineates further : “imagine a lifestyle that makes you better, stronger, and smarter and keeps on improving your personality.” As Farook articulated it is more than just working out to look a certain way rather, it is a transformation in mentality. Women just do not want to look strong they want to be stronger mentally and physically. There is a new found sense of self and confidence. This spreads to other areas of their lives.

There has been a new era of human history reached. Women are enjoying more power and living longer lives than ever before. There are still some areas, which women lag behind. There are nations in which gender disparities are wider. However, it is only a matter of time before these problems will be reduced. Reproductive rights and access to adequate healthcare are challenges facing women globally. There is a means of taking control of ones health. Women are becoming more active in sports and fitness. Strength training is no longer considered a male only activity. Women can lift weights, use kettle bells, and other exercise equipment.

It can be more than just a hobby or serious sports endeavor. There are enormous benefits that can improve and maintain health. Mina Farook only examined the benefits from the point of mitochondrial physiology, but it goes beyond that aspect. Keeping the skeletal, muscular, and circulatory systems healthy protects a person for chronic illnesses.

       Mitochondria are essential to life. These organelles must take carbohydrates and fatty acids then break them down for energy production. This allows fro the generation of adenosine triphospahte. Mitochondria also have the ability to synthesize proteins for their own use. They are involved in the transcription process of both DNA and RNA. Ribonucleic acid then does transcription for amino acids. Amino acids are the components of proteins.

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ATP has to transport chemical energy to allow for metabolism. ATP cannot be stored so this requires consistent production within mitochondria. This explains why mitochondria can take up to 25 % cell volume. Mitochondria are so important to biological function cells certain cells can have as many as 2500. The average cell can use up to 10 billion ATP a day. An average adult would needs 3.0 × 1025 ATP to be functional. The typical athlete would be using more considering their activity level would be higher compared to an average person. The athlete requires more, because the higher activity level demands it.

This is no simple feat, seeing as ATP has to be recycled from ADP close to a 1000 times a day. There could be close to 250 g of ATP present in the cell. This correlates to to at least 4.25 watts. When calculated that means a person can produce up to an estimated total of 1200 watts. Health is important even at the cellular level. Cytology does not only reveal the world of  cells, it provides clues to the true nature of health and physiological function.

       The mitochondria are vulnerable to nutrient deficiency. Toxins and oxidative damage are also responsible for health decline. There are nutrients that are necessary for ATP production. These include   riboflavin , niacin, and CoQ10. Carnitine is required for fatty acid transport. These nutrients are part of the β-Oxidation of fats.

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The citric cycle needs iron, magnesium, manganese, B1, B2, B3, lipotae, and  cysteine. ECT has other requirements. CoQ10 must transport high energy electrons. Magnesium assists in the final phase of ATP production. Riboflavin complex II and NADH also contribute. If there is a long term deficiency or disorder with mitochondria, this can lead to chronic illnesses. Such disorders with mitochondria have been linked to dementia, autism, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Amytropic lateral sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome , and Alzheimer’s disease. Mitochondrial disorders have even been hypothesized to have links to migraines and early aging. It is possible that mitochondrial health can be the key to increased longevity. The body requires a certain level of exercise and a proper diet.

        Weight training has the the ability to increase ATP production and the amount of mitochondria in the human body. Damaged mitochondria can be replaced when new ones emerge from training. High intensity training has even been found to improve muscular and mitochondrial function in people with Parkinson’s disease. Such a discovery will revolutionize medicine and health science. While some people have this knowledge, many do not act on it.

Busy schedules and certain obligations may get in the way of consistently exercising. Then lifestyle choices can effect health. The prevalence of high fat and sugar saturated foods combined with limited physical activity has caused an increase in health problems. Another problem is related to medical practice. Over prescribing medicines has created a level of dependency. The increase of opioid use occurred under medical professionals, using it as a cost effective method for pain medication to patients. As a result, a large portion of American citizens got addicted. The philosophy about treatment must change. Patients should not be loaded up on multiple medications. The goal should be to have a little as possible and change health habits. If there is no change in habits a person could end up taking multiple medications which could induce more health problems as the result of side effects. While some aliments require medication, others can be controlled through exercise. High cholesterol can be dealt with through this method, depending on its severity. Weight training is a simple way to avoid certain age related health conditions.

         Bone health is critical more so for women. On average, women have lower bone density. Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bone mass is lost and does not produce enough to maintain a strong structure. Bones become weak and are susceptible to fracture. When women go through menopause, bone mass can decrease. If women have lower bone density then that means osteoporosis could be more severe for there bodies. While skeletal mass develops as a person goes from youth to adulthood, bone formation is higher. The problem is that this does not continue and the rate of bone formation and breakdown are now set at different rates. Lifting weights can also contribute to building bone mass.Women overtime could lose up to 35% of their bone mass. There are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of getting osteoporosis. This includes having a thin body type, smoking, having a sedentary life style, a low calcium diet, high caffeine, and alcohol intake. Family history is also a factor including race. White and Asian women may have a higher risk of osteoporosis.

Bones

The total mass of calcium decreases with age. This is why it is recommended that  older women get at least 1,500 mg per day. Vitamin D is just as important as calcium. That is why low fat milk can be helpful,because it is Vitamin D fortified. Seeing as women have lower peak bone mass in terms of grams of calcium, it important to make load bearing exercises or simple jogging a part of a general health routine .

Having a healthy bone structure will allow an aging person to have more independence later in life. Senior citizens may not want to go to retirement communities or nursing homes. Some want to remain in their own homes, yet are not healthy enough to remain independent.

      Women report having better body image and improved self -esteem form weightlifting .  It also challenges gender stereotypes. For a longtime the female body has been associated with weakness or inferiority. Even though these ideas are falsehoods they persist. Body image conformity is constantly projected over media outlets. This causes in some women to have body image issues and it may result in psychological disorders. Anorexia and bulimia are more prevalent in women than in men. This could become a public health crisis if unchecked. Thankfully, there is change that has prevented such an event from happening. There has been the rise of a new body positive movement. It wants women who are larger to accept themselves and reject a single paradigm of beauty. This also needs to be extended to women with muscle. Even female athletes are criticized for being “too big.”

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If women are becoming more powerful in other areas of life, why should they be denied the physical power of their body? There is no rational argument against women developing themselves physically. It may offend certain preferences or be repudiated by traditionalists, but there should be no reason they should be denied control of their bodies. There is the dated and conservative idea that women and muscles do not mix. Even the most liberal or people who consider themselves open minded either repudiate such a look or are apprehensive about it. It is time for society to realize that a woman is more than just her appearance. The double standards must be challenged. Strength is not a masculine or male only attribute. Women can be strong and they should not have to be vituperated for demonstrating it.

Women should also partake in the benefits of physical fitness. This is a dramatic statement and a very empowering one. Some third wave feminists use the term empowerment ad nauseum, but do not seem to put that into practice. Here women have taken that message literally and have made their bodies strong.  Besides this benefit of improved self-esteem and more positive body image to can go beyond just mere health improvement.

          Women are not physically safe in many societies around the world. Domestic violence, sexual assault, or physical abuse is directed at them.  There is the false idea that men are the protectors of women, when it is more likely they will be their abusers. Women have absorbed this idea thinking they need a man to feel safe and for protection. The harsh reality is that their partner could end up being their abuser. This is why women need self-defense and physical strength. Having such precautions can contribute to reducing the problem of violence against women.

Map3.1NEW_Womens_Physical_Security_2011_compressed Women must learn to take control of their own security. One problem with the # Me Too Movement is that it does not emphasize an offensive approach. While institutional and legal changes can combat rampant sexual harassment and assault, this may not be enough. Part of being proactive is that women must learn physical skills and build the strength to properly execute them. Doing this will deter violence as well as more strict laws.

Self defense is important for women.

Having at least some strength will help women combat violence directed at them. Violence against women is a major public  health crisis. There have been improvements in regards the rise of women’s shelters and rape crisis centers. However, these services are not evenly distributed throughout the world. There was a time in which the practice of wife beating was not considered a crime. Women in many societies were considered property and such violence was not considered criminal. There are still countries in the world that do not have domestic abuse laws. There are even some nations that want to reverse them. The Russian Federation decriminalized some domestic abuse laws. Women attempting to flee from violent abuse or protect themselves have a more difficult time in Russia. The push came from the Orthodox Church to change the laws. Normally, women are worse off in a traditionalist or religion based cultural atmosphere. Now more than ever is the time for women to understand they are responsible for their own protection. The legal system or government may not be there to provide protection against violence. Learning physical skills and building strength can ward off some of these attacks.

            There is also the problem of the growing rate of obesity. This is no longer confined to the developed nations, but is spreading to developing nations. The prevalence of fast food and high sugar based diets has caused weight problems across the world.Sedentary lifestyles and limited physical activity have also contributed to this development.   The United States and the United Kingdom may find themselves in a huge public health crisis if this is not addressed and if the healthcare systems are not functional. Combine with the fact that people will live longer and beyond the age of 65 this poses a financial and social problem. Relevant to women’s health, they would be more vulnerable to obesity due to their endocrine function. Naturally women have more body fat no matter what their physical fitness level is. Differences relative to metabolism are significant, because women burn less calories compared to men in a resting state. This would mean obesity could harm women more in comparison to men. If women have lower bone density, adding large amounts of weight to the skeletal frame could cause more severe joint issues. Obesity has been linked to cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Being active has long term benefits. It can prevent such diseases and disorders that occur later in life. Women on average live longer than men, so it is a wise investment. Most importantly it will prevent possible strain on healthcare systems and improve the level of public health.

Mina Farook: The Main Reason Women Should Build Muscle

Wisecrack: Will Drugs Make You Super-Human ?

Wisecrak is a website that examines philosophy, humanities, science, and analyzes popular entertainment from an academic  perspective. They also produce videos for their youtube channel. Eight Bit Philosophy examines questions of science, ethics, and human society. A particular video of interest is the question of drug use an the manipulation of the human body. Simply put, can drugs make a person super human? To answer this question one must figure out what it means to be human. If this such a biological feat was to be possible it would have to be done through genetic engineering. The only thing drugs do is alter organ systems rather than changing the genetic foundation of the human body. This also raises questions about transhumanism and what is natural. Human biological evolution has been changing for millions of years and could radically change in the distant future. There is always the fear with new developments and technologies, that humankind is “playing God.” The reality is that such advancements are inevitable. Like computers, automobiles, and more lethal weapons they are a part of human civilization. The Francis Fukuyama  position is flawed on several points. It assumes that such advancements would threaten democracy and goes off the assumption that inequality has a biological basis. The rise of transhumanism is occurring, but only with careful thought and supervision can this not became a dystopian nightmare.

       There needs to be an exact definition of what is superhuman. The definition of such a word and concept means abilities that would exceed far beyond what the body is physically and mentally capable of. The term superhuman can also be associated with human enhancement which means that physiological or biological limitations can be overcome  by means of artificial or natural means. Drugs could be classified as a form of human enhancement technology . While the medical use can be extensive it can be used to improve human abilities far beyond what would be in unchanged  perimeters.

The superhuman concept used be something of pure science fiction. The idea of being as strong as Wonder Woman or being a real life Super Girl would be considered comedic farce. However as the 21st century progresses there is a greater understanding of biology, physiology, anatomy, and the health sciences. Human enhancement technologies now include reproductive technologies, which can allow the infertile to conceive. People can change their behavior and mental state through ritalin, adderall, and neurostimulation. The most visible display of human enhancement is the dramatic change in appearance people are capable of to their bodies. Plastic surgery, medical implants, prosthesis, and performance enhancing drugs can alter the body in a multitude of ways. Strength training can alter the body not just through exercise, but by means of supplementation and diet. Nanotechnology , neurotechnology and information technology will certainly be a part of this transhuman revolution.

The women here have changed their bodies through training, diet, use of supplements, and a knowledge of the human body. This is an example of human enhancement at a rudimentary level.  

While genetic engineering is still in its infancy, it is only a matter of time before in will further human enhancement. This will be to a greater extent beyond what can be achieved through training or diligence.  Future superhumans could be made with genetic engineering rather than drugs. The problem with drugs is that their effect can be temporary and the side effects could do long term damage if abused. Genetic expression can influence behavior, abilities, and phenotype. A superhuman would have high intelligence, physical strength, and speed according to what would be conceived scientifically. The abilities of  mythology, comics, and popular culture would be come reality.

It may be possible to engineer  the human body to a set of specific attributes. One could be engineered to have the intelligence Mae Jemison  or Maryam Mirzakhani. The athletic talent of certain sports stars could also be engineered through genetic manipulation. This  could be what the possible superhuman would be like, if ever engineered. The objection to this is normally that doing such a thing would be unnatural or have questionable ethic motives. Many believe it would destroy what makes us human. What it means to be human would have to be answered first before exploring larger questions.

         Philosophy and science have attempted to answer the question what it means to be human. The question is does not have a complete answer. Biologically we are the last of a primate species and the descendants from a common genetic ancestor shared with other  hominids. Philosophers have argued humankind’s ability for rational thought distinguishes them from other species. The essence of humanity other argued is human emotion and social interaction made us distinct. There may not be one answer to what makes a person human. It has now been theorized that early homo sapiens could have mated with neanderthals and denisovans. There did exist subspecies of archaic humans that became extinct.  Modern humans are the last surviving species of the genus homo. Interbreeding may have been a common practice.

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When the term natural is used people mistake it for normalcy. The fact is nature can be strange and human evolution has resulted in strange biological developments. The rise of bipedalism, the increase in endocranial volume, the variation in sexual size  dimorphism  and the change in social communication behavior in comparison to other primates was not normal. There are multitude of bizarre organisms on planet Earth and more that may not have been discovered. Paleontology and anthropology are demonstrating that the origins and behavior of mankind is more complex than previously thought. The fossil record keeps getting larger not just for primates, but other organisms that were present during the Cenozoic, Mesozoic, and Paleozoic Eras. Naturalists, Paleontologists, anthropologists, and biologists have to act as detectives of a distant past.

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Homo naledi was added to the human biological evolution classification.

   The only way to make sense of these findings to to eventually find the common genetic ancestor of all primates. Doing so will provide genetic information, which will allow the question of what it means to be human. More information is needed to actually answer the question of what it means to be human from a biological perspective. This is why the concept that altering the human body is abnormal  seems to lack cogency. Nature can be erratic and unpredictable depending on the environment. Ideas of what is normal or abnormal do not have relevance when it comes to natural selection.

         The problem with such enhancements by either pharmaceutical or genetic means is that it could hold the potential for abuse. As the Eight Bit Philosophy video  articulates, there could be a possibility that individual differences could be wiped out in favor of one paradigm of humanity. People could create designer babies. This almost sounds like society similar to A Brave New World in which a scientific dictatorship. The worse abuse also could be the rise of sate sponsored eugenics. Selective breeding, serialization, euthanasia  or discriminatory social and legal policies were the result of the eugenics movement of the early to mid-20th century. The worse abuse came from Nazi Germany resulting in  genocide. Ever since 1945, science that either focused on genetics or genetic difference has caused controversy.

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A poster for a eugenics propaganda film Are You Fit To Marry (1927)demonstrates the racism of this pseudoscientific movement. America enacted serialization laws in twenty seven states of the union. Nazi Germany took their eugenics programs and used it as an excuse for genocide directed at Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, leftists, gays, and Afro-Germans.  

The rise of neo-eugenics also creates another problem. The issue is that it focuses on the profit motive in regards to human and genetic enhancement. Unlike the negative eugenics of the past, it wants to see more people reproduce. This type of liberal eugenics can be seen in fertility clinics in which couples can get sperm or eggs from men and women who match attributes they believe are desirable. Gene therapy, artificial insemination, and egg donation are a few examples of liberal eugenics. While it may not seem awful for someone to have a child if they are not capable or alter genes to combat disease, the problem arises when only one group has access to this technology and biological enhancement. The upper class of society will most likely have more access to such technology. This will not only create more social inequality it will also happen at a biological level. If superhumans do become a reality resistance would be futile. There would be vast divide between the enhanced and the non-enhanced. Besides negative social developments there may be a point in which such human enhancement technologies may go too far.

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Humankind could create its own living monsters. This has not happened yet, but it should be taken into consideration, if this scientific advancement is to continue. There must be some form of regulation to prevent  the rise of possible man made abominations or possible medical harm to people. Mary Shelly’s  novel Frankenstein   was not only a warning about  the abuse of scientific knowledge, but the need of  having an understanding of  it. The more knowledge humanity obtains the more there is a need to utilize it responsibly.

       Francis Fukuyama a prominent political scientist and political economist has been known to be solicitous about the rise of transhumanism. He claims that this could be a threat to liberal democracy. This is more of an exaggeration considering the other problems with such a political system. There has been drug abuse to some degree or another in  various societies, but it has never been the sole factor in the collapse of civilization or a political system. Human being still do not what the exact definition of being human is. So the argument that such drugs like addearall  or ritalin could threaten what it means to be human seems to be a hyperbole. The real issue is that normal human traits such as being tired or needing a period of rest could be described as being a condition that requires medicine. The problem may not be the existence of the drugs themselves, rather the over prescribing of such medications.

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It is implied that the roots of inequality in society are biologically based. There are people who are more intelligent than others, physically stronger, or in better health. This does not explain why there is a pyramid structure in various nations globally. The roots are sociological not biological. The rise of property, food surpluses,  and permanent settlement cause a divide among people that had not existed in hunter gather societies. A settlements grew into villages they would grow into cities. This required a government that could impose order by force. Women’s status was not because of their sex difference  or other biological differences , rather the fact that in particular areas of the world they were denied access to education, employment, and equality under the law.  If people were all the equal at a physiological and physical level that would not change the sociological structure. Race, class, national origin, religion and gender would still be used as an excuse to exclude groups that are not part of a ruling hierarchy or dominant group. The fact is that there is no equality under the law in liberal democracies. The rich and powerful will dominate government no matter what political system is in place. The reason liberal democracy struggles is that it requires an informed, educated, and active citizenry. The End of History thesis does not take into account that other forms of government could rise that are not liberal democracy. The collapse of the Soviet Union was not evidence that liberal democracy is a triumphant system, rather its competitor failed to produce improvement for its people. Liberal democracy may meet the same fate. It fails to challenge poverty, racism, sexism, or address economic instability. While the free market is associated with liberal democracy it will also be its downfall. Neoliberal capitalism is not interested in freedom or justice, rather the objective of profit maximization. This has relevance to the increasing influence of pharmaceutical corporations who gain more power through lobbying congress. This could effect the public with drugs that are not safe getting FDA approval. This makes Fukuyama’s argument contradictory, because there should be nothing wrong with drugs as long as they advance the free market which he supports.

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Five Hour Energy may not be as safe for human consumption as one might think. Seeing as it makes a huge profit, the company will not be challenged.

    Neoliberal capitalism is a threat to democracy, because it could possibly lead to a version of fascistic corporatism.  Big business and powerful government form an alliance to run a country. Those who control the government and business will be the masters of the public. This frightening scenario shows people will be reduced to compliant and obsequious consumers who do not question authority or the status quo. Drugs altering human nature would be the least  of civilizations problems if such a system were to evolve. Human nature can be both compassionate and cruel. Technology or in this case drugs are not terrible. It depends on how they are used and how they are managed.

          What needs to be understood is that there may be no line between humanity altering drug or simple supplement. Both are  inducing changes in the body beyond what would be the standard physical limitation. The idea of normal or normal state could have different meanings. If a person were to be completely natural meaning not taking any drugs at all this would mean they would have to not consume genetically modified organisms,  medicine, or change their body through exercise and supplements. During the course of one’s lifetime, it is possible to alter your body with drugs, supplements, and foods that would not be considered normal. Normal or natural does not apply to the animal kingdom. Evolution demonstrates genotype and phenotype can change with environment as well as mutation, genetic drift, or gene expression. The idea of normal may just be imaginary considering how strange biology can be. It can be flexible as well. Women who train their bodies to the highest level are altering them beyond what would be by certain standards a natural state. Supplements and exercise can push women’s physical strength to greater levels than if not done at all. Performance enhancing drugs can boost strength and speed, but they still do not make a person superhuman. Drugs can only alter certain organ systems for a period of time depending on dosage and the length of long term use. When use ends, the effects will not cause permanent change. There could be lasting side effects from abuse.

Coffee or Whey  do alter the body from a normal state. Substances or drugs only become an issue when addiction occurs. This is the problem with addearall. The opioid crisis arose when doctors prescribed too many of these drugs and patients gradually got more addicted. Criminalizing drugs has created a number of problems. The War on Drugs increased the number of people in prison, targeted low income and African American communities, and remains the foundation of the prison industrial complex. There should be no fear of drugs altering humanity. It has been done since the first herbalist began exploring the medicinal properties of plants during the Paleolithic era. Various substances that we consume are not found in nature. Humanity is moving to a new era in which it can control its own biology and even possibly its own evolution through biomedical science as well as technology.

        Drugs would not create superhumans. The gains made from drugs would only be temporary human enhancements. Francis Fukuyama is incorrect in saying that pharmaceutical developments could push humanity to transhumanism before genetic engineering. This type of biotechnology would be long lasting through manipulation of various genes. Drugs can only change the function of the physiology of organ systems,but not alter gene expression or sequence of DNA . There are multiple genes that are responsible for certain traits. So far, there are at least 15 different genes responsible for iris color of the eye. Certain genes can be “switched on” causing an expression. Theoretically a certain combination of genes could be switched on or off to alter a person. If the  ACTN3  gene and the genes of chromosome 12 were manipulated it is very possible to create the ultimate athlete. Anabolic steroids or erythropoietin  could become obsolete in the future. Gene doping may become something very common in professional sports or  for recreational. Some state this creates an uneven field of competition for those who would rather not enhance themselves through drugs or genetic engineering. This could potential force some people and the wider public to remain competitive with enhanced superhumans. The position has a flaw, because our different body types make the playing field uneven. There are people who are taller, stronger, or more intelligent than others. It would seem the people who have less of these attributes would benefit more. The repercussion of this would be destroying individuality in favor of an identical conformist mob. Genetic engineering of humanity will happen,but there are serious bioethical questions that should be answered first. Technology can be either used for positive or malevolent purposes. Only when it is used responsibility possible dystopian futures be avoided.

Wisecrack: Will Drugs Make You Super-Human ?

The Best Bet For Boosting Women’s Brawn Is Traditional Strength Training

Boosting Women’s Brawn

A study conducted by the University of Ohio performed an experiment about what was the best method for women seeking to build muscular strength and endurance. What was confirmed in this 2008 experiment was that traditional strength training was the best method. To many women athletes and consistent gym goers this is not a surprise. Normally, exercise physiology experiments are conducted on male athletes. This one was different, because it wanted to see specifically the changes in women’s bodies and how they react to training stimuli. Low velocity routines may not be as effective as strength training. A total of 34 women who were of college age were examined. Over a period of six weeks they were to perform a training program. It was once though that the female body was not designed for strength. As exercise physiology progresses, the frailty myth has been proven false through scientific evidence. Doing studies that take into account women’s physiological and anatomical differences can best allow for a more efficient training regimen to improve athletic performance. The study was published Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research .

         Sharon Rana associate professor of exercise physiology  with her colleagues conducted the experiment with a particular approach.  The traditional strength training group lifted heavier loads with fewer repetitions. The low velocity group was to lifted lighter weights with more repetitions. Professor Rana stated “what made the research a little different is that we put the various methods of resistance training all in one study and added a control group, which hadn’t been done before. The endurance group also hadn’t really been studied in conjunction with low velocity type training,”  This allows for a through examination of changes over a period.

Participants performed a number of exercises including leg presses, back squats, and knee extensions. The traditional strength training  group was able to lift 499 lbs for leg presses and 121 lbs  for squats. There was a 117 lbs for leg extensions. Compared to the traditional endurance group the lifts were lower. Their maximum lifts were 341 lbs for leg presses, 64 lbs for squats, and 48 lbs for knee extensions. The low velocity group produced 365 lbs for leg presses, 79 lbs for squats, and 55 lbs knee extensions. The subjects did three sets of each exercise during the session. A rest period for a total of five minutes was given between each set and exercise.

The women had their absolute strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, and body composition measured. What the experiment demonstrated was that the traditional strength training group gained the most physical strength. The data showed the traditional strength group increased to 61.8 % in total strength for the leg press. The low velocity group saw a 26.9 % increase and the endurance group was at 23.4%. However the traditional strength training group did not see a dramatic change in the squat exercise total. The traditional strength training group saw did see a 51.3 % increase in the knee extensions.

       There should be some considerations for possible factors that effected the outcomes of the experiment. The first is the physical fitness level of women who participated. If the women who participated were either athletes or had experience with weight training exercise, this would effect the outcomes. Women with high fitness level my make the strength gains larger or more exaggerated. The only aspect about the subjects is that they were all devoid of serious health problems. A mix of ectomorphic, endomorphic, and mesomorphic body types would produce different results. The best subjects would be women with the lowest physical fitness levels to document the effectiveness of training.

Women with more natural strength prior to the study could have caused some distortion in data. There would be a clear difference between the average woman and physically fit woman. Both would be able to gain strength, but to what extent depends on genetics and somatotype.

        The experiment showed a small decrease in body fat. This was not as significant in number compared to physical fitness improvements in muscular endurance and strength. Body composition would not dramatically change mainly due to endocrinology. Women produce more estrogen and progesterone which allows for more fat. Women need a certain level of fat to ovulate.

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Fat does not contribute to strength or muscle power. This has implications on physical fitness between men and women. The reason men have more absolute strength is due to higher free testosterone production in the testes. This hormone allows for greater protein synthesis. The thinnest woman or the most muscular woman would still carry more body fat  percentage compared to a man of similar physical fitness level. The difference in body composition means women have less total muscle mass.

Gonadal differentiation happens to developing fetuses. They appear by the sixth week not defined. The change happens by the seventh weeks when the gonads are either testes or ovaries. While this does not have an influence over the physical fitness capacity of boys and girls the shift happens during puberty. The change in endocrinology does not give women a strength spurt compared to males. Knowing this means women would have to train harder to build significant strength. This may take longer compared to men who are following a similar regimen. An approach tailored to women’s  physiology and anatomy will be the most effective training regimen.

        The experiment also demonstrated that cardiovascular endurance  did not increase significantly.  Neither group saw an increase. Professor Rana  stated her reason for focusing on this element of physical fitness : “we tested cardiovascular endurance because a lot of the lay literature, the articles you might read in magazines, said it would improve.” The experiment revealed that such claims may not be accurate. Merely lifting weights would not improve cardiovascular endurance. While strength gains would improve the power of the leg muscles, running involves the heart and lungs. This means cardio exercise would be a better method for aerobic endurance. The comparison can be seen with sprinters and marathon runners. Sprinters have more power compared to the higher endurance of the marathon runner.

Large muscles do not automatically mean a person can be skilled at any sport. This depends on the nature of physical activity and specific biomechanics involved. Kinseology is critical to understanding movements of the body and essential to developing effective training programs. It seems this assessment is correct that traditional weight training would not improve cardiovascular endurance. Although to be sure an experiment would have to be conducted to further verify. One control group could just do cardiovascular exercise, while the other engages in traditional strength training. They will then run a specific distance and the times will be recorded. The marathon results will show which group was had the most endurance. The obvious prediction is that  the subjects that did the cardiovascular exercise would have the best times.

      Low velocity training is not a pointless activity. It builds better muscular endurance. Low velocity training does provide strength gain, but it is limited compared to traditional strength training. The question depends on whether the goal is to build more strength or endurance. Sports that depend on strength like powerlifting, weightlifting,  or shotput traditional strength training would most likely be the best.

Low velocity training could have better application to endurance sports like ultramarathon or Olympic marathon  events. The selection of method depends on the particular sport. The experiment made this conclusion by Professor Rana : the low velocity training obviously helps you,” Rana said. “You can gain some strength and muscle endurance, but the traditional methods are going to do a slightly better job for those two things.” This does not only apply to the athlete trying to improve their performance. It can be beneficial to the average person. Any amount of exercise can be good for physical health. A sedentary life style can have negative effects on the circulatory system. Muscle mass gradually declines with age. Being at least moderately active can reverse some of these changes associated with aging. Women can gain more benefits from building strength. With more exercise physiology studies focused on women, female athletes can have a means to enhance their performance in their sport of choice.

The Best Bet For Boosting Women’s Brawn Is Traditional Strength Training

New Research on the Muscles of Elite Athletes: When Quality is Better Than Quantity

Quality versus Quantity

A study conducted by the University of Southern Denmark in 2016 revealed interesting information about athletes’ muscles at the cellular level. Endurance athletes showed a change in mitochondria. Athletes who participate in soccer or skiing demonstrate that muscle quality could be better compare to mass quantity. Larger muscles do not equate to a better athlete. The mitochondria provide energy to the cell and allow people to engage in long periods of exercise . Exercise physiology has reached the conclusion that the more endurance exercise done the more mitochondria increase in the muscles. This may explain why endurance athletes have more compared to non-athletes. Muscle fatigue happens after physical activity. The study also shows that endurance is not only determined by the number of mitochondria, but their structure. Such a discovery can contribute to making more efficient training programs and possible medical applications.

      The study conducted by the Swedish and Danish team found that the mitochondria of athletes was structured to generate more energy. The human body seems to adjust to various demands depending on a particular stimuli. It was stated by  Joachim Nielsen professor of muscle physiology : ”  our measurements have shown us that these mitochondria can generate around 25% more energy.”  This provides an advantage to marathon runners, cross country skiers, and soccer players.

The involved comparing non-athletes to athletes. A muscle biopsy was then conducted. Biopsy is a procedure in which tissue is removed from the body for examination, normally for the purpose of detecting a disease. The sample size included 15 elite athletes and 29 non-athletes. While it would help that the sample size was bigger, there was no indication of sex distribution. Women are now serious athletes, however many times the biological and physiological differences are not accounted for in    training and exercise physiology studies. This still should hold the same for women, seeing as there is no difference in mitochondria between the sexes. The muscles tissue between the sexes do not differ either. Muscle cells are the same between the sexes, the only difference is in the amount and particular fiber type. Men have more type II muscle fibers compared to women having more type I.

Women can build muscle. Sex should not have an effect on the outcome if this study was only done with female athletes. When the muscle tissues was viewed through a microscope, changes could be observed.

        Research indicates that such an endurance advantage may not be inherited. There is no substantial evidence to suggest that a mitochondrial athletic advantage can be passed through generations. There could be an indication that longer periods of exercise could change the mitochondrial structure for the extended term. According to   Joachim Nielsen : “we took detailed measurements of each muscle fibre and saw that those muscle fibres that are typically most active during extended periods of physical activity are also those with the most significant changes in mitochondrial structure. ” This may also suggest that these changes may be more so epigenetic changes. The DNA sequence would not be altered like that of a mutation. Athletes are changing themselves through training. The only way to know for sure is to observe how their offspring would be like.

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It seems the cellular function in relation to sports performance is more complex than previously imagined. Training will certainly become more sophisticated and scientifically based in the coming decades. Many times training took a more trial and error approach to methods. Pure science mainly focused on observation, which in many regards athletes used that system in their training methods. There now seems to be a framework to follow based on a scientific method.Long term exercise may induce some form of permanent change at the cellular level  if done for decades. If this was to be made it into an experiment it would be difficult to test for. If mitochondrial advantage is inherited it is probably a combination of genes. The misconception is that it is one gene responsible for various traits. The function and actions of gene expression operate more intricately. Then environment can also influence how such genes are expressed. An athlete may have genetic advantage , but a poor training method could hinder their full potential.

This would require a longer study of athletes to see if there was a genuine genetic  athletic connection. Science is far away from engineering a superhuman athlete, but it appears to be getting closer.

       Such studies also offer other applications in biomedical fields. There are diseases that harm mitochondria which can result in impaired muscular and metabolic function. This may also hold the key to improving the lives of people with metabolic disorders. There are  a number of mitochondrial diseases that people can have. Normally such diseases are genetically inherited. Not all mitochondrial disease is inherited. Some can be classified as chronic. Other disease can induce mitochondrial dysfunction. Severe mitochondrial disease has particular symptoms. This could include muscle weakness, exercise intolerance, poor growth, Respiratory problems, Thyroid problems, Nervous system or brain disorders, heart, liver, and kidney health issues. The symptons depend on the cells effected. Mitochondria is very important to human health and the body. If disease can be understood at a cellular level, the possibility of cures become that much greater. Rather than just having medical treatments, particular mitochondrial issues can be eliminated through genetic engineering.

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Research has suggested that major diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, forms of cancer, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and various autoimmune diseases have a link to damage of the mitochondria. If Mitochondria fails to produce energy, this will have deleterious effects on human health. The lack of critical energy harms metabolic function.  This may explain the cause of obesity or diabetes in some individuals. It has been theorized that exercise can protect the mitochondria. Free radicals if produced in a large number can create oxidative stress. The mitochondria have antioxidants, which focus on reducing damage to the cells. It is possible that antioxidants decline as a person ages. Having a diet in which the require minerals and vitamins could improve cell health.

If this is scientific fact, then there could be a means of reversing the aging process by means of manipulating the mitochondria. If immortality was to be achieved this would generate much bioethical controversy.  The secret of life is hidden in the genetics and organelles of cells. Cells and organelles can also reveal much about the history of human evolution. People inherit their mitochondrial DNA from their mother. This is why biologists and  paleoantropologists are able to trace human evolution millions of year ago. The body is like a puzzle and each part fits somewhere. Mitochondrial function may be the holy grail of biomedical advancement.

       The only way to fully grasp the significance of the study is to have an understanding of mitochondria’s structure and function. The mitochondrion has an inner membrane folded shaped like shelves with incomplete partitions. This allows for an increased surface area so that fats and sugars can be released. The outer membrane of a mitochondrion is smooth with limited features. Mitochondria can be found in most eukaryotic cells. The Mitochondria must generate energy in the form of adensosine triphosphate. The number of mitochondria vary depending on the type of  cell. Muscle and liver cells can have to thousands of mitochondria. Red blood cells do not have mitochondria. The outer mitochondrial membrane is permeable  to transport small molecules with particular channels for moving  large molecules. The inner membrane is less permeable only allowing small molecules to enter the matrix. The matrix has the DNA of the mitochondrial genome and enzymes associated with the tricarboxylic cycle. This will then metabolize nutrients into by product for the purpose of energy production. The conversion happens in the inner membrane.   Cristae  house the protein components. The electron transport chain induces a series oxidation reduction reactions which move electrons from one protein to the next. The free energy produced enables the  phosphorylation  of  adenosine diphosphate to ATP. The final result is the powering of cells through  chemiosmotic coupling of oxidative phosphorylation, which allows for the fueling of various cellular activities. This also include the generation of muscular movement. Mitochondria and its properties may hold a key to more efficient athletic training.

New Research on the Muscles of Elite Athletes: When Quality is Better Than Quantity

Introduction to Sport Psychology

Sport psychology is a field that uses the study of the mind to improve athletic performance. Athletic performance is not just physical; it is also mental. With the rise of numerous professional sports many teams have sports psychologists on their staff. The role of the sports psychologist is to get athletes motivated, contributing to practice sessions, and learning to control emotional states under extreme pressure. This is essential to any athlete competing at the highest levels in professional sports. Psychology is the scientific disciple that examines the human mind. This should not be confused with psychiatry, which is a medical field of study. Psychiatry takes the perspective that people can be treated for mental diseases and it can be cured. Psychiatrists hold medical degrees meaning they can be licensed to prescribe medicines and perform medical procedures. Both psychiatrists and some psychologists treat mental disorders. That is the only aspect of similarity. Psychology has a wider field of study which encompasses behavior and mental processes. Sports psychology is an example of applied science. This means it goes beyond mere research and is used to solve particular problems.

      Sport psychologists could be involved in numerous elements. They could be examining and developing techniques to improve participation satisfaction or performance enhancement. This could also involve sharpening mental skills. Athletes may require counseling or clinical issues assistance. Athletes may deal with stress or negative emotions, which could effect how they play. A sports psychologist can help them manage issues or tribulations that might emerge. Sport psychologists can also assist in organizational elements of sports counseling. Sport psychologists may also study the social and developmental issues regarding sports participation. The sports psychologist applies their specialized knowledge  to training and competition.

Sports psychologist must also know the technical elements of competition and have an understanding of sports organizations’ rules. Sport psychology thus becomes an important tool for coaches. Anxiety and stress are major hindrances to overall performance. This requires a set of mental skills and techniques to manage such emotions. They cannot be eliminated, but controlled for the period of competition. Coaching style and philosophy of game play can make a difference. Sports psychology employs a number of methods to solve rapid changes in emotional states.

          There are methods that are used by sport psychology to increase performance. Cognitive skills and behavioral training are utilized in sessions. This includes goal setting. imagery, and performance planning. Goal setting is establishing what performance target an athlete wants to accomplish. Imagery and performance planning is the process and actions involved in reaching a particular objective. These techniques put emphasis on a pathway to success and the actions required to reach it. Cognitive and behavioral skills training also involves improvement of concentration. Having attention and a high level of alertness contributes to athlete awareness as well as response.

There are also confidence and esteem building techniques to deal with feelings of nervousness and self doubt. There is an emphasis on emotion regulation as well as developing sportsmanship and leadership skills. Competence building is also another aspect related to the behavioral- cognitive skills building. Counseling and clinical intervention is another part of sport psychology. Athletes may suffer from depression or phobia and require guidance. Then there are points in which burnout can arise or extreme lack of motivation. People who lose enthusiasm for something they are passionate about is not abnormal. This happens to writers, artists, filmmakers, or anyone with a high level of talent. Counseling can help with reminding individuals like these why they should continue and be dedicated to their passion. Counseling and clinical intervention also assists with injury and rehabilitation. When play sports professionally the risk of injury is high. Sport psychologists can help an  athlete cope with returning to a  healthy state. Medical professionals now understand that there is a mind and body link, which is important to overall health.

Counseling can assist athletes when transitioning to other careers. Major changes in life will take sometime in terms of acclimation. Athletes who choose another sport to compete in benefit from  counseling to make such transitions less cumbersome. Athletes can suffer from the same mental illness that effects the majority of the population. A strong support system and attentive coaching can prevent mental distress. Sport psychologists also use consulting and training as a procedural technique. Team building becomes critical when working with multiple athletes. Team sports require cooperation and coordination on higher scales. This requires an understanding of group psychology and how to get individuals to function as one unit. A soccer team or a basketball team will not successful if all the players either are suspicious of one another or have difficulty collaborating.

20110703000329291611-minihighres The best teams are one that can function as a single unit and helping one another to success. Sports organizations also seek the advice of sports psychologists. Psychology has become interdisciplinary. Sports psychology also uses other academic fields such as kinseology, physiology, and biomechanics. The sciences are more connected to one another than previously thought. Neuroscience, biology, and anatomy contribute to psychology. As more is discovered about the human brain this requires multiple disciplines to decipher and interpret. Sport psychology has been applied to how youth sports are played and function. There are systems of intervention for both families and youth. Psychologically people change as they age and during youth it is a time of rapid development. Youth development follows in stages according to some psychological theories.

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abigail_2Children do not just go through physical maturation, but a cognitive one. Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was the psychologist who pioneered the study of childhood cognitive development. According to development happens in developmental stages. The sensorimotor stage is the point in which an infant becomes acclimated to their five senses. This lasts to about age two. The next stage is the preoperational in which language is being learned and used. Children at this stage between the ages of two to six have not mastered logic or the understanding of other perspectives.   The concrete operational stage between six and eleven years of age children gain the ability to reason. The last operational stage happens at age twelve results in abstract thinking. Piaget’s theories can be questioned however it seems that his model does accurately describe the cognitive development of children. A sport psychologist must take that into account when designing programs for youth sports. Coaches also may consult sport psychologists in methods and techniques in regards to motivating a team or developing talent of the athletes.  Such methods make building an athletic team more sophisticated compared to the past.

        Psychology has multiple branches and perspectives. Although it is a fairly recent science, psychology may have ancient roots. Philosophy was the first system of thought to investigate questions of the mind. Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates debated what was consciousness and the mind. African and Asian civilizations also investigated such questions. Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilization were exploring concepts of medicine  and the mind. Further east Buddhism and Yoga philosophies focused on consciousness and techniques of mastering the mind through meditation.  African civilizations developed a folk psychology in which shamans would use certain therapies for various aliments that were both of mind and body.

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Modern psychology gradually developed from ancient and modern philosophy. The sciences can trace its birth to philosophy. Many scientists of the past were known as natural philosophers. The rise of the scientific method and more advance mathematics gave birth to modern science. Rene Descartes (1596-1650) proposed the notion that the spiritual mind and the body were two distinct entities. Reflexes and sensations were not products of supernatural forces. Such activities were based on the nervous system. Psychology as the public knows it did not come into existence until the 19th century. Wilhelm Wundt working at the the University of Leipzig was the harbinger of experimental psychology. These early experiments into psychology conducted in 1879 studied perception, sensation, learning,consciousness, and memory. Since then psychology has expanded these elements.

The perspectives of psychology have different explanations for human behavior. The biological perspective seeks to uncover the mind by the study of genes, the nervous system, and endocrine system. Evolutionary perspectives normally fall under this category, but it can be paced under a separate classification.   The cognitive perspective puts emphasis on mental processes such as learning,memory, perception and thinking. The psychodynamic explores the function of the unconscious. The behavioral perspective examines the role learned responses and the nature of human behavior. The developmental perspective realizes that an individual will change throughout a lifespan. The whole person perspective seeks to examine mental health and human potential. Trait and temperament are a focus which explores the attributes of personality and individual differences. The sociocultural perspective realizes that various groups behave in different ways based on the societies in which they live. While some theories have credibility, other can be questioned. The human mind and brain . is more complex than previously thought.

         When discussing sports motivation and emotion are important to an athlete’s performance.  The brain serves a major role in emotion. The amygdala a structure of the limbic system is responsible for a wide range of emotions. Athletes even are going through numerous emotions prior to and during competition. Emotions could fluctuate between joy, anxiety, or trepidation. The brain responds to external stimuli. The barin even reacts to different facial expressions. The physical reactions to emotions happen when the automatic nervous system activates. The energy level of the body can increase or decrease depending on the intensity level.

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when discussing emotions this raises another question. Do people have the same emotions? There are obviously varieties of emotions . This depends on the environment, situation, and temperament of the person. Human populations either experience happiness, trepidation, or sorrow. These feelings are universal, which indicate that emotions and social behavior are evolutionary survival mechanisms.

Emotions and complex social behavior was probably a means of our early hominid ancestors adopting to dangerous environments of the prehistoric past. This may explain why humanity is also capable of nonverbal communication. Psychology also explores motivation and how it relates to behavior. The reason some may perform better during competition has to do in some manner with degree of motivation. Sports competition could either be defined as intrinsic motivation or extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is doing an activity for the enjoyment it produces. The reward or accomplishment is not the ultimate goal. Many athletes get a great satisfaction by simply just playing their sport and being active. Winning almost becomes an afterthought. This does not mean the competitive drive disappears. Extrinsic motivation is reward based. A person can be motivated more when a reward is possible for accomplishment. An athlete could be motivated by money, fame, and an enduring legacy in the sports world. Psychological motive is defined as the internal mechanism that selects and dictates behavior. Drive is separate entity because it is biologically based. Sport psychology does contribute to understanding the mental elements of performance, but it is still unclear how effective it is. More research and exploration is needed to reach full verification.

 

References

Zimbardo, Phillip. Psychology Core Concepts.  New York : Pearson, 2009.

Cherry, Kandra. Essentials of Psychology. New York : Fall River Press, 2010.

Hunt, Morgan. The Story of Psychology. New York : Anchor Books , 2007.

“Sport Psychology.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/sports.aspx.
Introduction to Sport Psychology