Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What's For Dinner?

by Robin White

We really like to try and eat our meals with very little starch, if possible. And if you have ever tried to do this, you start to appreciate why it's so difficult. Everything in restaurants is served with bread wrapped around it, potatoes on the side, garlic rolls, rice, etc.

I think the reason for this is two-fold: It's cheap, so you get filled up without them having to serve you extra steak or protein, which is much more expensive. The other reason, is that we have come to expect it. Most people would scream bloody murder if they went to Outback or Olive Garden and they didn't give them a big loaf of bread to start out the meal. It's like crack for most people, let's face it.

But let's look at this from a health standpoint. White bread is pretty devoid of nutrients, and the calories are tremendous for the little amount you get. Bad on both counts. When you are trying to reduce calories, this is no way to start out the meal.

Additionally, because white bread is like pure sugar in the bloodstream, with nothing to slow it down (like fiber), it will basically make your insulin soar and then crash. When it comes crashing down, guess who's hungry again? It's kind of like being on the "Starch Seesaw"

We say "fill up on protein first" then vegetables, and then add a little low fat cheese and a small glass of wine, just so you don't feel TOO deprived. So this is our strategy at home. Even though we are not overweight, for regular at home meals, we try to keep it basic, and then if we go out once in a while, we can cheat, because then it's more fun.

So, the dinner tonight in the picture consisted 2 salmon patties grilled with seasoning, chopped zucchinis and squash, grilled, with a little low fat skim shredded mozzerella.

Don't forget to take your Fish oil capsules after dinner. Got to keep your omegas high.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Some Low Carb Pizza

OK, How to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here is a high protein, low carb pizza, to be enjoyed with red wine and laughter.
1. Ultra Thin Pizza Crust,.. many varieties available in your local market. This minimizes carbs.
2. Spend some money on a good sauce,.. I like Basil in my sauce,.. you may like garlic or vodka.
3. I use 5 shredded cheese on top the sauce along with Italian herbs.
4. About a pound of protein. In this case, chicken breast cooked in wine and olive oil.
5. A layer of spinach. You may choose peppers or broccoli to get some veggies in there.
6. I top it with grated, fresh mozzarella cheese.
7. It cooks quickly at a high heat. Let cool for 3 minutes, then slice and eat. Drink lots of red wine for the resveratrol and stress reducing components.
Question? Please ask.

Monday, December 13, 2010

How To Lose 100 Pounds

Diet or Exercise?  Get Real!
Gerry Schiela

    Before you continue reading, you should answer a question.  Answer this question honestly.  Answer this question based upon what you believe, and not what you think anyone else would tell you is the right answer. Answer this question for yourself.  Write down your answer, type it, text it, or say it into a recorder, but don’t just say it;  it is important to record it.
    What is the most important factor in losing weight?
    Look at your answer.  If your answer was “realism” then you can stop reading and go work out; your work here is finished. However, chances are good you said something else.  Chances are that your answer was either diet or exercise.  Aren’t these important?  Of course they are! When all is said and done, the amount of weight you lose will come down to how much fuel you take in versus how much you burn.  It isn’t that these things are not important; they are important for establishing the conditions that will enable you to lose weight, but you need to realize two things:  1) they are both subject to a wide variety of choices; 2) the conditions they establish are variable.  If you are not realistic about the conditions you establish, or the choices you make, then you are probably wasting your time in the long run.  Lets look at a few of the factors that “realism” will affect.

Commitment and Sustainability

    The first thing to be realistic about is your goal.  Do you have a goal?  If you do, then record it.  Was it easy to record?  Did you stumble and have trouble writing it?  If all you have is a vague notion that you “want to lose weight” or you “want to get in shape,” then you run the risk of milling about through the world of “fitness” and accomplishing little.  This will most likely take you as far as going to the movies without being able to decide on a specific flick you want to see—instead you mill about and watch the trailers before each movie and go home.  What did you accomplish?  You must be realistic about your specific plan.  What do you hope to accomplish realistically? 
    Are you merely overweight?  Are you morbidly obese?  These considerations will also help you establish a realistic time frame in which to reach your goal.  If you need to lose 100+ pounds, and you want to do it in two months without liposuction, then it is time to become realistic.  You will not, however, be able to judge whether you are being realistic or not unless you determine a specific set of targets and a goal.  Another side benefit is that once you have a well-established goal, then you can share it with others.  You can get input and feedback.  You can use this to reshape your goal and your training and diet.
    Please realize that just because you do have a realistic and established goal, it does not mean it can’t change!  Of course you can respond to your situation as it changes.  My original goal last spring was to start near the end of June and lose 100 lbs. before my next birthday in August.  Due to constraints at my Dr.’s office, I had to wait to start almost two weeks.  In five months I have lost 100 lbs. and have adjusted my goal to 150 by August.  At this rate, I should make it by February or March.  Did I stick slavishly to my goal? Did I simply try to stay at that weight because it was my goal?  Get real.  Things change in life all the time, adjusting to circumstances is part of living realistically.
    One of the most useful things that anyone ever did for me was to give me a book.  In 2003, I wanted to lose weight.  I asked a friend (D. Anderson, personal communication), who is a professor of psychology specializing in weight loss, and he gave me a copy of the L.E.A.R.N. Program.  Right at the beginning there was a checklist to test yourself to see whether you were both committed and ready to lose weight and reach your goal.  The first time I took the test I passed with flying colors.  Unfortunately, I realized that I was simply giving the answers I knew the quiz creators wanted me to provide.  I retook the questionnaire and failed miserably—it was not my time to lose weight.  Honestly, that angered me.  Some quiz in a book was telling me not to try at this time?  So I tried, and failed miserably.  I was not ready, and I was not realistic.  You need to be sure that you are.
    Once you have established a realistic goal, one that you have confirmed with your Dr., or other healthcare professional, you have another question that you need to answer realistically—is my plan sustainable for me?  It doesn’t matter if you have a friend who lost 60 lbs. doing a certain exercise program and diet—if YOU cannot commit to that same routine then it is NOT a realistic plan for you.  The oracle at Delphi had the following advice for visitors:  Know Thyself!  You need to establish a realistic plan for yourself.  This can be in conjunction with a Dr., a nutritionist, a personal trainer—but in the end you are the one responsible for ensuring that your plan is not only viable, but is also realistic for yourself.  Which Dr.?  Which nutritionist?  Which personal trainer?  They are all simply variable conditions that you can establish—there are many different approaches that are all equally “valid,” but not all will be right for you.

Diet? Exercise?

    Diet is important for many reasons.  Nutrient dense foods can simply be “healthy choices.”  No one will claim that diet isn’t one of the most important factors in your weight loss arsenal: it is.  There are, however, many healthy and realistic options when it comes to diet.  Let’s look at two extremes:  1) you are slightly overweight and simply want to “lose the fat”; 2) someone who is “in shape,” but wants to become like Arnold in Conan the Barbarian.  The diet will be very different for each to reach his or her specific goal.  There are plenty of choices in between and many differing sets of conditions.  In the first case, the only diet you really need is the Analyze This diet:  “What kind of sandwich ain’t too fattening?”  “A half a sandwich”; eat a little less, move a little more (walk three times a week) is a viable option in a realistic time frame (WeightWatchers would be a good choice for many people here).  In case number two, in addition to high-volume exercise, you have to do a lot of high-calorie, protein-rich eating.  Both of these are workable and valid options; however, mix and match the conditions between the two, and neither hypothetical person will reach his or her goal.  The high calorie requirements for the second choice will not match with “moving a little more,” nor will simply controlling portion size and calorie input work in the second case.  Is one “better” than the other?  No.  Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
    The human body is highly adaptable to circumstances—including diet.  The recent “Twinkie Diet” or “Convenience Store Diet” shows that in terms of simply losing weight the raw “calorie count” is important—it counts a lot.  But is simply losing weight all that you want?  I would call that an underdeveloped goal.  How much weight?  Do you want to be able to maintain the weight you reach over time?  How much energy do you want once you reach your goal?  What is your ideal body type?  All of these things should be considered.  A Twinkie diet may help you drop the initial weight, but be realistic: will you have learned enough to maintain and sustain the condition you reach?  This is the eternal problem with fad diets; it isn’t that they do not work—most diets can work, at least in the short term, if you follow them strictly—but have you established conditions that you can maintain and sustain over time? 

What conditions?

There are many conditions that you should consider in the twin worlds of diet and exercise.  The conditions that you establish will define both your health and progress.  If losing fat is the only condition you wish to establish, then a no fat, “starvation” diet may seem like the best choice.  However, if you entirely eliminate things that you should have in moderation, such as some fat and salt in your diet, you will not only be establishing a condition for losing fat, but you will have established a condition for growing gallstones, or potentially damaging your body’s organs.  Being overweight has associated health risks, but is risking your health a condition you want to establish?  Even the Twinkie diet professor took vitamin and protein supplements.
    There are many choices out there, and too many diets to begin to discuss.  If you have a lot of weight to lose, then one of the biggest choices nowadays is whether you want to stay primarily in glycolysis (as in a so-called “sensible” eating plan with portion control, such as following the advice of the food pyramid in which a substantial amount of carbohydrates are consumed) or foster a state of ketosis (such as the Atkins diet, in which carbohydrates are extremely limited.)  These are the big choices.  Either one can establish the conditions for losing weight, especially when combined with an exercise program.  Which is right for you?  The one that you can stick with, in conjunction with an exercise program that will put you in a position to maintain health and fitness after you are finished.
    This does not mean what some make a habit of claiming—that the diet you choose must be a permanent “lifestyle” change; it only means that whatever path you choose should educate you and foster your ability to establish a healthy lifestyle in the end.  I have lost over 100 lbs. so far, but I can tell you right now, I might have lost interest in the process if I were not seeing good results.  That is simply how I am.  I was not in position to simply change my lifestyle; I wanted to lose weight faster than simple portion control would allow.  I researched and found what is right for me—part of being right for me is the process of re-education and learning to develop better habits.  In other words, I have established conditions that will take me not only to my weight loss goal, but will have taught me how to maintain it once I reach my goal.  My “lifestyle” change will be enacted once I reach my goal.
    There are many positions in between the extremes above, those were chosen because they are extremes, and there are plenty of variations within each extreme.  The only thing they have in common is that they can all work as advertised if you stick with them.  That is why realism is the most important factor.  Be realistic about what can work for you.  To paraphrase Adam T. Glass’s advice on training, there is no best; there is only what is best for YOU now.
    This applies to exercise as well.  What exercise will work?  The exercise you will stick with.  You may know someone for whom Crossfit worked wonders—there are many people like that—however, do you have the commitment and drive it requires?  Kettlebell workouts produce incredible results, but if your kettlebell is just another curious dust collector, it will do you no good.  Simple walking several times a week is probably all people who need to drop a little weight really need—and even for those who need to drop more it can work wonders over an extended period of time.
    You must establish realistic expectations for your goals within a realistic time frame.  Increasing your walking can work wonders, but will it work it in the time frame you have established for you goal?  On the other hand, if you are extremely out of shape, then you should not simply jump past basic exercises to more strenuous ones.  Know thyself.  Re-educating yourself, in both diet and exercise, is as important as re-shaping yourself if you have become extremely overweight or obese over time.  Be realistic about not only choosing what exercise program appeals to you, but about which exercise program is a realistic choice for you now.  As Tom Furman told me near the beginning, “Take it slow, don’t risk exploding your valentine” (personal communication).

Record Keeping

    If you are like me, then you hate keeping records, and it does not come easy.  Unfortunately, it can be very important.  Why? It keeps you honest as well as realistic.  If we can track our successful weeks then it will guide how we reproduce them, or enhance them.  Perhaps more importantly, if we track our less successful weeks then we can learn what to avoid.  If we are not keeping records it is too easy to kid ourselves.  It wasn’t the extra cheese, or the brownies, or whatever that slowed us down, it was [insert your excuse of the week].  If you keep track of what you eat, as well as your exercise, then you have a means to analyze it, and correlate your progress to the conditions you established.
    Not all record keeping is created equal.  Raw numbers do not mean much on their own.  You may record that you are performing 3x15 squat sets at a certain weight, but if you are not losing weight, or gaining strength, then all you are doing is spending time recording something that is insignificant on its own.  If you can measure the impact of your action against your goal—weight loss/weight gain, etc.—then you are in position to keep realistic records from which you can learn.
    Record keeping can go beyond simply filling out charts.  For example, given my hatred of the act, I have chosen a program in which my progress is charted for me.  My overall weight, my fat loss, muscle loss, visceral fat etc. is all tracked.  On my own I use Facebook posts to discuss what I am doing and correlate it to my progress.  This works for me, and it keeps me honest and realistic.  I know exactly how difficult it was to recover from my Thanksgiving “cheat” and why.  I can use that information to either inspire me not to cheat, or to learn what is necessary to recover from a setback.

The Bottom Line

    There is only one reality that can be considered a universal law in weight loss; everything else is up for grabs.  Everything else is a matter of choices and establishing the conditions that will help you reach your goals.  These variables are important because they will help you do it faster, more efficiently, and tailor your program to yourself, but they remain variables. The only immutable rule?  Burn more usable fuel than you consume and you will lose weight.  Accept responsibility for this.  Be realistic about this.  Be realistic about the conditions you establish around this.

Reference List
Brownell, Kelly D. (2000).  The LEARN® Program for Weight Management 2000.  Dallas, TX:  American Health Publishing Company.
Glass, Adam T. & Nelson, Brad. (2010).  Grip n Rip 2.1. (DVD).
Park, Madison.  (2010).  Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds.  CNNHealth.  Retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/08/twinkie.diet.professor/index.html

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lose Those Holiday Pounds!

Now, before you are committed to the impossible burden of a New Years Resolution to lose weight, start now with the simple, streamlined, and effective method to lose Holiday Pounds.

-- Doing hours of exercise? Think again!
-- Getting up extra early? Not on this program!
-- Boring meals? The luxury of steak, wine, and even guacamole!
-- Repetitive exercise? How does variety sound?
-- Give up carbs? You must be kidding?
-- Six meals a day? You'll run out of dental floss!

Rather than end the holidays packing yourself into your loose clothing, start the New Year with a lean, hard, body and energy in abundance!

Do yourself a favor and buy yourself the Christmas gift that will separate this year from all the others!

All this for only 5 Dollars!
Buy now!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

IS This the Cure for Skin Cancer? MELANOTAN!

Haven't heard of Melanotan? Well here's the WikiPedia version: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanotan_II 
Please read this data carefully. It is hopeful but not definitive by any means.
This drug works by stimulating your own Melanin production. The body's protection against UV rays is the darkening of the skin via pigment. The advanced version is a actually sexual stimulant. Currently, only the injectable form is valid. It is "not generally recognized as safe", so it will be a while before you can buy this at a drug store.
The next version of the drug will be a sexual stimulant for both men and women.
The future in anti aging and skin cancer prevention has a drug that get you tan, prevents cancer and enhances your sex life.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Let Gravity Do The Job

Standing, sitting, kneeling, or leaning, we still feel the effects of gravity on our body. Stiffness and immobility can result. Here is a method of using a chinning bar to create a stretch using gravity as a tool to stretch muscle and relieve tension. Try these exercises!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

10 Exercise that will de-age your body by 10 years

- How to literally turn back the clock, and regain your youth.
- Turn the aches and pains back into skill and grace.
- Say good bye to the stiff back that greets you every morning.
- Regain the posture from your high school days
- Add strength to those weak legs and hips.

For the cost of one of those sugary latte's you can de-age the body, and have the posture and movement of more than a decade ago. How young do you want to feel? Two? Three? Five? or TEN years younger?
In the time it takes you to read this, you can transform your stiff muscles and aching joints into youthful movement, and pain free living.

This Ebook with 10 targeted exercises for the whole body will reverse the common process of unhealthy aging.

Is this ebook for you?
- Does you neck feel stiff when you wake up?
- You slump over the computer all day?
- Hours are spent behind the wheel in your car?
- Your shoulders ache for no good reason?
- The back of your legs are tighter than a drum?
- People tell you that seem to be shorter?
- The creaking sound you hear when you sit down is your hips?
- Your aching back keeps you from activities you enjoy?


Monday, October 11, 2010

Reverse Aging Advice From Herschel Walker

Javier Mendez, a mixed martial arts trainer for 32 years, scoffed when he heard that retired NFL star Herschel Walker, who's nearing 50, wanted to compete in ultimate fighting.
"Yeah, I didn't think he could do it," Mendez said. "I thought it was a joke."
Walker had been out of football for 12 years. Aging football players tend to get flabby, play golf or relive the spotlight under "Dancing With the Stars."
But the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner always had an unorthodox streak.
After stints of ballet dancing, Olympic bobsledding, running track and field, gaining a black belt in taekwondo and retiring from a celebrated football career, Renaissance jock Walker has dived into the most physically demanding and controversial sport of his career. At 48, Walker is training for his second Strikeforce mixed martial arts fight, scheduled for December 4.
"I was in great shape when I was younger," he said. "This is the toughest thing I've ever done. I think that's the reason I'm in better shape than I've ever been in."
He was chosen to pose naked for ESPN Magazine, out last week, to show his muscular physique.
"I'm going to do something different, to be a little different than the average person," he said. "You can't be in the same cookie cutter."
Walker has never followed the fitness norms.
He eats once a day, skipping breakfast and lunch. After a long, intense day of training, he eats salad and bread for dinner. He doesn't care for meat or fuss about getting enough protein. Walker's a vegetarian.
"It's a mindset -- something I've been doing for a long time," he said. "I don't worry about protein. I don't worry about all that. I'm from old school. I grew up in south Georgia. They didn't worry about cholesterol or protein. They went out and worked and lived a long time, so I don't put a lot of worries in my mind. I just get it done."
Sometimes, Walker doesn't have an appetite and will go through seven hours of wrestling, kickboxing, sparring and practicing jujitsu without having eaten for three or four days.
"It's just unbelievable," said Mendez, who trains Walker at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California. "He shouldn't be able to do what he's doing. I don't think it's possible to eat as little as possible and work out the way he does. There's no way. He's an unbelievable athlete."
Mendez doesn't try to change it either.
"You can't fix it, because it's not broken," he said. "You can try to understand it -- good luck with that."
And no, Mendez thinks it probably won't work for most people.
At 5:30 a.m., Walker wakes up to do 750 to 1,500 push-ups and about 2,000 sit-ups.
"I try to show the world at my age, I could do it," Walker said. "I'm not trying to be arrogant. My parents say you can't make excuses in life, you've got to get it done."
And he did. In his first Strikeforce fight in January, Walker defeated Greg Nagy, a fighter almost half his age.
Walker's genesis into a Renaissance jock sprang from chubby beginnings.
He was a pudgy boy with a stutter who was picked on and shoved as a child.
At 15, he said he "started working out after watching 'Love Connection' and started doing push-ups and sit-ups," he said. "I started doing it on my own -- that gave me confidence."
As he developed into an athlete, his interests varied from two-man bobsledding to ballet.
"When I started out as little kid, I didn't say I just want to run football. I wanted to be a great athlete," he said.

Walker defeated Greg Nagy in his Strikeforce debut in January and plans to fight again in December.
"It's mind over matter. You got to work at it. You can't assume you're a great football player so you'll win in bobsledding. It doesn't mean you don't have to work."
Walker's recent return to competition sends a different message to middle-aged men who believe that getting out of shape is the inevitable part of aging, his trainer said.
"It doesn't matter your age," Mendez said. "You can do it at any age. Look at your desire. Don't let age be a barrier to prevent you from doing something you want to do."
Shortly after his retirement from football in 1997, Walker began having symptoms of mental illness and struggled with dissociative identity disorder, or DID, formerly known as multiple personality disorder.
Walker said he receives therapy to control the disorder.
"I have problems and as long as you admit you have a problem, that's how you become better," he said.
He even considered an NFL comeback before deciding on mixed martial arts.
The high-contact, bloody sport has often been criticized for brutality as fighters can knee, elbow and kick each other in the face. Walker shrugs off the criticism about the sport.
"The idea of football is just as physical as MMA," he said. "I don't worry about it."
What if he gets knocked down by a younger, stronger, more nimble opponent in the ring?
"I do this 'Walker shake,' " he said. "You got to get knocked down many times, shake it off. Life is about ups and downs, and you got to keep standing up."

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fish Oil Again For The Win!

Effects of supplemental fish oil on resting metabolic rate, body composition, and salivary cortisol in healthy adults

Eric E Noreen email, Michael J Sass email, Megan L Crowe email, Vanessa A Pabon email, Josef Brandauer email and Lindsay K Averill email

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010, 7:31doi:10.1186/1550-2783-7-31
Published: 8 October 2010
Abstract (provisional)


To determine the effects of supplemental fish oil (FO) on resting metabolic rate (RMR), body composition, and cortisol production in healthy adults.


S: A total of 44 men and women (34+13y, mean+SD) participated in the study. All testing was performed first thing in the morning following an overnight fast. Baseline measurements of RMR were measured using indirect calorimetry using a facemask, and body composition was measured using air displacement plethysmography. Saliva was collected via passive drool and analyzed for cortisol concentration using ELISA. Following baseline testing, subjects were randomly assigned in a double blind manner to one of two groups: 4g/d of Safflower Oil (SO); or 4g/d of FO supplying 1,600mg/d eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 800mg/d docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). All tests were repeated following 6wk of treatment. Pre to post differences were analyzed using a treatment X time repeated measures ANOVA, and correlations were analyzed using Pearson's r.

Results: Compared to the SO group, there was a significant increase in fat free mass following treatment with FO (FO= +0.5 +/- 0.5kg, SO= -0.1 +/- 1.2kg, p=0.03), a significant reduction in fat mass (FO= -0.5 +/- 1.3kg, SO= +0.2 +/- 1.2kg, p=0.04). and a tendency for a decrease in body fat percentage (FO= -0.4 +/- 1.3% body fat, SO= +0. 3 +/- 1.5% body fat, p=0.08). No significant differences were observed for body mass (FO= 0.0 +/- 0.9kg, SO= +0.2 +/- 0.8kg), RMR (FO= +17 +/- 260kcal, SO= -62 +/- 184kcal) or respiratory exchange ratio (FO= -0.02 +/- 0.09, SO= +0.02 +/- 0.05). There was a tendency for salivary cortisol to decrease in the FO group (FO= -0.064 +/- 0.142ug/dL, SO= +0.016 +/- 0.272ug/dL, p=0.11). There was a significant correlation in the FO group between change in cortisol and change in fat free mass (r = -0.504, p=0.02) and fat mass (r = 0.661, p=0.001)

CONCLUSION: 6wk of supplementation with FO significantly increased lean mass and decreased fat mass. These changes were significantly correlated with a reduction in salivary cortisol following FO treatment.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Spartan Warrior Workout by Dave Randolph

Spartan Warrior Workout by Dave Randolph is an intensively complete book. It takes the basic premise of the "300" workout, and expands it into a complete, balanced fitness system.

For those of you who have been in a cave for the last several years, the movie, "The 300" is about the Spartans. The actors in order to portray these supreme warriors were required to train with Mark Twight of Gym Jones. This workout, also called the 300, tested the actors and stuntmen to their limits. In this valuable training manual author, Dave Randolph, successfully organizes massive amounts of material on technique, equipment, nutrition, warm ups, flexibility, mobility, and template design, into a readable, usable, format.

Dave uses the foundational exercises and develops each component into a variety of movements to accommodate individuals of varying fitness and functional levels. There is enough material here for the raw beginner or a member of an elite special response team. The organization is superb and the photographs are clear. Dave practices what he preaches and appears as one of the models in his own book. Dave can be contact at the Spartan Warrior Workout Club

The Paleo Solution, The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf

Robb Wolf's "The Paleo Solution" is a refreshing source of information in a world where too many people take themselves too seriously. Robb's humor is carefully aligned with research and his testimonial or anecdotes are presented with examples of blood work and composition change.

This book succeeds since it includes exercise as a necessary component of the weight loss formula. It also includes recipes and practical examples of how to drink Tequila! The balanced format to me, makes the book very palatable and a nice addition to anyone's library. I highly suggest you go to the source and visit Robb at his website ROBB WOLF

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Youth Is Wasted On The Young.

Sly is 64 years young. He broke his neck on the film "The Expendables" and kept on filming. He has torn rotator cuffs that need surgery, but continues to train. His broken neck is compliments of wrestler turned actor, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Steve's neck has been broken in the wrestling ring as well. He continues to train, like Sly, with the energy of a teenager. They wake up every morning realizing, there is no tomorrow, and they go at it.

 Another cast member, Jason Statham at age 37, was the baby. He trains specifically for every movie, with a former Navy SEAL, Logan Hood. Their workouts would dismantle many gym monkeys.

Last but not least is legendary UFC fighter, Randy Couture. At 47, many men are complaining about pain and sporting a fat stomach. Randy is making top box offices movies and winning fights in the Octagon agains decades younger opponents.
The point here is that age, injury, mobility, and function are largely between the ears. You can listen to your friends, your family, your doctor, the internet, or you can listen to yourself. The men above answer to the only person that counts,... themselves. Keep mobile, keep strong, and keep trying.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The News You Read About Testosterone Versus Reality

This news can be found today 6.30.2010 and it's about Testosterone Replacement Therapy. Of course if it's in the news, it has to be correct, doesn't it? I mean the Wall Street Journal is certainly prestigious. Well here is the link to the news article, and following is an actual physician who is in the field. Notice the difference in perception.

Wall Street Journal version-

Now, reality-

Friday, May 28, 2010

Florida Kettlebell And Joint Mobility Workshop September 18, 2010

Mike Mahler and Tom Furman join forces to teach the cutting edge of Kettlebells, Strength, Hormonal Optimization, Mobility, and Fitness.

 Let's get right to the point. If you are serious about getting into great shape and developing strength, flexibility, core strength, endurance, and turning your body into a fat burning machine then this workshop is for you and I want to work with you. You will love kettlebell training. Not a possibility, it is a certainty. If you want to take charge of your physical health and make a serious investment in your well-being, then I want you at this seminar. I love working with people that take charge of their lives and are prepared to pay for high quality services for self-improvement. I work with motivated people. Sound good to you? I hope so and keep on reading.

Who is Mike Mahler?
I am a Kettlebell Instructor and fitness information provider. I am the author of the DVD's The Kettlebell Solution For Speed And Explosive Strength, The Kettlebell Solution For Size And Strength, and The Kettlebell Solution For Fat Loss And Mental Toughness. I have done over 90 Kettlebell workshops across the US and overseas.  I am the producer of a series of best selling workshop DVD's: "The Boys Are Back In Town", "Collision Course", and "Kettlebell Training In The Age Of Quarrel." I am also the author of "The Aggressive Strength Solution For Size And Strength."

Thousands of people have benefited from my experience with kettlebells and I have written about the benefits of kettlebells in several magazines in the US and Japan including Men's Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Planet Muscle, Industry Magazine, Testosterone Nation, Ironman Magazine, and Ironman Magazine Japan.

Of the thousands of people that I have trained, I have never received any negative feedback. Not one person has been disappointed. What does this mean? It means that you are guaranteed to have a great time at our seminar.

You should be super excited about this seminar.  This informative hands on eight hour seminar is for all levels and no experience whatsoever is needed. However, this seminar is not just for beginners. We are going to cover the basics and then we are going into some really fun stuff that intermediate to advanced kettlebell trainees will absolutely be ecstatic about. Do not worry beginners, once you have the basics down you will be able to partake in the fun as well.

As if that were not enough, I am going to give a lecture on the importance of optimizing sex hormones naturally and why everyone should have their levels checked.
Moreover, I will reveal how to workout and modify your lifestyle to optimize these hormones naturally. This information is crucial to optimal health and well-being. This lecture alone is worth the price of the lecture. Sick of having no energy and making zero progress with your workouts? You need to be at our seminar. As an additional bonus, we are going to discuss the intricate field of training program design and what the common pitfalls are. More than likely you are not maximizing your time working out and you will love this section of the course. You will understand clearly why training programs need to be personalized and how to make that happen.

In addition to the lecture on hormone optimization, my good friend Tom Furman will be teaching a section on the incredible benefits of his joint mobility system. There is nothing else like Tom Furman's joint mobility work so don't think that his section will be on generic moves that you are already know.
Who is Tom Furman?
Tom Furman has been involved in martial arts and conditioning since 1972. With an early background in wrestling and a student of the methods of the York Barbell Club, Tom immediately separated fact from fiction growing up outside Pittsburgh. Eleven members of his family were combat veterans, the most famous one being “Uncle Charlie” (Charles Bronson).

His down to earth training methods are derived from his decades long practice of martial arts and his study of exercise science. The application of force, improvement of movement and durability rank high on his list of priorities when training. He gives credit to hundreds of hours of seminars, training sessions, and ‘backyard’ workouts, including training time with many martial arts legends. He also credits his incredibly gifted training partners who came from varied backgrounds such as Exercise Physiologists, Airborne Rangers, Bounty Hunters, Boxing Trainers and Coast Guard Rescue Divers.

Tom is the creator of the popular DVD “Concrete Conflict & Conditioning” which integrates strength, movement, and physical combat. He also created another DVD called “Activate Your Dynamic Range of Motion” which introduces Tom’s excellent program of flexibility. Tom was one of the first American trainers to become RKC certified for Kettlebell Training in the US, and is quoted twice in "The Naked Warrior" by Pavel Tsatsouline, the founder of RKC. Tom has done workshops with Kettlebell legends Mike Mahler and Steve Cotter.

When: Saturday September 18, 2010, 9am to 5pm

Where: Crossfit Affliction
10400 State Road 84 #103 Davie
Ft Lauderdale, Florida 33326

Sign up now!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dementia and Belly Fat

Belly Fat in Middle Age Raises Dementia Risk
'Spare tire' had strongest association with senility, study found.

 A preliminary study suggests that excess fat in the abdomen during middle age boosts the risk of dementia later in life.

An estimated 24.3 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, which can stem from Alzheimer's disease or other causes.

In the new study, Dr. Sudha Seshadri, of Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues examined the medical records of 733 people with an average age of 60. About 70 percent were women.

The research confirms that increasing levels of body-mass index -- a measurement of whether someone's height and weight are proportional -- in middle-aged people corresponds with lower brain volumes when they are older, Seshadri said in a news release.

"More importantly, our data suggests a stronger connection between central obesity, particularly the visceral fat component of abdominal obesity, and risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease," Seshadri said.

"Our findings, while preliminary, provide greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying the link between obesity and dementia," Seshadri said. "Further studies will add to our knowledge and offer important methods of prevention."

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: American Neurological Association, press release, May 20, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kettlebells, A Simple Way To Fitness.

Kettlebells are cannon ball shaped lumps of iron or steel with a handle. They are used primarily in the the strength endurance competition of Girevoy Sport or GS. In this country they have been popularized as a rapid means of fitness, mobility, and endurance. Very specific protocols have been installed to educate muscle movement, build strength, and rehabilitate or prevent injury. The sport of GS is new to this country, but represents the by product of training in this "poor man's Olympic Lifting". Very few people have what it takes in terms of discipline and endurance to partake in GS. Many however can benefit from the primary exercises of kettlebell lifting.

There are several advantages to training with kettlebells.
--  You learn good lifting mechanics for every day tasks.
--  Weaknesses and inflexibilities are rapidly targeted and corrected.
--  Lifting in this style prioritizes the often neglected posterior chain muscles.
--  Flexibility and cardiovascular endurance are a byproduct without direct focus.
--  It enforces strength as a technique or skill.

There are many ways to use a kettlebell. Bad form means injury. Efficiency for the sport of GS has shown us some very interesting guidelines regarding alignment, gripping, and posture. Specific drills teach you the safest and most effective way to train and lift.

By all means, seek the best instruction available. With the advent of the internet most average citizens can be sensational. However, training and teaching history are a matter of record. Do a little research before you pick a workshop or instructor.

As far as buying a kettlebell, Lifeline USA has one of the best made and most economical selections available. Click the kettlebell below for details. Most women start with the 18lber, and men start with the 35lber. Those are not hard and fast rules and your instructor can help you choose the appropriate size for you.
Click the KETTLEBELL BUYERS GUIDE for further information and a variety of DVDs.

For the best quality kettlebells, buy Lifeline USA. Click the bell!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Eat Nuts and Improve the Quality of Your Health

Nuts' anti-cholesterol effects stronger for some
Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Eating plenty of nuts can lead to healthier cholesterol levels, but the benefits seem to be greatest for thinner people, those eating less healthy diets, and people with higher levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, according to a new analysis of published studies of nut consumption and blood fats.


Studies in men and women from different countries have shown that "nuts do lower cholesterol, so it's pretty much universal," Dr. Joan Sabate of Loma Linda University in California, told Reuters Health.

Nuts contain a number of healthful substances, including "good" fats, fiber, and antioxidants. In 2003, the US Food and Drug Administration stated that eating 1.5 ounces a day of certain nuts might help reduce heart disease risk.

To further examine the cholesterol-lowering effects of nuts and whether this effect might be strengthened or weakened by a person's overall diet, body size or other factors, Sabate and colleagues pooled data from 25 studies from seven countries including 583 men and women, some with high cholesterol, some with normal cholesterol.

They found that eating an average of 67 grams (about 2.4 ounces) of nuts daily brought people's total cholesterol levels down by 11 points (a 5 percent reduction); reduced their harmful LDL cholesterol levels by 10 points (a 7 percent drop); and shifted the ratio of total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol to "good" HDL cholesterol in a favorable direction. The benefits were seen both in people with normal cholesterol levels and those with high cholesterol.

But while nuts reduced triglyceride levels by 21 points in people whose triglycerides were too high (150 milligrams per deciliter or higher), they didn't affect triglycerides in people with normal levels.

The researchers also found a "dose-response" relationship, meaning the more nuts people ate, the greater the changes in their cholesterol levels. Different types of nuts had similarly healthful effects on blood fats.

Eating nuts had the biggest effect on people who started out with LDL cholesterol levels above 160 milligrams per deciliter, people with lower body weight, and those who were eating more "Western" diets (meaning more saturated fats and refined carbohydrates), the researchers found.

This makes sense, Sabate noted, because people who were already eating a more Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, fish, whole grains and other healthy foods wouldn't show as much benefit from adding nuts to their diet.

"Eating one to two servings of nuts a day benefits most of the people by improving their lipid profile," Sabate added. In turn, the researcher said, this leads to a "drastically decreased" heart attack risk.

Sabate and one co-author on the study have received funding from several different trade groups for nut producers, and the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation helped fund the new analysis.

SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine, May 2010.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Does Working at a Computer Have You All Bound Up?

In this place and time we spend countless hours doing what needs to be done in front of a computer. The situation becomes worse when we have to drive one or two hours to get to the computer! The body adapts to the demands you place on it. Sitting at the computers stimulates bad posture, hunched shoulders, shortened hip muscles, and tight thighs. This drill in the video below can correct these issues.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Simple Method To Avoid Low Back Pain

Understanding the simple mechanics of folding at the hips can prevent morning aches and pains. Check out this video and subscribe to the Youtube channel to change your life.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Another View of Intermittent Fasting

This is a follow up to the article below on Martin Berkhan. Martin's view of Intermittent Fasting is very clear, refined, and backed up by research. 
The information that follows is from Eddie Kowacz. He is a former Marine, SWAT, and Corrections Officer. He is a martial arts veteran and experienced strength athlete. His view of Intermittent Fasting is very raw, vivid, and backed up by experience. He walks the talk.

Fasting and Feasting - The Way I Eat by Eddie Kowacz

"Most of the time (est. 90% ) I eat one meal a day and have been doing so for the last ten years. I never,ever,eat breakfast or lunch. I don't do this for any Athletic, Aesthetic, or Religious reason. I follow this "Way" because I enjoy it and it works. It makes me feel mentally in tune with my body and mind while providing a sense of alertness and well being that is almost unexplainable. I eat my dinner around 8 in the evening and the other 10% of the time I'll have a light snack around 10, just before I turn in.

Yes, you've read that right. It's almost a full 24 hours before I ingest any more calories. In the mornings and during the day the only liquids that I take in are black coffee and Poland Spring water. However, I do add a small amount of Crystal Light ( White Grape, only please!... this stuff rocks ) which adds a few trace calories. An average day has me taking in 2-3 large cups of coffee and 2 gallons of water. I never get hungry between feedings and never have any cravings. If I do it simply means that I didn't eat enough the day before. Following this regimen training is always done on an empty stomach. No pre workout meal nor post. ( The post workout meal timing "window effect" is a fallacy that was created by supplement companies in an effort for you to buy their precious Whey Protein Drinks ) IMO, It doesn't exist!!

Eating this way has enabled me to keep my weight between 170-180 for the past 5 years. Currently @175 as I type this. The purpose for staying at such a light weight for me is due to the fact that I have had 10 knee surgeries since 1985, with my last one being a partial plastic replacement. Less stress
(body weight) that's placed on the knee joint is a great thing, which in turn enables me to train as I wish in keeping with the high standards that I set for myself.

What I Eat: Very simple! I'm a Carnivore, that means meat-eater. For the last 4.5 years it's been a diet that consists of High Fat and Med Protein nutrients. Think Steak and Butter here! Most of the time the steak is grass fed tenderloin and grass fed butter. If I'm forced to eat meats that aren't grass fed 
( which is rare ) it is rib-eye cuts with the rib roast being my favorite ( 1st cut ). The butter is always a grass fed variety. I have no problem eating the same thing day in and day out. I eat till I'm full as well. No cravings for any other types of food. Not even sugar or any other form of carbs. Last carb meal I had was Dec. 2005 at Moms house. It's been zero since. I don't drink either. Last drink that I had was in early Feb 1999. I have medical tests done at my Doc's office twice a year and it's always good to great. Oh Yeah, I do take a few multivitamin/ multiminerals.

Can I eat other foods "healthy" foods as I wish such as fruits and veggies? Sure! But why try to fix something that's not broken! I love eating this way, these foods, and MOST important it works for me. The body adapts, it becomes it's function.

I don't want to give the impression that my fasting method can't include other protein choices or even carbs. For example: Before I switched to meat only I went a few years fasting the same way and eating a combination of Chilean Sea Bass ( 1.5 lbs. daily ) and Buffalo Beef Patties w/Stir Fried Veggies. The Veggies were stir ... See Morefried in my Wok with Coconut Oil and they included Peppers, Vidalia Onions,and Mushrooms. When I got done frying this mix I would pour it over my cooked Buffalo patty. The Sea Bass was mostly eaten with sauteed red peppers. Of Course, the main fat source of any of these dishes was saturated fat. No Poly Oils.
This is my diet! I'm not selling this to anyone nor am I advocating that anyone try this. It's simply something that I do, and it works well for me."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This Man Can Make You Lose Fat, Look Better, and Live Longer

Martin Berkhan is a nutritional consultant, writer, and trainer from Sweden. His approach to eating is called Lean Gains. It is his take on the technique of Intermittent Fasting. This is a method of using short fasts to achieve reduced body fat, add muscle, and improve health. There is considerable researching in the area of caloric restriction and extending how long mammals live. The difference between Martin's approach and others is his flexibility and practicality. He doesn't surround his methodology with a shroud of mystery to distract from logic.
Martin is publishing a book this year on his methods. In the meantime he has compiled a guide to his methods, for free, to help you get informed and get started.
If you think seeing is believing, check out these results.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Born Strong or Built Strong

Here is a REALLY good article by Kelly Baggett. I'd suggest many of you read it carefully.

The Myth of Non-Functional Hypertrophy by Kelly Baggett
If you read my articles you know that explosiveness is largely dependent upon strength, and strength is fairly influenced by muscular growth, or hypertrophy. In this article I'd like to address another topic along these lines and this the topic of functional vs non-functional hypertrophy. Non-functional hypertrophy refers to gains in muscle size that aren't associated with an improved capacity to produce force. "Functional" hypertrophy refers to gains in muscular size that improve maximal force production, and thus carry over into the real world. Simple enough.

Manufactured Strength Vs Natural Strength

Before I get into it I'd like to point out that no supplemental training method is perfect and has a perfect transfer to sport. The practice of adding strength and size thru weight training in an attempt to apply the benefits of that strength and size to a sport is effective but it won't ever be perfect. You're basically manufacturing something that wasn't there to begin with - You're allowing your body to adapt to one stimulus and then applying those adaptations to another area. It really is cheating in a way. The only thing that isn't cheating would be actually playing the sport and letting your body adapt naturally. However, we know there are limits to that. But this is one reason why people that have "natural" strength, size, and power will generally have a "functional" strength advantage over those who have to manufacture it. Reggie White, Lawrence Taylor, and Mike Tyson rarely if ever lifted a weight. Compare them to muscled up guys like Frank Bruno, Tony Mandarich, and Vernon Gholston. Manufacturing size and strength isn't perfect regardless of how you acquire it, but it beats the alternative and can allow you to compete at a level you wouldn't have.

Myofibrillar growth vs Sarcoplasmic growth

Now that i've got that out of the way, let's talk a little bit of muscle physiology. In a muscle cell you have the actual protein content in the cell, or the myofibrils, and you also have fluid surrounding the protein, the sarcoplasm. Strength is primarily influenced by the amount of protein contained in the cellular filaments, or the myofibrils.

There is a belief in the training world that certain types of training can influence the growth of one of these components over the other. The belief is that heavy low rep weight training favors growth of the myofibrils and builds muscles that are as strong and "functional" as they look, if not stronger. In contrast, higher volume/higher rep training (bodybuilding methods), are often believed to favor growth of the sarcoplasm. Since the sarcoplasm consists of non-contractual fluid it is supposedly possible to gain large amounts of size without any increase in strength. This is deemed to be responsible for the so called non functional strength or "bodybuilding fluff" lended to bodybuilding methods. Muscles that aren't as strong as they look or muscles that are slow and unathletic.

For this reason athletes are often encouraged to train heavy and use lower repetitions in their training. There is a belief that training with higher reps and shorter rest intervals and lighter weights builds only non-functional strength.

What Really Happens

However, when we examine this claim critically, science demonstrates the size of the sarcoplasm is limited by the size of the myofibrils. In other words, a cell can only hold so much sarcoplasm and that amount is limited by the size of the myofibril within it. Additionally, more than a handful of studies have tried to differentiate myofibrillar from sarcoplasmic hypertrophy with different prodocols and loading parameters. In every single one of them myofibrillar growth always comes out well ahead, typically by a 2-3 x margin.(1-5) Thus, it would seem it is impossible to increase sarcoplasmic growth in the absence of myofibrillar growth regardless of what strategies are employed.

This would tend to indicate that sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is mostly a myth. Well, technically it does, but in practical terms non-functional growth does exist, but in my humble opinion it doesn't occur in ways most people think. In the real world non-functional hypertrophy is simply extra glycogen storage. A muscle that has it's energy stores taxed (thru higher volume training) will adapt to store more glycogen, or carbohydrate energy, and this can add a significant amount of extra weight and size.

Fluff and Glycogen

A normal 170 lb male can store about 350-500 grams of total glycogen in his muscles. A 170 lb male whose muscles are trained at fairly high volume can store about double that, or ~1000 grams. Each gram of glycogen attracts 3 grams of water with it, so 500 grams of extra muscle glycogen above average will add an extra 2000 grams of total weight above normal, or about 4.5 lbs. This 4.5 pounds of extra glycogen and fluid will be stored in the muscles and will "appear" to be solid muscle weight, but it's really nothing more than energy and water. Four and a half pounds may not sound like a lot but take a look at a 4.5 lb steak next time you're in supermarket and you can see that's a considerable amount.

Let's say you take take 2 people with 15 inch arms who train with fairly low volume, so their energy stores are never really taxed. Let's say they do something like 5 sets of 3-5 reps for biceps and triceps twice per week. You keep one of them on low volume and put the other one on high volume, something like 8 sets of 10-12 reps twice per week. The guy on the higher volume protocol might see his arms immediately go up an extra 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch over the other guy, because the extra volume taxes the energy stores in his arms to a greater degree and the body adapts to that by increasing the amount of energy that can be stored in his arms. So their arms will be the same size from a myofibrillar perspective and likely be the same strengthwise but the 2nd guy will have more glycogen storage, which makes his muscles look bigger (and may makes him appear weak for his size compared to the other guy).

A person with a 20 inch solid arm who trains with low volume might be able to add a full inch by increasing his volume.

That's not to say that someone training with higher reps can't build plenty of functional strength and size in the process. As long as he trains with progressive resistance his myofibrils will increase in size just as well as the guy on lower reps, he's just more likely to have a nearly immediate extra gain from the increased glycogen storage in addition to that.

With higher volume training the average bro might be able to gain 5-10 lbs or so of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy across his entire body over what he would on lower volume protcols. Cell volumizers like creatine also attract water into the muscle and add to that. Add in steroids (which often increase creatine storage and water retention) and other cell volumizers and it's fairly easy to see how bodybuilders training at high volumes can add a significant amount of "fluff" weight.

So Why Are Some People Weak For Their Size?

Besides that there is one primary reason why "high-rep" guys might appear weak for their size:

A: They rarely practice lifting maximal weights so they're not as good at lifting maximal weights. Maximum strength is a skill that must be practiced, just like sporting movements are skills that must be practiced. You also see this in reverse. If you take a bodybuilder who regularly does sets of 15-20 reps and a powerlifter who regularlly does sets of 1-3 the bodybuilder will have a hard time matching the powerlifteron low reps sets but the powerlifter will likely have a hard time matching the bodybuilder on high rep sets.

It's also worth noting that weight training is only one way of taxing muscular energy stores and stimulating increased glycogen storage. Anyone engaged in more than a few hours of exercise per week, especially a sport incorporating some form of running, is likely already stimulating these adaptations.

Low Reps and Thickness

What about the claim that low rep power training builds dense, thick muscles? Take a look at the neck and trap development of some of the top powerlifters and strongmen. They have a bulldog like thickness to them that you don't see equaled by many other athletes. Many would have you believe this is solely on account of their style of training, but if you pay much attention to the sport you'll also find plenty of people who train the same way and don't have this look. My explanation for this is that naturally strong people tend to gravitate towards strength sports and naturally strong people are typically incredibly gifted for size as well. They have a ton of dormant muscle cells just waiting to explode, much like bulldogs, pit bulls, and boxers are thicker than other dogs. In general people that grow extremely well off of low rep/low volume training are very gifted for size and would have well above average thickness even without any training.

Rep Range and Fiber Type

Another thought is that repetition range influences the type of muscle fiber (fast twitch/slow twitch) that is built. There is some thought that high rep training (anything greater than 8-10 reps) builds slow twitch muscle fiber and should be avoided. However, slow twitch fibers really don't grow much no matter what you do, and the small amount they can/do grow is best stimulated by the same heavy sets that cause "normal" growth, standard sets of 6-12 reps. If that weren't the case then endurance athletes would all be huge. Regardless of how you gain it, any size you gain will be fast twitch related growth. However, there is something to be said that training can influence the quality of fast twitch fiber that you build.

All muscle fibers exist in a color continuuum with some fibers being pure white and other fibers having a shade of red. Think of eating chicken. The dark meat is tender and red while the breast meat is white and tough. Your muscles are the same way. Some are redder or whiter than others. The slowest twitching fibers are dark red while the fastest twitching fibers are pure white. In between those 2 extremes there will be various shades of white and red. What causes the different color is the amount of capillaries running thru the muscle. The redder the muscle the more capillaries (and oxygen) run thru it. The whiter the fiber the less capillaries (and oxygen) run thru it. Fibers can't completely change types. You can't take a dark red (slow twitch) fiber and change it to a pure white (fast twitch) fiber and vice versa. However, you can change the shade of a given fiber type (slow twitch or fast twitch) to either a whiter or redder variant of the same fiber type.


There are different sub types of fast twitch fibers with some more enduring or more powerful than others. In humans the whiter type II fiber is known as the IIX subtype, the intermediate light red shade is known as IIA. Both of the type II subtypes have equal strength, but the white fibers are more explosive and have no endurance while the redder shades are a bit less explosive with more endurance.

Fiber type------------------------------------Fiber type



<---Greater explosiveness------------------Less explosiveness-->

<---Less Endurance---------------------------More Endurance-->

The IIX fibers can change into IIA and vice versa, but it's arguable how much this is dependent on rep range. For all practical purposes anything you do that causes muscle breakdown/growth will cause an intermediate shift towards more IIA fibers. Actually activity of any kind tends to promote the IIX to IIA shift, even sprint training. Unfortunately, (and this is one reason why I started off this article by saying that weight training isn't perfect as far as transference) if you train with enough volume to cause muscle growth you train with enough volume to cause the shift. Untrained people actually have more IIX fibers than anyone because they don't do anything, - their fibers have no need for any endurance.

Explosive athletes like sprinters and olympic weightlifters have more IIX fiber than others, but it's likely this is a genetic trait. They start out with more, thus end up with more, as science demonstrates fast twitch IIX fibers convert to IIA with any sorta practical stimulus.

So, if you want to avoid fast to slow fiber conversions you have to avoid muscle breakdown, which means you don't grow at all. Is there any way to create a IIA to IIX conversion? Well, detraining is one way to do it. If you want to influence IIA to IIX conversions you need to keep the volume low and avoid muscle trauma. Strategically timed tapers and incorporation of pure explosive training methods can cause temporary shifts back towards the IIX subtype, which is what athletic peaking and proper periodization is all about. For more info. on that read my Fast twitch Machine Articles.

The Real Value of Rep Range

The point is, functional hypertrophy isn't as dependent on rep range as a lot of people think. For all practical purposes what determines whether you're functional or not is what you do outside the weight room - your movement and skill work. Train with 10 + reps, practice your sport, and stay mobile and you'll likely be as functional as they come. Train with 1-5 reps and do nothing else and you can easily be as non-functional as a muscled up hippo.

Take 2 twin brothers that both play football. Both do skill and movement work year around. Over a span of 3 years one works up to 600 x 3 squat never doing anything more than triples. The other does 500 x 10 never doing less than 8 reps. It would likely be about impossible to tell them apart performance wise.

Another example is strongman training which has really risen in popularity in athletic training circles. Take a look at some of the characteristics of the exercises involved in strongman: Flipping a tire all the way across the parking lot, cleaning and pressing a keg then walking around with it, and farmers carries. A lot of strongman type stuff is a lot closer to the "high rep" side of things as far as time under tension goes. But how many people come out and say strongman training sucks as a strength stimulus for sports?

As long as you use progressive resistance you can build solid (and functional) size doing sets of 1 rep or you can build solid (and functional) size using sets of 20 reps. The lower body, particularly the quads, tend to respond particularly well to higher reps, and the upper rep range is a bit higher for lower body than upper body. Twenty rep squat routines are very effective for legs, but the upper limit for most upper body exercises will be around 15. In either case, providing the volume is equal, reps of 15-20, 10-12, and 3-5 have been shown to result in exactly the same stimulation of muscle protein synthesis. (7) The only real difference between them (besides one obviously using lighter weights) will be with the 15 reps (obviously the higher volume protocol) you tax muscular energy stores so in addition to increasing the protein content you also get more glycogen storage. In either case the primary stimulus (work under load) is the same, the muscles activated are the same, and regardless of rep range resistance training is a supplement, not the primary event.

Best Bang For Your Buck

For growth purposes the best "bang for your buck" rep range is arguably 6-8, or about an 80-85% max load, as it gives the ideal combination of recruitment and metabolic fatigue. You get full recruitment from the first rep and enough time under load to optimize th emetabolic processes contributing to hypertrophy. Higher reps have the benefit of less joint stress while lower reps have the advantage of greater nervous system activation, and also make it easier to keep volume down and avoid growth stimulation, if that is a goal.

I don't want this to sound like I have anything against lower rep training, but there are times when it is advisable for a person to use higher reps due to injuries, age, or equipment restrictions and the practice is certainly permissible. I've known people that only had a given amount of weights at their disposal or they had injuries and were forced to train with sets of 12 or more and were able to gain just fine. My general recommendation for people over the age of 35 is to keep the reps up to 10 or more for upper body so their joints don't take such a pounding.

Don't Forget About Nutrition

Also building size is just as much about how you eat as it is how you train. You can have the perfect hypertrpohy program but it won't do anything in the absence of good nutrition. Do sets of 10-15 while eating to keep your BW constant and all you'll do is get strong, just ask many of the former HIT (high intensity training) Nazis. Do singles often enough while eating like a hoss and you'll get plenty big.



(1) Selective activation of AMPK-PGC-1alpha or PKB-TSC2-mTOR signaling can explain specific adaptive responses to endurance or resistance training-like electrical muscle stimulation. FASEB J. 2005 May;19(7):786-8. Epub 2005 Feb 16.

(2) Stimulation of human quadriceps protein synthesis after strenuous exercise: no effects of varying intensity between 60 and 90% of one repetition maximum (1RM). J Physiol 547.P, P16.

(3) No effect of creatine supplementation on human myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic protein synthesis after resistance exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Nov;285(5):E1089-94.

(4)Coordinated collagen and muscle protein synthesis in human patella tendon and quadriceps muscle after exercise.J Physiol. 2005 Sep 15;567(Pt 3):1021-33.

(5)Protein synthesis rates in human muscles: neither anatomical location nor fibre-type composition are major determinants. J Physiol. 2005 Feb 15;563(Pt 1):203-11. Epub 2004 Dec 20.

(6) Skeletal muscle hypertrophy and structure and function of skeletal muscle fibres in male body builders.

(7) Muscular adaptations in response to three different resistance-training regimens: specificity of repetition maximum training zones.Eur J Appl Physiol. 2002 Nov;88(1-2):50-60. Epub 2002 Aug 15.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Depression and Smoking

More than 40% of U.S. adults who have depression are also smokers, meaning people need help with both if they want to quit, according to a U.S. government survey published yesterday.

The survey found more than half of middle-aged men with depression were also smokers, while half of women under age 40 who were depressed also smoked.

Patients with depression who want to kick the habit can be helped, but it is difficult, said Laura Pratt and Debra Brody of the National Center for Health Statistics, who conducted the study.

"The few studies that have examined ability to quit smoking in persons with depression have shown that with intensive treatment, persons with depression can quit smoking and remain abstinent," they wrote.

"These intensive cessation services often use treatments that are also used for depression, including cognitive-behavioral therapy or antidepressant medications."

Pratt and Brody used a national survey of 5,000 people to break out the percentage of smokers among people with depression.

They found 43 percent of adults over 20 with depression smoked, versus 22 percent without.

"Over one-half of men with depression aged 40-54 were current smokers compared with 26 percent of men without depression of the same age," they wrote.

"Among women aged 40-54, of those with depression, 43 percent were smokers compared with 22 percent of those without depression," they added. Fifty percent of depressed women aged 20 to 39 smoked.

Antidepressants used to help smokers quit include GlaxoSmithKline's Zyban, known generically as bupropion. Pfizer's Chantix or varenicline blocks nicotine from getting into brain cells.

Pfizer is fighting off lawsuits that allege the company did not warn quickly enough about the risks of attempted suicide with its drug, which now carries a strong "black box" warning, as do many antidepressants.

Pratt and Brody also found that patients with depression are more likely to be heavy smokers, and the worse the depression, the more likely they are to smoke.

About 7 percent of U.S. adults had depression in the years 2005 through 2008, the researchers said.

Globally, tobacco kills about 5 million people a year, according to the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers," the CDC says. "Cigarette smoking is responsible for about one in five deaths annually, or about 443,000 deaths per year."

© Thomson Reuters 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Aging Brains and Diet

MONDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Eating a diet high in vegetables, fish, fruit, nuts and poultry, and low in red meat and butter may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, new research finds.
Researchers asked more than 2,100 New York City residents aged 65 and older about their dietary habits. Over the course of about four years, 253 developed Alzheimer's disease.
Those whose diets included the most salad dressing, nuts, fish, tomatoes, poultry, cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower and broccoli), dark and green leafy vegetables, and the least red meat, high-fat dairy, organ meat and butter had a 38 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's than those whose diets included fewer fruits, vegetables and poultry and more red meat and high-fat dairy.
"Following this dietary pattern seems to protect from Alzheimer's disease," said senior study author Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas, associate professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. But he added that "this is an observational study, not a clinical trial," meaning that researchers cannot say with certainty that eating a certain way helps prevent the disease.
The study was published online April 12 in the Archives of Neurology, and will appear in the journal's June print issue.
While similar to the well-known Mediterranean diet, the diet that seemed to be beneficial in this study is not identical because researchers didn't want to restrict themselves to considering only one culinary tradition. The Mediterranean diet included nine food groups; this study included 30, Scarmeas said.
The foods in those 30 groups are those that impact a list of seven fatty acids and nutrients, which previous research has associated with Alzheimer's disease risk. The nutrient combination included: saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin B12 and folate.
"We found there was a combination of foods that affected the levels of these fats and vitamins, and by doing so, also affected the risk for getting Alzheimer's disease," Scarmeas said.
The researchers controlled for demographic factors such as age, education and ethnicity; genetic factors; smoking, body mass index and other medical conditions.
Dr. Samuel Gandy, a neurologist and cell biologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, said the findings are consistent with other epidemiological studies that have found that people who stick to a diet that is good for the heart also have a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease.
"Everything that increases the risk for heart disease -- high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes -- all of these things also increase the risk for Alzheimer's," Gandy said.
The reasons for the connection are not fully understood. One possibility is that factors that impact the health of the blood vessels throughout the body may also impact the health of the blood vessels in the brain.
Doctors used to believe there were two separate causes of dementia: vascular dementia, due to blood vessel disease; and Alzheimer's disease, a neurodegenerative process. "We now know that most people with dementia have some of both," Gandy said.
Still, while eating a "heart healthy" diet is probably a good idea and certainly can't hurt, what's not clear is just how much, say, broccoli a person has to eat to see benefits, Gandy added.
As for other lifestyle habits that can lower risk of Alzheimer's, exercise is the only intervention that has been demonstrated to be beneficial in randomized clinical trials, Gandy said.
A second study in the April issue of the same journal found that people with Alzheimer's disease lose lean mass as the disease progresses. Lean mass includes weight from the bones, muscles and organs.
People with Alzheimer's often lose weight unintentionally. The weight loss often begins prior to noticeable memory loss, according to background information in the article.
Researchers from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, assessed the body composition in 70 people aged 60 and older with early-stage Alzheimer's disease and 70 without the disease. Participants also had their brains scanned using MRI and neuropsychological testing.
Those with Alzheimer's disease had less lean mass, as well as decreases in the volume of the brain and white matter.
"Our data are consistent with other studies suggesting that brain pathology may contribute to decline in body composition, perhaps by disrupting central nervous system regulation of energy metabolism and food intake," the study authors wrote.
More information
The Alzheimer's Association has more on diet and dementia.
SOURCES: Nikolaos Scarmeas, M.D., associate professor, neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, N.Y.; Samuel Gandy, Ph.D., M.D., Mount Sinai Professor in Alzheimer's Disease Research, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.; April 2010, Archives of Neurology