Lots of people ask about strategies for “surviving” the Holidays while dieting. Traditions and tempting treats abound, and everyone seems to be indulging. And you’ve heard the same advice over and over again, right? Like, bring a healthy dish to the party, drink water in between the wine, chew gum while cooking, stay away from the buffet table, and so on. Continue reading..
Why Women Need Resistance Training!
Here we are, the year 2014, and it’s stunning to me that myths surrounding weight training and women still exist, and worse yet, it’s the same myths I was hearing a few decades ago! It seems I can dispel these myths ’til I’m blue in the face, and yet, they persist! In addition to the myths, it seems many women are simply unaware of the many benefits weight training – also called resistance training or strength training – can impart. Some of those benefits are sex specific in fact, that is, they are specific to women.
I see this as a continuum going from Anabolic <—> Catabolic with people tending to fall on either side of point 0, tending toward one or the other. Me, I’d say I’m a 2 on the right side of point 0.
Metabolism 5- 4 – 3 – 2 – 0 – 1 -2 – 3 – 4 – 5 Catabolic Metabolism
Hallmarks of the Anabolic Metabolism:
• Put on muscle easily
• Has difficulty getting lean
• Will respond well to lower carb intakes (approx 30%)
• Responds well to higher training volumes
Hallmarks of the Catabolic Metabolism:
• Has difficulty adding LBM
• Gets lean easily (but has difficulty retaining LBM)
• Responds well to higher carb intakes (approx 50%)
• Responds best to lower training volumes
Where do drugs factor in?
The above is based on non drug using people. Drugs are the great genetic equalizer: those who add muscle easily but can’t get lean are able to do so, and those who have great difficulty adding LBM, but have no problems staying/getting lean, can do so while retaining LBM. Obviously, genetic traits still play a role (or everyone would look identical and respond identical, etc) but drugs allow for genetic limitations in the above, faster recoup, ability to tolerate higher training volumes, etc.
Whether you’re a health/fitness professional or just interested science minded health buff, you know finding objective, balanced, accurate information on health/fitness/nutrition/supplements is both difficult and time consuming. I know many rely on BrinkZone.com for their info, and I’ll be using the ERD as one resource for my information.
It’s a challenge even for yours truly to dig through piles of primary published studies, web sites I trust, and other resources, to distill complex information into useful info for readers, so anything that can help me with that job is a winner in my view.
I received a copy of the ERD and was both impressed with the quality of the content and the layout and graphics, but the process to publication. The ERD is not one person, or a few people sitting around deciding what topic to push to increase sales of some product, but has a legit peer review-like process of editors (some of whom I know personally) to fact check for accuracy and objectivity.*
The ERD distills the latest research for people “in the biz” like me (possibly alerting me to something I need to dig further into) or those looking for an accurate source to rely on as supplement to BrinkZone.com.
A resource that helps me save time, is well written, objective, accurate, puts things in the proper context, and involves a peer review process? I’m in. Highly recommended for anyone looking to save time and energy getting the latest info.
Get more info on the ERD HERE:
* = 5 researchers, 4 editors, and 7 reviewers.
During testosterone therapy, total and free estradiol (the main form of estrogen) levels increase dose-dependently in both young (aged 19-35 year old) and 52 older (aged 59-75 year old) men, and more so in older men compared to younger men. The potential clinical consequences of higher estradiol levels and higher estradiol-to-testosterone ratios in older men remains poorly understood, and the optimal management of high-normal or elevated estrogens is controversial among clinicians.
Interestingly, in some patients, an initial elevation in estradiol is followed by decreased estradiol after prolonged testosterone therapy.[3, 4] This may be due to reduced body fat mass or decreased testosterone levels over time with fixed dose treatments.
Here you will get advice on how to best approach estrogen management while on testosterone therapy…
This is an AMAZING core exercise for developing power for punching, kicking and running.
The BrinkZone Avenger sets a new standard in push sled function and design.
Anyone who’s followed my articles and numerous vids has probably figured out by now that I love push sleds. After working with people and groups ranging from SWAT teams, fitness models, strong man competitors, body builders, IFBB pro Figure competitors, to Joe/Jane every day fitness enthusiast, it should be readily apparent I think push sleds are the bombe.
I’m far from alone on that assessment, as many of the best known and highly respected Strength & Conditioning coaches, such as Joe DeFranco, Jim Wendler, and Mike Boyle, to name a few, consider sled training an invaluable tool regardless of the athlete or the goal. The longer I use sleds with an ever wider variety of people with varying goals, the more convinced I became that the push sled is the single most effective strength and conditioning tool known to mankind. Push sleds have become very popular as of late, and for damn good reason; they work like no other tool in existence in my estimation. I like sleds so much as an overall strength & conditioning tool I developed an entire program around the sled and dedicated FaceBook page to them, but more on that later. If you’re a regular user of push sleds, you don’t require any convincing from me on how effective a training tool they are.
‘Till now, there’s only been two major options in sleds: a full sized heavy duty push sled for maximal training benefits, or smaller lighter sleds that are easy to transport, but fall well short of the training benefits of the full sized push sleds. The only major drawback of the full sized heavy duty push sled is the fact they’re difficult to transport and store. Unless you have an SUV or pick up truck, they are difficult to virtually impossible to easily transport from your house to the gym, or to the park, or other locations you want to do your sled work, until now…
Enter the BrinkZone Avenger by Slayer Barbell.
Even if you have the ability to transport your big ol’ push sled, they still take up a lot of space in your home or facility. In my discussions with people as to why they didn’t own a “real” push sled, even though aware of their many benefits, being unable to transport them and or store them was the major reason preventing them from owning one. Thus, the concept for the BrinkZone Avenger Sled was born, which offers all the benefits of a heavy duty commercial grade push the ease of transportation and storage of smaller lighter products. Watch how easily and quickly I can assemble the Avenger sled without any tools:
This is a collection of useful whey information you can use to make smart choices when purchasing whey and learn what makes whey a unique protein source, both for active people/athlete, as well as health minded individuals.
Whey protein is one of the most popular protein supplements sold. It’s used by athletes of all kinds and those looking to benefit from this protein, that has literally been used as a medicinal food for thousands of years. However, much confusion over whey abounds. What types are best? Isolates or concentrates? Grass fed organic whey best? Can it help with weight loss? What about cancer and immunity? Where does whey come from and what about compounds within whey (such as lactoferrin) that have their own potential benefits?
Fifty Shades Of Whey will clear up the confusion – using objective science based information vs. marketing and hyperbole so common – to help users of this food supplement make smart decisions on whey proteins.
Click HERE for Amazon download or click image below!
No, you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Amazon supplies a free Epub reader for their Ebooks to read on anything. Free Reader App HERE:
This is a topic so large it could take stacks of text books (and it does!) and many semesters in college and years of research afterward, so an exhaustive review is both beyond the scope of this article and my brain!
There’s a few key areas however I plan to address in this article people will find helpful to making smart decisions the over hyped ads for protein, amino acids, and peptides don’t cover. For the most part, I recommend whole protein sources, such as whey, eggs, lean meats, fish etc. in terms of dietary protein* intakes, but some individual amino acids can be of benefit in specific applications. Those applications may be sports performance related, general health, or medical, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Back In The Day…
Back in the day when I was taking my first nutrition courses and reading what research existed - right after the Pleistocene era – the mantra of nutrition was that digested proteins were broken down into individual amino acids during digestion and absorbed, and that was that. As with virtually all overly simplified models generated from the early research examining human nutrition and physiology, it was wrong. To this day however, there are still those who believe it, but I digress. However, most know that ingested proteins are broken down primarily into small peptides and individual amino acids. The fact is, to this day, human digestion, absorption, and utilization of nutrients we ingest is still being elucidated with more discoveries being made than most people realize or appreciate. It’s amazing to me however the number of people – some educated enough in the sciences to know better – who think digestion, absorption, and utilization of the food we eat can be summarized as “it get’s dumped into the acid in your stomach, then absorbed via voodoo, the end.” Human digestion, absorption, and utilization of the nutrients we ingest, is an incredibly complex process, that as previously mentioned, still being elucidated. If you want to get a glimpse of how complex, the Encyclopedia Britannica site has a nice write up on that, and remember: digestion, absorption, and utilization of protein is but one very small aspect of it.
As mentioned previously, there are benefits and potentially unique effects to using individual amino acids, but studies indicate peptides are better absorbed and or utilized than individual amino acids. What that suggests is, even if the goal is to derive benefits from a singe amino acid (e.g., Leucine, Glutamine, etc.), it’s likely best to get it in peptide form. For example, instead of taking L-leucine alone as the free amino acid, to increase intakes of L-leucine, ingesting a leucine rich peptide is likely to be the superior approach. The science and understanding of the value of peptides in human nutrition, be it for health, performance, increased muscle mass, etc., is an evolving area of research yielding useful findings, and still in it’s early stages in fact. Because this is such a wide-open and extensive topic, I’m going to stay focused on a few key issues, such as the value of using individual amino acids or “free” amino acids vs. peptides even if the goal is to increase levels of a specific amino acid. Continue reading..
Whether you are a serious athlete seeking improved sports performance or a casual weekend warrior crushing cathartic heavy deadlifts, most veteran gym goers understand that the iron game is a long term investment. The key to success is accumulating hours of consistent quality stimulation over a long period of time.
A serious impediment to obtaining this aforementioned goal is suboptimal tissue quality and impaired movement. In recent years, self myofascial release and foam rolling have swept the strength training community as a means to ameliorate these deficits. Although the science regarding foam rolling remains a contentious issue, many practitioners and athletes consider the practice a staple of proper recovery. Although this article will not discuss the background and science of foam rolling, as the Brink Zone includes innumerable resources concerning the topic, it will instead introduce a new potent tool for your extensive recovery arsenal.
Time to get Buff
One day during a training session, a good friend of mine revealed a car buffer from his training bag. Although I started laughing, as it was typical for this avid engineer to regularly carry spare tools. What did surprise me however, was when he instructed me to apply the device to my adductors. At first I was skeptical, but with some enticing I positioned my foot upon a bench and began to buff the inner portions of my leg. Fighting the urge to pull away, I was instantly stunned by the precise intensity of the pressure. Despite its common use as a car polisher, the newly repurposed tool now functioned as a Brookstone massage wand on steroids. After a few concentrated strokes across the length of my adductors, I instantly experienced relief. My friend began to smile as he realized my astonished delight and subsequent excitement. Soon I was buffing my pecs, traps, quads, calves, and any other area that I could reach. It appeared that this tool provided an enhanced self myofascial release in a fraction of the time. Before I could recommend the tool to my fellow friends and clients I decided to experiment for a month. The results were absolutely tremendous and I expressed to my friend the possibility of marketing a new product. Together we began to research and soon discovered that similar to many other fitness “discoveries,” we were not truly original in our self massage epiphanies.
It appears that Clint Darden and Brett Summers had discovered the massage technique years ago but were largely unnoticed. Their original article can be read here. In relation to introductory self myofascial release techniques, this guide can be viewed in conjunction with Mike Robertson’s PDF here for added completeness. Continue reading..