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How Supplements (Should) Get Made!

Here’s a new vid from my recent visit to NutraBio, done with CEO Mark Glazier. We go through the full process on how they go from new ingredient to product that illustrates the GMP process, and where NutraBio often exceeds GMP. People will find this very educational!

For more details on my visit to the company, shorter vid mentioned in this vid, etc, go HERE

BrinkZone Visits NutraBio

My trip to NutraBio.

32161266_10155448544151517_5843624072193245184_nAs  readers who have followed my stuff over the years know all too well, I have been a consumer advocate for decades. I have tried to educate people on issues such as proprietary blends, how companies source their ingredients, or whether they test their products regularly for purity, dose, and contaminants. I have also written a number of articles and made videos on how products are really produced, passed the marketing hoopla and claims.  Most also know I rarely recommend any companies, and if I do, it’s few and far between. When I do, it’s because I personally know the owner, or have done some consulting work for the company and know how it operates, where and how products are sourced and produced,  and so forth. One company I have recommended over the years was NutraBio. NutraBio was perhaps the first company in the sports nutrition space to take a “no proprietary blend” position with their formulas, and is generally transparent about their sourcing. They also go through great lengths and expense to produce products with no fillers and excipients where ever possible. If you look at the label of various supplements, you will see “other ingredients” that may contain binders, fillers, flow agents, coatings & glazes, and so on. You will not see that with NutraBio products. It should be noted, those often added excipients are not generally harmful, but NutraBio has decided they want to offer as pure a product as is possible. To be clear, excipients found in some supplements are not necessarily a negative nor dangerous, tend to be found in very small amounts, and some products simply can’t be produced without them. I do not feel people need to go out of their way to avoid supplements that have added excipients, but for those who want to use products that don’t contain excipients or have sensitivities or allergies to them, NutraBio is an easy choice. Currently, I use NutraBio L-Tyrosine for my Bomb Proof Coffee recipe for example.

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Mark G and your truly in a room that didn’t require our masks to be on at the time. In most of manufacturing section of the facility, the masks have to stay on the entire time.

On the surface, sounds great, but is it true or just a marketing angle? Many companies will make similar claims, but it’s more often than not, nothing more than BS marketing claims. I sent the owner of the company an email with some probing questions about some of the claims made and such for my own research and his response was “come see for yourself Will.”

Hence, I decided to see for myself per his offer,  so off to New Jersey I went to meet with owner of the company, Mark Glazier to get a tour and see if their claims passed the smell test. It should be noted NutraBio is a true manufacturer, which is rare in the industry. Vast majority of the time I go to visit a company for work or pleasure, it’s to see a corporate office and maybe a warehouse. I give a basic explanation of how that works in my vid “how your supplements are really made” for those who want more info on that. Mark and I did a vid that gets into the full details of how he goes about producing a product worth a watch that gets down to much more granular level, and allows people to see just how invested he is in the process that I will also post once done.

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yours truly In one of the manufacturing rooms while it’s being cleaned

I spent approximately two days at the company touring the facility, doing some vids, talking with the employees and so forth. Summary finding? NutraBio is the real deal and a company that goes above and beyond minimum Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) as a manufacturer, and tests its source ingredients and final products extensively, well passed any FDA GMP requirements. To produce some of the products with no excipients for example, is both time consuming and expenses to do, but that’s what Mark wanted to offer to consumers, and seeing it in person, impressed on me it’s more than a simple marketing claim. Be it a forum, a company, or a military organization, the culture starts at the top, usually with one person. Mark struck me as a perfectionist in all things and his work ethic (he’s a member of Hall Of Fame of Martial Arts for example) comes through in every aspect of his company.

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In front of one of the blending rooms.

NutraBio started out as a single ingredient company selling in bulk, and more recently moved onto offering their own formulas, from pre workouts to protein blends and so forth.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a company that produces their own products and goes above and beyond what’s required of them by law to guarantee what’s on the label is in the product, in the doses listed, using quality ingredients that are tested extensively, NutraBio has that covered.

 

The Creatine Grave Yard

2018 update.I have added  Creatine hydrochloride to the list. Thought it was there, but I wrote that article before HCL existed, hence why it was not on the list. Someone asked why HCL was not on the list, and to my surprise,  they were right!

See 2012 update to this article HERE

The Creatine Grave Yard
By Will Brink © 2009

Looks like another “high tech” form of creatine has got one foot planted firmly in the creatine grave yard. What is the creatine graveyard? It’s where forms of creatine – other then monohydrate – go when either science has shown them inferior to monohydrate, and or it’s life cycle of hype has come to and end.

I refer specifically to creatine ethyl ester (CEE). As with the many “high tech” forms of creatine before it, all manner of claims were/are made about how superior it is to creatine monohydrate (CM). It always starts the same. First the company will invent a long list of negatives about CM such as “poorly absorbed” or “causes bloat” or “is not stable” and then goes onto claim their form of creatine has solved all those invented negatives. The problem is, the data already shows CM does not suffer from virtually any of the negatives they invent, nor do they show their form “cures” those negatives. Continue reading..

First Time In Print!

Vacation Gone South

 

Vacation Gone South: Collected Works is parts I,II,III and IV of the highly rated novella E-series in a single printed volume for new readers and fans alike. With additional content added for prior readers of the series, a must read for fans of fast paced gritty thrillers. Reviews from the E-series:

The litmus test for me for a good fiction yarn is if it makes me feel like I’m actually there in the action, and Vacation Gone South passes that test with flying colors. – US Navy SEAL Commander (ret) Mark Divine

5 out of 5 stars…”Great action, gun style folks will have ‘ah hah’ moments left and right. Very on point with description of certain tactics. I was hooked and look forward to the next.

AN AWESOME BOOK!!! A true page turner and loved the details!

… another home run. He is truly one of the better up-and-coming writers of the thriller-fantasy genre. People will be saying ‘I bought Brink before he became huge’ some day soon.

“Excellent! If you like military fiction but despise people getting the important details wrong… this is for you. Once again, I finish a Will Brink book and immediately want to read another one.

Awesome, gritty, edge of my seat.

“Finally! None of the clueless BS that turns most action fiction into wallbangers. ( Wallbangers are books you throw against a wall while wondering why you bought it)”

“…he mixes a fast pace with witty introspection and insight into the spec-ops community that is sorely lacking (mostly because said members don’t, and can’t, talk about it)…

…Brink also brings to the narrative a depth of knowledge and interesting insights about all manner of subjects . His main character is a smart guy who says a lot of smart things.

I enjoy the authors ability to blend his story and factually correct methods of warfare into a beautiful story. Wink is a true Light Fighter.

“…the dialogue , attention to detail and the action are all first rate.

See more HERE

The Golden Age Of Bodybuilding On Tape!

Those old enough to remember the  90′s know it as the “golden age of bodybuilding” and it was! The magazines – pretty much all of whom I wrote for – were at their peak in sales and popularity, the industry was growing rapidly and still a lot of fun, and people actually cared about who won what show and so forth.  Bodybuilding on all levels at that time was truly fun and exciting and I was lucky enough to be right in the middle of it.  Those who were part of that time will remember Muscle Media 2000 as perhaps the best of the mags, and names like Dan Duchaine, Bill Phillips, Mike Mentzer, Shawn Phillips, Will Brink (yours truly), Charles Poliquin, and many more, were the names people knew and followed.

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Now digitized and online!

Why this trip down memory lane? Shawn Phillips literally found some boxes full of the original Muscle Media 2000 audio tape series and has digitized them and put them on line! When he called to tell me he was looking in the warehouse for something else and found this box of old cassette tapes interviewing all the popular names of the time, we went down memory lane laughing like idiots. It was obvious what needed to be done next, and the MM2k Vault was created for those who want to be transported back in time to the golden era. For those who may not remember all this with the clarity us old dudes, this is your chance to see what the big deal was! I had a great time doing them, and even more fun listening to them myself. If you wanna go down memory lane, or want to listen to what the most popular people at the time had to say and what it was like to listen someone like Dan Duchaine or Bill, or a much younger me pontificate about all manner of fun topics, these are a MUST listen.

If you wanna take the trip click  HERE

 

 

 

How 2 Set Styles May Build Muscle In Half The Time

Editors Note: Here’s a guest article via Carl Juneau, PhD. Doctor Juneau is the developer of the Dr. Muscle App, which I recommended previously in a past article about how so many bodybuilders are stuck in the 70′s readers may recall. The app does a solid job of removing the guess work for people looking to utilize more modern approaches than typical – and less effective – linear training models. Feedback from BZ followers has been excellent.

 

How 2 Set Styles May Build Muscle In Half The Time By Carl Juneau, PhD.

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BrinkZone author Monica M shows what smart training, good nutrition, intelligent supplement use, and good genes looks like!

How many sets do you do when you work out to build muscle? When you bench press? When you squat? 3 sets, right?

For most people, 3 sets seem just right. 2 sets… you’re leaving too much in the bank. 4 sets… it’s hard work. But 3 sets! Boom!

The problem with 3 sets is that they take a long time to do. If you take 1, 2, or even 3 minutes of rest between sets, you’ll spend up to 10 minutes training just one exercise. When you add up your other muscles groups, you can easily spend an hour and a half in the gym. Many guys do.

But what if I told you there’s a better way? 2 ways, actually! Ways to do your sets that let you build just as much (or more) muscle… in about half the time? Yeah! That’s right. These set styles build muscle in half the time because each set is the equivalent of about 3 normal sets. I’m talking about drop sets and rest-pause sets.

Let’s look at what the science says: Continue reading..

High Reps Vs. Low Reps, The Science!

Higher reps vs lower reps has been a debate for decades among those focused on hypertrophy, such as bodybuilders and casual lifters just looking to add some muscle mass. When people ask me what rep ranges are best for hypertrophy, my typical response is “all of them!”

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Monica shows what smart training, good nutrition, targeted supplements, and good genes looks like!

There’s been a number of studies looking at higher rep ranges using lower loads that support the use of higher reps in programs focused on hypertrophy covered by Monica M HERE worth reading if you have not already. Anything by Monica is always worth reading, but I digress.

Recently, a large meta review of studies examining the topic and using a stringent inclusion and exclusion criteria for the review, that lower reps with higher % of 1RM and higher reps using lower % of 1RM have similar effects on hypertrophy. If the specific goal is improvements in 1RM in a given lift, than higher loads and lower reps is superior, although increases in 1RM strength does take place with higher rep/lower load training.

So should those focused strictly on hypertrophy drop the heavy lifting and just train in the 15-30 rep range? In my opinion, No. Is there a place for higher reps and lower loads in the program of people focused on hypertrophy? That’s a resounding yes! This section from the aforementioned review from summarizes nicely; Continue reading..

Soul-MIND

Some of you may be aware I also write fiction. I have a thriller series (think Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, or Ludlum) called Vacation Gone South that gets high marks from those who do that for a living, and three science fiction novellas. My latest one is titled Soul-Mind. If you’re a science fiction geek like me, check out Soul-Mind and let me know what you think!

Here’s the description:

SOUL-MIND copyPost World War III, the earth is headed for total eco-system collapse. The end of man as the dominant species on the planet is not due to nuclear holocaust as so many had predicted, but an accumulation of good old traditional bombs of all kinds and sizes, chemical weapons, biologicals, beam weapons, kinetics launched from orbit, rockets, fleets of robotic ground and air weapons platforms, railguns “smart” landmines of various types and sizes, and assorted mixtures of automatic weapons and munitions made a hell of a mess that killed more people than prior world wars combined. It also effectively killed the birthplace of mankind.

When the warring nations realize it’s get off planet Earth or cease to exist as a species, they collaborate to develop a strategy to find habitable planets. Only a mind used to extreme isolation and survival under any circumstances is fit to make the journey in search of habitable planets, and one of the most decorated snipers of WWIII is one of those minds chosen.

A sniper tired of war, done with killing, sitting in jail for murder, hand-picked for a journey for which there is no return trip, a journey with little chance of success, for which all mankind will depend. A journey that will challenge what it means to be human.

Scout Sniper Sergeant Wilkins has been through more than his fair share of missions that were supposed to be one way trips and succeeded where no one else could. This will be his most challenging mission of his life with humanity dependent on his success.

More HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protein Intakes For Female Physique Athletes

2018 update:

The 2015 study  below was  the first study I’m aware of that looked specifically at female physique athletes and the effects of a higher protein intake, and comes from Dr. Bill Campbell’s lab via the University of South Florida, Performance & Physique Enhancement Laboratory, which I gave a talk at in 2016 and presented at conferences. It’s interesting to note they found increased LBM with higher protein off season.

A new study looked at female physique athletes, and the effects of a high vs. low protein intake. This new study by some of the same authors of the prior study, found although strength of the athletes didn’t vary (reach statistical significance), they did find improved bodycomp in the high protein group. If trying to increase FFM and limit BF, eat your protein ladies!

Effects of High vs. Low Protein Intake on Body Composition and Maximal Strength in Aspiring Female Physique Athletes Engaging in an 8-Week Resistance Training Program.

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018 Feb 6:1-21. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0389.

Abstract

Aspiring female physique athletes are often encouraged to ingest relatively high levels of dietary protein in conjunction with their resistance-training programs. However, there is little to no research investigating higher vs. lower protein intakes in this population. This study examined the influence of a high vs. low protein diet in conjunction with an 8-week resistance training program in this population. Seventeen females (21.2±2.1 years; 165.1±5.1 cm; 61±6.1 kg) were randomly assigned to a high protein diet (HP: 2.5g/kg/day; n=8) or a low protein diet (LP: 0.9g/kg/day, n=9) and were assessed for body composition and maximal strength prior to and after the 8-week protein intake and exercise intervention. Fat-free mass (FFM) increased significantly more in the HP group as compared to the LP group (p=0.009), going from 47.1 ± 4.5kg to 49.2 ± 5.4kg (+2.1kg) and from 48.1 ± 2.7kg to 48.7 ± 2 (+0.6kg) in the HP and LP groups, respectively. Fat mass significantly decreased over time in the HP group (14.1 ± 3.6kg to 13.0 ± 3.3kg; p<0.01) but no change was observed in the LP group (13.2 ± 3.7kg to 12.5 ± 3.0kg). While maximal strength significantly increased in both groups, there were no differences in strength improvements between the two groups. In aspiring female physique athletes, a higher protein diet is superior to a lower protein diet in terms of increasing FFM in conjunction with a resistance training program.

Full Paper HERE

2015 study:

Effects of a high (2.4 g/kg) vs. low/moderate (1.2 g/kg) protein intake on body composition in aspiring female physique athletes engaging in an 8-week resistance training program

Bill I. Campbell, Danielle Aguilar, Andres Vargas, Laurin Conlin, Amey Sanders, Paola Fink-Irizarry, Layne Norton, Ross Perry, Ryley McCallum, Matthew R. Wynn, Jack Lenton.

University of South Florida, Performance & Physique Enhancement Laboratory, Tampa, FL, USA

Background

Aspiring female physique athletes are often encouraged to ingest relatively high levels of dietary protein in conjunction with their resistance-training programs. However, there is little to no research investigating higher vs. lower protein intakes in this population. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the effects of a high protein diet vs. a low protein diet in resistance trained, aspiring female physique athletes.

Methods

Sumi Singh Fitness Model

BrinkZone author Sumi Singh shows what hard work and a solid nutrition plan can achieve

17 resistance-trained female subjects (21.2±2.1 years; 165.1±5.1 cm; 61±6.1 kg) participated in this investigation. At baseline and following 8-weeks of a periodized daily undulating resistance-training program (DUP), participants were assessed for body composition (body weight [BW], fat mass [FM], body fat % [BF%], and lean body mass [LBM]). After baseline testing, participants were matched according to total FM and randomized to the high protein group (HP; n = 8) or the low/moderate protein group (LP; n = 9). Participants in the high protein group were instructed to ingest at least 2.4 grams of protein/kg body mass per day and participants in the low protein group were instructed to ingest no more than 1.2 grams of protein/kg body mass. There were no restrictions or guidelines placed on dietary CHO or Fat intake during the study intervention for either group. Body composition was assessed via ultrasound (A mode, 2.5-MHz transmitter). The DUP program consisted of two lower body and two upper body workouts conducted a total of 4 times per week for 8 weeks. Data were analyzed via a 2-factor [2x2] between-subjects repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). The criterion for significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. Continue reading..

Why Are So Many Bodybuilders Stuck in the 70s?

70sIf there’s on group of strength athletes that seems to be stuck in the late 60s -70s when it comes to their training approach, it’s bodybuilders. Some might argue bodybuilders are physique athletes versus strength athletes per se, but I’m defining strength athlete as anyone who lifts progressively heavier weights in an attempt to get stronger and or larger as their primary focus. Whether they do that to be able to diet down and show that work on a stage or to hit a new PR at a competition is irrelevant to me. So from here on out, I’m placing bodybuilders in the category of strength athletes along with power lifters, strong men competitors, Olympic lifters, etc.

If you spend time in a serious power lifting gym, you’ll find modern power lifters following what’s the most effective and efficient  training methods for them to move forward in their sport. Obviously they apply their own approaches and methods, but understanding and utilizing concepts such as periodization, planned progression, de-loading, and so forth, is the common approach by successful modern powerlifters.  You’ll find the same for O lifters, strong men, and others as the common theme. What about bodybuilders? Go into a bodybuilding/physique oriented gym, and you’ll see people doing the same thing they have always done, pretty much the same thing bodybuilders were doing since the 70s, which is linear training minus any periodization, planned progression, de-loading, and so forth, ignoring approaches that would greatly improve their progress while reducing their chances of injuries. Prehab work, mobility work, and other useful modalities that improve recoup from tough workouts and reduce the risk of injury, also foreign concepts by and large in the bodybuilding community, and that needs to change. It gets downright depressing. Contrary to what some readers may think, with a few exceptions, it’s no different among the bodybuilding elite either.

Continue reading..

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