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Vacation Gone South!

Vacation Gone South continues to get solid reviews and feedback. Here’s a recent review from US Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine via NavySEALs.com:

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.

Full Review is HERE

Part I is now on audio book if you prefer to listen to it vs read it, and linked below. Part III of the series should be out soon!

The series  is about two buddies from a Tier One covert Special Operations unit who go on some needed R&R, and things go “south” from there. I used my personal knowledge of Panama City Panama as the back drop for this story. If you enjoyed Part I, I think you’ll enjoy Part II even more. 8-)

You can read a review of Part I by well-known Sci Fi/Fantasy author Jason Halstead HERE. Two, I will be donating proceeds from this book to the H.E.R.O. Child-Rescue Corps. The H.E.R.O. Child-Rescue Corps trains vets to track and help capture those who abuse children.  Hopefully I can send solid donations to them with your help!

PART I HERE  and PART II HERE

Part II Vacation Gone South

Part II Vacation Gone South

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE: If you enjoy the story please leave a review on the page the book is found as that’s essential for the ranking and sales of books on Amazon. Thanx!

Protein Intakes For Female Physique Athletes

This is 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 recently and presented at conferences. It’s interesting to note they found increased LBM with higher protein off season:

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..

Testosterone Deficiency and Treatment – the FACTS

Testosterone deficiency and treatment is a very misunderstood and controversial topic among scientists, regulatory agencies (such as the FDA and EMA) and doctors, as well as the popular media.

On October 1, 2015, an international expert consensus conference about testosterone deficiency and its treatment was held in Prague, sponsored by King’s College London and the International Society for the Study of the Aging Male (ISSAM). The impetus for this meeting was to address the widespread misinformation and confusion about testosterone deficiency and testosterone therapy.[1]

The ultimate goal of this consensus conference was to document what is true or untrue about testosterone deficiency and testosterone therapy, to the best degree possible based on existing scientific and clinical evidence.

There were 18 experts from 11 countries on 4 continents. Specialties included urology, endocrinology, internal medicine, diabetology, and basic science research. Experts were invited on the basis of extensive clinical experience with testosterone deficiency and its treatment and/or research experience.

The final consensus on several key issues related to testosterone therapy was published in the form of 9 resolutions – i.e. facts – coupled with expert comments [2], which I summarize here….

Continue reading..

Arnold, The Vegetarian?!

Has Arnold Schwarzenegger gone vegetarian? Sorta. Of course he built his body eating meat, as have some other well known bbers, such as Bill Pearl, who went vegetarian after their bbing careers. So, the very career and many millions Arnold made due to his body, now doing public service messages on meat. In my view, that’s a tad hypocritical, but people’s positions on things do change with age, and Arnold is no different. One could argue he could have built that body not eating meat, but that’s a different issue for another day…For those interested in my take on vegetarian eating for athletes, you can view that HERE.

Is that a bad thing? Not really. Most people should eat less meat and more plant based foods, which will be better for both health and the environment. Arnold is actually taking a fairly balanced approach to this issue, but no doubt, will be taken out of context by many.

Two, people should also remember, Arnold is a bodybuilder and action movie star and generally all around cool guy (met him several times), but he’s no scientist. I don’t know if this recent change of dietary focus on pro environment status will lead to Arnold becoming some militant vegan, but I doubt it.

Bottom line? Arnold is right: Most people should eat less meat and more plant based foods (ye fruits and vegetables…) for both health and environmental reasons, but there’s no reason what so ever to be a vegetarian, much less a vegan, and It does not sound as if that’s Arnold’s message.

Book Review: Kokoro Yoga by Mark Divine

Kokoro Yoga

Comes in print or E version!

First things first: This is not actually a book about Yoga per se but a book about life and how to develop a “personal ethos” that will serve readers well in all aspects of their lives. That’s what Mark Divine – with Catherine Divine – sets out to do in his latest book Kokoro Yoga. People often stumble through life without a personal ethos they can depend on to keep them on track on their journey, especially during these often confusing and trying times.

What Mark has done in this book is no less than give readers a way to develop – or strengthen – their own personal ethos through the use of mental and physical approaches, that yes, includes yoga! This not your sisters hippie dippie yoga book…

Unlike so many who attempt to offer such grand advice – who frankly have no business doing so other than their own delusions of grandeur – Mark is what’s referred to in the military as a been-there-done-that guy. To my mind, that makes it far easier to take his excellent advice as found in Kokoro Yoga. Mark spent years as a Navy SEAL, decades learning various martial arts, and yet more years in the study of various forms of yoga honing his views and approach. Contrary to what many westerners may understand, yoga, like martial arts, takes on many different forms and focus often quite different from each other.

Mark tells the story of his first time flying into a combat zone, and doing a full yoga session, wearing combat kit and all, on the deck of a C-130 military transport plane coming into Iraq. Quite possibly the first yoga session ever done on a military transport plane! That early experience demonstrated to him just how much yoga could assist in settling and focusing his mind in the most potentially stressful situations for a green (to combat zones) officer, and it stuck with him as a way to keep his mind and body settled and focused on the dangerous missions he’d experience.

After many years of diligently working in various systems of martial arts, yoga, physical training, and the special operations community, he developed his own approach to physical and mental well-being called Kokoro Yoga.

As a rule, one will find those “systems” that endure, be they martial arts, yoga, business, or battle, find the developer of the approach usually has a wide ranging and extensive background, which Mark has in spades. In my view, that gives him the “creds” to offer such advice, and this book is full of damn good advice too. Continue reading..

Does Cardio Suppress Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)?

I cover that topic in this latest vid, with more information, studies, etc via Dr Antonio’s blog on the ISSN

 

Article referenced in vid:

Cardio Lowers RMR – A Fairy Tale

by Jose Antonio PhD FNSCA FISSN.

Key Points to Remember

  • There is a plethora of scientific evidence, which demonstrates that regular aerobic training has no effect on RMR. Some studies actually find an increase.
  • Resting energy expenditure is largely a function of body weight and FFM.[1, 2]
  • Cardio has become the “carbs of the fitness world.” – Shawn Arent PhD, Rutgers University
  • If you like doing cardio, don’t let some fitness guru talk you out of it.
  • If you hate doing cardio, then for Pete’s sake, don’t bitch about those who do it.
  • If you want to elevate your RMR, gain weight, especially skeletal muscle weight.
  • RMR is by itself a meaningless measure for the performance sports.
  • If you compete in football, baseball, basketball, cycling, volleyball, rowing, surfing, paddling, gymnastics, soccer, hockey, track and field (pick one) or frickin’ tiddlywinks, measuring RMR is about as useful as selling bikinis to Russian women in Siberia.

Read Full article HERE

D-Aspartic Acid (DAA) and “Test Boosters”

In this vid, I discuss the popular “Testosterone booster” supplement D-Aspartic Acid (DAA) and update my opinions of this general category of supplements. Note the 2015 study below  published  found at higher doses, it actually lowered testosterone. The 2016 study, found no impact on T levels, but improvements in strength on squats and a positive “trend” on the bench press.

 

Study mentioned in the vid:

D-Aspartic acid supplementation combined with 28 days of heavy resistance training has no effect on body composition, muscle strength, and serum hormones associated with the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis in resistance-trained men

PAGE UPDATE: 2016

This new study found no impact on T or body composition, but did find a statistically significant effect on strength. The study was short and given more time, it’s possible there would be improvements  in body comp (as being able to lift more weight in a given lift usually leads to positive changes in body comp) but it was a short lived and small study, so no real conclusions can be made from the results, other than DAA appears to have increased lifts in the short time period. It’s also possible, especially when viewing it in the larger picture of other studies, the DAA was not responsible for the effects found in the study and it was due to some confounding variables they didn’t account for.

Effect of Aspartate Supplementation on Athletic Performance and Testosterone Levels in Young Men Continue reading..

USF Performance & Physique Enhancement Laboratory

With Dr. Campbell and crew at the USF lab

With Dr. Campbell and crew at the USF lab

I recently spoke at the Performance & Physique Enhancement Laboratory at the University of South Florida (USF)  run Dr. Bill Campbell. He’s doing some very interesting research  there more people should be aware of. There’s plenty of strength and conditioning labs out there, but very few if any actually looking specifically at the “physique sciences” as his lab is. What is the optimal way to alter body comp in the direction of more muscle and less fat vs. say how to make a football player stronger or a sprinter faster for example. Those are very different goals that require different approaches.

I spoke to a graduate class which was part how to “make it” in the fitness industry, and part discussion on my review paper on supplements for the military. My focus was to stress that although education as an essential component to success in the fitness industry, being aggressive, being creative, and thinking outside the box others will always attempt to place you in, was key to success. Below is a short vid worth watching on Dr. Campbell and the Performance & Physique Enhancement Laboratory and people can get more info  HERE.
Check out this short vid on the lab:

What’s ‘Functional Training’? [And What’s So Functional About It?]

My latest article for Breach Bang Clear (BBC) take a hard look at the current “functional” training craze which has become very popular with tactical athletes and non.

Warning: BBC is a no BS site focused on military and combat related topics, and is not for those easily offended by salty language, so if you’re easily offended by four letter words and such…

Just What the Hell is ‘Functional Training’?
[And What’s So Functional About It?]

As anyone not living in a cave the past few years knows, “functional training” is all the rage. On the surface, that’s a good thing. It’s a generally positive trend toward training that’s more functional, applicable, and “real world”. It’s found some acceptance with the military and law enforcement communities, plus the civilian market. Yup, everyone and his mother has jumped on the “functional fitness/functional training” bandwagon.

brink_weights

That’s all well and fine, but it’s also taken many people away from the importance of training specificity concepts. If you attempt to train for a marathon and a powerlifting meet simultaneously, you’ll likely fair poorly at both come competition day. I don’t think that comes as a shock to most.

That’s an extreme example, but it illustrates a point; one can only push the “functional” thing so far before it’s of little value. What does standing on a balance ball doing pistol squats holding a kettle bell (KB) overhead make you “functional” for? I’ll tell you: it makes you functional for standing on a balance ball doing pistol squats holding a KB overhead, and little else. Continue reading..

Supplement Use And The Military

I recently published  a review paper with Dr. Kyle Hoedebecke examining nutritional supplement in a military setting. Many are unaware that certain nutritional supplements may be of considerable benefits to war fighters. Dr. Hoedebecke and I also had an LTE in the The Journal Of Special Operations Medicine (JSOM) on a similar topic not long ago. Below is the abstract from our recent review with link to the full paper.

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Review Paper
Military-specific application of nutritional supplements: a brief overview
F1000Res. 2015 Mar 10;4:61. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.6187.1. eCollection 2015.
Kyle Hoedebecke1, Will Brink2

Abstract

The Soldiers of America’s military endure numerous physical and mental challenges that demand strict physical fitness regimens, extreme mental agility, and a perpetual readiness to deploy at a moment’s notice. The chronicity of these stressors has the potential to dramatically reduce performance – both directly and indirectly.  Because of this risk, many Soldiers turn to nutritional supplements with hopes of optimizing performance. Increasing amounts of research have demonstrated that various supplements may enhance overall physical prowess, health, and offer quicker recovery in the face of corporal or psychological extremes. Most individuals, including many medical and nutrition professionals, possess only an elementary comprehension of nutritional supplements and their effect on Soldiers in training or combat environments. Nevertheless, a grasp of these details is required for safety and optimal benefits. Various compounds have been evaluated – to include evidence within the military setting – and found to augment endurance, increase cognitive function, decrease knee pain, or offer hearing or lung protection in the face of high-energy impulses. These efficacious outcomes may serve to augment the health and longevity of these Soldiers; however, continued research is needed for efficacy and long-term safety within specific environments.

Full Paper HERE

Indexed on PubMed HERE

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