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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..

Medical Cannabis Discussion

There’s little  doubts at this point there are legit medical uses for various compounds found in Cannabis – some of which are only now being examined in depth via ongoing research.  Current legal control status in the US and stigma have prevented most medical researchers from touching it, but that appears to be changing finally.  Various states in the US allow for medical cannabis (MC) use and the number of states allowing MC growing rapidly. Each state has it’s own approach and laws and list of ailments (see below) medical cannabis is approved for ranges state to state.

Medical Marijuana The endocannabinoid system for example is a fast emerging area of research. Several compounds found in cannabis (Phytocannabinoids) directly impact this system. The best known of course is Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most psychoactive of them. Others however appear to have direct effects and benefits, and having no psychoactive effects,  such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) which appear to have anti inflammatory and possible anti cancer effects. Various pharma companies are looking into compounds that target receptors in Endocannabinoid System and is an emerging target of Pharmacotherapy for a wide range of human diseases.

Marijuana and some individual compounds found in Marijuana, are being looked at for PTSD and several recent studies suggest benefit and various states have approved medical Marijuana for PTSD, and others, but check with your state for specifics. Continue reading..

(Natural) Testosterone Rebound: A Case Study

First, the important part: I’m not against testosterone replacement/hormone replacement (TRT/HRT) in the least, and was writing about the importance of testosterone before the internet existed and decades before the current “low T” trend seen all over the TV via the commercials these days. Readers can find various articles and vids on BrinkZone covering the topic as well as my recent teaming up with AMC to be able to directly work with people on their TRT/HRT needs. If anyone concludes I’m some how anti TRT/HRT from this article, they’d be wrong…

Having said all that, some people and medical professionals will jump quickly to TRT/HRT in individuals who may not require it, or worse, refuse to treat those that do. Each person’s situation is unique as to why they may have disturbances in their hormonal milieu, some times the reason can be ascertained via proper testing and evaluation, some times it can’t. There’s no doubt whatsoever in my view that those who need TRT/HRT will benefit if properly treated, and there’s many out there not being properly treated. Again, there’s also individuals who may show very low testosterone (T) levels but do not require TRT. That’s why it’s essential to fully evaluate each person vs. treating them as a lab number.

Second test, only slightly better at just over 100ng/dl

Second test, only slightly better at just over 100ng/dl

This is a case study I have put together of a young man who had a total testosterone level of 92ng/dl that went to 775ng/dl with no TRT or any medications used, such as Clomiphene (Clomid).  Yes, it’s an extreme case but also one that demonstrates how resilient the human body and mind can be if given the proper tools to heal itself.

Note, it didn’t happen quickly nor easily but it did happen, and today he’s a much happier and healthier person. His was a perfect storm of both physical – and all too often ignored – psychological factors that lead to his extremely low T levels and what he did to reverse it. Anyone looking for a quick fix or magic pill here will be disappointed. Those who identify with him and perhaps have similar issues, hopefully this is the wake up call that leads you to address it and realize you’re not alone. The interesting thing is, he was exactly that guy who people would ask how he stayed so lean all the time. Always lean, strong, and constantly in the gym, he was the paragon of what many wanted to achieve, not knowing that under that shell was a person who felt both physically and emotionally terrible.

When I’d speak with him, I became more and more convinced his issues (as he’d mentioned depression, lack of sleep, no libido etc.) were not a matter of a change of diet or training per se, but stemmed from psychological aspects he needed to address first if long term, recovery was to take place. I also recommended getting his testosterone and other hormones checked, and suspected his excessive training, dieting, and stress levels would show his T and or other hormones far from where they should be for his age and seemingly impressive conditioning. Even I was shocked to see it came back at 92ng/dl! Continue reading..

Got The Legit HIIT?!

Confusion over HIIT abounds it seems

For something so seemingly simple, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) causes far more confusion than it should in my view. Yet, we still see people out there who apparently don’t fully understand what HIIT entails and often confuse basic interval training for HIIT or HIIT for SIT!  HIIT is a form of interval training but not all interval training is HIIT, and I’ll get to SIT in moment.

I suspect some of the confusion stems from the variations of HIIT and its evolution over time with different approaches and changes in terminology. For myself, back in the day, what I would have considered interval training would now be considered HIIT and what I considered HIIT would now be referred to as “sprint interval training” or SIT. Hell, even this introduction probably confused a few readers!

HIIT Humor!

HIIT Humor!

I will do my best to clarify it all and link to an excellent review paper at the end of this article that puts it to rest and fully covers  physiological adaptations of HIT, SIT and moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT), gives recs on frequency/duration, etc. of each, covers the benefits of each, and so forth.The problem with scientists, especially for non-scientists, is science loves its terminology and acronyms and they love to either change them or create new ones just to mess with people. OK, that last part is not true, but for some, it feels that way I know.  For example, MCIT is essentially the same, or at least very similar, to what most people already know as steady state low intensity (LISS) work, but one could argue moderate not identical to low intensity per se. No one splits the proverbial hair like scientists, but I digress. Don’t sweat it or over think it here.

A Common Source Of Confusion Continue reading..

Bomb Proof Coffee Confirmation

A new study adds additional scientific confirmation that combining Cocoa with coffee has numerous cognitive benefits over coffee alone. That’s a combination found in my Bomb Proof Coffee recipe I designed several years ago, and for some, yours truly included, if it’s not Bomb Proof Coffee, it’s just not coffee. For those who want the recipe, the science, etc go HERE. Onto this study… :lol:

Cocoa (cacao) Beans On Natural Wooden TableThe study, which was a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover design, found the combination of coffee and cocoa superior  and found  what appears to be some synergistic effects. The added ingredients of Bomb Proof Coffee should be yet additive benefits:

Note: for those who want the non “hard” science version via the study below, here’s a good summary via IFLScience:

One Delicious Combination Will Boost Attention Better Than Any Other Drink, Says Study:

Researchers from Clarkson University and the University of Georgia studied the effects of caffeinated and non-caffeinated brewed cocoa on attention span, motivation to perform cognitive work, and feelings of anxiety, energy, and fatigue. Their results, showed the combination of fatigue-fighting coffee and anxiety-reducing cocoa was the best combination for boosting attention span.”

Cont HERE

Study:

Acute effects of brewed cocoa consumption on attention, motivation to perform cognitive work and feelings of anxiety, energy and fatigue: a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover experiment Continue reading..

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI ) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), Related?

post-cycle-therapy-ageless-foreverReaders Note: There’s a lot of internal links in this article that will lead people to important pages for additional information. I did that in an attempt to keep this write up as concise and focused as possible:

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI ) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) have been getting a great deal of attention in the past few years, and for good reasons. Are they related?

Approximately a decade ago I communicated with a Dr. Mark Gordon who was just starting to develop his thoughts and protocol regarding the association between TBI, and PTSD, or more accurately, TBI causing hormonal dysfunction leading to symptoms that are misdiagnosed as PTSD. What Dr. Gordon has termed  TBI – Hormone Dysfunction Syndrome.

Basic premise is, TBI causes  damage/dysfunction of the pituitary and other areas of the brain with resulting alteration in specific hormones, which can manifest as very similar to PTSD. According to Gordon:

”Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is now recognized as a causative factor for hormonal deficiencies associated with personality changes. Psychological, Physiological, and Physical manifestations like; depression, anxiety, mood swings, bouts of anger, memory loss, inability to concentrate, learning disabilities, sleep deprivation, increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, loss of libido, menstrual irregularities, pre-mature menopause, obesity, loss of lean body mass, muscular weakness, and a number of other medical conditions can arise subsequent to head trauma.” Continue reading..

BrinkZone Teams Up With AMC!

As covered  HERE, I met with Dr. Bedecs at Age Management Center (AMC) in Jupiter Florida recently. Knowing how difficult it is for people to find a doctor who really understands hormones – for men and women – I was thrilled to be able to recommend him to followers of BrinkZone.

Yours Truly and Dr. B

Yours Truly and Dr. B

I’m happy to announce that yours truly and Dr. Bedecs have teamed up to offer services using our combined knowledge base and experience to assist people to optimize their health and well-being. As I, and other authors such as Monica Mollica,  have covered many times over the years, sub optimal hormones leads to long-term health problems and sub optimal responses to your hard work in the gym. Hormones are also directly involved in mood, libido, and body composition, so again, it  behooves people to pay close attention to that aspect of their health as they do say nutrition or exercise regardless of their age or sex.

Readers can see what I will be offering, via the FL office HERE at AMC. People can either make appointments with me directly via page linked, or with Dr. Bedecs. Dr. Bedecs does a free screening via phone, skype, etc., and can be contacted via the AMC web site HERE to set up an appointment.

General info on the clinic and services offered at the AMC site, which is far more than just TRT/HRT, can be found on the home page.

Creatine and TBI

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)  has been getting a great deal of attention recently due to vets, NFL, etc, and the DOD identified creatine as a nutrient of interest for TBI over a decade ago for military  populations  yet little follow up far as I know. Here’s a recent study looking at creatine and TBI in adolescents, and suggest that creatine is very neuro protective with both acute (TBI) and chronic injury. Taken alone, this study is not impressing being a Open Label/Pilot Study, but when added to the growing lit showing the various brain related benefits of creatine, it’s more creatine win in my view:

Prevention of Complications Related to Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Adolescents With Creatine Administration: An Open Label Randomized Pilot Study

Abstract

Background:

There has been an enormous focus on the discovery and development of neuroprotective agents that might have clinical relevance after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Based on experimental facts, we studied administration of creatine to patients with TBI.

Methods:

A prospective, randomized, comparative, open-labeled pilot study of the possible neuroprotective effect of creatine was performed on 39 children and adolescents, aged between 1 to 18 years old, with TBI. The creatine was administered for 6 months, at a dose of 0.4 gr/kg in an oral suspension form every day. For categorical variables, we used the χ2 test to identify differences between controls and cases. Statistical significance was defined as a p value <0.05 and not statistically significant if p value >0.1.

Results:

The administration of creatine to children with TBI improved results in several parameters, including duration of post-traumatic amnesia (PTA), duration of intubation, intensive care unit (ICU) stay, disability, good recovery, self care, communication, locomotion, sociability, personality/behavior and neurophysical, and cognitive function. Significant improvement was recorded in the categories of Cognitive (p < 0.001), personality/behavior (p < 0.001), Self Care (p = 0.029), and communication (p = 0.018) aspects in all patients. No side effects were seen because of creatine administration.

Conclusion: Preliminary data suggest that the administration of creatine may be beneficial to patients with traumatic brain injury.

Source:

http://journals.lww.com/jtrauma/Abstract/2006/08000/Prevention_of_Complications_Related_to_Traumatic.11.aspx

Exercise Science Lab Nova SE University

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With Dr. Antonio at the NSU Exercise Science lab

I recently spoke at the Exercise Science Lab at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) via my colleague and friend Dr.Jose Antonio. Dr. Antonio is also Chief Executive Officer of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). The ISSN is worth joining for those looking to read the latest in research relevant to all things sports nutrition as well as other worthwhile functions.

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 in my view. Don’t climb that futile ladder I say, throw a rope over the wall and bypass that stupid ladder!

For more info on Exercise Science lab and programs offered via NSU go HERE

FYI, My talk before this was at the Performance & Physique Enhancement Laboratory at the University of South Florida (USF), was of a similar topic and discussed HERE if interested.

 

Can You Live Forever?

That’s a question that was more science fiction than reality, but that’s no longer the case. Obviously, the technology that will allow humans to live forever* is still yet to be realized, but technologies of various types in development will allow people to live longer and healthier lives are here, or just around the corner.

A recent conference called RAAD Fest brought together some top scientists and thinkers on the topic of aging and dying (or not dying!) to discuss the wide range of technologies and other topic surrounding extending human life. Below is a talk by Bill Faloon of the Life Extension Foundation (LEF). LEF is a company I have done some consulting work for, use their products, and occasionally write for their magazine. As a rule, LEF is my go to company for supplements among a small handful of companies I use and or recommend. I found Bill’s talk very interesting, so I decided to share it with BZ members!

* = Obviously “forever” does not exist technically. By that we mean extended periods of time that greatly exceed current life spans and could be in the thousands of years.

 

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