Do you push your boundaries and challenge your comfort zones in life and training? If you don’t push your boundaries, how will you know where they are?! If you fail to challenge your comfort zone in life or training, you can’t grow; figuratively or literally. If your goals and dreams don’t scare the hell out of you, you’re doing it wrong! Specific to training and the gym, I see people going in the gym and doing the exact same thing month in and month out, year in and year out. They stay in their comfort zone. I try to suggest the guy who’s been doing strictly body building style training (moderate to high volume in the 8-12 rep ranges) for years to try some sled pushing, tire flipping, and heavy KB swings once per week for a change. Their ego, fear of change, and inability to train outside their comfort zone prevents them from even trying it in 99.9% of the time I find. Most athletes, even some top tier athletes, are virtually incapable of going outside their comfort zones in their programs, even when aware it could improve their performance! In life and in training, intelligently going outside your comfort zone and pushing your boundaries is how you grow, both literally and figuratively. Many will not do it because going outside their comfort zone is well, uncomfortable! It’s scary, or it threatens their self perceptions. There’s a risk they may fail, there’s a risk they may find they are bound by the same physical laws we all are and a risk they will not live up to expectations, either of their own making or that of others. There’s many reasons people are unwilling to push their own boundaries
Consumption of red meat has been associated with fat gain (and weight gain) because of its high fat / calorie content. Even though the old idea that “a high fat intake causes body fat gain” has been completely debunked in medical research [1-9], red meat still is a food that’s on the forbidden or avoid list in most diet plans. And for some reason, women tend to be especially afraid of eating meat…
While there are studies showing an association between meat intake and obesity [10-12], there are also studies not showing this [12-14]. And when digging deeper in the data, many of the studies that did report a significant association with meat intake and fat gain / obesity have several flaws that invalidate their conclusions….
Recently, I was reflecting on the number of well known figures in the industry I’ve known or met over the years, and it struck me that it might make a fun article. I’ve been in the “biz” a long time now, and it occurred to me that I’ve probably met just about every major figure in the industry at one time or another. Some of them are gone now, while others are still alive; some have names readers will recognize right away, and some don’t.
Although I can’t possibly cover all the figures I’ve encountered over the years, some stand out in my mind, and I thought a few anecdotes about them would be entertaining.
Now, these stories aren’t going to expose some sordid secrets about these people that will have readers saying “wow, I didn’t know he was a cross dresser!” or something like that. Even if I could (and yes, I know where the skeletons are…), I would not. Nor are they in any particular order—I just wrote them down as they came to mind.
I met Arnold Schwarzenegger when I was fairly new to the bodybuilding industry, and Arnold was “just” a movie star. We were both in Columbus, Ohio for the “Arnold Classic” – the show he promotes. I always stayed at the same hotel he did: the Hyatt on Capitol Square. Back then, he was pretty much a regular guy. Sure, he had some security around, but it was fairly minimal while he was in the hotel, and not very invasive. One morning, I was having breakfast in the main dining room, when someone behind me tapped me on my shoulder and in a strong Austrian accent said, “excuse me, can you pass the salt?” I looked around, and it’s Arnold! He was looking at me with a “you gonna pass that salt or just think about it?” look on his face. I passed the salt!
Some of the most popular supplements today are the so called pre-workout nitric oxide (NO) boosters [1, 2]. These contain a panoply of ingredients, but one the main ones is arginine. The rationale goes that L-arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide (NO) and NO is a potent vasodilator [3, 4] Theoretically this would increase blood flow and nutrient/oxygen delivery to exercising muscles and thereby boost performance, as well as recovery.
While it is true that L-arginine supplementation mat be beneficial for various clinical populations (see below), studies in healthy adults have not unequivocally supported the marketing hype surrounding arginine supplementation and nitric oxide boosters [1, 5, 6]. Here’s why…
To most people, the mere word “muscles” brings to mind huge muscular bodybuilders. The importance of muscle mass, strength, and power for physical performance in exercise and sports is obvious. However, muscles aren’t just for show. Here I will explain why….
They answer, in many cases, is yes. I explore that issue in this vid. For those who want to get into the details of the topic, and excellent review paper is linked below.
How dieting makes the lean fatter: from a perspective
of body composition autoregulation through
adipostats and proteinstats awaiting discovery
A. G. Dulloo, J. Jacquet, J.-P. Montani and Y. Schutz
Department of Medicine, Division of
Physiology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Whether dieting makes people fatter has been a subject of considerable controversy
over the past 30 years. More recent analysis of several prospective studies suggest,
however, that it is dieting to lose weight in people who are in the healthy normal
range of body weight, rather than in those who are overweight or obese, that most
strongly and consistently predict future weight gain. This paper analyses the ongoing
arguments in the debate about whether repeated dieting to lose weight in normal-
weight people represents unsuccessful attempts to counter genetic and familial
predispositions to obesity, a psychosocial reaction to the fear of fatness or that
dieting per seconfers risks for fatness and hence a contributing factor to the obesity
INTRO: I remember well when Jenny was a new member to the Fat Loss Revealed forums. She was in need of a serious revamp of her approach to nutrition and exercise to get the results she wanted. Like so many, she was confused and overwhelmed by all the conflicting and terrible information out there. What I didn’t know at the time was she had been dealing with eating disorders which obviously compounded her ability to get on the right track for her health, well-being and personal fitness goals. Regular writer for BrinkZone, long time member of both the Fat Loss Revealed and Body Building Revealed forums, trainer, and owner of shailafitness.com, Sumi Singh does a Q&A with Jenny on how she finally broke threw the barriers, which I think everyone will find inspiring, regardless of where you are in your personal health/fitness journey. Jenny shows that with the right info, hard work, commitment to change, it can be done; be it fat loss, improved health, etc.
Excerpt from “Overcoming Disordered Eating: A Personal Story”
Sumi: What was your first sign to yourself, that something wasn’t right?
Jenny: When you are so hungry and yet so afraid of people seeing you eat—for fear they’ll judge you— that you feel it necessary to sneak food and inhale it while hidden in a bathroom or closet…it’s a pretty strong indication something is not right.
Sumi: I understand you went through several phases; first anorexia, then bulimia. Or was it a mix of both?
Jenny: It was a mix over the years. I started by skipping meals and going long periods having only eaten a very small amount. That can really only be sustained short-term because people start noticing and the last thing I wanted was for someone to nag me about how I needed to eat moreAlso, you get really hungry eventually you binge because, well, you’re hungry. So that’s when the purging started because I realized I could eat and appease those people saying I needed to eat and the food didn’t really ‘count’ since it wouldn’t be staying down there for long. To me, that was balance—don’t eat around certain people, then eat and purge when you’re around others.I also exercised quite a bit; I grew up roller skating and I bought VHS tapes and did them at home. Cher’s first step aerobics VHS was my jam and I did it so much that I had it memorized (I could probably do it today with my eyes closed).
Sumi: When did you realize that you needed help? Who helped you? What steps did you take?
Jenny: This all continued on and off for around 9 years. I did go months at a time without purging, but disordered eating (skipping meals, hiding food, starving, and bingeing) was still very much a part of me for 9 years.Then I met the man that would later become my husband and he was accepting and loving and even though I thought I had hid my ED well (I had hid it from everyone else), he knew and he told me it wasn’t necessary and I believed him. I felt safe being me. I’m oversimplifying it, but really at that time, I thought that because he loved me, I could just be me and I’d be fine. I didn’t fear eating in front of him, so I ate. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to eat properly; we were poor growing up, so all I knew was soda, fast food, spaghetti noodles with butter, comfort foods, etc. So what do you think happened? I got fat, that’s what happened. I basically swapped one extreme for the other.
It didn’t happen overnight, but little by little over the years I piled on the fat. I was overfat and feeling helpless—that was me. I could say that because I had stopped purging and I was now fat—which is what most consider to be the opposite of someone with an ED—that I was recovered from my ED, but I would be lying, right? Because overeating to the point of becoming overfat is still a form of disordered eating, isn’t it? Anyway, I didn’t want to go back to what I had done before, because I didn’t want to end up in the same place I started…
Meanwhile my husband was applying for a new career and we had started doing a lot of research about it and I ended up on some forums intended for those applying for this particular field. The application process required that you pass a physical agility test and there was this one guy on the forums that was super helpful to everyone and kept answering people’s questions on how to prepare for such a test.
That man was Will Brink. He was so knowledgeable on fat loss and fitness, so I started researching Will and found his Fat Loss Revealed e-book and forums. I bought his book in 2009 and I would say that’s when my real life-changing journey started.
I dove into the e-book and forums and started reading as much as possible, trying to learn how to lose fat and be healthy. At first it was like reading a foreign language, but I was determined and the moderators on the forum were so knowledgeable, helpful and patient…boy, were they patient. I asked anything and everything and if I didn’t understand, I would ask for clarification.
Got Back Pain?
Chronic back pain is at epidemic proportions that costs $100 billion annually in the US alone. That’s billion with a capital B folks! One of my favorite general public articles on the topic was in News Week and was titled “The Great Back Debate.”
In many respects, it was a most ground breaking article. Why? Because it was major “mainstream” publication that attempted to examine truly non-traditional causes of back pain. It made a serous attempt to look at non-physical causes of back pain and non-invasive treatments. Causes that would have been relegated to “non-scientific” status just a few years before that, were being taken seriously by a normally conservative publication. I consider it a must read article for anyone with chronic back pain.
In particular, the article explored the psychological basis for back pain, and did so commendably. Since that article, several reviews on the topic have come out, and continued to support the general conclusions from the News Week article. Some key comments in the article for example:
“The answer, Carragee and others believe, has as much to do with the mind as it does with the body. In the HIZ study, the best predictor of pain was not how bad the defect looked but the patient’s psychological distress. Depression and anxiety have long been linked to pain; a recent Canadian study found that people who suffer from severe depression are four times more likely to develop intense or disabling neck or low-back pain. At the Integrative Care Center of New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, physiatrist Gregory Lutz says he routinely sees men who have two things in common: rip-roaring sciatica and an upcoming wedding date. The problem in their back, possibly a degenerated or herniated disc, probably already existed, says Lutz, but was intensified by the ole premarriage jitters.”
Every culture has its myths and bodybuilding is no exception. Like most myths, most are nine parts fantasy and one part truth, though of course, some myths have no truth to them at all. I have spent much of my career attempting to expose myths surrounding bodybuilding and topics that relate to it, such as drugs, nutrition and supplementation etc.
For my Italian reading members, I have a series of articles in the Italian Iron Man/Olympian’s News. I have been published in Italian before, via Power Magazine, as well as other languages; Polish, Spanish, Japanese, etc.in a wide variety of publications world wide. Click on the cover to read or go HERE. My article starts on page 32. Buon divertimento!