To most people outside the gym, the word “muscles” brings to mind huge bulging muscle bellies and bodybuilders. The importance of muscle mass, strength, and metabolic function in the performance of exercise and sports, has never been questioned. However, muscles aren’t just for show. Here I will explain why.
The associated video below summarizes much of what is contained in the full article below. So, for the short version, watch the vid, but for the complete info, I highly recommend reading the full article. It could change your life!
Learning Permanent Weight Loss!
Most people who read my articles and e-books know me as a science guy who likes to quote studies and apply research to everyday problems such as weight loss, bodybuilding, and other health/fitness related topics. However, sometimes you have to step back from the science and look at the big picture to help bring people back into focus, so they can see the forest for the trees, so to speak.
For most people reading this article, finding an effective diet that works most of the time must seem as complicated as nuclear physics. It’s not, but there are a bewildering number of choices for diets out there. High fat or no fat? High carbohydrate or no carbohydrate? Low protein or high protein? To make matters worse, there are a million variations and combinations to the above diet scenarios to add to the confusion. It seems endless and causes many people to throw up their hands in frustration and give up. In this article I will attempt to change all that.
“Knowledge is power” – Sir Francis Bacon
By Will Brink
The above title is one of the best-known expressions in the English language. It was true when it was penned by philosopher Sir Francis Bacon in 1597, and it’s true to this very day… It applies well to the issues of nutrition, supplements, and training, be it to gain muscle mass and strength, or to lose fat.
Can one make progress in their respective goals (e.g., losing bodyfat, gaining muscle mass, increasing strength, etc.) knowing essentially nothing about training, nutrition, or supplements? Maybe….If you do make any progress, it will be slow, hit or miss at best, and often the progress comes in spite of what you did, not because of it! Clearly, a base level of knowledge of a given topic – in this case nutrition, training, and supplements – is essential to obtaining one’s goals. Conversely, does this mean you need to be a rocket surgeon to make steady progress in losing fat or gaining strength and muscle mass? Of course not! As I said in my article on the K.I.S.S principle for making progress (1) :
So you’re at home watching the news…
“The reason pharmaceutical drugs are inherently safer then nutritional supplements is due to the fact drugs produced by the pharmaceutical industry are regulated by the FDA” says the talking head on the 6 O clock news. That’s the standard mantra people are told, and unfortunately all too many believe. It’s also false. The general message to consumers is, the extensive regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes products produced by the pharmaceutical industry inherently safer then nutritional supplements, an industry often singled out by the media for attack.
One key point often made during such biased attacks, is the claim the pharmaceutical industry has high standards of quality control – due in large part to FDA regulation – while the supplement industry (due to lack of FDA regulation as the logic goes…) suffers from poor quality and or poor quality control (QC). Unfortunately, the total story would take up a book (and has!) but even giving some insights into how people are manipulated into thinking they are safe using “FDA approved” drugs when the easy-to-find facts show that’s often not the case…
The intent of this article is not to attempt to show the pharmaceutical industry and inherently bad per se, or the “unregulated” supplement industry as perfect, but to let people see the reality that the pharmaceutical industry is rife with quality control issues that so far, have kept below the radar of the average person. But why you ask?
The TacFit Commando program is a bodyweight-only program designed to get people into top physical condition. That’s not as hard to do as it sounds. However, getting people into top physical condition, maintaining it, and avoiding injuries, over-use syndromes, and over-training syndromes, is another matter altogether. Many programs will achieve the former, and very few will achieve the latter. TacFit Commando is such a program. It’s not the latest greatest program to jump on the “functional fitness” bandwagon by slapping together a bunch of unrelated exercises, it’s a well thought out well designed program that follows many of the core principles I have been writing about for years. Why do most programs fail in the long run? Here’s why:
DHEA; The Most Underrated Supplement For Women?
Have you ever noticed if a supplement, drug, etc is tried in men, and fails to work, it’s written off as being ineffective? Although improving, it’s well known that men have been the standard subjects in research, with the results often being applied to women as an afterthought. In recent years, that situation has improved and women are viewed as the physiologically distinct people they are from men, and studies looking at specific effects in women – using women as the test subjects – has grown dramatically. That’s the good news at least. The bad news is, there’s still plenty of research out there done on men, being applied to women, sometimes to the detriment of women. Obviously, men and women are not so different that a great deal of research fails to be perfectly applicable to both sexes, but the fact remains a great deal of prior research was done looking at men, and the results, good or bad, applied to women more as an after thought.
Such is the case with DHEA in my view…
The Religion of Pre and Post Workout Nutrition.
Pre- and post-workout nutrition is all the rage these days, and for good reason. For some, however, it’s become more than a science—it’s become their religion, or perhaps just a place to focus their OCD-like tendencies. Regardless, people have taken the topic of pre- and post-workout nutrition to a level that is not justified by the research, or at least not confirmed by the research that currently exists.
Readers should realize I may have my membership card to the Bodybuilding Nutrition Guru Society torn up and thrown at me for what I am about to share in this article…
Getting Into Great Condition Using an Interval Timer
Outside the programs that are designed to obtain a specific goal, such as increases in 1RM strength, or an increase in muscle mass, etc, conditioning workouts can also be an integral part of a well designed program. In my earlier days, like most western trainers, I generally ignored General Physical Preparedness (GPP)/ general conditioning when focusing specifically on an increase in strength and LBM. The more western approach to increasing strength, muscle mass, or what ever the specific goal, is to simply focus on the training that follows the goal, and generally ignore everything else. For example, if you want to be good at the powerlifts, just practice the powerlifts and so on.
XV International Symposium on Atherosclerosis.
(Readers Note: A condensed version of this article can be found in the “In The News” section of the Oct. 2009 issue of The Life Extension Magazine, p23.)
This Symposium – held triennially by the International Atherosclerosis Society – offers the world’s largest presentation of new research and clinical findings regarding Atherosclerosis. This important meeting was held June 14-18, 2009 in Boston MA. As Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of both heart disease and stroke, which together account for more than half of all mortality and morbidity in developed societies, and is the number one killer of US citizens, making headway against this diseases would result in millions of lives saved. This scientific/medical meeting covered a wide range of topics, from detection, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular disease to the pathogenesis and biology of this disease as well as intervention, such as lifestyle and drug therapies, that may prevent it from developing in the first place.
2009 Experimental Biology Conference
(Note: readers will find a condensed version of this article in the Life Extension Foundation magazine, Sept. 2009. p18-19, “In The New” section)
The Experimental Biology Conference (FASEB) was held this year in New Orleans. The FASEB conference brings in scientists from all over the world, with more then 10,000 in attendance this year. Topics covered are wide ranging, including topics aging, cancer, cardio vascular disease, weight loss, and genetics, to name just a few. It’s truly the place many of the worlds’ top scientists converge to discuss and display the most cutting edge research in their respective areas of focus.