My super simple and effective method of using a tennis ball (or Lacrosse ball) to reduce sore stiff muscles, rehab/pre hab, and improve mobility! Also mentioned in this vid and recommended, Joe DeFranco’s “Limber 11” and The Rumble Roller.
In prior posts, I have discussed my hypothesis that growth hormone and related growth factors, as a possible therapy for connective tissue/joint degeneration in active populations. The study below finds testosterone therapy (TRT ) appears highly valuable treatment in SCI; to prevent the loss of skeletal muscle post SCI. These results do not surprise me in the least and why this is not a common therapy for people with SCI is a tragedy in my view. If you, or someone you know, has suffered a SCI, I highly recommend you send this info to your/their doctor and pursue this as a possible option. It’s important to note that testosterone deficiency is common after SCI, and according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs SCI unit:
“These findings confirm both a substantial population of men with SCI and with testosterone deficiency, and a significant association between testosterone level and severity of SCI. Measuring serum total testosterone levels should be included in standard screenings for patients with SCI…”
I can say, a very common report of those who go on TRT is a big reduction in general aches and pains in my experience, and again, it makes perfect sense to me. The future treatment of SCI will be the of use various growth factors and other modalities (such as stem cell therapy) to re grow/re connect the spinal cord. That technology is much closer than people realize, but it seems the med/sci community very slow to pursue this area as quickly as they should. Obviously, this approach could be used to repair damaged nerves and other tissues far less challenging than repairing a severely damage or severed spinal cord.
Useful summary info from this study Effects of testosterone replacement therapy on skeletal muscle after spinal cord injury:
“The most important finding of this study was that TRT ameliorated the decrease in fiber CSA resulting from SCI. TRT also attenuated the slow to fast fiber type shift as well as the decrease in oxidative enzyme activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the potential of TRT to prevent atrophy in SCI. TRT in aging sarcopenia and in other diseases with muscle wasting (for example, AIDS) results in favorable effects on bone, muscle size and strength in both low-average and hypogonadal men.19 Increases in muscle CSA were equal, if not greater in TRT only groups than in exercise groups without TRT.20 These data and ours for SCI both demonstrate a positive effect of TRT on muscle size without traditional overload…”
Someone once said “there’s no sunshine without coffee.” I tend to agree. However, there’s a great deal more to understand regarding the benefits of caffeine – the central nervous system stimulant most people associate with coffee – and its effects on mental acuity, performance, etc. In this article I’m going to cover what people really need to know about this topic, and suggest a way to get the most bang for your money when it comes to this highly popular beverage and supplement.
Caffeine – a compound in the methylxanthine family – has its effects through various mechanisms on the central nervous system, and to be honest, I doubt those mechanisms are of great interest to most readers, so I won’t bother with an extensive discussion on it here. Suffice to say, caffeine positively impacts memory, performance, endurance, coordination and increases arousal, vigilance, while reducing fatigue, to name a few effects. Anyone who has used straight caffeine knows the stuff works, which is why the military, for example, adds it to gum as well as other things like bars and such. We all know the “energy drink/shot” category is all the rage these days even outside the gym setting. Although caffeine is not for everyone to be sure, it’s amazingly non-toxic. OK, so users of caffeine either know all this, or have at least experienced it, and don’t need much convincing it’s effective stuff for its intended uses. Let’s move into the more interesting info of this article, shall we?
Does Your Mind Stop You From Losing Weight?
It’s interesting to note; the single most important factor to not just getting the weight off, but keeping it off, is between our ears. That is, how people approach the issue, psychologically speaking, is an essential component of success. And yet, 8 zillion weight loss books and programs out there, and at best, this aspect of weight loss gets lip service only.
Many diet programs out there don’t address the psychological aspect of why people fail to be successful with long-term weight loss. However, quite a few studies exist that have looked at just that. In many respects, the psychological aspect is the most important for long-term weight loss, and probably the most underappreciated component.
Book Review: The Skinny On Diet Supplements
By Rick Silverman M.D.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to have the inside scoop, the real deal, the down and dirty on any given issue, then Will Brink’s book, “The Skinny on Diet Supplements,” should be on your required reading list for nutritional supplement information. This book is an encyclopedia of dietary
supplements and their role in weight loss, looking at each item in an in-depth and organized way.
Each chapter focuses on a single supplement, cites what it’s supposed to do, and provides details of the science behind the product, including some dissection of that science. The next section looks at the “real world” chatter about the supplement, and that’s followed by the best feature of the book, Will Brink’s recommendations. This last feature is my favorite section in each chapter, because Will is not shy about saying what works and what doesn’t work. He isn’t beholden to any particular supplement or supplement company, so it doesn’t feel like you’re being sold a bill of goods. Rather, he cuts through the falsehoods put forth by the supplement industry, and where evidence supports the use of a product and that product has proven real world results, he tells you so. Where evidence or the real world comes up short, he tells you that.
Due to a recent study and media reports – and contact by the media to comment – on this survey of teens I have addressed the possible use of HGH, and claims of increased use, by teens below:
The Rumble Roller Takes Soft Tissue Work To The The Next level
Like many people, I have my fair share of aches & pains, tight muscles, and hard earned small injuries and such. Like many, I have been using a foam roller for soft tissue work or SMFR (Self-Myofascial Release) work to improve sore muscles, tight muscles, and general recoup. I generally do my foam rolling in the morning for 15-20 minutes while the oatmeal cooks and coffee brews. It gets me ready for a day at the computer also. I also use it at the gym before workouts, a few times per week, and I find doing so reduces DOMS. Foam rolling is often referred to as “the poor mans massage therapist.” In terms of time and $$$ spent, it’s a no brainer in terms of benefits you receive. If you’re not using a foam roller regularly, you should be, like starting yesterday!
As time goes on, one notices the standard foam roller not as effective, and or, they start to break down, and a replacement needed. Some seem to last longer than others. Enter the Rumble Roller, which takes foam rolling to another level and seems to last far longer than the standard rollers. I was going to make one of my usual videos talking about the benefits of foam rollers, and why the Rumble Roller superior, but coach Charles Staley – who has some great articles here on the BrinkZone – did such a good job of it, I decided to use his vid on the topic. If interested in more information, I purchased both the standard length and shorter smaller (12″x 5″) travel length HERE
Personally, I prefer the standard (blue) firmness Rumble Roller. Highly recommended if you already use foam rollers, not recommended for those new to foam rolling for soft tissue/SMFR work as the Rumble Roller is very aggressive. Watch coach Staley’s excellent vid on the benefits of foam rolling, and why he likes the Rumble Roller over standard rollers in particular.
NOTE: The brand of ARA used in the study covered in this article – the brand with longest track record and most extensive feedback by users – is X Factor by Molecular Nutrition. For companies looking to carry ARA, the manufacturer of ARA is Cargill and the contact (wholesale inquiries only) is email@example.com
I recently did a video on ARA which discusses this study that found ARA had positive effects on strength and muscle mass, but was not able to give details because it had yet to be published as an abstract or full paper. The study results are now public and I cover them below. Two previous articles on ARA ( Part I), by Monica M cover why ARA is a generally misunderstood fatty acid and not a a negative to health, (part II ) covered the safety of ARA as a supplement. Finally, Part III, cuts through the hype and bro-science to give details on ARA and it’s use as a supplement for increasing strength and muscle mass! My understanding is a full paper is in process that will also examine the specific mechanisms of ARA and its impact on strength, muscle mass, and performance.
This study looked at the effects of 1.5g per day of ARA for 8 weeks on muscle hypertrophy, body composition, strength, and power, compared to a placebo matched control. For those who don’t enjoy reading abstracts and studies, here’s the cliffs notes followed by the full details:
• The group receiving 1.5g of ARA had in increase in lean body mass (LBM) of approx 3%, corresponding to 3.5 lb (1.6 kg) compared to no changes in the placebo group
• Muscle thickness increased in the group receiving ARA (+9.5%) vs. the placebo group (+4.7%).
• There was an improvement in anaerobic power (via Wingate test which measures 30 second maximal output), which increased in the group getting ARA (+10.7%) vs. the placebo group (+3.8%).
• The group receiving ARA increased their bench press and leg press strength to a greater degree than the placebo group.
Can women suffer for “Low T” as men do? This vid covers the issue all women need to know about this “male” hormone! For additional details, see Monica’s article on the importance of testosterone in women HERE.
Study mentioned in this vid:
In this vid I give quick look at some technologies that greatly enhance solubility of compounds known for their poor solubility. Such a technology applied to various supplements could greatly improve their bioavailability. The link in the vid also takes you to another vid and article with additional info on the topic BTW.