Ever wonder how your supplements REALLY get made? I cover the actual process, and give some tips on how to get best quality for your $$$. How the supplements you take are actually made in most cases, no longer a mystery!
A common question actually. Counting Calories, is it essential for reaching your goals of gaining or losing weight? In this vid, I give the simple answer and a formula for those who do decide they need to count calories to make progress.
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
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!
NOTE: Purchase of the BrinkZone Avenger Sled – the ultimate push sled that allows easy transport and storage – includes a free copy of this program. See the Avenger sled in action HERE
If you’ve been following my stuff for a while via vids, articles, and blog posts, you know I have been working with push sleds for years now with people from all walks of life. SWAT teams, fitness models, strong man competitors, body builders, IFBB pro Figure competitors, to Joe/Jane every day fitness enthusiast, and those looking to shed some weight, to name just a few. The longer I use the sled with an ever wider variety of people with varying goals, the more convinced I became that the push sled is the single most effective strength and conditioning tool known to mankind. Push sleds from various manufacturers have become very popular as of late, and for damn good reason; or as creator of the highly popular 5/3/1 program, elite ranked power lifter, and strength coach Jim Wendler says of sled work:
“I am thoroughly convinced that the Prowler is the answer to most of our world’s problems: debt, overpopulation, drugs, obesity, etc. “
Ok, a slight exaggeration, but only slight! The fact is, a good quality push sled used correctly – in my view – one of the single most effective strength and conditioning tools ever invented. It’s whole body kick ass training nothing I’m aware of can match, and when combined as a cohesive program, impressive gains in strength, conditioning, and body composition are the result. I also find sled work allows people with various preexisting injuries and tendinopathies to make continued progress. If you already have a push sled, and have been working with it for some time, then you already know that. If not, well, find a push sled, or purchase one, and discover that for yourself. Enter, the BrinkZone Sled-Centric Program (BSCP) which is the Ultimate Program For The Ultimate Whole Body Strength & Conditioning Tool.å
Origins of the The Sled-Centric Program
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.
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
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 added study below recently published that found at higher doses, it actually lowered testosterone.
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: 2015 study and additional comments:
The criticism of some to prior studies was that it was possible higher doses were needed to impact T levels in younger resistance trained men. This study just out below found higher doses actually decreased testosterone! And the study was done on the appropriate population, resistance trained men, although they didn’t test the impact on TT and FT on strength or LBM as the prior study above did. The two studies combined however, do not paint a good picture for DAA in my view. This only lowers, my already low opinion of “T boosters” as a category of supplements…
Three and six grams supplementation of d-aspartic acid in resistance trained men
Geoffrey W Melville*, Jason C Siegler and Paul WM Marshall
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2015, 12:15
Although abundant research has investigated the hormonal effects of d-aspartic acid in rat models, to date there is limited research on humans. Previous research has demonstrated increased total testosterone levels in sedentary men and no significant changes in hormonal levels in resistance trained men. It was hypothesised that a higher dosage may be required for experienced lifters, thus this study investigated the effects of two different dosages of d-aspartic acid on basal hormonal levels in resistance trained men and explored responsiveness to d-aspartic acid based on initial testosterone levels.
Twenty-four males, with a minimum of two years’ experience in resistance training, (age, 24.5 ± 3.2 y; training experience, 3.4 ± 1.4 y; height, 178.5 ± 6.5 cm; weight, 84.7 ± 7.2 kg; bench press 1-RM, 105.3 ± 15.2 kg) were randomised into one of three groups: 6 g.d−1 plain flour (D0); 3 g.d−1 of d-aspartic acid (D3); and 6 g.d−1 of d-aspartic acid (D6). Participants performed a two-week washout period, training four days per week. This continued through the experimental period (14 days), with participants consuming the supplement in the morning. Serum was analysed for levels of testosterone, estradiol, sex hormone binding globulin, albumin and free testosterone was determined by calculation.
D-aspartic acid supplementation revealed no main effect for group in: estradiol; sex-hormone-binding-globulin; and albumin. Total testosterone was significantly reduced in D6 (P = 0.03). Analysis of free testosterone showed that D6 was significantly reduced as compared to D0 (P = 0.005), but not significantly different to D3. Analysis did not reveal any significant differences between D3 and D0. No significant correlation between initial total testosterone levels and responsiveness to d-aspartic acid was observed (r = 0.10, P = 0.70).
The present study demonstrated that a daily dose of six grams of d-aspartic acid decreased levels of total testosterone and free testosterone (D6), without any concurrent change in other hormones measured. Three grams of d-aspartic acid had no significant effect on either testosterone markers. It is currently unknown what effect this reduction in testosterone will have on strength and hypertrophy gains.
Full paper HERE
Whether you’re a health/fitness professional or just interested science minded health buff, you know finding objective, balanced, accurate information on health/fitness/nutrition/supplements is both difficult and time consuming. I know many rely on BrinkZone.com for their info, and I’ll be using the ERD as one resource for my information.
It’s a challenge even for yours truly to dig through piles of primary published studies, web sites I trust, and other resources, to distill complex information into useful info for readers, so anything that can help me with that job is a winner in my view.
I received a copy of the ERD and was both impressed with the quality of the content and the layout and graphics, but the process to publication. The ERD is not one person, or a few people sitting around deciding what topic to push to increase sales of some product, but has a legit peer review-like process of editors (some of whom I know personally) to fact check for accuracy and objectivity.*
The ERD distills the latest research for people “in the biz” like me (possibly alerting me to something I need to dig further into) or those looking for an accurate source to rely on as supplement to BrinkZone.com.
A resource that helps me save time, is well written, objective, accurate, puts things in the proper context, and involves a peer review process? I’m in. Highly recommended for anyone looking to save time and energy getting the latest info.
Get more info on the ERD HERE:
* = 5 researchers, 4 editors, and 7 reviewers.
What do most medical doctors REALLY know about nutrition? The answer may surprise you. I cover why there’s so much confusion regarding what most medical doctors actually know about nutrition.