Lots of people ask about strategies for “surviving” the Holidays while dieting. Traditions and tempting treats abound, and everyone seems to be indulging. And you’ve heard the same advice over and over again, right? Like, bring a healthy dish to the party, drink water in between the wine, chew gum while cooking, stay away from the buffet table, and so on.
I see this as a continuum going from Anabolic <—> Catabolic with people tending to fall on either side of point 0, tending toward one or the other. Me, I’d say I’m a 2 on the right side of point 0.
Metabolism 5- 4 – 3 – 2 – 0 – 1 -2 – 3 – 4 – 5 Catabolic Metabolism
Hallmarks of the Anabolic Metabolism:
• Put on muscle easily
• Has difficulty getting lean
• Will respond well to lower carb intakes (approx 30%)
• Responds well to higher training volumes
Hallmarks of the Catabolic Metabolism:
• Has difficulty adding LBM
• Gets lean easily (but has difficulty retaining LBM)
• Responds well to higher carb intakes (approx 50%)
• Responds best to lower training volumes
Where do drugs factor in?
The above is based on non drug using people. Drugs are the great genetic equalizer: those who add muscle easily but can’t get lean are able to do so, and those who have great difficulty adding LBM, but have no problems staying/getting lean, can do so while retaining LBM. Obviously, genetic traits still play a role (or everyone would look identical and respond identical, etc) but drugs allow for genetic limitations in the above, faster recoup, ability to tolerate higher training volumes, etc.
“The human body is an infinitely complex, but wholly logical system” – Will Brink
Back in the day I wrote the first article on the value of omega-3 fatty acids (via fax oil) for health and fat loss in the major bodybuilding publications. In fact, my first article on the value of flax oil – a source of the Omega 3 lipid LNA – was rejected because the very idea of intentionally adding fat to lose fat and improve health was such a foreign concept at that time. Yes, we are talking pre Internet here! Lucky for me, another magazine – MuscleMag International – ran the article, and the rest is history. It’s safe to say I have been researching and writing about Essential fatty acids (EFA’s), the value of omega-3 fats, the importance of balancing fatty acid intakes, and so forth, for a extensive amount of time. I am also partially to blame for the overly simplistic view of these fatty acids that followed and hope to atone for that with this article.
Much of what we understood at that time, and is still being pushed to this day by some, was an overly simple and generalized view of the essential fatty acids (EFA’s) and their effects on human physiology. As time progressed, and additional research was published, the picture has become much more refined and accurate.
The old paradigm could be essentially summarized as “Omega-3 good, Omega-6 bad” and that was about it. Other than a few who have really taken the time to research the topic, a position that remains to this day. Per usual, such entrenched views tend to change very slowly.
How did that start? Early research found the Standard American diet (SAD) provides excessive intakes of omega-6 lipids and minimal omega-3 lipids which resulted in an elevated omega-6/omega-3 ratio. As science writer Monica Mollica put it so accurately in her recent article on BrinkZone.com, “In turn, an elevated omega-6/omega-3 ratio has been linked to a number of common chronic diseases, notably cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, cancer, and certain psychiatric diseases such as depression. The omega-6 fatty acid that has been vilified and blamed to give rise to these detrimental health outcomes is arachidonic acid (ARA).” Hence, we ended up with an “Omega-3 good, Omega-6 bad” model that attributed most of the negatives to ARA, with advice people should avoid ARA. Those concerned with their health increased their intake of omega-3 fats via fish, flax, supplements, etc., and reduced their intake of omega-6, to improve their 03/06 ratios.
All well and good, but it’s just not that simple as life rarely is, much less human biology. As Candice Pert Ph.D., discoverer of the opiate receptor said “Whenever something does not fit the reigning paradigm, the initial response in the mainstream is to deny the facts.” Such is the case with the “Omega-3 good, Omega-6 bad” model that some cling to in spite of the ever mounting data showing it to be an outdated model not supported by the modern data.
Frequent consumption of red and processed meat has been shown in population studies to be positively correlated with cardiovascular disease [1-3], cancer and type 2 diabetes. Recent meta-analyses also indicate that it increases total mortality . Hence, a high meat intake (regardless of its fat quantity and quality) is generally perceived to be unhealthy and something that should be avoided. However, although there are many studies documenting these associations, results are not always consistent and there are several methodological issues which weakens the strength of their findings (more on that in a bit). In the same way as the putative health risks of red meat consumption is investigated, its documented health benefits (which I will cover below) are equally as important and must be given a fair chance in the establishment of public health messages in relation to red meat consumption. In this article I will therefore cover both the risks and benefits associated with red meat consumption, and after having taken all the scientific data into consideration, argue that meat has been unfairly blamed…
Latest victims of the BrinkZone Gauntlet, Leah Gifford and Paul Gifford, who get down and dirty with a workout that is whole body training at its best. This is what effective efficient whole body GPP, conditioning, endurance, and metabolic work looks like using the Prowler Sled, sand bags, and other tools. No “toning and firming” nonsense here, just hard work that yields results! BTW, all the tools used in this vid can be found via the “Approved Stuff” section if interested in more info.
Exercise protects against heart disease in many ways. One important mechanism is by elevating HDL, a.k.a. the “good” cholesterol. It is well established that high levels of HDL are protective against cardiovascular disease and the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) has emphasized increasing HDL levels to help reduce CHD risk. [2-4] However, not only HDL levels are important. Emerging research in showing that HDL quality and function is as important, if not more important for health promotion and prevention of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases…[5-7]
For some reason I always seem to end up writing articles about contaminants found in various supplements we ingest, in particular creatine, but there have been others. First I wrote “What’s in your creatine?” which exposed the fact not all creatine supplement are created equal. That article single handedly changed the creatine market at the time. I followed that up with “What’s in your supplements” which was really just a continuation of the first article, with additional testing and comments. I’m calling this one, “What’s in your water?!” for lack of a better title.
I have always been conscious of the potential impurities in drinking water. My town sends out a yearly report on water quality, and has always been well below EPA limits on the chemicals they test for. Regardless, I have always used a water filter to filter my drinking water. (1)
A hotly debated recent study, the SELECT trial, has casted doubt on the well documented health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. This study found that a higher content of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA+DPA+DHA) in blood plasma was associated with a with a greater risk of low-grade (44%) and high-grade (71%) prostate cancers over a 5-year follow-up 1. Associations were similar for individual long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Higher linoleic acid (omega-6) was associated with a 25% reduced risk of low-grade and 23% reduced risk of total prostate cancer 1 .
This has understandably generated confusion among the general public and intense discussions among health professionals and researchers. However, a deeper look at the data and study methodology reveals a different picture…
Will Brink and Dr Lopez have previously commented on the notorious omega-3 / prostate cancer study:
Here is my take on it…