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…”
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.
EDITORS NOTE: I (Will) recently did a video on ARA which discusses a study that found ARA had positive effects on strength and muscle mass, but was not able to give details on the study at that time as it had yet to be published as an abstract or full paper. Finally, Monica now covers the meat of what most people really want to know about ARA: Can it increase strength and muscle mass as a supplement? The answer appears to be a solid yes. This excellent article below covers the recent study mentioned in my vid and write up on the study and gives the details, as well as a prior study. This is the must read article of the ARA series of articles on BrinkZone!
EDITORS NOTE II: The brand of ARA used in the studies covered in this article – the brand with longest track record and most extensive feedback by users – is X Factor by Molecular Nutrition. For supplement companies looking to carry ARA, the manufacturer of ARA is Cargill and the contact (wholesale inquiries only) is firstname.lastname@example.org
In part 1 I outlined the background on ARA and why it traditionally has been, and still is in certain circles is, deemed the “bad guy” fatty acid. Part 2 covered its safety aspects and presented research findings indicating, to the contrary of the “ARA is bad dogma”, potential health benefits of ARA supplementation. In this part I will present new research showing potential beneficial effects of ARA supplementation, in conjunction with resistance training, on physical performance, muscle growth and strength gains…
The impetus for human studies on the effect of ARA supplementation on muscle growth and strength gains came from early studies on isolated animal muscle and muscle cell culture.[1-6] It was found that an increase in ARA flux through the COX enzyme (either induced by stretch or ARA supplementation) promotes production of the prostaglandins PGF2-alpha and PGE2 in muscle tissue, and that PGF2-alpha potently stimulates muscle protein synthesis [2, 5, 6] while PGE2 stimulates muscle degradation.[1, 2]
Frequent consumption of red meant and processed meats has been shown in population studies to be associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes [1-3]. It has also been suggested that eating meat increases all-cause 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 many important methodological issues which weaken the conclusions (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 dietary recommendations related 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 available scientific data into consideration, present a more balanced conclusion about the “meat is bad” dogma…
“Bulletproof coffee” has become a popular addition to some people’s diets, but is it all its claimed to be? I answer that Q in this vid!
In a previous post I outlined the U-shaped relationship between IGF-1 and all-cause mortality.
A growing body of research shows that IGF-1 has a U-shaped relationship with other health outcomes as well, including cancer. This may come as a surprise, as IGF-1 is well-known to increase cancer risk…
IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) is a peptide hormone, produced predominantly by the liver in response to pituitary GH (growth hormone). IGF-1 is involved in a wide variety of physiological processes. In adults, IGF-1 has metabolic and anabolic effects, and it mediates many of the effects of GH.[2-4]
GH and IGF-1 levels are reduced with normal aging, a phenomenon called somatopause.[5-7] It has been suggested that somatopause is an age-related GH deficiency state. Somatopause has been considered to contribute to physiological deterioration seen with aging, like reduced muscle mass, reduced exercise tolerance, decreased strength, osteoporosis, increased fat mass, elevated cardiovascular risk, impaired quality of life, cognitive/memory decline and reduced immunity.[7-12] These changes are similar to those seen in classic (non-aging related) GH deficiency (GHD).[13, 14]
EDITORS NOTE: I (Will) recently did a video on ARA which discusses a recent study that found ARA had positive effects on strength and muscle mass readers will want to check out. The results of this study will be covered in a future article by Monica when the study is published. This excellent article below by Monica discusses the long held belief this fatty acid is a negative for health and well being. As usual, the truth turns out to be more complex and a read of this article will cover the studies to demonstrate that. Part II of this article can be found HERE.
It is well known that the typical American diet provides too little omega-3 and too much omega-6, and thus has an elevated omega-6/omega-3 ratio. 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.[1-3] The omega-6 fatty acid that has been vilified and blamed to give rise to these detrimental health outcomes is arachidonic acid (ARA).
However, a deeper look at the research data reveals that the association between omega-6 fats, especially ARA, with detrimental health outcomes isn’t as clear-cut as previously thought. Prominent lipid researchers are even questioning the value of the conceptually entrenched omega-6/omega-3 ratio. And there are indications that ARA, previously thought to be the omega-6 villain, actually may confer health benefits and even increase muscle mass and strength when combined with resistance training…in this 3-part series you will find out about it all…
Yes, literally, and could save other children from a lifetime of ill health easily avoided. Genetic disorders effect millions of children, and there’s 29 currently screened for by simple blood test, but not the one this baby and others suffer from. Some children have been mistakenly diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (and likely other disorders) when in fact it was an easily treatable disorder known as GAMT deficiency or simply “creatine deficiency disorder.” GAMT deficiency, which can be tested for easily, has some researchers pushing for newborn screening that would use the same blood test that screens for 29 recommended disorders. Without early intervention, brain damage can be permanent, so it must be caught early.
This recent story really brings home how this inexpensive non-toxic nutritional supplement could be a life saver for children with this easily testable genetic disorder: