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
Consumption of red meat has been associated with fat gain (and weight gain) because of its high fat / calorie content. Even though the old idea that “a high fat intake causes body fat gain” has been completely debunked in medical research [1-9], red meat still is a food that’s on the forbidden or avoid list in most diet plans. And for some reason, women tend to be especially afraid of eating meat…
While there are studies showing an association between meat intake and obesity [10-12], there are also studies not showing this [12-14]. And when digging deeper in the data, many of the studies that did report a significant association with meat intake and fat gain / obesity have several flaws that invalidate their conclusions….
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
Some of the most popular supplements today are the so called pre-workout nitric oxide (NO) boosters [1, 2]. These contain a panoply of ingredients, but one the main ones is arginine. The rationale goes that L-arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide (NO) and NO is a potent vasodilator [3, 4] Theoretically this would increase blood flow and nutrient/oxygen delivery to exercising muscles and thereby boost performance, as well as recovery.
While it is true that L-arginine supplementation mat be beneficial for various clinical populations (see below), studies in healthy adults have not unequivocally supported the marketing hype surrounding arginine supplementation and nitric oxide boosters [1, 5, 6]. Here’s why…
To most people, the mere word “muscles” brings to mind huge muscular bodybuilders. The importance of muscle mass, strength, and power for physical performance in exercise and sports is obvious. However, muscles aren’t just for show. Here I will explain why….
I’ll be honest with you…I don’t really like “normal” Interval Training.
To be clear, it’s not that it’s bad…it’s just that I’ve got something better…
In the past, anabolic steroids were used primarily by athletes in order to boots physical performance. However, today anabolic steroids are also common among non-athletes, who use them with the goal to improve their physique and appearance. It was recently estimated that among Americans aged 13-50 years, 2.9 to 4.0 million have used anabolic steroids. Within this group, roughly 1 million may have experienced anabolic steroid dependence.
Most of these folks have gone down this pathway blindly, obviously without physician supervision, using underground black market resources and products. Not only is non-medically supervised use of anabolic steroids per see potentially dangerous, but the purity of underground products is highly speculative, which adds additional health risks. Also, because of the common practice of “stacking”, which is use of two or more anabolic steroids (often androgens) in progressively increasing doses in cycles lasting for different durations of time, it is hard to predict the cumulative potential health consequences. Also, most anabolic steroids are synthetic man-made compounds that are not natural to the body. This is in contrast to testosterone, which is naturally produced by the body and necessary, in the physiological range, for health and wellbeing. Anabolic steroids are not.
For those who have chosen to use anabolic steroids, this article will outline ways to restore the HPG-axis (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal axis).