THINGS TO SAY TO A NAKED WOMAN p. 52
TONS OF USEFUL STUFF
Get BiG Fast!
STEAK FOR A YEAR p. 132
SHE WANTS YOU TO
WATCH! HEr SUrprISINg
SEx CONfESSIONS p. 140
BAd HABITS THAT pAY Off p. 146
Build muscle Shed pounds Chisel Abs Like These
STrENgTH SECrETS frOm AmErICA’S TOp gYm p. 108
APRIL 2014 $4.99 Us Displ ay Until april 15
#1 HEALTH THrEAT BEAT IT! p. 152
The new journey begins at bananarepublic.com/True
1 888 BR STYLE
47New 300 Workout
132 Have a Cow!
146 Bad Habits That
Chisel warrior abs!
Cook insanely great grass-fed beef. Plus: Win steak for a year!
Pay Off Laughing all the way to the bank: a slacker’s guide.
BY ADAM CAMPBELL
525 Things to Say to
BY PAUL KITA
a Naked Woman So she stays that way.
140 Why She Wants
108 Strength Secrets
You to Watch Indulge her desire for exhibitionism.
From a new top gym.
BY ANNA DAVIES
BY RICHARD CONNIFF
152 Beat Your #1 Health Threat Hint: It’s hiding in your bedroom. BY T.E. HOLT, M.D.
BY MICHAEL EASTER
P Ph ho o tt o og g rr a ap ph h b b yy A AN ND DR RE EW W H HE E TT H HE ER R II N NG G TT O ON N
FEATURES / COVER STORIES
Hit the Road Jacked If truck drivers can muscle up on the road, what’s your excuse? BY JOE KITA PAGE 124
EVEN MORE USEFUL STUFF...
34Don’t Let a Sub
62Stage an Upset
For big gains in the gym, call in a pro.
MetroGrades ranks the divorce capitals.
Sink Your Diet
If you’re a lower seed, you have to play smarter.
40Make Her Sweat
Schedule a “workout” after her workout.
Avoid the injury that can sabotage your fitness.
38Bag Your Workout Supercharge your routine with this gym gear.
56Call Your Muscles to Attention Can you handle the Green Beret gauntlet?
58Crush Your Weaknesses Take our pushup-andsquat challenge.
Avoid this sandwich shop fake-out.
44Milk the Benefits Pump up your moo juice.
54The Girl Next Door 78 Power Your Pasta
68Wear the Pants Jeans, decoded.
74Groomed or Doomed?
Are you a traffic accident waiting to happen?
82Never Grow Old! Six weapons to turn back your body clock.
31 Bulletins News on health, sex, food, and fitness.
64What Women Are
102 The Beer Diet!
Is your drinking keeping you from a six-pack?
76Find Real Success 115 Before You Blow
Don’t let workplace obstacles stop you.
BY BEN COURT
It’s not what you think. BY JASON FEIFER
118Is This Hurting Your Sex Life? How a little pill may kill desire and attraction.
Bartender How do I talk my way out of couples yoga?
20 Body Science The protein-tomuscle process.
Planning a trip? We have some tips.
Five tricky body maintenance issues—solved!
18 Lifesavers How a sports doc rolls.
22 Ask Men’s Health What should I add to my morning cereal?
Cook this classic from Mario Batali tonight.
106 The Real Reason
14 First Word It’s all about you.
84Smooth the Road
Is food foreplay hot—or just gross and messy?
Actress Joy Bryant tells us some crucial secrets.
10 Your To-Do List Don’t look like a fool.
. . . read our advice on keeping calm. BY LILA BATTIS
47 Advantage Gain your edge! 89 How to Do Everything Better Pull the free-beer con! 160 The Average Guy Think you’re funny?
98Work It! Look professional even after a hellish commute. BY BRIAN BOYÉ
BY PAUL JOHN SCOTT
ON THE COVER Sullivan Sullivan Stapleton, Stapleton, photographed photographed by by Jeff Lipsky. Jeff Lipsky. Styling Styling by by Sandra Sandra Nygaard, Nygaard, grooming grooming by by Carola Carola Gonzalez/The Gonzalez/The Magnet Magnet Agency. Agency. Rogue Rogue T-shirt, T-shirt, JJ Brand Brand jeans. jeans. Courtesy Courtesy of of Warner Warner Brothers Brothers (inset) (inset)
8 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Ph P ho o tt o og g rr a ap ph h ss b b yy C CH HA AR RL LE ES S M MA AS S TT E ER RS S (( p pa a ss tt a a )) ,, M M II K KO O L L II M M (( w wo om ma an n )) ,, V V II C C TT O OR R P PR RA AD DO O (( cc o o cc o on nu u tt ss )) ,, C Cu u ll tt u u rr a a // G Ga a ll ll e e rr yy S S tt o o cc kk (( m ma an n ii n n h ha am mm mo o cc kk ))
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T U E Start today—no fooling—with our new DVD workout series, MH60, and you’ll have a beach body by Memorial Day. Give trainer David Jack 30 minutes, three days a week, and in 60 days, nobody will recognize you (in a good way). mh60dvd.com
M O N This year, it’s Patriots’ Day across the entire nation. All of us will be with the Boston Marathon runners—and last year’s survivors— in spirit. Want to participate, blister-free? It’s easy: Contribute at onefundboston.org.
Click over to AMC to see what year it is on Mad Men. Don Draper struggled with the tumult of 1968; will he now have to handle 1969 (hippies, Woodstock!) or the polyester-clad ’70s? One thing’s certain: He’ll look sharp. SUN
F R I Men’s Health guy Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is targeted for revenge in The Other Woman. Not our kind of plot. But when the title characters include Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton (bikini alert!), go ahead, drag us to the multiplex.
10 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Coachella wraps up in the California desert. Dehydration tip from Aaron Bright, M.D., the festival’s medical director: Save your dancing for the cool evenings. Perfect: Here comes Arcade Fire to close the show. SUN
S AT Drop the Easter candy and grab a barbell. Now lift it—slowly. You can burn a ton of fat with a few superslow reps, as our new blockbuster book, The Body Fat Breakthrough, will tell you. Buy it at bodyfat breakthrough.com/mh.
Follow us on Twitter: @MensHealth
Ph P ho o tt o o -- ii ll ll u u ss tt rr a a tt ii o on n b b yy M MR R .. X XE ER R TT Y, Y, p ph ho o tt o og g rr a ap ph h ss b b yy B BE E TT H H B B II S SC CH HO OF F F, F, ii cc o on n ss b b yy TT R RA AV V II S S L LA AD DU UE E
The Masters begins, with Aussie Adam Scott using the long putter that helped him win last year. He braces the butt end against his chest, a technique that will be illegal—in 2016. Who says golf is slow? THU
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â– WHEN I MEET A MENâ€™S HEALTH READER, WHICH IS BASICALLY EVERY DAY, Iâ€™M INEVITABLY ASKED THIS
question: â€œHow can I be on the cover?â€? My answer, with apologies, has always been the same: â€œYou canâ€™t.â€? Famous fit guys grace our covers, because these are men our readers aspire to be like. Still, lately Iâ€™ve been wondering: Why not a reader? After all, Menâ€™s Health is about one personâ€”you. Every sentence and every word is there to make our readers better men. So one day last fall, publisher Ronan Gardiner and I hatched a plan. Weâ€™d find the Ultimate Menâ€™s Health Guy and put him on the cover of our November 2014 issue. With support from our friends at Kenneth Cole, the idea got bigger and betterâ€”watch MensHealth.com and our social feeds in the coming weeks for more details. The Ultimate Menâ€™s Health Guy will be fit, for sure. Heâ€™ll exercise and eat well and perhaps even have abs to show for his efforts. But a man isnâ€™t measured by abdominal ripples alone. So heâ€™ll also be driven, confident, and generous. Heâ€™ll know how to tell a joke, approach a potential mate, lead a meeting. Heâ€™ll handle the heat anywhereâ€”in the kitchen, at the gym, under interrogation by his boss, even during a phone call with Mom. Sound like you? Then go to MensHealth.com/GuySearch to enter. If youâ€™re not quite cover material yet, no worries. Let this issue guide your transformation: Ć€É É /&�(É .*&.)(É )(É ."É )0,Ć„É #-É -É ,É -#%ĹşÉ (É ."3É )/&É É 3)/,-ĹşÉ É /-É the workout on page 50 to build warrior muscle for 300: Rise of an Empire. Ć€É "É -,.É .)É ,)**#(!É ĹąĹ°É *)/(-É +/#%&3É #-É )(É *!É ĹąĹ°Ĺ˛ĹşÉ (É .",Ć‰-É !))É (1-Ć’3)/É can keep the beer and still lose the belly. Ć€É /,(É %É ."É &)%É 1#."É ."É (.#!#(!É -.,.!#-É )(É *!É Ĺ¸Ĺ˛ĹťÉ (É %*É 3)/,É ,&.#)(-"#*É young by learning, on page 52, how to defuse conversational bombs...in bed. Ć€É )/,É )''/.É )/&É É ")&#(!É 3)/É %Ć’(É '%#(!É 3)/É .ĹşÉ ),,)1É -)'É -.3Ć? #.É strategies, starting on page 124, from guys who make their living behind the wheel. Finally, donâ€™t close this issue before reading about your number one health threat (page 152). The culprit may surprise you. Learning about it may not make you the Ultimate Menâ€™s Health Guy, but it could save your life. Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s great about MH readers: Everyone is a winner.
GIVE US ONE GOOD REASON WHY YOU SHOULD BE A MENâ€™S HEALTH COVER GUY I weighed only 140 pounds six months ago, and now Iâ€™m 160 pounds with only 4.3 percent body fat. @ASCHWARTZKOPF, VIA TWITTER
My journey to work out 365 times in 2014 will inspire others. @JACOBEBARRON, VIA TWITTER
Iâ€™m full of brawn, wit, and charm, which a worthy candidate must have. @MITCHBACH, VIA TWITTER
I grew up sneaking into my dadâ€™s bathroom to read his Menâ€™s Health while he was at work. Undoubtedly shaped my future. @KANSAS_ROADS, VIA TWITTER
I strive to be a better father, husband, and employee, and a healthier person, every day.
I set a goal, made a plan, crushed it. @KAPLAN86, VIA TWITTER
Bill Phillips, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF @billphillipsMH
14 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Iâ€™m kicking stage IV gastric cancer to the curb. @BUMGA_J, VIA TWITTER
Ph P ho o tt o og g rr a ap ph h b b yy S SP PE EN NC CE ER R H HE EY YF FR RO ON N // R Re ed du u xx P P ii cc tt u u rr e e ss ,, g g rr o oo om m ii n ng g :: A Am m aa n nd da a B Be e cc zz n ne e rr
@MATTTRUDEAU1, VIA TWITTER
Vinyl Laminate Stone Ceramic Wood Carpets
Others talk about carpets.
Dysonâ€™s new DC65 cleans better than any other vacuum across carpets and hard floors.
It also has twice the suction of any other vacuum.2 And its active base plate seals in suction at the cleaner head. On all floors. Find out more at dyson.com/DC65 1
Tested against upright market, dust-loaded, using ASTM F608, ASTM F2607, and IEC 60312-1 5.1, 5.9. Suction tested against upright market to ASTM F558, at the cleaner head, dust-loaded as per IEC 60312-1.
CHI 10.18 NY 10.25 SF TBA
P R O M OT I O N
ARE YOU FIT?•HEALTHY?•DRIVEN?•GIVING?
ENTER TO WIN THE ULTIMATE
MEN’S HEALTH GUY SEARCH
THIS COULD BE YOU ON THE COVER!
MEN’S HEALTH AND MANKIND WANT TO PUT YOU ON THE COVER OF OUR NOV. 2014 ISSUE TO ENTER AND TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ADDITIONAL PRIZES, GO TO:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Void where prohibited. Contest runs 3/15/14-06/15/14. Must be 18 or older and legal resident of 49 US or DC (excludes AZ & PR) or Canada (excludes Province of Quebec). Winner selected based on 35% Physically Fit, 25% Live a Healthy Lifestyle, 20% Give back to Family/Friends/Community/Society, 10% Professional Success, 10% Reader’s Choice. For the Ofcial Rules, www.menshealth.com/GuySearch. Sponsor: Rodale Inc., 400 S. 10th Street, Emmaus, PA 18098-0099.
OUR ADVISORY BOARD BRAIN HEALTH P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D. David S. Liebeskind, M.D.
EAT, CHEAT (A LITTLE), AND WIN
CROWD-FUND YOUR FITNESS
“Because I exercise every day, I can afford to have a bacon cheeseburger, fries, and a milkshake every once in a while. The key is choosing the moments when you indulge. If your diet is too prohibitive, you’re less likely to stick with it over the long term. So allow yourself a weekly treat meal and enjoy it without regret— you’ve earned it!”
“I teach a fitness bootcamp class in New York City twice a month. The social element is energizing and keeps me motivated. I stoke my passion by competing with friends and family; I’ve done 30 marathons and 11 Ironmans. Find activities you enjoy and can participate in with a group, because you’ll be more likely to take part in them regularly.”
CARDIOLOGY John Elefteriades, M.D. Prediman Krishan Shah, M.D. Eric J. Topol, M.D. DENTISTRY Mark S. Wolff, D.D.S., Ph.D. DERMATOLOGY Adnan Nasir, M.D., Ph.D. EMERGENCY MEDICINE Travis Stork, M.D. EXERCISE SCIENCE Alexander Koch, Ph.D., C.S.C.S. Mark Peterson, Ph.D., C.S.C.S.*D FAMILY MEDICINE Ted Epperly, M.D. GASTROENTEROLOGY Mark Welton, M.D. INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE James N. Dillard, M.D., D.C., L.Ac. MENTAL HEALTH Thomas Joiner, Ph.D. William Pollack, Ph.D. NUTRITION Alan Aragon, M.S. Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D.,
JORDAN METZL, M.D.
F.A.C.N., F.A.S.N., C.N.S.
Michael Roussell, Ph.D.
A Sports Doc’s Wellness Tips Apples are okay, but a workout a day truly keeps the doctor away. “Exercise is powerful medicine,” says Jordan Metzl, M.D., a sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and author of The Exercise Cure. “I give all my patients ‘exercise prescriptions’—specific activities that target problems. The exercises rehabilitate existing problems and help prevent new ones, and they do it naturally, without side effects.” And Dr. Metzl walks the walk: Strength training, cycling, running, swimming, and yoga are all part of his regimen. “It’s not always about how fast you go or how much you lift; it’s about finding fun, new ways to move every day.”
1 DON’T LOSE YOUR HEAD
LET STRESS ROLL OFF
STAND UP TO DEATH
“I slow down and take a vinyasa yoga class every couple of weeks. The ability to zone out for an hour helps me manage the intensity of urban living and relieve stress. Of course, it also improves my flexibility and strength. Not a yoga fan? Buy a foam roller. It’s a great way to loosen tight muscles and may be the best $30 you ever spend.”
“Sit cross-legged on the floor. Now try to stand without using your hands, the wall, or any furniture. Researchers in Brazil found that if you’re able to do it, you’re six times less likely to die prematurely than if you can’t. The better your musculoskeletal fitness, the better your health. Build muscle by doing bodyweight circuits.”
2 OUTSMART ANXIETY
SEX AND RELATIONSHIPS Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., M.P.H. SLEEP MEDICINE W. Christopher Winter, M.D. SPORTS MEDICINE Nicholas A. DiNubile, M.D. Jordan D. Metzl, M.D. TRAINING Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S.*D BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S. Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S. David Jack UROLOGY Larry I. Lipshultz, M.D. Judd W. Moul, M.D., F.A.C.S. WEIGHT LOSS David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., FACPM, F.A.C.P.
Jeff S. Volek, Ph.D., R.D.
BERRY HEART DISEASE
Dig up those flash cards from high school: A study in Neurology reports that speaking more than one language may stave off dementia by four and a half years. The researchers speculate that being bilingual boosts cognitive reserve, your brain’s resistance to agerelated decline and dementia.
Pumping yourself up—rather than trying to remain calm— may be the best way to combat performance anxiety, according to new research from Harvard. Instead of stressing out about the prospect of a big presentation, date, or meeting, think positively and embrace your nerves as “energy.”
Out of sight, but not out of mind: A study in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy links long-distance love with greater relationship satisfaction, possibly because the partners don’t take each other for granted. Even if your love is local, foster intimacy with unexpected gestures, like sending her flowers.
Don’t relegate cranberries to the holidays. They contain A-type proanthocyanidins, an uncommon antioxidant that may explain the berries’ inflammation-fighting effects, according to new research in Advances in Nutrition. Aim for a serving or two of cranberry cocktail or dried berries a day.
David S. Liebeskind, M.D., professor of neurology, University of California at Los Angeles
Thomas Joiner, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Florida State University; author, The Perversion of Virtue
Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., M.P.H., codirector, Indiana University Center for Sexual Health Promotion
Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., director, Antioxidants Research Laboratory at Tufts University
18 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y M I R I A M M I G L I A Z Z I & M A R T K L E I N
II cc o on n ss b b yy H HU UB BE ER R TT TT E ER RE ES SZ ZK K II E EW W II C CZ Z
OPHTHALMOLOGY Kimberly Cockerham, M.D.,
©2014 Ne N w Ba Balanc lance e Athlet Athletic ic Shoe hoe, oe, oe e, IInc nc.
THIS IS THE SCIENCE OF SOFT.
Impossibly soft, yet stable. It does exist and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever felt before. THIS IS #FRESHFOAM. THIS IS #RUNNOVATION.
HowProtein Becomes Muscle
You can’t just sprinkle whey powder on your pecs. Exercise scientists Colin Wilborn, Ph.D., of the University of Mary HardinBaylor in Texas, and Oliver Witard, Ph.D., of the University of Stirling in the U.K., help us explain how eggs become abs. BY K. ALEISHA FETTERS
1 / DIGESTION
Enzymes in your stomach and small intestine break the protein apart into peptides, combinations of at least two or three amino acids (a.k.a. your body’s building blocks). Then other enzymes further dice the peptides into individual amino acids.
2 / TRANSPORT
The amino acids travel directly from your gastrointestinal tract to your liver via the hepatic portal vein. While the liver’s main job is to detoxify the blood, it also propels amino acids back into your bloodstream for delivery to your muscles.
3 / RESPONSE
Your muscles are essentially bundles of long fibers. Strength training causes microtears in these fibers that signal your immune system to send out a work crew (growth hormone and stem cells) and repair material (amino acids) to the damaged areas.
5 / REPAIR AND GROWTH
The newly made myofibrils fuse with the damaged areas of your muscle fibers. But microtear repair is more than just a patch job: These myofibrils also help make the muscle bigger and stronger than it was before. Time to flex.
4 / CONSTRUCTION
Your DNA acts as a construction foreman: It calls up specific amino acids, directs their deployment, and assigns their roles. The muscle fiber work crew uses the fresh supply of amino acids to weave myofibrils; these are bundles of the protein filaments myosin and actin, which are critical to muscle contraction.
20 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y M I K E M c Q U A D E
PROPEL is a registered trademark of Stokely-Van Camp, Inc. © 2014 S-VC, Inc.
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Start at the bottom of the bowl. When buying cereal, use the 5:5:10 rule: at least 5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and no more than 10 grams of sugar per serving, says Kim Larson, R.D.N., C.D., C.S.S.D., a Seattle sports dietitian. We like Health Valley Organic Fiber 7 Flakes, which comes in at 7:6:10. Add milk, and match the toppings to your mission. 22 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Flatter Belly ADD
¼ cup dark chocolate pieces (65 mg flavonoids)
⅓ cup sliced almonds (10 g monounsaturated fat)
4 oz plain Greek yogurt, instead of milk (12 g protein)
1 Tbsp ground chia seeds (5 g fiber)
1 cup blackberries (213 mg flavonoids)
1 large apple, any type, sliced (1.4 g pectin)
¼ cup unsalted pumpkin seeds (4 g protein)
1 greener (i.e., less ripe) banana, sliced (3 g fiber)
Drop in dark chocolate for a hit of flavonoids. These antioxidants can give you a quick cognitive charge, reports a study from Australia. For long-term benefits, add berries. They contain flavonoids that can aid memory over time.
Knock yourself out with nuts. They contain magnesium and selenium, minerals that may ward off heart disease. Then add a sliced apple for the pectin, a form of fiber that can reduce cholesterol, according to Danish research.
If you have an hour or more before lifting, add 15 grams of musclebuilding protein to your bowl, Larson advises. Pumpkin seeds and Greek yogurt are packed. Working out soon? Add fast-digesting carbs, like dried cherries, instead.
Focus on fiber.“It fills you up faster and longer, so you’re less likely to be hungry midmorning,” Larson says. Chia seeds contain filling soluble fiber, and green bananas contain resistant starch, a fiber that can help you burn fat.
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How can I give my cereal a nutrition boost?
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71 My girlfriend says I’m a terrible listener when she’s upset. How can I improve? LUKE, CANTON, OH
Don’t shut down when she opens up. Many men mightseem like bad listeners because they unintentionally clam up during emotionally charged conversations—the very exchanges that tend to be most important to their partners, says Sue Johnson, Ed.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Ottawa and the author of Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships. “It feels bad to see your girlfriend or wife become emotional, and that fear and anxiety can block listening,” she says. Another common pitfall: In an attempt to make her feel better, you may subconsciously redirect the talk away from upsetting topics, Johnson says. While your intentions may be good, this comes across as if you’re not listening or caring (or both). So when your girlfriend starts venting, take a deep breath and focus on each word that comes out of her mouth. This will keep you grounded and ease anxiety. When she’s done talking, let her know that you’re sorry she’s feeling [fill in the negative emotion], says Johnson. Then say something like, “I want to help. I don’t quite know what to do, but I care and I’ll be here for you.”
What’s the deal with the new guidelines for managing cholesterol? DANIEL, SPOKANE, WA
As it turns out, “bad” cholesterol—LDL—is usually only as bad as the company it keeps. This past November, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association announced that doctors should consider a patient’s overall heart disease risk when deciding whether to prescribe statins. Your LDL cholesterol will still be part of the equation, but unless it’s a stratospheric 190 mg/dl or higher, it will no longer be the sole deciding factor. That’s because research shows that LDL rarely acts alone to take its toll on your ticker—it gangs up with high blood pressure, aging, high blood sugar, and smoking. As a result, this also means that if you do start on statins, your doctor will no longer focus on hitting a target LDL cholesterol level, such as 100 mg/dl, says John Keaney, M.D., chief of cardiovascular medicine at
the University of Massachusetts Medical School. “It will be more like, ‘How are you doing on this dose of the medicine? Are you tolerating it? Is there a problem?’” Of course, at the same time your doc will also work with you to address any high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar.
Does it make any difference how soon in the tax year I max out my 401(k)? NATE, HOUSTON, TX
It can make several thousand differences. Most employers match once per pay period, so if you spread your contributions throughout the year, you may net a lot more in match money from your company, says Catherine Golladay, vice president of participant services at Charles Schwab. For example, let’s say you’re 35 years old, you earn $150,000, and your company matches 50 percent of your 401(k) contributions—up to 6 percent of your wages—each pay period. If you contribute 20 percent of each biweekly paycheck, by the end of July you’ll hit the IRS limit of $17,500 and your employer will have kicked in $2,625. But if you lower your savings rate to a little less than 12 percent to spread your contributions over the year, your employer would contribute $4,500. One exception: Some 401(k) plans have what’s called a “true-up” feature, which ensures that your employer matches the maximum amount at the end of the year no matter when you max out. If your plan has a true-up (or no match at all), max out early to earn more interest and put your savings to work as soon as possible.
How can I build a strong back? RICH, SIOUX FALLS, SD
If you want to gain explosive strength, try land mines. “The single-arm land mine row strengthens the muscles of your upper and middle back, which stabilizes your shoulders,” says BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S. “That increased stability helps you lift more weight more safely in just about every upper-body exercise.” Plus, the move works your core as you fight to keep your torso from twisting. At the gym, use a “land mine” (a device that resembles home plate with a metal tube on top) or a barbell that’s been wedged into a corner.
I noticed that the label on my dish detergent has the “USDA Certified Biobased Product” seal. What does it mean? DAN, ROCHESTER, NY
It’s the government’s guarantee that you aren’t washing with synthetic suds. For years, companies liked to brag that their products were made from renewable (usually plant-based) resources. But these claims weren’t fact-checked, says Ron Buckhalt, manager of the USDA’s BioPreferred program. “There are folks who would just like to put a drop of plant-based carbon in their product and call it biobased,” he says. Now the USDA
What’s better: black or brown rice? ALEX, NEW HAVEN, CT
DIRECTIONS Load one end of a barbell with a 25-pound plate and place the other end in a land mine, a corner, or a heavy weight plate. Assume a staggered stance with your left foot forward and the loaded end of the barbell in front of you. Grab the end of the barbell with your right hand. Lift your hips and keep your back straight so the weight is off the floor. Pull the weight toward your ribs, keeping your back straight throughout. Do not allow your lower back to rotate. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. Switch sides and repeat.
Ph P ho o tt o og g rr a ap ph h ss b b yy B BE E TT H H B B II S SC CH HO OF FF F
Black is the new brown. While both types boast vitamins and minerals, black rice has anthocyanins, antioxidants that may fend off diabetes and some cancers, says Zhimin Xu, Ph.D., an associate professor of food science at Louisiana State University. There’s also what it has less of: arsenic. Potentially worrisome levels of this toxin have been found in brown rice, but a USDA study reports that levels are lower in the black variety. If you’re concerned, rinse your rice and boil it using a 6:1 water-to-rice ratio. That’s the best way to reduce arsenic, say U.K. researchers. 24 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Percentage of men who don’t always have first-aid supplies in their car or truck. The American Red Cross recommends keeping a basic emergency kit in your vehicle.
P R O M O T I O N
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AM I NORMAL? When an athlete I admire is accused of inﬁdelity or using drugs, I feel ashamed. WILL, BILLINGS, MT
A-Rod must have really given you agita. It’s actually common to feel invested in the careers of athletes you admire, says Daniel Wann, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Murray State University. ÒWe all have a desire to feel something grander than ourselves, to be more than we are,Ó he says. ÒOne way to do that is to feel a psychological link with othersÑ when you’re a sports fan, you feel part of a team.Ó So when a player (or club) you identify with is hit with a scandal, the accusation feels like a threat to your credibility. If you stay loyal, his behavior rubs off on you. Even if you don’t, you look gullible for believing in him in the first place. Next time a player is busted, remember that his failing is no more yours than his megabuck salary is.
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provides independent third-party testing to find out what’s really in these products. If a product contains a minimum amount of renewable content deemed feasible for the product category, it receives the seal. The bigger question is whether buying that dish detergent will actually help the planet. Mathis Wackernagel, Ph.D., president of Global Footprint Network, a sustainability think tank, says we’re burning through fossil fuels at such a high rate that it’s a step in the right direction whenever we purchase products made of renewable resources. “The faster we can build our economies to operate on biologically based products, the better off we’ll be,” he says. But he cautions that just because a product is biobased doesn’t necessarily mean it was produced in the most sustainable way possible. For example, there’s no guarantee that the farmer didn’t overuse the soil the ingredients grew in or that the forester didn’t cut more trees than he planted. If you want extra assurance that a product is among the eco-friendliest, look for additional seals, such as approval from the Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes responsible forest management, or the Rainforest Alliance, which monitors that soil, water, and other resources were preserved in the making of the product.
I’ve heard that kidney stones are on the rise. How can I tell if I’m at risk? MAX, PROVIDENCE, RI
What does your scale say? The rise in obesity is behind the avalanche of stones, says Harold Franch, M.D., director of Emory University’s Kidney Stone Prevention Clinic. That’s because heavy men often have more stone-promoting substances, such as calcium and oxalate, in their urine as a result of overeating. If you’re too heavy, you’ll need to drop pounds. (The threat of excruciating pain is a great motivator.) But even if you’re lean, don’t assume your world can’t be rocked: A poor diet, a family history of stones, and medical conditions such as an overactive thyroid can raise your odds. Luckily, the best medicine is on tap. “Water is the most powerful preventive because it dilutes everything in your urine,” Dr. Franch says. A study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that men who drink more than 2½ liters of fluid a day are 29 percent less likely to form stones than those who drink less. You can also cut your risk by following the DASH diet: Each day, consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium (doing so may reduce calcium in your urine) and eat eight to 10 servings of produce (fruits and vegetables are high in stone-preventing citrate). The hearthealthy plan can nearly halve a man’s risk of stones, Harvard research shows.
My doctor’s office has nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants. When do I demand to see an M.D.? JOSH, BIRMINGHAM, AL
A nurse practitioner (NP) or a physician’s assistant (PA) can handle most run-of-themill maladies, freeing up medical doctors for complex cases. What qualifies as complex? NPs don’t usually handle uncontrolled high blood pressure or complicated pain management, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports. That said, they can be trained in a variety of specialized areas: Some earn advanced certification in managing heart disease or diabetes, and PAs can train to assist with cardiovascular surgery. “Ask about their education and training, what kind of experience they have with patients like you, and how each member of the team works together,” says Karen Donelan, Sc.D., a senior scientist at the Mongan Institute for Health Policy. Bottom line: If an NP or a PA doesn’t have certification or experience in the area you need, hold out for a doctor. Have a question no one else can answer? Ask at MensHealth.com/experts.
AN ACTIVE SPIRIT BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE, AND IN RESORTS AS WELL. With top-notch equipment, instruction and facilities, Club Med is the world leader in active vacations. Today, some 64 years after champion athlete Gerard Blitz founded Club Med, we’re still just as committed to celebrating the joys of an active lifestyle as he was. Experience thrilling activities such as Ü `ÃÕÀw }]Ã À i }ÀÌiyÞ }ÌÀ>«iâi> }Ã `i ÕÀÃ«>V ÕÃÀ Ã] `Õ }i Ì ÌiÀ >Ì > VÕ Ã i and personalized service. We treat families to an all-inclusive, athletically inspiring experience in some of the most beautiful locations on Earth, creating the ideal environment for both recreation and relaxation.
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Split City IF A DIAMOND RING SYMBOLIZES THE “FOREVER” PART OF
marriage, maybe men in Charleston, West Virginia, should stick with coal: The unions there tend to be messy and go up in flames. In fact, our stats show that nowhere else in the nation (not even Vegas) are couples more destined for divorce court. Surprised? Not Stephen N. Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, who points to the state’s sluggish job market as one reason for Charleston’s transformation into Splitsville. “The pressure to make a good living puts strain on a marriage,” he says, “and right now it is infinitely harder to make a living here than it was 40 years ago.” —JERILYN COVERT
100 CHARLESTON, WV
99 ALBUQUERQUE, NM
98 NORFOLK, VA
97 CHEYENNE, WY
96 LITTLE ROCK, AR
95 JACKSONVILLE, FL
94 TULSA, OK
93 LAS VEGAS, NV
92 BOISE, ID
10 LAREDO, TX
91 TOLEDO, OH
For full rankings, go to MensHealth.com/metrogrades.
Ride Out the Storm
MONTHS 02 KENTUCKY 06 DELAWARE ILLINOIS LOUISIANA VERMONT VIRGINIA WASHINGTON, D.C. 12 MARYLAND NORTH CAROLINA SOUTH CAROLINA 18 ARKANSAS
Source: State agencies
HOW TO POP THE OTHER QUESTION After “Who should we invite to the wedding?” there’s no more fraught question than “How do you feel about a prenup?” Stan Rayford, M.A., a couples counselor in Troy, Michigan, suggests keeping the talk practical—you want a prenup because the unexpected can and does happen in marriage—and avoiding the D word. If she balks, reassure her and say, “The way I feel about you now, I don’t feel the need for a prenup. My hope is that it gathers dust in a file somewhere and we never need to see it again.”
3 Ways to Cover Your Marital Assets 1 / BORROW SOME BUCKS
Divorce isn’t cheap. Setting aside a war chest is good, but those savings are marital funds and may be divvied up later. So ask your folks for a loan, says family law attorney Joseph Cordell, CEO of Cordell & Cordell. Document it and keep the money in a separate account. The debt may also help lower any spousal support you owe. 28 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
2 / WATCH YOUR FORM
Men have a habit of rushing through the forms that courts use to determine division of property, says Cordell. “Often the numbers from spouses are vastly different; that becomes the battlefield on which the divorce is fought.” Sure, poring over your expenses, assets, and debt sounds like tax-time torture, but it’s worth the effort.
3 / HIRE A DOUGH PRO
If you have a small business, real estate, several retirement funds, or assets acquired prior to marriage, hire an accountant, says Susan Carlisle, C.P.A., a forensic accountant in Los Angeles who specializes in divorce. A numbers expert trained in family law can help come up with solutions that divorce lawyers might miss.
135 PERCENTAGE MORE LIKELY DIVORCED MEN ARE TO DIE, ESPECIALLY FROM ACCIDENTS OR VIOLENCE, IN THE SIX MONTHS AFTER THE SPLIT Source: Population Studies
METHODOLOGY METHODOLOGY FOR FOR RANKINGS: RANKINGS: Percentage of people who are divorced (U.S. Census Bureau); number of marriage and family therapists per capita (American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy); divorce rate and stringency of state divorce laws (state agencies)
KY K YL LE E B BE EA AN N (( p ph ho o tt o o -- ii ll ll u u ss tt rr a a tt ii o on n )) ,, M Ma a tt tt h he ew w F Fa a rr rr a an n tt // G Ga a ll ll e e rr yy S S tt o o cc kk (( b bo od d yy ))
Let’s say you absolutely, positively want to get unhitched. Wait six months anyway. “It’s best to have a cooling-off period because emotions can be high when people first decide to divorce,” says Bill Doherty, Ph.D., director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project at the University of Minnesota. Some states make trial separations mandatory for a no-fault divorce (see map). If you do wait, expect emotional ups and downs as you sort out your feelings, says Doherty.
MINIMUM LENGTH OF SEPARATION REQUIRED FOR A NO-FAULT DIVORCE:
THE END ZONE
BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK Studies show what elite athletes—like former wide receiver and now IRONMAN® Hines Ward— already know: Chocolate Milk has high-quality protein to build lean muscle and nutrients to refuel your body after a hard workout. Whatever you’re building, build it with Chocolate Milk.
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HIRE SOMEONE TO YELL AT YOU LISTEN UP, PUNK! A coach can motivate you to train harder.
PH OTO G R A PH S BY C L A I R E B EN O I S T
Ever wonder if a trainer is worth the money? According to new UCLA research, a personal trainer can help make you much stronger than exercising on your own. Guys who worked with a fitness coach gained more muscle and 10 percent more endurance than men who chose and followed their own program, says researcher Thomas Storer, Ph.D. They also attained roughly six times the leg power of the DIY group. The key was using an expert-guided plan, he says. Working with your own instructor can also help you stick to a workout and do it right. But don’t judge a strength coach by his biceps—find a well-accredited one at nsca.com.
April 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 31
THINK ON YOUR FEET STEEPER IS BETTER Do your treadmill workouts feel like torture? Then make them short but steep: For a fast fitness boost, set a sharp incline and run intervals. In a Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research study, twice-weekly 14-minute sessions on a treadmill set to a 10 percent incline helped runners significantly improve their oxygen consumption and markers of endurance. They went 30 seconds at a full sprint, followed by 30 seconds’ rest. But don’t sacrifice form for speed; you can dial it back a bit and still make gains.
Imagine that: Simply moving around may boost your creativity. In a recent study from Leiden University in the Netherlands, participants who were given a problem-solving task performed well on the test when they tried to solve it while cycling. “We think movement can free up mental blocks,” says psychologist Lorenza Colzato, Ph.D., the lead study author. One caveat, though: People who were not accustomed to exercising actually scored worse on the test while cycling. So the next time you find yourself stuck in the weeds, go for a walk, run, or ride to jumpstart your mental machinery, Colzato suggests, either alone or with others.
32 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
24 20 16 12
TIME TO EXHAUSTION ( M I N )
No Strings Detached
A horrible pain explained: University of Virginia scientists determined that strain on your hamstrings increases at higher speeds and peaks just before foot strike. That’s when your hamstrings must activate to slow your leg to prepare for contact. Before sprints, warm up your muscles and your stride, says MH training advisor BJ Gaddour. Start with 40 seconds each of jumping jacks, lunges, and highknees with no rest in between. Then do acceleration runs, slowly building to 50 to 75 percent of your max speed. This warmup will help boost bloodflow, reducing injury risk.
100% OF VO 2 MAX
TRIPLE THREAT Your hamstrings are actually three separate muscles.
80% OF VO 2 MAX
Heat doesn’t affect max effort. In a Texas Christian University study, cyclists riding at 100 percent effort in 99°F fatigued in 5 minutes, the same as guys in 50°F. But at 80 percent max, the hot cyclists conked out sooner—in 13 minutes—than the cool riders, who lasted 25. At lower intensity, heat buildup is the fatiguing factor; at max, it’s your fitness.
For late-breaking cardio news and tips, go to news. MensHealth.com.
Percentage reduction in the risk of dying of cancer over 12 years among men who got fit, versus those who stayed out of shape Source: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
EDITED BY MICHAEL E ASTER
Check out our website at MENSHEALTH.COM/INSIDEOUT for the latest event and promotion updates.
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HEAVY INFLUENCE Remember this when you’re in charge of the takeout order: The person you’re also ordering for affects your own meal choice, new Duke University research suggests. When asked to select a snack for themselves and an overweight companion, people were most likely to pick identical foods, even if both choices were high-calorie. “We worry about offending others,” says study author Peggy Liu, Ph.D.(c). If you give your portly pal fries while you take a salad, then you might convey that fries are for fat folks. Do the opposite, and you may seem judgmental. The fix? Pick something low-cal for both of you.
FULL BUNS Don’t discount how many calories are stuffed in this sandwich.
48 HOURS LARGER
Some food messes with your mind before your waistline: People tend to underestimate the calories in pizza and subs more than in other fast food, a study in the Journal of Consumer Affairs reveals. Study participants thought subs and pizza contained about a third fewer calories than they actually did, but gave somewhat more accurate calorie counts for hamburgers, fried chicken, and Mexican entrées. The reason? People misjudge pizza portion sizes and perceive subs as healthy food, says study author Scot Burton, Ph.D. Order a lowcal side, like an apple, and eat less of the handheld calorie bombs, he advises.
Number of calories in just one slice of Genoa salami (the type often used in Italian-style subs) Source: USDA
34 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Peel Away the Fat ON OUR RADAR
The outer layers of onions could be more treasure than trash: Research from Korea shows that an extract from onion peels may help prevent fat formation. Rats that ate the extract gained less body fat than those that didn’t, even though their diets were otherwise identical. Onion peels contain quercetin, which the researchers say suppresses the formation of fat cells in their early stages, blunting weight gain. But don’t gnaw on onion peels just yet: More research is needed to confirm the effect.
For late-breaking weight-loss news and tips, go to news. MensHealth.com.
A cheat day won’t sink your diet—but a cheat weekend might. A study from Pennington Biomedical Research Center shows that two days of bad eating can hinder your slimdown effort for days to come. When people ate 40 percent more food than they needed over 48 hours, the indulgence set them up for four more days of overeating and cravings. Your body doesn’t signal for less food to compensate for short-term upticks in energy intake, says study author John W. Apolzan, Ph.D. So watch your calories on weekends, and amp up your workouts: A study from the U.K. found that daily vigorous exercise helps blunt the effects of short-term pig-outs. E D I T E D B Y J U L I E S T E WA R T
A l l b u l l e t i n s: D A N B L A C K M A N ( i c o n s) , M a t t Vo h r/ H a l l e y R e s o u r c e s (f o o d s t y l i n g) , M e g u m i E m o t o /A n d e r s o n H o p k i n s ( p r o p s t y l i n g)
Is This Hero a Villain?
Scientiﬁc evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. A one-ounce handful has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.
There’s extended playtime in the crunch of almonds. Not to mention 6g of energy-giving protein, 4g of hunger-slaying ﬁber and essential nutrients in every heart-healthy, one-ounce handful.
Learn more at Almonds.com.
© 2014 Almond Board of California. All rights reserved.
AUSTIN RAYE - PARKOUR EXPERT
REAL SUCCESS IS MORE THAN MUSCLE
PHOTO BY VICTORIA BROUGHTON
AUSTIN’S TUESDAY WORKOUT WARM UP • 3 sets: ~ Jumping jacks for 1 min. ~ Shadow boxing with kicks for 1 min. ~ 20 push-ups ABS, CORE AND BALANCE • 3 sets: ~ 15 crunches ~ 15 sit-ups ~ 15 reverse crunches ~ 15 oblique crunches (each side) ~ 30 bicycle kicks ~ 30 Russian twists ~ Plank for 1 min. ~ 30 mountain climbers ~ 5 headstand push-ups • Headstand balance for 15-20 mins. • Tumble for an hour
here’s getting from point A to point B, and then there’s doing it like gymnastics and Parkour expert Austin Raye does—the hardest, strongest way possible. As a personal trainer and tumbling coach, Austin inspires others to overcome fear and achieve their dreams. And he lives his own: he practices Parkour anywhere and everywhere. This high-adrenaline physical and mental workout lets him try new things, incorporate diferent locations and throw in gymnastics-inspired ﬂips for extra “wow” factor. What keeps him going? After workouts, Austin relies on Isopure Zero Carb Protein drink in one of his favorite ﬂavors for 100% whey protein isolate and 100% awesome taste to keep his muscles strong and lean, plus provide crystal-clear refreshment.Q
To ﬁnd out more about Austin and Isopure, check out TheIsopureCompany.com/Austin.
Meet the man behind the muscle at TheIsopureCompany.com/Austin
SORE NO MORE
There really can be gain without pain. Soreness isn’t a prerequisite for building muscle, an analysis in the Strength and Conditioning Journal concludes. After reviewing the science, study coauthor Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., determined that aches, while they might signal that you’ve damaged the muscle enough for it to repair itself and grow, are not necessary for gains. Plus, he says, “too much soreness can impede your ability to work out again.” Haven’t trained for a few weeks? Minimize discomfort by lifting 20 percent lighter than your norm, and stop 2 reps short of failure in your first two workouts.
STACK UP THE MUSCLE Use a sandbag to unleash a flood of sweat and strength.
The Hurt List
Ever notice that some body parts just seem to end up more achy than others? That’s not your imagination. “Muscles that you’re able to stretch as you’re loading them have the most potential for damage and resulting soreness,” says Schoenfeld. See below to find out which muscles are most prone to aches after a hard workout.
Hey Dumbbell, Try a Sandbag
Sometimes you need to get dirty to get big: Sandbags provide a more effective workout than dumbbells do, according to a study from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Researchers found that people who exercised with the earth-filled bags registered higher heart rates and burned more calories than those who did the exact same routine with dumbbells. “The theory is that the sand shifting in the bag makes your lower body and core work harder to stabilize the load,” says study coauthor David J. Cornell, M.S., C.S.C.S. That increases the intensity, which can help build more muscle. Visit ultimatesandbagtraining.com to buy your own bag, and go to MensHealth.com/sandbag for a killer workout.
CALVES HAMSTRINGS GLUTES TRICEPS PECS
For late-breaking muscle news and tips, go to news. MensHealth.com.
38 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Number of weekly core workouts (including side planks, bird dogs, and curlups) that may help manage low-back pain Source: The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
ON OUR RADAR
Does WOD stand for Workout of Danger? Three out of four CrossFit participants surveyed said they sustained an injury during training, a U.K. study reveals. “Many people aren’t physically prepared for CrossFit’s high-intensity workouts and complicated overhead lifts,” says Men’s Health training advisor Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S. His advice: Begin any intense program at a comfortable level; slowly step up the load, speed, and intensity; and never do moves that hurt or that you think might be dangerous. EDITED BY MICHAEL E ASTER
II ll ll u u ss tt rr a a tt ii o on n b b yy LL- D DO OP PA A (( m ma an n ))
Avoid the DL
WORK OUT HER KINKS It’s not an elliptical—it’s a sex machine.
THE UPSIDE OF JEALOUSY
Worried she’ll stray? Make that fear work for you. People who thought their partner was being tempted used defense tactics to protect the relationship, according to a study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. The tactics, such as spending more time together or being more vigilant to potential threats, paid off: The mates felt more committed. “Guarding our partners shows that we care for them,” says study author Angela Neal, M.A. Of course, snooping through her cell or telling her she can’t go out with friends shows you’re psycho.
Heat Up Her Cooldown
Sweat is a lubricant. New research confirms that women who hit the gym have a better time in bed. In a study from the University of Texas at Austin, women with low sex drive (caused by prescription drugs) who worked out regularly for 21 days reported higher sexual desire—especially when they had sex after a workout. Their exerciserelated improvement in genital bloodflow is probably a result women not on meds can also expect, researchers say. See this issue’s Special Report for more on drugs and libido.
Source: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
40 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
A Better Bond
For late-breaking sex news and tips, go to news. MensHealth.com.
18-24 25-29 30-39 40-49 AGE Source: Centre for Sexual Health Promotion
ON OUR RADAR
Oxytocin, the hormone released during cuddling, may keep you faithful. In a German study, men received a nasal spritz of either oxytocin or a placebo and then rated images of their partner and other attractive women. The result? On oxytocin, they rated their mate but not the other women as more attractive than they did on the placebo. Also, their brains’ reward regions were more active when they viewed photos of their partner, possibly from a dopamine release triggered by the oxytocin.
EDITED BY MADELINE HALLER
Tr u Tr un n kk A A rr cc h h ii vv e e
Seconds by which men underestimated the duration of an eight-minute chat they’d just had with an attractive woman
If she feels good, so will you: Her sexual satisfaction may be the key to your happiness with the relationship, reports a Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy study. Men feel that pleasing their wife is a major responsibility, the study found, so success can be satisfying. And it’s not all about orgasms: Author Suzanne Bartle-Haring, Ph.D., says discussing sex is crucial too.
MARRIED MEN WHO HAVE SEX AT LEAST TWICE A WEEK ( % )
HAPPY WIFE, HAPPY LIFE
POLLEN PERIL Keep your itchy eyes on the road.
BUMP UP YOUR HEALTH
When you offer a handshake, you may receive something in return— illness-causing germs. So stop rolling the dice: A fist bump can transmit less bacteria than a handshake. In a West Virginia University study, people ended up with less than a quarter of the bacteria on their paws when they bumped fists than when they pressed the flesh. It’s likely that viral transmission could be reduced through fist bumps too, says study author Paul Ghareeb, M.D., who says handshakes expose more skin for a longer period of time. If you don’t want to knock knuckles (with the boss, say), just keep the handshake brief, says Dr. Ghareeb.
Driving While Allergic
79 For late-breaking health news and tips, go to news. MensHealth.com.
Percentage of men at risk for heart disease or diabetes who think they’re in good or excellent health
42 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Source: American Diabetes Association
The Flavor Savior ON OUR RADAR
Call it a recipe for a healthier life: In a University of Miami study, a compound derived from allspice stunted the growth of prostate cancer cells in a petri dish. What’s more, when mice were fed a dose equal to about 1 teaspoon of allspice powder, their tumor growth slowed. The compound, called ericifolin, may blunt androgen receptors that aid the growth of prostate cancer cells. Pending more study, ericifolin may be used as a secondary cancer treatment or a preventive step for men at risk.
ARE YOU IRON DEFICIENT?
There’s more than pride at stake when you slide under a barbell. A weak showing at the gym may signal hidden health problems, say Canadian and U.S. scientists. Young men who couldn’t bench 88 percent of their body weight and leg-press 176 percent of their body weight were more than 1½ times as likely as stronger guys to have a group of conditions that raise heart disease and diabetes risk. Stronger muscles may potentially protect you by secreting more metabolismregulating hormones, says study author Martin Sénéchal, Ph.D. According to researchers in Norway, you can boost your PR by doing 3 sets at your 6-rep max twice a week for eight weeks. E D I T E D B Y J U L I E S T E WA R T
YOU CAN’T FAKE STRONG
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BAN SNIFFLES WITH BRAN
White milk is better if it’s green. Organic whole milk may have a healthier fat ratio than nonorganic varieties, a study in PLOS One reports. Organic moo juice contains 25 percent less inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and 62 percent more anti-inflammatory omega-3s than nonorganic milk. The researchers credit the organically raised cows’ plant-rich diet, which translates to a better omega ratio in their milk. Study author Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., suggests three servings of dairy a day, in line with USDA guidelines.
High-fiber cereal may soothe allergies, Swiss research found. When mice were exposed to allergens and fed varying amounts of fiber, those that ate the most fiber had a drop in allergic responses of at least 50 percent. Fiber may produce fatty acids that temper the immune response, easing symptoms. More studies are needed to prove an effect in humans.
HOLY COW! Muscle-building milk may also help fight disease.
IN MEMORY OF JOE
Your a.m. brew is more than just a wake-up cup. Caffeine may boost your memory up to 24 hours after consumption, say Johns Hopkins University researchers. People who consumed the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee were up to 12 percent better at recalling images. Caffeine may stimulate chemicals involved in memory storage, the scientists say.
More Nutrients, Less Cash You can eat healthy without also consuming your paycheck, University of Washington research shows. The picks at the top offer the most nutritional bang for your buck. COOKED SWEET POTATOES RAW CARROTS COOKED POTATOES COOKED BROCCOLI RAW ROMAINE LETTUCE RAW CELERY COOKED BRUSSELS SPROUTS RAW ROMA TOMATOES COOKED GREEN BEANS RAW RED PEPPERS COOKED ZUCCHINI COOKED FRESH CORN RAW MUSHROOMS
For late-breaking nutrition news and tips, go to news. MensHealth.com.
44 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Percentage fewer deaths over 30 years among men who eat at least 7 ounces of nuts a week, versus men who eat none Source: The New England Journal of Medicine
EDITED BY H A N N A H McW I L L I A M S
Allergic Asthma can have a way of making man’s best friend
his worst enemy
Is allergic asthma threatening you? If triggers like pet dander and dust mites put you at risk for a serious attack, you could have allergic asthma. There’s one way to ﬁnd out for sure. Ask your doctor about getting tested for allergic asthma. Then ask what you can do about it. Talk to your doctor about ALLERGIC ASTHMA
/puppy © 2014 Genentech USA, Inc. and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. XOL0002290800 1/14 Printed in USA.
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YOUR EDGE—IN EVERY THING! EDITED BY CLINT CARTER
“I never believed I’d have a six-pack, especially not at 35 years old. You just have to be willing to do what it takes.” —SULLIVAN STAPLETON
Sullivan Stapleton P. 48
PH OTO G R A PH S BY J EF F L I P S K Y
Leader of the Six-Pack
In the new 300 film, Sullivan Stapleton and his warrior band use swords, grit, and epic musculature to fight off invaders. If you’re battling a flab incursion, take his experience to heart. BY ADAM CAMPBELL
THE ACTOR WITH THE INCREDIBLY RIPPED ABS ISN’T SPECIAL. OR LUCKY.
He earned that washboard. “I never believed I’d have a six-pack, especially not at 35 years old,” says Sullivan Stapleton, star of 300: Rise of an Empire. “I always thought it was a genetic blessing.” He takes a swig of Coopers Sparkling Ale. “It’s not,” he says. “You just have to be willing to do what it takes.” Even if you haven’t heard of the relatively unknown Stapleton, you’re almost certainly familiar with the film 300. This 2007 blockbuster made even the fittest men look down at their midsections in disappointment. It’s also the movie that turned another relatively unknown actor, Gerard Butler, into a bona fide box office stud. These similarities make for a fascinating subplot to this year’s follow-up film: Like Butler, Stapleton seriously transformed his body for the role. And now, as in Butler’s case, the role is likely to seriously transform his life. Back in 2010, an obscure Australian flick titled Animal Kingdom won a top prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and a supporting actor in that film, one Sullivan Stapleton, was noticed by U.S. talent agents. Stapleton was working his other job at the time—the one that supported his acting habit. “A week after wrapping Animal Kingdom, I was back on a construction site,” he says. “That’s the movie industry back home. Or at least that’s the industry to me.” That changed. Soon afterward came a costarring role in Strike Back, a Cinemax original series now in its fourth and final season. That was good. But it was Stapleton’s Animal Kingdom performance that caught the eye of Noam Murro, director of 300: Rise of an Empire. “What I saw in that movie was a phenomenal actor,” says Murro. Stapleton remembers their first meeting well: “I read for Noam and he said, ‘Wow, when I close my eyes, all I hear is Russell Crowe,’” he says. “I’d heard this comparison before. But for this director to say it, well, that’s big. So I said something like, ‘Just cast me, then. I might sound like Russell Crowe, but I’m a whole lot cheaper.’” Now all he needed to do was look the part. “I thought, ‘I have to put on a ton of muscle,’” says Stapleton. “But it was just the opposite. They wanted me to be as lean as possible.” “They” are the experts at Gym Jones, a private strength and conditioning facility in Utah. It’s owned by Mark Twight, a man famous in the fitness 48 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
BUTLER DID IT... and now Sullivan Stapleton takes the heroic lead in 300: Rise of an Empire.
“Just be yourself.” HERO
Rapid Fire Sullivan Stapleton
“My mother. Toughest lady I know.” LIFE-CHANGING EVENT
“Trip to the United States to attend the Sundance Film Festival with Animal Kingdom. Massively life-changing.”
LAST WEBSITE RECOMMENDED TO A FRIEND
“I probably shouldn’t mention any of these.” TOP HEALTH STRATEGY
“I keep my diet low in carbohydrates and high in protein. If I’m going to consume carbs, I prefer to drink them. I’m a sucker for a nice red wine or a good single malt.”
“Anything outdoors— cycling, tennis, or kicking a footy with mates.” INSPIRING FICTIONAL CHARACTER
“The two characters in The Intouchables reminded me to see the good in people.”
The Secret to Hollywood Abs BY DAN JOHN
1 SLEEP 10 HOURS A NIGHT 2 EAT 1,800 TO 2,000 CALORIES A DAY 3 TRAIN AS HARD AS YOU CAN IN THE TIME YOU HAVE
Many trainers follow the wisdom of the late Vince Gironda, the prototypical coach of Hollywood badasses. Gironda figured that if you gain an inch on your shoulders and lose an inch off your waist, you look as good as if you’d gained 2 inches on your shoulders or lost 2 inches off your waist. Sticking to trainer Mark Twight’s three principles (above) can lighten you by a pound a day, and you’d build muscle. When one of the actors in 300 picked up his wife at the airport after a month of training, she didn’t recognize him. That is what happens when you stick to the plan. But if you decide to party all weekend, you start again from scratch. It’s a circle: To train this hard, you have to sleep. If you don’t sleep enough, you won’t train hard enough. Insufficient sleep often leads to poor food choices and more calories. It’s not a single item that makes the difference; it’s the discipline to sleep, restrict your calorie intake, and train. You need all three if you want to look like a superhero. Dan John is one of the top strength coaches in the country and a regular contributor to Men’s Health.
Sullivan Tk Stapleton
Building 300-level abs isn’t complicated. But don’t mistake “simple” for “easy.” Stapleton started Mark Twight’s workout with a five-minute warmup, then rowed 500 meters as fast as he could (on a machine). Next, he did the five exercises below. GOBLET SQUAT
Grab a kettlebell by the horns and stand with your feet just beyond shoulder width. Keeping your back naturally arched, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body as far as you can. Push back up to the starting position and repeat. PUSH PRESS
Stand holding a pair of kettlebells or dumbbells next to your shoulders. Bend your knees and then push up explosively, using the power of your lower body to help press the weights overhead. Lower the kettlebells or dumbbells and repeat.
NOT A TRAINING BEVERAGE He built his body and earned a reward. What’s your plan?
Set a kettlebell on the floor in front of you, your feet slightly beyond shoulder width. Grab it with both hands and “hike” it between your legs. Thrust your hips forward forcefully and swing the weight up to chest level; keep swinging back and forth. OVERHEAD HOLD
Secure a barbell in a rack and put a 25-pound plate on each side (95 pounds total, with the bar). Set your feet shoulder-width apart and do a push press but lock your elbows at the top, pull your shoulders down, and hold for as long as you safely can. PLANK
Assume a plank position. Make yourself as long as possible (stretch out!) and brace your core. Squeeze your glutes and press your elbows into the floor and your upper back toward the ceiling. Hold for as long as you can. If you start to sag, you’re done.
THESE DAYS STAPLETON LOOKS SURPRISINGLY NORMAL. FIT, FOR SURE, BUT
normal. This is the real Sullivan Stapleton. So what happened to his six-pack from the film? “To stay in that kind of shape is boring, really,” he says. “If we go out to dinner, you choose from the entire menu—and I have steak, no sauce. You order off the wine list; I order water. And I love wine.” It’s a truth you don’t often hear in Hollywood. Or even in magazines like Men’s Health. We talk about sculpting a six-pack, but not about what happens once the hard-won washboard is in place. “It’s not so bad when you’re paid to do it, but to maintain a six-pack constantly just isn’t worth it to me,” says Stapleton. In movies, you see actors for a single moment in time: They’re defined not only by roles but for roles. For Stapleton, 300: Rise of an Empire is just that: a moment. A really big moment, potentially. 50 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
DIRECTIONS For exercise 1, do as many reps as you can in 60 seconds. Use a 50-pound kettlebell or dumbbell, or the heaviest you can manage. Rest for 60 seconds. Repeat three times, decreasing weight each time, for 4 sets total. Repeat the procedure for exercises 2 and 3— starting heavy and then going lighter. For exercise 4, hold a 95-pound barbell as long as you can with good form. (Use less weight if you falter.) For exercise 5, hold the plank as long as you can, one time.
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industry for his no-tolerance attitude—and for his success in chiseling actors’ physiques. After all, he did train the cast of the original 300. (See “The Secret to Hollywood Abs” on the previous page.) In 12 weeks, Stapleton managed to shed 25 pounds of fat. “It was nothing like I’ve ever done before,” he says. “I’d go to the gym and look at the sheet that day and say, ‘Oh, all right, so that’s the workout.’ And then they’d say, ‘No, that’s the warmup.’” An example: “Man makers,” says Stapleton. “You do them while holding dumbbells. They’re a combination burpee, where you squat, kick your feet out, and do a pushup. But while you’re down there, you do a row with each arm and then jump back to squat, stand up, and do a push press. That’s a rep.” Perspective: Pulling off 20 reps with a challenging weight can be gutwrenching. “They’d have me do 50 to 100 of these man makers,” he says. “Again, that’s just the warmup.” After man makers came the superman maker, a training session that’s a brutal physical and mental test. Can you survive it? There’s no other choice, at least not in the world of Twight. From the Gym Jones website: “The training is painful. There are no shortcuts.” (For a taste of this main course, see “The All-New 300 Workout,” right.) But at the end of each day’s Gym Jones workout, Stapleton wasn’t done. Next came 90 minutes of sword fighting. This was after a 10- to 12-hour day on the set of Strike Back, which he was filming as he prepared for 300. “If you watch that season of Strike Back, you’ll see an amazing transformation, because I’m training for this movie,” says Stapleton. “One day I noticed I had a six-pack. I thought, ‘Holy Jesus, look at that!’”
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When looking at your online dating profile, women are about 5 times more likely to focus on your hobbies than your job. Source: Men’s Health survey of 759 women
5 Things to Never Say to a Naked Woman When the sex is good, it speaks for itself. When it’s not, you have to use actual words. Just choose them carefully or she may cut you off for good.
“That orgasm seemed as phony as Cheez Whiz.” Don’t accuse her, says Eli Finkel, Ph.D., a professor of social psychology at Northwestern University. Instead, have that talk away from the bedroom. When the topic comes up naturally, say, “You don’t ever need to fake orgasms with me. I want our relationship to be totally honest.” You’ll foster mutual respect— in and out of the sack.
“Not now, thanks. I’d rather just read my book.”
“There’s something really weird I want to try with you.”
LOVE CAN BE MESSY—ESPECIALLY THE SEX PART. BUT TO STRAIGHTEN THINGS OUT, SOMETIMES YOU
have to start a difficult conversation. And that’s fine, if you do it with tact. “You have to develop the vocabulary to talk about sensitive issues,” says Arlene Goldman, Ph.D., a sex therapist based in Philadelphia. “It will help you please your partner.” In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy found that communication is the most critical factor in a couple’s success— it’s even more significant than the sex itself. That’s why you should pause before you open your big mouth and say something you’ll regret. We talked to the experts to find out how you can ace the talks you’d rather avoid and still come out on top (or bottom—whichever you prefer). 52 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Congrats—now she’s leery. “If you say, ‘I know this is weird, but . . .’ your partner is bound to feel conflicted,” Goldman says. A smarter way in: “I’m curious about bondage. What do you think?” By starting a conversation instead of forcing her to say yes or no, you give her time to think. She’ll see that you view the act as a way to connect, not control.
The message she hears: “I suspect you have an STD.” That’s not exactly a turn-on. So flip the script: Tell her you want to get tested for her sake, and ask if she’d be willing to do it with you. If you frame the suggestion as something the two of you can do together, says Goldman, then she won’t feel accused.
“YOU HAVE TO DEVELOP THE VOCABULARY TO TALK ABOUT SENSITIVE ISSUES. IT WILL HELP YOU PLEASE YOUR PARTNER.”
“Is that supposed to feel good? I don’t like it.” Say this, and you’ll look like an ass. Instead, show that you’re eager to improve too, says Goldman. Ask, “What do you want more of or less of in bed?” You’ll learn something about your own game, and when it’s your turn to share, she’ll be all ears. One trick: Sandwich the complaint between two compliments, and it will go down even easier. BY L AUR A TEDESCO
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DON’T BLOW IT She’s minutes away from being in your bed.
You’re allowed to be tired, but make sure she knows you’re surprised too. Try, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m too exhausted,” says Finkel. Then ask for a rain check—say, for the morning—and tell her you’ll do anything she wants. “Reassuring her is important,” Goldman says. If she knows you’re still interested, she’ll give you a pass.
“I’ll enjoy the sex more after you take an STD test.”
HIS JEANS WILL TELL A STORY, FROM EVERY GREASE STAIN TO FADE MARK AND TO EVERY RIP & HOLE.
Tired guys rate a woman’s intent to have sex with them 14 percent higher than they do when they’re well rested. Source: Sleep
I’m ready to end a casual fling. Is this something I have to do in person? JON, SALT LAKE CITY, UT
My roommate and his girl are way too public with their displays of affection. Can I tell him to tone it down? RYAN, AUSTIN, TX
Food play in the bedroom: Is it sexy, or just gross? BOBBY, ROCHESTER, NY
I think it’s hot, but you and your girl need to find out for yourselves. And what’s the harm in trying? Start by feeding each other—berries were made for this. Then drip something light and sweet, like whipped cream or chocolate syrup, over her breasts. Stickier options, like honey, may be harder to lick off, so remember that as you raid the kitchen. And try to keep the sweet stuff away from her sweet spot—the sugar can irritate a woman’s genitals.
54 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
I’m guessing that by “public” you mean “in the apartment.” If they’re just kissing, cuddling, and being lovey, then relax. It’s his place too. You’re obliged to deal with a few quirks. But if they’re dry-humping while you’re trying to watch Saturday morning cartoons, that’s inconsiderate. So go ahead and speak up. Just tell him you feel uncomfortable, and he’ll be too embarrassed to push the boundaries again. PDAgone-too-far is a bit like obscenity: There’s no clear definition, but you know it when you see it.
ALLEN, TAMPA, FL
Insecure, maybe. Controlling? Definitely. She had the photos up before you two started dating, right? They’re her form of personal expression, and pressuring her to take them down might make her feel as if you’re treating her body as your personal property. You may just have to accept this, Al. But if it bothers you a lot, bring it up gently. Tell her you hate the idea of other guys ogling her but that the decision to keep the photos up (or not) is totally hers. Then respect her decision.
Why are so many women against doggy-style? TED, CLEVELAND, OH
Short answer: We can’t see you. From where you’re sitting (or standing), doggy seems great. You control the pace and depth and get a killer rearview angle. Meanwhile, we’re staring at a wall. So if you want more doggy in your life, make sure she doesn’t feel like she’s having anonymous sex: Cup her breasts, rub her clitoris, say her name. It’ll make sex more pleasurable for her—which will pay off big for you.
Follow Madeline on Facebook at MHGirlNextDoor, and on Twitter at @MHGirlNextDoor.
You Blew It! We polled Women’s Health readers to find out which bonehead moves guarantee your first date is also your last.
HE BRINGS UP HIS EX If your date asks, say, “She was nice but she wasn’t right for me,” says Tracey Steinberg, author of Flirt for Fun & Meet the One. Then change the subject to, well, anything else.
HE DOESN’T MAKE EYE CONTACT Remember the 70-30 rule: 70 percent of the time you’re focused on her, and the other 30 percent of the time you’re looking at the menu, your food, or the room, says Steinberg.
HE CHEWS WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN There’s a strong correlation between how you eat and your performance in the bedroom, says Steinberg. Show your sensual side by taking smaller bites and chewing slowly.
Fro m to p: C U RT IS J I N K I NS; W ES TO N W E LLS , h air and m akeup: S c ot t M c M ah an; J u an C ar l o s Ro d r igu ez /G et t y I m ag es; K Y LE T E Z A K (3)
How do you define “casual”? More important, how does she define it? Because if it’s truly a fling—a couple of late-night hookups, maybe some sexting— then let it fizzle. You don’t need to say anything. But if she keeps texting you and trying to plan your next hangout, then yeah, you two need to talk. Just don’t do it in public—the potential for disaster is too high. Give her a call and tell her you like her but that you don’t see this relationship being a long-term thing. Keep it short and sweet, just like your fling was.
The girl I’m dating has an Instagram feed loaded with racy photos of her. Would I sound insecure if I asked her to remove them?
Best New Workout
Jason Hartman, M.S., C.S.C.S., civilian contracted strength and conditioning coach with the U.S. Army’s 5th Special Forces Group and former strength and conditioning coordinator for the U.S. Olympic Committee
The Green Beret Gauntlet
Triggering new muscle growth, hitting the refresh button on a stale routine, and building a fit body that kicks ass beyond the gym EQUIPMENT
Barbell, plates, dip belt or weighted vest, pullup bar, kettlebell
Build functional real-world strength with the same fat-incinerating, musclemultiplying circuit used by U.S. Special Forces.
HOW TO DO IT
*as measured by a fit 6'2", 185-pound man using a Polar FT7 watch
1 Barbell Squat
2 Barbell Shoulder Press
Hold the bar across your upper back using an overhand grip, and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your lower back naturally arched, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body as far as you can. Pause, and reverse the move to return to the starting position.
Grab the bar using an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder width, and hold it in front of you at shoulder level with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push the bar straight up, leaning your head back slightly but keeping your torso upright. Pause, and return to the starting position.
4 Kettlebell Swing
Place a kettlebell on the floor in front of you. Spread your feet slightly beyond shoulder width, push your hips back, and grab the kettlebell’s handle. Swing it between your legs and then up to chest level as you thrust your hips forward. Swing it back between your legs—that’s 1 rep—and repeat without pausing.
Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until you can place your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your legs backward into a pushup position and then quickly return to a squat. Stand up and repeat.
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Strap on a weighted dip belt or vest and grab a pullup bar with an overhand grip and your hands slightly beyond shoulder width. Hang at arm’s length (a position called a dead hang). Pull your chest to the bar, pause, and return to a dead hang. If these are too hard, do them unweighted. 56 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Complete 3 sets of 5 reps for each of the first three exercises, resting 2 minutes between sets. Then perform the last two exercises as a superset (back-to-back). Start with 10 reps of each (20 if you want a true Special Forces challenge), and subtract 1 rep per exercise in each successive superset until you reach zero. Rest as needed.
3 Weighted Pullup
Strength, power, fat loss
5k to 10k.
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Additional boost in testosterone experienced immediately after working out by men who performed barbell squats instead of leg presses Source: The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
The Power of Balance
Sculpt muscle and boost total-body mobility and coordination—one limb at a time.
HOW TO DO IT Complete a total of 45 offset pushups with your right hand on a box or step. Rest for 5 minutes, and then repeat with your left hand on the step. Next, do 15 single-leg squats using your left leg. Rest for 2 minutes, and repeat with your right leg.
YOUR GOAL 90 OFFSET PUSHUPS, 30 SINGLE-LEG SQUATS
1 Assume a pushup position with your right hand on a low box or step. Your toes should be close together, and your body should form a straight line from ankles to head.
2 Brace your core and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, and then push back up to the starting position as quickly as possible.
THINK OF THE TWO BODY-WEIGHT
Single-Leg Squat 1 Stand on your left leg with your back to a bench or box that’s about knee height. Extend your arms straight out in front of your chest. Keep your torso as upright as possible.
2 Balancing on your left foot, slowly lower your body until your butt touches the bench or box. Pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position.
I disappear when I turn sideways. How can I bulk up my torso? JOE, PORTLAND, ME
BY LOU SCHULER, C.S.C.S. 58 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
The straightest path to a 3D physique is to focus on your body’s biggest muscle groups, especially your glutes and lats. And no exercise targets them better than the barbell deadlift, says Mark Reifkind, owner of Girya Strength in Palo Alto, California. Grab the bar just outside your legs, keeping your back naturally arched and chest up to maximize the move’s effectiveness. Start with 65 percent of your 1-rep max and work up to 85 percent in your final sets. (Do 5 sets total, 5 reps per set.) “You’ll make the most progress and avoid most problems in that range,” says Reifkind. Work hard, and you’ll never pull a disappearing act again. Lou Schuler, C.S.C.S., is the coauthor (with Alwyn Cosgrove) of The New Rules of Lifting Supercharged.
For more workout tips and total-body challenges, visit MensHealth.com/fitness.
S C O T T M c D E R M O T T (e x e r c i s e s) , g r o o m i n g : S o n i a L e e / M u r a d / E x c l u s i v e A r t i s t s; M i c h a e l D o m e n i c Te d e s c o (S c h u l e r)
exercises on this page as performance audits. “Being able to do both the offset pushup and the single-leg squat with perfect form proves that you’re strong and athletic,” says Craig Ballantyne, C.T.T., a Toronto-based trainer and the author of Turbulence Training. “But if you can’t do the same number of repetitions with each arm or leg, you probably have a strength imbalance.” That can not only affect your performance in the gym and in sports but also increase your risk of injury, leading to missed workouts and slower gains. “The average guy struggles with these moves,” says Ballantyne. “So mastering them gives you the opportunity to show just how far above average you are.” —MICHAEL EASTER
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THE BEST IS WITHIN
Pull Your Own Upset
WINNING MENTALITY Sometimes a low seed is actually an upper hand.
Every year, underdog teams overcome low expectations to topple the NCAA favorites. What’s their secret?
IN SOME WAYS WE’RE ALL UNDERDOGS. WHETHER
you’re an entrepreneur launching a startup in your garage or a rookie salesman with no contacts, plenty of competitors are gunning for you. But as March Madness proves, once you earn a spot on the court, victory is within reach. We asked David Morey, coauthor of The Underdog Advantage and a strategy consultant on President Obama’s winning 2008 campaign, to explain what we can learn from the biggest upsets in recent college hoops history. —MATT McCUE
2012 Rather than submit, Lehigh (#15) hits Duke (#2) with all its muscle
2011Virginia Commonwealth (#11) shocks Kansas (#1)
2013 Florida Gulf Coast (#15) makes Georgetown (#2) uncomfortable
2010 Butler (#5) overthrows Kansas State (#2) and Syracuse (#1)
Some said George Mason shouldn’t have been included in the tournament, and coach Jim Larranaga used that disrespect to fire up his squad: He told them UConn didn’t even know what conference George Mason was in! The Patriots won in overtime. LESSON Get pissed off. An underdog with something to prove is a formidable foe, says Morey. “He’ll go further to get what he wants.”
From the opening tip-off, the Mountain Hawks played with surprising aggression, forcing turnovers and drawing hard fouls. They beat Duke by 5. LESSON Intimidation works. “The top dog might not be expecting a tough fight, but if you keep attacking him, you create confusion,” says Morey. Example: a foot race. If you throw in a few early surges, you’ll make him think you’re stronger than you really are.
The Rams unleashed a fullcourt press to take an early 18-point lead. At that point most teams would have let up on the relentless pressure, but VCU kept pouring it on. LESSON Do something surprising. “Successful underdogs play by different rules,” says Morey. It’s the same in business. If you call a client’s office on Saturday, and he answers, he’ll appreciate your working on the weekend.
To attack the strong-butslower Hoyas, the Eagles ramped up the pace of the game and clinched the win with a 21-2 second-half run. LESSON Play outside your opponent’s comfort zone. “You’ll pit your strengths against their weaknesses,” says Morey. Vying for a promotion against talented colleagues? Beat them to the office every day and speak up more in big meetings.
In both games, the Bulldogs lost the lead with less than six minutes to play. So they ramped up the intensity, shooting unexpected threes and drawing fouls. The result? A 12-2 run against Kansas and 11-2 against Syracuse. LESSON Never admit defeat. Change your approach and be aggressive instead. “Keep your opponent reacting to you instead of the other way around,” says Morey.
62 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
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2006 George Mason (#11) forces Connecticut (#1) to show some respect
FOR THE LOVE OF LEAVES ©2014 PURE LEAF is a trademark of the Unilever Group of Companies.
Five things you need to know about women, according to...
Dressing too trendy is a turnoff. “I know men who always wear T-shirts and jeans and sneakers, and they look fresh. You know what you like, you know what looks good on you—so stick to that. Not too many dudes can pull off skinny jeans.” If you trash your ex, you look bad. “There’s always that guy who says, ‘Oh, that bitch is crazy.’ But dude, you dated her! What are you doing that’s drawing all those crazies? You’re the common denominator. And you’re not crazy?” We’d rather fight than fester. “If you have something to say, speak up. It doesn’t matter if she’s going to get annoyed. Don’t put your relationship on cruise control—there might be a turn, or potholes, or rocks, or something like that. Guys understand car references, right?” Ph P ho o tt o og g rr a ap ph h b b yy S S tt e e vv ii e e a an nd d M Ma ad da a ,, ss tt yy ll ii n ng g :: JJ o oh hn na a tt h ha an n L La aw wh ho o rr n ne e ,, h h aa ii rr :: M M aa rr aa R Ro o ss zz aa kk ,, m m aa kk e eu up p :: G G rr e eg go o rr yy A A rr ll tt ;; R R aa cc h he e ll Z Zo oe e ss h h ii rr tt aa n nd d ss kk ii rr tt
Your girl is like a personal groomer. “I have so many grooming products, I’m like Sephora. There’s no reason why you should have an itchy scalp or a dry face. I have every cream you could possibly need, so why are you walking around with ashy skin? Let’s handle that.” We wish you liked a little hair. “Where did the whole landing strip, Brazilian, waxing yourself to prepubescence come from? I’m not asking you to wax your balls! I used to go totally bare, and I looked like a child. I’m not doing it anymore. I’m not single, but if I was, I’d be like, ‘Listen, you’re getting ’70s bush.’ ”
THE JOY OF DATING
Once, on a date, a guy took Joy Bryant to a parking lot to skateboard. Sound like a bad idea? It wasn’t—she ended up marrying him. And now she describes a day at home like this: “We make cocktails, talk shit.” What a lucky dude. Even though she’s taken, you can still check her out in NBC’s Parenthood and her latest flick, About Last Night, costarring Kevin Hart. 64 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
I N T E R V I E W B Y L I L A B AT T I S
YOUR LOOK. YOUR BREATH’S FRIEND
© 2014 Mondelēz International group
WORK FITNESS LOVE LIFE ™
The ROGAINE® Brand and Men’s Health worked with 5 guys to unlock their full potential. Over 8-months, 4 expert coaches provided the advice and insights to help them grow their game.
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GROW YOUR GAME™ is more than conquering hair loss - it’s about being the best man you can be. In the 8 months I’ve worked with these guys, I’ve seen a huge difference in their hair and their confidence. They
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A HUMBLE YOUTH, A REBELLIOUS
They’re a go-to look for every guy. And that’s the problem: How do you set yourself apart from the herd?
adolescence, and now years of easy stability: You and American blue jeans have a lot in common. Jeans are the most democratic piece of clothing in your closet, but the so-called everyman pants don’t look the same on every man—or in every generation. Maybe Seinfeld’s high-waisted jeans (and high-top sneakers) were okay in the ’90s, but they look dorky today. President Obama, who’s worn frumpy dad jeans in the past, has learned the error of his sartorial ways. With a little guidance, you can do better too. —SANDRA NYGAARD
Rise Above the Fray Buying jeans with whiskering at the pockets, fading on the legs, and a few minor abrasions is a convenient way to avoid a long break-in period. But if you opt for the distressed look, keep it minimal and choose your scuffs wisely, says Francine Rabinovich, founder of Denim Therapy, a denim repair shop in New York City. If the damage is on areas that distress naturally, such as knees and back pockets, you’re in the clear. But if it’s in odd places, like the shins or thighs, it’ll look fake. “It’s just so inauthentic,” says Rabinovich. DON’T Be a Clean Freak
AG JEANS, $225
68 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
PH OTO G R A PH S BY V I CTO R PR A D O
P rr o P op p ss tt yy ll ii n ng g :: R R ii cc h h ii e e O Ow w ii n ng g ss // H Ha a ll ll e e yy R Re e ss o ou u rr cc e e ss
The less you launder frayed and distressed denim, the better. The processing that creates the whiskering effect and fading degrades the integrity of the fabric, so your jeans can wear out quickly with excessive laundering. And when you do wash them, don’t toss them in a dryer and further damage the weakened fibers. Instead, turn them inside out and air-dry them flat, advises Rabinovich.
NAUTICA SHIRT, $90, AND JEANS, $45 CLARKS SHOES, $120 TOMS SUNGLASSES, $119 ERNEST ALEXANDER BLAZER, $595 MARC BY MARC JACOBS SHIRT, $198 PRPS GOODS & CO. JEANS, $350 WALK-OVER SHOES, $275 THE TIE BAR POCKET SQUARE, $10
PICK YOUR CUFF The Single
It’s quick and classic: Just fold up the bottom 1½ inches and crease it. The Double
Fold it up 1 inch and then give it an extra roll. Go higher for a casual look. The Messy Triple
Feeling leisurely? Roll a half-inch cuff, double it over twice, and leave it rumpled.
THE MH MUSTHAVE
Yes, You Should Wear White Jeans
Treat Your Jeans Like Dress Pants
Or, Hell—Just Cuff Them
Too short and it looks like a crop top; too long and nobody notices how great your jeans fit. The proper shirt should fall around the top or middle of your back pocket, says Durand Guion, VP and men’s fashion director at Macy’s.
Just be sure to nail the fit. “White isn’t slimming, so the jeans should be a little snug,” says Guion. Then avoid the bright, pastel, Miami Vice look; rustic accessories, like a chambray shirt with suede desert boots, look great.
Yes, even your denim deserves a trip to the tailor, says Greg Sato, a Los Angeles designer and marketing manager at Levi’s. “Jeans can be dressed up,” he says. But they won’t look good unless they fit you correctly.
Want to save a tailor’s fee? Just roll the legs up. But the trick only works with selvedge or otherwise stiff denim that already fits great in the waist. And the legs should be narrow— don’t even try it with your boot-cut jeans.
For every shirt you own, decide whether you plan to wear it tucked. If yes, leave it long. If not, take it to a tailor.
If white seems too bold, try sand-colored jeans. They’re subtler, easier to keep clean, and still hipper than khakis.
Run your jeans through a wash cycle before having them altered. They’re cotton, so they’ll shrink slightly.
An office-friendly cuff just covers the top of your shoe. If your socks show before you sit, the cuff is too high.
DON’T Tuck and Run
DO Change Shades
DO Give It a Spin
70 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014 Want to buy these items? See page 159.
DON’T Leg Out
JACK SPADECAMO UTILITY BRIEF
Can a work bag really be cool? The blue camouflage print on this one says yes. Not only does the bag improve on the dull briefcase your dad used to carry, but it features interior pockets to organize your stuff, rugged canvas to haul heavy loads, and a rubber-latex hull to protect your computer in case you carelessly drop the bag in a puddle. JACK SPADE BAG, $198
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The Length of Your Shirt Matters
A D V E R T O R I A L
THE BEST IN GROOMING
Your active life
keeps you on your toes. Tackle each day with JVUÄKLUJLI`YLS`PUNVU trusted sources. These tips and Men’s Health award-winning grooming products will give you the edge you need to stand V\[THRLHRPSSLYÄYZ[ impression and be on your best game anytime, all the time.
Post-Workout Shower Maximized Morning workouts are fast, high-performance routines, so keep your shower short and make those minutes work for you. A watertight shaver like Gillette Fusion ProGlide® Styler makes this daily task quicker while in the shower Take a brief retreat in the shower and wash yourself
in the fresh “scent hammock” of Old Spice Fiji Body Wash
Use a double-duty shampoo like Head & Shoulders Active Sport 2 in 1 Shampoo
A D V E R T O R I A L
THE BEST IN GROOMING
Make Business Travel Personal Being on the road is a necessary evil. Pack a few personal effects to feel like you’re right at home. • Nix room service and bring your favorite protein bars to keep your eating on track • Pack the Oral-B® Deep Sweep™ 5000 electric toothbrush—personalize the settings to get the clean you need • Don’t bother with in-room products— stock up on your favorite Crest toothpaste, Old Spice Deodorant and Gillette shave prep in travel size
Classic Date Night The “dinner and a movie” combo is a time-tested, no-fail way to get close. Try these tips for a look that makes her want to get even closer. • 2LLWP[JHZ\HS`L[Z[`SPZO·^LHYHKHYRÄ[[LK JHYKPNHUV]LYHJOLJRLYLKÅHUULSZOPY["WHPYLK^P[O dark denim jeans • Get a super-clean shave with Gillette Fusion ProGlide® Hydra Smooth Gel • Trim, shave and edge your way to well-groomed facial hair with the Gillette ProGlide® Styler
THE BEST IN GROOMING
A D V E R T O R I A L
Gillette Fusion ProGlide® Hydra Gel Super-moisturizing with Shea Butter and Glycerin, Fusion ProGlide® helps keep your skin hydrated, increases the glide and reduces the look and feel of shaving irritation.
F O R E V E R Y G R O O M I NG ANGLE OF YOUR LIFE Gillette ProGlide® Styler Master your style with one tool— get a close, comfortable shave with the precision you want to style your facial hair like a pro.
Oral-B Deep Sweep™ 5000 Electric Toothbrush Triple-action deep-cleaning technology, a visual pressure sensor HUKÄ]LJ\Z[VTPaLK cleaning modes— taking clean to a new level.
Head & Shoulders Active Sport 2 in 1 Shampoo Active Sport highperformance for guys on the go, has an advanced formula for manageable hair and a cool, refreshed, clean feeling.
Reduction in ingrown hairs after 12 weeks when guys shaved just two or three times a week Source: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology
Yes,You Can Shave That
We asked readers to send us their most gross and embarrassing grooming questions. Then we called in the experts.
My ingrown toenails hurt and look nasty. Can I prevent them?
Bacne is killing my game at the beach. How do I clear it up?
Why do my feet stink and itch so bad after a workout? It’s gross!
I brush twice a day, but my teeth are still yellow. What gives?
Flatten the rounded surfaces, says Michael Gilman, founder of GroomingLounge.com. First, buzz with a beard trimmer that has a quarter-inch guard, and then apply a shave oil or low-foam gel so you can see your work. Pull your sack down to smooth the sides, and using a razor with a guard, shave the perimeter with short, downward strokes. Pull it up to flatten and shave the hull; then finish with lotion. Now go show your girlfriend.
You might just be trimming your nails wrong, says Tony Nakhla, D.O., author of The Skin Commandments. “Clip them straight across instead of rounding them.” And if you already feel pain, soften the surrounding skin with a urea cream, like Topix Urix 40 ($36, amazon.com). Then bind the nail tightly with tape. “You’re forcing it down so it grows flush with the nail bed,” says Dr. Nakhla. Still hurting after two days? See a doctor.
Treat it with a salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide cleanser. Neutrogena Body Clear body wash ($6, drugstore.com) is a good option, says Rachel Pritzker, M.D., a dermatologist based in Chicago. And if you’re really serious about looking good shirtless, go electric: Use an extension handle with the Clarisonic Plus ($225, clarisonic.com). Its oscillating brush buffs away dead cells so pimplefree skin can regenerate.
Your sweaty feet allow fungus and bacteria to breed, says Jeremy Green, M.D., a Miami dermatologist. So have two pairs of gym shoes and rotate them to give each pair more time to dry between workouts. And before you put on socks (clean ones, always!), shake on a moisture-absorbing powder with miconazole nitrate, like Zeasorb Athlete’s Foot ($6, drugstore.com). “It’s more effective than standard talcum powder,” says Dr. Green.
Brushing removes plaque and prevents tooth decay, but it doesn’t wash away yellow. For that you need a dedicated whitening treatment, says Domenick Zero, D.D.S., director of the Oral Health Research Institute at Indiana University. Your options include strips or an in-office procedure. And if you’re brushing hard in an effort to scrub away the stains, stop. You could be wearing away the enamel and exposing a darker part of the tooth.
PHIL, DENVER, CO
KYLE, PORTLAND, OR
74 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
MATEO, LOS ANGELES, CA
EVAN, VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
ROGER, BIRMINGHAM, AL
BY DA N MICH EL
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My girlfriend likes my scrotum clean-shaven. Uh, how do I do that?
Ace Your Ofce Presentation
Say “I’m excited” to yourself before you begin. Speakers who did this came off as more persuasive and confident. Source: Journal of Experimental Psychology
Four Steps to Six Figures David Johnson was working hard but falling short—until he learned to focus on his goals.
Work with Purpose Put in all the overtime you want—without a clear target, you’ll never hit your mark. Here’s what David Johnson has learned about getting ahead.
THINK BIG, ACT SMALL
IT WAS ALWAYS MY DREAM TO WORK
at my family’s insurance agency, and after college, I joined the sales force. At first things were great. But when we lost a big account, my clientele dried up overnight. And I had no clue how to rebuild it. Over the next three months I made only $800 in commissions. I was constantly cold-calling potential clients, with no luck. So one day I just broke down crying, telling my dad I hated the job. I was failing. That was a turning point for me; I knew I needed a new approach. I needed concrete goals. I made a profile of my ideal client and reached out to my contacts to target people like that. For the first time, I was working smart. My sales picked up within a week. The next year, I was invited to join an industry group for top salespeople. I’ve realized there are two things everybody wants: more money and more free time. I’m lucky enough to have earned both. My life is balanced, I no longer spend my days cold-calling people, and I’m happy.
ESTABLISH A SYSTEM
Many recurring problems can be solved by creating procedures. For instance, if you often fall behind on filing expense reports, set a reminder to do it every Tuesday at 2 p.m., whether or not you really need to.
IDENTIFY WHAT WORKS
The key to progress and personal satisfaction is to know what you’re bad at, good at, and great at. If you focus only on your weaknesses, you’ll shore them up but still be weak. So focus on your best strengths.
Life insurance agent STARTING SALES
TIME FRAME FOR TURNAROUND
Less than a year
Have you transformed your career, body, or relationship? Tell us your story: MHtransformation@MensHealth.com 76 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
SHARPEN YOUR PITCH
Before a big meeting, list your key talking points, along with two sentences to say about each. “Ad libs are for amateurs,” Johnson says. Rehearse the night before, and you’ll have confidence in the moment. —LILA BATTIS PHOTOGR A PH BY GREGORY MILLER
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David Johnson, 39, Suwanee, GA
Break large, long-term goals into small weekly tasks. If your boss rewards creativity, send in 15 ideas every Wednesday. “If you’re always looking to next week, you’ll have constant forward momentum,” Johnson says.
THIS MONTH’S EXPERT
Spring-Load Your Pasta
You know Mario Batali. He’s the chef at numerous Italian restaurants; a cohost on ABC’s The Chew; and a co-owner of Eataly, a market with locations in New York City and Chicago.
Gather the season’s freshest vegetables to make primo pasta primavera. BY PAUL KITA
PLATE PASTA PERFECTLY If you’re serving classic spaghetti or linguine, we endorse tongs. They grip better than pasta servers do, and as a presentation trick, you can twirl the noodles onto the plate to build an attractive tower instead of a sloppy pile. Use This. . .
Prep the Produce
Simmer Your Sauce
Put It All Together
The sauce will cook quickly, so be sure to prep your ingredients before firing up the stove.
In a big pot, start bringing 6 quarts of water with 3 tablespoons of kosher salt to a boil. In a large skillet on medium high, heat ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until just golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium; add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re slightly soft, about 4 minutes. Toss in the mushrooms, cook 3 minutes, and add the asparagus (except tips) and cook 2 minutes. Add the peas, scallions, and asparagus tips; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes; remove from heat.
You’ll lose out on flavor if you just scoop the sauce on top. Instead, add the pasta and ¼ cup of the pasta water to the vegetables, stirring and tossing everything over medium heat until mixed. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and wait about 2 minutes for the flavors to meld. Then stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, another splash or two of the pasta water, and ⅓ cup each of coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley and basil. Serve topped with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Makes 6 servings, but if your crew isn’t that big, no worries—the leftovers are great, either reheated or cold.
Thinly slice 3 garlic cloves. Peel 2 medium carrots, halve them lengthwise, and slice them into ¼-inchthick semicircles. Thinly slice ¼ pound trimmed cremini mushrooms. Slice ½ pound trimmed asparagus on the diagonal; reserve the tips separately. Measure out 1 cup fresh or thawed peas. Thinly slice the white parts of 4 scallions.
78 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Use Your Noodles Pasta can turn gummy if it sits too long, so plan on cooking it after you’ve finished the sauce. Add 1 pound penne rigate to the boiling water and cook until it’s just al dente, about 1 minute less than the cooking time specified on the package. Reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta in a colander.
PH OTO G R A PH S BY C H A R L ES M A ST ER S
F o o d s t y l i n g: A l i s o n A t te n b o r o u g h , p r o p s t y l i n g: R i c h i e O w i n g s / H a l l e y R e s o u r c e s; i l l u s t r a t i o n s b y J I M W I N T E R S (B a t a l i), M I C H A E L H O E W E L E R (h o w - to)
Don’t Use This!
“I smile a lot now just to show off.” — Daniel, 29
Whether you’re considering clear aligners, retainers or today’s braces, an orthodontist is the smart choice. Orthodontists are specialists in straightening teeth and aligning your bite. They have two to three years of education beyond dental school. So they’re experts at helping you get a great smile — that feels great, too. Go to www.mylifemysmile.org to ﬁnd an orthodontist near you or ask your dentist for a referral. © 2014 American Association of Orthodontists.
The Best Olive Oils MOLTO AWESOME!
Make Your Pasta Tops
A hit of crispy, crunchy texture can add a pleasant contrast to silky sauces and al dente pasta, Batali says. Try his two simple topping suggestions to take your pasta experience to the next level. LARDONS Heat a large nonstick sauté pan on medium and add 1 pound of thickcut bacon, cut into 1-inch squares. (Batali recommends duck bacon if you can find it.) Cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon squares to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess fat.
CHERRY BOMBS You can make a fresh tomato sauce in mere minutes.
Tomato Sauce, Two Ways
This time of year, scoring peak-season tomatoes is almost impossible—you’ll have to wait until late summer for those. But other tomato options are available year-round, Batali says. First, cook 1 pound of pasta. Then combine 1 pound of quartered cherry tomatoes in a large pot with ¼ cup of reserved pasta water. Bring to a simmer over mediumhigh heat and season with a pinch each of sugar and sea salt. Add the pasta, stir, and toss until well coated. Then mix in ⅓ cup of extra-virgin olive oil and serve.
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Canned Tomatoes In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium until it’s shimmering. Add 4 large, thinly sliced garlic cloves and cook them until they’re lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of canned diced tomatoes to the pot and then reduce the heat to medium low. Keep cooking and stirring until the flavors meld, 5 minutes or so.
Best for Cooking CALIFORNIA OLIVE RANCH EVERYDAY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
$13 for 500 ml, california oliveranch.com Our tasters loved the oil’s bright yet subtle flavor. And the green bottle helps block out light, so the oil won’t turn rancid prematurely, says Devarenne.
Best for Finishing LUCERO THREE STAR BLEND CERTIFIED EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
$16 for 500 ml, lucerooliveoil.com The mild, grassy flavor makes this an excellent option for constructing salad dressings or drizzling over pasta. And you can count on quality: Lucero’s oils are certified extra virgin by the California Olive Oil Council and tested to ensure that they meet standards for optimal flavor and acidity.
SKIP THE RINSE CYCLE Running noodles under the faucet? Bad idea. As the pasta cooks, starch granules swell with water until they burst, releasing sticky starch molecules that cling to the pasta, says Robert Wolke, Ph.D., author of What Einstein Told His Cook. “Rinsing washes off the starch, creating a nonstick surface, so sauce will slide right off.” So after you’ve drained your pasta, stir it immediately into the still-cooking sauce.
M I C H A E L H O E W E L E R (o l i v e o i l s)
BREAD CRUMBS Preheat the oven to 325°F. Tear a baguette into hunks and pulse them in a food processor until coarse. Scatter the crumbs on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring once.
You should check two things to make sure your oil is fresh, says Alexandra Devarenne, an olive oil expert. One is harvest date (more recent is better) or “best before” date (later is better). The second is the smell—if you catch a whiff of crayons, stale nuts, or putty, the oil is rancid. We tested 28 varieties to find the ones that taste best when fresh. These two piqued our testers’ tastebuds.
Eggs have high-quality protein to keep you fuller longer and energized all day long. And theyâ€™re also 14% lower in cholesterol. *Average amount of cholesterol in one egg is 185 mg, down from 215 mg. Brought to you by Americaâ€™s egg farmers.
CHECKUP IN THE PRODUCE AISLE
Every 7 grams of fiber (about two bananas) in your daily diet can cut your heart disease risk 9 percent. Source: BMJ
AreYou Aging Too Fast?
Your skin’s collagen is breaking down—from either smiling or squinting. If it’s the latter, watch out: “There’s a good chance that people with premature crow’s-feet from squinting in sunlight are headed toward future facial skin cancer,” says Neal Schultz, M.D., a Manhattan dermatologist. PROTECT YOURSELF
Wear sporty wraparound sunglasses during outdoor activities like hiking or yard work, says Joel L. Cohen, M.D., a dermatological surgeon based in Colorado. “And apply sunscreen daily, even for your commute.”
Your body is a masterpiece, so you need to take care of it. With proper restoration, it can be an ageless classic. BY JULIE STEWART
Hearing Needs Assistance
The high frequencies that sharpen speech drop out first, so people with hearing loss tend to think others are not speaking clearly, says Pamela Souza, Ph.D., CCC-A, a professor at Northwestern University.
Age Spots First Appear
Look at the back of your left hand, which receives extra sun while you drive. See brown or white patches? Those indicate damaged pigmentproducing cells, which are reproducing too much, says MH dermatology advisor Adnan Nasir, M.D., Ph.D.
Keep headphones below half volume. Listening to an iPod nano for an hour at just 50 percent can temporarily damage your ears, Belgian researchers found.
Whether you see age spots or not, apply an SPF 30 product every morning to all your exposed skin— even your arms—to help prevent skin cancer. If you want to lighten existing spots, use a product with kojic acid, like La-Roche Posay Mela-D Serum ($53, soap.com).
Joint Pain Sets In
If your hands, knees, or hips hurt after exercise, you may have osteoarthritis, the breakdown of cartilage between bones.
Words Become Blurry Up Close
Hold this page out at arm’s length. If you’re over 40 and need to squint to read it, you may have presbyopia, a condition resulting from the loss of elasticity in your eyes’ lenses, says Dennis Levi, O.D., Ph.D., a professor at UC Berkeley. PROTECT YOURSELF
Again—wear shades. Sunglasses rated to block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays and absorb UV up to 400 nanometers can help prevent eye damage. And if you’re struggling on your computer, increase the font size. Every 2.8-point jump makes tasks seem 8 percent easier, say UC Berkeley scientists.
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Hit the gym. Overweight or obese people are nearly three times as likely to have osteoarthritis in the knee, the most common spot for older people. Already in pain? Try unloaded exercises, such as seated knee extensions. Japanese researchers found that these may be best for reducing joint pain.
Muscle Mass May Start to Decline
After this age, men can lose 3½ pounds of muscle per decade, according to a Portuguese study. PROTECT YOURSELF
Twenty grams of whey protein after lifting can boost muscle gains 49 percent, say U.K. researchers.
I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y D A N M AT U T I N A
The choice is clear.
NOW 25X MORE UV PROTECTION against the damaging rays of the sun.* Ask your Eyecare Professional for Crizal No-Glare lenses. To ﬁnd one near you, go to Crizal.com
©2014 Essilor of America, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Unless indicated otherwise, all trademarks are the property of Essilor International and/or its subsidiaries. E-SPF and the 25 E-SPF design are registered trademarks of Essilor of America, Inc. E-SPF is a global index developed by Essilor, endorsed by independent third parties, measuring the lens’ UV protection excluding direct eye exposure from around the lens. E-SPF of 25 means the wearer is 25 times more protected than without any lens. *E-SPF of 25 when Crizal is made with any lens material other than clear 1.5 plastic.
Heading to Higher Ground?
Cut your altitude sickness risk: Pop 600 mg ibuprofen six hours before ascent and again every six hours for a day. Source: Annals of Emergency Medicine
Make a Vacation Count
There’s a science to planning the easiest, cheapest, and most relaxing vacation of your life.
CHILL IN THE AIR Hang time can be healthy time.
49days 15 percent 8 days 5milligrams 2 events Portion of your budget you should set aside for unexpected costs
Minimum amount of time you need to block out for a real vacation
Dosage of melatonin to take the day before you cross time zones
Maximum number of excursions to plan for each day away
Fares hit lows around seven weeks before you fly, reports CheapAir.com. For travel abroad, the sweet spot is 81 days out. “Most airlines begin selling tickets 11 months before a flight but don’t seriously discount until you’re within four months,” says CheapAir.com CEO Jeff Klee. “So booking too early is often as bad as booking too late.” The exception: If you’re planning a getaway around a holiday or a massive destination event, like Mardi Gras in New Orleans or New Year’s Eve in New York City, book your trip as early as possible.
Let’s say you have $1,400 to spend on your trip. After booking transit, lodging, and excursions—plus budgeting for meals and souvenirs—you should have about $200 left. Unforeseen expenses do come up, says Matt Kepnes, author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day. You may need an $80 cab ride to reach your rappelling destination, or find that $40 will upgrade you to a suite with a balcony and a view. Budget now, and you’ll avoid stressing in the moment.
It’ll take you that long to completely unwind, according to a 2013 Dutch study. The researchers found that people’s reported feelings of health and well-being peaked just after a week away, when they’d fully transitioned out of work mode. And while you’re away, you can increase your happiness even more by allowing yourself time for serious relaxation. Low-key activities, such as reading in a hammock or lounging in a hot tub, were most strongly linked to improved mood, energy, and stress levels—and the benefits lasted beyond the vacation.
Conquer jet lag with melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. Taken as a supplement, melatonin can help your body sync with the light-dark cycle at your destination, a Greek study found. If you’re traveling across six or fewer time zones, take one dose the day before your trip when it’s about 10 p.m. in your arrival city. If you’re crossing seven or more zones, take a dose daily for up to three days before flying. Once en route, avoid caffeine and eat only when it’s mealtime at your destination.
The guy who travels with a full itinerary and a guidebook stuffed into his fanny pack isn’t really experiencing his vacation. He’s just checking tourist traps off his list. “If you plan every second, you’ll be stressed,” says Kepnes. “Travel is about the unknown.” That means exploring when you stumble upon something interesting, and relaxing when you find a lunch café you wish you could bring home with you. So don’t plan out more than half of each day—a couple of two-hour activities or a single four-hour activity is plenty.
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B Y L I L A B AT T I S
Cu C u ll tt u u rr a a // G Ga a ll ll e e rr yy S S tt o o cc kk
Amount of lead time you need to snag a good domestic airfare
STEPHEN CURRY | All-Star Point Guard
WORKOUT + PROTEIN = STRENGTH
G I V E M E STR EN GTH
©2014 CytoSport, Inc. MUSCLEMILK.COM
WORKOUT RECOVERY FUEL
TO DRIVE THE LANE TO MAKE THE THREE TO DOMINATE
Best Spring Drink You’ve Never Tasted: Americano
Mix 1½ oz Campari and 1½ oz sweet vermouth and top with club soda. Add a lemon twist if you want. Source: Leo Robitschek, bar manager at Eleven Madison Park, NYC
My girlfriend has signed us up for couples yoga. I can beg off, right? ANDY, BOULDER, CO
My boss wants to move me to a cube to give the new senior hire my office. Can I fight this? JAY, CORAL SPRINGS, FL
Brother, you’ve been screwed, but you’ll look like a jerk if you put up a fight about pecking order. So make lemonade out of this. Before you pack up, remind your boss that you work your ass off and say you feel you deserve some other compensation. With any luck, you’ll find out exactly what you need to do to earn your next raise.
At a work dinner, I made an awkward joke that killed the conversation. I still feel like an idiot. Anything I can do? CHUCK, HENDERSON, NV
Sure, plenty, Chuck! You could e-mail apologies to everyone. You could tell your boss you can’t be trusted around booze. Or you could forget about it—because I’m telling you, everyone else has. And bringing it up now will just remind them what a bonehead you are. We all tend to
How to Talk to an Old Person
THE MANLY ARTS 86 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Sure, Uncle Earl may be as old as dirt, but that doesn’t mean the two of you can’t get on like best buds. The first rule: Don’t be patronizing. Older people don’t want to be talked to like children. “It can often be unconscious, but if you’re aware of it, you can adjust,” says Becca Levy, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at the Yale School of Public Health. So speak
When my roommate travels, I have to watch his dog. What’s my out? JOE, ALBUQUERQUE, NM
Tell him you have plans: You’re working late, you might call a girl, you want to watch a Die Hard marathon, you have to floss. Whatever. Unless you stand up for yourself, you’re stuck holding the leash. Some battles are easily won, and this is one of them. The dog is his responsibility, and he knows it. And I bet some neighbor kid would be happy to walk that pooch for a few bucks a day.
My sister, who has a short fuse, asked me if I’d teach her to drive stick shift. I see screaming in my future. Do I really have to do this?
yet, but say something like: “Sis, I love you, but shifting gears can be tricky. So if I start to lose it or you start snapping, we’ll have to find you a new teacher.” Then hold up your end of the bargain—and steer for home the minute she stops holding up hers.
Our anniversary is coming, and my wife always likes to go big. I’d rather dial it down, but how? GLENN, DAVENPORT, IA
You’re right, in a way: An anniversary doesn’t have to be a big production. It’s less about the white-tablecloth dinner and more about a nice, thoughtful toast— doesn’t matter whether you raise champagne or iced tea. But think about this, pal: When, other than your anniversary, do you take her on nice dates? My guess is not often, which is why she wants to do it up. So be a gentleman: Every girl deserves a little class, and this is one of the few times she can talk you into putting on a suit and hitting the town.
ERIC, WICHITA, KS
No, but you’ll be a saint if you try. Just establish some rules of the road beforehand. Don’t accuse her of a crime she hasn’t committed
Follow Jimmy’s tips on Twitter: @MensHealthJimmy
in a normal tone, and probe for parallels between your life and his. Share something personal—like a story about your childhood sweetheart—and ask him if he ever had a similar experience. Is your roommate an ugly drunk? Uncle Earl probably knew a guy like that once, and he’ll be happy to give advice. Once you two hit on common ground, he’ll open up and you’ll look like the nice guy you are. —LILA BATTIS I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y M A R K T O D D
M I T C H M A N D E L (d r i n k), s t y l i n g: M e l i s s a R e i s s; M i c h e l l e P e d o n e (J i m m y), P a r a m o u n t P i c t u r e s / E v e r e t t C o l l e c t i o n ( B a d G r a n d p a)
Hmm...let me see if I understand your problem. Your girl wants to put on a tight, stretchy outfit and pose in front of you—and you’re complaining? Not feeling your pain here, Andy. Is yoga manly? Beats me. Doesn’t matter. She wants to do something with you, and the ripple effect is likely to carry into the bedroom. So go for a couple of classes and try to keep an open mind. If you really don’t like yoga after that, then suggest something else. But don’t just turn her down flat without giving it a fair shot.
mentally replay our own screwups, but unless you picked a fight, you’re just another guy who did a dumb thing nobody cares about or remembers. Just move on, and next time, think a little before you speak.
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THIS MONTH Make Jim Halpert proud on April Fools’ with this five-second office prank: First, empty a colleague’s hand sanitizer. Then fill it back up with lube. Wait for the hand-wringing hilarity to ensue. And whatever you do, don’t let your victim see “Boost Your Brainstorm” in this section while he’s dreaming up his revenge.
The Shot Block BET THIS You can swig
two full pints of beer before your friend can drink two measly shots. DO THIS Order all four drinks and align them on the bar. Explain the rules: Neither one of you can touch each other’s drink glasses. Your friend also can’t begin his shots until after you’ve finished your first drink and set your glass down. Start on your first pint, drinking as slowly as you like. Just before you finish, remind him of the rules. Turn your empty pint glass upside down and set it on the table over his other shot glass. Casually finish your second beer.
Win a Bar Bet—and Wow the Crowd!
Put a couple of brews on your pal’s tab with these foolproof bar bets from Brian Brushwood, author of Scam School and host of a show by the same name on the online TestTube network.
The Whiskey Rebellion BET THIS You can turn
The Dime-Drop Deception BET THIS You can drop a dime, suspended above
L L ii n ne e ii ll ll u u ss tt rr a a tt ii o on n ss b b yy TT O OB BY Y L LE E II G GH H
a beer bottle with only a toothpick, into the bottle. And you’ll accomplish this feat without touching the bottle, toothpick, or dime. DO THIS Fold a toothpick in half, making a V, and then rest it on the mouth of the bottle so
E D I T E D B Y PA U L K I TA
the toothpick is parallel to the table. Then carefully place a dime on top of the folded toothpick so it rests slightly off center over the mouth of the beer bottle. Now slowly drip a few drops of water onto the fold in the toothpick. The water will gradually cause the wood to expand, making the toothpick spread outward and allowing the dime to drop into the bottle. Remember: You lose valuable points if your beer bottle isn’t empty.
a shot of water into a shot of whiskey. DO THIS Ask the bartender to fill each of two shot glasses to the rim: one water, one whiskey. Lay a business card on top of the shot of water. With your hand securing the card to the shot glass, slowly flip the glass upside down and set it directly above the shot of whiskey. Slowly slide the card out until a crack opens between the two glasses and the lessdense whiskey begins to migrate upward. April 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 89
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Move into a New World
Control swelling, promote healing, and appear like less of an animal with this plan from Gary Dorshimer, M.D. As head team physician for the Philadelphia Flyers, this doc has treated his share of shiners.
A . COOL IT! Apply a cold compress to slow bloodflow and curb swelling. Grab a bag of cold (not frozen) peas or a cold, damp washcloth. Hold the compress to your eye for five minutes, break for 20 minutes, and repeat until swelling stops. Use the compress for a five-minute session three or four times a day. B. POP TH E CAP For pain relief in pill form, stick to acetaminophen (Tylenol). Avoid anti-inflammatories, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, for the first 24 hours. They could thin your blood, resulting in more swelling. C. PUT G R AVIT Y TO WOR K The black and blue happens because fluid doesn’t drain properly. Put an extra pillow under your head at night. The elevation eases swelling and prevents blood from pooling around your eye socket. D. TU R N U P TH E H E AT After 48 hours, switch to a warm, moist compress. Heat increases circulation, drawing white blood cells to the site to help repair tissue. Apply the compress, 10 minutes at a time, as often as you want. E . PUT YOU R FI NG E R ON IT Massage around the bruise— very gently—with your fingertips. This can reduce swelling by draining fluid and increasing circulation.
LACE UP FOR LESS PAIN
Blisters and bunions can thwart even your best-intentioned spring training efforts. Matthew Werd, D.P.M., a triathlete and podiatrist based in Lakeland, Florida, helps you adjust your shoe-tying technique to ease common foot-related woes.
Alleviate pressure by freeing up more room for your feet to move inside your running shoes. As you lace each shoe, skip the bottom pair of holes (the ones nearest to your toes); instead, start threading the lace at the second pair of holes. Then lace the remaining holes upward toward your ankle, using the same pattern and tightness that you would normally use to securely tie your running shoes.
92 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Make the shoe more snug around your ankle. Lace all of the holes except for the set located closest to your ankle. Thread one end of the lace through the next hole on the same side of the shoe, leaving enough slack in the lace to form a small loop. Repeat the process on the other side of the shoe. Bring each lace through the loop on the opposite side. Pull to tighten, and then tie the shoes as you normally would.
5-SECOND TIP GAUGE YOUR GAS
NOT SURE HOW MUCH PROPANE IS LEFT IN YOUR GRILL TANK? MICROWAVE A CUP OF WATER FOR ABOUT TWO MINUTES OR UNTIL IT STARTS TO BUBBLE. THEN POUR THE HOT WATER DOWN THE SIDE OF THE TANK. RUN YOUR HAND OVER THE WET METAL; THE WARM PART OF THE TANK IS EMPTY, AND THE COOL PART IS FULL.
Co C o ll o o rr ii ll ll u u ss tt rr a a tt ii o on n ss b b yy P PA AU UL L B BL LO OW W
Prevent irritation by lifting the shoe’s toe box. Lace the bottom pair of holes as usual, but make the outer section of lace twice as long as it is on the inner side. Bring the shorter piece from the inside through the top hole on the shoe’s opposite side. Pull the longer piece up through the next hole on the opposite side. Then bring it down through the hole across from it. Repeat the process with the remaining holes.
©2014 LIFE TIME FITNESS,, INC. All rights g reserved. EVMG4218
Proud national supporter
South Beach Triathlon is the perfect short course challenge for athletes of all kinds – all set against the gorgeous backdrop of South Beach, Miami. Again, we’ve partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to ﬁght against childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. Helping is easy. Register, and join the ﬁght to raise funds for the kids of St. Jude. S O U T H B E A C H T R I A T H L O N . C O M
Check out our website at MENSHEALTH.COM/INSIDEOUT for the latest event and promotion updates.
BECOME THE 2014 “ULTIMATE” MEN’S HEALTH GUY In 2014, Men’s Health and Kenneth Cole Mankind fragrance are teaming up to head across America in search of the “Ultimate Men’s Health Guy.” And its not all about abs. We’re looking for a guy who is fit, healthy, driven and giving. The winner will be our November cover guy…that’s right the COVER. If you’ve got what it takes visit www.menshealth.com/guysearch
to enter now!
TELL US YOUR BUCKET LIST ADVENTURE FOR A CHANCE TO TAKE IT ON IN 2014. MensHealth.com/bucketlist
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NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Contest runs 1/1/14-3/31/14. Must be 18 or older & legal resident of 49 US or DC (excluding residents of AZ & PR). For the Official Rules, go to www.menshealth.com/ bucketlist. Winners selected based on the number of votes the Bucket List Adventure Entry received, combined with the organization and development of the ideas expressed in the Bucket List Adventure Essay. Sponsor: Rodale Inc., 400 S. 10th St., Emmaus, PA 18098-0099.
Turn a Pallet into a Patio Chair
Matt Blashaw, host of DIY Network’s Yard Crashers, transforms a shipping pallet into an Adirondack chair.
1/ PICK YOUR PALLET
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Ask a furniture store or supermarket for a spare pallet. If the place lets you root around, find one without cracked or busted slats. Make sure the slats are evenly spaced and that all the nails are flush and unbroken.
1 large shipping pallet with 2 center support beams (stringers) Circular saw, or reciprocating saw with bimetal blade
2/ MAKE YOUR CUTS
Using the saw, cut the slats along the inside edge of one center stringer. The skinnier section will be the seat.
Cat’s-paw nail puller 24 coated deck screws (2")
3/ ASSEMBLE THE PIECES
Cordless drill with bit set and Phillips bit driver set
Trim the slats on the larger section so it will fit inside the width of the seat to form the chair’s back. Use the cat’s-paw to remove the stringer from the scrap piece you just cut. Use deck screws to secure the stringer to the chair’s back. Carefully hammer off all but five of the slats from the back and all but four from the seat.
Hammer 2 carriage bolts (5") with nuts and washers Orbital sander Exterior-grade solid stain, or primer and paint
4/ BUILD THE CHAIR
Form a V with the two pieces; drill holes where the stringers cross. Secure the seat on both sides using carriage bolts, washers, and nuts. Attach leftover slats to the seat for front legs. Trim back legs to adjust recline. 5/ DO IT UP IN STYLE
Sand your chair with an orbital sander. Stain it with exterior-grade solid stain, or prime and paint it.
PICK FLOWERS SHE’LL LOVE
When dealing with women, flowers are your best buds. We asked more than 350 women which flowers they’d want for different occasions. Then we checked in with Kate Law, head floral designer at ProFlowers, for some creative upgrades.
Come Up Roses
Slip Her the ’Lips
Seek Out Lily
When women are looking for romance—for Valentine’s Day, say—red roses win out every time. But that’s not to say you can’t still surprise her. THE UPGRADE Instead of cheap-looking baby’s breath, supplement her bouquet with green Fuji mums, and choose pink roses over expected red.
Women we polled said they’d like to receive tulips for an accomplishment, such as a promotion. Tulips are simple but thoughtful, says Law. THE UPGRADE Tulips are elegant. Law suggests showcasing them in a glass vase, with the stems cut so the flowers rest just above the lip.
Lilies ranked high on birthday lists. They’re celebratory blooms, Law says. THE UPGRADE For a classic look, go with a solid bouquet of one color—and ask for tango lilies. They have bursts of color throughout their petals, which give them a unique, sophisticated appeal.
There’s one time when a woman probably doesn’t want you to give her flowers: the first date. While you may think the offer is thoughtful and surprising, most women will think you’re just trying too hard. The vast majority of women we asked advised arriving without a bouquet.
April 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 95
Liven Up Leftovers Food Network star Alton Brown extends the life span of the stuff in your Tupperware. 1/ SAVOR THE SEASON
Your chilly fridge sucks the spark out of the seasoning in yesterday’s meal. Always reseason before reheating. You can also deploy additional ingredients to fix other leftover problems. Dry mashed potatoes? Add a splash of buttermilk. Bland soup? Squeeze in tangy lemon juice. 2/ BEAT THE REHEAT
Think of leftovers as ingredients to build from instead of meals to eat again. So don’t just reheat steak and asparagus; chop them up and add them to a frittata. Other options: Use chili as a hot dog topper, or add roast chicken or sautéed shrimp to a pizza or pasta sauce. 3/ AVOID A NUKE
Boost Your Brainstorm Dry-erase boards and neon-lit conference rooms are idea graveyards. Turbocharge your next brainstorm with these four tested alternatives. SLE E P ON IT At Buffer, a social media startup, napping isn’t just tolerated but encouraged. Mark Batey, Ph.D., who studies the psychology of creativity, says naps allow ideas to incubate. At rest, your brain can connect ideas in complex ways, he says. Budget for a 20-minute snooze. DISTR AC T YOU RSE LF Software company SendGrid gives employees time-wasters, such as video games, darts, and beer. Josh Ashton, SendGrid’s director of people, says this busts routine and promotes creativity. No toys allowed? Challenge a colleague to Words with Friends. SC H E D U LE A D E A D LI N E Emmy winner Allison Silverman has written for The Colbert Report and The Daily Show and says she never waits for inspiration. “When I have limits, even if it’s just a time limit, I can find really creative ways to tackle a problem.” Set a timer and go! FI N D A NOVIC E When Alaina G. Levine, president of Quantum Success Solutions, hits a rut, she asks someone outside her field. Think: “If I didn’t have X skill or Y experience, how would this problem look?” 96 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
If possible, reheat foods that have a crisp or seared texture in a pan lightly coated with canola oil. The pan will add caramelization and marry flavors. Set the heat to medium—any hotter and you risk overcooking.
IF YOU NEED TO MICROWAVE. . . 4/ SKIP THE TUB
Plastic containers, which have little surface area, are a poor choice for reheating leftovers. Use a big serving plate instead, and tailor your heating strategy to your portion. Full plate? Nuke for 60 seconds on high and stir. For less, nuke 30 seconds. 5/ SEAL AND WHEEL!
Cover your plate with a layer of BPA-free plastic wrap to create steam, which will prevent your food from drying out. Microwaves tend to have a “blind spot” in the center that can cause haphazard heating, so set your dish slightly off center. This helps even with microwaves that have a turntable.
A radical new way of looking at
how we get sick, why we stay sick, and how we can recover For the nearly 100 million Americans who live with some form of chronic pain, Dr. Gary Kaplan, one of the countryâ€™s top integrative doctors, ofers a new pathway to healing in Total Recovery. Drawing on dramatic patient stories and amazing, cutting-edge research, Dr. Kaplan explores the mystery of chronic physical and emotional pain and explains how he developed a revolutionary theory of disease whose insights promise an end to chronic pain and depression once and forever.
Scan here or visit bit.ly/TotalRecovery to learn more and preorder your copy. On sale May 6, 2014, wherever books and e-books are sold
BY BRIAN BOYÉ
PHOTOGRAPHS BY AARON RICHTER
SHIFT INTO TOP GEAR
The Bike Commute
More people are pedaling to work these daysÑ about 6 percent of the population, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. These three upgrades, featuring breathable, water-resistant fabrics, will prevent the CEO from mistaking you for the pizza delivery guy.
If your commute leaves you looking unkempt, try these new essentials meant to help every man go the distance.
1/ YOUR JACKET
Stay dry in spring drizzle with a lightweight nylon windbreaker. Bonus: The bright madras pattern makes it less likely you’ll wind up as somebody’s hood ornament. 2/ YOUR SHIRT
This polo is a bicycle commuter’s best friend. Shoulder vents help air circulate, and lightweight merino wool keeps you classy. Stash your wallet in the rear zip pocket. 3/ YOUR PANTS
BE READY TO ROLL
Stretch cotton helps keep you from overheating as you climb hills, and the fabric’s finish repels water and dirt. A flip of the cuff reveals reflective taped seams.
SOMETIMES IT’S TOUGH TO LOOK AS GOOD IN THE OFFICE AS YOU DID WHEN YOU FIRST LEFT THE HOUSE.
Problems inevitably arise en route—you’re sitting in a car, crammed into a bus, pedaling a bike. And that’s bad news: A disheveled appearance could put a wrinkle in your career prospects, a study by the Center for Talent Innovation found. In fact, three out of four execs said that noticeable apparel blunders, the kind that can happen in transit, detract from a man’s “executive presence.” A polished look, on the other hand, “shows that you respect yourself and the people you’re interacting with,” says Mark Stephanz, a vice chairman at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Try these options designed for men on the move.
98 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
IZOD JACKET, $68 GIRO NEW ROAD SHIRT, $120 LEVI’S COMMUTER PANTS, $88 GIRO SHOES, $150; HELMET, $175 GOLD TOE SOCKS, $17
Style / Shift into Top Gear
The Train or Plane Commute
Being well put together could pay off: A recent study in PLOS One found that observers need only a quarter of a second to assess your competence, likability, and attractiveness based on your appearance. Here’s how to guarantee that they’ll like what they see. 1/ YOUR JACKET
This knit cotton blazer feels more like your favorite sweatshirt. Roll it up or wear it all day; it won’t wrinkle. The versatile gray works with everything from khakis to jeans, and interior zippered pockets are perfect for your wallet, passport, and other can’t-lose items. Here’s a hidden extra: On the reverse side of this tie is a convenient microfiber panel perfect for buffing smudges from your shades and smartphone screen. 3/ YOUR PANTS
Heading to the office after your flight? Ditch the cotton chinos for lightweight wool or stretch denim. Better yet, these wrinkle-free polyester trousers look like wool and feel as comfortable as a natural fiber. Even after a redeye, you’ll hit the street looking freshly pressed. VAN HEUSEN SPORT COAT, $149; SHIRT, $45; TIE, $36 IZOD PANTS, $60 COLE HAAN SHOES, $248 THE TIE BAR TIE BAR, $15 MAURICE LACROIX WATCH, $4,800 RIMOWA SUITCASE, $525
PUT YOUR LIFE ON AUTO
So you don’t have a fulltime personal assistant? The next best thing might be the Web service IFTTT (If This Then That). The site links your travel, social media, and e-mail apps into a simple interface that lets you easily set up a series of simple triggers and actions. Here’s how it works: Want a text if your flight is running late? Put “My flight is delayed” in the “This” category and “Send me a text message” into “That.” Always ducking for cover because you never check the weather? IFTTT can message you when a cloudburst is on the way. Now if it could only fetch your coffee... IFTTT.COM, FREE
S tt yy ll ii n S ng g :: B B rr ii a an n B Bo o yy é é ,, g g rr o oo om m ii n ng g :: K Ka a tt ii e e P Pe e ll ll e eg g rr ii n no o // C Ce e ll e e ss tt ii n ne e A Ag ge en n cc yy ,, ss e e tt d de e ss ii g gn n :: R R ii cc h h ii e e O Ow w ii n ng g ss // H Ha a ll ll e e yy R Re e ss o ou u rr cc e e ss ;; ii ll ll u u ss tt rr a a tt ii o on n ss b b yy N N II C CH HO OL LA AS S B BL LE EC CH HM MA AN N
2/ YOUR TIE
The Car Commute More than 86 percent of us drive to work, and our average commute lasts 15 to 19 minutes. That’s plenty of time to muss up your look. These upgrades, which use fabrics designed to move without wrinkling, take their cue from athletic apparel, but they’re really all business. 1/ YOUR SHIRT
The four-way stretch is great, but it’s this shirt’s wicking properties that’ll save your skin— literally. Unlike cotton, which leaves you feeling clammy when you perspire, this fabric moves moisture away from your skin. So if you’re sweating that presentation, the group will never know it. 2/ YOUR PANTS
The cotton twill fabric is blended with 3 percent Lycra to give these pants extra mobility—a bonus whether you’re driving to work or biking it. The slim-fit design also features a side zip pocket to keep keys and coins from showering the pavement. 3/ YOUR SOCKS
Socks made from synthetic blends, like those containing nylon and polyester, effectively wick away sweat, and spandex can conform to any size foot. MIZZEN+MAIN SHIRT, $125 GIRO NEW ROAD PANTS, $100 GOLD TOE SOCKS, $17 MARTIN DINGMAN COUNTRYWEAR SHOES, $285 GENTRY TIE, $85 THE TIE BAR TIE BAR, $15 MAURICE LACROIX WATCH, $4,800
PARK AND THRIVE
NO PHONE LEFT BEHIND
It’s your worst transit nightmare: patting your pockets and realizing, as your heart skips a beat, that your cellphone is missing in action. Tumi’s smart key fob eliminates that anxiety forever. If you wander too far from your phone, the tiny Bluetooth-enabled device flashes and beeps until you hastily pull a 180. The fob also lets you answer incoming calls with a single touch, and the builtin speaker and microphone allow you to keep yakking within 30 feet of your phone. TUMI, $145
Want to buy these items? See page 159.
KEEP THE BEER, LOSE THE BELLY
Alcohol is more than liquid calories—it’s a saboteur that zaps your metabolism. Our guy changed up his drinking habits and lost 10 pounds. We’ll drink to that! MODERATION. IT’S ONE OF THOSE LOADED WORDS
that Puritans threw around and that we all still shake, stir, and muddle to make more palatable. When it comes to alcohol, though, that word is etched in glass: Fourteen (or fewer) drinks a week, and no more than four in a single day, is “moderate,” according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). One drink means a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 1½-ounce shot of 80-proof spirits. No matter how that adds up, I’d slipped past moderation, and I’d also seen my weight creep up 10 pounds. Blame it on a cocktail of deadlines, stress, inactivity, and also fun. Sound familiar? A 2012 CDC study found that about one in four men exceed the moderation guidelines an average of five times a month. That kind of drinking can make your belly bulge. Within minutes of your sipping a drink, your fat metabolism can wane. Because your body treats alcohol as a toxin, removing it becomes the top priority, says Angelo Tremblay, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at Laval University in Quebec. That can cause your body to stop burning its usual stored carbs and fat for energy and instead utilize the alcohol. The double whammy: Any other calories you take in, whether they’re carbs from your brew or protein from buffalo wings, end up as stored fat. 102 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
BY BEN COURT
PHOTOGRAPH BY MATTHEW STACEY
FOR THOSE WHO
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. V
PRO BCAA contains 13g of amino acids, of which 8g are BCAAs and 5g are Glutamine Naturally Added
Weight Loss / Keep the Beer, Lose the Belly
To help me navigate the tricky shoals of abstinence, I check in with the coauthors of Almost Alcoholic—Robert Doyle, M.D., a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Joseph Nowinski, Ph.D., a psychologist in Hartford, Connecticut. First we strategize: The easiest way to change bad habits is to replace them with better ones. We identify specific danger drinks: the postwork decompressor, the social lubricator at a party or bar, the glass of wine that enhances dinner, and the nightcap that takes the edge off. Then we figure out replacements. They also advise keeping alcohol hidden so I’m not reminded of what I’m missing. Things start out well: I replace my postwork drink with a 15-minute exercise circuit, and I stock bottles of mineral water and cans of seltzer to help simulate the sensation of drinking alcohol. The novelty of not boozing makes the first week flash by in a sobriety-fueled binge of productivity. `RESULT I drop three pounds without sacrificing any of my favorite foods. 104 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
DRINKING AN OUNCE OF ALCOHOL DIALED DOWN PEOPLE’S FAT BURNERS BY 73 PERCENT.
Alcohol Wrecks Your Sleep
Scientists know that alcohol sabotages sleep quality and that good sleep is critical to weight loss. Sleep is not like a light switch, says MH sleep advisor W. Christopher Winter, M.D., medical director of the Sleep Medicine Center at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. “It’s a brain activity more like laughter, and it relies on a series of neurotransmitters syncing up to enable the cascade of sleep,” he says. “Alcohol interferes with that, taking a wrecking ball to your sleep architecture.” Though booze may help you drift off, it affects the first half of the sleep cycle, which is when most men sleep deepest. Because alcohol is a sedative, it suppresses dreaming. Then when it’s metabolized, your brain wakes up, causing fragmented sleep and nightmares. A study from the University of Michigan Alcohol Research Center found that heavy drinkers sleep less than nondrinkers (43 fewer minutes a night) and that the sleep they do log is of inferior quality. During deep sleep, your body carries out a series of restorative hormonal and metabolic functions. Without it, your energy system can misfire: You feel hungry when you don’t need food, and you make poor diet choices. In a French study, people consumed 560 more calories during the day following just one night of poor sleep than they did after sleeping eight hours. `THE FIX Ax the nightcap. Your body needs time to process alcohol before you go to sleep. You could savor one drink when you return home from work, says Dr. Winter, and sip another with your meal, ideally several hours before you hit the hay. Instead of self-medicating, talk with your doctor about why you’re having trouble falling asleep, and see “Here Be Monsters” in this issue.
The recycling guys are going to love me: I guzzle seltzer even when I’m not thirsty. Having that can in my hand or within reach keeps me in a comfort zone. This means the replacement strategy is working, says Dr. Doyle. But I’m still having a tough time replacing both the flavor and the buzz of wine and beer. Dr. Doyle offers surprising solutions: Eat more local food, and try diverse cuisines. “Take your tastebuds on safari so you’re not bored,” he says. He likens it to exploring regional wines. He also encourages me to find other indulgences, such as dark chocolate and cheese. `RESULT Boom—I drop another 4 pounds!
Alcohol Leads to Wings
Beer goggles work on food too. When you’ve had a few drinks, fatty foods seem even more attractive. Alcohol triggers a release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which makes you feel good. And fMRI scans of social drinkers show decreased activity in brain circuits involved in detecting threats, along with increased activity in circuits involved in reward, says Lorenzo Leggio, M.D., Ph.D., of the NIAAA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. At the same time, your body also releases ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone, and galanin, a neuropeptide that may lead you to eat more fat. The result is called hyperphagia—an abnormally increased appetite. You go for the guilty-pleasure food, and the alcohol washes away the guilt. A 2013 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that men ate 433 more calories (264 from alcohol, 169 from food and other beverages) and 9 percent more fat on days they drank than on days they abstained.
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The average man needs an hour to metabolize 0.6 ounce of alcohol, the amount in one drink, so even a couple of drinks can have a dramatic effect. In a UC Berkeley study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who downed an ounce of alcohol from two cocktails showed a 73 percent decrease in fat burning after two hours. And in a study from Switzerland published in the New England Journal of Medicine, male participants who were given two beers’ worth of alcohol with each of their three meals experienced a slowdown equivalent to roughly 450 calories that day. That’s one reason I decided to abstain for four weeks. Beyond its caloric load and impact on your fat burners, alcohol can disrupt your sleep pattern, mess with your appetite, and foment a cascade of other weight-gaining processes, according to Donald Hensrud, M.D., an associate professor of preventive medicine and nutrition at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and a coauthor of The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook: Eating Well for Better Health. “One reason to stop completely is to see how you feel physically and psychologically,” he says. If you can tough it out (or even feel better) while losing weight, then you can transition to moremoderate measures to maintain your weight. Waist size aside, two drinks a day may actually be healthier than none at all. If you graph drinking and mortality over a given time period, a J shape forms. Men at the bottom of the J have two drinks a day and are less likely to die during that period than teetotalers are. After two drinks, the number of deaths starts to rise. In fact, excessive alcohol use is the third-leading cause of preventable death, after smoking and obesity. A toast, then, to moderation—and to finding the truth about drinking and dieting.
`THE FIX Slow the rate at which alcohol enters
your bloodstream. A recent Northern Kentucky University study points out that having food in your stomach can help slow the absorption of alcohol by as much as 57 percent. That means your lard furnace may remain more active. The takeaway: Drink only after you’ve started eating a meal, says study author Cecile A. Marczinski, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at Northern Kentucky University. When dinner’s done, you’re done. That can also help you avoid the weight-loss witching hour. When you’re tired and drunk, you risk an appetite meltdown with no “off” switch. So try the old trick of chasing each drink with a glass of water. The water adds volume so your stomach feels full, and it helps slow the absorption of alcohol so you’re less likely to end up trashed and eating garbage. Also, decide what and where you’ll eat afterward before you start drinking, says nutritionist Cynthia Sass, R.D. “Having popcorn or hummus with vegetables handy when you arrive home means you’re less likely to raid the kitchen for cookies or chips.” WEEK THREE
I still don’t miss alcohol after work or with meals. My exercise circuit releases feel-good endorphins, and my diverse diet keeps dinner lively. I’m also eating more cheese as dessert, pairing domestic and international blues and aged cheddars with apples, pears, and walnuts. My nightcap is now a square of dark chocolate. Like red wine, dark chocolate triggers a hit of dopamine and contains res-
Measures and calories
BEER (12 OZ)
100 to 150 calories
WINE (5 OZ)
red = 125 calories white = 120 calories
GIN, RUM, VODKA, OR WHISKEY (1.5 OZ)
II ll ll u u ss tt rr a a tt ii o on n b b yy JJ O ON NA A TT H HA AN N C CA AL LU UG G II
BOOZE CLUES The ﬁrst step in moderation is knowing exactly what you’re drinking. Then keep track and maybe cut back.
80 proof = 97 calories 90 proof = 110 calories
veratrol, a heart-healthy antioxidant. Instead of surfing wine.com, I cruise chocosphere.com, looking for 70 percent cacao bars from upscale brands, like Cluizel and Valrhona, and made with singleorigin beans from exotic places like Madagascar and Venezuela. Dr. Doyle was right: Exploring new foods is fun. `RESULT Up a pound—cheese and chocolate!
Alcohol Is Loaded with Calories
Alcohol packs 7 calories per gram, second only to fat (9 calories); by contrast, protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram. But metabolizing alcohol so it can be used as a fuel burns 20 percent of its calories. That means the actual energy yield from alcohol is closer to 5 calories. Then you add in the mixers. There are no blurred lines when it comes to excess: According to a Danish review, exceeding two beers a day increases your risk of “abdominal adiposity”—beer belly. But drinking moderately doesn’t necessarily lead to weight gain. In a five-year study also from Denmark, men who averaged one daily alcoholic drink were 21 percent less likely to stretch their belts than those who didn’t indulge. Another study, in Nutrition, found that moderate wine drinkers tended to not gain any weight after six years, while those who drank beer and spirits more heavily did. The reasons? Red wine may interfere with the way fat accumulates in fat cells and may also reduce the size of fat cells, say researchers in Spain. Plus, the resveratrol might affect the expression of a gene that controls the formation of body fat, reports Nutrition Reviews.
Booze calories add up
1 MARTINI + 2.5 GLASSES OF RED WINE + 1 SHOT BOURBON = 1 BIG MAC (550 CAL) STRONG SIXERS
Choose Buds wisely
BUD LIGHT 4.2% 110 calories × 6 = 660 calories
BUD LIGHT PLATINUM 6%
137 calories × 6 = 822 calories
145 calories × 6 = 870 calories
Not so microcaloric!
Samuel Adams Boston 4.9%, 175 calories
Victory Prima Pils 5.3%, 174 calories
INDIA PALE ALE
Lagunitas IPA 6.2%, 216 calories
Boulevard Tank 7 8.5%, 241 calories
BELGIAN ABBEY ALE
Ommegang Three Philosophers 9.7%, 291 calories
AleSmith Speedway 12%, 408 calories
`THE FIX “Wine is the best option if you’re watch-
ing your belly, followed by spirits and then beer,” says Dr. Hensrud. For beer drinkers, the keys are, again, moderation and water. When you enter a bar, order a pint of H2O and drink it, he says. That way you won’t pound your first beer. Keep alternating beer and water. (Ditto for wine. Sip mindfully to stretch your drink.) Note that craft beers tend to have more alcohol and calories per ounce than regular beers do, says William C. Kerr, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the Public Health Institute’s Alcohol Research Group, so “keep track of how much you’re drinking.” WEEK FOUR
I’ve been tested at bars and parties, but I use the tactics suggested by Dr. Doyle. I carry around a highball glass with seltzer, rocks, and a lime—a concoction that looks like a gin and tonic. If people do ask why I’m not indulging, I blame my doctor: “My blood sugar numbers put me close to prediabetic, so he told me to cut back. Bummer, right?” I still crave a nightcap, but along with snacking on dark chocolate, I’m auditioning different closers, like practicing yoga and reading fiction. I’ve been sleeping much better, having vivid dreams, and waking up energized and clearheaded. `RESULT After cutting back on cheese and chocolate, I drop 3 pounds. My total weight loss is 9 pounds. The kicker: Many of the experts I interviewed admitted that they drink a glass or two of red wine most days (but not every day). So I’m getting ready to reintroduce wine with meals. In moderation, of course.
The skinny on wine
Extra amount over a typical serving people pour into a widemouthed glass
Extra amount over a typical serving poured if glass is on a table, not in hand
Extra amount of wine over a typical serving generally poured at a bar A 750-milliliter wine bottle has five servings. Use that to calibrate your pour.
Mix with caution
Increase in U.S. ER visits involving energy drinks from 2005 to 2010; nearly one in five of those visits involved energy drinks mixed with alcohol.
Rise in breath alcohol level in people who used a diet mixer in drinks versus a regular mixer. Sugar slows your body’s absorption of alcohol; the artificial sweeteners in diet soda ease the path of alcohol to your small intestine.
Sources: Substance Use & Misuse; Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research; Drug Abuse Warning Network
WHY SHE CHEATS
106 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
WHEN SAM* DISCOVERED THAT HIS WIFE HAD CHEATED ON HIM, HE WAS
enraged. “He kept saying I ruined his world and broke his heart, and that this came out of nowhere,” says Eileen, who’s now his ex-wife. She understood his anger but not his surprise—she’d been telling him for years how miserable she was, but he’d just brush it off. Men often claim the high ground when their partners cheat, but that’s missing the point. “People don’t just cheat for no reason, usually,” says Jennifer Harman, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Colorado State University. “If women feel they were betrayed first, that betrayal—even if it didn’t involve cheating—can help justify their own behavior.” And while men are statistically the bigger cheaters, the percentage of women having affairs rose almost 40 percent in the past 20 years, to about 14 percent, a National Opinion Research Center study found. (Men held steady at about 20 percent.) The good news, says Harman, is that often you can stop a partner from cheating, but it requires work and sacrifice. Are you up for it? We asked four cheaters to tell their stories so you can learn from their partners’ mistakes.
C Ca a rr ll o o ss N Nu un ne e zz
There’s rarely just one reason behind a woman’s decision to stray. To understand that itch, we went to the sources. These are the stories of four women who stepped out. Recognize anyone?
BY JASON FEIFER
“I felt stupid and alone.”
“I was always wrong.”
“He was always working.”
“I felt cheap.”
My boyfriend used to act like I was fascinating. But after a while, he’d barely ask how my day went. He even stopped wanting sex. One night, while he was home working, I put on see-through lingerie—I needed him to want me. He waved me off—he had e-mails to write. A few months later, my mom went into the hospital. I was crying on the couch, but instead of coming over to hug me, he said, “It’s in God’s hands.” Maybe that was true, but it wasn’t comforting. So I left and went to visit my mom. My ex heard I was in town and called me. He was patient and caring—basic stuff that my current boyfriend just wouldn’t give me. We talked for hours, moving closer on the couch, eventually holding hands, and soon we were back in my old bedroom together. The sex really wasn’t good. It felt like watching a rerun on TV. But in the moment, at least, it reminded me of what it was like to have a boyfriend who cared about me. And that felt good. I didn’t regret it afterward, and I still don’t. For me—and for most women, I think—sex is really tied up with emotional connection. I wasn’t getting it from my boyfriend, but for that night, at least, I found it with my ex. Then I traveled back home, and fell into a spiral of deceit: My hiding innocent lunches turned into hiding flirty text messages with guys. I never actually cheated again, but I always wanted to. After a few months, I realized that meant it was time to break up. So I moved out.
Sam and I met in the city, but when we got married, he wanted to buy a place out in the woods. At first it sounded exciting—the two of us shacked up, christening every room. But the fun wore off fast, and Sam just wanted to stay home. If I made plans, he’d guilt me—saying I was overspending. I was trapped. Three years went by like this. Online message boards became my social life. That’s how I met Andy. E-mails turned into flirty Gchats. One day, he flat-out asked if I was unhappy in my marriage. Then he invited me to his house. I said no but kept flirting. Finally, one night I told my husband I was going to visit my brother, and I went to Andy’s. It felt like living someone else’s life. Andy opened the door and said, “I’m glad you came.” Total cliché. We walked to his living room and sat down. I had no idea what to do; I hadn’t had a booty call since college. We made awkward chitchat until he finally just leaned in and kissed me. My whole body felt awakened. We ripped each other’s clothes off and had sex on his couch. I drove home feeling giddy. The next day, by e-mail, I dumped years of pent-up needs on Andy: I wanted to see him, date him, leave my husband for him. In turn, Andy disappeared—he didn’t want any of that. A few months later my husband found out. I was mostly just relieved. We divorced. I moved back to the city. We talk sometimes, but he still doesn’t accept any of the blame. I’m done trying to convince him.
We needed to talk. “I have some time around 9 p.m. on Sunday,” Steve said. This was exactly the problem—he was a workaholic. I’d end up in bed alone every night. And when we were together, we’d only talk shop—we worked in the same field—which made us sound like two bored colleagues. Think I wanted to have sex after that? One night, while Steve was at the office, I met some friends at a bar and started talking to Justin, who didn’t care about work—his or mine. I was shocked by what a turn-on it was. My friends left, but I stayed behind. Soon, Justin and I were drunkenly making out. It just felt so good to be desired. I slept over at his place that night. The next morning, as we walked down the street, he tried to hold my hand. I freaked out and pulled away. I was worried that we’d run into people I knew, but I also couldn’t wait to escape. That’s when I realized I needed to escape my boyfriend too.
I adore Johnny—he’s funny, caring, a great dresser. But there are downsides: His place is a dump. He works at a thrift store. He’s a stoner. And he refuses to grow up: He got married young, divorced, and now says he’s enjoying his second childhood. We click well, and the sex is great. So I’m torn. Then there’s Brad. We met at a mutual friend’s party, started texting, and meet up while Johnny is at work. He’s a little boring, but he’s in law school and acts like an adult. Once, after a few drinks, he touched my face and said, “This was wonderful. You’re so intelligent.” I nearly melted. When he invited me to his place a few days later, I said yes. I hurried inside, hoping not to be spotted. Brad, it turns out, really likes rough sex, which I didn’t see coming. We actually only fooled around. He bit me a few times, and when I said, “Ouch!” he just laughed and bit me again. So now here’s the past month of my life: Johnny, who thinks we’re
Weeks later, I tried to break up with Steve. He brushed me off; he had work to do. When it finally happened, I’m not sure if he was surprised or just relieved. But now he can do what he loves full-time. I’m still looking for more.
exclusive, feels like my teenage summer fling. Brad, who knows nothing about Johnny, is my adult affair. I wish I could combine them into a fun-loving, career-focused guy. Instead, I feel this is going to end badly. It’s just a matter of how.
`WATCH FOR Boredom. “Passion ebbs
`WATCH FOR Petty disputes. These
`WATCH FOR Failure to unplug.
`WATCH FOR Feeling too cozy.
as once-exciting things become routine,” says Dylan Selterman, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Maryland. “Lack of novelty is strongly linked to dissatisfaction.” `PULL HER BACK As often as you can, take the initiative to try new things that can expand your relationship, says Selterman. “Novel experiences, such as concerts or cooking classes—whatever may interest you both—will trigger excitement and help resolidify your bond.”
arguments reflect deeper, underlying insecurities, and conflict increases stress levels, which can cause sexual satisfaction to dip, says Selterman. `PULL HER BACK Admit when she’s right, says Paul Hokemeyer, Ph.D., a Manhattan-based marriage therapist. She’ll be more open to compromise if you’re listening to her. Then pitch a solution: If she’s overspending, for instance, try working out a budget together.
“WE MADE AWKWARD CHITCHAT UNTIL HE LEANED IN AND KISSED ME. MY BODY FELT AWAKENED. WE RIPPED EACH OTHER’S CLOTHES OFF.”
Communication levels drop when you’re always at your boss’s (or anyone else’s) beck and call, which leaves your partner feeling neglected, Hokemeyer says. `PULL HER BACK Create tech-free zones, says Hokemeyer—in bed, for instance, or at the dinner table. You’ll be more focused and attentive, and she’ll have a chance to express her needs, which Selterman says will help increase her overall relationship happiness.
Ambitious and confident men are more attractive than men who avoid challenges, Selterman says. Likewise, women may drift away from men who have no drive. `PULL HER BACK Make a small change—like a new diet—but give her the credit. Then create a list of goals, share them with her, and enlist her help in achieving them. “Being invested in your success will make her burst with pride when you succeed,” Selterman says.
*Names and identifying details have been changed.
WELCOME TO THE BODY SHOP Some of the most innovative advancements nts in fitness are being developed in a garage e in Murray, Utah. Follow them and grow stronger. onger. 108 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
BY MICHAEL EASTER
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BENJAMIN RASMUSSEN
COMMAND “SWING!” THE COMMAN ND RICOCHETS RI RICOCHE OFF THE WALLS AS
seven kettlebells explode off the fl floor in unison. Their bearers—six men and one woman woman—swing the weights co up to chest level and then begin counting off pendulum-like reps. “One, two, three, four...” fo They continue to 50, and then the largest man in the group cleans his kettlebell and does five overhe overhead presses. “We’re We’re conducting an experiment experime this month—500 swings a day, five days a week, wit with a strength exercise between each set,” says sa trainer Da Dan John as he lowers a 70-pound kettlebell ttlebell to the floor of his two-car garage in Murray, Utah. “The sw swing is the fundamental hip-hinge movement—a total-bo to total-body power exercise—
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Muscle / Welcome to the Body Shop
THE REAL IRON MAN For trainer Dan John, every workout is an experiment in how to build muscle faster.
and we’re going to see what strength and body composition improvements result from doing 10,000 of them.” Any other trainer might be kidding, but John, a former weightlifting champion and one of the top strength coaches in the country, is a man to be taken seriously. Indeed, studies like this one are commonplace at his training lab, known by the people who sweat here as the Westridge Street Barbell Club. And the results are often as strong and clear as the Tequila Cazadores he keeps stashed in a beat-up minifridge. (“For emergency use only,” he says with a grin.) Consider John’s most popular creation, the goblet squat. “Without a lot of coaching, almost no one does a traditional barbell squat properly,” he says. “So we started experimenting.” A position change this way, a movement tweak that way, and he soon found that when a guy holds a kettlebell or dumbbell in front of his chest like a goblet, he typically squats perfectly every time—with little or no instruction beforehand. “It forces you to keep your chest up and use your hips to sit back into the movement,” says John. His contributions don’t stop there—if you’ve ever done a loaded carry or used a slosh pipe, you have John to thank. Indeed, many of the most innovative exercises and training strategies of the past 10 years haven’t come from a government facility or university research center. They originated or were popularized here, where every day at 9 a.m., all types of people—accountants, stay-at-home moms, pro athletes, Navy SEALs— become lab rats. “We have a brain trust in this garage,” says John. “Anyone can work out for free, and that’s why we learn so much. Different people with different backgrounds and abilities create an environment where everything is looked at through many different lenses.”
Some exercises are more efective when performed with certain gear. Here are the best tools for seven common moves.
BENCH PRESS, DEADLIFT
Because of its handle and inherently ballistic nature, nothing swings quite like a kettlebell, says Dan John. That makes this weight the perfect choice for dynamic, total-body moves like the swing. “And the way a kettlebell loads the shoulder in the getup maximizes joint stability,” he says.
“These are lifts that benefit from heavy loads,” says John. “The beauty of the barbell is its versatility—that is, you can load it in increments as large or small as you want.” That’s not the case with dumbbells and kettlebells. “They don’t offer the same versatility or load capacity,” says John.
Using a suspension trainer instead of a bar for inverted rows adds instability, increasing the challenge to your core. Plus, you can easily adjust the intensity of the move by walking closer to or farther away from the anchor. The result: stronger shoulders and upper back, and a lower risk of injury.
This simple $3 piece of equipment can do wonders for your glute strength and lateral movement proficiency, both of which are essential for boosting power and athleticism. “Strap it on your ankles and walk side to side,” says John. “You’ll feel muscles you didn’t know you had.”
When it comes to increasing “time under tension”—a key musclebuilding stimulus—few moves can compare to the loaded carry. Dumbbells edge out kettlebells here for two simple but important reasons: “More gyms have them, and you can load in smaller increments,” says John.
110 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Illustration by DANIEL TING CHONG
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Muscle / Welcome to the Body Shop
“TIME UNDER LOAD IS NECESSARY FOR GAINS IN SIZE. THAT MAKES REPS KEY FOR BUILDING MUSCLE.”
Can’t make it to Utah to train with John? You can still reap the benefits of his research by embracing these four training principles. For even faster gains, try his 28-day total-body transformation plan on this month’s poster. 1/ FOCUS ON MOVEMENTS, NOT MUSCLES “Iso-
lating specific muscles is training like you’re Frankenstein’s monster,” says John. And the results are often as clumsy and impractical. True strength—the kind needed to hoist a sack of cement or carry a sofa up a flight of stairs— comes from muscles working cooperatively as a team. So train them that way by performing compound, multijoint exercises that force your muscles to synchronize their efforts. TRY THIS “Make sure every workout includes the five fundamental movement patterns: push, pull, hinge, squat, and carry,” says John. In practice, that might mean doing a pushup, a pullup, a deadlift, a goblet squat, and a farmer’s walk. “Pay particular attention to the movement you normally don’t do,” says John. For many men, he says, it’s the carry. “I also like to throw in something extra, such as a mini-band walk, so I can work on movements and muscle groups that are frequently neglected.” 2/ DO SOMETHING EVERY DAY It’s important to
allow for adequate recovery time (at least a day of rest) between strenuous workouts, but that doesn’t mean you should sit on the couch. “Your goal is to master the key movement patterns,” says John. “Practicing them on your off days makes all the difference, especially when it comes to reducing your risk of injury, boosting athletic performance, and maximizing the effectiveness of your workouts.” TRY THIS Take time out during your day—at home, in the office, on the road—for three movement breaks. Do three body-weight squats, two pushups, a few rows (you can use a briefcase or backpack), and a loaded carry (even groceries count). It may sound simple, but the effect is powerful; each time you practice the movements, you reinforce neurologic pathways that lead to mastery. “That makes using proper form all the more crucial,” says John. Concentrate on hinging at your hips instead of bending over at your waist, keeping your back naturally arched, and bracing your core. 112 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
IT’S ALL IN THE HIPS Seattle Mariners catcher John Buck uses goblet squats to build explosive power.
3/ BECOME A MINIMALIST When it comes to building strength, many men think the relationship between time spent lifting and gains made is linear. And they’re right—but only to a certain point. “What you should really be shooting for is the minimum effective dose, which is the least amount of work you need to perform in order to earn the results you want,” says John. Any effort beyond that point is not only a waste of time but also potentially hazardous. Indeed, constantly pushing your limits can actually hinder muscle growth by impeding recovery. Even worse, it can land you on the disabled list. TRY THIS Limit yourself to 22 to 25 total sets per workout, and keep the list of exercises you do short, says John. A few sets of each of the five fundamental movement patterns (push, pull, hinge, squat, and carry) are all you need to see results. And if you select the right tool for the job (check out “Lift This” on the previous page), you’ll achieve those results in record time. Your goal is to walk out of the gym feeling strong and energized, not sore and spent.
4/ DO LOTS OF REPETITIONS “Time under load is necessary for gains in size,” says John. “That makes reps key for building muscle.” Most guys do plenty of high-weight, low-rep strength work, but they rarely spend enough time keeping their muscles under tension. That’s unfortunate, says John, because that kind of stress is one of the most effective triggers for gaining lean mass. TRY THIS Once or twice a week, weave extended sets into your workout. “Try a few sets of 30 goblet squats, for example, or do a barbell complex, moving from one barbell exercise to the next without putting down the bar,” says John. His favorite: five reps each of the barbell row, clean, front squat, shoulder press, back squat, and good morning. “You’ll probably have to stop at some point to catch your breath, but you’re still holding the bar, so even during that ‘rest period’ you’re under load,” says John. “Of course, you could also do 500 kettlebell swings.” J For full descriptions of the exercises in this article, visit MensHealth.com/workout-center.
2014 POSTER SERIES
The Lean Muscle Multiplier
Complete the five workouts described on the opposite side of this poster each week for four weeks, using the chart at right to guide each day’s training. The strength exercises are most effective when done with a kettlebell; its inherent instability increases the challenge, says John. But if you don’t have access to a kettlebell, you can use a dumbbell instead.
`Single-Arm Supported Row
P rr o P op p ss tt yy ll ii n ng g (( ff rr o on n tt o o ff p po o ss tt e e rr )) :: E E yy a a ll B Ba a rr u u cc h h // A An nd de e rr ss o on n H Ho op p kk ii n n ss ;; B BE E TT H H B B II S SC CH HO OF FF F (( e e xx e e rr cc ii ss e e ss )) ,, g g rr o oo om m ii n ng g :: S So on n ii a a L Le ee e // M Mu u rr a ad d // E E xx cc ll u u ss ii vv e e A A rr tt ii ss tt ss ;; A A ll aa m m yy (( h h aa n nd d w w ii tt h h ss tt o op pw w aa tt cc h h ))
`Single-Arm Shoulder Press
Holding a kettlebell in your right hand, palm facing in, bend at your hips and knees and place your left hand on a bench (or even the seat of a chair). Let the kettlebell hang at arm’s length [A]. Brace your core and pull the kettlebell to your side, keeping your elbow tucked [B]. Do all your reps, switch arms, and repeat.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and “rack” a kettlebell in your right hand. (That is, hold it in front of your shoulder with the weight resting on your forearm, elbow by your side.) [A] Press it directly above your shoulder, rotating your arm so your palm faces forward [B]. Pause, and return to the starting position. Do all your reps, switch arms, and repeat.
Place a kettlebell on the floor in front of you. Spread your feet slightly beyond shoulder width, push your hips back, and grab the kettlebell’s handle in both hands [A]. Keeping your back naturally arched, swing the
weight between your legs [B] and then thrust your hips forward as you swing it to chest level [C]. Swing it back between your legs. That’s 1 rep. Continue swinging without returning to the starting position.
Hold a kettlebell vertically in front of your chest, using both hands to grip its “horns” (the sides of the handle) [A]. Brace your abs and lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees [B]. Pause, and push yourself back up to the starting position.
Assume a pushup position with your hands slightly beyond your shoulders, your arms and legs straight. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles. Hold this position until your time is up.
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Grab a kettlebell with your right hand and let it hang at arm’s length next to your side. Let your left arm hang free. Brace your core and walk forward, keeping your chest up and torso straight.
`Hip Flexor Rainbow
Assume a staggered stance with your right foot 2 to 3 feet in front of your left, and lower your body until your left knee touches the floor and your right knee is bent 90 degrees. Place your left hand on your right knee. This is the starting position [A]. Reach back as far as you can toward
Get down on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and palms flat on the floor [A]. Brace your core and raise your left arm and right leg until they’re in line with your torso [B]. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, and return to the starting position. Repeat with your right arm and left leg. Continue alternating arms and legs.
`Hip Flexor Stretch
Assume the same starting position as the hip flexor rainbow’s (below), but instead of placing your left hand on your right knee, place both hands on your hips [A]. Push your hips forward until you feel the stretch in your left hip and quad [B]. Pause, and return to the starting position. Switch legs halfway through each set, unless otherwise indicated.
your toes with your right hand [B]. Keeping your right arm straight, arc your right hand over your head until it’s straight out in front of your chest [C]. Switch legs halfway through each set (unless otherwise indicated).
Get down on your hands and knees [A]. Keeping your back straight, twist your torso up to the right and swing your right arm toward the ceiling [B]. Pause, and return to the starting position. Repeat with your left arm. Continue alternating sides.
2014 Poster Series
BY MICHAEL EASTER
PHOTOGRAPH BY KENJI TOMA
Recharge your tired routine with this 28-day strength plan from the owner of one of America’s top body shops.
THERE’S NO ONE SECRET FOR SCULPTING A CHISELED BODY. There are tons of them, and this month’s training plan focuses on three of the most effective. “Concentrate on movements, not muscles; do something nearly every day; and do lots of repetitions,” says trainer Dan John, owner of the Westridge Street Barbell Club in Utah. By combining strength moves and dynamic stretches, John’s four-week program will help you not only boost your numbers in the gym but also build strength that translates far beyond it. “It combines mobility, stability, strength, and cardio,” he says. “And all you need is a kettlebell or dumbbell to get started. ” Consider it a blueprint for building the body you want in 30 days or less.
WORKOUT 1 / Super Strength
This workout pairs high-rep strength moves with dynamic stretches. Do each pair as a superset (back-to-back). Complete each superset three times without pausing. Cap off your workout with the two ÒfinishersÓ to boost your burn. SUPERSET
STRENGTH SINGLE-ARM PRESS (10 REPS PER ARM)
STRETCH HIP FLEXOR STRETCH (30 SECONDS)
SINGLE-ARM ROW (10 REPS PER ARM)
HIP FLEXOR RAINBOW (30 SECONDS)
KETTLEBELL SWING (30 REPS)
BIRD DOG (30 SECONDS)
GOBLET SQUAT (10 REPS)
SIX-POINT ZENITH (30 SECONDS)
PUSHUP-POSITION PLANK (2 MINUTES)
SUITCASE CARRY (30 SECONDS. REST AND REPEAT WITH OTHER ARM .)
WORKOUT 2 / Killer Cardio
YouÕll do only two strength moves today: Kettlebell swing and goblet squat. But that doesnÕt mean youÕre getting off easy. Do 12 supersets of 15 swings and 1 squat. Between each, do the ÒfillerÓ indicated below for 30 seconds. FILLER
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
HIP FLEXOR STRETCH (LEFT FOOT FORWARD) HIP FLEXOR STRETCH (RIGHT FOOT FORWARD) HIP FLEXOR RAINBOW (LEFT FOOT FORWARD) HIP FLEXOR RAINBOW (RIGHT FOOT FORWARD) BIRD DOG (LEFT ARM, RIGHT LEG) BIRD DOG (RIGHT ARM, LEFT LEG) SIX-POINT ZENITH (RIGHT ARM) SIX-POINT ZENITH (LEFT ARM) PUSHUP-POSITION PLANK SUITCASE CARRY (RIGHT HAND) SUITCASE CARRY (LEFT HAND)
WORKOUT 3 / Sweat Cyclone
This sweat session is based on Tabata training, which combines brief bouts of intense exercise and rest. Do the exercise in Tabata 1 for 20 seconds as hard as you can, then rest for 10 seconds. Continue for 4 minutes. Repeat for Tabata 2. TABATA
GOBLET SQUAT KETTLEBELL SWING
WORKOUT 4 / Total-Body Recharge
Think of todayÕs training as Òactive recovery.Ó (YouÕre going to need it after the Tabatas.) Follow the instructions for Workout 1 but use slightly lighter weights and complete just 1 set of each exercise. WORKOUT 5 / Muscle Mobilizer
The goal here is to enhance mobility, which is key to unlocking strength. Do the stretches as a circuit, performing each one for 60 seconds (30 seconds per side). Do 3 circuits total without pausing to rest. STRETCH
1 2 3 4
HIP FLEXOR STRETCH HIP FLEXOR RAINBOW BIRD DOG SIX-POINT ZENITH
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You push. You pull. You strive to crush plateaus and forge progress ZRUWK\RIWKHVDFUL¯FH%XWDOOWKLVHIIRUWLVZDVWHGZLWKRXWWKHSURSHU nutrition. It’s a fact: Muscles that work hard need the highest-quality protein to produce sustained performance. SYNTHA-6™IURP%61® fuels those active muscles with ultra-premium protein, delivering you to the peak – and then, onto the next.
START STRONG. WORK HARD. FINISH FIRST.
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BY LILA BATTIS
PHOTOGRAPH BY LEVI BROWN
CALM THE HELL DOWN! Tame tension with these strategies, no matter where it ambushes you.
STRESS IS A MASTER OF DISGUISE. ONE DAY IT’S
triggered by a traffic jam, the next by your doctor pulling on a latex glove. This wouldn’t be such a big deal, except that by the time you hear the sound of beeping horns or “bend over,” stress is already on to its next trick: making your health disappear. Poof! “Over the long term, stress can raise your risk of cardiovascular disease, angina, heart attack, and stroke,” says David Posen, M.D., an Ontariobased stress-management physician. “Often when someone has a heart attack or stroke, others look back and recall that the person was really under a lot of stress in the previous few months.” We realize we’ve just given you something more to stress about, but don’t panic. We’re here to unmask the enemy and provide you with a few situation-specific tricks to help it vanish.
DON’T POP Ease the pressure of stress before it balloons.
April 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 115
Health / Calm the Hell Down!
`DOWNSHIFT FROM PISSED GEAR The
`STOP THE CLOCK Your brain is bet-
`PATIENT, HEAL THYSELF
Fear of the unknown is part of the problem, says Antony. Ask for a rundown of the screenings you’ll need and the order of your tests. Then identify and challenge your white-coat worries, says Antony. Afraid your doc will scold you? Remember that lots of guys with triglyceride levels worse than yours have sat in that exam room. Dreading a diagnosis? Focus on the fact that sinusitis is more common than avian flu. And before you leave, book your follow-up visit. “The more often you go, the easier it will become,” says Antony.
`DE-HASSLE YOUR CASTLE Start
No matter how good it may feel to flip the bird at another driver, cage it. The faster you lose your temper, the greater your risk of heart disease, according to a review from the University of Iowa. “Some people have a lower anger threshold, beeping the horn when someone isn’t hitting the gas fast enough,” says Redford Williams, M.D., director of Duke University’s Behavioral Medicine Research Center. “But a low threshold means your stress hormones, adrenaline levels, and cortisol levels go up more, and you have larger medical problems as a result.” next time you begin to feel road rage, apply this emergency brake: Pull over at a safe spot, turn off your car, take a deep breath, and say, “Calm.” Now exhale and say, “Down.” Repeat this sequence three times. If you’re still feeling steamed, take a deep breath while squeezing the steering wheel, and then relax your grip as you exhale. Repeat this three times. By physically mimicking your body’s relaxation response and releasing tension from your muscles, you’ll cue your brain to calm down too, says Dr. Williams.
Job stress isn’t evil—without it, you could be unemployed. “Moderate stress gives you energy, but at a certain point it becomes distress and negatively impacts your emotions and concentration,” says Dr. Posen, author of Is Work Killing You? If there’s no letup, your brain could suffer as a result: A recent study from Sweden found that people under chronic job stress had less gray matter in several brain regions than those with fewer work worries. That may be because excess stress hormones can damage or even kill neurons. ter at sprints than marathons. “You can’t be productive for long periods before your mind wanders and your energy flags,” says Dr. Posen. And that just adds stress. So step away from your desk at least three times a day to boost efficiency: At midmorning, spend 10 minutes catching up with coworkers. (Remember that schmoozing can help your career.) Next, allot at least half an hour for lunch—don’t work through it. Finally, consider taking a 15-minute walk in the afternoon when your energy dips, suggests Dr. Posen.
Your best tool for helping yourself relax may already be stashed in your gym bag. 116 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Home is where the headaches are. Crying children, barking dogs, the sunbathing couple next door—it’s enough to make a guy consider staying in the garage. “Your home should be a place of solace, but there’s an endless list of stressors you can encounter,” says Aditi Nerurkar, M.D., assistant medical director of the Cheng-Tsui Integrated Health Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “If you’re not relieving that stress, it can spread to other areas of your life.” Read: Your family may consider changing the locks. by squeezing in a workout after work. Research from the University of Maryland shows that 30 minutes of cardio can immediately reduce stress and help shield you from stressors afterward. If your zen still evaporates at home, sneak away from the source of your stress and set your smartphone alarm for five minutes, says Dr. Nerurkar. Sit with your spine straight and eyes closed, and concentrate on observing your breath (without changing the flow of your natural breathing pattern) until the alarm sounds.
There’s a seemingly infinite array of stress-busting tools you could buy, but we’ve found one that actually works—the lowly heart rate monitor. Pick up a basic model, such as the Timex Easy Trainer heart rate monitor ($50, timex.com), and use it to practice biofeedback, a technique that can help you identify your tension triggers and figure out the best way to combat them. “One of the problems with anxiety and stress is that people don’t feel in control of their environment or their response to their environment,” says Melissa Marotta Houser, M.D., a Connecticut physician who studies biofeedback. So take charge. Start by establishing your baseline: What’s your heart rate when you’re doing normal, nonstressful activities? When you feel tense, check it again to see how much your pulse has spiked. Then try the chill-out strategies described in this story to find what’s most effective at bringing you back to baseline. —BRENDAN KLINKENBERG
BE B EN N W W II S SE EM MA AN N (( ii ll ll u u ss tt rr a a tt ii o on n ss )) ,, M Ma a ss tt e e rr ff ii ll e e (( h ha an nd d ))
LET GO OF STRESS
You’d have to be sick to enjoy going to the doctor. But watch out if you’ve moved from stress-fueled procrastination to outright M.D. avoidance. “A lot of people with health care anxiety stop going to the doctor, which can allow an illness to progress to the point where they have no choice but to go,” says Martin Antony, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Ryerson University and the author of The Anti-Anxiety Workbook. No matter how unpleasant it may be to turn your head and cough, it’s a lot less stressful than a ruptured hernia.
Hear here. YOUR BED
You’re naked, she’s naked; so what’s there to stress about? “It largely has to do with the societal scripts for men’s sexual behavior,” says Robin Milhausen, Ph.D., an associate professor of family relations and human sexuality at the University of Guelph, Ontario. “The beliefs that men should always be ready for sex and should be incredible sexual performers are very prominent and strongly held, and those expectations can be a source of stress.” Worst case—well, you already know the worst case: You won’t have the wood to start a fire. Get out of your head and back into bed. One of the best ways to bring your mind to the moment is to pay close attention to your five senses, explains Milhausen. For example, focus on how awesome it feels when she does that thing with her hips, the strangely hot animalistic sounds that she’s making, or the taste (and smell) of her glistening skin. If you’re still psyching yourself out of an erection, try going down on her, Milhausen recommends. Putting penetration on pause will take the emphasis off your faltering equipment. What’s more, the confidence boost you’ll receive from turning her on should provide the additional benefit of heightening your own arousal. And if you feel yourself starting to go soft while you’re in the act? Turn to the tried-and-true squeeze technique: Pull out and squeeze gently just underneath the head of your penis. Doing this may help you maintain your arousal and keep your erection from falling flat, says Milhausen.
`COME TO YOUR SENSES
We won’t remind you that you’re actually more likely to die in a car accident than you are to eat earth in an airplane (though you are). Heck, the thought of crashing to the ground may not even be what makes the skies feel so unfriendly to you. “There’s a lot of variability in flying anxiety, and how you cope depends on your trigger,” says Antony. Those triggers can include anything from the claustrophobia of tight quarters to the fear of having a seatmate who’s hacking up a lung. And of course, there’s that fear of taking a nosedive. `RELIEVE CABIN PRESSURE What’s
your trigger? If you often feel the plane’s walls closing in on you, then you probably wait until the last minute to board. While that may provide short-term relief, boarding early and taking time to acclimate to the situation can lead to better results in the long run, Antony says. Now if you’re worried that the coughing guy nearby will hack into your immune system, know that your chance of catching an infection in flight is only 15 percent, Purdue researchers estimate. Tip the odds further in your favor by washing your hands before eating or drinking; a University of Michigan review concluded that washing up cuts your risk of picking up a respiratory illness by 21 percent. And if the real but remote risk of crashing stresses you, do some homework: Before you leave, read up on the aircraft so the flying experience will feel predictable. You can look online for commercial aircraft facts, such as size and number of seats. “Anything that makes the plane less mysterious can help you feel less afraid,” Antony says.
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118 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
BY PAUL JOHN SCOTT
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PHILIPPE SALOMON
THE PILL THAT KILLS YOUR SEX DRIVE
Antidepressants are everywhere. So are their dire effects on love and sex. Isn’t that depressing?
STARTING IN THE 1990S, A NEW GENERATION OF
KATHERINE SHARPE WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT CAUSED HER FIRST SERIOUS
relationship to end. And that still bugs her. What she does know is that over time, her physical desire for the man she dated in college began to wither. And as she points out, “sex inside a stable relationship is sometimes the glue that holds people together.” She also admits that the flame could have gone out on its own. But there’s another reason the love affair may have hit the skids, says the 34-year-old, and it doesn’t sit quite so well. Its fate could have been sealed by a prescription medication she never really needed in the first place. “The drug definitely diminished my interest in sex,” says Sharpe, the author of Coming of Age on Zoloft. She was given antidepressants after a visit to the campus health center to talk about her anxiety, an ordinary window of distress she now views as minor. “I’ll never know what role the drug played,” she says, clearly wrestling with the thought. “I don’t like having to wonder that. We went out for two years—a long time when you’re 18. He was my first lover; we were crazy about each other. I wish I could be certain it failed entirely on its own merits.” I’ve had the same problem. When I was on Zoloft for two years in my early 30s, sex became like a footrace in snowmobile boots. The drug eased my anxieties during the day but jumpstarted them in bed. Those are well-known side effects, but it turns out that delayed orgasm and losing that itch are only two of the many ways antidepressants can handicap romance. These drugs do their work in the brain, which is why they can influence not just erections but also affection, connection, love, and attachment. That can leave you wondering if your lover’s indifference derives from her heart, her head, her med, or a jumble of all three. We live in the age of the foursome: you, her, and your respective pharmacists. With mood meds, a veritable rite of passage for many born after, say, 1980, large portions of the dating pool have known only pharmacologically influenced sex. Many are inserting meds into functioning but difficult relationships with no idea of the cost. Still others may be feeling effects that lingered after the drugs left their system. This isn’t a diatribe against mood-lifting drugs. People take them for good reasons. If your girlfriend is trying to pull herself together, it’s a sign of maturity to seek help. If you want to tackle your problems without getting lost in work, partying, sex, or designer vodka, it’s a sign of courage. But the generational legacy of our love affair with antidepressants is only now becoming apparent, and the “side effects” of these drugs may include everything from widespread singledom to the souldestroying excesses of hookup culture to porn addiction to the problems of too many friends offering too many benefits. With so many new unknowns, it pays to learn what antidepressants can mean for your ability to love another person, and how you show those feelings in the bedroom. Is it a happy pill, or something else?
antidepressants were more aggressively marketed to a broader population. The main and most successful target group of these campaigns: women. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, women are 2½ times as likely to take antidepressants as men are. And with 264 million antidepressant prescriptions written in 2011, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)—including Celexa, Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro—are some of the most prescribed pharmaceuticals in the nation. That means if your girlfriend is taking something from a brown bottle, chances are it’s for her head. College kids are presumably a peak demographic. Audrey Bahrick, Ph.D., a researcher on the sexual side effects of SSRIs and a staff psychologist at the University of Iowa’s counseling service, says 20 to 30 percent of students coming to the service are already taking psychotropic meds. “Another 20 percent choose to start medication during the course of therapy, so of the college students seeking help, about 50 percent are on a psychotropic medication.” How do these meds work? SSRIs increase the availability of serotonin, but whether raising serotonin is the reason for the drugs’ effectiveness is unclear. (Contrary to the marketing claim, depressed people do not have a “chemical imbalance” of low serotonin.) The drugs’ effectiveness could be due to the placebo effect, or to mild sedating effects, or to mild mental energizing properties. But the bigger question is this: What are the drugs better at—improving depression scores or disrupting sexual function? Research finds that only about half of patients respond to antidepressant treatment, and even among those who benefit, there may be a significant placebo effect to take into account—an astonishing 82 percent, according to a data analysis from the University of Connecticut. The researchers speculate that if these two findings are cumulative, the drug-specific benefit for the user may be “clinically negligible.” The percentage of SSRI users who take a hit to the libido, however, may be significant. “I think we can be confident that the majority will be affected by sexual side effects, perhaps somewhere between 50 and 70 percent of people
Special Report / The Pill That Kills Your Sex Drive
THE OTHER BLUE PILL FOR SEX
P P rr o op p ss tt yy ll ii n ng g :: O O ll ii vv ii a a S Sa am mm mo on n ss // JJ e ed d R Ro oo o tt ;; ii ll ll u u ss tt rr a a tt ii o on n ss b b yy JJ A AM M II E E M M II L LL LS S
“I CAN’T FEEL ANYTHING,” SAYS KARA. “I JUST LIE THERE LIKE A SEX DOLL. THAT’S NO FUN FOR ME.” who take them,” says Bahrick. In a recent Iranian study, researchers concluded that sexual side effects affected 75 percent of people using SSRIs. Another study found the effect as high as 98 percent. It’s a nearly perfect score for exactly the wrong thing. If you are slack-jawed at this slack-penis (or vaguevagina) effect, it’s probably because until recently, the labels on these drugs have reported a much lower risk. According to research by Bahrick, many of the SSRI package inserts even acknowledge that the sexualdysfunction side effects reported in clinical trials, affecting 2 to 16 percent of users, may be an underestimation. How does 16 percent jump to 70 percent? In the initial clinical trials, the patients were not directly questioned about their sexual functioning. They were supposed to volunteer the embarrassing, confusing fact that they seemed to have been having lame sex an awful lot lately.
KARA (NOT HER REAL NAME), A 22-YEAR-OLD STUDENT IN
Washington state, was prescribed Cymbalta at age 18 for depression. She later took Zyprexa, Lexapro, Remeron, Pristiq, and then Prozac. She first noticed an effect while on Lexapro, when she masturbated “and had the weakest orgasm ever,” and “total numbness in my vagina.” Her emotional connection to lovers had been broken as well. “I had two long-term boyfriends that I really loved,” she says. “As soon as I started taking Lexapro, there was this marked decrease in my ability to feel love for them and connection to them.” Bahrick thinks the effects on women don’t receive enough attention. “With men it’s easier to assess. A man who can no longer achieve an erection can’t hide that fact from his partner, but a woman’s loss of sexual functioning is less overt—she can choose to give pleasure even if she’s not capable of receiving pleasure.
There’s one group of men who are definitely not bummed by the sexual side effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs—guys who want to last longer in the sack. Doctors have been prescribing SSRIs off-label for premature ejaculation (PE) for about 16 years, says Donald S. Strassberg, Ph.D., a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Utah who studies premature ejaculation. “Folks realized that this unwanted side effect of delaying orgasm can be a therapeutic effect for those who have PE,” he says. It works: A recent study from Turkey found that guys with PE lasted two to three minutes longer during sex when they took fluoxetine (e.g., Prozac), paroxetine (e.g., Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft). But is the pharmaceutical option the treatment of choice for men looking to extend their lovemaking? Hardly. “It can be an effective treatment, but it’s not a cure,” says Strassberg. “Try a few natural strategies. Just wearing a condom can help you last longer by reducing your sensitivity,” he says. Or check out this issue’s Health department and try the squeeze technique. —JULIE STEWART
Special Report / The Pill That Kills Your Sex Drive
WHEN HE STOPPED TAKING THE DRUG, HIS SEX LIFE REMAINED ON PAUSE—FOR FIVE YEARS. That might be acceptable in the short run, but it can wear thin over time.” As Kara says, “I don’t know if I’m capable of falling in love anymore. The function isn’t there. As for sex, I can’t feel anything and just lie there like a sex doll. That’s no fun for me.” That numbing effect happened to a man I’ll call Rob, a real estate property manager who went on Lexapro for a lifelong case of dour outlook. Now, at 41, he remembers that he’d have been overjoyed to accept his lousy mood if he could have regained his libido when he quit the drug. When offered the med, “I was, like, ‘Why not, what have I got to lose?’” he says. Lots, as it turned out. “For about a year it worked really well,” he recalls. Sure, his libido ebbed, but at first he didn’t mind. “Honestly, it was helpful, because I was so oversexed before then,” he says. But after a year the drug stopped working, so Rob decided to quit taking it. When he did, he discovered that his sexual function remained on pause—for five years. Once, in his first return to the bedroom with a woman he liked, he found himself struggling to reach half-mast. When it became clear that he couldn’t perform, “she very cheerily got up and said she was going to go sleep in the guest bedroom,” he says. “She’d left to go finish on her own, and I remember lying there thinking, ‘Wow, how bad has my life become?’” “There’s a proportion of people for whom the change seems to be permanent,” says David Healy, M.D., the author of Pharmageddon and founder of the drug side-effects database Rxisk.org. Reports of post-SSRI sexual disorder (PSSD, for short) are becoming more common, and the condition is being reported in medical journals. Prozac now carries the following ominous warning: “Symptoms of sexual dysfunc-
tion occasionally persist after discontinuation of fluoxetine treatment.” Thankfully, PSSD isn’t the norm. Katherine Sharpe’s desire peaked whenever she missed her pill, and Rob is now in a happy relationship. In case you might be wondering, I’ve shed my snowmobile boots in the bedroom. But terrible questions remain: How can one class of drugs turn off so many important pleasure zones? How can they diminish one of the most essential aspects of being human? AS IT HAPPENS, THE CHEMICALS THAT THROTTLE
lust are the same ones that make life enjoyable. Antidepressants may interfere with nitric oxide, a blood molecule that relaxes smooth muscle and triggers the engorging of blood vessels in the penis, nipples, and clitoris during sex. The drugs also affect the way you think, feel, and relate to others. By raising serotonin, SSRIs overload receptors designed to keep dopamine activity high. That means less dopamine between neurons that serve as reward pathways of the brain. It is this neurotransmitter that makes possible thoughts like I want her, I need her, and even I love her. Depleting dopamine might distort, delay, or doom relationships. The effect has a clinical name: emotional blunting. We have known since the late 1980s that antidepressants (and antipsychotics like Seroquel, Zyprexa, Abilify, and Risperdal) can induce apathy and indifference. Emotional blunting can be helpful in reducing feelings of sadness in depression, or fear and anxiety. But blunting also diminishes the kind of positive emotions you need to make a genuine connection with a romantic partner. In one of the earliest accounts of emotional blunting, in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2009, researchers at the University of Oxford, England, reported on SSRI effects in 38 users. The scientists found that “some participants felt reduced love or affection toward others and, in particular, reduced attraction toward their partner.” They also discovered that SSRI use
OUTSMART THE SEX EFFECTS
We asked Stella Resnick, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist based in Beverly Hills, for a lesson in medicated lovemaking. (Works for the unmedicated kind too.)
SMOOCH TO SPOTIFY
A pulsating musical beat can help the two of you establish a mutual rhythm, Resnick says. So make a foreplaylist that lasts about 20 minutes. “There’s good biochemistry in saliva,” she says. As you swap spit, you exchange feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, which helps your bodies sync up and build excitement. SSRIs can blunt production of those very chemicals.
may cause “emotional detachment from other people, and reduced concern for other people’s needs.” Users of SSRIs can also be sloppier gauges of their own errors in judgment. For instance, after only a week on the drug Celexa, even people who aren’t depressed become less competent at detecting negative emotions in facial images, another Oxford study found. The evolutionary biologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D., who has written about the impact of SSRIs on relationships, notes: “When it comes to love and attachment, you want all your natural abilities in place. You don’t want them blunted or altered.” Fisher, who has used fMRI scans to identify brain systems associated with desire, romantic love, and emotional attachment, is troubled about blunting among people who are not suffering from severe, chronic depression. “It’s one thing to lose the sex drive. But when you have sex it drives up testosterone, and more testosterone makes you want to have more sex, and having sex stimulates the genitals, and stimulating the genitals drives up the dopamine system, and that is needed to push yourself over the threshold and into falling in love,” says Fisher. Orgasms also drive up oxytocin and vasopressin, she explains, “and that helps give you feelings of emotional attachment.” According to Lauren Starr, a spokeswoman for Pfizer, which manufactures Zoloft and Effexor, “Depressive and anxiety disorders, with or without treatment, can be associated with the emergence of adverse events such as sexual dysfunction.” (The makers of Cymbalta and Lexapro declined to comment for this article. The maker of Paxil passed along a link to the drug’s prescribing information.) “Diminished sex drive really isn’t a symptom of mild depression,” says Stuart Shipko, M.D., a psychiatrist based in Pasadena, California. “However, diminished sex drive afflicts two-thirds of people who are prescribed an antidepressant. The sexual dysfunction caused by the drugs is much worse than sexual dysfunction from depression.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 159
REV UP YOUR ROUTINE
When one of you has a lagging libido, a frenzied romp can be more stressful than sexy. So build up excitement by moving through four stages: kissing, massage, slow foreplay, and then the main event. “Prime each other to expect pleasure,” Resnick says. As you build up to sex, you’ll give each other time to let the feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine increase too.
The fun of sex is one of the first things to fade as a relationship ages, Resnick says, and the meds impose their own polar vortex. To restore heat, ask yourself: How did you tease her at the beginning of your relationship? Work that back into your repertoire, she says. Then add a toy, a position, anything. “You have to inject creativity into your routine to keep things exciting,” says Resnick. —J.S. MENSHEALTH.COM 123
HIT T HE ROAD
JACKED BY JOE KITA
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANDREW HETHERINGTON
What can truckers teach you about fitness? Plenty. If they can stay in shape despite 300 days on the road a year, then you have no excuses. Get ready to lose that trailer and gain some horsepower.
MIDNIGHT ON THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE. WE’RE HURTLING WEST TOWARD SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI, A THOUSAND-MILE HAUL, IN A 500-HORSEPOWER FREIGHTLINER TOWING 19 TONS OF DANGEROUS CARGO. B E H I N D T H E W H E E L I S 2 7 - Y E A R - O L D J U S T I N B O S C H E E , A 6'5" F O R M E R
OFFENSIVE TACKLE AT EASTERN OREGON UNIVERSITY, A BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIAN, AND A DRIVER WITH MORE THAN 400,000 MILES OF UNBLEMISHED EXPERIENCE. I’M HOPING THIS TRINITY OF MUSCLE, MESSIAH, AND MILEAGE WILL KEEP US SAFE.
HIGH-INTENSITY EXERCISE PLUS SMART EATING HELP TRUCKERS TO BURN MORE CALORIES EVEN WHILE DRIVING.
22-minute workout / 359 calories burned
Calories burned per minute
Rev Your Metabolism
0 3 a.m.
126 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
9p.m. Source: Prime Inc.
Plenty of initiatives are under way to help truckers get in better shape, including truck stop gyms and in-cab workout systems. But applying the brakes to a situation that’s been going downhill for decades is a slow process. Still, guys like Boschee are seeing results—and leading the way for others. If they can lose weight and build muscle in an environment that’s hostile to that effort, you can too. Let’s roll.
SLEEP-DEPRIVED NUMBER OF LONG-HAUL TRUCKERS WHO SLEEP SIX OR FEWER HOURS A NIGHT; 34 PERCENT HAVE NODDED OFF WHILE DRIVING. Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
THE 7 RULES OF ON-THE-ROAD FITNESS
“I found a driver dead once,” Boschee says offhandedly. “We were switching trailers. I knocked on his cab, but no one answered. He was dead. Young guy, too.” Then he grows pensive. A full moon and a constellation of dashboard lights create a comforting glow. “This is a great job. It pays well, and I love the freedom. But if you’re not careful, it can kill you.” A 2014 survey of long-haul truck drivers by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that 69 percent were obese, 17 percent morbidly so. A recent Gallup-Healthways analysis revealed that transportation workers, including truckers, are the fattest and have the highest risk for chronic health problems of any occupational group. Considering the ramifications (heart attack, stroke, fatigue...), the 2.5 million trucks on U.S. roads just might be our biggest national safety threat. Indeed, that dead driver Boschee found was diabetic, and the cargo in our trailer today is 38,000 pounds of Oreo Base Cake. The smell of those delectable wafer crumbs, which we both inhale deeply through the rear hatch, is metaphoric. It represents not only the daily temptation at Boschee’s back (he recently dropped 40 pounds) but also the monumental health challenge facing all men who travel for a living. “I never had any concept of nutrition,” says Boschee, who used to fuel himself with eggnog and Cheetos while driving at least 11 hours a day. “Then at a truck stop in Dallas I saw my first 400-pound trucker. I couldn’t believe it. That’s when I realized if I didn’t change, that guy would be me.”
Of the two charts on the previous page, you’ll notice that the one on the left, which monitors the metabolism of a typical longhaul truck driver over a 24-hour period, is largely flat. Except for a few spikes when he may have been pumping diesel or walking into KFC, that driver could be dead. “Most drivers I work with are sedentary almost 23 hours a day,” says Siphiwe Baleka, who’s a Yale grad, Ironman triathlete, Masters swimming champion, and former driver, and now the driver fitness coach at Prime Inc., a 5,400-truck firm, and Boschee’s employer. What’s sobering is that you don’t need to be hauling cargo to have a metabolic profile like that. Cruising the Web all day from behind a desk expends no more energy than cruising the interstate. Baleka’s job is daunting. Truckers have deadlines, so finding time to exercise or search for healthy food (which is like trying to find a shirt with sleeves at a truck stop) can be a challenge. But since he launched his 13-week driver health and fitness program at Prime in July 2012, Baleka reports that 131 drivers have graduated and lost an average of 19 pounds apiece. He says another 500 drivers who are not in the program but who’ve been influenced by his education efforts lost an average of 10 pounds each. Last summer he even staged a “Fittest of the Fleet” competition, in which Boschee finished second. Baleka uses seven simple strategies to encourage results: 1. No matter what, exercise 15 minutes every day. It doesn’t have to happen in a gym, and you don’t need a formal plan. 2. Make each workout vigorous. “Maintain 75 to 85 percent of max heart rate,” explains Baleka, who did his Ironman training during a year when he drove 150,000 miles in 323 days. “This maximizes fat burning and, more important, your time.” 3. Work multiple muscle groups simultaneously. He gives drivers a list of 32 exercises they can combine for total-body workouts. 4. Always eat after working out. The latest research says 20 grams of fast-acting protein (for instance, whey isolate powder) eaten within 30 minutes of exercising is best for building muscle. 5. Eat breakfast, and then eat every three hours. This keeps hunger at bay and prevents bingeing late in the day. 6. Keep healthy snacks handy. When traveling, the tendency is to eat what’s available, so make only good food available. 7. Log your nutrition and fitness. Keeping a daily food and exercise journal makes weaknesses easy to spot. Baleka makes this simpler by giving every driver a Mio heart rate monitor and BodyMedia armband activity monitor. So how does a guy implement these rules when his schedule changes daily and he’s at the mercy of the road? THE TRUCK STOP WORKOUT (AND SHOWER)
It’s a raw November morning at the TravelCenters of America truck stop in London, Ohio, just off I-70. Dressed in gym trunks and a bright-blue top, Boschee hops down from the cab and begins his workout. He opens a compartment on the side of the truck, roots through greasy rags and tools, and pulls out a jump rope, resistance bands, and a dirty gray exercise mat. As he sets up, truckers in surrounding cabs swivel their heads
BIG-RIG MUSCLE MEN JUSTIN BOSCHEE BANGS OUT A 15-MINUTE WORKOUT AT A DAYTON, OHIO, TRUCK STOP. OPENING SPREAD: DRIVER RODNEY McCLOUD TRAINS AT A TRUCK STOP IN SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI.
Snacks That Shrink Your Spare Tire
Raise Your Bar
Pick snack bars with at least 10 g protein, like Nature Valley, says Siphiwe Baleka, the coach at Prime.
Double the Meat
At Subway, boost protein and cut carbs: Instead of a footlong, opt for a 6-inch with double meat.
Carry tuna and salmon in resealable pouches to toss on fast-food salads and soups.
Spread almond butter and jelly on bread, roll it up, and cut it in four, says Bob Perry of Rolling Strong.
Fill Up on Tea
For a low-cal antioxidant pickup, drop green tea bags into your water bottle, says Perry.
The Secrets of Fitness on the Road
Always Be Ready Truckers in training should always carry workout clothes, an exercise mat, a jump rope, and resistance bands, says Baleka. And so should you.
Drive and Flex
With both hands on the wheel, contract your abs for 5 seconds. Do 3 sets of 10, says George Harris, Ph.D., C.P.T., who runs Truckers to Triathletes.
Curl a Gallon
A plastic gallon jug full of water weighs 8 pounds. Perry suggests keeping a couple in your car or hotel room to use as dumbbells.
ROAD RULES TO STAY LEAN AND STRONG, TRUCKERS LIKE McCLOUD AND BOSCHEE AND DRIVER COACH SIPHIWE BALEKA PLAN MEALS AND SNACKS METICULOUSLY. THEY MUST ALSO BE FLEXIBLE ABOUT WHERE THEY WORK OUT.
OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD PROPORTION OF LONG-HAUL TRUCK DRIVERS WHO HAVE ONE OR MORE OF THESE HEALTH RISK FACTORS: HYPERTENSION, SMOKING, OBESITY. Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
his way. There are hundreds of rigs here, parked shoulder-toshoulder and emitting a deep collective rumble, which I assume is coming from truck generators and not the drivers’ stomachs. Everyone is killing time until their federally mandated rest periods are over. Despite not arriving until 2 a.m. and having to cope with my tossing in the bunk above him, Boschee looks fresh. He starts out with rope skipping, pushups, and jumping jacks. Next he dons an MMA harness he bought at Walmart. The built-in bands add resistance to his shadowboxing, which he does while he jogs. He takes off for a few laps around the parking lot just as a driver in sweatpants and flannel strolls by with two bags from Popeyes. (Among truckers, fried chicken is a breakfast food.) Boschee’s workout showcases the spontaneity needed to stay fit on the road. Since he always has his fitness gear with him, he’s ready to exercise at a moment’s notice. “The unpredictability of my job is an advantage,” he says. “It keeps things fresh.” It helps to be creative too. Driver Rodney McCloud, who won Prime’s Fittest of the Fleet competition, does forearm slams against the side of his trailer, knee kicks to the tires, and prone pullups and dips on the side of his rig. And you can’t argue with his results. The 46-year-old McCloud weighs 222 pounds and has a 33-inch waist and 18½-inch biceps. He carries a 300-pound set of weights in his cab. “Since I started driving in 2008,” says McCloud, “I’ve seen only one or two other truckers working out in the lot like I do. People look at you funny, but I don’t care. I work out in all kinds of weather, and when I’m waiting around at a shipper, I shadowbox, skip rope, or do pushups. You make it happen when you can.” Boschee returns with steam rising off his broad shoulders. He does more rope-skipping and pushups, plus squats, burpees, crunches, bicycles, and mountain climbers. After 15 minutes of nonstop exercise—just as Baleka recommends—he’s back in the cab, toweling off and slugging a protein drink. “When I work out, I feel better and have more energy,” he says. “I’m a better driver because of it. Now what do you say we go grab a shower?” Since the cab has no plumbing, I know what he’s suggesting— that we venture into the truck stop to scrub up. Now, let me state up front that hygiene is important to me and in no way am I ashamed of my Peterbilt. But the thought of stripping naked with this crowd has me shuddering like an 18-wheeler downshifting. “I got you a coupon for a free shower at my last fill-up,” he adds. “It’s normally $13.” I follow him past the greasy garage bays and up to the travel store checkout. “Two showers,” says Boschee, as if he’s ordering a couple of tins of dip. “I have a coupon.” The checkout lady doesn’t bat a fake eyelash. She gives him two receipts and tells us to “have a super day.” After squeezing through the jerky aisle, we pass by the laundry room and the drivers’ lounge and come to a hallway lined with doors. Boschee stops in front of one, punches in a code from the receipt, and says he’ll meet me back at the truck in 20 minutes. I stand there, envisioning what awaits me—that 400-pound trucker from Dallas? A convoy of 10-4 good buddies? But when I enter, I find a private room with brown faux-marble tiles, a contrasting orange towel set, and—what’s this?—a personal note. It reads: Thank you for choosing TA London, OH. It is my goal to offer you the best shower experience I can. I personally cleaned and prepared this shower with you in mind. Please enjoy our many amenities, such as our two large towels, cloth bath mat, wash cloth and newly added 4-way adjustable shower head. —Debbie, Customer Service Attendant There’s even a mint.
HOW JUSTIN LOST HIS LOAD
ACCIDENT ALERT PROPORTION OF CRASHES CAUSED BY TRUCKS, DUE TO PHYSICAL FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE DRIVER OR TO DRIVER RECOGNITION FACTORS. Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
DRIVEN TO SUCCESS PRIME’S DRIVER FITNESS COACH, SIPHIWE BALEKA, DOES A LAWNMOWER ROW. BALEKA MAINTAINED SINGLE-DIGIT BODY FAT IN 2012, A YEAR HE DROVE 150,000 MILES AND SPENT 323 DAYS ON THE ROAD.
We have 600 miles to cover today to stay on schedule and reach Prime headquarters in Springfield by midnight. (People are evidently in desperate need of this Oreo Base Cake.) When I return to the cab, gleaming like freshly polished chrome after my shower, Boschee is furiously punching numbers into two GPS units while consulting a well-thumbed road atlas. I assume he’s finalizing our route, but it’s actually something much more important than that. “I’m looking for a Chipotle,” he says. “Found one! Just outside St. Louis, with a Walmart across the street for parking.” So all day long, our high-tech instruments count down not to our final destination but to upscale fast food. “I like the Burrito Bowl with double meat,” he tells me a couple of times. That’s not a bad choice—it’s high in protein, and even the fats are on the healthy side. On a truck route that’s littered with junk-food road hazards, he could have broken down in any number of places.
While spontaneity is Boschee’s credo when it comes to exercise, meal planning is what has enabled him to drop 6 inches from his waistline in just seven months. He hits Walmart or Sam’s Club before every long trip, stocking up on water, Greek yogurt, vegetables, protein bars, fruit, and other healthy fare. If he’s tempted by, say, gummy worms (“love ’em!”), he “delays gratification.” Instead of grabbing them impulsively, he finishes the rest of his shopping. If the craving hasn’t subsided, he buys them. He uses the same strategy at restaurants. Instead of immediately ordering two Egg McMuffins or burgers, he gets one, enjoys the hell out of it, waits a few minutes, and then decides if he really wants another. “I normally don’t,” he says. Behind the wheel, Boschee sips water and snacks regularly. It’s all designed to lift his metabolism off that flatline, first with exercise and then with protein-rich foods that require extra energy to digest. Out of all the adjustments Boschee has made, reducing processed carbs like cakes, sodas, and bread made the big-
The Big-Rig Muscle Anytime, Anywhere Workout
THE TRUCKERS AT PRIME INC. ARE PROVIDED WITH THIS MENU OF 32 BODY-WEIGHT EXERCISES. TO ENSURE A TOTAL-BODY WORKOUT, SIMPLY CHOOSE TWO TO FOUR STANDING MOVES AND TWO TO FOUR GROUND MOVES.
gest difference, he says. “When you’re on the road, a lot of it is emotional eating,” he says. “You get bored or angry, and you eat. So I always try to have a plan and never have bad stuff on hand.” The part about the boredom is true. If you thought waiting around in airports was tedious, you should try watching asphalt for a living. Our cab is a state-of-the-art 2012 Freightliner Cascadia. The seats are thronelike, and the truck comes loaded with technology—automatic deceleration if it gets too close to another vehicle or barrels into a curve too fast, plus a warning system that blares whenever we cross a lane line. We’re towing 19 tons of cargo, but it feels like there’s nothing behind us. So how do you pass the time when you can no longer draw satisfaction from Cheetos, gummy worms, or even your own driving ability? In Boschee’s case, you pray and you think—a lot. “In the Garden of Eden, the apple looked good to Adam and Eve, but when they ate it, it brought shame,” he says. “I’ve been the big fat guy my entire life. That’s how CONTINUED ON PAGE 159
STANDING 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
S Q UAT P I S TO L S Q UAT SINGLE-LEG I C E S K AT E R J U M P I N G JAC K R U N N I N G I N P L AC E S H A D OW B OX I N G S H A D OW B OX I N G WITH KICK LUNGE LUNGE JUMP S Q UAT J U M P S I D E - TO - S I D E TO E - TO U C H J U M P HOP STEPUP BENCH JUMP MMA-STYLE KNEE RAISE
MH training advisor BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S., created these three workouts using the exercise menu. Do the exercises at 75 to 85 percent of max heart rate for 20 seconds apiece, interspersed with 10 seconds of rest. That’s 1 cycle. Do up to 4 cycles with 60 seconds of rest between them.
1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
J U M P I N G JAC K PLANK R U N N I N G I N P L AC E SIDE PLANK
S Q UAT PUSHUP LUNGE SIDE PLANK WITH HIP THRUST L E F T/ R I G H T
S Q UAT J U M P
GROUND 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
DIP PUSHUP DIVE-BOMBER PUSHUP PUSHUP WITH LEG EXTENSION SPIDERMAN PUSHUP CRUNCH B I C YC L E C R U N C H H A N D - TO - TO E C R U N C H BURPEE PLANK SIDE PLANK SIDE PLANK WITH LEG RAISE SIDE PLANK WITH HIP THRUST M O U N TA I N C L I M B E R IN-AND-OUT CRUNCH RUSSIAN TWIST BIRD DOG
Find detailed descriptions of these exercises at MensHealth.com/ trainingcenter.
I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y +I S M
S I D E P L A N K W I T H L E G R A I S E L E F T/ R I G H T
April 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 131
R AI S E
ST E A KS
We bought a cow. We cooked it. And then we ate it. In the process, we learned how buying grass-fed beef in bulk, directly from the source, can fortify your health.
BY PAUL KITA PHOTOGRAPHS BY BOB MARTUS
THE COW I ATE WAS BORN IN APRIL 2011 IN RURAL PENNSYLVANIA. s CATHY POMANTI, THE OWNER OF SUGAR HILL FARM, MIDWIFED MY CALF INTO THE WORLD. POMANTI RAISES GRASS-FED ORGANIC SCOTTISH HIGHLAND COWS, A SHAGGY BREED YIELDING MEAT THAT’S AMONG THE TASTIEST ON THE PLANET. ON ONE FARM VISIT, MY FIANCÉE SAW A HIGHLANDER, WENT QUIET, AND THEN SAID, “ I D O N ’ T W A N T T O E A T T H E M . I W A N T T O H U G T H E M .” BUT I WAS HUNGRY FOR A COW TO CALL MY OWN.
THE BEEF WITH BEEF
As a pleasure-seeking meat eater, I am increasingly disappointed by grain-fed supermarket beef. Rib eyes require a slick of steak sauce to taste meaty. Ground beef has a tacky, greasy consistency. Tenderloin, even with tender care, always leaves me underwhelmed. So I decided to stop complaining about mass-market beef and find a rancher. I wanted to know my cattle producer. I wanted to know my cow. My cow never had a name; Pomanti can’t bring herself to name cows headed for slaughter. But he did have a good life. My cow spent his first 10 months growing strong on his mother’s milk, sticking close by her side. Then Pomanti separated my cow and his mother into different pens. My cow bawled. His mother mooed. It was for the best. Once Mom stopped producing milk, the two were reunited, but my cow now preferred delicious, nutritious grass. Over the next year and a half, my cow grew an impressive coat of thick, coarse hair. Because he wouldn’t be subjected to the diseases and indignities of the industrial feedlot, he didn’t need antibiotics or growth hormones. Those substances wouldn’t end up in me or my fiancée, either. Last October, my cow was loaded onto a truck and taken to Rising Spring Meat Company, an organic butcher outside State College, Pennsylvania. There he was held in a pen, calm and comfortable, until he was humanely shot in the head. The carcass was then halved and hung in a cooler to dry-age, a process that helps tenderize the meat, for about 14 days. Next my cow was cut into pieces, vacuum-sealed, and delivered to Pomanti. She summoned me for the handoff. Out of her massive freezer units she pulled bags bursting with marrow bones, globular ground beef portions, and a tenderloin the size of Popeye’s forearm. I drove the box of beef back home that day, dreaming of meals to come, under a sky with clouds that looked like heifers. 134 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
As a typical American, you ate a hefty 51 pounds of beef last year, the USDA says. That’s roughly the equivalent of 65 T-bones, 204 quarter-pound burger patties, or one Kim Kardashian rump roast. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association notes that less than 1 percent of beef sold at retail is labeled as grass-fed. During the “finishing,” the animal begins to lay down more fat in relation to muscle and bone growth, says Cindy Daley, Ph.D., who studies beef at California State University. Until the 1950s, ranchers finished cattle exclusively on grass. But industrial producers realized that grain feeding improved fat marbling while cutting the days until slaughter. After decades of eating the stuff, we now prefer fattier beef. But at the same time, our rates of diseases linked to inflammation rose. Could grain-fed cows and inflammation be connected? A 2011 Irish study found that people who replaced their regular red meat with three weekly servings of grass-fed red meat for a month improved their inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acid profiles by 37 percent over those of people who ate the same amount of grain-finished red meat. Though the diet studies are too small to be conclusive, a 2010 research review led by Daley found that grass-fed beef outclassed grain-fed nutritionally, with triple the immune-boosting vitamin E, up to five times the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and seven times the antioxidant carotenoids. If grass-fed beef was going to treat me better, I needed to return the favor. So I began contacting chefs. The recipes that follow taught me key kitchen skills, but they also taught me something deeper: If you know your beef, you love it even more.
“With grain-fed beef, you’re tasting a richness, but it’s not the real flavor. It’s like cooking vegetables with a lot of butter: You can’t taste the vegetables.” —ALICE WATERS
RAISE YOUR STEAKS
OXTAILS IN RED WINE
What You’ll Need 2
L B G R A S S - F E D O X TA I L S
T B S P K O S H E R S A LT
CUPS BEEF STOCK
TBSP OLIVE OIL
1¾ C U P S R E D W I N E 2
B AY L E AV E S
SMALL HEAD GARLIC, H A LV E D C RO S S W I S E
L A R G E C A R RO T, P E E L E D A N D RO U G H LY C H O P P E D
C E L E R Y S TA L K S, RO U G H LY C H O P P E D
M E D I U M Y E L LOW O N I O N, Q U A R T E R E D
CUP DRAINED CANNED T O M AT O E S, C H O P P E D
How to Make It
1. For the best flavor, salt the oxtails two days before cooking. 2. Trim the oxtails of excess fat. In a medium saucepan, cook the stock over medium heat until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. 3. In a skillet, heat the oil on medium. Pat the oxtails dry and brown them, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside. Wipe the skillet, add the wine, stir, and cook it down by half, about 5 minutes. Add the stock. 4. Preheat the oven to 300°F. In a roasting pan, add the remaining ingredients; add stock to cover by a third. Simmer on medium low. Cover. 5. Place the pan in the oven and cook 3½ to 4 hours. Then crack the lid and cook until the meat is very tender, another 20 to 30 minutes. Serve oxtails with sauce. Makes 8 servings
RAISE YOUR STEAKS
GRASS-FED BEEF TARTARE
What You’ll Need 2
TBSP MINCED ONION
T S P M I N C E D PA R S L E Y
TBSP MINCED CORNICHONS
2-3 A N C H O V I E S, M I N C E D ½
T B S P D I J O N M U S TA R D
2-3 D A S H E S TA B A S C O S A U C E 2
TSP WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
CUP PLUS 2 TBSP OLIVE OIL
LB GRASS-FED B E E F T E N D E R LO I N S E A S A LT A N D F R E S H LY G RO U N D B L A C K P E P P E R WARM TOAST
How to Make It
1. In a small bowl, mix the onion, parsley, cornichons, and anchovies. Reserve. 2. In a blender or food processor, add the mustard, Tabasco, Worcestershire, and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Puree, gradually adding the remaining olive oil until emulsified. Reserve. 3. Place the tenderloin in the freezer for about 5 minutes for easier cutting. Then, working quickly, slice it into ¼-inchthick pieces. 4. In a medium serving bowl, combine the meat with the reserved ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. 5. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes before serving atop warm toast. Makes 8 servings as an appetizer
“The best way to experience grass-fed beef, because it’s so lean, is to eat it raw.” —MARC FORGIONE
The Ground Beef
Marc Forgione, owner and executive chef of Restaurant Marc Forgione in New York City, told me I should start by not cooking the beef at all. “The best way to experience grass-fed beef, because it’s so lean, is to eat it raw,” says Forgione. When I asked him if it was dangerous to eat DIY steak tartare (recipe opposite), Forgione told me to grow a pair. As long as the beef is high in quality and its temperature never rises above 40°F for longer than 40 minutes, your risk of illness will be very low, he says. And Pomanti, for her part, says bacterial contamination among her cattle is virtually nonexistent. (It pays to know your source.) So I sharpened my knives for a rare opportunity. The result was a luscious tartare that topped variations I’ve tasted at the country’s top steakhouses.
Of the 51 pounds of cow you ate last year, about half was ground. Here’s a scary fact: U.S. ground beef is not easily traced and may not even be from the United States, a 2013 review in Meat Science reveals. All the more reason to buddy up to a rancher. You can make a grass-fed beef burger (I did), but you’d be depriving your tastebuds if you didn’t venture beyond familiar ground. “Grass-fed beef is very lean by nature. Grinding beef for burgers involves adding fat, and if you’re using grass-fed, you lose something,” says Sang Yoon, executive chef of Father’s Office and Lukshon in L.A. That something, he says, is the herbaceous flavor imparted by the cow’s diet. Make larb instead, Yoon says (recipe on next spread). This Southeast Asian dish packs a barrage of fresh herbs to flatter grass-fed beef.
The Bone-In Beef Rib Roast
There’s a certain comfort in dissociating yourself from the animal you’re eating for dinner. If you don’t think about where on the cow’s body the meat comes from, you don’t have to contemplate the death and dismemberment involved in its trip to your plate. The oxtail, however, made a very specific statement about its origins. It came to me in three pieces, which, because of my morbid curiosity, I arranged to reconstruct the entire appendage. I imagined my cow using it to swat flies. It wasn’t simply a meal. It was a sacrifice. Alice Waters, executive chef of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, and founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project, recommends cooking oxtail in a classic braise (recipe on previous spread). “With grain-fed beef, you’re tasting a richness and tenderness, but it’s not the real flavor,” Waters says. “It’s like cooking vegetables with a lot of butter: You can’t taste the vegetables.” Her technique, inspired by a recipe from Zuni Café in San Francisco, matches the beautiful beefiness of the rustic cut while also turning it fork-tender. Bonus: You can apply the same braising technique to other tough bone-in cuts your purveyor may pass along, such as shanks or short ribs.
I needed to do something special with the most prestigious cut of my cow: the 14-pound standing rib roast. The meal should be special but also very simple, says Donald Link, owner and executive chef of Cochon and Butcher in New Orleans. Anything too fussy would only detract from its intense, glorious beefiness. For maximum flavor, you want to cook this behemoth roast only to medium rare, Link told me (recipe on next spread). Because the cut is so large, the preparation and resting stages are critical. If the meat is too cold before it enters the oven, it’ll be raw in the center when it exits. If you carve into it immediately after cooking, you’ll lose a reservoir of delicious juices. Patience is paramount. And the rewards are well worth the wait: “Good grass-fed beef tastes cleaner. You don’t have that heavy feeling in your gut after you eat it,” Link says. I heard similar accolades from the friends and family members I invited over to dinner. In fact, most people said the steaks, liver, or carne asada I’d served them tasted “like beefier beef” and “less greasy.” One guest who tasted the rib roast said she woke up the morning after our dinner fantasizing about the beef from the night before.
The Math on Buying Beef in Bulk
SHOULD YOU SHELL OUT THE CASH FOR YOUR OWN NUTRIENT-PACKED GRASS-FED COW? THESE DIGITS MAY HELP YOU DECIDE.
4.78 Average amount per pound, in dollars, that grass-fed beef will cost you over the typical grainfinished kind found in supermarkets
Cubic feet of freezer space needed to store a typical eighth of a grass-fed cow. A standard (empty) fridge freezer has 4 to 10 cubic feet. 3
Number of cuts in the author’s 54-pound eighth of a cow, which included steaks, brisket, ground beef, whole tenderloin, liver, and soup bones
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THE END OF THE TALE
When my tour of the special cuts was complete, I dug for the last of the T-bones that were stashed aside the cow’s heart (yes, the heart) in the freezer. Steaks were the first cuts I cooked, and I still craved them. Naomi Pomeroy, the executive chef of Beast in Portland, Oregon, had taught me to sear them to a juicy medium rare. She’s a pro; she cooks grass-fed beef exclusively. I preheated my oven to 350°F and placed a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. I cranked some freshly ground black pepper and scattered kosher salt over each side of the steak. Then I added a good knob of butter to the skillet, allowed it to melt, and followed it with the steak and a few sprigs of parsley and thyme. I listened for the sizzling to subside, awaiting the aroma of a baseball field on a hot summer day. Those signs told me it was time to flip the meat and then slide it into the oven, skillet and all. There it basked for five minutes until the interior temperature reached 122°F. Out of the oven it came. I then basted
RAISE YOUR STEAKS
CRACKED BLACK PEPPER BEEF
What You’ll Need 1
What You’ll Need
GRASS-FED BEEF R I B RO A S T ( 1 4 L B )
TBSP UNCOOKED JASMINE RICE
TBSP PEANUT OIL
S E A S A LT A N D F R E S H LY G RO U N D B L A C K P E P P E R
12 O Z G R A S S - F E D G RO U N D B E E F
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How to Make It
it reverently with the rest of the melted butter, tented some aluminum foil over the skillet, and let it rest for what seemed like an eternity. Okay, five minutes. And then I savored every last juicy, earthy, hearty, powerful, tender bite. The celebration of my cow was complete. Yes, grass-fed beef costs more money than the grain-finished variety, but you’re making that investment to enjoy superior meat that is less fatty, more nutrient-dense, better for your body, and certainly better on the palate. And if you purchase your grass-fed beef in bulk, so much the better. It can be less expensive than grass-fed cuts you’d find in the store, for one thing. There’s also something deeply comforting about possessing a large amount of premium meat. (Zombie apocalypse be damned!) But because you know the life of your cow, and the rancher who raised that animal, you also want to honor that cow in death. It’s not just dinner. It’s your duty. You can have a heart—and cook one, too.
WIN FREE BEEF! Want 12 months of grass-fed meat? Tweet why to @GuyGourmet with the hashtag #WinFreeBeef. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. CONTEST RUNS 3/11/14 TO 4/15/14. MUST BE 18 OR OLDER & LEGAL RESIDENT OF 49 US OR DC (EXCLUDES AZ & PR). FOR OFFICIAL RULES, GO TO MENSHEALTH.COM/GUY-GOURMET/ WIN-FREE-BEEF. WINNER BASED ON ENTRY THAT STATES THE MOST COMPELLING ARGUMENT. SPONSOR: RODALE INC., 400 S. 10TH ST., EMMAUS, PA 18098-0099.
1. To promote even doneness, remove the roast from the refrigerator 2 hours before cooking. 2. Place the roast on a wire rack set on a baking sheet. The last 30 minutes prior to cooking, place a fan in front of the meat to dry excess moisture and foster caramelization. 3. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly rub the roast on all sides with olive oil and then liberally coat it with salt and freshly ground pepper. Set it back on the wire rack atop the baking sheet and place it in the oven. 4. Cook until well browned on the outside, about 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 275°F and continue to cook until a digital thermometer inserted into the center of the roast reads 140°F, about 2 hours. Remove the roast and let it rest until it’s almost at room temperature, about 45 minutes. 5. Serve with roasted potatoes and a simple salad. Makes 20 to 25 servings
S H A L L O T, M I N C E D
G A R L I C C L O V E S, S L I C E D
F R E S H T H A I C H I L E S, T H I N LY S L I C E D
T B S P PA L M S U G A R
TBSP FISH SAUCE
TBSP LIME JUICE S E A S A LT, T O TA S T E
HEAD OF CABBAGE, L E AV E S S E PA R AT E D
C U P C I L A N T RO L E AV E S
C U P M I N T L E AV E S
C U P T H A I B A S I L L E AV E S
S C A L L I O N S, S L I C E D
How to Make It
1. In a small pan on medium heat, toast the rice, stirring often. Cool and grind the rice to a fine powder in a clean coffee or spice grinder. 2. In a wok or big castiron skillet, heat the oil on medium high until it shimmers. Add the beef; cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shallot, garlic, chiles, palm sugar, and fish sauce. 3. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice and rice powder. Stir well and season with salt. 4. Let the mixture cool slightly before serving. Spoon the mixture into individual cabbage cups and garnish with herbs and scallions. Makes 6 to 8 servings
April 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 139
She Wants You to Watch
TODAY’S WOMEN SEEM EAGER TO BARE AND SHARE: SELFIES, #HEALTHIES, SLIT SKIRTS, LIMO FLASHES, HOTEL ROOM DARES. IT GIVES MANY WOMEN A THRILL AND GE TS THEM AROUSED. WELCOME TO THE GOLDEN AGE OF EXHIBITIONISM. ENJOY THE SHOW. BY ANNA DAVIES PHOTOGRAPHS BY JANA CRUDER
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Itâ€™s Fun to Lure You In
Years ago, my friends and I shared this sexy black leather miniskirt. We dubbed it the â€œaction skirt.â€? It hit just above mid-thigh, and, when paired with a low-cut tee, guaranteed rave reviews from the guys we deemed lucky enough to see it. That skirt derived its power not only from the fact that it hit perfectly at mid-thigh. The female body, unlike yours, naturally holds the suggestion of sex. And through what we wearâ€”a shapeless hoodie or a tight tank topâ€”we calibrate its suggestiveness. That power of control is important, says Ogi Ogas, Ph.D., a cognitive neuroscientist and the coauthor of A Billion Wicked Thoughts. Ogas assessed the online behavior of more than 100 million people and found that while male fantasies focus on orgasm, female fantasies center on the feeling of being desired. So while a man might like that a woman wants him, that fact alone wonâ€™t turn him on, says Stephen Snyder, M.D., an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital. Even more frustrating for you? The tactics we women use to lure men donâ€™t always work in reverse. Most of us, sadly, just arenâ€™t fantasizing about the perfect chest-revealing button-down. Thatâ€™s because weâ€™re differently wired to select sexual partners than men are, says David Ley, Ph.D., a psychologist and the author of Insatiable Wives. We respond to subtler signalsâ€”the way you interact with your friends or how you smellâ€”to decide whether weâ€™re going home with you and, ultimately, whether youâ€™ll find out why my friends and I call it the â€œaction skirtâ€? in the first place. MAKE SOME NOISE Donâ€™t be afraid to exaggerate a few groans, moans, and grunts. A â€œyouâ€™re amazingâ€? wonâ€™t hurt either. â€œWomen feel a strong urge to be the object of your desire,â€? says Ogas.
FOREPLAY BEGINS AT THE COCKTAIL BAR WHEN JEFF SURREPTITIOUSLY SLIPS HIS HAND BENEATH 7 + ( + ( 0 2 ) $ 1 1 ( Âˇ 6 6 . , 5 7 $ 6 7 + ( 7 : 2 * 5 2 3 ( , 1 7 + ( & $ % 2 1 7 + ( , 5 : $ < 7 2 - ( ) ) Âˇ 6 $ 3 $ 5 7 0 ( 1 7 7 + ( ' 5 , 9 ( 5 $ / 7 ( 5 1 $ 7 ( / < + 8 ) ) 6 , 1 ' , 6 * 8 6 7 $ 1 ' 6 1 ( $ . 6 3 ( ( . 6 , 1 7 + ( 5 ( $ 5 9 , ( : 0 , 5 5 2 5
Now, in the privacy of Jeffâ€™s apartment, Anne, 29, glances at the large windows facing the complex next door. Sheâ€™s making sure the curtains are wide open. Should his neighbors or anyone else passing by happen to look, they would have a clear view of Jeff sliding Anneâ€™s panties down her hips and pushing her onto the bed, and Anne wrapping her legs around him. Sex with Jeff is good. But with the curtains open, itâ€™s great. Anne is not shy, clearly. And sheâ€™s not shy about describing what that exposure does to her. â€œKnowing that anyone can see us steps up my game,â€? she says. â€œIt makes everything hotter. I like to imagine people are watchingâ€”and that theyâ€™re jealous.â€? Anne is not alone. I feel the temptation too. So do my girlfriends. Exhibitionismâ€™s allure can be strong whether weâ€™re participants or observers. Thatâ€™s why so many of us succumb: Itâ€™s your colleague at yoga, Instagramming herself in the camel pose, the one that shows off her toned midsection. Itâ€™s your girlfriend, summoning you onto the hotel balcony in her skimpiest lingerie. Itâ€™s total strangers, filling their iPhones with lascivious selfies. Thereâ€™s an exhibitionist waiting to bust out in most women. And weâ€™re more compelled than ever to open that door. When we do, what we show you can reveal everything about what weâ€™d like to see. Hereâ€™s whyâ€”and how to better enjoy the show.
We Like to Display Confidence
On an otherwise normal sunny day in a crowded city park, a throng of people standing shoulder to shoulder is fixating on a large group of women climbing aboard a row of stationary bikes. There are wolf whistles, calls to “take it off!” And this time, most of the women do exactly as they’re told, stripping down to sports bras and athletic pants. Some reveal shredded six-packs; others matter-of-factly display belly rolls and stretch marks.
HER WILLINGNESS TO TRY IT Performing a strip tease—for you
EVERYBODY LOVES A SHOW-OFF
Sex on a hotel balcony Sharing a sex video on Tumblr
Think she’s up for an audience? We asked more than 500 women when and where they’d be most willing to bare it all.
Flashing breasts at Mardi Gras Wearing no bra and a clingy top Sharing an afterworkout selfie
This is the annual Sports Bra Challenge, hosted by the nonprofit SEAK Foundation. Ostensibly a charity fundraiser, the event also aims to build “confidence through fitness.” One way is by making women feel prouder of their bodies and more accepting of their flaws. In a setting like this, it’s no longer about turning men on—that’s a side effect. It’s really a not-so-subtle reminder that nobody’s perfect and that we have nothing to hide. When a woman accepts that idea, she feels instantly sexier and more confident. Like Lena Dunham. And when you’re riding such a wave of endorphins, well, it’s forgivable to show off a little. On Instagram, you can search hashtags like #healthie and find thousands of women (okay, men too) proudly revealing what their workouts have wrought—toned arms, cast-iron glutes. On Facebook, the group Yeah, She Squats—devoted to “empowering women to flaunt that hard-earned bum”—boasts nearly 1 million followers. (Yeah, She Benches has 250,000-plus.) Let’s be clear: Nothing stops men from ogling, sharing, and commenting here—and plenty of them do. We’ll take the likes and the compliments, but you’re not who we’re after. As Laura, 30, who posts racy Instagram photos of herself pole dancing under the username @lovepeacepole, explains, “It’s liberating to show off what your body can do, not just what it looks like. I used to be self-conscious, but now I’m not.” And her outfits? Often she wears just a bra and panties. “I don’t think of it as revealing. It’s as practical as a swimsuit or a leotard.” Chloe Carmichael, Ph.D., a psychologist in Manhattan who specializes in self-esteem issues, says it’s merely a way for women to assert themselves, like blogging or speaking up in a group: “The point isn’t necessarily to be dominant or seek attention; it’s to show that she’s confident in herself.” A typical photo in the Yeah, She Benches Facebook group perfectly captures that kick-ass philosophy: In the photograph, a superfit, sweat-soaked woman stands alone, clad in nothing but a sports bra and workout pants, performing a near-perfect deadlift. The caption: “Just another night at the bar.”
Sunbathing naked Sex in a public dressing room 0
POUR ON THE PRAISE Tell her how sexy that sports bra looks on her: Researchers in Denmark link a woman’s positive feelings about her body with higher sexual satisfaction.
Exhibitionism Puts Us in Control
When Kacie, 28, upgraded to an iPhone, she couldn’t resist: She ducked into the bathroom, turned the phone’s lens on herself, and snapped a few photos of her naked body. Before she even peeked at the results, she regretted it. “I’m not superskinny, and I used to be incredibly self-conscious. At the gym, I’d notice if my stomach jiggled or if my legs were bigger than the girl’s next to me.” But when she could control the angle of her photos—and delete the bad ones—Kacie realized something: She could look hot. Buoyed, she took more photos, settling on her best comehither pose—splayed across her sheets, wearing nothing but a towel. She texted the photo to her boyfriend—a first. The effect of camera phones—combined with social media— is obvious. Digital photography means unlimited chances to get it right. Editing tools make flaws vanish. Researchers at Cornell University found that when people looked at their Facebook profile, their self-esteem improved more than if they simply looked in the mirror. The researchers posit that this is because people present their best self on the social media site. “Posting risqué selfies on social media is also much more impersonal than exposing oneself in front of a live audience; it allows a certain distance,” says Rick McAnulty, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Psychologists call it selective self-representation. Our phone lets us show the best version of ourselves, and that’s enough to plant the seed of exhibitionism in pretty much anyone. CALL OUT SPECIFICS In the flattery game, details matter big time. “Women think about their hair, their skin, their figure,” says Dr. Snyder, “and they imagine that you’re noticing too.”
I found myself making out with him in a cab. We stumbled into his place and I shoved him onto the bed, not caring that the lights were on and the shades up. I liked his eyes on me, darting from my breasts to my hips.
We Want to Impress Other Women Too
When Gabrielle, 27, dresses up for a Friday night out, she ponders more about what her friends will think than how her boyfriend will react. “If other women say I look hot, I know it’s true,” she says. Researchers at the University of Nebraska found that women look at other women in the same way men do. The female study participants who looked at photos of college-age women stared just as long at the women’s breasts as the men did. Similarly, researchers at Emory University found that heterosexual women often respond on a psychological level to erotic photos of other women. “When women exhibit themselves to other women, it can reveal pleasure in their femininity and foster camaraderie,” says Deanna Holtzman, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Wayne State University. “It also conveys a sense of power in the female body and what it can do.” And when a woman feels so emboldened, the benefits for the man in her life is palpable. Take the time I reunited with an ex. We’d caught up before, but our meetings had always been platonic. This time, drinks turned into shots. Soon I found myself making out with him in a cab. We stumbled into his place and I shoved him onto the bed, not caring that the lights were on and the shades up. I liked his eyes on me, darting from my breasts to my hips. “Wow,” he said later, catching his breath. “You used to be lights off, under the covers. What happened?” I shrugged, shifting the sheet so it fell to my waist. “I guess you finally saw the real me.” CLASS IT UP Suggest that she try Zumba instead of her daily run. The classes skew female, and that boost in camaraderie could translate positively to the bedroom.
April 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 145
146 Men are lazy. They’re know-italls. They don’t collaborate well. They can’t commit. True? Perhaps. Now go turn your bad habits into big money.
BY RICHARD CONNIFF PHOTOGRAPHS BY TRAVIS RATHBONE
SURE, MEN HAVE GAINED MOST OF THE NEW JOBS CREATED IN THE CURRENT ECONOMIC REBOUND. BUT LOUSY PAY, LONG HOURS, AND LIMITED CHANCE FOR ADVANCEMENT SEEM TO BE THE NEW REALITY. AND WITH A LOT OF OTHER GUYS STILL SCROUNGING FOR WORK, THERE’S NOT MUCH POINT IN COMPLAINING.
Where the Jobs Are
NOT EVERY CAREER FIELD IS SHRINKING. AND YOU CAN GAIN TRAINING, EXPERTISE, AND EXPERIENCE ONLINE (WITHOUT CHANGING OUT OF YOUR PAJAMAS). 104,348 54,979
100,000 50,000 20,000
0 Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners
Training and Development Specialists
Software Developers, Applications and Software
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI), a CareerBuilder company
P op P rr o p ss tt yy ll ii n ng g :: S Sa a rr a ah h G Gu u ii d do o // H Ha a ll ll e e yy R Re e ss o ou u rr cc e e ss
In fact, the workplace men are returning to is a radically altered version of the one that tossed so many of them into the streets in 2008. Professions traditionally pursued by women—health care, education—have grown. But manufacturing, construction, and other sectors that typically employ men are still stuck below prerecession levels. What’s a guy to do? Surrender his male card at the door of the new office? Maybe not. Many of the traits men take heat for are exactly the attributes they need to thrive in the new workplace. This entrepreneurial world is starting to look like a better way to live and work, with short-term assignments you can cherry-pick and deliver remotely. Companies aren’t going to commit to you anymore. So why should you commit to them? The Affordable Care Act now makes health insurance portable, so it’s easier to sell your service to the highest bidder—and screw the benefits. It’s also easier for you to go it alone because job sites like oDesk, Elance, Freelancer, and Guru offer daily menus of short-term assignments. Jobs on these sites used to focus heavily on computer programming. Now offerings have expanded to include accounting, law, financial services, and just about every other employment category. “Sixty-nine percent of men on Elance who have been in a corporate job say they’re happier in an online world,” says Rich Pearson, the firm’s chief marketing officer. DIY used to be confined to the workbench in the garage. Now it’s your career plan. Let’s consider the types of guys who could have been voted Least Likely to Succeed in school and who now may be positioned for success. Perhaps you’re one of them.
tice dropout turned 3D animator and founder of Pocket, an article-clipping app used by 10 million people. THE DROPOUT Are You a Dropout? Bored with the same old? Like to learn new stuff on your own? Thrive on challenge? Become a Success Waiting around for someone to respond to all those applications you’ve been sending out (especially if your education is sketchy) can be like waiting for one of the Laker Girls to text you for a date. It’s probably not going to happen. Even if you do manage to sneak past the computer algorithms that sort most applications into the wastebasket, the people doing the hiring often drag the process out through endless interviews. An uncertain economy has left them terrified of making the wrong move, or any move at all. So they hunt for unattainable perfection, or what Massachusetts human resources executive Roger C. Ahlfeld calls “the purple squirrel.” Instead of waiting, start something on your own. That was the approach taken by Mark Raybin, now 33 and living in York, Pennsylvania. Raybin grew up displaying all the traits of unruly boyhood/manhood, including an abrasive personality and a failure to thrive in the classroom—in fact, his high school tossed him out when he was in 10th grade. “I was not a nice person to be around,” he admits. “I had an attitude.” He also bailed on college after just one semester because he couldn’t handle the stress, and took a job as a cook. According to the failed-male stereotype, Raybin should have remained SCHOOL trapped in a dead-end life. But he’d always loved learning—at PAYS his own pace, using a computer. “It helps calm me,” he says. So three years ago, he shifted his life in a new direction. First he offered to design the menu at the restaurant where he was working; then he started bidding for entry-level graphic design gigs at the online job site oDesk. Gradually, Raybin built a repuDon’t skimp on tation for doing good work. To teach himself business strategy, school. You still have he studied the online bids of successful designers. He found out to learn to think, speak, and write which new skills employers needed and then acquired them, often clearly. Earning a colwith the help of online instructional videos. (He’d tell clients he lege degree remains went to the University of YouTube.) But within a year of quitting the best way to obtain his restaurant job, he had doubled his earnings. Then, late last those skills, open year, a client he’d met on oDesk hired him full-time for a startyour mind, and build ing salary in the high five figures. Raybin still works from home. a bigger future.
Jobs added since 2010
Exhibit A Nate Weiner, a criminal jus-
Companies arenâ€™t going to commit to you anymore. So why should you commit to them? Now itâ€™s easier to sell your service to the highest bidder.
Guys who wouldn’t fit most company cultures can now earn a decent living— and even work for Fortune 500 clients— from a safe distance.
Where the Skills Are
MODERATELY SKILLED? THAT’S THE DANGER ZONE. JOB GROWTH HAS BEEN GREATEST FOR EITHER LOW-SKILLED OR SUPERSKILLED WORKERS. AND GUESS WHO’S PAID MORE. Change in share of employment
THE GUY WHO GETS OTHER PEOPLE TO DO HIS WORK FOR HIM
-0.2% Less Skilled
Source: American Economic Review
Exhibit A Eric Friedman, CTO and cofounder of Fitbit, who parlayed his technical skill into a career as an innovator while avoiding the presTHE ONLINE MYSTERY MAN sures that a CEO may take on. Are You an Online Mystery Man? Prefer the development side? Want to play an integral role, just not front and center? Driven to meet individual challenges? Become a Success You are living in your perfect era, where a substantial portion of communication no longer takes place in person. And without long-term jobs, you may be more focused on a “get ’er done” mentality to help build your reputation. As you’re moving from team to team, much of the rapport building happens by e-mail, phone, and Skype, not face-to-face. So guys who weren’t comfortable in the classroom and who wouldn’t fit into most company cultures can now earn a decent living—and even work for Fortune 500 clients—from a safe distance. Working online can also help men overcome what some experts say is their single greatest handicap—lack of education. Men continue to fall behind women at earning advanced degrees. But online work often doesn’t require a degree; you just need skills and a reputation for using them to produce good results. “Your reputation follows you around now,” says Devin Fidler, research director at the Institute for the Future, an independent think tank in Palo Alto. It’s like the numerical way sellers and buyers are rated on eBay. “When I go to oDesk to hire someMYSTERY body, I can see a portfolio of work they’ve done before, see how MANNERS they’ve been rated by everyone who hired them in the past, and see different dimensions of that, for timeliness, professionalism, quality, all these different elements.” Online job platforms also typically offer qualification tests for different skills. So job seekers can take the test to demonstrate ability, and prospecBe generous online. tive employers can see how they scored. “Your reputation is so Post three positive laid out that the last thing people look at when they’re hiring on comments about other people for every oDesk is what school you went to,” says Fidler. one you post about Men have two advantages in the new workplace. They’re more your own good deeds. willing to accept risk than women are, and they’re also more And don’t be a troll; likely to negotiate favorable terms up front. According to the virtual manners are National Bureau of Economic Research, women tend to avoid salimportant in a virtual work environment. ary negotiation unless someone says the salary is, um, negotiable. I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y R . K I K U O J O H N S O N
Exhibit A Mike Scanlin, who quit a steady job as
a venture capitalist to launch an investment tool called BornToSell.com. Are You an Outsourcer? Do you delegate well? Prefer to focus on what you do best rather than being a generalist? Comfortable asking for help? Become a Success A few years ago, Scanlin, 48, came to the realization that his high-pressure venture capital career in Silicon Valley was burning him out. So he walked away from his OUTSOURCING steady paycheck and INSIDER launched BornToSell. com, a firm that helps investors decide when to purchase or sell a particular type of conNetwork the smart servative investment. way. For what sociol“You can’t outsource ogist Brayden King, Ph.D., calls “optimal idea creation,” Scanlin distinctiveness,” says, but everything else join specific interest is fair game. He found groups on LinkedIn hired guns online and and use your experwas able to start his tise to connect with company insiders. business with $45,000 in savings instead of a $600,000 loan. “In Silicon Valley, there’s this cult of the lean startup,” says Fidler. You hire for the moment of need, not for the long term. He believes that a “distributed workforce,” which Scanlin used to perfection, is the future of employment. That kind of employment can be a good fit with men’s tendency to be a little expedient in their workplace relationships. Men often form work friendships based on shared ambitions and activities, not on the strong emotional bonds that women typically form. It’s a skins-and-shirts mentality: I’ll play hard for your side this time, and next time I’ll play just as hard for the other side. But to build a career, just be careful to stay friends with both sides.
Research assistance by Danielle Austin, Alex Gardner, and Brendan Klinkenberg April 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 151
We think of sleep as a safe haven. Actually, it holds as many dangers as the rest of our lives. Maybe more. BY T.E. HOLT,
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN MIDGLEY
DOCTOR: “HOW DID YOU SLEEP LAST NIGHT?”
PATIENT: “HOW SHOULD I KNOW? I SLEPT THROUGH IT.” I HEAR THIS FROM TIME TO TIME, AND USUALLY I SUSPECT THAT I’M PLAYING THE STRAIGHT MAN IN SOME DIMLY REMEMBERED VAUDEVILLE ROUTINE. THE LAST TIME I HEARD IT, HOWEVER, WAS FROM A PATIENT SO OLD
that he might have remembered vaudeville. After we had our laugh, he said, half to himself, “You know, you miss a lot sleeping.” I thought about this comment a couple of weeks later when I learned he had died—in his sleep. Prescience? I doubt it. But as I reflect on one of the oddest features of life, I think I understand. SLEEP. THE THIRD OF OUR LIVES THAT DOESN’T BELONG TO US,
the part we miss out on as we give up control and let who-knowswhat go on around our oblivious, snoring selves: What’s that about? Sleep is a mystery. Which is why so many researchers are busy digging into it, working late in their labs as others snooze. According to a standard textbook in the field, sleep is “a reversible behavioral state of perceptual disengagement from and unresponsiveness to the environment.” In other words, you close your eyes, you’re out of it, you wake up. Simple. Or not. It turns out that all three stages of that scheme are fraught with complications.
One of the most common problems that can complicate sleep is not being able to. Nearly a third of us routinely have trouble sleeping; about 40 percent of us have a hard time staying asleep at least a few nights a week. Many of us spend the occasional night watching the clock creep on into the bleak a.m. hours, waiting for sunrise. But insomnia isn’t just a rotten way to ruin a night and the day after. It’s also really bad for you. Insomnia comes in a variety of forms: sleep-onset (can’t fall asleep), sleep-maintenance (can’t stay asleep), sleep-offset (early morning awakenings), and nonrestorative sleep (persistent sleepiness despite adequate sleep duration). Some people suffer from a combination of the four. No matter which part of the night finds you staring into the darkness, the real risk with insomnia is what happens to you the day after: drowsiness, fatigue, irritability, slow thinking, and difficulty functioning in social or work situations. In fact, sleep deprivation could eventually make you demented. Neuroscientists at the University of Rochester have discovered that during sleep (in rodents, at least), drainage channels open up in the brain, allowing it to clear waste products that have been implicated in the development of a variety of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. Protecting our brains from harm may be one answer to the fundamental question: Why sleep at all? Answers to that question span a range of theories. Sleep, according to one hypothesis, down-regulates your metabolism so your body has a chance to repair the DNA damage done by all those free radicals churned up during the day. This may partly explain why your risk for a multitude of diseases goes up as your sack time goes down. Experiments with zebrafish (yes, fish sleep) have suggested that we also sleep to replenish our energy stores. Our cells use a molecule called ATP to fuel almost everything they do. Burning ATP produces adenosine as a waste byproduct. If you give adenosine-blocking drugs to zebrafish, they become insomniacs. Boost their levels of adenosine? Sleepy zebrafish. It seems sleep may be a response to accumulated emissions from our cellular power stations, signaling that the cells have exhausted their fuel supply for the day and need to shut down in order to refuel for tomorrow. The theory that has received the most attention in recent years has to do with the role of sleep in human learning and memory. The sleeping brain isn’t the quiet place you might think it is. While you’re seemingly dead to the world, parts of your brain are working overtime, replaying the events of the day. Evidently, this repetition allows your brain to consolidate experiences into long-term memory. Failure to accomplish this consolidation is one reason why you’re so foggy after a sleepless night. And it’s another reason why those all-night college cram sessions rarely yielded an A. Sleep also seems to be necessary for motor learning. Any motor skill you practiced the day before, whether it’s keeping your slice under control or learning how to flip an omelet, isn’t going to stick if you can’t conk out. Rehab after brain injury is similarly dependent on regular z’s. From lowering your handicap to recovering from one, the reasons for sleeping are numerous. It’s no wonder our bodies demand that we dedicate so much of our lives to this strange process—and do so in a manner that leaves us exposed to the occasional predator exploring our cave or the random prankster with a bowl of warm water.
Do I Need a Sleeping Pill? SHORT ANSWER: PROBABLY NOT.
Sleep disturbance is usually situational and transient. If it’s chronic, it’s either a matter of poor sleep hygiene or a symptom of an underlying medical problem. Sleeping pills can’t help in either of those cases. They can, however, create new problems. Most overthe-counter types are based on compounds that degrade your performance the next day and can cause difficulty urinating, constipation, tooth decay, and erectile dysfunction, among other things. And with prescription sleep aids, there are even reports of people engaging in dangerous activities in their sleep—such as driving—under the influence of those meds. With long-term use, any sleep aid, whether it’s physiologically addictive or not, can cause a behavioral dependency that can turn you into a chronic insomniac. Bottom line: Avoid these meds unless a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders has prescribed them. —T.H.
April 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 155
HE’S A GENERALLY HEALTHY GUY IN HIS EARLY
30s, and as a consequence I don’t see him very often. But he’s here today, he says, because he “feels like hell.” And he looks like hell: deep shadows under his eyes and that slumped posture that goes with end-stage anything. But beyond that, he doesn’t look really sick. Just exhausted. “So what’s going on?” I ask. He shakes his head wearily. “They laid off half our office staff last fall, and it’s been all I can do to keep my head above water. By the time I get home, I’m half dead. I just sit in front of the tube. My wife is hating it. I’m barking at the kids. It’s no kind of life.” I agree. After a couple dozen more questions and a physical exam, I can’t find anything seriously wrong, which is good; most diseases that could reduce a healthy young man to this kind of wreck would be bad news. I ask him to tell me again about his evenings. “That’s the weird thing, doc,” he says. “You’d think being that tired I’d sleep like a log. But by the time I get to bed, I just can’t.” A few more questions. Not surprisingly, he’s living on coffee and energy drinks. Also to be expected, he’s so stressed by all this that he has a drink or two with dinner. And then he and his wife watch TV in bed while he’s online, catching up on e-mails he couldn’t answer during the day. When he finally turns out the lights around 11, he finds that he’s wide awake. This guy isn’t sick. He’s sleep deprived. Which may not be a disease, but it can kill you anyway. 156 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
SELF-INFLICTED SLEEP DEPRIVATION IS COMMON, AND IN A LOT
of cases the cause is our jobs. Shift work is especially toxic. Whether the job is at an all-night supermarket or a missioncritical server farm, work keeps many people on schedules so far out of sync with their internal clocks that they never sleep enough to allow them to think straight and maintain their health. Even for day workers, the combination of job stress and excessive interconnectedness has made it harder and harder to keep work out of the bedroom. Nothing will wreck a night’s sleep like reading a cranky e-mail from your boss just before you turn out the light. Of course, your boss will sleep better after sending it. The things we do in an effort to relax don’t help. Much of the programming we view on the hundreds of cable channels available 24-7 is punctuated by loud explosions, artfully generated tension, jittery jump cuts, and other forms of cognitive and dramatic violence: These are not what your brain needs if it’s planning on sleeping anytime soon. And it isn’t just the programming: All that light in your face actually resets your internal clock, tricking your brain into thinking it’s 7 a.m. when it’s really only 1 a.m. The number of people watching television in bed seems to be on the decline— but only because we’re streaming video, monitoring our social networks, or catching up with work-related e-mail on our tablets and phones instead. And the blue light emitted from these devices, combined with the tendency to hold them close to our faces, means the effect may be even stronger.
People with a neurological condition that keeps them from entering REM sleep will die not from lack of sleep, but possibly from lack of dreams.
Stop the Sleep Thieves
G G rr o oo om m ii n ng g :: K Ka a tt ii e e P Pe e ll ll e eg g rr ii n no o // C Ce e ll e e ss tt ii n ne e A Ag ge en n cc yy ,, p p rr o op p ss tt yy ll ii n ng g :: M M ii cc h ha ae e ll B Be ed dn na a rr kk S S tt u ud d ii o o ;; ii ll ll u u ss tt rr a a tt ii o on n ss b b yy M MA AR RC CO O G GO OR RA AN N R RO OM MA AN NO O ;; ii cc o on n ss b b yy M M II C CH HA AE EL L B BR RA AN ND DO ON N M MY YE ER RS S
ARM YOURSELF AGAINST THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT.
Certain bedroom activities are better if you leave the lights on and make lots of noise. Not sleep, though. In fact, just a little moonlight or a distant car alarm can wake you enough to disrupt your shuteye but not enough for you to remember, says Michael Breus, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist with the American Board of Sleep Medicine. Instead of burying your head under a pillow, slip on an eye mask and pop in a pair of earplugs. Researchers in France found that when patients in a busy recovery room were masked and plugged, they scored about 30 percent higher on sleep quality. “If you want to sleep better, you need the right equipment,” says Breus. Start with the Dream Essentials Contoured Sleep Mask ($13, dreamessentials. com). It has an adjustable strap for comfort, space for your eyelids to move naturally during REM, and a contoured bottom edge to prevent light from leaking in. For earplugs, Breus likes EarPlanes ($8, cvs. com); they have a noise reduction rating of 20 decibels (enough to block background noise but not your smoke alarm) and a conical, three-tier design that helps them stay put better than basic cylindrical plugs. —LILA BATTIS
Add to this the increasing consumption of caffeine in the form of energy drinks, as well as the prevalence of alcohol use (which causes sleep-maintenance insomnia), and it’s not surprising that as a nation we can’t stop yawning. According to the CDC, some 50 to 70 million Americans report chronic sleep problems. Perhaps the most dangerous of these symptoms—nodding off while driving—is most common among men ages 25 to 34. This is, not coincidentally, the same group with the highest percentage reporting inadequate sleep (less than seven hours a night). So what else is keeping you awake? Stress. Day-to-day worries can lead to that can’t-shut-it-off sensation that quickly takes on a momentum of its own. And serious life events—death in the family, job loss, divorce—can leave anyone unable to sleep for weeks after the fact. Because stress has a physical component, you need to learn to relax. This is something most of us are bad at: If you can’t go completely limp on command (try it—it’s harder than you think), take it one muscle group at a time. Start with your toes. Stop cranking them into some position they don’t want to be in. Next, your ankles. Same deal here: Let your feet fall where they will. Move on up through calves, thighs, and so on. By the time you get to your head, the big muscle between your ears will be out for the count. Depression. If you repeatedly wake up at two or three in the morning feeling overwhelmed about the future or stewing about things you wish you had or hadn’t done, you could very likely be depressed. Other psychological conditions, especially posttraumatic stress disorder, also disrupt sleep. See your doctor: Treating your mood will help you sleep better. You might even find that insomnia was the cause and effect of your depression. Drugs. One of the main ingredients in bathtub meth is a decongestant found in many over-the-counter cold and allergy remedies, and just like meth, it can wire you up so tight that sleep can’t touch you. Many prescription drugs (for blood pressure, inflammation, and even some antidepressants) can also disrupt your sleep. If you suspect meds are robbing you of rest, talk to your doctor. You may be able to get away with a lower dose or switch to a different prescription. Nicotine. The chemical that keeps you smoking deserves its own dishonorable mention, primarily because people are often surprised to hear that it’s a stimulant. And yes, it can keep you awake at night. Do you need another reason to quit? Pain. Transient pain, like the sore throat that comes with a cold or the sensitivity of sunburned skin, causes most of us a restless night now and then, but chronic pain can make sleep just a dream. If you’re over 40, you may start to find that a backache wakes you up hours before you’re ready for the day. It’s called osteoarthritis. Extended-release acetaminophen is made precisely for low-grade chronic pain that might be keeping you awake (but, as always, consult your doctor before using this or any other medication, especially on a regular basis). Late-night snacking. Nobody knows if a belly full of food will give you nightmares, but a good case of heartburn is nightmare enough for most people. Best to stop eating two hours before you go to bed, or longer if the snack is especially fatty (chips, for instance)—it takes your stomach much more time to process fats than protein or carbohydrates. Exercise. While a good workout earlier in the day can be the best guarantee of a steady production of z’s that night, exercising late in the evening will do just the opposite. It’s hard to sleep when your metabolism is all cranked up and your core body temperature is elevated. Keep up the good work—just aim to finish at least three hours before hitting the hay.
The Waking Dead
A FEW NIGHTS OF POOR SLEEP NEVER KILLED ANYONE, BUT A FEW MONTHS OF TOSSING AND TURNING MIGHT: PEOPLE DEALING WITH INSOMNIA ARE AT GREATER RISK OF DYING OVER A GIVEN PERIOD. THAT’S BECAUSE CHRONIC SLEEP DEPRIVATION SETS YOU UP FOR A HOST OF HEALTH PROBLEMS, INCLUDING... CONDITION CANCER
H E A RT AT TAC K
H Y P E RT E N S I O N
TIMES INCREASED RISK
1.4 1.5 1.7 2.3 3.5 4.0
THE LAST TIME I SAW THIS MAN, I’D DIAGNOSED
him with hypertension. It’s a few months later, and he’s back for a routine follow-up. His blood pressure and pulse are nicely controlled on a modest dose of a beta-blocker. I’m happy. He’s not. “What’s wrong?” I ask him. “You’re going to think this is silly,” he begins. “I’m having nightmares.” I ask him to tell me more, and reluctantly, he does. He starts to describe these dreams, but I’m curious about something else. I want to know if they started after I diagnosed his hypertension. “So do you think I’m, I don’t know, scared of dying or something?” “Who isn’t?” I say. “But that’s not why you’re having nightmares.” “Then what’s causing them?” “I’m pretty sure I am.” It’s the drug I prescribed, I explain to him, for his blood pressure. Beta-blockers and a range of other prescription medications can bring on nightmares in susceptible people. I switch him to a different drug, and in a week or so, he’s sleeping peacefully. OUR UNDERSTANDING OF SLEEP HAS EVOLVED OVER THE PAST
century, beginning with the discovery that sleep has its own architecture, moving from one level to another in a predictable pattern. Sleep begins in stage 1. This is what you experience as “nodding off”: Half awake, half asleep, you lose control
over the focus and direction of your gaze, which moves more or less randomly. It’s in this stage that you might sometimes experience hypnic jerks— whole-body spasms of muscle activity, possibly accompanied by the sensation of falling, that can snatch you back from the brink of sleep. Hypnagogic hallucinations—hearing conversations that you can’t quite understand—are benign phenomena that can happen in this stage as well. As brain and body settle into stage 2, sleep deepens, even as brain activity on the EEG begins to show brief bursts of high-amplitude waves. By the time you reach stage 3, you’re oblivious to the world around you, able to sleep through things that would break you out of lighter sleep. If you’re going to go sleepwalking, this is when you’ll do it. Relatively common among children, sleepwalking persists in 3 to 4 percent of the adult population. Episodes can be brought on by anything that disrupts the normal architecture of sleep, including fever, excessive physical fatigue, sleep deprivation, and the use of sleep aids. Popular opinion to the contrary, it’s all right to wake somebody up. Especially if they’re attempting something risky, like climbing stairs. Or driving. Even though you’re close to comatose during stage 3, the parts of your brain that process visual stimuli begin to reactivate. This is the prelude to REM sleep, where dreams are made. Without REM sleep, the memory processing and consolidation that may be the most important functions of sleep don’t happen nearly as efficiently. We know, for instance, that people whose sleep is interrupted before they’re able to accumulate adequate REM time will score lower on tests requiring them to recall events of the previous day. Experimenters have deprived people of REM sleep by waking them as soon as their brain waves showed that they were entering it. After a very few nights, these people began to grow anxious, paranoid, and eventually delusional, hallucinating as if in an attempt to dream with their eyes open. People with a neurological condition that keeps them from entering REM sleep will die not from lack of sleep, but possibly from lack of dreams. REM is the hardest stage of sleep to wake from, perhaps because our attention is otherwise engaged behind our twitching eyelids. In REM sleep, our brains become so active that the EEG makes it look like we’re awake. While your brain is busy processing and storing information, your metabolism ramps up. Pulse rate, respiratory rhythm, and blood pressure, suppressed in the earlier stages, start to climb. Even as your autonomic nervous system activates, your major muscle groups are actually paralyzed, containing all of this inner activity in a deceptively inert body. That paralysis has its uses. Ask anyone who’s ever shared a bed with someone with REM behavior disorder (RBD)—a breakdown of REM paralysis. It’s called a behavior disorder because the dreamer acts out whatever he or she is dreaming. Sleeping with someone who’s doing this is not safe. Injury from the person’s flailing limbs is common. The dreamer is not immune from injury either. For-
tunately, RBD is relatively rare, affecting only one in 200 people. Men develop it about nine times as often as women do. After REM sleep we return to stage 1. From there the cycle repeats, several times each night, from stage 1 through 3 to REM and back again, spending more and more time in REM with each cycle. This is why when something happens to wake you in the early morning, you’re often in the middle of a dream. It’s at such moments that REM paralysis can sometimes persist, lingering for a few moments after waking: You’re fully awake and unable to move a muscle for a few seconds. About 8 percent of the population will experience at least one episode of sleep paralysis in a lifetime. Some of the odd things that happen while the lights are out go on all night, more or less independently of sleep stages. Among the most common of these parasomnias are restless legs, which affects about 10 percent of the U.S. population. Most people with restless legs say it’s “a crawly sensation” that starts not long after they lie down, accompanied by a powerful urge to get up and walk around. Movement relieves the sensation temporarily, but it returns as soon as the sufferer is back in bed. You can imagine how tired you’d feel after a night of this. If you’ve been hearing more about the condition recently, it’s probably because drugs are now approved for its treatment.
PUBLISHED FIGURES SUGGEST THAT NEARLY 15
percent of adult men suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The actual prevalence may be even higher. OSA happens when the muscles in the back of the throat relax so much that the airway actually collapses during inhalation, effectively cutting off the supply of oxygen for long seconds at a time. In response, the sleeper stirs, not enough to come fully awake, but awake enough to force a breath through the obstruction with a loud snore. Those arousals can occur hundreds of times a night. The sleeper doesn’t remember them, however: All he knows is that despite what seemed like a full night’s sleep, he’s sleepy all day—sleepy enough to nod off in a meeting or at the wheel of a car. Worse, low oxygen levels throughout the night, if allowed to go on for years, can lead to pulmonary hypertension, heart failure, and early dementia; they can also contribute to obesity and hypertension. Because the condition is potentially dangerous (and treatable), you should have a sleep study if you find yourself frequently having trouble staying awake during the day—especially if you’ve heard complaints about snoring. Treatment is to keep the airway open by providing continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) pumped through a tight-fitting face mask strapped onto your face. The mask may look a bit like the parasite in Alien, but surprisingly, most people sleep so much better on CPAP that they learn to like the thing.
LIKE A LOT OF GUYS IN THEIR 40s, THIS PATIENT WAS
shocked to hear he had high blood pressure. “I don’t get it,” he said. “I exercise. I’m not overweight. I do all the things I’m supposed to do. Why me?” To tell the truth, I was a little puzzled too. Not only did he have none of the conditions we associate with hypertension, but nobody in his family, going back two generations, had ever had it. It was odd, but, I told him, we call it “essential hypertension” because we don’t have a clue what causes it. Neither of us found this comforting. When he came back for his follow-up, he was still unhappy, even though his pressure was under control with medication. “I just don’t like having it,” he said. “I feel like I’m old all of a sudden.” I started to laugh and tell him he wasn’t old, but something in his expression stopped me. “What do you mean?” I asked instead. “Old,” he repeated. “Like I’m running on empty. No juice. It’s like the way I keep falling asleep all the time. Yesterday it was in a meeting. Last week at a red light. I mean, what’s that about?” It was one of those moments that make me happy to be a doctor. I told him what I thought might be happening, and even though he didn’t fit the profile for sleep apnea any more than he did for hypertension, I scheduled him for polysomnography. The result: severe obstructive sleep apnea. Six months later he was back in my office. He had been using his CPAP machine every night and looked a whole lot happier. When I told him his hypertension seemed to have resolved, he looked a whole lot happier still.
EVEN IF YOUR LEGS BEHAVE AND YOU’RE NOT OUT
wandering the neighborhood in your jammies, sleep can still remain the one part of your life that can feel totally beyond your control. But it isn’t really that different from the rest of the 24. The common problems and their commonsense solutions, like avoiding late-night TV and managing stress, all add up to another aspect of hygiene—the habits we try to work into our daily lives to keep us strong and healthy can work for us at night as well. Mind you, there are no guarantees. Even the healthiest of us hits the 3 a.m. wall every now and then. What should you do when that happens? My advice (and that of most experts in the field): Don’t fight it. The longer you lie there thrashing about, the less sleepy you’ll be. Get up, go to another room, and do something sedentary and dull. I recommend the poetry of John Dryden. It hasn’t failed me yet. The people described in this article are composites. Any resemblance between them and any actual individual, living or dead, is a coincidence.
MEN’S HEALTH Vol. 29, No. 3 (ISSN 1054-4836) is published 10 times per year (monthly except for January and July) by Rodale Inc., 400 South 10th St., Emmaus, PA 18098–0099; (800) 666-2303. Copyright 2013 by Rodale Inc. All rights reserved. In U.S.: Periodicals postage paid at Emmaus, PA, and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster (U.S.): Send address changes to Men’s Health magazine, Customer Service, P.O. Box 26299, Lehigh Valley, PA 18002-6299. IN CANADA: Postage paid at Gateway, Mississauga, Ontario; Canada Post International Publication Mail (Canadian Distribution) Sales Agreement No. 40063752. Postmaster (Canada): Send returns and address changes to Men’s Health magazine, 2930 14th Avenue, Markham, Ontario, L34 5Z8. (GST# R122988611). Subscribers: If the postal authorities alert us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within 18 months.
HIT THE ROAD, CONT. FROM PAGE 131
AFTER EIGHT YEARS ON ANTIDEPRESSANTS,
other people saw me, and that’s how I came to see myself. When you have a fat man’s mentality, you act like a fat man, eat like one, and dress like one. But when you think like a fit man, you feel fit and successful. I’m learning it’s much easier to resist the cravings and skip all that shame.” Eventually we reach St. Louis. Boschee takes the designated exit, finds the Walmart lot, and parks. We sprint across four lanes of traffic to Chipotle, where he inhales a Burrito Bowl with double meat and I have a traditional burrito that must weigh 5 pounds. In less than 20 minutes, we’re back in the cab. He is extremely satisfied. I feel like there’s a bowling ball in my stomach, and I’m dreading the 200 miles we still have to cover. But this is a trucker’s life. You’re not going to find these guys having a leisurely meal and then browsing the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. Every mile in front of them is money waiting on the table. We take on fuel, whether for the truck or for ourselves, as quickly as possible. The job also makes meeting women and dating even more difficult. Boschee spends 350-plus nights a year on the road. He says he wants to start a family eventually but knows he’ll have to make significant changes to his schedule. We finally reach Springfield at 10:03 p.m., gliding past the “Welcome Home” sign at Prime’s terminal just three minutes behind schedule. Boschee guides his rig into a multibay garage. When his paperwork is done, he drops the trailer, parks the cab, and escorts me into company headquarters. There is a new basketball court, gym, cafeteria, movie theater, post office, spa and salon, pool tables, and a store selling folding bikes and dumbbell sets. An adjacent room is filled with dispatchers and fuel-route planners who orchestrate Prime’s 6,200 drivers and 9,500 trailers. Hundreds of plaques line the walls, touting Prime’s Hall of Fame—drivers with a million or more accident-free miles. “So how did it go?” asks Coach Baleka, who’s here to welcome us. “You were right,” I reply. “It is possible to stay in shape out there.” “It’s actually easier in some respects to eat healthy and exercise on the road,” says Baleka, ever the coach. “You don’t have the temptation of home cooking or the interference of family responsibilities. You can focus on what needs to be done.” That’s the ultimate lesson: Take responsibility for yourself. “Everybody points at their circumstances when they really should be looking at themselves,” says Boschee. “When you start doing that, your life will change. I want the six-pack and the 18-inch biceps like everyone else, but it’s up to me to earn them.”
Sharpe stopped at age 26. She felt that she was in the wrong phase of life to be foggy about how she felt. “College is a time of figuring out who you are, what kind of a path you want to put yourself on, and how you feel about things,” she says. “One of the bad things about the overdiagnosis of young people is that it says the way you feel is a mistake, a product of an illness.” It’s also a period when young people traditionally look for mates. “We’re living in this time when the 20s have become a time of intense independence. Instead of partnering with someone in college, more and more people are living with friends and delaying settling down,” Sharpe says. “I wonder if being mildly depressed, of having an acute sense of your need for comfort, keeps you in a relationship. If antidepressants give you a way to be on your own, they support this independent, self-centered social lifestyle,” she says. But there’s a cost, says Fisher. “This game of love really matters during the reproductive years. We’ve evolved an enormous number of brain mechanisms to choose the partners we want. If you don’t feel anything for anyone and go from one hookup to another, you will keep disappointing potential partners.” Plus, you may just miss your chance at the right one. “If you don’t have any sex drive or can’t feel any emotion,” Fisher says, “how are you going to respond to the cute girl in algebra class or at the gym? These drugs are not a free ride.”
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THE AVERAGE GUY
When it comes to comedy, every man thinks he’s a stand-up guy.
Number of guys who consider sarcasm the funniest form of humor
Number who say it’s dirty humor all the way
1 in 10 17%
Percentage of men who’ve told a joke during sex that didn’t go over well (instead of quitting while they were ahead)
Percentage who would rather hear a woman say, “You’re hilarious!” than “You’re hot!” Best of all: “You’re so funny, it’s hot!”
Portion of men who’d never date a woman who is funnier than they are
Number who’ve dumped a gal for her annoying laugh
A GUARANTEED LAUGH
FUNNY BUSINESS Have HR hire a comic: A study in the Journal of Managerial Psychology suggests that humor at work can improve performance. “But the quality of your jokes is more important than the quantity,” says Mark Shatz, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Ohio University at Zanesville and coauthor of Comedy Writing Secrets. So steer away from the racier material. “Your audience isn’t your best buddy,” Shatz says. “It’s your most conservative colleague.”
When U.K. researchers surveyed 350,000 people to find the world’s funniest joke, one entry won out. Here goes: Two hunters are out in the woods when one collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing. The other guy calls 911. He gasps, “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator says, “Calm down. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There’s a silence; then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says, “Okay, now what?”
Percentage of men who’ve heckled a comedian
Percentage of men who’ve tried to pass off a stolen joke as their own
Percentage who’ve thought about taking a turn at stand-up
Percentage who wish they could land “just one good joke”
1 in 3
Average guy’s favorite TV comedy:
THE BIG BANG THEORY
Odds that he’s played an April Fools’ prank at his office…or been the target of one
Proportion of hiring managers who say a good sense of humor could give a job candidate an edge
Dead comic the average guy wishes could do one more set: George Carlin
Percentage of men who think they’re funnier after a few brews
160 MENSHEALTH.COM | April 2014
Sitcom guy he wishes he could be: How I Met Your Mother’s. . .
Number of pints they need to loosen up the laugh track
Top three jokers he would pay silly money to see live: 1. Dave Chappelle 2. Kevin Hart 3. Louis C.K.
Proportion of guys who say they’re the clown in their crowd of friends
Percentage who (don’t laugh!) are terrified of real clowns
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