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FEATURES / COVER STORIES
08.14 Rock Hard!
Discover the workout that rebuilt Tim McGraw’s body—and his life. BY MICHAEL PERRY PAGE 118
50Talk Dirty with Our New Girl Next Door You can ask her anything. Really.
68Lose 15 Pounds! And bring a six-pack to the beach.
76Set Off Fireworks in the Bedroom! These 5 hot dates will make sparks fly...
5 Health Mistakes You’re Making You probably did #1 this morning!
110Weed: What You Need to Know Now Marijuana is legal. Now what? BY JOEL WARNER
122 The Fit List Conquer these 15 feats of fitness! P h o to g r a p h by T U R E L I L L E G R AV E N
EDITED BY TREVOR THIEME
The 10 Best Fresh Foods for Men Pick smart, eat clean. BY PAUL KITA
43 KICK UP YOUR CARDIO, RULE THE WORLD
110 IS THIS A BUDDING RELATIONSHIP?
29 DROP YOUR JUNK FOOD CRAVINGS
50 MEET THE NEW GIRL NEXT DOOR
EVEN MORE USEFUL STUFF...
36To Crush Cancer,
Just Add Beer
Gym Tool for Guys
As if you needed another reason to love craft brews.
Battling ropes will target and define muscles you never knew you had.
to Feeling Full
Deploy this smart eating plan to fill—and shrink—your belly.
Go Greek at Your Next Cookout
Fire up your grill for the best gyro you’ve ever tasted.
105 5 Dumb Nutrition Moves Men Make
The science of sports fuel will propel you to your best body yet. BY MATTHEW KADEY, R.D.
Revealing your buried abs requires a multipronged attack plan.
How do your X-rated viewing habits compare?
62Help! My Buddy’s Girlfriend Keeps Flirting with Me!
Jimmy the Bartender handles Miss Handsy.
108 Are These Dating
You can’t master the bench if you can’t pass these tests.
She’s carrying some baggage. Should you dump her—or help her unload it?
BY MICHAEL EASTER
BY HANNAH McWILLIAMS
Defeat the #1 Fitness Saboteur
129 Ready for the
Men’s Health Urbanathlon?
Free poster: Build the body you need to overcome any obstacle.
130 Stage Your Next Comeback
BoSox hero Jonny Gomes shows how average guys triumph.
43Rule Your Field
16Why You Stink
8 Your To-Do List Summer made better.
If your pits are stewing in summer funk, turn to this smell-good tip.
12 First Word The 16 things to do this summer.
BY BEN COURT
32Seek Out This
14 Lifesavers Soothe your stress with exercise.
22 Body Science Runner’s high— explained.
24 MetroGrades Where to live to 100— and die having sex!
Master 5 success strategies from one of the toughest guys in soccer.
54The 5 Teammates Every Man Needs
From plumbers to lawyers, pick a posse that really has your back.
The 18 Coolest New Sneakers
Follow this chart. Find your style. Look fresh.
74Fight Seasonal Slob Disorder
These 4 fixes will help you battle sweat, grease, and acne.
3 Ways to Look Great on Vacation
This easy trick may shrink your blood pressure numbers.
6 Ways to Calm Your Lower GI
In summer, your gut is especially prone to explosive disorders. We defuse them here. BY CINDY KUZMA
142 Deadly Dangers of the Deep
Men are drowning at an alarming rate. Can you keep your head above perilous waters?
26 Guy List Reel-life catastrophes. 29 Bulletins Tips on health, sex, food, and fitness. 43 Advantage Gain your edge! 152 The Average Guy ...and his Alpo-eating best friend.
BY JIM THORNTON
Lugging that huge suitcase will earn you zero style points. Pack light, pack right.
BY OLIVER BROUDY ON THE COVER
Tim McGraw, photographed by Ture Lillegraven. Styling by Joan Reidy/MMA, grooming by Lorrie Turk. Barneys New York T-shirt and belt, Double RL & Co. jeans, Frye boots.
6 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
P h o t o g r a p h s b y J O H N L O O M I S ( M i c h a e l B r a d l e y ) , YA S U + J U N K O ( m a r i j u a n a ) , L E V I B R O W N ( c o n e ) , R A M O N A R O S A L E S ( A l i F e d o t o w s k y )
38The Simple Secret 949 Fat-Loss Tactics
34The Porn Identity
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Your To-Do List
Let the French Eat Croissants Catch the Tour de France (NBC Sports, July 5 to 27), and then get on that bike and ride! Wash it, oil the chain, fill the tires, and liberate the spiders nesting in your helmet. Then ingest some PEDs (performanceenhancing donuts). Google “donut ride.” They’re fun. Learn Something from the British. . . A typical British Open looks dried out and lumpy— and not just the caddies. Your course can be dry and lumpy too. Stow your wedge and use the safer “bump and run” shots you’ll see at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake (July 17 to 20). And walk the course, lad. . . . But Rub an English Nose in It When the Brits bailed to go home and golf, we were free to party on July 2, the date Congress declared independence. John Adams just knew it would be feted with fireworks. Tell your tyrannical boss you’re taking the day—and the Fourth too. Seek Out a Summer Sleeper The multiplex offers sex (Sex Tape, July 25), action (Hercules, July 25), and sexy action (Lucy, August 8, with superbrainy Scarlett Johansson). But make time for Boyhood (July 11), filmed with the same actor from age 7 to 19. Spoiler: We hear age 13 is explosive. Pick Sides in a Sports Debate If you’re sick of soccer (World Cup final, July 13), the Little League World Series (August 14 to 24) will feel like a bracing draft of lemonade. Drink in that green gem of a ballpark, and muse on who the bigger jerks are—soccer coaches or Little League coaches. Enjoy Something Soft and Fuzzy August is prime time for peaches, so dare to eat one. Note the resemblance to a delectable derriere, as seen in this cheeky tower in Gaffney, South Carolina. Test ripeness: The flesh should give slightly, and the juice should run down her chin as you read poetry to her.
Cozy Up with Her on the Couch for a Chat Sexperts in Men’s Health are always going on about why communication is crucial. Fine, but it’s awkward. That’s why Masters of Sex (resuming July 13, Showtime) is welcome: uptight people studying sex and raising embarrassing questions so we don’t have to.
8 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
Take a Shining to a New Crime Novel When a master of supernatural suspense tries his hand at a detective novel, you get Mr. Mercedes— 448 pages that turn themselves. We sympathize with the muttering crime writers who need the $13 more than Stephen King does, but we’ll still download this.
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Rodale Inc. 400 South 10th St. Emmaus, PA 18098-0099 rodale.com Men’s Health carries the very latest health, fitness, and nutrition reporting and taps the world’s foremost experts so you can be more knowledgeable about your health. But every body is different. Take what you read here as general information; individual diagnoses and treatments can come only from a health care practitioner.
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IT’S NOT A PERFECT SUMMER UNTILI... Crash a concert. Every small-town volunteer orchestra seems to have a version of the 80-year-old sax man, whose life I love imagining.
Act like it’s a perfect summer. Attitude is everything!
Grill something I’ve never grilled before. I’ve found an equation that works: (any spice + any fat or oil) × any protein = something good, and often great, when grilled. Fall asleep on the beach . . . only to wake up to my 2-year-old filling my ear with sand. @JDUBDESIGN_RI
Catch nine innings, a hot dog, a beer, and a sunburn. #rememberthe spf50 @PFEENY5
Get retweeted and published by Men’s Health. #tbh
Play a kids’ game—with a bunch of adults. My pick: Wiffle ball. Wrap the ball in electrical tape and cut out a few of the holes so it (a) moves unpredictably and (b) hurts like hell when you get hit.
Kick a kid’s ass at a kid’s game. My pick: basketball. Luckily, the 11-year-old across the street loves to play. He’s becoming quite good, so I need to posterize him while I still can. Mooch a beer from a neighbor. I’m lucky because I’m surrounded by highly obsessive lawn-care-givers. If I stop and chat with any of them on a lazy Saturday, I’ll have a Heineken in my hand in 30 seconds.
Take a nap outside. Or even inside with the windows open. And it doesn’t count if you plan it. The perfect summer nap sneaks up on you, like true love or chlamydia. Gorge myself on ice cream. One of the best things about having kids: They want ice cream, like, every day. I can’t argue. It’s ice cream!
Clean something like it’s never been cleaned before. Take your pick: car, garage, patio, disgusting grill. When you make something old look new again, you also renew a little part of yourself.
See the World Cup final!
Get stuck outside in a thunderstorm. First thought: Damn, I’m soaked. Second: Damn! I’m soaked! Third: Drop the putter, genius.
Stack hay bales. Exercise and work in one happy package.
Can bounce a silver dollar off my lower abs.
@billphillipsMH 12 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
Illustration by ESR A RØISE
Bill Phillips, editor-in-chief
Digital Compass with Needle Indicator and Bearing Memory
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OUR ADVISORY BOARD ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE Benjamin Kligler, M.D., M.P.H., C.A. BRAIN HEALTH P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D. David S. Liebeskind, M.D.
Kick the Toxins
Nix Power Surges
“I recommend buying organic meat, poultry, milk, and produce as well as wild fish. And be vigilant about parabens found in grooming products, especially if you’re starting a family, since they may disrupt sperm production. I use Seventh Generation products and point my patients to the Environmental Working Group’s database at ewg.org/skindeep.”
“I no longer eat processed carbs at breakfast, because I’d crash midmorning and then want a gigantic sandwich for lunch. Now I try to eat more protein— usually some eggs, Greek yogurt, and fruit. It helps me stay on track mentally because I’m not having energy swings. I also recently switched from coffee to tea for a more moderate caffeine kick.”
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. MENTAL HEALTH Thomas Joiner, Ph.D. William Pollack, Ph.D. NUTRITION Alan Aragon, M.S. Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D.,
BENJAMIN KLIGLER, M.D., M.P.H., C.A.
F.A.C.N., F.A.S.N., C.N.S.
In Pain? Get to the Point
SLAY DRAGON BREATH
An apple can be the simple antidote to those fumes you’ve been spewing. Like parsley, spinach, and mint, this fruit contains an odor-busting odor busting enzyme that makes garlic breath less galling, according to a study in the Journal of Food Science. Keep a bowl of organic Pink Lady apples (the variety used in the study) on your desk at work.
Mark S. Wolff, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor of cariology and comprehensive care, NYU College of Dentistry 14 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
OPHTHALMOLOGY Kimberly Cockerham, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Run Off Stress
Hide Your Multi
“I’m a fanatic believer in the benefits of exercise and advise all my patients to do something active five times a week. Exercise is good for everything— your heart, brain, stress level. I run 3 to 6 miles, unless I’m training for a half marathon. And I don’t listen to music while I’m out there; instead, I just let whatever thoughts are in my head run their course.”
“The evidence keeps getting stronger that most supplements and vitamins offer little or no benefit for people who are not sick. In fact, there may even be certain risks. For instance, it’s a mistake to take a multivitamin for ‘your general health’ and then neglect eating whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, which provide obvious, undisputed health benefits.”
CRANK UP THE PLANK
SEX & RELATIONSHIPS Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., M.P.H. SLEEP MEDICINE W. Christopher Winter, M.D. SPORTS MEDICINE Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S. Jordan D. Metzl, M.D. TRAINING Mike Boyle, M Ed., A.T.C. Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S.*D BJ Gaddour, 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.
GRAZE FIRST, GRIPE LATER
Make the best core conditioner even better. Lie on your left side and prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm. forearm Grab your right ankle with your right hand and bend that leg back. Then raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from your left ankle to your shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds; repeat on your right side.
Tame your growling stomach—you may avoid an argument. Researchers at Ohio State University studying married couples found a link between low blood sugar, aggressive impulses, and aggressive behaviors. The takeaway: If you’re planning to have a difficult talk with your spouse or partner, make sure you’re not hangry.
BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S., CEO, StreamFit.com; author, Your Body Is Your Barbell; creator, MH DeltaFIT Speed Shred
P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., professor of psychiatry, Duke University Institute for Brain Sciences, Durham, North Carolina I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y R I C H A R D C O N N O R
Icons by H U B ERT T ERESZK I E W I CZ; por trai t illustrations by A N D RE M E T ZGER
How efective are our painkillers? They can erase your aches and your willpower. “So much of how we treat pain is problematic as people become addicted to the medication,” says Benjamin Kligler, M.D., research director for the Center for Health and Healing at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. “Acupuncture is a way to help. New evidence shows that it’s efective for a wide variety of pain, including back pain, neck pain, and arthritis.” Doctors can’t explain why being jabbed does the job, but Dr. Kligler says it may be partly due to the way the needles adjust nerve signaling in connective tissue. If you’re ready to be pricked, have your doctor or PT refer you to a licensed acupuncturist.
Michael Roussell, Ph.D.
I keep hearing about PCBs. How can I avoid being exposed to them? NATE, BOSTON, MA
The short answer: You probably can’t. Before they were banned in 1979, polychlorinated biphenyls were found in many building materials. Today almost everything around us is PCB-laced, with particles sloughing off as materials corrode over time. That creates dust that can be kicked up and inhaled; prolonged exposure has been linked to cancer and heart disease. If that makes you want to run out and buy a respirator, put down the car keys. Now take off your shoes— you can limit PCB contamination at home that way. The homes of people who remove their footwear right after walking in the door have up to 50 percent less PCB dust than residences where folks stay shod, says Todd Whitehead, Ph.D., a researcher at UC Berkeley School of Public Health. That’s likely because they track in fewer contaminants. Or even better, leave PCBs in the dust and move into a home built after 1979. When you’re ready to freshen the walls of your new digs, brush on a paint with mineral-based pigment. Many commercial paints with nonmineral pigments can contain PCBs, report University of Iowa researchers.
I don’t have hypertension. How often do I need to check my BP? MICHAEL, ERIE, PA
COOPER, HOUSTON, TX
Hit your pits with an aluminum-fortified antiperspirant. It will block sweat, starving stench-building bacteria, says Carolyn Jacob, M.D., medical director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology. If your skin is sensitive, try a soothing stick, like Dove Men+Care Clinical Protection antiperspirant ($8, walgreens.com). For a clear shield when you’re shirtless, go with a water-based gel, like Gillette Clinical Clear Gel antiperspirant/deodorant ($8, target.com). Still sweaty? Certain Dri Clinical Strength antiperspirant roll-on ($7, cvs.com) has the strongest sweat blocker in the highest amount available over the counter. 16 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
P h o t o g r a p h b y M A T T S T A C E Y, p r o p s t y l i n g : T h o m D r i v e r / H a l l e y R e s o u r c e s
My deodorant isn’t doing a good job of controlling my BO. What should I try?
It depends. Do you like to gamble? The standard recommendation is once every two years if you’re not hypertensive. But there’s a chance that a condition called masked hypertension could hit you in the meantime. This mostly male problem happens when your BP looks fine to the doc (less than 120/80) but creeps up later; it can more than double your chance of heart problems, a study in the journal PLOS Medicine suggests. And we’re talking minor fluctuations, like 130/85, not just the heartpounding moment when you realize you forgot her birthday. To spot the issue yourself, keep a log of your BP when it’s taken during doctor visits, says Willie Lawrence Jr., M.D., chief cardiologist at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Then add data by having your pressure checked periodically at a pharmacy. Note: Only one brand of those automated kiosks has been proved accurate by researchers, so your best bet may be to ask a pharmacist to take your reading, says Ross Tsuyuki, Pharm.D., a professor of cardiology at the University of Alberta. (Bonus: For drug-free ways to lower BP, check out Health Bulletin.)
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AM I NORMAL? I feel proud when my body makes a large amount of a substance, such as snot, poop, or earwax. PEDRO, DES MOINES, IA
You’re not the only one who stands there beaming at the bowl. “Our culture teaches men to perceive themselves as being more powerful and stronger if they can produce more of something, whether it’s muscles or some body substance,” says Miles Groth, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Wagner College in New York City. But as with everything, of course, there’s a line you shouldn’t cross. For example, unless you’re a teenager, sending pictures of earwax to friends may be a sign that you’re fixating on something silly because you’re ignoring a larger problem, Groth says. NORMAL
What’s the best way to eliminate plantar warts? DOUG, JACKSONVILLE, FL
You’ll need a megadose of patience. Plantar warts can last months or even years, and there’s no foolproof way to eradicate them, says Cybele Fishman, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. These painful growths are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which enters openings in your skin and expands inward. Problem is, in order to kill the HPV, you have to reach it. Use a pumice stone to remove the dead skin covering the wart, advises Dr. Fishman. Then apply Forces of Nature Wart Control ($27, forcesofnatureusa.
com), which contains natural extracts with antiviral properties, including Thuja Occidentalis and tea tree oil. Dr. Fishman recommends this treatment instead of the more common salicylic acid because the latter can damage healthy skin surrounding warts. If it doesn’t improve within a month, see a dermatologist and discuss Dr. Fishman’s intensive strategy: She applies trichloroacetic acid and liquid nitrogen and then injects warts with a small amount of Candida yeast to encourage the immune system to launch an attack. Once your wart is wiped out, prevent a reinfection by wearing flip-flops when you walk around germy zones, like public pools or gym locker rooms.
Could hypnosis help me quit smoking? THOMAS, ST. LOUIS, MO
Only if you quack like a duck first. (Did you ever see a mallard with a Marlboro?) The truth is, you don’t need to act like an animal or stare at a swinging gold watch for hypnosis to help you kick the cigs. What you do need is motivation: A study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine found that people admitted to the hospital with heart or lung illnesses (potentially smokingrelated) who tried one 90-minute hypnotherapy session were more than three times as likely to kick the habit as similarly sick peers who relied on nicotine patches instead. All of these patients received counseling at the session and in subsequent telephone calls. “These were already highly motivated individuals who wanted to quit, and hypnosis seemed to enhance that,” says study author Faysal Hasan, M.D., a pulmonary medicine specialist at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Massachusetts. That enhance-
A song is stuck in my head. How can I get it out?
RUPERT, ST. LOUIS, MO
So you’ve heard Pharrell Williams’s “Happy” about 100 times too many? We sympathize. Fortunately, U.K. researchers recently surveyed people on successful strategies for evicting songs lodged in their noggins—also known as earworms. Try the options below (ranked by popularity) and see if any of them make you, er, happy. Oh no, not again!
LISTEN TO ANOTHER SONG THAT IS CATCHY ENOUGH TO BLOCK THE EARWORM WITHOUT GETTING STUCK IN YOUR HEAD.
TRY HARD TO FOCUS ON WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING.
LISTEN TO THE SPOKEN WORD, LIKE TALK RADIO.
P U K R BA T H G I R E TH TREE.
CRISP LIKE AN APPLE . BREWED LIKE AN ALE .
DOES IT WORK? VOLUNTEER WORK TO IMPROVE JOB PROSPECTS WORTH IT SKIP IT
The Claim: Helping others could help
you earn your own new gig.
The Reality: Donating your time really
will help you get ahead. In a study in the Journal of Career Assessment, unemployed people who volunteered weekly were far more likely to have a job within six months than those who didn’t lend a hand. Even those who volunteered less than two hours a week had a better shot of being hired elsewhere, says Varda Konstam, Ph.D., the study’s lead researcher. The key word here is “elsewhere.” The ability to ladle out soup doesn’t mean you’re qualified to work only in a cafeteria. Interviewers are increasingly viewing such basic skills as indicators of broader skill sets. That means serving soup isn’t about serving soup; it shows that you’re good at customer service and work well with others. Try telethons to show off your sales and marketing tactics. Or find another opportunity in your area at volunteermatch.org.
Why does organic milk last longer than regular milk in the fridge? JOEL, SANTA FE, NM
Ready to have your mind blown? The organic option lasts longer because it’s actually more processed—and in this case, that’s a good thing. Here’s the back|
I’ve seen guys look really good in a pink shirt. How can I pull that off? EVAN, PITTSBURGH, PA
What you’re really asking is “How can I avoid hearing a coworker say, ‘Check it out! Evan’s wearing a pink shirt!’” Right? Start by steering clear of raspberry or bubblegum pink, says Men’s Health fashion director Sandra Nygaard. These bright hues can make you stand out too much, and they’re difficult to coordinate with other clothes. Instead, stick with the no-fail classic—a slightly muted hue, similar to a pastel, says Nygaard. If the color reminds you of a strawberry milkshake, you’re on the right track. “It’s subtle and goes well with all skin tones,” she says. In other words, this hue will bring out a healthy flush no matter what your complexion. But buying the right shirt leaves you only half dressed, so it’s probably best for everyone if you give some thought to a pair of complementary pants. For a simple summer look to highlight a classic pink button-down shirt, Nygaard suggests white, medium-wash, or light jeans. Add a chocolate-brown belt and a gold watch (or any watch with a brown or chocolate band). Then add a pair of boat shoes. Avoid loose-fitting khakis, unless you’re aiming to look like a Boca Raton retiree. Have a question no one else can answer? Ask at MensHealth.com/experts.
Tim Robbins/Get t y Images (volunteer)
ment happens when the hypnotherapist assesses the smoker’s individual triggers for lighting up and then suggests better alternatives while the person is in a deep state of relaxation. Planting this seed in the subconscious increases the likelihood that the person will find a new way to ease the urge to puff when caught up in similar situations in the future. If you’re thinking about consulting a smoking-cessation hypnotherapist, visit the National Hypnotherapy Society’s website (nationalhypnotherapysociety.org) to find a qualified one in your area. Note that most treatments aren’t covered by insurance. The cost is typically about $150 per session. The cost of not quitting? Exactly.
ground: Fewer bottling plants distribute organic milk, so each gallon has a longer haul from farm to plant and then to store shelves. To eliminate bacteria that could fester during the extra transit time, the moo juice is ultrapasteurized: It’s heated to 280°F, more than 100 degrees hotter than standard pasteurization, says Dean Sommer, M.S., a cheese and food technologist at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Research. As a result, opened organic milk will last about twice as long in your refrigerator as the regular stuff. Is the extra shelf life alone worth the 81 percent premium you’ll pay per half gallon? Maybe if you’re a single guy and take forever to finish a carton. That said, what might make it worth the splurge is the difference in nutrition: Recently published research from Washington State University shows that organic milk contains 62 percent more anti-inflammatory omega-3s than regular milk. And organic ultrapasteurized milk also has a different flavor—sometimes described as slightly like caramel and sweet—that some people find delicious.
we looked to the sky and saw a different way to purify water. by vapor-distilling it, so it’s pure and crisp like from a cloud, then adding electrolytes for a distinct taste. oh, and we got some daydreaming done, too.
© 2014 glacéau. glacéau ®, smartwater ®, bottle design and label are registered trademarks of glacéau.
what will you see when you look up?
drinksmartwater.com inspired by the clouds
How Running Makes You High
1 / YOU GET IN THE GROOVE
When you run past your comfort level (i.e., after 30 minutes or so at about 80 percent max heart rate), specialized cells secrete two mood modifiers: endorphins—which are opioids—and anandamide, which is similar to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
Nature’s incentive program still isn’t fully understood. Greg Gerdeman, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biology at Eckerd College, explains the current theory. BY K. ALEISHA FETTERS 3 / BRAIN: “WHAT PAIN?”
2 / ENDORPHINS COME KNOCKING
Your blood carries the two chemicals to your blood-brain barrier, the gatekeeper to your brain cells. Anandamide crosses easily. But endorphins are large, and few make it in. No problem, though: Your brain also produces endorphins. Both chemicals boost your mood—and perhaps your mileage.
The two mood boosters are now tapped into your central nervous system, where they limit the signaling power of pain sensors called nociceptors that spread out from your spinal cord. Result: You don’t realize how much your legs are burning.
4 / EUPHORIA KICKS IN
The endorphins downshift your brain’s prefrontal and limbic regions, which regulate your emotion and motivation. You begin to feel calm and comfortable. Then, as more endorphins reach these areas, you may even start feeling euphoric.
5 / IT’S HIGH TIME!
Anandamide triggers a release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that contributes to lust, pleasure, and addiction. It also binds to cannabinoid receptors in your brain’s pleasure circuit, where it sends bliss vibes throughout your brain for minutes or even hours. (And no intense munchies!) 22 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y H E A D C A S E D E S I G N
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ARE WE NUTS? YES. AND WE’RE ALSO
GRAB A MOJO
NEW FLAVORS. HUGE TASTE. AND THE ENERGY YOU NEED TO BE TOTALLY AWESOME.
Die Hard City GROWING OLDER DOESN’T HAVE TO MEAN SHELVING YOUR
longboard—just ask the happy guys in Honolulu. When we ran the numbers on where men are most likely to live to 100 and die having sex, Honolulu came out on top. Why? “We have fabulous weather that encourages year-round physical activity,” says Kathryn L. Braun, Dr.P.H., director emeritus of the University of Hawai‘i Center on Aging. “And many residents are heavily influenced by Asian diets, which are high in vegetables.” Both factors fight flab, which helps fend off life-shortening (and member-wilting) illnesses. So take your cue from those Hawaiian dudes, and maybe you can hit triple digits too—in years and in notches. —JERILYN COVERT
Living Long & Hard
Coming Up Short
100 CHESAPEAKE, VA
99 LAS VEGAS, NV
98 JACKSON, MS
97 CLEVELAND, OH
96 PHILADELPHIA, PA
95 MEMPHIS, TN
94 TAMPA, FL
93 COLUMBUS, OH
92 NORFOLK, VA
10 LOS ANGELES, CA
91 ANCHORAGE, AK
For full rankings, go to MensHealth.com/metrogrades.
Source: Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging
How to Live to Be 100 1 / BREAK THE BED
Do the dirty, avoid a dirt nap. A U.K. study found that folks who have frequent orgasms from sex also have greater resting-heartrate variability, which is linked to longer life. Sex strengthens your parasympathetic nervous system (the brakes on your heart rate), allowing it to better counter your sympathetic nervous system (the gas pedal).
2 / LEAVE LEFTOVERS
Snack like a simian: Primates that ate 30 percent fewer calories as adults lived 9 percent longer, on average, than those on an unrestricted diet, a University of Wisconsin at Madison study found. Calorie restriction leads to long-term weight loss, helping delay the effects of aging in monkeys and possibly men too, the researchers say.
3 / BE A MAN IN MOTION
Researchers in Sweden found that people who moved the most every day—whether they worked out or not—were less likely to die over 12 years than those who were slugs outside their regular exercise. Identify the hours you sit most, and work in more standing and walking around, says study author Elin Ekblom-Bak, Ph.D. METHODOLOGY FOR RANKINGS: Life
24 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
CAN YOU AFFORD TO GROW OLD? Living to 100 won’t be worth celebrating if you’re dead broke. “In retirement planning, the risk isn’t of dying; it’s of not dying when you think you will,” says Harold R. Evensky, C.F.P., president of Evensky & Katz Wealth Management. Think about investing up to half your savings in a variable annuity. This lets you accrue a taxdeferred nest egg, which can later be converted to monthly payouts for life. Because fixed payouts can come with high fees and other costs, start saving early to offset them, says Evensky.
25 PERCENTAGE CONTRIBUTION OF YOUR DNA IN DETERMINING YOUR LIFE SPAN Source: Human Genetics
expectancy of a man born in 1985, rates of inactivity and obesity among men (Population Health Metrics); rate of men ages 90 to 99 and ages 100 or older per 10,000 population, ratio of single men age 75-plus to single women age 75-plus (U.S. Census Bureau); percentages of adults who smoke, have diabetes, and have high blood pressure (CDC)
I l l u s t r a t i o n b y I L O V E D U S T; K e v i n C u r t i s / G e t t y I m a g e s ( d o c t o r )
Heart disease is often what puts the “dys” in erectile dysfunction. But if your ticker checks out fine, have your other head examined. A new study published in the journal Psychology and Aging is the first to link ED with cognitive decline. It found that vascular trouble can affect your erections and your brain function before it shows up in your heart, says study author Caitlin S. Moore, Ph.D.(c). If a neuropsychologist says you’ve lost your mental edge, eat more omega-3s: They may help improve bloodflow—above and below.
% DIFFERENCE IN COGNITION FOR MEN WITH E.D. PROCESSING SPEED
Use Your Brain in the Bedroom
I’VE NEVER ...
Been poisoned at dinner, maybe by a family member. Driven through a fence. Broken a beer bottle and then threatened someone with it. Found a suitcase full of money. Been ratted out by a parrot. Received ancient wisdom from an elderly Chinese man. Had a shouting match turn into wild sex. Covered a poker bet with a watch. Stood on the ledge of a building to elude capture. Had to pretend I wasn’t a rich guy. Fallen face-first into a woman’s crotch or a bowl of chili. Been the unpopular guy and, after giving my farewell speech, had a single clap turn into thunderous applause. Ended a fight by saying, “And one more thing,” then punched the guy in the face.
THRONE FOR A LOOP There’s always a poison chalice to ruin a guy’s wedding night.
If It Happened to You...
Movie and TV scriptwriters insult us with the same old clichéd catastrophes that never happen in real life. But if one did? Here’s what you’d do. BY STEVE CALECHMAN
BUT IF YOU DID
No, you can’t keep it. Granted, a bag of Benjamins in a rental car’s trunk probably won’t be reported, but taking property that you know isn’t yours has legal consequences. Even good-faith efforts to find the owner won’t suffice. Hand it over to the police. There may be a reward, or not, but there won’t be any guilt-ridden sleepless nights. Real-world expert: Mark Bennett, criminal defense attorney in Houston
BUT IF YOU HAD TO
Get used to heights through graduated exposure. Identify your triggers— open-air balconies, looking down, whatever—and face them. Deep breathing, phone calls, friends, and beverages won’t help. Face the void and track your anxiety level. As it rises, resist leaving. Wait until it flatlines or drops. Congrats, you’re building tolerance. Real-world expert: Simon Rego, Psy.D., director of the Cognitive Behavioral Training Program at Montefiore Medical Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City
BUT IF YOU HAVE TO WIN OVER A GROUP
Open with a point of agreement to establish rapport—you take away any simmering resistance. Will you hear applause? Probably not. But by going in alone and showing conviction, you earn the group’s respect, and they’ll be more likely to treat you as a guest and at least let you make your point.
Cleared off a desk in anger or to have sex.
Real-world expert: Michael Sheehan, a media and speech coach in Washington, D.C.
Crawled through an air-conditioning duct.
BUT IF YOU WANT TO TRY, KNOW THIS
Jumped out of a window into a dumpster filled with soft trash. Hidden under a desk. Picked through my pockets to piece together the events of the night before. Woken up next to a dead body. Led a ragtag bunch of misfits to victory. Met a zookeeper as hot as Scarlett Johansson. Heard a computer as hot-sounding as Scarlett Johansson.
Ducts are not shiny-clean, easily accessible, or sound muffling. Plus, they’re filled with hardware to redirect air and suppress fires. Can you escape through one? Possibly, but bring a map. You can just as easily get lost up there. Real-world expert: Mark Zarzeczny, president of Schoen Air Duct Cleaning, Edgewater Park, New Jersey
BUT IF YOU’RE STUCK COACHING A BAD TEAM
Build unity. Before the first practice, have a party where the kids run fun relay races—the dizzier the better. When they finally hit the field, they won’t care who sucks and who’s good since they’ve laughed together. Real-world expert: John Engh, chief operating officer, National Alliance for Youth Sports
Met a nanny as hot as Scarlett Johansson. Probably just as well. 26 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
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Grumpy, meet lumpy: New research in the Journal of Consumer Psychology shows that a bad mood may lead to bad diet decisions. Bummed-out people were more likely to pick indulgent foods and less inclined to consider the calorie consequences than happier people were. According to study author Meryl P. Gardner, Ph.D., the reason for this may be evolutionary: Negative emotions signal a problem and trigger a desire for an immediate solution that benefits you now, with a disregard for the future. If you’re feeling blue before a meal or supermarket run, she says, think about something positive and future-focused (but mundane) that doesn’t cause worry or stress. An example: Imagine what cars might look like in 50 years.
NEWS THAT IMPROVES YOU
Why Frowns Are Fattening
JULY / AUGUST 2014
HERE’S THE SCOOP Drop the downer attitude to avoid a diet meltdown.
PH OTO G R A PH S BY L E V I B R OW N
July/August 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 29
Prime Time for Exercise
TAKE TIME OFF FROM INTERVALS
Is Netflix to blame for your net flab gains? Watching less TV has a double benefit: You exercise more and also reduce your unhealthy sedentary time, slashing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Australian scientists found that when inactive people adopted an exercise routine that took two and a half to five hours a week, they ended up watching about 50 fewer minutes of TV a day. Any reduction in viewing time is a positive: Watching more than two hours of television a day has been shown in other research to increase heart disease risk by 125 percent. Here’s another great way to downgrade the danger of being a couch vegetable: During the commercials, do 30 seconds each of jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and skater hops, without resting between moves.
PUSH YOUR LIMITS
LOSE THE FAT SCREEN Have you seen the new cable station at your local gym?
Percentage improvement in cyclists’ 20K times after they did 4 sets of 5-rep-max leg presses 10 minutes beforehand Source: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
30 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
THE FITNESS FIX
ass. It’s called piriformis syndrome, and it can make running difficult. Runners and cyclists are at especially high risk because the focus on forward motion tends to weaken hip muscles.
When the butt muscles on the back of your hips tighten up, they pinch your sciatic nerve, causing a literal pain in your
Loosen up: Before your run, foam-roll your muscles and then relax them with a yoga pigeon pose, says Men’s Health advisor Jordan Metzl, M.D. Learn the pose at MensHealth.com/yoga.
For late-breaking cardio news and daily tips, go to MensHealth.com.
A beginner’s mentality is a good thing, even when you’re a master. Your favorite sport may not provide as good a workout as it did when you were learning it. Researchers in the U.K. found that skilled surfers were able to maintain lower intensity levels while riding than novice surfers did. “As you improve, you perform the task more efficiently,” says study author Matthew Barlow, Ph.D. To make sure your workouts consistently deliver results, keep adding to the challenge as your skill set broadens. Tackle new moves, improve your running and cycling times, and wear a heart rate monitor so you can track your intensity level. EDITED BY MICHAEL E ASTER
A l l b u l l e t i n s: G U I L H E R M E Z A M A R I O L I ( 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); t h i s p a g e: B e t h B i s c h o f f ( y o g a p o s e)
Go ahead—skip this week’s sprints. Doing high-intensity intervals every other week is just as beneficial as doing them weekly. That’s the conclusion of researchers in Norway who worked with soccer players in the six-week off-season. Players who completed five fourminute rounds at 87 to 97 percent of their max heart rate every seven days registered VO2 maxes similar to those of players who did the same every 14 days. “High-intensity intervals done more than once a week can fry you mentally and physically,” says Dan John, a trainer in Salt Lake City. “That bogs down your other workouts, which trumps any training advantage.”
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Eat Less Phosphorus
Step away from the sub! A Johns Hopkins study found that people who exceeded 1,400 milligrams of phosphorus a day were 40 percent more likely to die over a 15-year period than those who took in less.
Why It’ll Kill Ya
In excess, phosphorus may damage blood vessels and increase heart disease risk, the researchers say. So skip foods that tend to contain lots of phosphatebased ingredients, such as cola and deli meats, says Myles S. Wolf, M.D., director of the Center for Translational Metabolism and Health at Northwestern University. Your body absorbs nearly all the phosphorus in phosphate additives. The mineral’s natural version, in foods like eggs and legumes, is less readily absorbed. *Results may vary
19 to 49 who’ve gone 10 years or longer since their last tetanus vaccination Source: CDC
Bad news on the ol’ sphygmomanometer? If your blood pressure is elevated, lower your salt intake and try one or more of these BP busters. 1 Three days a week, do a cardio workout at 60 to 65 percent of your max heart rate for 40 minutes.
Who’s Spiking Your BP?
32 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
2 Chill out with an hour of tai chi, six days a week, for 12 weeks. SYSTOLIC −6
3 Every weekday for three months, eat a 600- to 650-calorie lunch that has 4½ ounces of vegetables and less than 18 grams of fat. For late-breaking health news and daily tips, go to MensHealth.com.
SYSTOLIC −6 DIASTOLIC −8 Sources: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Clinical and Experimental Hypertension, Lipids in Health and Disease
Can you be too clean? A University of Michigan study suggests that triclosan, a germ killer in soaps, invites bacteria into your body. People with traces of triclosan in their snot were more likely to have Staphylococcus aureus bacteria up their nose, raising their infection risk. Researchers say the chemical can make staph stickier, allowing it to settle in. Check the labels on soaps and toothpastes and avoid those with triclosan.
E D I T E D B Y J U L I E S T E WA R T
A n a s t a s s i o s M e n t i s /G e t t y I m a g e s (s a n d w i c h)
In bad porn, the hot nurse gets the guy’s blood pumping. In real life, that doesn’t happen—which is good. Nurses don’t cause the same spike in blood pressure, known as the white-coat effect, that doctors do, say U.K. researchers. When a nurse controlled the cuff, patients’ systolic and diastolic BP averaged 7 and 4 points lower, respectively, than when a doctor did the honors. That could mean the difference between receiving an unnecessary prescription and walking off scot-free, says study author Christopher Clark, Ph.D. So ask a nurse to check your BP—even if the doc already did.
SYSTOLIC −7 DIASTOLIC −9
A NOSE FOR TROUBLE
The choice is clear.
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Applies to the Crizal lens process on lenses.
©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 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 lenses are made with any lens material other than clear 1.5 plastic.
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Percentage who watch porn on their smartphones: 14 Percentage who would watch porn right now if they could: 30
Average duration of a porn viewing session: 15 minutes or less Percentage who spend an hour or more ogling: 7
Percentage who’ve watched porn with a romantic partner: 26 Number who’ve viewed it at a friend’s place: 9
Percentage who think their habit is out of control: 16 Number who have sought professional help: 1 in 25
ANNUAL PORN VIEWING RATES MEN 18 TO 34 ALL MEN WOMEN 18 TO 34 ALL WOMEN
It’s Not Porn, It’s Art! Now available for streaming:
PORN SESSIONS PER WEEK* 30% 20%
Decades of social and scientific research yield one hard fact: People like to watch.
0 1–2 3–5 6 –10 11+
BY LAURA TEDESCO
34 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
Funny, honest, hot, surprising, Scarlett Rating: R Metacritic score: 66 NYMPHOMANIAC: VOLUME I & VOLUME II
Grim, hot, Danish Rating: NR Metacritic score: 64 (Volume 1), 60 (Volume 2) For late-breaking sex news and daily tips, go to MensHealth.com.
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR
Long, hot, French Rating: NC-17 Metacritic score: 88
Sources: General Social Survey, NORC, at the University of Chicago; PornHub.com; *Archives of Sexual Behavior study of male undergraduates
I n f o g r a p h i c a n d i l l u s t r a t i o n s b y A R N O G H E L F I , E v e r e t t C o l l e c t i o n ( D e e p T h r o a t , B e h i n d t h e G r e e n D o o r ) , N e w L i n e C i n e m a / E v e r e t t C o l l e c t i o n ( B o o g i e N i g h t s ) , c o u r t e s y o f V i v i d E n t e r t a i n m e n t ( Te e n M o m ) , c o u r t e s y o f R e l a t i v i t y M e d i a / E v e r e t t C o l l e c t i o n ( D o n J o n )
Bill 19 8 Clin ton Cin 0 e 19 9 ema Wh nters th3 x de ite H e buts ous ! 19 8 e 0 Hou s s of V ehold C (from Rs sk penetr a y to 6 1perc rocket tion 8 pe ent s rcen in 1 t in 980 199 0)
19 7 Dee2 Beh p Thro a Dooind the t and r pr Gre emi ere en
Percentage of men who go online for their masturbation materials: 99 Percentage who get their porn for free: 91
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Beat Cancer with Beer
After a few cold ones, even your health looks better. Marinating pork in beer before grilling it may block potentially carcinogenic compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry study found that submerging pork cuts in black ale for four hours reduced the formation of eight key PAHs by 53 percent. (A pilsner marinade blocked PAH formation too, but only by 13 percent.) The scientists think the beer’s antioxidants, found in higher levels in ales than in lagers, help prevent the free-radical activity needed for PAH formation. Bonus: The trick may also work with other meats, they say. Plus, adding more antioxidant-packed ingredients to the marinade (at right) may improve the effect.
Make Beer Marinade!
Soak meat in this cancer-fighting elixir, from Doug Psaltis, chef and partner at the Chicago barbecue joint Bub City, for four hours.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
1 cup black ale 1 Tbsp minced ginger 2 tsp minced garlic 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves 1 tsp red-pepper flakes
Give your daily diet some shades: Alphacarotene—found in orange, yellow, and dark-green vegetables—may help fend off prostate cancer, found a British Journal of Cancer study. Men who ate approximately 500 micrograms of this compound a day had a 54 percent lower risk of prostate cancer than men who took in only a nibble. The scientists speculate that alphacarotene might reduce inflammation throughout the body, helping curb the formation of cancerous cells. So eat like Bugs: Just one large carrot provides about 2,500 micrograms of alpha-carotene.
GIVE GARLIC A SPROUT-OUT
TUMOR TAMER Give your next pork dinner a barley bath.
Percentage of adults who think “natural” on a label means the food is healthier, even though the term isn’t FDA-regulated Source: 2014 Harris Poll
36 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
Rx for More Z’s
THE FINDING In a British study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, children who took a 600-milligram omega-3 supplement every day slept nearly an hour longer and had seven fewer awakenings during the night than a control group did. The researchers believe that some fatty acids,
such as DHA, may help promote sleep by increasing your body’s release of the sleep hormone melatonin. APPLY IT Although further research is needed to confirm a benefit for adults, it can’t hurt to include more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. The researchers used algae-derived DHA supplements, but fish oil and food sources (such as salmon, tuna, and eggs) may help elevate your levels of DHA.
For late-breaking nutrition news and daily tips, go to MensHealth.com.
E D I T E D B Y L I L A B AT T I S
i S t o c k p h o t o (c a r r o t s)
WEIRD SCIENCE T H AT W O R K S
Don’t toss garlic with tails. Garlic cloves that have sprouted contain more cancerand heart-diseasefighting flavonoids than fresh ones do. In fact, Korean scientists noted a 20 percent difference after five days of sprouting. Why? The sprouting process produces unique flavonoid compounds called phytoalexins, which protect the plant from pests and disease. The cloves can be more bitter than fresh ones, though, so throw them into the sauté pan, not homemade salsa.
Death by Spare Tire
Fat is especially dangerous when it settles in your midsection, around vital organs. Now research in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings reveals just how likely it is that your spare tire will drive you into an early grave.
INCREASE IN A MAN’S RISK OF DEATH OVER NINE YEARS BASED ON HIS WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE
This news might have you beaming: A study from Northwestern University suggests that a dose of bright sunlight could help you stay slim. People exposed to the most a.m. and early-afternoon rays had lower BMIs than those who took in less. Morning light may send signals to your brain that increase alertness and production of metabolismregulating hormones, says study author Phyllis Zee, M.D., Ph.D. She suggests sitting by a window, or walking during your lunch break. Wear sunglasses but avoid amber or brown lenses, which block circadianregulating blue light.
Percentage of people who were surprised (unpleasantly) by their calorie intake once they tracked it with an app Source: Mobiquity
DON’T T RY T H IS AT HOME
The FourDay Diet
In four days, you can lose about 5 pounds! A Spanish study says it’s possible—if you eat 320 calories and do nine hours of cardio a day.
SCALE IT BACK Using a kitchen scale can help rein in the urge to overdo it.
Eat Big, Eat Less For late-breaking weight-loss news and daily tips, go to MensHealth.com.
38 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
Don’t be so dense about breakfast. New research from Penn State reveals that you may eat more cereal when the flakes are small. In the study, people given the smallest pieces ate 34 percent more calories than those fed large flakes. They knew they should pour less but still estimated inaccurately, says study author Barbara Rolls, Ph.D. And pasta and chips may be just as deceptive. To cut back, she says, choose foods with more air in them and shapes that are irregular. E D I T E D B Y J U L I E S T E WA R T
D o n F a r r a l l /G e t t y I m a g e s (s c a l e)
People in the study lost more muscle than fat at first. After a year, they still hadn’t regained all the muscle, but they’d piled more than half the fat back on. And study author Jose Calbet, M.D., Ph.D., admits that a diet this extreme requires a doctor’s supervision due to the risk of dehydration. We’ll pass.
YOU DON’T JUST WAKE UP GREAT ONE DAY. THAT’S NOT THE WAY IT WORKS. WHAT YOU GET OUT OF LIFE IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT. SO IF YOU THINK YOU CAN CUT CORNERS, SKIP WORKOUTS AND FUEL YOUR TRAINING WITH ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS, THERE WILL BE BENCHES FOR YOU TO RIDE, RECORDS FOR YOU TO MISS, AND PEAKS FOR YOU TO ADMIRE FROM AFAR. BUT IF YOU BELIEVE THAT EXCELLENCE IS NOT SOMETHING GIVEN, BUT SOMETHING EARNED, TEAR OPEN A BAG. WE’VE GOT WORK TO DO. Richard Sherman: Pro Football Player
YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN.
Oberto All-Natural Beef Jerky has NO ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS OR PRESERVATIVES. Making it the perfect choice for anyone who wants to get the most out of their body and the most out of their life.
Hang On to Your Six-Pack
Suspension training can help you sculpt a ripped midsection even if that wasn’t your original goal. Researchers in Hong Kong have discovered that four TRX exercises designed to work other body parts can also carve your core. Grab a TRX and try them.
RULE THE LINKS Smash a golf ball by throwing a medicine ball.
PRIMARY TARGET AREA
HARDEST-HIT CORE MUSCLES
1 PLANK WITH HIP ABDUCTION
G L U T E S, H I P S
2 SUSPENSION CHEST PRESS
P E C S, T R I C E P S
S I X - PA C K
3 SUSPENSION RO W
L AT S, S C A P U L A R M U S C L E S, B I C E P S
INTERNAL O B L I Q U E S, TRANSVERSE ABS
4 HAMSTRING CURL
H A M S T R I N G S, GLUTES
LOW E R BAC K
SAVE YOUR ASS
If you fear your desk job is killing you, try this antidote: sweat. Moderate to intense exercise may counteract prolonged sitting, say University of Michigan scientists.
40 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
For late-breaking muscle news and daily tips, go to MensHealth.com.
Your average heart rate (read: cardio blast) after just 12 minutes of pairing 30-second kettlebell swings with 30 seconds of rest Source: The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
EDITED BY MICHAEL E ASTER
Exercise illustrations by ARTHUR MOUNT
Strong Core, Low Score
If your golf instructor claims, “It’s all in the hips,” he may be overlooking something: According to scientists in Portugal, your abs play a big role in powering your golf swing. They found that three key areas of your core, including abs and obliques, fire during your backswing and downswing. Power up your tee shot by skipping static moves (like planks) in favor of explosive, rotational ones (like the medicine ball side toss), says MH sports medicine advisor Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S. “Long drives are about developing as much force as possible in the shortest amount of time.”
In the study, the risk of metabolic and heart issues among chronic sitters didn’t rise as long as they squeezed in about 45 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous exercise. “Intense exercise seemed to have a greater protective effect,” says lead study author Mark Peterson, Ph.D., M.S. Use a heart rate monitor and stay above 70 percent of your max heart rate while you work out.
LONG LIVE THE ULTRA LIFE
EXPLORE MORE at facebook.com/MichelobULTRA
©2014 Anheuser-Busch, Michelob Ultra® Light Beer, St. Louis, MO 95 calories, 2.6g carbs, 0.6g protein and 0.0g fat, per 12 oz.
YOUR EDGE—IN EVERY THING! EDITED BY CLINT CARTER
“This is who I am, this is what I’m about, and this is where I want to go. And I’m not going to let anything stop me.” —MICHAEL BRADLEY, U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM
World Cup P. 44
PH OTO G R A PH S BY J O H N LO O M I S
Bring It Like Bradley
Michael Bradley, the man leading the USA’s charge at the World Cup, has evolved into the ultimate team player—and you can too. BY BEN COURT
IN SOCCER THERE ARE NO 30-SECOND TIMEOUTS, NO CHECKING
your wristband for the next play. The strongest guys on the field make calculations on the fly, and they do it while sucking wind; many outcomes aren’t decided until the final minutes of a 90-minute match. Michael Bradley knows all this, and when the World Cup kicks off on June 12 in S‹o Paulo, Brazil, he’ll be ready to battle for his national team. The 6'2", 175-pound midfielder often sees more ball touches than any other player on the stars-and-stripes squad. He runs about 7 miles every game, often at high intensityÑand yet, according to the sports data company Opta, he maintains an astonishing passing accuracy rate of 84 percent. Like a linebacker, he’s strong in the tackle. Like a quarterback, he makes strategic decisions on where and when to pass the ball. And for his ability to balance these roles, his fans call him the General. A game this spring against Mexico showed the 26-year-old’s skills: Bradley, lasering long passes down the wing. Bradley, cutting up the defense with pinball-quick flicks. Bradley, dribbling in a holding pattern and warding off opponents as his teammates scramble to find space. He thundered in one goal on a half volley, headed the assist on another, and earned high praise from Mexico’s coach, Miguel Herrera, who said afterward that “Bradley looked like the best player in the world.” It’s no wonder that Toronto FCÑthe Major League Soccer team Bradley plays forÑrecently signed him on for six years at $40 million. The General dictates the play and controls the game. Use his winning strategies to control your game too.
1 Sweat the Small Stuff Bradley had an advantage: His dad was a soccer coach, first at Princeton and later with MLS and for the U.S. national team. Even as a toddler he would tag along to practices, and that’s when he began developing tactical skills. “The small things add up to big things,” says ESPN soccer analyst Alexi Lalas. For instance, it’s one thing to make an accurate pass but another to spin the ball in a way that puts the receiving player in a better position to attack, says Lalas. PRO MOVE Build solid core skills, and you’ll jump ahead of one` trick hotshots, says Bruce Tulgan, author of It’s OK to Be the Boss. “Once you nail down the basics, you’ll earn more responsibility.” 44 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
IT’S FÚTBOL, NOT FOOTBALL
Going to a World Cup party with no clue how soccer works? Here’s the small talk you need to fake it.
This snappy style of play, pioneered by Spanish teams, emphasizes short passes, fast movement, and maintaining possession. However, it can also be boring because a player may make a safe pass backward rather than run the risk of losing the ball. After a string of passes, say, “So conservative! I prefer the Germans’ turbocharged tiki-taka, with its emphasis on attack.”
2/ Messi and Ronaldo
That’d be Lionel Messi of Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. They’re the two best in the world. Messi has the advantage in the World Cup because Argentina has the stronger roster, says Alexi Lalas of ESPN. After Messi makes a great play, say, “So slow, Lionel! With his strength and speed, CR7 [that’s Ronaldo’s nickname] would take him one-on-one.”
The rule is simple: An attacking player is offside when he goes behind both the ball and the last defender (not counting the goalkeeper). To avoid the penalty, attackers typically remain in front of or level with the D, waiting for a pass before they make a run. When the ref blows his whistle on Neymar, Brazil’s star, for the fifth time, say, “No way he was off. Next time he’ll beat the trap.”
4/ The 4-4-2
This refers to the players in each line: defense (excluding the goalkeeper), midfield, and attack. The 4-4-2 is the most traditional formation, and it means four in defense, four in midfield, and two strikers. Many teams— including Team USA, play a 4-2-3-1.
“In the dark tunnel before kickoff, you look at your team and you see Michael. You know he’s going to keep fighting. That makes every guy lift his game.” —Tim Howard, U.S. men’s national team goalkeeper
If the U.S. team is down a goal, say, “This 4-2-3-1 is too defensive. They need to switch to a 4-4-2. More attackers up top.”
5/ Eton Sweep
A soccer field is a catwalk of hipster hairstyles. The hottest? The Eton Sweep. Think Beckham: shaved high up the sides, longer on top, and with a preppy part. “It can be formal, casual, funky,” says stylist Benjamin Thigpen. When Brazil is playing, say, “What is that on David Luiz’s head? Is it even legal? Somebody needs to give that guy Ronaldo’s barber’s digits.”
July/August 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 45
The Spirit of Rio Make even a noscore game exciting with an assist from cachaça, Brazil’s native liquor. Made from sugarcane, the spirit tastes like a cross between rum and tequila. Try this recipe for a pitcher of cachaça cocktails, created by Micaela Piccolo, barkeep at Distilled NY.
SCORE SPEED AND STRENGTH
Use these tips from Masa Sakihana, the fitness coach for Team USA, to build speed, stamina, and quads worthy of a World Cup soccer player.
SPEED AND STAMINA
8 oz cachaça (Auvá Prata or Leblon )
3 Embrace the Moment
At 18, Bradley joined a team in the Netherlands. His career was blasting off, but he continued to seek advice. He not only listened to his coaches but also reviewed game footage with his dad, scrutinizing every touch, tackle, and pass so he could see his on-field potential. “In any profession, you need a determination that says, ‘This is what I’m about, and this is where I want to go. And I’m not going to let anything stop me,’” he says. PRO MOVE “Seek at least two men` tors, one inside the company and one outside, who can offer unvarnished feedback,” says Jay Turk, a management consultant with the Hay Group.
Early in Bradley’s career, his favorite player was Manchester United strongman Roy Keane. “I’m inspired by the guys who leave their heart and soul on the field,” he says. And by the time he left the Netherlands to join an elite team in Germany, he had become one of those guys. “Even when the game seems out of reach, you need the grit to believe you can pull it out,” he says. “You focus on the next tackle, the next pass, the next shot.” PRO MOVE Bradley had a role model, ` and you should too, says Tulgan. So steal a page from business school and do informal case studies on the successful people you work with.
4 Develop a Flexible Skill Set
5 Dictate the Pace
In 2012 Bradley transferred to AS Roma. “The Italian league is very tactical. It’s almost like playing a chess match,” says Jürgen Klinsmann, the U.S. team coach. Then, this year, he moved again, this time to Toronto. Many considered it a step backward, because MLS is a less competitive league. But Bradley took on a bigger role, leading Toronto’s midfield and alternating between the defensive anchor and a marauding attacker. PRO MOVE Become a big fish by ` looking for smaller teams or markets to build on, says Tulgan. “You’re not relegating yourself to the small-time— you can grow the size of your pond.”
International soccer is quick, so composure will be critical in Brazil. But Bradley’s game has evolved. “Now Michael can process the game faster,” Lalas says. And with tactical decisions—by keeping possession with a safe pass rather than risking it with an aggressive play, say—he’s helping his mates win by changing the game instead of reacting to it. “Michael is part of the spine of our team,” Klinsmann says. “He can impose his will on a game.” PRO MOVE Great leaders maintain ` a team mentality. “Understand what everyone brings to the table,” says Turk. “Then pass to the right person at exactly the right time.”
46 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
8 oz vodka 6 oz fresh lemon juice 6 oz simple syrup 4 oz cranberry juice Club soda or cream soda Mint sprigs
Fill a 1-quart pitcher halfway with ice. Mix in all ingredients except the soda and mint. Fill a highball glass halfway with ice, and pour in the cocktail until the glass is about threequarters full. Top with soda and garnish with mint. Makes 8 servings
The 5-10-5 drill tests your ability to cut explosively. Place three low cones in a straight line, spaced 5 yards apart. Crouch at the middle cone; then sprint to your left and touch the cone with your left hand. Next, sprint 10 yards to the right, touching the cone with your right hand. Finally, race back to the middle; 4 seconds is elite-level fast. Rest 10 seconds and repeat, but now go to your right first. That’s 1 set. Do 3.
Bradley’s cleats bear the names of his wife and son, Amanda and Luca, to provide added inspiration.
For leg strength, use the dumbbell single-leg contralateral squat. Stand with your back to a bench and hold a 25-pound dumbbell in your left hand at shoulder height. Keeping your torso as upright as possible, balance on your right leg as you bend your right knee, shift your hips back, and lower yourself. Pause just before sitting, and push yourself back up. Do 6 to 8 reps; then switch legs. That’s 1 set. Do 2 or 3.
D r i n k p h o to g r a p h b y M I TC H M A N D E L , f o o d s t y l i n g: M e l i s s a R e i s s; i l l u s t r a t i o n s b y +I S M (t h i s p a g e), S A M I S L A N D ( p r e v i o u s p a g e)
2 Create a Feedback Loop
A soccer game is like 90 minutes of intervals. “On elite, well-organized teams, the players cover less ground, but they’re doing it at higher intensity,” says Sakihana. To forge the ability to sprint, recover, and then sprint again, national team players do this interval: After a warmup, sprint 20 seconds and then jog 20 seconds, keeping it up for a total of 4 minutes. Then rest 4 minutes. Repeat twice.
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Meet the New Girl Next Door
Flip for more advice from Ali
50 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
PH OTO G R A PH BY R A M O N A R O S A L ES
S t yling: Adr iana Gallar zo, hair: C ole Herrera , makeup: Jessic a Sc antlin, manicure: B arbara Warner/Chanel/C elestine A gency
A few years ago, I had a fight with a guy I was dating, and to make up for being a jerk, he bought me a gift. Guess what it was. No really—guess. Shoes? Nope. A necklace? Wrong again. He bought me a virtual flower on Facebook. Sigh. From then on, he didn’t stand a chance. More recently, the guy I’m dating gave me a mix tape with a few handwritten lines to explain how each song made him think of me. My thighs went weak, and I wanted him. Immediately. We women live for this mushy-gushy shit. Starting this month, I’m here to help you be more like the guy who got laid than the one who got left. So quick, about me: I was on ABC’s The Bachelor, and then The Bachelorette, where I dated a whole bunch of bros who thought they could swoon my pants off. (Want a tip? Try this: Talk to me! My first cuts on the show went to the James Dean silent types.) We all know it’s a tricky time to be courting, seducing, trying to hold a relationship together—all of it. Gender roles are shifting, and online dating has turned hookups into field research. But turning a woman on? The skill set hasn’t changed much. So go ahead—ask me anything. I’m here to serve.
TOP TEN NUDE BEACHES ON THE PLANET
1/ Black’s Beach, La Jolla, California
California’s most famous nude beach is just beneath the cliffs of Torrey Pines, so you can wave to the tourists on shore while you’re hanging ten. (Or is it eleven?)
Sex, dating, love, and lust. Ali Fedotowsky will now take your questions.
AARON, DALLAS, TX
JIM, BURLINGTON, VT
No! Unloading your guilt will make her feel the pain of something that’s otherwise buried and long forgotten. Plus, you’ll put your future with her in jeopardy. If you’re serious about the situation here, then bite your tongue. After all, you two were barely an item, and it hasn’t happened since. This is your burden, not hers. Now here’s the exception: If she asks you outright about cheating, then you have to spill. She might forgive an early lapse, but she’ll be royally pissed if you lie to her face about it.
You know your wife’s boobs are designed to feed children, right? Whether they use them or not, women are equipped with all the tools of motherhood. So even if your wife’s brain is saying “no kids,” her hormones are telling her to goo and ga over this child. She has maternal instincts— big deal. If she hasn’t asked to revisit the baby conversation, then she probably isn’t thinking about it. So take it in stride, Uncle Jim.
I drunkenly texted a colleague to ask her on a date. She didn’t reply. How do I smooth this over? MARK, BALTIMORE, MD
Ordering for her: Charmingly confident, or douche move? PHIL, HOUSTON, TX
I respect your intentions, but no woman appreciates it when a guy assumes he knows what she wants better than she does. You want to impress her with your takecharge ordering skills? Stick to wine. Ask if she prefers red or white, and then you pick the bottle. Just don’t brag about how expensive it is. That’s a douche move.
52 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
My wife and I agreed that we didn’t want kids. Now she’s swooning hard over her sister’s new baby. Is this bad?
Did you text your colleague, or was it your drunk friend who swiped your phone while you were in the bathroom? I think it was the latter. That’s your cover, anyway. Play it cool and you still might score a date: Drop by this hottie’s office and tell her your friend asked if you work with any cute girls. Her name came to mind, and that’s when he pulled his little prank. Now she knows you’re interested, but she doesn’t suspect you of being a bonehead. You can come clean later, after a couple of dates.
Be Mr. Big The average penis is 5.6 inches erect, according to a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Want to make yours feel bigger? Jamye Waxman, coauthor of Hot Sex, explains all the tricks.
PUT A RING ON IT A vibrating ring, like the Trojan Vibrations Hot Spot ($13, trojan vibrations.com), both hardens your erection and stimulates her clitoris.
Since my girlfriend earns more than I do, shouldn’t she pay more for our dates? My wallet’s hurting here! GARRETT, SANTA CRUZ, CA
I’ve been the high wage earner at times, and if I like the guy, I pick up my share of the checks. Your girl should do the same. Is it possible she doesn’t realize you’re in a different tax bracket? The topic is bound to come up eventually, so tackle it before you go broke. Tell her that until your salary jumps, you need more help from her. If she’s not cool with that, then she’s probably not that cool anyway.
Follow Ali on Facebook at MHGirlNextDoor, and on Twitter at @MHGirlNextDoor.
TALK SMUT The brain drives arousal, so by whispering your dirty thoughts during sex, you’ll engage an extra sense, and fill—er, fulfill—her more.
DO THE DOG With her back arched and hips angled upward, you’re able to penetrate deeper than you can in missionary. Good boy! —LILA BATTIS
I l l u s t r a t i o n s , f r o m t o p : S U P E R T O T T O (1) , J O E L H O L L A N D ( 3 ) ; p h o t o g r a p h s b y R A M O N A R O S A L E S ( F e d o t o w s k y ) , C o r e y b y C o r e y L y n n C a l t e r s h i r t , H & M b r a ; B e t h S t u d e n b e r g / t h e l i c e n s i n g p r o j e c t . c o m ( w o m a n i n b o o t s )
I cheated on my girlfriend early in our relationship. Now we’re getting serious. Should I come clean?
TOP TEN NUDE BEACHES ON THE PLANET
2/ Praia do Abricó, Rio de Janiero, Brazil
This secluded Rio beach not only allows nudity but makes it mandatory on weekends. During the World Cup this summer, there will be balls everywhere.
ASK HER ALREADY!
Pick Your A-Team
Men who make life look easy have expert help. Learn to fill your lineup wisely. Your payoff is better health, more wealth, and less crap to worry about.
A female brain can handle some problems that ensnarl men. Utilize her skills in these situations.
“WHO’S THAT GUY ACROSS THE ROOM?”
Women remember faces better than men do, according to a 2013 study in Psychological Science. Before you stumble through an awkward conversation with someone you canÕt place, nudge her to see if she can clue you in.
“COULD YOU HELP ME PLAN THIS OFFSITE?”
That family reunion or company retreat will come together more efficiently if sheÕs in on the organizing. Women are simply better plannersÑa 2013 BMC Psychology study found them to be 27 percent better at multitasking. REALTOR
Advise the pushy ones to shove of The ideal realtor has patience. If you know which area you’d like to live in, you might want to find an agent who lives there. Then ask, “What do you expect to happen when we start looking?” An agent who says you’ll find a home by the third showing probably wants a fast sell, says Jennifer AllanHagedorn, author of Sell with Soul. So keep shopping—for a realtor.
An overbooked attorney is no help to you If a lawyer is too busy to fight for you, you’re wasting your money. So avoid the ones with TV ads and billboards, and consider those fresh out of law school. Experience is good, sure, “but don’t overestimate technical skills,” says Bill Aulet, author of Disciplined Entrepreneurship. Ask your business-savvy friends—the best lawyers earn new clients through referrals.
His snooping can help with the snipping Avoid the guy who runs the shop like a production line, giving everybody the same haircut. Before the first snip, he should ask about your job and lifestyle, says Dave Alexander, owner of American Haircuts in Atlanta. To find a skilled stylist, study your follicularly challenged pals. The workmate with the bald spot who always looks amazing? He knows a good barber.
Let a physician pry into your private regions “If the doctor doesn’t ask about your personal life, there’s no way he or she will catch future problems,” says Ira Breite, M.D., of NYU Langone Medical Center. Sex habits, alcohol use—it should all be on the exam table. Sound awkward? “That’s on you, not your doctor,” says Dr. Breite. Oh, and the doc should talk plain English, not medical jargon. —STEVE CALECHMAN
54 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
“HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE THIS SLACKER?”
A Harvard Business Review survey found that female bosses were better at building relationships and motivating colleagues. So before you ax a struggling employee, ask a woman what sheÕd say, and borrow that approach. —LILA BATTIS
PH OTO G R A PH BY L E V I B R OW N
P ro p s t y l i n g: M e g u m i E m o to/A n d e r so n H o p k i ns; i c o ns by T R AV I S L A D U E
Find a punctual guy wearing shoe booties Plumbing isn’t rocket science, so focus on hassle-free service. Did your guy arrive on time? Put on shoe covers? Use a drop cloth? You should answer “yes” to all, says Paul Sullivan, president of a Bostonarea remodeling firm. If you don’t know where to look, ask other good tradesmen, like a carpenter or your furnace technician. They’ll know who has the best rep.
SAVE THE NERVES They’re the ﬁbers that help you experience sensations. The messaging system that transfers signals all around your body. But you have other nerves. Ones you won’t see illustrated in anatomy books. These nerves keep you calm in the face of chaos. Focused when life throws you a curveball. And courageous in tough situations. At Cigna, we care about both kinds of nerves. Because you are made of both visible things like your body and invisible things like your character, which all work together to make you an original. We’re a health benefits and services company that supports you. Day or night, we’ll listen to you and get to know what matters most — all so you can be 100% you. Get inspired at cigna.com/goyou
All Cigna products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company and Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company. The registered marks “Cigna,” the “Tree of Life” logo, and “GO YOU” are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. This ad is not intended for residents of New Mexico. 872650 © 2014 Cigna.
GET THE MOST FROM EVERY WORKOUT.
HYDRATE WITH FLAVOR. THE WORKOUT WATER
Meet David and our other ambassadors at facebook.com/propel
TOP TEN NUDE BEACHES ON THE PLANET
Gyro: Greek for Delicious This Greek sandwich’s combo of spiced meat and garlicky yogurt sauce outmuscles the flavors of traditional cheeseburgers and hot dogs. BY PAUL KITA
WHAT YOU’LL NEED 1 lb boneless leg of lamb ( lamb steaks are a suitable substitute) 1 cup red wine ½ cup sugar 3 garlic cloves, smashed 2 shallots, sliced 2 bay leaves 1 Tbsp dried oregano, plus extra for seasoning the pita 2 Tbsp kosher salt 2 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds 1 Tbsp fennel seeds ½ Tbsp coriander ½ Tbsp cardamom pods ½ Tbsp ground cinnamon Pinch of ground cloves
Bless the French for bringing naked sunbathing, and smokin’ hot European tourists, to our side of the Atlantic. Hey—you ladies like baguettes?
THIS MONTH’S EXPERT
Michael Psilakis is the author of How to Roast a Lamb and chef and owner of several Greek restaurants, including Kefi in New York City and MP Taverna on Long Island.
Get It Drunk In a medium saucepan, combine the wine, sugar, garlic, shallots, bay leaves, oregano, salt, and 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil; then reduce it to a simmer and cook until half the liquid remains, about 20 minutes. Cool the brine in the fridge; then put it and the lamb in a zip-top bag and refrigerate 30 minutes. C
Spice Things Up Heat up a large skillet on medium low. Add the three seed spices along with the coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. Toast, stirring often, until aromatic, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a grinder and pulverize.
4 Greek pitas Olive oil for brushing and drizzling Tzatziki sauce (see next page) 1 lemon Diced cucumber, tomato, and red onion
Crank the Flame Preheat the grill on direct, high heat. Take the meat out of the brine and dust it with the spices to taste. Sear the lamb just 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate. Brush the pitas with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Grill them until marks appear, about 15 seconds on each side. E
Start Rolling A
Shave Your Meat Freeze the lamb for 10 minutes so it’ll be easier to slice. Trim excess fat with a paring knife; then cut 3" strips (about ⅛" thick) with a chef’s knife, going against the grain. 58 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
Spoon some tzatziki onto the smooth side of each pita. Divide the meat among the pitas and add a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and the cucumber, tomato, and red onion. Top with the juices from the meat plate. Makes 4 servings Per serving 382 calories, 26 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates (5 g fiber), 12 g fat P H O T O G R A P H S B Y M AT T S TA C E Y
F o o d s t y l i n g: K a r e n E v a n s /A p o s t r o p h e , p r o p s t y l i n g: T h o m D r i v e r/ 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 S U P E R T O T T O (to p o f p a g e), J I M W I N T E R S (P s i l a k i s)
3 Tbsp cumin seeds
3/ Grande Saline Beach, St. Barts
Avoid Gyro Fallout!
Prevent a sauce-covered forearm: Cover your gyro in foil. Here’s how to be a wrap artist. 1
Position the Pita
Tighten the Jacket
Fold, Top, Chow
Place the gyro diagonally on an 8" piece of foil, the gyro’s base pointed toward the bottom left corner. (If you’re a lefty, reverse all instructions throughout.) Work your left hand under the foil to hold the gyro.
Fold the excess foil on the bottom of the gyro to keep the sauce inside. Use your right hand to fold the top left corner of the foil over the gyro about two-thirds from the top. The sandwich should feel secure.
Still holding the gyro tightly, bring the right tab over the left tab to close the sandwich. You should now be able to loosen your hold without the gyro coming undone. If that happens, repeat step 2.
Crimp the excess foil that’s behind the gyro to expose the pita. At this point, holding the gyro vertically, you can load up the sandwich with more tzatziki sauce, olive oil, or vegetables. Eat up!
Fire Up Some Fattoush
This fresh salad partners well with Greek meals. The recipe is adapted from the cookbook Arabesque, by Claudia Roden. WHAT YOU’LL NEED 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped into ½" ribbons
2 tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 green pepper, seeded and cut into ½" pieces 1 small onion, chopped 2–3 sprigs of parsley, chopped 2–3 sprigs of mint, chopped ¼ cup olive oil Juice from ½ lemon 1½ tsp ground sumac ( find this at Middle Eastern markets, or go to thespicehouse.com) 1 pita, cut around the rim, toasted 60 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
In a large bowl, mix together the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, onion, parsley, and mint. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, and ground sumac to make the dressing. Before serving, tear the pita into pieces and add to the large bowl. Pour on the dressing, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Makes 3 to 4 servings
WHAT YOU’LL NEED ½ English cucumber
HOW THE HELL DO YOU SAY “GYRO”? Two options. “In Greece, it’s pronounced yee-ro,” says Psilakis, “although jai-ro has now become so popular that it’s acceptable slang.” Go with either and you’ll be fine. Guy-ro, jee-ro, or hero, however, will get you a meatball sub.
5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped ½ cup distilled white vinegar 2 sliced shallots ½ cup fresh dill leaves 1¼ cup Greek yogurt 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Peel the cucumber and quarter it lengthwise; then remove the seeds and dice it. In a food processor or blender, add the garlic, vinegar, shallots, and dill; pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl with the cucumber and Greek yogurt. Fold in the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Makes 2 cups
MI TCH M ANDEL (t zat ziki), food st yling: M elissa Reiss; M I C H A E L H O E W E L E R (w r a p i l l u s t r a t i o n s)
2 small cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1" slices
HOW TO MAKE IT
This cucumber sauce is great slathered on a gyro, but Psilakis also loves it spooned over a pita and topped with some oregano, diced tomato, and a few salami slices.
GIVE YOUR JOINTS AN EDGE. *
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Find it in the vitamin aisle. Learn more @ OsteoBiFlexEdge.com Available At: Individual results may vary. 5-LOXIN® ADVANCED is a trademark of PL Thomas - Laila Nutra, LLC. U.S. Patent #8,551,496 and patents pending.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. © 2014 Rexall Sundown, Inc.
TOP TEN NUDE BEACHES ON THE PLANET
4/ Englischer Garten, Munich, Germany
Despite their reputation for being uptight, the Bavarians are so pro-nudity that they’ve designated part of this park an official clothing-optional zone.
Every time my mom and brother fight, she calls me. How do I bow out of this peacekeeper role once and for all? TIM, ATLANTA, GA
Hate to break it to you, Timmo, but you’re not keeping any peace. You’re just the convenient target your mom uses when she needs to vent. And now she’s forgotten how to work out her problems. So be firm and tell her you’re done. Then follow up: When she starts in, cut her off. Hang up if you have to—it’s called tough love. It won’t prevent every fight, but you never did that anyway.
JACK, BOZEMAN, MT
Know what every bartender loves? Making a pushy jerk wait. But the jerk can’t know we’re avoiding him, or he’ll get all fired up. So look for a loudmouth leaning over the bar, and post up far away from the guy. Make eye contact with the barkeep, nod, and watch him ignore your competition. Then give a good tip. We also hate cheapskates.
MARCUS, BRONX, NY
What are you thinking— a full-page “look at me” ad? Come on, man, you’re a professional. You gotta toot your own horn. The big guy’s not getting any calls about you, so he knows you’re a keeper. But if you want extra credit, drop him a casual note when you pull off something big. Or mention a project you’re excited about
Duck Out of Work Early
THE MANLY ARTS 62 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
A man who gets things done is entitled to the occasional long afternoon—for a jump on the weekend, say, or a day game at Fenway. First rule: Leave nobody in the lurch. If you have deadlines, meet them beforehand. “Schedule an afternoon meeting offsite,” says John Parkin, author of the F**k It Therapy books. Tell those who might come looking that you’re off to
I visited my sister four months ago when she had her baby. Now she wants me to visit again. It’s 1,200 miles! What’s my obligation here? STEVE, SEATTLE, WA
Your obligation is to care—not to live on an airplane, not to shell out cash you don’t have, and really, not to think of it as an obligation. That said, when is the last time you called to ask about the bambino? Ever think about doing one of those video-chat things, so the kid can see your face? My bet: If you bridge the distance as best you can, she’ll stop hounding you.
When we’re all out at the bar, my pal’s new girlfriend gets touchy—grabbing my arm, that sort of thing. If I don’t say something, will he get the wrong idea?
They still go home with the one who brung ’em. So just because this girl is affectionate doesn’t mean she’s interested in you. If you’ve noticed her touchy-feely routine, then your pal has too. And if she’s sticking with it, he must not be telling her to lay off. Don’t be so uptight. If your friend has a problem, he’ll let one or both of you know about it.
My dad died last year, and my mom keeps his voice on her answering machine. She says it’s comforting. Frankly, it upsets me. Do I tell her? JUAN, ORLANDO, FL
It upsets you? Think how hard it must hit her. Clearly she’s not ready to let go. If this is about just you, then keep quiet—you can always hang up before the machine answers. But if the rest of the family feels the same way you do, then sure, address the issue—delicately. It’s her husband, her machine, and her decision. Don’t forget it.
TOM, BURLINGTON, VT
Hey, a lot of women in here get a little touchy after a few drinks, and it usually means squat.
Follow Jimmy’s tips on Twitter: @MensHealthJimmy
a meeting, leave as usual, and don’t come back. Make you uneasy? Just slip out quickly and quietly, so as not to spark the ire of colleagues still plowing through paperwork. Hell—leave your computer on and a halffinished cup of coffee on your desk, and everybody will assume you’re still in the building. And don’t be stupid: Stay off social media. Just one careless tweet can create hard feelings. —KRISTINE THOMASON I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y M A R K T O D D
S U P E R TOT TO (to p o f p a g e), M i c h e l l e P e d o n e (J i m m y), T h e I m a g e b a n k /G e t t y I m a g e s (c h a i r)
Hey, Jim, what’s the best way to nab a bartender’s attention when the place is packed?
My boss doesn’t check in on me much. How can I make him notice my work without looking like an overeager schoolkid?
when you catch him in the hallway. Think of it this way: When that VP job opens up, he’ll be looking for a go-getter. So make sure he knows where to find one.
5k to 10k.
Change for the better. Switch and you could save with GEICO. Tell us you’re a member of the ACTIVE.com community and see how much more you could save on GEICO auto insurance. Go to geico.com/activenetwork for your free quote now.
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Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or companies. Discount amount varies in some states. Coverage is individual. In New York a premium reduction may be available. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. GEICO Gecko ©1999-2014. © 2014 GEICO
Beginner’s Guide /
SWITCH YOUR GRIP A
Your workout shouldn’t be as rigid as a barbell. Make some waves to build more muscle.
Holding the rope underhand [A] works more of your pulling muscles, while holding it overhand [B] works your pushing muscles, Brookfield says. Mix it up to build balanced strength. Another option: Double the ends [C] to challenge your grip.
Two Rope Exercises You Must Master ROPES AREN’T JUST FOR SAILING AND S&M.
They’re a must-have tool for anyone looking to pack on lean mass. “The key to their effectiveness is that they work each arm independently, eliminating strength imbalances as they sculpt your muscle,” says John Brookfield, creator of the original battling-ropes system. They also provide a killer cardio workout. Read on to maximize your burn—and brawn. —MICHAEL EASTER
BATTLE FAT AT HOME Training ropes come in various lengths and thicknesses, but a 50-foot, 1½-inchthick rope works best for most guys ($155, powerropes.com). You can also craft your own: Buy 50 feet of generic 1½-inch rope ($110, homedepot.com) and wrap the ends in electrical tape. To anchor it, just loop it around a pole.
2 / BATTLING-ROPE CROSSOVERS Instead of making waves, slam the rope to the ground. “You’ll build more power and hammer your core,” says Brookfield. DIRECTIONS Keep both feet flat on the floor as you move the ends in an arc above your head, lifting them to your left and slamming them down hard to your right. Repeat in the opposite direction. Continue alternating for 1 to 20 minutes.
sculpt functional real world strength. 66 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
ing you build strength as you shed fat.
active recovery, says Brookfield.
Find more workout tips and total-body challenges at MensHealth.com/fitness. PH OTO G R A PH BY T R E VO R R EI D
I l l u s t r a t i o n s b y B R O W N B I R D (g r i p s) , Z A N D E R D E K K E R (e x e r c i s e s); g r o o m i n g : K r i s t a n S e r a f i n o / L a u r a M e r c i e r/ E x c l u s i v e A r t i s t s
1 / BATTLING-ROPE WAVES This is the classic battling-rope exercise. “It works each arm independently and keeps your muscles under tension for extended periods,” says Brookfield. DIRECTIONS Hold the ends of the rope at arm’s length in front of your hips with your hands shoulder-width apart. Brace your core and begin alternately raising and lowering each arm explosively. Keep alternating arms for 1 to 20 minutes.
DON’T LET ICE THERAPY FREEZE YOU OUT.
Break free from ice therapy with Arctic Ease.® Combining both cold and compression therapies, Arctic Ease® is a cooling wrap that gives you the beneﬁts of ice therapy without the ice. And because Arctic Ease® conforms to your body, you can remain active as it reduces pain and swelling for hours. Learn more at arcticeasewrap.com
and other ﬁne retailers
Best New Workout
Hit the Beach with a Six-Pack
Craig Ballantyne, C.T.T., creator of Turbulence Training BEST FOR
Busting through fitness plateaus, triggering new muscle growth, boosting athleticism, and incinerating belly fat.
Fry fat and sculpt a summer body—fast—with this sizzling strength-cardio combo.
Barbell, weight plates, pullup bar, box or step, kettlebell, treadmill FOCUS
Strength, power, weight loss CALORIES BURNED
*As measured by a fit 6'2", 185-pound man using a Polar FT7 heart rate monitor
Stream the follow-along version of this workout: StreamFit.com/MensHealth
HOW TO DO IT
Perform exercises 1A, 1B, and 1C as a circuit, moving from one to the next with 2 minutes of rest. Do 4 circuits total. Do the last two moves as described.
1A Eccentric Barbell Squat
1B Pullup with Knee-Up
2 Kettlebell Swing
3 Treadmill Intervals
Load a barbell and hold it across your upper back using an overhand grip. Place your feet shoulderwidth apart. Squat, keeping your back straight and your chest up as you take 3 seconds to lower your body as far as you can. Pause, and then stand up explosively. Do 8 reps total.
Assume a pushup position with your feet on a box or bench. As you lower your body, lift your right foot and try to touch your right knee to your right elbow. Push back up to the starting position and repeat with your left leg and left elbow. That’s 1 rep. Do as many reps as you can, stopping 1 rep short of failure. 68 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
Place a kettlebell on the floor in front of you, spread your feet slightly beyond shoulder width, and grab the kettlebell’s handle. Swing it between your legs, up to chest level, and then back between your legs. That’s 1 rep. Continue without pausing. Do 4 sets of 10 reps, resting 40 seconds between sets.
Hop on a treadmill and increase the speed to a sprint, running as fast as you safely can for 30 seconds. Recover by decelerating to a slow walk for 40 seconds. That’s 1 interval. Do 6.
I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y +I S M
J I M W I N T E R S (B a l l a n t y n e), S t i g u r K a r l s s o n /G e t t y I m a g e s ( p h o to g r a p h)
1C Decline Spiderman Pushup
Grab a pullup bar using a shoulder-width, overhand grip and hang at arm’s length with your legs straight. Simultaneously pull your chest to the bar and raise your knees toward your chest. Pause, and slowly lower your body to the starting position. Do as many reps as you can, stopping 2 reps short of failure.
One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.
ENERGY TO KEEP UP WITH ANYONE There’s power in the crunch of almonds. 6g of energy-giving protein and 4g of hunger-slaying ﬁber, ready whenever you need it most. Learn more at Almonds.com.
© 2014 Almond Board of California. All rights reserved.
The Rules /
Sneakers Stow away your loafers—casual kicks have taken a step up.
GYM SHOES THEY ARE NOT. THEY’RE DESIGNER SNEAKERS,
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: JIMMY CHOO BARLOWE, $995 DIOR HOMME B12, $740 UNITED NUDE MENS RUNNER, $169
and they look damn sharp. “You can wear them with just about anything,” says Elliott Curtis, a cofounder of Sneakerology 101, the first accredited college course on sneaker culture, at Carnegie Mellon University. So listen to the experts: It’s time to raise your footwear game. —DAN MICHEL
Keep ’Em Clean Dirty sneakers are fine for mowing the lawn, but they’re an eyesore at the dinner table. So keep a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser ($4 for a fourpack, lowes.com) on hand to remove scuffs, says Peter Chun, the founder of Swaag, an app that allows users to share and shop for sneakers. Stain too big for Mr. Clean? Make a paste using water and OxiClean powder ($10, walgreens.com). Rub it into the stain, let it sit for five to 10 minutes, and blot it dry with a clean wet cloth.
HIGH FASHION Try it with a suit. Seriously.
NEW SCHOOL Patent leather puts a shiny spin on retro style.
DO Save the Toe
Perfectionists, take note: If you just slide some Sneaker Shields ($13, sneakershields. com) into your shoes, you can preserve the new look. The plastic inserts fit inside the toe and prevent creases. And months from now, your sneaks will still look fresh from the box. Prop st yling: Sarah Guido/Halley Resources
FOOT ZEN The entire body is made of comfortable elastic. 70 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
P H O T O G R A P H B Y YA S U + J U N K O
P R O M O T I O N
It’s Easy to Watch & Buy IN EVERY ISSUE!
HERE’S HOW: DOWNLOAD
Download the FREE Layar app from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.
Look for the brightly colored shopping cart or video icon appearing at the bottom of pages throughout this issue.
Scan the page using the free app and your smartphone camera.
SHOP OR WATCH
Enjoy the shopping experience, including your own personal “watch list” where you can save products you like, or play videos directly from your smartphone.
IT’S THAT EASY. WE PROMISE. POWERED BY
There’s more happening in the pages of Men’s Health than ever before. Now shopping and playing videos directly from the pages is as simple as grabbing your smartphone. Give it a try today.
Common Projects Achilles, $410
Pierre Hardy CX03 Multi Jeans, $675
Prada Crocodile Sneakers, $3,500
FIND YOUR NEW FOOTWEAR The “sneakerverse” is vast and intimidating. To simplify your search, decide how flashy you want to be and how much you’re willing to spend. Then choose accordingly.
Alejandro Ingelmo Josh, $550
Bally Okar, $450
Converse by John Varvatos Chuck Taylor All Star Double Zip, $190
Puma by McQ McQ Climb Mid, $195
K-Swiss Tre Emme Break Leather, $150
Kenneth Cole New York Double Header, $158
Adidas Originals SL Loop Runner, $75
Reebok Blacktop Battleground, $125 Aldo Goranson, $80
Pony Topstar Hi Empire Leather, $60
New Balance ML501TCG, $68
Reebok GL6000, $85
When you wear bold shoes, show restraint by choosing neutralcolored clothing. “Let your shoes do the talking,” says Curtis.
You can pair sneakers with nice jeans and a blazer—or hell, even a full suit—as long as your pants break high. If they bunch, they’re too long.
Too much girth in the legs (think boot cut) is awkward. It hides narrow sneakers and makes chunkier shoes look like clogs.
If you work out in them, then that means they’re your gym shoes, not your office shoes. “You want to look rebellious yet focused—not like you forgot your dress shoes,” says Curtis.
Fix bagginess like this: Pinch the slack at the inside seam; then, leaving just a little space, fold the seam over. Finally, cuff the pants two times to lock the fold in place.
DON’T Color Code
“Guys who coordinate their accessories with their sneakers are trying too hard,” says Curtis. Wearing a navy blue hat with your navy blue Aldos? People will think you’re in uniform.
DON’T Wear Trainers
72 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
DO Cuff the Width
For more info on these items, see page 151.
Lace Like Crazy There are dozens of ways to string a shoe. “And changing it up will help you stand out,” says Matt Sleep, senior designer for Converse. Try these to impress a shoe-crazy lady. LOOP BACK
Rock Slim Pants
Show Some Ankle
THE MH MUSTHAVE
Gillette’s new five-blade ProGlide swivels in four directions, which helps it stay flat against your skin and bend around the contours of your face. That’s perfect for those early mornings when you’re too groggy (or hungover) to keep your hand steady. GILLETTE FUSION PROGLIDE WITH FLEXBALL TECHNOLOGY, $10
T h o m a s M a c D o n a l d (s n e a k e r s) , M i t c h M a n d e l (r a z o r); G I O P A S T O R I ( i l l u s t r a t i o n s)
Check out our website at MENSHEALTH.COM/INSIDEOUT for the latest event and promotion updates.
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THE SUPERIOR LIGHT BEER Summer is the perfect opportunity to explore. From the open water to the open trail, it’s your time to get out and do something. And when you’re done, cool off with a smooth and refreshing Michelob ULTRA. With fewer calories and fewer carbs, Michelob ULTRA is the superior light beer for a summer like no other.
A WINNING COMBINATION! DENTYNE ICE IS YOUR BREATH’S FRIEND. Your Breath’s Friend keeps you cool. Whether you’re headed to a morning meeting, happy hour with friends, or even date night – fresh breath can make all the difference. So put your best breath forward and go get ‘em. Facebook.com/Dentyne
Pure Protein® makes it easy to fuel your inner athlete with the perfect combination of high protein and great taste. Our goal is to provide you with convenient and delicious protein products, giving you the strength to achieve your goals. www.pureprotein.com
TOP TEN NUDE BEACHES ON THE PLANET
5/ Spa V at Hotel Victor, Miami Beach, Florida
Men-only steam rooms are short on scenery. Since this clothing-optional coed hammam (Turkish bath) is in South Beach, the clientele is more tri-Delt than AARP.
Love summer? It doesn’t love you. In fact, it makes you look like a greasy slob. But don’t sweat it—with the right strategy, you can conquer the season’s biggest grooming problems.
Pimples are winning the land grab on your body
Your hair looks like it mopped up an oil spill
Don’t let body acne detract from your newly emerging abs. Salicylic acid, a common ingredient in over-the-counter facial cleansers, is your simplest remedy for clearing pimples, says H. Ray Jalian, M.D., a UCLA dermatologist. Neutrogena adds the acid to a body scrub to help it penetrate the thicker skin on your chest and back.
Your body’s oil-producing sebaceous glands are most densely concentrated on your scalp, says Dr. Jalian. In the summer, that can mean heavy, greasy hair, and flakes on your head and shoulders. So fight back with mud: Hanz de Fuko uses pulverized minerals and bentonite clay, both of which add hold while pulling oil away from your roots.
NEUTROGENA BODY CLEAR BODY SCRUB $7, NEUTROGENA.COM
HANZ DE FUKO QUICKSAND $18, HANZDEFUKO.COM
The shine on your forehead is blinding your friends
Days in the sun are adding years to your face
When sweat mixes with oil, the result is a highgloss finish that reflects sunlight and makes you look perpetually uncool. To fight the greasy-teen look, Kiehl’s bolsters its moisturizer with a pulverized gel called Aerolite, which can absorb four times its weight in oil. Apply it in the a.m.— or as needed—so people around you can stop shielding their eyes.
Radiation from sunlight can wear down your skin’s collagen, the protein that fights wrinkles. Retaliate with vitamin C, says Dr. Jalian. In a study from Japan, this antioxidant boosted the production of skinsmoothing proteins. By adding it to an SPF 28 sunscreen, Garnier lets you repair damage and prevent wrinkles at the same time. —DAN MICHEL
KIEHL’S OIL-ELIMINATOR 24-HOUR MOISTURIZER $27, KIEHLS.COM
GARNIER SKIN RENEW DAILY MOISTURE LOTION $13, GARNIERUSA.COM
Smooth turns stubbly.
TAME YOUR CHEST HAIR
At least Tom wore it proudly.
Alec apes his ancestors.
Okay, Harry pulls it off.
The ideal chest-hair length is just under an inch, says Jason Schneidman, founder of The Men’s Groomer. To get your fur perfect, use your electric shaver with a No. 6 setting. 74 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
P H O T O G R A P H B Y T R AV I S R AT H B O N E
P r o p 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 , S U P E R T O T T O ( i l l u s t r a t i o n ) , W a r n e r B r o s / E v e r e t t C o l l e c t i o n ( R y a n G o s l i n g ) , S p l a s h N e w s / C o r b i s ( J o n H a m m ) , S S P L / G e t t y I m a g e s ( To m S e l l e c k ) , H u l t o n A r c h i v e / G e t t y I m a g e s ( A l e c B a l d w i n ) , M C A T V / E v e r e t t C o l l e c t i o n ( H a r r y )
Keep a Cool Head
Meet the man behind the muscle at TheIsopureCompany.com/Raymond
TOP TEN NUDE BEACHES ON THE PLANET
6/ Potter’s Falls, Ithaca, New York
Okay, not a beach, but this skinny-dipping spot boasts a waterfall and natural pools carved into the rock. Swimming here isn’t technically legal, but it’s worth the risk.
5 Hot Summer Dates
She’s been on lots of dates with lots of guys. Make sure she remembers yours.
WITH SO MUCH RIDING ON
the first date, it’s a wonder most guys still pick the same old boring places— stuffy restaurants, dark movie theaters, loud bars. You can do better than that. And if you hope to go from first date to second— and then to love, marriage, parenthood, and your 50th wedding anniversary—you should do better than that. Here’s how: Listen to women. We did. We asked HowAboutWe, a site where members submit ideas for dates and go out with people who like what’s been proposed. After some data mining (note: not a good first-date activity), the site identified proposals that attracted the most female attention. Then we asked the experts for ways to pull off those ideas perfectly.
Wow her with climbing (and planning) skills
Practice waking up together
Eat on the street and drink in the garden
Show her your idiot side
Hoofing it somewhere interesting keeps the blood—and the conversation—moving. Plus, the simple act of walking alongside you can help her feel more connected to you, according to a study in the journal Social Cognition.
Rock climbing, whether it’s inside or out, ramps up adrenaline production, resulting in a sensation similar to sexual arousal. Once the sweat dries, go to a barbecue joint where you can eat brisket, sip whiskey, and talk about where the date is headed next.
A morning bicycle ride to a farmers’ market can plant the seed for future overnighters. “It has the intimate feeling of having spent the night together,” says Lorraine.
Food-truck grub is generally tasty and always cheap, so you can save your cash for the beer garden afterward. And having two phases keeps the date interesting, says Timothy Loving, Ph.D., a cofounder of ScienceofRelationships.com. It sure as hell beats just sitting and staring at each other across a table, he says.
Quick, what’s the capital of North Dakota? Don’t know? Better come up with something funny. Pub trivia night is a perfect date: cheap beer, easy conversation, and a shared goal to bond over. (It’s Bismarck, Einstein.)
BE THE LOVE SHERPA `
The ideal hike is short but includes a long, casual lunch. Pack finger foods, a bottle of wine, and a blanket. She’ll be more receptive to that first kiss if she doesn’t have pine needles poking her in the ass.
MAKE A BOSS MOVE `
Contact the climbing center ahead of time to make reservations and prepay, suggests Los Angeles dating coach DeAnna Lorraine. Women love a man who can plan.
76 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
WATCH HER BACK `
You’ll have a better view if you let her ride in front. Plus, she can set the pace. Win-win! Really like the girl? Then buy her something small, like a bracelet, so she’ll never forget your first date, says Brandy Engler, Psy.D., an L.A.-based sex therapist. “That’s sexy-nice.”
GO HALFSIES WITH HER `
A recent Clemson University study found that the simple act of handing food to somebody can boost intimacy.
SWAGGER A LITTLE `
Propose a funny team name, like “Masterdaters” or “Suck It, Losers!” And while it’s okay to be competitive, don’t pull out your smartphone to cheat, says Loving. She may think you cheat in other ways too. BY L AUR A TEDESCO
S U P E R T O T T O ( i l l u s t r a t i o n ) , D a v i d B u r t o n / Tr u n k A r c h i v e ( c o u p l e )
Take a 15-minute hike—no more, no less
LOSE YOUR GUT IN RECORD TIME.
Exercise for as little as 20 minutes just once or twice a week and lose 20, 30, 50, or more pounds in as many days, all while getting into the best shape of your life. Anyone can do it using a little-known ďŹ tness technique called negative-accentuated training, which activates your hormones to turbocharge fat loss and muscle growth. In The Body Fat Breakthrough, legendary exercise scientist Ellington Darden, PhD, ofers his revolutionary plan to speed you to a leaner, harder, more sculpted body!
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TOP TEN NUDE BEACHES ON THE PLANET
7/ Korakukan Jigokudani Ryokan, Nagano, Japan
It’s better than a beach: Soak in the hot springs at this traditional Japanese inn, where your fellow bathers are as naked as the snow monkeys that may drop by to hang.
5 Health Mistakes You Make Every Day
Your day is fraught with peril—from the dumbphone that bloops while you’re driving to the NSFW website that beckons at 3 p.m. Those risks you know. How about these?
You Brush Just After Breakfast
You Commute with the Windows Open
You Microwave Your Lunch in Plastic
Brushing after eating acidic foods—especially fruit and juice—can weaken enamel, says Mark Wolff, D.D.S., Ph.D., of NYU College of Dentistry. That may lead to discoloration or greater odds of cracks and chips. RINSE AND WAIT Didn’t brush before eating? Swish ` with water and wait 40 minutes for the calcium in your saliva to remineralize weakened areas. Then brush.
Air pollution on highways can be up to 10 times what it is in the burbs, says Scott Fruin, D.Env., an environmental health researcher at USC. Diesel fumes may contribute to headaches, cancer, and heart disease. RECIRCULATE Shut the windows and hit “recirc” on ` your AC. Doing this can cut your particulate pollution exposure fourfold, one of Dr. Fruin’s studies found.
BPA-free? It’s better, but not perfect. Phthalates can still leach into your food, potentially damaging sperm and altering hormones, says Germaine Buck Louis, Ph.D., a director at the National Institutes of Health. BET YOUR ASS ON GLASS Transfer food to glass ` before nuking it, or warm it on the stove at home and pack it in a stainless-steel thermos to keep it hot.
ADVANTAGE: JAPAN Japanese people live nearly 85 years—five years longer than the average American. What are they doing right?
Managers who use their smartphone for work after 9 p.m. wake up groggy, a University of Florida study found. And a large Singaporean study shows that too little sleep can raise your odds of dying of stroke. POWER DOWN Keep the charging station out of the ` bedroom, and turn off e-mail notifications after 9 p.m. If it’s an emergency, someone will call. —PAIGE FOWLER
I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y J O Ã O F A Z E N D A
THEY WALK MORE
THEY EAT MORE FISH/ SEAFOOD PER CAPITA
99 MINUTES DAILY
People with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of just .01 percent—well below the .08 legal limit—are 46 percent more likely to cause a crash than drivers who are totally sober, a UC San Diego study reveals. CHEW BEFORE BREWS Cut your BAC by 30 percent ` by eating beforehand, says Aaron White, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
2.3 OUNCES DAILY
You Check Your Work E-Mail Before Bed
5.5 OUNCES DAILY ( a v e r a g e )
You Drive Home After Happy Hour
5,340 STEPS DAILY
7,321 STEPS DAILY ( m e n )
I l l u s t r a t i o n b y S U P E R TOT TO (to p o f p a g e)
58 MINUTES DAILY
THEY SPEND MORE TIME PREPARING MEALS
Sources: National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, OECD, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
July/August 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 79
TOP TEN NUDE BEACHES ON THE PLANET
8/ Secret Harbor Creek Beach, Lake Tahoe
All you need to know: bikini-free beach volleyball. Just imagine the bounce. Can someone please tell the International Olympic Committee about this?
Secrets of Flight Club
We asked 860 airline pilots how they avoid feeling run-down on the runway.
Stories That Travel Well
The literati gave us great vacation reads. Book a trip, then get lost in these pages.
At the Resort... The Beach, by Alex Garland
It has it all—jungles, waterfalls, and total mayhem. “It’s about young backpackers in Thailand searching for that last unspoiled frontier— and finding their own dark little hearts instead,” says Junot DÍaz, author of This Is How You Lose Her.
80% 69% 68% 22%
At the Campsite... The Golden Spruce, by John Vaillant
Spend as much time as possible outdoors
Break a sweat at their destination
Cut back on calories or stop eating entirely
Water, that is. That dry air in the cabin dehydrates you and contributes to fatigue, brain fog, and other symptoms of jet lag. And booze, sorry to say, does the same.
Your circadian clock, which is located in your brain’s hypothalamus, relies on daylight to decide whether to give you energy or flood you with sleep hormones.
In a Japanese study, scientists discovered that men who exercised early in the day were able to more quickly align their sleep schedule with darkness.
Researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center found in a rodent study that circadian rhythms rely partially on food. So if you eat as usual, you’ll be tired as usual.
PACK YOUR NALGENE
Aim to drink 8 ounces of H2O every hour you’re in the air, says Smith L. Johnston, M.D., head of NASA Johnson Space Center’s fatigue management team.
FAKE THE SUN
The University of Michigan’s Entrain app (free for iOS) uses your itinerary to recommend when you need bright light and when to switch to total darkness.
TIME YOUR WORKOUT
Plan a tough workout for no later than three hours before bedtime, says Dr. Johnston. Otherwise your elevated core temperature can make it harder to sleep.
PLAN YOUR FAST
Go 16 hours without food to restart your circadian clock, the researchers suggest. Schedule it right, and you’ll arrive hungry and energized. —K. ALEISHA FETTERS
SCREW JET LAG! A few pilots wrote in to tell us that sex helped them adapt to new time zones. Could it be true? Sure, says MH sleep medicine advisor W. Christopher Winter, M.D. Ejaculation releases prolactin, a sedating hormone that can override your circadian clock and help you conk out easier. Flying yourself to your final destination works too.
84 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
During a Road Trip... Brown Dog, by Jim Harrison
Over the course of six novellas, our hard-drinking, woman-chasing hero wanders his way through Michigan, Canada, and California. “He’s a simple guy who sees through the illusions of the world,” says Los Angeles Times book critic David L. Ulin. 860 pilots participated in our online survey, which was conducted in collaboration with the Air Line Pilots Association, International.
P H O T O - I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y G L U E K I T
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Drink more on the job than they do off
The story hinges on one real-life mystery: Why would a protester cut down the world’s only giant golden spruce? The answer is as puzzling as the man who did it, says travel journalist Robin Esrock. “It’s a gripping tale of man versus nature.”
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THE BEST IS WITHIN
BY SANDRA NYGAARD
PHOTOGRAPHS BY AARON RICHTER
PACK RIGHT, TRAVEL LIGHT Breeze through the TSA line with these lightweight, no-fuss packing strategies. LAST YEAR DOMESTIC AIRLINES
86 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
Concert tees and cargo shorts scream “tourist” in the city. Aim for comfort and cool. Wear a button-down or a tee with a lightweight sport coat, says Rookwood. An unlined blazer with an interior pocket compresses easily and makes pickpockets work overtime for your wallet or passport.
2 / Add Texture
Lean on breathable lightweight cotton, says consultant Matthew Singer, former men’s fashion director for Neiman Marcus. People will forgive the wrinkles. No more crappy in-room ironing board! Just pull a cotton shirt out of your backpack, give it a shake, and it’s a classic extra layer.
3/ Loaf Around
You want loafers with rubber soles—they’re every bit as comfortable as sneakers but can smooth your transition from thrill seeker to dinner date, Singer says. Plus, an airy, lightweight sole helps when you’re running from the crowds. Pack your least clunky running shoes for planned workouts. TODD SNYDER JACKET, $795 GAP SHIRT, $50, AND JEANS, $60 UGG AUSTRALIA SHOES, $180 BEN MINKOFF BAG, $295
G r o o m i n g : C h u c k J e n s e n / M a r k E d w a r d I n c . ; M I T C H M A N D E L ( p r o d u c t s)
cashed in on baggage fees—to the tune of more than $2.5 billion. That’s money we’d rather see you spend on, say, margaritas or magazine subscriptions. Here’s a simple test: “If you can’t comfortably carry your luggage up a long flight of stairs, you’ve packed too much,” says Dan Rookwood, U.S. editor of the men’s online retailer Mr Porter. Luckily, shedding pounds from your carryon is easier than dropping them from your gut: Just bring clothes in complementary shades, says Rookwood. So if you pack a blue sport coat and jeans, fill your carry-on with grays and whites. Next, think thin: Lightweight fabrics compress more easily into small spaces. Finally, seek out easy versatility by choosing crease-resistant materials and reversible designs. Wherever you’re touching down this year, use our tips to go the extra mile— without the extra bags.
1/ Blend In
SEEK THESE SHADES Cheap sunglasses seem like a good deal—until you nick, scratch, or drop them. Invest in one of these life-proof pairs, and forge into the sunlight with far less squinting.
1/ Make a Quick Change Oakley’s impact-resistant lenses also minimize glare, and the frame includes patented components that help prevent slippage as you sweat. OAKLEY, $150
Hydrophobic and antireflective mirror coatings are main draws of Smith’s Mastermind shades. Translation: No glare, and water and dirt wipe right off. SMITH OPTICS, $209
Many frames are crafted from a single plastic mold, but Shred’s Sir Edmunds are made with multilayer acetate, which means they’re less likely to snap. SHRED OPTICS, $190
BE A BETTER BAG MAN Conquer every terrain with these essential rules of the carryall. BEACH
PROMOTE THE TOTE CHOOSE THICK OR WAXED CANVAS, NOT LEATHER. IT WILL STAND UP BETTER TO THE SUN, SAND, AND SALT WATER.
THINK INSIDE THE BOX RECTILINEAR (BOX-SHAPED) LUGGAGE MAXIMIZES SPACE, ROOKWOOD SAYS. CURVED EDGES ROB YOU OF EXTRA REAL ESTATE.
PUT STOCK IN ZIPLOCK USE PLASTIC BAGS TO WRAP BOOTS AND ORGANIZE BELONGINGS— THAT’LL MAKE IT EASIER TO LOCATE ITEMS IN YOUR PACK.
Look for cargos with deep front pockets and side pockets near the knees. That’ll keep equipment out of the way when you kneel, says Jorge Ribas, a video producer for the Nature Conservancy. Zip-off bottom halves are a bonus when you’re swamp-bound.
2 / Warm Up to Polyester
Pure cotton can press cold sweat against your body—not the most comfortable feeling. A high-exertion activity like hiking is better served by a moisturewicking polyester knit, which dries relatively quickly, says Walker Ferguson, a field testing manager at Patagonia.
3/ Prep for the Elements
A light, water-resistant layer won’t just keep you dry when a storm rolls through. “It also works great as a windbreaker at night and protects your valuables from sand, scratches, and water,” Ribas says. The rest of the time, it folds up small enough to fit in your pocket. L.L.BEAN JACKET, $55 PATAGONIA SHIRT, $79 EDDIE BAUER PANTS, $70, AND BACKPACK, $80 TIMBERLAND SHOES, $110
July/August 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 87
Style / Pack Right, Travel Light
TAKE THE PLUNGE
A true dive watch should be able to hold up at least 200 meters below the surface. (Yep, 656 feet.) This summer, put one to the test: Date a mermaid, and always be on time. Here are three of our favorites.
FEEL THE BURN
As you’re baking in the sun, so is your watch—and for once that’s a good thing. Solar energy charges up the lithium ion cell in this timepiece.
1/ Stay Cool Under the Collar
A navy piqué polo shirt is ready when you’re sweaty. “You can wear it to the pool or with jeans to dinner,” says Singer, “and the dark color hides stains and perspiration.” This polo, made from ultrafine cotton mesh, cleans you up nicely for when the sun goes down.
SEIKO SSC031, $375
The flash of color will bring out your tan, and if you swap the rubber strap for metal, you can show off that sporty bezel in a variety of settings.
2 / Sweat, Swim, and Sun—in One
Performance nylon trunks make your shorts do triple duty: They’re equally appropriate as casual shorts, workout wear, and a bathing suit. Buy them in three colors—gray, tan, and navy. That way, Singer says, people won’t realize that you’re wearing them everywhere.
BULOVA MARINE STAR, $475
Glow-in-the-dark hour markers and a sleek brushed stainless-steel case give this elegant Luminox dive watch a look that rules the night.
3/ Pack a Flexible Top Layer
LUMINOX DEEP DIVE AUTOMATIC 1513, $2,100
Your athletic hoodie could cause you to be mistaken for a hipster— or worse, a Belieber. That almost never happens with cotton cardigans. Plus, neutral cotton plays well with a date’s tropical-print dress, Singer says. “It’s like a casual take on a blazer for dinner.”
THE SECRET TO PERFECT PACKING
88 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
For more info on these items, see page 151.
Illustrations by G I O PASTO R I
Do this first: Ball up your socks and stick them into your shoes; then bag the shoes and pack them, Rookwood says. If you have an item that wrinkles, pack it under a layer of plastic or in a dry-cleaning bag to reduce friction. Fill in gaps with incidentals, rolled shirts, and underwear.
SUNSPEL SHIRT, $128 BANANA REPUBLIC SWEATER, $140 OUTLIER SHORTS, $120 HAVAIANAS SANDALS, $24 WESTWARD LEANING SUNGLASSES, $180 FILSON BAG, $180 SEIKO WATCH, $425
THAR HE BLOWS! Between retching and the runs, GI trouble can spoil summer. Here’s how to not spill your guts. 90 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
BY CINDY KUZMA
ILLUSTRATION BY ZOHAR LAZAR
EVERY JULY, YOU SEE COLORFUL EXPLOSIONS. THEY’RE USUALLY A FEW
hundred feet up in the air and elicit oohs and aahs. But if you’re unlucky, they can also erupt in the toilet and prompt prayers for a quick death. Summer is the season for barbecues, pool parties, and camping trips— all settings that can light the fuse of gastrointestinal fireworks. In part, that’s because common triggers for vomit and diarrhea—such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites—never take a vacation. But it’s also because summer is the season when you’re most likely to be visiting Margaritaville (hangovers) and taking a boat or a plane to get there (motion sickness). Don’t waste these months holed up inside the bathroom. We’ve assembled a survival guide that will help you squeeze the most out of summer— and ensure that a bottle rocket is the only projectile you launch.
TOP TEN NUDE BEACHES ON THE PLANET
9/ Viti, Askja, Iceland Geothermal energy makes the milky blue waters of this volcanic crater lake naturally warm. Bonus: You won’t have to worry about shrinkage!
You didn’t put E. coli on the Evite to your barbecue, but this bug—and its pals Campylobacter and Salmonella—may crash anyway. They’ll incubate on undercooked meats, creamy salads, and eggbased sides sitting in the sun. You may not realize they made an appearance until hours later, when you see their calling cards in the toilet bowl. SHIELD YOUR STOMACH Bacteria bask in the sun, ` but they can’t take real heat. Grill ground pork or beef to an internal temperature of 160°F, poultry to 165°F, and steak to 145°F. Like your burgers rare? Store-bought ground beef can be contaminated by cows’ intestines (E. coli’s prime hangout), so grind beef yourself or ask a butcher to do it, says Cleveland Clinic gastroenterologist Maged Rizk, M.D. Then carry burgers to the grill with the Porter ($35, quirky.com), a caddy with containers to prevent cross-contamination. Now to make sure your deviled eggs don’t cause you to upchuck like a man possessed, go to the other temperature extreme. Keep these and other foods in a cooler with large blocks of ice. (Freeze water bottles or milk cartons the night before.) Discard anything that sits out for two hours or more—or an hour if the mercury cracks 90°F. CALM THE CHAOS Most guys with the runs run ` to remedies like Imodium. Skip these if you see blood or slimy, gloppy mucus—signs of bacteria at work. Stifling the shits can cause toxin buildup, damaging your intestines. Instead, replace the fluids you’re ejecting from both ends by drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day. Also, eat potassium-rich foods, such as bananas and potatoes. (Peel the spuds to limit fiber.) Still perched on the porcelain after three days? Call your doctor. Make it sooner if you have severe abdominal pain, see bloody diarrhea or vomit, or have a fever above 101°F. These symptoms may indicate that bugs have spread outside your GI tract, requiring antibiotics, says Daniel J. Stein, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin.
Although they travel incognito as “stomach flu” and stow away on cruise ships, norovirus and its cousins have nothing to do with influenza. In fact, as they release toxins that send your guts into panic mode, they make the seasonal flu seem mild. Your intestines push water, sodium, and potassium into your gut, leaving you with watery diarrhea and a serious electrolyte shortage, says James Lee, M.D., a gastroenterologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California. SHIELD YOUR STOMACH Just one brief encounter ` with an infected person or a contaminated surface is enough for norovirus to turn your world— and your stomach—upside down. “Often you can’t do anything to prevent yourself from getting it,” says David A. Greenwald, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Still, you can lower your odds by washing your hands regularly before and after handling food or performing any, um, toilet-related tasks, such as wiping yourself or someone else. (Yay, diaper duty!) Scrub with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, especially if someone you know has been sick with a stomach bug. Even if the victim claims to feel fine, don’t buy it—some people can remain contagious for weeks after their symptoms abate. CALM THE CHAOS It can feel as if your butt will ` never leave the bowl: Your body may need two days to clear these viruses. As you wait, it’s safe to slow the flow with Imodium. And drink 8 ounces of clear liquid after every toilet trip, says Dr. Lee. Stick with water or a hydration drink for diarrhea, like Pedialyte. (It works for adults too.) You can also try a low-sugar sports drink like Gatorade G2. Avoid the regular kind—sugar will pull more fluid from intestinal cells, worsening diarrhea. Warning: If you lose more than 5 percent of your body weight within a day, see your doctor—you may need IV rehydration to prevent serious complications such as brain swelling, seizures, and even kidney failure, says Dr. Rizk.
A bear can ruin your camping trip without lifting a claw: If Yogi (or any animal) takes a dump near a stream that you drink from, you could be exposed to the parasites Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Other avenues for ingesting this duo include pool water an infected person swam in, or unsanitary tap water in a developing country. If these bugs latch onto your gut, you’re in for weeks of diarrhea and stomach cramps. SHIELD YOUR STOMACH Tote H2O. For day hikes, ` take about 16 ounces for every hour you plan to walk; for longer trips, you’ll need about 2 gallons a day, says Andrew Skurka, author of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide. For refills, pack a SteriPEN ($70, steripen.com). When you place it in water, its ultraviolet light kills 99.9 percent of waterborne illness-causing bugs. You can bring the pen abroad too, though it won’t protect you from raw fruits and vegetables that were washed in contaminated water. If your destination is a parasite-prone area listed at cdc.gov/ travel, avoid produce, ice cubes, and any water that you didn’t disinfect or that wasn’t served sealed. Oh, and when you swim, shut your mouth.
WHY YOU GAG David S tuar t /Master file (toilet)
The sight, scent, or taste of anything that can infect you activates a brain region linked to nausea and vomiting, says Alan Hirsch, M.D., director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation. Thanks, evolved protective mechanisms! We asked 500-plus readers what pegs their puke meter. —GILLIAN FRANCELLA
SMELLING RAW FISH
SEEING AN OPEN OR UNTREATED WOUND
BACTERIA BASK IN THE SUN, BUT THEY CAN’T TAKE REAL HEAT. CALM THE CHAOS See a doctor if you suspect ` traveler’s diarrhea. Most cases are bacterial and clear up in a few days, but if it lasts for weeks, odds are you’ve ingested Giardia or Cryptosporidium and will need antiparasitic medications. As you wait for the drugs to kick in, eat small, frequent meals—they’re easier on your stomach, Dr. Lee says. Worst case: You experience respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath. If that happens, call your doc stat, says Dr. Rizk— parasitic larvae might be hatching in your lungs!
SEEING MAGGOTS ON A PIECE OF MEAT IN AN OUTDOOR GARBAGE CAN
KIND OF GROSS
SEEING HUMAN FECES ANYWHERE OUTSIDE A TOILET
Health / Thar He Blows!
Your Favorite Magazine Is Now Your Favorite Radio Show! Tune in to MEN’S HEALTH LIVE, the only radio show that can make you smarter, richer, sexier, and healthier wherever you go. The editors of Men’s Health—along with celebrity guests, athletes, trainers, and medical authorities—suggest strategies to upgrade your whole life. Listen on the airwaves in more than 45 local markets across the country, or download it to your phone, computer, or tablet. It’s always on when you need it most!
PARTNERS WITH ®
Unless you’re a model of self-restraint, you know what happens when too much hooch goes down the hatch: You puke. But there’s also a hidden toll, including damage to your stomach lining, which can cause a painful condition called gastritis, says Dr. Greenwald. Add to that the GI abuse wrought by the byproducts created when you metabolize booze, such as congeners and acetaldehyde, and tying one on seems more like pouring down poison. SHIELD YOUR STOMACH Stick to two drinks ` a day or less, and pace yourself at one per hour—your body can metabolize alcohol at about that rate, neutralizing some of its effects, says Alyson Mitchell, Ph.D., a food chemist at UC Davis. And anytime you’re waffling about what to order, stick with clear liquors, which have fewer congeners. CALM THE CHAOS If you overimbibe, ` don’t attempt to head off a headache with aspirin, which can further irritate your already inflamed stomach lining, Dr. Rizk cautions. Acetaminophen is worse: To process this chemical, your liver makes an enzyme called p450—the same one it uses to break down alcohol. Since your liver can produce only a limited amount of p450 at once, you risk damaging the organ with unprocessed alcohol and acetaminophen. Ibuprofen is the lesser evil, but frequent use may also cause ulceration in your GI tract. So go drug-free: Place an ice pack or a warm, moist cloth—whichever feels better—on your head and neck. To relieve lingering nausea, stay hydrated and eat eggs—they contain cysteine, a compound that helps clear acetaldehyde from your system, Mitchell says. Or make an omelet with a cysteine-rich cheese, like Swiss. GUT BUSTER
When you’re on the ocean or in the air, your stomach may decide it’s time to show everyone what you ate for lunch. Blame an evolutionary glitch in your operating system, says Dr. Lee. He speculates that when something jostles the motion sensors in your ear, your brain interprets it as a sign you’ve ingested a hallucinogenic toxin and induces vomiting to eliminate it. SHIELD YOUR STOMACH En route, sit where ` there’s minimal motion—the front seat of a car, over the wing of a plane, or the front or middle of a ship near water level. Then stare at the horizon. This helps your body distinguish between the motion of the vehicle and that of your body, say University of Minnesota researchers. At the same time, set your Spotify to a Coldplay sta-
tion. Researchers in Germany found that listening to relaxing, pleasant music helps stave off motion sickness better than jamming to livelier tunes or sitting silently. CALM THE CHAOS The problem is in your ` head, not your stomach, so remedies like Pepto Bismol won’t help much, Dr. Lee says. Instead, pop ginger root (try Nature’s Way, $4 for 100 550-milligram capsules, amazon.com). A dose of 2 to 4 grams has been shown to ease motion sickness, Dr. Lee says, perhaps because a compound called 6-gingerol slows nerve transmissions that tell your guts to rumble. Then strap on a ReliefBand ($120, amazon. com). A study in Military Medicine found that this device relieves motion sickness by delivering electrical signals to an acupressure point linked to nausea. GUT BUSTER
It’s wedding season, and that could spell “best man speech.” If you feel sick before your big moment, blame the gut-brain connection, says Roshini Raj, M.D., an NYU gastroenterologist and author of What the Yuck?! The Freaky & Fabulous Truth About Your Body. Anxiety sends stress hormones surging through your bloodstream and eventually to your stomach, where receptors pick them up and start your intestines on a roller-coaster ride. This leads to nausea, cramping, and that gotta-go feeling, Dr. Greenwald says. SHIELD YOUR STOMACH Tell your stress ` that it’s game on! In a Hunter College study, anxious presenters who played a game called Personal Zen (free for iPhone, personalzen.com) before speaking showed less stress reactivity, the juiced-up sensation that can rumble guts. The game trains you to focus on the positive while ignoring threats (in this case, angry cartoon faces). The app will be available to Android users later this year. Until then, approximate the effect by breathing deeply and focusing on three positive things that happened to you that day, says study author Tracy Dennis, Ph.D. CALM THE CHAOS Even if you think you ` won’t be coherent without coffee, skip it. Caffeine will kick up your nerves, and the acids may amplify gut troubles. A better hot option: peppermint tea. A study review in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that this minty aroma calms queasiness, perhaps by relaxing stomach muscles. And U.K. research shows that the scent of peppermint can also increase alertness. Try Twinings Pure Peppermint Tea ($3 for 20 bags, twiningsusashop.com). J
TH E B LOC KBUS TER BE STS EL LE R T HAT C H ANGE D T H E WAY A ME RIC A T H INK S ABO U T WHE AT
Dr. William Davis’s provocative indictment of one of the biggest staples in our diet sparked a national conversation about health and weight loss when it was ﬁrst published. It continues to inspire countless people to “lose the wheat, lose the weight” four years later. Finally available in paperback, this #1 national bestseller is your ultimate, step-by-step plan to dramatic weight loss and optimal health for life. ALSO AVAILABLE:
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“HOW DO I DROP POUNDS FAST?”
You’ve got flab, we’ve got solutions. Our fat-fighting experts answer 9 common weight-loss questions.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY TRAVIS RATHBONE
I like my beer but not my belly. How many calories can I drink in a day? Budget calories much as you budget money. It’s one part of your decision-making pie. (Mmm...pie.) If you’re on a 2,000-calorie diet, a good goal for a guy who works out three days a week and wants to lose weight, you can take in 200 to 400 “anything” calories a day. But according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, men eat more calories and make unhealthier food choices on days they drink alcohol. David Levitsky, Ph.D., a professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University, says even a slight buzz makes you focus on immediate gratification (food) rather than long-term goals (weight loss). He recommends eating a snack rich in protein and healthy fats, such as nuts, before that first sip. That will keep your blood sugar levels steady and slow the absorption of alcohol, which can help fend off postdrinking pigouts, he says. In any case, you’ll want to limit alcohol to four drinks a day, 14 a week, to avoid trouble.
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94 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
BY MARIA MASTERS AND K. ALEISHA FETTERS
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Weight Loss / “How Do I Drop Pounds Fast?”
I’m trying to lose weight with replacement meals. Is there a better way? Yes: Invest in a skill. Namely, cooking. That’s the key to a lean body and a fat wallet—cooking your own food lets you control how many calories and what nutrients you’re eating, says Lindsay Martin, M.S., R.D., a registered dietitian at Hilton Head Health in South Carolina. A recent Harvard School of Public Health analysis claims that replacing snack foods and refined grains with healthier foods—fruits, vegetables, and fish—costs about $1.50 extra a day. Martin swears by what she calls “cross-utilization”—that is, buying some simple, healthy staples and using them in as many meals as you can think up.
BUY THIS, MAKE THAT
Keep these 11 foods handy, and healthy meals are a snap. BELL PEPPERS, BERRIES, BROCCOLI, CHICKEN, CHICKPEAS, EGGS, GREEK YOGURT, MIXED GREENS, QUINOA, SALMON, WALNUTS CHOOSE A DISH 1 / SAUTƒ BROCCOLI AND BELL PEPPERS; COMBINE THEM WITH A FEW EGGS FOR AN OMELET.
4 / SEAR SALMON IN A SKILLET AND SERVE IT WITH STEAMED BROCCOLI AND QUINOA.
2 / WILT GREENS IN COOKED QUINOA AND TOP WITH NUTS AND PEPPERS.
5 / BAKE SALMON, TOP WITH A DOLLOP OF YOGURT MIXED WITH CHIVES, AND SERVE OVER MIXED GREENS WITH NUTS, BERRIES, AND QUINOA.
2 / EAT BERRIES WITH YOGURT FOR SNACKS AND DESSERTS.
I tried to cut out sugar and went crazy with cravings. What can I do? It’s all in the timing—when you eat and how slowly you kick the habit. “You’re hardwired to crave sugary foods because they have readily available calories,” says Yoni Freedhoff, M.D., author of The Diet Fix. “When you’re really hungry, you crave highly caloric food. It’s a physiological response as well as a psychological one.” So avoid a cupcake binge by eating to minimize hunger: Plan three well-balanced meals and two snacks a day that include plenty of protein, which has a higher satiating power than fat or carbs. Now make another plan to gradually cut the sweet stuff. If you abruptly slash your sugar intake by
half, your palate will freak out, says Dr. Freedhoff. Set a goal to cut your consumption by 10 percent a week; in five weeks, you’ll hit that 50 percent milestone. First, target those liquid sugars: You can swap in a diet soda for regular at first, but try to eventually switch to just water or tea. Next, look at the added sugars in your diet and start replacing them with lower-sugar alternatives. Craving an afternoon candy bar? Try a protein bar instead. If you’re salivating over ice cream, try Greek yogurt with fresh fruit or a frozen banana. “A lot of times, it’s less about the food itself than it is the habit of eating and the reward that comes along with it,” says Men’s Health nutrition advisor Mike Roussell, Ph.D. “You can keep the habit but cut out the sugar.”
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HIRT, SO GOOD FOR YOUR METABOLISM
The key to ﬁring up your fat-burning furnace is high-intensity interval resistance training. Don’t worry—this approach has rest built in. TIME
3 EXERCISES, 7 SETS
80–85% OF 1-REP MAX
DO 6 REPS, REST 20 SECONDS, DO 2 TO 3 REPS, REST 20 SECONDS, DO 2 TO 3 REPS. THAT’S 1 SET. DO 7.
TRADITIONAL TRAINING (TT)
8 EXERCISES, 4 SETS
70–75% OF 1-REP MAX
DO 8 TO 12 REPS, REST 1 OR 2 MINUTES THAT’S 1 SET. DO 4.
Source: Journal of Translational Medicine
0.798 AFTER 22 HRS
0.822 AFTER 22 HRS
2,362 AFTER 22 HRS
Actually, your genes are, but you can fine-tune your metabolism. Pound-for-pound, muscle burns more calories than fat, explains Diana Thomas, Ph.D., director of the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research at Montclair State University. The best way to increase muscle and decrease fat is with high-intensity interval resistance training (HIRT), says Thomas. HIRT builds muscle and burns fat—and continues even after you leave the gym. In one recent Italian study, lifters doing HIRT burned 18 percent more calories 22 hours after exercising than guys who did traditional strength training.
To crank up metabolism, what’s more important— diet or exercise?
1,999 AFTER 22 HRS
Perhaps none—and it may even help you drop pounds. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint, and of course you’ll indulge. But you’ve just used up your daily calorie allowance. “Your junk-food allotment shouldn’t take up more than 10 to 20 percent of your total daily calories,” says MH nutrition advisor Alan Aragon, M.S. Let’s do the math: On a 2,000-calorie diet, that’s 200 to 400 calories on a splurge item. A medium order of fries can run about 400 calories, and keep in mind that it’s also a starch infused with unhealthy fats. But if you deprive yourself of foods you love, you might be more likely to binge later on, says Aragon.
How much harm can a side of fries do?
CALORIE BURN PER DAY
A respiratory ratio near 0.7 means more fat burn; a ratio near 1 burns more carbs.
You’re putting him where?
Salty. Sweet. An irresistible combination.
150 calories per pack.
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Weight Loss / “How Do I Drop Pounds Fast?”
No one diet works for everyone. In fact, scientists are starting to tire of fad diets altogether. The reason: They are just plain unappealing. “People should avoid any diet plan that tells them to needlessly avoid food groups,” says Aragon. “The best diet is the one you can actually keep, and it should be individualized to your personal preferences.” If you pick a diet that excludes, say, bread, and you love bread, you’re likely to cave in to your craving and blow off the diet entirely. Healthy eating pulls from all the food groups—but in moderation. The research is backing up that approach. A new review from Yale University looked at some of the most popular diets—Paleolithic, low-fat/vegetarian, low-carb, Mediterranean, and others—and found that none is superior in terms of weight loss. Check out the chart below, and borrow the healthy eating strategies that work for you. Skip the ones that don’t.
First of all, a safe weight-loss rate is 1 to 2 pounds a week. Any faster and you’ll lose both fat and muscle. And if you regain the weight quickly, as often happens with loseweight-fast diets, you could end up with a higher percentage of body fat, says Holly Herrington, R.D., L.D.N., of the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern University. The best way to slim down is to eat fewer calories (with lots of healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean proteins) and exercise more. You should include both cardio and muscle-strengthening workouts, 45 to 60 minutes a day most days of the week. It’s as simple as that. And don’t even think about an Rx shortcut to get cut for the beach. Those FDA-approved prescription medications are intended for clinically overweight and obese people. If you’re seeking weight-loss help through medication, check with your doctor first—these drugs can pose serious health risks.
You can do crunches all day long, but you won’t whittle your middle with a move that targets only your abs. To lose your gut, do a totalbody-blasting exercise that torches fat all over. (You’ll see fat losses in your arms, chest, and shoulders before you sculpt that stubborn belly.) “The kettlebell swing is great because it’s a power-building exercise that can also be a metabolismcranking workout,” says Men’s Health fitness advisor BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S. To work your whole body instead of just your legs, swap in a 30-minute kettlebell routine for 30 minutes on the treadmill. You’ll hike your heart rate higher while burning about the same number of calories as you would walking 4 mph at a 4 percent grade, a 2014 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found. To really carve your core, try singlearm swings (below). “Your core muscles have to work harder to resist the tilting and turning forces around your spine,” says Gaddour.
Um, running? Your dedication to distance running is admirable, but if that’s your main weightloss activity, it’s time for a rethink. You should consider mixing some weightlifting days into your schedule (see question 5) and incorporating lots of explosive exercises into your routine (see question 8). But you’re a runner, and we get that. We also know that lots of fitness-loving guys tend to overestimate their calorie burn and do too much of the same training. To compound the problem, they’ll then reward themselves with excessive recovery meals, says Janet Hamilton, M.A., C.S.C.S., an exercise physiologist at Running Strong in Atlanta. If you’re sticking to running, Hamilton says it’s a matter of mixing things up: “To build your body so it can tolerate longer and harder bouts of exercise—and burn more calories—mix up your training with hard and easy days.” Below is Hamilton’s prescription.
So many diets are out there! Which one is the best to lose weight on?
What’s a safe way to drop pounds quickly? Do prescription pills help?
DECODE THE DIETS PLANT FOODS
NO PROCESSED FOODS
IT’S SIMPLE. MINIMIZES PROCESSED FOODS AND EMPHASIZES PLANT FOODS AND LEAN MEATS.
RESTRICTS DAIRY AND WHOLE GRAINS.
AVOID STUFF IN WRAPPERS. REFINED AND PROCESSED FOODS TEND TO BE CALORIC BUT NOT SATIATING, REPORTS A RECENT HARVARD UNIVERSITY STUDY. PALEO FANS SNACK ON NUTS AND SEEDS, A SMART STRATEGY GIVEN THAT A NEW STUDY FROM SPAIN REVEALS THAT NUTS’ AND SEEDS’ HEALTHY FAT CONTENT MAY HELP MAKE YOU FEEL FULL.
PROMOTES VEGETABLES AND FISH AND RESTRICTS FAT.
LEAN MEATS LIKE CHICKEN, WHICH MAY BOOST SATIETY LEVELS, ARE LIMITED. AND SO ARE HEALTHY MONOUNSATURATED FATS.
INCORPORATING MORE FIBER INTO YOUR DIET WITH MORE VEGETABLES, WHOLE GRAINS, AND LEGUMES IS A PROVEN WAY TO HELP YOU LOSE MORE WEIGHT.
LOW ON RED MEAT.
A LANDMARK STUDY IN THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OBESITY FOUND THAT MEN WHO EAT THREE SERVINGS A WEEK OF LEAN FISH (LIKE COD) OR FATTY FISH (SALMON) LOSE MORE WEIGHT ON A DIET THAN THOSE WHO DON’T. BUT WHY STOP AT THREE?
EMPHASIZES HEALTHY FATS, LIKE OLIVE OIL, AND WHOLE FOODS, SUCH AS PRODUCE, WHOLE GRAINS, AND FISH.
98 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
What’s the best exercise to blast midsection flab?
SWING OFF FAT
Stand with your feet shoulderwidth apart and knees slightly bent. Grab the kettlebell with one hand and hold it straight out in front of your waist. Keeping your back ﬂat throughout the movement, swing the kettlebell between your legs. As you let the kettlebell swing up to chest level, thrust your hips forward, squeeze your glutes, and keep your arm straight. That’s 1 rep. Swing the weight back and forth for 30 seconds.
I run six days a week, but my belly is still there. What am I doing wrong?
GO HARD, GO EASY
Logging lots of miles at the same pace isn’t the best way to lose weight—or run a PR. Use this weekly calendar to vary your runs and throw in some yoga and weights too. S
HARD—6 TO 8 MILES AT A PACE WHERE IT’S EASY TO CONVERSE IN SENTENCES
EASY—YOGA, TAI CHI, OR ANOTHER TRAINING THAT SPEEDS MUSCLE RECOVERY
HARD—4 MILES AT A PACE WHERE YOU CAN STILL CONVERSE IN SENTENCES; RUN HILLS IF YOU LIKE, BUT THEY’RE NOT MANDATORY
EASY—2 MILES AT A RECOVERY EFFORT
HARD—4 MILES; MAY INCLUDE UP TO 1 MILE AT A 10K-RACE EFFORT IN THE MIDDLE
EASY—GENERAL STRENGTH TRAINING WITH BODY-WEIGHT RESISTANCE
YOUR ZERO-TO-500-SWINGS PLAN 1 / START WITH A GOAL OF 100 SWINGS AT LEAST 3 DAYS A WEEK. DO 2 SETS OF 20 WITH 30 SECONDS OF REST BETWEEN SETS, THEN 4 SETS OF 15 WITH 30 SECONDS OF REST BETWEEN SETS.
2 / EVERY WEEK ADD 25 SWINGS. AFTER 16 WEEKS YOU’LL BE AT 500, AND YOU SHOULD SEE MUSCLE GAINS AND WEIGHT LOSSES ALL OVER YOUR BODY.
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RECOVER SMARTER WITH CHOCOLATE MILK Snap and upload a photo of how you recover right after a tough workout and you could win great prizes including a trip to Run 10 Feed 10 in NYC! Enter starting July 1st, visit www.Rodale.com/ BulitWithChocolateMilk to get the whole scoop.
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BUILD THE BODY OF AN ATHLETE
Tap into greater strength and power by boosting your mobility.
HALFWAY THROUGH MY FIRST TEST, I KNOW
I’m screwed. It sounded simple enough: Stand with my toes 5 inches from a wall and touch the wall with my knee. “But don’t lift your heel. Keep your foot glued to the floor,” instructs Mike Reinold, C.S.C.S., a Bostonbased physical therapist and performance enhancement specialist. He watches closely as I struggle to push my knee past my toes. “That’s a fail.” It’s the first of many. I’ve traveled to Reinold’s clinic after years of frustrations in the gym—being unable to sink into a deep squat, do a deadlift with perfect form, or press a weight directly overhead. But I didn’t realize how twisted I had become. By the end of my assessment, I no longer feel like a fit 27-year-old. I feel positively geriatric. “You’re totally messed up,” Reinold confirms. “But that just makes you normal. Everyone has mobility issues, even pro athletes.” If you have a desk job, favor one arm or leg over the other, or regularly let your posture slip, odds are you’re contorted as well. “Our bodies adapt to the positions they’re in the most,” says Reinold. And the price of that learned immobility extends beyond poor lifting performance. “When you’re limited in one area, another picks up the slack, increasing your risk of injury,” he says. “But the good news is that there isn’t a problem we can’t fix, and as you restore mobility, you’ll unlock greater strength.” That makes the tests you’re about to discover true game changers. Run through them before your next workout, paying attention to where you fall short, and then weave the fixes into your daily routine. The few extra minutes you’ll spend in the gym will pay off in a lifetime of less pain, greater flexibility, and significantly more muscle.
100 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
BY MICHAEL EASTER
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SEAN LAURENZ
LOSE WEIGHT YOUR WAY 17 WEEKS
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Muscle / Build the Body of an Athlete
“If your ankles can’t flex adequately when you squat, deadlift, or lunge, you’re going to compensate by leaning forward,” says Reinold. That puts you in an unstable position that not only saps your strength and power but also strains your spine— and increases your risk of injury. ASSESS YOURSELF Assume a lunge ` position with both knees bent 90 degrees and the big toe of your forward foot 5 inches from a wall. Try to touch your knee to the wall. (Your knee should move over the outside of your foot, above your fourth toe.) Repeat with the other knee. You pass if you can touch both knees to the wall without raising your front heel.
Excessive sitting shortens your hip flexors, pulling your hips forward. That hyperextends your back and weakens your core. “Tight hips are the main cause of back pain,” says Reinold. Such instability can also make your knees “cave in” during squats, setting you up for ACL tears. ASSESS YOURSELF Lie on your back ` on a picnic table with your butt at its edge. Bring your knees to your chest, hugging them with your arms. Release and slowly lower one leg as far as you can. Return it to your chest, and repeat with the other leg. If you’re able to bring each thigh below parallel to the table without arching your back, you pass.
FIX IT Do a modified version of the test at least once a day: Assume a lunge position, right foot forward, knees bent 90 degrees. Hold a dowel or massage stick vertically in front of the third toe of your right foot. Without lifting your right heel, drive your knee to the right of the stick as far as you can. Return to the starting position. Do 10 reps, switch legs, and repeat, driving your left knee to the left of the stick.
FIX IT Assume a lunge position with your right leg forward and both knees bent 90 degrees. Place your hands on your right thigh and push down to activate your core. Then place your hands behind your hips. Flex your glutes as you push your hips forward and down, feeling the stretch in your left hip. Hold for 5 seconds, and return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. Do 5 reps, switch legs, and repeat.
Shoulder Range of Motion
“Tight hamstrings prevent you from pushing your butt backward—the all-important ‘hip hinge’ movement that allows you to keep your back in a safe, neutral position during moves like the deadlift, squat, and kettlebell swing,” says Reinold. If you can’t hinge with your hips, you’re going to bend at the waist, increasing the strain on your spine. “It’s a recipe for disaster,” Reinold warns. ASSESS YOURSELF Stand tall with ` your feet together and arms by your sides. Slowly reach for your toes, keeping your arms straight as you lower your torso. You pass if you can touch your toes without bending your knees or rounding your back.
“We’re always focused on what’s in front of us—computers, smartphones, TVs—which leads to slumping,” says Reinold. That causes the muscles around your shoulders and spine to tighten. “Then when you do overhead lifts and presses, you compensate to get your arms vertical,” he says. “You shift the load to delicate areas of your shoulders, or you lean back, increasing the stress on your spine.” ASSESS YOURSELF Stand with your ` head, shoulders, and lower back flat against a wall, heels 8 inches away. Keeping your arms straight, try to touch the wall above your head with your thumbs. You pass if you don’t arch your back or bend your arms.
102 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
FIX IT Grab a lacrosse ball (or, if that’s too hard, a tennis ball) and place it between your right shoulder blade and a wall. Move around to massage the muscles below your armpit. When you find a tender spot, move your arm up and down two or three times. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat on your left shoulder blade. When you’re done, foamroll both areas on the floor for another 30 seconds.
Illustrations by BROWN BIRD DESIGN
FIX IT Place a dowel or rod against your spine, holding each end so it touches your head, the middle of your back, and your tailbone. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. With the dowel in contact with all three points, hinge forward, pushing your hips back as if you’re closing a door. Pause for 2 seconds when you can’t go farther without rounding your back. Return to the starting position. Do 10 reps.
“NEARLY EVERYONE HAS MOBILITY ISSUES—EVEN PRO ATHLETES.”
SIMPLE STRENGTH To look like an athlete, you have to move like an athlete.
SECRET MOBILITY SABOTEURS
Being a desk jockey isn’t the only way to become a working stif. Here are 4 more ways you lock your body into position. 1
1 YOU FAVOR ONE LEG
“Most people always place their weight on the same leg when they stand, and their hips adapt to that rotated position,” says physical therapist Mike Reinold. So mix it up: “When you stand for extended periods, regularly alternate the leg you lean on,” he says. Same goes for crossing your legs. Don’t always have the same one on top.
2 YOU DRIVE CROOKED
Odds are you don’t sit with your back straight and your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock. “People tend to settle into the same position behind the wheel, steering with one hand and leaning to the opposite side,” says Reinold. “The next time you’re driving, regularly change your body position. It might feel awkward, but that’s exactly why you need to do it.”
3 YOU WEAR HEELS
They may not be as high as your wife’s, but the heels on your dress shoes can impact ankle mobility. “They flex your feet forward, and eventually your ankles lose the ability to bend the other way,” says Reinold. The solution: Take your shoes off regularly during the day. “Having your heels on the floor helps restore range of motion,” says Reinold.
4 YOU TILT YOUR HEAD
“A lot of people tilt their head to one side without even realizing it,” says Reinold. “They’re usually office workers, and it’s because their computer monitor is slightly angled.” To avoid this, adjust the top of your monitor so it’s at eye level. Then download a level app to your smartphone and use it to make sure your screen is truly horizontal. J
July/August 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 103
THE WORLD IS YOUR GYM
Powerful muscles. A lean body. Athletic agility. You can have it all and save money, time, and the hassle of going to a gym when Your Body Is Your Barbell. In this new book, Men’s Health contributing editor BJ Gaddour shows you how to master the Bodyweight 8—the exercises (and progressions) that are best at melting body fat, building muscle, and giving you the most efﬁcient workout of your life—anywhere.
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BY MATTHEW KADEY,
PHOTOGRAPH BY TRAVIS RATHBONE
FIX YOUR FUEL CRISIS Break free from the outdated ideas that are keeping you from building your best body ever.
P ro p s t y l i n g: M e g u m i E m o to/A n d e r so n H o p k i ns
YOU’VE HEARD THE FITNESS AND
nutrition “experts” talking (but not working) as they hang around the weight machines force-feeding unwitting victims with advice: “Dude, if you want to bulk up, you need to wake up at 3 a.m. and chug a protein shake!” “Fill your fuel belt with energy drinks—you’ll sprint twice as fast!” “Eat your rotisserie chicken between your deadlift sets!” Less often heard are the ideas of actual sports nutrition researchers, who work hard to uncover the scientific truth. Pay attention to them, and you’ll reap big benefits. Once you separate the hard data from the flabby fables, you’ll fuel yourself to achieve personal records, greater gains, and a whittled waistline. Watch out for these myths. July/August 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 105
Nutrition / Fix Your Fuel Crisis
If you hit the gym hungry, you’ll prep your body for maximum fat loss.
Eating energy goo during a short workout is the best way to fuel it.
When it comes to muscle building, it’s whey or the highway.
Some research suggests that if you exercise while your blood sugar and carb levels are low, your body will suck energy from fat reserves. But that’s not the best plan for high-intensity exercise, which fries the most lard, says MH nutrition advisor Mike Roussell, Ph.D. The real key to stoking your fat furnace: managing insulin. Lowglycemic foods (apples, peanuts, peaches) cause your body to release controlled doses of insulin, providing you with a steady stream of energy. High-glycemic foods (bagels, pretzels) cause insulin to spike, which can stimulate fat storage. In a Hong Kong study, men who ate a low-glycemic bar 90 minutes before cycling burned more fat than those who ate a high-glycemic bar. FUEL SMART First build a base: Two and a half ` to three hours before a hard workout, eat a lowglycemic meal of carbs, protein, and healthy fats, says Christopher Mohr, Ph.D., a Louisville-based sports nutritionist. (Think quinoa, chicken, avocado.) Then, 30 to 45 minutes before you start, grab a low-glycemic, 150-calorie snack, such as almond butter on a wrap or yogurt with granola.
If you didn’t stick to your fuel-up plan earlier in the day, goo may help. According to a 2013 Sports Medicine review, consuming carbs during a 45to 60-minute high-intensity workout (such as a series of stomach-churning supersets or intense interval drills) may enhance your performance by helping you fight fatigue toward the end of the workout. But there’s a better strategy: Eating carbs before exercise prevents your body from tapping its protein reserves, says Roussell. And it helps you power through your entire workout—not just the finishing stages. Plus, carbs help manage your central nervous system’s perception of effort. Fuel up beforehand, and your brain will be less likely to cry uncle. FUEL SMART Fifteen minutes before a hard work` out, consume about 30 grams of easily digested carbs, such as those in gels or chews, Roussell says. If you like your workouts caffeinated, save the buzz-inducing sports products (or coffee) for 30 to 60 minutes before exercise, says Matthew Ganio, Ph.D., director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Arkansas.
Nutritionists long thought that you needed all nine essential amino acids to build muscle. That’s why lifters scooped up whey, a cheese byproduct that has a full set of amino acids and can be turned into powder. But a 2013 University of Tampa study found that men who lifted three days a week for two months showed similar gains in muscle growth and strength whether they ate whey protein or rice protein powder after workouts. Rice protein isn’t complete, but it contains what are now considered the three most important amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine, with leucine as the main driver of muscle repair, says Jim White, R.D., of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios in Virginia Beach. FUEL SMART The bulk of your protein for bulking ` up should come from food sources for the added nutrients. Try tossing whey, egg, rice, or pea powder, which all deliver the amino acid trinity, into your shakes. Just be sure to eat 2 to 3 grams of leucine per session for optimal muscle growth, says Roussell. White recommends a 2:1 carb-toprotein ratio; carbs help you absorb amino acids.
106 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
CREATE FUEL IN YOUR KITCHEN
You don’t need energy goo, blocks, or beans to power your ﬁtness. Instead, make DIY fuel with real food, suggests nutrition expert Allen Lim, Ph.D., and chef Biju Thomas. Their “rolled sandwiches” are easy to prep and pack. This idea’s from their new cookbook, Feed Zone Portables. STEP 1
Use a rolling pin or wine bottle to roll a bread slice thin and pliable.
Antioxidants patch damaged muscles, so load up!
Creatine supplements are good for serious bodybuilders only.
Exercise can produce free radicals—rampaging molecules that may hurt healthy cells. So a pill loaded with free-radical-fighting antioxidants repairs the wreckage, right? “Antioxidant supplements might do you more harm than good,” says Mari Carmen Gomez-Cabrera, Ph.D., an antioxidant expert at the University of Valencia, Spain. A 2014 Norwegian study found that amateur athletes who took an antioxidant-and-vitamin supplement for six weeks reduced their endurance training efficiency compared with athletes who took none. In a separate 2014 review, Spanish scientists saw similar effects in sprinters. Why? Antioxidant supplementation may block the formation of energy-producing mitochondria. FUEL SMART Antioxidants may still protect you ` from heart disease and cancer. Instead of megadosing, buy fruits and vegetables of various colors, says Gomez-Cabrera. The colors represent antioxidants with unique benefits. We suggest two to four servings of green vegetables, two to three servings of starchy vegetables and legumes, and two to three servings of fruit daily.
The benefits go beyond the bench press: Taking creatine may improve speed-training performance, aerobic activity, and perhaps even neurological function, according to a 2012 study review in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Why the aerobic boost? The study notes that creatine may raise blood plasma levels and help you use oxygen more efficiently. It’s true that your body already produces about 1 gram of creatine a day and that you ingest additional creatine in animal proteins. But your diet may not be consistent from day to day, so supplement for a constant supply. You’ll take in an amount well beyond what you can get from your diet, giving your body a 24-7 fitness boost. FUEL SMART After a loading phase of 20 to 25 ` grams of creatine daily for the time period recommended by the supplement directions, keep taking 3 to 5 grams a day. This will help you derive the most benefits, according to the review. (Don’t worry: Years of research deem creatine safe.) “Take creatine with carbs,” says Roussell, “because insulin increases creatine uptake.”
L- D O P A ( s a n d w i c h i l l u s t r a t i o n s )
I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y K I K U O J O H N S O N
Add sandwich fillings, taking care to spread them evenly. Try… SMOKED TURKEY + SWISS CHEESE + SPREADABLE HONEY CHOPPED BACON + MASHED AVOCADO + SMOKED SALMON
ALMOND BUTTER + CHOPPED DRIED FIGS + TOASTED ALMOND PIECES ROAST BEEF + FETA + PICKLE RELISH
Roll the bread and seal it in plastic wrap. Eat one sandwich an hour (they contain 150 to 200 calories apiece) for exercise sessions lasting two hours or longer.
LOSE HER BAGGAGE She’s got issues, you’ve got problems. So unzip them. DATING AND AIR TRAVEL HAVE AT LEAST ONE
thing in common: It’s rare to see anyone arrive baggage-free. In fact, nearly seven out of 10 people think their partner brings issues into a relationship, a study in Human Communication reports. Use these tips to handle her baggage with care— and keep it from crushing you.
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BY HANNAH McWILLIAMS
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOYCE LEE
TOP TEN NUDE BEACHES ON THE PLANET
10/ Kehena Beach, Hawaii This hippie retreat is known as the Woodstock of nude beaches...black sand, coconut palms, Sunday drum circles. Just don’t bogart that joint, my friend.
Her STD Rhymes with “Burpees”
Your (Idiot) Buddy Dated Her First
She’s All Sass After the Third Glass
ASK YOURSELF Is this chump really such a big deal? Exes usually lurk on social media because they can’t do it in person, says Brandy Engler, Ph.D., a sex therapist and the author of The Men on My Couch. So don’t go postal over a post. “It may have to do with simply fostering a friendship—which is often all that’s left,” she says. CONSIDER THIS If she’s truly moved on, she’ll be allergic to nostalgia, Engler says. Look for signs she’s dwelling on the past—texting him, meeting him for coffee, accepting his calls. If they turn up, break away.
ASK YOURSELF How serious is it? Sadly, this is common: Up to 90 percent of women are dissatisfied with their appearance, says Paulette Kouffman-Sherman, Psy.D., a Manhattan psychologist who specializes in relationships. Long term, that could threaten everything from your sex life to your emotional health, she says. CONSIDER THIS Are her girlfriends also this hard on themselves? The journal Sex Roles found that the way a woman thinks about her body is strongly influenced by her friends’ feelings about their bodies.
ASK YOURSELF Did you sleep with her during the six-month window after she was infected? With genital herpes, that’s when the risk of transmission is greatest, according to Peter Leone, M.D., a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina. The good news: That risk tends to diminish over time. CONSIDER THIS Genital herpes is more common than you think, says Dr. Leone; it affects roughly one in six people. But hey, she got tested and was honest with you, Engler says. “It’s a great indicator of her maturity.”
ASK YOURSELF What’s the real reason you’re twisted up? Usually, it’s jealousy— or worse, you’re judging her, says Paul Hokemeyer, Ph.D., a Manhattan family therapist. “Don’t expect her to be as virtuous as your mom. Dwelling on exes will only make you angry and insecure—and that kills relationships.” CONSIDER THIS Believe it or not, this could actually bode well for you: Nineteen percent of married couples met through friends, according to a 2013 study in Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences.
ASK YOURSELF How often does Mrs. Hyde emerge? Frequent heavy drinking could reflect deeper issues, ones that may require professional help, says Marc F. Kern, Ph.D., coauthor of Responsible Drinking. Otherwise it’s mostly a question of self-awareness and her willingness to adjust her ways, says Mehta. CONSIDER THIS A bad drunk is more unpredictable than Joe Biden in front of a hot mike. And if relationships are fundamentally built on trust, Kern says, then you’re building yours on an insecure foundation.
HANDLE IT Just bite your tongue—for now. You may feel tempted to call her out or confront the guy, but opt for a quieter power move: Fill her calendar with adventures. Relationships thrive on novelty, Engler says, and planning activities provides you with a strategic advantage. “The more things you give her to look forward to,” Engler says, “the less likely she’ll be to romanticize the past.” WRONG MOVE Going all Alec Baldwin on her. There’s a fine line between direct and accusatory. Cross it, and you’ll only appear insecure and threatened, says Engler. That’s how exes win.
HANDLE IT Go ahead: Lay it on thick. Tell her how much you love the dimple on her ass and the freckle on her back, says Robyn Silverman, Ph.D., author of Good Girls Don’t Get Fat. Avoid staring at potential danger zones, like her stomach. Your thoughtful praise can help her beat back her insecurity and shout down that relentless inner critic. WRONG MOVE Comparing her to other people—even if it’s meant to be positive, Silverman says. (“You’ve always been skinnier than Charles Barkley.”) It just shows you’re actively monitoring her, which can stoke those insecurities.
HANDLE IT First, avoid sex during outbreaks, and use condoms, which cut your risk of contracting herpes by about 30 percent, says Dr. Leone. Also, if she pops a suppressive drug, such as Valtrex or Famvir, that risk could drop by another 50 percent. Take all these precautions, and “you could be looking at a 97 percent or better chance of never contracting it,” says Dr. Leone. WRONG MOVE Making hasty assumptions about her past. “People have this mistaken idea that if you get an STD, you must have been promiscuous,” Engler says. “In reality, most people have the same level of risk.”
HANDLE IT Give your pal a courtesy heads-up, says Vinita Mehta, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and relationship expert in Washington, D.C. Then be clear about what you want from her. “She might think you’re just after another hookup,” says Mehta. “So if you’re serious about dating her, say so up front and then follow through.” The rest of your issues—those nagging feelings of jealousy—are all ego. WRONG MOVE Using it as ammo in the heat of a fight, says Hokemeyer. Making her feel guilty about a sexual choice is called slutshaming, and it guarantees you’ll have a lonely night.
HANDLE IT Time for some tough love. Schedule a sitdown—a sober one—and ask her to reset her limits, Kern suggests. Gently give examples of how she crossed the line. (“You said my haircut looked like a muskrat.”) Then set a new threshold—“Let’s stick to one glass tonight.” If she can’t resist the bottle, put a cork in your relationship. WRONG MOVE Expecting she’ll change on her own. Hangovers aren’t making her any wiser. “Early in relationships, people tend to see positives and dismiss red flags,” Mehta says. “That’s a mistake you can’t afford to make. Speak up.” J
HOW HEAVY IS YOUR BAGGAGE? We polled 142 Women’s Health readers to ﬁnd out which of a man’s issues would make them call it of.
She’s a Beauty but Thinks She’s a Beast
S t y l i n g : K a r e n S c h i j m a n / B e r n s t e i n & A n d r i u l l i , p r o p s t y l i n g : K a r i n O l s e n , m a n i c u r e: K i m C h i u / M a r k E d w a r d ; i l l u s t r a t i o n s b y S U P E R TOT TO (t o p o f p a g e), G I O PA S TO R I (c a r d s)
Her Ex Is a Borderline Stalker
TONS OF GAMBLING DEBT
TONS OF COLLEGE DEBT
3.5 GENITAL HERPES
SLEPT WITH A FRIEND OF YOURS
NEVER GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL
VERY FEW CLOSE FRIENDS
AN EX WHO’S CLINGY
A GROSS SEXUAL FETISH
0 DEPENDENT ON PARENTS FOR CASH
HIGH SOCIETY Colorado will pass the joint: More than half of Americans favor legal marijuana.
BY JOEL WARNER
PHOTOGRAPHS BY YASU + JUNKO
WEED IS LEGAL. ARE WE HIGH? Legalization is fueling a revolution in more potent, easily consumable marijuana. The problem? Nobody seems to know if that’s okay.
“LET’S BREAK OUT SOME DABS,” ANNOUNCES
Mike Pesce. He’s in the middle of an evening smoke session with friends and colleagues. Some have been rolling marijuana into joints, but he unwraps a piece of wax paper to reveal a thin layer of an amber substance that looks like peanut brittle without the peanuts. This is butane hash oil (BHO), a highly concentrated version of marijuana that costs as much as $100 a gram. Using a thin titanium pick, Pesce scrapes off a tiny piece of the tacky stuff and reaches for a dabbing rig. It looks like a small glass bong with an oversize titanium nail in place of the bowl. Pesce flicks on the electric nail, a heating element that gets hot within seconds. Then, using the pick, he drops the dab of BHO onto the nail, where it instantly vaporizes. He sucks the resulting smoke through the pipe. The strongest raw pot being smoked in this room might have a concentration of 15 or 20 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. But that dab just gave Pesce a hit of 70 to 80 percent THC. A colleague who partakes gives an appraisal: “I’m pretty high right now.” This is a business meeting in Colorado in 2014. Pesce and the others work for The Concentrate Labs, a hash-oil company, and they’re in a nearly complete 5,700-square-foot grow room and extraction lab not far from Denver. More than $300,000 was spent on the place, which is complete with enough fume hoods and eyewash stations to impress even Walter White. The group is sampling several combinations of marijuana strains with names like Jillybean, Red Eye OG, and Tangerine Haze, trying to figure out
which to pack into an extraction unit that cost $28,500 and has been certified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In a five- or six-hour process, the unit’s butane leaches THC from a kilo or so of plant matter, and the concentrate is baked in a vacuum oven to remove the solvent. The yield is roughly $1,000 worth of BHO, which the company will process for over 25 marijuana dispensaries across the state. All of this is legal. While California has banned production of BHO, in Colorado it’s allowed and fully regulated. Around the neck of one of Pesce’s coworkers—who’s taking a hit from a dabbing rig—is a state-issued ID card that signifies he’s a certified Colorado marijuana employee. Legalization has arrived—not just in Colorado but also in Washington State. And the revolution seems poised to spread: A Gallup survey last fall found that 58 percent of Americans think pot should be legal, up from 31 percent in 2000. Fully two-thirds of 18- to 29-year-olds agree. All of those involved in this dab session are dudes. In fact, the Y chromosome seems to be fueling the weed revolution. According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.6 percent of guys ages 12 and older are current pot users, nearly twice the rate of women. So men are the ones most likely to be indulging in this new era of legal weed—and the ones most likely to get burned if something goes wrong. And things could go wrong. Pot isn’t the demon weed of Reefer Madness propaganda, but there’s still a lot we don’t know. The same laws that have banned the sale of marijuana have also limited researchers’ ability to study it. As major July/August 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 111
Special Report / Weed Is Legal. Are We High?
questions come to the fore—about addiction, potency, contamination, cancer—innovation is introducing a new set of dilemmas. Legal edibles, for instance, make that hit of THC available in sometimes strong yet unpredictable doses. New smoking methods, like dabbing, push the highs even higher. This is the American way. We innovate, seek out extremes, move forward—and fire up the engine of commerce. Legalized marijuana is no different. But as the first wave of weed entrepreneurship gains momentum, it raises the question: Can science keep up? MARIJUANA IS SAFER THAN ALCOHOL. THAT’S THE
A BITTER PILL
Our brains are wired for pot. But what happens when we cut the connection?
112 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
THIS BUD’S FOR YOU But no one knows if it’s truly safe.
Rimonabant was meant to be a miracle drug: In clinical trials, it showed promise for helping people quit smoking and lose weight. The pill blocked the brain’s THC receptors, the same ones stimulated by marijuana. But the drug was abruptly withdrawn from European markets in 2008 when the trials took a bad turn, according to one researcher
who’s studied the effects of the drug in rats. “People—too many— started killing themselves,” says Gary Wenk, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience at the Ohio State University. By blocking the normal function of the brain’s own cannabinoid system, says Wenk, the drug also blocked people’s ability to experience pleasure. Marijuana receptors, the scien-
tists learned, served a far more vital purpose than they’d ever realized: They’re the gatekeepers to our feelings of happiness. “When your brain releases cannabinoids into these areas, they allow you to decide whether you like or hate things,” Wenk says. “That’s one reason why things often taste good, and feel better, when you’re high.” —MIKE DARLING
Prop st yling: Sarah Guido/Halley Resources; illustrations by PA B LO D ELC I ELO
simple argument that Mason Tvert, director of communications for the nonprofit Marijuana Policy Project, repeats from his office in the Marijuana Manor, a historic sandstone mansion in downtown Denver. Tvert was a key player behind the November 2012 passage of Colorado’s Amendment 64, which empowered the state to fully legalize and regulate the sale and production of pot. His argument starts with how weed works. When you consume marijuana, THC binds with docking sites on cells in your central nervous system and immune system. These cannabinoid receptors, as they’re called, play a role in regulating mood, appetite, memory, and pain. “They modulate pain—and maybe even help you forget about it,” says Donald Abrams, M.D., chief of oncology and hematology at San Francisco General Hospital. That’s one reason why we associate a marijuana high with a relaxed mood, euphoria, and yes, memory lapses. Alcohol and marijuana differ in many ways, including where they act in the brain and their effects on brain chemistry and behavior. “It’s interesting how opposite the effects of marijuana and alcohol are,” says Margaret Haney, Ph.D., a professor of clinical neurobiology at Columbia University Medical Center and director of the Marijuana Research Laboratory at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. “Alcohol increases impulsiveness. People drive faster and are more likely to engage in more aggres-
sive behavior after drinking. You don’t have the same impulse-control issues with marijuana.” Pot is less toxic than alcohol as well, Tvert notes. A lethal dose of alcohol is just 10 times its effective dose—that is, 10 times the amount that makes you feel tipsy, which is usually two beers or shots, according to a 2004 study of recreational drugs in the journal Addiction. Cocaine is lethal at 15 times the effective dose. Marijuana? Its lethal dose is probably more than a thousand times the effective dose, says the study author, Robert Gable, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of psychology at Claremont Graduate University. Granted, a 2014 French study did determine that out of nearly 2,000 reports of serious weed abuse, 9 people died. (Most were men in their mid-30s.) A new German study also implicated marijuana in the deaths of two young men—but one had an underlying heart issue. By contrast, 25,000 people die each year of alcohol-related causes, not counting accidents and homicides. Still, weed is intoxicating, so lawmakers are borrowing from liquor policy as they enact marijuana laws. In Colorado, pot shops resemble liquor stores: They’re restricted to adults 21 and over, can’t be open all night, and charge customers a heavy sin tax that goes to local government. A growing number of state laws also set bloodlevel THC limits for drivers. In Washington and Montana, for instance, it’s illegal to drive with 5 or more nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. In 11 other states, any amount of THC in your system while driving is criminalized. This seems sensible: Marijuana can impair performance and cognition, so stoned drivers should stay off the road. While the research regarding pot and unsafe driving is still inconclusive, a meta-analysis of 60 studies in the American Journal of Addictions concluded that marijuana impairs every performance area associated with safe driving. Haney says the data on driving high is “not nearly as damning” as the stats on driving drunk. But given evidence of weed’s effects on attention and motor function, she says, “smokers should have a designated driver or wait three hours before driving, until most of the effects pass.” Unlike with alcohol, however, no roadside test exists to determine if someone is impaired by weed. Alcohol is water soluble, while THC is “lipophilic,” or stored in fat. It leaves the bloodstream and is distributed to fat tissue and organs like the liver, brain, and spleen. “This rapid distribution makes plasma levels less predictive of behavior than alcohol,” Haney says. So the amount of THC floating around in your blood doesn’t indicate the amount of THC stored in your body, interacting with nerve cells. That means other factors that can’t be measured on a blood test can influence THC impairment, including body weight and gender, since women generally have more body fat than men do.
Every 15-yearold boy in the United States has access to better marijuana than researchers do. As with chronic drinkers, heavy marijuana users can develop a tolerance to THC’s effects. “Some people with high levels of THC in their blood can perform in a relatively safe and accurate manner, and we have some people with low levels of THC who can perform poorly, particularly those who are more naive to the plant’s effects,” says Paul Armentano, deputy director for the pot advocacy organization NORML and a critic of new laws that limit blood levels of THC. Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration admits in an online fact sheet, “It’s difficult to establish a relationship between a person’s THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects.” In other words, a blood test might suggest that you’re still stoned—even if you happen to be stone-cold sober. That could be enough to make anyone reconsider casually rolling a joint. DAVID MARLOWE SWEEPS HIS HAND TOWARD THE
hundreds of bags of marijuana lining the wall behind the counter of the Medicine Man Denver marijuana shop. “It’s like a weed buffet!” he says. Medicine Man Denver is one of Colorado’s largest pot stores, and Marlowe is one of its “budtenders.” The store offers at least 20 strains, along with marijuana-infused tinctures, lotions, sodas, and more. On a busy day, Marlowe figures the operation moves about 10 pounds of product. He has suggestions. If it’s energy and oomph you’re after, Marlowe suggests a sativa-dominant strain like Golden Goat. For bedtime, perhaps the sedative effects of an indica-dominant strain like Ogre. Marlowe has advised thousands of customers, but it’s impossible now to know, scientifically, whether his picks are accurate. That’s partly because marijuana research has been hobbled. The U.S. government has long considered pot to be a controlled substance, and in 1970, it categorized marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic—that is, a drug with high potential for abuse and no accepted medical usage, which required scientists to undergo a rigorous and often time-consuming process in order to acquire samples for research. The feds do allow the University of Mississippi’s Marijuana Project to cultivate pot for scientific studies across the country. But those
HOW THC HITS YOU
When you light up, weed’s active ingredients rush to these parts of your brain. A
YOUR REACTION “Nothing tastes better than McDonald’s nuggets.” WHAT’S HAPPENING Think of the insula as the arbiter of your likes and dislikes, says Gary Wenk, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience at the Ohio State University. When THC binds with receptors there, it heightens those sensations in both directions. That’s why tasty things (nuggets) seem inordinately tasty, and why a stranger’s stare might totally freak you out.
MEDIAL FRONTAL LOBE
YOUR REACTION You start to wonder, “Who am I, really?” WHAT’S HAPPENING Your medial frontal lobe has more THC receptors than anywhere else in your brain, Wenk says. It’s the first part that wakes up in the morning or after surgery and asks critical questions like “Who am I?” and “Where am I?” “If you had a little homunculus inside of you and watching your life, it would probably live here,” Wenk says.
YOUR REACTION Laughing hysteri-
cally—at a toilet flushing. WHAT’S HAPPENING The cingulate gyrus contains the mechanisms that regulate your behaviors and desires, Wenk says. “If its function is impaired, you might allow yourself to demonstrate exaggerated responses to mundane events, such as laughing uncontrollably during serious situations or in response to ordinary or dull happenings around you,” he says. — M.D. July/August 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 113
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Mango Lassi 150–250 mg
The legalization of pot has led to a boom in THC-packed snacks.
*All data is THC content per serving.
Cookies 50 mg
Creamy Peanut Butter 50 mg
Gummy Candies 50–250 mg Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky 50 mg
Dark Chocolate 30 mg
Caramel Corn 127 mg
There’s also a new potential problem: Chronic users buy the most product, so they might well shape the new pot industry. “One thing we are going to see, therefore, is lots of very high-potency product,” Kleiman says. “And we know that very high THC may lead to more dependency.” That, in turn, might lead to even more dependent users clamoring for ever more potent pot. STEVE KILTS, C.O.O. OF CANNLABS, COLORADO’S
longest-running marijuana testing company at four years, gazes with pride around his operation’s 4,000-square-foot facility in south Denver. It’s filled with sleek machinery, including five ultraperformance liquid chromatography systems. The lab recently quadrupled in size, and he’s planning to double its square footage again.
Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel 50 mg
Peanut Brittle 50 mg
Blueberry Lemon Drop Cookies 50 mg
Until now, marijuana product testing has been voluntary, but new state laws require marijuana plants and products to be analyzed for potency and contaminants. That means CannLabs, one of the first state-certified testing facilities, is deluged with marijuana to analyze—that makes Kilts one of the few people who actually know what’s inside the state’s pot. Edible products are among his biggest concerns. “A lot of manufacturers put ‘100 milligrams of THC’ or ‘200 milligrams of THC’ on labels, but we’ve tested edibles at one-tenth and one-twentieth the amount that the label says,” he explains. In other words, these products can be much less potent than advertised. The makers, Kilts says, “haven’t yet developed a refined, consistent process.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 151 PH OTO G R A PH BY G A R RY M c L EO D
P ro p s t y li n g: Le i l a N i c h o ls/Aub r i B al k I n c .
researchers can spend a long time—maybe a year or more, depending on the review process— to receive samples, if they’re successful at all. Longtime Marijuana Project director Mahmoud ElSohly, Ph.D., says most of the pot it produces for research contains up to 8 percent THC. That’s strong enough to study marijuana’s medical benefits, says ElSohly. But pot on the street can often have a higher concentration. As UCLA drug policy expert Mark Kleiman, Ph.D., notes, “Every 15-year-old boy in the country has access to better pot than the researchers do.” Weak pot or not, a wave of new clinical trials is strengthening the case for marijuana’s medical upside—increasing appetite, aiding sleep, and relieving depression, says Dr. Abrams. A 2006 meta-analysis of clinical marijuana trials published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology suggested that pot has the potential to aid in the treatment of glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Tourette’s syndrome, and epilepsy. More recently, studies point to a promising role for marijuana in preventing diabetes, and to one of its components for inhibiting the growth of aggressive breast cancer cells. Many questions remain unanswered, however, regarding just how marijuana is able to help such ailments, and which strain is best. It’s not all good news, either. In a recent Harvard study, for instance, researchers drew a link between young adult marijuana smokers and the formation of brain abnormalities. And a recent review of research in Australia found that among adolescents, marijuana use may impair social development and mental health, and could lead to lingering cognitive impairment and even heart problems. Meanwhile, what seems like an obvious concern—that pot smoke must raise your risk of lung cancer—may not be valid. Donald Tashkin, M.D., a lung specialist at UCLA, has been studying marijuana and its effects on the lungs for 30 years. “In contrast with tobacco-cigarette smoking,” he says, “the effects of pot smoking on lung function are negligible.” While marijuana smoke, like cigarette smoke, includes many carcinogenic ingredients, Dr. Tashkin speculates that THC might have antitumor properties that can counteract those dangers. The addiction risk seems clearer: “Cannabis may not have a reputation as a drug of dependence, but about one in 10 users find it difficult to control or stop their usage,” says Wayne Hall, Ph.D., a research professor and director of the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research at the University of Queensland, Australia. Symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are similar in magnitude to those of withdrawal from tobacco cigarettes, says Haney, and they include increased irritability and anxiety, a lack of appetite, and disrupted sleep patterns, all of which typically last about a week.
t e am bsn at hle t e
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.
AMX-RH1©2014 BSN® For best results supplements should be taken as directed over time, at maximum dosage in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise program. Results may vary. Amounts based on single-scoop daily recommended serving size.
Ryan Hughes / IFBB Men’s Physique Competitor
I train to improve both size and strength. My goals are to increase power while enhancing performance. And, I measure my energy along with focus and endurance. I train with an ALL or NOTHING mentality and I expect my pre-workout to provide the same. N.O.-XPLODE 2.0 is my pre-workout. Once you try it, you’ll never train without it.
START STRONG. WORK HARD. FINISH FIRST.
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Your All-American Summer
YOU HAVE 13 WEEKS FOR ALL THE MOST IMPORTANT STUFF: HOT CONCERTS. STEAMY SEX. AWESOME FOOD. SERIOUS FUN. IT’S TIME TO SEIZE THE SEASON—RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. PHOTOGRAPH BY MIKO LIM
Build a Head-Turning Beach Body
Conquer the Toughest Fitness Challenges
Find Success—Through Baseball!
Eat the Season’s Freshest Superfoods
Survive Summer’s Silent Killer
July/August 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 117
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YOU KNOW HIM AS A COUNTRY SINGER, BUT TIM MCGRAW HAS THE HEART OF A ROCK STAR. THE REAL SURPRISE, HOWEVER, IS HOW MCGRAW CARVED A NEW BODY OUT OF PAST FLAB, AND REWROTE HIS OWN HARDLUCK SONG. BY MICHAEL PERRY PHOTOGRAPHS BY TURE LILLEGRAVEN P.119
A CASE OF STAGE MIGHT That microphone is nothing after a few kettlebell presses.
Sometimes what you need is a real good bad example. Tim McGraw can name three. / Not counting himself. / Bad example number one would have to be Tug McGraw. Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher. Threw the ﬁnal strikeout to win the 1980 World Series. A good-timing quote machine who once said he was unsure if he preferred natural grass to Astroturf because he’d “never smoked Astroturf.” Did a minor-league stint in Florida, where he left a high school girl pregnant—“left” being the operative word because he blew town not long afterward. His son Tim would be 11 before he discovered the birth certiﬁcate in a closet and learned that his father was a superstar in the majors (and, coincidentally, on the baseball card taped to his bedroom wall). The boy would later convince his mother to drive him to the big-city ballpark for a meetup, but it turned out that Tug McGraw wasn’t much interested in being Dad, and said as much.
25 Things Every Man Should Do This Summer
1. Have sex in a boat.
2. Cannonball, splashing enough water to choke a nearby purse-dog.
I WATCH THE MUSCLED MEGASTAR STARE WIN THIS CONTEST, SEE TIM! This summer, thousands of fans will be pumping ﬁsts, dancing, and hollerin’ along with Tim McGraw and his band on his Sundown Heaven Town Tour. Want that to be you? We’re giving away a pair of passes to a show in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on August 29. To enter for a shot to win, go to MensHealth.com/McGraw.
BAD EXAMPLE NUMBER TWO: Horace Smith. Stepfather. Hard worker, good provider, alcoholic. Sweetest, biggest-hearted guy ever. Then he’d flip. Beat hell out of the whole damned family. By the time little Tim was in fourth grade, Horace was gone. BAD EXAMPLE NUMBER THREE: We’ll wait a bit
on that one. “KALE SALAD!”
The photographer is snapping away, but Tim McGraw just spotted a caterer entering a door clear across the gymnasium-size studio, and he’s hollering for his lunch. The grin on McGraw’s face is an acknowledgement of the inherent humor in a country singer calling for kale salad. For now he’ll go hungry; that salad is a few hours, and a whole lot of photographs (some of him posed half naked and slinging kettlebells), down the line. The soundtrack to the photo shoot, as requested by McGraw’s personal assistant, is “classic rock and classic rock, mixed with a little classic rock.” The walls reverberate to Rush and the Rolling Stones. Between poses, McGraw joins everyone checking out the raw images on a laptop screen. Sometimes he chuckles, or points and says, “You can paint those wrinkles out, yeah?” But mostly he just moves from pose to pose, clowning around one minute, giving you Zoolander’s Blue Steel (squinty cowboy version) the next. Once, he clutches his crotch and jokes that he forgot to put the sock in. The photographer has him walk, and in contrast to his relaxed demeanor, McGraw’s gait is bull-rider stiff. His head slides from side to side as if he’s forever trying to peek around a tree. His arms hang gunslinger wide, and wherever he’s headed, he leans into it, leading with a pair of deltoids that perch on his shoulders like twin armadillos. He has no more fat on him than a rope. “I was looking at some old concert shots the other day,” he says, as everyone gathers in for another look at the new photos. “Man, my gut! I was up there in a see-through shirt— I thought I was lookin’ good!” He turns to his personal assistant. “Why’d you-all let me go onstage like that?” “You weren’t open to conversation about it,” she says, raising an eyebrow.
down the camera from beneath the brim of that famous black hat, and I don’t see self-doubt. But it’s there. You figure Horace sowed some of that. There was a precarious uncertainty to life with a man who was gentle one minute, violent the next. The young McGraw grabbed that microphone with both hands but still felt like he could fall. “Early in my career—I think I was 19—I was so shy that to even get up onstage in a club, I’d need a few drinks,” says McGraw. “I remember my mom tellin’ me, ‘Y’know, if you don’t get up there a couple of times without doing that, it’s gonna be a problem...’” The clubs became stadiums, the show down the street became life on the road, and as so often happens in life and country music songs, Mama was right. “I drank too much,” says McGraw. “I partied too much. And did other things too much. Chemically. No needles or that kind of stuff, but...use your imagination. “You’re sittin’ there on the bus with nothin’ to do, and you buy into the whole ‘Well, I can’t go out, because it’ll become a scene’ thing, and you get caught in your own little mind. This black trap that you create for yourself.” Now let’s look at bad example number three.
“KEITH WHITLEY—YEAH.” McGRAW SHAKES HIS
head. “I remember the first time I heard him sing. I had a 1970 Ford pickup. I was up under it, changin’ the oil.” The place was Start, Louisiana, McGraw’s tiny hometown. In fact, you can still hear the bayou in the way that McGraw pronounces the word “oil”—ohl, drawled as thick as used 90-weight. “‘I had a radio with batteries in it, and ‘Miami, My Amy’ came on, and I just about knocked my head off, I jumped so much. I turned it up and thought, ‘That’s the way it’s supposed to be done!’” Whitley was a hard-drinking, death-cheating, lightning-fingered bluegrass phenom out of Kentucky. As brilliant as his playing was, his
voice was another gift altogether. “Miami, My Amy” was the first in a volley of singles that would climb the charts. And then, at the age of 34 and right in the middle of a run of number ones, Whitley died—by his own hand, you could say. And in that hand was an empty bottle. He would have two more number one hits, each charting after he was in the grave. The day Keith Whitley died, Tim McGraw arrived in Nashville. THE PHOTO SHOOT MOVES OUTSIDE. THE IDEA
is to capture the back-lot tour workouts that transformed McGraw from puffy partier to cut teetotaler. A frigid wind sweeps the asphalt. McGraw is wearing nothing but cutoff sweatpants, and even without old photos for comparison, his physique is startling. Ain’t no room in that belly for a beer, and if you drove a pickup truck up those abs, you’d need new shocks by the time you crossed the pecs, currently chicken-skinning in the cold. McGraw laughs and points at his nipples. “Diamond cutters!” The photographer puts McGraw through his paces: alternating arm waves on the battle ropes, high-box stepups, core-building twists with the heavy chains. Soon he’s warm despite
the wind. “I’ll be the first to admit I take it to extremes,” the singer says after knocking out a set of plyometric pushups that had him springing clear off the ground. “I’m not one of those people who can sorta half-ass something.” If the man is that maniacal about his abs, you can only imagine how he must obsess over his million-dollar throat. Until you ask, and he laughs. “It’s not like polishin’ silver. I’m not Pavarotti. My voice training comes with two hours of shows every night. I mean, I can warm up all I want—I don’t—and it’s not gonna make a hill’a beans’ difference. “I’m a storyteller, not a singer.” Keith Whitley—now, he was a singer. And a damn good bad example.
3. Catch dinner with a hook. Bonus points if dinner is a squirrel.
4. Slather sunscreen all over a blonde’s back. Use extra caution if your partner is a brunette.
BACKSTAGE AT SOME SUMMER FESTIVAL IN
can overtake you if you let ’em,” says McGraw. “And I was headed down that path. You let doubt creep into your life. You let uncertainty show its face. You feel like you’re supposed to be ‘on’ all the time. Then you drink and get onstage, and all of a sudden you feel confident and powerful. It becomes a habit. Up until seven years ago, there were not a lot of shows that I didn’t have something in my system.” McGraw won’t point to any woke-upbehind-the-dumpster moment that got him to drop the bottle and grab the barbell. He claims four far better reasons: his wife (country music legend Faith Hill) and their three daughters. “When your wife tells you it’s gone too far, that’s a big wake-up call. That, and realizing you’re gonna lose everything you have. Not monetarily, not careerwise, but familywise. It got to the point where my kids were getting older, and it was way past the point that they noticed it. And I noticed that they noticed. “That’s enough to straighten you out.” He ponders that for a moment; then a grin forms. “On a purely egotistical note,” says McGraw, who has appeared in several films, “I was in the movie theater and saw a preview of Four Christmases, and I saw my big fat face
the early 1990s, I interviewed a young country music singer. He wore a horseshoe mustache and a mullet. Said he was just hoping for a hit so he wouldn’t have to go back to pushing a wheelbarrow. A year or so later I saw him again. This time he was descending a brushed-aluminum staircase through purple fog, beneath a spinning disco ball the size of a VW Beetle, while singing, “We’re just country boys and girls gettin’ down on the farm.” As 30,000 people rose to their feet and roared for the new Tim McGraw, I remember thinking, Well, things change. Country music fans aren’t always good with that. From his breakout hit, “Indian Outlaw,” which landed him in hot cultural water, right up to his recent single—the overtly Auto-Tuned “Lookin’ for That Girl”—McGraw has long incurred criticism for pushing some boundaries while hewing too closely to others. McGraw’s reaction? Well, he’s said it before: He’s a storyteller, not a singer. “There are people who will never have a shot at a career but can sing circles around me. I know that. But the people I gravitate to as an artist, and the people I like to listen to, are people I believe. You don’t have to have lived every song you sing. It’s not about that. It’s about conveying a sense of honesty. Or finding a place within you that can relate to that and empathize with the character in the song.” You think he can’t do it? You think he’s all “Mexicoma” or “Refried Dreams”? Hunt down “Drugs or Jesus” and “Walk Like a Man.” Have a listen, and then imagine a little boy wondering which Horace Smith was going to come through the door that night. Imagine that same boy, a bit older now, sneaking out of bed to watch from the top stair as his mother weeps over a coffee table covered in bills, even though the boy now knows his biological father is a millionaire. Now close your eyes and listen again. You’ll hear an artist conveying vulnerability from a place not available via Auto-Tune. HORACE SMITH, THE SECOND BAD EXAMPLE,
pop up on a hundred-foot screen, and I thought, ‘Either the bullshit has to go, the confidence has to go, or something has to go.’” Just prior to our interview, McGraw and Hill had concluded an extended run at the Venetian in Las Vegas, appearing together onstage in a relaxed setting to sing and talk. One night he sang the Whitley heartbreaker “Don’t Close Your Eyes.” Later he was quiet, and his wife asked him what he was thinking about. “I just wonder,” said McGraw, “what kind of music could we have been hearing from Keith Whitley right now? What would his evolution have been as a singer and songwriter? “It’s sad. Really sad.”
set one good example. “One of the things I learned from my stepdad was a really strong work ethic,” says McGraw. “He was a trucker, he was a cowboy, he was a farmer, he did all sorts of things, but he always showed up for work. He always got the job done.” So if a stadium full of fans wants to hear “Refried Dreams” one more time, you don’t go all agonizing artist; you go out there and get the job done. No matter what sort of offstage trouble might be percolating. “THIS IS PROBABLY NOT AS HEALTHY AS I THINK.”
It’s late afternoon. The shoot is done, and McGraw is answering my questions between
mouthfuls of that long-awaited kale salad. “It’s got cranberries and Parmesan cheese...but it makes me feel good!” Summer is coming. In advance of his new album, “Sundown Heaven Town” (due 9/16), McGraw will be on tour, trading Vegas for the festival circuit, and that’s just fine. “It takes me back to when I was a kid. We’d go to these Fourth of July things down on the Ouachita River, and everybody’s crowded around and the fireworks are goin’ off...It’s a great way to enjoy country music, and it’s just so American.” LATE IN THE GAME, TUG AND TIM HAD THEIR
time together. Tug hung out in the studio; Tim got to know his half brothers and half sister. It wasn’t one long Hallmark moment. McGraw has said that at times he felt more like the father than the son. But when Tug was dying of brain cancer, McGraw and Hill were part of the circle that drew around him. He died at their farm. “There’s still some days when I wake up thinking, ‘I hate that son of a bitch,’” says McGraw. “There’s a weight that comes from growing up in that sort of situation, and sometimes it’s suffocating. But when I found out Tug was my dad, I felt like I could break the surface and breathe. CONTINUED ON PAGE 151
Your Summer Concert Problems—Solved!
1/ A LONG BATHROOM LINE Distract yourself, says urology professor Bilal Chughtai, M.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College. Think about hot women— Upton, Kunis, et al.—and your penis will be too preoccupied to pee. 2/ A SEAT NEXT TO SPEAKERS CRANKED UP TO 11 What, no earplugs? Try humming along, says Elizabeth Beach, Ph.D., of Australia’s National Acoustic Laboratories. Humming may provide short-term protection by contracting your middle-ear muscles, which lessens the impact of external noise.
S t y l i n g : J o a n R e i d y / M M A , g r o o m i n g : L o r r i e Tu r k ; R u s h v i n t a g e T - s h i r t c o u r t e s y o f W h a t G o e s A r o u n d C o m e s A r o u n d , D o u b l e R L & C o . j e a n s , B a r n e y s N e w Yo r k b e l t ( o p e n i n g p a g e ) ; B a r n e y s N e w Yo r k s h o r t s ( p r e v i o u s s p r e a d a n d t h i s p a g e ) ; V i n c e b a s e b a l l s h i r t ( o p p o s i t e ) . F i t n e s s e q u i p m e n t c o u r t e s y o f C r o s s F i t Ta l o n o f F r a n k l i n , Te n n e s s e e . F e l i x H u g / G e t t y I m a g e s ( e l e p h a n t ) ; i l l u s t r a t i o n s b y J A M E S O N S I M P S O N
“KEITH WHITLEY TAUGHT ME HOW DEMONS
POOCH SMOOCH In case you needed evidence of McGraw’s animal magnetism.
How Tim Keeps His Faith Chisel out your own summer-ready eight-pack with Tim McGraw’s road-warrior workout. DIRECTIONS Roger Yuan, Tim’s trainer, recommends performing the exercises as a circuit, doing 25 reps of each and moving from one to the next without rest. New to strength training? Aim for 1 to 2 circuits total. Otherwise, do 3.
Assume a downwarddog position, your body forming an upsidedown V. Now drop your hips, pull your body forward, and raise your head and shoulders. Reverse and repeat.
Hindu Squat Jump
Stand with your arms extended slightly behind you. Drop into a deep squat, and then swing your arms up to chest level as you jump up. Begin your next rep as soon as you land.
Lie on your back with your hands on your head and legs raised slightly. Bring your right elbow and left knee inward. Pause; return to the start. That’s 1 rep. Switch sides each rep.
Sprinter Split Squat
Assume a “sprinter’s stance,” right leg forward. Drive up with your right leg and straighten your arms as you lift your left leg up and back. Do 10 to 15 reps, switch legs, and repeat.
THE FIT LIST
What are your fitness goals? Not just reps or runs. You need to push the body youâ€™ve built. Nail these 15 ultimate challenges, and the bragging rights will last a lifetime. Edited by Trevor Thieme Photographs by James Dimmock P.123
Things Every Man Should Do This Summer
BE CHAIRMAN OF THE PADDLEBOARD
Location Dana Point, CA Date 10.04.14 Difficulty
5. Avoid getting sand kicked in your face.
6. Sleep in a tent on a warm summer night. (The tent will block the sand, see?)
If you can catch your breath, you’ll appreciate the aquatic life splashing around you during the Battle of the Paddle, the nation’s number one stand-up paddleboarding event. “You’ll see seals, dolphins, bright orange damselﬁsh, and hundreds of other paddlers,” says pro stand-up paddler Sean Poynter. There are races for all ages, and distances range from 2½ to 9½ miles. “Maximize each stroke by engaging your whole body,” he says. Keep your feet evenly spaced, bend your knees slightly, brace your core, keep your back straight, and twist your torso as you reach forward and pull back. “That will take pressure of your arms, shoulders, and lower back, allowing you to paddle more powerfully for a longer time.” battleofthepaddle.com
Escape from Alcatraz is one of the only triathlons to begin on open water—the starting line is on a ferry.
Escape from Alcatraz—Alive Location San Francisco, CA Date 06.2015 Difficulty
Historically, escaping from Alcatraz was impossible, but nowadays, thousands of triathletes sign up every year to flee the island via the turbulent San
Francisco Bay. They swim 1½ miles to shore, where they face an 18-mile bike ride and an 8-mile run through the city’s famously hilly terrain. “It’s a uniquely brutal race,” says Jesse Thomas, a pro triathlete and the top American finisher in 2013. It’s also one of the most scenic courses triathletes ever encounter. escapefrom alcatraztriathlon.com
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PLAN YOUR GETAWAY
1. TAKE THE PLUNGE Once the horn sounds, you’ll have to leap into the 55°F water and begin your 1½-mile swim. “It’s nerve-racking, but luckily, the current is usually with you,” says Thomas. Go with it. 2. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT RIDE Upon exiting the water, you’ll run a half mile to the transition area, where you’ll pick up your bike. “Most people ride regular road bikes, not time-trial rigs,” says Thomas. “Road bikes are easier to handle on the twisty-turny course.” 3. WATCH YOUR STEP The 8-mile run is nearly 2 miles longer than standard Olympic tri distance. After mile 4, you’ll encounter the “sand ladder”—400 steps that climb up a clif. Aim for the wood beams, not the sand.
Date 02.2015 Difficulty
The world’s premier indoor rowing event began in 1980 when 20 Olympic athletes based in Boston decided to break the drudgery of winter with a friendly training competition on their ergometers (a.k.a. rowing machines). Thirty-four years later, the C.R.A.S.H.B. World Indoor Rowing Championship attracts thousands from across the globe who travel to Beantown to fight for the indoor rowing world champion crown. “It’s wild—you’re racing against 60 other athletes in this big indoor arena,” says Andrew Stewart Jones, who clocked 5:47.7 to win the 2014 2,000-meter championship. “You can see your position on your erg’s monitor. About halfway through I had a lead, but then it started to really hurt. I remember closing my eyes for a few strokes to take my mind off the pain, and focusing on holding the rhythm.” The popularity of CrossFit, which promotes “erging” as the ultimate test of cardio fitness, has swelled the ranks of these racers, many of whom have no rowing background at all. “The most common mistake people make is using too much upper body,” says Jones. “Engage your legs and keep your stroke fluid. You should barely feel it in your chest and shoulders. It’s six minutes of hell for your heart and lungs, though.” Use a mantra to give rhythm to your movements and distract your exhausted mind. crash-b.org
Calories burned by a 185-pound man during 30 minutes of erging SOURCE: ARNOLD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
S t y l i n g: A n g e l a K e l l e y/ H a l l e y R e s o u r c e s , g r o o m i n g: L a u r a S h e l l e y/Av e d a / E xc l u s i v e A r t i s t s , p r o p s t y l i n g: B e d n a r k S t u d i o; b a d g e s b y D U S T I N WA L L AC E ; m a p s b y R A D I O
COMPLETE T H E U LT I M AT E CARDIO TEST
SWING HARD, RING A BELL, WOW THE GIRL
Location Minnesota State Fair, MN Date 08.21.14 Difficulty
There is perhaps no manlier show of strength than conquering the iconic “high striker” carnival game, and there is no better place to do it than the Minnesota State Fair, the nation’s largest. With an annual attendance of about 1.7 million, the fair provides plenty of witnesses, so swing true. Hit the center of the pad at the base of the tower squarely and flatly. If the mallet face is tilted, you’ll transfer less force, and the striker will fall short of the bell.
MAN UP WITH A MILITARY CHALLENGE
Location Nationwide Date Year-round Difficulty
You don’t win a prize for finishing a Special Forces–style event like GoRuck. The goal is simply to complete the grueling 8- to 10-hour overnight event as a team. “If one teammate is dragging, you all pick up his slack,” says Jason McCarthy, the former Green Beret who created the challenge. Expect to carry giant logs, brave icecold water, cover at least 20 miles, and do plenty of pushups and bear crawls—all while wearing a 30-pound rucksack. goruck.com
7. Skinny-dip with your partner. Warning: Do not combine with No. 2.
8. Ride a terrifying roller coaster without letting on how absolutely terriﬁed you are.
Dash up Mount Washington Location Mt. Washington, NH Dates 08.16.14 (bike) / 6.20.15 (run)
CONQUER THE E M P I R E S TAT E B U I L D I N G S TA I R S Date 02.04.15 (tentative) Difficulty
You have two options for tackling the climb to the top of Mt. Washington: by foot or by bike. There’s exactly one hill, but it’s 7.6 miles long. “It’s a brutal climb from
It’s not even a quarter mile from start to finish, but you’ll ascend 86 flights and climb 1,576 stairs to reach the top. And there’s really only one way to prepare: “You have to train for stair running with stairs,” says seventime Empire State Building Run-Up champion Thomas Dold, whose fastest time to the top is just 10 minutes, 7 seconds. So make the stands at your local high school football stadium your new go-to training zone. If you can’t travel to New York City for the Empire State event, there are plenty of other stair-climbing competitions around the world. Find one closer to home: towerrunning.com.
sunny to snowy, light to dark, calm to stormy,” says two-time competitor Bill Strickland, editor-at-large at Bicycling magazine. What does the training for both races involve? Yep, you guessed it: hill repeats. “You need to learn to maintain a smooth stroke or stride even when you have nothing left in the tank,” says Strickland.
HAVE A PEAK EXPERIENCE
1. STAGE ONE: THE BASE The uphill battle begins with the ﬁrst step and doesn’t quit until the last one. “It starts out at a 12 percent grade but then quickly kicks up to 18 percent,” says Bart Yasso, chief running ofcer at Runner’s World and a veteran of the race. Pace yourself. 2. STAGE TWO: THE TRANSITION ZONE At the 4-mile mark, the course enters a precarious S-turn that begins with the aptly named Oh-My-God Corner. From this point on, you’ll notice the trees grow increasingly smaller as you approach the mountain’s windswept summit. 3. STAGE THREE: THE SUMMIT The grade increases to a brutal 22 percent for the last 70 yards. Dig in and ﬁnish strong. mwarbh.com, mountwashingtonroadrace.com
Mt. Washington’s summit has famously bad weather. It’s shrouded in clouds 60 percent of the time.
Win the Carnival Hoop Shoot and Give Her Something Fuzzy
G e t t y I m a g e s (s e a l)
1/ Don’t bank anything off the backboard; it’s often adjusted so that it bounces shots away. A swish is the best way to make the shot, even though the diameter of the rim is 7 inches smaller than regulation. 2/ Stand directly in front of the basket and aim for the front edge. Assume a comfortable stance and loft the shot with a wrist flick. The higher your arc, the more likely you are to see nothing but net. —Simon Benichou, Morey’s Piers, Wildwood, NJ
SUMMIT ONE OF COLORADO’S FOURTEENERS
Location Mt. Elbert, Twin Lakes, CO Date Year-round Difficulty
Rising 14,433 feet above sea level, Mt. Elbert is the tallest of Colorado’s 53 Fourteeners (peaks topping 14,000 feet) and one of the country’s most spectacular summits. It’s also a lung-busting challenge—especially if you’re coming from sea level. “The higher you climb, the lower the air pressure and the less oxygen you take in with each breath,”explains Jason Karp, Ph.D., owner of Run-Fit and an expert on training at altitude. “So dial back your pace and try to arrive as close to hike day as possible. If you can’t allow two weeks to acclimatize, it’s best not to acclimatize at all.” That’s because you’re most susceptible to altitude sickness, with consequences that range from nausea to death, as your body is adjusting to altitude. 14ers.com July/August 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 127
9. Avoid kicking sand in someone else’s face.
10. Dig a ﬁre pit. With your bare hands. Early in the morning. Naked. If anyone comes by and asks what you’re doing, bark.
Become a Human Flag Location Venice, CA
Date Year-round Difficulty
Doing the human flag is more than just a job requirement for performers at Cirque du Soleil and BarStarzz. “It’s the ultimate test of upper-body strength,
core stability, and totalbody muscle control,” says Al Kavadlo, C.S.C.S., the author of Pushing the Limits! And what better place to tackle the world’s toughest exercise than at the nation’s most famous strength show, Muscle Beach? But before you put your strength on display for all to see—and potentially draw a crowd for all the wrong reasons—
find a pole closer to home and practice the move, using the fourstep guide below. Not strong enough to hold your own weight? No problem. Follow Kavad-
lo’s human-flag training plan at MensHealth. com/humanflag to build the strength, stamina, and coordination you will need to fight gravity and go horizontal.
Dates 08.09.14 (MTB) / 08.23.14 (road)
Longest stretch of time anyone has ever continuously held the human-flag position
SOURCE: GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS
HERE’S HOW TO DO IT
1. FIND A VERTICAL POLE It should be sturdy enough to hold your body weight but thin enough to grasp securely. 2. SET YOUR GRIP Grab it toward the bottom with your nondominant hand using an underhand grip, and higher up with your dominant hand using an overhand grip.
3. LOCK AND LOAD Lock your bottom elbow, leaning your body away from the pole. Press hard with your bottom arm, squeeze tightly with your top arm, and lift your legs up with your knees bent. 4. FINISH STRONG Contract your core and extend one leg at a time.
Location Oklahoma City, OK Date 10.02.14 Difficulty
Dating back more than 2,000 years to ancient China, dragon boat racing has elements of both crew and canoeing. And each fall, Oklahoma City plays host to one of the sport’s top events, the Oklahoma Regatta Festival. Races usually range from 250 to 1,000 meters, with seasoned crews cranking out 70 to 80 strokes per minute—no easy feat when you’re propelling a dragon-headed craft with an oversize paddle that turns each pull into a musclefrying challenge. “It’s a very anaerobic sport that requires a high degree of fitness, but the key to winning is keeping your team in sync,” says Penny Behling, cofounder of Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing. If you can’t make it to Oklahoma, visit usdbf.org to find teams and events in your area.
128 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
It doesn’t matter whether your bike tires are thin and smooth or fat and knobby—finishing a century (a daylong 100-mile endurance ride) is a rite of passage for any dedicated cyclist. Put your lungs and quads to the test— and earn serious bragging rights in the process—by signing up for one or both of these events. OFF-ROAD The Leadville Trail 100 MTB is a slog: The elevation profile of this Colorado event looks like a shark’s maw: six peaks with a total of 12,612 feet of climbing forest trails and mountain roads through the Rockies. You’re never below 9,200 feet, and the altitude makes all the climbing even more difficult. “I didn’t expect it to be that tough. I couldn’t wait for it to be over,” Levi Leipheimer, the 2010 Leadville winner and a top 10 Tour de France finisher, told VeloNews. Elite riders finish in about six hours; the stragglers cross the line in closer to 13. leadvilleraceseries.com/mtb ROAD For a sizzling good ride, try the Hotter’N Hell Hundred: This midsummer blast in Wichita Falls, Texas, is the nation’s most popular century ride, drawing more than 12,500 riders each year. The relatively flat course is fast—top riders finish in four hours. You’ll barely notice the triple-digit temperatures, until you stop for fresh fruit and Gatorade at the rest stops dotted every 10 miles along the way. hh100.org
Number of century rides held each year in the United States SOURCE: BIKEACENTURY.COM
Opening page: B MC SLR02 bike, Giro Factor Acc shoes, Castelli Free 9 socks
PADDLE A DRAGON BOAT TO VICTORY
CRANK OUT THE RIDE OF A CENTURY
11. If you can’t have sex in a boat, have sex near a boat.
12. Jar something for the fall—e.g., bourbon-infused cherries for those Manhattans you’ll make.
RULE THE STREETBALL COURT
Location New York, NY
SURVIVE THE WA I K I K I RO U G H W AT E R S W I M
Date Year-round Difficulty
Date 09.01.14 Difficulty
Streetball is a proving ground of athleticism—it’s a fastpaced version of basketball often played on smaller-thanregulation courts, where skill and style are celebrated and formal rules are largely ignored. “Because the court is so small and there are so many guys on it, you really have to tighten your ball-handling and passing skills,” says retired NBA All-Star Anthony Mason, who credits his time at the Cage—streetball’s most storied court, so named for its 20-foot-tall fence—with helping prepare him for the pros. “When I got to the NBA, the courts felt like oceans by comparison.” If you can’t make it to the corner of West Fourth Street and Sixth Avenue, check out your local parks department’s website for a court closer to home.
Held every Labor Day since 1970, this 2.3-mile thrash across Waikiki Bay drips adrenaline. “It’s the classic ocean race,” says world champion open-water swimmer Alex Meyer. It also follows the swim leg of the original Ironman (now held on the Big Island). Position yourself at the edge of the pack, where it’s less frantic; you’ll be stampeding into the bay with about 1,000 others. And don’t fight the waves; work with them. “Forget about perfect technique—just keep moving,” says Meyer. “And if you swallow water or feel fatigued, swim breaststroke or backstroke for 25 strokes.” waikikiroughwaterswim.com
Boston’s undulating course is modeled after that of the ﬁrst modern Olympic marathon (Athens, 1896).
E l l i o t N e e p /G e t t y I m a g e s (l i o n)
Know All the Best Places to Nap I have dozed happily on four continents. My specialty: snoozing next to major monuments, on the lawns of culture capitals, on benches in go-to art galleries. Stupefied by heroic sights, I seek a patch of grass. Next thing: Stone cold at Stonehenge. Cratered by Kīlauea. Catnapping in Kathmandu. Shuteye à côté de Versailles. And when I awake, refreshed? I’m fully alert for my next adventure: seeking another awesome place to nap. —Peter Moore
Run Boston Strong Location Boston, MA Date 04.20.15 Difficulty
To run the nation’s most iconic marathon, you’ll first need to qualify; for information, go to baa. org. Then the real work begins: Training to take on the will-crushing
course. “The best preparation for racing is racing,” says Tom Derderian, head coach of the Greater Boston Track Club. “Add 10Ks and half marathons to your training schedule, and run them as fast as you can.” That will help you build the mental reserves you need to push through the toughest sections, including Heartbreak Hill.
1. HOPKINTON (MILES 1–4) The ﬁrst few miles are downhill, leading many to go out too fast. Hold back—or pay the price later. 2. WELLESLEY (MILES 12–13) Look out for the Scream Tunnel, a wall of sound (and free kisses) kept up by Wellesley coeds. 3. NEWTON (MILES 20–21) The site of Heartbreak Hill. It’s not steep, but it’s long—and it hits runners as they hit the wall. 4. BOSTON (THE FINISH) The giant Citgo sign and thousands of cheering fans tell you that you’re almost home.
Kelsey Cannon, Ben Court, Brian Dalek, Michael Easter, and Trevor Thieme
The Urbanathlon Training Plan
P h o t o g r a p h b y J A M E S D I M M O C K ( U r b a n a t h l o n ) , s t y l i n g : A n g e l a K e l l e y / H a l l e y R e s o u r c e s , g r o o m i n g : L a u r a S h e l l e y / A v e d a / E x c l u s i v e A r t i s t s ; B E T H B I S C H O F F ( e x e r c i s e s) , g r o o m i n g : A n d i Ya n c e y ; m a p b y R A D I O
Alternate between strength and cardio days, using the four-week training calendar on this poster to guide each workout. Begin your strength sessions with the warmup exercises below (2 sets of each), and then progress to the designated circuit for that day, moving from one exercise to the next without resting. Once you’ve completed all the exercises in the circuit, recover for 1 minute. Do the number of circuits prescribed on the calendar. On your cardio days, start by warming up with 5 to 10 minutes of light jogging. Then jump into the designated workout for that day, following the instructions on the calendar.
Bear Crawl Get down on your hands and toes, keeping your knees off the floor. Move your right hand and left foot forward [A]. Repeat with your left hand and right foot [B]. Crawl forward 30 feet, then backward to where you started.
Kettlebell Goblet Squat Grab a kettlebell by the horns (the sides of its handle) and hold it in front of your chest with your feet slightly beyond shoulder width [A]. Lower your body as far as you can [B]. Pause; return to the starting position. Do 6 to 8 reps.
Pushup and Row Assume a pushup position, gripping a pair of dumbbells [A]. Lower your chest until it’s a few inches off the floor [B]. Push yourself back up, and row the right dumbbell to your ribs [C]. That’s 1 rep; do 6 to 10, alternating sides.
Single-Arm Single-Leg Deadlift With a dumbbell in your right hand, lift your right foot so your weight is on your left foot [A]. Lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor, keeping your right leg in line with your body [B]. Do 10 reps, switch sides, and repeat.
Dumbbell Goblet Stepup Cup the end of a dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest. Set your right foot on a bench [A]. Press into your right heel to step up; keep your weight off your left foot [B]. Step down. That’s 1 rep. Do 6 to 8, switch legs, and repeat.
TRX Power Pull Grab the TRX handles in your left hand and hold them close, reaching to the anchor with your right [A]. Lower your body and reach back with your right hand [B]. Do 12 reps, switch arms, and repeat. No TRX? Do an inverted row.
TRX Lunge with Burpee
Put your right foot in a TRX [A]. Pus a reverse lunge [B]. Put your hand floor and kick back into a pushup [ the move to return to the start. Do 8 switch legs, and repeat. No TRX? D
Single-Arm Farmer’s Walk
Grab a dumbbell or a kettlebell in y hand and let it hang at arm’s length side [A]. Keep your chest up and b core as you walk forward for 20 ya Switch hands, turn around, and wa
Traveling Lateral Squat
Hold a dumbbell in front of your che ping one end in both hands [A]. Ste left and lower your body [B]. Push y up, bringing your right foot to your l 10 reps to your left and then 10 to y
Grab a pullup bar using an overhan that’s slightly beyond shoulder wid arm’s length [A]. Pull your chest to Slowly lower your body back to the position and repeat. Do as many a
2014 Poster Series
YOUR PRERACE TRAINING CALENDAR
The cardio workouts are designed for men who work out regularly. If you haven’t been, start logging miles for a month before you begin this program.
Long run: easy pace for 60 min.
Circuit A: 2 rounds
Intervals: Run 800 m as fast as you can. Rest 2 min. Do this 4 times total; then jog 20 min.
Circuit B: 2 rounds
Threshold run: Run 40 min. at about 30 to 45 seconds easier than your 5K pace.
Long run: easy pace for 75 min.
Circuits A and B: 2 rounds each
Intervals: Run 800 m as fast as you can. Rest 2 min. Do this 5 times total; then jog 20 min.
Circuit B: 3 rounds
Threshold run: Run 50 min. at about 30 to 45 seconds easier than your 5K pace.
Long run: easy pace for 90 min.
Circuit A: 2 rounds
Speed work: Sprint 200 m; then jog 200 m. Do this 8 times total; then jog 20 min.
Circuits A and B: 2 rounds each
Threshold run: Run 50 min. at about 30 to 45 seconds easier than your 5K pace.
Long run: easy pace for 60 min.
Circuit B: 3 rounds
Speed work: Sprint 200 m; then jog 200 m. Do this 4 times total; then jog 20 min.
Circuit A: 2 rounds
Rest day. Tomorrow is race day!
sh back into s on the [C]. Reverse 8 reps, Do a burpee.
*Rest on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Saturday of Week 4 is race day!
your right h by your brace your rds [B]. alk back.
est, cupep to your yourself left foot. Do your right.
nd grip dth; hang at the bar [B]. e starting s you can.
The Urbanathlon Training Plan
5 2 1
URBANATHLON: THE CHICAGO SHAKEDOWN
1. BURNIN’ RUBBER Crawl under police barricades and high-step across tire ﬁelds. 2. UNDER CONSTRUCTION Hurdle “Jersey Barriers,” and then drop down on all fours for your second crawl. 3. WALK THE LINE Take small steps and use your arms for balance as you traverse uneven beams. 4. OVER, UNDER, THROUGH There’s only one way across this series of six variableheight walls, and the name of the obstacle outlines the best way to conquer them.
5. TISSOT STAIR CLIMB Pace yourself—you have over 3,000 stairs ahead of you. If it gets difcult, try pushing down on your knees with your hands. 6. MONKEY BARS Wipe your hands on your shirt as you near this obstacle. You’ll need all the grip you can get as you swing from bar to bar. 7. ARM-AGEDDON Lock your elbows and rock your hips from side to side as you “hand walk” from one end of these parallel bars to the other.
8. MARINE HURDLES These high-bar hurdles were designed to challenge 6-foottall Marines. Good luck. 9. LUMBER YARD Choose footholds wisely as you scramble over pallet walls, and stay low as you crawl under cargo netting. 10. VOLKSWAGEN CRAWL Steal a look at German engineering as you scurry under this trafc jam. 11. RUSH HOUR The choice is all yours: Climb, jump, or slide across the hoods of the taxicabs in this barrier.
12. NO FARE Scramble up a cargo net to the top of a bus; then use the net on the other side to ﬁnd your way back to terra ﬁrma. 13. FENCED IN This obstacle will be your ﬁnal crawl of the race. Stay on your hands and feet to spare your knees. 14. THE WALL If you thought the Marine Hurdles were tough, you’ll ﬁnd the Wall truly diabolical. But once you ﬂip yourself over the top, it’s a clear shot to the ﬁnish. You’ve conquered Urbanathlon!
For more information about this year’s events, including the new 5-mile sprint race, visit MHURB.com.
TACKLE ThE MEn’s hEALTh UrbAnAThLon
Locations Chicago / new York / san Francisco Dates 10.18.14 /10.25.14 /11.23.14 Difficulty
Ten miles, 14 muscleburning barriers. (Taxi pileup, anyone?) That’s what stands between you and the finish line at the Chicago Men’s Health Urbanathlon (also held in New York and San Francisco). Register at MHURB. com, and use this workout plan, created by the TRX Training Team*, to be ready in 30 days. Not a racer? No problem. You’ll still build the strength and stamina to clear all life’s obstacles.
*TrX TrAInInG TEAM: Chris Frankel, Ph.D.(c), exercise physiologist
and director of human performance for TRX Training in New Mexico; Michael Piercy, owner of The Lab: Performance & Sports Science in New Jersey; Kari Woodall, owner of Woodall Training in Wisconsin; and Lawrence Herrera, founder of Elevate PHW in New Mexico
2014 Poster series
The Urbanathlon Training Plan
BOSTON’S EVERYMAN, JONNY GOMES, WAS THE UNLIKELY HERO OF THE WORLD SERIES. BUT WHEN YOU HEAR HIS STORY—OF A FRIEND’S DEATH AND HIS OWN NEAR DEATH— IT ALL STARTS TO MAKE SENSE. BY OLIVER BROUDY PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRIS BUCK P.130
Things Every Man Should Do This Summer
13. You know what? Pretty much avoid sand altogether. Grains of sand are the microscopic shards of dead civilizations. (Atlantis. Eewwww.)
He doesn’t look like a
winner. Hell, who among us does? We’re scuffed and crumpled, coffee-starved, battered from yesterday’s fights. / Same with Jonny Gomes. On the impeccable greens of our nation’s ball fields, his baggy jersey and lumpy physique seem out of place. His numbers don’t explain his presence either, playing for the world champions who went from worst to first last season and stomped the Cardinals in the World Series. In fact, Gomes’s numbers kind of suck. / So how does a guy with middling abilities climb to the top of his game? And what does this mean for the rest of us hopers who, like Gomes, may not have been blessed with a superstar’s talent or lady-killing good looks? Are we fated to slave in the minors for the rest of our days? Or can we, too, rise to become greater than the sum of our parts?
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA, OFF-SEASON. AN ELECTRIC
132 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
No sport is as obsessive in valuing its players as baseball. A leading website for baseball geeks tracks 576 different stats. It’s a post-Moneyball world, in which the opinion of a seasoned scout is sometimes worth less than a player’s triple-slash line or projected WARP. Gomes doesn’t put much stock in statistics, for good reason. “A team is like an engine,” he says. “Everyone looks at horsepower and torque and how big the engine is. No one seems to value the grease. Like, you could have this 550-horsepower sports car, but it won’t run long without grease.” In favoring the measurable, statistics are just as prone to bias as anything else. Take veteran players. How do you quantify a veteran player’s influence in the clubhouse? “You can’t put a number on that,” Gomes says. You can hear a familiar note of irritation in the remark, an impatience with the modern compulsion to quantify everything. We live in a time when supercomputers track our habits and reduce our unruly nature to a predictable algorithm. It’s this tug-of-war—between all that can be quantified and all that cannot—that makes baseball so watchable. Despite everything we know about how the pitcher throws and how well the batter hits on hot days,
AT THE EXOS ATHLETIC TRAINING FACILITY ON THE
north side of Phoenix, Gomes maxes out two 90pound weight suitcases and commences a set of stepups, showing no visible strain. Finished, he lets the suitcases thunder to the floor. “You need bigger weights, Eric,” he grunts to a wide-eyed trainer. EXOS has the air of a Spartan training academy, or a tiger cage right before the meat gets flung. Outside, on the 60 yards of Astroturf that flanks the gym space, NFL Films is shooting footage of top draft picks as they ramp up for the Combine. Meanwhile, superstars like Jacoby Ellsbury, who just signed a $153 million contract with the Yankees, mix with hungry triple-A ballers and the occasional Gomesian dark horse, like the 26-year-old Alaskan crab fisherman who one day discovered he could throw a 95 mph fastball. Now Gomes shackles a 44-pound kettlebell around his waist and reaches for the pullup bar. With his stocky frame and protuberant beard— and that glower—he looks not unlike a particu-
Learn to Dress a Hot Dog Properly, Like This French Chef Did
During the early ’80s, I had my first American hot dog in Washington, D.C. It was the Fourth of July, and I went to the National Mall to watch the fireworks. I still remember the juicy hot dog, the sugary ketchup, and the vinegar note of the Day-Glo mustard. I love that mix and try to improve upon it at DBGB. It’s the difference between a typical hot dog and one that’ll make you see fireworks. —Daniel Boulud, executive chef of DBGB Kitchen and Bar, now in Washington, D.C.
M i tc h M a n c i v a l a n o (d a c h s h u n d)
gate eases back to reveal a brick courtyard with a tiered fountain jingling in the dry air. Beyond, a 6,000-square-foot mansion, all archways and red tile, overlooks lush plantings and a backyard mountain stubbled with ironwood and jutting granite. It might be the home of any rich retiree passing his golden years in warmth and tranquility, if not for the towering military surplus deuce-anda-half parked by the four-car garage. The truck could probably use a Fiat as a wheel chock. “I found it on eBay,” says Gomes. Dubbed Monster Slayer, the truck is like its owner—surly, muscular, unfazed by obstacles. It is also equipped with a train horn loud enough to trigger medical alerts among the elderly neighbors. The truck is one of several toys Gomes (which rhymes with “homes”) acquired shortly before the left fielder cut a two-year deal with the Red Sox in 2012 worth $10 million. Until then, he’d signed on just a year at a time. Before the Sox it was the A’s. Before the A’s, the Nationals. Before the Nats, the Reds. This is one thing you learn fast in professional baseball: As a player, you’re a commodity, bought and sold like a sack of corn. And subject to the same remorseless valuation.
what happens when they face off remains anyone’s guess. That’s the beauty of baseball, says Gomes. It has the capacity to defy the very statistics with which the game is obsessed. “Every year you’ll see someone who played seven, nine years in the minor leagues and then has a killer year in the big leagues,” he says “That’ll never happen in basketball or football.” The fact is, the side of baseball that remains beyond the reach of statistics is a lot larger than most people think. Here lie untold reserves of human potential just waiting to be tapped. This is the kingdom of Gomes. It’s also the right and proper stomping ground of anyone who doesn’t stack up per the usual metrics—whether they’re HRs and RBIs or good hair and the right business degree. The lack of these attributes may render you invisible to the competition. On the plus side, they’ll never see you coming.
MEASURING UP Gomesâ€™s son Colt, age 3, visits Dad at the ofce. Bat man, indeed.
larly wrathful gnome newly emerged after a long day in the caverns. He’s no Ellsbury. Then again, no one knows this better than Gomes himself. That’s why he works out so hard. “There are Hall of Famers who never worked out,” he says. “And they’re the best of their generation. They were on their 10-year-old all-star team all the way up to the Major League all-star team. They’ll be dead asleep December 23, you wake ’em up, roll ’em out of bed. And they’ll hit a fuckin’ homer. It’s just God-given ability.” Gomes never had that kind of God-given ability. So he had to make up for it with other qualities, like the tenacity and conviction that earned him a reputation as a grinder. Try counting the number of pullups he does every day with that 44-pound 134 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
kettlebell. You can’t find that on the back of a baseball card. Or try counting the number of times he took a bat to a trash can last year after bad at-bats. (“I’m good for about two cans a season. Not many. Some people snap every day.”) Or—here’s a good one—try counting the number of times he’s fought to defend a teammate. Like when Shelley Duncan slid into Akinori Iwamura with his spikes up like cat claws. Or the time Coco Crisp decided it would be a good idea to bring the pain to pitcher James Shields. (It wasn’t.) Then compare this to the number of times Gomes has charged the mound: zero. These numbers tell you more about Jonny Gomes than your top five favorite stats combined. Especially when you figure in the number of times
he’s had reason to charge the mound: Gomes is still tied for second among Tampa Bay Rays players for being hit by the most pitches—35. These qualities—the readiness to endure pain or to bust a knuckle for a teammate—don’t belong on a stat sheet. They belong to that untamed country where stats just don’t pertain. JONNY GOMES WAS NOT BORN INTO THIS UNTAMED
country. He grew up in Petaluma, California, land of wine and sunlight. His family didn’t have a lot of money. But when you’re young and adaptable, that doesn’t matter so much. When you needed a square meal, you just crashed at a friend’s house. When you wanted to catch the A’s game in Oakland, you clocked a few hours doing odd jobs at a nearby
JONNY GOMES Size 6'1" / 230 lb Age 33 Years in Majors 12 Teams Tampa Bay Cincinnati Washington Oakland Boston Hometown Petaluma, CA
campground or fishing soda cans from trash barrels for the return bounty. Gomes was 8 years old when he fell in love with the game. It was 1989, and the AÕs were playing the Giants in the World Series. GomesÕs brother, Joey, was rooting for the Giants; Gomes, for the AÕs. ÒIt was Mark McGwire, Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco, Carney Lansford, Mike Gallego, Dave Stewart, Dave Parker.Ó Gomes reels off the names. ÒReally, the best at every position was there.Ó GomesÕs dad made a living hauling hay; he also held down a job at a factory. His hands were callused when he came home from work; sometimes they were bloody. He worked hard. But what Gomes saw from the AÕs was something more than hard work.ÒGrowing up watching
Rickey Henderson steal all those bags, the Bash brothers, and Dennis Eckersley, sidearm, closing games...It was just how they carried themselves. I saw them winning.Ó For the next four years, Gomes went to sleep with an AÕs cap on. Things didnÕt start turning dark until he was 16. His best friend at the time was a kid named Adam Westcott. Westcott was everything Gomes wasnÕt. He had that sleepy superstar ease. ÒAdam was catcher, pitcher, point guard, quarterback,Ó Gomes says. ÒHe was the all-American, threesport, good-looking prom king. The whole nine.Ó But the kid had a grace to him too. He let you get close. And Gomes was always grateful for that. ÒI was on a totally different level than he was. So it was pretty cool of this guy to give me the time of day.Ó
We all have that link to excellence, a reminder of the person weÕd most like to be. ItÕs what steers us as we go forward and allots us our measure of hope. For Gomes, it was Westcott. So it was disorienting when Westcott was suddenly no longer around. On May 23, 1997, Gomes and Westcott and the rest of the Casa Grande Gauchos were battling for the Sonoma County league championship. The score was tied and the bases loaded with two outs when Westcott drove in Gomes with the winning run. They were on top of their high-school world. Two nights later, the friends piled into a car for a joyride with two girls. Gomes has told the story often. The crash. Ripping off a T-shirt to bind AdamÕs spurting arm. The lights of the emergency vehicles chasing the darkness in circles. RetreatJuly/August 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 135
14. Help your kid catch ﬁreﬂies in a mayonnaise jar. By evening’s end, give them a grand presidential pardon.
Think Good Thoughts
Athletes excel at dismissing doubt, says Sean McCann, Ph.D., a psychologist to Olympians. Forget perfection; worrying won’t help you execute.
Know How You Roll
Recall your best “performance temperature” (chill, amped?) and match it, says Judy Van Raalte, Ph.D., a sport psychologist at Springfield College.
5 steps to coming through under pressure In a tense spot? Use these sports-psych tricks to be more like Jonny Gomes.
Deﬁne Narrow Parameters
Reduce a golf match to the shot you’re facing, or a talk to one key point, says Jack J. Lesyk, Ph.D., director of the Ohio Center for Sport Psychology.
Take a Deep Breath
Big breaths from the diaphragm can slow your heart rate and calm nerves, says Joel Fish, Ph.D., of the Center for Sport Psychology in Philadelphia.
Physical routines provide a sense of control. Even handing out a memo at the start of a meeting can calm you, Van Raalte says. — GILLIAN FRANCELLA
ing halfway up a hill, certain that the car, like so many movie cars before it, was going to explode. The explosion never came. Instead, there was just the antlike industry of the first responders, carting the wreckage away. And two days later, Adam died. What can you say? The best had been taken. Gomes was left behind. “I had a really hard time believing he was dead,” Gomes says. “I couldn’t understand how he was 16 years old and that was it. Selfishly, I thought he was coming back, like one day he’d knock on the door.” Weirdly, four years later, he did. This is the part Gomes hasn’t told. He was in junior college, playing catcher for the Santa Rosa Bear Cubs. One day at practice, everyone was timed for the mile run. “I had zero interest in running the mile,” Gomes says. “Which is why I played baseball, because I didn’t want to run the mile, ever.” He was about halfway through, and already cashed, when... “It’s hard to explain,” he says now. “It felt like this bolt of energy. Like instantly it felt like, Adam is here. His talent just took over. So boom, I took off. And I ran a sub-five. Which was pretty fast. I’d never done it before. And I remember being like, All right, it’s a tag team now. Like, fuckin’ I’ll carry the load. I got it. It’s both of us.” It felt a little bit like carrying a fallen soldier. You’d never haul that much ass on your own behalf, but you might do it for a buddy. And with this, some of Gomes’s higher-profile stats begin to make sense. Like why his numbers are better in clutch situations—.204 with bases empty, .500 when they were loaded in the 2013 season. Because that’s when his buddies are really depending on him. “I’m okay with the load,” he says. So screw the pundits. Screw the bean counters. Because it’s not just about raw talent, no matter what game you’re playing. It’s what you’re willing to fight for, and how hard you’re willing to fight. GAME 4, WORLD SERIES, LAST OCTOBER IN ST. LOUIS,
Gomes isn’t sure why he hits better with runners on. “If I could hit like that all the time, I’d be a Hall of Famer.”
How a clutch player picks up his teammates In the 2013 season, Gomes was at his best with runners on base.
Runner or Runners in Scoring Position
He thinks of the worst results (strikeouts, double plays) and swings tactically to avoid them.
Runners on First and Second
It was the scenario for his heroic Series homer. “I’m okay if the game is on the line and I’m up.”
Okay, it was only eight at-bats, but his four hits included a grand slam and a double, and he knocked in 11 runs.
the fight is on. Two outs, game tied 1-1, and Boston low on mojo after losing to the Cards twice in a row— the second to a freak walk-off obstruction call. Now Pedroia’s on first and Big Papi’s up, watching Lance Lynn sail four chickenshit pitches wide of the zone. Why risk contact with a superstar when you’ve got a goon like Gomes on deck? The guy is 0 for 9 in the Series, with a .143 career postseason average. Now Ortiz waits at first, Pedroia’s in scoring position, and a new pitcher jogs in. Gomes has never faced Seth Maness before, but he has a pretty good idea of what he’ll be getting: right-handed, threequarter sinker balls. Sure enough, here they come. Gomes lets a sweet one sneak by, fouls another. Mashes on his helmet, hunkers into the moment. The count is 2 and 2, and the crowd is roaring. This is baseball at its architectural finest, building tension pitch by pitch until everything hangs in the balance. It’s not until then, when the whole game feels as if it might topple under the collective expectation of roaring fans, hard-eyed team-
M I C H A E L B R A N D O N M Y E R S ( i c o n s) , M i c h a e l I v i n s / B o s t o n R e d S o x / G e t t y I m a g e s ( b a t t i n g) , D i l i p V i s h w a n a t / G e t t y I m a g e s (c e l e b r a t i n g)
Find an Anchor
15. Shuck a dozen oysters blindfolded without losing a ﬁnger.
Then stun a crab with the power of your mind, convincing it to surrender its own meager life by crawling into the boiling waters of death. HA-HA SCREW YOU CRAB!
mates, coaches and moneymen, the cameras and their silent millions, and even the statistics, rattling and whirring like hidden clockwork somewhere beneath the sod, it’s not until then that the real game emerges. Now it’s just Gomes standing there, eyes wide like a cat’s in the dark, and the ball rocketing toward him too fast for thought. This was the one, they say, that tipped the balance. This was the moment the Sox turned the series around, when that magnificent outbound ball rose like a giant middle finger to all the doubters and statheads who never saw it coming. Boston goes on to win the game, 4-2, and the Series. And here’s something else the statheads don’t get. Homers may all look the same on paper, but they don’t on the diamond. And sometimes the ones everyone forgets are the ones that count the most. Take Gomes’s first at-bat ever on a Major League team. This was in March 2003, more than 10 years before that World Series moment. Gomes had been in the Devil Rays system for two years, bouncing between their AA and AAA teams. As spring training drew to a close, he was hoping for a single at-bat with the Rays. It’s customary: Once the bigs are up to speed, they’ll let the little guys step in. His turn arrived, and they bused him to Clearwater for a game against the Phillies. Sometime around the seventh inning, the manager told him he’d be hitting. Now Gomes approaches the plate, already exhausted from having just played a doubleheader in the Florida heat. But this is his first and perhaps only chance at the big leagues—the ultimate clutch moment. “I know I’m not the best,” he says, “and I know it’s not the fairy-tale story. So here I go. I’m going down with fuckin’ guns blazing.” It’s the kind of thing coaches still nag him about today. Calm down, they say. Control your swing. And sure, there’s a time for tactics. Especially if you’re a star trying to make your talent stretch as far as it will go. But what if you’re not a star? What if you’re just a regular dude who somehow gets his shot? Two minutes with the boss in the elevator, or five seconds with a blonde at the bar? At that point you might as well just go for it. Because all you have going for you is luck, possibly the element of surprise, and—not to put too fine a point on it—balls. The fact is, learning to be clutch is harder than the opposite: learning to be tactical. Tactics, after all, are reasonable, discrete responses to specific inputs. You can think about tactics. You can refine them—fewer words on a slide presentation, say, or better eye contact over lunch. As for clutch, to this day no one knows where it comes from, and many claim it doesn’t even exist. In a way it makes sense, then, that Gomes had to step entirely off the map to discover it. THREE MONTHS BEFORE HIS FIRST MAJOR-LEAGUE
swing, Gomes was at home with his family for the holidays. After some shopping, he stopped to pick up a burrito. Later he was watching TV when he felt
an impact on his chest, as if he’d just been shoved by a bouncer. But the shove kept pushing in. Gomes had just turned 22. He was in superb physical condition. So he dismissed the discomfort as indigestion and eventually went to sleep. But in the morning, the pressure was still there. “So it’s Christmas Eve, and I’m just going about my day with a dog on my chest, to a pig on my chest, to a hippo on my chest, to an elephant.” As afternoon came on, he found himself sitting in a chair, sucking huge breaths just to keep his chest from collapsing. Then he felt something like a hiccup. “And I just remember, like when you fall asleep watching a movie and you kind of snap back, I remember coming to, and I was like—Oh. I didn’t fall asleep. I just stopped breathing.” Next thing he knows, he’s lying flat on his back at the local ER, and there’s this big guy hovering over him, holding shock paddles primed and ready.
like Jonny Gomes. Because ever since the heart attack, every moment is a clutch moment. This could be my last game, Gomes thinks as he steps up. This could be my last swing. I could be in a car accident. I could have a heart attack. No, no, no, I’m blowing it out today. So the first pitch comes in, and Gomes puts everything into it. And hits a bomb—way, way out. Now he’s crossing the plate to high-fives from Travis Lee and Rey Ordonez, trying to pretend like this is something he does every day. But he can feel himself coming to pieces. Because Adam is here. Somehow Gomes has managed to carry him all the way from Petaluma to the Major League. Which is why he’s in the dugout now, crying like a schoolgirl. Hardly anyone sees this—just a few perplexed players. There’s no roaring crowd, no cameras zooming in for the close-up. But that’s the point.
Since the heart attack,, everyy moment is a clutch moment. “This could be my last game. This could be my last swing.” “Why are you so close to my face?” Gomes says. “Well,” the guy says, “as soon as your eyes roll back, I’m gonna have to light you up.” That’s when Gomes finally hears the words “heart attack.” In fact, he’d been having a heart attack for the previous 27 hours. And not just any heart attack, but one caused by Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, a syndrome first described in 1990 and still so novel that the physician who treated Gomes later wrote a paper on it. It’s a sudden weakening of the left ventricle, the heart’s main pump. Meds helped him recover, and he hasn’t had any relapse since. To this day, doctors understand the causes of Takotsubo about as much as statheads understand clutch hitting. The latter are looking at their printouts, not at real experience, for explanations. The docs are seeking any kind of explanation. But this is the crazy part: For Gomes, one explained the other. It was the heart attack that let him see all he had once taken for granted—the fresh air rushing into his lungs, the warm prickle of sun on his arms. Life itself. “It was almost like starting my life over again,” he says. In this sense, nothing about that clutch moment down in Clearwater is particularly special for a guy
And for Gomes, that has always been the point: Just because some things are beyond analysis, just because you can’t track them or measure them, doesn’t mean they aren’t real. This is the advantage of life on the dark side. When the usual metrics don’t apply, it becomes that much easier to decide for yourself which hits matter, which attributes matter, which moments matter. And which ones don’t. IT’S TRUE WE LIVE IN A POST-MONEYBALL WORLD.
Gomes, for the record, liked the movie. But he remains hostile to sabermetrics, the Moneyball approach to the game. (“It pushes guys like me out.”) That said, there’s always cause for hope, even in the pages of the book the movie is based on. “Every so often,” the author writes, near the end of the book, “some player may fail to embrace his statistical destiny.” It’s a line that could apply easily to Adam Westcott—but just as easily to Jonny Gomes. Because if there’s one thing he’s learned after 10 years in the majors, it’s that destiny doesn’t belong to the numbers. Never has. It belongs to the man who is ready to grab a bat and step up to the plate. J July/August 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 137
W H AT TO E AT NOW
Summer’s bounty has arrived! Fill your belly and fortify your body with the season’s 10 best fresh foods. By Paul Kita Photographs by Jamie Chung Best Cardio Comrade
Best Sweet Fiber Source
This root may help your endurance so you can redline your 5K time. In a 2012 Saint Louis University study, runners who ate 1¼ cups of baked beets 75 minutes before racing were 5 percent faster toward the end of the run than placebo eaters. Slice beets ⅛" thick and toss with oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 375°F until chiplike, 15 to 20 minutes. Sauté the tops: They provide vitamin A for vision and vitamin K for healthy blood clotting.
One large Asian pear has 10 grams of fiber—nearly double what a large apple provides. The best way to pick a ripe one: Ask your produce manager or market vendor for a taste. It should be crisp, not mealy. For a simple slaw, cut a pear into matchsticks and toss them in a bowl with sliced cabbage and shallots, minced chives, and a splash of cider vinegar. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Add mayo or Greek yogurt for a creamy variation.
Best Salsa Standby
Small, dense, and slightly sticky, this green fruit comes clothed in a papery husk. When peeled, scrubbed, and cooked, tomatillos burst with bright acidity that cranks up the fresh flavor of homemade guacamole or salsa. Try them roasted and then pureed in a blender, says Curtis Stone, owner and executive chef of Maude in Beverly Hills. (Turn the page for the recipe.) “Then serve the salsa over tacos, grilled steak, chicken, or fish.”
Don’t mow down these weeds—eat them! Dandelion leaves can nicely counterbalance heavier grilling fare. (Perfect lawn? Buy the greens by the bunch at a grocery store.) A cup of raw greens yields 2 grams of gut-filling fiber and more than triple the calcium of the same amount of raw spinach. To help balance their bitterness, add a glug of white wine to the sautéed greens after they wilt; then cook for another minute. Serve with steak.
July/August 2014 | MENSHEALTH.COM 139
Things Every Man Should Do This Summer
16. If you can’t have sex near a boat, have sex underneath a painting of a boat.
17. Drink everyone else under the picnic table.
Best Heart Partner
Best Disease Squasher
Best Kernel to Salute
SILVER QUEEN CORN
It’s more slender than your average eggplant but has the same flavor and texture. The advantage: “These guys cook up fast,” says Max Sussman, coauthor of This Is a Cookbook. Choose ones that are 6" to 8" long and glossy; dull ones are often bitter. Slice them into ¼"-thick planks and grill over direct, high heat until tender, basting with a 2:1 mixture of melted butter and miso paste. Serve sprinkled with black sesame seeds.
For a delicious dose of potassium and calcium—nutrients that may support optimal blood pressure—the fig’s your fruit. Fresh figs, when cooked, taste sweet and have an almost creamy texture. Halve them lengthwise, brush them lightly with canola oil, and place them on a sheet pan into a 350°F oven until warmed through, about 20 minutes. Or top homemade pizza dough with raw quartered figs, pesto, and blue cheese. Add fresh sage after baking.
Whether it’s zucchini, crookneck, or globe squash, this prep tip applies: “Slice it, grill until tender, and toss with fresh basil, olive oil, red-pepper flakes, and lemon juice,” says Jessica Seinfeld, author of The Can’t Cook Book. And leave the skin on—it’s rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. According to the American Optometric Association, these antioxidants may help protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Bring this sweet varietal home to eat straight off the cob, say Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, cofounders of the website Food52. Their favorite way to use it: in a corn salad with scallions and roasted onions. And despite the idea that corn may “pass right through you,” one large ear of sweet white corn packs 3 grams of fiber and a hearty dose of thiamine, a B vitamin that helps your nervous system function well.
F o o d s t y l ing: K are n Evans/A p o s tro p h e
Best Meat Masquerader
M A U R O G AT T I (i c o n s) , M I K E Y B U R T O N (i l l u s t r a t i o n s); V i d i P h o to /C o r b i s (m a n d r i l l)
18. Attend a manly outdoor concert: Kris Kristoferson, Drive-By Truckers, Queens of the Stone Age. Not Manly: The dude from Nickelback, anyone your kids like.
Best Summer Staple
Best Spicy Snack
This monster can weigh as much as 2 pounds, and it has a massive flavor payload to match. A beefsteak’s circumference makes it the go-to pick for a BLT or caprese stack, or as a lycopene-loaded snack. “A sprinkle of salt and good olive oil are all you need,” Seinfeld says. (The fat in the oil can help your body absorb nutrients.) Take a bite, sprinkle, drizzle, and repeat. The best specimens are glossy, blemish-free, and crimson.
No hot-sauce-infused potato chip can match the potent punch of a fresh radish root. Roast them and serve them with a fresh salsa verde, say Hesser and Stubbs. Or enjoy the radishes raw with a good hit of flaky sea salt. Plain radishes have one measly calorie apiece. One Pringles Xtra Fiery Sweet BBQ chip has 10. Oh, and save the radishes’ green tops. They have a similar spiciness and add bite to a mixed-greens salad.
Make Fresh Food Taste Even More Delicious PAN-SEAR SQUASH TO SAVORY PERFECTION
CHAR-ROAST THE BEST SALSA OF THE SEASON
1/ Arrange sliced squash on a baking sheet. Coat the slices with coarse salt and wait about 30 minutes. The salt will draw out excess moisture, ensuring a good sear. 2/ Blot the slices with a clean towel and place a large skillet on medium-high heat. 3/ Add 1 Tbsp oil; then add the squash in a single layer. Cook until the edges brown and the insides are tender. —Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs
1/ As your charcoal loses heat, toss some tomatillos, onions, and jalapeños on the coals. 2/ Char the vegetables, turning them often with tongs, until blackened. Remove them and cool. 3/ Using your hands (gloved, if you’re working with spicy peppers), peel off the charred skin. Toss the ingredients, along with some cilantro, into a blender and pulse until pureed. Season the salsa with fresh lime juice and salt. —Curtis Stone
Additional Contributors Ted Allen, host of Food Network’s Chopped; Karen Ansel, R.D.N., coauthor of Healthy in a Hurry; Valerie Berkowitz, R.D., Performance Health; Rikki Keen, R.D., Fuel & Fluids for Performance; Brian St. Pierre, C.S.C.S., Precision Nutrition; Eli Sussman, coauthor of This Is a Cookbook
Shuck Corn on the Cob, No Sweat
1/ Cook before you shuck, says Carrie Mashaney, chef de cuisine of Aragona in Seattle. Microwave the ear until it steams, 3 to 5 minutes. 2/ Carefully remove the ear with a towel; then slice off the stalk of the cob with a sharp chef’s knife. 3/ Grip the husk from the top and pull it up and away from the sliced end. It should slide off, silk and all, thanks to the moisture from the steam. 4/ Finish the cob on the grill to give the corn a smoky flavor.
By Jim Thornton Illustrations by Yuko Shimizu P.143
The ocean should be a veritable playground, but for men itâ€™s a potential death trap.
Guys are drowning at alarming rates. Read this before you dive in.
in over our
Things Every Man Should Do This Summer
19. Read one long-ass, rambling William Faulkner novel—we like Absalom, Absalom!—in the backyard, in the shade.
On Sunday morning, April 29, 2012, Ravi Thackurdeen caught his ﬁrst glimpse of the neon blue waters of Playa Tortuga, a secluded beach on Costa Rica’s Paciﬁc coast. The weather was paradisiacal: cloudless and balmy and bathed in trade winds. Ofshore, waves crashed on a submerged shelf where the depths of the ocean suddenly surrender to shallower water. / Thackurdeen, a 19-year-old premed student at Swarthmore College in suburban Philadelphia, was celebrating his last day of a dream semester abroad. One of 17 students chosen nationwide to conduct ﬁeld research in Costa Rica, he’d spent months trekking the rain forest, collecting plant specimens and analyzing the compounds found in the smoke of diferent tropical woods. His work promised to reduce respiratory illness among the indigenous NgÖbe people, who rely on open wood ﬁres to cook their meals. The experience had changed his life.
When Thackurdeen’s group arrived that morning, they found no lifeguards or warning flags. Nor were any locals around to say what everyone who lived there knew: For all its beauty, Playa Tortuga is a treacherous place to swim. Several hundred yards to the south, one of Costa Rica’s largest rivers, Rio Grande de Terraba, spills out into the Pacific, churning a chaos of invisible turbulence beneath the surface. On the beach’s north end, a jungle-covered cliff extends like a natural jetty, further complicating the ocean floor topography and unpredictable currents. Thackurdeen was a decent swimmer. He’d taken his first lesson at age 4, and in his freshman year at Swarthmore he’d easily passed the university’s mandatory swim test. But he’d also grown up hearing about how his grandfather nearly drowned in a rip current. Thackurdeen’s mother, Ros, had watched this happen as a child in Trinidad. Years later, after she’d moved to New York and started a family of her own, she made sure her kids heard the cautionary tale over and over again. As a result, they never swam in the ocean, only in guarded pools. It’s impossible to know if Ravi Thackurdeen was thinking of his grandfather that April morning. But for his first two hours at Playa Tortuga, witnesses recall, he never went close to the ocean. AFTER CAR WRECKS, ACCIDENTAL POISONINGS, AND MURDER,
nothing kills more healthy young American men than drowning. Fourth place on the Reaper’s Hit Parade might seem relatively trivial, but consider this: Research presented at the 2011 World
Help a Kid Conquer the Ocean: An Olympian’s Plea
Seventy percent of African American kids can’t swim. I used to be one of them— and nearly drowned at a water park. After that, my mom made me take lessons at the Y. In my talks for USA Swimming’s Make a Splash initiative, I say it’s important to help kids feel comfortable in the water. But let a pro teach them to swim. To find classes, go to usaswimmingfoundation. org/makeasplash. —Olympic swimmer Cullen Jones, as told to Jim Thornton
Conference on Drowning Prevention revealed that drowning stats culled from the general population seriously understate the danger. Most adults are never or very rarely exposed to bodies of water, and thus have practically zero risk of drowning. But when the researchers focused exclusively on active folks who do swim, and made adjustments for exposure time, the calculus shifted dramatically: Each hour spent in water is two hundred times more likely to prove deadly than an hour cruising the highway. As with other lethal misadventures, the Reaper reeks of gender bias. The CDC reports that between infancy and old age, nearly four times as many men as women drown each year in the United States. Worse, during the high-risk years of adolescence to early adulthood (i.e., 15 to 24), when testosterone begins to turbocharge our masculine penchant for risk taking, we leave women high and dry, outdrowning them by a ratio of 9 to 1. This toxic combination of T and H2O was first confirmed in a classic study from Boston University titled “Why are most drowning victims men? Sex differences in aquatic skills and behaviors.” After surveying 3,042 men and women ages 16 and older, the researchers determined that men spend more time than women do in all aquatic environments, and much more time engaged in high-risk activities, from surfing and scuba diving to jet-skiing and ice fishing. Men are also significantly more likely to swim in natural bodies of water—rivers, lakes, and oceans—which are three times more deadly than swimming pools, according to CDC mortality stats. Combine all these facts with our greater propensity to swim solo, at night, and in unguarded waters, and it’s surprising that more of us don’t end up dead. Of course, we can thank lifeguards for saving so many of our reckless asses. But that just highlights how foolhardy men are to swim when a whistleblower isn’t around. Data from the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) shows that five out of six open-water drownings occur on unguarded stretches of beach. By contrast, the chance of drowning while protected by guards trained to USLA standards is less than one in 18 million. Part of the problem is that many guys have inflated notions about their swimming prowess. “Men of all ages, races, and educational levels consistently reported greater swimming ability than women,” the CDC noted. The evidence that this confidence is actually warranted is suspect at best. As the Boston University survey found, even though 93 percent of men claim to know how to swim, only 53 percent of male swimmers had actually taken swimming lessons. This perception-versus-ability gap widens even more among the legions of guys who admit to regularly entering the drink drunk. In a 2013 study published in the journal BMC Public Health, researchers in Sweden investigated accidental drowning deaths that occurred over 18 years and
21. If you can’t have sex underneath a painting of a boat, have sex while thinking about a boat.
Y 11 A.M., THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY AT PLAYA
Tortuga had cranked up considerably. For two hours, Ravi Thackurdeen had played beach soccer with his friends. Sweaty and exhausted, and with no shade trees to provide relief from the sun, he and a female college friend finally decided to rinse off in the Pacific. Brian Simmons, 28, arrived just minutes after Thackurdeen and his friend entered the sea. A Boston native with a master’s degree in early childhood education, Simmons had moved to Costa Rica four months earlier to teach
Your instinct will be to swim straight in, but the current is too strong. Instead, move parallel to the shoreline. Can’t break the grip? Let yourself be carried out of the current, and then swim left or right to safety.
The danger age: Adding booze and testosterone to water makes it toxic.
Before you dip a toe in, scan the surf for any of these clues: a channel of churning, choppy water; a change in water color; a break in the incoming wave pattern; or a line of seaweed or foam moving out to sea.
How to Escape a Rip Current
How to Spot a Rip Current
Drowning in the Gender Gap
Two Life Preservers Every Man Should Carry in His Head
Drowning deaths in natural water, 1999–2010
Surf’s Up! Man Down! Unless you’re planning to stay beached this season, approach the ocean with this dose of reality and an ounce of prevention.
M i ke P a r r y/G e t t y I m a g e s (s h a r k )
English to first and second graders. Nearly every day since then, he’d made the short hike to the beach from his rental house to relax and occasionally surf. Self-taught during his childhood summers on Cape Cod, he describes himself as a decent but hardly expert surfer. That Sunday morning, he’d neglected to bring his board but didn’t regret it. “It was an abnormal swell, definitely the biggest I’d ever seen there,” Simmons recalls. He was also struck by how many people were already at the beach—at least 15, he says—which was quite a throng, given how many times he’d found himself there alone. He dropped his towel and headed toward the ocean. Just as he began wading in, he spied a young couple 20 yards farther out. It was, he would later learn, Thackurdeen and his friend, now standing side by side in neck-deep water. Moments later, Simmons watched as a huge wave broke over their heads, submerging and separating them. When they surfaced, the wave’s force had tumbled the woman closer toward shore, but somehow Thackurdeen was left behind in its wake. To Simmons, it looked as if an invisible river was dragging the man farther out toward the point where it would soon be too deep to stand. Both students began yelling for help. On the beach, worried onlookers searched for rescue equipment but found nothing. The wave had pitched the girl close enough to shore for several tourists to wade out and pull her to safety. But Ravi was well beyond their reach. “He’d started struggling almost immediately and was trying to swim back in,” Simmons recalls. “It looked to me like he was panicking, but that’s what people do.”
“Thanks to our culture, men like to show off their ‘skills’ in the water.”
determined that nearly half of all male victims had some alcohol circulating in their system. So just as men are more likely than women are to drink and drive, they are apparently also much more likely to drink and drown. Tragically, if not surprisingly, this problem is more severe for the young bloods. Thirty-three percent of guys in the Boston University survey admitted to drinking on their most recent “aquatic activity day,” with the 16- to 25-year-old portion averaging over eight drinks. Alcohol also pushes their risk-taking behaviors to the next lunatic level. “Beer has long been associated with courage,” says Gary Wise, an Aussie lifeguarding legend who moved to Florida as a PGA golf pro and eventually became beach safety director for a vast swath of the panhandle’s Emerald Coast. “But it’s even more associated with poor decisions. There’s no end to the stupid things I’ve seen drunken guys do over the years.” As the old quip suggests, the five deadliest words in the English language for men are these: Hold my beer. Watch this. “Thanks to our trash-talking culture, GoPros, and YouTube,” says Wise, “there’s even more incentive for men, whether drunk or sober, to show off their ‘skills’ in the water.” Inebriation, overconfidence, showboating: These aren’t the only factors that can get you in over your head fast. Equally important, experts say, is widespread ignorance about a handful of common but woefully underpublicized aquatic assassins. When obliviousness to such threats lures you into deceptive waters, chances are you’ll need both help and luck to escape oblivion.
20. Do something to your car that makes it not quite “street legal.”
22. Tell a scary campﬁre story! We’ll start you of: “One day, Lady Gaga woke up and...”
23. Get lost and ﬁnd your way back. No GPS, but one ﬂare.
“You go for a dip to cool off,” he says, “and as long as you’re wading in the same direction as the rip current, you’re not feeling any danger.” But then you stop, and suddenly this surprisingly strong force is pushing you away from the safety of shore. Instinctively you try to reverse course and head back to land. Now you lose your footing, so you lurch in a half-swim toward the shore but realize that this only makes you lose more ground. Before you know it, the water is chest-high and you’re being pummeled by waves. “The smart thing to do here is just relax,” says Wise. Instead of exhausting yourself by fighting the rip head-on, swim across it—not against it— until the current releases its grip. Then let incoming waves help bring you back to shore. Sadly, the last thing that panic recommends to a person is to go with the flow.
Illustrations (this spread) by JA M ESO N SI M PSO N
EW FORCES OF NATURE ARE AS DANGEROUS AS
water in motion. A cubic meter of ocean weighs 2,264 pounds—the equivalent of four HarleyDavidson Sportster SuperLows. Knee-high water, if it’s moving fast enough, can chop-block a man of any size off his feet. Tsunamis, class V rapids, the gnarly rollers so beloved by surfers: There’s no shortage of natural phenomena that can turn water spectacularly lethal. But in terms of the sheer number of open-water victims affected, one threat dwarfs the rest, triggering more lifeguard rescues than any other single factor: rip currents. In data collected since 1994, the USLA consistently shows that rip currents are behind more than 80 percent of all rescues at surf beaches. In some areas, such as the California coast, this figure climbs to a staggering 90 percent. “Anytime waves break on shore, or if water is subjected to wind over an open body of water, like a lake, the water has to return to its origin, and it takes the path of least resistance,” explains Wise. “This is usually through a slightly deeper channel that forms between sandbars.” This outflowing water was once called an undertow—a misnomer that implies that swimmers caught in one are pulled down. In reality, they are pulled out. Depending on the size of incoming waves, the topography of the ocean floor, and the prevailing winds, rip currents can move lazily or scary-fast. Their breadth from side to side can range from just a few yards to hundreds of yards, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Estimates also vary about how far out they go,” says Frank Pia, Ph.D., a pioneering researcher in drowning and aquatic injury prevention. Though most rips may lose their punch relatively quickly, he says, under the right circumstances, they’ve carried people nearly a half mile offshore. There’s another key element that makes rip currents so dangerous to unsuspecting swimmers: their stealth. “Often you’ll get waves breaking consistently and evenly in two places along the shore,” explains Wise, “but in the channel between those spots, there can be no waves at all. To an untrained eye, this actually looks like the safe place to swim.” In fact, it’s the most dangerous because it’s where outflowing water is returning to the sea. Wise knows firsthand how easily a swimmer can be fooled.
Does the Ocean Have Your Number?
MOTION ISN’T THE ONLY FORCE THAT TURNS WATER
“If you’re not wearing a life jacket, you’re probably going to disappear.”
deadly: Low temperature also profoundly boosts your odds of drowning. “Most people have no idea what suddenly falling into cold water does to them,” says hypothermia researcher Alan Steinman, M.D., a retired rear admiral with the U.S. Coast Guard. By “cold water,” Dr. Steinman isn’t limiting the discussion to the Bering Sea or Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes in January. The Coast Guard officially defines it as any water below 70°F—which includes waters off virtually the entire Pacific Coast throughout the year, and most Atlantic beaches, too, outside of a few summer months. Fall off a boat or dive off a dock into any of these waters, and there’s a good chance you’ll sink within seconds, a victim of “sudden drowning syndrome.”
How to Prevent a Watery Death
You aren’t a trained lifeguard, but that won’t matter to the person drowning. Erik McLaughlin, M.D., M.P.H., outlines this 5-step plan for saving a life without losing your own.
Percentage rise in men’s drowning risk when it’s 86°F or hotter outside SOURCE: PLOS ONE
Among would-be rescuers who drown, percentage who are men SOURCE: ROYAL LIFE SAVING SOCIETY - AUSTRALIA
Percentage rise in pool and natural-water drownings among men SOURCE: CDC, 2000–2010
Yell for someone to call 911 while you race to the rescue. “An adult typically has a minute before going under; a child has 20 seconds,” says Dr. McLaughlin, the medical director for the wilderness medicine provider Adventure Doc.
If the person is within arm’s length of a pool deck or dock, lie facedown and parallel to the edge and spread your legs for stability, says Dr. McLaughlin. Then reach for his or her wrist. Too far? Extend a pole, oar, or even a towel.
U.S. public pools and beaches often have emergency safety rings attached to long ropes. If you can’t touch the person with a 10-foot pole, toss a ring (or two if your aim sucks) and tell him to grab on for dear life. Then reel it in.
If the ring toss fails, grab a boat, kayak, or surfboard, and set out. Tell the person to grab onto one side and then paddle back to shore. If he’s Unresponsive, brace yourself and use the reach maneuver (#2) to get a grip on his body.
No boat? No prob. Are you a strong swimmer? Grab a towel and anything buoyant. Swim to the person and extend the towel—not your arm. “Even lifeguards have been drowned by those they tried to save,” says Dr. McLaughlin.
IMMERSION Involuntary gasp for air; chance of sudden drowning syndrome (see previous page)
0–2 MINUTES Faster heart rate and breathing, and higher BP; unable to hold breath as long as usual
2–30 MINUTES Increased metabolism; muscles shiver to generate heat; loss of dexterity
OST OF US HAVE TRIED TO SEE
30 MINUTES Mild hypothermia; cold muscles in arms and legs make treading water difcult
1 HOUR Impaired judgment; heart rate begins to slow; without a life jacket, high risk of drowning
2 HOURS Loss of muscle control: involuntary urination
3 HOURS Metabolism slows to 75 percent of normal; increased impairment of mental function
4 HOURS Shivering stops; cooling rate accelerates
how long we can hold our breath underwater, whether to win a bet with our buddies or simply to show off for someone who probably wasn’t even paying attention. Whatever our macho motivations, we’ve all experienced the same thing once submerged: The longer we hold our breath, the worse we feel. In 1878, the physician Roger S. Tracy, M.D., wrote that at somewhere between 60 and 90 seconds, a “most peculiar and intolerable kind of anguish” makes it impossible for most of us to resist the urge to resume breathing. There is, however, a way to delay this air alarm— and that’s where we get ourselves into trouble. Before attempting his own underwater breath-holding PR, Kevin Huynh, a 26-year-old program manager from Colorado, did what all too many guys instinctively do in such circumstances—he hyperventilated. “I took a bunch of deep breaths,” Huynh explains, “and then followed them with one huge breath right before pushing off. My thought process at the time was to cram as much oxygen as possible into my system.” Huynh’s intuitive but misguided strategy seemed to work, at least at first. Swimming breaststroke, he traveled the first length of the pool underwater, swiveled around, and then pushed off for a second length. At this point he was starting to feel the need to breathe, but it was hardly a desperate urge, so he kept swimming. “I remember looking up through the water to try to see the backstroke flags,” he says, “but I couldn’t find them and I just kept pushing on.” His goal was at least 1¼ lengths under water. “And there was no way I was going to let myself come up a foot short. I remember telling myself that I’d be fine.” But he wasn’t. A little past the halfway mark on his second length, and without any warning, Huynh suddenly stopped. Another half minute passed before observers realized what was happening and managed to pull his limp body back to the surface. “I still get chills thinking about it today,” he says about his near drowning. The cause was a surprisingly common—and deceptive—reaction that can kick in anytime your body’s natural “anguish” sensors have been tampered with through hyperventilation. All that vigorous huffing and puffing hardly crams any more oxygen into your lungs than they’d otherwise hold, but doing that does lower your carbon dioxide level. That’s important because high CO2 , not a lack of oxygen, is what triggers
Degrees of Drowning Fall into 50°F water, and here’s the fate that awaits as your body temp sinks.
The shock of cold immersion, Dr. Steinman explains, trips specialized nerve sensors in the skin of your chest. These nerves immediately relay signals to your brain, which, in turn, triggers the overwhelming urge to gasp. “And gasping for air becomes a real problem if your head is under water when you do it,” he says. “If you’re not wearing a life jacket at the time—and all too many guys aren’t—you’re probably going to inhale water and disappear.” Water’s big chill will impair you in many other ways, too, and more quickly than you may realize. Cold water siphons body heat 25 times faster than air of the same temperature. Within minutes, you’ll lose fine motor skills; it will be impossible to untie your shoelaces, unbutton your shirt, and jettison other dead weight that’s dragging you down. Among other changes to your physiology, cold water slashes bloodflow to skeletal muscles and slows the nerves that ordinarily send coordinated marching orders to those muscles. For every 2°F drop in body temperature, you lose 5 percent of your maximal strength. Meanwhile, as your body temp drops, so does your IQ. After a short-lived period of mental invigoration—the reason a bracing cold shower helps wake you in the morning—your cognitive abilities will quickly begin to decline. Even very mild hypothermia impairs such abilities as counting and shortterm memory. The colder you become, the more fatigued and stupefied your brain. “People become very disoriented in cold water,” says Dr. Steinman. “Sometimes they even swim down instead of up.”
24. Mr. Hemingway once said, “There is no hunting like the hunting of man...” That’s all the more reason to chase your kids around the yard.
5 HOURS Severe hypothermia: loss of consciousness likely; heart rate and O2 consumption reduced by half
7 HOURS, 55 MINUTES Hypothermia is profound: No measurable brain activity EFFECTS WILL VARY BASED ON SUCH FACTORS AS FAT STORES, SEA CONDITIONS, BODY SIZE, AND CLOTHING.
your body to deliver that anguished call to “inhale now!” If you’ve artificially lowered your CO2 level by hyperventilating, it may not rise high enough to make you surface for air until it’s too late. “An underwater swimmer is often totally unaware that he’s headed toward a blackout,” says Claes E. Lundgren, M.D., Ph.D., a distinguished professor at the University at Buffalo and leading expert on respiratory physiology in specialized environments. “He’s swimming along fine, and then suddenly he stops and sinks to the bottom.” If, unlike Kevin Huynh, you don’t have anyone watching when this happens to you, you can count on one thing: Your CO2 will eventually build back up and force you to breathe again. But it will be water, not air, that you’ll be inhaling. DESPITE THACKURDEEN’S BEST EFFORTS, THE RIP
current soon swept him nearly a hundred yards offshore. Simmons knew he wasn’t strong enough to attempt a high-risk “direct” rescue—that is, using one arm to physically grab the victim and the other to swim them both back to shore. “Maybe earlier in my life, when I was swimming every day, I could have,” he says. “But in those conditions I knew I couldn’t reach him, let alone bring him back, without some kind of flotation.” Determined to help, Simmons sprinted along the beach, desperate to find something that could provide buoyancy. Seeing nothing, he ran toward nearby shacks, and in broken Spanish pleaded for a raft, Styrofoam cooler, anything he could float on. Nobody was able to understand him. Running back to the beach, he spotted an unlocked car with two boogie boards in the backseat. He grabbed them, raced to the water, and started paddling out. Thackurdeen was now nearly 200 yards offshore. Simmons soon realized that another man had joined the rescue effort and was swimming out with a small inner tube. Instinctively they began coordinating their efforts, swimming 20 yards apart to extend their search range. “When we first entered the water, we could still see where Ravi was,” Simmons says. “But by the surf line, the waves were just too big. You’d go up and down, and every time we went over a swell, we’d try to see where he was but couldn’t. We could no longer hear him either. I don’t think he was capable of making noise at that point.” All told, it took Simmons 35 minutes to battle the surf and swirling currents to reach the point where he still hoped Thackurdeen might be. But he never saw him again. From shore, witnesses would later recount how tantalizingly close the two rescuers had come to reaching the drowning man, who appeared, in the last minutes, to be quietly treading to keep his mouth above the surface. Then he was gone. DROWNING DOESN’T LOOK LIKE DROWNING,
something researcher Pia first documented in footage shot during 21 swim seasons at New York’s
Orchard Beach. Pia, who was head lifeguard at the time, was the first to show that real-world drowning victims—unlike actors pretending to drown in Hollywood films—don’t flail, scream, or otherwise sink after a violent, dramatic struggle. Instead, he says, you exhibit what he’s named the “instinctive drowning response.” This set of involuntary behaviors is controlled by your autonomic nervous system. They’re behaviors as innate as the reflex to jerk your hand from a hot stove. Among other actions, your arms involuntarily extend out from your sides and your hands press downward in an instinctive attempt to keep your mouth above the surface. Simultaneously, your torso becomes vertical in the water, your legs stop kicking, and you lose all ability to shout or even speak. As a result, your final moments before submerging are silent and unspectacular. “It’s not uncommon for drowning people to be surrounded by people close by who have no idea a drowning is even taking place,” says Pia. Regardless of how unremarkable the process appears to others, once the instinctive drowning response kicks in, you’ve become so exhausted that you have only 20 to 60 seconds more before sinking. Barring miraculous retrieval from the depths, submersion then sets off a physiological death spiral that follows its own inevitable course.
“Alveoli look like microscopic grapes,” explains Dr. Steinman. Each one is coated by a special fatand-protein substance called surfactant, which works like the soap in soap bubbles to keep the air sacs open. Fresh water, alas, renders the surfactant ineffective, and salt water washes it away. The net result is the same—multiple alveoli end up collapsing, making them unable to infuse your blood with oxygen. Water in the lungs also damages the mesh of capillaries surrounding the alveoli, causing them to leak. Viscous protein-laden blood plasma leaves the bloodstream and enters the lungs, further reducing the amount of viable lung tissue remaining. If a victim is rescued in time, the one-two punch of collapsed alveoli and fluid buildup make resuscitation challenging at best. “The combination creates a severe hypoxia condition that has to be corrected,” says Dr. Steinman. “You have to use suction to remove the pulmonary edema fluid and just hope there are still enough noncollapsed alveoli remaining for the victim to absorb oxygen.” Few lung-flooded victims, however, survive long enough to face such a dilemma. Unless the person is pulled from the water quickly, oxygen deprivation will lead to brain death. That can take as little as six minutes in a warm swimming pool, but in chillier bodies of water, thanks to the ability of the cold to preserve the viability of the brain and other organs, that window can extend up to an hour. WORLDWIDE, A TINY NUMBER OF VICTIMS HAVE
ASSUMING YOU’RE STILL CONSCIOUS WHEN YOU
go under, your first reaction will be “voluntary apnea”—holding your breath as long as you can. Eventually, rising carbon dioxide levels in your blood will bring you to the breath-hold breaking point, when the urge to breathe becomes too irresistible to ignore. It doesn’t matter if you’re under water when this point is reached: Nothing you do will stop you from inhaling. Researchers call this the “terminal gasp.” “When water comes down the airway,” says Dr. Steinman, “your body will try to defend itself by slamming your vocal cords shut to keep water out of your lungs. A few revived victims even say they can remember the unpleasantness of trying to breathe against closed vocal cords.” Eventually, oxygen levels plummet so low that you lose consciousness and the laryngeal spasm finally breaks. If you’re still alive at this point— and most victims are—nothing remains to prevent inhaled water from flooding your lungs. Regardless of whether this is fresh water or salt water, this incursion wreaks havoc with the tiny breathing sacs, called alveoli, where oxygen enters your blood and CO2 leaves it.
almost drowned in very cold water and later been brought back to life—even after a half hour or longer without air—all thanks to hypothermia’s ability to place the heart and brain into suspended animation. Such “miraculous” cases make headlines. Less newsworthy is a more common and tragic flip-side phenomenon: The nearly drowned man who rises from the dead and appears saved, only to die up to three days after successful resuscitation. This bizarre scenario used to be called “secondary drowning,” though researchers have recently rejected the term as misleading. The actual cause of death is pulmonary edema—fluid buildup in the lungs—initiated by lung injury incurred in the water. Even the purest water is damaging to lung tissues. When you factor in the bacteria, vomit, dirt, and pollutants that drowning victims so often inhale along with water, the damage can prove insurmountable. Early in his career, Dr. Lundgren received a call from a local hospital about a despondent young man who had tried to drown himself. The docs managed to revive him but decided to keep him overnight for observation. At first he seemed to be moving toward full recovery. But over the next several hours, his lungs began filling up with sticky fluid and he slipped into a coma. “They’d done everything in the book,” Dr. Lundgren recalls about heroic attempts to clear his lungs and bring him out of the coma. Nothing worked. “They asked if they could bring him to our hyperbaric chamber as a last attempt to save his life.” Dr. Lundgren quickly agreed. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment, which is used to treat decompres-
sion sickness in divers, increases the atmospheric pressure surrounding a patient’s body, effectively forcing extra oxygen out of a patient’s lungs and into the bloodstream. Dr. Lundgren hoped this could buy the young man enough time to allow his damaged lungs to heal. The technique worked, at least initially. “He woke up inside our chamber,” Dr. Lundgren recalls, “and was even able to communicate with us a little. But then he developed a pulmonary edema and he slid back into the coma. We inched up the oxygen pressure, and he briefly woke once again. We tried raising it a little more, but this time he didn’t respond.” Today, Dr. Lundgren says, a heart-lung bypass machine might have saved him, but that technology was not yet available. The young man drowned after all—not by the seawater into which he’d thrown himself, but by an unstoppable accumulation of fluid produced by his own body. WHEN A POLICE BOAT FINALLY REACHED PLAYA
Tortuga, the pilot plucked one of the would-be rescuers out of the ocean. Then he tried to coax Brian Simmons aboard as well. Simmons declined, determined to keep searching. For a while, the rescue craft puttered in circles in search of the missing student. Finding no signs, the pilot headed back. Exhausted and distraught, Simmons clung to his boogie board, remembering how many times he’d swum—alone and without any flotation—in these same waters, oblivious to danger. It occurred to him he’d never meet the stranger he’d tried so hard to save, a young man who, like himself, had come here for adventure and a chance to make a difference in the lives of others. When Simmons realized the search was hopeless, he was nearly a quarter of a mile offshore. The water was now so rough and churned with currents that it took him 40 minutes to swim back in. It was another several hours before authorities notified Ros Thackurdeen about her son’s disappearance. She and her husband, along with her daughter and other son, caught the first flight to Costa Rica and arrived the following day. “We immediately joined the search,” Ros says, her voice breaking in grief two years later. Neither this search nor a second attempt that night found any trace of Ravi. Then, on Tuesday afternoon, 52 hours after Thackurdeen disappeared, a fisherman reported spotting a body on a beach several hours away. His parents made the identification. “This was an ordeal nobody should ever have to go through,” Ros says. FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE THE WATER, FEW ASPECTS
of life rival the pleasures of a summer swim. But it’s also true that few can turn lethal so quickly, pitching us into mortal jeopardy that we can’t always escape on our own. The solutions seem so obvious: Always swim in guarded waters; wear a life jacket on boats in cold water; learn to recognize and avoid the conditions that have already drowned so many of our brothers. Perhaps most of all, says lifeguard Wise, we need more respect for the water’s power—and a little less for our own. “As men,” he says, “we need to know our limitations.” J
This can also mean that some products have far more THC than they should. Wolfing down pot-infused treats therefore becomes a problem. “People in general think smoking is bad and eating is good, and that’s dangerous,” says Dr. Abrams. “When you inhale cannabis through smoking or vaporization, the peak THC concentration is reached in about two and a half minutes. But when you eat a cannabis-infused baked product, it takes two and a half hours.” Translation: The THC kicks in long after you’ve finished licking your fingers, and its effects could leave you deeply, uncomfortably high. (A college student on spring break in Denver who had consumed a marijuana cookie ended up jumping to his death in March; the coroner listed marijuana intoxication as a “significant contributing factor” in the young man’s death.) High-potency options like BHO carry another possible danger: residual chemicals. According to Kilts, roughly half of all the concentrates CannLabs tests turn out to contain higher levels of butane and other solvents, like ethanol or pentane, than the 10 to 50 parts per million upper limit mandated by law. “Our suspicion,” he says, “is that some people are getting high off the butane and not the marijuana.” Kilts says CannLabs is also currently testing extracts that come in at upwards of 90 percent THC. What do those high-powered dabs do to a person? Obviously they get some customers seriously stoned. For other people, though, they could lead to extreme discomfort caused by side effects like anxiety, and even episodes of psychosis. “I don’t think we are going to see anyone overdosing and dying,” says Tvert. “But could people have an uncomfortable experience and feel like they have to go to the ER? Certainly.” Meanwhile, as legislators continue to debate public policy, activists like Tvert are working on legalization efforts elsewhere around the country. Maryland recently became the 21st state to allow medical marijuana. Later this year, Alaska voters will weigh in on whether to regulate recreational marijuana. Similar initiatives are also being developed in Arizona, California, Maine, and Massachusetts. But the research continues to trail behind. Those potent cannabis concentrates like BHO? There’s scant research on dabs. It’s enough to give even longtime marijuana advocates pause. As Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University at Albany–SUNY and chairman of NORML’s board of directors, puts it, “At this point, dabbing may seem like old news, but it’s still way ahead of the science.” J
REBORN IN THE USA, CONT. FROM P. 120
It gave me a drive and a confidence to try to do something with my life.” Then there was the more prosaic fact: McGraw’s first record deal. It came about after the friend of a record executive heard Tim’s audition tape while hitching a ride with—Tug McGraw. If Tug did the right thing late in the game, well, that was his thing. IT’S TEMPTING TO PUT A RIBBON ON IT. BE
satisfied with the conceit of bad examples yielding good. Ignore the fact that the bottle never stops calling. That the hits won’t always keep coming. That McGraw’s mom delivered him, through it all and in every sense. That she is his foundation. So we’ll stop with the art of conjecture and leave you with a solid fact: Tim McGraw, doing his job, his own best bad example, living right and stabbing that kale salad. J
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THE AVERAGE GUY
We sniff and scratch around for the facts about our barking buddies.
Percentage who say their eventual life partner must be a dog lover
Most popular male and female names the average guy bestows on his pup
Number who wish their own yipping dog wasn’t actually such a wuss
51 Average guy’s favorite dog breed: Labrador retriever
Aspect of a dog’s life the average guy envies most:
Age (in human years) of the average guy’s dog
1 in 4
Percentage of men who let their canine companion dine on table scraps
Top three reasons the average guy’s pooch ends up in the doghouse: 1. Barking all the !@#%ing time 2. Won’t fetch. Or sit. Or roll over. 3. Wee-weeing on the wall-to-wall
Number of years dogs and dudes have been best friends
65 Percentage of guys who’ve found themselves on the receiving end of a biting canine’s ire
Percentage of poochless guys who want to own one
SLEEPING ALL DAY
Segment of guys with dogs who say their pooch, not a barking personal trainer, whipped them into shape
Breed most likely to help a guy attract a date: German shepherd
Number of men who’ve used their dog as a wingman
Percentage who’ve told their dog a secret they’ve kept from everyone else
22% 1 in 3 Portion of men who’d spend $20K or more to save their four-legged friend’s life
Number who would buy a gravestone to mark Sir Barxalot’s final resting place
SURVIVE BITE CLUB Facing a strange canine? Watch for raised back hairs: That’s called piloerection, a sign it feels threatened, says Barbara Sherman, D.V.M., Ph.D., a professor of behavioral medicine at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Don’t run
1 in 10
Contingent of slobs who never pick up after their mutt in public
Number of dog lovers who also secretly like cats
or stare—that might be perceived as a threat. Instead, Sherman says, maintain a “neutral” stance—arms at your sides and fingers curled. If the dog attacks, shield yourself with a briefcase, backpack, or whatever’s handy. You’ll tempt the dog to chomp on that and buy yourself time to back away.
Top three reasons why the average guy has held off on adopting a furry friend: 1. No time 2. The landlord says, “No way” 3. No space
152 MENSHEALTH.COM | July/August 2014
Number of sex positions the average dog uses
TRAIN A SMARTER CANINE As dogs age, they can suffer memory loss if they’re not given enough brain challenges, says Dee Hoult, CEO of Applause Your Paws, a Miami dog training company. To keep your fella’s mind active, present an open, empty hand and say, “Touch.” When he sniffs Percentage of men who won’t boot Bubba out of the bedroom when they’re getting busy
Percentage of guys who’ve dolled up Fido in a sweater or other clothing
it, reward him with a treat from the other hand. Over time he’ll make the connection that touching an object with his nose makes a treat appear. Practice with other items, and eventually you can use the trick in other ways—like, say, having Sparky turn on the TV when you can’t find the remote.
Percentage who say no to a pintsize pup
I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y L E D U O
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