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SWAT FUEL IS ON A MISSION Megan Johnson McCullough SWAT Fuel is a science-based supplement line to support occupational athletes. The combat physiology behind creator Dr. Dan Olesnicky, M.D.’s, products, is fighting the biological time cells in our bodies (telomeres). This comprehensive line of popular sports nutrition supplements; originally developed to provide energy and endurance to military, law enforcement, and shift workers, efficiently provides the nutrients that our bodies need for optimal performance, while using and maintaining energy. The occupational athlete is an individual required to physically perform at the level of an athlete during their job. Physically demanding occupations, such as the police force, military, fire fighters, nursing, can often place the body under extreme stress. Obviously, this ongoing stress can accelerate the deterioration of the body internally, along with the visible signs of aging we see externally, thus support supplementation is needed. Reserve Police officer, tactical medical instructor, and physician, Dr. Dan Olesnicky, M.D., took his interest of molecular genetics and created a researchbased product that is taking the fitness industry by storm. After the age 25, our bodies are no longer growing, instead they are fighting the aging process; therefore, our bodies don’t obtain the necessary nutrients needed from food alone, as they do not absorb or readily
process the essential components the same as in our youth. Olesnicky wanted to know how something like a tortoise can live so long? How can we decrease the rate at which those telomeres shorten? When we don’t obtain this proper nutrition, our body is not functioning at its peak and our immunity is at risk. SWAT Fuel is the right supplement strategy to take. According to Olesnicky, the answer to living our best involves 3 factors, fitness, sleep, and eating right. When he entered the police force as a reserve officer and emergency medical responder, he found himself older than his surrounding colleagues. He decided to study combat physiology in order to discover what supplementation could help him. What sets him apart in his research is that he’s not just a lab rat, rather, he is a “product of his products”. Olesnicky has the education and experience to back his products. He is currently in the process of building his own sports performance lab to improve his company. He also donates 10% of profits from sales directly to charities that support military, law enforcement, fire fighters, scouts, education, and medical research. Just as these agencies make a difference in our lives, so too will this product. Popular products include the 9mm+ Endurance Formula and the SWAT Fuel 40 Caliber Multivitamin. The SWAT Boxes are also great tools to enhance performance. The Warrior Box includes 9mm Endurance. This product helps with energy for up to 8 hours. The proper amount of caffeine and
glucose has been formulated that does not create that “jittery” feeling. Focus and energy are enhanced. The Bootcamp Box is designed to help those looking to lose weight. It is composed of the Swat Fuel 40 Caliber Multivitamin, 44 Magnum Protein Powder, and the 9mm Fat Burn Formula. The right combination of products produces the desired results. Olesnicky is particularly proud of the 44 Magnum Protein Powder. It is 100% natural, with its ingredients imported from Australia. There is a science to this powder which involves a combination of fast and medium absorbing proteins. It is 85% organic grassfed whey, 15% organic egg whites, and has 5 grams of L glutamine. This scientific make up helps with hypertrophy and recovery. SWAT Fuel was formulated in 2012 and has undergone years of testing to reach the point where it’s at today. Olesnicky’s, fascination with DNA and the aging process have led to a versatile product line. From the occupational athlete to the everyday person, SWAT Fuel is supplementation backed by science that works. The editors of OnFitness have tested the following products for the past year. Swat Fuel 40 caliber Multivitamin and the 9mm + Endurance. We feel a profound difference in our workouts and additional endurance and power, when surfing the big Hawaiian waves. We give it a thumbs up!
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12 THE BASICS When you weighttrain you need to understand exactly how each muscle in your body functions so you can work them correctly to make them stronger and bigger. 28 KETOGENIC DIETS & ATHLETES The shift back to consuming high-fat diets has caught the attention of athletes looking for ways to improve their performance. 30 CARCINOGENS IN YOUR FOOD Could that box of biggie fries be your body’s worst enemy? 32 ESTROGEN’S LINK TO FAT LOSS Estrogen plays a key role in the development of the hourglass shape of a woman. 34 THE POWER OF MUSHROOMS Of the 38,000 types of mushrooms, only about 50 are poisonous and another 50 have medicinal value. 36 TESTOSTERONE The simple fact is that both males and females need testosterone for a normal, healthy life. 37 GARLIC FOR HEALTH Dracula hates it — but you should love garlic. 40 GREEN CUISINE Eating sustainably is an extraordinary way to have a powerful effect on our environment as well as our own personal health. 42 AGING The number of years we have here on earth are marked by a gradual process of our bodies’ functions both internally and externally ﬁghting an expiration date. 44 ORGANIC VERSUS SYNTHETIC Millions of Americans take 1 or more vitamins daily, yet millions of them are chronically ill. 45 A PILL IS NOT A MEAL Is the culture cramping your eating style? That can be the case if you are rushed into the microwave approach to dinner. 46 PROTEIN America has gone overboard on protein. Yes, this seems incredible in a world where starvation and protein deﬁciency are a common cause of death in some regions. 48 ALCOHOL AND FITNESS There is a misconception that perhaps exercise is powerful enough to offset 3 straight nights of copious drinking. 50 VEGGIES FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE Eating green foods is extremely healthy, probably in more ways than even Mom imagined. 52 PASTEURIZATION Panic grips our news periodically with food-borne illness outbreaks. The peanut butter contamination of 2008 was the largest food recall in U.S. history. 55 PRESERVATIVES How long will a fast-food hamburger last without going bad? A week? A month? According to some unofﬁcial experiments, a few fast-food burgers have hit the year mark. 56 TRAIN LIKE A GIRL Should women train differently? 58 LEANER LEGS It’s leg day again. Time to get prepared for the hour-long workout with crazy-heavy weight and long rest periods, right?
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60 HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING Joining a gym can be an unnerving time in one’s life, seeing all those people who have been working hard for years and have reaped the benefits of training. 62 THE BEST CARDIO EQUIPMENT Whether you are a lawyer, businessman, or soccer mom, you want to make the best use of your workout time. 63 KILLER QUAD & HAM WORKOUT This intense 18-minute routine is for people who are short on time, are in good condition and get high from pushing their limits, 64 MEDITATION FOR STRENGTH True meditation involves not paying attention to the stimulus. 66 SCHOOLYARD ARMS Did you know that you don’t need a gym membership to build great arms? 68 OVERTRAINING Consistent training helps you lose weight, upgrade your fitness level and build the best body ever. But it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, 70 IS TRAINING TO FAILURE REQUIRED FOR SUCCESS? Training to failure is a common practice among athletes and recreational lifters alike. 72 WANT MUSCLE GROWTH? HERE’S HOW Few topics in fitness are more discussed than gaining skeletal muscle mass. 74 CARDIO/AEROBIC TRAINING D o you know the primary pillars of physical fitness? 75 PARALLEL TRAINING Rushed for time? Do you need to find the time to get in a decent workout? Consider using parallel training. 76 MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU Many people are still unaware that results in fitness and fat loss require a push that forces the body to respond. 78 SURF FIT The first competitive surfers stayed in shape solely by practicing their craft of surfing. They might have taken a few runs down the beach, but this was done with their board under their arms. 80 OBSTACLE RACING If you’re looking for an exciting kind of race that offers a daunting physical challenge, then obstacle racing is for you. 81 SPEED Two types of common muscle growth are accepted, and depending on where you look in the muscle, you are likely to see 1 more often than the other. 82 THE HYBRID APPROACH For years, the fitness industry has been consumed with varying trends and fads, planting the seeds for how training should be completed and what new piece of equipment would get the job done best. 83 THE LONG RUN Pushing your endurance to the next level. 84 URBANATHLON Urbanathlons will put your mind and body to the ultimate test. 86 JASON KARP IS BORN TO RUN When Jason Karp competed in his first middle school track meet, the idea of running faster than the kid in the next lane excited him. 88 WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN Robert Oberst, also known as Obie, is a 375-pound force to be reckoned with. 92 WEIGHTS & MEASURES Tons of useful information.
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When you weight-train you need to understand exactly how each muscle in your body functions so you can work them correctly to make them stronger and bigger. Every muscle serves a different purpose, and the aim of exercise shouldnâ€™t be just to make them aesthetically pleasing but also to make them stronger. Your muscles can broadly be divided into 2 categories â€” upper body and lower body. Your upper body muscles include your neck, shoulders, middle and lower back, biceps, triceps, forearms, chest and abs. Lower body muscles are your butt, quads, hamstrings and calves. You can isolate and target each muscle with specific exercises or target a group of muscles with compound exercises. The following pages will cover the basics of targeting each muscle.
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More muscle and less fat Decreasing body fat alone will not suffice, since taking someone with very little muscle to begin with and getting that person smaller will simply make them look skinny and gaunt. Thus, the first goal is to maximize muscle building while reducing body fat to make muscles pop. To begin, step off the cardio machines and into the weight room for a fat-blasting strength circuit. Circuit training requires you to choose 2-4 exercises and perform 1 set of each in a rotation, rather than performing the same exercise in straight sets. When a person moves from exercise to exercise with little rest time in circuit fashion, the heart rate and breathing remain elevated while eliciting spikes of metabolic failure throughout. Choose challengingly heavy weights so that failure or near-failure is reached on every set. Try the strength circuit below to build muscle and decrease body fat. Move from 1 exercise to the next in a circuit, resting as little as is needed. This type of workout will not only elicit a strong cardiovascular response but also signal the release of key fatburning hormones like growth and testosterone. In addition to weight training, perform short-duration, high-intensity cardio intervals to help keep metabolism revved and also hang onto precious muscle. Interval training, which alternates working segments of high intensity such as sprinting with resting segments of low intensity such as walking, is superior for fat burning over steadystate aerobics, and also spares muscle by burning mostly sugar during exercise and fat post-exercise. To perform interval training, choose your favorite cardio machine. Rotate doing 1 minute at a very high intensity to get breathless and burning by the end, followed by 1 minute at a recovery pace to bring the heart rate and breathing back down. Alternate these 1-minute bouts to complete a total of 20 minutes. Keeping the interval workout short will ensure the greatest exertion. EXERCISE WEIGHT REPS ————————————————————————————
Incline chest press Heavy 10 ———————————————————————————— Bent-over row Heavy 10 ———————————————————————————— Bench step-ups Medium 10 weights in hands each leg ————————————————————————————
weights in hands
At the top of your shoulders are the deltoids, often referred to as your delts: the anterior, middle and posterior delts. They’re muscles that allow abduction — moving your arms up or away from your body — and rotation — such as reaching backward or throwing a ball.
< DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS Sit on a bench or a ball, holding a dumbbell in each hand, upright on top of your thighs. Lift them to your shoulder height 1 at a time, using your thighs to help propel them into position and with the palms of your hands facing forward. Press the weights up over your head until they almost touch at the top. After a brief pause, slowly lower them to your shoulders and repeat.
UPRIGHT CABLE ROW > Hold a cable bar with an overhand grip, resting on your thighs and shoulder width apart. Flex your elbows and pull the bar up toward your chin, until the bar is in line with your collarbone. After a brief pause, slowly lower it back down to your thighs and repeat.
BENT-OVER LATERAL RAISE Keeping your back straight, bend at the waist, holding dumbbells in each hand, your palms facing each other. With your torso remaining stationary, lift the weights straight out to your sides until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. After a brief pause, slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position and repeat.
# PUSH-UP Get down on all fours with your hands a little wider than your shoulders and your entire body in a straight line from head to toe. Keeping your elbows close to your sides, lower your chest until it almost touches the ground. After a brief pause, press your body back up and repeat. This exercise will work your delts, abs, pecs and triceps.
< DUMBBELL FRONT RAISE Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand held at arm’s length in front of your thighs. Using an overhand grip, lift 1 of the dumbbells up in front of you until your arm is slightly above parallel to the ground, keeping a slight bend in your elbow and your palm facing down. After a brief pause, slowly lower the weight back to your thigh and repeat with the other dumbbell. # DUMBBELL SIDE RAISE Stand up straight with dumbbells in each hand hanging down by your sides, your palms facing you. Keeping your torso stationary and a slight bend in your elbows, raise the weights out to your sides until your arms are parallel to the ground. After a brief pause, slowly lower the weights to your sides and repeat.
The anatomy of the neck is quite extensive, allowing for flexion, extension, rotation and bending side to side. You can effectively target each of its muscles with the following exercises. First, begin with these warm-ups to stretch the neck muscles and get the blood flowing. >Shrug your shoulders up, back and down 15-20 times. >Tuck your chin into your chest and hold for 15-20 seconds. >Bend your head back, looking straight up, and hold this position for 15-20 seconds. >Turn your head as far as you can to the left and hold for 15-20 seconds, then as far to the right as you can. >Drop one ear down toward your one shoulder, pulling on it slightly with your hand for a better stretch, and hold for 15-20 seconds, then repeat on your opposite side. DUMBBELL SHRUG Stand holding a pair of moderately weighted dumbbells at your sides with a slight bend in your elbows. Raise your shoulder up (shrug) as high as possible. After a brief pause, lower your shoulders until you feel a stretch in your upper traps and repeat. LYING NECK FLEXION Lie supine on a bench with your knees bent and neck and head hanging off the end. Place a weight plate on a towel and rest it on your forehead, holding it with both hands. Start by leaning your head back as far as comfortable and then raise your head until your chin contacts your upper chest.
DON’T ALWAYS TRAIN YOUR NECK IN A STRAIGHT LINE
You can stress your neck muscles in a new way by simply changing the angle at which you perform neck exercises. Instead of the straight up-and-down action during a neck raise with a head strap, turn your body sideways, bend at the waist and lift the weight from a side angle. This will work the side muscles of your neck more directly. One caveat — start with a light weight load because you don’t want to overstress a muscle from an unfamiliar angle.
SEATED NECK EXTENSION Sit at the end of a bench with your stomach resting on your thighs. Place a weight plate in a towel and rest it on the back of your head, holding it with both hands. Stretch your neck forward until your chin contacts your upper chest, and then raise your head backward without moving your torso as far as you can comfortably.
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THE BASICS The back muscles include your trapezius, middle back, lats and lower back. The traps connect the deltoids to the back, which supports the weight of your arm and retracts and rotates your shoulder blades. Your middle back allows you to squeeze your shoulder blades together and helps provide stability. Your lats allow you to pull your arms down and back and keep your elbows close, while your lower back muscles are necessary to stabilize your spine and core.
YOUR METABOLISM A study by Edward Melanson and team came out claiming to “bust the myth that working out gives you a fatburning boost.” However, there are at least 9 other studies that show that smart exercise like high-intensity interval training does in fact create a post-workout metabolic boost and causes your body to burn more fat after the workout. “If you read the Melanson study you will see that he primarily tested endurance exercise like jogging, and it’s totally true that this kind of exercise seems to do nothing to boost your metabolism after a workout. But, if you look at the research on high-intensity interval training and very intense circuit training, you will see a metabolic boost for up to 38 hours and a shift to burning more fat for fuel after your workout,” says Josef Brandenburg, a Washington, DC, fat loss expert. “This is why I generally remove all ‘regular’ endurance exercise like jogging from my clients’ programs if they want to lose fat — it’s essentially a waste of time. I replace it with highintensity interval training and metabolic resistance training. This combination of exercise can get a woman down a dress size in her first 28 days, whereas the jogging seems to do absolutely nothing,” says Brandenburg. DUMBBELL SHRUGS Traps. Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, your arms by your sides, your palms facing you. Raise the weights by elevating your shoulders as high as possible keeping your arms hanging down — only your shoulders move up and down. After a brief pause, slowly lower the dumbbells back down and repeat.
3 HYPEREXTENSION Lower back, butt and hamstrings. Lie facedown on a hyperextension bench with your ankles properly secured. With your arms crossed in front of your chest or behind your head, bend forward and down as far as you can while keeping your back straight. After a brief pause, return to the starting position, avoiding the temptation to arch your back up past a straight line. After another brief pause, repeat.
3 LATERAL PULL-DOWN Lats, biceps and shoulders. Attach a wide bar to the top pulley of a pulldown machine. Sitting down with the knee pad snugly against your legs, grab the bar with your palms facing you — palms facing away from you is a reverse-grip pulldown. Your hands should be about shoulder width apart. Leaning your torso back slightly to create a small curvature in your back, pull the bar down until it touches your upper chest, keeping your elbows close to your body. Your upper torso remains stationary and only your arms move. After a brief pause, slowly raise the bar back up and repeat. BENT OVER DUMBBELL ROW > Lats, biceps and shoulders. With a dumbbell in each hand, bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward until it’s near parallel with the ground. Keeping your back straight with the dumbbells hanging down in front of you, lift them up to your sides, keeping your arms close to your body. As you pull up, squeeze your shoulders back. After a brief pause, slowly lower the weights back down and repeat.
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3 CABLE ROW Entire back, biceps and triceps. Sitting bent slightly forward on the bench of a low pulley row machine with your feet on the vertical platform, grasp the cable attachment, keeping your hips, back and knees slightly bent. Pull the cable to your waist while pushing your chest forward and arching your back. After a brief pause, return the cable until your arms are fully extended again and your shoulders and lower back are flexed forward. Repeat.
T-BAR ROW > Middle back, biceps and shoulders. The T-bar is a device most gyms have. It’s a long bar with 1 end attached to the ground and 2 small handles at the other end, it’s similar to a barbell but with weight plates at the top end only. Straddle the bar, holding it slightly off the ground while keeping your back straight and knees bent. Without moving your lower body, lift the weight up until it almost touches you, pause, lower and repeat. # ONE-ARM DUMBBELL ROW Lats, traps, triceps and biceps. Support yourself with 1 knee and 1 hand on a bench with your other leg on the ground, and your other hand holding onto a dumbbell at arms length. Looking straight ahead — this will help you keep your back straight — pull the dumbbell up as far up as possible using your back muscles and not your arm. After a brief pause, slowly lower the weight and repeat. After a desired numbers of repetitions, switch sides.
< CHIN-UPS / PULL-UP Targets all back muscles. With your arms fully extended holding onto a pull-up bar — palms facing you are chin-ups, palms facing away from you are pull-ups — pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. After a brief pause, slowly lower yourself until your body’s fully extended again and repeat.
DEADLIFT Entire back, chest, hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, biceps and abs. With your feet shoulder width apart, squat down and grab a barbell without bending your hips. With your hands slightly less than shoulder width apart, stand back up, raising the bar with you until it reaches your thighs by using your legs, hips and other muscles — and not your arms. The bar should remain in contact with your legs for the entire range of motion. After another brief pause, lower the bar — by squatting — back down to your shins and repeat.
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THE BASICS Your chest muscles consist of the pectoralis major and minor, which are predominantly used to control the movement of your arm: pulling, pushing, lifting, swinging and rotating. DUMBBELL FLYE Chest, shoulders, triceps and biceps. Lie back on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand resting on your thighs, your palms facing each other. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, use your thighs to help raise the weights up over your head, then slowly lower them out to your sides in a wide arc motion (flying style) — using only your shoulder joints, you’ll feel a stretch in your chest and your shoulders. After a brief pause, raise the weights back up over your head and repeat.
Trap bar deadlift The deadlift is a key exercise to implement in your training regimen in order to ensure stability and strength through the muscles of the posterior chain: the back, butt and hamstrings. The trap bar deadlift is a great way to introduce this move into a beginner’s routine, or for individuals who have hip issues or difficulty with their spine and/or posture. Positioning: Stand inside the center of the trap bar, which is shaped like a hexagon. With a neutral grip, grasp the handles with arms fully extended and the body in a squat position. Hips should be on a parallel plane with the knees, and the spine should remain in a neutral position with your head up. The lift: Place all of your weight on your heels, and push through your heels to come to a standing position. Avoid your weight being transferred through the balls of your feet, which will push your hips forward. Proper alignment: While you stand, all major joint areas including the ankles, knees, hips and shoulders should be in line. Make sure to keep your shoulders pushed back and depressed. Deadlift descent: In a slow and controlled manner, with chest and head up, lower your body toward the ground while sitting into your hips, pressing your butt out as though searching for a seat. Do not let the trap bar crash into the floor once you reach the bottom of your movement. Considerations: Make sure to bring your body back to a full starting position to gain maximum benefits on the descent, and do not allow the momentum of the weights bouncing off the ground to help you ascend. A slow and controlled tempo is very important for the safety and effectiveness of this move.
EASY ON THE EXIT Do you have trouble exiting out of heavy dumbbell lifts, particularly chest and shoulder presses? Does it hurt either shoulder as you bring the dumbbell down after the last rep? Ever thought of using a thigh to intercept the downward path of the weight? Next time, as you lower it, lift your thigh as high as you can to meet with the flat end of the dumbbell, and rest the weight there, then lower your thigh, hand still on the dumbbell. Your thigh will absorb some of the weight as you continue to move it to the ground. Another trick for relieving shoulder stress during exits is to keep your palms facing forward as you lower. This forces your biceps to absorb some of the resistance, and it also keeps your shoulder joint cavity open, thereby reducing risk of shoulder impingement.
3 DUMBBELL PULLOVER Back muscles, shoulders, lats, chest, triceps and delts. Lie on a bench with your feet flat on the ground, holding 1 dumbbell with both hands — your palms are positioned against the underside of a plate — and your arms fully extended over your chest. Slowly lower the weight behind your head until your upper arms are slightly below parallel to the ground, making sure not to raise your hips up off the bench. After a brief pause, pull the weights back up over your chest and repeat.
3 BARBELL BENCH PRESS Chest, triceps, delts, biceps, traps, quads and back. Lie back on a flat bench, holding a pair of dumbbells or a barbell. Press the weights up straight over your chest and lock your arms. Slowly bring the weights down until either the barbell touches your middle chest or the dumbbells reach the sides of your chest. After a brief pause, press the weights back up and repeat. You should have complete control over the weight at all times.
3 PUSH-UP Chest, shoulders, triceps, abs and those “wing” muscles directly under your armpit. Get in a push-up position, making sure that your entire body is in a straight line from head to toe. Keeping your elbows close to your sides, lower your chest until it’s just above the ground. After a brief pause, press your body back up and repeat.
INCLINE DUMBBELL FLYE Chest, delts, shoulders, triceps and biceps With your feet firmly planted on the ground, lie on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand straight up over your chest, your palms facing each other. Maintaining a slight arch in your back and keeping a slight bend in your elbows, lower the weights out to your sides in a wide arc motion (flying style) until you feel a nice stretch in your chest and shoulders. After a brief pause, return the dumbbells to the starting position and repeat.
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# PARALLEL BAR DIP Chest, triceps and shoulders. Holding on to a set of parallel bars, push your body up by fully extending your arms. Take a breath and lower your body until your arms reach a 90-degree angle, avoiding any swinging and maintaining a good posture. After a brief pause, push yourself back up and repeat.
< DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS Chest, triceps, delts, biceps, traps, quads and back. Lie back on an incline bench holding a pair of dumbbells with your arms fully extended directly over your chest; your palms should be facing forward. Slowly lower both dumbbells to the sides of your chest. After a brief pause, press the weights back up and repeat.
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THE BASICS Your arms are divided into 3 separate muscle groups: biceps, triceps and forearms. Each group has muscles that help rotate, extend and flex your arms and hands.
Beyond your comfort zone Shorter, intense exercise bouts can be performed anywhere and with no equipment. The first step in creating a quick workout is to scope out the surroundings. If you’re near a school, use the track or stadium steps. If you’re near a park, look for staircases, low walls and short, steepincline paths. In a backyard, make sure there is some room to sprint or a walkway to lunge-walk, such as you may find with a long driveway. Many exercises such as push-ups, dips, stepups and squats can be performed using body weight only. You can ramp up the intensity by incorporating plyometric movements such as squat jumps, switch-ups and bench jumps. Throw in a little sprinting and some pulsing or half-reps and you can achieve an intense fullbody workout anywhere. Since the workout must be timesensitive, each exercise will be performed for an allotted amount of time, not using reps or sets. Instead, the goal is to complete as many repetitions as possible in the allotted time, keeping tight form, before moving on to the next exercise. Remember that the only caveat to shorter workouts is that they must be intense to generate results. Sprints are not fast jogs; they are panting-out-ofbreath bouts of all-out exertion. Squats should be low and lunges should be deep. Since the workouts don’t require any weights, it is important to contract the muscles as if you had weights. For example, squeeze your shoulders as you hold them out in a static lateral raise; squeeze your butt together as you complete each squat, and strive to touch your chest to the ground with push-ups, utilizing the full range of motion of each exercise. Finally, remember to stay safe and listen to your body. High-intensity workouts should and will push you beyond your comfort zone, but be sure to take short rests if you need and adjust exercises as you see fit. Z
3 TRICEPS EXTENSION Triceps Holding a dumbbell with both hands — your palms positioned against the underside of a plate — press it up above your head at arm’s length. Keeping your upper arms and elbows stationary, slowly lower the weight in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps. Hold this position for a moment, then press the weight back up over your head and repeat. Your upper arms should always remain stationary and perpendicular to the ground. PREACHER CURL > Biceps. Sit on a preacher bench holding a dumbbell in 1 hand at shoulder level, your palm facing you. With your upper arm and chest resting against the bench’s pad, slowly lower the weight until your lower arm is resting on the pad. Using your THE BIG 2 biceps, curl the weight back up If you want to stimulate more until your upper muscle growth in your body, arm is fully hit the 2 big areas hard — your contracted. thigh/hip/glute region and your Squeeze your biceps and hold for a moment to get maximum back. You don’t have to get real benefit before lowering the weight and repeating. Once you elaborate — in fact, just a complete a set, switch arms. This exercise can also be couple of exercises can make performed curling with both arms at a time. up a good training cycle. By employing just 2 exercises, you < HAMMER CURL enhance your focus and the Biceps. Stand holding a dumbbell in each effect of the routine. The of your hands, your palms facing each exercises are the walking squat other. Keeping your upper arms stationary, and the 1-arm heavy dumbbell slowly raise the weights to shoulder level row. Perform a few sets of the until your biceps are fully contracted — walking lunge with a heavy focus on keeping your upper arms barbell. After a good rest (2-3 stationary and only moving your forearms. minutes), perform 5-7 sets of Hold the top position for heavy dumbbell rows, with a moment, then slowly deep stretches. Perform this lower the weights and workout 2-3 times a week for repeat. This exercise can the best results. also be performed 1 arm at a time.
3 BARBELL CURL Biceps. Stand holding a barbell (EZ bar pictured) with a shoulderwidth grip, the palms of your hands facing away from you and your elbows close to your sides. Curl the weight up until it reaches shoulder level, making sure to keep your upper arms stationary. Hold for a moment, then slowly lower and repeat.
3 CONCENTRATION CURL Biceps. Sit on the edge of a bench, legs spread wide, holding a dumbbell in 1 hand with the back of that upper arm resting between your legs against your inner thigh. Curl the weight up to shoulder level while contracting your biceps, making sure your upper arm remains stationary. Hold the top position for a moment, then slowly lower the weight and repeat. Once you complete a set, switch arms.
Too much damage to the myofibrils in the muscle fibers, and they will not be able to recover and grow completely between workouts. It is not a matter of maximizing fiber damage in your routine, but rather, to optimizing damage. Damage that is too little or too great will not result in maximum growth. The performance of too many total sets is what leads to overtraining. When you consider the number of sets to perform, it is also important to realize that the larger the target muscle, the greater the number of total sets. The smaller the target muscle, the fewer the total sets. Fewer sets will allow for the presence of more energy after the workout so the recovery process, including protein synthesis, will begin sooner.
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# BARBELL REVERSE CURL Forearms Stand up straight, holding a barbell with a shoulder-width grip in front of you, your palms facing your thighs. While keeping your upper arms stationary, curl the barbell up — using only your forearms — until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold this position for a moment, then slowly lower the weight and repeat.
< BENCH DIP Triceps. Sit on a bench with your hands gripping the edge. Scoot forward so you’re suspended over the ground, your legs extended out in front of you — don’t bend your knees, as this will make the exercise easier. Using your hands for support, lower your body by bending your elbows — keeping your back as close to the bench as possible — until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Hold this position for a moment and than, using your triceps, press yourself back up and repeat. For added difficulty, place a weight plate on your stomach or prop your feet up on a facing bench.
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The function of your abs is to assist in regular breathing while supporting the muscles of your spine during lifting. They also keep organs such as your intestines in place. Everyone essentially has a six-pack; all you have to do is remove the layer of fat covering it, and for that you need to follow a proper diet and exercise. PLANK > Get down into a push-up but instead of your hands, use your forearms to support your weight. Keeping your body straight from head to toe and your back in a hollow body position — rounded upper back — hold this pose as long as you can. < CRUNCHES Lie flat on your back on the ground with your knees bent, your arms behind your head or crossed over your chest. Raise your head until your shoulder blades are a few inches off the ground, making sure your lower back remains flat. Hold this position for a moment, then repeat. If you find this is too easy, do it on a declined bench or by adding weight to your chest.
Myths Machine exercise is the best for the body. This is patently not true, as the absolute best training for the body is ground-based, with natural body flow and balance. Machines are trying to mimic this action, but nothing has gotten close to what simple barbells and dumbbells can do. Machines have not yet reached the point of perfecting the neuromuscular action of a body in real activities. Machines can be supplemental tools for training the body, but the premium manner in which to work the body is still barbells and dumbbells employed in groundbased (with occasional use of a bench) movement. If you stop lifting weights, your muscle will turn to fat. This is like saying bone will turn to pancreas. Fat tissue and muscle tissue are 2 completely different kinds of tissue. When people stop working out and gain fat, it’s because they’re burning far fewer calories, yet continuing to eat in amounts that previously sustained the workouts. Food that was once being burned by exercising, is now being stored; hence, the fat gain. Inactivity slows resting metabolic rate. Unexercised muscles shrink and require less food for sustenance. This all translates to a fatter body. It’s hard for the pro-football player, who’s used to eating 7,000 calories a day, to suddenly drop down to 2,500 when he retires. Fat gain, then, shouldn’t be surprising.
TO LOSE WEIGHT AVOID MEALS BEFORE WORKOUTS Studies have shown that when carbs are present in tested subjects, the ability to enter into a “fat-burning” situation is limited by 50 percent. Most of us start burning fat in just 5 minutes; however, in the presence of fresh blood sugar from a recent meal, the body is forced to burn the available sugar prior to turning to stored fat for energy. Using pre-energy drinks or grabbing a protein bar will limit the fat-burning during exercise. That means if your exercise normally burns 300 calories, a pre-meal will burn only 150 calories.
< LEG RAISE Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and together, your hands on the ground under your butt for support. Slowly lift your legs all the way up to the ceiling, then raise your butt up off the ground and hold this position for a moment before slowly lowering your butt and then your legs. Without touching the ground, raise them again. Don’t use momentum to swing your legs up and don’t let them go beyond perpendicular once they’re up there. Placing your hands, palms down, under your butt for support will take pressure off your back.
3 HANGING LEG RAISE Hanging from a pull-up bar or tree limb, tense up your midsection and, keeping your legs straight, slowly raise them as high as possible. Hold the top position for a moment, then slowly lower them and repeat. Don’t use momentum to swing your legs up and don’t allow your body to swing; keep your torso as still and controlled as possible.
# BARBELL ROLLOUT Load the bar with 25-pound round plates and kneel on the floor over the bar, grabbing it at about shoulder width. Brace your abs and slowly push the bar forward until you’re in a plank position. Hold for a moment, then pull the bar back and repeat.
DUMBBELL WOODCHOP > This exercise works your abs, shoulders and obliques. Stand in a staggered stance with your legs hip width apart and 1 foot slightly behind the other. Holding a dumbbell with a hand-over-hand grip, rotate your trunk from 1 side to the other, swinging the weight from your thigh up to your opposite shoulder, then back down, rising up on your toes as you twist from 1 side to the other as if you’re chopping wood — or hitting a home run.
It is during the rest period between sets that wastes and lactate are removed from inside the working muscle, allowing for better performance in following sets. A longer rest period between sets is obviously preferred. An excellent way to optimize the positive effects of extended rest periods in the gym is to use a principle called antagonistic training. This principle calls for the performance of a set for 1 muscle group followed by a rest period and the performance of a set for another and antagonistic muscle group, then another rest period. Then start over with the original movement. If, for example, your rest period between sets is 3 minutes, each of the 2 muscle groups being trained will recover for over 6 minutes without lengthening the workout! An antagonistic muscle group consists of a muscle that provides for movement in the opposite direction of another given muscle (i.e., back and chest, biceps and triceps, hamstrings and quadriceps, anterior deltoids and posterior deltoids, abdominals and low back, forearm flexors and forearm extensors, etc).
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LONGER REST BETWEEN SETS
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Lower body muscles consist mainly of the quadriceps, butt, hamstrings and calves. The butt muscles are among the biggest muscles in your body; they help extend and rotate your hips and stabilize your pelvis. The quadriceps are another set of large muscles that help flex your thighs and hips and extend your legs and knees. The hamstrings allow knee flexing and stabilizes your pelvis and hips. Your calf muscles’ main purpose is to lift your heels.
Thelunge The lunge is a very effective exercise for the quadriceps. It involves balance and coordination, which are useful for sports as well as muscle development. The dumbbell version of the lunge is the easiest to start with, but the lunge can also be done with a barbell. Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Step forward with 1 leg (but not too far, 2 to 3 feet) and lower your upper body down, bending at your knee. It is very important to keep your upper body vertical. Don’t allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you go down; keep your front shin perpendicular to floor. The other knee should almost touch the floor behind you. Push back up and back and repeat with your other leg, or do all the reps with 1 leg, then switch. The farther forward you step, the more stress you place on your butt and hamstrings while stretching the upper quads and hip flexors of the back leg (closer will work the quads more; just don’t go too close). Think about sitting back when doing these. This will prevent you from leaning too far forward, which can cause you to lose your balance and places unnecessary stress on your back. Always strive to keep your upper body vertical. Do these in a mirror and be sure to focus on sitting back during the descent. Beginners should start with very light or no weight at all. Setting your feet farther apart increases base of support and makes your body more stable when you’re lunging; to set yourself up, first stand with your feet together, now step about 6 inches to the side, now step back, maintaining that horizontal separation.
3 LEG PRESS Quads, hamstrings, calves and butt. Sitting on a leg press machine with your feet positioned on the platform in front of you, lower the safety bar and press your legs up until they’re almost fully extended — without locking your knees. Slowly lower the platform until your upper and lower legs form a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for a moment, then, pressing mainly though the heels of your feet and using your quads, push the platform back up and repeat.
BASE CONDITIONING Before plunging into heavyweight/low rep routines, make sure you have solid base conditioning in your joints and muscles. People who want to pack on mass might be too eager for their own good and end up getting injured. A slight framed person who’s never before worked out with weights first needs to use light enough loads to allow for 10-15 reps on the big compound moves such as bench press, squat and deadlift, just to acquaint the body with this new kind of work stimulus. As your body begins adapting, then increase loads.
< SQUAT Core, lower back, thighs, hips, butt, quads, hamstrings and calves. Begin with a barbell supported on your traps, your chest should be up, your head facing forward and your feet hip width apart. Lower your body by flexing your knees with your torso remaining as upright as possible; this requires your knees to travel forward to ensure they stay aligned with your feet. The moment your upper legs make contact with your lower legs, reverse the move by driving the weight back up.
3 LEG EXTENSION Quads. Sit on a leg extension machine with your feet secured under the pads. Holding on to the side handles, press your legs up, fully extending them out in front of you. Hold this position for a moment, then slowly lower them, stopping just before the weight load touches the weight stack, and repeat.
3 LUNGE Glutes, hamstrings, quads, thighs, calves and back muscles. Keep your upper body straight with your shoulders back and chin up. Step forward with 1 leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle and your other knee doesnâ€™t quite touch the floor. Hold this position for a moment, then push back up and repeat.
SEATED CALF PRESS Calves. Sit on a seated calf press machine with your heels extending off the platform. Adjusting the thigh pad to fit snugly against your thighs, slowly raise your heels as high a possible. Hold the top position for a moment, then slowly lower your heels and repeat.
HEAVY WEIGHT CAUSES DESIRED DAMAGE Everyone knows this, right? No surprise here. Heavy weight stresses muscle fibers to their limits and beyond. It is the structural myofibril components in the fibers that are damaged when resistance is great. Itâ€™s the repair of these damaged myofibrils during recovery between workouts that results in large and stronger fibers. While warmups are crucial, especially before heavy training, try not to spend so much time warming up and more time lifting. And remember, using proper form along with slow continuous tension is essential to avoid injury.
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3 LYING LEG CURL Hamstrings, quads, calves, hip flexors. Lie facedown on a leg curl machine with the pad of the lever secured a couple of inches below your calves. Keeping your torso flat, curl your ankles up as far as possible without lifting your upper legs from the pad. Once you reach a fully contracted position, hold this position for a moment, then lower your legs and repeat.
STANDING CALF RAISE # Calves. Stand on a raised platform with the balls of your feet secured on top with your heels extended off. Keeping a slight bend in your knees, raise your heels as high as possible while flexing your calves. Hold this position for a moment, then slowly lower yourself and repeat. Holding dumbbells is optional.
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THE BASICS Working on mental stimulation is as important as working your body. So why not exercise your cerebrum while breaking a sweat? Hiking is one great way you can stimulate your brain while working your muscles.
THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION Have you ever found yourself exercising and at the same time stressing about all kinds of stuff? By letting your mind drift, you’re depriving yourself of the maximal impact your workout can have, not only on your body but on your mind. Being present, adding meditation to your workout by focusing inward with every move of your body makes, and envisioning your muscle being worked will lower your stress, allowing you to be fully aware of your body and driving your workout to its maximum level — while stimulating your brain cells. Reaping the beneﬁts of the mindbody connection happens even before you set foot in the gym.Visualizing that you’re about to go all out with your workout — imagining yourself performing each set at your best performance — will allow you to go harder, stronger and longer. What you think, you become Positive thoughts regarding your abilities concerning your workouts improves your overall performance. So instead of just going through your next workout in an automated fashion, worrying about stuff, bring more awareness to what you’re doing and be here and now.
Your joints, heart and muscles perform in distinct ways during a hike compared to how they perform during a walk around the block. When walking on level surfaces, your body does a good job of what’s called passive dynamics.Your walking stride is like the swing of a pendulum; if you start that pendulum swinging, it’s going to keep moving back and forth for a long time with no additional energy needed. Walking on flat terrain allows you to keep moving with little effort. But walking on uneven terrain, such as nature trails, beaches or other natural surfaces, takes energy. Your heart and metabolic rates go up, and you burn calories. In fact, hiking on uneven terrain increases the amount of energy your body uses by 28 percent compared to walking on sidewalks. Paths that go up, down and sideways require subtle shifts in the way your leg muscles lengthen or shorten, and those shifts increase the amount of energy you’re expending. Navigating uneven ground recruits different muscles than on flat, manmade surfaces.You’re strengthening muscles in your hips, knees and ankles that you wouldn’t normally use. Pumping up those neglected muscles can improve your balance and stability, which helps protect you from falls. Using those muscles may also lower your risk for the kinds of overuse injuries — like knee or hip pains, or back issues — that can result from the repetitive nature of levelground movement, including running. While rugged terrain works your body into shape, the sights, sounds and smells of nature are workouts for your brain. Hanging out with Mother Nature also seems to reduce your mind’s propensity to ruminate — self-focused patterns of thought that are linked with anxiety and depression. Nature experience increases positive mood while decreasing the negative. The idea that nature helps our mental state goes back hundreds if not thousands of years. For both your mind and your body, a walk in the woods is tough to beat.
Anything that’s good for your heart is good for your brain Aerobic exercise improves brain function and acts as ﬁrst aid on damaged brain cells. By exercising in the morning before going to work, you’ll not only spike brain activity preparing you for daily stress, but you’ll also experience an increase in information retention and better reaction to complex situations. When looking for ways to vary your workout, look for activities that incorporate coordination along with cardiovascular exercise, such as a dance class. Or if you’re tired of crunching time at the gym, opt for circuit workouts; they’ll quickly spike your heart rate and redirect your attention to more positive thoughts. Or say you’re mentally exhausted and at a loss for answers to problems; try brain improvement exercises like rebooting with jumping jacks.
Batting The hand-eye coordination required to connect with a ball stimulates your mind and body at the same time. Boxing Jabbing and kicking isn’t just a great way to burn calories and build strength; complex boxing sequences also give your mind a solid workout. If boxing gloves aren’t your thing, many gyms offer classes that use light dumbbells instead.
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Rock climbing Conquering a climbing workout requires both mental and physical strength because your brain is responsible for mapping your route while your body gets you there. Folks shy away from climbing because they worry it might be too dangerous. But climbing gyms typically have walls with varying levels of difﬁculty.
Additional workouts for your mind and body
Boot camp This high-octane hybrid workout not only tones your body, it also forces your brain to keep up with factpaced circuits that incorporate cardio, strength training, and stretching.
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Clean Nutrition Report The shift back to consuming high-fat diets has caught the attention of athletes looking for ways to improve their performance.
KETOGENIC DIETS &
THE 3 MACRONUTRIENTS
Jennifer Lee Christine Sperdute Zeke Zelich
California University of Pennsylvania
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Two studies, endurance athletes, another resistance training A study by McSwiney, Wardrop, Hyde, Lafountain, Volek and Doyle compared a group of endurance athletes who consumed a highcarbohydrate diet to a group who consumed a ketogenic diet. Both groups completed the same type of athletic training over 12 weeks, which included strength, endurance and high-intensity interval training. Before starting the training, they had body composition assessed and completed a timed 100 km run, a 6second sprint and a critical power test. They completed the same tests after the 12 weeks. At the end of 12 weeks, there was no difference between the 2 groups in the timed 100 km run. The ketogenic diet group had an increased peak power in the 6-second sprint and also had an increased peak power in the critical power test compared to the high-carbohydrate group. This study shows a ketogenic diet may increase power, but more research is needed. Another study by Wilson, Lowery, Roberts, Sharp, Joy, Shields, Partl, Volek and D’Agostino examined how a ketogenic diet would impact performance, body composition, lipids and hormones in resistance athletes. This study lasted 10 weeks, and when tested compared to a group consuming a western diet, the ketogenic diet group showed decreased fat mass, increased strength and power, and increased testosterone levels. However, these results were also shown in the group consuming a western diet. Based on these 2 studies, there is some proof that a ketogenic diet may benefit performance, specifically increasing power. Ketogenic diets also led to Carbohydrates, proteins and fats provide individuals with a form of usable energy in decreased fat mass and what is commonly called calories. For years, countless health professionals have increased testosterone, which debated about the proper ratio for the 3 macronutrients for not only weight loss but may impact performance in a also athletic performance and overall abundant health. The United States government positive way. These 2 studies developed a comprehensive guide for its citizens to adhere to for optimal health show that ketogenic diets called the food guide pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid, the most inclusive could be beneficial for certain group was carbohydrates. Six to 11 daily servings of carbohydrates were types of athletes, but more recommended, coming from sources such as bread, rice, and pasta. On the contrary, research is needed. Specific fats were placed at the top of the pyramid, the least inclusive group. The placement of types of athletes may benefit fats at the top of the food guide pyramid led the public to believe fats were unhealthy. from the ketogenic diet more In the past few years’ low-fat foods have become very popular as a way to cut out as than others, specifically many calories from fat as possible. More recently fats have entered back into the athletes who require increased health food scene in new trends like bulletproof coffee and the use of coconut oil. power or lower body fat percentage for their sports. Z ver the last decade, health professionals have studied fat, its benefits and how it may improve parameters of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Recently high-fat diets have begun to catch hold in the athlete population as a way to improve sports performance. A high-fat, lowcarbohydrate diet is also referred to as a ketogenic diet. Generally, the macronutrient ratio for a ketogenic diet is 60 percent of calories from fat, 30 percent of calories from protein, and 10 percent of calories from carbohydrates. To simplify, some health practitioners recommend that individuals who are undergoing a ketogenic diet stay under 20 grams of carbohydrate consumption per day. The term “ketogenic diet” stems from the word “ketones.” Ketones are compounds made up of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen and are produced when the liver breaks down fat for energy. Ketosis is a state in which the body uses ketones for energy, and is achievable by fasting for 72 hours. By changing the ratios of the macronutrients we eat, the ketogenic diet mimics this fasting in the body and starts to break down fat for energy. The ketogenic diet originally was developed to treat epilepsy until medical interventions became commonplace. These days the ketogenic diet is being used to increase performance levels.
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Clean Nutrition Report
CARCINOGENS IN YOUR FOOD Gabriel Bates chemical in a variety of fried and ovenbaked foods. The initial Swedish research indicated that acrylamide formation is particularly associated with traditional hightemperature cooking processes for certain carbohydrate-rich foods. The highest levels found so far were in starchy foods (potato and cereal products). Since the Swedish report, similar ﬁndings have been reported by researchers in numerous other countries including Norway, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Japan, Korea and Switzerland. Analysis by the FDA revealed that U.S. results were also in basic agreement with these ﬁndings.
Could that box of biggie fries be your body’s worst enemy? What about microwave popcorn, pretzels and other snacks you’ve enjoyed for years without batting an eye? Acrylamide in food is a worldwide issue unknown to the majority of citizens across the globe. The European Commission, together with the European Food Safety Authority, is actively participating in international initiatives regarding the issue of acrylamide in food and water. The European Union acrylamide information base has been made available for inclusion in the World Health Organization’s international network on acrylamide, which is being coordinated by the U.S. Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. This organization promotes awareness of research progress being made on acrylamide worldwide and
helps encourage international collaboration on this issue. So what in the world is acrylamide? Acrylamide is a chemical used to make polyacrylamide materials. Polyacrylamide is used in the treatment of drinking water and wastewater, where it is used to remove particles and other impurities. It is also used to make glues, paper and cosmetics. The chemical is formed when sugar and the amino acid asparagine react in high heat in what’s called the Maillard reaction — a chemical reaction discovered by the scientist Louis Camille Maillard. This is the reaction responsible for the brown crispiness in roasted meats. Public awareness of the dangers of acrylamide and health began on April 24, 2002, when researchers at the Swedish National Food Administration and Stockholm University reported ﬁnding the
Why all the concern? Potential health effects: acrylamide is a potential human carcinogen. When inhaled, it can cause drowsiness, tingling sensations, fatigue, weakness, stumbling, slurred speech and shaking. The chemical may also cause central and peripheral nervous system damage. Severe intoxications may cause permanent nerve damage. Prolonged or repeated exposure may cause muscular weakness, skin rashes, excessive sweating of hands and feet, cold hands, peeling of the skin, numbness, abnormal skin or muscle sensations, fatigue, and central and peripheral nervous system damage. It may also cause cancer. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classiﬁed acrylamide as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” When foodstuffs were analyzed at the Swedish National Food Administration in Uppsala, and at AnalyCen AB in Lidköping, it was found that some foodstuffs, which had been heated, could contain relatively high levels of the substance acrylamide. The food survey comprised bread, pasta, rice, ﬁsh, sausages, meat (beef and pork), biscuits, cookies, breakfast cereals and beer, etc., as well as some ready-made dishes such as pizza and products based on potatoes, maize and ﬂour. The levels of acrylamide vary considerably between single foodstuffs within food groups, but potato crisps and French fries generally contained high levels compared to many other food groups. The average content in potato crisps is approximately 1,000 microgram/kg, and in French fries approximately 500 microgram/kg. Other food groups that may
Acrylamide in french fries The problem with fries: they are a starchy potato that behaves like a sugar in your body, contributing to diabetes. They are a trans fat, the worst kind of fat, which can lead to cancer. They contain high amounts of acrylamide, a proven carcinogen. All that said, it’s best to skip the large order of fries and opt for a side salad (of your own making) instead. Acrylamide in “postum” Coffee’s caffeine-free cousin Postum occupies the top spot on the FDA’s list, with a whopping 5,399 parts per billion of acrylamide. If you are looking for another alternative to coffee, try making an herbal “coffee” tea. Mix equal parts chicory, dandelion root and cut carob. Then add stevia and a hint of creamer for a sweet coffee drink with less caffeine. Or, if you’re not tied to the coffee taste but would still like a morning pick-me-up, drink yerba mate. Yerba mate is an herbal drink from South America, full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Acrylamide in coffee After several studies highlighting the benefits of coffee on health, German researchers say they have found traces of acrylamide in coffee. It is not, however, present in such high concentrations as in foods such as potato crisps, French fries or bread. German researchers found the chemical in all 24 brands of ground coffee and 7 brands of espresso. One test found the substance was present in brewed coffee, although in much lower quantities than in ground coffee beans. What we should do A potato chip may be perceived as an innocent snack, but the oil and heat in its processing have artery-clogging saturated fat and potentially cancer-causing acrylamide. Immersing vegetables in a large quantity of water may create nutrient-rich water and vegetables with few nourishing qualities. The smartest approach may be to eat many servings of fruits and vegetables raw. For cooked foods, steaming briefly in a small amount of water is the best
method for preserving most of the antioxidants. Boiling and baking should be less frequent, and frying should be performed on rare occasions; the same goes for using microwave ovens. High acrylamide foods The following is a sample list of additional foods that contain acrylamide. In many cases, acrylamide is not found in every 1 of these types of foods, just certain brands: bagels, breadcrumbs, brownies, cakes, granola bars, tortilla chips, doughnuts and sweet rolls, pancakes and waffles, pies, quickbreads and muffins, corn and flour tortillas, black olives, roasted almonds, peanut butter, prune juice and some baby foods. Z
Pesticides Domestically grown fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide risks include cranberries, pears, nectarines, peaches, strawberries, celery, cucumbers, green beans, potatoes and sweet bell peppers.
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contain low as well as high levels of acrylamide are crackers, breakfast cereals, fried potato products, biscuits, cookies and snacks (e.g., popcorn). Foodstuffs that are not fried, deep fried or oven-baked during production or preparation are not considered to contain any appreciable levels of acrylamide. No levels could be detected in any of the raw foodstuffs or foods cooked by boiling investigated so far (potato, rice, pasta, flour and bacon).
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Clean Nutrition Report
ESTROGEN’S LINK TO FAT LOSS Jillian Sarno Teta When we think of the term estrogen, we typically think of a female hormone. Estrogen plays a key role in the development of the hourglass shape of a woman, promoting full breast development and curvy hips, thighs and buttocks. In addition to promoting the typically feminine shape, estrogen plays a core role in bone health, cardiovascular health and protection, brain function, metabolism and fat storage. Estrogen is not just found in women but is present in men as well. Interestingly, appropriate estrogen balance in men is just as important as appropriate estrogen balance in women. In men, excessive production of estrogen via aromatization is responsible for benign prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer, and conversely, too low of estrogen or lack of estrogen synthesis can lead to brittle bones, low libido, increased insulin, impaired glucose metabolism and abnormal cholesterol profiles. In terms of fat loss, appropriate estrogen balance promotes insulin sensitization, which is a key component of optimal body composition and the ability to burn fat and build lean mass. Estrogen of course interacts with other hormones, and ultimately it is the ratio of these hormones that will determine outcomes in terms of the shape and functioning of the body. Estrogen dominance is becoming more prevalent because our food supply and environment contribute to the estrogenic load of us all. Conventionally raised meat and dairy products are loaded with estrogenic residues and plastics. Styrofoam, medications, pesticides and other compounds that we come in contact with daily all act as xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are estrogen-like compounds that come from the environment and add to the estrogenic burden of the body. Women who tend to be estrogendominant have a high estrogen-to-
progesterone ratio. In terms of body shape, these women tend to carry excessive fat in the hips, glutes and thighs, giving them the characteristic pear shape. However, a woman who is not pear shaped can still be estrogendominant. In men, particularly aging men, estrogen can become a problem if the estrogen-totestosterone ratio becomes too high. In addition to aging, which is typically associated with declining testosterone levels, men having excessive adipose tissue will also be increasing their estrogen-totestosterone ratio. Fat cells secrete aromatase, which is an enzyme that synthesizes estrogen from testosterone. Having excessive body fat is a surefire way to ensure that you are making more estrogen than you need. Unfortunately in men, this promotes more fat storage — particularly around the middle and in the chest — lowered libido, prostate issues and brain, heart and bone issues. Since there are so many nutritional and lifestyle influences that factor into our estrogenic burdens, there is much that we can do with our nutrition and the way we live our lives to optimally metabolize estrogen and promote optimal ratios of estrogen to other hormones in our bodies. The following are some common sense, easy-to-implement strategies that you can begin in your life today: > Consume adequate protein (0.8 g/kg body weight daily), relying especially on lean, clean protein sources such as chicken and turkey breast, eggs, beef and pork tenderloin, bison and wild cold-water fish (salmon, sardines, halibut) for their omega-3 fatty acids. Also include nuts and seeds as options. Low-fat or nonfat yogurt, kefir and cottage cheese (all natural or organic, of course — no hormones!) can be used in people without a dairy allergy who can tolerate it well. > Consume at least 2 cups of organic cruciferous vegetables daily (cabbages of all types, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, radishes, etc.) in order to get adequate indole-3-carbinol, a compound that plays a crucial role in the healthy detoxification of estrogens. > Ground flaxseed and fruits (especially
lemon) provide nutrients that may help support hormone detoxification and excretion. These nutrients include sulforaphane from cruciferous vegetables, lignins and lignans from flaxseed, and limonene from citrus fruits. > Drink plenty of filtered or mineral water daily — at least 64 ounces. Rule-ofthumb for water consumption: half of your body weight in ounces, plus 8 ounces per half hour of exercise, plus 8 ounces of water per cup of coffee or tea, if you drink these. > Drink green tea! There is a large body of research demonstrating that ECGC, the active constituent of green tea, supports optimal estrogen detoxification and is protective against reproductive cancers, and can help combat fibrocystic breast disease, among other things. > Drink out of glass or stainless steel — avoid drinking out of plastic as much as
testosterone. Small amounts of fermented soy, such as miso soup or soy sauce, are okay upon occasion (a couple of times per month). > Avoid foods containing pesticide residues or hormones (non-organically raised meats, poultry, dairy products, fish, fruits and vegetables). > Avoid sugar, refined carbohydrates, refined foods, alcohol and soft drinks: At the most basic level, these foods promote insulin resistance and impair liver function. The liver is the major metabolizer of estrogens. > Avoid hydrogenated oils (trans-fats) such as those found in margarine, refined foods and baked goods. > If sensitive to caffeine, or if
other dietary strategies are not enough, minimize foods and beverages containing methylxanthine compounds such as coffee, black tea, chocolate, cola drinks or any foods/beverages/ supplements containing caffeine, guarana or kola nut. > Avoid artificial sweeteners. Stevia, erythritol, xylitol and other sugar alcohols are acceptable. Agave nectar should be minimized. Its extremely high fructose level can promote insulin resistance if taken daily. Fats consumed should be polyunsaturated or monounsaturated and organic (such as sesame oil and extra virgin olive oil). They contain valuable omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Z
White mushrooms White mushrooms are perhaps the most popular type, but not a whole lot of research has been applied to the potential cancerfighting attributes of white mushrooms. Only recently have researchers begun investigating whether white mushrooms can be instrumental in lowering cancer risk. Preliminary studies at the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope in California indicate that white mushrooms contain a substance that inhibits the levels of estrogen. A womanâ€™s lifetime exposure to estrogen can factor into breast cancer risk, since some breast cancers are related to levels of circulating estrogen.
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possible. Plastics contain estrogenlike compounds that can disrupt the normal hormonal function of your body. Do not reuse plastic water bottles. > Never drink hot liquids out of Styrofoam! Again, styrofoams contain estrogen-like compounds (xenoestrogens) that are known endocrine disruptors. Accordingly, do not microwave food in Styrofoam or plastic containers or while covered in plastic wrap. Use glass containers instead. > Avoid the use of soy, tofu and processed soy products. Soy is a known hormone disruptor and can make your symptoms worse. Additionally, soy can suppress thyroid function and can cause gas and bloating. Soy also decreases
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Clean Nutrition Report
THE POWER OF MUSHROOMS Gabriel Bates Mushrooms arouse mixed feelings in many people. Of the 38,000 types of mushrooms, only about 50 are poisonous and another 50 have medicinal value. However, several important historical figures — Claudius II, Pope Clement VII, and Buddha — were poisoned to death by ingestion of mushrooms, and thus, the image of mushrooms as potentially fatal lingers on in some minds. Nonetheless, in the last decade, there has been increasing recognition in the Western world of the beneficial effects of certain types of mushrooms. In Japan and China, legends about the ability of medicinal mushrooms to preserve youth and increase longevity date back centuries, but only in the last 20 years has scientific research provided a factual basis for these legends. In Japan, the shiitake mushroom is the most popular mushroom for culinary purposes. One of its extracts, called lentinan, was approved as an anticancer drug in the 1980s in Japan thanks to its ability to stimulate the immune system. However, for medicinal purposes it was less than ideal since it had to be injected intravenously and was not effective by oral administration. There are other mushrooms with medicinal value such as reishi, Cordyceps, lion’s mane, turkey tail and agaricus. These mushrooms not only stimulate the immune system but are also a rich source of amino
acids, vitamins and minerals while containing little fat or cholesterol and few calories. No mushroom, though, has been found to provide the health benefits of the maitake mushroom. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that a technique for artificial cultivation of maitake was devised in Japan, making it possible to conduct research on its properties. Moreover, it was discovered that in animals, maitake is clinically effective when taken by interperitoneal injection or by oral administration. Subsequently, the focus of research and culinary interest in medicinal mushrooms switched from shiitake to maitake. The ingredient in maitake that confers its medicinal properties is a complex carbohydrate called beta-glucan, which comes from the fruiting body of the mushroom. The chemical structure of this large and heavily branched molecule is similar to that found in other mushrooms or natural products such as yeast and oat bran. However, maitake’s beta-glucan is more heavily branched than the others and has proven to be more effective in activating immune cells that attack infection or cancer, and in the production of immunemodulating molecules such as interleukins and cytokines. A water-soluble extract consisting of this glucan bound to protein — called the D-fraction — is the bioactive material of interest for immune modulation. A study was done comparing the cytotoxic capabilities of the D-fraction of maitake with beta-glucans from other mushrooms and natural products such as
the recognized immune system booster arabinoxylan. This study looked at the ability of these compounds to kill prostate cancer cells in cell culture. Maitake’s Dfraction was by far the most potent. What makes maitake truly unique among mushrooms and other natural products used for health benefits is its wide range of actions on many disease conditions. While the so-called D-fraction is effective as an antitumor agent and immune system modulator, it has also been found to prevent cell death in helper T-cells infected by the HIV virus. Some doctors have used the maitake liquid extract topically applied to Kaposi’s sarcoma, a lesion frequently found in AIDS patients, and have seen a reduction in the size of the lesion. In addition to these immunological benefits, recent research has shown a remarkable effect of another extract of maitake on the medical conditions collectively known as syndrome X. Syndrome X includes such metabolic disorders as elevated glucose, insulin, cholesterol and triglyceride levels along with hypertension and obesity. Taken together, these conditions constitute a significant risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. The D-fraction has been shown in numerous clinical studies to reduce levels of all of the above indicators in rats and mice. In humans, there is mounting evidence that this fraction, consisting of a glycoprotein, is an effective product for the treatment of the hyperglycemic condition found in type II diabetes. In addition, when consumed as the SX-fraction, maitake has caused weight loss in both animals and humans. Medicinal mushrooms are neither plant nor animal, but instead are a fungus with a wide variety of healing powers attributed to them by myth and now substantiated by scientific proof. While once the food of emperors in Japan and of the pharaohs in Egypt, they are now accessible to ordinary consumers. Z
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TESTOSTERONE Myths and facts Dr. David Ryan
testosterone for a normal, healthy life. As we become ill or age, our natural levels of testosterone drop. This results in depression, fatigue, loss of vigor, increased body fat and many other symptoms. Unfortunately, the early pioneers of testosterone research were never taken seriously. The use of steroids by athletes was considered unfair and cast into the league of cheating. Early interest was overshadowed by the myths of “roid rage,” early death and many other side effects and myths. Not until as recent as 2010 did the acceptable prescribing and managing of testosterone become more widely accepted. But even today, many of the old myths still exist about testosterone replacement therapy. These myths cast a doubt by many physicians and the use of testosterone replacement therapy. The medical testing of testosterone to establish “low T” is also still currently an issue filled with debate. Which tests are the most appropriate and what the correct serum levels still serve as hot topics of seminars across the world. Physicians are often learning from those very athletes who were considered “cheaters” and learning about their own successes and failures. Why is this topic important if you are 24 years old? Consider that 14 million men are estimated to have low T in the U.S. Those stats are based on old data that the scientific community can’t agree on, so the number is believed to be triple that amount. Most of the data shows that men and women over the age of 50, over 60 percent have low T. Since our economy is paying for the aging population, it is important that we keep older adults independent and in the best health possible. To best understand testosterone, it is important to gather what facts we do know. The anterior pituitary gland is responsible for the production of gonadotropins like sex hormone-binding globule which stimulates follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, which then stimulate the testicles in the male and the ovaries in the female to produce testosterone. The adrenals make some testosterone, but not usually more than 10 percent. It would make sense to think that you could simply test the blood and determine some hormone levels and supplement and correct any deficiencies; however, it isn’t that simple. Since the body has a significant feedback on the pituitary, many factors affect testosterone production. Welcome to the world of physical chemistry, a subject that most physicians failed at in medical school. When people don’t understand a topic, they often
make up myths to cover their lack of knowledge and unfortunately doctors are no different. This is why you will still hear physicians say, “If you take testosterone, it will cause prostate cancer.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Consider how many strength and physique athletes who use testosterone their prevalence of prostate cancer is the lower than that of the sedentary population. Simple testing of testosterone levels doesn’t work, since the levels are set too low for total T and there is a huge misunderstanding about free T. Some older individuals have no symptoms of low T, but their blood tests show they have a lower testosterone than the normal 300 level suggested by the literature. This is because they have more free testosterone. Testosterone is about 98 percent bound in our bloodstream to (60%) sex hormone-binding globulin and (38%) albumin binding. As we age, the latter, or “free” testosterone, is less. The key is that you need more free testosterone to feel better. Less than 2 percent of testosterone is free, and this gets worse as you get older. Problems with low T can be primary, from the testicles and secondary, related to the actual organs that help control hormone production. It is difficult to determine the true cause of low T to begin the best treatment. Simply pouring T into the system doesn’t fix the problem in all individuals. Careful review is necessary to determine the right method of testosterone replacement therapy. This is why just blood test alone is not the answer for determining the correct approach to testosterone replacement therapy. Testosterone is determined best not just by blood test or symptoms but in the case presentation of each individual. A patient must have the appropriate symptoms to establish the need for testosterone replacement therapy. Symptoms can be overlapping with those of many other conditions, so a careful history and full exam are also needed. Symptoms of low T are simple: loss of mojo (the desire to start any task, not just sexual), loss of energy, loss of sex drive, loss of functional erections, loss of quality of sleep, loss of thought patterns, loss of lean mass, high HDL and low LDL, and overall lowered activity level. Other factors that cause low T are chronic illness, past history of mumps, HIV, alcoholism, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, smoking, marijuana, high estrogen levels, Propecia and Rogaine, chronic drug usage (recreational and prescription) and aging. Several studies have shown that specific hair regrowth drugs actually increase total testosterone, lower free T and result in a lower overall lean body mass. Once proper testing and supplementation occur, the balancing act of testosterone to estrogen begins, but typically the patient has a marked improvement almost overnight. The benefits of testosterone are stimulating the blood cells, preventing cancers, building lean muscle mass, lowering body fat, improving brain function and mood, increasing sex drive, helping with healing tissues, preventing Alzheimer’s disease, improving kidney function, preventing osteoporosis/heart disease/stroke, improving thinking and cognitive memory. So the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy are still in the early stages, but now that mainstream medicine is starting to document the positive effects, it is important to stop listening to myths and get the facts. Z
Cocktails If you enjoy dairy or meat products, then more than ever you should make efforts to include as much organic food in your diet as possible, even if you already feel great. Organic eating helps safeguard your health in ways you won’t necessarily be aware of. Intensively reared dairy cows and farm animals are fed a dangerous cocktail of antibiotics, hormones, antiparasitic drugs and many other “medications” on a daily basis, regardless of whether these animals are sick or not. These drugs are then passed on to you, the consumer, when you eat dairy and meats. The meat we eat today is nothing like the meat our ancient ancestors ate.
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he simple fact is T that both males and females need
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Clean Nutrition Report
GARLIC FOR HEALTH Arthur Remington Dracula hates it — but you should love garlic. Garlic is one of the most pungent of plants (it comes from the onion family) and is primarily known as a top flavoring agent for food. Garlic is good for more than seasoning, however, as it also provides excellent health benefits. With garlic you can flavor your pizza, spaghetti, bread or salad, and benefit your body to boot. Heart health and more In addition to repelling vampires, garlic provides significant support for your health. That needs to be emphasized: Garlic is one of the top foods for great health. It can help reduce risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. It does so by lowering the blood lipid levels in the body, which in turn brings about lower risk of heart disease or stroke. Garlic helps the body from head to toe — indeed, it fights fungal infections. This herb’s sulfur compounds act to reduce blood pressure, which also benefits the heart. And that’s not all. It is possible that garlic (cooked or raw) may inhibit the growth of various tumors. Some studies indicate that garlic acts against cancer by blocking the formation of carcinogens known as nitrosamines. This herb seems to work across the board — perhaps having an effect against all types of cancer.
Ancient remedy with modern benefits Garlic has been used for centuries to fight disease. Dr. Albert Schweitzer successfully employed garlic in Africa to treat cholera, dysentery and typhus. The herb has strong properties that enable it to act as an antibiotic. While it is not as potent as some of the high-powered drugs on the market today, it sometimes does a better job on bacteria that have become resistant to these highpowered drugs. Garlic also is beneficial in the battle against diabetes, as it helps control blood pressure and blood sugar coursing through the body. High blood pressure, after all, is a leading cause of preventable illness and death. As you examine the various benefits that garlic provides for the human body, you can’t help but be impressed by this unusual bulb. It tackles several of the major diseases — diabetes, heart problems and potentially even cancer. It is truly a top-level choice to have in your diet on a consistent basis. Stinking rose The one major drawback to garlic is immediately evident to all — its odor. Garlic contains an extremely strong odor, and it often stays with a person for some time, so you may want to skip it if you have a date planned. After all, some people have labeled it the “stinking rose,” and in raw form it can be overwhelming. This odor arises when the garlic clove is damaged
Caveats There are some caveats when it comes to using garlic. First, there are other concerns regarding garlic and its interaction in the human body. Some people are allergic to the herb and can show severe reactions to it, such as headaches, stomach disruption and skin rash. For some people, even a small amount of garlic can cause problems. In addition to the allergy issue, there is another aspect to watch for. Garlic can disrupt anticoagulants, so if you are on a blood thinner, check with your physician prior to taking garlic. Garlic intake can also cause a potentially harmful side effect when combined with some types of medication used to treat HIV/AIDS. If you’re taking any type of drug, you’ll want to check with your doctor about its interaction with garlic. And there is one more caveat — the manner in which you ingest the herb. Some doctors point out that raw garlic can be very irritating once ingested and could possibly upset the digestive tract. This is more likely to occur with young children, so don’t overload Junior with big doses of garlic. Servings and supplements The best garlic is in its natural form — but cooked. As noted, raw garlic can do a number on your stomach if you eat too much of it. Garlic oil is another choice, and you can add it to your food items. Garlic salt and garlic flakes can be used as a flavoring agent and to add a little more nutrition to a meal. However, fresh garlic is always the best. Supplements are another option, but you will want to ensure that they contain all the active ingredients. This is especially true of allicin and S-allylcysteine, the highest-level therapeutically active ingredients in garlic. The supplements take about a month’s worth of use before their benefits begin kicking in. Z
DIM DIM may very well protect you against some cancers, including breast cancer. DIM is short for a compound that’s found in cruciferous vegetables: diindolylmethane. DIM helps maintain hormone balance and cuts risk of some types of cancer, but it also enhances bone and joint health, benefits cardiovascular health and memory, contributes to energy and helps suppress PMS symptoms, and even improves prostate health. DIM also comes in supplement form.
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(as in cutting it open). You can take it in supplement form, and that can help minimize some of the bad breath issues. However, when turning to garlic supplements, be aware that some types of garlic supplements have unfortunately had the active ingredients — the best elements for health — removed in the manufacturing process. This defeats the purpose of taking garlic.
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Clean Nutrition Report
GREEN CUISINE Joanne Baxter
concentration of carotenoids as carrots. One scoop of green superfood is equal to about 6 servings of vegetables. Green superfood generally contains wheatgrass, barley grass, alfalfa, spirulina, chlorella and blue-green algae. Purchase these green superfoods in powder form at your local health food store and add them to your fruit and vegetable juices. Drinking green tea on a regular basis is 1 of the best liquid medications you can give yourself. Discovered by a Chinese emperor in 2700 BC, it is rich in flavonoids with antioxidant and anti-allergen activity. The Chinese esteem green tea as a stimulant, a digestive remedy and an astringent for clearing phlegm. It has 200 times more antioxidant power than vitamin E and 500 times more than vitamin C. During a cleanse, it provides energy support and clearer thinking. Green tea combats free radical damage to protect against degenerative disease and boosts enzyme production in the body. It also has antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial properties, and is highly valued as a cancer preventative. Many studies in Japan have shown that several cups of green tea on a regular basis reduce lung cancer rates even among heavy cigarette smokers. Studies also show success in the prevention of stomach and liver cancers. Green tea is valued as a preventative of arteriosclerosis. It prevents LDL cholesterol development and blood stickiness. Sea plants, largely composed of saltwater, perform the role of purifying the body, as they do the sea. Their chemical composition, so near to human plasma, has the ability to help balance the body at a cellular level. They also aid in transforming toxic metals into salts the body can eliminate. Sea vegetables are incredibly rich sources of vitamins and minerals, complex carbohydrates and proteins. Seaweed, dulse, kelp, nori and wakame are amazing detoxifying agents. Two tablespoons of dry minced sea vegetables added daily to a bowl of chicken broth or vegetable broth soup is a wonderfully therapeutic dose. Sea vegetables contain high amounts of calcium and phosphorous and are extremely high in magnesium, iron, iodine and sodium. For example, 1/4 cup of cooked hijiki contains over half the calcium found in a cup of milk and more iron than in an egg, important concerns for vegans, those who refrain from eating any animal-based products. They also contain vitamins A, B1, C and E as well as protein and carbohydrates. Seaweeds are really not a weed but large marine algae that grow in the coastal waters of many countries. They include thousands of species from microscopic plants called phytoplankton to huge floating/anchored plants commonly seen washed up on shore. Many kinds of seaweed are eaten by people because they are full of vitamins and iodine. Asian cultures use seaweed similarly to how green beans and carrots are used in the United States. One of seaweed’s most prominent health benefits is its ability to remove radioactive strontium and other heavy metals from our bodies. Brown seaweeds such as kelp contain alginic acid, which binds with the toxins in the intestines, rendering them indigestible, and carries them out of the system. Incorporating sea vegetables into your dietary regimen will enhance your health and longevity tremendously. Don’t forget that green cuisine should supplement an already balanced lifestyle, one rich with regular exercise, adequate sleep, an organic diet, healthy relationships and a positive outlook on life. That said … live long and prosper! Z
Beneficial bacteria sources There are a variety of sources for acidophilus and its bacterial brethren. The most well known is yogurt. Most commercial yogurt is labeled with a “live culture” emblem, indicating the good stuff you want. A lesser-known source of probiotics is sauerkraut (raw sauerkraut should not be baked or boiled if you want to keep the beneficial bacteria active — simply serve it warm). Be aware that there are some caveats for using yogurt as a probiotic source. Not all yogurts contain probiotics. Check the emblem (make sure it states it contains live and active cultures) and/or read the nutrition label’s ingredients list. Acidophilus and its cousins are tagged as L. acidophilus and bifidus cultures, and there are other types of healthy bacteria that may be noted as well.
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Eating sustainably is an extraordinary way to have a powerful effect on both our environment and our own personal health. The foods we put into our bodies have the ability to enhance our well-being or cause illness. By supplementing an already healthy diet with detoxifying foods, which we will refer to as “green cuisine,” we can ensure our bodies and minds greater health and longevity. Foods for detoxification can be divided into 5 categories: fruits and fruit juices, fresh vegetable juices, chlorophyll-rich foods, herbal teas and sea plants. These foods should be organically grown and eaten fresh for optimal results. Fruit juices speed up metabolism to release waste quickly and also reduce cravings for sweets due to their alkalizing effects. They should be eaten by themselves and before noon for best energy conversion and cleansing benefits. Blend or juice your favorite fruits in the morning for a detoxifying breakfast. Breakfast recipe 1: juice 2 bunches of grapes or 2 cups grape juice; 6 oranges or 2 cups orange juice; and 1 cup lemon juice. After blended, add 2 cups warm water and 1/4 cup of honey. This particular recipe purifies the blood and enriches it with iron. Breakfast recipe 2: juice 2 apples, 1/2 small lemon, 1/4-inch slice of ginger root, 1 scoop green superfood powder (available at health/whole-foods stores; also known as “green vegetable” powder). Fresh vegetable juices provide the body with necessary vitamins, minerals and enzymes that fulfill nutritional requirements with less food. They also carry off excess body acids. Evening recipe 1: juice 3 carrots, 3 celery stalks, 1/2 bunch of spinach, and 1/2 bunch of parsley. This juice, high in potassium, is 1 of the most effective for cleansing, neutralizing acids, rebuilding the body, and acting as a blood and body tonic to provide energy and system balance. Evening recipe 2: juice 4 carrots and a handful of dandelion greens or 1 dandelion root. Dandelion is an excellent diuretic due to its high potassium content. It also stimulates the liver to release toxins in the blood. It is also extremely high in vitamin A with a balanced mineral content. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are full of enzymes. Enzymes are organic compounds or catalysts that increase the rate at which food is broken down and absorbed in the body. These enzymes are destroyed during cooking and processing. Bottled and packaged juices are pasteurized, which destroys the enzymes as well. Chlorophyll-rich foods help clear the skin, cleanse the kidneys and clean and build the blood. Eating any chlorophyll-rich food will help boost immunity, treat illness and rid the body of unwanted substances. Foods high in chlorophyll include spinach, collard greens, parsley and other deep green vegetables. Spirulina, wheatgrass, chlorella and algae are referred to as superfoods because of their high chlorophyll content. They are high in flavonoids, which give them anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and antiviral properties. Various algae are extremely high in carotenoids. In fact, spirulina has about 10 times the
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Clean Nutrition Report
HOW WE AGE Genes or healthy habits determine the answer? Megan Johnson McCullough The vanities associated with the aging process are not exactly something we look forward to. The years we have here on earth are marked by a gradual process of our bodies’ functions both internally and externally fighting an expiration date. The accumulation of damages brought on by merely living our lives impact some more drastically than others. But why is it that “timeless” people like Jane Fonda and Robert Redford defy the odds of aging? How did time get on their side? There is a pressure to look younger, and no one would argue against wanting to feel younger. In the hopes of keeping our glory days alive, we have to accept what our body has given us and treat the outcome proactively in order to reach the end looking and feeling our best. Aging is influenced by genetics as well as lifestyle choices. The 2 are interrelated in that often our lifestyle choices can alter our internal makeup. For example, if we were to look at a set of identical twins, factors such as smoking, physical activity, diet, stress and alcohol consumption would contribute to discrepancies in their aging. Years of sun exposure also impact the elasticity and appearance of skin. We think of wrinkles with aging, and in a society that appreciates a glowing tan, most of us have served our time in the spotlight. Direct influences on aging most notably include the role of hormones. Women experience a reduction in estrogen which leads to menopause. This causes the accumulation of visceral fat in the mid-section, often-times causing a spike in weight. Hence, some women gain more weight than others as they age. Genetics can influence hormonal balances or imbalances. Men experience a reduction in testosterone. This can lead to a reduction in strength and muscle mass. Fat distribution is also affected. An increase in body fat and reduction in muscle is not a combination to look forward to. Emotionally, both estrogen and testosterone play a part in our overall sense of well-being, purpose, and happiness, so we want to make sure that our levels are balanced as much as possible. The young hunter theory suggests that evolutionary survival tactics are what influenced the genetic code. This theory states that in the time of the caveman, young hunters had the muscle and strength to hunt and gather. The elderly did not have
this role and needed the excess body fat to ward off starvation and freezing. Now driving to the grocery store trumps this theory, but at that time, the young needed muscle and the old needed fat. Indirectly, the aging process is actually socially influenced as well. Studies have shown that people who live alone have more health-related issues. People with higher education tend to have fewer health problems than those with little formal schooling. Poverty also plays a part. Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare are not always sufficient for costs covering medications, specialists, and the expenses associated with poor health. So the question becomes, can genes determine the gracefulness of aging, or are healthy habits the answer? Heart disease is influenced by over 100 genes, but lifestyle can greatly reduce the risk. Type 2 diabetes can run in the family, but exercise and eating can reduce your A1C levels. As simple as it sounds, hydrating the skin can greatly reduce the appearance of damage. For trainers, sometime frustration sets in when a client is literally exercising and eating right but not seeing results. The culprit then must be another factor that may be uncontrollable such as genetics or most likely, hormones. The study of endocrinology is still in its youth. However, years of lifestyle habits have also contributed to the current level of conditioning and body shape. Clients come to me after 20 or more years of a sedentary career and are just now looking to reverse the damage. Clients come to me after a hiatus of poor nutrition as well as smoking and alcohol consumption. Clients come to me after surgeries and injuries resulting from a structural system that had gone through abuse. Thus, the years of lifestyle habits takes years off one’s life, and those genes are left to fend for what is left. Besides making better lifestyle choices including exercise and diet starting now, there may be a few time busters to consider. Hormone replacement can be looked into as well as recent use of human growth hormones. Human growth hormones reduces with age and has a critical role in our weight, complexion, energy and immunity. Sounds like a miracle worker, but of course consulting a doctor is advisable. It is never to late to start. Time will keep flying by, but as they say, you are the pilot, so you direct the flight. Keep putting gas in the tank and stay on course, and that timeline may just stretch a little longer. Z
Toxic substances from nonorganic foods, including meats from animals raised on nonorganic feed and treated with antibiotics and hormones, eventually make their way to the urinary tract. There is a correlation between high meat consumption and incidence of prostate cancer. But the details have not been ironed out. For example, men who indulge in lots of meat may also be skimping on antioxidant-rich vegetables, and perhaps this is the main culprit in the increased incidence of prostate cancer. Nevertheless, limit the red meat for better prostate health, and avoid cooking it at high temperatures (grilling, frying, barbequing), since this creates carcinogens. And skip the meatbased gravy. The prostate depends on zinc for healthy functioning. Zinc kills organisms that cause urinary infections, and the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry has reported that zinc inhibits the hormone activity that leads to prostate enlargement or inflammation â€” precursors to prostate cancer. Keep in mind that an enlarged prostate doesn't always become cancerous. Take a zinc supplement with the nutrient pyridoxine for optimal utilization.
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Prostate health, meat and zinc
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Clean Nutrition Report
ORGANIC VERSUS SYNTHETIC Garret Keyer
Millions of Americans take 1 or more vitamins daily, yet millions of them are chronically ill. Not every vitamin and mineral pill on the market is created equal. Like foods, vitamins are much less effective when made in a factory (synthetically). Synthetic vitamins are cheaper to make. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for. Would you rather take a vitamin that is mass produced in a lab, often containing petro-chemical derivatives, nicotine and coal tars (by-products of coal), or a naturally occurring vitamin that contains foods found in nature? Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to recognize and digest naturally occurring foods. Organic, natural whole foods help us maintain optimum health and even heal our maladies when we fall ill. Manufactured food has the power to make us sick. The same rings true for vitamins. Natural, organic vitamins come from plant or animal sources that were raised without pesticides or herbicides. These vitamins contain the specific mix of nutrients found in nature, which may include other enzymes, catalysts or minerals to aid the body’s use of the vitamins. Vitamins made from natural, organic
whole foods have the highest bioavailability, or absorption factor. A synthetic vitamin is created chemically in a lab. Synthetic vitamins are supposedly able to function in the body in the same way as natural vitamins because they have the same chemical structure. In reality, this is not the case. For example, vitamin B1 (thiamine) is the same molecule regardless of how it is made. However, a natural vitamin B-complex contains all of the B vitamins as well as other coenzymes and not-yet-identified compounds that may support the function of the B vitamins. Many people do not tolerate chemicals well. Synthetic vitamins usually contain binders and fillers that cause allergic reactions or gastrointestinal distress. They also have a low bioavailability. Often, because of the synthetic vitamin’s low absorption factor, what is consumed is excreted from the bladder and bowels without being metabolized. A synthetic vitamin lacks the co-factors normally found in the whole food, and thus cannot perform properly in your body. If cofactors are not in your foods, the fake vitamin will draw them from your body. When your body’s co-factors run out, you will feel tired and have less energy. Any supplement has to be rendered in
some way in order to create the pill, capsule or powder form it comes in. Oftentimes, refined sugars or artificial sweeteners, such as sucrose, mannose and aspartame, are added. Typically, synthetic vitamin producers are the biggest culprits of these unnatural practices. The best forms of vitamins and minerals are powdered or liquid concentrates and oils made from bee pollen, wheatgrass, kelp, brewer’s yeast, spirulina, wheat germ, flax, fish oils, barley, chlorophyll or bone meal. Tablets, however, may be more convenient owing to their longer shelf life. Unfortunately, tablets are also most commonly known to contain fillers, binders or coatings to keep them more stable. Capsules are probably more easily digested and may also be opened, allowing their contents to be sprinkled in food as powders. Most capsules are made from beef or pork gelatin. Powdered and liquid vitamins are known to have a high rate of absorption. However, many liquid vitamins are artificially colored or sweetened. Vitamins are simply supplements, not intended to replace food. First make sure you’re eating nutritiously. Then you can begin to supplement your healthy diet with a natural and organic whole-food vitamin. Z
Thomas Hammer Is the culture cramping your eating style? That can be just the case if you are rushed into the microwave approach to dinner, with perhaps a fast-food lunch — and maybe even no breakfast. Or perhaps you cover breakfast with a couple of vitamin pills and a meal replacement drink. Join the crowd. Many people try to cover their bases in this rushed lifestyle by employing a handful of vitamins to try and balance things out. Unfortunately, that approach isn’t as fruitful as most people believe it to be. A pill is not a meal. Not equal Vitamin supplements are not a 1-for-1 replacement for real food. Vitamin supplements have a variety of shortfalls that make them far less than a meal. They are often standalone derivatives of the vitamin compound and frequently made from synthetic sources or low-grade natural sources. True, the chemical makeup is the same as a natural vitamin. However, in nature a vitamin is not alone. Vitamins need elements such as minerals, fat and so on, to go along with them in the process of providing benefit to the body. And minerals require the same interaction with vitamins or other minerals for full deployment in the body. For example, calcium requires magnesium to work concurrently with it if the human body is going to be able to use it in a meaningful manner. A calcium tablet by itself is basically worthless if there is no magnesium to conjointly act in the body. A B vitamin by itself isn’t worth much; the B vitamins need to work together, and they need to be in balance. And all vitamins need their supporting phytochemicals to work with them. In nature, when you have a vegetable or fruit, all of the vitamins are mixed in with their supporting structure. This includes fiber, flavonoids, indoles, isoflavones and much more — even items not yet identified, classified by some as the “X factor” in food. When a vitamin is manufactured, often many of these crucial elements are not included. And even when you have a 1-a-day vitamin, you frequently don’t get the vitamins and minerals in the nutritional profile that they come in nature. For example, take the typical 1-a-day vitamin (and mineral) tablet. Many of these contain very low amounts of biotin, zinc and chromium. Why? These ingredients are expensive and hard to obtain, so some 1-a-day tablets have either little or no inclusion of them. Some 1-a-day tablets have the vitamins, but skimp on the minerals and include only a few. In nature, vegetables and fruits contain rich amounts of vitamins and minerals. By mixing a few vegetables and fruits you can get ample vitamin and mineral intake with the benefit of all the supporting material that makes them so effective for your body. Absorption issue Another huge factor in the difference between vitamin supplements compared to vitamins and minerals in vegetables and other real food is the absorption factor. Because manufactured vitamins have most of their supporting elements stripped out and because they may not have the matching nutrients in correct nutritional profile, their absorption rate can be super low. The absorption rate for some vitamins and minerals in pill form runs as low as 10-20 percent. If your body can’t absorb the element, what good is it?
You are simply wasting your money if the pill largely cannot be absorbed. With real food, the absorption rate of vitamins and minerals is exponentially higher. Vitamins and minerals in their natural form, in vegetables, fruit, fish, meat, wheat, etc., absorb much more readily in the human body. Real meals? This concept of inadequate nutritional coverage can be applied to some meal replacement bars and drinks as well. Some have sugar as the primary ingredient or have it high on the label list. Sure, they toss in some synthetic vitamins, but as noted, that isn’t enough. There is little absorption and little conjoint action because the vital supporting elements are not included. Some of these bars and meals have little to no fiber, and lowgrade protein from sources such as soy. To make it worse, some contain high-fructose corn syrup and/or trans or interesterified fat. There is no way that 1 of these manufactured, partially synthetic meals is anywhere near to comparable with real food. A supplement is just that — something subjugated to the essential, subordinate to the primary. The essential, the primary, is the real food — the vitamins and minerals and much, much more found in vegetables, fruits and other whole foods. Never pop a pill when you can eat a real meal. Yes, it takes a little time to prepare a meal, but your body really needs it, so plan ahead and prepackage some meals if necessary. And always include vegetables. Don’t be like the guy who tried to balance his drinking of alcohol by consuming vitamins to balance out the nutrient loss due to the drinking. Vitamin pills are not magical. They are of far less value than real food. There is a reason that the daily recommendation for vegetables is 5 to 9 servings — because your body needs all the high-quality nutrients they contain. Z
Make juice taste better You know that blueberry and cranberry juice are potent in antioxidants. But straight blueberry or cranberry juice may not be palatable to some people. If this is the case with you, realize that it’s not necessary to drink an entire glass of these juices to reap their benefits. Add just 1 ounce of blueberry juice to 7 ounces of your favorite juice, and you may barely detect its presence. Later in the day, add 1 ounce of blueberry (or cranberry) juice to 7 ounces of another of your favorite juice, and again, you'll hardly know it's there, yet your body will benefit.
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A PILL IS NOT A MEAL
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THE SCIENTIFIC FACTS OF PLANT PROTEIN The revolution is here Casey Adams America has gone overboard on protein. Yes, this seems incredible in a world where starvation and protein deficiency are common causes of death in some regions. Ironically, in a twisted fate of health, Americans have become so fixated upon protein that much of our population has become diseased from eating too much of it. No doubt, protein is 1 of the more critical parts of our diet. Every enzyme, gene, hormone, cell and tissue is composed of proteins. This makes protein not only essential for fitness: protein is required to stay alive. But like most things, too much of a good thing can be bad. Very bad. The ABCs of protein One of the biggest misconceptions about protein is that the body does not digest and use complex protein molecules. The body assimilates the elements that make up protein: amino acids and simple combinations of aminos called polypeptides.
The body manufactures its own unique protein molecules from these amino acids and simple polypeptides. This process is primarily driven by our ribonucleic acid, which is instructed by the DNA code to orchestrate the stringing together of lengthy amino acid combinations for particular cells, tissues, enzymes and other components of the body. The proteins our body makes are both complex and unique. A typical protein will have a collection of anywhere from a hundred to hundreds of thousands of amino acid molecules strung together in a unique combination. The body makes these from a choice of only 22 amino acids. The muscle contraction protein called myosin, for example, contains about 6,100 amino acids chained together in a unique combination. It is this unique combination of these amino acids that creates the capacity potential of that protein. What this means is that our digestive system must break apart proteins from our foods into their simple amino acids to enable our body to make its own proteins. Ribonucleic acid will utilize only the amino acids needed to make specific types of proteins needed by the body.
Clean Nutrition Report
Excess aminos need homes Where do all the unneeded amino acids from our diet end up? These amino acids simply build up in the tissues and cells, creating excess acidity. Amino acids are converted to purines, which build up among the joints, kidneys and other tissue systems. Here uric acids are formed as a byproduct of amino acid processing, and uric crystals can form when uric acids cannot be excreted as fast as they are produced. These crystals also draw calcium and other minerals out of the bones and other tissues in order to maintain equilibrium. This evolves into calcified mineral oxalate crystals known to build up in our excretory systems, causing gallstones, kidney stones, gout and kidney diseases. The loss of minerals from the bones and tissues creates an array of tissue, joint and bone issues, including fibromyalgia, osteoporosis and arthritis. Excess amino acids can also create various cardiovascular problems such as atherosclerosis, as the arteries become hardened due
to being damaged by radicals formed from the acidic nature of these amino acids. Excess proteins can also create hormone imbalances, leading to testosterone problems, prostate swelling, premature hair loss (balding) and other issues. How much protein do we really need? The American Heart Association and a number of studies have suggested that 50-60 grams of protein per day are adequate for most adults. Yet many Americans easily eat 100-200 grams per day, while some bodybuilders and lowcarb dieters will consume twice that. International research has suggested that even 30-40 grams of good-quality protein per day is adequate. As a percentage of calories, no more than 15 percent of daily calories should be protein according to a number of nutritional experts. What kind of protein is best? Animal proteins typically come with a lot of baggage. This includes saturated fats, hormones, antibiotics and other toxins. Red meats also contain very complex protein molecules, requiring the digestive system to work harder to break them down into amino acid form. The best form of protein comes from plant foods. Plant foods can be from 10 to 50 percent protein by weight. Plant-derived protein comes in simpler polypeptide or amino acids, making these protein forms easier to assimilate. Once assimilated, the body can combine these amino acids into its own unique protein combinations, no different from the aminos derived from animal foods. For those wanting to build muscle, the key to protein consumption is not the protein quantity so much as the protein quality. Plant-based proteins provide excellent quality because they are easily assimilated, and contain the full spectrum of pure amino acids. The body uses 22 amino acids, 8-10 of which are considered essential and must come from our diet. The rest are produced by our body from these essential amino acids. These 8 essential aminos are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Without these in our diet, our bodies may become protein deficient. This understanding has led to the concept that we ought to eat way more protein than necessary to make sure we are getting all 8 essential amino acids. Another belief is that the body requires every amino acid present in each meal to form the appropriate proteins. Both of these myths have led our “protein nation” into an epidemic of cardiovascular disease, gallstones, kidney stones, prostatitis, hormone imbalances and other issues. The body does store the 8 essential amino acids from the diet. As long as all 8 are available in the diet over a week or 2, the body will have all it needs to make all the needed proteins and then some. The body also recycles many amino acids as its biomolecules are broken down. Nevertheless, many plant foods contain all 8 essential amino acids. A mix of plant foods will assure us of getting all essential aminos as well as most if not all of the nonessentials. A mixed green salad with some sunflower seeds will supply practically every amino acid, including the essential 8. Animal proteins will, on the other hand, typically supply all the essential and many of the nonessential amino acids, but these will be hard-won, as the body must produce sufficient protease enzymes and bile acids to break off the amino acids from these complex protein combinations. This in turn stresses the digestive process and leaves undigested proteins. For this reason, a meal of animal proteins will take about twice the amount of time to digest as a meal of plantbased protein. As a result, absorption is delayed, and animal protein meals can cause putrefaction in the intestinal tract, which harbors pathogenic bacteria and their waste products. Healthy plant-based proteins include leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and grains. Sunflower seeds, for example, contain 19 amino acids, including all of the essential aminos, at 22-27 percent protein content by weight. Sunflower seeds are 1 of the most complete protein foods known, with a bonus of containing omega-3 fatty acids and a host of easily assimilated vitamins and minerals. Z
Green prevention Check out the produce section of your local organics food mart. It’s abundant with cancerand disease-fighting greens: collards, kale, mustard, beet, turnip, spinach, dandelion, Swiss chard, Romaine lettuce, watercress, arugula, escarole and chicory. These vegetables all have one thing in common. Their leaves are a deep, dark green, especially collards, spinach and kale. In fact, researchers at Tufts University have ranked kale and spinach as the two most potent antioxidant green foods. Other greens with the highest overall antioxidant capacity per serving include broccoli and asparagus. However, some greens are superstars when it comes to specific disease-fighting compounds, such as beets (leaves, of course), which are very high in the antioxidant quercetin; and parsley and celery, the two best sources of flavones – another flavonoid. When you hear “greens,” don’t just think leaves. Green peppers also rank high in overall antioxidant content. And so do green grapes.
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Protein doesn’t add muscle The myth that eating more protein adds muscle is just that: a myth. The reality is that exercise signals to our genes that our bodies need more proteins (such as myosin) for motor cells within muscles to manage the new stress being put upon them. A stressful workout will create tiny muscle tears within the muscle fibers. These tears will be repaired with scarring and additional motor proteins. This will stimulate RNA to increase the number of motor proteins to fit the requirement of the muscle fiber tears. Having enough aminos available certainly helps, but does not drive the process. In other words, the harder the workout and the more tears that are created, the more motor proteins will be needed and the more amino acids will be needed from the diet. There is a limit, however. Too many tears can yield inflammation and a reduction of core strength as the body attempts to recover from these micro-injuries. Having enough amino acids on hand is certainly necessary. In the case of most Americans, however, the amino acid content from the diet far outpaces this need for aminos.
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Clean Nutrition Report
ALCOHOL AND FITNESS Jill Coleman Working at a fitness center at a college campus allows me to witness firsthand the cycle of exercising and binge drinking that is not all that uncommon these days in college students, recent grads and even an older population of weekend warriors. There is a misconception that perhaps exercise is powerful enough to offset 3 straight nights of copious drinking. Unfortunately, alcohol and exercise could not be farther from compatible. Alcoholâ€™s fat-storing metabolism Alcohol consumption can be toxic to the body, not only because its breakdown is usually much slower than its consumption, but also because the body cannot produce
alcohol. Thus, it is an exogenous chemical. Metabolism of alcohol is carried out primarily in the liver and contains 7 calories per gram, almost as dense as fat (9 calories per gram). However, because of its metabolic pathway, it ends up impacting fat storage to a greater extent than fat itself. Alcohol is broken down into acetaldehyde and eventually into acetate. The executions of these conversions uses up certain metabolites so that alcohol cannot be made into energy and stored as carbohydrate, but instead increases the bodyâ€™s fat generation system, not only leading to the potential for a fatty liver (a serious health risk) but also increasing fatstorage potential. Therefore, most of the calories consumed during a single bingedrinking bout move straight into fat generation and storage, skipping the
saturation of carbohydrate stores, which usually appears first following a highcarbohydrate intake. An article by Baik et al., published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2008), outlined several studies to determine a relationship between alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome. Overall, it was shown that heavy drinking is most definitely associated with increased development of the risk factors for metabolic syndrome, especially with hard liquor. Particular parameters that exhibited marked increases were waist circumference, triglycerols, blood pressure and blood glucose. Other metabolic antagonists include fatty liver, as mentioned above, which can pose a serious health risk leading to liver disease. Furthermore, the intermediate metabolite acetaldehyde, a toxic compound, interferes
Hormonal effects of alcohol Many sources have noted that a moderate consumption of alcohol can be protective for cardiovascular risk. At the same time, it is known that men are at a higher risk than women of heart disease in general — that is, until postmenopause, when women and men have equal risk. This is thought to be because estrogen levels, which fall off after menopause, impart a protective effect against cardiovascular disease premenopause. Interestingly, alcohol consumption, too, affects
Rhabdomyolysis Rhabdomyolysis is a relatively rare disorder characterized by markedly high creatine kinase in the blood, indicative of extreme muscle breakdown and inflammation. This tremendously painful condition can
be fatal if untreated. Most cases have been reported in the military due to extreme physical activity in untrained individuals. Chronic alcohol abuse paired with intense exercise (especially that involving resistance training) increases risk for this condition exponentially. Because of the specific metabolic breakdown of alcohol, energy is shunted away from traditional metabolic pathways, and high levels of lactic acid accumulate instead. This environment, paired with intense weight training, which also increases lactic acid and muscle breakdown, can cause an immobilizing inflammation in the body. Though rare, it is a more realistic risk for those who prescribe to intense exercise as a way to counter the effects of heavy drinking. Alcohol consumption in sports There is a longstanding relationship between sports and alcohol, marked by the fact that alcohol is the most heavily used drug among athletes and recreational exercisers. Study after study exhibits the detrimental effects of alcohol use on rate of injury and performance. Because alcohol intake adjusts metabolic pathways of carbohydrate and protein, muscle use of these energy sources is decreased, and instead muscle may use ketones for energy, which creates an acidic environment in the body, which can be detrimental to health and performance. Furthermore, chronic alcohol consumption’s negative effect on muscle fiber size has also been established, as it decreases capillary infusion into muscle, thus affecting circulation. Along these lines, many studies are under way to examine the relationship between chronic alcohol consumption as it affects blood clotting, when consumed before intense exercise. Overall, alcohol consumption as it relates to exercise outcomes seems not only to blunt the positive effects of exercise but also may impart further damage since alcohol metabolism is particularly unfavorable for exercise-induced energy needs. In effect, a person engaging in intense exercise alongside intense drinking can be doing much more physiological damage than they believe, not to mention increasing the risk for metabolic syndrome, estrogen-dominant effects, extreme inflammation and detrimental protein degradation. Z
Facts about GMO foods A GMO food is one in which the DNA has been changed by scientists. This is genetic manipulation of food sources that would not occur under natural conditions. Genetically engineered foods offer health hazards. GMO crops have not been proven safe. A scientist named Arpad Pusztai discovered that GMO potatoes harmed the kidneys, spleen and guts of young rats. Allergic reactions can result when genetic manipulation transfers unidentified proteins from 1 food to another. GMO crops can crosspollinate with organic crops, changing organic crops to nonorganic. About 70 percent of so-called convenience foods at conventional grocers may contain some genetically engineered ingredients. The most common are corn, potatoes, canola, soybeans and tomatoes. Dairy products also make the list because many cows are given a genetically altered recombinant bovine growth hormone to yield more milk. It’s scary that the FDA permits GE foods into the market without requiring testing. Look for non-GMO seals on foods, which ensure that the product has not been genetically altered.
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with protein formation, such as those involved in blood clotting, and with several antioxidant compounds, increasing the level of potential free radical damage. Lastly, large amounts of alcohol consumption can lead to the accumulation of ammonia, which is toxic to the brain. Thus, not only is alcohol toxic to the body, it can be seriously detrimental to your waistline.
blood hormonal levels. Two relevant studies address the phenomenon of “feminization” associated with chronic alcohol abuse. First, in a study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry, 2 groups of drinkers were evaluated: wine drinkers and beer drinkers. Further more, the groups were separated into fast and slow drinkers. Fast beer drinkers, such as many recreational weekend warriors, experienced significant elevation of blood estradiol (estrogen), and depression of testosterone levels. A second study published in 2004 by Sierksma et al. evaluated the effect of moderate alcohol consumption in middle-aged men and postmenopausal women (groups who share a similar risk for cardiovascular disease). The study revealed a decrease in blood testosterone levels by 6.8 percent in the men, but no effect in the women. Thus, there exists some evidence that alcohol and its metabolites actually affect the body’s hormonal machinery so that in cases of chronic alcohol consumption, men will begin to show signs of feminization, resulting mainly from an increased estrogen production, as opposed to testosterone. Furthermore, this phenomenon is relevant to exercise since 1 of the best ways to increase testosterone release is through intense weight training. Thus, how do the 2 seemingly opposing mechanisms (alcohol binging and weight training) interact when both are part of an individual’s weekly routine? Interestingly, and unfortunately, the effects of alcohol abuse outweigh the presumably beneficial hormonal effects of resistance training — at least in rats. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (2005) showed that heavy alcohol consumption significantly reduced testosterone receptors in type IIB muscle fibers (fast-twitch) and had a moderate effect on slow-twitch (type I) fibers, blunting resistance training’s positive hormonal effects. More research is needed to determine the effects in humans.
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Clean Nutrition Report
VEGGIES FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE Casey Adams Most of us resisted eating vegetables as children. For some reason, vegetables just tasted â€œyucky.â€? We preferred soda, candy and fried foods because they gave us sweetness and energy. Little did we know that Mom and Popeye were right. Eating green foods is extremely healthy, probably in more ways than even Mom imagined. Green foods are simply vegetables of different varieties. They have an array of nutrients that put even the best formulations of supplements to shame. We do not realize that foods like broccoli, spinach, lettuce, wheatgrass, spirulina, algae, sea vegetables
and other green foods have a tremendous amount of digestible protein, minerals, vitamins and a powerhouse of phytonutrients too numerous to list. Mixed into a wholesome diet, they can fuel our bodies for peak athletic performance. Assembling proteins While Western society has been conditioned to think that we need lots of animal-based proteins to build strong bodies, in reality what we need are high-quality amino acids. A protein molecule is actually an incredibly complex array of amino acids. Protein molecules will typically have hundreds and even thousands of amino acid molecules wrapped up together into a large
complex bundle. These complex protein bundles are assembled by our body into uniquely different structures, which is why each bodyâ€™s DNA is specific to that person. Our body does not assimilate animal protein and use it as is, as many think. Our intestines absorb amino acids and short amino acid chains. Once amino acids are absorbed, our bodies assemble our own unique proteins via specialized RNA molecules. The body utilizes about 20 amino acids, with 10-12 being manufactured in the body using the atoms from 8-10 essential amino acids. In other words, our diet must be rich in easily digestible amino acids. Western nutrition has assumed that we will likely obtain all 10 essential amino acids
Digging for minerals The cereal grasses like wheatgrass, barley grass and kamut grass all mine minerals from the depths of our soils. Some roots will travel down hundreds of feet. Green foods gather and chelate minerals from rich soil mineral sources or deep ocean waters. For this reason, green foods are some of the best sources of minerals available. Potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iodine and many important trace elements are all found in green foods. Sea vegetables like kelp, for example, provide iodine — important to thyroid function and not readily available in most foods, unless we use iodized salt. Most of the grasses are good sources of potassium and magnesium — 2 minerals critical for flexibility and recovery. Green foods contain forms of these minerals that are highly assimilable because of this chelation process. Plants bind minerals to chlorophyll, amino acids and other phytonutrients. This increases our body’s mineral absorption. Free mineral ions will often simply pass through the digestive tract unabsorbed. Some green foods have surprising high mineral content. Lettuce has 86 mg of calcium per
pound, while turnip greens have 987 mg of calcium. Swiss chard has 9.8 mg of iron, while spinach has 13.6 mg of iron per pound. Vitamins Green foods are chock full of vitamins. Watercress has 20,450 IU of vitamin A and 350 mg of vitamin C per pound, for example. Broccoli contains 9,700 IU of vitamin A, 2.5 mg of niacin and 327 mg of vitamin C. A half-cup of broccoli provides about 10 percent of the daily recommended amount (Daily Value) of beta-carotene. An ounce of nori — a sea vegetable — provides 30 percent of the Daily Value of vitamin A. Dark leafy greens contain bioavailable sources of B vitamins such as folate and vitamin B6, which regulates the body’s production of homocysteine. High homocysteine levels are seen as a marker in cardiovascular disease. A half-cup of spinach, for example, contains a third of the Daily Value of folate and 10 percent DV of vitamin B6. One ounce of kelp also provides 13 percent DV of folate. Sea vegetables like kelp, dulse, hijiki and nori also supply the body with vitamin B12 or its precursors. While some tests have shown algae and kelp B12 are in analogue form, studies have shown that those who eat sea vegetables have higher blood levels of B12 than those who do not eat sea vegetables. Green foods are also an important source of vitamin K, necessary for boosting immunity and enzyme function. Vitamin K is also critical for wound healing and blood clotting. Foods high in vitamin K include dandelion greens, asparagus, broccoli, parsley and spinach. Heck, most green foods contain decent amounts of vitamin K. Various sprouts can produce exponential quantities of vitamins. Tests have shown that nutrient content can increase by 20-30 percent as a seed is sprouted. Mighty phytonutrients Green foods are known for their extraordinary phytonutrient content. Chlorophyll is 1 of the most potent of phytonutrients. The chlorophyll molecule has a structure very similar to that of hemoglobin, except the iron (“heme”) atom is replaced by the magnesium atom. Chlorophyll consumption via green foods has been shown to
increase red blood cell counts. Wheatgrass can contain up to 70 percent chlorophyll by weight. Cruciferous greens such as broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts contain other extraordinary compounds such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. Both compounds have been shown to prevent tumors by either balancing estrogens (in the case of I3C) or scavenging free radicals. Many green foods also contain saponins, which bind with cholesterol, help regulate inflammation and boost the immune system. Green foods contain various polyphenols, which activate important enzymes and help scavenge free radicals. Flavonoids, also prevalent in most green foods, are powerful antioxidants and blood-purifying compounds as well. There are thousands of other phytonutrients in green foods. We are only beginning to understand some of their functions and health benefits. Wheatgrass, for example, contains glutathione peroxidase, a compound that stimulates the immune system and increases liver efficiency. Low-fat fatty acids Green foods contain a number of essential fatty acids, phospholipids and glycolipids. These supply the molecules that produce excellent cell wall structures. Algae provide gamma linoleic and alpha linolenic fatty acids, and certain strains of algae will also supply the omega-3 DHA oil. These are certainly not the fats that make us fat. Maximum performance Green foods can deliver optimal nutrition in easily assimilable form. These phytonutrients are digested quickly and easily, becoming immediately bioavailable. Immediate availability means our cells can be immediately and easily more nourished and productive. A more nourished cell means the mitochondria can efficiently produce energy using enzymes like co-enzyme A furnished by many green foods. A more nourished cell means we will enjoy greater flexibility and less injury, we can sustain our anaerobic energy bursts longer, our performance will be higher, our minds will be sharper and our workouts will be followed by speedier recovery periods. Z
Preparing green drinks If you have a juicer, any vegetable can be converted to beverage form. The best approach is to juice a mixture of greens, such as a cocktail of broccoli, carrot and apple. Cabbage: if you juice this, drink it within one minute, or its valuable amino acid glutamine will begin to decay. If pure cabbage juice results in gas, then add carrot and celery to it next time. Celery and cucumber: these by themselves may taste bitter and bland, so mix in some carrots and apples. Leafy greens: add some of these to all of your green juices for an extra punch of chlorophyll.
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if we eat meat, because animals have already-assembled protein molecules. Problem is, our bodies must break apart these complex proteins to secure the individual amino acids we need. This requires an abundance of protease enzymes to accomplish. Often, the body is left assimilating larger polypeptides, creating an acidic and inflammation-sensitive bloodstream. Getting our amino acids from plant sources is a much more efficient way of putting together our protein. Many green foods such as wheatgrass, barley grass, alfalfa, spirulina, Klamath blue-green algae, chlorella and kamut grass have either all of the essential amino acids or close to it. Spirulina and chlorella have not only all of the essential amino acids but many of the non-essentials as well. It also should be noted that, contrary to popular belief, a meal does not need to have every essential amino acid. The body retains amino acids of different types to assemble the needed proteins.
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Clean Nutrition Report
PASTEURIZATION A debate: is it doing more harm than good? Casey Adams Panic grips our news periodically with food borne illness outbreaks. The peanut butter contamination of 2008 was the largest food recall in U.S. history. After salmonella was found in a few batches, billions of dollars of food with even trace amounts of peanut butter were tossed out. In 1 of the more sensational E. coli outbreaks, Odwalla apple juice sickened 60 children, with 1 death, in 1996. These are but a few of the many outbreaks of food-borne bacteria announced every year in the United States. Should we shudder when we buy and eat commercially prepared foods? Should we trust the pasteurization and sterilization processes? As a practicing naturopath with a PhD in natural health sciences, I am asked these sorts of questions quite often. Food-borne illness Harvesting and plant environment, worker cleanliness, food washing techniques and water quality can all infect food. An unsanitary facility can give rise to many bacteria, and these can get into the food during preparation. This was the case with the peanut butter outbreak, as the walls and ceiling tiles of a peanut factory were found moldy and bacteria-ridden. A number of viruses and bacteria can reside within foods. Clostrium botulinum can grow in food or juice containers to produce a sometimes-deadly disease called botulism. Campylobacter species is 1 of the most common food borne bacteria, found in meat, and causes diarrhea, fever and cramping. E. coli O157:H7 can sometimes be lethal in immune-suppressed people, but mostly results in nausea and diarrhea. Salmonella is prevalent in the intestines of wildlife like birds, reptiles and other animals and causes severe diarrhea. Calcivirus or Norwalk-like virus infections have been documented, mostly from fish and oysters. Calcivirus also communicates through hand contact. Testing has also shown that 1 out of 20,000 commercial eggs is contaminated by Salmonella enteritidis. Many food-borne bacteria colonize via the release of spores, which can survive even the harshest conditions â€” including pasteurization. A single spore can quickly
grow into an entire colony of bacteria. What is pasteurization? French chemist Louis Pasteur developed pasteurization in the 1860s. Pasteurization is used by most commercial food and beverage manufacturers to reduce food-borne bacteria; about 99.99 percent of bacteria colonies are removed. Today pasteurization is used for practically every commercially packaged food with significant water or moisture
content. This includes virtually every shelfstable canned food, juice, sauce and mix in jars, plus produce, nuts, fruit, prepackaged dinners, entrees and refrigerated juices. Pasteurization is the heating of a food to a certain temperature and holding for a predetermined period. There are 5 pasteurization methods: holder or steam; high temp or flash; ultra high; irradiation; and gas. Holder, vat, tunnel or steam pasteurization requires bringing the food or
quickly. Ultra pasteurization (UP) will typically heat to over 200 degrees F for a few seconds. Time and temperature can range depending upon the product. Ultra pasteurization typically doubles shelf life compared to regular pasteurization. Ultra-high-temperature pasteurization, or UHT, will take the temperature to about 280 degrees F, holding for between a half-second and 2-3 seconds. Again, this is accomplished by running liquids through heat exchanging chambers before being filled into an “aseptic” vacuum package. UHT will seriously extend dry shelf life. It’s also sometimes incorrectly referred to as sterilization. Irradiation is a growing method of reducing microorganisms.
Because it does not significantly raise product temperature, it has sometimes been marketed as “cold pasteurization.” Imported produce is now commonly irradiated as shipments arrive. Increasingly, large U.S. food producers irradiate their “fresh” products. The most common method uses cobalt-60. X-rays and gamma rays are also used. Irradiation is not allowed in organic produce. Gas pasteurization is used for a limited number of foods. Almonds and other nuts, for example, are sometimes pasteurized by gassing them with either propylene oxide or hot steam. Organic certification does not allow propylene oxide. Commercial foods with higher acidity (pH of less than 4.6) and/or intense sugar content may bypass pasteurization. Commercial
Tasty food combinations Increase the benefits of immune-boosting antioxidants in sweet potatoes by pairing them with pecans. Pecans contain monosaturated fats, which aid in the body’s absorption of the beta-carotene found in sweet potatoes. Other tasty food combinations include papayas and walnuts, blueberries and walnuts, and tomatoes and olive oil. When tomatoes are cooked in olive oil, the full health benefits are realized. The olive oil lets your body better absorb the lycopene. Cooking tomatoes releases more lycopene, which is found in the cell wall. When eaten with walnuts, blueberries appear to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation that weakens the aging brain. Another beneficial food combination is oats and citrus fruits. Tufts University researchers found that eating vitamin C along with fiber prevents the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which can lead to atherosclerosis.
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liquid to 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. This is often applied by heating the product after being packaged. Steam or tunnel pasteurization is often used for sauces packaged in glass. Following being hot-filled, the jar or container is sealed and placed on a conveyor belt, which carries it through a heated tunnel. The tunnel bakes the product while super-hot water is sprayed onto the package. Flash or high pasteurization (HTST: high temperature, short time) is done primarily on liquids. HTST will typically heat to 160-165 degrees for 15 seconds. Milk, for example, is typically pasteurized by heating to 120 degrees for about 20 seconds. HTST runs the product through lines with heat exchanger plates that boost temperatures
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Clean Nutrition Report manufacturers usually must pass a state pH test before they can package a liquid product without pasteurization. A few foods commercially unpasteurized include some balsamic vinegars, kombucha tea, hummus, honey, maple syrup and a variety of fermented foods. After the Odwalla outbreak in the ‘90s, many regulators began requiring HTST for mass-distributed refrigerated fruit juices. Raw milk has been readily available commercially for thousands of years until recently. The FDA and state regulators have increasingly clamped down on commercial distribution of raw packaged foods due to the political hot potato created by the 24hour news cycle. Is pasteurized food healthy? Most nutrients are heat sensitive. Vitamins C, A and E, the B vitamins, and even certain amino acids are depleted during pasteurization. Important plant nutrients such as anthocyanins and polyphenols are also reduced during pasteurization, along with various enzymes. Proteins are denatured (molecular bonds broken) when heated for long, creating both digestible amino acids and indigestible peptide combinations. In milk, for example, nutritious whey protein, or lactabumin, will denature with increasing heat. Also with milk, there is a substantial increase in lactulose from lactose after UHT pasteurization. Lactulose can cause intestinal cramping, nausea and vomiting. A 2008 study on strawberry puree from the University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland showed a 37 percent reduction in vitamin C and a significant loss in antioxidant potency after pasteurization. A 1998 study from Brazil’s Universidade Estadual de Maringa determined that Barbados cherries lost about 14 percent of their vitamin C content after pasteurization. During heat treatment, vitamin C will also convert to dehydroascorbic acid, with a loss of bioflavonoids. A 2008 study at Spain’s Cardenal Herrera University determined that glutathione peroxidase — an important antioxidant in milk — was significantly reduced by pasteurization. In 2006, this university also released a study showing that lysine content was significantly decreased. A 2005 study at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande determined that pasteurizing milk reduced vitamin A content. A study at North Carolina State University in 2003 determined that HTST pasteurization significantly reduced conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) content — an important fatty acid in milk shown to reduce cancer and encourage good-fat metabolism. A 2006 study on bayberries at Southern Yangtze University determined that the plant antioxidants anthocyanins and polyphenolics were reduced 12-32 percent
following UHT pasteurization. Probably the most important loss from pasteurization is enzyme content. Plant foods contain a variety of enzymes that aid in the assimilation of nutrients and antioxidants. Food enzymes also deter the formation of certain microbes, preventing spoilage. The body uses food enzymes in various ways, such as dissolving artery plaque and reducing inflammation. While the body itself makes many enzymes, it also absorbs or uses components of many food enzymes. Should we avoid pasteurized foods? Not necessarily. Processed shelf-stable foods should be HSTS, holder or tunnel pasteurized — basically the same as being cooked. Any time a whole food is converted into a processed food — crushed, extracted or ingredient isolated — it becomes disconnected from its matrix of protective elements that nature provides to preserve food. Once processing takes place, the food becomes open to mass microorganism colonization. Whole foods in nature’s packages are significantly different from processed foods. Whole plant foods contain antioxidants and enzymes that reduce microorganism growth. Whole foods have peels and shells to protect nutrients and keep microorganisms out. The peel’s pH, dryness and density, along with the pH of the inner fruit, form a barrier to most microorganisms. Thus, most fruits and nuts can be stored for days or weeks without significant microbiological risk. Once the peel or shell is removed, the inner fruit, juice or nut must be eaten quickly before being contaminated. Raw milk contains a number of natural probiotics that effectively balance its bacteria. Just as probiotics balance our body’s microbes, the probiotics in milk will typically prevent microorganism overgrowth and infection. Even so, raw milk should be purchased—if available — with caution. Raw milk should be purchased only from certified organic dairies that thoroughly test for certain bacteria such as tuberculosis. The dairy should also be primarily grass-fed rather than grain-fed. An organic grass-fed cow is less prone to many diseases because fresh grasses help prevent disease in cows. Do we have bacteria paranoia? Yes. Bacteria paranoia began in the 1860s with Louis Pasteur’s germ theory — a proposal that all disease is caused by microorganisms. He proved that bacteria can cause certain diseases, assuming inoculation beyond the point of immunity. However, he missed a central component of the equation. The entire planet is covered with infectious bacteria in numbers beyond calculation. Each human body contains trillions of bacteria. So if the
outer and inner world are covered with bacteria, why are we not all sick and infected all the time? Microbiologists Antoine Bechamp and Claude Bernard, peers of Pasteur, took issue with Pasteur’s germ theory. They proposed the important issue is not the bacteria but the field, or environment, within the organism. A healthy organism with strong immunity and probiotic populations can counter infective bacteria. Those who get sick, they proposed, had weakened, compromised immune systems. We can confirm the field theory simply. Food-borne outbreaks result in the sickness and death of only a few people, while hundreds of thousands consume the contaminated products. In addition, most of us eat many foods containing E. coli, Salmonella and many other bacteria without becoming sick. Unfortunately, the germ theory prevailed, unleashing the genie of antibiotics along with many other pharmaceutical panaceas. While many of these medicines have helped millions recover from infection, the overprescription of antibiotics has also destroyed internal probiotic populations while creating many superbugs more powerful than the previous bacteria. By far the best way to counteract bacteria is to develop a strong immune system and probiotic colonies. Those with healthy immune systems and probiotic populations will not get sick from a limited amount of contaminated foods. In fact, E. coli is a common bacterium residing in the intestinal tract of humans. Why do we not get sick from it? Because our probiotic bacteria populations keep E. coli populations in check. Like animals in the forest, bacteria colonies tend to control each other’s populations. In a healthy body and natural environment, we harbor probiotics with “smart” antibacterial strategies that keep other bacteria from overgrowth. Probiotics make up about 70 percent of our immune system. Beyond that, the body produces antibodies and lymphocytes that identify and break down microbial and viral invasions. This doesn’t mean that we should not be diligent with foods. Nor should we not take antibiotics in a life-threatening emergency. We should wash our hands and foods before eating, and eat fresh, local, organic whole foods with a minimum of processing and cooking to maximize antioxidant, enzyme and nutrient consumption. Certainly, whole grains and beans should be cooked. Other fibrous plant-based foods can be steamed or low-flame stir-fried. If raw milk cannot be found from a trusted source, then organic HTST pasteurized (not UHT or UP) milk is probably best. A better choice is probioticfermented organic dairy such as yogurt, buttermilk and kefir. Z
Dwayne Hines II attributed to it. As far back as 1994 it was estimated that trans fat causes over 30,000 deaths annually, according to a study published in a 1995 American Journal of Public Health. Pressure on industry finally caused many companies to cut back on trans fat. Unfortunately, this substance still turns up in some food items and can be deployed in large amounts in the fast-food arena.
How long will a fastfood hamburger last without going bad? A week? A month? According to some nonofficial experiments, a few fastfood burgers have hit the year mark. That type of preservation sounds more typical of petrified rock than food. Petrified or not, a fast-food item that will last that long without “going bad” is already beyond bad, thanks to the powerful preservatives it contains. Preservatives in food allow the product to stay in a static state for long periods — far beyond what they could attain in a natural state. This element in preservatives makes them a prime tool for industry. Preservatives and profit The term “preservative” is somewhat self-explanatory — an element put into food to inhibit the natural decomposition of food. These substances can be natural or synthetic. The use of preservatives isn’t limited to food — consider the former Soviet Union’s Lenin exhibit, with the preserved fellow lasting for decades. The more powerful the preservative, the longer it helps its host last. The food industry has been employing preservatives for decades. You don’t have to look far to see why — an extended shelf life translates
into more profits. For example, if a food item normally is viable for a week on the shelf, preservatives may make it last for as long as a month — or more. This translates into less product loss for industry. However, when profit trumps health, problems emerge. Some of the most everpresent preservatives have negative consequences for human health. These primary preservatives — trans fat, high-fructose corn syrup and sodium benzoate — are harmful. Preserved for life? One of the worst preservatives is trans fat. This artificial fat is used in place of natural fat and comes with a preserving element — as well as collateral damage. A 2006 Wake Forest University School of Medicine study found that trans fat stimulates the pancreas to make more insulin. One of the researchers, Lawrence L. Rudel, PhD, professor of pathology and biochemistry, and head of the Lipid Sciences Research Program, also noted that diets containing a lot of trans fat cause a redistribution of fat tissue into the abdomen and lead to a higher body weight. The body doesn’t know what to do with trans fat. It is stored as fat that may never be metabolized — resulting in its permanent preservation in the body. Additionally, there is the factor of heart disease and stroke risk
Sick sweetener The most prolific sweetener is also a preservative. High-fructose corn syrup is also used to extend food shelf life. In addition to many concerns, including potential damage to the liver, HFCS also pushes the body toward putting on more fat. Unfortunately, this “everywhere” preservative is widely deployed in manufactured food because of its low cost. It’s often listed high up on the label of ingredients, indicating that it’s 1 of the main ingredients. Dangerous drink additive Sodium benzoate is used as a preservative in drinks — primarily soda. It also shows up in a few other food items such as pickles. One of the concerns with sodium benzoate is that it may play a role in some neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. Another issue is that when sodium benzoate is combined with citric acid (an ingredient in soda) it converts into benzene, a carcinogenic substance. Odds are if you walk into the store and grab a product off of any shelf, 1 or more of these 3 ingredients will be loaded into the product. Also remember that these are not the only preservatives in food. There are many others such as sodium nitrate, primarily found in luncheon meats, hot dogs and bacon. These “preservative cocktails” can be hard on the human body. The key issues to remember about preservatives is that their aim is to extend shelf life — not to benefit your health. Z
Avoid cured meats The rap on cured meats just gets worse. The latest dirt on cured meats is that frequent consumption increases risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Findings were based on a large crosssectional survey of U.S. adults, and reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine: “Cured meats, such as bacon, sausage, luncheon meats and cured hams, are high in nitrates.” Nitrates generate reactive nitrogen species that may cause damage to the lungs, producing structural changes resembling emphysema. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a leading killer in the U.S. Lifestyle habits are associated with cured meat consumption, and the researchers made adjustments for multiple dietary variables and other risk factors. Despite these adjustments, the hazard ratio from eating cured meats that’s associated with increased chronic obstructive pulmonary disease risk did not change.
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TRAIN LIKE A GIRL Should women train differently? Dara Cox
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genetics, a certain number of these muscle fibers are changeable. Depending on how you train them, they can become either fast- or slowtwitch. In untrained men and women, these fiber type distributions are the same. The evidence that women should train differently from men becomes apparent when you learn that during strength training men will see a greater shift toward fast-twitch fibers and thus greater increases in strength and power, whereas women will see a greater shift toward slow-twitch fibers, if there is a shift at all. In addition to this difference in fiber types, men also have a more efficient nervous system than women. This further increases their advantage in being able to perform explosive, power-based movements. Many people will see this as a potential deterrent for women to strength train. Why do it if the genetic deck is stacked against you? On the contrary, this doesn’t mean that women can’t see similar results to men; in fact, it’s actually the key to achieving these results! If the ultimate goal is maximizing the size and strength of muscles, then knowing the type of activity that you are genetically predisposed to excel at is your secret weapon! According to the science, the most important factor in optimizing muscle hypertrophy and strength gains is the overall volume of work performed. Since men can more easily perform more reps of explosive-type training but fatigue more quickly than women and women can perform more reps at a given intensity with less rest and handle a greater overall work volume, each can maximize their results by performing the type of work at which they naturally excel. How does all this translate into the gym? In order to see the best potential gains in strength and size, women should most often train in a way that takes advantage of their natural endurance and faster recovery. Instead of explosive, power-type training with very high weights and low reps, they should focus on training with a moderate amount of weight, lifted at a slower and steadier tempo, and aim for a greater overall training volume. While the exact sets, reps and training intensities required will vary, aiming for sets of 8-12 reps at an intensity of 60-80 percent of your 1-rep maximum is a good place to start. As with all training recommendations, everyone is different and this doesn’t mean that women shouldn’t train explosively. It is simply a different lens through which to view your goals and the tools you use in order to reach them. Take what applies to you and leave the rest! Z
Over the past several years, more and more women have changed their bodies by turning away from excessive cardio and little pink dumbbells and training with weights in ways traditionally thought of as masculine. This move has been cheered as both a win for individual women and an important step toward gender equality. Perhaps because of the greater cultural significance of such a shift, many people have been emphatic that women can and should train just like men. However, as much as I wholeheartedly believe that women have much to gain from training with heavy weights, research shows that training just like men may not actually let them reach their full potential. Putting aside any cultural or societal implications, the physiological fact is that men and women are different and these differences exist due to thousands of years of evolution at work. Just like any other animal, we have adapted to become most efficient at the tasks we were required to do most often. Centuries ago, humans lived a nomadic existence, with men traditionally doing the hunting and women doing the gathering of edibles as well as cooking and building shelters, often with a baby strapped to their backs. Since hunting often involved lying in wait for long periods of time followed by short, explosive bursts of activity to run down prey, it’s not surprising that studies have shown men to be better at activities like powerlifting. On the flip side, because women had to walk long distances carrying weight as well as build shelters and cook, it stands to reason that they would have greater endurance than men, and science does show this to be the case. Women don’t fatigue as quickly as men and are capable of doing more volume with an equivalent amount of weight. While this information may make rational sense, let’s look at it under the microscope of modern physiology. We are all born with different ratios of muscle fibers. Those with a higher percentage of slow-twitch fibers will naturally excel at endurance-type activities and those with a higher percentage of fast-twitch fibers will naturally excel at activities requiring power and strength. While these percentages are somewhat fixed by
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LEANER It’s leg day again. Time to get prepared for the hour-long workout with crazy-heavy weight and long rest periods, right? Well, maybe if you are a power lifter. The new science of fat loss encourages shorter, more intense workouts with less rest, generating more muscle burn, breathlessness and eventual inches lost. To decrease overall body fat, it is important not only to burn calories but also to increase musclebuilding, fat-burning hormones such as growth hormone and testosterone through correct exercise. Growth hormone is powerful at shedding fat in the midsection specifically, while its musclebuilding contribution increases metabolism. A study published in the June 2009 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that high-intensity protocols (training above lactate threshold, 3 times per week) increased growth hormone secretion 30 percent more than that of low intensity protocols (training below lactate threshold, 5 times per week). Thus, the greater the lactate generated, the greater the growth hormone release: confirmation that generating a muscle “burn” (i.e., lactic acid accumulation) serves an important physiological role impacting the body’s ability to burn fat. Unfortunately, traditional weight-training protocols that involve long rest periods lead to greater lactic acid dissipation between sets, minimizing its fat-burning effect. The new-school way of training advocates shorter, quicker workouts to maximize key hormonal responses while burning calories after the workout is over via excess post-exercise oxygen consumption generating intensity. Following are effective 10-minute lower body workouts that will not only torch fat but also create lean curves on conditioned legs. These workouts, designed for the average fit female who exercises regularly, require rest periods of less than 30 seconds. Because of this quick pace, the amount of weight used may be sacrificed. But remember, the point is not to power lift as much weight as possible. Instead, these workouts simultaneously maximize fat loss and muscle growth using a moderately heavy weight with which you must take frequent, short rests. Generate burning and breathlessness at the same time by moving as quickly as possible and harnessing the power of lactic acid. Perform these workouts “circuit-style,” moving from 1 exercise to the next in a cycle. Take short, frequent rests throughout as needed, as opposed to a few long rests. Z
Barbell Blast Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 mins. Barbell lunges (alternate) Repetitions: 10 each leg Weight: 65 lbs. Jumping lunges Repetitions: 10 each leg Barbell stiff-legged deadlifts Repetitions: 15 Weight: 65 lbs. Hamstring curls on a swiss ball Repetitions: to failure Flat treadmill sprint Repetitions: 30 seconds Weight: incline 0 speed 9, don’t hold on
Single-leg scorcher Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 mins. Step-up/squat Repetitions: 10 each leg Weight: 20 lb. dumbbells Bench jumps Repetitions: 10 Single-leg squat off bench Repetitions: 10 each leg Weight: hold 15 lb. dumbbells Bulgarian split squat off bench Repetitions: 10 each leg Weight: hold 15 lb. dumbbells Recumbent bike sprint Repetitions: 1 minute Weight: level 20
Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 mins.
Stadium sampler: no equipment needed. Start at the bottom of an aisle. Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 mins.
Leg press machine (wide stance) Repetitions: 15 Weight: 160 lbs. Leg press machine (narrow stance) Repetitions: 15 Weight: 160 lbs. Squat jumps Repetitions: 15 Leg extension machine Repetitions: to failure Weight: 40 lbs. Incline treadmill sprint Repetitions: 30 seconds Weight: incline 15, speed 6.5, donâ€™t hold on
Sprint to top of aisle Repetitions: take steps 2 at a time Squats in place Repetitions: 10 fast reps Squat pulses Repetitions: 10 (1-inch reps) Squat jumps Repetitions: 10 Lunges in place Repetitions: 10 each leg, alternate Jumping lunges Repetitions: 10 each leg Walk back down steps Repetitions: use as a recovery
Burst workout This routine is designed to build up your burst speed. Itâ€™s a simple program that includes the weighted jump, standing long jump and short sprint. The combination of these 3 exercises used in conjunction will build up your burst speed. This can be quite advantageous for athletic events. Use 3-4 sets of each exercise. Start off with the weighted jump and a moderate weight load. Spring up and outward as far as possible for 5-10 repetitions. The standing long jump is simply bending forward and springing out as far as possible. Perform 3-5 of these. For the short sprint, keep the run to a 3040 meter range, for 45 sprints. Warm up well prior to this routine, with a lot of lower body stretching and half-paced sprinting.
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HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING G. Scott Willis, Alexandra Cox, Rachel Lindvall Joining a gym can be an unnerving time in oneâ€™s life as one sees all those people who have been working hard for years and have reaped the benefits of training. Trying to understand how to do what they are doing can be very intimidating. One way we try to combat these self-conscious feelings is by joining classes led by friendly trainers who guide us through a workout and provide a little extra motivation. An increasingly popular group exercise class offered by most gyms incorporates circuits comprising short bursts of high-intensity exercises. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the rage in gyms across
the nation. This is largely due to the fact that HIIT is a sweat-inducing workout that can be completed in less than half the time of a typical lunch break. The time in which these workouts can be completed is more conducive to busy lifestyles than traditional resistance training. Often HIIT workout formats are found in group settings led by a trainer. Plyometrics are the most effective exercises to mix into a HIIT workout because they donâ€™t require an extensive amount of equipment. Exercises such as box jumps, push-ups, squats and lunges can all be considered plyometrics if the intensity is high. Power is increased through plyometrics due to rapid muscle contraction, usually in the form of jumping. However, HIIT can include hand-held
Squat alternates Want to take a break from the squat? Although the regular back squat is unequalled in the results it provides the physique, you can get a good facsimile by mixing a superset of 2 alternative exercises. The exercises are the front squat and the hack squat. Mixing these 2 together gives the quads a hardcore workout, especially when they are in superset form. Start with the front squat and perform a set of 12 repetitions. Without rest, jump into the hack squat, pumping out another 12 repetitions. Perform 3-5 sets of this superset. If you use a fairly heavy weight load, your legs will be about dead on that final superset.
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weights too. Olympic lifts, such as the hang clean, can be added to circuits along with kettlebell swings and medicine ball throws to provide more resistance to a HIIT circuit. If the goal is to increase overall strength, HIIT may just be the workout for you. Gym-goers who are looking to boost strength and metabolic rate in a short amount of time, leading to increased caloric expenditure, can include HIIT exercises in their fitness routines. Strength gains have been observed in those performing HIIT on a regular basis. Muscle size has been shown to increase an average of 9-14 percent in individuals participating in HIIT 2 to 3 times a week for 3 to 10 weeks. Studies have also indicated HIITâ€™s ability to improve muscle strength, power and endurance. Significant gains in muscle strength, power and endurance were also seen in trained individuals who completed HIIT workouts 3 times a week for 6 weeks. If the goal is to improve maximal strength, traditional resistance training may be what you need. Traditional resistance training is known to cause increased muscle hypertrophy and vastly improved strength gains as well. Novice lifters will both
hypertrophy and increase muscle strength regardless of performing HIIT or traditional resistance exercises. However, high-load resistance training has demonstrated significantly greater maximal strength gains compared to low-load resistance training; hypertrophy was accomplished with less plateau effects with both high- and low-load resistance training. This means exercisers have the option of incorporating either style of training, HIIT or traditional resistance training, or combining the 2. Cardiovascular and metabolic responses to exercise were greater after completing a bout of HIIT compared to a work-equivalent of traditional resistance training methods. High-intensity training programs lasting longer than 6 weeks in length have been shown to be more effective on cardiac health than moderate-intensity exercise programs. HIIT is even beneficial for enhancing performance in recreational runners. Improvement in run times, run speed, and lung capacity was higher in HIIT participants compared to those performing lowerintensity, longer-lasting bouts of exercise. Resistance training has also improved the running economy of long-distance running athletes, leading to decreased time-trial performances. A runner who is working to trim seconds off a race time can safely incorporate HIIT and/or resistance training into regular workouts without diminishing aerobic training results. Another benefit of traditional resistance training is attenuating bone mineral density. Six months of lowload, high-repetition resistance training proved to increase lumbar spine bone mineral density. Although research doesnâ€™t support high-impact workouts such as HIIT to increase total body bone mineral density, moderate- and low-impact workouts are shown to be inversely associated with bone mineral density. Thus, high-impact workouts like HIIT can help decrease the risk of bone mineral density loss. A combination of HIIT and traditional resistance training, known as concurrent training, can produce much of the same results as HIIT or traditional resistance training alone. Increases in muscle strength, cardio respiratory performance, and bone mineral density have all improved when completing concurrent training. Strength gains were not compromised when performing concurrent high-intensity sprint interval training; in fact, an increase in cardiorespiratory performance was also observed, and was comparable to the improvements from traditional aerobic training. A combination of highintensity training and low-impact resistance training decreases bone loss in older adults, especially postmenopausal women. As a final comment, HIIT training displayed more substantial improvements in individuals with a previously established strength foundation built by traditional resistance training as opposed to those who had no prior training. Incorporating strength training prior to HIIT training will establish a solid musculoskeletal foundation. New gym-goers might want to rethink stepping right into HIIT workouts, and maybe start with some low(er)-intensity exercises in the scary weight room first. Upon reviewing the evidence, it is no surprise that HIIT has been gaining momentum with gym-goers. With health benefits including cardiovascular improvement, musculoskeletal gains in strength, power, endurance and hypertrophy; and increased caloric expenditure when compared to some traditional resistance exercises, HIIT could just be what you are looking for to mix up your workouts. Z
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THE BEST CARDIO EQUIPMENT Jason R. Karp, PhD Whether you are a lawyer, businessman or soccer mom, you want to make the best use of your workout time. So how do you do that? For starters, you can choose the right equipment. Not all cardio equipment is the same. With all the different types of aerobic exercise and equipment, do you ever wonder which ones are the best? Here’s what the research has found. Caloric expenditure Typically, the more muscle engaged in the activity, the more calories you’ll burn, although research has found that if the activity is complex or uses both arms and legs, people may choose a lower intensity owing to the increased perception of effort. You burn approximately 5 calories for every liter of oxygen consumed (which varies slightly depending on how much fat and carbohydrates are used). Using more muscle mass during exercise also increases energy expenditure after exercise, as the post-exercise metabolic rate has been found to be greater and take longer to return to resting values following lower body exercise (stationary cycling) than following upper body exercise (arm cranking) performed at the same relative intensity. Weight-bearing activities cause a greater caloric expenditure than non-weight-bearing activities, even when the 2 types of exercise are performed at the same intensity. Among weight-bearing activities,
running burns more calories than most everything else, being equaled only by crosscountry skiing and sports that require a lot of running, like soccer, squash, handball and racquetball. However, while these other activities use many muscles and burn many calories, they also require a lot of skill, which limits your ability to perform the activities for long enough or at a high enough intensity to fully realize the aerobic development or energy expenditure benefits. By contrast, running requires little skill, so people are limited only by their fitness level. A number of studies have compared heart rate and energy expenditure between different exercise equipment, all finding that treadmill running causes the highest heart rate, oxygen consumption and energy expenditure. One of these studies, published in Journal of the American Medical Association in 1996, compared the rates of energy expenditure at different ratings of perceived exertion between 6 indoor exercise machines — Airdyne, crosscountry skiing simulator, stationary bike, rowing machine, stair stepper and treadmill — and found that the treadmill induced a higher rate of energy expenditure at each rating of perceived exertion compared to all of the other exercise equipment. Among the other equipment, the cross-country skiing simulator, rowing machine and stair stepper induced higher rates of energy expenditure than the Airdyne and stationary bike. The highest heart rate occurred on the treadmill and the stair stepper. The researchers concluded that the treadmill is the optimal indoor exercise machine for enhancing energy expenditure when perceived exertion is used to establish exercise intensity. Despite the popularity of indoor cycling in gyms, research has found that heart rate and energy expenditure are lowest when using a stationary bike. In addition, studies show that people typically select a higher exercise intensity on the treadmill compared to other exercise equipment, thus providing themselves with a greater cardiovascular training stimulus and expending more calories compared to other exercise equipment. Bones People who participate in sports involving running and jumping — soccer, running, basketball and volleyball — have greater bone mineral density compared to non-active people and even compared to people who participate in non-impact sports, such as swimming, cycling, cross-country skiing and rowing. However, along with the benefit to bones comes the greater risk of injury to them, as weightbearing exercise is more likely to lead to bone injuries, such as medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints) and stress fractures. The major benefit of non-weight-bearing exercises such as cycling and swimming is less trauma to the muscles and joints, which allows you to exercise for a longer time and at a higher intensity. However, while many people complain that running is hard on their knees, running does not increase the risk of joint injury or osteoarthritis for healthy people, as there is no greater incidence of joint degeneration in people who run compared to people who don’t run. That there was an evolutionary advantage for humans to be good runners makes the activity’s risk to knee health seem unlikely. Taking together the research on caloric expenditure and the amount of skill needed to acquire a cardiovascular and caloricburning benefit, the treadmill would have to be considered the best piece of cardio equipment, followed by the cross-country skiing machine, rowing machine, stair stepper and stationary bike. So, next time you want a calorie-burning workout at the gym, choose equipment that uses a lot of muscle mass, is weight-bearing and requires little skill. Z
KILLER QUAD & HAM WORKOUT Lorraine Page This intense 18-minute routine is for people who are short on time, are in good condition and get high from pushing their limits, and want their metabolism to stay elevated for hours after a workout. It’s not for people new to weights, people with bad knees, or people who get queasy from strenuous workouts. Equipment needed: leg extension and prone leg curl machines. Ideally, these 2 apparatuses should be very near each other. Warm up first. Spend 10 minutes doing a combination of cardio and light to moderate leg extensions — just enough to prepare your knees for what’s coming. Sets: you’ll be doing 4 supersets of a quad/ham routine, plus 1 quad set. Superset 1: on the leg extension, set weights for an 8-10-rep max. Crank out at least 6 reps with controlled negatives. Immediately after, lighten weight by 30 pounds and do a drop set of at least 6 more reps; do 10
if you can. With no rest, hurry to the prone leg curl and set weights for a 12-15-rep max. Do not rush these, as many people do. As you curl the bar toward your butt, squeeze it tightly against your glutes for a count of 3, then lower for a count of 5. Do not let the bar just fall down. Make sure not to get sloppy on form. Rest 2 minutes by slowly walking about. Superset 2: repeat, but add a third drop set to the leg extensions with a 30-pound reduction before doing the leg curls. Rest 2 minutes. You’ll stay fired up if you keep reminding yourself it’s only for 18 minutes. Superset 3: repeat 3 drop sets for leg extensions, except when you do the leg curls, set the weight for a 10-rep max, continuing to adhere to the 3-second squeeze and 5-second negative. Even if you’re harddriven, you may experience knee buckling on the way over to the leg curl machine. Superset 4: Increase leg extension weight by 15 pounds and aim to crank out at least 6 reps. Repeat 2 more drop sets and dash to the leg curl machine and repeat previous set. Rest 2 minutes. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water during rests. Finish off with 1 good 6-8-rep max on the leg extension. At this point, about 18 minutes will have passed. Spend 5-10 minutes stretching your legs when done. Z
Rather than pushing dumbbells straight up in a standard chest press, thrust them out at an angle, then bring them back down. You will need lighter weights for this, and it may feel tweaky at first. And since you're using lighter dumbbells, it’s best to do this routine right after a regular chest press or bench press, to further burn out the muscles. Whether you work your chest on a flat bench with a barbell, a flat bench with dumbbells, or a decline bench or stability ball, here’s something you can do that’s a little different for a change. When you push the weight up, instead of your arms being vertical, bring them back just a few inches past vertical toward your head. Do all reps this way. You may find that you can lift a slightly heavier load this way, or if the same load, it will be a little easier.
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Dumbbell chest press variations
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MEDITATION FOR STRENGTH Frank Zane Meditation is prolonged concentration, an unbroken flow of attention towards an object. It involves a continuous recycling of the stimulus or object of concentration — thought consciousness. But since our concentration isn’t perfect, our attention wanders. True meditation involves not only paying attention to the stimulus that is the object of our concentration, but also remembering to recycle the stimulus for the duration of the meditation session. A good reason to practice meditation is to enjoy the benefits it
bestows. And if you can master the techniques you deserve the benefits. But it takes discipline. It’s like any other skill you seek to acquire; you have to stick with it. Although meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, scientific investigation has expanded its perspective over the last few decades. Successful meditation results in the relaxation response as evidenced by a reduction in oxygen consumption deeper than sleep, reduced rate of respiration, heartbeat and carbon dioxide elimination, decrease in blood lactate levels (excessive lactate in the bloodstream is associated with anxiety symptoms), rise in skin resistance and reduction in blood pressure. If you do not move during meditation you will become oblivious to sensations from your body. This is called “off sensation” since you have no inputs from the external senses of sight, sound, taste, smell and touch — the only input is what you are experiencing inside your attention. Meditation can develop mastery of the body/mind connection. With this mastery one can attain a higher level of fitness and a greater physique. It can also heighten perception of internal and external events, improve motor skill and reaction time, improve concentration and attention span, increase empathy and pleasure, improve memory and intelligence, enhance dream recall, alter body image, and increase energy and other fitness benefits. My own experience with meditation confirms these research findings. A 15-minute meditation prior to working out allows me to concentrate more effectively on each exercise and get a better pump in my workout in less time. The measure of a good workout is not how long you train but how intensely you train: get the most work done in the least amount of time. My nutrition also benefits from the greater mind/body mastery I develop as a result of regular meditation. I find myself desiring to eat foods most conducive to getting in great shape and enjoying these meals throughout the day. Many diets fail because they are based on deprivation, which develops an unsatisfactory mind/body state. Because meditation builds a sense of inner peace, I get a great deal of pleasure from the taste of foods I eat, and grow stronger. Meditation also helps me get the most from my post-workout recuperation. Much attention is given to maximizing workout performance, but not enough awareness is focused on the recuperation process. Hard workouts stimulate the muscles by tearing them down, but muscles actually grow when you rest them. Putting all your effort into working out but ignoring recuperation is like investing your time and money destroying the building you own, but then
Fantastic focus cycle To get the most out of biceps training, consider using a super-focused routine. The training is simple but effective. Instead of using the typical 34-5 different exercises, employ only 1 exercise — the EZ curl. This movement is great, stimulating the biceps strongly. Perform 8-10 sets of this exercise, with an emphasis on controlling the bar on the downstroke. On the middle 3 sets, deliberately lower the bar slower than normal. On the final 3 sets, allow a regularspeed downstroke. As the sets pile up and lifting the bar becomes more challenging, focus even more on a good, tight form for maximum gains.
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gained. As I stuck with the technique I’d get into a space where, if I didn’t move my body, it seemed to disappear; I lost track of it. This is the off sensation state where the body falls away, leaving a wonderful feeling of open space. In the process of following the breath, thoughts arise, they are observed but not followed, and they pass away to be replaced by other thoughts. Thoughts and sensations arose and fell, just like the breathing process, inhaling and exhaling. Thinking about it after practice, this type of meditation was like vomiting. What came up first was what went down last. Not that I vomit a lot, but when this does happen the substances excreted come up in order of ingestion, just like the partially processed (undigested) thoughts that popped up during the meditation session. During the day we are bombarded by all kinds of stimuli, so much so that we can’t possibly process all of it. We are left with tons of psychic residue that swims around just below the surface of our consciousness, affecting our moods and thoughts, coming up in our dreams. When they surface in meditation, it means the processing is completed and we let go of them. This makes us free. But Mother Nature seemed to have tricks up her green sleeves. After we evacuate all these garbage thoughts, little remains. If nothing remains, if a vacuum is created, then we are free from the bonds of nature. Everybody knows a perfect vacuum doesn’t exit in nature; space has to be occupied. So when the freeloading residue thins out and threatens total evacuation, Mother Nature responds by sending us brilliant ideas and creative insights. This is good, right? The strict Zen school calls this makyo, or illusion, nature’s way of distracting you and keeping you in bondage. It interrupts meditation if you forget you are meditating and thinking about a wonderful idea you just had. I’m guilty of doing this all the time. I want creativity, and when my mind is emptied out enough to allow room for this higher-order creative material, I welcome it. It’s like going on a trip, going straight to your destination, not enjoying the scenery along the way or stopping for refreshments. But if you didn’t stop you would get there faster; you’d arrive at your goal sooner. You wouldn’t have as much fun, but the reward might be greater. I am guilty of indulging in creative insights. If the path is the goal, is reaching the destination more important than the journey? It reminds me of training for a contest. You do everything possible to meet your time frame to get in incredible shape in the shortest possible time. The training is very intense; there’s no time for fun. This is what it takes to win. (Intense training, of course, also applies to any fitness enthusiast who just wants to get stronger, more toned or more ripped, without any contest in mind.) This same kind of discipline is what it might take to become enlightened; unbending intent, going straight for the prize. It’s not exactly human nature. When following the breath is mastered after practicing for an undetermined period of time, the final stage is just sitting. That’s it, just sitting, doing absolutely nothing. All thoughts have disappeared and you are left with no-thing-ness, complete freedom and absolute peace. I’ve had glimpses of this myself, but being human, with an everyday life, I’m drawn back into the process of living it. Nevertheless, although transient, it’s a tremendously liberating experience. Z
forgetting to clear away the rubble and begin reconstruction. Instead you live in the ruins. After a workout I revitalize by meditating. Probably the most popular forms of meditation are Zen and transcendental meditation. TM involves sitting in a quiet setting and silently repeating a mantra or affirmation over and over again. If you do this aloud it’s called chanting and is very powerful when done with a group of people. An affirmation is any positive statement that has a positive meaning for you. Repeating your affirmation is something you can do when performing activities that don’t require your complete attention like walking or riding a stationary bike. By taking a 20-minute timeout during your day and meditating, your affirmation will pop back into your mind during the day, along with its associated feeling of relaxation. Instead of letting your mind wander aimlessly, you can crowd out negativity and develop great mental and emotional power by focusing on a positive affirmation. Breath counting is the beginning technique of Zen meditation. It involves counting each time you exhale up to the 10th exhalation and then starting at 1 again. With practice your mind quiets down, concentration sharpens, your attention wanders less and you begin to experience the relaxation response. I did a study for my BS in psychology degree on breath counting. A small group of people met for a meditation class using breath counting. Each one held a thin cord with knots tied in it spaced about a half inch apart. As the 20-minute session started, each participant began breathing deeply, counting each exhalation from 1 to 10 and then beginning at 1 again. It reminded me of working out, doing sets of 10 reps on each exercise; we were doing sets of 10 on our breathing. One characteristic of this technique is that it is extremely boring, and the mind seems to wander quickly and frequently. Each time the mind wandered one would either lose count or count past 10. This was called an intrusion, a break in concentration. When this happened each meditator was instructed to advance a knot on the cord to keep track of how many intrusions occurred during the session. The group met over a period of several months, filling out a questionnaire after each session that was designed to report the quality or depth of the meditation session. The quality of the meditation for each participant was correlated with how many intrusions were reported. It was found that the fewer the number of intrusions, the greater the depth of the meditation. To me it seemed pretty obvious that the better one’s focus, the more benefit would be experienced from the session. That’s what this experiment showed. I often thought mastering the technique was the equivalent of turning boredom into an art form. But the breath-counting technique worked if one had the discipline to stick to it, especially during the beginning stages when one’s mind wandered a lot. After a few weeks of practicing it, my ability and experience deepened and I was more motivated to continue, and moved on to the next technique, called following the breath. Again with the focus on breathing, one stays mindful of inhaling and exhaling, watching the breath flow in and out through the nostrils at the tip of the nose. This is even more challenging to perform with skill than breath counting because there is less structure, no definite procedure like counting. There’s nothing to keep track of. But with persistence, proficiency is
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SCHOOLYARD ARMS Garret Keyer
Did you know that you don’t need a gym membership to build great arms? There is a wonderful workout you can perform at any local schoolyard or park or at home that will strongly stimulate your arms. The workout can be performed any time as a change of pace, or use it during a full cycle of training. Building your biceps outside the gym requires one key structure — a chin-up bar or reasonable facsimile. If you have access to a bar, you can build up your biceps significantly and in short order. That is because the chin-up, performed with a narrow grip (hands 48 inches apart) is still one of the top exercises for the body despite all the new machines on the market. The close-grip chin-up directly builds up the biceps and does a terrific job of increasing strength and size — with one caveat. To
receive maximum benefits in building up the size and strength of your biceps, a full range of motion is required. This means stretching out your arms all the way when you hang at the bottom, and getting your chin over the bar at the top. The chin-up is the name of the exercise and that is exactly what you need to do. Some people never accept this fact and constantly come up short — often not even getting their head as high as the bar. Others do okay on the first couple of repetitions but fade as the reps mount. However, you need to get that chin over the bar. Can we yell here? Get your chin over the bar! Take a hard stand on this point to insure the success of the exercise and the success in the training of building better biceps. Also, don’t short-stroke the movement; go all the way down with each repetition. This movement is a full range of motion movement and each set needs to be performed in this exact manner. How many sets of the close-grip chin-up should you perform?
Fast rep rate The explosive bench press is a great way to work the fast-twitch muscles of the upper body. How explosive should it be? How fast should the weight be pressed? A good rule of thumb is to perform 3 explosive repetitions during the same time frame it would take to perform 1 normal speed rep. This type of speed is super-fast and that makes the fast-twitch muscles take over. A good set would be to get in 9 repetitions in the time it would normally take to perform 3.
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The sets vary along the workout continuum, but the repetition target is always the same — as many as possible. That is, as many as possible in good form. The repetition to fail at is the final one. When you can’t get that chin back up and over the bar, you’re through. Don’t hang there kicking around and developing sloppy form. Give it up and go at it again later. Start the sets at 2-3 and work up to eventually using 4-6 per workout. Focusing on strict form will bring about significant gains in biceps strength and size if you put in all-out exertion. It is equally important to track the workout on paper (how many sets and reps) to ensure that you are hitting and passing those repetition ranges. For the chinup, higher repetitions will translate into growth. The other excellent biceps builder is a close-grip pull-up, performed with a reverse grip, palms facing away from you. The reverse-grip works the brachialis muscle in addition to the biceps. The brachialis lies underneath the biceps and flows down into the forearms. As you build up the biceps, the forearms also gain stimulation. The reverse grip pull-up is a tougher exercise to perform but well worth the challenge. And even though it is more difficult, you still need to get your chin over the bar on this movement
as well. Perform the exercise after the regular close-grip chin-up, using 3-4 sets of as many repetitions as you can get in good form. This excellent exercise really builds up the whole arm region in a robust manner. The triceps can also be worked strongly at the schoolyard. The exercises of choice are the dip and the push-up with your feet elevated and your hands placed close together. These two exercises will give the triceps strong stimulation if you put real effort into them. The dip is a simple but effective movement — you go as low as possible with your body, then as high as possible while supporting your body with your arms holding onto a dipping bar. A fairly narrow hand placement is best (a wider hand placement off-loads some of the workload to the chest — not what you want here). There are 2 speeds at which to perform the dip — a slowerpaced movement and a quicker, more explosive movement. By performing both types of movements, you work both slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers. Perform 3 sets of the slow-paced dips and 2 sets of the fast dips. Perform as many repetitions as possible. The final exercise is the push-up with the modifications of a narrow hand placement and an elevation of the feet. These modifications put more tension on the triceps. If you have access to push-up bars, go ahead and use them; they really help stabilize the hands and arms in the narrow position. Perform this movement with a full range of motion and at both slow and fast speeds. Perform 2-3 sets of a slower push-up and 2-3 sets at a fast pace. Keep your body taut and straight throughout the entire exercise. Once you have mastered all of these exercises and have increased your repetition amount by several multiples, boost the workload by using a weighted vest. Start light, and gradually build up the weight load. Z
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OVERTRAINING David Dack Consistent training helps you lose weight, upgrade fitness level and build the best body ever. But it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, whether you’re an elite athlete or just a recreational exerciser. In fact, professional athletes are twice as likely to overtrain as are non-elites. Overtraining happens when you engage in extended periods of intense exercise without sufficient rest or appropriate training periodization. You could also get overtrained when you suddenly change training volume and/or intensity without giving your body enough time to readapt to the new load. Overtraining can compromise your fitness resolve and lead to health troubles such as halted performance, injury, mediocre race results and so on. Therefore, the elite have specific strategies that they follow in order to recognize, overcome and prevent overtraining. Overtraining does not happen overnight. Your body usually has its ways of telling you that you’re doing too much without giving it sufficient time to recover. Pay attention to your body indicators to gauge when to keep going forward and when to back off by learning to recognize these warning signs. Nine signs of overtraining Chronic illness: persistent illnesses — especially upper respiratory tract infections — are usually some of the earliest warning signs of overtraining. Your immune system is vulnerable when you overdo exercise. Performance plateaus: overtraining leads to diminished power, endurance, strength and/or speed during your upcoming workouts. In such cases, your body is going in the opposite direction of growth and progress. Spiked heart rate: a slight increase in resting heart rate is a sure-fire sign of overtraining. In fact, a spike of 10 beats per minute or more is a clear sign that your body hasn’t yet fully recovered from the previous workout. Chronic fatigue: overtraining also lengthens the span of time it takes for your body to recover between races or workouts. So if you regularly feel chronically tired and sluggish throughout the day, then you might be doing too much Undesired weight loss: unwanted weight loss is a sure sign that you’re training
Periodization training for runners The training cycle begins with a base phase, in which runners perform an increasing volume of mostly moderate-pace running. This phase is followed by a 4-week strength phase, in which aerobic running is supplemented with hill training and other strength work. Next comes a short anaerobic phase in which short, fast intervals are prioritized. The final phase is a racing phase, in which the volume and intensity of training are reduced to promote freshness, and fitness is sharpened through tune-up races culminating in a final, peak race.
too often or too intensely. Mood swings: irritability is a sign of an overtrained athlete. When you overdo exercise, your body releases stress hormones such as cortisol that can cause anxiety and other mood troubles. Dehydration: urine color can also help you identify overtraining. If urine is dark yellow, this indicates dehydration, even if you’re not thirsty. Sleep: sleep deprivation hinders the release of growth hormones, which are essential for the rebuilding of muscle fibers. Pain and/or injury: whether you’re aching from sore muscles or enduring an injury, your body needs more energy and time to complete the recovery process. Failure to complete the rebuilding process is a sign of overtraining. Pros take the right course The pros keep track of early warning signs of overtraining in order to stop this process in its tracks before it gets any worse. You can do the same by counting your red flags: Green light 0-2: it’s safe to push harder. Caution 3-4: you can go ahead with your training program, but you need to reduce the duration and intensity of hard workouts, at least until you eliminate the concerning symptoms. Danger zone 5-9: if you count more than 5 warning signs, then you’re definitely into the danger zone. Your recovery time depends, for the most part, on how overtrained you are. The more symptoms you suffer from, the more recovery time you need. This could range from a couple of
days to a few weeks, or you may even need a visit with a physician. Pro athletes spend endless hours honing and working on their recovery strategies. These strategies differ from 1 athlete to the next. Everybody is different and has different training goals and fitness demands. Nonetheless, here are a few common strategies to give you a recovery edge. Better sleep A healthy sleep pattern is the backbone of superior performance, whether you’re an elite athlete or a Fortune 500 company CEO. Sufficient sleep ensures proper recovery and guarantees that your body is releasing the necessary hormones for recovery and growth. Therefore, make sure to get at least 7 to 8 hours of high-quality sleep. Twenty-minute naps can also help. Periodization Pro athletes periodize their training programs to accelerate performance without risking injury or overtraining. To follow in their footsteps, make sure to introduce a lower-intensity, lower-duration week — also known as a recovery week — into your training program every third or fourth week. Nutritious diet Your body needs the right fuel — complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats — to make the most of your training program. Timing your meals is key as well. To get the most out of it, make sure to make pre- and post-workout diet a part and parcel of your training program. Z
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Dara Cox Training to failure is a common practice among athletes and recreational lifters alike. Defined as working to the point where your muscles can no longer produce enough force to move a specific weight, it has been widely accepted for many years as necessary for maximum strength and muscle gains. This belief is not without merit, as many studies have shown that this type of training is indeed effective for increasing muscle size and strength. However, pushing our bodies to train at this intensity carries with it a higher risk of injury and overtraining due to increased stress on our joints and nervous system. Since most of us are not professional athletes or bodybuilders making large amounts of money because of our training, we may not be willing to risk injury in the pursuit of our physical goals. So the question becomes, how hard do we really have to train to see results? The purpose of this article is not to dispute the effectiveness of training to failure, as that has been well established, but rather to discuss whether it’s necessary. Do we have to take the risks of training to failure in order to reap the rewards? Thankfully, the answer appears to be no. A new study, published in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research in January 2018, found that it is possible to see equivalent increases in strength and size without training to failure. The study compared both high- and low-intensity training (defined in the study as 80 percent or 30 percent of the 1-rep maximum, respectively) to failure and to volitional interruption; which means choosing when to stop. For example, deciding in advance of a set to do 10 reps or lifting a weight until you feel like could only do 2 or 3 more reps would be volitional interruption. The study found no advantage in training to failure over volitional interruption, both resulted in similar increases in muscle hypertrophy and strength gains. Interestingly, it also doesn’t seem to matter whether you train at high or low intensity. This is significant because it had been previously accepted that in order to see results training at lower intensities (higher reps with lighter weights), it was necessary
to train to failure. However, this study found no statistical difference between the 2, meaning you can train in whatever way you enjoy and have the same potential for results. One reason so many people like to train to failure is that it’s a surefire way to know that you have worked hard enough. Muscle activation during an exercise is a good indicator of the potential for strength and size gains, as different parts of the muscle get activated at varying thresholds of work. Simply put, the more of your muscle you can activate, the better your results will be. These thresholds can be reached by lifting more weight, doing more reps, or a combination of both. Muscle failure is reached after the entire muscle has been activated and worked beyond capacity. So it’s an easy way to know that you have reached maximum muscle activation. However, according to another study published in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research in July 2012, there is an “activation plateau” beyond which there are no further gains to be made by continuing to work toward failure. This occurs about 3-5 repetitions before muscle failure. This means that whether you are training at 80 percent of your 1RM or 30 percent, as long as you are working hard enough to get to 3-5 reps before muscle failure, there doesn’t seem to be an advantage to pushing out those few extra reps and actually reaching failure. In fact, you are likely to end up more fatigued and thus compromise performance in subsequent sets, resulting in an overall decreased volume of work and therefore less-than-optimal results, if you don’t get injured first. This is great news because it means we can still see the same potential muscle growth and strength gains without the risks associated with training to failure. In some respects this may actually mean the potential for greater success, as the reduced strain on our joints and nervous system can help us avoid unplanned time off from the gym due to injury. By dialing down the intensity of our training to land within that “activation plateau” of 3-5 reps before failure, we may be able to hit a sweet spot of maximum potential for results with minimum risk. Z
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IS TRAINING TO FAILURE REQUIRED FOR SUCCESS?
— NEW RESEARCH —
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WANT MUSCLE GROWTH? HERE’S HOW Jason Miller, PhD, CSCS, USAW-2 Few topics in fitness are more discussed than gaining skeletal muscle mass. Questions and information abound about the optimal way to pack on the lean mass. With so many ideas about training and nutrition, what is the truth? Truth is a tricky thing when looking at science, as 1
study could upset the apple cart in terms of what we know. With that in mind, I am going to put out some ideas that are “probably true,” and certainly I would not claim every method in this article is 100 percent successful but rather a combination of the methods will produce positive increases in muscle size. Here are 5 strategies that should optimize your muscle growth. Eat protein in the right amount and at the right times of day. It
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be better to do smaller-volume workouts spread out over many days than 2 really long workouts. If training triggers muscle protein synthesis, then train often to trigger that mechanism, then feed appropriately. Lifting is better than cardio training, as the resistance provided during weight training is a better signal and signaling pathway for great protein synthesis. Think of lifting having a better ratio of muscle protein synthesis to calorie usage than cardio. Be sore. Some soreness after most workouts is a good thing. Keep in mind we are talking about building muscle here and not strength, power, etc. So soreness is an indicator of muscle breakdown and then also synthesis. However, there is an optimal amount of soreness, so if an individual can hardly walk after every workout, that’s too much and can actually slow muscle growth. A scale can be helpful here, on a range of 0-10, 0 being not sore and 10 being close to clinical levels of too much damage, a 4-5 is about right on a daily basis. Even scores in the 2-3 range are fine for those who have been training a while. That leads to the question, “how do you keep getting sore after training for a long time?” I’ll answer that in the last strategy. Modify the training program to keep the gains coming. The number 1 factor in training that is linked to gaining muscle is probably time under tension. Basically, volume of training is critical. There has to be enough stimulus to effectively break the muscle down in order for it to want to adapt. Increasing volume, then, is an important factor in gaining mass. Just keep in mind there is a too-much level of volume. In general, no more than 50 repetitions on any 1 exercise and even movement potentially (horizontal push, squat, etc.) is a good general guideline. Anything more than that is risking hurting muscle growth and even reaching dangerous levels of muscle breakdown, leading to rhabdomyolysis. If volume has a cap then, what else can be done? The next option would be to modify the eccentric time under tension. It is the eccentric portion of an exercise that leads to soreness, so increasing the eccentric phase from 2 to 8 seconds can produce soreness and thus adaptation. Just keep in mind that volume of training should come down when employing longer eccentric phases, as muscle breakdown will increase. I would not do eccentric training for any exercise more than 2 weeks in a row for the sake of joint health. After eccentric training and tied to volume is the importance of going to failure. I put going to failure after eccentricity as the technique of an exercise should be ingrained before going to failure. Eccentric training using slower cadences (not supramaximal loads over 100 percent) can actually help improve exercise technique. Before going to failure in training, be sure exercise technique is perfect and/or the exercise lends itself to failure training. The deadlift, for example, is not a good to take to failure for reps, whereas the seated leg curl machine is. To-failure training elicits the “pump” and along with recovery between sets of close to 1-2 minutes, creates a situation where the muscle is suffocated and probably stimulates it to grow. If you are interested in growing muscle, give 1 or all the tips above a try. Certainly the incorporation of protein into the diet and consistent weight training should be staples for anybody looking to gain lean mass. While many go to supplements and extravagant training schemes, there are simple strategies like outlined above that can be incorporated into a general nutrition and fitness program. Z
goes without saying most people realize the importance of eating protein to gain lean mass. Just eating protein in fact produces an increase in the synthetic rate of muscle protein accretion, along with weight training, of course. A general range for the effective dosage of protein is 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight or at least every pound of lean mass (if known through a body composition assessment). With such a high amount of protein, spreading out protein consumption will be important in order to be able to consume that much protein in a day and to ensure that your body has a constant flow of amino acids and can absorb that much protein at each meal. While meal timing is a bit controversial in the research about its definitive effectiveness, spreading out protein consumption to every 4-5 hours and within an hour after a meal is good practice and at the worst does not hurt. Again, if 1 gram per pound of body weight is consumed, spreading protein consumption over multiple meals at the minimum is just intuitive. A last note on protein, make sure the source is mostly unprocessed and not red meat. Limit red meat to 1 serving per day (if spreading out meals to every 4-5 hours) and as little processed meat as possible. The limitation on processed meat and red meat is a health recommendation. The leaner the red meat, the better from a health standpoint. Eat carbohydrates in the right amount and at the right times of day. Like protein, a constant flow of carbs is useful to build muscle. Building muscle is a combination of protein synthesis and protein breakdown. Training and eating protein (leucine in particular) triggers synthesis, while training and long periods of fasting can trigger breakdown. What is left is the difference between the 2, synthesis minus breakdown. While protein does a great job of triggering synthesis, carbohydrates cause insulin release, which in turn blunts protein breakdown, probably through regulating the effects of cortisol. What that means is a constant flow of carbs, especially piled up before, during and within an hour after a workout, is important. Secondary is carb consumption in the morning close to waking and the meal following the post-workout meal. Mention anything about carbs, of course, and that is a trigger for many. Carbohydrates are not a “bad” macro; they just have different presentations. When I talk about a constant flow of carbohydrates, I am talking about complex carbohydrates, like those found in whole wheat, sweet potatoes and quinoa. The simple carbohydrates such as sugar are best used during workouts and even immediately after, to again trigger an insulin response and blunt cortisol concentrations elevated during training. Otherwise, lay off the simple carbs. As eating a large amount of carbohydrates for an extended period of time will make an individual more insulin resistant, cycling on and off a massing or bulking phase every 8 to 12 weeks is an effective approach. Eat carbohydrates during a massing phase and then either cut a bit or maintain, pulling total carbohydrates down for the day. A general recommendation for carbohydrates is 1 gram per pound of body weight for hour-long workouts, going up to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight for those that train hard for 90 minutes or more. Use the distribution of those carbohydrates as outlined above. Consume at least some carbohydrates every 4-5 hours with protein. Lift weights. Often if nutrition is in order, on the training side the recipe is simple. Train often. It would
All-day curls If your biceps have seized up and need a new spark for growth, consider trying the allday biceps workout. Start off with a set of challenging curls, and then take the next hour off. Use a weight load that makes it difficult to complete 8 repetitions. As the new hour starts, perform 2 sets with the same weight load. After another hour of rest, perform 3 sets. Work up to 5 sets, and then start decreasing the number of sets per hour by 1 set. Work it all the way down to 1 set at the end of the day.
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employing the big thigh and gluteal muscles. Taking the heart rate higher via cardio/aerobic training in turn drops the resting heart rate, which is beneficial (the less the heart has to work on a constant basis, the better). During the training itself, the heartbeat is higher and blood volume from the heart and through the body is also higher. This boosts capillary density and oxygen transport. Cardio/aerobic exercise also elevates lung diffusion capacity and maximizes ventilation in the lungs. Each of these aspects of cardio/aerobic activity improves the body, but when all are combined, the results are significant.
CARDIO/ AEROBIC TRAINING Arthur Remington Do you know the primary pillars of physical fitness? These are the elements that every human body needs to function at maximum effectiveness. They include cardio/aerobic conditioning, anaerobic (resistance training — including explosive and regular pace action) conditioning and flexibility. Each area brings specific benefits for the physique. Cardio/aerobic training without a doubt qualifies as 1 of these primary pillars. Cardiorespiratory/aerobic training is essential for a healthy body. In fact, its very name — cardio/aerobic — signifies its benefits. The endocrine system also benefits. This style of training helps the heart and respiratory system function effectively. Additionally, cardio/aerobic activity also burns fat and helps prevent fat from accumulating. Any exercise can be aerobic as long as it meets certain parameters, such as being nonstop for at least 12 minutes, getting you breathing deeply (aerobic nature), employing the thigh and buttocks muscles and getting heart rate in the range of 65 to 80 percent of maximum. Theoretically you can also get into a cardio/aerobic training state using just the upper body muscles, but it’s much easier to do so by
Burning fat One of the best things that cardio/aerobic training does is burn fat up. During exercise, your body needs fuel to get moving. For short bursts of speed to midrange action (say a halfmile run at a quick pace), the body relies on carbohydrates as the primary fuel source. At about the 12-minute range the body starts to move towards using fat as fuel, and at 20 minutes the body begins to use more fat than it does glycogen (carbs). The percentage of fat being burned for fuel increases as the duration of the workout increases. At 1 hour (providing the activity remains constant, nonstop and challenging) the body will be burning a high level of fat and minimal glycogen. This is why longer cardio/aerobic exercise is so effective at jettisoning body fat. Shorter, more intense workouts do burn fat, but it’s usually an after-burn effect when the workout is over. For burning fat during the routine, cardio/aerobic training is the key exercise. Oxygen utilization Another positive element that results from cardio/aerobic activity is the increased transportation and utilization of oxygen. In fact, the very word “aerobic” means “with oxygen.” If you’re just starting out in cardio/aerobic exercise, this will be readily apparent; you may wind up “sucking air” in the first few workouts. When you build up cardio/aerobic capabilities, you improve the efficiency with which your body works. Nutrients are transported around more quickly and effectively. This improves the status of the body and sets it up for further advances in upcoming workout sessions. Endorphin elevation One of the more pleasant benefits of cardio/aerobic activity is the release of endorphins. The most obvious effect is a nice upgrade to a person’s mood. Endorphins are a hormone type of substance that boosts mood and acts as a painkiller. In effect, it’s a natural feel-good substance that enhances your experience (little wonder it’s likened to a recreational drug). It also enhances the immune system. The endorphin aspect is 1 area where cardio/aerobic training seems to get more effect than weight training, as cardio/aerobic exercise seems to be more effective in the endorphin release mechanism. The downside to endorphin release is that you can get a little cranky if you miss those workout sessions. However, that is only motivation to get back onto the track or trail and get that good feeling going again. The endorphin rush occurs during the exercise as well as for a period after the session is completed. Cardio/aerobic exercise’s multiple, significant benefits make it an absolutely essential training tool. It’s a proven way to extensively improve the health and appearance of the human physique. Z
Rushed for time? Do you need to find the time to get in a decent workout? Consider using parallel training. Parallel training is the mixture of 2 different training elements into 1 routine. It’s a super time saver, and it also meets the other need in a good workout — super stimulation of the body. Parallel training can be dialed up to really push the physique to the limits. Former NFL standout Shannon Sharpe is 1 example of the condition someone can get into by employing a mixed training approach. At age 47 he is in tremendous shape, and a varied and challenging mixed routine lies at the core of his conditioning. Heavy demand The approach behind parallel training is mixture — you want to mix both resistance training and cardiovascular training into 1 session. This parallel action really taxes the body, so don’t think that you can just step up and make it easily through a workout. You will need to monitor exertion quite closely during this approach. Parallel training can draw down the body’s reserves quite quickly, as both the muscle and cardiovascular systems are being called upon at the same time. That translates into a heavy demand, and you have to respect it and provide substantial rest in turn. The upside is that the body gets maximum stimulation, which means that not as long a session is needed. More benefits include a very high caloric burn rate (get rid of that fat fast!) and a strong elevation in the heart rate. A standard example Parallel training occurs most directly when you alternate resistance training with cardiovascular exercise in the same session. Here is 1 example: mixing standard
Kettlebells Another option for parallel training can be performed with kettlebells. Kettlebells can hit both body systems strongly. Many mixed martial artists are starting to use these tools for their wide-ranging training benefits. One routine used by mixed martial artists is to perform a kettlebell exercise and match it up with 1 minute of jumping rope. Each kettlebell drill (such as the double hand or single hand swings, snatches, etc.) is followed directly by a 1-minute jump rope session and then a minute of rest. Perform 10-12 lifts for each kettlebell exercise, for 5-6 different kettlebell routines. You can also jog, bike, stair-step, etc., between the kettlebell sets. There are many combinations you can put together for various challenging routines. And you can also mix kettlebell training with typical weight workouts for the resistance half of the regimen. Sprinting Sprinting can also be used in a parallel routine. In fact, 1 super-tough routine is to take a few kettlebells to the track and plant them in 1 spot. Run a couple of easy laps, then perform a few hardcore kettle lifts. Then put the weight down and run a hard lap. Next is a rest for a few seconds, then a repeat with a couple of different kettlebell exercises and another fast lap around the track. Just a few of these kettle-and-run sets add up quickly to make a very demanding workout. As one becomes accustomed to this style of training, increase the number of kettle/run cycles. The aim of parallel training is to fire up both the cardio and resistance systems at the same time. This type of regimen is very draining, so you will want to perform only a few routines a week, with plenty of rest between each workout. Z
Kettlebell hand-pass lunge Want a change from the same old dumbbell and barbell routines? Kettlebell workouts don’t just develop muscle strength and stamina; they’ll improve coordination and agility, making you faster, tighter and more fit than ever. Kettlebell hand-pass lunge: hold a kettlebell in 1 arm, both arms hanging straight down, and begin lunging forward, keeping your back erect. Each time you settle into the complete lunge position (forward thigh parallel to floor, back calf nearly parallel to floor), pass the kettlebell under your forward leg so that the other hand receives it. The moment the other hand receives the weight, stand up and go into the next lunge, and repeat, passing weight beneath your legs, then exiting the lunge right after the weight transfers. Go for 12 passes each hand.
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training from both styles of exercise: After warming up, perform 3 sets of incline bench presses (8-10 repetitions), with a minimal (45-60 seconds) rest between sets. After the third set of the exercise, switch over to the jump rope and perform nonstop jumping for 3-5 minutes. After completing the jump rope, perform 3 sets of the lat pull-down (8-10 repetitions) with a minimal rest between sets. From here they march over to the treadmill and perform 7 minutes of fairly fast-paced jogging. After the treadmill, pump out 3 sets of leg extensions (10 repetitions, minimal rest between sets), then wrap the workout up with 5 minutes of nonstop pedaling on the recumbent bike. This workout is totally malleable — you can shape it to meet your needs. If you use it as an all-encompassing routine, use a couple of upper body resistance exercises for every 1 lower body resistance movement. Why? The cardio portion of the routine almost exclusively utilizes the legs, so they are getting plenty of work in addition to the weights regimen. You can adjust not only the exercises but also the length of the routine. If you’re new, you will definitely want to start with a shorter time frame, then work up to a longer routine.
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MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU Lorraine Page Many people are still unaware that results in fitness and fat loss require a push that forces the body to respond. If you’re sitting in a coffee shop and someone slowly walks up, gently taps you on the shoulder and whispers “Fire,” you’re going to behave very differently than if someone screams “Fire!” at the top of his lungs and sprints toward the door. This is what it’s like in fitness. In fitness the thing that gets you moving toward the door is anaerobic effort. Going anaerobic means you have just left the aerobic zone and gone into super-drive. When you do this, you have effectively grabbed your physiology by the shirt collar and jacked it up against the wall. It has no choice but to respond. The only problem is this type of effort is uncomfortable. It’s like putting your hand on a hot stove. People don’t want to go there, and it’s virtually impossible to stay there. Unless, of course, you know the tricks of fatigue management,
Rest and results Rest is perhaps the most important tool in fatigue management. Continued work without rest will inevitably lead to regulating intensity in a way that does not deliver optimal results. A quick glance at the emerging research shows continuous moderate intensity exercise proves ineffective for weight loss or metabolic adaptation. Miller et al. (International Journal of Obesity, 2007, vol. 37, no 2) reviewed hundreds of studies over a period of 20-plus years. The consensus was continuous moderate intensity exercise had no real weight loss advantage over diet alone. More recent research by Melanson et al. (Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 2009, vol. 37, no 2) showed that moderateintensity continuous exercise produced no metabolic advantage. Yet, when rest is factored into the equation, intensity can be elevated and results begin to emerge. Trapp et al. (International Journal of Obesity, April 2008) compared standard aerobic exercise to intermittent cardiovascular exercise using rest.
Final thoughts Results in fitness and fat loss come down to 1 thing: quality work. This is a universal principle. You don’t get a trophy simply for showing up. The effort you put in is what makes the difference. Therein lies the problem. There is a fine line between doing enough and doing too much. Increasing effort is usually taken to mean do more, but the most successful in any endeavor usually find a smarter way and maximize quality over quantity. This concept can be used in fitness through fatigue management workouts. Z
Karate hands One of the areas that goes overlooked in most training routines is the hands and forearms. It’s true that these muscle groups often get derivative action from other exercises. However, if you want to directly build up your hand and forearm muscles, consider taking a page from martial arts. Preparing this exercise is quite easy — you simply fill a bucket with sand. The exercise is performed by shoving a straightened hand down into the sand and, using the forearm and hand muscles, moving the sand around. Really get a back-and-forth motion going. Alternate both hands through a couple of sets and gradually increase the time each hand spends pushing the sand.
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The psychology of rest Going back to our stove analogy, leaving your hand on a hot stove is something most would decline outright. However, if you were able to touch the stove quickly and immediately remove your hand, you could not only tolerate the stove, but likely do no damage, thus accomplishing a task you would otherwise be unable or unwilling to do.
Rest-based training Rest-based training is fatigue management at its best. With rest-based training rest is embraced as the primary goal in exercise. You work until you feel a rest is needed, and then you start again as soon as you’re ready. Weight lifters, bodybuilders and interval users have always exploited rest to maximize work. Adopting a rest based approach means throwing the old defined rest periods away and instead allowing rest between sets, within sets and whenever necessary to maximize sets, reps and work intervals. In this way the work done can be maximized while recovery enhanced, and the exerciser gets more work done with less time invested.
After 15 weeks the interval training group lost close to 3 percent body fat, while the standard aerobic group actually gained just over .5 percent body fat. This was despite a workout that was a full 20 minutes shorter (20 min vs. 40 min) for the group using rest intervals. Rest also has benefits for getting more muscle fibers activated, which is a key factor in forcing the body to respond and adapt to exercise. The February 2004 issue of the International Journal of Sports Medicine showed 4 weeks of sprint training increased the ability to generate more muscle fiber activity compared to standard aerobic exercise. Sprint training is impossible without rest between bouts. Another article from the November 2007 Journal of Applied Physiology showed fast-twitch fibers are rarely engaged to any significant degree in slow, continuous exercise. And, when looking at weight training, brief rest periods have been shown to have a greater impact on muscle stimulation compared to little or no rest (European Journal of Physiology, August 2004, vol. 92).
Taking rest within an intense workout allows shortlived discomfort that will give you the results you want without going overboard. This strategy has been employed successfully in interval training and is exactly the reason it’s so effective. Interval training is not possible without rest. But what if instead of saying you need to work out for a set time and then rest for a set time, we instead told you we want you to work and rest within your own limits? Would exercisers work out harder or would they simply take it easy? A study in the September 2005 Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise looked at the effect the rest-duration had on self-selected intensity levels during intense interval training. This study showed a 2-minute rest period created the “appropriate balance between intracellular restitution and maintenance of high VO(2) on-kinetics” compared to a 1- or 4-minute rest. In layman’s terms, 2 minutes was the optimal intensity for results. Interestingly, when subjects were allowed to self-select their rest period without any knowledge of time, they “chose” rest period lengths that settle at around 118 seconds, virtually identical to what researchers defined as the optimal work-to-rest ratio. This opens up interesting questions about the benefits of defined work and rest protocols over selfselected exercise. Perhaps we humans have a built-in fatigue management sensor allowing us to regulate our own exercise intensity? Studies in animals also argue for a fatigue management strategy in our physiology. It appears humans are not alone in the ability to self-regulate exercise to optimize intensity and recovery. In a 2009 (vol. 39, no.10), Sports Medicine, a review by Dr. Panteleimon Ekkekakis highlighted research showing many animals adopt intermittent patterns of movement to maximize work and rest. It’s speculated that this pattern of movement is an evolutionary adaptation allowing animals to cover more ground and longer distances.
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AreYou Fit Enough?
Dr. Case Adams
The first competitive surfers stayed in shape solely by practicing their craft of surfing. They might have taken a few runs down the beach, but this was done with their board underarm, heading out for a surf. Today it’s a completely different story. Like most competitive athletes, professional surfers now spend a significant time doing strengthening and cross-training, along with doing what they do best — surfing. Short-board professional surfing began with the World Pro-Am Surfing Championships in the early ’70s, followed by the International Professional Surfers (ISP), which gave birth to the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP). The ASP now hosts the ASP World Tour, which conducts contests among the 34 top surfers in the world at some of the most competitive surf breaks that exist. One of the first professional champions to focus on strengthening and cross-training to improve his surfing was Tom Carroll. Carroll was plagued by injuries resulting from his daring surfing feats, including knee injuries, ankle ligament tears and head injuries. Carroll developed a disciplined training regimen that included beach running, weight training and cross-training to prevent injuries. Carroll’s competitive success led other surfers to incorporate serious cross-training into their regimens to gain a competitive edge. One of these competitors is Kelly Slater, who has currently won the most world championships in surfing history, with an astonishing 11 world titles. Slater is also one of the oldest professional surfers today; now 40, he is still winning contests. Slater’s secret to his continued competitive edge appears to be a disciplined training and nutrition regimen. His training includes balancing exercises, weight training and cross-training. One of Slater’s rivals was six-time Triple Crown champion Sunny Garcia. Garcia and his Hawaiian surf-mates developed innovative crosstraining programs that included martial arts and carrying boulders underwater. One of the most disciplined cross-trainers on the ASP tour is 2-time world champion Mick Fanning. After recovering from surgery to repair a devastating hamstring tear in 2004, Fanning began a strict cross-training and nutrition regimen that has helped him to become known as one of the fastest surfers to ever set foot on a board. Ship captains in Hawaii used to refer to these surfers as part amphibians due to the skill and ease with which they traversed the choppy waters and crashing waves of the Big Island in Hawaii.
Why the cross-training? Have you seen a professional surf contest lately? Professional surfers are doing what looks like acrobatics on the waves. What is now known as “getting air” is a complicated maneuver requiring a combination of jumping, twisting and guiding the board that finishes with a landing at the bottom of the wave with the surfer balanced and intact, ready for the next maneuver. Other infamous moves include cut-backs, the-lips and 360s, not to mention pumping down the line and getting barreled (today’s surf term for what used to be getting tubed). Professional surfing maneuvers are comparable to those being used by competitive gymnasts and ice skaters, as they leap, twist, flip and revolve through the air, with the grace and balance of a cat upon landing. Suffice it to say that balance, agility, strength, timing and being in peak physical condition are required to compete at this level of surfing. This is merely what happens after the surfer gets up on his feet to ride the wave. Prior to this, the surfer must quickly paddle out to the wave from the beach — punching the board through whatever wave breaks onto the surfer, requires strength, power and stamina. To catch a wave, the surfer must do a pushup from a lying position on a two-inch piece of styrofoam and then jump to their feet quickly in order to stay ahead of the breaking curl. Popular surfing cross-training regimens Popular exercises that have helped surfers achieve and maintain these feats include exercises that strengthen the triceps and deltoids, such as weighted row-pulls and elevated, plyometric push-ups, along with working on balance and timing by performing planks and certain yogainspired poses. Finally, strengthening the quads and hamstrings provides the necessary foundation for this sport, so squat and lunge variations are key. Beach running and toe pulls are also performed to ensure that ligaments are strong and grip strength in the feet is prime, and more interesting techniques such as carrying boulders under water are also being employed by surfers to focus on stamina. More common exercises include skipping rope which helps with shoulder mobility and foot speed and coordination. Next time you see a professional surfer pump down the line and land an aerial, remember that it took years of cross-training to achieve that 1second maneuver, and perhaps a few unconventional methods as well! Dr. Case Adams has been surfing for over 30 years. Z
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Are You Fit Enough?
OBSTACLE RACING Edward Bachman If you’re looking for an exciting kind of race that offers a daunting physical challenge, then obstacle racing is for you. Obstacle races are becoming the goto events for getting fit and meeting new like-minded people. These events combine elements of adventure racing, trail running and gut-throbbing military-inspired courses, offering a 1-of-a kind fitness experience that includes pulling, crawling and pushing. They range from 4 to 20 miles or more with dozens of obstacles, including rope climbs, cargo net climbs, barrier walls and crawling through pipes. Benefits Training for an obstacle race is the perfect opportunity to break away from an established workout routine. If you’ve become bored with your workouts, you should consider obstacle race training, which will help you crack through a plateau and crank up fitness gains. The training program To nail an obstacle race course, you’ll need killer endurance, good balance and agility, total body strength and, most notably, mental strength. The ideal obstacle racing course is the perfect combo of trail running and CrossFit-type workouts. The bulk of the workouts must target the specific skills and movements for overcoming obstacles while also increasing overall coordination and stamina. You need not ditch your regular exercise routine for obstacle race training; you can integrate obstacle-specific workouts into your usual regimen. Endurance Running is vital if you want to nail an obstacle course. Although most obstacle races are not that long, don’t be fooled. Basic cardio power is required to cover the whole course. The lengthier the race, the more endurance needed. Even a short obstacle race can take its toll on your lung power if you’re not well-prepped. To drive up lung power, do at least 1 long run per week. Gradually train to be comfortable running 6 miles with ease before race day. The better you get at handling longer distances, the better you will be at acing obstacle courses. But don’t rely solely on long runs. Obstacle races require high-energy bursts alternating between the obstacles and the running. Sprint training is a must.
To raise anaerobic threshold, include 1 to 2 speed-work sessions into your training. Also include hill workouts in your endurance training to build lung power and killer lower body strength needed for obstacles such as stairs and steep inclines. On the weekend, make sure to get in a sprint workout, a series of hill dashes and 1 long run. Total body strength Lung power goes only so far. You also need strong muscles: total body strength to complete the entire course. The obstacles are about exposing weaknesses in your fitness arsenal and skill sets. To get proficient at nipping every obstacle, you’ll need to improve agility, grip strength, balance and explosive power. Boosting strength that’s relative to body weight is key. Make sure to include plenty of dynamic and functional movements such as pull-ups, push-ups, squats and parallel/bench dips. To rev up explosive power, you must do compound movements: as many deadlifts, power cleans and thrusters as possible. Agility can be honed with jump squats, kettlebell swings, box jumps and burpees. Grip strength can be developed with pulling exercises such as the deadlift and row.
Dynamic strength workout: 5 sets each of 30 body weight squats, 30 mountain climbers, 20 push-ups, 20 lunges, 5 burpees and 10 pull-ups. Take as little rest as possible between each move. Keep your heart rate firing throughout the session so you can build strength and endurance at the same time. Agility and speed workout: 3 sets each of 20 kettlebell swings, 20 box jumps, 20 medicine ball slams, 20 jumping burpees and 20 jump squats. Perform each exercise in a successive fashion. Rest for 30 seconds between each move and for 2 minutes between each set. Use weights that are challenging, but keep proper form throughout. Total-body strength workout: 5 bodyweight sets of 10 back squats, 10 bench presses, 10 deadlifts and 10 chin-ups. Take less than 30 seconds between each exercise and as much rest as needed between the sets. The weekly training plan Monday: total-body strength workout Tuesday: sprint workout Wednesday: agility and speed workout Thursday: rest or short recovery run Friday: dynamic strength workout Saturday: long trail run Sunday: rest Z
Dr. David Ryan
Two types of common muscle growth are accepted, and depending on where you look in the muscle, you are likely to see 1 more often than the other. The first is hypertrophy and this relates to more fluid being stored in the muscle and more myosin and actin proteins forming in the actual muscle unit. This would be like having thicker hands and 20 fingers, making them twice as strong. The second is hyperplasia, an increase in the actual number of cells. Depending on where you investigate the muscle, 1 or both of these forms of muscle growth are taking place. Hypertrophy results in speed if
the muscle protein being replicated is associated with faster contractile units. Hyperplasia can result in an increase in muscle strength or speed depending on the contractile unit’s formation. Muscles that sit side by side are twice as strong, but muscles that form end to end are twice as fast. If you have a lot of muscle cells forming end to end, you’ll have the greatest effect on contraction speed. It’s believed that speed training will affect this type of muscle growth. Training has an obvious effect on the number of muscle units recruited to do any particular movement. The more muscle units recruited, the stronger any particular movement will be. If you have 100 percent of your muscles contracting while you are
Walking the slack line Many athletes are utilizing some really unique movements to improve core strength, including walking on a slack line. You can incorporate this exercise into your cardiovascular routine or utilize it during a core-specific session. Initially, you may need a partner to help stabilize you, but work on traversing across the line quickly and efficiently, minimizing excess body movement. This drill also focuses on your type I muscle fibers while improving the body’s proprioception. This exercise is multifaceted in its approach, and therefore translates well for most sports and competitions.
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trying to run fast versus 50 percent contracting, you will be twice as fast. When anyone trains at higher speeds, the result changes both the nervous and muscular systems. If you make someone stronger and train them for speed long enough, changes occur at the molecular level of the muscle and nervous system that can result in being able to move any trained joint faster. Plyometrics, kineso-training, speed intervals and common strength training all enable the average person and even top athletes to enhance genetic capabilities to perform at optimum training speeds. More important, they are able to repeat and adapt to different situations at top speeds. The effects of energy needs while relaxing are also seen in the average 40 percent increase in strength during the “negative” portion of any strength movement commonly used with high-intensity training. A basic muscle contraction unit is called a sarcomere. The main non-moving protein in the middle is myosin (thick filaments), and the sliding protein is the actin (thin filaments). These 2 proteins literally bind onto each other in a sequence called the “sliding filament theory.” Take both open hands with palms facing toward you, and allow your fingers to inter-digitally mix and then slide past one another. Imagine tiny magnets on the edges of each finger that are attracted to magnets on the opposite edge of the other fingers, and this pulls your hands together, thus interlocking your fingers tighter and tighter. This is how a muscle contracts in its most basic sense. The process is actually extremely complicated and begins with a calcium cascade to initiate a movement of phosphorus. The myosin protein has a head at one end called the meromyosin. This protein head comes in a few forms called heavy and light chain meromyosin. These forms make some muscles contract faster and some contract slower. The specific numbers of these meromyosin heads are considered a genetic preset. Contraction speed is directly related to how many of these fast molecules are in a muscle. Add to that the neurological trigger to make the system move, and now you have a mechanical loop that causes joint movement. Z
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Ultra-marathons are also growing increasingly popular, taking the typical 26mile run of a marathon to 50 and in some cases 75 miles. Weight lifting now includes flipping large tires and carrying 50-pound logs up and over hills and walls. These training regimes are being incorporated into the elite athlete workout programs, and personal trainers have a wider variety of programs to choose from for their clients.
THE HYBRID APPROACH Dwayne Hines II For years, the fitness industry has been consumed with varying trends and fads, planting the seeds for how training should be completed and what new piece of equipment would get the job done best. Different methodologies for all arenas of training including aerobics, weight lifting and several other subsets of fitness have all taken their turn in the spotlight. Currently, the fitness industry is changing in a different way, and shiny new pieces of equipment that promise you amazing abs or bulging biceps are fading into the background, and different methodologies and styles from all different disciplines are coming together to shape the new approach to training and fitness. A hybrid approach Perhaps a perfect example of this new, hybrid approach to training is seen in the world of mixed martial arts. Martial arts went from a single style of fighting to incorporating a blend of fighting disciplines into an aggregated approach. Mixed martial artists emerged, pulling in boxing, grappling, kicking and wrestling into their unified training program.
One of the biggest benefits of this hybrid approach to training in fitness and conditioning, regardless of the discipline or sport, is that people are becoming aware of the necessity of working the body in multiple manners â€” all in the same weekly routine. Focusing on isolating the various body parts during training does not yield the same balance of strength, power and endurance, and more people are aware of the necessity of total-body functional fitness and conditioning. Emerging trends Regimens include both endurance and explosive, quick-acting movements is another facet of training that is emerging, combining 2 seemingly opposite adaptations. This includes boot camps that have high-intensity interval training combined with plyometrics and strength training, or CrossFit training, which utilizes functional movements in a high-intensity setting, stressing strength, power and endurance. Obstacle course challenges are also taking center stage, drawing in athletes from all different disciplines, testing their physical prowess in a variety of military-style obstacles.
Efficiency and effectiveness In addition to a style that includes endurance as well as more explosive action, fitness is becoming both more efficient and more effective. You may no longer have to spend an hour lifting in the gym like in the old days; efficient training techniques can get you in and out in a much quicker and more challenging fashion. Shorter sessions focused on more speed and interval action can take the place of some of the longer, steady-state exercise regimes. Fitness and conditioning are taking on a whole new level of program development, which will bring the athlete or trainee increased results with a minimized amount of time and work. New nutrition The actual workouts are not the only aspect of fitness that is undergoing radical change. Nutrition knowledge is also growing rapidly. More and more retail stores are recognizing this growing trend and catering to it, stocking their shelves with new enhancements that promise speed, power and energy. Monitoring the approach Research is shedding ever more light on how nutrients interact with the human body and can provide an edge to any training regime. The internet also offers a plethora of sites for these supplements, touting their benefits with scientific studies and testimonials. With the growing body of research in these areas, athletes are beginning to push the envelope too far in their attempt to get to the next level. We are now seeing a huge reliance on substances that not only increase an athleteâ€™s edge but can also potentially put your body at risk for complications. Monitoring this approach is a critical focus for all professional sports organizations. Staying on top of it Trying to get a grasp on the explosion of activity going on in the fitness world right now is a little like trying to drink out of a fire hose. Learning about these emerging training approaches and new nutritional elements will help you to sort out what the best approach for your training program is so that you can reap all the benefits in the most effective manner. Z
Why it defines your endurance Arthur Remington
More than any other activity, the longdistance run defines your endurance capacity. Yes, there are dozens of different activities that require endurance, but it is the run that best captures a person’s endurance profile. And running is a good litmus test for endurance because it strongly taxes the body’s cardiovascular or aerobic system and forces you to move your body across a long distance. The long run needs to be part of everyone’s training package. Sure, you may be big and muscular, but if your capacity to run is diminished, you’re missing a large component of total-body conditioning. Walking is a good way to burn off body fat, but walking isn’t running and it doesn’t condition the body to the same degree. Running is more intense than walking and pushes the body to pump blood and oxygen more efficiently at a more intense rate. Farther, faster There are 2 goals for the long run — to go farther, and to go faster. The first of these goals is the distance. You want to go long, and after that you want to go strong (faster). The distance provides a base for your aerobic capacity, and then the quicker you can make that distance, the better. Farther, then faster, should be the baseline structure for your running program. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to set a distance, and once you can comfortably complete that distance, try to improve the time of the run before increasing another component. For instance, if you target a 5mile run, jot down the time it took you to get there. Set a goal for improving your time in the next few sessions, and once you hit the lower time point, increase the distance and repeat the timelowering sequence.
By stepping up the distance while aiming to improve speed at that distance prior to moving on, you’ll build up powerful endurance at each point along the way. Long is lonely The long run tests your ability to persevere not only physically but also mentally. Often you run alone, and that requires you to dig deep mentally to keep going when you are tempted to quit. Running with a friend and/or dog may help you as you churn out the miles, but training alone will help you to focus on your form, breathing patterns and mental as well as physical resilience. How far? How far you go is a relative question and depends on the level of fitness you’re currently at and whether you’ve done any type of endurance training. What you want is to build up to a point where you can handle the distance levels of the typical competitive runs, even if you don’t plan on entering a race. This distance preparation may
be for a 3- or 6-mile run if you’re relatively new to running, or it may be working up to your first halfmarathon or marathon if you have already been running regularly. And yes, there are runs that go well beyond the marathon. It’s up to you if you want to push your body that far, either for longdistance training or actually competing. Whether or not you run a race, the ultimate goal for endurance running is to get to a location where you can go out and run a good 10-mile distance while avoiding fatigue and injury. Try to run a few times a week, with 1 longer run every week. The longer run is the time when you push your distance. Set aside some time, get up earlier if necessary, but get in that longer run. Keep track of what you do with a journal of distances and times, and push each session to make them better. Endurance is a key pillar of the fitness package, and the longdistance run is simply the best tool to build that endurance. Make the long-distance run a regular part of your weekly training routine. Z
Speed skating Speed skating is a fantastic movement to incorporate into your workout regimen, especially if training for sports that require efficient lateral movements, balance and explosive unilateral power. The components to focus on are the extension of the posterior leg and also the distance traveled between each rotation. This type of movement works particularly well for sports such as skiing, soccer, football and basketball. All of these activities require quick movements in multiple planes.
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THE LONG RUN
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Are You Fit Enough?
URBANATHLON David Dack
Urbanathlons are some of the most hardcore adventure racing events around and will put your mind and body to the ultimate test. Over the course of an urbanathlon, many different skill sets will be tested, including navigating the city by clues; running through streets littered with obstacles such as cars, trash cans and signs; and climbing city walls. The training plan For starters, an urbanathlon is mainly a foot race. Therefore, you need to have ample cardiovascular conditioning to carry yourself through the course. Second, overcoming the obstacles requires strength, agility and balance. The ideal training program should touch on all of the above aspects while preparing the mind to decipher clues and challenges in a short period of time under a great deal of pressure.
Building stamina and endurance If you canâ€™t run a 5-kilometer distance, then pulling off this race will be tricky. Being able to run up to 14 miles is a must, taking into account the different energies needed for the obstacles as well. If youâ€™re a newcomer to the sport of running, aim first to build enough cardiovascular power by adding more miles to your training, following the 10-percent rule. The gradual mileage increase boosts fitness power while warding off injury and burnout. On the other hand, if your endurance is adequate, then you should up the ante by opting for interval running workouts. An ideal interval workout, whether on a flat surface or utilizing hills, comprises of high-intensity bursts of work interspersed with walking intervals for recovery. The length and intensity of each interval is dependent on your fitness level and skill. According to research, doing hill intervals are the best way for accelerated results. These workouts will help you boost
stamina and speed and lower body strength and mental determination. Most of the obstacles in urbanathlons, especially the stairs, require killer endurance and strength to get through them unscathed. Hills are the perfect training ground. Build strength, agility and balance Lung power can only get you so far in an urbanathlon race. You need also to build agility, strength, coordination and balance to help you get through the obstacles with ease. Several movements should be incorporated into your pre-race training game. Running high knees Stand on the balls of your feet and drive your knees up as high as you can, then down as quickly as possible while pumping the arms up and down vigorously. Make sure to perform this drill over dummy bags or agility ladders to ensure the knees are being raised high enough. Do as many repetitions as you can while maintaining good form.
Jumping chin-up Stand beneath a pull-up bar and, in 1 swift movement, jump up and grab it with an underhand grip, pulling yourself up until the bar touches your chest. This exercise will boost upper body strength and help you get over hurdles with ease. The lateral hop Similar to hopscotch, hop over the markers sideways until the end, then hop back to the starting point. Make sure you pinch your knees high and move your arms back and forth. Do the other side and repeat the exercise 5 times to complete 1 set. Perform 3 sets. Hopscotch Lay 5 markers on the ground or use an agility ladder. Stand on your left
foot and leap over the markers. Then turn around and leap over in reverse to your starting point. Switch legs and then repeat the exercise 5 times to complete 1 set. Perform 3 sets total.
destinations. You should also use modern mapping technology and an oldfashioned paper map to help you navigate, as different races allow different pieces of equipment.
Mental preparation Proper mental preparation is key to success in every sporting endeavor — especially the urbanathlon. Besides the physical challenges, urbanathlons are riddled with clues and puzzles that require high focus and a deductive mind. To prepare, get out of your comfort zone and do crosswords and Sudoku puzzles and other brain teasers to hone your mind. Think of them as strengthbuilding exercises for your brain.
Overcoming all obstacles Yes, you’ve done your speed sessions and have logged in enough agility and balance work to feel confident on the big day. But a bit of knowledge on how to overcome some of the main obstacles can surely help. To overcome the stairs, take quick steps to get you up while using your arms to drive you forward. Traversing the walls requires you to jump up and grab the top ledge, simulating a pull-up and then quickly kicking a foot up and over the ledge. If monkey bars are a part of your urbanathlon, concentrate on keeping momentum by swinging your legs and keeping your arms straight, as the majority of the power will be generated by your lower body. Z
Know the city Get familiar with the city. Visit the main landmarks and get acquainted with the local history. This is crucial if you’re doing a CitySolve race, in which clues often lead to renowned
Parachuting to success To maximize speed and agility in sports such as tennis, basketball and various running and lifting events, training with parachutes and sleds is an effective tool to implement in your program. Parachute training allows your body to develop maximum force by adding resistance to running. Your body adapts to the physical resistance the parachute creates, in turn creating a more powerful aerobic and anaerobic system. Using sleds provides the same type of benefits but creates a greater resistance load than the parachute.
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Prisoner lunges Put your hands behind your back or your head, then step forward with your left leg and lower your front thigh until it’s parallel to the ground, with knee bent at 90 degrees. Do 25 reps for each side to complete one set. Perform 3 sets.
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Are You Fit Enough? TRAINER PROFILE
JASON KARP IS BORN TO RUN Sherry Ballou Hanson When Jason Karp competed in his first middle school track meet, the idea of running faster than the kid in the next lane excited him. He decided to figure out just how to do that, and his dream of coaching others to do the same was born. In 2011, when he was named the IDEA Personal Coach of the Year, Jason was quoted as saying “While others see exercise as something they have to do, I see running as who I am,” and that has not changed over the years. Becoming a champion Jason Karp, PhD. is a USA Track & Field nationally-certified coach and owns Run-Fit, the premier provider of “innovative” running and fitness services. Along the way he has authored 8 books and in 2013 was a member of the silver-medal-winning United States masters team at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel. He is a sought-after speaker and presenter at conferences and clinics and is the 2014 recipient of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Community Leadership Award. Karp feels lucky to be able to have a career doing what he loves, and in his conferences and coaching clinics, as well as coaching athletes 1-on-1, he tries to inspire others to find what makes them tick and work toward establishing a career doing that. Asked how he helps athletes become champions, Karp responds with 2 key points: “First, he uses a systematic, progressive training plan that caters to the runner’s strengths. Second, he helps each athlete advance to the point he can believe in their potential to become champions. Choosing his track In high school Karp competed in both cross-country and track. One day he happened to see a TV program investigating why black athletes seemed to be better than white athletes, and at his mother’s urging, Karp contacted the presenting scientist, who ran a biomechanics lab in California. Taking that step helped steer him to the best schools and programs to achieve his goals. The scientist told him to aim for Penn State, which had 1 of the best biomechanics labs in the country.
He earned his undergraduate degree in exercise and sport science and, while there, worked in the biomechanics lab. Because Calgary hosted the 1988 Olympic Games, it has all those facilities and is 1 of the top biomechanics programs in the world. Karp completed his master’s degree at Calgary and then accepted a job as head coach for a college cross-country team in New Jersey. A
year later he and his twin brother moved to San Francisco, where Karp coached track and cross-country at a couple of high schools, also teaching classes in the fitness certification program at UC Berkeley and continuing to coach privately. “Jason is intensely competitive,” says twin brother Jack of this early time California. “I was the first 1 of us to run a
Laying the groundwork Eventually Karp decided to pursue his PhD. at Indiana University, where he earned his degree in exercise physiology, known today as kinesiology. While at Indiana he began working with private clients and wrote the first of 8 books, How to Survive Your Ph.D. A local running club recruited him to help them, and he was able to coach 1 female recreational runner with a 3:13 marathon time to the point that she qualified for the Olympic Trials, with a time of 2:48. The father of a promising high school runner sought out Karp to coach his son, who was a freshman at the time. Karp worked with Sean through his high school years and, while a senior, Sean ran a 15:20 5K and was 1 of the best in the country.
Workout and running techniques What works for Jason Karp works for his clients. Basically, he starts with aerobic development using a systematic weekly mileage increase. Building quality aerobic workouts comes next, then adding in faster workouts to work on speed. His methods obviously work, judging by not only his own running career but those of the standout athletes along the way. Building a reputation “I learned from being a runner and a coach that to run fast, you first have to spend a lot of time running slow.” There is no such thing as an overnight success. Karp pushes clients to the point where they see exercise as a part of who they are, rather than just something they do. “I spend the time understanding the athlete, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and then write a training plan to cater to those strengths, coaching him/her throughout the process.” Jack remembers his brother coaching him to run that first
marathon in San Francisco. In addition to writing Jack’s training program, Jason would stand on the sidewalk in front of their apartment building with paper cups of water and make his brother run around the block repeatedly “so I could practice picking up water at the water stations without slowing down.” A message for personal trainers Asked what brings so many to his clinics, he says that he goes into detail on how to perform workouts correctly and how to plan them throughout the year. “I explain the purpose of different types of workouts and how to design the workout to meet the purpose. Respect the distance,” he adds. As the founder and trainer of Dr. Karp’s Run-Fit Boot Camp, he comes to this elite level with USA Track & Field’s highest coaching certification. He hopes to move the national fitness focus forward to the point that exercise physiology is a requirement for doctors in training at medical schools. Z
Powerful posterior muscles The wide-grip lateral pull-down, along with traditional pull-ups, maximizes the outer muscles of the back that form the V taper. To improve your grip strength and functional fitness level, use the double rope pull-up to train your shoulders, back, arms and core. Grab both ropes on either side of your body and, with your knees slightly bent and feet suspended, pull your body up while pushing your elbows down. Utilize the fullest range of motion that you can while slowly descending back to the ground.
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marathon when I ran in San Francisco, and it really bothered him that I had run 1 and he hadn’t. So he signed up to run San Francisco the very next year and he trained very seriously for it, way more seriously than me, determined to beat my time. And he did, by less than a minute.”
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Are You Fit Enough?
THE ROBERT OBERST INTERVIEW Megan Johnson McCullough Robert Oberst, also known as Obie, is a 375pound force to be reckoned with. In 1 day he eats as much as the average person eats in 1 week, and trains 4 hours a day. California native Robert Oberst attended high school in Santa Cruz where he played football and competed in track and field. He continued playing football at the collegiate level at Western Oregon University, after which he gave the NFL a shot, but did not work out. Robert had begun working as a nightclub bouncer when a co-worker friend and amateur Strong Man encouraged Robert to enter the Strong Man realm and train with him. Obie said sure, why not, tried the sport and quickly got hooked. Just a quick 4 months of training led to Robert’s 2012 debut at the Dallas Europa Amateur Strongman Competition. What an impression he made. First time out, he was awarded his Pro Card. This meant that 2013 would be his first time entering the big leagues. He has been a yearly competitor at the WSMC ever since. Obie’s best event is the Max Log. The competitor has to lift the log off of a build-in stand and raise it over their head as many times as possible within a set time limit. In 2015 at the Arnold Strongman Classic Australia, his 464pounds lift broke the American record. As he heads up to the 2018 competition, the making of this champion started with a friendly suggestion and led to a World Record. — OnFitness: Explain further how you get into Strongman? Robert: Well, I played sports most of my life and dabbled with football. I played at a small college and after that just used by size and became a bouncer at a
nightclub. My buddy who worked with me was into the sport and suggested I give it a go. I had nothing to lose at that point, so I started training with him. I’ve always been an athlete, so I wouldn’t say I just tried this for fun, but I knew once I decided to attend the 2012 Amateur event, I wanted to be ready. Do you have a coach and/or a training partner? I’m my own coach and 2 guys train with me. We spot each other, work in sets, and program-design based on the events. My buddy from the nightclub still trains with me. How do you train before you prepare for competition? My workouts are all about explosiveness. The events require power. Power means from stop to go, I have to have the burst needed to lift some pretty heavy loads. By now, I know my body and what to do. My workouts are split every day. I start with 1, then about 6 hours later I hit it again. I really only work out hard like that 4 days per week. It’s honestly the rest and recovery that are more important parts. So, what I do is mimic the events when I train. What happens is that an event takes place, then you sit for 6 hours waiting for your turn at the next event, then you sit again. It’s downtime straight to explosive time. My 2-a-days are structured to be like competition days. That helps me on the mental part too because it’s not easy to get up and go again. My partners and I are good about keeping that accountability, but I know it’s really on me. End of the day, it’s me and the event, nobody else. I visualize those moments and get myself pumped up to go at it. How do you eat before you prepare for competition? I’ve really learned how important food is with all of this. I’ve gotten into clean eating this year. There is an obvious difference between taking in pizzas, pastas, and breads to get all that food. I used to be like those other guys and just eat whatever to meet my numbers. But I’ve got a sponsor making my food now. I’m really
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MAKING OF A CHAMPION
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Are You Fit Enough? “With injuries it’s a day-to-day situation. You have to remind yourself that little progress is still progress. It’s hard to go from being Superman to being Clark Kent, and you don’t have the ability to just take it back. It’s the truest test of mental strength an athlete can go through.”
thankful for Elite Supplements, based out of New Braunfels, Texas. I’m eating 6 times per day, every 3 hours. I know everybody thinks it’s about being big, but I’ve actually dropped from 440 to 375 from changing my diet. I honestly just feel better and I know that guys like me have all these health problems and I want to be around for my son. My whole relationship with food has changed. I’ve got my main meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then I’ve got my ProMera Whey Pro80 shakes and Alpha Recovery. What foods give you the most power? I’m eating lean meats, lots of vegetables and then good carbs like rice and sweet potatoes. It’s nice because Elite Supplements has it all ready for me. Trust me, I’m still normal and like junk, but now it’s like I want to be healthy. I see how it has made me train better and even sleep better. Plus, when I eat stuff like pizza now, it’s good going down but then my body doesn’t like it after that. What is the month like leading up to competition? I’m about to take off to the Philippines, and at this point I’ve put all the work in. Like I say, resting and getting off my feet are very important. I have to focus on making it through those long days. Right now, my
food consists of more carbohydrates that are meant to re-feed my body. I’ve learned that good carbs give me energy when eaten the right way and at the right times. My workouts tend to be longer but focus on just a few things instead of trying to get it all in. It’s a fine balance between being ready and feeling ready and then not getting hurt. Do you have a day job, or is this it? My day job is training. When I decided to do this, it really became a lifestyle. Every day is a day to improve, get stronger, build muscle, and master the technique to win another event. My workouts require stamina, so I have to get off my feet in between, make sure I get my calories in, and then be ready to do this again. Timing of workouts and eating is pretty consuming. After that decision was made back in 2012 when my Pro Card was earned, it had to be all or nothing. Between workouts, eating and recovery, my days are full. I want time for my family too, and I think that is part of my job. What is your proudest moment/any regrets? I’d say when I was in Australia, in front of the Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, breaking the record for Max Log. This is especially because the
former record holder, Mike Jenkins, was someone I greatly admired and respected. Jenkins had passed away, so when they handed me the award, I looked up to the sky in memory of a great competitor. They caught this moment on camera with a picture, and that is my favorite. Now after holding that record for 3 years, I want to keep it for Mike too. Regrets would be just that Deadlift is my weakest event. I just have to keep after it. It’s mental for me. Personal life — wife/kids? I come from a huge family. I’m number 8 of 10 kids. We grew up all over because my dad was in the Navy. Family means a lot to me. I have a 2-year-old son named Atlas and my loving wife. My son is my purpose. I grew up in a big loving family, so I really want to be there and spend as much time as I can with him. Everyone always asks me about the pink Chuck Taylors. Like I say, I’m a family guy; I wear these for my mom who is a breast cancer survivor. The pink stands out, and I want to bring awareness to this cause. At 1 point I did have a T-shirt campaign where the proceeds went to breast cancer research too. What does the future hold for you? Right now, it’s about my trip next week. Just being a dad too. I want to do well in the
Pull-ups and chin-ups without a bar
WSMC COMPETITION The World’s Strongest Man Competition began in 1977, with the first event ever being held in Universal Studios, California. The history of athletes, titles won and records beaten has an impressive list of legends. The year 2008 marked the establishment of the Hall of Fame. The Competition consists of 16 different events that test the human body’s capability to produce force and power. This physical challenge requires incredible stamina, intense training and precise strategy in order to push one’s self and the object to the very limit. This year, April 28th through May 6th, the World’s Strongest Man Competition will be held in Manila, Philippines. The first 4 days are the qualifiers for events including the Load and Carry, Circle of Strength, Squat Lift, Deadlift, Kettlebell Toss, Bus Pull, Arm Over Arm, Overhead Log, Dumbbell Medley, and Atlas Stones. May 5 and 6 consist of the finals and include events in the Frame Carry, Loading Race, Vehicle Pull, Vehicle Deadlift, Max Overhead and Atlas Stones. The Load and Carry involves 5 objects weighing between 100 and 164 kg that have to be loaded onto a platform over the distance of about 50 feet. Circle of Strength, also called Conan’s Wheel, involves lifting a long bar that is on a wheel where the athletes use all their force to pivot this barbaric weight. The Squat Lift is being able to get the required range of motion for the squat with heavy weight on the back. The Deadlift is performing this movement pattern with correct technique and as much weight as possible, now lifting from the ground up. For the Kettlebell Toss the athletes have 60 seconds to toss the weights over the designated height of the bar on a platform. The Bus Pull is the impressive drag of a bus 100 feet. The Arm Over Arm is done in a seated position with the athlete using a rope to pull the object down a course as fast as possible. Overhead Log has the athlete lift the log over their head as many times as possible in a race against the clock. The Dumbbell Medley is a test of strength of who can lift the heaviest dumbbell. Atlas Stones has the athletes lift the extremely heavy spherical stones onto a platform. The Frame Carry is lifting the frame off the ground and carrying this a designate distance. The Loading Race is lifting barrels out of a lagoon and bringing them back to dry land. The Vehicle Pull is now an even greater challenge than the Bus Pulls. These events have been termed differently over the years and have evolved to test the athletes’ mental and physical abilities. Obie has stayed among the top 10 in all of these events since he started. Z
For a new kind of challenge with pull-ups and chin-ups, visit a rock climbing supply store. Rock climbers and indoor climbing enthusiasts like to use an assortment of pullup and chinning tools. These include spheres that hang suspended that you can place your hands on and then pull yourself up. The sphere adds a whole new twist to the pull-up. Other unconventionally shaped devices are also sold that you can pull yourself up on. Check them out. The ability to pull your body weight upward shouldn’t be limited to grasping a bar. In a real-life situation (an escape from danger, for instance, or in a competitive obstacle course), chances are nearly 100 percent that the object you’ll be grabbing won’t be a smooth metal bar. In obstacle course events, for example, it’s often a rope as you scale a wall. Or it could be handholds on a vertical surface. Don’t just use metal bars for pulling up your body.
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Philippines so I’m not really looking past that. What is your relationship with ProMera? ProMera Sports is what fuels my workouts. ProMera Whey Pro80 is my protein shake of choice. This supplement is super clean, tastes good, and doesn’t interfere all the other meals I have to get in the day. You have to consider that I drink 3 to 4 shakes per day. Being full off liquid would leave little room for all my actual meals. The shakes help me get the protein requirements in. I really think that we all should be taking creatine because it has so many benefits. My other favorite ProMera product is called Alpha Recovery. It’s my superfood. It seriously has greatly improved my performance. In between my 2 explosive workouts, about 4 months ago I tried the Alpha to recover and repair the damage and to build up for the next session. It’s got the electrolytes, branch-chained amino acids and glutamine I’m looking for. Every workout, I’m hitting it hard and breaking down my body to build it back up. I was just at the L.A. Fitness Expo sharing my story and success using the products, especially Alpha. I’m actually super-grateful for finding it because I know my performance has improved. Anything else you would like your audience/followers to know about you? I’m a huge supporter of our armed forces. My father is a Navy veteran and my brother is in the Army. I like visiting different bases and hanging out with service members as much as I can. I pretty much just work out with the guys and sometimes give a speech or 2. I want to give back somehow, so it’s nice to just give them an outlet and something to do when they’re away from their families and serving our country. OnFitness Magazine wishes Robert the best of luck this year. He took the time out of his busy training schedule just before leaving for the Philippines to share his Strongman fitness journey with us. Robert Oberst is strong both physically and mentally, and a great family man. May he have continued success and lift that log like it’s nobody’s business. From nightclub bouncer to world record breaker in pink Chucks, today Robert is a standup competitor and incredible athlete. Z
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BUTT-TONING EXERCISES < Inline skating: this works the glutes well, especially at high speeds and up hills. Don’t just sway back and forth in a long-duration cruising mode; really push out with your legs to pick up some serious speed. Do speed and hill intervals alternating with a few minutes of casual skating. High-angle decline leg press: keep your feet high and flat on the platform. Weight should be too heavy to do more than 8-12 reps. For even more intense butt targeting, do this exercise 1legged. Hard-style martial arts: all of those kicking drills will really target the butt. Multi-directional kicks, in combination with raising the knee high, will recruit butt muscles in a unique way. CONCENTRATION CURL This is excellent for the biceps. Grasp a dumbbell in 1 hand and sit on a bench with your feet shoulder width apart. Position the dumbbell in front of you hanging at arms length between your legs, resting against your inner thigh with a palms-up grip. Bend slightly at the waist, your other hand on your other leg supporting your upper body. Curl the dumbbell up in a semicircular motion by bending your arm at the elbow, keeping your upper arm vertical to the floor. At the top your forearm is touching your biceps. Hold for 3 seconds, then slowly lower the arm back to the starting position.
PLAN AHEAD One of the best ways to ensure a successful road trip (in a fitness sense) is to set out a fitness plan prior to leaving. Think through your travel agenda and schedule several workouts with intermittent rest. Via the internet, it is easy to find out what type of fitness facility any given hotel has available. And if there is no gym, consider some work in the pool or in the hotel room (body-weight squats, push-ups, stretching, etc.). By planning ahead you put yourself in the positive frame of mind to stay in shape, even on the road. This goes a long way to keeping your overall fitness approach on a roll with continued momentum.
RUBBER WEIGHTS If you have a home gym, consider rubber weights; they won’t destroy your floor. A pair of 55-pound rubber weight plates works great if you are into heavy Olympic lifting. These rubber plates also come in 45-, 35-, 25-, 10- and 5-pound pairs, and often colored. These plates are also great if you’re trying to learn the Olympicstyle movements and need to get the feel of the full weights without having to initially handle the heavier weight loads.
Does exercise makes you hungrier? Fortunately, the opposite can be true. Intense exercise can suppress your appetite, at least for a while.
LOSING WEIGHT AND HITTING YOUR PLATEAU? It’s time you start
eating more and getting more sleep. Why? Because now is the time your body now needs the additional energy and more rest.
ROTATIONAL PUSH-UP Standard push-ups not cutting it? For a variation, after coming back up into a starting push-up position, rotate your body to the right and extend your right hand overhead, forming a T with the arms and torso. Return to the starting position, do a normal pushup, then rotate to the left.
TREADMILL MISTAKES THAT PREVENT WEIGHT LOSS Not walking fast enough, not knowing how to drive up the intensity, and holding on to the treadmill; holding on takes substantial workload off your legs and your core, and the calorie output is actually far less than what the console indicates (the machine can’t tell if you’re holding on).
THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE 2000 BC: here, eat this root. 1000 BC: that root is heathen, say this prayer. 1850 AD: that prayer is superstition, drink this potion. 1940: that potion is snake oil, swallow this pill. 1985: that pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic. 2000: that antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root.
HOW MUCH WHOLE GRAINS SHOULD YOU EAT DAILY? Aim for 25 grams’ worth. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that this amount cuts heart disease risk by 15 percent. Other studies have the reduction value at 20-30 percent — for just 3 servings a day of whole grains. Three servings a day is easy to accomplish. In fact, 5 servings a day is very doable: oatmeal or whole-grain cereal for breakfast; a sandwich with 2 slices of rye bread, plus soup and wholegrain crackers, for lunch; and corn, rice or barley with dinner.
STRENGTHEN YOUR ANKLES AND LEGS WITH AN AIR CUSHION Stand on an air cushion with 1 leg. If this is easy, lift the knee of your free leg as high as possible. The standing leg’s ankle will have to work to maintain balance. Try 30 seconds with each leg.
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SQUAT ALIGNMENT Many people’s bodies are quite crooked while performing squats, even weightless squats. Make sure your toes and knees are pointing in the same direction. Are your feet flush? This means that 1 foot is not ahead of the other. When you squat, make sure your knees don’t extend past your toes, and that your hips are at or above knee height. Use a mirror to make sure your shoulders are even, 1 not being higher than the other. If you can feel your abdominal muscles working while you squat, you’re on the right track.
LOSE FAT WITH LEG WORKOUTS Do more sets with the leg press, leg extension and leg curl machines. You want to really work your legs, because legs have the largest muscle groups. They therefore use the most calories, not just during exercise but also afterward during recovery. The excess fat in your body is fuel. By working your legs, you force your body to burn up this fuel. If you carry a lot of excess fat in your middle and you’ve been doing tons of abdominal routines, cut back on most of this time and replace it with leg routines. You’ll burn more fat in your middle because your leg muscles will need this fuel for recovery. Exhausted legs need so much fuel that they will take it from your belly and wherever else you are carrying extra fat.
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Weights & Measures
THE HEAVIER THE WEIGHT, THE MORE YOU BURN FAT When lifting weights, make sure the weight is heavy enough that you can do 8-12 reps, but not 1 more. If you can do more than 12, the weight is too light. Strenuous weight lifting will force your body to incinerate fat for fuel.
BEND AND BRACE The primary goal for bent-over rowing is to build a bigger upper back area. Bent rowing is quite challenging, as you are required to bend over and row heavy barbells toward your body. One technique you can use to help handle the heavy weight loads required to stimulate the large back muscles is to bend your knees (instead of locking them) and use your thighs as a brace for the lower part of your upper torso. This “bend and brace” position helps your lower back hang in there throughout the heavy-duty action of the rowing routine.
THE CORRECT WAY TO DO VCRUNCHES Keep your legs together at all times, including when you pull them toward your chest. Crunch in as tightly as possible, then hold for a moment. Extend your legs and hold them out for a moment, and repeat. You may find you can’t do more than 5-10 reps like this, but that’s the whole idea! Rushing through and splitting your legs apart are cheating. If the intensity is such that you can only do 5-15 reps, this is far more effective than something that’s so easy that you can knock off 50 quick reps. Humble yourself, adjust your body position, and struggle through 5-15 reps. Your abs should be burning at the end of this routine.
HIGH REP CYCLE Don’t get stuck in the typical 8-10 repetition range and stay there for years. Pumping out 8-10 repetitions per set will produce results and is the most popular repetition range used in the gym. However, it’s wise to shake things up now and then and encounter a new challenge. A simple doubling of the repetition range will present you with new stimulation and get you out of that rut. It will also build more endurance into your body and force you to concentrate on good form.
ENERGY BARS VS. REGULAR CANDY BARS Since many energy bars are loaded with quick-acting (simple) carbohydrates and have the same number of calories as a standard candy bar, why not just eat a regular candy bar? Overall, traditional candy bars are very short on nutrients. If you’re going to eat something with 30 or 40 grams of carbohydrates, it may as well be an item with more protein and/or vitamins and minerals.
Never lose track of your goal. Cardio is king and will always help you get to your next level, especially running.
SUPER SOUP The next time you’re sitting down to a bowl of soup, pump up the nutrient value by adding some fresh vegetables and increase the vitamin and mineral load exponentially. Some potent options include broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, and tomatoes.
YOUTHFUL SPINE Most people focus on glamorous areas such as the chest and biceps when placing emphasis on their physique. There is one area, however, that supports all of the others, and failing to pay attention to it can cost you permanently. The area is your spine. When you lose your mobility, your capability to exercise also diminishes. Keeping the spine flexible and strong should be a prime concern for everyone.
POWER WALKING If you’re one of the many who puts most of the exercise emphasis on resistance training, you may be missing out on the benefits of the other types of training. There is 1 exercise that will not cut into your musclebuilding efforts yet yields a fat loss benefit. That exercise is power walking. Power walking, if performed consistently, will burn the fat right off your body. Power walking is moving along at a strong pace (4-5 miles per hour) and going long enough to matter (at least 30 minutes, preferably more). If you perform 2-3 power walking workouts a week, you will see a nice drop in body fat after a few weeks.
PARTIAL PUSH FOR TRICEPS The close-grip bench press is one of the very best tools for building impressive triceps size and strength. If you can master this movement, using plenty of weight, your triceps will take off like crazy. And you can help the process by a little technique power lifters employ. The trick is to not bring the bar all the way down. Instead, halt the downstroke about 4 inches from your chest. This partial press movement keeps the emphasis on your triceps alone, avoiding the involvement of the shoulders and chest.
YOUR BUTTOCKS Good strong gluteal muscles make you more graceful and powerful in all of your physical activities. They’re important for mobility around your hips, they let you rotate your legs and they give you an important physiological advantage in everything you do. Cable crunches: concentrate on using proper form to ensure your abdominals are doing the work, as your arms can become involved in bringing the rope down if your technique is off.
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SHOULD IT TAKE AS LONG TO LOSE WEIGHT AS IT TOOK TO GAIN IT? Suppose your 100-pound weight gain took 3 years in the making. This doesn’t mean it should take 3 years to lose. A person can gain weight for a variety of reasons, and major weight gains usually do take time. A change in eating and exercise habits, due to unimaginable stress, can still take a few years to result in a 100-pound weight gain. But with a complete turnaround in eating habits and a renewed commitment to rigorous strength training and vigorous cardio, a person can lose excess body fat in far less time than it took to put it on. But if a person dilly-dallies about exercising and only halfway makes the effort to improve eating habits, then progress will come very slowly.
OLIVE OIL Olive oil may soon sport FDAapproved health claims about its heart benefits. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease because of their beneficial effect on cholesterol levels. Use olive oil instead of saturated fat-laden cooking fats like butter.
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Weights & Measures
GREEN AND HEALTHY Inflation taking a bite out of your wallet? Fight back with a fitness style that is definitely green. There are two big, simple and positive steps you can take that focus on using your body as the motor instead of a gas motor. By taking these steps, you can cut back on your carbon footprint. First, start mowing your lawn with a reel mower, which is good for the grass, the environment, and your calves, thighs and shoulders. Each mowing will give you a workout and benefit your environment. Also, start riding your bike to work at least a couple of times a week if possible. This will burn fat off your physique, will build up your leg muscles and is friendly to the environment as well as your cash flow.
BREAK YOUR STRENGTH TRAINING PLATEAU Stage reps can be done during the positive or negative phase of a lift. A positive (pressing up) bench press example would be pressing the bar up 1/3 of the way and pausing; resume to 3/4 way and pause; then press all the way up. Release normally. Do all reps this way. Negative training would be taking 10 seconds during the negative (coming down) phase of your set. A military press example would be taking 8-10 seconds to lower the barbell for each rep. Do you always use the narrow-grip handle when doing seated cable rows? Switch to a wider-grip handle. Or vice versa. Don’t always use the same handles. Another way to vary angles is to change palm position when using dumbbells. A dumbbell press example would be that if your palms are always facing forward, face them toward each other.
TIGHTEN INNER THIGHS WITH A STABILITY BALL Place a ball between your back and the wall and always make sure that your back is vertically conformed against the ball. Never bend forward. Place your feet far apart and fold your arms over your chest or hang them straight down. Lower into a squat so your thighs are parallel with ground. Hold for a moment, then stand only 3/4 of the way back up. Repeat 15-20 times. This will produce a noticeable burn. Fitter trainees should hold dumbbells.
THE LOW BLOW OF STEROIDS There are dozens of reasons for not using steroids, primarily their nasty side effects. And there is also the often overlooked fact that using steroids is against the law and most organizations’ rules. However, there is one more motivating reason to forgo chemical enhancement. One of the more frightening results of consistent steroid intake is the low blow it strikes against the body — more specifically, the effect steroids have on the reproductive system. Research noted in the Internal Journal of Sports Medicine reveals that chronic abuse of anabolic steroids and human chorionic gonadotropin harms spermatogenesis in the male users.
CANNED FOOD SAFETY RULES Rule number 1: don’t buy dented cans! Rule number 2: your can opener should be clean before and after you use it. Rule number 3: once the can is opened, treat the contents as fresh, perishable food. For optimal nutrient retention, eat the food immediately. Otherwise, store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator rather than keeping the food in the can.
If the ﬁrst three ingredients are sugar … stay away!
DRUGGED More than 200 million prescriptions are written for statin drugs every year. Statins rival antidepressants for the most commonly taken prescription drug. Statins can increase insulin resistance, which can be extremely harmful.
BURN OFF THE CALORIES QUICKER If you eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than 2 or 3 large meals, your metabolism will stay at a higher rate and you won’t get hungry. Just having all your calories at 1 sitting will doom you to that hungry feeling, and if you have that hungry feeling you’ll be more apt to break your diet. Your body will also process smaller meals better and subsequently burn off the calories quicker.
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COUNTING CHINS Chin-ups are a challenging exercise, and most people opt for the more readily performed pull-downs. However, even though it’s difficult to perform, the chin-up is a very effective exercise when performed correctly. One way to ensure that your body is getting the most out of this stimulating movement is not to allow yourself to count a repetition unless you get your chin over the bar. This will force a full range of motion in the upper portion of the exercise and push your body as far as it can go. STABILITY BALL TRUNK CURLS Lie back on a stability ball with your arms crossed at your chest or behind your head. Curl your abdominals toward your hips while keeping your head and neck aligned with your spinal column. Curl up as high as possible and hold the crunch for a moment.
STRETCH THOSE MUSCLES Consider adding swimming to your training rotation. And do so right after your regular workout, if possible. Arnold Schwarzenegger used post-workout swimming to keep his massive body equally pliable and fluid. He singled out swimming as one of his premier tools for staying loose when packing a heavy physique. Arnold’s fluidity played a big role in his plenary physique. Your post-workout swim doesn’t have to be a workout, but rather, more relaxing in nature.
BLINKING As the screen starts to dominate life (larger television and computer screens that are always on and everywhere) the eyes have an ever-increasing stress load. Unload some of that stress by employing the blinking rule. This translates to blinking frequently as well as looking away from the screen at least once every 20 minutes. Most people cease to blink as they stare for hours on end at the screen. Once every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
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Make muscle science - Smart training - Full body workout guide with 5 strategies will optimize your muscle growth. Scientific facts behind P...
Published on Aug 2, 2018
Make muscle science - Smart training - Full body workout guide with 5 strategies will optimize your muscle growth. Scientific facts behind P...