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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!
Optimizing Human Performance Since 2006 www.swatfuel.com
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May/June 2018 12 GET ON THE BALL! One of the primary beneﬁts of an exercise ball is its use of multiple muscle groups. 22 NATURAL FLAVORS? Look at the label of most packaged foods and odds are you’ll see the term “natural ﬂavors.” 24 SEA VEGETABLES Nature’s fast food. 25 WHAT IS A CALORIE? We tend to associate calories with food, but they apply to anything containing energy. 26 THE DOPE ON MEAT It’s obvious that drug-infused meat is becoming a major health concern, and the U.S. is 1 of the few nations ignoring this problem. 27 DRUGS FOR ATHLETES Evidence suggests nonsteroidal antiinﬂammatorys can cause a myriad of potential health issues. 28 HEADACHES The true cause of headaches is often overlooked by many physicians. 30 STRATEGIES TO STAY HEALTHY IN A TOXIC WORLD Some of the most damaging and prevalent toxins in today’s environment include air pollution… 33 TOXIC CHEMICALS IN YOUR BODY Highly toxic chemicals are used in the components of everyday products. 34 SUPPLEMENTS Supplements have become a huge industry, and anytime industry rears its head, it is always good to do some due diligence. 35 HERE’S WHY ORGANIC IS MORE NUTRIENT-DENSE THAN CONVENTIONAL 36 DIGESTION What you need to know. 38 FOOD & PAIN Food does 1 of 2 things — it either builds the body up or tears it down. 40 SUGAR As addictive a cocaine. 44 HEART HEALTH How does ﬁsh oil compare to satins? 45 AGED GARLIC EXTRACT REDUCES CHOLESTEROL LEVELS An ingredient in aged garlic extract helps inhibit the liver’s ability to produce cholesterol. 46 MEAT The important thing to understand about conventionally raised animals and organic processed animals is that there are some key ways they differ and some important ways they are exactly the same. 49 ASTAXANTHIN? What would you say to a health food supplement that could help in cancer prevention, enhance the body’s immune response, and to top it off, act as a strong free radical quencher? 50 A TASTE OF IMMORTALITY Cocoa, the future of medicine. 53 ANTIOXIDANTS Is the word antioxidant just another health industry marketing phrase?
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May/June 2018 54 5 STEPS TO BODY-MIND TRAINING Train your mind and body to develop a balanced fitness lifestyle that not only feels good but will also have you looking great! 56 BUILDING POWER AND STRENGTH Next to the squat there is perhaps no better lower body resistance training exercise than the deadlift. 58 METABOLIC CONDITIONING How it burns the maximum amount of fat during and after a workout. 62 OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE FOR THE AGING BODY Why type 2 muscle fiber development is key. 64 ESCALATING DENSITY TRAINING Escalating density training is perhaps 1 of the most effective weight training regimes in the resistance-training world. 66 VERY YOUR ROUTINES As the weight gets heavier for a certain exercise, that the working muscle gets bigger. 69 THE SFS WORKOUT If you’re looking for something new to try, then the slow-fast- slow workout is your next step. 71 BIG ARMS Are you happy with your arm development? 72 MYTHS THAT SABOTAGE WEIGHT LOSS Believe that as long as you’re moving, you’re doing enough to get results? Think again. 74 WOMEN’S GUIDE TO BUILDING MUSCLE More and more, the look of tight, toned muscles on women is being seen as the height of femininity and attractiveness. 78 WALKING LUNGES The walking lunge is a tremendous foundational movement that is key to human functionality. 80 BUILDING MUSCLE Why building muscle is different for everybody. 82 ATHLETIC FITNESS Mixed martial arts fighters are regarded as some of the fittest and strongest athletes on the planet. 85 MINDSET OF A WAVE RIDER It’s an unrequited love affair, never totally consummated, only partially fulfilled. 87 JUMP! The key to power and athletic capability. 88 TO FAILURE OR NOT TO FAILURE Why understanding this will jump start your athletic progress. 90 DANNY MUSICO Known as the Picasso of celebrity trainers, Danny Musico can paint the body any client envisions on them. 92 WEIGHTS & MEASURES Tons of useful information.
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Abdominal crunches are a great way to build a strong core. Crunches strengthen, ﬂatten and tone your abs, which are the foundation of a strong core. Targeting your abs, crunches will also increase your lower back strength, which improves posture. Sit on the ball and walk your feet out until you’re lying on your back with your thighs parallel to the ﬂoor and your knees at a right angle. With your hands up by your head, engage your core muscles, keep your spine neutral, and bring your shoulders up toward the ceiling a few inches, then return to the starting position and repeat.
ne of the primary beneﬁts of an exercise ball is its use of multiple muscle groups. You can perform a variety of exercises such as crunches to build and strengthen your abs or side lifts to work on your obliques. Chest presses and biceps and triceps lifts can be done with free weights while sitting on a ball. In addition to muscle toning, you’ll engage a variety of core and glutes muscles trying to keep your balance. Exercise balls also are ideal for back stretching, and they challenge every muscle of your body to maintain good posture and balance. Exercise balls are a great tool for your entire workout routine. By moving your feet closer together, you increase the intensity and stress on your core, and the effort to remain balanced engages additional muscles. If you’re overweight, older or out of shape, you’ll ﬁnd it easier to balance on a larger, slightly less inﬂated ball.
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When it comes to ﬂexibility and balance, an exercise ball is an excellent tool. Its unstable surface works your balance, coordination, stabilizer muscles and core. CHEST STRETCH (Pictured above) Sit on the ball and slowly walk your feet out until your back is resting on it. Stretch your arms out to your sides, focusing on that deep stretch in your chest and core. Hold this position while taking deep breaths. FULL-BODY STRETCH Stand in front of the ball with your legs spread wide and a slight bend in your knees. Bend forward, placing your hands on the ball, and roll it forward, focusing on the stretch in your hamstrings and your calves.
LUNGE TWIST Start out by holding a ball with both hands in front of you. Take a step forward and descend into a lunge, lowering your back knee to the ground and stopping just short of touching down. When you reach the lowest point in your lunge, twist the ball to one side by rotating your torso, then twist the ball back to your front, returning to a standing position, and repeat with your other side.
STANDING BACK STRETCH Start by standing and hugging the ball to your chest. Bend forward so you’re resting the ball on your thighs, letting your arms hang down. Relax your body, letting your legs support you. INNER THIGH STRETCH Sit on the ball with your legs wide apart. Bend forward, keeping your back flat, and, placing your elbows on the inside of your knees, force your legs together while simultaneously forcing them apart with your elbows. Focus on the stretch in your thighs.
ONE-LEG BALANCE Begin by holding the ball straight up over your head while standing on 1 leg with your other leg slightly off the ground behind you. Bend from your hips while lifting your back leg straight up, simultaneously lowering the ball to your front so it's parallel to the ground. Your body should end up in a straight line from head to toe. Next, lower the ball down to the floor while keeping your back leg up. Take a deep breath, stand back up and repeat with your other leg.
PLANK TO PIKE In a push-up position with the shins of your feet resting on a ball, drive your hips directly up into the air while keeping both your arms and legs straight. Your body will end up in an inverted V-shape. Once your core has pulled your hips as high as they can go, slowly lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat.
TECHNIQUE As with any other type of exercises, it’s important to warm up ﬁrst. During your workout always maintain good posture; this means keeping your back straight and preventing your knees from locking. Focus on breathing properly; being aware of your breathing is essential to great results.
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DECLINE PUSH-UPS In a push-up position with your toes resting on the ball, tighten your abs and lower your upper body to the ground. Hold for a moment, then push yourself back up so your elbows are straight but not locked. Keep your head in line with your spine and your abs engaged, and repeat.
BOOTY LIFTS Lie on your belly with an exercise ball between your legs, your forearms and hands braced on the ground. Engaging your abs, squeeze the ball, lifting your knees, arms and chest off the ground. Hold for a moment then relax, lowering your body back to the ground, and repeat.
BRACE THE BALL WITH ROLLED TOWELS If you find it difficult to keep the ball from rolling about too much, place towels around the base. When you get used to balancing, remove the towels.
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BALL PASS Lying on your back holding a ball, lift your legs up slightly, keeping them parallel to the ground, simultaneously lifting your head, neck and shoulders, and reaching forward and placing the ball between your legs. Then swing your arms back up and behind your head and quickly lower them again, grabbing the ball and lifting it up and behind your head. Continue to pass the ball back and forth from your hands to your legs.
DUMBBELL PRESS Lie on your back on the ball. Holding dumbbells just above your chest with your palms facing forward, press the weights straight up over your head and hold for a moment, then lower the weights back to your chest and repeat.
BALL JOG Sit tall on the ball with your abs engaged and your feet firmly on the ground. Lift your knees up and down to bounce as high as you can off the ball. Bounce for a few minutes, working to keep your heart rate up.
HAMSTRING CURL Lie on your back with your heels resting on the ball. Tightening your butt and abs, lift your hips up, using your arms for leverage. Then slowly bring your knees in toward your hips so your feet are now resting ﬂat on the ball. Hold this position for a moment before straightening your legs out again, and repeat. Keep your hips up throughout the move for maximum butt beneﬁt.
KNEE TUCKS Start in push-up position with the tops of your feet resting on the ball and your hands on the ground beneath your shoulders, your arms straight but not locked. Allowing your feet to roll over the ball, pull your knees in toward your chest until they’re directly under your hips; the tips of your toes remain on the ball. Hold, then straighten your legs by extending your knees back and repeat. LEGS-ON-BALL CRUNCH Lie ﬂat on your back with your legs resting on the ball. With your hands on either side of your head, push the small of your back into the ground, isolating your ab muscles, and lift just your shoulders while squeezing your abs, focusing on a slow, controlled move; refrain from using momentum. Hold for a moment, then slowly lie back down and repeat.
SQUAT TO SHOULDER PRESS Beginning in a standing position, hold the medicine ball at chest level. Squat, trying to drop your buttocks as low as possible, keeping your heels on the ground.Then, stand up and raise the medicine ball directly over your heat. Bring the medicine ball back to your chest and repeat.
MED BALL PUSH-UP For a different take on the push-up and a terrific strength, power, chest, shoulders, and triceps workout, start in standard push-up position with 1 hand on the ground and the other hand on top of the ball. Lower your body as usual, making sure to keep the ball still. Pause and return to the up position and repeat.After a set, roll the ball to your other hand and repeat. Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability while making sure the hand on the ball is stable, and donâ€™t flare out your elbows.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BREATHING You may find yourself holding your breath as you try to balance. Breathe normally during the exercise.
PUSH-UP WITH LEG LIFT In a push-up position with your feet together on a ball, lift 1 leg up while squeezing your butt. Return the leg and repeat with your other leg, alternating sides.
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WHICH MUSCLES DO BALL WORKOUTS HIT? Quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings, abs, back, chest, deltoids, biceps and triceps. Pretty much every muscle group youâ€™ll ever want to work.
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REVERSE EXTENSION Lie with a ball under your hips, your arms on the ground in a plank position. With your feet together and your core engaged, lift your legs up as high as you can and hold for a moment before lowering them back to the starting position. Then repeat.
ROLL-OUT Kneel with your forearms on top of the ball. Slowly roll the ball forward as far as you can — without allowing your lower back to collapse — until your hands, elbows, shoulders, hips and knees are in a straight line and your arms are still on the ball. Using your abs to pull the ball back to your knees, repeat.
SEATED BALL TOSS WITH PARTNER Partners should sit on the ground facing each other with their feet off the ground, pressing against each other’s feet, and toss a ball back and forth. Great for balance and abs.
SIZE MATTERS One of the first things you’ll need to verify is that you’re using a ball that’s the right size and properly inflated.The general rule of thumb is that when you’re sitting on the ball, your upper thighs should be parallel to the ground.
STANDING SQUEEZE Stand upright and place the ball between the legs so the center is about even with the knees (it should not be touching the ﬂoor). Squat down until your knees form 90-degree angles, squeezing the ball to stay balanced. Hold the position as long as possible, working up to 30 to 45 seconds per set. Note: for this move, consider using a ball that’s not the perfect ﬁt. A larger ball makes this move more difﬁcult, while a smaller ball is a little easier on the thighs.
OVERHEAD BALL SQUAT Complete a traditional squat while holding a ball at arm’s length overhead while keeping your torso upright. This position engages your shoulders and deltoids.
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BACK EXTENSION Lie with your stomach on the ball, your legs extended straight out behind you, your toes resting on the ground and your hands behind your head. Raise your head, pulling your chest up, and hold for a moment, feeling the stretch in your back, then return to a relaxed position and repeat.
PLANK Get into a plank stance, supporting your body with your chest and forearms resting on the ball and your toes on the ground. Lift your chest off the ball so your upper body is supported by your forearms. Keep your abs contracted and your back straight and hold this position for as long as you can.
WALL SQUAT With a ball between your lower back and a wall, slowly squat. Use the ball to support your back as the ball rolls up to your shoulder blades. Then slowly stand back up and repeat.
USING IT LIKE A CHAIR Consider replacing your desk chair with an exercise ball. This can help you improve your balance and burn up to 350 calories every day. Youâ€™ll have to readjust your position throughout the day, in order to lessen the risk of getting stiff from trying to maintain balance. INCLINE PUSH-UPS In a push-up position with your hands braced on the ball, tighten your abs and push your upper body up so your elbows are straight but not locked, hold, then lower yourself back to the ball. Keep your head in line with your spine and your abs engaged and repeat.
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DIP Sit on the ball with your hands on either side of your hips for support, your feet ﬂat on the ground. Scoot forward a few inches away from the ball and, using your triceps, lower yourself as low as you can go, hold, then push yourself back up and repeat.
V SIT-UP Lie face up on the ground with your ankles resting on the ball. With your arms pointing toward your feet, roll your torso up so your body forms a V. Hold for a moment, then slowly roll back down to the ground and repeat.
REVERSE CRUNCH Lie back on the ball, holding something behind you for support. Keeping your legs pressed tightly together, ﬂex your abs and bring your knees up toward your chest, hold and repeat.
WALL SLAM Holding a med ball with both hands, stand approximately 5 feet from a wall with your feet shoulder width apart. Bring your arms up and over your head and slam the ball against the wall as hard as you can, catching it on the rebound. Then slam it again.
THE MED BALL A medicine ball is a weighted ball that can be used for a wide range of exercises to improve ﬁtness, strength and coordination as well as help recovery from injuries. The balls come in different weights ranging from 2 lb. to 25 lb. The standard is 14 inches in diameter. Med balls are commonly used by athletes to improve core strength including chest, arms, legs and abs.
NO DUMBBELLS HANDY? You can replace your regular weights with a light med ball. Set up a circuit and squat with it, press it overhead, perform lunges, rows and Russian twist or woodchops. Hold it in 1 hand and do Turkish get-ups. Place it behind you when you do squats so you know when you’ve gone deep enough. Tone your inner thighs by squeezing it between your leg. And the list goes on.
Med ball slams are simple exercises that have persevered for centuries. Lift the ball high above your head, throw it at the ground, pick it up, do it again. It might look like child’s play, but med ball slams build better athletic performance. A few key reasons why they work are as follow: (1) They’re hard to screw up, which means beneﬁts can be reaped even by inexperienced trainees because med ball slams require minimal skill. (2) The med ball slam is an explosive exercise that trains you to transfer energy from your core throughout your body. You’re raising the ball overhead while getting triple extension from your ankles, knees and hips, and you’re controlling it with your abs, then forcefully contracting your abs while keeping a rigid torso and slamming the ball down. It’s essentially a total-body workout with a lot of emphasis on bracing your core. (3) Due to their simplicity and the fact that gravity is working for you during the slam portion of the movement, med ball slams will help you release built-up energy. There’s something about throwing a ball down violently and repeating it that’s therapeutic. Before you start slamming, make sure you’re not using the heaviest ball available. You want to be fast and explosive; an 8- to 10-pound ball should be more than enough. Start by assuming an athletic stance, holding the med ball at waist level. Rising up onto your toes, bring the ball overhead, then explosively drive your chest down, slamming the ball onto the ground with as much force as you can muster. Catch the ball as it bounces back and repeat.
RUSSIAN TWIST Sit on the floor holding a med ball in both hands with your arms extended in front of you. Explosively twist your body to one side and then twist back and then twist your body to the other side and repeat.
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Clean nutrition report
FLAVORS? Gabriel Bates
Have you ever wondered what the heck this means, beyond the obvious? The answer isn’t as clear as what you might think. Although natural ﬂavors sounds better than chemicalladen artiﬁcial ﬂavors, it turns out they’re not really all that different. Of over 80,000 foods scored by an environmental group,“natural ﬂavor” was the fourth most common ingredient listed on labels, outranked only by salt, water and sugar. Natural and artiﬁcial ﬂavors play an interesting role in food.They’re essentially providing the taste and appeal, and/or an attempt at replacing something that got lost through processing, storage or pasteurizing. One place you'll often ﬁnd artiﬁcial ﬂavor is in orange juice; manufacturers often add fake ﬂavors to ensure uniformity so that you have the exact same tasting foods anywhere you go and at any time of the year.Taste, after all, is the product’s signature. So what distinguishes an artiﬁcial ﬂavor from a “natural” ﬂavor? Not a whole lot.The biggest difference is that natural ﬂavors come from natural sources: those original ingredients found in nature, puriﬁed, extracted and added back into the food. But that doesn't necessarily mean the natural ﬂavors in your ﬁg bars are simply crushed-up ﬁgs.They probably consist of chemicals originally found in ﬁgs that have been enhanced and added back into the bar. Artiﬁcial ﬂavors, on the other hand, are usually created by humans in labs. If you think the distinction seems fuzzy, you’re not alone. The differentiation really boils down to the origin of those molecules, whether they have been synthetically processed in a lab or puriﬁed in a lab but from a natural source. Here’s where it gets really muddled: added ﬂavoring, both natural and artiﬁcial, can contain anywhere from 50 to 100 ingredients, and all of the extra ingredients aren’t as innocent as you think. Eighty to 90 percent of the mix will often have solvents and preservatives. It may be a very small amount, but it’s still artiﬁcial.The difference between natural and artiﬁcial ﬂavors comes down to miniscule distinctions. Although the amount of preservatives and solvents in natural ﬂavors is too small to be linked to any bad health effects, it still leads consumers astray. While you don’t need to swear off natural or artiﬁcial ﬂavors, stick to a diet of whole foods when you can, because you can be sure the ﬂavors in an actual ﬁg didn’t originate in a lab. Z
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Look at the label of most packaged foods, and odds are you’ll see the term “natural ﬂavors.”
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Clean Nutrition Report
SEA VEGETABLES NATURE’S FAST FOODS Casey Adams Plants from oceans, lakes and ponds can provide an incredible source of nourishment. Most edible sea vegetables are either cultivated in ponds or wild-crafted (harvested wild) from open waters. Sea vegetables are not as sensitive to overharvesting and the by-catch issues that ﬁsh and shellﬁsh have, however. And because ocean plants rely upon photosynthesis rather than ﬁltering for their growth — as ﬁsh and shellﬁsh do — they are not likely to contain much in the way of environmental toxins such as mercury and DDT. There are about 70,000 known sea vegetables, but they boil down to 3 general types: green algae, brown algae, and red algae. These range from single-celled microalgae to giant, broad-leafed kelps. Sea vegetables trump all other food sources for protein production. While an acre of beef production might yield 20 pounds of useable protein, an acre of soybeans will yields about 400 pounds. Seaweeds like nori will yield 800 pounds per acre of tidal zone, and spirulina can yield a whopping 21,000 pounds of usable protein per acre of pond cultivation. Spirulina Commercial algae like spirulina are grown in huge outdoor ponds in sunny areas. Spirulina is a good source of carotenoids,
vitamins, minerals and important fatty acids such as gamma linolenic acid — known to be good for the skin and help reduce inﬂammation. Spirulina also contains all the essential and most nonessential amino acids, with 55-65 percent protein by weight. Spirulina contains a number of other phytonutrients such as zeaxanthin, myxoxanthophyll and lutein. Clinical studies have indicated spirulina can increase brain cell health, reduce inﬂammation, help prevent cancer and, for athletes, boost overall stamina. Chlorella Chlorella is also cultured in outdoor ponds like spirulina. Over 800 published scientiﬁc studies have conﬁrmed its safety and effectiveness for various health issues. Chlorella’s ability to cleanse the body of heavy metals and other toxins make it a favorite suggestion of natural health professionals. Chlorella’s nutrients include betacarotene, various vitamins, and a cool nutrient called chlorella growth factor. Chlorella growth factor has been shown in a number of studies to increase the growth and productivity of cells, making this food excellent for athletes looking to build muscle mass and heal injuries. Chlorella is also a complete protein with every essential and nonessential amino acid. Clinical studies have shown that chlorella stimulates T-cell and B-cell activity and
increases macrophage activity — helping us strengthen our immune systems. Chlorella has been shown to help ﬁbromyalgia, hypertension and ulcerative colitis. Chlorella has a hard cell wall. Most chlorella products have a crushed cell wall, which releases its polysaccharides and ﬁber. These nutrients give chlorella its unique ability to bind to heavy metals — aiding detoxiﬁcation. So make sure your brand says the cell wall has been crushed. AFA AFA (short for Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) is an alga sea vegetable that grows on the pristine volcanic waters of Klamath Lake in Oregon. As opposed to chlorella’s, AFA’s nutrients are readily available because of its soft cell wall. The rich volcanic lakebed of Klamath Lake renders it an available source of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and all the essential and nonessential amino acids. Like spirulina and chlorella, AFA is a complete protein with 60 percent protein by weight. AFA also contains up to 58 trace minerals. Astaxanthin Another exciting pond-grown microalga nutrient on the market is astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is an oxygenated carotenoid with signiﬁcant antioxidant properties, hundreds of times the antioxidant value of vitamin E. Recent studies have shown astaxanthin to be effective in reducing
Kelps There are about 1,500 species of kelp-like brown algae, many of which ﬂourish in the cold waters of the North Paciﬁc and the Atlantic Oceans. Well-known kelp-like sea veggies include nori, wakame, dulse, kombu, Irish moss, sea palm and several species of laminaria. Kelps are harvested periodically and managed carefully — easy to do since kelp beds are stationary. Kelps have an impressive array of vitamins — more than most land-based vegetables, with A, B1, B2, B5, B12, C, B6, B3, folic acid, E, K and a steroid vitamin D precursor. Nori and dulse have betacarotene levels as high as 50,000 IU per 100 grams. Certiﬁed organic kelps show 60 minerals at ppm levels. They are also good sources of calcium and magnesium. Most brown algae also contain all the essential amino acids. Nori is 30 percent protein by weight, and other kelps average about 9 percent. Kelps also contain a number of beneﬁcial polysaccharides and polyphenols. One such sulfated polysaccharide, fucoidan, has been shown to have anti-tumor, anticoagulant and anti-angiogenic properties. Research shows it also inhibits allergic response, inhibits beta-amyloid formation (linked to Alzheimer’s) and decreases artery platelet deposits. Red marine algae Red marine algae research has conﬁrmed some potentially amazing health beneﬁts. Dumontiae, a red alga, is mostly harvested in colder oceans by either wildcrafting or rope farming. It has been shown to inhibit growth of several viruses, notably herpes simplex I and II and HIV. Most studies have illustrated that its polysaccharides block DNA mutation and retrovirus replication. Michael Neushul, PhD, from the University of California at Santa Barbara’s biology department, has reported antiviral properties among all of the 39 California red marine algae varieties tested. Some algae also produce a potent and pure form of
docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA — the fatty acid typically extracted from ﬁsh oil. DHA is recommended now by medical professionals for reducing inﬂammation and increasing cardiovascular health. Commercial DHA-producing microalgae are cultured in tanks, so this form of DHA does not have the risk of mercury or DDT toxicity. DHA produced from algae doesn’t put pressure on already scarce ﬁsh populations either. The ﬁsh are perpetually grown in tanks. The 2 DHA algae microorganisms commercially produced are now used in many supplements and infant formulas
and typically labeled as “vegetarian DHA.” Eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, is produced in the human body from DHA, so there is no need to add EPA separately. While vegetables from the sea are often overlooked as viable food and supplement sources, they are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are best taken as freeze-dried powders, vegetable caps or tablets. Sea vegetables are a great way to immediately and safely increase well-being, stamina and brain power. They are quite simply nature’s most nutritious fast foods. Z
Remember your water To remember to drink your water quota every day, fill a glass pitcher with water before you go to bed and place it in the refrigerator. This is your water for the next day. It will already be chilled and ready to drink, sparing you from having to keep track of how many glasses you’re drinking
WHAT IS A CALORIE? A calorie is a unit of energy. We tend to associate calories with food, but they apply to anything
containing energy. For example, a gallon (about 4 liters) of gasoline contains about 31,000,000 calories. A calorie is the amount of energy or heat it takes to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). One calorie, including a food calorie, is equal to 4.184 joules, a common unit of energy used in the physical sciences. The calories on a food package are actually kilocalories; 1,000 calories equal 1 kilocalorie. A can of soda containing 200 food calories contains 200,000 regular calories, or 200 kilocalories. A gallon of gasoline contains 31,000 kilocalories. The same applies to exercise; when a ﬁtness chart says you burn about 100 calories for every mile you jog, it means 100 kilocalories. What Calories Do Human beings need energy to survive — to breathe, move, pump blood — and they acquire this energy from food. The number of calories in a food is a measure of how much potential energy that food possesses. A gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories, a gram of protein has 4 calories, and a gram of fat has 9 calories. Foods are a combination of these 3 building blocks. So if you know how many carbohydrates, fats and proteins are in any given food, you know how many calories, or how much energy, that food contains.
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inﬂammation and stimulating the immune system. Studies have also shown astaxanthin’s ability to prevent and treat oxidative damage and macular degeneration. Reports from marathoners and triathletes also reveal that astaxanthin increases recovery rates from rigorous exercise.
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Clean Nutrition Report
THE DOPE ON MEAT Thomas Hammer A trade spat between the United States and Russia inadvertently revealed that the U.S. is still loading meat up with various drugs. Russia, a major importer of meat, announced that it will no longer accept meat from animals raised on the drug ractopamine. Russia is also mandating that all countries must provide proof certifying that their meat is ractopamine-free. Unfortunately, the United States’ response, from both agricultural and trade ofﬁcials, was that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved ractopamine as safe for use in cattle, pigs and turkey and will not alert buyers to its use in meat products. This substance is used to promote leanness in the animal. The European Food Safety Authority
has stated that the science backing ractopamine is insufﬁcient for determining whether the drug is safe for human consumption. Even China has indicated concern about this drug. And although the FDA is allowing meat sellers to continue stufﬁng ractopamine into livestock, Brazil concurs with Russia and is pulling the drug from its meat production. In total, 160 nations have banned this substance — which you may be consuming regularly if you happen to eat turkey, pork and beef products. Some side effects of ractopamine are headaches, cardiac arrhythmia, tremors and chest pain. What’s more, beta agonists, the component in ractopamine, are thought to more than double the death rate in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Physicians are starting to raise more
concerns about the full plethora of antibiotics and other drugs in U.S. meat. In fact, they are starting to point the ﬁnger at antibiotic-tainted meat as catalysts for the rise in antibiotic-resistant infections. Amazingly, 80 percent of the total use of antibiotics in the U.S. is for animals. Eating meat with antibiotic and other drugs has loaded up unsuspecting Americans with toxins. There is also real concern in the veterinary community because of recent data about the overuse of antibiotics and other drugs in animals and the side effects that trickle down to the human population. It’s obvious that drug-infused meat is becoming a major health concern, and the U.S. is 1 of the few nations ignoring this problem. Purchasing antibiotic-free meat is the immediate solution to ingesting dangerous drugs. Z
Evidence suggests nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories can cause a myriad of potential health issues Damian D. Dubé When athletes, whether competitive or recreational, train with a high intensity for a prolonged period of time, they’re likely to be stricken with muscle soreness, aches and pains, and even minor injuries. They’ll more than likely train through the pain to accomplish the goal at hand. No pain, no gain, right? To get through those workouts, an athlete will in many cases pop a couple of nonsteroidal anti-inﬂammatories (NSAIDs). NSAIDs are a class of medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, which work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are substances the body produces naturally that promote pain and inﬂammation, protect the stomach lining and control blood pressure. Athletes will take them prior to every workout to treat acute musculoskeletal injuries or as a maintenance or preventive measure, with the mind-set that they’ll prevent post-workout muscle soreness. Many athletes, especially endurance athletes, have begun using them as an ergogenic aid to enhance performance. The theory is that they’ll inhibit inﬂammation, allowing for decreased muscle soreness and fatigue as well as improved recovery and performance. There is no scientiﬁc evidence that taking anti-inﬂammatories prior to working out will prevent muscle soreness or enhance recovery and performance.
However, there is overwhelming evidence that they can cause a myriad of potential health issues. Some of the more common side effects of NSAIDs are gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, kidney and liver disease, and cardiovascular problems such as congestive heart failure. The use of these drugs could also mask the source of the pain. Combining an anti-inﬂammatory drug such as ibuprofen with intense exercise can lead to increased intestinal damage. When we exercise, blood is diverted away from the digestive tract to be used by the muscles, which is 1 reason exercising right after eating is not recommended. The lack of blood in the digestive tract causes damage to the lining of the small intestine, causing the intestines to leak. Under normal conditions, the lining of the intestines will return to normal within an hour of exercise completion. However, when ibuprofen is taken prior to exercise, that intestinal leakage continues for several hours after exercise has ceased. This may not only cause digestive enzymes and bacteria to leak into the bloodstream, which can be toxic, but it may also prevent nutrient absorption after exercise. If post-exercise nutrient absorption is compromised, the body’s ability to repair and regenerate is also compromised. This may cause recovery to be hindered, preventing optimal performance gains and potentially leading to injury. Studies have shown that regular use of ibuprofen by runners causes
Natural fortiﬁcation Rather than taking potentially harmful drugs, the trainee can rely upon a number of natural methods to help prevent or relieve delayedonset muscle soreness. Be sure to properly hydrate. Dehydration can cause muscle tightness, decreased range of motion and joint pain. Keeping the body hydrated with water or a quality electrolyte beverage, rather than sugar-ﬁlled drinks, is necessary to keep the body fueled during exercise. Proper nutrition plays a huge role in preventing post-exercise soreness and injury. Avoid processed, reﬁned or packaged foods, as they are loaded with toxins and create internal inﬂammation while preventing the body from healing. Keeping protein intake high helps repair and rebuild muscle, potentially reducing soreness and improving injury recovery. Certain herbs and spices may help as well. Both curcumin and ginger contain anti-inﬂammatory compounds, which have been shown to reduce exercise induced muscle pain. Consuming animal protein such as grass-fed beef and freerange chicken may also be beneﬁcial. Most animal proteins contain naturally occurring carnosine, which has been shown to buffer acids in muscle and has antioxidant effects, both of which may improve athletic performance. As a ﬁnal note, when using any type of drug, whether over the counter or prescribed, it is important to consult your physician regarding any changes in your body or your day-to-day routine. Z
Beans for antioxidants Fruits and vegetables aren’t the only foods generous in antioxidants. Beans are too. Stock up on pinto beans, kidney beans and small red beans (dried). Add organic catsup to perk up the taste.
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DRUGS FOR ATHLETES
bacteria from the colon to be leaked into the bloodstream, which results in higher levels of systemic inﬂammation. Ironically, the use of ibuprofen has no effect on muscle damage or soreness, according to these studies. In addition, like any drug, NSAIDs cause the depletion of certain nutrients from the body, such as folic acid, iron, potassium and vitamin C. Ironically, vitamin C taken post-exercise has been shown to reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and promote the healing of soft tissue. The idea that NSAIDs will help an athlete train harder has no scientiﬁc validity, but there are many reasons to avoid their use.
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Clean Nutrition Report
HEADACHES Dr. David Ryan The true cause of headaches is often overlooked by many physicians. Understanding the headache triggers leads to the correct diagnosis and treatment. Headaches are often classiﬁed based on their presentation of symptoms: migraine, nonmigraine, vascular, cluster, sinus — frankly, the list goes on and on. The dieter’s headache The most common cause of all headaches is associated with diet. You have likely heard of a hypoglycemic headache, caused by low blood sugar. The brain is very picky and will use only glucose (blood sugar) as energy. If you’re dieting or running low on energy, then the body under stress will react, and the hungry glial (pronounced glee-al) cells in the brain release chemicals to trigger a chain reaction that causes head pain. Diet can also trigger headaches based on what you eat. Even when an allergy test will shows negative results for food allergies, but it’s very common to have a powerful hypersensitivity to any substance. Nuts are the most common, but soda, caffeine, dairy, citrus and wheat products are very typical triggers. Your blood type may have a critical role in determining those factors. It sounds too simple, but restriction of a speciﬁc food or beverage is commonly the ﬁrst step for many of the top headache clinics in the world. People tend to crave
the very substance they are hypersensitive to. A simple step is to keep a headache journal and also a diet journal. Correlating the foods you eat to the actual onsets of headaches is the fundamental key in controlling the triggers of your headaches. Migraines Migraines are classiﬁed based on their presentation of either having a clear neurological symptom or lacking one. Many migraines can last for days or even years. What is often lost in all of this classiﬁcation is what triggered them in the ﬁrst place. The point that everyone misses in medicine is related to the true cause of disease. Doctors love to have the “correct” diagnosis. Many physicians will strive to put the correct name on a condition and quickly prescribe medication to suppress some symptoms, but then lose sight of the etiology, or cause. Side effects of medications Many medications also result in headaches. The medicine’s combination with speciﬁc foods or beverages results in a chemical chain reaction that leads to intense head pain. Drugs and supplements often result in sinus reactions as well, and cause a change in the body’s sewer system (sinuses), leading to intense blockage, also resulting in pain.
Sinus headaches Obviously sinus headaches can be from an allergy and/or hypersensitivity. Sinus conditions also occur due to drastic changes in barometric pressure, humidity, temperature and sunlight. Many people have a genetic tolerance for salt content in the air. If your ancestors or you lived in an area like Miami, which has a naturally high salt content, and then you moved to Ohio, for example, your sinuses will likely need more salt than what is available in the air. Several sinus conditions can be helped simply by using a saline solution for nasal irrigation. Most pharmacy stores carry simple salt solutions that are all-natural and free of medications. To improve the use of any salt solution, you need to lie on your back with your head fully extended. Breathe through your mouth while placing a few drops of salt solution into your nasal cavities. Stay in that position for a minute or 2. Yes, it can burn, but the properties of the salt will break up the mucous. Vascular headaches Vascular headaches are associated with blood vessel changes. This can be from a variety of sources and is often associated with stress, rapid changes in temperature or chemical properties in food and perfumes. Exertion headaches, which are very similar, are very common in sports and can be from head contact (concussion) or simply straining with a weight and holding your breath, also known as the Valsalva maneuver, which also spikes blood pressure. In either case, blood is often moved out of a normal ﬂow pattern. When you warm up properly and practice proper breathing techniques during exercise and sports participation, these types of vascular headaches can be avoided. Concussions Concussion headaches are very serious and unfortunately there is little training for physicians to understand them. Quality school programs offer pre-season testing using the IMPACT format for athletes. This format uses neurological testing and assessment tools in order to diagnose the athlete’s ability to return to their sport after a concussion. Current research has shown that chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation, along with ﬁsh oil supplements, offer a great deal of relief for concussions. Finding your trigger points With the correct diagnosis of triggers and resulting treatment, most headaches should show some improvement in frequency, intensity and duration in less than 2 weeks. If not, look for a second opinion from a similar or different type of physician. Z
Rae Nicole Curcumin (also known as turmeric) is a brightly colored spice you may or may not be familiar with. Any fan of Indian or Thai food will tell you that this spice can be found in many dishes. Known to be a cooking substitute for pricey saffron, it is the prime component of curry powder. However, curcumin is gaining global recognition not only for its delectable contribution to cuisine but for its medicinal qualities as a powerful antioxidant. The medical world is standing up and taking notice. You can easily recognize curcumin on the shelf of your supermarket by its deep yellow-orange color. Deriving from the root of the curcuma longa plant, curcumin is related to the ginger family. The root has a tough brown skin encasing a bright orange ﬂesh. The ground version of curcumin Westerners generally purchase is a derivative of the rhizomes or underground stem of the plant, boiled or steamed and then ground for use. Curcumin is a tropical plant, with India being the number 1 producer, along with Indonesia and China. The ﬁrst use of curcumin dates back at least 5,000 years, when the plant was used primarily as a dye. However, it is most valued as a spice today. South Asia has been reaping the beneﬁts of curcumin for many years medicinally, and the spice has been cited in Sanskrit medical treatises and used in Ayurvedic medicine dating back to 250 BC. Historically, the spice has been prescribed for digestive disorders, inﬂammation and joint problems as well as for an aid in healing wounds. In India, rates for Alzheimer’s disease and colorectal, prostate and lung cancers are among the lowest in the world. Could this be due to the common and almost ritualistic use of curcumin as a food additive? Few studies have been conducted citing the role that the native diet in India and the use of curcumin play in development of certain cancers, yet the correlation seems apparent. Some studies of Indian immigrants in the Western world reveal that adaptations to a different diet in the adopted country show an increase in these identiﬁed diseases after a generation in the new country. Studies are now focusing directly on curcumin and its effect on cancers and other diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Emerging studies suggest it is the medicinal properties that appear to be the most valuable asset in recent clinical trials. Curcumin is an amazing antioxidant and has been stated to support and regulate immune system activity. Effects have been reported in the treatment of allergy, asthma, atherosclerosis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, Crohn’s disease and cancer. Is this due to its effect on the immune system, or is there something more to it? Medical studies are showing that curcumin causes activity that may possibly induce cell death in precancerous cells. Animal and human studies speciﬁc to colorectal cancers appear to be promising, and scientists wonder whether the fact that India has the lowest rate of colon cancer in the world is simply coincidental. Researchers Dr. Francis M. Giardiello and Dr. Marcia
Organic farms and greenhouse gases A team of scientists in Germany carried out a comprehensive review of existing studies relevant to comparing the net greenhouse gas emissions from conventional and organic farming systems. Their basic conclusion: organic farming emits lowered amounts of greenhouse gases than do comparable conventional systems. Higher greenhouse gases emissions occur in conventional agriculture because of a greater reliance on imported animal foodstuffs, including a portion purchased from overseas. The use of energyintensive pesticides and fertilizers on conventional farms also increases greenhouse gas emissions. While higher yields on conventional farms compensate for some of the differences, total emissions are still higher in conventional farming.
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MEDICINAL QUALITIES OF CURCUMIN
Cruz-Correa of Johns Hopkins Medical Institution ran a small trial using pills containing curcumin. During the 6 months, 5 patients with inherited precancerous polyps in the lower bowel took regular doses. The results, published in the August issue of the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (vol. 4, no. 8), showed that on average, the number of polyps dropped 60.4 percent and size dropped 50.9 percent. Curcumin is nontoxic to the body even when taken in higher doses than needed, as the body uses it in antioxidant processes; therefore, there is no accumulation in the bloodstream. Side effects are extremely low, and the liver clears the supplement out of the body within 8 to 12 hours, so accumulation does not occur. Clinical cancer studies involving the use of curcumin include bladder, skin, colon, stomach, breast, lungs, intestine, oral cavity and lymphoma. The results thus far are promising. Human trials must continue. Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition for affected individuals and their families and friends. The hope for prevention and treatment of this disease with a natural agent is not far-fetched. Trials using mice by researchers at UCLA show the slowing of the formation of plaque deposits in mouse brains similar to those found in human Alzheimer’s patients. Some smaller human trials have also been conducted showing positive results as well. The anti-inﬂammatory properties of curcumin open many doors for treating Alzheimer’s and heart disease, and they trump overthe-counter anti-inﬂammatories commonly used for heart disease. Curcumin is natural, the side effects and toxicity are little to none, and it’s inexpensive. Antioxidants seem to be a buzzword in the health food industry, and everything from blueberries to spinach is on the list. Seem overwhelming? The emerging evidence seems more than clear with curcumin, so this is 1 addition to your diet that you may want to take notice of. You may want to start by simply adding curcumin to common dishes or researching new recipes that use the spice, or by using a supplement. With all of this interesting and hopeful information, it’s no wonder it’s so very tempting to rush to the health food store for curcumin. Z
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Clean Nutrition Report
STRATEGIES TO STAY HEALTHY IN A
TOXIC WORLD Dr. Case Adams Today the leading causes of death in Western countries include cancer, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, and metabolic disease. As scientiﬁc research advances on these leading diseases, researchers increasingly ﬁnd the culprits are often environmental — that is, they are related to the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and our exposure to various chemicals. Toxins defined Some of the most damaging and prevalent toxins in today’s environment include: Air pollution: carbon monoxide, chloroﬂuorocarbons, dioxins, sulfur, mercury, tobacco, volatile organic compounds such as benzene. Water pollution: various industrial chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, chlorine and ﬂuorine by-products. Food pollution: pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, reﬁned sugars, oxidized fats, plastic packaging chemicals (phthalates and phenols). Home pollution: asbestos, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, heavy metals, and more. Just how bad is it? These are just a few of the many toxins polluting our bodies. In the United States, more than 80,000 synthetic chemicals are in use. Yet few have been tested for their toxicity to our bodies. And studies have found that we are harboring hundreds of these chemicals within our cells and body ﬂuids. To illustrate the gravity of the situation, consider one of the more popular chemicals used in a variety of consumer products and foods — bisphenol-A. This chemical was thought to be so safe that it is used in practically every type of food packaging containing any plastic, yet research over the last decade has revealed that the chemical disrupts hormones, producing an array of developmental and neurological issues. No matter how careful we are, we are exposed to these chemicals, often on a daily basis. We could live in a cave on a deserted island and surely avoid many of these, but we’d still breathe polluted air and deal with water pollution due to chemicals moving within the atmosphere and even dropping via rainfall. Accumulating toxins We live in houses made of chemicals and eat food wrapped and bathed in chemicals. We breathe air soaked in chemicals, and our rainfall now contains pesticides and herbicides. Multiple studies, for example, have found that rainfall in many areas contains glyphosate, the chemical used in the weed killer Roundup. Despite the gross presence of chemicals in our lives, there are steps we can take to reduce our exposure. There are also steps we can take to increase our body’s ability to eliminate and break down many chemicals before they build up within our cells. This last point is critical because when our body’s cells accumulate fatty acids and proteins, they can also accumulate pollutant chemicals. This accumulation is often found in fat cells, and in some cases can alter our DNA. This alteration can provoke the creation of cancer cells
EDTA. This is a synthetic agent used to retain color in food. Who needs fake color? Can you taste color? The FDA is currently studying EDTA for toxicity. Why would you want to eat something that's being studied for toxicity?
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Avoid this in your food
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Clean Nutrition Report
and other diseased cells as the body seeks to adapt. If the immune system is overburdened with chemicals, it will have a tough time trying to eliminate cancer cells as they develop. This produces a perfect storm that results in tumors and other fatal diseases such as the ones mentioned above. The good news is that if our liver, kidneys, and immune system are healthy and not overburdened with chemicals, they can help prevent some of the chemical accumulation. The liver produces enzymes that will help break down chemicals, and the liver, kidneys, and immune system work to break down cells that become polluted, hopefully before tumors form. Avoiding the perfect storm of a chemically polluted body requires not a single tactic but a combination of strategies that together reduce chemical exposure and chemical burden and increase the response of our liver, kidneys, and immune system. Drink pure Water ﬁlters are critical for eliminating toxins in our municipal water supplies. Good ﬁlters can eliminate 99 percent of most chemicals; make sure to check the speciﬁcations of any options you explore. Eliminating reﬁned sugars from our drinks and reducing or eliminating alcohol intake can also facilitate a healthy liver and metabolism. Perhaps most importantly, we should make sure to drink plenty of ﬁltered water and other healthy ﬂuids. To help the body remove chemicals, drink 8-10 glasses or more of water or related ﬂuids per day, depending upon weight and exercise. Eat clean Plant-based foods are also essential when it comes to reducing chemical load because of their antioxidants. Antioxidants help neutralize chemical free radicals before they can damage our tissues and cells. They also assist the liver and immune system by stimulating them. Plant-based foods provide a number of immune-stimulating factors
that help reduce the risk of cancers and metabolic conditions. Keep in mind that the antioxidants in many fresh foods can be damaged by heat and processing. Whenever possible, try to incorporate vegetables and fruits that have not been subjected to heat or processing. Instead of canned vegetables, for example, choose fresh varieties from your produce aisle. The other important element is packaging. Most foods are now packed in plastics, which is sometimes difﬁcult to avoid. The more fresh or bulk foods we eat, the less exposure to BPA and plasticizers our bodies experience. Look around the home and office Our homes and ofﬁce environments are often littered with pollutants. These come in the form of furniture, carpets, walls, paints, mold, and other building products. Consider natural furniture materials such as cotton and wood. Make sure the walls don’t contain lead paints, and aim to replace asbestoscontaining ceilings and sheetrock. When it comes to ﬂooring, choose real wood over carpet if possible. Consumer products we put on our skin Today, chemicals are found in our soaps, cosmetics, sunscreens, shampoos, and cleaning supplies. It’s important to note that the skin does not prevent chemicals from getting into the body. Our skin is one of our body’s tissues, and a porous one at that. If we put something on our skin, it will immediately be absorbed into the body. This means we need to get that magnifying glass out and read the small print on product labels of skin products before use. A good rule of thumb: if we would never eat the ingredient, we shouldn’t apply it to our skin. This also applies to cleaning supplies. Whatever we clean with will typically also get onto our hands and elsewhere. Vinegar and lemon juice are great antiseptic cleaners. If we need to scrub something, baking soda is a great option.
Breathe fresh air Breathing fresh air on a daily basis may be tough for someone living in the city. Moving to the country or at least near some natural setting such as a large park or seashore is the best option, but understandably, that’s not always possible. Wherever you live, know that trees remove many pollutants and supply fresh oxygen. Indoor plants also help clear air inside your home. If you do live in a city, early mornings typically offer the best air for working out because polluting activity typically declines overnight, allowing the air to clear a bit. Assuming fresh air outside, leaving windows open for ventilation is also an option. Studies have shown that indoor air can be some of the most polluted air we breathe. Plus, when we breathe out, we are releasing pollutants. So an open window close to the bed is also a great idea. Herbs and spices There are a number of herbs and spices that stimulate the removal of chemical pollutants from our bodies. Some of these stimulate the liver, the immune system — or both. Some also directly attach to chemical toxins and neutralize them. Herbs and spices to include in our diets regularly for this purpose are garlic, basil, oregano, peppers (hot or sweet), turmeric and black pepper. Excellent purifying herbs include cilantro and parsley, which are botanically related. Both directly attach to many heavy metals and other chemical toxins. And yes, this means that salsa (especially fresh) is one of the best ways to help reduce toxins and boost immunity. Mushrooms are also a great way to stimulate the immune system. Although white button mushrooms will directly attach to toxins, better options are portobellos, oyster mushrooms, and shiitakes. Heavy exercise Exercising stimulates the release of many chemical toxins. This elimination occurs with heavy breathing, with sweating, and during energy metabolism in general. Furthermore, when we exercise, we stimulate the circulation of our lymphatic system, which circulates immune cells to tissues and transports toxins out of tissues. The “heart” of our lymphatic system is muscle contraction. Will these save us? Certainly, these strategies will not eliminate all chemicals from our bodies. We will still be exposed to some of the 80,000 possible toxic chemicals in our environments. However, these strategies will help reduce the extent of these chemicals, which in turn will allow our immune system, liver, and kidneys to function more efﬁciently. This will reduce our risk of many diseases related to chemical toxicity. Z
Gabriel Bates Three highly toxic chemicals used in the components of everyday products were found in a group of diverse Americans who participated in a nationwide biomonitoring Residues of bisphenol A are project, according to a present in resins used to make protective coatings and report issued by a coalition linings for food and beverage of public interest groups. containers. The report comes at a time of heightened awareness of toxins in consumer products, including ongoing revelations about lead in toys and lipstick. The report, titled “Is It in Us: Toxic Trespass, Regulatory Failure and Opportunities,” documents the results of blood and urine testing of 35 people from 7 states for the presence of 3 classes of chemicals: phthalates, bisphenol A and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. The project, conducted in 2007, found all 3 classes of toxic chemicals in every person tested. Each of these chemicals is ubiquitous in common products people use every day, including baby bottles, shower curtains, cosmetics, couch cushions, computers, toys and scores of other items found in most American homes, schools and workplaces. Human and animal studies have linked the 3 chemicals to birth defects, cancer, learning disabilities, infertility, asthma and other health impacts. For some toxic chemicals, the levels found in people are near or above levels linked to health impacts in laboratory animals. The participants range from a commercial ﬁsherman in Alaska and a U.S. Navy veteran from Illinois to a Connecticut senator and a stay-at-home mom from Minnesota, each of whom volunteered to ﬁnd the answer to the simple question: if toxic pollution is in the products we use every day, is it in us? The Reverend Dr. Jim Antal, who serves the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ as minister and president, said, “I expected that because I’m a vegetarian and have a healthy lifestyle, that the levels in my body would be lower. Now that I see my results, I’m wondering if the water bottle on my
bike, or other things I thought were safe, are actually causing harm.” According to Stephanie Felton of Illinois, a U.S. Navy veteran and stay-at-home mother, “People have a trust that products manufactured and sold in the United States are safe. This report proves otherwise. The results are particularly troubling to me as a nursing mother.” Ted Schettler, the science director at the Science and Environmental Health Network and a medical and public health expert, stated, “The chemicals looked for and detected in this project have been linked to birth defects, asthma, cancer, learning disabilities, obesity and diabetes — conditions of urgent public health concern. Just as disturbing, we have no information at all about the potential health effects of many other chemicals to which we are exposed because pre-market safety testing is not required for most of them in the U.S.” Project organizers point out that the federal law regulating chemicals — the Toxic Substances Control Act — was enacted in 1976 and has not been updated to reﬂect recent scientiﬁc advances, including evidence that even tiny doses of toxic chemicals may cause harm. According to Sharyle Patton, 1 of the coordinators of the project, “Our nation’s chemical safety system has failed. It’s time to join together to support commonsense policies that will protect people from involuntary exposure to toxic chemicals from products we use every day.” Organizers also point out that because these chemicals are used in so many different products, consumers are not able to shop their way out of the problem. Some states throughout the country have taken the lead in creating chemical policy that seeks to eliminate potentially hazardous chemicals and ensure the safety of others used in products. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) said in a statement, “This report makes clear that toxic chemicals are in the products we use and the food we eat. My legislation, the Kids Safe Chemicals Act, requires testing of toxic chemicals will limit the use of those chemicals that can’t be proven safe. It’s time to protect our children and our families from unsafe chemicals, and my bill does just that.” Z
Feed your pets organic Don’t just feed organic food to your twolegged family members; dogs and cats deserve organic food, too. Organic dog and cat foods are readily sold at whole foods or health food stores. This includes organic treats and “cookies” for dogs.
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TOXIC CHEMICALS IN YOUR BODY
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Clean Nutrition Report
SUPPLEMENTS Thomas Hammer
Supplements have become a huge industry, and anytime industry rears its head, it is always good to do some due diligence. The media factor is another reason to have your thinking squared away to ensure that the popular buzz about some supposed miracle cure really has something behind it. Or not. Since the FDA does not monitor supplements in the same manner it monitors drugs, caveat emptor is always at play. Here are some helpful facts to help you get your supplement scheme right. Natural foods are the best supplements. Forget trying to beat nature at its own game. This is the number 1 fact to nail down in nutrition, touted by virtually every nutritionist out there — there is no substitute for real food. There are 2 main schools of thought on supplements — industry marketing media, which say that supplements are super, and nutritionists, who say that food is the super element and supplements are second class at best. Guess who is right. There is no reason to substitute a supplement for a real food. This sounds like heresy, but it is true, in that supplements are inferior to everyday food. For instance, an apple is better than applesauce, which is better than apple juice, which is better than apple added into a powder or pill. The more removed an item is from its natural state, the more ineffective it becomes. Supplements are a couple of steps removed from the prime nutrition level. Avoid isolation supplements Unfortunately, many supplements are narrowly sliced — for instance, a zinc tablet or a vitamin
A tablet. In natural form, vitamins and minerals don’t come in isolation. They have intrinsic links to other vitamins, minerals, precursors and more. Taking vitamins in isolation can actually cause more harm to the body than help. For instance, studies on the intake of vitamin E in supplement form reveal that more negative elements abound than positive. Avoid large doses of supplements This one can be deadly if you get it wrong. Vitamins and minerals are powerful elements and need to be taken in prescribed amounts. Fatsoluble vitamins can accumulate in the body and cause toxicity problems. Other supplements can also contain elements that cause problems in high doses (caffeine, ephedra, etc.). More isn’t always better — more can be worse when it comes to supplements. There is no “silver bullet,” no killer dietary application that does it all. A nutritious and effective diet is 1 that is multifaceted, that has many working parts that come together to make the body better. Don’t buy into the media hype that by taking 1 special drink or pill, you will be instantly changed. That type of wishful thinking is for fairy tales, not for responsible eating. It is not a good idea to try to lose 30 pounds in a week or 2, for instance. The most successful dietary change is incremental, not instantaneous. It is important to be aware of the drug interactions that supplements may cause. For instance, if you are on medication for low or high blood pressure, you will need to check with your physician prior to taking chromium supplementation. That’s because chromium works to smooth out your blood sugar levels. If you are taking a medication that’s already doing the same thing, twice as much may be harmful. And that’s just 1 example. Some supplements can
available or simply have no time to even sit down and have a sandwich, a supplement (liquid or solid food item) can help keep your blood sugar running on an even keel — provided you choose a supplement that doesn’t spike your blood sugar (some supplement bars have too much sugar). When choosing supplements, focus primarily on nutrient-dense supplements that are directly natural. Some supplements are “1shot wonders” — containing a single substance or just a couple of
HERE’S WHY ORGANIC IS MORE NUTRIENT-DENSE THAN CONVENTIONAL Plants have the remarkable ability to protect themselves from the harsh elements. Think about what a plant is routinely subjected to: a beating sun, wind, hard rains, cold, bacteria and insects. Now, plants don’t have legs. They can’t just walk into the shade for relief from heat, or walk out of the wind, or swat away bugs like we can or like animals can with their tails. So plants evolved to produce a natural protection system against the various offending elements. This protection system is what we call antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect plants from damage inﬂicted by hungry microscopic invaders, creepy critters and the weather. When plants do not receive help in protecting themselves, their antioxidants run full force. But when plant life gets help, as in the form of pesticides, fungicides and other chemicals that are sprayed on, then the antioxidant force weakens. This is why conventional crops have a weaker antioxidant army than crops that are not bathed in chemicals. Thus, that conventional apple you ate today never needed to develop a full-force antioxidant brigade because pesticides did much of the protection for the apple. So now you know why organic fruits and vegetables hit home runs in the antioxidant department while their conventional counterparts barely make it to ﬁrst base. Z
elements. Conversely, a nutrientdense supplement will have a dozen or more key nutritional elements that the body can draw from. Some of the nutrient-dense supplements include brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, and blackstrap molasses. These can all be purchased off the shelf (in a nutrition store) and really pack a punch of powerful nutrient value. Supplements outshine in 1 area — meaningful doses. There is 1 area where supplements do exceed the concept of simply getting nutrition through normal eating, and that is where it is difﬁcult to obtain a full dose from a natural source. Sometimes natural sources require a ton of gross product to add up to the net amount needed for nutrition. For instance, how often do you eat 3 whole garlic cloves? Extracts allow for targeting the desired nutrients. The same is true for other food items such as green tea (5 cups are necessary for a holistic impact) and ﬁsh oil. So there are some instances in which supplements have an outsized role and can really make a difference. Supplements may include side effect Just like drugs, some supplements can include nasty side effects. It is necessary to weigh the beneﬁts against the negative aspects to determine whether or not there is enough upside for you to proceed. Some protein powders, for example, cause severe bloating and cramps. Or worse. You have to decide whether the pain and problems are worth the beneﬁts from the supplement. Supplements are not always put together in their original, natural nutritional proﬁle, and your body may not get along with them as smoothly as it does with a natural food item. Supplement hype is huge The ﬂuff surrounding the mass marketing of supplements is way over the top. A signiﬁcant amount of the claims about most supplements lacks credibility. If all of the claims were true, everyone would look great and stay looking great. That simply doesn’t occur. It takes some diligence to cut through the fog and get to the facts, but remember — the truth is much closer to what comes out of nutrition and medical journals than it is to what is hyped in an advertisement. Z
Perfect gift Having trouble coming up with the perfect gift for a family member, friend or some other person who’s special? How about an organic gift basket? You can buy these already made at whole foods stores, or you can purchase the components and construct the basket yourself. Either way, an organic gift basket is the perfect gift!
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be quite powerful and have druglike effects on the body. Make certain to let your physician know what supplements you plan on taking if you are currently or are going to be on any medication. Supplements can work well as gap ﬁllers. Although supplements are not nearly as nutritious for the body as real food, a supplement can ﬁll the gap on occasions when you do not have access to or time to make a nutritious meal. If you are on the go or stuck in a situation where a hot meal is not
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Clean Nutrition Report
DIGESTION What you need to know Casey Adams Most of us assume digestion takes place in the stomach. Not true. While some carbohydrates and proteins are broken down in the mouth and stomach, and water is absorbed through the walls of the stomach along with a few minerals, most of our nutrients from food are broken down completely and absorbed through the upper intestinal tract. The small intestine is made of 3 parts: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. The duodenum is short — only about 30 centimeters — but the jejunum runs about 2 meters long and the ileum is another 3 meters in length. The intestine is a contorted tube about 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter. Throughout the inside of the intestines are ﬁnger-like protrusions called villi. These villi are lined with blood and lymph vessels to absorb the nutrients. Enzymatically and probiotically In between the villi are glands that secrete bile and bile salts from the liver via the gallbladder, and various enzymes from the pancreas. Together these biochemicals change the pH of the food mix from the stomach and break down the nutrients to be absorbed. Proteins are broken down to polypeptides (amino acids) by protease. Fats are broken down into glycerol and fatty acids by lipase. Lactose is broken down into glucose and galactose by lactase — just to name a few. Should our pancreas be burdened or stressed, it will not produce enough enzymes. When the body is in stress mode, hormones and blood go elsewhere, leaving the pancreas in low gear. For this reason, it is important to relax when we eat. Otherwise, our food might end up signiﬁcantly undigested. Enzyme production can
decrease with age. For example, lactase production can slow down as our bodies get older. This is natural. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean we are lactose-intolerant. In fact, a recent study showed that most people claiming to be lactose-intolerant could drink at least 1 glass of milk a day without any problems. Prevailing opinion is that many suspect lactose intolerance simply because lactase production slows down a bit. Low lactase doesn’t mean we have to stop consuming dairy either. Cheese and yogurt also contain lactase and lactase-producing cultures. For conditions related to cramping and indigestion, ﬁrst consider not drinking ﬂuids with meals. This will better concentrate the enzymes. Beyond that, enzymes and probiotic supplementation should be considered. Enzyme supplements are readily available in broad mixes and should be taken with meals.
Probiotics are microorganisms that live in between our villi. They help us break down and assimilate certain nutrients, also helping us defend against invading bacteria. They also secrete critical nutrients such as vitamin B12. The Lactobacillus, Streptococcus and Saccharomyces families are the more proliﬁc probiotic inhabitants in the upper intestines. These are also readily available in supplements or live yogurts and keﬁr. Probiotics should be taken with or shortly after meals. The gall Our gallbladder stages and times the release of bile and salts from the liver into the intestines as needed — especially useful for fat digestion. Without the gallbladder, bile infusion doesn’t time with our meals. The liver produces bile as it recycles its ﬁltered components from the blood and lymph. This means that if the body has imbalanced
even better, golden micro-algae. The docosahexaenoic acid from micro-algae doesn’t have the mercury, saturated fat and toxins like PCBs seen in both farmed and wild ﬁsh. Plus, it is a renewable source. The “stitch” The runner’s “stitch” is caused by our intestinal villi pulling blood from the surrounding abdominal muscles for nutrient absorption just after we eat. As blood is diverted, less oxygen and glucose gets to surrounding muscles. Other muscle groups in the legs and arms can also cramp for the same reason after a meal. The best way to relieve an abdominal stitch is to bend over and ﬁrmly push into and rub the painful area. This draws blood into that muscle group, relieving the cramp. Even better: work out on an empty stomach. Intestinal permeability and irritability For years, alternative practitioners described a digestive disorder called “leaky gut syndrome.” This idea was ridiculed by the medical establishment as anecdotal and nonexistent. In recent years, however, research on drug absorption by the pharmaceutical industry has conﬁrmed the lining of the small intestine is subject to alteration, creating permeability and absorption problems. This “new” disorder was named more technically intestinal permeability syndrome. Increased permeability of the small intestine is thought to create many allergic and arthritic conditions. This appears to be the result of larger macromolecules — complex peptides, toxins and even invading micro-organisms — getting into the bloodstream or lymph. Once these foreign macromolecules arrive in the bloodstream or lymph, the body may launch an inﬂammatory immune response. This can result in the dreaded autoimmune syndrome. Worse, an invasion of microorganisms through the abnormally permeable intestinal wall can infect joints and tissues. Bacteria have recently been found to be the culprits in multiple cases of rheumatoid arthritis, for example. Blastocystis hominis, found largely in the digestive tract, was 1 of the bacteria found in swollen joints. Overgrowth of Candida albicans elsewhere in the body has also been
attributed to IIPS — as C. albicans is a normal fungal inhabitant in a healthy digestive system. Macromolecules leaking into the bloodstream may also be a cause for the increasing occurrence of food allergies in Western society. Should larger, undigested food molecules enter the bloodstream — even if from a food consumed for decades — the body’s immune system simply does its job of rejecting invaders and setting up antibodies for future invasions. This response is usually accompanied by sinus, skin or other inﬂammatory responses. The epithelium of the intestinal tract functions as a triple-ﬁlter barrier that screens for molecule size, ionic nature and nutrition quality. The villi are made up of smaller cells called microvilli, and between them are junctions that form a bilayer interface, controlling permeability. Should the intestinal wall mucosal chemistry become altered, its protective and ionic transport mechanisms become weakened, allowing foreign molecules to irritate the microvilli, causing a subsequent inﬂammatory response. This inﬂammation is not only seen in intestinal permeability syndrome, but also in cases of irritable bowel syndrome. As the microvilli are altered by this changed chemistry, not onlydo they let large molecules into the body, but the cells themselves may be marked as “foreign” by the immune system — causing inﬂammation and irritable, cramping bowels. This alteration of the intestinal mucosal layer can be caused by excessive alcohol, smoking, pharmaceutical drugs (notably NSAIDs such as aspirin and other pain medications), and foods with high arachidonic fatty acids such as fried foods, trans fats and animal meats. Toxic substances such as plasticizers, pesticides, herbicides and food dyes are also suspected. Fortunately, most of the epithelial cells of the small intestine are replaced within about a week. With probiotic supplementation, relaxing mealtimes and a high-ﬁber, nutritious diet with plenty of fresh foods, intestinal health can be regained in most cases. Botanicals helpful for stimulating intestinal digestion include papayas, pineapples, fennel, peppermint, licorice, black pepper, ginger and anise. A light, circular abdominal self-massage is also helpful after a large meal. Z
Storing potatoes First cut out any sprouts that might be on the potatoes after you bring them home. Then, store them in a dark, cool, dry space. Don’t put them in a plastic bag. Your refrigerator works best. And as always, organic is better. When making potato salad, include the potato skins for extra nutrition and extra taste.
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calcium, cholesterol and other nutrient levels, the gallbladder may crystallize the excessive components into gallstones. The best way to prevent gallstones is to eat a well-balanced plant-based diet with plenty of ﬁber, and consume plenty of water in between meals. Fiber is also extremely critical for proper digestion. This is because ﬁber regulates the absorption process. It does this by absorbing excess water, allowing enzymes to be more concentrated, while softening indigestibles headed for stool. Without both soluble and insoluble ﬁber, starches will be broken down and assimilated quickly. As the glucose hits the bloodstream, it stimulates insulin production from the pancreas. This avalanche stresses the pancreas and the cells. This creates insulin and glucose insensitivity, encouraging obesity and type II diabetes. Professional consensus suggests 25 grams of ﬁber a day at the bare minimum, but 40-50 grams per day is recommended, with at least 5075 percent soluble. The average American diet contains no more than about 12-15 grams of ﬁber. Great ﬁber choices include apples, oats, whole wheat, and vegetables. Every meal should have 5-15 grams of ﬁber. Low-ﬁber meals stress the body’s resources and increase the likelihood of obesity, heart disease and blood sugar problems. Healthy fats from nuts and seeds are also helpful in balancing glucose absorption. Because fats are broken down slowly, a meal with a little healthy fat will time-release absorption, giving us a steady stream of energy instead of the roller-coaster insulin-glucose ride. Research has illustrated that the healthiest mix of fats is about 10 percent saturated; 10 percent gamma linoleic acid; about 40 percent long-chain omega-3 fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid; and 40 percent healthy omega-6 unreﬁned oils from nuts, sesame and sunﬂower seeds, olives and canola. Gamma linoleic acid is found in green leafy vegetables, spirulina, borage and primrose oil. Alphalinolenic acid, found in walnuts, pumpkin seeds, ﬂax, chia, salba and canola, will convert to the longer docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. For some, the conversion is difﬁcult, however, requiring the need to obtain docosahexaenoic acid from ﬁsh, or
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Clean Nutrition Report
FOOD&PAIN What to eat and avoid when you’re in pain Dr. David T. Ryan Is there a relationship between food and pain? According to many recent studies, including 1 conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2012, the answer is definitely yes. Some foods — including processed sugars and other high-glycemic starches — can cause inflammation and, as a result, chronic pain. Other foods, however, can help eliminate that type of discomfort.
About 15% of physicians surveyed by the National Institute of Health Statistics indicated that severe headache or migraine pain is the most common type of pain reported to physicians. The majority of headaches present as non-migraine, and many times, they are triggered by factors ranging from hormones to physical exertion (heavy exercise or strenuous labor) or drugs. Even though a headache may start out as a non-migraine, it can can often lead to migraine complaints. Just as there are many causes to
fluctuating gas prices, there are many causes of both types of headaches. Environmental factors, especially when mixed with certain foods, can often play a role. Migraines affect 36 million men, women, and children each year, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. When you consider lost time at work, money spent on over-the-counter medicines, and time lost with family and friends, the cost can be devastating. Researchers estimate that about $13 billion each year is lost because of 113 million
quite devastating and sometimes are accompanied by chest pain. Another type of headache is known as the “hotdog headache.” This is commonly associated with the excessive nitrates added to some prepared meats. Other individuals may be hypersensitive to cold liquids and solids and commonly experience “brain freeze.” Far too many individuals fall victim to alcohol-induced headache that usually occurs when you drink red wine or liquor. When trying to decipher which types of foods may be causing your headache, consider that it may be a combination of foods that is creating the problem. My father has headaches that force him into bed for several days whenever he mixes chocolate and soda pop or chocolate and coffee. He’s ruled out an allergy to caffeine, so he’s draw the correlation himself, as is the case with many people. It is to your best beneﬁt to keep a food log and include anything you drink with respect to your headache onset. Keep this journal for approximately 2 weeks prior to seeing any neurologist. The number 1 cause of all physicianreported pain, according to the National Institute of Health Statistics, is back pain. There are many causes of back pain, just as with headaches. Whether it’s arthritis or injury, back pain can be exacerbated when you eat starches or processed sugars. Both cause a cascade of hormones and inﬂammatory responses that attack your joints with an intense vengeance. Some simple spices can alter this attack, such as ginger. In the United States, 1 out of 5 people has been diagnosed with arthritis. There is some evidence that shows that a diet rich in omega-3 fats provides some relief for arthritic
pain. Other research has found that chemicals are produced with foods by frying or grilling meat and often react with various inﬂammatory diseases. It should be noted that this is weak research, but some tendencies and hypersensitivities toward foods that are prepared this way may be applicable. For most individuals who are not on kidney dialysis, consuming more protein on a daily basis will offer healing beneﬁts. Many individuals with nervous problems, digestive problems, and other related connective tissue disorders will beneﬁt from an increase of dietary protein. Utilizing protein offers an increased enzyme response associated with a normal metabolism that produces sugars and results in new tissue formation. Typically, eating foods in a more raw and natural state releases natural enzymes, which allow food to be digested more easily. The obvious exception to this rule is raw eggs and meat. Other speciﬁc foods to eat when you are in pain include fresh fruits that are high in citrus because of their high antioxidant values. One of the best things you can ingest when experiencing pain is water. The osteopathic profession was based upon the theory that whenever something in the body slowed down, it led to an increase of disease. Drinking about a gallon of water a day offers an increase of ﬁltration that is sure to remove unwanted toxins from your system. The majority of the pain in our body is associated with toxic chemical neurotransmitters, and a signiﬁcant amount of water is required to remove them from the body. Eating approximately 8 raw asparagus spears a day will also assist with the removal of water from our system and a tremendous amount of toxins. The aspartate acid associated with asparagus is a powerful toxic chemical attractant, and the efﬁciency of this chemical will be obvious the next time you use the restroom. The strange smell associated with urination is proof that the aspartate acid, along with the toxins it has picked up, is being expelled from your system. To summarize, when you are in pain, avoid fatty meats, eat more ﬁsh, drink more water, and avoid processed sugars. Try to eat raw asparagus every day, and incorporate more raw foods into your diet to add some vitamin supplementation. Z
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missed days at work as a result of migraines. Some of the best headache clinics in the world look at common food allergies as a major trigger for headaches. The most common are dairy products, seafood, wheat gluten, coffee, and chocolate. Many times, an allergy test will prove negative with respect to any particular food. The truth is, certain foods such as chocolate will stimulate the brain to produce peptides, and those chemicals can result in an increased blood supply to the brain, which results in a pressure headache. Other addictions to various chemicals such as caffeine are likely to produce a headache during withdrawal. Many individuals may be aware of Chinese restaurant syndrome brought on after consuming high amounts of monosodium glutamate. These headaches can be
Save the planet, save your health According to the United Nations Development Reports’ statistics, for every human on the planet, the world produces 2 pounds of grain per day: roughly 3,000 calories. It seems preposterous, then, that nearly 1 in 6 human beings suffers from hunger. Nearly half of the grain produced in the world is consumed by livestock. To produce beef, it takes massive quantities of water and drains numerous resources, putting an even greater strain on the already weakening planet. A meat-based diet also has adverse effects on our health, as more and more studies are connecting a meat-based diet to chronic disease. Limiting meat is a very wise choice in this day and age.
Clean Nutrition Report
As addictive as cocaine Garret Keyer
Most can agree that the taste of sweet is 1 of the most addictive out there. At an annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, research was presented showing that sugar may be as addictive as heroin or cocaine. The research presented was done on rats, but it successfully showed not only that sugar impacts the waistline, but it can also alter brain chemistry, making it nearly impossible to avoid it. From a biochemical standpoint, this conclusion makes sense once you understand sugar metabolism and its effects. When any type of carbohydrate is consumed, from bread to potatoes to candy to cereal, the sugar from the food is absorbed into the blood. (Note: any carbohydrate that is not ﬁber is sugar). When blood sugar levels are high, the body releases the hormone insulin to mop it up and store it. Among other effects, insulin inﬂuences cell membranes at the blood-brain barrier to increase Ltryptophan absorption in the brain. Tryptophan is an amino acid precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. With a greater availability of its precursor, serotonin production increases and results in elevated mood, sexual appetite and decreased anxiety, among other effects. It’s no wonder we are addicted to sugar — it elevates the “feelgood” hormone serotonin, ironically the same neurotransmitter that is increased with use of illegal drugs such as ecstasy and LSD. Very few people are able to stay away from sugar — which is why over 60 percent of the American population is overweight or obese. Apart from serotonin production,
insulin’s major job is to mobilize excess post-meal blood sugar and store it. It is stored in the muscle and liver, a ﬁnite space, in the form of glycogen, while overﬂow stores are converted to fat and stored in the fat cells, an inﬁnite space. Chronically high insulin leads to increased fat storage, and eventually insulin resistance — the body can no longer “hear” insulin, and so begins a cascade of negative metabolic effects. From the outside, this issue simply presents as an overweight individual. However, the internal effects of insulin resistance are much more complicated and detrimental. Ask any ﬁtness professional, and most will say that sugar is food enemy number 1. In fact, dysfunctional metabolism of sugar plays a prominent role in numerous health conditions such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, elevated triglycerides, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. And the path toward metabolic dysfunction begins with 1 thing: overconsumption of sugar. Enter sugar alternatives. These caloric-free options are touted as a healthier alternative because they allow those addicted to sugar to gorge with no ill effects. Or do they? The problem is, these agents often have problems of their own and may not be the benign substances we believe they are. Synthetic sweeteners Saccharin (Sweet’N Low): this sweetener was discovered in the late 1800s and can now be found at any restaurant in a small pink packet. It was originally packaged together with the other chemical sweetener, cyclamate. Because of early concerns about cancer induced in animals, the FDA and the Canadian equivalent of the FDA both banned certain aspects, though they disagreed over which compound was to blame.
Interestingly, the American FDA banned cyclamate, and the Canadian organization banned saccharin, meaning that the Sweet’N Low found in Canada is cyclamate, while the version in the United States is saccharin! Recent research into saccharin’s effect on cancer has shown that the methodology of the original study was ﬂawed, casting doubt on whether there was ever any reliable evidence linking saccharin to cancer. In our biased opinion, this sweetener, along with other synthetic sweeteners, should be critically evaluated. However, for those who are diabetic and literally killing themselves with sugar, this is perhaps a better alternative. Acesulfame: if you are an avid reader of labels, you know that this sweetener commonly appears in many foods. It’s frequently used alongside aspartame to mask the aftertaste of aspartame. Very few studies have been conducted on this product, which in itself may be an issue. Many consumer advocacy groups complain that this compound has not been studied extensively enough to allow its presence in the food supply and needs further review for its safety. However, the FDA has approved this sweetener, stating that they see no risk. But as we know, just because the FDA approves something and allows it to sit on the shelf does not mean it’s harmless to our health. Be wary of “unnatural chemical compounds” like this one. Aspartame (Equal or Nutrasweet): Of all the synthetic sweeteners, this one is probably the scariest. There are several recent studies showing increased risk of cancer in animals fed high amounts of the compound. At the same time, it’s also the major sweetener in most diet sodas and tends to be unstable at higher
Artificial dyes and hyperactive children An L.A. Times article reports on mounting science strengthening the connection between artificial food colors and hyperactive behavior in children. The improvement in behavior when dyes are removed from children’s diets is great enough in some cases to convince parents to take their children off Ritalin. There are 9 artificial colors approved for use by the FDA. A study in the Lancet, a top medical journal, showed that exposures to artificial dyes increased hyperactivity in children, both among young people already displaying hyperactive behavior and children never before displaying such behaviors. The U.K. government has asked the food industry to voluntarily remove the dyes from foods, and most are complying. Kellogg has removed the dyes from Nutri-Grain cereal bars sold in the U.K., but so far not those sold in the U.S. The science supporting the FDA’s approval of the 9 dyes is 30 to 50 years old. In support of approval of the dyes, the FDA cites on its website a 1982 consensus report by the National Institutes of Health. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has petitioned the FDA to add warning labels on products containing the dyes.
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Clean Nutrition Report W W W. O N F I T N E S S M A G . C O M | V O L 1 8 N O 6 | 2 0 1 8 4 2
Sugar manufacturing and refining from engraver Johann Theodor de Bry’s voyages in the 16th century.
temperatures or in acidic environments, like the stomach. Many ﬁtness enthusiasts use this sweetener because of its origin in the amino acids aspartic acid and phenylalanine, which perhaps leads them to believe it’s healthy. On the contrary, in highly acidic environments and elevated temperatures, this compound can and does break down to form methanol and can even form formaldehyde (a.k.a. embalming ﬂuid), a highly toxic compound! Stay away from this sweetener as much as possible. Sucralose (Splenda): This chemical sweetener is reportedly the safest if you trust the FDA. There have supposedly been over 100 studies on it, and almost all of them show it’s safe. There was, however, 1 small study that showed a shrinkage of the thymus gland in rats fed this compound. Since the thymus is an important immune organ, shrinkage of this would not be ideal. Furthermore, the rumor is that Splenda was discovered while scientists were performing research on pesticides. In fact, it has a very similar chemical structure to many pesticides, being a chlorinated sugar molecule. This insight
alone has led many biochemists and alternative medicine practitioners to be very skeptical of this compound. As we are sure many readers have experienced, Splenda is known for causing uncomfortable gas, bloating and other digestive dysfunction. This makes sense given that much of the research on sucralose shows that most of the compound passes through the digestive system unabsorbed. Thanks to a thriving marketing campaign, this sweetener is by far becoming the most popular alternative sweetener on the market. Once again, though much of the research concludes that the product is safe, in our biased opinion, any molecule resembling a pesticide is suspect. Because of this, try natural sweeteners such as xylitol, erythritol or stevia.
Natural sweeteners Xylitol (pronounced zye-la-tall): this completely natural compound can be found in many fruits. Interestingly, the human body actually makes and uses several grams of xylitol per day in various biochemical reactions. This naturally occurring compound was ﬁrst used in large amounts in Russia and Finland during sugar shortages during WWII. Xylitol, derived from the bark of birch trees or the husks of corn, comes in granule form and can be used 1 for 1 in place of sugar. Xylitol actually has many health beneﬁts. It has been shown to inhibit bacterial adherence in the mouth, nose, lungs and ears. Because of this, it has the potential to decrease cavities and decrease upper respiratory tract infections, especially ear infections in children. Rat studies also show it may have a favorable impact on bone density and muscle mass. In all, this sweetener is not only a good replacement for sugar but also a healthy functional food. Xylitol, sold under the brand name Xylosweet, among others, can be found in most health food stores. It should be introduced into the diet slowly to avoid the digestive discomfort that may occur in some people. Usually, this effect is transient, as the body adapts quickly to xylitol’s ingestion. Most people adjust to this sweetener just ﬁne, enjoying the very low calorie count (4 calories per teaspoon) and non-insulinpromoting effects. It has the clean, sweet taste of sugar with a slightly cooling aftertaste. Erythritol: pronounced ee-rith-ra-tall, this is another natural sweetener found in small concentrations in fruit. Like xylitol, the taste is almost indistinguishable from regular table sugar. It’s a zero-calorie sweetener and has no effect on insulin. It also has favorable, healthy effects on good bacteria that live in the digestive tract. Gentle on the stomach, this sweetener is slightly less sweet than sugar, about 70 percent as sweet, and will serve in a pinch to squash a sugar craving. It’s sold under the brand names Sweet Simplicity and Zero, and
The sweetest thing There are other sweeteners on the market, but the ones described here are the most popular. A good rule of thumb when evaluating a sweetener is to choose ones that are more natural, are low in calories, and have a low insulin response without other detrimental metabolic issues. Synthetic, unnatural sweeteners should be examined with suspicion, in our opinion. They have not been in the food supply long enough to ascertain
their true, long-term effects. In fact, one could argue that the consumers of these compounds are essentially the guinea pigs in the synthetic sweetener experiment. Furthermore, many of the companies that hold or have held patents on these products (i.g., Monsanto) stand to lose millions of dollars if bad information is revealed about them. These companies have the money and the marketing machine to shape public opinion while potentially hiding scientiﬁc ﬁndings regarding these compounds. Be scrupulous in your evaluation of artiﬁcial sweeteners. By the same token, just because a sweetener is natural does not make it healthy. Sugar is, after all, natural, but extremely detrimental to human health in excess of small amounts. Z
Beat the blues Feeling low? Eat foods that contain vitamin B1: brown rice, whole grains and sunflower seeds, and foods that contain vitamin B6: legumes, nuts, seeds and avocados and dark leafy greens.
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it has a very light taste with a slight vanilla aftertaste. Stevia: this sweetener is probably the most commonly recognized naturally sweet compound. It comes from the South American plant stevia rebaudiana, known also as sweet leaf. Stevia is made from the leaves of the plant, which have about 300x the sweetness of sugar. The plant has been used in South America for hundreds of years, as well as other countries like Japan for decades. Stevia has recently been approved for use as a sweetener in the United States and has earned GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status from the FDA. Cargill, a major food manufacturing company, has recently launched a sweetener using rebaudioside, 1 of the sweet compounds in stevia, along with erythritol. It’s sold under the brand name Truvia and is becoming widely available from many grocers around the country. With no insulin-producing effects, stevia has been used by native cultures to treat diabetes for centuries and can help resensitize the body to insulin’s action. To be objective, it’s responsible to report that very high amounts of the leaf have been shown in some animal studies to lower sperm counts by affecting testosterone. Though this has not been shown in humans, women of certain native cultures have reportedly fed the leaves to their husbands if they suspected that they were being unfaithful, lending some credibility to the claim. Maltitol (pronounced mall-ta-tall): this is another “sugar alcohol” like erythritol and xylitol. It’s made from the hydrogenation of glucose polymers and contains about 2 calories per gram. It’s approximately 90 percent as sweet as sugar and has a very safe track record. Maltitol has not found widespread acclaim because it’s absorbed very slowly and therefore frequently has many uncomfortable digestive effects including gas and laxative action in sensitive people. It’s found in many sugar-free hard candies, gummy bears and chocolates. Though a safe alternative, we would recommend consuming it in small amounts to test its effects before diving right in!
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Clean Nutrition Report
HEART HEALTH How does fish oil compare to statins? Arthur Remington “Cholesterol drug drops heart attack risk rate in healthy individuals” said the November 2008 headline in bold print. The drug being feted was Crestor, which is touted for its heart health beneﬁts. Some health care analysts believe the ﬁndings behind studies on Crestor (which, not
coincidentally, are ﬁnanced by the makers of Crestor) will greatly expand the market for statins. And it is no wonder — these drugs are the top-selling drugs worldwide in a massive industry. Billions and billions of dollars have been invested into these drugs. Statins are a class of drugs speciﬁcally designed to target cholesterol to allegedly help people with
heart problems. As of late, however, the whole cholesterol issue is up in the air. One of the results of the recent Crestor study is a change in focus — from a reliance on cholesterol issues to use of C-reactive protein as an indicator of potential heart issues. This is a huge shift in direction, as cholesterol has been the litmus test of heart problems for the past several decades. Amazingly, the entire discussion on heart health is taking a turn away from cholesterol and toward C-reactive protein markers. The big question in the medical community is whether or not our knowledge of cholesterol has lost its role as a heart problem indicator. The medical community is starting to examine C-reactive protein as the new heart problem indicator. It is believed by some health care experts that the push behind AstraZeneca’s cholesterol drug Crestor has the potential to change the battle against heart disease. Interestingly, the media is suddenly touting Crestor as also being effective against Creactive protein problems. C-reactive protein is an indicator of inﬂammation in the body, and some point to it as a reaction to heart problems. The timing of the release of the Crestor study is ironic, as another recent study found that ﬁsh oil was slightly more effective than the drug in beneﬁting patients with chronic heart failure. This study, performed in Europe, was conducted over a 4-year time span and included thousands of subjects. The takeaway from the study is that it’s better to take ﬁsh oil than the drug, even aside from the potential side effects that statin drugs offer. Statin drugs come with a price — harmful effects on the body. For instance, the FDA issued an advisory on risks from taking statins, which includes an increased risk for potentially life-threatening muscle damage, known as rhabdomyolysis (which can lead to kidney problems, including failure). In fact, there have been a few dozen cases of kidney failure from Crestor, and AstraZeneca has cut the recommended dosage in half. With ﬁsh oil, you don’t have to worry about these potentially “lifethreatening” issues. Fish oil is 1 of nature’s best heart-healthy choices. Not only are there no side effects, it is simply better for the heart than drugs. The American Heart Association states: “Omega-3 fatty acids beneﬁt the heart of healthy people, and those at high risk of — or who have — cardiovascular disease. We recommend eating ﬁsh (particularly fatty ﬁsh) at least 2 times a week. Fish is a good source of protein and doesn’t have the high saturated fat that fatty meat products do. Fatty ﬁsh like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are high in 2 kinds of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid.” Scientists point to the fact that fatty acids from ﬁsh oils are stored in the cell
your leg, C-reactive protein will skyrocket. It is not a speciﬁc (heart) marker by any stretch of the imagination.” He also points out that any of a large variety of variables, from cancer to asthma, can elevate C-reactive protein. In effect, elevated C-reactive protein can result from a wide range of issues besides heart problems, and
AGED GARLIC EXTRACT REDUCES CHOLESTEROL LEVELS A study completed by Pennsylvania State University researchers has found that an ingredient in aged garlic extract helps inhibit the liver’s ability to produce cholesterol. This is signiﬁcant because it shows that aged garlic extract works much the same way as cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as statins, but without any known side effects. Aged garlic extract has long been recognized for its cholesterol-lowering properties. The Pennsylvania State University researchers isolated an ingredient in aged garlic extract called S-allyl cysteine. Then they tested various concentrations of S-allyl cysteine on liver cells and determined that it successfully inhibited the formation of cholesterol by reducing the production of a liver enzyme called HMG-CoA. This enzyme is necessary for cholesterol synthesis. Aged garlic extract can help people who are working to reduce their cholesterol levels. S-allyl cysteine is effective even at the lowest concentrations tested. Aged garlic extract can be useful for the general public to help achieve the desired cholesterol level of 200 or less, and it has been shown in other studies to reduce total serum cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol while at the same time raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels. More research is necessary to completely understand how that happens. A recent separate clinical study has shown that aged garlic extract causes signiﬁcant inhibition of plaque formation in coronary arteries without any additional adverse effects.
it is absurd, he believes, to place emphasis on C-reactive protein as being directly related to speciﬁc heart problems. The so-called impressive ﬁndings come from a relative risk reduction, not an absolute risk reduction. These are 2 different animals, Ellison says, and the Crestor absolute risk reduction numbers are “clinically insigniﬁcant, which doesn’t rationalize taking the drug.” Relative risk reduction numbers can be more easily manipulated, or made to look impressive, than absolute numbers can be. And in the Crestor study, the relative numbers look appealing, but the absolute numbers are miniscule. The Crestor study’s claim, that the drug can prevent 30,000 heart attacks, is a speculation based on the relative risk, not the absolute risk. The absolute numbers don’t reveal anything. Ellison also has issues with Crestor’s side effects: they tend to surface after the fact. “Side effects don’t show up until after the drug is released into the general population.” Ellison says that some studies may last weeks or months, but for some side effects such as diabetes, “It can take 1-2 years to show up. The problems don’t show up until after the short-term study is over.” In fact, the short-term nature of most studies prevents a look at potentially devastating side effects of the long-term use of certain drugs. With the issues surrounding Crestor out there, it is certainly a candidate for a deeper look at what those side effects are. One of the scarier issues stemming from the recent Crestor study on C-reactive protein is the idea that Crestor needs to be given to healthy individuals who happen to have some C-reactive protein marker. The proposal is a preventive strike against potential heart issues. However, since Creactive protein is a general instead of a speciﬁc marker, this is a bad idea. Throw on top of that the side effect aspect, and you have reason to avoid, not take, Crestor. The smarter, healthier option is to consistently take ﬁsh oil supplements. Fish oil in ﬁsh or in supplements helps the heart and doesn’t have the probability of seriously harming the body in other areas. When it comes to heart health, the natural approach has the upper hand. Z
4th graders risk diabetes as a result of too many calories and a lack of nutrients A Texas team studied the diets, weight, body mass index and diabetes risk factors for a cohort of 1,402 fourth graders composed of Mexican American (80 percent), African American (10 percent), Asian (5 percent), and nonHispanic white children (5 percent). Nearly 75 percent of the children lived in households with less than $20,000 income. Almost half lacked adequate calories in their diet, yet 33 percent were obese and already, in the 4th grade, 7 percent had high blood glucose levels. Diets were composed of energyand calorie-dense foods such as cookies, chips, and ice cream, and were low in nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. The authors concluded that these children faced a high risk of developing diabetes and were in need of substantial dietary interventions, particular an increase in daily intakes of nutrientdense foods.
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membranes of heart cells and can prevent sudden cardiac death and fatal arrhythmias. Nevertheless, the press for the Crestor study involving C-reactive protein action has been prominent, elevating hopes in the health care community. Pharmaceutical chemist Shane Ellison, of NM, notes, “If you break
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Clean Nutrition Report
MEAT Jade Teta and Keoni Teta
Organic foods have become the go-to staple of many healthconscious individuals. Organic food has special allure because it gives outside assurance that, unlike conventional foods, its processing avoids compounds and chemicals that may harm human health and the environment. It’s useful to start this article with how organic food is deﬁned. Here is the direct deﬁnition from the U.S. Department of Agriculture: “Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled ‘organic,’ a Government-approved certiﬁer inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture organic standards.” Reading the above deﬁnition should make us all feel fairly comfortable that organic foods are indeed a good thing for our health. However, if you really want to understand whether a food is healthy or not, organic is only a small consideration. This is especially true for the organic animals you may consume. Before we get into talking about what a truly healthy organic animal is, let’s ﬁrst go through a little exercise. Let’s say we put you in a small prison cell with the ﬂoor, ceilings and walls made of bars. Directly above, below and beside you there are other people as well. Since your cell is made of bars, not only can you see these people, but if one happens to use the bathroom above you, well, you get the picture. Now let’s say when you were put in your cage, your hands were
cut off so you can’t reach out to punch the guy who just peed all over you. What about your diet? Let’s say you live off a constant supply of organic oatmeal raisin cookies, that’s it. If this was your life, do you think you would be healthy? Of course not. Assuming that the stressful conditions and lack of exercise were absent, living off of cookies, whether organic or not, isn’t an ideal diet. Believe it or not, the above scenario is very close to how many chickens, including organic ones, are raised in this country. We realize the above scenario is a disturbing one to imagine, but when you think about whether the animal protein you eat is healthy or not, there is far more to consider than just what that animal is eating. The only real difference for many organic animals is that they are fed organic feed, they are not not given antibiotics, and the growth hormone is omitted. However, often the living conditions remain the same. What’s the difference? The important thing to understand about conventionally raised animals and organic processed animals is that there are some key ways they differ and some important ways they are exactly the same. An organic animal is not exposed to chemicals in its feed. In the conventional world, there is no care taken to source animal feed that is free of pesticide residues, antifungal agents and antibiotics. This is an issue because pesticides and other chemicals are what are known as lipophilic. This means they tend to concentrate in fat tissues. When you consume the milk or meat of an animal that was raised on feed containing chemicals, you yourself will begin to concentrate these chemicals in your own body. This is because
animals eat massive quantities of feed during their lives, concentrating these compounds at levels that could not be duplicated even if you ate the contaminated feed yourself. Pesticides A study in the January 2009 issue of Environmental International showed that a popular pesticide called hexachlorobenzene was highly concentrated in human fat tissue. The levels found were directly correlated to how much conventional milk, cheese, chicken and ﬁsh were eaten. Exposure to this compound and other pesticides was shown to interrupt the maturity of young women, increase the pesticide concentrations in breast milk and interrupt normal immune function (February 2005 issue of Pediatrics and the October 1998 and November1998 issues of Environmental Health Perspectives). Antibiotics Overdosing animals on antibiotics is another issue. Organic animals, unlike conventional animals, do not receive routine antibiotic therapy or standard growth hormone. The question to ask is, why are these measures used in the ﬁrst place? The reason is that animals processed in the conventional manner live in crowded and stressful surroundings. They eat foods like corn and sorghum that are unnatural to their digestive systems. The living conditions and unnatural food cause stress and digestive distress, often leading to malnourishment and illness. When this occurs, antibiotics become necessary. Interestingly, naturally raised animals do not have this issue. A cow, for instance, is not meant to eat grain, and when it does, E. coli bacteria overgrow. You can think of a cow eating grain
Organic is more nutritious A report entitled “New Evidence Confirms the Nutritional Superiority of Plant-Based Organic Foods,” jointly produced by the Organic Center and professors from the University of Florida Department of Horticulture and Washington State University, provides evidence that organic foods contain, on average, a 25 percent higher concentration of 11 nutrients than their conventional counterparts. The report was based on estimated differences in nutrient levels across 236 comparisons of organically and conventionally grown foods.
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SPECIAL FOOD REPORT
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Cattle that are fed grass have lower fat levels and higher levels of the healthy omega-3 fats than do grain-fed cattle; and grain-fed cattle have higher concentrations of trans fat and saturated fat (vol. 15, no. 1, Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition). Similarly, a July 2008 article in the Journal of the American Diabetes Association looked at the 4 most common farmed raised ﬁsh (salmon, trout, tilapia and catﬁsh) to determine the concentrations of healthy fats. While salmon and trout were shown to retain marginal levels of omega-3 oils, the tilapia and catﬁsh were shown to have extremely high levels of saturated and omega-6 fats, making these ﬁsh every bit as hazardous to your health as a grain fed cow.
as being like a human who is lactose intolerant drinking milk. Both will result in rather unpleasant digestive upset and alter the bacterial concentration of the digestive system. Feeding a cow large amounts of grain almost guarantees the need for antibiotics and the growth of bacteria such as E. coli. Another interesting issue related to antibiotics is the development of resistant strains of bacteria. It’s 1 thing to get a bacterial infection of salmonella, but it’s a whole other thing to be able to treat it. It turns out the widespread use of antibiotics in conventionally raised animals creates resistant bacteria that pose unique risks. Resistant bacteria are immune to many of the antibiotics your doctor will use to treat you if you happen to become infected. An article in the Journal of Food Protection (Vol. 71 #12) determined there was very little difference in the amount of bacteria present in organic vs. conventional meat, but showed the bacteria in conventional meat was resistant to many of the antibiotics tested. On the other hand, organic meat bacteria remained sensitive to 7 of the 10 antibiotics used. Growth hormones Sick, stressed-out animals have a difﬁcult time growing fat or generating enough milk. This means less money at market for farmers. To deal with this, growth hormones, sex steroids and other hormones are used. There is a debate among scientists and regulating bodies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, WHO and
CODEX about what, if any, risk these hormones have. A December 2002 article in the American Journal of Nutrition Research Reviews discussed this debate at length, showing that many of the hormones used in the meat industry are potential carcinogens. Many European countries have banned any animal products where hormones are used because of these fears.
Natural-fed vs. organic The above shows that an organic animal is a better option for your health, but it’s not the best option. Many organically raised animals are still raised in a way that is less than desirable. For an animal to be healthy, it needs to eat natural, healthy food that it’s designed to eat. Fish and cattle are a good example. Most people have heard that red meat is not healthy because it has too much and the wrong types of fat. By the same token, many people have heard that ﬁsh is healthy because it has “good” fats such as omega 3. If you feed a cow grass, its natural food, instead of grain, the same “good” fats found in ﬁsh will show up in the cow. Grass, like algae, has high concentrations of omega 3 oils. An organic cow is no different from a conventional cow is in this regard. Also, a ﬁsh crammed into a giant tank with a bunch of other ﬁsh that’s fed the same grain fed to a cow will develop a fat proﬁle that looks more like a cow’s. Farmed raised ﬁsh and grain-fed cattle, whether organic or not, should not be considered health food. The health of an animal, like the health of a human, depends on the life it lives and the food it eats.
It’s the lifestyle We often get tired of the medical experts in the popular media who focus too much on possible genetic causes of problems. They believe that if a human gets sick, it’s probably due to poor genetics, and a person’s lifestyle is rarely considered. The health of a cow (or ﬁsh, pig or chicken, etc.), like that of a human, is based on how it lives. Whether an animal is healthy to eat is a matter not just of being raised organically but also of what they were fed and how they were raised. A cow is meant to eat grass, and is not meant to be crammed into a feedlot and force-fed grain. A ﬁsh, too, is meant to eat algae or other ﬁsh that eat algae. They don’t naturally live in giant tanks and eat corn and other grains. A chicken or turkey does best on a diet of insects and worms and a life of ranging freely, not stuck in a metal box of bars. Here are 6 tips to eating protein that’s not only beneﬁcial for you, but beneﬁcial for the environment. Eat wild game. Elk, deer and other wild animals make an excellent source of protein, being low in fat and high in omega-3. Eat animals that don’t like grain, such as buffalo and lamb. While they will eat some, it’s usually less than other animals. Eat grass-fed and grass-ﬁnished cows. Remember, all cows are fed grass until they are taken to the feedlot and fattened up. The amount of time they spend in the feedlot is directly proportional to how healthy they will be. Ask if the cattle was grass ﬁnished. Grass-ﬁnished cattle eat grass their whole lives and are never given grain. Eat wild ﬁsh. Avoid farmed raised ﬁsh and always ask which ﬁsh were wild caught or line caught. Eat Alaskan salmon or salmon in the can. There is no such thing as a wild Atlantic salmon. All Atlantic salmon are farmed raised. The only wild salmon comes from the West Coast. Most canned salmon is wild. Eat-low fat animals. If all else fails, eat animals that are low in fat to minimize the negative contaminants and bad fats. Z
Dwayne Hines II What would you say to a health food supplement that could help in cancer prevention, enhance the body’s immune response, and, to top it off act as a strong free radical quencher? Get it on the market quick, right? It is on the market, but you probably haven’t heard of it. The substance is astaxanthin. Astaxanthin can be derived from several different sources. Many of these astaxanthin sources are aquatic in nature. These include certain types of ﬁsh (particularly trout and salmon), shrimp, krill, crayﬁsh, crustaceans, micro-algae and yeast. Most people don’t eat enough of these food items to get signiﬁcant amounts of astaxanthin, but it can also be picked up through supplementation. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid. It is the element in ﬁsh that gives their ﬂesh its vivid red color. That bright red hue in the ﬂesh of salmon and trout comes from astaxanthin’s carotenoid aspect. Carotenoids are important for human nutrition because they protect the body from oxidative damage. Astaxanthin is 1 of the most powerful carotenoids; its antioxidant capability is immense. For example, astaxanthin compares especially favorably to vitamin E. Studies have revealed that astaxanthin can be up to 100 to 500 times more effective than vitamin E at preventing lipid peroxidation (damage by free radicals) in animal cell membranes (Physiological Chemistry and Physics and Medical NMR 22). Other studies have shown that astaxanthin efﬁcacy in quenching singlet oxygen was up to 80 to 550 times higher than vitamin E (Biochemical Society Transactions). Why would athletes and ﬁtness enthusiasts be speciﬁcally interested in astaxanthin? One of the best applications for astaxanthin is to curb free radical activity. Curbing free radical activity is beneﬁcial for the human body, and especially the hard-training athlete, who really stirs up free radical action. Mark A. Jenkins, MD, associate team physician for Rice University, notes: endurance exercise can increase oxygen utilization from 10 to 20 times over the resting state. This greatly increases the generation of free radicals, prompting concern about enhanced damage to muscles and other tissues. Ironically, those who work out the most produce the most free radical activity, free radical generation levels that are exponentially higher than the sedentary person’s levels. This is 1 of the side effects of strong oxygen utilization. The non-athlete doesn’t generate this type of response owing to their minimal physical activity (however, the sedentary person may generate it through other means, such as poor diet). But the hardcore athlete is not the only one who needs to be aware of free radical generation. There is 1 group of people even more susceptible — the people who move from the sedentary state into initial physical activity on occasion. That is because free radical activity can be especially harmful on novice or part-time trainees: Intense exercise in untrained individuals overwhelms defenses resulting in increased free radical damage. Thus, the “weekend warrior” who is predominantly sedentary during the week but engages in vigorous bouts of exercise during the weekend may be doing more harm than good (Physiol. Chem. Phys. & Med. NMR 22). This doesn’t mean you should forgo exercise, but that you do need to
address this free radical ﬂood that comes from the physical activity. Although endurance training is speciﬁcally cited, hardcore resistance training also boosts free radical activity. Therefore, being able to address harmful free radical activity is highly beneﬁcial to any and all athletes and trainees. The harder the training, the more important it is to put a lid on the free radical romp in the body. Astaxanthin’s ability to strongly work as a free radical suppressor makes it an ideal supplement. Astaxanthin also has the ability to enhance the body’s immune system response. This is a superb beneﬁt for the athlete and trainee, since the stronger your immune system, the better you can maintain constant training levels. Training strains the body’s immune system initially (although strengthening it in the long run), and if there is also a viral or bacterial illness making the rounds, the body becomes very susceptible to it. The combination of a hard workout and trying to stay healthy as well can be too much for the immune system. Having something to strengthen the immune system is very important, and astaxanthin provides that support. In addition to being an effective free radical ﬁghter and an immune system supporter, astaxanthin also is being studied for its cancer ﬁghting properties. Add to that its ability to beneﬁt the eyes, and you have an incredible package of beneﬁts in 1 nutritional element. The health market is starting to recognize how powerful astaxanthin is, and now some companies are offering it in various forms for human consumption. It’s currently offered in pill form from its various sources. Two of the most potent types of astaxanthin come from yeast and from micro-algae. Two caveats — if you take a lot of astaxanthin, your skin may take on a tone change similar to that from an artiﬁcial tanning lotion. That’s a small price to pay for the healthy beneﬁts of astaxanthin. Also, be aware that some astaxanthin comes from synthetic/ chemical origin. Z
Common herbicide increases risk of colon cancer and leukemia A government epidemiological study has established a connection between occupational exposures to the thiocarbamate herbicide EPTC and human cancer. The research is part of the Agricultural Health Study and focused on EPTC applicators in Iowa and North Carolina between 1993 and 1997. While the team called for further research, they found an association between EPTC exposures and colon cancer and leukemia.
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Clean Nutrition Report
ATASTE OF IMMORTALITY Cocoa, the future of medicine Keoni Teta and Jillian Sarno Theobroma cacao, the scientific name of the plant from which raw cocoa is made and the main ingredient in chocolate, literally means “food of the gods.” It is a famous plant with a lengthy and rich history; a symbol of love that cuts across
cultures; a power food packed with antioxidants, phytochemicals, minerals and the building blocks of neurotransmitters and other “feel-good” hormones; and a medicine backed by modern research with far-reaching implications for treating cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases. Some experts are even saying the healthgiving properties of cocoa will potentially benefit public health equal to or more than
antibiotics and anesthesia. The beautiful thing is that raw organic cocoa is readily available in health food stores. History Theobroma cacao is native to Central and South America. Historical documentation cites cocoa and its products a cure for almost everything from fatigue, indigestion, emaciation and hemorrhoids to respiratory ailments, cancer, depression and heart problems. The ancient people of Central America, the Mayans and Aztecs, believed this plant could impart immortality. Well, this amazing plant probably will not impart immortality to its consumer, but if there were ever a food to do so, cocoa would be the one. Throughout history, the cocoa plant has been used as currency, food and medicine. In fact, the cocoa bean is still used as a form of currency in some areas of South America. The Aztecs revered Theobroma cacao because of its central role
Quality control So what about chocolate? Can we consider it a health food? It is important to realize that most research is conducted on raw cocoa powder and not chocolate. With that being said, there is some indication that chocolate can be a healthy addition to the diet, but the real magic happens with raw organic cocoa powder. The greatest health beneﬁts are derived from unprocessed cocoa rather than a processed version of it, and so raw organic cocoa is superior to dark chocolate, which is better than milk chocolate. Dutch processed or alkalinized cocoa helps reduce the acidity of raw cocoa, but also destroys some of its medicinal power. Raw cocoa that is not organic contains pesticide and herbicide residues. There is also controversy surrounding the high amount of lead found in some cocoa products. Lead is a heavy metal that can cause damage to the body when ingested in almost any amount. The evidence seems to point to the manufacturing process of raw cocoa as the source of lead. An October 2005 study in Environmental Health Perspectives shows that the cocoa bean itself has very little lead; in fact, it has 1 of the lowest levels of lead of any natural food. There are insigniﬁcant amounts of lead found in raw beans, but signiﬁcant amounts found in some chocolate products, leading one to conclude the manufacturing process is the culprit. Unfortunately, no one is exactly sure where all the lead is coming from. To be safe and promote maximal health beneﬁts and to prevent potential lead exposure, choose raw organic cocoa. You can also call your favorite chocolate company and ask about their policies for testing heavy metals in their products.
Constituents in cocoa What is it about raw organic cocoa powder that makes it such a powerful medicinal food? For starters, it is packed full of antioxidant-rich phytonutrients. Antioxidants help quell the ﬁre of free radicals our bodies generate and are exposed to every day. One way to measure the antioxidant potential of a food is by its ORAC value. ORAC is the acronym for oxygen radical absorption capacity, and is a measure of the potential antioxidant capacity of a food. In theory, the higher the ORAC value, the higher the concentration of antioxidants present in a food. Organic raw cocoa has the highest ORAC value of any food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture/Journal of the American Chemical Society has released data on high ORAC value foods per 100 grams compared to unprocessed raw cocoa (28,000): dark chocolate (13,210), prunes (5,770), blueberries (2,400), kale (1,770) and broccoli (890). According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American gets a 1,200 ORAC value/day in their diets. They go on to say that Americans should strive to get a 3,000-5,000 ORAC value/day. One teaspoon of raw cocoa powder, about 5 grams has an approximate ORAC value of 1,400, which gives you almost half of what you need. The phytonutrients that give raw cocoa powder its high antioxidant value are a group of compounds called polyphenols, or, more speciﬁcally, ﬂavonoids. Cocoa has more ﬂavonoids than any known food. Two ﬂavonoids in particular, catechin and epicatechin, are found in extremely high amounts in cocoa powder and have copious amounts of research supporting their health beneﬁts. These 2 ﬂavonoids, along with hundreds of other known phytochemicals in cocoa, appear to prevent and even treat some of today’s most devastating diseases. Interestingly, this myriad of ﬂavonoids in cocoa appears to be absorbed intact into the human bloodstream (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Nov 2002), which allows them to exert their medicinal power on the body. Many Americans are deﬁcient in the minerals copper and magnesium, both of which are found in cocoa. Cocoa contains about 0.8 mg of copper per 100 g and is therefore a great food source
of copper. Copper has many uses in the body, including the oxygenation of red blood cells and aiding in cellular energy production. Cocoa also has the highest amount of magnesium of any known food source, approximately 131 mg per 100 g of cocoa. This mineral, which plays a signiﬁcant role in cocoa’s health-giving properties, is required by more than 300 enzymes in the body and is crucial for cardiovascular health, optimal blood pressure and protein synthesis. Cocoa and chocolate have the reputation of making people euphoric and happy. This is probably why chocolate is the gift of choice on Valentine’s Day. There is a wide array of chemicals in cocoa that cause euphoria, including phenylethlamine, serotonin, tyramine and anandamide. One of the most well known is phenyethlamine, which helps the body release its own opium-like compounds, called the endorphins, and also boosts levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Endorphins and dopamine give one a sense of well-being and can act as an antidepressant. Phenylethlamine and dopamine ﬂood the brain when we fall in love or have an orgasm. The other “feelgood” chemicals in cocoa are serotonin and tyramine. Most people are deﬁcient in the neurotransmitter serotonin, and this is why many Americans are prescribed antidepressants, which boost serotonin levels. Tyramine helps reduce anxiety and balance mood, but it can also trigger migraines in sensitive people. Another constituent found in cocoa that alters the mental state in a pleasurable way is anandamide, whose name is derived from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means “bliss.” This chemical binds to the same receptor sites in the brain as THC, the active constituent in marijuana. It is no wonder that cocoa has the reputation of being an antidepressant, an aphrodisiac and a calming stimulant. Health effects of cocoa As naturopathic physicians, we have such a great appreciation for the medicinal properties of raw organic cocoa. One thing we learned in medical school is that if we want to cure disease, we can learn from populations around the world where those diseases do not exist. The Kuna people of San Blas, off the coast of Panama, are turning
What does rocket fuel have to do with water? Water from the tap may contain toxins that are used in rocket fuel. Rather than guzzling water from the public drinking fountains at your health club between sets, get a water treatment system and bring purified water from home to the gym. Tap water may also contain insect repellents, drycleaning fluids and flame retardants. It’s estimated that about 40 percent of America’s water does not meet standards for protecting the health of the public.
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in their culture. They even believed the plant to have divine origins. Due to this belief, the consumption of cocoa was usually reserved for royalty, warriors and other high-society people. While the Spanish were exploring the Americas in the 1500s, cocoa was being introduced to Europe. Although initially consumed by the European elite, cocoa quickly spread through Europe to the masses. Chocolate, cocoa’s most familiar product, has its origins in Europe.
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Clean Nutrition Report out to be wonderful teachers for the rest of the world, thanks to the ongoing work of Norman K. Hollenberg and colleagues at Harvard Medical School. He found that the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke — 4 of the most common killers today — are almost nonexistent in these people. As part of living by their traditional ways, they drink an average of 5 cups of cocoa per day, making them the world-record holders of a ﬂavonoid-rich diet. There has been much modern research conducted on this ancient plant with astoundingly positive results. Most notably, the positive effects of drinking raw organic cocoa have been illustrated for various parameters of cardiovascular dysfunction including high blood pressure and diabetes. There is also sound research stating that cocoa has immune-stimulating effects, can be used adjunctively to treat cancer, helps oxygenate the brain and promotes detoxiﬁcation of industrial chemicals in the body. Through randomized controlled trials, many researchers, including Fisher et al. in the Journal of Hypertension and Taubert et al. in JAMA, have demonstrated that habitual cocoa intake lowers blood pressure via its high arginine content and the nitric oxide pathway. Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. Other protective mechanisms that cocoa can offer against cardiovascular disease come from its potent antioxidant proﬁle. The ﬂavonoids in cocoa raise HDL, the “good” cholesterol, and both lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and protect it from being oxidized (damaged by free radicals) in the blood, which helps ﬁght against plaque formation according to Baba et al. in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2007). Flammer et al. in Circulation (2007) demonstrated that cocoa reduces platelet aggregation, or, in other words, thins the blood. Platelets are sticky little cell fragments that help our body repair injury, but they can also contribute to plaque formation in the arteries. Cocoa acts as a natural blood thinner when taken daily. One of the most deadly complications from diabetes mellitus (type II diabetes) is heart disease. Cocoa protects us from these complications and also helps promote insulin sensitivity, according to Grassi et al. in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2005). Cancer is fast becoming the number 1 killer of Americans; colon, breast and prostate are among the most common types. Components of cocoa, notably the polyphenols, have been shown to stop proliferation of breast, prostate and colon cancer cells while sparing normal cells by researchers at Georgetown University’s Department of Oncology and others, including Bisson et al. (Journal of Medicinal Food  and European Journal of Cancer
Cocoa and chocolate have the reputation of making people euphoric and happy. This is probably why chocolate is the gift of choice on Valentine’s Day. Prevention , and Carnesecchi et al. in Cancer Letters ). Research is also showing cocoa powder to help immune function, cognition, and detoxiﬁcation. Cocoa can both upregulate speciﬁc immune cells and help modulate immune function. It appears to increase brain oxygenation, which has beneﬁcial implications for diseases such as dementia. And ﬁnally, raw organic cocoa powder, with its high ﬁber content, has been shown to facilitate the excretion and detoxiﬁcation of environmental contaminants from the body. Cocoa myths There is some confusion about the source of cocaine and cocoa. Cocaine is derived from the plant Erythroxylum coca, which is a different plant from the one cocoa and chocolate come from, Theobroma cacao. Good-quality chocolate is also unlikely to cause weight gain because of its lower sugar content. Data appears to suggest that raw organic cocoa powder aids fat loss. There is also the myth of chocolate or cocoa causing high cholesterol. Raw cocoa powder contains very little cocoa butter, and although cocoa butter
contains saturated fat, speciﬁcally stearic acid, this fat has a neutral effect on blood lipids. What about the myth of cocoa/chocolate being addictive? Compared with coffee, cocoa has a very low caffeine content and does not impart withdrawal symptoms. Some people will also say chocolate causes acne, but again, the research does not substantiate this. Conclusion It is easy to see that cocoa not only plays a multifactorial role in protecting us from chronic degenerative diseases, but also goes a long way to making us feel good by its mood-enhancing and nutritive properties. It may not impart immortality to us yet, but it is certainly immortalized in human history. How wise the ancient peoples were to realize the powerful and far-reaching implications of this amazing plant. Modern research is beginning to prove what the ancients already knew: raw organic cocoa is truly a gift from the gods. We invite you to taste this magical food and discover its many medicinal beneﬁts yourself. For maximum health beneﬁts, raw cocoa should be unsweetened. Z
Is the word antioxidant just another health industry marketing phrase? Because we hear it so much, is it just another cool trend to even use it in a sentence and drink the juices that contain antioxidants? All over in ads on TV, on the radio and in our neighborhood supermarkets, we see that word. What exactly are antioxidants other than the content of some foods and drinks in hip designed packaging? Are they really that good for us? Absolutely. On a daily basis and no matter where we live, our bodies are exposed to all sorts of intruders that aim only to make us sick and damage our bodies. These intruders are called free radicals: unstable oxygen molecules. Free radicals damage cells and cause harm to the immune system. Also, they can speed up the aging process. Yes, if you don’t eat properly, your body’s aging process can speed up, making you look older than your true age. By eating properly (consuming sufﬁcient amounts of antioxidants), not only will you help minimize premature aging of the skin, but you might also possibly reverse the effects of an aging mind. Besides aging, among the other harmful effects of free radicals are heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In addition, recovery from athletic performance is negatively affected. Let’s take a deeper look at free radicals Free radicals are formed by a process called oxidation (damage caused by oxygen). This is the same process that causes rust on metals.
You can slow down the oxidation process by consuming antioxidants. Exposure to toxins such as cigarette smoke, pollution, chemicals and radiation aids in the development of free radicals. These exposures cause the oxygen molecules in our bodies to break down to eventually form the reactive molecule known as a free radical. As science discovers how to better ﬁght free radicals, we will be able to improve our life span by a number of years. Recommended preventive measures are to avoid smoking, stick with a well-designed exercise program and to stay away from pollutants when possible. We must take extra measures to ensure that we are indeed protecting ourselves. As with any health and wellness goal, diet is an important part, especially a diet containing plentiful antioxidants. Antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals, are natural substances that we can use to ﬁght and prevent any damage to cells caused by the unstable oxygen molecules. They also stop the chemical reactions that lead up to the creation of free radicals. So be sure to increase consumption of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and ﬁsh, and reduce eating processed foods and items with white sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A) Carotenes are found in plant foods. They not only protect plants but also help protect the body from free radicals. Sources of beta-carotene include apricots, carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe and broccoli. A darker color of the fruit or vegetable means more beta-carotene content. Vitamin C Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen, which is important to skin health and preventing skin aging. It also helps the body absorb iron. Vitamin C also helps wounds repair rather quickly. Sources of vitamin C include many fruits (citrus and strawberries), vegetables (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, etc.) and also beef, poultry and ﬁsh. Vitamin E Some may say that vitamin E is known as the answer to anti-aging. Sources of vitamin E include mangoes, eggs, sunﬂower seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sesame oil and whole grains. Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and corn are other great sources. Green tea Green tea is one of the most potent antioxidants. It reduces the risks of skin damage and skin cancer due to radiation, and the risk of lung cancer due to smoking. Green tea is unprocessed, while black tea and oolong tea are partially processed. Berries From berries you will get vitamins, minerals and potent antioxidants. For ﬁghting cancer and heart disease, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are great choices. Blueberries also help keep the aging process away. Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo extract has been known to reduce clots and reduce blood pressure. It also hunts and destroys free radicals and prevents the formation of them in the ﬁrst place. Another effect of ginkgo biloba is to protect the brain, as it promotes proper blood ﬂow to the brain and improves alertness. Z
Eggs Eat only fertilized eggs from free-range hens. Most of the eggs these days come from chickens that live in cages all their lives and never see the sun. They are fed chemical-laden foods. A healthy, range-fed chicken will produce eggs that have thick yellow yolks as opposed to pale yellow ones. An egg contains all the amino acids necessary for human life and therefore are good additions to your diet.
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GET STRONG 9
PROVEN WORKOUT STRATEGIES YOU NEED TO KNOW.
Smart training 55
9 STEPS TO MIND-BODY TRAINING Train your mind and body to develop a balanced fitness lifestyle that not only feels good but will also have you looking great! Dr. Matthew Tischler Let’s be real, we go to the gym to look better, get stronger, feel awesome and, of course, get healthier, right? Many people train to look great, but they neglect the most important ﬁtness goal, which is to increase their overall health. Being healthy can mean different things to different people, but according to Dorland’s Medical Dictionary, health is optimal physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or inﬁrmity. This deﬁnition is not focused on symptoms but instead on functioning of the body. Since the brain controls every function of the body, it makes sense to begin by learning how to be a master of your own mind and develop enough mental control to be able to place your attention only on the thoughts that empower you and provide inspiration for creating the healthiest version of you possible. If the only goal of a ﬁtness plan is to look a certain way or to reach a desired weight, it is destined to fail and often ends up being shortlived and unfulﬁlling. Below are 5 important steps that when done consistently, have a profound impact on body mind training and will have you looking your very best while developing the healthiest version of you possible. Start with forming a clear and deﬁnite mental image of what it would feel like and look like to be completely healthy. If you combine that with frequent contemplation and gratitude, the trained mind will set your body into a type of autopilot or cruise control to do things such as eat correctly, lift the right amount of weight, rest as needed, stretch and even train in a certain way that produces the most effective and lasting results. Begin each day with a brief meditation to set in motion the power of directing the mind to choose the thoughts that serve it best. A great way to start if you are new to meditation is a technique called breath counting. In this meditation, sit in a
comfortable chair with your back straight and place your focus on the sensation of breathing, especially noticing the feeling of air as it passes out through your nose. The mind will wander, but you can use the sensation of the breath as an anchor to focus on the moment while counting to yourself silently on each breath out from 1 to 10, then begin again. If you lose count, simply start over again at 1. The purpose of this meditation is not to learn how to relax, but instead to train your mind how to focus. Start out with a few minutes each day and increase the minutes over time. Develop a training routine. Make time each day for some type of physical exercise. Ideally devote 45 minutes to an hour 3 to 5 times a week. Whether it be jumping rope, jogging, lifting weights, yoga, biking, swimming or a sport, some is better than none. It is important to look at whatever workout you choose as your “play time.” The goal is to move the body, challenging ﬂexibility, strength, speed and balance. It’s been shown that when ﬂexibility is equal to strength, the side effect is perfect balance. Train the core muscles, which protect the spine and provide stability between the upper and lower body. A great core exercise to start off with is abdominal hollowing, which is the ﬁrst position of all the other core exercises and should be mastered before advancing to more challenging core protocols. To perform this exercise, lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet ﬂat on the ﬂoor. As you exhale draw your belly button in toward your spine and hold the exhalation while bracing your lower back ﬂat against the ﬂoor. Hold this position for up to 5 minutes while breathing comfortably, with slightly longer than usual exhalations. This exercise transfers to every movement you will ever do. Eat the proper balance of lean protein, healthy fats and complex carbs. On training days keep lean protein high. Include chicken, ﬁsh, turkey, beef and eggs. Eat 1 g of protein per pound of body weight. Healthy carbs should account for 35-45 percent of your daily calories, which include sweet potatoes, rice, yams and fruit. The rest of your calories should come from vegetables and healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts and coconut oil. On rest days cut carbs in half. Drink plenty of water and avoid sugar and diet drinks. Get 6-8 hours of sleep nightly. Z
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BUILDING POWER AND STRENGTH Jason Miller Next to the squat, there is perhaps no better lower body resistance training exercise than the deadlift. While the squat exercise recruits the majority of the lower body muscles, the deadlift focuses primarily on the posterior chain consisting of the hamstring, glute and erector spinae (lumbar) muscle groups. When the fitness enthusiast is developing a balanced program, whether focusing on athletic performance, bodybuilding or general fitness, the deadlift is a multiple-joint lift that can accomplish the
same amount of work in less time than multiple single-joint exercises that target the hamstrings, glute and erector muscles. In particular, athletes benefit greatly from the deadlift because of the importance of the glute and hamstring muscle groups during the pulling phase of running and sprinting. Anecdotal evidence for the importance of the glute and hamstring muscle groups is found in successful power athletes, who have well-developed glutes and/or hamstrings. However, many trainers and fitness enthusiasts avoid the deadlift because of its potential for causing injury. While the exercise does
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In particular, athletes benefit greatly from the deadlift because of the importance of the glute and hamstring muscle groups during the pulling phase of running and sprinting.
shoulder blades pulled together and the lower back extended, producing either a straight or a slight hyperextension in the lower back when viewed from the side. The head and chest should be up and the barbell should be rolled into the shins. It is very important to keep the load as close to the body as possible to minimize the stress placed on the lower back as the movement phase begins. Upon initiation of the deadlift, the hips and shoulders should rise at the same rate as much as possible. A lower back injury is likely to occur when the hips rise faster than the shoulders, causing a ﬂexing of the lumbar and thoracic spine (rounded back), producing stress on the lower back musculature and lumbar spine. If the “set” back position is maintained and the hips and shoulders rise together, the lower back should be protected. Once the barbell clears the knees, the hips should be pushed anteriorly or forward while the chest rises and the shoulder blades are squeezed together, producing a “big chest” position. The exercise is completed when the hips and knees are fully extended and the shoulder blades are pulled together, pushing the chest out. When lowering the barbell, “trace” the legs on the way down while maintaining a “set” back and chest-up position, and maintaining the same relationship in movement speed between the shoulders and hips. As the hips and shoulders rose together, they should fall together. The sumo deadlift is similar to the conventional style in terms of movement, but it has a different starting position that allows a greater opportunity to maintain the “set” position for the back. Unlike in the conventional style, the feet are placed very wide (2-3 times wider than conventional) with the toes pointed outward at a 40-45-degree angle or greater. The hands are placed at shoulder width on the barbell in an alternating grip, 1 hand palm up and 1 hand palm down. In this starting position, with the barbell rolled to the shins, the lifter has less trouble with clearing the knees, which allows you to start in a more upright position and maintain a “set” back throughout the exercise. The same movement pattern is followed as with the conventional version. The sumo deadlift is great for trainees with lower back problems, and it is a great exercise to alternate with the conventional deadlift because of its greater emphasis on the quadriceps. Because of the importance of technique in performing the deadlift, caution should be observed when attempting high volumes. When fatigue sets in, the chance for a technique break and injury is increased. Therefore, it’s recommend that the deadlift be reserved for lower volume and moderate to low repetitions (preferably no more than 6 repetitions and a maximum of 10 repetitions). When starting to deadlift, keep the repetitions low (around 4) and the loads very light. Be sure the back is “set” and the hips and shoulders rise at the same rate, trace the legs on the way down and always ensure at the beginning that the load is placed at mid-shin level. Use a weight training or powerlifting belt when a history of previous back injury is present or with nearmaximal loads. If correct technique is observed, there is no reason why the majority of resistance trainees cannot reap the reward of the well-developed posterior chain that the deadlift exercise can provide. Z
place stress on the lower back, if done correctly and with a style that ﬁts the individual, the deadlift should be a cornerstone exercise for most resistance training programs. The deadlift is performed with either a conventional or sumo style when using a barbell. Both styles should allow you to utilize the deadlift while protecting the lower back. The exercise movement is essentially the same for both the conventional and sumo styles. The conventional barbell deadlift is what is typically thought of when describing the deadlift. With the conventional version a barbell is loaded with standard-sized 45pound plates. If 45 pounds is too great a load, the barbell is raised to a starting position, allowing it to be at mid-shin level. Feet are placed at shoulder width, and the barbell is gripped just outside of the legs in a prone or palmsdown position. When you start the movement phase, the hips and knees are ﬂexed at 80-100 degrees, allowing the center of gravity to drop. It is very important that the back is “set” at the beginning of the deadlift. A “set” back is deﬁned as the
Stiff-body chin-ups and pull-ups When doing these, make an effort to keep your lower body “stiff” in that it doesn’t sway or twist and your legs are straight and together. Picture a gymnast performing on the rings. His lower body is in one fixed position as his arms do all sorts of pulling and lifting. His legs are straight, completely together, feet pointed. Feet need not be pointed during the chin-ups and pull-ups; the other option is to keep them up at a 90degree angle. But whether or not they are extended or at the 90-degree angle, keep them even with each other; do not shift a foot. Maintain this lower body rigidity throughout your reps. This will make each rep more difficult, but you’ll also get better results ultimately.
METABOLIC CONDITIONING How it burns the maximum amount of fat during and after a workout. Jade Teta and Keoni Teta
One-arm cable row Set the weight for a little less than half your 8-rep max and, sitting or standing, grab a handle with 1 hand. Keeping your chest and shoulders facing squarely with the weight stack, begin pulling with 1 arm and concentrate on maintaining good form. A little “loose” form toward the end is fine; but make sure you don’t end up wildly yanking the handle toward you.
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What is it? Since there are a ton of so-called “metabolic” programs popping up all over the place, let’s ﬁrst cover what metabolic exercise is not. Metabolic conditioning is not aerobic exercise. If the body is not being forced to push beyond the anaerobic threshold during a workout, then you are not doing metabolic conditioning. It also is not interval training. Metabolic conditioning involves the use of weights — but if you’re doing heavy, fullbody weight training and taking several minutes of rest between sets, you are not doing metabolic training. Single-joint, body-part-focused bodybuilding workouts are deﬁnitely not metabolic conditioning. And no matter how cool you think it might look, balancing 1 leg on a BOSU board while you throw medicine balls back and forth with a partner is nowhere close to metabolic conditioning. We deﬁne metabolic conditioning as a system of exercise that uses the latest understanding of endocrinology, exercise science, and strength and conditioning research to fully tax the body’s major energy systems with the chief goal of maximizing the greatest amount of fat that can be burned both during and after the exercise session.
As a ﬁtness enthusiast, you have probably heard about hypertrophy training, highintensity interval training, endurance protocols and functional training. If we asked you to give us a protocol to increase strength, improve muscle mass or increase muscular endurance, you could probably give us the textbook answer. However, if we asked you to explain what metabolic conditioning is, could you? It’s very likely you have not yet even heard of this new style of training, but metabolic conditioning (also called metabolic exercise, metabolic training or the metabolic effect) is changing the face of ﬁtness, and if you want the best results and the most cutting-edge techniques, it’s time to bone up on this new ﬁtness genre.
Go for 8-12 reps. If you end up losing decent form (leaning way back, erratically yanking, or not being able to pull the handle close to your chest), then the weight is too heavy.
Protocol of the athletes Unlike other exercise protocols that focus exclusively on developing power, muscular endurance, aerobic capacity or bigger muscles, metabolic conditioning is focused on burning fat above all else. This means metabolic exercise protocols are not modeled after the old-school weight training methods and monotonous aerobic exercise of the past. Metabolic exercise takes its cues from the world of sports. Ninety-ﬁve percent or more of all sport involves multiple parameters of ﬁtness and challenges all 3 body energy systems. The simple fact is that athletes don’t train to look good; they look
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Smart training good as a natural consequence of participation in their sport. Consider a gymnast, boxer, American football player, tennis athlete or soccer player. If you watch these sports, what you will see is ﬂuid-steady movement patterns that will quickly morph into chaotic unpredictable bursts of strength and speed before changing back again. Metabolic exercise seeks to reproduce the nature of sport by combining resistance training, interval exercise, old-school calisthenics, body-weight exercises, plyometrics and explosive Olympic-style movements in 1 integrated workout. The workouts are fast paced and hard-hitting, involving short rest periods and full fatigue protocols. Metabolic conditioning is combination training Metabolic conditioning focuses on compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups across several joints such as squats, powercleans and deadlifts. It employs exercises that combine 2 or more exercises into 1, called hybrid exercises. It also moves from 1 exercise to the next quickly with little downtime and will frequently combine aerobicdominated lower body activity with anaerobically dominated upper body movements. Research supports these techniques. The journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise published a study showing this effect. Thirty-ﬁve females did a workout merging lower body aerobic exercise with resistance exercises for the upper body. This strategy generated a lower body fat percentage and greater muscle gain among participants as well as improved endurance and muscle strength over aerobics alone: thigh circumference decreased by 11 percent while abdominal fat dropped 12 percent, and muscle mass increased between 2 percent and 14 percent in 9 different muscle groups in 3 months. Irish researchers have shown that exercisers burn up to 50 percent greater fat by combining upper and lower body exercise. Finally, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed a 10-fold greater fat loss for an exercise protocol that intermixed weight training and aerobic exercise compared to the exact same workout that separated the 2. Two other studies showed that workouts using the techniques of metabolic conditioning described above generate a large metabolic after-burn that can last up to 16 hours for women and 48 hours for men. The old way does not work The numbers above are shocking, especially when you consider what science has to say about more traditional modes of exercise. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition shocked many in the exercise world. This study was a meta-analysis, which is a study that looks at many different studies done on the same subject over several years to try to get at the truth of a subject. In this study, researchers examined hundreds of studies done over a 25-year period on the beneﬁt of aerobic exercise to help people lose weight. The results showed that aerobic exercise provided only a 2-pound weight loss advantage over diet alone for weight loss. A more recent study published in Exercise and Sport Science Reviews showed that traditional aerobic and resistance training workouts had no effect on stimulating the metabolism to burn more fat. Given the stark contrast of these studies with the others highlighted above, it makes sense that metabolic conditioning should begin to become the focus of personal trainers and ﬁtness enthusiasts alike.
Making it happen As a ﬁtness enthusiast, you’ll want to keep 4 goals in mind for any metabolic conditioning program. We call these the “Bs” and “Hs,” which stand for breathless, burning, heavy and heat. To make sure you are generating the desired metabolic effect unique to metabolic conditioning, your workout must accomplish these 4 elements. Each workout should have the goal of making you breathless as though you’ve been running wind sprints. This can be accomplished with a short sprint on a treadmill (no holding on) in between hardhitting weight training sets, or busting out 10 squat thrusts while carrying weights. At the same time, the workout should generate a feeling of burning in the muscles. This will involve using light weights on compound exercises like a push-up and repping them out until the chest and arms are screaming for you to stop. The workout must also force the body to stress and strain under heavy weights at times. This may involve going immediately from 15 explosive squat jumps to a 10-rep max on a leg press machine. Finally, you have to generate heat, and that means sweat. Sweating is a sure sign you are generating the desired effect. If you can accomplish these 4 goals in every workout, you are absolutely doing metabolic conditioning. You can probably tell these types of workouts are seriously intense. However, you should not make the mistake of thinking this style of training cannot be tolerated by the less ﬁt. As long as you don’t break the cardinal rule of metabolic training, anyone can do this workout. That rule is you must rest. Resting in a metabolic conditioning workout is essential. Without taking rest you are reverting right back to the same tired aerobic-driven exercise protocols of the past. If you don’t rest, you will pace yourself and that is the last thing you want in a metabolic training session. Resting, whether you take lots of short little rests or a few longer ones, is essential and will drive the results of the workout. The more you rest, the Fluid-steady movement harder you will push, and the patterns will quickly harder you push the more you morph into chaotic unpredictable bursts of will have to rest. We use a strength and speed proprietary method we call restbefore changing back based training, which exploits rest again. in a way to generate big results. In this system, rest is taken anywhere in the workout it’s needed, after which the workout is resumed right where you left off. For starters With light dumbbells in hand, complete the following series of exercises in order without stopping, taking rest whenever you need to just long enough to recover and then pick up right where you left off. Squat thrusts: 10 reps; push-ups: 10 reps; squat jumps: 10 reps; squat/press: 10 reps; lunge/press: 10 reps. Repeat circuit for 10 minutes. Advanced Using a 10 rep max on all exercises, complete the circuit of exercises in order without stopping, taking rest whenever you need to just long enough to recover, picking up right where you left off. Free bar squats: 5 reps; powercleans: 5 reps; pull-ups: 5 reps; push-ups: as many as you can do; 1-minute treadmill sprint. Repeat entire circuit for 10 to 20 minutes. Z
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OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE FOR THE AGING BODY Why type ll muscle fiber development is key Jason Miller Thanks to the running boom of the 1970s, the popularity of distance running and triathlons has begun to create imbalances in the training approach. Aerobic exercise is important, but if there is no joint stability or strength training going on, then aerobic exercise will begin to take a severe toll on the body. Even those who are very ﬁt will encounter a decrease in strength and power as age ensues, which will affect activities of daily living later in life. De-innervation of fibers Physiologically speaking, there is a bias in favor of endurance muscle ﬁbers, also known as type I ﬁbers. As we age we tend to disengage our powerful ﬁbers, the type II ﬁbers, and our body begins to transform them. Even in ﬁt populations, with a lack of strength and power training the type II ﬁbers take a back seat and eventually get “unplugged.” The nerves feeding the type II ﬁbers will de-innervate the ﬁber. A type I motor neuron will then take over the once-type II ﬁber and convert it into a type I ﬁber. What was once a powerful type II ﬁber has now become a slow, less powerful version of its former self. What does that mean for the individual? That means as the individual ages they will lose muscle strength and even more importantly muscle power. Protecting the aging body Another perspective might be to think about an older adult tripping or falling. Despite the aerobic conditioning the individual may have, they also need to have the muscle power to move the leg fast enough into position to catch themselves, and the strength to hold themselves up in a compromised position. With a loss of type II ﬁbers, the hip is also not as insulated or padded. If a fall occurs, the force of the impact on the hip is taken predominantly by the bone, possibly resulting in a fracture. With a fracture and loss of mobility, aerobic conditioning will eventually suffer also. There is no question the aerobic system is very important in improving and maintaining metabolic and cardiovascular health. However, if quality of life is to be maintained, an individual must also utilize resistance training consistently over their life span to maintain the powerful type II ﬁbers. Athletes Even in trained endurance athletes, there seems to be a lack of focus on resistance training. If programmed correctly, resistance training for the endurance athlete will result in little to no increases in body mass while increasing movement economy, improving connective tissue quality and ensuring joint stability and strength. Most of the endurance athletes’ weaknesses center on poor trunk control, lack of mobility and range of motion and muscular imbalances. These issues could easily be resolved with a solid resistance training regimen in place.
Practical application If type II ﬁbers are so important, than how do we stop them from degenerating? There are 3 strategies to keep your type II ﬁbers active and powerful. These include the repetition method, maximal method and dynamic method. Repetition method: the repetition method involves going to fatigue during a set that exhausts the more aerobic type I and anaerobic type II ﬁbers. The type II ﬁbers will then produce the work of the ﬁnal repetitions. Maximal method: the maximal method involves lifting heavy loads while avoiding failure by utilizing the 6-or-less repetition range
The size principle of fiber recruitment Understanding this principle is imperative in understanding which muscle fibers you are targeting during your workouts and what these fibers are capable of.
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Program design A typical program for both athletic populations and fitness enthusiasts would follow an order starting with the repetition method and finishing with the dynamic. Certainly a mixed method approach will yield
accelerated results for more experienced athletes. Obviously for the older population will need to observe caution when using heavier loads and adjust accordingly if technique is not spot-on when working on the maximal method. Failure to maintain muscle power can have just as great of a negative impact on health as not having a robust cardiovascular system. A balanced program of aerobic, muscular strength and power work will keep both kinds of muscle fibers intact while protecting the body from injury and imbalances. Z
per set range, with 3 working sets as typical. Dynamic method: the dynamic method employs using lighter loads in the range of 60 percent of a 1repetition method, but with an emphasis on keeping the tempo extremely fast.
The principle of fiber recruitment dictates that fibers with a high levels of reliability are always recruited first when engaged in exercise. This means the type I fibers, which are also known as the endurance fibers, and type II fibers are recruited last. Motor units within the muscle are recruited to produce force output in regard to their recruitment thresholds and firing rates. To activate a highthreshold motor unit and in turn your type II fibers, all subsequent fibers below it must be recruited first. An example of this would be the motor units and in turn muscle fibers required to pick up your television remote, compared to those required to life a 65pound dumbbell. Picking up the remote will require much lower threshold units than the 65-pound weight, and therefore innervates only the type I fibers. â€” Lindsay Kent
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ESCALATING DENSITY TRAINING Garret Keyer Escalating density training is perhaps 1 of the most effective weight training regimens that the resistance-training world has ever seen. The fitness industry is 1 where marketing hype and gimmicky ideas are the norm and dominate every corner of the market. Likewise, it is a place where good ideas that generate real results are severely lacking. For every 10 fruitless and ineffective fitness trends, there may be 1 standout program. Escalating density training is most certainly 1 of those special systems of training that will seriously change the way you approach weight training forever. Work and volume When it comes to weight training, building size and building strength, there is only 1 principle to know: progressive overload. This idea is illustrated nicely by a story our Italian grandfather used to tell us. In this story, a young Italian boy had a baby calf as a pet.
He would go out every day to play with this calf and would test his strength by hoisting the animal into the air. As the calf grew bigger and heavier, the boy continued to lift the animal, and he too got stronger and more built. Even after the calf grew into a fully mature cow, the boy was still able to pick the cow up and carry it around the yard. This story demonstrates an undeniable truth about the nature of muscle growth and building strength. The human body must be challenged with ever-greater intensity for it to continually respond, adapt and improve. Perhaps the oldest and most popular protocol in weight training is the 3-sets-of-10-repetition format. Personal trainers have lived by this protocol for decades. Though this program does have merit, once a client moves beyond the beginning phase of weight training, this type of approach quickly becomes only marginally effective. The common belief in training is that the amount of weight lifted makes the difference, when in reality it is more accurately the intensity with which you lift that induces the biggest changes.
The magic of escalating density training Escalating density training has done for weight training what interval training has done for aerobic exercise. Just as interval training has made aerobic training more efﬁcient and productive, so has escalating density training made resistance training more effective with less time invested. The inventor of escalating density training is a strength and conditioning specialist named Charles Staley. Like most brilliant ideas, the escalating density training system takes complicated mechanisms and breaks them down into a simple, easy-to-use format. Staley has been able to distill results-based weight training down to its essence by creating a system that will generate volume, density and tension all in 1 easy format. He has made the system very simple and created a built-in system that ensures progressive overload is accomplished in each workout.
Triceps trio For a change of pace, try a free-hand triceps training routine. This trio includes the dip, the push-up with a narrow hand placement, and the reverse dip, with your hands behind your back on a bench and your feet supported on a separate bench. Once you master completing 3-4 sets of 10 repetitions each, increase the workload. This will include adding weight to the dip to make it a weighted dip, elevating the feet on the push-up and elevating the feet on the reverse dip. Work up to a 15-repetition range for each movement. Another way to increase intensity for each: dip, hold the dip position for a 2-count; push-up, place your hands on a medicine ball instead of the ground; reverse dip, place the weight on your lap or place your hands close together so that your thumbs are touching each other.
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Density and tension Volume by itself is useful, but it is the amount of volume completed in a given time that is the real secret to generating intensity. This is the concept of density. A dense workout is 1 where you’re doing the maximal amount of work possible within a given timeframe. If I can complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions in 15 minutes, then my goal for my next workout should be 3 sets of 10 reps in 14 minutes, or 4 sets of 10 reps in 15 minutes. The point is to do more work per unit time and to continually progress to more dense workouts each time. Another important factor is the amount of tension the muscle is exposed to. If you do 3 sets of a 10-rep max (10 RM) with 135 pounds on the bench press, will you achieve the same average muscle tension you would have if you instead did 10 sets of 3 reps with the same weight? It sounds like a trick question, right? However, despite the total volume or work done being equal, more average muscle tension will be achieved in the latter scenario. In the 10 sets of 3 reps, the muscle is exposed to a greater tension because fatigue has not yet set in. A 10 RM means that you can lift the weight 10 times, but not 11. This means that with each rep, the amount of tension the muscle generates becomes less and less until it can no longer overcome the weight of the bar. In other words, the amount of tension the muscle can generate goes down with each successive rep until the weight can no longer be lifted. By turning the protocol into a 10-sets-of-3repetitions format, you effectively increase the average tension imposed on the muscle per rep, even though the total volume of work remains the same. This is an important concept that usually causes some confusion. But if you can do the same work in less time with more average muscle tension per rep, you will be able to greatly increase not only the intensity of your workout but the subsequent results.
Here is how it works Escalating density training uses between 1 and 3 15minute segments for a workout that can last between 15 and 45 minutes. In each of the segments you will choose 2 exercises. These exercises are to be antagonists (i.e., if you choose a back exercise, you also need to choose a chest exercise; if you choose biceps, you need to pair it with an exercise for triceps). It is also appropriate to do unilateral antagonists, meaning you could do a 1-leg squat on the left leg paired with a 1-leg squat on the right side. Use a 10rep max for each exercise. This is a weight you could lift 10 times, but not 11. Once you choose your exercises, start your stopwatch and begin. Do 5 reps on 1 exercise and immediately do 5 reps on the other side. After each set, make a note of how many reps you did for each exercise (i.e., a number between 1 and 5 reps). Continue to progress this way, resting as you need to. As the weight gets heavier, you will reach a point where 5 reps are no longer possible and you will only be able to get out 3 or 4 reps. That is ﬁne; record it and move on. Do not reduce the weight. The most common mistake in the escalating density training system is to reduce the amount of weight lifted so that you are always able to complete 5 reps. This is wrong. As a segment progresses, 5 reps may no longer be possible. When this happens, just complete as many reps as you can. If you can do only 2 or 3 reps, that’s ﬁne and is exactly how it works. As you approach the end of a 15-minute segment, you may only be completing 1 rep at a time for each exercise. Don’t worry; you are right where you want to be. Just record the reps and keep going, switching back and forth between exercises until time is up. That is 1 segment. For the next segment or segments, pick another 2 antagonistic exercises (i.e., leg extension and leg curl). Set your stopwatch again and proceed as you did in the ﬁrst segment. For each round, record how many reps you did (a number between 5 and 1). Continue on working as hard as you can until the 15 minutes have elapsed. Now look at your sheet where you recorded your reps for each segment and count up the total reps you completed for each exercise. The total reps for each exercise that you were able to achieve represent your workload for that exercise. This is the number that you must work to beat next time. The next workout you do will have you using the exact same weight you used the previous workout, except this time you are working to improve your performance by doing more reps. This ensures you are always working toward progressive overload. The weight stays the same until you increase your total reps 20 percent over your starting reps. At that point, add 5-10 pounds to the exercise and proceed the same way. The escalating density training system is super simple but devastatingly effective. For those of you willing to try this system, you will see that if you have been stuck with no progress for long periods of time you will begin to achieve signiﬁcant changes in strength, body composition and muscular development. We can say without reservation that this system of resistance training is by far the greatest advancement in the practice of weight lifting we have ever seen. You will be amazed at what you can achieve. You now have a whole new system of weight training that far surpasses the old paradigm. Z
Intensity in weight training can be measured in several ways, but the most common measure is in the poundage one lifts. However, it is really the volume of work done that makes the difference. What we mean by volume is the amount of work that is accomplished per unit time. You can lift 50 pounds 10 times or you can lift 100 pounds ﬁve times, but the volume of work is the same. This is 1 of the hardest concepts for devotees of the set-vs.-rep scheme to understand. But is this an optimal measure of intensity?
Smart training 67
VARY YOUR ROUTINES If you are a frequent gym-goer like me, you have probably witnessed the same people doing the same exact workout for years. Not so surprisingly, you have probably seen these same people with the same body size and shape for years. It is not rocket science; the body does not respond if it is subjected to the same workout day after day. Changing the workout is critical to changing the body. Hypertrophy, or size increase of each muscle ﬁber, will occur with progressive resistance training. Thus, it would seem logical that as the weight gets heavier and heavier for a certain exercise, the working muscle would get bigger and bigger, right? Unfortunately, that is not the way the oh-so-efﬁcient human body works. Plateaus will occur in muscle growth and strength gains because the body wants to conserve energy as much as possible and will adapt to each speciﬁc exercise over time. The muscle ﬁbers will not keep getting bigger nor stronger exponentially. The muscle will ﬁnd a way to respond less and use up fewer calories than it once did performing the same exercise. To keep the body responding, increasing the weight is a start, but what about progressive movements, sets, repetitions, rest or even the order or tempo of exercises? Most beginners want their trainers to design a workout routine for them to perform on their own. Your trainer may set you up with a basic pull/push routine to complete 2-4 days per week with the intention of progressing the resistance over time. That’s great, but what about learning how to change your workouts on your own? Many regular exercisers will do the same workout day in and day out without the tiniest semblance of a result because they simply don’t have the knowledge to create new workouts each day. However, using a little creativity and a few minutes of prep time, it is easy to learn how to do this and maximize results. Choose a basic workout routine The best way to begin is to take a basic weight-training routine and make small adjustments each time it is performed. This way, you’re not overwhelmed with the task of creating a completely new workout every day. Luckily, incremental changes from day to day will keep the body guessing and improve body composition. Here is an example of a very basic “push” routine for an intermediate female trainee: Push circuit: perform 4 sets in this order Incline barbell press: weight 55 lbs, reps 10 Push-ups: reps: 10 Assisted dip machine: weight 10 lbs, reps 10 Cable rope press-down: weight 40 bs, reps 10
Easy changes The easiest and most intuitive change is to increase weight for 1 exercise, all exercises or a single set. Many beginners think that whatever weight you choose for the ﬁrst set is what you must continue to lift for all 4 sets. Though it seems intuitive, a key way to create change in the muscle is to vary the weight lifted as you progress through each set. Choose a super-heavy weight with which to begin, since the you’ll not keep this weight for all 4 sets. The ﬁrst and second set may call for heavier weight, while the third and fourth sets can use lighter weight. In fact, the purpose of using super-heavy weight for 1 or 2 sets only is to force the muscle to respond. If you do this correctly, you should not physically be able to continue with this weight for subsequent sets; mechanical failure is reached and a lighter weight is needed. Using our basic routine, this change could create the following workout: Push circuit: perform 4 sets n this order Incline barbell press: reps 10, weight 65 to 45-lbs Push-ups: reps 10 Assisted dip machine: weight 8 to12-lbs, reps 10 Cable pope press-down: weight 40-lbs, reps 10
The weights are varied for the incline barbell press and the assisted dips, beginning with a heavy weight and regressing to lighter weights as the sets proceed. Even though the weight gets lighter, each set is still challenging because the starting weight pre-fatigued the muscle. You are encouraged to get creative and change 1, some or all of the weights for the workout. The idea is to complete a different circuit every time and this is just 1 example of the endless possibilities. Changing the rep ranges for each exercise is a great way to force your body to respond. Repetition ranges vary based on your goal. Smaller rep ranges such as 1-5 reps are typically better for increasing power and strength. Power-lifters will take long rest periods and complete short sets like this with extremely heavy weight, for example. Rep ranges of 6-10 reps usually are best for hypertrophy goals or putting on muscle mass. Rep ranges of 10-15 focus on muscular endurance. Regardless of the rep range, you should focus on reaching near-failure by the last rep to maximize the muscular response. Using our basic routine, this change could create the following workout: Push circuit: perform 4 sets in this order Incline barbell press: weight 55 lbs, reps 5 Push-ups: reps 15 Assisted dip machine: weight 10 lbs, reps 10 Cable rope press-down: weight 40 lbs, reps 10
One-legged stand-ups Sit on a mediumheight jumping stool, both feet flat on the ground. First lift 1 leg off the ground, your hands anywhere except touching the stool. Then stand using only the other leg, hands staying off the stool. Stand all the way up, back straight, and hold a 1-legged stance for a moment, then slowly — with control — lower yourself back to the stool, still on 1 leg. Do up to 20 reps with each leg; the hovering leg never touches the floor.
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Smart training In this newly revamped workout, some of the rep ranges are altered based on the goals in mind for each muscle group. The incline barbell press is now only 5 reps because you want to focus on strength and power in the upper chest. Push-ups are typically an exercise that can be completed in the higher rep range since they use body-weight only. Fifteen push-ups will yield more muscular endurance in the middle chest and shoulders. For the triceps exercises, dips and press-downs, you want to put on some size and thus completes a middle rep range. It is important to remember that if your goal is to put on muscle mass, you’ll do 70-80 percent of your workouts in the 6-10 rep range. However, you’ll need to do shorter and longer sets to break through plateaus and force your body to keep increasing its muscle size. The same goes for wanting to tone up. Though it may be tempting to endure endless reps with the goal of losing inches and tightening up, the muscles will not react at all if every workout consists of 15-rep sets and if the weight is not heavy enough to generate a muscular response. Increase repetitions and decrease repetitions regularly to spark muscle growth, tone and strengthen. Increasing or decreasing the number of sets seems a little limiting, right? Traditionally, you’ll choose between 3 and 4 sets depending on goals. If the goal is to increase muscular endurance or mass, volume is the key, so usually 4 sets are recommended. And 3 sets are the golden standard. However, several studies show that for beginners, 2 sets yield similar results to 3 sets. If you simply wants to maintain the current level of muscular strength and size, surprisingly, only 1 set is sufﬁcient. If your on the cutting edge of what is quick and results-based, perform 1 set to failure of each exercise. Use 1-half-reps, slow reps, fast reps, pulses and other failure techniques to get the muscles responsive. Here is an example of using the “1 set to failure” technique on our basic routine: Push circuit: perform 1 set in this order Incline barbell press: weight 55 lbs, reps 5 slow, 5 fast Push-ups: reps 10 slow, 10 fast Assisted dip machine: weight 10 lbs, reps 10 full Cable rope press-down: weight 40 lbs, reps 10
Any seasoned exerciser will tell you the above changes will not only generate great results but will get you burning! A single set to failure is tough, but it offers a great change to a mundane workout of straight sets. Notice that at the top of this circuit, you’ll perform only 1 set of these exercises, making this is a great time saver too. For beginners, this type of training works wonders, but advanced trainees cannot get away with doing this type of workout day after day, as their muscles simply need more sets to respond. There is something great about circuiting exercises that work complementary or synergistic muscle groups. For example, all exercises in our basic push routine (above) work the chest, triceps and anterior deltoids. The muscles fatigue quicker and the same 3 muscles are taxed over and over again, creating a large volume of work and a large breakdown of muscle tissue. The workout is quick and results-driven. However, there is also a usefulness to working opposing muscle groups or antagonistic muscle groups within the same circuit. Antagonistic pairings of muscles include working the chest and back, the biceps and triceps, the quadriceps and hamstrings or the abdominals and low back together. Circuits that work opposing muscle groups allow you to lift heavier weight, with fatigue setting in less quickly. This also allows for large muscle groups to be taxed in the same workout, creating a large caloric response during and after the workout. For example, the chest and back are the 2 largest muscle groups of the upper body. Exercising them both in the same workout can be very taxing, yet very effective at fat burning and muscle building. Here is an example of changing the order of exercises to 1 that works antagonist muscle groups:
Opposing muscle circuit: perform 4 sets in this order Incline barbell press: weight 65 lbs, reps 10 Push-ups: reps 10 Pull-ups: reps 6 Bent-over barbell row: weight 65 lbs, reps 10
The ﬁrst 2 exercises work the chest and the last 2 exercises work the back muscles. You were able to increase the weight on the incline barbell press because not all 4 exercises work the chest. During the back exercises, the chest is enjoying a rest. It is important to vary the workout from a push/pull scenario to 1 of opposing muscle groups now and then. Both are useful for different reasons and will keep the muscles guessing. Progressive movements Over time you’ll get better and better at performing push-ups from your knees. The natural progression is to try some reps from the toes and then regress back to the knees when failure is reached. However, what might not be so intuitive is for a man to begin performing decline push-ups once push-ups from the toes get easy. What about a 1-arm push-up? Decline and 1-arm push-ups are examples of progressive movements whose purpose is strictly to make the workout tougher and challenge the muscles to react. Many progressive movements ﬂy under the radar because seasoned exercisers will stick to the basics. When was the last time you saw someone do a 1-legged squat? How about a single-arm overhead triceps extension? Common progressive movements are unilateral exercises that call for 1 side to be performed at a time. Other examples include clapping push-ups, squat jumps with weights (or other plyometric exercises with weight), staggered-hand push-ups or single-arm, bent-over dumbbell rows without using a bench for stability (hello, lower back!). Avoid underestimating the results that can be obtained by progressing basic exercises into more nontraditional ones. Incorporating progressive movements, our basic routine will look like this: Push circuit: perform 4 sets in this order Close-grip incline barbell press: weight 55 lbs, reps 10 Decline push-ups: reps 10 Unassisted dips: weight 10 lbs, reps 10 Cable 1-arm triceps press-down: weight 20 lbs, reps 10
Remain in tune with what exercises are becoming easy and progress them periodically. You don’t have to progress all the exercises at once like in the above example, but choose 1 or 2 exercises to progress every week. Changing hand position, performing an exercise with 1 arm or leg at a time, and changing the incline of a movement are easy progressions that will serve only to keep the muscle responsive. If a chest press is performed on a ﬂat bench day after day, not all the muscle ﬁbers of the chest are being activated; in fact, ﬁbers in the upper or lower chest may be activated very little and thus will not respond, grow or get stronger. Challenge the status quo When it comes to exercise, change is good. Beginners should focus on making small, incremental changes each workout and resist the temptation to make a workout extremely variable. Systematic changes, like the examples above, in weight, repetitions, sets, order or exercises will create enough muscle confusion to keep the body responsive. Last, remember to give the working muscles enough time to recover and build back stronger and bigger: a complete 48-72 hours. Along with sufﬁcient muscle recovery time and sound nutrition, systematic changes in the protocol over time will not only keep the muscles responsive and growing, but will keep the workouts fun and interesting! Z
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If you are looking for something new to try, then the slow-fastslow workout is your next step. The slow-fast-slow technique requires the individual to complete 10 reps at a slow and controlled pace, then blast away doing 10 reps at a very fast pace, then ﬁnally complete the last 10 reps at a slow and controlled pace once again. The exercise known as the 21’s and the slow-fast-slow technique are very unique on the type of energy load that they require. The slow-fast-slow technique is a completely different concept and comprises several formats of exercise. It will result in a deep soreness to your muscles and elevated energy response. Slow-fast-slow is a technique that has been utilized in professional sports training for many years.
If you have a child who is participating in football, soccer or tennis, this is the type of training they should be doing at a younger age. A good rule to follow is that a child should never be lifting more than their body weight until they have reached or passed both parents’ height. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the adolescent athlete should focus more on body-weight exercises. This type of training is very simple to direct toward calisthenics and will surely prepare any athlete for soccer, football, lacrosse, hockey or other similar sports. If you’re looking to spice up this week’s workout, slow-fast-slow is your answer. Be sure to use precise form on the slower reps and explode during the fast part of the exercise. It is okay to use some cheating during the speed reps. It is very important to ﬂex and squeeze your muscle in both the concentric and
Why deload? If you seem to be doing everything right but have noticed that progress has become stalled, back off a bit in your intensity for a week or 2 and then go at it full force. Deloading allows repair not just of your muscles but also of connective tissue, ligaments, tendons and cartilage. It will also help stave off mental burnout.
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THE SFS WORKOUT
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eccentric motions during the ﬁnal 10 repetitions. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to train using a 5-5-5 slow-fast-slow, and if you’re a power lifter or other strength athlete, then a 3-3-3 is likely more applicable. Most athletes should start with the 10-10-10 format. Most sports will require a period of moderate energy that shifts to a level of explosive energy. This process will repeat itself again and again throughout the course of any sporting event. Training to become sports speciﬁc is the goal of any good conditioning program. The slow-fast-slow format of training is directly geared toward conditioning an athlete to perform better in that protocol. Games are won by a half step and races are won by a half step, so this type of training is essential for today’s competitive athlete. Weight loss and toned muscles are another wonderful outcome of this type of workout. Because of the type of muscle stress it puts on your system, it even helps prevent injury by stimulating tendons and ligaments to thicken. Getting started Take a simple curl bar and choose a weight that you can perform 30 reps with. Curl the bar and perform 10 reps at a normal speed of 2 seconds up and then 2 seconds down (concentric and eccentric, respectively). Without stopping, perform the next 10 repetitions as fast as possible, making sure you perform as much range of motion as achieved in the previous set. Finish with a ﬁnal set of 10 slower reps and attempt to contract the muscle in both directions as the weight is moved — if you’re a bodybuilder. If you’re not a bodybuilder, you should do just full range of motion as usual. It’s even useful to have some athletes freeze in a particular part of the exercise for 10 seconds. Athletes such as archers, basketball players, and others who hold positions will beneﬁt from the core strengthening associated with this type of exercise protocol. No matter what, the slow-fast-slow is a total of 30 reps that the exerciser does without taking a rest. Make sure you don’t think you can cheat: 30 reps consecutively without taking a rest. This type of exercise is easily adaptable to
many different forms of training. It’s possible to use this type of training with calisthenics, kettlebells, swimming, running, free weights, machines, water exercises, etc. Repeat this technique for at least 3 different exercises and do 3 sets of slow-fast-slow for each exercise you choose. Get ready for the pain train because it will hit you head on. This type of training also helps bullet-proof muscles against strain-type injuries associated with sporting activities that require this kind of exertion. A simple workout can be ﬁtted together as follows: begin with larger muscle groups and perform 3 sets of each of these exercises. For a leg slow-fast-slow workout, complete squats, lunges and a giant set of leg extensions coupled with leg curls. You can even add a twist for the calves and do 20-20-20, but make sure that you ﬂex those calves for every single rep and you complete the ﬁnal 20 slowly. This technique can even be used in running, by jogging the long ends of the football ﬁeld and then sprinting across the end zone. This was commonly known as “jogs and gassers.” In most cases, you will probably ﬁnd that doing a typical format of exercises at the beginning of the routine and then leading into a progression of the slow-fast-slow workout toward the end will work the best for you. It’s important to realize that various muscle groups need to be contracted in both directions. Breathing during these exercises can become difﬁcult for many beginners. Some individuals will try to hold their breath during the speed portion of the exercise. It’s important to pant like a dog when performing the speed portion. It’s also advised that you should perform only 1 set at a time utilizing this type of exercise format until you have acclimated to this form of training. You can also work on doing this with the same set of dumbbells, but start off with 10 reps of upright rows and go straight into 10 reps of lateral raises (performed quickly), followed immediately by 10 reps of slower upright rows. The combinations are endless, and only your imagination will limit the success of your training. Be warned that multiple sets of this exercise approach will cause extreme muscle soreness and maximum conditioning. Z
ARMS Thomas Hammer How is your arm development? And if you’re a personal trainer, are your clients happy with their arm development so far? Made some progress, perhaps, but want to make more? The central issue in building bigger arms is to get the focus on the right target. And for big arms, that focus should be on your triceps. Yes, almost everyone spends most of their arm-training energy on the biceps, but the true size factor is found with the triceps. The triceps will determine whether a person has big arms or not. The triceps make up almost 70 percent of the size of the upper arm, and increasing the triceps naturally boosts the size of the arms signiﬁcantly. Here is a workout you can use to effectively boost the size of yours triceps beyond their current state. It features 3 exercises that will promote nice gains in the triceps muscles. Put some of that frenzied activity normally reserved for the biceps into this triceps training and watch your measurements grow. Triceps bench press The triceps bench press is a great tool for really hitting the triceps hard. This exercise is similar to the close-grip bench press, with a slight modiﬁcation. In an informal poll, several bodybuilders indicated that the close-grip bench press was the best overall size builder for the triceps.
Weighted dip The next exercise is the weighted dip. Of course if you haven’t been dipping for some time, spend a few workouts on body-weightonly dips. Then start dipping with weights added to your body. A weight belt works best, with a dumbbell or plate weight loaded on. Initially use a limited-motion dip, but then gradually work down to a deep dip, always with a full extension. Use a close hand placement (if possible, depending on the design of the bars). Your head and chin should both be kept up throughout the exercise. Make sure to focus on an even pace during the routine — no momentum. Good form is an important area for weighted dips, particularly with the last few repetitions. Perform 3-4 sets of 10 or more repetitions with a weight that challenges you for the ﬁnal few reps. Incline extension One of the best ways to work the 3 heads of the triceps fully is with the incline extension. This movement is performed on an incline bench with a barbell in hand. Lower the weight behind your head, elbows pointed up, and then raise the weight upward to a full elbow extension. Most people ﬁnd that the EZ curl bar works best for this movement. Don’t let your elbows drift forward, drifting elbows remove the emphasis of the exercise from your triceps. Those elbows must be pointed straight up and still. Second, the weight must come all the way down on the downstroke. This move cannot be short-stroked, as this will cheat growth. Third, lock out at the top at a point slightly below perpendicular with your head. This keeps constant tension on the triceps and doesn’t allow them to sneak in some rest at the top of the move. This exercise is a great wrap-up exercise for the triceps, excellent for a burn-out. So, depending upon how much gas you have left in the tank, perform 4-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions with this super triceps building tool. This is the ﬁnal exercise of the triceps routine, so it’s crucial to really get in some deep concentration on the muscle movement as you work through the ﬁnal sets. Building big arms isn’t as tough as many make it out to be. However, you have to set the right foundation — focus on the triceps. If you haven’t done that yet, then start right away. Use the triceps bench press, weighted dip and incline extension to get going. And you will get going for sure. Z
Superset back routine Have you ever thought of supersetting some back routines? The first set will be seated rows on a pulley apparatus. Use any attachment, whichever one you usually use. Set the weight for an 8-rep max. But before you begin, set up the pull-down station so that it’s ready and waiting for you. Attach the rope to the pull-down station, preferably a station that has no seat before it, because the routine here is to sit on the floor. Set the weight for what you think will be a 15-rep max — taking into consideration that you will be coming off of the 8-rep max. This may take several trials before you figure out the weight. Immediately after you complete the seated rows, grab the rope just above the knobs and sit on the floor, legs bent, and lean back. Now begin pulling the rope. Don’t sloppily yank at it. Doing pull-downs with the rope will challenge your grip and wrists. Ultimately, you want the weight to be heavy enough to make 15 superset reps extremely difficult. Rest 2 minutes, then repeat the superset 2 more times.
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The modiﬁcation to make to this exercise is to allow your hands a slightly wider placement than what is typical for the close-grip bench press, and to lower the bar slightly down on the upper torso. With the closegrip bench press, the traditional hand placement is 6-10 inches apart; for this move, the hands should be 14 inches apart. Also, allow the bar to come down in the area of the sternum. These 2 modiﬁcations will enable you to really put some power into triceps action and focus on just 1 thing — pushing. That push will develop those triceps. Perform 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
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MYTHS THAT SABOTAGE WEIGHT LOSS Gabriel Bates Believing that as long as you’re moving, you’re doing enough to get results, that as long as whatever you’re doing ranks higher in energy expenditure than watching TV, you’re getting enough exercise. It’s this very approach to working out that keeps an overweight body overweight because this approach doesn’t consider the concept of forced adaptation. Mere motion doesn’t always force a body to adapt. When your body is made to adapt to new demands, it burns excess fat for energy. Movement must be demanding enough to bring about this change. Trainees who seem highly resistant to fat-burning must reevaluate what kind of routines they are performing. Are they mere movement? Or do they force the trainee to work hard and breathe heavily? Do you employ scientiﬁcally proven fat-burning strategies such as high-intensity interval training, burst training, compound weight routines and intensity techniques such as negative training, drop sets and supersets? Believing that excess weight hinders cardio effort just because it hinders cardio performance. Performance isn’t what gets results; effort is. Very high effort levels are possible even with the obese body. Do not confuse
performance with effort. This isn’t about expecting a 5-foot-10, 250pound man to sprint around the track like a greyhound. It’s about putting his body through a routine that drains him in a feel-good way, even if it’s jogging only 3 mph. He may have to breathe very fast and hard and sweat buckets to sustain this slow routine, but this is high effort for this particular body. Sad-eyed trainees who report that jogging is just too uncomfortable and that it’s far more tolerable to just walk around the track needs to ﬁgure out what “uncomfortable” means. Does it mean knee pain or simply being averse to exertion? Fit, smaller bodies aren’t created by comfort; they are created by a lot of effort. If you can actually jog without knee pain, then you’re ready to jog. However, the issue then becomes duration. For how long should you jog? Be aware of signs that it’s time to stop. Be vigilant about being aware of any odd sensations that are not a normal part of exertion, such as knee pain, heel pain or lower back pain. It’s very worthwhile to jog for only a minute here or there throughout the session. Believing that it’s unnatural, and even sinister, for a very overweight body to huff, puff, pour sweat and become exhausted. If you are plus-sized, you must not fear exercising with vigor and rigor. I’m not saying go out there and pound your knees on the hard pavement. You must learn which routines you can do with a high
Sit-down barbell squats Load the barbell on the tracked barbell apparatus. Place a bench so that when you do the squats, you can sit down, but sit for just a second. Then stand back up. Go up and down like this, sitting for a second each time at the bottom of every repetition. This technique will enable you to do more repetitions to get more of a blasting burn in your quadriceps.
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sizes, if for no other reason than to generate sales to the gyms that purchase them. Also, a typical 300-pound person can work out on a weight-lifting bench without any problems. I have observed and trained many very large individuals, and there are only a few pieces of equipment that they cannot work out with. Explore your options by trying out the equipment. Do not just blindly make assumptions. Seats on resistance machines can be lowered and raised. They can also be moved backward to create more sitting room. If you’re so large that it’s an impediment to seated routines with machines, then use this opportunity to train with standing dumbbell and barbell routines. Assuming that being very big is a hindrance to weightlifting performance. When it comes to lifting weights — either free weights or with a strength-training apparatus — obese folks are on an even playing ﬁeld with slim people. In fact, many overweight sedentary people can lift heavier weights (depending on routine) than their thinner sedentary counterparts because their bodies have had to support the extra weight for so long. So if a large person feels selfconscious trying to jog around the track, they can certainly feel conﬁdent when it comes to pushing or pulling weights. Assuming that weightlifting will add even more size to an already oversized body. Women more than men have this unrealistic fear. But science proves that a strikingly effective way to melt off fat and drop dress sizes is to pump hard with heavy weights. Even moderate weights will slim down the thighs, waists and upper arms in the obese or overweight individual. Yes, muscle mass will increase. But at the same time, this new muscle mass will eat up surrounding fat tissue for sustenance. The net result will be a much smaller, tighter body! Z
level of effort and which ones you must do with caution. This will take experimentation. There are numerous routines that a very heavy body can do with high intensity while maintaining safety. One of the safest routines for very heavy people (and all individuals) as a seated routines with weights (free weights and machines). Two more perfectly safe venues for large people to put their heart into are the stationary bike and the elliptical machine. And many big people indeed use these. But often they only go through the motions. Again, think effort, not mere movement. Though heavy trainees should perform routines that make them huff and puff, they should never perform gimmicky, showy routines such as jumping, hopping, bearwalking, duck-walking, even lunge-walking, or other such drills that can harm joints in deconditioned bodies. It’s no more torture for a signiﬁcantly overweight person to pant heavily and feel the “burn” from serious muscle fatigue than it is for a 130-pound person to endure the same experience. Exercise should be uncomfortable (but not painful), challenging and tough in order to generate results. That lean, buff individual is just as uncomfortable working their butt off as any obese individual would be. The only time “results” come before “work” is in the dictionary! Refusing to lift weights due to “intimidation” or self-consciousness. Not all people in the free-weight area are built like Tarzan or Jane. And you can be sure that Tarzan and Jane couldn’t care less about your thighs or waist; they’re too busy fretting over their own bodies. Yes, they are. Even if you think someone has the perfect body, do not assume that they aren’t just as selfconscious as you may be about your own body. It’s still a pervasive phenomenon: few obese trainees go into the free weight area. Is this because they are intimidated? It’s important to realize that the workout environment is not threatening. However, some things just need to be realized, such as the wonderful virtues of training with free weights. There are some routines that cannot be duplicated with selectorized equipment (resistance machines). Imagine all the fat you’d lose if you were trained to perform barbell squats, deadlifts, declined leg presses, bench presses and dumbbell presses. You can still train with machines for smaller muscle groups and for leg extensions, leg curls, and lat pull-downs and rows, but don’t let intimidation keep you from training in the free weight area. Assuming that strength-training and weight-lifting equipment won’t accommodate a very large body. The truth is, very few machines won’t ﬁt an obese body. All the rest will. Manufacturers of these machines want proﬁt. The machines are designed to accommodate people of all
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WOMEN’S GUIDE TO BUILDING MUSCLE Not all women want to “bulk up.” This is understandable. But over the years, there has been a change, not only in the research showing why building muscle is more metabolically effective but also in society’s perception of women who exhibit a strong physical look. More and more, the look of tight, toned muscles is being seen as the height of femininity and attractiveness; think Jessica Biel or Jennifer Garner. Women who build muscle can guard not only their own safety but also their health. Why build muscle? The amount of lean muscle mass that a woman possesses is directly related to the favorability of her body composition. For example, take 2 women who each weigh 150 lbs. One woman is 20 percent body fat, while the other is 40 percent body fat. The woman with the lower body fat possesses more lean muscle mass and is therefore the healthier and more ﬁt. Having a body fat percentage above 30 percent means an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, not to mention it’s considered “obese.” Increasing lean muscle mass is the perfect way to combat obesity. Furthermore, muscle tissue burns calories at rest; it’s very metabolically active. Muscles use calories to maintain existence, and to burn even more calories when active. Fat tissue, on the other hand, is fairly sedentary, burning a scant 2-5 calories/day/lb as opposed to muscle’s 30-50 calories/day/lb at rest. With a signiﬁcant amount of muscle tissue, a woman’s basal metabolic rate can be signiﬁcantly increased, not to mention skyrocket during activity since more muscle is available to do work and therefore burn more fat and calories for fuel. Why weight train? Many gym rats are drawn toward cardio equipment and will spend hours on the elliptical, treadmill or bike in last-ditch efforts to lose weight. Cardiovascular activity can certainly be useful in calorie burning, but typical steady-state, endurance-based cardio does not impart a
Hot hams A great time to train your hamstrings is directly after a sprint workout. The sprinting works the hamstrings and they will be warmed up for the resistance training session. Sprinting works the hamstrings and quadriceps in tandem, a unique aspect, as most training does not. After a sprinting workout you can crank up the weight and give the leg biceps a challenging workout. It’s important to consistently work the hamstrings to balance the legs. Often the quadriceps are trained much more than the hamstrings, and the imbalance can lead to injuries.
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Muscle Science metabolic boost or build muscle or tone. For example, not only have long-duration jogging and cycling been shown to be inferior modes of weight loss, but they also maintain a person’s former version of themselves: a smaller pear shape rather than a large pear shape. Without weight training, a person’s frame and shape will remain the same, with little muscle, deﬁnition or cut. Furthermore, the calories burned during longsustained aerobic exercise are absolute. Once you get off the machine, there is relatively little afterburn. But weight training has been shown in research to be the best way to increase the number of calories burned postexercise. The metabolic effect (or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) that’s earned through a single, intense weight-training bout has the potential to keep an individual burning fat and calories at an accelerated rate for up to 24 hours post-exercise! Following a weight training workout, your body uses calories and fat to replace fuel stores lost during exercise and shuttle blood and metabolites around for tissue repair, all of which are ongoing post-workout. Lifting weights also improves bone mineral density. Lifting a weight forces muscles to contract and pull on the muscle’s insertion points that attach to bones, creating joint movement. It’s this pulling that actually activates new bone growth. Thus, lean muscle mass is invaluable for women of all ages – and oh, it looks good too! Weight training, along with sound muscle-building nutrition, is the only way to build signiﬁcant muscle mass. Your muscle-building workout It’s not enough to simply pick up some weights and lift them. There are certain protocols and programs that work best for women simply because a woman’s hormonal environment only allows her to build so much muscle. Testosterone and growth hormone are important metabolic messengers that, when released during intense weight training, can have a signiﬁcant effect on muscle building. By nature, women have much less testosterone than men. High testosterone production allows for signiﬁcant increases in lean body mass. Because women have less than men, they must weight train a certain way to increase it naturally and harness its power into muscle building. Growth hormone is also an anabolic (musclebuilding) hormone that is released in response to intense weight training and contributes not only to muscle building but also to fat burning, mineralization of bone and immune system function. Building muscle size, or hypertrophy, is a science that requires 2 types of exercise protocols, as well as progressive resistance. The ﬁrst exercise protocol called myofibrillar hypertrophy, involves using relatively heavy weight and performing sets of 2 to 8 repetitions to increase the quantity and size of the muscle’s contractile apparatuses, developing a larger limb. A person should reach close to the point of mechanical failure by the seventh or eighth repetition; in other words, the weight should be too heavy to lift. This provoking of failure increases testosterone release and increases microtrauma to the muscle ﬁbers. Microtrauma is the generation of small muscle tears during weight training and is the basis for hypertrophy. When this occurs, the muscle repair process effectively replaces the damaged muscle with stronger and larger tissue so that the tissue can withstand that same stress load in the future. Progressive resistance, or increasing resistance as the workouts progress, allows for the muscles to handle increased workloads and continually
The second useful protocol elicits sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, an increase in sarcoplasmic ﬂuid within muscle cells, allowing muscles to grow and appear larger. This type of training yields the greatest strength gains in beginners and is used to prime one’s neuromuscular system, leading to fast gains in strength within the ﬁrst couple weeks of training. The sarcoplasmic hypertrophy protocol calls for 1215 repetitions per exercise, 4 sets total, with 1 minute or less of rest in between sets. This is an extremely voluminous workout that moves quickly and yields an aerobic component as a result. The best way to do this program is to choose 3-4 exercises and perform them back to back in circuit fashion. You may work synergistic muscle groups (increases workout difﬁculty) or opposing muscle groups. Here’s an example of a typical circuit for an intermediate female trainee: Incline dumbbell chest press: 20 lbs, 15 reps Incline dumbbell chest flye: 20 lbs, 12 reps Bench dips: bodyweight, 15 reps Dumbbell side raise: 15 lbs, 12 reps
This type of training does not induce mechanical failure as quickly, but instead elicits a muscular burning that signals a rise in lactic acid that needs clearance, eventually inducing failure that way. This type of failure (metabolic) releases more growth hormone, likewise necessary for muscle building. The ﬁnal aspect is the rest needed to repair and build larger, stronger muscles. Many ﬁtness experts advise 48 hours. However, for best results, allow at least 72 hours between these intense weight training programs outlined here. Longer rest days between workouts will allow muscles to fully recover, as well as help the trainee push even harder the next workout. Too many workouts in a row will ultimately lead to muscle overtraining, which inevitably leads to muscle breakdown. Your muscle building diet Building lean muscle mass is impossible without correct nutrition. Interestingly, it’s fairly easy to eat for muscle gain since both calories and carbohydrates are needed in large quantities. However, to prevent fat gain while building lean muscle, a speciﬁc nutrition plan is needed: Maximize muscle building and minimize fat storing. Preworkout (60-90 minutes prior), consume a small meal containing both carbohydrates and protein (close to a 50-50 ratio). This type of snack will make energy available to assure an intense workout, but will limit fat-storing potential. An example is a small bowl of natural oatmeal with 1-half scoop of whey protein powder and 1-2 tbsp of natural peanut butter. The art of hypertrophy, however, lies mostly in an individual’s post-exercise nutrition. Post-exercise, carbohydrate intake is critical, ideally within the ﬁrst 30 minutes after weight training. During intense exercise,
Other factors affecting muscle building Many women claim that they bulk up quickly, but not surprisingly, it’s actually not all that easy for women to put on substantial muscle because of our hormonal makeup. In addition to exercise and nutrition, there are other tools and techniques that assist the body’s ability to build lean muscle mass. Sleep is powerful in releasing growth hormone. In fact, growth hormone levels cycle up and down throughout the day, and 1 of the peak times of growth hormone release is within an hour after falling asleep. Get at least eight hours of sleep every night to maximize growth hormone’s muscle-building potential. Consumption of dietary protein outside of pre- and post-workout meals is beneﬁcial in maintaining muscle mass. Certain supplemental complexes have been shown to increase muscle size and strength, including creatine, glutamine and arginine. Cribb et al. showed that a creatine and carbohydrate supplement signiﬁcantly increased muscle ﬁber size in participants performing resistance training over a carbohydrate-only supplement (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 39 ). Along with stimulating the release of growth hormone, glutamine is an anabolic amino acid whose muscle stores limit the amount of muscle mass that can possibly be generated. Anyone trying to build muscle will need to make this amino acid available to the muscles (0.5 mg of glutamine per kilogram of body weight). Finally, the amino acid arginine has been shown to trigger the release of somatotropin upon supplementation. Somatotropin is an insulin-like growth factor stimulating protein (i.e., muscle) synthesis. It likewise facilitates growth hormone release. “Just right for a woman” Weight training and smart, sound nutrition form the cornerstone of a woman’s muscle-building potential. No supplement, amount of sleep or endless aerobics classes will do the trick if these measures are not in place. Once they are, however, liberal consumption of lean protein maintains healthy muscle tone and mass. Remember to train heavy, train to failure and use both exercise protocols outlined here to ultimately reap big, bulky beneﬁts in building lean muscle tissue and, in effect, a stronger, healthier, leaner you! Z
Staying in the groove Occasionally your body is not as full of energy as normal. If you’re sick, it is wise to skip the workout. However, if you aren’t really sick but instead are simply feeling sluggish, the best response is to downgrade your workout activity level. For instance, if you typically perform 4-5 sets of squats, cut back to 2-3 sets. Do this for each of the exercises you perform. By cutting back on your routine instead of totally skipping it, you keep your body in the training groove without pushing it too hard when you are slightly below par. When you aren’t sick but simply a bit sluggish, a little training is better than no training.
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Flat bench barbell press: 75 lbs, 6 reps Barbell bent-over row: 85 lbs, 8 reps Seated dumbbell shoulder press: 25 lbs, 6 reps Dips: body weight, as many as possible up to 8 Dumbbell biceps curl: 20 lbs, 6 each side Hanging leg raise: body weight, 8 reps
blood glucose and usually glycogen stores are depleted and need to be replenished. At the same time, muscle breakdown occurs, which merits substantial protein intake also. The goal of a post-workout, muscle-building meal is to deliver protein to muscles for repair and reinforcement while also replenishing muscle glycogen. Exercise itself is a catabolic act, breaking down muscle and using up fuel reserves; consuming lean protein and high-quality carbs post-workout will allow the body to remain anabolic. Immediately following exercise, the body is in a depleted state and muscle tissue will devour anything that can be used for fuel: muscles are sponge-like at this point and careful consideration should be given to food choices. Whey protein is 1 of the most quickly absorbed types of protein. Other options include egg whites, ground beef and even milk. A carbohydrate source should be insulinogenic, since insulin accelerates protein uptake by the muscles and facilitates muscle growth. Good carbohydrate sources post-workout include simple-sugarcontaining foods such as honey and bananas.
create micro-tears in the muscles to increase mass. To perform a myoﬁbrillar hypertrophy protocol, perform 46 sets (2-8 reps each) and rest 1-2 minutes in between sets. Here’s an example of an upper-body workout for an intermediate female exerciser:
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WALKING LUNGES Fraser Quelch The walking lunge is a tremendous foundational movement that is key to human functionality. Demanding integrated strength, balance and coordination, this exercise is a valuable contributor for many athletic movements and provides the base on which many progressions can be built to challenge anyone of almost every ability. Most importantly, the walking lunge is based on the gait pattern and, as such, supports the development of the most basic of human functions: locomotion. In this compound movement, we are vertically oriented to gravity, we have to contend with ground reaction force and momentum, and the action is a contralateral 1 that is inﬂuenced heavily by subtle movement tweaks that result in different forces and proprioceptive reactions, all of which map to the functionality of moving in life and sport. To truly appreciate the power of walking lunges, we ﬁrst need to understand what real muscle function is. In other words, what the muscles are actually doing as they relate to the gravity, ground reaction force and momentum from the upright position that is associated with movement. The walking lunge is a complex movement with a lot going on muscularly. A broad strokes synopsis follows: as the foot hits the ground, the majority of the musculature in the leg is activated to resist and reverse the effect of ground reaction. This includes an eccentric deceleration of ankle eversion and dorsiﬂexion, internal rotation of the tibia and femur, knee ﬂexion and hip ﬂexion. This eccentric effort switches on the peroneal and calf group, the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes in concert. The muscular loading experienced at impact not only serves to reverse the effect of ground reaction, but also sets all of these muscle groups up to concentrically explode out of the bottom of the movement. This facilitates coordinative propulsion and drives the pelvis through the action and into the following stride. The lunge is further inﬂuenced by the movement of the trunk above. By accentuating and loading this gait-like action with more range of motion, added resistance and/or speed of movement, we begin to build some incredible strength and power that will pay big dividends to our general abilities. So how should the walking lunge be performed? The ﬁrst thing to consider here is that there is not 1 right way. There are literally hundreds of variations, each 1 with advantages and disadvantages. Traditionally the walking lunge was thought to be performed with your shoulders directly over your hips, being sure to keep your knee tracking over the second toe and keeping shoulders square. This is indeed the root technique for the motion, but it is not without its limitations. Consider that in gait the thoracic spine is rotating in the opposite direction as the pelvis in order to properly load the abdominals to facilitate efﬁcient and coordinated movement. Why then do we traditionally not allow or even emphasize this rotation in the walking lunge? This is a missed opportunity to integrate abdominal reactivity, strength and function with the conventional technique. Another example: as was discussed earlier, the standard “picture perfect lunge” is performed with no bend at the waist. If we consider the variations in which we use a lunge in life (picking up our
laundry or kids, running to lunge, bend and reach for a tennis swing; or running and lunging to stop a ball from going out of bounds in sport), we could in many ways reconsider the industry’s general exclusion of lunges with reaches and its emphasis on the simple sagittal plane version of the movement. Performing a walking lunge with a low forward reach can drive our body to give us some tremendously strong reactive contractions. This, too, goes back to an understanding of real muscle function. As our hamstrings and glutes are perfectly positioned to decelerate hip ﬂexion, a lunge with a forward reach to knee height or lower will drive the pelvis into anterior tilt, accentuating hip ﬂexion, and cause the hamstrings and glutes to activate at an increased level to decelerate this action. Purposefully integrating the reach, varying degrees of momentum and/or increased resistance accentuate this muscle loading and will lead to tremendous strength gains and neuromuscular development in the hip complex. The variations are virtually endless, and none of them are necessarily incorrect, depending on what you are trying to accomplish: lunge and reach, lunge under load, lunge with a single dumbbell (at shoulder height or held overhead), lunge with various lifts, etc. The best way to view the integration of these technique tweaks is to
The walking lunge is based on the gait pattern, and as such supports the development of the most basic of human functions: locomotion.
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Are walking lunges for everybody? The lunge is a foundational element to human movement, and the walking variation will provide signiﬁcant beneﬁts for just about everyone. If you’re unable to perform a walking lunge because of a lack of strength or the presence of pain, addressing this dysfunction should be of the highest priority because of the importance of the motor pattern. If it’s a weakness or neuromuscular issue such as that in a deconditioned, older, or post-rehabilitative individual, there are many ways to regress the progression and unload the lunge to ﬁnd an appropriate
starting place from which you can build this functionality back up. To regress the standard lunge to an assisted step-back lunge or even further to an assisted static lunge, grasp the handles of a suspension trainer that will allow you to assist, support and control the exercise with your upper body while still providing freedom of movement. In some cases, poor technique and pain can be due to a lack of ﬂexibility up or down the chain. When you address these issues, the pain or technique faults will often disappear as ﬂexibility increases. In other cases such as experiencing knee pain caused by arthritis, the walking lunge may be a contraindicated movement. Before taking a broad stroke and throwing away the lunge or walking lunge, experiment with different angulations of the exercise. For instance, sometimes those who experience pain in a forward lunge may be pain-free in a lateral lunge. This is only 1 strategy by which you can apply a tweak that can help increase functionality and make the movement and all of its beneﬁts accessible. Z
ﬁrst master the basic technique. With the lunge, learn the static motion ﬁrst. Then progress to forward, back and side lunges. When you shows strong mastery of these, it is time to progress to the increased coordination and momentum of the walking lunge before integrating the use of some of the functional movement tweaks described above to enhance the functionality, challenge and effectiveness of the exercise.
Maximum pump One way to really hit your upper arms hard is with supersets. However, mix it up a bit this time — use a front-and-back superset. This does 2 things — it keeps the pump localized and it pumps the arms up to their maximum because having both triceps and biceps pumped at the same time stretches the tape as far as possible. Start with the triceps and then follow up with a set that hits the biceps without any rest between sets. Perform 4 of these front-and-back supersets, allowing some repetition decrease as you progress through 4 supersets (start with 10 repetitions on the initial superset and try to finish with at least a 7-repetition-per-set level on the fourth set). Example: parallel bar dips to failure, immediately followed by standing dumbbell curls to failure. Do not get careless with form. Have the dumbbells right there at the dipping station so that minimal time lapses during the transition from dipping to curling.
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BUILDING MUSCLE Why building muscle is different for everybody Lorraine Page What is the best way to build muscle? If you are a personal trainer or experienced exerciser, then chances are you know the answer to this question: lift moderately heavy weights for 3-4 sets and 8-12 repetitions. This is the protocol that countless trainers and exercisers have lived and died by for decades. The problem is, this protocol does not work for all people. Building muscle is the key to changing the metabolism for good. Men and women alike seek the tight, ﬁrm and shapely bodies only muscle can deliver. When it comes to sustained fat burning, muscle is the most important element. But what happens when the standard exercise prescriptions to build muscle
don’t work? Is there another way to build muscle? Do people respond differently to exercise? And if so, is there a way to ﬁnd out what would be the best way to build muscle for each individual? Testosterone and muscle Whether you’re male or female, the hormone testosterone is the limiting factor in building muscle. Testosterone is the reason men naturally have more muscle and less fat than women. Women, too, are beginning to realize that testosterone is key to developing the tight, shapely bodies they want. The problem is everyone is uniquely different in their ability to release and beneﬁt from this hormone. Not only that, but there are other hormones that work against the action of testosterone and can negate its positive effects. Excess stress hormones, especially cortisol, are notorious for breaking down muscle tissue. Individualized metabolism Finding the proper balance between cortisol’s muscle-burning effects and testosterone’s muscle-building effects is of vital importance when training to develop the tight, muscled physique we all want. This means that it’s not only the workout protocol that is involved, but also how that exercise regimen affects the unique hormonal makeup of the individual doing the training that matters. Every single exerciser is as different on the inside biochemically
Scientific muscle building Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to determine the best approach for each individual to build muscle? Something that was based on science and not left up to trial and error? Two studies in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggest there is. These studies, published in the March 2008 issue by Dr. C. Martyn Beaven, usher in a new era in our understanding of what it takes to build muscle. In the ﬁrst of these 2 studies, professional rugby players were given different exercise protocols that included the exact same exercises. The only difference in the protocols was that they involved different set, rep, weight and rest schemes. One protocol (the “muscle-building protocol”) involved 4 sets of 10 reps with moderately heavy weight and 2 minutes’ rest between all the exercises. Another protocol (“strength protocol”) involved 3 sets of 5 reps with heavy weight and with 3 minutes’ rest between
Individual response to muscle growth After seeing these results, the authors did a second study and stratiﬁed each individual into the protocol that delivered the maximum testosterone release for that person. When they looked at the results from the second study, they found that a signiﬁcant majority of participants were able to increase both size and strength on their particular protocol. This was seen whether the protocol was an endurance protocol using light weights and high reps or one with heavy weight and low reps. Taken together, these 2 studies show a few very important facts about muscle gain. First, muscle gain is unique for the individual and is dependent on the individual hormonal response to the exercise protocol. Second, when someone uses a protocol that suits their individual metabolic tendencies, they are much more likely to get the results they seek. Real-world application Obviously these studies were able to use fancy scientiﬁc tools to measure hormonal responses to exercise protocols, but the average trainer and ﬁtness enthusiast do not have this luxury. However, it’s fairly easy to determine how an exercise protocol is affecting someone through asking several questions. First, how sore are they after the workouts and for how long? While some soreness is useful, soreness that is extra intense and lasting more than 3 days may signal an imbalance in the cortisol-to-testosterone ratio, meaning results will suffer. By the same token, are the strength gains in the protocol going up, going down, or staying the same? If the gains in strength are not being achieved, chances are this is not the ideal protocol for muscle building. Energy, hunger, mood, and sleep are also important. The ﬁrst signs of lowered testosterone and elevated cortisol are a drop in energy, cravings for sweets, dramatically increased hunger, irritability, restless sleep and waking not feeling rested. These measures act as biofeedback tools for trainers and ﬁtness enthusiasts alike on how their chosen protocols are affecting the muscle-building hormonal metabolism. By using these feedback tools, it’s easy to ﬁnd and stick with the exercise protocol uniquely suited to an individual. This new method and understanding not only answers the question about how best to build muscle, but will deliver the best results in minimum time. Z
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The truth about building muscle Here is the truth about building muscle. It’s different for everyone. Personal trainers who have been in the industry awhile and who strive to deliver results to their clients have already ﬁgured this out. When someone is not getting the results they should, good trainers will switch up the program. And if they still are not getting the results they want, they switch it up again. Finally, after several attempts, they will ﬁnd the exercise protocol that works best for that particular client. Smart exercise enthusiasts will do the same thing. They will alter their workout until they ﬁnd the 1 that seems to work for them. We never understood why this was needed in some people until now. It turns out that everyone is different in their release of testosterone. Some people release testosterone on protocols that involve lifting heavy weight for very low reps. If you ask 1 of these people how to build muscle, they will undoubtedly tell you to lift as heavy as possible. There are others who do wonderfully on bodybuilding-type protocols where the weight is somewhat heavy and the repetitions vary from 8 on the low end to 15 on the high end. Then, believe it or not, there are some who build muscle on endurance protocols where the weights are lighter and the reps are higher. Up until now it was hard to predict which protocol an exerciser might respond to.
exercises. The next protocol was an endurance protocol with lighter weight and 5 sets of 15 reps. The rest period lasted only 1 minute. The ﬁnal protocol involved light weight and low reps with a 1-minute rest between each exercise. Based on the above description and the common beliefs about muscle building, the 4 sets of 10 reps protocol should have excelled at building muscle, and the 3 sets of 5 reps should have been best for strength gains. However, the results of the study did not show this at all. Every single protocol seemed to favorably alter testosterone production in at least some participants. This study showed that each individual in the study had a unique hormonal response to the exercises. Each protocol was able to create maximal testosterone release above and beyond the other protocols in a subset of the participants. Some participants saw maximal testosterone release in the endurance protocol, some in the strength protocol and some in the other protocols.
as they are on the outside physically. This is a concept that medicine has realized. However, it’s a concept ﬁtness ignores. In the world of ﬁtness, everyone is treated as if they are the same. If someone wants to build muscle, there is a protocol for that. If someone wants to burn fat, there is a protocol for that, and if someone wants to get strong, there is a popular wisdom about how to achieve it. But this 1-size-ﬁts-all concept does not work for every body. Go into any gym across the country and you will see personal trainers and ﬁtness enthusiasts doing the same style of workout, 1 after the other, over and over. Some of these people look great and seem to thrive on these protocols. But others struggle to put on even 1 ounce of muscle and are confused about why it does not work for them. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes difﬁcult to look past our old beliefs to see there may actually be another way to derive the same result. It’s convenient to blame poor results on genetics or chalk it up to a poor work ethic, but the bottom line that some people respond to the common wisdom on muscle building and some do not.
Trap attack Are you having a hard time building up your trapezius muscles? For some people this can be a tough muscle group to train. One way to get this muscle going and growing is to put some heavy weight on the traps. This can be accomplished in an unconventional way with the standing calf raise machine. The calf raise machine allows you to stack on a huge workload. And instead of raising all that weight with your calves, keep your lower body still and let the traps do all the lifting. You can pump them up quickly with this maneuver.
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AreYou Fit Enough Mixed martial arts ﬁghters are regarded as some of the ﬁttest and strongest athletes on the planet. They should have the endurance and the power to go for 5-minute rounds, 5 times, with a little bit still left in the tank at the end. Therefore, it’s no secret that mixed martial arts conditioning routines are among the most sought-after. The typical mixed martial arts training routine will force the trainee to develop superior conditioning through strength, power, quickness, endurance, ﬂexibility, agility, balance, coordination and a sheer amount of mental toughness. Here is an mixed martial arts full-body conditioning and strength routine that will put your clients in the best shape of their lives, physically and mentally.
ATHLETIC FITNESS 30 minutes of workout hell The mixed martial arts routine David Dack
The mixed martial arts routine This 30-minute mixed martial arts full-body conditioning routine is composed of 5 5minute rounds. Perform as many reps as possible of each exercise for 1 full minute. Between each round, take a minute to rest before transitioning into the next round. Round 1 Side push-ups: (1 minute, right side) Get into a push-up position and places both hands together in the center of the ground below your chest. Next, move your right hand out wide to the right side while lowering your chest to the ground. Then press back up to the starting position and repeat. Side push-ups: (1 minute, left side) Same movement on the left side. Wall sits: (1 minute) Stands with your back ﬂat against a wall. While holding your arms across your chest, bend at the knees and slides your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold the position for 1 minute. Weighted Swiss ball crunch: (1 minute) Grab a plate and lie on a Swiss ball with your lower back ﬁrmly pressed against the surface of the ball. This is your starting position. Next, bring the weight to your chest and contract your abs by ﬂexing your waist and raising your chest up slightly forward in a crunching motion, pause, then slowly return to the starting position. Sprawls: (1 minute) While standing tall with feet about hip width apart, drop down vertically and place both hands on the ground on either side of your toes. Next, in 1 clean motion, explosively kick your feet behind you until they’re straight in a plank position. Then, bring your feet back between your hands and immediately press back up to the starting position.
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Are You Fit Enough Round 2 Barbell push presses: (1 minute) Grab a barbell with an overhand grip, then, while bending the knees slightly and dropping down, explosively presses up through your heels to drive the barbell overhead until your arms are straight. Then slowly lower the barbell to your chest before repeating. Keep a neutral arch in your spine throughout the movement. Spiderman-style push-ups: (1 minute) Get into a standard push-up position. Then, as you lower down to the ground, bring your right knee up to your right elbow, keeping it off the ground the whole time. Next, push back up to the starting position and alternate sides. Medicine ball sprawls: (1 minute) Get into the push-up position with your hands on a medicine ball. Next, explosively bring your knees up to the chest and then jump off the ground, lifting the ball overhead. Next, squat down, place the ball on the ground and then explosively kick your legs behind you to return to the starting position. Russian twists: (1 minute) Grab a medicine ball and sit on the ground with your knees bent and heels in contact with the ground. Next, while engaging your core and leaning back, rotate your torso as far as possible to one side and touch the ball to the ground. Next, move the load to the other side without stopping. Box jumps: While using a box that’s high enough to be challenging, slightly squat down, and then jump onto the box. Make sure you land on the box as softly as possible. Round 3 Explosive push-ups: (1 minute) Assume a standard push-up position and lower down to the ground while keeping your whole body in a straight line. Next, explode up from the down position so your hands momentarily leave the ground. Drop back down onto your hands and
immediately lower back yourself back down for the next explosive push-up. Single-leg sprawls: (1 minute, right side) Stand tall on one foot. Next, bend your knees and lower down while placing your hands outside of your toes. Next, kick your other leg back until it’s straight and gets into a plank position. Then immediately reverse the movement back to the starting position while keeping the other leg off the ground the whole time. Single-leg sprawl: (1 minute, left side) Repeat the same movement on the left side. Pistol squat: (1 minute, right side) Stand holding your arms straight out in front at shoulder level, parallel to the ground. Next, raise 1 leg 6 to 12 inches off the ground and hold it there. Then, while engaging your core and keeping the other leg off the ground, push your hips back and squats as far as you can. Pause, then push back up to the starting position. Pistol squat: (1 minute, left side): Repeat the same move on the left side. Championship round 4 Wide-grip pull-ups: (1 minute) Grab a pullup bar with an overhand grip that is spaced out at a distance wider than shoulder width. Next, pull your torso up until the bar touches your upper chest. Last, lower down to the starting position and repeat the movement. Front squat: (1 minute) While standing tall with your feet shoulder width apart and toes turned out slightly, rest a barbell on the front of your shoulders. Then, while keeping your back straight and your core engaged, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Next, push back up through your heels to the starting position. Medicine ball slams: (1 minute) Start off this exercise by holding a medicine ball overhead. Next, reach back as far as you can, then explosively slam the ball just in front, using your entire body for the movement.
Spiderman style push-ups: get into a standard push-up position. Then as you lower down to the ground, bring your right knee up to your right elbow, keeping it off of the ground the whole time. Next, push back up to the starting position and alternate sides.
Bear crawls: (1 minute) Get on all fours with your hips up and knees bent at a 90degree angle; only your feet and hands are touching the ground. Next, start crawling forward on your hands and feet for 15 yards, pause, and then bear crawls backward to the starting position. Jumping lunges: (1 minute) Get into a lunge position, then jump up and swap legs in mid-air while keeping your torso straight. As soon as you land in the opposite-side lunge position, go straight into the next jump. Championship round 5 One-armed sprawls: (1 minute, right side) Stand tall and raise one arm out to your side at shoulder height. Next, bend your knees, lower down and place the other hand on the ground just under the center of your chest. Next, explosively kick your legs to end up in a balance plank position with the outstretched arm off the ground. Last, reverse the motion and press back up to the starting position. One-armed sprawls: (1 minute, left side) Repeat the same movement on the other side. Plyo box push-ups: (1 minute) Step in between 2 boxes of equal height and get into a push-up position with your hands on the boxes. Then, while breathing deeply and engaging your core, quickly remove your hands from the boxes and reach for the ground. As soon as your hands make contact with the ground, quickly push up off the ground with explosive force back to the starting position. Alternating medicine ball push-ups: (1 minute) Place a medicine ball under 1 hand, lower down until a slight stretch is felt in your chest or shoulders, then immediately push up. Next, rapidly roll the ball to the opposite hand and repeat the push-up on the other side. Carry on by alternating between sides. One-armed single-leg sprawls: (1 minute) Perform as many 1-armed single-leg sprawls as possible to ﬁnish the mixed martial arts routine strong. Z
MINDSETOF A WAVE RIDER Joseph Grassadonia Surfers are a strange breed. Fundamentally different from most other hardcore athletes, surfers exemplify a monomaniacal, obsessivecompulsive need to be in or near the ocean, riding waves when (and if) the occasion arises. It’s an unrequited love affair, never totally consummated, only partially fulﬁlled. That’s what keeps us enthralled, endeavoring moment to moment, day in and day out, season to season, year after year — once and always coming back for more in a state of constant expectation.
Stranger still among this curious breed are the so-called “wave riders.” These zealots are the most committed, the most passionate and apparently the most crazed of all those who love to surf. They pursue the most intense, the most dangerous, and certainly the most beautiful and sublime of aquatic experiences. Essentially there are 2 types of wave riders: the “human cannonballs,” as I call them deridingly, and, in contrast, those who are in it for the long run. Neither type is “normal” in any sense of the term. Both remain on the literal and ﬁgurative edge of social and psychological normality. Indeed, both types are in every
sense abnormal, not least because they are willing to devote an absurd amount of time, energy and effort toward the pursuit of something that is so ﬂeeting and otherwise ephemeral. But what of the reckless, careless and often thoughtless “human cannonballs” who are all too willing to hurl themselves into anything that comes their way, over the ledge into oblivion in pursuit of an intense rush and perhaps also some fame or glory? We’ve all seen the type. They court fear and danger with wild abandon. Every thrill sport has them in droves. These seemingly fearless thrill-seekers tend not to last very long, however. Inevitably, they bite
A new study on varsity athletics has found otherwise. Type of sport and gender seem to be more important than preseason conditioning. Women get injured sooner than men during a season, and certain sports, such as volleyball, also lead to injury more quickly. University of Alberta researchers assessed preseason fitness for six varsity sports using a vertical jump test, an agility test, push-ups, sit-ups and an evaluation of shoulder flexibility. Practice and game time were tracked. Over 2/3s of the athletes suffered injury. Women playing volleyball suffered injury less than 20 percent of the way through the season, while men made it to 35 percent before injury. Men’s hockey was safest. The only association between preseason fitness and injury? Upper body strength, as measured by push-ups.
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Preseason fitness affects risk of injury?
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To be attuned to nature in this way — as a wave rider — presupposes both spontaneity and patience. On land or in the ocean, the ebb and ﬂow — the ﬂux — remains constant and eternal. One can adapt to the way of things, in that all of us glide from moment to moment. Surﬁng becomes a metaphor for life, a crucible of an eternal cosmic principle. Here and now one is reminded of this existential truth as often as one is confronted with a glorious, big, blue wave. The wave rider workout Ever wonder how these big wave surfer athletes train and prepare themselves for the onslaught of punishment they get surﬁng the big Hawaiian waves? If you want a physique that is better than the body you have now, you need workouts that do more than the ones you’re using. The training approach below will give you a new super ﬁtness level. < Running underwater Running underwater carrying a 40-pound rock at 10 feet for a minute is a challenge. This workout is key to building breath, oxygen capacity and conﬁdence underwater. It’s basically a HIIT workout underwater that builds fast-twitch muscle ﬁber and supercharges endurance levels. An average person can do this in a pool with light dumbbells to start.
off a little more than they can chew or they run out of luck; they get injured or they get scared. At some point — sooner rather than later — they disappear. I have seen scores of these guys come and go over the years. Some might have a couple of outstanding waves or sessions, even a season or 2; but, without exception, they do not last long. Some drown. On the other hand, there’s the “longrun” type of wave rider I mentioned. This athlete is perhaps more thoughtful, reﬂective, alert, calculating — and careful. It’s not about fear or courting death or danger. I don’t search for fear or things that scare me. Being out of control scares me more than anything. Rather, I seek out experiences that fascinate me, that get me closer to the divine. So, when conditions get serious, the overwhelming sensation (for me) is one of intense concentration: a curious mix of exhilaration and fascination. Surfers call this “pure stoke!” I might think twice, but I’m rarely scared. If one knows one’s limits and has developed enough conﬁdence to push them in extreme situations, then fear doesn’t come into the equation that often. Observation and experience teach that it takes a certain attitude — a consistent, sustained manner of thought and feeling, indeed a peculiar kind of equipoise. We
might be bold and appear to the distant (or not so distant) observer to be “crazy” risk takers, yet we are extremely deliberate, careful, measured and, in some cases, also reverent. As in any enduring relationship, one cultivates certain habits (of mind and body) that are conducive to the realization of the highest of psychophysiological possibilities. With this perspective, attunement to nature and the essential ﬂux of things is essential. Awareness develops over time into instinct. Complete and total commitment, whether it’s a mile out in the ocean or dealing with the myriad hassles of everyday life, exempliﬁes this attitude. These declarations sound intense and extreme. Such is the nature of the extremities of natural human possibility. In practice, however, living, exercising and surﬁng are rather more a matter of ﬂow: a delicate, balanced, concentrated effort involving a reciprocal process of give-andtake, positioning and timing, a proverbial corresponding with or mirroring of the world itself. Consider that waves are a ﬂuid manifestation of the cosmic spiral. Our planet rotates on its axis in space, resulting in the friction between earth and sky, which produces oceanic swells — progeny of the sway of ether over the earth’s liquid surface.
Bikram yoga Stretching is key to being limber and constantly loose in the surf, which helps prevent serious injuries. Also Bikram can teach you to focus better when working out, which helps to intensify the workout. In addition, there are many positives to the meditation aspect of Bikram: mentally, emotionally and physically. Barefoot sprinting Sprinting on soft grass builds strength, speed and endurance as well as fast-twitch muscle for explosive power. Explosive whole-body workouts Do lots of squat work to build the core and an explosive and fast powerful lower body. Push-ups, core work, bench press, and chest and shoulder work to build powerful lean muscles and power for paddling and to prevent serious injuries. Lean muscle mass helps protect against broken bones and ripped joints, muscle tissue and tendons. Good nutrition is essential Eat lean meat and plant-based protein. Eat food that allows you to digest easily and quickly such as plenty of greens, avocados, quinoa, beans and ﬁsh, as well as lots of garlic. Most important, eat foods that can digest quickly that offer ample energy. Drink large amounts of water daily, which big wave riders believe is the fountain of youth. Z
JUMP! The key to power and athletic capability Dwayne Hines II There are 2 fundamental movements to practice in order to improve athletic performance: running and jumping. Of the 2, running is implemented and practiced in far more ﬁtness regimens than are explosive movements such as jumping. While we often see children bounding through hopscotch games or turning jumping ropes on the playground, as we age, we tend to challenge our bodies less in this arena. By incorporating this type of explosive movement into our regimens, we open
Platform jump One of the most integral jumping exercises is the platform jump. Platform jumping provides you with a signiﬁcant marker in terms of height and allows you to easily gauge your progress by the changing heights of the platform. The platform jump, like almost all explosive jumping, provide your body with the key elements of plyometric training movements, including power and speed. This movement is performed by squatting down, pulling your arms back, and then exploding up onto the platform, using your arms to propel you forward. An excellent way to add a challenge to this move is by incorporating a dual platform. Place 1 bench or box of moderate height in front, then another higher bench or box further back, with space between the pair. Squat and leap up to the ﬁrst box, drop down and then squat and jump to the higher box. When one uses a dual platform, the movements focus on speed, as the time between leaps is minimized because of the second platform. This platform-to-platform jumping can be performed several times initially, and eventually work up to a point of being able to perform an advanced 20-25 repetitions. You can also add mircro-cycles, or small changes of increased intensity into your jump training routine by setting up an even
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our bodies up to a whole new level of performance. You can keep your ability to jump alive by adding in some focused jump training to your routine. It doesn’t need to take signiﬁcant time or replace other components of your program to get signiﬁcant results. You simply have to be consistent in your jump training. Training explosively when practicing plyometrics, or jump training, is key to improving vertical, lateral and forward-moving jumps. Engaging and training your body’s fast-twitch muscle ﬁbers will aid you in these movements and promote speed and strength. There are several jumping exercises and drills you can employ to train your body for this particular skill. These movements are all meant to be explosive in nature, focusing more on power than on volume.
Ascending to success Mountaineering is gaining more attention as an extreme sport, and it requires multiple strengths to ascend a mountain. Keeping the cardiovascular system strong by completing both endurance-based and interval training on hills is key for building up the body’s V02 max capabilities, allowing the body to acclimatize to the high elevations of climbing. Completing a workout such as this 5 times a week is sufficient, along with focusing on functional, posteriorchain exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, hip thrusts, leg extensions and leg presses. By strengthening these muscles, the body will be primed to handle the intense hills and rough, and unstable terrian of the mountain. Descending the mountain also puts a lot of strain on the joints of the ankles and knees, so having a strong posterior chain protects these important areas.
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Are You Fit Enough higher, third platform and using the same form, leaping up and onto the platforms for a low-volume set, such as 5 reps. Standing long jump The standing long jump is a simple but supereffective jump to add to your program. Perform this move by squatting down, swinging your arms back and springing forward as far as possible. The goal is to be able to increase distance over time. You can perform this jump anywhere, although it is often best to perform the movement in the environment that most closely matches the sport or area that you usually train in. Squat jump The squat jump, also known as the vertical jump, is almost selfexplanatory — squat down and explode up as high as you can. At ﬁrst, just use body weight, but after a few sessions you can graduate to jumping with weights. Use a weighted vest, hold a weight plate to your chest or hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands, and leap straight up. Perform several repetitions of this weighted jump and do so on a surface that’s safe for your knees, such as a mat, insulated gym ﬂoor or even grass. Surfaces such as concrete should be avoided. Jumping to new heights Jump training is often ignored, but it provides fantastic conditioning for your body and is a very challenging workout to perform. Add jump training to your routine and add another dimension to your physical capabilities in the gym or on the playing ﬁeld. Z
TO FAILURE OR NOT TO FAILURE Why understanding this will jump-start your athletic progress Daniel Meyer One of the questions I get a lot as a professor and strength coach is whether going to failure is important for muscle strength and hypertrophy. I usually reply with my typical response: it depends. Certainly the goal of a resistance training program (i.e., hypertrophy or strength) will determine the importance of going to failure during work sets. Simply put, if you want to gain mass, you should go to failure. Notice I didn’t say you had to, but going to failure will be more effective. Strength gains, on the other hand, come from a combination of failure and not going to failure. A lot depends on a lot of factors, including your training background. First, hypertrophy is a pretty simple concept, but there are 2 approaches. One approach is the repetition method, wherein muscle ﬁbers are fatigued by becoming exhausted. Smaller ﬁbers fatigue and then bigger ﬁbers take over and fatigue as a result of a lot of things including hypoxia in the muscle. The process of sequentially fatiguing ﬁbers by robbing them of oxygen leads to gains in muscle cross-sectional area. Gains are not just from contractile proteins but from the guts of the cell too (mitochondria, etc.). The other approach to hypertrophy is lower rep/higher weight. With high loads, hypertrophy is slower and produces less cross-sectional area, but the increases are due to contractile proteins primarily. Hypoxia is not that big of a problem because there is not that much of a “pump.” Neurological factors are primary — pretty simple. Strength gains are a little different. If you want to gain strength, it really does not take too much. The simple, tried-and-true 3 sets of 10 to failure each are a fantastic way to see rapid gains in strength and muscle mass over 10 weeks. However, after the honeymoon is over and 3 sets of 10 lose their steam, and you start to get tired of the same old routine, more careful planning will
Incline bench pull Lie facedown on a bench set to a 30-degree incline; position your feet on either side for stability and hang a barbell beneath you using a neutral grip. Keep your head up and bring your shoulder blades together as you row the weights toward your chest under control.
be necessary to improve strength. That is where the question of whether to go to failure or not comes in, whether you’re intermediate or advanced. Ahtiainen and colleagues did a nice study showing that strength-trained individuals have the ability to recruit more motor neurons, but in turn pick up more fatigue when doing forced repetition sets as compared to just maximal sets. Participants who were not strength trained did not see the same fatigue with just maximal sets. I realize that maximal vs. forced sets is a different issue from failure or not, but the idea of pushing the muscle near, to or beyond fatigue is the same. Another interesting study by Izquierdo and colleagues analyzed the pulling power (bench pull) of rowers over the course of 8 weeks of a linear periodized bench pull program. The rowers were divided into 3 groups. One group did repetitions to failure over 4 exercises; 1 group did half the repetitions over the same exercises; a third group did half as many reps as the ﬁrst group and only 2 exercises. The control group did not resistance train. Over the course of 8 weeks, the well-trained rowers saw increases in rowing performance even as they were concurrently endurance training. Only the control and failure groups did not see an increase in all the measured speciﬁc rowing performance assessments. Bench pull 1-repetition strength and power was increased only in the group who trained not-to-failure and with all 4 exercises. Additionally, when bench pull power was plotted over the 8 weeks of the study, both nonfailure groups saw increases, but the reps-to-failure group did not. Interestingly, changes to body mass and fat mass were similar for both groups (a reduction for both because of all the
Missing piece So on the surface it looks like not going to failure is the way to go with strength training. However, there is 1 piece missing from the study by Izquierdo: a taper. Instead of testing pre- and post-8 weeks, the researchers could have allowed for a 2-week taper, which may have shown that going to failure was superior after the athletes had a chance to dissipate fatigue and see the fitness gains they had been accruing over 8 weeks. Nonetheless, for most clients and athletes who want results immediately and might be spending training time doing other work such as conditioning or sportsspecific practices, the importance of not going to failure is obvious. Results from another study by Ahtiainen and colleagues sheds some light on the hormonal response to failure again when
analyzing maximum and forcedrepetition sets (concentric assisted) in men. While testosterone was increased for both repetition schemes, cortisol and growth hormone were greater with the forced-rep group. Therefore, forced repetitions might produce greater reductions in fat mass and increases in connective tissue thickness because of the greater growth hormone response. When we take all the cited studies into account, it appears that the closer to forced reps a set becomes, the greater the potential increase in muscle size (from connective, contractile and metabolic sources), along with a decrease in fat mass. Additionally, cortisol must be managed with proper meal timing to avoid a catabolic state as a result of sets including forced reps. Unfortunately, recovery from failure schemes can take up to 4 days or so, which can make the planning of training tough for the typical 4 day split routine done over 7 days. Not-to-failure sets appear to allow recovery during the week
because of the lower fatigue accrued and allow for more frequent quality work. So here is the question: which type of training is better? The answer is that it depends. If an athlete is early in a training cycle or wants mass, then they should spend most of the time training with moderate to high volume tofailure sets for connective strength, muscle cross-sectional area, improved metabolic machinery and fat loss. If an athlete already had 2-6 weeks of to-failure type training, or is interested in immediate and consistent strength gains, employing a not-to-failure strategy weekly might be best. Understanding what is a better set structure, to-failure or not-tofailure, misses the point. Instead, the question should be when should you use sets to-failure or not-tofailure? With an appreciation of the physiological adaptations that will occur and the amplitude and duration of fatigue from each, an effective training program can be generated to meet your goals. Z
Use karate to lose weight Whether you throw kicks or punches at a heavy bag, use your whole body instead of just an extremity. Also focus on constant movement between the punches and kicks and use some bobbing action as well and it will take your calorie burn rate even higher.
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endurance training). Fat mass was reduced only in the to-failure and nonfailure groups who used all 4 exercises â€” probably because of increases in growth hormone, as I will discuss later.
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Are You Fit Enough
DANNY MUSICO One of the top trainers in the world.
Known as the Picasso of celebrity trainers, Danny Musico can paint the body any client envisions on them. It’s no wonder he has been asked by Bruce Willis and Clint Eastwood to help them train their stars. His Beverly Hills gym has had the sweat of Sylvester Stallone, Hillary Swank and Demi Moore, and athletes such as the Rams football players undergo his interval training program based on the principles of boxing. Boxing got the ball rolling for his training career. Musico’s boxing titles show his “get it done” mentality. Talk about resiliency … Musico achieved his IBC Super Middleweight Champion title after a paralyzing New York taxi cab accident. He looked at the doctor who told him no more and said, “You don’t know me”. His training methods involves interval work which is customized for each client based on their injuries, ﬁtness levels, and what masterpiece his artwork of the body needs to portray. For example, a client might do 3 minutes fast on the treadmill, head over to the chest press, and then continue this intensity in order to burn fat. He generates this level of explosiveness from the average client who walks through his doors the advanced athlete, and the celebrities he trains. Musico’s calling for training actually came from a request by Bruce Willis. His ﬁrst client was Demi Moore for her role in G.I. Jane. This was the start to his career after boxing. His job well done led to another call, this time from Clint Eastwood, who needed to get Hilary Swank ready for Million Dollar Baby. Musico initially said no because he wanted to focus on his own training again, but it was his mother who said he would be foolish not to take the opportunity. On 2 conditions Musico accepted: the ﬁrst being that Eastwood have dinner with his parents and the second being that they work out in New York where he was training at the time for his own ﬁghting. Some 18 months later, after 8 or 9 hours of training per day, Eastwood took Musico’s parents to dinner, celebrating the movie’s Oscar nomination. Musico said that it was Swank’s open canvas that allowed him to teach her all the mannerisms of a boxer, even the walk and talking with the hands, that led to the successful role. His philosophy is that boxing can apply to any client’s needs. Hand-eye coordination is beneﬁcial for any athlete, and the speed and endurance of boxing challenges the cardiovascular system. At 49 years old, Musico is also a motivational speaker. He understands that the body is never 100% and everyday demons from lingering injuries are present for most clients. But you have to “get it done,” which is actually his trademark slogan. His new clothing line from Hylete will hit stores with the motto on every piece. His motivational speaking demonstrates his appreciation for life after his accident and his drive to be successful and prove that he can change people’s lives. He has many endorsements that he incorporates with this training including from Celcius and BioSteel. Moving forward he has partnered with the LaTerra development group and is currently selecting elite trainers to run his facilities. This is a “turn-key” opportunity to work with the celebrity trainer. This Italian puts the 1-2 punch in training to get results. His artwork of celebrity clients’ results speaks for itself, even when the camera adds 15 pounds. From the average person, model, athlete or celebrity, if you want to “get it done” step into Danny Musico’s ring. Z
Climbing the ladder to success To maximize foot speed and coordination for sports that require quick and tight body rotations, such as volleyball and soccer, drills that focus on directional movements are imperative. Practice lateral shuffle drills that require fast movements in alternating directions around cones, along with shuffle race drills that alternate time and distance. Also incorporate a component of the various sport. For example, at each cone during a lateral shuffle drill, have a partner hit a volleyball at you to pass, or dribble a soccer ball between cones. You can also use ladders to practice various foot patterns, which increase coordination and strengthens the neuromuscular connection. All of these components are important for attaining an edge in sport specific training.
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Megan Johnson McCullough
Weights & Measures 92
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Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.
LEG UP Don’t neglect training your legs, even if you hate it. Some people neglect their legs, especially men, who tend to focus on the upper body, wearing tank tops and then long pants that hide their legs. Working the legs will boost your calorie burn and help in weight loss or weight maintenance. Leg workouts will also lower the chances that you’ll 1 day need a cane, walker or scooter. Legs are the most important part of the body to work. After all, if you have to escape from danger, you’re certainly not going to do it walking or running on your hands! And nothing looks better on a body than a ﬁt, strong pair of legs! Lower body workouts should involve both cardio and weight lifting. Stretching and jumping routines are also very important. A ﬁt, strong pair of legs will be more highly resistant to cold weather.
2 YOGURTS A DAY HELP KEEP CANCER AWAY A recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that 2 servings a day of yogurt cut risk for bladder cancer by up to 40 percent. The study involved 82,000 people and ran for 9 years. Choose yogurt that contains only natural ingredients.
JUMP START Doing just 10 minutes a week of jumping drills can make a difference in your ﬁtness by making you faster and more agile.
MUSCLE SORENESS The time to start training a muscle group after a previous workout is not something set in stone. You may react differently to training than does the next person. Too many people get stuck on a particular training rotation — often without putting a lot of thought into it. The key issue to be aware of is muscle soreness. This is the best indicator of whether or not you are ready to work out again. If your muscles are still sore, they haven’t totally been repaired yet, and training on impaired muscles is not a good idea.
TRIPLE BICEPS BURN With a straight barbell, you’ll be doing biceps curls. Figure out the weight that you can do only 7-10 reps with. Immediately after those reps, do another set to muscle failure that’s 2/3s the weight of the barbell in the ﬁrst set. Finally, without rest, grab 15- or 20-pound dumbbells and hold them with neutral wrists (hammer-curl style), and do 20-30 hammer curls. Rest and repeat.
Drinks with artificial sweeteners can stimulate hunger. Instead, drink more water, organic juices and herbal teas.
WHERE’S YOUR MANNERS? Never yak on a cell phone while sitting on a piece of gym equipment. Someone else is bound to be waiting for the equipment. Even if you think nobody is around, a person could be eyeing you from a distance, waiting for you to exit.
REP GAUGE Getting the weight load correct is important, as it’s a major element in the equation for growth. Some people are overeager and move up too soon. On the other hand, if you wait until you can hit your targeted rep range for 3 or more sets, you may be waiting too long to move up. Instead, use the second set as the measuring stick. When you can perform the ﬁrst 2 sets for the targeted rep range, you’re ready to increase the weight load.
BIKING is a great sport, and you can get involved in it fairly quickly. However, mastering the sport is another aspect altogether. Cycling requires strength and endurance that can takes years to develop. Most people don’t even peak until they’re in their mid-30s. The slow buildup to conditioning makes it a great long-term training tool. You should supplement your biking with yoga, which will help keep your hips ﬂuid and open.
KARATE In between your upper-body strength-training segments, practice some karate kicks: front, side and behind.
OCCLUSION TRAINING One strange workout phenomenon seen lately is the use of occlusion training. Occlusion training comes over from Japan. It involves partial vascular occlusion — occlusion to block the venous return. This involves putting a wrap above the muscle that is being worked. One of the effects of this type of training is to allow a much lower level of intensity to be used to build the muscles up. The pressure from the wrap is not super tight — a low pressure seems to do the job. However, this is a relatively new technique and it would be wise to let more studies be performed on this type of training to make sure no negative side effects occur.
WHEN DOING seated rows, keep your shoulders relaxed. And in between your rows, rather than just sitting there, use the bench to knock out some sit-ups.
One of the fastest-growing sports in the nation is lacrosse. In fact, lacrosse has the fastest growth rate of any high school sport during the past decade. How do you train for this enjoyable and challenging sport? Lacrosse combines a lot of quick sprinting action along with staying out on the ﬁeld for extended periods of time. As a result, mixed training applies. Speed work and change of direction drills are a must, but so is some endurance conditioning. And resistance training in the form of weight training is also employed by trainers to get the athletes in top condition, including front squats, power cleans, incline presses and 1-arm rowing movements. IF YOUR ELBOWS HURT when doing lat pull-downs, use a gripping attachment in which your palms are facing each other. Make sure that if you use a bar, it’s straight, not crooked, as you pull down and release.
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Weights & Measures
BURNED OUT? Overtraining is not a symptom of workout burnout, but it can lead to it. Thus, be on the lookout for signs of overtraining: an unexpected drop in exercise performance and general fatigue as well as not recovering from workouts, mood changes, disrupted sleep, injuries that don’t heal, rapid resting heart rate, slower recovery of exercise heart rate, persistent soreness and suppressed appetite.
BEGINNERS Consider hiring a certiﬁed personal trainer. You need not sign up for a ton of lessons at ﬁrst if money is tight. A quality personal trainer can teach you a lot in just a few sessions. See if your gym offers small training packages that, per session, cost less than purchasing 1 session at a time. Four sessions can go a long way as far as empowering you with knowledge. If you can’t afford even the most economical personal training package, at least take the opportunity to ask an available trainer for some advice. Many trainers have free time when in between sessions. Participate in a group ﬁtness class that includes strength training. The names of these classes often have the word “sculpt” or “strength” in them. Start off using both resistance machines and simple dumbbell exercises. Instructions are printed right on the machines. Don’t be fooled by the size or appearance of some of this equipment. They are very easy to use and understand, and offer as few as 10-15 pounds of resistance. Finally, consult with a friend who’s experienced with weight workouts.
FOREARMS Don’t forget to include your forearms and wrists in your weight-training regimen: do barbell forearm curls plus supinated and pronated wrist curls with dumbbells.
NEGATIVE PULL-UPS To expedite strength gains when it comes to pull-ups, concentrate on the negative aspect of the exercise. Don’t just let gravity drop you down. Lower yourself carefully and slowly so that the muscles have plenty of time to get their butt kicked.
DEEP DEADLIFTS If you use the 45pound plates on an Olympic bar for deadlifts, realize that these plates add height to the bar, so that you don’t have to lower yourself as much to reach it. Instead, load the bar with no heavier than 25pound plates. This way, the bar will be closer to the ﬂoor, requiring you to go deeper into the lift.
SUCKED IN YOUR STOMACH Learning to hold your stomach in while you train offers the dual ability of also training your abs, but it also acts to help isometrically train the deeper muscles. This is more important as we age since the lower abs are constantly pulled by gravity.
When doing Smith machine or barbell squats, always keep your feet ﬂat on the ﬂoor. Never use a platform that elevates your heels. If you’re 26 pounds overweight, you have nearly 5,000 extra miles of blood vessels through which your heart must pump blood.
To strengthen your fingers, do pull-overs and cable rows with just 2 or 3 fingers instead of gripping the apparatus with your entire hand.
BUYER BEWARE Beware of little gadgets that work an isolated body part, namely abs, but claim to transform the entire body. That abdominal rocker isn’t what morphs the whole body; it’s the diet and full-body exercise plan that come with it.
SIMPLE WEIGHT WORKOUT GUIDELINE In general, set the resistance so that you can barely do 8-15 repetitions. If you can do more than 15, increase the load. Beginners may want to aim for 20 reps at ﬁrst, but eventually should increase the workload as their joints become more conditioned.
Wear light clothes for more freedom of movement and more aeration, and you’ll be able to work harder, and thus burn more calories.
RUNNING NECK PAIN Many people look down while running due to concern about tripping. Neck pain, headaches, midback pain and lower back pain all can be caused by looking down while running. The correct position to maintain while running is keeping your eyes and head directed approximately 20 yards in front of your feet. It isn’t a problem to look down occasionally, but constantly keeping your toes in view is hard on your back and makes your stride too short.
THE AGING HEART Your heart becomes the main issue as you age. One of the best exercises for people over 65 is power walking. What is power walking? It’s a form of cardiopulmonary exercise consisting of fast-paced walking and exaggerated swinging of your arms. Walking at a brisk pace burns off fat and gets the blood in the heart ﬂowing strongly. And power walking helps strengthen the bones. Power walking also allows for an increase in the work capacity of your body. If you’re over 65 and haven’t been getting much walking in, start at a moderate pace and slowly build up power.
FEELING WIPED OUT? Exhausted? Depressed? No diagnosed medical conditions? Gee, perhaps it’s because you haven’t been exercising. Connect the dots: no medical disease, a lifestyle characterized by inertia, and frequently feeling run-down and exhausted. It’s because there’s been no exercise in your life. Exercise is just as important as good sleep, fresh water and loving relationships. Work it out!
WEIGHT LOSS Exercise is not enough; you need to include healthy eating habits.
Success does not come from the quantity of exercises you do, but rather from the quality. You’re much better off just doing a couple of sets really well than doing a ton of sets with less focus and intensity.
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The consumer response to the economic crunch has been mixed in the realm of ﬁtness. Some trainers are noting an increase in activity as people deal with the stress through exercise. On the other hand, many people are starting to work out at home, most likely to keep expenses down. If you’re a personal trainer and want to reach this group, you may have to start making “house calls” on an intermittent basis, with an occasional “checkup” instead of a steady training schedule. This may be the model some trainers will have to employ until the economy picks back up.
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Weights & Measures
BENCH PRESS How much of a rest should you take between sets of bench presses? This depends upon your goal. For heavyduty training, where the goal is to boost strength, 3 minutes of rest should be taken to avoid a decrease in repetitions from 1 set to another. If lighter weight loads are being used, a 1- 2-minute rest period works ﬁne.
IMPROVE YOUR JUMP
SAND RUNNING Many people like to run on the sand at an ocean beach, lakefront or riverside or on a sandy trail. However, running on sand is not the same as running on a typical surface. When you run in sand, your feet sink into the supporting surface. And the sand itself is an unstable surface. What this does is put extra pressure on your hamstrings, your calves and the front part of your lower leg. These areas really get involved when you get into the sand. It would be wise to stretch these areas out signiﬁcantly both before and after running on sand to help alleviate painful day-after recovery issues.
Use Olympic-style weight-lifting exercises as a primary tool to pick up your ability to jump farther and higher. Olympic weight-lifting exercises such as the snatch produce power in the body — they build up the body’s capability to deliver force and velocity. The more powerful your body is, the better you can explode and jump higher. Other complementary exercises for boosting your jump include the squat, weighted jumping and regular jumps such as the long jump. Olympic weightlifting paired with that group will signiﬁcantly improve your jumping. To strengthen your ﬁngers, do pullovers and cable rows with just 2 or 3 ﬁngers instead of gripping the apparatus with your entire hand.
SUNFLOWER SEEDS are a great source of vitamin E and zinc, and contain protein. They’re low in carbohydrates and have a tendency to suppress hunger. They contain a relatively high amount of fat, but most of this fat is the “good” kind of fat, the healthy kind that beneﬁts heart health. As for calories, yes, they are high in calories, but at the same time, it usually takes only 2 or 3 tablespoons to satisfy hunger. They are ﬁlling and more satisfying than the same calories’ worth of potato chips.
A study of road cyclists compared several test groups to ﬁnd out. One group did no warm-up, another performed an easy warm-up and the third group did a hardcore warm-up. The Strength and Conditioning Journal notes that both of the warm-up groups outperformed the no-warm-up group. The 2 groups who did warm up performed similarly on the test, so the takeaway is that it’s better to warm up than not to warm up prior to exercise, but the degree of difﬁculty of the warm-up makes no difference.
Before diving hard into your weight routine, warm up ﬁrst with light weights to safely screen for any injuries you may not be aware of.
If you’re walking outside after a rainfall, don’t step around puddles; leap over them instead. Have fun at it!
PESTICIDES CONTAIN ESTROGENLIKE COMPOUNDS Lifetime exposure to estrogen increases breast cancer risk. Thus, eating conventional (as opposed to organic) produce gets tacked onto this lifetime exposure.
ABDOMINAL WHEEL Have you seen the abdominal wheel style of exercise equipment? This little wheel training tool has a handle that runs through the wheel that allows hand placement for the movement. This type of ab training was recently tested against the ab crunch, side bridge and double leg thrust. Surprisingly, the ab wheel was comparably effective with the other exercises and did effectively activate the abdominal musculature.
Many people stretch before they do anything else. If their plan is to walk on a treadmill, they ﬁrst stretch the legs. If their plan is to take an aerobics class, they stretch the legs ﬁrst. If they lift weights, stretching comes ﬁrst. However, stretching should come after you’ve been exercising. Though often stretching is done in the name of injury prevention, another good reason to stretch is to permanently increase ﬂexibility. More ﬂexibility means less injury risk anyway. Increased lower limb ﬂexibility doesn’t just involve muscle. It involves tendons, which can be very stubborn when it comes to exercise response. Tendons respond when their temperature is elevated. The response can be a permanent increase in length (i.e., more ﬂexibility). Connective tissue such as the tendons is more pliable when warmed up — as in literally a higher temperature. Thus, before stretching, increase the temperature of connective tissue by walking briskly for 5 minutes or jogging, stepping, cycling or doing a variety of lower body movements such as jumping rope, jumping jacks, kicking or light weight lifting.
RUNNING BACKWARDS HELPS STRENGTHEN KNEES
FAT-BURNING ROUTINES Set weights heavy enough for an 8- 12-rep max. If you can do more, then weights should be heavier. Do highintensity interval training, rather than steady-state. Include brief bursts of allout effort every few minutes during your cardio session by pedaling super-fast, using higher pedal tension, using an incline, etc. If you use a treadmill, don’t hold on.
Several studies have proven that running backward provides a stimulus to the parts of the knee that are often weakened by running or various injuries. It’s simple to walk backward, and then eventually jog backward, on a slow-moving treadmill, and although you may feel uncoordinated, learn to reach back with your toe and then roll your foot toward your heel. It’s only necessary to walk or jog (backward) for a few minutes on a treadmill. Over time, you will see a reduction in the pain associated with many knee conditions. Note: Start out very slowly and don’t hold on to the rails. This won’t be intimidating if you start at 2 mph and work up from there. Holding on defeats the purpose and will encourage poor posture and a disrupted gait and foot-strike. Swinging your arms will encourage correct posture and force the muscles in your legs to do all the work.
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STRETCH AFTER YOUR WARM-UP
OWN IT .
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