What I Do When I Feel Like Giving Up
User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 09-21-2023, 10:43 AM - Replies (1)

Today, I Feel Like Giving UpBut today? Well, today I am struggling. Today, I don’t feel like writing. Today, I don’t feel like sticking to the routine. Today, I don’t feel like I have any great ideas and I don’t feel like I have enough time to make the good ideas great. Today, I feel like giving up.
Research from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that grit is the characteristic linked most closely to success. I could use some grit today.
Here’s what I try to remind myself of when I feel like giving up…
Your Mind is a Suggestion EngineConsider every thought you have as a suggestion, not an order. Right now, my mind is suggesting that I feel tired. It is suggesting that I give up. It is suggesting that I take an easier path.
If I pause for a moment, however, I can discover new suggestions. My mind is also suggesting that I will feel very good about accomplishing this work once it is done. It is suggesting that I will respect the identity I am building when I stick to the schedule. It is suggesting that I have the ability to finish this task, even when I don’t feel like.
Remember, none of these suggestions are orders. They are merely options. I have the power to choose which option I follow.
Discomfort Is TemporaryRelative to the time in your normal day or week, nearly any habit you perform is over quickly. Your workout will be finished in an hour or two. Your report will be typed to completion by tomorrow morning. This article will be finished in just a moment.
Life is easier now than it has ever been. 300 years ago, if you didn’t kill your own food and build your own house, you would die. Today, we whine about forgetting our iPhone charger.
Maintain perspective. Your life is good and your discomfort is temporary. Step into this moment of discomfort and let it strengthen you.
You Will Never Regret Good Work Once It is DoneTheodore Roosevelt famously said, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” So often it seems that we want to work easily at work worth doing. We want our work to be helpful and respected, but we do not want to struggle through our work. We want our stomachs to be flat and our arms to be strong, but we do not want to grind through another workout. We want the final result, but not the failed attempts that precede it. We want the gold, but not the grind.
Anyone can want a gold medal. Few people want to train like an Olympian.
And yet, despite our resistance to it, I have never found myself feeling worse after the hard work was done. There have been days when it was damn hard to start, but it was always worth finishing. Sometimes, the simple act of showing up and having the courage to do the work, even in an average manner, is a victory worth celebrating.
This Is LifeLife is a constant balance between giving into the ease of distraction or overcoming the pain of discipline. It is not an exaggeration to say that our lives and our identities are defined in this delicate balance. What is life, if not the sum of a hundred thousand daily battles and tiny decisions to either gut it out or give it up?
This moment when you don’t feel like doing the work? This is not a moment to be thrown away. This is not a dress rehearsal. This moment is your life as much as any other moment. Spend it in a way that will make you proud.
Let the World DecideSo, what do I do when I feel like giving up? I show up.
Do I show up at my best? I doubt it. But my job isn’t to judge how good or how bad I am.

Print this item

User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: Dtownissue - 09-19-2023, 04:36 AM - Replies (3)

Can anyone help me out, new here and looking for the best sponsors

Print this item

  Anyone able to connect with BOS Labs
User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: Thejermdude - 09-18-2023, 09:10 PM - Replies (5)

Seems like BOS Labs has not been active recently? Not sure if anyone has current contact info or knows if they are still around. I bought some product of theirs a month ago from a local third party and loved it. Just don’t want to pay three other people before it gets to my hands. Any help would be appreciated!

Print this item

Exclamation RIP Neil Currey.@ 34
User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: MuscleMonkey - 09-14-2023, 01:07 AM - No Replies

There seems to be some confusion in various sources as to whether Neil took has own life or not. Regardless, as I can now say from experience, do not take your mental health for granted. If you are having thoughts of suicide, seek help and don't give up until you get help. There is so much stigma attached to mental health issues and so few people trained to actually help I'm amazed the statistics aren't worse. But help is available. If your need is immediate, in the US you can call 988 and get connected to a mental health counselor..

And for your own sake, don't take "no" for an answer. The mental health system in the US can be confusing and tricky to navigate, but you and your family will be glad you made the effort.

[Image: i190xSf.jpg]


Print this item

  How To Optimize Your Body’s Hormonal Response
User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 09-11-2023, 01:58 PM - No Replies

When receiving nutrition advice, which I assume you have as a reader of this article, you always get recommended a minimum fat intake. On top of that, most coaches (hopefully) will recommend that you consume 80% of your calories from wholesome, nutritious foods. When I give this number to clients, nine out of ten times I get asked, “Why do I need a certain amount of fat?” Or, “Aren’t calories the only things that matter?” There is a reason us professional coaches make these recommendations.
I also always tell my clients (and anyone I talk fitness with) to listen to their body. Training with high intensity and also living a normal life—working, having friends and going out can get daunting. When physical and or mental stress become to high, give yourself a day off and take your mind off of things—relax.
Wondering why? It does not have anything to do with nutritional practices or off-days. Today, I want to discuss hormones—not only the types that exist, but also the effects that they have on the body and what causes them to release. Every hormone? No—the four that are associated most with exercise—human growth hormone, testosterone, estrogen and cortisol. In my opinion, this is the most unexplored topic in fitness and at the same time, plays a huge role in the way we shape our physiques. With that said, let’s not waste any time; let’s jump in.
Human Growth Hormone
The first thing I would like to mention is that HGH is NOT testosterone. That is a common misconception within the fitness world. They do, indeed, have a relationship, but they are completely different hormones. Found naturally in the body and secreted by the pituitary gland, HGH is a key component to the body’s growth especially when speaking about bodybuilding. Upon its release into the body, it is taken in by the liver and converted into Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1.) IGF-1, like its name states, performs functions similar to that of insulin and is essential for growth. Therefore, without adequate levels of HGH, growth cannot take place.[sup]4[/sup]
Do not get IGF-1 and actual insulin confused—IGF-1 is a byproduct of HGH; insulin actually blunts the release of HGH. It is recommended that the level to which one allows their insulin to spike be reduced to maximize HGH secretion (the level to which insulin blocks the release of HGH in a single period is not significant enough to make a great difference.)
With that in mind, there are many ways that one can maximize their production of HGH and can also better their body’s ability in using what is already produced. The first way is by obtaining a good night’s sleep. Most HGH is secreted during the night hours when the body is resting, so adequate sleep is very important to high amounts of HGH. Other ways to better the body’s ability to use HGH at an optimal rate are by consuming a sufficient amount of protein and training with intensity. The body’s hormonal response to intense physical exercise is to secrete more of its anabolic hormones.[sup]4[/sup]
Now, just because someone’s levels of HGH may be high does not mean they’re benefitting fully from it. A poorly functioning liver will not convert HGH to IGF-1 at an optimal rate and thus, will not allow is to do its job. Practicing overall healthy nutrition and consuming the necessary amounts of micronutrient dense sources of calories will allow the body to grow at its maximum rate.
This is the most crucial hormone in men. A man without testosterone may as well not be a man at all! Why? Because testosterone is responsible for so many functions and aspects of a man’s life and body, including muscle mass and strength, increased energy and sexual drive, better moods and higher quality of sleep. A man suffering from low testosterone will absolutely know it; he will feel lethargic, no motivation and suffer from aches and pains. Women also produce testosterone, but in much smaller amounts that are not sufficient enough to give them a man’s masculinity. It is important for their sex drive, muscle mass and bone strength.
In men, testosterone is produced primarily in the testes. It begins in the brain, which sends a hormone known as GnRH to the pituitary gland. This triggers the production and release of two hormones, known as luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. Once in the testicles, the luteinizing hormone triggers cells to start producing testosterone from cholesterol. It is then released into the bloodstream and the release of GnRH is signaled to stop. In women, the same process takes place, but the production takes place in both the ovaries and adrenal glands.[sup]4[/sup]
Like HGH, the body produces testosterone naturally. However, there are a few things men must do to optimize their levels. The one that I truly cannot stress enough is adequate fat intake because high-fat foods are more likely to contain cholesterol (the building block of testosterone.)
A study done in 1990 (Meikle, AW) showed that dietary fat intake has an effect on the production of male sex hormones. The concluding factors stated that a diet with a low fat intake (below 20% caloric intake) could result in low testosterone. Further, a diet with adequate fat intake (20-30% caloric intake) will stabilize testosterone at normal levels with no further increase, regardless of increased fat intake.[sup]5[/sup]
A small note that must be made when discussing fat intake and testosterone is which types show the greatest levels of testosterone. A book of studies titled Testosterone Research Trends contains evidence that saturated fat produces the largest levels of testosterone. A recommended source of saturated fat is coconut oil because it provides other health benefits. Following saturated fat in consumption/testosterone production correlation is monounsaturated fat. Recommended sources are nuts and nut oils.[sup]6[/sup]
The man’s archenemy! When men hear the word estrogen, they do everything that they can to steer clear of high levels. Why? Estrogen is the main sex hormone in women and is responsible for the production of breast tissue. Primarily, the ovaries release it, but it also released from fat cells.
Although males do need estrogen for some the same reasons females do (the growth of bodily hair, brain function) there are problems that can arise with high levels. Have you ever seen overweight males that appear to have…breasts, and I don’t just mean fat on the chest, I mean actual breasts! Gynecomastia (otherwise known as “man boobs”) is the reason males tend to stray from having high levels estrogen. Aside from the fact that it is the female sex hormone and thus, isn’t very “manly”, high levels of estrogen can cause this disorder to take place. Because estrogen is released by fat cells, males that contain a high level of body fat or gain weight too rapidly are susceptible to falling victim (that is why we recommend bulking slowly.)[sup]2[/sup]
Believe it or not, a male’s estrogen levels will increase with testosterone because free testosterone is the starting site for estrogen. Fear arises as testosterone levels begin to decline, for estrogen levels can either stabilize or further increase. Ways for males to keep estrogen in check include eating a well-balanced diet, staying in a healthy weight range, possessing lean body mass and not abusing performance enhancing drugs. It must also be noted that consuming soy will not raise levels of estrogen to a significant level; men are safe if they consume soy.
Ah, cortisol…another “enemy.” When your body is under physical and/or mental stress, the adrenal gland begins to release it to halt the body’s response to pain. That way, exercise can continue without the body constantly trying to counteract the pain. It is generally viewed as one of the bad hormones for bodybuilding because when there is no glucose present for bodily functions, cortisol does what it can to find other sources of fuel…in this case, muscle tissue. Cortisol encourages the breakdown of lean muscle tissue to use the amino acids as an input to gluconeogenesis.[sup]3[/sup]
This means that, when the body is starved of energy (whether it is because of malnutrition, exercise or a fasting period) cortisol builds up and breaks down your muscle for energy. Some people take this fact and overreact by shortening training sessions or lessening the intensity of their workouts to maintain the current muscle mass. Although the breakdown of muscle tissue is the exact opposite of what is desired, training hard and breaking down muscle/rebuilding it is what we want to do. One should not allow their workouts to suffer out of fear of cortisol.
A topic surrounding cortisol build-up is peri-workout nutrition. It is said that supplementing with either essential amino acids or carbohydrate directly before or intra-workout will provide the body with free-floating sources of glucose. These can be used instead of muscle tissue to fuel the rest of your workout. True? Yes. Absolutely necessary? No. Consuming adequate calories and protein will provide the body with the amino acids and glucose that it needs.[sup]3[/sup]
Wrap Up
I know I seem to say this at the conclusion of all of my articles, but today, I am even more excited and happy that I got the opportunity to share this information with you. Hormones are tricky, and it takes good information, in-depth descriptions and vast amounts of knowledge to pinpoint their location, function and effects. Having gotten this far, I know that you have the information to now optimize your training, nutrition and lifestyle to maximize your body’s hormonal responses and thus, improve your fitness, physique and everyday life.

Print this item

  Gym Etiquette
User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 09-11-2023, 01:55 PM - Replies (1)

As a reader of this article, you cannot even deny that you were not excited the second after you read the title. People that understand proper weight training, and even those who are active gym members to just maintain a healthy lifestyle, have their desired workout atmosphere. A clean, non-threatening, helpful community that brings all advocates of fitness together.
Sure, we all want to enjoy our workout environment, and there are ways to successfully make it the best it can be. Further, there are ways that we, as fitness enthusiasts, can grow the fitness population and make it a lifestyle for more people across the world. That, my friends, is what I want to try and expose today.
As the Vice President of the Fitness and Bodybuilding club here at Pitt, I took the time to discuss some of the biggest pet peeves that people have while in the gym. They ranged from exercise mistakes to cleanliness and covered all different aspects of the gym environment. I took the time to choose the ten most discussed and wrote out my thoughts on each.
10. Wasting space.
Before you jump to a conclusion, understand that I do not mean that some gym members are literally a waste of space. What I mean by saying that someone in the gym is wasting space is that he or she is doing NOTHING! Whether it be standing in front of the dumbbells, sitting on a bench, talking to other members or his/her “workout crew” or just lurking around and watching others; they are wasting space! Do these kinds of people really hurt or affect others in the gym? Not really, but they are a poor excuse of a fitness advocate and need to find a new hobby!
9. Wiping down equipment (when necessary.)
Notice that I stated, “When necessary.” Why? I’ll be honest, I do not wipe down every piece of equipment that I use, nor do I expect every bench or machine that I use to have fresh paper towel/disinfectant spray wipe marks on them. However, if someone is getting down to the grueling portion of a set and has the bench or seat coated in sweat, lets out a grunt resulting in some flying saliva or, most importantly, has a small wound that is shedding blood; I would hope and expect that he or she takes the time to clean up!  The gym may not be the most sanitary place on the planet, which is understandable, but in some situations (like the ones that I listed) I think it is absolutely necessary to make an attempt.
8. Re-racking weights.
Contrary to what I believe, coming in 8[sup]th[/sup] for the biggest gym pet peeves was a member’s lack of putting weights back. This means dumbbells, plates and even machines. I cannot tell you the amount of times that I have seen a small, young female gym employee have to come take 45 plates off of a barbell resting on the safety bars of a squat rack from someone shrugging. Not just that, there have been multiple occasions where I cannot seem to find the other 90—only to discover it resting on the opposite side of the gym with nobody in sight. Finally, many may wonder how you can fail to re-rack machine plates. It comes with supersets/working in. If another member asks to work in with me on a machine and fails to return the weight to where I had it (which I make sure I do all the time) then he or she failed to re-rack the weight. It isn’t much of a hassle for me to do it myself, but in my opinion, it is disrespectful.
7. Oversized egos.
I’m sure we could all agree that a gym-ego can cover a range of topics—amount of weight lifted, workout attire, sound and time spent in the mirror. My personal favorite that I would like to note first is straight up ego lifting. This is when a weightlifter takes far too much weight that he or she is simply not ready to handle and uses improper form to appear “big.” I’m sorry, but it does not work that way. Sound can also go along with ego-lifting—9/10 times, a lifter doing what he or she may think is big weight will let out what (I guess?) could be considered an intimidating grunt. This is nothing more than an attempt to be seen. Workout attire can be spoken of in terms of males and females—males, lacking sleeves (but covering their legs, of course) and females, lacking clothes altogether. As a male, I’m not saying that I don’t want to look good in the gym, but I do not want it to seem like I am trying to look bigger than I am. Also, girls, have some respect for yourselves and the other members—cover it up a bit. Finally, the mirror—it is for form checking. Nobody needs to see your front-double bicep or your [lack of] abs.
6. Too much equipment for super-sets/claiming equipment.
From the other side of the gym—“Dude, dude! I’m using that!” What?! This is a situation I catch myself being a part of way too often. If you would like to do a superset, make sure that either A: the two pieces of equipment are near each other, B: there are not many people in the gym or, C: you are ready for someone to jump on one of your pieces of equipment. I do supersets in the gym very frequently, but they are usually using two sets of dumbbells, the same EZ Curl bar or the same cable. If I plan on doing one with two separate machines, you better believe that I am ready for someone to hop on one when I am on the other…and I do not complain; my name was not on it.
5. Poor form.
Alas, improper form in the gym. We all see it—a man pressing before his elbows are even bent, squats that aren’t even close to 90, swinging bicep curls and my personal favorite—the barbell row that requires absolutely no lat activation and has zero range of motion. Poor form in the gym is almost a catch 22 for its viewers. One does not know whether to assist the ill informed lifter or bite their tongue in an attempt to not make an insult. This can kind of be related to #7 on the list—oversized egos, for a lot of ego lifters will use poor form when lifting too much weight. However, for the most part, this is supposed to be directed toward those who are unaware of how to do a lift properly. It is truly upsetting that a caring attempt at providing assistance nowadays is considered insulting, but regardless, using improper form in the gym is a lack of gym etiquette.
4. Cell phone use.
Is there anything worse than being around someone that, instead of doing whatever it is that they should be doing, has their face buried in their phone? To make matters worse, how much more does it suck when that person is using a valuable piece of gym equipment?! Now, I understand that a social life may be very important to people, but if it’s one to two hours that the social life can wait, I think it should be in the gym. I say this not only because it is wrong to let a text message interfere with another gym member’s potential set, but the gym is for exercise! How can someone be getting a good, intense workout in if a cell phone is constantly the priority? Put the phone away and lift some weight.
3. Misuse of equipment.
This is not to be confused with improper form. They are very alike, but a misuse of equipment goes much further than just using bad form. A misuse of equipment, in my opinion, is much more frustrating to see because it takes away the ability of someone who could use it correctly. A good example for this is…that’s right; you guessed it…curls in the squat rack! Let’s not deny the fact that nothing is worse than seeing someone use the SQUAT rack for the accessory movement of all accessory movements. It obviously goes further than that, though—a DB bench as a foot rest for dips, the decline bench for abs and the dual-cables for single cable movements. Pretty much any exercise on a piece of equipment that will inconvenience someone that wants to use it correctly.
2. Not allowing someone to work in.
Believe it or not, the votes between one and two were so close that I actually had them reversed before finishing this piece. I say that because this can be thought of as the biggest gym pet peeve of all. I am almost positive that as a reader of this article, you have had a moment where you asked another person in the gym if jumping on the same piece of equipment while he or she rested would be okay. Expecting a non-threatening, “sure” you receive something along the lines of, “Ahh I’m taking short rest”, “I’m not done” or just a plain-old, blunt, “No, sorry.” Is that not one of the most disrespectful and rude things that someone can do to you? Being members in the same gym, obviously planning on doing the same exercise, one would think that there is a common hobby and similarity but instead, there is apparently a tense conflict of interests.
1. Being the opposite of helpful.
Finally, last, but surely not least, is being the opposite of helpful in the gym. What do I mean by being the opposite of helpful? I may have it strangely worded, but putting the word “judgmental” would be too cliché. Be honest with me here—who doesn’t look at least one person in the gym and instantly arrive at some sort of thought about them? That is being judgmental. When I say being the opposite of helpful, I pretty much tie #7 (ego), #5 (form) and #3 (misuse) together and expose the people related to them all. When someone is clearly a beginner (especially around the New Years Resolution time of year), terrible form or improper use of equipment is seen that could lead to potential injury. Instead of assisting that person in the particular exercise, people (with egos) like to stare, laugh and talk to their friends about how dumb or weak that person is—red flag! Instead, go over to them and try to help. I know I said before that it could be insulting depending on the person, but it is certainly worth a try. It is only going to make you look and feel good, and if that person is rude in response, they are only going to look stupid doing the movement wrong!
Notable Mention:
Wearing gross clothes/not deodorizing.
Continuously talking to someone trying to lift.
Interrupting someone mid-set.
Disrespecting personal life/space.
Treating the gym like a bathroom (picking at skin in mirrors, wiping sweat on walls.)
Fitness is a lifestyle, yes, but it is also one of the biggest communities in the world. Young powerlifters and bodybuilders, middle-aged health enthusiasts and even old-aged try-hards are all in the same environment—the gym. Whether it takes 3 seconds to wipe down the bench or fifteen minutes to show a beginner how to deadlift without going to Snap City, a huge reestablishment of proper gym etiquette needs to take place.

Print this item

  Gym Etiquette 2.0: Get Off My Rack
User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 09-10-2023, 08:54 PM - No Replies

So as I am sitting here writing this piece, I am gazing over part one of Gym Etiquette and slowly becoming angry as I begin to read. No, not at my work, but at the thought of people who have done or do each and every one of the actions listed while in the gym. Also, as I skim through, I notice that last time we looked at less workout-interruptive things and did not discuss cases that are more threatening to one’s training session.
Here, instead of the failure to wipe down equipment or the use of a cell phone between sets, which will only spike a slight feeling of annoyance in most gym members, we’ll discuss things that can and will start a fire within experienced lifters—things that only those who truly understand gym etiquette will understand. Some may seem a little over the top, sure, but I am positive that many readers will have had similar experiences and wanted to explode on the person doing wrong. My goal for this piece is to enlighten those unaware of what is right and wrong, so let’s not waste anymore time…and begin.
1.)  Taking weights from a rack mid-lift.
Maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m conceited…but maybe I’m just in demand of respect. When somebody is using a piece of equipment with plate racks on it, one MUST not remove anything from that rack when the other person is mid-lift. I can tell you from experience that if I am walking the bar out for a heavy set of squats and somebody comes into my site to take a plate off the rack less than five feet away from me, it gets in my head.
To give you a better example of why I think this is rude, disrespectful and just flat out wrong, think of the last time you went somewhere to eat. Did somebody come over to your table as you enjoyed your meal and take a napkin from your napkin dispenser? What would your reaction be? It is the same thing! As a matter of fact, it is worse, because when somebody is going for a heavy lift, all of his/her focus is on exactly that—the lift.
The last thing that somebody wants prior to getting in the hole, pulling or lowering the bar to the chest is a distraction. It messes with the mental state going into that set and can truly change the entire outcome. Going further, a slight distraction, or, worst-case scenario, a slight bump to the bar or movement of the rack could cause injury. And by injury, I don’t mean to the one lifting the weight…I mean the one that interfered!
2.)  Setting up too close to others.
Even if I am walking to class, shopping in a mall, out to eat or just simply doing whatever out in public, I have a personal space bubble. When I am in the gym, though (and I’m SURE most will agree) that bubble grows. If I am asking for a spot, need a lift or am training with a partner it is a different story, but in terms of other members, I value my area around where I am performing my exercise.
When the weight is in motion—heavy compound movement, isolation exercise or even a bodyweight exercise, I expect the next nearest lifter to leave adequate space between himself and I. Unless it is peak-hours in the gym and people are packed like sardines in the free-weight area, it is just wrong to be within reaching distance of another lifter.
There are multiple moving parts and, much like I mentioned before, there is a specific sized visual tunnel that people have mid-lift. Avoiding that vision isn’t easy, but with extra care, respect for other members and a little bit of patience, it can simply be done.
One other thing that must be mentioned within this subtopic is the getting in front of someone’s reflection. Mirrors are in the gym for the benefit of every member—check form, get in the right mental state and, well, admire that pump! Stepping directly in front of a lifter performing an incline dumbbell press to hit dumbbell curls six inches from the mirror…just don’t do it, ever.
3.)   Community chalk?
Now, if I had the group of daily gym goers from each gym that I attend on the regular (home and school) they would tell you that I am the first one to spot another person, first to offer my equipment and quick to let others use my Tupperware of chalk. With that said, know that it is either me offering OR them asking. Believe it or not, there have been multiple occasions where people have completely ignored the fact that somebody’s gym bag is right next to the container and dove right in to chalk up for a set.
Look, I understand that one block of chalk will last up to six months if used correctly, but is it that hard to ask? Like I said before, most lifters including myself would have no problem allowing another member to chalk up with their personal block, but not popping the, “Hey, is that yours? Can I use some?” before reaching in is just plain crazy and should never happen.
4.)  Stealing equipment.
Before I begin, understand that by stealing I don’t actually mean grabbing somebody else’s straps or belt and exiting the gym with intentions on keeping them. What do I mean? I mean when someone is clearly using the squat rack—he or she completed a set and walks away for a minute, has a bag of equipment lying next to it or is even standing nearby between sets, and someone begins to take the weights off of the bar. Are you blind?
I’m not the biggest fan of people that refuse to re-rack weights either, but that is only when their intention is to not return to the bar. I think it is rather obvious when somebody is not done with a piece of equipment and even if it isn’t, how hard is it to wait for that person to return, and then ask if it’s okay to remove the plates? I cannot even begin to tell you the amount of times I have left my rack to fill my water bottle or just use the bathroom, returned and realized that my last set was decided upon by somebody else.
This does not pertain to super-setting. If someone is super-setting bench press with chest-supported dumbbell row with two benches on separate sides of the gym, I have nothing against the claiming of either one. Using too much equipment at once for an extended period of time is one thing…but taking somebody else’s rack, that’s a violation.
5.)  Asking for a spot at the wrong time.
Am I the only one here? Honestly, there have been so many different occasions where I am either head-down bobbing to music pre-lift, hyping myself up before getting under the bar or, believe it or not, mid-curl/press/movement when somebody will approach and ask, “Yo, can I get a spot?” WHAT!?
Let’s be honest here; I would bet that over 50% of the time, people in the gym that ask for a spot don’t even need it OR shouldn’t be doing the amount of weight that is on the bar anyway. It either ends up being the spotter’s job to lift it or the spotter is simply a one-man audience to watch the lift take place. Is it really necessary to interrupt another person who is in his/her zone about to perform a set? It is blasphemy.
Wrapping Up
See, last time we took a look at beginner mistakes and more general in-public failures to act correctly. Today I wanted to look deeper into proper gym etiquette and uncover the things that some people might not even realize shouldn’t be done. Are some of these things ego-driven? Maybe, but doesn’t that have a lot to do with why we are in the gym in the first place? These violations affect others’ workouts and are disrespectful. Don’t be that guy in the gym—practice proper gym etiquette.

Print this item

  drug testing question
User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: Squatster - 08-30-2023, 12:25 AM - Replies (3)

Drug testing
Why do they check creatinine levels?
Would they check for steroids?
Anything in GW501516 that t would make you fail ?
Would anything bring up the creatinine to a point where they would check for other drugs?
My boy has the drug testing every few to every week, they get him for $80 each test
He has
I don't want him going back in
90 days in county jail for drunk driving

Print this item

  Life Is Too Tasty: Confessions of a Fat Lifter
User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 08-29-2023, 12:44 PM - No Replies

We’re becoming a world of fat people. By 2035 it’s estimated that more than half of us will be overweight or even obese.
Well whoop-de-do.
This is already creating the perfect storm of excuses for everyone in love with condemning how others live their lives.
You know the type. The goody two-shoes. The moral fanatics. The holier-than-thous. The people that gets invited to a BBQ and bring an undressed salad.
Because nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.
And nothing feels better than that sweet, sweet delusion that it’s up to you to judge and dictate how others live their life.
Ban sugary drinks! Force stores to move the candy isle as far away from the cash registers as possible! Increase the tax on processed foods! Make sure everyone knows how bad it is to be fat!
We’ll all be thin and blissful once the right policies are in place and everyone accepts being fat is both dumb and shameful.
For the greater good.
What do we need to do to shut these people up?
Eat them?
I’ve been fat for most of my life. And not a day has gone by that I was unaware of this fact. From being bullied at school to going to the doctor as an adult, for something completely unrelated to my big belly but still having to sit through a lecture about my weight.
More than anything, I can see my reflection in the mirror. I know every inch of my body and how it looks. I see the folds and creases. Yes, I’ve noticed how much smaller my penis looks when I’ve gained weight, or how much bigger it seems once I’ve shed enough pounds (still could’ve been bigger).
This is my life. Not my whole life, but a part of it.
Well whoop-de-do.
Even great looking people wants to look better.
Not even perfect tens wake up one day and says, ”Gosh darn it, I’ve had enough! Let’s relax a bit with this perfect hair, teeth, body and ass situation.”
Leave some for the rest of us, won’t you?
All kidding aside, both you and I got a gym membership to look better. Sure, a fuzzy perception of something called health might have been a part of it. But health is so strongly associated with looking good, that there’s hardly a difference.

[img]data:image/svg+xml;base64,PHN2ZyB3aWR0aD0iMTIiIGhlaWdodD0iOCIgdmlld0JveD0iMCAwIDEyIDgiIGZpbGw9Im5vbmUiIHhtbG5zPSJodHRwOi8vd3d3LnczLm9yZy8yMDAwL3N2ZyI+CjxwYXRoIGZpbGwtcnVsZT0iZXZlbm9kZCIgY2xpcC1ydWxlPSJldmVub2RkIiBkPSJNMTEuMjU5MiAwLjU4NjMwOUMxMC45NDk4IDAuNjc2MTIzIDEwLjM2OCAwLjg5ODU1NSAxMC4xNDE1IDEuMzQzNjJDOS45MjgxOSAxLjc2MjIxIDEwLjA2OSAyLjMzNzU0IDEwLjE5NzUgMi42N0MxMC41MDY3IDIuNTgwMjkgMTEuMDg5OSAyLjM1Nzg2IDExLjMxNjUgMS45MTIzOEMxMS41NDMyIDEuNDY3MzEgMTEuMzczMSAwLjg4MTIwOCAxMS4yNTkyIDAuNTg2MzA5VjAuNTg2MzA5Wk05LjkwMDYxIDMuMjU1OUw5LjgxMjMgMy4wODUyQzkuNzg4OTMgMy4wMzk3MyA5LjI0MjA5IDEuOTYyNzggOS42NzMwMyAxLjExNjg4QzEwLjEwMzYgMC4yNzA3NzggMTEuMzEzNiAwLjA0MzkzMjEgMTEuMzY0OCAwLjAzNDY5NEwxMS41NTc2IDBMMTEuNjQ1OSAwLjE3MDY5OUMxMS42NjkzIDAuMjE2MTcxIDEyLjIxNiAxLjI5MzAyIDExLjc4NDkgMi4xMzkxMkMxMS4zNTQ4IDIuOTg0ODIgMTAuMTQ0NyAzLjIxMTg3IDEwLjA5MzMgMy4yMjExMUw5LjkwMDYxIDMuMjU1OVoiIGZpbGw9IiM5MTkxOTEiLz4KPHBhdGggZmlsbC1ydWxlPSJldmVub2RkIiBjbGlwLXJ1bGU9ImV2ZW5vZGQiIGQ9Ik0yLjY0NDc1IDIuNjQ3NzlDMi41NzkxNyAxLjI4MzQzIDEuNDQwMjIgMC4xOTQ4NzggMC4wMzI5NTkgMC4xNjE2MjFWNS4zODI1NkMwLjAzNDAxMTYgNS4zODI1NiAwLjAzNTA2NDIgNS4zODI0NiAwLjAzNjExNjkgNS4zODIzNkMwLjEwMTY5NiA2Ljc0NjcyIDEuMjQwNjQgNy44MzUzNyAyLjY0NzkxIDcuODY4NTJWMi42NDc2OUMyLjY0Njg1IDIuNjQ3NjkgMi42NDU4IDIuNjQ3NzkgMi42NDQ3NSAyLjY0Nzc5IiBmaWxsPSIjOTE5MTkxIi8+CjxwYXRoIGZpbGwtcnVsZT0iZXZlbm9kZCIgY2xpcC1ydWxlPSJldmVub2RkIiBkPSJNNS43MTcyNiAyLjY0Nzc5QzUuNjUxNjggMS4yODM0MyA0LjUxMjczIDAuMTk0ODc4IDMuMTA1NDcgMC4xNjE2MjFWNS4zODI1NkMzLjEwNjUyIDUuMzgyNTYgMy4xMDc1NyA1LjM4MjQ2IDMuMTA4NzMgNS4zODIzNkMzLjE3NDIxIDYuNzQ2NzIgNC4zMTMxNSA3LjgzNTM3IDUuNzIwNTIgNy44Njg1MlYyLjY0NzY5QzUuNzE5NDcgMi42NDc2OSA1LjcxODMxIDIuNjQ3NzkgNS43MTcyNiAyLjY0Nzc5IiBmaWxsPSIjOTE5MTkxIi8+CjxwYXRoIGZpbGwtcnVsZT0iZXZlbm9kZCIgY2xpcC1ydWxlPSJldmVub2RkIiBkPSJNOC43OTAwMSAyLjY0Nzc5QzguNzI0MzMgMS4yODM0MyA3LjU4NTQ5IDAuMTk0ODc4IDYuMTc4MjIgMC4xNjE2MjFWNS4zODI1NkM2LjE3OTI4IDUuMzgyNTYgNi4xODAzMyA1LjM4MjQ2IDYuMTgxMzggNS4zODIzNkM2LjI0Njk2IDYuNzQ2NzIgNy4zODYwMSA3LjgzNTM3IDguNzkzMTcgNy44Njg1MlYyLjY0NzY5QzguNzkyMTIgMi42NDc2OSA4Ljc5MTA2IDIuNjQ3NzkgOC43OTAwMSAyLjY0Nzc5IiBmaWxsPSIjOTE5MTkxIi8+Cjwvc3ZnPgo=[/img]Beautiful people don’t get sick; they indulge in the fountain of youth and laugh death in the face.
Ugly people, on the other hand.
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame probably got covid-19 almost two centuries before it even existed.
Confusing beauty with health is as old as time. And it makes the already unfair playing field that much more unfair.
Strike that. Fairness has nothing to do with it. Neither has luck. It is what it is, more like it. Nature versus nurture – with probably thousands of small but significant variables in both camps to make for a potent cocktail. And we’re all drinking it.
I’m fat, and I sure as hell know why.
I’ve loved food since I was a toddler. And I’ve always been an expert at not overexerting myself.
I’m fat because the thrill of eating the best ingredients cooked in the best possible ways, kind of always beat even sex (don’t tell my wife).
Why this is, only a fool would claim to have the complete and final answer for.
Some people go their whole lives never looking at food as anything more than fuel, staying thin without having to think about it.
I’m also fat because I choose to be. Because the alternative seems worse to me. Because starving myself for months at end just to immediately regain all weight lost once I can’t take a life of boredom anymore. Because after decades of trying to fit in, I’ve decided to stop trying.
Life as I know it, is too tasty.
The thing is, I (mostly) get away with it. Because I workout, and it shows. Over the last decade I’ve managed to build some mass that isn’t fat, as well as some feats of strength that regular folks can’t comprehend (but world champion powerlifters would laugh at).
I’ve been told I’m not one of those lazy bastards that won’t even try. Those people who just sit on their asses, stuffing their faces – getting fatter by the hour. I’ve been told I’m not like them, and I guess that’s supposed to be a compliment.
It’s okay to pass judgement on them, since they are morally inferior to us. Or so the reasoning seem to go.
Like they don’t have their own struggles and demons. Like they aren’t victims of circumstances, just like you and I.


[img]data:image/svg+xml;base64,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[/img]Like me going to the gym four or five times a week, makes me less sad when I think of what could’ve been, when the mirror hits me with the greatest hits of a middle aged man’s jiggly tummy, clearly visible no matter how dressed I am or how much I suck it in.
The ultimate issue people take with obesity, is that it’s so clearly visible compared to whatever else goes on inside the body and mind.
Being fat in public is an unwelcome reminder to others that life can be ugly.
My BMI is just under 40, which means I’m almost categorized as class 3 obese (formerly know as morbid obesity).
That’s the worst class, the final boss.
I’m sure I’ll get there one day. I’m not a quitter.
Heart disease and type 2 diabetes is in my future, but at the moment I suffer only the usual suspects. My joints hurt a lot (especially my knees); I snore and my sleep quality is low; walking up hills is a bummer, walking down again makes my knees ache even more; I get heartburn so bad that I sometimes puke; my blood pressure has anger issues; when people shiver because it is cold, I ask for a towel to wipe the sweat away; and I hate looking myself in the mirror.
Still won’t eat an undressed salad, though.
Oh yeah, I drink too much, too. At least according to any public health fanboy.
I’m a burden on civilized society.
If you are fat, you are too.
Lots of people want to help people like me. They call it caring, and say it’s out of kindness.
Maybe it is, in the same way an abusive father locks his daughter in the house, to protect her from boys.
Caring and kindness are dangerous drugs. And there’s not much people driven by it won’t do or say, consequences be damned. There’s too many overweight individuals in the world today. They need to be shown the error of their ways – they need to exercise more and be put on diets, along with a full redesign of society as we know it. Because both shaming and social planning always works as intended, at least it will this time.
I’m ranting, sort of. But I do believe that caring and kindness makes the world a worse place, day by day, for millions of fatsos like me.
Because almost everyone thinks a silver bullet exist, and that it’s worth sacrificing other people’s sense of agency in search of it. Since it’s just caring and kindness trying to solve the problems of us pot-bellied people.

[img]data:image/svg+xml;base64,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[/img]Does this make me a part of the fat acceptance movement?
I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member, as Groucho Marx put it.
It’s great that obese people try to fight the social stigma of obesity, it truly is. But yeah, I’ve seen too much dumb shit from that side of the fence too.
All other things being equal, you’ll most likely die much younger if you’re severely overweight. Eating tasty shit from sunrise to sunset, is not an activity you do to score health points. It’s just not.
If I could choose to become thin in an instant, regardless of lifestyle, I would. Almost anyone would. (I say ”almost” because there’s always that one fool …)
Since I can’t, I choose to believe that things will change, if we just let them. They always do, if you haven’t noticed. Poor countries become richer. Advances in medicine and technology continue to improve our lives and life expectancy. And reports that claim more than half of the world’s population will be overweight by 2035, are just academic prophecies used as fuel for kind and caring people (not to mention fascists of all sorts, that view all forms of physical weaknesses, including being fat, as a cancer on society that needs to be eradicated).
As soon as time comes for this prophecy to be fulfilled, people won’t remember what it said anyway.
No matter how it goes, we’ll find new things to shame and judge each other for.
It’s the most human of things.
But don’t look to me for that. I’m busy having dinner.
And it’s delicious.
You’re free to join me if you leave all guilt and shame at the door. Just make sure to bring a good bottle or two of white Burgundy. It pairs so beautifully with dishes full of butter.
We can talk about lifting heavy shit at the gym, and how amazing life is when you focus on the things you love.

Print this item

  Cold Showers for Testosterone
User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 08-29-2023, 12:39 PM - Replies (1)

In the bodybuilding world, wasted time is wasted progress. Everyone pays attention to the basics, such as exercise execution, analyzing progress logs, getting stronger, and consuming the right macros.
Then, sometimes as an afterthought, there’s recovery. Recovery may involve complete rest for a day or two, an invigorating massage, or jumping on a foam roller. The more dedicated among us may even engage in some adventurous flexi-mobility drills.
Perhaps an active recovery strategy should get the same, if not more, attention as diet and exercise, depending on the tool or system used as the recovery modality.
Exercise recovery techniques promise to get us back in the gym fully refreshed and repaired so that we can repeat the cycle of destroying muscle fibers in order to grow bigger and stronger.
Supplements and ergogenic aids used to take up much of the headlines until the new king in town muscled in – cold water therapy.
Warning: The content on Muscleandbrawn.com and the information included in this article is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to buying anything, check that it is compliant where you live with your current government laws. We frequently mention research chemicals that are not made for human consumption. Therefore, before purchasing any product for personal use, consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first.
 [Image: Cold-Shower.jpg]
Cool Recovery StrategiesYou may have heard of cryotherapy, which involves encasing oneself in a chamber of absolutely freezing air that’s as low as -86 to -230 degrees Fahrenheit. This process is used to numb problem nerves as well as treat various cancers and skin conditions through the use of pulsed air or refrigerated gas, normally carbon dioxide.
With reference to bodybuilding, this extreme method of torture is heralded as being able to lower inflammation and reduce muscle soreness. This leads to muscle relaxation and may also slow down nerve conduction, which can provide pain relief.
But where’s a cryotherapy chamber when you need one, and who has $60-$100 to spend on it after every workout? There must be another way, and there is.
You might have seen endurance athletes, MMA fighters, boxers, and now even strongmen on YouTube immersing in ice baths. This process is thought to combat the microtrauma inflicted on muscle fibers during intense training by reducing inflammation and DOMS and temperatures can range from a chilly 50–60°F.
Although this form of recovery is not something you’ll be able to do every day, there is another method that everyone can use at home or the gym. This less extreme method involves an easier to accomplish freezing cold shower.
Apart from enjoying pain, why would anyone want to take a cold shower?
Immersing in cold water has an effect on the brain.
Like a strong coffee, it increases your alertness partly due to the cool water shocking the brain to release the neurotransmitters responsible for controlling fatigue. It also boosts mental arousal and the capacity of your body to store heat.
The Benefits of Cold ShowersIronically, cold showers can make your body warmer, all things being equal. They help you build your physical and mental resilience so that you can adapt to the cold and can tolerate it much better.
Cold showers stimulate the release of white blood cells which are rapidly deployed once you have a cold, virus or the body suspects there is an invader. This boosts your immune response due to the water increasing your metabolic rate.
Jump into a cold shower and your heartbeat will accelerate. Don’t worry, this will not increase your resting heart rate. The heart has to pump faster to remove the volume of blood close to the skin and divert it to essential organs.
The skin restricts and turns pink once this happens and the cardiovascular system is also affected. Additionally, the first time you switch the water to freezing your breath will automatically deepen.
Inhaling deeply lowers cardiovascular stress. As blood volume is increased centrally, in theory, the metabolic byproducts of weight training (lactic acid, free radicals, inflammation) can be swiftly removed from the body and this can reduce the effects of future DOMS.
So why wouldn’t you make cold water an essential part of your post-workout routine? One fundamental reason – testosterone.
Testosterone TimingHaving any kind of cold therapy after a workout is just about the worst time possible for hypertrophy. It’s been well documented how squats can increase natural testosterone and growth hormone levels. [2]
Now a 2019 study 3, using the tried and trusted model of squat training with 11 men has confirmed that after 15 minutes of cold water immersion their testosterone levels dipped.
Cytokine levels (chemical inflammatory mediators) which play an active role in muscle repair and recovery are also reduced. This has the effect of blunting inflammation levels which short changes the body’s natural immune response to muscle trauma.
The effect is akin to throwing water on a wildfire to combat a potential flash fire.
It would be better to set up a firebreak and let the fire burn out over a small area to stop it from progressing into a huge outbreak. This is the same strategy the body will naturally adopt during its repair function.
It will let the fire burn out before jumping into full-on recovery mode. It will actually use the inflammation to increase cytokines which are released in the body to stimulate protein synthesis.
CWI thwarts this response and the body can not reach its full repair state. As you are effectively stopping the body from doing what it wants to do, you are limiting the amount of potential muscle size and strength gains you worked so hard to achieve during that workout.
Similar studies have demonstrated that cold water can limit the production of mTOR after training. MTOR dictates the anabolic and catabolic response of skeletal muscle mass, which is a key proponent in stimulating protein synthesis. Limiting this puts the breaks on muscular development and strength. [4]
Stopping this natural inflammation and repair response halts tissue breakdown which is not the effect we want in bodybuilding. EIMD (exercise-induced muscle damage) should not be counteracted by forcing the body to respond to cold water until the protein synthesis time zone has elapsed.
One study found that “Preliminary evidence suggests that CWI may blunt resistance signaling pathways following a single exercise session, as well as attenuate key long-term resistance training adaptations such as strength and muscle mass.” [3]
Tensiomyography is a newer approach to measuring the mechanical response of CWI as an effective recovery method. So far, it is finding the exact same results as all previous methods for measuring its effectiveness.
At best, results are paradoxical – one study will show it is an effective recovery method, others will refute the claim.
Endurance athletes are a different standard altogether. Those not concerned with packing on masses of muscle like cyclists and marathon runners have seen the benefits of ice baths and freezing showers.
Is There A Better Time To Approach CWICold water immersion appears to limit inflammation. If you are experiencing inflammation and severe DOMS several days after a training session this is usually signaling overtraining or severe muscle tissue trauma.
If this is continuing for days after a workout this is not ideal as having too much inflammation in your body is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular and degenerative disease.
The tax on your immune system will be very heavy. Once the immune system is under duress, it deploys large amounts of glutamine to transport nitrogen around the body to counteract rising levels of inflammation and flush toxic waste out of the body. [5]
If you are experiencing pain your natural stores of l-glutamine may be running low. Glutamine is used widely in the muscle repair process and it is also used as the primary fuel for the immune system. [6] When it is depleted it will take longer to recover from workouts and you will be more susceptible to illness.
Taking a cold shower at least 36-48 hours after your previous workout seems like a better time to apply CWI as protein synthesis approaches its baseline. [7] It can potentially limit the inflammation and flush out exercise waste caused by cortisol, free radicals, and adrenaline.
Inflammation causes tightness, restricts mobility, and can affect the cardiovascular, nervous, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems. [8] Short term it is good in the muscle-building process, but long term it is extremely negative for overall health.
If your training schedule is more condensed than this you just won’t be able to apply this technique without risking the chance of damaging your muscle gains. If you train 5-6 days a week, multiple times a day, or every other day this won’t help you recover any faster. In fact, it may do the opposite.
However, If you are in a muscle maintenance phase, cutting, or not trying to add mass there are potential gains to be garnered not at the expense of a drop in testosterone if you apply CWI after the 48-hour protein synthesis window.

Happy Days Are Here AgainCompetitions can raise anxiety levels which can have a negative impact on your immune system. Long training cycles and potential overtraining syndrome (OTS) can raise tryptophan (essential amino acid) levels and decrease branched-chain amino acid levels. [9]
As BCAA levels decrease the brain can use the more readily available tryptophan to convert to 5-HT. 5-HT is responsible for increasing serotonin (enzymatically transformed from tryptophan), which is known as the happy chemical as it increases mood.
However, having too much 5-hydroxytryptamine is linked to heart problems and acute anxiety, which makes sense as the more you worry the more stressed you become. [10]
Austerity treatments like exposure to the cold and taking a cold shower not only boost your mood but a 2008 study demonstrated it may be a natural analgesic treatment for depression. [11] The study hypothesized that cold water engages the sympathetic nervous system to release noradrenaline from the brain and raise beta-endorphin levels in the blood.
Exposure to cold water excites the peripheral nerve endings in the skin which sends a surge of electrical impulses to the brain. This response, in itself, may produce a natural antidote to depression.
To be honest, I have become so used to taking a cold shower most mornings that I actually look forward to the body shock. Some mornings, I can acclimatize to the temperature pretty quickly, but in others, I am just counting down the clock in my head that tells me enough is enough.
For a cold shower to be effective you need to go through the pain barrier and wait until your body adjusts to the temperature. This can take up to 1 minute. Once the skin turns pink, hang in there and go to your happy place.
I’m prepared to take a cold shower most mornings as I’m only training 2 days a week right now due to Covid-19 restrictions. I’m also working at maintaining my current muscle mass so I’m reaping the therapeutic effects, namely in the vein of waking myself up in the morning, being less stressed, and able to handle the cold UK winter environment with greater ease.
Even so, I won’t take a cold shower close to one of my training sessions as I don’t want it to mess with my test levels and pause any post-exercise inflammation. But enough about me…
No Drastic Changes To Action PlanThis method has to be used in the right context if you are to adopt it into your recovery plan. Just like nutrient timing has caused a lot of controversies, based on yep – the “timing”, the research on CWI has proven it to have negative consequences for the bodybuilder aiming to pack on muscle mass if it’s performed shortly after a training session.
It can also lower testosterone, so stick with the DOMS, or try to work them out on a roller. For now, nutrition, ergogenic aids, and sleep offer the best recovery solutions.

Print this item