Microplastics: Should We Be Worried?
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Posted by: 01dragonslayer - Yesterday, 12:47 PM - No Replies

ARE MICROPLASTICS REALLY THAT BAD?You might've seen a headline about microplastics before, or maybe you instinctively knew it was a bad idea to drink from that old water bottle in your car. Either way, these endocrine-disrupting particles have gotten into what we eat, drink, and use on a daily basis.
You can't avoid them completely, but you can stop bombing your body with heinous amounts of plastic particles every day. And you're gonna want to. So let's get into it.
Wait, What Are Microplastics?[Image: Microplastics.jpg]Microplastics are tiny particles less than 5mm in any dimension (1). So they're small enough to be invisible, but researchers are finding them in our feces, urine, and blood.
At first, this seems kinda good because it means we can excrete them. Don't get too excited, though, because one study revealed that they can accumulate in the liver, kidneys, and intestines. In another study, researchers found that 87-percent of their participants had an accumulation of microplastics in their lungs (2).
It's deceiving because when we see things made of plastic, we perceive them as solid. But plastic is made up of millions of particles. So when it degrades, it imparts things like phthalates and bisphenol-A (BPA) (3).
These are examples of endocrine disruptors (1, 3). You may have noticed marketing that brags about a product being phthalate-free or BPA-free. That's because the general population is slowly becoming aware of them.
The problem is, more research needs to be done for us to know how exactly microplastics affect the body and to what extent. Some studies have shown a relationship between environmental pollutants and weight gain (4, 5), but apparently not enough for medical experts to put us on plastic-free diets.
The thing is, even if there were no research on microplastics, it just takes a little deductive reasoning to see the potential issues and notice some patterns.

Think of Endocrine Disruptors Like This[Image: Microplastics-Effects.jpg]Your endocrine system is your hormonal system. Every process in the human body is affected by your hormones. That means endocrine disruptors are a big deal if you want to avoid cancer and developmental malformations, increase fertility, improve your sex drive, and way more (6).
Endocrine disruptors can also promote obesity. Remember, your body's ability to use and store fat is influenced by hormones like testosterone, estrogen, insulin, glucagon, cortisol, and thyroid hormones T3 and T4. So anything that throws those hormones off-kilter will make it harder for you to lose fat or keep it off.
According to one medical news publication, "Research has shown the potentiality for metabolic disturbance, neurotoxicity as well as carcinogenic effects. It has been shown that microplastics can act as endocrine disruptors, thus interfering with normal hormone function and potentially causing weight gain (8)."
Sure, the amount and quality of your food are the biggest factors when it comes to weight loss, but microplastic intake could partly be responsible for rising body fat levels.
This is just speculation, but wouldn't the ever-increasing levels of endocrine disruptors explain a lot? Obesity is more prevalent than ever, yet:

  • Never before in history have so many people tracked their macros, calories, sleep, and activity levels.
  • Never before in history have people worried as much about sugar and carbs.
  • Never before in history have people had so much access to nutritional information from experts.
  • And never before in history have we been this fat.
No, microplastics aren't solely responsible for obesity, but they could make it easier to gain fat and harder to lose – via various mechanisms.

How Can We Limit Microplastic Intake?[Image: Microplastics-in-Food.jpg]Just remember, plastic stuff degrades with heat, time, and use. So the more degradation occurs, the more of these endocrine-disrupting microparticles you consume.
Here are some common microplastic culprits and solutions for avoiding them:
Culprit: Food storage containers that degrade every time you put hot food in them. You may also be reheating them in the microwave or putting them in your dishwasher.
Solution: Replace them with glass versions. Hand wash their plastic lids.
Culprit: The inner lining of the to-go cups at your favorite coffee shop (7), and their plastic lids. The longer your coffee sits in them, the more of a plastic stew you're drinking.
Solution: Use ceramic mugs or stainless steel to-go mugs, and try not to drink hot liquid through plastic lids.
Culprit: The rim around the lip of your coffee pot that gets scorched with piping-hot liquid every time you pour yourself a cup of Joe.
Solution: Find ways to make coffee that won't require your hot liquid to touch plastic. Or try iced coffee in a glass.
Culprit: Plastic spatulas you use to sauté food or scramble eggs on a hot skillet, and the plastic soup ladle you dunk into chili or stew.
Solution: Use wood or stainless steel cooking utensils. Why not silicone? It might be better, but it breaks down eventually, too.
Culprit: Sippy cups or unbreakable children's bowls and plates you put in the steaming hot dishwasher every night.
Solution: Use tempered glass, stainless steel, or bamboo. There are companies that specialize in eco-friendly materials for kids.
Culprit: Bottled water that's not BPA-free.
Solution: If you must have bottled water, choose a brand that uses BPA-free bottles and don't reuse them or expose them to heat. A stainless steel Hydroflask is handy when you're on the go.
Culprit: Single-use utensils at fast-food restaurants and potlucks.
Solution: Eat with your fingers, bring your own utensils, or take it home and use silverware.
Another solution? Break a sweat regularly. It's another way to naturally excrete microplastics... aside from going to the loo.
That's not an all-encompassing list but it's a start. If you really want to bump up your game, filter your tap water, avoid food and beverages packaged in plastic (wrappers, canisters, and tubs), switch to plastic-free toothpaste, and avoid any microplastic-containing toiletries.
TC Luoma has a great list of ways to avoid all obesogenic endocrine disruptors, not just the ones that come from plastic. Granted, you can't escape ALL of these endocrine disruptors, but you can take precautions that mitigate some big culprits.

If They're Unavoidable, Why Care?[Image: Microplastics-in-Cosmetics.jpg]You don't need to be perfect; you just need to be mindful. Of course, some people think taking precautions is a form of paranoia that won't matter to their physique, but improving your overall health is more than just a caloric equation.
If you don't want to be as unhealthy as the average person, you'll need to think differently than the average person. Start by picking your poisons with awareness.
My poisons? Cosmetics, hair dye, and a partly-plastic retainer I wear at night. These contain a hodgepodge of endocrine disruptors. So, I need to compensate and be careful elsewhere. I'm also not ready to filter my tap water yet. And if someone prepares a meal for me, I'll just shut the hell up and enjoy it. (Sorry for plastic-shaming your spatula, mom.)
Just start noticing the obvious microplastic sources and take baby steps to minimize or offset them. Then if it's easy enough for you, look into the less-obvious ones and see if there's a reasonable way to start cutting back on those too.

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  Hello everyone years on other boards ! Glad to be here
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Posted by: 88ster - 03-28-2023, 02:07 AM - Replies (3)

Nice to be on the board thank you for the acceptance

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  let's make me a cycle
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Posted by: Squatster - 03-28-2023, 12:40 AM - Replies (2)

I have
Test P
Test E
Mast P
Mast E
I know I need to get some Tbal
I have Dbal
What do you guys think?

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Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 07:06 PM - No Replies

Imagine you just stepped out of your time machine after being transported back to Muscle Beach in its prime. You arrive to spot the likes of Vic Tanny, Joe Gold (of Gold's Gym fame), Jack LaLanne, Steve "Hercules" Reeves, Jack Delinger, and later, Dave Draper or even Arnold with his friends.
They were all hanging out and lifting outside instead of being inside a commercial gym. Did they know something special about sunlight?
The New ScienceFast-forward to modern bleeding-edge research from Dr. Peter Light who's been investigating the effects of light on fat cells, or what researches call adipocytes (1).
When the researchers subjected fat cells in a dish to blue light, it caused an increased glycerol release and reduced lipid droplet size. Yep, that means the fat cells got smaller.
This is from an increased rate of fat being broken down (lipolysis) or reduction in the free fatty acids and glycerol backbone being reassembled, known as fatty acid re-esterification. In addition, smaller fat cells are healthier since large fat cells are associated with increased insulin resistance and inflammation (2, 3).
"When the sun's blue light wavelengths – the light we can see with our eyes – penetrates our skin and reaches the fat cells just beneath, lipid droplets reduce in size and are released out of the cell. In other words, our cells don't store as much fat," wrote Dr. Light (4).

The CaveatIt's not a double-blind randomized controlled trial in lifting bros, but it is super fascinating. Maybe the old-school Muscle Beach lifters were onto something.

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Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 07:05 PM - No Replies

LOVE MAKES YOU FAT?Evolutionary psychologists tell us that we're genetically wired to pair bond. Most us prefer to ride Spaceship Earth around the sun with a partner, preferably one that lets us rub our sensitive parts against their sensitive parts.
We, as humans, generally like long term relationships, which usually end up being marriages. Then we get fat, gross each other out, and get divorced.

?Okay, not quite. But a new survey of 2000 Americans (conducted by Jenny Craig and OnePoll) has painted a pretty dismal picture of what happens when we find "the one."

  • 79 percent of those surveyed have gained fat since they started dating their partner.
  • In the first year of the long term relationship, the average weight gain was 17 pounds. The average respondent gained 36 pounds over time.
  • Men in long term relationships gain more weight than women. Men, in fact, gain an average of 22 pounds in the first year of holy matrimony. Women gain around 13 pounds.
  • Younger couples (ages 18 to 24) pork up fast when entering a serious romantic relationship. Older couples (45-plus) gain fat too, but more slowly.
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?You can probably guess, but here's what the people surveyed said:
  • 64 percent said they became comfortable and content after scoring a mate. The hunt was over, so they relaxed.
  • 42 percent said they cut back on taking care of their health and appearances after having kids. Priorities shifted. Also, kids sucked up all their time and energy.
  • 42 percent blamed dining our frequently and 34 percent blamed ordering takeout or cooking together while getting hammered.
GET FAT, GET DIVORCED?Ironically, while men and women feel complacent in serious relationships, that very same complacency can be a factor leading to divorce.
While cheating and money problems are always at the top of those "Why People Get Divorced" lists, weight gain usually comes in at around the number five spot.
It seems shallow, but remember, weight gain can lead to (or exacerbate) depressive symptoms and low self-esteem. Those things lead to mood and behavior changes, resentment, and arguments. Other studies have shown that the sex/intimacy well dries up when one or both partner gets too chubby. Being overweight can also cause erectile dysfunction.
[Image: Dress.jpg]HOW TO USE THIS INFODon't give up on wuv, true wuv, just yet. To avoid the pitfalls and fat pants, just adopt the "do the opposite" approach.
  1. Don't get too complacent. That's the big one. Even if he or she loves you for better or worse, all those preventable diseases caused by fat gain don't give a crap. Your body conditionally loves you, even if you have unconditional love for one another.
  2. Go to the gym together. Studies show that couples who exercise together stay together. They're also twice as likely to report being happy.
  3. Eat out less frequently. Cook most meals at home and avoid takeout. And not every meal needs to involve a bottle of vino.
  4. Don't have kids. Okay, that's not fair. We all know it's your duty to genetically bless future generations with that big nose of yours. So just be prepared to figure out how to train and eat right when Skylar has soccer practice and Daltan hasn't stopped shitting his pants for the last four hours. And don't forget to keep things spicy in the bedroom. Or the laundry room. Whatever works, folks.

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Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 07:02 PM - No Replies

"Why do you guys want to be big?"
I was so excited about this one that I had to write a whole article in response to it. Listed below are some of the reasons why I feel we all like to get big.

[Image: hot-and-sweaty.jpg]
[Image: meathead-image-360.jpg]

  1. I like having to think, "Is this really worth getting up for?" before doing anything.
  2. I like having to roll off the bench press instead of sitting up.
  3. I like the feeling of having my head filling with pressure, turning bright red and not being able to breathe. And this is just from tying my shoes. I find it best to take a big breath of air, drop as fast as I can and speed tie. I can usually get the job done in four to five reps.
  4. I like the feeling of my belly on my upper thighs when I take a dump. Sometimes I even try to sit back further, fill my belly with air and blast away like I would a big squat.
  5. I like feeling hot and sweaty when sitting in an air conditioned room with my shirt off and a fan blowing on me. This is how I spend most days at work!
  6. II like taking an extra few minutes in my car to catch my breath from walking across the parking lot.
  7. I like having to put my belt through my belt loopsbeforeI put on my pants. I remember how mad my friend Jim was one time at the airport when he was asked to remove his belt before going through the metal detector. He knew he had two choices. He could either go the rest of the day without his belt, or head to the restroom to take his pants back off and re-loop the belt. He waited until the next time he had to take a dump as it would just be too much of a pain to remove his pants for no reason.
  8. I like waking up in the middle of the night with my hands numb. Gives me a chance to eat more food.
  9. I like being asked things like:
    "Do you lift weights?"
    No, I look this way for no other reason.
    "Are you a wrestler?"
    Yeah, like I have the mobility to jump off the top rope!
  10. II like the time I have to spend in business meetings trying to overcome the meathead image all the fat, out-of-shape business executives have of me.
  11. I like the feeling I have of needing to take a shit all day long.
  12. I like the lower back workout I get from walking across the room.
  13. Cell phones are also a treat when you're big. You're sure to cut all conversations very short because you know your arm will get tired within the first two minutes. This is where the headsets are great, but these Shrek-like fingers make it hard to get the damn plug in the phone.
  14. On that same note, I like having to retype just about every third word because my damn fingers keep hitting the wrong keys.
  15. I like buying a new recliner every year because they all break down.
  16. I like the feeling of jeans either smashing my nuts or falling off my ass.
  17. I like coming up with excuses to avoid places like the zoo, amusement parks, fairs or any other place that involves a shitload of walking in hot weather. Yeah, let's all go to Disney World!
  18. I love speed squat workouts where the only thing that's moving fast is my heart rate.
  19. I love leaving work and finding that when I get to my car I forgot something and realize it isn't worth the 20 yards to walk back and get it. The only exception to this rule is when I forget my car keys and then have to stand there pissed at myself for a half hour before I walk back in and get them. I usually try using my cell phone to call in and have someone bring them out to me.
  20. I love swimming and finding myself in the deep end where I can't touch.
  21. I always like it when I'm the passenger in a compact car. First you have a hell of a time getting into the car as it feels like you're doing a one-leg squat down to a shoe box. Then when you reach your destination you find you're curbside parked. You go to open the door and you hear the oh-so-familiar scratch of the car door on the curb. This sound runs down your spine like fingernails on a chalkboard.
You then look out the door and see that you're required to do the deepest one-leg squat in history to get out. The only way you'll be able to do this is to arch your back and press your feet into the floor as hard as you can to begin to lift yourself up in the seat as you would on a hack squat machine. If done correctly, you can gain up to six inches before you take the side lunge from hell to get out.
Once you're in the proper position you should be able to take the leap of faith to get out. If this wasn't bad enough, you always know that it's not over after the first step. You know there's a very good chance you'll end up losing your balance as you get out and end up taking a few awkward backward steps once you clear the door. The worst thing of all is knowing once you get out you'll have to find a way to get back in.
[Image: fat-bloated-pig-360.jpg]
  1. I love feeling like I'm getting more jacked and ripped at the same time, yet every picture I see of myself shows a fat bloated pig. I guess it's true that a picture can add two rolls and twenty pounds of fat. Okay, thirty.
  2. I like knowing that when I go to take a dump I have a very good chance of getting a lat cramp when I go to wipe. This will always lead to the "quick" wipe and a dirty ass.
Jim has always suggested the use of baby wipes to finish the job, but let's face it, do you really want to risk the lat cramp again? I'd much rather hit the shower to finish the job. Hint: You'll need to get one of those detachable showerheads so you can get the direct line of fire.
If all else fails, you can ask your sweetheart to help finish the job. To do this you need to lie on your back and lift your legs up and back as far as you can. This will give her a perfect view to get the job done.
Okay, I know I crossed the line with that one, but I do know of at least three lifters who take care of hygiene this way. They call this "assuming the position."
  1. I love having to have someone else button my top shirt button and put my tie on because I can't reach it.
  2. I also like going out to eat and finding I'm in a restaurant that has two choices: 1) the booth you have to squeeze your ass into, knowing that your belly will be smashed the entire meal and 2) those tall tables with the extra high barstools. Not able to lean back and set your feet on the floor is counterproductive to one of the most important activities of getting big–eating. I suggest leaving and finding somewhere else to eat.
  3. I like all the crazy sexual positions I can conform to.
  4. Going to the airport provides several great reasons why you should all strive to get big. First up, you have to get all your crap out of the car and to the check-in. In my case I'm usually looking at a duffle bag of clothes for the weekend trip. You also need a bigger bag because all your crap is size XXX, plus you need a few extra shirts as you're bound to sweat through most of them and will need to change often.
I also have my briefcase with laptop, planner and all the other crap I need while away. In the case of a seminar, I also have a roller case with my LCD projector. Lastly, if I need to train while away I'll need my training bag with all the gear I'll need. (I don't even want to get into the bags needed for a powerlifting meet.)
So I'm faced with how to get four bags to the check-in terminal. Yes, you can get a roller cart, but this will require walking to the terminal to get the thing, then walking back, loading up and walking to the terminal again. This is way too many trips for a big guy to take.
If you're lucky, you'll make it to the terminal with only four or five drops. If you're following me here you know what happens when one bag falls off your shoulder. You try to recover and the next thing you know all your bags are on the floor. It takes several attempts to get all the bags back up and on your way.
Let me tell you this before I go on: don't try and kick a few bags as you go. This may seem like good idea but a travel bag doesn't kick as smoothly as you think it would, and it'll take much more energy kicking the bags than it would hiking them back on your shoulders.
Okay, so you make it to the check-in terminal. You take your place in line and set your crap down. This is when the "bag kick" comes in handy. You don't want to have to pick up your bags every five minutes when the line moves up.
At this point you'll be starving from all the work you had to do to get here and you can see the fast food places around the corner. As each person moves up you get more and more hungry to the point that your hunger turns into "stupid people aggression." Most of you will know what I mean with this.
You're in line and what should take a max of five to ten seconds to do, takes some of these morons ten minutes. All you can think of doing is kicking the asshole in front of you in the back as he fumbles for his ID that he should've had out ten minutes ago. Hell, I've been holding mine in my mouth for the last half hour to the point that the ends are now all chewed up.
You finally make it to the metal detector. We already discussed the belt issue, but it's important to point out that you should never wear laced shoes as you'll have to take them off, and we all know how hard they are to get back on.
Since you're big and jacked you don't have to worry about taking anything out of your pockets because if you had something in there, there's no way you'd ever get it out anyhow. This is also why big guys will always tip all the change they receive into the tip jar, because let's face it, where are you going to put it? In your front pocket? Yeah right! And how will you get it out? The only way you'd ever see the change again is when you take your pants off later that day. At this point it'll fall on the floor and you'll have to call in your kids to have them pick it up for you.
So you kick your shoes off and think you'll fly past the metal detector archway. This is true as long as you don't bump the sides. Since you're huge, your shoulders are bound to hit, plus you have a shaved head and goatee and are automatically targeted as a threat. So you find yourself being directed to the two big footprints on the floor and told to stand here. Then they ask you to raise your arms and will always ask you if you work out. This is no time for small talk as your shoulders are messed up from your last squat session and it's killing you to hold your arms up.

[Image: JW.jpg]
Finally, you get a chance to drop a few hundred bucks on a handful of eats that should hold you over for the trip. Now is your time to take a seat and recover from the demanding trip so far. This is a great time to checkout all the normal folks to remind yourself how great it is to be huge.
You realize very fast that you're ten times bigger than you thought you were as it seems everyone in this country is fat and out of shape. On any given day you'll be lucky to see one or two people who look like they've set foot in a weight room. The goal here is to not get too close to anyone as you don't want to catch the Geek Virus.
Soon you'll be boarding the plane. It's best to wait until last to get on. Why rush to just go sit again and have to get up if someone else comes? If you've planned your trip well you know you should have an isle seat so it doesn't matter when you get on. So relax and enjoy watching everyone else rush to the plane.
Now, you know the seat will be a tight fit and you'll have your balls crushed for the next hour or so. Find your seat but keep on the lookout for any seats that may be open with an empty seat next to them. Since you should be the last one on the plane, dive into whatever looks like the best place to be. This is your right because you are huge.
As you can see, being big is a great thing. If I can't convince you in 3000 words then there's just no hope for you.

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Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:55 PM - No Replies

"What's Your Motivation?"
Every time I write an article, I get a bunch of emails from people who want me to design a training program for them. I'd be glad to do it, but the problem usually comes down to one thing. I hate to sound like a method actor instructor, but "What's your motivation?" Why do you want to put all this weight on a bar, or mix flax seeds in a blender with berries and protein, or sprint up a hill dragging a sled with a 150 pound backpack ripping a hole in your traps while lugging farmer bars?
Motivation is a funny thing. Coaches and trainers like to see motivated clients. Here's my idea of the perfect client:
 Julie is attending her high school reunion in twelve weeks. At the reunion will be her former best friend who's now married to Julie's ex-husband, who cheated on her with the former best friend. Phil will be there too, an old boyfriend she never quite got over who's now living well off the money he made when he sold his Cisco, Microsoft and Yahoo stocks.
Julie is twenty pounds heavier than her "cheerleading weight" and asks you to help her lose it before the big day. If you say, "Hmmm, first let's put you on a ten week course of slowly building your ligaments and tendons up with some gentle movements to retrain the system" she'll be looking for another trainer before you can further show your complete mastery of idiocy.

No, what she wants to hear is, "Right, eggs only for four weeks, two gallons of water each day. We'll hit the weight room every morning and do sprint workouts at the track each afternoon. I have some 'stuff' banned by the FDA that might help, too."
Any form of hardcore, bootcampish death march ideas will be fine. Stick moderation on the shelf for a while. Julie's motivation to look hotter than her ex-friend would be one thing, but adding ex-husband and possible future mate into the mix and you have enough in the motivation pot to train blindly, through exhaustion, for twelve weeks.
The worst client for most coaches and trainers is, well, most of us! We know how we want to look or how much we want to lift, but we're not sure how to get there and have no deadline spurring us on. So let's talk about goal setting and how to figure out your motivations. Then let's explore how to put it all together and really make it work.

Goal Setting: The Three "Generations"
There are two major goal setting times each year: the obvious one is in January. Just try to find a gym that has an open treadmill the first week of the year. The other time of the year is collectively known as "Back to School" time (even if we haven't been to school since the Nixon Administration).
It's easy to set goals in school, especially high school. Each day there's a surge towards the gymnasiums, swimming pools, football fields, soccer fields and wrestling rooms as the athletes walk over to practice. Life, however, isn't like that. Your buddies in the cubicle next to you don't walk with you to the gym. Mom and Dad don't bring blankets to sit on while you get your upper body workout finished, nor do you find a lot of cheerleaders tumbling when you rack the squat.

No, goal setting is an adult pastime. Generally, I see the art of goal setting breaking into three "generations." The problem is simple: Most of us know what to do. Let me say this again: Nearly every reader knows what to do about losing fat and/or gaining muscle. It's like telling people they need to put on a seatbelt or to stop smoking or to floss daily. I mean, we know that information, but sometimes, well, we just can't find the floss.
I've discovered three generations of goal setting which break down very easy into three terms:

Quote:1) Should
2) Could
3) Must
There's certainly a value to each level, but success in life and lifting only occurs during the "must" phase of goal setting. Let's go through each one by one.

The Should Phase
As we go through our first stages of life, we enter into a goal setting phase I call the "Should Phase."
Quote:• You should go to a nice college.
• You should get a job.
• You should mow the lawn.
It all suggests a better approach to what you're doing. Most of us who lift weights and watch what we eat live in the "shadow of should." I went to a workshop and the speaker kept repeating "Don't should on yourself." It was funny... the first time, but she did make a good point.

The "should" approach to goal setting is where most of us live as adults:
Quote:• I should lose a couple of pounds.
• I should get to the gym a little more often.
• I should really try to keep an eye on my eating.
Basically, this approach is worthless. The person accepts the issue, then let's the problem slide past him as he reaches for the TV clicker and chips. If you read this article, you probably are beyond "should," but I bet you know a lot of people in your life who live in "should."

The Could Phase
The "could" phase is the beginning of the path to success. The concept behind "could" includes the belief and the knowledge that one might possibly be successful in taking these steps. Generally, when people start using "could," they seem to have a basic understanding of the path ahead of them. In fact, they may even know the destination.
Quote:• You know, I could lose a couple of pounds. I could do the low carb thing.
• You know, I should get to the gym a little more often. I could go right after work.
• You know, I could keep an eye on my diet a little better.
Knowledge is power in the "could" stage. You know what to do, but just don't seem to find the power to do it.
And you know what: Not one thing I've written so far matters at all because to be truly great, you've got to make your goals "musts." And that, my friends, is the key to success in sports and training. Let's get to it then!

The Must Phase
The single best piece of diet advice I ever heard came from (don't laugh!) peak performance consultant Anthony Robbins. Robbins got his advice from one of his clients. It's called the "Alpo Diet." Invite a dozen friends over to your house. Tell them that by the end of the month you're going to lose ten pounds. Tell them that if you don't, you'll eat the can of Alpo in front of them.
=100,center Well, as long as it has gravy...

For the next week, every time you feel the urge to take a piece of chocolate from the cubicle next to you, reread the contents of the Alpo can. If someone offers you something smothered in goo, open the Alpo can and take a good deep sniff. 
You see, this is the crux of goal setting: Rarely do people improve because of the pleasure of the goal; rather it's pain that sets them on a goal.

The Pleasure and the Pain
I use a simple, four-square chart for my athletes. I ask them to fill in the four boxes.
Quote:• What "pain" will you get if you "do" get your goals? (Be sure to reread that!)
• What "pleasure" will get if you "don't" get your goals?
I've worked with dozens of athletes with this simple chart and the remarkable thing about all of this work is that few athletes have much to say about the pleasure of getting their goals. "It would be nice to be an Olympian" certainly doesn't stir the imagination as much as "I'd have to eat a can of dog food if I fail."
Pain drives most goals! Someone might say "I can't run a mile." If I tell them their child is roped to the railroad tracks a mile away and they had to get there in less than ten minutes, they might run that mile! The pain of hurting or losing a child is inconsequential vis-à-vis their temporary issues of heart rate increases and sweating.
But does getting a goal cause pain? Oh, no question about that! Think about how many high school seniors will accept a college sports scholarship and then sneak away after less than a week of practice. The new level of competition causes obvious problems, but even smaller goals have issues:
Quote:• Losing fat often means buying new clothes.
• Becoming "Top Ten" often leads to the question, "When will you be number one?"
• The diploma issue: Now I have a nice piece of paper, but no job and no idea of what to do!
Okay, so now you see that achieving a goal can cause "pain." But can a person experience pleasure from not reaching a goal? Obviously, the pleasure we get from failure must be greater than the successful completion of a goal, otherwise (and I'm trying to be nice) there wouldn't be anyone available to appear on those daytime television shows with subjects like "people who date their cousin's pets."
Think of how many athletic careers have been ruined by "love" ("Sorry guys, but I need to spend more time with Yolanda"), cars, boats or whatever eats up all the athlete's time and resources. For the record, I can understand why someone would trade making love for making weight for wrestling, but we have to at least realize that this is part of the issue with achieving goals. That stuff can certainly get in the way of accomplishment, so failing can be pleasurable in a sense. If you know this, you may be able to recognize and avoid it if you truly want to reach your goals.
 Most of this, of course, has almost nothing to do with why Julie is going to be extremely successful in losing those twenty pounds. Julie is going to lose those twenty pounds or more because she's eating Alpo! The pain she feels when she thinks of the betrayal of her friend and husband will keep her forking down eggs long after the rest of us have pulled out the chips and TV clicker. Pain motivates most people much better than pleasure. Sorry, but it's true.

Making "Musts"
So, how do you make things a must? A couple of ideas:
Quote:• First, put it out there: Tell people what you want to do and enlist them to help. Talk to people who've done what you're attempting. Let them know what you want to do.
• Second, grab the Alpo or whatever will stimulate you to "do or not do" what you have to do or not do. What in your life would bring you enormous pain? Here's an idea: If you don't lose those ten pounds, your brother sends in your application, signed and sealed, to join the Marine Corps or French Foreign Legion. I can guarantee that those ten pounds will come off in boot camp.
Or how about this: Post your "before" photo on the T-Nation site. Tell everyone when you're going to post your "after." Tell them that if you don't, they should keep bumping the shameful "before" until you come through with the "after."
• Next, and this is the odd one, start "acting" like you've already achieved the goal. Hit the beach like you lost those ten pounds or buy new clothes with the goal in mind. (The brain is easy to fool; just go to Disneyland and look at what people wear.) Start acting like you've accomplished something and, often before you know it, you've accomplished it.
When you succeed or fail, generally, it comes back to the question that's plagued actors for a century: "What's my motivation?" Sniff some dog food and walk back to the squat rack!

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User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:52 PM - No Replies


  • Athletes sometimes have weird endocrine profiles (low testosterone levels, messed up testosterone-to-luteinizing hormone ratios, etc.).
  • The preferred pain reliever of most athletes is ibuprofen, aka Advil.
  • Fertility rates in the Western world continue to decline, year after year.
Now, those who worship at the altar of logic know that causality doesn't imply correlation, but a recent study of the effects of ibuprofen on the physiology of human testicles makes you think there's plenty of cause to be correlatin' the facts listed above.
The StudyResearchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that relatively short-term use (14 days) of ibuprofen can induce a state of "compensated hypogonadism" in human males. That's a condition where men have normal levels of testosterone but higher levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), which is the stuff that stimulates the testicles to produce testosterone.
What that means is that your balls start to act like old men themselves. LH knocks on the chemical door throughout your life and when you're younger, your balls "hear" the knock and answer the door (make more testosterone).
When you're old, your balls don't hear the knocking and keep watching reruns of CSI. LH has to knock louder and louder (send more and more LH) for the balls to hear, but oftentimes, they don't and fall asleep in the Barcalounger.
The doctors found that regular use of ibuprofen can bring about this condition way early. It's a problem because conditional hypogonadism is often followed by real hypogonadism (low testosterone and all its related ailments).
But that's not all. They also found that regular use of ibuprofen affects other aspects of testicular function, including a diminished sperm count.

What They DidThis study was a bit unusual (but admirable) in that they tested the effects of ibuprofen on both real live young men and in adult testicle explants from donors (ex vivo). They also did some additional testing in test tubes (in vitro).
First, they gave a daily 600-mg. dose of ibuprofen to young, healthy volunteers and evaluated their testicular physiology after 14 days and again after 44 days. They also exposed the testicular samples to doses that were equivalent to the oral doses given to the young men, testing them at 24 hours and again at 48 hours.

What They Found[Image: Pills.jpg]The ibuprofen didn't affect the testosterone or estradiol levels of the young men at all, either after 14 days or 44 days. However, it did affect their LH levels and their LH/free testosterone levels. LH increased by 23% after 14 days and 33% after 14 days, in effect creating a state of conditional hypogonadism (explained above).
Further, the ibuprofen affected Sertoli cell activity, and that's where sperm cells are made. Specifically, it reduced inhibin B/FSH ratios by 4% after day 14 and 12% after day 44, along with reducing AMH levels by 9% after day 14 and 7% after day 44. Add 'em up and it means potentially gimpy sperm and not many of them, to boot.
The results in the ex vivo samples were even more dramatic. Testosterone levels dropped after administrating ibuprofen. The effects were dramatic, dose-dependant, and worsened with time. In fact, ibuprofen "generally inhibited all steroids from pregnenolone down to testosterone and 17B-estradiol."
The samples of testicular tissue also suffered impaired Sertoli cell function, which was also seen in the testicles of the human subjects. (The impairment to the testicles is likely reversible upon cessation of ibuprofen use, though.)

What This Means to YouLots of athletes use ibuprofen to ease their aches and pains. More and more evidence suggests that this is bad strategy. For one, it's almost unequivocal that ibuprofen, along with other NSAIDS, impairs the post-exercise acute inflammatory phase, which is crucial to muscle growth.
As such, taking ibuprofen to quell annoying pain allows you to work out harder, but the drug also prevents you from growing additional muscle.
Furthermore, indiscriminate and excessive use of ibuprofen might actually be harming the testicles' ability to make sperm, thus contributing to falling male fertility rates. The researchers went so far as to say that the striking dual effect of ibuprofen on Leydig and Sertoli cells suggests that ibuprofen, of all the chemical classes considered, has "the broadest endocrine-disturbing properties identified so far in men."
Not good. As always, more studies are needed, but in the meantime, use something like the polyphenol curcumin for post-workout pain management. It does the job without affecting testicular physiology or muscle adaptation to exercise.

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  Liver Paté The Care and Feeding of the Liver
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Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:49 PM - No Replies

Everyone says that it's dog that's man's best friend. I don't totally dispute that. After all, my dog is loyal and he doesn't give me back talk. What's more, he's a good spotter. Sometimes, when I bring Brooklyn to the gym and I can't find a squat box, the dog just jumps right in, stands perfectly still and gives a yelp when my ass puts too much pressure on him. Now that's loyal!
But I digress. What I intented to tell you about was getting the most out of your training/supplementation routine. In training, getting the most out of your effort can also be as simple as relying on good form, adequate rest, superior nutrition, and a gold standard supplementation routine. The trouble is, we often end up taking our innards for granted, especially when we decide to partake in some chemical warfare.
Well, let me tell ya', your innards, particularly your liver, can also be your best friend.

?Meet the Amazing? Liver
One can argue that the most vital organ to preserving health in the body is the liver. The liver is responsible for "detoxifying" practically every substance that we ingest via the oral route. That being said, it's a good idea to review exactly how the liver functions.
Would you believe that the liver is involved in over 500 metabolic functions? Without doubt, outside of the ol' gas pumper and brain, the liver is the organ that you most want to care for.
This large organ is responsible for converting T4 into T3 (active thyroid), building amino acids into plasma proteins, storing glucose as glycogen, regulating blood sugar, and conserving iron from old red blood cells, as well as detoxifying substances such as alcohol and drugs. The major liver metabolic functions are described as follows:
Carbohydrate Metabolism
• converts various types of sugars into glucose
• acts as a glucose buffer
• converts amino acids and glycerol to glucose when glycogen stores are low
• converts glucose to fat for storage
Fat Metabolism
• is primary site of fat burning (beta-oxidation)
• stores fats
• forms lipoproteins for transporting fat to and from tissues
• synthesizes cholesterol and bile salts.
Protein Metabolism
• deaminates amino acids for conversion into glucose and cellular energy (ATP)
• forms urea, removing ammonia from the body
• forms plasma proteins to support the immune system, promote anabolism, and bolster thyroid function
• converts amino acids from essential to non- essential
Vitamin/Mineral Storage
• stores vitamin A for 1-2 years
• stores 1-4 month supply of vitamin D and B12
• stores iron (as ferritin) and releases it into the blood as needed.
Biotransformation Functions
• converts drugs from active to inactive substances via synthetic reactions, yielding metabolic products which can be secreted by the kidneys
• transforms drugs or substances via nonsynthetic reactions from active substances to more active, active, or less-active substances
• process bilirubin, eventually yielding bile pigments
• metabolizes blood-borne hormones to forms that can be excreted in urine
It's apparent that the liver's responsible for detoxifying substances such as drugs, medicines and alcohol. And it's not a secret that we, as weight-lifting athletes, sometimes push the chemical envelope in an effort to maximize muscle growth. As such, it's important to learn how to maximize liver function.
Herbal Warfare
The following list describes some herbs or herbal formulas that have been found to be beneficial to the liver:
Fenugreek: This is an annual herb that's native to the Mediterranean. It's officially known as Trigonella foenum-graecum or Greek hay. Research indicates that Fenugreek has the potential to help in the regulation of blood sugar (through its active component known as 4-hydroxyisoleucine), in addition to reducing blood cholesterol. It's also known to improve insulin and glucose response to glucose challenges (eating an entire box of Twinkies) and it may increase appetite.
In short, fenugreek is good for keeping your cholesterol in check, stabilizing blood sugar and promoting muscle growth through efficient uptake of glucose into the muscle cells. The typical therapeutic dosage is 1.5-2.0 grams per day of the extract, or 6 grams per day of the whole seed.
Milk Thistle: This plant neither contains milk or thistles, but rather is a fruit that has been used medicinally since Greco-Roman times. The official name for Milk Thistle is Silybum marianum. It's also known as blessed milk thistle and St. Mary thistle. From a therapeutic standpoint, it's important to concentrate on the extract of Milk Thistle.
There are three principle components or active constituents of this herb. The flavanolignans silybin, silychristin, and silidianin are collectively known as silymarin. Silymarin makes up 1-3% of Milk Thistle. Silymarin has been found to play a role in human regeneration of liver cells after damage from alcohol and/or liver disease (hepatitis, cirrhosis); as a treatment for promoting wound healing (for example, in burns); as an anti-inflammatory agent; and as an anti-oxidant. It can also decrease elevated liver enzymes induced by drug usage.
Silymarin is thought to alter the structure of the outer cell membrane of liver cells, thus preventing penetration of liver toxins into the cell. In this manner it may help protect your body against potential damage from substances that are solely or partially metabolized in the liver. Further research points to silymarin having the ability to increase the action of nucleolar polymerase A, which in turn, promotes protein synthesis and the regeneration of liver cells, while having anti-oxidant action.
Finally, the components of silymarin, chiefly silibinin and silichristin, have been found to actually imitate steroid hormones (the ones we like!) by stimulating protein synthesis via enhancing DNA activity in a non-select manner. This means that silymarin may further potentiate your muscular growth while protecting your liver.
In summary, when using Milk Thistle, look for brands that contain at least 140 mg silymarin per serving. Research indicates that a dosage of 200-400 mg silymarin per day is best (taken in two equal divided doses) for obtaining a therapeutic and protective effect.
Soy Lecithin and Soy Phospholipid: Lecithin that's derived from the soy seed and that contains 73-79% phosphatidylcholine has been shown to have pharmacologic effects. The soy phospholipid is rich in the essential fatty acid linoleic acid. The German Commission E (their equivalent to the FDA, but more progressive) has approved soy lecithin and phospholipid for moderate disturbances in fat metabolism (especially high cholesterol), along with neurological disorders and liver disorders (fatty liver and substance, induced liver damage, and hepatitis). It seems that both of these soy-derived agents have no estrogenic effects, but rather can help the liver stay healthy, while providing benefit to the heart.
The Merck Index classifies lecithin as a lipotropic, meaning that it can aid in fat metabolism. Anybody who's concerned about their cholesterol levels or drinks alcohol more often than recommended, as well as those people who use pharmaceutical agents, should include soy lecithin and phospholipids in their daily diet routine. The data from German documents and studies indicate that the recommended dose for lecithin is 3.5 grams per day and soy phospholipids is 1.5-2.7 grams per day.
Artichoke Leaf: Believe it or not, there are constituents of the artichoke leaf that have been found to have pharmacologic effects. The active components include phenolic acids (chlorogenic and cynarin), along with lactones, glycosides, phytosterols and other minor items. Artichoke leaf has been used since Roman times as an aid for liver dysfunction, a sluggish gallbladder, and as a diuretic. Don't dismiss this funky looking vegetable!
Medical studies from Germany and other European countries indicate that artichoke leaf is useful for lowering cholesterol, promoting the forward flow of bile (aids in fat metabolism), and protecting the liver, along with having mild appetite stimulating effects. Other clinical trials also indicate that artichoke leaf can help reduce dyspepsia (bloating, abdominal pain, flatulence and nausea). Perhaps artichoke is the natural Propusid!
The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, The Merck Index, and The African Pharmacopoeia all approve or indicate that artichoke leaf at a dose of 500 mg extract, or 6 grams per day, of the dried cut leaf can both be liver protective and stimulating. It's important to note that the product you use has approximately 10-60 mg of cynarin (the major active component) per serving.
Boldo Leaf: Introduced to American and British physicians in 1875 as a treatment for mild stomach, liver and bladder discomforts, and as a mild sedative, its therapeutic applications are underappreciated. In fact, recent excavations in Monte Verde, Chile has revealed Boldo was even used over 12,000 years ago. There's even evidence that this plant can have mind-altering effects when chewed.
Boldo's active components include alkaloids, essential oils, glycosides and tannins. Animal studies suggest boldine has the ability to reduce inflammation via altering prostaglandin synthesis. Further research indicates that Boldo may relax smooth muscle and prolongs intestinal transit (giving your body a better chance to absorb as many nutrients as possible). Probably the most important aspect of Boldo to people who may engage in steroids or other pharmacologic aids is that new studies strongly point to this herb enhancing liver function (maintains liver function in response to toxic agents) while promoting the healthy metabolism of fat.
As with many medicinal plants, there's a component of Boldo that has toxic effects. Avoid any Boldo preparation that contains ascaridole. When using Boldo, look for it to contain at least 0.1% alkaloids, calculated as boldine and flavonoids. The typical dosage therapeutically is 3 grams of dry herb per day or 3 milliliters of a fluid extract.
Vitamin/Nutrient Support
Quercetin: The hotbed of research in the nutrition community is enhancing antioxidant activity in the body. There are many things such as alcohol, drugs, medications, smoke, stress environment, over-exercise and other factors which increase free radical activity in the body. Free radicals can cause damage to the cells in our bodies which ultimately are linked to premature aging, decreased immune function, heart disease, cancer and impaired recovery from exercise. Yeah, but you knew all that.
Unfortunately, there hasn't been that much research examining the enhancement of antioxidant activity in local areas of the body. Quercetin is one exception. A study at the University of Georgia in Athens has determined that the flavonoid quercetin (found in many fruits, vegetables and now, dietary supplements) enhances the antioxidant capacity of the liver and colon. The importance of this study is that it demonstrated another good reason to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to enhance liver function, and, perhaps more importantly, it also gives you another supplement weapon to incorporate into your routine if you're exposed to agents which potentially can stress the liver. In my book, count quercetin in.
Vitamin E: is also known as alpha tocopherol. It appears that D-alpha tocopherol is the most absorbable type of vitamin E. As a ubiquitous free radical scavenger, vitamin E can act as a mild blood thinning agent, promote red blood cell formation (thus allowing muscles to get the oxygen they need for nourishment), promote the recycling of vitamin C, and protect the liver and immune system. It also has cardioprotective and anti-cancer effects, and it may reduce muscle soreness and it can enhance athletic recovery.
Without doubt, vitamin E should be included in your nutrition armament. Typical athletic dosage is up to 1000 IU per day.
Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA): is typically found in the dietary supplement evening primrose oil, but now is being sold on its own as a dietary supplement. GLA is a source of essential fatty acids. It also has a synergistic effect with vitamin E. GLA has been shown to reduce liver damage, act as an anti-inflammatory, suports the immune system, and it may reduce the factors that cause blood clots which lead to heart attacks.
The Cheat Sheet to the Liver
The liver is a complex organ, but taking care of it and getting it to perform optimally isn't. Taking care of it is important for everyone, but for those of you who are using oral steroids, it's imperative! Some easy to implement guidelines for optimizing your athletic performance and muscle potential are as follows:
• Include soy lecithin/phospholipids in your dietary routine. An easy way to do this is to sprinkle one or two teaspoons of lecithin onto your cereal or in your oatmeal. Alternatively, you can mix the lecithin into your post workout shake.
• Take a good multivitamin daily and include extra vitamin E and quercetin.
• Incorporate Milk Thistle into your supplement routine before, during and after using any performance-enhancing drug.
• Try Fenugreek and/or Artichoke leaf as a means to support normal liver function and keep the liver in check.
• To get Gamma Linoleic Acid into your diet, eat more fish and other foods that contain the heart (and liver) healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Aim for at least 4 to 6 servings weekly or 10-15 grams daily.
• Consider using Boldo as an adjunt to your "liver-support program."
• Brush its coat once a day, and give it plenty of chew toys to keep it healthy. Damn! Got my liver confused with my dog again! Sorry.
It goes without saying, but to keep your liver lively, avoid oral steroids where possible, minimize alcohol intake, and of course, incorporate the suggestions made within this article.
Putting your Nutrition Support Program Together
You're training hard, believe you're training smart, but you're not making the gains that you think you should be making. Frustrating, isn't it? It happens all the time. Don't blame yourself?well, at least not totally. I contend that until you try to apply all of the principles of good training, supplementation, and assistance available, you won't "be all you can be".
As a frequent contributor to T-mag and a devoted reader, I know the articles posted are all geared to help you achieve your goals.
This article postulates that if you're training hard, smart, and want to get even more gains while promoting better health, incorporating some or all of the herbs and nutrients discussed herein to support your liver and health may be the key to unlocking a new you.

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  Is the Coregasm Real?
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Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:47 PM - No Replies

Is the Coregasm Real?Urban Legend or Surprise?by Chris Shugart | 
[Image: Coregasm-670x370.jpg]
TAGS ABSFOR WOMENEVER HAD A COREGASM?Way back in 2007, a woman asked that question on the T Nation Community Forums. Men replied, "What the heck is a coregasm?" But many women replied, "Um, yes. I thought I was the only one!"
A coregasm is an orgasm or near-orgasm experienced during exercise. Interestingly, this unexpected toe-curler happens even though nothing "down there" is being directly stimulated. In fact, the women report that they weren't even having sexual thoughts beforehand.

 Women Are So Lucky, Right?Not necessarily. Some women find this pleasurable, but others do not.
"The truth is, it's not as sexy as men would like to think," one woman said. "It's just useless stimulation at the wrong time. It's a nuisance more than anything else, and it can derail an ab workout. Since your mindset isn't in that place, it doesn't do anything for you."
In fact, one of the most commonly Googled questions about corgasms is, "How do I make them stop?"

Back in the day, many men – and even women who'd never experienced one – said the coregasm was an urban legend. But in recent years, science has cleared things up.
The Study[Image: Leg-Raise.jpg]Researchers confirmed that exercise – absent of any sexual thoughts – can indeed lead to female orgasm. Hundreds of women participated in an online survey, and the results were interesting:

  • 124 women reported experiencing an exercise-induced orgasm (EIO). (Yes, science gave it a fancy name and acronym.)
  • 246 women experienced exercise-induced sexual pleasure (EISP). They described this as the feeling leading up to orgasm, but not orgasm itself.
  • 52 percent reported experiencing an orgasm while doing ab exercises within the previous 90 days. The leg raise in the "captain's chair" or dip station was often cited.
Other forms of exercise also triggered it: weight lifting (27 percent), yoga (20 percent), bicycling (16), running (13 percent), and walking/hiking (10 percent). Rope climbing made the list, too.

Is This Normal? What Causes It?In the past, many women have been baffled about this phenomenon. About 20 percent said they couldn't control their experiences and were reluctant to train in a public gym. Many felt guilty or thought something was wrong with them.
This study shows that it's very common, and except for being, well, weird, it's not a sign that anything is wrong.
What triggers a coregasm? There's no exact answer from science yet, but it may have something to do with "pelvic floor recoil" or contractions of the Kegel muscles. It's more likely to happen after the body is warmed-up since blood vessels have been pre-dilated by exercise.

So if a female wants to experience a coregasm, get a sweat going, then hit some leg raises and "lower" ab exercises. If not, stick to "upper" ab exercises.
Can Men Have One?A small number of men have reported it, but most of these anecdotal cases involved horny guys doing sit-ups or other exercises that cause direct friction to their man-parts. So, probably not.

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