User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:43 PM - Replies (1)

Using bodybuilding drugs can be risky. Here's what users need to do to stay as healthy as possible.by Christian Thibaudeau | 

[Image: Two-Things-Steroid-Users-Need.jpeg]
TAGS LIVING BETTERMETABOLIC CONDITIONINGPHARMATIPSTRTMost people have no business using bodybuilding drugs. It's just not healthy and it certainly doesn't help with longevity. But many will do it anyway. Those folks should at least boost their odds by doing the right kind of cardio, taking certain supplements, and avoiding one particular crutch. Take a look.
1 CardioLet's say you decide to use steroids, growth hormone, clenbuterol, SARMs or peptides. Fine, it's your choice. But you should understand the importance of doing everything possible to minimize the negative impacts on your health.
The two most important things you can do is keep both blood pressure and blood lipids/cholesterol under control. Cardio can go a long way in keeping you healthier for a lot longer.
Low intensity steady-state cardio is good for improving vascular health and lowering blood pressure; intervals can help with cardiac function. It could even increase heart elasticity and potentially help break down scar tissue, both of which would increase cardiac function and decrease the risk of cardiac problems.
You don't need to do a huge amount either. Even just 20 minutes of steady-state cardio (heart rate of around 110-115 beats per minute) at the beginning or end of your workouts would be helpful. And don't worry, that's not enough to prevent protein synthesis from happening. Or take few long walks a week and do HIIT once a week.
 2 Health SupplementsEverybody should use health-boosting supplements, but they're even more important for enhanced lifters. Life or death important.
Many enhanced lifters love to say that steroids and growth hormone are safe when used intelligently. But any foreign substance that changes your physiology can't NOT have potentially harmful effects. The ironic problem with "smart" use is that the problems may arise more subtly and lead to long term issues that could've been prevented early on.
Unless you get frequent blood work done, you don't have any idea how your blood lipids are, how your cholesterol is, or the amount of liver and kidney stress you're experiencing. The vast majority of enhanced lifters don't even measure their blood pressure. These things don't really have obvious symptoms. That's why high blood pressure is often called "the silent killer."
Pretty much all oral PEDs will mess up your lipid profile and cholesterol. And while liver problems aren't as likely as some people think, most oral steroids really do put a strain on your liver. Heck, even an oral that seems safer, like Anavar, can increase kidney stress, which is much worse than liver stress.
All steroids that cause water retention – Dianabol, Anadrol, testosterone, nandrolone, etc. – will increase blood pressure. This is also true of several SARMs, peptides, and growth hormone. Anything that increases water retention will increase blood pressure. Uncontrolled blood pressure is the most dangerous thing for steroid users.
Most steroids also thicken the blood. This is especially true of Equipoise and Anadrol, but testosterone in "bodybuilding" amounts will also do it. Thicker blood increases blood pressure too, but it also makes the heart work a lot harder to push the blood through the system. This can lead to left ventricle hypertrophy, another potential cause of heart problems.

This isn't a scare tactic. But if you decide to go the enhanced route, instead of investing your money on supplements that will trigger more muscle growth (you will already get a maximum amount of growth from anabolics) you should invest it in supplements that will help your health.
So what should the enhanced user take? Fish oil, which can reduce blood pressure, decrease blood thickening, and reduce inflammation. Or Curcumin, which reduces inflammation and can inhibit and even reverse left ventricle hypertrophy. Another option is ubiquinone, which drastically improves cardiac health and function. There are other supplements which can help reduce blood pressure, like celery extracts for example.

The Worst Thing for Steroid UsersIf you're enhanced, the worst thing for you to use are stimulants. Think about it. Your blood pressure might be elevated, your blood might be thicker, and you're taking a product that spikes blood pressure even more and increases heart rate. That's a recipe for long term disaster.

Print this item

User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:40 PM - No Replies

THE QUESTIONWhat daily habit have you adopted that's helped you to get healthier, build muscle or get leaner?
Dr. Chad Waterbury – Strength Coach and Performance ExpertTAKING COLD SHOWERSThe benefits of cold water immersion have been known for eons. But it wasn't until the recent popularity of "The Iceman" Wim Hof that chilling out in freezing cold water has become en vogue.
I gave his cold shower therapy a try. At the end of your usual hot shower, finish with 30 seconds of the coldest water you can handle.
The trick here is to maintain a normal breathing pattern despite the rapid drop in water temperature. I made a point to slow my exhale phase so it was twice as long as the inhale. This offsets the sympathetic nervous system response. I maintained a two-second inhale followed by a four-second exhale sequence during the 30 seconds of cold water. This isn't easy at first!
My progression consisted of increasing the cold water time by 10 seconds every third or fourth day until I reached one minute. Feel free to go beyond that, if it suits you.
I've always been intolerant to cold temperatures, and my feet were usually cooler than they should've been. Since I started ending my showers with cold water therapy, I've experienced three benefits:

  1. Better tolerance to cold temperatures
  2. Improved circulation (indicated by warmer feet throughout the day)
  3. Deeper sleep and faster recovery from workouts
Give cold water therapy a try. It'll probably increase your health and recovery, and it's much cheaper than those expensive cryo chambers. – Dr. Chad Waterbury

Dan John – Strength Coach and Performance ExpertPREPARING THE NIGHT BEFOREWe plant the seeds for a successful day the previous night. So I try to make a good "to do" list late in the afternoon. Often, if it's something simple, a quick call or email, I just take care of it. If it's an appointment of some kind, I make sure I leave a good-sized note on my computer to remind me not to wormhole and miss my time.
After dinner, obviously we clean up, but we also set the coffee for a few minutes before we wake up. Often, the sound and smell of coffee wakes me up before the alarm. This small thing seems to give me a start everyday on taking care of business. But there are a lot of other little things I do too.
  • I wear blue-blocking glasses if I watch TV or use the computer at night. I found how well they worked while watching a Game of Thrones episode with them on and found myself not getting emotional about anything. Then, I pulled them off and realized how modern shows use color to arouse the audience.
  • Before bed, I take my magnesium supplement, vitamin D, and fish oil. We generally hit the hot tub with a beverage, then take a cold shower with our deck shower. By then, I'm fully wound down and ready to sleep.
  • Good sleep sets up a great day. I drink my coffee, answer emails, do my college work and write. At 9:00 I get ready for my workout because people will be arriving soon to train with me.
Success, for me, is all about doing small things that seem to snowball into bigger and better things. Woody Allen said that showing up is 90 percent of success. I would simply add: Being early and showing up is 99 percent of success. – Dan John

Mark Dugdale – IFBB Pro BodybuilderDOING HOT YOGA 

[Image: Mark-Dugdale-8.jpg]I believe it has significantly contributed to my health, mobility, recovery, insulin sensitivity and body composition. It's not a daily practice for me, but I do participate in at least three sessions per week of hot Hatha. I honed in on hot Hatha for a number of reasons:
  • The room is hot. It's 100 degrees if I place my mat underneath the infrared overhead space heaters. I own a dry sauna at home which runs at about 140 degrees, but 60 minutes in a hot Hatha class provides the same benefits including detoxification through excessive sweating, recovery via increased blood flow, and activation of heat shock protein to protect against insulin resistance.
  • It focuses more on balance and stretching. This is a good thing because it doesn't cut into my training capacity or ability to go balls-out in the gym, provided I stay well hydrated. I have a serving of Mag-10® throughout the hour-long session to ensure I don't cannibalize muscle.
  • The body comp factor. Hot yoga actually allowed me to forgo all traditional cardio in my most recent contest prep. I've never been a big cardio fan for achieving favorable body composition, so the ability to eliminate it completely was very attractive to me. – Mark Dugdale

Dani Shugart – T Nation EditorBECOMING A NEAT FREAKIn previous years, I was an inconsiderate asshole who left dirty dishes behind, left makeup strewn out everywhere, and didn't think a thing about the ever-evolving piles of clothing on the floor. But two years ago something in my mind flipped after reading a book. And I realized that everything is easier when your house is clean... including your physique goals.
Research has shown that a cluttered environment will cause you to make worse dietary choices. Seeing your house in disarray simply makes you feel a loss of control, and that emotion can translate into how you eat, not to mention your life satisfaction in general.
So I've developed strategies that make house keeping easy and enjoyable. Sometimes I treat certain tasks like a WOD and try to get as much done in a specific amount of time as possible. Other cleaning habits get tacked onto what I already do during the day.
When coffee is brewing, I put away what's in the dishwasher. When the shower is heating up, I make the bed. When there's food in the oven, I clean up the prep work before dinner is ready. There are all sorts of little hacks and habits that make it easy to have a tidy house.
And the actual time spent cleaning can be valuable too. I used to go to the gym to walk on a treadmill, then I realized that I could spend that same amount of time vacuuming staircases, scrubbing shower tiles, Swiffering the hardwoods, washing the dog, de-fur-ing the sofas, folding laundry, pulling weeds, or getting rid of stuff that's never used. A deep cleaning can take up to three hours on the weekend. Don't tell me the treadmill is a better workout.
Of course, I still go to the gym and lift, but my NEPA (non-exercise physical activity) is really easy to do right at home. And it's pretty damn functional. You're not just spending that time in constant motion, but you have instantaneous results to show for it. And you can listen to podcasts while you work, so it's mentally stimulating too.
House keeping gives you a sense of control and it makes your environment more serene, so that you can actually focus on achieving the things you want. This is vital to your success in ANY endeavor. And a crazy thing happens when cleanliness becomes the norm: you stop being able to tolerate anything less. – Dani Shugart

Kurt Weber – Strength & Conditioning CoachFRONTLOADING TRAINING AND BACKLOADING CALORIESFrontload training – In college I used to work out at night, around 9 PM. And, as you can imagine, a lot of things can happen in a day that will push your workout lower and lower down on the priorities list. Stress, studying, parties, girls... all played a part in me missing plenty of planned workouts.
I quickly realized that people who train at night are simply more likely to miss workouts. In fact, take a look around the gym in the morning and I guarantee you'll see a generally "fitter," more consistent crowd. You'll see the same people every single morning. You know why? Because they're prioritizing it, and they're getting it done before anything can come up in the day to distract them.
My sophomore year I started training first thing in the morning, and I probably trained 360 out of 365 days that year, and have done it ever since. so, workout in the morning and never miss a workout.
BACKLOAD CALORIESBackloading your calories is your insurance policy to that missed workout. This is especially effective for the people who must train in the evening.
Maybe you intended work out that day, but it never happened for one reason or another. But you were eating throughout the day AS IF you were going to train later. Not only did you miss a workout, you also just over-ate by 700 calories.
By backloading your calories, if you miss a workout, it's not as big of a deal because you didn't blow your wad already on ten pancakes for breakfast. Placing the majority of your calories later in the day (ideally post-workout) allows you to better precisely control calories based on your daily activity. Eat light throughout the day and enjoy a big well-deserved dinner after training. – Kurt Weber

Christian Thibaudeau – Strength Coach and Performance ExpertA HANDFUL OF THINGSFor those who didn't know, I had some pretty severe health issues four years back: kidney damage. So I decided to put health at the forefront of my life instead of simply trying to be the strongest and most muscular.
It seems to be working because my kidney health markers are back in normal range and were the best they've ever been since 2012. This also coincided with me being able to get in great shape again – being capable of adding muscle and get super lean. It's my belief that when you're young, your body isn't as "used up" and you can get away with doing things that are bad for your health. But the older you get, the more health and hypertrophy become interrelated.
[Image: Thibaudeau-6.jpg]Here are some things I changed in my lifestyle:
PHYSICAL ACTIVITYI walk 45-60 minutes on an empty stomach at least three times a week and up to five. I know that I wrote about not doing fasted cardio in the past, and maybe it could be detrimental to muscle mass. But a recent study reviewed in an article by TC Luoma has made me change my mind. Morning fasted cardio might not burn more fat directly BUT it increases the enzymes responsible for using fat for fuel.
So over time you might actually be programming your body to rely more on fat, which will help you get leaner. Since I train at 6:30 or 7:00 AM. I wake up at 4:30 and go walk 45-60 minutes. Then I either have a light, easy to digest breakfast or Surge® Workout Fuel and go train. Note that I'm walking, not doing moderate intensity cardio; it doesn't have the cortisol spike that would hurt muscle growth.
NUTRITIONI now eat a ton of veggies. I used to be really bad with nutrition. I stayed fairly lean because I didn't consume a lot of daily calories, but the way I was eating (no veggies, no fruits, a lot of cold meats, frankenfoods, etc.) wasn't optimal for my health. When I started to eat more veggies it had a noticeable impact on how I felt and also on how my body looked. I started to retain less water and I lost fat more easily.
SUPPLEMENTATIONFocusing more on health supplements than performance ones. My staples are now CurcuminSuperfood and Flameout®. I also take in 12.5g of sodium bicarbonate 1-2 times a day.
TRAININGI reduced volume and training time. I used to train for an hour or more. And while I could power through the workouts, it made me feel lethargic and almost depressed throughout the day. I'm a stimulus addict and I'm sure that doing too much for too long had a negative impact on my gains and health. Now I limit my sessions to under an hour and train at a faster pace.
REPSI increased my rep ranges. I used to do most of my big lifts in the 1-3 range, now I do them for 6-8 reps. Still heavy, but not so much that it increases the risk of injuries or nervous system fatigue. I also do more mind-muscle connection work (slower tempos, isometric holds, constant tension reps, etc.) – Christian Thibaudeau

Tony Gentilcore – Strength Coach and Performance ExpertWALKINGAdmittedly, this answer won't win me any "Meathead of the Year" awards or come off as remotely profound, but it's something I urge all my clients and athletes to do several times a week, if not daily, in order to complement what they do in the gym. You should do it as well.
It helps with adding muscle if that's your thing. Or, if you're trying to lean out, it helps with that too. It's been shown to improve recovery and aid in mental acuity, in addition to improving your overall sense of well-being. About the only thing it doesn't fix is a bad hair day.
Walking is something I used to do more often back in my bachelorhood days, when I was carefree and living life dangerously. Fun Tony Fact: there was a summer back in 2002 when my then girlfriend broke up with me. I was miserable. To help pass the time I decided to attack the Modern Library's list of top 100 novels of the 20th century.
I started with Catcher in the Rye and checked off something like 15-20 novels over the next few months. I'd read a few chapters on the steps in front of my house and then walk around town, meandering here and there, marinating myself in the prose of Vonnegut, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Nabokov, and Heller. I'd end up walking something like 2-3 miles per day.
More recently, I've been ramping up my daily walks again. I have a 5-month old at home and it's become routine to take him out for his "go-the-fuck-to-sleep" walks around 9 PM every day. And, wouldn't you know it: I've noticed my workouts have been pretty good of late. I hit my heaviest pull in two years last week – 560x1. Six hundred is going down soon.
And despite sleep deprivation, the walks have helped me stay sharp, witty, and able to maintain my writing responsibilities. I feel good.
It's telling how we're always quick to gravitate towards the elaborate and more "advanced" things in an effort to get bigger, faster, and stronger. But it's the simple things we dismiss. If I were to have everyone come up with 2-3 process goals (daily, bite-sized goals that complement or enhance your bigger gym-based goals) going for a walk would almost always be applicable.
And, just to toss it out there: a walk is a walk. There's no need to make it more hardcore by adding a sled or walking on glass for AMRAP. Chill out and just enjoy it. – Tony Gentilcore

Eric Cressey – Strength Coach and Performance ExpertSLEEP TRACKINGYour Fitbit probably isn't nearly as accurate as you might think (particularly with respect to how much you wake up in the middle of the night), but it's affordable and somewhat consistent in terms of monitoring the times you go to sleep and wake up. I use a program called Fatigue Science, although there are a lot of different monitors on the market.
I learned firsthand just how challenging sleep deprivation is when we had our twin daughters in 2014, which was the same month we opened our Cressey Sports Performance facility in Jupiter, Florida. This was right as the professional baseball off-season got to full swing. I survived on 3-4 hours of sleep per night for about six months.
Not surprisingly, my gym performance was terrible and I dropped about ten pounds during that time. My training schedule didn't change, and my nutrition didn't change (aside from having a lot more caffeine), but the sleep factor was bigger than I could have ever appreciated.
This experience motivated me to look a lot closer at sleep quality in our athletes, and I was surprised to find that a lot of high school, college, and pro athletes were barely sleeping more than I was – a father of newborn twins. And it wasn't even that they had rigid schedules that were forcing them to bed late or out of bed early. They were usually just messing around on social media and watching TV into the wee hours of the morning.
Sleep deprivation impacts a myriad of physiological functions mediated by hormones like insulin, testosterone, growth hormone, and cortisol. And these are the big players that determine whether you get fatter or leaner, and stronger or weaker.
We have five Fatigue Science "readibands" in our office now, and I rotate them among our athletes so that they can take 2-3 weeks to look at their sleep quality and quantity. It's been impactful on a number of fronts, from encouraging guys to get to bed earlier, to establishing better sleep environments, to improving meal timing and frequency. I have a few pro athletes I can track from afar as they travel throughout the country during the season as well.
Whether you want to go the wearable technology route or just start documenting sleep and wake times and rating your sleep quality, it's a good move to look closer at the sleep side of the equation before you start overhauling the training and nutrition components. – Eric Cressey

Charles Staley – Strength Coach and Performance ExpertTRACKING MACROSIf I look back over all the simple habits that have had the most profound impact on my physical development, it's been tracking macros, which I've been doing since about 2013. This habit is much simpler than it sounds. It only takes a few minutes a day and really helps you to get dialed in on what you're consuming.
Now if you're doing just fine without tracking, great! Don't change a thing. But if you're NOT happy with your progress, allow me to share an analogy:
Imagine you've started a new business, but you've decided not to track your income or expenses. Now of course, it's possible that this new venture will succeed, but it's not likely. Tracking your nutrition works in such the same way, especially if being lean is the goal.
The more things matter to us, the more likely we are to track. So if being lean matters to you, give macro tracking an honest go. – Charles Staley

Paul Carter – Strength and Bodybuilding CoachINTERMITTENT FASTINGI was opposed to it for a long time. But that was when my main goals were getting bigger and stronger. Now that I'm 42, I have no desire to get any bigger and my days of competitive powerlifting are behind me. I spent almost 30 years building the foundation of muscle that I have now, and maintaining it isn't very hard. So my focus shifted to doing things to improve the quality of my life both in and out of the gym.
The thing that got me interested in IF was all of the research that showed the impact it had on reducing inflammation, autophagy, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced oxidative stress, and increasing mitochondrial biogenesis. So I eat between 2 PM and 10 PM now, and feel great. For guys over 40, or anyone who's looking to improve their health, I recommend doing some IF at least 2-3 times a week just to take advantage of some of these benefits. – Paul Carter

Print this item

User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:36 PM - No Replies

CLUELESS IN THE INFORMATION AGEWhy is it that despite the massive proliferation of lifting information available now, there are still men in the gym who clearly couldn't buy a clue when it comes to what they should be doing?
Everyone and their damn dog has the Internet. You're probably reading this article online right now while you're supposed to be working, or you're at home waiting for YouPorn to load up. And since this article ain't likely to be posted at goodhousekeeping.com, you know how to find decent websites about training.

?Just for fun, try this: bring up Google, type in "weightlifting" or "weight training" and run a general search. That took all of ten seconds. So with all this free info out there, what's with all the guys who don't train legs? What's with all the mega sets of biceps? Why are all the pulldown stations full while no one can do a damn chin-up? Half benches? Quarter squats?
[Image: image001-83.jpg]
Long before Al Gore invented the 'Net, people trained and they trained right. When I began my journey in strength sports, there was no T-Nation, no online forums, and a lot fewer gurus than there are now. But in the gym we knew there was a right way and a wrong way of doing things.
Every online hero says he squats "ATG" or ass-to-grass. Bullshit. That's not what I'm seeing. I see a lot of head-bobs on squat machines and the leg press; lots of plates loaded up and barely moved with much screaming and moaning; lots of show, no fucking go.
And deadlifts? Don't even bother. You'll be lucky to find a gym that even allows them.
THREE GYMSI've trained at three local commercial gyms in the past six months and one private facility. I was spoiled at the latter because it was owned by a guy I knew. Usually when I was lifting there was no one else around. After a while though it was back to reality and training in public.
I'm not the strongest or biggest guy, but I am above average. I've achieved a lot of the goals I'd set for myself in Highland Games (including competing at the National Championships) and dabbled in powerlifting and strongman.
[Image: image003-81.jpg]
Minnesota 2003: Clearing 15' in the 56 pound weight for height
When I squat, I front squat because of disc problems in my neck, and I do them right. When I bench, the bar touches my chest before I press it back up. If I do dumbbell work, my elbows break parallel. I'm in the minority.
You might say, "Not here you're not," but I beg to differ. If that's true, most of the people here must lift in their garages. Lucky them.
I've trained at the first commercial gym off and on for years. There are lots of the same guys there, mostly older guys like me, late 30's, some in their 40's and 50's. Unfortunately, there are a bunch of plate-loaded machines.
There's even one dude who's been doing the same workout for three years. It involves loading everything up to the max — so twelve plates per side on the leg press — and doing what might (might!) be quarter reps. He's been doing the same weight for the same reps on the same exercises in the same order for at least three years.
You see this guy on the street; he hobbles around so slowly he looks crippled. Couple of years back he was impressed with the Blast Straps I had, so he ordered a set. Unfortunately, he didn't read any of the articles because he uses them exactly the same way as everything else, only now it's quarter reps with body weight.
All this info right at his fingertips — stuff that might get him walking at a gait faster than a glacier recedes — but nope, he's not having any of it.
The second gym gave me some hope. It wasn't busy, but it was big and they had a platform and bumper plates! Huzzah! Of course, they closed down two weeks later.
I thought that my old gym was the official Home of the Half-Rep™ but I was mistaken. The place I'm currently at is close to home and has great hours, but it's commonly known as the place to go and "meet people" — a place to see and be seen. Also, it's apparently a place to go and train like crap while lying to yourself the entire time.
The most common range of motion on any kind of press would be equivalent to a five-board, which would be fine if it was being done by powerlifters actually using boards with the specific purpose of training to use a bench shirt. But no, here it's an ego boost designed to increase the number of plates on the bar without actually getting stronger.
[Image: image005-8.png]
Why? Why do they lift this way? Don't people want to actually be strong, get bigger, and get into better shape? Isn't that really why we're all there?
I want to ask them, but two things stop me. Number one, I'm busy doing my own thing. It's frustrating to see, but I care more about my own training, thanks.
Number two, I'm worried that the answer will be more irritating than what led to the question in the first place. And I'll bet the majority has no idea that what they're doing is straight up shit, and if they do, they'll deny it with every fiber of their being.
THAT GUYSo, look at yourself in the mirror. Are you that guy? Are you really squatting low? When the weights get heavy and the reps go down, are you stopping a bit high to make it just that much easier?
Is it fear? Ego? Are your elbows not breaking parallel when you bench? Are you the guy who just lifts the bar off the pins, puts it back, and then claims a 500-pound bench?
If you're that guy, knock it the fuck off! Drop some poundage and do this stuff right. There's no excuse. You're just lying to yourself.
Strength, size, fitness... it'll all come. And when you get that big squat or bench, it'll be that much more worthwhile, because it's done right.

Print this item

User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:34 PM - No Replies

Many people still think that testosterone will cause you to kill your parents and run over small woodland creatures. But paradoxically, it's often men with low testosterone levels that are moody, depressed, and even angry, while men with normal or high testosterone levels are generally sociable and gregarious.
Dr. Christina Wang of UCLA found that men with low T were likely to be snarkier and more aggressive than men with high T, but once the snarky ones received T replacement, their attitude and anger disappeared (1).
The ExceptionsImproper usage (very high doses) of testosterone or steroids could elicit aggressive tendencies ("roid rage") in men that might be predisposed to such behavior. Likewise, socioeconomic status can play a role, too.
Experience (and a couple of studies) shows us that a good deal of societal misbehavior comes from men with high testosterone levels but low socioeconomic status. Men who are high in testosterone but also high in socioeconomic status can usually restrain themselves because they know they have more to lose.

Print this item

User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:33 PM - No Replies

HOW SHORT ARE YOUR TELOMERES?People always talk about how different factors affect lifespan. Some blame a shorter than average life almost entirely on bad genes. Others credit lifestyle factors like stress, bad nutrition, or lack of exercise.
Regardless of which "macro" factors you credit for premature aging and shortened lifespan, they're likely related to the same micro factor, and that micro factor has to do with telomere shortening. Luckily, there are a few things you can do about it.
What Are Telomeres?
[Image: Telomere-Shortening.jpg]Telomeres are tiny strands of species-specific DNA sequences located at the distal ends of chromosomes, but unlike most DNA sequences, they don't code for any proteins. Instead, they prevent chromosomes from "unraveling" so they don't fuse with other chromosomes and cause mutations or accelerate aging.
Telomere pioneer Elizabeth Blackburn compares them to aglets, the plastic thingies on the ends of shoelaces that keep them from fraying.
We're born with a finite number of these biological aglets. On average, each cell is gifted with about 15,000 base pairs (the pairs of nucleotides connecting complementary strands of DNA or RNA), and each time a cell divides, we lose from as little as 10 to as many as a thousand of them. This phenomenon is called the "end-replication problem."
 Cells are limited to a fixed number of divisions. Use up all the telomeres in a cell – wear the chromosomes down to the nub – and the cell commits apoptosis: cellular suicide. If too many cells commit apoptosis, you get old and sick. Then you die.
All those "macro" causes of aging could, in one way or another, lead to premature telomere shortening or, equally bad, the inability of your cells to restore telomere length and/or integrity.
Take heart, though. We know plenty about the care and feeding of telomeres so that you can increase your chances of living a long, healthy life.
The Telomere KillersThe main predator of telomeres – the things that tie macro and micro causes of premature aging together – are inflammation and reactive oxygen species (ROS), more commonly known as free radicals. They not only damage the constituent DNA of telomeres but the DNA building blocks that might lengthen them.
Inflammation itself can further increase ROS-mediated DNA damage and thus increase the formation of cell "senility." It's a vicious circle in which these "senile" cells further aggravate inflammation and speed up aging.
Telomeres are an exhaustible resource, but there's something that can rejuvenate them by growing more base pairs. It's called telomerase, and it's a ribonucleoprotein that adds telemetric "repeats" to the ends of chromosomes.

Telomerase activity peters out after birth. There are, however, a couple of exceptions to this cruel rule. One is stem cells. The other is cancer cells, in which approximately 90% of them exhibit an up-regulation of telomerase, while the other 10% use some other method of extending the warranty on telomeres.
That explains why cancer is so pesky – if cancer cells can keep their number of telomeres stable, they no longer have an expiration date. They can continue to divide practically forever.
If we could mimic cancer's action on telomeres, only without all the tumors and death and stuff, we could theoretically live a lot longer.
There are two obstacles to preventing premature aging and a truncated lifespan. One is increased damage of DNA and, consequently, accelerated telomere attrition. The second is low or non-existent telomerase levels. Both can be addressed by lifestyle changes and proper diet and nutrition.

Things That Lengthen Telomeres and Help You Live Longer[Image: Health-Supplements.jpg]Let's be clear: We're not going to arrest telomere attrition and give humans the lifespan of a Galapagos tortoise, but we can definitely slow the rate at which telomeres are whittled away.
If you smoke, don't do that. If you drink more than a TV detective, stop that. Exercise. Breathe clean air and cut down on stress. But you knew all that. It's the diet stuff you might not know that might make all the difference.
 1. FIBERFrom 1999 to 2002, scientists collected 5,674 DNA samples from a broad spectrum of U.S. men and women, age-wise, race-wise, and even income-wise. All were required to provide complete data on such factors as body mass index, energy intake, physical activity, alcohol and tobacco use, and fiber intake.
While the DNA samples were collected between 1999 and 2002, it wasn't until 2014 that the researchers released any of their telomere data. When they did, it turned out that fiber intake was linearly related to the telomere length of leukocytes (white blood cells) – adults that had higher fiber intake had longer telomeres than their counterparts, suggesting less biologic aging.
The scientists found that for each 1-gram of fiber intake per 1,000 calories of food eaten, telomeres were 83 base pairs longer. On average, every year of chronological age shortens telomeres by 15.5 base pairs, but the inclusion of 10 grams of fiber for every 1,000 kcal you eat would correspond with telomeres that were 83 base pairs longer. On average, this equated to over 5 fewer years of biological aging.
That's a big pay-off for just adding some extra Metamucil or oatmeal to your diet.
2. THREE SPECIFIC MINERALSCertain minerals have proven to have profound effects on telomere length. Tragically, Americans are generally deficient in a couple of them.
For instance, according to the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Study), every 20 mcg. increase of selenium in the diet was associated with a 0.42% increase in leukocyte telomeres.

Likewise, Nemoto et al. (2000) found that adding additional zinc to a cell culture medium increased telomerase activity. Later on, Bao et al. (2003) corroborated Nemoto's work and found that zinc sulfate did indeed significantly increase telomere length and telomerase activity, along with reducing hTERT expression (an enzyme that rate limits telomerase activity).
The third mineral is magnesium. Rather than directly lengthening telomeres, magnesium's role is more of a nurturing one, as it appears to help maintain telomeres and help regulate the activity of telomerase.
Unfortunately, about 80% of the American population is deficient in magnesium, and between 12 and 40% is deficient in zinc. When you add working out and sweating to the equation, it worsens as these minerals tend to leave the body via sweat.
Selenium deficiencies are relatively rare, but taking extra amounts may also help regulate testosterone levels and improve exercise tolerance, in addition to adding length to telomeres.

  • Magnesium (as glycinate chelate): 400 mg.
  • Zinc (as arginate chelate): 30 mg.
  • Selenium (as glycinate complex): 200 mcg.
  • Chromium (as nicotinate-glycinate chelate): 200 mcg.
  • Vanadium (as nicotinate-glycinate chelate): 100 mcg.
Using the supplement or, alternately, getting these minerals by paying diligent attention to your intake of whole foods, can help ensure telomere viability, along with providing optimal protein synthesis, hormone production, energy production, and carbohydrate utilization, among other things.
3. OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDSInflammation is one of the main predators of telomeres. Put the kibosh on inflammation and you're well on your way to raising a happy crop of base pairs.
Chief among the things that extinguish inflammation are omega-3 fatty acids, commonly associated with fish oils. The reference libraries are filled with studies confirming fish oil's anti-inflammatory effects, but one study, in particular, examined how it affected telomere length.
Kiecolt-Glaser, et al. (2012) found that taking either a 2.5 gram or 1.25 gram dose of fish oil was enough to lower the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio in test subjects, which led to reduced levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), an inflammatory cytokine. This lower omega-6 to omega-3 ratio was, in turn, clearly associated with lengthened telomeres.

It definitely works, but the challenging thing about fish oil is in finding one with the following attributes:
  • High concentrations of DHA and EPA.
  • A product that's been purified by molecular distillation and stringently tested for PCBs, dioxins, mercury, and other heavy metal contaminants.
  • A product that includes a self-emulsifying delivery system so they're virtually odorless, better absorbed, and don't result in a fishy aftertaste or "fish burps."
4. ANTIOXIDANTSPollution, smoking, stress, alcohol, lack of exercise, and too much exercise cause the formation of free radicals, and free radicals accelerate telomere shortening. Numerous experiments have shown that an excess of free radicals can be offset with antioxidants. The best antioxidants are largely polyphenols – plant chemicals that seemingly have inexhaustible beneficial effects.
Well-known polyphenols include curcumin and resveratrol, both of which have been tested independently and found to have antioxidant (and anti-inflammatory) properties.
But let's just stick with telomere "extenders" with the most bite, i.e., supplements with the most anti-oxidant capability like Superfood, which is a blend of 18 strategically chosen freeze-dried fruits and vegetables. Its ingredients include polyphenols from wild blueberries, acai, pomegranate, spinach, kale, green tea, wild yam, and many others.
Each powdered serving, mixed into water, juice, protein drinks, or just about anything else you might eat, has an ORAC rating of 5,315.
The ORAC scale is how the USDA measures the Total Antioxidant Potency of foods and nutritional supplements. The term stands for "Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity," and the measurement is expressed as ORAC units per 100 grams of a given compound.
For instance, the USDA determined an "average serving of fruits and vegetables" has an ORAC rating of between 400 and 500. That means that just one teaspoon of Superfood has the antioxidant equivalency of between 10 and 12 average servings of fruits and vegetables.
 The free radicals that affect telomeres and telomerase don't have a chance.
Up to Ten Fewer Years Of Biological Aging[Image: Gene-Therapy.jpg] 
The additive effects aren't unlimited, of course. You can't live forever by just eating more and more of the telomere-friendly foods or supplements. You top out.
However, if you were to take/do all four things, in conjunction with living what most people define as a healthy life, I guesstimate that it would equate to around 8 to 10 fewer years of biological aging.

Whether you'd actually live that much longer is anyone's guess, but you'd most likely postpone many of the ailments of aging, and that ain't bad.

Print this item

User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:27 PM - No Replies

The Maffetone Method

Quote: You may not be overweight, but most people are overfat according to one study. Are you? Find out in one minute. Here’s how.

90% of Men, 80% of WomenThat’s about how many people are “overfat” according to a recent study. That means, statistically, YOU are overfat. And that overfatness can lead to cardiometabolic dysfunction and a whole bunch of chronic diseases that’ll kill you until you’re dead.
Wait, What Does “Overfat” Mean?Think of it as a new category on the body fat continuum:
[Image: c8635d95d8a1a1bd02d41b53ca28ebc951b4e3a2_2_689x388.jpeg]
Obesity Scale1240×698 129 KB 
The problem? “Normal weight” and the three latter categorizations of fatness are typically measured using the BMI scale 97. As you know, this is an oversimplified formula based on height and weight. It does not discriminate between muscle mass and fat mass, nor does it tell you anything about WHERE you store your fat.
That last bit is important. First, storing fat in the abdominal/belly area is much worse for you health-wise than storing it elsewhere.
Second, BMI doesn’t tell you a damn thing about visceral adipose tissue and subcutaneous adipose tissue. Visceral fat is stored inside the abdominal cavity and around your internal organs. That’s the stuff that’ll most likely lead to insulin resistance and, generally speaking, dying in an assortment of nasty ways. Subcutaneous fat is that jiggly stuff just beneath your skin. It’s less dangerous but definitely gross.
Australian health expert Philip Maffetone and his researchers believe that a person who’s not obese or even overweight (as measured by BMI) can still have an unhealthy level of body fat – particularly in the abdominal region. That overfatness is either a sign of growing health problems or at least a predictor of soon-to-be health problems.
They think we should just do away with the confounding BMI scale and use something different. Their method is fast, simple, and will probably hurt your feelings.
Measure Your BellyHere’s the Maffetone method in a nutshell:
[Image: e0b3da93453a597e507f9579c3472a566cac180b_2_689x388.jpeg]
Overfat1240×698 81.1 KB 
That’s it. Strict? You bet, but their research is pretty compelling if you want to dig deeply into the study.
Wait, Am I Overfat?You want to know, don’t you? I sure did. So to help you break down that one-sentence fatness test, I’ll use myself as an example:
  1. How tall am I? I’m 5’11". That’s 71 inches. Half of that is 35.5.
  2. What’s my waist measurement? Although Maffetone uses the term “waist,” he really means “belly.” The measurement should be taken across the belly button area. Your pants size is NOT your waist size. Here’s the diagram Maffetone uses:
[Image: 9681bbd0f3764ef3146a99d31bf2b9ed78f5c780.jpeg]
  1. My jeans size is 32, but my belly measurement is 34. That’s the number we want, so get out the tape measure, don’t suck in your gut, and do the deed. (I’ve always liked the MyoTape 610 device for this.)
  2. Now look at the definition of overfatness again: “If the circumference of your waist measures more than half your height, you’re overfat.” My 34-inch belly measurement is not greater than half of my height – 35.5 inches. So, I’m not overfat.
How I’m Using This InfoOkay, I’m not overfat… but damn, that seemed close, didn’t it? For reference, I have visible abs right now. Not dehydrated bodybuilder-on-stage abs, but pretty good. So maybe this test is a bit too harsh? Or is that just rationalizing? Either way, the Maffetone method made me step back and ponder. And ponderin’ is always good.
The researchers here are focused on avoiding heart disease, the 13 types of cancer associated with being too fat, type 2 diabetes, etc. They’re concerned with longevity and quality of life. Their test seems strict, but it’s ultimately more reliable than BMI and more realistic for athletic folks. It’s also easy to do at home.
I’m probably not going to freak out if I decide to go on a short-term mass phase and my numbers start to tip the other way just a smidge. But I’m definitely not going to stay in the overfat zone for long. The research is pretty clear: excess fat stored in and around your belly, even if you’re not “overweight” by conventional standards, is bad news in the long run.
Oh, go ahead and reply with photos of World’s Strong Man competitors with big waists and visible abs. Just remember, they’re genetic mutants using tons of drugs and you’re, well, probably not. (Also, their sheer “bigness” may be causing other issues 226.)
Health first, guys.

Print this item

  Relationship Success: 8 Reasons to Marry a Fit Person
User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:23 PM - No Replies

HOW TO INCREASE RELATIONSHIP SUCCESSMarriage is about a lot more than looks. It's shallow to use fitness as a criterion for mate material and relationship success. Marriage is about communication, bonding, friendship, and intimacy, not abs!
Okay, now that we've let the world know that we're not superficial narcissists, can we get real for a second? Fit people make the best spouses. And if you're into fitness, lifting, and healthy eating, you'll avoid a lot of future problems by marrying someone who also puts these things high on their priority list.
 Hey, divorce sucks. And if this quality helps put the odds in your favor, then it's not at all shallow or selfish to add "fit" to your list of spouse goals. Maybe it isn't at the top of the list, but it should be in the top five. Here's why.
1 Fit Marriages Are Less Likely To Become Fat Divorces[Image: Avoid-Divorce.jpg]When one spouse gains a lot of weight, this often cascades into several other marriage-straining issues. The first issue is obvious: most people aren't attracted to very overweight individuals. We're biologically hardwired to be more attracted to health. And getting too fat is unhealthy.
Google one of those "Top 10 Causes of Divorce" lists. Money and infidelity issues are always at the top but look further down the list. What do you see? Weight gain.
When relationship columnist David Eddie scoured anonymous relationship-help forums, he found something surprising. Most of the people who were unhappy with their rapidly expanding spouses were women. Here's an example:
"I love my husband, but he's become a tubby hubby and refuses to do anything about it. Now I'm not attracted to him, and I'm thinking of leaving."
Damn, girl. That's cold. But let's dig deeper.
Weight gain can lead to or exacerbate depressive symptoms and self-esteem issues. Those things can lead to mood and behavioral changes, resentment, and arguments. The person you married may start acting like someone you didn't marry. So it's not entirely a superficial issue.
The overweight spouse might also lose his or her sex drive. Women can become so self-critical that they don't feel attractive or even worthy of your attraction. For men, getting too fat and out of shape can cause erectile dysfunction. And a dormant sex life leads to the erosion of intimacy and feelings of being unwanted.
While physical attraction isn't the most important thing in a marriage, it sure doesn't hurt. So marry someone who hits the gym and cares about nutrition and you'll avoid many of these problems down the road.

2 Fit Men Make More Money[Image: Fitness-and-Success.jpg]Women are often criticized for wanting to marry a man who either has money or has the kind of drive that would help him make money in the future. It's an unfair criticism.
Husbands are usually the primary source of income, especially after kids come along. And since arguments over money (or the lack thereof) are the number two indicator of an impending divorce, not marrying a lazy guy is a perfectly acceptable and smart criterion for husband pickin'.
Despite phrases like "Money doesn't buy happiness," new studies show that people with comfy bank accounts are generally happier. It's not about the stuff they can buy, but the security that money provides.
What does this have to do with fitness? One survey conducted by Freeletics showed that fit people generally make more money than unfit people. And the more aggressive their training style, the more money they earn.
It's a bit of a chicken/egg scenario, though. Working out hard doesn't automatically mean your income will increase. But the discipline and drive it takes to kick butt in the gym often shows that the person has an "achievement attitude" that transcends the gym, like having a strong work ethic.
The formula is simple:

  • More money = fewer problems (or having the financial resources to solve those problems quickly).
  • Fewer problems = happier marriage.

3 Fit People Know How To Stay Fit[Image: Attract-Women.jpg]Most people gain some weight after marriage, even fit people. That's not a marriage ender, of course, but when one spouse loses the weight and the other doesn't, it can lead to problems.
One Swedish study found that when one half of the marriage loses weight and the other doesn't, the couple has a higher chance of getting divorced. The researchers cited incompatible lifestyles as one possible cause, but sometimes jealousy (on the part of the overweight spouse) and nagging (on the part of the fitter spouse) were issues too.
Head these problems off at the pass and marry someone who knows what to do if weight gain sneaks up on them.

4 Sex Is More Frequent and More Satisfying[Image: Athletic-Performance.jpg]As much as polite society tries to downplay sex when it comes to marital happiness, the sexperts have all concluded that a sexless marriage – or dissatisfaction in the marriage bed – often leads to the kind of trouble that involves hiring two lawyers. A passionless marriage where you and your spouse have become nothing but co-parenting roommates gets troublesome.
The good news is that several studies show that fit people have more sex than unfit people. And married people have MORE sex than single people, despite all that right-swiping that singles do.
Fit people usually feel better about themselves and are more likely to get naked. All their parts work better, too. When you exercise regularly, all the healthy hormones (testosterone, dopamine) are ramped up while the trickier hormones (cortisol) are tamped down if you program wisely.
In one study titled "Sexual Desirability and Sexual Performance: Does Exercise and Fitness Really Matter?" the authors concluded:
"Exercise frequency and physical fitness enhance attractiveness and increase energy levels, both of which make people feel better about themselves. Those who exercise are more likely to experience a greater level of satisfaction and a positive perception of self. Moreover, those who feel better about themselves may perceive they are more sexually desirable and may perform better sexually. The majority of individuals who are regularly physically active are healthier, and perhaps healthier individuals may be more willing and able to have sex."
Lack of intimacy is a common cause of divorce. "Intimacy" can mean more than wrestling in the sheets, but sex is a big part of it. Fit people enjoy sex more, they look better doing it, and they're better at it. All that leads to more intimacy, more closeness, more pre and post-nookie cuddling, and more good feels about the marriage.

5 A Fit Spouse is the World's Best Motivator[Image: Marriage-Success.jpg]You've heard the saying, "We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with." Well, your spouse is your number one peer in that group of five. And if they're serious about staying healthy and strong, that kind of peer pressure, even unspoken, is a very good thing.
A fit spouse keeps you on your toes. You may hit the gym a little more often, choose foods a little more wisely, or just be influenced by your spouse's healthy behaviors.
And here's something you don't hear often: A fit person is generally more desirable than a non-fit person... and other people notice. This is a little scary for their spouse. But that's not a bad thing. It makes you work harder.
It's okay to be a little afraid of losing your wife or husband. We don't want to be too comfortable or we might slack off as spouses, and not just on the physical side of things.
If both halves of the marriage think they "married up," each will try harder. They'll appreciate their spouse more. And, being just a wee bit scared of losing that great catch, they'll make sure THEY stay desirable and healthy, too.

6 Fit Spouses Live Longer[Image: Live-Longer.jpg]You're in this for life, right? 'Till death do you part? Wanting to grow old together on the porch and all that good stuff?
Well, all that's kinda wrecked if your spouse gets heart disease in their 50's or type 2 diabetes, well, any time. Choose a spouse that does their best to make it to that front porch swing with you.

7 Fit People Are Usually Happier[Image: Happy-Marriage-Tips.jpg]Want a happy marriage? Marry a happy person. Sure beats being married to someone who's perpetually bitter, angry, or sad.
Studies show that fit people are generally happier. Even if they struggle with depression or down times, they have the tools (exercise, good food, and good supplements) to alleviate or minimize it.
Fit people feel better about themselves, have a better sense of purpose, have more positive social skills, less stress and anxiety or a better ability to cope with those things, and a pleasant feeling of belonging to a community.
Fit people also get a daily dose of endorphins, which boost their moods and contribute to a greater sense of well-being. All that adds up to "more happy," which is a nice quality to have in a spouse.

8 Shared Passion = Marriage Longevity[Image: Fit-Couple.jpg]Australian researchers wanted to find out the key to long marriages. After studying thousands of happily married geriatrics, they concluded that it all comes down to shared experiences.
Going to the gym, being active outdoors, and preparing healthy meals that you eat together are all shared experiences. And since fresh sweat does have some mild aphrodisiacal properties, the couple who plays together often gets frisky together.
All that aside, ever date someone who's NOT remotely into fitness? If you're really into this stuff and the other person isn't, all kinds of problems can arise. Here's one we hear often:
"My girlfriend loves the way I look, but she's starting to nag me about spending time at the gym. She even tries to tempt me with foods that are off my diet! But going to the gym and eating right is HOW I look this way!"
Maybe it's jealousy. Maybe encouraging you to get a little sloppy is her way of keeping the eyes of other women off you. Or maybe there's just not enough of those all-important shared experiences in the relationship.
We often think we can encourage others to adopt our fitness lifestyle. Sometimes we can, and that's great. But what often happens is a mediocre meeting in the middle: your significant other starts to "kinda" get into fitness while you start to adopt some of their bad habits.
This could lead to problems once rings are exchanged. These types might be fine to date for a while, but maybe they're not marriage material if they have a problem with things you're passionate about.

Print this item

User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:21 PM - No Replies

THE SAUCE CARDIt's unfortunate that I have to preface this whole thing by throwing out some platitudes that read like they come from some mommy blogger's Pinterest board, but it's inescapable: everything begins and ends in the mind.
Whatever it is you believe each day is what ultimately manifests itself in your life. Whatever space it is you're working from is what you're going to project out into the world.

?What does that have to do with lifting weights? Well, there's this overarching theme of pettiness from natural guys. Anytime they see a physique that's fairly exceptional, they immediately pull out the sauce card. This even goes for physiques that, for the life of me, I wouldn't ever figure were built off A-Bombs and exogenous test.
You don't have to look very far into the comments of an article about some celebrity that got into amazing shape for a movie before you read, "Wonder what his GH and 'roid cycle was like?"
Steroids used to be a word that meant exogenous hormones. Now it's a word used by insecure males to describe anyone stronger, more muscular, more athletic, or more dedicated than they are.
GO PUNCH YOURSELF IN THE CROTCHAL REGIONI'm not saying that some actors never hit a few cups of the sauce in preparation for a role. What I'm saying is, I don't care. So why do you?
There's no "cheating" going on. And they don't owe you any honesty about what they did to their body to prepare for a role. So why are you crying harder than a toddler at the Disney store who was told "no" to getting a new Pocahontas outfit?
Let me repeat that. No one owes you honesty about his or her drug use. I'm not sure where that degree of entitlement comes from but it behooves you to punch yourself right in the crotchal region each time you feel like puking it from your mouth or keyboard.
Do you know who doesn't find time to hurl these kinds of accusations and insults at people? Those who have healthy self-esteems and are too busy immersed in getting better – the ones too busy watering their own grass to pay attention to someone else's.
If you were focused on your own goals, your own diet, and your own performance, you'd see a good physique and go, "Wow, impressive!" But when you're working from a fractured mindset, then seeing an impressive physique sets off all sorts of inner voices that bring your self-loathing insecurities right to the forefront.
But how does it benefit you? How does it improve your life? How does it improve your own performance in the gym? Nowhere.
Now let's flip that a bit, and take the mindset of a guy that says he's going to get strong as hell, get big as hell, and that he's going to bleed from his eyeballs each and every time he gets under a bar to make that come to fruition.
Can you honestly picture that guy chastising Chris Hemsworth for getting jacked for Thor? Yeah, me neither. Stop whining. Stop chastising. Stop accusing. Stop projecting.
Weigh your food. Break your own PR's. Be consistent with your training and diet. You'd be amazed how far you'd get if you took your eyes off of the world and put the onus back on yourself.

Print this item

User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:20 PM - No Replies

"Testosterone gives you big muscles and hefty erections, but it won't matter because your heart will stop."
That's what people say. Are they right?
THE BAD STUDYA couple of years ago, the FDA became worried about testosterone. Most of their worries stemmed from a single study that appeared in the journal PLOS One.

?The authors of the study examined a large healthcare database for guys who'd been on testosterone replacement therapy for 90 days. Younger men with a history of heart disease who started TRT had a two to three-fold increase in the risk of myocardial infarction. Guys over 65 who started TRT had a two-fold increase in the risk of myocardial infarction, regardless of their cardiovascular history.
The study had several problems, though:

  • The study didn't consider levels of testosterone before treatment or after treatment. Therefore, we have no idea if the men had low testosterone in the first place, or if in fact they were being grossly overdosed.
  • The study didn't monitor estrogen levels or red blood cell levels. If high estrogen levels aren't addressed by medication and high red blood cell counts aren't adjusted by changes in dosing, heart problems are possible.
  • The study's entire control group was on a drug that prevents heart attacks, making the comparison between them and the testosterone group ludicrous.
So let's throw that study aside, preferably over a bridge and into a raging river.
THE BETTER META-STUDYAbout a month before that study was published, The Journal of the American Heart Association published a meta-study that compiled the results of over 100 studies on testosterone and heart health. They found, unequivocally, that higher levels of testosterone were essential to heart health.
In fact, the journal reported that low T was associated with a higher rate of mortality in general, along with higher rates of cardiovascular mortality, obesity, and diabetes.
The list of possible conditions associated with low testosterone was downright scary:
  • Higher risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Narrowing of carotid arteries
  • Abnormal EKG
  • More frequent congestive heart failure
  • Increased incidence of angina
  • Increased body mass index
  • Type II diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Insulin resistance
  • Increased belly fat
  • Higher death rate from all causes, including cardiac mortality
So what it comes down to is that you have one ill-conceived study portraying testosterone in a bad light, compared to at least 100 others proving that low levels of testosterone are bad, very bad, for your health.
AND ONE MORE STUDY...Let's look at one more study, just to put your mind at ease. Three years ago, researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute recruited 755 heart patients between the ages of 58 and 78 who also tested low in testosterone.
The men were divided into three groups, two of which received testosterone replacement therapy in the form of gel or an injectable, and one group that served as the placebo group.
After one year:
  • 64 patients who weren't on testosterone replacement therapy suffered a major cardiovascular event (stroke, heart attack, or death).
  • Only 12 patients on medium doses of testosterone experienced a major cardiovascular event.
  • And only 9 patients on high doses of testosterone experienced a major cardiovascular event.
In other words, non-testosterone patients were 80% more likely to suffer an adverse event.
The same trends continued 3 years later. One hundred twenty-five of the untreated men experienced stroke, heart attack, or death, as compared to 38 of the medium-dose testosterone replacement patients and only 22 of the high-dose testosterone replacement patients.
Clearly, normal or even slightly higher than normal testosterone levels are good for the heart and cardiovascular health in general.

Print this item

User Avatar Forum: General
Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 03-26-2023, 01:17 PM - No Replies

[Image: The-Fake-Butt-Phenomenon.jpg]
TAGS FOR WOMENGLUTESOPINIONSTRONG WORDSIS THAT THING REAL?Buttocks augmentation: It started in Latin America, crept into Hollywood, invaded social media, and now you even see it at the gym. We're talking about fake butts here: implants, fat injections, and other things that'll downright horrify you.
Some of the women sporting these big booties eventually admit it, but most of them lie and say it's all hard work and squats. Their leg-to-butt ratio tells a different story. Sure, training can build a larger behind, but only in proportion to the musculature of the legs. Even a woman with the best genetic potential for big glutes will still have powerful looking legs as a result of her training... not two sacks of potatoes sitting on top of toothpicks.

?[Image: Kim-K.jpg]Who Does This!?When it comes to the backside, there's a whole other population of women outside of our little fitness microcosm getting augmentation done. In some cultures, it's just as acceptable as breast implants.
Butts are not like breasts. No woman can build her breasts with a barbell or machine. She can build a butt, however, because it's muscle. It's built in a squat rack, not on the operating table. But nowadays, particularly in Latin America, that's not totally true.
Butt augmentations have grown to the point where women are waging an all-out assault on their asses, and doing some ludicrous, dangerous, and painful things to it. Why? Maybe it's vanity, need for attention, millions of likes and favorites, or a fetish for exaggerating reality (including lips, breasts, hair extensions, waist size). Or they may do it for bigger tips at the strip club, more jobs in the porn biz, satisfying a partner's bizarre desires, or copying celebs who've brought giant asses into vogue.
[Image: Fake-Butt.jpg]If you're a serious lifter, you probably don't get it. If you're like me, you've never seen a fake butt that looks as good as a real butt. That's not to say that some can't be well done. Your wife's favorite Instagram fitness guru may be sporting an augmented booty. But even when done right, you're never going to get a fake butt to act, feel, and look like the real thing.
But it's somewhat understandable. If you're a muscular chick with a nice set of wheels and want to add a little Latinesque curvature to your rear, and the thing just won't grow the way you want (because what you want is unrealistic), you can opt for a little work to be done on it. Depending on the girl, a little bum plumping can be a game changer. It just depends on what you want: a butt or a booty.
It's like having to decide between "tits" or "breasts" when you're getting implants. You can't have it both ways. Wholesome or trashy, there's little gray area.

The StatsAccording to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, almost 5,000 buttock augmentation procedures were performed in 2015. This number is currently lower than total facelifts and breast implants, but butt augmentation is the fastest growing procedure. These surgeries increased 98%, from just 942 procedures in 2013 to 1,863 in 2014. Just a cursory glance into social media will tell you that the desire for a disproportionate butt is only expanding.

Kim Kardashian: Real or Fake?Kim Kardashian likely wouldn't have risen to fame were it not for her huge behind. When she first started towing a larger load behind her, she insisted it was all hard work in the gym. If you're a lifter, that claim is an insult to your intelligence. We know the shape of gluteal muscle. And it's not that dumpy.
[Image: Kardashian.jpg]In one of her mind-numbing TV show episodes, she tried to stop the accusations that something was going on with her ass, because the damn thing kept growing like a bunch of clowns getting out of a Mini Cooper and no one online could stop talking about it.
So they stuffed her into an MRI machine and – spoiler alert – announced that the MRI showed there were no implants in there. Imagine that! Her enormous ass was all because of her trainer. Oh thank goodness reality shows inform us about reality! Glad we got it straight otherwise we would've gone on thinking she hadn't trained hard for that ever-growing monument.
But based on the significant increase in ass mass and the lack of "tone" or musculature elsewhere, anyone with a brain could assume something was going in there. If not implants, then what?
Muscle doesn't just grow there like that, and natural body fat distribution doesn't work like that either. Though the MRI ruled out implants, it didn't exonerate her of the accusation that SOMETHING was in there that nature didn't intend. This brings us to the non-implant enhancement – the fat transfer.

How Fat Transfers WorksKardashian passed her MRI test not because she studied for it, but because, instead of implants, her own body fat was harvested from the ample reserves on her stomach and low back and injected into her ass. That's my professional opinion at least.
[Image: Syringes.jpg]Transferred fat looks no different on MRI than stationary fat. Actually, harvesting the fat from the low back and stomach helps the doctor sculpt the end result. As the term implies, you're transferring fat from one place and using it to "sculpt" and "lift" another area.
[Image: Buttocks-Surgery.jpg]The fat is liposuctioned out and ground up into something that looks like a fatty milkshake. The liquefied fat is then put into cartridges that look like tubes of caulking with a giant needle sticking out of the point.
The cartridges are loaded into a caulking gun-like thing, and the plastic surgeon goes to work injecting the fat into numerous locations within the glute muscle, plumping it up to the intended dimensions, the way Butterball does with your Thanksgiving turkey.

Cheeky Enhancement[Image: Brazillian-Butt-Lift.jpg]Plastic surgeons call all of this the "Brazilian Butt Lift" and it can be a combination of fat transfer, cosmetic filler, and/or implants. This procedure is one of the most costly, invasive, and complicated. First, if using fat, the body has to harvest enough of it to build that dream booty, and second, to maintain its size.
One of the potential downsides is that as the transferred fat either settles or is metabolized, the form can shift and accentuate the outline of the implant. So, more fat needs to be injected to "smooth" things out.
Because there's no implant needed for the fat transfer, it's the preferred means of ass augmentation, but because some of the transferred fat does settle and/or get metabolized by the body, it requires maintenance shots. If you do it, be prepared to eventually spend a solid $20,000 on such a procedure and its maintenance.

Oily GlutesA more economical procedure involves injecting a "locatable oil" into the glute muscle. This is like when a bodybuilder injects Synthol into his biceps. The concept is the same as the fat transfer, only the doc – or technician or con artist – uses cosmetic filler or medical-grade (hopefully) silicone rather than the body's own fat. What they use is as important as how they use it, and the downside to having it done wrong can be disastrous.

Catastrophic Story TimeBecause this folly started in Latin America, the ladies in Mexico were among the first to find the tragedy in it. One of the most famous debacles talked about among the booteratti of Guadalajara revolves around a woman named Myriam Yukie Gaona Robles. She ran a beauty business that offered weight loss, wrinkle fading, and augmentation of breasts, behinds, thighs, or anywhere else you desired it. It was discount plumping!
Fifteen hundred women took advantage of the low prices and, assured by the diplomas framed on the walls (that could be purchased online for 50 bucks), they unwittingly subjected their bodies to injections of industrial-grade silicone and baby oil.
One of the hundreds of women subsequently seeking a plastic surgeon to repair the damage from infection, disfigurement, and mutilation, was the sister of a famous actress. The media was obsessed with the story and for weeks fed the gossip-hungry public headlines and gruesome pictures of deformities where there used to be breasts, butts, lips, etc., labeling Robles "La Matabellas" which means The Beauty Killer.
The public outcry and celebrity obsession spurred law enforcement to eventually arrest and prosecute La Matabellas, sending her to prison for 12 years. She became the first person in the world to be sent to prison for such a crime. Somehow, I don't think the women who lost entire body parts think that was enough.

American Augmentation Horror StoriesCan't imagine something so crazy happening in the US? Here's a small rundown:
[Image: Bad-Butt.jpg]

  • 2011: An unlicensed practitioner in New York was arrested for allegedly running an illegal business out of her home, plumping up butts and breasts with injections of liquid (non-medical) silicone.
  • 2012: A man in Florida was arrested for allegedly administering a series of "butt-boosting" injections made from a proprietary blend of rubber cement, tire sealant, and glue.
  • 2013: A young woman in Miami died as a result of her butt injections. The Venezuelan "doctor" administering them fled the country before he could be arrested. Other patients were hospitalized with vision problems and bleeding lungs as a result of his procedures.
  • 2015: One woman died in a New York basement after an illegal, unlicensed butt injection procedure in unsterile conditions with unknown fillers. Her mom had accompanied her to the phony plastic surgeon's "office" that was located in the apartment basement.
  • An Atlanta woman served jail time for administering illegal injections of silicone (intended to be used for metal or plastic lubrication) in hotel rooms for more than a decade. Like many practitioners on the underground market, they used superglue with cotton balls to cover the injection site and keep the silicone from leaking out.

Pumping PartiesPumping parties are what women often attend to get low-cost injections in their butts, lips, faces, etc. The injections sometimes consist of many sketchy things like non-medical grade silicone, also an ingredient in tire sealant.
These events can cause serious, life-threatening consequences, horrible infections, horrendous scarring, and deformity. Or they can go "successfully" and you'll end up with a partially cement ass that never looks right.
While infections can be treated, other results, such as hardening scar tissue and chronic pain, nerve damage, and necrosis (death of the body's actual tissue) can't be reversed. And, of course, there's always death, the ultimate thing you can't undo.
Nevertheless, the "shot girls" illegally administering these injections are raking it in big, but the very nature of what they do and how they do it dictates they will not have a very long career.

"Success" StoriesOf course, not every butt augmentation ends undesirably. Some women, and even some men, have mild butt-lifting surgeries, and no one is the wiser. There's still cause for worry, though. Dr. Tensor Mir, plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, says, "It's a ticking time bomb. All of them are going to have problems one day. Complications can pop up 20 years down the road."
In her book "Shot Girls", a stripper named Vanity Wonder chronicles her quest to double the size of her ass to a jaw dropping measurement of 34-23-45.
[Image: Vanity.jpg]While her experience didn't necessarily turn out badly – I guess that would depend upon who you ask – her mission is to warn others about the inherent dangers and downfalls of extreme butt enhancement.

Those Who Own It[Image: Bruna-Twins.jpg]There are those who are clearly cosmetically enhanced and have no problem talking about it, like the Bruna twins. Originally from Argentina, these girls are no strangers to a gym. But they're also no strangers to plastic surgeons' offices from Beverly Hills to Colombia.
In case you're wondering, ladies, glute muscle alone won't look like that no matter what you do in the gym or whose training program you've bought. And if that's the cartoonish shape you're going for, realize that your goal is the look of plastic surgery, not the look of pure hypertrophy earned by time under tension, high reps, heavy sets, and work under the barbell.
Sure, an experienced plastic surgeon can do a good job on a bum in a sterile operating room. Just like with many elective procedures, it can be a problem-free experience, and you can achieve the sex-toy look if that's what you're after. Just don't cut corners. Even so, most of us will still ask, why not just do squats and be happy with the realistic results?

Print this item