Showing posts from October, 2011

Training for Size & Strength - Does the Rest Matter? Study Finds 7-9% Greater Increase in Muscle Size With Decreasing Rest Periods.

Image 1: If you want to build Arnold-esque arms you better not sit around too long in-between your sets. "Short rest periods to burn fat, medium rest periods to build muscle and long rest periods to build strength" - it's actually pretty likely that one of your trainers, gym buddies or fatherly mentors told you something along those lines in the past. In view of the results of a soon to be published international study by Brazilian researchers from the State University of Campinas and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and their American colleagues from the Eastern Illinois University , the University of Memphis and the Colorado College ( Souza-Junior. 2011 ), this is probably the next item on list of widely accepted bodybuilding myths that have a spark of truth to them ... at least for recreational strength trainees who use some creatine monohydrate to promote their strength and mass gains. Learn more about muscle builder & fat shredder training at th

Intermittent Thoughts On Intermittent Fasting - Exercise (3/3): How Training Solves the AMPK/mTOR Antagonism.

Image 1: Just like Two-Face , a character from the Batman comic books, AMPK turns out to have two faces,... ah I mean isoforms the differential expression of which explain why exercise, contrary to starving yourself, maintains or even builds muscle mass while reducing your love handles (img ). In the last installment of the Intermittent Thoughts on Intermittent Fasting series , we have revisited the idea of different training modalities , i.e. endurance and strength training, for the promotion of AMPK-related reductions in body fat and mTOR-dependent increases in muscle mass. We have also busted the long-standing myth of the "anabolic window of opportunity" , which, upon closer examination, turned out to have the size of a barn door (>24h) that is unlocked with the key of exercise and nutrition sciences. Related findings showed that even in the absence of additional nutritional stimuli a single intense strength training session led to a profound and (

1.3g of Grape-Seed Extract Could Protect You From Oxidative Damage, Viral Infections, Obesity and Insulin Resistance, Reduce Your Heart Rate and Blood Pressure and Increase Your Nitric Oxide Production by >25%

Image 1: Bought in bulk, grape-seed extract is actually reasonably cheap... and it does not even taste as awful as some other herb / seed extracts ;-) After initially being hailed as the yet another anti-oxidant panaceum, grape-seed extract (GSE) has been displaced by newer, fancier "superfoods" from the headlines of the major health and wellness newscasters. Therefore, even you, as a highly self-educated student of the SuppVersity could have missed out on a handful of recently released studies which reported antiviral effects of GSE ( Su. 2011 ) and confirmed its ameliorative effect on diet-induced obesity ( Ohyama. 2011 ) and (high) fructose-induced insulin resistance ( Meeprom. 2011 ). Moreover, a meta-analysis of nine controlled with more than 300 human subjects and daily doses ranging from 250mg to 2,000mg of GSE, which was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association ( Feringa. 2011 ), found that ... [b]ased on the currently available literature

Stevia - So Much More Than Just a Natural Sweetener: Combination "Therapy" With Stevia and Fenugreek as Effective as Common Diabetes Drug!

Image 1: Nature vs. Pharma. Leavs and seeds vs. chemicals - guess who will win! I have been wondering for quite some time now, why I, as a resident of the European Union, do still have to use my hair-care products to sweeten my tea, my yogurt, or whatever else , if I do want to avoid artificial sweeteners or the good, or I should say, "bad" old table sugar... for those of you who are now wondering how hair-care products relate to my sweet tooth - here in Europe, Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni has still not been approved as a food additive, so that the myriad of health-food shops carrying respective products simply relabel them as "hair-care" or "cosmetic products, not intended for internal application"... and as a obedient citizen I would, of course, never even remotely consider ingesting a product such as stevia that is so utterly natural and genetically unmodified that it must be harmful ;-) A pros pos harmful: As it turns out, stevia could in fact be

Adelfo Cerame - Road to The Wheelchair Nationals '12: Experience and Intuition Distinguish Bro from Pro

Image 1: If Einstein had been into bodybuilding, he'd have loved how Adelfo approaches his contest prep. Science certainly is a serious business. Nevertheless, even Einstein was convinced that, at the end of the day, "intuition" and "experience" is what distinguishes the average scientists, who spends his life in one of those sterile labs doing what philosopher of science T.S. Kuhn once called "normal science", from a genius like Einstein , who scribbled his theory on the photo-electric effects, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize, on a few sheets of paper in the course of a transatlantic cruise. And though I assume Adelfo won't like it, if I call him a "genius" (and I assume for a future pro bodybuilder the comparison with Einstein is not very flattering, anyway), intuition and experience are two things our man at the 2012 Wheelchair Nationals in Florida has in abundance, which is why I will now sit back, relax and let the &qu

High Reps vs. 5x5 - Revisiting the "High(er) Reps for Fat Loss"-Myth: Do You Really Believe that "Burning" +13 Extra Calories Will Make a Difference?

Image 1: Vince Andrich , here at the 1988 Nevada State Bodybuilding Competition, knew it all along: Hard work , not high reps will get you the stage-ready physique everybody aspires... and I mean look at him are you seriously questioning Vince's expertise? If you have listened to the latest installments of BodyRX Radio , the idea that strength (and HIIT) training, not calorie restriction and endless cardio sessions pave the way to a leaner, more muscular physique . And although it may be of secondary importance whether you are burning 100kcal or 200kcal during those workouts, it stands out of question that you won't get rid of those damn spare tire, if you do not exert yourself in the gym (something Layne Norton is notorious for, as you may have seen in one of his workout videos or heard on BodyRX, lately) - because, after all, energy expenditure does count, even if the energy equation is much more complex than the simplistic calories in vs. calories out paradigm that is

Combinations that Work: HMB & Isometric Training for Lean Mass, Creatine & Powerlifting for Leaning Out and Carnitine & Bodybuilding for Powerlifting?

Image 1: Jacek Spychala - I must admit, I don't know if he was one of the subjects, but 38 of his colleagues from the Polish National Powerlifting Team were ( As an athlete and even as a regular fitness enthusiast, you got to chose your training and supplementation modalities according to your professional or personal goals (in fact, the failure to do so is, in my mind, one of the main causes why so many trainees do not get the desired results at the gym). A very recent study from the Department of Combat Sports and Weightlifting at the Józef Pilsudski University School of Physical Education (I wish every University had such a department ;-) in Warsaw, Poland, sheds some light onto combinations which work, and combinations which don't... and trust me you will be surprised by the results of Dr. Marek Kruszewski's controlled intervention study ( Kruszewski. 2011 ). Kruszewski recruited recruited a total of 170 (! that alone is noteworthy !) subjects wh

Vitamin D3 a "Fat Synthesizer"!? Rodent Study Shows +33% Increased Fat Deposition in Vitamin D3 Supplemented Mice.

Illustration 1: Experts will recognize from looking at these Oil Red O-stained longissimus dorsi slices of mice on a normal and a vitamin D3 supplemented diet that supplemental (! not vitamin D from the sun !) "vitamin D3 can be used a s a fat synthesizer and meat tenderizer in meat-producing animals". (img in illustraton from Choi. 2011 ) I have been railing against the current vitamin D hype for months now. In that, I have at no point in time implied that "backfilling" depleted vitamin D levels via supplementation could not be beneficial (or at least not harmful), nor have I at any time excluded that vitamin D3 supplementation (even if you are in the "normal" range) could have its merit (cf. vitamin D3 + HMB ). What I have done though, was to point at the lack of controlled studies that would support any of the benefits supplemental vitamin D3 is currently hailed for all over the Internet. This amazes me, because the very same "gurus" who

Intermittent Thoughts On Intermittent Fasting - Exercise (2/3): Opening the "Anabolic Barn Door" With the Key of Exercise and Nutrition Science!

Image 1: The "anabolic window" turns out to be more of a barn door, which is unlocked by the key of exercise and nutrition science ( Random House Books ) Looking back, the main take-aways from the last installment were the dependence of exercise performance on adequate and not so much constant energy supply , as discussed in the context of the Ramadan fasting soccer players, the increased AMPK response to fasted training on a hypercaloric diet, which would suggest that things like "fasted cardio" in the morning could well have it's place in an intermittent fasting regimen even when you are bulking (in order to ward off fat gains), and, last but not least, the differential AMPK- and p70S6K protein synthetic response of cyclists and powerlifters to unaccustomed training stimuli . Accordingly, a versatile training routine that is timed in a way that allows you to train fasted or semi-fasted training, i.e. having your first easily digestible high protein mea
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