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Evan Ox Centopani's The Process - Part 4
Juan Morel Trains Chest & Arms 4 Weeks Out from Rio!
MD Radio - IFBB Orlando Europa 2014 Review & More!
Bodybuilding Posing Routines from the 2014 Orlando Europa
Ronnie's Best Exercise for Each Bodypart!
Calum Von Moger Mass Demand Triceps Workout
Home Run Derby Fundraiser for Sheilahe Brown
Juan Morel Guest Posing at the 2014 Metropolitan Championships
Justin Compton Post-Win Interview at the Orlando Europa 2014
Jon Delarosa Post-Show Interview at the 2014 Orlando Europa
Jason Poston Post-Win Interview - Orlando Europa 2014
Build up to a heavy single on your second-to-last leg day so you can end on a high note this weekend. You're getting close!
Gina's outlook on life and fitness keep her built and happy. See how this sizzling bodybuilder gets stage-ready while still enjoying things like rollerblading on the beach!
Galambosi immersed himself in bodybuilding at age 15 and soaked up valuable knowledge that translated into ripped muscle. See how this teen added serious mass to his 6-foot-1 frame!
Arnold and Joe Weider's relationship began inauspiciously, but it didn’t take long for the Master Blaster to realize he'd struck gold. Here's when it happened.
Not everyone has an hour to work out. HIIT your muscles hard with these short, intense workouts designed to burn maximum calories in minimum time!
The gym became more than a hobby when Paulo unlocked the door to serious gains. Get the secret formula that he used to get shredded in Portugal!
Arnold knew there was a time to dream and a time to work. Don't let your passion for your goals distract you from the work needed to achieve them!
Rest day! It's time to relax, recuperate, and soak up Arnold lore. Take this final opportunity to watch him at his best as you enter the home stretch!
Defined abs were once a prize reserved only for the gods in classical sculpture. Then Arnold and his fellow golden-age bodybuilders changed the game!
Shoulders, arms, and abs: The grand slam of Arnold-style upper body training. Burn through your supersets, but be sure to save time to flex!
Question: Dear Marc, My SO is really into bodybuilding. Being female, I’m cool with it as he looks great but I have no idea what would say that I get this sport and I support him. Do you have any gift ideas for my bodybuilding boyfriend? Answer: So it’s a gift for bodybuilders you want? [...]
Lose weight in a week you say? Is it possible? Is it safe? Is it legal? Not only is it legal but it’s safe and involves no drugs (unless you consider carbohydrates and sugar a drug). This non-revolutionary method has been used by thousands of bodybuilders for decades to get ready for a contest. It’s [...]
Video Review of the 2013 Edition of Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle! Click the Play Button Below to Get the Whole Story The Easiest Way to Burn Fat Just Became the Easiest Book to Read… Before leaving for a family vacation, I received an email from Tom Venuto. It read.. “Send me your address [...]
If you are looking for the definition of carbohydrate backloading, then watch Carb Back Loading explained by Ben Pakulski. As much as I wanted to do my own video, Ben did such a great job, I didn’t want to add to the clutter of useless videos on the subject from people who’s only objective is [...]
Bulkbites bills itself as an easy to to create meal plans sites with pre-loaded recipes with the ability to upload and create your own. As the community grows, so does you ability to drag and drop meals that fit your macronutrient needs. If you want 200g of protein a day, with 200g of carbs and [...]
This apple oatmeal snack bars is a quick and easy option for those who can’t cook (raise my hand) that need a fructose (sugar) fix but want it to healthy and loaded with protein. Apple Oatmeal Snack Bars: Makes 4 Servings Ingredients: • ¾ cup oatmeal • ¼ cup oat bran • 6 egg whites [...]
Could carb backloading help fight cavities? During my last dental cleaning the hygenist flat out said, “Wow, there’s nothing really here. I’ve never seen anybody with so little plaque.” In all my years of going to the dentist, this was by far the easiest, no scraping I’ve ever had in my entire life! I had [...]
The Blender Bottle makes a great protein shaker.
When I received this thing called the Fusion Mixer, I’d never owned an automatic protein shaker cup. Never had the need really and probably still do not but it was nice to be able to quickly mix up a drink intra-workout or after. Pros: easily mixed protein not too bulky smooth mixing action Cons: uses [...]
Seriously several times a day my mind convinces me that I’m a bit chubby, to a bit leaner today, to convincing me I need to go low calorie or low carb for a few too if I want to get serious in the gym, I need to be in a surplus. Somebody once said, “listen [...]
At some point you’ve head the phase, “fake it till you make it.” This could be in regards to almost anything. I’ve heard it in the context of becoming a better author. Maybe you’ve heard it regarding public speaking. But maybe you’ve not heard it in relation to bodybuilding and building the body of your [...]
It is always necessary for you to plan out everything before you execute something, especially for a change. When you change, there are lots of changes that could happen aside from what you have done. You need to consider the fact that not all changes are meant to happen accidentally, some are made purposely. If [...]
Muscle Food Supplements Bodybuilders would always want the best for their bodies. Mostly, they want to be better than any other since their body is a great symbol of them working hard. In addition to this, with the right body, they know that they could efficiently work every time without tending to lose track of [...]
Best Exercises Bodybuilding Workout You need to understand that in bodybuilding workout, there are different options for you to make. Normally, you would find yourself puzzled on which ones would definitely match your needs. You need to grasp the fact that not all of your choices would be correct not until your trainer agrees to. [...]
Muscle building can be a grueling, if not frustrating attempt for a better body image. For many people who go to the gym in order to undergo massive workouts, disappointment often lurks nearby, especially if you’re a beginner. Being a newbie doesn’t have to be very disheartening. All you need is to be backed up [...]
Is it a mistake? Gaining weight, you say? Most of the news about health nowadays is concerned mainly on losing weight or maintaining weight. This is probably because in the present society, having a slim body is more preferred by the majority. The products that we see being advertised on television would mainly be about [...]
Exercising would always be among the key factors of becoming healthy all throughout. You cannot just depend on the foods you eat. There is a necessary push for you to at least burn your fats, develop muscles, as well as tone it if possible. Exercises would help develop your body better and there would be [...]
Bodybuilding Workout Get Big Fast There has been a common intrusion about the fame of steroids when the news of its detrimental factors has spread. It is certain that you are wondering how steroids could really affect one’s overall health. If you are too curious but you are not prepared for the downfalls of your choice, [...]
Full Body Workout Plans Staying in your workout plan would certainly be difficult. Most of the time, you would even think of giving up and changing your plan for the better. But the problem is that not all plans would be easy and if you want an easier plan execution, the key is determination as [...]
It is certain that most people would fail when it comes to following instructions. No matter what you do, they would always find it hard to execute even the simplest step provided. In terms of bodybuilding, this is fairly frequent. Most people would want to build muscles but they are still the ones who make [...]
Gaining a better body in a short matter of time would be the most difficult thing you could achieve. People would normally lose faith when doctors would require them to lose weight. This would give them the anxiety that they would be changing every part of their living, especially how they choose their food and [...]
Move! If you don’t want to pay federal and state income taxes just move to another country! Its the advantage of living in a free democracy, if you don’t think you are getting your money’s worth from your taxes just move to another country where you think it will be better. Where exactly will you […]
We all know that the marketing people for supplements just tell people what they want to hear to get rich selling their supplements but *how* you tell the lies is very important! ALWAYS MAKE UP EXACT NUMBERS!!! Lets look at this actual graphic from some marketing literature I saw recently: Now they have done well […]
Killer Cross Training Beach Workout SWOD – Scooby’s Workout Of the Day for 4/8/14 A beach workout! All you need for this is my SRX suspension trainer. Many people throw around the term “cross training” but in my book, the only way to really get cross training is to get out of the […]
80% of people will experience lower back pain at some during their lives. Some of us have a genetic pre-disposition to lower back pain and it definitely runs in my family. Every year or two I have a bout that sets me back, that happened to me in January. What to do? I have a […]
Summer Live Weekend Workout Series Would you be my workout partner? I am contemplating starting doing live workouts on weekends using YouTube Live, each workout would be different. All you would need would be your SRX system (or a 0 TRX) and a pullup bar. These would be real workouts and I would be […]
If you are doing a split workout plan, here is an interesting pull workout and it doesnt require a pullup bar! Its as simple as it is brutal. Its a very high volume workout and we dont go to failure on this due to the very short rest periods. You need a suspension trainer to […]
SWOD Leg workout for 3 day split (SWOD = Scooby’s Workout Of The Day) Since I do so many endurance sports like running and cycling, when I do leg resistance training, which is not 12 months a year, I normally go heavy with lots of rest between sets and go to failure on every set. […]
It used to be that it was just teen women that had self image problems that lead them to unhealthy eating habits and health problems. That quest for the size 0 dress and anorexic-like thinness. Well its now official, teen men have joined their ranks. Thanks to the movies, TV, and ridiculous ads like those […]
How To Bench Press From the excellent postings at the AskScooby Forum by user Danny The Bench Press Disclaimer: This introduction to the bench press deals with general information about the lift, basic pointers regarding form and some neat links or videos. All pictures were taken by me, but you’re free to use them whenever […]
SWOD = Scooby’s Workout Of The Day People always ask what workouts I do, well I have quite a range and I mix them up a lot. I think it might be overkill to show what workout I do every single day but what do you think of a SWOW feature – “Scoobys Workout Of […]
A camera zooms in on Nico Calabria. His father asks a simple question: “What do you think you’re going to do today?”
“Uh, play,” Nico says.
His answer is as simple as it is powerful. The 19-year-old was born with no right hip or leg, yet he plays soccer, wrestled in high school, grew up practicing gymnastics, and at age 13 raised more than 0,000 for charity by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. He made his varsity soccer team at Concord-Carlisle High in Massachusetts, where he once scored a goal that ended up drawing nearly 2 million hits on YouTube. Now Calabria is starring in a Powerade commercial that debuted at the Kicking and Screaming Soccer Film Festival at Tribeca Cinemas in New York on Friday; it will also air during the 2014 FIFA World Cup this summer.
“It’s still just, ‘I want to play,’ to me,” he says. “And that’s what it will always be.”
Calabria says that ever since he started playing soccer at age 5, he's been dreaming of playing in the World Cup—as an able-bodied player, of course. He says he was naive then. But it's not really naiveté that's fueled Calabria. He's always had a realistic view—his family's made sure of that. His brother picked on him the same way any older brother would. His parents didn’t coddle him or allow him to make excuses. “My parents always instilled in an attitude of, ‘Hey, tough luck, man. You were born with one leg. Now make the best of it.'”
Calabria’s mother, Jeanine, says that from the start, the family made sure to focus on what he did have rather than what he didn’t. Instead of saying he had one leg, they'd say he had a left leg. Growing up, after having been “judged for having one leg,” Nico would go to his parents for sympathy. His mother would console him; his father wouldn’t. “We get it, it’s a bummer, but there’s legitimately zero you can do about it,” Carl Calabria would say. “So what now?”
“I think that attitude isn’t specific to having a disability,” Nico says. “It can apply to everything.”
And that's the message behind Powerade’s Powering Through campaign, which features snippets of Calabria on the soccer field and in the gym doing handstands and pullups. It’s the same message Calabria hopes to continue sharing as he pursues his dream of teaching, coaching soccer, and becoming a motivational speaker.
Calabria also serves as a field tester for SideSix, a company that creates high-performance sports crutches. He said he’s destroyed each model in every conceivable way, which has spurred the company to make their products “Nico-proof.” Calabria graduated from high school in 2013 and recently completed an internship with SideSix. In November, he’ll represent the U.S. at the Amputee Football World Cup in Mexico.
“It’s surreal,” he says. “I don’t know how to describe it, really. I never expected to be in this situation. It’s just an honor.”
Tired of waking up in the morning achy or constantly tight and sluggish? Chances are you're like everyone else who skips out on stretching. To start waking up with energy and safeguarding your body from injury, run through these seven quick and easy stretches for every muscle.
1. Calf Stretch
Standing shoulder-length apart put your hands on a wall or chair. Keep your heels on the ground and knees straight while leaning into the chair or wall.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
The calf stretch relieves foot, shin, hip, and knee pain, and can safeguard the Achilles tendon.
2. Quadriceps Stretch
Standing feet together and hips straight, bend your right knee back and take the front of your right foot in your right hand. Keep your knees even as you bend your right knee back. Continue to keep your body straight as you hold this stretch, feeling it on the top of the quadriceps.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
Stretching the quads can help improve knee and back pain in addition to improving circulation and even help reduce stress.
3. Shoulder Stretch
Stand shoulder-width apart, raise your right arm to shoulder height, and move it across the front of your body. With your left arm pull the right arm as close to the chest as possible and hold. Switch arms and repeat.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
The shoulder is one of the most delicate joints in the body, this shoulder stretch helps improve flexibility and mobility.
4. Triceps Stretch
Keeping feet shoulder-width apart raise your right arm over your head. Bend your elbow so that your right hand is reaching for your left shoulder. Use your left hand to pull back on your right elbow. Hold and switch arms.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
Although a small muscle group, the triceps help support the shoulder and biceps. Maintaining mobility and flexibility is critical for athletic longevity.
5. Runner’s Stretch
Sit down with one foot tucked in while the other is facing straight forward. Lean forward with your arm extended trying to grab your foot. If you cannot grab your foot, lean forward until you feel your hamstring stretching.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
The runner’s stretch is a great combatant against hip and knee pain, which is prevalent among avid runners.
6. Butterfly Stretch
Sitting down, take both feel and align your heels and feet so that they're touching, then gently press down on your thighs with your elbows until you feel your groin area being stretched out.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
This stretch opens up the hips and thighs to improve flexibility.
7. Standing Side Stretch
Standing straight up grab one hand over your head with the other and gently lean to each side while pulling on your hand slightly to engage your muscles between the ribs.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
The standing side stretch safeguards the core, lower back, and spine. The stretch even assists with stimulating the digestive tract if you’re experience gastrointestinal issues.
When you arrive at the gym and all the iron is occupied, it’s easy to chicken out by walking back to the locker room, changing, and leaving. Option 2: you man up and use the TRX station. Suspension trainer recruit a ton of muscle, and fix imbalances quick, leading to bigger muscles and healthier joints all around. Try this workout from Andrew Sakhrani, CSCS, and be prepared to sweat. A lot.
DIRECTIONS: Perform all 5 moves in sequence without resting in between. Rest, 1 minute, and repeat until 4 circuits have been completed.
1a. Suspended Push-Up, 4xAMRAP
1b. Suspended Tricep Extension, 4xAMRAP
1c. Suspended Inverted Row, 4xAMRAP
1d. Suspended Bicep Curls, 4xAMRAP
1e. Suspended Reverse Flye, 4xAMRAP
On December 17, 2014, user FFighter7231 posted a message on reddit.com’s “subreddit” message board dedicated to all things e-cigs: “6 months ago today…I smoked my last analog and will never look back…After 16 years of smoking [about one] pack a day, I’ll never touch another one. I’ve also gotten my fiancée to go vaping.”
“Vaping” refers to inhaling and exhaling nicotine-infused vapor from a small, battery-powered cylinder or similar device typically sold at pharmacies, convenience stores, and specialty shops. According to medical rules of thumb, once FFighter7232 smoked his last cigarette (or “analog”), he could expect that the carbon monoxide in his body would decrease to normal, nonsmoking levels within 12 hours. By now, six months later, the cilia in his lungs should have mostly regrown, more effectively keeping infections away. In six more months, his chances of heart disease should decrease to half that of a smoker. And in five more years, his stroke risk should decline to that of a nonsmoker.
FFighter7232, whose real name is Patrick Holdridge, lives in Herndon, VA, and is a sales manager at a swimming pool company. He’d tried to quit smoking analogs cold turkey, but nothing stopped the cravings until he found the e-cig forum and shopped around for a solid starter kit.
“The cravings and mood swings you get when you quit smoking—you become a very nasty person,” he says. “But when you quit and find you’re able to start tasting foods again, and wake up in the morning without hacking up a lung, you feel a lot better. I feel much healthier, with improved lung capacity: I can run and swim much longer than I could before, without being completely winded like I was when I was smoking cigarettes.”
With the explosion of the e-cig market—it boomed from roughly million in 2008 to about billion in 2013, according to trade sources, and Citi Research estimates it will surpass billion by 2015—the potential for smokers to switch to electronic forms of satisfying their nicotine addiction puts the future of tobacco cigarettes, for the first time in history, in doubt. In a June 2013 Italian study published in the journal PLOS One, 13% of participants—none of whom wanted to quit smoking—switched from analogs to vaping exclusively.
“We can use these products as an extraordinary tobacco-control tool,” says study author Riccardo Polosa, M.D., Ph.D. That’s what the makers, proponents, and users of e-cigarettes are hoping. And with all the buzz around e-cigs as a method to smoke “safely,” one would think public health officials would be rallying behind a device that might help save the 480,000 lives that tobacco takes in the U.S. every year.
But by and large, they aren’t. In fact, last winter, just two days after Holdridge’s Reddit post, the New York City Council voted to ban e-cigs in public places—bars, restaurants, parks—where cigarette use is already outlawed. And earlier this year, Chicago and L.A. followed suit with their own restrictions.
Just days before NYC’s vote, e-cigarette advocate and former United States Surgeon General Richard Carmona, M.D., who served under George W. Bush, wrote to the Council, saying: “I am extremely concerned…that such an effort, if successful, could do tremendous harm to what is emerging as the most promising weapon yet in the fight against tobacco-related illness and death…The Centers for Disease Control reports that adult smokers usually know they are engaged in harmful behavior and 69% would like to reduce or quit smoking. However, each year only 6% of smokers succeed in quitting…The history and data suggest we need more viable alternatives in this fight against tobacco. I believe that one such alternative is the electronic cigarette.”
Carmona now serves as chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee and on the board of NJOY, one of the largest e-cig manufacturers in the U.S. As Surgeon General, he was vocal in his warnings on secondhand smoke, and he feels that the e-cigarette is the only way, as he says, to “make tobacco obsolete.”
But if we’re on the road to making tobacco obsolete, we might first want to look at what we’re replacing it with.
Concern Number 1: The Particle Problem
In 2009, the FDA conducted laboratory analysis of a handful of unnamed e-cigarette brands and found toxins in the “juice,” or the liquid that’s atomized into vapor when a user drags on an e-cig. Diethylene glycol, a compound used in antifreeze, was singled out.
The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association took issue with the FDA’s findings, noting that the “FDA tested just 18 cartridges, from only two companies,” with only one testing positive for “about 1% diethylene glycol”—which is by no means a common ingredient in most electronic cigarettes, and is poisonous in large quantities. In fact, e-cigarette juice typically uses as a nicotine preservative not diethylene glycol but propylene glycol—an odorless, colorless substance that’s found in products like cosmetics and cake mix, and which the FDA considers generally safe for human consumption.
But either way, it’s one of the many particles one ingests when vaping, which makes the FDA’s larger point: that, in e-cigs, there are too many unknowns. When an e-cig user inhales vapor, he’s not only getting water and nicotine, he’s also ingesting small particles that are microscopic and hard to detect, and occasionally mysterious to researchers. The particles are becoming a major cause for concern among health professionals, because they may damage your respiratory system.
“They get very deep into your lungs,” says Stanley Glantz, Ph.D., of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. “They’re so small they get across the alveoli into your bloodstream.” This is similar to how analog cigarettes work.
“You burn the tobacco and that generates an aerosol, or smoke, of very small particles, which then carries the nicotine into your lungs where it can be absorbed,” says Glantz. “E-cigarettes generate a similar aerosol by taking glycerin, a nicotine mixture, plus whatever else is in it, and heating that up to generate the aerosol; that’s what you inhale. They have to carry the particles because that’s how they deliver the nicotine.”
Inhaling small particle matter is considered risky, healthwise; aside from the glycerin and nicotine, says Glantz, “people have measured heavy metals in them as well.” In fact, a disturbing January 2014 study by the University of California–Riverside found small amounts of tin, silver, iron, nickel, and aluminum in one brand.
Small-particle inhalation has also been traced to respiratory problems, including damaged lung tissue. Though inhaled e-cigarette vapor is estimated to contain far fewer damaging particles than tobacco smoke (and certainly none of the tobacco residue like tar that damages a smoker’s lungs), the exact amount is unknown. In 2012, Greek researchers found that short-term use of e-cigs could constrict airways, leading to concerns about their long-term effects on the lungs.
“When I look at some of the advertising materials, there are a lot of claims that this is pure water vapor” that e-cig smokers are inhaling and exhaling, says Maciej Goniewicz, Ph.D., of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “No, this is a mixture of the nicotine, the solvents for nicotine, and flavorings…Nicotine isn’t the worst chemical in a tobacco [cigarette] or in e-cigs,” Goniewicz says. “It’s all the other chemicals.”
Concern Number 2: The Nicotine Monkey
Nicotine is unquestionably one of the most addictive substances on earth. It travels quickly through the bloodstream to the brain, where it relaxes the user, relieving stress (despite upping heart rate) and even temporarily stimulating memory and reducing depression, technically making it a stimulant. “Nicotine mimics a chemical called acetylcholine, which is the chemical through which nerves communicate with each other,” says Glantz. “That’s what leads to its addictive characteristics.”
Many cigarette smokers who wish to quit try smoking-cessation aids: gums, sprays, lozenges, or patches that replace the nicotine they’d normally take in, without the slew of additional carcinogens. These methods are effective to varying degrees, but not surefire. A 2012 study in the journal Tobacco Control showed that nicotine gums and patches were only effective in the short term, and didn’t keep smokers off cigarettes in the long run any more than quitting cold turkey.
Now, smokers like Holdridge are switching to e-cigs because they feel this could be the game changer. A device that simulates smoking—satisfying the hand-to-mouth motion and the inhalation of nicotine—could be far more effective in curbing a smoker’s craving.
Cigarettes typically contain about 12–15 milligrams of nicotine, of which only about 1–2 milligrams are absorbed into the body when smoking. The nicotine content of e-cigarettes can vary greatly, ranging from 0 to more than 30 milligrams of nicotine, depending on which replaceable cartridge or refillable liquid a user purchases.
But taking in any amount of nicotine gives health advocates pause.
“I’m not sure why, in a general way, we’d want to sell nicotine addiction,” says Neil Schluger, M.D., chief scientific officer at the World Lung Foundation. “We know there have been adverse health effects linked to nicotine. It can raise blood pressure, for example, and cause problems in pregnant women.” Another problem with e-cigs is that, unlike combustible cigarettes, they don’t burn out. The cartridge carrying the juice to make the vapor can run out of liquid, or the battery can die—but that’s after 200–400 puffs, well over a pack of cigarettes’ worth of nicotine exposure. Conceivably, a user, especially one who isn’t used to nicotine exposure, could puff himself into nicotine poisoning.
What’s more, in 2013, Brown University’s Chi-Ming Hai, Ph.D., published a study showing that prolonged exposure to nicotine, even in e-cigs, could lead to atherosclerosis, a major contributor to heart disease. Nicotine stimulates rosettes, or clusters of invasive material that accumulate on the surface of cells, which ruin the scaffolding that protects vascular cells in the heart. Since e-cigs don’t burn out, Hai worries that extended exposure could do vapers in.
“I’m speculating,” he says, “but I think a potential problem is that if it’s so easy to get nicotine in your system, there’s no reason why people would not keep pushing the levels.”
Concern Number 4: (Im)proper Regulation
If e-cigs could be a more effective nicotine-delivery device, why aren’t they regulated as such, like nicotine gums? As Schluger notes, e-cig makers could have gone to the FDA, participated in medical trials, and sold their products as drug-delivery devices. “But that’s not what they did,” he says. Instead, they went to market unregulated.
“[Selling an e-cig as a nicotine-delivery device] restricts where you can sell it, how you can sell it, and the time line for it,” says Miguel Martin, president of Logic, an e-cigarette company. “It’s contrary to how cigarettes are marketed and sold.”
The fact that e-cig makers sidestepped FDA testing has health officials concerned. They see the ease with which one can buy an e-cigarette, smoke it anywhere, and inhale a not-insignificant amount of nicotine in one sitting. Regulators are starting to draft laws to regulate e-cigs either as tobacco products or drug-delivery devices. Meanwhile, studies and anecdotes like Holdridge’s show that, for adult smokers, e-cigs could be a new, more effective take on nicotine gum, regulated or not.
“There’s no tobacco and nothing combustible in an e-cigarette,” saysformer Surgeon General Carmona. “There are no cancer-causing ingredients in it. Really, it’s just a nicotine-delivery device. Our opinion was that it should be regulated just like nicotine gum or nicotine sprays.”
Though technically they don’t brand e-cigs as “smoking-cessation aids,” makers often come dangerously close to that, and the fine line between making health claims and offering an alternative to smoking has many confused. When we asked manufacturers and health officials, “Are e-cigarettes safer than combustible cigarettes?” the answer was usually a nonanswer.
“We are precluded from making any health claims, precluded from making any claims that it’s a quit assist,” says Logic president Martin. It’s a semantic juggle: Manufacturers don’t call it “quitting smoking” but “switching” from cigarettes to e-cigarettes. Despite anecdotal evidence that e-cigs may help smokers quit, many antismoking advocates fear that what they’re really doing is undoing the progress that’s been made over the last half-century.
Concern Number 5: Kid Addicts
Kevin Spacey, as Frank Underwood in House of Cards, lounges on the floor of his apartment and offers his wife, played by Robin Wright, a hit of an e-cigarette. “You should try it,” he says. “It’s addiction without the consequences.”
That’s how the devices are often viewed: as risk-free addiction. But e-cigs may have adverse effects not only on smokers, but on a future we haven’t even begun to see.
“[E-cigarettes] are being made, marketed, and sold in ways that are very similar to how cigarettes were 40 or 50 years ago,” says Tim McAfee, M.D., director of the CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health. “There are TV ads, you can buy them at malls from unlicensed vendors. It’s not even against the law in half our states for children to buy e-cigs.”
In fact, in a new study in JAMA Pediatrics, young e-cig users were more likely to become tobacco smokers—progressing from e-cigs to analogs—and to be heavier smokers than kids who’d never touched an e-cig.
Several manufacturers already sell products that health officials see as clearly aimed at kids, such as bubblegum and cotton-candy flavored e-cigs. While bigger manufacturers like Logic and NJOY, who, for the most part, want to work with the FDA, have avoided these explosive allegations by making only tobacco- and menthol-flavored offerings, smaller distributors could be attracting a new generation to nicotine addiction. According to the CDC, 90% of smokers get addicted to smoking before age 18; and about 1.8 million kids tried e-cigs in 2012—up 10% from the year before.
“Years ago the tobacco companies targeted children because at that age it’s easy to addict people,” says Schluger. “Tobacco companies have a very large investment in the e-cigarette business.” Indeed, Lorillard, which owns the Newport brand, acquired Blu eCigs in 2012, and, more recently, Altria Group Inc., which makes Marlboros, bought Green Smoke. If Big Tobacco is looking for an investment into future addiction, they’ve likely found it in e-cigarettes.
“We don’t want to start a new generation of nicotine addicts,” says Carmona, speaking on behalf of NJOY. “We want to use this to make tobacco obsolete. Many of my colleagues feel that we shouldn’t be using e-cigs; we should just make sure no one smokes. Well, we tried that for half a century, and we’ve plateaued out.”
This year, 50 years after the hallowed Surgeon General report on the dangers of smoking, a new Surgeon General report came out stating that more scientific study on e-cigarettes is needed.
“Further research and attention to the consequences as well as regulatory measures will be necessary to fully address these questions,” it states. While that may sound anticlimactic, it’s the first time e-cigs have been mentioned in such a report.
The Bottom Line (If There Is One)
Theoretically, just under a decade from now, if Patrick Holdridge doesn’t relapse, his risk of dying of lung cancer should be sliced in half. And in 20 years, his chances of developing pancreatic cancer should be the same as if he’d never smoked. But because the long-term effects of e-cigarettes aren’t known, guarantees just aren’t available.
Jimmy Fallon, in the twilight of his tenure on Late Night, summed it up nicely in a bit on New Year’s resolutions. “Pro: Switching from regular cigarettes to e-cigs,” he announced. “Con: They’ll still kill you, but the mystery of how is half the fun!”
Inhaling anything but oxygen into your body is a risk. Smoking cigarettes has always been like gambling with dice weighted in the house’s favor: You can play, but you can’t win. For nonsmokers, vaping could be a seat opening up at that table.
But for ex-smokers like Holdridge, there’s a sense that they’ve finally beaten the house.
Last summer, Major League Baseball suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for the entire 2014 season for using performance-enhancing drugs, including a testosterone cream and injectable human growth hormone (HGH). Because similar-sounding products are readily available over the counter at sports nutrition stores, some consumers have misunderstood them to be the equivalent of these illicit drugs, and the confusion is giving safe, legal supplements a bad name.
Both testosterone and HGH circulate naturally in your body. Testosterone is an anabolic steroid—a hormone that contributes to male characteristics, including increased muscle mass. HGH is produced in the pituitary gland, activating receptors that signal muscle growth. Upping your levels of testosterone and HGH can have benefits that range from increased energy and libido to muscle mass and athletic performance. But in synthetic form, both testosterone and HGH set off alarms in drug tests, as both are banned in pro sports for their potential to give the user an unfair competitive advantage.
“The performance-enhancement aspect is really at the heart of [the rules],” says Rick Collins, a partner at Collins, McDonald & Gann in Mineola, NY, and one of the foremost experts on supplement law in the country. “Testosterone and [other] anabolic steroids have been linked, and inextricably interwoven, with the idea of cheating.”
Outside of sports, both drugs have prescription uses, but anabolic steroids are considered Schedule III banned drugs by the DEA, and HGH laws can vary by state. “[HGH] is regulated under a specific law that limits its distribution and the reasons for which a physician can even prescribe it,” says Collins, and testosterone possession without a script could land you in jail. Using performance-enhancing hormones carries serious health risks, ranging from heart and liver damage to sexual dysfunction—including testicular atrophy (yes, it can shrink your balls). HGH use can cause joint pain and an imbalance between your good and bad cholesterol.
Synthetic testosterone and HGH can’t be found at your local supplement store, and what you do find there shouldn’t be mistaken for a banned substance. Supps like Novex Biotech’s TestroVax and Growth Factor-9, for example, which are available at stores like GNC, contain not illegal synthetic hormones but natural ingredients, so they’re regulated as foods.
Photo Credit: David Carr
“The reason dietary supplements are regulated as foods, not drugs, is that their ingredients are naturally present as components of what people eat,” says Collins. “Amino acids, for example, are present in our foods. Supplement products made of these amino acids are very different from prescription drug products like testosterone and HGH. The supplement products help spur the body to naturally produce more hormones, while the prescription drugs are synthetic versions of the hormones themselves.”
Indeed, there’s ample proof that amino acids can naturally—not synthetically—boost both testosterone and HGH, increasing muscle mass and boosting athletic performance. A 2009 study in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology showed that the amino acid D-aspartic acid (also called D-asparaginic acid), one of the main ingredients in TestroVax, enhanced the release of testosterone in the body. A study—first presented at the prestigious Obesity Society’s 30th Annual Scientific Meeting and later featured on The Dr. Oz Show—revealed that the specialized, patented (U.S. Pat. No. 8,551,542) oral amino acid complex contained in GF-9 is actually capable of increasing mean, serum HGH levels by 682% in both men and women of a wide age range.
“Dietary supplements don’t have active pharmaceutical ingredients in them,” says Dave Ellis, R.D., of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association. “There are lots of regulations that the supplement industry has to follow. They’re made of common ingredients that are out there on the market and then assembling them together under good manufacturing practices.”
Last November, James Grage took a look at his success story published in Men’s Fitness and realized something was missing from his regimen, something he used to do frequently—running. Motivated to fill the void, the BPI Sports co-founder—and survivor of a catastrophic car crash—set out to get his body in shape for a race that would coincide with the 15-year anniversary of his accident.
After all, Grage had already defied the odds with an inspiring fitness comeback story. His accident, which crushed both of his legs, left him bound to a hospital bed for six weeks. After that, his legs were numb for several more months, and he only felt a tingly pins-and-needles sensation in them for the next couple of years. Eventually, a mess of rods, bolts, and plates were used to reconstruct Grage’s leg, hip, and knee joints. He returned to the gym as soon as he began getting movement back, bit by bit doing whatever he could manage—a few crunches here, a couple of minutes on the bike there. Eventually, he reattained the bodybuilder-caliber physique he had at 24.
The accident’s anniversary, though, wasn’t the only thing that motivated Grage, now 39, to return to running. He also wanted to use it as a way to help others and agreed that BPI would donate ,000 to Shriners Hospitals for Children if he ran a 7-minute mile—,000 if he broke 6 minutes.
On April 6, Grage took on Florida’s Run, Walk & Roll 5K, a race that raises money for disabled veterans, and broke a 6-minute mile—and that's while pushing a quadriplegic friend in a wheelchair. “What’s my excuse?” he says. “There’s always someone out there who’s got it worse than you.”
As triumphant as his race day was, Grage’s return to running was a painful and difficult journey. Any seasoned athlete knows overdoing it on a new training regimen early in the process can hinder your progress, but Grage knew he would have to take an especially “patient, calculated approach” to achieve his lofty goals.
“Even after all this time, getting out of bed for me is like the evolution of man,” he says, referring to his chronic pain. “It’s almost like I start out crawling on all fours and end up walking upright. But I’m never going to let pain stop me from doing the things I want to do.”
Grage’s race training began back in December, when he started hitting the treadmill, taking several joint supplements, seeing a physical therapist (including a trip to see a specialist in Idaho), doing plenty of stretching and foam roller work, and relying on ice baths to dull the pain. In February, he began a methodical exercise regimen with the help of Olympic sprinter Tony Dees (silver medalist in 1992) and strongman competitor Charles Brooke. (Details on this regimen are below.)
Grage powered through the ambitious training schedule, admitting that his joints had generally felt better because of it (a bit of a “use it or lose it” concept here, he says). But as mentioned, Grage encountered some challenges along the way. Shin splints are to be expected for anyone jogging after a long hiatus, but Grage’s were especially significant, as his toes still lack most of the mobility they had pre-accident.
Other obstacles included a texting driver running into Grage when he was biking, which left him bloodied with a swollen knee, and a winter bout with bronchitis. Still, as you might expect by now, Grage took it all in stride and kept moving forward without feeling sorry for himself.
“When we feel sorry for ourselves, we tend to dwell on the past,” he says. “And that’s why it’s hard for us, because we’re anchored to the way things used to be. But if we stop focusing on the way things used to be and focus on what they are now and what you want to do or create, it helps you get past all that and live in the present.”
Grage’s 5K Training and Supplementation Plan
Monday: Treadmill Running
• Alternative running at 6 mph for 1 min. with walking at 3.5 mph for 1 min. x 12
• 15 minutes of stretching/foam roller work
• 4 x 15 jump lunges
• 4 x 15 jump squats (20-pound vest or use 10-pound dumbbells)
• 4 x 40 jumping jacks
• 3 x 25 burpees with a jump
• 100 m sprints with harness and tire x 8
• 15 minutes of stretching/foam roller work
Wednesday: Track Running
• 8 x 200 meters (1/2 way around) 35/40 sec. each (rest 3 min. between each)
• 5 x 35 wide-leg jumping jacks
• 15 min. of stretching/foam roller work
• Abs: 20 crunches + 20 bicycle kicks + 20 scissor kicks (3x with rest between sets)
Thursday: Cardio Interval Training for V02max
• Run 5 min. at max intensity, 2 min. medium intensity, repeat interval 3 times
• Clean to front squat with 50-pound sandbag, 3 x 15
• 15 min. of stretching/foam roller work
• 4 x 800 meters (rest 4-5 min. between each lap)
• 4 x 40 jumping jacks
• 15 minutes of stretching/foam roller work
• Abs: 20 crunches + 20 bicycle kicks + 20 scissor kicks (3x with rest between sets)
• Ice bath
• Glucosamine & MSM for joint health
• Ginger and Turmeric for joint and muscle inflammation
• B12 and folic acid for red blood cell production (helps with VO2)
• BPI’s Gluta-Alkaline and Best BCAA for muscle recovery and strength
• BPI’s Whey-HD protein powder to help build and recover
• Vitamin E and Fish Oil for joint health
Mark Rippetoe is a strength training coach, former competitive powerlifter, owner of Wichita Falls Athletic Club in Wichita Falls, TX, and author of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training. He recently helped us get to the bottom of why calluses form on your hands and how to manage them properly.
Men's Fitness: Why do I get calluses on my hands from working out?
Mark Rippetoe: Calluses form—anywhere on the body—as a response to stress from pressure or abrasion. The soles of the feet and the palms of the hands are areas that are specifically designed to callus because those are two surfaces of the skin that have evolved to adapt to pressure. We contact the environment with the soles of our feet and the palms of our hands, so they callus. It’s normal to develop calluses; they protect the structures under the skin.
Should I wear gloves to prevent calluses from forming?
If you’re training hard enough to get anything accomplished, your hands are going to callus. Gloves are an impediment to the effective formation of calluses and they shouldn’t be used for that reason. The glove is also a problem because it is an unstable layer of material between your grip and the load. It is a safety hazard that can allow the load to slip.
How do I manage my calluses?
A thick callus can catch onto the load and become a problem during a deadlift or any other lift with a pull. It will result in a wound on the hand, which will interfere with training while it heals. So, calluses have to be managed. The most common way that calluses are managed is with a callus file. Once or twice a week, hard training athletes will trim their calluses by sanding them down to a manageable thickness. As a general rule, a callus should not be elevated above the surrounding skin.
What do I do when a calluses tears?
When a callus tears, it has to be trimmed back as close as you can get it to the live part of the skin. And it will have to be kept covered until it fills back in. This process takes at least two weeks. That’s why you don’t want them to get out of control and tear because it sets back your training.
Take your conditioning to the next level with the single workout that does double duty. This five-move routine will build muscle in both the upper and lower body while burning fat.
1. Power Clean, 6x3
2a. Goblet squat, 3x12
2b. Windmill, 3x10
3. Single leg RDL, 3x12
4. Push-Up w/ 1 arm on kettlebell, 4xAMRAP
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Thanks to our member Mindaugas Vilnius for this story / photo of his body transformation in a relatively short period: October 2012 – March 2013 end. Mindaugas, age 31, height, 186cm, Weight at 110 kg. The weight at the end of the period – 94.5 kg. We hope this will inspire many sports fans, live […]