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SPECIAL!

THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO BUILDING MUSCLE,, LOSING FAT,,


ENHANCING P
ERFORMANCE & STAYING HEALTHY
PERFORMANCE

VOLUME 14, NUMBER 3

YOUR ULTIMATE PRESCRIPTION FOR THE PERFECT BODY

V-TAPER! GET WIDE


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FitRxInsideEDGE
BY

STEVE BLECHMAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

FOR MEN

FITNESSRx

YOUR ULTIMATE PRESCRIPTION FOR THE PERFECT BODY

FAT LOSS SPECIAL

LOSE
YOUR GUT

Summer will be here before we know it thats why this issue of FitnessRx for Men
is all about fat loss while building lean muscle. Weve put together some of the most
cutting-edge research to help you achieve a transformation in the least amount of time. In
order to achieve your fitness goals by summer you will need the most effective, scientifically
backed methods that transform your physique, increase power and strength and boost fat
loss fast. Lets get to work!
This months cover model, Simeon Panda, is no stranger to the fitness world. Hes a
popular fitness model who has competed and built up an impressive fan base but before
that he started out as your average skinny teenager who just liked to train. In Simeon
Panda: A Cut Above by Lisa Steuer on page 36, Simeon shares some favorite moves for
achieving the ultimate V-taper its all about building the shoulders and working them from
all angles, and achieving a wide back. In addition, Simeon shares his general advice on
training and getting a ripped physique, what his diet looks like, how he stayed motivated to
train seven days a week, and much more. Check it out if your goal is to build wide shoulders
and have a small waist.
At FitnessRx, one of our goals is to report the latest cutting-edge research to help you
train harder and achieve your best physique. So you dont want to miss 25 Hard Facts on
Fat Loss by Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, Ed.D. on page 50. We compiled
revolutionary facts based on scientific studies that can help you take your physique to a
whole new level. Some things you can read about in this feature include reasons you gain
weight, best ways to lose fat, factors that promote obesity, most and least effective diets,
fat-burning ingredients and much more.
Variable resistance training is effective because of the unique capacity of this training
method to alter the resistance on the bar throughout the entire range of motion. This lowers
the resistance during the lifters weakest range of the lift while increasing resistance within
the stronger segments of the lift. Greater velocity on the bar throughout the movement
stimulates the growth of the more powerful fast-twitch muscle fibers, promoting increased
strength and power. In Chain Reaction: Increase Maximal Strength With Variable Resistance
Training by Michael Rudolph on page 56, see how variable resistance from elastic bands
activates more muscle, generates greater muscle tension and increased strength.
If you want to maximize fat loss, then metabolic resistance training may be your best
choice. Research consistently reports that a direct relationship exists between the duration
of exercise and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which is the number of calories
expended after an exercise bout. Metabolic resistance training is effective because it is
designed to help you maximize fat loss while minimizing muscle loss by reducing the
metabolic demand of each resistance-training workout. In The Best Exercise Method For Fat
Loss: Metabolic Resistance Training by Nick Tumminello on page 42, find out the elements
of an effective metabolic resistance program and how to use it to get into your best shape
by summer.
The rest of the issue is packed with the latest scientifically backed research to help you
get ripped, burn fat, improve your health and performance, and build lean muscle by
summer. Check out our workouts, advice and tips, and get to work!

FIT NE S S R x

for ME N

MAY 2016

www.fitnessrxformen.com

Publishers
Steve & Elyse Blechman
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SPECIAL!

THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO BUILDING MUSCLE,


LOSING FAT, ENHANCING PERFORMANCE AND STAYING HEALTHY
TM

YOUR ULTIMATE PRESCRIPTION


SC
O FOR THE PERFECT
CT BODY
FEATURES
S
VOL. 13--NUMBER 3, MAY 2016
6

42 THE BEST EXERCISE METHOD


FOR FAT LOSS
Metabolic Resistance Training
By Nick Tumminello

50 25 HARD FACTS ON FAT LOSS


Cutting-edge Research
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey Ed.D.

36 SIMEON PANDA:
A CUT ABOVE
Achieving the Ultimate V-Taper
By Lisa Steuer

56 CHAIN REACTION
Increase Maximal Strength With Variable
Resistance Training
By Michael J. Rudolph, Ph.D.

10

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www.fitnessrxformen.com

I THIS ISSUE
IN
E
8

PUBLISHERS
LETTER
R
By Steve Blechman

COOL DOWN

W
WARM
UP
CUT
TTING-EDGE
RESEARCH
RESE
Byy Steeve
ev Blechman and
Th as Fahey, Ed.D.
Thoma

16
6
20
24
4
28
30
32
32

TR
RAINING
NU
N
NUTRITION
HE
H
HEALTH
FA
AT
AT-LOSS
SU
UPPLEMENTS
SE
EX

62 CARDIO BURN
Cardio and Bodyweight Circuit to
Burn Fat Fast By Nick Tumminello

66 FAT ATTACK
Lose Your Gut: Top 10 Thermogenic
and Brown Fat Activators
By Michael J. Rudolph, Ph.D.

88 ULTIMATE IN
NUTRITION
Is There a Post-workout
Anabolic Window of
Opportunity?
By Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D.,
CSCS, FNSCA

92 MENS HEALTH
70 HARD CORE TRAINING
Can You Selectively Target the
Lower Abs?
By Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., CSCS, FNSCA

Lose Your Gut: Insulin


Control for Incinerating Fat
By Daniel Gwartney, M.D.

94 MR. INTENSITY
74 MUSCLE FORM+FUNCTION
Dumbbell Front Curls
By Stephen E. Alway, Ph.D., F.A.C.S.M.
Illustrations by William P. Hamilton, CMI

76 MUSCLE AND STRENGTH


NEW! Best Squat Workout for
Strength By Michael J. Rudolph, Ph.D.

Achieving Your Goals:


Its All in the Details
By Joe Donnelly

ON THE COVER:
SIMEON PANDA
PHOTO BY JASON ELLIS

80 SUPPLEMENT EDGE
The Leucine Factor Diet
By Victor R. Prisk, M.D.

82 THE M.A.X. MUSCLE PLAN


Is There a Place for Blood Flow
Restriction Training in a Hypertrophy
Routine?
By Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., CSCS, FNSCA

86 SPORTS SUPPLEMENT REVIEW


Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals MuscleBuilding Stack: 1-AD and Androdiol
By Team FitRx

www.fitnessrxformen.com

MAY 2016

FITN ESS R x

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FitRx

THE LATEST NEWS AND RESEARCH FROM THE WORLD OF FITNESS

IN THIS SECTION

HIGH-INTENSITY
WEIGHT TRAINING

BEST FOR
REDUCING POSTEXERCISE BLOOD
PRESSURE pg. 26

16-18
TRAINING
BANDS REDUCE FORCE OUTPUT DURING
THE DEADLIFT; CLUSTER SETS
HELP MAINTAIN REP VELOCITY

20-22
NUTRITION

DIETARY OLIVE OIL MIGHT SLOW THE


AGING PROCESS; DARK CHOCOLATE
BOOSTS OXYGEN CONSUMPTION

24-26
HEALTH

HIIT PROTECTS AGAINST HEART ATTACK;


DEADLY SKIN CANCER LINKED
TO TANNING BEDS

28-29
FAT LOSS
GAIN MUSCLE, LOSE FAT FAST;
IS FASTING HEALTHY?

30-31
SUPPLEMENTS

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MUSCLE LOSS DURING BED REST

32-34
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PREMATURE EJACULATION; VIAGRA
PREVENTS TYPE 2 DIABETES

14

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M AY 2 0 1 6

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FitRxWarmUP

TRAINING

CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH
BY

STEVE BLECHMAN AND THOMAS FAHEY, EdD

Blood Flow

After

Increases Aerobic
Capacity
IS FAILURE
TRAINING
NECESSARY?
A motor unit is trained in direct proportion to its
recruitment. A motor unit is a nerve plus the muscle
bers it activates. Motor unit activation depends
on size: the nervous system activates small motor
units to exert minimal force, and larger units to exert
greater force. We have different kinds of motor units
that are activated according to the force and speed
requirements. Maximum hypertrophy requires

that we overload as many different kinds of


muscle bers and motor units as possible. Failure
training might be the best way to do this. A review
of literature by Brazilian researchers concluded
that the benets of failure training depended on
weight-training experience. In untrained people, highintensity weight training to failure is not necessary to
maximize muscle size and strength. However, they
benet from low-intensity training to failure. Trained
athletes increase strength best with high-intensity
resistance training to failure, but they dont benet as
much from low-intensity training to failure. (Frontiers
in Physiology, published online January 29, 2016)

CLUSTER SETS HELP


MAINTAIN REP VELOCITY
Muscle adaptations require a combination of neural
and muscle ber stimulation. Training explosively is critical
for developing power output capacity that builds strength.

When lifting heavy weights, lift velocity decreases as


reps progress. For example, when performing a 10-repetition maximum set using the maximum weight you can lift
for 10 reps rep velocity slows down considerably between
the third and 10th rep. The high-energy fuels adenosine
triphosphate (ATP) and creatine phosphate (CP) deplete
rapidly and contribute to fatigue and decreased lifting
speed. Cluster sets taking short rests within a set is
a good technique for maintaining lifting velocity during the
entire set. For example, when doing four sets of 10 reps, the
sequence of the cluster set would be ve reps, rest 30 seconds, ve reps, rest 90 seconds, ve reps, rest 30 seconds,
ve reps, rest 90 seconds, etc. Jonathan Oliver from Texas
Christian University found that lifting velocity and time
under tension was greater when doing cluster set squats
than traditional sets. The quality of the sets is greater using
the cluster technique because the rest intervals promote
resynthesis of high energy ATP and CP. (Journal Strength
Conditioning Research, 30: 235-243, 2016)

16

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Weight training with low loads and


restricted blood ow, a technique called
Kaatsu training, increases strength and is
particularly valuable during rehabilitation.

Blood ow restriction causes metabolic


stress that triggers rapid adaptation. Researchers from Loughborough University in
the UK expanded this concept by restricting
blood ow to leg muscles after repeated
sprint cycling workouts. Subjects performed repeated 30-second maximal sprint
intervals on a stationary bike followed by
blood ow restriction to the leg muscles following exercise, two days per week for four
weeks. They showed increases in maximal
oxygen consumption, but no increases in
a 15-kilometer time trial compared to a
group that practiced intervals without blood
ow restriction. Muscle biopsies showed
that post-exercise blood ow occlusion also
increased a chemical linked to increased
muscle capillary density. This is potentially
a landmark study. A 15-kilometer time trail
on a road bike is a specic motor skill that
might not change in four weeks. We can
infer from the dramatic changes in maximal
oxygen consumption and muscle blood
vessels that restricting blood ow after
exercise is a viable training technique. (Experimental Physiology, 101: 143-154, 2016)

The sit-up has been the major exercise for


building the abdominal and core muscles for
more than 100 years. However, sit-ups put an
unacceptable load on the spine that can lead to
disk injury and chronic back pain. Developing
core stiffness is more important than building trunk exion tness because it
strengthens muscles, improves muscular endurance, reduces low back pain, and
boosts sports performance. Greater core stiffness transfers strength and speed

THE END OF

SIT-UPS?

to the limbs, increases the load bearing capacity of the spine, and protects the
internal organs during sports movements. A landmark study by Benjamin Lee
and Stuart McGill showed that isometric
exercises for the core resulted in greater
core stiffness than performing wholebody dynamic exercises that activated
core muscles. The results of this study
cast doubts on the value of traditional
core exercises such as sit-ups. This is
an extremely important study that might
change the way we build abdominal and
core muscle tness. (Journal Strength
Conditioning Research, 29: 1515-1526, 2015)

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NIGHTTIME

FitRxWarmUP

TRAINING

CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH
BY

SIMULATED ALTITUDE

Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his rst


mainstream movie, Stay Hungry, said,
You must burn to grow. Muscle cells require stress in the form of tension and inammation to grow optimally. Bing Yan and
co-workers from Beijing Sport University in
China found that weight training at altitude
caused greater increases in strength and
lean mass than training at sea level. Subjects trained in a low oxygen room adjusted
to 21, 16 or 12.6 percent oxygen (simulated
altitudes of sea level, 7,000 feet, or 13,500
feet). Weight training at altitude caused the
greatest changes in strength, lean mass
and anabolic hormones (growth hormone
and testosterone), and training at 12.6
percent oxygen was better than training
at 16 percent. Test subjects performed two
workouts per week for ve weeks in one of
the three conditions. How can bodybuilders use this information? Train at altitude.
However, this might not provide the same
results as training in a room with low oxygen and living at sea level. Win the lottery
and build a low-oxygen training room. The
training center in Beijing is expensive, very
sophisticated, and not available to most
athletes. Use a portable altitude genera-

tor and breathing mask from Higher Peak


(http://www.higherpeak.com, Boston, MA).
These cost about $2,500, which is within
the budget of more wealthy bodybuilders.
If this technique catches on, it will only be
a matter of time before some of the leading
gyms offer simulated high-altitude training
rooms. (Journal Strength Conditioning Research, 30:184-193, 2016)

BAN
NDS RE
EDUCE
FO
ORC
CE DU
URING
TH
HE DEA
ADLIF
FT

Large muscle, multi-joint, freeweight exercises such as the deadlift


and bench press provide constant
resistance during the exercise, but
athletes can exert more force toward
the end of the range of motion because of an increased mechanical
advantage. Many athletes use bands
or chains to increase resistance at the
end of the range of motion of these
lifts. Andrew Galpin and co-workers
from California State University, Fullerton studied force and power during
the deadlift with and without bands.
Bands increased power and velocity
during the lift but decreased force.

Bands are appropriate during the


deadlift if the goal is to increase
power, but free weights without
bands would be more appropriate
if developing maximum force is the
primary goal. Vertical jump and 10and 30-meter sprint speed are highly
related to pulling force, so most power
athletes should stick with traditional
deadlifts. (Journal Strength Conditioning Research, 29: 3271-3278, 2016)

18

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STEVE BLECHMAN AND THOMAS FAHEY, EdD

Muscle Activation
DURING BENT-KNEE
and MODIFIED SIT-UPS
Sit-ups are a mainstay of abdominal conditioning.
William Sullivan and colleagues evaluated abdominal
and hip muscle activation by electromyography (EMG)
during traditional bent-knee sit-ups and modied situps. Traditional sit-ups resulted in the greatest activation of the rectus femoris (quad muscle that exes the
hip) and external obliques (side ab muscle), while the
modied sit-up activated the rectus abdominis (six-pack
muscle) best. Muscle activation, however, is only part
of the picture. Isometric core exercises such as planks
and side bridges might be a better way to develop
core strength and stiffness because they build a more
functional core and prevent back pain. (Journal Strength
Conditioning Research, 29: 3472-3479, 2015; Journal
Strength Conditioning Research 29: 1515-1526, 2015)

CROSSFIT
LINKED TO

NECK ARTERY INJURY


Three case studies by Albert Liu from UC Davis
Medical Center in Sacramento, California linked CrossFit
to carotid artery dissection (CAD) a breakdown in the
structure of the arteries supplying blood to the brain
and head. CAD is a risk factor for stroke, and generally
caused by trauma. The injured blood
vessels can easily form clots that
can travel to the brain and cut
off the blood supply. The
researchers admitted that
they couldnt say for sure
that CrossFit caused the
injuries, but the evidence
strongly suggests that they
were related. (Emergency
Radiology, 22: 449-452, 2015)

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FitRxWarmUP

NUTRITION

CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH

BY

STEVE BLECHMAN AND THOMAS FAHEY, EdD

HIGH EGG CONSUMPTION


Linked to Increased
Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Eating fewer than four eggs per week does not increase the risk of diabetes according to a study led by Luc Djouss from Harvard Medical School. The study pooled the
results of 12 studies involving nearly 220,000 people and nearly 9,000 people with diabetes. Eating four eggs or more increased the risk of diabetes. These results did not
apply to people in Europe or Asia, which suggests that something other than eggs in the
American diet was responsible for the increased diabetes risk. The classic American
breakfast, which is unique to this country, includes eggs, ham, bacon or sausage, and
hash brown potatoes. We cannot say that high egg consumption causes type 2 diabetes it might be something else. (American Journal Clinical Nutrition, 103: 474-480, 2016)

HIGH-PROTEIN
Burgers Save
DIET PLUS
WEIGHT TRAINING the Buffalo
IMPROVES BODY
COMPOSITION

Buffalo were once so numerous on the Great Plains


that they looked like blades of grass blowing in the wind.
Scientists estimated that 60 million buffalo roamed the
plains in 1800. Wanton slaughter of the animals as part of
the fur trade by Native Americans and buffalo hunters like
Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody, Wyatt Earp and Pat
Garrett and by railroad workers for food almost drove the
animals to extinction by 1880. A few buffalo survived in
Yellowstone Park and on private land. In the 1970s, CNN
founder Ted Turner tried to revive the buffalo on his 1.9 million acres of ranch land. He succeeded largely because Americans have acquired a taste for
buffalo steaks and burgers. Health experts praise buffalo meat because it is lower in
fat than beef, and contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Environmentalists are
pleased because the animal is once again thriving. Buffalo number more than 500,000, with
herd sizes increasing because of the popularity of the meat. Ironically, the buffalo are back
because people want to eat them. Buffalo meat is a good protein source because it is low in
fat and high in protein. Buffalo meat tastes best when cooked medium rare. (The New York
Times, February 12, 2016)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends a daily protein intake of 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. Active people might benefit
from as much as 1.5 grams per kilogram. Jose
Antonio from Nova Southeastern University in
Florida, and colleagues, found that high protein
intake (3.4 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per
day) plus a periodized weight-training program for
eight weeks showed greater decreases in bodyweight, percent fat and fat mass than a group consuming 2.3 grams of protein per kilogram of
bodyweight. There were no differences in fat-free
mass (largely composed of muscle). Previous
studies showed overfeeding protein without weight
training did not alter body composition. The
researchers concluded that intensely training athletes would benefit from protein intakes greater
than two grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. (Journal International Society
Sports Nutrition, 13: 3, 2016)

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M AY 2 0 1 6

DARK CHOCOLATE BOOSTS


OXYGEN CONSUMPTION
Dark chocolate is high in flavonoids, which promote blood flow. Rishikesh Patel from Kingston
University in the U.K., and co-workers, found
that consuming 30 grams of dark chocolate per
day for 14 days caused slight increases in maximal oxygen consumption, cycling efficiency and gas
exchange threshold the point at which expired
carbon dioxide increases abruptly. These effects
were small, and might not make much difference
in performance. Many recent studies have tout-

ed the benecial effects of avonoids and polyphenol in food such as chocolate and red wine.
They are somewhat effective in reducing inflammation and free radical damage to cells. They may
have long-term health benefits, but probably have
few meaningful acute effects on exercise performance. (Journal International Society Sports
Nutrition, 12: 47, 2015)

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FitRxWarmUP

NUTRITION

CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH

BY

STEVE BLECHMAN AND THOMAS FAHEY, EdD

WHICH IS
HEALTHIER:
Farm or
Wild Salmon?

Salmon is a healthy food because it contains omega-3 fatty acids that protect
against heart attack and stroke, promote infant brain development and help ease the
symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, Crohns disease, psoriasis and postpartum depression. A public health service group called the Environmental Working Group

said that farm-raised salmon llets sampled in three major cities contained
unsafe levels of chemicals called PCBs that make their consumption dangerous particularly in pregnant women. The PCB levels are above those recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but within those
set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Healthy fish choices high in omega-3s include wild salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel. Fish high in mercury,
another dangerous contaminant, include albacore tuna, swordfish, shark, red snapper
and halibut. In late 2015, the FDA approved genetically engineered farmed salmon and
will not require specific source labels. (ConsumerLab.com, January 3, 2016)

WHEY
PROTEIN
Inhibites Muscle
Carnitine
Accumulation
Carnitine is a chemical
compound formed from the amino
acids lysine and methionine. It is
critical for transporting fatty acids
from the cell interior into the
mitochondria. Carnitine helps break
down long-chain fatty acids and
promotes oxygen consumption. The
mitochondria are the powerhouses
of the cells that provide the bodys
energy needs, determine endurance
exercise capacity and greatly
influence life span. Carnitine is
poorly absorbed into muscle cells. It
is insulin-dependent. A study from
the University of Nottingham in the
U.K. found that muscle carnitine
uptake was increased following
consumption of a high-carbohydrate
beverage, but decreased following
ingestion of whey protein. Carnitine
should not be taken at the same
time as whey protein supplements.
(American Journal Clinical Nutrition,
103: 276-282, 2016)

22

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BEETROOT
IMPROVES
Blood Vessel Health
Foods high in nitrates, such as beetroot
juice, stimulate the inner lining of blood vessels to secrete nitric oxide, a chemical that
controls blood flow. Beetroot juice has positive
effects on blood pressure, sexual performance
and endurance exercise capacity. Beetroot
juice has cardiovascular benefits in patients
with high cholesterol according to a sixweek study led by Shanti Velmurugan from
the William Harvey Research Institute in
London, U.K. Subjects receiving beetroot

juice showed a 24 percent improvement in


blood vessel performance (ow-mediated
dilatation). Beetroot juice also reduced platelet stickiness by 10 percent, which decreases
the risk of blood clot formation and heart
attack. Beetroot juice is a heart-healthy food
that improves blood vessel health. (American
Journal Clinical Nutrition, 103:25-38, 2016)

DIETARY OLIVE OIL MIGHT


SLOW THE AGING PROCESS
The United States spends $8,713 per person
per year on health care, which is double that of
most developed countries. Yet, we are 34th in life
expectancy, trailing countries like Lebanon,
Korea, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom and Chile.
Of the countries in the top 10, seven are
Mediterranean countries (Spain, Andorra, Italy,
San Marino, France, Monaco and Cyprus). Many
experts think the Mediterranean diet high in
olive oil, lean meats, fruits and vegetables,
whole grains and red wine might help people
in these countries live longer. A review of litera-

ture led by Luca Fernndez del Ro from the


University of Crdoba in Spain concluded that
olive oil consumption might be the key to
their longer lives. Olive oil works by stabilizing
genes, protecting cell telomeres (prevents DNA
breakdown), preserving metabolic control and
protecting stem cells. (Molecules, 21: 163, 2016)

M AY 2 0 1 6

www.fitnessrxformen.com

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FitRxWarmUP

HEALTH

CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH
BY

STEVE BLECHMAN AND THOMAS FAHEY, EdD

HIGHER IN PEOPLE
WHO EXERCISE

People who exercise regularly are more likely to drink


moderately. Drinking and training go hand in hand. A
hundred years ago, weightlifting gyms were often located
in the back of saloons. Weightlifters often drank beer as
they lifted. Things havent changed much. Today, drinking
and sports are closely linked. Recreational athletes
typically have a beer or two after a softball game or
bodybuilding contest. Most studies show that moderate
drinkers are twice as likely to exercise regularly as nondrinkers. The results are consistent in men, women and
different age groups. Moderate alcohol consumption is
healthy, as long as its not linked to destructive behavior.
(Health Psychology, 34: 653-660, 2015; The New York
Times, December 2, 2015)

HIIT PROTECTS
AGAINST HEART ATTACK
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) causes changes
in the heart blood vessels that protect the heart during a
heart attack according to a study on rats by researchers
from Shiraz University in Iran. HIIT increases the ability
of heart blood vessels to secrete nitric oxide, which is a
chemical that regulates blood ow. HIIT improved the ability of the coronary arteries to deliver blood to cardiac muscle during times of stress. Researchers studied the effects
of eight weeks of HIIT training on tissue recovery from an
experimentally induced heart attack. The size of damaged
tissue during the heart attack was 23 percent smaller in
animals that practiced HIIT. Intense exercise training prevents heart attacks and lessens their effects when they
occur. (Iran Journal of Public Health, 44: 1270-1276, 2015)

DEADLY SKIN
CANCER LINKED
TO TANNING BEDS
The 10-year survival rate for untreated
melanoma a deadly form of skin cancer is
zero. The incidence of melanoma has increased
alarmingly, particularly among women younger
than 50. A study led by DeAnnLazovich from
the University of Minnesota found a direct link
between use of tanning beds and melanoma
in women, but not men. Researchers compared
681 patients with melanoma with 654 agedmatched control subjects without the disease.
Tanning bed use increased the risk of melanoma by as much as 900 percent compared to
control subjects. Women who tanned frequently
and began tanning at a young age were at
greatest risk of the disease. The melanoma
epidemic will continue as long as frequent use
of tanning beds remains popular. (JAMA Dermatology, published online January 27, 2016)

Tanning Beds for Teens


People with nice tans look healthy and sexy. Its not surprising that more
than 25 million Americans used indoor tanning beds last year. Looks are
deceiving tanning beds are anything but healthy. Tanning can lead to
premature skin aging and skin cancer. A Scandinavian study of more than
100,000 women found that those who used tanning beds increased the
risk of melanoma a deadly form of skin cancer by 55 percent. Younger
people (20-30 years old) who used the beds increased their risk by 150
percent. Cancer risk was greatest in blonds and redheads, and people with
a history of severe sunburn during childhood. The 10-year survival rate for
people with undiagnosed melanoma is zero, so this skin cancer is a serious
matter. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked for a ban
against the non-medical use of articial tanning equipment. Unfortunately,
indoor tanning businesses will thrive as long as Americans see tans as
attractive and healthy. (The New York Times, December 18, 2016)

24

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www.fitnessrxformen.com

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FitRxWarmUP

HEALTH

CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH
BY

STEVE BLECHMAN AND THOMAS FAHEY, EdD

HIGH-INTENSITY WEIGHT TRAINING


BEST FOR REDUCING POST-EXERCISE
BLOOD
PRESSURE
Weight training for six or more weeks reduces systolic blood pressure (higher blood pressure
number) by 3.9 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and diastolic pressure by 3.2 mmHg. Aline de
Freitas from the Federal University of Paraba in Brazil, and colleagues in a study on 16 middleaged women with high blood pressure found that intense weight training (80 percent of maximum
weight) resulted in lower post-exercise resting blood pressure than lower-intensity training
(50 percent of maximum weight). More intense weight training also resulted in greater muscle
blood ow (muscle pump), heart rate and
sympathetic response. Is resistance exercise,
particularly intense weight training, good
for people with high blood pressure? While
intense weight training results in temporary
decreases in blood pressure, it also increases
arterial stiffness that increases the load
on the heart and impairs blood vessel
metabolism. We need more research to
determine the long-term effects of weight
training on high blood pressure. (Journal
Strength Conditioning Research, 29: 3486Massage has little effect on post-exercise
3493, 2015)
recovery according to a meta-analysis and
literature review of 22 studies by scientists
from Saarland University in Saarbrcken,
Germany. Massage worked best following
workouts that combined strength and
endurance training. Massage lasting
ve to 12 minutes was superior to longer
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects the femur
sessions. Untrained people beneted from
(thigh bone) and the tibia (shinbone). It keeps the tibia from
massage more than experienced athletes.
moving forward on the femur, and prevents the tibia from rotating
Researchers concluded that the effects of
inward. Torn ACLs dont heal on their own, and must be repaired
massage on recovery from exercise are small
surgically. The repair usually involves harvesting tissue tendon
and inconsistent. Other studies have found
from the hamstring or patellar tendon, so the athlete must recover
that massage decreased muscle soreness
from two surgeries. Boston surgeons Martha Murray and Lyle
after eccentric exercise (lengthening muscle
Micheli, in a study on pigs, found that inserting a sponge in the
contractions) and that it reduced symptoms
injured part of the ACL and ushing it with the patients blood
in people with chronic back pain. Massage
allowed the ligament to heal on its own. They have tried the
has only minor effects on promoting recovery
surgery on a limited number of patients. The surgery was so
and reducing musculoskeletal pain, but we
successful that they gained approval for more extensive human
need more research on this time-honored and
studies. The surgery might shorten the rehabilitation rate after
popular modality. (Sports Medicine, published
ACL surgery from one year to six months. (The Wall Street
online January 7, 2016)
Journal, February 3, 2016)

MASSAGE
IS ONLY
MARGINALLY
EFFECTIVE

New Surgery Might Speed


Recovery From ACL Injuries

the Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Moderate sh consumption reduces the risk of Alzheimers disease but increases mercury
levels in the brain according to a study of nearly 1,000 people led by Martha Morris from Rush
University Medical Center in Chicago. Consumption of sh oil supplements was not related to
improved brain function. Mercury is a highly toxic pollutant that enters the environment from
coal-using electrical plants, waste incinerators and byproducts of various manufactured goods.
Mercury accumulates in several species of large sh, such as tuna, shark and swordsh. Mercury is
particularly toxic to children and pregnant women. It is linked to neurological abnormalities, damage
to brain centers controlling movement, seizures and developmental and mental retardation. It also
impairs the reproductive system in men, and decreases blood testosterone and sperm production.
Mercury poisoning is a major public health issue in populations that eat a lot of sh, such as the
Inuits in Northern Canada. High mercury levels can injure the kidneys, brain and lungs. Mercury
accumulates in large sh such as tuna, so eating large quantities can cause health problems.
(Journal American Medical Association, 315: 489-497, 2016)

26

FI TNE S S R x

for M E N

MAY 2016

www.fitnessrxformen.com

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FAT LOSS

CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH
BY

STEVE BLECHMAN AND THOMAS FAHEY, EdD

LOST MUSCLE DURING WEIGHT LOSS


SPEEDS WEIGHT GAIN
Only about five percent of people who lose a significant amount of weight keep it off for more than one
year. Despite these depressing statistics, some people lose weight and manage to keep it off. The

National Weight Control Registry keeps track of people who successfully lost at least 30 pounds
and maintained the loss for one year or longer. A shared characteristic among these people is that they
burn an extra 3,000 calories a week, which means they exercise about one hour daily. Also, successful
weight losers restricted calories moderately. You can beat the odds if you maintain muscle mass as you
lose weight. Scientists from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, led by Roel Vink, found that people
who lost the most fat-free mass during weight loss gained weight the fastest. You can preserve muscle
when dieting by exercising vigorously and consuming a high-protein diet. (Obesity, 24: 321-327, 2016)

GAIN
N MUSCLE
E,
LOSE FAT
T FAST

IS FASTING HEALTHY?

Most diet experts advise losing


weight gradually over six to 12 months.
Scientists from McMaster University in
Canada, led by Stuart Phillips and
Thomas Longland, showed that caloric
restriction, high-intensity weight training
and intervals, and high-protein diets
could cause substantial changes in body
composition in only four weeks. Test
subjects cut calories by 40 percent, and
their protein consumption was either 1.2
grams (low protein) or 2.4 grams (high
protein) per kilogram of bodyweight per
day. Both groups performed intense
exercise, six days per week. The high-

protein group lost almost 11 pounds of


fat and gained more than 2.5 pounds
of lean muscle in four weeks, compared to nearly eight pounds and 0.2
pounds in the low-protein group. The
study showed that high-intensity exercise plus caloric restriction triggers substantial changes in body composition
and strength, and that the changes are
most significant during a high-protein
diet. (American Journal Clinical Nutrition,
published online January 27, 2016)

Many people fast for religious reasons, weight loss or metabolic health. Is it good for you? Fasting
regimens include periodic one-day fasts, modified fasts involving caloric restriction and time-restricted fasts involving food restrictions during specific times during the day (religious fasts). A review of
literature led by Ruth Patterson from the Department of Family Medicine & Public Health at the
University of California, San Diego concluded that fasting reduced blood sugar and insulin, which is
linked to chronic type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and caused some weight loss. Fasting is not
physically or mentally harmful. However, fasting causes intense hunger, so it is probably not sustainable. Fasting does not result in greater weight loss than sustained calorie-restricted dieting. We
dont know much about the effects of fasting on sleep, hunger control or physical activity. Fasting
methods that restrict nighttime eating appear to have positive long-term effects on weight control.
Periodic fasting may be a good way to lose weight and promote metabolic health. (Journal Academy
Nutrition and Dietetics, 115: 1203-1212, 2015)

KETOGENIC DIETS
Do Not Impair Muscle Growth
Body fat and proteins break down to produce
energy during fasting or carbohydrate restriction. In
the absence of adequate dietary carbohydrates,
the fatty acids from fat breakdown are incompletely metabolized, which produces ketone bodies and
causes ketosis (accumulation of acetoacetate and
beta-hydroxybutyric acid in the blood). Fats burn in
a flame of carbohydrates. Carbs break down to

pyruvic acid, which supplies structures for the


Krebs cycle a critical metabolic pathway for
metabolizing fats. Can muscles grow during ketosis a time when the body is using muscle protein

for fuel? A study on rats led by Michael Roberts


from the Department of Cell Biology and
Physiology at Auburn University in Auburn,
Alabama found that rats fed a ketogenic diet (20
percent protein, 10 percent carbs, 70 percent fat)
showed similar adaptations to resistance training
as animals fed a normal Western diet (15 percent
protein, 43 percent carbs and 42 percent fat). If
these results apply to humans, this is important
information for athletes trying to lose weight by following a low-carbohydrate diet. (Journal of Applied
Physiology, published online December 29, 2015)

ARE YOU ADDICTED


TO TASTY FOODS?
Ninety-five percent of people who lose weight through dieting and exercise gain it back within a year. Weight programs such as Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, SlimFast and Weight Watchers are goldmines because people return to
them again and again after their long-term weight control programs fail. Metabolism is tightly regulated to balance
energy and nutrient requirements with food intake through centers in the brain that control hunger and satiety (fullness). Sixty-nine percent of Americans are overweight or obese, so the system doesnt work the way it
should. Many people are addicted to food. A literature review by Jose Lerma-Cabrera and co-workers from the
Universidad Autnoma de Chile in Santiago, Chile found that tasty foods are addictive like street drugs. These foods
increase dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a stimulant that triggers craving and obsessive thoughts.
Chronic dopamine stimulation upsets the balance between hunger and satiety, which leads to overeating regardless of the negative consequences. People cant cut down, even though they want to. As with drug addiction, food
addiction is a serious and difficult problem with no easy solution. (Nutrition Journal, 15: 5, 2016)

28

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www.fitnessrxformen.com

MOBILE BODY
COMPOSITION UNITS
COME TO THE
OFFICE PARKING LOT
Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) is the gold
standard for measuring body composition. Until recently, it was
not available to most people because the units are expensive and
mainly restricted to dedicated research labs. Thats changed.
Companies such as FitnessWave and BodySpec offer DXA scans from mobile labs that visit companies such as Google, YouTube, Facebook and Cisco. DXA is widely used to assess the risk and progression of osteoporosis, a progressively worsening condition with aging, but the technique can also
be used to assess the composition of soft tissues. DXA works by aiming X-rays at the body at two different energies. A difference in absorption of the X-ray beam at these two energies calculates the
bone mineral content and soft tissue composition in the scanned region. DXA machines cost in the
tens of thousands of dollars, and are typically found in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, university
research labs, and medical and public health research centers. Entrepreneurs have figured a way to
bring DXA to your office door. (The Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2015)

Dietary Fat-Carbohydrate Balance


Does Not Affect Growth Hormone Levels

Growth hormone helps regulate fat metabolism. Many people take human growth hormone injections because they trigger fat loss. Can we alter natural growth hormone release by manipulating the
composition of the diet? A study led by Hiroto Sasaki from Ritsumeikan University in Shiga, Japan
found that three-day diets high in fat and low in carbohydrate, or low in fat and high in carbohydrate,
had similar effects on growth hormone levels in healthy men. At the end of each three-day diet, the
men rode a stationary bike for 30 minutes at 60 percent of maximum effort. Fat use was higher after
exercise when the men had consumed a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, but these changes were temporary. Short-term diet modifications have no effect on growth hormone levels in blood. (Growth
Hormone & IGF Research, 25: 304-311, 2015)

HIIT and MODERATEINTENSITY EXERCISE


Produce Similar

HEALTH BENEFITS

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) repeated bouts of


high-intensity exercise followed by rest builds fitness quickly.
Canadian researchers found that six sessions of high-intensity
interval training on a stationary bike increased muscle oxidative
capacity (citrate synthase) by almost 50 percent, muscle glycogen by 20 percent and cycling endurance by 100 percent. The
subjects made these amazing improvements exercising a mere
15 minutes in two weeks. This study caused a frenzy in the fitness industry, which changed the way
many people train. Does HIIT provide the same
health benefits as traditional, moderate-intensity
training (MIT)? A study led by Gordon Fisher from the
Department of Human Studies, University of Alabama at
Birmingham, concluded that HIIT and MIT had similar effects
on aerobic capacity, body composition, insulin sensitivity, blood
pressure and blood fats. Twenty-eight sedentary, overweight
men practiced HIIT or MIT for six weeks. The HIIT program consisted of four 30-second sprints on a stationary bike at 85 percent of maximum effort, while MIT consisted of 45 to 60
minutes of cycling at 55 to 65 percent of maximum effort. HIIT
produced the same changes in one hour per week as MIT did in
five hours per week. (PLoS ONE, 10(10): e0138853, 2015)

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SUPPLEMENTS
BY

CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH

STEVE BLECHMAN AND THOMAS FAHEY, EdD

BETA-ALANINE Increases
ENDURANCE And STRENGTH BEETROOT
JUICE
High-intensity exercise increases chemicals such as
hydrogen ion, inorganic phosphate and adenosine diphosphate that slow biochemical reactions and promote fatigue.
Buffers, such as bicarbonate and carnosine, can help neutralize these chemicals and promote performance. Carnosine,
which is made from alanine, is an important antioxidant that
protects cells from destruction and buffers acids that cause
fatigue. Muscle carnosine levels are highly related to maximum exercise capacity. Supplementing carnosine or ala-

nine increases muscle carnosine levels, which enhances


muscle-buffering capacity. Muscle carnosine levels
decrease with age, which reduces the capacity for high-intensity exercise. Jordan Glenn from the University of Arkansas,
and co-workers, found that supplementing beta-alanine for
28 days in female masters athletes increased lower body
muscle strength and exercise capacity, compared to a placebo (fake alanine). Beta-alanine is an effective supplement for
intensely training, older female athletes. (Journal Strength
Conditioning Research, 30: 200207, 2016)

POST-EXERCISE WHEY PROTEIN SUPERIOR


TO CARB OR CARB-WHEY SUPPLEMENTS
Adding carbohydrates to a supplement taken after weight training has no additional effect on increases in muscle mass, abdominal fat loss or total body fat loss according to researchers from
the University of Jyvskyl in Finland. Untrained males participating in a 12-week weight-training program received either
supplements containing 30 grams of whey protein, protein
plus carbohydrates or carbohydrates alone. The drinks were
consumed immediately after the workout. Weight training
increased fat-free mass, muscle size and strength. The

whey protein group showed the greatest decreases in


abdominal fat and increases in fat-free mass. None of
the supplements triggered marked changes in body composition, but whey protein alone had the greatest effects
on abdominal fat and lean mass. These results might not
apply to intensely training strength athletes or weightlifters.
(Journal International Society Sports Nutrition, 12: 48, 2015)

REDUCES MUSCLE
SORENESS
Beetroot juice is a superfood. More
than 50 studies have shown that
beetroot juice enhances blood vessel
health, improves endurance, boosts
oxygen delivery, reduces the work of
the heart during exercise and helps
control blood pressure. A study led
by Tom Clifford from Northumbria
University in the U.K. found that beetroot juice decreased muscle soreness
and promoted recovery in the vertical
jump following high-intensity eccentric exercise (100 drop jumps).
Eccentric exercise, which involves
lengthening muscle contractions, is
linked to muscle soreness and postexercise inflammation. The test subjects drank either an eight-ounce or
four-ounce glass of beetroot juice or
placebo (fake beetroot) immediately
after exercise, and 24 and 48 hours
during recovery. High doses of beet-

root juice reduced muscle soreness


and prevented deterioration in
jumping performance, compared to
the placebo. Delayed onset muscle
soreness is caused by small injuries
to the muscle cells, and further damage triggered by inflammation.
Beetroot works by decreasing inflammation. (European Journal of Applied
Physiology, 116: 353-362, 2016)

LEUCINE Prevents
MUSCLE LOSS During Bed Rest
Too much bed rest will kill you! In 1947, British physician Richard Asher wrote, Teach us to live that we
may dread unnecessary time in bed. Get people up and we may save our patients from an early grave.
Bed rest studies by scientists from NASA showed that three weeks of total bed rest (not allowed to get
out of bed during the experiment) caused a 25 percent decrease in aerobic capacity, a 13 percent decrease
in muscle mass and a 25 to 35 percent decrease in strength and power. Everyone gets sick occasionally,
so how do you maintain precious training gains when you have to stay in bed? A study led by Kirk
English from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas found that supplementing the
amino acid leucine with every meal (0.06 grams per kilogram of bodyweight) during 14 days of bed rest
prevented some changes in muscle mass, strength, power and body fat, compared to a placebo (fake leucine). Leucine is an amino acid that acts as a chemical signal to turn on protein synthesis in the muscle
cells. Leucine can prevent physical deterioration during short breaks in training or when you are confined
to bed with the flu. (American Journal Clinical Nutrition, 103: 465-473, 2016)

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CAFFEINE HELPS

ATHLETES OVERCOME MODERATE PAIN


Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi popularized the saying No pain, no gain. Increases in
muscle size and strength, endurance, power and speed come from pushing harder than before, and
it hurts. Coping with the pain of exercise will help you move up to the next level. Scientists from the
University of Oklahoma, led by Alexander Gonglach and Christopher Black, found that caffeine
helped cyclists better cope with moderate but not severe pain accompanying exercise. In exercise
triggering moderate pain, caffeine (five milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight) allowed athletes to
do more work, ride further, produce more power and reach higher oxygen consumptions. Caffeine
had no effect on exercise performance at intensities producing severe pain. Caffeine will reduce the
pain of exercise, as long as the intensity is not too great. (Medicine and Science in Sport and
Exercise, 48: 287-296, 2016)

ANTIOXIDANTS
INTERFERE WITH
TRAINING GAINS

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are highly reactive chemicals


produced naturally during metabolism by the cell mitochondria
(powerhouses of the cell). They are linked to delayed onset
muscle soreness, fatigue, delayed recovery and cell damage.
Many athletes take antioxidant supplements to suppress the
activity of ROS. This is a mistake. A review of literature by Troy
Merry and Michael Ristow from the Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology in Zurich, Switzerland concluded that antioxidant
supplements might interfere with positive adaptations to exercise. ROS act as signaling chemicals that affect mitochondria formation, immunity and blood sugar regulation. Antioxidant supplements interfere with blood vessel formation, insulin sensitivity, cell
defenses, muscle hypertrophy and cell endurance adaptations. Antioxidant supplements do athletes more harm than good. (Journal of Physiology, published online December 7, 2016)

SUPPLEMENTAL
CITRULLINE

BETTER THAN ARGININE


FOR OLDER PEOPLE
Citrulline is an amino acid that is converted to arginine, which increases levels of
nitric oxide an important chemical that
regulates blood flow throughout the body.
Nitric oxide is an important marker of metabolic health and is essential for well-being.
Citrulline supplements can reduce blood
pressure in people with hypertension, and
can increase blood flow to the penis in men
with mild-to-moderate erectile dysfunction
although it doesnt work as well as Viagra. It
might also prevent muscle loss during aging
a condition called sarcopenia. A study of
older adults by researchers from the
University of Paris Descartes in France found
that citrulline supplements increased blood
arginine levels better than arginine supplements. Citrulline supplements are safe and
well tolerated, and are effective for boosting
arginine and nitric oxide production in older
adults. (British Journal of Nutrition, published online December 1, 2015)

www.fitnessrxformen.com

L-ARGININE
SUPPRESSES
FOOD INTAKE
The amino acid L-arginine improves endurance in
athletes and enhances metabolic health. A study on
rats led by Amin Alamshah from Imperial College
London in the U.K. found that L-arginine stimulated
the release of gut hormones (GLP-1 and PYY) that
reduced food intake by suppressing the hunger center in the brain. The body uses arginine to make
nitric oxide (NO), stimulate growth hormone release,
synthesize creatine, promote tissue healing and
make new proteins all of which boost exercise
performance. It is particularly effective for endur-

ance athletes because it boosts nitric oxide production, muscle blood ow and tissue oxygen
delivery. NO is a chemical secreted by the cells lining the blood vessels, and it increases blood flow
and the delivery of nutrients to skeletal muscle.
Arginine supplements might also help regulate
blood pressure, promote sexual performance and
suppress herpes simplex outbreaks. We need more
research to determine if it is an effective anti-obesity
supplement. (Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism,
published online February 11, 2016)

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SEX

CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH
BY

STEVE BLECHMAN AND THOMAS FAHEY, EdD

RELATIONSHIP
SATISFACTION:

Online Hoookupps Verrsus Salooonss

The Internet age has made it possible to hook up almost immediately using
apps such as Tinder, Blendr and PURE. These hookups are less satisfying than
relationships developed offline the old-fashioned way introduced by friends,
meeting at school or casually meeting at the grocery store according to a study
led by Heather Blunt-Vinti from the University of Arkansas. Researchers surveyed
273 teenagers who visited a publicly funded clinic. Teens reported only moderate
relationship and sexual satisfaction (R&S) with people they met online. They
were also more satised with relationships that took longer to develop. The study
showed that getting to know someone the old-fashioned way is more satisfying
than a quick roll in the hay promoted through the Internet. (Journal Adolescent
Health, 58: 11-16, 2015)

Viagra Prevents Type 2 Diabetes


Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance and reduced
blood insulin levels. Causes include obesity, physical inactivity and genetics. Side effects of the disease
include premature death, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation. The incidence of
the disease has increased 10 times since the early 1980s. Diet and exercise are the rst lines of defense,
followed by drugs such as metformin. Researchers from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in
Nashville, Tennessee found that Viagra improved insulin sensitivity and prevented the progression from
prediabetes (danger of becoming diabetic) to diabetes. The study lasted three months. The benecial effects
of the drug persisted for an additional three months after the study. Viagra improved blood vessel health and
prevented type 2 diabetes. (Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism, 100: 4533-4540, 2015)

THE PENIIS IS TH
HE
WIN
NDOW
W TO TH
HE HEEART

Erectile dysfunction is an early warning sign of coronary artery disease.


Problems with the small blood vessels in the penis show up earlier
than problems with the larger blood vessels in the heart. Men who have
difficulty maintaining erections during intercourse or masturbation have
a higher risk of coronary artery disease than men with normal erections.
Erectile dysfunction is linked to problems with the cells lining the arteries
(endothelial cells), insulin resistance and other markers of blood sugar
regulation problems all of which are risk factors of heart disease. The
penis is indeed a window to the heart. (American Journal of Mens Health,
Published online February 4, 2016)

Some Antidepressant
Drugs Suppress Sexual
Function More Than Others
Depression is a serious disorder that destroys the quality of
life and can lead to suicide. Antidepressant drugs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs) are lifesavers for many people
suffering from this disorder. Unfortunately, these drugs can cause
sexual problems such as delayed ejaculation, impaired orgasms,
decreased sexual desire
and arousal, decreased
sperm production, slowed
sperm transport, damaged
sperm cell membranes
and damage to the DNA
controlling sperm production. Some SSRIs impair
sexual performance more
than others according to
a study led by Alireza Zahiroddin from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical
Sciences in Iran. Research-

ers found that Wellbutrin (bupropion) caused more sexual


problems than Symmetrel (amantadine) during a four-week
clinical study. Both drugs, however, impaired sexual function.
These drugs have some positive effects on sexual performance.
Many studies found that SSRIs improve premature ejaculation
the most common sexual problem in young men. (Iranian Red
Crescent Medical Journal, 17(12): e24998, 2015)

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SEX

CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH
BY

STEVE BLECHMAN AND THOMAS FAHEY, EdD

TESTOSTERONE SUPPLEMENTS

Improve Sexual
Satisfaction in Women
Up to 82 percent of sexually active postmenopausal
women have sexual problems including low sexual
desire, excessive dryness and pain during intercourse.
Many women benet from adding testosterone to
their postmenopausal hormone cocktail according
to a study led by Reuthairat Tungmunsakulchai from
Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. Women received
either testosterone undecanoate (40 milligrams twice
weekly) or a placebo (fake testosterone) with their
supplemental estrogen. Women receiving testosterone
reported a greater sense of well-being, increased
sexual desire, improved lubrication, more orgasms
and improved sexual satisfaction. Testosterone is
a valuable addition to the hormone mix commonly
prescribed to postmenopausal women. (BMC Womens
Health, published online December 2, 2015)

TREATMENT OPTIONS
FOR PRE
EMAT
TURE
E EJA
ACU
ULA
ATIO
ON
Modern women expect staying power and a little sexual savoir-faire. Unfortunately, many men are
two-minute wonders who leave women at and unsatised. Premature ejaculation (PE) is psychologically
traumatic for men and women, and makes men feel sexually inadequate and less masculine. Premature
ejaculation is the most signicant sexual problem in men more prevalent than erectile dysfunction, low
sex drive, delayed or inhibited orgasm, or physical abnormalities of the penis. It affects more than 30 percent
of men, and is most common during the late teens and 20s. A review of literature and meta-analysis led by
Fabio Castiglione from the IRCCS Hospital San Raffaele in Milan, Italy reported that antidepressants that
help maintain serotonin levels in the brain (SSRIs) and erection-promoting drugs such as Viagra (PDE-5
inhibitors) help many men with PE. Dapoxetine seems to be the most effective and safest drug for treatment of
premature ejaculation. Age and experience are the best treatments for premature ejaculation. Researchers
concluded that treatments for premature ejaculation are moderately effective, at best. The best advice for
premature ejaculators is to practice, practice, practice. (European Urology, published online December 31, 2015)

LOW TESTOSTERONE LINKED ANTIDEPRESSANTS


Helpp Preeveent
TO ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
Drugs such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis are the principal
treatments for erectile dysfunction. They increase secretion of
nitric oxide by the cells lining the blood vessels of the penis.
They work by inhibiting cGMP-specic phosphodiesterase type
5 (PDE5), an enzyme that is important in regulating blood ow.
These drugs are effective in about 70 percent of men. Testosterone has an important effect on sex drive and sexual performance. Low testosterone impairs metabolic health, promotes
obesity and plays an important role in promoting erections.
A study on rats by Chinese scientists found that testosterone
supplements improved erectile function by stimulating the
ERK1/2 pathway, which has a direct effect on the cellular DNA
that controls sexual function. It works differently than drugs
such as Viagra. Supplemental testosterone provides an additional treatment for erectile dysfunction. (Zhonghua Nan Ke
Xue, 21: 967-972, 2015)

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Prem
matuure Ejaacuulaatioon

Millions of Americans take antidepressants,


such as Prozac and Zoloft, to treat depression,
anxiety and personality disorders. Several recent
studies found they can help men with premature
ejaculation. Chinese researchers found that
Zoloft plus a sexual technique called four-spot
caressing (caressing the tongue, breasts and
vulva prior to intercourse) increased ejaculation
time. Antidepressant drugs prolonged the time
to ejaculation during sex and improved sexual satisfaction. However, there
are large individual differences in responses to specic drugs. In some men,
antidepressants decreased sexual function and satisfaction. Physicians
should carefully monitor psychological and sexual responses in men taking
these medications. As for four-spot caressing: try it even if you arent a
premature ejaculator. (Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue, 21: 1116-1120,2015)

www.fitnessrxformen.com

FitRxTRAINING
G

SIMEON
PANDA

ACHIEVING THE
ULTIMATE V-TAPER
Our cover model this month, Simeon Panda, is no stranger
to the tness world. But years before he began competing,
became a popular tness cover model and built up an
impressive fan base, Simeon was just like any teenager who
liked to train.
Born and raised in London, Simeon began some weight
training around the age of 16. I weight trained at home for
about ve or six years and slowly built up equipment in my
room to really make it like a real home gym, he said. I had
everything in there preacher curl bench, at bench, wide-

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ABOVE

grip chin-up bar. And then when I nally stepped into a gym,
I realized there were plenty more machines. I sold all my
equipment and just joined the gym.
Simeon eventually utilized his love of tness to become a
personal trainer before entering the corporate world with a job in
nance. But since he still had his knowledge of tness from his
personal training years, he started putting his content out there,
creating a website and e-books. He then earned his Pro card and
nally left his corporate job to focus on tness once again.
Here, Simeon shares his advice on training, what it takes to
sculpt a V-taper, why he trains seven days a week and more.

BY LISA STEUER
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON ELLIS

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xTRAINING
ING

FRONT PLATE RAISE: Hold a plate


in both hands with palms facing each
other. Slowly raise the plate until it
is slightly above shoulder level. Hold
for a second before slowly lowering
to the starting position.

THE CLASSIC V-TAPER


Since the V-taper is all about the relation
of the shoulders to your waist, a lot of
people think that getting a massive back will
automatically lead to an impressive V-taper,
said Simeon. Its true, but its very important
that you have wide-looking shoulders as
wellthat may be even more important, he
added. This is especially important for guys
who dont naturally have a small waist.
But no matter what, creating an
impressive V-taper means you must build
the shoulders and achieve a wide back with
pulldowns, wide-grip chin-ups, wide-grip

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pull-ups, etc. anything that concentrates


on width and work all parts of the shoulder
with front and lateral raises as well.
Of course, a clean diet and low body fat
are also important for achieving that V-taper.
The more that waist comes in, the more
youll get that V-taper look, said Simeon.
Simeons diet includes staples like
whole-grain rice (his main carb source,
which he has almost every day) and pasta,
sweet potatoes, vegetables like broccoli and
asparagus, and lots of sh. In addition, he
eats about eight to 10 eggs a day but only
two yolks a day and only eats red meat

about once per week. A snack might be a


whole-grain rice cake with tuna and avocado,
and some favorite supplements include
creatine, BCAAs for recovery and cod liver oil.
My diet is 99 percent clean, and then
I do have cheat meals, said Simeon. I
used to set days, but now because Im so
disciplined with it I can have a cheat meal
when I like a cheat meal would be anything
that wouldnt go with my normal diet, like a
cheesecake or a burger, it could be I want to
go have some pancakes one day.

www.fitnessrxformen.com

BARBELL FRONT RAISE: Hold a bar with


an overhand grip with elbows slightly bent.
Raise barbell upward until your upper arms
are slightly above horizontal, then lower
and repeat.

LUCKY FOR ME, I NEVER HAD


AN ACTUAL GOAL PHYSIQUE.
I ACTUALLY LOVED THE
TRAINING.

GETTING RIPPED
When it comes to shoulder day, Simeon
advises to start with pressing exercise for
shoulders, such as a military or dumbbell
press. And the reason being is you have all
your energy at the beginning of the workout
and thats the most impactful exercise that
youre going to have on that day, and that
works the shoulder all around.
From there, a dumbbell lateral raise will
hit the medial delt, which is one of the most
important moves for getting the width for the
V-taper, said Simeon.

At the same time you want to make


sure you hit your shoulders from all angles,
which is where front raises come in, as well
as the upright row. In addition, exercises to
hit the rear deltoid should also be included
for full effect.
I could do anything from eight to 10 sets
on an exercise because I believe in really
getting the most out of each exercise with
heavy weight. So what Ill normally do is Ill
warm up and then once Im warm, I like to stay
heavy for as long as possible, for as long as I
have the strength to complete the amount of

www.fitnessrxformen.com

MAY 2016

reps, and those reps can be anything down


to even one rep on an exercise just to get the
strength gains as well as the size gains. And
then I work my way back down after that, also
controlled sets, high repetitions.
Steady-state cardio is also an important
part of Simeons workout routine, but he only
started regularly performing it recently.
Just after Christmas, I decided to buy
myself a treadmill and Ive been doing cardio
in the mornings, like every other day, and
that was a decision I made just because I just
wanted to add a new dynamic to what I do, he

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DUMBBELL LATERAL RAISE:


Begin by grasping a dumbbell
and allow it to hang by your
hips. With a slight bend to your
elbows, raise the dumbbell
up and out to the side until it
reaches shoulder level. At the
top of the movement, the rear of
the dumbbell should be slightly
higher than the front. Slowly
return the weight back to the
start position.

said. I didnt want to devote any more time


to being in the gym so if I have a treadmill
in my house, thats much more convenient.
Simeon will start his day with about 20
minutes of fasted cardio on the treadmill
with an incline but only does this on an
empty stomach because motivation-wise,
jumping out of bed and getting straight to
it works better than there being any kind of
gap between.
He then does his other workouts in the
afternoons, which was how he trained when
he had a nine-to-ve job. Now I still stick to
that regimen and it works for me, he said.
By 5:00 Ive had four meals already, so Im
full of energy and ready to go.

When asked about his favorite body


part to train, Simeon said its difficult to
choose between legs and back. Theres a
common factor between them both its a
day where you really get to push yourself
because they have two of the most taxing
exercises deadlift and squat. Both of those
exercises use most of our muscles and
you really have to give your all. So for me,
theres nothing that feels as good as pushing
a heavy squat, or lifting up a heavy deadlift.

JUST LIFT
As someone who started out as a
skinny teenager, Simeon knows what it
takes to build a ripped physique. Its the

TRAINING SPLIT
Simeon trains seven days a week mostly
because he enjoys the training and being in the
gym. His workout sessions can be anything
from an hour and a half to two hours.
Ive been training for legs twice a day for a
few years it was something I really wanted to
bring up, said Simeon. So I believe that if you
want to improve on a body part that you have to
give it more time thats the only way its going
to catch up.
MONDAY: CHEST
TUESDAY: BACK
WEDNESDAY: LEGS
THURSDAY: SHOULDERS
FRIDAY: ARMS
SATURDAY: Miscellaneous day whatever
needs improvement
SUNDAY: LEGS

UPRIGHT ROW: Hold bar and stand


with palms facing the front of the
thighs. With a relaxing neck and
traps, lift the bar up to front of the
shoulder, with elbows facing out.
Lower and repeat.

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same advice I always give and it sounds so basic, but its the
one thing that helped me its consistency, he said. People
talk about genetics, etcetera. But you really dont know what
your genetics hold for you unless you train for a long time and
see how your body changes. I could have trained for the rst
year or two and given up. Lucky for me, I never had an actual
goal physique. I actually loved the training.
Thats the other piece of the advice he always shares
with people enjoy your training instead of being xated
on a goal. It shouldnt be a chore. And before you know it, a
couple of years will have passed and youll have achieved your
physique. You dont have to get motivated to do something
that you enjoy.

BEYOND FITNESS
At the time of this interview, Simeon was planning to move
to the U.S. to focus more on an acting career. In addition, hell
be concentrating on his clothing line SP Aesthetics Sportswear
(sp-aesthetics.com), which was launched in January of last
year. The response has been crazy, he said. At the expos,
the feedback that we always get is about the quality and thats
perfect because thats what were actually going for.

THE V-TAPER PROGRAM


Simeon typically performs anywhere from eight to 10 sets and six to 20 reps of each exercise.
Adjust according to your tness level and goals. If you want work on your V-taper, in addition to
these exercises you should also include pulldowns, wide-grip chin-ups, wide-grip pull-ups, and
pressing exercises such as dumbbell and military presses.

YOU DONT HAVE TO


GET MOTIVATED TO DO
SOMETHING THAT YOU
ENJOY.

Visit Simeon on Facebook


(Simeon Panda Official), Twitter/
Instagram (SimeonPanda) and at
Simeonpanda.com.

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BY NICK TUMMINELLO

PHOTOGRAPHY BY PER BERNAL

THE BEST EXERCISE


METHOD FOR

FAT
LOSS
A

2015 systematic review and meta-analysis published in the


Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders came to two
conclusions about the preponderance of evidence when it
comes to exercise and fat loss. These two conclusions are:
1. Resistance (RT) was more effective than endurance
training (ET) or a combination of RT and ET, (particularly when
progressive training volume of two to three sets for six to 10
reps at an intensity at or greater than 75 percent of 1RM, utilizing
whole-body and free-weight exercises).
2. When exercising for the purpose of maximizing fat loss, the
focus of the resistance training should be on producing a large
metabolic stress.1
The take-home point from these results is: When training for
the goal of maximizing fat loss, you dont want to do traditional
resistance training methods (i.e., bodybuilding-style strength
training), instead you want to use metabolic resistance training.

METABOLIC
RESISTANCE
TRAINING
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BENCH PRESS: Lying on a bench, use a wide overhand
grip to dismount the barbell from the rack over the upper
chest. Lower the weight to the chest and press upward
until arms are extended, and repeat.

METABOLIC RESISTANCE TRAINING IS DESIGNED TO


HELP YOU MAXIMIZE FAT LOSS WHILE MINIMIZING
MUSCLE LOSS BY MAXIMIZING THE METABOLIC
DEMAND OF EACH RESISTANCE-TRAINING WORKOUT.

RESISTANCE TRAINING METHODS:


METABOLIC STRENGTH TRAINING VS. BODYBUILDING
Traditional bodybuilding methods are great for maximizing muscle growth
because thats what theyre designed to do. That said, since the principle of training
specificity dictates that different training goals require different types of training
methods, as no single type of training method is best for all goals, this means that
traditional bodybuilding methods are not designed to maximize the metabolic
impact of each resistance-training workout. Thats where metabolic strength training
comes in.
Put simply, the metabolic resistance training is designed to help you maximize
fat loss while minimizing muscle loss by maximizing the metabolic demand of each
resistance-training workout. This increases the caloric expenditure, not only during
the workout, but also for up to two days after the workout due to the effects of excess
post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), otherwise known as the afterburn.2
In other words, although traditional bodybuilding methods can certainly create
a metabolic impact, this isnt what theyre primarily designed to do, whereas the
metabolic strength training concepts discussed here are.

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THE THREE CS OF METABOLIC


RESISTANCE TRAINING
When it comes to using resistance
training concepts with the primary
goal of maximizing the metabolic cost
of each workout in order to accelerate
metabolism and decrease body fat
while building and keeping muscle,
there are three training concepts
I emphasize in my book, Strength
Training for Fat Loss, which I call the
three Cs of metabolic strength training:

1. STRENGTH-TRAINING CIRCUITS: A
continuous series of exercises using
multiple pieces of equipment, which
involves sequences of three, four
or five compound exercises using
heavy loads and alternating between
upper- and lower-body exercises.
For example, a Big Four Circuit
would look like this: six to eight reps
of an upper-body pushing exercise
(e.g., bench press), six to eight reps
of a lower-body hip exercise (e.g.,
deadlift), six to eight reps of an
upper-body pulling exercise (e.g.,
one-arm dumbbell row), lower-body
leg exercise (e.g., dumbbell reverse
lunge). Thats one round of the circuit.
Youd perform three to four rounds,
resting two to three minutes between
rounds.
2. STRENGTH-TRAINING COMPLEXES:
A continuous series of exercises using
the same piece of equipment. As
an example, perform the following
exercises back-to-back without resting
between exercises: eight to 10 reps
of dumbbell chest presses plus eight
to 10 reps (on each arm) of one-arm
dumbbell rows, plus eight to 10 reps
of dumbbell squat jumps (holding the
dumbbells by your sides), then finish
by performing 10-12 reps of overhead
shoulder presses. Thats one set of
the complex. Youd perform two to
four sets, resting two to three minutes
between sets.
3. STRENGTH-TRAINING
COMBINATIONS:
Multiple strength-training
movements blended together to make
one exercise, using the same piece
of equipment. An example is to grab
a barbell (with the appropriate load
for your strength level) and perform a
bent-over row plus deadlift plus hang
clean plus overhead push press. That
would be one rep of the combination
exercise. Of course, youd repeat this
sequence for six to eight reps per set.
Youd do three to four sets, resting two
to three minutes between sets.

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FOUR REASONS THE THREE CS


ARE SO EFFECTIVE
There are four reasons why the three Cs
of metabolic strength training are extremely
effective at helping you to burn fat.

1. THEYRE HIGH INTENSITY.


Workouts that utilize the three Cs use
challenging loads or lighter loads moved fast,
both of which create a high intensity in nature and
force you to work hard each time you move the
weight. The higher the intensity, the greater the
metabolic impact!3

2. THEY INVOLVE THE ENTIRE BODY.


Since the metabolic cost of a given exercise
relates directly to the amount of muscle worked,4
each of the three Cs of metabolic strength
training uses the entire body, involving your
upper body, lower body and core muscles. Put
simply, the more muscle you work, the calories
you burn, the more productive your workouts will
be and the faster you will lose body fat.

3. THEY DEMAND EXTENDED REPETITIVE EFFORT.


Research consistently reports that a direct
relationship exists between the duration of
exercise and excess post-exercise oxygen
consumption (EPOC), which is the number of
calories expended (above resting values) after
an exercise bout.2 Metabolic resistance training
methods take more time to complete than
traditional bodybuilding sets. So, not only do they
require you to perform high-intensity, total-body
efforts, but also youll be performing them for
extended bursts.

BARBELL DEADLIFT: Bending at the knees and hips, grab a loaded barbell with
an overhand grip, a littler wider than shoulder-width apart. Stand up without
allowing your lower back to round, and thrust your hips forward as you squeeze
your glutes. Pause for a moment before lowering the bar back to the oor,
keeping it as close to your body as you can.

4. YOURE LESS LIKELY TO LOSE MUSCLE


WHEN YOURE USING IT.
A 1999 study published in the Journal of the
American College of Nutrition looked at two
groups of obese subjects put on identical very
low (800) calorie diets. One group was given an
aerobic exercise only protocol (walking, biking or
jogging four times per week), and the other group
was given resistance training only three times per
week. After 12 weeks, both groups lost weight.
The aerobic exercise group lost 37 pounds, 27
of which was fat and 10 of which was muscle.
However, the resistance-training group lost 32
pounds and 32 pounds were fat, while zero was
muscle.5
In other words, the resistance-training group
lost significantly more fat and didnt lose any
muscle. Not to mention when resting metabolic
rate was calculated after the study, it was found
that the aerobic (cardio) group was burning 210
fewer calories daily. In contrast, the resistancetraining group had increased their metabolism by
63 calories per day.
You dont have to be an exercise scientist to
see how the combination of these four factors
will burn a ton of calories and be super effective
for losing fat and building metabolic muscle,
something that a morning stroll on the treadmill
simply cant match.

www.fitnessrxformen.com

ONE-ARM DUMBBELL ROW: Using a at bench and a


dumbbell, position your body on the bench, with one knee and
one hand on the bench, while the other foot is planted rmly
on the ground, and the arm on the same side as the foot on the
ground is grasping the dumbbell. Begin with your arm straight,
back straight, head up and chest out. Using your back, pull the
dumbbell toward your body. Slowly lower and repeat.

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A WORD ON CARDIO AND
NUTRITION FOR FAT LOSS
In the past, you may have heard
about research, such as the 2012 study
published in the Journal of Applied
Physiology, which looked at the effects
of aerobic and/or resistance training on
body mass and fat mass in overweight
or obese adults, and concluded that
a program of combined Aerobic
Training and Resistance Training did
not result in significantly more fat mass
or body mass reductions over Aerobic
Training alone.6 Although it seems
these results contradict the research
discussed here, its far more likely that
those who did cardio lost more fat than
those who did strength training simply
because cardio burns more calories per
minute than traditional strength-training
methods. And, its well established in the
research that fat loss comes from being
in a caloric deficit (i.e., burning more
calories than you consume).7
Its important to note this isnt to
discount that some calories are more
nutrient dense than others; weve all
heard the term empty calories before,
but one can still gain fat from eating
healthy nutrient dense foods if they eat
too many calories.
Now, there are two ways to create a
caloric deficit. You can either eat fewer
calories or you can eat the same amount
of calories and increase your activity
level to burn more calories. With this in
mind, instead of spending the extra time
doing more cardio to burn (lets say) 300
calories, you can simply cut 300 calories
out of your diet each day and end up
with the same result without having to
bother with all the boredom and time
consumption involved with the additional
cardio. This is why cardio training
isnt emphasized in my book, Strength
Training for Fat Loss, as in most cases, you
essentially eliminate the need for it (from
a fat loss perspective) when you simply
eat fewer calories to create a deficit.
Its important to note that this
information is not intended to convince
you to quit running or cycling, especially
if you enjoy these activities. Its simply
to inform you that these activities have
not lived up to their hype as being the
necessary part of the fat loss process.

DUMBBELL CHEST
PRESS: Lie down
on a at bench
with a dumbbell in
each hand. Raise
the dumbbells
up above you as
pictured before
slowly lowering and
repeating.

THE BOTTOM LINE


In summary, when it comes to fat loss,
you wont find a more science-based
exercise programming, sensible strategy
than this: Focus on strength training to
improve the shape of your body and
watch your diet (instead of doing lots of
extra cardio) to reveal your shape.

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DUMBBELL REVERSE LUNGE (not pictured): Stand


with dumbbells at your sides. Step back into a lunge
with one leg until the knee of rear leg almost touches
the oor. Keep your torso upright. Return to start position
and repeat with other leg, alternating legs each time.
DUMBBELL SQUAT JUMP (not pictured): Holding
dumbbells at your side, start with feet a little closer
than shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward in a deep
squat position. Jump up and when you come back down,
land back into a squat. Repeat.
BENT-OVER ROW (not pictured): With knees slightly
bent and holding a barbell in front of you, bend over
with back straight. Pull the bar to your upper waist and
then return to starting position, extending arms until
shoulders are stretched downward. Repeat.
HANG CLEAN (not pictured): Stand with a barbell,
holding it with an overhand grip slightly wider than
shoulder width. Feet should be pointed forward and be
hip-width apart or slightly wider. Bend your knees and
hips so that the barbell touches the middle of your thigh
with your shoulders over bar and arms straight. Execute
the motion by jumping upward, shrugging shoulders
and pulling barbell upward with the arms, allowing the
elbows to ex out to the sides. The bar should be kept
close to the body during this movement. Catch the bar on
the shoulders while getting into a squat position. At the
bottom of the squat, immediately stand up.
OVERHEAD PUSH PRESS (not pictured): Grasp
the barbell with an overhand grip, slightly wider than
shoulder-width apart. The bar should be positioned
chest high, and retract your head back. Execute the
motion by bending the knees, hips and ankles slightly.
Then, explosively drive upward with the legs, driving
the barbell up off the shoulders and extending the arms
overhead. Return barbell to shoulders and repeat.

OVERHEAD SHOULDER PRESS: Seated


with your feel about shoulder-width apart,
hold a dumbbell in each hand, raising them
to head height and elbows at about 90
degrees. Lift the dumbbells straight up until
they almost touch and pause for moment at
the top. Lower dumbbells and repeat.

www.fitnessrxformen.com

Model: Whitney Reid, the national sales manager for BPI


Sports. For more information, visit bpisports.com.
Nick Tumminello is the owner of Performance University in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida. Hes also the author of the book Strength
Training for Fat Loss and the DVD by the same name. For more
information visit www.NickTumminello.com.

References:
1. Clark JE. Diet, exercise or
diet with exercise: comparing the
effectiveness of treatment options for
weight-loss and changes in fitness
for adults (18-65 years old) who are
overfat, or obese; systematic review
and meta-analysis. J Diabetes Metab
Disord. 2015 Apr 17;14:31.
2. Chantal A. Vella, PhD, Len
Kravitz, PhD. Exercise After-Burn:
A Research Update. IDEA Fitness
Journal. November 2004.
3. George Abboud, et. al., Effects
of Load-Volume on EPOC After
Acute Bouts of Resistance Training in
Resistance-Trained Men, Journal of
Strength and Conditioning Research,
27(7), 2013.
4. Elliot, DL, Goldberg, L, and
Kuehl, KS. Effect of resistance training
on excess post-exercise oxygen
consumption. J Appl Sport Sci Res 6:
77-81, 1992.
5. Bryner RW, et al. Effects of
resistance vs. aerobic training
combined with an 800 calorie liquid
diet on lean body mass and resting
metabolic rate. J Am Coll Nutr. 1999
Apr;18(2):115-21.
6. Willis et al., Effects of aerobic
and/or resistance training on body
mass and fat mass in overweight or
obese adults. J App Phys., vol. 113 no.
12: 1831-1837; 2012
7. Frank M. Sacks, M.D., George
A. Bray, M.D., et al. Comparison of
Weight-Loss Diets with Different
Compositions of Fat, Protein, and
Carbohydrates. N Engl J Med 2009;
360:859-873February 26, 2009

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BY STEVE BLECHMAN AND THOMAS FAHEY, ED.D.

CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH
Here at FitnessRx for Men, we are always bringing you the best cutting-edge
research in training and fat loss. In this special feature, weve compiled 25
of the best facts on fat loss, and they are all based on scientific studies to
really help you reach your goals. Get ready to take your physique to a new
level with these proven techniques and methods.
1. HIIT AND TRADITIONAL AEROBICS PRODUCE
SIMILAR RESULTS
High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
involves repetitions of intense exercise
lasting 10 to about 180 seconds, followed by
rest or reduced exercise intensity. Scores
of studies have shown that HIIT increases
fitness faster than traditional, moderateintensity exercise. Its effects on weight loss
are less certain, particularly in obese and
overweight people. Norwegian researchers

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found that obese women lost equal amounts


of weight participating in HIIT, traditional
aerobics or a combination of HIIT and
aerobics. Ninety percent of success in life
comes from showing up. Showing up is hard
for a lot of people. This study showed that
people benefit from many types of exercise
programs. Vary your program to make it
more interesting. (International Journal
Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism,
published online October 17, 2015)

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2. FIVE REASONS YOU GAIN WEIGHT
Weight and fat are national
obsessions because more than two-thirds
of Americans are overweight or obese.
Most people have misperceptions about
weight gain. Common beliefs include
low metabolism, high digestion of food,
damaged metabolism due to chronic
dieting, eating one or two large meals
per day instead of many small meals,
and consuming too many carbs. All of
these are urban legends and are not true.
Claude Bouchard from the Pennington
Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana
has identified five factors linked to
weight gain: 1) low muscle mass, which
reduces metabolic rate; 2) low fitness,
which decreases the capacity to expend
calories through physical activity; 3)
low testosterone, which is linked to the
capacity to build muscle; 4) insensitivity
to the hormone leptin, which helps
control appetite and metabolic rate and
5) inability to directly burn dietary fat as
fuel, which results in greater fat storage.
No single factor is responsible for weight
gain. The complexity of body fat control
helps explain why it is so difficult to lose
weight and keep it off. (New Scientist,
November 15, 2014)

3. GUT MICROBES LINKED TO OBESITY


The human gastrointestinal tract
contains more than 100 trillion microbes.
Imbalances in gut microbes have
been linked to obesity, the metabolic
syndrome, inflammation, immune system
breakdown, bad breath, gum disease,
coronary artery disease, cancer, back
pain, allergies and autism according
to a literature review by Davide Festi
and colleagues from the University of
Bologna in Italy. Obese and lean humans
have different gut microbe populations,
which might account for individual
differences in weight gain and low-grade
inflammation. Bacteria-laden foods
called probiotics, containing bacteria
such as Lactobacilli acidophilus and
Bifidobacteria may be the next big health
food craze because they stabilize the
microbe population in the gut. Exercise
also alters the gut microbes, which
promotes weight loss. (World Journal Of
Gastroenterology, 20: 16078-16094, 2014)

4. HIGH PROTEIN INTAKE MAINTAINS


METABOLIC RATE DURING LOW-CALORIE
DIETS
Losing weight and maintaining lost
weight is difficult because metabolic
rate (i.e., calorie burning) gradually
slows, which makes it difficult to sustain
a negative caloric balance. Researchers
from Maastricht University in the
Netherlands found that consuming a

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high-protein, low-calorie diet maintained


metabolic rate better than a highcarbohydrate, low-protein and lowcalorie diet. During the early phases
of the weight-loss program, the highprotein diet prevented hunger but this
disappeared during the later phases of
the 12-week experiment. Consuming
high amounts of protein during dieting
and weight maintenance will help
maintain metabolic rate and increase
the chances for successful weight loss.
(Clinical Nutrition, published online
November 8, 2014)

5. BEST WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT: DIET,


EXERCISE OR DIET + EXERCISE?
Want to lose 20 pounds? Should you
go on a starvation diet, run 20 miles
a week or reduce calorie intake and
exercise moderately? Richard Washburn
and co-workers from the University of
Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City
performed a detailed literature review
of studies published between 1990 and
2013. Caloric restriction caused the
greatest weight loss. Dieting was more
effective than aerobics plus a normal
diet or diet plus exercise. However, most
studies included only about 30 minutes
of exercise. In 2005, the U.S. Department
of Agriculture guidelines recommended
one to one-and-a-half hours of aerobic
exercise per day for people wanting
to lose weight or maintain lost weight.
This was based on doubly labeled water
studies that precisely measured the
minimum amount of exercise necessary
to lose weight. Few people are willing
to do that much exercise. In the long
run, people lost the most weight and
maintained lost weight best when they
combined diet and exercise. (PLOS ONE
9(10): e109849, 2014)

have the perfect storm for a miserable


day. Christoph Thaiss and co-workers
from the Weizmann Institute of Science
in Israel, in a study on mice, found that
jet lag promotes obesity by altering the
microbes in the gut. Crossing time zones
throws off the normal feeding patterns
of the microbes that bias the metabolism
toward fat storage. This study might
explain why shift workers and frequent
fliers have an increased risk of the
metabolic syndrome a group of
symptoms that include high blood
pressure, high blood fats, abdominal
obesity, poor blood sugar regulation and
inflammation. (Cell 159: 514-529, 2014)

7. DRINKING WATER BEFORE MEALS


PROMOTES WEIGHT LOSS
An easy way to lose weight is to
drink a pint of water before major
meals according to a study led by
Helen Parretti from Oxford University
in the U.K. Thirty minutes before each
major meal, people drank a pint of
water (water group) or imagined their
stomachs were full (think group). After
12 weeks, the water group lost 5.3
pounds and the think group lost 2.6
pounds. Drinking water before meals is
a simple, safe and effective way to lose
weight. Weight loss from drinking water
before meals three times a day was
similar to that achieved with commercial
weight-loss programs. It is not known if
pre-meal water consumption will cause
long-term weight loss. (Obesity, 23: 17851791, 2015)

8. MELATONIN HELPS CUT FAT


Melatonin is a hormone produced
by the pineal gland in the brain
that promotes sleep. It is produced
cyclically in response to darkness and
light. Supplementing melatonin might
promote weight control according to
the results of a study on mice by Italian
researchers. Lean and obese mice

6. JET LAG PROMOTES OBESITY


Flying sucks! Combine cramped
seating, long lines at the security gates,
flight delays, high prices, limited
baggage allowance and cabins packed
with disease-ridden passengers and you

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were given melatonin or a placebo in


their drinking water for eight weeks.
Melatonin reduced weight, fat storage
area and reversed fat tissue enlargement
in the obese mice, but not the lean mice.
It worked by decreasing inflammation
and normalizing adipokines, which are
important fat-signaling chemicals. It
also activated brown fat and enhanced
energy expenditure. Melatonin
supplements help promote sleep and
weight control. (Nutrition Research, 35:
891-900, 2015)

9. HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING


PROMOTES APPETITE CONTROL
High-intensity interval training
(HIIT) involves repeated repetitions of
high-intensity exercise lasting 10 to 120
seconds, followed by rest or reduced
exercise intensity. HIIT produces rapid
improvements in endurance, maximal
oxygen consumption, glycogen
storage and muscle cell mitochondria
(cell powerhouses) in less time than
traditional exercise training. Its effects on
obesity and weight control are not totally
understood. Aaron Sim and colleagues
from the University of Western Australia
found that HIIT practiced for 12 weeks
reduced appetite in overweight, inactive
men better than continuous exercise.
The HIIT program consisted of repeated
bouts of exercise on a stationary
bike for 15 seconds at maximum
intensity, followed by one minute of
rest. Traditional training involved 30
to 45 minutes of continuous exercise
on a stationary bike at 60 percent
effort. Appetite was assessed during
test meals. The HIIT group showed
improvements in appetite regulation
during the test meals, while there were
no changes in the traditional exercise
group or controls. HIIT also improved
blood sugar regulation. HIIT is a good
training method for weight control
and management of insulin sensitivity.
(Medicine Science Sports Exercise, 47:
2441-2449, 2015)

10. REGULAR EXERCISE MAINTAINS DAILY


CALORIC EXPENDITURE AFTER WEIGHT LOSS
More than 66 percent of Americans
are obese or overweight. Obesity
increases the risk of heart disease,
stroke, back pain, poor metabolic health
and premature death. A recent Gallup
poll found that 51 percent of Americans
want to lose weight, while only 26
percent are making a serious effort to
do so. Weight maintenance is extremely
difficult. Ninety-five percent of people
who lose weight will gain it back again
within a year. One reason for this is
that metabolic rate slows after weight

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loss, making it extremely difficult to


maintain the losses. An important study
led by Gary Hunter from the University
of Alabama at Birmingham showed that
aerobic or resistance exercise helps
maintain metabolic rate after weight
loss. Researchers studied physically
inactive, obese middle-aged women
who lost an average of 25 pounds. One
group did aerobics, another group lifted
weights, while another was sedentary.
The exercise groups, particularly
the resistance trainers, were able
to maintain metabolic rate (calorie
burning) after weight loss, which is
extremely important for preventing
weight regain. (Medicine Science Sports
Exercise, 47: 1950-1957, 2015)

12. LOW-FAT DIETS DONT WORK


During the past 35 years, nutritional
experts have advised people to cut
down the amount of fats they consume.
The origin of this recommendation
was the United States Senate Select
Committee on Nutrition and Human
Needs Committee chaired by former
U.S. Senator George McGovern (1968
and 1977). This productive committee
established reduced intake of fats and
increased consumption of carbohydrates
as national goals. Americans took
this advice to heart, and obesity rates
went through the stratosphere. Deirdre
Tobias and co-workers from Brigham
and Womens Hospital and Harvard
University conducted a meta-analysis
that pooled the results of 53 randomized
trials on the effects of low-fat diets on
long-term weight loss. Low-fat diets do
not cause more weight loss than diets
higher in fat. Fat has been demonized
for nearly half a century, based more
on political considerations than
scientific fact. (The Lancet Diabetes &
Endocrinology, 3: 968-979, 2015)

13. INTERMITTENT FASTING


FOR WEIGHT LOSS

11. DAIRY FOODS BUT NOT CALCIUM


SUPPLEMENTS PROMOTE FAT LOSS
Several large population studies
found that dairy food consumption was
linked to lower body fat. As expected,
the dairy industry jumped on these
findings to promote their products.
These studies didnt find that eating
more dairy foods will make people
thinner only that dairy consumption is
related to lower body fat. Alison Booth
and colleagues from Deakin University
in Australia performed a meta-analysis
that pooled the results of studies on the
effects of dairy consumption and calcium
supplements on bodyweight and body
composition. Calcium supplements had
no effect on weight or fat loss. Dairy
consumption as part of a reduced-calorie
diet, on the other hand, caused fat loss
but not weight loss. The researchers
concluded that in the short term (four
months), including three daily servings
of dairy might promote fat loss. (British
Journal Nutrition, 114: 1013-1025, 2015)

Success in many sports requires


minimal body fat and lean muscle
mass. Intermittent fasting might help
athletes achieve this goal according
to an article by Grant Tinsley, Joshua
Gann and Paul La Bounty. Athletes must
make weight in sports like weightlifting,
powerlifting and martial arts. Constant
dieting can sap energy and trigger
glycogen depletion in the muscles and
liver, which makes it difficult to train
hard. Intermittent fasting, involving
periods of fasting and non-fasting, might
help athletes lose weight and maintain
energy for intense training. Fasting every
other day or even once a week results in
a calorie deficit over time that promotes
fat loss. Modified fasting allows athletes
to consume some calories, which might
be more realistic and palatable. Short
fasts are best for athletes because they
dont cause significant muscle loss.
Athletes can fast on non-exercise days so
they have plenty of energy for physical
activity. We dont completely understand
how intermittent fasting affects
performance. (Strength and Conditioning
Journal, 37: 60-71, 2015)

14. FAT BURNING GREATEST AFTER


AN OVERNIGHT FAST
Exercising following an overnight
fast will burn more fat than exercising
after breakfast, according to Korean
researchers. Test subjects reported to the
laboratory for a 30-minute treadmill run,

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either fasted or after breakfast. When
fasted, blood sugar was lower and free
fatty acids, growth hormone and cortisol
were higher than when the subjects ate
breakfast. Consistently exercising while
fasted in the morning should result in
greater fat burning and fat loss than
exercising after breakfast. (Journal of
Physical Therapy Science, 27:1929-1932,
2015)

15. WAKAME SEAWEED FIGHTS FAT


Wakame (brown) seaweed contains
a chemical called fucoxanthin (FX) that
inhibits fat cell growth and promotes
fat release. A review of literature by
scientists from the Ukraine and Korea
noted that most studies on FX have
examined its effect on rats and mice.
To date, no large-scale studies have
been done in humans. Animal studies
have shown that FX reduces total body
fat and abdominal fat, promotes blood
sugar control, prevents fat accumulation
in the liver and improves the blood
fat profile. Some studies have found
that FX increases brown fat activation
and increases energy expenditure.
Brown seaweed is a natural product
with no known toxic effects. (Nutrition,
Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases,
published online June 3, 2015)

deficiency can make it difficult to lose


weight. The initial vitamin D level is a
good predictor of weight loss during
calorie restriction. People with low
vitamin D levels have difficulty losing
weight, while those with the highest
levels lost the most weight. People
should get 400-800 units of vitamin
D from the diet, supplements or sun
exposure. Low vitamin D levels are a
problem in many people because they
spend much of their time indoors and
shun vitamin D-fortified milk in favor of
other beverages. (Obesity Reviews, 16:
341-349, 2015)

18. HIGH IRON LEVELS LINKED TO OBESITY


High blood iron, as measured by
ferritin, is a marker of poor metabolic
health and is associated with an
increased risk of heart attack. An
Italian study found that high iron levels
reflect total body inflammation. They
found a relationship between body
mass index (weight in proportion to
height) and blood iron levels. Blood iron
levels decreased during weight loss
caused by low-calorie dieting. Blood
iron levels were also linked to high
blood triglycerides and abnormal liver
function. (Nutrition, Metabolism and
Cardiovascular Diseases, published
online March 4, 2015)

16. CHILI INGREDIENT IS AN


EFFECTIVE FAT FIGHTER
Capsaicin (a capsaicinoid) is the
chemical that puts the zing in chili
peppers. Supplements containing
capsaicin increase caloric expenditure
for several hours and might be useful
as a weight-loss supplement. Capsaicin
works by increasing levels of the
fight-or-flight hormone epinephrine
(adrenaline), which speeds fat use
and increases metabolism. A study on
mice by Baskaran Thyagarajan from the
University of Wyoming, and colleagues,
showed that increasing capsaicin in their
diet prevented obesity by increasing
energy expenditure and metabolism.
Most studies show that capsaicin
increases daily caloric expenditure by
four to five percent and fat use by 10 to
16 percent. It is not a magic bullet that
triggers massive weight loss, but helps
promote weight control over time. (Study
presented at Biophysical Society Annual
Meeting, February 8, 2015)

17. LOW VITAMIN D LEVELS PREVENT


WEIGHT LOSS
Vitamin D deficiency is 35 percent
higher than normal in obese people,
and 24 percent higher in overweight
people according to a meta-analysis
by Brazilian researchers. Vitamin D

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hormone that normally suppresses


appetite. Some studies have found
that inadequate sleep increased
the risk of obesity by 200 percent.
Inadequate sleep was also linked to
diabetes and high blood pressure.
Sleep disturbances are surprisingly
common in children and adults and can
cause serious health problems, such as
memory loss, coronary artery disease,
stroke and daytime sleepiness
and contribute to automobile and
workplace accidents. See your
physician for a sleep study if you have
insomnia, snore loudly, stop breathing
for 20 seconds or more during sleep
or wake frequently at night. (Obesity
Reviews, 16: 771-782, 2015)

20. HOT TUB THERAPY PROTECTS AGAINST


INSULIN RESISTANCE
Sitting in a hot tub after a monster
workout is one of lifes great pleasures.
Pain from sore muscles and joints seems
to melt away. A review of literature by
scientists from the Federal University
of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil found
that heat therapy from a sauna or hot
tub could help fight metabolic and
cardiovascular disease. Heat therapy
reduces fasting blood sugar, glycated
hemoglobin (a measure of long-term
blood sugar control) and body fat. It also
increases nitric oxide secretion, which
is an important chemical regulating
blood flow. Heat therapy increases heat
shock protein 70, which improves insulin
sensitivity, prevents fat accumulation and
suppresses inflammation. Sitting in a hot
tub has measurable beneficial effects
on health. (Current Opinion Clinical
Nutrition Metabolic Care, 18: 374-380,
2015)

21. HIGH-PROTEIN, LOW-CALORIE DIETS


PROMOTE WEIGHT LOSS

19. SLEEP DEPRIVATION INCREASES


OBESITY RISK
Lack of sleep disrupts energy
balance, which determines whether
you gain weight, lose weight or stay the
same according to a literature review
and meta-analysis conducted by
David Allison and colleagues from the
University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Sleep deprivation increases a hormone
called ghrelin, which promotes
appetite. It also reduces leptin, a

MAY 2016

High-protein diets are effective for


preventing or treating obesity because
they increase metabolism, suppress
appetite and reduce caloric intake
according to a literature review led
by Heather Leidy from the University
of Missouri School of Medicine, and
colleagues. Comparisons of weight-loss
diets high in carbohydrates, protein or
mixed nutrients consistently show that
the high-protein diets are most effective
for weight loss. As expected, highprotein diets are most effective in people
who actually adhere to the weight-loss
program. High-protein diets contain
between 1.2 and 1.6 grams of protein
per kilogram of bodyweight. Each meal
should contain 25 to 30 grams of protein.
(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
published online April 29, 2015)

www.fitnessrxformen.com

22. SUBSTITUTING PROTEIN FOR CARBS


PROMOTES LONG-TERM FAT LOSS
Glycemic load is a measure of how much a food increases
blood sugar over time. Foods such as refined grains, starches
and sugars have a high glycemic load and promote weight
gain. Decreasing the glycemic load by increasing protein
intake could have a significant effect on long-term weight
control according to a Harvard University study led by
Jessica Smith. Changing the dietary composition toward more
protein and away from simple carbohydrates may be just as
important as counting calories for weight loss. Foods such as
yogurt, seafood, skinless chicken and nuts are good choices
for weight reduction. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
published online April 8, 2015)

23. NEW ROLE FOR BROWN FAT IN THE CONTROL OF METABOLISM


Scientists have known about brown fat for years. However, it
was only recently that we discovered its importance in human
physiology. Unlike white fat, brown fat dissipates energy as
heat instead of storing it as fat. Activating brown fat increases
calorie burning, reduces whole-body fat and lowers blood
sugar and blood fat levels. New research shows that brown
fat also secretes chemicals that help regulate metabolism.
Exposure to cold is the best way to increase brown fat stores.
However, exercise can make regular fat cells more like
brown fat, which would promote weight control. (Trends in
Endocrinology & Metabolism, 26: 231-237, 2015)

24. BROWN FAT ACTIVATION CUTS CHOLESTEROL AND PROTECTS


AGAINST HEART DISEASE
Brown fat helps control bodyweight and may help explain
why some people are more prone toward obesity than others.
Brown fat is a highly thermogenic fat cell that dissipates

energy as heat instead of storing it as fat. Hibernating animals


have large amounts of brown fat to keep them warm during
the winter. Recent studies have shown that humans also
have brown fat, located mainly around the heart and spine
and interspersed with white fat cells. A Dutch study found
that activating brown fat lowers cholesterol, and protects
the body against atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries
of the heart and blood vessels of other tissues. Brown fat
activation increases in response to cold environments. (Nature
Communications, published online March 10, 2015)

25. FAT-MODIFIED MEDITERRANEAN DIET PROMOTES WEIGHT LOSS


The Mediterranean diet has positive effects on metabolic
health and preventing obesity. A large study of nearly 500,000
men and women aged 25 through 70 who were living in
10 European countries found a reduced risk of abdominal
obesity in people who followed the Mediterranean diet.
The diet is high in vegetables and unsaturated fatty acids.
Common foods include olive oil, pasta, fruits, vegetables, lean
meats, fish, nuts and red wine. People living in Mediterranean
countries have the lowest heart disease rates and greatest
longevity in the world. Diet may play an important role in their
excellent health.
The Mediterranean diet can be difficult for people not
used to some of its foods. A German study found that feeding
middle-aged, obese people a Mediterranean diet modified
with butter-flavored canola oil, walnuts and walnut oil with
calorie-controlled, daily sweet snacks promoted weight loss.
People do better adhering to low-calorie diets when they eat
familiar foods. Providing limited snacks and familiar foods
helps people avoid cravings associated with weight-loss diets.
(European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published online
February 18, 2015)

Chain
INCREASE MAXIMAL STRENGTH WITH VARIABLE
RESISTANCE TRAINING

The use of variable resistance while weight training normally includes the use of elastic bands or chains.
Attachment of elastic bands, or chains, to the barbell alters the resistance of the movement through the entire
range of motion, while standard free weights provide a constant resistance throughout the entire lift. The primary
advantage of variable resistance comes from the unique capacity of this training method to alter the resistance on the
bar throughout the entire range of motion, effectively lowering the resistance during the lifters weakest range of the
lift (sticking point) while increasing resistance within the stronger segments of the lift, where the lifter is naturally
stronger. For instance, typically, the initial phase and lockout phase are stages of the bench press with a greater
inclination for muscular force production than the middle portion of the lift, which is typically where the sticking
point occurs. The impact of variable resistance techniques that successfully match resistance on the bar to maximal
strength output of the lifter throughout the entire movement produces a greater overall load on the lifter, resulting in
greater muscular activity and function, which ultimately promotes greater strength gains.1,2 Furthermore, reducing
the impact of the sticking point tends to increase the velocity of the bar throughout the entire range of motion, which
activates the more powerful fast-twitch muscle fibers, further enhancing strength development.

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BENCH PRESS BY MICHAEL NEVEUX


CHAIN; SHUTTERSTOCK

BY MICHAEL J. RUDOLPH, PH.D.

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www.fitnessrxformen.com

MAY 2016

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FitRxTRAINING
VARIABLE RESISTANCE FROM ELASTIC BANDS
ACTIVATES MORE MUSCLE
Elastic bands provide greater resistance through the entire movement
as the band is stretched throughout the movement, causing increased
tension within the band that generates greater resistance. This form
of variable resistance from elastic bands provides benefits in certain
weightlifting movements such as the bench press. Since greater muscular
force occurs in the initial phase of the bench press, greater momentum
is generated throughout the rest of the movement when using free
weights, because free weights provide a constant resistance. Once the
weight has built up momentum in the initial phase, less muscle activity
is required to continue moving the weight throughout the rest of the
movement, thus diminishing the training effect. However, the increase
in resistance generated from elastic bands negates the production of
momentum, disallowing the momentum-driven propulsion of the bar
through the rest of the movement, creating a demand for greater muscle

damage and/or increased metabolic stress, which


powerfully enhances muscle. Clearly demonstrating
the ability of elastic bands to build muscle, a study
by Colado et al.5 found that elastic resistance is
as effective as, if not better than, free weights or
resistance machines at increasing both lean body
mass and strength.

CHAINS CAUSE STRENGTH GAINS


The positive impact on strength from variable
resistance coming from chain-loaded training
occurs when appropriately positioned chains on
the barbell, that settle to the ground one link at a
time during the descent portion of the movement,
effectively decrease the resistance on the bar
as more and more links in the chain rest on the
ground. In addition, going in the upward direction
lifts the chain off the ground one link at a time,
incrementally increasing the resistance of the
bar throughout the ascent phase of the lift. Once
again, when the variation in resistance adequately
matches the increase or decrease in muscular force
that naturally occurs during the movement, the
chains effectively provide a potent stimulus that
uniquely drives strength gains.

PREFERENTIALLY TRIGGER FAST-TWITCH


MUSCLE FIBER

activity that ultimately stimulates greater size and strength. This effect
was clearly demonstrated in a study by Jalal et al.3, which showed a 15
percent increase in muscle activity during elastic resistance training when
compared to free-weight training. Moreover, the comparison between
elastic training and free-weight training in this study also showed a
considerably higher level of muscle activation in the later phases of the
movement, supporting the concept that the increased resistance from
elastic bands as they are stretched required the continual development of
muscular force throughout the entire concentric portion of the movement.

ELASTIC BANDS GENERATE GREATER MUSCLE TENSION,


BOOSTING MUSCLE GROWTH
Elastic resistance naturally produces a greater amount of tension on
the muscle compared to free weights, because, as previously stated, it
has the capacity to minimize momentum increasing muscle activity
throughout the entire movement, which effectively increases the amount of
time the muscle is under tension. In addition, elastic bands also produce
resistance independent of gravity, which fails to produce tension on the
muscle during specific phases of certain lifts. For example, free-weight
biceps curls produce very little muscle tension at the top of the concentric
phase, due to the prominent horizontal movement of the weight that no
longer creates gravitational resistance. On the other hand, the precisely
positioned use of elastic bands that causes the elastic material to be
stretched throughout the movement places resistance on the biceps
throughout the entire range of motion. The continuous tension from elastic
resistance training should stimulate greater muscle growth, as it has been
well documented4 that greater time under tension potently increases
mechanical tension on the muscle cell, producing more muscle cell

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The key impact on strength from the use of


chains is a relatively greater velocity of the bar
throughout the entire movement, which is crucial
for maximizing strength as greater velocity on
the bar throughout the movement preferentially
stimulates the growth of the more powerful
fast-twitch muscle fibers, promoting a superior
propensity for strength and power.
Because training with chains inherently
increases the velocity of the bar, the use of chains
plausibly activates fast-twitch muscle fiber
contraction over slow-twitch muscle fibers. This is
based on a well-established rule called the size
principle, which asserts that more force production
required by the muscle preferentially activates the
larger, fast-twitch muscle fiber. The requirement for
greater force production when bench pressing at
high velocity is based on the simple relationship
between velocity and acceleration, where an
increase in velocity also increases acceleration,
and according to the well-known equation (Force
= Mass x Acceleration), the increased acceleration
of the bar increases the force required to lift the
bar. As a result, fast twitch-fibers are preferentially
activated, improving strength, as fast-twitch muscle
fibers produce much more force relative to slowtwitch muscle fibers.
References:
1. Anderson CE, Sforzo GA and Sigg JA. The effects of combining
elastic and free weight resistance on strength and power in athletes. J
Strength Cond Res 2008;22, 567-574.
2. Elliott BC, Wilson GJ and Kerr GK. A biomechanical analysis of the
sticking region in the bench press. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1989;21, 450-462.
3. Jalal FY, Hamid M, et al. Resultant muscle torque and
electromyographic activity during high intensity elastic resistance and
free weight exercises. European Journal of Sport Science 2013;13, 155-163.
4. Pinto RS, Gomes N, et al. Effect of range of motion on muscle
strength and thickness. J Strength Cond Res 2012;26, 2140-2145.
5. Colado JC and Triplett NT. Effects of a short-term resistance
program using elastic bands versus weight machines for sedentary
middle-aged women. J Strength Cond Res 2008;22, 1441-1448.

www.fitnessrxformen.com

Cool
FitRx

THE BEST IN TRAINING,

NUTRITION, HEALTH, AND SUPPLEMENTATION INFORMATION


IN THIS SECTION

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CARDIO BURN

FAT ATTACK

HARD 'CORE' TRAINING

MUSCLE FORM &


FUNCTION

SUPPLEMENT EDGE

M.A.X. MUSCLE PLAN

SUPPLEMENT
REVIEW

ULTIMATE IN NUTRITION

MUSCLE AND STRENGTH

BEST SQUAT WORKOUT FOR STRENGTH

HEAVY WEIGHT VERSUS


LIGHTER LOADS TO FAILURE

SEE PG.76

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FitRxCoolDOWN

CARDIO BURN
BY

NICK TUMMINELLO

GET OUTSIDE!
CARDIO AND
BODYWEIGHT CIRCUIT
TO BURN FAT FAST
The outdoor workout provided
in this article, which requires no
additional training equipment to
perform except a grass field and
a nice day, involves supramaximal
interval training and a metabolic
bodyweight training circuit.
This workout is not only designed
to help you maximize the metabolic
cost (so you can burn more
calories both during and after the
workout), but also to challenge you
on multiple levels while allowing
you to get outside and use the best
piece of exercise equipment ever
developed the human body.

PERFORMING THE
SUPRAMAXIMAL INTERVAL
TRAINING PORTION OF THE
WORKOUT
Research has demonstrated that
high-intensity interval training
(HIIT) improves work capacity (i.e.,
conditioning), glucose metabolism
and fat burning.1,2,3 And, the most
effective form of HIIT at improving
fitness and performance may be
supramaximal interval training
(SMIT),4 which is why this workout
includes three SMIT options to
choose from.
To perform this workout, choose
one of the three following SMIT
exercise for the parameters
described. Youll then perform the
metabolic bodyweight circuit in the
following section.

200-yard shuttle run = four round


trips between the cones
250-yard shuttle run = five
round trips
300-yard shuttle run = six
round trips
Between rounds, use a work-to-rest
ratio of 1:3 or 1:2, depending on your
fitness level. For example, using a
1:3 ratio, if it takes you one minute to
complete a 300-yard shuttle sprint,
then rest for three minutes before
starting the next round. Perform two
to five rounds depending on your
fitness level.
COACHING TIPS
You can start your shuttle runs
from the starting line. However,
I recommend jogging up to the
starting point in order to reduce the
potential risk of injury that can come
from quick starts.
Drive with your arms while
sprinting.

SMIT Option #2: Gasser Run


Set-up: Place two cones 50 yards
apart.

SMIT Option #1: Shuttle Run

Action: Jog up to the start cone,


then run as fast as you can back and
forth between the cones. Unlike in
shuttle sprints, you dont touch the
cones at the turns; therefore, you stay
more upright.
Use a work-to-rest ratio of 1:3 or
1:2 between rounds, depending on
your fitness level. Perform two to five
rounds.

Set-up: Place two cones 25 yards


apart.
Lengths are as follows:

COACHING TIPS
You can start your gasser runs

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from the starting line. However,


I recommend jogging up to the
starting point in order to reduce the
risk of injury that can come from
quick starts.
Drive with your arms while
running.

SMIT Option #3: Hill Sprint


Set-up: Find a fairly steep hill at
least 20 yards long. If youre lucky,
youll find one that is 40 yards or
even longer.
Action: Run up the hill as fast as
you can, then walk down slowly to set
up your next run.
Use a work-to-rest ratio of 1:3 or
1:4 between rounds, depending on
your fitness level. For example, using
a 1:3 ratio, if it takes you 20 seconds
to complete a hill sprint, then rest
roughly 60 seconds before starting
the next round. Perform five to 10
rounds depending on your fitness
level.
COACHING TIPS
Do not take short, choppy steps;
take a full stride on each step.
Drive with your arms while
running.
To vary your leg movement, you
can walk backward down the hill
between sprints.

PERFORMING THE METABOLIC


BODYWEIGHT CIRCUIT
TRAINING PORTION OF THE
WORKOUT
Not only does research
demonstrate that the higher the
intensity, the greater the metabolic
impact,5 which we took advantage of

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FitRxCoolDOWN

in the SMIT portion of this workout,


but research also consistently reports
that a direct relationship exists
between the duration of exercise
and excess post-exercise oxygen
consumption (EPOC),6 which is the
number of calories expended (above
resting values) after an exercise
bout. In order to help you get the
best of both worlds, this portion of
the workout is designed to keep you
moving for more extended periods of
time than you did in the SMIT portion
of the workout.
The following metabolic
bodyweight training circuit combines
various crawling type patterns,
which we call animal patterns, with
various upright agility drills. Youll
alternate between animal patterns
(performed on the ground) and
agility drills (performed standing),
performing each animal pattern and
agility drill pair twice through before
moving on to the next pair of drills,
which youll also perform twice, and
so on.
Each paired-set is done for a total
of 20-30 yards up and 20-30 yards
back for a total of 40-60 yards per
lap. Youll perform each of the animal
patterns for roughly 10 yards. Youll
then stand upright and perform the
agility drill for another 10 to 20 yards
moving in the same direction. Then
youll turn around, and perform the
same agility drill all the way back
(20-30 yards) to where you started.
Once completing this sequence twice
through, youll switch to performing
a different animal pattern and a
different agility drill twice through in
the same manner, and so on.
The main goal is to finish this
entire circuit all of paired sets
of animal patterns and locomotion
drills in as little time as possible,
without sacrificing the quality of the
technique demonstrated in any of the
drills.

Animal Pattern 1: Tiger Crawl


On all fours, step off with your
right foot and left arm, keeping your
knees off the ground. Be sure to keep
your hips and shoulders fairly level.
Repeat on the other side. Continue
moving forward, alternating sides.

Agility Drill 1: High Knee Skips


Stay tall, bend your knee and raise
your upper leg until its horizontal to

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CARDIO BURN

the ground. Similar to jumping rope,


the stride requires a double-foot
strike pattern, or right-right followed
by left-left hops. You also have to
coordinate the pumping of your arms
to the double-foot strikes.

Animal Pattern 2: Alligator Crawl


Starting in the push-up position,
lower your chest slightly and bring
your right knee to your right elbow.
As you push up, reach your right arm
forward and bring your left knee
to your left elbow. Drop back into a
partial push-up, and when you come
up, reach forward with your left arm
and bring your right knee to your
right elbow. Repeat. [For an example
of how to do this move, search Nick
Tumminellos video on YouTube:
Outdoor Bodyweight Workout
Alligator Crawls & Locomotion
Metabolic Conditioning.]

Agility Drill 2: Backward Run


Take long strides as you run
backward while maintaining a
relaxed upper-body and torso while
you coordinate the pumping of your
arms.

Animal Pattern 3: Rabbits


With your feet wider than
shoulder-width, squat down low and
hinge forward at your hips, placing
your hands in front of your feet.
Lift your feet off of the ground and
drive your legs forward so they end
up outside your hands. Repeat this
action, continuing to move forward.

Agility Drill 3: Lateral Shuffle


Assume an athletic-ready position
with your feet hip-width apart and
knees bent with your weight back in
your flexed hips. Shift your weight
toward your right, picking up your
right foot and explosively pushing
your left foot into the ground to start
moving to your right. Continue to
move to your right in this manner:
picking up the right foot and placing
it to the right while pushing the left
foot into the ground to generate force
and momentum for the sideways
movement. Your feet should remain
parallel with one another with the
toes facing forward. Then, reverse the
direction by shifting your weight over
your left leg, push off with the right
foot and begin shuffling back to the
starting point.

Animal Pattern 4: Spider Crawl


Assume a push-up position, and
move laterally. Your arms can cross,
but not your legs. Dont let your
hips sag and be sure not to lift your
butt in the air any higher than your
shoulders. Move 10 yards in the
same direction. Then reverse the
motion moving 10 yards back to the
start. [For an example of how to do
this move, search Nick Tumminellos
video on YouTube: Outdoor
Bodyweight Workout Spider craws
& Skips Metabolic Conditioning.]

Agility Drill 4: Carioca


Start with your feet a little wider
than hip-distance apart, knees
soft. Use your left foot to push off,
crossing it behind the right foot and
transferring your weight onto it.
Move your right foot to the side until
youre back to your starting stance.
Now cross your left foot in front,
stepping onto it. Move your right foot
to the side. Continue moving to your
right, crossing the left foot behind,
then in front, until you reach the
end of your planned distance. Then
reverse your direction.
Nick Tumminello is the owner
of Performance University in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida. Hes also the
author of the book Strength Training
for Fat Loss and the DVD by the same
name. For more information visit www.
NickTumminello.com.

REFERENCES
1. Perry, Christopher G.R.; Heigenhauser, et al.
(December 2008). High-intensity aerobic interval
training increases fat and carbohydrate metabolic
capacities in human skeletal muscle. Applied
Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 33 (6):
11121123.
2. Laursen, P.B.; Jenkins D.G. (2002). The
Scientic Basis for High-Intensity Interval Training:
Optimising Training Programmes and Maximising
Performance in Highly Trained Endurance Athletes.
Sports Medicine 32 (1): 5373.
3. Talanian, Jason L.; Stuart D. R. Galloway, et al.
(2007). Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval
training increases the capacity for fat oxidation
during exercise in women. Journal of Applied
Physiology 102 (4): 14391447.
4. Endurance and sprint benets of highintensity and supra-maximal interval training.
Cicioni-Kolsky D, Lorenzen C, Williams MD, Kemp
JG. Eur J Sport Sci. 2013 May;13(3):304-11.
5. Zalesin KC, Franklin BA, Lillystone MA, et
al. Differential loss of fat and lean mass in the
morbidly obese after bariatric surgery. Metab
Syndr Relat Disord. 2010;8(1):1520. doi:10.1089/
met.2009.0012.
6. Santarpia L, Contaldo F, Pasanisi F.
Body compo- sition changes after weight-loss
interventions for overweight and obesity. Clin Nutr.
2013;32(2):157 161. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2012.08.016.

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FitRxCoolDOWN

FAT ATTACK

LOSE YOUR GUT:

TOP

BY MICHAEL RUDOLPH, Ph.D.

10

THERMOGENIC AND
BROWN FAT ACTIVATORS
The nutritional supplement world has seen its fair share of fat-burning products
claiming to be able to reduce body fat by simply increasing the rate at which fat is
oxidized, or burned, within the body. While this approach to a leaner body seems
pretty logical, it has one major drawback as increasing the level of fatty acid oxidation simply results in the production of more of the energy-rich molecule ATP which,
at first glance, may not seem problematic. However, higher levels of ATP do not reduce
body fat. In fact, what it will do is trigger homeostatic mechanisms within the body that
will simply convert this ATP surplus back into body fat within a rather short period of
time. So, the fundamental problem with merely converting body fat into ATP is that this
process does not increase the amount of energy expenditure which is the only valid
way to reduce body fat.
Recent attempts to advance fat loss by explicitly boosting energy expenditure have
included the use of several naturally occurring compounds that target brown adipose
tissue, or brown fat. This type of fat, despite being fat itself, has the unique capacity to
reduce the other type of fat, white adipose tissue, which is usually referred to as body
fat. Brown fat minimizes body fat by activating a process known as thermogenesis that
increases energy expenditure which, once again, is essential to minimize body fat.
Brown fat is able to increase energy
expenditure because it contains a different type of fat cell that uncouples fat
burning with ATP production, converting
the energy from fatty acid oxidation into
heat instead. Most cells within the body
can perform thermogenesis to varying
degrees. However, brown fat performs
thermogenesis most effectively as each
brown fat cell has more fat-incinerating
mitochondria that possess a higher concentration of the UCP-1 protein that is
directly responsible for the thermogenic
function of uncoupling fat oxidation with
ATP production. As a result, brown fat has
a greater capacity than any other cell in
the body to thermogenically burn more
fat and uncouple this process to energy
production, ultimately increasing energy
expenditure and fat loss.
Thermogenesis in brown fat is typically
triggered by exposure to cold temperatures, as thermogenically derived heat
can be used to warm up the body. Cold
temperatures stimulate the TRPV receptor within the brain, which triggers the
sympathetic nervous system, resulting in
the release of noradrenaline. The subsequent interaction between adrenaline and

66

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M AY 2 0 1 6

the beta-adrenergic receptors embedded


within the cellular membranes of brown
fat initiates uncoupled fatty acid oxidation
or thermogenesis, generating heat. While
prolonged exposure to cold temperatures
for roughly two hours has been shown to
effectively trigger brown fat activity and fat
loss1, using this approach to lower body fat
is rather impractical, based on the considerable amount of time necessary to trigger
the fat-burning capacity of brown fat.
Many studies have shown that other
members of the TRPV family are activated
outside of the brain by various foodrelated compounds, instead of cold
temperatures. Some of these compounds
bind directly to TRPV receptors within
the oral cavity, similarly activating
the sympathetic nervous system and
stimulating the thermogenic process
within brown fat. Other compounds have
been identified that also induce brown
fat thermogenesis, either by directly
stimulating noradrenaline release or
activating the adrenergic receptors within
brown fat. Several other thermogenic
compounds have been identified that
more directly enhance the functional
capacity of brown fat by increasing

UCP-1 production within the


cell, effectively improving the
thermogenic process. Since all
of these compounds remove the
requirement for prolonged cold
exposure, they represent a much
more practical way to generate
thermogenic-driven fat loss.
There are many different compounds that trigger thermogenesis,
with some being much more effective than others. So, after countless
hours of scouring through the science, weve compiled a list of the
top 10 thermogenic supplements
that potently increase energy expenditure, giving an uncommon
ability to burn fat and keep if off.
Green tea extract containing concentrated catechins is not recommended in this review, because of
possible liver toxicity!

RAISES YOUR
1.CAFFEINE
THERMOGENIC BUZZ

Caffeine is best known as the active ingredient in coffee that stimulates the central nervous system,
impeding drowsiness and restoring
alertness. Caffeine is also a potent
thermogenic compound. In fact, a
single dose of 100 milligrams of
caffeine can increase thermogenically driven energy expenditure
by approximately 100 calories per
day2, demonstrating that regularly
ingested doses of caffeine can have
a significant influence on energy
balance and fat loss.

P-SYNEPHRINE (FROM
2.
CITRUS AURANTIUM)
SAFELY BOOSTS
THERMOGENIC FAT LOSS

P-Synephrine is an alkaloid
found in bitter orange and other
citrus fruits including oranges

www.fitnessrxformen.com

and grapefruits3, and is widely


used for weight management.
Studies show that P-synephrine
specifically binds to beta-3
adrenergic receptors found
in brown fat.4 This class of
adrenergic receptor explicitly
activates thermogenesis within
brown fat. In line with this finding,
P-synephrine has been shown
to elicit a thermogenic effect
by increasing resting metabolic
rate in humans, with no adverse
impact on heart rate or blood
pressure, which typically occurs
by activating the beta-1 and beta2 adrenergic receptors.5

3.

DOPAMINE ACTIVATORS:
TYROSINE AND L-DOPA
(FROM MUCUNA PRURIENS)
DRIVE THERMOGENESIS
essrxformen.com

Consumption of the dopamine


precursors tyrosine and L-Dopa
increases dopamine production
and function.6,7,8 The neurotransmitter dopamine regulates neurons that initiate the thermogenic
process. In fact, energy expenditure was shown to increase in
subjects infused with dopamine
in a dose-dependent manner,
where greater levels of dopamine
increased the amount of energy
expenditure.9 Consequently, the
capability of tyrosine and L-Dopa
to increase dopamine levels
should produce a robust thermogenic effect, supporting considerable fat loss.

URSOLIC ACID
4.
INCREASES BAT
LEVELS FOR ENHANCED
THERMOGENESIS

Another powerful approach


that exploits the thermogenic potential of brown fat involves increasing the amount of brown fat
in the body. A compound found
in many fruits and herbs, known
as ursolic acid, has recently been
shown to increase brown fat levels.10 Ursolic acid has also been
shown to increase the expression
of UCP-1, effectively increasing the thermogenic capacity of
brown fat. This combined action
gives ursolic acid the unique
capacity to increase both the
activity and quantity of brown
fat, providing an extraordinary
capacity to increase thermogenically driven energy expenditure
and considerable fat loss.

www.fitnessrxformen.com

BROWN FA
AT HAS
SA
GREATER
RC
CAPACITY
C Y
THAN ANY
YO
OTHER
R
CELL IN THE
T
BODY
O Y
TO THERMOG
MOGENICALLY BU
URN MORE
O
FAT AND U
UNCOUPLE
COU
THIS PROC
CESS
SS TO
O
ENERGY P
PRODUCO UC
TION, ULT
TIMATELY
Y
INCREASIING
G ENERGY EXPEN
NDITURE
U
AND FAT LOSS
LOSS.
BILE ACIIDS ACTIVATE
5.
OGENESIS
THERMOG
S S BY
NG THYROID
STIMULATING
O
HORMONE ACTIVITY
AC
Y

Bile acids typ


pically emulsify
f
d digestion. The
fat for improved
ds as a suppleuse of bile acid
pp
ment also proviides resistance
d obesity
to diet-induced
y by
y
hyroid hormone
upregulating th
h boosts thermofunction, which
wn fat.111 More
Mo e
genesis in brow
have the
precisely, bile acids
a
d to the TGR-5
capacity to bind
edded in the
receptor embe
cellular membrrane
e of
o brown
o n
fat. The interacttion
o between
e ee
bile acids and the
t TGR-5 recepp
he expression
of the
tor escalates th
p
enzyme deiodinase, which catauction of the active
lyzes the produ
ne triiodothyronine
thyroid hormon
y
in the
or T3. Greater T3
T results
e
e
UCP-1 production,
stimulation of U
p
es brown
fat therwhich enhance
o
e
mogenesis.

KAEM
MPFEROL AND
6,7.
UROPEIN
OLEU
O
OLS
POLYPHENO
S THAT
IMPROVE TH
O
HYROID
FUNCTION AND
A
FAT
BURNING

A wide varie
ety of p
polyphep
nolic compounds also enhance
at loss. One
thermogenic fa
of the more pottent being
g
oleuropein, a polyphenolic
p yp
virgin
found in extra-v
g olive
enhance noroil, which can e
retion
adrenaline secre
o and
1 in brown
increase UCP-1
o n
fat, triggering thert
Another
o e
mogenesis.12 A
with repolyphenolic w
mogenic
markable therm
ated
properties isola
d
sourcfrom different so
c
MAY 2016

FITN ESS R x

for MEN

67

FitRxCoolDOWN

FAT ATTACK

es such as tea, broccoli and grapefruit is the compound


kaempferol. This compound uniquely activates the thermogenic process in muscle cells. All cells have the capacity to
burn fat and expend energy via thermogenesis. Kaempferol
also stimulates thyroid hormone production, which stimulates thermogenesis in brown fat13, giving kaempferol the
unusual capability to activate thermogenesis in different
cell types within the body, which most certainly contributes
to its robust fat-scorching capacity.

CAPSAICIN, PIPERINE, GINGER


8.SPICES:
(GINGEROLS), CINNAMON (CINNAMALDEHYDE)

Capsaicin is the spice found in chili peppers that contributes to the hot and spicy flavor of the chili pepper. Capsaicin
directly binds and activates the TRPV1 receptor within the
oral cavity which releases noradrenaline, boosting thermogenesis in brown fat. Several studies have shown that a
single ingestion of capsaicin can activate brown fat thermogenesis14,15, while longer term ingestion of roughly six weeks
increased thermogenesis in brown fat, resulting in reduced
body fat.16 Interestingly, this six-week study also showed
thermogenic activity in brown fat contributed significantly
to fat loss in individuals who had an extremely low amount
of brown fat before the study began, which strongly suggests that long-term intake of capsaicin can also increase the
amount of brown fat in the body.
Three more spices piperine, the spicy compound from
black pepper; cinnamaldehyde, the pungent ingredient in
cinnamon; and gingerol, the active constituent in ginger
also strongly induce thermogenic fat loss. Like capsaicin,
piperine and gingerol activate the TRPV1 receptor while
cinnamaldehyde activates the TRPA1 receptor, a member
within the TRPV1 family of receptors. Activation of this family of receptors triggers thermogenic energy expenditure in
a similar fashion to capsaicinoids17,18, which ultimately depletes body fat in a similarly powerful way. For best results,
take quick-release supplements of capsaicin. Coated or
delayed-release capsaicin may not be as effective because
they bypass TRPV1 receptors in the stomach and upper gastrointestinal tract.

9.FORSKOLIN (FROM COLEUS FORSKOHLII)

Forskolin is a chemical produced by the Indian coleus


plant that activates the enzyme adenylyl cyclase within
brown fat, resulting in greater cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels.
Increased levels of cAMP in brown fat cells also occur when
noradrenaline binds to the beta-adrenergic receptor, triggering thermogenesis. Therefore, the ability of forskolin to
increase cAMP levels in brown fat also enhances thermogenesis. In fact, it has been reported that hamsters and rats
given forskolin increased oxygen consumption and thermogenic activity of brown fat.19 Furthermore, forskolin does
not interact with beta-receptors in brown fat cells like noradrenaline does20, indicating that forskolin could have an
additive impact on thermogenesis when taken with other
thermogenic compounds that directly trigger noradrenaline release and beta-adrenergic production of cAMP
producing superior levels of thermogenic fat loss.

10.MELATONIN

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal


gland in the brain that regulates the sleep/wake cycle,
helping you fall asleep. Melatonin is also involved in energy metabolism and bodyweight control. Many studies
show that melatonin reduces bodyweight and abdominal
fat21 without eating less or increasing physical activity. Conceivably, melatonin reduces fat without decreasing food
consumption or physical activity by activating thermogenesis in brown fat22, which increases energy expenditure and
thus fat loss.
For most of Michael Rudolphs career he has been engrossed in the exercise
world as either an athlete (he played college football at Hofstra University),
personal trainer or as a research scientist (he earned a B.Sc. in Exercise Science
at Hofstra University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
from Stony Brook University). After earning his Ph.D., Michael investigated
the molecular biology of exercise as a fellow at Harvard Medical School and
Columbia University for over eight years. That research contributed seminally
to understanding the function of the incredibly important cellular energy sensor
AMPK leading to numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals including the
journal Nature. Michael is currently a scientist working at the New York Structural
Biology Center doing contract work for the Department of Defense on a project
involving national security.

REFERENCES
1. Yoneshiro T, Aita S, et al. Brown adipose tissue,
whole-body energy expenditure, and thermogenesis in
healthy adult men. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2011;19, 13-16.
2. Dulloo AG, Geissler CA, et al. Normal caffeine consumption: inuence on thermogenesis and daily energy
expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. Am J
Clin Nutr 1989;49, 44-50.
3. Nelson BC, Putzbach K, et al. Mass spectrometric
determination of the predominant adrenergic protoalkaloids
in bitter orange (Citrus aurantium). J Agric Food Chem
2007;55, 9769-9775.
4. Shannon JR, Gottesdiener K, et al. Acute effect of
ephedrine on 24-h energy balance. Clin Sci (Lond) 1999;96,
483-491.
5. Stohs SJ, Preuss HG, et al. Effects of p-synephrine
alone and in combination with selected bioavonoids on
resting metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate and selfreported mood changes. Int J Med Sci 2015;8, 295-301.
6. Hull KM and Maher TJ. Effects of L-tyrosine on
mixed-acting sympathomimetic-induced pressor actions.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav 1992;43, 1047-1052.
7. Tharakan B, Dhanasekaran M, et al. Anti-Parkinson
botanical Mucuna pruriens prevents levodopa induced
plasmid and genomic DNA damage. Phytother Res 2007;21,
1124-1126.
8. Katzenschlager R, Evans A, et al. Mucuna pruriens
in Parkinsons disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2004;75,

68

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M AY 2 0 1 6

1672-1677.
9. Ruttimann Y, Schutz Y, et al. Thermogenic and metabolic effects of dopamine in healthy men. Crit Care Med
1991;19, 1030-1036.
10. Kunkel SD, Elmore CJ, et al. Ursolic acid increases
skeletal muscle and brown fat and decreases diet-induced
obesity, glucose intolerance and fatty liver disease. PLoS
One 2012;7, e39332.
11. Watanabe M, Houten SM, et al. Bile acids induce
energy expenditure by promoting intracellular thyroid
hormone activation. Nature 2006;439, 484-489.
12. Oi-Kano Y, Kawada T, et al. Oleuropein, a phenolic
compound in extra virgin olive oil, increases uncoupling
protein 1 content in brown adipose tissue and enhances
noradrenaline and adrenaline secretions in rats. J Nutr Sci
Vitaminol (Tokyo) 2008;54, 363-370.
13. da-Silva WS, Harney JW, et al. The small polyphenolic molecule kaempferol increases cellular energy
expenditure and thyroid hormone activation. Diabetes
2007;56, 767-776.
14. Yoneshiro T, Aita S, et al. Nonpungent capsaicin
analogs (capsinoids) increase energy expenditure through
the activation of brown adipose tissue in humans. Am J Clin
Nutr 2012;95, 845-850.
15. Saito M and Yoneshiro T. Capsinoids and related
food ingredients activating brown fat thermogenesis and
reducing body fat in humans. Curr Opin Lipidol 2013;24,
71-77.

16. Yoneshiro T, Aita S, et al. Recruited brown adipose


tissue as an antiobesity agent in humans. J Clin Invest
2013;123, 3404-3408.
17. Yoneshiro T and Saito M. Transient receptor potential activated brown fat thermogenesis as a target of food
ingredients for obesity management. Curr Opin Clin Nutr
Metab Care 2013;16, 625-631.
18. McNamara FN, Randall A and Gunthorpe MJ. Effects
of piperine, the pungent component of black pepper, at the
human vanilloid receptor (TRPV1). Br J Pharmacol 2005;144,
781-790.
19. Scarpace PJ and Matheny M. Thermogenesis in
brown adipose tissue with age: post-receptor activation by
forskolin. Pugers Arch 1996;431, 388-394.
20. Zhao J, Cannon B and Nedergaard J. alpha1Adrenergic stimulation potentiates the thermogenic action
of beta3-adrenoreceptor-generated cAMP in brown fat cells.
J Biol Chem 1997;272, 32847-32856.
21. Wolden-Hanson T, Mitton DR, et al. Daily melatonin administration to middle-aged male rats suppresses
body weight, intraabdominal adiposity, and plasma leptin
and insulin independent of food intake and total body fat.
Endocrinology 2000;141, 487-497.
22. Tan DX, Manchester LC, et al. Signicance and
application of melatonin in the regulation of brown adipose
tissue metabolism: relation to human obesity. Obes Rev
2011;12, 167-188.

www.fitnessrxformen.com

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FitRxCoolDOWN

HARD CORE TRAINING


BY

BRAD SCHOENFELD, PH.D., CSCS, FNSCA

SELECTIVELY
THE LOWER ABS?
TARGET
CAN YOU

No area of the body gets more attention than the abs. Having a pronounced
six-pack is widely considered the
ultimate sign of peak physical condition; it is the centerpiece of your body.
But as every gym rat knows, achieving an etched six-pack isnt easy. And
without question, the lower abdominal
region tends to be the most problematic aspect from a muscle development
standpoint.
While the upper abs generally respond rather readily to intense training,
the lower portion always seems to lag
behind. This is in part due to the structure of the abdominal musculature. The
rectus abdominis is a tapered muscle;
it is wide at the top and narrow at the
bottom. Consequently, because there is
much less muscle to work with, developing the lower abdominal region is a
difficult proposition.
The question is, can you selectively
train the lower abs to bring about greater development in this area?
To help answer this question, a little
anatomy is in order. Contrary to what
many believe, the rectus abdominis
isnt a group of independent muscles.
Rather, it is one long muscular sheath
that runs from just below your chest
bone (i.e., sternum) all the way down
into your pelvis (i.e., crest of the pubis). However, the rectus abdominis is
partitioned by tendinous intersections,
which are fibrous bands of connective
tissue that compartmentalize the abs
into segments and visually produce the
six-pack appearance. Moreover, the
upper and lower aspects of the muscle
are segmentally innervated by ventral
rami of the lower six or seven thoracic
nerves4, thereby providing a mechanism for selective activation. So from an
anatomical standpoint, there is at least
a logical basis for targeting different
aspects of the rectus abdominis.
So the next question is, does logic
translate into practice?
Research investigating muscle activation via electromyography (EMG)

70

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has produced conflicting results on the


topic. Several studies show an ability
to target the lower abdominal area2,9,13,
while others have failed to find significant differences in activation between
regions.1,3,6 An issue with some of the
research is the use of the leg raise as
the exercise of choice for the lower abs.
Heres the rub: simply raising and
lowering the legs dynamically
works the hip flexors; the abdominal muscles are active,
but only isometrically to
stabilize the movement.
As previously shown in
research from my lab,
isometric abdominal
training has no effect
on segmental activation of the abdominal musculature.10
In order to actually
target the lower
abs, you need
to dynamically
perform a posterior pelvic tilt
where the pelvis
is drawn upward
toward to the
umbilicus. This
movement, as
can be achieved
in the reverse
crunch and hanging
knee raise, causes
more shortening to
take place in the lower
region, thus stimulating the lower abs to a
greater extent than the
upper abs. But while the
approach makes sense in
theory, several studies that
employed exercises involving a posterior pelvic tilt (i.e.,
reverse crunch and hanging
knee raise) nevertheless found
no differences in muscle activity
of the upper versus lower rectus
abdominis.1,3

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FitRxCoolDOWN
So what gives?
It appears the answer might be related
to proper exercise performance.
In one of the more novel study designs
on the topic, Sarti et al.9 separated participants into two groups a high physical
activity group that trained seriously for
at least one and a half hours, three days a
week for three years, and a low physical
activity group that did not meet this criterion. Each of these two groups performed
a crunch (intended to target the upper
abs) and a reverse crunch (intended to
target the lower abs). EMG readings were
obtained to determine muscle activity in
the upper and lower abdominal region.
Exercise performance was monitored
by fitness professionals, and the groups
were then further subdivided into correct and incorrect performers based
on the participants ability to perform the
exercises properly (in this case, correct
performance of the reverse crunch was
dependent on the participant being able
to initiate a posterior pelvic tilt). The interesting finding of this study was that only
the physically active participants deemed
correct performers were able to target
their lower abs!
A recent study of Middle Eastern belly
dancers lends further support for the ability to preferentially recruit the upper and
lower rectus when the person is skilled at
performance.7 EMG analysis of the rectus
abdominis showed significant differences
in activation levels between the upper and
lower abs throughout dance movements.
The results provide compelling evidence
that provided you have muscular control
over your abdominal region, the rectus
abdominis does function as semi-independent units that can be selectively targeted
depending on the choice of exercise.
Given that you can in fact target the lower abs, the next logical question is whether
the increased activation actually translates
into greater muscle development. While
the jury is still somewhat out on the topic,
research does seem to indicate that greater activation is indeed associated with
increases in hypertrophy.11,12 The extent
to which the greater activation increases
muscle hypertrophy is not clear, but when
it comes to a hard-to-develop area such as
the lower abs, every little bit counts.
It is important to point out that you cant
isolate any of the bodys major muscles,
and the abs are no exception. Regardless
of which abdominal exercises you perform,
youre always working both the upper and
lower areas of the rectus abdominis (and
even your obliques, too). Take-home message: When it comes to resistance training,
you can only emphasize, not isolate!

72

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MAY 2016

HARD CORE TRAINING


The bottom line here is that you must
initiate a posterior pelvic tilt if you want to
increase activation of the lower abdominal
musculature. This is accomplished by lifting
only from the butt so that you bring your
pelvis up toward your belly button standard leg raises are primarily a hip flexor
exercise and will only work your abs statically, without targeting the lower aspect
of the abs. Maximizing involvement of the
lower abs is somewhat of a tricky proposition because the pelvis has a very limited
range of motion and, if strict attention is not
paid to proper form, your hip flexors will
tend to dominate during exercise performance.You therefore must attempt to exert
maximal effort into each contraction, forcing the lower portion of the abs to execute
the movement. Provided you perform the
movement correctly, you should be able to
elicit greater development in the lower abdominal region over time.
Importantly, remember that abdominal
training does nothing to reduce fat stores
in the midsection.5,8 You can perform reverse crunches until the cows come home,
but wont see the results unless youre
super lean. So pay heed to the adage that
ab aesthetics start in the kitchen, and make
sure to dial-in your diet to achieve a truly
defined six-pack.

REFERENCES
1. Clark KM, Holt LE and Sinyard J. Electromyographic
comparison of the upper and lower rectus abdominis during
abdominal exercises. J Strength Cond Res 2003;17: 475-483.
2. Duncan M. Muscle activity of the upper and lower rectus
abdominis during exercises performed on and off a Swiss ball. J
Bodyw Mov Ther 2009;13: 364-367.
3. Escamilla RF, Babb E, et al. Electromyographic analysis of
traditional and nontraditional abdominal exercises: implications
for rehabilitation and training. Phys Ther 2006;86: 656-671.
4. Gray H. Grays Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of
Medicine and Surgery. London; Pearson Professional Ltd, 1995.
5. Katch FI, Clarkson PM, et al. Effects of sit-up exercise
training on adipose cell size and adiposity. Research Quarterly
for Exercise and Sport 1984;55: 242-247.
6. Lehman GJ and McGill SM. Quantication of the
differences in electromyographic activity magnitude between
the upper and lower portions of the rectus abdominis muscle
during selected trunk exercises. Phys Ther 2001;81: 1096-1101.
7. Moreside JM, Vera-Garcia FJ and McGill SM.
Neuromuscular independence of abdominal wall muscles as
demonstrated by middle-eastern style dancers. J Electromyogr
Kinesiol 2008;18: 527-537.
8. Ramirez-Campillo R, Andrade DC, et al. Regional fat
changes induced by localized muscle endurance resistance
training. J. Strength Cond Res 2013;27: 2219-2224.
9. Sarti MA, Monfort M, et al. Muscle activity in upper and
lower rectus abdominus during abdominal exercises. Arch Phys
Med Rehabil 1996;77: 1293-1297.
10. Schoenfeld BJ, Contreras B, et al. An electromyographic
comparison of a modied version of the plank with a long lever
and posterior tilt versus the traditional plank exercise. Sports
Biomech 2014;13: 296-306.
11. Wakahara T, Miyamoto N, et al. Association between
regional differences in muscle activation in one session of
resistance exercise and in muscle hypertrophy after resistance
training. Eur J Appl Physiol 2012;112: 1569-1576.
12. Wakahara T, Fukutani A, et al. Nonuniform muscle
hypertrophy: its relation to muscle activation in training session.
Med Sci Sports Exerc 2013;45: 2158-2165.
13. Willett GM, Hyde JE, et al. Relative activity of abdominal
muscles during commonly prescribed strengthening exercises. J
Strength Cond Res 2001;15: 480-485.

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FitRxCoolDOWN

MUSCLE FORM & FUNCTION


BY

STEPHEN E. ALWAY, Ph.D. | ILLUSTRATIONS BY WILLIAM P. HAMILTON, CMI

BUILD BIGGER AND


BETTER ARMS
AND FOREARMS

WITH DUMBBELL FRONT CURLS

You might not need iconic arms to


be in great shape, but you do need to
have significantly better-than-average
upper arms if you want to be on the
top of your fitness game. It makes a
lot of sense to use basic exercises like
barbell and dumbbell curls to form
the foundation of most of your training.
However, small changes to these basic
exercises can activate not only the superficial biceps muscle, but also forearm and deeper upper arm muscles
that will significantly add to the shape
and strength of your upper arms. One
of the best approaches to hit the entire
upper arm is the front dumbbell curl.1

ARM STRUCTURE
The biceps brachii has two heads.2
The upper attachment of the long
head of the biceps brachii muscle is
just above the shoulder joint on the
glenoid tubercle. Front dumbbell curls
place the arm forward, but this is not
an anatomical position that stretches
the long head, and therefore the short
head receives a more direct activation by this exercise. The short head
of the biceps is positioned along the
inside (medial side) of the arm.2 It
connects to the anterior (front) part of
the scapula bone or shoulder blade
just below the shoulder joint. The short
head extends along the medial (inner)
part of the humerus bone of the arm
and it comes together with the muscle
fibers of the long head of the biceps
brachii muscle to anchor to the strong
bicipital tendon. The bicipital tendon
crosses the front part of the elbow joint
and it attaches to the radius bone of
the forearm near the elbow joint. Contraction of the biceps muscle can pivot
the radius bone at the elbow joint and
this supinates the hand2 (by turning
the palm of the hand toward the ceiling). The short head of the biceps

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brachii is activated just as strongly


whether the shoulder and arm are
forward (arm flexion) as in Scott curls
or pulled backwards (arm extension)
during elbow flexion.
Although the brachialis muscle is
largely hidden by the biceps brachii, it
is a very important and strong flexor of
the elbow joint.2 In fact, the brachialis
generates as much as 70 percent of the
total arm flexion force.3 This muscle is
very strongly activated beginning at
the midway point of the front dumbbell curl and continues to carry the
majority of the effort to complete each
contraction. The brachialis muscle
attaches along the anterior side of the
humerus bone of the arm and crosses
the elbow joint anteriorly. Its distal attachment is on the anterior side of the
non-pivoting ulna bone of the forearm
near the elbow joint, which prevents
the brachialis from having any role in
supination of the hand.2
The brachioradialis muscle attaches
just above the lateral epicondyle of the

EXERCISE:
DUMBBELL FRONT CURLS

1.
2.
3.
4.

Take a medium weight dumbbell in each hand. Start standing with your hands in a
semi-pronated position (thumbs forward) with the dumbbells beside each hip. You can
stand in front of a mirror if you want to make sure your form does not slip.
Flex the elbow joint of one arm so the weight moves upward over the mid-region of
your chest toward your face or nose. This hand position will reduce the stretch on the
biceps brachii and maximize the effort needed by the brachialis muscle.
To really turn up the heat, isometrically squeeze the upper arm at the top of the
movement. This voluntary isometric contraction will ensure that all of the bers in the
biceps and the brachialis are activated in each repetition.
Slowly lower the dumbbell toward your starting position as you straighten out the
elbow. This should take three to four seconds to lower the weight.4 It is important to
make this a slow descent and control the lowering of the weight. A fast descent will at best
reduce the effectiveness of the exercise, but at worse will result in injury to the brachialis
muscle, elbow joint and bicipital tendon, particularly as the elbow joints are straightened.
Switch to the other arm and repeat the same sequence. Alternate arms until your set
is done.

5.

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curls, it is the third most important


muscle for flexion, just behind the
brachialis and biceps muscles.
After 10 to 12 good repetitions, your upper arms should be
screaming for you to stop. This
will be partly because the muscle
fibers will be feeling deprived of
its blood supply5 and have altered
motor function.6
After you are unable to manage
any more repetitions on your last
set, you may want to use your nonworking hand to help your fatiguing arm to complete two more
repetitions. These are extremely
high efforts, so one set done this
way should be enough if you are
going all out, and even if you have
unlimited energy you should not
do more than two, otherwise you
may over-train and induce some
damage to your biceps and brachialis muscles.7,8.9
Front dumbbell curls are harder
to do than regular curls because
the brachialis and brachioradialis
muscles get the brunt of the work,
although the isometric contraction
at the top of each repetition ensures the biceps brachii are fully
engaged. This produces a great
arm exercise, but it will also power
up and strengthen your forearms
as well.
It will take extreme concentration and dedicated intense efforts
to achieve stone-cold and strong
arms from top to bottom. However,
front dumbbell curls will allow
you to obtain strong polished upper arms and forearms faster than
most other exercises by achieving
specialized activations of muscle
fibers that are not easily recruited
elbow and it connects by a long tendon to the distal with other types of curls. In fact,
three months of three sets of front
end of the radius bone on the thumb side near the
dumbbell curls will allow you to
wrist. It does not cross the wrist, so it can only flex
begin to power up your arms in
the elbow and it therefore assists the biceps and
brachialis in this function. In standing front dumbbell time for the summer fun.

REFERENCES
1. Moore, K.L. and A.F. Dalley. Clinically Orientated Anatomy.
4th Edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, P.J. Kelly, Editor. Baltimore,
Philadelphia. pp. 720-723, 1999.
2. Bankoff AD, Gushi MS, Boer NP: Electromyographic study of
the exor muscles of the elbow articulation in weightlifting trained
subjects. Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol 2007;47:49-54.
3. Akagi R, Iwanuma S, Hashizume S et al: In vivo
measurements of moment arm lengths of three elbow exors
at rest and during isometric contractions. J Appl Biomech
2012;28:63-69.
4. Akagi R, Iwanuma S, Hashizume S et al: Association
between contraction-induced increases in elbow exor muscle
thickness and distal biceps brachii tendon moment arm depends
on the muscle thickness measurement site. J Appl Biomech
2014;30:134-139.

www.fitnessrxformen.com

5. Kemi OJ, Rognmo O, Amundsen BH et al: One-arm maximal


strength training improves work economy and endurance capacity
but not skeletal muscle blood ow. J Sports Sci 2011;29:161-170.
6. Dartnall TJ, Nordstrom MA, Semmler JG: Adaptations in
biceps brachii motor unit activity after repeated bouts of eccentric
exercise in elbow exor muscles. J Neurophysiol 2011;105:1225-1235.
7. Semmler JG: Motor unit activity after eccentric exercise and
muscle damage in humans. Acta Physiol (Oxf) 2014;210:754-767.
8. Semmler JG, Ebert SA, Amarasena J: Eccentric muscle
damage increases intermuscular coherence during a fatiguing
isometric contraction. Acta Physiol (Oxf) 2013;208:362-375.
9. Soares S, Ferreira-Junior JB, Pereira MC et al: Dissociated
Time Course of Muscle Damage Recovery Between Single- and
Multi-Joint Exercises in Highly Resistance-Trained Men. J Strength
Cond Res 2015;29:2594-2599.

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FitRxCoolDOWN

MUSCLE AND STRENGTH


BY

MICHAEL RUDOLPH, Ph.D.

BEST SQUAT WORKOUT FOR STRENGTH:

HEAVY WEIGHT
VERSUS LIGHTER
LOADS TO FAILURE

The squat is the best leg-developing


exercise because of its remarkable
capacity to simultaneously activate most
of the major muscle groups within the
lower body, generating tremendous
muscle growth and strength. While all of
the muscle-building capabilities from
squatting are fantastic, there has been
some uncertainty about what training
protocol elicits maximum strength gains
while performing the squat. One of the
more complex, yet seemingly simple,
questions asked when assessing the

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capacity of a certain training approach


to build strength is simply how many
repetitions should be performed and at
what intensity level.

STANDARD TRAINING
INTENSITY FOR SIZE OR
STRENGTH
The typical training approach
for maximal squat strength utilizes
approximately 80 to 90 percent of your
one-repetition maximum (1RM) within
the repetition range of two to five, while

using 75 to 85 percent of your 1RM


within the repetition range four to 12
is usually employed to preferentially
stimulate muscle hypertrophy. Heavier
weights augment strength principally
by inducing greater neuromuscular
activation of fast-twitch muscle fibers,
which contract more quickly than slowtwitch muscle fibers, producing more
power.
The increased activation of fasttwitch muscle fibers from highintensity training ultimately leads to

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FitRxCoolDOWN
greater strength gains. On the other
hand, higher-volume training more
specifically amplifies muscle growth,
in large part by increasing muscle
time under tension, which increases
metabolic stress encouraging muscle
hypertrophy.
Several studies highlight the
aforementioned differences in
training outcomes, pointing out that
training prescriptions for hypertrophy
differ considerably from those that
preferentially boost strength.1 In fact, as
a proof of principle, most powerlifters
whose primary goal is to get stronger
characteristically perform highintensity training using 85 percent to
95 percent of their 1RM for three to five
repetitions, while most bodybuilders
utilize lighter weights in the 75 percent
to 85 percent range of their 1RM, usually
for eight to 12 repetitions.

GREATER MUSCLE
CONTRACTION EQUALS
GREATER STRENGTH
A key element required for
improved strength arises from an
enhanced capacity to swiftly activate
muscular contraction. It has been
well documented that lifting heavier
loads increases the ability to recruit,
or activate, muscular contraction,
demonstrating one of the pivotal
mechanisms triggered by heavier
loads that more effectively promotes
strength gains.2,3 On the contrary, other
studies have also shown increased
levels of muscle activity can be caused
while using lighter weights and more
repetitions.4,5
The rise in muscle activity triggered
while using lighter weights with more
repetitions has been attributed to the
sequential activation of additional
muscle tissue that occurs in order to
sustain muscular contraction throughout
the entire lift as muscular fatigue
accumulates. As a result, the larger
amount of muscle activity brought on
by the use of lighter loads and higher
repetitions could potentially lead to
comparable gains in strength that
are seen when using heavier weight.
However, the relative increase in
muscle activity when performing more
repetitions with lighter resistance is still
unclear, when compared to the use of
heavier resistance. Thus, the ability of
this training approach to boost strength
has remained undefined.
Since muscular fatigue brought on
by higher-repetition training induces
the activation of additional muscle

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MUSCLE AND STRENGTH


HEAVY RESISTANCE TRAINING ALONE IS STILL
ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAYS TO TRIGGER
MUSCLE ACTIVITY AND BOLSTER STRENGTH.
tissue in a compensatory way, perhaps
training techniques that pre-exhaust
the muscle more extensively such
as drop sets, which use heavier weight
to induce greater muscular fatigue,
followed immediately by lighter-weight
training to failure may trigger an even
larger amount of muscle activation,
ultimately generating more muscle
activity that further augments strength
improvement.

HIGH-INTENSITY
TRAINING PREVAILS
Researchers wanted to investigate
whether higher-repetition training with
lighter weights alone could induce
similar, or greater muscular activity, than
heavy resistance training can. To this
end, a study by Looney et al.6 looked at
the muscle activity of two major muscles
within the upper leg, the vastus lateralis
and the vastus medialis, while 10 young
men with extensive training experience
performed the squat to their maximum
amount of repetitions, with an increasing
load level of 50, 70 or 90 percent of
their respective 1RM. The results
demonstrated that muscle activity in
both muscle groups was significantly
greater when performing 90 percent of
their 1RM to muscular failure, compared
to when they performed the squat at
50 and 70 percent of their 1RM, also to
muscular failure. Training at 70 percent
of their 1RM resulted in significantly
greater recruitment than training at 50
percent of their 1RM.
To further investigate whether
higher-repetition training with lighter
weights combined with drop sets could
induce muscular activity comparable to
heavy resistance training alone, Looney
et al. looked at the muscle activity of the
same upper leg muscles, while subjects
performed the maximum amount of
repetitions in the squat with a light
load (50 percent of their 1RM) right
after performing the squat with 70 and
90 percent of their 1RM to failure. This
was done with no rest between any of
the sets, to maximize muscular fatigue
and hopefully induce greater muscular
activity. The data showed that using
the drop set method to pre-fatigue the
muscle did not increase muscle activity
above the levels seen when simply
performing a set to failure using the
same 50 percent of the 1RM.

Altogether, these results confirm


the previously held belief that greater
muscle activity occurs with use of
heavier weights, and the addition of
pre-fatigue methods such as drop
set does not lead to greater muscle
activity during subsequent lowintensity training.
In conclusion, heavy resistance
training alone is still one of the most
effective ways to trigger muscle
activity and bolster strength. Moreover,
despite other training methods that
successfully incorporate the use of light
weights while bolstering considerable
gains in strength, the use of pre-exhaust
training methods at high intensity
levels, combined with high-repetition
training at light loads, does not
produce the desired effect of increased
muscular contractility meaning this
approach will likely be unsuccessful
at boosting any significant amount of
muscular strength.
For most of Michael Rudolphs career he has been
engrossed in the exercise world as either an athlete (he
played college football at Hofstra University), personal
trainer or as a research scientist (he earned a B.Sc. in
Exercise Science at Hofstra University and a Ph.D. in
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Stony Brook
University). After earning his Ph.D., Michael investigated
the molecular biology of exercise as a fellow at Harvard
Medical School and Columbia University for over
eight years. That research contributed seminally to
understanding the function of the incredibly important
cellular energy sensor AMPK leading to numerous
publications in peer-reviewed journals including the
journal Nature. Michael is currently a scientist working
at the New York Structural Biology Center doing
contract work for the Department of Defense on a
project involving national security.

REFERENCES
zv
1. Masuda K, Choi JY, et al. Maintenance of
myoglobin concentration in human skeletal muscle after
heavy resistance training. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup
Physiol 1999;79, 347-352.
2. Duchateau J and Hainaut K. Training effects of
sub-maximal electrostimulation in a human muscle. Med
Sci Sports Exerc 1988;20, 99-104.
3. Pucci AR, Griffin L and Cafarelli E. Maximal motor
unit ring rates during isometric resistance training in
men. Exp Physiol 2006;91, 171-178.
4. Hassani A, Patikas D, et al. Agonist and
antagonist muscle activation during maximal and
submaximal isokinetic fatigue tests of the knee
extensors. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2006;16, 661-668.
5. Pincivero DM, Aldworth C, et al. Quadricepshamstring EMG activity during functional, closed kinetic
chain exercise to fatigue. Eur J Appl Physiol 2000;81,
504-509.
6. Looney DP, Kraemer WJ, et al. Electromyographical
and Perceptual Responses to Different Resistance
Intensities in a Squat Protocol: Does Performing Sets
to Failure With Light Loads Recruit More Motor Units? J
Strength Cond Res 2015. [Epub, ahead of print]

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SUPPLEMENT EDGE
BY

VICTOR R. PRISK, M.D. @VICTORPRISK

HARNESS
THE MUSCLE-BUILDING POWER
OF LEUCINE
THE LEUCINCE
FACTOR DIET:

My book, The Leucine Factor Diet, available


at LeucineFactor.com, sets an algorithm for
helping you create leucine-rich diets for building muscle, getting lean or maintaining. It is a
comprehensive program providing advice on
creating the diets, preferred foods, recipes,
goal setting, exercise and supplementation. At
great expense to me, I even created a smartphone app to make meal creation easier for
you! The reason I created the book is not to
promote an overemphasis on leucine supplementation; quite the opposite.You really need
to focus on the leucine content of the proteins
you eat, as all proteins arent created equal.
Ounce for ounce, some proteins have more
leucine than others. When you eat a lowerquality protein with lower leucine content, you
need more of it to get the beneficial effects
of the leucine. As a result, you end up eating
more protein calories (and possibly fat calories) with the lower-quality proteins and you
need to adjust your macronutrients accordingly.
For instance, if you compare
a top round steak that has 10.7
percent leucine in its protein
(0.91 grams of leucine in 8.5
grams of protein per ounce) to
canned tuna, that has 7.8 percent
leucine (0.43 grams of leucine
in 5.5 grams of protein per
ounce), youll need more protein
from tuna to get the leucine you
need.1 Forty grams of protein
from the top round (4.7 ounces)
supplies 4.28 grams of leucine.
In order to get the same number of grams of
leucine from the canned tuna, you would have
to eat 9.95 ounces or 54.74 grams of protein.
When you are trying to maintain or get
lean, the extra calories from fat or protein are
not inconsequential when eating more ounces
of protein. If you were trying to get lean or
lose weight, those extra 14.74 grams of protein
(58.97 calories) should be subtracted from
your carbohydrate allotment for that meal.
The reasons for adjusting down carbohydrate or fat content are explained in more de-

tail in The Leucine Factor Diet.


Im sure your next questions are how much
leucine do you need in a meal, and why do
you need it? It is probably best to answer the
latter question first. Leucine is an essential
branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) that has
very special properties compared to the other
BCAAs and essential amino acids. Studies
demonstrate that leucine is particularly important in turning on the enzymes that initiate
muscle protein synthesis and other aspects of
metabolism. Leucine, more so than any other
essential amino acid, turns on muscle anabolism via activation of the mammalian target of
rapamycin (mTOR), the master regulator of
muscle protein synthesis.2
On a cellular level, leucine also activates
metabolism and markers of mitochondrial biogenesis (making the mitochondria that burn
calories and make ATP for muscle function).
Specifically, leucine stimulates 5 adenosine
monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), the master
regulator of cellular metabolism
and energetics.3 Further activation of proliferator-activator
receptor gamma coactivator-1
(PGC-1a) leads to production
of mitochondria and metabolic
enzymes of respiration. Even the
leucine breakdown product and
supplement b-hydroxy-b-methylbutyrate (HMB) has this ability;
the details of which are beyond
the scope of this article.4
Of note, AMPK activation by
leucine is a temporally dynamic process that
appears to occur after prolonged exposure
to leucine as in a leucine-rich diet, whereas
its anabolic mTOR-activating actions are
more acute.
It is almost counterintuitive that leucine
turns on both building and calorie-burning
metabolism, because mTOR and AMPK are
often thought to be counterproductive to one
another. However, if you realize that building
muscle is a metabolically expensive process
that requires energy, then it makes sense that

LEUCINE IS
AN ESSENTIAL
BRANCHEDCHAIN AMINO
ACID (BCAA)
THAT HAS
VERY SPECIAL
PROPERTIES
COMPARED
TO THE OTHER
BCAAS.

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you would need more cellular energy


production. Further, more muscle contractile proteins means that the muscle
cell needs more ability to supply those
proteins with ATP to fuel contraction, thus
the processes to make more mitochondria and thus more ATP must be initiated.
When leucine is in our diet, it tells our
body that high-quality food is available
in our environment, and that we can
maintain metabolically expensive muscle
and burn the calories that are coming in.
On the other hand, excessive amounts of
carbohydrate also turn on insulin-dependent processes that lead to more storage
of calories. Thus, leucine is at odds with
carbohydrate.
I like to call leucine the anti-kryptonite. The kryptonite that makes us
weak is sugar (glucose). Sugar caramelizes our proteins, causing tissue damage
and thus inflammation. Systemic inflammation leads to inability to recover from
exercise, further tissue damage, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and
even cancer! Insulin is critical to getting
toxic sugar out of our blood to prevent its
toxic effects that are best noted in untreated diabetes.
Leucine is the anti-kryptonite for a
number of reasons.4,5 First, it turns on
muscle anabolism and metabolism, thus
helping to increase metabolic currency
and the burning of glucose. Second,
leucine has the ability to increase insulin

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sensitivity and insulin release. Improving


insulin function improves the bodys ability
to clear glucose from the blood. Third, leucine is one of two amino acids (the other is
lysine) that your body cant convert into glucose (non-gluconeogenic). In fact, leucine
can only be converted to ketones, which
have other health benefits to the brain, heart
and metabolism.
How much leucine we need is a topic of
great debate and one of scientific interpretation. The Leucine Factor Diet works via an
algorithm that optimizes the activation of
mTOR every three hours during the day; a
five-meal-a-day diet. The ideal amount of
leucine per meal appears to be around 0.02
grams per pound of bodyweight, based on
extrapolation from data where the optimal
activation was obtained with 3.5 grams of
leucine in an average study population of
167 pounds.6 Further studies have suggested similar responses to three grams of
leucine per meal as whey protein, at a bodyweight average of 171 pounds (.018 grams
of leucine per pound).7
So, you might ask, How about I take a
bunch of leucine and BCAA supplements
wont that do the trick? Theres no point
in turning on muscle protein synthesis
without supplying the muscle with the other
essential building blocks of human tissue,
including the essential amino acids and
essential fatty acids. Studies do support that
supplementing proteins that have less leucine with more leucine improves the muscle
protein synthetic response to that protein.8
That being said, you may need to add a little
leucine boost to your meal, and a supplement might help.
Nature has told us how important leucine
is to human growth and development.1 My
book points out the importance of whey protein in neonatal development. Human milk
has nearly 10 percent leucine in its protein,
significantly more than cows milk. This is
because human milk contains 60 percent
whey protein while cows milk has only 20
percent. Whey is the richest protein in leucine content, with isolates containing up to
12 percent leucine. This is 30 percent more
than that of soy protein. So when we are
most metabolically active, growing our most
and eating most often, nature has stated that
we need a leucine-rich source of protein.
With this information in hand, I would
like to mention a disturbing trend. Bear with
me on this, but CrossFitters (yeah, I went
there) have been pushing branched-chain
amino acid supplements. This is coming
from the same group of people who think a
low-carb paleo diet is the best way to fuel
high-intensity endurance/strength competitions with Olympic lifts for reps and speed; I

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digress. Branched-chain amino acid supplements were very popular in the 1980s as
scientists said since your muscle protein
has more BCAAs than other proteins, we
must eat more BCAAs to build protein. They
werent completely off, but they didnt know
the importance of leucine and the other essential amino acids.
It doesnt make sense to take BCAAs
independently of the other essential amino
acids (EAAs). Whey protein is incredibly
rich in leucine, the other BCAAs and the
EAAs, and is most effective in building
muscle after resistance training. So why
would one even need to take extra BCAAs if
you are using the whey protein all physique
athletes should use? Some science suggests
that extraordinarily high doses of the other
essential amino acids isoleucine and valine
may actually be counterproductive. Unfortunately, studies that show ergogenic or antiinflammatory benefit of BCAA supplementation failed to compare this effect to simply
supplementing with equivalent amounts of
whey protein.9
In summary, remember that all proteins
arent created equal. Some have more of the
anti-kryptonite than others. Leucine supplements can be used to augment lower-leucine
complete proteins. Try to get your protein
in every three hours. If you have a meal supplying 0.02 grams of leucine per pound of
your bodyweight, work out an hour later, and
another meal or shake within an hour of your
training will satisfy the anabolic window.

REFERENCES
1. USDA database. Leucine Factor Diet book, Ulysses
Press 2016.
2. Atherton PJ, et al. Distinct anabolic signaling
responses to amino acids in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells.
Amino Acids 2010;May;38(5):1533-9.
3. Vaughan RA, et al. Leucine treatment enhances oxidative capacity through complete carbohydrate oxidation
and increased mitochondrial density in skeletal muscle
cells. Amino Acids 2013;Oct;45(4):901-11.
4. Macotela Y, et al. Dietary leucine--an environmental
modier of insulin resistance acting on multiple levels of
metabolism. PLoS One 2011;6(6):e21187.
5. Li X, et al. Chronic leucine supplementation increases body weight and insulin sensitivity in rats on high-fat
diet likely by promoting insulin signaling in insulin-target
tissues. Mol Nutr Food Res 2013;Jun;57(6):1067-79 [Shows
that leucine improves insulin sensitivity]
6. Pasiakos SM, et al. Leucine-enriched essential
amino acid supplementation during moderate steady state
exercise enhances postexercise muscle protein synthesis.
Am J Clin Nutr 2011;Sep;94(3):809-18.
7. Churchward-Venne TA, et al. Leucine supplementation of a low-protein mixed macronutrient beverage enhances myobrillar protein synthesis in young
men: a double-blind, randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr
2014;Feb;99(2):276-86.
8. Churchward-Venne T, et al. Supplementation of
a suboptimal protein dose with leucine or essential
amino acids: effects on myobrillar protein synthesis
at rest and following resistance exercise in men. J
Physiol 2012;590;11:pp 2751-2765.
9. Kephart WC, et al. Ten weeks of branched-chain
amino acid supplementation improves select performance and immunological variables in trained cyclists.
Amino Acids 2015;Nov 9. [Epub]

GARCINIA
CAMBOGIA

UPDATE ON

By Victor R. Prisk, M.D. @victorprisk


B

Garcinia cambogia extracts were popularized


by Dr. Oz and his pseudo-science marketing,
which was the topic of his congressional
inquisition. The active component of Garcinia
extracts, hydroxycitric acid (HCA), has been
in fat-loss supplements for almost 20 years.
Science suggests that it is an inhibitor of liver
fatty acid synthesis while boosting glycogen
synthesis and appetite suppression.
However, randomized controlled trials of
subjects treated with Garcinia for 12 weeks failed
to demonstrate any signicant fat loss compared
to placebo. Even an extensive literature review
of multiple studies failed to nd any convincing
evidence that Garcinia could be effective as a fat
burner. The potential downsides make it a nobrainer as a nonstarter.1,2
A recent case report suggests that Garcinia
may be damaging to your liver.1 A supplement
with 936 milligrams of Garcinia cambogia extract
with 60 percent HCA was taken by a relatively
healthy 52-year-old female for less than a month,
and she experienced life-threatening liver failure
necessitating a liver transplant. Whether this
was a result of the Garcinia in the supplement or
another contaminant, we may never know.
It is concerning that liver failure has
been reported after use of both a Garciniacontaining supplement and green tea extracts,
as these are both found in numerous fat-loss
supplements. In my experience, it is all too
common that those seeking fat loss take
the more is better mentality, which can
lead to potential medical disasters. When
a supplement contains these concentrated
extracts, you may want to steer clear.
REFERENCES:
1. Corey R, et al. Acute liver failure associated with Garcinia
cambogia use. Ann Hepatol 2015;Jan-2016 Feb;15(1):123-6.
2. Mancano MA. Garcinia Cambogia-Induced Acute Hepatitis.
Hosp Pharm 2015; Jul;50(7):564-8.

MAY 2016

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81

FitRxCoolDOWN

THE M.A.X. MUSCLE PLAN


BY

BRAD SCHOENFELD, Ph.D., CSCS, FNSCA

IS THERE A PLACE FOR

BLOOD FLOW RESTRICTION TRAINING

IN A

MUSCLE BUILDING
ROUTINE?
By no means is BFR a new technique.
Japanese researchers and athletes have
used BFR for more than two decades,
with several hundred published studies
to date conducted on its efficacy.
Research on the topic is intriguing.

BFR TRAINING
AND MUSCLE GROWTH

THERE IS COMPELLING
EVIDENCE THAT BFR CAN
PROMOTE INCREASES IN
MUSCLE GROWTH.
When it comes to maximizing muscle
development, everyones looking for an
edge and is constantly experimenting
with various specialized techniques
designed to take muscularity to that
next level. One such technique thats
been making its way into the routines
of many hardcore lifters is blood flow
restriction (BFR) training.
In case youre not aware, BFR involves
occluding circulation of the working
muscle by binding an implement
around the limb(s) and then performing
dynamic exercise. The goal here is
to impede venous circulation while
maintaining arterial flow. This allows
blood to pool in the muscle without
escaping, thereby creating an enhanced
anabolic environment.

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There is compelling evidence


that BFR can promote increases in
muscle growth. Simply restricting
circulation with an inflatable cuff
for five bouts of five minutes twice
a day was sufficient to preserve leg
muscle mass in subjects immobilized
in a cast for 14 days.4 These results
proved more effective than targeted
isometric contractions of knee and
ankle musculature! Whats more, BFR
in combination with treadmill walk
training increased thigh muscle crosssectional area by four to seven percent
after just three weeks in a cohort
of untrained young men1 pretty
impressive, considering that walking
isnt exactly a classic hypertrophy
exercise.
The effects of BFR when combined
with resistance training are even more
notable. A 2011 meta-analysis found that
lifting weights with light loads in combination with BFR substantially increased
muscle mass.6 Moreover, gains were
approximately equal to that seen with
traditional heavy loading! A caveat to
these findings was that only one of the
studies meeting inclusion criteria used
resistance-trained subjects. Moreover,
none of the protocols directly compared
BFR to a traditional muscle building-type
of training protocol, nor did any evaluate
whether there was a benefit to combining
BFR with traditional training.
A couple of studies subsequently have
been published that investigated the ef-

fects of incorporating BFR into a muscle


building-type routine.Yamanaka et al.13
reported an additional three percent
increase in chest girth when BFR was
combined with heavy resistance training
in a group of well-trained college football
players. Conversely, Luebbers et al.7 employed a similar study design to that of
Yamanka, but found no additive benefit
on thigh, chest or arm girth. The issue
with both of these studies was the use of
circumference measurements as a proxy
for muscular growth, which can have a
high degree of measurement error. Bottom line is that we need more research
with better hypertrophy measures to
draw proper conclusions on the topic.

METABOLITES HEIGHTEN
ANABOLIC PROCESSES
While the jury is still out as to whether
adding BFR to your routine will enhance
results, there is at least a good theoretical basis for its use. You see, BFR causes
large increases in the accumulation of
metabolic byproducts such as lactate,
inorganic phosphate and hydrogen
ions. These metabolites are thought to
heighten anabolic processes by a variety of mechanisms that include local
growth factors, reactive oxygen species,
cell swelling and/or systemic agents.9,10
And in the absence of direct evidence,
we defer to logical reasoning to guide
decision making.
The majority of research on BFR uses
pneumatic cuffs and belts to occlude circulation. These implements have gauges
whereby the extent of occlusion to the
limb can be directly standardized to a
given pressure. The amount of pressure
is generally based on a systolic blood
pressure ranging from 160-230 mm Hg.
One little problem: the implements used
in research are very pricey, often costing
several thousand dollars.

www.fitnessrxformen.com

FitRxCoolDOWN
ELASTIC KNEE WRAPS
The good news is that BFR can be
inexpensively employed by the use of
elastic knee wraps, which have been
shown to be an effective alternative to
pneumatic devices.12 The width of the
wraps is an important consideration.
Overly wide wraps impede arterial
blood flow at lower pressures compared
to narrower cuffs5, which ultimately
causes you to fatigue before you reach
your target rep range. Not surprisingly,
this can have a negative impact on
muscular gains.2 A good rule of thumb
is to opt for a width of two inches.
To ensure that you maintain this
approximate diameter, bind the wraps
as closely over one another as possible
so there is maximum overlap. It makes
no difference what brand you buy;
provided the wraps are long enough to
span your limbs several times, youre
good to go.
The downside of using knee wraps
is that you cant directly measure the
pressure applied to the limb. No worries.
You can estimate the extent of occlusion
on a self-perceived scale of one to 10,
where one is no pressure at all and 10 is
extreme discomfort. Aim for a perceived
level of discomfort of around seven or
so. Resist the urge to wrap too tightly
as it will impede arterial flow, reducing
total training volume and thus negatively
affecting the hypertrophic response.3
After several sessions, you should get
the hang of the scale and be able to
implement it with precision.
Place the wraps as high as possible on
the limb(s) being trained, making sure
not to cover the working muscle. For the
upper arms, this means occluding at the
level of the deltoid; for the legs, wrap just
beneath the gluteal fold.

BFR AS A FINISHING
TECHNIQUE
While there are a variety of ways to
incorporate BFR into a hypertrophyoriented routine, one of the best
strategies is as a finishing technique.
This entails performing your usual
workout and then finishing up with
several sets of BFR. Although you can
employ occlusion with virtually any
exercise, it generally works best in this
fashion with single-joint movements
such as biceps curls, triceps pushdowns
and leg extensions. The loads should
be light generally between 20 and 30
percent of your one-repetition maximum
(1RM). This should result in attaining
somewhere between 20-30 reps on the
first set of a given exercise. Perform an

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THE M.A.X. MUSCLE PLAN


additional two or three sets thereafter
for as many reps as possible to failure.
Keep rest intervals short; no more than
about 30 seconds or so between sets.
This heightens metabolic stress as well
as creating a substantial pump that may
help to stimulate additional growth.8
Importantly, dont remove the wraps
during rest periods, as this decreases
metabolic buildup and thus inhibits
anabolism.11
Summing up, BFR can be a worthy
technique to add to your routine,
particularly for heightening growth in
the arms and legs. One or two sessions
a week as a finishing exercise is a good
starting point. Monitor your progress
and adjust the volume and frequency
accordingly.
Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., CSCS, FNSCA is widely
regarded as one of the leading authorities on training
for muscle development and fat loss. He has published
over 60 peer-reviewed studies on various exercise- and
nutrition-related topics. He is also the author of the
best-selling book, The M.A.X. Muscle Plan, and runs a
popular website and blog at www.lookgreatnaked.com.

REFERENCES
1. Abe T, Kearns CF and Sato Y. Muscle size and
strength are increased following walk training with
restricted venous blood ow from the leg muscle, Kaatsuwalk training. J Appl Physiol 2006;100: 1460-1466.
2. Kacin A and Strazar K. Frequent low-load ischemic
resistance exercise to failure enhances muscle oxygen
delivery and endurance capacity. Scand J Med Sci Sports
2011;21: e231-41.
3. Krieger, JW. Single vs. multiple sets of resistance
exercise for muscle hypertrophy: a meta-analysis. J.
Strength Cond Res 2010;24: 1150-1159.
4. Kubota A, Sakuraba K, et al. Prevention of disuse
muscular weakness by restriction of blood ow. Med Sci
Sports Exerc 2008;40: 529-534.
5. Loenneke JP, Fahs CA, et al. Effects of cuff width on
arterial occlusion: implications for blood ow restricted
exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 2011. [Epub]
6. Loenneke JP, Wilson JM, et al. Low-intensity blood
ow restriction training: a meta-analysis. Eur J Appl Physiol
2011. [Epub]
7. Luebbers PE, Fry AC, et al. The effects of a 7-week
practical blood ow restriction program on well-trained
collegiate athletes. J Strength Cond Res 2014;28: 2270-2280.
8. Schoenfeld BJ and Contreras B. The muscle pump:
potential mechanisms and applications for enhancing
hypertrophic adaptations. Strength Cond J 2014;36: 21-25.
9. Schoenfeld BJ. Potential mechanisms for a role of
metabolic stress in hypertrophic adaptations to resistance
training. Sports Med 2013;43: 179-194,.
10. Scott BR, Slattery KM and Dascombe BJ. Intermittent
hypoxic resistance training: Is metabolic stress the key
moderator? Med Hypotheses 2015;84: 145-149.
11. Suga T, Okita K, et al. Effect of multiple set on
intramuscular metabolic stress during low-intensity
resistance exercise with blood ow restriction. Eur J Appl
Physiol 2012;112: 3915-3920.
12. Wilson JM, Lowery RP, et al. Practical Blood
Flow Restriction Training Increases Acute Determinants
of Hypertrophy Without Increasing Indices of Muscle
Damage. J Strength Cond Res 2013; Nov;27(11):3068-75.
13. Yamanaka T, Farley RS and Caputo JL. Occlusion
training increases muscular strength in division IA football
players. J Strength Cond Res 2012;26: 2523-2529.

www.fitnessrxformen.com

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Facebook logo is owned by Facebook Inc. Read the entire label and follow directions. 2016

FitRxCoolDOWN

SPORTS SUPPLEMENT REVIEW

BY TEAM FITRX

HI-TECH PHARMACEUTICALS

MUSCLE-BUILDING STACK
1-AD AND ANDRODIOL

Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals revolutionary line of nutraceutical products is at


the forefront of the dietary supplement industry. Hi-Tech holds a key position as
the leader and the innovator of natural, proprietary, and preventative health care
products. Their extensive line includes two powerful anabolic agents to boost
prohormones and testosterone, for dramatic increases in strength and improved
muscle mass.
As all serious, hardcore lifters know, proper supplementation and nutrition is
vital for achieving the best results possible in the gym and for preventing injury
from overtraining. There are tons of choices lining the supplement store shelves
that promise shirt-exploding results, but many of these products have ashy
labels and are full of hot air. Hi-Tech is dedicated to setting a higher standard of
scientic excellence for the dietary supplement industry all the more reason to
give your body the highest-quality nutrients possible to build a bigger and better
version of yourself.

1-ADANABOLIC AGENT

CLEANER GAINS AND


DRAMATIC STRENGTH INCREASES
1-AD is based upon a naturally occurring metabolite for many
animals, including man, that has properties far different from standard testosterone in the body. In January 2005, the supplement
industry witnessed the banning of the best natural legal hormonal
products ever produced the 1-Test and 1-AD family of supplements. These delta-ones (as they were referred to) changed the
entire legal hormone market. There was nothing like them before
their introduction, and there has been nothing like them since.
Delta-ones included the original 1-ADs (1-androstenedione and
1-androstenediol) and the 1-test esters and ethers. Hi-Techs 1-AD
converts to 1-testosterone and is more of a mild hormone that will
give you cleaner gains and dramatic strength increases.
1-Androsterone aka 1-androstene-3b-ol-17-one is still available
on the United States market and is the key component of 1-AD. In
a recent study released in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the oral
prohormone 1-androstene-3b-ol-17-one was found to be as potent,
milligram-for-milligram, as testosterone enathate, the gold standard for testosterone products.

IMPROVED MUSCLE MASS AND STRENGTH


Very few dietary supplements have been subjected to a clinical
study. However, the active prohormone 1-androstene-3b-ol-17-one
was the subject of a clinical study at the West Texas A&M University,
the California Baptist University and the University of Texas at Austin.
The results showed 1-androstene-3b-ol-17-one to be signicantly
more powerful than it would appear structurally. The nine males
in the study gained an average lean mass of 10.4 pounds and an
increase in strength of 92.2 pounds in total load on the bench, squat
and deadlift. These are signicant gains from a prohormone. The researchers concluded that
1-AD KEY BENEFITS the prohormone supplement contributed to robust
Lean muscle gains
improvements in muscle
Low-to-no estrogen conversion
mass and strength in re Minimal water retention
sistance-trained subjects.
Quicker lean muscle growth

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ANDRODIOL ANABOLIC
AGENT AND TEST BOOSTER

MOST POTENT PROHORMONE AND TESTOSTERONE


BOOSTER AVAILABLE
Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals brand-new Androdiol brings to market the
most potent, patented, legal bodybuilding prohormone and testosterone
booster available today. Androdiol utilizes 4-androstene-3b-ol, 17-one,
which has been shown to be very effective by itself. Hi-Tech then massively
improves delivery via a specially processed Androdiol, which results
in a Cyclosome Delivery System for maximum oral absorption and
bioavailability.

EXTREME ANABOLIC ENVIRONMENT


Androdiol is recognized as the Andro leader because it wont directly
aromatize to estrogen and doesnt convert to DHT or its derivatives. HiTechs Cyclosome Technology makes the active prohormones like 4
androstene-3b-ol, 17-one almost completely absorbable, creating an
extreme anabolic environment in the body.

ANDRODIOL KEY BENEFITS


Lean muscle gains
Low estrogen conversion
Minimal water retention means no bloating
Incredible strength gains have been reported

HI-TECH PHARMACEUTICALS
FOUND IN NATURE BACKED BY SCIENCE
Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals creates, manufactures and sells high-quality
products sold by large, major retailers across the United States. These
retailers include GNC, Rite Aid, Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World, Kmart,
CVS, Duane Reade, Walgreens, Walgreens.com, Target.com, Amazon.com,
Drugstore.com, over 5,000 health food retailers and more than 80,000
convenience stores throughout the United States.

www.fitnessrxformen.com

FitRxCoolDOWN

ULTIMATE IN NUTRITION
BY

BRAD SCHOENFELD, Ph.D., CSCS, FNSCA

IS THERE A POST-WORKOUT

ANABOLIC WINDOW

OPPORTUNITY

OF

For many years, the concept of a postworkout anabolic window of opportunity


has been taken as gospel by those in
the fitness community. Simply stated, the
anabolic window hypothesis postulates
that a limited time exists after training to
optimize training-related muscular adaptations generally believed to be less than
an hour after completion of an exercise
bout.2,4,5 According to popular belief, consuming the proper ratio of nutrients during
this critical time period not only facilitates
muscle protein accretion, but it does so in a
supercompensated fashion that maximizes
the hypertrophic response to lifting delaying protein intake by a matter of minutes
after this time period is purported to seriously compromise muscular gains. Some
researchers have proposed that the timing
of nutritional intake is even more important to muscle growth than the absolute
daily consumption of nutrients.2 Bold
claims indeed!
To get a handle on the topic, lets
see what research says.There is some
evidence showing superior increases in
muscle protein synthesis when amino
acids are ingested in close proximity to
the conclusion of exercise as opposed
to delaying consumption. One such
study found significantly greater acute
protein accretion when beagle dogs
consumed amino acids immediately
following 150 minutes of treadmill
running compared to two hours postexercise.9 Although intriguing, we need
to take these findings with a large grain of
salt; an animal trial using aerobic training
is not exactly indicative of the anabolic
response of hard-training lifters. Another
study carried out in human subjects by
Levenhagen et al.7 showed that lower
body and whole-body protein synthesis
was increased significantly more when
protein was ingested immediately versus
three hours after exercise. Problem is,
the training involved moderate intensity,
long-duration aerobic exercise. This raises
the distinct possibility that results were
attributed to greater mitochondrial and/or
sarcoplasmic protein fractions as opposed

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to synthesis of contractile elements. Lets


face it, long-duration aerobic exercise is
not much of a muscle-building activity.
Conversely, Rasmussen et al.10 investigated
the acute impact of protein timing after
resistance training without question,
a better indicator of synthesis of muscle
contractile elements. In this study, no
significant differences were seen in the
protein synthetic response after consuming
nutrients one versus three hours postexercise. It should be noted that measures
of acute muscle protein synthesis do not

necessarily correlate with muscular


gains achieved from consistent
lifting8, so results from these studies
need to be interpreted with caution.
Ideally, the effects of protein timing
can best be determined by longterm training studies that measure
actual muscle growth.
A number of longitudinal training
studies have endeavored to determine the effect of protein timing on
muscle growth over the long term
(more than six weeks of consistent
resistance exercise). The study that
nutrient timing proponents often cite
in support of an anabolic window
of opportunity was carried out by
Esmarck et al.3, who randomly assigned 13 elderly men (average age
74) to perform a resistance-training
protocol three days a week for 12
weeks. The only variation in the protocol was that subjects consumed 10
grams of protein (a combination of

THE WINDOW OF
OPPORTUNITY IS NOT
AS NARROW AS OFTEN
BELIEVED. RATHER,
THE WINDOW EXISTS
ON A FAIRLY WIDE
CONTINUUM, AND ITS
EFFECTS ON MUSCLE
GROWTH ULTIMATELY
DEPEND ON WHEN YOU
ATE PRIOR TO THE
TRAINING BOUT.

www.fitnessrxformen.com

FitRxCoolDOWN

skimmed milk and soy protein) either


immediately following or two hours
after the training bout. Results showed
that muscle cross-sectional area and
mean fiber area of the quadriceps
increased by seven and 22 percent respectively for the group that received
protein immediately post-exercise,
while the group that delayed protein
intake showed no increases in fiber
hypertrophy. On the surface, these findings would appear to provide compelling evidence for a narrow anabolic
window of opportunity. Nail-in-the-coffin
evidence, right?
Not so fast.
The study had several notable
limitations and inconsistencies. For one,
the sample size was very small, with
only seven subjects in the group that
received immediate protein supplementation, and six in the group where
supplementation was delayed. Such
a small number of subjects ultimately
compromises statistical power, hindering the ability to find probable effects.
For another, the dose of protein was well
below the amount needed to maximize
protein synthesis in an elderly population, estimated to be about 40 grams.12
Whats more, its highly curious that
the delayed-intake group saw no gains
in muscle growth over a period of 12
weeks of regimented resistance training
simply because they waited two hours
to consume protein. Zilch! Considering
that virtually every resistance-training
study ever conducted shows significant
hypertrophy in untrained subjects after
three months of regular lifting, these
results must be viewed with skepticism. On top of all this, the timed group
achieved gains similar to the growth experienced in other studies that did not
provide immediate protein supplementation. All told, this study raises more
questions than providing answers.
When looking at the body of literature as a whole, the results of longitudinal studies have been decidedly conflicting: some show a benefit to protein
timing, while others dont. In an attempt
to achieve clarity on the topic, our lab
recently conducted a meta-analysis that
pooled data on all relevant protein-timing studies.11 Inclusion criteria required
that studies were randomized controlled
trials, where one group received protein within one hour post-exercise and
the other delayed consumption by at
least two hours after completion of the

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ULTIMATE IN NUTRITION

workout. A total of 23 studies qualified


for inclusion, comprising 525 subjects.
A basic analysis showed a small effect for protein timing on hypertrophy,
seemingly indicating that there is in fact
a fairly short anabolic window of opportunity. However, we then carried out
a technique called regression analysis
that accounted for potential confounding variables that unduly influenced
results. Lo and behold, it was found that
virtually the entire effect was explained
by greater protein consumption in subjects receiving immediate protein provision! The issue here is that most studies
gave a placebo to the subjects where
provision was delayed, so that those in
the group receiving supplementation
immediately post-exercise consumed
~1.7 grams per kilogram versus only
1.3 grams per kilogram in the control
condition. Given that research indicates
hard-training lifters need a daily protein
intake of at least 1.7 grams per kilogram
to maximize muscular adaptations1, the
subjects who received immediate protein supplementation were necessarily
at an advantage from a hypertrophy
standpoint.
The meta-analysis had several
limitations. Notably, only five studies
matched protein intake; two showed an
effect and three did not. Moreover, only
two studies evaluated trained subjects
with matched intake; one showed an
effect and one did not. Its therefore
difficult to draw definitive conclusions
from the current research. What can
be extrapolated with a high degree of
confidence is that any effect of protein
timing on muscle hypertrophy, if in fact
there is one, is relatively small. That
said, for serious lifters, particularly
those competing in physique-oriented
competitions, any small benefits that
might exist would be potentially meaningful perhaps even critical.
Heres the take-home: First and foremost, total protein intake is paramount
to muscle building make sure you
consume at least ~1.7 grams per kilograms a day, preferably more. That
said, nutrient timing potentially can
be a beneficial strategy for maximizing muscular gains, but the window of
opportunity is not as narrow as often
believed. Rather, the window exists on
a fairly wide continuum, and its effects
on muscle growth ultimately depend on
when you ate prior to the training bout.
Research indicates that the anabolic

effects of an individual meal last up to


six hours.6 Thus, provided that a proteinrich meal is consumed within about
three to four hours prior to a workout (or
possibly even longer, depending on the
size of the meal), you dont have to stress
about chowing down a post-workout
meal the moment you finish training. For
those who train partially or fully fasted,
on the other hand, consuming protein
immediately post-workout becomes
increasingly more important to promote
anabolism. Although research is somewhat equivocal, it seems prudent to
consume high-quality protein (at a dose
of ~0.4-0.5 grams per kilogram of lean
body mass) both pre- and post-exercise
within about four to six hours of each
other depending on meal size.
Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., CSCS, FNSCA is widely
regarded as one of the leading authorities on training
for muscle development and fat loss. He has published
over 80 peer-reviewed studies on various exercise- and
nutrition-related topics. He is also the author of the
best-selling book, The M.A.X. Muscle Plan, and runs a
popular website and blog at www.lookgreatnaked.com.

REFERENCES
1. Campbell B, Kreider RB, et al. International Society
of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. J
Int Soc Sports Nutr 2007;4: 8.
2. Candow DG and Chilibeck PD. Timing of creatine
or protein supplementation and resistance training in the
elderly. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2008;33: 184-190.
3. Esmarck B, Andersen JL, et al. Timing of postexercise protein intake is important for muscle hypertrophy
with resistance training in elderly humans. J Physiol
2001;535: 301-311.
4. Hulmi JJ, Lockwood CM and Stout JR. Effect of
protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on
skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein.
Nutr Metab (Lond) 2010;7: 51.
5. Kukuljan S, Nowson CA, et al. Effects of resistance
exercise and fortied milk on skeletal muscle mass,
muscle size, and functional performance in middle-aged
and older men: an 18-mo randomized controlled trial. J
Appl Physiol 2009;107: 1864-1873.
6. Layman, DK. Protein quantity and quality at levels
above the RDA improves adult weight loss. J Am Coll Nutr
2004;23: 631S-636S.
7. Levenhagen DK, Gresham JD, et al. Postexercise
nutrient intake timing in humans is critical to recovery of
leg glucose and protein homeostasis. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2001;280: E982-93.
8. Mitchell CJ, Churchward-Venne TA, et al. Acute postexercise myobrillar protein synthesis is not correlated
with resistance training-induced muscle hypertrophy in
young men. PLoS One 2014;9: e89431.
9. Okamura K, Doi T, et al. Effect of amino acid and
glucose administration during postexercise recovery on
protein kinetics in dogs. Am J Physiol 1997;272: E1023-30.
10. Rasmussen BB, Tipton KD, et al. An oral essential
amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle
protein anabolism after resistance exercise. J Appl Physiol
2000;88: 386-392.
11. Schoenfeld BJ, Aragon AA and Krieger JW. The
effect of protein timing on muscle strength and hypertrophy: a meta-analysis. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2013;10:
53-2783-10-53.
12. Yang Y, Breen L, et al. Resistance exercise enhances myobrillar protein synthesis with graded intakes
of whey protein in older men. Br J Nutr 2012;1-9.

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MAY 2016

FITNESSRx for MEN

91

FitRxCoolDOWN

MENS HEALTH
BY

DANIEL GWARTNEY, M.D.

LOSE YOUR GUT:

INSULIN CONTROL
FOR INCINERATING FAT

The human body is fairly plastic in that it can assume a number of different shapes. Even in an individual, this is evident
as that leaner, athletic build that strutted down the high school
hallway eventually acquires what has unfortunately been
coined the dad bod. Is that the pinnacle of human development today? Men who look like the apple character from the
Fruit of the Loom underwear commercials? Normal weight
people are the minority, with overweight and obesity affecting
about two-thirds of the U.S. adult population. Beyond the social
stigma and functional limitations obese individuals face, is the
well-documented association between obesity and a number
of chronic health conditions that have ballooned into epidemic
proportions during the last half-century: type 2 diabetes, hypertension, liver disease, heart disease and certain cancers, in
addition to other less common conditions.1
Obesity is sometimes defined by the fat depots that are
most affected. For example, many women develop a gynoid
presentation with the fat depositing mostly around the hips,
buttocks and thighs; even chicken wings flapping under the
upper arm. Surprisingly, this type of obesity is less harmful
than the android presentation. No, not fast-food consuming
robots, but the typical man with a belly that hangs over the belt
like some kind of fleshy wide tie accessory to a fashionable
physique. These used to be called pear versus apple body
shapes.
Visceral obesity (fat around the internal organs) is essentially the same thing as central obesity, which is pretty much
the same as android obesity. Some men have a big belly
because of excess subcutaneous fat with little visceral fat, but
that is the exception. Also, fat
can deposit in certain organs,
IT IS NOT ONLY
FOR COSMETIC not just around them. The
is a vital organ; when fat
REASONS THAT A liver
deposits in the liver, it does
SMALLER WAIST not function properly and can
AND HEALTHY
generate disease-promoting
BODY COMPOSI- inflammatory signals and altered hormonal metabolism.
TION SHOULD
is a condition called
BE THE GOAL OF There
non-alcoholic fatty liver
REASONABLE
disease affecting as many
INDIVIDUALS,
as one-third of U.S. adults that
describes metabolic impairBUT ALSO TO
ments that arise as a consePROTECT OR
quence of fatty liver.2
REGAIN OVERSo, it is not only for cosALL HEALTH AND metic reasons that a smaller
METABOLIC
waist and healthy body comFUNCTION AND position should be the goal
AVOID AN EARLY of reasonable individuals,
but also to protect or regain
DEATH.
overall health and metabolic

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M AY 2 0 1 6

function and avoid an early death. Visceral obesity is most


closely related to the metabolic conditions associated with
obesity listed above, and the role of chronic inflammation is
thought to be a unifying factor.3 Recently, the gut bacteria,
called the microbiome, have been suggested to play a significant role.4
Though many are remarkably adept at transforming their
physiques, reducing body fat and waist circumference to physiological and anatomical minimums, the general public has
struggled. As it stands, the severely obese are being directed
to gastric bypass surgery to achieve any significant and lasting
weight loss. Obviously, this entails great expense and risk.

THE POWER OF FASTING


Recently, several studies have reported on the effect of
ones eating pattern, as opposed to a diet, on central obesity.
Most diets focus on how much a person eats, or perhaps the
macronutrient ratio (i.e., carbohydrates:protein:fat), such as
the Zone Diet, Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet and various ketogenic programs. These diets rely upon restoring the sensitivity
of the body to the hormone insulin, and reducing its fat gainpromoting properties by dropping the carbohydrate content of
the diet and the glycemic index/load.Yet, there is a proposed
solution that may be easier yet when a person eats. The concept of fasting is familiar, referring to a period of time when a
person does not eat. Obviously, while this will aid in reducing
weight, it is not a long-term solution as the body will begin
catabolizing lean mass to support energy needs, and physical
as well as cognitive performance will suffer. In fact, prolonged
fasting can lead to immune suppression, bone loss, organ damage and eventually death.5 Yet, the power of fasting can be utilized in measured doses to provide many of its fat-loss benefits
without causing loss of lean mass or impairing health. This has
been shown in animal studies, and limited human trial data is
available.6 Unfortunately, there is no standard timing pattern, so
this practice is still in its infancy.
Various terms have been used, including intermittent
fasting and alternate-day fasting, to describe the patterns
used in published studies. Time-restricted feeding involves
limiting eating to a set number of hours each day, consuming
pretty much whatever you want but only in a four- to eight-hour
window; alternate-day fasting is what it sounds like you eat
whatever you want one day, and fast the next day (actually consuming about 25 percent of maintenance calories on fasting
days).7 Now, without restricting how much a person can eat
on feeding days, it sounds like these diets are set up to cause
an epidemic of binge-eating disorder. However, the limited
research seems to show that although people do eat more on
their feeding days, the additional amount is not much more
than normal, and over time becomes less and less trending
down toward the baseline daily calorie intake.8 This means that
the calories avoided by fasting are pretty much subtracted

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from the weekly intake, and over the course of time can lead to a
significant caloric deficit.
The most-referenced study on alternate-day fasting showed
an average weight loss of 6.5 percent in eight weeks.9 Intermittent fasting has less extreme variance in caloric intake, but appears to lead to a weekly decrease in calories consumed. Both
patterns appear to preserve lean mass, with most of the weight
lost coming from fat.10 In addition to the long-term calorie deficit
that accumulates during the fasting days, there appears to be
an increase in the liberation and utilization of stored fat, an adaptation in the metabolism and physiology to make greater and
more efficient use of stored energy reserves (i.e., fat) and a positive change in cardiovascular markers of health, suggesting other
health benefits.6,7
For the person concerned about losing belly fat, these diets
may be the optimal solution, with a tweak or two. Animal and human data shows that the loss of fat is equivalent, with little-to-no
lean mass loss.

MEDITERRANEAN-STYLE DIET,
OLIVE OIL AND INSULIN SENSITIVITY
Those tweaks mentioned earlier can be easily incorporated
into most diets. First, make wise food choices even though you
are allowed to eat to your desire. Animal studies show that inter-

mittent feeding induces fat loss with lean mass retention, and
is associated with changes in brain chemistry that may combat
the slowing of the metabolism often seen with calorie reduction,
as well as avoiding issues with hunger.11 Among these wise
food choices, it seems that following a Mediterranean-style diet
is one option. A key component of the Mediterranean diet is
olive oil, which is rich in the monounsaturated fat oleic acid. In
a study following 11 insulin-resistant people with a family history of type 2 diabetes, three diets were compared.12 The diets,
which each subject consumed for four weeks before switching
to the next after a short break, were rich in saturated fat, monounsaturated fat or carbohydrates. All the diets contained only
15 percent protein, and were designed to maintain bodyweight.
In the end, it was clear that the carbohydrate-rich diet (65%)
was the least beneficial, causing a redistribution of fat to the
abdomen. This has particular relevance to men who experience
android fat with weight gain.
More so, the olive oil-rich diet produced greater insulin sensitivity as well as lower adipokine levels. High saturated fat diets
are reported to decrease insulin sensitivity.13 Adipokines are fat
cell hormones that in a healthy person, increase calorie burning and suppress appetite (leptin), and improve insulin sensitivity (adiponectin). However, when fat cells get overly large or
resistant to regulatory signals, these adipokines increase in an
unhealthy manner. This is why studies that look at obese people
see decreases in these adipokines, and it is a positive change,
as opposed to the same thing happening in a lean person.
Imagine someone yelling at you to make a point in an argument,
and their message is clearer as they speak more loudly. Now,
imagine a hearing-impaired person who needs everything
shouted at them to hear conversations that still may not be perfectly understood. When the hearing-impaired person gets a
hearing aid, the conversation quiets down not because the
speaker doesnt want to communicate, but because the ears
are working better. With weight loss, or a better diet, adipokines
dont need to shout in obese people as loudly.
More exciting than changes on a lab report was the finding
that the olive oil diet prevented the fat redistribution to the
belly seen in the carbohydrate-rich diet. This suggests that a
low-carbohydrate diet with supplemental olive oil may provide
the best bang for the buck when intermittent or alternate-day
fasting for losing the gut.
Like any diet, this may be the one, or it may not be tolerable. Certainly, there is a lot of promise in the early trials and
reports regarding these when diets, versus the what or how
much diets. Incorporating the lessons already learned such
as reducing carbohydrates, especially high-glycemic load
diets, moderating saturated fat intake and incorporating olive
oil may add to the power of these programs in promoting
health and losing inches around the waist. The convenience of
watching the clock instead of the calorie counter certainly has
its own appeal.

REFERENCES
1. ONeill S, ODriscoll L. Metabolic syndrome: a closer look
at the growing epidemic and its associated pathologies. Obes Rev
2015;16:1-12.
2. Abd El-Kader SM, El-Den Ashmawy EM. Non-alcoholic fatty
liver disease: The diagnosis and management. World J Hepatol
2015;7:846-58.
3. Johnson AR, Milner JJ, et al. The inammation highway:
metabolism accelerates inammatory traffic in obesity. Immunol
Rev 2012;249:218-38.
4. Cavalcante-Silva LH, Galvo JG, et al. Obesity-Driven Gut
Microbiota Inammatory Pathways to Metabolic Syndrome. Front
Physiol 2015 Nov 19;6:341(11 pp).
5. Gtaz L, Rieder JP, et al. Hunger strike among detainees:
guidance for good medical practice. Swiss Med Wkly 2012 Sep

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17;142:w13675(5 pp).
6. Horne BD, Muhlestein JB, et al. Health effects of intermittent
fasting: hormesis or harm? A systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr
2015;102:464-70.
7. Patterson RE, Laughlin GA, et al. Intermittent Fasting and
Human Metabolic Health. J Acad Nutr Diet 2015;115:1203-12.
8. Hoddy KK, Kroeger CM, et al. Safety of alternate day fasting
and effect on disordered eating behaviors. Nutr J 2015 May 6;14:44(3
pp).
9. Varady KA, Bhutani S, et al. Alternate day fasting for weight
loss in normal weight and overweight subjects: a randomized
controlled trial. Nutr J. 2013 Nov 12;12(1):146(8 pp).
10. Klempel MC, Kroeger CM, et al. Alternate day fasting
(ADF) with a high-fat diet produces similar weight loss and cardio-

protection as ADF with a low-fat diet. Metabolism 2013;62:137-43.


11. Gotthardt JD, Verpeut JL, et al. Intermittent Fasting Promotes
Fat Loss with Lean Mass Retention, Increased Hypothalamic
Norepinephrine Content, and Increased Neuropeptide Y Gene
Expression in Diet-Induced Obese Male Mice. Endocrinology 2015
Dec 14:en20151622. [Epub, ahead of print]12. Paniagua JA, Gallego
de la Sacristana A, et al. Monounsaturated fat-rich diet prevents
central body fat distribution and decreases postprandial adiponectin
expression induced by a carbohydrate-rich diet in insulin-resistant
subjects. Diabetes Care 2007;30:1717-23.
3. von Frankenberg AD, Marina A, et al. A high-fat, highsaturated fat diet decreases insulin sensitivity without changing
intra-abdominal fat in weight-stable overweight and obese adults.
Eur J Nutr 2015 Nov 28. [Epub, ahead of print]

MAY 2016

FITN ESS R x

for MEN

93

FitRxCoolDOWN

MR. INTENSITY
BY

JOE DONNELLY

ACHIEVING
YOUR GOALS
ITS ALL IN
THE DETAILS

JOE, I FOLLOW YOU RELIGIOUSLY ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND


I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE CONSTANT TRUTH AND EDUCATION
YOU GIVE TO YOUR FOLLOWERS. MY QUESTION IS, HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK TRACKING YOUR CALORIC INTAKE IS
WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING PROGRESS TOWARD YOUR GOALS?
I HAVE KIND OF ALWAYS JUST EATEN HEALTHY AND WORKED
OUT HARD, BUT I AM FINDING MY PROGRESS THE PAST TWO
YEARS IS NOT WHERE I HOPED IT WOULD BE. THANK YOU IN
ADVANCE FOR YOUR ANSWER.

Q:
A:

Thank yo
you for the kind words
d your excellent
ex
ent question.
q
and
ts examine
e amin the
he very
ve nature of
Lets
e ideology of achieving
achi
the
ones
goals.
I of
often
en like to use running
a business as a non-fitness
example. When you run a
business, your success or lack
thereof will be found in the
details. That is where the term
the devil is in the detail comes
from meaning that your
success or failure will depend on
the components of the endeavor
before you. When running a

your nutritional intake, how can


you know if you are undereating, overeating, consuming
too much protein, too little
fats, etc.?
I will use myself as an
example. A few years ago
before I took the time to get
educated, I was following
typical bro science myths
passed on to me from other
big guys in the gym. I was
consuming way too much
protein and had zero understanding of necessary fat
and carb intake.

YOU CAN EAT FRIVOLOUSLY


AND HOPE FOR THE BEST, BUT
YOU CAN ALSO DRIVE A CAR
WITH YOUR FEET IT DOESNT
MEAN ITS A GOOD IDEA!
business, you are constantly
looking at ways to increase
efficiency, cut costs, track ROI,
and vertical and horizontal
integration. Sometimes cutting
costs by only 5 percent, while
it may not seem like much, can
allow you to invest in another
area that may procure growth.
Well, your efforts in the gym
are no different. Day after day,
we grind out brutal workouts in
hopes of building the body of our
dreams. If you are not tracking

94

FI TNE S S R x

for M E N

Once I learned to track my


macros, I found I was consuming nearly 400 grams of protein,
yet less than 70 grams of fat. I
reduced my protein intake to one
gram per pound of bodyweight
(240 grams) and more than doubled my fat intake. Almost immediately, I noticed a significant
decrease in stomach bloating
and saw both my performance
in the gym and overall libido
for life increase significantly.

M AY 2 0 1 6

FOLLOW JOE
Follow Joe on Instagram @JoeDonnellyt,
or his online training and nutrition website
at www.JoeDonnellytness.com.
Have a question for Joe? You could see
it answered in the next issue! Email your
question to Joe at FITNSRX@gmail.com.

Fat, in my opinion, is maybe the most important of all the


macronutrients. If you consume too little fat, you can kiss
your sex drive goodbye, experience decreased stamina
during workouts, delayed recovery and you may have sore
joints the list goes on and on.
So for example, if your goal is to gain 15 pounds of
muscle over the next 12 months, then you must know your
current BMR and caloric output during workouts, and then
ensure you are eating to surplus each day in order to stay
on track to achieve your goals. Not doing this would be like
trying to find a destination you have never seen without
directions, a map or GPS.You can eat frivolously and hope
for the best, but you can also drive a car with your feet it
doesnt mean its a good idea!

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