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Anabolic Steroids and Muscle Growth

Since at least the 1970’s and probably much earlier than that, anabolic steroids have been part of sport.  Testosterone was first synthesized in the 30’s and there are rumors of bodybuilders using it fairly early in the game.    Even then, many like to downplay the impact of the drugs, claiming they only help a little.    And, well, I disagree. So today I want to look at what is a somewhat unusual topic for me, the topic of anabolic steroids and muscle growth.

I am Not an Anabolic Steroid Expert

Ok, let me start this with a disclaimer: I am not a steroid guy. I know enough to be a little bit dangerous and can throw around big words like leutinizing hormone and steroidogenesis but that’s about it.  I’ve read most of the major books (and I have both Duchaine’s Ultimate Steroid Handbook and USHII so nyah nyah) because it interests me on some level but that’s it.   … Keep Reading

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A Guide to Beginning Weight Training: Part 4

Having examined the basic loading parameters for beginners routines in Part 4 I want to look at a few example programs that incorporate everything I’ve talked about.    Please consider these only as sample routines and nothing more.

My Beginner Machine Program

I might as well get the “simplest” beginner program out of the way which is a basic machine circuit.  This is actually the routine that I used with the majority of my beginner clients.  Do realize that I was typically working with mid-30’s or older individuals without a training or movements background.

They were intimidated enough without my giving them exercises they couldn’t do well from the get go.  So I would start with simpler machines and then worry about teaching more complex things later down the road.  In many cases, I only had them for 3 sessions to begin with.

For that reason, I had to choose exercises that they could do safely and competently after only 3 teaching sessions. … Keep Reading

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A Guide to Beginning Weight Training: Part 3

Continuing from Part 2, I want to start looking at some specifics in terms of what are called loading parameters of training. This includes issues such as intensity (how hard), volume (how much), frequency (how often) and I’ll touch on exercise selection again.  Quite a bit of research has actually looked at these topics in beginners (I’m unaware of much on exercise selection) and that goes a long way towards guiding the development of proper beginner programs.

I’d make the point again that one huge assumption that is going into what I’m going to write is that the individual has no underlying issues (such as muscular imbalances or injury) that are oh so common in the modern world.   In those specific cases, an “imbalanced” program may be required to fix things.  But since I can’t cover that in any detail, I’m going to draw up what is basically a ‘balanced’ beginner routine.… Keep Reading

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Mass Made Simple by Dan John

Mass Made Simple by Dan JohnIn a previous site update, I did a review of Dan John’s Never Let Go, effectively a collection of articles he had written talking about his various and sundry experiences in the weight game.

It’s still a book I highly recommend, if not for the training wisdom it contains then for its highly entertaining and readable style.  I reread it about once a year and something in it always manages to make me chuckle or think.

As a collection of articles there wasn’t really any single theme that ran through it except for perhaps the fact that Dan is as old as the hills and has truly seen it and done it all when it comes to the weight room.

I mean, I’m fairly sure Dan was the guy who pointed Milo at the bull and told him to get cracking.  Hell, Dan might have been the bull.  For those who have truly been living under a rock, as the story goes, Milo lifted a bull on a daily basis.… Keep Reading

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Dietary Supplements for Athletes

If there is a chronically recurring topic/question I get or see it involves the issue of dietary supplements.  Both athletes and the general public are endlessly fascinated by them with unscrupulous marketing companies taking advantage of that fascination.  To address the issue, I’m presenting more or less the entirety of  Chapter 11 from my Applied Nutrition for Mixed Sports Book/DVD Bundle.  This list is not meant to be comprehensive and there are always newer products that may show promise down the road.

Chapter 11: Dietary Supplements for Athletes

If there is a single area of sports nutrition that is constantly changing (in terms of the products being marketed) and which athletes are always interested in it’s dietary supplements. As I mentioned in Chapter 2 of this book, I consider supplementation to be the third tier of the pyramid (after overall daily nutrition and around workout nutrition) in terms of what athletes should concern themselves with.… Keep Reading