What if there were a way to get the dramatic effects of steroids without the legal and health consequences? No, this isn’t the beginning of a sleazy infomercial. Researchers at Stanford have developed a technique for increasing recovery between sets by rapidly cooling the athlete’s palms. Read the rest of this entry »
Regarding lean body mass (LMB) gain vs. fat gain when bulking or overfeeding, I’ve heard the anecdotal 70/30 ratio suggested more than once. Of course this assumes “clean eating” and heavy strength work.
A few weeks ago I purchased a Bodymetrix Personal ultrasound (so far I love it!) and decided that putting the 70/30 rule to the test would be a good first experiment with it. For three weeks, I combined my usual strength workout with overfeeding of at least 500 calories per day. I tried to make these “clean” calories, but it IS the holidays so cheats happened…
Raw Weight Gain: 6.5lbs
Fat Gain: 4.4lbs
Ok, so my ratio was reversed. I definitely got stronger in terms of weight lifted (added 25lbs to my deadlift and finally broke the 500lb ceiling, yeah!) but I gained more fat than LBM. Why?
I suspect that my current body fat percentage (which implies something about my metabolic condition) has something to do with this. Most of these anecdotes are for very lean men around 12% body fat. I was a fair bit higher than that even when starting so I think this is the explanation. With the experiment and holidays over, I intend to get myself down close to that level (while maintaining strength – no cheating with easy regains!) and then I’ll try this experiment again and see if I achieve a better ratio.
I recently answered a question on fitness.stackexchange.com asking about how the timing of drinking water would affect health or weight gain during a meal. My original answer was drawn from my earlier post here Don’t Drink And Digest, but while that has recommendations a desire was expressed to see “proof”. So here it is:
Arthur Jones asserted decades ago that proper strength training makes aerobic exercise unnecessary. “Six weeks of proper strength training can improve one’s cardiovascular fitness to a degree that is impossible with any number of years of aerobics”
This article examines the claim that high-intensity strength training can completely replace cardio training. Spoiler: an interesting argument and counter-argument is made, but no definitive conclusion is reached.
The New USDA Dietary Guidelines: Total Hogwash, and Here’s Why « Raw Food SOS: Troubleshooting on the Raw Food DietFebruary 6, 2011
The USDA recently released their 2010 dietary guidelines. To steal a snippet from the blog article below:
Can we live without bread yet? Leave the fat on our dairy? Ditch the rancid vegetable oils? Gobble down butter and coconut oil without fearing imminent death? By golly, has the USDA finally pulled its head out of the soybean fields and given us something useful, emerging as a reliable authority instead of a food industry puppet? Nah.
I’m not sure sure about endorsing the “passable” recommendations regarding exercise (I’m not saying that exercise is black or white, bad or good, but that the type, frequency, duration, etc. makes a tremendous difference in terms of the effects of exercise on your body). In any case, I wouldn’t call the exercise recommendations “duh”. That quibble aside, this post is a good counterpoint to the USDA document:
I guess it makes sense that extreme overexertion can damage the body. A marathon is certainly an admirable challenge to push the body to its limits, but it shouldn’t be mis-categorized as a “healthy” activity. According to the article less experienced/in-shape runners suffered more heart damage. You have to be healthy to run a marathon, not the other way around.
It looks as though a nap can help increase learning capacity, perhaps by clearing out a backlog of facts and making room for more. From the article:
“It’s as though the e-mail inbox in your hippocampus is full and, until you sleep and clear out those fact e-mails, you’re not going to receive any more mail. It’s just going to bounce until you sleep and move it into another folder.”
If you couple this with the boost in growth hormone that you can obtain from the same nap (a topic I want to post more on soon), it seems that it may be well worth scheduling a daily siesta.