David Groscup

David Groscup
David Groscup

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lifetime of fitness: Fountain of youth for bone, joint health?

August 27, 2014
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Being physically active may significantly improve musculoskeletal and overall health, and minimize or delay the effects of aging. "An increasing amount of evidence demonstrates that we can modulate age-related decline in the musculoskeletal system," said the lead study author.. "A lot of the deterioration we see with aging can be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle instead of aging itself."

Being physically active may significantly improve musculoskeletal and overall health, and minimize or delay the effects of aging, according to a review of the latest research on senior athletes (ages 65 and up) appearing in the September issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).
It long has been assumed that aging causes an inevitable deterioration of the body and its ability to function, as well as increased rates of related injuries such as sprains, strains and fractures; diseases, such as obesity and diabetes; and osteoarthritis and other bone and joint conditions. However, recent research on senior, elite athletes suggests usage of comprehensive fitness and nutrition routines helps minimize bone and joint health decline and maintain overall physical health.
"An increasing amount of evidence demonstrates that we can modulate age-related decline in the musculoskeletal system," said lead study author and orthopaedic surgeon Bryan G. Vopat, MD. "A lot of the deterioration we see with aging can be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle instead of aging itself."
The positive effects of physical activity on maintaining bone density, muscle mass, ligament and tendon function, and cartilage volume are keys to optimal physical function and health. In addition, the literature recommends a combined physical activity regimen for all adults encompassing resistance, endurance, flexibility and balance training, "as safely allowable for a given person." Among the recommendations:
Resistance training. Prolonged, intense resistance training can increase muscle strength, lean muscle and bone mass more consistently than aerobic exercise alone. Moderately intense resistance regimens also decrease fat mass. Sustained lower and upper body resistance training bolsters bone density and reduces the risk of strains, sprains and acute fractures.
Endurance training. Sustained and at least moderately intensive aerobic training promotes heart health, increases oxygen consumption, and has been linked to other musculoskeletal benefits, including less accumulation of fat mass, maintenance of muscle strength and cartilage volumes. A minimum of 150 to 300 minutes a week of endurance training, in 10 to 30 minute episodes, for elite senior athletes is recommended. Less vigorous and/or short-duration aerobic regimens may provide limited benefit.
Flexibility and balance. Flexibility exercises are strongly recommended for active older adults to maintain range of motion, optimize performance and limit injury. Two days a week or more of flexibility training -- sustained stretches and static/non-ballistic (non-resistant) movements -- are recommended for senior athletes. Progressively difficult postures (depending on tolerance and ability) are recommended for improving and maintaining balance.
The study also recommends "proper" nutrition for older, active adults to optimize performance. For senior athletes, a daily protein intake of 1.0 to 1.5 g/kg is recommended, as well as carbohydrate consumption of 6 to 8 g/kg (more than 8 g/kg in the days leading up to an endurance event).
"Regimens must be individualized for older adults according to their baseline level of conditioning and disability, and be instituted gradually and safely, particularly for elderly and poorly conditioned adults," said Dr. Vopat. According to study authors, to improve fitness levels and minimize bone and joint health decline, when safely allowable, patients should be encouraged to continually exceed the minimum exercise recommendations.

Story Source:
The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. B. G. Vopat, S. A. Klinge, P. K. McClure, P. D. Fadale. The Effects of Fitness on the Aging ProcessJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2014; 22 (9): 576 DOI: 10.5435/JAAOS-22-09-576

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Mike Mentzer's Last Days by Muscular Development Magazine

Mike Mentzer

The Untold Story of the Journey to his Final Days

Prologue: Mike Mentzer died 13 years ago this month on June 10, 2001, aged 49. In a career that spanned over three decades, he was one of bodybuilding’s most prominent, inspirational and controversial figures. His theories and writings continue to be a source for debate, and his books and articles remain popular (see www.mikementzer.com). Mike Mentzer was a complex and gifted man who left an indelible mark on the bodybuilding landscape. His career and 5th place at the 1980 Mr. Olympia, which prompted his retirement, is well documented. In this timely tribute to Mike we review his final days and next week offer an appraisal of his place in the bodybuilding firmament.

In his prime, Mike packed 225 quality pounds on his 5’8” frame.
It was early May of 2001, when out of the blue I received a phone call in FLEX’s LA office from Mike Mentzer. We hadn’t spoken for over five years. Before he left FLEX in early 1996 we had what seemed a productive and rewarding friendship. Soon after in another magazine he took occasional pot shots at me. In one article he said I had a “fanny fetish”. Of all the subject matter we ever discussed fannies were never even bottom of the list butt I put it behind me. Anyway in that May 2001 conversation Mike acted like the previous five years had never happened and that we were continuing as if we had spoken a week earlier. He also made similar calls to Joe Weider and photographer Chris Lund, with whom he had worked on books and other projects. They also had the same time-lapse conversation with him, and he even came up to the office and had lunch with the Master Blaster
 In enthusiastic tones Mike told me he looked forward to celebrating his 50th birthday in November. He was destined not to make it. Currently he was throwing himself full tilt into producing a DVD and a new book.
 And yet …..
 And yet, as I listened to Mike’s effusive language, the phrase “productive genius” kept on surfacing in my mind.
 To gain further insight into Mike’s 2001 death, it is necessary to turn the clock back 21 years.
 Entering his first Olympia in his rookie year of 1979 the heavily fancied Mike lost out to a Frank Zanewhom he outweighed by some 30 pounds. Digesting that loss, Mike planned to leave no stone unturned in his onslaught for the 1980 Olympia crown. "If they want more definition, I'll give 'em more definition," he vowed. Mentally, he went into a different gear and battened down the hatches earlier and more securely than for any other competition. He started dieting in February for the October contest. Previously, he had started dieting 12 weeks out. "I was consumed 24 hours a day by the thought: What can I do today in terms of training, diet, aerobics and motivation to improve myself? Everything I did was marshaled into the spirit of improvement."
 As 1980 unfolded, however, Mike had no inkling that his competitive career was hurtling toward its conclusion. In 1979, he had started taking amphetamines: "Not for the purpose of getting high - that was the furthest thing from my mind. I was taking them as ergogenic aids, to facilitate my hectic lifestyle. It made me feel like a productive genius."

The legendary bust-up between Mike and Arnold at the 1980 Mr. Olympia contest.
A typical excerpt from Mike's diary during that period reads as follows.
 4 AM: woke up and read philosophy for two hours
 7 AM: worked out
 9 AM: wrote article
 2 PM: rode bike for 14 miles
 4 PM: napped
 6 PM: ran for four miles
 8 PM: practiced posing
 9 PM: studied philosophy and dealt with mail-order administration
 11 PM: retired to bed
 "I was in love with being conscious - amphetamines have that effect on a lot of people. I'd read the literature on amphetamines and had never heard of any long-term physical damage, but I did know that it could possibly result in acute episodes of psychosis. I saw no problem for me because I was convinced I was focused enough and that my use was channeled in a positive direction.” [Mike had taken a three year course, commencing in 1974, at the University of Mayland, with the eventual goal of being a psychiatrist , but he dropped out in 1977 disillusioned with the subject.)
 "I didn't think there was anything wrong in taking stimulants to make me work as hard as I was. A lot of people drink coffee and smoke cigarettes to stay stimulated and be productive. I was a productive genius, but I had lost sight of the fact that the body and the mind have limitations."
 The warning signs were there. Twice during his prep Mike awoke to find himself, "at death's door." He was so fatigued that he couldn't even raise his arms, and had to stay in bed for the remainder of the day. But the next morning, he was back to "being a productive genius."
 Two days before the 1980 Mr. Olympia being staged in Sydney, Australia, Mike had that same "death's door feeling," which again confined him to bed for a whole day. By the morning of the contest he had recovered. He was 225 pounds, “And more cut than I'd ever been. "I looked my best, but I didn't feel at my best. It just didn't feel like a normal contest; no one was being their usual self. There was a strain and tension in the air all the way through."

Ray Mentzer (left) and Mike compare shots.
Even though he felt he was at his best and had no knowledge of the controversy to come, Mike told me in 1993 that he had made up his mind that the 1980 Mr. Olympia would be his last contest: “Trying to be the best built man in the world demands total seriousness, but in essence the seriousness and the ambition involved is a little silly.”

To find out what went down at the 1980 Mr. Olympia including the near fist fight between Mentzer and Schwarzenegger click onhttp://www.musculardevelopment.com/team-md-blogs/the-mcgough-report/11982-mentzer-vs-arnie.html#.U47ZXCh93oD
 In the wake of his fifth place finish at 1980 Mr. Olympia contest, Mike Mentzer's career began to fragment. In his seminars, he was openly contemptuous of the Sydney affair; a posture that he believes led to his being unofficially blacklisted by the IFBB, making promoters reluctant to book him. He left Weider publications, and by 1982, his annual income "Had gone from $200,000 a year to zero."
 In 1983, ace inventor and entrepreneur Arthur Jones recruited Mike and brother Ray (1979 Mr. America) to work with him on research projects he was undertaking at his Nautilus headquarters in Deland, Florida. However, things didn't progress the way Mike had hoped, and after six months, he and Jones severed their business relationship. Joe Weider rehired Mike in the fall of that year, but after six months, Mentzer left to assume the editorship of Workout, a newly launched magazine.
 "Editing Workout was one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done," Mike claims. "It lasted 18 months, and every day of that period I had the same commitment and ambition I'd had in preparing for the 1980 Mr. Olympia. I wanted the magazine to be the absolute best I could make it, and I worked harder than I'd worked in my entire life. Sometimes I'd stay awake for two or three days at a time to meet dead lines. I was using a lot of amphetamines to make me productive.
 "The magazine was doing fairly well, when, just as it started to turn a profit, the financial people - for whatever reason - pulled the plug on the whole thing and we ceased operation. It was a crushing blow. I'd put 110% into the enterprise and it hadn't worked out."
 The folding of Workout in 1985 was just the first prong of a triple emotional whammy that was delivered to Mike. That same year his father - whom he idolized - died. Mentzer was also dealing with the fallout caused by the ending of his near decade relationship with Cathy Gelfo.

Ray (left) and Mike workout in Heavy Duty style.
"I was still using amphetamines, and that use, in association with the series of traumas, did something to my mind that I'm fairly clear about today, although these things are very complex. The combination of being emotionally distraught, which can cause an individual to lose conceptual control, exacerbated by my use of amphetamines did something to my emotional core that led me to perform irrational acts that I thought were rational. I wasn’t in control of my mind although I thought he was.”
 For five years Mike did crazy things and was regularly hospitalized. As Mike wrestled with his demons, the bodybuilding community, to its discredit, took a detached stance toward his circumstances. There were two notable, and noble, exceptions: ex-girlfriend Julie McNew and John Little, senior writer for FLEX.
 "Julie, even though our relationship had ended, was very supportive, emotionally and financially, over that whole five-year period," Mike states. "Only now can I appreciate her friendship.
 "John Little was one of the few who didn't approach me on the ignorant assumption that I was a 'loony' or a 'crazy.' John understands quite a bit about the power of ideas and the way they work in the mind. He would talk with me at length, and I remember those conversations with fondness, which causes me to think fondly of John Little. He never wrote me off.”
 In January 1990 a hospitalized Mike experienced a Eureka moment."I'd exhausted all avenues of thought on my predicament, and realized I was wrong. It was me that was out of control, not everybody and everything else. I knew I had to wake up to that fact or my life would be over. As soon as that realization hit, I was appalled at how much time I had wasted. It was time to move on. It was time to 'Go back to what you know, Mike Mentzer!'"
 Mike Mentzer went back to what he knew with a vengeance. Almost miraculously, within a few days, he was establishing his personal-training business at Gold's Gym, Venice. His progress over the next few years was onward and upward.
 And yet …..

Ray (center) and Mike put outstanding amateur Markus Reinhardt through a workout for the planned DVD. This was maybe taken on June 9, 2001, the day before Mike passed.
And yet, there were still occasions when the demons visited. One day in late 1994 John Little rushed to my desk and told me he had just received a call from Mike, saying he was in Las Vegas and about to fly to the moon to meet with Bill Clinton and discuss the world’s problems. And Mike wasn’t joking. To his credit John visited Mike and the psychotic episode was soon over.
 TOWARD JUNE 10, 2001
 As I listened during that fateful May 2001 phone call I couldn’t help but think the effusive fast-talking Mike was in the middle of a “productive genius” phase.
 And indeed there were warning signs about his health. In spring of that year a blood clot broke loose from his leg and went to his lung. While hospitalized it was discovered that he had experienced two silent heart attacks, wherein the victim is unaware there’s a problem. Despite this Mike kept up a relentless pace in productive genius style and smoked heavily.
 Since 1999 Mike’s younger brother, by 21 months, Ray had been receiving kidney dialysis and was awaiting a transplant. Mike offered to be a donor to his sibling who had won the 1979 Mr. America, before it was discovered that he had serious heart problems, which precluded him from being a candidate. Nevertheless, Mike moved in with Ray so that he could look after his brother better.
 On Saturday June 9, 2001 after a long day he wrapped filming of the DVD he so wanted to finish. Later that night at the brothers’ apartment, despite Ray telling him he should turn in, Mike continued to work on the DVD’s script. Ray went to bed. The next morning he discovered Mike dead in bed, apparently of a heart attack. The younger Mentzer was devastated as he went about making funeral arrangements. On the morning of Tuesday, June 12, Joanne Sharkey (General Manager of Mike’s business but who was in essence like an older protective sister to the brothers) received a call from Ray’s dialysis unit that he hadn’t turned up for his appointment. Almost unbelievably on going to the apartment Joanne found Ray had passed away. It’s hard not to surmise that in his frail state of health (in the previous few months he had been rushed to the local emergency room several times) the death of his beloved brother was just too much to bear. The two brothers dying within 48 hours of each other shocked the bodybuilding world. Mike was 49 and Ray was 47. It seemed the curtain had come crashing down in tragic Shakespearian style on Mike Mentzer’s last act and his name would fade into just a footnote on 20th century bodybuilding ….. or would it?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Drugs and the Evolution of Bodybuilding


I liked the viewpoint of this article on how the use of chemical-enhancement, ie. steroids and growth hormone have changed bodybuilding, not necessarily for the better. Of course, there are always alternatives for the competitor such as natural bodybuilding contests, which use drug testing to attempt to ensure that all athletes are drug free and competing on a level playing field.

The driving force behind modern day bodybuilding contests is money. And alot of that comes from supplement companies and the advertising of those supplements. Many of these supplements work-maybe not as effectively as described. And many of them are mostly hype. But these companies offer money in exchange for testimonials from grotesquely huge champion professional bodybuilders.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Static Pulse Leg Workout


Try the following Static Pulse Training Routine for an effective new way to stimulate muscle growth in a way never experienced before:
  • Leg extensions-1x10 reps
Do these in the following way. Select a weight that's 30% lighter than normal. Lift the weight one third of the way and do a 10-second static hold. Do a series of short,pulse reps(these should be 1-3 inches in length) before doing another 10-second hold. Continue lifting the weight to the top. Hold for 10 seconds. Let the weight come down to a random point approx. mid-point and do a series of pulse reps. Do one complete rep. Continue in this way until failure.
  • Leg presses-1x10 reps
Do these in a similar fashion to the leg extensions. A good addition is to do these in a negative-accentuated fashion-during the negative lower the weight using your left leg only, then your right. This is a great way to receive the benefits of negative training as well.
  • Stiff-legged deadlifts-1x8 reps
Do these in the same fashion as the others. Keep your knees locked to put the emphasis on the hamstring muscles.
  • Standing calf raises-1x15 reps
Lift the weight to mid-point and do a series of pulse reps then do a 10-second hold. Continue lifting the weight up and do a series of pulse reps and a 10-second hold. Lower the weight, do a series of pulse reps and a 10-second hold. Repeat to failure.
If  enough effort is put forth during all three exercises and failure is reached, it won't be necessary to do any additional training for legs.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Partial Pulses


A great technique to hit your muscles with is what I call my Partial Pulses HIT variable. This technique causes an increasing number of muscle fibers to be used during an exercise by intensifying the effort needed to complete the set.

Using the one-arm cable rope curl as an example, curl the handle up to mid-point and do a series of very short, rapid pulse reps before lifting the handle a little further and repeating the rapid pulsing reps. Lower the handle to the beginning and repeat the pulsing reps. Continue performing rapid pulsing reps in different zones of the exercise until you hit failure. Reduce the weight by 30% and repeat for a second set. Eventually you will be really tuned into this method and able to focus all of the resistance to the muscle being trained. This will allow you to increase the weight being used safely.

Experiment with dividing an exercise into different zones and varying the number of pulse reps per zone. This keeps your workouts fresh and avoids many of the sticking points associated with training staleness.

This HIT variable can be used with virtually any exercise to make it more intense and effective at building additional strength/muscle.


Friday, August 8, 2014

There are no shortcuts in bodybuilding: Ronnie Coleman

The following article is a really nice short piece on how eight-time Mr. Olympia winner, Ronnie Coleman got into bodybuilding and what he feels is an important guideline to success in the sport. While I have a couple of disagreements with his suggestions, his results speak for themselves.

There are no shortcuts in bodybuilding: Ronnie Coleman

At 5-feet 11-inches and weighing over 150 kg, Ronnie Coleman stands true to his nickname — The Big Ron. A staunch promoter of the right form in training exercises, Big Ron is only the second person in the world to win eight Mr Olympia titles in a row. He also holds the record for most wins (28) as an IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) professional.
The GUIDE caught up with Big Ron, during his maiden visit to Mumbai last week, when he inaugurated a new gym, Your Fitness Club (YFC), in the city. In this interview, the Big Ron busts a few gymming myths, and talks about what makes body building such an amazing sport. Excerpts from the interview:
How did you get into bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding is not something you chase. It’s inside you. You only discover it. Brian Dobson of MetroFlex gym was the man who guided me towards competitive bodybuilding and got me into the sport.
I was always a fit guy. I was a linebacker in American football and then served in the police force, so fitness and physical training was always a factor. Bodybuilding is about building your body. So yeah, I was always building it to be fit. But I took up competitive bodybuilding as a sport only in 1990.
Did you always want to be Mr Olympia?
The first time I competed in the Olympia, I was ranked 16th. Even then, I was in it to win, but it just wasn’t my time yet. You can’t compete in any sport professionally if you don’t have the desire to win it all. So yes, once I started competing, I not only wanted to be the best I could be, but also the best there can be — which was then, the Olympia. And, I did it eight times over.
You will turn 50 in a few months, what is the secret behind your strength and a fit body?
Bodybuilding has no shortcuts. Every shortcut you take will eventually cost you. So the only way to stay fit, stay muscular and to keep fighting the ageing process is to keep on training. Keep fooling your body that you ain’t ready to give up and give in to aging yet. Get your knowledge right, get your training right, get your fitness and strength high and then keep on building on it. Keep training to be stronger, better, greater than you can at that given moment. That’s the only secret if there is any at all in this sport. Everybody wants to be a great bodybuilder (have a great body) but no one wants to lift no heavy a** weight. And, that just doesn’t work.
Meet Ronnie at BodyPower Expo 2014
Ronnie Coleman is expected to return to Mumbai in March as part of the BodyPower Expo 2014, scheduled to be held on March 29 and 30 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Goregaon
Ronnie's six step-guide for the perfect body
Never skip your protein
The one thing that I never compromise on is protein — in any form, in any way. I’m surprised at how protein deficient diets here in India are. If you want a great body and a fit physique, there’s no way you can ever compromise on your protein intake. Meats, steaks, hot dogs, roasts, eggs scrambled or a la chef — the proteins got to be coming in.
Never compromise on your major lifts
No matter what I do in the gym, I do it heavy. And no matter what other exercises I do, there’s no replacing or compromising on the major lifts — the mother lifts of strength and bodybuilding — dead lift, squat and bench press. Do them with right form and technique and you won’t need to rely on sissy workouts and get-fit-quick plans being sold to you by cons out there.
If you are a newcomer...
Stay away from the machines: Avoid the machines as far as possible. It’s the free weights — the barbells and the dumbbells that will do you good in the long term. Start building your relationship with them as early as possible.
Always do the three major lifts: Your workout should be such that it gets you to do squatting, dead lifting and bench pressing heavy as soon as possible. And yeah, don’t wuss out.
Rest and workout are equally important 
People think bodybuilders literally live in the gym. But they don’t understand that rest is as important as training. I workout just four days a week. And, never more than an hour and a half at the most, at a time.
Physical activities like football play a big role
I always loved football. I love travelling to new places and exploring places. I enjoy having a good time with friends. So yes, all of that gives me enough exercise outside the gym anyways.
Never skip a workout
Bodybuilding is a religion. It’s a way of life. You have to live it. You have to put in your worship and your offerings in pain and sweat at every session. Skipping a workout is like skipping a prayer; the only difference is that these prayers show visible, quantifiable results. As hard as you pray, and as correctly as you worship, the better your prayers are answered. It’s got to be driving you from the inside 24x7x365. And then, some more.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Does How A Muscle Feel After a Workout Determine If Your Workout Was A Success?

Does the way your muscles feel after a workout dictate how successful you were in developing sufficient stimulus to cause your muscles to grow? Not necessarily. While delayed soreness is an indication of micro tears in muscle, which are necessary to cause the body to overcompensate and build more muscle tissue after a workout, it doesn't indicate if proper training protocols were followed during the workout.

For instance, one could get on a stationary cycle and peddle at a moderate pace for an extended period of time and get sore in the leg muscles a day or two later. But that training does little to build muscle. It will build endurance but offers insufficient resistance to stimulate muscle growth. 

The trick is to find the proper intensity level,number of reps or time under tension and resistance level to use in your training to get optimum results. One of the ways to do this is to do an analysis of muscle fiber content in each muscle group. That way you will be able to use the proper tut for each muscle group. A muscle fiber analysis is done in the following way:

Select an isolation exercise and strictly perform an arbitrary number of repetitions at a moderate to slow speed, e.g., 6-12 repetitions, at about a 5/5 cadence (make certain the TUT is at least 60 seconds;

Rest approximately three minutes then complete a second set of that exercise with the same weight

In both sets train to muscular failure and record your TUT. If the TUT in the second set is 50%
or less than the first set, that muscle group is predominantly fast twitch (since the muscle lost
so much strength). If you lose less than 15% TUT, maintained or even increased your TUT
in the second set (which is possible), that muscle group is predominantly slow twitch.

Anything between these two figures represent a mixed fiber type, whose ratios reflect the degree of TUT reduction.

Now that you have determined muscle fiber type and ideal tut, or number of reps,whichever method you use, it is time to develop an ideal training regimen to maximize muscular development. If your muscle is mostly fast twitch, use a tut of 45-60 seconds per set. If it is slow twitch, use a tut of 90-120 seconds. If it falls in-between use a tut of 65-90 seconds. 

Some important points to take away from this is to use:
  • Ideal tut or reps for each muscle fiber type/group
  • proper amount of resistance to cause muscular failure or exhaustion with this rep count
  • constantly attempt to use more weight every workout
  • get the proper amount of rest
  • train the right amount and none extra to avoid over training

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Muscle Gains with Superslow Continuous Tension Training


An offshoot of Arthur Jones' Nautilus High Intensity Training is the Superslow protocol designed by a former associate of Mr. Jones', Ken Hutchins. After formulating this method of practicing HIT training, he opened a chain of gyms where specially certified instructors would train clients using this protocol exclusively. 

The theory behind this method is because of the slow exercise cadence there is additional tension placed on the muscle(s) and it is safer because all swinging and momentum is eliminated decreasing stress on ligaments, joints and muscles. While this is true, if momentum is eliminated from faster cadence routines, injuries are usually non-existent as well. While there are many different techniques, or variables, that can be employed to increase the resistance on the muscle(s) being trained, Superslow definitely increases inroading of the muscle. Give this system a try and I think you'll agree it is a very effective HIT variable.

During the execution of the sets, use a rep cadence of 10/4, a 10-second positive, or raising of the weight and a 4-second negative, or lowering.

An arm routine using this method is as follows:

  • machine curls-1x5
  • close-grip pulldowns with palms facing-1x5
  • triceps kickbacks-1x5
  • bar dips-1x5
  • grip squeezes with multi-grip device-1x15
Special note: Since each rep in the first four exercises is going to take 14 seconds, to achieve a total time under tension of no more than 70 seconds, five reps are recommended. During each set never allow your muscles to rest. Make the entire set one continuous movement except for the top where you should contract the muscle as hard as you can for one second before lowering the weight. 

Since the grip squeezes are much shorter in length, a higher rep count is used to increase the time under tension. In all exercises use a weight that is 65-70% of what you normally use in each exercise.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Beets Boost Muscle Contraction

Nitrate in your food makes muscle fibers twitch harder.

Alex Hutchinson
Hearty Beet Soup
Beet juice boosts endurance for many (but not all) people, according to a series of studies over the past five years or so. The active ingredient appears to be nitrate, which somehow reduces the oxygen cost of muscle contractions. How does this happen? There are a number of overlapping theories related to blood circulation, neurotransmission, and even the contractile properties of the muscle fibers themselves. A new study from researchers at Loughborough University, recently published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, takes a look at this last theory. There have been some studies of nitrate and muscle fibers in mice, but this one uses real live humans.
The study design was fairly straightforward. A group of 19 volunteers (untrained men, average age 21) supplemented with beet juice or placebo for 7 days; everyone did both protocols in a double-blind, randomized design. The amount of beet juice was 1.5 shots of Beet It concentrated beet juice (total 600 mg of nitrate). After 7 days, they did a series of muscle tests, including maximal voluntary contractions and various electrically stimulated muscle contractions. There are a number of subtleties in the measurement of electrically evoked muscle contractions, but the basic result is that the involuntary contractions were enhanced but the voluntary contractions weren't.
Here's a graph showing the increase in twitch force as a function of time; the difference between placebo and nitrate at peak is statistically significant with p<0.01:
How does nitrate affect muscle contraction? Based on the mouse experiments, the researchers suggest that it has to do with the muscle fiber's response to calcium, which is an important signalling molecule. By some estimates, calcium handling eats up 30-50% of the ATP used in muscle contraction, so a change in calcium sensitivity could indeed explain why nitrate makes endurance exercise more efficient. Is this the "secret" to nitrate's ergogenic powers? Hard to know, but it bolsters the idea that muscle contractile properties play a role.
Why, then, was there no effect on voluntary muscle contractions? When you use electricity to make a muscle twitch, you're just testing the properties of the muscle. When you ask a volunteer to contract as hard as possible, you're testing a much more complex system that includes the brain and the network of nerves that connect the brain to the muscles. As a result, voluntary contractions have a huge amount of variability (especially in untrained subjects), so it may simply be that the effects of nitrate on muscle are too subtle to show up in voluntary contractions.
Last point: the volunteers kept dietary logs during the weeks of supplementation to assess how much nitrate they were getting from other sources. Here's how the increases in muscle twitch force were related to the amount of nitrate the volunteers were getting from other sources:
Not surprisingly, those who ate the most nitrate (e.g. from leafy green vegetables) got the least benefit from adding beet juice. Perhaps a reminder that, rather than thinking of beet juice as a magic supplement, we should think of nitrate-rich foods as something to be incorporated into our regular diets.

This is an interesting article from Runner's World which is relevant for our bodybuilding training-Dave

Saturday, June 7, 2014

New Study on the Effect of Short, Intense Workouts!

Check out this article on the effects of High Intensity Exercise. Just one more study proving the power of short,intense workouts!!!