martes, 29 de diciembre de 2015

4 Brutal Exercises That Build Extreme Core Strength

Achieve a strong core by building strength through exercises that work your muscles as a whole group, while eliminating mid-body weakness in the process.

One of the big problems I see with clients - whether it's elite athletes or "average Joes" - is poor core strength. Now, with "core training" being all the rage and everyone wanting washboard abs, how could that be? I think it has to do with a fundamental misunderstanding of what it takes to achieve a strong core.

It's common for an athlete to have a strong lower back from squatting and dead lifting, but have weak abdominals. I frequently see guys with a six-pack stomach but a weak lower back. In most of these scenarios, the lifter probably does individual exercises for the muscles comprising the core - the abdominals, the lower back, obliques, hip flexors, serratus, etc. - but may not do movements that require stability and build strength in these muscles as a whole group.

Accessory lifts, such as leg extensions, are great for toning and defining the quads, but that is not how you would build a functional, powerful lower body; if you want strong legs you would do heavy compound movements, such as squats and lunges. Similarly, body weight crunch variations are not going to build strength and power in your midsection because they don't place a significant load on all of the muscles that stabilize the core, they merely tone the abdominals.

Another problem I see with most "core" or "ab" regimens is the sheer number of reps. If you are capable of doing 100+ reps of an exercise in a single set, are you really building strength or just exercising? To build a strong back, I don't use a weight that is light enough on the T-bar row to do 100 reps, and you will never see me doing sets of 100 crunches to strengthen by abdominals. If you want a strong core, you have to do compound power movements. Here are four extreme core exercises that will put you to the test.

Weighted Plank

A basic bodyweight plank is my all-time favorite core exercise because it works every muscle in the core and it can be tailored for use by beginners up to advanced athletes. Once you can hold a static front plank for two minutes, you are ready to start adding some weight. Start with one plate and shoot for a 30-second hold, then work up from there. It's very important to keep the abdominals flexed and avoid lowering your hips, as this could strain your lower back. 

Barbell Climbs

For this movement, start with a barbell, broom stick or PVC pipe, and hold it out in front of you with your feet shoulder width for a nice solid base. Climb down hand over hand, then back up, shooting for sets of three to five. Keep your abs flexed the entire time. Like most of my favorite core exercises, there are a lot of other muscles being worked, and these 'climbs' will really tax your lats and test your grip strength. It's very important to not attempt this on a slick surface where the bar could slide out from under you, and it may be a good idea to wedge the bar in the corner and have a spotter on your first attempt.

Medicine Ball Rollouts

I like to think of these as the crazy older brother of the Ab Wheel. Start doing them from your knees and keep your back "hunched" and abs tight (see a pattern here?) as you roll the ball out and walk it back in. In addition to the abs and hip flexors, these roll-outs really work the lats, serratus, and triceps. If you're experienced on the Ab Wheel, try these from a standing position. I usually hit five Standing Roll-Outs and use an 80lb medicine ball. If you can do 10 reps from your feet, you are an absolute beast.

Spiderman Extensions

Ok, when I called these exercises extreme, maybe you rolled your eyes…but it doesn't get any more extreme than this. These are one of the hardest exercises in my arsenal and you better have a lower back of steel and abs of granite if you're going to attempt them. Start with a set of Rings or TRX straps hanging a few feet from a wall. Walk your feet up the wall until your body is tilted down and settle into a push-up position. Perform a deep push-up but as you come up, gradually extend your arms out overhead until they are in line with your body and you are perfectly straight. Fight for stability the entire time and channel your inner Peter Parker. Good luck.

Now you should have a good idea of not only how to build a strong core but also what kinds of movements are possible when there is no weak link in the middle of your body. Whether you are a football player throwing a ball, a boxer throwing a punch, or a wrestler throwing your opponent on his head, your core needs to be strong so that the power you generate from your legs and hips doesn't get lost as it travels through your upper body. Now, of course, I didn't start out being able to do any of these movements. I had to work up to them. In my next article, I will teach you my weekly core strength routine that I use with all of my athletes to prepare them to execute these extreme power movements.

By Coach Myers - muscleandstrength

lunes, 28 de diciembre de 2015

Explosive Lifting for Muscle Hypertrophy

The term ‘tempo’ is used to define the speed of movement of weight-training exercises. More specifically, it is the rate of movement of the weight or limb involved in any strength-training exercise. Most bodybuilders might change their exercise selection, sets, reps and rest periods, but the one variable that has been largely overlooked— and which may significantly impact training results— is the tempo or speed at which the exercise is performed.

For years, the standard repetition speed has been to lift ‘up’ or concentrically in 2 seconds and lower the weight eccentrically in 4 seconds in a slow, controlled manner for optimal muscle mass. Some top trainers have even taken this type of training a step further and developed SuperSlow training. The interesting fact is that there is no research to validate that this tempo is the optimal pace for increasing muscle hypertrophy.

According to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, lowering the weight slowly may not be the best way to increase muscle mass and strength. In the study, male and female subjects were assigned to train for 10 weeks using either slow- or fast-velocity eccentric training while lowering the weight. At the end of the study, the group who trained with fast eccentric contractions had the greatest increase in muscle hypertrophy. Muscle hypertrophy of the type IIB fibers (fast-twitch fibers) increased from 6 percent to 13 percent in those subjects. The ‘slow’ group did not experience any gain in muscle mass.1

This was not the only study to show that training with fast eccentric contractions is best for increasing muscle mass. In a follow-up study by the same research group, researchers compared fast and slow training in a group of 12 untrained men who exercised both arms, three days per week for eight weeks. The men trained one arm using a fast velocity, while they did the same number of repetitions for the other arm at a slow velocity. At the end of the study, type I muscle fibers (slow-twitch, aerobic fibers) increased in size by an average of 9 percent, with no significant difference between fast or slow training. The change in fiber area after training for the type II fibers was greater in the fast-trained versus the slow-trained arm. In addition to greater increases in type IIB fibers, the fast eccentric contractions group increased strength more than the slow contractions group.2 These studies demonstrate that lifting explosively can enhance the recruitment of type II muscle fibers, which are more prone to muscle hypertrophy. What about explosive lifting, concentrically?

New Study: Explosive Weightlifting Induces Muscle Hypertrophy Greater Than Traditional Weightlifting

Researchers from Brazil conducted a new study that should raise awareness that bodybuilders need to incorporate some explosive lifting into their routine. Researchers took two groups of men and had them perform all exercises with an equal work output. The exercises were performed with rest intervals of 90 seconds between sets. The men were divided into a fast, explosive concentric group with a normal eccentric phase, or traditional weight training with 2-3 seconds ‘up’ and the weight lowered in 2-3 seconds. The explosive group performed all exercises moving the weights as fast as possible in the concentric phase, and took 2-3 seconds to complete the eccentric phase. The

concentric action was performed in approximately 1 second. The traditional weight-training group spent 2-3 seconds in the concentric phase and 2-3 seconds in the eccentric phase. Here are the results of the study after 10 weeks of training:

Strength: Training-induced gains in strength were similar between groups; however, explosive lifting induced significantly greater development in muscle power.

Muscle Size: Explosive lifting was more effective than traditional weight training for increasing muscle size. Both training regimens led to significant increase in arm muscle thickness; however, the results obtained by the explosive lifting group were greater than traditional weight training. Additionally, only explosive lifting was effective for improving leg muscle size.

The protocols used in the study involved the same resistance training exercises with an equal work output, and the only difference between the two methods was the speed at which the exercises were performed. It was demonstrated that a high-velocity power training program appears to be more effective in improving muscular hypertrophy than traditional resistance training.13 This seems to contradict the current practice of many trainers, especially bodybuilders, who typically employ low-velocity contractions in their training.

Why Lift Fast And Explosive for Muscle Hypertrophy?

In order to induce hypertrophy, either the exercise intensity or volume must be increased. Most bodybuilders perform enough sets, but may have difficulty increasing training intensity to make additional gains in strength and size. Since the amount of weight cannot be increased, an alternative to increasing the intensity must be implemented.

Moving the weight at a higher speed implies using more power, and more power translates directly to a higher intensity. Speed training provides an alternative path to the progressive resistance principle, which states that in order to induce muscle hypertrophy, one has to constantly keep increasing the weight used. Muscle hypertrophy is defined as an increase in muscle mass that is related to two factors: the amount of workload employed and the tension developed during muscle contraction.3 Most bodybuilders focus mainly on workload or the amount of sets utilized during their training routine to increase muscle hypertrophy, seldom changing repetition speed. Speed training may develop motor unit recruitment patterns different from traditional weight training, thus potentiating better gains with subsequent regular training cycles.

According to world-renowned strength coach Dr. Verkhoshansky, the tempo of resistance exercise has a significant effect on the development of muscular strength (because of fast-twitch fiber enhancement). Dr. Verkhoshansky reported that a combination of different movement tempos produce superior gains in strength, compared to a set tempo. In that 10-week study, men who trained with a combination of tempos produced a 48-pound increase in strength, but using a standard tempo pace only resulted in a 36-pound increase in strength.4 The results of the study demonstrate the importance of changing repetition speed during a training cycle.

The amount of weight lifted depends on the laws of physics. Simply, FORCE = MASS X ACCELERATION. This means the amount of force you generate during weightlifting can be increased by lifting more weight or lifting the same amount of weight at a faster speed. If you are performing the same number of reps with the same amount of weight but lifting with more acceleration, you are producing more force— and this means larger central nervous system activation. This is not a new concept. A study in 1954 by Bigland-Ritchie and Lippold demonstrated that the faster a weight is accelerated through a lift, the more nervous system activation is required for the movement.5 The more motor units or muscle fibers that are activated in a repetition, the greater the activation in the central nervous system. This represents an increase in training intensity.

During muscle contraction, motor units or muscle fibers are recruited in relation to the force generated by the muscle. For example, during slow muscle contractions, type I fibers are recruited, but as workload increases, more type IIA and finally, IIB fibers are recruited. This is a basic tenet of motor unit recruitment. What is unique about eccentric contractions is there some evidence that the size principle could be altered or even reversed during certain types of movements— specifically those that contain an eccentric (muscle-lengthening) component— such that fast-twitch motor units are recruited before slow-twitch motor units. It is possible that a preferential recruitment of fast-twitch motor units is influenced by the speed of the eccentric contraction, and can only occur using moderate to fast speeds.

When examining the potential for hypertrophy between muscle fibers (i.e., slow type I and fast type II), there are differences. In general, type IIB muscle fibers have the greatest potential for muscle hypertrophy, yet are the last fibers recruited during a lift. This is a basic flaw in the SuperSlow training principles. With low force or slow activities, type I fibers are activated first and as the exercise becomes more fatiguing, type IIA and then type IIB fibers are recruited later. When using fast explosive exercises, faster-twitch motor units are activated and more hypertrophy can occur. Hypertrophy will only occur in those muscle fibers that are overloaded, so that fast-twitch fibers must be recruited during training for hypertrophy to occur.6

Most bodybuilders do not train explosively and can benefit from incorporating explosive multi-component plyometric or speed resistance movements into their training regimen. For example, most bodybuilders experience increases in type IIA fibers during resistance training studies, with no changes in type IIB fibers.7 This may be partially due to using high-volume (i.e., 5-8 sets) and high-repetition (i.e., 10-15 reps) training. However, incorporating plyometrics and other explosive lifts may cause additional muscle growth of IIB fibers.

There have been numerous studies that have documented increases in type IIB fibers after explosive weight training8, 9 and plyometrics.10, 11 When male subjects performed plyometric training for three days a week for eight weeks, this resulted in significant increases in type IIB fiber hypertrophy and peak power production. The plyometric training consisted of vertical jumping, bounding, and depth jumping.12

Type IIB fibers are utilized during high force-generating movements. Just remember, at any given speed, the force production of the muscle increases with the percentage of fast-twitch fibers and, conversely, at any given force output, the velocity increases with the percentage of fast-twitch fibers. For example, look at the thighs of 100-meter sprinters compared to distance runners. World-class sprinters have legs that would make some bodybuilders jealous. Sprinters train fast and explosively, utilizing a lot of type IIA and type IIB fibers during training, compared to distance runners— who rely mainly on type I fibers. Sprinters train in the gym the way they run… fast and explosive.

A typical sprinter trains with explosive squatting, lots of plyometric jumps, and bounding exercises. Training specificity states that you should weight train like you perform in your competitions. For example, basketball players were assigned to either train with traditional weight training or traditional weight training plus explosive, eccentric plyometrics for six weeks. While both groups had increases in their vertical jump at the end of the study, the group that trained with weight training and plyometrics increased their mean overall vertical jump by 8 percent. Thus, high-force eccentric training can possibly increase gains and muscle power by increasing muscle size.

In conclusion, many bodybuilders and fitness-oriented athletes would benefit from adding a few explosive exercises such as plyometrics to their training regimen. In competitive athletics, when all other factors are equal, power is the deciding factor between winning and losing. The ability to generate concentric and eccentric force over a range of contraction velocities is often a critical determinant of athletic success. For years, weight training was considered to slow an athlete down and make him inflexible. Fifteen years ago, the University of Nebraska started training their football team using only explosive Olympic lifts and squats. Performing explosive lifts such as power cleans, jump squats, and depth jumps recruits entirely fast-twitch motor units. The training effect produced a stronger, faster and more mobile athlete— and a winning record. Now, virtually all football teams incorporate Olympic lifts for explosive strength and power. Incorporating these movements into your training routine will increase size and strength beyond traditional weight training.

By Robbie Durand


1. Paddon-Jones D, Leveritt M, Lonergan A, Abernethy P. Adaptation to chronic eccentric exercise in humans: the influence of contraction velocity. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2001 Sep;85(5):466-71.

2. Farthing JP, Chilibeck PD. The effect of eccentric training at different velocities on cross-education. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2003 Aug;89(6):570-7.

3. Glass DJ. Skeletal muscle hypertrophy and atrophy signaling pathways. Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 2005 Oct;37(10):1974-84.

4. Verkhoshanskii IuV, Biru AA. Patterns in the long-term body adaptation of the athlete to physical loads] Fiziol Cheloveka, 1987 Sep-Oct;13(5):811-8.

5. Bigland-Ritchie B./Lippold O. 1954 The Relation Between Force, Velocity, and Integrated Electrical Activity in Human Muscles. J Physiol,123, 214-224.

6. Shoepe TC, Stelzer JE, Garner DP, Widrick JJ. Functional adaptability of muscle fibers to long-term resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2003 Jun;35(6):944-51.

7. Jurimae J, Abernethy PJ, Quigley BM, Blake K, McEniery MT. Differences in muscle contractile characteristics among bodybuilders, endurance trainers and control subjects. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol, 1997;75(4):357-62.

8. Hakkinen K, Pakarinen A, Kraemer WJ, Hakkinen A, Valkeinen H, Alen M. Selective muscle hypertrophy, changes in EMG and force, and serum hormones during strength training in older women. J Appl Physiol, 2001 Aug;91(2):569-80.

9. Hakkinen K, Kraemer WJ, Newton RU, Alen M. Changes in electromyographic activity, muscle fibre and force production characteristics during heavy resistance/power strength training in middle-aged and older men and women. Acta Physiol Scand, 2001 Jan;171(1):51-62.

10. LaStayo PC, Woolf JM, Lewek MD, Snyder-Mackler L, Reich T, Lindstedt SL. Eccentric muscle contractions: their contribution to injury, prevention, rehabilitation, and sport. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 2003 Oct;33(10):557-71.

11. Lindstedt SL, Reich TE, Keim P, LaStayo PC. Do muscles function as adaptable locomotor springs? J Exp Biol, 2002 Aug;205(Pt 15):2211-6.

12. Potteiger JA, Lockwood RH, Haub MD, Dolezal BA,  Almuzaini KS, Schroeder JM, Zebas CJ. Muscle Power and Fiber Characteristics Following 8 Weeks of Plyometric Training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Volume 13, Number 3, 275-279, 1999.

13. Nogueira W, Gentil P, Mello SN, Oliveira RJ, Bezerra AJ, Bottaro M. Effects of power training on muscle thickness of older men. Int J Sports Med, 2009 Mar;30(3):200-4.

Testosterone Undecanoate: Big Gains or Big Pain?

Nearly every recreational user of anabolic steroids (AAS) accepts the legal and health risks in order to improve his quality of life— a more impressive physique, greater confidence, or a competitive edge. Yet, despite the tangible benefits conferred by AAS, there are a number of pains that users face.

In the practice of pharmacy, compliance is a major issue that determines the success of a drug treatment. Compliance means the patient following directions. To combat the habit of noncompliance, drug therapies are designed to be as effortless as possible. Thus, most oral drugs are once-daily; imagine the consequences of failing to take birth control as scheduled.

Most women follow a once-daily birth control pill schedule, but it is inconvenient. Thus, long-acting birth control options have been developed that allow for the placement of hormone-infused silicone implants lasting five years, or an intramuscular injection lasting 12 weeks. The same delivery systems used to provide long-acting female sex steroid hormones can also be applied to male sex steroid hormones, such as AAS.

AAS users already depend upon injectable AAS rather than orals, due to their higher potency, convenience, and to avoid the liver toxicity inherent in 17alpha-alkyated steroids. The health and legal risks are abstractions to most recreational users; the most concrete pain associated with injectable AAS use is pain.

Ask a type 1 diabetic about the impact of the condition on his life. Most become comfortable with dietary restrictions; it is the repeated injections and finger-pricks that are the least tolerable burdens. While recreational AAS users don’t prick fingers to monitor testosterone, many follow a frequent injection schedule. Contrary to insulin which is injected under the skin, AAS are injected deep into muscle tissue; typically the gluteus (butt muscle), but also shoulder or outer thigh. Some have a spouse/partner perform the injection, but most learn to self-inject.

A highly desirable advance in testosterone/AAS therapy would be to provide long-term sustainable release, avoiding dramatic peaks and troughs. Even the longest-acting esters currently available in the U.S. require bi-weekly injections; testosterone concentration fluctuates wildly with a three-fold difference between the highest and lowest concentrations experienced between shots. Bodybuilders avoid AAS lows by injecting more frequently, maintaining an anabolic concentration. During an AAS-only cycle, bodybuilders endure two or more intramuscular injections weekly, depending upon the dosing schedule and number of AAS stacked. Competitive bodybuilders and athletes may compound this number with injections of insulin, growth hormone, inflammatory agents, prostaglandins, etc.

A testosterone ester has been developed and used clinically in many countries possessing the desired profile. Testosterone undecanoate (TU), marketed under the brand name Aveed®, Nebido®, and others, has a decade-plus history of research and use in treating male hypogonadism (low testosterone).1-23 It is the preferred mode of hormone replacement for many men’s health specialists, due to its pharmacokinetic properties. TU is capable of maintaining a steady concentration of testosterone for 12 weeks in most users, up to 14 weeks in some.5-7 To reach a steady state, a 4 ml depot of TU in castor oil is injected, with a follow-up injection six weeks later; from then on, testosterone concentration is typically maintained with a 4 ml depot injected every 12 weeks. For American AAS users, or men receiving testosterone therapy, this sounds like nirvana— one shot every three months, rather than 12 or more.

Unfortunately, the FDA is being uncharacteristically slow in approving TU, due to the rare report of transient (short-term, like five minutes) shortness of breath that has occurred when the depot is improperly injected.24 Proper intramuscular injection technique requires that the plunger of the syringe be pulled back slightly to ensure that the drug is not being injected into a blood vessel, as this could allow the large globule to enter the bloodstream. If injected into a large vein, the globule could enter the pulmonary circulation (lungs) fairly intact, causing the sensation noted, until it is dispersed in the general circulation. Most AAS injections are limited to 2 ml or less.

One issue with TU that may affect compliance is a greater frequency or severity of injection-related pain. Four ml may not seem like a large volume, a teaspoon has 5 ml. However, when injected into the glute, 4 ml of an oil-filled depot can feel like one is sitting on a golf ball. Recently, a study was performed measuring relative pain associated with a 4 ml TU injection, and how long the pain lasts.25 This will likely be of interest to many men, as TU could quickly become the hormone replacement of choice in the U.S. when approved.

Those considering high-volume injections of other AAS, or hoping to acquire TU for recreational purposes, will likely find this worthy of note as well. Certain AAS, particularly veterinary preparations, are administered in low concentrations. In the study, recently published in the Asian Journal of Andrology, Australian clinicians followed 125 hypogonadal men receiving TU, administered as a single 4 ml intramuscular injection every 12 weeks; 43 returned during the study period for a scheduled injection, and their data were included in the analysis.25

In reviewing these results, it is important to consider that the injections were provided in the clinic, by experienced nurses using proper injection protocol. The injections were provided slowly, over 3-5 minutes, through a 1½-inch, 21-gauge needle— the standard needle size used by doctors and bodybuilders for intramuscular injections. These results likely represent “best-case scenario” as a legitimate drug, properly injected, in a clinical setting by experienced practitioners. In the “real world,” the outcome is likely to be worse, with increased risk of other injection-related complications (e.g., bleeding, infection, injecting into a vein, tissue damage, and scarring).

Rating the Pain

The men were given a color-scale to represent the injection-related pain they experienced. They scored pain at the site just prior to the injection, immediately following, three more times that day approximately four hours apart, then each morning for eight days. All of these men had received TU previously, so they all were aware of the nature of the procedure.

As these men were all otherwise healthy, the pain score just prior to the injection was zero for nearly all subjects (96 percent), showing they were pain-free at the site of the injection. Nearly all subjects felt some degree of pain immediately post-injection (80 percent), ranging from annoying (2 on a scale of 10) to moderately-severe (pain score of 7). For most, the pain was worst immediately post-injection (58 percent), and resolved fairly quickly. In fact, none of the subjects reported that pain interfered with normal activities; in all cases, the pain resolved in three days or less.26

The authors compared this to an earlier study examining pain associated with a 1 ml intramuscular injection of testosterone enanthate (TE). In this, most men did not experience reportable pain; only 29 percent noted any injection-related discomfort.27 The difference between the TE and TU experience is likely related to the volume of the injection (1 ml versus 4 ml).

Two traits were noted that were associated with less pain— age and obesity. Older men reported less pain than their younger counterparts; this may be due to reduced pain sensitivity that occurs with aging, or they may just be more stoic.28 Obese men have a much thicker subdermal (under the skin) fat pad. In some men, this may be thicker than the length of the needle, causing the 4 ml depot to be dispersed among the less reactive adipose tissue (fat), as opposed to the acutely sensitive muscle. Though this has been noted to be an issue, it appears drug delivery may be equally effective when injected as an oil depot into fat or muscle.29,30 Most normal-weight or lean men would not find the visible bulge from the injection comfortable or tolerable cosmetically.

One reasonable question is, “Why not divide the shot into two injections of 2 ml, one into each butt cheek?” After all, if pain is this common and can be severe for some, why not make the process more tolerable? Most bodybuilders who have used injectables for many cycles can share the hassles: left-handed injections for right-handers; cheap needles with blunt tips; accidentally flexing the glute while the needle is embedded; trying to inject more than 2 ml at once; and the formation of a lipoma (oil mass in the muscle from frequent injections into the same space). Some bodybuilders have had surgery to remove an abscess caused by the injection.

The advantage of injecting a single large bolus, rather than two or more smaller depots, is that a large globule releases the drug much more slowly.31 Within muscle cells, fat or oil tends to form a spherical globule. One large globule better protects the drug inside, insulating TU from esterases— enzymes that release testosterone from the pro-drug ester. TU increases testosterone concentration only after it is released from its attached ester. It appears as though the U.S. version will be administered as a 3 ml injection, every 10 weeks.22,24

Therapeutically, TU offers a very convenient and reliable means of keeping testosterone levels at a suitable concentration. The only requirement will be to attend a clinic for an unusually voluminous injection; some people may be able to administer this at home. For the recreational user, if one is not willing to undergo a 4 ml injection, the time course of dispersion will not be the 12-week window seen with clinical use. The kinetics of this drug given as a 1 ml injection would likely be similar to Deca-Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate), which is esterified to a 10-carbon tail, as opposed the 11-carbon tail used in TU.

TU is an exciting advance in testosterone replacement. However, for those looking to use it more frequently to maintain a supraphysiologic concentration over an extended period, TU may require big (or at least annoying) pains for big gains.

By Dan Gwartney, M.D. 


1. Zhang GY, Gu YQ, et al. A pharmacokinetic study of injectable testosterone undecanoate in hypogonadal men. J Androl, 1998 Nov-Dec;19(6):761-8.

2. Behre HM, Abshagen K, et al. Intramuscular injection of testosterone undecanoate for the treatment of male hypogonadism: phase I studies. Eur J Endocrinol, 1999 May;140(5):414-9.

3. Nieschlag E, Büchter D, et al. Repeated intramuscular injections of testosterone undecanoate for substitution therapy in hypogonadal men. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf), 1999 Dec;51(6):757-63.

4. von Eckardstein S, Nieschlag E. Treatment of male hypogonadism with testosterone undecanoate injected at extended intervals of 12 weeks: a phase II study. J Androl, 2002 May-Jun;23(3):419-25.

5. Schubert M, Minnemann T, et al. Intramuscular testosterone undecanoate: pharmacokinetic aspects of a novel testosterone formulation during long-term treatment of men with hypogonadism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2004 Nov;89(11):5429-34.

6. Yassin AA, Saad F. Treatment of sexual dysfunction of hypogonadal patients with long-acting testosterone undecanoate (Nebido). World J Urol, 2006 Dec;24(6):639-44.

7. Morales A, Nieschlag E, et al. Clinical experience with the new long-acting injectable testosterone undecanoate. Report on the educational symposium on the occasion of the 5th World Congress on the Aging Male, 9-12 February 2006, Salzburg, Austria. Aging Male, 2006 Dec;9(4):221-7.

8. Yassin AA, Saad F. Improvement of sexual function in men with late-onset hypogonadism treated with testosterone only. J Sex Med, 2007 Mar;4(2):497-501.

9. Saad F, Kamischke A, et al. More than eight years' hands-on experience with the novel long-acting parenteral testosterone undecanoate. Asian J Androl, 2007 May;9(3):291-7.

10. Zitzmann M, Nieschlag E. Androgen receptor gene CAG repeat length and body mass index modulate the safety of long-term intramuscular testosterone undecanoate therapy in hypogonadal men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2007 Oct;92(10):3844-53.

11. Minnemann T, Schubert M, et al. A four-year efficacy and safety study of the long-acting parenteral testosterone undecanoate. Aging Male, 2007 Sep;10(3):155-8.

12. Saad F, Gooren LJ, et al. A dose-response study of testosterone on sexual dysfunction and features of the metabolic syndrome using testosterone gel and parenteral testosterone undecanoate. J Androl, 2008 Jan-Feb;29(1):102-5.

13. Saad F, Gooren L, et al. An exploratory study of the effects of 12-month administration of the novel long-acting testosterone undecanoate on measures of sexual function and the metabolic syndrome. Arch Androl, 2007 Nov-Dec;53(6):353-7.

14. Moisey R, Swinburne J, et al. Serum testosterone and bioavailable testosterone correlate with age and body size in hypogonadal men treated with testosterone undecanoate (1000 mg IM--Nebido). Clin Endocrinol (Oxf), 2008 Oct;69(4):642-7.

15. Minnemann T, Schubert M, et al. Comparison of a new long-acting testosterone undecanoate formulation vs testosterone enanthate for intramuscular androgen therapy in male hypogonadism. J Endocrinol Invest, 2008 Aug;31(8):718-23.

16. Morgentaler A, Dobs AS, et al. Long acting testosterone undecanoate therapy in men with hypogonadism: results of a pharmacokinetic clinical study. J Urol, 2008 Dec;180(6):2307-13.

17. Jockenhövel F, Minnemann T, et al. Comparison of long-acting testosterone undecanoate formulation versus testosterone enanthate on sexual function and mood in hypogonadal men. Eur J Endocrinol, 2009 May;160(5):815-9.

18. Kornmann B, Nieschlag E, et al. Body fat content and testosterone pharmacokinetics determine gonadotropin suppression after intramuscular injections of testosterone preparations in normal men. J Androl, 2009 Sep-Oct;30(5):602-13.

19. Zhuravlev VN, Frank MA, et al. Sexual functions of men with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome and hypogonadism may improve upon testosterone administration: a pilot study. Andrologia, 2009 Jun;41(3):193-5.

20. Haider A, Gooren LJ, et al. Improvement of the Metabolic Syndrome and of Non-alcoholic Liver Steatosis upon Treatment of Hypogonadal Elderly Men with Parenteral Testosterone Undecanoate. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes, 2010 Mar;118(3):167-171.

21. Caminiti G, Volterrani M, et al. Effect of long-acting testosterone treatment on functional exercise capacity, skeletal muscle performance, insulin resistance, and baroreflex sensitivity in elderly patients with chronic heart failure a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study. J Am Coll Cardiol, 2009 Sep 1;54(10):919-27.

22. Wang C, Harnett M, et al. Pharmacokinetics and Safety of Long-Acting Testosterone Undecanoate Injections in Hypogonadal Men: An 84-Week Phase III Clinical Trial. J Androl, 2010 Feb 4. [Epub ahead of print].

23. Aversa A, Bruzziches R, et al. Efficacy and safety of two different testosterone undecanoate formulations in hypogonadal men with metabolic syndrome. J Endocrinol Invest, 2010 Mar 10. [Epub ahead of print].

24. Complete Response Letter for Aveed NDA. Available at:, accessed March 17, 2010.

25. Sartorius G, Fennell C, et al. Factors influencing time course of pain after depot oil intramuscular injection of testosterone undecanoate. Asian J Androl, 2010 Mar;12(2):227-33.

26. Llewellyn W. Equipoise® (boldenone undecylenate). William Llewellyn’s Anabolics, Molecular Nutrition, LLC. Jupiter, FL;2009:235-7.

27. Mackey MA, Conway AJ, et al. Tolerability of intramuscular injections of testosterone ester in oil vehicle. Hum Reprod, 1995 Apr;10(4):862-5.

28. Gagliese L. Pain and aging: the emergence of a new subfield of pain research. J Pain 2009 Apr;10(4):343-53.

29. Burbridge BE. Computed tomographic measurement of gluteal subcutaneous fat thickness in reference to failure of gluteal intramuscular injections. Can Assoc Radiol J, 2007 Apr;58(2):72-5.

30. Svendsen O, Blom L, et al. Local toxicity of different drugs after intramuscular or intralipomatous injection in pigs: serum concentrations after three different formulations of cis(Z)-clopenthixol. Acta Pharmacol Toxicol, (Copenh) 1985 Aug;57(2):78-87.

31. Fotherby K. Factors affecting the duration of action of the injectable contraceptive norethisterone enanthate. Contracept Deliv Syst, 1981 Jul;2(3):249-57.

domingo, 27 de diciembre de 2015

Ask The Ripped Dude: What Are Your Top Fat-Burning Foods?

I've graced more than 20 magazine covers in the past years. My nickname says it all: 'The World's Most Ripped Fitness Model' 

Obi, I'm ready to rock 'n' roll 2016, but I need to know what foods are best-suited to help me burn fat while also building the muscle I want. Give it up, man - what are your top 10 choices?

Happy New Year! Yes, soaking yourself in champagne and dancing the night away could be a great way to ring in 2016, but I'm glad you're thinking about your New Year's resolution to get fit and stay healthy.

One of the best ways to begin reaching your goals is to learn which foods do good things to your body. These 10 fat-burning foods should be included in the diet plan that will help make 2016 your best year. 

1 Oatmeal

Aside from being easy to cook, oatmeal is a great fat burner because it is rich in insoluble and soluble fiber. Read the label on those pre-measured packets though, most of them have lots of sugar.

Oatmeal Macros
1 cup (cooked):

    Calories: 111
    Fat: 2g
    Carbs: 19g
    Protein: 5g

2 Chicken Breast

Nope, it's not your momma's fried chicken, although I'm sure that was delicious. I'm talking about lean chicken breast without skin or bone. It's one of the best fat-burning foods you can eat.

Chicken Breast Macros
In 1 breast (3 oz):

    Calories: 142
    Fat: 3.1g
    Carbs: 0g
    Protein: 26.7g

3 Egg Whites

Egg whites are low in calories and high in protein. This equation equals energy for fat burning and building muscles.

Egg Whites Macros
In 3 egg whites:

    Calories: 34
    Fat: 0g
    Carbs: 0g
    Protein: 7g

4 Brown Rice

Packed with fiber and essential nutrients, brown rice slowly absorbs in the bloodstream. You can't go wrong with this fat-burning carbohydrate.

Brown Rice Macros
In 1/2 cup:

    Calories: 109
    Fat: 0g
    Carbs: 23g
    Protein: 2g

5 Fish Oils

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fish oils have some incredible qualities. They increase your thermogenesis, making you burn more calories; they have an anti-catabolic effect, which prevents muscle breakdown; and they are anti-lipogenics, which means they reduce fat-storage. What more reason do you need to include them in your diet plan?

Fish Oil Macros
In 1 tablespoon:

    Calories: 113
    Fat: 12g
    Carbs: 0g
    Protein: 0g

6 Asparagus

Asparagus contains the plant chemical asparagine, an alkaloid that directly affects cells and breaks down fat. It also contains a chemical that helps remove waste from the body, which in turn helps reduce fat.

Asparagus Macros
In 4 spears (cooked):

    Calories: 13
    Fat: 0g
    Carbs: 2g
    Protein: 1g

7 Almonds

Loaded with Omega-3 fats, Almonds have been proven to increase fat-burning properties in the human body.

Almonds Macros
In 4 spears (cooked):

    Calories: 216
    Fat: 19g
    Carbs: 8g
    Protein: 8g

8 Garlic

One of the best components of garlic, besides its flavor, is Allicin. Allicin is a compound that helps flush fat from the body. Garlic has also been known to help maintain healthy blood-pressure levels.

Garlic Macros
In 1 clove:

    Calories: 4
    Fat: 0g
    Carbs: 0g
    Protein: 0g

9 Tomatoes

Tomatoes are soldiers in the war to stay healthy! Not only are they great oxidizers and metabolizers of body-fat, but they might also help lower blood pressure and fight certain types of cancers.

Tomato Macros
In 1 tomato:

    Calories: 15
    Fat: 0g
    Carbs: 3g
    Protein: 0g

10 Apples

Apples are a great fat-burning fruit, in part because they are high in fiber. Moreover, the pectin in apples restricts fat absorption and encourages water absorption in your body's cells. Other great fat-burning fruits are oranges, peaches, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits.

Apple Macros
In 1 apple:

    Calories: 91
    Fat: 0g
    Carbs: 24g
    Protein: 0g

Remember, 80 percent of obtaining your fitness goals comes from your diet, so pay close attention to what you put into your body. We've all heard the saying, "You are what you eat." Eat these awesome fat-burning foods and become a fat-burner yourself! 


miércoles, 23 de diciembre de 2015

7 Reasons You're Not Getting Stronger

Still stuck moving the same amount of weight? Any of these strength killers could be to blame.

Exercise is supposed to be a stress release, not something that creates more tension in your life. Yet that’s exactly what ends up happening when gains in strength and size begin to sputter. And without utilizing trial and error and critical thinking in your training, the road back to continual success can be long and frustrating.

If obvious causes for stalled progress have already been considered — namely, you’re inconsistent with how your train, eat, and rest — perhaps one of these seven reasons have been overlooked. 

 #1. Your Mechanics Are Off

When you’ve hit a wall there’s no better time to take a step back and rethink the way in which your body is moving compared to how it should be moving during specific exercises.

“The brain is a sophisticated thing that — if you allow it — will try to find the most efficient way to move through space while using the least amount of resistance,” says Dr. Paul Juris, Executive Director of the Cybex Research Institute. “So in many cases what people do is find solutions that limit the loading of the joints and therefore the muscle, and that’s not necessarily creating the best opportunity to make the system work harder. Take an overhead press with a cable as an example. If the cable is aligned straight through the center of the shoulder joint, biomechanically that’s not placing the load on the shoulder. So those muscles around the shoulder aren’t going to work very hard despite the fact that you’re moving in a way that it looks like you’re doing the exercise properly. Finding the right source to help you iron out kinks isn’t always an easy task. Unfortunately biomechanics isn’t something that’s taught very much in the fitness industry, but finding someone who knows it would be very helpful to you.”

 #2. You’re Switching Things Up Too Often

Yes, your body is an adaptive organism that’ll stop responding if you fail to increase demands. But changing every aspect of every workout on a daily basis isn’t necessary, according to Dr. Juris. “Repeated stimulus over a 30-day period can help you get comfortable, confident, and learn the task more effectively,” he says. “However, there is value to changing the loading schemes. So, on some days work with higher loads and fewer reps, or lighter loads and more reps. I also like to throw in a speed day with lighter loads and fast reps.”

 #3. You Might Have Hit Your Strength Ceiling

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is going to come a point where you simply can’t get any stronger. If that weren’t the case, gyms would be overcrowded with Incredible Hulks curling Smart cars.

“As human beings we all have our own genetic ceiling,” says Dr. Juris. “So there’s only so much we can do without getting into some unsavory things.”

 #4. You Only Do What You Enjoy

Often, instead of embracing what pushes our bodies to grow — maybe it’s performing Olympic lifts or running the rack — we find something less demanding, intense, or time consuming takes its place.

“I believe people have a tendency to do what they’re good at or enjoy,” says NASM-certified personal trainer Mike Giliotti. “So when I train my clients, I do the exact opposite. You don’t like squats? Well we start them. You don’t like deadlifts? Now we will do extra sets. When I see a weakness, I go right at it. Face your fear and break your wall. I really find this to be effective both mentally and physically.”

 #5. Your Ego Is In The Way

Weightlifting can be an amorphous term. It’s your responsibility to figure out the necessary principals and methods needed to achieve your specific objective. So if you have not defined an end game, there’s no way you can accomplish your goal.

“’Powerlifting’ is lifting the most weight possible and has no concern with body composition, conditioning or the way the physique looks,” explains John Rowley, certified personal trainer and author of The Power of Positive Fitness. “So when you look at it from this perspective you can see why people don’t make gains in the gym. They avoid the bench press or other movements because they think they should be doing these big lifts. So if they can’t do 325 lbs. they skip the exercise when they should really be focusing on what the weight can do for their muscle — not the weight on the bar.” 

 #6. You Have No Idea What ‘Supramaximal Training’ Is

Supramaximal effort, defined as something that exceeds what is considered maximal, can make the body adapt by exposing it to a higher set of demands.

“While time under tension (TUT) is important for both strength and hypertrophy goals, it is the relationship of TUT to the resistance used that is truly important,” explains NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Brian Durbin, owner of Fitness Together of Mt. Pleasant, S.C. “An important note for those looking to increase muscle strength and hypertrophy is the TUT as a result from supramaximal training using eccentric (when the muscles lengthen) loading. The TUT component of eccentric loading days can be an excellent plateau-breaking tool and can also be invaluable for pushing the muscles and the nervous system to a new level of performance.”

Durbin suggests incorporating two days of eccentric supramaximal training for a two-week cycle. “It can completely revolutionize a training program and catapult results forward,” he adds.

 #7. You’re Putting In Too Much O.T.

This especially applies to newcomers, but can be also become an issue when gym vets’ see their lifts flatline; they begin to overcompensate by adding more sets or reps.

“Putting muscle on requires you to lift weight correctly and with efficiency,” explains Rowley. “The key is get in, get the job done and get out. Newbies can confuse gains with time in the gym because it makes sense to them; however, I like to use the common analogy of the marathon runner versus the sprinter. You can train easy and long or hard and short. Hard and short adds muscle, but a long and hard session doesn’t do much for muscle gains.” 

From: Zack Zeigler - M&F


Amigos, últimamente casi siempre escribo sobre Motivación, Entrenamiento o Nutrición. En esta ocasión, quiero compartir unas líneas dedicadas a estas fechas en las que vivimos. La he llamado “Carta Abierta” a la Navidad.

“Querida Navidad:

Ya ha pasado un año desde que te marchaste, y parece que fue ayer. ! Cómo pasa el tiempo ! o quizás sea un “ Déjà vu “ constante y en bucle, en el que repetimos año a año a ver si aprendemos algo de una vez. Sea cómo fuere un año pasó y dejó sus huellas, unas mejores y otras peores, pero sin dudas, huellas para recordar y para aprender de cada una de ellas.

Yo me quedo, cómo si de un Buffet Libre se tratara, con lo que me hace crecer y mejorar, no se trata de olvidar las malas experiencias y quedarme con las buenas, sino de utilizar cada herramienta que me brinda cada una de esas vivencias y aprender.

Me quedo con la mirada del niño que recibe su recompensa con ilusión y alegría en una noche de reyes. Me quedo con el regocijo de un pueblo que canta sus penurias en Sábado de Carnaval. Me quedo con la esperanza y la fe que profesa el que mira al cielo en Viernes de Pasión. Me quedo con la vida que rebosa cada ola que nos baña en las tardes de estío. Me quedo con la inocencia y las ganas de aprender del alumno que inicia un nuevo curso escolar. Me quedo con el recuerdo los que se fueron y nos acompañan cada primero de Noviembre. Y me quedo sobre todo con la compañía y el gozo de reunirnos con nuestros amigos y familiares en Navidad.

Pero quiero mucho más, espero mucho más de ti. Y ésto no es un arrebato de rabia, ni siquiera te lo digo con el rostro torcido. No es una frase desafiante... es simplemente un deseo fervoroso de sentir realmente una feliz navidad.

Yo quiero un mar sin restos de pateras rotas, una tierra sin carnet de identidad, unas fronteras hospitalarias, unos brazos dispuestos a compartir y abrazar, unos dirigentes humanos que entiendan de solidaridad y humanidad, unas religiones hermanadas y un mundo que sea digno de habitar.

Yo quiero unas casas donde no falte un plato cada día, unas familias que se sientan dignas de aportar su trabajo a la sociedad, unas viviendas habitadas con unas luces y unos grifos que funcionen, quiero niños en las escuelas que aprendan cada día y unos profesores dignos de admirar. 

Yo quiero una sociedad hermanada, en la que las diferencias unan y aporten a los demás, una sociedad madura, que se aleje de los medios de propaganda y no se deje manipular, una sociedad justa, que dé de lado al que roba, engaña y no aporta nada, y que valore a esas personas que con su esfuerzo mejoran su entorno. Que realmente idolatre a esas personas, que existen, que viven para mejorar la vida de los demás.

Quizás pida mucho, pero de esa manera, podré decir a boca llena Feliz Navidad.”

Diego Gallardo.