BodyWorks: Be No Weakling

What Do You Regret Most About Spending So Much Of Your Life In The Gym.

Regret is not really the right word, but I think that I’ll answer this rather personal question anyway.

That gone are the days it was pure & easy & just about looking purrrty.

…and now…now it’s all about survival.

Day In The Life

Another chest session at the Church of the Pumping Iron down & in the books.

It’s 02:00 early…

Anyone who is normal is tucked up cozily asleep…

Outside, a storm is kicking over. Now you start wondering if that damn Hummer is gonna start.
It’s a long & miserable amble home now, if it doesn’t.

Do You Need To Cycle Creatine?

A very simple picture of what creatine does.

This is probably the #2 question that I get asked about creatine ( #1 is “Does it really work?”).

This answer applies specifically to Creatine Monohydrate, but can, most probably, be applicable to all othe firms as well.

The answer is “NO”

This is the answer for the following two reasons:

  1. It is not classified as a drug either in the literature or in fact, and therefore does not fundamentally alter metabolism in a way that might create a tolerance level, manifested by a diminishing response over time, that would require you to cycle off to resensitize to its action;
  2. Ultimately, the main factor determining to what degree CM affects you and your response to it depends on a combination of genetic factors.

So, thinking of creatine as a nutrient (or perhaps a food macro), we can see that while cycling it is pointless, using a great deal of it would also not increase its affect serve no purpose in you training scheme.

Do Testosterone Levels Inevitably Fall in Men?

Yes, there is a real process of diminishing returns in operation.


It’s why you often see photos of guys who used to be studs being waved about in the boney fingers of decrepit old men in wheel chairs reading comic books while you wonder to yourself…”was that really them, once upon a time?”

But why do testosterone levels fall?

Age related testosterone decline, or secondary hypogonadism has several main reasons for happening. I’m going to disgustingly simplify things a little by briefly mentioning two:

1. The mostly enzymatic conversion process that goes cholesterol->pregnenolone->testosterone becomes progressively more inefficient with time.


2. Leydig Cells, the little machines that run the above reaction, along with several others of major importance, become less sensitive to LH (luteinizing hormone) released by the pituitary as a sort of initiation signal to start the testosterone conversion process. The older man starts releasing more and more LH with less and less cellular responsiveness. Similar to the kind of occurrence happening in Adult Onset or Type 2 diabetes where a greater and greater amount of insulin is released in response to an increasing amount of tissue insensitivity.
Now, whether this happens at 30, 40 or 20, or 70, how and to what extent it happens, has as much to do with lifestyle choices, self image, mind-set and what you’re willing to stand for as it does with genetics and what havoc the human race is currently causing to the environment.

But all is not lost and life can still be fun and well worth living as Mother Nature, the bitch that she is, attempts to shut you down and convince you that she no longer has much use for you or your manhood as the clock winds down.

Stubborn You, of course, will undoubtedly have other ideas and probably not be quite so ready to throw in the towel just yet.

So, you use exercise discipline, use nutritional strategies, practice the warrior mindset, and investigate what modern medical science may be able to offer you.

Yep, it’s the magic molecule.

How long after Carpel Tunnel Surgery should you wait before starting to lift again?

Carpel tunnel repair jobs don’t come with lifetime guarantees. This is why much thought needs to be given to the decision of whether to have the operation done or not. The problem itself isn’t solved, but the symptoms are often alleviated by this procedure. There is no guarantee that the symptoms won’t return after you start using your hands again.

Whether an open or endoscopic surgery method is chosen will affect recovery times, as much more tissue damage is sustained with the former technique.

You will probably leave heavy free weight lifting for at least 6 weeks post-op, the longer you leave it, the less risk of sustaining further damage. Your doctor may be careful and prudently suggest a 3-month period. But then, you’ll have to deal with another problem, the muscle atrophy resulting from a longer layoff.

My advice would be to start back slowly with your resistance training using the machines available to you rather than jump right into free weights. Machines, while having some downsides, but allow a more controlled lifting experience, as that surgery will initially leave your wrist in an unstable configuration for quite a while.

As mentioned, the surgery is not magic. Basically, what it does is cut your carpel ligament and probably some tissue to enlarge a space and release some pressure on a nerve.

Remember, that tendon was there for a reason and sniping it doesn’t make your wrist more robust. So, choose wisely.

Can You Alter The Shape Of Your Face By Building UP The Muscles There?

Oh, there are lots & lots of face, jaw and neck muscles that will definitely affect what your face might look like.

The main muscles of concern are going to be the sternocleidomastoid, the platysma and the muscles of the zygomatic arch area.

But, it is not just these underlying muscles that affect your particular look, but also bone structure, subcutaneous fat and epidermal tissue integrity.

Photos of Tom Platz notwithstanding (the classic moon face, mostly due to water retention from heavy hormonal use and certain adrenal conditions like Cushing’s), there is a pretty fair scope under your control for building up muscles without costly and perhaps unlucky visits to your local plastic surgeon that can potentially alter the shape of your face.F

 

 

 

Which Protein Powder Does The Body Use Best: WHEY or CASEIN?

When you ask a question like this, what you are probably interested in is Biological Value (BV) of the protein source. However, there is also a whole slew of other formulae to assess various other protein attributes.[1]

 

The two applicable measurements of BV that are currently in vogue are:

  • Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS)[2] ;
  • Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS)[3]

Neither of these rating systems directly addresses questions of either the rate of absorption or the efficacy of the protein source (how effective the protein source is in actually building muscle), but we certainly can make inferences from the information that they do supply.

What they both attempting to measure is to what extent the body (including its microbiome, if the PDCAAS method is used) has absorbed a protein source, i.e the initial amount minus how much of the initial protein mass is leftover to be excreted.

The answer to this query will also be the answer to the question you have posed here.

The quick answer to this is:

WHEY > CASIEN

Whey is digested to a fuller extent than Casein.

Footnotes

As Covid-19 continues, many people are purchasing home exercise equipment, how will gyms survive?

The vast majority of home gym sales are impulse buys. After a week or a month, the customer realises that he or she has wasted money, is bored and is not much fitter than when they started.

The customer soon decides that if he or she wants to get fit, a gym is where it’s at.

Now, as far as COVid-19 is concerned, here’s where I get a tad controversial:

Authorities will soon come to their senses and realise that the vast majority of the population feels that ”quality of life matters.” To sacrifice one’s well-being, personal freedoms, health (including mental health) and autonomy to avoid the chance of infection isn’t viable, it just won’t work as a long term proposition.

No matter how many terrifying ”COViD is the NEW NORM” reports the media bombards us with…it isn’t. No matter what group of politicians vying for power decides people are sheep and can easily be frightened out of their freedoms, it won’t be…at least, not for any significant length of time.

As long as gyms take reasonable precaution, maintain good hygiene, adopt to necessary governmental demands, provide customer satisfaction and so on….

Gyms are not about to disappear any time soon.

People need them.

Uh-Uh…Not this week.

Is it bad to take a cold shower or jump into cold water right after training to reduce DOMS?

To reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness? Well, you wouldn’t think so but looking at this link from Live Science provides a difference of opinion. True, this article discusses the negative effects of ice baths after resistance & strength training only-but it is reasonable to assume that you are going to need to tread carefully when considering taking post-training anti-inflammatory measures of any kind, either through supplementation, drugs or cryotherapeutic actions, if you want the body to adapt by getting stronger & bigger.

Ice baths and cold showers may be exhilarating and reduce post-training pain, but probably at a cost.

There is the real possibility of interfering with actions of the precursor catabolic processes necessary to stimulate subsequent anabolic, muscle-building processes, processes which depend heavily upon inflammation to initiate.

Unfortunately, it looks as if no free lunches are being provided here. Most probably you are going to be required to pay with some pain and inflammation dues to avoid singing those hypertrophy blues.

How long will muscle memory and strength last if you take time off from training (say 3-6 months)?

The concept of ”Muscle Memory” or neuromuscular conditioning, is basically a form of efficiency developed through practice and repetition similar to any other physical competency.

It is sometimes treated with a kind of superstitious awe as a form of voodoo, presenting some variety of magical property that perhaps will allow the practitioner to go away on a journey to a distant land whose people have never heard of a dumbbell, not lift for years, come back and in a matter of weeks or days get back to their old hulk ways.

The answer to the question of ”how long muscle memory lasts” is that:

It lasts for a while.

How long a while depends on a variety of things including how long you have trained, your age, your physical activity level (other than weightlifting), health and nutrition status (protein intake/injury/surgery), genetics and so on. Strength is only one aspect of muscle memory, hypertrophy, lifting efficiency, power, endurance, etc. are also important components which also go comprise this concept.

A ballpark estimate of mine will be that in 3–6 months of not-training (or detraining), for the majority of people who have trained less than 5 years, very little, if any muscle memory will be in evidence when training is resumed.

put it somewhere.jpeg

Where the hell did I put all that muscle? I know that I stashed it somewhere.