Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Openings for 10 week max muscle program.

Ok I am taking clients for the next round of the Maximum Muscle Mass program.
It's 10 weeks and $275.
If want to get in on this round email me at paul@lift-run-bang.com
If you are overly fat, there is a plan for that (obviously, if you've looked at the before and after pics).
Serious mother fuckers only.
This round will start on the 6th of April.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Training - Legs

Bodyweight - 245

Leg Curls - 5 sets of 12 using 3/4 of the stack.  5 second negatives.
Standing Calf - stack x 14, 10
Sumo Leg Press - 5 plates x 3 sets of 15, 7 plates x 2 sets of 8
Hack Squats - 315 x 10, 405 x 10, 500 x 8
Stiff Legs - 315 x 8,8

Notes - Ouch.

10 week Maximum Muscle Mass - Another before and after

1 pound difference in the before and after.  223 to 222.



Monday, March 23, 2015

Myths, fallacies, and flat out bullshit


Almost every day I sift through an assortment of "information" (if you want to call it that) of training "gems" (and by gems I mean polished turds) and "wisdom" (and by wisdom I mean shit that makes me want to slap myself in the nutsack) doled out by people who apparently think they are doing people a favor by enlightening them.

This article is profanity laced.  So if profanity makes your pussy hurt, get out now.

Just go heavy - 

This has probably become one of my most hated mottos in lifting.

"When in doubt, just go heavy."

"Go heavy or go home."

"Some hardcore bullshit on a shirt about grinding."

The fact is, going heavy should comprise the LEAST amount of your training time for the year.  The LEAST.

Your low rep work like doubles, triples and such, should be fast.  Not grinding.

Your rep work, support work, bodybuilding, etc should all be in rep ranges that automatically mean you're using a fairly low percentage of your one rep max.

I once read a really simple peaking approach by Andy Bolton, who I think knows a lot about intelligent program design, and he basically summed up 6 weeks like this.

Week 1 - Light
Week 2 - Light
Week 3 - Medium
Week 4 - Medium
Week 5 - Heavy
Week 6 - Heavy

This looks smart to me.  Intelligent.  I have no idea what "heavy all the time" is supposed to look like, in regards to programming.   Maybe it looks like this.....

Week 1 - heavy
Week 2 - epically heavy
Week 3 - brutally heavy
Week 4 - homicidally heavy
Week 5 - makes ethic cleansing look like easter at Grandma's house HEAVY
Week 6 - FUCKING HEAVY AS FUCKING FUCK HEAVY FUCK HEAVY HEAVY I JUST TORE EVERYTHING IN MY BODY HEAVY...........FUCK!

The best way to grind your progress to a halt is to push weights onto the bar too quickly.  The best way to get bogged down mentally and physically is to "load the bar" every training session.  There's something to be said in regards to staying fresh, and feeling good and the impact that has on stringing together many weeks and months of productive training.

Using absolutes in training is usually a terrible idea (see how I avoided using an absolute right there?).  So if the answer is "just" go heavy, it's bullshit.  Going heavy is only a small piece of the training puzzle.


Cardio - 

Why so much fretting over it?  I see people debate whether you need to do HIIT or that steady state is worthless, or now that of all things, cardio will make you fat.  All those decades, bodybuilders did cardio only to step onstage fat.  When generally it was the ones that didn't do enough cardio (and clen) that stepped onstage fat.  And I know some of those.

To quote my diet guy Trevor Kashey on this matter, and something I've reiterated myself multiple times, from a muscular development standpoint, you can and probably will max out your genetic potential in 5-10 years naturally, with just proper training and nutrition.  If you don't stay natural, well, there's all sorts of possibilities and they vary from person to person based on the laws of individuality.

But let's cut through some bullshit here.

If you think you're going to lose gains or muscle mass because you did 30 minutes worth of cardio a few times a week, then you are a candidate for those suffering from extreme mental poverty.

It is true that if you just stop training all together that muscle loss will occur fairly rapidly.  However it doesn't take a lot of training to simply maintain what you have built.  The fear of muscle loss across the spectrum of the lifting community boggles my fucking mind.  People have all sorts of panic now over losing gains if they miss a workout or two, or miss a meal or go for a fucking hike for a few hours.

"Went for a hike bro.  All gains lost!"

Cardio isn't going to strip you of all of your mass.  Unless most of that mass is you know, FAT MASS.

It will help get you in better shape, help you drop some fat, and unless you're just going overboard with it, it's not going to rob you of all the precious muscle you built.  Especially if you keep it at a low enough intensity.  You know, like that same degree of intensity you just walk around casually at? Yeah, you're not going to suddenly find muscle falling off of you if you do cardio at that kind of pace.  Especially if you're not natural.

And so long as you're training even moderately hard and giving your body a reason to retain muscle mass, it's pretty much fucking impossible to just "lose muscle."  unless your diet is totally devoid of any adequate amount of protein or so low in calories not even a hamster could go a few rotations on a wheel.  So yeah, eat some protein, do some cardio, keep training.  You aren't going to suddenly wake up and find all of your muscle gone from some fucking cardio.

If anything, getting in better shape will help your work capacity tremendously and generally that means you can do more work in the gym in less time, and that actually means the ability to provide more stimulus to spark the growth process.  From there, it's rest and food.  But cardio isn't the fucking devil or even your ex-wife/husband.  It's not even a shitty one night stand.

It's not going to strip you of all your muscle and the constant fear of muscle loss in the training community is at a paranoid level and completely overstated.  Stop freaking the fuck out about it.

A big reason why so many guys think they lose muscle when they actually do cardio and diet properly is because (and I've said this before) most guys think they aren't as fat as they actually are.  The 15% dude is usually 20% or more.  So he always thinks he can just drop 25 pounds and be lean.  Then of course it doesn't happen.  So if he continues he usually has to end up losing a lot of fat, and complains he lost muscle in the process because now he's a "shell" of his former self.  When in all reality he was just too fat to begin with.

So do some cardio and train and stop fucking worrying about it.  If you plan on doing a bodybuilding show, and want to show up fat as fuck, then by all means avoid cardio all together.  Mission will be accomplished.



Natural vs Enhanced Frequency - 

There's been this ongoing trend, especially in the natural "community" to bench, squat, deadlift, etc multiple times a week.  Calling it the "natural community" makes me feel like "nattys" are similar to the Amish.  Except instead of going without electricity, they go without "sauce".  And just like the Amish, many of them need to broadcast their abstinence of "good things" quite often.  Like we care.

Juicers (no, not the people who mix up fruits and veggies in a highly powdered blender), apparently recover faster, can train more, train harder, run faster, swim farther, fuck harder and for longer (that part is really true), tan easier, cook tastier meals, free fall from the sky at greater velocity, shoot guns with more accuracy, and build faster drag cars than people suffering in the "natty community".

So if enhanced guys can recover faster, train harder, and more often, then why aren't they taking advantage of that by benching 10,087 times a week, squatting 392,302 times a week and pulling 12,304 times a week?

I keep reading that this is what natural guys must do in order to maximize their potential.  So they have to train more, because they recover less easily.

Wait.

I'm confusing myself.

Lemme try this again.

The enhanced guy = recovers faster, so he can train less often and still make those sweet gainz.

Natural guy = recovers slower than enhanced man, must train more often because....he recovers slower....in order to make those sweet gainz.

"Paul, the enhanced guy can not train at all and gain muscle.  It's been shown in studies."

Oh I know.  I know so many fucking jacked roided out guys that do nothing at all in the way of gym time.  They just sit on their couch and blast tren and mast and test all day everyday, and get jacked as fuck.  Never lift a weight at all.

Now THAT most excellent sire, is truly cheating.

Unfortunately, it really doesn't work that way.  Regardless of what some study reported.

Both guys have to train in a way that suits their recovery ability.  Just because you get "on" doesn't mean you suddenly have super recovery powers.  If that were the case, then all the guys "on" would just train more, as the pundits constantly point out, and they would progress at such a rapid speed that people would accuse them of being on steroids.

Wait........

Ok, nevermind.

I've literally heard every single side of this debate and it always sounds like people talking in circles to me.

So let's clear the air here a little bit.

Natural guys don't have to train the lifts more often.  Some guys may need to, and some may not.  It really all depends on how they respond to such frequency.  There is no magic in benching multiple times a week for everyone.  Same for squatting, and same for deadlifting.

When/if you get on or are on, the same rule applies.

I don't write programs and ask if the guy is a member of the natural Amish community, or a dirty fucking steroid user.  I just program him based off of the information he gives me, and we roll with it from there, and adjust based on what I'm seeing.  Sometimes you take things away, and sometimes you add.  It's all based on his own personal progression.

My own personal experience is that the systematic recovery of sauce is a bit overstated.  I think the localized muscle recovery process is sped up quite significantly.  However, as noted in my article about overtraining, there are many other factors that involve recovery that I don't believe anabolics play as much of a significant role in.  I know, some bookworm will link a study, but I am speaking from my own personal experience, and the experience of other dudes I've talked to about this.  None of them told me that their training frequency increased once they got on the sauce.  I do believe that anabolics make you more "training sensitive", i.e. your body grows better/more efficiently but again, I believe that is mostly do to increases muscle protein synthesis and that does not address the systematic issue of recovery.  So yes, I do understand "why" a guy on the sauce can train with less frequency, and still make sweet ass gainz.

However what I am getting at then is this....

If training the lifts more often each week is what works for the Amish, then why don't guys on the sauce do it, since they recovery better, and going by this particular anecdote, would make even better gains?

For some reason it just doesn't work that way for everyone now does it?

No.

And this is why you can't always rely on a god damn study.

Conclusion - 

Anytime something goes against the grain of everything we have seen anecdotally, I question it until I can either rule it out, or until I understand it.

Lots of articles are nothing more than click bait to get people in an uproar (much like this one...no I'm just kidding....but seriously maybe it is....no I'm just kidding....but maybe...) and it often works.

The fact is, regardless of what science finds, we do IN FACT, already know what works.  At this point, studies and science are really just filling in some small details.  Many times, about things that in the big picture, largely unimportant.

This doesn't keep me from reading most of it, as I do want to know and understand these things to the best of my ability.  However it also keeps me from buying into a lot of bullshit, or even being able to say that regardless of what the study reported, or what some internet guru wrote (no I'm not a guru, so stop) is complete bullshit as well.

Enjoy.


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Friday, March 20, 2015

10 week maximum muscle mass - fat loss

Another one of the guys that did the 10 week Maximum Muscle Mass program.
This was an example of a guy that needed to drop some fat on the program. He went from 240 to 223, but hit PR's in every single movement.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

The chemical and social castration of the modern male

If you take a few minutes out to use the Google machine to search around, it won't take you long to find arguments and discussions about the current emasculation problem with males in today's society.

Before you...the teal driving minivan, hipster loving, Notebook watching asshole decides to stop reading, this isn't "that" kind of article.

Well, not wholly.  Because the fact is, your predicament may not be entirely your fault.  It may not be entirely your fault that you are emasculated or act like a basic bitch.  

Personally, I think it's hard to deny that there is a decline in masculinity in today's male.  I mean, physiologically speaking, it's not even an argument.  Men today have lower testosterone on average, regardless of age, than they did 20 years.  By a pretty significant margin.  

Two studies done both showed that men these days have significantly less testosterone now.

One study was done in the US, and the other on Danish men.  In both cases it was found that the average male had about 22% less testosterone now than men did, at that SAME AGE back in the 80's.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17895324

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11836290

Even further....

http://www.usdoctor.com/testone.htm

The normal range of testosterone is reported as 350- 1200ng/dl. Studies in the 1940's showed the average testosterone level to be at 700 ng/dl, 300 ng/dl higher than for men today. In the past, a drop in testosterone levels to 250 ng/dl was rarely reported before men were 80 years of age. Yet today, it is not an uncommon value for middle aged men!

Testosterone levels are highest in the early twenties. The decrease in serum levels is now occurring at an even earlier age. Up to 50% of all men at 40 now have testosterone levels below what was considered the normal range of 450 ng/dl.

What is alarming from some of the studies, if you read more in depth, is that there doesn't appear to be a lifestyle factor involved.  The rate of obesity is a bit higher now at most ages than was in the 80's but the percentage of things like smokers, etc isn't overly disproportionate.

So just to be clear here, in case you didn't know, testosterone is the hormone secreted by the male testes, and in women, by the ovaries but to far lesser extent.  It is the primary male sex hormone.

Let that sink in for a bit.  That last sentence.

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone.  The more testosterone you have, the more masculine you are.  The less you have, the less masculine you behave/act/are.  Essentially.

This isn't a social ideology this is fucking biology.  You know, science?

So it should be clear that males with higher levels of testosterone would or should have different behavior characteristics, and physical characteristics of males with low testosterone.

Again, this is science, so let's approach this from an area that cannot be argued.

Traits of males with higher testosterone levels:

Tend to be bigger risk takers
More muscle mass with leaner physiques
Larger foreheads
More defined and square jaw
Larger noses
More like to engage in competition
Higher sex drive and more sexually adventurous
Deeper voice
Possibly receding hairline
Higher degree of bodyhair

Looks manly



Of course, not all of these things mean you have high test levels.  It could just mean you look like a troglodyte and have low morals.  But still, they tend to be markers for men with higher test levels.  Oh and apparently women are attracted to troglodyte looking males more often as well.


Traits of males with lower testosterone levels:

No interest or low interest in banging it out
Lower degree of lean muscle mass
Fatigue
Depression
Poor body composition (man tits, skinny fat, stick arms)
Erectile dysfunction
More feminine and rounder, "softer" face
Less likely to engage in conflict, more passive nature
More like to get prostate cancer and die while not wanting to have sex and do awesome shit while looking chubby, unathletic, and sexually unappealing.

Not so much


So let's face it, if your test levels are low, you are going to both look different and act different in comparison to a guy with high test levels.

I don't think it helps that men these days already struggle to maintain healthy levels of testosterone and are then told to embrace their feminine qualities and ideals.  Men embracing feminism/femininity is like Christians embracing Satanism.  It makes no sense at all.  If you're a male, embrace your masculinity.  That is, unless you have low test and don't feel very masculine.  Then yes, of course embrace feminism so those of us with high testosterone levels can laugh and make fun of you.  It's quality entertainment for us.

I've caught shit about writing about masculinity before but honestly, I really don't care.  There IS a problem in regards to men being less masculine.  I mean, it wasn't me wearing some tin foil hat, studies have proven men are less masculine now (have less testosterone) than they were 20, 30, 40+ years ago.

Not only that, traits associated with masculinity are now seen as evil, outdated, horrible, horrific, unwanted, and neanderthalesque. That is unless a woman embraces them.  Then she's empowered, self assured, confident, and strong minded.

Men who have those traits are seen as bullies or self centered assholes.

But before I get off on a social tangent about all of this (and I will if I don't stop here), the most discerning aspect about looking through all of this is that there doesn't seem to be any single conclusion as to why men have less testosterone now.  There's quite a bit of conjecture, but nothing concrete as to why it is happening.

I don't think it's just a social bombardment of accepting feminine traits by males.  I mean, you can't fight biology.  A male with high test levels isn't likely to be very open to accepting feminine traits and qualities.  It will go against what his biological wiring is telling him.

So the focus should be on what is causing test levels to drop in the modern male.

Some of the things I found.......

Water:

Estrogen and estrogen-like compounds enter water rivers, steams and reservoirs from many sources and remain there even after passing through water treatment plants. About 80% of 139 U.S. rivers are contaminated with trace estrogen compounds. Naturally occurring estrogen compounds come from livestock urine and feces, and from human excretions which also contain contraceptives and hormone replacement medications.

Yuck. 

Even bottled water is commonly found to contain estrogenic compounds because the plastic bottles we drink from are made with polyethylene terephthalate.  

From a study I found.....

Using an optimized sample preparation strategy, we furthermore present data on the estrogenic activity of bottled water from France, Germany, and Italy: eleven of the 18 analyzed water samples (61.1%) induced a significant estrogenic response

The type of plastic bottle didn't matter.  It's about the process used in plants to make these bottles, and then these compounds leaking into the water as they sit on the shelves or are waiting to be distributed.
So what is the solution here?

Getting a water filtration system for your home.  Stop drinking tap water and bottled water.

Soy: 

If you actually take some time to read labels it shouldn't take you long to figure out that soy is in almost everything.  Soy lecithin especially.

The effects of soy raising estrogen levels are thoroughly documented.

I don't even know where to start in regards to linking all the studies shown that soy is one of the most fucked up things you can ingest.

The problem is, with most studies, there's always a study that tries to contradict the other study.  But there's just too much evidence that shows that soy does in fact raise estrogen levels.  Even if a study says it's "minor", I don't want it.  I don't.  And if you're not taking artificial testosterone or are on HRT, then you should be avoiding it like the fucking plague.

Beer:

I was so happy when I started researching this and kept finding that beer raises estrogen levels.  You can't imagine how happy that made me because I hate beer, and think it's the alcoholic choice for every average "bro".  Not only that, I think it tastes like rocky mountain panther piss.

The choice drink for average bros and women


Beer is made from hops.  In fact, they brag about this all the fucking time on beer commercials.

"Made from the finest hops."

Hops is loaded down with plant estrogens called phytoestrogens.  And it's really packing a punch with the amount of estradiol in it.

Estradiol increases sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).

SHBG is the hormone that binds to your testosterone, deactivating it and making it useless for building muscle and burning fat.   In essence, SHGB inhibits the functions that testosterone provides for the body.

So if you're a man and want some nice man tits, a big gut, low test levels, want to raise estrogen levels and be more feminine, then by all means drink lots of beer.  

Stress:

Cortisol and testosterone are generally in a battle.  When cortisol gets raised, then testosterone gets lowered, and vice versa.

Stress raises cortisol.  All forms of stress actually.  And I don't think I have to put on my Captain Obvious costume to drop the knowledge bomb of "we live in a rat race, highly stressful society now."

I worked in IT as a computer engineer for 15 years and for the most part, hated all 15 years of it.  Mostly because as a production support guy, I was on call 24/7, had to meet constant deadlines, had asshole clients, asshole bosses, yearly reviews, daily reviews, monthly reviews, new solutions to implement, blah blah blah.  

Yes, it was stressful.  

I worked for a medical software company for two years and it was the worst two years of my 15 years in IT.  There wasn't a week that went by that I didn't work 50 hours that week, and my bosses were idiots and completely incompetent and made work infinitely harder than it needed to be most of the time.  Even worse, they really had no idea what I did and were promoted through the ranks based on their "management ability" which really is just code for "asshole achievement unlocked."  

People there were fired on the regular for things that weren't even their fault.  Eventually, it happened to me as well.  This was managements solution every time we had systems go down and weren't back up at an "acceptable time" by clients.  

Well, computers aren't people.  And sometimes there are bugs, and glitches, and bad code that cause the system to go down, and stay down until a patch or software update can be implemented.  And it can often take a while to diagnose these issues and find out what the real issue is.  

I worked with a lot of smart people and I was really good at my job but long downtimes couldn't always be avoided.  This didn't matter.  Someone was going to go on the chopping block because then the manager could always go back to the client and say "we're sorry for your inconvenience.  But that person has been let go of since then."  

This was their way of, instead of educating the client, saving face by shifting the blame to someone.

I'm getting way off track here, but the point is, if you work in an environment where you are in constant fear of losing your job every single day is going to put your stress meter in the red.  And the fact is, there are lots of people in that position.

Then they leave their job and often go home to a significant other that they are unhappy with, or is unhappy with them.  And they argue and fight, and the stress continues.  

Day in and day out, this is life for a lot of men.  And over time, their cortisol levels remain too high, and their test levels take a dive.  


Marriage:

Unfortunately it's also been proven that getting married and having kids lowers a man's test levels.

Just holding a baby can make a man's test levels drop.  I'm not trolling.


A man's testosterone levels drop significantly when he holds an infant. Even holding a baby doll can decrease levels of the male virility hormone.

As the study shows, this should make sense to you.  Lower test levels give a higher likely hood of a man staying home and helping to tend to the kids.  He's less likely to wander if he has lower test levels which as noted, increase sex drive, risk taking, and many other forms of debauchery.  

The study also noted that the guys that were less likely to go out on a "dudes night" or spend the weekend with friends golfing or hanging out with the boys, and would rather spend more time with the spouse, constantly had lower testosterone levels.

As to be expected, when men get divorced their test levels rocket back up.  I mean, everyone knows that dude or chick that gets divorced, gets back in shape, acts totally different in their new "single life" than they did when married.  It's just biology.  They need to find a new mate so the body "turns itself back on again" in order to help in that process.

Women literally suck the man right out of us.  I'm not going to win any points with that, but again, it's hard to argue with science.  I'm not making shit up here.  

This is also why so many of us know "that guy" that talks about how he loves to spend all his free time with his woman, and won't ever make time for friends anymore.  Once a man's test levels lower, she starts to easily dominate him.  Again, I think most guys either know or knew some friend like this.  If you don't, then you're that guy.  

Now take a married guy with a super stressful job, add in the water they are drinking, and drinking beer every weekend, and that get together where they eat shit loaded down with soy, and what the hell do you think his estrogen levels and testosterone levels are going to look like?

And that's the key here.  I don't think it's any one particular thing.  I think it's myriad of factors that contribute to the steady decline of testosterone in men.  



Conclusion:

There's probably a lot in here that will rub people the wrong way and as usual, I don't care.  I can only look at the facts and what's in front of me and write about it.  You can make all sorts of excuses as to why you don't agree but facts are facts.  Science is science.

Masculinity and the traits that manifest itself from masculine men are usually easily identifiable.

It's not that certain things make men more masculine, it's that men with more testosterone tend to gravitate towards being more masculine because, you know, they have more of the masculine hormone?

So the guy you know that won't leave the house because he has to sit at home with the wife every weekend to wash her poodle and go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond with her, well it's not entirely his fault that he's become so emasculated and that she has his balls in her purse.

It's also unfortunate for women because I do believe that women do prefer more masculine men because they generally represent a better breeding partner.

It all comes back to biology and that can't really be argued.

This doesn't mean that lifting weights makes you manly, because I know a lot of pretty emasculated males that train and lift weights.  I don't think there's anything you can do, per say, to be more manly.  I think that masculinity gets defined for the most part, by how our body is functioning.

And to close on that, having low testosterone levels has a tremendous amount of health problems and complications that come with it.

Diabetes
Heart disease
Prostate cancer
Higher rates of obesity
Metabolic syndrome

All of these are bad, in case you didn't know.

Fact is, get your testosterone levels checked.  Regardless of your age.  Because throughout your life you will need a baseline to see how quickly they are declining and if you need to get on hormone replacement therapy.  It's not just about being more manly, it's about living a life of higher quality and better health.



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10 week maximum muscle mass results

I will be posting some of the results from clients who were in the 10 week maximum muscle mass program.

This guy went from 179 to 192 in the 10 weeks with virtually no addition of bodyfat.