Recommended supplements

A measure of safety is to look for the designation “USP” on the label. A multivitamin that meets the requirements of the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) meets the standards and ensures the product is pure and actually contains the listed ingredients. For information about supplements, https://examine.com is a must-read before buying any product. – Multivitamin Dose: 1 serving Purpose: Cover any potential nutrient deficiencies You don’t need to go expensive here. Look for products that have close to 100% RDA on most vitamins and minerals. Avoid ones that have too little or too much (common in bodybuilding brands). Pay specific attention to Vitamin K, Magnesium, Calcium and Zinc, which is what most people lack. If you’re a woman, make sure it has a good amount of Iron. And if you’re a men, make sure it doesn’t have too much. – Vitamin D3 Dose: 2000-5000+ UI (depending on sun exposure) Purpose: Eliminate Vitamin D3 deficiency (which is almost inevitable without supplementation) If you can, take a blood test to see what your vitamin D levels are. Your blood levels should be between 35-40 ng/ml. As a general rule, it takes 100 IU (2.5 mcg) of Vitamin D per day to raise levels by 1 ng/mL. If you want a more accurate calculation, you can use this: http://www.vitamindservice.com/node/87. It’s still not a perfect formula as different people metabolize the vitamin differently, but it’s a good guide. If you can, take it with 100 mcg of Vitamin K2 as MK-7, or look for a product that has both. This is recommended but not critical. – Fish oil (Omega 3) Dose: 2-3g of combined...

It’s easy to criticize lack of effort

It’s easy for us that are within fitness to criticize people who are sedentary and/or overweight.   The fact that we train, gives us a subconscious superiority regarding health. We’re healthy (at least healthier) than them. I make the sacrifice, and they don’t. I work hard and put effort. They don’t.   However, I believe in many cases, that’s a lie you tell yourself. You don’t actually sacrifice that much. You do it because you enjoy it. Either you enjoy the process, or you enjoy the benefit. You put effort because that gives you results you like independent of health (getting stronger and/or bigger).   The point is, you like what you do. You like powerlifting, bodybuilding or whatever.   A problem with these people that are overweight and sedentary, is that they don’t enjoy it, and that makes things infinitely harder. You are healthy because you train, but you don’t train because you want to be healthy, it’s a convenient by-product.   If training didn’t make you healthy, but something else did that you didn’t enjoy. Would you make ballet or zumba part of your routine, if that’s what it took for you to be healthy? I think all of us in the fitness industry would like to say we do. But would we really? Maybe not.   So while this word has an extremely negative connotation, you have the “privilege” of liking a type of activity that improves your health. Some people may not have that luck, and what they need to do is not pleasable to them.   I think this is important to think about...

A few examples of Sampling Bias in Fitness.

I originally posted this on Facebook, just wanted to share my thoughts. Since the post was well received, thought I’d make a post here in the website as well:   A particular bias I find very interesting is the selection bias. I think in this case it may be called sampling bias. I’m not sure, but I’m not too interested in semantics.   I’m going to give one example of it. This includes 2 people: Alan Aragon and Spencer Alan. I chose to not hide their names so the examples can be better understood as I figure most people reading this know them. This isn’t calling them out or anything of the sort, I have a huge respect for both, and they both know it.   The first example is the idea that doctors often give bad advice, usually specific to training or nutrition. This topic arrives often, and it has come up in threads containing both Alan and Spencer. When that happens, they usually clash. I’ve seen this at least 4-5 times over the years. Spencer laughs at the idea that doctors aren’t knowledgeable in nutrition. I’ve seen him argue that if that were the case, they wouldn’t be able to pass their degree (or a similar argument, can’t recall the exact details). Alan on the other hand, believes this is false on a general level, and believes most doctors are ignorant about nutrition. Of course, Alan agrees that some doctors are exceptional, but ignorance is the norm. Meanwhile, Spencer agrees that some doctors are exceptional, but argues that adequate knowledge is the norm. Who’s right? I don’t...

Alcohol & Performance

Alcohol: the most popular drug on the planet. Likely loved for its anxiety-reducing effect, there are records of its use as far back as 10,000 BC, and it’s estimated that on average, each adult consumes approximately 4.3 L of pure alcohol per year. People have called it the 4th macro. It provides your body with 7 calories per gram, but because it isn’t essential for survival it’s not typically mentioned alongside protein, fat, and carbs, as it’s not commonly found in food. Alcohol has no nutritional value aside from proving calories. From this alone, alcohol doesn’t seem a great choice for health nor performance. You’re consuming calories without any vitamins, minerals or fiber. This is especially problematic if you’re dieting or struggle to keep your caloric intake low. Also, alcohol is often drunk at social events (which already promote overeating by themselves). Alcohol affects not only hunger but impulse control as well. Being even mildly intoxicated makes you more prone to go off-track on your diet, and consume more calories than you should. Studies show that alcohol intake blunts fat burning, and it’s considered fat promoting by the general population. However, alcohol by itself doesn’t make you fat. The body simply considers it a poison and has priority for metabolism. It suppresses fat oxidation, but also carb and protein oxidation. During the time alcohol is being burnt, nothing is happening, and none of the alcohol gets stored. Some may argue this is bad since we could have burnt fat during this period, but such short time frames have little relevance when considering net fat gain or loss at the end of...

The most common newbie mistakes in the big 3 and how to fix them

There are a few mistakes beginners tend to make when doing the squat, bench and deadlift. This doesn’t mean everyone has these issues, but just they just seem the most common based on my experience. This is obviously a bit biased, and may be specific to the population I work with. Also in this context, I define beginners by people who have received basic instruction on how to execute the lifts, but have little experience and practice doing them. Squat Squat is usually a tough movement for beginners. People are not used to the movement pattern and being in a seated position most of their lives certainly doesn’t help. The most common mistake is usually leaning forward on the way up. This may indicate a quad weakness, however, with beginners it’s usually not the case, it’s simply a matter of technique. It usually occurs because people aren’t tight enough on the bottom, and easily lose posture when coming up. This often happens from rushing the descent. There’s no rush, take your time, brace your core as hard as possible, and sink in. After coming up, maintain that tightness. It helps to consciously think about not letting your chest collapse. A common cue is “chest up”, although I’ve found “driving the bar back” to be more successful. Pause squats and pin squats may be a good tool for reinforcing maintaining tightness and proper position.   Bench In the bench, I was unsure if I should put tightness at the bottom or flaring/tucking the elbows. Since I’d say it’s about 50/50, I chose the latter so the entire article isn’t about tightness. When...