Cortisol Can Sabotage Your Physique


by Josh Hodnick

Cortisol has become well known as the stress hormone responsible for increasing body fat storage, more specifically, belly fat. There are many fat loss supplements that are intended to lower body fat by lowering cortisol levels. The companies that market cortisol lowering supplements, target individuals that have excess belly fat and who may have a high stress lifestyle. Much of the US population can relate to this situation. With that being said, many consumers believe that supplements intended to lower cortisol may be the key to them finally being successful with losing weight. If decreasing abnormally high levels of cortisol in order to lose body fat was as simple as taking a single supplement, I highly doubt we would see the majority of society walking around with their belly hanging over their belt!
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Natural or Not: Who Cares?


by Cade Thomas

Is there any place closer to hell then the comment section of a bodybuilding video on Youtube or Facebook? As I scroll through my feed, I see a few mainstream articles pop up about popular fitness personalities or celebrities with muscle. Although I know that clicking “view comments” will result in nothing other than a few premature grey hairs and perhaps the beginnings of an ulcer, I usually proceed anyways before my brain can smack some sense into my finger. Without fail, if the gentlemen in the picture or the subject of the article possesses any kind of muscle, it is a given that someone who doesn’t have any involvement in the bodybuilding world will be spewing some kind of nonsensical crap about steroids, cheating, being natural, etc.
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Putting the Organic Cart Before the Nutritional Horse


by Geoff Roberts

The choice to eat an organic diet has become something of a fad in our society as of late. Although choosing organic foods over non organic foods is certainly a healthy choice in general, it seems that foods being labeled as “organic” has really just made us more confused and less healthy. This organic food paradox actually shares similarities with the phenomenon our industry is currently experiencing of very young and or inexperienced bodybuilders turning to steroids as the end all be all. In essence, it seems the new thing to do is simply put the cart before the horse.
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The Blade, The Blonde Myth, And The Fountain Of Youth


by Geoff Roberts

Dexter Jackson’s recent success at the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia, despite being 45 years old, has officially catapulted him deep into legendary status. Dexter has joined the ranks of our sport’s age-defying elite. These ranks include names such as Robby Robinson, Albert Beckles, Darrem Charles, and a few select others. However, there is one name, a name that every bodybuilding fan is well aware of, that is rarely, if ever, included in this list, but certainly deserves to be. That name is Lee Priest. Whether you are talking about the longevity of his professional career, or just his bodybuilding career in general, few bodybuilders are in the same league as Lee. Lee competed in his first bodybuilding show when he was 13 years old. Competing in a bodybuilding show at such a young age is amazing enough as it is, however, being able to compete with the best in the world 30 years later is truly incredible.
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Damaging the Aesthetic Standard Stomach Distension – Myth vs Fact


by Mike Arnold

Conflicting Opinions

Beginning in the mid-1990’s, the issue of stomach distension became an area of criticism among traditionalists, with many in the bodybuilding community voicing disapproval over its presence within the upper echelons of the sport. Ever since then various events have continued to transpire, thrusting the issue back into the spotlight and each time, speculation regarding the reasons for its appearance has run rampant.
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The ‘Normal Person’ Invasion


by Cade Thomas

There was a time when leg day represented the grittiest aspect of competitive bodybuilding. No rewarding bicep pump in the mirror to inspire you to keep pushing. A productive leg day had to be inspired from within; It hurts and forces you waddle around between sets and roll on the floor the next morning. It was considered what separated the men from the boys because it didn’t offer any immediate superficial gratification – You had to suck it up and push past the pain barrier for the sole purpose of keeping your body in balance and avoiding being top heavy.
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Are Allergy Meds Killing Your Gains?

by Matt Weik

Yes, you read the title correctly. Your over-the-counter allergy meds could actually be diminishing your potential muscle gains. Now don’t read this and say “I don’t care how bad I feel, I’m not taking any medication for my allergies.” That’s not what this article is all about, nor does it make sense if you’re suffering from the nasty symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. However, be aware that OTC medications like Allegra may impede your recovery after a workout if you don’t follow the directions on the packaging.
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Understanding the Androgen Receptor


by Josh Hodnik

Androgens were first discovered in 1936. Since then, testosterone and many other anabolic steroids have been successfully synthesized. There would be a forty-five year period between the discovery of the first androgen and scientists locating the androgen receptor in muscle. Due to a lack of knowledge regarding the androgen receptor in the muscle, scientists questioned how anabolic steroids worked in muscle tissue for many years. Some would question whether they even worked at all.
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The Fear of Losing Muscle Mass


by Anders JP Eskilsson

Many of us who start with bodybuilding or weight training will sooner or later get notifications from our surroundings about our weight gain and increased muscle mass. Our friends, colleagues and family can clearly see that we are progressing in our training and that we are putting on some muscles. Many people are quite impressed and questions about training are also starting to come up more frequently. For example, what you should eat or not, or what exercise is good for this or that particular muscle group. Additionally, the classical question “How much do you bench?” is a granted one for certain. This whole package belongs to the territory of stepping into the world of bodybuilding.

The physical recognition people receive from the outside world because of training is a generally good feeling, of course, a feeling which boosts the self-esteem and also builds and changes parts of our identities.

Then as time elapses our new physical presence is gradually growing more and more into our character. We are more or less aware of this deeper transformation which is occurring since we started to train. Nonetheless, we can for certain see that the numbers on the bathroom scale are increasing and the mirror is witness to our positive physical progress. Conclusively the perception from people around us is different now since our new lifestyle is becoming one with our identity.

However, after months and years of successful training there will sooner or later be a backlash scenario. The time when something such as an injury, illness, coming off a cycle, getting into a new relationship, or just low motivation will interfere with our new lifestyle. This lay off can be shorter or longer, of course, but most of the time people get back into training after a while. One thing is certain, though, the time will come when the numbers on the scale will begin dropping, and it may have a psychological impact in one way or another, some more than others.

In addition to the layoff people around you will now start to take notice your weight loss. You may encounter comments like “Damn how small you have become” or “I didn’t recognize you at first,” or “you’re so much smaller since the last time I saw you”. These remarks are generally not meant to harm anyone; the people around you see what they see, but it can still be hurtful to hear that you have gotten smaller due to the lay off from training.

These comments aren’t always easy to cope with, especially if there isn’t anything else that people really identify you by. Because now you are the previously huge guy who’s small all of a sudden! And this can really feel shitty; it’s like your persona is cut in half or even more in some cases. It also hurts because of all the hard work, food and money spent on your physical project. Moreover, losing muscles due to whatever reasons can be pretty rough mentally, especially if you are a young guy, in the first stages of life, and molding your identity.

What’s important to realize is that identities are fundamental for anyone to work properly throughout their lives. Identities which, for example, can include being a passionate teacher, a musician, or a politician, the list goes on. The interests you love and that you in return get identified by. I am thinking about an interest or a job that we love to do, because who wants to get defined by or connected to something they don’t love.

Additionally, I believe that the people who don’t seem to get bothered or anxious from losing muscle mass are for are those who have passions besides bodybuilding. In addition, some of the best bodybuilders in the world from Arnold to Lee Haney, Kevin Levrone and Jay Cutler, all have great interests or passions besides bodybuilding; everywhere from being a musician to having a great passion for football, business, to acting, and politics.

I personally have never been a believer in putting all of your energy in more or less only one field or interest in life and clearly none one of the men mentioned previously have either! That doesn’t mean that you love bodybuilding less just because you have other things that make you tick through life, of course. I actually believe that it can strengthen and balance your skills and love for a particular passion if you combine them with others on the side.

For these reasons, look outside of the world of training and find other interests that you can identify yourself with and that makes you feel creative and gives you happiness. We have to dig deeper. We are so much more than just a face or muscles. This might be easier said than done for some of us, but keep the words in your mind and works towards this important principle.

Last words, one thing is certain, there will come a day if it not has arrived for you already… a time when you are faced with losing muscle mass, and when you do, be prepared. The solutions this article provides are the importance of a variety of interests besides bodybuilding. You can’t let your physique define your whole persona, because if you do then the day when you get out of shape or lose a few pounds of muscle, well, you may find that see yourself as half the man you used to be.

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?


by Josh Hodnik

Today, it’s not uncommon for a 200-pound bodybuilder to consume 300-400 grams of protein per day. This appears to be excessive when compared to the Recommended Daily Allowance of 60 grams per day. There has been a long debate on how much protein is needed to maximize muscle growth. Many doctors claim that Americans consume too much protein, and that this can lead to kidney disease, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, and diabetes. It has long been theorized that even highly active people can assimilate no more than 25 grams of protein at one time. There can be a large gap in the amount of protein that any individual may need and can absorb at one sitting. There are several factors that may determine this.
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Temporal Nutrition Explained in Detail


by Lonnie Lowery

You know what you want and you’re learning how to get it. As a bodybuilding enthusiast, you have cultivated a love of heroic muscle mass and (hopefully) muscular performance as well. But almost paradoxically, you’ve probably also come to dig extreme leanness. Indeed, the desire to unveil your hard-won musculature seems natural, even if it wasn’t an initiating desire as you began weight training. A ripped physique approaching 5 percent body fat actually looks bigger – and certainly more impressive – than the same structure that is blurred by 12 or 15 percent fat.
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