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23 May 2014

The Lost Art Of The Dumbbell Clean And Press

One of the worst buggaboos for anyone fully committed to lifting and superhuman physical strength has got to be staleness, and it is without question a going to rear its hideous bulk into your view the second you become obsessed with hitting certain numbers on a small subset of lifting exercises.  Whether you're a powerlifter, Olympic weightlifter, or even a strongman, you're bound to become fixated upon a small number of exercises with which you punish yourself daily, and for which you feel compelled to avoid any number of other lifts in the pursuit of bigger primary lift numbers.  What makes this worse is that no matter how deeply ingrained the knowledge that doing so will invariably fuck you harder than a runaway fucking machine tipped with a spiked ball bat in the basement of a hideous Midwestern couple with a penchant for sexual torture and mobile home purchase, you're bound to get caught up in this nonsense anyway.  Thus, before you end up like the girl in the box, blindly groping at your surroundings in an effort to find any respite for the hell in which you've found yourself, remind yourself that if you make yourself stronger... you're fucking stronger.  Nevermind the lift, because there's always carryover to be had.


Don't end up like this.  Well, unless you're into that.  In which case, email me immediately.

After contracting walking pneumonia and losing a bunch of weight, then valiantly fighting my way back so that I was stronger than ever only to suffer a hideous and catastrophic bicep tear, I fell face first into the shit covered punji-stick filled pit of despair that is staleness.  I continually pounded the big three lifts in a continual effort to regain my place at the top of the heap in my weight class, and after grinding my way through countless workouts basically found myself forcing myself through workouts I hated so much I wanted to burn down the gym in an effort to make waves at a competition about which no one cares in a strength sport backwater filled with assholes who lift very little and shit-talk a great deal.  That, people, is a recipe for disaster.  Thus, I started mining my small stack of Milo magazines, graciously lent to me by a fan of the blog, in an effort to find myself a few exercises on which I could focus for a while and give my mind a break from the endless drudgery of powerlifting.



Obviously, I still enjoy training shoulders, but that's about it.

My criteria for choosing these exercises was simple- they must be entertaining, give me a solid weight goal to achieve, and they should utilize more than one major muscle group.  Thereafter, I'd choose a panoply of assistance exercises I don't normally do to round out my core set of exercises and give my mind and body the break from endless sets of bench press, shrugs, and squats it so desperately needed.  Carryover to main lifts, as I said, was not a prerequisite, because direct carryover from one lift to another is something for which only simpletons search, because it's about as unlikely a possibility that a big, multi-joint movement will completely lack carryover with another that it is that Sarah Jessica Parker might not look better without a face.   As such, it is unnecessary to find direct corollaries, as if you hit big movements hard enough, your whole body will be bigger and stronger no matter what.




Lest you think I invented this method, I would hardly lay claim to this panacea for staleness.  Arthur Saxon himself, the man who could put more weight overhead with his right hand than anyone in history, also recognized this.  According to Saxon, 

"to go when stale is to invite an entire breakdown.  I have known even nervous exhaustion to attend the misdirected efforts of the athlete who persists in hard training when he feels himself going to pieces through overwork.  To try to work like a machine, knowing that ever at one's side stands the bugbear of training, ready to weaken one's resources through overwork, and bring about a breakdown, is the height of folly" (Saxon).  
Club-footed overhead presser extraordinaire Doug Hepburn was also famous for shifting his focus when he hit a wall in training, and according to Charles A. Smith,
"The very moment Doug ceases to make progress with a given schedule, or reaches a point where he feels he has obtained all he can from specialization on a particular lift, he chooses another. If he has been training on the press, he will drop that for the snatch or hang clean. Likewise the squat, which will be dropped for the deadlift. Also with the curl, which will be replaced by the bench press. Thus any tendency toward frustration through failing to make progress and consequently WORRYING about it is nullified. Although Doug is not entirely of a placid, easygoing nature, he deliberately and at all times cultivates a cheerful attitude and, where his strength and exercising routines are concerned, is always full of confidence and enthusiasm regardless of outside influence or events" (Smith).

To state, then, that my idea of shifting my focus to lifts completely outside of the purview of my general routine hasn't got a solid pedigree is akin to stating that Anderson Silva had a hard time walking off his recent lower leg injury post fight.  Nor, then, is the mainstay of the exercises I've chosen to replace shrugs for the time being, as it is one of the pet exercises of the aforementioned Hepburn and Saxon, in addition to a man who is arguably one of the strongest men to walk the Earth, Chuck Ahrens; world champion wrestler and one of the greatest deadlifters of all time, Georg Hackenschmidt; farmer-turned-brutal deadlifter Bob Peoples; randomly vegetarian Mr. America and former unofficial world holder in the clean and jerk, Roy Hilligenn, Olympic and world record holding weightlifter, Joseph Manger; and all around fucking brutal badass, Bill Kazmeier.  I'm sure there have been plenty of other notable lifters who regularly employed the lift, as it's pretty much the balls and builds massive arms, shoulders, and upper backs.



Roy Hilligenn, a guy about whom few of us have heard, though we probably should have.

So, let the quibbling on how this lift is done begin.  We can start by arguing whether it should be a clean or a continental, and quite frankly, I don't give a fuck.  It's a stupid fucking argument weak people can have while I'm moving weights and getting my swole on.  There are a couple of ways to perform the lift, and no one break sit down better than one of the best dumbbell clean and pressers of all time, Arthur Saxon.  According to Saxon, you can do this as a continental, clean, or a swing, and described each in detail.  Being a German, Saxon obviously preferred the continental, as it was a better test of brute strength, and he could use more weight in that fashion.  In his mind, however, it doesn't matter how you do it, so long as you get the fucking weight to move.  


Continental

"For position place both bells parallel to each other between the feet. Now stoop down and raise same up so that the discs or globes rest on the thighs, the bells being held together as shown in illustration. By leaning backwards you will be able to pull the bells on to the body, from whence by a jerk you get them partly on the chest, and so to the shoulders, after which you stand in a firm position ready to sink below the weights and to move your feet to enable you to dip beneath your dumb-bells as they go aloft. This is done by a vicious jerk, after which you sink and so get the bells overhead, the eyes to be on them as they go aloft for fear you lose the balance" (Saxon 31). 
Clean
"If you would lift them in the clean English style, then they may be taken from between the feet or from the sides of the feet, you to lean backwards as you pull them to the shoulders and split the feet in two opposite directions, on to the back, and one to the front" (Saxon 31).
Swing
"Still another way is to stand with them at the sides, and while in this position give them a
swing to the front and then to the back and so up to the shoulders. Take advantage of this swing, and by a movement similar to the one last described regarding the feet you will find the bells at the shoulder. The latter position is more suitable to tall men than to short men" (Saxon 31).

Like Saxon, I don't think it matters how the fuck you shoulder the dumbbells, so long as they get where they need to go.  Bill Kazmaier agreed, stating in one interview "I just yanked them off the rack and swung them up to my shoulders" (Svub 71).  As that's really the hard part, try a couple of methods and see which one has you shouldering the most weight- it's a guarantee you can put more weight overhead than you can actually get to your shoulders.  Stricter guys might prefer the old school military press, which I've detailed in the past, but it's essentially a press with a straight back, heels together, like you're standing at attention in the military.  This was apparently not the preferred method of the old timers, though, and most of the lifts I'm about to recount were either done with a slight push or a jerk.  To give you an idea of what people have done with this lift:
  • German Strongman Karl Witzelsberger (220lbs bodyweight) clean and jerked a pair of dumbbells totaling 327 lbs in 1905 (Bonini)
  • Semi-mysterious bodybuilder Joe Lauriano clean and pressed 75lb dumbbells for 16 reps in 1950 (Svub 72)
  • Oly lifting powerhouse John Davis (~220lbs bodyweight) clean and pressed two 142lb dumbbells for a single in 1954 (Svub 72)
  • Badass bodybuilder and ultra-jacked Oly lifter Steve Stanko (~220lbs bodyweight) smashed 8 reps with a pair of 120 lb dumbbells (Svub 72)
  • Powerlifter, strongman, and complete psychopath Bill Kazmaier blew away a single with a pair of 160 lb dumbbells (Svub 71)
  • Powerlifting farmer Bob Peoples (181lbs bodyweight) smashed a set of five in the dumbbell clean and press with a slightly mismatched set of dumbbells weighing between 106 and 108 lbs (Svub 71)
  • Vegetarian, Olympic weightlifting bodybuilder Roy Hilligenn rocked a pair of 145 lb dumbbells for a set of five at a bodyweight of 173, which is so far past retarded that this sentence makes less sense than the decision to film Grown Ups 2 (Svub 71)
  • Turn of the century strongman Horace Barre (~275lbs bodyweight) clean and pressed a pair of dumbbells weighing 140 lbs with his left hand and 145lbs with his right simultaneously (Svub 72)
  • Oly legend Tommy Kono (bw 175 lbs) clean and pressed a pair of 110 lb dumbbells for ten reps in 1955 (Svub 72)
  • Semi-legendary Olympic weightlifter Steve Gob (~185 lbs) cleaned a 103lb dumbbell with his right hand and a 101 lb dumbbell with his left and then pressed them for twenty reps (Svub 72)
Lest you find on your first outing that you fail to measure up to the deeds of these great men, there's no need to start sucking on the barrel of your Glock until it cums bullets- badass early 1900s gym owner Sig Klein "doubted many men across the country could handle a pair of 75 pound dumbbells for 12 good reps" (Colucci).  I personally only managed a double with the 90s this week on my first attempt at the exercise, and then followed that with an hour of sets of five with the 75s.  I quit only when the dumbbell flew out of my left hand as I attempted to swing it into my shoulder, soared through the fetid, swampy, protein-fart filled gym air, and smashed into the dumbbell rack.  That's how fucking fun this exercise is- I actually enjoyed doing reps with it.  In case you're curious what's a worthwhile weight to move, Joe Weider had something to say on the subject, back when he actually looked like he lifted and not like he had worms pouring out of his eye sockets.




Benchmarks For the Clean and Press According to 1950s Joe Weider (Svub)
Under 150lbs
Badass: 80lb dumbbells
Not Horrible: 70lbs dumbbells
Meh: 60lbs dumbbells

150lbs - 190lbs
Badass: 90lbs dumbbells
Not Horrible: 85lbs dumbbells
Meh: 80lbs dumbbells

Over 190 lbs
Badass: 100lbs dumbbells
Not Horrible: 95lbs dumbbells
Meh: 90lbs dumbbells

So there you have it- a new exercise to jam into your routine, a reason to start jamming new exercises into your routine in the first place, and numbers for which you can shoot in your very first outing in the gym doing dumbbell clean and presses.  Could you ask for more?


Fuck staleness, and fuck weakness.  


Danni Kalifornia, everyone!

Go forth and conquer... and remember- if motherfuckers have time to talk shit on your training methods on Facebook/Reddit/other armpits of the internet, they likely aren't training themselves.  


Sources:

Bonini, Gherardo.  Austrian Men of Might: Karl Witzelberger and Berthold Tandler.  Milo.  Dec 2013; 21(3): 44-45.

Colucci, Chris.  The Biggest Exercise in Bodybuilding.  T-Nation.  18 Oct 2012.  Web.

 May 2014.  http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/the_biggest_exercise_in_bodybuilding

Saxon, Arthur.  The Development of Physical Power.  New York: Healthex Publishing Co, 1905.


Smith, Charles A.  How Hepburn Avoids Staleness.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  6 Aug 2008.  Web.  21 May 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-hepburn-avoids-staleness-charles.html


Svub, Josef.  Feats in Dumbbell Pressing.  Milo.  Jun 2001;9(1):70-75.

15 May 2014

Holy Keto! #2- Meatballs, Asshole-Searing Condiments, and Delicious, Delicious Cheesecake

Want a 500 lb bench?  Train five hours a day and eat 6-8 lbs of horsemeat a day and you're solid.

I never fail to be astonished by the bland bullshit that people will force themselves to eat while dieting, as if eating food that tastes like wallpaper paste is some sort of penance for allowing yourself to get fat in the offseason.  Bodybuilders are the worst of the offenders on this, and the bodybuilders of the 1980s took their flavorlessness in contest preparation so seriously that guys would diet on unseasoned chicken breasts for 16 weeks.  I cannot imagine what manner of negative metabolic trickery they think is at play when they add cumin and coriander to their food, but then again, I highly doubt any of them ever really thought that shit through- evil, fat-assed, level 75 Draenei Shaman don't live inside cumin molecules, ever vigilant for the unwary dieter who dusts his or her meat with that delicious spice.  If anything, there are tiny, shredded Forsaken Death Knights inhabiting the various spices ready to hack any adipose tissue to fucking bits while gently masturbating any inflamed tissue with all of the dexterity of a Russian mail order bride.


FACT: Krog the Deathfist got his name from fisting adipocytes to death.

Just as science has supported my assertion that eating meat off the bone increases your primal instincts and aggression (Wansink), so does it support my inclusion of spices into everything I eat.  Cumin and black pepper, for instance, inhibit carcinogenesis (Nalini), and cumin on its own improves memory, metabolism, blood sugar, reduces inflammation, and lowers stress (Mercola).  Other spices I regularly use (and employ in the following recipes) have the following badass properties, in addition to making your food taste like it's fit for human consumption:
  • garlic "exhibits hypolipidemic, antiplatelet, and procirculatory effects," "prevents cold and flu symptoms through immune enhancement," "demonstrates anticancer and chemopreventive activities," and "aged garlic extract possesses hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, antioxidative activities" (Amagase)
  • cinnamon lowers blood sugar (Mercola) 
  • cardamon reduces inflammation (Majdalawieh)
  • allspice has antibacterial properties (Du)
  • coriander has axiolytic and antidepressant effects (Cioanca)
  • nutmeg has psychoactive effects (Carstairs) and pain reduction /anti-neuropathy properties (Motilal)
  • turmeric is so good for you it almost seems impossible people don't put it on everything.  It's nutrient-rich, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-leukemia, anti-cystic fibrosis, improves liver function, heart health, protects against neurodegeneration, and anti-Alzheimers (Turmeric)
  • capsaicin, the shit that makes peppers spicy, improves mood, reduces pain, reduces inflammation, reduces itching, and has cancer-fighting properties (Carollo)
  • cloves have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties (Khuda-Bukhsh)
The seasonings that went into my last batch of schwarama and harissa sauce.

Many of the aforementioned spices are in the seasonings I use on meats, as I did in the schwarma recipe I posted in the last installment of this series.  Typically, I will either use the spice mixture I listed for schwarama, use a mix of Bad Byron's Butt Rub, cumin, garlic, coriander, and chipotle or ancho chili pepper on beef or pork ribs, or make steak seasoned with either Adobo with Pepper, Badia Complete Seasoning, or SambaFlavor Chimichurri seasoning.  Then, I either use one of the sauces I posted earlier or one of the following as a finisher.  You can see, then, why I view with horror anyone who simply diets on food that involve Mrs. Dash or taste of cardboard, failure, and laziness.


I didn't get a pic of the sauce I made, but it essentially looked like this.

The Official Chaos and Pain Blowtorch To The Asshole Chili Paste
Prior to the 1970s, Chinese food in the United States typically took the hardcore, spicy form of Sichuan cuisine, rather than the more bland offerings of China's norther regions.  As America lost its balls, so too it lost its taste for spicy food, and interest in Sichuanese food waned in deference to the milder Mandarin fare.  As we have discussed at some length, however, only bland people like bland food, and if you're not a baby, elderly, suffering from one of the many pants-shitting disease that seem to plague women constantly, or the type of omega bitch that looks longingly at betas as aspirational men, you like your food as spicy as you can make it.  It's for this reason I tried my hand at Sichuan Chili Oil, which tastes fucking awesome on just about anything, and makes any noodle dish probably the greatest food you've ever eaten.  This being all about keto condiments, however, this sauce is badass on just about anything, and went quite well with the meatball recipe that follows.

Ingredients
10 Tien tsin dried chilis
2 tbsp garlic paste
1-2 tbsp broad bean paste
1 1/2-2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil

Preparation


  1. Soak chilis in cup of warm water. 
  2. Slice chilis into thin strips.
  3. Saute chilis on low in pan with 1tbsp of oil.
  4. Put chilis into blender or food processor to smash with 2 tsp garlic paste, 1-2 tbsp of broad bean paste, and rice vinegar.
  5. Dump other tablespoon of vegetable oil into small glass jar for the paste, then add paste.  The oil in the jar acts as a suspension to keep the paste from drying out.
  6. Keep in cool dry place

Chinese Chicken Meatballs
I love the shit out of meatballs, and am constantly tinkering with recipes for meatballs to see what I can pull off.  For those of you who don't know, I was an East Asian Studies/History double major in my undergrad, and spent a couple of months in China in 1998.  During that time, I developed a pretty staunch appreciation for authentic Chinese cuisine, and while I wouldn't consider myself an expert on it by any means, I think I managed to keep the cultural integrity of their meatballs while adapting it for a keto diet, as the Chinese seem to love to throw sugar into everything.  The sauce I've added here is more of a sweet/savory flavor, and is really fucking tasty when accompanied by the chili oil I made above.

Ingredients

Dipping Sauce
1 teaspoon  coriander
1 spring onions, chopped fine
5 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon sriracha
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 packets of Splenda

Meatballs
1 lb ground chicken
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
4 spring onions, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves,
2 teaspoons pureed lemongrass,
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons coriander
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil (in the pan, not in the mix)

Preparation
It really couldn't be easier to make meatballs, so it seems silly to drag this out by going into great detail.  Combine the ingredients for the sauce and stir the shit out of it.  Then, combine the ingredients for the meatballs and knead the fuck out of the meat until everything is evenly mixed/distributed.  Then, pour a tablespoon of oil into a pan, preheating the oil at medium-high, and pan fry the meatballs until they're cooked through, flipping reasonably frequently to prevent them from burning.


Harissa Sauce
As much as I love zhug, I decided to try a similar sauce with a different recipe to see how it would turn out, and I was in no way disappointed- this is some of the best sauce I've ever had in my life, bar none.  Harissa is a Tunisian sauce used to top meat, fish stew, or couscous, and they even eat it with their breakfast.  I made it with the intention of using it as a dip for Turkish pizza, lahmacun, and subsequently decided it'd work fucking amzingly on just about anything.  This shit is basically the Batman of condiments- you can use it to beat the shit out of just about anything and it will toe the line thereafter, be it an old rubber inner tube or chicken wings.  Though I've not made harissa chicken wings, I intend to, using this recipe- feel free to get the jump on me and let me know what you think.

Ingredients
10-12 dried red chili peppers (I used an equal number of Chile de Arbol and New Mexico Hot Chilis)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Preparation


  1. Soak the dried chilies in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain. Remove stems and seeds.
  2. In a food processor combine chili peppers, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Blend.
  3. Add remaining spices and blend to form a smooth paste.
  4. Store in airtight container. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top to keep fresh. Will keep for a month in the refrigerator.



I mixed this stuff into schwarma meat and loved it more than I could possibly love a dead baby stuffed with thousand dollar bills.



Kofta Kebabs
Kofta are ubiquitous in every pissed-off backwater in the Middle East and South Asia and seem to be the staple food of any group of people who ever wanted to start some shit for no reason.  Like all meat on a stick, it's serious ass-kicking food- any food that leaves you with a sharpened stick you can drive through the eye of the guy standing next to you just because it's Tuesday has to be.  Whichever angry swarthy person is making it, be they Iranian, Middle Eastern, Indian, or Balkan, the word means the same thing- meatball or meatloaf.  Though each people of the region has their own take, they're all similar- balls of ground meat mixed with spices and/or onions. According to Wikipedia, koftas are usually made of lamb, beef, mutton or chicken, in India, Turkey and Iran, whereas Greeks and Cypriots make them with beef, veal, or pork.  Since my only exposure to them in the real world was of the Turkish variety, I decided to go with those.

Ingredients
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound ground lamb, beef, or mix thereof
3 tablespoons grated onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 sprigs mint
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
28 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Directions


  1. Mash the garlic into a paste with the salt using a mortar and pestle, the flat side of a chef's knife on your cutting board, or a food processor. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix the garlic into the meat with the onion, parsley, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne pepper, ginger, and pepper in a mixing bowl. 
  3. With that mass of meat, make 28 balls formed around the skewers, and flattening into a thin, 2 inch wide oval. 
  4. Place the kebabs onto a baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil grate.  I used an indoor grill plate from Ikea, which worked well- the grill isn't strictly necessary.  You can also cook them in the oven, apparently- preheat the oven to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook them on aluminum foil.
  6. Cook the skewers on the preheated grill, turning occasionally, until the meat has cooked to your satisfaction.
These things go amazingly with the harissa sauce, and I highly recommend you try them with it.  Zhug would also work, as would Tzatziki or Tzatziki mixed with Harissa.  





Mojo de Ajo
Mojo de Ajo is essentially garlic gravy, or if one cares to quibble like they're on the losing end of a futile and ultimately retarded argument on an internet message board, a garlic-and-pepper infused olive oil, and one which can be used to top just about anything.  Personally, I use it in conjunction with chimmichurri on steak sandwiches to add heat, but it's great on steak, chicken, and probably vegetables if you're the type of person who goes in for that sort of nonsense.  This stuff is found in virtually every cuisine south of the Texan border, and it deserves wider recognition than that, because it tastes like what you'd expect an Italian porn star's vagina to taste like- garlicky heaven.

Ingredients
1 can chipotle chili peppers
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped garlic
1/2 cup lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt

Preparation
Though the original recipe for this suggested there was no need to waste time chopping the garlic and just suggested mashing it after cooking it, I enjoy dicing garlic and prefer it diced to mashed.  You can really go with either method- leave them whole or dice them, then a Pyrex baking dish with the salt and oil. Cook this in the oven at 325 degrees for about an hour, then add the lemon/lime juice, and put it back in the oven for another 25 mins or until golden brown.




CNP Keto Cheesecake
If there's anything better to eat than cheesecake, I am unaware of its existence.  Not only is it keto, it's jammed with the kind of calories that make your dick stand on end and declare to the world that your inner Viking is prepared to storm a beach, burn a village, and abscond with some women.  This cheesecake comes out at about 72g of carbs for this recipe, in total, so provided you can restrain yourself somewhat, you can slam back some creamy deliciousness nightly with naught but anabolism as a result, even while keto dieting like a lunatic.  I'll caution you guys that as a single male, I don't own a springform pan, and that buying one would make this recipe all that much better, as the cheesecake was a little thin and dry in two separate pie tins.  Nevertheless, thin and dry cheesecake is still a hell of a lot better than no cheesecake at all, and you can always make some sugar free whipped cream or snag some Walden Farms Chocolate Syrup as a topping if you have to go the single-man-with-no-springform-pans route.

Ingredients
4 bricks of cream cheese
4 eggs
2 tablespoons of Half and Half
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Splenda
Nonstick spray or butter

Preparation
  1. Ensure everything is room temperature, including eggs.  Let sit on counter.
  2. Blend cream cheese until smooth.
  3. Beat in Splenda a tablespoon at a time.
  4. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each egg.
  5. Stir Half and Half
  6. Stir in vanilla extract and lemon juice
  7. Beat in sour cream slowly
  8. Scrape the sides and fold in
  9. Place in large springform pan or 2 9" pie plates rubbed down very liberally with butter or sprayed with nonstick spray
  10. Boil water and put cheesecake in a 9x13 Pyrex dish, fill dish to 1/4" and bake in the water bath at 350 degrees for an hour.
  11. Don't open oven while baking.  Should be slightly brown on top.  
  12. After an hour, do toothpick insert.
  13. Cool on counter for an hour, then refrigerate.
And there you have it- more awesomeness to drag you away from whatever godawful diet drudgery to which you might have consigned yourself, because life's too short to eat dry-as-fuck chicken breasts.

Speaking of breasts...
MOAR CHEESECAKE.

Sources:
Amagase H.  Clarifying the Real Bioactive Constituents of Garlic.  J. Nutr. 2006 Mar;136(3):716-725.

Carollo, Kim.  The World's Hottest Pepper: Brings Pleasure and Pain Relief.  ABC News.  20 Feb 2012.  Web.  15 May 2014.  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/capsaicin-ingredient-hot-peppers-offers-medical-benefits/story?id=15727011

Carstairs SD, Cantrell FL.  The spice of life: an analysis of nutmeg exposures in California.  Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2011 Mar;49(3):177-80.

Cioanca O, Hritcu L, Mihasan M, Trifan A, Hancianu M.  Inhalation of coriander volatile oil increased anxiolytic-antidepressant-like behaviors and decreased oxidative status in beta-amyloid (1-42) rat model of Alzheimer's disease.  Physiol Behav. 2014 Apr 18;131C:68-74

Du WX, Olsen CW, Avena-Bustillos RJ, McHugh TH, Levin CE, Mandrell R, Friedman M.  Antibacterial effects of allspice, garlic, and oregano essential oils in tomato films determined by overlay and vapor-phase methods. J Food Sci. 2009 Sep;74(7):M390-7. 

Khuda-Bukhsh AR, Das S, Saha SK.  Molecular approaches toward targeted cancer prevention with some food plants and their products: inflammatory and other signal pathways.  Nutr Cancer. 2014;66(2):194-205.

Majdalawieh AF, Carr RI. In Vitro Investigation of the Potential Immunomodulatory and Anti-Cancer Activities of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) and Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum).  J Med Food.  2010 Apr;13(2): 371-381. 

Motilal S, Maharaj RG.  Nutmeg extracts for painful diabetic neuropathy: a randomized, double-blind, controlled study.  J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Apr;19(4):347-52.

Nalini N, Manju V, Menon VP.  Effect of spices on lipid metabolism in 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced rat colon carcinogenesis.  J Med Food.  2006 Sum;9(2):237-45.

Turmeric.  World's Healthiest Foods.  Web.  15 May 2014.  http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78

Two Grams of this Cumin Spice Lowered Blood Sugar by a Whopping 62 mg/dl.  Mercola.  17 Aug 2011.  Web.  15 May 2014.  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/08/17/this-kitchen-spice-doubles-as-a-memory-booster-and-stress-reliever.aspx

Wansinka B, Zampollob F,Campsc G, Shimizud M.  Biting versus chewing: Eating style and social aggression in children.  Eating Beh.  2014 Apr;15(2):311-313.

07 May 2014

Chaos and Pain Reads Shit So You Don't Have To: May 2014

As last month's foray into bodybuilding mags was so popular, I decided to repeat the performance.  There was so much goodness to be found in Muscular Development this month, though, that I just decided to post that one by itself.  Prepare for minds to melt and butts to be hurt.  


Muscular Development June 2014

Sorostitutes Might Be Badass at the Overhead Press
If there's one thing at which sorostitutes are better at than making cunty faces accompanied by a noise reminiscent of a cat hacking up its own insulation comprised of allergens, it's vomiting (Shulken).  While I'm sure that seems like a rather insignificant point to make, frequent vomiting strengthens one's deep abdominals.  The deep abdominals play a massive role in heavy weight lifting and particularly in stabilization while putting weight overhead, and are thus an important bodypart most people neglect to even acknowledge.  Given their propensity for refunding every meal into the toilet shortly after leaving the dinner table, it would stand to reason that if one could properly motivate a herd/flock/murder of sorostitutes, perhaps with cocaine, shiny objects, or the prospect of a sexless marriage to rich men, one might be able to train them and field an incredibly talented team of lightweight Olympic lifters.


As we all know those broads fear work like most people fear hemorrhagic fevers, we will never know if my hypothesis is correct.  What we have determined, though, is that mimicking the abdominal motion of vomiting can strengthen your transverse abdominis and pelvic floor and thus have a massive positive impact on your lifts.  The recently invented Lewit exercise, described by Dr. Stuart McGill as “the best replication of the vomiting mechanism" activates your deep abdominals far better than traditional methods of abdominal training, and will do far more to prevent lower back injury and pain(Badiuk).

Hafthor Bjornsson harnessing the power of his TVA for a 133kg overhead stone press

Want to know how to faux vomit your way to a sick squat/overhead press/stone load?
I thought you'd never ask.  To get your sorostitute on while preserving your gainz:
  1. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides.
  2. Bend your hips and knees to a 90-degree angle like you're going to do crunches circa 1995, but with an arched back. 
  3. Take three normal breaths. Exhale normally on your third breath, then purse your lips and push any remaining air out of your lungs. 
  4. Reset by rocking your pelvis back and forth to get your arch back and repeat (Haley).


Cardio Preserves Gainz?
In what can only be described as science's answer to opposite day, a recent study that was definitely not conducted or published on April 1st showed just that- doing aerobics in addition to weight training preserves muscle mass during reduced calorie dieting and fat loss (Yoshimura).  Although that clearly seems like some sort of bizarre vegan, bicycle riding, Soylent-swilling propaganda, the data seems fairly compelling.  When 75 males and females were randomly assigned to the groups 'diet only' or 'diet plus aerobic exercise' and given a diet that could be considered a near starvation diet for most of us (25 kcal/kg of ideal body weight), the diet only group suffered what can only be described as catastrophic muscle loss, while the cardio bunnies did not.


Back Away From The Animal Pak, Bro Beans
In another shocking turn of events, something that most of us have adopted as a staple of our supplementation regimen has apparently been keeping us from hitting our PRs- a recent study has shown that excessive consumption of antioxidants interferes with training gains.  In a world where science can't take a shit without returning screaming about how eggs have either been definitively proven to be the devil or the savior of mankind, it should come as no surprise that science is now saying that they've taken time out of weaponizing an airborn autism virus and firing it at Jenny McCarthy's house, it shouldn't shock anyone that a scientist now seems to be waiting to pop out of your fridge and slap you in the mouth as you dry to down an Animal Pak.

Mexico: Logic, not even once.

Nevertheless, it seems rather shocking that they've shown that athletes should not overconsume antioxidants like Vitamin C because they reduce the number of free radicals in your system.  For those of you who've been living in a Thai whorehouse on nothing but coke and ladyboy secretions, free radicals have always been described as basically being your body's version of the Santa Meurte death cult, wrecking havoc on your body's systems, causing cancer, graffitiing, and playing loud music at all hours of the night.  Now, it seems, free radicals are important triggers for protein synthesis and building new mitochondria, which means they're a lifter's best friend (Reynolds).  I don't know if this means you should avoid fruits and vegetables altogether, but at least now you have justification for dumping them off your plate and into the trash.

The goblin shark, evidence there is no god but Cthulu.

Things that Live in the Ocean are Disgusting and Serve No Purpose
Hippies, communists, and oily Greeks have long bandied about the idea that eating fish is somehow an acceptable option and that not only that we could eat them, but that we should.  FOR THE OMEGA THREEEEEEES, they said.  We apparently cannot live without them, and yet here I am, in stark defiance of their liberal propaganda and deliberate misinformation intended to keep me from cementing over large bodies of water to keep the horrors of the deep from making beach landings like it's France in 1944.  Science has again come to my defense, showing recently that consuming fatty fish such as salmon had no effect on weight loss in 12 month study (Tapsell).  Thus, all of you assholes can now stop bringing your disgusting tins of olfactory rape into the office and eat beef like a normal fucking person.


Stop Avoiding the Sun, Twinkletoes.  You're Not a Vegan Vampire.
In spite of the fact that humans have lived with the sun, and been exposed to it since the awn of our species, dermatologists, moms, and people with weak constitutions have convinced humanity at large that suntans are evil, going so far as to convince everyone that slathering themselves in toxic chemicals every time they leave the house is a good idea (Dellorto) and that the sun was a Nazi invention that illuminates the world with naught but pure evil.  In the past I've shown that tanning is in fact a method by which you can boost performance, and now science has alerted us to the fact that our chronic avoidance of the sun is turning us into sad fatties with no gainz, because Vitamin D deficiency linked to muscle weakness and obesity (Forney).  According to a couple of sources, 75% of Americans, 50% of Brits, and even 25% of Aussies, who basically live in a island copycat of California filled with goofy looking hopping deer, are deficient in Vitamin D (Lite, Pearce, Blair).  Stop being a fucking pussy and go get a fucking tan if you want to get jacked.


Your Organs Might be Jacked, but Your Tendons be Weak
When one asks around, the remedy du jour for muscular and tendon tears appears to be naught but "blast dat growth, bro."  This, however, appears to be a terrifically bad idea.  According to a recent study, daily growth hormone injections had no effect on healing rotator cuff injuries, and it appears high doses of the hormone delay healing and decrease tissue strength.  While that might contradict the prevalent method for tendon and ligament repair in the zeitgeist, it's something to bear in mind should you find yourself injured- BioSil and Serrapeptase may in fact be both a less expensive and more productive option.


It's Not the 1950s- Eat Your Fucking Steak
In the 1950s, compulsive liar and nutritionally retarded researcher Ancel Benjamin Keys convinced the entire world, in spite of scientific evidence and common sense to the contrary.  The Seven Nations Study, conducted by Keys in an effort to cherry pick evidence to support his theory, did not randomly choose nations but rather chose those that which would provide a seeming statistical basis for his hypothesis, and then compounded it by undercounting dietary fat in places like Crete by measuring their macros during Lent, a time in which Catholic forgo meat and cheese.

R. Kelly likes his women like he likes his steak- bloody and well-tenderized.

In spite of the fact that it is well known that Keys raped the scientific method and abused statistical analysis like it was a teenager locked in R. Kelly's closet, people held onto the idea that saturated fat and cholesterol were tantamount to edible cancer.  This caused the West to adopt a diet preposterously high in carbohydrates and low in saturated fats, which in turn resulted in rising rates of obesity and heart disease.

Don Howorth, who hit 230 at 5'10" eating nothing but steak, eggs, and milk.

As anyone who trains likely knows, it's no shock that science is 50 years behind reality.  This year, a meta analysis was released supporting what anyone who knows anything about how the strongest and healthiest people on the planet already knew- saturated fats do not increase heart disease risk.  The meta analysis of 76 studies involving 700k people showed no increased risk from saturated fat consumption, but did show that high intake of trans fats increases risk by 16%. (Chowdhury)  So, eat your fucking steak- it won't kill you.


Don't Bogart the Tribulus, Bro
It's pretty common knowledge that tribulus terrestris, an herb ubiquitous to a couple of continents, is an aphrodisiac and sexual aid for men.  What is not well known, however, is that it works just as well on broads, too.  In a recent study, tribulus supplementation has been shown to increase sex drive, lubrication, frequency of orgasm, and decreased pain compared to a placebo (Proceedings).  Thus, the next time bros slam it to throw down with their girl, they might want to think about sending a bit of that dirt-flavored goodness her way.  Ladies be pimps too.

So that's it for MD this month, and as I said, it was pretty baller.  I'll hit up other mags shortly, as we finish up the new product launch and I can do something other than write catalog and label copy.  Go forth and spread the wisdom of the bodybuilding rags.

Sources:
Badiuk BW, Andersen JT, McGill SM.  Exercises to activate the deeper abdominal wall muscles: the Lewit: a preliminary study.  J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Mar;28(3):856-60.

Baumgarten KM, Oliver HA, Foley J, Chen DG, Autenried P, Duan S, Heiser P.  Human growth hormone may be detrimental when used to accelerate recovery from acute tendon-bone interface injuries.  J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2013 May 1;95(9):783-9.

Blair, Mitch.  Action needed on vitamin D levels.  BBC.  13 Dec 2012.  Web.  7 May 2014.  http://www.bbc.com/news/health-20710026  

Chowdhury R, Warnakula S, Kunutsor S, Crowe F, Ward HA, Johnson L, Franco OH, Butterworth AS, Forouhi NG, Thompson SG, Khaw K, Mozaffarian D, Danesh J, Angelantonio ED.  Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary RiskA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2014 Mar;160(6):398-406.  

Dellorto, Danielle.  Avoid sunscreens with potentially harmful ingredients, group warns.  CNN.  16 May 2012.  Web.  7 May 2014.  http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/16/health/sunscreen-report/

Forney LA, Earnest CP, Henagan TM, Johnson LE, Castleberry TJ, Stewart LK.  Vitamin D status, body composition, and fitness measures in college-aged students.  J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Mar;28(3):814-24.

Haley, Andy.  How to Perform 'The Lewit,' The Best Core Exercise You've Never Heard Of.  Stack.  3 Apr 2014.  Web.  5 May 2014.  http://www.stack.com/2014/04/03/lewit-exercise/

Hoffman JR, Kraemer WJ, Fry AC, Deschenes M, Kemp M.  The effect of self-selection for frequency of training in a winter conditioning program for football. J Appl Sport Sci Res. 1990 Aug; 3:76-82.

Lite, Jordan.  Vitamin D deficiency soars in the U.S., study says.  Scientific American.  23 Mar 2009.  Web.  7 May 2014.  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/vitamin-d-deficiency-united-states/

Pearce SH, Cheetham TD. Diagnosis and management of vitamin D deficiency.  BMJ. 2010 Jan 11;340:b5664.

Proceedings of the 16th Annual Congress of the European Society for Sexual Medicine and the 12th Congress of the European Sexology Federation, Istanbul, Turkey, January 29–February 1, 2014.  J Sex Med. 2014 Mar; 11(S1):1-108.

Reynolds, Gretchen.  Why vitamins may be bad for your workout.  New York Times.  12 Feb 2014.  Web.  5 May 2014.  http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/12/why-vitamins-may-be-bad-for-your-workout/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Schulken ED, Pinciaro PJ, Sawyer RG, Jensen J, Hoban MT.  Sorority women's body size perceptions and their weight-related attitudes and behaviors.  J Am Coll Health. 1997 Sep;46(2):69-74.

Tapsell LC, Batterham MJ, Charlton KE, Neale EP, Probst YC, O'Shea JE, Thorne RL, Zhang Q, Louie JC.  Foods, nutrients or whole diets: effects of targeting fish and LCn3PUFA consumption in a 12mo weight loss trial.  BMC Public Health. 2013 Dec 26;13:1231.

Teicholz, Nina.  The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease.  Wall Street Journal.  6 May 2014.  Web.  7 May 2014.  http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303678404579533760760481486

Yoshimura E, Kumahara H, Tobina T, Matsuda T, Watabe K, Matono S, Ayabe M, Kiyonaga A, Anzai K, Higaki Y, Tanaka H.  Aerobic exercise attenuates the loss of skeletal muscle during energy restriction in adults with visceral adiposity.  Obes Facts. 2014;7(1):26-35.