Category: Nutrition

Training with Titans: George Hackenschmidt

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Picture the scene. It’s 1911 and famed Wrestler George Hackenschmidt has finally retired from the squared circle. Looking forward to a life of relaxation and leisure, the man from Estonia grants you the privilege of an interview. In his strength and wrestling career, Hackenschmidt has popularised the Bear Hug, the Hack Squat and even set a world record in the Bench Press. His athletic exploits have dazzled crowds around the world for years. So when you sit down with him to talk training, a nervousness enters your body. The ‘Russian Lion’ is known for taking no prisoners.

Q] You have your first question lined up. Nervously you look George in the eye and timidly ask how to become strong like him…

Puffing out his chest, Hackenschmidt bellows out

“It is only by exercising with heavy weights that any man can hope to develop really great strength.”

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Guest Post: Protein Supplementation – A Complete History

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Image provided by Zeyus Media

Whey protein is probably the most widely consumed fitness supplement in existence. It’s a simple product. It contains protein, which is a vital part of building muscle. Without enough protein, your body will not be able to repair itself as effectively, and your growth will slow.

The reason many people turn to Whey Protein as another source of protein, is because not only is it such a simple and easy source, but it’s relatively inexpensive. It’s also one of the best sources of protein you can get, even among whole foods, only beaten by the egg.

Gaining Muscle and Losing Fat: The ABCDE Diet Experiment

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Gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time is often held up as the Holy Grail of body recomposition. A desirable goal, that advanced or even intermediate trainees are now told is only possible for beginners or those using chemical means.

Today’s post examines the rather lengthy sounding Anabolic Burst Cycle of Diet and Exercise or ABCDE, an eating program devised in the late 1990s by scientist/bodybuilder Torbjorn Akerfeldt, the ABCDE promised to promote both muscle growth and fat loss amongst drug-free trainees. Publicised in detail by Muscle Magazine in 2000, the diet quickly became the de rigour form of eating for gym goers across the world…at least initially.

Though simple in design, as we shall see, the ABCDE proved to be hugely ineffective for some as reports of excessive fat gain were numerous. Nevertheless, some have achieved good recompositions using the approach, making it worthy of our attention.

The History of Herbal Supplements

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Gone are the days when bodybuilders and athletes relied heavily on physical exercising to keep fit. According to records, Greeks were the first people to embrace physical fitness around 776 B.C. By then, it was taken to be a way of living. There were no machines, gyms or spas to enable proper fitness exercises. In addition, the dietary supplements for fitness were not there either. However, people in those days had better shapes than today.

Old School Supplements: Choline and Inositol

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The early forerunners of bodybuilding were adventurous in every sense of the word. From 20 rep squats to raw meat, these men and women stopped at nothing in the pursuit of pure, unadulterated muscle. For muscle anoraks like me, this pursuit resulted in a series of supplements being used, which of course, had varying levels of success.

Though we’ve previously covered old school supplements such as Bob Hoffman’s fish protein powder (excuse me while I gag…), it seemed about time to study a supplement that may actually benefit the current bodybuilding populace.

These ‘vitamins’, combined together, were thought to increase one’s energy and strength levels, lower their body fat and even protect one’s heart and liver. The last benefit being one of major importance at a time when steroids were beginning to hit the scene and few knew what side effects if any they may have.

We are of course, referring to choline and inositol, a power couple used by iron heads for decades with varying results.

Guest Post: The Fit Five: Today’s Most Popular Diets

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Ever since the digital bloom enabled us access to unlimited sources of information, nutritionists from all over the globe have began sharing their ideas and research online. Add to that the health revolution that has reshaped our mindset several times over, and you now have what can aptly be called a conundrum, caused by so much conflicting information that it’s impossible to keep track of it all.

Still, several of the most prominent scientific minds and consequently nutrition movements have managed to rise to the top and remain steadily there for all to hear and learn about. Of course, before you jump into any one of the following five favorites, it’s best to consult your doctor and see if some of them would suit your health and fitness needs. Without further ado, let’s delve deeper into the five diets that will outlive any fad diets to come.

Leroy Colbert’s Health Store

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A health shop is admittedly, an odd thing to write about. In today’s world of GNC’s and stores with fanciful names like ‘Vitality’ or ‘Mr. Pump’, modern gym goers are blessed with a wealth of pill peddlers to call upon. This, shockingly, was not always the case. While health stores did exist in some guise in the early and mid-twentieth century, they were even more obscure and alternative than they are today. While some weightlifters such as Jack Lalanne embraced the health store culture as early as the 1930s, it took decades for the mainstream fitness industry to catch on.

What’s my point here? Well that bodybuilding stores in the 1960s were a rare thing. So without further adieu, we’re going to spend some time examining Leroy Colbert’s New York health food store. Colbert, incidentally was noted for his amazing bicep development, which measured over 21 inches. Today’s post seeks to examine the man himself and spend some time highlighting the importance of his store for the general weight lifting community.

Guest Post: 10 Weirdest Diets in History

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Diets have been around far longer than you can imagine. It’s safe to say that people from a long time ago were also pretty concerned about their weight, fitness, figure and health – concerned enough to try out different techniques on how to effectively carry out an diet. Eventually, these diets developed, became popular, and were named. Some of them are rational, some of them are just downright weird.

The History of Protein Shakers

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Before beginning, I have to thank a series of individuals for their help in devising this article. The good folks at DavidGentle.com and Ironhistory.com helped point me in the right direction for the earlier history of the shaker. Likewise Ron Campbell’s Bodybuilding Books and Magazines group on Facebook which provided several leads which helped sharpen out the later history of today’s post. Finally Dr. Ben Pollack and Paul Becker from the Rheo H. Blair website were incredibly giving in their time and knowledge.

With that in mind, I’m now going to undoubtedly bastardise and misinterpret all the information garnered from the above individuals but hey, such is life! Today’s post is possibly the most innocuous but to my mind fascinating one yet. It is the history of the protein shaker, that plastic bottle currently fermenting your last whey protein shake in the bottom of your gym bag. Now the reasons for this are simple. Protein shakers have become increasingly popular over the last decade in particular. When I began working out drinking from a protein shaker was a universal announcement that you were a dumb meathead. Nowadays on my morning commute I see office workers, mothers, children and everyone else in between sipping water and a cacophony of drinks from their shakers. So shakers have become cool, and as is our nature on the site, we want to know more about the pre-history.

So with that in mind we’re going to trace the history of the protein shaker, from the early iterations to the modern day bottle. In doing so, it’ll become clear that the shaker is a fascinating symbol of the fitness industry’s acceptance within mainstream culture over the past several decades. It is the Trojan Horse for meatheads seeking acceptability.

Guest Post: Hydration through Time

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One would think that hydration is as simple a thing as drinking water when you’re thirsty, but when it comes to athletes, not even that is simple. Furthermore, there’s a whole interesting history behind drinking while performing endurance exercise, one that started over a century ago. So, before going on your next running or cycling practice, maybe you should get informed about it.