| Article Summary:
It seems that all you have to do is turn on the television to hear the latest scandal about athletes from almost every sport using "banned" performance enhancing drugs. Translation? Steroids. And, it seems that there is no shortage of self-righteous people venting their moral outrage at the "bad example" that these athletes and their alleged drug use is setting for Americas youth.
I guess that these self-righteous people either have nothing better to do with their time than scan the horizon for "evil", or they simply don't realize that today's young people are more educated, informed and independent than in times past.
There is, of course, one other possibility: maybe they haven't realized that young people simply don't want to listen to or follow the example of angry old people who blame steroids and any other perceived evil as signalling the end of civilization as we know it.
Either way, athletes are no longer the "role models" they once were. To paraphrase Bob Dylan "The Times, They've A Changed."
It's just a fact that steroids are far from the evil they've been made out to be, but that doesn't mean that they're harmless - far from it. Used incorrectly, steroids can indeed cause great harm, and even the use of them by the wrong people can cause damage, as one study shows.
A study by Mexican scientists examined the effects of steroids on buccal mucosa cells - cells that are in your mouth, and other places. Using a micronucleus assay scientists found that anabolic steroids were slightly toxic to these cells.
However, this should not be cause for alarm, as many other things that can be consumed and used legally are far more harmful than steroids - cigarettes and alcohol being the most obvious examples. If you're going to use steroids, just make sure that you do so responsibly - and with the medical supervision of your doctor.
- O Torres-Bugari'n, et al. Anabolic androgenic steroids induce micronuclei in buccal mucosa cells of bodybuilders. Br J Sports Med 2007;41:592-596.
Bodybuilders know that working out "works" - it's by far the best and most efficient way to transform your physique. It's been known for decades that working out has beneficial effects on hormone profile - testosterone increases as a response to weight training as do growth hormone levels. Simultaneously, fatty acid oxidation is increased and a bigger leaner you results.
Now, scientists have even more evidence that weight training has beneficial effects on hormones, and this time they've targeted the hormone insulin, discovering that working out increases the insulin sensitivity of trained, untrained and even insulin-resistant muscle tissue.
And, what's most remarkable is that training increases the insulin sensitivity of muscle tissue without an increase in overall muscle size. Translation? Simply working out - whether you're training for size or are dieting down - will increase your insulin sensitivity and increase GLTU-4 protein concentrations - so you'll grow!
So while it's easiest to add muscle when you're lean, it is still possible for overweight and even obese people to gain muscle if they work hard enough. Science proves it!
- YASPELKIS III, B.B. Resistance Training Improves Insulin Signaling and Action in Skeletal Muscle. Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev., Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 42-46, 2006.
Being overweight carries a heavy risk of associated health complications - diabetes, gout, fatty liver syndrome, hypertension and hormone dysfunction. And, this is true whether you're an overweight bodybuilder, or an overweight couch potato.
Many bodybuilders who are coming off from an "off season" of "bulking up" frequently have high blood pressure and blood sugar problems - in fact, many gain so much weight during their off-season that they can either become diabetic or border on pre-diabetic. As a result, hyper and hypoglycemia becomes a risk, and this can affect exercise performance and overall health.
| What Is The Difference Between Hyper- And Hypoglycemia?
Hyperglycemia is the condition where blood contains excessive levels glucose. Hypoglycemia is the opposite where blood glucose levels are too low.
Researchers at The University of Cincinnati wanted to test whether exercise induced hypoglycemia in diabetic athletes. After analyzing the data in their study, researchers found that exercise did induce hypoglycemia in diabetic athletes.
This is an important study for bodybuilders who train according to the "on-season, off-season" protocol that's characterized by large fluctuations in weight and body fat over the course of the year. This study is also applicable to powerlifters who carry a significantly higher amount of body fat than bodybuilders and who are more liberal with dietary choices.
Click To Enlarge.
This Study Is Also Applicable To Powerlifters
Who Are More Liberal With Dietary Choices.
It's simple: If you're coming off of an off-season and you're diabetic or pre-diabetic, train with care and within limits - you don't want your blood sugar levels to drop like a rock, and you with them, in the middle of your training session.
- SANDOVAL, D.A., et al. Metabolic Consequences of Exercise-Associated Autonomic Failure. Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev., Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 72Y76, 2006.
Every bodybuilder stretches before, during and after exercise - or at least they should. Despite the fact that many so-called "experts" have called the value of stretching into question in recent years, stretching prior to, during and after exercise is a sound practice that increases blood flow, reduces injury and, in the experience of many professional bodybuilders, enhances muscle growth by stretching muscle fascia and increasing the areas into which muscles can grow.
While the effects of stretching on the body are known, much research remains to be done. Now, researchers are turning their attention to what happens in your brain when you stretch, and the results are very interesting.
Researchers from the Laboratory of Applied Biology and Research Unit in Neurophysiology, Universite' Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels, Belgium published a study appearing in Exercise Sports Science Reviews, in which they examined and reviewed the existing data on stretching, and found that neural mechanisms - parts of your brain - greatly contribute to increases in range of motion that result from stretching, including the reduction in tension resulting from spinal interference.
By reducing the excitability of your spine in response to stretching, your brain reduces the overall resistance to the stretch, thereby allowing you to stretch further as you continue to progress. And, the same is true when stretching and reflexes meet - regular stretching causes your brain to tone down the reflex mechanisms that can limit stretching, thereby increasing your flexibility.
Click To Enlarge.
Regular Stretching Causes Your Brain To Tone
Down The Reflex Mechanisms That Limit Stretching.
This study is important for bodybuilders because it shows that not only does the mind-muscle connection play a role during exercise, but that it also plays a role when you stretch. Stretching is important, and bodybuilders who want to establish and further strengthen their mind-muscle connection, as well as reducing muscular tension and their flexibility should stretch - pre, during and post-workout.
- GUISSARD, N., et al. Neural Aspects of Muscle Stretching. Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev., Vol. 34, No. 4, pp. 154Y158, 2006.
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