Saturday, April 30, 2016

Losing Weight

At the age of 3 I was a normal weight kid. I was a bit athletic from the age of 3-6 at about 7yrs of age I started gaining weight but not too much. It wasn't until I was 9yrs old that I started packing on the pounds. The reason is that I stopped playing sports and began to eat a lot but it was also the quality of the food a lot of sugary drinks and fried food.  This lasted up until the age of 14 by then I was pretty heavy.

At about 14 -15 yrs of age I began to play sports again and growing in height so the pounds started to drop.  I did not watch as much TV as before and didn't eat as much.  At this point I was skinny what most people would consider skinny but not lean.  To me the word lean and skinny are different lean means low body fat to the point where there is muscle definition and six pack abs showing.  Skinny is used for those that have flat stomachs but no muscle definition or vascularity.  I remained skinny for the next few years but still significant body fat so I did not have visible abs and not much muscle mass.  I would try to do workouts at home and lift whatever I found that resembled a weight.  I was broke I couldn't afford a computer. I went to the library to read magazines to see how to do certain exercises then I would go home and hope that I would perform them correctly.

Eventually I joined a gym and started the journey.  During my teen years it was obvious that the weight I gained as a kid was not going to go away anytime soon.  It took years to gain and it didn't want to go with out putting up a good fight.  Your body seems to get used to body fat or muscle mass the longer you hold on to it.  Along the way my body hit a lot of plateaus there were periods that it would not respond to the diet and I struggled to get rid of the fat around my stomach.  At this point I got rid of all sugary drinks and only drank water.  As I hit another plateau I got rid of another item such as rice or pasta.  The lower abs were the hardest for those I raised my cardio and got rid of most carbs.  The same is true when adding muscle I also had to change things a bit to get more mass.
Everybody struggles along the way you need to make changes to progress depending on your body type.

There are many body types some struggle with gaining weight others have trouble losing it and may be very sensitive to carbs.  Some people have skinny legs and arms but gain fat only in their midsections, some gain it all over.

The point is to be healthy and happy with yourself don't become obsessed with changing your appearance.  I don't want to pressure my future kids into being fit but I will try to get them involved in the kitchen so they can learn about healthy foods.  The reason is that the decision I made to eat a lot and not exercise as a kid caught up to me later on in life.  I am glad I did not go beyond the weight I reached, it would have been harder to burn that fat off.  If the weight gets out of control you can end up with skin that will hang once you lose weight and only surgery can help you with that, you don't want unnecessary surgery.  However you go about losing weight remember to reward and compliment yourself along the way.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The World of Bodybuilding and Drugs Part 2

Bodybuilders differ in their preparation before a contest.  Some bodybuilders will start to cut their calories and work on getting shredded (drop to a very low body fat level) from about 18 weeks out before the contest.  Some do 12-14 weeks I've even heard some do 6-8 weeks I guess they have some very good genes.  In the last weeks the drugs consumed will change: Toxicity of Weight Loss Agents.  Some use a thyroid hormone (triiodothyronine) and may use it with a bronchodilator (both come with dangerous side effects).  The athlete will then start to drop the amount of weight he is lifting just because he may be getting weaker (his training will pretty much stay the same) as his calories and carbs will be dropping.

During the last few weeks before the contest the bodybuilder will not be looking to add any more muscle. He will just work on keeping what he has so a steroid will most likely still be used.  He will also do cardio but there are some that just up their drugs and skip it.  On the night before the contest he will stop his water consumption (as well as salt intake) at about 6-8pm and take a diuretic (this drug is meant for a patient with high blood pressure) to get rid of water between his muscle and skin.
The shredded and dry condition on competitive bodybuilders you see on stage is a look no one can keep it is a painful and dangerous condition to stay in.  I have seen a few bodybuilders cramp up or pass out on stage both are unlikely but serious side effects.

All this work, preparation, and money just for a few moments of glory in the end even if you win the money you will have spent will be far more than the cash prize.  The sad part is that a lot of these drugs are taken by young guys trying to achieve the same pro bodybuilder look without knowing the dangerous and even life threatening side effects.  A lot of black market drugs are fake or under dosed since they are illegal you can't be sure what you are getting. I did not go into detail about the processes, doses and names of all the drugs consumed just because I don't want to somehow promote them.  All the steroids, diuretics, and hormones used by bodybuilders were made for patients with specific illnesses from osteoporosis, HIV, Turner syndrome, breast cancer to Parkinson's disease This is a dangerous practice that should not be taken lightly there are too many unknowns and risks.  Good nutrition and exercise are the only things you really need to get a good physique.  I (as well as a few others I know) have never injected a steroid or illegal drug of any kind so it is possible to stay clean.  There are limits to what our bodies can achieve in the gym and that is something we have to deal with.  Be proud of what you have achieved naturally.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The World of Bodybuilding and Drugs Part 1

There are a few things a competitive bodybuilder will do before stepping on stage.  A small group do compete in natural bodybuilding events but some even doubt these competitions.  Although the pros are known for taking a lot of illegal drugs most of the illegal drugs that are bought and used are from those that don't compete or ever intend to step foot on stage.  I did not know how popular supplements, legal and illegal drugs were until I started going to the gym.  From the very young to the very old they want an edge.  Some fall for the advertisements they believe it is not possible without drug consumption to get a physically fit body.  When I write that legal drugs are taken as well this doesn't mean they are not dangerous it is legal to buy insulin yet it is dangerous to take especially if you do not know what you are doing. Insulin has strong anabolic properties that is why bodybuilders take it.

A bodybuilder will start out preparing for a competition by bulking up this is the phase where he will go heavy on weights.  He will eat a large amount of calories to make sure his stack of anabolic steroids will give him as much mass as possible.  Even during the bulk up phase a bodybuilder will not want to over do it otherwise he may end up with too much body fat and a distended abdomen.  Bodybuilders also take growth hormone which will give them lean muscle but it comes with some dangerous and irreversible side effects.  If taken for too long your organs, hands and face will get bigger.   Bodybuilders take GH and Insulin because of their mass building properties.  In regards to lipogenesis (the formation of fat) GH inhibits it but insulin stimulates it.

Some anabolic steroids (such as testosterone) can give men certain side effects such as gynecomastia, hair loss and acne.  It has to do with genetics so you can't anticipate what side effects you will get.  The longer you take them and the higher the dose the higher the risk that you will get side effects.  Since some of these drugs are progesterones men can experience a nipple discharge. Some bodybuilders take anti estrogen drugs to counter act the gynecomastia.

To be continued ...