Monday, January 15, 2018

Synthol, et al. INJECT TO GROW? By Jerry Brainum





The primary purpose of using anabolic drugs, such as testosterone, steroids and growth hormone, is to trigger added muscle beyond what is attainable naturally with training and diet. Of course, athletes who use anabolic drugs also train intensely and go on diets to change body composition, frequently to lose fat. Using anabolic drugs under dieting conditions, where calories are often cut back severely, can spare muscle that might otherwise be broken down; however, the drugs also promote muscularity that is beyond genetic limits. The situation is clearly apparent when athletes get off the drugs. Their newly acquired muscle bulk often seems to melt away with each passing week.



For some athletes the added size they get with drug use isn't enough. Because of fierce competition, they want to dwarf their competitors, so they resort to techniques that temporarily--or not so temporarily---boost muscle size beyond even what can be produced with any drug. The genesis of "local site enhancement," as it's known, probably began in the early 1980's, when some bodybuilders began injecting themselves with a mediocre anabolic steroid drug called Esiclene, generic name formebolone. Compared to other anabolic steroids, Esiclene didn't produce the often  dramatic size effects, but it did have one property that made it attractive to competitors. It tended to produce a localized inflammation of muscle that lasted about a week.

Experience soon showed that Esiclene use was best for smaller muscle groups, such as the biceps, deltoids, and particularly the calves. The localized inflammation induced by Esiclene often boosted muscle size by 1 to 1 1/2 inches after a few days. In larger muscle areas, such as the chest, back, and legs, however, it  tended to produce a lumpy effect that looked like tumors. It was also said to make the muscle look harder. Likely many contests have been won by  competitors who gained a last-minute edge by using Esiclene.

Esiclene became increasingly hard to get over the years, however, and is no longer made or sold at all, even on the black market. The notion of producing overnight gains in mass was for many too attractive to pass up, and so, in the early '90s German bodybuilder Chris Clark devised a concoction that he called "Pump & Pose." It was often advertised as a "posing oil," but its real purpose was to act just like Esiclene, boosting muscle mass quickly. The more common name was Synthol, and it consisted of 85 percent oil, usually medium-chain triglycerides; 7.5 percent lidocaine, a local anesthetic, to blunt the pain of injection  (Esiclene also contained lidocaine for the same reason); and 7.5 percent alcohol to keep the solution sterile. The notion of injecting oil into the body for cosmetic purposes wasn't new. Back in 1899 some folks were injecting paraffin, a type of oil, into body parts that appeared deformed. Oddly enough, it soon became apparent that many of those who used Synthol produced deformities.

Since the development of Pump & Pose, a number of other brands have been introduced, including Syntherol, Esik Clean, Nuclear Nutrition Site Enhancement oil, Cosmostan and Liquid Muscle. They all are expensive, so many resort to using sterilized sesame or walnut oil injected directly into muscle. In reality, many injectable anabolic steroid drugs contain sesame oil as an injection vehicle.


The idea behind the "site enhancers" involves stretching the connective-tissue sheath that surrounds muscle tissue. This fascia, as it is called, is thought to be a major impediment to maximum muscle growth, so stretching by regular injections of oil would "make room" for additional muscle growth. The typical application protocols involve frequent injections of one to two milliliters daily in various locations within the target muscle for either several weeks or up to six months or more. Injecting into distinct areas of muscle and then massaging the areas afterward are thought to produce a more natural look and prevent the development of scar tissue. The body tends to produce scar tissue around anything that is put into it that it views as foreign. That includes breast implants. Popular areas for injection include triceps, biceps, delts and calves.

In truth, it's often painfully obvious when athletes have used Synthol or other oil injections in a bodybuilding contest because they have unnatural-appearing lumps on their muscles. When the calves are involved, it's comically obvious. More insidious is the possible damage to long-term health that can come from oil-based site injections. While 30 percent of the oil is immediately metabolized, most of it forms cysts in muscle that can last three to five years or longer. That makes the oil injections far different from Escilene, which produced a local inflammation that lasted only a few days.

Injecting oil directly into muscle can produce some serious side effects, which include a pulmonary embolism if the fat injection is wrongly injected directly into a blood vessel. The fat becomes an embolism and travels in the blood to the lungs. One elite pro bodybuilder nearly died a few years ago after his girlfriend injected him with Synthol and mistakenly shot it directly into a blood vessel. Luckily, he survived. Other possible side effects of Synthol include nerve damage if it's injected into a nerve, infections and strokes. A few published case studies of bodybuilders who have used Synthol have documented oil-filled granulomas, or nodules. Others have shown ulcers and cysts. Some who may be allergic to sesame oil get an allergic reaction involving an inflammation of blood vessels. Overenthusiastic use frequently results in a muscle appearing droopy or deformed.


Not many cases of problems involving site-enhancement injections have been published in the medical literature. Those that have often involve injection of straight oil, such as sesame or walnut oil, and subsequent infection and formation of oil and fat cysts. By far the most serious case of problems experienced after an oil injection was published recently.1








A 40-year-old man described as a "semiprofessional bodybuilder" showed up at a hospital complaining of multiple painful swellings, redness and elevated temperature in his right upper arm that had begun two months earlier. The swelling had increased over time. He felt so sick that he hadn't trained in more than two months. A previous medical exam had left him with the incorrect diagnosis of "ruptured muscle fibers." The doctors told him to rest and take anti-inflammatory drugs, which didn't help. The man had injected himself with sesame oil for eight years, until four months before his trip to the hospital. He'd inject two milliliters of sesame oil at 20 intramuscular locations, which resulted in an upper arm measuring 27 1/2 inches!


An MRI revealed more than 100 intramuscular and sub-cutaneous cysts of up to seven millimeters each, with no sign of obvious infection in his left upper arm, both shoulders, both legs and chest.
Those happened to be the most frequently used areas of his site injections over the years. His right brachialis showed that the muscle mass was completely obliterated, replaced by oil cysts. The entire right biceps and the long and lateral heads of his triceps had been replaced by scar tissue, and the tissue was vastly swollen. The only muscle left in his arm was the medial head of the triceps, and that also contained oil cysts and scar tissue. Since he appeared to have an infection in his arm, he underwent surgery to remove the infected tissue. Sure enough, his muscle was infiltrated with pockets of pus and abscesses. When the oil he used was analyzed, it showed no traces of bacteria or fungi. His muscle loss was so extensive that it was considered irreversible.

A year later the bodybuilder was still suffering pain great enough to prevent him from training. Interestingly, the loss of muscle was most extensive in the areas he had either not injected or had injected lightly. Still, he had lost no size on his arms since the surgery. After three years he continued to suffer from pain and weakness but did some training. More than 90 percent of his upper-arm muscle had been replaced by oil cysts and scar tissue. The ongoing inflammation in his arm may have set him up for future cancer, as cancer is associated with chronic inflammation.

In his effort to attain superhuman muscle size, this bodybuilder literally destroyed his muscles, and the effect was not reversible. It's obvious that the notion of injecting oil into muscle is just idiotic, and those who do so may pay dearly for it.

1 Banke,I.J., et al. (2012) Irreversib le muscle damage in bodybuilding due to long-term intramuscular oil injection.
Int J Sports Med. In press.





Monday, December 25, 2017

WHEN FULL RANGE OF MOTION FAILS by Jerry Brainum

From the first time we grasp a barbell of a dumbbell, we are told to adhere to certain specific rules for proper exercise style. One such rule is to use strict exercise form, no cheating and full ROM (range of motion).


Cheating would be defined as using muscles other than prime movers of the specific muscles that you are targeting to lift the weight. An example of this is heaving the weight up when doing barbell curls. When you do this, much of the stress on the targeted muscle, namely the biceps, is shifted to other muscles, such as the lower back muscles and traps. Not only does this reduce stress on the biceps, but it can also result in a lower back injury. But as the cliché' says, not everything is written in stone, or in this case, iron. Doing a few cheat reps after a strict set of curls seem to place additional stress on the biceps that can foster muscle gains.


Another frequently mentioned must do dogma is to use a complete range of motion (ROM) when doing any and all exercises. The idea behind this is twofold: using a complete ROM involves more muscle fibers, and using a full ROM also produces greater degrees of muscle flexibility, indeed, the notion of being muscle bound is often thought to be related to having an abundance of muscle, as in a champion bodybuilder. In fact, while some states of being muscle bound may refer to shortened muscles that cannot reach their full ROM, most of it is sheer muscle size impacting the total flexion at the joint. Getting 'muscle-bound' is really a myth.


 In fact, many argue that pushing full ROM may not be kosher. Back in the early sixties, the famous York PA. Barbell Company began selling what they called an "Iso-metric power rack." This consisted of two upright columns with holes punched throughout. The idea behind the power rack was to set a barbell on the rack at the precise point of an exercise sticking point. For example, for most people, the sticking point, or the point where the weight is hardest to lift, occurs at exactly mid range or more towards the 'lockout' point in the exercise. So to overcome this sticking point, the bar is placed on the rack at those positions. You then do partial ROM sets on the power rack. But the trick is that by using a partial ROM style, you can load the weight far heavier than you would do it you were doing a complete ROM. This 'overload' at the sticking point may build more strength at that angle, and if it all works out right, you get stronger at your sticking point.


Valdimir M. Zatsiorsky was one of the architects of the Soviet bloc training system that produced a myriad of world and Olympic champions. He was a strong believer in the use of a partial ROM, which he called "Accentuation training." Zatsiorsky felt that it made sense to use partial range of exercise motion exercises to build maximum power in areas of the muscle involved in particular athletic activities. Other scientists felt that using a partial ROM maximized force production since the heavier weights used in such movements decreased neural inhibition of muscular contraction, one of the primary breaks on strength in the human body.

 More recently, a partial ROM has been advocated by John Little and Peter Sisco in their 1997 book, Power Factor Training. Little and Sisco believe that partial ROM training, or what they call "power factor training" is far superior to doing full ROM for a number of reasons.

For one, using a partial ROM allows the use of much heavier weights, which would place more stress on the type 2B muscle fibers that are most amenable to gaining strength and size. These particular fibers are only activated by using heavier weights, so in that sense, Little and Sisco's idea is true. They also note that this style of training is more efficient, since it  places immediate stress on the type of muscle fibers that grow without having to do a lot of exercise to reach the same goal. As a result, workouts are intense, but also short and infrequent to allow time for the trained muscle to recover and compensate for imposed muscle damage.


Others use a full range of motion and a partial range of motion. A good example of this was how Larry Scott trained. Scott liked to do preacher curls to train this biceps. He would do six reps with a heavy weight, and then do a few short half reps that he called "burns" to work the muscle past the point of fatigue. Scott felt that this method promoted increased muscle growth, and viewing the stupendous biceps development that earned him two successive Mr. Olympia titles (1965, 1966), it's hard to argue with his logic.


As for the scientific point of view, the studies that have examined or compared full range of exercise motion to partial reps have been thus far equivocal, with some studies showing superiority of one form over another. One study, for example, found that doing partial ROM when doing barbell curls produced a significantly higher heart rate, blood pH level, and lactate level compared to using a full range of exercise motion. This is significant because increased lactate is thought to act as a signal for the release of intramuscular anabolic hormones, such as IGF-1.


Another study compared partial ROM and full ROM in the bench press exercise. Subjects in the study were tested for maximum bench press lifts using both one and five reps. The study found strength improvements when doing partial ROM, but non when doing full ROM. The authors of the study suggested that training using only full ROM fails to optimally train the areas of the muscle where full force production occurs. They felt that using a partial ROM allows optimal force production because it eliminates the usual sticking points of an exercise that occurs with a full ROM. Indeed, muscle rehabilitation exercise often involve using partial ROM to strengthen injured muscles that otherwise are incapable of completing a full ROM. This method not only prevents muscle atrophy and promotes healing, but also minimizes the production of scar tissue within muscle structures.


One possible problem with using only partial ROM training is comparable to what happens when isometric exercise is done. Isometric exercise is known to boost muscle strength-but only at then angle where the muscle is trained. Isometrics involve forcibly contracting a muscle at a specific angle, with no actual movement. It's not hard to understand that using a partial ROM likewise will only strengthen a muscle at the particular angle that it's trained. The rest of the muscle would remain unaffected, which means probable less muscle mass and strength development in the long run. To work around this problem, other styles of partial ROM exercise, such as Steve Holman's "Position of Flexion" system feature using a variety of partial ROM movements to work larger portions of the muscle.



A study of inexperienced women trainees had the women doing partial ROM bench presses, along with full range bench presses and a a combination of both. The women showed a 34.8% gain in strength when doing full ROM: 22.5% when doing partial ROM: and 23.1% gain with mixed training. In the most recent study that compared partial ROM with a full ROM, the exercise used was preacher curls, and the subjects were 40 young untrained men, average age, 21. Unlike previous studies, this study also measured muscle thickness improvements in the subjects. The results showed that those using the full ROM gained slightly more strength compared to the partial ROM group, despite the fact that the partial ROM group used 36% heavier resistance. But gains in muscle thickness for the biceps didn't differ significantly between the two groups, with the full range exercise group gaining slightly more mass than the partial ROM group.





The authors also suggest that full range of motion exercise is safer than partial ROM. But there is a place for partial ROM for advanced trainees and athletes. Using this training technique can help you blast past sticking points on exercises, as well as produce more power at certain angles of movement that would be useful in various sports competition.

REFERENCES: Ronei, P, et al. Effect of range of motion on muscle strength and thickness. J Str Cond Res 2011: in press

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©,2018 Jerry Brainum. Any reprinting in any type of media, including electronic and foreign is expressly prohibited

Have you been ripped off  by supplement makers whose products don’t work as advertised? Want to know the truth about them? Check out Jerry Brainum's book Natural Anabolics, available at JerryBrainum.com.

 

The Applied Ergogenics blog is a collection of articles written and published by Jerry Brainum over the past 20 years. These articles have appeared in Muscle and Fitness, Ironman, and other magazines. Many of the posts on the blog are original articles, having appeared here for the first time. For Jerry’s most recent articles, which are far more in depth than anything that appears on this blog site, please subscribe to his Applied Metabolics Newsletter, at www.appliedmetabolics.com. This newsletter, which is more correctly referred to as a monthly e-book, since its average length is 35 to 40 pages, contains the latest findings about nutrition, exercise science, fat-loss, anti-aging, ergogenic aids, food supplements, and other topics. For 33 cents a day you get the benefit of Jerry’s 53 years of writing and intense study of all matters pertaining to fitness,health, bodybuilding, and disease prevention.

 

See Jerry's book at  http://www.jerrybrainum.com

 

Want more evidence-based information on exercise science, nutrition and food supplements, ergogenic aids, and anti-aging research? Check out Applied Metabolics Newsletter at www.appliedmetabolics.com

 

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Jerry Brainum talks the dark side of green tea, caffeine alternatives, low carb diet flaws, the dietary benefits of cortisol, Frank Zane, and more with Jerry Brainum





Jerry Brainum, is a well-known fitness and bodybuilding nutrition writer, with 35 years of experience and over 5,000 published magazine articles on his resume. Jerry has written and/or served in editor positions for such popular fitness publications such as: Muscle and Fitness, Flex, Men’s Fitness, Sports Fitness, Muscular Development, Muscle Mag International, Ironman, and Planet Muscle.

Jerry has also served as a nutrition consultant for numerous elite, world-class athletes, including basketball star, Vlady Divac; Vassiily Jirov, voted the “best boxer” at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, Floyd Mayweather Jr, David Kamau, and Oscar de La Hoya. Jerry joins us to discuss the following:


  • Why has Jerry never opened the bottle of modafinil, despite all of the research touting its benefits of enhancing cognitive activity
  • Why should those who turn to caffeine for mental alertness consider adding theanine
  • Why should you be careful with the amount of green tea you consume daily
  • Why does Mike have an unhealthy, yet healthy, fear of getting old
  • Why are the guys talking nootropics, women being attracted women, and psychology
  • What is Jerry’s advice for any one who wants to try nootropics
  • Jerry shares why eating a balanced diet is usually not enough
  • Why does Jerry recommend bocopa over ginko boloba in terms of addressing metal alertness
  • What are the actual benefits of cortisol, contrary to popular belief
  • Jerry shares a discussion he had with bodybuilding legend Frank Zane regarding Frank gaining weight
  • Jerry shares the anti-aging benefits of metformin
  • Why going low carb on a ketogentic diet is flawed
  • Jerry’s website: http://appliedmetabolics.com

>>>>>>>Listen to the podcast now!<<<<<<< Click this link


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©,2018 Jerry Brainum. Any reprinting in any type of media, including electronic and foreign is expressly prohibited

Have you been ripped off  by supplement makers whose products don’t work as advertised? Want to know the truth about them? Check out Jerry Brainum's book Natural Anabolics, available at JerryBrainum.com.

 

The Applied Ergogenics blog is a collection of articles written and published by Jerry Brainum over the past 20 years. These articles have appeared in Muscle and Fitness, Ironman, and other magazines. Many of the posts on the blog are original articles, having appeared here for the first time. For Jerry’s most recent articles, which are far more in depth than anything that appears on this blog site, please subscribe to his Applied Metabolics Newsletter, at www.appliedmetabolics.com. This newsletter, which is more correctly referred to as a monthly e-book, since its average length is 35 to 40 pages, contains the latest findings about nutrition, exercise science, fat-loss, anti-aging, ergogenic aids, food supplements, and other topics. For 33 cents a day you get the benefit of Jerry’s 53 years of writing and intense study of all matters pertaining to fitness,health, bodybuilding, and disease prevention.

 

See Jerry's book at  http://www.jerrybrainum.com

 

Want more evidence-based information on exercise science, nutrition and food supplements, ergogenic aids, and anti-aging research? Check out Applied Metabolics Newsletter at www.appliedmetabolics.com

 

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Problem With Boron And Testosterone Boosting | Straight Facts by Jerry Brainum


In the constant search for new ways to pack on more muscle and mass - bodybuilders and lifters will look towards anything that can give them an edge. That's where supplement companies come in and try to take advantage of how passionately athletes are looking for a new way to get huge.


Boron has been advertised as a mineral that can help boost your testosterone - but after checking the actual studies and facts... Jerry Brainum isn't convinced. While Boron has some great benefits to any athletes - test boosting might not be one of them. Get the full details in our episode of Straight Facts above!


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©,2018 Jerry Brainum. Any reprinting in any type of media, including electronic and foreign is expressly prohibited

Have you been ripped off  by supplement makers whose products don’t work as advertised? Want to know the truth about them? Check out Jerry Brainum's book Natural Anabolics, available at JerryBrainum.com.

 

The Applied Ergogenics blog is a collection of articles written and published by Jerry Brainum over the past 20 years. These articles have appeared in Muscle and Fitness, Ironman, and other magazines. Many of the posts on the blog are original articles, having appeared here for the first time. For Jerry’s most recent articles, which are far more in depth than anything that appears on this blog site, please subscribe to his Applied Metabolics Newsletter, at www.appliedmetabolics.com. This newsletter, which is more correctly referred to as a monthly e-book, since its average length is 35 to 40 pages, contains the latest findings about nutrition, exercise science, fat-loss, anti-aging, ergogenic aids, food supplements, and other topics. For 33 cents a day you get the benefit of Jerry’s 53 years of writing and intense study of all matters pertaining to fitness,health, bodybuilding, and disease prevention.

 

See Jerry's book at  http://www.jerrybrainum.com

 

Want more evidence-based information on exercise science, nutrition and food supplements, ergogenic aids, and anti-aging research? Check out Applied Metabolics Newsletter at www.appliedmetabolics.com

 

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Can You Really Get Bigger Muscle Lifting Lighter Weight? | Straight Facts by Jerry Brainum


Published on Nov 21, 2018
Bodybuilding and heavy weights normally go hand in hand. The kind of hardcore massive weight that is conjured when thinking about stereotypes of bodybuilders. But for as long as bodybuilding has existed - people have debated whether or not you really need to lift heavy weight. One big reason for this debate is that lifting heavy weight constantly can lead to injuries - especially as you get older. But will you lose muscle mass for switching to light weight?

Jerry Brainum uses countless studies to prove that light weight can actually lead to the same exact results when it comes to muscle mass (but not necessarily strength). Sounds crazy? Well there is catch that many might not follow - leading to the misconception that you need to lift heavy. Get the straight facts in our episode above!



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©,2018 Jerry Brainum. Any reprinting in any type of media, including electronic and foreign is expressly prohibited

Have you been ripped off  by supplement makers whose products don’t work as advertised? Want to know the truth about them? Check out Jerry Brainum's book Natural Anabolics, available at JerryBrainum.com.

 

The Applied Ergogenics blog is a collection of articles written and published by Jerry Brainum over the past 20 years. These articles have appeared in Muscle and Fitness, Ironman, and other magazines. Many of the posts on the blog are original articles, having appeared here for the first time. For Jerry’s most recent articles, which are far more in depth than anything that appears on this blog site, please subscribe to his Applied Metabolics Newsletter, at www.appliedmetabolics.com. This newsletter, which is more correctly referred to as a monthly e-book, since its average length is 35 to 40 pages, contains the latest findings about nutrition, exercise science, fat-loss, anti-aging, ergogenic aids, food supplements, and other topics. For 33 cents a day you get the benefit of Jerry’s 53 years of writing and intense study of all matters pertaining to fitness,health, bodybuilding, and disease prevention.

 

See Jerry's book at  http://www.jerrybrainum.com

 

Want more evidence-based information on exercise science, nutrition and food supplements, ergogenic aids, and anti-aging research? Check out Applied Metabolics Newsletter at www.appliedmetabolics.com

 

                            Please share this video on facebook