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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Anabolic State, Part Deux!

Welcome! If you missed the first blog, here's a quick refresher:

  1. I'm not a doctor, but I have referenced my information from actual medical personnel, and books on the subject.
  2. I don't condemn, nor condone the use of anabolic hormones, especially if you're a professional athlete
  3. There is a difference between having a medical condition, and using the excuse for an edge. If you need it, be smart with it.
  4. I'm fat.. ;-)
  5. We would all be better off learning about things instead of blaming them for what athletes do. If a vial sits there and no one touches it, fine. If the athlete decides to use it, it's their fault not the drug!!
Okay, off the soapbox to get back to the topic.

Did you know the DEA and the FDA in 1994 didn't even want to make steroids illegal? There was, and probably never will be, evidence to prove that anabolic steroids have the same narcotic characteristics of other drugs. In other words: it can't kill you on its own. Cocaine and heroin are highly addictive, and if your body can't process them you can overdose rather easily and die. The sad part, you'll never know what dose will kill you. Steroids, as in testosterone and its derivatives, only have a psychological addiction. Guys (hell, and some girls. Let's be real, here!) feel amazing on them, stronger and more confident. Personalities can be emphasized on testosterone (not "roid rage", but just intensifying the asshole part), it's even used in some cases to help depression. Don't believe me? Hit up Google, you'll find plenty of trials from here, and other countries who've used testosterone for "anti-aging" use.

From a sports point of view, I do understand why athletes use so-called PED's. Mainly, and this goes for the real physically demanding sports (MMA, football, yes even soccer) the allure is for the speedy recovery time during training. You run your body like a truck, it'll sooner or later start feeling like a hatchback. Plenty of players are able to recover, even stave off injury with this. That's where the "performance-enhancing" comes in. I hate calling these products Performance Enhancing Drugs because taking them won't make anyone a better athlete. I've done my share of amateur mma competitions, and have beaten guys who were on something. Wait, if they're on something, wouldn't that make them a better fighter? Guess not, if they lost to me, and others. Basically, taking some pills or injecting some oils won't make anyone GSP overnight.

Stick around, I may add some other tidbits and such to stake my case. Possibly talk about supplements that aren't so "natural" that slip under the radar. Once again, I only intend to inform, and hopefully anyone who reads this will read further, and form their own opinion.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Anabolic State, and everyone wants to move out!

I'll start with the usual, I'm not a doctor or a medical specialist of any type. I do, however, study and talk with professionals who will take time to give me the straight un-biased word. Which is what I intend to do here in this blog. You may have made your mind up long ago, but trust me, I may make some sense to you in a different light. If not, thank you for reading at least. Now, that's out of the way, let's talk about performance enhancing drugs, and why they do/do not belong in sports.

First off, I'm not for or against the use of testosterone, or any other product in that regard. Why? Because I took the time to study them (I am a fitness major, and as a trainer I got asked about it plenty of times), and I didn't follow the crowd on the subject of them being horrible, evil soul crushers. The media can spin any story they like to sound as if they spoke to a deity and got confirmation. I wish more would read sources out there to inform themselves instead of waiting to be told what to think.
Okay, I'll put my soapbox away and get to the point..

 Athletes are super(ish) human, they train with a higher intensity than regular gymrats. They push themselves beyond a mental and physical realm we can only imagine. They do it because they are the best of the best when they're on their game.  Sometimes, the body will not respond the way the athlete wants, it could be from dietary changes, natural hormones declining with over-training, or just the mind ain't connecting to the muscle. One thing's for sure, the athlete will talk to someone who knows exactly what they're up against, and suggest the way out. Anabolic steroids, juice, gas, gear.. Whatever slang, it's all the same, and at one point no one cared who or how many were on them.

As an athlete, healing is a major part of their fitness progress. If you don't heal fast enough from training, you can't train as intense the next round, and it's all downhill from there. In some cases (some, very rare but possible) a male athlete may be over-training to the point his normal testosterone levels are lower than normal, maybe it's a hereditary trait (also rare). This is where it gets sticky: should the athlete be supervised by a doctor with hormone replacement therapy? Some still cry "cheater", but let's look into what would constitute "cheating"..

Medically necessary TRT to return levels to normal for, let's say me. I'm male 5'-9" 200lbs with 9% bodyfat (so I need to diet? nevermind that). At the age of 36yrs old, my testosterone levels should be anywhere in the area of 275-750 Ng/dl. Now, if a doctor gave me enough testosterone to keep my levels at, let's say 400, that's playing by the book. If I took it upon myself to say "If 400 feels good, then 800 must be awesome!", then I have the problem. Now, if I'm an athlete that competes in a sport that gets regularly tested, and they find my levels at 800+, bigger problem.

More never means better, more just means more issues, which I'll cover in my next post. If you're still with me, stay tuned. I hope this just helps with seeing both sides, and not just feeding into the hate campaign. Remember, weed was also demonized like this, but it won't make you stronger.. ;-)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Why women belong in MMA, or at least why a fan thinks so!

 What's the problem, fellas? Seriously, it's about time we opened up about the "fairer sex" wanting to play in our sport. Well, I can' really say it's our sport, but a proverbial sausage fest could use a dash of estrogen. I'll let you add the "high testosterone, failed testing" joke now.. Done it? Good, let's continue.

The main reason we don't see women on UFC cards isn't due to the "no-chicks" attitude many believe Zuffa to have. I remember reading somewhere that the head honcho mentioned (just paraphrasing) "There aren't enough good female fighters to justify a women's division.". This statement sounds more realistic than just not wanting women around, except for holding round cards in skimpy outfits.

 Now, why does this fan feel women belong in any Mixed Martial Arts promotion? Simple: I have yet to see a boring female fight! I'm sure YouTube has a few uploaded, and I may have seen a couple that seemed to drag, but I know that the ones I have seen were awesome to watch. Marloes Coenen and Liz Carmouche put on a damn good show! Cris Cyborg is always exciting to watch. Sarah Kaufman and Miesha Tate never let the fans down with their performance. I'm sure even the top female talent (the ones mentioned here) would say whether they had a good fight or not, heck most of the guys do that. How often do you hear a top male fighter mention not being on top of his game? Depending on the guy, more often than any female fighter does.

 Bottom line, the fights that stand out for me are the lighter classes (featherweight, bantamweight), and the female competitors. Why these? Simple (as I always say):

  1. Both show insane pace and endurance, even if inevitably one of the fighters will gas.
  2. Many of the females who fight have intensive wrestling, which works quite well when you need to control your opponent.
  3. Very rare in either case the ref will stand the fighters, I have yet to see a female fighter use the "Lay & Pray" tactic to win a fight. Takedowns have elbows and ground & pound following (see any fight Liz Carmouche is in!).
Maybe the words of one fan won't help the case for the ladies who put in the same work guys do, but at least someone puts it out there. It does seem, to me at least, that everyone dances around the thought of women fighting the best in the world on PPV under the UFC banner. The women we have right now are paving the way for the ones who are unsure, maybe slightly curious women who are motivated by the fact that girls are kicking ass. I do hope in, let's say 10 months, we do see more women step up. I want to see StrikeForce stay a separate entity, and pull in as many tough, well-rounded women who want to make a statement. The ones I've mentioned have done so already, they need more than one fan to notice..  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Style isn't really my style, get it?

I'm a simple guy, tee shirt and jeans with some comfy sneakers is my daily outfit. These days, even that can be over-done with all the fashion labels, flashy logos, and even flashier price tags. Ever walk into an Ed Hardy shop? I can draw skulls on a tee shirt, does it justify the need to sell them at $80 a pop? Not really, I don't have a cool name that people would see on a label in Macy's. "Hey, is that a Peter Camillo turtleneck?" See, doesn't sound right.

One thing that has yet to change is my love for shoes. Maybe it's from growing up in a predominantly female household, but I shop for shoes more than actual clothing. Even when it comes to shoes, my tastes are simple. I do love my Adidas Campus suede, Puma Suede, and the rest are casual shoes. I remember looking in The Tannery at the sneakers they carried, top-shelf kicks you don't see in mall stores. Expensive, yet they gave the heir of exclusivity. Not everyone has them, and you're in the club. SneakerHeads always find the most obscure, eclectic, head-turning pair of kicks, and will spend top dollar for them. I'm not that guy, but I'm getting there!

 I'm not sure when, but I do recall seeing random tweets about HeyDay Footwear on Twitter. I looked at the site, the styles are a refreshing mix of flashy, smooth, laid-back, and attention grabbing. I felt that now's the time, I can be part of the "exclusive" bunch. I can rock some sweet kicks, and not look like everyone else because they all got them from Champ's Sports like I did a week ago. This is a new level of shoe buying for me, and to think I was actually swearing off purchasing sneakers, ever again!
At work, rockin' HeyDay Shift RS sneakers.
 So I'm now one of the cool kids, I've purchased sneakers you can't find in FootLocker, and I'm more than likely to order more! If you're interested, or just curious about the brand, check out the HeyDay site for your own unique style.