Some thoughts on Intermittent Fasting: Lean Gains

Alright, prepare yourself, this is going to be a bumpy ride.

As you know, I’ve spent some time among the Youtube Bodybuilding community (I even have a brand spanking new channel, that soon will have vids. Go ahead and subscribe now, eh?)

Making it’s way through the Youtube community is a new craze (no, not the preworkout). Called Lean Gains: Intermittent Fasting. The inventor is Martin Berkhin.

There are tons of videos on Youtube about this lastest diet.

There are those that love it (Here, Here) (these have NSFW language so be warned. Also keep in mind the twins are trying to get to 4% BodyFat)

And there are those that do not.  (Here [compared to replicating an eating disorder], Here [Thinks no Serious Bodybuilder can or should do this. At all. Ever] and Here ["IF? Hell No. I'm going to Eat when I'm hungry."]

Also a General Overview of IF. Thanks Campbell Fitness.

Intermittent Fasting: 16 hours no eating at all. 8 hours to eat. Other variations can be 19/5 or however you manipulate.

8 hours to get in all your calories. For the entire day.

Chris Jones states it best.

Burning fat is simple: Calories in vs. Calories out.

Take in more than you need, you will gain weight. Take in less than you need, lose fat. Got it?

Once you get 8% Bodyfat or lower, the harder it is to burn fat, and this is because the body is designed to store energy in the form of fat. Under 8%, it becomes harder to lose weight, as the body tries to hold on to that fat even harder than before. It’s of evolutionary benefit to us to have fat on our bodies.

This Brings us to IF.

I see a few problems with this diet. For starters, when you starve yourself for 16hrs, you are more likely to gorge yourself for those 8 hours you can eat. It’s very difficult to train your willpower to only hold to say 2000 calories, when you will most likely wind up eating 3000 calories longterm. Why? Because you’re STARVING!!!

I think you need food for energy, food for growth, food to help your many supplements work better and to keep your body functioning normally.

Your body hates to burn fat. The chance is too great that you’ll lose weight— but it’s because your body burnt Protein. That’s right, that muscle you’ve been spending all that time in the gym building.

You want to lose fat? There’s much better ways to do so!

1) Fasted Cardio. Cardio on an empty stomach. Burn Fat. Increase cardio time, too, to about 30-40 minutes.

2) Drink more water. Make it COLD. Your body will burn more calories trying to warm it up in your system. This has the additional benefit of turning your metabolism on overdrive.

3) Weights: Low weights, Hi Reps. Burns Fat.

4) Caffeine: Guess what? It burns fat. A cup of coffee is fine, though you can try a great fat burner like Fusion Bodybuilding’s Sub Q or Cellucor Super HD. These are the only 2 real fat burners I stand behind at all. (The Cellucor post is coming, soon) no doubt.

5) Practice Mindful Eating. Don’t just stuff your face. Chew slowly, notice tastes and texture as your begin and continue eating it.

That’s the end of my rant on IF. I think it’s a throw away fad diet that will cause more harm in the long term than good.

There are NO SHORTCUTS. Just hard work in the gym day in and day out.

But to do that work… you need food.

Muscle and Fitness Should Rethink their Standards on Beauty

I’ll give you a bit of context. Here’s the latest issue of Muscle and Fitness Magazine.

It’s a Swim Suit issue. I usually don’t read this magazine, I prefer their body building sister magazine, Muscular Development. It’s just a more fun magazine, with way more information on exercises, bodybuilding industry news and of course the latest supplements. M&D, you’re welcome for the free plug.

Not going to get on any soap boxes, especially since we like to keep things fun and light around here. We’ve dealt with things of a racial matter before Once or Twice . Overall, I think racism, discrimination and the like is a dying phenomenon. Overall. Attitudes are changing and although we have a really long, long way to go, we are so close to getting there. But that makes the instances of it when it does occur that much more visible.

I’m not posting any images of the latest issue because first, that pushes the upper limit of fair use laws, plus I think to get the full effect of what I’m saying, you need to actually pick the magazine up and look through it.

What will become painfully aware to you if you are 1) Not American 2) Objective 3) Not Caucasian or 4) Find women sexier if they weigh more than 103 pounds (I kid…kinda) is that women in the current issue of Muscle & Fitness (July) magazine represent the standard archetypal beauty in America. Very thin, and as one of my inspirations, Genevieve, wrote, not very if at all muscular. There’s no definition, no vascularity…and no diversity.

America has long been a hodgepodge of different cultures, religions, ideals and ways of living. Far from perfect, true, but still the ideal society where our differences allow us to learn from each other and grow. So why is Muscle and Fitness pushing an ideal of beauty that is based in 1950’s America? Especially when the women from that era actually were better looking thicker?

No Seriously, when did it?

That just the first problem with M&F’s latest issue.

There’s also the diversity issue. They couldn’t find 1 African American, Asian or Arab fitness model to place in their pages?

I found a few. You really need not go any further than Twitter to find healthy, muscular women with exotic beauty, both inside and out. This was a simple case of lazy journalism by Muscle & Fitness. They got magazines to sell, so they went with the old tried and true method instead of being a leader in changing ideas of women’s beauty.

I challenge Muscle & Fitness to stop resting on their laurels and to go beyond the usual homogeneous images of women and to make their fitness spreads both more inclusive and more diverse and actually…more healthy. I shudder to think of the diets some of this month’s models had in order to fit into the magazine. Overall health should include great dietary choices which to me, it just looks like the women aren’t making.  We are well beyond the antiquated ideas of what makes women attractive today.

And will someone please get the word out… muscle on women is HOT. One of my favorite blogs demonstrates this daily. It’s okay if women lift iron and do more than just run 13 miles daily.

Supplement Review: The New Muscle Tech: Neurocore Pt. 3

This is a continuation of my first post on NeuroCore. Let’s continue.

The Pour

Apparently, the canister is half full

Very small scoop

No, NeuroCore didn’t burn off my goatee, I shaved it

The Verdict

Okay, so would the product stand up to Orange Mask standards?

Well, being perfectly honest…I wasn’t crazy about this product. The smell is fantastic, though the taste is rather bland. It’s not a bad taste, but you get the sense that whatever they did to flavor it, they didn’t do enough of that thing. Yes, it’s Fruit Punch but this would be better titled, “Hint of Fruit Punch”. Now, effectiveness? This product advertises itself as 45 servings, but truthfully it’s more like 15 servings. I didn’t feel anything at all with this product with only 1 scoop. Or 2 really. Buying this product is fine, but go in knowing that you will use all 3 scoops every time you use it to gain any type of utility. At 3 scoops this could get pricey since it would only last 15 days out the month, assuming you work out regularly.

I want to talk about the Beta Alanine in this supplement. I think either something is off with the dosing or something is off with my body. I’ve never had a BA reaction like the one I had on this product. It took about 20 minutes to kick in. But it felt like I was walking barefeet on pins. Every step just wound up with a shot of pins pricking my entire body. I felt it in my head, arms, legs, back, even in my glutes and loins (ouch!) Just walking on the treadmill became laborious because it felt like someone with no skill was giving me horrible acupuncture, using over a million needles at the same time. The effect lasted about an hour after my workout ended. Did not like that at all.

I saw no noticeable pump. I was able to focus though, so I did get into that tunnel vision that you get into but my reaction to the BA distracted me somewhat.

I only slightly felt the 1,3 DMAA in this product which may just speak to my tolerance. Like I said, after the first day, I was already up to 2 scoops, then 3.

If you can look beyond all that, does the product actually work? Yes. It was leg day for me. I added 90 pounds to my squat and was able to get 1 more set of 11 reps in than I ever have before.  Also, despite the BA reaction I had, it was one of those sessions where I still had to tear myself away from the gym in order to make the beach in time.

Final Thoughts

Neuro Core is unique in that it is the first supplement on this site that I give a “mixed rating” to. The main concerns come due to needing 3 scoops to feel any effect, but that effect coming at the cost of great exposure to Beta Alanine all over your body. Still, I have to admit, I had some gains in the gym. This product is still leap years better than the Muscle Tech of old. This has research behind it and for many users, you’re going to see a lot of good gains on it.

It’s not quite up to where I’d like it to be, but it is by no means horrible. I will probably get some more of this, to be honest (I got this on one heck of a deal…50% off at Vitamin Shoppe. Gee, I wonder why? Oh, yeah.) The price is great right now. This product to me, shows that Muscle Tech, now more than ever is committed to the customers.

Have you ever tried this product? What were your thoughts? Write them in the comments below. 

Don’t forget to enter into the Giveaway, too!

Supplement Review: The New MuscleTech NeuroCore Giveaway Pt. 2

You in? I have a spare Neuro Core and it’s Grape Flavor.

If so it’s pretty easy.

1) Leave a comment below telling me if you’ve used any Muscle Tech products before either in the past or currently? What were your honest thoughts about them?

2) Follow me on Twitter.

3) Tweet: “I just entered the @TeamMuscleTech #NeuroCore #Giveaway by @TheOrangeMask! Don’t miss your chance: http://wp.me/p1J36b-lL 

4) Bonus Entry: Subscribe to me via Youtube.

Blink and this will be gone. Winners announced on Thursday via Twitter and this Blog

Supplement Review: The New MuscleTech: NeuroCore Pt. 1

Finally, it’s here on this site. I never ever thought I’d have a MuscleTech product here, but everyone deserves a chance. This isn’t the Muscle Tech of old that spent more money on marketing than on research. No. This is better. It’s new. I think of Muscle Tech as that girlfriend who was never good for you. She looked beautiful, she was stunning. All the guys wanted her. She gave you a shot. And immediately upon dating her you realized, she was nothing but trouble. All looks, no substance. Finally at the end of all that time where you gave her everything and she still screwed you over, you decided she had to leave. So you broke it off.

NeuroCore is Muscle Tech’s attempt at rekindling an old passion. This is their way of asking you, “Please, give me just one more chance. I was wrong then, and I know it. But I want to make this work. I’m committing to make this work. Please, just one more chance.”

We’ve all been there. That moment where all that comes to mind is the truly horrible, messed up things they did to you and the many nights alone in bed you spent crying over them.

But damn it… that little twinkle. That sparkle. And that desire to know, “What if… what if it’s possible they really did change?”

Do you risk it?

At the end of the day I’m a sucker for love and reconciliation. So of course I did.

Here is that story.

The way I conceptualize Neuro Core is that it’s a love letter to the Muscle Tech faithful who’ve been there through thick and thin. They’ve stuck with the products despite the horrible side effects, the bad dosing, the bad reputation and athletes who later admitted to not using the product but were on steroids. NeuroCore is a love letter to say, “Hey, we screwed major @#$% up. Now we’re better. More mature.”

There are some good things to like about the new Muscle Tech. For starters…

1) No More Proprietory Blends – If anything Muscle Tech has the edge on most companies out there. If there is one thing I hate, I mean absolutely despise about the preworkout genre of supps, it’s this idea that customers don’t need to know a) what they are putting into their bodies b) how much of it they are putting in or c) why we’re charging them what we are charging them. Muscle Tech has the edge in telling you exactly how much of each ingredient you are getting. I can appreciate that

2) Backed by research. REAL Research – I appreciate this coming from a research background. Every study is backed my peer reviewed scientific studies. Some companies test for a day or two then say, “See? Nobody died. Our product works!” I challenge you to go to their website and find anything that isn’t backed by several research studies. I can respect that. Muscle Tech of old just put stuff on the shelf, had a bodybuilder pose with it and say “Take this. NOW.” They put their products where the research is.

3) They are the industry standard. I like a few different companies. But the fact is, Muscle Tech is and has always been what Bodybuilding is about. They are the industry standard. They are the industry giant. In some way, most companies are trying to copy at least 1 muscle tech product.

4) They are better than BSN. My God, I can not stand that company. But seriously, BSN today is what Muscle Tech was a decade ago. Overhyped, Expensive products with no efficacy, but heavily pushed by great marketing. I have never had 1 BSN product that was worth the kidney is cost me to get it. Not 1. This is the same feeling I felt circa 10 years ago when first started looking at supplements and kept hearing “Muscle Tech” come up. In other words BSN is 10 years behind Muscle Tech. Yeah, I said it.

They don’t even answer tweets.

Eventually that Hyper FX post will get done. God only knows when.

BSN has one thing going for them.

Fitness Model Amanda Latona. That is all.

Rant over.

MuscleTech at least has helped me answer my questions about them.  Any company that spends time responding to customers online, especially those making repeated queries, is fine with me.

So here we are. 1 last chance. We are putting everything on this one MuscleTech product. Let’s see that happens.

Neuro Core: The Movie

Before we start— What does Muscle Tech say about Neuro Core?

What about you Mr. Olympia, Phil Heath? What do you say?

*Note to Muscle Tech marketers: next time actually show Phil taking Neuro Core. 

Well, now let’s see what the truth is. Has Muscle Tech actually changed? Does Neuro Core work? Is it just more of the same? Let’s stop talking and start working out.

To be continued…


Supplement Review: Betancount Nutrition D-Stunner

It’s been a while since we’ve done a pre-workout here. Let’s fix that now! Today’s product? Betancount Nutrition D-Stunner.

Taken from the site, this is “The New King of Energy”.

Really? Let’s see.

Taken from the site:

Betancourt Nutrition presents the first ever concentrated pre-workout and bronchostimulator D-STUNNERTM. In the era of concentrated pre-workouts, the race is on to create stronger and stronger products with no emphasis on long term increases in: performance, muscle growth or preventing devastating ‘crashes’ that can ruin your workouts. The lack of advancement in the stimulants used in other concentrates causes the users to build a higher tolerance which can make it harder for the user to experience the same ‘rush’ as before. D-STUNNERTM features the most advanced stimulytic blend of 1,3 Dimethylamylamine and REV-PEATM which results in a no crash, sustained energy experience not available in any concentrate available.+ REV-PEA is an advanced blend of energy and focus enhancing phenylethylamines that are more potent and stable then phenylethylamines alone.+ It also features GlycoCarn® for intense pumps not seen in any other concentrate (large amounts of stimulants can cause vasoconstriction, this can limit the ‘pump’ during exercise).+ The most profound advanced in the concentrated pre-workout category however, is that of bronchodilator 3,7 dimethylpurine-2,6-dione. Combined with the mitochondria (energy producing centers of cells) boosting effects of Quercetin, 3,7 dimethylpurine-2,6-dione will boost endurance and performance like never before.

Is all this true? Let’s investigate—but first, some honesty.

I’m actually pretty scared to try this product, honestly. I got this on a deal but I’m not sure how I feel about a product that wants its claim to fame to be that it helps you with your bronchodilation. Is that something I want when I work out? Plus that last sentence? I’ve told you about getting products and you don’t know what the @#$% the ingredients are in them being used.

I’m going to be cautious with this product. For this review, I’m starting with only a half scoop. Then, a full one. You know…assuming the half scoop doesn’t kill me.

The Pour

Right from the start this stuff smells awesome! It smells like you just opened two packets of Kool-Aid and ready to relax for the evening. The mix was perfect too. Not any particles at all floating around. The taste? I have to be careful… I could see a situation where I drink way too much of this stuff then my heart blow up in my chest.

I got the hook up! With a sample pack!

One of the best colored supplements I’ve seen. Pretty!

If they served this at bars I’d almost never go home. The taste was awesome!

The effects? I describe this as the halfway point between Beast Sports Beast Mode and Dymatize Xpand, with just a hint of Hemo Rage with non of the negative effects really. Watch the dosing— over the months, my tolerance for caffeine has gone up a lot but even I was was getting jittery off of the one dose. Pump was decent, focus moderate. It was a good workout. I’d probably keep it at a half dose. This thing runs the danger of being one of those supps that makes you wicked cracked out. How much caffeine is in this thing? Hard to tell thanks to my friend, “Proprietory Blend”. But overall, this product runs the danger of making you stimmed out of your mind.

To me, there comes a point where I’m too cranked up to “focus”. I reached the threshold of that point with this product.

Now, also, this product has 1, 3 DiMeth in it. It’s like Hemo Rage— it’s in there. And it’s completely unnecessary. I say take that out.

This is the kind of product I would use— if I received it for free. It will run you about $30 at Vitamin Shoppe which is a good price. But I’d only advise getting it if you have an extremely high tolerance to stims. This was a bit too much for my liking. I doubt I’ll use it again.

Overall though, I like this company for some reason. Maybe after the hammer falls on the 1,3 Dimeth controversy it might be worth giving this product another look.

For free.

Supplement Review: NeoCell Collagen Sport Whey Protein Complex

My journey with NeoCell Collagen Sport Complex began with being contacted by Jean, a fantastically nice representative from the company. I wasn’t very familiar with the products or the company…until I saw a recent post by our favorite Darwinian Fail, Krysten. We’ve done heroic adventuring with her before on this site. She’s a welcome face in these parts.

As I began research, imagine my shock upon learning, that another favorite Fitness hero has also tried NeoCell…who else, but of course… The Athletarian.  Christina has always been a joy to tweet with so upon learning that she’s used the product as well, it was time to learn more about the company that had gathered the interest of 2 of my favorite writers. I definitely would implore you to check them out first before reading along. Be careful…one alone would be pretty  dangerous but together? They could possibly melt your computer screens. And I will not be reimbursing you, either.

This is the point of the post, where ideally, I’d insert a pic of all 3 of us together either break dancing, drinking way too much Whey Protein or jumping gracefully off a high rise building dramatically as we wear tailor made costumes. However, since I need to actually go to Canada to make that happen, let’s just use our imaginations…for now.

Jean contacted me and can you believe it, sent me a free tub to try and review. I’ve had some time to look at the product ingredients and realize how it fits into my fitness routine. Great start I have to say…they chose the perfect color to use to represent their product.

I received the French Vanilla flavor. It’s 15 servings, but I had to be careful! I wound up drinking so much of this stuff so fast that I went through it in under a week. The taste is to die for.

One of the things that makes this company and this product so good is the emphasis on quality ingredients. Their “4 in 1″ mantra focuses on “Refuel”, “Recover”, “Regenerate” and “Replenish”. You can see how they manage to meet all of these goals with one look at their ingredient list.

Filled with BCAAs, Glutamine and other great stuff, this could be the secret weapon you need in your fight to ultimate health. Let’s see if it works or if it’s just marketing filler, though.

The Pour:

That is a LARGE scooper! Yay! More protein in every serving!

One of the reasons that Jean contacted me was a need to have more guys become aware of the product. The general feeling is that a lot of women use it but not as many guys. But this isn’t a gender specific marketed product actually. Actually it’s for anyone who lives an active lifestyle, ranging from running to weights.

One of the first things you notice is that the taste is superb. Usually when a product mentions that it is a flavor— let’s say “French Vanilla”, they really mean, “it tastes like milk with a hint of vanilla bean in it. A very small hint.” I can say emphatically that NeoCell got the flavoring perfect.

I noticed that when using this you can almost feel the protein as it pulsates through your body. I’ve gone supplement less for a few (hard to believe I know) but I could feel my bench remain and this is the perfect addition to any post workout regiment. I don’t want to say too much to insure I don’t step on Christina’s or Krysten’s toes but long story short, for the guys out there, this is just as good as Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey protein.

I personally hope that many more guys see the benefit of this product! It’s exciting, great, not as overly processed as too many other products on the market. I say do yourself a favor and get this one!

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