Tout dans la vie est une question d'équilibre d'où la nécessité de garder un esprit sain dans un corps sain.


Everything in life is a matter of balance therefore one needs to keep a healthy mind in a healthy body.


E. do REGO

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The 100 Best Fitness Tips

A great tip is an awesome thing. Whether it's an undiscovered restaurant, a sleeper stock, or a Sure Thing in the late double at Pimlico, savvy inside info imbues a man with confidence. Control. Strength.

Knowledge is power, baby.

It's also the secret to a powerful body, as you're about to find out. In our never-ending mission to get you in the greatest shape of your life, we've grilled the world's top experts, combed our own archives, even eavesdropped on some cell-phone conversations to find 100 perfect fitness training tips—small gems that will make a huge difference in any man's life.

Get ready: You're about to feel the power—and have the body to show for it.

And for even more ways to shape your body, check out The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises. With complete instructions of more than 600 exercises, along with hundreds of workouts and useful tips, it’s the most comprehensive guide to fitness ever created.

Build Better Abs
Don't work your abdominal muscles every day. "Physiologically, your abs are like any other muscle in your body," says David Pearson, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., an exercise scientist at Ball State University. Train them only 2 or 3 days a week.
Protect Your Neck
Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth when you do crunches. "It will help align your head properly, which helps reduce neck strain," says Michael Mejia, C.S.C.S., Men's Health exercise advisor.

Keep Muscles Limber
If you're under 40, hold your stretches for 30 seconds. If you're over 40, hold them for 60 seconds. As you reach your 40s, your muscles become less pliable, so they need to be stretched longer.

Don't Drop the Ball
To catch a pop fly in the sun, use your glove to shade your eyes. It's bigger than your free hand and puts the leather in perfect position to snag the ball.

Grow Muscle, Save Time
Keep your weight workouts under an hour. After 60 minutes, your body starts producing more of the stress hormone cortisol, which can have a testosterone-blocking, muscle-wasting effect.
Exercise in Order
Use dumbbells, barbells, and machines—in that order. "The smaller, stabilizer muscles you use with dumbbells fatigue before your larger muscle groups," says Charles Staley, a strength coach in Las Vegas.  So progress to machines, which require less help from your smaller muscles, as you grow tired.

Strengthen Your Core
Don't be afraid of situps. We've changed our tune on these, and here's why: Situps increase your range of motion, which makes your abdominals work harder and longer. (Doing crunches on a Swiss ball or with a rolled-up towel under your lower back has a similar effect.) Just avoid situps with anchored feet, which can hurt your lower back.
Test the Bench
Press your thumb into the bench before lifting. "If you can feel the wood, find another bench," says Ken Kinakin, a chiropractor in Canada and founder of the Society of Weight-Training Injury Specialists. Hard benches can cause T4 syndrome—a misalignment of your thoracic spine that affects the nerve function of your arm, weakening it.

Swim Faster
To build speed in swimming, develop your ankle flexibility. Flexible feet will act like flippers and propel you faster through the water. To increase your flipper flex, do this: Sit on the floor with your shoes off. Extend your legs in front of you, heels on the floor. Point your toes straight out as far as possible, then flex them toward your shins as far as you can. Repeat for 1 minute.

Buy Shoes That Fit
Shop for workout shoes late in the day. That's when your feet are the largest. Make sure there's a half inch of space in front of your longest toe, and that you can easily wiggle your toes. Then slip off the shoes and compare them with your bare feet. If each shoe isn't obviously wider and longer than your foot, go half a size bigger.

Kill Your Excuse
If you think you're too busy to exercise, try this experiment: For one day, schedule a time to work out, and then stick to it—even if you can exercise for only 10 minutes. "At the end of the day, ask yourself if you were any less productive than usual," says John Jakicic, Ph.D., an exercise psychologist at the Brown University school of medicine. The answer will probably be no—and your favorite excuse will be gone.
Help Your Forehand
To build forearm strength for tennis and racquetball, crumple newspaper: Lay a newspaper sheet on a flat surface. Start at one corner and crumple it into a ball with your dominant hand for 30 seconds. Repeat with your other hand.
Muscle Up Your Back
When doing lat pulldowns, don't wrap your thumb around the bar. Instead, place it on top, alongside your index finger. This decreases the involvement of your arm muscles, so you'll work your back harder. Works for pullups, too.

Drink A Pint, Get Ripped
If you're a beginner, train to failure—the point at which you absolutely can't do another repetition—then throw back a pint. In a new study, beginners who trained to failure with three sets of six exercises per day then drank a supplement immediately afterward gained over 5 pounds of muscle in just 8 weeks. A pint of 1 percent chocolate milk will provide all the nutrients you need to achieve the same result.

Lose Your Weak Spot
If you don't like an exercise, start doing it. "You're probably avoiding it because you're weak at it," says Mejia.

Overcome Injuries, Build Big Arms
If you hurt your right arm, don't stop exercising your left arm. Researchers at the University of Oklahoma found that people who trained only one arm for 2 weeks managed to increase arm strength in their nonexercising arm up to 10 percent. The reason: Exercising one arm stimulates the muscle nerve fibers in the opposite arm.

Cut Pain, Increase Gain
Count your repetitions backward. When you near the end of the set, you'll think about how many you have left instead of how many you've done.

Turn Heads with Your Legs
Do standing and seated calf raises. You'll get better results. "Your calves are made up of two different muscles, so you have to do the straight-leg and the bent-leg versions of the exercise to hit them both," says Mejia.

Keep Your Stats, See Amazing Results
Test yourself often. Every 4 weeks, measure a variable—waist size, body fat, bench press—that equates to your end goal. "It'll show you the tangible results of your training," says Craig Ballantyne, C.S.C.S., a trainer in Canada. And that translates into motivation.

Kill the Pill
Don't pop a pill after you work out. Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences found that ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) were no more effective than a placebo in relieving postexercise muscle soreness. More important, they say the drugs may actually suppress muscle growth when taken after a workout.

Putt Like a Pro
Roll a golf ball across the carpet to improve your putting. The distance doesn't matter. Just toss it by hand and try to make it stop at a specific target. You'll hone your ability to judge speed and line without even picking up a club.

Blow Off Your Belly
Exhale forcefully at the top of the movement when you do abdominal crunches. It forces your abs to work harder.

Build Big Biceps
Bend your wrists to work your biceps harder. That is, extend them backward slightly—and hold them that way—while you do arm curls.

Heal Faster
Don't exercise when you're sick—unless your symptoms are above the neck. And even then you might do better taking a day off. "Your body will use its resources to heal itself, not build muscle and endurance," says Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., a trainer in Santa Clarita, California.

Pick Up Your Pace
Increase the speed of your running strides—not their length—to get faster. Your foot should always land under your body, rather than out in front of it, and you should push off with the toes of your rear leg for propulsion.

Ditch the Weight Belt
Don't train with a weight belt. Over time, regular training in a weight belt actually weakens your abdominal and lower-back muscles. Wear it only when attempting maximal lifts in such exercises as squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses.

Ride More Efficiently
Practice cycling one-legged to ride more efficiently. This forces you to concentrate on pulling up at the bottom of the stroke, which better distributes the work among the major leg muscles. Lock both feet on your pedals, but let your left leg go limp while you do all the work with your right leg. Do this for 30 seconds, then switch legs. Ride normally for 5 minutes, then repeat the drill. Continue this way for a 20- to 30-minute workout.
Pay Now, Build Later
Pay your trainer in advance. "You'll be more likely to follow through on exercise sessions," says Mejia.

Flatten Your Gut
Work your invisible abdominal muscles. Your transversus abdominis lies beneath your rectus abdominis—the six-pack muscle—and flattens your waistline when you suck in your gut. Work it with the vacuum: Pull your belly button toward your spine and hold for 10 seconds while breathing normally. Repeat five times.
Stretch for Strength
Between sets, take 20 to 30 seconds to stretch the muscle you just worked. Boston researchers found that men who did this increased their strength by 20 percent.
Save Your Shoulders
Decrease the weight by 10 percent when you change your grip. So if you've been benchpressing 135 pounds for 10 repetitions with a medium grip, drop to 120 pounds when you switch to a wide grip. "You'll be stressing your joints and muscles in a different way than they're used to, which can cause injury," says Kinakin.

Improve Quickness
For faster foot speed in sports, try this move: Start with your feet hip-width apart and your hands at your sides. Lift your left foot in front of you, touch it with your right hand, and lower it to the floor. Lift your right foot, touch it with your left hand, and lower it. Then touch your left foot behind you with your right hand, then your right foot behind you with your left hand. Go for 20 seconds at a time, moving as fast as you can, and repeat for a total of three to five sets.

Repair Muscle Faster
Recover faster from a hard workout by lightly exercising the same muscles the following day. Use a light weight—about 20 percent of the weight you can lift one time—and do two sets of 25 repetitions. This will deliver more blood and nutrients into your muscles so they repair faster.
Dress Better
Buy only workout clothes that are black, white, or gray. They'll go with everything, and you'll never again waste time looking for a T-shirt that matches your gold-and-purple Lakers shorts.

Eat Meat and Grow
Eat meat—4 to 8 ounces every day—to grow more muscle. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared two groups of older male weight lifters: One group ate meat, the other didn't. Both groups grew stronger, but only the carnivores gained significant muscle. Chicken, turkey, and fish count, too.

Save Time in the Gym
Don't worry about specific rest periods between sets. Instead, rest as you need it—less in your early sets when your muscles are fresh, and more as they become fatigued. "You'll cut your workout time between 15 and 20 percent," says Staley.
Get Home-Run Power
To hit more home runs, swing with a slight uppercut at high pitches. The high swing utilizes your powerful hip and midsection muscles instead of just your hands and arms.
Shake a Defender
To come open for a pass in football, run near enough to your defender that you can shake his hand. The closer you get, the easier it'll be to blow past him. As you close in on him, shorten your strides without slowing down—it'll help you cut faster.
Stay in the Saddle
When you cycle, keep your pace between 80 and 110 rpm. You'll ride farther and faster with less fatigue and knee strain. To gauge your pace, count how many times your right leg comes to the top of the pedal stroke in 10 seconds, then multiply that number by 6. The result is your pedal rpms.

Build Arms Faster
Work opposing muscle groups—your biceps and triceps, for instance—back-to-back for a faster workout. "While one muscle is working, the other is forced to rest," says Staley. You won't need as much time between sets.

Get a Better Handle
To improve your ball-handling skills in basketball, practice dribbling while wearing leather or canvas work gloves. The thickness of the gloves helps improve the sensitivity of your fingertips, so you'll have better ball control when you take them off. Jason Williams, a Memphis Grizzlies guard, credits his ball-handling mastery to this training method.

Make More Contact
Play foosball to become a better softball hitter. It improves hand-eye coordination.
Improve Balance
Use a sofa cushion to improve your balance. Stand one-legged on the cushion and move a medicine ball (or a 1-gallon milk jug or heavy phone book) from hand to hand, side to side, and behind your head. Once you've mastered the move, try it with your eyes closed. "You'll improve your balance, coordination, and body control, all important athletic attributes," says Greg Brittenham, assistant coach of player development for the New York Knicks.

Get Stronger Fast
Do the same amount of exercise in 10 percent less time. It forces your muscles to work harder and improves your endurance at the same time. If it takes you 30 minutes to do a full-body workout on Monday, try to do it in 27 minutes on Wednesday.
See Ball, Hit Ball
Play better tennis by training your eyes to focus faster. You'll hit more winners by learning to change your visual focus from distance, when your opponent is hitting the ball, to close up, when you're hitting it. Try this drill while riding in a car: Focus on an object about a tennis-court length away. Then quickly shift focus to a closer object.

Double Dip Benefits
Do dips with your elbows in and your body straight to work your triceps. But lean forward and flare them out to focus on your chest.

Bench More Now
Look at your dominant hand—without turning your head—while you're bench-pressing. "You'll be able to lift more weight," says Staley.

Do More Chinups
Don't think about pulling yourself up when you do chinups. Instead, imagine pulling your elbows down. The exercise will seem easier.

Climb Like Spiderman
For rock or wall climbing, buy shoes that fit your bare feet so tightly you can stand but not walk comfortably. They'll give you optimal control, and you'll be better able to use your legs—the key to successful climbing.

Run Injury-Free
One week out of every six, cut your weekly training mileage and frequency in half. You'll give your body a better chance to recover, and you'll avoid permanent, nagging injuries.

Drink Up, Get Lean
Drink low-fat milk. Scientists in Canada found that people who consumed more than 600 milligrams of calcium a day—roughly the amount in 2 cups of milk, a cup of broccoli, and a half cup of cottage cheese—had lower body fat than those who consumed less than 600 milligrams a day.

Slash Your Score
When you're putting, aim high on breaks. "Whatever you think the break is, double it and you'll come much closer to being correct," says Dave Pelz, author of Dave Pelz' Putting Bible and a consultant to dozens of PGA pros.

Multiply Your Muscles
Follow this simple formula to build more muscle: Multiply the amount of weight you lift for a particular exercise by the total number of times you lift it. Try to increase that number every workout by lifting heavier weights, increasing your repetitions, or doing more sets.

Be More Flexible
Spend twice as much time stretching your tight muscles as your flexible muscles. "Focus on problem areas instead of muscles that are already flexible," says Bill Bandy, Ph.D., a professor of physical therapy at the University of Central Arkansas. Typical problem areas for men: hamstrings, shoulders, and lower back.

Recover Faster
When you're recovering from a muscle injury, begin exercising again as soon as you can. Try a few minutes at low intensity to test yourself. Go slowly—no explosive movements. If you experience pain, stop immediately. Afterward, ice the area for 20 minutes and exercise again the next day. You should be able to go a little harder and longer each workout.

Reach Your Goals
Set your goals in reverse. That is, pick a date of completion and work backward, writing down short-term goals as you go. "The goals then seem more like deadlines," says Ballantyne.

Run Hills Faster
When running uphill, keep your head up and your eyes focused on the top of the hill. This opens your airways, making it easier to breathe than if your upper body were hunched forward.
Manage Your Middle
Do your ab exercises at the beginning of your workout if you can't pass this test: Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your legs bent—as if you had just performed a situp. Then place your fingers behind your ears with your elbows pulled back. Lower yourself to the floor as slowly as possible. "If it doesn't take at least 5 seconds, you need to prioritize your abdominal training," says the Australian strength coach Ian King.

Win a Marathon
To build speed and endurance, train like a Kenyan: Go slowly for the first third of your run, at a normal pace in the middle third, and at a faster-than-normal pace at the end. Gradually increase your starting pace each week, and you'll increase your normal and fast paces, too.
Outdrive Your Pals
To hit a golf ball farther, take some practice swings from the opposite side. It strengthens and balances your muscles, which may help you clear that water hazard. Do a few opposite swings on the first three or four holes, or for a minute at the driving range.

Sit Back, Squat More
Use a bench to squat with perfect form. That is, stand in front of the bench when you squat. Lower yourself as if you were sitting down. When your butt touches the bench, push yourself back up. Try it with a light bar or a broomstick first.

Shake Your Muscles
Eat immediately after your workout. A 12-week study conducted by Danish researchers found that older men who drank a shake with 10 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrate, and 3 grams of fat (about the same as in a cup of milk) within 5 minutes after their weight workout gained muscle, but men who consumed the drink 2 hours later did not. For a serious postworkout muscle-building shake, try this formula from Thomas Incledon, M.S., R.D.: Blend a half cup of fat-free frozen chocolate yogurt, a quarter cup of egg substitute, a cup of fat-free milk, a large banana, and a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, and drink. You'll down 23 grams of protein, 52 grams of carbs, and only 4 grams of fat.

Get Stronger Legs
Do lunges in reverse. This forces your front leg to work throughout the entire exercise. Use the same movement pattern as in a traditional lunge, but step backward instead of forward.

Tape Your Jams
If you have a finger that is frequently jammed, tape it to a neighboring finger when you play sports. Together the two fingers will be stronger and less likely to bend at an odd angle.
Use Iron, Get The Lead Out
Lift weights to run faster. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that 8 weeks of resistance training improved experienced runners' 5-K times by 30 seconds.

Save Your Back
Squeeze your butt muscles when you lift weights over your head. "You'll force your body into a position that automatically stabilizes your spine, which lowers your risk of back injuries," says Staley.

For a Better Warmup, Train Your Brain
Don't forget to warm up your brain. "Preparing your central nervous system for activity is just as important as preparing your muscles," says Vern Gambetta, former director of conditioning for the Chicago White Sox. That's because your central nervous system tells your muscles when to contract. Try standing on one leg while you squat down, and touch the floor in front of it with your opposite hand. Do two sets of 10 to 12 repetitions with each leg.

Loosen Your Hips
Keep your heels on the floor when you squat. If you can't, your hip flexors are too tight. Try this stretch: Hold onto the sides of the squat rack and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold for 30 seconds. Return to a standing position, then repeat five times.

Squeeze Out Gains
Squeeze the bar inward when you bench-press. This works more muscles in your chest. But squeeze it outward when you do the close-grip version of the exercise—this hits your triceps harder.

Make More Birdies
For straight-on putts, aim exactly 17 inches past the hole. That's because the 17 inches of green surrounding the cup will be free of footprints, meaning blades of grass there are thicker and more upright and will slow down your putts dramatically.

Finish Faster
To save time, use the same weight for your entire workout. Pick the weight based on your weakest exercise—choose an amount you can lift only six to eight times—and do the moves in a circuit.
Save Your Calves
If you're a runner and your calves feel tight when you wake up in the morning, try sleeping on your stomach with your feet hanging off the bed. Gravity will take over, lightly stretching the calf muscles all night.
Go Short, Get Fast
Go faster for shorter distances to improve your running form. You'll not only perform better, but you'll also be less susceptible to injuries.

Go Light, Get Strong
Lift light weights fast to build strength. Your muscles will generate as much force as if you were lifting a heavier weight more slowly. Try it with the bench press: Use a weight that's 40 to 60 percent of what you can lift one time, and do eight sets of three repetitions, pushing the weight up as fast as possible. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

Isolate Your Abs
When you do reverse crunches and hanging knee raises, round your back by rolling your hips and pelvis toward your chest, instead of simply raising your legs. Otherwise, you're mainly working your hip flexors—the muscles at the top of your thighs.

Stay Healthy
If you're not exercising at all, just try to fit in two 20-minute aerobic or weight-training sessions a week. Researchers at Oklahoma State University examined absentee records of 79,000 workers at 250 sites and found that those who did this minimal amount of exercise had fewer sick days than those who didn't exercise at all.

Swipe the Rock
To make a steal in basketball, swipe up, not down. Refs and whiny opponents are just waiting for you to hack down on the ball. Flicking up is more subtle and surprising—and if you do poke the ball away, it'll be higher and easier to grab.

Build Sprint Muscles
To sprint faster, work your hamstrings. They help you push off and develop speed. Try this variation of the leg curl: Pull the weight toward you with your ankles flexed (as you normally would) so that your toes are pointing toward your shins. But when you lower the weight, extend your ankles so that your toes are pointing away from your shins. Your hamstrings will work harder than with the traditional version of the exercise.

Get Up Faster
To mountain-bike uphill faster, edge forward in the saddle to distribute your weight more evenly between the front and rear wheels. If you slip back too far, you'll cause the front wheel to skitter off the ground. If you lean too far forward, you'll lose traction on the back tire.

Save Your Neck
When doing squats, rest the bar so that as much of it as possible is touching your shoulders. Holding it only on your lower neck causes the entire weight to compress your spine, which can lead to spinal and muscle injuries.

Isolate and Grow
Exercise one arm at time. Do a set of shoulder presses with your left arm, then do a set with your right. "You'll get higher-quality sets than if you work both arms at the same time," says Ballantyne.

Come Clean
Throw all your dirty workout clothes into one mesh laundry bag. At the end of the week, tie a knot in the bag and throw it in the washer. You'll always know where your favorite workout shirts are, and you won't have to touch your sweat socks when they're fully ripe.

Squat for a Six-Pack
Do squats and deadlifts . . . to build your abs. Research shows that these two exercises force your abdominal muscles to do a significant amount of work to maintain your posture.

Flex for Muscle
When doing standing arm curls, completely straighten your arms by flexing your triceps at the end of each repetition. This ensures that you work the muscle through its entire range of motion.

Run Longer, Easier
When you run, breathe so that your belly rises as you inhale. This ensures that your lungs are inflating fully with oxygen, so you'll be able to go longer. Practice by lying on your back and placing a book on your stomach. The book should rise when you breathe in.

Jump Higher
Do this simple jumping exercise to improve your vertical leap: Stand on the edge of a step that's about 8 inches high. Step off backward with both feet. When your toes hit the ground, immediately jump back onto the step. Concentrate on pushing off the ground as quickly as possible, rather than on the height of your jump. "The speed of the jump is more important than the height," says Brittenham. Do three to five sets of 10 to 20 repetitions twice a week.

Make the Catch
To catch a football, focus on the tip of the ball. You'll watch the ball into your hands, instead of just tracking the blur. Plus, by concentrating on that specific spot, you'll block out oncoming defenders.
Replace Your Shoes (Not Your Knees)
To avoid injuries, write an "expiration date" on your shoes as soon as you buy them. Shoes last about 500 miles, so simply divide 500 by your average weekly mileage to determine how many weeks your shoes are likely to last.

Get Up and at 'Em
If you want to exercise before work but aren't a morning person, try this trick: For a set period—say, 4 weeks—force yourself to get up 15 minutes earlier than normal and do any type of physical activity (walking, for instance). "Make it so easy that you don't even have to change into your workout clothes," says John Raglin, Ph.D., an exercise researcher. As you near the end of the 4 weeks, you'll have a new habit and will then be able to progress to greater amounts of exercise.
Build Quality Quads
Push from your toes when you do leg presses. Your quadriceps will work harder.
Warm Up the Right Way
Skip the treadmill warmup before lifting weights. Instead, do a warmup that targets the muscles you'll be using. For a full-body warmup, grab a bar and do two sets of 10 repetitions each of the squat, deadlift, bench press, and bent-over row.

Get a Better Grip
To strengthen your grip, wrap a towel around the bar when you do arm curls. It makes the bar thicker, which forces your forearm muscles to work harder.

Improve Your Max
Before you try a maximal lift, load the bar with a weight that's 20 to 30 percent heavier than what you think you can handle. Then simply lift it off the rack, hold for 1 to 2 seconds, and put it back. Wait 3 to 4 minutes, then try your true max—the weight will feel noticeably lighter. Never attempt this without a spotter.

Avoid Burnout
To see if you're overtraining, check your pulse first thing in the morning the day after a workout. If it's 10 beats per minute or more above normal, your body is still recovering.

Skip Tendinitis
Use a shoulder-width grip when doing upright rows. Unlike the traditional narrow grip, it'll help you avoid shoulder-impingement syndrome—an injury that causes tendinitis and bursitis.

Build Real Strength
Don't use machine weights exclusively. A study at Georgia State University found that older adults using exercise machines improved their strength on the machines an average of 34 percent in 2 years. But their strength measures for everyday activities actually declined 3.5 percent.

Get a Big Back
Break cable rows into two parts. Hold the bar with your arms outstretched and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Then pull the bar to your body.

Feed Your Muscles
Satisfy your sugar cravings immediately after your workout. Eat at least 20 grams along with some protein. The sugar will help carry protein to the muscles you've just worked. So have a soda with your tuna sandwich, but limit your sugar intake the rest of the day.

End Back Pain
For every set of abdominal exercises you perform, do a set of lower-back exercises. Focusing only on your abs can lead to poor posture and lower-back pain.

Stop Screwing Up
Don't try to lose your gut by working your abs. Researchers at the University of Virginia found that it takes 250,000 crunches to burn 1 pound of fat—that's 100 crunches a day for 7 years.


Identify What's Stopping You from Losing Weight

By: Allison Winn Scotch
When your boss says, "We're not here to assign blame," duck. When we say you're not entirely to blame for your paunch, you're not off the hook. Nobody is the innocent victim of a drive-thru feeding. But there are sneaky factors—your friends, your family, your mindset—that can sabotage the best weight-loss plan. Your strategy: Identify the saboteurs, then adjust.

Your Wife
We do not suggest blaming her for your belly. This would be (a) wrong and (b) a reasonable defense at her trial. But know this: Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that men and women usually gain 6 to 8 pounds in the first 2 years of marriage. "Once you're married, that need to impress is gone," says Edward Abramson, Ph.D., author of Marriage Made Me Fat. "You may go to the gym less often, go out for meals or to parties more frequently, and develop new rituals, such as sitting on the couch with your wife and snacking."

Fix your head: Regain that need to impress. Imagine what that girl at the gym thinks of your gut—or what she'd think if you had abs. (Just don't hit on her.) As for that bowl of popcorn with your wife, Abramson says, ask yourself, Why am I eating? Boredom? Habit? Better yet, ask her to stop bringing those binge foods into the house.

Fix your routine: Establish healthful rituals. Instead of Access Hollywood after dinner, take regular walks, or play H-O-R-S-E in the driveway. (P-I-G might work better.) Exercise suppresses appetite. Cool down with Italian ice (120 calories per cup) instead of ice cream (290 calories per cup).

Her Belly
Dads-to-be gain almost 5 pounds from the end of their partner's pregnancy to the baby's first birthday, Australian researchers report. It's especially common in young, stressed-out fathers, says Lawrence Schwartz, author of Fat Daddy/Fit Daddy. And the cycle repeats with each kid.

Fix your head: Be a heroic provider, not a sympathetic eater. Prepare as if fatherhood were a sport—because it will be.

Fix your routine: Read her pregnancy books—they're full of excellent nutritional advice. As for her binge snacking and ice-cream jags, adopt a simple policy, says Schwartz: "She can have it, but you shouldn't." Maintain your exercise routine, especially weight lifting. "It's only going to be that much harder to get back into an exercise routine once the baby's here," says Schwartz.

Your Kids
The presence of children in a household sharply increases the likelihood of tempting junk food in the cupboard. Some of it ends up in adult mouths. Same goes for stray nuggets and fries left over by finicky kids. "I call this 'trolling,' " Schwartz says. "If you're prone to troll, the easiest thing to do is to avoid the Happy Meal altogether."

Fix your head: Grow up. Think: The sugary snack that a child will burn off with an hour of fidgeting will haunt you as a fat deposit. Read the nutrition label on any snack before unwrapping it. Realize the importance of setting a good food-and-exercise example.

Fix your routine: Make junk food a once-a-week thing. Designate Friday as Twinkie day. And instead of standing on the sidelines to watch your son's game, volunteer to coach, ump, or ref. Make fitness a family thing.

Craig Ferguson
Not getting enough deep, non-REM sleep inhibits production of growth hormone, which might lead to premature middle-age symptoms—abdominal obesity, reduced muscle mass and strength, and diminished exercise capacity. You become Homer.

Fix your head: "Mentally disengage yourself before you hit the sack," says Jim Karas, author of The Business Plan for Your Body. Don't plot a staffing reorg before bed.

Fix your routine: Exercise in the morning or afternoon, says Eric Nofzinger, M.D., director of sleep neuroimaging research at the Western Psychiatric Institute. Evening workouts may leave you too stimulated to sleep. Establish a ritual that signals your body that the day is over 30 minutes before bedtime—turn off the computer, read, stretch, or set the TV volume low, says Karas.

Your Shift
Workers gain 7 pounds on average when they switch from a day to a night shift, according to the New York Obesity Research Center. Men working the graveyard shift tend to eat a big evening meal and go to work, says Jim Waterhouse, Ph.D., author of Keeping in Time with Your Body Clock. "Then they come home to another 'supper' in the morning."

Fix your head: Adjust your concept of mealtime, says Waterhouse.

Fix your routine: Eat your biggest meal when you get home from your shift, Waterhouse says, then relax or exercise in the morning. Get 8 hours of sleep in the afternoon, then wake up and have breakfast. Kicking off your workday (even if it starts in the evening) with a light meal that's high in protein or fiber is crucial for weight loss.

Your Stress
Stress will spike levels of the hormone cortisol, which tells your body to store fat. "Unfortunately, some people appease their anxiety by reaching for fatty foods," says Elissa Epel, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco. Eating boosts insulin levels; combining that with cortisol leads to greater fat deposits. More stress, bigger belly.

Fix your head: First, identify the type of stress you're under, Karas says. "Is it temporary, like a bar exam, or more permanent, like your job?" Short-term stress will pass. Long-term stress may require a permanent solution, like a new job.

Fix your routine: Make healthy eating effortless, Karas says. Buy snacks that won't send insulin levels soaring: high-fiber energy bars or single-serving bags of almonds or cashews. Fifteen minutes of explosive activity—hitting a speed bag or jumping rope—can alleviate anxieties after work. "It's about getting the tension out," Karas says.

Your Friends
Buddies can make or break a diet or workout plan, whether it's unconscious scarfing of nachos during the game or the lure of pumping beers instead of iron. Worse, some guys will deliberately try to sabotage your diet, just for sport. Want a cookie?

Fix your head: Admit you need support. "Let people know how to help you, and many will," says Beth Kitchin, an assistant professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Fix your routine: Eat a protein bar before meeting friends, so you?ll feel fuller. Drink a glass of water for every glass of beer. A time-tested strategy: Recruit a friend to diet or work out with you. Having someone to answer to is the best enforcement plan.


Study links diet to longevity, but with confusing findings

By Jennifer LaRue Huget

(File photo)
What you eat might well determine how long you live.
But it's not exactly clear what the optimal diet should be.
In a study published in the January 2011 edition of theJournal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers found that among 2,500 adults ages 70 to 79, those who maintained a diet consisting largely of foods deemed "healthy" were less likely to die and more likely to remain healthy than those whose diets included more of less-healthful foods during the 10-year period examined.
Researchers divvied the study subjects into six groups according to their predominant food choices among 108 food items tallied. Here's how the clusters fell out:
  • "Healthy foods" (374 participants)
  • "High-fat dairy products" (332)
  • "Meat, fried foods, and alcohol" (693)
  • "Breakfast cereal" (386)
  • "Refined grains" (458)
  • "Sweets and desserts" (339)

That "healthy foods" category was defined by relatively higher consumption of low-fat dairy, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish and vegetables and lower intake of meat, fried foods, sweets, high-calorie beverages and added fat.
After all kinds of controls were applied to rule out the effects of gender, age, physical activity, smoking, race, total calorie intake and other variables, the numbers showed that the "high-fat dairy products" group had a 40 percent higher risk of mortality than the "health foods" group and that the "sweets and desserts" group had a 37 percent higher risk than the "healthy foods" group.
The study concludes:
A dietary pattern consistent with current guidelines to consume relatively high amounts of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products may be associated with superior nutritional status, quality of life and survival in older adults.
But what to make of that "meat, fried foods and alcohol" group -- the one that you might notice is nearly twice the size of the "healthy foods" group? That group's not even mentioned in the news release (the study is not yet posted online) -- despite the fact that, when the numbers were crunched, that group's mortality risk was about the same as that of the healthy-eating group.
The study notes:
Unexpectedly, in this and several other studies, a pattern higher in red meat was not significantly associated with increased risk of mortality when controlled for relevant confounding factors. One suggested explanation is that plant-based diets may lower health risk because plant foods are protective, whereas diets high in animal foods may be more likely to increase risk only if the animal foods displace protective plant foods in the diet.
The study's lead author, Amy Anderson of the University of Maryland department of nutrition and food science, was good enough to make herself available to talk on the phone over the holiday weekend and tried to help me sort things out. I couldn't understand why the meat/fried food/alcohol group's relative good health wasn't singled out as helping keep folks alive longer, leaving all the credit to the "healthy foods" group.
Anderson followed up with an e-mail reviewing what she'd told me on the phone:
As mentioned on the phone, while we can't give definite reasons for our results, Table 1 in the paper [which shows percentage of total energy intake from selected food groups each cluster's diet] may provide some ideas for why the "meat, fried foods and alcohol" group didn't have a statistically significantly higher risk of mortality than the "healthy foods" group after controlling for many variables including education, physical activity, and smoking -- in other words, these other variables being equal. As Table 1 shows, the name of the "meat, fried foods and alcohol" group may be a bit misleading, because this group had a more similar diet to the "healthy foods" group than some of the others. We named the groups according to foods that people ate relatively more of in comparison to the other groups. The "meat, fried foods and alcohol" group ate on average about 4 percent of calories from meat, while the "healthy foods" group ate on average about 2.8 percent of calories from meat. The differences in fried food and alcohol intake between the "meat, fried foods and alcohol" group and the "healthy foods" group were also about 1 to 3 percent. In contrast, the "sweets and desserts" group ate on average about 25.8 percent of calories from sweets, while the "healthy foods" group ate on average about 6 percent of calories from sweets -- a difference of almost 20 percent in this food group. The "high-fat dairy products" group ate about 17.1 percent of calories from high fat dairy products, while the "healthy foods" group ate about 3.4 percent of calories from high fat dairy products -- a difference of almost 14 percent in this food group. In other words, it is not as though the "meat, fried foods and alcohol" group within this study population of 70-79 year-olds ate enormous quantities of these foods, just slightly more on average than the other groups. The "sweets and desserts" and "high-fat dairy products" groups, on the other hand, showed some more stark differences from the "healthy foods" group in their diets.
I appreciate Anderson's taking pains to help me with this. But the cynic in me has to wonder whether the finding that people who eat a bit more meat, fried food and alcohol manage to do all right, mortality-wise, may have been too out of whack with current dietary recommendations for comfort. Especially as the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, which are likely to promote consumption of whole grains and other plant-based foods, are about to be issued, I hope researchers will keep at it and tease this confusing situation out further.
Because if it really is okay to eat meat and fried food and enjoy alcohol after all, people should know about it.


The Longevity diet: The missing link is blood sugar. Blood sugar is the cause of aging,Diabetes,Obesity,Alzheimers..etc
(you do not have to be a diabetic to have this problem)
A popular diabetes diet in Europe was shown to reverse aging markers as the diabetes drug caused faster ageing and heart trouble. See here
Unfortunately billions of dollars are invested into diabetes and obesity drug makers so the public will never get this information
Posted by: healing1 | December 28, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse
It sounds to me as if the "cynic" in this article's author is looking for someone to give her the green light to consume as much meat, fried food and alcohol as she wants. I thought the study's lead author explained the findings quite well. It's basically "moderation in all things." Many studies show moderate consumption of alcohol can be a good thing. Same goes for meat, especially moderate consumption of lean meat and fish, and fried foods, as long as they are fried in good oils. I'm not aware of any scientist who claims consuming REAL servings of any of these things, while making whole grains, vegetables and fruit the bulk of your diet ever hurt anyone. The problems start when people super-size such foods to the exclusion of whole grains, fruit and veggies.
Posted by: lolly312 | December 28, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse
I'm going to use this study the next time I teach an advanced statistics course, as an example of 1) how to do things right, and 2) when you do things right, people who are not statistically literate (such as the writer here) will have a hard time, even when it is clearly explained (as it was -- to someone who knew statistics).
The basic methodology of the study was a clustering algorithm. That's a procedure which produces groupings based on minimizing differences within each group, and maximizing differences between groups. Clustering does not produce evenly spaced groups, because the world isn't evenly spaced; if you pulled a sample from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Tokyo, and grouped by physical location, two of the groups would be very close together, and a third one would not be far away from the two close ones. If you then tried to study weather with respect to physical location, you would discover that the close-together groupings didn't show much difference. That is what happened here. The meat/fried/alcohol group generally ate a healthy diet; they happened to indulge in some probably-not-healthy other stuff, but not very much of it. Differences were in the range of 1-3% (as differences between the location of Manhattan and Brooklyn are quite small plotted on the scale of the continent). Unsurprisingly, results in longevity were somewhere within the margin of error. (Just as the number of days it snows in Manhattan but not in Brooklyn are few and insignificant).
What the study says in terms of action is: eat a mostly healthy diet. There's not much difference between mostly healthy and perfectly healthy.
The writer was pushing for "so these other foods are okay." The study shows only that they don't seem to make a statistical difference in result, if the difference isn't very great in consumption. Apparently steak-and-eggs-with-a-beer consumers don't have that very often, and mostly eat like the healthy people, so it's not surprising they differ very little. Just as apparently, people who live on milkshakes really live on milkshakes, and pay the arterial consequences.
"Study shows two patterns of healthy eating and two patterns of unhealthy eating are common in general population" isn't much of a headline, but it's what this study shows. Period. Have a pork chop with your salad, and a glass of wine, now and then, if you like. This doesn't mean you can live on pork chops and wine.
And never talk to a reporter who has not, at least at one point in life, derived the Gaussian distribution from the limit of the binomial distribution.
Posted by: PasserThru | December 28, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse
Kind of hard to draw any conclusions from the study if the 'groupings' were not significantly different in their diets. To her credit, the scientist did explain that.
Unfortunately, these types of poorly constructed studies are often used by people and companies to push positions that the preponderance of science finds false. Confusion is the enemy of good advice, the friend of those who seek to deceive (or be deceived)
Posted by: mgferrebee | December 28, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse
The study author's explanation for the lack of a deleterious effect of eating meat is clearly and convincingly stated. It is very interesting that the meat group got only four percent of their calories from meat. I have contended for a long time that even meat eaters eat far more vegetables than even they realize. Now if they could just cut it all out . . .
Posted by: aspenhallinn | December 28, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse
Doesn't anyone ask about the quantities eaten? Not calories--quantity.
Posted by: joan10 | December 28, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse
Perhaps it's the writer's interpretation of this finding'...people who eat a bit more meat, fried food and alcohol manage to do all right, mortality-wise...'
that needs enlightenment.
A healthy lifestyle, with or without red meat, et al, means that you don't abuse any one food group.
If balance is the key to good living, surely a good steak, few glasses of wine and yummy desert every now and then won't hurt one's health as long as one has his/her health in sight at all times.
So have that juicy steak and enjoy
your workout the next day, too!
Posted by: writersMAMA | December 28, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse
Let me assure all readers, there is no confusion in this study!
My credits: Discoverer of the cause of obesity, the disease which leaves a trail of others in its wake. I condemned the pyramid food guide after one glance in 1992. Not a studied reaction but an instinctive,immediate revulsion predicting the epidemic obesity future.
I had survived 7 years, 1939-1946 (WWII)deprived of food, starvation, but escaped with a food regimen which has left me---I will be 86 on Jan. 7th--- in superior health.
I will not divulge the obesity code, I am waiting to sign a large organization to handle the recovery campaign.
That said---I will leave a hint; you are a misguided lot, greens and grains have promoted obesity ( I call it carbohydritis),you will be requested to abandon food guides and diets! You will become reacquainted with your inner ego, the gut. Needless to say, I have promoted red meat and saturated fat for ages. Why? It allows me to be well fed in small portions!
Send a BD card the address in
Why am I so well? I have an attitude! Does it show?
Posted by: hart0007 | December 28, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse
The main problem I see is that the researchers went into the study with a deeply ingrained hypothesis on what "healthy" eating meant. They even named of one of the categories they were supposedly studying "healthy foods"! Then, when they found another category that showed similar results in health and longevity, they did not adjust their reporting accordingly.
The fact that one of their categories was named qualitatively (e.g. healthy) rather than descriptively (e.g. high-fat dairy) shows their pre-experimental bias, and they continued to report their findings within these preconceived expectations. They highlighted that the "healthy foods" consumers lived longer, but chose not to highlight that the "meat, fried foods, and alchohol" group ALSO lived longer, This displays the pre-analysis bias they began the study with and could not fully shake when publishing their findings.
Kudos to Jennifer LaRue Huget for calling them on this. Science is all about re-evaluating preconceived ideas when experimental data does not match the hypothesis. Without this, there would be no advance in scientific understanding. 
Posted by: kcastro22 | December 28, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse
And what about people who just plain don't tell the truth about what they "REALLY" eat anyway?? If some so called dietetic groupie stopped me and asked what I ate, I would be tempted to tell her only the healthy things eaten, and not mention the See's Truffles I just consumed..........just like when men are asked how often they do stuff, lol. And so it goes, nothing really is new, is it?? Yet reams are written to support a group's existance to get research grants.
Posted by: kuchen | December 28, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Le rôle des antioxydants remis en question?

21 décembre 2010 - Une étude sur des vers1,2, réalisée par des chercheurs de l’Université McGill, vient remettre en question l’hypothèse3 voulant que les radicaux libres accélèrent le vieillissement et l’apparition de maladies. Depuis plus de 50 ans, les radicaux libres produits par notre corps sont considérés comme des ennemis qu’il faut combattre lorsqu’ils sont en surnombre. En revanche, les antioxydants, parce qu’ils peuvent neutraliser ces molécules, sont perçus comme bons pour la santé.

L’étude en question

Les deux auteurs de l’essai ont scruté la longévité de minuscules vers (Caenorhabditis elegans) couramment utilisés dans les essais en laboratoire. Ils les ont soumis à deux types d’intervention pour augmenter leur production de radicaux libres. Un groupe a été génétiquement modifié pour que son système de défense empêchant la production de ces molécules soit neutralisé; l’autre groupe a été exposé à un herbicide toxique (le paraquat).
Surprise : ces deux interventions, qui a priori devaient causer des problèmes, ont plutôt accru la durée de vie des vers. De plus, les vers mutants qui ont été exposés ensuite à des antioxydants (vitamine C et N-acétylcystéine), ont vécu moins longtemps. Le chercheur principal, Siegfried Hekimi, professeur au Département de biologie de l’Université McGill, a donc conclu que l’hypothèse qui associe les radicaux libres au vieillissement doit être revue : ils ne sont pas la cause du vieillissement, mais contribuent plutôt à le combattre.

Peut-on extrapoler à l’humain?

« Pas vraiment, répond Charles Couillard, professeur à l’Institut des nutraceutiques et des aliments fonctionnels et au Département des sciences des aliments et de nutrition de l’Université Laval. L’essai est bien mené d’un point de vue scientifique, mais on doit considérer ses conclusions avec réserve. Non pas sur leur exactitude, mais plutôt sur leur applicabilité à l’humain, poursuit-il. L’être humain demeure un organisme plus complexe que la plupart des modèles cellulaires et animaux utilisés en recherche. Le test ultime restera toujours l’étude clinique chez l’humain pour confirmer le tout. Impossible de s’en sauver », souligne-t-il.
Un avis partagé par le pharmacien Jean-Yves Dionne et par la nutritionniste Hélène Baribeau. « Cet essai est intéressant parce qu’il remet en question le dogme des radicaux libres et du vieillissement, mais jusqu’où? Ce n’est pas clair. Ces vers n’ont pas d’organes, ni de système nerveux », soutient Jean-Yves Dionne.
Selon lui, si on privait une personne de sa capacité à combattre les radicaux libres, comme on l’a fait pour ces vers, une série d’effets nocifs se produiraient. Il ajoute que les radicaux libres sont aussi des alliés dans certaines situations : « On sait, par exemple, que les globules blancs, pour être plus efficaces, bombardent les ennemis avec des radicaux libres. » « On sait depuis un bon moment que les radicaux libres jouent un rôle bénéfique dans certains processus physiologiques », renchérit Hélène Baribeau.

Le stress oxydatif : la cause ou la conséquence?

Le stress oxydatif est-il la cause ou la conséquence de différentes maladies, comme le cancer, lediabète et les maladies cardiovasculaires? Ou encore un système de protection?
Selon le professeur Couillard, il faut plutôt se poser la question suivante : « Doit-on éliminer le stress oxydatif? » « Oui et non, répond-il. Tout le monde s’entend sur le fait que le stress oxydatif transitoire est nécessaire au bon fonctionnement du corps humain (inflammation, réparation des tissus, protection contre les infections, etc.). Par contre, c’est le stress oxydatif chronique qu’il faut éliminer, car il est associé à de nombreuses complications liées aux maladies chroniques. Ces complications contribuent elles-mêmes au développement de maladies chroniques explique-t-il. Donc, un excès de radicaux libres serait la à la fois la cause et la conséquence de nombreux troubles chroniques ».
Qu’est-ce que le stress oxydatif?
Le stress oxydatif apparaît lorsque le système de défense dont disposent nos cellules s’affaiblit ou est débordé par une trop grande production de radicaux libres. Ces derniers sont des atomes ou des fragments de molécules qui comprennent des électrons non appariés (célibataires). Comme ils sont particulièrement instables, ces électrons cherchent à se stabiliser en se liant à un électron appartenant à une autre molécule. Résultat : ils déstabilisent les molécules voisines, entraînant une réaction en chaîne qui provoque des dommages aux cellules. Par exemple, l’oxydation des protéines du cristallin peut conduire à la cataracte. Le stress oxydatif peut même perturber le programme de la cellule. Si les gènes responsables de la division cellulaire sont touchés, un cancer peut être initié. Le stress oxydatif serait aussi un facteur contribuant aux maladies cardiovasculaires et neurodégénératives (maladie de Parkinsonmaladie d’Alzheimer).

Périmés, les antioxydants?

« Les antioxydants ne sont pas une panacée. De saines habitudes de vie (nutrition et exercice) fournissent généralement au corps tout ce dont il a besoin du point de vue antioxydants », affirme le professeur Couillard.
« C’est vrai que l’effet préventif des antioxydants sur les maladies chroniques n’est pas prouvé, mais c’est une hypothèse logique et ce n’est pas dangereux pour notre santé, avance Jean-Yves Dionne. Les suppléments de curcuma, par exemple, sont souvent la seule façon d’obtenir une dose efficace sans avoir à manger de la cuisine indienne 3 fois par jour ».
« Les suppléments fournissent des composés isolés et concentrés, mais je ne suis pas sûre que ce soit un bon point, fait valoir Hélène Baribeau. L’avantage des aliments, comme le montrent les travaux de Richard Béliveau, c’est qu’ils fournissent à la fois de petites doses et une grande diversité d’antioxydants. Ils contribuent ainsi probablement à maintenir un rapport antioxydants-radicaux libres équilibré. »

À suivre

Hélène Baribeau estime que, même si cet essai vient secouer certaines certitudes, il est beaucoup trop préliminaire pour changer les recommandations nutritionnelles. « La médiatisation de cet essai risque de contribuer à la confusion du public au sujet de l’importance de manger des fruits et des légumes », s’inquiète-t-elle.
Jean-Yves Dionne croit qu’il est nécessaire de développer un discours plus clair et de préciser les spécificités des antioxydants les plus actifs, les plus intéressants, sinon « on va continuer à se perdre dans le brouillard ». Selon Charles Couillard, d’autres études, sur des modèles plus évolués que les vers, doivent être effectuées pour mieux comprendre le stress oxydatif. « En attendant, on consomme des fruits et des légumes parce que c’est bon, et on comprendra plus tard, on l’espère - et on y travaille -, comment ces bénéfices se produisent, conclut-il.
Antioxydants : un mot trop général
Le terme « antioxydants » regroupe des centaines de substances différentes qui ont des effets différents et des sites d’action différents. « C’est comme le terme "médicament", qui regroupe des molécules extrêmement diverses, explique Jean-Yves Dionne. Par exemple, c’est vrai que lecafé renferme autant d’antioxydants que le thé, mais ce ne sont pas les mêmes et ceux du thé sont nettement plus intéressants! », fait-il valoir.
Charles Couillard apporte un éclairage complémentaire : « Pour les fruits et légumes, les scientifiques abandonnent tranquillement l’appellation antioxydant. Ils préfèrent les mots polyphénols ou flavonoïdes. Pourquoi? Parce qu’on commence à observer que la principale activité de ces composés n’est pas un effet antioxydant dans le sang : ils sont très peu absorbés dans l’intestin et ne restent dans le sang que durant 4 heures ou moins. C’est de plus en plus l’activité des polyphénols sur le plan cellulaire qu’on cherche à comprendre, c’est-à-dire leur effet sur les tissus vasculaires, adipeux, musculaires, cérébraux, etc. Les chercheurs se penchent aussi sur les effets des substances produites à la suite du passage des polyphénols dans l’intestin. »
Les molécules qui ont des effets antioxydants ont d’autres propriétés tout aussi intéressantes, sinon encore plus, confirme Jean-Yves Dionne. C’est le cas, par exemple, des curcuminoïdes, présent dans le curcuma. « Les curcuminoïdes sont des antioxydants de 50 à 100 fois plus puissants que la vitamine E, souligne-t-il, mais c’est surtout leur effet anti-inflammatoire et leur effet anticancer qui intéressent les gens. »
Le panier antioxydant déborde donc pour cause de généralisation. « Quand on généralise beaucoup, on risque de se tromper beaucoup, soutient Hélène Baribeau. Des essais préliminaires indiquent, par exemple, que certaines personnes sont sensibles à la molécule anticancer du brocoli et que d’autres ne le sont pas. Nos gènes joueraient donc un rôle important à ce chapitre. La nutrigénomique nous donnera peut-être des réponses plus claires dans... une vingtaine d’années! »

Françoise Ruby – PasseportSanté.net

1. Denham Harman est un chimiste, biologiste et médecin gérontologue, professeur émérite à l'Université du Nebraska.
2. Yang W, Hekimi S (2010) A Mitochondrial Superoxide Signal Triggers Increased Longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS Biol. 2010 Dec 7;8(12):e1000556. Texte intégral :
Note. Cette équipe de chercheurs avait publié en 2009, une étude semblable, qui avait fait l'objet d'une nouvelle dans notre site : Vieillissement: inutiles, les antioxydants?
3. Cette hypothèse a été énoncée en 1957 par Denham Harman, un spécialiste américain du vieillissement


Monday, December 27, 2010

Rule Number One: Do What Works

These Are the Facts:

  1. There is no "best training program" for everyone.
  2. What works great for others in the gym may work terribly for you. Likewise, what has worked very well for you may not do jack for someone else.
  3. You must develop the confidence to abandon the training programs that don't pan out. Give different programs a fair shot, yes, but ditch the methods that don't produce results.
  4. The only way to find your optimal program and achieve astonishing results is to stop copying routines and start acting like a scientist in order to discover your own "best" program.
  5. Tinker with the variables (split, exercise selection, frequency, volume, intensity, periodization, etc.), and gain insight into how your body responds.

Look to Science! (Or Just Look Around Your Gym)

A new study by Timmons published in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that genetics might play a large role when it comes to training response. This is an exciting new area of research that warrants more attention, especially as it pertains to hypertrophy.
But if you're not the science-type, just stand in the middle of the gym and do a panoramic 360 degrees. You'll see jacked freaks training right next to guys who look like they've never touched a dumbbell in their lives... yet both types are lifting hard. Steroid use aside, some guys respond like crazy just looking at a barbell while others barely grow even though they're doing "all the right things."
The fact is, there are numerous differences that exist genetically, biomechanically, and physiologically between individuals. But don't get discouraged if you don't find yourself in the freak crowd. Every lifter can get stronger, get bigger, and get leaner with sound training methods, but he must learn to think for himself and figure out what works for his body.
To illustrate, here are five methods I had to abandon because they just didn't work for me, even though they've worked great for others.
Abandoned Method #1: 
Yes, I know. Some people thrive with this method, including most professional bodybuilders. But the majority of lifters do not progress optimally from this methodology!
For me, training a lift or muscle group once per week results in a quick spike in strength that lasts a couple of days (stimulation), followed by a plateau that lasts a couple of days (retainment), followed by linear degradation in strength (detraining). By the time the next week rolls around, I'm weaker than the previous session.
I can't progress on any lift by only training it once per week. I need to program more frequency into my routines.
My old workout partner? He was the opposite. After years of experimenting with all types of routines, we realized that he grows best using a typical high-volume, body part split where he hammers a muscle group once per week.
After following high-volume, body part split training for far too long, I tried HIT or High Intensity Training. I was blown away by how well it worked for me. It was the "best" program for me... at that time.
Here's a quick HIT-style plan that worked very well for me in the past. If you find yourself not responding anymore to the high-volume splits, give this one a shot:



Every lifter should experiment with low-volume, infrequent training to see just how low they can go in volume and frequency and still keep their strength and size. Most people would be very surprised by the results of a well-planned, two day per week, full-body workout.
Abandoned Method #2: 
Don't get your squat suit in a bunch. When I first learned of the Westside Method I was pumped! This was the answer to all my struggles.
I was slow off the floor and out of the hole, so I needed speed. If I utilized the box squat and good morning I could train these lifts more frequently because they weren't quite as taxing on the CNS as regular squats and deadlifts.
And if I really focused on arching my back with the lighter loads used in the Dynamic Effort method and the box squat and good morning, it would resolve my tendency to lean forward in the squat and round my back in the deadlift.
Oh, and my bench lockout was lousy, too. Board presses were going to fix that! Right?
Wrong! After twelve weeks of box squatting I went from a 275-pound max to a 405 max on the box squat. I went from 225 to 405 in the sumo stance, arched-back good morning. I was jacked! My speed was up from the dynamic effort method and my board presses were up too.
Boy, was I in for a rude awakening.
When I tested my free squat, deadlift, and bench press, I found that my strength on all three lifts had notimproved. I could box squat more than I could free squat and my deadlift actually decreased in strength. This is when I realized that my programs require specificity.
I know of many individuals whose deadlift goes up from all sorts of things -- shrugs, bent over rows, good mornings, Zercher squats, barbell hack squats, etc. My deadlift responds best to actual deadlifts.
Abandoned Method #3: 
I used to think taking a week off was good for the joints, plus it allowed my body to supercompensate in strength. But every time I returned to lifting after taking a week off, I was weaker and I'd get absolutely crippled after coming back. Weak and sore is no way to go through life!
When I learned about the concepts of deloading and fluctuating training stress, I thought this was the answer: a happy medium, just enough to stimulate the muscles while allowing the body to heal, ramp up in anabolic hormones, and rejuvenate itself.
Much to my surprise, that never worked for me either! Deloading made me weaker and didn't allow me to hold onto my strength.
Plenty of lifters thrive off of a rest week or a week of deloading. Most powerlifters peak this way. However, this just doesn't work for me. If I entered a powerlifting meet I'd probably deadlift heavy three days prior to the meet. That's just how my body works.
Now, let's remember the premise here: Some things will work for you while other things will not. This isn't an anti-deloading manifesto. Try it. Evaluate it. Make your own decision. Don't cling to the methodology just because your favorite strength coach likes it. You decide.
Glute-ham raises work the hell out of my hamstrings and they might help me run faster, but they don't increase my squat or deadlift. Ab wheel rollouts cripple my abs, but they don't make me stronger at the big lifts. Single-leg work doesn't transfer well to my powerlifting total, nor does core stability work.
Clearly these lifts aren't my "weak links." There are tons of great exercises that don't seem to help build my big lifts; however, many probably contribute to hypertrophy and athleticism.
Abandoned Method #5: 
Periodization may be the greatest trick the devil ever pulled.
Show me a lifter who did well with strict pre-planned periodization and I'll show you a fool who could've seen even better results had he known had to autoregulate.
Don't get me wrong, periodization in general is much better than just going to the gym without a plan, purpose, or system. However, a lifter with a superior knowledge of tweaking the workout based on biofeedback will trump the average lifter in terms of gains.
A lifter who knows how to autoregulate will modify the workout based on his or her intuition and interpretation of "clues" that the body gives off. Since it's impossible to predict a lifter's particular physiology on any given day, as physiologic levels are affected by factors such as sleep, stress, diet, and environment, it's very practical to adjust the workout intuitively. "Cybernetic periodization" was the term Mel Siff used in  Supertraining,
All great lifters have mastered the ability to listen to their body and adjust the workout accordingly.

Do What Works... Until It Doesn't Work

What works best one year might not work best the following year. Needs morph over time.
By experimenting with different exercises and program variables such as frequency, volume, and intensity, you can ride the wave and experience much greater results than the guy who sticks to their favorite guru's cookie-cutter recipe of the month.