The gluttonous month of Mass March has come to an end and this year’s 6 contestants put on a combined weight of 47lbs!
With 12.6lbs gained, I was able to regain my Mass March title. Admittedly my bodyfat did raise by 3 percentile (from 12 to 15), but it was still a MUCH cleaner bulk than 2 years ago (gallon of homo milk a day).
1. Eating more food than I ever imagined possible. Again and again and again.
I seriously shudder when I think about the meals I consumed over the past 30 days. It was on more than when occasion when consuming a meal brought me to the verge of tears. The pain was often unbearable, pushing one’s stomach well past the limit not once, not twice, but three times a day. Then add two liquid meals on top of that, because chewing five supersized meals was out of the question. I was almost always bloated, slow, and sluggish from constantly being in a state of digestion.
2. A disciplined regimen, planned out for every day, meal, and workout.
I followed this regimen (with a few minor changes, all made beforehand and saved in an excel spreadsheet) taken from Tim Ferriss’ health blog featuring a program by GSP’s trainer Dr. John Berardi. It’s very comprehensive and NOT for the faint of heart. Having a detailed plan for all 30 days meant there was no reason to falter.
3. A lofty goal.
I set my goal for 20lbs and although I was 7lbs short, 12.6lbs is the most weight I have ever gained in one month, making me the heaviest I have ever been. Setting a lofty goal serves more like a vision, it allowed me to really push it and break my previous record. As Bruce Lee once famously said:
Well folks, it’s the third annual Mass March, the month when only the manliest of men take 30 days to pack on as much as lean muscle as we can.
It’s all about transformation and putting our bodies’ to the test. People often frown upon it, but for many of us it’s harder to put on weight than it is to lose it. Without further ado, here are this year’s contestants–who will have the iron will this year and be crowned the Mass March Champion of 2014?
Reigning champ (7.4lbs)
City of residence: Vancouver, BC
Starting weight (March 1st): 76kg (168lbs)
Mass Goal: 4.5kg (10lbs)
Motivation: “Defending the title!”
Diet: Simple. Calories in > Calories Expended. 5000 calories per day, with a few clever natural supplements to establish a bit of an edge.
Workout: 5-3-1 protocol (3 weeks of progressively increasing major lifts, with a “deloading week” to prevent plateauing).
City of Residence: Krakow, Poland
Starting Weight (March 1st): 84.2kg (186lbs)
Mass Goal: 3.6kg (8lbs)
Motivation: “Hate what you see in the mirror!”
Diet: Eat healthy, I don’t count calories. Eat when I am hungry. Protein every 3 hours.
Workout: Lift any weight I see for that particular day. I do isolation workouts. Day 1 Arms, Day 2 Chest, Day 3 Back, Day 4, Shoulders, Day 5 Legs. Repeat, no rest days, you get enough rest in your sleep. Abs every other day, no cardio.
City of residence: Winnipeg, Canada
Starting weight (March 1st): 96kg (212lbs)
Mass Goal: 6.8kg (15lbs)
Motivation: “Live to lift, love to eat, bump the beats and pray for gains.”
Diet: Backload, Warrior style diet, No Carbs in the AM to up regulate fat burning and heighten insulin sensitivity, Carbs during/prior to training, Mini Skipload’s (Eat as much high GI carbs in a 3hr window) when I feel flat or the pump is lacking at the gym (usually EoD due to very physical job), Protein from Eggs/Beef/Chicken/Fish, Low GI Carbs from Yams/Whole Oats/Jasmine Rice, Fats from Free Range Whole Eggs/Fish Oil/Coconut Oil, Skiploads include Chips/Pop tarts/Children’s cereal/Baked Treats/Chocolate Rasins pretty much anything high GI while watching fat content.
Workout: No days off, 4 day split, Legs/Arms/Chest+shoulder/Back rinse an repeat, MTUT, Tension over time, resistance bands, chains, heavy weight, high volume, reverse sets, foam rolling, 10-12k speed walk 5 days a week. The pump is the cure!
City of residence: Vancouver, British Columbia
Starting weight (March 1st): 178 lbs
Mass Goal: 3lbs of muscle; playing it loose with total mass goal
Motivation: “‘Ishes don’t care about cardio!”
Diet: Eggs in the morning, EVOO in the shake, skim milk and trail mix all day, red/white meat at night
Workout: Four no-excuse-are-you-a-hunk-or-not early morning workouts per week (+regular squash, soccer, football, dball intramurals) TIME TO GO TO WERKWERKGOTOWERKK. Push-pulls, legs and shoulder/arms/abs.
Mass March 2012 Champ (11.8lbs)
City of residence: Vancouver, British Columbia
Starting weight (March 1st): 68.5kg (151lbs)–yeah, hot yoga will do that to you
Mass Goal: 9kg (20lbs)–20lbs or bust!
Motivation: “Changing your body allows you to understand your body, which, in turn, allows you to understand yourself.”
Diet: Eat ridiculous amounts of food. Cycled with low-cal days, high-cal days, and fasting days.
Workout: Training like a Warrior; 5 days a week; following GSP’s program, because UFC fighters know a thing or two about how to put on muscle fast.
I honestly never thought I’d say this, but I’m officially a fan of hot yoga.
Ever since yoga became a mainstream leisure activity, I frowned upon it, judged those who did it, and borderline resented it. I was dragged into it a few times throughout my university days and found it to be unbearably boring and uncomfortable.
That has since changed…
On Monday I started a 2-Week Hot Yoga Challenge; hot yoga every morning from 6:30-7:30am for 12 days straight. Today marked day 6, the official halfway point of the challenge, and I have nothing but positive things to say about it.
1. Flexibility, Mobility, and Energy
This is the cliché of yoga, which had previously annoyed me. I figured that just being active and stretching a few times a week would save you the dreaded “namastes” on a mat for an hour. However, as I reached the ripe age of 25 I found myself behind a desk for much of the day and my youthful limberness was leaving me rapidly. Gym sessions after work became torturous the morning after and weekend sports? Forget about it.
My body was taking a beating from my active lifestyle and all of a sudden crushing weights at the gym was no longer the solution (not that it had been for my women issues, but a man can dream, right?). My lower back was constantly stiff, sending a chain reaction of pain and misery down to my lower body. I can honestly say that only 6 days in yoga has really alleviated that tightness. My flexibility has improved immensely and my general gait has regained that bounce. As for the energy, that leads me to the second point…
2. The 5am Club
Nearly every self-help book out there always hammers in the fact that the most successful people wake up at 5am. World renowned motivational speaker Robin Sharma coins it as “The 5am Club”. It was something I considered trying, but the yoga challenge has finally given me that excuse to do it. The first morning was tough, but after that, it’s a breeze. Seriously. The only hard part is getting to bed at 9:30pm, but how many productive things do you actually do between 9pm and midnight?
Waking up at 5am is liberating, but also paradoxical in the sense that waking up early makes you feel less tired throughout the day. It’s that feeling of accomplishment–that you’ve done something before most people have even got out of bed. By knocking out that first positive in the morning, you’re just cruising throughout the day. At least that’s how I feel.
3. The Finer Details
Yes, it’s true what they say. As a guy, yoga is pretty awesome because you’re surrounded by fit, attractive women. Wearing skin tight clothing. Doing poses that you thought only existed on late night television…
Needless to say, I’m looking forward to week two and encourage all those who haven’t yet done it, to seriously give yoga a try.
After 3 months, here are my figures for the end of December (see original post HERE)
1. Bench Press – 175 (15 pound increase)
2. Military Press – 120 (20 pound increase)
3. Squat – 250 (30 pound increase)
4. Deadlift – 260 (30 pound increase)
Supplements taken for the first 3 months of the program have been whey protein, BCAAs, L-Glutamine, and a pharmaceutical grade Creatine Monohydrate, prepared by my brother, a registered pharmacist.
Creatine is a naturally occurring substance produced by the body’s liver and helps to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides the energy for muscle contractions. Also found in foods such as meat and fish or in supplement form, creatine is known to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help the muscles recover more quickly during exercise. It is used by top tier athletes and is now being tested as a treatment for heart ailments and neuromuscular disorders.
The most important things of the strength challenge (aside from the creatine of course):
Invest in at least one private lesson with a personal trainer and go over the form for all the lifts and some good warm-up exercises to reduce risk of injury and increase performance.
The last week of every month is called “de-loading” and it is astonishingly hard to go to the gym and do 5 reps at a weight that doesn’t even a break a sweat. Trust me, it will pay dividends.
Strength gains are a long road and it’s important to stay focused on form and mental toughness. Don’t go too fast or you’ll injure yourself; but don’t go too slow or you won’t make progress. Find that steady increase which works for you.
I think one of my favourite parts about fitness is the linear transparency it has.
There are countless things in life where people say “what you put in is what you get out,” but in reality, it’s usually not true, as there are numerous variables that must be accounted for.
Fitness, on the other hand, allows things to be planned and regimented to the most minute details and does well to remove a substantial amount of those variables. It’s one of the few things in life where you can set your goal, plan your course of action, and then achieve it. Achieving one’s goal is a phenomenal feeling and results in the desire and motivation to succeed in other facets of life. Success breeds success, which is why fitness is so important in one’s daily life.
For the better part of the past decade, my main goals in fitness have revolved around “gaining” (a.k.a. putting on weight, preferably in the form of lean muscle mass). Very aesthetic focused, less-focused on strength and performance. A debilitating knee injury a few years ago caused my priorities to shift more onto performance and less on aesthetics. Since then I’ve slowly phased out the bodybuilding regimens for more athlete-catered, full-body workouts.
This brings me to my current goal: Strength.
“Use your BODY every way you can, it is the greatest instrument you will EVER own.”
-Baz Luhrman (Sunscreen)
The human body is a remarkable thing. Why not push it and see what it can really do?
The Quest for SuperHuman Strength Gains
The regimen is inspired by Jim Wendler’s 5-3-1 as seen HERE
The 5-3-1 is rather simple, focusing on FOUR movements. I have provided my training maximums for the “Big 4″ when I started the program in October:
1. Bench Press – 160lbs
2. Military Press – 100lbs
3. Squat – 220lbs
4. Deadlift – 230lbs
The program requires 4 workouts a week, with each day based around the ONE compound movement, then followed up with other exercises of your choice, usually to compliment it. For example, on Squat day I will perform the squats as per the 5-3-1 regimen, and then finish the day with a superset of 1-legged squats, box jumps, and single leg dead lifts (all leg movements). That way I can be fully rested for chest day, if I wanted to do it the day after. The goal is to lift as much as possible, so the key is to not get carried away. Focus on the big lifts, the others are just extra.
What separates this program from all the others I’ve done in the past is its longevity. In order to see drastic strength increases, you need to put in the time. 5-3-1 is designed to be a year-long program, with steady strength increases over the course of 12 months. This may seem “less drastic,” however, a 10-pound increase each month for a year results in a 120-pound strength gain–very drastic indeed. I’m used to doing 1-month programs; the discipline for a year will be, bar none, the hardest part of this strength challenge for me.
After over a year of macho, testosterone-charged posts and challenges, I am happy to announce New Age Hero’s first ever female blog post, courtesy of friend, med school student and fitness enthusiast, Andrea Wasilewski.
Bikini Body Blitz
This blog is all about the New Age Hero- and what’s more new age than a heroine? I’m honoured to be the first female contributor to New Age Hero and hope to show all the girls out there that muscles aren’t just for the boys!
After years of working out I’ve come to realize that personal fitness is one area in which you can’t cheat to get ahead. If you eat a cookie- the scale knows. If you skip a few workouts, well like Shakira said- your hips don’t lie. Achieving results takes time, diligence and unfortunately a lot of saying NO. But fitness is one area that when you put in the effort the results are beautiful.
With that said ladies, bikini season is right around the corner! So it’s time to dust off those Nikes, put down the cupcakes and pick up some weights. In preparation for my trip to Ibiza (hello nude beaches!) I’ve decided to start a 30 day fitness challenge to a rock hard bikini bod.
Before I get into the specifics, let me just say that taking on a fitness challenge is sure to fail if you don’t have a well outlined plan with specific and, most importantly, realistic goals. Girls, I know stepping on a scale can be traumatizing so here’s some good news. Throw out the scales! The numbers on a scale don’t mean much here- we’re looking for specific measurements of progress: circumferential measurements. Measure your arm, waist, hip and thigh circumference once a week- on the same day and time each week! This is by far the best way to track your progress.
Weight: 64 kg, Height: 177 cm
BMI: 20.4 kg/m2
Biceps: 26 cm
Waist: 67 cm
Hips: 88 cm
Thighs: 52 cm
Weight training is a MUST if you want to build muscle, increase you BMR and burn fat. The fact is that most girls are scared of weights because they think they’ll end up looking like Arnold. This is FALSE. Weight training will give you definition and toning; and because of our low testosterone levels, looking like Sylvester Stallone is virtually impossible.
I will be doing high intensity weight training workouts 3 times per week with 3 days of cardio in between and 1 day of rest. My workouts are mostly Cross Fit based using a combination of kettle bells, dumbbells, weighted bags and TRX. Follow the link to videos of some of my favorite exercises:
To increase the effort in your workouts follow each set with a 1.5 min fast walk on an incline (incline of 5 on a treadmill at least). This walk is your break- so use this time to drink some water and prepare for the next set.
Running, swimming or any activities that get your heart rate up are acceptable for the cardio days. I prefer to run on a treadmill for 45 min to an hour and aim to cover at least 7 km each run.
Putting in the hours at the gym is essential but it’s your diet that will make or break you. I’ve had a lot of success with the Lean Gains diet in the past and I think it is the perfect counterpart to this fitness challenge. Lean Gains is all about maximizing your body’s ability to burn its own fat, You do this by altering the release of metabolic hormones, by breaking up your day into 2 zones: the fasting and feeding zones. You can check out the diet here:
This part is easy. Just don’t eat for 16 hours! It might take some getting used to, but I suggest including the time spent sleeping in the fasting zone. When you fast your body releases less insulin and this causes an increase in growth hormone. More growth hormone= more fat burned. You can NOT eat during this time but make sure to drink plenty of water! Coffee and tea (no milk or sugar) are also allowed.
Feeding zone (8 hours)
You are allotted 8 hours in the day for eating. You can eat anytime within those 8 hours and are generally encouraged to eat a pretty large amount of food. Below I’ll give an example of a typical diet I consume. It’s very important to maintain the feeding and fasting zones to maximize your body’s metabolism! Choosing the times you want to use for your zones completely depends on your lifestyle, so pick something that works for you!
Unfortunately, alcohol is not a feature of this plan. Unless you’re living the dream and day drinking, alcohol and partying will probably land in your fasting zone anyways. Nobody said this was going to be easy…
Fasting zone: 6 pm – 10 am
Feeding zone: 10 am- 6 pm
Non-training day (1740 kcal)
150 g turkey breast + 50g brown rice + 2 tbsp olive oil
300 mL plain yogurt + 100g cottage cheese + 100 g granola with dried fruit
4 whole eggs + 2 egg whites + 2 rice cakes
1 protein shake
Training day (2150 kcal)
150 g turkey breast + 50 g brown rice + 3 tbsp olive oil
300 mL plain yogurt + 100g cottage cheese + 100 g granola with dried fruit
6 whole eggs + 3 rice cakes
2 protein shakes
Vegetables are unlimited and can be eaten in any amounts during the feeding zone. Also make sure to stay hydrated! I aim to drink 3 L of water a day.
Well there you have it! Wish me luck and check in regularly as I’ll be posting progress updates.
After 4 intense weeks I finally finished the DTP program. It was very different from my previous routine but I loved it! I gained muscle and lost fat resulting in
I started the program at 178lbs and ended at 184lbs. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to calculate my body fat % at the beginning of the program, however, a few days after I finished (post 2 nights of drinking and binge eating!) I ended with 12.5% body fat. I did stick to every workout, and my diet was generally healthy. That being said, there were one or two nights out with alcohol and a couple cheat meals. I was impressed with my results and I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who has either hit a plateau or just wants a fresh change.
What I liked about the program:
The workouts were short but very intense
I could see improvements after each week (increasing weights for exercises)
Very simple to follow, and minimal equipment was required
Foam rolling significantly improved my legs, specifically calf definition which has always been a problem for me
Leg day was my favourite day, just because I have never pushed myself that hard even when I was doing squats
What I didn’t like about the program
There wasn’t anything truly negative about the program. Certain aspects of the program take time to adjust to; you have to be accommodating if you want to follow the program strictly.
The cardio sessions significantly increased my appetite, I woke up and ate 1 or 2 times in the middle of the night almost every night. This got a little annoying…
I don’t like going to the gym just for 20 minutes of cardio and not lifting weights, I felt like I could do so much more since I was already there but I didn’t
Chest and back on the same day, I did see results in the end, but I am stubborn and will return to splitting them
The day after each workout the specific muscle groups were very sore, the exercises really isolated each muscle group which was fantastic. My legs were constantly sore for the 4 weeks because of the cardio on rest days. No joke, it was a struggle to get out of bed a few times.
The mental aspect:
The absolute requirement for this program is a hard work ethic. This might sound cheesy but it’s true. To really gain muscle the last sets and reps count the most. DTP forces you to go to failure every set, at a specific amount of reps. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to drop a weight so badly because my muscles were sore. However, with a specific rep target, I forced myself to that number every time. I know a few years ago if I were to do this, I would have probably called it quits way before hitting that target, which would mean less gains. To be honest, your not working hard enough unless your making some weird faces or letting out a grunt when reaching failure. Why do you think you hear tennis players grunting after each swing of their Racquet; it’s because they are working their asses off.
More specifics for the nerd
Before DTP, I was lifting heavy, with long rest times. DTP is a mix of lifting heavy, with high reps and short rest times. The whole idea behind DTP is to put your body into shock, making it adjust and grow in response to the shock. Let me explain:
Essentially, muscles contain two types of fibers, slow-twitch (Type 1) and fast-twitch (Type 2a + 2b)
Slow-twitch fibers help to sustain your muscles over a long activity period, these provide fatigue resistance. ex. marathon runners.
Fast-twitch fibers generate a high amount of force in a short period of time. ex. sprinters
If like me, you constantly do a high weight and low number of reps with a long break, the primary fibers strained are the fast-twitch fibers. This leaves the slow-twitched fibers unstressed. So why train the slow-twitch fibers? Well, training more muscle fibers means greater overall gains in strength and muscle mass. That is the goal of this program. By increasing the amount of reps, and decreasing the rest time, you start to strain your slow-twitched fibers. This will allow them to grow along side your fast-twitch fibers.
Overall I would give this a program a 9/10 rating, just because nothing is perfect. I will definitely be doing this again, but for now it’s time to get cutting, Ibiza in 3 weeks!
Ok boys and girls, this is my first post so I hope you like it. After months of going back and forth, sharing progress reports, photos, and ridiculous conversations, Bear has convinced me to make a blog post. Time to put aside the med school text books and hit the world of blogging.
Anyway, over the past couple of years I have never followed a strict routine at the gym. I added in exercises here and there, made some adjustments and did what I thought worked best for my body. My diet has been relatively healthy and stable even with the limited time I have in school. Until recently, this satisfied me, but after time everyone hits a plateau, I have reached mine. So I figured it was time to try something I read about during the summer, the Dramatic Transformation Principle. In short, this 4 week program is a combination of high reps and high weights. There are 4 days of weight lifting each week, with a cardio day separating each of those days. You have to leave your ego at the door, no more maxing your bench press, sorry dudes.
Day 1: Legs, Upper Abs
Day 2: Cardio
Day 3: Chest, Back
Day 4: Cardio
Day 5: Arms, Lower Abs
Day 6: Cardio
Day 7: Shoulders, Upper Traps
I wont describe that many more details of the actual program because the link I provided has everything you need to know about it.
As of right now, I weigh approximately 178lbs, max bench press (with the bar): 245lbs, incline bench (dumbbell total): 220lbs, squat: 265lbs. Deadlift: Not sure sure since I have never gone for a max.
Currently, I just finished day 2/28. Day 1 was a total of 360 reps of leg press, 220 reps of calf press, and decline crunches
It’s pretty tough to pick a good weight to start with because of the amount of reps you are doing, and the superset with calf press, but you get the hang of it quickly. The point is to end each set to failure with 45sec to 1.5 min breaks. The work out takes about 45 minutes to complete.
Leg Press 10 sets of 50,40,30,20,10,10,20,30,40,50 reps
Today was day 2/28. It was weird going to the gym and not lifting a weight but I want to follow this program as closely as possible. The program suggests different forms to complete the cardio and I chose the treadmill.
3 minutes jogging, then 1 minute of running for a total of 20 minutes.
I started my 3 minute jog at 10km/h, and my 1 minute sprint at 14 km/h. I worked myself up to a 14km/h jog and 18km/h run for the last 2 cycles. I always put the treadmill on an incline of 1 just to make it a little more realistic to running on flat ground.
As of now, my legs are still sore, but I can’t wait for tomorrow, chest and back day!
In terms of diet, I am trying to eat as healthy as possible. Of course there are going to be some slip ups for those nights out, or going to restaurants; but for the most part it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
For this 4 week program I will be on whey protein powder, creatine, BCAA’s and using 1MR for my pre-workout.
Well, it’s time to finish cooking up this week’s meals and then get back to the books. Stay tuned, results of the DTP challenge will be posted in 4 weeks time! Happy Hulking!
Mass March is less than a week away and I plan on eating half a dozen eggs a day, yes yolks included. Am I putting myself on the fast-track for high cholesterol? Is a heart attack imminent? I’ve decided to shed light on the ever-controversial issue of egg yolks and cholesterol.
Since my days of undergrad (2007), I have eaten, almost without fail, 3 hard-boiled eggs a day, yolks included. That adds up to a total of 6,570 egg yolks and a whopping 1,314,000mg of dietary cholesterol in 6 years. Upon departing to Europe for my masters program, I took the liberty of getting a thorough check-up including full blood work, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and yes, the ‘cough’ test. Everything checked out nicely, in fact the doctor complimented me on my overall health (apparently milk thistle and greens multi+ does well to combat the after-effects of alcohol, but more on that in a separate post).
So, what gives?
We’ll start with a brief background of eggs.
Since the dawn of mankind, eggs have been a powerhouse of nutrition. They have long been characterized as one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, along with quality protein they also provide an array of vitamins and lutein, choline, and iodine–to name a few of their nutrients, all found in the yolk.
From the Journal of the American College of Nutrition
RDA of Major Nutrients from Two Large Eggs
% Daily Value
% Daily Value
Suddenly, their image took a nosedive as studies in the 1970s revealed high levels of cholesterol in eggs, spurring trends like egg whites and egg substitutes. More recent studies in this decade, however, have shown to bring clarity to the situation. From my research, their was one recurring theme disproving the unhealthy reputation of eggs and high cholesterol:
Dietary cholesterol DOES NOT have a significant impact on blood cholesterol levels or heart health.*
*trans fats, some saturated fats, and refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, are proven culprits
So, what exactly is significant? The impact of dietary cholesterol in eggs on plasma lipid levels (including blood cholesterol) is so minimal that, especially for healthy individuals, I would go as far to call it negligent.
From a 2000 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition:
“Research has not established a significant independent relationship between dietary cholesterol and LDL or total serum cholesterol levels, incidence of heart disease or heart disease deaths. Furthermore, data fail to show a relationship between egg consumption and either serum cholesterol levels or heart disease incidence. Recent research using an endpoint of heart disease and stroke rather than serum cholesterol levels calls into question the need to limit a high cholesterol food like eggs. In their analysis of data from prospective epidemiological studies, Hu et al.  found that consumption of up to one egg a day was not related to heart disease or stroke risk.”
A more recent study in 2006 in the Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care by Maria Fernandez brings further clarity to the situation. The study was conducted on a ‘healthy population,’ measuring the effects of dietary cholesterol and found 30% to be affected (hyperresponders) and 70% to be unaffected (hyporesponders). For the hyperresponder, dietary cholesterol increased the concentration of both LDL and HDL cholesterol, therefore nullifying any harmful effects*. The hyporesponders experienced little to no alterations in plasma cholesterol concentrations, even when challenged with high amounts of dietary cholesterol.
A word from Deep Dan (BSc in Human Biology):
Another key point in the Fernandez article: “Egg intake has been shown to promote the formation of large LDL, in addition to shifting individuals from the LDL pattern B to pattern A, which is less atherogenic.” In other words, Pattern B is small LDL which can easily pass through the endolethium and cause much more problems. Pattern A means LDL particles aren’t passing through easily and therefore posing almost no problems to an individuals cholesterol.
* HDL (High density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the good guy and acts to get rid of the bad guy, LDL (Low density lipoprotein) cholesterol by binding to it and returning it from the bloodstream to the liver. Therefore, high HDL and low LDL is ideal. In the case of hyperresponders, both levels are increased, but LDL is prevented from inflicting harm because it is equally matched with HDL.
The study concludes:
“For these reasons, dietary recommendations aimed at restricting egg consumption should not be generalized to include all individuals. We need to acknowledge that diverse healthy populations experience no risk in developing coronary heart disease by increasing their intake of cholesterol but, in contrast, they may have multiple beneficial effects by the inclusion of eggs in their regular diet.”
And now to a bit of an extreme case…
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine depicts an 88 year old man who has consumed a staggering 25 eggs a day for at least 15 years–soft boiled, yolks and all. The kicker? The patients plasma lipid levels* were COMPLETELY normal.
In no way am I endorsing a 25 egg-a-day diet, but it definitely provides an emphatic counter-perspective to the old 3 eggs a week guideline of the 80s.
*total cholesterol, 5.18 mmol per liter (200 mg per deciliter); LDL, 3.68 mmol per liter (142 mg per deciliter); and HDL, 1.17 mmol per liter (45 mg per deciliter). The ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol was 3.15
Well yolks, there you have it. The tastiest and most nutrient dense part of the egg isn’t going to kill you after all.
If you’re leading a healthy, active lifestyle, like almost all readers are, then quit buying those egg white substitutes and get cracking with the real thing. Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle-building, or just plain healthy eating, best to put yolks back on the menu.
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I’m halfway through my “Training Like an Olympian” challenge, with one more week to go. I have to admit, it’s gruelling and, at times, even painful–but it’s strangely addicting. It’s a different kind of hard work, but one which is very satisfying and productive. It’s been tough to balance everything, especially meals, which must be consumed in large quantities and frequently. I am loving the meals I’ve been making though, healthy and hearty to keep me fuelled through the day’s various workouts.
I’ll be honest, I’ve had to take a couple maintenance days, including a nice relaxing weekend on the lake. I came out a little Gung Ho at the start, fired up by the Olympic fever and the great montages that come with it. I had to pump the brakes after my body was screaming mercy and injury seemed imminent. Listening to your body is key, especially when you’re not used to working out for 4+ hours a day. If I’m feeling good I’ll do a gym and track workout, otherwise I’ll only do one.
After speaking with actual high calibre athletes and trainers, there is one thing which can and must be done the most: Foam Rolling. It hurts like hell, but is absolutely crucial to keep muscles limber and to speed-up recovery. They perform what is called Myofascial Release, which lengthens the connective tissue between muscles, bones, and nerves/blood vessels. The result is increased flexibility, range of motion, and circulation/blood flow. Sounds pretty good? It is, but not without a considerable amount of pain. Good pain, that is.
Bonus: Who is the hottest woman on the track?
Another great draw of the Olympics is the phenomenal bodies that grace the games. I’m torn between two of the most gorgeous women to step foot on the track: Lolo Jones and Jessica Ennis. Lolo has always been my number 1, but there’s just something so appealing about a chick who breaks records, wins gold, and, like Ennis, looks great in the process.