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Canola (Con-ola) Controversy

Guest Post by Marc Adlam

An interesting discussion came up yesterday about canola oil.  Is it good or not?  It gets a stamp of approval from all the official diet authorities, but the underground rumor is that it’s no good for you. A little research reveals that the naysayers may have it, but it is hard to say for sure.  If you want to get the full story, check out “The Great Con-ola” by Sally Fallon and Mary Emig, PhD. It is interesting to learn that the word “canola” is purely a marketing invention.  The word was designed to reflect the idea of “Canadian oil” because it was a Canadian who first learned how to genetically manipulate the rapeseed to reduce its levels of toxic erucic acid. They had originally called it LEAR oil (for Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed oil), but that didn’t have much marketing appeal.  Meanwhile, “canola” evoked images of “can do” and “payola” — both of which evoked positive marketing images.  And thus an industry was born! Again, the jury is still out on canola oil at the end of the day.  However, we tend to agree with Mark Sisson in this post suggesting to avoid canola oil altogether when there are so many better options out there:  olive oil, lard, ghee, butter, coconut oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, etc.

Besides, as he also points out, it seems a bit strange to ingest any food that has to be deodorized before you’ll buy it.  That just doesn’t seem right, does it?

http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/the-great-con-ola/

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dear-mark-canola-oil/#axzz3Eo2x22aY

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Workout Partners: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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Working out is one of your favorite things to do and you want to propel your gains to a level you have never reached before. Your first thought is how many supplements and food can I eat to make #gainz; your second thought however is how to properly choose a workout partner that will help you progress, get stronger, and push those heavy weights. There are a lot of positives and also negatives to workout partners, and this is coming from personal experience with both sides of the coin. Below I will present you with not only the pros and cons of workout partners, but also HOW to choose a proper workout partner based on your specific needs. Enjoy!

Pros:

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Spotting – Want a built in spotter for bench that knows your preferences and is always there to help you hit max weights, this is when a training partner is essential. I personally dislike asking people I don’t know for spots, because most of the time, they aren’t very good at it.

Accountability – There are a lot of people out there who wouldn’t set foot in a gym if it wasn’t for a workout partner motivating them to come. If you are the type of person who needs just a little push from others, a workout partner is almost essential.

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Motivation  – There isn’t a person on earth who would say a good workout partner didn’t help them to make any serious gains. When I had a solid workout partner my bench was at around 320#, it hasn’t been at that weight since 2004, when I had my training partner. A good training partner gives you just enough push to hit weights you wouldn’t normally do on your own.

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Form Police – There is only one way to properly coach form and that is to see it from the outside looking in. You could video all of your lifts but even then a second pair of eyes could be beneficial. A good workout partner will keep his or her eyes on your form at all times and give and constructive criticism when necessary.

 Cons:

Consistency – Some people just don’t want to train as much as they say they do. Your success will suffer if you rely on a training partner who will actually only workout with you once or twice a week, if at all. If this is your training partner, ditch him or her, and train on your own or find a new buddy.

Flakiness – My last training partner would schedule days to go with me to the gym and then cancel the night of. I would then reschedule for another day HOPING he would actually commit. Ultimately, he continued to flake so I stopped reaching out and went to the gym alone.

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Slackers – You may have a training partner who shows up to the gym on-time, every time, and meets all your overall criteria in a gym buddy but there’s just one thing you don’t like, they don’t workout. Its one thing to show up to a gym, its another thing to actually get the training volume in you prefer. I see it all over, training buddies more interested in talking than working. If this is your training partner, try to convert them or give them the boot!! Your success cannot ride on the shoulders of a gym slacker.

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Goals – You and your training partner need to have similar goals. If your partner wants to do all cardio and you want to hit weights, its not going to work out. Find someone looking to get big like you because lets face it, you don’t do cardio.

So how does one choose the perfect workout partner, and frankly, how do you find them? Well, if you consider all the above criteria then it seems like it could be a difficult process. The answer is Yes and no. The first workout partner I had was a co-worker who had the exact same goals as I. He was training at a differnet gym so I said “come to my gym” and from there we started an awesome gym relationship. We pushed each other, had competitions for weight gain, weights pushed or pulled, and just had fun while getting much bigger. We would bounce supplement ideas off each other, what worked, what didn’t. He was always on time and showed up for every workout. He was one of the best training partners I have ever had. I have gone through about 3 others since then and only one other, another co-worker, had matched up perfectly (see above push up picture). My last one was flakey, didn’t work as hard, and was inconsistent. He was a bomb and I dropped him and started working out by myself again. So, pick someone with similar goals, is on time, works hard, and pushes you to make gains safely. When you find this person, and where you find this person is up to you, but they are out there but choose wisely. Make them #gainz!

The Cost of Protein – Money Wasted Looking Great

Eating well costs money. One could easily live off ramen for a year and save quite a bit of money, but we won’t, because we are worth it. Instead, we are left to spend my money on lean beef,chicken, turkey, fish, veggies, fruit, and expensive healthy fats in order to eat clean.  There was an article years ago on 70’s Big  that breaks down here what the cost is for consumption of protein on a  daily, monthly, and yearly basis. The post is funny as hell, and really does make you realize how much you spend on keeping your physique in top form.

The Link:

http://70sbig.com/blog/2011/08/cost-of-protein/

The Anabolic Diet

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If you have never heard of the Anabolic “diet” then go check out this interesting article from TNation.com. I did some cliff notes of what the “diet” entails below for those who are not into clicking links. If you are having a hard time making gains while staying lean on your current regimen, maybe you should give this one a go.

Diet Goals:

According to DiPasquale, the Anabolic diet will:

• naturally maximize production and utilization of the “Big Three” growth producers — testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin

• shift the body’s metabolism from that of a sugar-burning, fat-producing machine to that of a fat-burning, muscle-building machine

• decrease catabolic activity in the body

• increase strength and endurance

• help you avoid health problems and stay in shape year round

• increase energy and decrease mood swings

• decrease even “problem area” fat

…and perhaps most importantly:

• scare the living shit out of vegetarians!

How TO:

Monday through Friday

Eat a diet consisting of 60% fat, 35% protein, and only 5% carbs. You’ll get the fat and protein mainly from steak, hamburger, eggs, and fish. Turkey, chicken, and tuna are all okay, but the password here is red meat. You’ll also eat full-fat cheeses, pepperoni, sausage, and certain nuts. The key is to generally avoid carbohydrates, eating only around 30 grams a day.

Saturday and Sunday

Switch gears. On the weekends, eat 30% fat, 10% protein, and a whopping 60% carbs!

Beast of the Week: Arnold Schwarzenegger

What does Beast of the Week Mean? If Strength Militia chooses a certain person for BOTW it means they have done something extraordinary in the area of wellness, fitness, strength and conditioning, bodybuilding, powerlifting, CrossFit, or anything health related. We at Strength Militia feel that if someone does something special in fitness they should be acknowledged for it…hence, the Beast of the Week honor.

Arnold Schwarzenegger played an integral role in the acceptance of bodybuilding, powerlifting, and fitness in general by the public. Arnie has multiple powerlifting titles as well as six straight Mr. Olympia Titles; in our opinion he had one of the best bodybuilding physiques of all time. We listed some of his PR’s from his career, damn impressive if we do say so ourselves. Hats off the Arnold Schwarzenegger for claiming our first installment of the Beast of the Week title. The world probably wouldn’t be the same without you Arnie; thanks for your contribution to the growth and continued support of the bodybuilding, weightlifting, and the powerlifting communities.

P.S. Thanks for the movie Pumping Iron, still a favorite of mine to this day.

Powerlifting/Weightlifting

During Arnold’s early years in bodybuilding, he also competed in several Olympic weightlifting & Powerlifting contests. Arnold won 2 weightlifting contests in 1964 & 1965, as well as 2 powerlifting contests in 1966 & 1968.

In 1967, Schwarzenegger competed in and won the Munich stone-lifting contest, in which a stone weighing 508 German pounds (254 kg/560 lbs.) is lifted between the legs while standing on two foot rests.

Personal records

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Schwarzenegger’s goal was to become the greatest bodybuilder in the world, which meant becoming Mr. Olympia. His first attempt was in 1969, when he lost to three-time champion Sergio Oliva. However, Schwarzenegger came back in 1970 and won the competition, making him the youngest ever Mr. Olympia at the age of 23, a record he still holds to this day.

He continued his winning streak in the 1971–74 competitions. In 1975, Schwarzenegger was once again in top form, and won the title for the sixth consecutive time, beating Franco Columbu. After the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest, Schwarzenegger announced his retirement from professional bodybuilding.

 

Strength Militia 30 Day Paleo Challenge

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I know it is super cliche to start a diet on the first of the year so hear me out. This holiday season was a complete and utter blowout for me. I literally held nothing back and went all in, at every meal. From Thanksgiving to New Years Eve, I had no filter and spared no cookie, brownie, pie or ice creams life in this time period. So, I decided that on the first of the next month (happened to be Jan 1st) I would push the refresh button and get back on track with my nutrition. Here I am almost a week into a full month of Paleo, struggling to avoid carbs like a kid in a candy store (get it, because candy is a carb and kids like candy). I don’t think anyone can really comprehend how much draw carbs have until they almost completely eliminate them from their diet. I really have to double-check myself at every meal, mostly at work but sometimes at home. It is very easy to slip back into eating shitty when in any given day, we are surrounded by food that isn’t good for us. At the end of the day though, I am being a very good eater and have stayed VERY strict with NO cheating and hope to continue this for the next 24 days. This is not my first time doing a session of strict paleo, and no I do not intend on staying strict all the time as I am human, and do live in Southern California (Mexican food is too amazing to avoid). However, most of the year we stay at around 80-85% Paleo, usually getting our cheat meals in on Friday night…YOLO (yep, I went there).

Cliff Notes:

  • I used the holidays as an excuse to binge on my homemade cookies
  • Strict Paleo is tough
  • Carbs are addictive
  • I am being a good boy – NO Cheating
  • I love Mexican food

Clean Bulk: I don’t think so…10lbs – One Month

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Happy Thanksgiving Ya’ll!!

I wanted to take some time, on this day when I will be carb loading like crazy, to go over my progress thus far. I weighed myself last night at the gym at I am finally pushing past the 180lb mark, tipping the scales at 182lbs. As you know based on my post below that my goal is 190lbs, staying at around 12-14% bodyfat for now. Having just got back into lifting (and eating) after three months off I am progressing at an amazing pace. In September of this year I was weighing in at my lowest weight in years, 168lbs. I was skinny, not eating, and not lifting; it was a nice break for my body but I missed everything I enjoy about eating, lifting, and getting bigger and stronger. I have officially gained around 14lbs from September and about 10lbs from just over a month or so ago when I started hitting the gym again. How did I do it? Well, there is no secret, I eat, and I lift about 3 times a week. I went ahead and posted a pic of the meals I have been eating over the course of the last month and there is a really solid blend of good, and shit food choices. But, my goal is to gain weight so I don’t let waffles, fries, and pancakes stand in my way…grab fork, shove down pie hole.

Meal Pic Choices:

  • Eggs and Bacon
  • Chicken – Shredded/Chopped
  • In and Out
  • Homemade Pancakes/Homemade peanut butter syrup
  • Homemade Waffles/Syrup/Whipped Cream
  • Ground Turkey – Patties and no patty form.
  • Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Cheese
  • Avocado
  • French Fries of varying sorts

Yup, nothing about some of these choices screams clean eating and it shouldn’t…that isn’t my focus right now. My focus right now is to eat, lift, and get bigger and eating and lifting are going to get me there. If you are trying to lean out, I wouldn’t suggest French fries nor would I suggest anything above that has flower in it (pancakes, waffles, buns, bread, etc.). However, the rest is a pretty good choice in regards to eating clean (Meat, veggies, etc.). Anyways, take this day (Thanksgiving) as a time when you can’t feel bad about eating as much crap as possible…consider it your duty as an American and if you are not American, just go eat and lift, business as usual.