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Everything posted by Cemmos

  1. Cemmos

    Introduce yourself!

    Welcome to Androgrow, folks! Tell the community a little about yourself down below; feel free to share as much or as little information as you'd like. A few pointers, if you need them: Your age and current occupation or goals (whether fitness or life related) How you found out about Androgrow (Google, Facebook, Twitter?) Your favorite type of workout or simply a lifestyle tip you'd like to share with others. I've already gone ahead and spoke a little bit about myself in the What got you into fitness? topic and the Welcome to Androgrow news update, so that's enough about me for now... Let's hear your stories.
  2. Cemmos

    Any gamers here?

    Definitely consider myself a gamer, although I have slowed down a lot in the past few years. But I grew up playing NES/SNES, N64, and PlayStation. Pretty much had most "major" consoles from then until now, but not the latest couple of Nintendo systems and Xbox One. PC holds up just fine, but it's getting to that point where I need to upgrade the GPU at least (and get away from SLI since companies never got into supporting it). I don't really have a particular genre I play more than others, but I think my most "nostalgic" one would be JRPGs. Anything Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Shin Megami Tensei, etc, are my jam. I played a lot of Call of Duty in high school since that's what everyone was into, and while I know what a lot of the gaming community thinks of that series, I really enjoyed it at the time. Might have to do this myself at some point. I'm surprised I never have yet, and it's been out for a while. The good thing is that it should be pretty cheap these days. Looks great tbh. I'm really looking forward to Ashes of Creation (it's an MMORPG). Haven't played MMOs for quite a while — the last one I was into for only a few months was Black Desert Online (minus playing the Korean test for quite a while beforehand. Game just went way too cash-shoppy and the grind isn't the good kind imo).
  3. At the moment, I'm mostly only taking creatine and LCLT on a daily basis. Drop a comment below with your answer after you vote in the poll!
  4. There's been debate about whether free weights or machines are best when it comes to working out at the gym. Instead of debating it, let's just take a look at the pros and cons of each, and which option may be best for you. We'll be leaving out cable machines since those have aspects of both (cables are great to use though, in case you wanted an opinion). Weight Machines Pros Easy to use. Because they're very mechanical, the movements make them really simple to use. If you're still in doubt, most machines in your gym will likely have a small picture set on them showing how to use the machine. Along with the pictures, there can also be a set of instructions for further reinforcement. Less chance of injury. Since they're easy to use, beginners and elderly don't necessarily need to learn the proper form of a workout since the machine is essentially doing that for them. Don't get me wrong: there are still wrong ways of using a particular weight machine, but the likelihood of that is lessened when compared to using free weights. They're safer, so you don't need a spotter. If you're the type that wants (or needs) to work out alone, you can set the weight quite high and never need a spotter. You can isolate muscle groups. For bodybuilders, this may be an important factor. To be able to maximize hypertrophy in specific muscle groups and achieve the physique you're aiming for, a machine can lessen the use of of stabilizers, allowing you to target the exact muscles that you want to grow. Cons Inability to use stabilizing muscles. On the other end of isolation, not being able to work your stabilizers can lead to injury; beginners that only ever work out using machines that move over to free weights may find themselves getting injured due to the muscle stabilizers getting little to no training previously. The workouts aren't functional to the type of movements we typically do in the "real world." They translate less to our movement patterns, making machines less ideal for athletes or those that do manual labor. Free Weights Pros Functional movements. Because you have to use your stabilizing muscles to use free weights, they allow you to train more functionally than machines do. Hitting those small muscles that machines don't allow you to will make you to get stronger in those particular lifts. These functional movements and overall stronger muscles can translate to the activities you do outside of the gym. Less mechanical. You'll be able to work out in a much more natural way: since machines can't take into account your actual body shape, flexibility and proportions, with free weights you'll be able to do workouts that exactly suit you. This means more range of motion as well. More variation. Working out in the same way on a machine can get boring. Boredom can become less desire to work out, making your overall progress slow down. You're also stuck with whatever machines your gym provides, and not all gyms have a wide array of machines to pick from. The amount of variation you can have with free weights is just about endless, making your workouts more interesting. Cons Harder to do "properly." Free weights don't come with a set of instructions. While there are plenty of "easy" exercises you can do with free weights, they do have a slightly higher barrier for entry compared to machines. More chance of injury. Because proper form and technique are harder to learn with free weights than machines, it's easier to injure yourself by doing an exercise wrong. There are also no safety mechanisms with free weights; if you fail to do an exercise, the weight needs to end up somewhere. Which Is Best for You? If you're a beginner, someone in rehabilitation, or are at an age where machines are simply easier for you to use, go with machines. This can help you make your transitions into the gym easier, and you're more likely to start right away without needing advice from a coach or trainer. After you've gotten comfortable and a little more fit, you can start adding free weights to your routine. For those that are already past the beginner stages: you're probably already using free weights. If you're not and you've been using primarily machines, I urge you to consider adding free weights to your routine. Don't neglect your stabilizers for much longer — no matter what your fitness or physique goal is, the chance of getting injured is not worth it and will set you way back, should that happen. In the end, I highly recommend free weights to just about everyone, unless there's an issue preventing you from using them. But weight machines do have their place in the gym and they get disparaged more than they should. Either way and no matter which you decide to utilize, the fact that you're staying active and improving yourself is the most important factor here.
  5. Cemmos

    Am I Working Out Hard Enough? No DOMS!

    It's hard to be sure because there's no scientific literature that we can point to that would give a conclusive answer. I believe there are people in both camps: DOMS is best, and DOMS isn't needed. I'm in the camp where it's not necessary, except in beginners. You could technically call yourself a beginner at the stages you're at, but when I say beginner I literally mean people just starting off. Your body likely has just adapted well to the physical stress that lifting puts on you; some people can adapt better and faster than others, and it's very much genetic. From what I know about your routine/activity level, I'd say you're fine without feeling soreness. You're pushing yourself hard enough in the gym to see progress (as been proven, really). I actually think debilitating DOMS is inappropriate, because it forces us to stop working out until it settles down — and from what we know, frequent training is better for hypertrophy than, well, less. It's very hard for me to get sore. Even when I was in the first few years of lifting, I could change my workouts and routines and feel very little soreness from the change, but I was still progressing in strength and muscle despite not being sore. One thing that I think I've recommended before and I'll mention here again: if you want to try to get more sore (because chasing progress in a healthy and motivated way is only a good thing imo), try to focus a lot on the eccentric movements of the workouts you're doing. Bring the weight back to starting position slowly using the weight you'd normally do, with the same reps/sets you were going to do. Just change that one aspect and you might be surprised at the soreness that comes. It may not be debilitating (shouldn't be, again, imo), but you'll at least feel something. Most likely.
  6. Cemmos

    Whey vs. Casein for Building Muscle

    Many athletes, and nearly all bodybuilders, supplement with some type of protein powder. Getting all of your macronutrients solely from food (your diet) isn't the easiest thing to do when you have and are building considerable muscle mass. Sometimes you go over your daily calorie limit trying to get enough protein, or maybe you end up taking in too much fat. With a protein powder like whey or casein, you're able to get a huge boost of protein without doing those things. You also spend much less time eating, since a shake in a blender bottle takes very little time out of your day. What Are Whey and Casein Protein? Whey is considered to be a fast digesting protein. It's what people will recommend one takes directly before or after resistance training, as your body will metabolize it more quickly than casein. Casein, on the other hand, is considered a slow digesting protein. Most proteins will be considered slow, especially when taken with a mixed meal as many people tend to do (think steak and potatoes with a side of veggies). How Whey (Powder) is Made It's essentially what's left over after milk has been curdled and strained when producing cheese. The milk curdles (casein), and the leftover liquid (whey) is then dried into a powder by separating the water from it. How Casein (Powder) is Made Like whey, casein comes from milk as well and it's the predominant protein in milk. Once the milk curdles, those curdles are then dehydrated into casein powder. Casein and Whey Protein (Milk) Promote Lean Mass In a study conducted on 56 healthy, untrained males over 12 weeks, skim milk was overall superior to that of soy milk and an isocaloric carbohydrate drink. Those drinking the milk saw the biggest decrease in body fat and the biggest increase in muscle mass (hypertrophy). One thing that we can take away from this study is that a mixture of whey and casein are great for building mass and increasing strength. So the question still remains unanswered: which of the two is superior in that respect? Whey Stimulates Protein Synthesis Since whey protein is a much faster digesting protein compared to casein, it's able to more rapidly augment protein synthesis. One reason is due to its higher level of leucine — an amino acid that stimulates such synthesis. The digestion rate of protein is an independent regulating factor of postprandial protein retention: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11158939 The acute and abundant amounts of amino acids that enter your blood from whey is what's doing the heavy lifting when it comes to protein synthesis. With whey, you're able to metabolize the protein quickly, resulting in a spike of amino acids in your blood. Casein Helps Prevent Muscle Breakdown Because of casein's slower digestion rate, it can help to create a positive protein balance that prevents the catabolism of muscle by prolonging the duration that amino acids stay in your blood. Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9405716 Our Recommendation Whey. Casein is much easier to come by in your regular diet; you can drink milk, and you can eat cheeses or meats. If you're going to buy a supplement in powdered form, whey just seems like the most appropriate choice. Take it before or after a workout (or both), and you'll be be metabolizing that protein much quicker than if you bought the casein variation. There's definitely efficacy to those that answer this with "use both," but purely in terms of a powdered form that you spend your hard-earned money on... whey is the way. To summarize and avoid confusion: both of these are important and we certainly recommend getting both types of protein everyday. Casein you'll simply have through meals, and whey you can pick up as a supplement to take before and after your workout and first thing in the morning.
  7. The difference can be confusing for the mere fact that you supplement your diet by taking vitamins, or you take supplements that contain vitamins. While the two like to intertwine, there is a small difference between what they are. Vitamins Vitamins technically fall under the supplement category. Like I mentioned above, you can supplement your diet with vitamins. These will generally come in pill-form, and sometimes in powdered form such as with some forms of vitamin C, like calcium ascorbate. Some other examples of vitamins include: Vitamin D Folic acid (vitamin B9) Vitamin B12 Vitamin A Many more... Another way of getting vitamins that many people don't realize is through fortified foods. Because many vitamins are hard to come by in food (vitamin D for example), there are many foods available that have been fortified with vitamins. Depending on the country and its food regulations, fortified foods may be more common in some areas of the world compared to others. Supplements Supplements, on the other hand, are a wider variety of dietary products that may contain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other nutrients. A good example of a supplement is creatine; it's produced in the body, but many people supplement with it due to the health and athletic benefits it provides. Some other examples of supplements include: Fish Oil Ginseng Glutamine The list goes on — there are far too many supplements to list here. Vitamins nor Supplements Are FDA-backed Supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, contrary to what many may believe. This is due to the fact that, for things to be approved by the FDA, they need to be scientifically scrutinized to their standards. This isn't to say that science hasn't shown the potential of certain supplements, but just that they haven't quite met the standards of the FDA. When purchasing a supplement, it's important to know the quality of the product you're purchasing. Buy from reputable companies that do third-party testing, as the FDA isn't the one checking your supplements to see if they're legitimately healthy for you. A great source that does their own testing on popular brands is Labdoor. This site tests and ranks supplements and they are free of manufacturer biases. They even give science reports on individual products along with infographs. Concluding... To recap, a vitamin is something you can supplement and it falls under the supplement category. Supplements, however, are a wider variety of substances that are aimed at bettering one's health and don't always need to have vitamins in them. A vitamin can be in the form of a supplement, but a supplement need not be a vitamin. Always be wary of who you're buying products from and try to find the most reputable sources for your supplements. If something seems cheaper than the rest of its competitors, this should raise a red flag and you may want to look elsewhere. You are, after all, supplementing for health reasons — so buy products you know are good for your body.
  8. Facial hair is grown due to the androgens testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and how well your body utilizes these via local androgen sensitivity. Without the combination of these, facial hair can be sparse, giving an appearance of a weak beard. If you're the type, like us, that wants to fully utilize your body's hormones to grow a fuller beard, you've come to the right place. Bear in mind that while these tips are sure to grow you a better beard, they won't necessarily make you grow a thick, full beard if you can't already grow something as it is; genetics still play a role in how your facial hair grows. We can, however, improve our circumstance with Androgrow's philosophy — through the use of science, practice, and passion. And in this particular case: a little patience. One: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and/or Resistance Training High intensity interval training has been shown to increase free testosterone. Even if you're a fairly active person, but one that doesn't partake in any sort of high-intensity training, you'll see the benefits of increased testosterone. With more T, you'll also be increasing your DHT. Testosterone responses to intensive interval versus steady-state endurance exercise: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23310924 If you're not active at all, now's as good a time as any to get started. Those in this inactive category will likely see the most benefits due to their current lifestyle. From mental wellness to an overall better-working body, to better facial hair. Fat stores estrogen, so losing a bit of body fat through HIIT can better balance your natural hormones. As for resistance training, that's another option to either add onto, or replace, HIIT. The difference should merely be personal: would you rather hit the weights, or go sprinting? It's not always that basic, of course, but it's the quickest way to explain the difference between the two. Two: Beard Products As contradictory as this may sound due to the fact that many beard products on the market contain anti-androgens, there are some that can be helpful to your facial hair. Not necessarily through increasing androgen, but through stimulatory factors like enhanced blood flow to the local area. Guys generally don't rub their faces with product everyday, but adding a beard oil or balm into your routine does just that. Along with brushing and combing your beard, this creates a method of regularly supplying your face with nutrients. Nutrients, testosterone and DHT are all found in your blood, so bringing these useful resources in abundance to your face is only a good thing. In terms of brushing, a simple boar's hair brush is a good option, as the bristles are stiff enough to stimulate, but soft enough not to be too abrasive to your skin. Three & Four: Vitamins & Supplements Vitamins Since our hair and bodies require macro and micronutrients to function properly, it's a no-brainer that you should always fill your nutritional gaps in some way. In terms of vitamins, you have a couple of choices: Buy fortified foods that contain vitamins that much of the population is deficient in. Buy the specific vitamins rather than the fortified food. Either option is fine, and neither is really superior to the other. Whatever your preference is, filling your nutritional gaps through supplementation is always preferable over being deficient. If you're unsure whether you are deficient or not, getting blood work done with your doctor is the best route to take. One thing to note, though: don't buy vitamins branded with "Beard" on them. They are not any better than the vitamins you can buy from reputable sources, and the claims that a lot of these companies make are misleading or entirely false. You'll be spending a premium on something you could get for much cheaper, that are reliably sourced. That's not to say that beard vitamins are not reliably sourced, but do your research. Supplements Unsurprisingly, there are some great supplements out there that can enhance your facial hair by boosting your T, DHT, and androgen sensitivity. A couple of my personal favorites are: Creatine — shown to increase DHT in trained athletes. L-Carnitine L-Tartrate — upregulates androgen receptor content. The two links above go to Androgrow's Glossary where you can learn more about specific vitamins and supplements that are out of the scope of this article. Along with some resistance training or HIIT, supplements can be helpful assets to both your workout quality and growing your androgen content. All of which help you grow the fullest beard that you can. Five: Minoxidil Minox-what? But isn't minoxidil for balding folk? It sure is. But it also isn't exclusive to treating alopecia. Men have been using minoxidil for many, many years in order to grow fuller facial hair. In fact, that's a side effect that has been seen in trials. There has also been a clinical trial in Thailand for beard enhancement using minoxidil. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02275832 A common misconception about using minoxidil for beard growth is that the hair falls out once you stop using it. This is untrue if the hair becomes terminal. The reason this misconception is around is simply due to the fact that it's true for head hair. Once you've started balding, it is a life-long process and there is no way to reverse it. Minoxidil does not reverse balding — it simply forces hair into a state of anagen and maintains that hair by opening potassium channels and allowing nutrients to reach the follicle. In the case of facial hair, men are not balding there if they lack it; the follicles just haven't been activated and primed for growth. Once secondary hair reaches maturation, it is by and large permanent. To learn more about the process, check out these useful resources: The Guide to Growing Your Beard with Minoxidil on Beard Profile Minoxidil Beard FAQ on the Beard Wiki Concluding... All hope isn't lost for better facial hair when you utilize science. Like in many aspects of life, you must be consistent, you must continue learning and growing, and you must have patience. Things don't happen in just a day or a week. You should never expect anything that's worth it to come easy. As cliche as that line may be, it holds true more often than not. If rocking a beard is something you enjoy, work at it. It'll get better if you use all of the knowledge at your fingertips. Stay healthy and stay educated.
  9. Cemmos

    Starvation Mode — What Is It?

    What Is "Starvation Mode"? As a natural physiological and biochemical response to deep caloric restriction, your body will slow its metabolism in an attempt to keep you from dying. This essentially means slowing down the rate in which you burn calories, as well as making you feel lethargic to keep you from moving around too much. You'll also have a deeper yearning for food, since your brain is telling your body that you absolutely need to eat. Metabolic slowing with massive weight loss despite preservation of fat-free mass: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22535969 A more technical term for "starvation mode" is adaptive thermogenesis. Adaptive thermogenesis in humans: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673773/ What starvation mode actually is and what a large amount of people think it is are two different things. What Starvation Mode Is Not What people think starvation mode is: This is very far from the truth, and it's very misleading to those that want to start a fat loss journey. Using the logic above, one might assume that they need to simply eat a little less than what they have been (despite never tracking how much they eat) and all is well. If they don't see their weight go down, they are officially in starvation mode and must eat more to compensate. It's a vicious, illogical cycle. Calories In vs. Calories Out One thing we must understand is one pure fact that never fails: expending more energy (calories) than we take in (eat) will result in fat loss. While adaptive thermogenesis indeed does slow down one's metabolism, it does not mean you will completely stop losing fat. If you weighed 260 lbs (118 kg) and lost 60 lbs (27 kg) over the course of a few months and noticed you're no longer losing fat: this does not mean your body is in starvation mode. What it means is that you need to adjust your calories again. What you ate during the first 60 lb loss was enough to keep you losing weight, but now you're 60 lbs lighter. Which means you require less calories to sustain the 200 lbs you're currently at than you did at 260 lbs. You can do that by expending more energy through working out, or eating less (or both). You Can Burn Calories Differently from One Day to the Next While calories in vs. calories out always remains true, there's some reasoning behind the fact that a person may be seeing slower weight loss than they previously were. BMR: Basal Metabolic Rate TEF: Thermic Effect of Food Physical activity (EAT and NEAT) As you're losing weight, these three things lessen as well, lowering your overall TEE. (Source) Changes in energy expenditure resulting from altered body weight: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7632212 Think about it this way: if you've already lost 30 lbs and only want to lose 15 more, you've already accomplished 66% of your goal. You have less weight to carry around when you're moving and exercising, and even sitting around (EAT and NEAT). You're eating less food due to your caloric restriction, so you also burn less through TEF. It only makes sense that the closer you get to your goal, the more difficult it will become. Metabolic Slowdown Is Unavoidable, But Can Be Mitigated Because of adaptive thermogenesis, metabolism is going to slow when you're losing weight. There are, however, some things you can do to help keep it in check and reduce your chances of losing muscle mass. Resistance Training Lifting weights has shown that people can keep catabolism of muscle down. Resistance training conserves fat-free mass and resting energy expenditure following weight loss: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18356845 In the study, the women that did resistance training kept their fat-free mass (FFM) and resting energy expenditure (REE, but essentially interchangeable with BMR (source)). Up Your Protein Intake Macronutrient ratios are always highly debated, but one thing that shouldn't be: if you want to lose less muscle during a cut or weight loss routine, increase your protein intake. High protein diets can help curb cravings and maintains your total energy expenditure. Postprandial thermogenesis is increased 100% on a high-protein, low-fat diet versus a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet in healthy, young women: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11838888 Maintenance of energy expenditure on high-protein vs. high-carbohydrate diets at a constant body weight may prevent a positive energy balance: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25466951 Refeeding During Your Diet There are a lot of methods of refeeding. Some may recommend that you have a refeed day once every two weeks, some may recommend eating just above maintenance calories for a few days every few weeks. Whatever you choose to do, a refeed can be helpful to maintain both your state of mind and your hormonal balance As long as you don't turn refeeds into overindulgence, you'll still be on track with your weight loss journey. You may gain extra water weight or a pound or so, but the mental and physical benefits may very well outweigh the slightly prolonged journey. Concluding... Starvation mode isn't as dire as many people seem to make it out to be. It's real, but if you go into your weight loss with the knowledge above, you don't need to psyche yourself out and think you're stuck in a rut. Keep at it, keep consistent, and don't give up. We've got your back. P.S. Let's just called it adaptive thermogenesis, huh? The term "starvation mode" irks me. You're not starving, you're alright!
  10. Cemmos

    Tips for building a bigger chest

    "Toning muscle" is quite the myth. When someone looks ripped, it has little to do with the type of workouts they're doing — it comes down to having a low body fat percentage. And protein = calories, although yes, protein is good for building mass. It's hard to really give tips because it comes down to what you're currently doing. If you're not seeing much progress, there's something wrong with your routine or you've not been at it for long enough to build adequate mass. I suppose the lifts Jigz mentioned are good as a catch-all. Working out a muscle group twice per week tends to be recommended for hypertrophy (muscle mass), but I believe strength increases don't need more frequency. So if you're looking to get stronger, but not larger, then once per week should be fine. In your particular case, you'd want to train your chest twice per week. Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27102172 Make sure you're getting enough protein, which is really going to be dictated by your current lean mass. For those that don't want to track macros, my honest advice: just eat a lot of meat or protein-rich foods. There should also be a bunch of hypertrophy plans around the internet; some superior to others, but most will quite honestly work for beginners. It's usually once you start reaching your natural limits where you need to sit down and plan things out. But at the stage many people are at, they just need to put the time and effort in.
  11. I think a lot of this is lost on the current folks here. It's strange that everyone keeps bringing up "natural" as if vitamins and supplements are unnatural. Vitamins are essential to us, there's no going around it; if you get your vitamin D from, say, almond milk, you're supplementing vitamin D from that milk, because it was never there to begin with. We have to put those vitamins into the milk. It's what we call fortified foods. I speak a little bit about that here: When I mention creatine, it is quite natural. We consume creatine through meats, and we produce it (creatinine) in our bodies. This is true of many of the various supplements out there. To first dispel the notion that these things aren't natural, we should define what natural means: Still using our example, creatine: it is not a man-made thing. It occurs naturally in vertebrates. Of course, there are some that may say supplements are indeed made by humans, because the pure forms of them aren't found in nature. My argument to that is your birthday cake is not natural, because it's made up of pure ingredients that humans had to extract from various sources. One of the reasons I built Androgrow is to help spread knowledge and educate those willing to learn. We do this utilizing all of the knowledge we can, through various scientific studies and journals. So it's my hope that at least a few people will learn from the things we post here. If you don't exactly know the subject we're speaking on, that's alright. But what I've noticed from a few members is the need to post absolutely false notions that are in no way backed by science, but purely from disproved myths of the 20th century. Instead of misleading other members, it's best to take a step back and give thought to why a certain belief is, well, believed. If you can't find credible evidence either through the thought process or reliable sources such as books or studies, then it's safe to say that the thought stems from a myth we learned growing up.
  12. Cemmos

    How to get a Flat Stomach?

    I deleted a couple of the last posts in here. Guys, please don't just copy-paste from other websites. I understand if you want to give advice, but you could simply link to that website instead. But the best way would be to use the knowledge you have at hand, and link to sources if need be.
  13. Always a really popular type of topic across forums is "post what you're currently listening to." Instead, let's change it up slightly and post what you normally listen to while working out. Or if you're visiting the forum as you're working out, post what's playing for you now. I normally use either Pandora, Spotify, or Amazon Music to get my workout music fix, since I like radio-esque options so I don't have to create playlists or fiddle with my phone while I'm trying to work out. Something I've been listening to a lot lately during my weight training is Fozzy:
  14. Cemmos

    Post Your Workout Music!

    I went ahead and fixed it for you. You just need to paste the plain link and the software will do the rest automatically.
  15. Cemmos

    What are the right foods for beginners like me

    There's also some efficacy to the point "listen to your body." That's not to say if you're craving a pint of ice cream, have that. But more in the sense of "if you're hungry, make sure you eat." When it comes to beginners, there's very little that actually holds them back from gaining mass — especially in the first year, where they can put on a lot of mass in comparison to the years beyond that (assuming they're training enough and get decent macros at maintenance calories or above). The idea of prepping meals or logging everything into an app might be daunting for beginners that don't care too much about the logistics of things. Sometimes people simply want to look a little better/bigger (or smaller for women) than they currently are. As you start to expend more energy working out, your body will require more calories to make up for the energy deficit. Now, that doesn't work for everyone, since there are a lot of people that just don't really feel hungry even if they're very active (not much of an appetite, likely due to their body being used to not eating when it should). So for people that have a hard time eating enough food, they should definitely at least get an app like MyFitnessPal to help them out. Some people need to somewhat force the food down, and an app is a good way of making sure you're getting enough, but not too much, calories every week.
  16. A question I'm always curious about when it comes to people is "what got you into fitness?" What are your motivations for working out, and what are your goals? Is it to look good or feel good, or both? I suppose I can start by answering my own question: I mostly got into lifting weights because I was really thin in high school. Just before I joined the military, I was actually asked by MEPS to gain a few pounds. I suspect just to make sure I was healthy enough to, not necessarily because being that thin was a hindrance or anything. I had taken a weight training class in high school, but I didn't really gain much weight — mostly strength. So I started off wanting to gain weight as a requirement, and eventually that motivation turned into wanting to just look good and feel good in my own skin. I really disliked being skinny. Especially because it was one of my most notable features that people liked to point out. Not necessarily as ridicule, though, so my wanting to gain weight wasn't due to feeling bad about being skinny. It just wasn't what I felt comfortable with. Fast forward roughly 9 years to today, and I'm fairly comfortable in my own skin. These days it's more about keeping weight off than actually putting it on. I'm at a stage where there's not much more I want to gain, and I'd actually want to cut a bit, even if that means sacrificing a little bit of muscle in the long run. So to sum it up: yeah, it's basically about looks for me. I've always been a sporty person (even when I was thin), and I've always been healthy. Those are definitely two things I want to keep going, but they certainly weren't my primary motivation for getting into fitness.
  17. Cemmos

    Steroids for body building

    @AdamKeto's response is pretty much spot-on. I was typing as he posted that, but now I don't have to do the handiwork.
  18. Cemmos

    How to get a Flat Stomach?

    Pretty much this. Losing fat is about being in a caloric deficit: eat under the amount required by your body to maintain its current weight. For instance: if you eat 2,000 calories per day and are at the same weight all the time (with small fluctuations due to water weight, which is normal), then decrease those calories by 200-300 per day and you'll start to see fat loss. Technically, you'd see it at any amount of calories less than maintenance, but 200-300 is a good range to use to see decent progress over time without feeling super hungry all the time. Exercise and physical activity is a good way of increasing your body's thermogenesis so that it burns more calories (through EAT). I actually wrote an article yesterday about starvation mode that goes into this a bit. While it's not a specific fat-loss article, the content is essentially geared toward those that want to lose some body fat: The other tip about eating slower might work for people that aren't afraid to waste — or put away half eaten — food. It takes a little while for our brain to realize that we're full, so if you're a fast eater you can overeat without realizing it. But a better method would be to weigh out your food, read the labels, and calculate the amount of calories you're consuming. It's more accurate, and you'd only take out the food you know you should be eating. An app like MyFitnessPal is great help for something like that. EDIT: also forgot to mention, fat loss is a bit different between men and women. While it's not a hard and fast rule, it is a generality: men tend to store their fat in their midsection first, then other parts of the body. So when we're losing fat, we tend to see other parts lean up before the midsection, with that area leaning up last. For women, fat is usually stored in the hips first. Same logic applies there.
  19. A few you mentioned, which I'll mention again. In no particular order: Omar Isuf Athlean-X VitruvianPhysique PictureFit Jeff Nippard The Hodgetwins (Keith and Kevin) The Aesthetic Professional CT Fletcher, both for his motivational type of videos and the speeches you can find around YT on other channels Annnd, there's another couple that make solid videos, but I don't recall their names. One of them does mostly street/body weight workouts and the other I mostly remember for selling his book. I used to watch a bunch of stuff semi-regularly, but I haven't been watching much at all when it comes to the fitness world. And one last honorable mention, which isn't really a fitness channel, but is a pretty cool YouTube show: Strength Wars. It's based in Germany and the workouts/battles they do are really interesting to watch.
  20. Cemmos

    Diet Monitoring Assistant

    I use MyFitnessPal as well. I'm not sure how helpful that would be during your schedule, but if you tend to eat the same things daily, there are quick features where you're able to use the previous day's food, like the same breakfast. Which makes things pretty quick if you're a power user. I personally eat different things quite often, at different times of the day, so some of those features aren't helpful for me. But the app overall is easy to use and it doesn't take very long to add in your food. I tend to just do it while I'm eating.
  21. Cemmos

    What got you into fitness?

    Something that a lot of you brought up, that I hadn't mentioned for myself in my post, is the mental factor. That's definitely one of the biggest reasons for me as well. After you work out, you just have that euphoric feeling and it makes the night better. It's actually one of the reasons I've been wanting to work out first thing in the morning, because it sets the tone for the rest of the day. All those anandamides that make us feel good after a run or hard workout do wonders. What's funny is I was about to mention endorphins, but those have recently been shown to not be able to pass the blood-brain barrier. Funny enough, "runner's high" is actually triggered by the same system that gets us high from cannabis: the endocannabinoid system (source and source). But I'm getting away from the point. Depression and anxiety go down when we regularly work out, and self-esteem goes up. All really valuable to living a happy life. Good points, everyone!
  22. Hard to say. In my experience, back when I was new to lifting and everything, I feel that the more veteran lifters weren't there criticizing me, but mostly looking out. A lot of the time, a new lifter will be doing an exercise wrong, which can lead to injury depending on how they're doing it. Now whether that's up to someone else to mention it or not is probably widely debated. It's true that a lot of people tend to feel super macho in the gym, though. I don't feel that a lot of guys (and I say guys because I've never personally seen a gal critiquing people the way that a guy would) are being helpful out of some superiority complex, but just somewhat good nature. It's something their good at, probably proud about, and they're simply passing the knowledge down to the newer guys. They likely had the same experience when they were new too. With that said, I don't think I've ever went up to anyone in the gym to tell them to do an exercise in a different way. If I saw someone doing something that could seriously injure them, then that's when I might say something privately. But I've never encountered anyone doing crazy stuff like we see viral videos, haha.
  23. Stomach pain can happen. I would guess it's due to too much intake of creatine, which a lot of people seem to do (along with not enough intake of water). As for your question, I've been using it for as long as I can remember in the past 9+ years, but only the last couple of years I've been using it every single day. Before, I used to take what I had, then stop using it for a while after that ran out. Then pick up more eventually. In a sense, you could say I cycled it, but that wasn't actually my intention when I was doing that. EDIT: long post got ahead of me. I forgot to mention that purity of the product matters too. I like to use Labdoor before buying a specific product to make sure it's legit. Site has great rankings/info on it. I could agree with this for a lot of people, but athletes (amateur and pro alike) can see pretty great benefits from supplementation. Or in the sense of bodybuilders: when you're a very large, muscular person, it's hard to find the time and stomach to eat as much protein as they might need everyday. So you would supplement with whey or casein to hit your macro quota. In the vein of creatine, the extra skeletal water and ATP production can help one push out more reps and have more strength than they would without supplementation. For the average person that just wants to be healthy, slim, what have you: most likely they don't need to supplement unless they have some sort of deficiency (normally vitamins, like B12). There are instances where supplements are recommended by their doctor for whatever health reason they need help with. The thing is, fruits and vegetables don't provide all of the micronutrients that we need. This is partly why fortified foods have become a thing: foods are fortified because the essential vitamin is not found in abundance elsewhere. For instance, Vitamin D is a very common thing for people to be deficient in, which is why things like almond milk are fortified with a certain amount of UI. The other option is to supplement with a vitamin D3 soft gel or gummy. This is particularly important in the winter when people are getting out less, and the sun is not as strong as it is during other seasons. At the end of the day, I do believe most people can be healthy without the need of vitamins or supplements. Although, we do need fortified foods, lest we go deficient in particular vitamins. But that in itself is supplementation of vitamins we normally wouldn't get otherwise.
  24. Cemmos

    Contribute to the Glossary!

    Yeah, the glossary is open to just about anything fitness related. Some examples: Supplements (Creatine, Whey Protein, Beta Alanine, etc) Vitamins (Vitamin A, D3, B12, and so on) Workout movements (Military Press, Push Up, Chin Up, etc) Diets (Ketogenic, Atkins, etc) In the future I'll see about using a better way of organizing the content. For now we're using tags, which should suffice in the meanwhile (so long as the tags are accurate). All content will be verified and people add sources to scientific journals or abstracts when editing or creating content within the glossary. Of course, you likely won't have those for things like a push up, but those are also easier to verify when it comes to correctness.
  25. Hey everyone, In case you didn't know, the Androgrow Glossary is open and editable to all members of the site. With the glossary we hope to educate people with the knowledge of Androgians. The glossary will contain information on supplements, diets (fad or not), and vitamins. Essentially, we want to make it an area of the site where people can look up what they're wanting to learn about before they make a decision on whether or not to purchase a product (or start a diet). Much like a wiki, glossary terms can be edited by anyone and will be logged into its revisions database. We'll be able to revert edits, if necessary, due to any potential misinformation or just straight up spam content. Hopefully that doesn't happen, but it's always a possibility with open systems like this. Although, unlike a wiki, there is no wiki-like markup. You'll be using the same editor that the rest of the site uses, like the one here on the forum. It's simple and works. If we need certain wiki-like features such as an easier way to link to other glossary terms, then I'll certainly take a look at getting something like that implemented. Adding or editing the glossary is fairly simple: just scroll down to the bottom of the definition and hit the "Edit" link. Contributors to the glossary will not necessarily do it for nothing; in the future, we'll likely be running contests and giveaways where content creators can win some awesome products. At the time of this writing, however, we don't actually stock or sell any product. This will change in the future, and current contributors will not go forgotten when this happens. If you have any questions, feel free to post them below. At the moment we don't have documents or guidelines on adding content: for now, we just want to get some quality stuff posted into the glossary. We can always do guidelines in the future as we start growing. One tip, however, is to always link to reliable sources when you make a claim about something. Androgrow is about being a reputable source of unbiased information, and links to abstracts and studies help us be just that. Click here to visit the glossary.
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