Monday, August 30, 2010

The Truth About Caffeine

Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world. It is a potent stimulant and may be consumed in a multitude of forms. These include: coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolates, cold remedies, pain relievers and dozens of other over-the-counter drugs.

Caffeine also is a powerful stimulant to nerve tissues. It affects the higher centers of the brain, producing a wakening effect and a more rapid flow of mental processes. It assists the body in overcoming the sense of fatigue, however, it does not relieve it.

Caffeine Facts:

Two cups of coffee will cause an increase in hydrochloric acid (HCL) in the stomach for at least an hour. This is a problem for anyone suffering from an ulcer or over-acidity problem.

Caffeine slows the rate of healing of stomach ulcers.

One cup of coffee will cause a rise in blood pressure.
Caffeine decreases the body's ability the handle stress.

In pregnant women, caffeine will enter the fetal circulation in the same concentrations as the mothers. May be related to birth defects.

Withdrawal symptoms tend to discourage people from giving up caffeine.

Continued use of caffeine may lead to insomnia, nervousness, restlessness and even tremors.

Caffeine masks fatigue when the body needs to rest.

Caffeine increases respiration rate, urine output and an increase of fatty acids into the bloodstream. However, the fatty acids do not get absorbed by muscle cells. In fact, fat metabolism is ceased until the sympathetic effect is complete. Remember, caffeine activates the sympathetic nervous system. The SNS is a sugar based system. As long the SNS is on sugar becomes the main fuel. Fat is not utilized as a fuel during a SNS response.

Chronic caffeine intake can damage the thyroid gland and cause adrenal exhaustion.

Chronic caffeine can weaken bones. It pulls calcium out of the bones. It also disrupts normal cellular ion levels.

Chronic caffeine will produce the body to hold onto fat. Making you fat. Especially around the abdomin. I can spot a chronic coffee user a mile away. They look like they have a tire around their waist.

If a person wakes up tired and has to resort to drinking a stimulant to wake up, then there is something wrong with their diet or sleep pattern. The body is designed to re-energize itself with appropriate sleep.

To avoid waking up tired:

1. Don't eat carbohydrates before going to sleep. In fact, I wouldn't eat carbs after 7:00 p.m.

2 Eat a complex protein before bed.

3. Don't overtrain at the gym.

4. Get control of your emotions. Try to stay away from chronic sympathetic NS activation.

5. Don't have late night sexual relations. This will disrupt normal sleep patterns.

6. Eat a healthy diet throughout the day. Avoid excessive insulin release.

A trick for insomniacs

Blend together: 1 banana, 1 tbs. honey, 2 cups of warm milk. Drink and good night.

I am amused by the folks that try to convince me that what they do is good. They tell me that caffeine is good, eating chocolate is good, drinking wine is good. I tell them getting rest is good, controlling emotional stress is good, eating brocolli has more antioxidants than their chocolate and wine combined.

But you can put whatever you want into your body-- it's your body not mine.

All I can do is provide you the facts, what you do with the information is up to you.

The only benefit I see with drinking caffeine is for ultra endurance athletes. It has been shown that ingesting caffeine well into a endurance event can actually stimulate a fatiguing sympathetic nervous system. This will boost the body to pull more glycogen out of the muscle's for immediate fuel. This is valuable to a ultra endurance athlete, but for the Starbuck junkie, or weekend warrior type, the value of caffeine is more damaging than good.

You can learn more about caffeine and nutrition in my latest book diet EARTH.

Order it online at

tags: caffeine, coffee drinking, nutrition, diet EARTH, Tiger Woods, Economy, strength and conditioning, health, bodybuilding.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How Much Is Good Enough

Over the past twenty-five years I have experimented with just about everything in terms of training, except taking steroids of course. I have tried all kinds of different methodics (reps, sets, rest periods, intensities, duration). When I first started training I was told that you have to train for 2-3 hours a day if you wanted to be a bodybuilder. I would follow the programs that were written in Muscle and Fitness magazine. I would train for hours. I made gains at the beginning, but then I didn't. My body hit a plateau. Being naive I did more. This only produced an overtraining effect. Later I found out that the programs written in those muscle magazines were great for guys who were taking steroids. In fact, 95% of everyone in the magazine was taking steroids. This prompted me to search out other methods. Eventually I trained under the direction of Vince Gironda, "The Iron Guru." I learned more from him than I ever did from anyone, even college. He opened up my mind to a whole different way of training. With his help and guidance I was able to develop my own philosophy and methods in training. Ever since the days of overtraining I have trained smarter and have made incredible gains--all natural of course.

What I have developed over the years is exercise prescription that works for everyone. Not everyone wants to bodybuild, run a marathon, or train for hours. Most people that I train all have a life. They are married, have kids and work a full time job. They don't have time to spend 1-3 hours in a gym. I have put together realistic programs for people to incorporate into their life. If a person only had ten minutes to train, I can develop a kick ass program that would maximize their time.

You don't have to train for hours to get results. When people start an exercise program they are often times overwhelmed with the time commitment. They usually end up quitting the gym because they don't have the time. I mean who wants to work all day, come home in the evening and go to the gym for 1-2 hours-- not many folks! The key is to maximize your time in the gym. Here are my recommendations:

For maximum results:

Train 3-5 times per week.
Duration: 10-45 minutes. Duration depends on your busy schedule. If you are wicked busy do a 10-20 minute program.

Intensity: Moderate to high. The shorter the time the more intense the program needs to be.

Mode: Free weights, some machines, kettle bells, ropes, punching bags, body weight exercises. If you only have a short time for the workout. Avoid cardio machines altogether. Just go into the resistance program. You can get plenty of aerobic work done by doing circuit type training. In fact, I only train like this. I never use cardio machines to develop my cardiovascular system.

Most people have a full time job and don't have the time to devout to training. If you are an athlete professional athlete who makes money from training or playing a sport, then you can continue to devout your whole day to training. But if you are like the rest of us who have families, work 40-80 hours a week, we have to be realistic about our fitness programs. I am working on my 3rd book entitled BUFF DADDY: Natural Bodybuilding for the family man.

I decided to write a book for guys who are man enough to take on the responsibility of raising a family, working a full time job and who loves their wife. Many of the magazines and books written today are for single men who have all the time in the world to train. Buff Daddy is about maximizing your time in a gym to get the best results. You will transform your body using my techniques. Once a man has children the days of being selfish ends. I love to bodybuild and didn't want to have to give it up. SO I developed a system so phenomenal that I don't need to waste precious time in the gym. My programs are based on 20-30 minutes of training. I can train hard and intense and then go home to my responsibilities. Matter of fact I train better now with all the responsibilities then when I had all the time in the world. I am much more focused.

I love being able to train in such a short time and get great gains. I can still bodybuild, my wife is happy, and I get to spend quality time with my kids-- it's all good. And that's what being a BUFF DADDY is all about. Having it all- A buff body, a beautiful wife, 3 incredibly beautiful kids, a successful business, and time to enjoy it all.

I plan on completing Buff Daddy Spring 2011. Stayed tuned. If you are interested in this publication shoot me an email.

Tags: Buff Daddy, diet EARTH, InVINCEable, strength, power, nutrition, health, fitness, tiger woods, elin woods, new york mosque, stock market, red sox, strausburg, yankees, tampa bay rays

Monday, August 23, 2010

Where is Negativity Come From???

Have you ever wondered where negative energy comes from? In today's world it seems that there is so much negativity. So many people are negative. It seems that people like misery and that is what gets all the attention in our society. The press and media tend to dump as much negativity into the collective conscious of society as they can. It sells! I don't know why this is the case. Why are we so attracted to negativity? Alot of it comes from viewing television. Turn the television on and you will see all the negativity that man has conjured up to produce fear and anxiety among the viewers. Very seldom do you hear of positive events that occur during the day. It is mostly negative. Television is a portal into a manmade propaganda avenue. People will believe whatever is on television and in media outlets. It appears that negativity makes money. Who wants to hear of good deeds that someone has done? We want to hear about sensationalism and misery. It is easier to be negative and cynical than to be positive and happy all the time. But where did this negativity come from?

In order to understand where negativity came from we must understand the make up of our existence. It seems that all life is derived from a dualistic relationship among a positive and negative reaction. The universe is made up of atoms. Atoms are made up of protons, electrons and neutrons. The atom is a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense, central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The atomic nucleus contains a mix of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons. Electrons and protons oppose each other. They fly around the nucleus very fast. This causes energy. Without the opposition of the electron and proton then there would be no reason to spin around the nucleus. There would be no energy production, therefore no basis of life.

The constant battle among the negative and positive forces at the atomic level transfers into molecules as well. Molecules are made up of atoms. Molecules make up all the structural material of life; cells. Cells are comprised of positive and negative ions. These positive and negative reactions in the cell is what produces energy for the tissues. Cells are constantly dying and regenerating. We have billions and billions of cells which all house energy. So, if you think about it we have the ability to store alot of energy. The brain is the most complex organ of the body. It is in the brain where the energy is channeled. How we think directly transfers into every cell of the body. Emotion is an electrochemical reaction. If we are subjected to negative stimuli (television, media, etc) we interpret the information in our brain. The thought process of how we perceive the information translates into our stream of consciousness. The stream of consciousness is a constant flow of subliminal thought patterns that form the basis of everything that we perceive. It is all the information that we gather on earth.

If the information that we are gathering is always in a negative form then our stream of consciousness will be filled with negative perceptions. As the stream of consciousness spins all day the hormones of the brain signal to the other parts of the body. These negative cycles then permeate into every cell. So now the body becomes more negative than positive. As a result of negative energy flowing through the body the following develops; the muscles atrophy, body fat stores,oxygen consumption becomes shallow, the heart has to work harder to pump blood, emotions become unstable (depression, anxiety, fear, hate, anger). People become complacent in negativity. They become more attracted to negativity through media circles, negative situations and negative people. Misery loves company. As humans become more negativity, this energy permeates outside of the body. Which over time will eventually create enough energy to force the universal energy system to change.

A way to defend against negative energy is to create more positive energy in the body. By creating positive energy in the brain the stream of consciousness can spin positive thoughts. By having positive emotional experiences will produce higher levels of "happy hormones" in the body. These happy hormones help boost the body's immune system. Cells will be more positive and will regenerate and repair faster. Here is how it works: Happy thoughts, make happy cells,happy cells make happy tissue, happy tissue makes a happy body. People who are positive and happy tend to be more attracting. They stay away from the negative elements of society. They are tapped into increased cellular energy. When more cells are working positively in the body you feel naturally high and content. Highly positive energized people are more concerned with doing good things for the world and want to share this love with everyone and everything. When you are positive you are in complete harmony with life. The more positive energy that can be produced on earth will create a greater universal energy system.

Life is a constant dualistic battle between positive and negative energy. There is nothing wrong with either one of these types of energy. They both must exist in order for life to exist. The must both be in complete balance. If one is more than the other than imbalance can occur. But I would rather see more positive energy in this world than negative.

Exercise and eating healthy produces positive energy. In fact, there is a high energy compound called Adenosinetriphosphate in the mitochondria of cells that can increase from exercise. The more ATP the more energy. So it only makes sense that if you exercise you will create more energy. The more energy the happy and stress free you become. All the systems of the body are affected with exercise. Benefits of positive energy boosting: Increases fat metabolism, increases, muscle activity, improves hormone function, increases and helps vital organs resynthesize more efficiently, reduces stress, increase oxygen saturation, nourishes brain cells, helps release Co2 from the body, improves immune system, improves protein synthesis, improves and strengthens arteries and blood vessels, increases capillary number, improves inner cellular machinery, improves mood and well being, better digestion, greater sexual experience and creates a greater sense of love.

On the other spectum, negativity promotes the following: fat storage (because energy is being stored not released), muscle atrophy, decreased lung capacity, heart works harder, arteries and blood vessels weaken, brain is not nourished (therefore irrational behaviors can develop; anger, frustration, fear, irritability, hate, depression, anxiety), poor digestion, sexual dysfunction, vital organs can be compromised, constant release of stress chemicals, free radical formation, poor immune system response, the development of disease, illness, cancer.

Fat gain is usually a result from stored emotional and physical energy. The energy has no place to go and builds up in the storage cells of the body. Too much storage causes imbalance in all the systems of the body. In order to release this storage it is important to create enough positive energy to metabolize it off. People who lack the ability to release will never be able to metabolize the extra fat off their body. Their positive hormone concentration is decreased to the point of no return. They have done too much damage to their body and will not be able to reverse the situation. It is important to create as much positive energy as possible.

Much of our society is based on negative energy. Our body is a receptor. All we do is gather information every singe day of our life, and process it. This information gets embedded into our stream of consciousness. If the information is interpreted as negative then this starts a snow ball effect in our psyche. We end up becoming negative beings. By breaking from negative information and re-directing our thought patterns to more positive information then we will become better human beings. The ole saying is true "we are what we think." The only way a world can change is if everyone in the world changes one being at a time. How we perceive and interpret this world is within our own mind. The first step to creating positive earthly energy is to create positive energy within your own body.

Tags: negative energy, jay leno, tiger woods elin divorce, strength and conditioning, nutrition, diet EARTH, energy, fear, iran, iraq, new your mosque, daryl conant, world trade towers, red sox, yankees, stock market, vince gironda, expendables


Friday, August 20, 2010

What is Your True Earthly Purpose

I often wonder how many people actually love what they do for a career. Are they really following their true earthly purpose. Do they really love sitting behind a desk pushing papers? Do they really love sitting in a toll booth shack collecting money from angry people? Do they love waiting tables? Do they love having no say or identity in a factory? I believe that we all have a purpose here on earth. Some folks have tapped into their purpose and are following it. While others are just surviving day to day with no purpose, direction or passion. Some one asked me once, "why do you own a gym? You won't be a millionaire. You should do something else if you want to make money." I told them that the reason why I own a gym is because I believe my purpose on earth is to teach people how to take care of their body. Some guys praise God for their talent on the playing field. Musicians will praise God for their gift of singing. I praise God for directing me into helping people change their life for the better. There is nothing greater than to see someone who was weak become stronger and healthier.

My true purpose in life is to learn as much about the human body, exercise and nutrition as I can during my career years. I suppose professional athletes have a purpose. They entertain the masses. The toll collector has a purpose. They have to collect money to help pay for the roads. My purpose is to teach humans how to take care of the body. Without folks like myself out there teaching proper nutrition and exercise then the human species would become weak and ill. We all have a particular purpose. For me it has never been about the money. Though money is important and it is how we all have to survive, I want people to get healthy.

The other day a woman came to see me at my gym. She was a former member. I asked her how she had been. She told me that she had been ill and lost her job. She hasn't been coming to the gym because she couldn't afford it. This type of situation can happen to anyone of us. I felt for her. I told her not to worry about the money. Money is secondary to your health. Your health is most important. I have the tools at the gym to help you feel better. Your first priority should be to take care of your health. Sitting at home stressed, depressed and anxious will only compromise your immune system, making you more sick. Why don't you come in and start working out? You can pay me when you can. We all are apart of the human race and if I have the tools to help someone it is my purpose to help. For me it is all about helping folks feel their best.

I will admit that my business took hit from the recession. Many folks can't afford to workout. I understand their situation. I, myself, have suffered a loss in income. But rather than wallowing in negativity and self doubt. I continue to do what I do best. I mean are we all supposed to stop living life just because some mathematical equation tells us to. It is crazy to think that we all live by numbers and paper. I love what I do. I continue to push forward, staying positive knowing that what I am doing is for the good of mankind. I have a purpose and that purpose is getting and keeping people healthy, fit and to provide greater awareness on how to eat effectively. The amount of people that I have helped change their life is priceless. You can't put a price on helping someone feel better about themselves. What attracts us to each other is energy. Energy drives civilization. If there was more positive energy in this world people would be happier and less fearful. Unfortunately, our world is driven by negative energy. This negative energy comes in the form of fear, negativity, hate. I believe that there is so much negativity because many folks are just surviving and have not tapped into their true potential. They struggle with who they are. This conflict causes anxiety, depression, stress, anger, fear.

So I ask you. Are you truly loving what you are doing on earth? What contributions are you making to society? Are you just a check collector, punching in and punching out on a time clock like a robot with no passion? Or are you making a difference in someone's life?

Once you unlock your true purpose you will begin to live life and feel that you have meaning. There is a great quote from the LIfe is Good company. "Do What You like, Love What you Do."

I find that this also translates with exercise. If you truly love to workout you will be successful. If you just go through the motions and have no passion for what you are doing, chances are you will not succeed.

Tags: Life is Good, Redsox, fitness, daryl conant, ron kosloff, vince gironda, strength and contioning, nutrition, diet EARTH

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One of The Best Skits

Goal Setting

It is important to set goals for yourself. Training without a plan or purpose will result in failure. I see this time and time again. People will start out with good expectations only to end up quitting after a month or so. At the beginning they had a goal to go to the gym and to start a program. However, once that goal was achieved they didn't establish any other goal. So they end up quitting. The purpose of exercise is to boost the metabolism. The result of this increased heat is to burn off excess fat and improve the physiological and hormonal processes of the body. What people fail to realize is that exercise is a stress to the body. By developing a habit allows the nervous system to learn new strategies to adapt to the onset of stress. When you first begin an exercise program the only thing you are working is the central nervous system synchronization. You won't see drastic changes in your body composition because the body perceives the stress as a threat. During a threatening event the body holds onto fat and will use sugar as a temporary energy source. When nerves and tissue are over stimulated stress chemicals are released to help prevent further damage to the body. It takes about 4-6 weeks to establish the neuromuscular system to begin to recognize that the newly acquired exercise program is not threatening, this then allows adaptation begins to occur. Once neuromuscular adaptation is established the body is able to enter into a more hypertrophy morphological state. This is when muscle tissue really begins to activate and grow. By activating more muscle tissue means that you can metabolize off more fat.

Most people who exercise do so intermittently. They start for a couple of weeks then stop for weeks. This type of pattern is counterproductive. It is important to establish strong neural communication from the central nervous system to the peripheral nervous system. Even though you might not see immediate change in your body composition during the first few weeks, you are doing a lot to change the nervous system threshold levels. This is the key to exercise. Once you gain control over your stimuli you will be able to push yourself further. That is when the real fun begins.

Side Note:
The other day a parent was telling about their kid starting football practice. She said "my son was at practice and the coach pushed then so hard that most of the kids vomited and were sick for the rest of the practice. I guess that is good for them right?" My answer was: That is a terrible approach to getting kids in condition for football. The "balls to the wall" approach is fine if the kid's neuromuscular system is trained for that type of intensity. The reason why the kids threw up was because they were producing too much norepinephrine and adrenalin and cortisol into there bloodstream causing a build up these chemicals in the stomach. This forces the gastic juices to dump into the stomach resulting in vomiting. What this means is that the kids nervous systems were not developed in a gradual manner. They probably didn't do any activity during the off season and their tissue had atrophied and the neural circuitry to the muscle was desynthesized. Their body was out of condition. Instead of busting the kids and making them pay for being out of condition, the coach should have started them off in a less aggressive manner. By spending a few workouts to build up the neuromuscular is much better than killing them right out the gate. Hurting the kids to the point where they vomit actually sets them back in their training. Because they go beyond what their body can handle and increase further breakdown of tissue that needs more time to rest.

Overall, it is important to establish appropriate goals for exercise program. If you don't have a plan you will fail. It is important to know what you are trying to accomplish. Just going to a gym and spinning your wheels and performing worthless exercise and methodics will result in nothing but frustration.

Tags: redsox, ground zero mosque, the o'reilly factor, brett favre, nutrition, daryl conant, diet EARTH, vince gironda, new england patriots, big brother 10, dating in the dark, bodybuilding, strength and conditioning, abdominal training

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why Some Folks Cannot Lose Fat

Have you ever wondered why you cannot lose body fat? Well you are among millions of people who suffer from this constant battle. There are many factors that are involved when metabolizing off body fat.

1. Age
2. Genetics
3. Bone Type
4. Fast Twitch / Slow Twitch muscle concentrations
5. Size and activity of Cellular Organelles
6. Endrocrine System Regulation: Hormone Levels; anabolic, catabolic, hunger hormones.
7. Correct Exercise
8. Proper Nutrition
9. Environmental Factors
10. Stress

In my book diet EARTH I discuss these factors in more detail. If you are struggling with your body and can't seem to make any progress, I suggest that you invest $35.00 and get my book. You can order it on my website:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nerves: The basis of all human function

Have you ever touched a hot object and without any hesitation removed your hand quickly from the object to avoid burning yourself? The nervous system in your body is doing its job. How does this happen? Well, the nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and autonomic nerves, which all work synergistically to coordinate movement, thought and sensations that the human being experiences. During this blog I will go in depth with defining the structure and function of the nervous system, and how neurons communicate with one another among the tissues of the body. I will finish with some of the issues that can develop when nerves become damaged or diseased.

The nervous system is the control center of the body. It is the electrical system of the body that communicates with every cell, tissue of the body. All movement is directly controlled by the NS. Heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and body temperature are all regulated by the NS. The master controller of the NS is the brain. The brain coordinates the nerves to react to all situations that the body experiences. The brain coordinates with the spinal cord. The spinal cord will then send the appropriate signal to the area that the brain is wanting to elicit. Nerves are electrochemical in nature. They are divided into four categories.

* Cranial Nerves: Signal action from the (eyes, ears, nose, mouth) to the brain.
* Central Nerves: Connects the brain to the spinal cord
* Peripheral Nerves: Connects the brain to the limbs (arms legs).
* Autonomic Nerves: Connects the brain and spinal cord to the organs of the body

The Central Nervous System consists of the brain, spinal cord, cranial and central nerves. Peripheral nerves are the ones that respond quickly to external stimuli that we touch, i.e; touching a hot object.

The Spinal Cord and Neurons

The Spinal Cord is like a telephone cable that is protected by vertabras, located in the back of the body. The spinal column contains many nerve cell bodies known as grey matter, and axons known as white matter. Both grey matter and white matter run from the brain and throughout the body. The peripheral nerves run in and out of the openings of the vertebras. Inside each vertebra the nerves are divided into dorsal roots and ventral nerves. Dorsal roots are sensory axons and cell bodies. Ventral nerves are motor nerve cell processes. Autonomic nerve cell bodies, on the other hand, are long chain like nerves that run alongside parallel to the spinal cord and inside the vertebra. Their axons exit the spinal nerve sheaths.


A nerve cell is known as a neuron. The brain and spinal cord have billions of nerve cells. The neuron is the master cell in that it gathers and transmits all electrochemical signals in the body. Nerve cells differ from other cells in that they can transmit electricalchemical signals up to several feet. They also communicate to each other. For example, the autonomic nerves in the stomach (afferent and efferent nerves) communicate with each other to send information to the brain to eat and to stop eating.

The Three Basic Parts of A Neuron

Cell Body, Axon, Dendrite

The Cell Body is the main part of the neuron. It contains a nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum and ribosomes and mitochondria. The nucleus is the command center of the cell that tells the organelles what to do. It also contains the DNA. The endoplasmic reticulum and ribosomes help manufacture proteins. And the mitochondria produces Adenosine Triphosphate (the high energy compound of the body). Cell bodies form clusters in the body known as ganglia. Ganglia are located in various parts of the brain and spinal cord. When the cell body dies so does the neuron. This is why spinal cord injuries are so serious because the nerves are damaged to the point of non repair.

Axons: Act as electrochemical transmitters that send messages to other parts of the cell. In some cases the signal is a few feet in length. Think of them as being like an electrical cable that connects to the house to provide electricity. The transformer would act as the Cell Body. Like the electrical cable in incased with a protective sheath, the axon is covered by a myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is made up of essential fat. The sheath helps speed up the transmission along the axon. Most of all myelinated neurons are found in the peripheral nerves. The non-myelinated neurons are found in the brain and spinal cord.

NOTE: When the myelin sheath deteriorates this causes nerve disease. This is known as Multiple Sclerosis. Essential fat is crucial in the diet to help keep the neurons protected.

: These are the nerve endings. They are small, branchlike projections of the cell that allow neurons to communicate with other cells. Dentrites can be found on one or both ends of a cell.

The Size of Neurons
Neurons vary in shape and size depending where and what they are doing in the body. The small sensory neurons of the finger have long axons, that are the length of the arm. Where as, neurons in the brain only extend a couple of millimeters. Motor neurons, the ones that are associated to activating muscles, contain a cell body on one end, a long axon in the middle and dendrites on the other end.

Neurons Vary In Function
Sensory nerves transmit information from the peripheral aspect of the body to the central nervous system.

Motor neurons transmit information from the central nervous system to the muscles, skin, glands.

The body is comprised of billions of receptors that sense the environment and what the body is experiencing every second of life. How the receptors perceive the information is sent to the sensory neurons via electrochemical messages. It is at the sensory nerves where the information is encoded. The information is dispersed to the interneuron network connecting to the neurons of the brain and spinal cord.

In the peripheral and autonomic nerve network, the axons are bunched into groups. How they are bunched depends on where they are coming from and going to. These bundles of axons are protected by membranes known as fasciculi. The nerve is supplied with blood vessels that bring in oxygen and help remove waste products. The peripheral nerves travel near major arteries deep within the extremities.

Neural Pathways and Action Potentials: How cells are stimulated.

Neural Pathways:
Depending on the complexity of a particular task, nerve impulses respond to all types of stimuli. There are different types of neural pathways that respond to stimulation. The simplest type of neural pathway is a monosynaptic reflex pathway. This type of pathway is when the nerve fires off a sequence that elicits a response without having to connect to the brain. An example of this type of monosynaptic reflex pathway would be hitting your knee below the patella, or hitting the funny bone in the elbow. The sensory neuron transfers the information to a motor unit of the closest muscle. The muscle then contracts in response. The body has many reflex pathways like this. However as the task becomes more complicated the higher levels of the nervous system are required to elicit a response to the stimuli.

Action Potentials:
How does the nerve cell transmit electrochemical energy? The answer: It transmit energy by an action potential.

An action potential is a series of chemical reactions that produce a charge in the electrical components of the nerve. How this is done is by depolarization and repolarization cycles. The body is comprised of mostly water. The cell membrane is made up of fats known as phospholipids. The phospholipids are like batteries in that they have a charged electrical head that sits near a water supply and two polar tails that repel water. The cell membrane has a negative and positive polarization factor. What this means is that inside the cell has a negatively charged polarization, where as the outside of the cell has a positive electrical charge. The membrane is designed to keep the electrically charged ions from entering into the cell. The positively charged ions (sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride ions) can only get into the cell by a series of events that allow the proteins to lock into a certain sequence along the receptors of the cell membrane walls. This sequence is much like a lock and key configuration. During this selective permeability the electrically charged particles can enter the cell influences the appropriate organelles to perform their task. The cell then becomes polarized. The polarized cell then gets depolarized. The electrical energy that has entered the cell is then pushed out by a series events that allow the sodium, potassium, pumps to repolarize the cell. The type of cellular response depends on the type of ion that is presented at the gates of the receptors.

Nerve Growth and Regeneration

Nerve cells are the slowest growing of all cells in the body. It can takes months for a nerve to grow one to two centimeters. When nerve cells grow they secrete NGF (nerve growth factor). NGF attracts to already established healthy nerve cells and begin to establish connections. Unfortunately, the nerves in the central nervous system do not act in this manner. When nerves are damaged or injured in the spinal column or brain, the recovery rate and re-growth is poor. In severe damage the re-growth is impossible. It appears the the peripheral and autonomic nerves have a greater re-growth rate. The reason for this is still unknown.

Nerve Signals
The action potential is what is responsible for the polarization of sodium and potassium ions. The resting cell has a negative charge of about 70-80Mv. When there is enough sodium ion pressure outside of the cell, the positive charge forces the cell to open. Sodium pumps open to allow the sodium to enter the cell. This change in energy depolarizes the cell allowing more sodium to enter forcing an action potential. The cell now becomes positive inside and negative outside. The sodium channels then shut off discontinue sodium uptake. The increased cellular positivity alerts the potassium channels to open. Potassium ions leave the cell. This results in the inside of the cell to become negative and the outside to become positive again, the resting state. This is repolarization. The potassium pumps turn off once the resting values are re-established.

During the action potential once the ions initiate their threshold they cannot be reversed. This is known as the "all or none" response. This mostly occurs in excitable tissue like muscle. Once the cell fires off there is a refractory period. Meaning that that cell is no longer available until it is repaired and repolarized. During weight training the cells are "blown out" during the exercise. As long as the exercise persists the recruitment of other muscles are fired up to keep up with the constant tension. The more intense the exercise the more tissue damage that occurs. Meaning you will need more rest to repair the tissue.

How Nerves Communicate With Each Other
Please Refer to my blog on Synaptic Transmission posted 8/13/10

Damaged Nerves

When nerves get damaged the following can be the cause.

Toxic chemicals can interfere with the sodium and potassium pumps. Ultimately, altering the action potential.

Physical tissue damage (broken bones, muscle tears, etc). can destroy nerves retarding conductivity to that area. Most injuries can be repaired and the nerves can regenerate among the peripheral nerves depending on the severity of the injury. The more serious injuries could result in total loss of the nerves.

The most common nerve damage occurs in the lower back. Many people suffer from the pinching of the sciatic nerve. This is usually the case when the vertebras of the lower lumbar break down causing the bone and cartilage to press against the nerve. The conduction is impaired and the result is usually pain and numbness. The more severe the damage the more the pain and numbness there is.

The nervous system is a remarkeable part of the human body. Without nerves we wouldn't exist. The nerves are delicate electrical transmitters. Keeping your body healthy and eating healthy will help protect the nerves and keep them functioning for many years. Exercise is a great way to condition the neuromuscular system and to create stronger action potentials among muscle cells. The more muscle cells that you can develop the greater the neural response becomes. The more nerves you can activate the faster you can respond to varying stimuli. If the muscle tissue becomes dormant you begin to lose the ability to react to a stimulus at a fast rate which could lead to injury. One of the goals for weight training should be in developing the sychronization of the muscle cell and the central nervous system. The greater this connection the stronger the body becomes. The stronger the body, the more you can endure and do in regards of physical activity. Also, keeping the nervous system stimulated by exercise can help nourish and oxygenate the brain. The more oxygen and nutrition you can pump through the brain the better the nerves are stimulated possibly reducing the onset some neurological diseases.

I hope that this has provided you a good introduction of how nerves work in the body.

tags: nervous system, nutrition, pga championship, daryl conant, vince gironda, health, strength and conditioning, bodybuilding, ron kosloff

Friday, August 13, 2010

Understanding Synaptic Transmission

Synaptic Transmission

In order to build muscle it is important to know how the cells of the body work. The cellular machinery is complex. You might have read my posts in the past regarding how a muscle contracts. In those posts I talk about synapse. Now I would like to go more in depth in discussing the synaptic transmission.

As discussed previously the basis of a muscle contraction occurs when there is communication between neurons and muscle fibers. This communication junction is called synapses. There are two types of synapse electrical and chemical. The chemical synapse being the most prevalent.

Acetylcholine is one of the neurotransmitters responsible for initiating an excitatory response within the neuron. When a nerve impulse fires off it travels down to the presynaptic axon terminal, this is the beginning of synaptic transmission. This electrical surge initiates the depolarization of the presynaptic membrane, which in turn releases neurotransmitter release and opens up the receptors on the postsynaptic membrane.

Synaptic vesicles float in the cytoskeleton of the cytoplasm. Free vesicles travel to the plasma membrane to help assist in the priming reaction of fusion, among the vesicular and plasma membranes. The membranes of the synaptic vesicles pull together with the help of protein complexes, known as Snares. These snares are dispersed on the vesicle and presynaptic membrane.

When the axon terminal depolarizes, voltage-gated calcium channels open, and calcium ions rush into the axon terminal. Through this process synaptotagmin is also produced. Synaptotagmin is when calcium ions bind to a free floating protein on the synaptic vesicle membrane.

Calcium binding to synatotagmin at the synaptic vesicle closest to the active zone, are drawn closer to the presynaptic membrane. Once this occurs the vesicles then fuse with the axon terminal membrane, and release their neurotransmitter into the synaptic cleft. The transmitter molecules bind to distinct receptor molecules in the postsynaptic membrane.

How the postsynaptic cell responds to excitation or inhibition depends upon the type of neurotransmitter and receptor combination. Think of this like a lock and key sequence. Different keys open up different doors. Since I am talking about acetylcholine, ACH is permeable to sodium. When ACH binds, the channel opens and sodium ions enter the postsynaptic cell. This sequence produces a excitatory postsynaptic response.

The excitatory postsynaptic response is quick. Transmitters are inactivated or dispersed from the synaptic cleft quickly to accurately follow the presynaptic input signal. When ACH releases into the postsynaptic cleft it leaves an enzyme (acetylcholinesterase), which breaks down ACH into two parts; choline and acetate. This release ACHe from the receptors causes the channels to close. Setting up for the next transmission response. Not all neurotransmitters are broken down by enzymes in the synaptic cleft. Many transmitters are consumed by protein transporters. This is known as reuptake. Reuptake helps recycle the transmitter molecules keeping the neuron repolarized allowing for the next synaptic transmission.

tags: muscle contraction, protein synthesis, nutrition, tiger woods, redsox, yankees, big brother, nutrition, daryl conant, diet EARTH, muscle, bodybuilding,

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Staying Motivated

The hardest part of an exercise program is staying motivated. If you don't absolutely love exercise and can't wait to train each day then you will have a tough time succeeding. How do you stay motivated? You have to find something that creates the spark within you to want to continue to exercise. For me I get motivated by inventing new exercises. I like it when I develop something that I feel is a better way to work a particular muscle. Since I have been training for so long, many of the common exercises don't stimulate my muscles like they once did. I have to constantly figure new ways to stimulate the muscles to grow. Once I hit adaptation I immediately change up the exercise. This is very important. I also stay motivated by thinking of how I want to make the muscle look. I like to challenge myself to see just how far I can take my body. The reward is what I get from how I look and feel. It is really neat to see my body change almost over night. When I invent a new exercise and then to see the muscle change from it is motivating to me. I constantly change my methodics and train outside the norm. Vince Gironda taught me to challenge everything. I have performed over a thousand different programs that I have tweaked and developed into my own. I am never satisfied with doing the same ole same ole. If I was limited to only a few exercises then I don't think I would be as successful in bodybuilding. I would have quit years ago. Once you become an advanced exerciser enthusiast you have to search for new ways to keep challenging the body. For me building new equipment for new exercises is what sparks my interest and motivation. Sometimes I will be staring off into the abyss (which really bugs my wife, because she is usually talking to me about something) thinking of a new way to work triceps. I will be planning and building a new piece of equipment in my head. It is great when it actually gets built and I get to use it. It is great to re-stimulate a stubborn area.

The key to fitness success is staying motivated. You have to find your niche that will keep you going back day in and day out. If you ride the perpetual wheel and do the same ole same ole then you will fail. Because you will become bored and will not see results. You have to constantly find new ways to stimulate the muscle to grow. It is all about staying one step ahead of adaptation. I love bodybuilding and that is what motivates me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Boring Dreadmill

When I opened up my gym years ago I had a vision. I wanted to have a place where people could learn the truth about exercise and nutrition. Being a bodybuilder, I wanted to share the secrets of developing a good looking physique. Within my philosophy I go beyond the typical business model of what a fitness center should be. I used to work for the big gyms that housed 20-30 pieces of cardio equipment and some weight machines. I would work at these big warehouses of machinery and think to myself, "this is the wrong approach to getting people fit." I would often hear the trainers tell the members, "you gotta do your CAH-DIO for 30-60 minutes then follow it up with the weight circuit for 3 sets of 10 reps." This has always been the cookie cutter approach in most gyms across America. Most people who join a gym usually follows this approach because it is all they know. They feel comfortable knowing that they are doing the same thing that everyone else is doing regardless if it actually works or not.

I got out of the big box fitness scene years ago to teach people the correct way to exercise. I GET VERY ANNOYED WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE IGNORANT!!! If I hear one more person tell me that they need to have a room filled with 30-40 treadmills (dreadmills) in order to become a member of my gym, I am going to lose it!

As a gym owner I decided I had to have some pieces of cardiovascular machines. If I thought cardiovascular machines had a tremendous value I would have purchased 30 machines and opened up the doors to sell memberships for people to workout. Then I would have my monthly check sent to me in the Caribbean while I am on the beach enjoying life. I wouldn't even have to be around I would just be making money off of suckers who paid money to walk indoors. Give me a break!!

True gym owners know that machines are only pacifiers for members. The true talent lies within the brain of the instructor. I have been training since I was 12 years old. Throughout all the years, I can honestly say that I have NEVER spent more than 15 minutes on a dreadmill, an elliptical machine, or a stationary bike. I have the attention span of Dory the fish. I get very bored with stationary machines. I get plenty of cardiovascular training from the way I train. By changing the methodic and the intensity of weight training I can blast my cardiovascular system. I find this to work best for me. If I ever needed to do extra cardiovascular work I would rather run outdoors, or do cross training (ropes, kettle bells, medicine balls) to boost my cardiorespiratory system.

Unfortunately, I am dealing with many folks that are so conditioned into believing that they will change their physique by running hours on a dreadmill. Here are some great ways to boost your cardiovascular system without having to spend hours on boring machines.

Circuit one:

Push ups to failure

30-40 alternating rope snaps

10 big arm snaps

Clean and Press to failure (12-15 reps)

Barbell Squats 20 reps

One Arm Romanian Deadlift 20 reps

Abdominal Bicycle

Circuit two:

Band Pulls 50 reps

Medicine ball squat rotations 20 reps each side

DB Lunges 12-15 reps

Jump rope 1 minute

Kettle Bell Swings 30 seconds

Dying Cockroach

These are cardio boosters complete each circuit three times. If you don't feel that your heart rate increases doing these sequences then you are not human.

So let me ask you. Would you rather watch television walking on a stationary machine like a gerbal on a wheel, or boost your heart by doing something fun and challenges in unrestricted space. I like to have fun and be challenged. Watching television on a dreadmill has about as much appeal to me as getting a brazilian wax on my privates.

tags: nutrition, cardiovascular training, daryl conant, redsox, tiger woods, oprah, strength and conditioning, bodybuilding, diet EARTH


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Synthetic Human

There once a time when Americans could eat real natural food. Today, the natural food supply is dwindling. We are now dependent upon man made synthetic processed food. In order to supply the demands of all the inhabitants of America it is necessary to process food to keep it longer on the shelf. Unfortunately the product that we are consuming is filled with chemicals that are causing illness and disease. The vital organs of the body cannot work with the chemical ladened food. The immune system eventually weakens and disease develops. It bothers me that so many people don't care about the chemicals that they are ingesting every day into their body. It is a shame to think that there will come a day when natural food will be extinct on this earth and that humans will have to depend on food made in factories. It is as if we are becoming synthetic humans. There will be more chemicals floating in our body than actual nutrients. We will be living on drugs and chemicals. I am not too far off with this prediction. Look at our society today. So many people are already dependent on drugs to keep them alive. You don't hear of doctors prescribing nutrients to help strengthen the immune system. They only seem to give out drugs to help regulate the problem. I wish that something would change to see that the natural food supply is protected.

To think that only the rich can eat healthy and the rest of us have to eat less of the organic foods and more of the processed chemical ladened foods. There is something wrong with this system. Eating all organic natural food is very expensive for most families. What I suggest that you do is to purchase all of your protein sources organically. Protein is the most important and you don' t want to sacrifice quality. If you have to, you can purchase non-organic vegetables. Just wash them before consuming. Washing will remove some of the chemicals that are on the food.

The bottom line is that it is becoming harder and harder to eat food that isn't contaminated with pesticides, preservatives, steroids and other chemicals. This disturbs me...

Tags: nutrition, yankees, redsox, strength training, cross fit, health, body building, daryl conant, diet earth.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Redsox Are Done For This Year

Well it was a uneventful season. Plagued with too many injuries to key players have kept the Red Sox from ever getting off the ground and becoming a true contender this year. Last night pretty much confirmed that the Sox are out. Being 7 games back is one nail in the coffin. Having Pedroia, Youkalis out hurt the sox. What they should do now is to focus on getting some of the younger players from the farm system playing time. This will allow them to see what they have and start to re-build for next season. The highlight of this season for me took place last Tuesday. I took my 2 sons to the game and we saw Mike Lowell come up to bat. Mike had not played since June. When he came up to bat he was greeted with a standing ovation. While the crowd was going nuts cheering for him, still standing up. He hit the first pitch he saw over the Green Monster. It was a moment in Fenway that we will never forget. To experience that moment with my boys was worth the season. For a brief moment it felt like the 2007 magical season when Mike Lowell was in his prime.

So I look forward to next year as the sox try to capture another pennate and hopefully world series championship. Until then, I say bring on the Patriots!!!

Throw Away The Scale

Here's the best advice you'll ever hear in regard to weight-management-- "THROW AWAY YOUR SCALE." The focus (obsession) on weight is the very reason why most people fail. It's mis-guided and dangerous.

The focus on weight began back in the 1950's when the definition of appropriate weight was simple. Your weight was compared against the "ideal weight" tables developed by the metropolitan Life Insurance Company. If your actual weight was twenty percent (20%) or more above the table weight, then, you were considered obese. If it was ten percent (10%) under, you were underweight. Today, however, the term ideal weight is irrelevant.

Beware: Some medical doctors still use the Metropolitan Life Tables.