In today’s digest we bring you articles on Tip: A Safer Alternative to Testosterone Replacement, First Look: Avrox Ei8ht energy drink, 7 Mass-Building Tips from a Pro Strongman and Bodybuilder and Strongman Brian Shaw’s Chest and Shoulder Workout. Hope you enjoy them…
Tip: A Safer Alternative to Testosterone Replacement
Several years ago a friend of mine, an internist, told me what he was doing for some of his patients who were in need of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). He didn’t give them testosterone gels, creams, or even shots. Instead, he wrote them prescriptions for clomiphene citrate, aka Clomid, a female fertility drug that’s also…
Several years ago a friend of mine, an internist, told me what he was doing for some of his patients who were in need of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). He didn’t give them testosterone gels, creams, or even shots.
Instead, he wrote them prescriptions for clomiphene citrate, aka Clomid, a female fertility drug that’s also used to stop the growth of estrogen-dependent breast cancer.
Granted, Clomid has a long history in competitive bodybuilding as an anti-estrogen and something that could help restore testicular function while coming off a steroid cycle. Still, it’s never been routinely used as an alternative to TRT, so when my friend told me about what he was doing with it, I chalked up his concept as too iffy, too underpowered, and maybe a little too whacky to be taken seriously. Just Joel being Joel.
Recently, though, while researching another topic, my Googling took a right turn instead of a left and I ended up finding some studies that backed up what Joel was doing. It seems Clomid may turn out to be cheaper than TRT, possibly equally effective, and with fewer side effects.
How Well Does It Work?
In one study of 36 legitimately hypogonadal men (27 to 60 years old), 25 mg. of Clomid, taken daily for 4 to 6 weeks (until their first follow-up visit), increased testosterone levels by 146%. Their collective testosterone to estrogen ratio improved by about 61%, as well.
“Low dose clomiphene citrate is effective in elevating serum testosterone levels and improving the testosterone/estradiol ratio in men with hypogonadism,” concluded the researchers. “This therapy represents an alternative to testosterone therapy by stimulating the endogenous androgen production pathway.”
At least four or five other studies have found similar results.
What’s Going On Here?
Clomid is what’s known as a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). It’s undeniably effective in curbing breast cancer growth because when it binds to the estrogen receptor, the fit isn’t precise. Because of this lousy fit, it doesn’t initiate a reaction, which in the case of breast cancer, is tumor growth. However, the fit is good enough to keep estrogen itself from attaching to the receptor and initiating that same tumor growth. It’s a win-win.
In men, the fit to the estrogen receptor is equally lousy, like a suit you buy from Men’s Warehouse. As such, it doesn’t initiate any “estrogenic” reactions, like storage of fatty tissue or feminization in general. Still, just as with women, the fit is good enough to keep real estrogen from attaching to the receptor and causing those same feminizing effects.
What Clomid also tells the body by binding to those receptors is that it’s okay to keep producing testosterone. When there’s too much estrogen in the bloodstream, the body figures that it’s time to stop making testosterone (because normally, all that estrogen arose from the aromatization of testosterone).
As such, testosterone levels gradually increase while estrogen levels stay the same or drop. The end result is more testosterone and a better testosterone/estrogen ratio. Muscles grow. Fat shrinks. Energy increases. Spermatozoans proliferate and percolate.
Okay, But Is It a Viable Alternative?
Traditional testosterone replacement, while extremely effective, has a couple of potential drawbacks. For one, there’s no oral delivery system. That means creams, gels, or shots, the latter option sometimes leading to infections.
Secondly, it’s easy and tempting to overdo it (too much of a good thing) so that other side effects surface, like too high a hematocrit level (possibly leading to stroke), possible hair loss (in those susceptible), and possible prostate growth, not to mention an elevated testosterone/estrogen ratio.
These things are either not possible or not likely with Clomid. As testament to its presumed safety, the study that had men on Clomid the longest (40 months) reported no adverse side effects.
Clomid is also much cheaper than TRT, probably by a factor of four.
One Possible Drawback
If it has a drawback, it’s that it only works in those individuals who have a normally functioning HPTA (hypothalamis-pituitary-testes-axis). In other words, if your hypothalamus or your testes aren’t functioning properly, your only recourse is traditional TRT.
Clomid seems like a viable alternative for men who just want to boost testosterone levels back into normal physiological ranges. The most daunting part about using it though, may be finding a progressive doc to prescribe it.
The Complete Guide to T Replacement
How to Increase Your Sex Drive
- Shabsigh A1, Kang Y, Shabsign R, Gonzalez M, Liberson G, Fisch H, Goluboff E, “Clomiphene citrate effects on testosterone/estrogen ratio in male hypogonadism,” J Sex Med. 2005 Sep;2(5):716-21.
Tip: A Safer Alternative to Testosterone Replacement was originally published at https://www.t-nation.com/pharma/tip-a-safer-alternative-to-testosterone-replacement?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article7997
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First Look: Avrox Ei8ht energy drink
A revolutionary-sounding new energy drink could be the answer to the prayers of runners who get a dodgy tummy from slurping gels on the run. The usual method of fuelling your performance is to consume more energy – mostly in some form of sugar – to top up your carbohydrate stores. Avrox Ei8ht is different;…
A revolutionary-sounding new energy drink could be the answer to the prayers of runners who get a dodgy tummy from slurping gels on the run.
The usual method of fuelling your performance is to consume more energy – mostly in some form of sugar – to top up your carbohydrate stores.
Avrox Ei8ht is different; the makers claim it increases the body’s ability to transport oxygen to the muscles by 5 per cent for at least 80 minutes after it has been consumed. What’s more, they say effect can be noticeable just five minutes after consumption.
It’s the product of a collaboration between Harrogate-based research company Avrox technologies and researchers at the University of Oxford, and was originally planned for use in a medical setting.
The drink is taken as a sachet mixed with water and shaken for 30 seconds. The shaking is important, as this is what creates the friction that, apparently, stimulates the production of ‘micro bubbles’ capable of carrying oxygen in the bloodstream. The ingredients are vegan and the drink contains B vitamins, too.
Still with us? Good. The micro bubbles (500 times thinner than a human hair, say the researchers) pass through the stomach wall and into the bloodstream within five minutes of consumption, ready to pair with oxygen.
Trials were pretty impressive. The results have been submitted for publication and show that over a 10km time trial, the performance of a sample group of cyclists improved by, on average, 37 seconds, with the drink inducing a 6.6 per cent increase in peak power output.
Did it work on us?
Our tests were less scientific, but we tried Avrox Ei8ht on five different runs: a 40-minute track session, a five-mile tempo run, a one-hour interval run and two long runs of over 15 miles. We drank the sachet just before starting a session and there was a marked reduction in perception of effort; also, we didn’t feel that post-gel crash that makes you suck up another one. All the runs felt like those times when you go out, have a really good session and feel strong throughout. There was no ‘turbo boost’ sensation, just a relative lack of fatigue compared with what we were used to. It was great not having to think about fuelling on the long runs, either, or having to work out when to take gels on board. We didn’t try this on a marathon-distance run (17 miles was our longest), so can’t say whether you’d be able to run 26.2 miles without some sort of fuelling, but, overall, we were impressed. The price is steep but, for many, the improved performance will be worth the outlay and there are cheaper subscription options available.
Buy it: Avrox Ei8ht Energy, £4.99 for two sachets
7 Mass-Building Tips from a Pro Strongman and Bodybuilder
Eat Right This one is a no-brainer too, but the quality and quantity of foods you take in can make a huge difference in your progress. Start with 1g of animal-based protein per pound of body weight, and gradually work up to 1.5g then 2g as you progress. Nutritionists love to talk about soy proteins…
This one is a no-brainer too, but the quality and quantity of foods you take in can make a huge difference in your progress. Start with 1g of animal-based protein per pound of body weight, and gradually work up to 1.5g then 2g as you progress.
Nutritionists love to talk about soy proteins or bean and rice combos. Find me one that deadlifts over 800 pounds and I might lend an ear. Otherwise, eat eggs, steak, whole milk, 4% fat cottage cheese, whole milk Kefir, salmon and 88%-plus ground beef. Where’s the boneless skinless chicken, tuna, and whitefish? Save it for when you’re dieting down. You’ll need the saturated fats and cholesterol to keep testosterone levels high and get strong.
Stick with high-quality, protein-dense animal proteins. High-fat foods such as hot dogs, mayonnaise, cheese, bacon, and fast food often yield inadequate quantities of protein and bog down your digestive system, preventing you from eating your next meal on time. The squeamish may not want to hear it, but fast-food meats can be as much as or more than 90% fat and chock full of ground bone and tendon that your body can’t use. Five meals per day, each with 40 to 50g of protein, is a good starting goal.
Gradually train your metabolism to process all that food. You’ll have no better luck trying to eat 5,000 calories tomorrow than you will loading 500 pounds on the bench and asking for a lift off. Start with what you can eat and add calories every week or two, making sure that your training supports the increasing intake. After eating all your proteins and fats, toss in some carbs to fuel your workouts and to help prevent catabolism. Steer clear of white flour foods and stick with healthy servings of oatmeal, rice and potatoes. In the powerlifting world, “mass moves mass” so gradually increase calories to increase mass.
7 Mass-Building Tips from a Pro Strongman and Bodybuilder was originally published at https://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/workout-tips/7-mass-building-tips-pro-strongman-and-bodybuilder/
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Strongman Brian Shaw’s Chest and Shoulder Workout
Four-time World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw (@shawstrength) hasn’t said much about his future strongman plans lately, but one thing’s for sure: He’s still training hard. In a recent Instagram takeover on the Olympia’s account (@mrolympiallc), Shaw took us through a day in nutrition and training. Needless to say, the 6’8″ strongman eats a bit more…
Four-time World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw (@shawstrength) hasn’t said much about his future strongman plans lately, but one thing’s for sure: He’s still training hard. In a recent Instagram takeover on the Olympia’s account (@mrolympiallc), Shaw took us through a day in nutrition and training.
Needless to say, the 6’8″ strongman eats a bit more than an average bodybuilder, and he gets to enjoy pre-workout snacks like Rice Krispies treats from time to time.
Shaw starts his day off with some soft-tissue work on a Swisswing, which loosens up muscle tissue with vibration and oscillation. Then he walks on the treadmill for about 10 minutes just to wake up and clear his mind.
After a few good meals and some work and family time, Shaw heads into his home gym for some training with fellow pro strongman Tyler Stickle.
During Shaw and Stickle’s workout, which you can see here in the Olympia’s Instagram story, they hit shoulders and chest. Here are the moves Shaw highlighted in the Instagram stories during the takeover:
- Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press (working up to 140s in his working sets)
- Rear-Delt Flyes
- Barbell Bench Press with Chains
- Cable Lateral Raise
- Smith Machine Bench Press
Follow the Olympia on Instagram at @mrolympiallc for the rest of Shaw’s day (find it in story highlights at the top of the profile) and for more athlete takeovers. Buy tickets to the 2020 Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend HERE.
Strongman Brian Shaw’s Chest and Shoulder Workout was originally published at https://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/athletecelebrity-workouts/strongman-brian-shaws-chest-and-shoulder-workout/