The makers of Force Factor are releasing a preworkout drink called Body Rush.  If you're like me and don't like the taste of Gatorade or wish you had more control over what you're drinking, Body Rush is going to be a great product for you!
Previous posts have focused on some good exercises and fitness tips.  But how about some functional exercises?  The following five strongman events tests your strength and focus in real-life scenarios.  Check out the full article for videos too.

The TIre Flip
The tire flip is an explosive movement that requires a triple extension of the hips, knees and ankles. Flip as many times as possible and use this as a finisher to any of your workouts. explosive movement that requires a triple extension of the hips, knees and ankles. Flip as many times as possible and use this as a finisher to any of your workouts.his as a finisher to any of your workouts.
The Farmer's Walk
The farmer's walk tests your functional strength in grip, upper back and core. The farmer's walk can also be performed with dumbbells.
Overhead Press
The overhead press in strongman can be tested in several different ways. You can use a log, axle, barbell or dumbbells. The overhead press is one of the best complete tests of strength.
Sandbag CarrySandbag Carry
Sandbags are one of the best tests for grip strength, arms and back power. This carry should be performed as fast as possible.
Atlas Stone
The atlas stone is a good test of your quadriceps, core and manhood. Pull the weight tight into chest and drive through reps with your hips.
Almost every athlete has been told at some point that lactic acid is responsible for muscle soreness. 

While the two are certainly correlated in exercise, latest studies show that lactic acid is NOT directly responsible - understanding lactic acid's role in muscle physiology can maximize your workouts' effects.

From a NYTimes article (source):

"The understanding now is that muscle cells convert glucose or glycogen to lactic acid. The lactic acid is taken up and used as a fuel by mitochondria, the energy factories in muscle cells.

Mitochondria even have a special transporter protein to move the substance into them, Dr. Brooks found. Intense training makes a difference, he said, because it can make double the mitochondrial mass.

It is clear that the old lactic acid theory cannot explain what is happening to muscles, Dr. Brooks and others said."

Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) is the the United States' principal naval special operations forces.  Selective and competent, SEALs are among some of the best soldiers in the US military. 

All potential candidates must take Physical Screening Test (PST).  Even if you're not training to be a SEAL, the PST makes for a good benchmark of your own fitness, and can be used as a quick, full body workout that requires little equipment.  Here are the minimum requirements from the official Navy SEALs website:

500-yard swim using breast and/or sidestroke in less than 12 minutes and 30 seconds
10-minute rest 

Perform a minimum of 42 push-ups in 2 minutes 
2-minute rest 

Perform a minimum of 50 sit-ups in 2 minutes 
2-minute rest 

Perform a minimum of 6 pull-ups (no time limit) 
10-minute rest 

Run 1 ½ miles wearing RUNNING SHOES and SHORTS in under 11 minutes

Remember, these are the minimum requirements for the PST.  Challenge yourself to go above and beyond and you'll see more significant improvements. 

The best workout drink?
In my previous post, I talked about the importance of selecting good meats in diet to maximize your workouts.  Equally important, if not more, is proper hydration.  Humans can live weeks without food, but only last a few days at most without water.  A strenuous workout can cost almost 1.5 liters of water in sweat.

So what's the best to drink while working out?  Everyone knows about Gatorade, and water is always a good fallback.  Interestingly enough, chocolate milk has been shown to be a good choice!  (CBS News)  In fact, Michael Phelps can be seen drinking Carnation Instant Breakfast between races. 

Sports drinks include carbs to include the glycogen loss associated with heavy exercise.  Milk contains these carbs, but also includes proteins, which research shows increases glycogen uptake.  "The findings suggest that chocolate milk has an optimal ratio of carbohydrates to protein to help refuel tired muscles," according to researcher Joel M. Stager, PhD, Indiana University.

According to the study, athletes replenishing with chocolate milk were able to go 50% longer on a stationary bike test after they had been worked to exhaustion.

Some newer energy drinks, such as Endurox, attempt to mimic the carb/protein ratios of chocolate milk, but fared poorly in performance testing.  Researcher Jeanne D. Johnston, MA, says it may have to do with the different composition of the sugars in the milk. Another theory is that the sugars in the milk may be better absorbed in the gut than those in the Endurox.

This is enough to convince me to at least try drinking chocolate during my next workout!


For an athlete, meat is an essential part of good diet.  It provides the protein and other nutrients needed to build and maintain muscle and strength.  But meats also contain fats and cholesterol, both of which contribute to cardiovascular issues and potentially decreased performance.  It is important to optimize the meat in your diet so you get the most benefits to muscularity while minimizing health risks.

Some on the list, such as turkey and fish, aren't surprising. But some interesting meats such as Bison make a showing.

Be sure to check out the full article by Dustin Driver

1) Buffalo (Bison)
A hunk of buffalo has far less fat than steak and buffalo are generally grass-fed, which means healthier meat. Let’s compare burgers: Your typical lean hamburger (10% fat) contains about 0.32 oz (9 g) of fat. Buffalo burgers, on the other hand, contain less than half that, about 0.14 oz (4 g). Not bad for a tasty burger. There was a point when buffalo were endangered, but the beasts have made a comeback, especially on ranches. Today, buffalo meat is readily available in most grocery stores.

2) Pork
Pork chops used to be on the doctors’ hit list. Today, however, pork is “the other white meat” and is a healthy alternative to red meat. And when it’s eaten in reasonable quantities (8 oz), a pork chop can be quite good for you. Pork chops can be relatively lean, but they’re typically not as low-fat as chicken or fish. By contrast, however, a USDA, University of Wisconsin and Maryland study found that a 3 oz (85 g) serving of pork tenderloin contains 0.105 oz (2.98 g) of fat and that the same portion of skinless chicken breast contains 0.106 oz (3.03 g) of fat.

If chops are still your thing, look for lean ones, and trim the fat before you eat them. A typical pork chop, with the fat cut off, contains about 0.3 oz (8 g) of fat. Beware, however, of cured pork, like ham and bacon; both meats may contain nitrates and nitrites as preservatives, which have been linked to cancer.

3) Chicken

White meat is much better for you than red -- that’s a well-known fact. As such, chicken (not deep-fried) is a great alternative to red meats. It’s low in fat -- without the skin -- and it’s pretty tasty if it’s prepared correctly. Chicken is a great source of protein and, as an added bonus, it’s less expensive than beef. But remember, there’s always the risk of E. coli infection when you’re dealing with chicken. Be sure to cook or heat it to an internal temperature of at least 165F to kill off the bugs.

Also, charred grilled chicken can contain some cancer-causing chemicals, such as heterocyclic amines, so limit your consumption of well-blackened chicken.

4) Turkey

This big bird never saw it coming. Domestic turkey is a relatively recent addition to the world’s protein menu, and it’s great for you. Turkey is generally a white meat (turkey breast), but it packs more flavor than chicken, and its dark meat can be downright gamy. Turkey meat is also relatively low in fat: one 4.9 oz (140 g) serving of skinless roasted turkey contains about 0.25 oz (7 g) of fat.

5) Fish
A properly cooked hunk of fish can be as satisfying as a great steak. Plus, many fish (typically salmon and tuna) are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to decreased rates of heart disease.Circulation published a study that suggests lean, white fish, such as cod, don’t provide the same health benefits as fattier fish do. Another extensive EPIC study found that people who eat lots of fish are less likely to develop colon cancer than those who don’t. But be careful: big fish like tuna can contain high levels of mercury, which is a poison to the human body.

So, how much fish can you eat and be safe? It depends. Avoid large fish that eat other fish -- tuna, swordfish and shark -- and stick to smaller fish, which tend to contain less mercury than bigger fish. Local levels of mercury vary; check with your nearby fish and game agency to see which fish contain high levels of mercury.

One of my favorite competitions is cyclocross.  Unlike road biking, it's basically an anything-goes, full body workout that's great for burning fat and getting a cardio workout in.  If you've been working out and and are looking to trim fat weight, I highly recommend looking for local cyclocross races.