Hardcore Thought Of The Day

Quit Gossip. Small useless talk is pointless and gossiping is a weakness.

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When it comes to following a program the best thing is to stick with it. Commit for the long haul. Jumping around from program to program is never a good idea because they are designed to be followed to the end. When you jump around it is hard to measure your progress.

That being said , here is a program that some one I am friends with is doing and they tried to get me to do it. But I am taking my own advice. I am working a sweet little 4 day split designed for hypertrophy and I am doing well. When I get done with it I will see but until then I am stick with it. But this program looks fun and I think one day I will try it. So I am posting it here so I have it in my little internet scrap book of a blog for the future. If any readers decide to jump on this program then come back on here and keep us posted, I would be really interested as I am sure others would be too.

P.H.A.T. Training: A Look At Layne Norton’s Workout System

Author: Alex Borja B.S. SPT, HFS

The P.H.A.T. program or “Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training” program is unique in that it involves the combination of powerlifting and bodybuilding training. If you are new to the scene, powerlifters are often regarded as using lower reps and higher weight in their workouts to mostly gain strength whereas bodybuilders strive for mass using a higher rep and less weight approach in comparison to powerlifters.

So who is Layne Norton?

P.H.A.T. Training: Layne Norton's Workout System

Well if you haven’t heard of him by now I will explain. Layne Norton is a professional natural bodybuilder, powerlifter, and writer. Oh, and did I mention he has his Ph D? He is very experienced in the fitness industry and sought after highly for his articles and thoughts. So Layne Norton is highly qualified to introduce his newest training system: P.H.A.T. training.

Why P.H.A.T.?

Well you can pretty much use common sense when thinking of the possible outcomes from using both powerlifting and bodybuilding approaches to training – at the same time!

Typically when one is training for strength, he will inevitably need to gain mass once he hits a wall. That is just fact. He will someday reach a plateau where he can no longer get any stronger without adding some more muscle to help with the motion. The opposite holds true to: the bodybuilder will evenetually need more strength to add more mass to his body. P.H.A.T. hopes to aid with this…

So in conclusion: Strength and Mass are directly proportional. (To a degree)

So one can draw the conclusion that putting the two types of training together, for mass and for strength, the outcomes can be very impressive. Does P.H.A.T. really work? Can we really train for strength and mass within the same week to boost our overall results and accelerate to new heights we never thought possible? There’s only one way to find out.

Note:

This is a very intense, volume heavy program that is meant to push you to your limits. No person has achieved more than they were able to by not pushing themselves to places where they thought they couldn’t reach. Having said this, P.H.A.T. training can be highly demanding and as such you should always distinguish real pain to “training pain”. If you feel yourself taking it too far, back off for a day or two. An injury can set you back months to years while knowing your limits will set you back a few days. Train hard but train smart.

PHAT Training Overview:

Day 1: Upper Body Power
Day 2: Lower Body Power
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Back and Shoulders Hypertrophy
Day 5: Lower Body Hypertrophy
Day 6: Chest and Arms Hypertrophy
Day 7: Rest

Day 1: Upper Body Power Day

  • Pulling Power Movement: Bent over or Pendlay rows
    3 sets of 3-5 reps
  • Assistance Pulling movement: Weighted Pull ups
    2 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Auxiliary Pulling movement: Rack chins
    2 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Pressing Power Movement: Flat dumbbell presses
    3 sets of 3-5 reps
  • Assistance pressing movement: Weighted dips
    2 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Assistance pressing movement: Seated dumbbell shoulder presses
    3 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Auxiliary curling movement: Cambered bar curls
    3 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Auxiliary extension movement: Skull crushers
    3 sets of 6-10 reps

Day 2: Lower Body Power Day

  • Pressing Power Movement: Squats
    3 sets of 3-5 reps
  • Assistance pressing movement: Hack Squats
    2 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Assistance extension movement: Leg extensions
    2 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Assistance pulling movement: Stiff legged deadlifts
    3 sets of 5-8 reps
  • Assistance pulling/curling movement: Glute ham raises or lying leg curls
    2 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Auxiliary calf movement: Standing calf raise
    3 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Auxiliary calf movement: Seated calf raise
    2 sets of 6-10 reps

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Back and Shoulders Hypertrophy Day

  • Pulling Power Exercise speed work: Bent over or Pendlay rows
    6 sets of 3 reps with 65-70% of normal 3-5 rep max
  • Hypertrophy pulling movement: Rack chins
    3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Hypertrophy pulling movement: Seated cable row
    3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Hypertrophy pulling movement: Dumbbell rows or shrugs bracing upper body against an incline bench
    2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Hypertrophy pulling movement: Close grip pulldowns
    2 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Hypertrophy shoulder movement: Seated dumbbell presses
    3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Hypertrophy shoulder movement: Upright rows
    2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Hypertrophy shoulder movement: Side lateral raises with dumbbells or cables
    3 sets of 12-20 reps

Day 5: Lower Body Hypertrophy Day

  • Lower Body Power Exercise speed work: Squats
    6 sets of 3 reps with 65-70% of normal 3-5 rep max
  • Hypertrophy pressing movement: Hack squats
    3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Hypertrophy pressing movement: Leg presses
    2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Hypertrophy extension movement: Leg extensions
    3 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Hypertrophy pulling movement: Romanian deadlifts
    3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Hypertrophy curling movement: Lying leg curls
    2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Hypertrophy curling movement: Seated leg curls
    2 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Hypertrophy calf movement: Donkey calf raises
    4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Hypertrophy calf movement: Seated calf raises
    3 sets of 15-20 reps

Day 6: Chest and Arms Hypertrophy Day

  • Pressing Power Exercise speed work:
  • Flat dumbbell presses
    6 sets of 3 reps with 65-70% of normal 3-5 rep max
  • Hypertrophy pressing movement: Incline dumbbell presses
    3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Hypertrophy pressing movement: Hammer strength chest press
    3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Hypertrophy fly movement: Incline cable flyes
    2 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Hypertrophy curling exercise: Cambered bar preacher curls
    3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Hypertrophy curling exercise: Dumbbell concentration curls
    2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Hypertrophy curling exercise: Spider curls bracing upper body against an incline bench
    2 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Hypertrophy extension exercise: Seated tricep extension with cambered bar
    3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Hypertrophy extension exercise: Cable pressdowns with rope attachment
    2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Hypertrophy extension exercise: Cable kickbacks
    2 sets of 15-20 reps

Also: See Layne Norton’s Interview with Directlyfitness.com!

Author:

Alex Borja B.S. SPT, HFS

References:

http://forums.rxmuscle.com/

More meal plans

Everyone is different. Some can just eat healthy and go by feel. They are lucky, they tend not to overeat or under eat, they are just right. Others can have a difficult time trying to stay on track. They are disorganized and can’t get into a good rhythm with their diet. So for those who are in this group you gotta get it together and have a plan.

The first step to all of this madness is to buy a food scale. You don’t need one for $100, a simple digital one up to 500grams will do just fine. The second thing I recommend is to get with the metric system. Start using grams and millilitres and ditch the ounces. Weighing out 3.66oz is a pain. Weighing out 100g? Easy.

After that, you need to keep a food log. You can do it the old fashion way of pen and paper, or use a online service such as www.fitday.com or www.dailyburn.com. This way you can remember what you have eaten over the course of the day. Believe me, after a few weeks of dieting all the food blends together! By recording all your meals, you will also be able to modify them easier once you hit a plateau. You will be able to see what you have been doing and what you need to change. In saying that, you are just here to get a meal plan, so you could just print this off and cross each meal out as you eat it!

All of these plans have 2-300g protein which is a great amount for all of your bodybuilding needs. If you are cutting, this amount will help you lose fat, and preserve muscle. It is also a sufficient amount of protein to gain muscle in a bulking phase! What one person may gain on, another may lose on…

All of these plans also have moderate carb/fat. This is for a number of reasons, but mainly because they are both delicious, and removing either one completely is a pain and may just lead to binging. If you want a VLC(VeryLowCarb) Diet, check out The Palumbo Diet. But for those that are not induced with carb-phobia(The last one hits 400Carbs!)…enjoy!

Note: All of the macros were taken from Calorieking.com. Brands will differ, just make sure you check the Nutrition Info before you start eating! Sometimes the same food product will have completely different macros!

 

2000 Calorie Diet (Calories/Fat/Carbohydrate/Protein):

 

Meal 1: 30g Oatmeal
1 scoop protein powder
Total: (~230/5/25/30)
Meal 2: 100g Banana
227g Fat Free Greek Yogurt
Total: (~230/0/30/20)
Meal 3: 141g Tuna(1 can)
2 slices Whole Wheat bread
10g Mayonnaise
Total: (~390/10/40/30)
Meal 4: 200g Chicken Breast
125g Sweet potato
Green Veggies
Total: (~360/5/20/45)
Meal 5: 200g Chicken Breast
125g Sweet potato
Green Veggies
Total: (~360/5/20/45)
Meal 6: 200g Apple
34g Peanut Butter
Total: (~300/20/35/10)
Meal 7: 2 String Cheese
Total: (~160/10/0/15)
Total: (~1950/55/170/195)

 

3000 Calorie Diet (Calories/Fat/Carbohydrate/Protein):

Meal 1: 60g Oatmeal
1 scoop protein powder
Total:  (~230/5/45/35)
Meal 2: 100g Banana
250g Pineapple
227g Fat Free Greek Yogurt
Total: (~355/0/60/20)
Meal 3: 141g Tuna(1 can)
2 slices Whole Wheat bread
10g Mayonnaise
Total: (~390/10/40/30)
Meal 4: 200g Chicken Breast
200g Sweet potato
Green Veggies
Total: (~420/5/35/45)
Meal 5: 200g Chicken Breast
200g Sweet potato
Green Veggies
Total: (~420/5/35/45)
Meal 6: 200g Apple
50g Peanut Butter
Total: (~400/25/40/15)
Meal 7: 2 String Cheese
250g Pineapple
Total: (~285/10/30/15)
Meal 8: 5 Whole Eggs
40g Shredded Cheese
Total: (~490/35/0/40)
Total: (~2990/95/285/245)

4000 Calorie Diet (Calories/Fat/Carbohydrate/Protein):

 

Meal 1: 60g Oatmeal
1 scoop protein powder
Total: (~230/5/45/35)
Meal 2: 100g Banana
250g Pineapple
227g Fat Free Greek Yogurt
Total: (~355/0/60/20)
Meal: 3 200g Whole Wheat Pasta
200g Premade Vodka Sauce
Total: (~455/5/80/5)
Meal 4: 141g Tuna(1 can)
2 slices Whole Wheat bread
10g Mayonnaise
Total: (~390/10/40/30)
Meal 5: 200g Chicken Breast
200g Sweet potato
Green Veggies
Total: (~420/5/35/45)
Meal 6: 250mL Whole milk
50g Peanut Butter
100g Banana
Total: (~550/35/45/20)
Meal 7: 200g Chicken Breast
200g Sweet potato
Green Veggies
Total: (~420/5/35/45)
Meal 8: 200g Apple
50g Peanut Butter
Total: (~400/25/40/15)
Meal 9: 2 String Cheese
250g Pineapple
Total: (~285/10/30/15)
Meal 10: 5 Whole Eggs
40g Shredded Cheese
Total: (~490/35/0/40)
Total: (~3995/135/410/270)

 

These plans are broken into meals, but that is simply to make the lists easier. You can eat these meal by meal, a couple meals combined together, or all at once. In the end of the day it will all be the same(but meal timing is another post….). Just make sure you eat everything on your meal plan. A missed meal is almost the same as a cheat meal! If it is in your diet, you need it!

Fire Service Warrior website.

The Fire Service Warrior website is pretty cool and I just wanted to share what I found . They cover my two favorite topics; weight training and firefighting.

http://www.fireservicewarrior.com/ethos/

 

Fire Service Warrior Ethos Statment

The great fish oil scare of 2013 and how to understand scientific studies.

Going back to last years scare that fish oil supplements can cause prostate cancer. This study came out and the media jumped on it and ran. The study some how said that omega 3’s were a cause for cancer and almost overnight I was slammed by text messages and emails from people telling me I’m going to get cancer now….

I came across this great article that not only explains the actual study that was done but also gives you some good info to use when the next big study pops up and throws the world into a tumultuous spin.

Research Review: Fish oil & prostate cancer

A recent study linking Omega-3s and prostate cancer caused a media storm and frightened a lot of people.

But before you stop taking your fish oil, pay attention to the kind of study this was, and remember – correlation does not equal causation (more on this below).

When it comes to using research to make real-life decisions, study design matters.

Introduction

A new study appears and it’s all over the news.

Vitamin X or food Y is correlated to cancer, heart disease, or stroke!

Suddenly people start avoiding vitamin X or food Y.

But hold on. What does it mean to say that two things are “correlated”, anyway?

Correlation: A mutual relationship or connection between two or more things.

If you ever hang out with geeks like me, you’ve probably heard us mutter things like, “That’s correlational, not causational”, or, “That was only a correlation.”

With flashbacks of your last math or stats class, you nod blindly and hope the conversation moves on to something more interesting, like a princess having a baby.

But have you ever wondered why we get so worked up about correlational studies in the first place?

Actually, it’s not correlation itself, or even correlational studies, that are the problem.

The problem comes when correlation is confused with causation.

To put it simply, just because two or more things happen at the same time doesn’t mean that one causes the other.

Ice cream causes murder

Here’s an example to make this clearer.

One very well known and repeatable correlation is that murder rates correlate to ice cream sales.

ice cream chart Research Review: Fish oil & prostate cancer

Yes! Strange as this may seem, as murder rates go up, ice cream sales in most cities also rise.

Let’s look at a couple of possible explanations.

HYPOTHESIS 1: MURDER CAUSES PEOPLE TO EAT ICE CREAM.

Here, I’m making the reasonable assumption that people buy the ice cream because they plan to eat it.

A few problems with this idea:

  • Even though ice cream sales and murders increase at the same time, lots of people buy and eat ice cream, not just murderers. In fact, even if every murderer bought ice cream after committing the deed, this would make no statistical difference. Thankfully, ice cream sales are always higher than murder rates – even though both tend to increase at the same time.
  • If committing murder caused people to buy and eat ice cream, then nabbing bad guys would be as simple as hanging out at ice cream parlors and grocery stores near the freezer department! But last time I looked, policing wasn’t quite that easy.

HYPOTHESIS 2: BUYING OR EATING ICE CREAM CAUSES MURDER.

Now, not having ice cream may indeed lead to a murderous desire for ice cream.

But if that were the case, you’d think that the murder rate would be higher whenever ice cream was in short supply — and sales figures were correspondingly low.

In fact, sales go up as murders rise. So maybe it’s a post ice cream high or a sugar crash that turns ice-cream buyers into murderers?

Problems with this idea:

  • If this were true, then banning ice cream would stop murder. Hmm. I don’t think it’s quite that simple. After all, before ice cream was invented, we had murders. And in places where nobody has ever heard of ice cream, they still have murders.
  • Ice cream parlors would be the epicenter of murders.  But see hypothesis 1 above.

HYPOTHESIS 3: THE CORRELATION IS DUE TO RANDOM HAPPENSTANCE (COINCIDENCE).

This is similar to the correlation between the decrease in pirates and climate change / global warming. (Yep, that correlation also exists.)

So, although the association between murders and ice cream may be random, I think there’s a better explanation…

HYPOTHESIS 4: SOMETHING ELSE CAUSES THE INCREASE IN BOTH MURDERS AND ICE CREAM SALES.

Let’s try this on for size:

Warmer weather is probably the cause of both increased murders and increased ice cream sales.

Note that this is also a correlative explanation. But it’s the best one we’ve come up with, so far.

Silly examples don’t count

Okay, okay, the ice cream sales and murder correlation is a silly example.

When it comes to legitimate scientific studies, nobody would really make the mistake of thinking that correlation is proof of causation, right?

Wrong.

Actually, the scientific research is littered with examples of people doing precisely that.

The most famous of these may be the studies linking hormone replacement and the prevention of coronary heart disease.

Hormone replacement therapy studies

Back in 2012, we discussed one of these studies.

To summarize, back in the 80s and 90s, because scientists had noted a correlation between estrogen replacement therapy and a decreased risk of heart disease, many women were put on estrogen replacement by their doctors.

Twenty years later, a controlled randomized study showed that in fact, estrogen replacement was very bad for heart disease! Oops.

How could a mistake of this magnitude occur?

It turned out that women of higher socioeconomic status who were more interested in their health (or better positioned to do something about it) were much more likely to ask for or agree to take estrogen than poorer women who had less access to health care.

And while on the surface it may have looked as if hormone replacement therapy reduced a woman’s risk of heart disease, in fact, it was a woman’s socioeconomic class that actually predicted that risk.

Middle and upper class women were less likely to suffer from heart disease –despite the fact that more of them were on hormone replacement therapy, notbecause they were on hormone replacement therapy.

In the end, here’s the important point: correlational studies are usually based on observation. What this means is that researchers gather information without making inferences.

They do this either with questionnaires, or by taking direct measurements (blood pressure, ice cream sales, etc.). They then let the statistical hamsters process the information (data).

Most long-term “people” studies are observational. And while this methodology sounds fine, it’s very weak. Because it can’t prove anything. It can only find when things are related.

Like ice cream and murder.

Pirates and climate change.

Birth control and heart disease.

Causation

Now that I’ve done my share of fist-shaking about correlation, I’ll tell you about causation and how to prove it.

Causation: To cause something to happen.

Yes, it’s as simple as that. To cause something is to make it happen.

If I hit you in the head with a baseball bat, that causes your head to ache. This relationship is causational.

There is a cause (getting hit in the head with a baseball bat) and an effect (a headache).

You might see a potential problem right away here.

Sure, hitting you in the head is likely to lead to a headache. But maybe you had a migraine before I hit you.

So the key to showing causation is to control for everything other than the hypothesized cause.

That’s why we call studies with this design “controlled experiments.”

And when you want to prove causation, the ideal is a very specific type of controlled experiment, called a double blind randomized controlled experiment.

Defining the terms

Okay, I’m about to go off on a little research tangent.

Mostly because I think it’s important for you to understand the difference between various types of studies. Especially if you want to figure out how to interpret the fish oil one.

But, if you already know this stuff, or you’re simply not interested, feel free to skip down to the fish oil and prostate cancer part below.

DOUBLE BLIND

The phrase “double blind” has nothing to do with eyesight. Instead, it tells you who is aware of the conditions of the experiment.

As strange as it sounds, in a double blind study, neither the volunteers (subjects) nor the experimenters know exactly what is going on.

The experimenters merely collect the data. Only a third party, who is not doing the testing, is aware of the whole story.

From this you can probably guess that a “single blind experiment” is one where only the subjects are in the dark.

With the estrogen replacement double blind study, the researchers didn’t know who was on estrogen and who was on placebo.

But before the blind was removed, they were convinced that the women taking estrogen were doing better.

In fact, they were so certain of this that they felt it was unethical not to stop the experiment immediately and give estrogen to the entire group!

Why bother conducting blind experiments?

One reason is that it reduces the possibility of researcher bias. That’s important because researcher bias can sometimes influence results.

(In fact, in some cases, including the hormone replacement experiment, even making the study a double blind may not be sufficient to protect against researcher bias.)

All drug trials are double blind (using placebo and drugs). But these are the exception, since many experiments can’t be blinded.

For example, when experiments involve an obvious intervention, like exercise, eating fewer calories, or meditation, pretty much everybody figures out who is in the experimental group and who is in the control group without being told.

RANDOMIZED

Now let’s take a look at another word in the description: “randomized”. This means that subjects are randomly assigned to groups.

Typically, studies like this will include a control group that receives a placebo or no intervention.

And an experimental group that gets the intervention – whether that’s a drug, exercise, a supplement, or something else.

The participants are sent into one group or the other in a completely random way.

CONTROLLED

A “controlled” experiment is one where the researchers control the intervention.

If that’s a drug, they control who or what gets the drug, how much, when, for how long, and pretty much everything else you can think of regarding the drug.

Researchers also try to control everything else that may change following the intervention.

For example, let’s say that people start to exercise as a part of a study.

In real life, when people take up exercise, they’ll often start to eat differently than in the past. This is a confounding variable — the arch-enemy of controlled experiments.

So in such a study, researchers should control for diet. They might ask people not to change their usual diet until after the experiment is over.

If a controlled experiment is appropriately set up, at the end researchers can be pretty confident in their conclusions about those specific conditions. But they can’t use their results to draw definitive conclusions about much else.

In other words, controlled experiments have limited generalizability.

Correlation versus causation

Now that you understand the difference between correlation and causation, let’s compare the advantages and disadvantages of each type of experiment.

CORRELATION EXPERIMENTS CAUSATIONAL EXPERIMENTS
Type of study
Epidemiological Double-blind, randomized
Number of subjects
Lots – 100 to 100,000 Few – 5 to 50
Length of study Long – years to decades Short – days to months
Measures Usually lots Vary, but tends to be fewer than correlational
Driven Data-driven Experimental design-driven
Statistics Lots of stats using models, regression analysis and sometimes t-test (ANOVA) Less stats using comparative tests (t-tests)
Humans or animals Nearly all human Mostly animals (except in stage 3 drug trials)
Advantages Able to uncover surprising connections and relationships Able to prove causation
Disadvantages Unable to prove causation or explain the relationships found Limited applicability or generalizability. (All studies should focus on yes or no answers to the question the study was designed to answer; the hypothesis must be accepted or rejected).

Both types of studies and data interpretation have their place. And adopting only one or the other would seriously limit our capacity to understand the world around us.

Correlational experiments and results stretch our minds by suggesting previously unimagined possibilities. Maybe ice cream really does cause murder! Let’s investigate that some more!

The problem with correlational studies is that they can’t give us certainty. Meanwhile, experimental studies give us certainty, but only within a very narrow range. Often, they can’t be performed on humans.

For instance, the definitive study on smoking as the cause of lung cancer was done on primates, since it would be unethical to randomly assign people to the smoking habit.

(In fact, many people argue that it’s unethical to perform such experiments with primates – but that’s a topic for another article.)

Research question

The reason we’ve gone into this detail about study design is simple: to make sense of this week’s review, you need to understand the potential drawbacks of correlative studies.

This week’s study asks: Is there an association between plasma phospholipid fatty acids and prostate cancer risk?

Brasky TM, et al. Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk in the SELECT Trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Subjects and methods

The first thing you need to know is that this study was a study-within-a-study. For you artsy types, that’s sort of like a play-within-a-play.

The main study was a causational study called SELECT that gave a group of 834 men Vitamin E and selenium to see whether this would decrease their rates of prostate cancer.

(This study concluded that vitamin E and selenium didn’t prevent prostate cancer.)

In fact, vitamin E actually increased prostate cancer rates — although the dose was probably too high, which makes it tricky to generalize to a more reasonable dose.

(Incidentally, that’s actually an interesting finding and was lost in all the fish oil debate.)

In the study we’re reviewing today — the study-within-the-study, which was correlational in design — an additional 1393 more prostate cancer-free men joined the original group of 834 guys.

(These were matched for age, race, education, BMI, smoking status, alcohol consumption, family history of diabetes and prostate cancer, and SELECT group.)

Researchers measured the blood plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids and trans-fatty acids in those who had prostate cancer and those who did not.

Results

More men with the highest levels of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fats in their blood (total of EPA, DPA and DHA) had low-grade, high-grade, and total prostate cancer.

This is what grabbed the headlines, but there’s more. (And this is the crazy part.)

More men with the highest levels of trans-fatty acids in their blood did not get prostate cancer.

So, according to these correlations, the men who did get prostate cancer had more omega-3s in their blood.

And the men who didn’t get prostate cancer had more trans fats in their blood.

Odd.

Conclusion

Okay, so before you stop taking omega 3s and fish oil because of this study, here are a few things to consider:

This is a correlational study. Like the ice cream and murder study. So we can’t say whether omega 3s cause prostate cancer, prostate cancer causes omega 3s to appear in the blood, or if some other common factor causes both. (Not can we say anything about the causal relationship between trans fats and prostate cancer.)

The researchers measured blood serum levels of omega-3s, not dietary consumption of omega-3s. And the correlation between eating omega-3s and blood serum levels of omega-3s is weak.

Aging may decrease omega-3 consumption and/or deregulate blood serum levels of omega-3s. That means that the problem could be blood serum omega-3 deregulation, not dietary consumption of omega-3s, or the omega-3s themselves.

Serum omega-3 levels rise for fewer than five hours after eating fish or taking fish oil. Forty-eight hours after you take fish oil, your serum levels are back to baseline.

There was no data on how much fish or omega-3s the subjects consumed. None. Based on population data, it’s unlikely that many of these guys were supplementing with fish oil in the first place.

So maybe eating more omega-3s in fish or fish oil form raises the blood serum level of omega-3s, and higher levels of omega-3s in turn cause prostate cancer.

Or maybe prostate cancer causes a dysfunction in the body that also raises omega-3 levels.

Or maybe some physical dysfunction raises both blood omega-3 levels and causes prostate cancer.

In other words, this study doesn’t demonstrate that omega-3 fatty acids cause prostate cancer any more than a spike in ice cream sales explains an increase in murders

Bottom line

KNOWN RISK FACTORS

Before throwing out your fish oil, let’s talk about the more important risk factors for prostate cancer, such as:

  • age;
  • ethnicity/ancestry (for example, men of African descent have much higher prostate cancer mortality rates than men of Asian descent);
  • genetic makeup (although, like breast cancer, the genes we know about to date are responsible for fewer than 10% of cases);
  • family history (i.e. having other close relatives with prostate cancer);
  • previous cancers (even if they’re other types);
  • systemic inflammation;
  • poor diet and sedentary lifestyle;
  • obesity (because adipose tissue is inflammatory if you have too much of it); and/or
  • the hormonal environment (such as inappropriately elevated levels of IGF-1).

(Heck, even this interactive map of world prostate cancer incidence and mortality shows that there are significant regional variations.)

And unlike the correlational studies (which, again, simply say that X happens at the same time as Y), we know the causal mechanisms by which many of these risk factors above actually work (in other words, X causes Y because Z).

As a result, we know that fish oil supplementation can actually improve a few of them, including inflammation, obesity, and the hormonal environment.

OMEGA-3S ARE STILL GOOD FOR YOU

While the media have jumped on this particular study as newsworthy, many other studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids prevent prostate cancer (perhaps by controlling inflammation or lowering the cell signaling molecules that could stimulate cancer cell growth), or have no effect at all on prostate cancer.

Meanwhile, omega-3 fatty acid consumption has been found helpful for everything from Alzheimer’s to joint pain.

And the most convincing data demonstrate that omega-3s decrease blood triglycerides and cardiovascular disease – diseases that pose a greater risk for most men than prostate cancer.

So before you avoid omega-3 fatty acids, recognize that in doing so, you’d be giving up proven benefits for unproven risks.

In our view, the benefits of omega-3s still outweigh any risks.

References

Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article.

Protein shake rundown

Not all protein shakes are made the same. Some or most are just plain garbage. Nothing replaces real food it’s that simple. With proper planning you can ensure that you have adequate protein going into your pie hole with no problem. So do that!

You can boil up a dozen or two eggs and eat the whites (yolks too if you want) as high protein snacks. Have two table spoons of peanut butter with them and maybe an apple. Good stuff buddies! Just take it from there. Cook up extra chicken breast or make sure you have a rotessiere (or however you spell it) chicken from the supermarket on hand.

Once your eating good wholesome food with about 50 to 60 grams of protein per serving then you can add in some protein shakes. Remember a protein shake is just a step up from worthless so don’t put much stock in them but if you sneak em in throughout the day you can get some extra protein in.

Now I’m a big fan of quantity and quality. Eat a lot and eat the best! So looking around on the internet I was able to dig up some info and here is a nice chart to give you the rundown of the best to worst of some of the available powders on the market. The first on the list is the very best I can find yet it was more expensive too. Usually when it comes to food good quality is more money. I ordered the Now Foods brand at $ 107 dollars for a 10 lb bag that delivers 142 servings at 25 grams per serving (the one in the chart is a smaller container). Oh , I actually ordered two bags, vanilla and chocolate. So don’t ask me for any money cause it’s all in protein powders now.

The chart spells it out. The brand, the protein, servings and the actual percentage of protein of what the company claims (thats the important one). So as you can see the Now Foods brand was tested by real science (not me in my basement) and this is the most protein actually found in the bag.

 

As I was doing my research which took me what felt like years but was really a matter of days I saw and read all kinds of studies,surveys, and charts and graphs. Some of this stuff I saved ……but others I lost or forgot to save. I thankfully had some notes jotted down on a piece of paper and they were taken from another chart I found which gave me the idea for the chart above. This group had tested other proteins and this is what they had;

Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey

My Protein Impact Whey

Isopure Low Carb

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100 % Whey (# 3 on chart above, #4 here)

Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate Pure ( Notice that this one is 5th best on this chart as opposed to the chart above.)

So the Now Foods brand is either #1 or # 5

I went with the Now Foods brand because it showed up on two charts in the top 5, I would go with the Optimum brand as well for the same reason. Maybe I’ll try the Optimum another time.