Archive for tag: experiment

Would You Vote for DC Prescription Rights?

Unbelievably, we have already finished 2 weeks of the summer trimester. Thus far I have a great schedule and enjoy my classes. 

Viscera anatomy is definitely my favorite class so far because we get to do "unreal" dissections. It's funny to think of kids playing doctor and dreaming of one day doing exactly that. I wonder if they ever would have dreamed it would require being wrist deep in someone's chest cavity and scooping out lung fluid and cutting out the heart? I for one didn't; but I think it's fun - in a way only a fellow med student could appreciate! 

There has been some campus chatter about whether or not the profession (DC) should get basic prescription rights. Obviously, the lack of drug therapy has been one of the profession's draws and defining features. The argument is that we shouldn't deal drugs because it contradicts our holistic approach to health care. READ: We know heart disease isn't from a lack of Lipitor. :) 

The other side--one that seems to be more in favor at National's campus (especially by our president, Dr. Winterstein)--states in a world with tight insurance budget cuts for chiropractic care and numerous medical organizations slow to accept CAM professions, we should embrace the opportunity to increase our scope of practice. In addition, with the upcoming increase in the number of insured people we (DCs) could have to step in and fill primary care positions to ease the ever-thinning health care infrastructure. Lastly, and perhaps my favorite argument for prescription rights is that it gives chiropractic physicians the clinical right to take patients OFF a drug if we feel they don't need it any more, or we think it could be opted with a safer herb or supplement. That is powerful, in my opinion. 

Right now, if a patient walks in my office with 5-10 prescriptions, which isn't uncommon among the elderly, I merely have to recognize it. If we do some type of nutritional intervention and lifestyle adjustments, they won't need that many anymore. But they can't stop because I say so; the MD that prescribed them would them to take them off it. Considering our relationships with MD colleagues, that presents a challenge in and of itself. The DC polls seem to literally be split at 53% for, 48% against, according to a Dynamic Chiropractic  magazine that I read. As always, we'll have to wait and see during these interesting times.

Web _Christian -family -photoMy family and I at my grandma's surprise birthday party.

Redoing My Lifting Study

On a fun note, I will be readjusting my lifting case study from last trimester to try to gain 10-15 lbs. of lean mass in 10-15 days. I will push for 15 only if it looks like I will hit 10 easily, which will be hard. If you recall from my last study, I gained 20 lbs. in 30 days. This time I will change my lift schedule to help define whether it was mostly what I ate or how I trained that moved the results needle so far. I've been purposely lifting only once a week for about 10 min. to keep the muscle, yet I have definitely lost a few pounds through my legs because I don't lift them any more. I did this because I started to get skinny jeans as I added 2.5 inches to my thighs! If you know me, that isn't my style and I didn't feel like buying new clothes so removing leg pressing from the equation was the natural progression. 

If there are any Boston fans out there reading this, GO BRUINS!



From Geek to Freak

Top -gym

1 month. 20lbs. 6hrs. No drugs. 

It was Tuesday afternoon, about 3 o'clock, my stomach was gurgling and the anxiety of waiting was killing me. Beep, beep, beeeep indicated the bioelectric impedance machine had finally begun to print out my results. 

"Oh my god. I've never seen these numbers before. Wow!" exclaimed the intern in charge of the machine. She was standing next to my intern comparing my before-and-after results of a lifting experiment that I engineered for the last month. I unhooked the cables, rushed over, and peered over their shoulders to see the two numbers that made me grin from ear-to-ear. 164 and 10.3%, I had done it! 

"Congratulations buddy" my intern proclaimed as he realized that my ridiculous goal was just achieved despite practically nobody thinking it was possible and academia saying it was theoretically impossible.  

My Goal 

I wanted to test out if it was possible to gain 20 lbs. of muscle in 30 days with no drugs or crazy lifting supplements (like Creatine, NO xplode, etc.) and do it by eating 4,500 calories a day and only lifting every 3 or 4 days for a total of 8 workouts and about 6 hours of TOTAL gym time. The rest of the time I'd be eating and resting… I was putting the second law of thermodynamics and protein synthesis (among others) to the test.  

Experimental Preparations

I thought it was possible and I had found a few people who had similar results, but they used Creatine and expensive body enhancing supplements that by athletic standards were perfectly legal and fine, but I wanted to change it up and do it the natural way. 

I basically ate between 3,400-5,000 (4,100 avg.) calories per day on an anti-inflammatory diet. I hypothesized this would not only help me heal and recover faster, but would also stress my body the least and give it the most nutrient dense calories possible so that it would have adequate "building blocks" to reset my neurologic system and pack on muscle without putting a sweet tire of fat around my waist and butt!

My actual gym time, which was .0083% of the hours that month (6/720), was spent just trashing my muscles to complete failure in 4 multi-joint exercises. I first completed a really heavy isometric hold-to-failure and after a 3 min. rest I completed a 7 reps-to-failure set of that same exercise focusing on 4 seconds up and 4 seconds down to optimize my "Time under Tension" around what the current literature deemed to be optimal for muscle hypertrophy.

There were a few odd and end extra things like taking an adrenal supporting herb that I had researched because in the simplest terms possible, Stress = Anti-Growth. Ironically, the reason for such a long wait between exercises was the little known fact that gym rats often plateau because they've burnt out their adrenals and nervous system and haven't let them recover. In real life examples, it's the reason why you can't lift as much when you try to bench after doing heavy squats. It's not because somehow you used your upper body during the leg lift; it's because you used a lot of neural input into your neuromuscular junctions and your body needs time to reboot. As for the adrenals, they control cortisol and DHEA and blood sugar among other things. If you don't control those hormones you will have an increased chance of putting on fat instead of muscle and you will be tired a lot. 

I laugh because most lifters will say, "Today is Upper Body and Wednesday is Lower Body." In real life, "Every Gym Day is Organ Day." You don't just tax part of your body when you lift; you need to account for that and rest extra days when needed. I upped my lifts EVERY single time I went to the gym. I averaged about 35% increases in my lifts (ex. Lat Pulldown 135-180 lbs.) in one month. I attribute that to eating A LOT and resting 3 days between lifts. Why go to the gym every day when you can get better results every 4 days?

In addition to all of these steps I also made sure I took before pictures, before measurements of all of my limbs and body parts, and before blood tests of cholesterol, vitamin D, and testosterone. 

My Results

Starting Weight 170 lbs.
Starting Body Fat 15.7%
Starting Leight Weight
(subtract fat)
144 lbs.
End Weight
(actually, heavier, but I had to fast for the "after" blood test)
182 lbs.
End Body Fat 10.3%

Wait, WHAT?? 

Yes, you read that correctly, I managed to gain 20 lbs. of lean muscle doing almost nothing but studying for my classes, eating 2.5x my resting metabolic rate, and lost 5% body fat.  

The game has changed, my friends; I just have to figure out how exactly lol. Next week, I'll have my before and after blood tests to report and some more information. 

Quote of the Day

"You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?" -- George Bernard Shaw 

Enjoy The Short Week!