The BSP Training & Nutrition Newsletter Is Here!

Filed under: General Health, Movie Review, Nutrition, Recipes, Training, Weight Loss, Youth Training

I am very pleased to announce the newly available BSP Training & Nutrition Newsletter!

To sign up simply fill in the info on your right, and you will have immediate access to some cool stuff. I plan on this newsletter functioning as my RSS feed, as at the end of each week I will provide a small recap and link to each blog post so you can catch up on anything that you may have missed. This will also allow me to see which content and blog posts people read the most, and the least, allowing me to greatly improve what I write and cater the content better to you guys!

It will also provide exclusive content and cool new updates that may not appear on the blog itself. In addition by signing up I will send you my 20-page report “The Truth About Saturated Fat & Cholesterol.” In this report I really dig into the data and showcase how off-base the mainstream recommendations truly are.

All of that combined will clearly make you so much more awesome, how could you not sign up! This is a completely FREE service, and you can unsubscribe at any time if you wish (though who would want to?), so feel free.

If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. Enjoy!

Posted on February 9th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment »

My New Training Program

Filed under: Training

I hope you guys enjoyed my little talk about reclaiming some of my youth yesterday. Not that I am old, but there is definitely a difference between being 22 and playing rugby everyday, whether it be practice or games, and being 26 with a baby on the way and a whole lot more responsibility!

Between life, work, school and my thesis work there is definitely a lot less time for me to train these days, and taking the time to write my own programs is pretty much not going to happen. Plus I will just modify it by week 2 anyway! While I don’t train quite like I did in college, I am definitely a much smarter and more efficient lifter, and I get in high quality sessions in about 45 minutes. I don’t mess around!

However it is absolutely awesome when I get to utilize a program written by some strength coaches that I trust. Obviously I have done many a program by EC and Tony, including Maximum Strength and Show and Go, and it is incredibly refreshing to do a program written by someone else. It keeps the training much more interesting and varied, and forces you to do some things that you might not program for yourself.

Another perfect example of this is Mike Westerdal and Elliot Hulse’s Lean Hybrid Muscle Reloaded. I have had a chance to look over an advance copy from them, and I liked it so much that I am going to put it to the test starting today! I like being an able to go to the gym and not have to think “what I am going to do today?”, but instead think “I am going to dominate what I am doing today!”

For those of you who don’t know Mike and Elliot, they are guys who not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. While many people in this industry are like real estate professors giving you advice when they don’t actually own any real estate, Mike and Elliot actually train people for a living.

Mike has competition bests of a 640 squat, 630 bench and a 600 deadlift at 242lbs, and has worked with thousands of clients. Elliot is a professional strongman, and runs his own gym in Florida. These are guys who have put their theories to the test.

I will admit that the program is a little higher volume than I am used to, but I think this will actually be a nice change of pace from the brief and intense sessions I generally program for myself. New stimuli will lead to new growth and results.

I also think that one of the best parts of this entire program are the video demonstrations of every single exercise you are asked to do. While I certainly know my way around the gym, there are a few new ones that even I had to check out, and they do an excellent job with the video content.

They also provide a quality nutrition component to coincide with the training programs, including some meal plans to simplify the process for you. In the end I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking to change their body composition, improve their health and increase their performance. In addition they are offering a great introductory sale price from today through this Friday at midnight, so check it out.

For more information, go to the Lean Hybrid Muscle Website.

Posted on February 8th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment »

The Return of Rugby

Filed under: Uncategorized

Unfortunately I only have time to put out a quick one today as I have class and thesis work all day. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be awesome!

As you may know I was a rugby player in a past life, and a decent one at that. Unfortunately I have not played the wonderful sport in 3 full years. This weekend however I had an opportunity to play with a bunch of my old UMaine teammates at an indoor 7′s tournament, so I jumped at it.

BSP playing some rugby, many years ago

I have to say, that 3 year layoff definitely did not improve my skill set! While I felt pretty fit, it was definitely difficult to get my bearings and get back into the flow of the game. The instincts certainly were not where they used to be, but it was a blast none the less. They are aiming to make this an annual tournament, and I hope they do.

I think I might try to bulk up a little for it next year, as I can definitely feel the difference in play now that I am down to 195, as I play my best indoor rugby probably around 215, though I don’t ever plan on getting there again! Maybe get to 200-205, but who knows.

Anyway, it was definitely awesome to play with my old teammates again, as well to hit some people and get hit. It makes you feel so alive!

Posted on February 7th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

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Common Does Not Equal Normal

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

One thing that I believe has become pervasive in this country is this idea that things that have become common, are therefore now “normal”. To my mind this could not be further from the truth. Eating the crappy Standard American Diet (SAD) is common, but it should be considered a normal diet. It is hardly full of any real food!

In addition, being overweight has become more common than not being so. Being overweight is not a physiological norm. Look at the data from our own country 30 years ago, and this was not the case. Look at traditionally-living societies, and it is anything but common. Diabetes is also becoming normal, but hardly existed at all in traditionally-living people.

I say this not to insult anyone, but to simply point out the fallacy that just because something has become common, it is now normal. I also point this out so that when you are looked at strangely because you eat whole eggs rather than just whites, or you consume full-fat organic dairy rather than fat-free conventional, or even because you choose to cook with butter (grass-fed of course) rather than vegetable oil I want you to realize that while these things may be uncommon now, in the history of human consumption these are very normal actions.

What passes for “normal” these days is far from. We have strayed very far from our physiological norms, mainly due to the now-common practices of eating excessive sugar, refined flour, industrial vegetable oil, genetically modified and/or heavily sprayed produce and crops, and inhumanely raised and poorly-fed animals. How did that become “normal”?

While it may suck to be at parties or social events where people question your eating habits because what and how you eat isn’t “normal”, I personally think you are much better off being rather uncommon and armed with the knowledge that while what and how you eat may not be common, it is certainly normal.

Posted on February 4th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre


More Evidence Against PUFA Vegetable Oils

Filed under: General Health

Through the course of reading some blogs and articles I came across this reference to the “Israeli-paradox” that I found rather interesting. While many people are familiar with the “French-paradox”, since the French consume rather large amounts of saturated fats yet have an incredibly low heart disease rate for a developed nation. In reality this shouldn’t be considered a paradox at all, but that is another story for another day.

Anyway, this “Israeli-paradox” is that one that I think should be looked at more closely. I was going to rewrite the abstract here in my own words, but it is a beauty, so I will just post it instead:

“Israel has one of the highest dietary polyunsaturated/saturated fat ratios in the world; the consumption of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) is about 8% higher than in the USA, and 10-12% higher than in most European countries. In fact, Israeli Jews may be regarded as a population-based dietary experiment of the effect of a high omega-6 PUFA diet, a diet that until recently was widely recommended.

Despite such national habits, there is paradoxically a high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and obesity-all diseases that are associated with hyperinsulinemia (HI) and insulin resistance (IR), and grouped together as the insulin resistance syndrome or syndrome X. There is also an increased cancer incidence and mortality rate, especially in women, compared with western countries. Studies suggest that high omega-6 linoleic acid consumption might aggravate HI and IR, in addition to being a substrate for lipid peroxidation and free radical formation. Thus, rather than being beneficial, high omega-6 PUFA diets may have some long-term side effects, within the cluster of hyperinsulinemia, atherosclerosis and tumorigenesis.”

While this is not direct cause-and-effect research, it certainly shows a relationship between their intake and the long-term results. For those of you who don’t speak scientist, what they are essentially saying is that the Israeli population, with their high intake of polyunsaturated fats, have a greater incidence of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer and mortality!

For a long time on this blog I have been railing against people consuming large amounts of industrial vegetable oils, which are far and away the largest sources of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. Hopefully researchers in the US begin to recognize that while polyunsaturated fats may “lower” LDL (probably through artificial means, as they probably just make the LDL small and dense, lowering the “measured” amount, which makes them more prone to oxidation and becoming atherogenic, but I digress) and therefore theoretically “decrease” risk of cardiovascular disease, they are not actually decreasing cardiovascular disease! And in the process they might actually be increasing the risks of CVD, along with diabetes, obesity, cancer and overall mortality!

Awesome, keep those industrial PUFA oils coming (corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, sunflower)!

Posted on February 2nd, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre


Lift Weights, Be Flexible

Filed under: Training

When most people think of improving their flexibility, they immediately think of stretching. Static stretching to be even more specific. Secondarily, they might think of something like yoga, often touted as the best way to improve your flexibility.

When people think of weight training and flexibility, they often think of lifting weights as causing you to get all muscley and “tight”. This absurb and incorrect notion has been perpetuated by the mass media and people following poorly designed training programs full of poor exercise selections and partial ranges of motion.

However, many of us strength coaches have often advocated that when done appropriately and with a full range of motion, resistance training will improve your flexibility and mobility, as we have seen it time and time again. Well, research is finally coming around to investigate this issue, and what do you think they are finding?

Most people would assume that static stretching is superior to resistance training for flexibility, but in fact a pilot study from the American College of Sports Medicine found this:

“The results suggest that carefully constructed, full-range resistance training regimens can improve flexibility as well as—or perhaps better than—typical static stretching regimens,” said James R. Whitehead, Ed.D., FACSM, presenting author of the study.

The results showed no statistically significant advantage of stretching over resistance training. Resistance training, in fact, produced greater improvements in flexibility in some cases, while also improving strength.”

In addition to this study, there has also been some recent research showing that static stretching mainly increases our tolerance to the stretch, without actually lengthening the sarcomeres or increasing dynamic range of motion.

I am not saying that there isn’t a time and a place for static stretching, but let’s just keep it in mind as one tool in our tool box for improving flexibility and mobility, not as a panacea for those parameters.

Posted on February 1st, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment »

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