Have any ideas or suggestions for this site?  How about questions about nutrition, training, or supplements?  I highly encourage feedback and want to do everything possible to ensure this site has the best and most relevant content to help you achieve your vision.

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  1. Hey Jerry. As I’m getting older more and more things are hurting. Most pains I can work through and generally they go away. Lately I’ve been getting pain in my joints, specifically elbows and shoulders. I’ve tried glucosamine but my stomach doesn’t approve. Are there any recommendations you can make, either in diet or strengthening exercises? Thank you.

  2. Jerry,
    How about an article about bodybuilding in your 40’s. Some dos and don’ts. Ways to train hard and not get hurt! Recovery and how to keep your testosterone at as high a level as possible.
    As an avid person who has trained most of my life, it becomes more and more difficult to achieve the desired results as I get up into my 40’s. As most men my age, I am always tempted to look into testosterone replacement therapy, so I want to make sure I am maximizing my workout recovery and supplementation.

  3. Great post on energy systems! Speaking of energy I was wondering if you had any insight to lack of sleep and it’s affects on building muscle. I have currently been working out for about 3 months anywhere from 3-5 days each week. With 2 small children I have a difficult time ever getting a full night sleep. I get to bed early but am interrupted almost every night for around an hour or more. I get up at 4:30am. I am exhausted and even though my nutrition intake is appropriate for my current workout I am frustrated because I am not getting the results I think I should be. Do you think it could be contributed to lack of sleep?

    • Jerry Smith

      Hi Heather,

      Thanks for the great question! The short answer is, yes — absolutely a lack of sleep will effect many things which collectively make body composition changes more difficult.

      I’ll work on a more thorough answer this weekend. The good news is that you can make a few dietary and training changes to better accommodate your tough schedule.

  4. Hello Jerry, It’s Tom from ACC. Great site! I have a question. I’m going to be 42 next June I have been working out on and off for years. I have the weight I feel good at now, 188lbs. My problem is my arms. I want to get my biceps bigger. My triceps, chest and shoulders are fine. Should I think of different ways to curl or my days numbered? Thanks in advance.

    • Jerry Smith

      Hi Tom,

      There are a lot of factors involved with arm size . Some are training and nutrition related and others are genetic. In general, you will build bigger arms by doing heavy back work. Chin-ups, seated rows, and dumbbell rows are excellent for this. Use weights that you can handle for 12 to 16 reps.

      For direct bicep work, concentrate on form. Really focus on the bicep without any assistance from your shoulders or back (no swaying). Straight bar curls and preacher curls may be helpful.

      However, most of the time you just need to add size in general in order for your arms to really grow. If you get back into training and really want to progress, find a well designed training routine. Record all sets and reps and try to increase gradually.

      There are several good plan out there depending on your goal. Of course nutrition also needs to be inline. Let me know if I can help in any way. Good luck!

  5. Thank you. I have purchased a preacher bench and already had the weights from my military days. I have increased my protien intake as well. I have modified my workout to concentrate more on my arms. John J has also given me some ideas. Reading anything on your site keeps me motivated and focused. Many thanks again. I will let you know how I do. Thank you. Tom

  6. Jerry,

    A friend of mine sent me this cleanse and I’m interested in trying it as a detox and kick start a clean eating regimen. I was wondering if you think it would be a good thing to do and if this recipe he recommends would be as beneficial as he claims. Also, the ingredients list includes azomite clay, which is not as readily available where I live. Would bentonite be an acceptable substitute for this?

  7. Jerry Smith

    Hi Kristyn,

    I know you realize, but for others that may check into cleansing, these protocols are for general health purposes and not are not fat loss programs. Any weight that may be lost during the process will primarily come from undigested food that finally makes its way out of your body.

    Of course if it is used in combination with other dietary changes, then there is certainly the possibility of fat loss. But this would be due to the new diet, not the cleanse.

    Let’s go through the ingredients of the cleanse described in the video:

    Lemon juice – This is to lower pH levels which increases the absorption of the magnesium. Apple cider vinegar could also be used.

    Magnesium – Many people, especially athletes, have chronically low magnesium levels, so supplementing in general is a good idea. However, in this case he is look for the laxative effective of higher dose Mg.

    Psyllium husks – A very popular fiber supplement. Psyllium husks are approx 70/30 soluble to insoluble fiber. This has a two fold purpose. First, the fiber itself will help cleanse the intestines as it makes its way through your system. Second, the relatively high amount used in this cleanse will work synergistically to enhance the laxative effect created by the magnesium.

    Azomite – Is a form of clay that is high in various minerals. Its main purpose in this cleanse is based on this clay’s ability to encapsulate small particles. Bentonite clay could be substituted here with very little difference.

    Milk thistle – Silybum is the main flavonoid complex in milk thistle. There are many studies that demonstrate this herbs effectiveness as a liver protectant, and in some cases even aiding with repair. It’s relatively inexpensive supplement that should be part of any cleanse program.

    Castor oil – Castor oil has very high concentrations ricinoleic acid. This is a MUFA (mono-unsaturated fatty acid) similar to that found in olive oil. The oil itself has some health benefits, but for the purpose of this cleanse, it is basically being used as another natural laxative.

    Overall what he demonstrates seems to be an effective and inexpensive cleanse. My main concern is people’s ability to tolerate the psyllium husk / clay mixture. I have a very high tolerance for drinking nasty tasting stuff, but I would even have trouble getting that concoction down.

    It would add slightly to the cost, but I would replace the psyllium husk powder with capsules. These caps are typically pretty small so getting the down shouldn’t be much of a problem. You’d need to take double the dosage on the bottle though to get the quantity needed for this cleanse.

    I would also try to find a pre-mixed clay product. Check out a product called Yerba Prima Bentonite Detox. There are likely other similar alternatives.

    As an added measure you could include a daily dose of activated charcoal. This can be found in most supplement and health food stores. Again go with capsules to avoid a huge mess.

    At the beginning of the video he talks about dietary changes. These are very important to any serious cleansing protocol. It makes little sense to go through all this trouble and not eliminate the source of toxins.

    Keep in mind that in today’s society eliminating toxic substances is near impossible. However, there are many things we can do to minimize our exposure. Choosing organic foods and grass feed meats is an important step.

    For some people eliminating gluten and dairy is also necessary. I highly recommend that everyone try to go at least 30 days without either. See how you feel after a month. Then slowing and methodically introduce a little gluten. See if you notice a difference. Many people can tell immediately. They get bloated or just don’t feel well.

    Do the same with dairy. Maybe have a little greek yogurt. Again see how you feel. It seems like more people are able to tolerate small amounts of dairy. I don’t believe in completely eliminating good clean food sources if you don’t have a problem with them. If it turns out you can handle dairy just fine, then go for it. Just do your best to get organic versions.

  8. Hi Jerry,

    I just started a weight loss diet which I received at a weight loss clinic. The clinic gave me a B-12 shot and gave me 750 mg calcium pyruvate to take twice a daily. I was also supposed to take an appetite suppressant, phentermine. After two days I stopped the phentermine because I couldn’t sleep, but have been doing well with appetite without it.
    Basically, the diet has three phases. Phase 1 is a ketogenic induction consisting of zero carbs. This only lasted four days for me, and as of yesterday I was in ketosis. Stage two, is a low carb, limited caloric intake diet, which also is low fat. This phase lasts until goal weight is achieved, then I move into a lifestyle maintenance diet.
    As of today, I have lost 3 lbs, but that’s probably water. I’ll keep you updated.

  9. Jerry Smith

    Hi Laura,

    This is a common approach from doctors. It is called a protein spearing modified fast (PSMF). Once dietary fat is reduced this will not be a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets require over 50% of daily calories to come from fat. However, there is really nothing special about burning ketones.

    During a PSMF, your body will convert the amino acids from the protein into glucose via a process called gluconeogenesis.

    This type of diet is very effective under two conditions:

    1) You have a significant amount of body fat to lose.
    2) Training duration and intensity is at a low to moderate level.

    This diet would be too catabolic for those that are only slightly overweight or are doing a lot of endurance work.

    Also, there should some supplementation. Electrolytes and other key minerals will need to be replaced.

  10. Jerry,
    You said in the cholesterol blog that you are working on an upcoming blog about insulin. Could expand upon the benefits of insulin in the body, besides lowering blood sugar? I know we discussed this a bit on the phone, but I thought other people would like to know too.
    Is a very low carb diet bad in the long term (as in six months)?


  11. Jerry Smith

    Hi Laura.

    The thing with insulin is that you want to control it vs it controlling you.

    For the most part we want to be insulin sensitive. A low carb diet will help create this state. How low is relative and depends on the individual especially their genetics and training.

    A periodic (once or twice a week for most, maybe more for frequently for athletes) spike in insulin sets up many positive hormonal and enzymatic events. However, outside of this spike its best to keep insulin low.

    If you’re looking to lose body fat, then a very low carb diet outside of these spikes is ideal. If your focus is more on general health, you could incorporate a small amount of slow acting carbs with your protein and fat meals and still get good results.

  12. ok, so we have almost 3 weeks out to vacation and the wife really wants to kick 10 or so pounds off. What do you recommend? I realize that anything drastic is not sustainable and sometimes rapid weight loss can be dangerous, but she has been slowly working off the weight but wants something to go on for 2 or 3 weeks that will really kick it in.
    I have suggested some of the basics but any advice would help.

    • Jerry Smith

      John, I would suggest a cyclical ketogenic diet similar to the program outlined in John Kiefer’s Carb Nite.

      Basically, this is an ultra-low carb diet (less than 50 gm of carbs per day) with a weekly high-carb cheat meal. At the start of the program you actually go two full weeks before having your first Carb Nite.

      Men can get away with a large full meal plus dessert. Woman on the other hand should stick to either one or the other. I like the idea of a very high carb and relatively low fat dessert. This provides a large boost in the hormones that control metabolism and ensures the body continues to cooperate with the fat loss effort.

      The are many cyclical ketogenic diets, but this one has caught on in the main stream and has good online community support behind it. What I outlined is the gist of the program, but I’d still recommend getting the book.

      10 lbs in three weeks is very aggressive. This diet will produce a drop in water weight, which combined with some fat loss could make the goal achievable.

      Note: This diet works well for those that have more than 20lbs to lose and are relatively sedentary. I would make other dietary recommendations in other situations.

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