- 7 Effective Nutrients to Boost Your Immune System Now
- Julius Maddox Breaks World Bench Press Record Yet Again
No human has ever bench pressed anything close to 800 pounds before, but powerlifting sensation Julius Maddox looks primed to break that proverbial wall.
The Kentuckian recently posted an Instagram video in which he set a new world bench press record at 755 pounds—11 pounds more than his last record. He’s simply not human.
The lift wasn’t done in a powerlifting contest, so it’s technically not an official record, but we don’t think anyone’s going to argue semantics here.
It’s a little disturbing how easy Maddox made that look. There was no wobble in his arms, and he got up from it as if he was just warming up with an empty bar. As 2017 World’s Strongest Man Eddie Hall put it in an Instagram comment, “F*****g ridiculous.”
This is now the third time Maddox has broken the world bench press record. In August, he benched 739.6 pounds, breaking the previous world record of 738.5 pounds held by Kirill Sarychev. Then in November, he benched 744.1 pounds at the Rob Hall Classic in Austin, TX.
He’s been set on becoming the first person to bench 800 pounds. At this rate, it’s a matter of when, not if, he’ll do it.
- Get the February 2020 Issue of 'Muscle & Fitness'
The February 2020 issue of Muscle & Fitness has all the workout and nutrition tips you need to fill out that winter coat without adding any unwanted fat.
Country superstar Tim McGraw has recently spent more time working on his six-pack abs than singing about and drinking six-packs of beer. The 52-year-old “Live Like You Were Dying” singer spoke to us about how his fitness journey started with his family worrying about his health, and the workout routine that’s turned him into a lean, mean country music machine.
Steve Cook is working to change lives as the Blue Team’s newest trainer on the popular weight-loss program The Biggest Loser. But 10 years ago, it was this magazine that changed his. Cook recalls how an M&F male model search inspired him to work toward a Steve Reeves-esque physique, and how being on the cover helped him launch a career in fitness.
We also feature one-armed Bellator fighter Nick Newell, The Gentleman star Christopher Evangelou, UFC legend Tito Ortiz, and Super Bowl champion Greg Jennings, who is now training to become a bodybuilder.
In our Train section, we preach about the benefits of a cable preacher curl, compare three variations of the incline press to find out which one’s best for your goals, and break down Bruce Lee’s favorite ab move—the dragon flag.
Find out how to drink while keeping your gains, and whether you should go for tofu or tempeh on meatless Monday in our Eat section.
Sometimes you don’t have an hour to waste in the gym, so we provide you with ten 10-minute workouts to build strength in record time. Speaking of quick, we have a story with five soup recipes to keep you nourished without having to spend all day in the kitchen. And since Muscle & Fitness includes FLEX, you’ll also get the latest bodybuilding news, as well as even more workout and nutrition tips.
In honor of German bodybuilding giant Günter Schlierkamp turning 50 on February 2, we revisit how he managed to defeat “The King” Ronnie Coleman at the 2002 GNC Show of Strength—still considered to be the biggest bodybuilding upset of all time.
2019 Olympia Men’s Physique runner-up Andre Ferguson shares his simple ab routine; IFBB Pro League competitor Jeremy Potvin explains how fitness kept him grounded during his military service; the world record holder for raw bench press, Julius Maddox, breaks down his journey to 800; and Internet sensation Simeon Panda breaks down how to obtain a superhero-like look.
Pick up the February edition for all this and more! Whatever your fitness goals are, we've got all the tips you need right here in Muscle & Fitness and FLEX.
- Intermittent Fasting May Benefit More Than Your Physique
Intermittent fasting is one of the many diets that tends to gain traction as gym-goers everywhere work toward their new year's fitness goals. And whether weight loss or better overall health is what you're aiming for, a new study review in The New England Journal of Medicine concluded that intermittent fasting, unlike many other fad diets, has substantial scientific evidence to back it up.
It can be done in different ways, but the two most common types of intermittent fasting are daily time-restricted feeding and 5:2 intermittent fasting, according to study author Mark Mattson, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Time-restricted feeding is when you only eat in a certain window each day (usually 6-8 hours), and the 5:2 strategy is when you’re limited to just one moderate-sized meal on two days each week.
Mattson has studied intermittent fasting for 25 years and has practiced it for 20, according to a release. He says the new article is meant to give some clarity to the science and uses for the diet.
Cellular health is a notable benefit seen in animal and some human studies. That’s because alternating between fasting and eating causes the body to switch between using readily accessible, sugar-based fuel and burning fat for energy, according to Mattson.
Studies have suggested that the aforementioned switch can help with blood sugar regulation and lower inflammation. In two studies of 100 overweight women, those who followed the 5:2 iteration of intermittent fasting lost more belly fat and had better insulin sensitivity than those who simply reduced their calories.
Both human and animal studies have also shown that IF lowers blood pressure, blood lipid levels, and resting heart rates—all good things for long-term health.
"We are at a transition point where we could soon consider adding information about intermittent fasting to medical school curricula alongside standard advice about healthy diets and exercise," Mattson says.
Despite the benefits Mattson highlights in the article, he admits that more research is necessary and that intermittent fasting just isn’t a viable option for some people. But in a sea of diet trends, it seems that intermittent fasting may have at least some science to back it up.
- Robert Killian Discusses the 2019 Spartan Ultra World Championships
Find out what really happened to this Spartan champ after mile 50.
Robert Killian fell short at the 2019 Spartan Ultra World Championship, but he still completed 55 miles in less than 24 hours. Killian credits his family as his ultimate motivation to perform during one of the hardest Spartan races.
- A Complete Guide to Calories
- 5 Habits That Lead to a Longer, Healthier Life
Diabetes and cancer have consistently been two of the biggest causes of death around the world each year, but luckily there seems to be a pretty easy way to ward off the diseases. A recent study by a group of international researchers, published in the British Medical Journal, pinpointed the five healthy lifestyle habits that could extend a person's life by an extra 10 years and significantly reduce their likelihood of being diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.
For the study, tens of thousands of UK men and women were asked about their lifestyle choices back in the 1980s, with follow-up questionnaires sent every two years asking the participants if they’d been diagnosed with any major diseases. Through the answers, the researchers were able to identify the five habits needed for a longer, healthier life.
If you’re a regular reader of this site there’s a good chance you’ve already adopted most of these. They are:
- Never smoking
- Having a healthy body-mass index of 18.5 to 24.9
- Doing at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day
- Drinking alcohol in moderation*
- Eating a healthy diet
*Drinking in moderation was defined as three or fewer drinks per day for men, and two daily for women.
Men and women who adopted at least four out of these five habits lived, on average, 10 years longer than those who didn’t, most of which were lived disease-free. The study noted that living a healthy lifestyle didn’t mean people were impervious from diseases, but it would take longer for them to contract any of them than unhealthy people. Furthermore, healthier people who were diagnosed with the diseases lived longer after the diagnosis than those who lived an unhealthy lifestyle.
"We observed that a healthier lifestyle was associated with a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as mortality, with an increased total life expectancy and number of years lived free of these diseases," the researchers said in a statement on the United Kingdom’s National Health Services’ website.
There's cause to be alarmed about the number of diabetes and cancer cases around the world. According to the World Health Organization, the number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014, and in 2016 the disease caused 1.6 million deaths. In 2012, 2.2 million deaths were related to high blood glucose.
Globally, one in six deaths are attributed to cancer, the WHO reported in 2018—with most cases being linked to tobacco and alcohol use, lack of physical activity, and high body-mass index. And that number is only expected to go up, the group states on its website. On heart disease, the WHO said cardiovascular conditions are the No. 1 killer of people worldwide, most of which were attributed to unhealthy lifestyle choices.
The researchers did point out the study couldn't definitively conclude that those lifestyle choices directly lead to a longer life, and said other factors (such as genetics) might be involved. However, it’s clear that abstaining from certain choices and treating your body right certainly doesn’t hurt.
- Rocky 'Soul Man' Johnson, The Rock's Father, Has Died at 75
Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson, an African-American trailblazer in the wrestling industry and father to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, died on January 15. The WWE Hall of Famer, whose real name was Wayde Bowles, was 75.
Known as “The Soul Man,” Johnson began his career in the 1960s with the National Wrestling Alliance before signing with Vince McMahon’s World Wide Wrestling Federation in 1983. His death was announced on the WWE’s website.
He and fellow WWE Hall of Famer Tony Atlas would go on to become the first Black world tag team champions in the WWE later that year by defeating the Wild Samoans. The Rock inducted his father into the Hall of Fame in 2008.
On Jan. 17, The Rock posted an Instagram video of his father in action, with a young Dwayne watching from ringside. "I love you," the post read. "You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way through this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero, from afar."
I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deep complex sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons. Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high. #ripsoulman #rockyjohnson 🐐
Rocky Johnson retired from in-ring action in 1991 and for many years helped train his son, who would go on to become one of the most successful WWE stars of all time. It was Johnson who introduced The Rock to the weight room, a place where the Hollywood juggernaut now spends a significant amount of time.
“Other dads took their kids to the playground,” Johnson once told Muscle & Fitness. "Mine took me to the gym, and the gyms he took me to were very hardcore. Weight rooms? Really? But it was important bonding time for us, and it was there that I learned at a very young age that there’s no substitute for hard work."
The Rock always kept his father close to him. His original ring name was Rocky Maivia—a combination of his father’s name and his maternal grandfather’s name, High Chief Peter Maivia.
On Father’s Day 2018, he posted a throwback picture of himself and “The original Rock” and spoke of the tough love his old man used to dish out.
“Years later as a man and father of three girls, I know that tough love, is a helluva lot better than no love at all,” he wrote. “I’ll take it. It’s made me who I am today.”
- An Inside Look at Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone’s UFC 246 Training
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more exciting fighter inside the Octagon than Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The 36-year old has created some of the most popular highlight reels in the UFC, and in the process has accrued the most UFC records of any fighter: 23 wins, 16 finishes, 18 post-fight bonuses, 20 knockdowns, and seven knockouts by way of head kick.
So you may be a little shocked to learn that when it comes to his strength and conditioning program, Cerrone is as dull as can be.
“I would say that my training [methods] are boring,” says Cerrone’s strength and conditioning coach, Shara Vigeant, who has played an integral part in Cowboy’s prep for his upcoming bout with “The Notorious” Conor McGregor, which will take place on Saturday, January 18 in Las Vegas.
Vigeant has been working with fighters for over a decade and says that training for MMA used to be more rudimentary: “It was just conditioning, conditioning, and conditioning.” Nowadays, serious athletes like Cerrone know that investing in their strength and conditioning programs will only lead to stronger muscles, a better transfer of their skills, and longevity. And Cerrone is serious about his training.
Not only does the Albuquerque, NM transplant work with Vigeant, who he met in 2017 while filming a movie in Alberta, Canada, but he's a co-owner of The Performance Ranch, a New Mexico-based training facility run by his other strength and conditioning coach, Lawrence Herrera. As a result, Cerrone is the most active and winningest fighter ever in the UFC.
Compared to McGregor, Cerrone has logged 15 fights since the Irishman’s career-defining win against Jose Aldo in 2015 and five since Mystic Mac’s last appearance in the cage. Vigeant attributes Cerrone’s shelf life to his work ethic, insane conditioning, and that “he’s a naturally strong guy, so we just build on that.”
In the gym, the Alberta, Canada-based strength coach sticks with what she calls the pillars: “pull, push, hinge, squat, lunge, and carry.” Those six movement patterns are in every one of Cerrone’s workouts, but how they’re applied depends on where he is in his training camp. Early on, for example, Vigeant is more focused on building his power and strength, so she’ll load those movements with heavier weights. As the fight approaches, maintenance and injury prevention is more of a focus, so she’ll ease up a little.
Cerrone works with tools like medicine balls, kettlebells, and dumbbells. For his conditioning, Vigeant says that he’s a beast on the Airdyne bike, working his way up to 130 RPMs with whip-fast recovery time.
To get an idea of how Cowboy prepped early on for his scrap with McGregor, Vigeant provides two sample workouts from his UFC 246 camp. Give them a try yourself—the ability to kick ass not included.
Photo Credit: Rodrigo Donoso
'Cowboy' Cerrone's Training Plan
The Cowboy typically works out two to five days per week. Here are two examples of what Cerrone's training looked like early on in his camp. Here, the focus is more on strength and power output. Perform one tri-set before moving onto the next, and feel free to rest a couple of minutes after each.
|Exercise ||Sets ||Reps |
| 1A. Kettlebell Swing ||3 ||8 |
| tri-set with || || |
| 1B. Medicine Ball Slam ||3 ||8 |
| tri-set with || || |
| 1C. Shoulder Wall Slide ||3 ||12 |
| 2A. Zercher Squat ||3 ||6 |
| tri-set with || || |
| 2B. One-arm Dumbbell Row ||3 ||8 |
| tri-set with || || |
| 2C. Kettlebell Deadbug ||3 ||12 (each side) |
| 3A. Dumbbell Floor Bridge Press ||3 ||6 |
| tri-set with || || |
| 3B. Single-leg Deadlift ||3 ||8 (each side) |
| tri-set with || || |
| 3C. Plank Drag ||3 ||12 |
|Exercise ||Sets ||Reps |
| 1A. Split Squat Jump ||3 ||6 |
| tri-set with || || |
| 1B. Sprinter Medicine Ball Chest Pass ||3 ||6 |
| tri-set with || || |
| 1C. Resistance Band Pull-Apart ||3 ||12-12 (up and down) |
| 2A. Trap-bar Deadlift ||3 ||6 |
| tri-set with || || |
| 2B. One-arm Landmine Press ||3 ||8 |
| tri-set with || || |
| 2C. Side Plank Row ||3 ||12 |
| 3A. Weighted TRX Inverted Row ||3 ||6 |
| tri-set with || || |
| 3B. Rear-foot Elevated Split Squat ||3 ||8 |
| tri-set with || || |
| 3C. Feet-elevated Stability Ball Roll Out ||3 ||20 |
- 7 CrossFit Workouts You Can do in 10 Minutes or Less
- The Ultimate Abs Workout for Advanced Lifters
- 5 Exercises to Mobilize Your Joints
- Recover with CBD
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- How Steroids and TRT Can Kill Bodybuilders
George Peterson’s trainer Justin Miller separates fact from fiction.
Misinformation about steroids in the bodybuilding community has forever been circulated, but on this episode of Reps, George Peterson’s trainer Justin Miller separates fact from fiction.
He also talks about his favorite era of bodybuilders, the 2019 Mr. Olympia, and the difference in training between natural and enhanced bodybuilders.
- The Worst Places to Get Hit, According to 9 Professional Fighters
- Jay Cutler’s 10 Training Tips for a Better Workout
When a 4X Mr. Olympia gives you workout advice, you better listen.
Four-time Mr. Olympia champion Jay Cutler shares the workout wisdom and diet tips that has made him one of the greats of bodybuilding.
From the best warmups to get you going to not stressing over the number of reps, let the man with two of bodybuilding's best calves educate you on how to maximize your gains with each and every workout.
- Home Workout with James Grage: The Bigger Biceps Routine
The founder of Undersun Fitness showcases some sleeve-busting moves!
Undersun Fitness founder and resistance band training expert James Grage showcases some signature biceps-building exercises with dumbbells—and equivalent moves to do with resistance bands. These exercises are guaranteed to make your muscles pop whether you're training in the gym, your basement, or on the road.
- The Rock Secures 11-Episode TV Sitcom Deal With NBC Universal
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and his career, is always evolving. The former WWE superstar has gone through many iterations of his own mega-famous avatar.
After transitioning from the squared circle to the silver screen, Johnson became known as human blockbuster Viagra, with every movie franchise he joined getting bigger and better.
Fast Five, for example, his first entry into the Fast & Furious series in 2011, made $626 million worldwide—double what the movie before it accumulated. During his prep for the 2013 film Pain & Gain, he was accepted with open arms by the bodybuilding community for packing an impressive amount of muscle onto an already very muscular frame.
He also signed a huge deal with Under Armour, launching his own Project Rock collection with the billion-dollar brand. And in 2016, Johnson was animated into an island demigod Maui in the Disney hit Moana. In the film, he sang his heart out in one of the movie’s hit songs, proving that the Alpha male of Alpha males is as popular with 8-year old girls as he is with 30-year old men. That’s a line only The Rock can walk.
Now, with a new NBC sitcom, Young Rock, coming to TV next season, you can add ‘comedian’ to The Rock’s ever-growing list of professional personas.
According to an article by USA Today, Young Rock will be an autobiographical show about Johnson’s formative years.
Even if you’re just a casual Johnson fan, you’ve most likely heard some version of his life story—he grew up poor, was evicted from his home at 14, and then won a national football championship at the University of Miami in 1991. Despite being the descendant of two wrestling legends—his father, Rocky Johnson, and maternal grandfather, the “High Chief” Peter Maivia—he struggled to break into the WWE and was even loudly booed at several events. At 23, he had nothing but a dream and $7 in his pocket.
Back then, very few would’ve thought the man who strutted to the ring in tassels would become The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment and one of the most successful men in Hollywood.
Often, Johnson will tear up when he recounts his hardships growing up. Those stories will be the basis of the NBC sitcom series, which Johnson said will mirror the coming-of-age classic Forrest Gump. The autobiographical series, produced by his studios Seven Bucks Productions, was officially announced on The Rock’s Instagram January 13.
In the post, The Rock detailed some of the highs and lows of his childhood and young adult life. “Our new @NBC sitcom has been all my life in the making,” he wrote. “Literally.”
From having seven bucks in his pocket to being worth more than $300 million, according to the latest Forbes estimates (www.forbes.com/), The Rock’s story is certainly an inspirational one, and one we’re sure will make for great TV.
- Eddie Hall and Hafthor Björnsson Gear Up for the Fight of the Decade
British strongman Eddie Hall and Icelandic giant Hafthor Björnsson have a history of bad blood. Thor famously said he was “robbed” when a judge didn’t count his last lift in the Viking press event at the 2017 World’s Strongest Man. As a result, Hall won the competition for the first time, besting Björnsson by just one point. And he didn’t mince words when he responded to the controversy saying in a January 2018 interview, “At the end of the day, he got his arse handed to him in a strongman competition and the little pussycat can’t take it. That’s it.”
A year later, however, it seemed as though Hall wanted to bury the hatchet after Thor took the title in 2018, sharing a photo of the trophy ceremony with his congratulations.
Now it looks like Hall is trying to spark that rivalry once again. During a live Q&A in November 2019, a fan asked Hall, “Who would win in a fight between you and Thor?”
Hall began his response by acknowledging that “the past is the past” and “things were said that shouldn’t have been said and things were done that shouldn’t have been done,” but they talk to each other and respect each other.
As far as who would actually win if they went toe-to-toe in the ring, though, the Beast pointed out that he had a serious disadvantage. “It’s that height though, isn’t it? That 6’9” height. Big guy.” But as someone who grew up fighting and is an avid boxer, he continued, “If you were to arrange a boxing match between me and Thor, I can tell you this, I would train for it—I would train my hardest for it—and I’d knock his head off. There we go, I said it.”
The Mountain responded two weeks later with his own video, where he responds by laughing at the idea that Hall could beat him up before commenting, “That’s f*cking hilarious.”
Now, it sounds like this imagined scenario could become a reality. Hall posted another Q&A on January 10, where a fan asked, “Is the fight between you and Thor likely to happen?” And it sounds like Hall is ready to throw down.
Only in the world of strongmen is a 380-pound person considered a “little man.”
Thor responded immediately, commenting, “Let’s do this Eddie!!” So, 2021 might be the year we see the, literal, biggest boxing match in history.
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
Weight: 380 lbs. (170 kg)
Height: 6'9" (206 cm)
Weight: 397-441 lbs. (180–200 kg)
Who do you think will win?
- The 8 Key Nutrients in a Fit Chick's Diet
- Arnold's Advice to Beginning Bodybuilders
“THERE’S NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO START WEIGHT TRAINING, NO MATTER HOW OLD YOU ARE.”
Ah, to be a beginner bodybuilder in 2020. First off, I want to congratulate you on deciding to pick up the iron and change your body. It will change your life, too. Second, I want you to know that there’s never been a better time to start weight training, no matter how old you are.
There’s more information than ever on how to train and eat and more ways to become inspired. When I started out in the 1960s, I had nothing but this magazine and its pictures of Reg Park to guide me— and I guess you could say I turned out all right. Imagine what you can do with all of today’s resources at your disposal.
As you begin your journey, I’ll offer the following “advices”— and if you’ve seen Pumping Iron, you know that last word wasn’t a typo.
First, get a picture in your mind of how you want your body to look. Visualization is enormously important in sculpting a physique, because once you know where you want to go, you need only to begin moving in that direction to get there.
If you want big arms, focus on curls. A big chest? Bench presses and flyes. At this stage in your development, stick with the basic exercises. You’ll get more out of squats and chinups than you will from machines. Also, don’t forget to warm up properly and stretch. Don’t let your eagerness to lift heavy weights lead to injury. Keep your reps in the range of eight to 12.
On the nutrition front, don’t fall for diet fads—eat healthy food. You need about one gram of protein per pound of your body weight every day and carbs from rice, potatoes, and vegetables. Let your fats come from big, juicy steaks (at least that’s what I ate!).
I also recommend that you find a training partner. When I was starting out, I was motivated to progress that much faster by having little competitions each workout with friends. Partners keep you accountable, and they make training fun, and don’t be surprised if you meet some of the best friends of your life in the gym.
Remember to stay hungry, and welcome to the brotherhood!
- How Russell Wilson Stays at Peak Performance for the NFL Season
Find out what it takes to stay in quarterback shape.
Seattle Seahawks (www.seahawks.com/) quarterback Russell Wilson wants to remain in the league for the long haul. The NFL MVP candidate made public his desire to spend 25 seasons on the field, but he's going to need some help to make that dream a reality.
Wilson’s ambitious long-term goal is the reason why he hired personal trainer Decker Davis to keep him in game-ready shape for the foreseeable future. Davis has been training Wilson (and his wife, pop star Ciara) since 2017, and Davis goes everywhere with the sports superstar, even on family vacations.
As a pro athlete, Wilson is expected to be healthier than the average person, but playing till he’s nearly 50 years old would necessitate round-the-clock attention—as well as a lot of cooperation with Father Time—Davis is always there to give Wilson what he needs: "I go wherever Russ goes. I go to all the away games,” Davis said on a recent Reps podcast. “I go with him, we do some some type of work while we're wherever we're at."
Davis works closely with the Seahawks' doctors and trainers to make sure nobody's stepping on anyone else's toes, and the experience has been positive for everyone involved, so far: "I know the Seahawks trainers and strength coaches pretty well. So we've got a good connection."
Football’s physical tolls on the bodies of some of the sports world’s toughest athletes are well documented. And as exciting and game-changing a quarterback sack can be for fans, for the athlete, it's hard to see anyone being able to sustain those hits for 10 seasons, let alone two decades.
Wilson, who was third in the NFL in 2019 with 31 touchdown passes, wants to set a longevity record with his goal of a quarter century on the field. It'll require take a lot of physical discipline and preparation (and a little luck) to hit that milestone, but the 31-year-old athlete has a chance at that ultimate glory, and he's got a whole team of physical therapists, massage therapists and chefs lending a hand.
“We all work hand in hand,” Decker says. If he's banged up, we kind of go through the whole healing process in order to get him back to 100%."
While it's impossible to know what the future holds, so far, it's hard to argue with Davis' impressive results: "He hasn't missed a game. So it's working."
- Actor Ethan Suplee, AKA Louie Lastik from 'Remember The Titans,' Called an Audible and Got Jacked
Ethan Suplee is best known for his role as Louie Lastik, the lovable lineman who can sing The Temptations as well as the Temptations, in Remember The Titans. Now, Suplee looks like the guy who would shove Lastik into a locker, take his lunch money, and clean-out GNC of all of its protein powder.
Early on Friday, January 20, Sports Nation shared a before and after photo of Suplee. On the left, he’s in character as Lastik from the 20-year old movie. On the right, he is 200 pounds lighter, sporting a thick chest and traps.
That same day, Suplee, who has also had roles in My Name is Earl and American History X, held an AMA (ask me anything) on his Instagram. In it, he revealed that he cut his calories by 20 percent and stays full on foods such as Applegate roast turkey, 0% Greek yogurt, and bananas. As for his workouts, Suplee performs a push-pull-legs routine six times a week, resting once. That seems like a lot, but you don’t work up to a 405-pound bench press (“my proudest lift,” he told one user on Instagram) by being a slouch.
Suplee is also hosting a new podcast, American Glutton, which launched on Jan. 8. In it, the 43-year old talks to experts and “average Joes” about America’s obesity crisis and his personal 20-year long battle with obesity. You can check out the podcast here to learn more and follow along with Suplee's journey.
- 1 in 5 Men Would Give Up Sex for a Year for the Perfect Beard
A lot of trends fall out of style and don’t ever come back (R.I.P. wide-leg jeans), but it looks like beards have made a solid comeback. So solid, in fact, that a recent survey found that one in five men would be willing to give up sex for an entire year if it meant growing the perfect beard.
Did they really think about what they were signing up for?
The survey, conducted by beard grooming brand Honest Amish via OnePoll, asked 2,000 Americans how they felt about facial hair. It specifically asked male respondents how far they would be willing to go to get the perfect beard. A whopping 22 percent said they would give up sex for a whole year if it meant growing a full, lustrous beard. Shockingly, more men were willing to give up sex than shave their heads—only 18 percent said they would shave their heads for a full beard.
The other lengths men were willing to go to? Forty percent said they would spend a night in jail, 40 percent said they would give up coffee for a year, and 38 percent said they would stand in line at the DMV for a full day.
Full beards looked like they were falling out of style in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, but they’ve become hugely popular today. Now, 73 percent of men surveyed said they think beards make men look more attractive. Meanwhile, only 63 percent of women agreed. However, half of the women surveyed admitted they would be more likely to accept a date from a stranger with a beard than without.
So, what exactly does the perfect beard entail? The biggest complaints men had about their facial hair was uneven growth (50%), slow growth (44%), patchiness (42%), uneven color (31%), and beard color that doesn’t match their hair (26%).
Unfortunately, giving up sex or coffee for a year won’t have any effect on your facial hair, but you can at least rest assured that that’s not the most attractive feature. Focus on flexing your funny bone—72 percent of respondents said sense of humor is the most attractive quality in men and women.
- Lou Ferrigno Will Become a Deputy Sheriff in New Mexico
New Mexican criminals better think twice before making Socorro County’s deputy sheriff angry—because they wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
Lou Ferrigno, the former bodybuilder and legendary Incredible Hulk TV actor, will be deputized as a deputy sheriff in the county during a special ceremony, according to various reports.
It won’t be the first time Ferrigno, 68, will be considered an acting law enforcement official. The former Mr. Universe has served as a reserve sheriff’s deputy in Los Angeles and was a member of the volunteer sheriff posse in Maricopa County, AZ. In the latter role, he worked alongside fellow actors Steven Seagal and Peter Lupus to deter illegal immigration in the area.
He has also completed Level I law enforcement training, bringing his accreditation up to peace officer.
In an interview with the San Luis Obispo Tribune, Ferrigno said his passion for law enforcement started by watching his father, who was an NYPD lieutenant.
One day, according to a 2012 story from the Tribune, his father brought him to the firing range and shot four bullets into a paper target. “He said, ‘If you ever misbehave, the same will happen to you,’ ” Ferrigno recalled. “I thought, ‘OK, from now on I’ll have respect.’"
Best known for playing the Hulk in the 1970s TV series, Ferrigno’s presence will be used to help recruit new officers and volunteers for the sheriff’s department and Socorro County.
- A Good Night's Sleep Might Reduce Anxiety
If you’re feeling anxious about your job, your love life (or lack thereof), or just about anything else going on in life, you might not need a pill or even the latest meditation craze — you might just need a good night’s sleep.
That’s according to a study out of UC Berkeley, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour (https://www.nature.com/nathumbehav/), which found that sleepless nights could trigger a 30 percent increase in anxiety levels. A restful night, on the other hand, could reverse anxiety symptoms by essentially rewiring the brain.
“Our study strongly suggests that insufficient sleep amplifies levels of anxiety and, conversely, that deep sleep helps reduce such stress,” study lead author Eti Ben Simon, a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Human Sleep Science at UC Berkeley, said in a statement on the school's website.
For the study, 18 young adults had their brains scanned via MRI and other methods while they watched “emotionally stirring video clips” after a full night’s sleep, and again after a restless night. Anxiety levels for each session were measured by a questionnaire.
The brain’s medial prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that keeps anxiety in check, was shut down after a sleepless night—leading to more anxiety for the participants.
Alternatively, when the participants had a solid night’s sleep, they had less anxiety. Specifically, the lower anxiety levels were seen when the participants had several hours of non-rapid eye movement slow-wave sleep, otherwise known as a deep sleep—a state where brain functions become highly synchronized and heart rates drop.
The study was recreated at least twice, with similar results found both times.
Here are some tips from the study’s authors to try to get a perfect night’s sleep, and bring your anxiety levels down to near zero:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even after a bad night’s sleep or on the weekend.
- Keep your bedroom temperature cool; about 65 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for cooling your body toward sleep. Wear socks if your feet are cold.
- An hour before bedtime, dim the lights and turn off all electronic screens and devices. Blackout curtains are helpful.
- If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and do something quiet and relaxing until the urge to sleep returns. Then, go back to bed.
- Avoid caffeine after 1 p.m. and never go to bed tipsy. Alcohol is a sedative, and sedation is not sleep. It also blocks your REM dream sleep, an important part of the sleep cycle.
- How OCR Pro Nicole Mericle Runs A Support Crew For A Spartan Ultra
Your crew can make all the difference in an endurance race.
- This Canadian Pastor Is One of the Strongest Men in the World
When you think of a pastor, you probably envision a smaller guy who buries his nose in spiritual books all day. Kevin Fast knows that, and he doesn't care that his strongman hobby isn't what people expect from a Lutheran pastor.
Fast, 56, boasts around a dozen Guinness World Records, he said in a recent video for the New York Post. His record-breaking feats include pulling a house that weighed 79,145 pounds, pulling a fire truck over 100 feet, pulling a 416,299-pound aircraft nearly 30 feet, and winning an arm-wrestling match with a 31,900-pound firetruck (to name just a few).
He's been a pastor for 27 years now, but he doesn't talk about his strongman achievements while he preaches. In the gym, however, he finds that his profession carries over.
"In the strength scene where I compete, people know I'm a pastor, and they're always asking me questions and wanting help or my opinion on different things," he explained in the video. "So in church, I'm just a pastor, and in strength, I'm sort of a pastor there, too."
Even more amazing is that he apparently doesn't spend all day in the gym. In the same video, a personal trainer from his gym said that he "trains for maybe half an hour in the morning, then goes home and has some doughnuts and takes a nap, but he's still way stronger than anybody that I know."
Fast says that even now, he often gets scared while sizing up his next feats of strength. But he moves past pain and channels his mental strength to get them done. His strength is so remarkable that the University of Southern California studied his body and found out that his bones are thick and dense, and that his body is able to release adrenaline on command.
"I believe it was a gift given to me by God, and I use it as long as I have the gift, so I'm still going strong," Fast said.
Check out the full video below to see Fast in action and get his take on the feats of strength he manages to complete.
- How Top U.S. Triathlete Tim O’Donnell Prepares for the Ironman
- Roelly WInklaar Posted a Shot of His Massive Back, and People Are in Shock
Nobody has ever accused Roelly Winklaar of being too small. But as if to prove just how massive he is, “The Beast” just posted a shot of his massive back on Instagram, and it’s safe to say just about everyone is in awe.
Tens of thousands of people have liked the post, and based on the comments, most of them are in shock at what they’re seeing.
It’s unclear if the photo is a recent one or a big #WayBackWednesday post, but we’ll take any excuse to admire Winklaar’s size. And as if the size of his back wasn’t inspiring enough, he also added a motivational message to the post: "Every day is another chance to get STRONGER to eat BETTER to live HEALTHIER and to be the best VERSION of YOU."
Again, we're not sure whether this is a current progress pic or a throwback just for the hell of it. He was slated to compete in the Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH, but YouTube channel RXMuscle reported Jan. 9 that he dropped out of that contest to rest and spend more time with his family. Winklaar has already qualified for the 2020 Mr. Olympia after finishing fifth at the 2019 contest.
Either way, we’ll take any excuse to admire a great bodybuilder.