Sunday, 4 April 2010

Enter the second 12 weeks

I have come to the end of my week off from training and am very eager to get back into it on Monday 5th April. I have been wanting to train for the last week, but the rest will have done my body good. I go into the next 12 week training cycle with big goals to achieve and a new drive to achieve them. Come the week ending the 27th June, 2010, I want to hit a 140kg Bench Press, 190kg Squat and a 240kg Deadlift for a more important overall 570kg total at 90kg body weight.

Having had the time off, I have thought over what I was going to do over the next 12 weeks. I needed something that would help me with my training the best. I am an unequipped (belt only) power lifter. I needed something therefore that would work best for me. I had previously done a Westside Barbell split in the first quarter of this year, which worked well, but had its flaws. This being that Westside Barbell compete in powerlifting suits and knee wraps. The training is then geared to meet the goals of the suits and that type of lifting. They are also long sessions, which took up too much time.

As an unequipped (raw) lifter, I needed something that targeted the raw lifter in training. My friend who is a powerlifter and looking to compete next year is using a split by Jim Wendler. He is a former powerlifter and competed in non-raw competitions. Jim Wendler came up with the idea of this program, because, "I was burned out from competitive powerlifting. I was tired of bench shirts, box squats, bands and being fat." He wanted something that was simple and allowed him to be in and out of the gym within 45 minutes, but at the same time got him strong.

This is something that I want as I am very busy myself. The program is called 5/3/1 and is based around the four major lifts of the Standing Barbell Press, Deadlift, Bench Press and Squat. I can't wait to do it and hopefully it will be as effective as the reviews from the hundreds of other people who have done it before. Time will tell, 12 weeks to be exact, and hopefully I will have a new set of PRs.


The Role of Antioxidents and Minerals in the Body

Antioxidents: Our internal fire guard

Antioxidents are like the fire screen we put up to stop sparks flying out and burning the carpet. Antioxidents help protect the human cell (the carpet) from the firestorm of free radicals (burning sparks) that are ignited from the metabolic processes of the cell (the fire) (1). As long as we have sufficient numbers of antioxidents, the damage to the cell is minimized. If, however, the protection is not there, then the cumulative damage of these burning sparks can seriously damage the carpet.

Such stress to human cells by free radicals is now believed to be the major force behind the onset of chronic degenerative disease e.g. heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis (1, 4).

Antioxidents neutralise these free radicals, stopping them dead in their tracks before they can cause damage to the human cell. During this process, antioxidents are chemically altered. Some antioxidents are regenerated by other antioxidents (1), which is why you should supplement with a complete range, rather than just one or two antioxidents. Other antioxdents are changed completely or excreted from the body (1). Our bodies produce some antioxidents, while other must come from diet.

Working together to protect the human cell

Although minerals are not antioxidents, they do form a vital part of different antioxident systems in the body, these include copper, zinc, selenium and manganese (2). To see which antioxident is the most important to the body, misses the point. A lot of people supplement with just vitamin C, but antioxidents work best when they together (2). Antioxidents require the presence of other antioxidents to help protect the cell, the best they can from free radicals. They work in synergy, which “implies that the effect of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (1).

Different antioxidents work in different parts of the human cell. For example, vitamin E is the major antioxident of the cell membrane, protecting the cell membrane from free radical damage (1, 3). Vitamin C works best in the plasma of the cell and works well with glutathione in the fluid portion of the cell (1, 3). Alpha-lipoic acid, along with many other antioxidents, grape seed and pine bark extracts, help regenerate vitamin C, which then regenerates vitamin E (1, 3).

As you can see, antioxidents and minerals work best together to fight the ongoing attack on the human cell by free radicals. They work in synergy, regenerating one another and so give our cells the best chance to stave of degeneration and the onset of chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, Alzheimer dementia, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, stroke.

Keep an eye out for my next article on nutritional supplementation and why I believe it is important as part of a healthy lifestyle.


1. MacWilliam, L. Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. 4th ed. Northern Dimensions. 2007

2. Passwater, R.A. The Basics of Antioxidents. All About Antioxidents.New York, NY: Avery Publishing. 1998

3. Strand, R.D. A New Concept in Nutritional Medicine, Healthy for Life Newsletter. 4(2), 2007

4. Strand, R. D. Bionutrition: Winning The War From Within. Rapid City, SD: Comprehensive Wellness Publishing. 1998