5 MOST CONTROVERSIAL Topics in Fitness: NoFap FOR GAINS!!? DO YOU even NEED SUPPLEMENTS!!?

Like any other industry, the Fitness industry isn’t absolutely harmonious and conflict free. With a growing number of new athletes, trainers and fitness “gurus” entering the scene on a regular basis, there is a massive exchange of ideas and strategies that are highly debatable and controversial. Let’s face it- everybody out there wants to divert as much traffic as possible, to their own social media pages, channels and websites. One of the easiest ways of doing so is by putting out a controversial blanket statement such as “Stop doing Cardio” or “Crunches are BS”. Although it helps these so called “fitness gurus” get tons of views, it leaves the viewers completely puzzled.
Here at Fitness Eagles, we believe in providing you guys with well researched, authentic information so you can JUDGE FOR YOURSELF, what’s right and what’s not.

Here are the 5 MOST CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY:



1.       Masturbation vs. Gains: NoFap for Gains!!?
Alright! There’s a reason why this one’s on top of the list. Almost every gym bro out there wants to know if blowing his load effects his gains or not.

First, let’s tackle the physiological aspect of it. What really happens, when we do our thing?
The PMO Sequence- Porn, Masturbation, Orgasm. For most of you out there, this is the exact sequence in which you pleasure yourself. Viewing a few erotic visuals and stroking (The PM aspect of it) has absolutely nothing to do with your gains at all. You might burn a few calories moving your arms aggressively- that’s about it.

What really makes all the difference is ‘O’- Orgasm. Why, you may ask.
Just in case you didn’t know, the ejaculate matter is known as ‘semen’. Here’s the catch- semen contains significant quantities of citric acid, zinc, potassium, calcium, protein-splitting enzymes and testosterone, all of which you shoot out of your body. At the time of orgasm, your body releases a shot of dopamine and serotonin (AKA “feel good hormones”) which is what gives you the intense sense of pleasure. This is accompanied by a temporary increase in cortisol and estrogen, both of which are not very beneficial for lifters.

Quite naturally, most of these levels do return to normal within a few hours. However, the two major issues that spike controversy are the drop in zinc levels and the slight drop in testosterone levels. Let’s look at Zinc first. There have been numerous studies that show the effect of zinc on athletic performance and prove than lower zinc levels reduce your ability to lift as heavy as you would otherwise. Considering testosterone, some studies show that the amount lost is completely insignificant, while others state the opposite. Either ways, what we do know for a fact is that we do loose at least some amount of testosterone, which plays a major role in protein synthesis and muscle maintenance. Here’s where the controversy arises- some say that you can just do away with supplementing the lost minerals and pleasure yourself as much as you want, while others talk of ejaculating as if it were taboo.

What can be concluded however, is that too much of anything is bad. If something is consuming you, you definitely ought to stop. But if you are able to control yourself and indulge in such activity every once in a while, I don’t see any harm being done to your gains.

That being said, if we look at the ethical aspect of PMO, there are tons of studies out there which prove that watching pornography can have some serious detrimental effects on your body and mind, such as becoming tolerant to aggression against women, losing interest in your partner, reduced work productivity, reduced focus and even Erectile Dysfunction in the long run. Most of these effects can be avoided if you resort to a healthy relation with your partner, which is what most experts recommend.

Now, there is also an entire NoFap Community out there, who apparently have given up ejaculating for life. In fact, some religious gurus even say that it is possible to hold in your semen forever. This is not my field of expertise and I have no idea or experience on how this works, so I would prefer not to comment on it.



2.       High Intensity vs. Low Intensity Cardio: HIIT burns more fat!!?

I am NOT going to get into the “which is better” aspect of this, mainly because there is really no concrete answer to that question. Everyone has different body types that react differently to different exercises. Here are some facts though, that will help you decide for yourself.

The breakdown of triglycerides(fats) in your body is known as lipolysis. Cardio releases an enzyme ‘lipase’, which initiates lipolysis- this is the reason why cardio is often associated with fat loss. Mobilization is the process by which fats are broken down for energy and Oxidation is the point at which they are actually burnt.

Studies have shown that as the intensity increases, mobilization decreases. On the other hand, oxidation increases with increase in intensity. What this means is that low intensity cardio results in more fats being mobilized, while high intensity cardio results in more fat being oxidized, thus burning more calories in the same amount of time.

Practically, you can burn the same amount of calories through both, by varying your workout duration. However, if you’re someone desperate to lose weight without much time to spare, obviously you will benefit more from high intensity cardio. If you’re someone with hours to spare every now and then, why not run a few kilometers as cardio.

An important point to note; high intensity cardio is slightly more taxing on your Central Nervous System, as opposed to low intensity cardio, so stay away from HIIT workout seven days a week!



3.  “Bro Split”!!? What's the best for ‘natty’ lifters?
I’m going to start by jumping right into the main point- “Bro splits” are for the TYPICAL gym bro, who eats big, lifts heavy and umm… injects. Let me explain.

When our muscles undergo any strenuous activity, (in this case: lifting) it results in the formation of micro tears in our muscle fibers. In order to repair these micro tears, protein synthesis in that particular muscle increases for a temporary period. This is when we make “gains”.

As a natural lifter, protein synthesis spikes up only for about 36-48 hours after your workout. If you train every muscle once a week, you are going for days in a row without absolutely any elevated protein synthesis in that particular muscle group. If you’re on steroids, however, you have an elevated protein synthesis almost all the time. That’s one of the main advantages of being enhanced. Bro splits work very well if you’re enhanced.

As a natural, the most optimal way to train is by hitting each muscle group 2-3 times a week.
This being said, I would like to add in that THERE ARE EXECPTIONS. There are people out there who have genetically blessed with prolonged elevation in protein synthesis without using any substance. Well, that’s just how it is. These are real facts and my advice- see what works best for you!

Want some more advice? Feel free to reach out to me! (Contact details below)



4.       Supplements vs. Whole Foods: Do you even need supplements!!?

Before I start off, I would like you to consider a few examples.

Here are the daily recommendations for three commonly used supplements:
·         Creatine: 5g/ Day
·         Omega 3’s: 1.8g/ Day
·         Protein: 1g/ lb. of bodyweight (Let’s consider you weigh 180 lbs.- you’ll need 180 g of protein in that case)

Now let’s take a look at their concentration in whole foods, from significant sources.
·         Beef: contains 2g of creatine per lb.
·         Tuna/ Salmon: contains 0.27g of EPA-DHA (Active Omega 3 ingredient) per can
·         Chicken: 30g per 3.5 ounces.

Let’s look at creatine first. If you were to consume 5g of creatine a day form whole foods, simple math shows us that you’ll need to consume 2.5lbs. of beef. Head to the butchers’ right now and take a look at how much 2.5lbs. really is and take a moment to consider how you’ll manage to fit it in you.

Next up, Omega 3’s. Again, simple math tells us that, in order to get in 1.8g of Omega 3’s, you’ll need to consume nearly six cans of tuna. SIX CANS!

So we’ve just looked at two ingredients and we’re already at 2.5lbs. of beef and six cans of tuna. Imagine how much saturated fats 2.5lbs. of beef might have.

Considering 180lbs. as the bodyweight, to get the required proteins from chicken, you’ll need to consume roughly 21 ounces of chicken breasts a day, which is about 1.3 pounds. Putting together the beef and chicken, we’ll have nearly 4 pounds of meat in a day- even if you manage to fit it in you, it definitely cannot be good. Meat has tons of purine which results in high uric acid content, which may ultimately result in bone diseases. 4 pound of it? Doesn’t sound good to me.

These are just a few of the commonly used supplements. So theoretically, yes, it is possible to find all these ingredients in food. Practically, I doubt many of us will be able to fit all of it in our bellies.

Does everyone need these supplements? No. It depends entirely on your goals and preferences.

Do they help? Tons of researches and studied point out the benefit of these ingredients on athletic performance. I’d prefer to stick with science, so yes, they do help.

Bottom line: Can you get the benefits of supplements without taking them? No.



5.       “Just lift Bro!” vs. Mind Muscle Connection: Proper form vs. Heavy-assed weights:

This is another one of those topics that cause viral arguments on social media platforms. On one hand you have those that preach the use of proper form, mind muscle connection and really squeezing the muscle in every rep, while on the other you have videos of people pressing six plates on the bench with absolutely bogus form.

This is not really as complicated as people make it.

So let’s take a look at heavy weights first. When you put on six plates, get under the barbell and just give it your all in one single rep, you have to understand that you’re using more than just muscle. Lifting extremely heavy weights for a low number of reps engages of your tendons, nerves and puts severe pressure on your joints. This is ideal for powerlifters and those whose main goal is to lift am much as possible. Low rep- heavy weight workouts are absolutely not advisable for a complete newbie- You might snap your sh*t bro!

Next, let’s look at the “hypertrophy” rep range (8-15 reps). This is ideal for muscle definition and strength gains. This probably is the most commonly used among fitness models. It is also highly recommended for beginners, although you might want to start with slightly higher rep ranges and lighter weights.

This being said, if you’re and intermediate or advanced lifter, it is crucial to incorporate various different rep ranges and training styles in your routine, as this will help you avoid plateaus and make decent progress.


Author: Shaumik Saha

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