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November 03, 2017

Better Living Through GAINZZZZ

I haven't personally gotten many GAINZZZ. I've been sporadic on both diet and exercise, good one week, crap the next.

I think I mentioned having done a "carb-up" to try to get glycogen back in my muscles, so I would have better work-outs. I don't know if really gave me extra energy. I do know I gained five pounds in two days.

The good news on that is that when I went back on IF + Low Carb, I began losing fat again. So that definitely works.

The only interesting thing I did -- which I did partly just to get a GAINZZZ post out of -- is cryotherapy, where you enter a chamber and have very cold nitrogen gas (permitted to go from liquid form into gas form by letting it out of a high pressure tank) pumped around your body for 3-4 minutes. The temperature can go to -150 degrees F or even lower.

Supposedly, this helps reduce joint and muscle pain and also inflammation. Supposedly it also has some kind of detoxifying effect, because -- I don't know the full rigamarole here -- but it's something like "your body reacts to the exposure to cold by going into a high state of cellular activity, which includes cleaning out bad bits of junk from the cells."

So here's my report. I know some people who say this does indeed help reduce joint pain. Personally, for me, it has not helped with my main problem (my knees), or at least it hasn't helped to such an extent that I'd say it helped. Maybe it helped and is helping; it's hard to know, because I don't have a control experiment of myself for the last month doing the same exercise where I didn't get four cryo sessions in.

I guess I could say that my knees haven't been a major restriction on working out lately. But they still are often sore.

So, should you try it? Eh, I'm continuing to try it myself. I will say it's a kind of interesting experience, worth maybe spending $35 or $40 bucks on just to see what it's like. It's kinda science-fictiony.

But I can't say that it actually does anything. Maybe it does. Maybe it just makes you cold. Some people seem to think it does something -- a lot of sports teams now have cryo therapy chambers in their PT areas. But a lot of experts say that any benefit you get from it is just a placebo effect.

If you get even a placebo effect, well, as I say: That's still an effect. But I don't know if I'm even getting that.

I really wish I had come out of this with a more definitive opinion.

Anyone else doing this? Anyone feeling more definitive benefits?

And: tell me about yo GAINZZZ, brahs and ettes.

Oh I do have two positive reports: I got a safety squat bar from Gronk fitness because my shoulder mobility is very limited and I can't hold a barbell for a back squat. And I got a Valor Swiss-style bar off Amazon for $110 to keep my shoulders from going into internal rotation during bench presses.

(Note there's a discount code included in that video that gets you something like 15% off the price of the safety squat bar.)

This was a major expenditure for the two bars, but my shoulders, at least, aren't sore after lifting.

If you have shoulder mobility problems, maybe consider shelling out the money for something that'll give your bashed up shoulders a break. As far as squats, I went from dreading them to just disliking them. Yeah they still suck and all, but I'm not afraid of them now.

And for the bench press, I'm no longer getting worrisome movement in my shoulder and pain when I bench.

Expensive, and I hated putting out the money, but I am damn happy I pulled the trigger. You're supposed to be sore from lifting, but not injured.

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posted by Ace at 07:06 PM

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