To Understand is to Empower

Posted on July 1, 2020 Posted by Brittany Austin

To Understand is to Empower

By Understanding Something and Labeling It, We give it Power

“The process of spotting fear and refusing to obey it is the source of all true empowerment.” -Martha Beck
By accepting something and giving it a name we lend it power. Empowerment is simply the act of acknowledging that something has usefulness. The label we give it leads to greater acceptance of it. When enough people prescribe to this acceptance, this is when an idea becomes truly empowered. Whether it is positive or negative, be it a thought, a concept, or a physical thing- Once it is labelled and accepted as such it becomes a solid and concrete fact that it has value or worth. Once something is deemed worthy, it then can hold sway over people’s decisions, thoughts, and actions. With this in mind, if we fear something and we give that fear a name, if we speak this fear aloud then we breathe it into being. It’s true our thoughts become reality. As such, we should focus on those thoughts that are beneficial to us. We choose what to empower in our lives. So then, why would anyone choose to embody that which is undesirable or detrimental to our well-being?
“By naming something, we accept it. By accepting it, we give it power” -Old Homeless Guy
The sad fact is that this happens all too often. We lend our energy to things that do not serve us and in all reality will only cause us great distress. When we do such, we complicate our lives. Why? We need to empower ourselves to bigger, better, and greater things. We would, by far benefit from entertaining thoughts that build our lives up, as opposed to those that tear us down. To truly become empowered we must focus our energies towards a greater reality for ourselves and for those around us. Can you imagine for a moment, how different this world would be if every man, woman, and child on earth concentrated their focused energy on creating and empowering better humans and better opportunities? My God! We would find that Utopian society that so many of us seek. So, with this new knowledge in tow- what kind of reality will you empower today? What will you create? Which reality do you wish to live? Choose wisely and remember, that in which you label and speak to will become that which either empowers or depowers you and your reality. Bless up!

To Understand is to Empower

Posted on July 1, 2020 Posted by Brittany Austin

Are Steroids Legal A Comprehensive Guide to the Laws Surrounding Steroids

Steroids have been the focus of many high-profile scandals since they were first used by Russia in the Olympics in 1954. We all know about Lance Armstrong, and many of us have heard of the Russian doping scandal that got the whole country banned from the Olympics in 2015. It’s common knowledge steroids are illegal in sports due to their ability to give their users an unfair competitive advantage. But there seems to be some confusion over laws around the use of steroids outside of professional sports. So, the big question here: are steroids legal for use in bodybuilding and beyond? Read on to find out the laws and ramifications of using steroids in this comprehensive guide.   What Exactly Are Steroids? Before we dive into the legalities surrounding the use of steroids, it’s useful to understand what they even are. Simply put, anabolic steroids are synthetic modifications of testosterone. Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone present in both men and women but is significantly more dominant in men. Steroids work by mimicking the hormones naturally released by the adrenal gland to reduce inflammation and tissue damage. They help to increase the muscle’s ability to produce protein, resulting in bigger muscle mass. Like other illicit drugs, there are many slang terms referring to steroids so users can talk about them without being too obvious. Common street names of steroids are roids, juice, gym candy, stackers and pumpers. Although most prominent in sports and bodybuilding, they are sometimes also abused by law enforcement officials. It sounds ironic, but having such a draining job has led some law enforcement officials down the steroid path too.   What Are the Side Effects? Many of you have likely heard horror stories about steroid use, and not all of them are myths. Some of the minor side effects include acne, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, and indigestion. Some of the more serious side effects are high blood pressure, liver tumors, bone density problems leading to osteoporosis and eyesight problems. For women, the side effects are even worse and can lead to infertility. Another common side effect of steroid abuse is known as ‘roid rage’. This is when the user becomes aggressive when under the influence of anabolic steroids, sometimes even resulting in violent behavior.   Are Steroids Legal? The short answer is no. Even though 80% of American bodybuilders still use anabolic steroids, they are illegal in the United States without a prescription and have been since the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990. In medicine, steroids can be useful to treat various health concerns such as loss of function of testicles, muscle wasting caused by the AIDS virus and delayed puberty issues. Veterinarians often prescribe steroids for animal use to help with weight gain and feeding efficiency, so while it is possible to get a legitimate prescription for steroids, they are to be used for their intended purposes only and are strictly not for resale. Many people have the misconception that steroids are illegal simply because of their performance-enhancing abilities. This is not the case. The bigger concern is the physical and emotional impact steroids have on their users and the high number of dangerous side effects linked to overuse.   What Are the Penalties? In the US, possession of illegally obtained steroids has a maximum jail time penalty of one year and a minimum fine of $1000. First-time offenders are sentenced under these parameters and sentences increase significantly for repeat offenders. The law takes trafficking much more seriously. For first offenders, the maximum penalty for trafficking of steroids is up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences double for second-time offenders These penalties are on a federal level. Each individual state has its own penalties for possession and use of steroids and other illicit drugs on top of the federal charges.   Are There Legal Alternatives? Yes. There are some legal alternatives to steroids, however, most of them still have a hefty list of side effects. Some of the common supplements used by bodybuilders and athletes are HGH (human growth hormones), Dianabol and Trenorol. Injections of pure HGH are still illegal in the US. While they are not the same thing as anabolic steroids, they work in a similar way and have a lot of the same negative side effects. However, there are some legal options. HGH pills are okay to take, and there has even been an injectable version of HGH that is now legal. The legal version is called HGH release and they work by triggering the natural release of the body’s own human growth hormones. Since it’s a natural process, it’s okay with the law. The law around Dianabol is a bit fuzzy. In the US, some versions of Dianabol are still illegal for the same reasons HGH injections are illegal – they are considered to be too close in nature to steroids. Certain Dianabol pills are legal though. Trenorol is a legal growth supplement and was created to mirror the muscle building and fat loss effects of the illegal steroid Trenbolone. So yes, while there are legal alternatives to the illicit versions of steroids, most of them still have side effects and need to be taken with caution. Learn more about legal supplement options. Always do your research.   Are Steroids Necessary to Get Big? Not gonna lie, anabolic steroids and their legal alternatives definitely promote muscle growth. That is what they’re for, and they do it well. But no, it’s not necessary to take any form of steroid or growth supplement to get big. It will take more work, but knowing what you’re doing in the gym and doing movements that promote hypertrophy (muscle growth) will get you there. Being comfortable in the gym is half the battle. Even having the right shoes can prevent injury and make a gym session more enjoyable. It also helps to have a healthy lifestyle, eat a lot of protein and stay as low stress as possible. You might not believe it, but even getting enough sleep helps with building muscle mass, as it promotes much-needed recovery.   What Did We Learn? So, are steroids legal? No. And if it’s your second or third offense, the penalties can be pretty severe. Are there legal alternatives? Yes, but there’s a lot of weird stuff on the market so it’s recommended you do your research before buying. Do you have to take steroids or supplements if you want to build muscle mass? No. It’s a shortcut. Hard work and a healthy lifestyle will pay off eventually, and with none of those crazy side effects. Just keep at it. Visit our blog for more tips on living a healthy lifestyle and avoiding the temptation to ‘juice’.

Are Steroids Legal A Comprehensive Guide to the Laws Surrounding Steroids

Posted on July 1, 2020 Posted by Brittany Austin

Get Better, Faster 8 Ways to Boost Your Post-Workout Recovery

The post-workout recovery process is just as essential as the workout itself. Your body requires adequate time to reenergize, repair muscles, and recover from soreness. Your recovery routine has a significant effect on your fitness performance and goals. Spending most of your time in the gym lifting may actually derail your progress. In fact, you might end up not building a single muscle even with all the effort. Many people don’t understand that muscle growth can’t happen if a proper post-workout routine isn’t followed. Nowadays, it is common to hear trainers argue that muscles do not form in the gym but grow after. The recovery process also ensures that you stay injury free. This way, your training can stay consistent. The following article will outline eight ways to boost your post-workout recovery process.
  1. Schedule Your Recovery Workouts
You need to plan for your recovery routine just as much as you prepare for your training. Your body’s muscle tissues get worn out when you lift heavy weights or engage in tough cardio activities. The energy stored in your body gets used up, leaving it in a state of fatigue. The lack of adequate recovery time combined with overtraining can lead to exhaustion. If this issue isn’t resolved, it can impact the chemical and physiological components of your body in a negative way. As a result, you might experience inflammation in certain parts of your body. And you might begin to miss your workouts because of the resulting soreness.
  1. Replace Lost Fluids
A lot of fluids are lost during workouts, especially through sweat. So, you should make a point of replacing your fluids before, during, and after your workouts. Drinking fluids is an excellent way to boost the recovery process. In this case, it is highly advisable to consume water as the primary fluid. This is especially important if you are weight lifting and/or working out extensively, it goes without mentioning that you should have the proper footwear as well, check out a great list here. All metabolic functions in the body are mainly supported by water. Having enough water in your body ensures that all activities in the body are running smoothly at all times.
  1. Get Enough Sleep
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can reduce the ability to train effectively. It can also inhibit your body’s ability to adapt to any physical stress related to working out. While you’re asleep, various hormones release in your body which initiate the recovery process. In short, this means that sleep induces a faster rate of recovery in the body. There is also an increase in the secretion of muscle building hormones while the body is in a state of deep sleep. So, it’s essential to have a regular sleep routine every night. Also, ensure that you minimize distractions such as phones, books, and television. Your body needs at least eight hours of sleep.
  1. Don’t Forget to Stretch
Stretching may be the most underrated exercise when trying to build muscle. Stretching is vital because it increases flexibility, which eliminates limits to compound lifting. After working out, you should spend close to twenty minutes stretching. Stretching helps relieve tension in the muscles and reduce later soreness. Additionally, stretching over an extended period helps eliminate risks of artery blockage. It can even reduce your cholesterol levels over time!
  1. Eat Healthy Foods
Proper nutrition will definitely boost recovery time. Since various body tissues get worn out during training, it’s essential to repair them with the right macronutrients. Protein-rich foods are necessary to rebuild muscle tissue and provide building blocks for enzymes and hormones in your body. However, the amount of protein you should consume over a week is dependent on how much you train. You also need to consume carbs, which provide you with the energy necessary during training. After working out, eat a snack that is rich in both proteins and carbohydrates to improve the recovery process.
  1. Minimize Your Stress Levels
Not all stress is harmful. Obviously, stress from exercising is a good thing. But stress from missed deadlines, poor work environment, and lack of sleep are harmful. Such stress has a great effect on your overall performance even when training. It can also slow your recovery process which then has an adverse impact on your body.
  1. Get a Massage Every Now and Then
Massage boosts the circulation of blood in the body, creating a state of relaxation in the muscles. You can either schedule a massage with your therapist or self-massage. Massage sticks, foam rollers, and baseballs are some tools you can use to align stiff muscles. At first, a massage might be a painful experience due to muscle stiffness, but it will help reduce inflammation. Apply gentle pressure on the areas affected until the pain goes away. Additionally, compression clothing can help reduce muscle inflammation and muscle soreness. Check out this article if you’re wondering, “what do compression socks do?”
  1. Ice Baths Are Your Friends
Many athletes claim to recover faster and heal from any muscles soreness from taking an ice bath. This routine dilates and constricts blood vessels to remove waste in the tissues. Water therapy works by alternating hot and cold showers. When taking a shower post work out, alternate three minutes of hot water with one minute of cold water. Need More Workout Recovery Help? These 8 tips will help you improve your workout recovery astronomically. But if you need more advice, be sure to also check out our article on how much sleep athletes should be getting every day. With all this information, you’ll be able to defeat soreness and fatigue in no time!