73% of snacking is physically driven (i.e., for hunger abatement, nutritional support of energy).
36% of snacking is emotionally driven (defined as "time markers" that create structures in the day; boredom alleviation; or reward, encouragement or temporary alleviation of discipline).
28% of snacking is socially or culturally driven: bonding over food without committing to a full meal, or discovering new cuisines and flavors.
27% of snacking is aimless, wherein people eat even when other drivers are not present.
HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is provided as a glycoprotein powder to be diluted with water and taken by injection, either intramuscularly or subcutaneously. It acts in the body like luteinizing hormone (LH), stimulating the testes to produce testosterone even when natural LH is not present or is deficient. It therefore is useful for maintaining testosterone production and/or testicle size during a steroid cycle. Additionally, outside of or in-between steroid cycles, it can be very useful for increasing testosterone production. The success of this depends on the ability of the testes to actually produce greater amounts of testosterone with increased stimulation. Where the testes themselves are the limiting factor, HCG cannot overcome this.
Including HCG as part of a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) program is superior to relying on testosterone alone if maintenance of sperm production and/or normal testicle size is considered important. Use of testosterone alone can result in infertility or reduced fertility, as normal testicular function depends on higher intratesticular testosterone levels than results from such use.
With regard to steroid usage, HCG should either not be used as part of post-cycle therapy (PCT) at all, or should be used only in a rather precise manner to avoid impeding recovery, shortly to be described.
Post-cycle recovery of LH production requires androgen levels to have fallen back into the physiological range. With use of medium or long-acting esters, this is a slow process. For example, let’s suppose that a given testosterone ester’s half-life is 7 days, and that 800 mg/week was used during the cycle. If so, then one week after the last injection, levels will be similar to what they would be if 400 mg had been taken weekly for some time, and with another 400 mg having just been injected. At the two week point after the last injection, levels will be commensurate with ongoing 200 mg/week use.
So I'm watching my NFL games yesterday and simultaneously keeping track of my 5 fantasy football teams when the news starts trickling in. A.J. Green... toe injury... out. Jamal Charles... high ankle sprain... out. RGIII... ankle injury... out. Ryan Matthews... carted off the field... out. DeSean Jackson... shoulder injury... out. The day ended with a Mark Ingram injury followed by a Vernon Davis injury. Thee worst fantasy football day ever, hands down.
Season over right... ? Bye bye championship right? Wrong. You see, fantasy football is just like bodybuilding, (stay with me). In bodybuilding, there are strict diets and intense workout routines. These diets and routines are meticulously followed, meals are measured, workouts are timed, supplements are an exact science. Except, sometimes, you grab a cheeseburger, skip the gym for 2 days and drink 3 corona lights instead of a protein shake. After the carnage, the bodybuilder is left with a decision. Fall into a depression thinking about how you went over your calorie count, destroyed your macronutrient intake and didn't get your HIIT training session in. Or, and the veteran bodybuilder knows this, you can simply forget the two days of unrestricted insanity, chalk it up as a cheat day(s) and get back to the routine, get back to business. And this is where we come full circle.
I lost A.J, RGIII, Ryan Matthews, DJax and Mark Ingram within 7 hours of football. Season(s) over? Hell no. The bodybuilder in me knows better. It's chalked up as a hiccup, a challenge, a flat tire... (would you then pop the other three tires because of one flat tire?? Noooo... fix the flat and continue on!). So my season just became that much more challenging, that's all. Waiver wire here I come.
There are so many great abdominal workouts out there and in the gym that are based around resistance training, but very few of these will give you the same overall results for tone, fitness, explosivity, speed, and the physique that sprinting does. With the added benefit of building muscle along with speed, sprinting helps you build and define the glutes, hamstrings, and quads, while at the same time burning off the fat layers that hide the muscles underneath.
Sprint training is the most explosive training you can do. What does explosivity have to do with abdominal strength and tone? First we have to realize that what we are referring to here is not just showing up on the track to run a few laps, but rather we are talking about high-intensity, all-out sprinting and becoming more and more proficient at it as you do so. The more proficient you become at high intensity sprinting, the more you properly engage the muscles involved, such as legs and glutes - and of course the core.
Consider this: You can work your abs 57-60 times every 100m. A world-class sprinter covers 100 meters in about 44 to 47 steps and the average person would probably cover that distance in about 57 to 60 steps. There is a very powerful combination during sprint training of power output, aggression and relaxation, engagement, constant tension, efficiency, technique, and efficiency in technique.
The more sprinting you do (while maintaining a helpful low body fat percentage), the more toned your abdominal muscles will be. Notice the abs of Olympic sprinters. Rarely are ab workouts the top priority of world-class sprinters and that is because their cores are built on the track. Keep in mind that you do not have to run as fast as Olympic sprinters to get these results but you do need to sprint your fastest in order to create the same benefits.
The Fat Factor
Sprinting does two great things for fat and abs. First, high-intensity sprint work increases the rate of metabolism and, second, it makes it last. In other words, calories continue burning long after a sprint session is completed. Fat is the extra layer we all hate most that hides muscle we would love to show off the most. Sprinting burns it off while simultaneously building up and toning the muscle underneath. It’s your perfect scenario.
Beat the Boredom
Everyone needs to change up their workouts and training once in a while. What better way to do that than to get outside, leave the confines of the gym, and get your booty and abs out on the track. Learn about the drills, the benefits of speed drills, how to incorporate sprint work properly (interval training, speed training, etc.), and start feeling the results almost immediately.
Some Helpful Coaching Tips:
1. Start and finish well. Always start and end with a few warm up or cool down laps and a good stretch. Pay extra attention to those quads, calves, and hamstrings. Roll out the back and get a good arm stretch also. Arms and are the generators for the legs. Don’t neglect them.
2. Do drills. Incorporate hurdle drills and other variety drills on the turf or track (high knees, butt-kicks, skipping, bounding jumps, accelerations, bunny hops, etc.) These are typically performed in 30m distances. Drill down and walk back to start. Repeat a few at a time. Do not rush the warm-up. These are key to preventing tweaks and pulled muscles. Keep the core nice and tight throughout.
3. Remember your low back and core. The most important tool for all sprinters - and all athletes, and pretty much everyone - is a strong low back. Sprinting builds a strong low back and core. Add in slow supermans and GHD work, and really focus on the posterior chain in the gym. Pay close attention to building up the muscles around the spine and hips. This helps build speed and also with prevention of injuries or tweaks.
4. Mind your diet. Properly feed the muscles that move you. Protein is key here. Prevent weight gain especially around the midsection that we are aiming to define. Hydrate.
5. Wear proper shoes. When ready, I highly recommend a good pair of spikes for sprint work. All other drills and running should be done in running shoes, but there is a lot of benefit in wearing spikes, as the front of the foot gets maximum traction for the press (see #8 below). With a strong connection to the ground, the core must work harder to push and keep the midline tight and secure.
6. Control your core. Engage the core and low back the entire time and do not collapse either one. Keep the chest upright, engaging the core. Even in the forward lean required by sprinting, do not lose core control.
7. Use the arms. The arms move the legs and should be at a 90-degree angle at all times. Stair drills are great training for this and are all about the arms more than the legs (contrary to what most people think)
8. Push versus pull. Run in such a manner as to push away from the ground from the hip - pushing backwards versus pulling from the front to the back. Most hamstring pulls and tears occur from not doing this properly.
9. Take it outside. Include resistance training either in the gym or on the track or even both. Don’t be afraid to bring kettlebells, dumbbells, and medicine balls to the track with you and incorporate them. Be creative and don’t be afraid to do your entire day’s workout on the track.
10. NEVER STOP ON A DIME. FINISH THROUGH THE LINE! Don't slow down until after running through the line - even in drills. Stopping suddenly before or after crossing your line and turning back causes more injury than anything else. Run through the line and finish the “race,” then slow it down from sprint to run to jog, and to a walk. Recoup, shake it out, and walk back.
At a CVS store near Times Square, the shelves are notable for what they no longer display: cigarettes. Now the only smoking products to be found are those that could help customers quit.
As of midnight on Tuesday, all 7,700 CVS locations nationwide will no longer sell tobacco products, fulfilling a pledge the company made in February, as it seeks to reposition itself as a health care destination.
The rebranding even comes with a new name: CVS Health.
The decision to stop selling cigarettes is a strategic move as pharmacies across the country jockey for a piece of the growing health care industry. Rebranding itself as a company focused on health could prove lucrative for the drugstore as it seeks to appeal to medical partners that can help it bridge the gap between customers and their doctors.
“CVS is really trying very hard to position themselves as the winner in that marketplace,” said Skip Snow, a health care analyst at Forrester Research. “If they can be perceived as a place to go to receive health care, and buy health care products, as opposed to the place to go to buy a bottle of whiskey or get your film developed, then they can capture more of the retail medicine dollars.”
CVS already operates 900 walk-in medical clinics, or “minute clinics,” where customers can get relatively simple services like blood pressure tests and flu vaccines. By dedicating space for these services, CVS and other major retailers like Walmart are diving into the pool of competitive health care dollars available for helping manage customers’ illnesses.
“We’re at the forefront of what we all see as a changing health care landscape,” Larry J. Merlo, the chief executive of CVS Health, said in an interview.
As the medical industry braces for the flood of new patients with insurance through the Affordable Care Act, drugstores see an opportunity to provide basic care to consumers who may not want to wait to see a doctor, if one is available in their area at all. And major chains like Walmart, the country’s largest retailer, can offer such services for prices that may appeal to patients on the fringes of the health care system.
“Health care is going to retail, especially for people without privilege,” Mr. Snow said.
Drugstores want to use their clinics to help drive foot traffic to their stores, and to their pharmacies, where customers can fill prescriptions.
CVS has entered partnerships with more than 40 health systems, including local hospitals, to help run its clinics. The company opened 32 clinics last quarter and is on track to open at least 150 more this year, Carolyn Castel, a CVS spokeswoman, said. Revenues at the clinics are up 24 percent in the second quarter, compared with a year earlier, and the company plans to operate 1,500 clinics by 2017, CVS said.
As CVS seeks new health partners, its decision to end cigarette sales may make it more appealing than its tobacco-selling rivals.
“Think of it this way: Would you find cigarette machines or retail stores in the gift shops in a hospital selling cigarettes? Of course not,” said Nancy Copperman, the corporate director of public health initiatives for the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, a minute clinic partner. “I think it does give them a leg up.”
In February, CVS Health, formerly known as CVS Caremark, announced that it would stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products by October. At the time, the company estimated that the decision would cut its overall sales by $2 billion.
Robert C. Garrett, the chief executive officer of Hackensack University Health Network, which operates seven minute clinics with CVS in New Jersey and is opening its eighth in November, agreed that the move made CVS a more attractive health partner. Mr. Garrett said that Hackensack was in discussions with CVS about ways to expand its services.
“When you stop selling cigarettes as a retailer, it sends a very big signal to the rest of the health care community that you are in the health care business,” said Tom Charland, the chief executive of Merchant Medicine, a health care research and consulting firm. “I do think that it’s going to open up many possibilities in all of the partnerships that they’re trying to create across the country.”
Of course, other retail chains that operate health clinics, like Walmart and Walgreens, have attracted health care partners even though they seem to have no plans to stop selling cigarettes.
“We believe that if the goal is to truly reduce tobacco use in America, then the most effective thing retail pharmacies can do is address the root causes and help smokers quit,” said James Cohn, a spokesman for Walgreens, in an email. Mr. Cohn pointed to the company’s initiatives to help people quit smoking.
A spokeswoman for Walmart, Danit Marquardt, declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Rite Aid, Ashley Flower, said the company would “continue to evaluate” its products and services.
But some of CVS’s competitors have made bolder moves in other ways. CVS has not dedicated the floor space to its clinics the way that Walmart has, for example, and is still experimenting with how to streamline the clinic with the rest of the store. “As far as I can tell, they haven’t really figured out how do you cut up the floor space of a retail traditional pharmacy,” Mr. Snow said.
Mr. Merlo said that some of CVS’s newer clinics have done a “better job” of integrating the pharmacy, the clinic and the over-the-counter products.
“I think that’s something that we’re continuing to work on to make it a better customer experience,” he said.
A big opportunity for CVS as it pushes into health care, however, has nothing to do with what happens in the pharmacy itself. The company also wants to become a larger pharmacy benefit manager, which manages prescription drug plans for employers and insurers.
CVS expects its pharmacy benefit management business, CVS/Caremark, to grow to nearly $90 billion this year, up $30 billion over the last three years, Ms. Castel said. The company’s push into other areas of health care could help CVS expand that business further.
“If I’m an employer with 2,000 employees, it makes CVS more appealing to me as a pharmacy benefits management company as well because I have this integration with health systems,” Mr. Charland said. “That’s important to employers who are trying to reduce their health care costs.”
“For me, the story is not around how CVS can directly benefit from what they’ve done,” Mr. Snow said. “Rather, the story is around how CVS is engineering their public image in order to be perceived as the place to go to become healthy.”