Volume 1, Number 17

March 23, 2006

Newsletter Archive

Subjects: Do you have DOMS; Interval Training video; Prostate Cancer and Masturbation; Discover Abe and Diana Mirkin's Free Book about Good Food; Blogs you may have missed; What's RSS? Lower Cholesterol Naturally.

From my Diary

  • Do you experience DOMS?

    DOMS are familiar to everyone as Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness. Beginners exercise for a day, wake up the next morning feeling like they've been hit by a truck, and quit for another year. Enough is enough already! DOMS indicate that the muscles got the message. HELP, I NEED YOU! GET READY! DEVELOP!

    After more than a year doing over seven hours exercise per week, I still feel DOMS about one day per week, sometimes only for an hour or so in the morning. But this week, DOMS really struck. So much so that I took yesterday off.

    What happened? As far as I can make out, the DOMS was caused by a combination of circuit training and weights that are near the maximum that I can lift for five repetitions. The sitting leg press is the heaviest load at 270 lb (123 kg), about double my body weight, with the next 10 exercises in the range 85 to 135 pounds (40 kg to 60 kg). One circuit would probably not cause DOMS, but two circuits without rest does the trick.

    Do you need to have DOMS?

    If you read the muscle magazines, you might conclude that DOMS are essential to developing muscle. But the ancient Greeks didn't seem to think so. And neither do I. Yet, I am pleased on those few days when I have DOMS.

    Why? Probably for the same reason the musclemen aim for DOMS, reassurance that the intensity and volume of exercise is sufficient to stimulate the body. When you feel DOMs, you know the body got the message, because you can feel the soreness. But DOMS are not necessary every day or every week. As long as you use a systematic approach to progressive increase in loads and vary the style of exercise, the body will continue to adapt to small increments in stress. There is no need to rush the process: You have the rest of your life to develop your body. With a little luck, you may match Dr. Bob by reaching your peak at age 78.

  • Strength Training: Last week was the second of four weeks lifting heavy loads only 5 times each, what I call the "5RMs" (five-repetition maximums). Each session, I try to lift loads that are slightly heavier than before. For example, when doing the bench press with dumbbells, the weight for each dumbbell on day one (March 6) was 15 kg (33 lb), while on day 12 (March 31) the target weight is 18 kg (40 lb). That's an increase of 20%. The weight is not much more than it was three months ago, but the body responds to relative changes in load rather than the absolute loads themselves. By deconditioning the body every eight weeks and varying the style of exercise, it's possible to stimulate the muscles without using loads that are so heavy you risk injury when you lift them.

    Bryan Haycock designed HST as a rational system for building muscle, thus HST fits the needs of anyone who has lost muscle mass through aging, practically everyone over the age of 40. For more details about this style of training, see Hypertrophy Specific Training (HST).

  • Aerobic Exercises: This week will be light for aerobics, probably four hours medium and light intensity. I will cut back to compensate for the extra stress from the heavier loads I am lifting. Circuit training with weights does provide some aerobic benefit anyway because it requires me to move quickly from one station to the next without rest between exercises.

  • Abdominal Exercises: Last week, I described the benefit of using weights while doing abs exercises. This week, I am using the same weights but increasing the number of repetitions. The abs exercises are also aerobic because I do them without resting.

    • With crunches, you lie on your back and raise your head and shoulders no more than 30 degrees.
    • With reverse situps, you sit upright, secure your feet and lean back about 30 to 45 degrees.
    • With leg raises, you suspend your body between bars with your legs hanging below, and raise your knees as high as you can.

  • Tips and Comments on the News

    • Interval Training: The Ideal Workout?

      Dori Ricci presents the benefits of interval training with video and sound.

      Dori Ricci

      Check out the other videos at WebMD: WebMD's list of exercise and other videos. You can scroll the inner window to reveal all 70 or so video titles. Have fun!

    • High Ejaculation Frequency Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer

      Michael Leitzmann of the US National Cancer Institute studied ejaculation and prostate cancer in 30,000 men over eight years. The group with the highest lifetime average of ejaculation—21 times per month—was a third less likely to develop the cancer than the reference group, who ejaculated four to seven times a month. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2004 Apr 7;291(13):1578-86.

      This study supported a smaller Australian study led by Graham Giles that claimed masturbation was good for men. BJU International, Blackwell. 2003 Aug;92(3):211-6.

      Leitzmann theorizes that frequent drainage of prostate fluid stops tiny crystalloid microcalcifications from forming in the prostate duct, a process that has been associated with prostate cancer.

      Graham Giles suggests that increased ejaculation may allow the prostate gland to clear itself of carcinogens or of materials that form a substrate for the development of carcinogens.

      Source: News Service
    • Check out these blogs that you might have missed:

      Discovery: Dr. Abe and Diana Mirkin—Now Free Online!

      Dr. Abe and Diana Mirkin have made their Good Food Book available online. The book is packed with advice about food and contains 100 of Diana's recipes.

      About the Authors

      Gabe Mirkin, M.D., has been a practicing physician for more than 40 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine, and one of a very few doctors board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology.

      Dr. Mirkin's latest book is The Healthy Heart Miracle, published by HarperCollins. He is author of the bestselling The Sportsmedicine Book, the first book on that subject; and wrote the chapter on sports injuries for the Merck Manual. His daily short features on fitness have been heard on CBS Radio News stations since the 1970's. He did his residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and over the years he has served as a Teaching Fellow at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, and Associate Clinical Professor in Pediatrics at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Mirkin has run more than forty marathons and is now a serious tandem bike rider with his wife, Diana.

      Diana Mirkin has taught thousands of people how to make healthy foods taste delicious through her cooking school, cookbooks and online recipes. She is co-author with Dr. Mirkin of The Healthy Heart Miracle, The Whole Grains Cookbook, The 20/30 Fat and Fiber Diet Plan, and Fat Free, Flavor Full. She has developed hundreds of recipes that follow Dr. Mirkin's guidelines for healthy eating, featuring whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruit.

      Diana is a graduate of Vassar College and has an MBA from Loyola College. When she's not writing or inventing tasty new recipes, she's usually out riding the tandem bicycle or her trike, gardening or exercising her dogs.


    • What's RSS? I have added a second way for readers to subscribe. Not only do you not have to provide your email address, but you can access all your favorite sites using the same method. Discover why RSS is truly the easiest way to keep up-to-date with all your interests in less time.

      To be fair to readers who wish to use RSS, I have made the free e-book immediately available without asking for names and email addresses.

    • Blogging: The Anti-Aging Blog is my mini-journal about I add items whenever I see something that might be interesting to readers.

    • Blog Archive: The Blog Archive compiles only those blogs that are not also Web pages on

      How to Reduce Cholesterol Naturally, Without Drugs

      Download your free e-book here. (A new window will open with the request box at the bottom of the page.)

    Coming Soon

    • Sarcopenia, age-related muscle loss, may be the main cause of decline in metabolic rate with age. Thus, muscle loss with age may be sufficient to make middle-aged people overweight.

    Go to Top

    Bye until next week...
    Fred Colbourne, It's never too late!
    Site map for