Dana Linn Bailey Is Switching to Powerlifting

Some pretty big news has surfaced in the space between powerlifting and bodybuilding: Dana Linn Bailey is switching to powerlifting.

As the winner of the 2011 NPC Junior Nationals Physique contest, the first physique contest in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, Bailey is the first women’s physique pro in the IFBB. She also won the first Ms. Physique Olympia in the Olympia contest in 2013, and many consider her a pioneer in the sport of bodybuilding and physique contests.

She’s a physique competitor, or at least, that’s what she’s always been known for. So it was with some shock that the powerlifting community learned she has signed up for an upcoming USAPL meet.

“Hi, I’m DLB,” she says in the video below. “And I’m a powerlifter now. Or at least trying.”

Bailey has signed up to compete in the USAPL and has her first meet in just four weeks. She doesn’t say which meet she’ll be competing in, but she does point out that she hopes to qualify for USAPL Nationals in six weeks. She adds that she could meet the minimum required total today, but she needs to do a lot of work on her form.

[Think there’s no crossover? Check out the surprising lessons CrossFitters can learn from bodybuilding.]

Bailey’s last appearance at the Olympia contest was in 2014, and the USAPL requires its athletes to have been drug free for at least three years before competing. Bailey acknowledges that she has no doubt she’ll be asked to test and seems certain she’ll pass.

A post shared by DayDay Knucks (@danalinnbailey) on Feb 28, 2017 at 1:32pm PST

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

At the end of the day, this could be a good thing for powerlifting. Bailey has a tremendous amount of reach on social media and we hope this will serve as a means to promote the sport of powerlifting — and maybe even entice a bodybuilder or two to give it a shot.

Featured image via DanaLinnBailey on YouTube.

The post Dana Linn Bailey Is Switching to Powerlifting appeared first on BarBend.

Athletic Greens Discount Coupon Code

Get up to 44% off Athletic Greens, exclusively for BarBend readers!  Just Click Here and use coupon BARBEND20 to get 20% Off any Athletic Greens product.  This is currently the highest discount available for Athletic Greens (we will update this page if better offers become available).

If you combine our BARBEND20 discount code with an Athletic Greens subscription, you can save up to 44% total on Athletic Greens (fantastic deal).

Athletic Greens Discount Promo Code
Exclusive discount coupon for Athletic Greens drink

If you’re still unsure about Athletic Greens, make sure to check out our full Athletic Greens review and Best Green Drink Supplement roundup.

The post Athletic Greens Discount Coupon Code appeared first on BarBend.

Kinesiology Taping for Posture

Strength athletes generally understand that kinesiology tape serves its main purpose in the gym and for recovery, but where else can kinesiology tape help? What about at the office and throughout your day? In comes taping for posture. As we spend more time at computers, driving, and looking at our phone, we continue to slouch and acquire kyphotic-esque posture (rounding of the upper back).

These postures can impact our health negatively in multiple ways, and this includes performance in the gym. To learn a simple one-step method to assist our posture, we reached out to Joe Gambino, PT, DPT, and CSCS at Perfect Stride Physical Therapy, New York City. Check out the easy posture taping method in the video and text description below.

Note: All motions shown are for informational purposes only. The information in this article and video is not meant to prevent or cure any disease or injury. It’s always a good idea to consult with a medical professional or trainer before attempting any new training methodology. If you experience any sharp pain while exercising, discontinue movements immediately.

How Can Tape Support Posture?

One of tape’s main roles is to send proprioceptive feedback to the brain. Basically, when we apply a light touch or tension with tape on the skin, then our brain picks up on signals to produce a desired effect. In this case, it’s to signal the brain to move away from slouching postures. Below are a few areas of the back the tape will be touching.

  • Rhomboids
  • Trapezius
  • Teres Minor/Major

As we slouch more, these muscles can becomes overly stretched and weak. In return, we begin to move and feel increasingly more comfortable in a less than optimal posture, aka slouched posture. This taping method will pull on these muscles as we slouch, so our brain is signaled to sit up right and retract the shoulder blades back.

1. One-Step Posture Strip

This taping method will require the assistance from a friend, and will be difficult to apply alone.

To begin, the athlete will need to either sit or stand with a tall correct posture. The shoulder blades should be slightly retracted, the head should be neutral, and the torso should remain tall/long.

Next, measure a piece of tape that spans from shoulder blade to shoulder blade, and round the edges. Tear the tape in the middle to create a band-aid effect and place the center adhesive between the shoulder blades. Create a 20-50% stretch on each side of the tape, and thoroughly rub the tape in.

Kinesiology Taping for Posture

Tips for Posture Taping with Kinesiology Tape

  1. Create Tension: A lighter 20-50% tension will work best with this taping method. If the tape is too tight, then it may lose it effectiveness at a faster rate.
  2. Proprioception: As an athlete begins to slouch, the tape will create a sense of tension, or pull on the shoulder blades, and subconsciously cue the athlete to sit up tall with correct posture.
  3. Hair and Taking It Off: If you’re excessively hairy in a specific area, then you’ll pull off little pieces at a time, and use your hand to gently repeatedly chop the tape off (in a karate chopping motion). You can also pinch the skin to release some of the tapes tension, while taking it off in a partitioned manner.
  4. Cut the Edges: The final tip was the cut the edges of the tape, so it’s rounded. This will prevent the corners from getting caught on edges of clothes and shoes.

Final Word

Slouching and poor posture can impact gym performance and quality of daily life. This simple taping method can be beneficial for anyone in need of a simple subconscious to to keep the shoulder blades retracted, and maintain an upright tall posture.

The post Kinesiology Taping for Posture appeared first on BarBend.

CrossFit Games Athlete Jen Smith Shows You Can’t Trust All Before/After Photos

If you spent three or more seconds reading fitness content, you’ve seen a before-and-after picture of someone’s incredible body transformation (hat’s off to them!). And there’s also a pretty good chance that at some point you’ve seen an “incredible” body transformation that actually was a little too incredible.

Five-time Reebok CrossFit Games athlete Jennifer Smith seems to be familiar with this phenomenon, too. Smith, who was on the Games Demo Team this year, recently shared a post to Instagram of her shocking body transformation at the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games in Wisconsin. The twist is that this incredible metamorphosis took place over 15 minutes.

A post shared by Jennifer Smith (@jensmith008) on Aug 15, 2017 at 12:55pm PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

It’s just like she says in the caption,

Ahhh the power of lighting, body posture, and a good smile! 😐➡️😃💪#transformationtuesday #15minuteslater

Honestly, in an industry that’s driven by unbelievable transformations from blobs to bods and flabs to abs, one of our favorite things is when famously fit people point out how contrived and deceptive this marketing tactic can sometimes be.

If you yourself have lost a decent amount of body fat at some point in your life, you’re probably aware of how big a difference is made not just by lighting, tanning, and (if you’re a guy) shaving your chest, but also by standing at the right angle and flexing at just the right time — your definition literally changes from minute to minute. Folks will take dozens of photos to get the one that ticks all the boxes.

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Then there’s the fact that your muscle size, definition, and vascularity has vast changes from day to day and week to week even if you’re being consistent with your calories and exercise. A ton of sodium can all but erase your abs, while a big, unhealthy meal that’s full of sugar can make your muscles swell, veins pop, and have you looking ready for a photo shoot.

What’s healthy doesn’t always make us look good, and what makes us look good isn’t always healthy. And most importantly, the way we look isn’t always a reflection of how healthy, fit, and strong we are. That’s something you feel, not necessarily something you show.

Featured image via @jensmith008 on Instagram.

The post CrossFit Games Athlete Jen Smith Shows You Can’t Trust All Before/After Photos appeared first on BarBend.

American Weightlifters Prep for Summer Universiade in Taipei

On Saturday, August 19th, the 29th Summer Universiade begins in Taipei, Taiwan. This event lasts 13 days, involves over 120 countries, and includes 22 sports. The event is put on by the International University Sport Federation every two years, and this year, the United States is sending 16 weightlifters, 8 male and 8 female.

In preparation for the competition, the members of Team USA has been focused on balancing their academic course load and their training. As a requirement for eligibility, athletes must be age 28 or younger and have taken at least one three credit course towards a degree within the past year. Athletes were selected by USA Weightlifting based off their totals in either the 2016 American Open, 2016 Junior National Championships, 2016 American Open Series 1, or the 2017 University Nationals/Under 25 Championships.

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Perhaps none have had as difficult a balancing act as Andrew Cheung (56kg), who has been preparing to compete while completing his residency with an inpatient adult medicine rotation. He explains, “I took care of acutely ill and hospitalized patients for three weeks, working 12-hour days, 6 days a week, and somehow fit training into my schedule. The job is physically, intellectually, and emotionally demanding, so it can be very difficult to find the time and energy to get to the gym and prepare. Nonetheless, the desire to perform on the international stage has been driving me through.”

As if academics were not enough of a challenge, several of Team USA’s lifters have also been battling injuries in the months leading up to the Universiades. Darren Barnes (56kg), Christian Rodriguez-Ocasio (85kg), and Kristin Pope (63kg) have all made adjustments to their training regimens to circumvent injuries they are contending with. Barnes explains, “Training for the Universiade has been one of the most difficult cycles ever. Leading up to University Nationals, I had just come back from an eight month break due to a shoulder labral tear that occurred during the 2016 Senior Nationals/Olympic Trials. Training then got more technical in order to prevent further injury.” Barnes has only been able to train three to four days per week, but approaching his training from a technical standpoint has allowed him to snatch 110kg and clean and jerk 140kg in training.

Christian Rodriguez-Ocasio has been dealing with a sprained ULC (ulnar lateral ligament in the elbow) that he suffered during a 143kg snatch attempt. As a result, his main focus for this cycle has been to be as healthy as possible. His coach, Dr. Satoshi Mizuguchi, decided that physical therapy was of primary importance and because of that, Rodriguez-Ocasio says, “Peaking for this meet is the opposite of what I am used to. We are increasing the load as we get closer to the meet which allowed my UCL more time to recover.” Though it’s is an unorthodox approach to peaking, his coach believes it’s the right one constantly telling Rodriguez-Ocasio, “You have good technique and a lot of strength. We just have to play it safe.”

A post shared by Kristin Pope (@kris10pope) on Jul 26, 2017 at 10:50am PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Kristin Pope has also been working through injury to prepare for the Universiades. A labral tear in her hip has plagued her training, but Pope has not let it hold her back. She eliminated back squats as they created too much pressure in her hip, and substituted with front squats which she found to be a better alternative. She says, “I can’t put too much strain on my hip with a ton of squatting, so I have pushed hard in the areas that I can.” Those areas include increasing her volume and focusing on her receiving position in the snatch, “landing in the legs” on her clean to catch the bounce, and drilling her footwork for the jerk. She also decided to start work with 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist Zygmund Smalcerz, who was formerly USA Weightlifting’s United States Olympic Training Center resident team coach. Pope says, “He has been great about adjusting things for me and working with me to make sure I can get into top condition and peak for the meet.”

A post shared by Danielle Hudes (@daniellehudes) on Jun 10, 2017 at 5:20pm PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Other athletes, like Danielle Hudes (69kg), have focused mostly on changing their mentality during their last training cycle. Unhappy with her performances at the last two national meets, Hudes believes that removing the pressure she felt and finding a way to enjoy the process would lead to a better outcome. She explains, “Being my first international meet, I knew there would be many factors out of my control- like not having Mike (McKenna- her coach) or Laura (Mohler- her girlfriend) with me, eating different food in Taipei, having more nerves, and doing a lot of traveling, so I feel like having trust and confidence in myself and my lifting is most important.” In an effort to build this confidence and positive mentality, Hudes has approached each training session with focus on making every lift. She says, “I have been trying to ‘own’ them- trying to go after them instead of trying not to miss.” Hudes expects this change in mentality will not only help her perform her best at Universiades, but also allow her to enjoy the experience of competing as a part of Team USA.

Cheung also believes his mentality will allow him to perform at his best. He says, “When I get onto the platform, it’s almost as though there is no one else around. So whether it’s a local meet or an international competition, my mental approach is largely the same.” He hopes that tapping into this mindset on the platform will enable him to reach his goal of representing the United States well.

In fact, all of the athletes interviewed spoke about wanting to contribute to the team’s effort at the Universiades. Pope explained that while she would like to increase her total like she’s managed to do in each meet leading up to Universiades, ultimately, she’s “not too focused on an end goal number” and says, “I just want to nail my lifts and earn as many points for USA [toward their overall standing in the Universiade] as possible.”

Christian Rodriguez-Ocasio mirrors this sentiment. He feels doing what is best for Team USA is more important than attempting a personal record. He explains that he wants to do “whatever is necessary for the team to do well. If achieving a medal or scoring points for USA requires going for a personal record, then I will gladly go for it. But personal records are not my goal at this moment.” Instead, he hopes to compete pain free and to earn points for Team USA.

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

In order perform well for the country, the athletes will have to do their best to adjust to a new time zone. To do this, Darren Barnes intends to stay awake throughout the flight, arriving on the 18th at 7pm. To prevent himself from falling asleep, he will work out when he arrives. He will train again early the next day to prepare his body for competing in Taipei.

Recovering from the flight is also important. Pope is wary about the effects 20 hours of total travel time might have on her body, but plans to hydrate throughout the flight to counter the effects.

Like Pope, Rodriguez-Ocasio has a plan for staying healthy and focused in Taipei. He keeps to himself during competitions so that he can rest and relaxes by the pool to stay calm. Keeping this clear head is vital to optimal performance at the Universiades. Hudes agrees explaining that when she gets anxious, she reminds herself to just be in the moment so that she can appreciate being on the international stage and allow her body to perform.

And of course, each athlete will enjoy the opportunity that they have earned. As Cheung explains, one simply can’t “go to Taiwan and not have some beef noodle soup or visit the night markets.” Danielle Hudes agrees, “We will be there 10 days as a team and so I will definitely see some of Taiwan and am excited to do so!”

The Universiade’s Weightlifting schedule is posted below (images courtesy of International University Sports Federation). All times are listed in CST- China Standard Time. To watch, tune into the live feed at http://www.livefisu.tv/  

Editor’s notes: BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting. Beyond article syndication, the two organizations maintain editorial independence.

This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and in the video are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

Featured image: @sonic.do on Instagram

The post American Weightlifters Prep for Summer Universiade in Taipei appeared first on BarBend.

4 Science Based Protein Rules for Strength Athletes

Protein in the strength world is like money in the real world. It’s like a form of currency that helps you get from point A to point B. Meaning, it can help you go from sore to “not as sore”, go from scrawny to brawny (relatively speaking in addition to working out), and help you go from hungry to satiated. Plus, there are multiple ways to obtain it, much like real currency.

There’s no denying that we need protein. And this is why its often seen as the most important macronutrient in a strength athletes’ eyes. It also tends to be one of the most argued topics, which I’ve always found ironic. At the end of the day, we all have a protein requirement, why does it matter how we get it? Well, it does matter in some respects. A lot of the factors that make up an athlete’s protein requirements are dependent on their weight goals, age, training status, and activity goals, to list a few.

A post shared by Meg Squats (@megsquats) on Mar 15, 2017 at 2:17am PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

This article isn’t intended as a template for any specific athlete’s protein needs, but for a friendly reminder of various ways to consume and achieve protein based off of current research.

1. Consume Enough Protein

It’s no secret that strength athletes need more protein than their non-active counterparts. But how much is enough? There have been a few different suggestions in the recent years and we’ll look at a couple of them with their requirement differences.

General Maintenance

The factors that make up this population will heavily depend on an athlete’s age, training history, metabolism, and many other factors. Science has made a few suggestions as to how much is enough for the average gym-goer training on a regular basis.

There’s a notion that 1g of protein per lb bodyweight is optimal, but in reality, studies have also demonstrated that you can function optimally (or near optimally) with lower amounts. For example, this research from 2008 suggests that .82g per lb bodyweight was sufficient for positive nitrogen balance and lean body mass retention. Additionally, a study from 1992 found no difference between a protein consumption .6 and 1.19 g per lb bodyweight on novice athletes’ mass and strength. The authors of the 1992 study, suggested that an intake of .75g per lb of bodyweight is sufficient.

A post shared by BBQ and Bottles (@bbqandbottles) on Aug 17, 2017 at 10:03am PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Cutting/Weight Loss

Similar to the general maintenance section, athletes who are cutting, or dieting will have many factors at play when configuring protein intakes. Eric Helms, Alan Aragon, and Peter Fitschen published an evidence based analysis covering dietary recommendations for natural bodybuilders, and suggested a protein intake of 1g – 1.4g per lb of bodyweight was sufficient for lean body mass retention.

Granted, these recommendations don’t apply to every dieting athlete, and there’s still further research that needs to be performed on this specific population. Additionally, when dieting or cutting, fats and carbohydrates must also be carefully catered to an athlete’s needs and workouts. These are factors that make it difficult to provide definitive answers.

2. Space Out Consumption

Do you like multiple small meals, or a couple really big meals? Whatever your preference, evidence is still conflicted on which is optimal. Some studies have suggested that multiple smaller meals are beneficial. This study from 2014 suggested that even distribution of protein across multiple meals increased protein synthesis rates of up to 25%. In a lot of cases, it comes down to what an athlete feels best with and performs optimally with.

For example, this study demonstrated that a higher protein intake showed a greater level of muscle protein synthesis. In their research, authors had 23 healthy young males consume either 40g or 70g of protein with exercise and without exercise during their study’s protocol. This study suggested that a higher protein meal stimulated higher levels of muscle protein synthesis. Granted, both the 40g and 70g showed positive benefits, but the 70g was slightly higher. Keep in mind, these meals were predominately protein, and a mixed macronutrient meal would create a different effect. Additionally, researchers measured levels of anabolism at a total body level, and not exclusively to muscle.

A post shared by Martin Berkhan (@martinberkhan) on Aug 2, 2017 at 11:17am PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

This all being said, research is conflicted with what’s best for muscle protein synthesis. Yet, professionals such as Brad Schoenfeld suggest consuming meals with at least 30g of protein spaced out every 3-4 hours often fairs best with most athletes.

3. Quality Does Matter

There’s no denying whole protein sources with full amino acid profiles fair better than those lacking a full profile. This is why things like whey protein have been shown to do well with stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Leucine, one of the essential amino acids, is often linked to triggering muscle protein synthesis. Foods with complete amino acid profiles have been shown to fair better when triggering anabolic responses. Below is a brief list of foods that contain a full amino acid profile.

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Other Meats (turkey, bison, etc)
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy Products (yogurt, milk, cheese, etc)
  • Quinoa
  • Hemp/Chia Seeds

A study from 2010 reported that quality of protein was inversely related to central abdominal fat. Authors found that the study’s population that consumed whole protein meals more often had less central abdominal fat.

4. Timing Is Best Described As “Situational”

Does timing matter? Yes, to an extent, but not as much as some supplement companies might boast. Often times studies that report a short anabolic window work with athletes at a fasted state, as there’s a greater negative net protein level, so protein consumption following fasted training stimulates a stronger anabolic response. Yet, there is some merit to timing. For example, for those training two a days, or at intense levels on a very frequent basis, then there should be consideration of protein timing, among other variables (carbs, fluids, etc).

Outside of very specific athletic needs, protein breakdown rates will occur most of the day as you eat. In Alan Aragon and Schoenfeld’s “Nutrient Timing Revisited” paper, they discuss that pre-exercise consumption of protein will elevate levels of muscle protein synthesis through a bout of exercise. This conclusion was suggested from the this 2007 study, which analyzed the effects of whey consumption pre- and post-exercise and found similar anabolic responses.

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Consequently, this study from 2004 suggests a balanced protein rich meal’s breakdown lasts roughly 4-6 hours, which would then suggest the body is continuously breaking down protein for those consuming normal sized meals throughout the day.

Wrapping Up

There are a ton of factors that go into a strength athlete’s daily protein consumption. Often times, the best way to consume your protein is through methods that work best for your schedule and tastes. In reality, there a few factors that matter such as a protein’s quality, your daily needs/goals, but the finite details like timing will be completely individual.

When chasing strength and body composition goals, avoid micro managing a diet, and aim to be consistent with the way you eat that complements your goals.

The post 4 Science Based Protein Rules for Strength Athletes appeared first on BarBend.

International Powerlifting Federation Releases Stern Warning About Supplements

In a new statement published on British Powerlifting’s website, the International Powerlifting Federation is stating in no uncertain terms: it’s your fault if the supplements you’re taking have banned substances.

The take-home message of the three-page long statement is that some supplements aren’t always as beneficial and harmless as they might seem.

“First, there continues to be significant health risks associated with nutritional supplement use,” it reads. “And second, adverse analytical findings and anti-doping rule violations continue occurring as a result of their use.”

A post shared by IPF Powerlifting (@theipf) on Jul 26, 2017 at 1:27am PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

It even goes so far as to say that most supplements pose an unacceptable risk for athletes. The IPF points out that many countries don’t regulate supplements and they can be contaminated with prohibited substances, particularly “supplements which advertise ‘muscle building’ or ‘fat burning’ capabilities.”

Failed drug tests are always the responsibility of the athlete, not the supplement company, so powerlifters are advised to do whatever they can to find proof that supplements contain what they claim they do, including making direct inquiries to the manufacturer, getting written guarantees of product purity, and finding out if production facilities contain any banned substances anywhere, since accidental contamination is possible.

For a better idea of the letter’s tone, take a look at the following quotes:

Never forget… finger pointing will not help you. (…)

Would it not simply be easier and healthier for every Athlete to eat well and to follow a nutritious and balanced diet?

Should you not to everything you can to avoid a possible anti-doping rule violation and then a sanction and a fine?

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED, THE RISK IS ONLY YOURS TO TAKE.

There’s not much left to misinterpretation here, but it sounds like this probably won’t be the last time the IPF releases a letter like this. Try to find GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices)-certified facilities from reputable distributors, and most importantly remember that most nutrients can be found in whole food sources.

Featured image via @theipf on Instagram.

The post International Powerlifting Federation Releases Stern Warning About Supplements appeared first on BarBend.