Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Next Ephedra?

Tim Walton

I’m a big believer in supplements, but it’s amazing what some people cram down their throats with little or no research on their part other than believing the marketing hype. Like anything else, there is use and abuse of supplements and they are effective, no good, safe, dangerous, time savers and a value, a total waste of money or any combination of the afore mentioned or others. Confused? Basically, do your research on anything you are considering consuming for any potential side effects as well as for the benefits-to-price ratio.

Consider this: Sometimes a supplement comes along and is very effective and then every manufacturer jumps on the bandwagon and puts it in their formulas. Case in point: If you are taking any product that contains the ingredient known by the following names , be….VERY…careful: Geranium Stem, 1,3, Dimeth, Geranamine, methylhexaneamine, geranium extract, MHA, 1,3 Dimethylamylamine, DMAA, and probably a couple other names that escape me at the moment. Sounds pretty innocent when they use the Geranium names.

It is a powerful stimulant that can have some side effects and consequences you do not want especially if you are a male who does not want E.D. (erectile dysfunction). Got your attention? Good. Chemically related to Tuamioheptane which is banned by the NCAA, it is also on the World Anti- Doping Agency’s prohibited list. Athletes taking drug tests can have false positives for amphetamines. If an athlete does not want to risk being banned from their sport, stripped of their medals, or losing a scholarship, they might want to reconsider using this.

Developed (and shelved) in the early ‘70’s by Eli Lilly as a nasal decongestant due to its vasoconstrictive properties, it was later “rediscovered” by supplement manufacturers as a strong stimulant. People have varying degrees of reaction to it, but some things to watch out for are: blood pressure problems, sustained rapid heartbeat, headaches, adrenal fatigue, dependency, and for you guys: impotence or E.D. Risk factors aside, is it effective? In most people (and from what I’ve seen @ the 95% mark) it is VERY much so. But is it safe? As mentioned before, there is use and abuse, but if you start to experience any of the mentioned symptoms, I’d personally drop it and quickly. If you do not experience any of the symptoms and are not a tested athlete, a typical dose would be 25 – 50 mg. Keeping in mind that I am NOT a doctor, if you like the benefits but experience some of the side effects, nitrates (Nitric Oxide) that are easily found in many formulas of supplements, as well as stand -alone products, seem to help matters. If E. D. concerns you (and who wouldn’t it concern?) just Google “Stim Dick” and you’ll have plenty to read, but just consider the sources as the manufacturers will downplay it if they mention it at all.

My take? It definately takes you up several levels and you have an overall increase in energy, focus, and power. Yes, I’ve used it and it worked very well but there was sometimes a fatigue “crash” after it wore off. Doses had to be increased as my body adapted to it. I’d cycle off it for a few weeks to clear my system and then could go back to the lower doses. I did my research and am not a tested athlete. I used Nitric Oxide (N.O.) products at the same time and had no problems with side effects. I decided to drop it as I felt I was developing a dependency on it, whether it was psychological and/or physiological, to blast me through my better workouts. I also didn’t want to risk any potential effects down the road as there are studies going on regarding long term use.

Weigh the benefits vs the potential risks. It is very effective and you’d be surprised where this stuff pops up. Check your labels on ANY pre-workout or energy supplement. I’m willing to make a prediction that this stuff will go the way of Ephedera which was banned in 2004.

Age: It’s a Reason, Not an Excuse

Tim Walton

A funny thing happened to me on the way to growing older:  I never grew up.  By that I mean that I’ve never felt old, tired, or physically limited due to age.  Besides doing various physical jobs over the years, I’ve always worked out no matter what limitations or constraints I faced.  I viewed any obstacles as challenges, not excuses. 

There’s always people who I call “Dragons” who try to DRAG you ON down to their level where excuses such as getting older is the language spoken.  Aging is their excuse of choice because they can tie most everything to it.  “Just wait till you hit 30,  THEN your metabolism will slow down!” Nope.  And not at 40 or 45 either.  I’ll be kicking 50 in the teeth next year and my metabolism is still a blast furnace.  Strength and Endurance? Not far off my peak at all. 

What got me thinking of this was seeing two friends of mine at a funeral who I hadn’t seen in a long time.  They were both such physical wreaks, that I didn’t even recognize them.  They basically gave up after hitting 35.  One guy is barely 40 and is obese, had both knees replaced, high cholesterol and  blood pressure with a laundry list of other ailments and medications he is on.  He literally looked like he was nearing 70 in poor health.  The other guy wasn’t much better.  Now contrast them with another guy I know who is older than me but has the same mindset that age is just a number and not a limitation.  He eats clean, doesn’t do drugs or drink and hits the weights on a consistent basis.  He routinely outworks younger guys at his gym and is a physical animal.

When I hear someone, especially younger than me, say when they come up short in a physical endeavor or have health problems, “it sucks getting old!”, I think 90% of the time that it’s actually “Lazyitus”, not age.  “No time to train” is the main ingredient of Lazyitus.  Funny how most people with no time to train can not only tell you the TV programming lineups for most nights, but can also recite what transpired for about 3 hours worth of shows per night.  They should try eliminating some of the mental garbage that poses as entertainment and spend that time on their health. 

I just read an interesting blurb sourced from “The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” where they studied bicep growth of two groups of males:  18 and 39 year olds.  During a 12 week training period, BOTH groups added muscle at the same rate.  That rate continues after age 40 and levels off around age 50.  Even though muscle starts to deteriorate at around age 65, you can maintain most of it if you keep training. 

Ignore the Dragons, eat and live clean, supplement wisely, train on a consistent basis and you certainly won’t be looking or feeling as old as those who are comfortable in their ruts of excuses.

Exceed the Customer’s Expectations…Every Time!

Joni

My husband and I recently went out of state on a vacation.  Even when we are not working I guess we are always thinking about it, or at least I do.

We went to several establishments while we were vacationing including restaurants, stores and other entertainment venues.  It made me start to really think about how different the levels of customer service are depending on where you are. 

We are from, (New York), everything is quick and fast, get in get out.  We go to a restaurant you are greeted immediately and before your butt hits the chair they are asking what you want to drink.  Everything moves along at a quick pace for the most part and your server generally checks on you to insure you are satisfied and all your needs are met.  

When I was vacationing I noticed when we walked in any establishment we were not greeted right away.  In fact at times it felt as though we were bothering them.  Once we were finally seated it seemed to take 10 minutes or more before someone actually came to the table to take a drink order.  After another 10 minutes to get your drinks you then gave your food order and received that 20-30 minutes later.  You better hope you don’t have a problem with your meal, because you won’t see your server again until you are taking your last bite. 

It really made me stop and think about the level of service we provide to our customers.  I don’t want our customers to ever feel as though we don’t care or they are not a priority.  What was most apparent to me is that you could tell the people who were local and used to the level of service and the ones from out of town who were not.

The bottom line, I don’t want any customer of mine to just expect poor service because that is what they are used to.  Andrew Gibson says there are three main levels of customer service.  They are the expected level, (the minimum quality level you can get away with and still say you did your job) the desired level, (the level your customer wishes you would give, even if it means you to go above and beyond every once and a while) and the unanticipated level, (the one in which you go above and beyond the call of duty, do a stellar job, make your customers incredibly happy and continue to do so).  Of course the unanticipated level could go the other way – but let’s keep things positive.

What level of service does your company provide?  My staff is trained to deliver the unanticipated level and we have processes and procedures in place to insure we are meeting those standards consistently.