To avoid having to check this page every ten seconds for updates on supplements, music, and sundry little details, hit us up on Facebook and like the page. That'll keep you updated without getting spammed with a million twitter-length posts!

25 June 2014

We're All David Rigert's Bitches: Smoke Em If You Got Em, Because Science Is A Liar Sometimes


Pictured above, you will see a man who could probably crack walnuts with his traps and or spinal erectors.
  • A man so unequivocally brutal that he is referred to as "a real man" in a country run by a violent psychopath who wrestles bears and conquers the Ukraine, shirtless and on horseback, in his free time.
  • A man who once stuck a lit cigarette up a bull's ass and lived to tell the tale (Butov).  
  • A man who set 68 world records in Olympic Weightlifting as 198 lb lifter (yeah, the dude above was 198, so feel free to start slitting your wrists now), won six world championships in Olympic weightlifting and snagged a gold at the 1976 Olympics.  
  • A man whose gym lifts were the height of ridiculousness: he squatted 300kg x 6, deadlifted 400kg from a 15cm box, strict military pressed 170kg, push pressed 220kg, jerked 260kg (after his retirement at around 100kg), snatched 200kg, power snatched 160kg, power cleaned 200kg, and benched 210kg with his motherfucking feet in the air (All Things Gym).  
  • A man who is currently the coach of the Russian Olympic Weightlifting powerhouse
  • ... and a man who chain smoked during training and meets, and who would slam shots of vodka in the warm up room at meets between his warmup sets (Van Vleck).


  
Yup, all of that boozing and smoking certainly took it's toll on ol' Davie Boy's physique.

"So fucking what?", you might be saying.  "Everyone knows smoking will kill you and my mom said drinking is bad and the kids on Bodybuilding.com say drinking and smoking and masturbating is bad and girls have cooties and only people on steroids weigh more than 150 lbs.!", might be your follow up.  This is, of course, because you've been snowed by the popular media and know about as much about the world around you as a sea cucumber might know about the aerodynamics of helicopters.  As we've already covered extensively (here and here), alcohol consumption, even to Gary Busey-esque levels of violent, dangerous, irresponsible, and flirting-with-alcohol-poisoning-because-it's-tuesday levels, is not only not deleterious to training, but it may in fact help your training.  This flies in the face of what MADD, teetotalers, Christians, the mentally challenged, and virgins might have to say on the subject, but as they're all generally incorrect whenever they open their mouths, this should come as no surprise.

Lesson: Just because everyone seems to agree on something does not make it so.  Remember- people are fucking stupid.

Likewise, it appears that while smoking shortens your lifespan, it makes those years you have on the Earth markedly better, because it raises your testosterone, drastically lowers your chances of suffering from neurological disorders, improves memory, attention and psychomotor speed, stimulates blood vessel growth, and drastically speeds fat loss (Wang, English, Phillips, Andersson).  Let's pause a moment while you drink that in, shall we?  We'll take a moment and look at some anecdotal evidence we can pile atop the Rigert example.
  • Arthur Saxon smoked like a smoke stack at the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works in the 1990s.  According to Thomas Inch, "Arthur seemed to have an objection to going to bed at a reasonable hour and often sat up right through the night smoking, playing billiards, even lifting at three or four in the morning (Inch).
  • During the halcyon days of weightlifting and powerlifting in the 1970s (you know, when people actually lifted weights and got strong rather than endlessly kvetching over bullshit like buttwinks and jacking off to other peoples' lifting videos), people smoked in the gym.  "Cigarette smoke often filled the gym and the ash tray was next to the chalk box" and people used to take "a drag off [their] cigarette, [set] it on the edge of the platform (with the “cherry” end dangling off the edge) and [hit] a set of power cleans" and then resume smoking (Van Vleck).
  • The half hour breaks one sees in Bulgarian training routines do not exist so lifters can catch their breath and lay down- they are pre-programmed smoking breaks, because European weightlifters traditionally take frequent smoke breaks during training and many Oly lifters still smoke regularly, even with the mounting prohibitions on smoking in Europe (Starting Strength, Lowe).
 
Smoking does a body good.
  • The Chinese Olympic weightlifting training center's floor is littered with cigarette butts (Larry).
  • Bodybuilder and mini-Godzilla Markus Ruhl smoked during contest prep to speed fat loss and help build muscle (Daily Motion)
  • Olympic weightlifting great Naim "Pocket Hercules" Suleymanoglu was an avowed heavy smoker (Smith).
  • Legendary old-timey wrestler and strongman George Lurich was a legendary drinker and frequent smoker who shocked the shit out of George Hackenschmidt with his "unhealthy" ways on the way to kicking Hack's ass in wrestling and being one of the first people to jerk over 400 lbs (Hackenschmidt).
Look at the toll smoking and drinking took on poor Lurich's physique!  Let's all take a moment of silence to mourn his utter lack of physical strength, lean body mass, and the fact he couldn't afford pants.

Smoking takes ten years off your life.  Well it's the ten worst years, isn't it folks?  It's the ones at the end!  It's the wheelchair, kidney dialysis, adult diaper fucking years.  You can have those years!  We don't want 'em, alright? 
- Denis Leary


Before I continue, I'll just throw out there that I don't smoke and never have.I do, however, almost exclusively date thick girls who smoke, so my levels of secondary smoke inhalation are likely unparalleled outside of people who work in titty bars, bowling alleys, and porn shops with jerkoff booths.  I've never really worried overmuch about secondary smoke inhalation, foremost because it's a generally stupid thing about which to worry, and also because I think it's fucking hot when chicks smoke, if for no other reason than the overt hedonism of the act.  I like sluts, all sluts smoke, so I like smokers, is basically how that progression went.  Interestingly, science actually backs this line of thinking, because women with high testosterone levels are more likely to be promiscuous (Waters), and smoking has been shown to raise testosterone levels in more than one study (Wang, English)


Sloots, how I love thee.

Now, I realize that you're still likely highly skeptical, and for that I cannot blame you.  What is amusing, however, is that the very same person who popularized smoking in the United States and who fomented a significant portion of the women's lib movement by associating it with smoking was the father of modern public relations, Edward Bernays.  Quite the slippery little fuck, Bernays essentially invented modern propaganda techniques, and his methods were so effective that infamous Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels based his entire methodology on Bernays... in spite of the fact Bernays was a Jew.  As such, you might want to consider the possibility that the media has been used to manipulate your thinking on the subject of smoking, driven by a variety of "public interest" groups who may not have your best interests at heart.  I'm not saying smoking is good for you, but there is absolutely no justification for the current wave of smoker vilification that basically likens your average smoker not only to a child molester, but ones with 12" cocks who preys solely upon tiny infants with infinitesimally small vaginas and anuses.



Average smoker's van in the US.

In any event, the biggest study on smokers and their hormone levels was of course not conducted in the US because smokers are evil people who do not deserve to be treated as real human beings.  The Chinese, however, ran a study on 2,021 men (989 nonsmokers and 1,032 smokers), aged 20-69, and found that smokers had significantly higher total testosterone and free testosterone levels compared to nonsmokers, even after stratification as per age, BMI, triglycerides and alcohol consumption.  That's right- both total and free testosterone levels were "correlated to the amount of tobacco exposure" (Wang).  As if that weren't enough to blow your tits clean off your body, another study confirmed the findings of the Chinese, suggesting that smoking might "influence the levels of total and free testosterone through changes in the levels of SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin)" (English).  So, we've got pretty solid correlation between higher testosterone and smoking.



There also might be a correlation between endurance performance and smoking, which probably strikes you as impossible but is, in fact, a thing.  A cursory Google search reveals that there are a lot of endurance athletes who smoke, and they're all entirely on the defensive against the smoking community at large for their decision to have higher test levels than everyone else.  In the review paper "Cigarette smoking: an underused tool in high-performance endurance training", however, author Kenneth Myers states that:

"Cigarette smoking has been shown to increase serum hemoglobin, increase total lung capacity and stimulate weight loss, factors that all contribute to enhanced performance in endurance sports. Despite this scientific evidence, the prevalence of smoking in elite athletes is actually many times lower than in the general population. The reasons for this are unclear; however, there has been little to no effort made on the part of national governing bodies to encourage smoking among athletes" (Myers).
Amusingly, one of the studies on which Myers bases his argument shows that increased serum hemoglobin is also found in heavy drinkers, which could help explain how David Rigert got through his marathon training sessions (Milman).


The tragically under-muscled Rigert.

Next, we can move on to the myriad other positive effects of smoking- namely, the aforementioned lowering of your chances of suffering from neurological disorders, improvement of memory, attention and psychomotor speed, stimulation of blood vessel growth, and drastically improved fat loss.  All of these benefits come from the much maligned ingredient nicotine, which is an alkaloid that acts as a stimulant in mammals.  Though it's been vilified in recent years for its addictive properties (some organization called Drug War facts has ranked it more addictive than heroin), nicotine has a wide array of health benefits.  Namely, it:

  • can be used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (Newhouse)
  • improves cognition, memory, and attention span (Warburton) 
  • promotes blood vessel growth and circulation (Heeschen) 
  • improves reaction time (Newhouse)
  • reduces depression (Duke)
Dennis Wolf being very busy with being bigger and leaner than you.

So, it seems we can put this particular baby to bed.  Smoking might kill you eventually, but it is certainly not going to kill your gainz and it's not going to hurt your training.  Quite the contrary- it has the potential to make you smarter, leaner, and stronger.  So, smoke 'em if you got 'em, because no matter how much you smoke, you're always be David Rigert's bitch.

Frankly, though, I'd rather be her bitch.

Up next, weed and hash- will they fuck up your gainz?  We shall see.



Sources:
Andersson K, Arner P.  Systemic nicotine stimulates human adipose tissue lipolysis through local cholinergic and catecholaminergic receptors.  Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 Aug;25(8):1225-32.

The Bulgarian Method of Training Olympic Weightlifters.  Starting Strength.  Web.  24 Jun 2014.  http://www.calciatori.com/notizie/the-bulgarian-method-of-training-olympic-weightlifters


Butov, Sergey.  The Performer Turns 60.  IWF.  2007.  Web.  24 Jun 2014.  http://www.iwf.net/weightlifting/issues/071/2007-1_40-41.pdf



David Rigert Interview.  All Things Gym.  30 Jul 2013.  Web.  24 Jun 2014.  http://www.allthingsgym.com/david-rigert-shatoy-interview/

Daily Motion.  (2014, Jan 28). Markus Ruhl- Made in Germany [Video File].    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ag4wk_markus-ruhl-made-in-germany-bodybuilding-muscle-fitness-documentary_sport


Duke University Medical Center.  Nicotine Lessens Symptoms Of Depression In Nonsmokers. ScienceDaily. 13 Sep 2006.  Web.  25 Jun 2014.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060912225448.htm

English KM, Pugh PJ, Parry H, Scutt NE, Channer KS, Jones TH.  Effect of cigarette smoking on levels of bioavailable testosterone in healthy men.  Clin Sci (Lond). 2001 Jun;100(6):661-5.

Hackenschmidt, Geroge.  On George Lurich.  Iron Game History.  Aug 1991.  Vol 1 No 6 4-7.  http://library.la84.org/SportsLibrary/IGH/IGH0106/IGH0106e.pdf


Heeschen C, Jang JJ, Weis M, Pathak A, Kaji S, Hu RS, Tsao PS, Johnson FL, Cooke JP.  Nicotine stimulates angiogenesis and promotes tumor growth and atherosclerosis.  Nat Med. 2001 Jul;7(7):833-9.


Inch, Thomas.  My Friendship With Arthur Saxon.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban. 7 Jan 2009.  Web.  23 Jun 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com.au/2009/01/my-friendship-with-arthur-saxon-thomas.html


Larry’s Chinese Weightlifting Experience Part 1 – Snatches & Squats.  All Things Gym.  4 Jan 2014.  Web.  24 Jun 2014.  http://www.allthingsgym.com/larrys-chinese-weightlifting-experience-part-1-snatches-squats/


Lowe, Sid.  The joy of heavy men in bulging leotards.  The Guardian.  26 Aug 2004.  Web.  24 Jun 2014.  http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2004/aug/27/athensolympics2004.olympicgames8


Milman N, Pedersen AN.  Blood haemoglobin concentrations are higher in smokers and heavy alcohol consumers than in non-smokers and abstainers: should we adjust the reference range?  Ann Hematol. 2009 Jul;88(7):687-94.


Myers KA.  Cigarette smoking: an underused tool in high-performance.  CMAJ. 2010 December 14; 182(18): E867–E869.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3001541/


Newhouse PA, Sunderland T, Tariot PN, Blumhardt CL, Weingartner H, Mellow A, Murphy DL.  Intravenous nicotine in Alzheimer's disease: a pilot study.  Psychopharmacology. June 1988, Volume 95, Issue 2, pp 171-175


Newhouse PA, Kellar K, Aisen P, White H, Wesnes K, Coderre E, Pfaff A, Wilkins H, Howard D, Levin ED.  Nicotine treatment of mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month double-blind pilot clinical trial.  Neurology. 2012 Jan 10;78(2):91-101.


Phillips, Harry.  The health benefits of nicotine.  Health24.  26 Feb 2014.  Web.  24 Jun 2014.  http://www.health24.com/Lifestyle/Stop-smoking/News/The-health-benefits-of-nicotine-20140226

Smith, Gary.  The Weight Of The World.  Sports Illustrated.  22 Jul 1992.  Web.  24 Jun 2014.  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1004018/7/index.htm

Waters, Preston.  The Truth Behind The Promiscuous Girls.  Elite Daily.  13 Apr 2012.  Web.  24 Jun 2014.  http://elitedaily.com/dating/gentlemen/truth-promiscuous-women/

Van Vleck, Thom.  Smoking & Weightlifting: Part 1.  USAWA.  19 Jan 2011.  Web.  24 Jun 2014.  http://www.usawa.com/smoking-weightlifting-part-1/

Wang W, Yang X, Liang J, Liao M, Zhang H, Qin X, Mo L, Lv W, Mo Z.  Cigarette smoking has a positive and independent effect on testosterone levels.  Hormones (Athens). 2013 Oct-Dec;12(4):567-77.

Warburton DM, Rusted JM. Cholinergic control of cognitive resources. Neuropsychobiology 1993, 28:43-46.

23 comments :

  1. I love cigars and pipe. I do notice that I feel a bit more crappy and lethargic aftersmoking.

    You know what? Generally I don't give a fuck. Its a feeling that I can push through and still perform as I expect myself to perform.

    Besides, its a fact that strength and muscle size are synonymous with health up to a point. You can smoke, get strong and be unhealthy simultaneously.

    It may not be a great idea but its doable.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Negative correlation between testosterone and smoking levels means the more you smoke, the less testosterone you have. From the discussion section in Wang et al.: "our data showed that TT and FT levels gradually decreased with increasing tobacco exposure." Meaning that smokers in general have higher testosterone levels but the more you smoke the less it benefits, trending towards no/negative benefit. However, interestingly enough the same study notices that former smokers return to non-smoking averages of FT and TT levels.

    One could conclude that smoking increases testosterone from this information but one should be just as likely to conclude that individuals with high levels of testosterone have a higher tendency to smoke. In order to move from correlative evidence to more substantial evidence, I would like to see studies done where nonsmokers are forced to smoke and smokers not wanting to quit are forced to quit each for a period long enough to make conclusions. This would be unethical because neither party should *want* to start or quit smoking.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think we need to separate smoking and nicotine here. And no-toxic-shit e-cigs vs. toxic ash cigs. You could have both 10 years of your life and the benefits if you just avoid the toxic versions right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're kinda missing the point. The point was not that you should smoke- it's that smoking isn't the Debbil that the media claims, and smokers aren't sociopaths and diddlers.

      Delete
  4. Don't smoke anything but cigars and weed and couldn't care less if they fuck me up because I like them but I do 'feel' my lungs/throat afterwards which bothers me more than the chemical effects as I always thought that means my oxygen processing capacity is lessened...but I like that you've basically summarised that IF thats the case it makes fuck all sense to care because the body is both more resilient and awesome than we realise, Case and point with the 20th century harder-than-you crew. Besides as mentioned above you can be both unhealthy yet look and perform fantastically so we might as well enjoy life!

    looking forward to the hash article, lord knows the internet needs someone to crack all the fucktards skulls' together over the (non) issue and lay down some bloody facts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "That's right- both total and free testosterone levels were "negatively correlated to the amount of tobacco exposure" (Wang)"

    Is this a typo? I may be too kool for skool, but I'm pretty sure this means TT and FT levels go down as tobacco exposure goes up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To add to this, I feel like nicotine is to cigarettes as caffeine is to coffee in regards to improved attention and memory, and there's definitely better ways to get nicotine than through tobacco.

      Delete
    2. And nicotine has not been shown to increase test.

      Delete
    3. Doing some google searching, I found a pretty interesting article here...

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/health-and-the-environment-testosterone-levels-fall-worldwide/30129

      No one knows exactly why test levels have dropped over the past few decades, and it's probably safe to assume that there's a handful of reasons for the drastic decrease. If smoking may or may not be attributed to this on an international scale, I have no idea.

      One sentence, though, scared the bejesus out of me,

      "If the decrease in sperm counts were to continue at the rate that it is then in a few years we will witness widespread male infertility."

      Immediately thought of the movie Children Of Men, but instead of blaming the infertility of women, it would be man's poor swimmers.

      Delete
    4. Yeah, they have a massive problem with it in Japan. A lot of Japanese men are totally asexual and infertile.

      Delete
  6. Hah, but why don't you smoke yourself? It will make you look cool.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The only people who don't love sloots are vegans and Christians who live in Hee-Haw states. If you don't love sloots, you likely belong to one of those groups and should commit seppuku, NOW.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jaime i started smoking (100% tobacco, non mass market) cigarrets 8 months ago, prompted by a similar post at hawaiian libertarian blog. While i have seen no drop in strenght ( i deadlift 354lb) i noticed a drop in body weight, probably lean mass since i was already at low bf. For instance my body weight went from 163 to 155 lb. Can this be an nicotine effect, and it's something to be concerned with? Anyway excellent post, as always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry, I'd imagine it's just the onset of lung cancer.

      Delete
    2. I have no idea. Your dop in bodyweight could be due to any number of things. Nicotine suppresses appetite, so you're probably just not eating enough. Cool you haven't seen a concomitant drop in strength thogh.

      Delete
  9. Kids, if you want to catch a cheap, fairly legal buzz try this. Get yourself some deprenyl (selegiline) from an off shore pharmacy. Then go on ebay and buy some bulk powdered PEA (phenylethylamine), cheap stuff. Next, take at least 5mg per day of the deprenyl with meals. Do this for a few days. Then, on an empty stomach take about a teaspoon of the phenylethylamine. Wait about 20 minutes. You should start to feel like god (sorry, God), and will probably go around telling people you are. Enjoy the feeling of exceptional euphoria and lack of the ability to feel pain for the next hour and a half. It's legal diy crack cocaine. Then enjoy the next few days wondering if the dizziness, ringing noise in your head and pressure in your chest is permanent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JAIMIE WILL JENKUM RAIZE MY TEST??? FREE OR TOTL>?

      ...
      WOULD CHOKING ON A STRANGER'S' TURD ALLSO SIMILIARLY GET ME HIGH AND/OR SWOLLE?

      Delete
    2. I tried to sneak selegiline into a couple of our supps, and no dice.

      Delete
  10. Well it's three days on and I'm not falling into things today, so I'd say not.

    ReplyDelete