TechGenix FitITproNews

Vol. 02, #12 - March 28, 2018 - Issue #0027

FitITproNews: Discretionary supplements

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Editor's Corner

This week I'm going to talk a bit about what I call discretionary supplements. I'm not sure that "discretionary" is the best word here, but what I mean is types of supplements that it's your call whether you want to use or not. And right off the bat I'll say that I don't use most of them--and I'll explain why as I go along.

Fat burners

By fat burners I mean supplements that mostly come in pill form and are designed to speed up your metabolism and/or suppress your appetite and/or help release fatty acids stored in your body's fat cells. Fat burners typically contain some combination of caffeine sources and other stimulants (to speed up your metabolism), cayenne pepper (to make you sweat bullets), and "natural medicinals" (extracts from plants and roots) from various so-called ancient cultures. They may also contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, probiotics, and who knows what else including substances that may be banned in your part of the world. 

My problem with fat burners is twofold. First, they can have a really powerful effect on your body. When I started out on my fitness journey eight years ago I tried one fat burner that was advertised in several magazines as being guaranteed to boost your energy and make you feel great, which means it was supposed to make it easier for you to go go go without needing to eat, which of course means that you'd quickly lose weight. Being a cautious individual (though stupid at times) I decided to take only one quarter of a tablet to start off so I could see how the supplement would affect me. So about two minutes after taking my quarter pill I started to feel strange, as if something was crawling up my neck towards my head. When the feeling reached the base of my skull I felt ZING!!! LIKE WOW DO I EVER FEEL AWAKE!! WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME?!? So I thought hmmmm, maybe I should stop here and abandon the idea of increasing the dosage to half a pill…

The other thing about many fat burners is the so-called natural medicinals they include, and not because they may not work but because they may work too well. Some of these plant and root extracts can be toxic when taken in large quantities, and especially toxic with regard to the liver which is one organ you don't want to mess around with. (Your kidneys are another organ that's dangerous to mess up, but drinking lots of water each day can help quite a bit in that regard.) Of course Tylenol and even caffeine can also be toxic when taken in excessive quantities, but at least those substances have been extensively studied by medical professionals. Most natural medicinals however have not been subjected to extensive laboratory testing, so I tend to avoid any supplement that contains an ingredient whose name I'm unable to pronounce.

Testosterone boosters

Another type of supplement that I avoid are the so-called testosterone boosters which also generally come in pill or capsule form. These may includes natural substances like Fenugreek and Bulgarian Tribulus and/or manufactured substances like D-Aspartic Acid (DAA). They may also include estrogen/aromatase inhibitors which can be either naturally or artificially sourced.

One reason that I've avoided taking any "test boosters" since I started working out is because I've read accounts from some bodybuilders that test boosters "make them feel weird" when they take them, so right away that throws up a red flag for me. More importantly however, I don't feel a need for taking test boosters because resistance training (e.g. weightlifting) itself can jack up your testosterone level, so why mess around with strange-sounding substances? And besides, at my age why would I even *want* to feel like a 20-year old? I just want to feel healthy and strong, not out of control.

The same goes with testosterone supplementation, which is a growing fad among middle-aged men. From everything I've read on the subject, getting regular injections of testosterone has the positive effect of making you put on muscle and lose weight and feel really great, but the downside is that your own body's natural testosterone production will get shut down from those injections leaving you pretty much depending on them if you want to stay healthy. Sounds to me a lot like Jeremy Renner's situation in the movie The Bourne Legacy:


Finally there's steroids. What can I say about that but simply don't try and go down that. Not only is steroid use illegal in most jurisdictions, it can also damage your health in serious ways as many professional bodybuilders, wrestlers, and other athletes have found out. Dr. Thomas O'Connor M.D. a.k.a. "The Anabolic Doc" has developed a successful medical practice helping such individuals recover from the damage their health experienced as a result of long-term use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs):


Of course as the Disclaimer at the bottom of this newsletter indicates I don't consider myself an expert or professional on any of these matters. I'm simply sharing my own thoughts on this topic, and you're free to follow your own discretion with regard to whether or not fat burners, test boosters, or other substances might benefit you in your journey from Fat IT Pro to Fit IT Pro.

Perhaps I'm just excessively cautious. But then, I only have one body--if I wreck it, I'm toast. 

Send us your feedback!

Got feedback about anything in this issue of FitITproNews? Email us at [email protected]

Disclaimer: I am not a certified fitness professional or nutritionist so take any suggestions made here "as is" with a grain of salt and a heaping supply of your own judgment. Please read our full disclaimer at the bottom of this newsletter.  

Subscriber preferences: As a WServerNews subscriber we're sure you'll enjoy reading FitITproNews each week as much as you enjoy reading WServerNews. But if you'd rather not receive FitITproNews any more, just go to the bottom of this issue and click Update Newsletter Preferences to change your subscription preferences. And by the way, we also have two other TechGenix newsletters you can subscribe to: our Weekly IT Update and Spotlight Articles. Why not subscribe to all of them today?

Ask Our Readers: Need help or advice concerning fitness, weightloss, exercising or nutrition? Why not tap into the huge collective expertise of our IT pro readership from all around the world! Send your questions to us today by emailing us at [email protected]

Today's workout

I started off with some moderate cardio today which lasted about 20 minutes and burned around 200 calories on my exercise bike. I then moved on to using dumbbells and bands to exercise my arms (mostly my triceps) and did 24 sets of 8-10 reps following a resistance training protocol called 4X popularized by bodybuilder Steve Holman. You can learn more about it in this article by Ron Harris in a back issue of Iron Man Magazine:

All I can say is that 4X really works and that I've experienced significant strength gains (indicating muscle gains) whenever I've followed it for several months. See the Fitness Toolbox section below for more about Steve and Ron and their resistance training systems. 

Got a favorite workout? Have you developed a workout that you enjoy doing and feel has been contributing to your health and which you'd like to share with our readers Email us at [email protected]

Fitness Toolbox

Products and services we think you shouldn't be without!

GOT ANY exercise equipment, nutritional supplements, personal training services, fitness websites, or anything else you would like to recommend for our readers? Or for that matter do you have any IT products or services you would like to promote or recommend? After all, our target audience here is mostly IT pros! Email us at [email protected]

GFI LanGuard provides a comprehensive overview of your business’s network security status through vulnerability assessments, patch management, and network and software auditing.

Restore single files or entire VMs from a storage snapshot in minutes. Free Veeam Explorer is #1 granular recovery for the world’s leading storage vendors: HPE, Dell EMC, Net App, IBM, Lenovo.

Old School New Body, the F4X Youth-Enhancing, Bodyshaping System for men and women:

Real Bodybuilding - Muscle truth from 25 years in the trenches:

The Freak-Physique Stretch-Overload Workout distills the scientific research into quick workouts and mass tactics you can start using immediately:

Exercise tip of the week

Is running barefoot better?

There's some debate about whether barefoot running is a better form of exercise than running with shoes on. On the one hand biomechanical studies suggest that running barefoot results in the middle of your foot striking the ground; running with shoes on though tends to result in the heal striking the ground. Since a mid-foot strike distributes your weight across a greater foot area there should be less chance of foot injury when running barefoot compared to running with shoes on.

In addition a 2011 study at the University of Nebraska found that running barefoot uses less oxygen at a given speed compared to running with shoes on at the same speed. Greater oxygen economy thus also favors barefoot running, which means you should probably be able to run further without getting tired when running barefoot.

On the downside however, running barefoot means you may be exposing the underside of your foot to sharp rocks and other dangerous hazards. This obviously constricts where you would want to run barefoot. For example, barefoot trail running is out unless you have callouses an inch thick on the bottom of your feet!

Perhaps the answer is to use what are often called "barefoot running shoes" which feel more like socks than shoes when you wear them. This article on Runner Click lists their top-rated barefoot running shoes for 2018 and discusses some pros and cons of using them:

Have any of our readers tried running barefoot or using barefoot running shoes? Share your experience by emailing us at [email protected]

Nutritional tip of the week

Nuts! Why do I have to work for my meal?

I've recently taken to snacking on pistachio nuts evenings when I'm unwinding watching a movie on TV. That's a switch from my usual almond butter on Melba Toast (or on celery, yech) and there's a reason I've switched--because it takes time and effort to shell pistachios before I can eat them. That may actually help me lose some weight because believe it or not a 2011 study in the scientific journal Appetite published by Elsevier found that when a group of young people were given either unlimited pistachios still having their shells on or pistachios with their shells removed, the ones having the nuts with their shells on ended up eating less than half the calories than the ones having nuts that were already shelled.

So maybe it's good to work for your supper. But I still won't sing for it.

Got tips? Do you have any exercise or nutritional tips you'd like to share with other IT pros who are trying to lose weight and get more fit? Email us at [email protected]

Fun stuff

Pistachios are a type of nuts. It's time for some fun with nuts and their favorite friends:

GoPro: Squirrel Fail

Squirrel fills Antenna with Acorns

Woodpecker Fends Off Squirrel

The Greedy Squirrel - Loses Its Nuts !

Funny Squirrel hide nuts, Montreal

Product of the Week

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Download Free Tool

About FitITproNews

FitITproNews is the only weekly newsletter in the world that is entirely devoted to helping IT pros get fit, lose weight, and live happily ever after as they face the daily stresses and workload of being in the gristmill of the IT profession. FitITproNews is brought to you by TechGenix and is created each week by the same all-star editorial team that brings you WServerNews, the world's longest running IT pro newsletter focusing on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to FitITproNews today! And while you’re at it be sure to also subscribe to our other TechGenix newsletters such as our Weekly IT Update and Spotlight Articles!

Editorial Team

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of FitITproNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud technologies. He has written numerous articles and whitepapers and has authored or been series editor of more than 50 books for Microsoft Press. Mitch also successfully made the transition from being a typical "fat IT pro" to becoming fit by losing almost 50 lbs through a combination of resistance training, cardio exercises, and proper nutrition. Mitch's passion with FitITproNews is to help other IT pros do what he has been able to accomplish by sharing his personal story and lessons learned.

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of FitITproNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. She is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program. Ingrid is also committed to personal fitness and is a believer in clean eating and proper supplementation for optimal health and longevity.

Mitch and Ingrid are also the editors of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. For more information about Mitch and Ingrid see their website.


This newsletter is designed for informational purposes only and the health and fitness information presented in it are based solely upon the personal experience of its editors and of any guests or readers who contribute content to it. Nothing in this newsletter is intended to be or should be construed to be professional medical, fitness, or nutritional advice. Always consult a physician or other health care professional before starting an exercise or nutrition program to determine if it is appropriate for your personal needs. Do not follow any of the suggestions in this newsletter if your physician or other health care professional advises against doing so. If you are exercising or dieting or taking supplements and experience any dizziness, faintness, pain, or shortness of breath, you should stop immediately and seek medical help. The use of any information presented in this newsletter is solely at your own risk.

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