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What Our Fitness Editor Learned From Attempting a New PR

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When was the last time you walked in someone else’s shoes? This old adage is usually used to implore someone to change their perspective in order to build empathy. But it can also be helpful for other purposes to adopt the insignia of an unfamiliar lifestyle. I adopted this philosophy (and a bold new exercise plan) to shake up my physical training and achieve a new goal. Instead of taking just a few steps in someone else’s shoes, I tried to run. Fast.

The inspiration for my extra-personal experience was to run a mile as fast as possible. While I usually include running in my weekly fitness plan, I do the majority of my training as a fitness editor for Men’s Health at a gym with a focus on strength and conditioning.

When I run, I either sprint for stamina or train for long road races like marathons. Single miles? I usually just ride those 5,280 feet at a more relaxed pace. The last time I ran just a mile for speed was my senior year in college as a decathlete on the track team (and the race was actually a 1,500-yard, just under a mile). I haven’t trained particularly hard, instead focusing on my stronger suits like throws, jumps, and sprints – all of which are more geared towards bursts of strength and speed. Needless to say, I didn’t win this race.

Jeff Allen Studios Inc.

In order to set a new PR and actually finish at top speed (I was aiming for a sub-5 mile) I knew I needed some help. I connected to Runner’s World (and nine-time marathon runner) feature editor. Matt Allyn for some pre-workout advice. We shared our know-how so we could both move up – he gave me a detailed training plan for the mile race and I gave him tips on how to improve his bench press. The final key to my mileage dreams was the right running shoes.

Hover 5

BROOKSRUNNING.COM

$ 150.00

Thankfully, with the help of Brooks, I tucked my feet into a new pair of Levitate 5s, the latest in one of my favorite lines of performance shoes. The Levitate 5 features the company’s special DNA AMP cushioning that provides a bouncy, quick transition experience while running. They’re comfortable enough that not only did I want to wear them when training, but also fast enough that I felt like I had a secret weapon for a new PR.

Four weeks of concentration

In the run-up to the big run, I stuck to the plan as closely as possible. There were a couple of days that I missed and I replaced some of the sessions with other running workouts. But I was dialed in. I felt great taking steps towards the ultimate goal of the fastest possible mile. I hadn’t been able to get the most out of weights or many other meaningful ways since my last street race before the pandemic, so I was determined to make this attempt count.

On the day of the race, heat was predicted – we’re talking about a heat index of 106 ℉. I drank a lot of water the day before to keep me hydrated. Fortunately, I was able to wake up and leave Brooklyn’s McCarren Park at 5:45 a.m. to start before the scorching sun peaked. After an extensive warm-up on the track and in the infield, I was ready to go.

Men's Health Fitness Editor Brett Williams and Runner's World Features Editor Matt Allyn

Jeff Allen Studios Inc.

Matt kindly agreed to help me measure the time and declare splits (how much time had passed so far) for each of the four laps on the track. We spoke for a minute to develop a strategy, and I stuck to the line. After a short countdown, I was gone and also measured the race on my own watch.

Set the tempo

I got into the zone when I started running. I had decided to walk alone without headphones for the first time in a long time and forced myself to fall into my own rhythm, depending on my steps and the springy response of the Levitate 5 sneaker to set the pace. The first lap felt great and I crossed the finish line about 72 seconds below my target pace. (I was on a public track, so I sometimes had to wiggle around strollers and joggers, constantly having to keep my head on a swivel joint in case one of the footballs being booted across the lawn hit the track.) But between lap 2 and 3 there was no drama as I pumped my legs and struggled to keep up with the already tremendous heat.

Brooks Levitate 5 running sneakers

Jeff Allen Studios Inc.

When I reached the fourth and final lap, I knew it was time to push. I limped behind, but my training started and I kept stepping forward (a pair of light, springy shoes definitely helped me at this point). I hit the last 200 yards and knew it was now or never. I kicked hard, ran fast and strong through the last part of the run.

I missed my ultimate goal of running under 5 minutes, but my 5:30 time was still a quick new PR. Given the challenges of the heat and the busy route, I was happy with my performance. But the best part of the whole experience? When I crossed the finish line, I didn’t feel like I was walking in someone else’s shoes. This race was my own.


Brett Williams, fitness editor for Men’s Health, is a NASM CPT certified trainer and former professional football player and tech reporter who divides his exercise time between strength and conditioning, martial arts, and running.

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Men’s Health

The Inchworm Is a Simple, Effective Core Move

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If you’ve ever played a sport – even if it was just youth soccer or a leisure club – you’ve likely gone through a series of warm-up exercises that included a movement called inchworm. The maneuver is accessible to all types of people (including wild kids), and it’s even more effective than you might have guessed if you kept moving through the moves before your workout or competition. The key to getting the most out of the exercise is to focus on every single detail.

For Men’s Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, CSCS, the inchworm is a great opportunity to work out your abs in ways that go beyond your typical crunch-to-static plank combo. “Every now and then you need a different kind of core movement,” he says. “Not a move that will make you tired or make your abs feel fried, but a move that will help your abs feel great, that will help you challenge a bit of stability, that will and will help warm your core Might challenge your multiplanar stability a little more than you might think. ” Along with the benefits to your core, you’ll also move more than other static stretches and stretch your hamstrings more than you might expect.

Those are some of the advantages of such a seemingly basic exercise – not to mention that you can do this exercise almost anywhere without the need for equipment. Just find enough space to take a plank position and you’re good to go.

Photo credit: Men’s Health

Before you recreate the inchworm of your youth, however, take a moment to learn the subtle keys of exercise from Samuel and Men’s Health Fitness Editor, Brett Williams. This is how you get more out of your training.

How to do the inchworm

Keep your legs straight – until you can no longer

To get the nice hamstring stretch that we are looking for at the beginning of the exercise, you need to keep your legs straight. Start with your feet just over shoulder width apart, then hang from your hips to bend down and place your hands on the floor. As you descend, you want to keep your legs as straight as possible – but for some people, this means bending your knees. That’s a good thing. Everyone has a different level of flexibility.

The story goes on

But the goal is to give up the squat. “You want to get as far as keeping your legs as straight as possible because the straighter you keep them, the more you’re going to get that really good hamstring stretch,” says Samuel.

Go slow it down

The inching to which the name of the move refers is created when you move from a stooped position onto the plank by moving your hands forward. This is where most of the benefits come from. But you don’t want to rush it or you’ll throw yourself off balance. Go slow

“This is the part where you can explore your core a little and explore the stability of the core,” says Samuel. However, it’s important to make sure the raised rump remains stable when you put one hand in front of the other. “I think about the hips and shoulders on the floor all the time,” he continues.

Own your pushups

Once you’ve brought your hands to the end point, your focus shouldn’t let up. Now is your chance to get even more benefit from the exercise. When you’re in this spot, you’re essentially holding a plank.

As with a regular plank, there are a few things you can do to make the static position a great core move. First, be sure to keep your spine straight without rounding your back or squeezing your pelvis. Second, make sure you contract your glutes, core, and shoulders by squeezing these muscles.

Get it right up

Getting back to the starting position shouldn’t be as easy as just getting up. Instead, you should keep the focus until you get to the top.

“Let’s take the opportunity when we get up to use this as a chance to get your hips in proper extension,” says Samuel. “We’re essentially coming back from a Romanian deadlift.” Squeeze your glutes while standing, keeping your hips and shoulders straight, and stepping back with your hands.

Do you want to master even more moves? Check out our entire Form Check series.

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Men’s Health

Caffeine and Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Benefits, Facts, Dosage

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Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world for a reason. Coffee has been shown to improve energy levels, help focus, and be rich in health-promoting antioxidants.

For men, a daily cup of coffee can do more than just wake up the brain. Some research suggests that men who drink two to three cups of coffee a day have a lower risk of developing erectile dysfunction.

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Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual activity. ED is strongly related to physical and mental health.

Common causes of ED are:

  • Vascular disease: Decreased blood flow to the penis can cause ED.
  • Neurological diseases: Nerve damage from stroke, MS, or even diabetes can cause ED.
  • Mental health: Stress, depression, and performance anxiety can all contribute to ED. A traumatic injury can also lead to the onset of ED.

Other risk factors for ED are:

  • Age (over 50)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • drug consumption
  • smoking
  • Overweight or sedentary lifestyle
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • lack of sleep
  • Poor cardiovascular health (high cholesterol or high blood pressure)

ED prevalence

ED is very common. Although the risk of ED increases with age, young men can also suffer from the condition. Estimates of the prevalence of ED vary, but it is estimated that one in 10 men will experience the disease at some point in their life.

Can Coffee Cause ED?

Moderate caffeine intake seems to have a positive effect on most people and does not seem to cause erectile dysfunction. In fact, one study found that drinking two to three cups of coffee a day can lower your risk of ED.

However, excess caffeine can cause side effects such as anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and palpitations, which can negatively affect your general well-being and affect sexual function.

Coffee benefits for men

Drinking a moderate amount of coffee each day can not only provide a boost of energy, but it can also affect men’s reproductive health in other ways.

Erectile function

Men who drink two to three cups of coffee a day may have an easier time getting and maintaining an erection.

In fact, one study found that men who consumed between 85-170 milligrams of caffeine per day were 42% less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction. Those who consumed between 171-303 milligrams of caffeine per day reported ED 39% less often compared to those who did not consume caffeine.

This may be due to the fact that caffeine relaxes the arteries and smooth muscles in the penis, allowing more blood flow and improving erectile function.

However, a recent study found no association between caffeine intake and ED.

fertility

Research on caffeine intake and its effects on male fertility is mixed.

One study found that consuming caffeine in sodas and energy drinks can affect male fertility. Other studies have found no association between caffeine intake and semen quality.

Another review found that caffeine intake can negatively impact male reproductive function, but concluded that more research is needed to determine the effects caffeine can have on male fertility.

Testosterone boost

In addition to increasing energy levels, caffeine can also increase testosterone levels in men. Research shows that men who regularly consume caffeinated coffee have higher testosterone levels than those who do not consume coffee.

One study found that consuming more than 4 milligrams of coffee before exercise increased testosterone levels in athletes. An older study showed that chewing caffeine gum can increase testosterone levels by up to 14%.

Heart benefits of coffee

In addition to sexual health, coffee can also help improve heart health. Research suggests that drinking coffee is linked to a lower risk of heart failure.

Coffee is rich in antioxidants that can protect blood vessels and reduce heart damage from cholesterol. Because of its antioxidant properties, which aid blood flow to the body, coffee can improve blood flow to the penis and help men get and maintain erections.

possible side effects

While coffee offers some health benefits, it’s important to drink it in moderation. Too much caffeine can cause a variety of undesirable side effects, including:

  • anxiety
  • jitters
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • Increased pulse
  • stomach problems
  • Addiction

The Food and Drug Administration recommends consuming no more than 400 milligrams (about four to five cups of coffee) a day to avoid side effects.

Caffeine sensitivity

If you have caffeine sensitivity, even a small amount of caffeine can make you feel unwell. There are different degrees of sensitivity to caffeine: one person may not be affected, while another may not be able to sleep for hours after consuming it. Caffeine sensitivity increases with age, so you may need less coffee as you get older.

Facts about energy drinks

While caffeine consumed in coffee is generally well tolerated by most people, energy drinks can have a number of negative effects, and there is no evidence that energy drinks can help with erectile dysfunction.

Long-term consumption of energy drinks has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, insomnia, dental problems, obesity, and calcium deficiency.

How Much Coffee Before Sex?

Coffee increases energy levels, improves physical endurance, and increases the neurotransmitters associated with elevated mood, all of which can help improve your sex life.

However, you don’t need to drink excessive coffee before sex to enjoy the benefits. A cup or two 45 minutes before sexual activity can help improve ED, boost testosterone, and give you the energy you need for a positive sexual experience.

Natural Ways To Improve ED

There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to improve ED, including:

  • Getting a consistently good night’s sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and protein
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Advice on mental health problems such as stress or performance anxiety that can affect your sexual performance
  • Stop smoking

If you find that natural treatments aren’t improving your ED, talk to your doctor. They will determine the cause of ED and recommend treatments.

A word from Verywell

Coffee can be a natural way to improve your sex life and erectile dysfunction problems. More research is needed to determine the effects of caffeine on men’s sexual health, but it appears that regular coffee consumption may reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction. Discuss your symptoms and ED treatment options with your doctor.

frequently asked Questions

  • Does Drinking Coffee Before Sex Improve Testosterone?

    Research suggests that coffee can temporarily increase testosterone levels, which can be beneficial before sex. Drinking coffee can also relax the cavernous smooth muscles in the penis and improve blood supply through the penile arteries to improve blood flow to the penis.

  • What is the relationship between coffee and testosterone?

    Coffee can help increase testosterone levels in men. One study found that men who consumed caffeine five times a day had higher testosterone levels than men who did not. The researchers concluded that caffeine can act as an aromatase inhibitor (blocking estrogen), which can boost testosterone production. Another study found that caffeine can improve exercise and exercise results due to its ability to moderately increase testosterone levels.

  • Does Caffeine Improve ED?

    Moderate caffeine consumption can help improve erectile dysfunction. Research shows that men who consume between 85-170 milligrams of caffeine are 42% less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than men who do not consume caffeine.

  • Do symptoms of caffeine sensitivity increase with age?

    Yes, caffeine sensitivity increases with age. Young people metabolize caffeine much faster than older adults. One study found that seniors took 33% longer to metabolize caffeine compared to younger adults.

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Men’s Health

Here’s How Dana White Stays Ripped, Courtesy Of An Outdoor Pool, Weights Room And Infrared Bed

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As the UFC President, Dana White has a lot on her plate. From negotiating with the best professional athletes in the sport and their egos to organizing competitions and games held around the world, it’s safe to say that White’s days are busier than most. But if you thought all of these were the perfect (and understandable) excuses for skipping a workout due to time constraints, think again. White is a man who lives and breathes health and wellness. All you need to do is take a tour of his multi-million dollar home in Las Vegas to see that this is a priority for the UFC president, obviously in the outdoor pool with artificial currents, a Pilates room with a floor-to-ceiling TV for group training, massage and massage Face room with infrared LED bed, a room that is exclusively dedicated to lifting heavy weights, and the “cold bath” and steam bath for relaxation.

But when it comes to his actual fitness routine and diet, White isn’t your typical fitness junkie one might expect. He trains a lot and constantly, and his training is tough. But he doesn’t necessarily deprive his kitchen of sugar and processed foods, but lives on weighed portions and green juices that have no taste. Rather, White lives to eat, and his training allows him to do just that. “I’m not one of those guys who eat healthy or whatever” he said in a recent interview with Men’s Health US. “The reason I exercise is because I love food and I like to eat.” And when it comes to exercise, his goals are pretty simple: “I try not to get fat and I try not to get hurt.”

Perhaps that’s what makes white one of the stars that is easier to attribute to when it comes to our own fitness goals. Not every workout has to be a back-breaker, and when it comes to our diet, we should still be able to enjoy food rather than seeing it as an enemy or limiting it to foods that are “good” and “bad” ” are.

When it comes to his fitness routine, White keeps it pretty simple with exercises based on cardio and weights, as he admits, “I’m not trying to break world records.” The routine has changed with age, however, and although he says he used to lift a lot heavier, he has now lost weight after a shoulder injury. As White nears his mid-50s, he had to change his strategy and really see what he wanted to get out of his training. “I’m not doing heavy weights now. I do everything with a light weight and make sure that every movement is perfect – and I do it for repetitions. “

White says that an intense workout for him these days is cardio, but his favorite workout is one he does on Saturdays, where he does what he calls “Circuit Saturday.” As White explains, his training may have changed with age, but it’s still sacred. “I don’t go out as much as I used to, so it’s my quiet time to get to the gym, to get my time together.”

The motivation is of course the food. White does everything for the meal and his meals are pretty outrageous. On a tour of his gym and fridge, he revealed that he has a lot of sugar in the kitchen, with things like Klondike bars, frozen Snickers, frozen kit-kats, several pints of Ben & Jerry’s, powdered donuts, and Pepperidge Farm everything available . However, he does have a refrigerator devoted exclusively to healthy options, with fruits and vegetables available and pre-cut to make snacking easier.

“For breakfast, I usually either make scrambled eggs and sausages or I like breakfast rolls.” What White doesn’t like is that he doesn’t eat garlic, onions and seafood. Ultimately, however, every day is a cheat day for White who says his ultimate cheat day menu is a raised donut with a piece of fried chicken in the middle with a special sauce. Cant say it sounds particularly appetizing, but according to White, if you like chicken and donuts, it’s the best you’ll ever eat.

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