Posted on April 3rd, 2012
Ronnie Coleman’s bodybuilding supplement brand, BSN, has created some real power players in the sports nutrition market. It’s gonna be hard to live up to the hype of Syntha-6 and N-Xplode – so does Cellmass make it? Today, as we usually do, we’re completely ignoring the marketing hype and taking to the ‘strands’ of the web to find out what the REAL users think of BSN Cellmass. If you want to add your real opinion to the mix, pop it in the comments section!
What Does Cellmass Do?
Cellmass is an esterised creatine and glutamine blend, aimed at prolonging your workout, allowing you to lift longer and harder, and decreasing recovery times.
Good Taste, Bad Taste?
Even the reviewers that like the taste of Cellmass don’t rave about it. There are several reviews that were also downright negative about the taste, especially regarding fruit punch flavour. There is a definite salty tinge to the taste of Cellmass, but you can get used to this. Don’t mix it with your protein shake!
In the end, you just have to remember that we drink beer and coffee for the taste and bodybuilding supplements for the effects.
This is what Cellmass is meant to do, and according to the people who’ve tested it out, it works! One reviewer mentioned that it can take 5 days for him to walk comfortably after his leg workout, whereas with Cellmass this is decreased to 2 days.
Some Size Gains
Some reviewers noted increases in size and strength. One reviewer had to go out and buy new shirts after a couple of weeks of using Cellmass … though not everybody mentioned massive size gains or a focus on muscle building. Obviously you’ll be stacking this product with a good quality protein and some amino acids.
Short Term Effects
A couple of reviewers noted that the effects of Cellmass only seemed to last while they kept taking it.
This is a tricky complaint. Obviously, you must work at your peak to get the benefits of creatine – it’s meant to help you go harder and longer. If you fail to do this, you’ve cheated yourself AND the bodybuilding supplement in a way!
However, some ingredients in BSN Cellmass can give you a fantastic muscle pump, which will be short lived. Additionally, some bodybuilders are prone to water retention while on creatine, and more so when on specific forms of creatine, so the increased muscle size could just be due to water weight.
Random Side Effects
There were no particular side effects consistently reported for Cellmass, but we did note isolated reviewers who experienced effects like:
- Skin tingles similar to those produced by beta-alanine
- Some gas
- Bloating, both gastrointestinal bloating from gas and from water retention due to the creatine
- Plus a positive side effect – improved sleep quality!
Pricing for Cellmass
You’ll never please everybody with your pricing. Many reviewers thought that BSN Cellmass was ‘slightly’ expensive, but this was inevitably balanced n the reviews against its awesome effectiveness.
Posted on April 3rd, 2012
BSN Cellmass is one of our most popular bodybuilding supplements. It is also highly effective and carefully crafted, tested, evaluated, tweaked and re-tested … so it is not the cheapest in the store. Lots of people want to know if BSN Cellmass will fit into the puzzle of their workout/diet/bodybuilding supplement routine before they actually hit ‘Process Payment’ – and that’s fair enough! Today we go through answers to some of the most common questions we hear about BSN Cellmass, to help ensure it meets your expectations.
Does Cellmass Cause Water Retention and Bloating?
BSN advertises Cellmass as a ‘no bloat’ creatine formulation. This is because the creatine is bonded to an ethyl ester compound, which helps improve passage into the actual bloodstream rather than trapping the creatine in the gut and attracting water by osmosis.
While the vast majority of athletes taking this don’t experience bloating, the human body is far too complex to pin down into ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ answers. In short, some people do experience bloating, but most don’t!
If I Work Out at Night, When Should I Take Cellmass?
The instructions on Cellmass say to dose twice per day, once post workout and once before bed.
However, if you work out at night, don’t cut down to one dose. The instructions are based on the assumption that most people work out in the morning, so just take one dose mid-morning and one post workout.
What’s Better – Gaspari SizeOn or Cellmass?
The most reliable way to tell which bodybuilding supplement is better for you is to test both of them out! The differences between them are:
- SizeOn can be used intra-workout or post-workout, to suit you
- SizeOn is not an esterised creatine, so can give you more bloating and gastrointestinal symptoms
- Some reviewers say Cellmass tastes better, however there are as many reviews saying SizeOn tastes better!
When Should I Take Cellmass?
We mentioned above that this is a post-workout and pre-bedtime supplement – and you should take at least one dose IMMEDIATELY post workout for best results. Take this before your protein shake to facilitate absorption of the creatine.
Can I Take Cellmass Past Its Use-By Date?
Generally bodybuilding supplements have a ‘Best before’ date, which is a non-specific and fairly lenient date before which the contents will be at their freshest. It depends how far past the best before date your Cellmass is – one or two months shouldn’t be a problem, but in 6 months’ time there’s a chance that the creatine has degraded and is no longer effective.
Does Cellmass Really Work or Do You Just Get Water Gains?
If you train to your capacity while taking Cellmass, you will definitely get gains. However, like every bodybuilding supplement, Cellmass isn’t a magic muscle pill. It is used to facilitate longer and harder workouts, which then builds muscle. You may get some loss of water weight after you stop taking it, but this should be minimal because of the esterised formulation.
If you have any other questions about BSN Cellmass, our staff are always available to help. Send us a message via the contact form or on our Facebook page, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours!
Posted on March 29th, 2012
Muscle Pharm Shred Matrix is among a niche selection of bodybuilding supplements sitting at the top of the fat burning podium … looking down on us mere mortals below! However, Muscle Pharm Shred Matrix is quite happy to extend a helping hand to boost us all up to its own standards of perfection, and if you enlist the help of some of the other awesome supps available, you’ll be looking down on the rest of us before you know it as well. Today we look at some of the best ways to design a bodybuilding supplement team with Muscle Pharm Shred Matrix at the centre.
Shred Matrix Stacked with Battle Fuel
If the combination of these two awesome names doesn’t intimidate you too much, give a Shred Matrix/Battle Fuel combo a try! The Shred Matrix is designed to help curb your appetite, selectively assist in fat metabolism and give you a pre-workout boost. The Battle Fuel provides the anabolic part of the equation, with testosterone boosters, estrogen inhibitors and compounds that decrease recovery time.
You’ll need a seriously healthy diet and some great protein and creatine to stack with these two bodybuilding supplements, as well.
Shred Matrix with CLA-Based Supplements
If you really need to carve off some pounds of fat, Shred Matrix stacked with CLA-based fat loss supplements will help you achieve that leanness. CLA is conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid supported for weight maintenance by the Australian Institute of Sports, and a meta-analysis conducted in 2007 concluded that CLA does have an effect on fat loss and lean muscle mass.
Make sure you stack your Shred Matrix and CLA with a good quality and very low-carb protein formulation as well as creatine.
Shred Matrix and Superpump Max
Superpump Max is produced by Gaspari, and is designed as a pre-workout supplement for fatigue resistance, vasodilation and energy. Superpump Max emphasises creatine, carnitine titrate (for fat loss) and caffeine.
It works synergistically with Shred Matrix, so it is best to underdose both bodybuilding supplements when starting a stack … or you might find yourself jittering all over the gym instead of owning it. Start at a half dose of each daily, and take your Shred Matrix in the morning and your Superpump Max pre-workout.
Because Shred Matrix is a fat loss supplement, if your eventual goal is muscle gain you should ensure that you give yourself some anabolic support as well, no matter what your stack. Good quality protein and creatine are essential, and BCAAs and nitric oxide are also great additives to a Shred Matrix stack. Go shred that bar!
Posted on March 29th, 2012
Optimum has created some of the most solid, longlasting, powerful products in the bodybuilding supplement and sports nutrition world. And the favourable reviews aren’t just produced by overworked sales reps who’ve created far too many online profiles – the feedback that we get from real customers is overwhelmingly positive, our own experience with the products is great. However, it can be all too easy for descriptions of these products to start sounding like marketing hype! Today get real about Optimum Platinum Hydro Builder, looking at the pluses, the minuses, and the ‘would change if I could’s.
Mixability and Taste
In most bodybuilding supplements, these two features go hand in hand, because texture affects taste. Optimum Platinum Hydro Builder is consistently rated very highly for both texture and taste. Some commonly heard comments about taste include:
- The strawberry flavour becomes extra frothy, and is also extra sweet
- The cookies and cream and turbo chocolate flavours are utterly delicious
- Vanilla tastes a little ordinary when mixed with water
If you have been taking hydrolysed protein for so long now that you could pick that ‘hydrolysed’ taste from a kilometre away, many reviewers have mentioned that this bodybuilding supplement manages to mask or negate that hydrolysed taste very effectively.
Our favourite comment: “If God and Giada de Laurentiis made a protein then this would be it”. Ha!
The ingredient profile for Platinum Hydro Builder is pretty hard to beat, and some reviewers even say it’s better than 100% Whey. Per serve you’ll get:
- 30g protein
- 1g fat
- 2g carbs
- 0g simple carbs
The (almost) zero fat and carb formulation means that many reviewers were happy with how easy Hydro Builder is to add into an existing diet plan.
The protein in Hydro Builder is designed for staged release, with a blend of egg albumin, Micellar casein, whey protein. It also includes creatine and BCAAs. A couple of reviewers mentioned that it isn’t suitable for a range of people with food allergies or sensitivities, as it contains egg, milk and soy ingredients … which is unfortunate, but perhaps necessary to build an (ahem) optimum product for a wider audience.
Recovery and Soreness
Lots of reviewers mentioned the real effects they notice when switching to Hydro Builder from a different protein – minimal soreness after intense workouts, great recovery, and noticeable gains.
We’ve started to sound like a broken record when it comes to this area of bodybuilding supplement reviewing, we know! There are plenty of reviewers who love the product, but hate the price. Obviously for better quality products, one pays a bit more. Some reviewers feel that Platinum Hydro Builder isn’t worth the extra expense, some do. It’s a personal decision.
Other reviewers also mentioned that they wished Hydro Builder came in a larger range of sizes. At Nutrition Warehouse we stock only the 2kg size, the largest tub which actually helps keep the per-serve cost very reasonable. At around 40 serves per $100 tub, this top quality protein will cost you around $2.50 a day.
Posted on March 26th, 2012
Warming up is an incredibly important part of your bodybuilding workout. It helps increase blood flow to a muscle and therefore improve your results, prepare your muscle for work, and most importantly, protect against injury. Warming up is a non-negotiable aspect of your workout – but there is not necessarily a ‘right’ way for everyone to warm up! You can choose a warm-up strategy that fits with your workout goals and overall exercise and fitness goals. We explore 5 different warm-up methods today.
Performing light weight, small sets of the same exercises that you’ll be doing ‘for real’ later on is the most common way to warm up for weight training. Here’s how to perform warm up sets:
- Perform warm-up sets only if you’re training with high weight and low reps. There’s not much point warming up for an exercise that you can repeat 15 times.
- Start with 50% of your actual weight, and perform 2-5 reps of the exercise.
- Increase the weight by 10% and repeat.
- Do your warm-up exercises slowly and with absolutely perfect form.
- Perform your warm-up sets immediately before your exercise; or alternatively, perform all your upper body warm-ups sets before your upper body work, then repeat for your lower body.
- If you choose to do your warm-up sets before each individual exercise, you only need to do one set between similar exercises. For example, if you do 3 warm-up sets for your bench press, you’ll only need one for your barbell row.
Cardio as a Warm-Up
You can also use cardio exercise as a warm-up to weight training. Use your cardio to focus on warming up the body segments you’ll be weight training with later. For example:
- Warmup on the rowing machine for upper body workouts
- Warmup on the bike or treadmill for lower body workouts
- Warmup on the elliptical trainer for full-body workouts
The way you use it will depend on your aims in the gym. If you are cutting, do 3-5 minutes of cardio to warm-up, then stretch. Hit the weights, and then go for a bit more cardio at the end. This means your body will be using fat as fuel for the cardio exercise, after your resistance training has used up all the stored glycogen in your muscles.
If you are bulking, you can do a bit longer cardio at the beginning and skip the stretching if you prefer.
Stretching to Warm Up
There are two main techniques for stretching to warm up:
- Dynamic range of motion stretching, where you stretch normally holding the stretch for 10 seconds
- Contract-relax stretching, where you contract your muscle then stretch it to allow for increased range of motion.
You’ll need to stretch the muscles you’ll be focusing on, as well as surrounding muscles and regions. If you don’t do this, you’re risking injury in some very odd places.
Swimming as a Warm Up
Swimming is a total body workout, utilising both your muscles and your cardiovascular system. It is also no-impact, so is suitable for bodybuilder getting over injuries.
To use swimming as your warm-up for bodybuilding, try:
- 10% of your maximum number of laps on freestyle. Easy pace
- 10% your maximum on backstroke. Easy pace
- 25% of your maximum on freestyle. Moderate pace.
- 25% your maximum on backstroke. Moderate pace.
You’ll need relatively good cardio vascular fitness for this warm-up!
Hmm! You can only avoid warming up for your workout if the entire thing is going to be very gentle. If your sets will be upwards of 10 reps, and if you’re not training any one region too hard, you may be able to get away without a warm-up. However, this is NOT a suitable long term solution!
Posted on March 26th, 2012
Coeliac disease is a condition in which consumption of gluten causes damage to the villi in your intestine – the finger-like projections which absorb the nutrients from your food. Knowledge around and diagnosis of coeliac disease has been rising in recent years, due to improved testing for and understanding of the condition. So has concern in the general community about ‘sensitivity’ to gluten. People often worry that although they are not ‘allergic’ to gluten like coeliac sufferers are, gluten might be causing any number of low-level health conditions like poor energy, insomnia, lack of appetite, frequent colds, etc. What’s the deal with gluten? Is it actually bad for many of us … and should bodybuilders be looking for foods and bodybuilding supplements that are gluten-free? We check out the evidence today.
What and Where is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, oats and barley which is especially long and quite elastic. It gives bread dough its sponginess and makes it tougher to pull apart – you’ll notice that gluten-free bread can be very crumby. Now gluten as a protein is used as a thickener in many foods, such as tomato sauce, ice cream, imitation cheese and vegetarian ‘hot dogs’.
Who Shouldn’t Eat Gluten?
If you have been tested for coeliac disease or gluten-sensitive idiopathic neuropathy and had a positive result, you shouldn’t eat gluten. How do you know if you have one of these conditions?
Flatulence, bloating, constipation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping or discomfort, weight loss and general fatigue are the most common symptoms of coeliac disease. If you think you have it, take yourself off to your doctor – they will perform an endoscopy to look at your intestine to determine whether you symptoms are caused by coeliac disease or something else.
Gluten-sensitive idiopathic neuropathy:
Common symptoms of this gluten sensitivity are numbness, tingling, problems with muscular coordination (usually first noticed when walking). In extreme form it can resemble spasticity (as from cerebral palsy) or epilepsy.
If you experience itching, swelling, redness around the mouth or hives, you may have a wheat allergy or sensitivity. You do not need to avoid gluten, but you do need to avoid wheat.
However, many sellers of gluten-free products say that autistic children and people with ADHD should be eating gluten-free. The science simply does not support this. Studies quoted are frequently poor quality, small, or are plainly misquoted.
Gluten – The Correlation vs Causation Problem
However, there are many ordinary people who start to feel better when they cut gluten out of their diets. So, shouldn’t it be good for everyone to cut gluten out?
Actually, the reason people often feel better after cutting out gluten is that gluten-containing foods tend to be:
- Full of carbohydrates
- Processed (think tomato sauce and ice cream)
- Fatty or sugary
When you start eating fresher, less fatty, less sugary and non-processed foods, you definitely feel better! But it was never the gluten that was the problem, but the overall health value of the food.
Should Bodybuilders Be Eating Gluten-Free?
If you have a condition like coeliac disease or gluten-sensitive idiopathic neuropathy, definitely. You may need to cease taking bodybuilding supplements to make sure that any bloating is not simply a side effect of the creatine you’re taking, or nausea is not simply from a pre-workout supp sensitivity.
Additionally, all bodybuilders should be limiting carbs in their diet. This effectively also limits your gluten-intake … but unless you have a diagnosed condition, you shouldn’t need to eat gluten free. Enjoy your doughy bread once a day!
Posted on March 12th, 2012
Contamination of consumer products is a very real issue in our society. We are almost completely dependent on people we don’t know to create our food and drinks and bodybuilding supplements, working in factories we will never see, using chemicals which we have no right to know about. This is why there are such strict testing protocols for all food, drink and bodybuilding supplement product imported into the country, and which are manufactured in the country.
Yet if you watch certain current affairs programs or read certain ‘natural living’ magazines or blogs, many people would have you believe that there are dozens of ‘hidden’ carcinogens in the products we use and the way they interact with cooking processes. Some very bizarre habits come out of these scares … like my sister in law, who runs round the corner to hide every time she puts the baby bottle in the microwave! But are the risks real and supported by evidence? We find out about 3 popular contamination myths today which you can safely ignore.
- Drinking from plastic bottles
Everybody in the world will die one day. Most people in the world will have drunk from a plastic bottle at one time in their life. Most bodybuilders will drink from plastic shaker bottles several times a day. But is this going to give you cancer? Probably not. Most of the key studies cited on this issue were not peer reviewed and were not formal epidemiologic studies.So, while certain plastics can leach chemicals into your water or your bodybuilding supplement, and this process can be accelerated by heat, if you choose a plastic shaker bottle specifically designed for dinking from and use it as directed, you’ll be safe!
- Using deodorant
Breast cancer is incredibly common, especially in the United States, which is a very hygiene-conscious society and therefore uses a lot of deodorant. The aluminium in anti-perspirant deodorants was first implicated in breast cancer long ago – but has since been disproven. In fact, when you scroll through the results in Pubmed for ‘deodorant cancer’, the vast majority of studies are actually disproving the myth that deodorant causes breast cancer. Female bodybuilders and males alike can smell good, without fearing that you’re harming yourself.
- Microwaving your food
Microwaves have been commonplace in the Australian home for at least 15 years now. And during that time, myths about the way they contaminate food with poisonous products and energies have abounded. Some of these include:
- Minerals in vegetables are altered to free radicals in microwaves – FALSE
- Microwaved food causes brain damage by ‘shorting out’ electrical impulses in the brain – FALSE
- Hormone production is altered or shut down by eating microwaved food – FALSE
- Microwaved food’s nutrition is destroyed by the microwaving process – FALSE
You need only look as far as the vast majority of healthy people in Western countries to see that microwaves could not possibly have any acute toxicity. Most ‘studies’ put up by anti-microwave crusaders are small, poorly designed, or don’t actually prove what people think they do!
Don’t stress that you’re sabotaging your bodybuilding goals by drinking supplements from a plastic shaker bottle, by microwave reheating your chicken breast or by using deodorant. It just isn’t true. Cancer is incredibly poorly understood … but we can assure you, the people who make up theories that ‘just make sense’ in their head are much further from the truth than the scientists actually investigating it!
Posted on March 12th, 2012
Sigh. It’s sensationalist titles like this one that detract attention from the bodybuilding books of REAL value. 12 minutes a week? Maybe 12 minutes per muscle per week! Our initial reaction was to completely distrust anything this book says about bodybuilding … but it has an absolute slew of positive reviews on Amazon. So what’s the deal? On initial inspection, we find that many of the reviews are from people who have just bought the book, and haven’t actually put in their 12 minutes a week to see the ‘results they want’. Is it worthwhile? As always, we trawl through the opinions of real people who’ve really bought the book, to see whether the same is worthwhile for you!
What’s In It?
This bodybuilding book is 288 pages of workout-y goodness. The meat of the book is a weekly high-intensity exercise program which is meant to increase your strength, build muscle and metabolism as well as overall fitness. On the label, it says the book is supposed to optimise cardiovascular health, manage arthritis and chronic back pain, increase insulin sensitivity and lower cholesterol also.
Here are some of the key points, as explained by a reviewer:
- Perform your movements as slowly as possible without actually stopping
- Progress should be measured as an increase in Time Under Load, not number of reps
- Weight used should be 80% 1RM.
- Don’t hold your breath while contracting your muscles
- Use 90 second sets, with an exceptionally intense last 30 seconds
- When finished you set, stay tensed for 10 seconds even though you won’t do any more work
Accurate Physiology Information
The information on physiology in the book is accurate, according to at least two expert medical reviewers … although some of the evolutionary explanations are debatable.
But Not as Scientific As It Seems
Almost all reviewers said that they appreciated the focus on science. However, the book’s promises and principles are so distant from the everyday wisdom that our doctors and public health professionals give us, that I wondered exactly what research was used to support the conclusions and how it was being interpreted. A couple of reviewers noted the same, saying that concepts which are presented as revelations of scientific mistakes, are actually selective reading and misinterpretation of the literature. Take this book as one opinion about weight training among many, not a revelation of the “real truth”.
Takes at Least 45 Minutes
So, it seems that the famed ’12 minutes a week’ that you were certain you could afford actually blows out to around 400% of that figure. The workouts take around 45 minutes a week according to some reviewers,
Emphasis on Genetic Determinism
A couple of reviewers mentioned that there is a strong (and quite unwelcome!) emphasis on genetic determinism in the book. That is, your progress is determined by your genes, not by your technique. One reviewer points out that the overall body of research on myostatin distribution (one of the genetic determinants of muscle size/body fat combination) simply doesn’t count for everything the authors say it does.
Could be an excuse for a workout program that really couldn’t possibly be effective in 12 minutes a week, perhaps?
For the Passionless
One reviewer mentioned that the book is good for those who don’t really have a passion for sport or exercise. This makes sense – if you enjoy working out you’ll want to do it for more than 12 minutes a week! However, they were disappointed by the tone of the book, which portrayed exercise as something to be tolerated, not enjoyed.
Yet a Worthwhile Purchase?
However, even some lower-rating reviewers said that they thought the book was a good buy despite the dodgy science and overblown marketing claims! At just $13 on Amazon, you may find something useful in it – but keep your critical hat on!
Posted on March 9th, 2012
Kettlebells are a bit of buzzword in weight training nowadays. Since king of the gimmicks, Tim Ferris, put out ‘The 4 Hour Body’ with a huge focus on kettlebells, the instruments have gotten a lot of interest. ‘Kettlebell RX’ was published after ‘The 4 Hour Body’ (quick to recognise a trend!), and is a virtual library of kettlebell exercises with extensive and very clear explanation. The publisher’s description says that it is ‘the only complete kettlebell book on the market’, and that’s well and good … but does it mean that bodybuilders will find some use in it? We head to the real people’s reviews today to find out whether you’ll love it, loathe it or leave it.
What’s In It?
The first section of ‘Kettlebell RX’ is aimed at developing your flexibility through kettlebell exercises and drills. The second section is focused on rotational power development, an often-neglected aspect of strength and fitness, and one of the reasons that everybody thinks kettlebells are the bee’s knees. The third section is on kettlebell sport – history, rules, etc – and is much shorter.
One of the most praised points about ‘Kettlebell RX’ is the extensive illustration of the concepts it discusses. The blurb will tell you that it has over 4000 pictures (step by step style), and once you’ve got to ten or so you will have stopped bothering to count and just become absorbed in the content!
Kettlebell Workouts That Will Boil You
If you’re not feeling very challenged in the gym at the moment, this is a highly recommended book. Many, many reviewers mentioned just how done over they felt after completing one of these kettlebell programs. One of the major reasons is that kettlebell workouts are a complete aerobic/anaerobic/strength conditioning workout.
Great for All Levels
Because they are such a total body workout, the programs in here can be adapted by beginners to their training level – they aren’t just for the big boys. Literally dozens of reviewers mentioned this point with enthusiasm – that the books is for absolute beginners as well as coaches looking to brush up on technique or find new drills. This gives the book a certain longevity in your collection as well, and makes it far more worthwhile.
Great Section of Program Design
One positive point that several reviewers mentioned was that you aren’t limited by the programs listed in the book. There is a solid section on program design which helps you to tailor a workout to suit yourself.
Past the Hype
A lot of reviewers appreciated the fact that the author went past the hype with kettlebells, pointed out where marketing has made too much of labels and technique variations in the sport, and tells it like it is.
Corrects the Mistakes
One thing that books are poor at is correcting your mistakes. However, many reviewers felt that this was one of the strong points of ‘Kettlebell RX’ – it points out and helps to correct most of the common mistakes made by beginners. Once you’ve started on one of the book’s programs, make sure you revisit it to critique yourself.
Posted on March 9th, 2012
Martial arts and bodybuilding are increasingly running in parallel these days. MMA fighters need to maintain a good degree of strength and power as well as flexibility, speed and agility. You might have seen adverts for MMA gyms or simple martial arts classes that will teach you to stun a man with a single touch, or impart the ability to kill without even touching a man. These tricks all belong in a group known officially as ‘bullshido’! Today we check out some martial arts stunts and how they actually take people in, to help you avoid signing up for classes at the McDojo of Bullshido.
Martial Arts Myth and Magic
You might have heard some of these stories about the supposed power that some advanced martial arts practitioners have:
Bruce Lee’s death:
Legend has it that Bruce Lee was killed by a rival martial arts master using the ‘Touchless Touch of Death’. Actually, he died of cerebral oedema after a dinner party. No, the cerebral oedema was not caused by the touch of death – it was most likely caused by a side effect of the common muscle relaxant, meprobamate. He had been rushed to hospital with the same cerebral oedematous symptoms several weeks before his death.
The Human Stun Gun:
Fox News did an investigation into a man dubbed the ‘Human Stun Gun’, able to apparently knock people out without a touch. They exposed it as pretty much an exercise is fraud, though the ‘stun gun’ says that only about 40% of people are actually susceptible to this type of touchless knockout.
Kiai master Ryukerin may be currently the best known of these, who say that they can send a room tumbling with just a wave of the hand manipulating ‘invisible energy’ in the participants. He offered $5000 to any MMA fighter who could beat him. One took up the challenge, beat him to a pulp, and collected.
What About ‘Single Touch’ Knockouts?
These are a lot more real than the supposed interference with Qi that many bullshido practitioners claim they can achieve. There are several spots on the human body on which a punch would actually be lethal. MMA fighters should obviously not try to use these to win a fight. However, they are useful to learn if only so you know what to avoid so that your opponent doesn’t go home with a toetag on. They include:
- Punch to the heart: A single blunt force blow to the heart can disrupt its electrical rhythm and cause it to stop. The blow causes ventricular fibrillation, meaning that the heart cannot pump effectively; a defibrillator can restore the normal rhythm.
- Blow to the temple: While the temple is not a direct window to the brain and not as fragile as some people would have you believe, it is a very soft portion of the skull directly over a major artery, rupture of which can cause death by intracranial pressure
- Blow to carotid artery: If struck in the carotid artery in your neck, a stroke might be possible. Don’t try it at home.
If the potential martial arts classes you are investigating claim to give you any of these special powers, ignore them. Any so called ‘demonstrations’ usually involve complicit ‘volunteers’ or sleight of hand. And while you can injure someone badly, or even kill them with a single blow … do you really want to? Save your cash for reality!