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    Low-Volume HIIT Is the Best Way to Torch Fat in a Time Crunch

    Love boot-camp classes but in a time crunch? Good news: low-volume HIIT is just as effective. Less than 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can reap just as many benefits as the traditional 30 minutes a day recommended by the surgeon general, according to new research published in the Journal of Physiology. “In many cases, the low-volume variations of HIIT provide comparable and, at times, superior improvements for a variety of health outcomes when compared to longer but lower-intensity aerobic training interventions,” says study author Angelo Sabag, Ph.D., of Western Sydney University in Australia.

    Along with strong quads and a six-pack, perks of low-volume HIIT include a decrease in blood sugar levels and a stronger heart. “It improves the responsiveness of our muscles to insulin and allows us to better use blood glucose and fatty acids,” says Sabag. “HIIT also improves the heart’s ability to pump blood more effectively and circulate oxygen and nutrients to organs and muscles.”

    Looking to give low-volume HIIT a try? Sabag suggests this favorite routine: 10 x 60 seconds running or cycling at 80-90 percent of max effort, with 60 seconds of active recovery (i.e. walking) at 30 to 50 percent effort between intervals. “If you are relatively untrained, start with five intervals and progressively increase the number until you can achieve 10 per session,” Sabag.

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    Anger Management: The Best Heavy-Lifting Workouts to Blow off Steam

    The gym can’t replace therapy, but it’s a damn good release when you’re dealing with a tough day at the office or a stressful family affair. Running can be meditative and yoga can be relaxing, but if you need to blow off steam, you need to lift—and lift heavy.

    When your temper is high and you’re frustrated beyond belief, throwing some weight around is an incomparable release. Here are four heavy-lifting routines to help you blow off steam.
    Anger Management: Best Heavy-Lifting Workouts to Blow off Steam
    Workout 1: Locomotion
    Equipment needed: Turf space, loaded sled, heavy dumbbells
    1. Farmer’s Carry — 6 x 50m: Stand tall with a weight in each hand. Maintain a “proud” chest, pull shoulder blades down and back, and walk forward using short heel-to-toe steps. Aim for your body weight equivalent to be carried. If you can’t find dumbbells that can equate to this, try loading a trap bar to that equivalent instead. Rest 90 seconds between carries.
    2. Sled Push — 6 rounds x 50m: Stand behind the sled with arms straight and flexed, body leaning forward. Drive the sled using a fast yet controlled pace. Again, aim for bodyweight equivalent to be pushed. Rest 90 seconds between pushes.
    3. High Box Jump — 5 x 6 reps: Squat down to just above parallel and bring arms back behind hips. Explode with a strong forward-arm swing, tucking your knees after you’ve fully extended your legs. Land softly in the same squat depth you started with. Stand up tall, locking hips to finish the movement. Rest as long as needed between jumps.
    Workout 2: Upper-Body Power Play
    Equipment needed: Slam ball, bench, pullup bar, dumbbells
    1. Med Ball Slams — 5 x 15 reps: Keep the weight relatively light (15 pounds) but move explosively to blow off steam and torch calories. With feet shoulder-width apart, reach to full extension with the ball overhead (try not to bend your elbows). With your full force, slam the ball down between your feet. Pick the ball up and repeat. Rest 60 seconds between rounds.
    2A. Dumbbell Bench Press — 10 reps: Go heavy. Sit on end of bench, holding dumbbells resting on thighs. Lie back, guiding dumbbells over chest with legs, then plant feet to start. With dumbbells angled in and thumbs over collarbone, squeeze shoulder blades together and down. Press weights over chest to a wide V shape, then return to start.2B. Plyometric Pushups — max reps: Don’t clap your hands during the pushups. It’s an easy way to catch a finger and be out with a silly injury. Just explode up from the bottom position so hands come off the floor, then immediately drop into the next rep.
    Directions: Perform 4 contrast sets of bench press and plyo pushups, resting 90 seconds between rounds. Contrast sets comprise a heavy lift followed by an explosive movement that mimics the mechanics of that lift. These trick your muscle fibers into exploding even more than they normally would since the body is duplicating the loaded pattern during the second set.
    3. EMOM Chinups — 10 x 5 reps
    Directions: EMOM stands for every minute on the minute. Start your clock and perform the first 5 reps with the clock running. It should take you around 15 seconds, give or take. The remainder of that minute (the next 45 seconds) is your recovery. Once the next minute begins, you should be starting your first rep of set 2. Repeat until you’ve completed 10 sets in this fashion.

    Workout 3: Leg Day From Hell
    Equipment needed: Squat cage, barbell, kettlebell, leg press
    1. Paused Back Squats — 5 x 3 reps: In a squat rack, grasp the bar as far apart as is comfortable and come under it. Step back and stand with feet at shoulder width and toes turned slightly out. Inhale, then bend your hips and knees to lower your body using a slow negative. Pause at your full depth (you shouldn’t lose the arch in your low back). Extend through hips and push knees out to stand. Nothing beats standing under the heavy bar when you’re on your last nerve. Rest 2 minutes between rounds.
    2. Romanian Deadlift — 5 x 8: Grasp the bar at shoulder width, holding it in front of your thighs. Bend your hips back and lower your torso, allowing your knees to bend only as needed, until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Focus on a hovering RDL, rather than touching the floor with the barbell. Extend your hips to come back up. If your back begins to round, you’ve either gone too heavy or descended too low. Rest 2 minutes between rounds.
    3A. Kettlebell Swing to Squat Swing x 12 reps: Perform a typical kettlebell swing, but at the top of the swing, use the weight of the bell to counter your balance as you squat, then rise to go into a swing. It may take a couple of reps to get the rhythm down.3B. Barbell Split Squat x 8 reps each side: Load a barbell and rack it in the back squat position. (Use a power rack, or clean and press barbell and rest it on shoulders.) Stand tall with feet hip-distance apart, knees soft. Step right foot back two to three feet so torso is equidistant between feet. Plant the ball of back foot on ground and keep heel raised to start. Lower right knee toward floor until left knee is bent at a 90-degree angle and shin is perpendicular to the ground. Press through left heel to rise and return to start. Do all reps with right leg back, then switch sides.
    Directions: Perform 3A and 3B as supersets, performing 3 total rounds. Rest 2 minutes between rounds.
    Finisher: Heels-Elevated Leg Press x 2 min: This is a maniacal finisher that’ll torch the quads, helping you blow off steam and then some. The goal here is to match your body weight on the leg press machine, and perform continuous reps until the 2 minutes has elapsed. You can’t rack the weight, but you can rest-pause when needed with straight legs. Focus on the quads by keeping a narrower stance that’s lower on the platform, allowing the heels to raise off the platform at the bottom end ranges. You’re only doing one killer set of these, so make it count.

    Workout 4: Isometric Mayhem
    Equipment needed: Squat cage, safety pins, barbell, and two benches
    Note: The goal with isometric training is to work as hard as possible against the immovable object. If you’re not giving it your all, you’re missing the immense training benefits. This method doubles as a great way to blow off steam since, well, you’re going to zap your nervous system and every shred of pent up energy you may have had at the start of the workout. Once you give it a try, you’ll see.
    1. Isometric Deadlift — 6×30 sec.: Set the pins on the squat cage to the lowest setting, and wedge the bar between the bottom of the cage and those pins. Set up for a typical deadlift, pulling the bar into the pins as hard as possible. Keep the form strict, and attempt to lift the entire machine off the ground (assuming you can’t). Rest 60 seconds between sets. 
    2. Isometric Bench Press — 5×30 sec.: If you don’t have a Smith machine setup, use a bench or squat cage with pins. Set up so the racked bar is above your chest, rather than your eyes, at a low-rack position that allows you to keep elbows bent at 90 degrees. Make sure the bar is loaded to a weight far above your 1RM, and press as hard as you can into the bar for 30 seconds straight. Rest 60 seconds between sets.
    3. Back Plank — 5 x 20 sec.: Set up between two benches while seated on the floor. Place elbows on the benches, and keep arms at a 90-degree angle to your body. Make fists, look at the ceiling, and raise hips off the ground by planting feet into the floor and driving elbows into the benches. Squeeze glutes and upper back to keep your body from falling below the level of the benches. Return to the floor to rest for 90 seconds between sets. 
    4. Wall Sit — 3 x 1 min.: Take a “seat” against the wall with knees bent at 90 degrees. Press your back into the wall with force to engage the quads. If 1 minute is beyond your current capabilities, go as long as you can. Rest as long as needed between sets.

    Lee Boyce is a strength coach based in Toronto, Canada

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    Would I Play Football Again Knowing What We Know About CTE?

    I’m a med student and former wide receiver. My brother’s in the NFL. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is on my mind.
    I’m settled into a desk chair with my coffee, fueling up for another day of Zoom medical school, broadcast live to my New York City apartment. The bloc we’re on now—neurology—is a doozy. Well, truthfully, they’re all doozies.
    Today’s lecture topic: traumatic brain injury.

    The fourth lecture slide includes a picture of Mike Webster, the former Pittsburgh Steeler whose story was made famous by the 2015 film Concussion—starring Will Smith as the physician who discovers the explosive link between football and a neurodegenerative disease found in athletes and others with a history of brain trauma called chronic traumatic encephalopathy—or CTE.
    I know what’s coming. It’s not often you get a football reference during a med school lecture. The next few slides outline the consequences of repetitive head trauma. Here it comes. CTE.
    My classmates are aware I’m an ex-football player. I get a direct message from one of them: “Knowing what you know now, would you play again?”
    It’s not the first time I’ve been asked. I’d asked myself that same question a long time ago.
    Football is deeply ingrained in my family. My father and both grandfathers played in college. Justin, my younger brother, is the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers. My youngest brother, Patrick, is a freshman tight end at the University of Oregon.

    I played 11 years of football, four of them as a starting wide receiver at Montana State University. During all that time, I never had a diagnosed concussion. That isn’t to say I haven’t had my fair share of violent collisions.
    Emma Dau/UnsplashAfter my career at MSU, I had an opportunity to attend an NFL team’s rookie mini-camp—basically a tryout for undrafted players. I declined for a few reasons. I knew I wasn’t cut out to be an NFL wide receiver. I also wanted to start the long journey to become a doctor.
    My brain health wasn’t a factor in that decision.
    Tracing the timeline of CTE discovery
    The first link between football and CTE was unearthed in 2005 by Bennet Omalu, M.D., a neuropathologist who’d examined the brain of former Steeler and NFL Hall of Famer Mike Webster while working in a coroner’s office in Pittsburgh.
    “Iron Mike,” as he was known, played in 220 NFL football games. The most of any player in Steelers’ history. He’d suffered repeated head trauma during his career.
    Webster’s symptoms are now characteristic of repetitive head trauma: memory loss, behavioral and mood changes, cognitive impairment, and dementia.
    The underlying process in the brain tissue is an accumulation of an abnormal protein called tau, which forms neurofibrillary tangles. Tau is also believed to be one of the culprits behind Alzheimer’s disease. Because similar regions of the brain tend to be affected, most individuals display these characteristic symptoms.

    As public awareness of the links between repetitive brain injury, football, and CTE grew in the early 2000s, things began to change in the NFL. In 2009, the league introduced concussion protocol.
    It was also around this time that Texas Tech University head coach Mike Leach was featured on the front page of The New York Times for having abused a player with a concussion by confining him to a small, dark space while the rest of the team practiced. Leach was fired.
    The world was finally beginning to take notice—and action.
    Fast forward to 2017, when a groundbreaking Boston University study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Out of 111 former NFL football players who displayed symptoms of CTE at death, 110 were found to have diagnostic criteria of CTE from brain autopsies revealing tangles of tau protein.
    The ages of the NFL players, whose brains had been donated to science by family members, ranged from as young as 23 to as old as 89. The study encompassed all player positions. Most notably, 44 lineman, 17 defensive backs, 10 linebackers, and seven quarterbacks.

    I remember reading about this study while gearing up for my fourth and final season on the gridiron at Montana State. The finding was monumental—an irrefutable argument that football caused CTE.
    Or did it?
    Lucas Andrade/UnsplashWhen it comes to CTE and football, the relationship isn’t black and white
    The issue with the 2017 study and, really, much of the CTE research up to this point, comes down to who was included—and who wasn’t.
    These brains had been donated by families for evaluation specifically because they displayed the characteristic symptoms of CTE from players with known head trauma.
    “It’s biased sampling,” says Steve Kernie, M.D., professor and chief of Critical Care and Hospital Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley’s Children Hospital, whose research focuses on brain self-repair following injury. “It’s hard to make really strong conclusions other than players in contact sports who have repetitive head trauma are certainly at risk,” Kernie adds. “This is also something we’ve known for 100 years.”
    A control group would be required to un-bias the data—such as adding into the pool of participants the brains of former NFL players who didn’t exhibit signs of CTE, plus the brains of non-athletes.
    Kernie references a condition originally called “punch-drunk syndrome,” first described by American pathologist Harrison Martland in a 1928 Journal of the American Medical Association essay about the strange behavior of boxers—another brutal, beloved sport long associated with head trauma.
    “For some time, fight fans and promoters have recognized a particular condition occurring among prize fighters which, in ring parlance, they speak of as ‘punch drunk,’ ” Martland wrote. “Fighters in whom the early symptoms are well recognized are said by the fans to be ‘cuckoo,’ ‘goofy,’ ‘cutting paper dolls,’ or ‘slug nutty.’ ”
    A decade later, the term punch-drunk would be replaced by the more appropriate dementia pugilistica.
    It’s important to point out that the link between repetitive brain injury and CTE isn’t exclusively associated with football or boxing. Other contact sports like soccer and wrestling have been implicated too.
    There are also documented cases of CTE resulting from military blast injuries.
    “During the Iraq War, service personnel were coming back with symptoms that weren’t quite PTSD,” says Kernie, explaining a growing military merger with CTE in these cases, which hasn’t been nearly as mined by the media. “The NFL gets more attention than the military unfortunately,” says Kernie.
    Back to my original question. Would I play football again?
    Absolutely.
    The friendships and life lessons I gained from over a decade of tackle football have shaped the person I am today.
    Ameer Basheer; Ryan Reinoso/UnsplashMoreover, while I believe the association between repetitive head trauma, football, and CTE is real, I think the general public has a skewed perception. The presence of a concussion or two doesn’t guarantee a diagnosis of CTE. Many other factors are likely at play—including adequate recovery after an initial concussion and genetic predispositions to the disease.
    My own hindsight question about playing football is now being asked at the outset by parents who are nervous about signing their kids up for the sport.
    The dwindling numbers are telling. Peewee football participation is at an all-time low. Meanwhile, the waning interest in football appears to be providing gains for soccer, which ironically is not without its neurological risks.
    I asked Dr. Kernie what his advice would be to parents considering whether or not to let their children engage in contact sports—particularly football.
    “As a parent of kids who played sports, I think you can’t live in a bubble,” he says. “Everything we do carries some risk. It’s really about mitigating those risks as best you can.”
    One significant way to mitigate these risks, especially in youth football, is by delaying the tackle element.
    My brothers and I began tackle football in fifth grade. If you asked us now, we would have all put off tackling until late middle school or even high school. Not just to minimize repetitive head trauma, but to first master other football skill essentials like body positioning, blocking technique, and hand-eye coordination. All of these skills can be developed through flag football.

    As I see it, the focus for budding football players at a young age should be on developing those skills rather than celebrating the traditional physicality which inevitably comes later.
    Despite the public’s skewed perception on the pervasiveness of CTE among football players, we can hopefully all agree on two things: First, minimizing repetitive head trauma. Second, tackling this problem progresses by delaying youth tackle leagues and promoting the fundamentals of a phenomenal sport.

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    The Best Protein Powders That Taste Good Too

    Men’s Journal aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission.
    Questions? Reach us at shop@mensjournal.com.
    If you are a regular at the gym, then you know that bulking up isn’t just about picking up the heaviest weights you can handle. It’s about fueling up with protein powders. That way you get the energy and endurance you need to go as hard as you can, as well as all the nutrients you need to make those muscles improve more than you thought possible. The only issue is that a lot of protein powders don’t taste good. That’s why you need to find the best-tasting protein powders around.
    Our Top 3 Picks
    There are a lot of protein powders out there, but not all of them taste good. This can be a bit of an issue, because you might have a hard time getting those drinks down. And at a certain point, you might just give up on them entirely. But you can get great-tasting protein shakes that won’t hinder your progress. If anything, they’ll make the whole process go a whole lot smoother.
    Looking for the right protein powders that come with great flavors is not easy, if only because there are so many protein powders to look at. And they all come in different flavors. There are the old standbys of Chocolate and Vanilla. But you also get some great alt options like Fruity Pebbles flavoring. Not to mention having to look for the right one if you are a vegan or not. It’s not easy. But it can be done.
    It can be done because we have gone and done. Below you can find 5 of the best-tasting protein powders around. All of which will do the job of fueling and bulking you up at the gym while making the process of drinking these shakes down as easy as possible. So all you need to do is check them out and see what each is good for and then pick the one that catches your eye. Whichever you pick is sure to be a fast favorite.
    The Best Tasting Protein Powders More

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    Fitbit Charge 5 Is Better Than Expected

    The new Fitibit Charge 5 builds on the advanced features of the previous model, offering a sleeker, more rounded body, and new bands. A more efficient (but also brighter) AMOLED color screen has been added, to, which helps it get up to seven days of battery life.

    The Fitbit Charge 5 also has some celebrity chutzpah behind it with Will Smith saying it helped him lose his “dad bod” (he took to Instagram earlier this year to confess he was in the worst shape of this life). The new Fitbit model isn’t just a regular tracker. Along with the normal health metrics that most trackers assess, like steps, fitness, sleep, and overall well-being, buyers will get a free six-month trial of Fitbit Premium, a new service that gives you health and fitness guidance plus access to more than 500 workouts, mindfulness and nutrition sessions.
    Courtesy ImageWith the Daily Readiness feature, the Charge 5 will tell you every morning whether your body is ready to sweat or if a recovery session is needed instead. Upon awaking, you’ll get a score based on your fitness fatigue (previous activity), heart rate variability, and quality of sleep. An analysis of how you got that score will also be on hand, along with health and fitness suggestions like a recommended target goal for being active, and workouts or sessions that can help you make the on-target decisions for your body that day.

    The updated device will also track stress, breathing rate, skin temperature variation, and oxygen saturation in your blood. And the Charge 5 includes GPS, 20 exercise modes, auto exercise identification and a V02 max estimation, and have accessibility to their ECG app while monitoring heart health 24/7 and pushing notifications to you if your heart rate goes above or below personal ranges.

    Courtesy ImageThe free trial of Fitbit Premium will also include an exclusive content series developed with, and featuring, Will Smith, which drops on September 27. It’ll have video sessions featuring Smith and his training team, as well as other health and wellness programs designed specifically to focus on both physical and mental strength.

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    The 8 Best Vegan Protein Powders and Best Vegetarian Protein Powders

    Men’s Journal aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission.
    Questions? Reach us at shop@mensjournal.com.
    If you want to get the best results possible when you hit the gym, you can’t just expect results without supplements. You need to fuel your body up with the right nutrients and ingredients to get the best results possible. This means for many that a good protein powder needs to be used before, during, and after a workout. But for vegans, that isn’t usually the case with most powders. That’s why vegans need to find and use the best vegan protein powders.
    “There is no reason that someone who eats a vegan or vegetarian diet can’t build just as much muscle as an omnivore,” says Matt Ruscigno, MPH, R.D. “They can get all of the same amino acids in the right amounts.”
    Why can’t vegans use most of the protein powders that exist out there? That is because most of them are made with dairy or other such non-vegan-friendly protein sources. And that isn’t just a problem for them in a grander sense but in a micro sense. Going from vegan to nonvegan is not a shift you make easily. And if you vegans want to put on the most muscle possible, then you need to use protein powders made from vegan-friendly sources.
    There are plenty of options out there for you vegans. Maybe not as much as the non-vegan options, but they are there. Options for protein sources being such options as Soy and hemp and brown rice amongst others. These have all been formulated with the intent of getting you fueled up with a ton of energy to burn off at the gym. And when you burn them off, your muscles will grow and recover much quicker. Great results all around.
    We have gone ahead and found some of the best vegan protein powders you guys could hope for. They are all found beneath and have been picked for their differences in protein sources. You can choose the one that works best for you. And in no time, you will be ready for a vigorous workout with the results you’ve always wanted. Get your body properly fueled and bulk up right now.
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    The Best Casein Protein Powder for Men 2021

    Men’s Journal aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission.
    Questions? Reach us at shop@mensjournal.com.
    Bulking up at the gym is no easy feat. Not just because you need to work your way up to weights that will really put you to the test. But because you need to fuel up with protein powders to get your body to improve in the way that you want. A lot of people tend to use Whey Protein Powders to bulk up, and it is a good way to do so. But there’s also something to be said for using the best casein protein powder in your workouts.
    Casein vs Whey
    What is the difference between Whey and Casein? Well, the difference between the two is mainly in how quickly the body absorbs them. Whey is absorbed much quicker and thus helping bulk up the body easier. But Casein is beneficial because of the fact that it’s slower acting. This means that your body will have that fuel in it longer in the day. You can use it before bed to have it get the job done while you sleep. And it’s a good source of calcium to keep those bones nice and strong
    Now, there are a lot of options out there if you are looking to pick up some Casein Protein Powder. A lot of options. So much so that it’ll make your head spin. And all of them have their different benefits when stacked next to the other. You can get one that tastes better than another or one that is better for muscle growth than another. All in all, you need to know what you are looking for when it comes to picking up the powder that works best for you.
    Saving you guys a whole lot of time, we have picked out 5 of the best options available on Amazon. Each one is a winner yet each one has a specific benefit that you want to take into account. So check out each of the options we picked out below and make sure you pick one of them up now so you can get your workout routine rolling with the proper fuel.
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    The Best Dandruff Shampoo for Men 2021

    Men’s Journal aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission.
    Questions? Reach us at shop@mensjournal.com.
    When we go outside, we want to look our best. Dress to impress and get ourselves groomed just right. There’s a lot that needs to be taken into account, and you don’t want to let anything ruin your aesthetic. This is why anyone dealing with dandruff needs to make some moves immediately.
    Our Top Three Picks
    What is dandruff? We’ve all heard about it but if we’ve never really dealt with it, then you might not know. Well, it’s a simple issue. It’s when the hair on your scalp starts to flake. It flakes off and starts to drift down onto your person. Tends to hang around the shoulders and the neck. Especially embarrassing when dark clothing is being worn.
    Dandruff may not be the biggest issue in the world, since it isn’t debilitating to your health nor is it something that leaves you with an odor. No, it’s just debilitating to your appeal. And that is why you need to get out ahead of things and pick up the best dandruff shampoo around.
    There are a lot of dandruff shampoos out there. All of which are made to target dandruff, but also come with other benefits as well. If you’re the kind of person with oily hair or with dry hair, those looking for something to use on a daily basis versus those looking simply for dandruff combating conditioners. All those options exist.
    Knowing that there are so many options out there for dandruff shampoos, we have saved you guys a whole lot of time and found 5 of the best that are available on Amazon right now. All hitting different needs, so you can choose the one that works best for you. All you gotta do is scroll on down and make the choice right now. No need to let that dandruff keep hanging around.
    The Best Dandruff Shampoo For Men

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