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MuscleMag, April 2014

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Editor’s Letter

On Transparency and Extrapolation

If you read online training articles or blogs (and who doesn’t?) it feels like 90 percent of  them begin with some variation of “Don’t listen to what the muscle magazines say! I’m here to tell you the real truth about training!” As if fitness magazines belong to a secret society that’s dedicated to seeing people waste their time in the gym. Excuse me while I twist the ends of my handlebar moustache and laugh maniacally.

If I had to choose one fault of muscle magazines, though, it would probably be the overzealous reporting of scientific studies. This month’s Guest Editor, John Kiefer, points this out in his essay “Sh*t I Hate To See” on page 42, where he rails against applying scientific results to mismatching or hypothetical experiments. Kiefer is no stranger to the scientific method. He has pored over the mistakes and successes of those who have come before him and created some startlingly effective nutrition programs (see “Carb Back-Loading” on page 70) that are based on proven physiological and endocrinological factors. His standards are to be applauded, and in a perfect world they should be replicated.

However, bodybuilding has always been a combination of science and experience. Traditionally, body-builders have shown us what works, and 10 years later science tells us why. Think of protein intake, fasted cardio or carbohydrate manipulation. Body-builders have been successfully doing this stuff for generations, but it wasn’t that long ago when scientists and R.D.s would claim that protein powder was bad for your kidneys, or that cutting carbs was the worst dietary decision you could make. If we waited for a mountain of peer-reviewed studies to prove this stuff, we’d all still be doing step-aerobics in Day-Glo mesh tank tops.

“Correlation does not imply causation!” types the angry guy in the online forum. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of causation when it comes to improving body composition. That doesn’t mean the information we do have is without value. It’s up to us to extrapolate it for our own uses.

That’s where MuscleMag comes in. We’re committed to being as straightforward and transparent as possible in how we present scientific findings. If a weight-loss study uses subjects who are obese, we will let you know. If research shows that a new exercise program helped subjects add muscle, but those people had never touched a weight in their life, we will point that out, too. Together, we can analyze, interpret and extrapolate the research into better and more streamlined ways to getting bigger, stronger and healthier.


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David Becomes Goliath

Former undersized heavyweight Hide Yamagishi heads to the 212 class, where he adopts the unfamiliar role of the big man on the stage.

By Mike Carlson • Photos by Robert Reiff

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Carb Back-Loading 2.0

The industry’s hottest mass-gain diet plan just got more effective.

By John Kiefer

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Short Circuit Abs

Refine your core with 15 minutes of fast-paced training
By Zack Zeigler • Photos by Tauseef Asri & Paul Buceta

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