Interview with Wayne

by West Conner · 0 comments

This is a 42 minute coaching call I did with a gentleman named Wayne.  Wayne is 45 years old and he just wants to stay looking young.   He has a history of working out and wants information on supplements and how to increase his testosterone.  I go pretty fast in the beginning and give the names of several natural supplements that will help.

We also talk about diet, how to optimize your protein intake and sources of good, lean protein.  We discuss the pharmaceutical route of increasing testosterone with and without taking testosterone, which is considered an anabolic steroid and why you should not take your hormones by mouth.

I give him a bunch of good information during this coaching call about muscle soreness and what I do to help with that

...how I work around injuries

...some eating advice

...how to easily tell the low fat cuts of red meat

...the theory of the Adkins diet

...what happens to your body if you take too much testosterone for too long

...my stance on cholesterol and how it relates to your hormones

...what is spot reducing and why it is a myth

...and my little rant on performance enhancing drugs.

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pic for Wayne interview

Transcripts...

West Conner:  From what I’ve read, learned, and experienced in my whole life, your diet is probably seventy-five percent of the way you look. Your exercise is probably fifteen percent of the way you look. Your supplementation that you take is probably less than ten percent of the way you look, but everybody wants to take a pill to look better.

This is Dr. West Conner, founder and owner of MedicineCoach.com. For over fifteen years I’ve been helping people save money on their medication, balance their hormones, and live better and healthier through proper eating, exercise, and supplementation. I’m a think-outside-the-box type of person, and I feel that the traditional healthcare model is not the best solution to everyone’s healthcare issues. My website MedicineCoach.com offers real solutions, real strategies, real answers, and the real inside information that you need to live better, stay healthy, live longer, and get more out of life.

Now, let’s get going.

This is a forty-two minute coaching call I did with a gentleman named Wayne. Wayne is forty-five years old, and he just wants to stay looking young. He has a history of working out and wants information on supplements and how to increase his testosterone. I go pretty fast in the beginning and give the names of several natural supplements that will help. We also talked about diet, how to optimize your protein intake, and sources of good, lean protein. We also discussed pharmaceutical route for increasing testosterone with and without taking testosterone – which is considered an anabolic steroid and why you should not take hormones by mouth.

I gave him a bunch of good information during this coaching call about muscle soreness and what I do to help with that. How I work around injuries, some eating advice, how to easily tell a low-fat cuts of red meat, the theory of the Atkins diet; what happens to your body if you take too much supplemental testosterone for too long; my stance on cholesterol and how it relates to your hormones; what is spot-reducing and why is it a myth; and my little rant on performance-enhancing drugs.

You’re first going to hear Wayne describe his issues and what information his looking to get from me. Then, we go right in to the call.

So, let’s get going.

Wayne: Okay. So, I’m a forty-five year old man who has exercised, basically, all of my life. I worked in the health plan industry for ten years. So, I’m very adept at training consistently over long periods of time. You know, I am forty-five years old. So, I have a next goal, the next decade goal, of just staying as hard possible. I mean, that I want to keep muscle mass. I want to maintain strength and flexibility – just lean, hard muscle mass – for as long as possible. So, I would go work it out for ten years. Then, I’ll do another one for ten years thereafter.

Aside from that, I also have, you know, just little injuries – nothing major –just little places that hurt all over; different things that I kind of work around on. I find that a body has more energy then the muscles have more strength, sometimes, than my connective tissue will allow for. So, I’m looking for supplements that will help me burn fat, stay lean, increase… I don’t need, necessarily more mass, but I just want lean, dense tissue that is strong, flexible, and reasonably injury-free so I can keep training for the next decade.

West:   So, pretty much the basis here is: as we get older as guys, testosterone starts to drop around age thirty, maybe age thirty-five depending on the guy; depending on how well he’s taking care of himself. So, yours has probably been dropping in the last ten or fifteen years. It drops, maybe one percent a year. So, you don’t really notice it until you get to your late forties. Then, suddenly, you wake up one morning and you’re old.

To increase testosterone naturally with supplements is real hard – almost impossible to do. Our sex hormones, which is our estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and all of the other ones, they are bound to proteins in our blood – albumin and sex hormone binding globulin. Now, depending on the person, that binding can be anywhere from eighty-five to ninety-eight percent. When they’re bound, they’re useless. They cannot be used by the tissue.

That’s kind of how your body checks and balances everything – keeps it balanced. If one hormone is too high, it will increase the binding globulin, sort of bind it up, and it won’t work anymore. Now, you can’t really increase testosterone, but what you can do is you can decrease binding globulin – the sex hormone binding globulin. So, based on you: between eighty-five and ninety-eight percent bound to protein and binding globulin; if you were to decrease that binding globulin by just a couple of percentage points, your percentage of testosterone will go up greatly.

So, that’s a much better and easier way to do it than trying to increase the testosterone without resulting to supplementation.

Wayne:  Makes sense.

West:   As we age, as guys, our body gets better and better at converting testosterone to estrogen. In the scheme of how your hormones work, your body makes testosterone, and then from that, it makes estrogen. Women do it the same way. As we get older, we get better at doing that. As we do that, our estrogen level goes up – our body wants it balanced. So, it increases that sex hormone binding globulin, which in turn, binds more testosterone. So, our testosterone goes down even further as we shift towards the estrogen side. That’s why we see old man at the beach with the man-boobs and things like that, and the wider hips.

When you go to a traditional doctor, what they’re going to do is they’re going to take your blood, and they’re going to test your testosterone level. The testosterone level in your blood, the normal range, is roughly, depending on the lab, two hundred to twelve hundred is normal. What they do is they test your total testosterone level. They test all of it. Whereas, only two percent to fifteen percent is actually active, but we don’t know where you are in that two to fifteen percent. That’s why the latest way of testing your hormones is saliva. The saliva tests that two percent to fifteen percent – the active portion.

So, how can we lower down this sex hormone and binding globulin? Well, there are a couple of supplements to take. The first one – probably the best one – is Nettle Root or Stinging Nettle. That just binds to that sex hormone binding globulin so that it doesn’t bind to the testosterone, so you’ll increase the free testosterone. You’re not going to increase your total testosterone in your blood, but it’s going to increase the free and active testosterone that your body can use.

Wayne:  Okay, but what was that called again? You just said…

West:   Stinging Nettle or Nettle Root.

Wayne:  Okay.

West:  There’s another one. It’s the active ingredient in the Saw Palmetto – it’s the Beta Sitosterol. What that does is, it blocks an enzyme in your blood that converts testosterone in to a metabolite. In other words, everything in your body is checks, and balances, and ups, and down, and everything. Your body tries to keep everything at a normal level. So, if we lock these enzymes that convert the testosterone to other things, it’s like a traffic jam and your testosterone will increase – your free testosterone will increase.

Another thing that does that is Myricetin. Then, Progesterone which is a natural bio-identical hormone and you can get that over the counter at health food store. What that does is that also just blocks the conversion of testosterone by competitive binding. There’s another one that is sort of like an aromatase. Aromatase is the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen, and there are drugs that stop that really well – but those are prescription.

Like I said before, it sort of a traffic jam where your testosterone is coming along, it’s getting ready to get changed in to estrogen, but it can’t because the enzyme is being blocked. So, the testosterone is backing up and it’s increasing in level.  The natural product for that is called luteolin. It’s a natural product that does that – not nearly as well, but it does it on a small amount.

Wayne:  Okay.

West:   That’s really about it. The thing that was popular twenty years ago was the Yohimbine that really doesn’t do it. Tribulus Terrestris or something like that, that can often times have an opposite effect that will actually lower your testosterone.

So, there’s really nothing natural that you can take, as a pill or supplement that will increase your testosterone. What we’re trying to do is decrease the things that take testosterone away. We’re trying to shift our balance towards a higher testosterone.

Also, when we talk about a balance, it’s a balance with estrogen. So, there’s a natural product that you can take that will help your body metabolize estrogen. So, if you’re going to get rid of some of the excess estrogen, as a result, the balance of testosterone will increase. Does that make sense? It’s like a scale – you’ve got estrogen on one side, testosterone on the other. Your body wants that balance. We’re going to try and do all these little things to try and increase that ration of testosterone.

Wayne: Makes sense.

West:   There’s a product called DIM. It’s Di-Indoly Methane. It’s a food supplement, but it’s in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, things like that. What does is, it helps your body to metabolize the estrogen properly and get rid of it a little better, so it doesn’t metabolize into a dangerous form of estrogen.

Another big thing is the DHEA – which is another supplement. That can help a little bit. It’s not a miracle that a lot of people think it is. It does increase your testosterone a little bit if you need it. If you’re low on DHEA, and you supplement with it, it’ll help. Guys would take twenty-five milligrams a day, women would take ten milligrams.

These other supplements, they’re most likely found in a combination product somewhere in a health food store. Taking them individually is not going to work nearly as well as taking a combination of the three, or four, or five products that I talked about. It’s a sort of a synergistic effect with these things. By taking them all together at one time, it’s like a one plus one equals three type of a thing with these.

Wayne:  Okay. That makes sense. So, I’m familiar that some things work well together, that’s why they join them together - they have a synergistic effect – rather than just buy them all individually and just stack them up and take a whole bunch of them.

West:   I’m not familiar with a product that contains all these. There maybe something out there on the Internet that I missed that’s new or something, but these are the ones that I’m familiar with and I know do have an effect, albeit small. It’s not a miracle. You’re not going to take them…

With any supplements, with any natural supplements, it really takes about a month to see or feel anything. You really get the full effects after about three months with anything over-the-counter like that. There’s not a prescription drug for the most part. There’s some stuff like coffee, obviously, works right away. Other stuff like that, it just takes longer to work.

Just by your question, I’m assuming that you’re eating right and exercising. That always helps with your testosterone, because in our fat cells – that’s where a large part of the testosterone is converted in to estrogen. So, we have a lot of excess body fat on us. A lot of the testosterone is going in to the body fat and being converted to estrogen. Well, if you have less body fat, there’s less conversion. So, keeping that excess body weight off of you is also going to help increase that balance towards the testosterone.

Exercising, weight lifting, weight-resistance lifting, whatever you want to call it is also good for increasing your testosterone. I’ve been in the gym twenty-five years as well. The body builders that I’ve talked with, the old timers in the gym, the gym rats, pretty much the general consensus is that, best overall exercise for increasing testosterone is the twenty-rep squat; which is getting under the bar old-school style on the squat rack and squatting twenty times, and taking a break, and doing five or six sets of the twenty-rep squat. The general consensus is that the greatest overall exercise for upping your growth hormone, upping your testosterone, and tilting that balance towards the testosterone.

Wayne:  Okay.

West:   You want to talk about supplementing with testosterone, or what we can do as far as prescription drugs go? Or did you want to stick strictly with the natural stuff.

Wayne:  I think, at this juncture, I’m after more natural stuff. At the same time, I’m interested in education.

West:   Okay. We’ll talk to you a little bit on it because that is really about it, in a nutshell, for natural testosterone therapy. There’s really not much else. I can go on and explain how everything works, but it’s pretty boring and basic. They just bind to the enzymes that break down testosterone, thereby increasing testosterone. It’s simple. Each one has a small effect, but combined, they have a greater effect.

From what I’ve read, learned, and experienced in my whole life, your diet is probably seventy-five percent of the way you look. Your exercise is probably fifteen percent of the way you look. Your supplementation that you take is probably less than ten percent of the way you look, but everybody wants to take a pill to look better. Yet, they’re only concentrating on that small ten percent.

Like I said before, diet and exercise is really the two major things as far as the body composition, and how you feel, and how hard your muscles are, and how flexible you are, and what not. In traveling that’s probably pretty difficult.

Wayne:  It can be, yeah. You mentioned too on e-mail that certain amount of protein per pound of lean muscle weight, was it?

West:   Yeah. The diet that I developed, which is the 511-Diet… If you want to get crazy and really get in to it, because I’m a nerd and a numbers guy, I figured out in talking with body builders, because I’m in to the hormones… Whether you want to believe it or not, when you look at a professional athlete, they’re doing everything they can to tilt the winning percentage in their favor. When I say everything they can – you know, the ones you get caught are the ones you hear about. The professional body builders are loaded up on this stuff.

So, when I speak with these guys, what I’ve come to a conclusion is that when you check your body fat percentage, you get your lean body weight. The ideal amount of protein to take if you’re weight lifting and training hard is 1.15 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight. So, if you weight two hundred pounds and you have twenty five percent body fats. You have a hundred and fifty pounds of lean body weight. So, you go a hundred and fifty times 1.15 which is around a hundred sixty five maybe, a hundred and seventy. That’s how much protein you eat during the day broken in to three major meals and two or three snacks. You know, you’re not going to high, and you’re keeping a consistent stream of protein flowing through your system. So, when your muscles do need something to grow, it’s there.

A lot of nutritionists, and scientists, and what not, they think that’s way too much and it’s just a waste. Well, they’re not body builders, and they’re not football players, and they don’t do this for a living. So, I tend to believe and follow guys who do this for a living. It’s like if I wanted to be a bowler; I would pay attention to the bowlers and what the bowlers are doing, and not what the soccer players are telling me to do to be the best bowler. If that makes sense to you.

Wayne:  Yeah.

West:   If I want to gain muscle and be strong, I’m going to listen to people who have more muscle than I do and who are strong, and do what they say rather than a scientist in a laboratory in a white coat that says, “No, they don’t know what they’re talking about,” as he goes through the drive-through at McDonald’s – that’s his nutrition. So, I tend to stick with guys who are doing it and believe what they say, and follow what they do.

Wayne:  Yeah. That’s logical.

West:   Just real quick, we’ll talk about the prescription drug part with the hormones. There are two prescription drugs that work really well for aromatase inhibitors. Aromatase is the enzyme that breaks testosterone down in to estrogen. It’s Arimidex and Femara. Those are the two brand names. Both are pretty expensive. Arimidex is going to be generic soon, so the price will drop significantly six or eight months after the generic becomes available.

Like I was saying before, the cascade of your hormones – it all starts with cholesterol, believe it or not, which is another good topic to talk about. It all starts with cholesterol, cascades through a series of enzymes, and products, and everything, and you end up with testosterone. From testosterone, your body makes the estrogen.

Guys, we need estrogen. Women need estrogen, and women also need testosterone as well as we do. So, if you can block that enzyme – aromatase – that changes testosterone to estrogen, your level of testosterone will go up. The Arimidex – that’s exactly what it does; and the Femara – that’s exactly what it does. For Arimidex, probably the best dose is about half a milligram or one milligram three times a week. That’s a prescription. The Femara, you take half a tablet every week or every other week. Femara is very powerful and very long-acting. Your testosterone level will go up. I have personal experience to tell you that it does work very well; half of a pill every other week. You know, I have personal information, since I’m a pharmacist; I have access to all this stuff.  I like to try things out to make sure that they work.

I see these guys who are taking it. I say, “Well, I’m going to get two tablets here, cut them in half. I’m going to take half a tablet every other week for two months and see what it does.” I did. I took a test, and my testosterone was right about ten times normal. My estrogen was perfectly normal – right down the middle – because your body wants that level of estrogen. It’s going to keep flowing testosterone that way until it can overcome the blockade to get that estrogen there. As it does, like a traffic jam, testosterone is backing up and increasing. It did work and it does work.

There’s actually another product that I didn’t mention. A natural product called Chrysin. That’s also an aromatase inhibitor. The problem is, that was a big whoop-dee-doo for a while until they found out that it doesn’t really work. It doesn’t work orally. It works in a cream, if you rub it on your skin – which is really the best way to get hormones in to your body. So, the Chrysin will work that way also, but it’s got to be in a cream.

Going back to hormones – they should not be taken orally; in other words, by mouth, in a pill. They’ve taken testosterone, and they’ve taken estrogen… Well, not so much estrogen, but they’ve taken testosterone. They’ve tweaked it a bit in the lab so that it will bypass the liver and get in to your system. The problem is natural hormones are not in our stomach. Our testosterone, estrogens, and progesterone are not in our stomach. So, there’s no reason to take it orally. When you take it orally, it goes in to your stomach, and the liver tears it up. It eliminates, virtually, a hundred percent, of any oral, natural, bio-identical hormones that you take.

I try and relay this to doctors, but they don’t seem to understand that. So, you can take it orally and your body will eliminate it. You can get an injectable pellet, which is a small – a little bigger than a piece of rice, maybe pencil eraser size – a little pellet that goes underneath the skin in your hip. That releases the hormones over the course of two to six months depending on the person. You can get suppositories, some vaginal suppositories for estrogen and testosterone, but the real, best way is the cream.

Well, since we’re doing testosterone, you would put a testosterone cream. This is the natural, bio-identical testosterone. It’s the same chemical structure that’s found in your bodies. So, your body recognizes it as own, as normal. It doesn’t fight against it. Just rub the cream on your body, and it gets absorbed like any other hand cream or hand lotion would. It goes directly in to your blood stream, and it gets used. Over the course of the week or two, you build yourself up to a level where you’re comfortable, and then you stay there. That’s going the prescription route and doing the doctor route. With testosterone, there are also the injections. The most popular one is the Testosterone Cypionate. That’s an injection that you do once a week or once every two weeks.

The little injuries that you were mentioning… When you mentioned it, the first thing that came in to my mind was growth hormone. Unfortunately, growth hormone is now pretty regulated and pretty strict. They won’t even allow us to import the chemicals to make growth hormones in the lab. As a compounding pharmacist, I used to make it. It used to be dirt cheap. It’s an excellent, wonderful hormone until it’s abused. Then you get in trouble.

When you go outside the range of normal, bad things start to happen to you. You can hit a lot of home runs, but then the teenagers get on it, and they get screwed up. So, it’s very expensive now. It’s not difficult to get, it’s just expensive. It makes everything younger – for the lack of a better term. As we get old, growth hormone goes down. It’s sort of the master hormone of our body that keeps us young. It’s an injection. You can’t take a pill. Makes you feel younger, more flexible, your skins holds more water, less wrinkles, just everything is better when the growth hormone is back to the level of twenty something. You don’t get gigantism. You don’t get bigger, because you’re keeping the level in the normal range. There’s nothing that significantly increases that that you can take naturally. There are some amino acids that you can take, some combinations, but it’s really a drop in the bucket as far as what you can do with the growth hormone.

The best way that you can increase your growth hormone is, like I said before with the testosterone, diet and exercise is really the best way to do it for the growth hormone. One product that we use, and its prescription, is called Sermorelin. What that does, its growth hormone releasing hormone. So, that tells your body to release growth hormone. It’s not growth hormone. You cannot overdose on it because your body is not going to give you more than you need. It’s telling your body to release all it can.

If for some reason your body is deficient in pumping out growth hormone, you take this. It’s a subcutaneous injection that you do at bed time every night. It’s just telling your body to release as much growth hormone as it can. Your body has checks and balances, and negative feedback loop systems. Your body is not going to secret more growth hormone than you can handle and cause an overdosing effect in growth hormone and give you side effects. It won’t do it. Your body won’t do that.

The old standby ten years ago – Glucosamine-Chondroitin. Some people say it works some people say it doesn’t. Now, they say that the Chondroitin is too big to be absorbed in the stomach. Who knows? I tried it for a while. I never really got any benefit from it personally. Other guys have tried and liked it and say it helps their joints feel better. That’s fine. Since I’m a pharmacist, I’m a Motrin guy and an Aleve guy. After particularly strenuous work out, you’re sore, I take Aleve. That’s not something that I take everyday. If I do a different exercise and I woke up just sort of stiff, and I’m getting worse and worse as the day goes on, Aleve is my drug of choice for that as far as stiffness.

I can understand the small aches and pains all over the body. I did a lot of martial arts, a lot of jujitsu - which is a lot of what you see in the mixed martial arts now in my twenties. Just getting picked up and slammed on my back over, and over, and over, over the course of time plus lifting heavy weights… You don’t think that you’re going to be staring at forty when you’re twenty-two/twenty-three years old and realize that every time that you land on the mat, in twenty years, you’re going to feel that again, but you do. You don’t think about that twenty years ago.

Wayne: Right.

West:   So, all those little stress in my body is catching up with me also. So, I can understand. As far as me training, I just try and train around all those little injuries in the gym and stuff.

Wayne:  Yup. Generally, what I’m doing is I’m trying, you know, just get some stretching. A little sometimes, the Advil before the work out, but I don’t want to do it every day. Just, you know, try to ease in to it and get the endorphins flowing and let the body warm-up. It takes a little longer now…

West:   The testosterone does help that aspect of it, if you get the testosterone back up in to the normal range. To be sure, what you could do, you could take saliva test to test your testosterone - either thirty dollars or less than thirty dollars to do it. That would just let you know where you’re at – either right down the middle in the normal range, or on the low end of normal, or who knows, sort of as a piece of mind to see where… Or if you take it and you have no testosterone whatsoever, the natural products aren’t going to do anything.

You can only do so much with natural stuff before you get in to drugs. If you’re feeling like this and you’re sort of in the middle, or maybe a little bit lower than the middle inside the normal range, taking these natural products – the Stinging Nettle and the Beta-Sitosterol – it could just give you just enough bump up to put you back over the edge to feel normal again and feel ten years younger when you’re in the gym and when you wake up.

Like I said, you’ve got checks and balances. So, your body’s going to fight back. It doesn’t want to be that young. It likes to be in the thirty/thirty-five year old range as far as your hormones go. By taking natural products, your body will not revert back to that young. It won’t go back to your early twenties. It won’t give you more than you need type of a thing like the Sermorelin. So, you really can’t hurt yourself by taking the natural products. It won’t be a big jump in testosterone. Probably won’t take it and a week later feel like Superman and all your lifts go up in the gym. Then, you’re suddenly running a minute faster in a mile – it doesn’t happen. It will happen very gradually, but it could just be enough to get you over the edge to feel good again and feel younger again.

Wayne:  Right. I’ll add something to this. I want to ask you really two things. The first is sources of high concentration of lean protein. Then, two is, I’ve just come off of a five-week vacation, a holiday on the Coast eating comfort food. So, right now, I’ve rounded the New Year part of my call with you, and said take your advice, and grab a hold of it.

I, generally, eat clean throughout the year. I want a little kick start right now over the next thirty/sixty days. Any recommendations along those, and with that, lead me more towards something higher dose such as a prescription. What thoughts do you have on that?

West: A jumpstart as far as your diet goes?

Wayne: Yeah, complete diet and supplementation. Yeah.

West:   Okay. From people that I’ve worked with, I find that if you jump both feet in to the deep end of a diet pool, you’ll fail in about a week. People buy these diet books, or jump on Atkins, or do a no-carb whether it’s Atkins, or do some crazy diet – you know, the old cabbage soup diet or something like that. They’ll go for up to a week before they say, “Screw this. This sucks,” but if you slowly make a change, you’re more apt to stick with it. In other words, I tell people, “Start first with breakfast.” Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… For some reason I always start people on a Monday. Concentrate on having a good breakfast.

I like eggs. I take eggs, and egg whites are excellent sources of protein. I used to eat whole eggs with the yolk in the morning, and enjoyed it, and didn’t worry about the fat content. Then, the more body builders that I spoke with, they’re going more towards just eating the egg whites. So, that’s what I’ve been leaning towards lately. I think there are a lot of good substances in the yolk, but there’s also fat. I think the fat in the yolk is good fat. I say, maybe, for every three eggs, have one yolk. So, two egg whites and one whole egg – maybe. Egg whites are excellent. I just throw a little butter in the pan. The only fats that I think are good are butter, olive oil, and coconut oil. Thing is, you can’t really cook with olive oil. I mean, coconut oil is really expensive. So, I just tend to go with butter.

So, if you just concentrate on having a good breakfast for three, four, five days just to get that routine down. Then, add a good lunch for three, four, five days. So, you’re having a good breakfast and a good lunch for a few days. So, you get that routine down. Then, add a good dinner after four or five days. So, you slowly and gradually ease in to this diet. So, it’s not a big, giant lifestyle change that you’re going to go through, because, then, you’ll fail. It’s very difficult to suddenly switch from eating poorly to eating healthy.

Talking about the different foods: lean sources of protein. What I eat, like I said, egg whites, chicken breast. I get my chicken breast from Costco, you know, frozen chicken breast, fish, and red meat. The red meat that I, I guess, grew up on, what I always ate is shoulder steak – relatively inexpensive, fairly lean. That’s just the one that I like because, for twenty years, that’s the cut of meat that I ate. When I was training twenty years ago to get big, that was the cut of meat that the body builders ate and told me to eat, and that’s what I did. You can tell which cut of meat is leaner by the price. The cheaper the cut of steak, the less fat it’s going to have in it. So, that’s one way to tell. Then, its chicken, fish – you know a can of tuna every now and then – turkey breast is fine, and that’s it. Its meat is what you’re looking for for protein.

If you want to go crazy and figure out how much to eat, you get a body fat analyzer and figure that out mathematically, or pretty much look at the palm of your hand – that’s the portion size for lean meat. The palm, not your fingers and not your thumb, just that palm. Some people say a deck of cards, but everybody’s palm is basically the size of meat that you want to eat. If you have that size over the course of three meals, then half that size again over the course of two or three snacks, it will all wash out in the end and work out for you.

Eating clean – just vegetables, one piece of fruit a day at the most. Fruit is good for you, have a lot of vitamins in it, but it’s full of sugar. Sugar spikes your insulin, and insulin is what drives your fat in to your cells to be stored. That’s the main theory behind the Atkins diet. Your insulin stays low because you’re not eating carbs. If there’s no insulin, your body cannot store fat. So, you keep your insulin low, your body can’t store fat. It can’t do it. That’s how the Atkins works.

When you eat sugar and you eat simple carbs – cookies, candy, and stuff like that – spikes your insulin. That insulin is just going to drive the free fatty acids in your blood in to your body and store them as fat for later use. So, you want to keep your insulin consistently low is what we’re looking to do. You can do that with eating vegetables, eating protein with every meal – that slows your digestion – then complex carbs. The complex carbs that I eat are only brown rice, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal. That’s really better. I like sweet potatoes, and I’ll eat those.

Another excellent source of protein is whey protein. I get that from EAS – it’s the company – and they sell these big bags at Costco of it. So, I think I’ve got one bag at the pharmacy. I think I’ve got two or three bags here at the house. I just grab the closest one because they’re all open. Two scoops of that and a little shaker with some milk or some water will get you your protein. It’s very digestible, bio-available. A good source of protein is whey.

Let me mention this, I think you should stay away from soy products. I don’t know if you do that or not, but the fake protein stuff, the soy, your tofu, its very estrogen like. It’s a phytoestrogen. When you eat that, you’re going to increase your estrogen level – the balance of your estrogen is going to go up. The Asians do it and they’re fine because they’ve been doing that for generations. They have the enzymes that can handle it and break it down, and their bodies are used to that.

Where as, us Americans, when we do that, our bodies aren’t used to that. We don’t have generation upon generation that have done that, and have built up a tolerance to soy like the Asians do – Japanese. So, our bodies can’t handle it. A lot of soy is going to increase your estrogen and tilt that balance towards estrogen which is what we do not want.

Wayne:  That’s valuable stuff. Having worked in the health plan industry, there’s a point in my life where were lifting heavy and we were doing some cycles that some young man do to get big and strong.

West:   Gotcha.

Wayne:  So, I’m not against prescription health, and I’m also not against subcutaneous injection, or whatever makes sense to do. So, that’s part of what I’m asking you is kick start in that direction, or would you say… You know because I don’t have anything right now, maybe just try natural and then go from there.

West: Are you still consistently training now?

Wayne: Yeah.

West:   Okay. I don’t see a problem with going the pharmaceutical route. If you did, if you personally… I don’t know if you did or not, but a lot of guys did. In their twenties, when we were indestructible, they took a lot of cycles, like you said, stayed on them for a long period of time and didn’t give their body time to readjust back. So, what happens, like anything else, if you’re giving your body outside testosterone so that it doesn’t have to make testosterone on its own, it’s going to atrophy and it’s going to shrink. It’s like if you break your arm and you’re in a cast for six weeks. When the cast comes off your arm that’s broken, it’s going to be smaller than the arm that wasn’t broken. It wasn’t used, it’s going to atrophy. So, it’s to use it or lose it.

In guys, it’s the testicles. If our testicles are not producing testosterone for years, upon years, upon years because our body was getting it from an outside source, they’re going to atrophy. They’re going to shrink up and eventually – and there’s no set time period for this – eventually, they’re just going to stop working because they haven’t had to work for so long.

Wayne:  Yeah.

West:   That’s what happens to some body builders, some sports guys. I shouldn’t say some sports guys – a lot of sports guys – who are now feeling those effects, who are now retired and they’re ten years out. They realize, wow, my body doesn’t produce testosterone. That’s because during their career their body didn’t have to, so it atrophied.

So, if that was the case with anyone in their late thirties and forties… When they were in their twenties, if we did a lot of testosterone, our body just might not be producing at all. I think you would definitely feel that. There would be a definite problem in your life if you have very little or no testosterone at all. So, I don’t think that’s the case, specially, if you have the energy to go to the gym and work out.

Wayne:  I watched this… Going back to that time frame, I studied that, I thought about it, I deliberately studied physiology. I was reading and thinking about it. The times that I had done it – it was a twelve-week cycle going up gradually, coming down gradually, and getting off over a timeframe – and I could see some other guys that would just stay on it for a year. I have one friend that was on it, you know, a couple two/three years. That’s probably his the case today but I haven't talked to him for a long time. That was only, you know… Having three cycles my whole life – maybe twelve weeks of these – and done in that way for the purpose of putting on lean muscle and then normalizing with additional weight. Now, it’s been twenty years since having done anything like that.

I’m just being a little older, caring a little more fat, and a little slower, you know, all of those things. I’m just like; I’d like to get an edge.

West:   Well, that’s true. Like I was saying before, the natural products will bump it up a little bit. They’re not miracles. If you really want to get heavy in to it, it’s really the prescription route that you’ve got to go. You’ve got to find a doctor who is in to this, and who knows what to do and how to do it. It’s really wonderful. If you get testosterone supplementation, you’ll have a significant increase in your general wellbeing and your over all quality of life. It’s really a significant difference when your levels come back to normal.

You don’t realize how much of your edge you have lost because it has gone down so gradually – and it’s called andropause for men. Now, women, you know, they go through menopause, and they lose a lot of their hormones pretty quickly over the course of a couple of years. So, they feel it. You know, they complain about the hot flashes, where as us, we start at thirty to thirty-five, and we gradually lose one or two percent a year until we pretty much don’t have any.

By the time we’re fifty-five; most guys have more estrogen than a fifty-five year old woman. So, a couple who’s married fifty-five years old, the man is going to have more estrogen than the woman on average. It’s just because we shift towards estrogen, and the women – they don’t. So, that’s a part of getting older, and the natural substances work to a small degree. If you really want to get that edge and jumpstart, it’s going the prescription route with an experienced physician or doctor who can do that. Being a traveler, that would be difficult to get.

Let me explain my issue with cholesterol lowering.

Wayne:  Okay.

West:   The whole sex hormone thing, testosterone, your estrogen, and your progesterone, it all starts with cholesterol. That’s the base molecule for all these hormones. That’s where it comes from. So, the thing now is everybody’s got to lower their cholesterol. Lower their cholesterol with all these statin drugs – Lipitor, and all these stuff that you see on T.V. Everybody has got to get their cholesterol lowered. Well, our body needs cholesterol. That’s the spackle that your body uses when you get an injury.

There’s injuries going on in our body all the time in our blood vessels because they are expanding and contracting with the force of the blood flow, and they get tiny tears in them – tiny tears, tiny rips, little holes. It’s cholesterol that patches those up. But if your cholesterol gets too high, it’s going to patch up that hole, and then it’s sticky. So, as more cholesterol comes along it’s going to stick to that patch because it’s sticky. Then, more cholesterol is going to come along. It’s going to stick to the cholesterol that’s stuck. Then, so on and so on until you get a blockage.

So, they just keep saying lower your cholesterol, lower your cholesterol. Well, when you lower your cholesterol, you’re stopping that whole cascade of your sex hormones. Your body is going to preferentially use the cholesterol for repair before it uses it to make hormones, because if it doesn’t repair itself you’re going to die. So, it’s going to take the cholesterol, the little bit that you have, because you’ve lowered it so low taking Lipitor, and use it to repair yourself with. You have nothing to make your sex hormones with. So, now everybody’s hormones are going down even further along with all the other stuff. That’s just my own rant on that.

Wayne:  Got it.

West:   At forty-five, everything’s going to slow down unless you get some testosterone supplementation, then jump back up to the higher than normal. Natural products may just put you over the edge to feel good again. They’re not miracles, like I said. The diet and exercise are going to help with the testosterone level.

Wayne:  That’s really… You know, that’s pretty good. The other part, for me, that’s beginning to be… I’m noticing some new developments in the actual exercises people are doing – combining exercises – just doing different movements than the old-style, basic movements that we were doing fifteen, twenty, twenty-five years ago. Curious if you have any information about that, what I mentioned, Sir…

West:   Yup. My personal theory on all these new innovations in exercise is its marketing. I, still on a regular basis, watch the old Pumping Iron movie. I see the guys, and they’re pretty big, and they’re lifting free weights, and they’re using chains, and old-school stuff. I think if these guys can get that big doing that, so can I. You’re not going to be able to rock your way to rock-hard abs in an ab-rocker.

Then, you’ve got all these different… You know, the P90X thing is big. I did that for about two weeks with my wife and said, “Honey, I hate this. I can’t stand this. I need my weights.” If you’re happy doing crazy exercises and everything, that’s fine. I remember when I was training hard and getting big, me and my training partner at the time; we would purposely make up crazy exercises to see how many guys will be doing it next week.

Wayne:  [Laughs]

West:   Yeah. Now, if you can come up with a contraption and market it well, you can sell it on an infomercial as the latest, greatest thing. So, I think that’s what a lot of these are. You need heavy, compound movements to get strong, get your connective tissue strong. Heavy, compound movements are exercises that involve more than one muscle group like squat, bench press, pull up, overhead press, things like that. These involve your whole body, your core, like they say. When you get in to these isolated exercises, you’re not encompassing your whole body. If you’re doing a concentration curl, that’s all your body’s working is just the bicep. So, yeah, the bicep is going to get strong, but to get your whole body strong and get a good, solid foundation, it’s those heavy, compound movements.

So, everybody’s got fat around the midsection, and ladies got the big butts and the big thighs. So, that’s what these contraptions are focusing on. I think you know, Wayne that you cannot spot reduce. In other words, if I’ve got fat around my stomach, it doesn’t matter how many sit-ups I do, the fat around my stomach is not going to go away faster by doing sit-ups, or if a lady does butt exercises the fat on her butt is not going to go away faster doing that than in the other exercise.

Wayne:  Right.

West:   You can’t spot reduce. You can’t take the fat off of one area preferentially by exercise. You can do it by liposuction and surgery, but the fat’s going to come off where it wants to come off, and it’s based on genetics.

Wayne:  Yeah. I think the point I read about that. It’ll come off last where it goes on first.

West:   That’s typically it. Us guys get it in the stomach. So, when we start to lose weight, the stomach is going to be the last thing to come off. Women gain it in their butts and in their thighs, so as they lose weight, that’s the last place it’s going to come off. It’s just frustrating, but that’s the way it is.

Wayne:  Well, that’s good stuff. I sure appreciate it, West.

West:   I wish I had some great, insider information for you to help you out, but there just isn’t any. The same thing with the body builder guys that I talked to. Yeah, they’re like, “Hey, I may not give you… I’ll tell you everything I know.” I talked to them and they’re not telling me anything that I don’t already know.

I’m like, “Man, I was really hoping for some great diet secrets and how you guys do it.” Then, no, “It’s chicken and broccoli.” “What do you guys have for breakfast?” “Egg whites and oatmeal.” Okay, “About three hours later, I had some chicken and some broccoli. All right cool. What’s next?” “All right about three hours after that, I had some chicken and broccoli. All right, what’s next?” “Chicken and broccoli.” “What’s next?” “Chicken and broccoli. Then, have a protein shake.” Like, “All right, what else?” “That’s it.” I’m like, “Come on, man! Tell me something.” “That’s it. That’s all I’ll let you know.” Chicken, broccoli, egg whites, oatmeal, sweet potato. I’m like, “Man!”

Of course, they’ve taken all the injections and stuff. Now, with the Internet, they’re importing a lot of stuff from other countries. Who knows if it’s real or not or where it’s coming from. They’re going to be in for a shock there. When they get older, they’ll realize that they’re not indestructible. It’s just… The money calls, and that’s what you’ve got to do to compete at that level. Same with the football players. We saw what happened with baseball, with Bonds and McGwire. If it’s not illegal, they’re going to go all out and do it. Performance enhancing drugs – they don’t make you hit the baseball any better, but they make you hit it harder and farther, and you can recover much better the next day to do it again.

I deal with some former Major League baseball players who played in the eighties. They said the difference between, nowadays, making ten million dollars a year and making the bare minimum, is one little hit a week, or one more strike out a week if you’re a pitcher. It’s nothing. It’s such a fine line. So, anything that can give these guys an edge, they’re going to do. So what if you get caught? You made ten million dollars. You never have to work again.

Wayne:  Yeah. Right.

West:   That’s my spiel.

Wayne:  I appreciate it. I guess I’ll watch for you on Face book.

West:   All right. Well, thank you, Wayne. Thanks for calling.

Wayne:  Okay. Thanks a lot.

West:  Bye.

That’s the end of this coaching call with Wayne. I hope you can use some of the things we discussed here to help you in your health goals. If you have any questions, please e-mail me at askwest@medicinecoach.com,


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