athlete health

Strength Chat by Kabuki Strength

It was absolutely amazing to chat with Chris Duffin, Rudy Kadlub & Brandon Senn of KABUKI STRENGTH. We covered a lot of ground with this podcast - touching on some everything from athlete health, performance inhibition, female strength athletes, and even how much my deadlift sucks!

I’m so grateful to Chris, Rudy and Brandon for having me on the show!


“We are honored to have Victoria Felkar as today's guest on Strength Chat. She is an explorer, a renegade, and an advocate pushing the boundaries of performance and health through research, coaching, and teaching. 

Victoria is currently completing her doctoral studies at University of British Columbia, specializing in physical culture, medical and criminological knowledge, performance enhancement, and the muscular body. Her doctoral research explores women's health and female hormone manipulation within sport and medicine.

Tune in as the Mad Scientist, Dr. Rudolph, and the Wizard of Training discuss some of what Victoria has been working on lately. 

A great episode you won't want to miss! 


PODCAST LINK:

https://kabukistrengthchat.libsyn.com/strength-chat-75-victoria-felkar


ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/strength-chat-by-kabuki-strength/id1157215043?mt=2


Learn more about Kabuki Strength
https://kabukistrength.com/
IG: @mad_scientist_duffin
IG: @kabukistrengthlab
FB: @kabukistrength

EliteFTS: Female Athletes & Exogenous Substances

From your digestion to your sleep to your cognition, exogenous hormone use has dramatic effects on your entire body. However, there is a subconscious idea that when a drug is taken it, it's actions and influence will stay within a tidy little box of ‘intended’ outcomes. The reality is, pharmaceuticals influence nearly every system in your body.

If that wasn’t enough, the chaos effect of a drug must be compounded with other variables such as the fluidity of a women's hormonal life course (puberty, perimenopause), an extraordinarily stressful physiological event (ie. competing or acute illness), or the ongoing multiple small daily stressors, like training at a high capacity without adequate nutrition and sleep. Needless to say, there are so many factors that on their own or together with others, can manifest in immediate, ongoing, and future health consequences.

But, these risks don't just come from drugs used for enhancement purposes either. Although the 'finger' is pointed at anabolic-androgenic steroids for causing massive system-wide dysfunctions within the body, steroids like oral contraceptives - espescially when taken at the beginning of a female's reproductive period - have the capacity to result in lingering effects for health.

Breaking down myths, speaking to the knowledge gap, and critically thinking about the information you read and receive will go a long way in helping to improve the current state of women's health. Blissful, willful and reckless ignorance won’t help the situation, or the women affected by it. Get informed, get critical, and build knowledge by breaking down myths.

Read the full write-up from EliteFTS here.

Write here…

EliteFTS: www.elitefts.com
FB: @elitefts
IG: @elitefts
YT: Dave Tate




EMBODY RADIO: Women Health & Birth Control

It was AMAZING to be back on Embody Radio with the brilliant Emily Duncan. Em is good people, actually she’s the best kind of good people. Her passion and purpose make my heart smile, and I’m so proud of her and all the works she’s doing. Keep on blossoming, my friend. 

I’ll let her cover the summary of Part 1 of the show!


"You guys/gals are in for a treat today... @victoriafelkar was one of the first guests on the show (EP 5 & 6), and she’s back for two more EXCELLENT episodes! Victoria is an interdisciplinary researcher (her research is quite literally entitled “Women and Steroids”) and an all around incredible advocate for women’s health.

Today, part one of our interview does a deep dive on:

  • hormone history and where the gendering of hormones began,

  • the backstory of medicine, sport, sport medicine, endocrinology, and how it ties in to women’s health,

  • just about all you could want to know about menstrual cycles,

  • why menstruation AND ovulation are important to health,

  • outcomes of hormonal contraceptive use,

  • SOOOO much more!

She also provided us with a free and thorough menstrual cycle chart so you can start tracking your own cycle, learn whether/not and when you ovulate, and overall just become a better advocate for your own health.

Click the link in our bio to give this AMAZING episode a listen, and raise your hand 🙋🏻‍♀️ if you’d like to see Victoria as a regular guest on the show!”

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/…/podca…/embody-radio/id1245411599…

SOUNDCLOUD:

https://soundcloud.com/user-250742329

SPOTIFY:

https://open.spotify.com/episode/4VuquAgPBNlAvS6dqedOdO?si=ddPjkdnCRvuQWjXnq1VEUQ

Learn more about Emily Duncan
www.emilyduncanfitness.com
IG: @em_dunc
FB: @emilyduncanfitness

EliteFTS: How to Be a Healthy Competitor

Competing places a huge toll on the human body - and sometimes it can get out of hand. As a result, one 'thing' can go astray - like digestion or sleep - and in turn, this causes a chain reaction. Suddenly, your entire system is in meltdown mode.

Instead of getting to this point, it is important to focus on being proactive instead of reactive in the way you treat your body. The best way to do this is to maintain your body’s foundation.

You can’t manipulate or enhance something that isn’t there. Build your foundation first, and continue to manage it in order to help mitigate the risks associated with performance.

Read the full write up here.

 

EliteFTS: Menstrual Cycle Myths

Menstrual myth busting with the help of @elitefts. I’m so grateful to @underthebar and EliteFTS for providing me with a platform to talk about one of the biggest barriers to women’s health.

It’s easy to blame “stupid” coaches for manipulating women’s hormones, or point the finger at #fitchicks for perpetuating nothing more than rubbish rumours about periods and PCOS. Getting to the root of the problem is the hard part.

Overtime numerous myths and misconceptions have shaped our knowledge and understanding about women – their health, hormones and lives. Today, these myths continue to linger within most aspects of society, including medicine, science, and fitness. Although I'd like to believe that the cute infographics posted by the #fitfam are done with good intentions, the truth is, often these do more harm by continuing to produce, reproduce, and magnify not just bad - but wrong information, about women's health.

For the last two decades, there has been an epidemic of hormonal disturbances within women’s life cycles. Oral contraceptives use, enivornmental toxins, eating or training too much or too little, layering stress on more stress, and A LOT of other variables and triggers are contributing to this. My goal is never to simplify the situation or reduce it to any one factor. The body is really, really complicated and there are no easy or unified solutions. It always must come down to the individual in question. It should always be about her. Her body, her health, her life in context today, years past and those still to come.

With that being said, we must start recognizing that when it comes to women's hormones and menstrual cycles, there is a lot that we think we know, don't know and may never know.

Breaking down myths, speaking to the knowledge gap, and critically thinking about the information you read and receive will go a long way in helping to improve the current state of women's health. Blissful, willful and reckless ignorance won’t help the situation, or the women affected by it. Get informed, get critical, and let's start building knowledge by breaking myths.

Check out the write up: https://www.elitefts.com/educa…/watch-menstrual-cycle-myths/

 

                                         

 

The Muscle Nerd Podcast: Females on Steroids

The Muscle Nerd Podcast #11

Had an awesome early morning chat with @the_muscle_nerd_podcast. In the episode we spoke about female using performance enhancing drugs or more specifically anabolic steroids. 

I’m a morning person through and through, but a 14 hour time difference meant we had to start recording at 5am. While I always strive to keep things real and make sure anything I put out is organic, authentic and candid, I have a feeling that my #felkaring was extra in this episode! Thanks again Gus for having me on. The iTunes link is in my bio!

 

EPISODE LINK:

http://www.musclenerd.com.au/category/the-muscle-nerd-podcast/

 

ITUNES: 

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-muscle-nerd-podcast/id1395050839?mt=2

 

SPOTIFY: 

https://open.spotify.com/episode/4a7n083oVBNMJPaBCtdqTa?si=M_m--Kk2QZGWNzRSeKSnrw

 

 

Learn more about The Muscle Nerd Podcast:
www.musclenerd.com.au
IG: @the_muscle_nerd_podcast

 

Advices Radio: Muscle & Society

Advices Radio with Scott McNally #69

I had the pleasure of chatting with my good friend Scott McNally from Advices Radio to discuss social aspects of muscle. Going deeper, I was able to talk about the social and historical background on muscle, and provide context why in 2018 female muscularity is still considered as taboo in contemporary culture. 

Click the links below or search "Advices Radio" on podcast apps.

EPISODE LINK:

https://advicesradio.com/track/episode-69

 

ITUNES: 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/advices-radio/id1104299645?mt=2#

 

STITCHER: 

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/scott-mcnally/advices-radio/e/55263302

 

RESOURCES:

The H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sport, 
Located at University of Texas, Austin (see also online archive) 
https://www.starkcenter.org/
(For a glimpse of the center, check out the beginning of this clip: https://vimeo.com/86556787)

History of Physical Culture Library:
Online archives
https://www.davidgentle.com/

"Venus with Biceps: A Pictorial History of Muscular Women"
Book by David Chapman & Patricia Vertinsky:
http://www.arsenalpulp.com/bookinfo.php?index=323

"American Hunks: The Muscular Male Body in Popular Culture, 1860-1970"
Book by David Chapman & Brett Josef Grubisic
http://www.arsenalpulp.com/bookinfo.php?index=299

"Universal Hunks: A Pictorial History of Muscular Men around the World, 1895-1975"
Book by David Chapman & Douglas Brown
https://www.amazon.com/.../15515.../ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_1...

VIDEOS:
The Rogue Legends Series - Chapter 1: Eugen Sandow
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-nPD2__e0E

Vice Sports: SWOLE
P2 - The Last of the Iron Sisters:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfcJVJwRgEA

The 90lb Weakling
www.nfb.ca/film/i_was_a_ninety_pound_weakling

FIT: Episodes in the History
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0331493/reference
(it's hard to find but worth a watch if you do find it) 

Pumping Iron II: The Women
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089852/

MORE BOOKS:
"Women of steel: Female bodybuilders and the struggle for self-definition," Maria Lowe (1998)
https://www.amazon.com/Women-Steel.../dp/081475094X

"Physical culture and the body beautiful: Purposive exercise in the lives of American women, 1800-1870," Jan Todd (1998)
https://www.amazon.com/Physical-Culture.../dp/0865545618

"Building Bodies (Perspectives on the Sixties)," Pamela Moore (1997)
https://www.amazon.com/Building-Bodies.../dp/0813524385

"Bodymakers: A Cultural Anatomy of Women's Bodybuilding," Lelsie Heywood (1998)
https://www.amazon.com/Bodyma.../dp/0813524806/ref=sr_1_1...

"Critical Readings in Bodybuilding," ed. Adam Locks & Niall Richardson (2012)
https://www.amazon.com/Critic.../dp/0415878527/ref=sr_1_1....

"Making the American Body: The Remarkable Saga of the Men and Women Whose Feats, Feuds, and Passions Shaped Fitness History," Jonathan Black (2013)
https://www.amazon.com/Making-American-Body.../dp/0803243707

"Little big men: Bodybuilding subculture and gender construction," Allen Klein (1993)
https://www.amazon.com/Little.../dp/0791415600/ref=sr_1_1...

"Gorilla suit: My adventures in bodybuilding," Bob Paris (1997)
https://www.amazon.com/Gorill.../dp/0312168551/ref=sr_1_1...

 

 

Learn more about Advices Radio:
www.advicesradio.com
FB: @advices.radio
YOUTUBE: Advices Radio

Ask Me Anything E5: Why blood work is more complicated than you think

Finally another episode of Ask Me Anything.

For the fourth episode, I tackle a question about ‘normal’ values for blood work. Ultimately, this was a really personal question about an individual’s own lab work, so I took it as an opportunity to talk about some really important aspects of blood work that often don't get discussed.

In a nutshell, I cover three main sub-topics:

  1. A broad discussion of the various internal and external factors that influence blood work
  2. Getting labs and why it’s important to be critical of the analysis process
  3. What do the results actually mean, and the power of creating personalized data

 

 


Want the quick notes version?


It’s complicated.


I fully support individuals taking an active role in understanding and managing their own health state, and the importance of working with health practitioner(s) to do so. I don’t support DIY lab analysis, conventional medicines use of testing as a singular, static and completely depersonalized diagnostic tool, and the overall ignorance towards the multitude of other crucial internal and external variables that must be accounted for, explored and discussed.

Blood work should not be the judge, jury and executioner.

It should be one of many tools used to examine an individual’s health state. Additional methods should be used in conjunction with bloodwork, such as tracking and applying other markers of biofeedback, and then looking at everything in individual context. Building personal data is how you can begin to build a healthier and sustainable body from the inside and out.


If you like what you see - feel free to share and comment below. Want me to cover a topic or quesiton a video? Please shoot me a message. 


Video by: Alora Griffiths
aloragriffiths.foliodrop.com
FB: Alora Griffiths
IG: @aloragriffiths

 

 

Advices Radio: The Menstrual Cycle

Advices Radio with Scott McNally #58

This podcast makes me smile. My good friend, Scott McNally gave me a huge challenge to cover the menstrual cycle in a concise, easy to digest way that would provide listeners with a practical understanding of an incredibly complex process. Thank you Scott for providing me with another opportunity to do what I love!

Within the podcast, we explore the shifting kaleidoscope of hormones that are part of the menstrual cycle. The goal of this program is to help promote a better understanding of what is actually happening, which is a difficult task since every female body is unique.

 

EPISODE link:

https://www.advicesradio.com/track/episode-58

 

ITUNES: 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/advices-radio/id1104299645?mt=2#

 

Stitcher: 

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/scott-mcnally/advices-radio/e/53953022

 

 

Learn more about Advices Radio:
www.advicesradio.com
FB: @advices.radio
YOUTUBE: Advices Radio

 

SWIS 2016 Clip: The Prep Myth

A clip from my talk at SWIS 2016 on Muscle Hypertrophy & Fat Loss Nutritional Strategies for Female Competitors. 

 

· · · ·

See more at:  https://swisvideoflix.mykajabi.com/
FB: SWIS Symposium 2016
IG: @SWIS2016 

Ken Kinakin:
FB: Ken Kinakin
IG: @kenkinakin

 

Ask Me Anything E4: Keto, Fasting & Why I Hate Diets

Then there were 4! 

In the fourth episode of Ask Me Anything, I provide a response to two separate questions on nutrition protocols: (1) Keto for Fat Loss in Women; (2) Intermittent Fasting for Longevity. 

But in typical VF fashion, what I talk about is far from the overly generalized and 'absolute' answers that often get thrown around to these types of questions. I cover all of this and more → 
· A reminder why diets are only temporary
· The often forgotten therapeutic role of food
· A 'diet' is only as good as your digestion. 
· The Keto, PCOS & gallbladder connection ... (aka. why your poop is yellow liquid & burps smell like sulphur) 
· #gutlife - The importance of a healthy gut microbiome & functioning GI system
· Personal story about my own digestion troubles, elimination diets & trigger foods,  
· Why a tummy ache isn't the only thing you have when your digestion sucks
· Things to consider about about specific protocols like keto & IF
· Dispel some industry nutrition myths
· Provide some practical tips for eating for your BODY, health, performance and goals

Don't forget, eat for your body, eat for your goals! 


If you like what you see - feel free to share and comment below. Want me to cover a topic or quesiton a video? Please shoot me a DM or leave a comment. 

Video by: Alora Griffiths
aloragriffiths.foliodrop.com
FB: Alora Griffiths
IG: @aloragriffiths



 

The Enigma of Anabolics for Her

 

Women & Steroids:
Ignorance & the Enigma of Anabolics for Her.

Lately I've found myself disgusted with the sheer amount of overly simplistic and dangerous discussions of female anabolic-androgen steroid (AAS) use. By no means is this an easy area to unpack. Quite frankly, it's an enigma, and in order to host a responsible conversation requires a lot more than just reciting 'scientific data' like it's gospel.

To begin to understand this massively intricate topic takes challenging certain personal beliefs like biological difference between the sexes, typical “masculine” or “feminine” characteristics, and knowledge about the body itself. It involves understanding physiology, biomedicine, the endocrine system, hormones, and of course androgens specifically, while not forgetting to mix in ‘personalized medicine’ – a method emphasizing evaluation and programming based on the individual and their uniquely dynamic characteristics. It demands a grasp of the physical and chemical properties of AAS, and basic clinical pharmacology of the effects of specific compounds is also essential.

Most critical of all, there needs to be context. Who exactly are we talking about? What other health and performance variables must be considered? What additional factors - whether internal or external to that particular individual's body must be explored? What drugs were used, for how long, and what source are they from? In this conversation, context is everything. 

As an academic researcher I am writing this not as scare tactic. In fact, I’m very critical of, and often appalled by, pseudo-scientific, unethical, and propaganda-like scholarly publications preaching the ‘evils’ of steroid use without citing relevant studies to back such claims. Nothing irks me more than reading information, hearing conversations, and seeing firsthand the damaging results of uneducated and ill-informed bro-pharmacists. I recognize fully the dangerous influence of Dr. Juice – the contest prep cocktail isn’t just a concern for females but all AAS users, but to say it simply – the body is complicated. 

 

Often I see athletes getting so focused on the ‘outside’, that what is happening on the inside gets ignored. At the crux of most sport is the desire to perform, and not just 'good enough' but to excel. To take your body to a new limit - whether it's an achievement of strength, speed or physical appearance. It's ok to want to win. It's ok to push the limits. But we have to start appreciating that by doing so, we alter and modified how well our internal systems can function. No matter how much 'science' or 'evidence' is involved during the process, many times the extent of this is unbeknownst until it's too late.

 

Fem chem.

While AAS are a class of drugs often containing synthetic testosterone, we all have this steroidal hormone flowing naturally in our bodies. Of course there are large variations in natural (endogenous) levels of testosterone. Since we are talking about women, I want to mention a hugely important point – whether genetic or due to other causes, some females have high levels of androgens. Indeed, androgen excess is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age.

Women naturally produce sex steroids in various parts of their body – primarily the adrenal glands and ovaries. Other tissues such as fat and skin can also assist in converting weak androgens to stronger ones. Furthermore, some women with excess androgens may have excess levels of circulating insulin (insulin resistance), which has a massive effect on metabolic function, and can manifest in a wide range of symptoms including weight gain and lethargy. High androgens are also a common marker for an endocrine disorder called 'Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome' (PCOS) (as I've discussed before, this is a misunderstanding panacea). While it may come with a list of sub-characteristics and manifestations, little is known about 'PCOS' in “fit” women. Currently there is a limited study exploring how AAS may interact with 'PCOS', metabolic function, or influence the body’s ability to create and use androgens naturally.

Why am I spewing this medical mumbo jumbo? All of this is hugely important to remember when discussing women and steroids for a number of reasons including the fact for whatever reason people seem to think the female body lacks any amount of androgens to begin with. Furthermore, there appears to be a lack of regard for the variance in natural levels of androgens, and the different ways in which women can metabolize these steroids. I told you, it's complicated. But guess what? All of this gets even more complex when you add in our abysmal knowledge of athlete steroid use in general.

 

Bro Knowledge

For over 50 years AAS have been a cluster of controversy and panic, which unfortunately has limited academically sound and clinically applicable information on these drugs. The studies that do get discussed within the industry often pertain to the use of AAS within medical populations, or are concerned with self-administration by males – neither can be translated for female use! So where do you go then to learn about women and steroids? Internet forums of course! And if that doesn’t work, hire a prep coach. If those thoughts crossed your mind, even for a second, please give yourself a very hard smack, as that assumption couldn’t be more wrong and dangerous.

Let's break a few things down –

Your prep coach is not a researcher and Internet forums are not medical textbooks. Many times the information isn’t even on the specific compound you are looking to better understand because (surprise) anabolic steroids are sold on the BLACK MARKET. They are unregulated and not controlled for purity or strength. Thus, there is a high chance they have been cross-contaminated. Please note that a little sticker saying “pharmaceutical grade” means absolutely nothing. For men this is important, but for women it is absolutely crucial. Although health risks exist with any AAS, there are certain properties associated with specific compounds that may pose less of a risk for some women (please note the absolute lack of any generalizing statement within this comment).

The effects of female hormone manipulation are murky. Even if you determine a particular steroid is acceptable for personal use, you’ll be lucky to get your hands on a bottle actually containing the desired drug. And this matters! You should know what you are taking as all AAS are not the same!

Different AAS elicit different anabolic and androgen responses- anabolic induced changes to rates of muscle growth AND androgenic responses such as acne, hirsutism (abnormal hair growth), and reproductive dysfunction. These vary from drug to drug, and are often described in the form of a ratio. For example, synthetic testosterone has an anabolic to androgenic ratio of 1:1. This is the one and only time you’ll read a specific compound name in this article. Why? There’s a sickening sense of “protection” associated with specific drugs due to this ratio. An assumed safety net has been cast over certain drugs deemed “ok” for female consumption simply because they have lower androgenic activity. This notion is not only irresponsible and foolish, but it’s created a lack of critical thinking and laziness around female anabolic use. It amazes me that someone will prep for months BUT won’t put in the time and effort to truly understand the drugs they are putting into their body, and the influence on their health. While there’s little assistance from medical sciences on anabolic steroids, education is not impossible.

 

I'm not getting off my soap-box yet. Please know, I’m all for personal choice. I completely respect an individual’s decision to build their body as they please, but regarding AAS, there is a responsibility to fully understand risks, rewards, and long-term consequences of usage. Who you are today may not reflect who you want to be tomorrow. While you may want to be the next Ms. Olympia, life changes - your health changes. If you really want to learn more about steroids for the female users start with the basics. Understand basic human physiology. Work with a health care practitioner to track your sex hormones and menstruation patterns, and know the interaction of these on the endocrine system. There is some work out there on women and steroid use - however, there is a lot of room for improvement... variables not controlled for or even mentioned, problematic methodologies, and just all around bad science. 

 

Ignorance & bad science

So no, women and steroids is not a topic that you can simply search on the Internet or ask a random bro about. As I mentioned above, unfortunately it's also one that recently some of the industry's "most educated" have completely dropped the ball on - spewing off preconceived notions and unsubstantiated information without any critical reflection of the impact that their words have on the health of others.

To be honest, I get sick to my stomach when I think about the far reaching consequences of the conversations happening on social media about women and steroid use. I'm not just talking about female AAS use either, but steroids and other pharmaceuticals used in hormone manipulation in all forms: androgens, peptides, selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs), anti-estrogens, oral contraceptives, hormonal IUDs, hormone replacement therapies -  oral, injectable, implants, patches, creams, sprays, and powders.

 

Do I know everything there is to know about female hormone manipulation? Hell no. By no means do I see myself as an authority on this topic. Even with my doctoral research being on women and steroids - the use of AAS and oral contraceptives by female athletes, and all the time I have spent specializing in this area and working directly with female athletes, doctors and other professionals, I am no expert. 

Guess what? When it comes to women and steroids, I'm not afraid to admit that there is a lot that I don't know. Now that I've probably lost the confidence of a few by admitting this, I'll tell you something that I do know about this topic: I don't know because we don't know. We don't know because there is a complete lack of study, critical conversation and personal dialogue - not only as it relates to female hormone manipulation, but women's health issues as a whole. Especially, information from a female perspective, which when it comes to these topics isn't important - it's essential.

 

As a result, it's vital to get good, reputable and contextual information out there. It's crucial to host conversations about women and steroids openly and without bias. But, there is a warning that should come with doing this - 

Words have power.

When you have power, words become the divine

 

Be careful what you put out to the world because the publication of inaccurate or misleading data is no different than the ignorance you seek to destroy. Ignorance is not bliss - it is dangerous. Ignorance disguised as scientific knowledge has infinite power. It is an incurable disease that spreads like wildfire, and puts the health and safety of women in serious danger.

It's time to start respecting that anabolics for her is an enigma. You are not an expert on this topic because no one is an expert. Maybe once you do that, we can actually start helping women.

 

 

Ps. I am working relentlessly to be able to start sharing more of my research on women and steroids with you. After the recent events online, it's clear that right now - more than ever it's needed. 


Copy the link, share and help spread the word.
victoriafelkar.com/library/womenandsteroids

 

 

Ask Me Anything E3: Women & Hair Loss

Ask Me Anything

Internal and External Variables for Female Hair Loss (including androgen use)

From hats to hormones, seasonal changes to genetics, there are a lot of internal and external variables that make this topic a complicated one!

To get to the root of female hair loss, within the video I talk about →

  • Why hair loss is more than just about androgens 
  • The multi-factorial basis of hair loss
  • Internal & external variables that contribute to hair loss including
  • Some factors that aren't often get considered
  • My own experience with PCOS, hair loss, and frustrations with physicians
  • Androgenic alopecia (AA), PCOS & anabolic-androgenic hormones
  • The combination effect: managing individual precursors & variables for AA
  • Various treatment routes for AA
  • Why knowing the ingredients of your hair products matters
  • PEDs and their influence on hair loss

 

If you like what you see, feel free to share. If you have any questions you'd like me to cover please feel free to shoot me a message.

Video Location: Android Bodies
www.androidbodies.ca
FB: Android Bodies Inc.
IG: @androidbodies

Video by: Alora Griffiths
aloragriffiths.foliodrop.com
FB: Alora Griffiths
IG: @aloragriffiths

Ask Me Anything E1: PEDs

Do you believe there's a time and a place for PEDs?

In this clip I go over the complexities of performance enhancing drug use by discussing:
· A brief history of their use in sport
· What exactly is performance enhancement
· Societal ideals of PED use
· The importance of knowing your own stance on PEDs
· Therapeutic value of compounds vs. enhancement

If you like it, please feel free to share!
 

· · · ·

Video Location: Android Bodies
www.androidbodies.ca
FB: Android Bodies Inc.
IG: @androidbodies

Video by: Alora Griffiths
aloragriffiths.foliodrop.com
FB: Alora Griffiths
IG: @aloragriffiths

 

 

Muscle Expert: Hormone Manipulation & Food as Therapy

Muscle Expert Podcast with Ben Pakulski #58

USING food as a therapeutic tool and hormone manipulation in sports

 

Can’t thank Ben Pakulski enough for having me on The Muscle Expert. I'll admit, I was nervous as all when I found out that I was the first female guest - but I think he managed to keep the entire conversation organic and flowing by not telling me we were even recording! Seriously, though - this was such a good podcast, and it was great to catch up, talk shop and educate on some really critical topics. Thanks again Ben!

 

Key Highlights:

  • How to balance fat ratios.
  • The menstrual cycle myth and why women should be wary of missing their menstrual cycle.
  • Glucose disposal agents, sex hormones, sleep deprivation, post-diet binge eating mitigation strategies.  

 

"Just don't eat like an asshole" 

 

EPISODE LINK:

http://www.benpakulski.com/podcasts/victoria/

 

ITUNES: 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/ben-pakulski-podcast-muscle/id725296816

 

STITCHER: 

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ben-pakulski-podcast-muscle-expert-interviews-how-to-build/ben-pakulski-podcast-muscle-expert-interviews

 

Learn more about Ben Pakulski & The Muscle Expert podcast:
http://www.benpakulski.com
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IG: @ifbbbenpak
Youtube: MI40 Muscle Intelligence

 

 

Time Stamps:

4:00 Victoria's dissertation topic, exploring the world of female hormonal manipulation in elite sport.

10:47 Hyperandrogenism in females. 

11: 40 Metformin for women post competition.

13:40 Strategies for women recovering from androgen use. 

16:12 Progestron, chronic inflammation and more.

17:35 Reducing dietary triggers, changing your breakfast and eliminating the major allergenic foods.

20:06 Testing for gut health, food mapping protocols, and biofeedback.

21:50 Using food as a therapeutic tool. 

23:38 Balancing fat ratios. 

25:29 The modern American diet,

25:1 omega 6:3 ratio? 

28:50 Women, the first line of defense to overcome the psychology the binge and purge mindset. 

33:43 Glucose disposal agents, hormones, sleep deprivation. 

38:05 Less is more when it comes to training and more is more when it comes to food.

39:00 The menstrual cycle myth.

42:10 Victoria's book, nonhormonal ways to fix hormonal imbalances. 

45:50 The critical biopsychosocial physical ecological model of dynamic relations. 

52:00 Finding gratitude and acceptance.

56:42 Managing variables. 

1:00:20 Morning routines and avoiding emails.  

 

 

 

SWIS 2016 Clip: Post-Comp Strategies

From my talk at the 2016 SWIS Symposium on Female Competitor Health. In this clip from the SWIS 2016 Video library,  I discuss post competition strategies, and introduce the cconcept of changing your training strategy to re-frame how you think about your body post-show. 

See more at: http://swisvideo.com/collections/all

Learn more about SWIS:
http://swis.ca/
Access to SWIS videos
FB: Swis Video
 

SWIS 2016 Clip: PCOS

From my talk at the 2016 SWIS Symposium on Female Competitor Health. In this clip from the SWIS 2016 Video library,  I discuss PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and the steroid list women may take for competition ... aka pixiedust. 

 

Learn more about SWIS:
http://swis.ca/
Access to SWIS videos
FB: Swis Video
 

SARMs for Women

In this Q&A I tackle a question about SARMs for women, but in doing so open up a bigger conversation about the "new" kids on the anabolic block and the importance of information literacy.

The 'Secondary' Side Effects of Steroids.

The Secondary Side Effects of Steroids: Sex, Gender and the ‘Unnatural’ Female Sporting Body

IN PROCESS

For over half a century controversy has swirled around the use of anabolic androgen steroids (AAS) by athletes and bodybuilders. They have received significant media and political attention though both the academic and clinical literature are sparse. Robert Goldman’s Death in the Locker Room (1984) helped to create and perpetuate hysteria and panic surrounding steroids, especially their use by women. Focusing on what he calls, “The New Unisex – Female Athletes Turning Male,” Goldman describes anabolic steroids as exclusively “masculine hormones,” and suggests that women who take them are ‘unnatural’, resulting in a ‘bastardization of the female form.’ Goldman is not alone in his concern for the female use of anabolic steroids. The little research that surrounds women and steroids tends to endorse powerful cultural norms about a ‘natural’ and ‘normal’ female sporting body. Often, discussions of female athlete steroid use echo long standing beliefs about the appropriate appearance, health and abilities of the female sporting body.

This project will examine why there has been so little attention to female steroid use and discuss the underlying assumptions on which biological determinism, sex, gender, and the ‘natural’ body have been built into the steroid discourse. As Nelly Oudshroon pointed out, ideas regarding the function of hormones, and the terminology surrounding these chemical messengers have embodied rigid cultural ideas about sex, gender, and the body. Although hormones, including synthetic hormones, do not possess an inherent sex or gender, the debate over anabolic-androgen steroids use in sports continues to distinguish anatomical and physiological differences in the ‘male’ and ‘female’ sporting body.

Despite recent scholarship on gender verification, sex testing and the female athletic body that challenge dominant ideas about ‘normal’ levels of ‘natural’ endogenous androgen levels in female athletes, little research has addressed exogenous androgens, women and AAS use in sport, or the gendering of synthetic sex hormones. Furthermore, although there is a growing body of critical literature on anabolic steroids, the gendering of synthetic sex hormones has not gained the same level of critical inquiry as other aspects of the topic, such as the reframing the philosophical debates of ‘fairness’, debating doping-control measures, or the unsubstantiated physiological and/or psychological ‘risks’ associated with male athlete use.

Drawing upon historical and contemporary medical and popular literature, this project will explore the interplay around the construction of biological sex, gender and hormones, with misrepresentations and myths about the use of steroids by female athletes. It aims to address the current ‘science’ of steroids as it relates to the sporting female body, and show how presumptions about what a ‘natural’ and ‘normal’ female should look like underscores much of the discourse around women’s use of AAS.

 

Want to learn more? Contact me for details. 

Clearing Up Clenbuterol

A Dopers Delight or Misused Stimulant?

Following the Olympics in 1992, a new breed of stimulant gained global recognition. Hailed as the “dopers delight”, this anti-asthma medication was special. Not only could it be used as a stimulant but many believed it could also enhance muscle growth. Only 4 years earlier, steroid guru Dan Duchaine introduced the bodybuilding world to this same drug - which to this day remains one of our sports most misunderstood and misused compounds: Clenbuterol Hydrochloride.

Targeting specific receptor sites in the body’s sympathetic nervous system (SNS), Clen is a selective beta-2 sympathomimetic… wait, a what?

A car backfires and subconsciously you jump off your couch - this is an automatic physiological response initiated by our SNS in response to a perceived threat. Known as fight-or-flight, this response is the result of the release of a hormone called norepinephrine (NE). To work, NE has to bind and activate a specific receptor in your body called a beta-2 receptor. Think of this like a lock and key. Only one key (NE) can both fit (bind) and unlock (activate) one lock (beta-2 receptor).

This is where Clen comes in. Clen acts as a “fake” key that can unlock only some beta-2 receptors (why it’s called “selective”).  

Although its labeled use is an anti-asthma medication, Clen is able to unlock fat and muscle tissue cells throughout the body. Like other beta-2 agonists, clen is a “thermogenic” = Clen-sweats. This is caused by an increase in body temperature and metabolic rate, as well as its ability to directly target fat cell breakdown of triglycerides to free fatty acids is what makes Clen such as popular “fat loss” drug.

Its anabolic capabilities however are still up for debate. Although since the early 90s bros have been using clen as a part of post-cycle therapy or as an alternative to steroids to get “lean-gains”, there remains no human research (animal studies only) that provide evidence to support an increase in lean muscle mass as a result of clen. Regardless, Clen has become a stable drug for many athletes both inside and out of bodybuilding. While Clen-shreds may sound enticing, they certainly don’t come without controversy and concern. It doesn’t matter how Clen gets into your body – inhaled, pill or liquid form, or injected, remember this: Clen is dangerous.

Keep in mind that clen is different than other beta-2 agonists or stimulants based off: specificity, potency, and duration of effect. This makes for steady, strong blood levels of Clen, which often are easy to achieve with just a single or twice-daily dose (thanks to its 35-hour half-life). After a few weeks (usually 4-6 weeks) the body’s beta-2 receptors slowly stop responding due to a process called “down regulation” … simply put, they stop responding and require rest (aka. stop the drug).

However, like other performance enhancers, Clen is great at turning users into complete idiots by tempting them with magical everlasting results. What follows is the “more is better, longer is better” complex.       

From developing a psychological dependency based off ill-informed perceptions that Clen can be used long term, to the fact that users gauge the effectiveness of the drug based off the presence initial side effects such as shaky hands, insomnia, sweating and nausea – it appears that we have a growing Clenhead epidemic on our hands.  

Yes, initial side effects should dissipate after a few days and this does NOT mean that the drug has stopped working, so please stop boosting the dose to supersonic levels and somehow believe that stacking it with other stimulants will results in “better results” and not a cardiac arrest. Wake up and education yourself on drug dependency and the long term effects of Clen that happen even after beta-2 receptors stop “responding.”

Not only that, due to its strength, long half-life, and perceived effectiveness, there is such thing as Clen toxicity – which is why in Canada it’s not available for human use even with a prescription, and within veterinary practice has dramatically declined over the past few years.

Clen has never been made available for human or animal use in the US, and within sport clen it is completely banned regardless of the fact that some countries around the world (Bulgaria, Russia and China) continuing to prescribe it as a therapeutic drug. (… cough cough, the IOC wonders why there has been an increase of athletes with “asthma”).

Since the mid-90’s, it’s even illegal to use Clen to bulk-up livestock. Not only were the animals questionable, but those who ate Clen’d meat suffered symptoms of Clen overdose, such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Just an FYI to athletes who travel - be mindful that not all countries have banned its use in livestock. Anti-doping agencies have reported a number of cases where athletes tested positive for Clen after eating contaminated meat … or at least that’s what the athlete told officials after being caught Clen-handed.

Regardless of the fact that Clen is pretty much illegal for ALL consumption, it continues to be widely available on the black market and used for performance enhancement. From the consumption of cocaine in 18th century, amphetamine use during cold-war and now to today’s Clenheads – even though athletes have been using stimulants for centuries it doesn’t make it safe or smart. 

 

Originally Published: Insider Controversy, Muscle Insider Magazine, 29: June/July 2016