Q&A with Mike Furci
Q: I came across your column while doing a search for reviews on Biotest's Alpha Male, as I just received my first bottle today. I am 24 and have for the first time been experiencing lethargy, increased irritability, general disinterest, loss of libido, no sex drive whatsoever, and lack of performance when put in a sexual situation. My workouts have suffered as well. I suspect low testosterone levels, and have not yet scheduled a visit to my doctor (I’m not presently insured and would rather not pay for blood tests if I can try to tackle it otherwise). I wonder if there are other indicators of low test that I might not be aware of, or any other diet suggestions you can make that might help the alpha male (fingers crossed) do the job. I also will be taking Biotest ZMA in an attempt to get better sleep, another thing that is suffering. Any other ideas? If this doesn’t work, I’m considering Andriol.
Alpha male is an excellent product. Biotest’s tribulous product, Tribex, is also very good. There are no other testosterone boosting products on the market that work as well as these two. Taking these products and avoiding certain food products I’m sure will help your situation.
One problem that more and more Americans are facing is an over abundance of phytoestrogens in our food supply. Look at all the food labels for the foods you purchase, there is almost always some type of soy product contained in them. Some of the various soy products contained in foods include: soy oil, soy protein, and soy lecithin. Buddhist monks have been using soy for almost 2,000 years to lower their libido and help abstain from sex and become more spiritual. Many recent studies substantiate the more soy consumed, the lower the testosterone levels go. And to top it off, many of the products we use are packaged in plastic containers which also supply us with “ecoestrogens,” which mimic hormonal estrogen when consumed by humans. Unfortunately, these estrogen-like substances have other deleterious effects.
Just 25g of soy per day, which is not difficult to attain with soy being in everything, has been shown to inhibit proper thyroid function. Hypothyroidism has become an epidemic in this country coinciding with the increase in the use of soy in our food supply. This plus lower test levels could also explain your lethargy.
Good luck. Let me know how it goes.
I was wondering if a 15-year-old male took one capsule everyday, would he get fast results since he is young. (referring to a testosterone booster called ISA – Test Advanced Testosterone Formula Capsules.)
A: I feel it is not necessary for anyone younger than 20 to use testosterone boosters or enhancers. Your test levels at that age are surging and the receptors are very sensitive. Once you are in your early 20s, trained for several years, and have learned proper training and nutrition methods, I would then suggest a good testosterone booster.
Q: Hi Mike,
I am a 26-year-old female, 6'0, 179lbs. My goal is to lose body fat!! I have heard that doing more cardio like the elliptical, treadmill, etc., will take off the body fat. I would then start weight training after I have lost the amount of body fat I desired, is this true?
Right now I go to the gym about 3-4 times a week. I want to make sure this is the right thing I should be doing? Please get back to me!!
Thanks a lot- Jenn
A: Jennifer, "I want to get a little leaner before I start weight training because I don't want to bulk up." This statement gets under my skin as much as somebody saying, I want to "tone" up. Losing body fat before you start weight training is the antithesis of what you should be doing. Weight training is essential in losing weight properly. People who lose weight w/o progressive resistance training lose muscle also. Muscle is what drives the metabolism. The more you have, the faster your metabolism is. The people who are the most successful in getting leaner are those who eat right and use progressive resistance training properly. Cardio is, and should be viewed as, icing on the cake. It's overrated as a fat burner.
Q: Mike ,
I was hoping for some advice. I am having foot surgery next week and am in the second week of a six week program to trim down and get into better shape (surgery was not expected yet , there was a cancellation). I will be unable to do any cardio for a few weeks and only light weight training after I can put some weight on my foot. Any advice for my diet? Should I slash my calories as much as I can and ride it out until I can start my program again?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thunder Bay ON Canada
A: Jeff, eating a good diet is your best bet. Make sure to take in 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Cutting your calories and eating low amounts of protein will only worsen your down time in that you will lose more muscle. If you feel you're starting to get more body fat, reduce your carb intake, never your protein intake. The extra protein will also help you heal faster.
As far as working out after surgery, if you belong to a gym there are plenty of exercises you can do without putting weight on your feet. With a little planning you’ll be able to train as hard as you can without using your injured foot. Don't worry about not being able to do cardio. It's overrated as a fat burner anyway.
Q: Hi Mike,
I've been weight training for three years and have managed to gain great strength. In fact, although I'm 44 years old, I can lift substantially more weight than guys down the gym who are half my age. But, I have been on a strength plateau for ages. As an example my arm strength. I can curl 22 kilograms - about 50Ib with each arm, but seem stuck on that weight. I try to train my arms no more than twice a week, but still can't move up, say a kilo every few weeks. They have now put me on a split routine down the gym, because I used to train the same body parts three or four times per week. Can you advise me how to increase my strength and lean muscle mass please?
I will gladly help you. Write down your complete routine. Warm-up sets, working sets, exercises, and how you split up your body during the week.
Fivos wrote back with a description of his routine the next day.
Q: Hi Mike
Thanks for your quick reply. Here is my weekly routine.
Monday: aerobics for 30 minutes followed by leg and shoulder routine:
leg press machine x 4 sets of 10 reps at 500Ib
Quadriceps machine x 4 sets of 10 at 350Ib
Calf machine x 4 sets of 10 at 350Ib
Shoulder press machine x 4 sets of 10 at 140Ib
Cable machine x 4 sets of 10 at 100Ib each shoulder
Free weights x 4 sets at 35Ib at 35Ib each shoulder
Wednesday: aerobics for 30 minutes followed by chest and triceps routine:
Triceps pull down cable machine x 4 sets of 10 at 60Ib
Free weight bench press x 4 sets of 10 at 200Ib
Cable machine press x 4 sets of 10 at 300Ib
Machine chest press x 4 sets of 10 at 350Ib
Saturday: aerobics for 30 minutes followed by back and biceps routine:
Lats pull down machine x 4 sets of 10 at 140Ib
Bent over rows with free weights x 4 sets of 10 at 110Ib each shoulder
Traditional biceps curl with free weights of 10 at 50Ib
Concentrated curl with free weights of 10 at 35Ib
I also note that I can lift far more with the machines. Hope you can
help me overcome my strength plateau.
A: Fivos, perform your aerobics after your weight training. A five- to ten-minute warm-up before you train is okay, but aerobics prior to your workout, especially legs, will take away from your weight training results. Cut your working sets in half to 2 per exercise and perform these sets to positive (concentric) failure.
Below is a training program I would like you to try for 9 weeks. The first 3 weeks, perform between 10 & 12 reps per set. The second 3 weeks, perform between 8 & 10. The third 3 weeks, perform between 6 & 8 reps per set. Follow the exercises in their prescribed order and utilize perfect form. You'll find I have deleted a few exercises and also added a few.
Leg Press, leg extension, romanian deadlift (stiff leg dead lift), leg curl, standing calf machine
Wednesday: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
Flat bench press, flat dumbbell presses, dumbell flys, dumbbell lateral raises (shoulders), shoulder press machine, triceps pushdown
Saturday: Back & Biceps
Pull down machine, bent-over rows, barbell shrugs, standing dumbbell curls
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