Overweight and thinking of pregnancy?

A commentary regarding preconception and obesity was released in the Obesity Journal today. The article details how obesity during pregnancy (high intake of calorie-dense and nutritionally depleted diets) has a correlation to infant death.
In their analysis of more than 1.2 million recent pregnancies and births in Pennsylvania, the risk of infant mortality increased linearly with maternal BMI, such that the risk of infant death (infant death per 1,000 births) for a mother entering pregnancy as normal weight was 3.7 compared to 4.6 for overweight, 5.3 for obese I, 6.5 for obese II, and 7.0 for obese III.

In the article, Leanne M. Redman and Suzanne Phelan, say that the Institute of Medicine suggests that women should not gain more than 20 pounds during a pregnancy and that they should enter the pregnancy at a normal weight. The increase in weight from being pregnant, along with poor diets, can lead to health issues for the mother and also her baby. The infant could be born small or larger than normal and have a higher risk for obesity in their life.

Infants born to women who begin pregnancy with obesity [body mass index (BMI) 30 kg/m2] are about 40% more likely to die than infants born to normal-weight mothers


Reduce excessive weight if you plan on becoming pregnant (even though 50% of pregnancies are not planned!). Eat a proper diet and find a high quality nutrition program! 80% of weight loss is your nutrition and diet.

Further reading:
You can read the entire commentary here and associated article here


Kids Multivitamins | IDLife Kids Nutrition - Product Review

There are many kids / children's multivitamins on the market and it's difficult to determine the best kids vitamin. IDLife Kids Nutrition is a high quality vitamin for ages 2 and up. This review will show you how IDLife is creating a standard that other companies are striving to meet.

IDLife has formulated a vitamin that covers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the basic nutrients for bone development, nervous system, cardio vascular development, but more important, brain (neurodevelopment, memory development) and vision (eye/retina development).

The safety of the product, the healthy levels of ingredients, the quality... nobody has a product like this on the market, it simply didn't exist until now. IDLife is creating a benchmark for other companies to try to achieve (and this applies to all of their product lines, not just IDLife Kids Nutrition). IDLife Kids Nutrition is the leading vitamin for children, and I'm going to show you why, so let's dig into the details...

Background on IDLife Kids Nutrition and Competition

About 14 months ago IDLife starting looking at nutrition for kids. They looked at what was currently available from competitors and what science was available. Unfortunately, not many studies are out there, and what is available, has your standard recommendations between 11 to 18 minerals (think of the cartoon character that drives the stone car). They wanted to find out what was good out there and what they should include in their formula.

They were mortified by what was available. These other companies selling nutrition products for kids to caring parents to supplement diets from fast foods and non-nutritious foods... giving them a vitamin expecting all bases to be covered. These vitamins have labels promising health and vitality and it's just plain deceptive. Why? Most of those vitamins with the standard 11 nutrient formula have no minerals. There is one that has no B1, B2, or Vitamin K. Another had a moderate level of iron (which for children under 6 can have a danger of poising!). Many had no calcium or manganese.

The "Bad Stuff"

Many kids vitamins contain artificial ingredients; chemical forms of sweeteners, synthetics, artificial flavoring, preservatives, and other additives - all of the "bad things". Others have label paint, a lot of ingredients listed that impress people thinking that they have plenty of coverage. But when you look at the amounts, the levels of those ingredients, they do not meet what science indicates as being efficacious.. required by the body. They end up being sub-potent and do not meet the bodies requirements.
"Unlike most children’s vitamins that contain artificial ingredients and fillers, IDLife Kids Nutrition offers a formula that will ensure your child is getting the best ingredients available with no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or additives. Boasting 24 vitamins and minerals, these easy-to-chew tablets deliver all the necessary ingredients that your child needs to fill their nutritional gaps with a great taste that will have them begging for more." - IDLife

IDLife Kids Nutrition Ingredients

So what is IDLife's philosophy on a good kids vitamin? I mentioned some of the bad stuff that may be in your kids vitamins. Or simply the lack of what should be included. Paul Sullivan, the Chief Formulator, for IDLife decided that the vitamin should include, what he calls, the three "A's" and two "P's".

The three A's.
  1. Anti-inflammatory
  2. Anti-neurotoxic
  3. Antioxidant (read about free radicals and oxidants here)
The two P's
  1. Pro brain development
  2. Pro eye development
Many focus on the A's, but everyone misses on the P's.
"Kids, like adults, are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals due to a number of contributing factors. To address these nutritional gaps, IDLife has developed a fun and great tasting chewable packed with 24 vitamins and minerals designed just for kids." - IDLife

IDLife included cofactors in their vitamins which many others lack. Cofactors are basically an insurance factor that helps with metabolism and absorption, cellular absorption as well; they are complimentary to the vitamins. And nobody else does it to the extent that IDLife does.

So, let's take a look at some of the ingredients (vitamins, minerals, and cofactors) that are in IDLife Kids Nutrition.

Methylfolate and Methylcobalamin

They mandated two ingredients, methylfolate and methylcobalamin. I've mentioned folic acid and the associated dangers in a previous post, and many of you probably have heard of the MTHFR gene abnormality (having this marker hampers the process to properly absorb folic acid). Why is this important? Not a single kids vitamin has methylfolate and nobody has requested to use it, which is shocking. Both of these ingredients are so critical to overall health.
"Folate deficiency in the periconceptional period contributes to neural tube defects; deficits in vitamin B12 (cobalamin) have negative consequences on the developing brain during infancy; and deficits of both vitamins are associated with a greater risk of depression during adulthood." - Journal on the Effects of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency on brain development in children.
Methylfolate alone may help in clinical depression. Folate (B9) is an essential nutrient that is required for DNA replication, it cannot be synthesized by the body, it can only be obtained from diet or supplementation. Methycobalamin (Methyl B12) rescues neurons from cell death due to excess homocysteine (toxic to neurons). It has also been shown to help with Autism. There are many other benefits as well.


Choline is essential for the integrity and signaling functions of cell membranes. It's primarily for brain and memory development. Some prenatal vitamins even lack this critical nutrient, so the child is pretty much depleted of that nutrient right out of gate. It helps develop those neurotransmitters, the signaling pathways within membranes in the brain. It also helps methlyfolate to develop cells and DNA in a healthy manner.

"Choline is critical during fetal development, when it influences stem cell proliferation and apoptosis, thereby altering brain and spinal cord structure and function and influencing risk for neural tube defects and lifelong memory function." - Journal - Choline: Critical Role During Fetal Development and Dietary Requirements in Adults


Inositol works closely with Choline for nerve cell communication. And it can help fight depression in children as there is evidence that depressed kids have lower levels of inositol. Adults as well.
"A double-blind controlled trial of 12 g daily of inositol in 28 depressed patients for four weeks was performed. Significant overall benefit for inositol compared to placebo was found at week 4 on the Hamilton Depression Scale." - Controlled trials of inositol in psychiatry.
It's also beneficial for the eye membranes.


There are few vitamins out there for kids that have ingredients to help the eyes. Lutein is essential to both the brain (helps improve neurons) and retina. They also have zeaxanthin and carotenoids listed in their ingredients. For a child's first 4 years these nutrients are important, eye development is very rapid in the first year. Long term cognitive performance, learning and memory all are impacted by these nutrients.
"Oral supplementation with the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation (antioxidant vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc) has been shown to reduce the risk of progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Observational data suggest that increased dietary intake of lutein + zeaxanthin (carotenoids), omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] + eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]), or both might further reduce this risk." - Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 Research Group.
These are the basic nutrients for bone development, nervous system, cardio vascular. But more important, brain and vision. Before the child can even speak they use their vision to learn.

And it's not just for children. I take a zeaxanthin supplement (EyePromise Restore) as I have a low MPOD (Macular Pigment Optical Density) score, which as seen above, can lead to macular degeneration when you are older.

Other Vitamins and Minerals

  • Vitamin A deficiency can result in poor immune function. Infant impaired neural cognitive development is another result from a deficiency in Vitamin A. It promotes normal growth and development; tissue and bone repair; healthy skin (inside and out), eyes, and immune responses. It also helps protect against many forms of cancer. 
  • Zinc is used in over 200 enzymes in the body. It promotes a healthy nervous system and brain, especially in the fetus. 
  • Calcium for building strong bones, contracting muscles, teeth health, clots blood. 
  • Vitamin D helps maintain healthy and strong bones by retaining calcium. 
  • Vitamin K for metabolism pathways in tissue and bone. It can reduce neural damage and stop free radicals. Also controls blood-clotting.
  • Vitamin E is an important antioxidant. It protects the cells from damage. It prevents blood clots, improves wound-healing, it's good for the skin, and helps against cancer.
  • Vitamin B1 (aka thiamine) is essential for energy function and intellectual development (brain function). It helps the body make use of protein. 
  • Riboflavin (aka B2) is also used for energy (by converting fats, protein, sugars), healthy skin repair and maintenance, used for hair, nails, eyes. Also important to help protect against free radacals
  • Niacin (B3) helps lower cholesterol levels and balance blood sugar. Also helps with diarrhea. 
  • Pantothenic Acid (B5) controls fat metabolism, creates anti-stress hormones, helps with immunity. 
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) has been shown to help with protein digestions, brain function, hormone production, help balance sex hormones (more useful in older individuals with PMS and menopause), used as a natural anti-depressant, and known to help with allergic reactions. 
  • Biotin (B7) is particularly important for children to prevent pain and fatigue in muscles, that ache from physical activity. 
  • Vitamin B12 is essential for energy, it helps to carry oxygen in your blood. Also helps with allergens and deals with toxins. It's also essential for the nerves. 
  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) - What doesn't this remarkable nutrient do? It's a very important antioxidant that strengthens the immune system. It fights pollutants, helps to protect the heart from disease, it protects against cancer, turns food into energy, helps making those anti-stress hormones, keeps joints, skin, and bones firm by making collagen. 
  • Selenium is another antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radicals. It can also reduce inflammation, fight infections, and helps the Vitamin E's processes. 
  • Manganese is important for the thyroid and calcium absorption. It helps cartilage formation, tissues, nerves, stabilizes blood sugars, promotes healthy RNA, and is important for insulin production. 

Wait, No Iron?

You may have noticed there is no Iron. This was an executive decision by IDLife, and included many many long conversations. Why? Because under the age of 6 it’s a big danger. There should be a warning on vitamins that contain iron. Just imagine if you had an open bottle of delicious candy (to your 1 or 2 year old) laying around. They could ingest far too much and cause iron poisoning.  If they are over 6, you can probably add iron. But IDLife decided against adding iron, especially since they wanted to create a vitamin for children as young as 2 (like my son in the picture at the beginning of this post). They did find safer versions of iron that could possibly work, but it's a risk they do not want to take.


With the risks we are seeing today, such as the dangers from sugar (primarily fructose) and associated cancer risks from processed meats, it's your duty as a parent to make sure your children are meeting their requirements to live long healthy lives. It can be difficult to determine if they are getting their required essential nutrients. It's more difficult to find a high quality product that doesn't contain artificial ingredients (colors, preservatives, additive, sweeteners).

The intentions and the way IDLife designed their kids nutrition product should tell you that it was a labor of love. The science behind it, which keeps changing, is solid (and they will reformulate as the science evolves). IDLife has created a product line that nobody else has, it simply didn't exist at this quality. It will help to develop your kids immune system, help protect them from everything they are exposed to, they'll be healthiest kids on the block.

Order IDLife Kids Nutrition <-- CLICK HERE!

Order IDLife Kids Nutrition


Q: When should my kids switch to IDLife Nutrition?

A: At the age of 12+ and 100 pounds healthy weight, once they have reached maturity.


Conference call with Paul Sullivan - October 2015 

Fit-Bullet Friday #10

FitCorner's Friday Fit-Bullets #10.
  • Workout Equipment: I'm working on building an "adjustable" squat box using leftover wood from my DIY Bench and Squat Spotter Catchers (and other home projects). I'm discovering as I do squats that I'm not very limber, same with dead lifts and especially hack squats. So, to help with that, I'll use the squat box for my regular squats. I'll also place a couple of the boxes (multiple sizes) on the floor to raise the Olympic bar up higher, until I gain the flexibility to do dead lifts/hack squats properly. I'll post the plans and images soon.
Every Friday I'll blog about topics related to health, fitness, wellness, self-improvement, and other miscellaneous topics I find interesting.


Champion Barbell Revolving Multi-Exercise Bar - Product Review

The Champion Barbell Revolving Multi-Exercise Bar is awesome! I love this thing! I use it primarily for three exercises:

- Overhead tricep cable pushdowns (like this dude here).
- Standard tricep cable push-downs.
- Low seated cable rows (youtube example).

It's quite versatile, solid, sturdy, and heavier than I expected. You can also use it for bicep curls, pull downs, etc. I paid $30.77 at the time. Of course, you'll need a cable pulley machine of some sort.

Also, in my research, I purchased this over the rubber coated CAP version (CAP Barbell Deluxe Multi-Exerciser). I didn't like the idea of thick rubber for hand grips, and I usually wear gloves (except bench and dead lifts)... Yes, I wear gloves. I have a wife too. If that makes sense, and you want a nice pair of gloves, check out Harbinger 155 Power StretchBack Glove.

Overall, it's heavy duty and well made for the price! You can purchase the Champion Barbell Revolving Multi-Exercise Bar here.


Study shows cutting sugar improves children's health

A study conducted on 43 children, published in the journal Obesity, found reductions in diastolic blood pressure, lactate, triglycerides, and LDL-cholesterol when sugar was substituted for starch (complex carbohydrates) over the period of 10 days. The children had very little weight change in this time, less than 2 lbs, in fact they tried to not have a reduction or change in weight. No other dietary changes were made or exercise introduced. They also noted that glucose tolerance and hyperinsulinemia improved.

The children's diet contained comparable amounts of protein, fat, and carbs with a reduction in sugar (from 28% to 10%). The only change; sugar was substituted with starch. So instead of pastries or high sugar/fructose foods, they had other complex carbohydates such as those in fruit, bagels, cereal, pasta, and bread.
"This “child-friendly” study diet included various no- or low-sugar added processed foods including turkey hot dogs, pizza, bean burritos, baked potato chips, and popcorn that were purchased at local supermarkets. "


Why limit sugar to 10%?


In January, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) presented their scientific report for U.S Dietary Guidelines (which is 571 pages long!). In their findings they recommend 10%, maximum, for daily sugar intake.
"The DGAC recommends limiting added sugars to a maximum of 10% of total daily caloric intake. This recommendation is supported by: 1) the food pattern modeling analysis conducted by the 2015 DGAC and 2) the scientific evidence review on added sugars and chronic disease risk conducted by the Committee." - Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (page 466+)
This is also based on the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. If you want to read more, download the report from here.

Why not just remove all sugar? 


Other studies have looked at removing all sugar, or using excess sugar to test it's effects. There are also studies that specifically test weight gain only with sugar. Whereas this study focuses on those that already have metabolic syndrome and adjusting their daily intake of sugar (and fructose) to the daily recommended limit and not focusing on weight loss/gain, - just the impact of limiting sugar on their diseases, even though in 33 children they did see weight loss (more on this below). 
"Metabolic syndrome is a clustering of at least three of five of the following medical conditions: abdominal (central) obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high serum triglycerides, and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. Metabolic syndrome is associated with the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes." - Wikipedia

Is sugar bad?

So, the question, is sugar bad for you? Or is the resulting weight gain from sugar the cause for health problems? This study may help answer that question, even though it was only conducted on children that were obese and had metabolic syndrome. It was not conducted on children within a healthy weight range. However, please note that the associated diseases also occur with those that have a normal weight. But, they are more prevalent in obese children. Additional studies will be needed.

Weight loss 


An interesting side note, they wanted to keep weight stable to show just the impact of reducing sugar and fructose. The study points out that fructose "does not suppress the hunger hormone", which results in you consuming far more than you should. And it also, "stimulates the nucleus accumbens resulting in increased reward and continued ingestion".
"After the first 17 participants were studied, seven were noted to have lost >2% in weight, so caloric targets for each participant were increased by 10% thereafter."
Of course, those that didn't lose weight, saw the same improvements and trends in health as the other children who did lose weight.
"Furthermore, we analyzed the 10 participants who did not lose weight over the 10 days in a separate post hoc sensitivity analysis, and the results were directionally consistent as compared with the entire cohort."

What can you do?


Watch what your kids consume. Cut out the sugary drinks and the pastries, especially those that contain fructose. While you're at it, cut out artificial flavors, synthetics, and processed meats.

If you are looking for high quality vitamins, snack bars, kids shake, or a substitute for sugary drinks like Gatorade, take a look at IDLife's Kids nutrition line.

Develop healthy habits for your children




Processed meat and cancer

A team of scientists reviewed 800 epidemiological studies, with greatest weight to high population-based case-control studies, on the association of cancer risk due to consumption of processed meats and red meats. They just released a journal today: Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat - and as usual, the news is running wild with the story. "Meat causes cancer!". Perhaps it does...

First, let's define processed meat and red meat.

Processed meat is meat that has been transformed through a process like salting, smoking, fermentation, curing, and other methods to improve preservation or to enhance the flavor of the meat.  Hot dogs, baloney, ham, sausage, bacon (le sigh).

Red meat is "unprocessed mammalian muscle meat"; Pork, lamb, beef, veal, etc.

Note: The article does not mention if the studies were conducted with pasture-raised/grass-fed meats or industry meats.

How does meat processing cause cancer?

Smoking or curing meat can result in the formation of carcinogenic chemicals. Cooking meat, can also produce carcinogens. And High-temperature (frying, grilling, barbecuing) produces the highest amount of carcinogens. 

Did you know that fried food causes a significant amount of free radicals? And nitrosamine, which is a common chemical found in processed and cured meats, causes cancer ("90% of nitrosamine compounds were deemed to be carcinogenic" - Wikipedia). 

"A  majority of the Working Group concluded that there is sufficient evidence in human beings for the carcinogenicity of the consumption of processed meat." 

Not all 800 studies were used. For example, 12 of  18 cohort studies that provided relevant data showed positive associations of colorectal cancer with processed meats. In a meta-analysis of colorectal cancer from ten studies, they saw an 18% increase per 50g per day of processed meats.

What about red meat?

Only 7 of the 15 case-control studies, with relevant data, showed positive associations of colorectal cancer with high consumption of red meat, which is a limited data set. In a meta-analysis of colorectal cancer from ten studies, they saw an 17% increase per 100g per day of processed meats.

However, red meat also contains important micro-nutrients, such as B vitamins (B12, B6) and iron. It also has high biological-value proteins. Meat also contains CoQ10, which is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from carcinogens (also in fish, nuts, and seeds).


"A  majority of the Working Group concluded that there is sufficient evidence in human beings for the carcinogenicity of the consumption of processed meat." However, for red meat, they found that there is limited evidence to support carcinogenicity of red meat consumption. But they classify it as "probably carcinogenic to humans".

Most people already know processed meats are unhealthy. This is not ground breaking news folks! And just to put things into perspective, about your risk from meat, there are over a million deaths per year from smoking, and red meats? Assuming all of the above is accurate, less than 34,000.

What should I eat/do?

Stay away from processed foods. Not just processed meats, but party goods, ice cream, deli, etc.. You can also up your veggies and fruit intake - your antioxidants. For example, grapes, strawberries, and raspberries contain ellagic acid that can neutralize carcinogens before they mutate or damage your DNA.

Or, if you are open to a high quality nutrition program, take a look at ID Nutrition, which depending on your personal lifestyle, health, medical conditions, environmental factors, hereditary history, allergies, and diet, can contain significant amounts of antioxidants to help fight carcinogens. 

Also stay away from artificial colors and flavorings, soda (including Diet Soda), white flour, corn syrup (your pastries) -  you know the drill.


Fit-Bullet Friday #9

FitCorner's Friday Fit-Bullets #9.

  • Quote:

    "You are strong, smart, capable and motivated to make a positive difference. Get past the fear, and do all the good things you know you can do." - The Daily Motivator

Every Friday I'll blog about topics related to health, fitness, wellness, self-improvement, and other miscellaneous topics I find interesting.

GNC sued due to ingredients in supplements

Back in Feburary, an investigation by the New York State attorney general’s office, tested store-brand herbal supplements at GNC, Target, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens. They tested 24 products and all but five contained unknown ingredients or a form of which was not related to the product. 

“Contamination, substitution and falsely labeling herbal products constitute deceptive business practices and, more importantly, present considerable health risks for consumers,” said the letters.

Currently, this week, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has filed a lawsuit against GNC due to substances called picamilon and BMPEA. Both of which are illegal in the US. Picamilon is a prescription drug which has been used to treat neurological conditions. And BMPEA has been banned for athletes, it's a amphetamine-like stimulant.
"It is scary to know that certain products sold by GNC contain an ingredient that is not even labeled -- let alone approved in the United States," Rosenblum said. "When Oregonians buy a dietary supplement, they deserve to know that the ingredients in the products are safe and comply with the law."
Apparently, Vitamin Shoppe, back in April, had to pull supplements off of shelves due to BMPEA as well.

Scary stuff! And just another example, an outbreak of hepatitis struck at least 72 people in 2013. This was across 16 states! And it was all due to a contaminated supplement. One woman died. Three others had to have liver transplants!

There are no guidelines, no regulations for the supplement industry. It's all up to the manufacturer. So who do you trust for your supplements?

If you are looking for products that are high quality, pharmaceutical grade, and follow FDA regulations (even though they are not required) check out ID Life. They have Vitamins, Pre and Post workout supplements, Weight loss supplements, Energy, Meal replacement drink, and even a Kid's line. Or you can read my ID Life review here.

Be Safe! Research what you are buying, read the ingredient labels.

DIY Bench and Squatter Catchers

I started lifting again this month and have been concerned with safety. So I built some spotter catchers out of wood. I would love to have a full size metal squat rack with 1" holes, but that's out of my budget.

Squat / Bench Stand with DIY Spotter Catchers - With Stain

Equipment that I use

I own the Body Champ Olympic Weight Bench with Leg Developer. It's an okay set for the price. The decline only goes down 10%, so I used a 7/16" cobalt drill bit and made a hole lower to get the back down to aprox 25/30% for decline bench press. The lowest position of the bar was just above my extended arm length, so I used the same drill bit to drill a couple of holes so I can lower it more (also had to move the drill in a circular motion to widen the holes as 7/16" for the screw in pins was too small). The bench is just a tad to high for my liking, so I built a stand (as can be seen in the picture above) so I could feel more connected to the "ground" when benching.


The Plan


I googled for DIY squat racks and stumbled on Garage Gym Guy's blog. He built some Squat Stands with DIY Spotter Bars. So I took that idea and mocked up a plan on my tablet. I wanted it a bit more sturdy. So I used metal brackets where I could, lag bolts, and carriage screws. Overall, probably around $50, but I didn't buy anything on sale and I had some of the wood and bolts from other work around the house. See the materials used at the end of this post.

A note when building,.. the rear uprights will need to have a cut made to fit over the bottom legs of the squat stand. In my case, they are round. So I used a 2" bore bit to drill a round hole and then cut the bottom of the legs off (I made the rear uprights longer as I took this into consideration when building). There is also a bolt that sticks up. So I drilled into the bottom of the upright leg so it would fit over the bolt. My advice, with whatever squat stand you have, is to work just spend some time thinking and working around any issues as they come up.

I also sanded all sharp corners and the top of the uprights. Predrill all holes for lag bolts so you do not split the wood.

Spotter Bars


To figure out how high your spotter bars should be, clamp on some 2x4's to the front and rear uprights, have the bench horizontal, and bring the olympic bar down to your chest on the 2x4's (and relax!). That should be the top of your bar. I also use this height as my squat catcher. When you bench, you typically arch your back and stick your chest out. If you fail a set, lower to chest, relax, and squirm out!

After you have figured out the height and have your 2x4's where they need to be, use a level to check  perpendicular, parallel, and diagonal on the 2x4's. Then use a square to mark where the top of your bars should be.. this all took me a couple of hours to figure out as I did it for decline as well.

Max Weight

I am just starting to lift again (after 18 years). So I am not squatting or benching a lot, less than 300 on the bar. My stands have a max of 300 lbs on the bar. To test the catchers, I loaded up the bar with 150 lbs and slammed it down a few times on the pipes. Other than marring my new pipe, it didn't do anything to the bars and nothing moved or slipped. But I didn't expect it to as I overbuilt.

Squat / Bench Stand with DIY Spotter Catchers
Without Stain, sanding, and extra diagonal supports

Materials used:

  • Quart of Black Stain with Polyurethane
  • 2x 1" pipe clamps so the spotter bars do not move/slide back out
  • 2x 48" 3/4" galvanized pipe for drinking water (you can get them in 4 foot pieces)
  • 1x 1.125" spade bore bit for making the holes (1" is too tight). 0.125 = 1/8"
  • Long 3/8" drill bit for the carriage bolts.
  • 6x 2"x4"x6's
  • 4x 2"x6"x8's (I would have purchased two 2x6x10's instead for the base, didn't feel like driving to the back of Menards and trying to load them in the minivan)
  • Around 18 Lag bolts
  • 4x Carriage Bolts (8" x 3/8" diameter) - I cut the ends off as they stuck out. They didn't have any 7" bolts. 
  • 3/8" standard washers
  • 3/8" lock washers
  • 3/8" nuts (probably could have gone with lock nuts)
  • 4x Square U Bolts (3/8" x 4" x 7". They didn't have any 3 1/2" bolts, so I tilted the bolts at an angle and cranked them down)
  • 2x Heavy duty L brackets for the front posts
  • 6x 2x4 L brackets for front posts and back post (probably didn't need them on the back)
  • Standard construction screws to help hol dstuff together while you build it.
  • Wood glue for the upright posts
I may have missed something in there. Also note, I already had the washers, nuts, clamps, drill, level, miter saw, sander, jig saw, circular saw, 3/8" drill bit, other drill bits, L brackets, and screws.


Folic Acid vs Folate - Risks and Dangers

http://myidlife.net/idnutritionFolate is found in many fortified foods and supplements, usually as folic acid, and is considered an important nutrient. It's found and listed on many prenatal vitamins and is recommended to take before and during pregnancies. However, recent research shows some serious risks associated with folic acid, such as cancer. And with a genetic mutation of the MTHFR gene, nearly 40% of the population may not be able to properly absorb folic acid. So, what should you be taking and what should you avoid? First, some basics, what is folic acid, folate, and L-methylfolate?

Folic Acid ($50 per kilo)

It's an oxidized synthetic compound and derived from folate. On average, you can get a kilo of folic acid for about $50. Very cheap and easy to obtain. If you have a genetic mutation with the MTHFR gene, you ability to process and break down folic acid properly is limited. There are numerous studies coming out that show serious risks when taking folic acid (more on that below).

Folate and L-methylfolate ($15,000 per kilo)

Folate is natural and found in foods (aka B-9), such as Lentils and Spinach. It's been shown to help with neural tube defects (NTD) during pregnancy.

L-methylfolate is man-made, and therefore synthetic as well. However, it's already broken down, unlike folic acid. So for those with the mutated MTHFR gene, they can absorb it far easier (see more below). However, in order to make it stable as a supplement, it is VERY costly. A kilo of L-methylfolate will set you back about $15,000!

The MTHFR Gene

The Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (NAD(P)H) gene is used in a process to create an enzyme in processing amino acids. This enzyme, Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, is involved in a multi-step process to convert the homocysteine amnio acid to another called methionine, which is used to make other proteins and compounds in your body.

However, there are around 40 mutations of this gene. This prevents the body from processing certain amino acids properly, such as folic acid. Somewhere around 40 to 50% of the population has a type of this mutation! This mutation can cause depression, anxiety, miscarriages, pre-cancerous cells, and other medical issues.

Folic-acid Dangers?

For years now folic acid has been an important nutrient for prenatal vitamins. However, recent research says otherwise. Some 40% to 50% of the population can't properly absorb it. And it's "fortified" in a lot of foods we eat, and in MANY supplements and vitamins. This was introduced as mandatory in 1998, as a protective effect before and during pregnancy for NTD (neural tube defects). What are the other risks?
  • Breast Cancer Increase
  • Colon Cancer Increase
  • Prostate Cancer Increase
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Childhood Asthma
A study published in 2014 shows that folic acid supplementation may promote mammary tumor progression. This doesn't say it causes cancer, but can promote the progression of breast cancer if it already exists, by 20 to 30%!

Another study shows an increase in colon cancer (about 35%) in the U.S., Canada, and Chile that utilized a flour fortification program with folic acid. And,on a related note, a clinical trial shows a risk of prostate cancer, a 163% increased risk.

Vitamin B12 can be masked by having a high intake of folic acid. The low levels of B12 and high folic acid has found to cause a higher prevalence of cognitive impairment in older Americans.

Another study showed that an increase of 26% in childhood asthma due to mother's supplementing with folic acid during pregnancy.

Should I stop taking folic acid?

There are studies that show we are deficient and that folate does indeed provide protective benefits. But with the research research, folic acid is not a good replacement for folate. Currently, to supplement or for your prenatal vitamins, look for L-methylfolate in your vitamins. Natural foods is best, such as Lentils, Spinach, Asparagus, Pinto Beans, Navy Beans, Black beans, etc for obtaining folate. If you eat clean, and have the nutritional knowledge to do so, then by all means go for natural foods.

To answer the question, stop taking folic acid.

Do not take multivitamins that contain folic acid and do not take prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid.

If you have a busy life and do not have the time to research what you should be taking, then help armor yourself. I highly recommend trying ID Nutrition. If you want a pharmaceutical grade vitamin nutrition program, that is unique to you, your lifestyle, your medical conditions, and environment,  that has no folic acid, and protects you from drug interactions, then you've found it! You can take the assessment for free.

ID Nutrition and folic acid

The Chief Formulator talked to ID Life's leadership about folic acid and L-methylfolate about 18 months ago. It went something like this (Note: not word for word):

He informed leadership that "methylfolate is a better source and better absorbed by the population. Whereas folic acid may not be absorbed very well by nearly 40% of the population with a genetic mutation." The Chief Formualtor also said, "there is an associated cost... that folic acid is around $80 a kilo and methylfolate is $15,000 a kilo". ID Life leadership said, "okay, so it's better, and you recommend it?" He replied, "yes". The leadership went on to say, "we don't care about the cost, go ahead, and put it in."

That mindset, mission, dedication... that's how you know you are getting the best nutrition program on the market today. Nobody else has anything like this.

Take the free assessment for ID Nutrition!

All relevant studies on what is recommended that is unique to you is available for free after taking the assessment (also free). And there is a 30 day money back guarantee! So add that extra arrow to your quiver and armor yourself for the future!

Additional reading




The Pill and Nutrition

The Pill, (aka: Birth Control Pill, Oral Contraceptive), can deplete nutrients from your body amongst other harmful effects. This has been known since the 80's, "The use of contraceptive pills has been shown to decrease the physiologic levels of six nutrients--riboflavin, pyridoxine, folacin, vitamin B12, ascorbic acid and zinc".

Apparently, the label fails to mention that you should be on a healthy diet, even though in the literature it does mention nutrient depletion. 

"It was concluded that females consuming OCA [Oral contraceptives agents] should pay particular attention to vitamin and mineral intake and, if warranted, consume physiologic supplements of needed nutrients."

Were you informed about these depletions? How is your nutrition?

 I also found the following interesting from the Susan G. Komen® organization.
"Current or recent use of birth control pills (oral contraceptives) slightly increases the risk of breast cancer. Studies show that while women are taking birth control pills (and shortly after), they have a 20 to 30 percent higher risk of breast cancer than women who have never used the pill"

There is evidence that being on The Pill can cause birth defects and mis-carriages. Be sure to stop taking it if you are planning to become pregnant. Recommendations vary, but stop 6 months before trying (this is what my wife was told from her OBGYN, and what we implemented).

Nutrition wise, being on ID Nutrition can make a huge difference for you and your family. Consider it a shield, an extra arrow in your quiver, to help protect you from the unknown dangers lurking in everything from your car fumes, medications (The Pill), city water, processed and fried foods, to your own stress levels.

If you want a healthier life with high quality nutrition, take your free assessment here. There is a 30 day money back guarantee if you order, or simply print out the recommendation and take it to your Dr. All ingredients are pharmaceutical grade, which means they go through rigorous testing and numerous control protocols, the same tests used for your medications at the pharmacy. No pesticides, preservatives, food coloring, none of the "bad stuff". All individualized for you based on your assessment, allergies, medications, ailments and conditions.