Oct 26

Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic SteroidsAnyone involved in the world of bodybuilding, and competitive sport generally, will understand the pressures that go with striving to achieve optimal performance. Sometimes athletes feel they cannot reach their peak without artificially enhancing their powers of recovery from intensive training.

One way to speed up this process is through the use of anabolic steroids. In this article we’ll examine what anabolic steroids actually do. In a second article we’ll focus on the dangers associated with steroid use.

The main active ingredient in steroids is testosterone which is well known as the major male hormone. Testosterone affects the body in two ways, either as an anabolic or an androgenic influence. The anabolic action helps build body tissue by increasing lean muscle mass and bone density. The androgenic actions are those that affect secondary sex characteristics in men.

In recent years research has provided some interesting information in relation to testosterone:

It affects muscle size through muscle fiber hypertrophy with an increase in the cross-sectional area of muscle fiber.

It takes a dose of at least 300 milligrams of testosterone to raise the body’s level above normal.

It acts directly on the muscle itself.

It stimulates the release of growth hormone.

It has an anti-catabolic effect.

 

From these facts we can deduce that testosterone is an effective aid to muscle building and that it must be taken in significant quantities to have this effect. As far as bodybuilding is concerned the science beyond this is somewhat limited as most users base their steroid regimes on little more than trial and error or the advice of ‘veterans’.

Due to the illegal nature of steroid use little scientific data exists to confirm the effectiveness of the many steroid supplements in use. It is perhaps the tendency of some bodybuilders to use a combination of powerful steroids and other drugs that presents the very real dangers that have sometimes led to tragic consequences.

Oct 19

Aerobic Cross Training

Aerobic Cross TrainingDo you sometimes get bored with your aerobic exercise? Do you sometimes feel like you’re not getting the results you should from your aerobic exercise? If so, then you might want to consider the aerobic cross-training.

Aerobic cross-training refers to using two to three different types of aerobic exercise during an exercise session. For example, if you plan to exercise for 60 minutes, you might start with 20 minutes of walking or jogging, followed by 20 minutes of biking, and finish with 20 minutes of rowing.

Now, please don’t get the impression that you have to be in great shape to do this or that it has to be 60 minutes long. You can start with something as simple as a ten minute walk followed by ten minutes with an exercise video. This is cross-training too. You can gradually build up from there.

Here are some of the exercises you can use in your cross-training program; walking, jogging, biking, rowing, stair climbing, swimming, exercise videos, etc. Any combination of aerobic exercises will do. You simply go from one to the next with very little time between them.

Aerobic cross-training is beneficial to you in several ways:

It provides variety which eliminates the monotony often associated with doing the same exercise for a long period of time.

Less monotonous and more enjoyable. If your exercise sessions are less monotonous and more enjoyable, you are much more likely to exercise more often and for longer periods of time.

You are less prone to over-use injuries that sometimes occur from doing the same exercise movements over and over again.

You tone more muscles because you are using more muscles. For example, walking tones mostly the lower body muscles and rowing tones upper body muscles also. Even exercises like walking and biking that both tone lower body muscles, tone them at different angles and each tones some small muscles that the other doesn’t.

Aerobic conditioning is very specific to the muscles being worked. For example, you can walk ten miles a day and still be somewhat breathless after climbing stairs because you haven’t trained the muscles for that specific movement. Aerobic cross-training allows you to develop more comprehensive aerobic training.

Aerobic cross-training is effective for weight loss because you are toning and training the fat-burning systems of more of your muscles. It turns more of your muscles into 24-hour fat-burning machines! You are also more likely to exercise on a regular basis and for longer periods of time. This also promotes weight loss and fitness.

Oct 12

Choosing the Right Kart Frames

Choosing Go Kart FramesChoosing the right frame for your go-kart can largely depend on the surface you are riding on. Whether it is asphalt, concrete, or dirt – different types of frames behave differently according to surface. For example, dirt track frames should consist of a short front rail and a longer back rail.

Dirt tracks place a lot of stress and challenge on the front rail and stiff back rails zipping through dirt can cut power to the engine while cutting a turn. The best frame for riding dirt tracks are ones with narrow fronts and longer backs, vice versa to asphalt and concrete.

The A-1 performance of a frame largely depends on tire traction as well. Low traction tires (tires that do not “stick” well to the ground) are not grooved enough to withstand the rigors of the surface, rattling the stiff frame to oblivion. It also causes uneven weight transfer throughout the go-kart, and that is a no-no for maintaining optimum control of your money maker.

Consider this scenario: you have two pairs of roller skates. One has wheels half-an-inch in width and the other has 3-inch-wide wheels. Which pair would provide better balance as you roller skate? If you love mathematics, treat traction as a formula with the equation: traction = stability. Go ahead; transform yourself into a karting aficionado with this valuable piece of knowledge!

A major issue among karting enthusiasts is the durability and longevity of flexible frames. Exposure to punishing breaks and turns, along with the grueling hits to track walls every now and then, can distort the frame which cannot be “popped” back to its original condition. Experts recommend replacing frames every year.

There are many maintenance techniques you could practice on your kart to keep flexibility intact like running your kart through a course backwards. Racing a kart using the finish line as your starting point and your starting point as the finish line will have a “reverse effect” on the frame, shaping it opposite of what it would be shaped if you were racing the course normally. It’s like turning back the hands of time on your speedster!

The question over choosing the right go-kart chassis boils down to flexibility. High traction tires and a stiff frame is a recipe for disaster, causing your machine to turn stiffly and generate strenuous effort on the curves. Low traction tires will cause uneven weight transfer and break apart your frame like bread crumbs.

Options for frames mainly depend on what type of go-kart you’re riding, as each go-kart and their engine work best under certain scenarios. Stiff frames are a staple of 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines and flexible frames are found with higher horsepower engines. Remember, the more rigorous the circuit, the more flexible a chassis should be!

Oct 05

Go Kart Frames

Go Kart FramesKarting enthusiasts emblazon the image of the perfect chassis in their minds: lightweight, yet powerfully durable material capable of launching a kart forward without the slightest wear or tear. And along with perfect frames comes perfect tires, tires “grooven” to perfection providing the finest traction and downright freakish controls when running the curve.

Let’s discuss the intricacies and place a perspective on frames for your go-kart. The chassis as it is called in professional and enthusiast circles is by far the most important piece of this machine. The construction is paramount in maintaining a solid go-kart. What constitutes a frame? Think of a frame simply as parts holding a component together.

In the case of these speedsters, the frame is welded together by torsion bars. Stiff frames are a result of shorter bars crossed together, and more flexible frames are associated with longer bars.

Stiff frames that do not provide flexibility were the backbone of earlier go-karts and broke down easily. First off, simpler go-karts do not have the specifications needed (most important, suspension and tire traction) to ease the punishment frames go through while turning, accelerating, and stopping. Running on 2 or 4 cycle engines does not help compensate the health of a frame.

A lack of traction on your tires will cause uneven weight transfer and stability on your frame, ripping one or both sides loose at the same time. In essence, the frame is responsible for determining how well your vehicle moves zipping on asphalt, concrete, or dirt – dictating your performance on wide turns and shorter turns.

A sturdy, well-built frame is the key to maneuvering well on the track, especially when turning. Although a go-karts frame supposed to be resistant to the rigors and demands of punishing your go-kart as it explodes forward, but the most important criteria for an excellent frame is to negotiate turns well. Frames are directly responsible for how well go-karts turn left and right.

Weaker go-karts with cheap components are known to slide and drift along turns – in some instances, flipping to its side entirely with careless driving. “Side bite” is referred to keeping a go-kart planted to the track without sliding. Without the proper frame, go-karts will maneuver out of control, even shutting off in some cases due to over pressure to the engine.

The design of the go-kart chassis has everything to do with how well it moves on turns and maintaining side bite. If the width of the rear rails (go-kart frames constitute front rails and rear rails) is narrow, with measurements ranging from 24¨ to 25¨ – from “kingpin” to “kingpin”, the ends of the rail – it will have less side bite. Wider rails barely ever exceed 30¨ on standard go-karts.

The dynamics of the front and rear rails can be effectively pictured using this example: suppose you had two bottles – a two-gallon jug and a 16 oz. Water bottle. Giving it a swift, hard poke to its side – which container has the best chance of tipping to its side? If you guessed the water bottle, you guessed right! Wider rails provide stability and “foundation” while turning, reducing the side bite overall.