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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
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of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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Ellington Darden, Ph.D.

Skin Savvy:
An Interview with Dr. Robert Berg,
a Dermatologist from Stuart, Florida.

(The following conversation took place more than six years ago
and was posted soon thereafter on Classic X. The material should be
required reading for anyone planning to spend time in the sun.)


The weather is getting warmer. The clothes are getting smaller. The water is getting more relaxing. It's almost summer time. It's time to hit the beaches and the pools.

It's the season when we are displaying a lot more of our hard-earned physiques for others to admire.

Those baseball biceps, horseshoe triceps, and rippling abdominals all look much more impressive with golden tan, right? A dark tan is sexy, right? A great tan has always been associated with vigorous health, right?

"Wrong, wrong, wrong!" Dr. Robert Berg says.

"Impressive? A golden tan actually thickens the skin on your arms and midsection. Sexy? A dark tan makes your skin look like an old leather shoe. Vigorous health? A great tan leads to cancer and sometimes premature death."

Wait a minute. Don't tune us out just yet.

According to Dr. Berg, you can still get out in the sun this summer, hit the beaches and pools, and be impressive, sexy, and healthy – if you under-stand what's happening and take a few simple precautions beforehand.

I've mentioned Dr. Robert Berg several times on my Web site. Robert is a board-certified dermatologist – and he's also a successful bodybuilder. I personally trained him for several months in 1998 at The Fitness Centre in Celebration, Florida. I noted in one of my articles that Robert has the best combination of intensity and formthat I've ever seen in an athlete. In the last two years, we've become great friends.

With summer just a few weeks away, I thought it was an appropriate time to interview Dr. Berg and let his skin savvy shine through.


A BODYBUILDER AT 16

ED: Robert, why don't you tell me how you got started in bodybuilding?

RB:


A WORKOUT TO REMEMBER

ED: I remember meeting you initially at Lou Hollesi's "Mr. Fitness" Gym in Toronto, Canada, about 15 years ago. You helped me demonstrate a Nautilus workout, didn't you?

RB:

ED: Lou's a great guy. In fact, after he left Toronto more than ten years ago, he bought some property in Lake Helen, Florida, near where the original Nautilus headquarters were located. Eventually, he moved to Florida where he lives now. I saw Lou three months ago and he's doing well. He still trains several times a week.


MEDICAL SCHOOL

ED: So, Robert, fill me in on where you went to medical school. Were you able to continue your strength training while you studied medicine?

RB:


A BRIEF LOOK AT DERMATOLOGY

ED: Exactly what does a dermatologist treat?

RB:


SKIN CANCER EXAMINED

ED: Let's zero in on skin cancer. How wide spread is it in the USA?

RB:

ED: Can you give us a little background on each of the three types of skin cancer? What it looks like? Who gets it? How is it treated?

RB:


A HEALTHY TAN

ED: Almost all of us who are interested in strength training and bodybuilding have wanted that bronzed, tanned skin that all the champions have in their photographs. I know when I was a competitive bodybuilder in the 1960s, I spent a lot of time in the sun trying to get a dark tan. Yet, in the last 20 years, we've all read about the potential problems from sun exposure. You've given us some pointers about skin cancer and how to avoid and treat it. Personally, I've had a number of basal cell carcinomas removed from my face and arms, and that doesn't make me happy. But I still don't like having pasty white skin all the time.

Is there any way to get a "healthy" tan?

RB:


SELF-TANNING LOTIONS

ED: Those self-tanning lotions seem to be getting more popular all the time. Do they really work?

RB:


SUNSCREENS SIMPLIFIED

ED: Can you simplify sunscreens for us?

RB:


TREATING ACNE

ED: Over 30 years ago, acne seemed to be prevalent among many young people. Today, you rarely see it. What has happened in dermatology over the last 30 years that has made such a dramatic impact on treating acne?

RB:


SKIN CARE

ED: What's the best way to take care of your skin?

RB:


SKIN TIGHTENING

ED: I know as I've aged, I've noticed that my skin is dryer and looser than it used to be. I'm sure some of the Web site readers have experienced the same conditions. Is there anything that we can do to tighten the skin?

RB:


WRINKLES

ED: Tell us about the treatment for wrinkles.

RB:


SAGGING SKIN

ED: From wrinkles, let's move to sagging skin. What can we do about the skin that starts hanging from the face and neck?

RB:


COSMETIC SURGERY

ED: Robert, I know that for years, many women magazines have been writing about the effects of cosmetic surgery on the faces of women. Men certainly haven't reacted favorably to cosmetic surgery to the same extent as women. Why?

RB:

ED: What do some of these procedures entail and cost?

RB:


SKIN SAVVY SUMMARY

ED: Thanks, Robert, for this informative interview. I know you need to get back to your patients. But before you go, can you summarize your advice for the readers of my Web site?

RB:

Discuss this article | Text Version

ryansergent

Kansas, USA

Dr. Darden,
I do accept that too much sun is... well, just that, too much sun. There is always the other side of the coin however as is suggested by this article on vitamin D.

As in all things, Balance is the Key. Somewhere between sickly pale and shoe leather looks healthy for a caucasion fellow like me.

Ryan Sergent


The pill that prevents cancer - Vitamin D

By Jeremy Laurance

A daily dose of vitamin D could cut the risk of cancers of the breast, colon and ovary by up to a half, a 40-year review of research has found. The evidence for the protective effect of the "sunshine vitamin" is so overwhelming that urgent action must be taken by public health authorities to boost blood levels, say cancer specialists.

A growing body of evidence in recent years has shown that lack of vitamin D may have lethal effects. Heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis are among the conditions in which it is believed to play a vital role. The vitamin is also essential for bone health and protects against rickets in children and osteoporosis in the elderly.

Vitamin D is made by the action of sunlight on the skin, which accounts for 90 per cent of the body's supply. But the increasing use of sunscreens and the reduced time spent outdoors, especially by children, has contributed to what many scientists believe is an increasing problem of vitamin D deficiency.

After assessing almost every scientific paper published on the link between vitamin D and cancer since the 1960s, US scientists say that a daily dose of 1,000 international units (25 micrograms) is needed to maintain health. " The high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency combined with the discovery of increased risks of certain types of cancer in those who are deficient, suggest that vitamin D deficiency may account for several thousand premature deaths from colon, breast, ovarian and other cancers annually," they say in the online version of the American Journal of Public Health.

The dose they propose of 1,000IU a day is two-and-a-half times the current recommended level in the US. In the UK, there is no official recommended dose but grey skies and short days from October to March mean 60 per cent of the population has inadequate blood levels by the end of winter.

The UK Food Standards Agency maintains that most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from their diet and "by getting a little sun". But the vitamin can only be stored in the body for 60 days.

High rates of heart disease in Scotland have been blamed on the weak sunlight and short summers in the north, leading to low levels of vitamin D. Differences in sunlight may also explain the higher rates of heart disease in England compared with southern Europe. Some experts believe the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet may have as much to do with the sun there as with the regional food.

Countries around the world have begun to modify their warnings about the dangers of sunbathing, as a result of the growing research on vitamin D. The Association of Cancer Councils of Australia acknowledged this year for the first time that some exposure to the sun was healthy.

Australia is one of the world's sunniest countries and has among the highest rates of skin cancer. For three decades it has preached sun avoidance with its "slip, slap, slop" campaign to cover up and use sunscreen. But in a statement in March, the association said: "A balance is required between avoiding an increase in the risk of skin cancer and achieving enough ultraviolet radiation exposure to achieve adequate vitamin D levels." Bruce Armstrong, the professor of public health at Sydney University, said: " It is a revolution."

In the latest study, cancer specialists from the University of San Diego, California, led by Professor Cedric Garland, reviewed 63 scientific papers on the link between vitamin D and cancer published between 1966 and 2004. People living in the north-eastern US, where it is less sunny, and African Americans with darker skins were more likely to be deficient, researchers found. They also had higher cancer rates.

The researchers say their finding could explain why black Americans die sooner from cancer than whites, even after allowing for differences in income and access to care.

Professor Garland said: "A preponderance of evidence from the best observational studies... has led to the conclusion that public health action is needed. Primary prevention of these cancers has been largely neglected, but we now have proof that the incidence of colon, breast and ovarian cancer can be reduced dramatically by increasing the public's intake of vitamin D." Obtaining the necessary level of vitamin D from diet alone would be difficult and sun exposure carries a risk of triggering skin cancer. "The easiest and most reliable way of getting the appropriate amount is from food and a daily supplement," they say.

The cost of a vitamin D supplement is about 4p a day. The UK Food Standards Agency said that taking Vitamin D supplements of up to 1,000IU was " unlikely to cause harm".

What it can do

Heart disease

Vitamin D works by lowering insulin resistance, which is one of the major factors leading to heart disease.

Lung disease

Lung tissue undergoes repair and "remodelling" in life and, since vitamin D influences the growth of a variety of cell types, it may play a role in this lung repair process.

Cancers (breast, colon, ovary, prostate)

Vitamin D is believed to play an important role in regulating the production of cells, a control that is missing in cancer. It has a protective effect against certain cancers by preventing overproduction of cells.

Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes the immune system destroys its own cells. Vitamin D is believed to act as an immunosuppressant. Researchers believe it may prevent an overly aggressive response from the immune system.

High blood pressure

Vitamin D is used by the parathyroid glands that sit on the thyroid gland in the neck. These secrete a hormone that regulates the body's calcium levels. Calcium, in turn, helps to regulate blood pressure, although the mechanism is not yet completely understood.

Schizophrenia

The chance of developing schizophrenia could be linked to how sunny it was in the months before birth. A lack of sunlight can lead to vitamin D deficiency, which scientists believe could alter the growth of a child's brain in the womb.

Multiple sclerosis

Lack of vitamin D leads to limited production of 1.25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, the hormonal form of vitamin D3 which regulates the immune system, creating a risk for MS.

Rickets and osteoporosis

The vitamin strengthens bones, protecting against childhood rickets and osteoporosis in the elderly.

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JJ McClinton

Thank you very much Dr.Darden for posting the article by Dr.Berg he continues to be a big inspiration to my training and how I take care of my looks.
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RUGGED_INTELLECT

I've had skin cancer in an unexposed area of my body.

If a tan is the bodies adaption to damage(stress) to the skin from the sun which can cause cancer, isn't that the same as working out? Muscle hypertrophy, the adaption of our muscles to damage/stress from the workout? Might that also cause cancer, or is that dropping the context?

I got very little sun anyway, was laways covered up and wore sunscreen, and still got a cancer in a completely unexposed area of my body. My opinion, get as much sun as you like, just don't get burnt and you'll be fine.

If a tan isn't healthy, then surely bigger nuscles aren't either. Just think of all of that unnecessary strain your putting on your nervous system, lymph system, muscles and bones, not to mention the increase in BMR. You only have so many heart beats to last your lifetime, why use them up with strenuous exercise?

So no sun and only light walking you hear!
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JJ McClinton

Dr.Kenneth(aerobics)Cooper has a theory that is similar to what you are saying. According to him your body can only tolerate so much exercise and anything beyond a certain amount (to him anything more than 1 hour per week) can lead to diseases such as cancer.

My opinion, some people are just more genetically inclined to get certain diseases than others no matter what they do, just like how some people have great muscularity despite poor training methods. But why chance it? My mom and sister have both had skin cancer before the age of thirty and so far taking the precautions like Berg advises I have not been diagnosed with anything other than greath health (low blood pressure, low cholesterol levels, no abnormal skin moles and no traces of cancer of any kind). Hey Rugged, when are you going to remove the Intellect from your name?
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karma50

Tyler,
Good point. I do think Cooper means hard exercise of some sort,ie. running, weights. As far as the sun goes, you can get all the vitamin D you need with a few minutes exposure, or a supplement. Why damage your skin, (as I have) for a tan.
Griff
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RUGGED_INTELLECT

Funny Cooper would have that opinion. He was the one advocating long duration aerobic exercise.
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Dan_The_man

I went to a dermatologist once. They told me that I should go more out in the sun to help get ride of my acne. It never really did rid me of acne, when I had it though. What I have always found though is that people who have a gentle tan on their body, look better. I always see on people that come back from a hoilyday, they always seem to have that glow about them. Then I see a lot of people that are pale, and just look ghost like. Maybe its just me, I dunno.
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RUGGED_INTELLECT

My derm recommended sun to help with some eczema. The other option was topical steroid treatments that would destroy my skin anyway. The sun worked. It's all about balance.
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Cherry

Vit D is fast emerging as an important vitamin to get enough of. However, you don't want skin damage or worse either.

http://ods.od.nih.gov/...ts/vitamind.asp
Ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure at least two times per week to the face, arms, hands, or back without sunscreen is usually sufficient to provide adequate vitamin D [14]


Get the rest of your vit D from diet.

:)
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DrFist

Do you still get a tan when you use sun tan SPF 15+?
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Ellington Darden

DrFist wrote:
Do you still get a tan when you use sun tan SPF 15+?


Yes. You need somnething higher: 30-40.

Ellington

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