Men's Fitness - - Contents -

Search­ing for an ad­van­tage in the field of ath­letic ac­com­plish­ment – whether there’s wealth, fame or just per­sonal pride on the line – is noth­ing new. An­cient Olympians stuffed them­selves with wine, hal­lu­cino­genic mush­rooms and an­i­mal tes­ti­cles in the search for a (legal) edge. By 1904, marathon run­ners had grad­u­ated to a (still legal) danger­ous mix of brandy and strych­nine. Th­ese days, things are a bit more so­phis­ti­cated – as you’ll read in this is­sue, £ 2,000-a-litre ke­tone drinks are the new goat’s balls – but one thing re­mains: the prom­ise of get­ting bet­ter, with less ef­fort, is a hell of a mo­ti­va­tor.

This can be a good or bad thing, depend­ing on just how you ap­proach it. It’s cer­tainly de­press­ing, for in­stance, to see the Com­mis­sion for Re­form in Cy­cling re­port that Masters races are now be­ing won by mid­dle-aged busi­ness­men on EPO – men who have very lit­tle to gain, risk­ing their health for a podium space.

On the flip­side, this re­lent­less push for im­prove­ment doesn’t al­ways have to be harm­ful, and its trick­le­down ef­fects could ben­e­fit us all. The re­search into tran­scra­nial di­rect cur­rent stim­u­la­tion by Red Bull labs, for ex­am­ple, ought to teach us more about how the brain works as well as help­ing elite ath­letes.

It’s a fas­ci­nat­ing area but if it doesn’t ap­peal to you, don’t worry. The rest of the is­sue’s packed with much more con­ven­tional ways to im­prove, although nat­u­rally we’ve mer­ci­lessly sought out only the most ef­fi­cient tech­niques and mined them for the essen­tials. On p54, for ex­am­ple, you’ll find out how Jon Al­bon took an un­con­ven­tional ap­proach to be­come the world’s fastest ob­sta­cle racer, and on p28 Born To Run au­thor Christo­pher McDougall ex­plains why park­our will make you a bet­ter run­ner.

We also ex­plain how an an­abolic diet can teach your body to run on fat (p96), give you a plan that’ll dou­ble your dip num­bers in less than a month (p110) and in­tro­duce the drinks that can make you a bet­ter en­durance ath­lete (p102). It’s a hell of an is­sue, and the only per­for­mance-enhancer we needed to make it was good, strong cof­fee.

Joel Snape

Have you been beaten by a ‘gen­tle­man’ cy­clist on EPO? Let us know what you think about this or any other fit­ness is­sue @Men­sFit­nessMag


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