Carl Taylor

Sunday, 18 May 2014 20:07


A Beginner's Guide To Workout Nutrition: Before, During And After Training
Eating around your training is vital to your progress. Find out the best way to the get the nutrients you need for the best results in the gym!
At this point, you should know that nutrition has a significant impact on your results. Abs are built in the kitchen, you are what you eat, and all the rest. "Yeah, yeah," you mutter, "I've heard it all before."
Seriously, though: You might be wreaking utter havoc in the gym, but research indicates that what you eat before, during, and after your workout may be the difference between meeting your goals and falling short.
Here's how to harness the power of peri-workout nutrition so you can perform, recover, and grow faster than a weed
Nutrition Before Your Workout
There are few things in the fitness world that incite more arguments and controversy than carbohydrates. Will they make you fat? Do you need them? What kind? At what times? The questions seem endless. There are varying approaches, but if you want to get the most from your workouts and train at your peak, quality fuel is critical.
Carbohydrates are your body's preferred fuel source. I'm not saying you should plow through plates of mashed potatoes and chomp candy bars all day, but you need to fuel your body so it can train at its best.
You want every gram of carbohydrate you consume to be utilized as an immediate fuel source or to restore glycogen levels—you don't want it to be stored as fat. Don't eat more carbs than you need and don't worry about spreading them evenly throughout the day. You can eat the majority of your carbs around your workout.
I like clients to have at least two meals under the belt before training. Your first two meals should include complex carbohydrates like stone-rolled oats or sweet potatoes. Your first meal will provide a couple hours for carbs to get digested and go to work, ensuring blood sugar levels are up and glycogen levels are full prior to training.
Consume your second meal roughly one hour before lifting. Don't get worked up about counting the minutes and seconds, as if five minutes will be the difference between 17- and 18-inch arms. Do the best you can, and try to time it so you can begin training without a lot of food in your gut—running to the garbage can to yak just isn't fun. Most people can benefit from 40 grams of carbs before they train.
Fast-Absorbing Protein:
Research has indicated that users of whey protein prior to training will illicit better results than those using other protein sources (or none at all). This is most likely due to the anti-catabolic and anabolic signaling effects of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) present in whey protein—particularly leucine. Whey has a considerably higher concentration of BCAAs than other proteins.
There are many other benefits, as well. Studies have shown that pre-workout protein intake will increase resting energy expenditure by an average of 6-6.5% for up to 48 hours1. Pre-workout protein will also blunt cortisol through the day, an effect that wasn't seen in control groups that were fasted or had ingested carbs only.
Protein and amino acids also spare carbs. People often assume that when the body runs out of carbohydrate fuel, it switches to fatty acids for fuel. That process is typically too slow for high-intensity training. To provide fuel more quickly, amino acids are rapidly broken down and converted to sugar in a process known as gluconeogenesis. If those amino acids aren't in the blood supply, guess where they come from? Yep, your 18-inch biceps. For those of us who are dieting, some extra aminos in our bloodstream may help preserve our lean mass.
Now some of you heavy macro-counters may have reservations about consuming protein pre-workout, especially if you are dieting down. If that's the case, use 10-15 grams of BCAAs instead. This should provide similar effects and elevate net protein synthesis. Pre-workout BCAAs may even help low-carb dieters burn more fat.2
Creatine Monohydrate:
For people with strength or hypertrophy goals, consider supplementing with creatine monohydrate. While there are many forms of creatine available, I prefer micronized creatine monohydrate because it's the most studied, solid, tried-and-true creatine on the market.
The body has three primary methods for developing its ultimate energy source, ATP. Which method your body uses depends on the intensity of the activity. For the most intense activities—like weightlifting—the body uses creatine phosphates to produce energy.
Creatine supplementation of 2-5 grams per day will provide greater stores to call on when training, enabling you to train more intensely. In short, creatine can help you train heavier for more reps; it also draws water into the muscles, making you look "full" in appearance.
The timing on the creatine is not critical. You can use it before or after your workout, or anytime throughout the day. If you've been using creating for a while, 2-5 grams once per day will do the trick. If you just started taking creatine monohydrate, you can "load" your muscles with 20-30 grams of creatine per day for 4-5 days.
Creatine helps provide energy to complete each and every muscular contraction.* Creatine can be the driving force behind your workouts.* Get your Creatine Monohydratetoday
Nutrition During Your Workout
Most people don't train long enough per session to need additional fuel while they train, especially if they've hit their pre-workout nutrition needs. Depleted dieters, like people preparing for physique competition, may benefit from extra fuel. One of the primary concerns for physique athletes is muscle loss as they whittle down to mid-single-digit body-fat levels. In this state, protein turnover is increased; your body actually needs more protein in a depleted state than it does when you're trying to gain muscle.
In this scenario, branched chain amino acids are a great intra-workout supplement. The amino acids provide some protection from catabolism for those folks in drastic conditions. It probably wouldn't hurt a physique athlete to keep additional BCAAs flowing throughout the day. Increased blood amino acid levels during training may also help elevate net protein synthesis.
Nutrition After Your Workout
Protein is essential for tissue growth and repair. Since the body is continuously breaking down proteins, our diet must provide sufficient quantities. Although recommended intakes vary and depend on body size and activity, a post-workout protein is almost universally helpful to kickstart muscle repair, recovery, and growth.

Whey protein is incredibly popular because it is rich in BCAAs, digests quickly, is highly bio-available, and has a perfect Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score. While whey is excellent after a workout, recent research suggests that a combination of fast- and slow-digesting proteins—like whey and casein—may provide the ultimate post-workout protein cocktail.4
Most sources agree that at least 20 grams of whey is necessary to boost muscle repair and recovery.5 Hydrolyzed whey protein may spike blood amino acid levels faster than regular whey, but won't provide a long-term protein source. To cover your bases, consume a shake containing 40 grams of mixed protein (whey and casein) after your workouts.
In cases of calorie restriction or during periods of long or intense exercise, catabolism of muscle tissue could occur when glycogen and blood sugar are not present in sufficient quantities to fuel activity. Amino acids via dietary protein become very important for any athlete. This is especially true of BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine), which studies have shown muscles prefer as a source for fuel.6
I've included BCAAs after training for the same basic reasons I included them earlier: You can't really do any wrong—unless you decide to drink the entire container in one sitting—and you may provide a fast boost to blood amino levels. I recommend 10 grams of BCAAs after your lifting session, especially if you are in a caloric deficit.
Fast Carbs (Optional):
After a tough workout, your fuel of blood sugar and glycogen should be low. You may have even tapped into reserves to complete your training, especially if you are dieting. Most of us understand the need for protein after training, but many overlook the benefits of fast-acting carbohydrates.
From a physiological perspective, your body's first priority is correcting blood sugar balance and replenishing glycogen, not making your biceps pop. Consume fast-digesting carbohydrates in order to spare protein, replenish glycogen, spike insulin, and speed recovery. Dose recommendations differ, but to maximize recovery, ingest 50-75 grams of high-glycemic carbs after exercise.

"Train Like A Pro"
Carl Taylor

Friday, 16 May 2014 05:54


"Taylormade Blueprint For Victory"
A competition looms on the horizon.(Excalibur) December 3, 2012.. Time to get it together and start the weeks of preperation that will allow me to be on the top of the podium and not on the bottom (or not at all).

Awaking each day, wanting only to get into the gym, and push my training to the next level, to surpass the efforts of the previous workout. As I head to the gym, the normality of everyday life begins to fade, to be replaced by the anger and rage that I will use to destroy every rep of every set in the next couple of hours. I am careful to avoid contact with any "normal" people, for this would surely lead to an unpleasant confrontation, a waste of energy and possibly a run in with police.

We all know that just sitting around on our ass thinking will not win competitions. Only good action and planning will take us to the next level. As I get ready for the gym, the calm before the storm, I am relaxed. I am now ready for the pain, sweat and pure torture that I am going to endure in this heavy workout.

The beginning of my blueprint goes like this.. Here is the basic rundown of my Blueprint For Victory. The split that I am using is an old school four days per week training split.
Monday: Chest/Abs/Calves
Cardio 30 minutes pre-workout Recumbent Bike (Moderate Pace)

Bench Press 4 x 5-10
Incline Barbell Press 3 x 6-8
Incline Dumbbell Press 2 x 6-8
Cable Crossover or Pec Dec 3 x 12-15
Seated Calf Raise 4 x 25
Ab crunches 3 x 25

Tuesday: Back
Cardio 30 minutes pre-workout Recumbent Bike (Moderate Pace)

Pullups 4 x 15
Barbell Row (reverse grip) 3 x 6-8
One Arm Dumbbell Row 2 x 15
Cable Row (low pulley) 3 x 8-12
Front Pulldown 2 x 12-15
Deadlift 3 x 5-8
Wednesday: Rest
Cardio 60 minutes

Thursday: Shoulders/Abs/Calves
Cardio 20 minutes pre-workout Recumbent Bike (Moderate Pace)

Standing Barbell Press 3 x 5-8
Seated Dumbbell Press 3 x 8-10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 x 10-12
Upright Row (wide grip) 2 x 10-12
Barbell Shrug 3 x 5-8
Dumbbell Shrug 3 x 10-12
Hack Calf Raise 4 x 10-12
Seated b crunches 3 x 25

Friday: Arms
Cardio 20 minutes pre-workout Recumbent Bike (Moderate Pace)

Close Grip Bench Press 3 x 5-8
Barbell Curl 3 x 5-8
Skullcrusher 3 x 8-10
Alternate Seated Dumbbell Curl 3 x 8-10
Tricep Pushdown 3 x 10-12
Hammer Curl 3 x 8-10
Rope Cable Kickback 3 x 12-15
Preacher Cable Curl 2 x 12-15

Saturday: Rest
Cardio 30 minutes

Sunday: Legs

Leg Extension 3 x 12-15
Leg Press 4 x 5-8
Power Squat Machine 3 x 8-10
Standing Leg Curl 3 x 12-15
Seated Leg Curl 3 x 10-12
Stiff Leg Deadlifts 3 x 6-10

Taylormade: My Typical Diet
Meal #1: 10 egg whites, 1 cup of oats

Meal #2: Dymatize Iso 100 Whey (3 sccops), 5 oz yam potato
Meal #3: 10 oz chicken, 1 cup rice, 1 cup string beans, 1 tsp flax oil

Meal #4: 3 Dymatize Iso 100 Whey (3 scoops), 3/4 cup oats

Meal #5: 8 oz. lean beef, 3/4 cup rice, 1 cup string beans

Meal #6: 2 cans of tuna, 1 serving of red kidney beans,large green salid, vinegar dressing

I am now ready As you sit in the crowd wondering who that guy is, think of this. That guy, the one with his hoodie down low, staring off into the abyss. The guy with a headset on so he can create his own world free from distraction. The guy with the look in his eyes like someone just hurt his family. The guy with calloused hands from all of the back breaking work from day to day. The guy that changes the stage when he emerges from the shadows. The guy that brings the total package... He's the same guy that would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it. You know who that guy is? He is me and this is my Taylormade Blueprint for Victory..

Carl Taylor
"Train Like a Pro"
2011 NPC Western States Overall Champion

Sunday, 27 April 2014 07:33

Seven Protein Strategies

 Seven Protein Strategies

Every serious lifter eats tons of protein. 200 grams. 300 grams. Even 400 grams and more. Ask any competitive bodybuilder: protein provides the building blocks of muscle. Whatever protein you use, here are seven tips for maximizing protein use.


1. Cycle Protein Powders
If you only use one kind of protein, like whey, then it's high time you cycled off and used another protein source. Just like you wouldn't stick with only turkey breasts during your pre-contest diet, you shouldn't stick to one protein powder. As with training, vary, vary vary.


2. Blend Proteins
Why do pros get their whole proteins from a variety of sources? It's not just because of taste. Whole proteins vary in terms of amino acid profiles, vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients. The same applies with protein powders. Want the best protein powder? Mix them up. Each protein comes complete with its own set of unique benefits and microfractions. For example, casein is the richest in glutamine, and has casomorphins which help release aminos over a long time. Soy has isoflavones. Whey has high BCAA levels and fractions such as GMPs and lactoferrin. Egg is great because it's a high quality protein that's lactose-free and dairy-free.


3. Increase Your Protein Intake
Make sure you're getting enough raw protein. Serious bodybuilders take anywhere from one to two grams of protein for every pound of bodyweight. You might also want to try mixing things up: add 50g of extra protein, spread it out over a day, for a month and see what happens.


4. Take Protein With Every Meal
If you're eating 4-6 meals a day, make sure you divide your total daily protein intake between those meals. For example, let's say you weigh 200 pounds and you want to consume 200 grams of protein. If you eat five meals, then each meal should contain 40g of protein.


5. Select The Right Protein For The Job
Consider specializing your protein use depending on the time of day and the frequency with which you eat. If you have time to eat 6 meals a day, then whey protein will work great. If not, you may want to use a protein like casein. Are you considering taking a protein shake before bed? Stick to a slow-acting protein like casein and avoid whey. Look for a quick shot of aminos after training? Use whey instead.


6. Take Protein Immediately After You Train
Take protein along with carbs immediately after lifting. Consider a 2 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein, or about 100g of carbs and 50g of protein.


7. Drink More Water
Increasing protein intakes means increasing your water intakes as well. More protein means more nitrogen that needs to be flushed out of your body. Water does the trick. Aim for at least a gallon of water a day.

Sunday, 27 April 2014 07:31

Raspberry Ketone Diet

If you haven't already heard, health food stores have been barraged from customers seeking raspberry ketone - a weight-loss supplement Dr. Mehmet Oz recently called, mentioning no specific brand, a "miracle fat burner in a bottle" (1) on his popular daytime television show


Lynn described the compounds as "very healthy" with "no side effects" and says the pills enable the body to "burn fat easier" by stimulating the production of adiponectin, a hormone found in fatty tissue that improves our ability to metabolize fat.
The latest study supporting the use of raspberry ketone for weight loss was carried out last year by Korea's Food & Drug Administration.(3)In the study, raspberry ketone supplements resulted in an elevated secretion of adiponectin and, along with that, increased metabolism of fatty acids and less fat storage.
Raspberry Ketone, America's Hottest New Way To A Flat Belly:

Raspberry ketone is the primary aroma compound of red raspberries, and is a safe and healthy supplement with no side effects, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz.(4)This compound regulates adiponectin, a hormone that causes your body too boost metabolism. In turn, the fat within your cells gets broken up more effectively, helping your body burn fat faster and more efficiently.
In order to get enough ketone to have an effect on the way your body burns its excess fat, you would need to consume 90 pounds of raspberries. But, just 100mg of the supplement per day is enough to get your body burning fat the way you want it to.
Dr Khan, the guest on the Dr Oz television show, also talks about the bigger results will be accomplished the longer you take the Raspberry Ketone. Although you do lose weight quickly, if you want to get to that desired weight and keep it off, you'll want to use Raspberry Ketone for the long haul.
What To Expect With Pure Raspberry Ketone:
We're sure you've tried a lot of different weight loss products that all promise to do amazing things then don't deliver. That should be the case, so we're going to tell you what we experienced when we tried Pure Raspberry Ketone:

Potent Fat Burner
Effective Appetite Suppressant
Works Quickly, Proven Results
Affordable Prices
Tremendous Weight loss results
Increase in Focus
Energy Throughout the day
No Crash

Like us, you might be a little doubtful about the effects of this "Miracle Fat Burner" but you need to find out for yourself; the results are undeniable if you follow the program. After conducting your own personal study please comment below and tell us about your success with the products and stages of weight loss to turn literally melt away the fat and lose the weight you've had such a hard time losing.
Each serving of Pure Raspberry Ketone contains 300 mg of raspberry ketone - one of the highest concentrations currently available (most products offer just 100 mg per serving).

Sunday, 27 April 2014 07:29

Q & A on BCAA's

Q & A on BCAA's

What are BCAA's?
BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) are the essential aminos leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The combination of these three amino acids makes up approximately 1/3 of skeletal muscle tissue in the human body. BCAAs play a very important role in protein synthesis (the production of proteins in cells from amino acids to build muscle).
What do BCAAs do?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. When you eat food containing protein, it gets digested through the intestines and stomach. During this process the protein is broken down into individual amino acids and short chains of amino acids. These amino acids are small enough to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Once the amino acids are absorbed into the bloodstream they have far reaching effects across the entire body. Amino acids are involved in muscle repair (lean muscle building), essential brain functions and even hair growth just to name a few.
What is a metabolic pathway?
To understand just how important BCAAs are to muscle building and recovery you need to know what a metabolic pathway is. Put simply, a metabolic pathway is a chain of chemical reactions that takes place within a cell (in this case, a muscle tissue cell). When adequate amounts of BCAAs are ingested they create their own metabolic pathway which results in increased protein production. This means more muscle tissue will be grown and muscles will be repaired faster.
BCAAs and muscle growth.
Generally, after a session of resistance training the body is in a catabolic (the breaking down of muscle tissue) state, with a protein synthesis deficit. This is because post exercise the MAPK +signaling pathway (the body's own way to signal muscle growth) is activated. While this is a pathway that will increase protein synthesis, it is not as effective as when combined with the BCAA signaling cascade.
The two pathways act independent of each other. Because of this, when adequate amounts of BCAAs are ingested post workout (usually in the form of a post-workout drink) the body is placed in a greater state of hypertrophy with a positive amount of protein synthesis. This is extremely important for athletes because it will decrease recovery time as it increases the rate at which lean body mass is gained
Difference between essential and non-essential amino acids.Types Of Amino Acids:
Essential Non-Essential

 Essential Non-Essential

Aspartic acid
Glutamic acid

• Are BCAA supplements safe to use?

Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body. You must get them from complete protein foods or combinations of incomplete vegetable foods. See table on the right for list of essential aminos. Your body can make non-essential amino acids by itself from vitamins and other amino acids.
The term "non-essential" can be misleading since all amino acids are essential for proper metabolism. There are some non-essential amino acids, such as glutamine, that are very essential in the process of muscle tissue repair. The 13 non-essential amino acids are listed in the table on the right.
The essential BCAAs are of special importance for athletes because they are metabolized in the muscle, rather than in the liver. This means they are more likely to be used to build muscle rather than burned as fuel for energy

• Are BCAA supplements safe to use?
Studies have shown that supplemental intake of the BCAAs in the range of 5-20 grams per day in tablet form and 1 to 7 grams per litre in liquid form with no adverse side effects. Higher intakes should be avoided due to the possibility of competitive inhibition of the absorption of other amino acids from the diet and the risk of gastrointestinal distress.
• Are BCAAs found in food?
Yes. BCAAs are found in protein-rich foods. The higher the quality of the protein source, the higher amount of BCAAs. Out of all the protein sources whey protein has the best BCAA content.
• How are BCAA supplements taken?
The most common form of BCAA supplements are pills. These pills are taken at staggered intervals throughout the day. BCAAs are also available in powder and liquid form.

Sunday, 27 April 2014 07:28

Get Your Sleep

Get Your Sleep


In this day and age, we throw as much as we can possibly handle onto our respective life plate, but oftentimes neglect the importance of downtime and what is necessary for the body to repair from the stresses of everyday life. Here's a typical routine for most us – we get up early, stay up late and try tackle a shitload of things in between. Sure this might have us feel like we are being productive individuals but we often neglect to see just how beneficial downtime is to the overall big picture. You can't continuously go at everything 100mph and expect to continually progress. Ya gotta stop and take time to reflect and grow. And most importantly, allow proper time for your body to sleep.

During sleep, this is where recovery and bodily repair from the stresses of life takes place. On the outside, our bodies can appear to handle much stress, but at what cost to you? Hey, as long as I'm awake and doing work, that's a good thing, no? Yeah, you're tired as shit and you're still trying to concentrate on that report or other work that's due but you're mind is elsewhere. You're trying to get your shit done but you just want to get some shut eye. Well what if I told you that you could be much more productive and effective person by taking the time to let your body heal by getting in a solid night's of sleep. To understand why sleep is so important for us, let's first understand what sleep is and why a lack of sleep isn't good for short and long term goals.

Let's look a little deeper. So what exactly is sleep? According to the Merriam-Webster definition, sleep is the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored. In other words, sleep is a heightened anabolic state, where the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems, amongst other things, takes place. A lack of sleep sets off a whole chain of negative events in the body that can actually accumulate over time and put the body in a state of turmoil.

When the body is in a constant state of trying to repair itself in the absence of proper sleep, you severely limit your goals and functionality as a human being let alone trying to pack on mass. So sure, you may be putting in the time in the gym, following that great bodybuilding diet and you think you've got it all down, but all that hard work can really be impeded and put to a halt as your body tries to repair itself in absence of sleep. To put things into perspective, here is a list of bodily processes that get shot to hell while being sleep deprived...

• Wound healing is diminished
• Immune system is compromised
• Decreased growth hormone production
• Lower basal metabolic rate (lower metabolism)
• Decreased anabolism
• Increased catabolism
• Working memory is compromised
• Overall cognitive function is decreased
• Fat gain
• Decreased muscle growth
• Insulin resistance
• Ability to metabolize glucose is lessened
• Cortisol levels are higher
• Hypertension

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Now one or two nights here with a few hours less sleep wont' be the end of the world, however, if lack of sleep becomes habitual, this is where you really need to take some action. Sleep deprivation on a routine basis, is where the above issues really come into play.

So what do you do about it? There really are no hard and fast rules on exactly how much sleep one needs but keep in mind its importance in the overall big picture for your goals in life. If you wake up feeling tired and your performance is suffering during the day, it's time you take a look at your quality of sleep and its role in your life. Where can you improve things? Is it stress? Are you staying up late watching TV? Wasting time playing video games? Taking too many stimulants during the day? Experiencing hardships in life? Essentially, ya gotta assess what the reason is why you're not sleeping well and look introspectively to see what's messing up your sleep.

Even if the world hurls its problems your way, try to establish a nighttime ritual so that when you do prepare for sleep, all other issues are put on hold till ya wake up. This may sound very new age and Zen-like but something like meditation prior to bed can be helpful in getting your body into a restful mode. Ideally, establish a set of habits that you follow consistently to ensure a healthy sleep cycle. Assess the things that keep you up and eliminate them. If sleep problems persist even after establishing healthy sleep guidelines, you should seek the help of a professional.

Now how can you tell if you're getting enough sleep? Regardless of the amount of hours you're sleeping, if you wake up easily in the morning and rarely ever need the services of an alarm clock, and if you can make it through the entire day without running out of steam or feeling drowsy, this is a tell-tale sign that you're getting some good sleep in. It may take being introspective and looking within to find out one's sleep ailments, but if lack of sleep is holding ya back from being a more productive person in and out of the gym, compromising your gains in the gym, affecting your overall approach to life, ya gotta get that shit in check so that you can reach your true potential. Get your quality Z's in the PM and you set yourself up for success the rest of the day.

Sunday, 27 April 2014 07:26

Eight Mass Building Tips

Eight Mass Building Tips


1. Manipulate Caloric Intake: You want to grow? You want to add more muscle to your frame? Then you've got to increase your caloric intake, pure and simple. To add quality muscle weight, you need to be in a state of caloric excess. Looking to shed some bodyfat? The opposite is true: reduce calories or increase energy expenditure (cardio). Unless you have the genetics of Dorian Yates or rely heavily on "science," it's virtually impossible to make solid muscle gains while burning fat. Eat and bulk up. Then, shed the fat by cutting down.


2. Increase Protein Consumption: The benefits of protein are numerous for the bodybuilder: increased protein synthesis, positive nitrogen balance, muscle recovery and anti-catabolism. Remember, protein provides the building blocks of muscle. Get enough to grow enough. Learn from the pros: take protein with every meal you eat. Aim for at least 1-1.5g of protein for every pound of bodyweight when training at a high level.


3. Take In Plenty Of Fat: We don't necessarily mean from burgers and fries. There are plenty of good fat sources including olive oil, flaxseed oil, and borage oil. These contain "essential" fats, those your body can't manufacture on its own. Remember this: overly restricting fat intake will negatively impact growth. Why? Fat intake can affect testosterone levels. In studies, individuals consuming 20% fat were found to have significantly lower testosterone levels than those taking in 40% fat. Furthermore, research has shown that there is a positive correlation between fat and resting testosterone concentrations in men who weight train.


4. Ease Up On The Cardio: Cardio may let you consume more and stay hard, but it can also get in the way of growth if overused. If you're trying to gain weight, ease up.


5. Get Plenty Of Rest: Probably one of the most underutilized of all the bodybuilding tools. Rest is when the muscles you've torn down from training are allowed to rebuild and come back bigger than ever. Too much training and not enough rest, and you'll enter the dreaded "overtraining" zone where testosterone levels drop and muscle wasting becomes a serious possibility. The easiest way to avoid overtraining is to get plenty of sleep at night and train right.


6. Pack On The Poundage: Obviously, one of the best ways to get massive is to progressively move heavier weight. This isn't an invitation to put on as many plates as you can only to perform the exercise with improper form. Use as much weight as you can while allowing you to follow strict form. With respect to reps, when it comes to building power and strength, you can aim low: 6-8 per set ought to do it.


7. Stick To Basic Movements: Basic movements train your body's largest muscles such as your back, quads, and pecs. The bigger these get, the bigger you look. Plus, basic movements not only train the target body part, but also supporting muscles. The bench press works your pecs and your triceps and your delts to a certain degree. Be sure to include the bench press, shoulder press, squat, deadlift, and rows to your program.


8. Take A Good Multivitamin: Hey, 100% of Olympic strength athletes and 90% of the elite, competitive bodybuilders who take a multivitamin can't be wrong. Do the right thing and take your Animal Pak every day. Two paks a day for pro-caliber bodybuilders during the pre-contest preparation.

Sunday, 27 April 2014 07:25

Creatine Myths & Truths

Creatine Myths & Truths


The More Creatine You Take, The Better.
You've seen those sick bodybuilders chugging down 10-20 grams of creatine. Is it worth it? According to scientists at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, at 0.1 grams per kilogram of bodyweight, male athletes excreted 46% of the ingested creatine within 24 hours. For a 220 pound lifter, this means that if he consumes 10g of creatine, 46%, or 4.6g of creatine, is wasted. In another study performed at the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University, scientists confirmed that lower doses of creatine monohydrate (5g/day) are effective.

Creatine Harms The Kidneys And Liver. 

Unless you have a pre-existing medical condition, creatine use should not damage your kidneys or liver. Most of the hype has been the result of anecdotal reports. In one study which tracked healthy athletes over a five-year period, football players who used creatine at levels up to 15.75g of creatine per day showed no effect on markers of renal or kidney stress. In another study conducted by Dr. Kerry Kuehl at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland and presented at the 2000 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, the kidney function of 36 healthy male and female athletes who consumed 10g of creatine per day was examined. After twelve weeks, Dr. Kuehl found that creatine did not adversely affect kidney function.

Creatine Causes Excessive Water Retention.

More bullshit. A recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that, after three months of creatine use, test subjects showed no significant increase in body water. In fact, the creatine group showed greater gains in total body mass and fat-free mass. Best of all, this recent study employed the latest in body composition measurements-deuterated water isotopic analysis which utilizes a non-radioactive "tracer". Now it is possible that some inferior-grade creatine may actually promote water gain that results in a soft, puffy look. However, this can be due to several reasons. One, it may not be due to the creatine, but excess sodium. When cheaply manufactured, excess sodium remains in the finished product.

Creatine Causes Cramping.

The idea that creatine use causes muscle cramping is anecdotal with no clinical evidence to support this claim. On the contrary, clinical studies show that creatine use is not associated with cramping. In one study, researchers examine 16 men who either supplemented with creatine or a placebo. Under specific dehydration conditions, the occurrence of cramping and tightness were reported in both groups, but "nothing that would suggest a greater incidence associated with creatine supplementation." Two other studies conducted at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro fond that creatine use by 61 Division I athletes during training camps had no effects on the incidence of muscle cramps, injury or illness.

Creatine Needs To Be Taken With Grape Juice.

The concept behind taking creatine with sugar such as grape juice is sound. But the trick is not the grape juice per se. It has to do with insulin's function in the body. For creatine uptake to be enhanced, insulin release should be encouraged. Insulin functions as a kind of creatine pump, pushing it into muscles. If you're going to stick to juice, make sure you get at least 100g of juice for every 5g of creatine. Depending on your level and your goals, juice loaded with sugars may not be suitable. Newer research indicates that you can take your creatine with protein for the same results. A new study reports that taking 5g of creatine with 50g of protein/47g of carbs produced the same results as taking 5g with 96g of carbs.

Creatine Works Better In A Liquid Form.

In fact, in liquid form, you may not even be getting creatine, but creatinine, a by-product of creatine breakdown. Creatine, in powder form, is extremely stable. When exposed to an acidic environment or moisture for a long time, creatine will begin to break down into worthless creatinine. The citric and phosphoric acids found in many liquid creatines, which are used to preserve the shelf life of these products, actually helps break creatine down. So as a rule of thumb, if you're going to make a creatine shake, drink it by the end of the day.

All Creatines Are The Same.

Just as there is a difference between $100 champagne and $15 dollar champagne, there's a difference between high-quality creatine and inferior-grade creatine. Traditionally, Chinese creatine is a lower quality product, with more contaminants such as creatinine, sodium, dicyandiamide, and dihydrotriazine. German creatine, from companies such as SKW (Creapure™), are cleaner, purer products.

New Forms Of Creatine Work Better.

News flash: no form of creatine has been proven in published studies to work better than plain old creatine monohydrate powder. Whether you're spending your extra dollar on effervescent, liquid or chewable creatine, the most important consideration is the creatine. And whether you decide to splurge and buy creatine citrate or creatine phosphate remember one thing: the major clinical studies have been performed on plain creatine monohydrate powder. Numerous studies have also shown that creatine powder is easily assimilated by the body. So unless you've got money to burn, stick with creatine monohydrate powder. Products such as effervescent creatine or creatine chewables offer convenience and a novel way to take plain old creatine powder. For real value, there's no better choice than powder.

Creatine Will Affect By Body'S Anabolic Hormone Function.

While creatine can boost strength and lean mass, research from the University of Leuven in Belgium has shown that it doesn't not alter anabolic hormone response to training. These hormones included growth hormone, testosterone, and cortisol. This research also might suggest that stacking creatine with prohormones or GH secretagogues might be a beneficial.

Creatine Use Is 100% Safe. False.

While creatine is non-toxic, creatine use is not wholly risk-free. As with all other nutritional supplements, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions should not take creatine or other sports supplements. For example, there have been at least one case study which reported kidney inflammation in subjects who used creatine. However, in one case, the patient had a pre-existing kidney problem. So before you begin supplementing with anything, the best advice is to see your physician.

Creatine Is Ideal For All Athletes.

e.Some athletes stand to benefit a great deal, others very little. Athletes who require sudden, high intensity bursts of power and strength are ideal candidates for creatine supplements. These athlete might include powerlifters, bodybuilders, sprinters, football, baseball, and basketball players, and the like. Endurance athletes or those who participate in sports which require steady aerobic output may not benefit from creatine use.

Creatine Must Be Taken At A Specific Time.

While it has been proven that you can maximize creatine uptake by taking it with a 1:1 ratio of protein to carbs, no real evidence suggests that there's a best time to take creatine. As a supplement, creatine increases your body's pool of creatine. Whether you take it in the morning, afternoon, or evening probably won't make a significant difference. For convenience sake, you might take it with your post-training protein/carb shake.

Cycling Creatine Will Produce Better Results. False.

There's no significant evidence which shows that cycling creatine is better than taking it continuously. There's no compelling proof which indicates that creatine supplementation in athletes will down-regulate the body's own ability to produce creatine.

You Can Get Enough Creatine From Your Diet.

The average person gets only about 1g of creatine per day from his diet. When you cook your meals, you also destroy a good part of the creatine found in foods such as beef, cod, salmon, and herring.

Sunday, 27 April 2014 07:24


What are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are found in a wide array of foods—bread, beans, milk, popcorn, potatoes, cookies, spaghetti, soft drinks, corn, and cherry pie. They also come in a variety of forms. The most common and abundant forms are sugars, fibers, and starches.
The basic building block of every carbohydrate is a sugar molecule, a simple union of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Starches and fibers are essentially chains of sugar molecules. Some contain hundreds of sugars. Some chains are straight, others branch wildly.
Carbohydrates were once grouped into two main categories. Simple carbohydrates included sugars such as fruit sugar (fructose), corn or grape sugar (dextrose or glucose), and table sugar (sucrose). Complex carbohydrates included everything made of three or more linked sugars. Complex carbohydrates were thought to be the healthiest to eat, while simple carbohydrates weren't so great. It turns out that the picture is more complicated than that.
The digestive system handles all carbohydrates in much the same way—it breaks them down (or tries to break them down) into single sugar molecules, since only these are small enough to cross into the bloodstream. It also converts most digestible carbohydrates into glucose (also known as blood sugar), because cells are designed to use this as a universal energy source
Fiber is an exception. It is put together in such a way that it can't be broken down into sugar molecules, and so it passes through the body undigested. Fiber comes in two varieties: soluble fiber dissolves in water, while insoluble fiber does not. Although neither type nourishes the body, they promote health in many ways. Soluble fiber binds to fatty substances in the intestines and carries them out as a waste, thus lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or bad cholesterol). It also helps regulate the body's use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check. Insoluble fiber helps push food through the intestinal tract, promoting regularity and helping prevent constipation.

Sunday, 27 April 2014 07:22

Benifits of L-Carnitine

What is L-Carnitine?

L-carnitine is a trimethylated amino acid that plays essential roles in many areas of the body, including fatty acid translocation and muscle function. Carnitine is also acetylated into the ester Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) in the brain, liver, and kidney. ALCAR also plays a variety of roles in the body, including increasing acetylcholine production and stimulation of protein and membrane phospholipid synthesis. Orally administered L-carnitine and ALCAR have profound anti-aging and nutrient repartitioning properties, and the effects of supplementing with them have been extensively researched in many areas, including exercise performance, weight loss, treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetic neuropathy, depression and many other neurological disorders, treatment of alcoholism, treatment of cardiovascular diseases, insulin resistance, and many others.

What benefits does L-Carnitine have?

Cardiovascular benefits - The carnitines have considerable potential in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Rodent studies with L-carnitine have shown decreased triglyceride and cholesterol levels and protection against arrhythmia and ischemia, and a study with ALCAR found a reversal of the age-related decline in mitochondrial function in the heart. A study on the three-year survival rate of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy supplemented with L-carnitine (n=37) or placebo (n=33) found one death in the L-carnitine group and six in the placebo group, and concluded that L-carnitine had a considerable effect. Another study found over a 10% reduction in cardiac events following suspected myocardial infarction, and other human studies have found reduced arrhytmia, significant improvement in patients with congestive heart failure, and reduced cholesterol and triglycerides.

Improved cognitive function - ALCAR plays a strong role in the brain in many ways, and has beneficial effects in many conditions including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Studies in aged rodents show markedly improved memory and learning capacities, while studies in younger rodents show a variety of promising effects as well. Other rodent studies have shown that ALCAR significantly protects the brain against a variety of stresses, such as ischemia and repurfusion and mitochondrial uncoupling. It also protects against peripheral nerve trauma, "almost eliminating neuron loss", and in vitro neuronal apoptosis. ALCAR also increases levels of dopamine, amino acids, and acetylcholine in the brain, as well as facilitating cholinergic activity.

One of the primary mechanisms for the improved cognitive function and anti-aging properties seen with ALCAR is its ability to prevent oxidation and inflammation. Administering ALCAR reduces lipid peroxidation, prevents or reverses many age-related increases in markers of oxidative and inflammatory events in the cortex, reduces damage to nucleic acids (DNA/RNA) and proteins, and also increases the levels of other antioxidants in the brain. Administering ALCAR also prevents mitochondrial decay, restores depleted ATP levels, and restores the activity of many key enzymes that decline with age such as carnitine acetyltranferase, mitochondrial complexes III and IV, sodium potassium adenosine triphosphatase, and glutathione-S-transferase.

ALCAR supplementation is also accompanied by many positive structural changes in the brain in both the young and the old. It stimulates nerve growth factor (NGF) binding, and rodent studies indicate significantly more regenerative elements and reduced degenerative elements. A study that measured the regenerative capacity of myelinated fibers in young and old rats found that ALCAR significantly increased the density of regenerating myelinated fibers (RMF) and increased the density of axon diameters in both, as well as reducing degenerative elements, and another rat study with ALCAR found increased synaptic numeric densities and improvements in energy provision at nerve terminals in both young and old rats, as well as 10-20% increases in synapses smaller than .08 microns.

Improved hearing and visual function - Two animal studies indicate a significant reduction in noise-induced and age-induced hearing loss with ALCAR. One measured outer hair cell (OHC) density after three weeks of noise exposure, and found less than a 10% reduction with ALCAR as opposed to 60% with placebo, and noise induced threshold shifts were less than 10 dB in the ALCAR group as opposed to 30-35 dB with placebo. A six-week study with aged rats found ALCAR to improve auditory thresholds by upregulating mitochondrial function and reducing oxidative stress.

Improvements in visual function have been noted as well. A preliminary study on guinea pigs found an improvement in alignment to ocular responses and enhancement of optical nerve growth, and hypothesized that ALCAR can increase visual function. In vitro, ALCAR also prevents the buildup of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in the eye, which are a known cause of macular degeneration.

Reduced stress and depression - In rats, ALCAR protects against the decreases in dopamine and testosterone that normally occur after exposure to both acute and chronic stress and decreases other markers of stress, and no tolerance develops to this effect. Preliminary human studies in the elderly and those undergoing treatment for certain conditions indicate a reduction in depression and fatigue and an improvement in quality of life.

What application does L-Carnitine have?

The carnitines are excellent supplements for athletes, as well as anyone who wants to look and feel thier best. Studies with both ALCAR and L-carnitine have shown that they have potent nutrient repartitioning effects, and there are some studies indicating that L-carnitine can increase exercise performance.

In one study, both young and old rats were supplemented with ALCAR and compared with age-matched controls. Nutrient partitioning and muscle mass and function were among the factors measured. Body weight did not differ significantly between the two groups, but there were strong differences in the fat to protein ratios. The young rats fed ALCAR had slightly higher body protein levels (not statistically significant) and significantly less body fat, while the old rats fed ALCAR had much high body protein levels and the same amount of body fat. ALCAR may be especially useful for older people, as one rat study found that long-term administration prevents the progressive increase in the size of fat cells that normally occurs with age.

Another study looked at the effects of carnitine (.68 g) and choline (.94 g) supplementation on fat metabolism in healthy women. In the treatment groups, body fat decreased .7-1.3% over 35 days (as opposed to no difference in the placebo group). They also found that when the supplemented groups exercised, the ability to utilize fat as energy substrate increased (5). Animal studies have also shown L-carnitine to reduce obesity and improve nitrogen utilization. However, there has been one human study in moderately obese premenopausal women in which no weight loss or repartitioning effect was found with L-carnitine.

When looking at the effects of the carnitines on exercise performance, we no longer have to rely so much on animal studies. Various studies have shown that L-carnitine improves exercise performance in people with heart problems or impaired exercise tolerance, as well as people recovering from hemodialysis. However, the influence on exercise performance on healthy individuals is less clear. L-carnitine definitely changes the response and effects of exercise, as evidenced by decreased muscle soreness and decreased pyruvate and lactate concentrations and higher ALCAR concentrations post-exercise, as well as studies showing it to increase utilization of fat as a fuel source during exercise. A study with L-carnitine L-tartrate also showed it to favorably effect many markers of recovery from squat exercises. The real world effect of this is not conclusively known, and two recent reviews stated that further studies are needed before the effect can be determined on healthy individuals. Regardless of the present lack of human studies showing a definite ergogenic effect, the nutrient partitioning properties and improved recovery alone make carnitine a worthwhile supplement, and there are also many added benefits.

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