I've been using creatine on and off for about 20 years now. My first experience with it was amazing. It, along with a two- or three-times a day protein shake, couple with brutal weight workouts, allowed me to pack on 60 pounds of muscle in one year.
At the time, without steroids, the max muscle most guys could build was about 8-12 pounds.
So I considered that a monumental feat.
And I attribute it all to creatine.
Sure, I had to eat a LOT of calories to get myself in a positive caloric balance. Plus, I had to train really heavy.
But a lot of that weight was strictly because creatine allowed me to work harder, push and pull more, and recover a lot faster.
You could say, at least for me, creatine was a poor man's steroid.
And for a lot of guys, it is.
I didn't have the time, money, or inclination to inject myself with God-knows-what that I got from a gym rat. And I couldn't find a doctor at the time who'd prescribe them to me. And I sure as hell wasn't going to drive or fly down to Mexico or Canada to smuggle it back in.
I started doing research on it. And so did a lot of people in the supplement and scientific world.
In fact, creatine is the most-researched supplement – EVER.
There's a reason – it works.
But people are skeptical. Of course.
I mean, most supplements don't live up to the hype. And some can really harm you – even kill you.
Creatine isn't like that at all.
It's a natural molecule found in animal flesh like beef. We store in our bodies.
I won't get into all the technical details, but suffice it to say many athletes, strength athletes specifically, use it and swear by it.
Want to learn more about the research and how to use it for maximum results?
Did you know that swimming actually sucks for fat loss, even though it's a great cardiovascular exercise?
Seems conflicting, right?
Weight training may be your best best, IF you're trying to shed body fat and gain muscle.
And who doesn't want less fat and more muscle? Amiright?
Kevin DiDonato of ProGrade Nutrition explains why in the article below:
Can Swimming Get Your RIPPED ? Or Is It Just A Waste Of Time?
Are you a few pounds overweight?
Has your doctor told you to start an exercise program to lose weight?
Have you been hooked by the late night infomercials, only to be let down by a lack of results?
You and I both know exercise is important. You can improve general health, shred unwanted belly fat, and build strength and endurance.
But you buy a membership to a gym, only to see your money go up in flames because you just don’t use the membership.
You are confused by what you read about exercise. Which is the best? Which can make me lose the most weight and keep it off?
You implore the help of a trainer and they try to tell you what the best workout for fat loss is. They don’t even scratch the surface of the different types of exercises out there.
You walk out of there more confused than when you went in.
I am here to tell you that not all exercises are the same.
In the above article, Kevin goes on to cite two different studies that show not only how swimming doesn't help reduce body fat, but the reason it doesn't.
Here's the main study, by G. Gwinup:
Weight loss without dietary restriction: efficacy of different forms of aerobic exercise
After 6 months or slightly longer, the women assigned to walking lost 10% of initial weight, the women who cycled lost 12%, but the women who swam lost no weight.
So swimming didn't cause any weight loss. Interesting, right? But why?
According to this study, it's because swimming in cold water affects appetite:
The Acute Effects of Swimming on Appetite, Food Intake, and Plasma Acylated Ghrelin
These findings suggest that swimming stimulates appetite but indicate that acylated ghrelin and food intake are resistant to change in the hours afterwards.
Read more about that here.
Simply put, swimming in cold water (most people swim in unheated pools) increases appetite. And while you do burn a whole lot of calories while swimming, you also have a natural inclination to eat more afterwards, due to the cold temp. This may be hard-wired in our DNA – cold water signals to the body that it's in a crisis state and needs more fat to survive.
I mean, maybe you fell in an icehole and a polar bear is coming to eat you!
Bottom line: If you like swimming, swim. It's great exercise. But watch what you eat afterwards. If you have a difficult time losing body fat and keeping your eating in check, swimming may not be the best exercise for you.
Need help with your metabolism? You may want to give this a try.
With all the recent talk here and everywhere else about The Holy Grail (building muscle and burning body fat simultaneously), you'd think that perhaps that was ideal, right?
I mean, who doesn't want to build muscle and drop body fat at the same time?
I know I do!
However, it may be the slower route to go. Let me explain.
There is a large body of evidence on building muscle. Same goes for losing fat. Conceptually, doing either is really quite easy. The effort is difficult, but the idea is pretty simple.
If you want to build muscle, you have to have a calorie surplus.
If you want to shed body fat, you have to run a calorie deficit.
It's really very simple and just boils down to a math problem. Indeed, aren't many of life's problems just math problems?
Back to the real story. What is the best way to get totally buffed? I mean big like Jay Cutler and ripped like Clarence Bass?
Based on years of personal experience as well as the collective knowledge of thousands upon thousands of personal trainers, bodybuilders, and other fitness athletes, it's clear to me that there is a better, more effective approach.
Now, I'm not saying that what's in The Holy Grail is wrong. It's perfectly correct. You most definitely can gain muscle and lose fat within the same time period. All I'm saying is you can get big and ripped faster if you take a different approach.
And that approach is to “zig zag” or take a “stair step” approach to your fitness goals. Why not take 2-3 weeks to build muscle, then maintain for a week, and then take another 1-2 weeks to drop whatever fat you build up in your “bulking” phase?
In a month's time, you will not have gained a significant amount of body fat, but you could certainly pack on 2-4 pounds of pure muscle. So every 8 weeks, you could add 2-4 pounds of quality muscle to your frame. That means there is the potential for adding between 12 and 30 pounds (give or take) a year while not increasing your body fat. In fact, even if you maintained your fat poundage, you will have lowered your body fat percentage significantly because you've added so much lean mass.
I will tell you this is the better, faster way to the body you want. Yes, you will gain some body fat in the first phase, but you'll lose it all and more in the last phase. In that third phase, you're not even trying to add muscle; you're only seeking to maintain it.
So your body doesn't go on overload, get overtrained, and you will never lose muscle mass. The third phase is all about losing body fat while maintaining muscle mass.
It doesn't sound as good or sexy as “build muscle and burn body fat simultaneously,” but it sure works better.
Bodybuilders for decades have used this very system to fashion their championship bodies. The results come whether you take steroids or not, though I will say that “chemical enhancements” will certainly speed your progress. In the short term.
Nobody really knows the long-term effects of competent steroid use. You know, the kind administered by a doctor and followed to the “T” by the user.
Bottom line: Bulk up, maintain (or plateau), and then shed body fat. It works. Really really well.
There is one activity that you probably do on the weekends—or some nights during the week—that could be leading to extreme weight gain (depends on how much).
It could also lead to your death—if you’re not careful. What activity is it?
Now, I agree there are plenty of benefits to having a drink or two at night.
It’s been shown to improve heart health, may reduce your risk for diabetes, and may even decrease your risk for having an ischemic stroke.
But again, this is light drinking—only a glass or two a night.
More than that and you could be putting your health—and life—at risk!
Studies show that heavy drinking could lead to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, memory problems, and weight gain.
Now, up until recently, it was believed there was no way to reverse the damage associated with drinking.
But that was then, and this is now…read more
It is more common than not to see and hear guys lifting weights for over an hour a day 5 or more days a week.
There is something I need to tell you – this is too much.
If you are lifting weights for an hour or more per session then you are not working out hard enough.
What do I mean by “not lifting hard enough?”
Personally, I am exhausted at the 30 minute mark.
Do you want to get a sense of how you should be working out?
Perform 10 sets of hack squats where you hit failure at rep 20 on each set.
Rest 60 seconds in between sets.
Guess what happens?
You won't last 30 minutes.
The “Mass in 30 Minutes Program” will change the way you look at training.
I can almost guarantee you that you will build more muscle in 30 minutes than most people will in an hour or more.
Keys to this program
Monday – Back & Bi's
1) Lat Pulldowns 8 x 8-12 reps
2) Alternating Dumbbell Curls 4 x 12-15 reps (each arm)
Tuesday – Chest & Tri's
1) Chest Press 8 x 8-12 reps
2) Dip Machine 4 x 12-15 reps
Wednesday – Legs
1a) Goblet Squats 5 x 15-20 reps
1b) Hamstring Curls 5 x 15-20 reps
Thursday – Off
Friday – Back & Chest
1a) Seated Cable Rows 8 x 8-12 reps
1b) Push Ups or Weighted Push Ups (use weighted push ups if you can do more than 40 push ups) 8 x failure
Saturday – Legs
1) Leg Press 5 x 15-20 reps
2) Dumbbell Lunges 5 x 15-20 reps (each leg)
Sunday – Off
Stick with this program as long as you want, but for a minimum of 3 months.
Record your workouts and try to add weight when possible.
You might be noticing that you are only using a small number of exercises.
What about muscle confusion?
What about exercise variety?
Muscle confusion is a bull shit term that was created within the fitness industry to help market products and programs.
In reality, most people fail to gain significant results because they use too many exercises and, therefore, never really gain any significant strength in certain exercises.
So, stick with the exercises in the program above and slowly try to add weight over time.
5 pounds here and there occasionally, over time, adds up to a lot of weight and a lot of muscle.
As far as your diet goes I like to keep it simple.
You don't need to eat like a pig unless you want to look like a pig.
Take your bodyweight and multiply that by 18 and that's roughly the number of calories you should be consuming every day.
So, if you weigh 200 pounds you should consume 3,600 calories a day.
Take a before pic now.
Take an after pic 6 months later.
If you love the results, send them over to me and you will be featured on our website.
photo credit: Svavar “Suave”
Look, I know how hard it is to build muscle. Trust me when I tell you it took me 20+ years to figure it out. But once I did--BAM!--muscle appeared almost overnight. Give me your email address and I'll send you the keys.
Discover how including just one simple (and inexpensive) supplement can revolutionize your muscle-building efforts.