Blowing Up Another Big Creatine MYTH

MYTH: Most of the weight gain associated with creatine supplementation is due to increased water retention.

FACT: Although it has been hypothesized that the initial weight gain associated with creatine supplementation is primarily due to increased water retention, new research suggests otherwise.

"A number of studies indicate that long-term creatine supplementation increases fat-free mass and/or muscle fiber diameter with no disproportional increase in total body water," writes Dr. Richard Kreider in a recent study published in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

"These findings suggest that the weight gain observed during training is most likely muscle mass."

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Why Squats and Bench Presses May Burn More Fat Than Cardio

Squats and Bench Presses May Burn More Fat

"Experts." They're quick to prescribe long bouts of cardio to burn fat. But how many of them ever recommend heaping servings of squats, bench presses and power cleans?

Not enough, say Ohio University researchers, who recently discovered that an intense circuit-training program consisting of the aforementioned multi-joint exercises may outperform cardio in the fat-burning department by accelerating the rate at which your body burns calories for two full days following exercise.

Specifically, Dr. M.D. Schuenke and colleagues discovered that just 31 minutes of an intense resistance-exercise program consisting of four circuits of bench presses, power cleans and squats, provided the trainees a significant metabolic boost that lasted 48 hours after the workout.

"The duration and magnitude of the EPOC (post-exercise oxygen consumption) observed in this study indicates the importance of future research to examine a possible role for high-intensity resistance training in a weight-management program for various populations," write the researchers. 

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Pre-Workout Protein Shake Builds More Muscle

Why You Should Have Your Nutrition Shake Before Your Workout.

Consuming a protein-  and carbohydrate-containing nutrition shake before your workout may be more effective at building muscle than when the same drink is consumed immediately following exercise, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism.

In the study, researchers from the University of Texas tested the effects of a protein- and carb-containing shake taken immediately before exercise and immediately after exercise. 

"Results indicated that the response of net muscle protein synthesis to consumption of an essential amino acid and carbohydrate shake immediately before resistance exercise is greater than when the shake is consumed after exercise, primarily because of an increase in muscle protein synthesis as a result of increased delivery of amino acids..." write the researchers.

What This Means to You: This isn't to say you should abandon post-workout protein and carbohydrate nutrition. There's still plenty of research supporting its glycogen-replenishing and protein-synthesis-increasing effects. Still, it might be a good idea to begin taking in about 20 grams of protein and carbs, respectively, immediately before resistance training for optimal muscle-building effects

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Benefits of this natural bodybuilding supplement include improved recoverability, increase muscle hypertrophy and testosterone levels, and finally, a rise in human growth hormone levels. Most importantly, Monster Mix helps you achieve lean muscle growth quickly. 

Monster Mix is the best muscle gain supplement on the market. It combines 17 bodybuilding supplements into one high-powered formula. See what kind of difference Monster Mix makes for you in the gym. 

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Why Bodybuilders Love Sweet Potatos

Sweet Potatoes,  Another Staple of  Pro Bodybuilder's Diets.

Here's what you need to know...

Sweet potatoes have been around for a long time. In fact, they were discovered growing in Indian gardens in Louisiana in 1540. Sweet potatoes were popular with the Incas of Peru and the Mayas of Central America, and residents of South America, the Caribbean and South Pacific have been enjoying the sweet and tasty spud for centuries.

And with good reason.

Sweet potatoes are full of cancer-fighting carotenoids... one cup has more the six times the recommended amount of beta-carotene and vitamin C. They are a reasonable source of Vitamin B-6, and they contain 50 milligrams of calcium per serving. Plus, with almost half the carbs of baked potatoes, they're a wonderful low-carb alternative. In addition to all this, one 4-ounce sweet potato has only 120 calories when eaten in its own skin, with 3 grams of fiber and practically no fat. 

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One-Set Workouts Build Muscle Fast

Are You Pressed For Time In The Gym? 

Well then you'll find this study particularly interesting...

Dr. Chris Hass and colleagues from the University of Florida recently found that increasing training volume from one set to three really didn't make much of a difference on muscle size and strength in weight-training athletes.

The researchers had 40 well-trained guys train three times a week using one or three sets for eight to 12 reps to failure. Muscle strength and percent fat and percent lean body mass were measured before and after the 13-week training period. 

"After 13 weeks of training, both groups had significantly improved their muscular strength and body composition," writes Dr. Hass. "However, there were no significant differences between groups in the improvement of muscular strength, and both groups experienced similar improvements in body composition."

The Bottom Line: The data from this study shows that single-set programs are an effective alternative to high-volume training when time is of the essence. 

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Study: Mixed Protein Powders Build More Muscle

 Mixed Protein Powders Build More Muscle

As far as the best muscle-building proteins go, slow and steady wins the race, according to a new study presented at the annual American College of Sports Medicine meeting in San Francisco. 

In the study, Dr. Richard Kreider and colleagues from Baylor University examined the effects of whey protein supplementation  fortified with casein (a slow-digesting protein) versus whey protein fortified with branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) and glutamine (fast-digesting "anabolic" amino acids) on body composition during strength-training exercise.

Results showed that a daily serving of 40 grams of whey mixed with 8 grams of casein "promoted greater gains in body mass and fat-free mass" than did a daily dose of 40 grams of of whey with 3 grams of BCAAs and 5 grams of glutamine. According to the researchers, the enhanced muscle-building effects of the casein were possibly due to the protein's "timed release" effect, allowing for a more steady and prolonged supply of amino acids to the muscles.

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How To Maximize Your Strength Gains

So, What Is The Best Training Method For Maximizing Muscle Strength? 

Ask a hundred different trainers and you'll get a hundred different answers.

Indeed, the advice we get when it comes to strength training is no more clear-cut than the IRS tax code. Fortunately, we have researchers like Professor Mark Peterson at Arizona State University to help us sort it all out.

Recently, Professor Peterson carried out a comprehensive review of 37 strength-training studies performed on competitive athletes at the collegiate or professional level in an effort to pinpoint the training method that seems to produce the best gains in muscle strength. After review the data and crunching the numbers, Professor Peterson found that the maximal strength gains are elicited among athletes who:
  • Train at a mean intensity of 85 percent of one-repetition maximum
  • Train each body part 2 days per week
  • Train at a mean volume of 8 sets per muscle group 
What This Means to You:

According to this research, if you want to maximize gains in muscle strength, you should be training heavy, training often and training with a high degree of volume. Along these lines, a sample chest workout for someone with a maximum bench press of 265 pounds might look like this:

  • Barbell bench presses: 5 sets of 5 reps with 225 pounds
  • Incline presses: 3 sets of 8 reps with 205 pounds
  • Dumbbell bench presses: 5 sets of 5 reps with 100-pound dumbbells
  • Dumbbell flyes: 3 sets of 8 reps with 50-pound dumbbells
Note: Rest 1 minute between sets. Try to increase the weight a little each week. 

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