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Bringing you the latest in health and fitness


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Muscle Up With Creatine


Remove limits to muscle growth.

If there is one supplement that you use consistently, it should be creatine. Study after study confirms that it works to increase muscle size, strength, power and endurance. New research continues to pile in which shows it has many benefits.

Researchers from the Arak University (Iran) reported in a 2010 issue of the Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology that subjects taking creatine while on a eight-week weight lifting program had significantly lower myostatin levels than those taking a placebo. Myostatin is a protein that limits muscle growth. The Iranian researchers concluded that since myostatin levels were lower in the subjects taking creatine, one way that creatine may work to increase muscle size and strength is by reducing myostatin levels. That, in turn would reduce the limitation that this protein places on the muscle growth.


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Pec Striations


My pecs are thick from heavy bench presses and dips, but I don’t have any striations. Yet I’ve done hundreds of sets of crossovers over the last year or so. What’s wrong?

You could do thousands of sets of crossovers over many years and still see no striations in your pecs. Alternatively, you could no crossovers whatsoever yet still see striations. (Similarly, you could do countless sets of crunches yet never see your abs.) The key issue is your bodyfat percentage. No matter how large your pecs are, and no matter how many crossovers you do, if your bodyfat percentage is too high you will never see your pec striations. (Similarly, no matter how much ab work you do, if you have too much fat over your abs you will never see your six pack.)

If you want your pec striations to be visible, gradually reduce your bodyfat percentage to under 10% – sufficiently under to produce the required visibility.

Also don’t do crossovers thinking that they will build big pecs. They may help you to build some additional detail in your pecs, which you would see only if you are very lean, but they won’t build a lot of muscle, at least not if you are a typical, natural bodybuilder.


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Not Eating Enough Calories


To lose bodyfat and maintain muscle mass, you need to eat barely enough protein and calories to have the energy to train hard, intense and heavy. If calories are too low and you don’t train heavy during a pre-contest phase, the body will adapt to the light weights by getting smaller. So eat lean, but enough to support your training intensity.

Strength loss is an obvious sign of muscle loss, so changes must be made immediately if strength takes a drastic dip. The leaner you get, strength will start to decrease, but it will be gradual and you should really suffer in the in the last few days of a contest diet.


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Should I Train My legs Even If I Don’t Compete?


It is very important for the ego to train legs heavy and hard. Not everyone can do it. A true warrior works the legs, knowing they will be sick after the workout. It is not that some athletes do not want great legs, it is just that they do not want to go through the pain it takes to get them. That is how you can tell who is really serious about putting in the work necessary to build a complete physique.


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Is it important to incorporate a big mass builder for hamstrings, like romanian deadlifts into my workout, or are leg curls enough?


I think it is a good idea to add one of those mass builders in there. For one, with the romanian deadlift the hamstrings get worked from the hips, not the knees. This means you are working them completely in a different manner than with leg curl movements, even though both target the hamstrings. It helps with shaping the hamstrings and your glute-ham tie-in as well. I don’t think RDLs add too much mass to the bodypart it gives the illusion, which is important in bodybuilding. Sometimes the tape measure does not matter. It is all about the appearance.