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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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What Is The Best Way To Get A Good Pump in Your Arms? Supersets? Extended sets?


Biceps and triceps supersets, in which you alternate biceps and triceps exercises without rest, work really well. A good, basic superset for arms is the barbell curl alternated with the cable triceps pressdown. Take the barbell to the cable machine, that way you eliminate any rest between sets. This really helps to maximise the blood flow into your arms. A lot of bodybuilders have built great arms doing this kind of superset.


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Glutamine Basics


What Is It?
A free-form amino acid that is abundant in the body, especially in skeletal muscle, and in most protein-rich foods. The body’s glutamine level is depleted with exercise and dietary stress.

What Does It Do?
When ingested as a free-form amino acid, glutamine supports the immune system stops muscle wasting and increases protein synthesis. It also acts a potent inhibitor of myostatin hyperactivity.

When Should It Be Taken?
30 minutes to 1 hour before and immediately after weight training.

How Much?
Take 5-10 grams per dose, starting with the lowest dose and working your way up according to individual tolerance.