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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.

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Get Your Glutamine


Skeletal muscle is the most abundant tissue in the human body, so the fact it serves as the primary amino acid pool supplying the body with proteins in times of need is no surprise, especially when your bodily systems are under conditions of stress, including dieting, heavy training and injury. Scientists have been very interested in the pathways that mediate muscle wastage in such conditions. Recent research indicates hyperexpression of myostatin is a key player in this response. In the most basic sense, myostatin in the body acts as the brakes for muscle growth.

Glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in skeletal muscle, is depleted during and after heavy stress. Years of research has demonstrated supplementing with glutamine before and after your training sessions leads to greater protein synthesis and decreased catabolism.

Evidence indicates the muscle-sparing and anabolic effects of glutamine supplementation are a direct outcome of its ability to inhibit myostatin, essentially taking the “brakes” off muscle growth. In a study publishes in Amino Acids, researchers showed that when muscle cells were exposed to TNFα (to induce catabolism) and supplemented with glutamine, the process completely reversed the hyperactivity of myostatin and therefore halted catabolism.

Since its genetic discovery in 1997 supplement research and development teams have been on a dedicated search to fine safe and effective compounds that inhibit myostatin. Remarkably they have discovered a well-known amino acid can effectively reverse the negative impact of myostatin hyperactivity. Although this study was completed in vitro (in a controlled environment such as a test tube or Petri dish, not in a living organism), it provides a powerful mechanism for the muscle-sparing effect of glutamine, therefore reinforcing the importance of pre and post-workout glutamine supplementation.


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The Basics


Don’t persist with exercises, routines or methods that do not help you. If your training has not yielded any progress over the last two months, it is unlikely top yield any progress over the next two months. Make changes!

Training failures are valuable learning experiences that can help you to succeed with subsequent efforts. What could you have done differently that would have improved the outcome? What did you learn that you can put to good use next time? If you approach your training failures and setbacks with a positive attitude, you will use them to increase your chance of success in the future.

Use your gym time wisely. Follow brief but hard training, use exercises suited to you, and strive to add a little more weight every week or two to each exercise. Use a balance programme that includes cardio and stretching. Even if you train well, if you don’t satisfy all the components of recuperation you will not be able to make much, if any progress.

It is amazing how many gym-goers and athletes are negligent with their nutrition and sleep. Everyday you must eat well and sleep well if you want to optimise your recuperation. Do not undermine your training by cutting corners of the gym.


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Should I Train A Lagging Body-Part More Often?


Yes. First, however, you need to define “more often”. If you are training a body part once per month, hitting it more often will certainly be more beneficial, but if you are training it once a day, more often won’t do any good. The approach of training a body-part once per week, is largely based on the training style of Dorian Yates, who deplored the practise of hitting a body-part more than once per week. If you were able to train a body-part twice, the reason was likely that your trained like a pathetic schoolboy during your initial workout. You can hit body-parts that you need to improve twice per week – first on a heavy compound day and second concentrating on more feel with volume. If a lagging body-part is weak, you can train it more often because it does not take as long as to recover.


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When You Are Sick, Is It A Good Idea To Workout?


Dedication is great, but training while you are sick does not help anybody. You should stay away from any training or other activity if you are not well. You are better off getting some rest and then coming back to the gym when you are healthy. Keep in mind that every time you go to the gym you need to give 100% to achieve your desired results. If your training intensity is compromised because you are sick you will not reach your goals. Unless your goal is to make other people sick, and you do not want to do that, you will be just wasting your time. Therefore, stay at home, get better, and come back ready to train hard.