Last post suggested incorporating a motivated training partner into your routine for better results. The next step, now that I’ve emerged from my unacknowledged slump, is to experiment with a diet change.
For the longest time, I’ve been training ‘calorie lean’, staying slim but no real gains in muscle bulk. Figuring it was mostly a matter of diminishing testosterone at my age, I accepted the meager results. My routine consisted of Supersets, working the entire body each session, three times a week.
Now the regimen is split: six exercises per body group, three sets per exercise. When I finished my first workout with Hector, (chest/tris/abs), I couldn’t lift my arm to wipe the sweat from my forehead.
So guess what… maybe the diminishing testosterone levels are less of a factor than I thought (another future post). The results are turning back the clock. It was the hard work that was missing.
The other major difference, which is an important component, is a dramatic diet shift to more calories and protein. Definition in the abs is a neat thing, but I’ve never found the balance to gaining bulk and trimming the waist. So now I’m putting on desired mass, and a little extra around the waist, to accomplish the mission.
What about the Creatine?
It’s a new component to my list of changes and I’ll bring you my impressions in the coming months, but let me share a couple of initial points.
If you haven’t bought from Amazon before, you’re missing a great resource. Aside from the savings on the products, the comments included by verified purchasers have always been a great help to me. I had already done my homework on the value of creatine itself, and its long-term safety, but haven’t before utilized it systematically.
So I apologize if you were looking for a benefit analysis here – – that will certainly follow.
But to satisfy your craving for creatine data, peruse the following…
Here is an excellent summary article from Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/creatine/NS_patient-creatine.
Also, I came across an interesting article in The Journal of Exercise Physiology which discusses the benefit of combining caffeine and creatine and the results may be of interest to you. Apparently, there are many of you who are already doing this combination; seeking, of course, to maximize results. So here I am, after having read enough about the efficacy of creatine that I will now be on board this train–let’s look at one aspect of this creatine/caffeine combo someone actually tested.
Coffee has been a pre-workout ritual of mine for a long time. In fact, for mid-morning workouts, I prefer having no breakfast, simply coffee before workouts. For me, the feeling of any food in the stomach detracts from my workout.
There are a number of things that can be measured to evaluate improved athletic performance, such as ‘time to failure’ which would be an endurance improvement; pure strength improvement, as well as time differences. In this test, they focused on something called ‘Ventilatory Anaerobic Threshold, an indicator of cardiorespiratory fitness. The activity in this experiment was simply running on the treadmill and every three minutes increasing the speed incrementally until the subjects became exhausted and unable to continue. The subjects performed the same tasks on different occasions having been given various placebos and combinations of creatine and caffiene without knowing what they were ingesting. Dosing intervals and amounts of creatine were those which had previously been demonstrated to be effective alone in other studies.
So, what happened when the subjects did the exercise when caffeine was added shortly before the workout in addition the creatine ? There was really not a significant difference in the combination versus using each separately. The article appeared in Journal of Exercise Physiology August 2013, Volume 16 Number 4, by Quesada and Gillum at California Baptist University, in Riverside, CA. I will quote their conclusion, “This study suggests that moderately active males should avoid combining creatine and caffeine supplements for performance enhancement and that these supplements may be more effective when used individually.” The explanation offered by the researchers focused on a counteracting effect of these two substances which, in this case, seemed to offset each other.
So if your pre-workout beverage of choice is a cup of coffee, ingest your creatine after your training.
Train harder, eat right, and grow!
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