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I've heard that taking Glutamine and Creatine is a bad idea because they compete for absorption and one goes unused. Is that true? what are your thoughts?
No this is not true. It the old school of thought. But Science has come along way. We now know that creatine has its own exclusive transporter, CRT-1. Oddly enough glutamine has its own exclusive transporter system and it is entirely independent of creatine's. So arguing that taking the two together is bad is a dead topic.
I've been following some of your routines and my arms have been getting much bigger! But the thing is that my triceps are getting bigger and stronger much faster than my biceps. It has never bothered me in the past. But I have seen you curl over 135 pounds and now I am determined to catch up! Why is it that my triceps grow so much faster than my biceps?
Well your triceps by nature are stronger and have the potential to get bigger. Your Tris make up 3/5th of your arm. If you want "Big Arms" it should be your triceps that you focus on, they are what make big arms look big. The muscle fibers of your triceps are called "Pennate" that means the fibers come off the bone at an angle where as the biceps run straight up and down.
Because of the angle the muscle fibers make with the bone, they have the ability to shorten (contract) faster and harder. This also means that there are more muscle fibers packed into those muscles of the triceps. They will get bigger and stronger than your biceps, which is just the way it is.
Would high intensity interval cardio be just as effective as just straight out running at high intensity. Would it also be overtraining if I did high intensity cardio the day after leg training.
This is very much an individual thing. How fast someone recovers and if they can handle both types of training in one day. Some people can. I, personally can. In fact I think that high intensity cardio can aid the recovery process. Think about, you are defiantly increasing blood flow to the area. This is flooding the area with more nutrients and other needed elements. And for anyone who trains heavy, the cardio will still be at such a sub maximal level that there won't be a lot ot additional damage to the area.
And then I can draw on some points from my article, Anabolic Aerobics and go into the hormonal side of it. I always notice that I will be sore for a much shorter time as I increase the amount of cardio I do. While it is true that lower body muscle take longer to recover than upper body muscle, I think that some cardio isn't going to lead to over training, not by a long shot. But if you are really concerned about it and are only doing three or so cardio sessions a week, it would be smart to work around leg day.
Does doing cardio in the morning have any benefits? I read in an article that it speeds up your metabolism throughout the day more. I've read to do 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening instead of doing 25-30 minutes in the evening. What's your opinion on that?
Absolutely! I think the best way to look at cardio is not by how many calories you really burn but how high and how long it cranks up your metabolism. I mean, think about it for a second. Let's say you expend about 250-300 calories in the 65% deal per day. For 5 days a week. That is 1500 calories.
That is nothing in the big picture of it all. That is a like an ice cube hitting the titanic. So you are right on track with both things. However, don't get sucked into the doing cardio before eating and on an empty stomach BS. There is no truth or benefit to that.
I like supersets because they give me such a great pump. Do you ever use them in any of your routines?
Super sets are an exercise technique that is often labeled as "advanced". All a super set is, is performing two exercises that work opposing muscle groups with out any rest between each set. Doing Biceps Curls followed by Triceps Pushdowns for example. This is a common mistake.
The pump is NOT something to judge your training on. Contrary to common though, that feeling is NOT large amounts of blood flowing to the area. It is actually due to ischemia. Ischemia is a fancy word for LACK of blood flow. There is actually vascular restriction of blood. That is a little counter intuitive, but that is what it is. The greater and longer the pump, the greater and longer the lack of blood. The pump is actually a bit counter productive to growth.
I like to do my cardio right after my work out. However I have noticed that you do not. I noticed that you go back to the gym to do your cardio at the end of the day, why is that?
In a word, no. You really want to separate them as much as possible. I understand that it may not be convenient to do, but it really is the best way. Think about it like this, after a workout, you have created a very catabolic environment.
The last thing you want to do is a very intense cardio session. Your body is craving nutrients and is literally tearing itself apart to get them. By doing cardio right after, you are robbing yourself of that valuable time that could be used to take advantage of the 3 hour window that will have dramatic effects on your physical appearance and speed your results.
You basically said that most isolation movements don't have much of a place in a regimen unless you can do as much weight as you can with a similar compound movement. If this is true, then this limits the number of exercises you can do overall for all of the muscle groups. How do suggest tackling this problem? How many exercises per body part do you recommend anyway?
You are right, I do say that. If you have read my articles series - Harmony of Structure & Function, then you will see where I am coming from. A joint has only a couple of specific movements. Let's take the Biceps muscle group. It acts upon the elbow joint. The elbow joint can flex and extend. When you contract your biceps, it is doing two primary things.
It is flexing the elbow, and supinating the forearm, or turning your palm up to the ceiling. So anything more than the Barbell or Dumbbell curl is really a moot point. Things like hammer curls and EZ Bar curls can work the lesser known of the elbow flexors, the brachialis. Other than that, preacher curls, spider curls, close grip, wide grip. All that is just a way to stimulate your mind more than your muscles.
So in a way, there is nothing to tackle but the weight. Pile it on and pick it up! For larger muscle groups, like back, legs and chest I recommend about 6-8 maybe 9 total sets. For smaller ones like biceps and triceps, 4-6 sets should be enough because they get a lot of work when you are working those larger muscle groups.
I have also read that slow recovering body parts such as chest, legs and biceps should be trained with more oxidative (aerobic) movements such as high reps to deeper stimulate their growth. Is this true?
Certain muscle groups generally have a slightly greater % of a fiber type than the other. These are usually minimal differences such as 58% Type II vs. 42% Type I. When the difference is very dramatic the results are amazing. These types of people are who you recognize as elite level athletes. People with high levels of Type II are people like sprinters and power lifter whereas people with a lot of Type I are more of the marathoners and distance athletes.
It has been suggested that if you are someone with a lot of a certain fiber type you should train it accordingly in order for it to grow to its potential. This, my friend, is completely bogus. If this were true, were would see many more 300lb rock solid marathon runners. But that isn't the case is it? Muscle grows in response to a mechanical overload. In other words, if you want to grow, pile on the weight! your article on Soy blew me away. Why? Because I don't know what to believe anymore.
I'm a long time gyno sufferer. I've read countless articles on how soy isoflavonoids could help improve this condition and aid in helping someone gain lean muscle mass, by freeing up bound testosterone, prevent some of it from turning into estrogen, and stopping the converted estrogen from reaching its' receptors found in undesirable places like the nipple area of the chest.
Are all of these people with their clinical tests wrong?
I can't really say if what you read is right or wrong, I haven't read it. What I can do is tell you want I know from what I have read. Soy Isoflavones act as an estrogen agonist. That means the in some way mimic it or strengthen the effects of it. Areas that are sensitive to estrogen are the breast, hip, thigh and buttock areas. These tend to be women's "Problem Areas".
In my article on soy, there was one key study done on men that looked at exactly what you are asking. One group got meat, one group got soy. The group that had soy had lower levels of testosterone both bound and unbound. Estrogen is an important component of the testosterone pathway, however it becomes a problem for men when there is too much.
All clinical trial I have seen that address this matter say the same thing. But here is the catch 22. All of these negative side effects come from high dose, concentrated soy products. Such as protein powders, supplements, or processed food products. This doesn't seem to happen when whole soy is consumed. It has very small amounts of these isoflavones in it. But when consumed from processed and concentrated forms, Soy has a negative impact on testosterone levels.
I read your article on Bodybuilding.com regarding whey and casein supplementation and I must say, you have opened my eyes to protein supplementation. I haven't been making much gains lately because I wasn't too sure of which kind of protein to take when, but now I hope I'll change that by following your supplementation plan.
I do have one question however - if what you say is true that casein should not be combined with whey, then why is it that we see so many time-released formulas out there that have a combination of the two - like Cytosport Muscle Milk and SportPharma's Lean Protein? I hope you could shed some light on this for me.
I'm glad you got something helpful from the article. You have to understand that 9/10 supplement companies are designing products to make money. When they plaster "time released" all over something they know it will catch someone's eye and they will buy it. It sounds good, but how exactly do they determine how much of which protein gets released and at what rate? They can't.
It is the casein that slows the rate of digestion therefore prolonging the time it takes to fully digest. I.E. it digests over a longer period of time meaning longer exposure to aminos and therefore Time released, there is nothing fancy about it. But lets say it had 40 grams of protein. and it released 20% an hour for 5 hours. That should good, but that is only 8 grams of protein per hour. That will do nothing for you.
These types of products just bend the truth to appeal to unsuspecting customers and make money. Either that, or they truly don't know what they are talking about.
Good luck and Train hard!