[ Q ] I read somewhere that with some supplements it is possible to keep a fraction of the volume gained during the workout. Is that true?
Are there any supplements that will make my muscles keep a certain part of the volume I gained during the workout? Is this called "cell-volumizing"? If not, what is "cell-volumizing"?
This is a great question that I am sure many bodybuilders have.
Your question reflects an inability to distinguish between the muscle "pump" that comes from the concentration of blood in muscle tissue as a response to exercise induced muscular inflammation, and cell volumization that can occur from the use of nutritional supplements.
Muscles sustain damage and become inflamed when they are subjected to stimulus. The increased flow and concentration of blood to damaged muscles is the body's response to this stimulus, and is the body's attempt to speed the recovery process by increasing nutrient and vitamin flow to damaged muscles. In short, the temporary increase in muscle size resulting from the pump is part of the bodies natural repair mechanism.
Cell volumization is the process of increasing a cells volume by changing the internal constitution of the cell. Creatine monohydrate is a supplement that changes the internal constitution of a cell and leads to cell-volumization by supplying energy to working muscles through the ATP process and an increase intramuscular hydration.
Many bodybuilders experience the pump during a workout session and equate the pump with muscular hypertrophy. Clearly, however, while the pump may be a mediator of muscular hypertrophy, and while the presence of the pump may increase the probability of muscular hypertrophy, it does not follow that the temporary size increases resulting from the pump will be translated into new and permanent muscle mass.
Muscular recovery does not always result in muscular hypertrophy or muscular hyperplasia and thus the degree to which the pump is an indicator of muscular hypertrophy is not known.
| What Does Hypertrophy & Hyperplasia Mean?
Hypertophy is an increase in the size of a muscle or organ.
Hyperplasia is an increase in the number of cells in an organ or tissue.
Cell volumization, by contrast, is a better indicator of muscular hypertrophy. Cell volumization allows for an increase in ATP levels, and this increase in work capacity may result in an increase in the stimulation of muscle fibers. This stimulation may result in hypertrophy or hyperplasia.
An increase in work capacity and intensity will correspondingly trigger an increased demand for nutrients and vitamins. If the energy supply of your nutrition regimen matches or exceeds the energy you burn then you'll probably grow.
Cell volumization also results in cellular hydration and an increase in the delivery of nutrients to muscle tissue. An increase of available nutrients may result in an increase in protein synthesis as a response to intense exercise. Thus, cell-volumization is a much better indicator of muscular hypertrophy than the pump.
[ Q ] I am a male, and have been lifting weights for one year. I am underweight, weighing 112 lbs. I have a 40 inch chest, 13.5 inch arms and a 28 inch waist. I know that to put on muscle I must gain weight.
I have been saving money from the past six months to buy a supplement. I purchased Whey gainer by Ultimate Nutrition. A friend suggested that I take neurabol, and I want to know if taking this in small amounts will trigger side effects? I live in India. Thank you.
For legal reasons I have to give you the same disclaimer that I give to others who ask me questions about controlled drugs. I am not a medical doctor, I do not dispense medical advice, and nothing I say constitutes medical advice. It is important to consult with your physician when you consider taking any drug. Now, lets get to your answer.
The fact that you weigh 112 lbs is cause for concern. I believe that you must gain weight immediately. While nutritional supplementation can help, I recommend natures solution: food. If there is nothing else that I say that you take from this column, be sure to take this: eat.
Now, when I say eat, I don't mean eat a bit of lettuce or a bit of rice. I mean that you must put as much effort into your nutrition as you do into your exercise. In short, if something edible is put in front of your face, I want you to eat it. Eat as much as you can for the next six months to get your weight up. Stuff yourself with food until it hurts. 112 lbs is an extremely unhealthy weight for most men.
I have Hindu friends that live in India who do not eat beef for religious reasons. If this is true in your case, you are going to have to go to great lengths to find a meat source. Fish, pork or chicken are good meat alternatives to beef. You need to educate yourself about protein and amino acids and make sure that you are getting enough quality protein to bring yourself up to a healthy weight.
I don't know your financial situation, but if I were in your situation, before I even gave a thought to doing a drug, I would first make sure I was eating the best food possible. For my money, eating like a king can't be beat, both on a personal level and a muscle-building level.
The drug you mention Neurabol is also known as Menabol or Stanozolol - aka Winstrol. In your country of India it is manufactured by Cadila and comes in capsule form. In tablet form it comes in 5 mg white or pink tablets and is packaged in boxes of 100.
Winstrol is a popular all-purpose steroid that is good for both cutting and building. It is a derivative of DHT and has little chance of aromatization. This is good in your case because you need to gain as much muscular weight as possible.
By choosing a drug that keeps testosterone levels high without having some testosterone convert to estrogen, you can maximize your muscular weight gain and minimize any unwanted side-effects like gynocomastia or excessive water retention.
| What Is Gynocomastia?
Gynocomastia is the formation of breast tissue in men as a result of estrogens.
That being said, every drug has side-effects. Whenever you introduce external substances into the body, your body lowers its own production of those substances. When you stop taking the drug, you can experience negative symptoms. With this drug, it has been noted that some users may experience iron deficiencies.1
As I said before, I recommend eating well and exercising hard. Before you consider using any drug I suggest you line all of your ducks in a row. Good luck.
[ Q ] I was interested in becoming a part-time personal trainer and want to know what would be the best means to do so. I am often asked by seniors at the gym about certain exercises and would like to get paid for it.
I am not allowed to personal train at my current gym but know another gym where I could do this. Is it hard to obtain clients after normal working hours? What is a good fee? Who are the best clientele?
You must make your own breaks in the personal training business. This means taking timely and effective action driven by intelligent planning.
Obtaining your personal trainers certification is important for three reasons:
- Certification will increase your credibility and standing.
- Certification will open up the job market and allow you to receive payment for any services rendered.
- Certification will allow you to qualify for insurance that can protect you from lawsuits.
While first two points are important, the third point is especially important to consider. Medical liability reform is currently an important issue as doctors are more vulnerable than ever before to lawsuits from patients. Many doctors now practice "defensive medicine" whereby they screen potential patients and treat only those that they consider to be low-risk.
Personal trainers must also practice "defensive training." This can be difficult in the beginning when you are trying to build up your client base because the whole idea is to become financially sound and established. However, defensive training is now today's standard.
It's up to you when it comes to developing a client base; you have to "make your own breaks." You have to get out there and service the clients - work around their hours. Nothing in life comes for free, and as an entrepreneur you must make yourself available at the convenience of others. It is not generally difficult to get clients after working hours, but don't think that being in business for yourself is easy - it's not.
Fee scheduling will be dependant on market forces and your expertise. I suggest doing a feasibility study prior to your market entry.
While the desire to be a trainer and make money is an incentive, entry barriers may exist. If there are entry barriers, you need to know what they are prior to jumping into the fire.
Just remember this: You are there to provide a service. Never forget that your clients own your success. If you ever forget this, they can take it away in a heartbeat.
[ Q ] Hi there. Could you tell me what the deal is with creatine ethyl ester? Is it better than regular creatine? The price is double.
When a new product debuts on the market there is often a lot of animosity directed toward it. Industry giants whose products are usurped overnight by innovation and progress begin to churn out negative publicity meant to damage the reputation of a new product. We saw it with the airplane, the TV, prohormones and we've seen it with creatine ethyl ester.
First, an invention is scorned, fought against, and, finally, accepted and stolen. The harsh response from well-established industry players can often serve as a barrier to market entry for any product, and can result in the elimination of progress.
Unfortunately, however, when a product debuts and it is a total scam [like the so-called "myostatin" products], the publicity machine seems to take longer to sound the alarm.
When the propaganda machine finally kicks in and does its thing, we can't be sure if the industry is simply "crying wolf" because their products have been rendered obsolete, or if they are telling the truth stemming from the fear of losing revenue. In these cases, I always turn to the bodybuilders greatest ally: science.
When companies began to market creatine ethyl ester products the industry was afire with excitement. If regular creatine monohydrate could deliver amazing results for most people, just imagine what creatine ethyl ester could do!
With better absorption and a decrease in the required dosage, the body would reduce its down regulation, and creatine conversion would be drastically reduced. In short, better gains would be achieved for a fraction of the economic and metabolic cost. So far, so good!
Unfortunately, as my article Lab Reports: Can They Be Trusted? (see related article below) demonstrated, it appears that some companies in the industry have resorted to dirty tricks to deceive consumers.
While no scientific research has yet been conducted on the effectiveness of CEE, substantial anecdote exists to suggest that CEE is superior to regular creatine monohydrate. Many users report amazing results and extreme pumps and strength increases. I can't say for sure if CEE is superior to creatine monohydrate, only that it seems to be. I will be able to make a stronger statement as the technology develops and as more data emerges.
To clean up this industry, bodybuilders are going to have to become more critical of what they see, hear and read, both in the gym, online and in the magazines. It can be hard to get to the truth when the marketing machine is in full gear. Fortunately, science doesn't lie - it speaks the cold hard truth - and as a bodybuilder it's your best protection against gimmicks, scams and snake oil peddlers.
[ Q ] I am 320 pounds and I have been working out for a few months. I use Nitro-Tech, Cell-Tech, Hydroxycut and BCAA's.
Please give me advice on how to turn my fat into solid muscle.
Fat can not be "turned into muscle tissue."
"Body composition" is a term that describes the relationship of muscle to fat tissue as a percentage of your body mass. Essentially, skeletal muscle is stored protein. Adipose tissue is stored fat. Both muscle tissue and adipose tissue can be used for energy, but they are fundamentally different, and fat cannot be converted into muscle and visa versa.
You may now be thinking "well, my friend / buddy / brother / cousin / etc. stopped working out and all of his muscle turned to fat." This is a common example given to support the claim that fat and muscle can be changed into the other, but this kind of claim is faulty.
Fat tissue obscures muscle shape and quality. A person typically gains body fat when they stop working out, unless they adjust their diet and reduce their caloric intake. The increase in body fat that people see after they stop working out for long time periods is a reflection of metabolic slowdown and a corresponding shift in the testosterone to estrogen ratio from muscular atrophy and the "spill over" effect of excessive carbohydrate and caloric intake.
Now, let's talk about your supplementation program. I won't make it long: it's terrible. I suggest that you read my article What Supplements should you take? if you want the truth on what supplements form the basis of a successful supplementation program.
"I'd do interviews with MuscleTech and tell the truth, and when the interview came out, none of what I said was published. I asked them, "Why the f*ck did you bother to interview me?" Shit like that went on back and forth. I didn't like half of MuscleTech's products, and I didn't use hardly any of them. People knew it."
On a final note, Cell-Tech is based on old science.2 Also, many users have reported that that sugar in it made them fat. Other creatine products exist that are based on newer science, and their price more realistically reflects their value.
So, to summarize: You can't turn fat into muscle, you can only lose fat and gain muscle. Your supplementation program is less than effective and is probably the biggest element holding you back from losing fat and getting into great shape.
Educate yourself and make wise choices. Always question everything with a skeptical mind. Be persistent, and success will be yours.
- Taberner DA. Iron deficiency and stanozolol therapy. Lancet 1983;I:648 (letter).
- International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2003, 13, 294-302.
The information provided in this publication is for educational and informational purposes only and does not serve as a replacement to care provided by your own personal health care team or physician. The author does not render or provide medical advice, and no individual should make any medical decisions or change their health behavior based on information provided here. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. Readers and consumers should review the information in this publication carefully with their professional health care provider. The information in this or other publications authored by the writer is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. Reliance on any information provided by the author is solely at your own risk. The author does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, medication, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be presented in the publication. The author does not control information, advertisements, content, and articles provided by discussed third-party information suppliers. Further, the author does not warrant or guarantee that the information contained in written publications, from him or any source is accurate or error-free. The author accepts no responsibility for materials contained in the publication that you may find offensive. You are solely responsible for viewing and/or using the material contained in the authored publications in compliance with the laws of your country of residence, and your personal conscience. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising from the use of information contained in this or other publications.
Copyright © Clayton South, 2005 All rights reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright holder and author of this publication.