Stubborn Muscle Hypertrophy Workouts: Nutrition & Supplementation (Chapters 11-13)

I recommend following a hypercaloric diet while using this Hypertrophy program. In order to gain lean muscle you need sufficient calories. Here are some innovative ways of keeping those stubborn muscles growing and fatigue from taking over!

Stubborn Muscle Hypertrophy Workouts

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Chapter 11: Nutrition For A Stubborn Muscle Hypertrophy Program

I recommend following a hyper caloric diet while on a Stubborn Muscle Hypertrophy program. In order to gain lean muscle you need sufficient calories. It is hard to lose fat and gain lean mass at the same time, so I recommend focusing on gaining lean mass with little to no fat gain.

Chapter 12: Workout Nutrition/Supplementation

Supplementation To Decrease Fatigue During Exercise

Fatigue is defined as "The decreased capacity or complete inability of an organism to function normally because of excessive stimulation or prolonged exertion (" With regards to exercise, fatigue could be considered the point where your performance has decreased or you can no longer perform. Examples of fatigue in relation to exercise would be:

  • Inability to perform another rep during a set of bench press
  • Inability to continue running during a 5k race
  • Inability to maintain peak velocity during a 100m sprint

One can prolong the time until fatigue by giving their body substrates/nutrients pre-workout. We are going to examine the metabolic causes of fatigue during exercise and discuss how precise supplementation can decrease the onset of fatigue during exercise, allowing you to train more intensely.

Derek Charlebois Derek Charlebois
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One Can Prolong The Time Until Fatigue
By Giving Their Body Substrates/Nutrients Pre-Workout.

Causes Of Fatigue During Exercise

Newsholme et al. (1992) proposed that there are at least five metabolic factors [(of which four are listed)] that can cause fatigue during exercise:

  • Increase in plasma tryptophan: BCAA concentrations
  • Decrease in muscle phosphocreatine levels
  • Muscle glycogen depletion
  • Proton (H+) accumulation in muscles

Anyone of these metabolic factors of fatigue can cause your workout performance to suffer. We will examine each of these metabolic factors and then address how to overcome them through supplementation.

Reference: Newsholme, 1992

Plasma Ratio Of Tryptophan: BCAA

5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) levels in the brain are believed to be a contributing factor to fatigue. Transport of the amino acid tryptophan, the precursor for 5-HT, across the blood brain barrier (BBB) is the rate limiting step in 5-HT synthesis. Therefore, increased plasma tryptophan levels can lead to fatigue. The Branched-Chain-Amino-Acids (BCAA) are transported across the BBB by the same carrier as tryptophan.

During exercise the plasma ratio of Tryptophan:BCAA increases (tryptophan increases and BCAA decreases), leading to fatigue.

Muscle Phosphocreatine Levels

The body needs a continuous supply of energy to both perform and survive. All of the body's energy requiring processes use the potential energy stored within the bonds of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The phosphocreatine (PCr) system is an anaerobic (does not require oxygen), alactic (does not produce lactic acid) system that rapidly restores ATP levels.

While this reaction is very rapid, it has a low capacity, meaning it cannot produce a tremendous amount of energy. Therefore, it is in greatest demand during high-intensity, short duration exercise, such as resistance training and sprints.

Derek Charlebois
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The Body Needs A Continuous Supply
Of Energy To Both Perform & Survive.

The maximum energy able to be yielded from this reaction occurs after about 10 seconds. After those 10 seconds, energy for ATP resynthesis must be obtained from stored nutrients. Because resistance training heavily relies on the PCr system for energy production, depletion of phosphocreatine levels can decrease performance (i.e. the number of reps you can complete).

Muscle Glycogen Depletion

Glycogen is glucose stored in the body in the form of glucose chains. These chains can contain hundreds to thousands of glucose molecules. The glycogen in our bodies is created from the glucose and other nutrients we consume in our diets.

This glucose becomes "trapped" in the liver and muscles, where it is synthesized and stored for later use. The liver can hold around 100 grams of glycogen, while muscle can store around 325 grams. The amount of unstored glucose circulating in the blood is only around 15 to 20 grams (Katch and McArdle, 1988) (Powers and Howley, 2001).

The glycogen stored in the liver is released, when needed, to be used in the production of ATP. The glycogen stored in skeletal muscle is used to produce ATP for that muscle to use.

Low glycogen levels have been shown to cause decreased intensity, mental focus, and performance during endurance exercise while endurance performance increases when sufficient glycogen is present (Pizza, 1995). Like some conditions, muscle glycogen levels can remain elevated by consuming adequate dietary carbohydrates.

Proton (H+) Accumulation In Muscle

During exercise, blood and skeletal muscle pH levels may become acidic due to hydrogen ion (H+) accumulation.

In order to stabilize an acidic pH level the body must neutralize the excess acids. The two main ways the body does this is by taking calcium (and other minerals) from bones and glutamine from skeletal muscle. Both of these corrective mechanisms have negative consequences for the body.

Skeletal muscle contains the body's greatest glutamine stores. Glutamine binds to H+ to create ammonium, which is excreted from the body. In the face of metabolic acidosis and elevated H+ levels, breakdown of skeletal muscle and glutamine release is increased and can lead to muscle protein loss in addition to causing fatigue. The build-up of H+ in the blood and skeletal muscle is the cause of the burning sensation you feel during exercise (i.e. high-rep Leg Extensions).

Now that we have a basic understanding of the metabolic factors causing fatigue during exercise we can discuss which supplements can be used to delay the onset of fatigue and improve performance.

Supplementing To Decrease Fatigue During Exercise

The most important thing one can do to decrease fatigue during exercise is consume adequate dietary macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fat) and get enough rest/recovery time. Once this is done, supplementation of the following supplements can be used to delay fatigue and enhance performance.

Note: There are other viable supplements that could be used, but this article will focus on these four supplements.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

The BCAA (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are different from the other 17 amino acids in that they are primarily metabolized in skeletal muscle (Layman, 2003) and metabolized at a much lower rate in the liver (Norton, 2005).

Studies show that BCAA ingestion during exercise delays fatigue due to limiting the amount of tryptophan that can cross the BBB (Bromstrand, 2006). In addition to dietary intervention, BCAA supplementation has been shown to spare muscle glycogen during exercise (Bromstand, 2006).

Derek Derek
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BCAA Supplementation Has Been Shown
To Spare Muscle Glycogen During Exercise.

Fatigue and protein loss can be diminished by supplementing with BCAA, which increases de novo synthesis of glutamine inside skeletal muscle, allowing H+ to be removed from the muscle (Houston, 2001). We see that BCAA supplementation can delay the onset of fatigue by overcoming three of the five metabolic causes of fatigue: increase in plasma tryptophan: BCAA concentrations, muscle glycogen depletion, and proton (H+) accumulation in muscles.


Creatine supplementation is used to supply the body with more creatine, increasing the body's capacity for phosphocreatine and ATP resynthesize through the PCr system. Phosphocreatine depletion is one of the metabolic factors leading to fatigue. If you can increase the amount in creatine in your muscles, your muscles should have more creatine to use in the resynthesis of phosphocreatine, delaying the onset of fatigue.

Research has shown creatine monohydrate supplement to decrease ATP loss during intense anaerobic performance while at the same time increasing work performed. This enhancement in anaerobic performance from creatine monohydrate supplementation has been shown in both men and women (Tarnopolsky, 2000).

Skeletal muscle has a limited storage of creatine. Therefore supplementing with creatine increases your ability to form ATP and therefore increases the available energy for exercise (Casey et al. 1996 & 2000).


Citrulline-Malate has been shown to increase the rate of oxidative ATP production during exercise and the rate of phosphocreatine replenishment post exercise (Bendahan, 2002). Increasing the rate of ATP production and phosphocreatine production would aid in delaying fatigue.

Citrulline-Malate also decrease fatigue due to its ability to decrease ammonia/H+ levels (Callis, 1991). Decreasing the sensation of fatigue (i.e. burning sensation) would allow one to workout harder and push out additional reps.


Beta-alanine is one of the two amino acids (histidine being the other) that make up the protein carnosine. Carnosine is an important metabolic buffer in skeletal muscle (Suzuki, 2002), which means it helps maintain the acid-base balance in the presence of high H+ (hydrogen ion) concentrations.

Beta-Alanine availability is the limiting factor in muscle carnosine synthesis (Hill, 2007). Beta-alanine supplementation increases muscle carnosine levels and aids decreasing muscle H+ levels. Beta-Alanine supplementation has directly been shown to decrease neuromuscular fatigue (Stout, 2006).

Putting It All Together

There are at least five [(of which four are listed)] metabolic factors that can cause fatigue during exercise:

  • Increase in plasma tryptophan: BCAA concentrations
  • Decrease in muscle phosphocreatine levels
  • Muscle glycogen depletion
  • Proton (H+) accumulation in muscles

Once you have your dietary needs met, you can incorporate specific supplements to delay fatigue and enhance performance by fighting against the above metabolic factors. In this article we learned that the recommended supplements delay fatigue and improve performance by:

  • BCAA—decreases blood tryptophan levels, sparing muscle glycogen, increasing de novo glutamine production to shuttle H+ out of skeletal muscle.
  • Creatine—increasing phosphocreatine and ATP resynthesis
  • Citrulline Malate—increasing ATP production and phosphocreatine replenishment, delaying fatigue by decreasing ammonia/H+ concentrations
  • Beta-Alanine—decreasing muscle H+ levels, delaying neuromuscular fatigue

Combining these supplements with a well-structured diet can allow you to workout more intensely by delaying fatigue and enhancing performance.

Pre-Workout Supplementation Recommendation

  • 5-10 grams BCAA
  • 2-5 grams Creatine Monohydrate
  • 3 grams Citrulline-Malate
  • 2 grams Beta-Alanine

Your Pre-Workout Supplementation Is Covered

Scivation has made pre-workout supplementation a thoughtless endeavor.

Imagine if you could take the scientifically-proven, synergistic ingredients to guarantee you have all bases covered and to assure that you get the skin-bursting pumps, mind-blowing energy and unbelievable endurance to help you attack the weights like a beast.

Then imagine if you could fuel your muscles during your workout to encourage lean muscle growth and endless energy with enhanced recovery. If you're like anyone here at Team Scivation, this is a dream come true. Time to stop dreaming.

Scivation Xtend is the ultimate pre, during and post workout formula ever created. It has even created its own category—Workout NutritionTM. Scivation VasoCharge, formerly known as Vasocharge, has become the standard in pre workout supplementation featuring Beta Alanine, NO Enhancers, Mental Performance Boosters and the VasoRushTM Blend.

VasoRushTM Blend
Citrulline Malate, L-Arginine Alpha KetoGlutarate 2:1, (Di-L-Arginine)-L-Malate, Citric Acid, (Di-L-Arginine) Orotate

Scivation now gives it to you in one complete stack at an unbelievable price. The Scivation Workout Nutrition StackTM is here, and it is time for you to get your swole on.

Fatigue and increased protein breakdown (catabolism) are two of the main causes of poor performance and lack of growth/progress for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiast.

If you do not have the energy and drive to lift harder and heavier each workout then you will not grow. If you leave protein breakdown levels unchecked and allow muscle breakdown to occur during a workout then you will not grow.

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Imagine If You Could Fuel Your Muscles During Your Workout.

Without proper workout nutrition you will not grow and progress and the rate you could with sufficient diet and supplement strategies. Scivation has taken the guess work out of workout nutrition and created a supplement combo that will increase your energy and performance, delay fatigue, and decrease protein breakdown while increasing protein synthesis (the key to muscle growth).

It's time to start taking your workout nutrition (pre and during workout) seriously and supplement with the Scivation Workout Nutrition Stack—Vasocharge + Xtend!

dot Scivation Vasocharge dot

We have formulated Scivation Vasocharge around ingredients that are scientifically proven to increase performance and muscle growth. Vasocharge contains synergistic ingredients that work together to take the results you will see to the next level and beyond.

Creatine + Citrulline Malate Synergistically increases performance.

Creatine + Beta-Alanine: Synergistically increases performance and lean mass gains.

Citrulline Malate + Arginine: Increases blood flow and amino acid deliver to skeletal muscle, leading to increased protein synthesis (muscle growth)

Tyrosine + ALCAR + Caffeine + D,L-Phenylalanine: Increases energy and mental focus while delaying fatigue, allowing you to workout harder and longer.

Vasocharge is formulated to allow you to increase the intensity of your workouts while delaying fatigue, which results in greater progress being made. Vasocharge increases energy production and power output, decreases H+ accumulation and fatigue, and increases blood flow and the deliver of amino acids to skeletal muscle, making it an all-in-one pre-workout powerhouse.

dot Scivation Xtend dot

We have formulated Scivation Xtend to increase protein synthesis, recovery, and performance using a precise blend Branch-Chained-Amino Acids (BCAA), L-Glutamine, and Citrulline Malate. BCAA are a must have for workout nutrition. In summary, the metabolic roles of the BCAA Include:

  • Substrate for energy production
  • Substrate for protein synthesis
  • Precursor for the formation of other amino acids
  • Primarily Alanine and Glutamine
  • Metabolic signals (Primarily Leucine)
  • Stimulates protein synthesis through insulin secretion/activation of the PI3K pathway
  • Stimulates protein synthesis through activation of mTOR
  • Stimulates leptin expression in adipocytes through activation of mTOR

Xtend was formulated to give the body what it needs during exercise. As you exercise, the body increases the demand for various nutrients and if the body is not fed those nutrients, it must obtain them from other sources (i.e. breakdown of skeletal muscle to obtain amino acids).

Both BCAA and Glutamine oxidation/demand is increased during exercise. In order to meet this increased demand for BCAA and Glutamine, the body breaks down muscle protein.

The goal of weight training is to increase protein synthesis. In order to gain muscle mass, protein turnover (protein turnover = protein synthesis - protein breakdown) must be positive. An increase in protein synthesis from weight training can lead to an increase in muscle mass.

Protein Synthesis The process by which nitrogen from amino acids is linearly arranged into structural proteins through the involvement of RNA and various enzymes. Protein synthesis is muscle growth. The more efficient you can make this process the more efficiently you can build muscle.

If we are increasing protein breakdown during training, we are decreasing the training session's overall anabolic effect and limiting muscle growth.

BCAA supplementation has been shown to not only increase protein synthesis, but also to decrease protein breakdown. By supplementing with Xtend during your workouts you are creating an ideal environment for muscle growth.

What all this means is ingesting BCAA primes your body for growth by increasing protein synthesis and energy production in muscle. All of these actions are beneficial to an athlete and should not be overlooked.

There is endless research backing BCAA supplementation as part of one's workout nutrition. In addition, the citrulline malate found in Xtend increases atp/energy production, delays fatigue, and increase blood flow and amino acid deliver to muscle and the glutamine promotes increased recovery.

Vasocharge + Xtend

By combining Vasocharge and Xtend pre-workout you prime your body for heightened performance and anabolism. Our pre-workout recommendation (taking 15 minutes pre-workout) is:

  • 1 Serving Vasocharge
  • 2 Scoops Xtend

>You should follow this up during your workout by sipping 4-8 scoops of Xtend throughout your entire workout. This will ensure protein synthesis levels stay elevated and your body is primed for growth.

Marc And Derek
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There Is Endless Research Backing BCAA Supplementation As Part Of One's Workout Nutrition.

While many people overlook the power of workout nutrition, with the Scivation Workout Nutrition Stack you can be ensured that your body has the nutrients and substrates it needs to performance better than ever and grow like never before.

Chapter 13: Conclusion

This book has laid out a workout routine to bring up any lagging or stubborn muscle group as well as diet and supplement recommendations. By combining the Stubborn Muscle Hypertrophy Routines with the recommended diets and supplements you can except accelerated gains, especially in your stubborn muscle group you are targeting. It is time to make those weak points into strong points! Now get to work!