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Awesome read for all
#1

When I go out and about to other boards...the seemingly endless number that I am a member of. I see many great posts. The posts range from the everyday current events, humor, AAS, peptides, supplements and so on.
However we are bodybuilders of all sizes and experience levels. So I tend to stick to the posts that have some merit in terms of creating a better, more efficient program and regimen to take our physiques to another level.
One of the more disturbing trends I have noticed is we all talk about drugs, weather it be AAS, peptides, or some novel new discovery, we seem to focus there more than any other place.
For 12 years I trained as a natural bber- I certainly made most of my gains natty- so I would say that nutrition and training are much more a part of building muscle than pharmaceuticals.
I would be a hippocrite to say that they are not much of the equation- but they are not the large percentage of the puzzle when it comes to muscle building.
But look around the boards- our subculture is breeding a new kinda board junkie who only sees that side of the equation...the drugs. Im not belittling their importance, I just think that our focus is there instead of our training and diet.
Often times I see post that say Im taking x amount of this and x amount of that...wtf why am I not gaining- do I have fake stuff??? Grrrrr...
They never seem to post up what they are eating what kinda training system they are employing- how much volume, when was the last time the altered their training?
These questions carry MUCH more weight than those mg's of AAS.
It seems like 75% of the time most numb skulls dont even eat 4 meals a day and protein is taken in at much less the quantity that is needed for any kinda muscle growth...yet they think its the drugs failure to make them look like a marvel comic book hero in 12 weeks.
I have been hammering AAS for a while now and when I have troubles with gains, there are a few things I ask myself first.

1.Am I getting enough sleep?
You need a minimum of 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night- if you can sneak in a nap in the mid day hours even better. This is when your body does the most growing and recuperating - take it seriously- going out til 4 am 3 night a week and thinking you will grow much less have productive workouts is asinine.

2. Am I overtraining?
Alot of people seem to be under the impression that when you are on you cannot overtrain...WRONG!
I have personally done it several times- in my overzealousness to be Dorian Yates I have trained extremely hard with high volume until my body finally drop dead.
Pushing yourself is good but extended periods of super high intensity are too much for the CNS to tolerate and usually with heavy weights the connective tissues dont handle the extended abuse to well either- training too many consecutive days in a row can be a killer too especially if life outside the gym has gotten stressful- remember some stress is good too much is a killer.

3. Am I eating enough?
This is perhaps the most important and most neglected aspect of training- if you hope to harvest a few ounces of new muscle tissue it takes a tremendous amount of constant eating. Eatin a ton of protein and good clean foods. I often times ask people who claim they eat ALOT but just cant gain-how much do you eat?
Response: ALOT
Me: How much is alot?
Response: Uh..a bowl of cereal at breakfast- soup and salad at lunch and some spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.
Me: Good luck with that!
I mean really...what most people think is ALOT I eat in one sitting for Gods sake. Bodybuilding style eating is a JOB- get used to that- its not every day I feel like eating 8 meals and 500 grams of protein..but I do...I wake up at 3 am to eat-EVERY NIGHT- this is not to brag- this is to show how I eat and Im not even that big- most people are eating less calories and protein than it takes to sustain their current lean body mass!
And I cannot understate this aspect of eating to gain- your diet is the most important on your days away from the gym- thats when you grow and thats when the body needs the nutrients.

4. Should I suplement?
I think that the supplement industry has often times gave themselves a black eye by making ridiculous label claims that leave most trainees pissed and dissapointed.
I understand because I have worked in this industry for the last 7 years- I can tell you what works and what doesn't- here is a short list of some very helpful suplements that work.

1.Whey Protein- a must have for post work out nutrition in my opinion- whey has the highest biological value of most proteins and the body can rapidly uptake the amino acids and begin delivering them to the damaged muscle tissue for repair and growth.

2. BCAA's- yes I know we all eat enough protein allready why more aminos? These 3 - valine-leucine- isoleucine - are 3 of the most anticatabolic and anabolic amino acids of the bunch- whey protein is high in them but its great to supplement these before and after a workout- cuts whey down on workout catabolism- yes working out releases cortisol and breaks down muscle- BCAA's cut down on the bodies loss of nitrogen from training.

3. Glutamine- how many times I have heard guys on boards say "stuff is fucking worthless" yes I guess its not the same as 12 weeks of test enanthate. Its not a suplement you take and say WOW! I can feel it working...your intestines are a 30 foot long tube of digestion, full of anarobes and microbes that finish the final stages of digestion- this organ is very sensitive to glutamine intake- in fact the intestines have the highest concentration of glutamine besides muscle tissue. When dietary glutamine is not brought in the body metabolizes it from it next largest supply in order to get it to the intestinal lining- this next largest supply would be your muscles- so by simply taking in 10 grams per day you can stave off this catabolic process. Also if the intestinal health is not maintained it becomes a drag on the immune system and a compromised immune system means illness and time lost from training and growing.

4. Creatine- there are so many to chose from now but- plain and simple creatine hydrates the cells- in this state they are the most anabolic. My mother years back gave me an article about a University Hospital that has one of the best burn centers in the country- when dealing with 3rd and 4th degree burn victims, who have lost tissue and are in a highly catabolic state, they IV them pure water and supersaturate the patient- this stops the nitrogen loss in its tracks- and gets the body to begin to assimilate new proteins to repair the damaged tissue. Sound familiar? Thats what a trained muscle is experiencing on a smaller scale- in comes creatine to rehydrate and create an anabolic environment- the best creatines are a matter of opinion but I personally have had good success with creatine ethyl ester and tri-creatine-malate.
5. Multi Vitamin- just dont be foolish and get some crap like Centrum who just barely meets the USRDA on the Vitamins and minerals in there formula- the USRDA is a guage that has not been updated in 60 years. 60 mg of Vit C wont do shit for a hard training athlete- 1000 mg split into 2 (500mg) doses is much better- so when chosing a multi get one that is high potency and can be absorbed well- all those stories about sewer workers finding undigested pills in the sewer are true- so make sure you are getting the nutrients absorbed.

5. Do I need to change my training program?
10 sets of 10, HIT, DC, yo mama, alphabet soup, etc ... etc...Training programs are all over the place- one of the things that gets people is homeostasis- you go to the gym you lift heavy doing all your favorite exercises and you come home and you eat hard...then....your body yawns and kicks its feet up and says "yeah - yeah - big fucking deal hahah"
Remember when you first started training? Your workouts were new- and you were sore as hell it seemed for days after a workout?
Well your CNS plays a big role in strength training and muscle building- back when you first started training your body went into a type of shock response and said "holy shit!" I need to make this guy stronger for the next time this happens. So your muscles grew to accomodate a higher work load i.e. more reps and more weight. Well after a while that all plateauded out and the gains seemed to stop dead in their tracks...you need to change your workouts so that you re-introduce an unfamiliar shock- such as higher weigh/ low reps, or high reps- rest pause- drop sets- tri sets-compound sets. Think of exercises you never do- use them instead of the same favorites you are so in love with. There is an old cliche in training " it all works, just not for very long" keep the stimulus new- when you feel the stagnation hit try a new workout- maybe HIT, or DC for 5-6 weeks, be creative thats what keeps the body off balance and homeostasis at bay.

Those are just a few of the many basics that are involved in getting the ball rolling in your favor for muscle building- so before you blame the drugs or assume taking more is the answer- take a look at your training, rest, and nutrition- because more often than not - the problem lies there.
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