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Wedge
(@wedge)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 31
Topic starter  

Whaz up yaw ! I've been over here a thousand times just look'in aound but I figured it was time I started running my mouth over here for awhile. I've seen several S-E boyz have been here for awhile so I must tell you all,,,,, don't believe a word they say about me. There all LIES I tell ya. C-ya fellas around.


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LBM
 LBM
(@lbm)
Trusted Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 93
 

Welcome to the AZ bro!!!
LBM


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Grunt0331
(@grunt0331)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 46
 

What's up Wedge, i just came over myself


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salvation996sps
(@salvation996sps)
Active Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 14
 

welcome.....:D


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acupunk
(@acupunk)
New Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 3
 

Now lets talk...
1. I just began working out and I wanna get big. How should I start?
1.1 Should I work the entire body at every workout?
1.2 How many exercises should I do per muscle group?
1.3 How many sets should I do per exercise?
1.4 How many repetitions should I perform?
1.5 How many times per week should I lift?
1.6 Should I be concerned about the amount of weight I lift?
1.7 What are the best exercises for a beginner?
1.8 What is HIT?
1.9 What is Periodization?
1.10 What is a hardgainer?
1.11 Where can I read more about lifting routines on the net?

2. I want to tone up, but I don't want to get too big. How can I achieve this?

3. The Exercises
3.1 What is the proper way to squat?
3.2 What is the proper way to deadlift?
3.3 How do I work my abs?
3.3.1 How do I get a 6-pack?
3.4 What is the proper way to do shrugs?

4. Can I change the peak of my bicep?

5. Is weightlifting beneficial for my health?
5.1 My liver enzymes are elevated, but I don't take steroids or drink
alcohol. What's the problem?

6. How important is cardiovascular conditioning to a lifter?
6.1 Bodybuilders?
6.2 Powerlifters?
6.3 Should I do cardiovascular work before or after the weights?

7. Can I gain muscle and lose fat at the same time?
7.1 Can I lose fat without losing muscle?
7.2 Can I get stronger without gaining more muscle mass?
7.3 Can I gain muscle mass without getting stronger?

8. What should I eat?
8.1 to gain weight?
8.1.1 How many Calories?
8.1.2 How much protein?
8.1.3 How much carbohydrate?
8.1.4 How much fat?
8.2 to lose weight?
8.2.1 How many Calories?
8.2.2 How much protein?
8.2.3 How much carbohydrate?
8.2.3.1 What is Glycemic Index?
8.2.4 How much fat?
8.2.5 Is weightlifting important to fat loss?
8.3 What about those weight loss centers?
8.4 What is the Isometric diet?
8.5 What is the Anabolic diet?
8.6 What is Bodyopus?
8.7 What is the Zone diet?

9. Are supplements useful for lifters gaining muscle or losing fat?
9.1.1 Protein powders?
9.1.2 Meal Replacement Powders?
9.1.3 Weight gainers / "mega-mass 9 billion"
9.1.4 Proteabolic?
9.2 Amino acids?
9.2.1 supplemental branched chain amino acids?
9.2.2 l-carnitine?
9.2.3 GABA
9.2.4 Glutamine
9.2.5 HMB?
9.2.6 KIC?
9.2.7 phosphatidyl serine?
9.2.8 tryptophan
9.2.9 tyrosine?
9.2.10 Can amino acids cause an increase in GH secretion (ROK)?
9.3 Colostrum
9.4 Sports bars?
9.5.1 CLA
9.5.2 DMSO?
9.5.3 Flax seed oil?
9.5.4 Lecithin
9.5.5 Medium Chain Triglycerides
9.5.6 Omega-3 fatty acids?
9.6 vitamin and mineral supplementation?
9.6.1 B vitamins?
9.6.2 Boron?
9.6.3 Chromium ?
9.6.4 CoQ10
9.6.5 Dibencozide?
9.6.6 vanadium?
9.7 Creatine?
9.8 Hydroxy-citric acid (HCA)?
9.9 Glucosamine Sulphate?
9.10 Inosine?
9.11 DHEA?
9.12 Melatonin?
9.13 Endo-Pro?
9.14 Tribestrone?
9.15 "Super Blue-Green Algae"?
9.16 Shark cartilage/bovine cartilage?
9.17 Random vaguely Russian-sounding "supplements" from Atletika
9.18 Herbs
9.18.1 Avena Sativa
9.18.2 Borage
9.18.3 Capsicum
9.18.4 Epehdrine? ECA stack?
9.18.5 Evening Primrose
9.18.6 Gamma Oryzanol
9.18.7 Ginseng
9.18.7.1 Cordyceps (Dong Chong)
9.18.8 Milk Thistle
9.18.9 Saw Palmetto
9.18.10 Smilax
9.18.11 Yohimbe

10. Are there any natural ways of increasing testosterone levels?
10.1 Do squats and deadlifts increase testosterone production?

11. What are anabolic steroids?
11.1 What Side effects are commonly seen with steroid use?
11.1.1 Is Lyle Alzado a good example of how steroids are harmful?
11.2 Should I start my first cycle?
11.3 I'm going to start my first cycle. What are the safest steroids?
11.4 Where can I get steroids?
11.5 Are my steroids real?
11.6 What is the proper way to taper off cycle?
11.7 Is bridging between cycles beneficial?
11.8 Are steroids morally wrong?

12. What about other drugs?
12.1 Clenbuterol
12.2 Clomid / Cyclofenil
12.3 Cytomel
12.4 Cytadren
12.5 DNP
12.6 Diuretics
12.7 Growth Hormone
12.8 HCG
12.9 Insulin
12.10 Insulin-like Growth Factor 1
12.11 Nolvadex

13. What is the best way to remove body hair?

14. How can I get BRAWN or Hardgainer?

15. How can I subscribe to Peak training journal?

16. Why do so many people in m.f.w hate MM2K and Phillips?

17. Why is everyone so hung up on scientific evidence and research studies?

Answers
========

1. I just began lifting and I wanna get big. How should I start?

Lift big weights (with proper form). Eat big. Avoid overtraining. Short, but
intense workouts are probably the best type of workout to stimulate muscle
growth while avoiding overtraining. Some people prefer low-volume High
Intensity Training (HIT). Some follow a more moderate volume approach.
Others prefer high volume lifting (many exercises, many sets etc.). Still
another commonly followed method of training is Periodization. Advanced
lifters often follow programs that are not suitable for beginners. Don't
follow someone else's lifting schedule, design your own.

1.1 Should I work the entire body at every workout?

Certainly. Entire body workouts usually make the most efficient use of time.
Of course, there is no reason you can't work different muscle groups on
different days. However, a beginner is less likely to overtrain any
individual body part if they're working the entire body in one workout.

1.2 How many exercises should I do per muscle group?

Some suggest only one exercise per muscle group. Others prefer to do 4 or 5
different exercises for a single muscle group. Keep in mind that too much
enthusiasm for the weights will often lead to overtraining, so moderation is
key until you discover what works best for your body.

1.3 How many sets should I do per exercise?

Some suggest that once the muscles are thoroughly warm (after performing a
couple of light-weight warmup sets) you should do one all out set to
failure. Others suggest that you should perform 2 to 4 working sets to
failure for each exercise.

Almost everyone can agree that if you end up doing 30 sets for any
individual body part, you are definitely overtraining (assuming that you
take these sets to failure) or just wasting your time (assuming you don't
take these sets to failure).

1.4 How many repetitions should I perform?

When warming up you should be able to complete more than 12 repetitions with
ease. On sets that are taken to failure you should fail at some number less
than 12 receptions and greater than 5 repetitions. If you can do more than
12 repetitions on your working set, then the weight should be increased.
Remember, there are two components to building mass - the load placed on the
muscle and the time under tension.

On the other hand, as Andy Austin used to say, "lots of muscle has been
built with singles all the way to 100 rep schemes."

1.5 How many times per week should I lift?

Some beginners make fine progress training the entire body three times a
week, a Mon, Wed and Fri routine, for example. Other beginners require more
recuperation time and make gains training the entire body only once per
week. People differ and so do individual muscle groups. Some muscles can be
trained more frequently than others. Find a routine that is comfortable for
you and allows you to make progress. If you aren't making any progress
consider the possibility that you are overtraining (quite common) or even
undertraining (less common).

1.6 Should I be concerned about the amount of weight I lift?

Initially, no. The most important thing for a beginner is to learn proper
lifting technique. However, the basic principle of getting larger through
weightlifting is progressive overload. You must increase the weight (load)
so that the muscle will be forced to adapt to the increase in stress.

Bouncing and moving the weight too quickly will not stress your muscles into
growing and it will likely stress your joints unnecessarily. Remember, that
for bodybuilders, the goal is not to lift the weight. Weightlifting, for
bodybuilders, is merely a method to stress the muscles. A bodybuilder should
work the muscle, or muscle group that the exercise focuses on, not try to
heave the weight up by any means possible. There is a difference between
lifting a weight and working a muscle, although it basically comes down to
using proper form and technique. For example, if your lower back becomes
stressed from doing biceps curls, you should consider paying more attention
to working the biceps, not trying to get too much weight up by throwing out
your back.

Comparing yourself to other lifters is also unnecessary. Everyone starts at
a different level.

1.7 What are the best exercises for a beginner?

Squat, Barbell Bench Press, Pull Up, Seated Military Press Dead Lift,
Incline Dumbbell Press, Bent Over Barbell Row

These exercises are considered the best because they are compound movements
that involve moving a lot of weight while recruiting many different muscle
groups. These are the types of exercises that will make you grow, not
concentration movements.

1.8 What is HIT?

High Intensity Training. This is a training method which believes in
minimizing the sets per exercise. No warm-up sets are done with the belief
that the first few reps of the exercise is sufficient. Each set is done at
very high intensity to complete failure.

In a typical HIT workout, 15-20 different single set exercises may be done
in the space of 1 hour hitting the entire body with around 2 mins rest
between sets. A 'HIT Jedi' does not believe in split routines where
different bodyparts are trained on different days (which allows more time
per bodypart). Amongst other benefits, HIT training is a very time efficient
way of training.

See the HIT Training FAQ for more info, see section 1.11

1.9 What is Periodization?

Periodization is a training method where over a series of weeks the number
of reps is dropped and the weights increased. The idea behind this is to
shock the muscles into growth by varying the reps & weights.

Part of the theory of periodization revolves around the idea that a person
can't always train with 100% intensity and that the body may actually need
some periods of lighter weight, variable rep training to allow for
recuperation. In addition, periodization is based on the idea that not all
muscle fiber types can be trained with the same rep schemes. Many
powerlifters follow some form of periodization to peak for a competition.

1.10 What is a 'Hardgainer'? / What is a Hardgainer routine'?

A hardgainer (HG) is someone who has a genetic make-up which does not allow
him/her to pack on muscle quickly. These type of people typically do not
respond large volumes and frequency of training. It has been estimated that
60%-95% of the population are hardgainers.

HG routines use low volumes and frequencies of training. A HG routine will
usually train each bodypart no more than once per week. Compound movements
(like squats and deadlifts) are favoured over isolation movements (like leg
extensions or hamstring curls). Hardgainers are prone to overtraining when
using high volume/frequency workouts, hence the general rule of thumb is
'less is more'.

For more info read the hardgainers FAQ, see section 1.11.

1.11 Where can I read more about lifting routines on the net?

Check out these sites.

Cyberpump!
http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/4000/

The High Intensity Training (HIT) FAQ
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/2748/hitfaq20.html

Fred Hatfield's (Dr. Squat's) Home Page
http://www.tgx.com/cpu/fredhome.htm

The Hardgainer FAQ
http://www.cs.unc.edu/~wilsonk/hardgainer.faq.html
ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/misc.fitness.weights/

"Zen and the Art of Weightlifting" It's at
http://www.cs.unc.edu/~wilsonk/zen.html

MM2K bench press routine at
http://www.users.interport.net/~dl/bench.html

Psycho Trainer's Guide to lifting.
http://www.scri.fsu.edu/~pasko/psycho.html

To subscribe to the Weights mailing list
[email protected]

The Training-Nutrition FAQ
http://www2.dgsys.com/~trnutr/FAQpage.html

To subscribe to the Training-Nutrition mailing list
[email protected]

The Canadian Powerlifting Union page:
http://www.tgx.com/cpu/nccp.htm
has good discussions of squat/deadlift/bench form.

2. I want to tone up, but I don't want to get too big. How can I achieve this?

You should work out exactly as described above with one exception: once your
muscles are as toned as you want them, stop increasing the amount of weight.
Performing sets of endless repetitions with extremely light weight is a
waste of time. It will not make you more toned. There are only two reasons
to perform more than 12 repetitions in a set: 1) you really like to warm up
thoroughly or 2) you really like the feel of the pump after a high-rep set.
High repetitions will not lead to toning, or hypertrophy for that matter.

Getting big is extremely difficult, especially for women. Most men and 99.9%
of all women do not have the capacity to get large. If, after two years of
lifting weights intensely, you become too large, you are either a genetic
freak or on drugs. So many lifters want to be big and so few ever achieve it
because it is so difficult. Do not worry about getting too large. Lift
weights to strengthen your muscles, this will improve their tone. High
repetitions will only increase the amount of time, possibly indefinitely,
required to achieve your goal of being toned. Lift hard, and once you are
toned, then stop increasing the weights. In addition, fat hides muscle tone.
Many people can look toned just by dropping some body fat (see Is
weightlifting important to fat loss?). RR

3. The Exercises

3.1 What is the proper way to squat?

How to Squat?
Squatting is one of the most productive if not the best exercises out there
(it's called the King of Exercises by many). It is one of the most difficult
to learn as well. If you are new to this exercise, please take several
training sessions practicing with an empty bar or broomstick (you can do
some additional work on the leg press if needed). It's very important to get
your technique down cold while the weights are still light. Your small
errors with small weights will turn into BIG errors with big weights. Much
of the bad press the squat has received in the media is a result of improper
technique and not the exercise itself. Red flags you may encounter will be
pointed out and hopefully how to avoid them.

The first thing to discuss is not foot position or width of stance, but
proper trunk position. Pretend you are a soldier and the meanest, ugliest
sergeant ever just told you "TEN-HUT!" You would automatically straighten up
and pull your head and shoulders back. This is the proper position of the
spine for the squat. IOW, your head is pulled back; your chest is raised;
and you have a slight arch in your lower back. At no time during the squat
should you bend over at the low back or look down. Of course you have to
bend over at the hip (more on that later). You should not look up either.
OK, so you got that down?

Now, the best way to do squats is in a power rack or cage (a large
rectangular rack with cross-drilled holes) so you can adjust the pins where
if you have to bale, you can set the bar down without any harm. Set the pins
to just below the depth you are going. They also serve as a visual cue for
depth and if you go down/up crooked. Place the J hooks or posts that hold
the bar for you to get under at the level of your nipple or so. Try to
unrack it once to see if it's at the right height The bar should have a
knurled area in the middle (if it doesn't, find another bar or another gym)
so it will not slide down your back. Many people use towels or padding under
the bar. Others (including me) feel this leads to some instability because
the weight is "teeter tottering" on a small area on your back. If the bar is
hurting you either need to add some trapezius mass, place the bar a little
further down your back (it should be just above or below the sharp ridge on
your scapula (shoulder blade), buy a Manta Ray, or tolerate it because it's
part of the game. The Ray helps to spread the load across the shoulder, but
it doesn't fit everyone well.

Now step up to the bar. Place your hands about the same width as a bench
press (unless you are doing the shoulder breaker wide-grip variety) and make
sure you are even on the bar before unracking. Take a deep breath, step
under the bar and unrack it Most squat injuries (according to Fred Hatfield)
occur during the back up. Only take enough steps that you can clear the
j-hooks or posts on the descent. Place your feet shoulder width or slightly
farther apart. Think if you suspended a line from the ceiling it would brush
against your medial delt and hit you in the ankle. Use the "practice"
sessions to get a width that fits you. You might say many powerlifters squat
with a wide-stance and they are pretty strong as a group. I'll agree
wholeheartedly, but I'll also point out that the conventional squat is
prob'ly more productive because you are working through a larger Range Of
Motion. Learn this way and then learn the variations if you like. After you
have the width right, turn your feet out at roughly a 45 degree angle.
Adjust the width if need be. Now you are ready to squat.

Take a deep breath, contract your abs and descend. It should feel like you
are sitting back on a chair behind you; not going straight down. Keep your
knees in line with your feet. DO NOT LET YOUR KNEES BOW IN anytime during
the lift! (I have a Grade 1 knee sprain (MCL) from doing just this.) Keep
the load light enough so you won't do this and gradually build up. Many
people say to try to keep your shin at a 90 degree angle to the ground. This
is impossible with the regular stance squat and is only possible by a few
using the wide-stance variety. Try to keep your knees from going out past
your toes. Alter the width if need be. Most people can and should descend
till their thighs are parallel to the ground. This is actually pretty low. A
very small majority of people can't and may be better stopping just above
parallel. Don't give up on reaching parallel too quick. Also, to go even
close to parallel, you have to bend over at the hip (not the spine, of
course). However, you should always be more upright than bent over. Two
methods of determining your shin/back position and depth is to either have
an attentive and adept person monitor you from the side and/or use a video
camera placed to the side and close enough to determine all angles. After
you have descended to the bottom position, reverse your direction
immediately (don't bounce at the bottom) and drive upwards. Try and pull
your back up (hip extension) as hard as possible during the ascent. Brooks
Kubik describes this "as if a giant gorilla had a hold of your ass and your
shoulder and was trying to straighten you out." Come back to a standing
position, take a breath or two (or many 8^) and descend again. Make each rep
it's own little lift. IOW, make each one count even on your warm-ups. If you
maintain good form in your warm-ups, you'll likely retain it for the work
sets.

Should you wear a belt or knee wraps? The former helps to stabilize the
spine by increasing intra-abdominal pressure and the latter is just a way of
elevating more weight. Especially if you are getting started with the squat,
go without either. Use your abdomen as the brace instead of outside help.
The knee wraps serve no use except to the powerlifter who wants a bigger
max. They may impede the growth of structures around the knee or even cause
some harm if used chronically.

The main reason the power rack gathers dust while there is a line for the
angled leg press is because squats HURT! It doesn't matter whether it's the
skinny beginner using the "big wheels" on each side for the first time or
the bonafide 600+ squatter stepping under an already bending bar. They both
feel some pain when doing this exercise. Learn to live with it! The most
productive exercises are the most painful. It's a fact of life. If you squat
with proper technique and heavy (for you) poundage, you might grunt, scream,
cry, hurl and/or pass out, but you prob'ly won't be injured and you'll make
terrific headway towards your goals. Learn to be aggressive and focus your
complete attention on the task at hand. Good luck and happy training!

3.2 What is the proper way to deadlift?

One of the most productive, but least seen exercises in the gym is the
deadlift. From a technique point of view, it's a relatively simple one
compared to the squat. You just stand up holding a barbell in front of you
without humping your back. That's a brief, but concise explanation. However,
most people are scared of the deadlift because they think it will pull,
strain, or break their back. When performed in good form, however, the
deadlift is one of the best erector (the muscles of the spine) and total
body exercises around.

First, learn to set up your spine and shoulder girdle as described in the
"How to Squat" section. Suffice to say, you should pull your shoulders back
and keep them there. Additionally, you should NEVER let your back hump over
at any time during the lift. Load a barbell on the floor to the desired
poundage. Make sure the area around you is free of potential troubles and
the floor is not slippery. If you don't have the required strength to use 45
lb. plates on each side of the barbell, elevate the bar to mimic the height
as if you were using the 45s.

Walk up and place your feet slightly narrower than shoulder width apart with
your shin almost brushing the bar. Point your toes out at an angle slightly.
Reach down and grasp the bar with an overhand grip just outside your legs.
Contract your abs hard, make sure your back is flat (actually with a natural
arch), and pull the bar up. Be sure to keep the bar as close to your body as
possible as you stand up.

The angle to which your hip and knee joints go to is an individual matter.
Length of bones and your flexibility will determine this. You should always
attempt to remain more upright than bent over. When you pull the bar, make
sure your hip joint straightens at the same rate as your knee. Don't
straighten your knees and then try to straighten your hips. You'll hurt
yourself. Also, don't lean back at the top.

After you've stood up with the weight, take a breath, contract your abs and
slowly descend in the reverse manner you came up. Do NOT bounce the barbell
on the floor. After the plates touch the floor, take a breath (or many!),
contract your abs and flatten your back, and pull again. Make each rep its
own little lift. Practice the mvmt with light weight till you get it down
before moving up in weight.

The first muscles to usually fatigue during the lift are those associated
with gripping the bar which are mostly located in the forearm. Most people
will tell you to use an mixed grip (one palm forward, one palm back). This
can create some torque imbalances that may give you problems later.
Especially when you are starting out, keep to the pronated or hands-over
grip and let your grip muscles catch up. If you must use the mixed grip,
alternate which palm is forward each set or each session. The least
attractive option is to use straps. Straps take the work off of the grip
muscles and arguably make the deadlift less productive. Use chalk if it is
feasible to help hold the bar.

As in the squat, some people can't truly descend to the bottom position in
the deadlift safely. Don't give up very quickly on making this low spot. If
you can't, don't despair. Place some pins in the power rack to where when
you place the barbell on them it's just above where it would be on the
floor. Try out the mvmt. Elevate the pins till it feels right. If this
doesn't help or having to pull the bar that's out in front of you gives your
back fits, you might want to give a Gerard trap bar a try. This is a diamond
shaped bar that you stand inside of and deadlift. The line of force is
through you instead of out front. This makes for a more safe and therefore
productive exercise than the regular version. You can have a look at the
Gerard trap bar at .

As in the squat, the deadlift is a very productive and, hence brutal
exercise. Don't be scared of it, though. Tall and lanky people who usually
have great trouble squatting or benching can usually move up quickly in
poundages in the deadlift. This exercise is more than just a back exercise
or a "thickening" exercise, it's a total body exercise. Too much in weight
training is put into isolation. The big movements ARE the most productive.
The deadlift works you from finger to neck to toe. Treat it with respect and
it will help you realize your goals quicker than without it. Good luck and
happy training!

3.3 How do I work my abs?

Use weight for resistance. 100 reps of any exercise is a waste of time.
Crunches are good because they focus on the abs. I view crunches as an
isolation movement. Compound movements are usually better, so I actually
recommend sit ups (especially incline) with weight held on the chest. Yes,
sit ups work the hip flexors and other muscles as well, but these muscles
are critical to movements like the squat, deadlift and other serious
compound movements. Who wants weak hip flexors anyway?

The High-Intensity Abdominal Workout:

For those who are obsessed with their abdominal muscles, are willing to
spare no expense to develop them, and want a hard-core, high-intensity,
low-repetition abdominal workout, there IS an answer.

The primary problem with this method is the fact that the required equipment
is [a] rather expensive, and [b] since the late 1980s, rather difficult to
find. You will need an "inversion table" with "gravity boots." For those
unfamiliar with such devices, a brief explanation is in order. "Gravity
boots" are padded, metal collars which are clamped onto your ankles and
which have a strong metal hook that protrudes from the front, directly over
the foot. An "inversion table" is designed for use with gravity boots. It is
like a vertical army cot with two bars spanning the foot end, one below the
feet, and one above the feet. It is attached to a stand by a single pivot
hinge on each side. After fitting the gravity boots, you step onto the
inversion table with your feet on the lowest bar and the hooks of the boots
locked beneath the upper bar. Then, you simply throw your weight backwards,
causing the table to pivot approximately 180 degrees on its hinges, leaving
you suspended by your ankles, completely upside-down. Please note that a
good inversion table will pivot beyond perpendicular, breaking contact with
all parts of your body other than your ankles; some of them will not reach
full perpendicular, leaving you mostly inverted but still laying on the
surface of the table. The latter is not well suited to this type of
exercise.

Once inverted, you can perform a normal "crunch" routine. The complete
inversion of your body will provide extreme resistance which will result in
the much-desired abdominal "burn" long before the number of repetitions
required when doing crunches on the floor or on a slant board. However, a
few suggestions on technique will be helpful:

(1) Do NOT hold your hands behind your head; clasp them across your chest.
Your neck should be held in a relaxed position, with your head back,
"pulling" yourself forward with your shoulders, not your head. When you find
yourself able to do more than 20 repetitions, you may clasp a weight plate
to your chest to add resistance, increasing the size of the plate each time
you can exceed 20 repetitions.

(2) Although it will be slightly difficult, bending slightly at the knees
will decrease stress on your back. However, even with your legs fully
extended, you will find that the usual back stress experienced during
traditional crunches is almost non-existent when performing "inverted"
crunches.

Aside from the increased resistance in using this abdominal workout, there
are a few other advantages:

(1) No "tailbone rash." The usual abrasion caused by constant friction on
the sacral spine area during traditional crunches no longer exists. Your
back does not contact any solid surface; therefore, no friction.

(2) No "head banging." There is no solid surface to come into contact with
your head, either. That is why you can easily hold your head back during
this routine without worrying about striking it on the floor and without the
need to support it in any way.

Abdominal Training FAQ

3.3.1 How do I get a 6-pack?

Everyone has a six-pack of abs. The ability to see them is completely
dependent upon body fat levels. If you want to show off a washboard stomach,
then drop the body fat. Spot reduction is a myth. Hundreds of situps or
crunches will not "bring out" the abs if they're covered in fat.

If you want to increase the strength of your abdominals (and every lifter
should), then perform abdominal exercises with WEIGHT. 100 reps of any
exercise is a waste of time.

3.4 What is the proper way to do shrugs?

Shrugs should be performed in a straight up and down motion. Keep the head
in an upright position, looking straight ahead, not at the floor, not at the
ceiling.

Rolling the shoulders does not stress the traps any better. In fact, it may
be harmful. Rowing movements can effectively work the traps when the
shoulders are pulled backward. However, rowing movements call for moving the
weight perpendicular to the body in order to stress these muscles during
this movement. During shrugs the weight is not in a position to provide
resistance against a backward movement. Therefore, a shrug should be done
straight up and down.

Barbells or dumbbells can be used, although dumbbells provide for a more
natural shrug.

4. Can I change the peak of my bicep?

In a word, NO! Everyone from Peewee Herman to Ahnuld has their own
individual genetic shape. You can't change it. This extends to the shape of
the muscle bellies as well. Some people have very long and flat muscle
bellies and some have peaky, short muscles. Most people are somewhere in
between. The biceps brachii is a two headed muscle that runs from the
shoulder to across the elbow. It functions to supinate and flex the forearm.
The 2 heads run parallel to each other and it's debatable whether one
exercise will target one over the other when sufficient weight is used. You
can't preferentially contract one area of a bicep head over the other,
either. The innervation of a muscle (or muscle head in this case) is made so
that if one motor unit (motor neuron and the muscle fibers it innervates)
fires you'll get a very weak contraction all over the whole muscle. As more
motor units are called into play the weak contractions (all over, of course)
summate and you get a strong contraction.

Also, you can't stretch one part of a muscle over any other part because you
either move the muscle attachments closer together or farther apart. So,
what do you do? You just merely focus on making your arms larger: increase
the size of the muscles. This will give you the illusion of having peakier
or longer biceps. Doing the "mass" or big movements will go longer to giving
you big arms than endless sets of curls. Also, you're going to have to
increase your bodyweight significantly to make any real gains in bicep mass.
It's much easier to put an inch on your arms when you've put on 20 lbs of
muscle.

5. Is weightlifting beneficial for my health?

Yes. Muscle is what moves us and it's something we all lose as we age. The
loss begins about age 25 resulting in about a 10% loss by age 50. Between
the ages of 50 and 80, people lose about half their strength and about 40%
of their muscle. The exact mechanism causing this change is unknown, but it
is thought that it is related to altered interactions between muscle cells
and motor nerves.

Muscle loss leads to a lower metabolic rate and, thus, weight gain unless
Calorie intake is reduced (which rarely happens). Age associated muscle
wasting can lead to a number of problems where older people may not have the
strength to lift loads, rise from a chair, or carry out the daily activities
required for independent living.

Weight lifting or resistance training can actually prevent this muscle loss.
So far, strength training is the only method shown effective at slowing this
loss of muscle. Aerobic exercise does not stem muscle loss. Physiologists
indicate that, ideally, a person would begin weight training before age 50
(those of us at mfw would suggest by age 20). The benefits are not
restricted to older members of society. Interestingly, studies have shown
that 87 year old men and women experienced a 90% increase in strength over a
10 week period of resistance training. If you have high blood pressure,
diabetes, heart pains or any heart or circulatory condition, it is essential
to check with your physician before beginning.

Strength training has been shown to increase bone-density in post-menopausal
women, helping to prevent bone fractures. In addition, weightlifting can
improve neural control of muscles which can prevent the types of accidents
that often cause bone fractures in the elderly.

In addition, weightlifting can contribute greatly to the control of body
fat. Therefore, weightlifting can be very beneficial for those who have a
tendency towards obesity. As more studies are done, more and more beneficial
effects of weightlifting are becoming evident.

5.1 My liver enzymes are elevated, but I don't take steroids or drink
alcohol. What's the problem?

While the aminotransferases are often referred to as liver enzymes, these
enzymes are actually found in numerous tissues and their numbers often
increase from exercise-induced trauma.

These numbers are a good marker for people who drink alcohol constantly, or
consume oral anabolic steroids. If the numbers are 100 times higher than the
normal range in the aforementioned people, there's a good chance their
livers are hurting.

6. How important is cardiovascular conditioning to a lifter?

6.1 Bodybuilders?

Very important. First, cardiovascular conditioning is very important for
health, but bodybuilders rely on it to help shed fat so they can show off
the physiques they have built. Some argue that they burn enough calories
from intense weight workouts, making cardio unnecessary. While this may be
true for people with fast metabolisms, it is not true for a large percentage
of the population. Recent studies have found that long duration, repetitive
use of muscles (like biking, rowing, skiing or jogging for 10 minutes or
longer) causes changes in gene expression that greatly increase the quantity
of certain proteins within these exercised cells (mainly slow twitch
fibers). These proteins not only have the potential to lead to better
health, but they can greatly enhance the fat burning done by these muscle
cells. To turn your body into a blast furnace, do some cardio exercise
regularly. In addition, regular cardio work may also provide for better
blood flow to muscle cells, which may provide for better lifting in the gym.

6.2 Powerlifters?

Powerlifters who are unconcerned with the health benefits of cardiovascular
exercise may still need to do some regular cardiovascular exercise. Too much
cardio work would be absolutely detrimental to their goal. However,
insufficient cardio exercise may limit their potential as a powerlifter.

6.3 Should I do cardiovascular work before or after the weights?

Cardiovascular exercise before lifting weights can serve as a very good
warmup. Unfortunately, this may leave you too fatigued to give intense
effort to the weight workout.

Weightlifting before cardiovascular exercise may help the body go into "fat
burning" mode faster because the weightlifting depletes glycogen stores.
Unfortunately, after lifting a person may be too tired to have an effective
cardiovascular workout.

The general consensus is that, for general fitness, it doesn't matter what
order you do your exercise. However, strength athletes should prioritize the
weightlifting first, performing the cardio later. Lyle McDonald and RR

7. Can I gain muscle and lose fat at the same time?

This is very difficult. It can be done in some unique circumstances, but for
the most part it isn't possible. For example, novice lifters can sometimes
gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Also, people returning from long
layoffs can sometimes add muscle and lose fat at the same time. However,
experienced lifters who are working out consistently can't do both at the
same time. If you want to do both, you should choose one goal (either fat
loss or muscle gain) and work towards that goal for a few months. After some
success towards that goal, you should then change over and try to accomplish
the other for a few months. Be single-minded in your focus towards that
goal. When trying to lose fat, you should be unconcerned if you lose a
little muscle as well. Likewise, if you're trying to add muscle, you should
allow the addition of a small amount of fat.

7.1 Can I lose fat without losing muscle?

No, this can't be done. Most dieters will lose 1 pound of muscle for every 3
pounds of fat lost. Steroid-aided athletes can only take this ratio up to
about 1:8. Muscle loss when dieting is inevitable. Try to minimize it, but
focus on the goal of fat loss.

7.2 Can I get stronger without gaining more muscle mass?

Yes, it is possible. Gaining strength without gaining muscle mass is common
in novice lifters and people who are returning from long lay-offs. Older
lifters can sometimes improve strength through improvements in lifting
technique.

However, once these avenues have been exhausted, the only way to improve
strength is through and increase in mass.

7.3 Can I gain muscle mass without getting stronger?

No. This is why so many bodybuilders, appropriately, train to get stronger.
If you get stronger, you will get larger. This doesn't automatically mean,
that when comparing to different individuals, the larger person is stronger.
It simply means that if you take your existing muscle mass and then increase
it, it will necessarily be stronger.

In response to this question, Fred Hatfield once said "just lift the damn
weights!".

8. What should I eat?

There are some good nutrition and training FAQs located at
http://www2.dgsys.com/~trnutr/index.html
Also there is the Training-Nutrition mailing list - to subscribe
[email protected]

8.1 to gain weight?

There are three macronutrients (food consumed in large amounts to meet
energy and other physiological requirements) that you must consume daily:
protein, carbohydrate and fat. Bodybuilders often focus on protein (which is
the largest constituent of muscle cells after water) because, after all,
"you are what you eat." However, the most critical factor for weight gain is
total Calorie (one Calorie = one kilocalorie) intake.

8.1.1 How many Calories?

Those attempting to add muscle to their frames should consume at least 15 to
20 times their body weight (in pounds - kg x 2.2) in Calories per day. 25
times your body weight should be the upper limit in Calories consumed for
weight gain diets, but these are usually for steroid-assisted athletes.

8.1.2 How much protein?

Approximately 15 to 20% of those Calories should come from protein.
Bodybuilders are rarely deficient in protein. Common sources of protein
include milk, eggs, red meat, chicken, beans, rice, pasta and nuts.

8.1.3 How much carbohydrate?

Approximately 60 to 65% of those Calories should come from carbohydrates.
The healthiest diets usually involve a wide variety of carbohydrate sources
starting with vegetables and fruits. Other sources of carbs include rice,
pasta, baked potatoes, oats and breads. These are common carbohydrates
consumed on weight-gain diets.

8.1.4 How much fat?

Approximately 20% of those Calories should come from fats, preferably
vegetable fats, although some animal (saturated) fats will inevitably be
consumed by those who regularly eat meat.

8.2 to lose weight?

8.2.1 How many Calories?

Someone trying to lose body fat should consume between 10 and 15 times their
body weight in Calories per day. A common goal is to consume about 250
Calories fewer than you would normally require, and exercise to burn off an
extra 250 Calories. At this Calorie deficit of 500 Calories per day, a
person will lose about 1 pound of fat per week. A person should never lose
more than 2 pounds per week. The faster the weight is lost, the more likely
muscle will be lost instead of fat. Other health problems are also
associated with drastic weight loss.

Another, more precise method:

o A. Estimate your BMR at 11 x bodyweight in pounds
o B. To find maintenance Calories multiply BMR by:
o 1.2 - for people confined to bed
o 1.3 - for sedentary people
o 1.5-1.75 - for normally active people
o 2.0 - for extremely active people
o C. Consume 10% less Calories than maintenance.

8.2.2 How much protein?

A dieter should consume about 20% of their Calories as protein. This
percentage is slightly higher (but not the overall quantity) than for
someone trying to gain weight because of the lower overall Calorie intake.
Protein, for dieters, should be obtained from lowfat milk, eggs (or egg
substitutes), chicken, lean red meat, beans, rice, pasta and nuts.

For weight trainers 1.0 - 1.5g per lb of lean body weight is generally
accepted as more than sufficient, although steroid using athletes should
approach the upper end of that range. Some bodybuilders get up to 50% of
Calories from protein during cutting cycles since protein is least likely to
turn to fat & tends to reduce appetite.

8.2.3 How much carbohydrate?

A dieter should consume about 60% of their Calories from carbohydrates. The
best carbohydrate sources are fruits and vegetables. Rice, pasta, oats and
potatoes are commonly consumed foods while dieting. Breads should be avoided
by dieters because they are easily overconsumed (high density of Calories),
can lead to carbohydrate cravings and often cause a very large insulin
response.

On the other hand, fruit may be a bad source of carbohydrates when dieting.
The Calories in fruit is mainly from a simple sugar called fructose.
Although fructose has a low glycemic index, the average person can only
convert about 200 Calories of fructose per day in glycogen, the rest will be
turned into fat.

It is likely beneficial to consume multiple meals per day, like 6, instead
of just three. One reason is that multiple meals will reduce the mount of
carbohydrate eaten at any one time, which causes a smaller insulin response
at each meal. Plus, insulin levels will remain much more constant throughout
the day. Much evidence indicates that high insulin levels encourages the
storage of fat.

8.2.3.1 What is Glycemic Index?

Glycemic Index (GI) is a rating system for carbohydrates that deals with how
quickly the sugar enters the blood stream and the extent of the insulin
response following that entry. GIs were initially established to help
diabetics regulate insulin levels following meals. Those carb sources that
have low GIs generally enter the blood stream slower or cause a smaller
insulin response. This can be beneficial for those trying to lose fat as
well as those who are diabetic.

8.2.4 How much fat?

A dieter should consume about 20% of their Calories from fat. The primary
source of fat should be vegetable sources while minimizing the intake of
saturated fats from animal sources. There are essential fatty acids.
Linoleic acid is obtained from just about every source of vegetable fat.
Linolenic acid, and other omega-3 fatty acids, are more difficult to obtain,
but they are found in walnuts, flax seed, borage seed and some fish oils.

8.2.5 Is weightlifting beneficial for fat loss?

Yes. As outlined above, a loss of muscle mass causes a decrease in metabolic
rate and subsequent weight (fat) gain. Inevitably, dieters undergoing
Calorie restriction will lose some of their muscle mass. This loss of muscle
will slow down the metabolic rate causing them to resort to further Calorie
decreases (or increases in physical activity) in order to continue losing
weight.

Weightlifting can actually prevent some of this muscle loss, and if new
muscle is added to your frame, you will actually burn more Calories when you
aren't even exercising (the other 23 hours in the day). Successful weight
loss requires permanent dietary and exercise changes, but the goal of fat
loss is more likely to be successful when weightlifting is combined with
proper diet and aerobic (cardiovascular) exercise.

8.3 What about those weight loss centers?

Weight loss centers are usually viewed as a temporary fix and they rarely
contribute to long-term management of body fat. People will usually visit
the center for a while where their meals are controlled and they are
regularly weighed and measured for body fat. However, once the person stops
visiting the center, their eating patterns do not resemble the meals of the
controlled environments and people often lose motivation without the regular
weigh-ins to monitor their progress.

Successful elimination of body fat comes about through long-term changes in
diet (decrease Calorie intake, eat healthier foods) and a long-term
commitment to exercise.

8.4 What is the Isometric diet?

Some people find other types of diets useful. The isometric diet, by Dan
Duchaine, involves eating 1/3 of Calories from protein, 1/3 from fat and 1/3
from carbohydrates. On this diet, Dan also encourages the consumption of low
to moderate GI carbs.

8.5 What is the Anabolic diet?

The AD is a cyclical ketogenic diet which provides a way to gain muscle
whilst losing fat, sometimes at an astonishing rate. During the week no
carbs are ingested (less than 30g per day), fat and protein make up the
daily calories. On the weekends the diet switches over to a normal low fat
and very high carb regime.

The diet works in the following manner. In the absence of carbs (during the
week), the body switches to ketone bodies (from fat breakdown) for an energy
source - this is ketosis. Ketones have been shown to be protein sparing. The
high levels of ingested fats also trick the body into a faster metabolic
rate. On the weekends when huge amounts of insulin spiking carbs are
ingested, the body is put into a highly anabolic state. Fat spillover is
minimised due to the carb depleted muscles absorbing most of the excess
blood sugar. Hence, fat loss is maximised during the week with minimal
muscle loss and conversely on weekends muscle gain is maximised and any fat
spillover is minimised.

Weekday food choices include bacon and eggs, steak, salmon, full fat mayo,
cream, butter, sausages - you get the picture. A 1:2 protein to fat ratio is
recommended, hence the high fat content.

See the following site by Jeff Krabbe for more info.
http://www.best.com/~pdornier/ad2.htm

8.6 What is Bodyopus?

Bodyopus is very similar to the anabolic diet except that it focuses on
losing bodyfat quickly and includes the use of various pharmacological
agents.

8.7 What is the Zone diet?

The zone diet, by Barry Sears, is an extremely Calorie restrictive diet that
involves maintaining a protein to carbohydrate ratio of 0.75 and encourages
the consumption of low glycemic index carbohydrates. In theory, this type of
diet should reduce the insulin response after meals containing high-glycemic
foods. Subsequently, Sears believes that this lower insulin response should
help reduce body fat.

A recent study found that after long-term (30 day) consumption of
low-glycemic foods, the body can alter insulin secretion to reflect values
similar to those observed following the consumption of high glycemic foods.

In addition, another study found that, despite decreased insulin secretion,
there was no significant fat loss above that observed in a high insulin
secretion group. There are problems with both of these studies, but they do
raise serious questions that have yet to be answered with respect to the
zone diet.

First, almost all studies examining the glycemic index of food have followed
the subjects for only a number of hours after the meal, or for only a few
days. Insulin responses have not been examined after long-duration
consumption of low glycemic index foods. This leaves the question, will the
body adapt, in the long run, to low glycemic diets by secreting some
predetermined genetic quantity of insulin?

Second, while insulin certainly encourages the storage of fat, one obvious
question remains. Can reducing insulin levels by changing to a low glycemic
index diet actually result in fat loss, independent of further Calorie
restriction?

In addition, weightlifters usually have some of the best glucose tolerance
and insulin sensitivity around, raising another question. Will this type of
diet be beneficial for weightlifting, or any, athletes? Due to the extremely
Calorie restrictive nature of this diet, I (RR) do not recommend it for
weightlifters trying to gain lean mass.

Those trying to lose fat may find the recommendations of the zone diet to be
very beneficial for fat loss. The basics of the diet revolve around
low-glycemic vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and dairy products as food
sources containing the ideal carbohydrates. While all the claims have not
yet been born out by research, the Zone diet is a sound approach to
nutrition. RR

The Zone diet is from the book "The Zone" by Barry Sears. It is a low
Calorie, low saturated fat, moderate carbohydrate, moderate protein diet,
with 40% of the Calories from carbohydrates, 30% from (mainly
mono-unsaturated) fats, and 30% from protein. It is similar to Dan
Duchaine's IsoMetric Diet. Most people who have tried it report good results
at losing fat while preserving lean mass. People trying to gain lean muscle
have had more mixed results. Further information can be obtained by going to
http://www.cs.umass.edu/~swanzone.html and following the links from there.

For weightlifters, 3 effects on the Zone diet are generally reported. 1) You
can't get a pump. 2) It takes a lot longer to recover between sets. 3)
You're a lot less sore the day after a workout. Russell Swan

See also The Zone page
http://www.cs.umass.edu/~swan/zone.html

9. Are supplements useful for lifters gaining muscle or losing fat?

Supplements are just that, supplements. Before even considering the use of
supplements you should ask yourself if you're doing everything you can to
make progress in you workouts. Are your weight workouts intense? Is it
possible that you are overtraining? Are you regularly performing aerobic
exercise to aid in the fat burning process? Is your diet the best it can be?
If you haven't answered these questions, you probably have more fundamental
problems than whether or not some supplement will aid your muscle gains or
fat loss.

Some supplements can be beneficial. Some are quite toxic. Many are promoted
by the companies who make them because of the quantity of money that can be
made. Many supplements have absolutely no value other than the money they
make for those who produce it.

Beware of all claims. Those that sound too good to be true, usually are.
Almost all of the supplements below do have some scientific studies behind
them. So, there will usually be some small grain of truth in an advertising
claim. However, upon reading the study, it is rare that the advertising
claims are actually supported. The producers of supplements will often make
leaps of faith (extrapolating rodent data to humans, increases in growth
hormone are often equated with increased muscle without substantiating
evidence) that no scientist would ever make.

Many "studies" of these supplements involve only isolated cases (showing
those lovely before and after pictures). Although the pictures can be quite
dramatic, they do not constitute valid evidence for the efficacy of the
supplement.

9.1.1 Protein powders?

Protein powders are food. It doesn't matter how many engineers and
physiologists they had working on the project, it is still only food.
Usually it is very expensive food. Use them if you find they taste good, or
if they're convenient.

Differences in bioavailablility (or biological values) of egg, milk and most
animal proteins are minimal. RR

What does the biological value BV mean? Biological value is a measure of a
protein's ability to be used by the body. The normal BV of whey protein is
104. The BV of predigested, undenatured whey protein is 157. In comparison
the BV of egg whites is 87 and for soy protein, 74. BV helps us to
understand which proteins are most efficient at depositing nitrogen into
muscles. Until 1970, BV was scored by percentages. Then 10 food proteins
scored greater than 100%, so scientists dropped the percentage sign. Whole
egg has a BV of 100, milk and egg a BV of 118.5 and whey and potatoes have a
BV of 134 (July 1995 MM2K p.27). The BV is based on human subjects at
realistic protein levels. Dave Greenwalt

9.1.2 Meal Replacement Powders?

MRPs are also food. There is nothing special about their formulations that
you can't get from food. Many people find these to be very convenient (some
even tasty) and enjoy using them regularly. Some view protein powders and
MRPs like turning the wording on your plates toward the middle of a bar -
it's just what experienced lifters do. :->

9.1.3 Weight gainers / "mega-mass 9 billion"

Weight gain powders are also food and should be treated accordingly. They
are not a magic potion. In fact, most of them simply have high levels of
sugar to drastically up the calorie content. Eat more rice, potatoes, pasta
and breads if you want to increase your carb intake.

9.1.4 Proteabolic?

Many wild claims were made for this product, including the "better than
steroids." As usual, it is a joke, at the public's monetary expense.

9.2 Amino acids?

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. So, like protein, amino
acids are food. They can be obtained in your diet through ingestion of both
animal and vegetable sources.

One study of hospital patients actually found that nitrogen retention was
poorest when using amino acid supplements instead of food. Also, there is
little reason to obtain amino acids in free form because studies have shown
that intact protein (in foods) is actually absorbed more readily than free
form amino acids.

9.2.1 supplemental branched chain amino acids?

Studies have found that branched chain amino acid (BCAA - leucine,
isoleucine and valine) ingestion before exercise may alter hromonal
responses to high intensity exercise and reduce the catabolic effects of
endurance exercise. BCCA supplementation during endurance exercise may
prevent the decline in plasma BCAA levels, stabilize the free tryptophan to
BCAA ratio, minimize elevations of serotonin, and improve physiological and
psychological responses to endurance exercise. These data should be viewed
as preliminary because many more experiments are necessary to confirm these
findings.

In addition, most of the positive findings with BCAAs were a result of
studies on endurance athletes. It is unknown if they will be of benefit to
anaerobic athletes. However, the data look very promising for all athletes
who train intensely. For more information see: Sports Medicine 16(3)
190-209, 1993.

It may be worth noting that whey protein supplements generally claim to be
approximately 50% BCAAs (although the number is probably closer to 30% for
natural whey protein) so that, should you wish to supplement your diet with
additional BCAAs, eating a little whey protein is likely to be close to an
order of magnitude cheaper per gram than eating BCAAs in pill form. (And,
quite honestly, taking 20 500mg BCAA tablets is much less fun than downing a
small scoop of whey protein.) Cottage cheese is another source of whey
protein.

9.2.2 l-carnitine?

l-carnitine is involved in the transport of long chain fatty acids through
the mitochondrial membrane. Carnitine is synthesized endogenously from the
amino acids lysine and methionine. Minor amounts are consumed in meat and
dairy products. The average diet provides 100 - 300 mg carnitine daily.

Endurance athletes have shown have shown an increase in VO2 max and a
reduction in respiratory quotient in some studies of this compound. Other
studies have been unable to replicate this finding.

The d-isomer of carnitine should be avoided because it can result in muscle
weakness and myoglobinuria.

Carnitine supplementation is likely a waste of money for those trying to
build muscle or lose fat.

** AZT Muscle Problems: L-Carnitine Study Recruiting

The Neuromuscular Diseases Section of the U.S. National Institute of
Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is now recruiting for a study of
high-dose L-carnitine as a possible treatment or preventive for AZT-related
muscle problems. Patients may be eligible if they are using AZT and
experiencing either fatigue, decreased endurance, or weakness; these can be
symptoms of AZT-induced muscle toxicity. [Note: persons with HIV and nerve
or muscle disorders, whether or not they are taking AZT, may be eligible for
a separate NINDS study of a different treatment; for more information, see
the announcement below.]

This six-month study is being conducted at the National Institutes of Health
campus in Bethesda, Maryland, near Washington D.C. All expenses are paid,
except for the cost of travel for the first trip to Bethesda to see if you
qualify for the study. (Lodging is paid for this first trip, and all
expenses are paid for later trips.) No insurance company will be billed, and
all information will be kept confidential.

There are no T-helper count requirements for this study. All test results
(including physical examination, laboratory tests, EKG, echocardiogram, and
muscle biopsy) will be forwarded for the patient's clinical care.

This is a placebo-controlled study. At the end of the study, if the
treatment is determined to be effective, it will be provided.

Background

L-carnitine is an essential nutrient, which is found especially in muscle
tissue. Deficiencies can cause muscle and heart problems. A study published
last year found low levels in 72 percent of AIDS patients who were using
AZT.1 Another study2 gave a high dose of L-carnitine for two weeks to AIDS
patients treated with AZT, and found improved results of certain blood
tests. The goal of the NINDS study is to see if correcting an L-carnitine
deficiency (if there is one) could relieve AZT-related muscle problems.

Carnitine is sold in health-food stores and buyers' clubs. But be sure to
use only L-carnitine (not DL-carnitine, which at one time was the only kind
available there). DL carnitine consists of a mixture of equal parts of
L-carnitine and D- carnitine. Only L-carnitine is active; and some people
suspect that D-carnitine might be harmful.

Better yet, if you can get your physician to prescribe L- carnitine, you can
be assured of getting the highest quality. Some physicians will be
reluctant, because this use (for AZT- related muscle problems) is
experimental and unproven at this time. Tim Fogarty

References

1. De Simone C, Tzantzoglou S, Jirillo E, Marzo A, Vullo V, and Martinelli
EA. L-carnitine deficiency in AIDS patients. AIDS. February 1992; volume 6,
number 2, pages 203-205.

2. De Simone C, Tzantzoglou S, Famularo G, and others. High dose L-carnitine
improves immunologic and metabolic parameters in AIDS patients.
IMMUNOPHARMACOLOGY AND IMMUNOTOXICOLOGY. January 1993; volume 15, number 1,
pages 1- 12.

9.2.3 GABA

Gamma-amino butyric acid acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous
system. It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning that is tends to shut
things down. For this reason many people suggest the use of GABA to aid with
sleep (and possibly recovery). It is calming, relaxing, sleep-inducing and
it even cause the release of Growth Hormone. Unfortunately, the ability of
this substance to cross the blood brain barrier is limited and it must be
injected directly into the brain. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! This substance
holds little potential for helping bodybuilders.

A related chemical, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is capable of penetrating
the blood-brain barrier and producing at least the relaxing and soporific
effects, but is not available over-the- counter.

9.2.4 Glutamine

Glutamine is another nonessential amino acid. So, the human body can also
make this amino acid. Some studies indicate that intravenous infusion of
glutamine can be anticatabolic. Oral supplementation with glutamine has not
shown the same success, possibly because the gut tends to hold on to the
extra glutamine. Still, this compound (like the branched chain amino acids)
should not be ignored for its potential benefits if someone can figure out a
way to get it past the gut.

9.2.5 HMB?

HMB is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine. Preliminary studies indicate
that HMB may help increase lean muscle mass and reduce body fat. However,
these studies were published only in abstract form and have yet to go
through a rigorous peer-review. However, the above-mentioned effects of
BCAAs may be mediated through this metabolite.

Very few bodybuilders have actually observed positive results with this
supplement. Studies in animals indicate that HMB can make up for leucine
deficiencies (see branched chain amino acids) in their diet. One possible,
very simple, explanation for the results obtained in the preliminary studies
on HMB is that the control groups are actually leucine deficient (maybe
eating too little protein). Based on the cost of HMB, it is definitely not
worth it. Studies are underway to determine if HMB is indeed better than
leucine supplementation.

In addition, a recent study was unable to replicate the earlier findings.

9.2.6 KIC?

Keto-isocoproate is another metabolite of leucine. Little evidence supports
its benefit beyond what it can do for a leucine-deficient diet.

9.2.7 phosphatidyl serine?

Some claim this substance is a cortisol blocker. No evidence currently
supports that claim. This is likely a waste of money.

Note that all published studies have been done with PS derived from cow
brains; even if you didn't want to avoid bovine-source PS because of BSE
concerns, commercially available PS is derived from soybeans, and no studies
have shown any effects from consumption of soy-derived PS. TTBTR

9.2.8 tryptophan?

Tryptophan is another amino acid that is attributed with the capacity to
help people sleep and even cure certain ailments, like cramps. While
tryptophan is a precursor of the combination neurotransmitter, inflammatory
substance serotonin, taking in excess tryptophan does not automatically
indicate that more serotonin will be produced or that it will have a net
effect on the person. Bodybuilders are unlikely to be deficient in
tryptophan even though it is an essential amino acid.

However, there have been some cases of people who are tryptophan deficient
(and other essential amino acids as well) who ate nothing but supplemental
amino acids from various supplement products. Moral: get most of your amino
acids from food.

9.2.9 tyrosine?

Tyrosine is an amino acid used to synthesize the neurotransmitters dopamine,
norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenalin). Some claim that an increased
intake of tyrosine will increase the levels of these neurotransmitters.
Then, presumably, the higher level of neurotransmitter will exert some
beneficial effect. Unfortunately, taking extra tyrosine does not
automatically mean that the neurotransmitters will be made in larger
quantities because the enzymes that synthesize these neurotransmitters are
tightly regulated. In addition, even if neurotransmitter production is
increased, it does not mean that it will have a specific effect. In
addition, tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid, meaning that the human body
can synthesize tyrosine when needed. Be wary of any claims regarding
tyrosine.

9.2.10 Can amino acids cause an increase in GH secretion?

A combination of arginine, ornithine and lysine, according to
advertisements, will increase growth hormone (GH) secretion, increase lean
muscle and reduce body fat.

In fact, arginine can increase levels of GH when given intravenously at a
concentration ranging from 0.2 to 0.5 g/kg. That is a huge IV dose of
arginine. Do not try this at home. Smaller doses of oral arginine have been
found to increase GH levels slightly as well. One study showed that oral
arginine hydrochloride showed better increases in GH than L-Dopa, a drug
used for increasing GH levels.
Isidori A. Lo Monaco A, Cappa, M.
A study of growth hormone release in man after oral administration of amino
acids. Current Medical Research and Opinion 1981;7:475-481

Also, another study showed that 30g of oral glycine gave 10 times more GH
secretion than placebo. Another study showed that 6,75g of glycine taken
orally gave 4 times more secretion.
Kasai K, Kobayashi M, Shimoda S.
Stimulatory effects of oral glycine on human growth hormone secretion.
Metabolism 1978;27:201

And another study showed that 170mg of ornithine hydrochloride per weight
kilo gave 4 times more serum GH than placebo.
Cynobar L., et al.
Action of ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate, ornithine hydrochloride and calcium
alpha-ketoglutarate on plasma amino acid and hormonal patterns in healthy
subjects. J American Coll Nutrition 1990;9:2-12

So amino acids can increase growth hormone levels. If the increased GH
levels do not constitute as increased muscle mass, that's a different
subject altogether.

GH releasing amino acids may be worth trying, but not worth using, if you
don't see any help from them. Individuals differ, because of differently
working feedback mechanisms and other hormone levels (like natural
testosterone levels, GH won't do much good, if there's no testosterone
available).

One study has shown that arginine and ornithine increases strength and lean
body mass (Effects of arginine and ornithine on strength, lean body mass and
urinary hydroxyproline in adult males) J Sports Med Phys Fitness Mar
1989:29(1);52-6

However, the fact remains that more studies must be done to conclude that
this rise in GH will subsequently result in any of the improvements hoped
for. Many bodybuilders who have tried this supplement have been very
disappointed. Natural increases in hormones are often counteracted by
feedback mechanisms.

9.3 Colostrum

Colostrum does contain some growth factors. Unfortunately, it is not in the
least bit beneficial for adults. Adults do not have the same capacity as a
newborn animal to take up entire proteins in the GI system without digesting
them first. Do not waste your money on colostrum unless you're less than 6
months old and of bovine origin.

9.4 Sports bars?

They are also food. Use them if they taste good or if they're convenient. If
the claims on the package look different from other foods you pick up at the
grocery store, they are pulling your leg.

9.5.1 CLA

Conjugated linolenic acid. Several studies exist supporting a potential
health benefit of CLA. No studies suggest that it will aid muscle growth or
fat loss. It is food, certainly better than some other fat sources, but
treat it accordingly.

9.5.2 DMSO?

Some claim that this compound can make joint pain decrease. DMSO is an
anti-oxidant which scavenges hydroxyl free radicals, which is one reason why
it is effective at reducing inflammations.

DMSO is sometimes used in transporting other chemicals through the skin
(like certain oral anabolic steroids); while this is an often-touted
'feature' of DMSO, many people have claimed that it offers no benefits in
this regard beyond simply fully hydrating the skin. This compound also has
side effects like a nasty taste in the mouth and horrible breath following
its use. TTBTR

9.5.3 Flax seed oil?

Flax seed oil is used to combat cardiovascular disease, cancer, liver and
gut disorders, skin complaints ad impairment of the immune system. Flax is
the world's richest source of omega-3 fatty acids (see 4.13). It also
contains natural anti-oxidants, carotene and vitamin E which help slow the
oxidation process of this highly active dietary essential fatty acid. The
fatty acids in flax seed oil are essential and play many physiological
roles. It has been used with some success in treating skin afflictions that
have resulted from a loss of cell membrane integrity. Flax can also relieve
constipation and generally assists bowel movements. Flax can also help
regulate the body's levels of triglycerides.

Flax oil, when fresh, has a light consistency and a delicate, nutty taste.
It should be bought in an opaque, glass or special plastic container to
protect it from the oxidizing effects of light. It should also be stored in
a cool place and consumed within three weeks after opening. Flax oil should
never be cooked.

9.54 Lecithin

Lecithin is naturally found as part of bile secretions. It is important for
increasing fat solubility so that fat can be absorbed through the gut.

9.5.5 Medium Chain Triglycerides

MCTs are used in malabsorption disorders because they are more readily
absorbed and oxidized than long-chain fatty acids. The claims associated
with MCT often state that it will increase energy and reduce body fat. To
some extent these claims are supported by rat studies. These studies
indicate that MCT feeding increases the thermic effect in humans. Other
studies found that the inclusion of MCTs in hypocaloric diets did not
enhance the rate or amount of weight lost. MCTs should be avoided by those
who are diabetic or have liver disease. Some reports of diarrhea are noted
with the use of this supplement.

9.5.6 Omega-3 fatty acids?

All sorts of fantastic claims have been made regarding omega-3 fatty acids
and fish oils in general. Conclusively, studies have shown that omega-3s can
reduce blood triglyceride levels. Presumably, this will decrease the risk of
developing atherosclerosis. However, more studies must be done to examine
whether this is indeed the case.

There may be some other health benefits of omega-3s, but they have yet to be
confirmed. Almost all the studies involving humans and omega-3s are purely
epidemiological studies which can find correlations, but do not establish
causation.

Flax seed oil is mainly alpha-linolenic acid, ALA, C18:3w3. Fish oil is also
omega 3, but its mainly eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA, C20:5w3 and
docosahexaenoic acid, DHA, C22:6w3. The body can generate EPA and DHA from
ALA, but not at a tremendously fast rate. Borage seed oil, black currant and
evening primrose oil are all sources of gamma-linolenic acid, also an omega
3 fatty acid. Gamma-linolenic acid likely has liver protectant properties
that may be of interest to steroid users who sometimes ingest hepatotoxic
substances.

The w3s are generally good at lowering triglyceride levels and at slowing
the growth rates of tumors, and they are all good anti-inflammatories, but
I'm skeptical of any claims of them increasing muscle mass.

9.6 vitamin and mineral supplementation?

If you live on cheeseburgers and pizza (CHANGE YOUR DIET), you are
most-likely missing some of the essential micronutrients known as vitamins
and minerals. If you eat vegetables and fruits throughout the day, you are
probably obtaining all the vitamins and minerals you need. If you fall
somewhere inbetween, you may wish to consider a vitamin and mineral
supplement. If you never eat fruits and vegetables, you may want to
supplement daily. Those who get some vitamins and minerals from fruits and
vegetables may wish to supplement with one vitamin pill every other day.

Actual deficiencies of vitamins and minerals are rare. The levels for
optimal health are difficult to determine, making the matter subjective.
However, any claims regarding increased energy and vigor from supplemental
vitamin intake are almost always false. Purchase vitamins only if you find
your diet to be less than ideal. Even then consume the tablets in
moderation. No evidence exists indicating that megadoses are useful (the
excess is usually lost through the urine) and some of the fat soluble
vitamins (like A, D and E) are actually toxic in high doses.

9.6.1 B vitamins?

Some people claim that supplemental B vitamins give them a sense of
well-being. In the absence of deficiency, supplemental B vitamins are
unnecessary. Sufficient B vitamins can be obtained from foods (such as meat,
nuts and grains) or by taking a one-a-day multivitamin and mineral tablet.
Excess B vitamins are readily lost in the urine, although it gives a
wonderfully bright yellow color to the urine.

Brewer's yeast
A perfectly acceptable source of B vitamins; ads generally proudly state its
high RNA and DNA content which won't hurt you, but won't provide any
benefits either.

9.6.2 Boron?

Boron has been advertised as a testosterone booster and some even claim that
boron can increase muscle mass. A couple of studies actually showed that
boron supplementation increased serum testosterone levels. No studies have
shown any lean muscle gains with the use of Boron.

Reports from bodybuilders in the trenches indicate that this compound is
worthless. This may be a lesson with respect to the fact that increasing
testosterone naturally may not mimic the effects of taking exogenous
testosterone. The body has natural feedback mechanisms to prevent
testosterone, or its effects, from causing drastic changes. Do not waste
your money on boron.

9.6.3 Chromium?

There are at least 14 different chromium compounds currently offered. The
most common form sold is chromium picolinate. Chromium is promoted as both a
growth stimulator and fat burner. A couple of early research studies
indicated that there might be some truth to these claims. However, these
studies used poor methods and subsequent studies failed to replicate their
findings. It is unlikely that chromium supplementation will increase muscle
mass or help burn fat.

Chromium is also advertised as an insulin enhancer. Chromium is a component
of glucose tolerance factor and this role may have led to its description as
an insulin enhancer. However, weight trainers usually have some of the best
glucose tolerance and insulin response already. Further supplementation is
unlikely to change this fact.

Some US populations have shown chromium deficiencies and endurance exercise
can cause increased urinary loss of chromium. Therefore, some athletes may
wish to insure that they avoid chromium deficiency by taking supplemental
minerals (see vitamins and minerals) or increase their intake of chromium
containing foods, like nuts.

50 mcg per day of chromium is probably sufficient and a dose of 200 mcg
should not be exceeded because the excess is simply excreted.

9.6.4 CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 is also known as Ubiquinone. Ubiquinone is an electron carrier,
essential for energy production in mitochondria, that can act as an
antioxidant. Several studies support the idea that supplemental CoQ10 can be
beneficial for a person's health. No evidence supports the idea that it will
make your muscles grow faster or your fat burn more easily.

9.6.5 Dibencozide?

Dibencozide (5-deosyadenosyl cobalamin) is often promoted as an anabolic
growth promoter. Several advertisements list dibencozide as the active form
of vitamin B12. Several cobalamins are active for humans, but what is used
in most pharmaceutical preparations is actually cyanocobalamin. This
cobalamin is obtained through the inclusion of animal products in the diet.
Studies showed no increase in strength or muscle mass through the use of
this dibencozide.

9.6.6 Vanadium?

Vanadyl sulfate is a non-essential trace mineral that has shown some
potential for reducing blood glucose and insulin levels in diabetic rats and
there is also one study that showed similar effects in humans. Vanadyl may
result in increased glycogen storage in muscle cells, with the hope being
that this would provide for increased energy during exercise. No studies
have yet confirmed this hypothesis. However, the increased glycogen storage
may account for the increased "pump" and harder feeling that many lifters
feel when taking vanadyl.

Furthermore, weightlifters usually have some of the best glucose tolerance
and insulin sensitivity, decreasing the chances that this compound would be
of benefit to weightlifters and bodybuilders. Also, those who take vanadyl
sulfate while on very low carbohydrate diets run a small risk of developing
extremely low blood glucose levels. For this reason the supplement may
actually be detrimental to your workouts.

However, some steroid users find this supplement useful for the increased
pump when they are coming off cycle and begin to miss the steroid pump.

Vanadium comes in several forms including vanadyl, vanadate and BMOV
(Bis-maltolato-oxovanadium). Research studies (mostly involving rats) have
use the compounds vanadyl sulfate and BMOV. Two other new forms of vanadium
are also being researched. They are VPA and Naglivan

9.7 What can Creatine do for me?

Naturally occurring in muscle tissue, creatine functions as a secondary
reservoir for short-term energy to be drawn upon when ATP (adenosine
triphosphate) stores--the energy storage molecule that drives muscular
contraction--are depleted. Supplemental creatine monohydrate added to the
diet will increase the concentration of creatine phosphate within muscle
tissue which may increase one's ability to perform brief, high-intensity
exercise.

How much one will benefit from creatine supplementation will vary greatly
from one individual to the next; at most, expect small but significant
increases in the amount of weight or number of reps that one can handle.
Increasing the creatine content of muscle tissue also draws additional water
into the muscle cells; this will cause an immediate increase in muscle size
and weight, with anywhere from two to seven pounds of retained water being
common.

Note that the immediate weight gain one experiences when beginning creatine
supplementation is just water and not additional muscle tissue; if you stop
taking creatine, this water weight will slowly go away again, but any
benefits you gain from increased exercise intensity while taking creatine
will remain. It has also been claimed that the increased size of individual
muscle cells due to the greater water uptake while taking supplemental
creatine is itself an anabolic stimulus and can increase muscle growth, but
this is merely a hypothesis at this time and has not been studied
sufficiently to draw any conclusions.

Because creatine phosphate, once in the muscle tissue, serves only as a
small additional source of short-term energy, creatine supplementation will
not aid one's performance in aerobic activities such as running or cycling.
On the contrary, because of the additional water weight carried while using
creatine, it may actually hinder performance where weight is an issue.

The optimal amount of creatine to take remains controversial and, as with
any other supplement, recommended doses vary considerably, particularly
depending on whether the one making the recommendation is trying to sell you
some. Many have recommended a "loading phase" with doses ranging from 15-30
grams/day for the first week followed by a "maintenance phase" with anywhere
from 2-15 grams/day consumed, while a few discount the "loading phase" as
unnecessary. The typical recommended dose falls about in the middle of the
above ranges; load with 20g/day for a week, then drop to 5-8g/day for a
while, then feel free to experiment with increasing or decreasing the dosage
and see how it affects you. As with any supplement, start out
slowly--consume the initial "loading" dose in several portions throughout
the day; some people have reported experiencing gastric upset when taking
creatine, so you may wish to make sure it doesn't cause you any problems in
this regard before taking very much at one time.

The general consensus is that creatine uptake into muscle tissue is improved
in the presence of insulin and also when insulin sensitivity is increased.
Insulin release may be increased most easily by taking creatine along with a
high glycemic-index food or beverage; grape juice is generally recommended
for these purposes, but most any other sugary food or beverage may be used.
Fats and proteins should generally be avoided when trying to increase
creatine uptake, as these will blunt the desired insulin response. Insulin
sensitivity is increased by physical exercise and by fasting, so the best
time to take creatine, particularly with grape juice or other high GI
substance, is before breakfast in the morning and promptly after your
workout.

Creatine is available in a variety of forms, the most common of which is
creatine monohydrate; this is available in both bulk powder and in capsule
form. Given the low cost of creatine, its lack of flavor, and the quantities
generally consumed, buying creatine in capsules offers no significant
advantages, but is likely to cost ten times as much for the same quantity.
(Bulk creatine monohydrate is commonly available from numerous mail-order
suppliers at about $75/kilogram.) Creatine citrate and creatine phosphate
have also occasionally been sold, but the former offers no known advantages
over creatine monohydrate and generally costs more to use, given that its
creatine content is lower due to the weight of the citrate ion. Though
creatine phosphate is the eventual form creatine will be used in by the
muscle cells, it will not make it through the digestive tract and it is not
useful as a supplement.

Creatine, once in solution, will slowly degrade into creatinine which does
not have creatine's beneficial effects; however, this process takes quite a
few hours and, while this is a good reason not to mix your creatine into a
protein shake a day ahead of time, it's completely unnecessary to worry at
all about mixing it into a drink just before consuming it. Both heat and
acidity will accelerate this process, but, again, we're still talking about
several hours time before it's something to worry about. (The main purpose
of the "creatine breaks down instantly when wet" rumor is to sell you
various forms of "stabilized" creatine at a much higher cost, but with no
actual advantages.)

Creatine and Caffeine: much talk has been made recently about a study that's
usually described as showing that caffeine negates the usefulness of
creatine supplementation. However, the study in question administered very
large doses of caffeine to the subjects and then cut out all caffeine
consumption 24 hours before the subjects were tested. While this does
provide fairly strong evidence that major caffeine withdrawal does not
enhance athletic performance, it has essentially no relevance to anyone who
uses caffeine as a pre-workout stimulant or in the manner in which caffeine
is normally used in the E/C/A stack. Caffeine does have a diuretic effect
and it is possible that this could reduce the amount of water weight
generally gained when taking creatine, though even this is questionable,
given that caffeine primarily increases the elimination of extracellular
water and not intracellular water, which is what is increased by creatine.

In summary, if you wish to experiment with creatine supplementation, a
typical approach would be as follows:

1. buy a tub of bulk creatine powder (you may as well get a full kilo;
smaller quantities tend to cost significantly more for how much you'll
get).
2. For the first week or so, take a level teaspoon (about four grams) of
creatine powder 3-5 times throughout the day, with one of the doses
before breakfast and another following your workout on workout days).
3. When taking creatine, you may mix it with grape juice or other beverage
or simply put the powder in your mouth (it's pretty near tasteless) and
wash it down with water, juice, or whatever.
4. After the "loading phase," decrease your consumption to 1-2 level
teaspoons/day, preferably taken before breakfast and/or following
workouts. Feel free to experiment with greater or lesser dosages and see
what works best for you.

If creatine supplementation is effective for you (and, though most people
report good results, not all do), you should expect 3-10 pounds of weight
gain by the end of the first week, larger and fuller-feeling muscles, and
noticeable increases in the weight and/or reps you can handle in the gym.

9.8 Hydroxy-citric acid (HCA)?

This is a dieting aid. HCA goes under the trade name CitriMax. HCA is useful
for reducing appetite. In addition, there is some evidence from rodent
studies that HCA may aid fat loss by blocking the enzyme which is used in
converting proteins and carbohydrates into fat. Whether this effect happens
also in humans is debatable.

HCA has the potential for developing anemia - use in moderation.

9.9 Glucosamine Sulphate

"Glucosamine sulphate administration in animals tends to normalize the
cartilage metabolism so as to prevent degeneration and stimulate
biosynthesis of the cartilage ground substance, the mucopolysaccharides.
This rebuilds the damaged articular cartilage and restores articular
function. Orally administered glucosamine is selectively taken up by the
articular cartilage." "...oral glucosamine sulphate treatment produced
significant improvement in the symptoms of pain, joint tenderness and
swelling, as well as in restriction of movement... moreover, treatment was
extremely well tolerated." [1]

"The main component of [connective tissue] is collagen ... the second
component is ... glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The GAGs are the tissue
framework that collagen models onto. ... [glucosamine] is the major
precursor of GAGs. But even more important, the making of glucosamine from
glucose and glutamine is your body's rate-limiting step in GAG production,
and hence the rate-limiting step in re-modeling your connective tissues."
[3]

The dosage used in references #1 and #2 was 1.5 grams daily, in 3 divided
doses.

1. Pujalte JM, Llavore EP, Ylescupidez FR. 1980. Double-blind clinical
evaluation of oral glucosamine sulphate in the basic treatment of
osteoarthrosis. Curr Med Res Opin. 7(2): 110-114.
2. Crolle G, D'Este E. 1980. Glucosamine sulphate for the management of
arthrosis: a controlled clinical investigation. Curr Med Res Opin.
7(2):104-109.
3. Colgan M. Glucosamine saves your joints. Musc Devel Fit Health.

9.10 Inosine?

Inosine is used to synthesize nucleotides (used in DNA, energy exchange and
intracellular signaling). Inosine is promoted as an energy enhancer. One
study found no effect of 6 g of inosine of 3-mile run time or VO2 max in
highly trained runners. All indications are that this supplement is a waste
of money.

9.11 DHEA?

Even if you can find a source of good DHEA, its effects in rodents are
vastly different from its effects in humans. Many of the claims are based on
rodent studies and more (human) studies are necessary before conclusions can
be made. Early studies indicate that it will not have the same effects in
humans. In all likelihood, people under the age of 30 will receive no
benefit from this supplement anyway. On the other hand, this supplement
holds potential for women and older athletes.

9.12 Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland. Its secretion is
decreased by light and increased by the absence of light. Melatonin helps
regulate sleep patterns in people and this also explains how daylight can
affect sleep patterns. People take melatonin to fall asleep more easily and
to sleep more soundly. In addition, melatonin can be useful to help reset
the internal clock to avoid jet lag. Unfortunately, a small percentage of
users report increased nightmares while using melatonin. This may be a
result of the dose in the tablets (3 mg). This dose may be too high, and
smaller doses may help people avoid these problems. Fortunately, some stores
carry a sublingual version of melatonin, making it easier to reduce the
dose.

Melatonin has antigonadotropic properties, and decreases greatly at night
when gonadotropic releasing hormone is pulsed. However, no one has
complained that the extra sleep they acquire with melatonin has hurt their
bodybuilding progress.

A side effect for a small portion of the population is the onset of
depression. People with depressive disorders should not take this
supplement.

9.13 Endo-Pro

Can increase frequency of erections. Unlikely to alter testosterone levels.
Too expensive for bodybuilding purposes anyway.

9.14 Tribestrone

Some people find it similar to Endo-Pro. Others find it useless.

9.15 "Super Blue-Green Algae"

The form available for purchase is dried pond scum harvested from Klamath
Lake and widely advertised to cure every ailment known to man, whether real
or imagined; while probably reasonably efficacious on imagined ailments, no
evidence currently exists to support any claims for its ability to cure real
ones. Its popularity is largely due to the fact that much of it is sold
through multi-level marketing schemes, leading to a vast number of
distributors hoping to become rich by selling you some. Legitimate
Blue-Green Algae (which is actually cyannobacteria and considerably less
closely related to true algae than you are) contains various amounts of a
mild neurotoxin related to cocaine; anecdotal evidence suggests that these
amounts are small enough that most people will not notice any effects, but
some individuals will be sensitive enough to experience slight cocaine-like
effects when consuming blue-green algae.

9.16 Shark cartilage/bovine cartilage

The interest in shark cartilage largely stemmed from a book titled _Sharks
Don't Get Cancer_. Interestingly, the author mentioned in that book that
sharks do get cancer. Still, many people claim that shark cartilage helps
with connective tissue disorders and cancer. Unfortunately, evidence does
not support these contentions.

Shark cartilage may have benefits in accelerating the healing of cartilage;
claimed to have anti-angiogenic effects (inhibits the formation of new blood
vessels). If this latter effect is significant, it may have benefits in the
treatment of cancer, but athletic benefits would seem to be limited or
nonexistent. Bovine cartilage is where gelatin comes from, so if you wish to
give this a try, you might start by eating Jell-O or other gelatin product
which would likely be much cheaper.

9.17 Random vaguely Russian-sounding "supplements" from Atletika

Many, less than reputable, companies will offer products that have names
very similar to those of steroids or some confusing wording that make them
appear to be better than they really are. Remember that these companies are
looking to separate you and your money, buyer beware.

9.18 Herbs
Some herbs clearly have effects on human subjects. Others are hyped even
though they have little effect on any animal species. Some herbs are safe;
others are extremely dangerous and should be treated as any other medicinal
drug.

Anyone interested in further reading should obtain the Honest Herbal_ by
Varro Tyler. It can be found (or ordered) from most local book stores. Dr.
Tyler is Professor of Pharmacognosy in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacal
Sciences at Purdue University. For those wishing to pursue a more
pharmacological approach to herbs, they should obtain _Pharmacognosy_ for
which Tyler is senior author.

Herbs are natural, but do not equate this with safe!

9.18.1 Avena Sativa

Avena sativa is the genus and species name for oats. This is largely
mentioned in conjunction with high fiber diets. Fiber can be obtained from
many sources with Avena being only one. Fiber has been shown to reduce the
risk of colorectal cancer. More studies are being done to determine if there
are other benefits of fiber.

9.18.2 Borage

Borage seed oil consists of about 20% gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, an omega-6
fatty acid). In animals borage seed oil was found to be relatively inert
except for a mild constipating effect, likely due to its tannin content.

Omega-3 fatty acids may have some benefits. They have been shown in several
studies to reduce blood triglyceride levels, hopefully reducing the risk of
atherosclerosis. In addition, some evidence exists showing that GLA is
liver-protecting.

On the other hand, in the mid-1980s very low levels of pyrrolizidine
alkaloids were detected in various parts of the borage plant. These
compounds are very toxic, even in small quantities. In light of this,
chronic consumption of seed oil should not be done unless it is certified
free of UPAs.

9.18.3 Capsicum

Capsicum is the Latin name for the family of peppers, red, green, chili
peppers, etc. are Capsicum annuum. Capsaicin is an alkaloid present in hot
peppers, chiles etc. It's concentration will define how hot they are. Wild
type peppers are hot. Mutant sweet peppers have been selected during the
last 2000 years.

The alkaloid, capsaicin, found within these peppers is currently used in an
ointment for the treatment of chronic, or persistent, pain with some
moderate success.

In addition, capsaicin is mildly thermogenic. For this reason some people
add it into the ECA stack (see ephedrine).

9.18.4 Epehdrine? ECA stack?

Ephedrine is a beta-adrenergic agonist. This means that it acts similar to
adrenalin (epinephrine) at receptors known as the beta (as opposed to alpha)
subtype. It is a potent reliever of constriction and congestion of bronchial
asthma and it's an effective nasal decongestant. It can also be used in the
treatment of some allergies. It is a central nervous system stimulant.
Studies have shown that it can aid in weight (fat) loss.

Unfortunately, ephedrine can increase blood pressure, increase heart rate.

It can cause dizziness, insomnia and headaches. If you have a heart
condition, hypertension, diabetes or thyroid disease you should not take
ephedrine. Consult with your doctor before attempting the use of ephedrine
because it is quite dangerous for people with these conditions. Also, keep
in mind that ephedrine will not alleviate the problems of a poor diet. It
has been shown to aid fat loss in conjunction with Calorie restriction.

Ephedrine is often used in a single dose of 25 mg/day. Some crazed people
have taken far more than that amount - and many of those have suffered
complications. There is no reason (even for a larger person) to exceed 75 mg
of ephedrine (in divided doses) daily.

Caffeine is also a central nervous system stimulant that can enhance the
effects of ephedrine. Caffeine potentiates both the stimulatory effects and
the fat burning effects of ephedrine. However, the side effects will
increase with this combination as well. Keep in mind that very large doses
of caffeine (around 5 grams) can induce seizures. This has been reported in
competitive athletes.

Some athletes find the caffeine and ephedrine combination to aid in their
performance. This can largely be attributed to the central nervous system
stimulatory effects of these two compounds. Long-term reliance on these
compounds to get "up" for every workout is not a good idea.

Aspirin can further potentiate the fat burning effects of ephedrine and
caffeine, although some people still think this evidence is inadequate. Some
even argue that aspirin may be detrimental to this process.

Hormones, such as epinephrine (or epinephrine agonists like ephedrine)
glucagon and thyroxin stimulate the breakdown of fat. The enzyme responsible
for this fat breakdown is inhibited by a prostaglandin (local acting
hormone). Aspirin blocks the production of this prostaglandin, along with
others. This allows for ephedrine (and caffeine) to exert greater fat
burning effects. Therefore, the ephedrine, aspirin, caffeine stack can
definitely aid fat loss. However, these compounds can not be relied upon in
the long run. In addition, aspirin has the potential of decreasing
testosterone production, which might inhibit anabolic effects. Nothing aids
fat loss better than permanent changes in diet and exercise. However, for
occasional use or motivation they can be very useful tools. Although these
compounds are readily available, they are still very dangerous. The ratios
commonly used are ephedrineaspirin of 110.

There are also several herbal thermogenic supplements that combine Ma Huang,
Kola Nut (containing caffeine) and willow bark (containing some aspirin).
Many people report good effects with these substances as well. In fact, some
claim that the herbal sources of ephedrine work better than those
synthesized in a lab. However, in the book _Fat_Management_, Mowery harps
continually on the point that willow bark is not a reasonable substitute for
aspirin. He is very strong on the use of standardized ma huang and kola nut,
but says that natural silicilin won't inhibit prostoglandins.

Some researchers question the validity of the use of aspirin with the
ephedrine/caffeine combination. There are a lot of choices out there, but
many people find success with the various formulations, whether herbal or
man made.

Pseudoephedrine: an isomer of ephedrine, found naturally in the ephedra
herb; while a reasonably effective decongestant and mild stimulant, trying
to substitute pseudoephedrine for ephedrine in the E/C/A stack or otherwise
is unlikely to yield satisfactory results.

Ephedrine HCl vs. Sulphate: ephedrine HCl is the more common and generally
cheaper version. Ephedrine sulphate is somewhat slower acting and, due to
the greater molecular weight of the sulphate ion, slightly more ephedrine
sulphate must be taken to produce the same effect as a given amount of
ephedrine HCl. Otherwise they are identical.

"Herbal thermogenic supplements": coming in a variety of forms, generally
some combination of ma huang/ephedra (a natural source of ephedrine) and
guarana (a natural source of caffeine), these are primarily a way of
providing ephedrine and caffeine in a manner that can have "natural" or
"herbal" on the label at a significantly higher price than just buying
ephedrine and caffeine tablets. There may be some benefit to the additional
compounds found in these herbs, or there may not.

Ultimate Orange is one such product made by Next Nutrition and Dan Duchaine
that contains Ma Huang, which contains ephedrine. Many people notice the
stimulatory and thermogenic effects of this supplement right away and find
it useful before a workout or for helping in fat loss.

Guaifenesin ("what's this 'guaifenesin' doing in my ephedrine?") An
expectorant generally added to ephedrine tablets because the FDA doesn't
like people selling pure ephedrine any more; it won't help you do anything
besides loosen phlegm, but shouldn't hurt anything either.

9.18.5 Evening Primrose

Approximately 9% of the oil (2% of the total seed) in Evening Primrose oil
is gamma-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid. There is much debate over
evening primrose oil in the scientific literature. Many of the preliminary
studies on its benefit to disease states look promising, but more are needed
before definite conclusions can be drawn.

GLA has been shown to offer some liver protection which may be of interest
to steroid users taking substances that may have liver toxicities. However,
evening primrose is a poor source of GLA. Black currant contains more (about
6%) and borage seeds are a better source of GLA (about 9%).

9.18.6 Gamma-Oryzanol?

Gamma-oryzanol is obtained from rice bran oil. It is a potent antioxidant
that can prolong the shelf-life of rice bran oil. Of 24 commonly available
supplements containing this compound, 5 contained only gamma-oryzanol, 14
contained only ferulic acid (usually bound to gamma-oryzanol via an ester
bond), and 5 contained both compounds. This supplement is commonly claimed
to be anabolic. One study has shown that IV administration of ferulic acid
in cows increases serum GH. However, even with the cows, no increase in
growth was observed.

In addition, plant sterols are poorly absorbed from the digestive tract
making this supplement largely worthless.

9.18.7 Ginseng

Obtaining authentic ginseng product is a problem. Quality root is extremely
expensive, some more than $20 an ounce. The relatively high cost plus the
lack of quality control have resulted in commercial ginseng products of
astounding variability. Of 54 ginseng products analyzed, 60% were worthless
and 25% contained no ginseng at all.

Despite previous reports, the potential for abuse of ginseng is low and the
herb does not exhibit estrogenic properties. Problems commonly seen include
insomnia, diarrhea and skin eruptions. Even the prolonged and excessive use
of ginseng appears to involve relatively low risk.

Because of the lack of reliable, standardized preparations, the near
impossibility of patent, fundamental differences between eastern and western
medicine, and a lack of info on proper dosage very few human studies have
been conducted with ginseng. Despite the absence of evidence, ginseng is
often given credit for the ability to help with numerous diseases.
One definite conclusion: it can act as a stimulant.

9.18.7.1 Cordyceps

Cordyceps (Dong Chong) is a CNS stimulant, but the mechanism by which it
works has apparently not been studied much. It was originally a Chinese folk
medicine - a fungus which grows on the cadavers of certain caterpillars.
More recently it is grown in laboratory cultures.

There is no quality control in this, and I fear that the Cordyceps available
to us may be contaminated by aflatoxin, which results from another fungus.
Aflatoxin is carcinogenic in very low concentrations. Dong chong, or
Cordyceps, is a fungus. Ginseng is a tubiferous plant, but they are often
attributed similar properties.
Robert Ames
References on this substance can be found in:
Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 70, 85-88 (1996)
Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 70 (1), 85-88 (1996)

Abstract:
Mice were given the extract of cultured Cordyceps sinensis (Cs) (200 mg/kg
daily, p.o.) for 3 weeks. In vivo phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance
(NMR) spectra of the liver were acquired at weekly intervals using a surface
coil. From 1 to 3 weeks, a consistent increase in the ATP/inorganic
phosphate ratio, which represents the high energy state, was observed in the
Cs extract-treated mice. The intracellular pH of the Cs extract -treated
mice was not significantly different from that of the control mice. No
steatosis, necrosis, inflammation or fibrosis were observed in the liver
specimens from Cs extract-treated mice.

9.18.8 Milk Thistle

The results of numerous studies indicate that milk thistle has much
therapeutic potential. Human trials have shown it to be liver protective for
conditions including hepatitis and cirrhosis. It also stimulates protein
synthesis in liver cells.

Milk thistle is poorly soluble in water, so it is ineffective to ingest it
by drinking tea. It is also poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract
(only about 20-50% gets through).

It is commonly marketed in a 200 mg capsule that is approximately 70% active
ingredients. Toxic effects have not been reported.

9.18.9 Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto has an antiandrogenic action. It prevents the binding of
dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to androgen receptors. This has important
consequences for those who are concerned with hair loss and benign prostatic
hyperplasia (BPH), both mediated by DHT binding to androgen receptors. 320
mg per day are necessary to reduce hair loss, and even then it only works
for a percentage of people. Similar doses may be necessary to help with BPH.

In Europe it is still used for the treatment of BPH. However, in the US the
FDA has banned the sale of all nonprescription remedies for BPH. This may
cast some doubt on the quality of saw palmetto currently available. [this
rule may have changed recently?]

Those lifters who are not concerned with either of the above problems should
avoid the use of saw palmetto (assuming it's real) because an antiandrogenic
effect is the last thing a natural lifter would want.

9.18.10 Smilax

The genus Smilax includes about 300 different species of plants.
Sarsaparilla is made from the root of Smilax aristolochiifolia (not
officinalis) and subsequently some androgens can be synthesized from
sarsaparilla.

Most Smilax is advertised as natural testosterone or means of boosting
testosterone levels. However, there is no evidence supporting these claims.

9.18.11 Yohimbe

Yohimbine is an extract from the bark of the tree Pausinystalia yohimbe.
Most supplements of yohimbine are promoted as natural sources of
testosterone or test enhancers. Yohimbine is an alpha-adrenergic blocker
used clinically to treat impotence (often in conjunction with
methyltestosterone). Actual yohimbine is difficult to come by over the
counter. It will definitely enhance the libido (get the real stuff by
prescription if you want to know by how much), but it won't cause an
increase in lean muscle mass as most lifters would hope.

Dan Duchaine has mentioned, at least in BodyOpus, that Yohimbe is beneficial
for fat loss. Anecdotal observations seem to support this notion, especially
in women. Note also that over the counter Yohimbe bark capsules and
"extracts" generally contain little to none of the active ingredient,
yohimbine; unless the container actually states the yohimbine content (e.g.,
Twinlab's Yohimbe Fuel), it's safe to assume you are simply buying an inert
powder at an inflated price.

10. Are there any natural ways of increasing testosterone levels?

Unfortunately, even if there are natural ways to increase testosterone, the
body tends to adapt to that change. It is unlikely that natural supplements
can actually result in observable benefits.

Homeopathic testosterone and other homeopathic preparations

You may be wondering how one can legally sell testosterone and how
homeopathic "testosterone" might be effective when taken orally, like
testosterone isn't. The secret lies in the basic principle of homeopathy,
which claims that the "essence" of a substance remains even when it is
diluted to the point that none of the substance in question actually remains
in the solution. As such, these are basically just particularly expensive
vials of distilled water and will do everything for you that drinking a tiny
vial of water would, thus getting around the legal and biochemical
limitations of actual testosterone.

10.1 Do squats and deadlifts increase testosterone production?

I suspect it's much simpler. If you do exercises, with really heavy weights,
that stress the entire body, then the entire body grows to adapt to that
stress. You can do isolation/concentration movements 'til you're blue in the
face, but once you place a bar on your back (with some really heavy weight
on it) and squat down using every muscle in your body to support that
weight, then your body has a serious stress to adapt to. RR

I'm going to back this statement. This is the main reason any power lifter
does overloads. My PR in the squat is 525, so I put 600 on the bar and
simply hold it. In laymen's term's it's simply getting used to the weight.
That is my advice for powerlifters. For any other athlete, this advice may
be different. Train for what you do! Not for what increases limit strength.
Frederick C. Hatfield II, MS,SSC1

11. What are anabolic steroids?

Steroids are a very large class of compounds which occur in all animals. The
steroids used by athletes are mostly androgenic steroids: steroids which act
like testosterone. The steroids used to treat inflammatory disorders (e.g.
prednisolone, cortisone, beclomethasone, budesonide, dexamethasone and
dozens of others) are corticosteroids and do not have anabolic effects.

Testosterone in the male is produced mainly in the testis, a small amount
being produced in the adrenal. It is synthesized from cholesterol. The
regulation of its production may be simplified thus: the hypothalamus (part
of the brain) produces gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) which acts on
the anterior pituitary to increase the production of luteinizing hormone
(LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). LH acts on the Leydig cells in
the testis, causing them to produce testosterone. FSH, together with
testosterone act on the Sertoli cells in the testis to regulate the
production and maturation of spermatozoa. Testosterone in turn acts on the
hypothalamus and anterior pituitary to suppress the production of GnRH, FSH
and LH, producing a negative-feedback mechanism which keeps everything
well-regulated. The small amount produced in the adrenal (in both sexes) is
regulated by secretion of adrenal corticotrophic hormone (ACTH), also
secreted by the pituitary.

Testosterone, and its metabolites such as dihydrotestosterone, act in many
parts of the body, producing the secondary sexual characteristics of the
male: balding, facial and body hair, deep voice, greater muscle bulk,
thicker skin, and genital maturity. At puberty it produces acne, the growth
spurt and the enlargement of the penis and testes as well as causing the
fusion of the epiphyses (through its conversion to estrogen), bringing
growth in height to an end. It plays some role in maintaining the sexual
organs in the adult, but only a low concentration is required for this.

The normal production of testosterone in the adult male is 4 to 9mg per day.
The normal plasma concentration is 22.5nmol/l, of which 97% is protein
bound. Most is excreted in the urine as 17-ketosteroids, but a small amount
is converted to oestrogens.

Various analogs of testosterone are used in medical treatment of testicular
failure, hereditary angioedema, anemia, severe endometriosis and a few other
conditions. Testosterone itself is given by injection. Oral preparations
such as methyltestosterone, fluoxymesterone, mesterolone and stanolone are
sometimes used, but they cause substantially more liver damage than
injectable or rectally administered preparations because they are absorbed
from the gut and transported first to the liver (like most things taken by
mouth), where they reach quite high concentrations and are extensively
metabolized before circulating to the rest of the body.

Many other analogs have been developed with more anabolic effect than
testosterone. These include such famous names as stanozolol, nandrolone,
ethyloestrenol and oxymetholone. They all have substantially the same
effects as testosterone: retention of sodium, potassium, water, calcium,
sulfate, and phosphate, increased muscle synthesis in response to exercise
and possible increases in aggression and or libido.

They act on the hypothalamus and pituitary to suppress the production of
GnRH, FSH and LH, causing a virtual cessation in the production of natural
testosterone in the testes and also reducing or stopping the production of
spermatozoa. This effect does not always reverse when the artificial
androgens are stopped.

Cancers of the prostate are frequently dependent on testosterone (hence
their treatment by castration) and they may progress very rapidly in the
presence of high level of androgens.

A percentage of testosterone is converted to estrogen and some artificial
androgens have some estrogen effect as well, causing enlargement of the
breast tissue behind the nipple (gynaecomastia). This is occasionally seen
naturally in pubescent boys and a small percentage of the adult male
population. This effect may be reduced by drugs which inhibit the binding of
estrogen to its receptors: e.g. clomiphene, cyclofenil and tamoxifen or
drugs that block the enzyme, aromatase, that converts testosterone to
estrogen.

So are they safe? The approval and use of any drug is a matter of deciding
whether the therapeutic benefits from its use are worth the adverse effects.
No drug is safe; acetaminophen (paracetamol) causes some very nasty fatal
poisonings, aspirin causes rare cases of devastating skin reactions.
Problems occur with every pharmaceutical and it is usually dose dependent.
However, the concensus is that they save enough lives and alleviate enough
problems to more than compensate for the bad effects. In therapeutic doses,
steroids result in few side effects.

Androgenic steroids have a fairly limited use in medicine. They are
effective in males with testicular failure and are occasionally used in
osteoporosis and as an appetite stimulant in severely wasted patients. In
the past they were also used to treat anemia, however, more effective
treatements now exist for this disease. In these cases the benefits clearly
outweigh the risks for the patient. Using them for essentially cosmetic or
frivolous reasons doesn't produce much of value to compensate for the risks
associated with their abuse.

Using drugs under medical supervision doesn't make the drugs any safer, it
just gives a greater chance that the adverse effects may be picked up
sooner, and it decreases the chances that an abusive quantity will be used.

James Mitchell (with modifications by Rifle River)
http://netspace.net.au./~jam/

See also The Anabolic Steriod FAQ
http://www.cyberiron.com/asfaq.html

11.1 What Side effects are commonly seen with steroid use?

First, there are many different anabolic steroids and based on how the body
handles them, they have very different side effects. Some steroids have
virtually no side effects and to lump all anabolic steroids into one
category (in terms of benefit or harm) shows a lack of understanding with
respect to their pharmacological action.

In therapeutic doses, 100 mg Deca-Durabolin per week for example, very few
side effects are observed. Unfortunately, most athletes will not restrict
their use to therapeutic doses.

What happens when athletes take some of the harsher anabolic steroids in
abusive dosages? Numerous side effects can result while on steroids
including acne, increased sex drive, impotence, liver problems, aggression
and psychological dependence. Other side effects, including gynecomastia
(bitch tits), high blood pressure, other cardiovascular diseases, baldness,
stunted growth in adolescents, and enlargement of preexisting prostate
tumors can persist even after steroid use has stopped. Female steroid users,
in addition to the problems listed above, can have virilizing
(masculinizing) symptoms when using the harsher, androgenic compounds,
including amenorrhea (which is reversible), clitoral hypertrophy, deeper
voice, excessive growth of body hair, loss of scalp hair and alterations in
skin texture (which frequently aren't reversible). Not all of these
conditions are caused by all anabolic steroids. Some of the harsher anabolic
steroids will only cause these problems for a certain percentage of the
users, above certain dosages. Some of the milder anabolic steroids cause
almost none of these side effects. Therefore, it is a mistake to state that
all steroid users will come down with these side effects. Any such silly
statements will be readily flamed on m.f.w. Most of the side effects of
steroid use result from the conversion of testosterone to estrogen or
dihydrotestosterone. Some anabolic steroids do not undergo this conversion.
These steroids will have fewer side effects.

Commonly, guys will post a question to the group asking if they should be
concerned about side effects, like gyno, when taking 200 mg/week of
deca-durabolin. This demonstrates a lack of understanding with respect to
the side effects of anabolic steroids. This person should do more reading on
the subject before proceeding because deca undergoes very little
aromatization to estrogen, making the chances of gyno quite small,
especially at such a low dose.

A more valid question that is often asked is will 250 mg/week of
testosterone make nolvadex necessary during a cycle to prevent gyno.
Testosterone will convert to estrogen readily. However, gyno and many of the
side effects of testosterone, don't show up at such low doses. In fact,
testosterone has been shown to be relatively safe up to 600 mg/week FOR
SHORT DURATION USE! Those interested in this should read the July 4. 1996
issue of the New England Journal of Medicine regarding the harmful and
beneficial effects of testosterone.

For more information on specific steroids, their effects and side effects,
such books as the World Anabolic Review (800-294-6181) or the Anabolic
Reference Guide (800-615-8500) should be consulted.

11.1.1 Is Lyle Alzado a good example of how steroids are harmful?

No, anecdotal information is inadequate for drawing conclusions (see
question on scientific research). In addition, Lyle died of a rare form of
brain cancer that is only seen in patients with immunodeficiencies. This
does not indicate that Lyle was HIV positive. There are many causes of
immunodeficiencies. However, no other steroid user, who is immunocompetent,
has died from this same form of brain cancer, casting doubt on the
hypothesis that Lyle's steroid use caused his cancer or his death.

11.2 Should I start my first cycle?

If you are under the age of 20 you shouldn't even consider the possibility.
Teenagers are already experiencing an anabolic spurt and the risks far
outweigh the benefit. Many anabolic steroids have the potential to stunt
your growth, so that is something every teenager should consider if they
have any expectation of becoming a professional athlete where short people
have a much lower probability of success.

If you live in the US, Canada or other countries where steroids are strictly
regulated, you should consider the consequences of breaking the law.

If you have only been lifting weights for a few years, you should consider
that inexperienced weightlifters rarely show benefits from the use of
steroids.

If you think that you will only use the milder anabolic steroids, you should
consider that just about everyone who uses the more dangerous steroids
started out that way. Cycles of deca and primo turn into cycles of Anadrol
and testosterone. These compounds can be psychologically addictive, and the
desire for more is a dangerous game.

If you think that you are capable of self-administering these compounds, you
should consider how much you really know about human physiology and
pharmacology. What would you do if you hit a nerve with your needle? What
would you do if you get an abscess or infection? How would you know if your
liver or kidneys were suffering? Is there a doctor around who can run blood
tests to monitor your health?

If you think that you can handle these drugs, you should really think about
what it will mean to come off cycle. How will you taper or ween yourself
off? The desire to stay on these compounds can be overwhelming. I know guys
who go on and never come off. The potential for damage from this practice is
astounding.

If you think that you want to start a cycle, you should consider what
exactly is your goal. At age 25 you may want to look better, but at age 35
or later you'll begin to become concerned about your health. Is the risk of
problems, such as cardiovascular disease, which take some time to develop
worth the risk, when your looks can improve dramatically through
weightlifting without anabolic steroids?

If you think you're ready, you should consider that many guys use steroids
and make very few muscle gains because the potential for using them
incorrectly is enormous. These people are increasing their chance of
suffering the side effects and they aren't even achieving the main effect
(putative benefit) because they don't know how to use them properly, workout
properly and eat properly. The potential errors that can be made are
extensive. See lists in the World Anabolic Review and the Anabolic Reference
Guide for common errors.

Once you have thought about all this and have extensive knowledge in this
area wait another year before beginning. This will allow you plenty of time
for more thought and it will demonstrate your dedication to the iron.
Decisions of this magnitude should not be made quickly. As I always tell a
pushy salesman, "if I have to decide today, the answer is no."

11.3 I'm going to start my first cycle. What are the safest steroids and in
what doses should they be used?

Self-administered steroids are rarely ever safe. In addition, black market
steroids can contain virtually any substance - it's like playing Russian
roulette. And, if you don't know which ones are safer than others, this
indicates you don't have enough information to begin a steroid cycle. You
must be well-educated in this area before you begin. Otherwise, it will be
very easy to make mistakes. Always consult your physician before adding any
drug to your system. Make sure that your physician monitors you while you
are on that drug.

Injectable steroids are far easier on the liver in general than oral
preparations. Of course, sterile technique and clean (new) needles and
syringes should be used for injection. Any injection carries the potential
risk of bacterial infection. Sharing needles can increase the risk of
spreading viruses including HIV, Hepatitis C and others. Fake steroids often
result in infection because the products are often made in a non-sterile
environment. It is also possible to cause an embolism from inadvertent
intravenous injection. In addition, it is possible to impale the sciatic
nerve during a gluteal injection which can be extremely painful.

Some of the milder anabolic steroids include deca-durabolin, equipoise,
primobolan and oxandrolone. Some of the harsher anabolic steroids that
result in more harmful effects include testosterone esters, anadrol and
dianabol.

When considering dosage, most lifters base their dose on total mg/week.
Whether it is deca or test, the most important consideration is the total
mg/week. The question these users have to address is how much risk are they
willing to take? Obviously, the higher the dosage, the greater the risk
they're tkaing. In addition, these users often decrease their risk of
harmful effects by using a higher percentage of the milder anabolic steroids
listed above. Those users who choose to take a greater risk will use a
higher percentage of the harsher steroids listed above. For example, some
guys might choose to do 800 mg/week. If all of that 800 mg is test, the risk
of harmful effects is much greater than if these guys used 250 mg test in
conjunction with 550 mg of deca (which is a safer anabolic steroid).

What dosage a user chooses is completely up to that individual and the risk
they're willing to take. However, they should recognize the risks associated
with various dosage levels. Many first time users try 200 mg/week. Many
experienced users push 2000 mg/week (10 times more). Some bodybuilders have
been known to use 5000 mg/week, although this is certainly a waste of the
pharmaceuticals. Many first time users will notice good gains between 200
and 400 mg/week. Experienced users often get good gains between 600 and 800
mg/week. Unfortunately, harmful effects, such as gyno, often show up when
users take 750 mg/week or more (this does not mean gyno will not show up at
lower doses, just that it occurs with low frequency at lower doses). So,
many guys build great physiques, never exceeding 700 mg/week. Of course, Dan
Duchaine once said "you give a guy 2 grams of anything a week and he's going
to grow."

For those who would like to understand more about steroids they should read
the following books: World Anabolic Review (800-294-6181) and Anabolic
Reference Guide (800-615-8500).

11.4 Where can I get steroids?

If you are looking to use steroids for athletic or aesthetic purposes,
doctors can not, and will not, prescribe them for you in the United States,
Canada and several other countries. 95% of the items on the black market are
fakes. Attempting to obtain steroids from someone you met on the net is
STUPID. They could be law enforcement looking to make a bust, or they will
simply take your money - they won't even waste time with a fake product.

People often obtain the drugs in countries where the regulations are not as
strict while visiting or through mail order. Others obtain them from
veterinary supply houses. Or they are obtained from that really big guy in
the gym. :->

11.5 Are my steroids real?

Make sure that the substance in question doesn't have a picture in the World
Anabolic Review or the Anabolic Reference Guide. No serious steroid user
should be without at least one of these manuals. They provide pictures of
various real and fake steroids. If a picture of your steroid is in this
book, people will be frustrated with the question. In addition, these books
give several guidelines for determining if it's real. If it is not in this
book, you may ask the group. However, it is very difficult to answer these
types of questions without actually seeing the product and usually people
will only answer with the standard guidelines.

11.6 What is the proper way to taper off cycle?

Do not use anabolics that aromatize or suppress endogenous testosterone for
a taper. Any substance that suppresses endogenous test production will be
very harsh for coming off cycle. A proper taper can help avoid psychological
addiction. Substances like deca-durabolin, equipoise, laurabolin, primobolan
and proviron are commonly used for tapering. The two best compounds for
tapering are probably primobolan and proviron.

Here is one way that people taper:
After all testosterones, Dbols, anadrols and other harsh androgens clear out
their system, usually three or four weeks is sufficient - shorter time
periods are fine if the substance has a shorter half-life, begin HCG for one
or two weeks. They then follow the HCG with clomid (never the reverse) for
one or two weeks. The next week they begin use of primobolan (which doesn't
suppress the axis). After a couple weeks they drop the primo and use
clenbuterol for two weeks. Throughout the duration of the taper, proviron is
sometimes used because it is an anti-aromatase, an androgen, and it doesn't
suppress the axis. For more information see the World Anabolic Review
(800-294-6181) and Anabolic Reference Guide (800-615-8500).

11.7 Is bridging between cycles beneficial?

No, it is very dangerous. When you decide to use small quantities of
steroids between cycles, you must recognize that you are not between cycles.
You have gone on steroids permanently. This is a very drastic move and one
that should not be contemplated lightly. Many pro bodybuilders go on and
stay on. Consider the serious health ramifications of this decision.

But, you say, you'll only do 50 or 100 mg of deca a week to bridge. This is
a mistake and a waste of juice and androgen receptors. This won't have too
many harmful effects associated, but this will prevent androgen receptors
from ever returning to normal levels. So, when a person decides to go back
"on-cycle", they get few benefits from the higher dose steroids because
their receptors are still down-graded. At this point the person begins to
question if the steroids are real because they aren't seeing an effect.
Bridging is a demonstration of how steroids can be psychologically
addictive. Guys say they're off cycle, guys say they aren't psychologically
dependent, but they still have to take a shot every week.

Some of the guys who get the best gains from their cycles are the ones who
only do one 10 week cycle a year. The entire rest of the year their training
is causing an increase in androgen receptors. When they finally hit these
receptors with juice, they are primed for action.

Bridging is a mistake. It is far more detrimental to progress than people
believe. If a person decides that they are going to go on without coming
off, they will not get any benefit from bridging with small quantities. Pros
that go on and don't come off use serious quantities year round. Don't risk
your health by going on permanently. Some would argue that it is worth the
risk if the person could earn millions of dollars as a result of the steroid
use. These people are definitely not choosing bodybuilding as their sport.

11.8 Are steroids morally wrong?

Moral arguments against the use of steroids usually fail miserably. One
assumption made in this argument is that everyone has a common morality
which is certainly false. Second, people often forget that even
over-the-counter drugs have harmful effects and that legal status is often
determined by political ideology, not by the safety of a drug. For example,
alcohol and nicotine both have inherent side effects, but their overwhelming
demand, and other historical reasons, have led to their legality in a
democratic society, not their relative safety.

12. What about other drugs?

Caution is always advised. Use any drug under the care of a qualified
physician. Advice on the net may come from an actual MD or a 13 year old kid
posing as a MD. Their writing can look quite similar when they both use
Times Roman, size 12, fonts.

12.1 Clenbuterol - Albuterol (salbutamol)

Clen and Al are beta-adrenergic agonists, like ephedrine, used for the
treatment of asthma. However, they do not activate beta1 receptors which are
found on the heart. This alleviates the potential for rapid heart beats and
arrhythmia associated with ephedrine. Although many people report rapid
heart beats in the first couple of days of use.

On the other hand, both clen and al will activate beta2 receptors more
strongly than ephedrine resulting in more side effects and a greater
desensitization of receptors. In addition, the half-lives of these two
compounds are longer than ephedrine, especially clen which has a half-life
between 48 and 60 hours.

These beta agonists can aid in fat loss, however, there use should be kept
very short. In addition, these compounds are often used 2 days on, 2 days
off for a 2 week period followed by at least two weeks off the substance.
Clen is commonly taken between 60 and 120 mcgs in divided doses per day. The
potential for side effects is quite large. The side effects include
headaches, dizziness, tremors, nausea and insomnia. Long term use of these
substances could potentially result in chronic thyroid insufficiency. Clen
is not available in the US and albuterol is prescription only. And, no, your
albuterol INHALER will NOT help you lose fat. This is because the inhaled
drug will not act systemically. Albuterol does come in tabs, but the inhaler
version is much more common. Yes, clen comes in tablet, liquid and powder
forms.

12.2 Clomid (clomiphene)/ Cyclofenil

Clomid causes a rise in LH Releasing Hormone (LHRH) meaning that it will
stimulate the endogenous production of LH. Therefore, it is useful alone
when coming off cycle (just as HCG is useful). Or, it is useful to follow
HCG treatment with clomid treatment (never the reverse). Clomid also has
some mild antiestrogenic properties.

As with HCG, the body will have to adjust to the absence of the exogenous
signal. Therefore, efficient tapers of cycles will follow clomid therapy
with primobolan, proviron or clenbuterol.

Cyclofenil is very similar to clomid, acting both as an antiestrogen and
gonadotropic stimulant.

12.3 Cytomel

Cytomel will also cause the loss of fat. It will also cause the loss of
muscle if you aren't simultaneously using steroids. Cytomel is the thyroid
hormone triiodothyronine (T3). Its immediate side effects are very similar
to those of clenbuterol listed above. Its use can result in chronic thyroid
insufficiency which will make you either obese or dependent upon the
substance for life. Competition bodybuilders regularly use this substance.
It would be interesting to find out how many bodybuilders who no longer
compete, yet require T3 because they have developed chronic thyroid
insufficiency. Cytomel is not something to play around with.

12.4 Cytadren (aminoglutethimide)

Cytadren is a cortisol blocker that actually blocks the conversion of
cholesterol to pregnenolone and should inhibit the synthesis of all
endogenous steroids, including testosterone. It is very useful for steroid
users tapering off cycle to block high cortisol levels (which may result
from the high androgen levels) as the body is fighting to get its own
testosterone levels back to normal. Cytadren has been blamed for some joint
problems. It is unknown if this claim is based on fact. In addition,
cytadren was blamed for Andreas Munzer's death. However, Andreas did not
have an autopsy and the exact cause of death is unknown.

12.5 DNP

Dinitrophenol makes the production of ATP less efficient causing a person to
burn more Calories. If you take too much (which is easy to do), DEATH can
result. The other side effects seem superfluous in light of this fact. The
effective dose and lethal dose are only separated by a factor of 6. This is
too close to play with. In addition, the effects tend to be cumulative, so
it's very easy to obtain a much higher effective concentration in the body
than the person realizes.

12.6 Diuretics

Diuretics are drugs that (normally) increase the amount of urine excreted
causing a person to become dehydrated. Bodybuilders often use diuretics
during competition to show off their muscles better. Diuretics can be quite
dangerous. They can cause electrolyte imbalances which can lead to death.
The death of Momo Benaziza is attributed to diuretic use. When used in
moderate quantities, they pose little harm. Diuretics can not make up for
poor dieting.

12.7 Growth Hormone

"The Food and Drug Administration, after receiving 6 reports of benign
intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri) in patients treated with
recombinant growth hormone, actively identified an additional 17 affected
patients in the United States or abroad. Benign intracranial hypertension
was also reported in three patients with resistance to growth hormone who
were treated with insulin-like growth factor I, the primary mediator of the
actions of growth hormone. ... Twenty-one patients had headaches or visual
changes, and all 23 patients had papilledema when first examined" [A].

A. Malozowski S, Tanner LA, et al. 1993. Growth Hormone, Insulin-like Growth
Factor I, and benign intracranial hypertension. NEJM. 329:665-666 (letter).

In addition, the reports in the trenches are that growth hormone does not
add that much to a cycle. On the other hand, many people claim that they had
their best cycles while combining growth hormone with anabolic steroids. The
evidence just isn't in on this one yet. However, for the most part, growth
hormone results in a lower frequency of side effects than anabolic steroids.
Of course, this may be a function of the price and that people can't afford
enough GH to cause serious problems.

12.8 HCG

Human chorionic gonadotrophic hormone acts like Lutenizing Hormone (LH). In
men it stimulates the testes to produce testosterone. This is very useful
for steroid users who have shut down their endogenous production of
testosterone through their use of exogenous androgens. HCG should be used
for only 2 week periods with at least 4 weeks inbetween use.

Be aware that despite its usefulness, the body still has to adjust to the
absence of the exogenous LH (HCG) when coming off the HCG cycle. Other
compounds should be used at this time, like clomid, clenbuterol, proviron or
primobolan.

Some guys mention significant hair loss and gyno as common side effects from
use of HCG.

12.9 Insulin

Too dangerous to even consider. Use only if your doctor informs you that you
are an insulin dependent diabetic. If you accidentally take too much, it
could kill you. Pro bodybuilders are using this, but this is unlikely to be
the explanation for extra gains. Insulin can easily make you fat. Stick with
anabolic steroids, they are known to work.

The following studies show that insulin does NOT stimulate protein synthesis
in vivo (in the body, as opposed to in a test tube). The conclusion in #1
was that increased doses of insulin, aminos, or both do not affect protein
synthesis in the heart, and that the effects on skeletal muscles were
inconclusive. In #2 the conclusion was "insulin failed to stimulate skeletal
muscle and liver protein synthesis, even when major plasma substrates
(glucose, amino acids, and potassium) were replaced."

1. McNulty PH, Young LH, Barrett EJ. 1993. Response of rat heart skeletal
muscle protein in vivo to insulin and amino acid infusion. Am J Physiol.
264: E958-65.
2. Tauveron I, Larbaud D, et al. 1994. Effect of hyperinsulinemia and
hyperaminoacidemia on muscle and liver protein synthesis in lactating goats.
Am J Physiol. 267:E877-85.

Insulin is anti-proteolytic and it decreases the concentration of IGFBP-1 in
the blood [3]. IGFBP-1 inhibits the activity of IGF-1. Therefore it is
conceivable that insulin could be ergogenic in combination with other
substances. The main thing to remember is that while insulin may be anabolic
for fat, it is not anabolic for protein in vivo. It is only
anti-proteolytic.
3. DiPasquale MG. 1995. Drugs in Sports 3(1):14.
Robert Ames

12.10 Insulin-like Growth Factor 1

IGF-1 is both myotrophic and neurotrophic as established by in vitro
studies. However, its effects on muscle mass in vivo are unknown. IGF-1 has
been shown to have similar effects as growth hormone in GH deficient
children. This has led some researchers to suspect that the actions of GH
are mediated by IGF-1. However, there are too many unknowns in this field of
research. It is extremely expensive as well. It is an unnecessary risk.
Stick with anabolic steroids (or drug-free training) because they're known
to work, and their harmful effects are well-understood. Word has it that
those who have used IGF-1 are dissatisfied with the results.

12.11 Nolvadex (tamoxifen)

Nolvadex is an anti-estrogen used to slow the rate of growth of breast
cancer. Because of the action of aromatase converting testosterone to
estrogen in men, gynecomastia (bitch tits) can develop. Anti-estrogens can
help prevent the development of gynecomastia while a steroid user is on
cycle. Anit-estrogens can prevent the development of gyno, but they can't
make it go away. Some people claim that gyno reduces slightly when off
cycle, or when taking nolvadex.

In therapeutic doses in females, the incidence of nausea and vomiting is
around 25%.

13. What is the best way to remove body hair?

Shave! Many people have tried every product out there. They continue to
shave because nothing is more effective. A small percentage of people have
success with the no-shave products. If they don't work for you, or you can't
stand the smell, become intimate with your razor.

14. How can I get BRAWN or Hardgainer?

CS Publishing Ltd.
PO Box 1002
Connell WA 99326
800-877-3322

Brawn is $18.95 + $3.50 p/h
Hardgainer is $25 for 6 issues (12 months)

15. How can I subscribe to Peak training journal?

330-686-0184 $13.95/yr

16. Why do so many people in m.f.w hate MM2K and Bill Phillips?

When Bill Phillips first started putting together educational materials (and
they were educational) for bodybuilders who was one of the first, very
honest, people in the business. His newsletter and books pointed out that
professional bodybuilders do use drugs, rather than hiding the fact as many
publications attempt to do. Bill brought honesty back to bodybuilding. He
recognized that steroids were used and that the claims for supplements were
rarely founded in fact. However, Bill's tactics began to change, presumably
as he recognized the potential for monetary return. He also began to hype
supplements claiming some were as good as steroids. Unfortunately, he was
doing the very thing he had previously exposed as, virtually, fraudulent -
making false claims with respect to products that will earn him money. In
addition, Bill began claiming that certain athletes are 100% drug free,
when, in fact, these athletes had used steroids in the past. Granted, they
may have ridded their bodies of exogenous steroids, but the long-term
effects of these hormones can provide benefit for some time after their use
has stopped. For this reason, many people view his 100% drug free claims as
misleading as well. People began disliking what Bill has become compared to
what he once was. Some still argue that his magazine is one of the better
ones around. At least he still recognizes that pro athletes use drugs and he
encourages natural lifters to choose natural role models.

Furthermore, a few people in mfw have been paid by Bill, or his enterprises,
as employees in the past. Some worked as freelance writers while another
worked with the supplement company. Some of these people left Bill's
employment dissatisfied with the circumstances. Some believe they were
treated unfairly by Bill or his associates.

One way or another, Bill was once highly respected and now he is viewed on a
similar level with the majority of magazine publishers who are supplement
pushers. Some people on mfw do not hold this opinion and they still believe
that Bill's publication is one of the best bodybuilding mags around.

17. Why is everyone so hung up on scientific evidence and research studies?

When anyone makes a claim about anything (whether it be the alien-driven
spacecraft that landed on their front lawn, or the latest miracle
muscle-building supplement) a very simple question can be asked. Is the
claim true or false?

How would a person go about verifying if a claim is either true or false?
Early philosophers liked to think about something (introspective method),
believing that logic could lead them to the truth. However, this often fell
short. The introspective method was improved upon by use of the
observational method. People would observe something closely and then make
conclusions about the truth or falsity of a claim. However, this method has
inadequacies as well.

These inadequacies were never more evident than with Hans the counting
horse. Yes, you could ask this horse to count to 5 and it would stamp its
hoof five times. You could tell it to multiply 5 and 5 and it would stamp
its hoof 25 times. The horse was amazingly accurate, even more so than some
schoolchildren. Scientists from all around came to observe Hans and his
counting abilities. They too were amazed when their mathematical questions
were readily answered by the horse. Hans would perform this incredible task
for just about anyone who would ask him a problem (not only could he count,
but he could understand language too!).

However, some more skeptical scientists had a hard time believing the
stories. So, they decided to determine if this claim was true or false. They
suspected that the horse was relying on some sort of signal from the person
asking the question. After all, the person asking the question usually knew
the answer. It turns out that Hans was responding to facial and body cues
given by the asker of the question (no small task of learning in itself).
When Hans could not see the person when he was counting out his answer, he
would get it wrong every time. In addition, if the person asking the
question did not know the answer, Hans would not come to the right answer.

What does Hans the counting horse demonstrate? Hans shows how the
observational method can be very misleading. People were willing to
attribute his skill to a mental capacity that horses do not have. However,
Hans' skill lay in his ability to read people's reactions to his actions.
The people who observed Hans jumped to a false conclusion because many
things were happening at once. When there are multiple potential causes of
something, it is very difficult to differentiate which was responsible for
actually causing the event to occur. For this reason, it is very difficult
to distinguish which claims are true or false.

The scientific method works to distinguish truth from falsity and actual
causes from simple correlations. The scientific method is not always right,
it is sometimes inadequate and the people doing the investigations often
make mistakes. However, the inadequacies of the scientific method do not
negate it's usefulness. In addition, its inadequacies do not indicate that
the other methods - introspection and observation are necessarily better.
These other methods are simply more misleading than the scientific method.
The scientific method is the best method for understanding and describing
the world around us.

So, when Joe Bodybuilder takes supplement X and grows larger, he can't make
the conclusion that X made him grow larger. How did he know that his
training wasn't the cause? How did he know that his nutrition wasn't the
cause? Most importantly, how did he know that his belief in X wasn't the
cause? These questions can't be answered with anecdotal observations. And,
since one anecdotal observation is inadequate, multiple anecdotal
observations do not make the conclusion any more adequate, it's just
multiple inadequacies. For this reason the scientific method is critical for
unraveling the differences between a true and false claim.

That said, even scientific studies published in respectable, peer-reviewed
journals can be wrong. In fact, many studies turn out to be wrong.
Initially, research studies will show both sides of an issue to be true. So,
it's very easy to find scientific literature to support almost any claim
that you wish. However, the scientists conducting this research begin to
discuss the limitations of the methods they're using, they improve the
techniques and experimental design and eventually several well-done, quality
studies convince the scientists that they should agree with one side over
the other. How can you determine whether a study is of good or poor quality?
Well, this takes much practice at the task itself. However, there are some
basic guidelines or questions to ask. Does the study involve fewer than 30
subjects per group? Studies with few subjects can easily mislead because
small samples often lead to strange, false results. Does the study have an
adequate control group? Were the experimental and control groups similar
enough at the start of the study? Were statistics performed properly, or
were they abused? What was the study really testing? Did it test what the
authors wanted to test, or did it miss the mark? Was the study performed
blindly, where the researchers and subjects did not know the treatments. The
list of questions and potential mistakes goes on and on.

Now, think about all these mistakes that can be made which make a scientific
research study come to a false conclusion. If it is that difficult for
science to actually make a claim - AND HAVE IT BE TRUE - think how much more
difficult it is to make a claim and have it be true in the absence of
quality scientific evidence. The chance is very small. This is why people
often rely on the scientific method and a healthy skepticism (which requires
that someone have good evidence to state that something is either true or
false).

People make claims all the time that turn out to be false. Simply
considering these guidelines of how we know that something is true or false
can help you avoid making these same mistakes. This should also give huge
insight into the falsity of the advertising claims on bodybuilding
supplements. Most of the products include fantastic claims that have
absolutely no backing except the smiling face of a huge, juiced-up
bodybuilder. This can, in no way, constitute a true claim. On the other
hand, many companies are starting to test their products in scientific labs.
However, we must remember all the rules listed above for why a research
study can lead to a false conclusion. Just because a supplement has a
research study supporting it does not necessarily mean the claim is true.
Often, the researchers are funded by the supplement company and their
salaries are dependent upon positive results. Also, supplement companies
will often throw away those studies that don't support their claim. In
addition, basic errors can be made in the study which are difficult to
detect by the average person. It all boils down to the fact that it's very
difficult to make a claim and actually have quality evidence supporting the
contention. It requires a lot of hard work, honesty and impartiality.

Occasionally bodybuilders in the trenches will notice something that science
is not yet aware of. For years, many scientists doubted that anabolic,
androgenic steroids actually work. For political reasons some medical
representative organizations maintained a public position that there was no
evidence that AAS worked. However, the anecdotal evidence indicated
otherwise. Careful experimentation has since confirmed that steroids do
work. So, these other methods of obtaining knowledge aren't worthless. In
fact, we rely on the observational method daily. The key is to pay attention
to what the bodybuilders in the trenches are saying. If it looks
interesting, it should be examined and researched, not discarded
immediately. Most of these anecdotal findings turn out to be false, but
those that are true can often lead to exciting new ideas that scientists
hadn't even thought of. So, keep your eyes open as you lift hard, but
maintain an even skepticism to protect your pocketbook.


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BigJim77
(@bigjim77)
Estimable Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 140
 

Welcome(even though you already have been here) LOL


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Grunt0331
(@grunt0331)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 46
 

Now thats just wrong Acupunk:D


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Wedge
(@wedge)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 31
Topic starter  

Thanks for that informative piece of infromation Acupunk ! I had almost forgotten about that !! LOL


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BacardiSlang
(@bacardislang)
Estimable Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 199
 

Welcome to AZ Wedge.


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bajamark
(@bajamark)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 23
 

About time Bro.....

I see you couldn't wait for the upgrades to be done! LOL

Welcome


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4play
(@4play)
Active Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 17
 

Welcome 2 AZ


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Wedge
(@wedge)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 31
Topic starter  

Originally posted by bajamark
About time Bro.....

I see you couldn't wait for the upgrades to be done! LOL

Welcome

Ya know how I just love to run my mouth buddy !! LOL

Your right,, I could wait !!


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fishtownflexin
(@fishtownflexin)
Estimable Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 100
 

Good to see you join our AZ family Wedge.


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reggy_noble
(@reggy_noble)
Active Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 9
 

Welcome to AZ big guy


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reggy_noble
(@reggy_noble)
Active Member
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Posts: 9
 

Welcome to AZ big guy


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