Thứ Sáu, 31 tháng 7, 2015

Factor Two: Supplement for Size

Why Supplement?


The right supplements - taken at the right times - can help propel you to your bodybuilding and strength training goals by doing three things. They can increase your anabolic drive, improve your workload capacity and decrease your recovery time. Individually these factors can make a big difference. Put together they will work synergistically to power you towards your goals. Let’s consider them one at a time:

Anabolic Drive


The word ‘anabolic’ refers to the body’s ability to produce more muscle tissue. Anabolic drive involves the natural production of testosterone, growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), insulin, thyroid, cortisol and other hormones and growth factors involved in muscle growth. For athletes, it refers to the body’s ability to increase it’s anabolic (or muscle producing) response to exercise, nutrition, supplements and other factors.

In the case of supplements, those targeted towards increasing the production of testosterone, growth hormone and insulin, and decreasing cortisol, will result in both anabolic and anti-catabolic effects, thus maximizing the anabolic drive.

Workload Capacity


Endurance or workload capacity involves your ability to maintain high quality training throughout a workout. If your capacity is limited and you don’t have the energy, endurance or concentration necessary to train hard from the beginning of your workout to the end, it won’t matter how well you manage the other components - nutrition, supplementation and rest. Your diet may be excellent. You may even be training properly six days a week, but if you don’t have the overall energy and muscle endurance for a productive workout, you aren’t going to experience maximal progress or muscle growth.

Recovery


This involves your ability to recover properly between sets as well as workouts. The goal is to ensure that the body recovers fully from the stimulus of exercise and to reduce the amount of time necessary for it to take place. Recovery is critical to muscle growth. Your body must recuperate from the catabolic process before productive protein synthesis can occur. The sooner you recover from a workout, the sooner your body can begin to respond to it and adapt by adding muscle.

When you don’t recover from workouts, you can go into a state of chronic over training. You’ll actually begin to lose muscle instead of gaining it. In the gym, you’ll find yourself lacking the energy to do further sets at maximum ability. Even if you do manage to get through a workout without losing effort, your body still won’t respond with the kind of adaptation you want - more muscle.

Certain supplements can have a strong effect on lowering recovery time and increasing muscle growth. Supplements targeting recovery can also help you handle additional stress in your training. If you want to extend workouts from four to six days a week, supplements can help you accelerate recovery to make those workouts productive. Similarly, if you’re training for another sport, in addition to your bodybuilding and strength training endeavors, supplements might just spell the difference between being able to train for both effectively and having the dual training sabotage your progress in both areas.

Anti-catabolism


You can decrease the breakdown of muscle tissue both during and after exercise and thus provide potent anti-catabolic effects in several ways. A lot of substances and methods decrease muscle breakdown and have anti-catabolic effects; for example taking in adequate carbohydrates is known to have a protein sparing effect.

Certain supplements can also create an anti-catabolic effect. Cortisol is a necessary hormone and in plays a significant role in decreasing muscle stiffness and inflammation. Without normal and somewhat elevated cortisol levels, we couldn’t even exercise properly - so it wouldn’t matter what training, diet, drug or nutritional supplement regimen you followed. Yet, chronically elevated levels of cortisol have a catabolic effect on muscle and decreases the effect of anabolic hormones. Decreasing the amount of cortisol after exercise can provide you with an added anabolic boost by decreasing muscle tissue breakdown and increasing amino-acid influx and utilization by muscle cells. In addition, decreasing catabolism by using appropriate methods and supplements can dramatically increase protein synthesis and muscle mass.

Substances that decrease catabolism can have anabolic effects on muscle. But like growth hormone stimulation, many nutritional supplements can also have anti-catabolic effects. Increasing dietary calories and protein and using branch chain amino acids, glutamine, alanine and other amino acids, Vitamin C, beta-carotene and other anti-oxidant vitamins have been shown to lessen muscle breakdown.

Supplements can also be used to increase insulin, Growth Hormone, IGF-1 and testosterone levels, and decrease cortisol levels and decrease cortisol levels and other anti-catabolic factors at specific times to maximize increases in lean body mass.

Convenience


Let’s face it – we’re all busy. It’s not easy to get 40 or so grams of whole food protein into our body every three waking hours. Quality protein supplements, while never as ideal as whole foods, can be a life saver in this regard. Low-carb protein supplements are available in powder forms, as ready to drink bottles or cans, and as protein bars. These options make it a whole lot of easier to fill your protein requirements. However, try not to use supplements for more than two of your six daily meals. The human body was designed to eat protein, not to drink it!

In Chapter Seven we will reveal the essential supplements that you need to pack on quality mass fast.

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