Q: In one of your articles you mentioned “adaptation confusion.” What I’ve been led to believe about that is that it can happen from using different rep schemes and loading parameters in the same workout. Supposedly that confuses the body about which way to overcompensate. Does that sound legitimate?
A: The theory I proposed was that perhaps using many rep schemes and loading parameters in one bodypart workout may overpower recovery—there’s too much damage to sufficiently recuperate from.
For example, if you do a number of low-rep sets, higher-rep sets, supersets, drop sets and so on, you’re training many different fiber types as well as stressing the endurance components of the muscle cells. On the other hand, if at one workout you did mostly lower-rep sets, with only a set or two of extended-tension work, and then at your next workout you did mostly extended-tension sets with only one or two lower-rep sets, you’d be stressing primarily max-force components and fiber types at the first session and more endurance components at the next.
That may be one reason champs in the past, before steroids were so prevalent, relied on a heavy/light system of training. Also, if that’s true, Eric Broser’s Power/Rep Range/Shock routine has a lot of merit because you more or less concentrate on one type of stress each week.
It does make sense, so much so that when I revised the old 10-Week Size Surge program in the new e-book 3D Muscle Building, I retained the three-days-a-week format of phase 1 but alternated a max-force workout with an extended-tension workout. Trainees are already reporting some great gains with that F/X application. [Note: For more on P/RR/S, 3D POF and F/X training, visit www.3DMuscleBuilding.com.]
Q: In a recent Critical Mass column you recommended taking creatine before and after a workout. Considering a Monday-Wednesday-Friday program or even a high-intensity routine with longer breaks—say, three to five days between workouts—should I take creatine every day?
A: You should probably take creatine before and after you train on those days and then perhaps a five-gram dose the day after just to be sure your creatine stores are fully replenished. Take it again on your next training day.
So if you train Monday, Wednesday and Friday, take creatine before and after you train. Take a five-gram dose on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Don’t take it on Sunday.
With more days between workouts, you’d obviously have more days like Sunday, a second off day in a row, on which you wouldn’t take any creatine.
Q: I’m a 40-year-old woman, not a bodybuilder, but I train with weights two to three times a week. I’m having trouble figuring out what to eat just to stay healthy. I crave hamburgers and fries; that’s about it. What should I do?
A: Eat small meals, but try to eat often. Find a good protein bar you like and eat half or a whole one between regular meals. Make breakfast some type of cereal you like, even if it’s Captain Crunch, and cut it with Fiber One (one-third Fiber One, two-thirds other—or, better, half of each). Drink some orange juice and have a small glass of milk—in addition to what you put on your cereal. Then midmorning have a protein bar. (A protein drink would be better, but I know that most nonbodybuilder types won’t take the time to pull out the blender and powder.)
Lunch could be a hamburger once in a while, but if you go for fast food, a better choice is Taco Bell chicken tacos—good protein, not a lot of carbs, plus lettuce and tomatoes. Or yogurt. If yogurt has loads of sugar, that’s still not too bad; however, be sure to cut it with a few nuts. I like pecans. That will slow down digestion and diminish the insulin surge (which causes fat deposition). Beef jerky is a good protein source too—it’s portable and has very few carbs. Cottage cheese is excellent, and so are apples—they’re a very low-glycemic fruit with lots of fiber. I eat one every day with my lunch. [There are more suggestions and choices, as well as meal-by-meal diets, in the