CRITICAL MASS

Adaptation Confusion

Steve Holman’s

Page 1

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


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Proof Before Promises

Jerry Brainum

Proof Before Promises

In September 1992 Anthony Almada was doing his customary search of the recent medical literature at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Library when he came across a study that immediately aroused his interest. Almada had studied under legendary scientists and researchers Lester Packer and George Brooks at the University of California, Berkeley, where he’d observed the depletion of ATP and creatine phosphate in working muscle. He was intrigued when he saw that the new study reported on the effects of creatine as an ergogenic aid to athletes. Finding it that day led him to start a revolution in sports nutrition that continues to this day.

Creatine: Sweet or Sour?

Jerry Brainum

Creatine: Sweet or Sour?

While the most common form of creatine supplement, creatine monohydrate, is 99 percent absorbable, it takes more than just easy absorption for creatine to be an effective ergogenic aid. The limiting factor is the activity of a special transport protein in muscle, fittingly called the creatine transport protein. Not long after creatine was introduced to the commercial sports supplement market, studies revealed that insulin appeared to assist creatine uptake into muscle. Specifically, insulin stimulated the activity of a cellular mechanism called the sodium pump, which in turn powered the creatine transport protein. Based on that finding, creatine supplements evolved to contain a large dose of simple sugars.

The 7 Super Size Surge Supplements

Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

The 7  Super Size 
Surge Supplements

If you’ve been at the muscle-building game for a while, you know that it’s not just training that can make gaining more efficient. Specific supplements can supercharge your efforts in the gym and the muscle gains you get from every workout.

The supplements we’re going to talk about here are the real deal, and they work well together, especially for bodybuilders who train with intensity.,

King TUT—Time Under Tension

Steve Holman

King TUT—Time Under Tension

Q: Ever since I applied the 30-second rule to my sets, my calves and quads have exploded. All other muscle groups seem to have stayed about the same. I remember Charles Poliquin stating in an interview that certain muscles fall into the fast-twitch category (requiring low reps) and others into the slow-twitch (requiring moderate reps). If I remember right, he explained that the triceps and hamstrings tend to respond best to lower reps. Have you noticed growth in specific muscles since employing longer tension times? I guess what I’m asking is, Do you believe the half-minute rule applies to all groups? Or have you discovered a new time limit for certain muscles?

Food Facts

Becky Holman

Food Facts

Rice cakes have appeared in the hands of many dieters because of their low calorie content. But did you know they have a very high glycemic-index number? That means insulin spikes and fat storage.

Beer can be healthful. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin discovered that Guinness stout has more health-promoting flavonoids and more anti­clotting properties than lighter beer.