Many people have asked me what supplements that I take and when I take them. I'm going to share with you my recent supplement stack from the phenominal supplement company All American EFX. I have been experiencing amazing progress in terms of recovery and strength gains ever since I began this stack just over 3 weeks ago. Here is my schedule:
- Upon waking~ 1/2 dropper full of Test Charge taken sublingually.
-30 minutes later with breakfast~ 1 scoop of NF-Pro, and 2 caps of HBM.
-Mid morning~ 1 scoop of AA EFX- NF Pro.
-Around noon with lunch~ 2 caps of HBM and 2 caps of Joint Rehab.
-Mid after-noon~ 1 scoop of NF- Pro.
-Late after-noon, after work and pre-workout~ 1 scoop of K-Otic, 2 caps of HBM, 2 caps of Kre-Alkalyn, and 2 caps of Glutazorb.
-Post workout/early evening~ 1 scoop of Karbolyn, 2 caps of Kre Alkalyn, and 2 caps of HBM.
-Before bed-time~ 1 TBSP of LG-5 Pro, 2 caps of CMZ, 1/2 dropper full of Test Charge, and 1 Test Charge Aroma Block-R tablet.
There you have it! My super anabolic- All American EFX stack!
When it comes to pre-workout formulas, there are so many different brands out there, it's very difficult to determine which brands will be the most effective brands to use. Especially when every single brand out there claims that theirs is the best! To say that deciding upon a good brand is confusing would be an understatement!
In the past, I've used some brands of pre-workout formulas that were geranium based, or 1,3 dimethylamylamine based. These products did get me jacked up and give me good energy, but not without repercussions. Due to my work schedule, the only time that I can train is early in the evening. Obviously this means that I have to take my pre-workout formula in the evening prior to my workouts. The main issue I had with the geranium based workout formulas, is that when it finally came time for me to unwind and then go hit the hay, I found myself feeling very anxious and restless, resulting in not being able to sleep. Anyone who has experienced consecutive days in a row without sleep, can attest to the fact that it drives you to a critical point of extreme exhaustion, making it very difficult for you to do anything, or even to function at all. This was the point I was at. I decided that I needed to try something different. What I need was something that would rev me up for my evening workouts, and allow me to train intensely, but not something that would cause me to lay there in my bed at night, staring at the ceiling, counting sheep.
I dicovered that some of my online friends who are natural bodybuilders, of whom I have great respect for, where using a pre-workout product called K-Otic. K-Otic is newer pre-workout formula that is manufactured by the company "All American EFX". I looked this product up on-line to check out the ingredients listed. There were several things about this product that caught my attention. The first thing was that this product was not geranium based. This is important to me, not only because geranium based products seem to keep me up all night, but also, because many natural sports organizations have added geranium based products to their list of banned substances. This is a concern to me because I plan on competing in some natural strength events very soon.
The second thing that jumped out at me in the list of ingredients, is that K-Otic contains citrulline-malate, which I know from past experience, is very powerful nitric oxide booster. Most other pre-workout formulars have added a cheaper, less effective nitric oxide boosting amino acid known as AAKG, or arginine-alpha-ketogutarate. Not only is citrulline-malate a more effective nitric oxide booster than what AAKG is, but it also a more efficient amino acid for removing ammonia from muscle and liver cells. This action will allow for greater stamina and less muscle fatigue during intense workouts.
All the information I read regarding the science backing the effectiveness of K-Otic seemed very plausible, so I ordered some to try out. The first time I took it, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. I purchased the grape flavor and thought it tasted as good as a pre-workout supplement could possibly taste. I could feel a huge increase in energy and focus within just 10 minutes. I didn't feel overly hyper, or jittery, it was just a rush of good, clean energy. I felt very eager to get straight to the gym and rip it apart, so that is exactly what I did! I had awesome energy throughout my entire workout! I moved from set to set, with great intensity, never feeling my energy fading. The muscle pumps I experienced were intense, and my viens were popping out all over the place! I ended up setting new PR's on every working set I did in that particular workout. Yes this product did everything that it was supposed to do! Upon completion of my workout, I still had decent energy. I didn't feel jacked up, but I didn't feel any sort of crash either. When it was time for bed, I didn't feel restless, or anxious. I was actually able to sleep OK for once on a gym night.
From my very first workout, up till now, I have had nothing other than spectacular workouts! I've been successful at hitting new PR's every single workout, and I look forward to seeing what futures workouts have in store for me using this amazing product!
Following my recent feature that was published on Bodybuilding.com yesterday, I received a flood of messages and emails from people who were questioning my reasoning for my infrequent weight training schedule, which seemed to some people as one young lady put it "A little off." Since there is no way my schedule will allow me to address each person individually, I decided to sum things up in a note that people could refer to here on Body Space.
As far as training my muscle groups just once a month, I can understand how that would sound "a little off." Some factors that I've been trying to explain in past articles that I've written in regards to training, are the issues of progression, adaptation, and most importantly recovery. One thing that people need to keep in mind is that exercise always has a generalized effect on the entire physiology of the body, as well as a localized effect on specific muscles trained. More generalized systems would be, for example, the neurological system, the endocrine system, and also the immune system. So even though you may be affording your alternately worked muscles a certain amount of rest on a 6 day split routine, you are not providing the needed rest for the over-all physical systems when you tax them nearly every day. The other big issue is progressive stress and adaptation. As you grow larger and stronger as a result of proper training, the likelihood of overtraining increases because as the body grows stronger, its ability to generate intensity increases, which, you must keep in mind, places greater stress on the body and thus requires less frequent workouts in order to compensate for the increase in stress. Just to give you an example, when I was 18 years old I could perform deadlifts twice per week, and could make increases in strength every week, exceeding 350 lbs. In time I hit a wall were I couldn't progress any longer because I did not allow extra recovery time for the increase of stress that was imposed on my body every week. So as you become stronger, the heavier weights you are handling will require more recovery time in order to create a compensatory build up of new muscle tissue, versus the recovery time that was previously adequate when you were lifting lighter weights, which were less depleting to general physiology, and also the localized muscles being trained. Once I figured out that inadequate recovery was the reason for my deadlifting plateau and began adding extra recovery days into my training regimen, all of a sudden I was making strength gains by leaps and bounds again. Now at age 37 I've worked my way up to a 585 pound raw deadlift and if I perform deadlifts more than once per month, my strength will actually go down and not up, because I wont be giving myself adequate recovery to grow and get stronger. The words recovery and growth could be used interchangeably because you cant have one without the other. Of course now at age 37, I'm no spring chicken any more. Our recovery ability slows down year after year as we age, so that is another factor to consider. The recovery time that I allow between workouts right now isn't something I developed over-night, but a system in which I needed to gradually increase recovery time over the course of 26 years of non-stop training. It has been very progressive. In other words, I don't suggest everyone train as infrequently as I do because their individual recovery required by their individual training stress level, along with their age and genetic recovery capacity will likely be different than mine. I hope that this explaination helps everyone better understand why I train the way that I do. One last note I would like to finish on is that I want to make it very clear that an individual's recovery rate is a gentetically mediated trait just as eye color, skin color, bone structure, and metabolism are. Whatever recovery rate will be appropriate for one individual, may not be perfectly suitable for the next person. This is the reason why often times you will see 2 people following the exact same workout routine, and one person will begin making progress by leaps and bounds, while the other one makes very little to zero progress at all. You need to determine your own personal recovery rate in order to establish what frenquency of weight training works best for you.
1. Training to a point of momentary muscle failure, at which
completion of another repetition on any given set is impossible
despite your greatest effort, is the only way to force the body to
resort to it's biochemical resources sufficiently to stimulate real
growth! One of the biggest mistakes I see being made in the gym is
when certain individuals will end a set of an exercise just because
an arbitrary number of repetitions has been completed. This will do
very little to stimulate muscle growth. A set should be terminated
only when your muscles have been forced to the point of it being
inconceivable to produce 1 more repetition within a working set. I
use the word forced, because obviously you know muscle growth doesn't
come easy, and literally needs to be forced! Any degree of effort in
a set that is less than 100% may yield a bodybuilder some results,
but never to the same extent that all out maximum effort will.
2. Training intensely is the key to
stimulating muscle growth but don't mistake volume for intensity. All
too often, people trying to achieve a higher level of intensity in
their training make the mistake of assuming that increasing volume
and duration are effective methods of boosting training intensity.
Let me make this perfectly clear. Volume and frequency have
absolutely nothing to do with intensity! High volume training
sessions can actually be counter-productive. So how do you
effectively increase intensity? A. By progressively increasing the
amount of weight that you use. B. By progressively decreasing the
amount of time it takes you to perform a particular amount of work.
(For example, I have made some of my best muscle gains from workouts
that lasted no longer than 30 minutes.) C. By working your muscles at
the capacity of nothing less than 100% on every set.
3. You can train long, or you can train intensely, but you can't
do both. For every set completed, more, and more of the body's
limited reserve of biochemical resources is used up in an attempt to
merely recover from, or compensate for the exhaustive effects of the
workout, leaving that much less left over for over-compensation in
the form of more muscle mass. Long, drawn out training sessions
decrease growth hormone, and testosterone levels, while increasing
cortisole levels. This hormonal shift creates a very catabolic
environment in the body that will result in muscle loss, and a
reduced basal metabolic rate. If it's taking you several hours to get
through a workout then you're wasting your time. I suggest never
allowing any lifting session to exceed 45 minutes in duration.
4. After a muscle has been stressed sufficiently with high
intensity training, you must not train that muscle again too soon so
that you allow for the body to respond with a compensatory build up
of new muscle tissue. You can measure your progress to determine
whether or not you're allowing enough recovery time for growth to
take place simply by taking note whether or not you're stronger any
time you repeat any given workout. Some people have argued this point
with me and have stated that there is no relationship between muscle
size, and strength. If this is the case, and you don't need to get
stronger in order to get bigger, than how exactly should you go about
getting bigger? By getting weaker?
5. Training with submaximal weights and low intensity will be easy
and unproductive. Training with maximal weights and high intensity
will be difficult but highly productive.
6. A muscle has 3 levels of strength: positive (raising the
weight), static (holding the weight), and negative (lowering the
weight). All 3 of these aspects of any exercise must be focused on in
order to stimulate maximum muscle growth. In other words, don't throw
weight through a range of motion just to get the weight from point A
to point B. If you throw, you won't grow!
7. Nutrition is important but I find that most people over-obsess
about their diets. I hear people fretting over stuff like; Should I
eat a chicken breast, or a fillet of salmon? A handful of almonds, or
a teaspoon of peanut butter? Broccoli, or spinach? brown rice, or
yams? A half cup of yogurt, or a half cup of cottage cheese? High
carb, or low carb? As much wide spread confusion that exists
regarding diets that should be followed in order to burn fat, the
premise of the whole issue is actually very simple. Regardless of
what you eat, as long as you take in fewer calories than you you need
in order to meet metabolic and physical activity energy requirements,
you will lose fat. Some people have made great progress in fat loss
simply by taking my advice and eating what they normally eat, but
just eat 1/3 less of everything with the exception of green
vegetables which are actually negative calorie food items that you
can eat as much as you want of. Don't complicate your nutrition and
make it more difficult than it needs to be. Fats don't make you fat,
and carbohydrates don't make you fat. Calories consumed beyond the
body's maintenance and growth needs make you fat.
8. Anaerobic exercise, and aerobic exercise are opposites, so
therefore should be treated as opposites. In the world of exercise
science the definition of anaerobic refers to exercise that is of
high intensity, but short of duration. Opposite to that, the
definition of aerobic refers to exercise that is low in intensity,
but long in duration. This is why you shouldn't perform your cardio
intensely. If you're doing your cardio, and you're gasping for air to
the point where you cant carry on a conversation with someone, then
that means your body is burning mostly sugar, and not fat because
there is not enough oxygen present to burn fat. In other words, by
performing cardio intensely, you have actually made the exercise
anaerobic, so you will be drawing from into the same recovery sub
systems that support your weight training, and consequently will
short circuit maximum muscle growth.
9. Be patient! Too many people want it all right now so they
become frustrated if they haven't built their dream body within a few
months of training. When such a point is reached, many bodybuilders
either quit all together, or turn to dangerous drugs such as
steroids, or synthetic hormones in order to speed up the process.
Steroids are insidious. They may produce rapid gains in the short
term, however the compromises are extraordinary and should be very
carefully considered. The steroid users that I knew 15 years ago that
I wished I could look like are now either dead, or out of shape
dealing with severe health problems. If you love bodybuilding like I
do, then you will want to be able to do it, and enjoy it from now
until well into your golden years of life. Don't get discouraged when
progress doesn't seem to be coming quickly enough. I've been there
before, so I know how it feels. I can tell you from experience that
if you are persistent it will pay off eventually. It took me 26 years
to put on 40 lbs of muscle! That averages out to roughly 1.5 pounds
of muscle gained each year!
10. Be very careful who you take advice from! I just cringe when I hear some of the bad advice I hear some guys dishing out to other people at the gym! Just because someone runs their mouth virtually non-stop and appears to sound confident in the words they are saying doesn't mean that they are an expert! Most often, the people with the greatest levels of expertise are the one's who quietly seem to be progressing above, and beyond what the people around them are. You must also make sure that the person your taking advice from is on the same playing field that you are. In other words, if they are taking steroids but you are not, what works for them will not work for you. The body chemistry is drastically altered by the use of steroids. Chemicals can make up for many training and dietary blunders that you wouldn't get away with without the use of chemical enhancements.
I have been weight training hard for about 2 years now and I seem to have reached a point over the last year where I feel stuck and haven't been able to make any progress in my size, strength, or definition. I'm very frustrated because I work so hard and nothing happens. I don't get it, I feel as though I'm doing all the right things. I lift weights for 2 hours per day, 6 days per week, and every other day I do 30 minutes of cardio directly after weight training. I don't eat any fat at all, and I train my abs 6 days per week and I can still barely see them. I eat 3 big food meals per day that are high in protein and carbs, plus I have 3 protein shakes per day made with 3 scoops of whey protein and fat free milk. These shakes have 91 grams of protein each, and still I can't seem to gain more muscle. I feel bloated and tired more than anything and I'm on the toilet almost every hour. I'm doing everything many of the body building pro's say to do. Why can't I make any progress?
If someone were to ask me how to lose muscle, increase body fat, wreck their joints, acquire chronic fatigue, and indigestion, I would tell them to do exactly what you're doing now! Don't feel bad, when I was an aspiring, young body builder, I developed my own regimen based on information I learned reading articles in muscle magazines that were written by some of the top pro's back then. What they taught me is how to over-train, and over-eat. What they didn't tell me is that they were taking steroids, and what worked for them would never work for me. Decades of research, and experimentation taught me the best ways for a natural body builder to build muscle and get ripped.
First off, your grossly over trained! 2 hours per night, plus 30 minutes of cardio, every other day on top of that? Training in this high of volume will never work for a natural body builder. Your natural growth hormone and testosterone levels will peak between 20 -30 minutes of intense weight training, then those levels will take a drastic nose-dive after about 45 minutes. As your training time exceeds 45 minutes, your adrenal glands will go crazy pumping cortisole into your blood stream. If you're not familiar with cortisole, it's a catabolic stress hormone that eats up your muscle tissue causing your metabolism to slow down. Obviously, this is not the environment you want to create in your body. You want to maximize the anabolic hormones in your body, while keeping catabolic hormones to a minimum. The best way to achieve this is to train as intensely as possible for a short duration of time. Under no circumstances should your training sessions exceed 45 minutes! I can finish most of mine in under 30 minutes, and I never lift more than 3 times per week. You should lift no less than twice per week, and no more than 4 times per week. Try to devise a new split with your routine in which you can hit all of your muscle groups within 2-4 workouts per week.
Also, you shouldn't combine cardio and lifting together in the same workout because it is too catabolic! Your best bet is to limit cardio to 3 sessions per week, for no more than 20 minutes per session. I feel that high intensity interval training is the most effective form of cardio for fat burning. If you're unfamiliar with HIIT, that is where you alternate very high intensity intervals, with low intensity intervals. An example of this method would be walking on a treadmill for 1 minute, then switching to an all-out sprint for 30 seconds, then alternate those high, and low intensity intervals for 15-20 minutes. Don't train abdominals every day! Over training any muscle group will work against the possibility of making any meaningful progress! I spend 10 minutes training abdominals, and I do that on my non-lifting days that I perform my cardio training. You can do sit-ups, and crunches, till Donald Trump decides to switch to a new hair style, but as long as your consuming too many calories, you will never have ripped abs!
In terms of your diet, you're eating way too much! Your calories are grossly exceeding your daily maintenance, and growth needs. Keep in mind that you can only metabolize roughly 30 grams of protein at 1 sitting. If you take in much more than that at one time, the excess protein your body doesn't use will either be stored as fat, or end up in the toilet. Begin eating less of everything right now! Eat what you normally eat, but cut your portions back by at least 1/3.
When most people think about all the elements that come into play in regards to building maximum muscle, they think about mainly the physical aspects of the process. Lifting weights, staying consistent with workouts, consuming sufficient nutrients, and taking the best supplements in order to maximize muscle gains. Although development of all these facets are vital to reaching your full muscular potential, none of these variables will yield significant progress without also developing the proper mind-set throughout the process. The nature of bodybuilding is just as much mental as it is physical.
As your body becomes progressively stronger, and you're able to handle heavier weights in order to increase the intensity of your workouts, the demands placed on the body's recuperative sub-systems also increase. As your body becomes more physically challenged, so does the mind. While you force yourself to handle greater levels of resistance, your neurological system clearly senses the increase in stress to your body which can cause negative manifestations to perculate in your mind. Lassitude, anxiety, fear of injury, and the temptation to drop your intensity level, and take the path of least resistance, are all common impulses that you may have as your body is being exerted by such stressful demands.
The only way to survive these mental landmines is by exercising your will just as you exercise your body. Your own personal will can be strengthened by maintaining a clearly defined set of goals in your mind. Once you know exactly what your goals are, and realize the great possibilities that can come about in your life as a result of achieving those goals, then this realization will fill you with emotional excitement. This feeling of excitement, or idea of necessity should give you the motivation that you need in order to bust through mental barriers, and induce the extra effort of will that you need to consistently perform at higher levels.
Below are the links to 2 news news stories concerning a dangerous criminal who stole my photos off Body Space. One story was aired by Channel 7 Action news in Detroit, MI, and the other was aired from Channel 3000 in Madison, WI. Because of legal reasons the news stations weren't able to expose just how sinister the crimes were that this man has commited because the worst crimes have not yet been proven in a court of law, however, make no mistake about it, David Klotz is a very dangerous threat to women and children!
Many people think that protein produces muscle growth. This is incorrect. High intensity weight training is the only thing that will produce an adaptive response within the body that will allow the body to utilize dietary protein to enhance the size of muscle cells.
There is a great deal of confusion that exists over what you should do in order to increase the intensity of your training in order to stimulate greater muscle gains. All too often, people trying to achieve a higher level of intensity in their training make the mistake of assuming that volume and duration are effective methods of boosting training intensity. Let me make this perfectly clear. Volume, and frequency have absolutely nothing to do with intensity! I can tell you from my own experience that extending the length of your training sessions, and reducing time between them, will not be your key to producing greater muscle gains.
The significance of "The Pump" in terms of being a valuable necessity for production of muscle growth has been greatly exaggerated. Take notice of your fellow gym members where you go to train. How many of them do you see who spend hours in the gym each and every night, and obtain a pump every single day, but yet they always seem to stay the same and not make any improvements. You may even notice some people actually regressing in progress. If a muscle pump automatically equalled muscle growth, you would see people in your gym growing, and becoming much larger at a ridiculously fast rate! The only exception to where an increase of volume, and frequency will lead to greater muscle gains is the cases of those you take anabolic steroids. For those of you who are like me, and choose to build your body without drugs, understand that you will never be able to endure the same volume, and frequency of training as those individuals that use steroids.
Training to a point of momentary muscle failure, at which completion of another repetition on any given set is impossible despite your greatest effort, is the only way to force the body to resort to it's biochemical resources sufficiently to stimulate real growth! One of the biggest mistakes I see being made in the gym is when certain individuals will end a set of an exercise just because an arbitrary number of repetitions has been completed. This will do very little to stimulate muscle growth. A set should be terminated only when your muscles have been forced to the point of it being inconceivable to produce 1 more repetition within a working set. I use the word forced, because obviously you know muscle growth doesn't come easy, and literally needs to be forced! Any degree of effort in a set that is less than 100% may yield a bodybuilder some results, but never to the same extent that all out maximum effort will.
So how do you increase the intensity of your workouts to produce the desired adaptive response that we know as muscle growth?
1. By progressively increasing the amount of weight that you use.
2. By progressively decreasing the amount of time it takes you to perform a particular amount of work. (For example, I have made some of my best muscle gains from workouts that lasted no longer than 30 minutes.)
3. By working your muscles at the capacity of nothing less than 100% on every set.
Lastly, after a muscle has been stressed sufficiently with high intensity training, you must not train that muscle again too soon so that you allow for the body to respond with a compensatory build up of new muscle tissue. You can measure your progress to determine whether or not you're allowing enough recovery time for growth to take place simply by taking note whether or not you're stronger any time you repeat any given workout. Some people have argued this point with me and have stated that there is no relationship between muscle size, and strength. If this is the case, and you don't need to get stronger in order to get bigger, than how exactly should you go about getting bigger? By getting weaker? Doesn't make much sense does it? Make no mistake about it, in order to get bigger, you must become stronger! If you're becoming stronger with each and every workout, than you're on your way to becoming bigger!
My friends and fans may have noticed that I haven't been replying back to as many private messages, or writing as many blogs, and articles as what I normally do as of late. I want to explain to everyone that an unfortunate situation has unfolded in my life that has now grown to the point where I can't tolerate it anymore and I need to be relentless in dealing with this problem until it goes away. I want to apologize to all my friends, and fans for not being as active on Body Space, and doing as much of what I'm most passionate about, and that is helping other people reach their fitness goals!
For almost 2 years now I've been dealing with a Felon/Fugitive by the name of David P. Klotz, who stole all my photos off of Body Space and has been using them to create multiple fake online profiles in which he uses to bait women, rob them, and in several cases rape, and assault were alledly committed. On Face Book he was also hosting a fake charity that he claimed was to help children with cancer. He used this phony charity to scam many people out of money. There is a list of 60 + victims this man has commited crimes against in some way. There has been recent evidence that suggests that David Klotz may be very dangerous to children as well, and that he may be involved in child pornography. The victims, and other people involved have had no luck getting authorities to do anything about this criminal David P. Klotz. Authorities have told me that he hasn't done anything wrong by stealing my photos and using them to create these fake profiles. He has created these fake profiles using my photos on Face Book, as well as multiple dating websites. He has even gone as far as to post my photos on pornography websites. Again, according to the law, this is OK. Authorities have told me that it's my fault he is doing this because I had photos of myself available for the public to see on this website, as well as several other bodybuilding/fitness websites. We have reached out to police, the DA, the FBI, and even the media for help but yet nobody with the exception of 2 news stations have agreed to do anything about this criminal.
If you go on Face Book and type in "David Fieri" you will see David Klotz fake profile. He had my photo up as his profile picture for a long time, but now put up a different profile picture, but still has about 40 + photos of me in his profile that he tries to pass off as himself. He is using this profile to lure more victims as we speak and nothing is being done about it! In an effort to gain public support to put pressure on the powers at hand to do something about this criminal, an investigator, along with myself, formed a group on Face Book to stop him. The name of my group is called STOP DAVID KLOTZ. I would like to invite anyone on Body Space to join our Face Book group in order to show that you don't agree with what David Klotz is getting away with. Here is the link to the group: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/groups/193845364002381/
Not only has this man destroyed the lives of many people but he has also put me, along with several other people in a position where we are forced to spend a great deal of my free time dealing with him, and trying to find a viable resource that is willing to help put an end to his journey of destruction. He's taking me away from what I love to do and that is helping people on this site! He is also taking me away from my family and friends. I still have to go to a job that I don't care for and work long weeks just like most everyone else in order to make a living so my free time is limited. It pisses me off to no end that this man is not only taking me away from what I love to do, but is also using my photos as a tool to harm others! My photos are meant help motivate and inspire other people so it disgusts me to know they are being used for evil purposes. I promise all my friends, and fans, that I will do my part in dealing with this guy and find a way to put him behind bars where he belongs so that I can get back to reaching out to more people here on Body Space! I sincerely appreciate all the support, and the understanding you have all given me! I will keep you updated on this situation as we gain further progress in putting an end to all this.
Thank you again, and God bless!
Chad Shaw (The Natural One)
Back in March of this year (2011) I decided to reintroduce the supplement HMB back into my supplement stack. Years ago, I had tried HMB, and each time I used it, I felt as though I gained some benefit from it. For those of you who arent familiar, HMB is short for beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate. HMB is derived from the amino acid leucine, which is one of the all important
branched chain amino acids. Although HMB is always marketed as a supplement, it
can be found in small amounts and in its natural form from foods such as
catfish, grapefruit, and alfalfa. HMB's primary benefits include: increased
protein synthesis, fat burning capabilities, improved immune function and helps maintain a highly
anabolic environment in the body in conjunction with a sensible training regimen. As a result of including this product back into my supplement stack, taking 4 grams per day, I noticed that I experienced less soreness after my workouts, and a little extra reserve of power when I was lifting.
As a natural bodybuilder, I personally am always estatic any time I can feel a positive difference with any supplement I take! Although I was happy with what I was experiencing, I began to wonder if a slightly higher dosage might produce better results? I did some research and discovered some very positive sounding testamonies from individuals who had experimented with a slightly higher dose of HMB, than the usual recommended amount. Like most supplements, and drugs alike, the dosage you take will be determined by body weight. At 192 lbs, 4 grams of HMB daily was showing a positive effect, but I decided to increase my dosage to 6 grams per day on cardio only days, and 8 grams per day on my heavy lifting days.
After 2 weeks on this higher dosage of HMB, I noticed even faster recovery, and more rapid strength gains. At this time I wasn't taking any other supplements besides this HMB. I was very impressed with the progress I was experiencing in the gym! Every single workout I was noticing increases in my weights on every single exercise! I was feeling less muscle soreness after every single workout so I felt more mobile, and felt as though I had more energy as a result of reduction in muscle soreness. At age 37, this a phenominal rate of progress! Lets face it, the muscle gains don't come as quicky at age 37, as they do at age 27.
This is my conclusion of how I feel about the product HMB.
HMB is not a quick fix. It will not make you blow up, and make strength gains by leaps and bounds as anabolic steroids would. What I can say about HMB based on my experience is that it is a completely safe product to take, that is a very reliable, and consistent lean mass builder in the long term. You may notice certain benefits such as less muscle soreness, and a little bit more strength, and faster recovery in the short term, however in the long term I feel that you can expect progressive, and consistent increases in strength, and lean muscle mass. Although HMB is not a rapid builder, the gains in muscle mass made using this product will produce lean, solid, and much more permenant gains, than the gains made using steroids, or prohormones. Not to mention HMB is legal, and there are no negative side effects from using HMB!
Over all, I feel HMB is a very powerful, and effective natural supplement that I have experienced very positive effects from, and I wouldn't hesitate recommending this product to anyone! Based on my personal experience, if I could only use just 1 supplement to support my bodybuilding efforts, it would most likely be HMB.
Question: What kinds of supplements do you consider to be safe? What exactly separates something from being classified as a steroid, or a supplement? I was thinking about giving prohormones a try if they fall into the classification as a supplement because that wouldn't be as bad for me as a steroid, would it?
Answer: I think that all synthetic steroids, growth hormones, thyroid hormones, insulin, prescription diuretics, and steroidal pre-cursors, or prohormones should fall under the classification as a drug. In fact, some of the companies producing prohormones have gone to great lengths in order to alter the chemical formulation, or tweak it just enough so that doesn't fall into the legal classification of a steroid. Some of these chemical combinations make these formulas even more dangerous, and toxic to the liver than actual steroids. I know for fact that there are many lawsuits pending against various supplement companies that have produced prohormones, marketed them as supplements, and the products ended up causing serious liver damage to the customers that were using them. Just because a product is being sold as a supplement, doesn't necessarily mean that it is safe. There are many possible adverse effects that can result from taking both steroids, and prohormones. It is my opinion that all of these types of enhancements have the ability to change the body chemistry enough to cause harmful effects in a relatively short amount of time.
People get into trouble when they start playing with their hormonal chemistry. The hormones in your body are like a perfect recipe for a gourmet dish. Each of the 22 hormones in your body are the ingredients for that perfect recipe. No person on earth has the knowledge to administer these drugs in a balanced fashion that will be optimal for good health. Like a gourmet chef, your body has ability to combine all these ingredients in perfect proportions for optimal health. The chef that measures, and mixes all of these ingredients perfectly is called the pituitary gland.
Anytime you add anything additional to these ingredients, other than what the recipe calls for, it will affect all the other ingredients. In other words you can’t take testosterone, or any other anabolic agent without it effecting leutenizing hormone, FSH, DHEA, thyroxin, cortisole, estrogen, and so on, and so forth. Just like the perfect gourmet recipe, if there is too much of one ingredient, or not enough of another, or extra ingredients that the recipe doesn’t call for, then the quality of the dish will suffer, and the end product of the recipe will be spoiled.
I think that protein powder, creatine, N02 boosters, branched chain amino acids, glutamine, ZMA, CLA, glucosomine, HMB, essential fatty acids, vitamins, caffeine, and most herbal, and plant extracts, can be used safely with no ill effects if they are used sensibly. I want to emphasize the word sensibly! Taking mega-doses of just about anything can cause adverse effects.
There is a question I recently received that is one of which I get quite frequently. Each time I've received this question, it is worded slightly different, but every version has the same implication. I decided to write a note to clear up this issue. Here is the most recent version of that frequently asked question: "Hey, your photos look impressive, but I want to to know why you call yourself "The Natural One" when obviously you're not natural?"
My response was this: So at what point do you determine whether or not an individual is natural? I'm 194 lbs, at around 6% body fat. How small would I need to be in order to be regarded as natural? 150 lbs? 170 lbs? 190 lbs? Where do you draw the line? Also, what exactly qualifies you to determine where that line is drawn? In order to even begin to make a ball-park guess where that line may be, you would of had to exhaust every single, possible, natural bodybuilding protocol on the planet over the course of at least a decade or more in order to figure just what your natural potential might be. Even so, an individuals God-given potential will vary across a broad spectrum. I've been bodybuilding naturally for 25 years now. Throughout that span of 25 years I've had to master all the key principles of natural bodybuilding in order to get where I'm at today. By principles, I mean weight training, cardio, diet & nutrition, natural supplements, desire, enthusiasm, intensity, focus, persistence, and exuberant self discipline. Exercising these principles only when ideal conditions permit, will not build an extraordinary physique! It has to be a full time job, or you will never be successful in going above, and beyond. With that being said, I believe I have earned every right to be called "The Natural One."
I made the choice right from the very beginning of my pursuit in bodybuilding that was going to do it all without the use of steroids, or any other type of chemical enhancements. I knew that with my long history of health problems, that for me, using chemical enhancements would be flirting with disaster. When I began bodybuilding, I had already used up 9 lives, and there was no way I was going to take the chance of losing one more because I knew that could be my last life. Although building your body by natural means is harder, and it takes longer, I feel that the ultimate rewards are much greater. The careers of bodybuilders using chemical enhancements are short, and fast. Natural bodybuilders on the other hand, will have much greater longevity in the sport, and be able to enjoy doing it throughout, their 50's, 60's, or even 70's if they choose to do so. Aside from that, when you've built your body naturally, you have a more content feeling of pride, and satisfaction knowing you did it all on your own. The muscle you've worked so hard for in the gym is yours to keep! No need to worry about going off a chemical cycle, and hiding out so nobody can see how much you've shrunk, or wearing lots of baggy clothing to try and hide what you've lost. You don't need to contend with any of these insecurities because natural muscle is much more permanent.
Consider this warning: Do not be led astray by bodybuilders who have used steroids as a first resort in order to build their bodies! I know these types of individuals all too well. These are people that never took the time to learn about proper natural training protocols, or optimal diet, and nutritional strategies. They wanted to save themselves the trouble of being properly educated, and right away began using chemical enhancements because they wanted to have it all right now! They didn't want to wait. These types of first resort steroid users will be the first ones to point out anyone who has a lean muscular physique and say "hey, that guy, or gal is on the juice!" You see, by making these types of generalizations, it puts their conscience to rest so they have a false sense that everyone who is in extraordinary condtion is also using drugs. Doing so will also help convince people around them that they're not the only ones using. The last thing any of these individuals wants to hear is "Hey that guy, or gal is all natural, and they look better than you!" This makes natural athletes who worked hard to build extraordinary physiques an easy target. By discrediting a natural bodybuilder, it automatically brings them down to their level. Don't buy into that bull-crap!
I believe that any individual that commits themsleves to all the necessary natural bodybuilding protocols 100%, can build an amazing physique without drugs, regardless of genetics. If your goal is pursued half-heartedly, then forget about it! If you apply youself with everything you've got, you will not fail! All you have to do is get focused, and brand in your mind the image of what you want to look like. Reflect on that image often! Seek the information of great natural bodybuilders who are superior role models. Take a look at Eric Broser, Kelechi Opara, Kris Gethin, Jesse Wright, and Dave Goodin, just to name a few. These guys are superior athletes that have worked hard, and paid their dues! They have all demonstrated that it is possible to obtain steroid like results by natural means! They have all taken the time to educate themselves on every possible facet that contributes to natural bodybuilding success, and have the physiques to prove it!
A final word regarding the use of steroids. Steroids are insidious, and the compromises made with using these drugs are extraordinary, and should be cautiously evaluated. Initially the effects appear to be positive, as the user will experience rapids gains, in size and strength within a short period of time. This will dramatically inflate the ego of the user. When the user comes off a cycle, the opposite will enevitably occur. Anabolic hormone levels will crash, and catabolic hormones will flourish. This will cause a rapid loss of strength, and muscle mass, which will lead the user to a state of depression, and hopelessness. In an act of desperation to build themselves back up, the user will often times resume another chemical cycle. This type of pattern will pave the road to many possible negative health consequences! When you use steroids, you're really making a deal with the devil. You experience some short term success and glory, but later on down the road, you end up paying dearly for it. In my opinion, it just isn't worth it.
When it comes to obtaining your fitness goals, regardless of what they are, the most critical element to your success is not your age, your genetics, how fancy your gym equipment is, your workout clothes, or even the supplements you take. The most essential element that will determine your degree of success is your desire to keep striving towards your goals and never give up on them!
I remember watching a news story on t.v. about an 88 year old grandmother who wasn't in the best of health, along with her 22 year old, healthy, athletic grandson. They were on a boat trip out on the ocean one day when a storm hit, causing massive waves which capsized the boat! Both the 88 year old grandmother, and her 22 year old grandson were forced out into the middle of the ocean with no floatation devices of any kind. The only way to survive was to tread water and to try floating on their backs between waves that would roll up over the top them. It was hours before another boat came by and made a rescue. Unfortunately the 22 year old grandson didn't survive, however the 88 year old grandmother did! Once this story hit the news, people were shocked! They showed the news interview of the 88 year old grandmother, and the news reported asked her "how is that a young, healthy, athletic young man such as your grandson could not survive in the ocean for 5 hours, but you were able to survive being an 88 year old woman who has poor mobility and other health issues?" The old woman replied " Because I wasn't going to quit! I made the decision right away that I wasn't going to die, and I didn't care how bad things got! I was going to live!"
This is just 1 example of the power we possess in our mindset. As many people know, I was told by medical specialists, first because of severe asthma, that I wasn't going to live, and then when i did, the prognosis was that because of my countless orthopedic health problems, I would never be able to lift weights, or to ever become an athlete period! Initially these medical opinions devestated me, and it was very discouraging! I won't lie, There were times I did feel like giving up. It was just so hard to fight when I couldn't ever breath because my air ways were swollen shut. No amount of drugs they were giving me would dialate my air-ways. I felt so far gone, I could feel my life slipping away. Out of nowhere came this burst of adrenaline. I realized that if I didn't pull through this, then that was it! I would be dead! Game over! There would be no coming back! I decided I wouldn't let that happen. It wasn't my time yet. I would fight with everything I had, and even with what I didn't have! This determination brought me through, not just on that occasion, but several others.
Much like the 88 year old grandmother who survived when all the odds were stacked against her, that is the kind of determination that you need to have in order to meet your goals! You need to have the tenacity of a Pit Bull dog and hold on to your dreams! Yes, you will find moments where things seem hopeless and you're fighting to try and keep your head above the waves so that you can breath. It will be tough, and it will drain you, and it will test your physical, and psychological limits, but you need to dig down deep and muster up that determination you need to carry you through! Struggles are enevitable, but you can get through them. You just have to measure out each challenge as it presents itself, concentrate, and figure out how to adapt, then push on through, and keep moving forward! No matter what though, you CAN NEVER-EVER-GIVE UP!!!
We spend a great deal of time practicing training and nutritional strategies that we think will help us best achieve our goals. Rarely do we take the time to step back and analyze the full scheme of exactly what we are doing and why. Most of the people I see at the gym are there to complete a ritual. By ritual I mean the act of showing up at the gym every day and practicing what ever the individuals workout plan calls for them to do on that particular day. For example, some people will tell me they train chest on Monday, arms on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday, back on Thursday, and shoulders on Friday and then take the weekends off. Not to mention, they will perform about 25 sets to failure on each body part they train. That’s about 23 more sets to failure then what I do for each muscle group that I train. I notice these same individuals always going through the motions week after week, month after month, lifting the same weights or even lighter weights then what they could before and their physiques staying mostly the same if not less muscular then what they were before. As time goes on I notice the intensity levels of these individuals diminishing to the point where they appear to be going through their training regimens like spaced out zombies moping from exercise to exercise, grunting and groaning, trying to tap into energy that isn’t there. It kind of reminds me of the movie “The Night Of the Living Dead.” The zombies in that movie were very persistent trying to get a hold of their victims but then suddenly someone hits them once and they drop like Brett Michaels did when he was clothes-lined by drop down door on stage at the 2009 Tony Awards! This is what can happen when the stress of over training comes to a head.
One common denominator that I’ve noticed among gym members, who follow these training rituals day after day, is that none of them keep a training journal to record anything that they are doing. I can’t stress this point enough! You should always bring a journal or notebook with you to the gym and be sure to record everything you do in your workout routines. Write down your exercises, the amount of weight you use, and also the repetitions you were able to perform with each particular weight. When you go to the doctor for medical check ups or physicals your doctor keeps a chart on you that lists all your vitals and blood values. Each time you return to the doctor he or she will look up your medical records and check to see if there has been any changes in your vitals or blood values from the last time you were into the doctor. Keeping these types of records will help a doctor determine if your health is improving or regressing. The same holds true for keeping a training journal. Charting is an important way to measure progress. You should write down everything you do during your workout so any time you go to repeat any given workout you can refer back to what you did last time and compare to what your currently doing and see if you gained strength, lost strength, of just stayed the same as last time. Hopefully you gain strength each and every time. When your goal is to build more muscle you should be lifting more weight, or doing the same weight for more repetitions on each and every exercise compared to the last time you did that particular workout. If your seeing that your not gaining strength each time you repeat any given workout, then you haven’t gained more muscle. You don’t gain muscle without gaining strength. You don’t increase muscle mass by getting weaker. It just doesn’t work that way. There is a very direct relationship between muscular size and strength. If you should go to repeat any given workout and find that your strength hasn’t increased then that means that your muscles haven’t had sufficient recovery time for overcompensation or muscle growth to occur. The remedy for this problem is to begin incorporating at least 2 more recovery days between all of your lifting workouts from that point forward. This is where you stop making your training a routine a ritual and you start making it a science to produce more muscle growth. Never repeat a workout just because it’s part of a ritual. You should only repeat a workout when you know that your muscles have had sufficient time to recover and produce growth. As I’ve mentioned in past articles, as you become stronger and more intense, you lift heavier weights, which creates a deeper inroad into the muscles recovery ability. To compensate for this you must reduce both the volume and frequency of your training to ensure that your body has enough to time to replenish it’s very limited resources to recover so that your muscles can over compensate and become larger. When you go back and start tearing on your muscles again too soon, then you short circuit the recovery ability of your body and dig an even deeper road into the muscles recovery ability and place yourself that much further away from obtaining muscle growth.
I know many people will shutter at the notion that you should add in an extra 2 days of recovery time between all lifting workouts when you reach a sticking point. When you look at things realistically, if it takes 7-14 days for a muscle to recover and then over compensate or grow, then how could a muscle decompensate or shrink from an additional 2 days of recovery time? That cant happen. By increasing your recovery time by a couple days, what you have to lose is nothing, but what you have to gain is the reassurance that the next time you go into the gym to lift that your muscles are fully recovered and your coming back stronger then you were the last time. Should you come back too soon, however, you run the risk of cheating yourself out of any strength or muscle gain at all by digging an even deeper inroad into the muscles recovery ability before it has had the chance to grow. It’s that more is better mentality that has been branded in the back of all our minds as a result of decades of misinformation being fed to us by various publications. I understand from experience that it’s hard to change your way of thinking about a certain subject when you’ve been lead to believe that this one certain path is the only path that will lead you to success because so many have said so. It’s tough to instantly change your way of thinking. It’s kind of like when your parents finally had to tell you there’s not really a Santa Claus or an Easter Bunny. I just found out last year and I’m still totally furious! All joking aside, I know how tough it can be to break routines that have been engraved in your mind for so long. I wasted a good 5 years by practicing a training ritual that wasn’t getting me anywhere before I decided it was time for a different approach. I’m not sure what I was thinking. If my routine hadn’t produced any meaningful results for weeks or months let alone years, why would it just magically start working out of the blue? This was the turning point where I decided I needed to make my workout routine less of a ritual and more of a science. By making this change I was able to bring my physique to whole new level that I had previously deemed impossible. If you feel that have also been following a workout routine as more of ritual then go out and buy a little notebook to toss in your gym bag, and start treating your training a more of a science and begin charting your workouts to ensure that your progressing and not regressing. Become a scientist with your own body and study the evidence in your training journal. You may find evidence that shows your making good progress or you may find evidence that tells you that you aren’t giving your body enough recovery time in which case you need to make the necessary adjustments to begin making progress again.
I recently received a message from one of my good bodyspace friends informing me that he received an email from someone who claimed to be me and even had my bodyspace link on his email, trying to sell a fat-loss product called Acai Fire. The name listed on this email was Greg Latterdale. The email address he sent this email from was mailto:email@example.com. THIS IS NOT MY EMAIL ADDRESS! I am in no way way shape or form connected with this individual or this product he claims to sell! I'm absolutely discusted that this person would go out and try to lie to and rip off the good, honest people on this network, tarnish my name and integrity, and steal a recommendation that they did not earn! If you receive any emails at all regarding a fatloss product called Acia Fire and they claim to be me, The Natural One, then it's a scam! This is not from me and more then likely this individual has plans to rip alot people off on multiple levels. DO NOT GIVE ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION TO THIS PERSON IF THEY CONTACT YOU! I ask all of my good friends here on bodyspace to please let me know if you have any information about this individual at all! I want this piece of human trash out of commision as soon as possible!!! Thank you all!
Chad Shaw AKA-The Natural One