Friday, July 24, 2015

Strength and muscle gain without steroids....

Today's Post:  Friday, 7-24-2015

*Muscle gain is desirable for many reasons.  And, strength certainly is! 

This ranges from:

Enabling older people to maintain their ability to live independently due to maintaining or increasing their strength and older women to prevent or even reverse early osteoporosis --

To helping people of all ages to lose and keep off excess fat --

To looking better and being able to handle physical emergencies to higher self esteem and better athletic performance.

*Strength training works to do these things when you do it effectively.

Taking steroids in addition to strength training enables your body to recover well and easily from lots of challenging strength training.  But taking anabolic steroids to do this has so many serious drawbacks that it’s illegal.

That makes taking steroids expensive and reduces your ability to be sure of the purity and identity and safety of the anabolic steroid drugs you take if you do.

It can cause heart problems and reduce your normal sex hormones that you make without it.

And, while regular strength training makes women look good tending towards looking athletic and trim but without massive muscles, steroids give women a more large muscle masculine look.

Plus, between the very high boost to testosterone like compounds and the increased muscle strength taking steroids can cause, people who do so often get into fights they’d otherwise have sense enough to avoid.  Worse, the out of control increased strength can then cause death or serious injury to the people the steroid taker attacks.

And, most important, since taking anabolic steroids does have these problems, it’s important to know that they also boost mood so much that they are incredibly addictive.

What if you want the positive results of greater strength and increased muscle mass and stronger bones very nearly as good as you can get with steroids but never using them?

Are there ways to do that which have been found to work?

YES!  And that’s what this post is about.

Here are the several I’ve recently found that have been tested to work!

1.  Surprisingly, studies show that slow repetitions cause the fastest strength and muscle gains.

Yes you do have to use lighter weights at first than you would if you just lifted the weight up and down at close to the speed you’d use with no weight.

The Perfect Workout uses this method to some degree. They definitely promote its benefits.  And it’s effective enough the way they do it that it has literally doubled the initial strength and more of many of their clients from young people to 80 year olds.  And it works for women as well as men! 

Plus it has medically beneficial effects for older people.  A woman who went to The Perfect Workout in her 80’s was having trouble maintaining her balance and was falling down occasionally plus she had the early stages of osteoporosis. After a few months of slow rep training at The Perfect Workout, she never had balance problems or falls AND her bone density went to completely normal!

Also, the way most injuries happen in strength training from snapping the weight into motion at the start of each repetition. By using super slow reps where you smoothly and under control start the weight moving slowly each time, the chances of injury almost vanish!

When I went to The Perfect Workout, the trainer had me do repetitions that were about 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down.

But in their recent news letter, they reported that instead of doing 20 repetitions of 3 up and down in 2 minutes as I was doing there, if you do 5 to 7 repetitions where you go 10 seconds up and 10 seconds down, you will make much faster progress according to the research on it.

I had been doing slow rep strength training at home and found an interesting effect when I began the 10 seconds up and down style.  It was less wearing to do than the faster reps but more of them.  But my muscles were more pumped and sore afterwards.

2.  I recently found out that when you can manage to get to a gym once or better twice a week and do deadlifts and keep adding the weight that this will add the most muscle mass to you because you are using the heavy muscles of your legs, buttocks, and lower back. 

(Squats with heavy weights also work well.  But to be safe you need to use a special rack or capable spotters.)  So, for squats you really need to go to a gym.  But for just deadlifts it may be doable for you to get an Olympic bar and enough plates and do them at home.)

Note that when you add 10 or 20 or even 30 pounds of muscle to your back and butt and legs it forces off excess fat from your body because that muscle burns more calories per pound than the fat you were feeding before!

I read separately that these heavyweight lifts using your largest muscles causes the most growth hormone release compared with exercises with less weight for smaller muscles.

And, that means that if you do leg press, or deadlifts, or squats first and then exercise smaller muscles later in your workout, you’ll get faster recovery for those muscles too.

3.  I recently read a study that found that when people who were working out with weights were given a placebo and told it was an anabolic steroid, they added much more weight to their lifts than people who didn’t get it. 

Those were real gains despite the fake steroids!

I then realized that if I used heavier weights than I had been, although I would have to do fewer repetitions, I would get stronger sooner from the extra work my muscles were doing.

Much to my great surprise it worked!  I have been getting stronger and using heavier weights by doing this sooner than I expected.  And I’ve not been taking steroids.

4.  Although I’m not taking steroids I am taking several supplements known to speed recovery from strength training workouts:

Creatine and astaxanthin are two supplements known to have this effect and I take them both.

5.  There is some evidence that taking supplements that boost nitric oxide at bedtime boosts circulation and increases growth hormone release.  This is also thought to happen if you take them just before you work out.  So I’ve been taking both l-arginine and l-citrulline before my exercises and just before bedtime.

6.  It’s also known that more deep sleep each night increases growth hormone release.  So I’ve forced my usual schedule to allow me to go to bed at least half an hour earlier each night than I was.   And, since I always get up at the same time exactly, I’ve gotten more sleep. In men this also increases testosterone release, which is also a growth hormone for muscle growth.

7.  The herbal supplement Valerian stinks.  Not only that, but it’s the component that has that smell that is able to calm you down even if you are very severely stressed. (It does work and was used in World War II in countries with night-time bombing and other life threatening problems by people who used it to enable them to sleep anyway.)

I’ve had some valerian on hand in case of emergencies so dire I’d need to take some to get to sleep.  And, I’ve kept it in a larger glass jar with a lid I can seal to keep its smell from escaping.

Then just Weds this week, I found there is a study showing that the deepest sleep slow wave sleep causes the most growth hormone release AND that taking valerian before bed even if you aren’t that stressed, significantly increases your slow wave sleep

And the effect is strong enough to do this even if your sleep conditions are not good!

So I immediately added it and took some last night.  Much to my delight I found that I felt better rested and my energy and mood improved today.

8.  Boosting testosterone in men also boosts muscle recovery and muscle growth.

Lifting heavy weights does this.  So does more slow wave sleep.

Getting enough protein does this.  (See the point after next.)

Taking these 3 inexpensive supplements each day boosts testosterone:

The real optimum intake of vitamin D3, 7,000 to 10,000 iu a day.

30 mg a day of zinc but not more than 45 plus 2 or 3 mg a day of copper to balance the zinc.

Two capsules a day of fenugreek which also helps prevent high blood sugar.

These next two supplements cost more but also boost testosterone more:

Tribulus and Tongkat Ali (also called “Long Jack.”)  One recent report said that within 2 to 4 weeks taking Tongkat Ali just about doubled testosterone levels.  And, I think tribulus is that effective also.

9.  Did you know there is a non-steroidal anabolic compound?  Did you know there is a moderately priced supplement that is high in it AND boosts free testosterone too!

Yes there is!  The non-steroidal anabolic compound is called ursolic acid and is in apple peels and in most spices based on leaves such as basil and oregano. 

The supplement that has enough ursolic acid to give you anabolic effects if you take two capsules a day is holy basil.  And, this supplement boosts testosterone too!

10.  The Perfect Workout newsletter quotes a study that for adequate recovery and strength increases from strength training, you need to eat 3/4 of a gram of protein for each pound of lean body mass.

They had a woman client who was working hard but not getting results. Then they found out she was only getting a third or a fourth that much protein.  They had her jump her intake to that level and she began making regular progress and strength gains.

Mike Mathews and others say that power lifters and body builders add more strength and muscle by getting a gram of protein for each pound of body weight.

Above that is not needed; but less than that produces less than optimum results.

10.  Did you know there is one kind of protein that gives you the best results and that adding it will improve your results?

There is!

Years ago I read a study that found that a study had been done that showed clearly if you fed people doing strength training a complete set of amino acids that had the same ratio as the muscle in that person that it increased their progress, strength, and muscle growth.

But in order to use that, I’d have to be able to pay to have that test done.  Then I’d have to have a way get that amino acid mix each day and pay for that.

Without thousands of dollars and the time to set it up, it was completely unusable information despite its very promising potential.  I didn’t have that; but I DID remember the study conclusion.

Then a few months ago, I happened on the information that the protein in whey has the same ratio of amino acids that people do.


So for about $30, the balanced amino acid protein mix that maximizes muscle gains is available.  And you can buy it online or just go to the store for it!

THAT is doable!  And, I’ve added 18 grams of whey each morning at breakfast ever since.

Whole Foods and virtually all health food stores carry whey.

Not only that; but Jarrow now sells whey from grass fed cows.

Similarly, some people have reported better muscle gains by supplementing heavily with branched chain amino acids.  But to take that many is pricey and a lot of extra work.

Whey has that many branched chain amino acids and at no extra charge!  So if you eat or drink whey every day you get them and that effect; but you do so without those far more expensive supplements!

Right now I’m focused on other things too and plan to stick with one serving a day of whey.

But I suspect it may make sense at some point to go to one or more additional servings.

Mike Matthews teaches people how to add muscle and suggests taking whey four times a day to help get the grams of protein per day up to the level that gets the best results.

You can build more muscle with steroids according to Mike’s article on it. 

But unless you are a competition body builder or other kind of strength athlete, you can build enough muscle using these methods here to look muscular, add enough pounds of muscle to remove extra fat, and to be quite strong.  

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Blogger David said...

In an online sales pitch for ways to boost strength training results and testosterone without supplements I found this:

"In a study of healthy males conducted at a university, supplementation
with Ginger did two really incredible things…

First, it boosted testosterone by 17%, nearly 20%, which is not too

Second, and even more incredible, is that it boosted Luteinizing Hormone
levels by 43% as well (which is critical for you to maximize T production)."

This is incredibly good news because daily intake of ginger ALSO reduces small particle LDL and is a safe way to reduce inflammation enough to do so as well or better than they much less safe over the counter drugs.

This means that whether you drink chilled water with ground ginger as a daily tonic as I do or add real ginger to a daily Vitamix drink or take ginger supplements daily, you cut both the major causes of heart disease!

(When both small particle LDL and chronic inflammation are quite low and of course there's no tobacco smoke exposure, heart disease, heart attacks,and ischemic strokes are quite low or don't happen at all.)

It seems you get that AND more testosterone too by getting ginger each day! Nice!

12:45 PM  

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