When I think back to my Gold’s Gym days it was a time where I was most definitely learning the ropes. As well, my way around a gym floor. I can clearly remember a few very serious lifters (with some serious dedication) sitting on equipment between sets eating from large containers full of egg salad and drinking out of gallon water jugs.
If they were “off season” or not I couldn’t tell you, I didn’t give it that much thought. I do think it has something to do with why I still to this day go through so many eggs.
I was a gym neophyte, a newbie, the quintessential ectomorph striving for gains.
We all start somewhere.
The proverbial sponge, I listened to any and everyone, their advice, and read everything I could. Ultimatly, I relied on what I would call good old fashioned “trial and error.”
Let’s call it Applied Bodybuilding.
One supplement I began using then, learned a great deal about, and continue to support: Creatine
No sugar, no artificial colors, no preservatives, no wheat, no gluten, no yeast, no dairy, flavorless…what is it? It’s the supplement that keeps on giving. Creatine has been studied, researched, and debated for sometime now, and has earned it’s place in the fitness industry.
An amino acid found naturally in the body, red meat, and seafood,
2 lbs of beef has about 5 g of creatine. A standard dose. (I like a good steak but damn.)
Derived from the Greek word for meat, kreas, the body breaks down creatine and stores it in the muscles for energy. Exercise requires energy, and supplementing supplies the body with more. Creatine also aids in recovery – but we’ll get to that in a bit. (See H20 Info)
Everyone has their own modus operandi when it comes to training in the gym. Once we find what works it’s difficult to vary off script. However, there are discoveries everyday and we take them in. Absorb what we need and carry on. Some methods remain tried-and-true and need very little tweaking.
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To truly capitalize on the benefits creatine needs to be used correctly. For maximum benefits a short loading phase to saturate the system is typically recommended. 20 g for 5 days is standard, after which the daily amount is reduced to 5 g thereafter. Anything more is just waste and the body works harder to eliminate it or translate to faster or better results. During the loading period it is important to spread the 20 g throughout the day to help the body process it properly and effectively.
Again, creatine absorbs into the system and stored in the muscles. Studies show it absorbs faster with an insulin spike. If grape juice doesn’t wet your whistle, water will work just fine. On workout days aim to consume it around your workouts. Personally, I consume my dose post-workout.
After working out glycogen stores are depleted and the muscles are hungry. If you have a supplement stack, add it to your post-workout protein shake.
Yes, taste is important but again, it has no flavor, so don’t trip.
I often hear that it makes you hold on to water, which is true. In the sense that it increases the water volume in the body. Not to soundy cheeky – but we need water. In fact, over 70% of muscle tissue in the body is made up of water.
Subcutaneous water, the bane of any physique competitors existence, is the water retained directly underneath the skin. When understanding the “ripped look” think of the skin like Saran Wrap. When you eliminate the fat and water underneath the skin, it can then “shrink wrap” around the muscles, and voila producing those beach ready abs.
Improper usage can lead to bloat, even cramping. Not to sound like a broken record, BUT, during a maintenance phase using more than the recommended amount won’t help obtain faster or better results. So resist the urge and be smart. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
Creatine is a substance found naturally in the body and in food. Studies continue to show supplementing with Creatine improves energy, performance, and growth. Affordable, safe, and combined with a diet and nutrition plan that’s on point, it can definitely help increase size and strength.
For those looking for a game changer, this just might be the supp for you. The little extra push that gives you the ummpp you need.
“Quality is not an act, it is a habit” – Aristotle