O.T.C. P.E.D.

Image result for creatine monohydrate powder

Introduction

Creatine is one of the most potent muscle building supplements in the supplement world, and has been around for quite a long time too! An amino acid, creatine is found normally in the body, with 95% of it found in the skeletal muscle tissue. The body receives its creatine from food that is eaten, typically 2 grams per day. The body also makes its own creatine in the liver from other amino acids

Creatine is an ergogenic (muscle building) supplement, and numerous studies have proven its effect. “Extra creatine is therefore ergogenic, because it may help generate more power output during intense exercise.” (Exercise & Sports Nutrition Laboratory).

Creatine has also been proven to increase strength, performance, and muscle mass. “In addition, long term creatine supplementation produces greater gains in strength and sprint performance and may increase lean body mass.” (Exercise & Sport Nutrition Laboratory).

Other studies have proven creatine’s health benefits, not only to bodybuilders or athletes, but to non-athletic and aging individuals.

“Recent creatine research suggests creatine may have therapeutic applications in aging populations[…]” (William D. Brink).

Most people have no idea that creatine has such amazing health benefits as well as the obvious muscle building and energy providing one.

Believe it or not, research has shown that creatine can increase growth hormone production! Its no surprise that creatine is the most wide sold muscle building supplement in the world!

Image result for creatine monohydrate powder

Various Forms:

Is there a difference between the various forms of creatine?

Of course! Every type of creatine is different in composition, solubility, and effectiveness. Some creatines are more soluble than others, which, in turn, increases their effectiveness. Other creatines have chemicals attached which increase their absorption and uptake into the muscle, which eliminates the need for a loading phase. But basically, all creatines do the same thing:

Volumizing muscle (increasing mass).

Improving strength.

Increases energy (ATP levels) for activities that require short bouts of quick energy such as lifting, sprinting, and HIIT cardio.

Creatine Myths Exposed:

Caffeine will not counter-act the effects of creatine, and may even help! (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Volume 34, Number 11, 2002 Mike Doherty, Paul M. Smith, R. C. Richard Davidson, and Michael G. Hughes)

Creatine is not a steroid!

Sugar is not necessary for absorption of creatine, but it will help. There are easier ways for absorption such as using micronized creatine or CEE.

Creatine Truths:

      • Drink lots of water with creatine.

      • Creatine should not be taken dissolved in an acid. (Citrus beverages)

      • Some people do not respond to monohydrate.

      • Creatine causes some people to bloat or retain water.

      • Taking creatine with sugar will increase absorption, but taking creatine with sugar and protein will double that!

      • Here is the type I prefer (My choices are based on what I have learned from my own personal experience, combined with feedback from fellow bodybuilders and from reviews I have read, as well as price. I have not tried all of them.):

Micronized Creatine:

Micronized Creatine is essentially creatine monohydrate, except it has been micronized, which means the molecules of creatine have been divided or cut up. This increases their surface area 20 times, increasing absorption and reducing stomach discomfort.

Pros:

  • Essentially the same as monohydrate but with a larger surface area and smaller molecules, so the same amazing effects of monohydrate.

  • Greatly reduces unwanted monohydrate side effects such as bloating and stomach discomfort.

  • More effective than monohydrate, and most monohydrate non-responders should respond to this.

  • Purer than monohydrate because it goes through more processes.

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than monohydrate

  • Requires a loading phase

  • I recommend that you purchase a Kilo at first.

    Image result for creatine monohydrate powder

LOADING:

For the first 5-7 days load 25 grams per day, taking 5 grams per dose spread out throughout the day. I recommend that you place the whole serving (heaping teaspoon) directly into your mouth and wash it down with 8 oz. of grape juice.

MAINTENENCE:

After the loading phase, I recommend 1-2, 5-GRAM servings per day. The first in upon waking or at least pre-workout.

The second in the evening or post-workout as follows:Take the creatine with the protein and take the sugar after 1 hour. This will allow the insulin spike, protein spike, and creatine spike to be roughly at the same time. Insulin spikes occur roughly 30 min after ingesting the sugar, while protein and creatine tend to take about 90 minutes to be at their highest concentration in the blood stream.

Hope all of this helps.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

TAKU’s NOTE: I have used creatine for many years, and found it to be safe and effective. After working with hundreds of clients using creatine I have found that it consistently improve strength, and assists in lean mass production. I have only encountered one seeming “non-responder”. I have never had anyone I was working with experience any negative side effects from taking creatine. Finally…Although I have used, and recommended creatine for year’s, and my experience is real and observed by me, it is still anecdotal. I suggest you buy some and find out for yourself. The above information is based on my own personal experience, as well as was gathered from various broad sources around the internet.

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It’s Everywhere: SUGAR follow up

A few weeks ago I posted an article about SUGAR. I have been telling people for years that “BIG SUGAR” is a lot like “BIG TOBACCO”. The SUGAR pushers have been actively involved in a disinformation campaign for years. If my last sugar article didn’t convince you,  check out this recent article in the New York Times:

It’s Everywhere…

SUGAR…It’s Everywhere. Lately I’ve been focusing my attention more and more on nutrition. Being a health and fitness guy I already had a keen interest in the importance of developing a healthy Personal Eating Plan. In fact I’ve designed, implemented and updated comprehensive P.E.P.’s for countless athletes and clients in the past. Only recently however have I truly started to research sugar and it’s impact on total health and wellness.

Rather than rewrite ton’s of information that already exists, I am going to highlight some resources for you so that you may do some digging, and come to your own conclusions.

One very helpful web-site I’ve discovered is SUGARSCIENCE.ORG

I suggest you start your exploration there. If you’re a NetFlix subscriber, I recommend the documentary titled “FED UP”.(which may also be rented on YouTube for $3.99)

The scientific team at SugarScience.org recommends keeping all added sugars below the recommended limits of 6 teaspoons/day (25g) for women, and 9 teaspoons (38g) for men. The W.H.O. sets recommendations for total daily sugar intake for both men and women. The numbers may surprise you. In general the recommendation is no more than 5-7% of daily caloric intake.

Start tracking your daily intake and see how close (or how far off) you are to these recommendations.

Do yourself a favor and cut down on your sugar intake.

You’ll be glad that you did.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

S.P.I.C.E. things up

A common question that comes up with coaches and athletes is how do I make sure my strength and conditioning program is “sports specific”? There are only three things you need to think about improving.

  • Force enhancement via strength training
  • Energy system improvement via sport-related conditioning runs or drills
  • Skill improvement via sport-specific skill training

The development of muscular strength is the general progression of increasing the muscle’s ability to produce force. Sports skill development, on the other hand, is the specific learning of how to best coordinate and apply these forces.

In other words, strength is a non-specific adaptation developed in the weight room whereas sports skills are a specific adaptation developed through guided practice on “the field”.* As a result, a powerful athlete is developed physically in the weight room, which by a separate process is developed mechanically on “the field”.*

Unless you are competing as a power-lifter, Olympic style weight lifter etc, anything you do in the weight room will have zero direct transfer to what you are doing on “the field” of play.*

With the above in mind, here is a simple formula to keep your training on the right track.

Key points to remember too S.P.I.C.E. things up

1. Strength train in order to reduce injury, and resist fatigue in the safest method possible.

2. Practice your skills

3. Improve flexibility- perform a proper stretching routine to increase range of motion around a joint

4. Condition the energy systems used to play your sport (running intervals, cardiovascular exercises and speed training)

5. Eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of water to ensure the body has the proper amount of nutrients in order to grow stronger.

 

These five basic concepts will go a long way in keeping your training simple, safe, and focused on success.

PAU for NOW

TAKU 

TAKU’s NOTE: *(“The field” implies any athletic playing space the wrestling mat, tennis court, Fighting cage, boxing ring etc.)

Product Spotlight: Total Fitness in Thirty Minutes a Week

Anyone who is a regular visitor to my blog knows that I am always on a quest to find the most efficient and effective ways to attain and maintain fitness. For many years I have been an advocate of brief, intense strength training, as well as a strong proponent for the merits of interval training, and other methods of less protracted “CARDIO” exercise.
With this in mind I highly recommend you seek out the book: Total Fitness in Thirty Minutes a Week by Laurence Englemohr Morehouse, and Leonard Gross. Dr. Lawrence Morehouse founded UCLA´s performance laboratory and wrote sections on exercise and physical conditioning for the Encyclopedia Britannica. He designed NASA’s fitness program for the astronauts. Most notably, he discovered that a combination of exercises-one for short periods of time daily-can provide all the muscle developing, stretching, aerobic stimulation and cardiovascular conditioning most people need. 
 
Dr. Morehouse’s findings revealed that we need very little exercise each day-if it´s the right kind of exercise. Morehouse, advocates vigorous exercise as monitored by your pulse rate, for its beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. Among some of his unconventional ideas, Dr. Morehouse, suggests that 10 minutes of vigorous exercise, three times a week, is all that is needed for complete cardiovascular conditioning.
 *
Total Fitness in Thirty Minutes a Week Exposes myths about physical fitness, intense exercise and strict diet plans and proposes a targeted approach to conditioning based on individual lifestyles and the regulating of metabolic systems.
 *
PAU for NOW
TAKU
 *
TAKU’s NOTE: Although this book was originally published 1976, it is well worth finding a copy and giving it a thorough read through.
*All pictures of Astronauts performing strength, and conditioning training aboard the ISS.
 

Why, When, and Where to buy Organic

Ever wonder why, when, and where to buy organic?

Synthetic pesticides are toxic and can attack our central nervous system.  Studies have shown an even higher risk for pregnant women and children as pesticides can interfere with growth and development.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides and 30 percent of insecticides are known to be carcinogenic (capable of causing cancer).

In October 2006, the Environmental Working Group published a list of the “Dirty Dozen” or worst offenders when it comes to levels of pesticides detected.  The list is based on studies conducted by the FDA and USDA from 2000-2004.

 

Produce with the HIGHEST level of contamination from pesticides include:

 

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

Produce with LOWEST level of contamination from pesticides include:

 

  • Onions
  • Avocados
  • Sweet Corn (frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

 

Tips for buying produce:

 

  • Shop Local Farmers Markets: Support your local farmers.  Talk with them.  Many times the farmer is not able to pay the hefty fee for the “USDA Organic” stamp of approval.  Often times the farm follows organic (and sometimes better than organic) standards but is not able to label it as such.
  • Buy in Season: Again, by shopping the farmers market’s, you will only be able to buy in season.  Buying in season ensures you get the maximum nutritional value out of your food, as it has not been sitting around or preserved.  It will taste better too!
  • Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture): There are many farms who will provide you fresh, local, seasonal produce delivered to your door or your neighborhood.  Some farms even provide eggs from pasture-raised chickens.  Not only are you supporting your local farmer, but you are also guaranteed to get great quality, freshly picked, seasonal produce at an inexpensive price.
  • Read labels: If you shop in a supermarket, read the sticker or produce sign to see where the produce is coming from.  Ask the produce manager.  Chances are organic produce grown half way around the world will not only taste poor, but not provide the nutritional content you need either. Fruits and vegetables lose nutritional value the longer they sit around from their original harvest date.

TAKU’s NOTE:

This article comes courtesy of: Kristin Hoppe, Certified Natural Chef.

Nutrition: Two simple steps to improve your fitness program.

If you visit here often, then you should know how I feel about the importance of strength training. However, if you want to lose fat, nutrition is certainly something in addition to strength training to work on.

I’ve got personal experience in this area. Along with my multiple Strength and Conditioning certifications, I am also a certified sports nutritionist. Over the years I’ve designed, implemented and updated hundreds of fully customized eating programs for a broad array of fitness participants from elite athletes to average Joe’s. It’s beyond the scope of this article to get too in depth into the specific details of creating custom Personal Eating Plans, but I do want to mention a couple of very useful principles for nutrition if someone wants to get leaner and lose fat.

1. Cut out the sugar: Limiting simple carbs is the best place to start for almost everyone when creating a new Personal Eating Plan (P.E.P.). For many, just getting rid of all the sources of simple and or processed carbs in their P.E.P. will quickly see them dropping unwanted pounds.

2. Total calories do matter: Despite what many “Clean eating” diet guides recommend or suggest, total calories do matter. It is absolutely possible to over-eat on healthy food choices. If after eliminating the sugar from your P.E.P. you are still not losing body fat, (or not losing as much as you would like) then it’s time to actually pay attention to the total calories you are consuming. Keep in mind that as we age, total caloric needs often decline.

Where should you start? In my experience I’ve found that for those requiring reduced calorie intake the following guidelines were extremely helpful:

Nutrition Guidelines*

Moderate Calorie: 1500-1800 men; 1200-1500 women

High Protein: 1.5 grams protein x 50% ideal body weight

High Water: 1 oz. x 50% ideal body weight

High Vegetables: unlimited servings (within daily calorie guidelines)

Moderate Fruit: Limited servings (within daily calorie guidelines)

Example based on the above guidelines:

Female with ideal target weight of 130 pounds.

Protein = 100 grams minimum daily (1.5 grams x 65*)

Water = 65 oz. minimum daily (1 oz. x 65)

Begin with meeting protein intake requirements. Then add Fruit & Vegetable and friendly fat while remaining within daily calorie guidelines.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

For those interested in fully customized Personal Eating Plans contact TAKU at: strengthonline@yahoo.com Put NUTRITION in the subject line.

*rounded up for convenience.