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Study Corner - Words of wisdom by Milos Sarcev
« poslato: Decembar 20, 2009, 09:05:09 posle podne »
Study Corner - Words of wisdom
by Milos Sarcev

Q: Milos, I am competitor from Puerto Rico and I would like to thank you for helping my favorite bodybuilder in the whole world – Gustavo Badell. I am so happy to see him at the top. I am even more excited as I truly believe that he will continue to improve and become first Latino to win Mr. Olympia title. This may I traveled to Europe and I heard that you came to San Juan and had seminar with Gustavo in the Powerhouse gym. I wish I was there to see both of you and ask many questions. What you did with Gustavo is nothing short of miracle and I am sure that you know what you are talking about. I asked few guys that attended the seminar what you said and I found out that you claim that best time to increase muscle mass is period immediately after the competition. I competed six times so far and quite contrary – every time I finish with my competition I got really fat. Are you really serious about that and if you are can you tell me the secret?
I hope you would read my E-mail and find the time to answer me. I would really appreciate that.
Thank you in advance.

A: Dear,
Thank you for your kind words. As you probably know by now – Gustavo is my close friend and his success is really my greatest pleasure. Just like you, I also believe that one day (I hope soon) Gustavo can have Mr. Olympia title right next to his name.
After long period of time when he was just one of the competitors (placing 24th out of 25 guys at his first Mr. Olympia) he is now on completely different level. Since 2004 when we became a “team” Gustavo is now considered potential winner of every contest that he enters. Two “top three” finishes at the last two Mr. Olympia’s definitely catapulted him into elite group of the IFBB professionals. Many experts believe that he could replace Ronnie after he retires…and that day is coming (probably) fairly soon.
Gustavo is young and hungry…but what makes me believe in him (besides his already incredible physique) is his love for the sport, iron discipline and phenomenal dedication.
I trained with him for a while and I can honestly tell you that he simply enjoys training more than anything else. While many bodybuilders train very hard – I know that majority of them do it just because it is part of their job…Gustavo on another hand can’t wait to step his foot on the gym floor. And once he does that – it is hard to get him out.
Another thing with Gustavo is – he loves competing as well and because of that he is possibly the perfect example for what I am about to tell you in order to answer your question. Best time to grow IS immediately after every competition.
More competitions equal more opportunities for growth! (And that is why you saw Gustavo competing every spring and every fall for the past two years and he is continuing with the same program next year).

If you followed my career you know that I competed in 72 IFBB professional shows.
Since I started competing in 1991 – I shocked some people by entering just about every contest that my federation has organized.
Some experts (and other bodybuilders) were telling me that I am making a huge mistake.
They said that I am going to burn myself out, that I am not going to be able to recuperate and/or grow – as I am constantly training and dieting.
Conventionally, many professional bodybuilders would enter only one contest per year (or very few) and belief was that once the competition is over – we should take some time off, heal, recuperate and than slowly go back in training. By having a full year ahead of us – we would have the opportunity to grow in our off season period…We could increase the calories as in order to get big (belief was) - we have to “eat big” and train heavy.
Typically, off-season was (and still is) considered muscle mass building period and precontest time would be “fat burning” period.
Well, as I said – very early in my career (as an amateur in Yugoslavia) I experienced something completely different.
I’ve noticed that in few weeks immediately after the competition I have always gained considerable amount of muscle size. As I competed very often (even as an amateur) I really never had a true off-season. But, I would never even want one.
Why? Because every time after the competition I have gained so much quality muscle size that I didn’t want to even try anything different.
[Well, I have to say that I simply had to try conventional approach at least once – so I did it back in 1994, taking a whole year off just to focus on 1994 Mr. Olympia. Needless to say I didn’t find it productive so I never tried it again.]

Here is what I did.
My normal “every day” diet was consisted of 500 grams of protein, 500 grams of carbohydrates and about 100 grams of fat (roughly 5000 calories).
My training was always the same – choosing 4 different exercises for each body part and performing first two exercises in 3-4 sets each applying fast twitch muscle fiber stimulation principles (6-10 reps with as heavy weight as possible, insuring that I would have enough stimulation of muscle fibers responsible for growth/hypertrophy). Other two exercises I would do in different manner – performing many different advanced Joe Weider training principles and using lighter weight, more repetitions (including super sets and drop sets) and focusing much more on muscle contraction rather than simply lifting the weights. With this method (I believe) I stimulated different group of muscle fibers – responsible for shape, muscle definition and quality – giving my body that polished look of matured, striated and deeply separated muscles.

When I would start my competition diet – I would not change anything in my diet or my training. I would only add some cardiovascular activity. If my diet and training were at the maintenance level (my caloric intake was equal to my caloric expenditure…which was about 5000 kCal/day) added cardio would now definitely burn additional calories and therefore – my body was able to slowly start loosing some body fat. As cardiovascular activity uses fatty acids as a primary fuel I believe that my body fat stores would decrease simply due to caloric deficit and nature of the added physical activity (again – cardio training is aerobic physical activity that requires fat as a fuel). My carefully chosen nutrients (500 grams of protein + 500 grams of carbs) were sufficient to maintain my muscle mass and preserve my glycogen stores. After about two week period I would reduce my fat intake by half, taking no more than 50 grams of fat per day. With less of the dietary fat in my diet and considerable caloric reduction (50 grams of fat equals 450 calories) my body would now become more efficient in fat burning…

The next step would be increasing the amount and/or intensity of the cardiovascular activity. That would insure further increase in body fat loss. Finally, ONLY IF NEEDED I would have to reduce my carbohydrate intake in few weeks leading up to the show. That reduction was minimal (starting with 50 grams of carbs per day…and never more than 200 grams from my maintenance level) and sometimes I would only need to change the choice of carbs – replacing some starchy and simple ones with fibrous sources. As fibrous carbohydrates (vegetables) have higher TEF (“thermic effect of feeding” which requires MORE calories to be used in processing of that particular food) and fiber found in vegetables has caloric value but body could not use it and therefore simply eliminates it – we can use same amount of calories but our body would have less available for energy. As energy demand is still the same but less energy is available – body has to turn to its own energy storage for the difference (thus loosing additional body fat). So, this is the way I dieted and trained throughout my whole IFBB professional career. As you can see – nothing ever changed by much. I trained always the same – as I believe that training that made me big will keep me big. I’ve heard about old theory that in off-season we should “eat big” and train heavy and than - before the contest we should starve and train light…That never made sense to me.

Again, if certain training stimulated the growth – than by changing it (and attempting to train “light”) we are risking to loose stimulation of fast twitch muscle fibers and therefore loose size (and believe me when I tell you – I’ve seen it happening to many competitors who followed that program). Also, changing the diet would be bad idea (in my opinion) as we have chosen our nutrients according to our specific needs. We chose amount of protein - to build our muscle (and for other physiological needs) and adequate amount of carbohydrates and fat for our energy demands (our metabolic needs). If we try to drastically reduce our calories (as many competitors believed that starvation is right way to diet for a contest) we are sending our body in “survival” mode. When that happens – body shuts down metabolism as fewer calories are now available and body desperately tries to use what is available in order of physiological importance. As muscle tissue is not on the list of high priorities and it is metabolically active (requires more calories to be maintained) – starvation diet ALWAYS causes muscle loss. That is the last thing any competitive bodybuilder wants. Simply, when body doesn’t have enough calories to maintain itself - it has to get rid of some tissue. As fat tissue requires considerably less calories to be maintained than muscle tissue – body keeps the fat and looses the muscle! What’s more – after loosing some muscle tissue during the dieting phase – as soon as contest is over starved bodybuilder would start to eat (and usually eating is uncontrollable for some time). What many bodybuilders fail to realize is that their metabolic rate after the contest (with this system of dieting) is now greatly reduced. If they attempt to eat the same amount of calories as they did before they start dieting – they are going to gain a lot of fat (that is probably what happened to you). Again, simply because caloric needs of starved body is much lower than “normal” – even eating “normal” amount of calories is now too much! This is why many bodybuilders gained so much fat after the contest – which would usually make them depressed and they would stop training for a while – making the things even worse.

With my way of dieting exactly the opposite happens. If you (and others) consider using my method – be prepared for the best gains of your life. If you follow the same program as I explained above – you would maintain high metabolism that you had before you start dieting. Additional cardio (during your dieting phase) will furtherly increase your metabolic rate so when the contest is over – your body will still be a “fat burning machine”. As your metabolism is elevated you can now easily afford to increase the calories above your maintenance level. Even though you were able to keep your muscle during the dieting phase (which would be considered anti-catabolic) – your body was nevertheless in catabolic state. Catabolic – as body was catabolising your body fat! So, start slowly increasing the calories and continue to train. You can seize your cardio sessions (or reduce it) for a while. Keep increasing the amount of good calories (nutrients) but make sure you don’t eat empty calories as that beats the purpose. Monitor your progress and you’ll see that you can increase your calories even more (and if that makes you nervous – increase the calories and start including again some “cardio”). After the contest, as your body now senses that sufficient amount of calories are present in day to day bases – you are creating environment for successful anabolism. Body ALWAYS responds with “supercompensation” after any event that causes the body to get out of the normal state (homeostasis). So if body was catabolic for a while and than it was given possibility to become anabolic – body will jump on that opportunity.

This was my secret “mass building system” that I have applied for many years. Many times after competitions I was approached and asked how was I able to gain so much size in such a short period after my previous contest? I would tell this to other competitors but few listened. Only after I got a reputation as a trainer some competitors start considering this system. Gustavo is just one of the examples (and very successful in that). One particular guy to look for in the next season is Mark Dugdale. After his successful pro debut this year (Ironman, Arnold Classic) I had a chance to talk to him during his photo shoot with Chris Lund for Flex magazine. He told me that he has very similar approach to mine and I can predict that he is going to impress some people in 2006.

I hope all this made sense to you. You should start establishing your metabolism and when you find out how many calories (protein/carbs/fat) you need daily – maintain the same levels for a while. Than apply everything I told you and you’ll see that next time after you finish competing you wouldn’t have to worry about gaining body fat. The only thing you will gain is going to be MUSCLE! Good luck.

Until the next time,
Milos Sarcev
« Poslednja izmena: Decembar 20, 2009, 09:44:20 posle podne The_Bulldog »

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Odg: Study Corner - Words of wisdom by Milos Sarcev
« Odgovor #1 poslato: Decembar 20, 2009, 09:28:31 posle podne »

Q:Hello Milos,
Do you always believe in training to complete failure, and is high intensity training the only way to build muscle? Also, what are your thoughts about recuperation? For instance, how many days should you rest a muscle, after training it?
Regards, Turner

A:Hi Turner,
During the last 15 years or so, I have had the opportunity to talk, and actually workout with some of the world’s greatest bodybuilders, and strength coaches.  Before I give you my opinion to your questions, I would like to point out that all of these great champs and coaches, had their own unique way of doing things.  In other words, they all had their own favorite systems of building muscle size, and strength. As far as training to failure is concerned, many of them simply just do not believe in it!  That’s right.  You read it correctly.  Some of the greatest physiques of all time do not; believe in training to total failure!

Take Bill Pearl for example, who is without doubt, one of the greatest physiques, of all time. When I asked Bill about this once, his reply was, “Why would you want to fail? To fail is to be negative, and why in the name of god would you ever want to fail at anything?”. Lee Haney, the current record holder of the most amount of Mr. Olympia titles, feels the same as Bill Pearl.  I have lost count of the times that he has told me, “Training should stimulate, not annihilate!”

On the other hand great champions such as Mike Mentzer, Dorian Yates and Ernie Taylor, are pure products of training to failure, Heavy Duty style.  They do as many reps as possible during a set, but when they reach positive muscular failure, (when the bar or dumbbells cannot be lifted again in proper form) they attempt to do even more reps, by using such advanced techniques as, forced reps, cheating reps, partial reps, and even rest pause. Their idea is to simply trash those muscle fibers, using the lowest, (low volume) amount of sets possible.  In other words, instead of one gentle knock, which wouldn’t be enough, why keep on knocking when you can accomplish the exact same thing, with one carefully aimed blow??

However, while we are on this particular subject let me confuse you even more by revealing some of the amazing, and unbelievably hard training methods of John Brown, who was a champion bodybuilder and guru, during the 1980’s.  (Editors note: John Brown was Shawn Ray’s and Vince Taylor’s trainer, and mentor.  Also, Melvin Anthony just about owes his career to John Brown.)
Imagine this for a deltoid workout.
1.  Without a warm-up, John would pick up two 30 pounders, and knock out 10 perfect reps, on the standing dumbbell side lateral raise, exercise.
2.  Without any rest he would do another set of standing laterals for 10 reps, with 40 pound dumbbells.
3.  Finally, he would grab a pair of fifties, and go right into another set of standing dumbbell laterals for 10 reps!
This constituted one cycle or triset. However, John was far from finished.  Without rest, he would return to the 30 pounders, and this time do 12 reps, on the standing dumbbell lateral raise, followed immediately by another set of twelve, using the 40 pounders.  Finally he would finish his second tri set, with the fifty pounders, again for 12 reps! As if this wasn’t enough, John would force himself through one more triset, this time doing 15 reps with the thirties, forties, and finally the fifties! Can you believe this? It does take some believing, doesn’t it? And, as if to rub salt in the wound, John once told me that back in his younger days, he pushed himself through another lateral raise triset, for 20 reps! Basically, what we are observing here, is that John Brown increased both the weight, and the reps, as he progressed through his workout.  This is pure progressive resistance training, although it’s simply murder to get through. Just give it a try. The other interesting, or should I say amazing thing about John Brown, was the fact that he never believed in dieting.  He believed that as long as he trained like an animal, then food, all kinds, could be eaten, in unlimited quantities. John and I competed together at the 1991 IFBB San Jose Pro Invitational, (which became my first Mr. Olympia qualification.)  I actually saw him first hand, wolfing down, scrambled eggs with bacon and cheese, before the prejudging, followed by hamburger, French fries and cheesecake at lunch. Thank god I missed his evening meal!

I have mentioned several times in my previous “Words of Wisdom” columns, that I am a firm believer in training to muscular failure. Having said that, I would like to point out that I am a little more conservative in my approach, compared to others.

Let me explain.  Instead of doing one all set to failure, of an exercise, I prefer to do three carefully planned sets. After important warm-ups, I pick an amount of weight that I think I can manage safely, for 6 – 8 reps, before failing. I perform this first working set, in a very slow tempo, (both eccentrically and concentrically) which is very much harder to do than a normal set. After a sufficient rest period, (because it is very important to allow enough recuperation time, between  working sets,) I attempt my second set to failure, but this time I perform it at normal tempo, (slow eccentric, and explosive concentric reps). This really is an all out set to failure. My third and final set, is what I call my beyond failure set. This is where I call upon the help of my training partner, for two to three extra, forced reps. (Please note: I only use this system on two of my four exercises, for each body part.)

I must point out that I personally agree with the numerous published scientific articles, which have stated that in order to increase strength and muscle size, we must continually attempt to use maximal voluntary contractions. In other words the level of tension we impose upon our muscles, has to be sufficient to cause maximal motor unit activation. Muscle hypertrophy doesn’t just happen. We have to create physiological reasons for our body to “make bigger and stronger muscles”. For that we need an appropriate work load, or should I say “overload?” I would like to quote Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, on this. “Everybody wants to get bigger, but nobody wants to lift heavy d**n weights!!” So overload, (a weight heavy enough to produce adequate stimulation) is essential, which is fine, but where do we draw the line? Should we always fail like Mentzer, Yates and Taylor? Or never fail like Pearl, Haney, and Michael Jackson?

You also asked if I always believed in training to complete failure. Well I will be a little diplomatic here, and say that we can periodically, push our body to complete failure, just like my third working set, or the entire work out of Dorian Yates and Ernie Taylor, plus other high intensity Heavy Duty followers. However, the human body is not a machine, and we can’t keep pounding away on it, because your body is a biological system, with many limitations. I hope you appreciate that I only periodically push myself to the limit, (two sets for each body part) but about every fifth or sixth workout, (for the same muscle group) I do not even attempt to push to complete failure.  I back off for a week, (and sometimes two) by reducing both volume and intensity, allowing my body to heal. In my opinion it is absolutely NOT humanly possible to expect out bodies to handle this kind of punishment, day after day. Even high intensity proponents have to schedule low intensity periods… Even the obviously, infrequent but insanely intense workouts, of Dorian and Ernie dictate their need for longer recuperation times. They usually train a maximum of 3 – 4 times a weeks, because they have to.

Your other question regarding workout recuperation is like opening a can of worms! The two most extreme examples of zero workout recuperation, (yes you read it right) were Serge Nubret and Thierry Pastel.  These two former great champs, used to train the same muscles every day, and don’t doubt me on this, because I’ve personally witnessed it with my own two eyes!

Ronnie Coleman, our current Mr. Olympia trains with both high volume, and high intensity.  He currently works each muscle twice a week, which is unusual these days, because most top bodybuilders work a major body part only once.

Personally, I feel that workout recuperation is directly in correlation to your nutritional, and supplementation intake, plus adequate rest.  Both these factors are of supreme importance when it comes to the question of “when is it time to work that muscle group again?” Even if you performed two identical training sessions, (with all parameters being equal) the true exact amount of recuperation time required, would not be 100% the same. However, if you pay more attention to your nutritional, and supplement support before, and after training, you will recover considerably faster, than if you did not.  Also, if you improve your sleep and rest requirements, you will enhance your recovery even further. I have to be honest, and rather blunt about this, but I am constantly amazed, when I talk to young trainees on a daily basis, about their approach to workout recuperation etc.  During my personal, and private consultations, I am often made aware that the average bodybuilder gives absolutely no, or very little consideration to what would be the ‘ideal’ recuperation period. Many inform me that they train and recuperate ‘instinctively’.  In other words they train, and rest, when their body tells them to do so. While I certainly believe in ‘listening’ to the body, I highly doubt whether it’s possible for someone to effectively really know when it’s time to hit that same muscle group again.  All I can say is try the experience on yourself. But, first and foremost, I would like to see you learn all you possibly can about nutrition, and supplementation.  Once you have the perfect diet plan, (remember, those who fail to plan – plan to fail) combine it with a result producing training routine, and follow both religiously. Later, you can experiment with reducing your recuperation period between consecutive workouts, just to see what happens.  Don’t exclude any possibilities, and be open minded.  Find out for yourself if you’re a Pastel – Nubret six hours a day trainee or a Mentzer – Yates, one hour max advocate.

The truth is, you are actually probably somewhere in between, but don’t tell John Brown!

Till next time,

Van mreže The_Bulldog

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Odg: Study Corner - Words of wisdom by Milos Sarcev
« Odgovor #2 poslato: Decembar 20, 2009, 09:43:25 posle podne »

Q: I have seen in your recent interview for FLEX that you recommend specific “post workout” drink that among other things (whey isolate, creatine and glutamine peptides) contains DEXTROSE? As a simple carbohydrate dextrose or any other simple sugars should be avoided by any serious bodybuilder –at least that’s what I’ve been reading in bodybuilding publications for the last 20 years?!

A:  I know because I’ve been reading the same publications. Also I had discussions with many “experts” that were adamant that simple carbohydrates have no place in bodybuilders menu. While I generally wouldn’t suggest to anyone to eat abundance of simple sugars throughout a day –immediately after the workout specific simple carbohydrate –DEXTROSE (or glucose) is absolute must.

Here is the reason why. During our actual weight training session our muscle fibers are put under tremendous stress that cause our muscle cells to loose ATP storage, glycogen and amino acids. Human body would always want to be in a normal state (homeostasis) and when is affected shifts into “survival mode” where responds upon demand. At that time (immediately after the workout) physiological preference for your body is to take care of SHOCK that just occurred (glycogen and ATP depletion as well as loss of amino acids due to micro tears of the muscle fibers induced by intense weight training session). So your body is looking for available nutrients to replenish what was lost. What many trainees don’t realize is that window of opportunity is very narrow- maybe one hour at the most. If they don’t have nutrients available and they don’t have delivering mechanism that can transport nutrients into the cells they are missing out on what I call “Federal express of muscle building”.

Here is where DEXTROSE (or VITARGO, specific glucose polymer) comes into picture. If we mix substantial amount of dextrose/Vitargo (50-150grams depending on length and intensity of the workout, as well as muscle group trained –and estimated amount of lost glycogen) with fast absorbing whey isolate (40-60grams depending on bodyweight) and add creatine monohydrate (3-10grams) and glutamine peptides (3-20grams) we are creating muscle building environment. Dextrose is going into our blood stream within 3 minutes and according to scientific studies reaches peak within 40 minutes (Vitargo is even faster plus have better osmolality and faster gastric emptying than dextrose). Whey isolate would deliver freeform and peptide bonded amino acids into our blood stream within 20-30 minutes…and as everybody knows by now high levels of blood sugar (glucose –same as dextrose) would cause our pancreas to release strongest anabolic and storage hormone –INSULIN. What we have is delivering mechanism (insulin) picking up all the things available (amino acids, glucose, creatine and glutamine) and transporting them into available empty storage places (muscle cells just trained). Wonderful thing that our body does is – it “supercompensates ” or brings more nutrients to the muscle cells than previously available which creates muscle hypertrophy (growth). I can tell you from my personal experience and from results of many clients that I put on this regimen -–results are astonishing.  Several clients gained over 15 kilograms in less than a month without increasing their percentage of bodyfat. I would encourage you and anyone else who wants to increase muscle size in short period of time to try my “Federal express system”. It is most effective way to build muscles fast.

Van mreže The_Bulldog

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Odg: Study Corner - Words of wisdom by Milos Sarcev
« Odgovor #3 poslato: Decembar 22, 2009, 07:13:24 posle podne »

Q: I have been frequent visitor of your bulletin board and avid reader of your column. I admire people that have courage to try something new and unorthodox and people that are not afraid to express their opinion, especially if they go against accepted scientific research. Certainly I’ve noticed that your recommendations for usage of specific simple carbohydrates, protein requirement and many common supplements differ from suggestions I can find in magazine articles. What is your opinion of EFA’s and how important they really are? I have been competing for over 20 years and now, as a National master competitor I am finding that these essential fats do make a difference!

A: First, let me clarify something. I exclusively write for “Flex” magazine and I really enjoy doing it. Editors allow me to tell the way I see it even if I would contradict some of their own writers that could be writing about the same thing in the very same issue! Advantage that I have is that I am not scientist or PhD, MD, MTV or whatever else that would make me accountable for the information that requires scientific back up. I am sometimes a voice of some of those reputable academics that would love to express their views, but cannot risk their jobs, titles, diplomas… If medical doctor would suggest protein intake of 4 or more grams per kilo of bodyweight he or she would be sent to mental rather than medical institution. Same goes for many of my other radical recommendations that in essence were discussed and approved by many of them. Now, let me elaborate on my views about EFA’s or essential fatty acids. I hope that everybody by now knows that ESSENTIAL means absolutely necessary for survival! I have talked about 8 essential amino acids that our body could not manufacture and therefore must have it through daily nutritional intake. It is important to understand that ESSENTIAL nutrient represents something that every cell of our body needs to be able to survive, but cannot make it on their own. Even though most of the people around the World would believe that avoiding fats would lead them towards good health, truth is that their health would be greatly compromised if they neglect TWO of the so important essential fats. Alpha-Linolenic or OMEGA 3 fatty acid and Linoleic or OMEGA 6 fatty acids are “lifesavers” in the true sense of that word. Medical community has recognized their numerous health benefits, from prevention of many cardiovascular problems (ability to reduce blood pressure, levels of LDL, triglycerides and blood clots formation. And at the same time increase levels of HDL or good cholesterol, factor so important to every competitive bodybuilder) to prevention of arthritis and even cancers! You mentioned it that EFA’s made a difference for you and I can only assume that you are talking about performance and appearance enhancements. They would act as lipotropic (fat burning) and anabolic agents with their documented ability to simultaneously increase muscle mass and decrease levels of body fat. Or you are noticing their role on mood, energy, healing, vision, memory, joint repair or sense of well being in general. Recently I had a pleasure to attend a seminar of Mr. Udo Erasmus, International authority on fats and oils and author of the book I would highly recommend to anyone “ Fats that heal, fats that kill”. I also had a pleasure to be included in nutritional panel with him and several other nutritional and medical experts at prestigious SWIS symposium in Toronto. As debate about EFA’s started all of us agreed on their extreme importance and numerous roles on human body, but we couldn’t agree on daily recommendations.

Again, doctors have to be careful and conservative when they prescribe optimal dosage of certain medicament or nutrient. Typically, their recommendations of specific nutrient hardly meets even minimal amount for survival. Not optimal and far away from maximal! Just like my views on protein recommendations I am prone to suggest abundance of EFA’s particularly to the athletes and physically active people! Also, I had a problem with acceptance of “the best ratio” of omega 3 to omega 6 fats. I agree that consumption of omega 6 far exceeds intake of omega 3’s, but it is hard for me to claim that ratio should or must be 2:1, or 13:11 or any other number quoted in recent published research papers. Simply, I believe in taking higher amounts of Omega 3’s. Either from their natural sources like fatty cold-water fish, flax/hemp/chia seeds and green leafy vegetables or from variety of omega 3 supplements available today. I find EFA’s especially useful for the followers of the “low carb” diets like popular Atkins, Ketogenic, Metabolic or ‘pre contest bodybuilding” diet. Rationale behind all of those above-mentioned diets is that by dramatically reducing carbohydrate intake we would “force” or body to use available fats as an energy source. Changing our enzymatic system where our body would produce more of the fat digesting enzymes we would become “fat adapted”. Fat (tryglicerides) would become preferred energy source to carbohydrates (glucose). Basically, our body would become fat burning machine that would efficiently use dietary fat and than dig into our body fat stores to supply us with energy, in absence of carbs!

Back in 80’s many competitive bodybuilders used MCT’s (medium chain tryglicerides) during their low carb contest diets. Atkins doesn’t even elaborate on kinds of fats one should use and (surprisingly as a cardiologist) he actually suggest bacon, lard, butter and all the other “fats that kill”! My take on that is - to stay away from saturated fats. Following my hi protein recommendations it is certain that saturated fat hidden even in low fat protein sources would be sufficient for all hormone-producing needs (the only thing they are good for). Additional fat (in my opinion) should exclusively come from “fats that heal”, either monounsaturated fats or polyunsaturated -EFA’s. While MCT’s are not damaging, they only contribute as caloric replacement having no additional health or performance benefits.

My suggestion on daily recommendation is 0.3 –0.5 grams of omega 3 fatty acid per kilo of bodyweight ( bodybuilder that weighs 100 kilos would have need for 30-50 grams of the omega 3 fatty  acid), and 0.2- 0.3 grams of omega 6 (20-30 grams daily).

Van mreže The_Bulldog

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Odg: Study Corner - Words of wisdom by Milos Sarcev
« Odgovor #4 poslato: Decembar 22, 2009, 07:31:21 posle podne »

Q: I am confused. Reading scientific literature about  protein requirements for healthy athletic people I am finding figures in range of 0,83grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (0,38 grams per pound) as a maximal recommended intake for healthy male athlete. Flipping through the pages of “Flex” I see that professional bodybuilders suggest and take themselves more than double (as high as 2 grams per pound?). Are they really deserving “muscleheads” attribute or they know something that we don’t? Is in it true that body can digest only 30 g of protein per meal? How many meals must Nasser El Sonbaty have to digest his 600grams of protein daily?

A: Thanks for the compliment “butthead” .As a professional bodybuilder myself who also advocates high protein intake especially to physically active people I can try to clarify this enigma once and for all. First of all as you did mention “scientific literature” I can agree with you that FDA recommends amount of protein that you’ve mention it. However what they fail to explain is  - that this is recommended as minimal amount for survival. Protein has a structural role in human body and is necessary for growth and repair of just about all the cells and tissues. Our organs, skin, muscles, hair, hormones, bones, blood cells, enzymes, brain cells, nails, connective tissue, DNA …you name it –everything is made out of  amino acids ( building blocks of protein ). Physical activity creates amino acid loss. Extreme physical effort such as pro bodybuilders intense weightlifting workout would create severe protein loss and micro tears in the muscle fibers trained –that need immediate and sufficient amount of amino acids (protein) for the repair. While some of the nutritionist agree that athletes require nearly twice as much protein as inactive people dilemma is how much protein competitive bodybuilder needs for extreme muscular hypertrophy. Preparing several of the top pro bodybuilders and communicating with many others I can tell you honestly that all of us take at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. The more successful ones take between 1,5 and  2 grams per pound. Think logically –if you know that in order to maintain or increase muscle mass you have to be in positive nitrogen balance, and there is no NITROGEN in either carbohydrates or fat ( it is only constituent in formulation of proteins )- don’t you think you should have higher protein requirement? If you want to build a house and you have only 5 bricks –how far would you go? There is a difference between survival needs, optimal health needs, performance athletes needs and serious –muscle building “muscleheads” (more politely – competitive bodybuilders) needs. Again, compare 300lb inactive grandfather to Ronnie Coleman or 200lb secretary to Shawn Ray! I can assure you that Ronnie and Shawn need considerably more protein than Marlon Brando or what FDA recommends. 

As far as your second question (or statement) that human body can digest only 30 grams of protein in one meal goes – I would like to challenge you to show me ANY scientific literature about this claim. And just to worn you –“Mickey Mouse Almanac” is not exactly what I consider scientific. Really what do you think it happens if you eat 10 ounce steak (roughly 60 grams of protein)? Are you (or Disney) suggesting that first 4 ounces and 30 grams of protein is digested and assimilated, and second part can not be synthesized as protein but instead turn into glucose, fat or frog?  Does magic wand appears on the 31st gram? Different proteins have different absorption rate and digested protein –whether is mentioned steak or chicken, fish, egg, milk, soy or protein powder –will eventually liberate amino acids (free form – singular, or in form of peptides) that can be now used to form (synthesize) new biologically/physiologically- important proteins (all the above mentioned –skin, hair, organs, MUSCLE!!!! )

Trust me –if there is a need for amino acids there are not going to be converted into fat (lipogenesis), glucose (gluconeogenesis) or frog (kermitogenesis).
Do yourself a favor and increase your protein intake to at least a gram per pound of your (total –not only lean) bodyweight, and if you can try to increase to even 1,5 grams/lb. 

Van mreže The_Bulldog

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« Odgovor #5 poslato: Decembar 22, 2009, 07:41:06 posle podne »

Q: What is your opinion on ZMA supplement?

A: It is interesting that you are asking me that question as I believe that I’m among first bodybuilders to start using this particular supplement. About 10 years ago I’ve received letter from BALCO lab from Northern California offering me free blood test with comprehensive blood analysis –everything from mineral status in plasma and red blood cells to hormone levels, liver enzymes, hematocrit…etc. They’ve sent me a list of about 50 athletes, their clients –all superstars in various sports. They also offered that upon the test they would supply me with pharmaceutical grade minerals (ones I was deficient in).

They also predicted that I would be more than likely deficient in zinc and magnesium as were majority of other athletes (I wasn’t – as I was taking both Zn and Mg as a part of my supplemental program). Later, during 1995 IFBB San Francisco pro show – Balco labs performed blood test on 28 IFBB pros and without exception every single one of them was deficient in either one or both minerals.

From their team of experts –namely Victor Conte and Jim Valente I have found out that industry standard in US doesn’t really cares that companies that produce supplements can combine competing minerals in same formula –so that one would partially or completely interfere with absorption of the other. Perfect example –highly available Zn/Ca/Mg combination available in every store. Balco labs have numerous studies showing that calcium severely affects absorption of both zinc and magnesium yet you can find it in the same formula either listed or unlisted (as a most common “filler”- calcium carbonate).

ZMA is very specifically designed anabolic mineral support formula –containing zinc monomethionine aspartate, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B-6. It is tested in university laboratories and results were published in New England Journal of Medicine.

Being avid user of ZMA for years I can attest that it promotes restful sleep that aids in recovery, healing and tissue repair. More important fact for bodybuilding community –it releases Growth Hormone, IGF –1 and boosts testosterone production (ANABOLIC action) and at the same time significantly reduces levels of most catabolic hormone cortisol (ANTI CATABOLIC action).

I would be first to suggest you that if your goal is to put on muscle, increase strength, enhance recovery, boost level of free testosterone and other anabolic hormones, suppress catabolism with antagonistic action on cortisol and increase your sex drive – take ZMA daily. Actually let me correct myself –take it at nighttime, about 30 minutes before you go to sleep preferably on empty stomach.