Tag Archive: creatine



How to increase testosterone naturally – [science based]

Click here to watch video “HOW TO INCREASE YOUR TESTOSTERONE LEVELS”

The search for optimal blood testosterone levels becomes a major issue for guys over 40 who are on a quest for a WOW physique. Without optimal blood testosterone levels this quest is simply impossible. Low blood testosterone levels will mean fat gain, muscle loss, low libido, impotency, low sperm count, low energy, depressive states (sometimes severe) and potential heart problems just to name a few of the typical symptoms guys with low testosterone levels have to deal with.

Having optimal testosterone levels will simply provide a much better quality life for any over 40 guy. It is a no brainer. And it will put a muscled body in your reach if you are prepared to do the hard work. With optimal testosterone levels the body now has the ability to grow muscle and lose fat. Still not like when you were 20, but it will at the very least make it possible with hard work, well, sometimes very hard work.

The internet has a magnitude of products claiming to increase male testosterone levels.

But in then end only a small group makes the grade. ONLY the supplements that followed the rules of independent science studies that have proved the product to work against controlled groups form part of this group. All the other product claims are hogwash with empty marketing claims that is NOT supported by science.

So first, let’s look at the one’s that completely failed the science test:

  1. Tribulus Terrestris (science studies show it has zero effect on raising blood testosterone levels but it does have an effect in increasing libido).
  2. Fenugreek extract (science studies shown it resulted in zero increase in blood testosterone or other hormone levels. However as with Tribulus it has shown to increase libido rather effectively).
  3. Aspartic Acid (or aspartate – Although DAA supplementation has been found to sometimesresult in a small increase in testosterone levels in healthy males, this increase seems to only last for about one week before it drops back down to baseline levels. Moreover, research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that a dose of 6 grams of DAA per day resulted in a decrease in the levels of free and total testosterone in healthy resistance-trained males.)

 

My ADVANCED SYSTEM II body transformation system is available customised for your body and goals. You can signup here: ADVANCED SYSTEM II

 

The ONLY ones making the grade and is proven by science studies to moderately increase blood testosterone levels in males are:

  1. Magnesium and Zinc (also called ZMA which combines Magnesium and Zinc supplementation – a supplement for men which is usually taken before bedtime).The main proof was provided by a study published in the journal of Biological Trace Element Researchwhich found that 4 weeks of supplementation with 10 mg magnesium per kg of body weight increased both free and total testosterone in sedentary subjects as well as in athletes. Zinc deficiencies, which are relatively common in athletes and those who sweat a lot, can result in a decrease in testosterone levels, so supplementation with zinc can raise testosterone to normal levels. Two studies published in the journal of Neuro Endocrinology Letters (one in exercising subjects and one in elite wrestlers) found that zinc supplementation for 4 weeks prevented the decrease in testosterone levels which declined in the placebo group.
  2. Yeah, good old creatine. This is a shock for many. How is it possible? Let me explain: The rise in the body’s creatine stores that happens with creatine supplementation and the subsequent increase in energy for short-term activities are mainly responsible for the significant performance increases that take place. What most people are unaware of is that creatine also seems to result in a small but, relatively, reliable increase in testosterone levels, which may also be partially responsible for the strength and muscle gains experienced with supplementation. For example, in a study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, resistance trained football players saw a statistically significant increase of 22% in testosterone levels after 10 weeks of supplementation with creatine. The increases in strength and lean body mass were also significantly higher in the creatine vs the placebo group.
  1. Vitamin D. Although here I must note that testosterone was only raised with Vit D supplementation when subjects actually had a vit D deficiancy. That being said, 90% of us have a vit D deficancy in varying degrees. Supplementation with Vitamin D will, consequently, correct a vitamin D deficiency and, possibly, result in an increase in testosterone levels. This was confirmed in a relatively recent study published in the journal of Hormone and Metabolic Research, where it was found that men taking a little over 3000 international units (IU) of vitamin D for one year saw a statistically significant increase in both free and total testosterone.

 

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Now is this all we can do to increase testosterone levels? No, but this is all you can do on the supplement side. Any other supplement claiming to increase testosterone levels and is not on this list…pass! It is hollow claims unless proven by science.

But there are other non-supplement actions that have also been proven by science to have a rather large positive impact on optimal blood testosterone levels in males. They are:

  1. Regular heavy compound training. I am talking here about intense squats and bench pressing (deadlifts also form part of this bunch). These compounds moves have been proven by science studies to elevate blood testosterone and HGH hormone levels.
  2. Healthy eating patterns – have been proven to have a large impact on blood testosterone levels. Good oils/fats in diet critical for healthy hormonal levels.
  3. Little or no alcohol – alcohol consumption has a direct link to low testosterone levels.
  4. Enough sleep – too little sleep will negatively affect blood testosterone levels.
  5. Levels of stress – regular intense stress situations has been proven to lower blood testosterone levels.
  6. Excessive masturbation has been proven by science to lead to low blood testosterone levels.

So there you have all you can do to get a maximum blood testosterone rating!

Off course there are the “not-so-natural” ways as well to increase blood testosterone levels, which range from DHEA to TRT to plain ANABOLIC STEROIDS…but that is a path one must tread lightly or at best avoid completely!

I cannot stress enough the care you must apply reading marketing claims of supplements. If it is not proven by science, no matter how fancy the words and how many (stolen!) photos and lies are provided as “proof”, well, then it is simply hogwash.

Happy training with optimal test levels!
Gert Louw

 

CLOTHING


This is probably the single most confusing area for anyone want to venture the road of fitness/bodybuilding or just to transform their body for a “wow” look.

 

The first question is, “Do I need to take supplements at all”?

Now those of you that have followed me for a while know that I am very (!) outspoken against supplements. My photos have been stolen and abused with fake stories by supplement companies more than 80 times now (those are the one’s I actually busted, let alone the one’s I don’t know about).

So the bottom line is EVERY advert you read about how great this or that product is, is hugely inflated and chances are very high the photos produced as proof are stolen and the stories as proof are fake. There is NO (!) magic pill out there. Not even anabolic steroids can do what some of these supplement companies claim, ie: “complete body transformations in 14 days or 3 weeks”!

So lesson one – NEVER read supplements advertisements. It has 90% lies and 10% truth. Very few real advances have been made in the last decade or so about supplements for bodybuilding. I am not talking about hollow claims, but I am talking about real scientific independent studies and proof.

Those that is going to believe me and listen to what I say will save THOUSANDS of dollars!

Bodybuilding and fat loss supplements contribute a miniscule 2.5% to your overall results. Thus, you CANNOT waste your money on any supplement that is not highly effective and focused.

Now all that being said, truth is, there are a core group of supplements for both your general health (very important for those putting their body under strain due to heavy training and dieting) and for creating and environment for muscle-building and fatloss and increase your repair ability of your body.

Anything outside these groups of supplements you need to question and REALLY do your homework before parting with your hard-earned money.

Click here to view video “How to choose the RIGHT supplements for muscle building and fat loss”

 

Regarding BRANDS

Now generally anyone knowing me, knows that I am steering clear here because I do not like promoting brands and shooting others down. BUT, I had so many people ask me about safer brand options. So here is my opinion:

Experience and knowledge leads here. Let me explain. NO supplement out there, with little to no scientific studies to back it up, can make any significant difference no matter what the marketing or claims are.
The are MANY, MANY scam supplements out there that are totally worthless and it cost and arm and leg.
So the first rule is, it MUST be backed up by various independent scientific studies and control groups. This immediately cancel 95% of supplements!
The rest well, there are various degrees of success. Even if it is backed up by solid studies, if the effect is minimal, one is wasting your time and money.
The supplement must have a significant effect to be even considered.
Now, filtering through everything with the above rules and the supps I suggest are the ones that can and will make an ever so slight but important difference (see section below). The only one outside of this group is creatine…for about 90% of people it can have solid advantages (even to the degree of the most potent supp this side of anabolic steroids)…but that should only be used while on a building phase and not cutting phases. Just a note on creatine – anyone with kidney issues should steer clear…creatine is placing some strain (albeit moderate) on the kidneys. So drink LOTS of water while on it.
When buying the “approved” supplements…stick only to highly reputable BIG brands, EAS, On Nutrition, Animal and Muscletech.
That does not mean all the supplements these companies sell, is working…they sell whatever the public has been brainwashed to buy! So tread carefully!
Which brand I use? A local, South African brand – HMT, but you will only have access to it if you are in South Africa and the range is designed specifically for competing athletes.

 

INTERESTED IN MY ONLINE COACHING SYSTEMS – TRANSFORMING YOU BODY? CLICK HERE advanced coaching and body transformation systems

 

First, let’s look at GENERAL HEALTH supplements (supported by science and real world trials)

 

CQ10 (Co-Enzyme Q10) – the number ONE potent health supplement out there. [150mg – 300mg daily]

“Coenzymes are substances that help the activities of enzymes. Evidence shows that Coenzyme Q10 plays a very important role in the production of energy throughout the body. It also has been found to have powerful antioxidant effects, destroying free radicals in the body.

Improved energy production is of particular importance to athletes and bodybuilders.

Coenzyme Q10 helps the body convert food into energy in the form of ATP. Nearly every cell in the body contains at least some Coenzyme Q10, with mitochondria, the energy powerhouses of cells, containing the most. The heart and liver, due to their high content of mitochondria, contain the most Coenzyme Q10 out of any organs in the body.

In a placebo-controlled study, Coenzyme Q10 supplementation was shown to help people with congestive heart failure. People with congestive heart failure may not see any results for a few months, but should not quit taking it immediately without consulting a doctor. People with angina have been able to exercise for longer periods of time and with more energy when supplementing with Coenzyme Q10. It has also been shown to lower blood pressure and improve the pumping function of the heart.

Coenzyme Q10 may even help facilitate weight loss due to its stimulating effects on the body’s metabolism. Evidence suggests that Coenzyme Q10 can help in a number of ailments and diseases including: diabetes, angina, give support with chemotherapy, male infertility, mitral valve prolapse, give support with HIV, gingivitis, and congestive heart failure.  The assimilation of Coenzyme Q10 may be better if taken with a fatty substance such as oil, peanut butter, olive oil, etc.”

CQ10 has also shown to have highly effective pain treatment properties, especially for migraine sufferers.

 

ALA(Alpha lipoic Acid) [200mg – 400mg daily]

“In addition to the anti-oxidant effects that ALA produces the list below shows why it is such an important supplement. The list of benefits includes:

  • Improving of physique
  • Combats free radicals
  • Protects our genetic material
  • Slows aging
  • Protects against heart disease
  • Protects against cancer
  • Improves skin and helps erase wrinkles
  • Regulates blood sugar in diabetics
  • Protects the liver
  • May be used as a treatment for Stroke

If Alpha-Lipoic Acid were just another antioxidant, then its value would be far less. After all, there are dozens of ingredients on the market that have powerful antioxidant functions. However, the unique qualities possessed by Alpha-Lipoic Acid, functioning as both a water- and fat-soluble antioxidant make it an intriguing ingredient and a supplement worthy of serious consideration.”

 

Omega 3+6 [2g to 6g per day]

“Omega-3 fats are essential fats your body needs for brain development that may also help limit your risk for heart disease. Good sources include flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel, sardines and other fatty fish. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends getting at least 500 milligrams per day of EPA and DHA, the main omega-3 fats found in seafood.

Getting plenty of omega-3 fats in your diet may help increase your feelings of fullness, making it easier to lose weight and keep it off, according to a study published in Appetite in November 2008. A review article published in Nutrients in 2010 noted that omega-3 fats may help with weight loss by reducing appetite and increasing fat burning, especially when combined with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise.

Omega-6 fats are essential as well, but most people get more of these than they need in their diets. A high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, such as that found in the typical American diet, may increase inflammation and your risk of cancer, heart disease and arthritis. If you’re trying to lose weight, it may be best to limit your omega-6 consumption, which can cause you to retain water. Aim for a 3-1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, recommends Unity Health System. These fats should make up between 5 and 10 percent of your total calories for the day. Some of the main sources of omega-6 fats include soybean oil, safflower oil and corn oil.”

Consumption of Omega 3 + 6 will actually help you to lose fat!

 

Potent Multi Vitamin [as directed on container]

When the body is under strain due to serious training and dieting, then you need larger amounts of trace minerals/vitamins to ensure that the body stays healthy. Some doctors lately actually support the notion that one does not need a multi-vitamin at all. However, I oppose this notion, especially when it comes to a body under strain. Potent type multivitamins contains higher dosages of all vit/min combinations than those used by non-active people. Just a note here: Never use anti-oxidants or Multi Vit in near to the time you train. It has been shown by recent science studies that this limits your body’s ability to lose fat. Use it as far removed from your training session. Good examples: Optimen, Optiwomen, Animal Pak, Nano Pack by Nuskin, etc…

 

Now, about supplements that can make a real difference in the bodybuilding/fat-loss environment:

BCAA – branched chained amino acids [use as directed on container – buy shake and not pill form]

BCAA shake while training has been proven scientifically to “force” your body’s energy requirements to come from the fat reserves and not the muscles. You NEVER want energy to come from the muscles, when that happens, you enter a catabolic state = smaller muscles! BCAA goes a long way to help stop this process and encourage energy to come from fat reserves. It is a critical component when you train heavy and intense and is best use while training in shake form.

L-Glutamine [5g before and 5g after training]

L-Glutamine has been proven through various science studies to be a miracle bodybuilding supplement.

  • Glutamine has been linked to protein synthesis. It prevents your muscle from being catabolic (eaten up) in order to provide Glutamine for other cells in the body.
  • Glutamine helps maintain cell volume and hydration, speeding up wound and burn healing and recovery.
  • Glutamine benefits you by replenishing declining Glutamine levels during intense workouts.
  • Research has shown Glutamine can help you produce growth hormone levels. A study has shown 2 grams of L-Glutamine increased growth hormones by over 400%.
  • Glutamine may serve to boost your immune system. For bodybuilders, this is important since heavy workouts tend to greatly deplete Glutamine levels. (Glutamine is a primary energy source for your immune system.)
  • Glutamine is one of the most important nutrients for your intestines. It has the ability to ‘repair a leaky gut’ by maintaining the structural integrity of the bowels.
  • Bet you didn’t know this: It can even cure ulcers! Studies have found that 1.6 grams of Glutamine a day had a 92% cure rate in 4 weeks.

Researchers are suggesting that Glutamine is the most important amino acid to the bodybuilder. It provides a component in muscle metabolism and cellular support not shared by any other single amino acid, making the benefits of L-Glutamine supplementation a realistic venture.

Glutamine has also various benefits for hiv+ people.

Whey protein [40g immediately after training]

Immediately after training you need to spike the insulin. This is to create a potent environment for growth. Insulin is the most powerful muscle-building hormone in the body. To do this, one consume 40g of whey protein (without added carbs or fats) and eat a banana or apple. This is a key aspect for anyone serious about building muscle and loosing fat. This will also feed the muscles very much-needed nutrients.

 

Creatine – optional [use as directed on container and pre load if necessary]

Creatine will work for some and for some not. For those that it does work, it can be the most potent muscle-building supplement this side of anabolic steroids. So it might be worthwhile to test out. Just be carefull, creatine places strain on kidneys and only use if you have healthy kidneys. Creatine must always be use together with grape juice or Vitargo for best absorption.

 

Ok, now you have some guidance about what to choose between all these 1000’s of supplements.

 

But just some food for thought about your plans to transform that body this year…

Everyone experience failure along the adventure of transforming their body, but those that get to the goal post are those that got up EVERY time after they failed on diet or training for a day or a week and kept going…THAT is the single biggest and most important ingredient for EVERYONE who reach the goal post of a “wow” transformation. Like a well-known slogan says: “JUST DO IT.” Don’t think about it…DO IT! The more you think about it, the more reasons you will find not too. Because it is an effort. It is not easy and it will take a lot of sweat and pain. But the adventure is incredible and will change your life forever. The return on your investment will be unbelievable! Reach for the stars, nothing less…

But to make it worthwhile, change everything…inside and out. become the best person you can be, with integrity, kindness and compassion, otherwise it is a hollow aim that will let you just become a more well-known jerk instead of a guy people look up to and admire for more than just their body. A role model that can change the world!

Here are 3 incredible transformation photos – look at them and burn them in your mind…GET TO THAT GOAL POST!

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Click here to watch video “HOW TO TRANSFORM TO A “WOW” PHYSIQUE”.

 

It can be done…but YOU will have to do it and MAKE IT HAPPEN.

For those that want complete customised transformation systems and diets to get you to the goal post, follow this link for some of the most comprehensive systems in the business: https://gertlouw.com/contact-me/

And lastly, here is my transformation pic (age 50 on the right):

 

gert b&A 12May2016 small

Make 2016 the year you become the best you can be…from the inside and outside!

Wish you all a great day.

Gert Louw


Click here to play video “How to eradicate joint pain”

 

Joint pain is probably the most common injury a bodybuilder struggle with. And the bad part is, as you pass the 40 y/o mark the challenges increases drastically to walk the narrow pain-free road with your joints.

In this article I will explain how to train to avoid /minimizing joint pain and then also give some options as a last resort for effective treatment considerations.

 

When we speak about joint pain then we generally refer to any of the following:

ARTHRITIS, BURSITIS (aka Tennis/Golfers Elbow), TENDONITIS

The good news is that all three can be nearly fully avoided, even for us older folks. (I am not taking into account genetic predisposition to arthritis or similar conditions)

 

A very effective avoidance principle

Few of us employ the basic training principles required for avoidance. It is so simple but our aim and eagerness to grow is the main culprit here.

The human body CANNOT take increasing punishment month after month for an extended period.

IT WILL BREAK! And the first to go is your tendons, joints and immune system.

Younger guys can get away with it to a certain degree but as you age your body has less testosterone and growth hormone available and the healing and repair slows down = breaking easier.

The avoidance principle is as follows: A Three month Building Phase must be applied and followed by a three-month Cutting Phase in a very specific way and repeated.

Click here to play video “Cutting & Building phases explained”

 

During the Building phase you will punish your body severely and consume higher calories. This is where growth occurs. You will increase the weight sizes (sets of 8 reps) with a maximum of 10% every 14 days. NOT MORE THAN 10%! Even if you feel you have to power, DON’T! Your tendons and joints need time to strengthen in a structured gradual approach. Bypassing this step-up gradual approach and you WILL run into joint and tendons problems. This I guarantee you.

The Building phase will be continued for a 3 month period.

Click here to play video “Building Phase diet”

 

At the end of the 3 months you will enter the Cutting Phase. This Cutting phase’s purpose is to allow for tendon and joint healing and to cut the body fat down for a shredded look with fewer calories consumed daily compared to the Building phase.  You will cut the weight sizes lifted on ALL exercises by 30% and increase the reps per set to be 15-20 for all exercises (from the 8 reps per set on the Building phase). You do NOT train to failure in the Cutting phase. Your body needs time to repair and strengthen the tendons and joints after the hammering of the Building phase. This is a CRITICAL approach for joint health and the moment you bypass this alternating Building/Cutting phase approach you WILL run into problems.

The Cutting phase is NOT a phase for growing muscles but simply to maintain them while allowing the body time (3-months) to heal and strengthen tendons and joints.

Click here to play video “Cutting phase DIET”

 

Three months is considered the safest and best approach for the length of the phases. If you lengthen the time of the Building phase, the risk for joint/tendon injury will skyrocket.

I again emphasize: Do NOT underestimate the importance this approach is playing for joint health. It is also a method employed by most successful bodybuilders.

 

Just a short note on TENDONITIS

Tendonitis is inflammation/damage of tendons and can sometimes be dealt with an over the counter medication like aspirin or ibuprofen (ask your health care worker).

Tendonitis can be fairly easily avoided/managed by applying the following basic principles:

  • Warm up thoroughly, gradually building the intensity level of your workout. Cool down after the session.
  • Train for a new sport before you start it. Start building strength and flexibility in the muscles you will use a few weeks or months in advance.
  • Learn the proper method/technique and use the proper equipment for any exercise or activity.
  • Work out regularly, not just once a week (4 to 5 days a week)
  • SLOWLY increase weight sizes (not more than 10% every 14 days)

 

Short note on Bursitis (Tennis/Golfers Elbow)

One of the primary reasons for tennis/golfers elbow is bad form/technique. The critical aspect that must be avoided is bending the wrist up or down when handling any weight. The wrist and hand must be 100% in a straight line with the forearm. The bending of the wrist inwards and outwards places severe stress on the elbow and it’s workings and is usually a primary cause for Bursitis.

 

Tips on how to deal with joint paint after exercise

  • Ice: The most straightforward solution is to apply ice to the affected joint. Immediately after an intense workout, put ice on your muscles and joints to prevent inflammation and speed up the healing process. However, ice will not solve everybody’s joint troubles.
  • Eat more raw vegetables: The vitamins and minerals in raw vegetables contain a number of helpful things that ease your joint pain. Designed specifically to fight the effects of muscle oxidation, natural vegetables are often your best option.
  • Avoiding painful exercises: Some workouts are more painful than others. Depending on your body’s shape, size, and flexibility, certain workouts could negatively affect your joints. If you haven’t been noticing significant gains from a specific workout, but have experienced joint pain, then you might want to cut that workout from your routine.

 

Supplements which treat joint pain
If bodybuilding is one of the most important things in your life, then you may want to consider taking a supplement to help ease your joint pain.

  • Omega 3 & 6 is a rather important supplement when dealing with joint pain. 3 tablets morning and 3 tablets evening usually sufficient. Also make sure you get enough good fat in – Peanut Butter, Avocado, extra virgin olive oil, etc…
  • Super Cissus has been show to help control joint pain. It is no wonder supplement but might help some to relief pain.
  • There is a natural substance found in high concentrations in our joint structures known as Glucosamine. Numerous double-blind studies have shown that Glucosamine produces better results in the treatment of joint pain than traditional drug therapy. The main function of glucosamine is to stimulate the manufacture of substances necessary for joint repair. Glucosamine is a well-tolerated, natural treatment. There have been no reported adverse reactions. In rare instances, some gastric discomfort was reported but was easily relieved by taking the supplement with food.
  • Other supplements worth trying: MSM and Chondroitin.
  • Deca Durabulin (an anabolic steroid) is available as a prescription from doctors for treating severe joint pain. It has great success (as many bodybuilders in the past can testify too) and is also a great lean muscle builder. So if you think you fall in this category – speak to your doctor and get the added benefit of muscle growth minus the pain.

 

Word of Warning

Any supplement (creatine for example) or anabolic steroid that enhances your power levels drastically with immediate effect will put you at severe high risk for joint problems. You might have the power now but your joints and tendons are not strengthened to deal with the power. Many, many anabolic steroid users run into this injury territory.

 

Wish you happy training and GROW. Cheers…

Gert Louw

GERT B&W

 

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