Tag Archive: muscle


In all my coaching systems and many articles on my site, I regularly refer to the process of transforming into a wow physique by “climbing a ladder step by step”.

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Here I want to explain as to WHAT exactly I mean by that.

Now, many people think they are starting to climb the ladder and start transforming, and they actually start doing rather great, but then stuff starts happening…things like: getting sick regularly, tendon/joint injury or other serious injury or they lose hope because they just cannot put on muscle no matter how hard they train and some just cannot lose fat no matter how hard they diet.

This is when the train stops and they get off the ladder.

Not because it was not possible but because they LACK knowledge.

KNOWLEDGE in terms off:

  1. You CANNOT lose fat if the calories are too low…then your body enters famine mode and you WILL lose all your hard earned muscle first before it uses the fat – no matter how HARD you train! There is a sweet spot with calories where the body use fat for energy and keep muscles safe. You need to find it. (In my SYSTEMS I and II this is covered).
  2. You CANNOT build muscle if: caloric intake too low, body fat too low or you do too much cardio!
  3. You WILL get sick regularly if you continue pounding your body week after week, month after month, in the wrong fashion and you do not use certain basic health supporting supplements.
  4. You WILL run into serious tendon and joint issues if you do not alternate every 3 months between BUILDING and CUTTING phases to allow healing and strengthening.

All of these are covered in detail in my COACHING SYSTEMS (https://gertlouw.com/contact-me), but the bottom line which brings all these together are a continuous alternating between a 3 month CUTTING PHASE and a 3 monthly BUILDING phase.

Each Phase has its own specific training methodology and specific type diet.

The two phases are vastly different and by continuously alternating between them, you allow your body every 3 months to go through a process off:

  1. Loosing max fat while protecting muscles in Cutting Phase.
  2. Building max muscle at slightly higher body fat levels in the Building Phase.
  3. Allowing your body to be fed correctly for your exact goal and training methodology for each phase.
  4. Allowing tendons and joints to strengthen and recover regularly in Cutting Phase.
  5. Allowing the body a balanced and healthy approach preventing sickness and injury by not overtraining and stressing the body and immune system.

These 2 phases hold the KEY to climbing the ladder. One step on the ladder = 1 BP (Building phase) + 1 CP (Cutting Phase). After each step you will be able to see a significant difference in shape and size. THIS is how you climb up the ladder.

Look at the following graph showing the BODY FAT variation during the phases

This is what your body fat will do when sticking to my SYSTEM I or II training that incorporates these principles (BP = Building Phase, CP = Cutting Phase):

Climing the ladder BODYFAT

Every BP1 + CP1 covers a 6 month period. At the end of each of the cutting phases your body fat is lower and lower till typically after a 3 year period you reach crazy levels like 5% body fat.

 

Let’s look what your muscle size will do when alternating between the phases:

Climing the ladder MUSCLE MASS

At the end of each of the cutting phases your body weight is higher than after the previous cutting phase. That COUPLED with the fact that the body fat is lower after each Cutting Phase compared to the previous cutting phase makes a HUGE difference on how the body looks and the amount of lean mass you are carrying.

THIS (!) is how you climb the ladder…not after one cutting phase or one building phase but after various of these phases. Stopping with the process simply mean you stop climbing the ladder.

Simply put – After each Building Phase your muscle weight is higher at lower body fat levels, and during the Cutting Phase you show your results, keeping that muscles safe and dropping the body fat on each Cutting Phase lower and lower than in the previous Cutting Phases until after a few years you look back and say…”WOW!”

Wish you all happy training!

Cheers – Gert Louw

gert louw B&A

 

 

 

 

 

15 Principles for a GREAT life…

Gert Louw LIFE INSPIRATION11 small

 

Now everyone by now know I am not your regular TRANSFORMATION COACH.

I believe in a holistic approach, addressing your complete person and being..inside and out. Achieving such balance and resultant happiness WILL have a dramatic effect on your will and dedication to work out and achieve that dream body…believe me I have walked that road.

So in the next piece I am getting deep again…but it is so important that you really read and think about each point and to apply in your life where it fall short:

We all want to live a life of fulfillment, happiness and a life with some meaning. We all want to be able to say one day on our deathbed…”I have no regrets, I lived all my dreams…”

Sure having a great muscled body is one of those dreams…but that is just a single one in a sea of hopes and dreams we each have within us. A life of fulfillment is dreams lived, not a single dream but ALL our dreams…

How do we get too that point where we truly have no regrets about wasted dreams ?

Apply these rules of wisdom to your daily life and you will be surprised by just how great and awesome life really is:

  1. This is YOUR life – Realize that. No one must ever control you. Each decision you make, will affect the now and the future.
  2.  Do what you love OFTEN – search yourself and know what you love doing. I am not talking about sex here! I am talking about things that make you happy…be that skydiving, surfing, hiking trails, sightseeing, birdwatching, etc…
  3. If you don’t like something CHANGE IT – Do not live with regrets. You don’t like being fat…get rid of it. You don’t like being unfit…get fit. You want a muscled body…get one. You want love…give love!
  4. If you don’t have enough time STOP WATCHING TV – cut out the things that drain your time and add nothing to your life and happiness. First to go must be TV!
  5. Stop looking for the love of your life – When you start doing the things you love, you will meet people that share the same passion as you…THAT is where you will meet the love of your life!
  6. Stop over analyzing – Things happen and we cannot do anything about it. The world is a broken place. Stop trying to find reasons. If you have to make right what was wrong, do so…but don’t waste your time and energy in the past.
  7. All emotions are beautiful – cry is beautiful because it cleans the soul, pain is beautiful because it teaches us life, love is beautiful because it feeds the soul and give meaning to life.
  8. Appreciate every bite of food – Food is a blessing, a privilege and never to be taken for granted. The majority of people in the world are hungry right now while you are putting the food in your mouth.
  9. Open you arms, heart and mind to new things – the world is diverse and a beautiful place. Don’t close yourself off from this immense beauty defined by its diversity. EMBRACE IT!
  10. Travel often and don’t fear getting lost – The world has been given to us as a gift. Travel as much as you can. Never be afraid of getting lost…being lost helps us find ourselves again.
  11. Seize opportunities – Keep your eyes and ears open. Each of us is blessed with opportunities meant just for us. It is a gift…but we have to grab it!
  12. Life is about people we meet – make friends everywhere you can! We cannot live alone, we need people around us to make us feel alive and inject happiness in our life’s. Even that drunk person pushing his life belongings in a trolley…you will be amazed at the stories and lost passions he can share with you, and your passion might just give him new hope.
  13. Life is short – very (!) short indeed. NEVER EVER be on your deathbed and have regrets about things you have not done. Live life and do everything you dream about!
  14. Live your passion – whatever your passion is, LIVE IT with all your energy.
  15. But most important of all – SEEK GOD ALWAYS…

Now go out everybody and LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST!

Happy training.

Gert Louw

www.gertlouw.com

Gert Louw sea

 

 

Vacation flexing!

I had a 10 day rest with wife and kid. Few months then I am hitting 52.

So while rested and relaxed I just always seems to have the urge to flex the hard earned muscles a bit!

We (me, wife and kid) visited all the local quaint little towns and wine farms – Hermanus, Struisbaai, Agulhas, Napier, Standford, Bredasdorp, Arniston, etc…

On my last day I did a short flexing video while we were eating out at one of the restaurants on a wine farm – dicy move, because I took it in the public restroom of the restaurant (thus while I kept my sunglasses on!).

During the holiday after 1o days of no training, binging and eating just what I wanted. Picked up about 2kg body fat.

In fear of being busted while doing the video in the restroom (which would not have been nice, actually real bad!), I finished up as quickly as possible – so it is a short vid!

Click here to watch video “Restroom muscle flexing”

 

Here are a couple of photos while on holiday:

Now for the next 3 weeks I am preparing for photoshoot and get body fat levels down with at least 1.5% – 2%. No wine, no binging…sticking perfectly to diet!

Wish you all happy training!

Cheers

Gert Louw

The road to your dreams

Gert Louw LIFE LIFE

Later on in life, many of us have so much regrets…about what we did not do, about what we wished we did, about what we did wrong, about the hurt we caused people close to us, about many things…
But this is the road we have walked and chosen. It was not laid out for us…no one forced us to walk the path, we made the choices and took the steps.

But why are there so many exceptions? Why are there so many people out there that go against all the odds and reach exceptional heights, living life to the fullest. People that had everything counting against them, sickness, disability, or whatever other aspect that could have hold them back in life. Why do they reach a point, where, no matter their disability, they choose to stand up, start walking the right tracks in life and live their life with integrity and passion. Why can they do it?

The fact is, they are NO different than any of us. Through their struggle (disability, sickness) the sunglasses that covered their eyes have been removed, they can now clearly see how precious and vulnerable life really is. They appreciate life soooo much more. This clear vision make them stand up and choose to walk the right paths in life, to make right with God, to reach for their dreams with passion and to life live…the right way. And they rose to such heights that they completely overshadow the rest of us who have everything going for us.

LEARN FROM THESE PEOPLE…

You, me and everyone have the power to change the road you are walking into a new direction. A direction where you live life right and with integrity…and be ALL you can be.
But, it most certainly will take you out of your comfort zone, it will be inconvenient and it will mean you will have to change from the inside as well as the outside, it might even be painful.
But only YOU can make this happen, no-one else is going to force you. So keep sitting on the couch, sipping the beer and live a “wild uncontrolled life” or reach for the stars and live life to the fullest – be all you can be – have no regrets at the end of your life – live a life of integrity and live with PASSION.

May this inspire you too great things…

Gert Louw

TRANSFORMATION COACHING: http://gertlouw.com/contact-me/

gert life

 

 

Walking by faith

Walking by faith – Everyone knows by now there are a deeper side to me and a life altering back story.

But I have never really told my story about my walk in faith.

I am opening my heart here and I know there are risks…because the world is not always a good place to lay your heart bare. But this is the time to do it…my walk in faith has brought me to this point where I feel compelled to share.

So those that want to know about a story of pain, hope, miracles and LIFE, read on.

As many of you know, 11 years ago (at age 40) I was lying on my “deathbed” in hospital. At one point no blood pressure and heartbeat and ready to die. A brutal attack and mutilation left me with a broken soul and the will to live has left me, my heart was filled with darkness and pain which I could not carry anymore.

Me 2 months after hospital:

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Then the unexpected happened. While I was lying in my hospital bed, weak and not expecting anything but death, I heard a voice, God’s voice. The voice was clear…”Gert, I am offering you life…I have a plan for you. You must choose…”

I cannot put in words that moment…I experienced an incredible beauty, softness, kindness, pureness,  holiness, love and I saw LIFE…and in that moment my life changed. I was heartbroken, I was weak and I spend a lot of time in conversation with God over the next few days lying in my bed. I was soooo close to choosing death…but this unexpected experience showed me LIFE and I made my choice.

Sure, before this I knew about God and I knew the Bible. But this changed my world. Suddenly God was not just in a book anymore but He was more real to me than this world around me. And for just that brief moment I felt the touch of God…and I was utterly overwhelmed and unprepared.

Two weeks in hospital and I was strong enough to leave. Prognosis not good…some doctors gave me a couple of years. But it was not in their hands, I chose life and God was in control.

I was a changed man…but, the pain and darkness in my heart of what happened was not over. The weakness I have, is that I put a lid on things and push it deep down, trying to bury it…never really dealing with it.

My walk in faith deepened over the next years.

Now at 51 I am a living miracle of God. The body is still broken. Kidneys functioning at 50%, struggling with my liver, and that is just the tip of the iceberg with my serious health problems. But that is insignificant for God…look at me…with my severe health issues and being expected to be long dead by now, God has turned this around to the extend that I am looking the healthiest and fittest I ever did in my life. For Him, NOTHING is impossible.  He is in control, not the doctors, not me, not medical science.

Me, today…4 months away from 52:

gert

 

Now this all sound incredible and it is, but my world was about to be rocked again. God knew that the pain and darkness that I am trying to bury needs to be addressed. Every now and then an event triggers the lid from coming off slightly and the pain and darkness boils over. And recently the Holy Spirit kicked off that lid for good. All that pain and darkness surfaced and there was no way I could put back the lid on again. The Holy Spirit do not mess around…that lid was gone!

I struggled to breath, it felt like my heart was tearing in two…I pleaded with the Holy Spirit to please ask God to come and take my life…I could not bear the pain, it was overwhelming. My power to push it down was gone.

 

But let me give you a glimpse into how incredible God works.

The Holy Spirit literally forced me to walk into a church I do not know the next day, and walk up to the first friendly face I see and tell him I need someone to pray with me, now (!)  and intercede on my behalf before God. Now anyone that knows me, will realize this is the worst thing anybody can ask me to do. I am a total introvert, sitting always quietly in the corner doing my own thing and NEVER EVER just walk up to people I don’t know, let alone in an environment total foreign to me. This was going against everything I am.

But instead of doing this, I wanted to die, because this darkness and pain was so intense and overwhelming that again I was at this crossroad point in my life where I had to choose between life and death. I had a young son who I adore and a beautiful loving wife and if it was not for them chances was I was going to choose the easy road out. I was breaking down in tears continuously…and I am NOT an emotional person!

So I DID IT! I just did it in total obedience. I went to the church the Holy Spirit indicated to me, my wife and son by my side. I walked up to the first friendly face I saw and I told him what the Holy Spirit instructed me to do. He smiled and said I must go and sit, someone will come to me. A few moments later a guy, my age, walked up to me and touch my shoulder and smile. We went to a quiet corner outside and I told him my story, laying my heart bare, told him of my pain and the way the Holy Spirit is working with me now. We bend down and started praying, he laid me before God…during this moment the Holy Spirit told me that because of my obedience, He will now plea my case before God and lay my pain of the darkest corners of my heart before God. I could hear it, I could literally hear the murmurings, not words, but I could hear everything. I felt the touch of God as I did in my hospital bed and broke down in tears by grace I do not deserve. God once again began the 2nd miracle in my life, healing my pain in my heart.

The following week was extremely emotional for me as the Holy Spirit carried me through this process of cutting the pain in my heart out, piece by piece.

I thought my walk was close with God previously, but had no idea how intense it was about to become.

This God I bow down too, has become more real than anything else in this world. I am totally unprepared for how amazing and incredible His love, His holiness, His power and His kindness is.

 

So many people I talk to over the internet ask me “Why do God, if He is a good God, allow this pain and suffering in this world to continue?”

The world is a broken place. We have made our choices to abandon God and with it comes pain and suffering. God is the ultimate gentleman…He NEVER force His will on anyone. Bad things happen to even good people everyday…and you know what, it strengthens you to become a stronger person reaching greater heights. Look what happened to me…through it God strengthened me to reach heights I thought never possible in my life and I am touching many lives out there and helping people. I am a hard nut to crack and God knows it. He had plans for me…but left to my own devices that plan would never come into play. He allowed things to happened to me and come over my path. Bad things…like Job, but like God is, He turned everything around into blessings beyond believe. I still had to make the choices myself…but God gentlemanly lead me in the direction…

God wants so much the best for us, but when we abandon Him we are left alone in this broken world. The heart of God is such that He allowed that, which was most precious to Him, to be put through pain and mutilation and to die on a cross for us, just so that me and you would have direct access to God and the Holy Spirit.

My sins in this broken world prevents me from having a direct link with God, because before God nothing that has any sin or darkness can stand and live, nothing. God is pure and holy. Only through the sacrifice of Jesus, who was blameless, could He die in my place and through that allow me to talk to God and be saved. It had to be someone blameless, he had to had no sin because that is the only way He could die for ours.

God could have sent armies of angels to rescue Jesus, but this shows God’s heart…unmeasurable kindness and compassion. He did not have to do this for us…He is the Almighty God, rescuing us just by grace…which we do not deserve.

 

Now, many devoted believers don’t like it when they hear of someone like me who had such incredible experiences with God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ (I had Christ holding His hand on my shoulder at one of my toughest moments in prayer and more…)

Why me, what makes me special?

Remember Maria?…remember that between all the disciples of Jesus, SHE was the one that quietly bent down with her tears falling on Jesus feet and rubbed very expensive oil/perfume over His feet, no words, just an act of utter compassion. His disciples were not impressed about the logic that such expensive perfume was wasted. But she had a relationship with God on another level, why?…because of the AMOUNT of grace she required to be saved. Be happy and joyful if you required little grace to follow God, then you are blessed indeed. People like me (and Maria) carried so much pain and darkness in our hearts that the grace we require, is massive. This amount of grace changes you on every level and your relationship with God, is extremely intense.

 

Last week on one of the biggest radio stations in Cape Town, they aired this young woman who had a vision where Jesus Christ appeared to her and told her: “Go and tell the world, I have finished preparing all your places in heaven. I am coming to fetch you. The time is up.”

The Holy Spirit confirmed this in my heart…

Now, I know God said, no one knows the date and time, but I am making sure me and my family is ready…I cannot wait to join my Lord and Saviour!

 

I pray this article means something to you…it comes from deep within my soul.

Be blessed.

Gert Louw

Gert Louw staring

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: http://gertlouw.com/contact-me/

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

 

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

Wish you all a great day.

Gert Louw

A BIG THANK YOU to all of you who shared my life in 2015 – leaving comments on my blog, for reading my blog, for sending me emails, watching my videos.

It is MUCH appreciated and together we enrich each others life’s!

 

Click here to watch video “Wishing you MANY muscle for 2016!”

 

May 2015 bring you MANY muscles and great health.

I wish you also a MERRY CHRISTMAS to all celebrating our Lord Jesus Christ.

May His peace be with you in 2016.

Gert Louw signing off for 2015…

Gert PB

My training & diet available here: http://gertlouw.com/contact-me

Click here to view video “After training – LOW or HIGH GI carbs?”

 

How to spike your insulin naturally to ignite growth and shed fat…this will tell you how.

The whole idea of immediate after training nutrition is three-fold:

  1. To flood your system with muscle-building amino acids.
  2. To create environment for repair, healing and recovery.
  3. To get your insulin levels spiked to ignite growth and speed up fat-loss.

 

Let’s look at each point individually.

 

FLOODING THE SYSTEM WITH MUSCLE BUILDING AMINO ACIDS.

After training your body needs protein (amino acids) to feed the muscles and help with the growth/healing process. The key here is NO FAT. If you take in even the least amount of fat it will slow down the process of replenishing the body to such a degree that the feeding after training becomes near worthless. After training your body requires amino acids that are quickly absorbed. The best way to achieve this is to take a couple scoops of whey protein in water (not milk = fat!). The whey protein got all the required amino acids and will give the body with all the protein it requires to grow/heal. Make sure the brand you are using have no carbs added and that it is only pure whey protein.

 

CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT FOR REPAIR, HEALING and RECOVERY.

It has been proven in various scientific studies that supplementing with L-Glutamine during and immediately after training adds significantly in providing the environment for recovery. Simply put, you will recover faster when you supplement with L-Glutamine.

 

TO GET THE INSULIN LEVELS SPIKED.

Insulin is the MOST powerful anabolic hormone in the body. Nothing comes close to it, not even testosterone or HGH. When insulin levels are spiked in the right way, the result is increased muscle growth and increased fat loss. Now how do one get insulin levels spiked after training? Well, Whey protein will already add to this effect but a compounded effect will happen when you consume the RIGHT type of carbs. Low-GI carbs cannot spike the insulin for any type of significant effect. That is the job of High-GI carbs. But don’t think chocolate here! ZERO fat must be in the carb. Plus it is highly advisable to use a natural, healthy high-GI carb with added fibre like a banana or apple to do the job. Vitargo is also a good choice.

This type of spiking is only effective immediately after training. Do not try it outside this window of training.

 

Summary

So after immediately training you need to consume the following:

  • L-Glutamine – 5g
  • Whey protein powder – about 40g
  • High-GI carb – Banana/apple or Vitargo

 

It is believed that this is an absolute key aspect of obtaining a “wow” physique and can be seriously beneficial in helping gaining muscle and shredding fat.

 

Wish you happy training!

Cheers…

Gert Louw

Gert sitting

CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS AND YOU’LL CHANGE YOUR WORLD

 

Click here to watch video “LIFE inspiration – changing your thoughts”

 

When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thought entering your mind?

  • “I wanna stay in bed”
  • “I can’t face this day”
  • “My body aches sooo much”
  • “Life sucks”
  • “I hate my wife/husband”

Now I am sorry to tell you this, but you are right! The thoughts you entertain in your head is what will make and shape you.

Take the same scenario waking up but instead the thoughts you entertain are:

  • “What a beautiful day!”
  • “Today I am going to get closer to my dream.”
  • “I am so blessed!”
  • “Life is beautiful”
  • “Today I will show my loved one I care about him/her”

If you entertain these thoughts, this is what you will become – a positive person with a lust for life that wants to make the world a better place and see the beauty in all.

Our thoughts make or break us. They shapes us into what we become eventually. What is in your heart will be in your actions.

The wonder is that you have FULL control over your thoughts. You decide which thought you are going to entertain and from that thought will spring eventually good or bad, life or death, beauty or disgrace. You have been given the power to control your mind and your thoughts.

But how do I control my thoughts?

When a negative thought enters, put it out with a positive one and entertain the positive one to the fullest. If you continue to do this, your mind will learn to eventually entertain just positive thoughts. As with everything in life, if you do not train something, it won’t get stronger. Like a muscle, the brain and thought patterns must be trained. You need to actively train your mind continuously in this fashion to focus and concentrate on the positive thoughts. Those that apply this wisdom will rise above the rest, and yes, they will look happy and blissfull to the rest because of their positive thought patterns!

This will also become an amazing tool when you want to transform your body and you want to reach for the dream that dances in your head.

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We have one life, live it to the fullest.

A beautiful verse in the Bible sums this up perfectly:

Proverbs 4:23 – Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

 

Wish you all happy training!

Cheers

Gert Louw

99.99% of women will tell you “I don’t want to build muscles, just lose fat and tone”.

Now guys, keep on reading, this is going to come back to you!

When I even mention the words “weight training” to women they freak! They immediately conjure up the images that the media has brainwashed us to think of how women look that do weight training.

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If a woman does serious weight training naturally (without anabolic steroids) then the female hormone, estrogen, can and will never give her the appearance of a male in terms of muscle shape and size. This will ONLY happen when she starts using testosterone (anabolic steroids) that provides her with an abundance of the male hormone and thus starts changing the shape and appearance of her body and muscles.

Those women who understand this have risen to incredible heights with fantastic feminine body shapes.

A woman must do the same exercises that a man performs to get her body to look great. That exercises is NOT cardio. It is intense weight training, covering systematically all muscle groups stimulating muscle growth.

Those interested in the program I’ve been following: available now fully customised (for women also) on all levels, just for you. Every little secret, every hard-earned practical fact, every scientific study that actually support the (very) few supplements between all the thousand ridiculous advertisement claims have been filtered en incorporated into one system that MAKES A DIFFERENCE click here: 

https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

When growth occurs in both men and women, THAT is when the body starts taking on incredible shape. Muscles are what gives the body shape NOT low body fat! You can have incredible low body fat and you will look terrible, especially naked. Muscles are the key in BOTH men and women to give that killer shape.

The female hormone (estrogen) will only allow a muscle growth within the confines of this hormone, which means more subtle, feminine shaped muscles.

The male hormone is a potent muscle-building hormone and will allow muscle to grow within the confines of this hormone which means bigger size and more manly shaped muscles.

Now regarding the guys, NONE of the top bodybuilder of today are natural. They can only achieve such great size by using anabolics and other substances.

The male hormone will limit growth for men to an athletic and aesthetic body with serious weight training. ONLY by using anabolic steroids and the likes can you grow pass this natural limit.

body-typesC

A = SHAPELESS BODY DUE TO VERY LOW MUSCLE MASS.

B = THE MAXIMUM MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT THAT CAN BE REACHED FOR FEMALES AND MALES NATURALLY (WITHOUT ANABOLIC STEROIDS).

C = THE LEVELS REACHED WHEN MALES AND FEMALES USE ANABOLIC STEROIDS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES.

This clearly indicates the incredible effect, natural muscle development has on both the male and female body.

This is NOT called toning! This is called serious and intense resistance weight training. There is no other way for both men and women. To stimulate and build the muscles to achieve an awesome and incredible shaped physique.

So guys back to you! If any guy tells me he does not want to build muscles because he doesn’t want to look muscled, with respect, you have no idea what you are talking about. Muscles give shape to the body and muscle development in a natural environment only results in an incredible aesthetic physique.

If you tell me you want a shapeless body, then well, I understand but will still question your sanity!

So guys and girls…the point I am trying to get across is “DO NOT BE AFRAID TO DO SERIOUS RESISTANCE WEIGHT TRAINING – THAT IS THE ROAD TO AN AWESOME LOOKING PHYSIQUE AND THOSE THAT REALIZE THIS ARE IDOLIZED WHILE THE REST ARE JUST TREADING ALONG NEVER REACHING ANY SUCCESS.”

Click here to view video “Supplements that WORK”

Wish you all happy training

Cheers

Gert Louw

A killer 6-pack in 90 days!

Click here to view video “Program for washboard abs in 90 days

 

How many times have you heard similar slogans and the only requirement was this or that supplement that will do the trick, or a simple exercise that is supposed to produce magic results.

In this article I will tell you how to get that coveted 6-pack in 90 days BUT one thing you need to understand, there is NO magic pill that will ever produce a 6-pack (not even anabolics can do it alone!) and there is no single exercise that on its’ own can give you a 6-pack.

You will see that I said, “90 days”. There is a very good reason why. 90 Days is a period in which the body can actually make a visible difference in muscle-building and fat loss with the necessary skill applied.

To get that coveted 6-pack you need to do two major things:

  1. Build the ab-muscles to increase in size (enlarge the peaks and valleys).
  2. Decrease the fat layer covering the abs while feeding the muscles for growth.

cutting

So let’s get down to business…

How do you build the muscle of the 6-pack in a 90 day period?

  • The abs (and calves) are of a different muscle fibre type that get stimulated for growth with more frequent training than the other muscles groups and also at a higher rep range per set.
  • For just about all the other muscles you will perform (for muscle growth) about 8 reps per set. For abs we are talking closer to 25 reps per set.
  • Other muscles will generally be trained once a week intensely. Abs can and for the purpose of this discussion must be trained up to 3 times a week intensely, typically Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Forget about fancy moves, stick to proven fundamental exercises that build muscles. One word here – CRUNCHES! There is NO other ab exercise that stimulates the 6-pack growth like the crunch. Various forms of crunches exist, ie: exercise ball crunches, legs in air crunches, crunch bench, etc…

 

About CRUNCHES 

The purpose of a crunch is to contract the muscles of the abs really intensely. When performing any type of crunch, you need to lift the shoulders and upper body just slightly and crunch with the abs. You need to focus the abs so hard at the crunch that you feel pain. If the abs do not start paining after a couple of reps you are NOT doing the crunch correctly. Very few exercises deliver the intense pain the crunch delivers and 99% of people do it wrong because they don’t like the pain. A saying from one of my favorite movies is: “Life is pain princess. Anyone tells you differently, well they are lying.” So suck it up and do it. If you really want that 6-pack you will learn to LOVE that pain!

Here follows your plan of attack for growing the ab muscles:

 

upper-body-crunchesimagesimages (1)exercise ball ab crunches

 

The above is all different versions of the crunch. The crunch focuses on the ab area but not the obliques.

To get the obliques to stand out it is usually just a matter of putting in a slight twist with the crunch, alternating between the two sides.

A dedicated oblique exercise is the following – RUSSIAN TWIST:

ath_todd_duffee_medicine_oblique

This can be done with a medicine ball or holding a weight. However when this move is performed your technique must be perfect or you can hurt your back. Keep the abs contracted and stop the move with your abs and core and not the back or other muscles.

The last ab exercise of note that works the ab to the core and WILL make the abs ache for at least two days is LEG THROWS, yep, good old-fashioned leg throws. Your training partner must throw the legs straight down with force and to either side without you knowing where he is going to throw it.You are not allowed to touch the ground. (If you don’t have training partner, try and find someone to help you with this, I consider it an important aspect of developing impressive abs.)

leg throws

These are the three types of ab exercises to stimulate growth.

Your training must be as follows – Monday, Wednesday and Friday you must do an ab session consisting of:

  • 4 sets of 25 reps of CRUNCHES (any form of crunch)
  • 4 sets of 50 reps LEG THROWS.
  • 3 sets of 25 reps RUSSIAN TWIST with weight.
  • 3 sets of 25 reps of CRUNCHES (different variation)

 

You doing this consistently for a 90-day period and you WILL stimulate the abs for growth. But now come the even bigger part of the trick!

No matter how good you train and stimulate the abs for growth, if you do not feed the body now correctly NO GROWTH WILL OCCUR!

The Diet is critical for 2 reasons

  • To feed the muscles to grow (after they were stimulated for growth by the exercises).
  • To cut down the fat layer on the tummy. If the fat layer on the tummy is more than 12%, no matter how good those abs are, they will be covered by an invisible cloak!

 

Now, how do you cover the above two points? Well, I can refer you to a serious diet structure specialized for this kind of deliverable, but instead I am going to make it easy for you.

Stick to these basic simple diet rules and you WILL see results:

  1. You must eat 7 small meals per day – evenly spread out from point of waking to point of going to bed.
  2. Each meal must contain clean protein, low GI (Glycemic Index) carb and some veggies – generally fist size portions.
  3. You must drink a BCAA and L-Glutamine shake during training to prevent muscles going catabolic.
  4. You must drink a WHEY shake and L-glutamine with banana after training – immediately (replace one meal)
  5. You must get at least 3 tablespoons of salt free, sugar-free peanut butter in per day – this is critical to keep your hormone levels healthy!
  6. You must drink 4L (1.05 gallon) of water per day.
  7. Alcohol only once a week and not more than 500ml of wine (2/3 of a bottle). No carbs at meal when drinking alcohol.

 

As easy as that! 90 days later and that 6-pack will be rather impressive!

Regarding genetics – I’ve never met a person that was unable to increase muscle size by following growth principles (including right diet, etc…). The abs are like any muscle, when sufficiently stimulated they will grow if fed correctly!

Last point…

Although the above plan will deliver 6-pack results, that body is going to look all the more impressive with not just a 6-pack but broad strong shoulders, deep chest, muscled biceps, strong legs and a v-back. Make this an opportunity not just to get that 6-pack in 90 days but an impressive body from head to toe!

 

Interested in my online coaching? Here are the systems available: ONLINE COACHING

 

Wish you all happy training! Cheers

Gert Louw

www.gertlouw.com

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This page is dedicated to everyone that is in need of being inspired or finds him/herself in a dark place. Life is beautiful…if we take a deep breath and start seeing what is in front of us.

May these photos/posters brighten up your day!

If you want my advanced holistic transformation system, fully customised for your body, situation and goals, click here: gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets

 

Wish you all a GREAT day and train hard.

Gert Louw

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GertLouw34Small

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Starting of cutting phase

Hi everyone,

The past 10 months was an incredible period of adding size and muscle to my body and have exceeded my previous best size with a good margin.

I am at the end of my building phase and my stats are: 1.75m, 91kg and about 9-10% body fat.

This is how I look at the end of my building phase:

 

Click here to view video “Start of strongman cutting phase”

 

I am starting my cutting phase on 20 July 2015 and it will continue for 3 months. The target is a level of 5% body fat.

A photo shoot and video shoot will be done at the end.

As you all know, my cutting phase is where I never train to failure but use lighter weights (anything from 20% to 40% lighter) and do higher reps per set (12 – 20 reps).

Very little rest in between sets and many superset exercises. The idea is a combination of resistance training with a degree of cardio involved (due to lighter weights and higher reps).

The fact that training is never to muscle failure also means the tendons and joints now have a chance to recover and strengthen from the punishing period of the building phase where EACH set was to absolute muscle failure.

The focus during the cutting phase is to keep the muscle size at the same level and then manipulating the body fat to a very low percentage factor. This can be very difficult because most guys (and girls) put their bodies in starvation mode (due to too little calories) and as a result lose more muscle than fat. I am following a very specific process whereby I monitor the effect my diet had on my muscle and fat reserves every 14 days and then adjust the calories accordingly, to force the diet to burn fat and not muscle for energy. I thus make sure that I stay just outside of a starvation mode which eats into the muscle size.

Wish you all many blessings and much success with your training!

Gert Louw (51 y/o)

GertLouw18small

Click here to view video “How to get a muscular body after 40”

 

I started at age 40 with a plan to change my body, this is how I looked…with many serious health issues.

gert bfore

Fast forward to age 52, this is a photo of me taken recently.

Gert Louw BUSH small

EVERY YEAR I have managed to increase size, shape and aesthetics even past the age of 50.

Here is a short flexing vid I took with my phone in the gym locker room after training: 

Click here to play video “CHALLENGE TO ALL THE YOUNG GUYS

 

This is my 12-point plan for obtaining a muscular body after the age of 40:

 

Point 1

Sitting on the coach with a beer in one hand, fat tummy, watching tv and generally look bad, what you don’t realize is that what you are doing is slowly dying and killing yourself. You need to look life in the eye again, you need to choose life, get up and LIVE again. You need to change yourself from the inside. Appreciate the small things in life, start caring for people in need, make right with God, start liking the person you see inside and out and respect yourself. Such life altering choices make one want to get up and LIVE and go to gym to re-invent your body. Such choices make the whole process so much easier and WORTHWHILE…

GertLouw5small

 

Point 2

Diet determines 80% of your bodybuilding success. You REALLY need to get to grip with this. If you are not ready to follow proper muscle growth diet guidelines your body will not respond even to the best training and best supplements regimes. Your results will be very mediocre at best. This is what separate the hero’s from the average…the diet!

Here is a link to a proper building diet:  http://gertlouw.com/2014/10/27/muscle-building-phase-sample-diets/

and proper cutting diet: http://gertlouw.com/2014/08/16/cutting-diet-challenges/

 

Point 3

You must align the diet for YOUR body. No two bodies re-act the same to the exact same diet. Every 14 days you need to monitor how your body reacted the past 14 day to the diet to determine if you lost muscle weight (bad), fat (good) or both (bad) and then adjust the diet accordingly in a specific fashion. It is not as difficult as it sounds, here is a link to the exact process you need to follow: http://gertlouw.com/2015/06/01/forcing-fat-loss-and-keeping-muscles-safe/

Click here to watch video “How to FORCE fat-loss”

 

Want my system fully customized for your body and goals? before-and-after-dec2016

Here is where you can signup:  https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

 

Point 4

Training determines 15% of your bodybuilding success.  Next to diet this is 2nd most important. You must train at least 4 times a week and not more than 5. At age above 40 the body need more time to recover and grow, I find 4 the best balance (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Frid).  Less than 4 is not advisable. It is too infrequent training and put you in danger of injury and is not conducive to muscle growth. Keep sessions never longer than 90 mins preferably 50 min.

Gert Louw LEGS CB

 

Point5

Training MUST be split as follows due the body being older than 40:

  • 3 months building phase (6-8 reps per set, EACH set to complete muscle failure)
  • 1 week rest
  • 3 month cutting phase (12 – 20 reps per set , 30% lighter weights, never to failure)
  • 1 week rest
  • repeat

If you are COMPLETELY new to training and lifting here is a video specifically for the novice to help him getting accustomed to lifting:

Click here to view video “How to do a transformation from scratch – for the novice”

 

The above training regimen allows for a serious 3 month growth spurge but place serious strain on tendons and joints which then need to recover and strengthen during the cutting phase.

You cannot start training to failure from day one – you need at least a 3-month period of gradual weekly weight and intensity increases to reach the starting point of muscle failure for the next 3 month with the building phase program. Your body need 3 months to adapt from no training to serious training. If u were 20 jump in but we are much more fragile past the age of 40 and need to be wise in our approach.

You MUST also adjust your diet for the appropriate phase:

Building phase diet:  http://gertlouw.com/2014/10/27/muscle-building-phase-sample-diets/ and proper Cutting phase diet: http://gertlouw.com/2014/08/16/cutting-diet-challenges/

Should you find that you have mastered the beginner stage of lifting and techniques, here is my building phase training program to illicit maximum muscle growth:

Click here to view video “Training Program for MAX muscle growth”

 

Point 6

During the building (growth) phase you MUST train to absolute muscle failure on each set. This is a key principle for growth. Failure means total and utter failure – mentally and physically you must not be able to lift that weight one more set. If you train with sufficient failure intensity you WILL grow! Those that do not push the limits will stay mediocre – full stop.

GertLOuw15Small

 

Point 7

Supplements makes out about 3% of your success factor in bodybuilding. If your diet is focused and training is spot on, you got most of your bases covered. However, where supplements can play a significant role is during training to protect muscles from being used as energy source and divert energy requirements to fat stored. This can be done by taking a BCAA drink with L-Glutamine during training (caffeine can be added when focus is required during training). After training L-Glutamine again with Whey protein and an apple or banana – this will spike the insulin which is crucial for max muscle growth. The next meal (within 90min after training) also plays a significant role for muscle growth.

A potent multi vitamin is a must – taken once a day after meal to support the body in this strenuous training environment.

Other highly suggested supplements for the over 40:

  • Co Enzyme Q10
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Omega 3 + 6

 

Point 8

Gym time priority needs to be very high on your list. The only things above it must be family time, church and work. Nothing else must come in the way of gym time. Early morning, late evening, whatever it takes. It can also be of great help to get a training partner with the same focus as you. It keeps you responsible to rock up at gym and can help tremendously when you are not fully motivated.

GertLouw10Small

 

Point 9

Start a facebook page  or fitness blog and post regular updates about your new achievements. Astound the world and at the same time it is an awesome tool to keep you motivated and focused. Share your success with the world  – this will be a great tool to measure and monitor your progress…but ALWAYS stay humble no matter how awesome you start to look.

Point 10

Alcohol and smoking MUST stop. You cannot built a healthy body by smoking and drinking. 500ml wine per week is the maximum and if u drink wine cut out your carbs completely during that meal (only protein and salad). The only way to obtain a serious 6-pack is by correct diet and cutting out alcohol and smoking.

 

Point 11

You must get your natural testosterone levels tested every 2 years when above the age of 40. If you need replacement therapy do NOT say no. Testosterone is a critical hormone for the man to prevent depression, low energy levels and supports healthy muscle size, fat loss and good health (heart).

Donation to keep site free

PLEASE make a small donation to help keeping this site on internet and free.

$10.00

Point 12

DO NOT HAVE AVERAGE STANDARDS.

Choose a role model…the BEST role model out there that has the shape and size you want to achieve (or even surpass). Burn this image into your mind.

Before and during every training session call up this image and visualize the muscle you are training and the shape and size you want. With each contraction visualize how you want that muscle to look. Visualization  is a powerful tool to focus the brain and keep you motivated. Many, many bodybuilders believe that it is much more than that, and that the constant visualization and mind muscle connection have a direct impact on growth and shape of the muscle. Either way, it is a great tool to keep you focussed on your goals.

I NEVER accepted average and since age 40 I am visualizing with each training session my goal for shape and size of the muscle exercised. It focusses me, motivates me and every year my shape is better and more aesthetic.

Don’t be average – don’t reach for the sky, reach for the stars!

Follow these guidelines and you WILL reach success. But only YOU can make it happen and you have to take that first step and start climbing the ladder.

 

MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Happy training

Gert Louw

I have a comprehensive customised & holistic blueprint system developed for guys over 40 to get that dream body. This system is based upon my 12 point system and regime I am following for the past 12 years to create the environment for growth, fat-loss and prevention of injuries and safe training while ensuring the body is in peak health…fully customised and widely considered as the definitive approach for the over 40 guy to transform. Everything addressed in detail – from supplements to diets to training to building and cutting phases, etc. Here is where you can signup:  https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

GertLouw2c

CARB CYCLING explained

 

Click here to WATCH video: “Carb Cycling explained

 

What is Carb Cycling? It is a method employed of alternating carbohydrate intake to break through plateaus and ease fat-loss.

With Carb Cycling you will alternate between high, medium and low carb days to manipulate hormones and increase the bodies fat burning ability while trying to hold on to your hard-earned muscle mass.

With carb cycling the body never goes into “famine” mode (an occurrence so often happening when too little carbs is consumed over extended periods. Such a famine mode usually results in severe muscle loss).

An interesting fact is that carb cycling is controlling the ghrelin hormone levels, the hormone responsible for feeling hunger. Because of this many people find carb cycling relatively easy because they do not feel hunger.

 

HIGH CARB DAYS – spike the insulin levels and fill the glycogen stores, firing up the metabolism and prevent a catabolic environment.

A dieter’s insulin levels needs to be spiked to reap the anabolic benefits of the insulin hormone. (insulin allows one to burn fat while protecting the muscle).

The low carb days can be very taxing on the body when training hard. But even with traditional carb restricted diets it has nearly the same effect. The big plus for the Carb Cycling is that the dieter can hold out one day of “starvation” with the knowledge of tomorrow he will feed carbs again.

 

Carb cycling is NOT considered a long-term solution but a short-term strategy to just help you break through plateaus or to get your body stage ready.

Many different methods of carb cycling exists.

The more common approach is a high, medium and low carb day – 3 days in a cycle. During all three days fat and protein consumption stays roughly the same with a slight increase in protein and fat on the medium and low carb days.

An example is 300g – 400g carbs on the high days and on a low day about 50g of carbs.

Also which must be noted here is that especially in first 2 weeks there should be twice as many high and medium carb days than low carb days. Typically something like this: high, medium, high, medium, low, high, medium, high, medium, low, etc…

After about 2 weeks you can go the normal high, medium and low days as a regular 3 –day cycle.

Some people shift their training intensity to be max on the high carb days but many others ignore this and train hard no matter if it is a high, medium or low carb day. Both approaches produce good results.

 

How to structure your approach?

HIGH CARB DAYS (divided into 6-8 meals)

  • 6 – 6.5g carbs for every kg bodyweight
  • 2 – 2.2g protein per kg bodyweight
  • 0.3 – 0.4g fat per kg bodyweight
  • Insulin must be spiked on the high carb days and thus high GI sugars best (sweets, fruit, etc…)
  • As the diet progresses in time you can experiment by dropping the GI content of the carbs to the lower end of the scale.
  • Perform the heaviest workouts on these days (back/chest/legs)

MEDUIM CARB DAYS (divided into 6-8 meals)

  • 2g carbs for every kg bodyweight
  • 5 – 2.75g protein per kg bodyweight
  • 0.3 – 0.4g fat per kg bodyweight
  • Typical muscle groups suited for these days: shoulders, abs, biceps, etc…

LOW CARB DAYS (divided into 6-8 meals)

  • 1g carbs for every kg bodyweight
  • 3 – 3.5g protein per kg bodyweight
  • 0.5 – 0.7g fat per kg bodyweight
  • Perform the lightest workouts on these days (preferably cardio)

Just some key notes

  1. Try and keep on all the days the majority of carbs before/during/after training.
  2. Water intake must be directly proportional to your amount of carbs. If you eat twice as many carbs you must drink twice as much water.
  3. Keep a journal and monitor the effects closely on your body in terms of high GI carbs and low GI carbs, how your body react to the amount of carbs, etc… This is by now way a fixed one for all solution and you need to carefully monitor and adapt the carb cycling to best suit your body.
  4. Carb Cycling is best done under close supervision of a skilled coach. It is not impossible to reach success on your own, but the slightest miss step might do significant harm. So educate yourself VERY WELL before venturing this route.

Wish you all happy training!
Cheers

Gert Louw

 

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Click here to view video “Forcing fat-loss and keeping muscles

Forcing Fat Loss and keeping muscles safe – This is probably the most difficult part of any cutting/fat-loss diet.
With your aim to lose as much fat as possible, the error most people make is to pitch the calories too low for their body and as such create a “famine” environment which have certain very unwanted reactions in the body.
This “famine” environment result in a drastic amount of muscle-mass being lost amongst other things. In most scenarios this is much more than the actual fat you are losing. Many people say they do not care about this fact, but what they do not realize is that the muscle mass they carry plays a significant role in their bodies energy burning/metabolic rate. Muscle mass is one of the biggest factors in determining your base metabolic rate. Plus a body with little muscles will NEVER look as good as a body with good muscle mass – muscle give shape to a body. If you lose your muscle you might be slim but will always look floppy and shapeless.

Those interested in the program I’ve been following: available now fully customised on all levels, just for you. Every little secret, every hard-earned practical fact, every scientific study that actually support the (very) few supplements between all the thousand ridiculous advertisement claims have been filtered en incorporated into one system that MAKES A DIFFERENCE click here: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

The best approach is ALWAYS (!) to pitch the daily calories consumed such, that you lose maximum fat and minimum muscle.

Now how does one do that?
The problem everyone is facing is the fact that not any two of our bodies are the same.

Our bodies reaction to the same amount of calories differ from person to person.

The following factors are just some of the reasons why:

  • Your past few years diet routines.
  • Your past few years exercise routines or lack thereof.
  • How frequently you eat meals and the sizes thereoff.
  • Your amount of muscle mass on your body.

Your age.
And many more…

So if you think you can grab a diet from a book or of the internet and plug-in to reach success – WRONG!
Here is a process that you can apply to adjust any diet to function optimally for your body.
In other words a process to align the calories consumed to allow your body to primarily burn fat and not muscle.

The process:
Start with a sample cutting diet (here is a rock solid place to start: http://gertlouw.com/2014/08/16/cutting-diet-challenges/)
Every 14 days you need to re-align the calorie amounts depending on how your body reacted in this earlier 14 day period.

The realignment process:
Weight yourself in on a scale
Fat calliper pinch measurements on abs, chest, shoulders, upper and lower arms, upper and lower legs, upper and lower back and back of neck.
skinfold-calipers1

All these measurements together paint a picture:
Should the scale be down but fat calliper readings stayed the same, it shows muscle loss and diet must be adjusted across the board with and 10% increase in calories. This must be done every two weeks until such time that the scale drops but fat callipers measurements dropped as well…this is called your sweet spot where your body is NOT in a famine environment but you feed it just enough to protect the muscles and start losing the fat reserves.
Should the fat calliper measurements show an increase and the scale increased as well, then you are consuming too much calories and must cut calories across the board with a 10% factor and redo above monitoring after 14 days. This must be done until such time that you hit the sweetspot.

AND NEVER EVER ALTER YOUR DIET WITH MORE THAN A 10% FACTOR IN CALORIES – this is asking for trouble. The body needs time to adjust.

skinfold-calipers1

Wish you all happy training!

Gert Louw

GERTFITNESS5b

After many requests I finally made a video on my building phase training program. This is the program I follow to add maximum muscle mass.

No fancy stuff, hardcore and sticking to the basics with lots of compound moves.

  • I train only 4 days a week due to the heavy intensity lifting.
  • My Training days are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • My rest days are Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Before every training session I will do a 10 min warm-up with light weights.
  • EVERY SET MUST FINISH IN MUSCLE FAILURE ON THE LAST REP OF THE SET – key to growth!

Cardio? Well what you must accept is that cardio is a MUSCLE KILLER!
Your muscle size will be directly equivalent to the amount of cardio you do. More cardio = smaller muscles no matter how good you train or diet.

So in the building phase I severely limit cardio (in fact I am not doing any!).

My body-fat levels are solely determined by my building phase diet: http://gertlouw.com/2014/10/27/muscle-building-phase-sample-diets/

My weight is 90.3kg right now and at 1.75m tall that is a lot of muscle and my heaviest ever, so I am moving into new territory…nice!

 

Here follows the video I did – hope u enjoy and maybe learn something…

Click on the following link to view video: “Training program for MAX muscle growth”

 

Wish you guys much growth!

Gert

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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

 

Click here to watch the video “Super supplement for pain relief revealed”

 

I will be making a few videos about a group of “super” supplements that stands out head and shoulders above the rest and which can make a massive difference in many people’s lives.

A little background: 10 years ago I was told by some doctors I have but a few years to live. I refused to accept that and started on my own journey of fitness and supplementation in an effort to built up and repair my broken body. As many know, this is now 10 years later and I look the best I’ve ever did in my life. In this article I want to share some of my knowledge.

When I was told my fate 10 years ago I did not had time to waste on mediocre supplement or stuff that make just marginal differences. If I add it to my critical list it need to make a huge difference, full stop.

One of these super supplements that made my critical list is Co-Enzyme Q10.

Apart from it’s legion of amazing benefits, scientific research studies are finally proving that it has a rather high degree of effectivity for fighting certain pains, particular migraines and Fibromyalgia. Some doctors even started to prescribe CQ10 to their migraine patients and report amazing results. Fibromyalgia sufferers, seems to be able to live a quality life again with the help of CQ10. They do not report a complete reduction of pain but enough to give them hope for a quality life.

Hiv + people and cancer sufferers has particularly low levels of CQ10 and for them it is an absolutely MUST TAKE supplement for such people.

 

What is it?

Coenzyme Q10 is a mitochondrial energizer that has shown remarkable effects against common heart ailments and neurological disorders. In just the past year, scientists have uncovered specific mechanisms indicating that CoQ10 may have a role in fighting certain cancers. Most surprising, however, are new studies that show how CoQ10 guards against a wide array of common age-related disorders. CoQ10 is naturally present in small amounts in a wide variety of foods, but levels are particularly high in organ meats such as heartliver, and kidney, as well as beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts.

 

Some of the amazing benefits

(Extract from www.lef.org)

Preventing the Onset of Migraine

Migraine headaches are a debilitating, all-too-common affliction. Because mitochondrial dysfunction may play a role in migraines by limiting oxygen metabolism, researchers recently explored the use of CoQ10 in preventing these headaches. Published in the February 2005 issue of Neurology, the research describes a placebo-controlled trial of 42 patients in Switzerland.2

Patients who had suffered migraines for a year or more, with two to eight attacks per month, were randomly assigned to receive either 100 mg of CoQ10 or placebo, three times daily. At the end of the three-month trial, the CoQ10-treated group had lower attack frequency and fewer headache days and days with nausea than did the placebo group. The mean number of monthly migraine attacks dropped from 4.4 to 3.2 in the CoQ10 group, compared to a negligible decrease from 4.4 to 4.3 in the placebo group.2

In this study, supplemental CoQ10 reduced migraine frequency by 27%

 

Guarding the Brain After Cardiac Arrest

People who survive cardiac arrest often suffer irreversible brain damage as a result of the disruption of oxygen to the brain. European researchers recently investigated whether combining CoQ10 with mild hypothermia—a technique proven to reduce neuronal damage and increase survival—might enhance the effects of that treatment.1

Forty-nine patients who had suffered cardiac arrest and then received cardiopulmonary resuscitation were randomly selected to receive hypothermia (reduction of body temperature) treatment plus CoQ10 or hypothermia plus placebo. The hypothermia treatment involved the patients being placed on a body-surface-cooling mattress.

The patients were then administered either liquid CoQ10 (250 mg followed by 150 mg three times daily for five days) or a placebo through a nasogastric tube. The remarkable findings showed that three-month survival in the CoQ10 group was 68%, compared to only 29% in the placebo group. Coenzyme Q10 thus helped reduce the death rate from cardiac arrest by an astounding 57%. The researchers also found that 36% of patients in the CoQ10 group had a good neurological outcome at three months, versus only 20% in the placebo group.1

 

Slowing Early Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss in people over 60.3 With the deterioration of the macula (a tiny cluster of highly specialized cells in the retina) central vision progressively begins to blur. As the disease worsens, central vision loss may increase until it becomes impossible to perform tasks that require detailed vision, such as driving and reading.

In recent years, researchers have focused on how oxidative damage affects age-related macular degeneration. The eye, one of the body’s most metabolically active organs, not only generates an enormous amount of free radicals through normal function, but also incurs additional oxidative damage from ultraviolet radiation and air pollution. In recent trials, the use of antioxidants has been shown to counter age-related macular degeneration. For example, in an 11-center, double-blind clinical trial conducted by the National Eye Institute (a division of the National Institutes of Health), a combination of antioxidants plus zinc slowed macular degeneration progression in people with intermediate or advanced disease by about 25%.4

Hungarian scientists are now exploring a metabolic rather than an antioxidant approach to managing macular degeneration. Citing findings that mitochondrial dysfunction might also play a role in the development of the disease, the researchers designed a clinical trial to evaluate intervention in early age-related macular degeneration with a combination of compounds—including CoQ10—that have demonstrated the ability to improve mitochondrial metabolism. The researchers reported results of their double-blind, placebo-controlled trial last year in the journal Opthalmologica.5 More than 100 patients with early age-related macular degeneration were randomly assigned to receive either two capsules per day containing 200 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine, 780 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, and 20 mg of CoQ10, or capsules containing an equal quantity of soy oil.

At the end of the 12-month treatment period, the researchers found statistically significant improvement in the treatment group as measured by all four parameters of visual function studied. In addition, only one of the 48 patients (2%) in the treatment group showed clinically significant worsening in visual field mean defect (blind spots in the visual field), the primary study endpoint, compared to 9 of 53 patients (17%) in the placebo group. The decrease in drusen—tiny yellow retinal deposits associated with macular degeneration—of the treated eyes was also statistically significant compared to placebo when either the most-affected eyes or the less-affected eyes were considered. In the less-affected eyes, the drusen-covered area decreased by 23% in the treated group, but increased by 13% in the placebo group. These findings suggest that intervention with an appropriate combination of nutrients that affect mitochondrial lipid metabolism may stabilize and even improve visual functions in early age-related macular degeneration.5

 

New Applications in Fighting Cancer

Research on CoQ10 and cancer has focused on two lines of inquiry: CoQ10’s ability to improve immune response and its ability to decrease the cardiotoxicity caused by a common class of anti-cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

 Patients with cancer often exhibit low levels of CoQ10

Based on these findings, Danish researchers investigated CoQ10’s effects alone and in combination with other nutrients as an adjunctive therapy for breast cancer.

In one case report, the researchers describe three breast cancer patients with metastasized cancer. The women underwent conventional cancer treatment and supplemented with a daily dose of 390 mg of CoQ10. All three women demonstrated tumor regression and decreased incidence of metastasis.9

In another study, the same research team investigated 32 high-risk breast cancer patients whose malignancy had spread to the lymph nodes.10 In addition to conventional therapeutic interventions, this group of patients received a daily combination of nutrients (vitamin C: 2850 mg; vitamin E: 2500 IU; beta-carotene: 32.5 IU; selenium: 387 mcg; and secondary vitamins and minerals), essential fatty acids (1.2 grams of gamma linolenic acid and 3.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids), and 90 mg of CoQ10. At the end of the 18-month trial, six patients showed apparent partial remission, none of the patients showed signs of additional metastases, and their quality of life improved. None of the patients died during the study period, though four deaths were expected based on the patients’ disease stage. In one of the six patients with partial remission, the dose of CoQ10 in the nutritional protocol was increased to 390 mg. After two months, that patient’s tumor had disappeared completely, as confirmed by a mammogram.10

While chemotherapy drugs can be highly effective, their use can also be limited by toxic side effects. This has been noted in the case of anthracyclines, a class of drugs widely used in cancer chemotherapy. These drugs have demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of leukemia, lymphomas, and solid malignancies, and are often used to treat breast cancer, with higher doses yielding greater clinical responses. These higher doses of anthracyclines, however, can produce toxic effects on heart tissue, possibly leading to cardiomyopathy and heart failure that are not responsive to conventional pharmacological interventions.11 In fact, anthracyclines selectively damage mitochondria in the heart, but not in other organs.11 Since coenzyme Q10 supports both heart tissue and mitochondria, researchers conducted human trials to determine whether CoQ10 might prevent cardiotoxicity during the administration of anthracyclines.12

Two recent review articles addressed CoQ10’s potential as an adjunctive therapy during chemotherapy with anthracyclines. Writing in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers summarized five reviewed studies in which CoQ10 was given along with anthracyclines.12 They report that in three of the studies that measured heart rhythm, patients who received CoQ10 showed favorable changes suggesting that CoQ10 might have a stabilizing effect on the heart. They also note that supplementation did not interfere with anthracycline treatment, and that no adverse effects were reported in any of the trials. The authors concluded that although coenzyme Q10 demonstrates potential for reducing cardiotoxicity, larger and more rigorous investigations are needed.

In 1961, scientists saw that people with cancer had little CoQ10 in their blood. They found low CoQ10 blood levels in people with myeloma, lymphoma, and cancers of the breastlungprostate,pancreascolonkidney, and head and neck. Some research has suggested that CoQ10 helps the immune system and may be useful as a secondary treatment for cancer.

  • CoQ10 may keep the antitumor drug doxorubicinfrom hurting the heart.
  • Three studies examined the use of CoQ10 along with conventional treatment for cancer. The three studies contained a total of 41 women with breast cancer. In each study, the women improved.

Slowing Neurodegenerative Disease Progression

Many investigators have conducted preclinical studies examining how oxidative stress and impaired mitochondrial function may contribute to neuronal cell death, a characteristic of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases.13-17 For example, a recent journal article in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology reported on the effects of the herbicide paraquat on neuronal cell death in the laboratory.17 The researchers found that this toxic chemical damaged mitochondria and increased free radical production, eventually resulting in the death of neuronal cells. Pretreatment of the cell cultures with CoQ10, however, inhibited both mitochondrial dysfunction and free radical generation.17 The researchers postulated that coenzyme Q10 may prove useful in preventing and treating neurodegenerative conditions related to environmental toxins.

While published research on the use of CoQ10 in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease has been limited to preclinical studies, investigations of CoQ10 and Parkinson’s disease have moved into clinical trials, including randomized controlled studies. This work has been led by Clifford Shults, MD, professor of neurosciences at the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine. In Parkinson’s disease, brain cells that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine progressively die. Research in animals has shown that CoQ10 can protect the substantia nigra, the area of the brain where these cells reside. Studies by Dr. Shults and others have shown that mitochondrial dysfunction and diminished mitochondrial CoQ10 levels frequently occur in Parkinson’s sufferers.18

With funding from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders (a division of the National Institutes of Health), Dr. Shults and his colleagues undertook the first double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial of CoQ10 in patients with early untreated Parkinson’s disease. In this phase II, dose-finding study, 80 patients were randomly assigned to receive one of three different CoQ10 doses (300 mg/day, 600 mg/day, or 1200 mg/day) with vitamin E, or a placebo containing vitamin E alone. The patients were followed for 16 months or until the participants required levodopa, a standard drug treatment for managing disease symptoms.19

The results, reported in the Archives of Neurology, showed that patients who received the largest dose of CoQ10 (1200 mg/day) had 44% less decline in mental function, movement, and ability to carry out activities of daily living than those who received the placebo.19 Patients who received CoQ10 doses of 300 mg/day and 600 mg/day also showed some slowing in decline compared to the placebo group, but not as much as those who took the highest dose. The authors concluded that CoQ10 was safe and well tolerated at doses up to 1200 mg/day.

Most recently, Dr. Shults and his team conducted an open label trial in which 17 patients were given an escalating dose of CoQ10 (1200 mg/day, 1800 mg/day, 2400 mg/day, and 3000 mg/day) combined with a stable dose of 1200 IU/day of vitamin E over a two-month period.20 They found that CoQ10 was well tolerated at high doses, but plasma levels of CoQ10 did not continue to rise when the dose was increased from 2400 to 3000 mg/day. There was no significant change in motor abilities in these Parkinson’s disease patients, some of whom were concurrently taking medications for the disease. Based on these findings, the researchers recommended conducting a phase III study to investigate the longer-term effect of high doses on previously untreated patients.

“Our [phase III] study will compare a placebo with 1200 mg/day and 2400 mg/day of CoQ10 and will enroll 200 subjects with early untreated disease in each treatment arm,” Dr. Shults told Life Extension in an exclusive interview. “The study . . . will probably take four years, with the results published a year later,” he added. In addition to that study, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is currently investigating the effects of a 2400-mg/day dose of CoQ10 in patients with early, untreated Parkinson’s disease.18

A clinical trial has also been undertaken in patients with Huntington’s disease, a neurodegenerative genetic disorder. This trial, conducted by the Huntington Study Group, randomly assigned 347 patients with Huntington’s disease to receive CoQ10 at 600 mg/day, remacemide hydrochloride at 600 mg/day, a combination of both, or placebo. Over the 30-month trial, the CoQ10 treated patients showed a 13% decrease in overall functional decline and beneficial trends in some secondary measures. However, the difference between the CoQ10 group and the other groups did not reach statistical significance.21

 

Other Potential Applications

In recent months, scientists have uncovered a widening array of applications for coenzyme Q10. According to new studies, CoQ10 may:

Protect against hearing loss. Mitochondrial DNA mutation is one cause of sensorineural hearing loss, a condition that causes changes in the inner ear or nerve pathways and is not correctable through medical interventions.23 In individuals with genetically based sensorineural hearing loss, coenzyme Q10 supplementation prevented further loss of hearing, while the control that did not supplement demonstrated continued deterioration of hearing function.

Improve learning. Supplementation with vitamin E and coenzyme Q10 helped a group of older mice to learn tasks more quickly than mice supplemented with only one of the two antioxidants.24 These findings suggest that coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E act in concert and may together help prevent age-related deficits in cognitive function.

Extend life span. In animals fed a diet enriched with polyunsaturated fatty acids, supplementing with coenzyme Q10 increased life span and protected against DNA alterations. Scientists recently determined that CoQ10 supplementation may confer these benefits by attenuating the decline in naturally occurring antioxidants that commonly accompanies aging.25

Prevent cachexia. The combination of coenzyme Q10 with vitamins B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin) offers promise in preventing the weight loss and muscle wasting associated with cancer. In cancer, mitochondrial energy production is diminished, which may ultimately lead to the fatigue, weight loss, and muscle loss known as cachexia. In rats with experimentally induced breast cancer, supplementation with the energy-modulating nutrients B2, B3, and CoQ10 helped restore mitochondrial energy production, suggesting that this nutrient combination may help prevent cachexia.26

Assist muscle regeneration. Supplementing with coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E supported muscle regeneration in animals with experimentally induced muscle decay. The investigators noted that CoQ10 exerted a greater influence on muscle regeneration than did vitamin E.27

Protect against surgical stress. Supplementing with 300 mg of CoQ10 daily for two weeks prior to heart surgery boosted measures of heart muscle health, investigators recently noted. When heart muscle samples of the supplemented individuals were analyzed following elective surgery, this tissue exhibited improved energy production, decreased oxidative stress, and enhanced recovery from oxygen depletion compared to tissue samples from unsupplemented patients.28

Promote male fertility. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation for six months improved asthenozoospermia (reduced sperm motility) in infertile men.29 In an earlier study, administering a CoQ10 analog to men led to significant increases in both sperm count and motility.30 These findings suggest that CoQ10 may help improve defective sperm function, a common and difficult-to-treat cause of male infertility.

Protect against senile plaques. A laboratory study demonstrated CoQ10’s ability to destabilize amyloid beta peptides, a hallmark abnormality of Alzheimer’s disease.31 This suggests a further potential neuroprotective mechanism of coenzyme Q10.

Impede diabetic complications. An animal study has shown that CoQ10 displays potential for preventing complications associated with diabetes.32

Lower triglycerides. The results of an Italian preliminary clinical trial suggest that the combination of CoQ10 and fibrate drugs may benefit individuals with exceedingly high levels of triglycerides who fail to respond to fibrates alone.33

Summary

The latest findings suggest that, along with its heart-protective effects, CoQ10 may slow or improve some degenerative diseases, support cancer remission, counteract the toxic effects of chemotherapy, and decrease the incidence of migraine headaches. Additionally, recent findings indicate that coenzyme Q10 may have applications in promoting fertility, protecting auditory function, supporting longevity, boosting learning capability, sustaining muscle health and much more.

CoQ10 investigations are expanding into new areas, and researchers are now calling for larger, well-designed studies to support intriguing findings from small and observational trials. With CoQ10’s pervasiveness in the body and the many essential functions it performs, scientists will no doubt continue to elucidate this vital nutrient’s many potential applications.

DYNAMIC DUO: COQ10 AND VITAMIN E
In addition to its direct scavenging of free radicals, CoQ10 also helps regenerate vitamin E, another important antioxidant. Vitamin E provides antioxidant protection in fat-soluble environments such as cell membranes.18 When coenzyme Q10 levels in cell membranes are diminished, regeneration of vitamin E is slowed as well.22

Is CoQ10 safe?

Taking 100 mg a day or more of CoQ10 has caused mild insomnia in some people. And research has detected elevated levels of liver enzymes in people taking doses of 300 mg per day for long periods of time. Liver toxicity has not been reported.

Other reported side effects include rashesnausea, upper abdominal paindizziness, sensitivity to light, irritability, headacheheartburn, andfatigue.

Medicines for high cholesterol (statins) and medicines that lower blood sugar cause a decrease of CoQ10 levels and reduce the effects of CoQ10 supplements. CoQ10 can reduce the body’s response to theblood thinner (anticoagulant) medicine warfarin (Coumadin) and can decrease insulin requirements in people with diabetes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulatedietary supplements in the same way it regulates medicines. A dietary supplement can be sold with limited or no research on how well it works or on its safety.

 

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. www.gertlouw.com disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

 

References
1. Damian MS, Ellenberg D, Gildemeister R, et al. Coenzyme Q10 combined with mild hypothermia after cardiac arrest: a preliminary study. Circulation. 2004 Nov 9;110(19):3011-6.2. Sandor PS, Di CL, Coppola G, et al. Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in migraine prophylaxis: a randomized controlled trial. Neurology. 2005 Feb 22;64(4):713-5.3. Available at: www.nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen.armd_facts.asp#1. Accessed November 16, 2005.4. Anon. A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001 Oct;119(10):1417-36.

5. Feher J, Kovacs B, Kovacs I, et al. Improvement of visual functions and fundus alterations in early age-related macular degeneration treated with a combination of acetyl-L-carnitine, n-3 fatty acids, and coenzyme Q10. Ophthalmologica. 2005 May;219(3):154-66.

6. Folkers K, Osterborg A, Nylander M, Morita M, Mellstedt H. Activities of vitamin Q10 in animal models and a serious deficiency in patients with cancer. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 May 19;234(2):296-9.

7. Portakal O, Ozkaya O, Erden IM, et al. Coenzyme Q10 concentrations and antioxidant status in tissues of breast cancer patients. Clin Biochem. 2000 Jun;33(4):279-84.

8. Folkers K, Morita M, McRee J, Jr. The activities of coenzyme Q10 and vitamin B6 for immune responses. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1993 May 28;193(1):88-92.

9. Lockwood K, Moesgaard S, Yamamoto T, Folkers K. Progress on therapy of breast cancer with vitamin Q10 and the regression of metastases. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1995 Jul 6;212(1):172-7.

10. Lockwood K, Moesgaard S, Hanioka T, Folkers K. Apparent partial remission of breast cancer in ‘high risk’ patients supplemented with nutritional antioxidants, essential fatty acids and coenzyme Q10. Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15 Suppls231-s240.

11. Conklin KA. Coenzyme q10 for prevention of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity. Integr Cancer Ther. 2005 Jun;4(2):110-30.

12. Roffe L, Schmidt K, Ernst E. Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 for improved tolerability of cancer treatments: a systematic review. J Clin Oncol. 2004 Nov 1;22(21):4418-24.

13. Somayajulu M, McCarthy S, Hung M, et al. Role of mitochondria in neuronal cell death induced by oxidative stress; neuroprotection by Coenzyme Q10. Neurobiol Dis. 2005 Apr;18(3):618-27.

14. Sohmiya M, Tanaka M, Tak NW, et al. Redox status of plasma coenzyme Q10 indicates elevated systemic oxidative stress in Parkinson’s disease. J Neurol Sci. 2004 Aug 30;223(2):161-6.

15. Menke T, Gille G, Reber F, et al. Coenzyme Q10 reduces the toxicity of rotenone in neuronal cultures by preserving the mitochondrial membrane potential. Biofactors. 2003;18(1-4):65-72.

16. Shavali S, Carlson EC, Swinscoe JC, Ebadi M. 1-Benzyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline, a Parkinsonism-inducing endogenous toxin, increases alpha-synuclein expression and causes nuclear damage in human dopaminergic cells. J Neurosci Res. 2004 May 15;76(4):563-71.

17. McCarthy S, Somayajulu M, Sikorska M, Borowy-Borowski H, Pandey S. Paraquat induces oxidative stress and neuronal cell death; neuroprotection by water-soluble Coenzyme Q10. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2004 Nov 15;201(1):21-31.

18. Shults CW. Therapeutic role of coenzyme Q(10) in Parkinson’s disease. Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Jul;107(1):120-30.

19. Shults CW, Oakes D, Kieburtz K, et al. Effects of coenzyme Q10 in early Parkinson disease: evidence of slowing of the functional decline. Arch Neurol. 2002 Oct;59(10):1541-50.

20. Shults CW, Flint BM, Song D, Fontaine D. Pilot trial of high dosages of coenzyme Q10 in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Exp Neurol. 2004 Aug;188(2):491-4.

21. Anon. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 and remacemide in Huntington’s disease. Neurology. 2001 Aug 14;57(3):397-404.

22. Crane FL. Biochemical functions of coenzyme Q10. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Dec;20(6):591-8.

23. Angeli SI, Liu XZ, Yan D, Balkany T, Telischi F. Coenzyme Q-10 treatment of patients with a 7445A—->G mitochondrial DNA mutation stops the progression of hearing loss. Acta Otolaryngol. 2005 May;125(5):510-2.

24. McDonald SR, Sohal RS, Forster MJ. Concurrent administration of coenzyme Q10 and alpha-tocopherol improves learning in aged mice. Free Radic Biol Med. 2005 Mar 15;38(6):729-36.

25. Bello RI, Gomez-Diaz C, Buron MI, et al. Enhanced anti-oxidant protection of liver membranes in long-lived rats fed on a coenzyme Q10-supplemented diet. Exp Gerontol. 2005 Aug;40(8-9):694-706.

26. Perumal SS, Shanthi P, Sachdanandam P. Energy-modulating vitamins—a new combinatorial therapy prevents cancer cachexia in rat mammary carcinoma. Br J Nutr. 2005 Jun;93(6):901-9.

27. Otrocka-Domagala I, Rotkiewicz T, Karpinska J, et al. The effect of coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E on the regeneration of skeletal muscles in pigs. Pol J Vet Sci. 2004;7(4):295-303.

28. Rosenfeldt F, Marasco S, Lyon W, et al. Coenzyme Q10 therapy before cardiac surgery improves mitochondrial function and in vitro contractility of myocardial tissue. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2005 Jan;129(1):25-32.

29. Balercia G, Mosca F, Mantero F, et al. Coenzyme Q(10) supplementation in infertile men with idiopathic asthenozoospermia: an open, uncontrolled pilot study. Fertil Steril. 2004 Jan;81(1):93-8.

30. Anon. Coenzyme Q10. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Feb;3(1):58-61.

31. Ono K, Hasegawa K, Naiki H, Yamada M. Preformed beta-amyloid fibrils are destabilized by coenzyme Q10 in vitro. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Apr 29;330(1):111-6.

32. Al-Thakafy HS, Khoja SM, Al-Marzouki ZM, Zailaie MZ, Al-Marzouki KM. Alterations of erythrocyte free radical defense system, heart tissue lipid peroxidation, and lipid concentration in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats under coenzyme Q10 supplementation. Saudi Med J. 2004 Dec;25(12):1824-30.

33. Cicero AF, Derosa G, Miconi A, et al. Possible role of ubiquinone in the treatment of massive hypertriglyceridemia resistant to PUFA and fibrates. Biomed Pharmacother. 2005 Jul;59(6):312-7.

 

Happy training everyone!

Gert Louw

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