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Tag Archives: muscle building

  • More Muscle, More Strength: Why You Must Use HMB

    Walk through any supplement store and you’ll be swarmed by brightly coloured labels claiming to contain the most potent muscle builders known to man. The problem is that most of these claims are just hyped up advertising. Leave it to science to weed out the true muscle builders from the colourful powder that doesn’t do much.


    One ingredient that has been getting a lot of attention in the fitness community is beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate, more commonly known as HMB. Let’s take a look at what HMB is and how it may the key to unlocking your muscle building potential.


    What is HMB?

    Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate is a metabolite of the essential amino acid, Leucine. This means that once Leucine is ingested and broken down, HMB is the end result.


    HMB has received a lot of attention recently due to its implications for lean muscle tissue. Originally utilized as a way to prevent muscle catabolism for people with degenerative diseases such as AIDS, HMB has now become a serious muscle building supplement contender in the fitness industry.


    The Benefits of HMB

    Protects Muscle

    • The benefit that first shined the spotlight on HMB is its ability to help protect lean muscle tissue. Studies have demonstrated that HMB is able to decrease cortisol levels. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone, which means it breaks down protein and muscle tissue when left unchecked. What’s more, HMB may be able to boost protein synthesis, which helps in the development of lean muscle tissue. (1-3)


    Build More Muscle

    • Continuing with this idea of muscle building, HMB may be one of the best legal and proven supplements to support muscle building. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle tissue. HMB comes from the amino acid Leucine, which has been the subject of a number of studies citing it as an effective ingredient for muscle building. HMB not only blocks catabolic breakdown of muscle tissue but it also promotes protein synthesis. As mentioned above, protein synthesis plays an important role in muscle development. Several studies have concluded that subjects supplementing with HMB saw greater muscle development than their placebo-focused peers. (1-3)


    More Strength

    • A study published in European Journal of Applied Physiology tested subjects on the bench press, squat, deadlift, and vertical jump. Subjects were provided with HMB supplementation 12 weeks in combination with a well-designed training program. Subjects saw a significant increase in total body strength and power across the board. (1-3)


    How Much HMB Should I Take?

    While there is no scientifically confirmed dosage, the industry standard seems to be 3 grams per day. Medical websites such as WebMD recommend 3 grams per day for 8 weeks then cycling off the supplement for 3 to 4 weeks.



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    1. Slater GJ, Jenkins D. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation and the promotion of muscle growth and strength. Sports Med. 2000 Aug;30(2):105-16.
    1. Wilson, Gabriel J, Jacob M Wilson, and Anssi H Manninen. “Effects of Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate (HMB) on Exercise Performance and Body Composition across Varying Levels of Age, Sex, and Training Experience: A Review.” Nutrition & Metabolism 5 (2008): 1. PMC. Web. 2 Aug. 2017.
    1. Wilson JM, Lowery RP, Joy JM, Andersen JC, Wilson SM, Stout JR, Duncan N, Fuller JC, Baier SM, Naimo MA, Rathmacher J. The effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance-trained individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Jun;114(6):1217-27. doi: 10.1007/s00421-014-2854-5. Epub 2014 Mar 6.
  • Forskolin: Benefits for Muscle Gain & Fat Loss

    Unless you’re a professional athlete trying to smash specific personal records, there’s a good chance that your fitness goals are going to involve losing body fat and building solid, lean muscle tissue. Aside from the required training program and diet, the right supplement can make all the difference in your results. With all of the false promises on supplements, is there one that can help to boost fat loss and enhance muscle mass? The answer is Forskolin. Let’s take a look at the scientifically proven benefits of this herbal wonder.


    What is Forskolin?


    This herbal remedy is more commonly known as Coleus Forskohlii. Despite recent scientific studies proving how useful it can be, Forskolin was used as a medicinal tool thousands of years ago. Jumping into the present age, Forskolin was being used as a way to naturally treat asthma and now it’s a king in the supplement industry.


    The reason for the attention towards this ancient remedy has everything to do with its effect on your hormone levels. It’s been shown to promote a positive response in your thyroid as well as testosterone levels. From this, you’ll see a number of benefits.


    Blast Body Fat


    Thanks to the increased levels of Cyclic AMP from Forskolin supplementation, you’ll see lipases also increase in your body. The effect that has on your body fat is very important. Studies show that when there is a higher level of lipases in the body, the more triglycerides are eliminated. Triglycerides are used to store fat. As you’d imagine, the less triglycerides, the less body fat comes as a result. Studies show that Forskolin is a very effective means to naturally support weight loss. (1)


    Boost Levels of Testosterone


    As mentioned above, Forskolin supplementation boosts levels of Cyclic AMP. As it turns out, Cyclic AMP will mimic the benefits of a luteinizing hormone, resulting in increased production of total testosterone. The primary human-based study showed that subjects saw up to a 33% increase in testosterone levels when compared to the placebo group. It’s important to note that the study involved obese men and not athletically trained men. Given these conditions, it may be best to err on the side of caution and say that Forskolin can potentially boost your testosterone levels. (2)


    Supports Muscle Building


    Given that Forskolin is a potential testosterone booster, it will also be a useful tool to support muscle mass. Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in the body that promotes the building and protecting of lean muscle tissue. So if Forskolin does boost your t-levels, your muscles benefit as a result.


    Just as important, Forskolin was shown to promote protein synthesis, a process that is at the heart of muscular repair, maintenance and growth. (2-3)




    If you’re trying to naturally support your goals of fat burning and muscle building, one supplement that has received plenty of positive attention is Forskolin. Taken as a part of a well regimented training and nutrition program, it may support fat loss, testosterone production, and muscle building.


    To maximize your benefits, it’s best to take Forskolin in conjunction with other proven ingredients. Using a thermogenic blend such as with  Muscletech’s Hydroxycut is an ideal and convenient way to get the compounds you need for results. Ready to give it a try? Buy Muscletech Hydroxycut!




    1. Asano Tsuguyoshi (2001). Clinical report on root extract of perilla plant (Coleus forskohlii) ForsLean® in reducing body fat. Asano Institute. Tokyo , Japan.


    1. Godard MP, Johnson BA, Richmond SR. Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obes Res. 2005 Aug;13(8):1335-43.


    1. Leamon, KB; Padgett, W; Daly, JW. “Forskolin: Unique diterpene activator of adenylate cyclase in membrane and intact cells” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 1981,78, 3363-67.
  • Anabolic steroid use

    What are steroids? What are the different types of steroids?

    Steroids are synthetic compounds that mimic the hormones produced by the body. There are two types of steroids, corticosteroids and anabolic-androgenic steroids. Corticosteroids are similar to hormones produced by the adrenal gland located just above the kidneys, which are used to fight stress associated with illness and injuries. Corticosteroids are commonly used as an anti-inflammatory medicine for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and symptoms of inflammatory conditions.

    Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are the steroids that attract all the publicity these days. They are synthetic forms of testosterone, the male sex hormone produced by the testicles and the female ovaries. Anabolic means muscle building, and androgenic means male characteristics. AAS were originally synthesized for the treatment of hypogonadism (the diminished functionality of the testis or ovaries), tumors, hypercalcemia (elevated calcium levels in the blood), hypercalciuria (elevated calcium in the urine) and other chronic diseases. However, shortly after their discovery, it was the discovered that the use of AAS may enhance physique and athletic performance. These lead to the abuse of the substance by armature and professional athletes as well as by the general public.

    So do anabolic steroids work in improving athletics performances?

    That after all, is the basis of anabolic steroid use in the athletics world. The answer to this question is not as clear-cut as you think. The actual efficacy of AAS had been debated and questioned over the years, with many suggesting that the changes experienced by AAS users are more psychological than physical. However, more recent studies seem to support the idea that short term administration of AAS can increase 5-20% of strength and increments of 2-5kg of body weight due to the increase of lean body mass. However, the gain on lean body mass is not associated with fat loss, so it doesn't make you slimmer. In addition, taking AAS doesn't seem to affect endurance, even though steroid use has been shown to affect the production of red blood cells and blood hemoglobin concentrations (Hartgens and Kuipers 2004, Sports Medicine). I understand many people claim that steroid use can improve endurance, which contradicts with findings from scientific literatures. One of the possible reasons for this is that anabolic steroids can significantly alter the psychological behavior of a person, and thus improve performance and endurance through training, motivation on top of the increased lean body mass.

    How are AAS used as performance enhancing substances?

    AAS are usually administered orally, through injections or as a topical agent. In order to achieve desired anabolic effects, users can sometimes use up to 10 - 100 times higher doses of AAS compare to what doctors normally prescribe to treat medical conditions. AAS are usually taken in cycles in order to avoid or reduce unwanted side effects and allows the body to recover. Sometimes, different types of steroids are used in conjunction with other supplements to maximize the effectiveness of the regime. This is called stacking.

    What are side effects of taking AAS?

    It was discovered that, short-term use of AAS at physiological doses may leave no significant adverse side effects (Evans 2004, American Journal of Sports Medicine). However, illicit users of AAS often use excessively high doses, which could potentially cause irreversible side effects. Below is a list of the side effects that can be caused by short-term and long-term use of anabolic steroids. Keep in mind that most scientific studies only administered relatively low-doses of steroids into their test subjects, hence they do not approximate the doses used by illicit users. As a result, the data obtained may be an underestimation of the actual untoward effects.

    • The use of AAS can cause increases in sexual drive, body hair, aggressive behaviors and occurrence of acne in male users.
    • Long term, continuous use of AAS can cause testicular atrophy (shrinkage of testicles), reduced sperm count or infertility, development of breasts, and increases the risk for prostate cancer in males.
    • The continuous use of AAS in females can cause male pattern boldness, growth of facial hair, deepening of voice, and cessation in menstrual cycles.
    • The use of AAS in adolescents can cause stunted growth due to premature skeletal maturation and accelerated puberty changes.
    • The administration of AAS will disturb the body's production of testosterone and gonadotropin, which can persist for months after drug withdrawal.
    • Chronic exposure to AAS has been suspected to significantly alter the cardiovascular system. A direct link between AAS use and cardiac muscle hypertrophy and myocardio fibrosis was established (Higgins et al. 2012, Southern Medical Journal).
    • AAS abuse has been associated with a number of psychological problems, including irritability, aggressiveness, anxiety and depression (Hallberg 2011, Minireviews in Medicinal Chemistry).
    • High concentration of AAS (similar to doses used by athletes) can produce apoptotic effects (self-destruction) on neuron cells, leads to the speculation that AAS use can cause irreversible neuropsychiatric toxicity (Kanayama et al. 2008, Drug and Alcohol Dependance).
    • A study has shown that 25% of AAS users develop some sort of dependence (addition). AAS dependent users had a higher rate of heroin use and major depressive disorders compared to non-dependent users (Ip et al. 2012, Pharmacotherapy).
    • High doses of AAS have been shown to affect the function of liver, kidney and the gastrointestinal system (Modlinski and Fields 2006, Current Sports Medicine Reports).

    So is it worth it?

    Having an appropriate diet and good, effective training regime can get you to where AAS could plus a lot more, without the adverse consequences. No matter how you look at it, investing your health for the temporary quick gain of a bit of lean body mass doesn't seem like a sweet deal to me. The ultimate decision is yours, but remember, be prepared to accept the consequences.

  • Designing A Beginners Muscle Building Program

    When first designing a beginners muscle building program it can be a little confusing on what to do, as there is so much misleading information from magazines, internet, people, the list goes on. What l would like to do is give my advice on a basic template you can follow when designing your own muscle building program. I will go through how to plan which muscles you will train on particular days, what exercises l believe are the most effective and rest time between workouts.
  • 7 Muscle Building Tips

    Let’s get straight to the point – you want to build muscle! So here are seven important and practical tips to developing muscle size and strength.
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