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Muscle Bulletin Latest Articles

Daily news and articles from Muscle Bulletin.


Protein Wars: The Whey Vs. Casein Debate (update)
By Jeremy Bane (reprinted with kind permission of “Hard Gainer”)

Sylvester Stallone arrested for Growth hormone
Reports in the press last week have indicated that the famous muscle bound actor Sylvester Stallone was caught recently with a 'personal supply' of Chinese Jintropin, a synthesized version of Human Growth Hormone. As you may know, possession of steroids in the US regularly carries a jail term and the use of Jintropin has exploded in the country since the steroid law was tightened up as it circumvents the law by not officially being a steroid. The use of growth hormone (GH) is increasingly used by more mature trainers, who want to benefit from its rejuvenating qualities. Growth hormone is a naturally occurring hormone that support the bodies ability to increase muscle growth, recovery and aids definition. After the age of around 21 years of age, it starts to decline rapidly.

Look Great For The Beach
It’s a safe bet that a large number of you are planning to spend some time on the beach this summer. Who can blame you? Sun, sea and more – it’s a great way to unwind. Let’s face it, it’s even more fun if you’ve got the kind of body that turns heads. But if you think that getting that perfect beach body has always been out of your reach, read on and I’ll reveal the tops tips to getting you in shape for this summer.

How to lose fat without dieting
I regularly get asked about what’s the best diet or menu to follow to lose fat. Although there are hundreds of books out on the market that claim to have the secret ultimate way to lose fat and get in the best shape of your life, the reality is, most of these books are based more on marketing hype and nonsense diets than teaching you the techniques of good nutrition, healthy living and the importance of exercise. We’ve also seen the Atkins diet that recommends super high protein fatty diets, the GI diet, that requires tons of research before you can eat any food, the cabbage soup diet, that literally involves eating cabbage soup, pie, cooked, etc.. until you’ve lost all your weight and your friends!

Massive mass builders: Ultimate Legs
There are so many underdeveloped lower bodies in the gyms of the world. Is it because good leg equipment is so hard to find? On the contrary, most facilities have rows of sturdy racks and machines with which to forge fantastic wheels. Part of the reason legs receive such short shrift is that they are simply not as glamorous as traditional showy body parts like the arms and chest. That's too bad, because well-developed hips and thighs not only look powerful - they are flesh embodiments of actual brute force.

What’s better to lose fat - weights or cardio?
There's plenty of debate about which type of exercise is the "best" way to get in shape. Some argue in favour of aerobic exercise. Others contend that resistance exercise (such as lifting weights) is the right way to do it. Let’s take a closer look at both types of exercise and see what they have to offer…

Combating winter depression - Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD)
During winter months in the UK, the dark nights draw in and the weather is dismal, and many people feel depressed, lethargic and lack in energy. This ‘condition’ has been labelled as Seasonal Affected Disorder or SAD and is said to affect over half a million people in the UK. Obviously SAD is not good for our bodybuilding, and as carbohydrate cravings are a symptom, it can also be hard to lose body fat.

How Probiotics & Prebiotics can help hardgainers keep healthy
Currently, there is huge interest in the use of foods which may exert a positive functional effect on our health (immune and gut). Two of these functional foods are known as probiotics and prebiotics, both of which have a favourable effect on the ‘good’ bacteria that reside in our digestive systems, also known as our gut microflora. These ‘good’ bacteria live naturally in our intestines and are essential to good health, having a number of positive effects, primarily helping our digestive systems work efficiently. We traditionally view bacteria as being ‘bad’; however in reality there are relatively only a small number of strains which are pathogenic and most microbes are harmless and contribute to well-being (Gibson 2003).

Including Fruit and Veg in your high protein diet
We all know fruit and vegetables are good for you, but how many of you know why they’re so good? You’ve all probably heard the Government’s campaign ‘5 a Day!’ encouraging us to consume five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, but it’s not always obvious as to how these five should be made up, or indeed are five servings really enough?

Are New Years resolutions any use?
There is no doubt that after a few weeks of stuffing yourself, lazing about and not training, most people feel unfit, unhealthy and a little bit fatter and less muscular! What better time is there to help motivate you back into the gym or the gym for the first time, than January. This year, I’ve decided to list my favourite tips that play a big part in helping you achieve your goals and make you feel super healthy. I hope they help make this year your fittest.

11 tips to avoid getting fat this Xmas
1. If there's a buffet, turn up late. An untouched buffet table looks so tempting. But once everyone else has taken what they want, the food looks far less tasty. And make sure to stand as far away from the table as possible. If you stand too close, it's easy just to reach down and grab a few extra bits of food while you're talking to your friends.

Your waist, not your weight, is true guide to problem fat
Your waist measurement is the best indicator of problem fat. Dr Susan Jebb, head of nutrition and health at the MRC Human Nutrition Research Unit in Cambridge, recently pointed out to a conference of healthcare workers in London that many of the dangers of obesity are often associated with excess fat, and therefore cannot be evaluated by measuring only the patient’s weight. An example being if a person trains heavily and holds a substantial amount of muscle, it will throw off all the weight versus height charts, making them useless. It is common for a bodybuilder or serious gym user when measured at a standard insurance or GP check up, to be ticked as obese, yet amusingly when they lift their t-shirt up, they show a perfect set of abs!

The Deadlift - Tips, Technique and Requirements by Derek Cope
First of all let’s talk about frequency of training. The deadlift can be very effectively trained by training it just once a week.

Bulking Up Rugby Players
Rugby players are renowned for being some of the fittest, strongest and most powerful athletes in all of sport. But they don’t all start out that way. In fact, some players come to me needing to gain 10 or 15 kilograms (22-33 pounds) of bulk… in a hurry. Read on, and I’ll reveal exactly how they do it, and how you can do it too…

Boost testosterone by chatting to women
Scientists have proved that even the most seemingly innocent chat with a woman can be enough to send male sex hormones soaring. A team from the University of Chicago paid students to come into their lab under the pretence of testing their saliva chemistry. While there, the students got to chat to a young female research assistant.

Building Big Biceps with Pro Bodybuilder Richard Jones
1. I find that the best rep range for biceps is 10-12, but it needs to be a hard 10-12. You have to be digging deep and wondering if you're going to make it through the set once you get to reps seven, eight and nine. Occasionally, I train heavier and complete just six reps with a partner. This is to focus on strength and to force the muscle to respond. You definitely get out of it what you put into it, so if you put in submaximal effort, you won't be building the guns you seek.

Deer Velvet Antler, hormone booster or fake.
Deer velvet is the common name of a product made from growing antlers of deer, during a stage when they are covered in soft velvety hair. New Zealand is a major exporter of deer velvet, shipping tens of millions of dollars worth to Asia and the U.S. each year.

Think you’re man enough to be an elite rugby player?
Are you the kind of person who watches the TV and thinks that given the opportunity, you’d be able to pull on a shirt and run out with one of top rugby teams in the country, and show them a thing or two? I may have mentioned this bravado once too many times around the office as my colleagues at Maximuscle very kindly arranged a day’s training for me with Wasps. Great I thought, after all – how difficult could it be?

Eight natural ways to boost your testosterone levels
A new study has found a "substantial" drop in U.S. men's testosterone levels since the 1980s, but the reasons for the decline remain unclear [1]. This trend also does not appear to be related to age.

Three great training intensity tips
Successful individuals in all areas of life - sports, business, and creative endeavours - invariably possess one common trait, among others: exceptional focus.

How dietary fats can help you build muscle and burn fat
It used to be that fat was considered the "f" word in the bodybuilder's diet. But thanks to years of research, dietary fat is no longer the enemy: just because you eat fat doesn't mean you'll get fat. In fact, eating the right types of fats can help you lose bodyfat, gain muscle and protect your joints, and offers a host of other health benefits including lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers. Sound too good to be true? Read on.

The importance of a pre- and post-training protein drink
You can do all the workouts in the world but if you don't eat right then you won't be able to convert that hard work into actual muscle. The importance of nutrition is massive. If you're trying to build muscle mass, first of all you've got to create a state of muscle breakdown in order to be able to rebuild it. And to be able to do that, you need to take on board some of the essential amino acids found in lean protein and energy from carbohydrate to complete the process:

Why Protein is the Key to Fat Loss
Foods rich in protein provide the key to burning fat, a new study has revealed. The research, which made front-page news around the world, has shown that protein-rich foods, such as meat, chicken, fish and whey protein, are ideal for fighting fat.

Myostatin blockers – the ultimate way to build muscle?
You've probably seen plenty of advertisements for supplements known as myostatin inhibitors. But are they really that effective?

Build Muscle Faster By Lowering Cortisol Levels
A hard gainer…or just a stress case?

A beginner's guide to protein
A protein is any chain of amino acids. An amino acid is a small molecule that acts as the building block of any cell. Carbohydrates provide cells with energy, while amino acids provide cells with the building material they need to grow and maintain their structure. Your body is about 20% protein by weight. It is about 60% water. Most of the rest of your body is composed of minerals (for example, calcium in your bones).

Why the Daily Mail didn't tell you the truth about vitamins and minerals
If you read the Daily Mail recently, you could be forgiven for thinking that vitamin supplements are worthless, or, in some cases possibly even dangerous. We've had a lot of e-mails from people who feel thoroughly confused after this latest vitamin "scare story."

How to feel more energetic, alert and motivated
Do you sometimes lack the motivation or energy to go to the gym after a long hard day at work? Maybe you wake up early so you can exercise first thing in the morning, but end up hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock to get an "extra 10 minutes," and never get round to it.

Supplement myths…
There was an article in a recent issue of the Irish Independent written by George Hook, which yet again gives an incorrect negative view of sports nutrition and supplements. A number of inaccurate points were made in the article by George. This was followed by another negative story on footballers and supplements, which aired on Radio 4.

What is Tribestan?
Q. I have a cousin who lives in Eastern Europe. He swears by a product called Tribestan, and has been using it for years. Is it a drug or a supplement?

Training Q&A
Q. A guy at the gym told me that more than 8 reps won't help me build muscle. Should I always do less than 8 reps?

Is your protein supplement suppressing testosterone and leaving you deficient in vital minerals?
There is a huge amount of discussion about the benefits of the different proteins for muscle building and health. Soy, once only found in cheap protein products has now become a key ingredient in many premium brands, appearing in shakes, meal replacements and bars. But is there real scientific evidence to support the use of soy in these products? This article reviews the latest evidence, giving you the hard facts both positive and negative- that could change the way you eat for ever…

The Creatine Serum scam continues
A few years ago we told MP Bulletin readers about the scam that is creatine serum. Tests show that one serving of Creatine Serum contains under 10 milligrams of creatine - less than 5% of what is claimed on the label.

What's this new Russian Red Creatine Actijube I've seen being talked about?
Russian Red Creatine Actijube is the latest super-duper advanced form of creatine to hit the market. It's described as a "chewable patent-pending low-temperature formed Advanced Pharmaceutical Delivery Technology delivering 3 grams of Creapure creatine per jube." Despite our best efforts (and we did try hard) we couldn't find anything special about it at all.

How many repetitions for muscle growth?
Q. A guy at the gym told me that more than 8 reps won't help me build muscle. Should I always do less than 8 reps?

The Psychology of Training
Why do we train? Why do we bust our guts in the gym to look better? This is a question you might ask yourself when training doesn't seem to go your way and the gains come to a halt. Sometimes knowing why you're doing something and having focus, gives you the desired motivation to succeed. When it comes to training, you need all the discipline and motivation you can get, especially when the “new year” feeling starts to wear off.

Nutrition Q&A
Q. I've heard a lot about a new supplement that's supposed to burn fat. It's called Forskolin. Does it work?

Should you be using a myostatin inhibitor?
You've probably seen plenty of advertisements for supplements known as myostatin inhibitors. But are they really that effective?

The right and wrong way to build muscle faster
Back when they were first released, we warned you that myostatin inhibitors were a con. Now it seems that science has finally caught up.

Should I do single or multiple sets per exercise?
Q. I heard one guy saying that all bodybuilders are switching their training to just 2-3 sets on each body part and going all out with maximum weight. I always train to failure but use 5-9 sets. What is your opinion on this?

How whey boosts your muscles and your mind!
Not only is whey protein the most effective muscle-building protein source available, exciting new research shows that it may also improve mental function. Serotonin is a brain chemical important for mental performance, sleep regulation and appetite control. Serotonin is made from the amino acid tryptophan. Alpha-lactalbumin (ALA) found in whey-is high in tryptophan and supplementing it may help boost serotonin levels and brain function.

Squats: How low should you go?
Q: I hope you can put an end to a debate about squatting that I've been having with two buddies. One buddy says you should never go past parallel, while another says you have to go to the floor. Which one of my buddies is right?

Whey protein better than red meat in reducing body fat
A high-whey protein diet reduces body weight to a greater degree than a diet high in red meat, according to breakthrough research published in the Journal of Nutrition.

How to make sure you gain muscle and not fat
Dieting is unpleasant and tedious. It’s also futile because most people gain back the weight they lost and then some. The body tries to maintain a constant weight that scientists call the weight set-point. Appetite increases and metabolism slows following even modest weight loss. Dutch researchers, including Dr. Eva Kovacs, studied the effects of protein supplements on weight gain following four weeks of a very low-calorie diet.

The forgotten benefits of glutamine
Glutamine is considered a nonessential amino acid (it needn't be consumed in a diet because the body does not require it for the synthesis of protein). However, many bodybuilders might argue that it is an essential supplement, particularly during times of stress, such as intense training or low-carb dieting.

Look out for a new protein powder coming your way soon
In what's supposedly a "world first for the sports nutrition industry," a supplement that's being promoted as a "protein powder with sun block" is coming to a store near you!

The truth about partial reps and muscle growth
At the end of a set when you cannot complete another full range of motion (ROM) rep, doing partial reps will stress the muscles beyond the point of normal failure. Partial reps can also be done for entire sets. Consider the squat. If you squat only halfway to parallel, you'll be able to lift significantly more than if you squat to parallel. Going heavier during this partial ROM allows you to overload the muscle with more weight. Used periodically, this can increase strength and muscle size.

Creatine ‘exerts mild antioxidant activity'
Creatine, a favourite of athletes around the world to increase their muscle bulk, may also act as an antioxidant, says new research.

CLA: A fat breakdown tool.
The popular fat loss supplement known as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is fatty acid found in meat, cheese, and dairy products. It's one of the hottest fat loss supplements on the planet. Almost every month scientists publish a new study showing it either breaks down fat or prevents new fat formation. Scandinavian researchers, led by Dr. Jean-Michael Gaullier, gave CLA (4.5 grams, 80 percent CLA) to overweight people (110 women and 24 men) who lost nine percent body fat in one year without changing their lifestyles or eating habits. The researchers used DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry)-a very precise body-scanning technology-to measure body fat. The researchers were not sure why CLA promoted fat loss. They suggested it might trigger fat cell death, shrink fat cells, or speed up metabolism. Food diaries showed subjects taking CLA consumed 273 fewer calories per day than at the beginning of the study, so the supplement may have suppressed appetite. The effects were greatest in the most overweight subjects. If you decide to try this supplement, take the same amount and concentration of CLA used in the study (4-5 1000mg capsules of 80 percent CLA). Taking a low dose of the supplement probably won't help you lose fat.

Build more muscle and strength with ‘The 5% Solution'
The 5% System, devised by Muscle & Fitness science editor Jim Stoppiani, is designed to help you gain both strength and size. The 5% System is best used with basic compound exercises, such as the bench press (flat, incline or decline as well as dumbbell versions), squat, leg press, shoulder press (barbell or dumbbell), seated row and pulldown. Stoppiani also suggests that you perform no more than 2-3 exercises per muscle group and rest for 5-7 days between workouts [e.g. Train the whole body over 3 days (Mon, Wed, Fri) and then again the week after].