February 2004 Journal

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State of the Physique 01/26 thru 02/01 - Yes, I'm debating what supplements I want to add during competition and getting a little scientific this week. Deciding what and if to supplement can be challenging. Daydream about the Beach or Research? Tons of stuff out there, some work better together (that whole synergistic thing), some do nothing. I've thrown in a bunch of links this week to good articles or supplement contents, so check out those that interest you. To evaluate everything is impossible, so I focus on those areas that mean something to me and filter out the rest. Could I get by on food alone and still be healthy? Most likely. Do I want some extra insurance, perhaps a little extra edge? Yes. But safety and reality first ...and of course I have to be training and eating right.

My Everyday Supplements
Whether I am competing or not, my everyday supplements include:
     * multi-vitamin/mineral pak,
     * glutamine
     * a couple good protein powders
     * liver tablets
I take the multi-pak because it's difficult to get all my vitamins and minerals from food alone. I take glutamine because of its many benefits: supports immune system, improves protein metabolism, minimizes muscle breakdown to list a few. I take protein powders for convenience and easy absorption (see Meals in Nutrition table below). In the last year, I've thrown in liver tablets because they are a good source of protein, B-vitamins, and iron...and I know I won't eat liver. I'll be surprised if I take these for the rest of my life, but they are like compressed whole food to me and I'm into them right now. I think I'll just wait right here for the sunshine Also, after doing some research on natural supplements to help maintain mental/neurological functions, I have just recently added Gingko Biloba and SAM-e. Although eating right and being physically active definitely helps me stay sharp mentally, I have found my mind isn't quite what it use to be; I need to keep it in a healthy state too! Thought I'd see if these make a difference. I like to give a supplement at least a couple of months since it isn't normally an overnight sensation. If no response or if any side effects, I stop. No reason to waste more money. Not everyone responds positively since each individual's makeup is different--thus, all the scientific tests to help us make choices.

My Competition Supplements
When I am competing, I do consider other supplements and here are the ones I've added for the last 8-12 weeks til contest time:
     * creatine
     * BCAAs (branched chain amino acids)
     * a fat-burner (thermogenic)
I have to admit that I don't notice a dramatic difference with some of these, but subtle changes. Could I retain as much muscle, lose as much fat without them? Hmmm...I should try that sometime. Just don't think I want to risk it when competing. Given all the good benefits and research on these, I just feel there is something to them. I take creatine to help muscle recovery, increase muscle strength, and volumize muscle cells. I take BCAAs ( Look for the "3 Amino Acids Pack a Powerful Punch" section of this link) to protect muscle loss while I'm dieting and burning fat; it's important to stay in an anabolic state as much as possible. I take a thermogenic combination of 7-Keto Musclean in the morning before I work out, plus Lean-Out with each meal. The 7-Keto has caffeine but no ephredine, and Lean-Out contains L-Carnitine. I do think products with ephredine can be effective in moderation (and I've taken them in the past), but I've chosen to use other means due to its side effects and recent bad press.

When the contest(s) is over, I'll try not to go too crazy. My plan is to take a week to go back to eating a more maintenance-type diet and quit taking what I consider to be extra 'competition' supplements. It's a personal decision, but I don't think I need to take them year round unless I was a professional athlete whose livelihood depended on muscle size. And besides, I can use that money for more bike adventures this summer.

Boy, I know I look like a Beverly International poster child! I just like their approach to the natural bodybuilder and their quality products. I'm comfortable with them and they work for me. Seems like a lot of supplements, but there's a lot of choices in the nutrition arsenal and it's really not too difficult to manage once you get into a meal schedule you like. Just a disclaimer: This wasn't meant to tell you what to take. I just wanted to state where I stand, give you a little research to help you make your own choices. Broken record time...food first, then consider the everyday supplements and perhaps some competition supplements depending on your goals. OK, enough about supplements already?! Time to get my butt away from the computer and do some domestic stuff around the house!

Hey, did you notice no weight loss this week on the "State of the Physique"? I still feel good about where I'm at since my water intake was very good and I just added creatine. Still progressing and being consistent--two important factors for me.

NUTRITION - TYPICAL DAY (approx. 192g protein, 117g carbs, 35g fat  -or- 50%-30%-20% of 1550 cals.)
 Meal 1
5g glutamine & 1 - 2 scoops Mass Maker (before weight training workouts), 5g creatine (after workouts)
 Meal 2
3 oz. Ground Turkey Breast or Lean Beef, 3 egg whites, 1/2 grapefruit or 1/3+ cup oatmeal (dry), Vitamin Pak, 2 Ultra 40s (Liver Tablets)
 Meal 3
1 scoop Ultra Size, 1 scoop Muscle Provider, 1 tsp all-natural peanut butter, 2 Ultra 40s
 Meal 4
5 oz Chicken Breast or Cod, 4 oz sweet potato or 1/2 cup kidney beans, spinach or broccoli or green beans, 3 Ultra 40s
 Meal 5
2 scoops Muscle Provider, frozen berries, 1 tsp all-natural peanut butter, 3 Ultra 40s
 Meal 6
6 oz can White Tuna, 3 cups Spinach Salad (with broccoli, cucumbers, radishes, peppers, celery, peas), 1 TBS Paul Newman's Olive Oil and Vinegar, 2 Ultra 40s
Wednesday - Lean Cuisine Pizza, Celery, Granny Smith apple with 1 tsp peanut butter for supper
Saturday - Salsa Brown Rice mixed with egg whites, Granny Smith apple with 2 tsps peanut butter for supper
Incline Dumbbell Press (25-40) 5 8-15
Dumbbell Flyes (25-30) 4 8-11
Seated Machine Press (50-60) / superset with Dumbbell PullOvers (40)4 10-12 / 12
Lying Cable Curls (50-60) 412-15
Incline Dumbbell Curls (20-25)48-11
High Cable Curls (20-25) 4 12
Seated Side Laterals (10) 3 12
Kneeling Rope Crunches (30)4 15
Vertical Leg Raises 4 12
Incline Crunches 4 12
CARDIO - Treadmill--incline, 20 minutes
Parallel Grip Cable Rows (80-140) 4 10-15
Bentover Barbell Rows (70-140) 5 8-12
One-Arm Seated Machine Rows (55) 4 12
Straight Arm Pulldowns (50-60) 4 12
Dips 3 8
Seated 1 Dumbbell Extension (40)4 12
Reverse Grip Pushdowns (20) 4 12
Standing Partial Cleans (40-50) 4 10-12
1 Arm Side Laterals (10-15) 4 8-12
Bent Over Cable Laterals (10) / superset with 1-Arm Cable Side Laterals (5)412 / 10
Seated Arnold Presses (20) 2 12
Seated Calf Raises (70-100) 3 12-15
Incline Crunches 3 15
Kneeling Rope Crunches (30)4 15
Vertical Leg Raises 4 12
Incline Crunches 4 12
CARDIO - Rowing Machine, 20 minutes--whew!
Sumo Squats (70-90) 3 15-18
Leg Press (250-350) 5 12-15
Smith Machine Stationary Lunges (20-50) 4 10-12
Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlifts (25-40)410-12
Lying Leg Curls (20-30)410-12
1 Leg Standing Calf Raises (30-35) 4 12-15
Seated Calf Raises (70) 2 15
Dumbbell Flyes (20-35) 4 10-15
Incline Barbell Press (70-100) 4 8-12
Squat Bar Pushups (low to ground) / superset with Dumbbell Pullovers (40)4 15 / 12
Incline Dumbbell Curls (15-25)4 8-12
Standing Cable Curls (50-70)4 8-12
1 Arm Preacher Curls (15-20) 3 12
Seated Side Laterals (10) 3 12

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