Posted 24 June 2013 by Becs Cronshaw FST1 iTS BCT

Part 2: Your fitness Questions

Answered By Expert Becs. C

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Ivan Chamurdjiev - Can a creatine cycle be 5-6 months long? A lot of people tell me it's not good but I have never seen scientific research that it harms you if you take it in the long run?

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Firstly, you are absolutely right; based on current data, long-term creatine supplementation does not result in adverse health effects. However, the theory behind cycling is that if you keep giving your body a substance, it will eventually get lazy and stop producing it itself. Whilst there's no hard evidence for this, I say it's not worth the risk! Cycles of 12-16 weeks shouldn't be a problem, then take a break.

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Marcin Smola - What is the secret to a tiny waist,... Vacuums?

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Vacuums haven't been used much since the 70's. In those days, they were used to engage the deep core muscles called your transverse abs, which simply suck in the stomach.
Vacuums will improve your posture and your core control, and your waist may appear a little smaller. However, remember that shrinking your waistline will not make your abs more visible; you need to drop your body fat to under 10% for them to show through. You'll also need to do superficial ab work for your rectus abdominus and obliques to get some good definition.

Ian Shoulders - Creatine while in caloric deficit? Pointless or fat burning/muscle gaining powerhouse? Best way to use if so...

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Creatine can actually be quite advantageous even if you are dieting, as it can help to keep the intensity of your workout session higher. When you go on a low calorie diet, your gym sessions will need to be reduced in volume and you may find strength starting to lag as a result of the diet. Creatine will help negate some of these negative side effects.

Do note though that creatine generally needs to be taken with carbs, to get into the muscle cells more effectively. Without the carbs, creatine will take longer to be absorbed and may not be absorbed to the full extent. In this case, taking the creating straight with water (or protein) in conjunction with a meal (to reduce stomach upset) is the protocol to follow. Typically you want to load with 20g for a 5-day period, then drop to a normal dose of 10g per day.

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TC Hakan Çelik -  How do you keep your bodyfat low after you achieve it?

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Generally speaking, maintenance is much easier than the journey to get the numbers down. However, this all depends on how lean you want to stay! If you have a body fat under 10% then you can get away with a whole cheat day every week, and still maintain your physique as long as you eat clean the rest of the week. If you are preparing for a contest where it's generally expected that your body fat will be down as low as 3-5%, then it is unrealistic to think you can maintain this long term.

John Tru Bishop - What’s the truth about carbs in the afternoon when trying to lean out? If I go to bed at 10 is 5pm too late?

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Personally, from what I've seen with my clients, the time of day you have your carbs is completely irrelevant, as long as you are getting your overall consumption for that day right. What is more important is that you are not mixing a heavy carb meal with a meal that is high in fat as well. As a general rule, mix protein with fat and protein with carbs, but never all three together. One caveat - never EVER have carbs for breakfast!

Abeer Koul - Best Diet to put on muscle mass and burn fat? High Carb or low carb? How many grams of carbs  should we take before a workout?

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Lets make this simple. You can't diet down and put on muscle at the same time; these goals are contradictory in their very nature. See Part One of this article, the question asked by Jake Goldsmith for a more detailed understanding.

Ole-Aleksander Brænna - What are the best foods for a vascular body

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Vascularity is not something you get from a few food choices. You need to eat clean, get lean and vascularity will show when you have the 'pump' that gets the blood flowing through your veins. Increasing body temperature and sugary foods can increase this; that's why's you sometimes see body builders eating handfuls of sweets before they go on stage. Note that this is an immediate effect, and not something that will work over many hours or days.

Jenny Sarafin - How many grams of carbs do you need post workout? Or is just a whey ISO enough?

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Impossible to say, since it’s so specific to your training goals and body shape. Research your protein shake carefully, and check the protein/ carb ratio; a shake designed for gaining mass will have totally different ratios to one put together for someone dieting down. If you pick the right shake then there's probably no need to supplement with additional food choices.

Monika Matesa -  What is the purpose/effect of high-volume weight training

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The purpose of high volume training is to get the maximum production of growth hormone possible for that particular session. However, there is a limit to the volume at which this takes place; anything over this may be classed as cardio training, not weight training. Stay with a rep range of under 15 for each exercise, and remember that you are looking to continually overload the muscle.

Casey David Archuleta - Is the higher priced protein really worth the cost in comparison to low priced protein. Does it really give better results?

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Yes it does. Buying good quality protein powder is equivalent to buying a high quality piece of steak. You get what you pay for. Higher priced protein generally allows for better absorption into your body and has less fillers. Protein shake manufacturers are unregulated so the cheaper brands can get away with nasty concoctions of unwanted sweeteners and additives that you shouldn't get with the better brands.

Carrie Deakin - How do you build quads and glutes when you can't squat, leg press, or deadlift because of a knee injury?

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Are you critically ill?! Seriously, these are fundamental movement patterns; movements you should be using every day of your life to sit, stand, bend over... you get the idea. No injury, if dealt with properly should prevent the progression back to these movements, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Work with a professional who knows what they are doing. Avoid isolation exercises such as the leg extension because the sheer force going through you knee here is not something you will want to experience.

Dan Montgomery - If I want to lift, then do 45 minutes of cardio directly after, is my whey protein going to be effective still or should I do cardio in the morning and lift in the evening?

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Splitting your routine into two will be far more beneficial if you can find the time. Why? You'll get twice the amount of growth hormone produced, you'll feel fresher for session number two meaning you'll be working at a better intensity and you'll maintain muscle mass. Go straight from weights to cardio and you'll run the risk of going into a catabolic state; one of muscle breakdown, not muscle building.

If you were to put the weights and cardio session together, a shake in between the two would be more beneficial than at the end. However, you want the amino acids in your shake to be available to your muscles for building and its likely that they may just go straight to fuelling your cardio session, which is not want you want.

Christy D'asto-Huggard - Fast and slow twitch muscles...What kind would a deconditioned client have?

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He will have both. However, deconditioned clients have generally been sedentary for a long time, and will have experienced a shift towards slow twitch fibres as some fibre types can change over time.

Cody DeMent - Is cardio just as important as lifting weights to build muscle and get a shredded look?

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Sort of. I know guys who do no cardio at all and stay lean all year round because they have a lot of mass and good genetics. If you are looking to compete then you absolutely cannot lose every ounce of fat you need to lose without the cardio, but a good base of weight training alone is essential before you add in the cardio. Preservation of lean mass is the number one priority.

Jorge A. Castillo - What is the right way to carb load?

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There are so many different ways of carb loading, depending on what it’s for. An example would be a period of around 24-36 hours, meals every two hours with a small amount of protein and carbohydrate at each meal, dropping the fats right down. Mostly this should be done on visuals, looking at your body and adjusting depending on how you are reacting. Some people can get away with pizza’s whilst carb loading, but you need to try different things out and find out what works best for you.

Note - I don’t recommend starting with pizzas, have a simple formula you can tweak before you start experimenting!

Questions Answered by Becs Cronshaw FST1 iTS BCT


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