Posted on December 23rd, 2011
ProMera is a relatively new supplement company, and Con-Cret is a relatively new supplement. It is also a little bit revolutionary in its own way, in that it allows you to take a lower dose of creatine in grams than the standard loading/maintenance cycles suggest. This means that there are always a lot of questions about ConCret – today we answer some of the most common for you!
Should I take the pills or the powder?
The ingredients for each are exactly the same, but there are some differences to consider with the pills versus the powder forms of this bodybuilding supplement:
- If you often feel like you’re sloshing around the gym after taking all your bodybuilding supplement shakes, the pill form could be a welcome relief.
- The powder may work a little quicker, because there is no intermediate step of melting the capsule
- The powder form is usually a little cheaper than the pill form, because less manufacturing effort is required.
- The powder form allows you greater variability with the dosage – you can take just a little bit more if you want to, whereas with pills you must take multiples of the pills.
What’s the dosage for the pill form?
Creatine most often comes in powder form, so the pill form of CnCret can be confusing!
You should be taking 2 pills per 100 pounds of bodyweight. This is equivalent to one scoop per 100 pounds of bodyweight.
How do I calculate the dosage in scoop form?
The scoop you get in your packet of ConCret doles out 750mg of creatine within 1150g of ingredient. So, 2 scoops will give you a dose of 1.5g of creatine, which should be taken per 100lb of bodyweight.
Do I really not need to cycle creatine?
Promera says that you do not need to cycle ConCret. However, we feel that cycling is in your best long term interests – you don’t want to create more problems for yourself by becoming dependent on creatine, or becoming immune to it.
Should I go straight from a different brand of creatine to ConCret, or change at the end of a cycle?
If you cycle off your old creatine and then go onto ConCret, you’ll have a much better chance of attributing your new results to the new creatine powder. This will allow you to better determine which bodybuilding supplement works better for your particular metabolism, biochemistry, taste and lifestyle.
What dosage of ConCret should I take on non-training days?
ConCret should only be taken on your training days. This is a little different to ordinary creatine loading, maintenance and cycling directions, again. It does also help protect your poor wallet – ConCret is one of the pricier bodybuilding supplements.
If you feel that you need to keep up that dosage during a maintenance phase, you could use a different supplement such as Kre-alkalyn.
Posted on December 23rd, 2011
Gaspari Nutrition has brought us some of the most respected bodybuilding supplements of all time, especially the long-time bestselling SizeOn pre-contest. Myofusion by Gaspari is another of the most highly rated supplements of all time – a protein blend that bases itself around balanced scientific principles rather than trying to market an inferior product based on pricing. Today we check out what real bodybuilders think of Myofusion – the good, the bad, and the fugly!
Myofusion Reviews: The Good
Myofusion gets widespread props as one of the best-tasting protein supplements out there. Despite the fact that it can be difficult to mix (see ‘The Bad’ below), the taste is incredible. Mixing with milk improves both mixability and taste according to long time users of this bodybuilding supplement.
Less calories, more stuff
Myofusion is not as calorie heavy as Syntha-6, its nearest competitor as a protein blend. However, when it comes to ingredients there is plenty packed into a scoop of Myofusion, and bodybuilders notice. The microconfigured whey protein isolate and the egg albumen are very much appreciated – and you can see these ingredients in the results.
Reviewers of Myofusion keep seeing results from the protein – size gains, fat loss, faster and more complete recoveries – so they keep buying it!
Gaspari say that they have focused on the science, not on trying to pull down the price of the product in Myofusion. However, most reviewers are exceptionally happy with the price anyway!
Great for hardgainers
Several reviewers who label themselves ‘hardgainers’ have seen great results with Myofusion.
Overall, most people say that once on Gaspari Myofusion, they just stick with it. It’s a go-to protein for many bodybuilders.
Myofusion Reviews: The Bad
The texture and the bubbliness of Myofusion has been pointed out by several reviewers. However, thickness and bubbles are probably more a matter of preference than an actual negative point to the product. Some reviewers say that they get better texture when they use a mixing ball in their shaker, and some have noted a clumpier texture in the Cookies and Cream flavour than with either chocolate or vanilla.
Some reviewers mentioned that Myofusion should come in bigger tubs! This makes sense, since so many bodybuilders are on the blend long term.
Lack of BCAAs and aminos
Some reviewers felt that this was a negative. We don’t necessarily feel that the lack of BCAAs or any other type of amino acid is a negative – if you want to add those to your stack, there are plenty of other good bodybuilding supplements designed around BCAAs!
Myofusion Reviews: The Fugly
Sorry to say, we couldn’t chase up any really negative comments or really sore points from Myofusion! We noted that some reviewers had reactions (digestive) to particular flavours – this happened most often with the strawberry and strawberries and cream flavours.
However, these isolated cases shouldn’t really drag down Myofusion’s reputation as a fantastic bodybuilding supplement.
Posted on December 21st, 2011
In these days of marketing weasel words when every food and drink advertiser has a dictionary of health terms sitting on their desk, it is getting more difficult to tell what is good for you and what is not. Advanced bodybuilders have an amazing store of knowledge (perhaps more than they realise!) about the nutritional worth and health effects of different foods. Today we’re going to start everyone off on the same path, with a look at five seemingly ‘innocent’ foods and drinks that could be sabotaging your bodybuilding goals.
Bodybuilding is a sport. Bodybuilders are sportspeople. However, ’sports’ drinks are not necessarily good for bodybuilders!
Sports drinks can be fantastic for endurance athletes who need to replace large volumes of electrolytes while sweating heavily. However, your pre-, post- and intra-workout bodybuilding supplements will fulfil the same function for bodybuilders. In fact, they’ll do a better job than a sports drink, because while endurance athletes aren’t aiming for muscle hypertrophy, bodybuilders are.
Even more importantly, sports drinks are heavily loaded with sugar, which can provoke extremes of blood glucose levels and potentially lead to fat storage, through the action of insulin.
Salads are healthy, and if you need a salad dressing to make all those bitter veges palatable, so be it. However, make sure you compare the ingredients and nutrient profiles of different salad dressings before you settle on one. Many dressings are loaded up with high fructose corn syrup or simple sugar – other insulin and fat storage protagonists.
Coffee With Sugar
Caffeine is a great tool for bodybuilders – the ephedrine-caffeine stack is well known and used for thermogenesis and as a pre-workout booster. The caffeine in coffee is just as good as in many bodybuilding supplements, however if you add sugar to your coffee you’ll actually be sabotaging your bodybuilding goals, not helping them along!
It doesn’t take long to wean your tastebuds off the sugar in coffee – just cut down by half a teaspoon a day.
Most of us just can’t start the day without some sort of carbohydrate. But make sure you choose a mostly wholegrain breakfast cereal, fill it with fresh fruit (not dried, too sugary) and lots of nuts.
Even many breakfast cereals marketed as healthy (ahem, N*tri Gra*n) are filled with sugar and one of the worst things an ‘iron man’ could eat for breakfast.
Canned veges often taste better than the fresh ones – a little saltier, not quite so bitter. That’s a red flag telling you that they are no good! Certain vegetables are naturally high in fructose, and once processed and canned with salt and sugar they are even worse for you. Avoid tinned asparagus, sweet pickles and stewed tomatoes. Fresh cabbage, summer squash and radishes are also very high in fructose. If you’re on a cutting cycle, avoid them.
In many cases, our bodybuilding supplements take care of our extra nutritional needs. Even hardgainers need to watch out for the foods above!
Posted on December 21st, 2011
Although this book is one of the best selling on Amazon in the Exercise and Fitness / Weight Training category, it gets an instant black mark here for its absolutely redundant title! Is ’speed’ not ‘quickness’, after all?! However, once you get past the title of the book and into the content, it’s actually a fantastic read. One of the authors, Vance Ferrigno, is the brother of Lou Ferrigno, one of the authors of the popular ‘New Rules of Lifting’ series. He and Lee Brown have produced a real crowd pleaser, but does it hold any new secrets for bodybuilders? We check out some real people’s reviews of the book to find out.
Not Really a Weight Training Book
Amazon really got the categorisation of this book wrong. It’s not a weight training book. In fact, it is completely focused on ‘Training for Speed, Agility and Quickness’, funnily enough!
If you’re looking for drills to complement your bodybuilding practice or especially to boost your MMA skills though, this will be very useful. There were a couple of reviewers who specifically mentioned that they’d seen good results in their MMA fights from using this book. However it is also used in sports as diverse as volleyball, tennis, athletics and basketball.
LOTS of Drills!
The bulk of this book is focused on lists of drills that you’ll use to improve your speed and agility. Most reviewers really appreciated the extent of the drills list – it gives you a lot of choice and variety.
Despite the massive drill library it contains, most reviewers mentioned that the book is very well organised, and its easy to find what you need in there.
Lacking Detail – Not Appropriate for Beginners
However, those without a good background knowledge of form and technique when exercising in general will most likely struggle with ‘Training for Speed …’. Each drill has a single photo plus a short written description. This is where the rich media of online drill libraries is far superior to a written reference book. The DVD does help fill in the gaps, however only 65 of the books 195 total exercises are covered in video.
Additionally, many reviewers felt that background information about norms, standards and fitness principles was missing from the book.
Enjoyable and Effective
Some coaches who have been using the book with their athletes mention that they are seeing results, and that the trainees enjoy the training!
Good Value with Included DVD
The US version of this book comes with a DVD included. Remember if you purchase this speed training book from Amazon that the DVD region will be incorrect for Australian DVD players – you’ll need to have a region-free player.
Overall, ‘Training for Speed, Agility and Quickness’ is a fantastic resource for strength trainers who like to mix their sports disciplines. There is little of use for the straight bodybuilder – but for MMA fighters or power athletes it is a valuable resource!
Posted on December 19th, 2011
The results that bodybuilders strive for are all visible on the outside – but, as in all sports, they can only be achieved under the direction of the most important ‘muscle’ in the body – the gooey one between our ears! Every one of us has struggle at some point with a body that’s perfectly capable of doing what we need to do, but a brain that seems to make everything slower, harder, more confusing. Internet forums are rarely the solution to dilemmas of motivation, mental strength or direction – they only raise more questions than they answer. So today we’re looking at ‘Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence’ to see if it holds the keys. All comments below come from real people’s reviews of the book.
Good for Those Who Already Know How to Get There
Several reviewers noted that while the book held plenty of inspiration and motivation, this wasn’t enough for them. If you aren’t familiar with what it feels like to be ‘in the pocket’ and to simply need to rediscover that feeling, this book might not provide enough guidance to help you achieve that ‘inner excellence’.
Or, For Beginners
If you’re new to the idea of sports psychology or motivational science in general, this will be a good beginner text for you. It introduces the concepts in a simple, understandable way.
Conversational, An Easy Read
Most reviewers found this book light, conversational and very easy to get through. Some noted that the information of the entire book could have been condensed into the chapter titles and the single-sentence summaries listed at the back of each chapter. Even those who gave the book 4 star and 5 star reviews did concede that it was repetitive in parts..
This is a great style of book for some people – for others, not so much!
Off-Bench, Not On-Bench Lessons
Mind Gym focuses on your overall thinking about your sport – the way you frame your self concept, the way you look at failure, etc. It doesn’t tell you how you can bust out another rep in that set or how you can win a bodybuilding competition on attitude alone.
Good Life Lessons Also
Any message in sports motivation should also be transferable to general life, and the messages of ‘Mind Gym’ certainly are. Unfortunately this also means that you have probably almost learnt many of the lessons already.
“A Horrendous Nugget of Information”!
One reviewer hilariously described this book’s ‘only’ flaw – that the author has all of his clients close their eyes and listen to ‘Hero’ by Mariah Carey as an essential part of their training!
You could probably substitute your own motivational song … unlike your bodybuilding supplement profile, motivation is not a precise science!
In the end, ‘Mind Gym’ is not going to cause any mass hypertrophy of your mental muscle. It is designed to start your motivational circuitry twitching, but doesn’t provide all the fuel needed to really hone your mental state. Naturally, this is a personal journey that everybody has to go on within the boundaries of your own skills, experience, habits, thoughts and strengths. Do you need this book to be able to do it? Possibly not … quite a few reviewers mentioned that they had read better texts in the field. We’ll go hunt some up for review next month!
Posted on December 19th, 2011
Colourless, odourless, found in many common drugs and foods and naturally occurring in the body … why has glycerol recently been added to the banned substances lists of sports bodies all over the world, including many bodybuilding institutions? It was added to the World Anti Doping Agency’s Prohibited List in 2010 – so will taking bodybuilding supplements containing glycerol jeopardise your chances at a title? More importantly, are you ‘cheating’ yourself or your fellow athletes by using it? Today we check out the story behind the glycerol ban.
What is Glycerol Used For?
As a legitimate training aid and bodybuilding supplement, glycerol is used to slow the loss of water from the body, or, to help remove excess water from the peripheral tissues.
Glycerol is mostly used as a bodybuilding and athletic supplement because it helps to hold onto water. Endurance athletes take glycerol before a marathon to slow the removal of excess water from the body by the kidneys. Bodybuilders often take glycerol before a competition to remove the water from the peripheral tissues and bid it up in the blood to create a mare chiselled look.
What’s So Controversial About Hydration and Dehydration?
The hydration aspect of glycerol is not the cause of the ban by WADA. Glycerol is a plasma expander, which means that it could be used in ways similar to diuretics or serum albumin to mask illegitimate substances in the blood.
How Will They Test for Glycerol?
There is some debate and confusion surrounding the addition of glycerol to the banned substances list.
After all, glycerol occurs naturally in the body as a by-product of fat metabolism, is found in the food we eat, the bodybuilding supplements that we legitimately take and the pharmaceutical products we need to keep us healthy.
Yet, WADA has not specified an ‘Upper Limit’ beyond which glycerol in a blood sample will be considered ‘non-therapeutic use’. Other common therapeutic substances (such as salbutamol, the active ingredient in Ventolin), have a specified upper limit. Glycerol does not.
How Can I Play it Safe With Glycerol?
If you have a competition upcoming, you don’t necessarily need to stop taking all glycerol-containing bodybuilding supplements straight away.
Glycerol will simply be metabolised by the body, used for fuel in either glycolysis or gluconeogenesis. If you stop taking glycerol three weeks before an event, you should have ample time to metabolise any extra glycerol you have floating around your body.
It may also be safer to do the bulk of your cutting well before the competition. Glycerol appears in the body as a byproduct of stored fat metabolism, so you may test higher if you’ve been obtaining much of your energy from stored fat.
Glycerol should not necessarily be considered a ‘cheat’ substance. The main issue with it is its potential use as a masking agent. If you like your glycerol-containing bodybuilding supplements, keep taking them. Just be smart about it!
Posted on December 16th, 2011
If you’re looking for a full protein complex specifically designed for bulking (massive bulking!), that can double as a meal replacement, BSN Syntha-6 is the bodybuilding supplement for you. Today we check out how it can fit together with other pieces of your bodybuilding supplement puzzle – will a stack of BSN Syntha-6 and any other bodybuilding product help you reach for the sky, or will it just fall over? We check out some good combos today!
BSN Syntha-6 Stack for Teen Males
Weight gain can be notoriously hard for teen boys, in a time when your metabolism is sky high. This stack helps you get around that limitation.
- BSN Syntha-6
- Scivation Xtend
- Optimum Opti-Men and Micronized Creatine Powder
- NOW Omega 3 tablets
Your Syntha-6 is the base building block of this stack, providing the long-term protein supplies your body needs to keep building muscle rather than breaking it down. Scivation Xtend is a BCAA blend which promotes workout performance and recovery speed. The Micronized Creatine does a similar job in your body, helping speed ATP production and giving your muscles the free energy they need to keep lifting. Opti-Men and the fish oil are not directly related to workout performance, but are no less vital for teen bodybuilders!
The All-BSN Stack
Syntha-6 fits like a glove in amongst this all BSN stack. Put together:
- NO Xplode
Again, the Syntha-6 is your base ingredient around which you build the rest of your stack. The Syntha-6 protein provides your base muscle building block; the NO Xplode gives you the drive to use all that protein, and the AMINOx makes sure your body doesn’t let you down during the workout! Remember that this stack is better for your bulking cycle, you’ll want to switch products during a cut to less calorie-dense materials.
BSN Syntha-6 provides the base building block in all stacks. For general muscle building, better definition and strength gains, you need a couple of other ingredients. Stack your BSN Syntha-6 with the following for a great all-round bulking cycle:
- USP Labs Anabolic Pump
- USP Labs Prime
Anabolic Pump improves glucose delivery to your muscles, helping utilise all that protein. Prime does a similar job within your body – it delivers the protein, carbs and fat to your muscles, where they’re needed, rather than letting them collect in a spare tyre around your waist.
Posted on December 16th, 2011
Con-Cret is labelled (on the label attached to the jar, in fact!) as the world’s first and only concentrated creatine. It is also the only ProMera product that we stock at Nutrition Warehouse, mostly because this is an upcoming supplement company with only a couple of products available. However, Con-Cret has effectively swept like the plague throughout the bodybuilding world … only without the death and disease, and with a lot more anabolism and achievement! What has made Con-Cret popular so quickly, and what’s the catch? We find out from real people and their real reviews on this up-and-coming bodybuilding supplement.
Con-Cret Reviews: The Good
Basically, if you can make a bodybuilding supplement that tastes good, you’ll get far more adoration out of your customers than a product which works, but tastes like the glue you used to use for cut and paste in grade 2. Con-Cret’s lemon and lime flavour is highly recommended by all reviewers, and the blue raspberry and pineapple also get props for the taste.
Easy on the stomach
Gastrointestinal problems are minimised with Con-Cret, which is a little tricky to achieve with creatine powders. Some reviewers mentioned a bit of a slimy feeling in the mouth, but no adverse effects below the throat! No bloating, no stomach cramping, no watery gut.
The only reason that we take bodybuilding supplements is for some sort of effect on muscle gains, strength, fat loss or recovery, and I haven’t yet seen a reviewer who said that Con-Cret didn’t work for them. Some felt that it worked about the same as any creatine monohydrate, but most reviewers said that they noticed an increase in muscle gains and a decrease in recovery time with ConCret.
Con-Cret Reviews: The Bad
This is an inevitable side effect of creating a product that lots of people love … some reviewers will think that it is completely overrated.
Yes, this is in both categories! Some reviewers really hated the tart taste of the lemon and lime flavour. Can’t please them all …
Next day aches
Some reviewers found that Concret made them feel like they could go beyond their barriers … which they subsequently did, and then paid the price the next morning! Keep this in mind if you’re trying ConCret for the first time.
Con-Cret Reviews: The Fugly
We love the reviewer who described ConCret as ‘a bit spendy’! Many people noted the expense of the product. If you don’t notice any gains over typical creatine mono for ConCret (as some people’s biochemistry does not), then don’t bother with ConCret. Otherwise, ConCret at the start of a bulk, in the middle of a cut to preserve strength and when you feel that you’ve hit a plateau.
Posted on December 14th, 2011
“When Eric eats a banana, Eric is … BANANAMAN!” Fruit had out-of-this-world effects for Bananaman (for those of us who grew up watching him on ABC in the 90s!). Can it do the same for bodybuilders? The people who manufacture ’superfruit’ juices would like you to think so! While these juices undoubtedly have their limited place in both regular and bodybuilding diets, are they really the next big thing as a bodybuilding supplement? We check out the claims today.
What Does Monavie Claim to Do?
Monavie makes a range of products, all concentrated blends of fruit juices in wine-bottle-esque packaging. Their base claim is that they are extremely high in antioxidants, substances which will help fight aging and promote overall health and longevity through scavenging cell-damaging free radicals.
Fruit Juice and the Bodybuilding Diet
The idea of taking superfruit juices sounds tempting to bodybuilders. After all, if you can’t take in great volumes of fruit because you want your diet to be protein-heavy, you need to get the same amount of vitamins and minerals in a smaller volume. Since vitamins and minerals are most bioavailable when they come in food form rather than pill form, it makes sense to drink fruit juice concentrate … doesn’t it?
Are Antioxidants a Necessary Bodybuilding Supplement?
Fortunately, most of the base nutrients available in fruits are also available in vegetables, with a much higher proportion of complex carbohydrates to simple carbohydrates, and therefore a far better fit for the bodybuilding diet.
So, are these extra-high levels of antioxidants necessary in the bodybuilding diet? The research is mixed. Here’s what we know:
- Oxidative damage occurs in conjunction with anaerobic exercise
- Antioxidants can help fight oxidative damage to some extent.
- However, high levels of antioxidants can also have a damaging effect on the body.
Here’s what we don’t know:
- Whether antioxidants actually translate to benefits in terms of overall longevity
- Whether antioxidants will help prevent any particular diseases
The oxidant-antioxidant tension within the human body is not played out in terms of a single winner or loser at any point in time. The story is MUCH more complex.
Do Superfruit Juices Contain High Levels of Antioxidants?
Even if you want to pursue a high antioxidant-diet, to be ‘on the safe side’, should you be taking Monavie or any other superfruit juice?
Choice Magazine tested a huge range of popular superfruit juices in 2007, and discovered that superfruit juices like mangosteen juice, noni juice, goji berry juice and acai berry juice, and found that none of them had better than 31% of the Total Antioxidant Capacity of a single, fresh, Red Delicious apple. It seems that either the fruits themselves are inferior, or the simple act of processing the fruit deteriorates the fruit’s antioxidant capacity.
The overall message – the real superfruits are those just sitting in your fruit bowl. Fresher is better, so if you can buy from a farmer’s market or grow your own, even better. Monavie is great if you like the taste, but should be used sparingly within a bodybuilding diet … considering that its low levels of antioxidants probably aren’t having that great of an effect on your overall health anyway!
Posted on December 14th, 2011
BSN Syntha-6 is promoted as an ‘Ultra Premium’ protein powder – and it is definitely in the upper echelons of the bodybuilding supplement market, as are most of Ronnie Coleman’s products sold under the BSN name. Syntha-6 is a major competitor for Gaspari Myofusion (reviewed a few days ago), with both blends offering egg albumen as an ingredient, and both finding a niche with bodybuilders for different reasons. Today we check out what the real people (not the marketing geniuses) thought of Syntha-6 as a bodybuilding supplement – from the good, to the bad, to the fugly.
Syntha-6 Reviews: The Good
This month we have purposefully looked for products that are well liked by reviewers – we want you to know more about the better bodybuilding supplements, after all. What we have found is that almost every product that shows up high on the bodybuilding community’s radar TASTES GOOD. Syntha-6 is no exception – however it is possible that the good taste comes from a little more fat and calories thn necessary. Keep that in mind!
A good meal replacement
Dozens of reviews that we read mentioned that they use BSN Syntha-6 as a meal replacement. It has sufficient calories and fat that it really does need to replace, rather than just supplement, your food – especially if you’re on a cutting cycle.
Most reviewers needed only a spoon. Reviewers who mixed Syntha-6 with milk sometimes noted a thin film of powder left on top of the shaker bottle – if this is also a problem for you, use water instead.
The acid test of any bodybuilding supplement! We didn’t read ANY complaints about Syntha-6’s effectiveness, and personally we also find it to be a very effective protein.
Syntha-6 Reviews: The Bad
Fatty and calorific
The good taste and usefulness as a meal replacement comes from the fact that Syntha-6 is quite high in calories and fat – 200 calories per serve, with 50 calories from fat. It also has 18% of your Daily Value of cholesterol, so make sure you plan your diet around this bodybuilding supplement.
Syntha-6 Reviews: The Fugly
Well, I’ll just have to ‘blurt it out’ … ! Syntha-6 will make you gassy as you digestive system gets used to it, and you’ll be farting at every opportunity. Thankfully, for most people this lasts only for the first week or so.
We’ve put this down I the ‘Fugly’ section rather than keeping it as a mere ‘bad’ point because many reviewers were so vehement about the overpricing of Syntha-6. “Too expensive!”, “Find it on sale!”, and ‘Way overpriced!” were comments that came up again and again.
However, as we’ve said many times on the blog – price shouldn’t put you off if the product represents good value for you. If you need a more calorie-dense bodybuilding supplement and find that Syntha-6 reacts well for you, make it a staple!