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How To Make Yourself The Best Trainer



Training
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How Bodybuilding can help you enjoy your life!

Tips and Advice
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Build Muscle Strength, Endurance in one Workout!

Training
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Overcome Training Mistakes Everybody Makes

Training
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Can Pain Pills Kill Your Bodybuilding Gains?



Studies
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Make The Scientific Method Work For You!



Studies
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What is the best BCAA ratio?



Supplement Tips
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Side effects of Creatine : Myths debunked

Supplement Tips
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How To Make Yourself The Best Trainer



Training
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Training

How To Make Yourself The Best Trainer

By 5Star4Mula Admin

The difference between an OK personal trainer and a great one isn't the program they give a client; it's their ability to keep that client working and coming back through thick and thin! Jon Goodman loved being a personal trainer. But even more than that, he loved the potential trainers have to improve the health of the world one person and one relationship at a time. Trainers just needed the right information, so he decided to give it to them.

A few years ago, Goodman put aside his clipboard and started the Personal Trainer Development Center, a website after Bodybuilding.com's own heart, with its wealth of free information published daily. Numerous top trainers contribute regularly on everything from self-marketing, rehab, niche populations, and client retention.

If you're in the business and this isn't in your bookmarks, you're welcome.

Following the release of new expanded editions of his two indispensable PDTC-published trainer guides, "Ignite the Fire: The Secrets to Building a Successful Personal Training Career" and "Personal Trainer Pocketbook: A Handy Reference for All Your Daily Questions," Goodman recently talked with Bodybuilding.com about some simple rules all trainers could keep in mind to make their mark on a contentious industry.

MANY PEOPLE PROBABLY THINK THEY COULD OR SHOULD BE A TRAINER. HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU'RE THE RIGHT TYPE OF PERSON FOR THIS JOB?
There's not one clear-cut answer to this, because there are so many different types of trainers. But successful trainers know what kinds of clients they work well with, and which kinds they don't.

A lot of problems are caused by trying to work with the wrong types of clients before the trainer is ready. The reasons for this are numerous: pressure to sell, lack of understanding of the nuances with different populations, etc.

At 21 years old, my first client was a 15-year-old who wanted to put on muscle, and my second client was a 67-year old grandmother with arthritic fingers and a torn ACL ligament in her right knee. I wasn't ready for her. It was a miserable experience for both of us. I took her on because I didn't know better. My gym's management gave her to me because she had a credit card. Often, a trainer just starting out only knows how to train one person: himself or herself. They've likely had success with their own fitness and have been on a journey of sorts—losing fat, building muscle, combatting an injury, or any combination of the three. As a result, new trainers should work primarily with situations that are familiar to them.

There's nothing wrong with taking on challenging clients, but a new trainer shouldn't be thrown into the fire. At any given time, a new trainer should take on no more than one or two clients different from what he or she knows. This way, that trainer can spend adequate amounts of time researching whatever the client is dealing with. Over time, of course, you should build up a wider range of experience and expertise.

YOU CALL TRAINING "THE MOST SATISFYING, EXCITING, GRATIFYING CAREER IN THE WORLD." WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO TRANSITION FROM TRAINING TO HELPING TRAINERS?
Pretty soon after I took on the senior trainer role at my club, I realized that something was wrong with how trainers were being educated.

At the time, I was in charge of hiring, onboarding, and mentoring trainers. Not only were these new trainers nervous—as they should be with any new job—but they had no idea how to educate themselves. And this is what bothered me the most. Not knowing is understandable, but not knowing where to learn is a serious problem. Compound that with the media and persuasive marketing from everybody who sells training "certs," and it was impossible for a new trainer to learn from an unbiased source.

I started to notice what the real difference was between a successful trainer and one that struggled. It's pretty simple: The most successful trainers understand that they are offering a service. A successful trainer is in the relationship business. People buy trainers, not training. What followed on my end was a deep dive into the soft sides of training—everything from psychology, marketing, and networking to relationship building.

Most paying clients can be classified as beginners with less than 1-2 years of serious training. Some have been in the gym longer than that, but without 1-2 years of real experience intently following a program, I'd still classify a client as a beginner. For these people, the importance of the quality of the program pales in comparison to the importance of actually following a workout. Adherence is key.

For most people, there's no magical program. Most programs will be "good enough" for the majority of personal-training clients. The best trainers understand that their jobs are to get a client to want to do the workout and encourage them to stick with it through thick and thin.

A good trainer knows that achieving fitness is simply the result of a lot of small consistent efforts done over a long period of time. It all comes down to coaching principles and psychology.

THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET FIT: WALK, TRAIN AT HOME, PLAY SPORTS, WORK ALONG WITH YOUTUBE VIDS. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO WORK OUT IN A COMMERCIAL GYM?
Different people are different—it's as simple as that. For some people, working one-on-one with a trainer is great; for others, it's petrifying. Some people are able to follow a magazine workout, while others will fall into the program-hopping trap when the next issue comes out and never progress.

Speaking in sensationalistic generalities is the biggest mistake that information publishers make in this industry. The best doesn't matter. What matters is what's best for a specific person. To find out what's best for somebody comes down to simple trial and error. Find something and stick to it.

I should also note that the business of selling fitness information and encouraging long-term substantive change are two different businesses. There's not a lot of money to be made by encouraging somebody to find something that works and giving them the tools to stick with it, so there's always a new fad or way to lost fat or gain muscle that's called "the best" for whatever reason. And there's value in this.

Self-efficacy—the belief that one can achieve—is largely determined by one's belief that a workout will work. It's also an important determinant for adherence. Self-efficacy is also determined by whether somebody feels that what they are doing suits their needs.

This is where trainers come in. If you make the workout specific to a client, and ensure that your client knows how and why the program is perfect for their emotional reason for being in the gym, they'll stick to it and not fall into the trap of following the newest next best thing.

HOW HAVE YOU GONE ABOUT TRYING TO CONVINCE TRAINERS OF THEIR IMPORTANCE? WHAT HAS WORKED, AND WHAT HASN'T?
I've been on a mission to gather as many quality resources under one unbiased roof with as much free material as possible. Doing this devoid of bias—we have no association with any certifying body or supplement company or anything else—has allowed me to maintain autonomy and publish the best material from as many different angles as possible. I don't know what or who is right or wrong. My aim is simply to put everything out there and let people decide for themselves. This shouldn't be a unique approach.

Tips and Advice

How Bodybuilding can help you enjoy your life!

By 5Star4Mula Admin

Bodybuilder's Are Selfish With Their Time: One common denominator among people who are overweight and frustrated is that they do things for everyone else in their life but never take time for themselves! But, as a bodybuilder, you are a little selfish with your time. You realize that you need time to workout to recharge your batteries and function on a high level in all areas of your daily life.

Bodybuilders Acknowledge Their Accomplishments: There's a big difference between bragging and accepting compliments. As a bodybuilder, you are open to compliments and you are proud of your hard work, dedication and the positive changes you've made in your health and overall life.
Bodybuilders Explore Life: Bodybuilders are always in search of ways to improve their health, their workouts and their life in general. By exploring new activities, bodybuilders meet new people and challenge their bodies through rock climbing, hiking, rappelling, trail running and adventure races. Constant exploration brings excitement to your days and something to look forward to.
Bodybuilders Have Energy: Working out and eating right will give you more energy. And, when you look good you feel good and you are more likely to take part in new activities.
Bodybuilding Get Right Back Up After A Setback: Life will throw you curve balls sometimes but, as a bodybuilder, you keep your eye on the ball and hit it out of the park. You don't let illness, weight gain, traffic, a stressful day or anything else get in your way. Instead, you stay on track no matter what comes your way.
Bodybuilding Is A Diversion: Sometimes we need a distraction. If your mind is racing with thoughts about your ex, your boss, or the economy, bodybuilding will help you focus on something else, regroup and make it through your day with fewer worries.

Additional Tips To Help You Enjoy Life:


Take the time to have a social life
Get outside and appreciate nature
Watch a good movie
See a therapist if something bothers you (or EAP - your job's employee assistance program)
Journal about the positive things in your life and focus on these
Journal about the things you want to change and take action
Volunteer and help those less fortunate
Surround yourself with people you enjoy
Minimize your time spent around the naysayers
Get hobbies - bodybuilding is one, now add others that you enjoy
Do what you love

Conclusion

Happiness can be created. Once you believe that you'll realize that you are in control of your own destiny. And controlling your path in life is both powerful and uplifting. As the poem goes, "When things go wrong, as they sometimes will... rest if you must, but don't you quit."

Training

Build Muscle Strength, Size, And Endurance In One Workout!

By 5Star4Mula Admin

Build muscle strength, size, endurance, and a massive pump in the same workout using the Four-Rep Method. Get the details and try this back workout on for size! Most of us who lift use heavy weights to focus on strength, moderate ones to emphasize building muscle size, and light weights to focus on muscle endurance. Hence, the weights we use are a reflection of our training goals.

While these modes of training are oftentimes very distinct, they can actually be combined into a single workout. That is, you can train for strength, muscle size, and endurance in the same workout, which allows you to generate some of—but not necessarily maximize—the benefits of each type of training.

This kind of program is called the Four-Rep Method, and it's very easy to implement. Quite simply, you do 3-5 exercises for a given body part, choosing moves that work the target muscle group from a slightly different angle. What makes the protocol unusual is that each movement provides a unique training stimulus.

The first exercise is done very heavy for sets of 4 reps to focus on building maximal strength.
The second is done with relatively lighter weights for sets of 8 reps to focus on the lower end of the muscle-building rep range.
The third movement is done with even lighter weights for sets of 12 that work the target muscle at the upper end of the hypertrophy rep range.
The last move is done with very light weights for sets of 16 reps to pump the muscle and build muscular endurance.
If you're looking to build muscle, training across multiple rep ranges can have a synergistic effect, says Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., CSCS, Director of the Human Performance Lab at Lehman College (Bronx) and author of "The M.A.X. Muscle Plan."

"First off, low-rep training with heavy loads translates into an ability to use more weight during [your] 'hypertrophy range,' which increases mechanical tension and thus enhances growth processes," he says.

"Alternatively, high-rep training with light weights helps increase buffering capacity, allowing you to crank out an extra couple of reps at a moderate-rep range," says Schoenfeld. Moreover, heavier-load training tends to target the high-threshold motor units associated with the largest type-II muscle fibers, while light-load training focuses more on the endurance-oriented type-I fibers."

What does all of this mean, you ask? "This combination of training approaches maximizes hypertrophy along the spectrum of fiber types," Schoenfeld says. In other words, training with this variety of volume and intensity will maximize your ability to grow!

FOUR-REP BACK ATTACK
To help you put the Four-Rep Method into action, I'm going to break down each distinct training segment in a sample—but extremely effective—back workout. If you want to make exercise substitutions, please ensure you always start the workout with your major mass-builders, use a variety of equipment, integrate different grip positions, and consider finishing with a single-joint move (when applicable).

Because you start any Four-Rep Method workout with very heavy weights, a good warm-up is essential. Include several lighter sets, pyramiding the weight up each successive set, but never take your warm-up sets to muscle failure. Make sure your shoulders are good and loose. Remember, warm-ups don't count as working sets.

Here's the progression of the four exercises:

DO 3 SETS OF 4 REPS
After nailing your first heavy working set, adjust the weight as necessary on your next 2 sets (for 3 sets total) depending on whether the first set was too light or too heavy.

Don't perform these sets with small, isolation-based exercises. Select basic, mass-building moves to begin the workout when your energy levels are highest, which will help you get the most out of these moves and build maximum strength.

"It's important to train for strength early in your workout, as fatiguing sets in a higher rep range cause metabolic buildup that impairs your ability to generate maximal strength in the lower rep ranges," Schoenfeld explains.

On back day, the T-bar row is a good choice because it's a basic back exercise that allows you to generate just a bit of body English to complete the move. If, however, you can't keep a flat back because the weight is too heavy—remember, you're aiming for just 4 solid reps per set—then opt for the chest-supported version.

Take a slightly longer than normal rest period between these sets. You're in no hurry on your heaviest sets, which ensures that you're fully recovered for your next effort. Do 3 sets total and move on to the second exercise.

DO 3 SETS OF 8 REPS
If you're familiar with research on hypertrophy, you'll recognize 8 as the lower limit of the optimal muscle-building rep range, so long as you're using good form and training close to muscle failure.

"The 'hypertrophy range' is theorized to maximize growth because it provides an ideal combination of mechanical tension and metabolic stress—two factors that have shown to drive anabolic signaling," explains Schoenfeld.

"Moreover, this rep range allows for the performance of optimal training volumes without overtaxing bodily systems," he says. "A clear dose-response relationship has been found between volume and muscle growth, with greater amounts of work translating into greater gains—at least up to a certain threshold."

In other words, sets of 8-12 hit the muscle-building sweet spot. They provide enough volume to stimulate growth, but the amount of weight you can handle in that range won't fry your central nervous system.

On back day, choose another multijoint exercise, this one done from a different angle and with a different piece of equipment. So, if you started with a T-bar row, a wider-grip lat movement—like a lat pull-down—makes a nice complement since it better targets your upper lats.

DO 3 SETS OF 12 REPS
The relatively lighter weights you'll lift here provide a slightly different kind of stimulus for muscle growth, but you'll still be working in the sweet 8-12 hypertrophy rep range. No, you won't be able to life as much weight for 12 reps as you could for 8, but you will get more time under tension, and your body will probably start to fatigue at this point.

Given that your first exercise was a free-weight move and your second was on the cable stack, consider using a dumbbell exercise as your third move. Dumbbells force each side of your body to work independently, which requires greater stabilizer involvement and coordination.

For this workout, I've chosen the one-arm dumbbell row. With your elbow tight to your side, it focuses more on your lower lats, ensuring that you work the entire muscle after your bout with pull-downs.

4 FINISH WITH 3 SETS OF 16 REPS
High-rep sets deliver a significant muscle pump, but the lighter weights you have to utilize are less effective for strength gains. Done late in your workout, you'll be able to push yourself to the limit without having to save anything in the tank for any exercises that might follow.

"High-rep training also keeps the slow-twitch, type-I fibers under tension for extended periods," adds Schoenfeld. "Since these fibers are endurance-oriented, the additional stimulation is believed to maximize their development."

Your finishing move in this rep range should be an isolation exercise, but other than straight-arm pull-downs there really aren't many of them for back. In this case, you could opt for straight-arm pulls, or you could go with another well-controlled row like the seal row, which is performed on an elevated bench and really isolates your back musculature.

Either way, make sure you focus on targeting your back, building a big pump, and feeling the burn with this round of exercises.

Training

Overcome Training Mistakes Everybody Makes

By 5Star4Mula Admin

Every phase of training comes with its own unique challenges and temptations, and none of us are immune to error. The sooner you recognize these classic training blunders, the sooner you can correct them and get back to growing!

Ever catch one of those YouTube videos showing a guy in the gym secretly caught on camera using the most ridiculous form? Typically it's someone attempting to do simple bodybuilding exercises without a clue as to how to isolate the target muscle group: the barbell curl with a simultaneous pelvic thrust and low-back extension, the painful-looking bounce off the chest in the bench press, and the squat which descends an inch or two with way too many pounds on the bar. Yeah, there's a good laugh in all of those.

A month or two after that hilarious fail video, that guy with the bad form probably gave up on training—not for the first time, nor the last. That can seem like a blessing for those of us waiting in line behind him for equipment. But take a slightly larger perspective and you'll see that his errors were a symptom of something we're probably guilty of, as well.

Everyone, from green-gilled beginners to seasoned pros, makes mistakes. If that wasn't the case, then we'd all win the Olympia, the Olympics, and the BodySpace Spokesmodel Contest every year. Some are blunders from lack of knowledge; others are important signs that our training is growing and progressing.

Have you committed one of these nine sins that afflict beginning, intermediate, and advanced lifters? If you haven't yet, well, you probably will at some point. The sooner you see it, the sooner you can fix it!

BEGINNER MISTAKES
With the right approach, beginning lifters regularly achieve the sort of dramatic gains that leave intermediate and advanced lifters 'miring. You deserve to make the most of this early period, and your success here is crucial to building your passion for training moving forward. The key is to keep these three classic miscues from stopping you before you get the chance to start.

DOING TOO MUCH, TOO FAST
A staunch commitment to building muscle is a good start, but you can get too much of a good thing. If your efforts to gain muscle size are so all-consuming that you spend more than about 60-90 minutes of training in the gym each day, especially if you're a beginner, your training can quickly turn counterproductive, leaving you discouraged, exhausted, and potentially injured.

It doesn't seem fair, right? Your body starts producing exponentially greater amounts of the catabolic hormone cortisol as your workout approaches the hour mark. A certain amount of this is normal and beneficial, but too much, too often will eat away at your muscles and health, negating all the good work you've been doing. As you get more experienced, your capacity for hard work will definitely rise, but until then, it's important to stay within your limits.

Work hard for no more than 45-60 minutes total, and no more than 30 minutes for a given body part. You can't maintain the intensity of a hard training session when your fatigue levels skyrocket, and there's no benefit to trying. Remember, the muscle damage you inflict during training is the stimulus for growth, but the growth occurs during your recovery period.

FOCUSING ON ISOLATION EXERCISES
While big arm and chest muscles might sit atop your wish list, your first year—that's right, year—of training should be devoted to building a foundation of strength and muscularity with classic movements like squats, deadlifts, presses, and rows. These compound exercises will help you build muscle all over your body, because they demand that many muscle groups work in coordination. For example, the bench press calls the front delts, pecs, and triceps into play. Standing moves like the squat and overhead press train the core to stabilize the torso.

In addition, you can lift far heavier weights when doing compound (also called multi-joint) exercises over single-joint moves such as leg extensions, flyes, or delt raises. In response, your body experiences a greater natural hormonal response—in the form of testosterone and growth hormone—from heavy compound moves versus lighter-weight isolation exercises. One other benefit: Compound lifts help you develop better symmetry and prevent the type of muscular imbalances which could lead to injury down the road.

That being said, you can still gain useful insight from top competitive bodybuilders. They have years of in-the-trenches experience and can provide insight into subtle techniques and ways of doing particular movements that are incredibly useful, even for beginners.

There's much to be learned from dissecting a pro's routine, but chances are good it's not one you want to repeat exactly. That goes for blindly copying the routines of other gym members as well.

INTERMEDIATE MISTAKES
If the workout which gave you fantastic gains as a beginner doesn't challenge and push you anymore, congratulations! You are now an intermediate lifter. Look around your gym, and you'll see plenty of individuals who stall at this point, and who have, sadly, made no appreciable progress on their physique in months or years. That's the curse of being an intermediate: If you just do your same-old workout, you're bound to get the same-old results.

At this stage, your workout shouldn't be considered so sacred that it must be followed to the letter. It becomes a living and breathing instrument that can be tweaked and massaged to ensure that it keeps working for you rather than against you.

STICKING WITH ONLY ONE VERSION OF A MOVEMENT

Knowing how to perform a given move with perfect form is critical, and it will help you build a solid base of muscularity. But once you get that base, it's important to explore the full range of subtle variations of classic movements. Learning—and practicing—all these variations will help you build thicker, denser muscle because you train the target muscle at slightly different angles. Over time, incorporating all the variations into your workout will build more strength, size, and balance.

The most obvious way to grow is by mastering barbell, dumbbell, cable, and machine moves. Some exercises can be done on every one of these implements; each provides a slightly different growth stimulus.

There are many other ways to introduce small degrees of change into a movement. Take the standing dumbbell lateral raise for your middle delts, for example:

From a seated position to decrease momentum and increase difficulty
One arm at a time while standing to increase the focus on each side
On the cable to utilize constant tension and a range of angles
On a machine to make it easier to work to failure
Leaning away from a vertical post to increase the range of motion
With imagination, the options for exercise variations are limitless.

DOING THE SAME WORKOUT ONLY SLIGHTLY DIFFERENTLY
Everybody has their favorite exercise. That's OK, and you should respect your preferences. But, if you're not getting results, you need to make changes. This could be exercise selection, but it could also be exercise order, sets, reps, weight, intensity technique, or even the overall makeup of your training.

Instituting these changes to your workout has the added benefit that it helps keep you mentally fresh as well. Don't bounce around willy-nilly, though. Give the changes you make some time to work before you ditch them for another fun-looking scheme.

GETTING TOO STRICT WITH REST PERIODS
Many bodybuilders take either a 90-second or a 2-minute break between sets, and over time, they stick to those guidelines come hell or high water. But there are a number of reasons why you should adjust your rest periods, depending on the circumstances.

Here are just a few:

Rest longer for a more complete recovery at the beginning of your workout when you do your heaviest sets.
Rest longer when doing back or leg-focused work to allow your breathing and heart rate to return to normal.
Rest shorter toward the end of the workout, when you're training for a muscle pump rather than strength.
Rest significantly shorter on smaller body parts like arms, abs, and calves, which tend to recover more quickly.
Rest shorter to implement advanced techniques like supersets or rest-pause, which can encourage superior muscle gains.

Studies

Can Pain Pills Kill Your Bodybuilding Gains?

By 5Star4Mula Admin

Feeling sore after your last workout? Before you reach for an NSAID like ibuprofen, here's what you need to know about how OTC pain relievers can affect muscle growth. Getting bigger and stronger is one byproduct of resistance training. Another is muscle soreness, or the "good pain" linked to the old bodybuilding saying "no pain, no gain." This pain is technically called delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, and it's very common among lifters.

If you've recently had a killer leg workout, DOMS is the soreness you feel that makes it difficult to walk for 1-3 days after that session. DOMS is thought to be caused by the eccentric (lengthening) portion of the exercise that causes microscopic tears to the muscle fibers. The soreness can be so bad that it's often challenging to sit on the toilet, get in and out of your car, or even walk up a flight of stairs.

While newcomers to weightlifting dread the pain associated with DOMS, it's actually part of the muscle-growth process. When you challenge yourself to failure or near-failure on multiple sets for a specific muscle group, you'll likely experience DOMS after your workout. But what happens when that pain affects your ability to manage your day-to-day life?

Many times, athletes want to continue training even while sore, so they consider something to take the edge off the pain. One common solution to combating DOMS—and other minor injuries—is to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, like ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin, Advil) or sodium naproxide (e.g., Aleve), which can help reduce your pain.

However, before you reach for that bottle of pain pills after your next brutal workout, get the story on how they might impact your results.

NSAIDS AND MUSCLE BUILDING
According to research published in the The Physician and Sports Medicine, since NSAIDs are over-the-counter (OTC) medications and aren't banned from competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency, "athletes often self-administer these medications to prevent pain and inflammation before it occurs. However, scientific evidence for this approach is currently lacking, and athletes should be aware of the potential risks in using NSAIDs as a prophylactic agent. These agents are not benign and can produce significant side effects, including gastrointestinal and cardiovascular conditions as well as musculoskeletal and renal side effects." 1

But that's not all: there are also performance side effects for the weightlifter to consider. Drugs such as ibuprofen are classified as COX inhibitors, and since COX (cyclooxygenase) activity is a critical component of muscular hypertrophy, there's a clear link: Ibuprofen can inhibit muscular hypertrophy.

In fact, previous research suggests that treatment with ibuprofen can reduce muscle hypertrophy by almost 50 percent, which means that taking a COX inhibitor may very well be counterproductive for muscle gains.2,3

While these are intriguing findings, we must keep in mind that these studies were conducted in rodent models. The research still needs to be scrutinized since a handful of studies have also been done on humans and have yielded conflicting results.

One of the first human studies to support the notion that NSAIDs may blunt protein synthesis was published in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism.4 Participants were given the maximal over-the-counter dose for ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or a placebo following 10-14 sets of eccentric knee extensors.

Researchers found that rates of protein synthesis were suppressed in groups taking the NSAIDs. Results from this study support the earlier findings that NSAIDs may negatively influence protein metabolism in skeletal muscle.

However, more recent research on human subjects has demonstrated that NSAIDs do not necessarily impact muscle protein synthesis as much as previously thought.5,6 In fact, there are several studies that have found chronic supplementation (12 weeks) actually improved muscle strength and size.7,8

The problem with these studies, however, is that each have their own limitations we must consider. For example, a majority of the research on NSAIDs as it relates to muscle protein synthesis has been done in untrained individuals; hence, the results might yield a different outcome on athletes who are already active and have a larger degree of muscle mass than an untrained person.

Some of the research also looked at only older subjects with osteoarthritis; thus, these results might not be indicative of results for healthy, active individuals. Finally, some of these studies only looked at the effects of NSAIDs on the acute changes in muscular hypertrophy, and these findings may not reflect the long-term adaptations to muscular hypertrophy with prolonged use of NSAIDs.

'NUFF SAID: KEY NSAID TAKEAWAYS
While there's certainly a time and place to utilize NSAIDs, the key takeaway is that they should be used with caution, in relatively moderate dosages, and for short periods of time.

An article published in the Critical Journal of Sport Medicine discussed the practical management of NSAIDs in athletic injuries and concluded that NSAIDs are not recommended in the treatment of completed fractures, stress fractures at higher risk of nonunion, or in chronic muscle injuries.9

While the authors of the article recommended NSAIDs for the management of acute ligament strains, muscle strains, tendinitis, and eccentric muscle injury, they cautioned that the prescription of the NSAID should be judicious and the length of treatment should be kept as short as possible.

NSAIDS can help with short-term pain management, but their use should be minimized not only because of their potential long-term side effects, but also the impact they may have on making substantial gains in muscle mass.

Even with some conflicting research, this much is clear: Don't reach for a bottle of ibuprofen every time you have a slight bout of DOMS. Recognize that the inflammation you're experiencing is part of the muscle-building process, and save NSAIDs for when you really need them.

Studies

Make The Scientific Method Work For You!

By 5Star4Mula Admin

Random training techniques produce random results. Get systematic and learn how to apply the scientific method to your own training, nutrition, and supplementation practices!

We've all experienced this before: Someone we know tells us about a new study saying that a certain supplement, style of training, or way of eating is either the best thing ever, or that it "causes" a horrible disease or injury. The specifics come and go; the one constant is the way people seem to buy wholesale into bad science and big misunderstandings.

So why does it happen? Because a bunch of media people misinterpret a study, or fail to understand when a study's completely flawed? Sometimes, but it's also because there's a perceived separation between scientists and the rest of the world. Science does its thing, and the rest of the world sits back and waits for the answers.

Enough! Now more than ever, we need transparency. I'm a scientist, and I want you to be one, too. We all need to know how to look more critically at grandiose-sounding research and claims, as well as how to be more scientific in how we pursue our health and physique goals. In both cases, this starts with deepening our understanding of the scientific method.

Before we can tackle specific cases, we need to understand the scientific method itself. This is the system that guides everything that happens in science, from the lab to application. I want to help you understand how you can make it work for you.

STEP 1 ASK A QUESTION
This step is deceptively simple, because in research, just as in life, asking the right question makes all the difference. For example, a question such as "What is the best workout program?" isn't a good question for either a scientist or a trainee. The question is too broad, and for that reason it's likely to lead to many different and opposing answers depending on goals, individual experience level, and testing methodologies. Furthermore, "the best workout" depends on the context of the workout, the goals of the individual, the training status of the individual, and a whole host of other variables.

Here are some examples of questions you could ask, to help steer your training in a more scientific direction:
Is a periodized training program superior to a nonperiodized training program for increasing strength in resistance-trained adult males?
Is a high-protein diet superior to a normal-protein diet for maintaining muscle mass in resistance-trained adult males during caloric restriction?
Can creatine improve strength in resistance-trained athletes?
The questions above are good staring points because each can be tested, has defined variables, targets a defined population, and asks a specific question in the proper context.

STEP 2 DO BACKGROUND RESEARCH
Once we have a question, then it's our job to find out what data is out there currently. If you're a researcher, your answer may already exist in a different study. If you're just someone looking to take a more scientific approach to training, your research can help you establish the structure of your experiment.

So where do you look? While the internet is a great source of information, the obvious problem is sorting out good information from bad. For researchers, the hunt often starts at PubMed, a database that contains an archive of nearly every biomedical study done in the last 50 years. Many of them are only available as abstracts—short summaries of the experiment and findings—but in some cases you will be able to get free access to the study.

Of course, PubMed can also be a minefield for someone who doesn't know their way around studies. At first, rather than searching PubMed to decide what workout to do or what supplements to take, it's OK to cast your net a little wider. Try looking up the studies referenced in articles on sites like Bodybuilding.com whenever possible, to get familiar with reading abstracts and studies.

Even if you can't get the cut-and-dried answer you seek this way, some strategic searching can help you find more information about your question. For example, we may find some good studies to help us with our initial questions by searching the following terms:

Resistance training periodization strength

High protein diet muscle lean body mass resistance training caloric restriction

Creatine strength resistance training athletes

The more specific you can make your search terms, the better your chance of finding the research you want. If you simply search "creatine," you are going to get thousands of hits, the majority of which won't be relevant to your question.

For future reference, specific journals I recommend following for nutrition and exercise information are:

International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism Journal of Nutrition American Journal of Clinical Nutrition American Journal of Physiology Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport Journal of Strength and Conditioning

STEP 3 FORM A HYPOTHESIS
If you do specific background research and don't find a consensus answer to your question, it's time to look at developing an experiment. But first, you should develop a hypothesis, also known as an "educated guess." It's the idea your experiment should either end up supporting or disagreeing with.

One of the most common mistakes researchers like me point out about media coverage of science is how writers tend to draw conclusions that aren't in the hypothesis of the study they cite. A recent example was a study that concluded a high-protein diet leads to increased levels of the cellular growth factor IGF-1.

Previous studies had linked elevated IGF-1 levels to certain cancers, so plenty of writers took it upon themselves to imply or state outright that high-protein diets could cause cancer.1 Those of us in the know could only shake our heads, because we knew other studies had actually shown a high-protein diet led to a reduction in tumor size when compared to a high-carb diet!2

The moral of the story: Keep your hypothesis focused, so you can be confident in the conclusions you draw from it.

Here are some possible hypotheses you could create and test for our three questions:

A periodized program will produce better strength gains compared to a nonperiodized resistance training program in trained people.

A high-protein diet will improve muscle retention while in a caloric deficit compared to a normal protein diet.

Creatine will improve strength in resistance-trained individuals.

STEP 4 TEST YOUR HYPOTHESIS VIA EXPERIMENTATION
Once you've formed your hypothesis, the real fun can begin. It's time to develop an experiment to empirically test your question, and then begin that experiment!

During this step, it's critical that you construct an experiment that controls as many variables as possible. You want to be confident that the answer you get is due to the experiment itself, not some other variable.

For example, there have been a few studies that concluded ketogenic diets produce greater fat loss than mainstream diets. However, most of these diets did not control for protein intake, meaning the protein intake was greater in the ketogenic diet group. Since protein has a thermogenic effect, this could be a variable impacting fat loss.3

STEP 5 ANALYZE THE DATA AND DRAW CONCLUSIONS
This is where many researchers and science writers get it wrong. As much as it seems that data should be intuitive, you have to understand what story the data is telling you.

Here are some questions to hold your data accountable:
Does your data agree with your hypothesis?
If it does, why do you think so? If it doesn't, why do you think it doesn't?
Do you have outliers—statistical oddities—that you didn't predict?
Now it's your job to come up with a mechanism that explains why your results are what they are. This is not always easy to do.

For example, I remember reading a paper that concluded casein was superior to whey for anabolism.4 This seemed to contradict what I and other researchers had observed. Come to find out, these researchers measured whole-body protein synthesis and did not directly assess muscle protein synthesis.

Their conclusion, in my opinion, was inappropriate for the experimental test that was conducted. Studies directly assessing muscle protein synthesis consistently demonstrate whey to be superior to casein.5 But, once again, writers in the media took the conclusion and ran with it without reading the fine print.

It doesn't mean the aforementioned researchers were evil or had ill intentions. It simply means they came to an incorrect conclusion based on that particular data set using their particular experiment. We as researchers must be careful what conclusions we draw and understand the limitations of our research.

Here's how a good analysis could look for our three questions:
Overall, my strength improved, and I added 20 pounds to my squat over the course of an eight-week periodized program. However, during one of the sessions, I squatted significantly less than I normally would for that particular rep range. Even though I had one or two bad sessions, this was likely an outlier and is not indicative that the routine didn't work, since overall my strength improved.

I followed a high-protein diet, but I lost some muscle mass. However, it's more likely that the added cardio led to the reduced lean body mass, rather than the addition of extra protein to my diet.

My squat one-rep max (1RM) went up by 10 pounds, although I'm not sure how much to attribute to the creatine. However, my workout quality went up, recovery was improved, and I missed fewer reps than usual, all of which lead me to believe the creatine was helpful.

It should go without saying that keeping accurate and thorough notes is important for analyzing your data. This is where a workout and nutrition log is worth its weight in gold!

STEP 6 ACCEPT, REFINE, OR REJECT YOUR HYPOTHESIS It's simple: Does the data agree with your initial hypothesis? If not, you must reject it and look for other explanations. If it does, you can tentatively accept it. Or if it's not so clear-cut, we may need to refine our hypothesis. This isn't the end; it's actually a new beginning. Every experiment brings more questions, leading us to form a new hypothesis and put it to the test.

You can change a minor variable, like a dosage or how you grip the bar, or you could change a lot, such as transitioning to an entirely different program. Here's how you might wrap up your experiments with our three questions:
My data appears to support my hypothesis, as I improved my strength over the course of the program.
My data shows that I lost muscle mass following a high-protein diet; however this is confounded by the fact that I added in additional cardio, so I need to collect more data in order to come to a sound conclusion.
My data appears to support my hypothesis, because creatine was the only supplement I added, I kept my nutrition and training consistent, and I added 10 pounds to my squat.
THINK LIKE A SCIENTIST
Keep in mind that, in science, nothing can be proven. That's right; you can't prove anything. You can disprove something, and you can conclude that your data appears to support your hypothesis, but it's always possible that a variable you didn't control for was influencing your results.

Supplement Tips

What is the best BCAA ratio?

By 5Star4Mula Admin

You know that branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are important for muscular energy and growth, but you might not know the best ratio of BCAAs. The Supp Guru has you covered!

I'VE SEEN BCAA SUPPLEMENTS WITH AMINO ACID RATIOS ALL OVER THE MAP—FROM 2:1:1 TO 10:1:1. WHAT'S THE BEST RATIO OF BCAAS?
Longtime followers of mine should be well-versed in the benefits of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are the three essential aminos leucine, isoleucine, and valine. However, given that different supplements contain different ratios of these three critical aminos, there's a lot of confusion about which ratio of BCAAs is best. Before we dive into that discussion, here's a quick branched-chain primer.

BCAAs are called branched-chain amino acids because of their structure. Each one has a forked outcropping that resembles a branch. In addition to being special for their structure, they are also special for numerous other reasons.

BCAAs aid in energy and even fat loss, but the main benefit of BCAAs is their ability to boost muscle growth. After all, that's the number one goal for most of us. When it comes to building muscle, BCAAs are the most critical amino acids. Of the three, leucine is the MVP. Leucine plays one of the most critical roles in growth signaling.

LEUCINE IS KING
Leucine acts much like a key to the ignition of a car. The car, in this case, is a muscle cell or fiber. The ignition turns on the process of muscle protein synthesis (MPS), which builds up the muscle protein that leads to more muscle growth. In more "science-y" terms, leucine activates a complex called mTOR, which ramps up muscle protein synthesis and therefore muscle growth

Research suggests that people who add extra leucine to their post-workout protein and carbs experienced significantly greater muscle protein synthesis than those just getting protein and carbs. Because leucine is so critical for muscle growth, you want to make sure you use a BCAA product that has more leucine than its counterparts, isoleucine and valine.

THE RIGHT RATIO
I recommend you go with a BCAA product that uses a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine to isoleucine and valine. Many products bump up the ratio much higher in favor of leucine, with some coming in at an 8:1:1 ratio and some hitting a 10:1:1 ratio. Many people assume that, given leucine's critical role in muscle growth, a BCAA product with a 10:1:1 ratio is five times better than one with a 2:1:1 ratio. But, before you go spend your hard-earned cash on these supposedly superior BCAA products, hear me out.

The most critical time to take BCAAs is around your workouts, whether you take them before, during, or after. (And yes, that's in addition to the BCAA-rich protein shake you should also be drinking.) One reason for this is that you want ample leucine to instigate muscle protein synthesis. It's this fact that leads many people to assume that the highest ratio is best.

Some products even suggest you should forgo the other two BCAAs and just take leucine. That is a big mistake. To back it up, one study pitted leucine by itself against all three BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio. Scientists from Baylor University gave college-aged men either a leucine supplement, a 2:1:1 BCAA supplement, or a placebo before and after a leg workout. They discovered that while leucine increased MPS after the workout better than the placebo did, the BCAAs increased protein synthesis even better than leucine and the placebo. That's one reason for sticking with a 2:1:1 ratio (or something close to it) when supplementing with BCAAs.

Another reason to use a 2:1:1 BCAA supplement is to increase energy and lessen fatigue. BCAAs are used directly by muscle fibers as a fuel source. This is especially true during intense exercise, such as weight training. Numerous studies suggest that supplementing with BCAAs before exercise promotes muscle endurance. More importantly, the BCAAs help reduce fatigue during workouts. And this comes down to the role that valine plays in the body.

During exercise, tryptophan is taken up by the brain in large amounts. Tryptophan is converted in the brain to 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), better known as serotonin. Having higher serotonin levels during exercise signals the brain that the body is fatigued. This leads to a reduction in muscle strength and endurance. Valine competes with tryptophan for entry into the brain. Typically, valine wins.

This means that when you take the BCAA valine before and/or during workouts, less tryptophan gets into the brain to get converted to serotonin. This allows your muscles to contract with more force for a longer time before getting fatigued. In other words, you can crank out more reps in the gym, recover quicker between sets, and maintain better strength and endurance in the later portion of your workouts. Valine can also help you to stay more alert and keep your brain sharper during the day when you aren't working out.

For these reasons, I recommend sticking to a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine to isoleucine and valine when supplementing with BCAAs before, during, and/or after training.

FIRE UP YOUR FAT LOSS
If you are interested in maximizing fat loss, there's yet another reason why a 2:1:1 ratio is best. This is where the BCAA isoleucine comes in. Isoleucine appears to play a major role in providing BCAAs their fat-burning benefits.

Japanese researchers discovered that mice given isoleucine while eating a high-fat diet gained significantly less fat than mice not getting supplemental isoleucine. This was due to isoleucine's ability to activate special receptors, known as PPAR, that increase fat-burning and inhibit fat storage. PPAR works to increase the activity of genes that encourage greater fat-burning in the body while decreasing activity of genes that normally increase fat storage. This leads to a greater ability to burn fat with less chance of storing it.

It turns out that using a BCAA supplement that has a ratio much higher than 2:1:1 can work against you for energy, fat loss, and even muscle growth. Some high-ratio BCAA products provide only 500 mg or less of valine and isoleucine. Steer clear of these. That amount is not enough to keep you energized and blunt fatigue during your workouts. It may not be enough to maximize muscle protein synthesis and the resulting muscle growth.

THE BOTTOM LINE ON BCAAS
My advice is to stick with BCAA products that use a 2:1:1 ratio providing at least 1 gram of isoleucine and 1 gram of valine per dose. But, if you're looking for optimal gains, your best bet is to get in at least 3 grams of leucine per dose. It's the suggested minimum amount you need to optimize mTOR activation and maximize muscle protein synthesis.

I recommend you take in 5 g of BCAAs at a 2:1:1 ratio (so you get 3 g leucine, and over 1 g of isoleucine and valine) about 30 minutes before your workouts.

Follow that workout with another dose of at least 5 g of BCAAs. Here again, a 2:1:1 ratio is good. Even a 3:1:1 ratio, which will give you a bit more post-workout leucine to initiate protein synthesis, will work well. Just be sure that you're getting at least 1 g of isoleucine valine after your workouts, along with at least 3 g of leucine.

Keep in mind that this should be in addition to pre- and post-workout shakes, or one large protein shake that you sip on before, during, and after the workout. This will bump your BCAA content up a bit, but don't worry: You still need those free BCAAs from a BCAA supplement to truly maximize energy and muscle growth.

Supplement Tips

Side effects of Creatine : Myths debunked

By 5Star4Mula Admin

Creatine is one of the most popular supplements on the market. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about its side effects and uses. Learn the facts about creatine.

Creatine is one of the most highly researched supplements available. Even if you're relatively new to the world of bodybuilding, you've probably heard of it. What's so great about creatine? Simply put, creatine helps to combat fatigue during your workouts, allowing you to work out longer and with more intensity, ultimately improving your strength and muscle size.

HOW IT WORKS
In order for a muscle to contract, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) must break off a phosphate group, leaving behind ADP (adenosine diphosphate). The only problem with this is that our body cannot use ADP for energy. The solution? ADP takes a phosphate from your body's store of creatine phosphate (PCr) to form more ATP. Supplementation with creatine serves to increase creatine stores and PCr availability in the body, resulting in faster ATP formation. Bottom line: The more PCr you have, the more work you can accomplish before fatigue sets it.

Taken appropriately and consistently, creatine can be one of the most effective supplements for increasing lean body mass and improving body composition, strength, and high-intensity performance.1,2 Yet myths and misinformation about safety and potential side effects still dog this supplement. Is it safe? Does it cause weight gain? Is it damaging to your kidneys?

If you're hungry for answers, you've come to the right place. Here's a look at six common myths about creatine, and the real truth behind them.

MYTH 1 CREATINE CAUSES KIDNEY AND LIVER DAMAGE
THERE HAVE BEEN NUMEROUS STUDIES CONDUCTED ON CREATINE SUPPLEMENTATION, ALL OF WHICH HAVE CONCLUDED LONG-TERM CREATINE USE DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE ANY NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS ON THE LIVER OR KIDNEYS.
Fact: There have been numerous studies conducted on creatine supplementation, all of which have concluded long-term creatine use does not appear to have any negative side effects on the liver or kidneys.

There is no truth to the occasional rogue media stories claiming that creatine causes kidney stones or liver failure. Most of the concerns about the safety of creatine supplementation revolve around how well the kidneys are filtering blood.

Perhaps the confusion comes from elevated levels of creatinine (a marker used to diagnose kidney problems), which occurs following supplementation with creatine. However, this "false positive" is in no way harmful to your body. Moreover, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that chronic supplementation with the recommended creatine dose is detrimental to kidney function.

Several studies have found no adverse effects of creatine supplementation on how well the kidneys filter blood. Additionally, there have been hundreds of studies looking at the overall safety of the supplement.

Since I don't expect you to read through every article, here's a quick review of the safety literature: 12 weeks of creatine supplementation has no effect on blood lipid profiles.6 Long-term creatine supplementation does not adversely affect markers of health in athletes. To date, studies have not found significant changes in renal, hepatic, cardiac, or muscle function with creatine supplementation. Okay, I think you get the point. The safety of creatine has been demonstrated over and over again, with some as long as five years. Bottom line: Creatine does not cause damage to the liver, kidneys, or any other organ for that matter.

MYTH 2 CREATINE CAUSES GASTROINTESTINAL DISTRESS
Fact: All available evidence suggests creatine is safe to use, although it may cause some minor GI distress.

There is some truth to gastrointestinal (GI) issues with creatine supplementation, but it's rare. In fact, it's reported than only 5-7 percent of people who take creatine experience stomachaches. Stomach distress typically occurs when you take too much creatine at once (e.g., a loading phase) or on an empty stomach.

In an attempt to reduce the level of GI distress, micronized forms of creatine, which have been ground into smaller form, have become readily available. The premise of micronization is particle-size reduction to increase solubility of the substance, potentially reducing GI distress. It may also allow for a quicker mix and faster absorption.

MYTH 3 CREATINE CAUSES CRAMPING AND DEHYDRATION
Fact: There is no data that shows creatine causes muscle cramps or dehydration.

One of the most common concerns about creatine supplementation is that it can cause dehydration or cramping, particularly in hot and humid environments. This is simply not the case. On the contrary, creatine supplementation has been proposed to increase total body water, helping to maintain hydration status.

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that creatine supplementation has damaging effects on hydration or the body's ability to regulate its temperature, with the majority of research reporting no change—or even an improvement in temperature regulation. Researchers out of San Diego State University reported that creatine supplementation was able to blunt the rise in core temperature during 60 minutes of exercise in the heat.

Moreover, several studies have found that creatine supplementation can provide performance enhancements in hot and humid environments, and that supplementation has no effect on muscle cramping.

MYTH 4 CREATINE SUPPLEMENTATION CAN CAUSE COMPARTMENT SYNDROME
Fact: While there may be a transient increase in pressure following high doses of creatine, supplementation at recommended doses does not induce compartment syndrome.

Compartment syndrome is a condition referring to excessive pressure in the muscle compartment. So theoretically, the risk of compartment syndrome may be increased while supplementing with creatine because of fluid retention in the muscle cell and increased overall size of the muscle tissue. But let's be real for a second. Compartment syndrome is more likely the direct result of injury or trauma—or potentially later on as a result of treatment to an injury—that leads to inadequate blood flow to tissue. If left untreated, injuries to nerves and tissues can result.

Although there have been media reports of creatine supplementation inducing compartment syndrome in collegiate football players, they don't hold up to scrutiny. An article published in the "Journal of American Board of Family Medicine" in 2000 reported a case study of a bodybuilder who developed acute compartment syndrome.19

However, the participant had been an avid bodybuilder for five years previous, and had been supplementing 25 grams a day—5 times the recommended dose—for a year. It's difficult to conclude whether the problem resulted from chronic supplementation with a high dose, or if the participant was training incorrectly, or if he was using any other supplements not reported in the study.

Several other studies have examined the effects of high dose creatine supplementation and compartment syndrome. While researchers did observe acute increases in compartment pressure following a high dose of creatine, symptoms did not resemble those of anterior compartment syndrome, and pressure values returned to normal shortly after the trial.

MYTH 5 CREATINE SUPPLEMENTATION CAUSES RHABDOMYOLYSIS
Fact: There is no direct evidence that creatine supplementation promotes rhabdomyolysis.

This myth became a media favorite shortly after an article published in the New York Times claimed creatine supplementation was possibly linked to rhabdomyolysis in high school football players. Rhabdomyolysis refers to a severe breakdown of skeletal muscle due to injury that typically presents with elevated creatine kinase levels and anterior compartment syndrome. This condition can result from excessive exercise in hot humid climates, especially when the exercise is continued for several days.

According to reports, the athletes in this case were in a training camp where they performed exhaustive bouts of repetitive exercise in a hot and humid wrestling room. None of the athletes indicated they took creatine. Nevertheless, investigators speculated creatine could have caused the problem.

The suggestion that creatine supplementation induces rhabdomyolysis has no backing in scientific literature. Indeed, creatine kinase levels are elevated following supplementation, but these levels are nowhere close to the levels associated with rhabdomyolysis. Not to mention the various studies supporting the safety of creatine supplementation on hydration levels and kidney function.

If anything, creatine has been shown to have a beneficial effect on hydration by increasing water retention, lowering body temperature, and reducing exercising heart rate.

MYTH 6 CREATINE LEADS TO WEIGHT GAIN
Fact: Creatine loading may lead to an initial weight gain of 0.8 to 2.9 percent of body weight in the first few days due to water being pulled into the muscle; however, this is less likely to occur following a low-dose protocol.

There is a common claim that all the weight gained with creatine supplementation is due to water weight. Indeed, several researchers have found acute increases in total body water as a result of creatine supplementation.

However, while an initial weight gain may be a result of an increase in water, research consistently shows that creatine supplementation, in addition to resistance training, results in an increase in lean body mass and a decrease in fat mass, leading to improvement in body composition. This is likely due to a higher concentration of PCr and ATP stores, allowing for higher training intensities and volume.

Training

How To Make Yourself The Best Trainer

By 5Star4Mula Admin

The difference between an OK personal trainer and a great one isn't the program they give a client; it's their ability to keep that client working and coming back through thick and thin! Jon Goodman loved being a personal trainer. But even more than that, he loved the potential trainers have to improve the health of the world one person and one relationship at a time. Trainers just needed the right information, so he decided to give it to them.

A few years ago, Goodman put aside his clipboard and started the Personal Trainer Development Center, a website after Bodybuilding.com's own heart, with its wealth of free information published daily. Numerous top trainers contribute regularly on everything from self-marketing, rehab, niche populations, and client retention.

If you're in the business and this isn't in your bookmarks, you're welcome.

Following the release of new expanded editions of his two indispensable PDTC-published trainer guides, "Ignite the Fire: The Secrets to Building a Successful Personal Training Career" and "Personal Trainer Pocketbook: A Handy Reference for All Your Daily Questions," Goodman recently talked with Bodybuilding.com about some simple rules all trainers could keep in mind to make their mark on a contentious industry.

MANY PEOPLE PROBABLY THINK THEY COULD OR SHOULD BE A TRAINER. HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU'RE THE RIGHT TYPE OF PERSON FOR THIS JOB?
There's not one clear-cut answer to this, because there are so many different types of trainers. But successful trainers know what kinds of clients they work well with, and which kinds they don't.

A lot of problems are caused by trying to work with the wrong types of clients before the trainer is ready. The reasons for this are numerous: pressure to sell, lack of understanding of the nuances with different populations, etc.

At 21 years old, my first client was a 15-year-old who wanted to put on muscle, and my second client was a 67-year old grandmother with arthritic fingers and a torn ACL ligament in her right knee. I wasn't ready for her. It was a miserable experience for both of us. I took her on because I didn't know better. My gym's management gave her to me because she had a credit card. Often, a trainer just starting out only knows how to train one person: himself or herself. They've likely had success with their own fitness and have been on a journey of sorts—losing fat, building muscle, combatting an injury, or any combination of the three. As a result, new trainers should work primarily with situations that are familiar to them.

There's nothing wrong with taking on challenging clients, but a new trainer shouldn't be thrown into the fire. At any given time, a new trainer should take on no more than one or two clients different from what he or she knows. This way, that trainer can spend adequate amounts of time researching whatever the client is dealing with. Over time, of course, you should build up a wider range of experience and expertise.

YOU CALL TRAINING "THE MOST SATISFYING, EXCITING, GRATIFYING CAREER IN THE WORLD." WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO TRANSITION FROM TRAINING TO HELPING TRAINERS?
Pretty soon after I took on the senior trainer role at my club, I realized that something was wrong with how trainers were being educated.

At the time, I was in charge of hiring, onboarding, and mentoring trainers. Not only were these new trainers nervous—as they should be with any new job—but they had no idea how to educate themselves. And this is what bothered me the most. Not knowing is understandable, but not knowing where to learn is a serious problem. Compound that with the media and persuasive marketing from everybody who sells training "certs," and it was impossible for a new trainer to learn from an unbiased source.

I started to notice what the real difference was between a successful trainer and one that struggled. It's pretty simple: The most successful trainers understand that they are offering a service. A successful trainer is in the relationship business. People buy trainers, not training. What followed on my end was a deep dive into the soft sides of training—everything from psychology, marketing, and networking to relationship building.

Most paying clients can be classified as beginners with less than 1-2 years of serious training. Some have been in the gym longer than that, but without 1-2 years of real experience intently following a program, I'd still classify a client as a beginner. For these people, the importance of the quality of the program pales in comparison to the importance of actually following a workout. Adherence is key.

For most people, there's no magical program. Most programs will be "good enough" for the majority of personal-training clients. The best trainers understand that their jobs are to get a client to want to do the workout and encourage them to stick with it through thick and thin.

A good trainer knows that achieving fitness is simply the result of a lot of small consistent efforts done over a long period of time. It all comes down to coaching principles and psychology.

THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET FIT: WALK, TRAIN AT HOME, PLAY SPORTS, WORK ALONG WITH YOUTUBE VIDS. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO WORK OUT IN A COMMERCIAL GYM?
Different people are different—it's as simple as that. For some people, working one-on-one with a trainer is great; for others, it's petrifying. Some people are able to follow a magazine workout, while others will fall into the program-hopping trap when the next issue comes out and never progress.

Speaking in sensationalistic generalities is the biggest mistake that information publishers make in this industry. The best doesn't matter. What matters is what's best for a specific person. To find out what's best for somebody comes down to simple trial and error. Find something and stick to it.

I should also note that the business of selling fitness information and encouraging long-term substantive change are two different businesses. There's not a lot of money to be made by encouraging somebody to find something that works and giving them the tools to stick with it, so there's always a new fad or way to lost fat or gain muscle that's called "the best" for whatever reason. And there's value in this.

Self-efficacy—the belief that one can achieve—is largely determined by one's belief that a workout will work. It's also an important determinant for adherence. Self-efficacy is also determined by whether somebody feels that what they are doing suits their needs.

This is where trainers come in. If you make the workout specific to a client, and ensure that your client knows how and why the program is perfect for their emotional reason for being in the gym, they'll stick to it and not fall into the trap of following the newest next best thing.

HOW HAVE YOU GONE ABOUT TRYING TO CONVINCE TRAINERS OF THEIR IMPORTANCE? WHAT HAS WORKED, AND WHAT HASN'T?
I've been on a mission to gather as many quality resources under one unbiased roof with as much free material as possible. Doing this devoid of bias—we have no association with any certifying body or supplement company or anything else—has allowed me to maintain autonomy and publish the best material from as many different angles as possible. I don't know what or who is right or wrong. My aim is simply to put everything out there and let people decide for themselves. This shouldn't be a unique approach.