Natural Bodybuilding

Becoming a healthier Bodybuilder

The difference between what is natural and what is not is getting blury. Is a someone who takes protein powder natural? What about creatine? What about good old vitamins?

Natural is a term used to describe contests where everyone is on a level playing field and substances which are illegal are not allowed. In a literal sense a natural bodybuilder is one that:

  • Doen’t have a competitive advantage over anyone.
  • Hasn’t broken the law to get to your current shape.

In a broader sense, natural bodybuilding involves fitness techniques that maximise the bodies natural development in addition to using ‘natural’ herbal supplements and vitamins which aid the body rather than poisoning it.

How are Athletes Tested?

Natural bodybuilding organizations not only help to give athletes tips and training advice, but they also help to oversee bodybuilder competitions to make sure that athletes abide by the natural bodybuilding rules.

Read moreNatural Bodybuilding

The 7 anabolic steroid mistakes

1. Using Excessive Dosages
When taking steroids, the more you take is not always the best way to go. Taking excessive dosages has become a huge problem with steroids today. It isn’t only dangerous, but studies have shown it to be ineffective. The body can only use a limited amount of the steroid so the extra is turned into estrogen by the body.

2. Staying On Steroids Too Long

In several cases, steroid users avoid waring signs telling them not to go on a cycle more than 8 to 12 weeks without an off period. If an off period is not taken, there is a higher chance for the negative effects of steroids to occur. If there is no off period the body does not have a chance to recover from the steroids, so more damage is done. This also is terrible for the kidneys and liver.

3. Eating Poorly
Many people ignore magazines and educators that explain eating as being an important asset to growing, but the truth is, eating healthy has a big effect on the body. When on steroids the user must consume between 4000 and 7000 calories a day, not meaning eat only fat foods. The diet must be high in calories and protein, but low in fat.

Read moreThe 7 anabolic steroid mistakes

Gynecomastia: The most common steroids side effect.

Gynecomastia is a benign enlargement of the male breast resulting from a proliferation of the glandular component of the breast. Gynecomastia results from an altered estrogen-androgen balance, in favor of estrogen, or increased breast sensitivity to a normal circulating estrogen level.

Testosterone, is synthesized in males mainly by the Leydig cells of the testes (95%) and, to a much lesser extent, by zona reticularis cells of the adrenal cortex (5%). Two thirds of the circulating testosterone is bound to sex hormone–binding globulin. Testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the target tissues. DHT is often considered the active form of testosterone. Testosterone is under the feedback regulation of luteinizing hormone (LH) secreted by the pituitary gland.

Estrogen production in males is mainly from the peripheral conversion of androgens (ie, testosterone, androstenedione) through the action of the enzyme aromatase, mainly in muscle, skin, and adipose tissue.

The normal production ratio of testosterone to estrogen is approximately 100:1. The normal ratio of testosterone to estrogen in the circulation is approximately 300:1.

Various drugs are implicated in gynecomastia:

– Estrogens or drugs with estrogenlike activity such as diethylstilbestrol, digitalis, phytoestrogens, and estrogen-contaminated food and estrogen-containing cosmetics, which share a similar mechanism.

Read moreGynecomastia: The most common steroids side effect.

What’s really in your creatine?

What I am about to tell you is not going to make me a very popular person with many supplement manufacturers. In fact, some of them are going to be down right pissed off at me. On the other hand, some of them are going to be happy someone spilled the beans and told the truth. Finally, some of them will be totally unaware of this information and will be shocked when they read it. Basically, I fully expect this article to cause a sh*% storm that will reverberate throughout the supplement industry.

The only people who I know are going to be happy about this article is the consumer, but I am getting ahead of myself. As we all know, creatine is one of the best bodybuilding supplements ever discovered. It increases strength, lean body mass, and, to a lesser extent, endurance. If that were not enough, it’s relatively cheap to boot! What more could we ask for from a supplement? When creatine was first introduced it was sort of pricey, but no one really cared because it worked so well. As time went on and more companies began selling creatine, the inevitable price war began and prices came down. At that point creatine was only being produced by a few companies, so creatine was basically creatine and the price was the only real consideration. As is typical of the market place, once creatine became big business, several new manufacturers popped up and it became no longer a price war as much as a quality war. The expression “creatine is creatine” no longer holds true. More on that shortly. At this time there are probably four-five companies large enough to mass produce creatine for the sports nutrition market. These companies in turn sell their product in huge bulk amounts to various distributors around the world. As far as the mass producers are concerned, there is a large German company, two companies out of China, and two in the United States. Though there are various other companies, for this article we will basically concern ourselves with these five major producers which probably comprise 80-90% of the creatine production market.

Read moreWhat’s really in your creatine?

The Effects of Diet on Testosterone Part 1

Introduction

In this article we presents an overview of how testosterone is stimulated in the body, shows how calorie balance affects T production, and discusses how dietary protein intake affects circulating T levels.

The HPT Axis

An article on the effects of diet on hormones would be incomplete without a basic overview of the relationships between the organs and hormones of the axis. The term axis simply refers to the pathway in question. The glands of this pathway include the hypothalamus, pituitary, and testes. The sequence of events culminating with the production and/or release of T begins at the hypothalamus. Here specialized nerve cells release a hormone called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH is a decapeptide (chain of ten amino acids) that travels by direct blood vessel connections to the anterior pituitary where it stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) (1). LH is then secreted into the blood where it attaches to receptors on the Leydig cells of the testes. This induces activity of an enzyme, P-450scc, referred to as the cholesterol-side-chain-cleavage enzyme (1). Through a series of five enzymatic steps, cholesterol is converted into T.

The body regulates the circulating blood levels of T via several mechanisms. Once in the blood, about 44% of T is bound to a protein called either sex-hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG) or testosterone-binding globulin (TeBG), to indicate the greater affinity for T over estradiol (E2, an estrogen). About 54% of T is bound by albumin and other proteins, leaving 2% to circulate

Read moreThe Effects of Diet on Testosterone Part 1

The Effects of Diet on Testosterone Part 2

Introduction

Part 2 explains how carbohydrates and fats impact testosterone synthesis and circulation, and then puts it all together for you to make informed decisions. Keep in mind that this is a very complicated and dynamic process. References will be limited primarily to studies on men. However, animal research will be cited when it becomes necessary to discuss proposed mechanisms, or how the actual changes in the body take place. While the information may get technical at times, read on because you will learn a great deal that you may wish to apply to your own diet.

The HPT Axis

An article on the effects of diet on hormones would be incomplete without a basic overview of the relationships between the organs and hormones of the axis. The term axis simply refers to the pathway in question. The glands of this pathway include the hypothalamus, pituitary, and testes. The sequence of events culminating with the production and/or release of T begins at the hypothalamus. Here specialized nerve cells release a hormone called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH is a decapeptide (chain of ten amino acids) that travels by direct blood vessel connections to the anterior pituitary where it stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) (1). LH is then secreted into the blood where it attaches to receptors on the Leydig cells of the testes. This induces activity of an enzyme, P-450scc, referred to as the cholesterol-side-chain-cleavage enzyme (1). Through a series of five enzymatic steps, cholesterol is converted into T.

Read moreThe Effects of Diet on Testosterone Part 2