There is nothing more motivating or more frustrating than ALMOST hitting a new personal record.
This morning we did our deadlift workout and Candy and I both ALMOST hit new PRs. My grip went. She couldn’t lock out. But we kept trying until we pretty much couldn’t even pick the bar up off the floor.
We kept trying because we were just so close! The weight was moving…It just wouldn’t go all the way up!
We just kept hoping that the next time might be better. And the 2nd try was better than the first…but by the 4th…well…we were out of juice.
But next Monday, I think we will both hit new PRs!! Brian is very positive that we will (Brian actually hit a new high himself today and I’m a bit jealous! ;-)). While it was frustrating we didn’t get new PRs today, the positive side is we haven’t hit a plateau! We are still getting stronger! 🙂
Which got me to thinking about this past Creatine and protein powder cycle. Was it making a difference?
Uhm…I have no idea. A week into this cycle, I would have screamed out “YES!!!” My deadlift and bench PRs both went up by about 10lbs after holding steady for the past month. But since then…I haven’t really seen any gains more than what I’ve been used to. A pound here and there, but nothing impressive.
So has the creatine and protein powder worked so far? Possibly.
Neither have turned me into hulk, but then again I didn’t expect them to. Neither is a magic pill that will instantly make you stronger, and I haven’t lost strength or plateaued this month so I guess they have done their jobs.
AND there haven’t really been any negative side effects. I haven’t really suffered much water bloat. At most a pound or two.
So if I haven’t really suffered much bloat or any other side effects AND I’ve made strength gains, I see no reason not to keep up the creatine cycling. After this week, I will take a few weeks off before going on one last cycle before the competition.
So women…I can guarantee that Creatine and protein powder won’t turn you into Hulk.
I’ll keep you posted though as I try another cycle or two!!
So I went to Vitamin World yesterday to buy some Creatine and protein powder with Ryan. And while we were purchasing these items, who did the salesman talk to? Ryan.
The guy never even asked me if I wanted any help.
Was I being ignored because I was female? Or was it just bad service?
I’m hoping it was just bad service, but it did get me to thinking about women and their comfort level with supplements.
Supplements and weight training go hand in hand. Most of the women think of supplements the same way they think about heavy weight training – both are just something men use to get big. They don’t consider the strength or fat loss benefits of supplements.
I was shy myself about using supplements. I first started by just taking protein powder. I would put it in my smoothies to make them more of a meal. I started doing this when I went on The Abs Diet.
And recently I’ve seen more and more women drinking protein powder. Of course they drink it as a meal replacement (and usually they drink Muscle Milk, which probably is the best tasting protein powder but also the one with the most junk in it).
But using protein is the first step to using supplements.
After becoming more comfortable with protein (and after I got really into gaining more strength and muscle definition), I started experimenting with other supplements. I tried L-Arginine and BCAAs (branch chain amino acids).
I tried L-Arginine because it was a nitric oxide booster. Nitric oxide causes vasodilation, which means the muscles around the blood vessels relax and the blood vessels dilate so that blood can flow more freely. Because the blood vessels are dilated, more blood can reach your muscle tissues, which means the muscles will receive immediate supplies of nutrients. Nitric oxide also helps with stamina and strength and improves performance because muscles are easily receiving required amounts of oxygen from the blood.
L-Arginine also supports the release of growth hormones, which can help repair muscle tissues and aid in muscle growth. It supposedly can also help with fat loss.
I didn’t like L-Arginine that much. It made me feel a little too wired and jittery during the workout. I may give it another shot though at some point because I did feel like I got in really great workouts when I took it.
I took BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) when I tried the Lean Gains intermittent fasting diet. They are the building blocks of protein and when you are fasting, they help you save your muscle tissue. I don’t really feel that they are necessary now that I’m not fasting and getting plenty of protein (from meat, eggs, fish, and protein powder). I do think they are good for you, but I just don’t think I need the extra BCAAs right now.
Now I’m going to try Creatine. Creatine has always intimidated me. Mostly I didn’t want to do it because of the water weight you can retain and the bloated look your muscles can get. BUT it does supposedly help you make strength gains. AND supposedly Creatine Ethyl Ester doesn’t make you retain as much water. We will see though.
For the next 30 days, I will be taking Creatine Ethyl Ester around my workouts. I will also be adding in protein powder (which I didn’t take last month with the slow carb diet). Other than that though the diet will remain the same as last month. With the same diet, I will see if I make greater gains because of the protein powder and creatine. I will also see how much water I retain while taking Creatine.
This should be interesting….We will find out if Creatine is one of Man Bicep’s favorite supplements!