Jun 28, 2007 Success Stories
Joe Petreycik turns a soft and shapeless “power lifter” body into a rock-hard, competition-ready bodybuilderâ€™s physique in 10 weeksâ€”with some timely help from Tetrazene ES-50
Joe Petreycik had always taken great pride in his weight-lifting ability. Heâ€™d been seriously lifting since he was 16. He was a strong guy, a former high school football player and college tennis player. Sometimes, though, what we want to believe is at odds with the truth.
Even with his exercise regimen, Joe weighed 225 pounds. (Once, not so long before, heâ€™d weighed as much as 252 lbs!) But even 225 was too much. Too much, certainly, for his 5â€™7″ frame. Oh, sure, he was strong. He had plenty of muscle mass. But he had plenty of excess fat, too.
“People always were mistaking me for a powerlifter, when all I wanted to be known as was a bodybuilder,” Joe says. “In my mind, I saw myself as weak-minded, and a failure. I didn’t like the way I looked in the mirror. I was constantly feeling like people were judging me, based on how I looked.”
Joe knew what he had to do. Fortunately, he also knew the importance of setting yourself a desirable goal.
“In early December of 2006, I saw an advertisement for a local bodybuilding show in May that I wanted to compete in. What better motivation to start then having a specific goal and date to achieve that goal? I’m the type of person that works best under pressure. I made the plan to start by the end of the month and give myself enough time to achieve my goal.”
To get started, Joe, an ICU nurse and a certified exercise physiologist in a busy inner-city hospital, had to rebuild his diet from the ground up. “For years, I was eating 6 meals per night, but they were definitely big meals, with too many calories.” Joe started measuring his portions, and recalibrated his diet so it consisted of high protein, moderate carbohydrates, and moderate fat intake. He ate a lot of boneless skinless chicken breasts, flank steak, and ground turkey. For carbohydrates, he relied on oats, yams, brown rice, broccoli, and mixed green vegetables. For fats, stuck to extra-virgin olive oil, all-natural peanut butter, and flax seed oil. His total caloric intake was 2,800 calories, including 300 grams of protein, 180 grams of carbs, and 100 grams of fat per day.
Joe lost about 5 pounds in the first couple of days, mainly water weight. Having a few less pounds helped him increase his endurance, providing him with more energy to get through the workouts. And then things got difficult.
“My energy levels were lagging, my strength was suffering, and my weight wasn’t really decreasing. Most importantly, my body-fat levels were staying the same, and even increasing slightly over a 2 week period! With only about 10 weeks to go until showtime, I weighed 225 pounds, with 16.3% body-fat. I knew I needed to do something quick.”
Tetrazene ES-50 came to the rescue.
“I went to my local nutrition store,” Joe says, “and the salesperson introduced me to Tetrazene ES-50. He said many of his customers were getting great results with this product. Having explained to him the problems I was having with low energy, fatigue, and reaching that plateau in my training, he was confident that this product would help. I decided to give it a try.”
Tetrazene ended up being just what he needed. “I had more energy, which not only helped my workouts along, but also enabled me to be more alert and productive on the job. Having taken various thermogenic fat burners in the past, including ‘fat-burning legends of yesterday’, I noticed Tetrazene ES-50 was different, in that it didn’t give me that jittery feeling. This was a relief, since that would be a problem, especially when administering medications with needles and inserting IVs into my patients. Furthermore, I didn’t experience a “crash” like I did with ‘fat-burning legends of yesterday’, on the days I didn’t take the product.
“Another benefit was the weight really started to come off. My body-fat was finally decreasing on a weekly basis. In fact, even though I was losing weight, my strength was actually starting to improve! Tetrazene ES-50 turned out to be just what I needed at the right time. My appetite decreased, and the energy boost I felt from Tetrazene was very significant.”
Ripped and ready to compete
In May 2007, Joe Petreycik took the stage with a rock-hard, chiseled 194-pound physique. Heâ€™d lost 31 pounds. In the competition, he placed 5th out of 11 in his weight class. He was pleased with the results, and he wants to take it further.
“My plan is to keep my body-fat under 12% for this year. I will increase my caloric intake, take a short break from Tetrazene, so my body will respond even better when I resume it. The way I see it is I’ll be taking one step backward, in order to reach 2 steps forward. My goal is to compete next year in a heavier weight class, yet keep the conditioning I achieved this year.”
We like his chances. No one mistakes Joe Petreycik for a powerflifter anymore.
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Jun 20, 2007 Success Stories
Lou Salerno, Age 35. Weight Lost: 18 lbs
In the years since he’d stopped aggressively training, Lou Salerno watched his body fat creep up to unacceptable levels. “I wasn’t happy with my physique,” Lou says. “I knew I had to make some changes.” As a father of two children who also works often long hours as a FedEx driver, Lou had little leisure time in which to install a comprehensive training regimen. In order to attain his goal, he would have to make the most of precision-targeted workouts, careful dieting Ã‰ and Tetrazene ES-50.
“Tetrazene really controlled my hunger and gave me more energy for my workouts,” Lou says. “With my busy schedule, I really have to bring maximum intensity to the gym floor. I do high numbers of reps with relatively low weights, plus a half-hour of intense cardio after every workout, so momentum is really key. Tetrazene really gave me an advantage there.”
In addition, Tetrazene’s unique KGM-based formulation helped eliminate the counterproductive snacking and poor food choices that are often a product of days spent on the road. “With Tetrazene ES-50, I was easily able to avoid the temptations that are constantly out there for drivers. Doughnuts, muffins, fast food–resisting that stuff has been easy since I started with Tetrazene.”
In addition, Lou pays strict attention to his daily meal plan. “I break it down very specifically,” he says. “2300 calories per day, 200 grams of protein, 120 grams of carbs, and 40 grams of fat. A lot of chicken and eggs, some rice and potatoes, and I depend on protein shakes to really max out my daily protein intake. You’ve got to feed the muscles, if you’re going to succeed.”
Succeed is exactly what he did. With the help of Tetrazene ES-50, he lost 18 pounds of excess fat and ripped up to the point where he’s considering re-entering competition. “If I continue to live this healthy lifestyle,” he says, “anything is possible.”
Jun 19, 2007 General Health & Fitness
For some, the favorite time of year comes when their bonus checks arrive through door, or when the children have summer break so the entire family can go on vacation. These are very acceptable times to acknowledge the highlights of life and celebration. Whilst this is accepted on the outside world, a quite different world lingers beneath. A selective cult of worshipers dwells in a different universe where their celebration arrives every year falling in the month of September within the euphoric atmosphere of Sin City. Speculation erupts and bets are placed. Some will celebrate on their hero’s achievement, others will find excuses for their low placing hero’s dismay, but all will have the time of their lives whilst spending their own vacation in a place where they are accepted and can relax knowing that they aren’t alone. This is the holiday retreat bodybuilding fans call "The Olympia".
"What have you been up to Peter, working hard?" I said upon answering my friends call last month. "Not much Kris", was his reply, "I am just thinking about the Olympia, only 101 days to go". This legitimate phone call proves the importance of this sporting heritage to some of its fans. I am convinced that the Olympia can highlight a followers endorphin filled smile more than some of its participants.
This year bare the signs of no other. The 2007 Mr. Olympia preview, the event, and the review will go down as one of the most anticipated and exciting of all time. 8 times Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman fell victim to a huge and ripped Jay Cutler last year to finish a lowly (for Ronnie) second place. Redemption is something that has been plaguing his mind ever since and this will surely make for an awesome evening of battle. This is the first time in 13 years that two Olympia champions have gone head to head for the Olympia title. Samir Bannout and Dorian Yates once met on stage but it was a forgone conclusion that Yates would reign, this time offers a different value. Coleman, the wounded animal, could well be at his most ferocious now he finds himself cornered. Cutler on the other hand is at the top of the food chain, and as we all know, the Olympia pattern shows a continued domination for the champion who has to get completely knocked out if he is to fall.
Cutler and Coleman battle aside, another champion many people have predicted to cause an upset is Victor Martinez. Victor has steadily been making major steps towards the sports pinnacle over the past year and has made the top two look over their shoulder as he sneaked into third place at the 2006 Mr. Olympia, and into the King’s throne at the 2007 Arnold Classic. Slowly but surely he has been getting harder with each outing but will have to come in extra dry to make it a white wash. His rather lean off-season condition since the Arnold Classic could be a sign of excitement for fans and disarray for the competition.
Germany’s Dennis Wolf is not one to count out for a podium finish either. Wolf was clearly overlooked at the New York Pro and the boisterous crowd in attendance surely backed up that sentiment. With his massive shoulders, flaring thigh sweep and tightly drummed waist, all he needs is a little more size on select area’s to pounce on unwary prey. Two weeks following his big apple disappointment, Wolf ate up his previous competition and heartedly licked his lips upon feeding on victory at the Keystone Classic. With the improvements this 28 year old young buck has been making as of recent, there is no reason why he can’t bring up his calves, hamstrings and back thickness to meet the expectations of the Olympian judiciary.
After a highly disappointing 8th place finish at the Colorado Pro, you can bet that Dennis James is mad. It wasn’t because he is starting to lose his edge, far from it, but a last minute adjustment in his contest prep made him hold so much water that I was tempted to throw him a life raft. Although he was huge as a house on this day, the separation needed to dominate this show was washed out. Dennis is now grieving within the confines of hardcore contest preparation and will become a "Menace" to those who count him out. He has the width and all the detailed thickness required to push Ronnie and Cutler if they are caught slipping.
In 2006, Melvin Anthony brought a mass mans game to a symmetrically fluid body and the outcome provided him with a fifth place cushion to bounce from. An unfortunate event resulted in him having to go under the knife for a hernia operation at the beginning of the year, but muscle memory remained his friend and now Melvin is looking as big as ever. When "Marvelous" was compared with Ronnie and Jay last year, from the side he more than held his own. More thickness, added cap to the deltoids and a dryer physique, could prove that this could be a "Marvelous" game for Melvin
The last person that this writer believes who is waiting in the shadows, and cannot be ignored is Dexter Jackson. Although Dexter hasn’t made any shock waves in recent shows, he is always consistent and is always in shape. Dexter’s size will always be a missing factor when it comes to mass requirements for Olympia victory, but his past podium placing at this show prove that condition and symmetry is "The Blades" calling card and could come up with his aces high.
The above mentioned athletes are all contenders that could be announced as the new barer of the Mr. Olympia crown but lets not forget that there are many more competitors who are winners by simply making it to the most illustrious stage in bodybuilding history. There are three more shows prior to the Olympia in Texas, Montreal, and Atlantic City where competitors can qualify for a trip to Sin City and knock delts with the best the sport has to offer. Chris Cormier will be making his comeback at Atlantic City and will surely have his pass approved here, as will Quincy Taylor at the Europa Super Show in Texas.
As of June 1st, below are the competitors qualified to compete at the 2007 Mr. Olympia
1 Eddie Abbew
2 Melvin Anthony
3 Gustavo Badell
4 Ronnie Coleman
5 Jay Cutler
6 Mark Dugdale
7 Toney Freeman
8 Kai Green
9 Marcus Haley
10 Phil Heath
11 Dexter Jackson
12 Dennis James
13 Victor Martinez
14 Desmond Miller
15 Ronny Rockel
16 Markus Ruhl
17 Silvio Samuel
18 Sergey Shelestov
19 Vince Taylor
20 Branch Warren
21 Dennis Wolf
22 Hidetada Yamagishi
by Ash Batheja, MPT, CSCS
With all the new supplements hitting the market on a near-daily basis, there are undoubtedly some hidden gems that get ignored. Not the new, fancy ones, mind you, but the timeless mainstays of bodybuilding’s past, the supplements forever known for packing an extra inch of muscle on your arms, yet have somehow fallen in popularity. Branched-chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are precisely one of those supplements – not quite relegated to obscurity, but nevertheless overlooked.
Like so many new supplements hitting the market, new research studies are sparking a BCAA uprising. Taking amino acids may sound boring and outdated, but there are reasons why they were such a bodybuilding fixture for so long. Lots of reasons, it turns out. Lots of exciting, growth-producing reasons. Let’s take a closer look at what BCAAs can do for you.
The BCAAs are comprised of three amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – that when taken together, can produce impressive improvements in strength, lean mass, energy production, and fat loss. BCAAs not only perform these actions independently, but can also increase hormone production for additional muscle gains and prevention of catabolism (muscle breakdown). In short, BCAAs promote protein synthesis in muscle, provide energy in muscle directly (an effect exclusive to these three amino acids), decrease soreness following exercise, increase exercise endurance, and increase testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin.
BCAAs may comprise up to one-third of muscle protein, making them the powerhouse amino acids for muscle building. Of the three, leucine is the most heavily researched. There’s a reson for that, as it’s the amino acid that appears to offer the greatest training and ergogenic benefit. Leucine plays a significant role in protein synthesis, and is unique in its ability to participate in several metabolic processes. Researchers believe it works by signaling insulin, a hormone that has a powerful effect on lean muscle gains, as it helps "push" amino acids and protein into cells, improving "muscle building" and recovery. Insulin not only promotes protein synthesis, but inhibits protein breakdown. Interestingly, and unlike other supplements or nutrients such as carbohydrates, leucine has the power to increase insulin regardless of blood glucose concentration. This is one of the many reasons bodybuilders take BCAAs throughout the day, including during training and even waking during the night to ingest more – the constant flow of insulin promotes a constant surge of protein into muscle for growth.
Since we know high-glycemic carbohydrates have the power to increase insulin levels, we can spike its levels even more by combining BCAAs with a fast-acting carbohydrate (i.e., grape juice), especially during and post-workout. Throw in some creatine, and you have a rather potent muscle-building cocktail.
Leucine doesn’t just help build muscle by increasing insulin, however. It also has the unique effect of directly stimulating pathways that lead to muscle growth. Without getting overly technical, leucine performs this by kicking off the cascade of physiological events responsible for protein synthesis, specifically as directed by messenger RNA. In short, leucine actually reverses the catabolism (muscle breakdown) caused by resistance training, allowing for increased protein synthesis and anabolism (muscle building).
Let’s continue with the simplified physiology, this time in terms of BCAAs’ role in regulating blood glucose. When BCAAs, especially leucine, are broken down in muscle, it spurs the production of the amino acids alanine and glutamine. Actually, glutamine is also converted to alanine, which impressively allows for the production of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources. Not only does this process improve energy production, it may allow you to limit carbohydrate intake, potentially leading to weight loss without sacrificing needed energy. Leucine, in other studies, also limits muscle loss during restricted diets, potentially improving leanness and muscularity.
Increased energy within muscle can certainly ward off fatigue, improving workout endurance and strength. But recent research is showing that BCAAs also play a role in limiting central fatigue. Central fatigue results from an "imbalance" in brain chemistry, particularly in regards to the neurotransmitter serotonin. BCAAs, fortunately, appear able to combat central (brain) fatigue by limiting the uptake of tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, and as serotonin levels rise, so do our levels of fatigue.
In total, BCAAs hold a lot of ergogenic potential, specifically by kick-starting the spike in insulin, directly stimulating muscle growth, increasing energy via glucose regulation, and warding off fatigue. But how can we take advantage of these powerful effects? Recommendations for BCAA intake are all over the map, with some athletes taking BCAAs throughout the day, all day, in amounts ranging anywhere from three to fifty grams daily. After all, BCAAs are just protein, so there’s no harm in experimenting with doses or taking high amounts, although that may certainly be cost prohibitive.
Leucine is without a doubt the most important of the three, but it takes all three together to not only give BCAAs their name, but also their most powerful effects. With leucine, you need approximately 3-4g daily just for protein synthesis, but more like 8-16g daily for all of its metabolic effects. Leucine should be taken with the other two amino acids, isoleucine and valine, but you should take twice as much leucine as the other two. So, if you’re taking ten grams of leucine on training days, you should also ingest five grams each of isoleucine and valine.
Ideally, your doses would be divided throughout the day, with the majority of your intake occurring about an hour before, during, and immediately following your workout (on non-workout days, divide your dose in half). If you take 12 grams of leucine daily, try ingesting three grams before your workout (with roughly 1.5g each of the other two amino acids and about 40-60 grams of high quality carbohydrates), three grams during, and three after (with roughly 60-80 grams of high glycemic/fast-acting carbohydrates). If you want to spread them out throughout the day, try two grams of leucine in each of the above scenarios, with the remainder spaced in two gram doses in the four-hour period before and after training.
Although high quality protein foods like beef and chicken can supply adequate BCAAs for the average person, supplementation ensures that you are fueling your workouts with a surplus of muscle potentiating BCAAs. Thus, in an effort to exploit the benefits discussed above you should be ingesting a high-quality, BCAA packed, whey protein supplement before and immediately after your workouts. The best product currently on the market is NytroWhey by ProSource. Consisting of pure Cross Flow Microfiltered (CFM) whey protein isolate, NytroWhey is a superior source of BCAAs. In fact, almost 25% of its amino acid profile is derived from BCAAs. In addition, ProSource’s unique manufacturing process ensures that NytroWhey retains all of the delicate protein fractions that are normally lost in processing. As a result, NytroWhey has a ton of alpalactalbumin, lactoferrin, and glycomacropeptides to supercharge your immunity, bolster bioavailabilty and, as such, promote anabolism.
The dietary key to muscle growth is not only consuming enough BCAAs, but also ingesting enough protein. Much of a quality protein source is derived from the presence of BCAAs, so maintaining a high protein intake during resistance training is a must to prevent muscle loss and stimulate growth. Try to consume at least one gram of protein for each pound of lean body mass. A 200 lbs. individual with 10% body fat, therefore, has 20 lbs. of fat and 180 pounds of lean mass, requiring 180 grams of protein daily (assuming he is engaged in intense weight training). Spaced out over six meals, that’s 30 grams of protein per sitting. Of course, as stated in the above scenario, a solid portion of this amount can be consumed with supplemental BCAAs taken before, during, and after workouts. Ingesting adequate protein, with a proper percentage from the BCAAs, is an often overlooked, natural, and convenient method for significantly increasing muscle mass and strength.