Sean Nalewanyj Review

Sean Nalewanyj supposedly has the top selling body transformation book the last few years. The website of this program reminds me a lot like Musclenow program’s webpage. I came across many sites giving it a raving review. What I noticed was these reviews were 100% positive only because they were getting paid as affiliates. Of course, we do things here differently when it comes to reviews. My goal is to give a fair review of this package for my readers, even to point out some of the negatives.

Here is the before picture of Sean Nalewanyj he uses as proof he is the typical skinny hardgainer

Sean Nalewanyj before

Here is Sean Nalewanyj now:

Sean Nalewanyj

I find it odd that Sean and some other program owners use a photo of them when they were like 14 or 15. Everyone at that age who is active is often very skinny, regardless of genetics. He certainly has built up his muscularity to a respectable size, so I don't see why they shouldn't give a more credible before picture where they are a little older.

Book content:

The book is split up into 10 chapters

Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - The Muscle-Building Philosophy
Chapter 3 - Structuring The Perfect Workout
Chapter 4 - Proper Muscle-Building Nutrition
Chapter 5 - Harnessing Your Inner Power
Chapter 6 - Supplementing For Massive Gains
Chapter 7 - Critical Feeding Times
Chapter 8 - Muscle-Building Myths Uncovered
Chapter 9 - Proper Rest & Recovery
Chapter 10 - Closing Words

The first 7 pages he discusses his struggles of when he was skinny in high school. It was very true to heart and I and many others could relate to him. This was actually the best part of the e-book I thought.

The workout section is where I start to disagree. Sean says muscular failure is needed on all your sets. As I have pointed on in previous articles on this blog, training to failure is not proven to be necessary for gains. In fact it may even hurt you if your not careful.

He also preaches progressive overload, which means you need to increase weight continually to get more gains. He however, doesn't believe in periodization. I agree with him on both points. I believe that periodization is overrated, but that you need progressive overload. As long as you are gaining weight and progressing in weights you dont need to periodize. He calls periodization a myth in his book.

Sean also has some good common sense tips such as keeping a journal. The one downside to his book he doesn't cover much in great detail backed up with a lot of science, like some other e-books would. Some may enjoy the less complicated approach though

The rest of Sean's muscle building package is full of a lot of helpful goodies. Sean provides access to a excercise database where you can see video of him performing all the excercises. This is good for learning proper form to all these excercises, as proper form is important for muscle gains and preventing injury. He also has a workout book log and tells you exactly how to structure the workouts. The personal trainer software answers questions that others have asked Sean in the past. He also includes meal plan samples, so you can follow his diet to a T.

Is the program worth the money?

The current price of it is 77 dollars. I personally think it's worth that kind of money if your new to bodybuilding. You will save a lot of time from spinning your wheels listening to everyone give different advice, if you just follow the advice of Sean's program only. The other things in his program package are highly useful too. All in all, $77 dollars is a bargain for what you get.


Peanut Butter Causes Cancer?

Bodybuilders are suggested to eat a high amount of good fats in their diet for hormonal and joint health, and for a good source of calories. Peanut butter is a very common source of fat for most bodybuilders in their diet. Most eat natural peanut butter because it doesn't contain hydrogenated fats. Peanut butter is considered a good source of fat because it is low in saturated fat and high in monosaturated. The truth is, peanut butter is really not that healthy long term.

Why peanut butter can cause cancer:

Unfortunately a mold commonly winds up growing on peanut butter. This fungus Aspergillus flavus releases a cancer causing metabolic product (mycotoxin) called aflatoxin B1, which is a officially recognized carcinogen (cancer causing compound). Workers around peanuts even have to wear protection because of the health hazard. It is common knowledge that farmers and animals around peanuts have increased liver cancer.

How much of this fungus and to what degree it converts to the mcycotoxin aflatoxin seems to depend on where the peanuts are grown and how they are stored and for how long. Peanuts have less of this problem if they are farmed in dry climates, as the fungus seems to thrive in humidity. Other foods have this fungus growing on it such as walnuts and grains, but peanut butter and corn seem to be the worst afflicted foods.  The risk of peanut butter giving liver cancer is a bit exaggerated by some. But most bodybuilders consume it everday, often in high amounts, which could be a problem.

Alternatives to peanut butter:

Almond butter is the best food alternative for peanut butter. Flaxseed oil would even be better, but it's not a substitute in food as a butter. Almond butter actually has higher omega 3's than peanut butter anyways and isn't contaminated with this fungus. Almond butter is not as tasty as peanut butter, but at least you know you won't be posioning your body. If you decide to use peanut butter, see if you can get peanuts grown in dry areas, to help reduce or eliminate fungus contamination.

Training to Muscle failure

Whether or not training a set to muscle failure is better (or even necessary) for muscle growth, is a age old debate in bodybuilding. Muscular failure means doing reps in a set, until you can no longer lift the weight with proper form through the full range of motion.

Why is this last rep so important to discuss?

It may only seem like just another rep that happens to be the last in a set, but bodybuilders and scientist have viewed the last rep to failure as distinctly different from the other reps. Bodybuilders see it as giving it "your all" and fatiguing the muscle completely. Some high intensity workout programs, believe that you must go to failure for maximum muscle and strength gains.

Training to failure research studies:

To see why scientist see this rep differently, let's look at some research.

A study published (J Appl Physiol. 2006 May;100(5):1647-56. Epub 2006 Jan 12.) did a 11 week resistance training program of failure vs nonfailure groups. Immediately after the 11th week all groups did the same workout, to see the effects each previous training led. Both groups had similiar increases in one rep max. During the 2nd phase of the study, there was an increase in muscular endurance in the failure group and power in the nonfailure group. The failure group had lower IGF-1 levels (important anabolic hormone for muscle growth), while the nonfailure group had lower resting levels of cortisol and higher testosterone levels.

A study published in (J Strength Cond Res. 2005 May;19(2):382-8) compared failure to nonfailure in 26 basketball players. The failure group did 4 sets of 6 repetitions every 260 seconds, whereas the nonfailure 8 sets of 3 repetitions every 113. Results showed that the failure group had significant strength increases over the non-failure group. One problem I have with this study is, time under tension differences between the sets. The failure group is doing 6 reps in a set instead of 3 reps. Even though the weight is the same and the time is lessened to increase intensity, 3 reps per set is not going to be the same stimulus.

A few months ago JM Willardson, who has published some important studies in excercise science, wrote a research note recently in (J Strength Cond Res. 2007 May;21(2):628-31.) He acknowledged that there isn't enough conclusive evidence yet, whether sets should be done to failure or not. However, willardson recommended advanced lifters use training failure to break past plateaus, due to increased activation of motor units and the hormonal response. He also didn't recommend it long term due to overtraining and risk of injury.

Aspirin & other Pain Killers’ Effects on Muscle Growth

A few years ago, research started coming out about the effects of common OTC painkillers effects on muscle growth. If you are new to bodybuilding in recent years, you may have missed the big news when it first came out. Many bodybuilders take them to relieve DOMS (muscle soreness) from weight training or some other ailment and don't know about this side effect. This is also important to know because many fat burning supplements, such as hydroxycut hardcore, put willow bark ( natural form of aspirin ) in it. Acetaminophen ( Tylenol ) and the class of drugs called NSAIDS , which includes the OTC painkillers, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen ( Alleve ), all have an effect on protein synthesis.

Studies on painkiller effects on protein synthesis:

One of the first studies to come out was published in
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Oct;86(10):5067-70. It was done on 24 males to either receive ibuprofen, acetaminophen or a control after resistance excercise workout (10 - 14 sets). It showed that acetaminophen and ibuprofen had an impact on prostoglandins (in equal degree). Researchers concluded this impact on prostoglandins could have a big impact on muscle growth.

One year later, these same researchers published (Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Mar;282(3):E551-6.) measuring protein synthesis after resistance workout. The study was done on 24 males who either took acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or control. Results showed that the placebo group had 75% higher protein synthesis at the skeletal muscle than the ibuprofen or acetaminophen group. These painkillers didn't effect overall body breakdown, but did effect protein synthesis at the muscle.

Aspirin also has a effect on decreasing protein synthesis. (source: J Biol Chem. 2007 Apr;282(14):10164-71. Epub 2007 Feb 6.)

Most of the older studies discuss protein synthesis, but a more
recent study published in (Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 May;38(5):840-6.) compared overloading a rat muscle with or without ibuprofen on actual muscle growth. Results showed reduced muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth) by 50% in rats from ibuprofen with overload vs. overload only.

As you can see these were not minor changes in protein synthesis. Even occasional use will have a significant impact on muscle growth.