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Creatine Causes Cancer?

Question: I heard that research was done in Germany that revealed the dangers of taking creatine and that it caused cancer. What are the true benefits and dangers of creatine suppplementation?

Justin Leonard: Sounds as if this German research company is trying to boost sales and draw attention to an entirely unheard of new marketing hook. Maybe it does cause cancer in lab rats or something, but not humans. To date, absolutely no cases (US) have been reported.

Never Hurts To Get A Second Opinion

Question: I have joined the gym and have been working out for about 6 weeks now. However, the instructor has me doing 3 sets of 15 reps per excercise. He says this is to (1) burn fat and (2) become stronger. I want to know when can I start doing heavy weight and less reps; maybe in the 8 - 12 range in order to build some size? Does 15 reps or so really increase strength and burn fat?

Justin Leonard: This plan is ideal for starters. Some people's bodies are naturally built for heavy duty training from the start, but not eveyone. My opinion is to go with your instinct. The range 8 - 12 isn't necessarily considered low, but rather moderate or average.

I personally train some body parts using only 3 reps. Other smaller body parts for example, I'll go as high as 30 - 40 (although I rarely count reps). Yes, 15 reps can increase strength and help to burn fat, especially if you're new to training with weights.

It's Never Too Late

Question: I am 50 years old, weight 245 height 6'2" 40" waist. Do you think I am to old to start bodybuilding?

Justin Leonard: Absolutely not! It's never too late! It only gets better when you begin working out: health, energy, stamina, mental alertness, improved concentration, better sleeping habits, easier to wake up . . . the list goes on! I highly recommend "getting back into it." Just be sure to check with your doctor to ensure everything is good to go.

Long Or Short Workouts?

Question: I've read conflicting reports about what kind of aerobic exercise burns fat most efficiently. Some say a moderate workout is best and others say an intense workout is the best? So which really is the one?

Justin Leonard: When it comes to moderate or intense, there is no right or wrong answer. Since we're all different, it varies. There are only slight differences between the two. For example, an intense workout burns more fat than a moderate workout because you have to do more work. You can also make the argument that the longer moderate workout equals a short intense workout.

Another Myth?

Question: I read some place that if you drink 8oz of warm water with one table spoon on apple cider vinager before meals about 2 to 3 times a day it will make you lose weight. Is this true and if is is how long would it take for the fat to start melting? They also say to put a teaspoon of honey.

Justin Leonard: This is definitely a gimmick. The trick behind this is to fill your stomach up right before you eat so that you don't eat too much. I don't know what the temperature of the water, apple cider vinegar, or honey does.

The bottom line is that the water in your stomach will help to prevent overeating and may help to curb the appetite. You get full quicker. Do not try this or you'll be in for a big upset. Instead, try drinking 8oz of water before every meal (not snack) you eat.

Strength Expectations

Question: I would like to know how much progress can be achieved for a muscle after each workout? For example, if I can curl 20 pounds for 10 reps in my right hand, for the next workout how many more reps can I expect achieve? Or rather how much percentage increase of the one-rep max is expected?

Justin Leonard: There is no way to gauge this from workout to workout. This is true because everyone has a different body type. Your strength could go up, or it could go down for a number of reasons ranging from diet, weather, rest, or even the time of day you train.

Expect to see no improvement from workout to workout. Instead monitor your progress over the course of a month. Strength increases very slowly when you're drug-free. Don't expect too much, too fast . . .

High Calorie Shakes Vs Muscle Builders

Question: I was wondering which would be better to use: Mega Mass Protein shake, or Weider Muscle Builder? What is the difference between the two?

Justin Leonard: Other than slight differences in protein and calories per serving, these two products, and anything similar are virtually the same thing. They're named differently for the sole purpose of marketing. In other words, they can produce more of the same thing, slightly change the caloric information [to make it a legally different product], and sell it under a different name.

Bad Protein?

Question: I just recently bought some whey protein. When I take it, I notice my stomach getting bigger and I feel bloated. I'm a fairly small sized man with a big belly. My main priority is to to get those abs. What should I do?

Justin Leonard: There could be several reasons you're experiencing the bloating. More than likely, the additives in the protein formula are the cause. Filling agents such as pectin, guar gum, locust bean gum, and anything containing the word lactose can cause bloating.


Question: I saw an add for a thermogenic product called Clenbutrx which is supposed to work to get rid of fat deposits. Do you know if this product is as good as they say?

Justin Leonard: Clenbutrx by VPX Sports is definitely another severely hyped-up product. Clenbuterol, the word in which Clenbutrx is derived, has some of the most effective thermogenic fat-burning and steroid-like properties, although it isn't considered a steroid.

The product description I read was so grossly untrue, they were saying that there was an ingredient that goes directly to the problem areas to burn fat: an absolute joke. Does it work? It will more than likely be an effective product in conjunction with the proper diet and exercise regiment because it has the standard fat burner ingredients.

The FDA will only allow so much of an ingredient to be in a supplement. So don't expect to find this product different than any other fat burner when it comes to ingredients.

Wrong Info?

Question: I was reading the Q&A section and stumbled upon some information that made me question it. This is regarding decreasing sodium intake for loosing body fat? As I understand, large doses of sodium are effective in exercising because of water retention and lots of water in the muscles acts like a shock absorber while exercising. Would you answer this?

Justin Leonard: You're right! But only in the case of adding muscle mass. The problem with excess sodium as it pertains to weight/fat loss is that it causes excess water retention and can make problem areas more prominent.

In addition, the combination of sugar, salt, and fat create the perfect breeding ground for additional fatty stores. I can actually speak from experience. I use a sodium depletion technique a few days before I compete in bodybuilding competitions. It gives the abdominals a sharper look and just makes the entire body look harder.

Why Doesn't The Ab-doer Work?

Question: I just received the AB-DOER yesterday. Why do you think this machine is not any good? I have heard people say they get results using it.

Justin Leonard: For the record, I don't advocate that these machines are ineffective. I simply advocate that you don't need to spend over $100 on a product that isn't going to do much for your abs. The diet and cardio are what create the visibility of abdominal muscles.

Training has very little to do with it (although some may be needed). I understand Mr. Abdo (the inventor) would want you to believe otherwise. I'm living proof. I don't train my abs in the off-season at all because I know that when I diet down for a bodybuilding competition my abs will show up in an extremely ripped condition. Again, I train absolutely zero times for at least 10.5 months out of the year.

To learn more about the Ab-Doer, go here!

Weight Training Stunts Growth In Teens?

Question: One trainer today told me that training with any type of weight other than very light weights could inhibit my growth. I am 15. Is this true? She said that efforts to build muscle at my age would be damaging. I can't see how it could be unless train incorrectly.

Justin Leonard: You should be her trainer! She is correct, but only in the case that you're overdoing it (lifting) and causing damage to the joints and ligaments. This is basically, as you said, training incorrectly.

You're right and she's right. Although if I were her, I would have used the word "could" be damaging as opposed to "would" be damaging.

My advice: safety first, lift in moderation, don't try to impress anyone, keep a clean head, and live long . . .

Leg Presses After Squats

Question: Do you think two sets of 20 reps on the leg press is counterproductive after 3 sets of squats? If you talk to 20 people, you get 20 different answers. I always do them together and I do not feel overtrained. What is your opinion?

Justin Leonard: Since everyone has a different body type it will vary. There is no right or wrong answer for this question. I personally think it's a good idea. It's also the norm; going from squats to leg presses or vice versa.

I might even suggest switching your course of action to fool the muscles. Try going from leg presses to squats. Stick with this plan for about 3 or 4 weeks, then go back to squats then leg presses. It should give the muscles an awesome shock!

Any Tips For New Mothers?

Question: I have reviewed your website thoroughly and I noted all body types except one: the new mom's body. That's why I focused on your ab info. Do you have any pointers for a lactating mom (can't really cut calories) that needs to restore abdominal strength?

Justin Leonard: There's actually no difference in the way you go about strengthening the abs, even if you were once pregnant. The same techniques apply. If it's strength you're trying to develop, then exercise is needed.

The actual sculpting of the abs can only be achieved through diet modification and cardiovascular activity. If you can't cut calories, cardio will probably be your best bet. When it comes to increasing strength in the abs, a combination of cardio and exercise is the key to success.

Lastly, check with your doctor to ensure there are no physical limitations to what exercises you can do. In addition, you can get more tips at the following URL:


Firm Buttocks And Thighs

Question: What can I do to firm my buttocks and thighs?

Justin Leonard: he diet should always be your main focus whenever you want to firm or tone bodypart. Cardiovascular exercise should take second precedence. Lastly, target training such as leg machines, lunges, etc. can help. Always focus on the diet to tighten problem areas. A thermogenic formula can also help in conjunction with the diet.

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