Author Topic: Creatine  (Read 8415 times)

Offline Thomas LUPK

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Creatine
« on: February 03, 2009, 11:42:51 AM »
I have heard several different things concerning the use of creatine, some people have told me that after you stop taking it you will lose all the water weight you gained with it so your muscle will just return to normal. Another person told me that since it is adding water weight that your muscles will not be hard, they will be kind of squishy. I was wondering what the truth is about it, is it bad for you? will you really lose the muscle as soon as you stop taking it? does it keep your muscles from being "hard"? if you are only trying to get stronger for parkour/tricking is it a good idea to be taking it if you are not trying to "bulk up"? currently I am only drinking protein shakes after workouts but was considering adding creatine to it.
If anyone knows anything it would be greatly appreciated if you could help to inform me  :)

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 12:04:48 PM »
what are your goals

Offline tombb

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 12:06:03 PM »
Thomas ,
Those are all myths. It's not how creatine works.
Creatine is -already- present in all your muscles. You synthesize it and use it everyday to store and utilize energy in your muscles, and so do all animals. Every time you eat meat, you are supplementing your diet with creatine.

But like many things, your body doesn't really make it in the ideal amounts to improve athletic performance and support muscle growth and development. So taking more from supplements or meat improves all these, as has been demonstrated and observed in abundance.

Its effects are really not really related to water retention and water loss, and the concept of muscles not being 'hard' because of water is silly (if anything, extra blood in your muscles makes them appear more full and 'harder', not that it matters anyways).

Creatine can improve your performance both in endurance and strength and allow you to get more out of your workout, but more importantly it helps in muscle recovery and growth.
All those effects result in long-term improvements again not related to water or continued use of creatine.
There could be some small stimulus to muscle growth caused by very large amounts of water retention, those would be difficult to actually achieve especially from just creatine, but even those would be permanent, once your muscles decide to synthesize new contractile proteins, they don't just remove it so easily.
Even if massive unreasonable amounts of creatine could give you also a nice glow and extra puffiness to your muscles that would just be a bonus to all the permanent well-demonstrated advantages of normal creatine intake.

Offline Charles Moreland

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 12:22:44 PM »
Creatine is quite possibly the most effective (legal), most misunderstood by the general public, and most abused legal supplement on the market.

The second is proven by your statement. There are a lot of myths surrounding creatine and most people still believe it's an anabolic steroid  ::). You'll also find that an overwhelming majority of people who buy and supplement creatine, abuse it or implement its supplementation incorrectly in their training. I have seen many people supplement creatine that aren't even on a structured conditioning routine, let alone a heavy resistance one.

With that said, creatine works and does a pretty damn good job when you supplement it properly. Taking appropriate portions while being on a regimented heavy resistance program yields very beneficial results. I've never heard anything regarding aid in muscle growth, so a reference there might be helpful Tom.

On a very (read: very) basic level, proper supplementation of creatine increases the creatine storage in your muscles slightly and allows you to stay within the phosphagen metabolic pathway several seconds longer than usual. This means you may be able to squat your 5RM 7 times instead of 5 while on creatine or sprint at the same speed for several seconds longer than normal. This is an obvious benefit.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2009, 12:42:20 PM »
Both of you jumped the gun, imho.  Chances are that creatine is unnecessary for this particular trainee (the OP) and we should wait to hear his goals before we go into a huge scientific analysis of creatine.

That said, creatine does make you put on water weight...thats not a myth (not that anyone said it was..)

Creatine supplementation increases the creatine concentration in the muscle considerably.  In terms of performance, this helps only with short duration efforts.  However, the increased creatine in the cells causes a shift in the osmotic gradient -- in simpler terms, this means your cells require more water.  This pulls more water into the cell thus increased water weight.

This only really helps with max efforts and short duration efforts.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 12:44:27 PM by Chris Salvato »

Offline tombb

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2009, 01:18:47 PM »
Charles,
you can see more detailed references to individual studies in the main text of scientific reviews of creatine, as summarized for example in this abstract from the journal of Subcellular Biochemistry (2007):
The elevated muscle creatine content moderately improves contractile performance in sports with repeated high-intensity exercise bouts. More chronic ergogenic effects of creatine are to be expected when combined with several weeks of training. A more pronounced muscle hypertrophy and a faster recovery from atrophy have been demonstrated in humans involved in resistance training. The mechanism behind this anabolic effect of creatine may relate to satellite cell proliferation, myogenic transcription factors and insulin-like growth factor-1 signalling.

Chris,
I think we each focused on different aspects of the OP question. You focused on his mention that he is considering adding creatine to his diet.
Charles and I focused on the part where he is specifically asking whether these myths are true or false, regardless of whether he should use it or not for his training.
I think addressing both rather tha just one is important. Dispelling these myths and clarifying the topic might not help the OP as much but will help him and everybody else better understand the topic and his own physiology, and help them avoid propagating false or incorrect information and myths.

Offline Thomas LUPK

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2009, 02:02:21 PM »
thanks everyone for the information, that helps alot.
As far as my goals go, I lift 5 days per week resting on the weekends. currently I am just trying to regain my strength from having my shoulder operated on Dr. told me I should gain as much muscle on shoulders as possible if I was to continue tricking just to add protection (it has been a year and shoulders are still not back where they were) I am not trying to get bulky or anything just get back into shape for parkour/tricking.
Thanks again for all the info!

Offline Charles Moreland

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2009, 02:27:47 PM »
I lift 5 days per week resting on the weekends.

That concerns me greatly...any other information to make me feel more at ease here?

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2009, 02:30:44 PM »
thanks everyone for the information, that helps alot.
As far as my goals go, I lift 5 days per week resting on the weekends. currently I am just trying to regain my strength from having my shoulder operated on Dr. told me I should gain as much muscle on shoulders as possible if I was to continue tricking just to add protection (it has been a year and shoulders are still not back where they were) I am not trying to get bulky or anything just get back into shape for parkour/tricking.
Thanks again for all the info!


What kind of lifting?  What does your schedule/routine look like?

What was the nature of the shoulder surgery?  I have had 4 surgeries for labrum repair due to chronic dislocations, so I may be able to help you a bit here...

Offline Sat Santokh

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2009, 04:26:33 PM »
I lift 5 days per week resting on the weekends.

That concerns me greatly...any other information to make me feel more at ease here?

Why the concern?  I've done a 5 day split before when i tested out isolation exercises for a month

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2009, 04:36:45 PM »
I lift 5 days per week resting on the weekends.

That concerns me greatly...any other information to make me feel more at ease here?

Why the concern?  I've done a 5 day split before when i tested out isolation exercises for a month

I think charlie made the assumption he is going heavy every day -- which i would assume is not the case....though it would produce better gains going heavy with more rest, imho...but i think we should wait to hear back from him on this before we jump to conclusions.

Offline Charles Moreland

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2009, 04:46:40 PM »
Quote
any other information to make me feel more at ease here?

I put that there for a reason. He wouldn't be the first to consider intense exercise 5 days on 2 days off or greater. I'm still giving him the benefit of the doubt.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 04:55:38 PM by Charles Moreland »

Offline Thomas LUPK

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2009, 05:44:22 PM »
by lifting 5 days a week I mean different muscle group every day, arms, legs, chest, back ect. by the end of the week we have gone through every muscle group.

Shoulder surgery, I used to cheer/trick a lot and broke/dislocated my shoulder 2 times, I had 80% rotator cuff tear, so they repaired that. then i also had a 1in bone chip at the bottom of the socket (don't know what the bone is called =/ ) that they put pins into to hold in place. As I said before this was over a year ago, and I have only started really lifting since start of last semester (was doing physical therapy before) apparently I am about 90% healed or something.

Offline Charles Moreland

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2009, 08:51:35 PM »
Don't supplement creatine with your current workout routine. Keep in touch with your physician and physical therapist until they feel you are ready to undertake moderate/heavy resistance training. Then revamp your routine into a more suitable one involving compound, explosive exercises. Tricking and acro are very ballistic and the Oly lifts and plyometrics will be a wonderful supplement to technique training. Even then, I doubt you will need creatine supplementation. If you come to a plateau later in the training, then perhaps creatine can be helpful.

Edit - I should stress the part about keeping in touch with your therapist. Oly lifts may be out of the question for a decent amount of time, although they can be modified appropriately to minimize stress the shoulder girdle. Chris may be a better asset here given his experience with Oly lifting with a history of chronic dislocations.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 08:55:15 PM by Charles Moreland »

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2009, 09:07:49 PM »
Your 5 day body split is kind of useless, in my opinion.  You will actually heal a lot faster if you lift 3x a week and go heavy on compound lifts.  This will cause a your whole body to undergo a huge hormone reaction that will accelerate your healing process greatly.

Since you are a tricker/cheerleader as well as traceur that wants to lift, I would recommend squats and DLs (DOUBLE CHECK DLS WITH YOUR PT FIRST!!!!!) since they ideally should put your shoulder under little to no stress while allowing your body to be put through the ringer.  My shoulders were bothered by back squats while I was still recovering...so you might want to consider Front Squats which are a lot easier on the shoulders.

I would also work dips if your PT says it is ok.  Avoid pullups.  Planche progression would be great for you too, as well as hand balancing (handstands) if your PT clears you for that.  All will help stabilize the shoulder in all ranges of motion and build up a lot of strength to make sure it doesn't dislocate again...

I would avoid Oly lifts (cleans and snatches and OH Press/Jerk) until your PT says you are good to go on the shoulder.  I would also ask your PT for light weight exercises you can do at the gym to supplement your compound lifts -- he will likely recommend rows with a resistance band as well as lateral raises in some planes of motion and rotator cuff isometrics - but he would know better than me.

I would do something like this:

Mon
Planche Progression Static Holds
Squat (3x5 heavy)
DL (3x10 VERY Light)
Dips (3x5 Start Light and add 2.5# every time you go in)
PT recommended isolations

Wed
Squat (3x5 Heavy)
DL (1x5 Heavy)
Dips (Max sets -- go to what you feel like is ONE REP before failure then stop.  Build up to 15 rep set)
PT recommended isolations

Fri
Planche Progression Static Holds
Squat (3x5 Heavy)
DL (3x10 VERY Light)
Dips (3x5 - Same as on monday -- whatever u did on monday, add 2.5# then when you go in next monday add another 2.5#)
PT recommended isolations

You won't need creatine on this plane.

You will see a lot more results from this AND you will heal faster....assuming these movements were cleared by the PT

Offline Thomas LUPK

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2009, 09:32:42 PM »
hmm I do not think I really made it clear on how healed my shoulder is, I am cleared to do pretty much everything. I can do 32 pullups (just tested max the other day) I can do handstands for around 30-45 secs, my shoulder only is hurt by doing military press and incline bench. I also am cleared for snatches cleans ect. just with a lighter amount of weight, (say 110lbs or so) I just do not do them very often. what I am lifting for is just for like more muscle as I am not able to do all the things I used to be able to do, (flags, press into handstand ect) that is why I said my shoulder is not back to the strength it was at. I am past the recovery stage, but my Dr. said it would take around 2 years for my shoulder to be fully healed, (hence the "i think im 90% healed or so) there are like 6 pins that have to disintegrate or something. PT has given me a lot of rotator cuff exercises to do as well, and she said using free weights is better for me because it builds stabilization.

Sorry for the misunderstanding =/ lol

oh and I don't cheer anymore, I can no longer partner stunt so at college level I am pretty much useless =P

Offline Steve Low

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2009, 01:02:47 AM »
Yup, do full body work.

If you have extra money supplementation of creatine can be beneficial especially for heavy lifting.

-----------------------------

As for that study... they are saying increase of creatine in the cell helps to increase satellite cell proliferation, etc. BECAUSE increases in such signal that OR is it because you can lift more reps = more stress = more growth.

I think the latter is a MUCH better explanation and probably the correct one. Unless someone can prove to me that creatine is a signalling agent that directly enhances hormonal response or increased transcription or cell signalling I'm gonna have to call BS on that.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 01:05:19 AM by Steve Low »
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Offline tombb

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2009, 04:10:55 AM »
As for that study... they are saying increase of creatine in the cell helps to increase satellite cell proliferation, etc. BECAUSE increases in such signal that OR is it because you can lift more reps = more stress = more growth.

I think the latter is a MUCH better explanation and probably the correct one. Unless someone can prove to me that creatine is a signalling agent that directly enhances hormonal response or increased transcription or cell signalling I'm gonna have to call BS on that.
Steve,
Scientific studies, particularly cellular and molecular ones are -very- careful and precise about not mixing cause and effect.
They are not drawing conclusions from observing correlations and coincidences like you might do with a phone survey.
In a study on people you have full control of the actual amount of exercise, weight lifted etc. You can control the timing of creatine (administered right -after- exercise for example), and observe that you have enhanced hormonal response, increased transcription and cell signaling even with the same amount and intensity of exercise. 

So yes, everybody already can prove that to you, and they already did, you can look it up.

Besides, many other molecules that improve recovery, even simple proteins and carbs, also act as -direct- stimuli in improving many of those same parameters.  Creatine potentially helps even more because it reduces a potential bottleneck in these recovery and recharge mechanisms plus other possible direct mechanism not fully elucidated yet.

Offline Andy Animus Tran

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2009, 06:49:58 AM »
Chris, why do you imagine that that program is better than say.. a four-day plan?

I tend to split:

Max Effort Upper Body -> hang cleans/snatches, pull-ups, dips, rows, presses
Max Effort Lower Body -> DLs or squats, unilateral work, heavy pushes/drags
Dynamic -> Plyo push-ups, clapping pulls, resisted sprints, broad jumps, box jumps (if any of this is weighted, it is very light)
Repetitions/Endurance whole body -> The above for "max effort" at lower weight for reps

Though, I do realise that your program for him was on the basis of rehabilitation, I also am curious as to what the advantage of doing max-effort squats every time you get into the gym is.
Andy Tran, C.S.C.S.
Lead Parkour Instructor
Urban Evolution
Parkour Virginia

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2009, 09:30:54 AM »
Chris, why do you imagine that that program is better than say.. a four-day plan?

I tend to split:

Max Effort Upper Body -> hang cleans/snatches, pull-ups, dips, rows, presses
Max Effort Lower Body -> DLs or squats, unilateral work, heavy pushes/drags
Dynamic -> Plyo push-ups, clapping pulls, resisted sprints, broad jumps, box jumps (if any of this is weighted, it is very light)
Repetitions/Endurance whole body -> The above for "max effort" at lower weight for reps

Though, I do realise that your program for him was on the basis of rehabilitation, I also am curious as to what the advantage of doing max-effort squats every time you get into the gym is.

3 days or 4 days is fine -- but I think you are making some terminology/semantics errors that are going to lead to poor programming.

First off, Cleans/Snatches are not upper body -- they are full body and most of the grunt work is done by hip extension thus making them more of a lower body/posterior chain workout.

Second off, limiting yourself to upper body on one day won't allow you to have the volume/frequency you need to improve on them as quickly as possible.  As a novice your body recovers within 24-48 hours of the bout of exercise -- if you wait longer than that to repeat the exercise, preferably heavier in the past, then you are not taking full advantage of your recovery abilities and wasting what can turn out to be quite a bit of time.

Dynamic effort (DE) is good but you don't really need a whole day dedicated to it.

Rather, if you do that split as one day -- select one thing from each category, lets say, then you can advance in ALL of those categories much faster.

Squatting every day makes you very good at the squat (and therefore very good at everything else) so thats why I recommended that.

Also, if you lift the way I am specifying then 4 days may be a bit too much to start since it is pretty stressful.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 09:34:42 AM by Chris Salvato »