Author Topic: Creatine  (Read 8424 times)

Offline Will James

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #40 on: February 24, 2009, 09:36:01 PM »
Hey guys-

I have been training for about 1.5 years now, and would like to step my game up. I do mostly body weight exercizes (pull up bar, stability discs and balls, rings, and my mom's really cheap pilates machine for a few ab and knee exercizes), but will be moving into a gym shortly. I really want to increase my expolsive power in my legs, and have been reading a lot recently about many different exercizes to do so (including your recent post on goals, Chris). Every other day I work out doing my body weight routines, and train outside about 4-5 days/week. My question for you is whether or not Creatine will help me build more explosive power and overall strength in my training or not. I have been told to take Creatine, and also told not to. My doctor said that I would be fine, but that didn't exactly help me, since he doesn't know my goals in Parkour. In general, can you guys help me out in deciding whether or not to take it?

Thanks!

Will
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Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #41 on: February 24, 2009, 09:45:17 PM »
Will,

For your goals, I don't think you need it.

The performance benefit would be small, at best, in my opinion.  Considering the cost of creatine and the nature of your training I think you would be best to stick to explosive movements that exploit your posterior chain...of the bodyweight nature we are talking about Depth Jumping drills, box jumping, Pistol Broads, Pistol verticals, one legged verticals, one legged broads, two legged broads and to legged verts...adding a moderate amount of weight via a vest is good.  You can make a lot of progress with this alone.

You can make a lot of progress with these bodyweight skills alone.  When you plateau here, you will want to explore the idea of doing heavy squats and olympic lifts.  When you finally plateau there...well...then maybe you want to consider creatine to break a bit past the plateau...that point is YEARS down the road.

In short, I don't think you need it...eat hearty and put tons of effort into your workouts and you will see progress.  If anyone has a differing opinion I would be glad to hear it, though.

Offline Charles Moreland

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #42 on: February 24, 2009, 10:00:28 PM »
Chris beat me.

Training yields X
Supplementing yields Y

The gains that come from X are vastly superior to those that come from Y. A lot of novice lifters get caught up in all the little doodads that surround lifting and forget to worry about the training first. As Chris said, the lifting will provide so much benefit solely on its own. Creatine is a supplement to aid advanced lifters in surpassing plateaus. Advanced being a key word here.

You also have to think about the time it takes to learn proper form in the squat, deadlift, clean, snatch, jerk, etc, before you can ever consider adding weight to them. Taking creatine during this transitional period would just be a waste.

Offline Sat Santokh

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2009, 10:35:47 PM »
Chris beat me.

Training yields X
Supplementing yields Y

The gains that come from X are vastly superior to those that come from Y. A lot of novice lifters get caught up in all the little doodads that surround lifting and forget to worry about the training first. As Chris said, the lifting will provide so much benefit solely on its own. Creatine is a supplement to aid advanced lifters in surpassing plateaus. Advanced being a key word here.

You also have to think about the time it takes to learn proper form in the squat, deadlift, clean, snatch, jerk, etc, before you can ever consider adding weight to them. Taking creatine during this transitional period would just be a waste.

It seems like you guys are pretty anti-creatine.  Why would you wait to plateau before taking it, that doesn't seem like a very efficient use of time and effort.  The creatine could help him make gains faster, and have better recovery.  I'm not saying he should take it right now but even after a few months of a consistent diet+lifting schedule I would say he would be ready.  Again Chris I don't think its necessary to plateau with body weight before moving up, i think they would supplement each other pretty well.

Offline Charles Moreland

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2009, 11:21:52 PM »
When did I say I was anti-creatine? I've already said in this thread that creatine is quite possibly the most effective (legal) supplement on the market.

The information is here in this thread and he can utilize it any way he wishes. If he wants to start a lifting routine and then a couple months later start supplementing, all power to you man. All I'm saying is that the effect from that extra rep or two from creatine might not be worth the price at this stage in his training. My suggestion wasn't a creatine bash in the least, just one that might be more sensible on a young man's wallet.

And yes, $15 ( I think that's what you said you pay ) every couple of months really doesn't seem like much, but I try to look at the big picture when giving a recommendation. When someone is just starting out on a routine, I find it much more beneficial to have them only have to focus on the lifting and its technique, then the programming and structure, then supplementing. It's a logical order.

Again, no one is forcing him to do one or the other. There is enough information here that he can make an educated decision for himself. I simply gave my personal advice.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 11:29:47 PM by Charles Moreland »

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #45 on: February 25, 2009, 06:38:18 AM »
Chris beat me.

Training yields X
Supplementing yields Y

The gains that come from X are vastly superior to those that come from Y. A lot of novice lifters get caught up in all the little doodads that surround lifting and forget to worry about the training first. As Chris said, the lifting will provide so much benefit solely on its own. Creatine is a supplement to aid advanced lifters in surpassing plateaus. Advanced being a key word here.

You also have to think about the time it takes to learn proper form in the squat, deadlift, clean, snatch, jerk, etc, before you can ever consider adding weight to them. Taking creatine during this transitional period would just be a waste.

It seems like you guys are pretty anti-creatine.  Why would you wait to plateau before taking it, that doesn't seem like a very efficient use of time and effort.  The creatine could help him make gains faster, and have better recovery.  I'm not saying he should take it right now but even after a few months of a consistent diet+lifting schedule I would say he would be ready.  Again Chris I don't think its necessary to plateau with body weight before moving up, i think they would supplement each other pretty well.

Well its not that simple.

Most gains in performance are not related to muscle physiology -- something like 90% of the gains you see in strength  are based on neurological adaptations.  Any adaptation to the muscle (increased cross sectional area, increased Creatine concentration, etc) will help, but not very much since only 10% of these gains are actually due to the gains in muscle.

In other words, but upping creatine you will see an increase in performance that is due to the musculature adaptation -- not neurological.  First the body needs to learn how to activate motor units properly through high intensity training.  Once the body learns how to do this (after a year or 2 or training) then the adaptations to muscles are much more impactful .... lets say 50% of the increase in performance.  That is why the gains in performance are seen much slower in advanced athletes -- they are programmed very well already and need to focus on increasing muscle adaptations which is why a hypertrophy program with isolation movements as well as supplementing with things like creatine [and anabolic steroids] becomes much more useful

It is not that I am anti-creatine...for people at the level that Will is at (and most people here) their gains are still going to be mostly neurological.  Its a very small return on your investment of time, money and energy into taking the supplement. I think focusing on weight training with bodyweight skills would be great but most people don't like to hear that...thats why I threw it out as a recommendation after plateauing with bodyweight.

Offline Sat Santokh

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #46 on: February 25, 2009, 12:13:29 PM »
Sorry that post must have come off a little harsh judging by the responses.  Obviously I respect the opinion of you two greatly maybe i just didn't fully understand what you guys were getting at.  I think that after 6 months of a consistent lifting program with tons of heavy compound lifts you would see some good results from taking creatine.

Offline tombb

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #47 on: February 25, 2009, 02:43:18 PM »
Something to point out is that Creatine can indirectly affect neurological adaptations, just by virtue of improving your performance and endurance during training. It depends of course but on average that's an added advantage and can result in a bigger % improvement from creatine. 

Also as Chris mentioned beginners will usually have a much larger potential for strength increase from neurological adaptations, but that only goes up to a point, so for example you might be able to increase by even say 5-10lbs each week because there is a lot of room for neurological and energy adaptations, but eventually you reach a plateau of your actual near-max muscle capacity and get to much slower increases at which point you are mostly making improvements through actual muscle growth and muscle cell adaptations. Even for beginners that point can be reached in relatively few months with the proper training.

Finally, while the word 'supplementation' often seem to makes people want to say 'unnecessary' as an automatic response, just think of it in terms of nutrition. From our previous conversations for example, Chris appears to consume a very large amount of meat. That's not the case for everybody, especially for people on a diet or more conventional diets (which might include also dairy, eggs, etc, all of which don't contain it).
While it could be argued that meat can provide protein at acceptable prices (me and Chris already had this discussion in another thread), the same -can't- be said for creatine, just because Creatine supplements are sooooooo much cheaper compared to the amount you get in meat.
So, if you eat tons of meat all the times like Chris, maybe you'll still do ok without creatine supplementation, but in general I think it's a good idea to add at least some amount of creatine for the same reason you might want to include a multivitamin to your diet, it's super-cheap, no real side effect for a little extra and can only help out, and most people's diets tend to not be perfect especially compared to the increased need under intense training.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #48 on: February 25, 2009, 06:56:29 PM »
Sorry that post must have come off a little harsh judging by the responses.

Meh, I didn't take it to heart :P  Differing opinions, imho, are healthy for progress...

...but in general I think it's a good idea to add at least some amount of creatine for the same reason you might want to include a multivitamin to your diet, it's super-cheap, no real side effect for a little extra and can only help out, and most people's diets tend to not be perfect especially compared to the increased need under intense training.


Well, I don't think creatine should be nearly as important as some trainees are making it out to be...supplementing too soon can have a really negative effect on the psyche.

Like we both said, the side effects are almost non-existent and compared to other supplements and its pretty cheap -- but there is little reason to start a supplement that needs to be sustained perpetually for a minor increase in performance, at best.

The novice level can last up to a year for some people -- seeing as I know Will, and have a general idea of his ability/level, he could be a novice on bodyweight only for 3-6 months and a novice lifter for another 6-9 months or so...and probably an intermediate lifter (making weekly jumps of 5# or so on core lifts) for another 9 months, at least.  That's 18-24 months where supplementation is not necessary, in my opinion.

Opinions vary and you certainly won't see a drawback of supplementing with creatine....but you [Will] won't want to keep it up forever, most likely...considering you are ~16-18 years old and probably plan to live until you are at least 70 then thats 52 years of buying and taking creatine :P  I think it would be best to hold off on burning yourself out of a supplement until you need it. 

I would be more inclined to recommend that you supplement ZMA before creatine...but thats me.  You can only do what you think is right :)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 06:59:20 PM by Chris Salvato »

Offline Will James

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #49 on: March 01, 2009, 07:05:39 PM »
Hey guys thank you so much for your help. I'm slowly moving into weight training now after a long time doing bodyweight stuff...I think I'm going to start weight training for a couple months and see where that gets me. If I'm still not satisfied with my gains I'll try ZMA, like you said Chris (I just finished researching it). I might start taking Creatine later this year or early next year...All that matters right now is that I get on a solid weight training program and utilizing as many of those techniques you said I should, Chris. I'm at a plateau right now in my training and need to break through it.

Thanks so much guys!
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Offline Will James

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #50 on: March 01, 2009, 07:12:51 PM »
Ooh I just read that ZMA contains 'aspertate...' does this have any relation to the chemical aspertamine?
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Offline Sat Santokh

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #51 on: March 01, 2009, 10:37:02 PM »
Ooh I just read that ZMA contains 'aspertate...' does this have any relation to the chemical aspertamine?

If I'm not mistaken aspertate just acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain that reduces fatigue symptoms, may be wrong though.

Offline tombb

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #52 on: March 02, 2009, 12:31:18 AM »
Ooh I just read that ZMA contains 'aspertate...' does this have any relation to the chemical aspertamine?
It does not contain aspErtate, it is zinc and magnesium aspArtate.

L-Aspartate is one of the non-essential aminoacids (so normal stuff you find in food) and is also sometimes called asparagine.

Similarly, aspertamine doesn't mean anything in English or biochemistry. I am assuming you mean Aspartame, which is a food sweetener. Aspartame is a chemically modified version of that same aminoacid so technically yes they are related that way, but not in any way that has any meaningful consequence.

The main reason for this zinc and magnesium aspartate thing is that they are in a form that seems better absorbed compared to the usual chelated form and that together with the extra vitamin B6 seems to produce much better results in terms of helping production of hormones like testosterone and IGF-1.

Offline Will James

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Re: Creatine
« Reply #53 on: March 03, 2009, 06:04:16 PM »
Ok thanks man. This is the part of the forum that I need to frequent more, as I'm learning a lot about the 'behind the scenes' stuff of my training just by reading all these posts. Thanks for correcting me, I didn't really have time to look up the exact spelling of anything, but I wanted to confirm it wouldn't harm me.  8)
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