Thursday, December 15, 2011

Adelfo Cerame - Road to The Wheelchair Nationals '12: Three Basic Tweaks to Rid Yourself of Nasty Body Water. Plus: Three New Purus Labs Supps in My Stash!

Image 1: More often than not it's simply water that is keeping you from achieving the physique of your dreams. A profound morning vs. evening difference is characteristic of water, not fat being the last hurdle.
I don't know about you, but for me Thursday has become one of my favorite days, here at the SuppVersity. Not only can I take the seat of the almighty editor-in-chief and let other people do the work for me, I also get to read an interesting and enlightening blogpost on my own blog - sounds good, hah? Specifically, if - just like today - the topic your author blogs about is one that is actually dear and near to your heart... and I can tell you retaining superfluous and unattractive body water in the lower abdomen area is something I have involuntarily become an expert in. Hitherto, I have yet not found a way to keep the vein that is showing on my lower abs in the morning "in place" for the whole day. It appears the "water pressure" is just too high ;-) All jokes aside, if you are just about as curious if Adelfo has found the solution to this nasty problem, I guess I will not keep you in suspense any longer and hand over to the pro...

Test, test, test, ... 1, 2, 3, ... how lean can I possibly be?

You think you could use some advice on your own training, diet and supplementation regimen and want it from someone who obviously knows what it takes to build muscle and lose fat? You can reach out to Adelfo via Facebook.
Basically 11 more days till my 12-week mark and I decided to treat Christmas day like it would be the big day of the show. It's going to be a test run of how I would approach the real thing! Practice makes perfect! Just like practicing for a big football or basketball game you must practice to prepare for the stage! I practice my posing and posing routines… and yes this means flexing your muscles in front of the mirror like a total douchebag! Well I guess it’s only douchebag- esque, if you do it at your local gym where you can be seen by other gym goers. So for me, I just find a private place where it’s just me, myself and I and get going. Posing will also help get your physique harder and may even help flush out the subcutaneous water in between your skin and muscle. The obvious benefits of being able to perform better on the stage aside, there is thus also a direct physical benefit, even those of you who are not competing will appreciate. Another thing I will have to play around with in the next two weeks are my re-feeds. I need to figure out how to time them in order to "peak", i.e. to be in the best shape possible, right before the show. In that, looking my best, means being the leanest, the driest and fullest, I can look after a reefed.

Hydration, dehydration, superhydration and simple bloating

One of the nastiest problems with peaking right at a bodybuilding show relates to the issue of water rentention. You obviously have to get rid of all subcutaneous water, to show off what Samir Bannout aptly labeled your "onion skin"... or to put it more simply, be the most "shredded" guy on stage. That being said, I have in the past often had issues with the water in my lower abdomen and my sides. The "bloating" in these problem areas usually goes away in the last month or weeks of my prep. And while time obviously is a major factor, here, I have hitherto found that cutting back the variety of my diet and sticking to meat and low- to no-starch veggies like cucumbers, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, and zucchini is a surefire (and actually the only) way to get rid of these last milliliters of water. For this ends, even my beloved full-fat dairy products (milk, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, cheeses) will have to disappear from my meal plan.
Image 2: Recent picture showing me holding some excess subcutaneous water in my lower abs (left). Picture from a competition in 2009 showing me with minimal to no water in my lower abdomen (right).
As you can see in the picture on the left hand side (image 2, left), I am holding WAY too much water for my liking. The picture on the right goes to show you what my personal benchmark is looking like (image 2, right)! I do yet hope to be able to outdo my own '09 form and go into the 2012 Wheelchair Nationals with what the bros would probably call a "sick" & "disgustingly conditioned" midsection ;-)

Three bullet proof tweaks to lessen the water-load

And though I hope not to have to resort to any tricks to get stage ready, I am planning to use the time to the 12-week mark to experiment with a few tweaks which will accelerate contemporary water loss and will enable me to lay out an appropriate strategy for the day(s) right before the contest:
  • Stick to mainly lean meats (like chicken breast, tilapia and grass-fed beef) and light filling, low calorie, low carb, alkaline veggies like cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage, and zucchinis. Once I cut the starchy carbs completely, I start to notice my physique get leaner and grainier.
  • Drink lots of water! I usually pound like 2 gallons/day leading up to the big day. Drinking lots of water and keeping a steady amount flowing through you, the whole day, will help you flush out that unwanted water.
  • Drink some green tea everyday. Green tea also helps with expelling excess water - and, if you have been following the SuppVersity news, this week, you will also know that it can actually help you lose weight or at least stave off the potential holiday weight gain.
  • Image 4: The recipes are getting simpler, during the test run: Lean meat + no-starch veggie = Lean and mean physique and constantly lowered water retention... no dairy, no peanut butter, no... well, you know ;-)
    Have a carb load/re-feed day. A re-feed day, not cheat day! There’s somewhat of a difference… a cheat day implies that you eat whatever the f#ck you want from a combination of carbs and grease! This would obviously replenish your glycogen stores, but it’s a bit uncontrolled because of the excess fat that you are most likely taking in as well, when you "cheat" like that. A re-feed is where you are replenishing your glycogen stores, so you want to mainly focus on carbs, while you keep fat intake minimal and protein intake moderate to the same. Re-feeds help with getting rid of water because carbs draw in water. And on re-feeds, when you’re lean enough and glycogen is depleted (from long periods of low-carb dieting), your muscles will scavenge and fight for every carb you put in your body to refill glycogen stores (muscle stores) and at the same time, the excess subcutaneous water left in the body will piggy back on the carbohydrates and into the muscles… Well at least that’s what I think. Lol! 
Although these three "tricks" sound pretty basic (which in fact they are), they have helped me time and again in my preps to achieve that bone-dry physique.  

But remember: These are only temporary, NOT permanent fixes. These little schemes will not help you lose weight or get lean. They will just help enhances your physique when you already have at a certain degree of body fat percentage and leanness. Shortcuts and quick fixes don’t get you the physique you want! Dedication, consistency, & balance do.

Exciting new and reliable staples in my supplement arsenal

Via Dr. Andro's contacts on the Mind & Muscle Forum, I got in contact with the guys from Purus Labs, who have been on the look out for people to test some of their newest products. All I have to do is to run an honest log and track my progress with how I am getting along with their products - sounds fair to me, especially because I think that the combination of D-Pol, Recycle and Slinshot will make a good addition to my regimen.
  • D-Pol (D-aspartic acid):

    Image 3: Slinshot, Recycle and D-Pol by Purus Labs are the latest generously sponsored additions to my supplement regimen.
    When and how
    ? Will be taken early in the morning on an empty stomach to avoid competition with other amino acids for absorption.

    For what purpose? With its proven effects LH secretion, the d-aspartic acid will hopefully help increasing my testosterone levels, which can obviously take a beating whenever you are dieting, because your body is trying to preserve body fat, so it shuts all other systems down in order to tend to more important matters like starvation.
  • Recycle (natural test booster):  

    When and how
    ? Will be taken in the afternoon & evening, one serving pre-workout and another serving later in the evening. 

    For what purpose
    ? Recycle appears to be a good match for the d-aspartic acid in D-Pol, as it helps increase testosterone via a different pathway and will keep the aromatization into estrogen at bay and help reduce SHBG and thusly "free" the otherwise bound (additional) testosterone of their carrier protein. And though, I have not felt any low test-issues ever since I began intermittent fasting, I am hoping that the addition of the test booster will help with maintaining more of  my strength.
  • Slinshot (glucose uptake promoter)

    When and how
    ? Will be taken during my carb loads/ re-feed days with my biggest carbohydrate meals

    For what purpose
    ? I hope that it will help shuttle the carbs into the muscle more readily, especially on the non-post-workout meals, when the glucose-uptake sensitizing effect of my workout abates.
Since I just started running these supplements on Tuesday, I obviously cannot really say anything about their efficacy till next Thursday, but as you will remember I started two other supps in the post Thanksgiving week and promised to let you know how things are going. Remember their names? Liquid Clenbutrx & Anadraulic State?
  • Image 4: The best fat burner is useless if you have not dialed in your diet.
    Clenbutrx: So far the only significant thing I’m noticing is the shitty taste and the awesome energy it gives me throughout the day! As for increasing my metabolism and fat loss… eeeehhhhh maybe! I mean I don’t doubt that I’m probably burning an extra 100-200 calories by taking this stuff, just like all fat burners do, but I just don’t notice anything significant to say otherwise. Plus it’s very difficult to differentiate what’s doing what? Is it the fat burner? Or the IF diet? A combo of both? Who knows? I mean I’ve already seen what an IF diet can do on it’s own without a fat burner. But I have yet to see what a fat burner can do on its own without a diet… something to think about there aye?... I should be done in 2 weeks so I’ll give the final verdict on this stuff when it’s
  • Anadraulic state: I’d have to say it’s working! My bench press is increasing little by little with every training session. My body feels and looks fuller and I have been getting really good pumps at the gym. This stuff is keeping me strong while I diet down, and I have also become accustomed to the taste. It’s really starting to taste like strawberry lemonade! Lol.
Assuming that the combination of those five is not going to kill me within the coming week, you will get an update on my (hopefully) "supplementally enhanced" progress next Thursday. For the time being, I would yet like to remind everyone that no supplement is going to save you, when you have not got the basics right and those were, are and will always be training and nutrition. So, if you have not already gotten those straight today, it's about time for you to either cook or get to the gym, now ;-)