Combinations that Work: HMB & Isometric Training for Lean Mass, Creatine & Powerlifting for Leaning Out and Carnitine & Bodybuilding for Powerlifting?
|Image 1: Jacek Spychala - I must admit, I don't know if he was one of the subjects, but 38 of his colleagues from the Polish National Powerlifting Team were (powerlifting.pl)
Kruszewski recruited recruited a total of 170 (! that alone is noteworthy !) subjects who participated in a three-tier placebo-controlled study on the effects dietary supplementation of l-carnitine, creatine and HMB combined with different modes of strength training (bodybuilding type circuit training, powerlifting and isometric training) had on muscle strength, lifting performance and body composition (for a graphical overview of the study design see figure 1).
|Figure 1: Graphical illustration of the three tiers (l-carnitine, creatine, HMB), general information and detailed information on the exact exercise protocol of the isometric workout of the HMB group
2g HMB + isometric training for lean muscle gains!
|Image 2: HMB is getting
Although this type of supplementation [HMB] was used in the group of subjects who trained using the isometric method, regarded as a training system not associated with increases in lean body mass (LBM), the obtained results indicate that HMB may also affect LBM. In view of the fact that LBM involves mainly muscles containing about 70% water, the demonstrated significant elevation of LBM accompanied by the reduced water content in the bodies of the examined competitors is difficult to explain.Now, I've got you listening my iron-friends, don't I? Increased lean mass (+1.31kg), decreased (as the author points out, later) "presumably extracellular" water - sounds like it was coming from a competitive bodybuilder's "dry dreams", doesn't it? Well, the one thing that would be missing now, is a way to get rid of the fat - but wait, weren't there other supplements in the study, as well?
10g Creatine (+10g dextrose) + powerlifting for fat loss!
|Image 3: Creatine monohydrate
for fat loss? That's a surprise.
[...] the present results indicate that supplementation with this compound [creatine] led to a significant reduction in the fat content and increase in the water content of the organisms of powerlifters from the Polish National Team.In view of the results, the author observed in the last group, the one which did a bodybuilding-type circuit training that was supplemented with 900mg of l-carnitine l-tartrate per day (cf. figure 1), I find it pretty amusing that according to Kruszwski the "effect of creatine may be much more far-reaching than that indicated in the manufacturers’ leaflets", which is something, he certainly would not say of l-carnitine.
900mg l-carnitine l-tartrate + "bodybuilding-type" circuit training for powerlifting?
|Image 4: L-carnitine alone will not transform your physique like this magic mirror - no matter what the advertisement leaflet in the latest muscle mag says ;-)
[...i]t is possible that individuals with inherited or acquired L-carnitine deficiency manifested by increased deposition of fat in the body may benefit from such supplementation and improve their body composition by consuming appropriate amounts of this substance accompanied by proper (predominantly aerobic) exercising. However, additional L-carnitine supplementation in individuals with normal production and concentration of this substance in the body is superfluous.On the other hand, Kruszewski admits that despite the absence of significant improvements in muscle torque, the powerlifting performance of the subjects in the l-carnitine group increased statistically significantly more than the one in the placebo group (+13.7kg) which is ...
surprising in view of the fact that such an effect [increase in powerlifting performance] of L-carnitine has very rarely been reported and emphasized.He goes on to suggest that these improvements may be related to l-carnitines impact "on the general physical fitness of the organism". Yet, whatever the reasons may be - out of this triumvirate, l-carnitine would certainly be the least effective addition to your regimen - whatever your goals may be.
Isometric training and HMB supplementation, on the other hand, emerge as as surprise winner. With statistically significant (+17.7kg) increases in power-lifting performance, significant increases in muscle torque, and a +1,31kg increase in body mass (predominantly lean muscle) that was accompanied by a likewise significant reduction in extracellular water, it may be a good idea to take advantage of the falling HMB prices (buy in bulk!) and to incorporate some isometric exercises into your workout regimen ... what do you say?