focus has been on preparing athletes for the USA Junior National Gymnastics Team. Sommer: That their training is comprised almost entirely out of bodyweight exercises. Sommer: Gymnastics training does indeed build incredible strength. It happens every four years. Bodybuilders and fitness buffs around the world marvel at the physiques of the male gymnasts competing in the Olympics. Hi Coach, I read the above article on T-Nation - excellent read! However, you mention in the article that the biceps are developed by "straight.
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Download link: Download All muscle no iron christopher sommer torrents download pdf, epub ddl, reviews, ebook pdf,, mobi, true story, pdf. All Muscle No Iron Pdf -> DOWNLOAD. Hi,. I want to download all of Coach Sommer's Books: Building the Gymnastic Body. All muscle, No Iron. Liquid Steel™. The Handstand Chronicles.
I've heard stories that these athletes can lift a surprising amount of weight in the deadlift and other lifts, even though they never train these lifts. Is that true? And if it is, how's that possible? Sommer: Gymnastics training does indeed build incredible strength. One of my students, JJ Gregory, far exceeded my own modest accomplishments. On his first day of high school weight lifting, JJ pulled a nearly triple bodyweight deadlift with pounds at a bodyweight of and about 53" in height.
On another day, he also did an easy weighted chin with 75 pounds, and certainly looked as though he could've done quite a bit more. Well never know for sure because the cheap belt I was using at the time snapped. Why gymnastics training results in such high levels of strength is still unclear. My personal opinion is that the secret lies in the plyometric nature of the movements. In a way this reminds me of the results experienced by Adam Archuleta, with the exception that we're using bodyweight variations combined with straight arm work to obtain our results.
T-Nation: Most of the top male gymnasts are fairly light aren't they?
With all that muscle you'd think they'd weigh more. Can a hopeful gymnast get "too big" for the sport? Sommer: Absolutely. World class performance is always easier to achieve with the correct phenotype. For example, most jumpers in track and field tend to be taller, while the marathon runners, for the most part, are smaller and lighter. There are exceptions to be found in almost all sports. Frances Dmitry Karbanenko is a "giant" in gymnastics 58", pounds and unbelievably thick and muscular , yet he's one of the finest gymnasts in the world.
Mugsy Bogues was only 52" and played in the NBA, but we all know that those exceptions are few and far between.
This isn't a cause for despair though. Remember that the importance of having a particular body type applies to world class athletes and world class performance levels. For the fitness enthusiast and the recreational athlete, gymnastics conditioning can be of huge benefit to everyone, regardless of their size or shape. T-Nation: I've added a little gymnastics training into my personal program, but honestly, is there really any hope for an adult who wants to have a build similar to these guys?
I mean, is it possible with normal genetics?
And is it possible for someone who didn't start doing this stuff at age four? Sommer: Many weightlifters of the s and 50s the old Muscle Beach days believed that a combination of weight lifting and gymnastics training was required to build the ultimate physique. One of the most famous of those trainees is Jack LaLanne, a name that all of your readers should be familiar with. Jack LaLanne in the s Many know of his reputation for incredible strength endurance records; for example, he performed pullups and push-ups in one hour and twenty three minutes!
What they may not know is that Mr. LaLanne was also an accomplished gymnast and didnt begin setting his amazing records until he was 43 years old and continued until well into his 70s.
Also, the legendary rock climber John Gill credits his strength training on the rings for his boundary-breaking strength in the world of rock climbing. Interestingly, Mr. Gill didn't begin training on the still rings until his freshman year in college; yet in only two years he was doing crosses, levers and butterflies a straight arm pullup. In fact, Gill became so strong that he could perform seven consecutive pull-ups with his right arm and five with his left.
Yet remember, he didnt begin any organized athletic training until a young man in college. John Gill performing a one arm front lever in the s T-Nation: Let's say a person reading this wants to begin to do just a little of what these guys do.
You say to start out with the "frog" exercise. What is that and why should we ironheads be doing it? Sommer: The frog stand is an introductory step in developing a planche, which is one of the gymnastic static positions.
Basically a planche is a push-up position that's held with the feet off the floor. Think of it as doing a bodyweight bench press on a stability ball with your feet in the air and then multiply that by three.
Josh West performing the frog stand These static holds, in disadvantaged leverage positions and performing dynamic movements into and out of these positions, are the secret to developing the enormous strength of world class gymnasts. Also, these types of exercises have a strong place in the history of U.
First of all, it's important to understand that "iron" is simply one of a variety of tools available for athletics training. Olympic Lifting, this was common practice. The great John Grimek could perform splits, handstands and back walkovers. If you're only training to look good, then how athletic you are is of no importance.
However, if you'd like to look good and be athletically functional, then you need more than just size and strength. Strength without balance, agility, coordination and explosiveness is strength that's athletically unusable. Integrating these types of exercises into your current workout will help to turn a strength athlete into more of an all around athlete.
T-Nation: You mentioned the planche and you've also written about the front lever. Give us the scoop on those please. Sommer: They're a lot of fun to work, require no specialized equipment and yet give enormous returns in strength. Basically these two exercises promote extreme strength and stability throughout the shoulder girdle both anteriorly and posteriorly.
Beginning the straddle planche push-up Middle of the straddle planche push-up. Notice that only his hands are touching the ground. Finishing the straddle planche push-up Straddle front lever As for their effectiveness, I've seen many gymnasts capable of planche push-ups do double bodyweight bench presses on their first attempts. Conversely, I've never seen a weightlifter capable of doing a double bodyweight bench press even come close to a planche push-up initially.
T-Nation: That's amazing. What's the secret of building substantial strength using these bodyweight exercises? Sommer: The secret is to continually progress to harder and more difficult variations of the exercises. The problem with this is that, outside of a small community, most people have no idea how to even begin training these exercises.
Then once these are mastered they don't have access to the more advanced exercises. Most people would be stunned at the enormous variety of bodyweight exercises which are available. For example, my athletes have access to over fifteen different varieties of dips, and that's just on the parallel bars. We have a very fine former collegiate football player 65", in our facility who's young, in shape, has benched pounds and looks as though he power cleans the entire gym, yet he struggled with only 45 pounds on one of my parallel bar weighted push-up variations.
One of my little guys weighing only 65 pounds also did 45 on this very same exercise! This same athlete also struggled for about 45 minutes trying to complete just a single rep of one of my medium level bodyweight dips! And remember, that this young man is a very fine athlete in excellent condition. T-Nation: Interesting. You once wrote that for maximum improvements, training to failure isn't necessary, but maximum contraction is.
Furthermore, an increase from base line of The second greatest ES was on the weight lifted at 0. This would indicate that creatine supplementation might be useful to attenuate fatigue symptoms over multiple bouts of high-intensity, short duration exercise. The specific aspects of anaerobic endurance performance improved by creatine supplementation were work and power, both of which had a mean ES greater than 0.
Effects of creatine supplementation on skeletal muscle hypertrophy Cribb et al [ 29 ] observed greater improvements on 1RM, lean body mass, fiber cross sectional area and contractile protein in trained young males when resistance training was combined with a multi-nutrient supplement containing 0.
These findings were novel because at the time no other research had noted such improvements in body composition at the cellular and sub cellular level in resistance trained participants supplementing with creatine. The authors speculated that creatine in addition to a single bout of resistance training can favor an anabolic environment by inducing changes in gene expression after only 5 days of supplementation.
When creatine supplementation is combined with heavy resistance training, muscle insulin like growth factor IGF-1 concentration has been shown to increase. Burke et al [ 2 ] examined the effects of an 8 week heavy resistance training protocol combined with a 7 day creatine loading protocol 0.
Additionally, vegetarians within the supplemented group had the largest increase of lean mass compared to non vegetarian 2.
Changes in lean mass were positively correlated to the modifications in intramuscular total creatine stores which were also correlated with the modified levels of intramuscular IGF The authors suggested that the rise in muscle IGF-1 content in the creatine group could be due to the higher metabolic demand created by a more intensely performed training session. These amplifying effects could be caused by the increased total creatine store in working muscles.
Even though vegetarians had a greater increase in high energy phosphate content, the IGF-1 levels were similar to the amount observed in the non vegetarian groups. These findings do not support the observed correlation pattern by which a low essential amino acid content of a typical vegetarian diet should reduce IGF-1 production [ 33 ].
According to authors opinions it is possible that the addition of creatine and subsequent increase in total creatine and phosphocreatine storage might have directly or indirectly stimulated production of muscle IGF-I and muscle protein synthesis, leading to an increased muscle hypertrophy [ 2 ]. Effects of creatine supplementation on predominantly aerobic exercise Although creatine supplementation has been shown to be more effective on predominantly anaerobic intermittent exercise, there is some evidence of its positive effects on endurance activities.
Branch [ 28 ] highlights that endurance activities lasting more than s rely on oxidative phosphorylation as primary energy system supplier. From this meta analysis [ 28 ], it would appear that the ergogenic potential for creatine supplementation on predominantly aerobic endurance exercise diminishes as the duration of the activity increases over s.
However it is suggested that creatine supplementation may cause a change in substrate utilization during aerobic activity possibly leading to an increase in steady state endurance performance. However, the effects of creatine supplementation on endurance performance have been questioned by some studies. Graef et al [ 35 ] examined the effects of four weeks of creatine citrate supplementation and high-intensity interval training on cardio respiratory fitness. A greater increase of the ventilatory threshold was observed in the creatine group respect to placebo; however, oxygen consumption showed no significant differences between the groups.
The total work presented no interaction and no main effect for time for any of the groups. In addition, of the concern related to the dosage used in these studies, it could be possible that the potential benefits of creatine supplementation on endurance performance were more related to effects of anaerobic threshold localization.
Effects of creatine supplementation on glycogen stores It is suggested [ 16 , 37 ] that another mechanism for the effect of creatine could be enhanced muscle glycogen accumulation and GLUT4 expression, when creatine supplementation is combined with a glycogen depleting exercise. Whereas it has been observed [ 38 ] that creatine supplementation alone does not enhance muscle glycogen storage.
Hickner et al [ 15 ] observed positive effects of creatine supplementation for enhancing initial and maintaining a higher level of muscle glycogen during 2 hours of cycling. In general, it is accepted that glycogen depleting exercises, such as high intensity or long duration exercise should combine high carbohydrate diets with creatine supplementation to achieve heightened muscle glycogen stores [ 39 ].
Effects of creatine ingestion to improve recovery from injury, muscle damage and oxidative stress induced by exercise Creatine supplementation may also be of benefit to injured athletes. Cooke et al [ 41 ] observed positive effects of a prior 0. The authors speculate that creatine ingestion prior to exercise may enhance calcium buffering capacity of the muscle and reduce calcium-activated proteases which in turn minimize sarcolemma and further influxes of calcium into the muscle.
In addition creatine ingestion post exercise would enhance regenerative responses, favoring a more anabolic environment to avoid severe muscle damage and improve the recovery process. In addition, in vitro studies have demonstrated the antioxidant effects of creatine to remove superoxide anion radicals and peroxinitrite radicals [ 42 ].
This antioxidant effect of creatine has been associated with the presence of Arginine in its molecule. Arginine is also a substrate for nitric oxide synthesis and can increase the production of nitric oxide which has higher vasodilatation properties, and acts as a free radical that modulates metabolism, contractibility and glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. Other amino acids contained in the creatine molecule such as glycine and methinine may be especially susceptible to free radical oxidation because of sulfhydryl groups [ 42 ].
A more recent in vitro study showed that creatine exerts direct antioxidant activity via a scavenging mechanism in oxidatively injured cultured mammalian cells [ 43 ]. In a recent in vivo study Rhaini et al [ 44 ] showed a positive effect of 7 days of creatine supplementation 4 x 5 g CM 20 g total on 27 recreational resistance trained males to attenuate the oxidation of DNA and lipid peroxidation after a strenuous resistance training protocol.
Collectively the above investigations indicate that creatine supplementation can be an effective strategy to maintain total creatine pool during a rehabilitation period after injury as well as to attenuate muscle damage induced by a prolonged endurance training session.
In addition, it seems that creatine can act as an effective antioxidant agent after more intense resistance training sessions. There are two possible theories to explain these effects: 1 Creatine supplementation increases intracellular water content resulting in increased muscle stiffness and resistance to stretch; 2 Neural outflow from the muscle spindles is affected due to an increased volume of the muscle cell.
The authors highlight that the active ROM measures were taken immediately after the loading phase and the reduced active ROM may not be seen after several weeks of maintenance phase [ 45 ].
Hile et al [ 46 ] observed an increase in compartment pressure in the anterior compartment of the lower leg, which may also have been responsible for a reduced active ROM. Documented effects of creatine supplementation for health and clinical setting Neurological and cognitive function has also been shown to be improved by creatine supplementation [ 47 , 48 ].
Rawson and Venezia [ 49 ] review the effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive function highlighting that higher brain creatine has been associated with improved neuropsychological performance.
Creatine supplementation protocols have been shown to increase brain creatine and phosphocreatine contents. Cognitive processing hindered due to sleep deprivation and natural impairment due to aging can be improved by creatine supplementation. This review also highlights other possible benefits of creatine ingestion to older adults, such as improvements in: fatigue resistance, strength, muscle mass, bone mineral density, and performance of activities of daily living.
Some of these benefits occur without concurrent exercise. However, the ideal dose of creatine to maximize brain uptake is not known. Patients have been supplemented with 40 g while in healthy adults positive results have been reported with around 20 g per day [ 49 ]. Studies with animal and cellular models demonstrated positive effect of creatine ingestion on neurodegenerative diseases.
These effects have been attributed to improved overall cellular bioenergetics due to an expansion of the phosphocreatine pool [ 50 ]. Creatine deficiency syndromes, due to deficiency of glycine amidinotransferase and guanidinoacetate methyltransferase, can cause decreases or complete absence of creatine in the central nervous system.
Syndromes of this nature have the possibility to be improved by supplementing orally with creatine. Brain creatine deficiency resulting from ineffective crea T1 has been shown not to be effectively treated with oral creatine supplementation [ 51 ]. Additionally, oral creatine administration in patients with myopathies has shown conflicting results depending on the type of myopathy and creatine transport systems disorders [ 4 ]. In a report [ 52 ] conducted on pupils from middle and high school aged 10 — 18 in Westchester County USA 62 of the pupils surveyed were using creatine.
The authors found this concerning for 2 main reasons: firstly, the safety of creatine supplementation is not established for this age group and is therefore not recommended. Secondly, it was speculated that taking creatine would lead on to more dangerous performance enhancing products such as anabolic steroids.
It is important to point out that this potential escalation is speculation. Furthermore, a questionnaire was used to determine creatine use amongst this age group and does not necessarily reflect the truth.
Due to this, creatine supplementation may benefit the rate and use of creatine phosphate and ATP rephosporylation. However, performance in short duration high-intensity exercise can be improved through training therefore supplementation may not be necessary [ 54 ].
Based on the limited data on performance and safety, some authors have not identified any conclusions and do not recommend its consumption in regards to creatine supplementation in children and adolescents [ 52 , 54 ].
Other supplementation protocols are also used such as a daily single dose of around 3 — 6 g or between 0. This enhancement in creatine retention would lead to a significantly higher weight gain when people follow a moderate protocol ingestion of several doses of small amounts of CM evenly spread along the day.
Responders vs. The supplement group was asked to ingest a loading dosage of 0. Overall, the supplemented group showed a mean increase in total resting muscle creatine and phosphocreatine of However when looking at individual cases from the creatine group the results showed a variance in response.
From the 11 males in the supplemented group, 3 participants were responders mean increase of Using muscle biopsies of the vastus lateralis, a descending trend for groups and mean percentage fiber type was observed. Responders showed the greatest percentage of type II fibers followed by quasi responders and non-responders. The responder and quasi responder groups had an initial larger cross sectional area for type I, type IIa and type IIx fibers.
There was evidence of a descending trend for responders to have the highest percentage of type II fibers; furthermore, responders and quasi responders possessed the largest initial cross sectional area of type I, IIa and IIx fibers. Responders were seen to have the lowest initial levels of creatine and phosphocreatine. This would indicate a limit maximum size of the creatine pool.
In summary responders are those individuals with a lower initial level of total muscle creatine content, greater population of type II fibers and possess higher potential to improve performance in response to creatine supplementation.
Commercially available forms of creatine There are several different available forms of creatine: creatine anhydrous which is creatine with the water molecule removed in order to increase the concentration of creatine to a greater amount than that found in CM. Creatine has been manufactured in salt form: creatine pyruvate, creatine citrate, creatine malate, creatine phosphate, magnesium creatine, creatine oroate, Kre Alkalyn creatine with baking soda.
Creatine can also be manufactured in an ester form. Creatine ethyl ester hydrochloride is an example of this, as is creatine gluconate which is creatine bound to glucose. Another form is creatine effervescent which is creatine citrate or CM with citric acid and bicarbonate. The citric acid and bicarbonate react to produce an effervescent effect. When mixed with water the creatine separates from its carrier leaving a neutrally charged creatine, allowing it to dissolve to a higher degree in water.
Manufacturers claim that creatine effervescent has a longer and more stable life in solution. When di-creatine citrate effervescent was studied [ 59 ] for stability in solution it was found that the di-creatine citrate dissociates to citric acid and creatine in aqueous solutions which in turn forms CM and eventually crystallises out of the solution due to its low solubility.
Some of the creatine may also convert to creatinine. Jager et al [ 60 ] observed 1. However time to peak concentration, and velocity constants of absorption and elimination, was the same for all three forms of creatine.
Although not measured in this study it is questionable that these small differences in plasma creatine concentrations would have any effect on the increase of muscle creatine uptake. The authors used a daily dose protocol with the intention to slowly saturate muscle creatine stores. Both forms of creatine showed slightly different effects on plasma creatine absorption and kinetics. The two creatine salts significantly increased mean power but only pyruvate forms showed significant effects for increasing force and attenuating fatigability during all intervals.
These effects can be attributed to an enhanced contraction and relaxation velocity as well as a higher blood flow and muscle oxygen uptake. On the other hand, the power performance measured with the citrate forms decreases with time and improvements were not significant during the later intervals. In spite of these positive trends further research is required about the effects of these forms of creatine as there is little or no evidence for their safety and efficacy.
Furthermore the regularity status of the novel forms of creatine vary from country to country and are often found to be unclear when compared to that of CM [ 62 ]. In summary, creatine salts have been show to be less stable than CM.
However the addition of carbohydrates could increase their stability [ 62 ]. The potential advantages of creatine salts over CM include enhanced aqueous solubility and bioavailability which would reduce their possible gastrointestinal adverse effects [ 63 ]. The possibility for new additional formulation such as tablets or capsules is interesting for its therapeutic application due to its attributed better dissolution kinetics and oral absorption compared to CM [ 63 ]. Creatine is a hydrophilic polar molecule that consists of a negatively charged carboxyl group and a positively charged functional group [ 64 ].
The hydrophilic nature of creatine limits its bioavailability [ 65 ]. In an attempt to increase creatines bioavailability creatine has been esterified to reduce the hydrophilicity; this product is known as creatine ethyl ester. Manufacturers of creatine ethyl ester promote their product as being able to by-pass the creatine transporter due to improved sarcolemmal permeability toward creatine [ 65 ].
Spillane et al [ 65 ] analyzed the effects of a 5 days loading protocol 0. The results of this study [ 65 ] showed that ethyl ester was not as effective as CM to enhance serum and muscle creatine stores. Furthermore creatine ethyl ester offered no additional benefit for improving body composition, muscle mass, strength, and power. This research did not support the claims of the creatine ethyl ester manufacturers. Polyethylene glycol is a non-toxic, water-soluble polymer that is capable of enhancing the absorption of creatine and various other substances [ 66 ].