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  1. #1
    Senior Member ripped_one's Avatar
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    Cardio and strength loss

    Its been a while since I've done a big cardio day, so I did 90 mins on the bike yesterday. Today I was definitely a little depleted and felt flat, but holy crap, my strength dropped a solid 5-10%.

    When it comes time to a contest prep what do you guys do to maintain strength? I know that I'll be doing a lot of cardio and low on carbs, so I know I will lose some, but I just didn't expect that much of a drop from one friggin day!

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    Lady Member milleniumgirl's Avatar
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    Re: Cardio and strength loss

    I do cardio on my off days and only short sessions (no longer than 40 min) so it doesn't affect my workouts.

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    Re: Cardio and strength loss

    Originally Posted by ripped_one View Post
    Its been a while since I've done a big cardio day, so I did 90 mins on the bike yesterday. Today I was definitely a little depleted and felt flat, but holy crap, my strength dropped a solid 5-10%.

    When it comes time to a contest prep what do you guys do to maintain strength? I know that I'll be doing a lot of cardio and low on carbs, so I know I will lose some, but I just didn't expect that much of a drop from one friggin day!
    LOL, you might have over done it for the first day. Start off around 30 mins.

    Was it a stationary bike or were you on the road?

    Low carbs, glycogen depletion, loss of water (sweat) all = loss of strength. Just part of it.

    I've been doing 30 min on the tread and an hour on elliptical. Hard cardio too. I have found that keeping myself hydrated helps. I have actually switched over to Gatorade when changing over from the tred to the elliptical. Between the sugar and electrolytes, it helps to keep me going and I feel much better throughout and after the cardio.

    I never drank Gatorade at the gym until I got tired of being fatigued. I try to stay away from sugar because I'm Endo by nature.

    If you don't care for the sugar, you can buy electrolyte tabs and drink a lot of water.

    HDH
    It's not what you lift... It's how you lift it!

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    Re: Cardio and strength loss

    Interesting as I do my cardio right after weight training and have never had any issues...even if it's 90 minutes shouldn't effect strength IMO. Most likely you needed more food the next day for the extra calories burned.
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    Re: Cardio and strength loss

    Originally Posted by HDH View Post
    LOL, you might have over done it for the first day. Start off around 30 mins.

    Was it a stationary bike or were you on the road?

    Low carbs, glycogen depletion, loss of water (sweat) all = loss of strength. Just part of it.

    I've been doing 30 min on the tread and an hour on elliptical. Hard cardio too. I have found that keeping myself hydrated helps. I have actually switched over to Gatorade when changing over from the tred to the elliptical. Between the sugar and electrolytes, it helps to keep me going and I feel much better throughout and after the cardio.

    I never drank Gatorade at the gym until I got tired of being fatigued. I try to stay away from sugar because I'm Endo by nature.

    If you don't care for the sugar, you can buy electrolyte tabs and drink a lot of water.

    HDH
    try adding 10g BCAA

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    Senior Member ripped_one's Avatar
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    Re: Cardio and strength loss

    I just started using scivation xtend which works pretty well. I guess when I am depleted that tho it isn't enough.

    are there any other ways to keep strength up when you are prepping and getting depleted?

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    Re: Cardio and strength loss

    I think when peeps are getting ready for a show they use lots of stims..too bad Cash isn't seeing this as I'm sure he would know what to tell you.
    [SIZE=2][B][FONT=&amp][B]Peace Out..............Have a Beautiful Life........................See You On the Other-side!!!![/B][/FONT][/B][/SIZE]

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    Senior Member ripped_one's Avatar
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    Re: Cardio and strength loss

    I hope he will chime in... I'm planning to get in contest shape this spring. I want to start planning everything out tho as I have been just jumping from one thing to another recently and learning by trial and error, emphasis on error.

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    Re: Cardio and strength loss

    Originally Posted by gymrat827 View Post
    try adding 10g BCAA
    Thanks for the tip bro

    HDH
    It's not what you lift... It's how you lift it!

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    Re: Cardio and strength loss

    Originally Posted by ripped_one View Post
    I just started using scivation xtend which works pretty well. I guess when I am depleted that tho it isn't enough.

    are there any other ways to keep strength up when you are prepping and getting depleted?
    Sorry bro, prepping for a show is not one of my strengths. Just the low carbs alone will take strength from you.

    That's what I like about cycling carbs. My strength doesn't drop as much and I don't stay flat the whole cut. Don't know if I would recommend it for prep though.

    This was posted at another board. For the most part, it's a pretty good read.

    Maybe some brothers that have prep experience can chime in.

    By Jim Stoppani, PhD, and Joe Wuebben


    Getting stronger —
    whether it means setting a personal record on bench or moving up to the next set of dumbbells on curls — is a process. It takes months, even years, of hard training to achieve the lofty strength goals we tend to set for ourselves. It doesn’t happen overnight. Until now. FLEX has compiled 15 science- based strategies for getting stronger in the gym immediately. From technique tweaks to nutritional manipulations, these tricks of the trade will give you a boost right away. Will your squat increase by 100 pounds in the next week? Unfortunately, no. But this is a good place to start.



    1] DRINK UP
    News flash: you’re probably dehydrated. Another news flash: being just slightly dehydrated will negatively affect your strength. Several research studies confirm that slight dehydration can limit strength and power by as much as 20%. Be sure to drink at least one gallon of water per day to maintain your body-fluid levels. Before workouts, drink at least 15–20 ounces of water, in your protein shake or otherwise. Then, drink 5–10 ounces of water or other fluid every 15 minutes during your workout. Weigh yourself before and after your workout, compare the two bodyweights and drink a quart of fluid for every two pounds you lost.

    2] STOP STRETCHING IT
    Old-school training advice says to warm up and stretch before workouts. The warm-up part is good advice. The stretching part? Not so good. Research shows that doing static stretching (reach and hold) before workouts can decrease strength by up to 10%, so save the static stuff for after training. You’ll be more flexible, get more out of the stretches and be stronger to boot. For a type of stretching that actually increases strength, refer to tip 10 (“Get Dynamic”).

    3] GET CAFFEINATED
    Few supplements provide immediate effects; usually you have to take a given product for at least a few weeks before you see results. And then there’s caffeine. Several studies have shown that taking one 200–400-milligram dose of caffeine about an hour before workouts immediately boosts strength. One study from the pounds. Other research has concluded that taking caffeine one hour before workouts allows you to complete weight. If these reasons aren’t good enough to start taking supplemental caffeine, what is? more reps with a given University of Nebraska-Lincoln reported that caffeine increased one-rep max bench press strength by an average of five

    4] MIND YOUR NECK
    When bench pressing, you may find yourself watching the bar as you lower it to your chest, in the process lifting your head off the bench (neck flexion). Stop doing this. Even the slightest bit of neck flexion can decrease strength. One study found a 6% decline in power for neck flexers compared to those keeping their heads on the pad. On the flip side, pressing your head downward into the bench can stimulate what is called the “tonic neck reflex” to increase power and strength.

    5] LIFT FOR A CROWD
    The company you keep when going heavy in the gym can make a huge difference on strength levels. Researchers at Arizona State University (Tempe) tested one-rep max bench press strength both when subjects were alone (except for a spotter) while attempting the lift and surrounded by 15 onlookers making no noise. In the latter case, lifters bench-pressed a whopping 30 pounds more on average than when they were alone. Just the presence of others seems to enhance motivation and, as a result, strength levels. If you’re looking to set a personal record and you have the choice of doing it at either a crowded gym or an empty one, opt for the audience.

    6] GET A PAP
    No, this isn’t the kind your girlfriend gets. PAP stands for postactivation potentiation. Basically, it means that if you do a plyometric exercise just before you attempt a heavy max, you can actually be stronger on that lift — for example, drop jumps before squats and drop push- ups before bench press. One study from the University of Massachusetts (Boston) found that when subjects did drop jumps from a box about 30 seconds before a max set of squats, they were about 5% stronger on squats than when they did squats without the plyos — likely due to the fact that the plyometric exercise primes the nervous system to fire stronger and faster, for more powerful muscle contractions.

    DROP IT
    To perform drop pushups, set two aerobic step benches about 6–12 inches in height outside of shoulder width on the floor. Start in the pushup position with your hands on the steps, descend into a pushup and, from the bottom, explode up as high as possible so your hands leave the steps. Do 2–3 reps.

    7] SQUAT LIKE A POWERLIFTER
    If you want to be strong, you must have a big squat. And to have a big squat, your technique has to be solid, like that of a seasoned powerlifter. A study at Louisiana Tech University (Ruston) found that the most experienced and strongest powerlifters in their group did three things that novice lifters didn’t. They descended more slowly on the negative portion of each rep; they accelerated faster from the bottom position; and they didn’t allow their knees to track over their toes, which enabled them to go heavier without risking injury. If you want to maximize your squatting strength, we suggest you adopt these techniques ASAP.

    DO THIS
    To get more relaxed for a better strength-training session, lie in a quiet, softly lit room listening to calm music. Going from your calves through your neck and head, contract each muscle group for about 10 seconds, then relax it. Then go hit the gym

    8] STRAP UP
    A Weider Research Group study found compelling evidence that one very simple training tool can help boost strength: wrist straps. Subjects performed the same back workout twice — once wearing wrist straps, the other without. In a workout comprised of pullups, dumbbell rows, wide-grip pulldowns and seated cable rows, reps per set were increased by an average of one to two when going with straps versus without. Our conclusion is simple: use wrist straps on pulling exercises — namely, back movements — to enhance both size and strength. If you’re worried about the potential of losing grip strength, do specific grip-strengthening exercises separately.

    9] RELAX BEFORE LIFTING
    Banging your head against a wall or listening to Pantera (or both simultaneously) before lifting may seem helpful for getting “psyched up,” but scientifically, it seems to be counterproductive. Being more relaxed may be more effective. Research out of Bridgewater College (Virginia) found that relaxation techniques were better than high-arousal techniques for providing an immediate strength boost in the bench press for selected college football players. Subjects did max reps with 225 pounds after either lying quietly in a dark room listening to soft music, watching video of aggressive football footage or using no specific technique. Results showed that players performed about two more reps after the relaxing experience than after the other two.

    10] GET DYNAMIC
    Although static stretching before workouts is a big no-no, dynamic stretching is anything but. This type of flexibility involves performing stretches fast and explosively, and new research shows that this method can actually increase power and strength when done before workouts. One study found a 6% greater increase in leg power when subjects performed dynamic stretching before doing leg extensions as compared to when they didn’t stretch.

    11] GET FOCUSED
    What’s going through your head on a given set could make the difference between building some serious muscle and strength and simply maintaining what you’ve got. A recent study in the United Kingdom had lifters do one-arm curls with three different states of mind: (1) as they normally would, (2) while focusing on the contraction of the biceps, and (3) while focusing on moving the weight through the range of motion. Focusing on the contraction increased their muscle activity by more than 20%, while focusing on moving the weight increased strength by 10%. If size is your goal, focus on the muscle contraction; for strength, concentrate on moving the weight.

    12] STAGGER YOUR GRIP
    Want to deadlift more weight immediately? Change your grip. An in-house Weider research study presented at the 2007 National Strength and Conditioning Association annual meeting found that trained lifters using a staggered grip (one side overhand, the other underhand) completed an average of two more reps with their six-rep max than when using a standard grip (both hands taking an overhand grip) — that’s a 52% difference in strength. The staggered grip offers the mechanical advantage of reverse torsion that prevents the bar from slipping out of the hands. To promote balance, alternate which hand is overhand and which is underhand either every other workout or every other set.

    13] TRAIN UNILATERALLY
    Granted, you can lift more weight with two arms or legs than with one, but unilateral training (doing an exercise one arm or leg at a time) can actually lead to more weight lifted and more strength gained in the bigger picture. Iowa State University (Ames) researchers found that when subjects did biceps curls one arm at a time, 18% more force was generated than when training both sides simultaneously. More force generated means more muscle fibers being used and more strength and size. Here’s a good rule of thumb: use at least one unilateral exercise per bodypart per workout. Such moves can include anything from single- leg presses to one-arm overhead extensions to one-arm dumbbell rows.

    14] USE A SMITH MACHINE
    Free-weight exercises are great, but so is using a Smith machine. A Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa) study found that subjects were roughly 5% stronger on Smith machine squats than on barbell squats, likely due to the fact that stabilizer muscles aren’t needed as much to provide balance on the Smith version. This extra strength will allow you to overload the muscles with that much more weight for better immediate, as well as long-term, results. Start every other leg workout with Smith machine squats and you should reap the strength benefits of this great piece of equipment in no time.

    15] DON’T FORGET YOUR IPOD
    The benefits of listening to music while engaging in endurance/ aerobic activity have been well documented, but the research on the effect music has on getting stronger in the gym is pretty skimpy, so we performed our own study with trained subjects who completed the same workout twice — one session while listening to the music of their choice over headphones, the other with no music. As we expected, the lifters completed more reps with the same weight (an average of one more rep per set) while listening to music than they did with no tunes. One extra rep on every set can add up to considerable strength gains over time.


    HDH
    It's not what you lift... It's how you lift it!

  11. #11
    Elite PillarofBalance's Avatar
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    Re: Cardio and strength loss

    Originally Posted by HDH View Post
    LOL, you might have over done it for the first day. Start off around 30 mins.

    Was it a stationary bike or were you on the road?

    Low carbs, glycogen depletion, loss of water (sweat) all = loss of strength. Just part of it.

    I've been doing 30 min on the tread and an hour on elliptical. Hard cardio too. I have found that keeping myself hydrated helps. I have actually switched over to Gatorade when changing over from the tred to the elliptical. Between the sugar and electrolytes, it helps to keep me going and I feel much better throughout and after the cardio.

    I never drank Gatorade at the gym until I got tired of being fatigued. I try to stay away from sugar because I'm Endo by nature.

    If you don't care for the sugar, you can buy electrolyte tabs and drink a lot of water.

    HDH
    HDH hit the nail on the head in the first sentence... He went from x amount of energy expended with y amount of daily cals. He then increased x by 90 minutes of cardio and had an unrealistic expectation of his strength. Your strength comes from the food you shovel down your throat and rest. This is why I eat the way I do and every other powerlifter does as well as they work towards a goal.

    So... when you prep for a BB competition, don't have unrealistic expectations. You will not be as strong.

  12. #12
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    Re: Cardio and strength loss

    Originally Posted by HDH View Post
    Sorry bro, prepping for a show is not one of my strengths. Just the low carbs alone will take strength from you.

    That's what I like about cycling carbs. My strength doesn't drop as much and I don't stay flat the whole cut. Don't know if I would recommend it for prep though.

    This was posted at another board. For the most part, it's a pretty good read.

    Maybe some brothers that have prep experience can chime in.

    By Jim Stoppani, PhD, and Joe Wuebben


    Getting stronger —
    whether it means setting a personal record on bench or moving up to the next set of dumbbells on curls — is a process. It takes months, even years, of hard training to achieve the lofty strength goals we tend to set for ourselves. It doesn’t happen overnight. Until now. FLEX has compiled 15 science- based strategies for getting stronger in the gym immediately. From technique tweaks to nutritional manipulations, these tricks of the trade will give you a boost right away. Will your squat increase by 100 pounds in the next week? Unfortunately, no. But this is a good place to start.



    1] DRINK UP
    News flash: you’re probably dehydrated. Another news flash: being just slightly dehydrated will negatively affect your strength. Several research studies confirm that slight dehydration can limit strength and power by as much as 20%. Be sure to drink at least one gallon of water per day to maintain your body-fluid levels. Before workouts, drink at least 15–20 ounces of water, in your protein shake or otherwise. Then, drink 5–10 ounces of water or other fluid every 15 minutes during your workout. Weigh yourself before and after your workout, compare the two bodyweights and drink a quart of fluid for every two pounds you lost.

    2] STOP STRETCHING IT
    Old-school training advice says to warm up and stretch before workouts. The warm-up part is good advice. The stretching part? Not so good. Research shows that doing static stretching (reach and hold) before workouts can decrease strength by up to 10%, so save the static stuff for after training. You’ll be more flexible, get more out of the stretches and be stronger to boot. For a type of stretching that actually increases strength, refer to tip 10 (“Get Dynamic”).

    3] GET CAFFEINATED
    Few supplements provide immediate effects; usually you have to take a given product for at least a few weeks before you see results. And then there’s caffeine. Several studies have shown that taking one 200–400-milligram dose of caffeine about an hour before workouts immediately boosts strength. One study from the pounds. Other research has concluded that taking caffeine one hour before workouts allows you to complete weight. If these reasons aren’t good enough to start taking supplemental caffeine, what is? more reps with a given University of Nebraska-Lincoln reported that caffeine increased one-rep max bench press strength by an average of five

    4] MIND YOUR NECK
    When bench pressing, you may find yourself watching the bar as you lower it to your chest, in the process lifting your head off the bench (neck flexion). Stop doing this. Even the slightest bit of neck flexion can decrease strength. One study found a 6% decline in power for neck flexers compared to those keeping their heads on the pad. On the flip side, pressing your head downward into the bench can stimulate what is called the “tonic neck reflex” to increase power and strength.

    5] LIFT FOR A CROWD
    The company you keep when going heavy in the gym can make a huge difference on strength levels. Researchers at Arizona State University (Tempe) tested one-rep max bench press strength both when subjects were alone (except for a spotter) while attempting the lift and surrounded by 15 onlookers making no noise. In the latter case, lifters bench-pressed a whopping 30 pounds more on average than when they were alone. Just the presence of others seems to enhance motivation and, as a result, strength levels. If you’re looking to set a personal record and you have the choice of doing it at either a crowded gym or an empty one, opt for the audience.

    6] GET A PAP
    No, this isn’t the kind your girlfriend gets. PAP stands for postactivation potentiation. Basically, it means that if you do a plyometric exercise just before you attempt a heavy max, you can actually be stronger on that lift — for example, drop jumps before squats and drop push- ups before bench press. One study from the University of Massachusetts (Boston) found that when subjects did drop jumps from a box about 30 seconds before a max set of squats, they were about 5% stronger on squats than when they did squats without the plyos — likely due to the fact that the plyometric exercise primes the nervous system to fire stronger and faster, for more powerful muscle contractions.

    DROP IT
    To perform drop pushups, set two aerobic step benches about 6–12 inches in height outside of shoulder width on the floor. Start in the pushup position with your hands on the steps, descend into a pushup and, from the bottom, explode up as high as possible so your hands leave the steps. Do 2–3 reps.

    7] SQUAT LIKE A POWERLIFTER
    If you want to be strong, you must have a big squat. And to have a big squat, your technique has to be solid, like that of a seasoned powerlifter. A study at Louisiana Tech University (Ruston) found that the most experienced and strongest powerlifters in their group did three things that novice lifters didn’t. They descended more slowly on the negative portion of each rep; they accelerated faster from the bottom position; and they didn’t allow their knees to track over their toes, which enabled them to go heavier without risking injury. If you want to maximize your squatting strength, we suggest you adopt these techniques ASAP.

    DO THIS
    To get more relaxed for a better strength-training session, lie in a quiet, softly lit room listening to calm music. Going from your calves through your neck and head, contract each muscle group for about 10 seconds, then relax it. Then go hit the gym

    8] STRAP UP
    A Weider Research Group study found compelling evidence that one very simple training tool can help boost strength: wrist straps. Subjects performed the same back workout twice — once wearing wrist straps, the other without. In a workout comprised of pullups, dumbbell rows, wide-grip pulldowns and seated cable rows, reps per set were increased by an average of one to two when going with straps versus without. Our conclusion is simple: use wrist straps on pulling exercises — namely, back movements — to enhance both size and strength. If you’re worried about the potential of losing grip strength, do specific grip-strengthening exercises separately.

    9] RELAX BEFORE LIFTING
    Banging your head against a wall or listening to Pantera (or both simultaneously) before lifting may seem helpful for getting “psyched up,” but scientifically, it seems to be counterproductive. Being more relaxed may be more effective. Research out of Bridgewater College (Virginia) found that relaxation techniques were better than high-arousal techniques for providing an immediate strength boost in the bench press for selected college football players. Subjects did max reps with 225 pounds after either lying quietly in a dark room listening to soft music, watching video of aggressive football footage or using no specific technique. Results showed that players performed about two more reps after the relaxing experience than after the other two.

    10] GET DYNAMIC
    Although static stretching before workouts is a big no-no, dynamic stretching is anything but. This type of flexibility involves performing stretches fast and explosively, and new research shows that this method can actually increase power and strength when done before workouts. One study found a 6% greater increase in leg power when subjects performed dynamic stretching before doing leg extensions as compared to when they didn’t stretch.

    11] GET FOCUSED
    What’s going through your head on a given set could make the difference between building some serious muscle and strength and simply maintaining what you’ve got. A recent study in the United Kingdom had lifters do one-arm curls with three different states of mind: (1) as they normally would, (2) while focusing on the contraction of the biceps, and (3) while focusing on moving the weight through the range of motion. Focusing on the contraction increased their muscle activity by more than 20%, while focusing on moving the weight increased strength by 10%. If size is your goal, focus on the muscle contraction; for strength, concentrate on moving the weight.

    12] STAGGER YOUR GRIP
    Want to deadlift more weight immediately? Change your grip. An in-house Weider research study presented at the 2007 National Strength and Conditioning Association annual meeting found that trained lifters using a staggered grip (one side overhand, the other underhand) completed an average of two more reps with their six-rep max than when using a standard grip (both hands taking an overhand grip) — that’s a 52% difference in strength. The staggered grip offers the mechanical advantage of reverse torsion that prevents the bar from slipping out of the hands. To promote balance, alternate which hand is overhand and which is underhand either every other workout or every other set.

    13] TRAIN UNILATERALLY
    Granted, you can lift more weight with two arms or legs than with one, but unilateral training (doing an exercise one arm or leg at a time) can actually lead to more weight lifted and more strength gained in the bigger picture. Iowa State University (Ames) researchers found that when subjects did biceps curls one arm at a time, 18% more force was generated than when training both sides simultaneously. More force generated means more muscle fibers being used and more strength and size. Here’s a good rule of thumb: use at least one unilateral exercise per bodypart per workout. Such moves can include anything from single- leg presses to one-arm overhead extensions to one-arm dumbbell rows.

    14] USE A SMITH MACHINE
    Free-weight exercises are great, but so is using a Smith machine. A Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa) study found that subjects were roughly 5% stronger on Smith machine squats than on barbell squats, likely due to the fact that stabilizer muscles aren’t needed as much to provide balance on the Smith version. This extra strength will allow you to overload the muscles with that much more weight for better immediate, as well as long-term, results. Start every other leg workout with Smith machine squats and you should reap the strength benefits of this great piece of equipment in no time.

    15] DON’T FORGET YOUR IPOD
    The benefits of listening to music while engaging in endurance/ aerobic activity have been well documented, but the research on the effect music has on getting stronger in the gym is pretty skimpy, so we performed our own study with trained subjects who completed the same workout twice — one session while listening to the music of their choice over headphones, the other with no music. As we expected, the lifters completed more reps with the same weight (an average of one more rep per set) while listening to music than they did with no tunes. One extra rep on every set can add up to considerable strength gains over time.


    HDH
    see, ive read countless articles showing caffinine does nothing for strength....

    in the mag MD, (only one i read)


    so much info out theres conflicts with other studies.

  13. #13
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    Re: Cardio and strength loss

    Originally Posted by gymrat827 View Post
    see, ive read countless articles showing caffinine does nothing for strength....

    in the mag MD, (only one i read)

    so much info out theres conflicts with other studies.
    I agree to many conflicting studies on to many things. LOL

    That's why I put "It's a good read for the most part".

    Usually something like this will have conflicting info.

    Perhaps the caffeine raising the energy level gives the lifter better motivation which in turn allows him to utilize more strength.

    Who knows

    HDH
    It's not what you lift... It's how you lift it!

  14. #14
    Senior Member ripped_one's Avatar
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    Re: Cardio and strength loss

    thanks for the info guys... I don't plan on starting a prep phase until jan 2013 so I'll have some time to keep getting everything together. I think for now I'm going to lay off the big cardio sessions and keep eating training and resting!

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