BodyWorks: Be No Weakling

Are neural adaptations to resistance training permanent, or are they lost if you haven’t trained in a long time?

Excellent question.

Like any other habit or performance practice repeated over time, neural connections become more efficient signal conductors, more “solid” with repetition. Such is the case with what is commonly called muscle memory. You buy this quality with your resources of effort,

consistency, practice and time spent in the gym.

When you stop spending these above mentioned resources, the quality of specific neural adaptation, of muscle memory begins to lessen and then to eventually disappear with time. It appears to follow a relatively steep exponential loss pattern , seemingly to flatten out and gradually to shrink to a minimum level plotted against time and associated vagaries of the ageing process.

Of course, many other things influence how fast this neural adaptation and its associated advantages disappear: genetics, training history, age, lifestyle choices like nutrition, drug use, sleeping patterns, etc.

Unfortunately, what appears to be the the rule is as follows: harder to get it>less difficult to maintain it>easy to lose it = in most circumstances holds true.

You don’t keep the radio plugged in? It won’t play.

What Muscle Is Most Limited By Genetics?

Perhaps the question ought to be:

Which one isn’t?

You’ve heard it all before; it is dependant on your genes…the proteins and other assorted growth factors that these genes express.

So we take our shotgun, point it at the target of muscle groups and pull the trigger, hitting which target? All of them.

The concept of Anatomical Variation is what you really want to know about. AV is a highly influential factor dictating the shape, symmetrical & size characteristics, even whether or not a muscle is existent in the anatomical inventory of your body.

Let’s take as a small example, the palmaris longus. In 86% of the population, it exists as a tiny muscle on the underside of the lower forearm, proximal to the wrist. The unlucky minority of the rest of us (myself included) lack it. Oh, well I guess that we don’t need it, anyway.

But gee, it sure does looks good.

Palmaris Longus:

No Palmaris Longus ☹️:

Another example is the pyramidalis, two lovely little triangular-shaped muscles in the lower abdomen located bilaterally on either side of the linea alba.

Tragically, 20% of us don’t have them.

Some people sport only 6-packs, others have 8.

These are only two simple examples of muscles limited to non-existence by things genetic. Missing muscle groups are not that uncommon and you can’t build what’s not there.

As far as bodybuilders are concerned, genetically limited muscle growth and absent muscles are the cruelest punishment for Original Sin that Great-Anatomist-In-The-Skycould dish out to us.


Now, on the other hand, there are cases, mind you exceedingly rare, that consist of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) affecting the MSTN gene. This modification results in the absence of myostatin.

Myostatin is a protein that is primarily responsible for limiting muscle growth. Individuals with this genetic mutation have few limitations or restrictions on muscle growth.


So, you might ask yourself, why would Mother Nature be so cruel as to sentence me to a life not humongous? Why must I be stopped from kicking sand in weaklings’ faces and stealing all their girls? What did I ever do to Her to deserve this?

Yes, you are guilty, guilty as sin. You were born without this mutation, just like 99.99% of the world population.

She actually has an excellent excuse to limit your muscle growth. To allow unlimited muscular growth, the individual would pay a high physiological cost and would most likely suffer a shorter life span (reasons which have enough meat on them to be well worth the topic of another long post).


The absence of this governing factor (Myostatin) results in a proportionally larger number of fast-twitch muscle fibers and double-musculature. This blessed occurrence of genetic divinity, as far as bodybuilders are concerned, is the musclehead’s equivalent of The Holy Grail or The Lord’s Provision of Manna (Exodus 16:14).

Take a look at the guy in this photo below:

Behold here what the power of a single genetic mutation has wrought!

Consider this colossal beast for a moment:

he is like an impossible, heavily muscled prehistoric bison of genuinely epic proportions.

His startling size, this incredible quantity of muscle, has been created without so much as a single bench press, deadlift or squat!

Think of it. All that beef…and this immense creature didn’t even have to break a sweat for it!?

I am astonished, aren’t you?

He is a fortunate guy.

Well, at least until the local butcher shows up looking for some Prime Cut.

We Are Back In Business!


Stage Two:

Gym Re-opening 8 March, 2021

As per our reading of the SOG Guidelines, members wishing to resume using the gym at this point will be required to observe and adhere to the following rules:

  1. Wear the required face covering. Initially, these will be supplied at no extra cost to members for a limited time at the stand to the left of the top entry door, until our present supply runs out;
  2. The strict SOG Hygiene Guidelines available on the site online must be followed at all times;
  3. Using the supplied cleaning products Members will wipe down and properly replace all equipment in their reserved space and not leave anything, including water bottles and personal items like clothing lying about;
  4. In addition to the above, each member will be required to supply their own towel for personal use and maintain the standard 2 meter distancing;
  5. No more than 18 people will be allowed on the premises at one time;
  6. All customers will be required to sign in with time of entry and contact details each time they enter the gym.

Ok, folks that is about all I have from the Bodyworks side of things.

Get back to me with any queries.

All the best and see you on Monday,


If 1 lb. of fat is about 3500 calories, would I put on 1 lbs of fat if I ate 3,500 calories but the weight of food was less than 1 lb.?

Good question…but one that has a couple of problems embedded in it.

A little arithmetic will show you why.

The most calorific food known to man is pure fat (in either solid form-lard-butter, or liquid form-oil).

Fat contains approximately 9 kcal/gram. A Lb. (pound) is exactly 453.592 grams.

Now, if we take both these factors and multiply them, (453.592 g)(9 Kcals/g) we get about 4109 Kcals. So, as fat is the most calorific food known, we will have issues in trying to find something that will weigh less than fat that will simultaneously be more calorific…there cannot, as far as we know, be anything in existence which will have this characteristic.

The 2nd issue faced is that the 3500kcal/fat-lb. rule is false, even though people have been taking it as gospel-truth for the past 50 years or so. In very-few-to-no people, will consuming 3500kcal extra cause them to gain a fat-lb.
This is due to the fact that there are energy costs and expenditures involved in processing and digesting food.

How much the fat gain (differentiated from body weight or body mass gain) will be experienced will depend on multitudinous factors like age, sex, genetics, metabolic rate, composition of food calories (even if all calories consumed were from pure fat), etc.

But what you can depend on is this: that for every lb. of fat consumed: there will always be less than 1 fat-lb. gained by an individual, any individual of whatever species of mammal, fish or insect.

So, while the initial proposition of your question never in reality can happen, the converse of it can.

Can you really lose fat while gaining muscle?

Well, sort of.

At the very least you ought to be able to LOOK like you can.

To gain muscle while losing fat is the HOLY GRAIL of bodybuilding.

Can it really, in fact, be done?

And to what extent it can be done, and for how long depends on many interesting things and on the following applicable circumstances;

  1. How much calorie deficit you maintain;
  2. How much protein surplus you have;
  3. Your training scheme;
  4. Your genetics (people gain or lose muscle, burn different ratios of fats/carbs/proteins at startlingly different rates depending upon them);
  5. Your age;
  6. Lifestyle characteristics (supplements, sleep, sex, drugs & rock n roll, etc.).

While it is probably not possible to gain significant amounts of muscle while simultaneously losing significant amounts of fat. It is very possible to increase the ratio of fat loss to muscle mass retained.

Back in the day, when there was a lot more trial & error and a lot less ignorant ranting theoretical hogwash on YOUTUBE, most practical competitive bodybuilders agreed there was a realistic ratio of about 75% to 25% (i.e. 3 parts fat/1 part lean tissue) as The Golden Mean and about the best you could do.

…and that, for most of us…is probably good enough.

Is a creatine loading phase necessary? Can I take it with Apple juice or orange juice? Can I have it in my protein shake post workout? If I have it in water do I have it cold or warm?

The so-called loading phase (around 20g a day for 5–7 days) is an approach popularly thought to optimise getting to a saturation level in a hurry. Then this saturation state is maintained by small daily (3–5g) doses.

Is it necessary?

Not very. It’s assumed that how you store creatine, how efficiently and how much you can store it is a genetic characteristic. So taking smaller doses over a presumably longer period of time, you (again…presumably) will achieve the same fully saturated state.

Apple juice or a protein shake are excellent delivery devices. Apple juice will probably invoke a faster blood-insulin rise which might assist in a slightly more efficient carrier mechanism.

Warm water would not be my beverage of choice as pure creatine already tastes like chalk…and drinking sludgy warm chalk is not necessary, unless you’re a little masochistic.

What Do You Regret Most About Spending So Much Of Your Life In The Gym.

Regret is not really the right word, but I think that I’ll answer this rather personal question anyway.

That gone are the days it was pure & easy & just about looking purrrty.

…and now…now it’s all about survival.

Day In The Life

Another chest session at the Church of the Pumping Iron down & in the books.

It’s 02:00 early…

Anyone who is normal is tucked up cozily asleep…

Outside, a storm is kicking over. Now you start wondering if that damn Hummer is gonna start.
It’s a long & miserable amble home now, if it doesn’t.

Do You Need To Cycle Creatine?

A very simple picture of what creatine does.

This is probably the #2 question that I get asked about creatine ( #1 is “Does it really work?”).

This answer applies specifically to Creatine Monohydrate, but can, most probably, be applicable to all othe firms as well.

The answer is “NO”

This is the answer for the following two reasons:

  1. It is not classified as a drug either in the literature or in fact, and therefore does not fundamentally alter metabolism in a way that might create a tolerance level, manifested by a diminishing response over time, that would require you to cycle off to resensitize to its action;
  2. Ultimately, the main factor determining to what degree CM affects you and your response to it depends on a combination of genetic factors.

So, thinking of creatine as a nutrient (or perhaps a food macro), we can see that while cycling it is pointless, using a great deal of it would also not increase its affect serve no purpose in you training scheme.

Do Testosterone Levels Inevitably Fall in Men?

Yes, there is a real process of diminishing returns in operation.

It’s why you often see photos of guys who used to be studs being waved about in the boney fingers of decrepit old men in wheel chairs reading comic books while you wonder to yourself…”was that really them, once upon a time?”

But why do testosterone levels fall?

Age related testosterone decline, or secondary hypogonadism has several main reasons for happening. I’m going to disgustingly simplify things a little by briefly mentioning two:

1. The mostly enzymatic conversion process that goes cholesterol->pregnenolone->testosterone becomes progressively more inefficient with time.

2. Leydig Cells, the little machines that run the above reaction, along with several others of major importance, become less sensitive to LH (luteinizing hormone) released by the pituitary as a sort of initiation signal to start the testosterone conversion process. The older man starts releasing more and more LH with less and less cellular responsiveness. Similar to the kind of occurrence happening in Adult Onset or Type 2 diabetes where a greater and greater amount of insulin is released in response to an increasing amount of tissue insensitivity.
Now, whether this happens at 30, 40 or 20, or 70, how and to what extent it happens, has as much to do with lifestyle choices, self image, mind-set and what you’re willing to stand for as it does with genetics and what havoc the human race is currently causing to the environment.

But all is not lost and life can still be fun and well worth living as Mother Nature, the bitch that she is, attempts to shut you down and convince you that she no longer has much use for you or your manhood as the clock winds down.

Stubborn You, of course, will undoubtedly have other ideas and probably not be quite so ready to throw in the towel just yet.

So, you use exercise discipline, use nutritional strategies, practice the warrior mindset, and investigate what modern medical science may be able to offer you.

Yep, it’s the magic molecule.