Thoughts on weight loss on getting shredded

It is a common held belief that if you are 6ft or under and walk round at 220lbs/100kg with 8% or under bodyfat you are using some form of PED or are the small percentage of genetic outliers, in which case you are probably being paid a shit load in professional sports.

I used to think this was b.s and people were just jealous but my recent experience in getting lean is making me think otherwise. From a starting weight of just over 231lbs/105kg and dropping weight slowly over the last year, I currently walk around at 199lbs or 90.2kg at 6ft and holding onto muscle whilst getting lean ain’t no walk in the park. I appreciate if you are younger than my 40yrs, then this would probably be less of an issue.

I really believed I could cut down to around 200lbs but like most people I overestimated how much muscle I actually had and also underestimated how much lean mass I would lose along with the fat. It is looking like I will have to get down to about 185lbs/83.9kg to be anywhere near shredded.

Strangely more and more of the youngsters in the gym are walking around 200lbs+.and shredded or close to it and when you strike up conversations with them, they are nearly always ‘on’ and weirdly proud to be so.

My thoughts on this are in this consumer culture, where everything is instant. Kids these days are after instant results, for them it isn’t and never will be about the training, self discovery or discipline i.e ‘the journey’ but more so about quick results – each to their own.

Accessibility to information and the normalization of drugs in everyday gym culture has helped this spread like wildfire. Even getting hold of the drugs is easier now days, everyone knows someone or if you want anonymity amongst your gym buddies i.e. obtaining ‘fake natty’ status, the internet has a number of websites that will deliver.

I have no issue with drug use, especially if it is related to sport, performance or your profession i.e. bodybuilding but if you using them for recreational and purely aesthetic purposes then I find it difficult to get my head round.

Most of the guys are also cycling in some kind of fat burner, such as clenbuterol or ephedrine, this with all the other shit including your standard recreational drugs (pills & sniff) is potentially setting them up for some cardiac issues in later life.

One last thing is that these guys are young, mostly in their early 20′s and have very little in training years. I was talking to one guy and he had been training for less than 2 years but had jumped on as he wasn’t progressing as fast as his mate’s, he wasn’t even interested in finding what his natural genetic potential was??

They really need to be more careful and less ‘YOLO’ as once they come off and even if they observe a PCT protocol, their hormone levels might be permanently screwed seeing that they aren’t really putting much thought into their cycles and what they are taking – wow sounding like an old man now

BCAA’s, Serotonin and anxiety

I started taking BCAA’s (branched-chained amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine) regularly about 3.5 weeks ago in an attempt to stop  getting weaker and also to spare lean muscle as I get into the “business end” of this diet.

I do have some mild OCD which if you don’t know is a type of anxiety disorder and have been feeling increasingly anxious about nothing in general lately. Seeing that BCAA’s were the only new thing I have introduced lately into my diet, it was pretty obvious that this would be a good starting point.

Just doing a basic Google search showed quite a few results in regards to BCAA supplementation and adverse effects on mental health.

From what I understand in some people (the exceptions rather than the norm), BCAA supplementation can cause a reduction in Serotonin levels by inhibiting the uptake of L-Tryptophan from the bloodstream.

To put it very simply, Serotonin has a calming effect on the brain, therefore deficiencies in this can lead to increased anxiety and change in general mood and feeling of wellness.

The BCAA’s I have been taken have a 4:1 ratio of Leucine as this is meant to be the most optimal mix.

Another interesting thing to note is that Leucine uses the same Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) transport mechanism as Tyrosine which is a pre-cursor to Dopamine. Therefore if you take too much Leucine too often you could be blocking the pathway to Dopamine causing acute Dopamine depletion which can lead to depression.

I pretty much stopped taking the BCAA’s for a week or so and noticed my anxiety went back to normal levels, so for me anyways there seems to be a relationship between elveated anxiety levels and BCAA’s.

This is all well and good but I have a shed tonne of BCAA’s and still have the issue to resolve of keeping lean muscle whilst dieting hard?

From what I read you maybe able to counter the anxiety side effects by supplementing with Tyrosine and or 5-HTP, probably worth a try will keep you posted if this works.



WSM Results 2014


Just in case you don’t know already, the results for world strongest man 2014 are below.

Crazy that they don’t televise it live and wait till the end of the year by which time 90% of people already know the results. Saying that it is still one of the TV highlights over Xmas holiday.

Big Z cements his place as one of the best of all time with a 4th win. Along with his multiple Arnold wins and world records, I have Zydrunas as long with Kaz as the greatest strong men of all time.

So close at the end with Thor winning the stones but Z managing to beat Brian Shaw (usually one of the best on stones) to win the title by 0.5 point.

  1. Zydrunas Savickas – 64
  2. Hafthor Bjørnson – 63.5
  3. Brian Shaw – 61
  4. Mike Burke – 40
  5. Terry Hollands – 38