Category Archives: Advanced lean muscle

Creatine – how effective is it for muscle building?

Creatine is not a steroid! Creatine  is made out of three amino acids: L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine.

Creatine is produced in the liver and is transported to the brain and muscles that have high energy demands, such as skeletal muscle.

The International Olympic Committee and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) allow the usage of creatine, and it is widely used among professional athletes.

Creatine allows the body to produce more energy, and with more energy you can lift one or two more reps, or lift a few more kilograms.

It also hydrates the muscle cells, it holds more ions in muscle cells, and increases protein synthesis. In other words, it helps to increase muscle building efforts.

  1. Load with Creatine for 5 days
  2. Maintain 5g per day thereafter
  3. Take creatine after a workout, with a meal, or with high sugar drinks (juice / honey) to spike your insulin levels

Loading phase – loading creatine

To get the full benefit of creatine, you must saturate your muscle cells with it. Using a loading dosage of 15-25g per day for 5 days, one can quickly saturate the muscle cells in this time period. Then use a maintenance dosage (3-5g) for the remainder of their time taking creatine.

When is the best time to take creatine?

Reading the label is best, however, several articles claim that post-workout is best because your body absorbs nutrients better after a workout, it refuesl your body’s creatine phosphate stores,  Insulin helps drive more creatine into muscle cells, and when eating after a workout, insulin levels spike.

Does taking creatine before a workout provide more energy?

No, your muscles are already saturated and it takes a week to build up to this level. Taking creatine before a workout will have no direct effect.

Can I store it in liquid until I drink it?

No, you need to dissolve creatine and drink it right away. Creatine degrades over time in water into the waste product creatinine, which will simply be excreted.

What is the best way to take creatine?

As discussed above, taking creatine after a workout, with a meal, has been recommended. as insulin levels tend to increase when eating.

Creatine is absorbed better by spiking insulin levels. To spike insulin, your body needs to be running low on carbs, and then receive a sudden intake of sugars. Some examples of “good” sugary carbs to consume after a workout are honey and fruit juices. The spike created will increase protein synthesis.

How much sugar / juice should I drink with creatine?

Again, suggestion is drinking grape juice.

Juice loaded with sugars may not be suitable if your goals differ, but you should take 100g of juice for every 5g of creatine.

Research shows that you can take your creatine with protein for the same results. A new study reports that taking 5g of creatine with 50g of protein/47g of carbs produced the same results as taking 5g with 96g of carbs.



Shoulder workout for massive shoulders (advanced)

Huge shoulders – advanced workout

Shoulders are probably one of the most difficult and sometime most painful muscles to grow. Shoulders are not normally used to pick or carry heavy weights, and this makes them natural weaker than other muscles.

I found this workout online at, and also on, which is a great workout. This shoulder workout is more advanced and targets the entire shoulder.

Breathing: Remember to exhale when you push the weight up and inhale when you bring the weight back down.

[SS] = super set, do two or more exercises one one set. For example, [SS] Upright row + Front plate raises – Do 10 sets of upright row immediately followed by 10 front plate raises

canonball workout for shoulders

1. Dumbbell Shoulder press

You can have a gym partner to help you complete the set or to keep the weights stable, especially when the weights starts getting heavy as you progress. If you arch your back then you are either you are cheating, or the weight is too heavy, which means that the exercise is wasted time!

dumbbell shoulder press

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, sit on a military press bench or utility bench that has back support. Place the dumbbells upright on top of your legs.
  2. Now raise the dumbbells to shoulder height one at a time using your legs – push up with each leg to throw the weight up into position.
  3. Rotate your wrists so that the palms of your hands are facing forward. This is your starting position.
  4. Push the dumbbells upward until they touch at the top, your muscle is not contracted. Exhale as you push the weight up.
  5. After a brief pause at the top position, slowly lower the weights back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  6. Repeat from 4 until you have done your reps.

2. Clean and Press

clean and press
Image from LeanItUp

  1. Stand tall with a loaded barbell on your thighs. Tighten your core, dip down slightly, and powerfully pull the barbell up on top of your collarbone.
  2.  Dip your legs slightly and explosively press the barbell overhead.
  3.  Hold for 1s, slowly lower the bar back to your collarbone, then down to your thighs, and repeat for a set of 10. Complete each clean & press in one fluid motion. You can also use dumbbells.

3. Upright row + Front plate raises (Super set)

This is a super set. A super set is when you do one complete set, immediately followed followed by another set of different exercises targeting the same muscle before resting.

Front row + front plate raise
Image from LeanItUp

  •  Upright Rows — hold the bar slightly narrower than shoulder width and pull it up to your chin. Keep your core tight and shoulders back throughout.
  • Front Plate Raises — make sure to keep your core tight and body steady. Raise the plate up to eye height and hold it for 1 second. Resist the pull to fall forward.

4. Reverse dumbbell flies

Reverse dumbbell flies

  • Grab two dumbbells and bend over so that your torso is at a 45º angle.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together, tighten your core and lower back, and raise both arms directly out to the side.
  • Hold the contraction for .5 seconds at the top and slowly return to starting position. Repeat for 15 reps.

5. Dumbbell shoulder shrugs

Dumbbell shrug

  • Stand tall with 2 dumbbells.
  • Tighten your core, puff your chest up, and powerfully shrug your shoulders up into your neck.
  • Hold the squeeze for 1s and slowly lower all the way down. Repeat for 15 reps.

6. Cable face pull

Cable face pull

  • Stand at a cable station with a rope attachment. Adjust it as high as possible.
  • Tighten your core, raise your arms, draw your shoulders back, and pull the rope in towards your mouth. Flare it and pull your rear deltoids as far back as possible. Your elbows should stay high throughout.
  • Hold the contraction for 1s and slowly release it back to start. Repeat for 12 reps.

7. Push press + lateral raises (Super set)

pushpress and raises

Complete 12 push presses immediately followed by 12 lateral raises. 

  • Push Press — tighten your core and stand with two dumbbells raised at shoulder height (neutral grip). Dip your knees, powerfully explode upwards, and press the dumbbells overhead. Hold for 1s and return back down to the bottom.
  • Lateral Raise — while keeping your core tight and back straight, raise both arms directly out to the side. They should reach neck height and form a “T” with your body. Hold for .5s and return to the bottom.