I performed my workout late Saturday morning with the family in tow.  I had to work a 3pm-11pm shift later in the day, so we were trying to get our workouts in and maximize some family togetherness as well.  This was a chest/back/calves emphasis.  It was a great workout overall.  I forgot my workout journal, so I took the opportunity to focus only on form and “emptying the tank”.  The lack of external benchmarks really seemed to increase my focus and intensity.

Nautilus Pullover with SS retrofits

MedX Chest Presss

Compound Row

MedX Chest Press (pinned at 7 holes, top 1/3 only)- yeah, I know…just because

SuperSlow camless Pulldown

Calf Raise on MedX Leg Press

On the recommendations of some of the participants of this blog (and Arthur Devany), I have been experimenting with Branch Chain Amino Acid supplementation.  Today I took 15 grams before my workout, 15 grams after and 15 grams at bedtime.  The next day I took 10 grams in the AM only.  I experienced a very unusual sense of growth.  Recovery was quick and despite some considerable soreness I felt energetic.  This morning I had the very rare experience of being awoken by a sense of muscle growth that “feels like rice crispies sound”….an almost “American Werewolf in London” experience.  I spent some time on PubMed and reviewed numerous articles that suggest this is not just an n=1 placebo effect.  A sample article appears below.

J Nutr. 2009 Dec;139(12):2279-84. Epub 2009 Oct 14.

Essential amino acids increase microRNA-499, -208b, and -23a and downregulate myostatin and myocyte enhancer factor 2C mRNA expression in human skeletal muscle.

Drummond MJGlynn ELFry CSDhanani SVolpi ERasmussen BB.

Department of Physical Therapy, Division of Rehabilitation Science, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, USA. mjdrummo@utmb.edu


Essential amino acids (EAA) stimulate muscle protein synthesis in humans. However, little is known about whether microRNAs (miRNA) and genes associated with muscle growth are expressed differently following EAA ingestion. Our purpose in this experiment was to determine whether miRNA and growth-related mRNA expressed in skeletal muscle are up- or downregulated in humans following the ingestion of EAA. We hypothesized that EAA would alter miRNA expression in skeletal muscle as well as select growth-related genes. Muscle biopsies were obtained from the vastus lateralis of 7 young adult participants (3 male, 4 female) before and 3 h after ingesting 10 g of EAA. Muscle samples were analyzed for muscle miRNA (miR-499, -208b, -23a, -1, -133a, and -206) and muscle-growth related genes [MyoD1, myogenin, myostatin, myocyte enhancer factor C (MEF2C), follistatin-like-1 (FSTL1), histone deacytylase 4, and serum response factor mRNA] before and after EAA ingestion using real-time PCR. Following EAA ingestion, miR-499, -208b, -23a, -1, and pri-miR-206 expression increased (P < 0.05). The muscle-growth genes MyoD1 and FSTL1 mRNA expression increased (P < 0.05), and myostatin and MEF2C mRNA were downregulated following EAA ingestion (P < 0.05). We conclude that miRNA and growth-related genes expressed in skeletal muscle are rapidly altered within hours following EAA ingestion. Further work is needed to determine whether these miRNA are post-transcriptional regulators of growth-related genes following an anabolic stimulus.

I strongly suggest giving it a try.  Post your WOW’s and your thoughts.