Muscle & Metabolism Myths

My crazy new FREE workout has been released…but you can only get the TT Gauntlet workout on my Facebook fanpage…you’ll find a link there;

=> Click here to access the TT fanpage

Now for the 7-day fat loss guide…this week is metabolism & muscle building myth-busting…

Click here to listen to the call

Let’s start with a Transformation tip from a surprising source…the one and only “Ari Gold”…

Monday – March 29th

Transformation Tip of the Week:
“To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done”
Jeremy Piven

I really liked that one…and here’s one of my favorite Kekich Credos to go along with it:

Kekich Credo #27. “The choice to exert integrated effort or to default to camouflaged laziness is the key choice that determines your character, competence and future. That critical choice must be made continually – throughout life. The most meaningful thing to live for is reaching your full potential.”

I hope those help you get your mindset right for the week ahead…

Now for this week’s workout…we’re going to review a program that my friend Jay Ferruggia helped me with back in 2008. While Jay didn’t design this exact workout, I used a lot of what I learned in his Muscle Gaining Secrets program to set this one up.

1) Deadlift (3×3, 1×15)
2) Close-grip Bench Press (5×5)
3) Chin-up (40 reps in as few sets as possible)

Pretty simple, huh? But your upper body will get a great workout from that…

Get 30 minutes of fun activity – now grab a Green Tea and let’s do this week’s research review

Here’s the background…people believe that squats and deadlifts increase testosterone…you’ll see this thrown around everywhere on the internet…and misguided trainers believe that this hormone boost can influence muscle growth…but they are sadly mistaken… the reason you gain muscle from squats and deadlifts is due to the hard work required by squats and deadlifts, not the hormone boost.

Let’s look at this study for a more detailed explanation…(this comes from my old friends at McMaster University, where I went to school for undergraduate and for my Master’s degree…)

Elevations in ostensibly anabolic hormones with resistance exercise enhance neither training-induced muscle hypertrophy nor strength of the elbow flexors. Daniel W. D. West,1 Nicholas A. Burd,1 Jason E. Tang,1 Daniel R. Moore,1 Aaron W. Staples,1 Andrew M. Holwerda,1 Steven K. Baker,2 and Stuart M. Phillips1

Twelve healthy young men (21.8 ± 1.2 yr, body mass index = 23.1 ± 0.6 kg/m2) trained their elbow flexors independently for 15 wk on separate days and under different hormonal milieu.

In one training condition, participants performed isolated arm curl exercise designed to maintain basal hormone concentrations (low hormone, LH).

In the other training condition, participants performed identical arm exercise to the LH condition followed immediately by a high volume of leg resistance exercise to elicit a large increase in endogenous hormones (high hormone, HH).

CB note: So do you understand that set-up? The subjects performed both workout conditions to eliminate the “between subject variation”. I explain it in greater detail on the call here:

Click here to listen to the call

There was no elevation in serum growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), or testosterone after the LH protocol but significant (P < 0.001) elevations in these hormones immediately and 15 and 30 min after the HH protocol.

Muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) increased by 12% in LH and 10% in HH (P < 0.001) with no difference between conditions (condition x training interaction, P = 0.25).

Similarly, type I (P < 0.01) and type II (P < 0.001) muscle fiber CSA increased with training with no effect of hormone elevation in the HH condition.

Strength increased in both arms, but the increase was not different between the LH and HH conditions.

We conclude that exposure of loaded muscle to acute exercise-induced elevations in endogenous anabolic hormones enhances neither muscle hypertrophy nor strength with resistance training in young men.

The study confirms that the slight boost in anabolic hormones from a leg exercise will have zero impact on muscle growth of other muscles in the body.

And this makes total sense if you think about it…after all, bodybuilders have to INJECT themselves with steroids in order to get a hormone boost, so why would a short 30 minute increase in testosterone have any significance?

The answer is it won’t.

Disclaimer: This section has probably confused the heck out of most of you…if so, I apologize…it really needs a big whiteboard diagram for full explanation…because it was such a well-designed and intricate study.


Before we get back to the workout Jay helped me with…I want to share this quote from Jay’s latest book:

“At the end of the workout you should feel like you dominated the weights, not that the weights dominated you.”

That’s Jay’s explanation for why he says NOT to train to failure. His latest book, Triple Threat Muscle, is fantastic and I suggest you get it when it comes out next week.

Workout B
Snatch (1×3)
Squat (4×8)
Lunge (2×6)
DB Shoulder Press (3×5)

So simple, yet effective.

But…it’s still a lot of volume and my legs were sore for days after this.


Do 30 minutes of fun activity…and now let’s crush more health and fitness myths…

If you’re like me and sick of hearing how “missing a meal will slow your metabolism” and how “eating breakfast boosts metabolism”, you’ll like this interview with Brad Pilon

=> Click here to learn the truth about your metabolism

We talk about how breakfast doesn’t boost metabolism, and how there’s really only one factor that we can control that can boost your calorie burning.


Workout C

Bench (3×3)
Trap Bar DL (3×5)
Pullup (5×5)

And if I had time…an ab circuit:

Cable Abs
Pike or Knee up

Again, so simple, yet so effective.

Social Support Saturday!
30 minutes of fun activity…and if possible, try this workout with a friend.

It’s Workout D from the TT 2K10 program.

Jumps – 15 reps
Burpee-Chin Combo – 8 reps
Pushups – Max reps
Inverted Rows – 15 reps
X-Body Mountain Climbers – 8 reps per side
Lunge Jump – 6 reps per side
Spiderman Climb – 8 reps per side
8] Sprint – 20 seconds
Rest 2 minutes before repeating 2 more times. But the first time you try it, just go through the circuit once.

Sunday – Plan, Shop & Prepare
30 minutes activity and plan, shop, & prepare…

Here are some great, politically incorrect nutrition quotes from Jay Ferruggia’s new book, Triple Threat Muscle:

“When it comes to nutrition there is one important rule you need to remember and adhere to. If a caveman couldn.t eat it you shouldn.t eat it. That means that if it comes in a bag or a box or was processed in any way it probably isn.t good for you. There are different versions of this called the Paleo Diet, the Primal Diet and a number of others. Some restrict certain foods while others allow them.

“But the basic message is the same:

• Eat only real, whole foods that you could pick, grow or kill

• Avoid processed foods, food additives, and agricultural chemicals at all costs

• Drink tons of water (at least half your body weight in ounces per day) and nothing else

• Minimize your use of alcohol and tobacco products

Personally I would get rid of my cable television and stop attending all social functions long before I ever started eating cheap, unhealthy food. There is nothing in the world that is more important than your body and your health.

“You have to be willing to spend time and money on it. Because if you don.t now, you will someday. in the form of doctor or hospital bills. When you think about it that way, cheap, unhealthy food is actually the most expensive food you can buy; for it will cost you far more time and money in the long run than the healthy food does now.

“To build muscle you need an excess of calories, but these should be clean, healthy calories. One of the easiest ways to add more calories is to simply add a tablespoon or two of some type of healthy oil to every meal. Ideally you should use a variety of oils such as pumpkin seed, flax, hemp and olive oil, constantly rotating them at every meal. This has worked for tons of skinny guys I’ve trained and consulted with and it will work for you. This is a much healthier option than eating another Whopper.”

Classic Jay.

If that doesn’t offend you, you’ll love his articles at

If that does offend you, I apologize.

And here’s a pic of Jay, Rob Belley, and me from 2006.

Next week!
TT Workout – My latest workout from Men’s Health Magazine (April 2010 issue)
Research Review – The 1 drink you must avoid if you want to stick with your program
Nutrition – The truth about nuts for fat loss

Until then, stay strong,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS