by Dr. Eric Serrano and Scott Mendelson


Question #1

I aim to increase lean muscle mass toward the end of the year, which matches my diet of all out craziness due to the holidays. What can I do to maximize muscle mass while minimizing or even preventing putting on a bunch of body fat?

We have to answer this type of question about a dozen times every November, and each year we learn new stuff. There are some proven strategies to accomplish what you seek, and we agree that it’s smart to take advantage of larger food intakes by gearing your training toward building lean body mass. Hormones always must be taken into account, as they dictate success and failure. The amount of food and/or calories play a role, but keep the eye on the prize by considering hormone levels as well.

You can promote a highly anabolic hormonal status through a combination of hard training, high nutrient intake, rest, and supplementation. Missing any of these factors will put you on track to pack on the unwanted fat pounds. Hungry muscles stimulated by hard training will suck up excess available raw materials depriving fat cells from the materials they need to grow and multiply.

Build up Muscles and Starve Fat Cells

Our research indicates that amino loading with 100% MR and Muscle Synthesis around workouts and between meals leads to muscle accretion, which is the build up of amino levels in the bloodstream. This increased availability of raw materials combined with an uptake in anabolic hormones such as testosterone is a powerful muscle growing and fat burning combination that ensures excess food intake converts primarily to muscle, not body fat. Take advantage of amino loading between meals and when you workout to accelerate your muscle growth timetable.

Fill up Fat Cells with the Right Materials to Shut Down Body Fat Accumulation

Your fat cells are the storage warehouse for excess materials. Fill up this space with good dietary fats and you can prevent accumulation of new body fat. The body is very smart. Load it up with tons of good fats and it will suck them up, filling cells rather quickly.

Alpha Omega was designed to provide all of the great benefits of Omega 3 while being engineered to maximize body composition improvements. Take 9–12 caps per day along with good fat choices with meals and watch the waist on your pants stay loose and your sleeves get tight with new increases in muscle! Loading up on the right combination of essential fats can also improve insulin sensitivity, making the body less likely to store body fat. The ratios and ingredients within the Alpha Omega—including several proprietary elements exclusive to the formula—weren’t chosen at random. For example, CLA, in the correct amounts, has recently demonstrated the ability to increase metabolic rate and related fat burning mechanisms.

I suggest that you pick certain weeks that you will have a much higher food intake and coordinate this with more training volume to capitalize on the extra raw materials and anabolic environment. Christmas offers great opportunities because you have extra time off from work and the availability of vast, tasty leftovers! Having more time to train isn’t the key here, but time to eat more frequently and relax elevates your training capacity by lowering stress hormones. It isn’t uncommon for some patients to see drops in body fat levels during the holidays and when on vacation compared to the normal grind due to a drop in stress levels.

Question #2

I like training heavy (2–4 reps typically), which has always worked well to improve my strength and physique. In the past few months, I’ve been stuck in regards to training, and I think that I’m losing some muscle. I thought overtraining may be my problem, but my muscles aren’t even sore following training. I’m doing four sessions per week at 55 minutes, which doesn’t seem like too much. Most times I don’t feel very sharp but generally sluggish, and I can’t figure out why because I’m sleeping eight hours.

Overtraining is one of the more common reasons behind plateaus or backslides in progress. Your situation differs from the typical case, as your volume doesn’t seem to be too high and you aren’t excessively sore. The source of your overtraining problem is likely stemming from overtaxing the nervous system. You mentioned staying in low rep ranges, which I gather means you’re using heavy poundages. While the sets may not inflict as much “damage” on the muscles as higher rep sets do, there is certainly a toll taken on the nervous system.

One of the great attributes to using a compensatory acceleration system is the use of relatively low loads for low rep ranges so that speed can be emphasized. In your case, being in the 85–95 percent of 1RM for every workout is simply too much for your nervous system to handle, at least at this given time. A change in training strategy is only one of the factors needed.

While overtraining is a major barrier to success, the training aspect is only one element. Many trainees do a poor job in the recovery department, making their training capacity very low and increasing the likelihood of overtraining. Nutrition, supplementation, and rest play a vital role in the success equation. Check out the power fat loss plan and macronutrient cycling for powerlifters articles on the site for powerful nutrition information.

Based on several years of research, amino loading with 100% MR and Muscle Synthesis accelerate both muscular and neurological recovery. The more advanced the athlete and the harder the training, the more important nervous system recovery becomes. We currently work with numerous professional athletes in multiple sports and collect detailed feedback in the areas of body composition as well as performance. Within the first couple of weeks of amino loading consistently, an overwhelming percentage of the athletes report they have a much easier time getting into and maintaining their high performance “zone.” Feedback includes improved hand-eye coordination, improved confidence, and decreased pre-competition anxiety. I think you will experience beneficial changes very quickly when you start the 100% MR and Muscle Synthesis pre- and post-training. Improvements in performance and recovery will come first, and shortly thereafter, your body composition will begin to improve.

Getting into and Staying in the Power “Zone”

Strength athletes also have a “zone,” which in my experience is described as heavy loads feeling light when training. The ability to make heavy loads move quickly is a key to success and is a clear representation of the capabilities of the nervous system. Amino loading provides a powerful energy source to support repetitive bursts of peak power.

The lower your stress, the stronger you will be! We are well-equipped as humans to deal with acute stressors such as an argument with a stranger. Longer term or lingering stress from problems that just don’t go away are the ones that have a negative effect on anabolic hormone levels. Keep this in mind within your recovery picture. You should consider changing the training plan if stress is going to be high during the training week.

Essential fats play a more important role in the recovery process than many would think. Remember, the brain mass is made up of a high percentage of fats. The right mix of essential fats such as the Alpha Omega can help with cellular “fluidity,” which improves communication between cells.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. SST™, Superior Supplements and Training™, 100% MR™, Muscle Synthesis™, Muscle Synthesis Powder™, Alpha Omega M 3™, Amino Loading™, Fat Reduce™, and Zero Tolerance Fat Loss Plan™, are Trademarks of Superior Supplements and Training LLC, OHIO USA.Your results may vary and depend on many factors. No Endorsements of any product or training system is intended, expressed or implied, by any athlete who may be pictured in illustration of this Article. Copyright © Infinity Fitness & Training Inc, OHIO USA 1999-2009, All Rights Reserved.

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