In our “Supplement Stacking 101” course, we schooled you on creating some basic stacks for gaining muscle mass, increasing muscle strength, boosting testosterone levels and dropping bodyfat. In “Supplement Stacking 102,” each stack is designed to build upon those you’ve already put together, to provide a cumulative effect that further enhances the goal at hand, whether it’s getting a better pump from your workouts, having more energy to train harder, picking up your mood, or boosting your growth-hormone levels for packing on muscle mass.
Enhancing muscle pump is not just about a quick, temporary boost in muscle size. The “pump” is due to a greater volume of fluid filling the muscle cells. This stretches the muscle membrane, which the cells sense. They initiate cellular events that result in muscle growth to make room for the greater volume. In other words, the muscle pump results in long-term muscle growth. Using the following stack works great with the mass stack from Stacking 101 for building unbridled mass.
So many people believe that nitric oxide boosters actually contain NO. Not true — it would be difficult to do in supplement form, since NO is a gas. What you are getting in an NO booster is a good dose of the amino acid arginine. This amino gets readily converted to NO in the body with the help of an enzyme known as nitric oxide synthase. Just one of the many benefits of NO is the dilation of blood vessels, allowing more blood to be delivered to muscles. More blood means more water, since blood is mostly water. This effect enhances the amount of water that enters the muscles and the size of the pump obtained.
This amino acid is closely related to arginine. In the body, citrulline is regularly converted to arginine. In fact, research shows that taking citrulline bumps up levels of arginine more than an equal dose of arginine does, because citrulline seems to be better absorbed by the body than arginine. This makes citrulline the perfect supplement to NO-boosting arginine. Research also demonstrates that taking citrulline helps to prevent muscle fatigue, allowing for the completion of more repetitions.
As previously mentioned, arginine relies on the enzyme nitric oxide synthase to catalyze its conversion into NO. Maximizing the conversion of arginine into NO requires that the activity of this enzyme be maximized. That’s where the antioxidant flavonoid from the bark of the French maritime pine tree — Pycnogenol — comes in. Pycnogenol helps to boost NO production from arginine by increasing the activity of NOS.
STACK THEM LIKE THIS
Take 3-5 grams of arginine in the form of L-arginine, arginine alpha-ketoglutarate, arginine malate or arginine ethyl ester without food about 30-60 minutes before workouts, in addition to 2-3 g of either L-citrulline or citrulline malate and 50-100 milligrams of Pycnogenol.
PUMP STACKING SYLLABUS*
- Arginine | 3-5 g 30-60 minutes preworkout without food
- Citrulline | 2-3 g 30-60 minutes preworkout without food
- Pycnogenol | 50-100 mg 30-60 minutes preworkout without food
*Works well with the mass stack from “Supplement Stacking 101”.
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