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Better Than Steroids – An Honest Review
In the book, Better Than Steroids, Dr. Warren Willey mentions that natural trainers can get better results than steroid users if they follow a proper training and nutrition program.
I’ll let you know if the doctor delivers on this article or if this book fails to live up to the hype.
The reason steroid users get such good results is because you tend to eat better and train harder when you’re taking steroids, says Dr. Wiley matters. On page 21 he claims…
“I’m going to teach you how to mimic anabolic steroids using diet and exercise!”
Next, he cites a success story from one of these clients. No names were given and before and after pictures were not presented. The client is listed simply as “LD”.
In just 12 weeks, LD went from 182 pounds at 16.1% body fat to 177 pounds at 5.5% body fat. This means that LD not only lost 19.56 pounds of fat, but also gained 14.57 pounds of muscle at the same time!
Here’s the kicker: LD was 60 years old at the time of this study, and he has other clients who gained 30 pounds of lean muscle while dropping 60 pounds of fat by following the same principles, Dr.
Now at this point, I’m smelling something funny. Smells like bull sh*t.
But let’s continue. Doc talks about the importance of water and that food can actually be used as medicine. I loved this part of the book because we often forget how powerful food can be. Food can be used to spike or decrease insulin – just like medicine. And by timing your food intake (eating high-carbohydrate foods during your workout and low-carbohydrates the rest of the day) you can take advantage of the drug-like properties of food. Here’s the good stuff.
Willie then talks about how to calculate your recommended daily calorie intake and also provides 4 different diet plans. Eating plans are:
Isocaloric: Splitting your daily caloric intake evenly between fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Keto Run: Eating very low carbs for 7-14 days at a time.
Modified Carb Drop: Doing a keto run and then following it with a carb load.
Zig Zag: Eating more calories one day, then fewer calories the next.
Overall, nothing groundbreaking here. In fact, I saw many similarities between these recommendations and the recommendations in Don Duchaine’s book Underground BodyOps. Both talk about using an isocaloric method at first, then a low-carb diet when weight loss stalls, and then adding weekend carb ups to allow you to gain muscle while shedding fat.
The next few chapters cover pre- and post-workout meals.
Then we move on to Chapter 12: Glycogen Supercompensation.
For me, that’s where the book falls.
Willie opens with the following case study describing the experiences of “CV” (again, no full names or photos are shown.)
CV started at 200 pounds and 8.9% body fat. They then did 10 days of a super low carb diet followed by 48 hours of a high carb diet.
He ended up at 212 pounds and 8.0% body fat. On the surface, it looks impressive. and Dr. Warren Willie exclaims…
“No typos in the chart above! CV gained 12.8 pounds of muscle in a 48-hour load and actually lost some body fat!”
But this is just flat out wrong. He didn’t gain 12.8 pounds of muscle. He’s just holding water. Because that’s what happens when you drastically cut carbs and then flood your system with high amounts of carbs – your body holds on to the excess water.
And that’s a good thing – often it’s a good thing. But you can’t confuse retaining excess water with building muscle. Willie is a medical doctor – he needs to understand the difference between a muscle and a bulge.
But apparently they don’t because they go on to list more examples of successful customers. In each case, it’s clear what happens – the client holds on to the extra water for a couple of days, and Willy calls it “muscle gain.”
But not so. You won’t gain 12 pounds of muscle in two days. No one does. Neither are steroid users.
From there, the rest of the book offers some bodybuilding routines that sound like something out of a Joe Weider mag – giant sets, super sets, 21’s, preexhaust training, etc.
Oddly enough, this style of bodybuilding training often works better for steroid users than natural trainers.
Overall – the book fails to live up to its main promise: Willie proves that you can hold on to extra water for a few days by carb-loading, but fails to prove that his techniques can help you gain muscle and that these techniques actually work. Better results than steroids.
So I’ll save you the money and skip this book. If you want more information on carb loading and the glycogen super solution, track down a copy of Underground BodyOps by Dan Duchaine. The book is now 15 years old but Duchaine does a great job of mapping out the principles behind the glycogen super solution.
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