wendy the myostatin whippet

You’re going to see some weird and wonderful things in this article!

Some animals (including people) have the ability to develop a freakishly large musculature in a much shorter period of time than the rest of us.

In my last article about bodybuilding genetics I said that one limiting factor was myostatin.

This protein, produced by the gene GDF-8, actively limits the amount of muscle you can grow per unit time. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could somehow block myostatin and enlarge our muscles ridiculously fast?

Before we answer that, let’s have a look at what a mutation causing a myostatin deficiency can do!

Below is ‘Wendy the Whippet’, the muscular dog. Looks more like a pitbull with a skinny head!

muscular dog

The mouse on the left has a myostatin deficiency…

myostatin_mice

The first documented human case was of a German kid. He has twice the muscle mass of other kids his age, and half their bodyfat.

german baby myostatingerman baby myostatin 1

Now, you can guess what happens when this knowledge gets out. Unscrupulous supplement companies start releasing new lines of wonder supplements: Myostatin Inhibitors or Myostatin Blockers. Some people are desperate for effortless muscle gain so this was a no-brainer for these companies. Read on if you want to know if they actually work.

Serious research HAS being carried out on animals where the GDF-8 gene (which encodes for myostatin) was deleted, producing overly-muscled bodies.

However, knocking out a whole gene is not desirable because a gene encodes for many proteins, not just one. Efforts were then made to find a way to bind up myostatin so as to interfere with it at the receptor site. This worked but the compound ‘follistatin‘ also binded other hormones too. Again, this is not desirable.

To successfully inhibit myostatin alone, actual human research was needed. In order for this to go ahead, researchers needed to show that myostatin deletion actually occurred naturally in humans before the Human Research Advisory Committee would give this research the green light. The search was on to find such a case…

Blood samples were to be taken from likely candidates. Bodybuilders were the first and most obvious selection. However, something interesting happened, not a single bodybuilder agreed to have his blood analyzed! A gold star to anyone who can guess why not……not got it yet?

Imagine what would happen to those supplement companies who pay these guys if the average Joe knew that their success had NOTHING to do with ‘Wonder Supplement X‘. Pro bodybuilders would lose a lot of income if people got wind of this. Also, supplement companies would go out of business as too would a lot of bodybuilding magazines.

Over-sized musculatures are the result of one, or both, of the following:

  • Genetics
  • Steroids

So next time you see a champion pro-bodybuilder guzzling ‘Super-Grow 5000’ in the latest issue of your favorite muscle magazine, realize that this supplement had nothing to do with his freakishly-large muscle mass. He probably doesn’t even use it in real life.

This is not to say that you can’t get big, or ripped, or have an awesome body. You CAN!

But when you’re talking about really MASSIVE guys like Ronnie Coleman, you’re talking about a size that is just not attainable for the average guy. Personally I don’t care, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near that size anyway.

Now, back to the story…

So the athletes with this natural gift refused to take part. But in June 2004 it was announced that a human myostatin mutation had been found! The German kid above is that very human case. Now the research was approved and a drug called Myo-029 was produced.

Phase 1 & 2 trials were conducted which “contained some measures of efficacy”. However, for some reason, in “March 2008 it was announced that Wyeth would not develop the drug further for MD, but would continue to explore myostatin inhibition along with other strategies” (from Wikipedia).

This means that any supplements out there purporting to be ‘myostatin blockers‘ are not real and will not work.

I must reiterate that this is not cause for concern. Everyone CAN grow. Yes, the rest of us have to settle for slower growth but so what! If you’re facing in the right direction, all you have to do is keep on walking.

Don’t get upset because a rare few can reach their goals quicker. Trust me, most people that get into this game end up quitting. To succeed all you have to do is make gains and more importantly, STICK WITH IT!

If you’re interested, the supplements I DO recommend are:

  1. Whey Protein Isolate
  2. Micronized Creatine Monohydrate
  3. L-Glutamine

Also, I only take these once a day (for the most part) as a post workout shake.

Now, I also have a little morning supplementation consisting of:

  1. Fish Oil capsules
  2. Magnesium or ZMA
    (whichever I have at the time)
  3. Multivitamin

Stick with it. Many of us with less-than-desirable genetics have attained the bodies we always dreamed of! You can too!

Stay smart, don’t get scammed, and stay motivated!

Mark

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