Today, I’ll be presenting my ultimate A-Z guide on creatine and how to use it for the best results
We’ll look at how to cycle creatine for MAXIMUM muscle building, athletic performance and more.
Creatine should already be one of your go-to supplements as a hardgainer, and if it’s not then allow me to show you why.
Without further ado, here is the ultimate guide to how to cycle creatine for max muscle gains!
How To Cycle Creatine 101
For starters, I’d just like to say that creatine is arguably the best natural muscle building supplement out there.
Creatine is probably the closest thing we have to NATURAL steroids, just because of how insane the results are.
But if you don’t even know where to start, then we’ll need to look at the basics before we even get into how to cycle creatine…
For starters, what IS Creatine exactly?
Put very simply, creatine is a naturally occurring chemical found within your muscles and helps them produce energy during intense physical exercise.
The way creatine does this, is by enhancing your muscles’ ATP (adenosine triphosphate) output, which is your muscles’ main source of energy.
Naturally, more energy for your muscles means more performance, strength, and SIZE.
ESPECIALLY the size, as you’ll come to see, just like I did when I was a beginner.
Benefits Of Creatine
Now that you have a basic understanding of what creatine is, and what it does, let’s get into the actual MEAT of it.
Let’s see how cycling creatine can get you lifting better, performing better, and my personal favorite LOOKING better.
With that said, here’s a brief overview of just SOME of the benefits of creatine:
- Gets You Jacked
- Makes You Stronger
- Gives You More Endurance
- Helps You Recover Faster
- Improves Brain Function
- Safe & Easy To Use
- And much more…
Hopefully by now you’re starting to see the hype and are wanting to learn how to cycle creatine.
There’s a reason why creatine is shoved in people’s faces so much when they start exercising.
That reason is because learning how to cycle creatine works, and you can literally put on muscle 4 times faster than without it.
Now, let’s quickly go in-depth of a few of the benefits of creatine.
Creatine Gets You Jacked
Overall, this is the number one benefit and is usually why many people want to learn how to cycle creatine.
But it’s not just “trust me bro” advice either, there’s actual science behind it.
Numerous studies have proven that creatine can DOUBLE your gains and strength, compared to training without it.
“Creatine-supplemented groups had significantly greater increases in lean tissue mass (p<0.00001), chest press strength (p=0.0002), and leg press strength (p=0.01) compared with placebo. When studies that combined creatine supplementation with other nutritional supplements (ie, conjugated linoleic acid or protein) were excluded one at a time, the increases in creatine-supplemented groups were still greater than that in placebo groups for all measures.”
I can personally attest to this too. I still remember the very first time I took creatine.
It was AMAZING, I was putting on muscle at a ridiculous speed compared to what I was used to.
I didn’t feel nearly as tired at the end of a workout, and the soreness I would get would be gone in a couple days rather than a couple weeks.
I have to warn you though, when you learn how to cycle creatine, you may get steroid accusations because of how fast you’re putting on muscle.
Just ignore it, and move on. They’re ultimately just jealous that you know how to cycle creatine effectively and can reap the rewards from it.
Creatine Improves Athletic Performance
Now for my athletes out there looking for how to cycle creatine: I’ve got good news for you.
Creatine is one of the best supplements for athletic performance period. [R]
Remember when we talked about how creatine enhances ATP/energy output?
Well that directly translates to results on the field/court/whatever.
In fact when it comes to athletic performance, studies have found ZERO negative experiences thus far. [R]
In fact, science has found that creatine improves athletic performance on average by about 5-15% INSTANTLY.
“For example, short-term creatine supplementation has been reported to improve maximal power/strength (5-15%), work performed during sets of maximal effort muscle contractions (5-15%), single-effort sprint performance (1-5%), and work performed during repetitive sprint performance (5-15%)”
It doesn’t matter what sport you choose either.
If you’re a runner, creatine has been shown to reduce time to complete 40 meter sprints. [R]
Maybe you’re a swimmer, in that case creatine has been shown to drastically enhance swimming performance than without it. [R]
Or for my football and basketball (my personal favorite) players out there, creatine has been shown to significantly enhance sprint and jumping performance as well. [R]
In short, just give creatine a shot because it’s truly amazing.
Learning how to cycle creatine will get you jacked, strong, fast, explosive, and more.
So now let’s get into how to cycle creatine for real, including a custom plan to follow.
How To Cycle Creatine
Although you could just supplement with creatine by taking a little bit each and every day, that’s not where optimal results will come from.
Learning how to cycle creatine is critical because unlike say protein powder for instance, creatine needs a “loading phase” and a “maintenance phase”.
The loading phase is when you consume a fuck ton of creatine for a week or two so that your body can saturate all of your muscles with it.
The maintenance phase is when your muscles are full of creatine and you just need to replenish the optimal stores of the supplement.
|Week 1||8-10g of Creatine|
|Week 2||6-8g of Creatine|
|Week 3||6g of Creatine|
|Week 4+||4-6g of Creatine|
|Every couple months, cycle OFF completely||Then repeat cycle|
After weeks 4 and onward, I wouldn’t recommend any more than around 6 grams of creatine.
The reason why is not only does creatine follow the law of diminishing returns, the cons of taking creatine also increase.
Basically, if you take any more than 6 grams of creatine per day after weeks 4 onward, you’re risking extra strain on your liver, water fat, and more for hardly any extra results.
In fact, let’s get into the next important part of how to cycle creatine: The side effects of creatine and how to manage them.
Side Effects Of Creatine
Although creatine is one of the safest supplements out there, it’s not like Testogen where it’s 100% natural and too much of ANYTHING is bad.
This is true here too, as creatine does POTENTIALLY have some side effects.
Although the side effects of creatine are rare, here are the three most common:
- Liver/Kidney Damage
- Digestion issues
Again, the side effects of creatine are extremely rare which is why it’s considered one of the safest supplements around. [R]
Most of these side effects happen with people who already had pre-existing conditions that just got inflamed by the creatine.
The only one I’ve ever noticed in over 5 years of supplementing with creatine was bloating.
Bloating, or water weight, is the most commonly reported side effect of creatine.
And it makes sense because one of the was creatine works is by drawing more water into your body and muscles to keep them hydrated.
To get rid of water weight, either drink more water (your body will recognize it doesn’t need to store as much with an increase of water consumption.) or sweat a lot more with some intense cardio.
The bloating isn’t harmful, and at worse you’ll just lose your shredded six pack until you get rid of the water weight.
Should You Take Creatine Before Or After A Workout?
The next important question after how to cycle creatine, is WHEN to take it.
There’s a heated debate as to when the best time to take it. Some people say after a workout, and some people say before.
They both have their benefits too, as illustrated by the table below:
|Before Workout Pros||After Workout Pros|
|Improves Endurance||Faster Muscle Gain|
|Able To Lift Heavier||Reduced Soreness|
|Improves Workout Intensity||MUCH Faster Recovery Times|
As you can see, they both clearly have their benefits, so when should you take creatine?
The answer is both. Plain and simple.
It’s amazing most people never think about this, but in order to get the best results from learning how to cycle creatine, then you should split your dose in half.
Take half before your workout for maximum intensity and strength.
And take the other half after, for faster muscle gains, and superhuman recovery times.
In fact, some pre-workouts have creatine in them because they know it’s effectiveness to use beforehand.
Personally, my favorite pre-workout is gorilla mode, and 1 scoop has 2.5 grams of creatine which helps me to be at my best in the gym.
If you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, I realize creatine can seem rather advanced to start out with.
It does get better when you start to use it, and see how it affects yourself and the crazy gains you get.
That being said, I’ll take some time to answer the most frequently asked questions when it comes to how to cycle creatine.
Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?
Let’s address the most common worry people have when learning how to cycle creatine: Does creatine cause hair loss?
The answer is rather limited, and the best anyone can give you is maybe but most likely, no.
Creatine is the most widely researched supplement in the WORLD, with hundreds if not thousands of studies.
Despite this, there has only been ONE study that concluded that creatine MIGHT cause hair loss.
Personally, I’ve never experienced any hair loss with creatine and there’s a 99% chance you won’t either.
However, if for some reason you DO start losing hair, then maybe seek out some other muscle building supplements.
Does Creatine Make You Look Fat Or Bloated?
In short, yes it can, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will.
Again, one of the ways creatine works is by bringing in more water to your body and muscles, to keep them at optimal hydration.
One of the results of this can be bloating or water weight, which to the untrained beginner may look like fat.
If it seems like you’re getting fatter after learning how to cycle creatine, chances are you’re not and that it’s just water weight.
This is good news too, since water weight is a LOT easier to lose than fat.
To start, do some HIIT cardio to sweat a ton, and consider in getting a sweat suit to speed up the process.
Stay away from salty foods and alcohol, as they will make the bloating and dehydration MUCH worse.
And lastly, drink more water. No, seriously.
I realize this may sound counterintuitive, but when your body recognizes that you are giving it PLENTY of water, it goes “Oh, I guess we don’t need to store nearly as much”. and the excess water weight gets flushed out of your system.
Is Creatine Safe For Teens?
Now, is learning how to cycle creatine safe for teenagers?
To be blunt, abso-fucking-lutely. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong.
There are zero reported negative effects on creatine for teenagers.
I’ve personally been taking creatine probably since I was 12, and have had nothing but good things to say about it.
If you’re a skinny hardgainer, or a teenager I HIGHLY recommend you learn how to cycle creatine.
When I first started, I put on 10 pounds of muscle in like a month or two which is ridiculous.
You will never get results like creatine from any other substance (besides steroids of course), so take advantage and get yourself some.
How To Cycle Creatine: Summary
All in all, this was my definitive guide for how to cycle creatine.
It’s a lot easier to do then what most people think.
Follow the weekly plan listed above with the loading and maintenance phase and you’ll be golden.
If you want a full supplement guide, including all of the supplements I PERSONALLY take to stay shredded year round and continue to put on muscle, then check out the bonus section of my “Aesthetic Abs Series“
Whatever you decide to do, learning how to cycle creatine will be huge for any hardgainer out there looking to get jacked fast.
I hope you guys enjoyed the article and will be able to use the advice to reach your max potential.
As always, feel free to hit me up with questions, comments, or concerns.
Until next time,