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Better Than Steroids – An Honest Review
In the book, Better Than Steroids, Dr. Warren Willey that a NATURAL trainer can actually get results that are better than a steroid user IF the natural trainer follows a proper training and nutrition program.
In this article I will tell you if the doctor delivers or if this book does not live up to the hype.
Dr. Wiley says part of the reason steroid users get such good results is because you tend to eat better and train harder while on steroids. On page 21 he claims…
“I will teach you how to mimic anabolic steroids using diet and exercise!”
Next, he mentions a success story from one of these customers. No names are given and no before and after pictures are shown. The client is simply listed as “LD”
In just 12 weeks, LD went from 182 pounds at 16.1% body fat to 177 pounds at 5.5% body fat. Which means that LD not only lost 19.56 pounds of fat, he also gained 14.57 pounds of muscle at the SAME TIME!
Here’s the kicker: Dr. Wiley says that LD was 60 years old at the time of this study and that he has had other clients gain 30 pounds of muscle mass WHILE losing 60 pounds of fat by following the same principles.
Now at this point I smell something funny. Smells like Bull Sh*t.
But let’s continue. Doc goes on to talk about the importance of water and that food can actually be used as a medicine. I liked this part of the book because too often we forget how powerful food can be. Food can be used to increase or decrease insulin – just like a drug. And by timing your food intake (eating high-carb foods around the time of your workout and reducing carbs the rest of the day) you can take advantage of the food’s drug-like qualities. Good stuff here.
Then Willey talks about how to calculate your recommended daily calorie intake and even gives 4 different meal plans. The meal plans are as follows:
Isocaloric: Divide your daily caloric intake evenly between fat, carbohydrates and protein.
Keto Run: Eat ultra-low carbs for 7-14 days at a time.
The Modified Carb Drop: Doing a Keto run and then following it up with a carb load.
Zig Zag: Eat high calories one day, then low calories the next.
All in all, nothing groundbreaking here. In fact, I saw many similarities between these recommendations and Dan Duchaine’s recommendations in his book Underground BodyOpus. Both talk about using an isocaloric approach to begin with, then a super low carb diet when weight loss stalls, 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 come to Chapter 12: Glycogen Supercompensation.
For me, this is where the book falls apart.
Willey opens with the following case study detailing the experiences of “CV” (Again, no full name or photos shown.)
CV started at 200 pounds and 8.9% body fat. Then he did 10 days of super low carb diet followed by 48 hours of high carb eating.
He finished at 212 pounds and 8.0% body fat. On the surface, this looks impressive. And Dr. Warren Willey exclaims…
“There is no typo in the above chart! CV gained 12.8 pounds of muscle in a 48 hour load and actually lost some body fat!”
But that’s just plain wrong. He didn’t gain 12.8 pounds of muscle. He just holds water. Because that’s what happens when you cut carbs drastically and then flood your system with a high dose of carbs – your body ends up retaining extra water.
And that’s fine – often that’s a good thing. But you can’t confuse keeping extra water with building muscle. Willey is a doctor – he should understand the difference between muscle and bloat.
But apparently he doesn’t because he goes on to cite even more examples of successful clients. In each case, it’s clear what happens—the client ends up holding on to excess water for a few days, and Willey calls it “muscle gain.”
But it is not. You don’t gain 12 pounds of muscle in two days. Nobody does. Not even steroid users.
From there, the rest of the book provides some bodybuilding routines that sound like something out of a Joe Weider mag – Giant sets, super sets, 21s, pre-exhaust workouts, etc.
Oddly enough, this type of bodybuilding training usually works better for steroid users than it does for natural trainers.
Overall – the book falls short of its main promise: Willey proves you can hold on to extra water for a few days by loading up on carbs, but fails to prove his strategies can help you gain muscle and certainly fails to prove that these strategies can produce results better than steroids.
So I would save your money and skip this book. If you want more information on carb loading and glycogen supercompensation, find a copy of Dan Duchaine’s Underground Bodyopus. The book is now 15 years old, but Duchaine does a better job of mapping out the principles behind glycogen supercompensation.
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