About lifting and Caffeine


Work hard or go home”: About lifting goes by this principle; and for obvious reasons:
Muscle gain is proportional to the intensity of the training session (fat loss follows) therefore a sloppy session is a huge waste of time and gym membership. Now we know that caffeine is a vital stimulus not just to “perk” us up but also to increase intensity in our workouts.
A study conducted by Jason Tallis, Rob S. James, Val M. Cox, and Michael J. Duncan (The effect of physiological concentrations of caffeine on the power output of maximally and sub maximally stimulated mouse EDL (fast) and soleus (slow) muscle) suggests that caffeine boosts muscle fiber performance particularly the slow twitch muscle fibers. They used mice muscles in the experiment and they concluded such:

The ergogenic effects of caffeine on PO were higher in muscles with a slower fiber type (P < 0.001). Treatment with 35 μM caffeine failed to elicit any improvement in PO in either muscle (P > 0.72 in both cases). This caffeine-induced increase in force could provide similar benefit across a range of exercise intensities, with greater gains likely in activities powered by slower muscle fiber type.
Note: soleus is a part of the calf – yes humans have it too and it’s targeted by doing seated calf raises.
Therefore caffeine retains its undisputed position in the division of “Workout enhancing Substances”. Now even if it aids slow twitch muscles to a greater degree, it is still beneficial to resistance training and overall workout performance. Since as bodybuilders, we aspire to grow both types of muscle fibers as much as possible, not to mention the boost in the capacity of the slow twitch fibers will also translate to a greater workload and being able to do sets with heavier weights.

Greater degree of “overload”= Greater gains in strength and size
Anyways even without the muscle boost caffeine is still a potent CNS stimulant and that alone should help you get through a training session with greater lifting intensity. Now the caffeine haters can argue with such and such and more nonsense; but truth still stands, caffeine has more pros than cons. Not to mention that the cons are not that threatening (palpitation, difficulty in sleeping etc of course! It’s a stimulant and you’re not supposed to take coffee before sleeping! Duh!?); and even the health “gurus” and paleo monks suggest that coffee is a very strong “antioxidant”: one article I read even suggests doing a coffee enema for detoxifying the liver- Well don’t look at me like that, I haven’t tried it- but to tell you the truth it seems pretty convincing- I might give it go I’ll keep you posted! Well anyways I am not a coffee sales person but that is just how much I believe in the power of coffee because: it works! And I have been a coffee lover since when I was a kid, me and my father; to the extent of sipping a hot cup of joe even during the warm summer days.
So take home advice: Take coffee: it’s obviously good for you.

note: brewed coffee is better than instant (off course) but then again; instant would be better than nothing.

A-Lifter- Don't forget to leave your comment/feedback below.  If this article was helpful, I am sure our book Real Talk Muscle will help you even more in your quest for muscle gain. Check it out you can read the first few chapters as well.
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