I've been using creatine for trainnig fot the past 4 weeks, I had a one week loading period after which I just take one teaspoon every day.
The difference it has made has been impressive - both in the gym (weight training), climbing specific training deadhangs/pullups(I comfrotably managed 60 long arm pullups , sets of 10 the other night, along with variations of Frenchies...never been able to do that before!)and also middle distance running, so I'm happy that the stuff works.
I just need to know:
1)How long to take it for, before giving it a layoff?
2)The duration of the layoff period before I start taking it again?
I used to get really irritaed by people saying what i am about to say - sorry !
Save your money and spend it on going climbing.
I'm not saying creatine doesn't work ( it does ) but if your log book is up to date you are topping out at 6b but can do deadhangs and did 60 pull ups and frenchies in one night.
Your strength is not what is holding you back.
Having said that you didn't ask for this advice and you may enjoy the training more than the end result - which a lot of people do i'm not knocking that - so i'll shuffle off now having not given you the answer to your question.
PS loading phase is now thought un necessary and also allegedly stops the alleged water retention/bloating which is not great for climbing - there you go a bit of help for you :0)
In reply to Goofyfoot:
I felt stronger after taking creatine, but I don't think it's worth taking for climbing because of the added water weight vs the strength isn't worth it but it would be interesting to see the facts/figures behind it.
In reply to smithers25:
Totally agree !
Your point is essential for anyone using Creatine to know about. One of my climbing mates and I were going to use it. I had second thoughts and decided against it. He went for it big time and got really injured frequently. There were great strength improvements but they came at too big a cost and he recently had surgery.
When someone comes up with a proper plan to manage tendons in conjunction with Creatine use that will be interesting.
In reply to Goofyfoot: In reply to the "just go climbing, you'll get stronger" comments, unfortunatly I'm only able to climb once - perhaps twice a week if I'm lucky, so I suppliment this with various forms of training.
Regarding the weight issue, I'm managing my weight pretty comfortably through a mix of good diet and regular cardio work (betweeen 6-9 mile runs).
The cretaine itslef is good value - £7 for 500 grams from my protien.com - still got loads left.
I completey agree, that while muscle strength imrpoves quickly, this is not in relation to tendon streangth - again, this is why I'm being careful about pushing to hard at the wall, so far no problems.
As for the "climbing through the use of drugs" comment, I find this quite rediculous, creatine is a natural substance already found within the body - by taking it you are mearly suppliment what you already have, and as sombody has already pointed out, it is perfectly legal, and widely used throughout many different sports and events - was used commonly, and openly by athletes within many olympic events!
In reply to biscuit:
I think the problem was that he worked on muscular strength and simply didn't look into what was happening to his tendons. He gave up routes as soon as he started using Creatine and concentrated on bouldering. That alone would have made an impact especially as he was doing around 4 sessions a week. The gains from Creatine were fairly spectacular and injuries followed. He had probably been climbing about 3 years before he started Creatine and his progress in the first year was amazing. And I think he continued to climb through injury too which a lot of us do. If he had worked more on rest, approached injury differently and added Pilates (which I do) and generally looked into session recovery things might have been different. That said, the initial return on Creatine and the mindset it produced probably stopped him looking at these things.
In reply to Goofyfoot:
Sounds like you're approaching this the right way. I also agree with your comment against labelling Creatine as a drug. Wenger introduced Creatine at Arsenal more than 10 years ago.
There is no doubt in my mind that used correctly it can be really effective.
In reply to Goofyfoot:
Use it for 6 weeks then take a few weeks off.
Take it at roughly the same time of day. You will find conflicting views on taking it before or after training. Personally I have a cycle of 6 weeks on, 6 weeks off and take it just before hitting the gym.
In reply to Goofyfoot:
People I know dont cycle it,just take a tsp a day after a loading week. They also say that the water weight comes on quickly and is limited, the strength gain should catch up with and then surpass the water weight.
"As for the "climbing through the use of drugs" comment, I find this quite rediculous, creatine is a natural substance already found within the body - by taking it you are mearly suppliment what you already have",
As far as I recall blood is a natural substance already found in your body and following your argument merely to supplement what you already have by adding some more is fine; but is most definitely frowned upon in "organised" sport. You may wish to ask Lance Armstrong about that one as having transfusions of his own blood is one of the accusations made against him. Whether or not a "supplement" or other substance is legal or not in sports is irrelevant to climbing, each individual makes their own decisions about what they do or do not put into their own bodies (and accept the consequences of their actions - in this case weight gain, water retention or increased risk of injury judging by the other posts - all of which could be viewed as counter productive from the climber's perspective).
In my view what matters in climbing is exploring my own personal limits, both physical and mental and I believe strongly that those limits should not be artificially "improved" by overdosing on compounds regardless of whether or not they are natural. If you want to get stronger train harder, if no more gains come then you have reached your potential - just accept your limitations.
> (In reply to Trevor Langhorne)
> But creatine does not make you stronger. It makes you able to train more often and harder. You still have to put the effort in, it's not a way of avoiding hard work.
In reply to Goofyfoot: On a cold Friday afternoon, I had come home from school. I had been thinking of the gym all day. I was hungry, didn't have any lunch. In fact, I didn't eat because I spent the money. For the past month I was saving up for something. Something special which I bought at GNC. I was surprised they didn't ask for ID; I was pretty sure the cashier noticed how nervous I was. Anyways, my mom asked my how my day was when I got home, but I ignored her. I have more important things to do. I run to the bathroom and unpack my bag. In my school bag is a white plastic bag from GNC. I open the bag, first removing the receipt and flushing it down the toilet to get rid of the evidence. My heart was racing now. I unpack the creatine monster from the bag.
I wonder what people will be asking me when they see that I will be 50lbs heavier. Should I say I was just eating a lot? I remove the label from the tub and tear it into a thousand small pieces. I flush that down the toilet, too. It is time now. I run up to my room when my mom ask me what I am holding. I panic, sweat drips down my forehead and my teeth chatter. "Mom, it's just for a school project". "What project?" "I don't know mom I just started it!". A tear runs down my cheek. I run upstairs and open the creatine, scooping upservings into a clear water bottle. What have I gotten myself into? I fill it with water and drink it. There is no turning back now. The creatine monster is inside me now, it will control me. What should I do if I die? I cant let my family know about this.
I open the creatine tub and throw it all out the window; a white cloud of mysterious dust sparkles into the wind so graciously. I feel the substance taking control of me; I am now the monster. I walk downstairs, its time to work out; time to get big. Now I worry, I don't want to get too big; people will think I use steroids. I do use steroids. No I don't. Creatine. All I see is the weights now, I am almost downstairs when I hear "Do you want a cookie I just baked". I know I do not have time for this **** now. "No mom I do not want a cookie" I walk in the basement and drop to my knees before the weights, tears running down my cheeks. I turn to the right and look at myself in the mirror. Oh god, what have I done?