Victor Martinez explains key tips on how to properly cycle creatine to avoid holding water weight.
Victor Martinez is an iconic long running pro bodybuilder who also featured in the original Generation Iron and has now started his own supplement company. To say he is knowledgeable about all things bodybuilding would be an understatement. While discussing about his supplement company, Superhero Labz, we asked him for some advice on creatine usage. In our latest GI Exclusive, Victor Martinez breaks down the key strategy to get the best results from creatine without retaining too much water.
Creatine is an amazing (and legal) supplement for packing on mass and muscle. It’s often one of the earlier supplements that serious lifters start to use. While it provides a wonderful boost to your gains, it also has a negative side effect. Over time, consistent usage can lead to retaining higher levels of water weight.
For casual lifters, this might not be a big deal. But for those who are looking to be shredded on top of all that muscle, this is a major problem. Double so for competitive bodybuilders. That’s why we turned to Victor Martinez for advice on how to best use creatine in your bodybuilding diet and supplementation.
Victor Martinez jokes at first – saying he could lie and recommend that lifters buy creatine monthly from his new company. But he honors transparency and trust. Which is why he admits that the supplement should be used on a cycle rather than non-stop consistently. Martinez relates to his own experience first using creatine, how it affected his body, and how he eventually adjusted to an optimized strategy.
Like nearly any lifter who starts using creatine, Victor Martinez saw immediate results. So long as you maintain training – creatine will help bulk you up with bigger muscle mass. It even helps provide the coveted pump during a particularly grueling session in the gym. But what Martinez quickly noticed was that the effects started bending more towards the negative. This happened approximately six to eight weeks into using creatine. He noticed that he was holding more and more water weight. He also noticed that he was no longer receiving the pump.
So he came off of creatine. The water weight diminished and he started feeling better again going into his training sessions. What Victor Martinez ultimately concluded, was that creatine needs to be cycled. That a bodybuilder should stop using the supplement about six to eight weeks in. Then come off the product and start again. Martinez took a three week break between using creatine. That seemed to keep everything in check.
Victor Martinez also suggests that a bodybuilder plan out their creatine cycles to match it up with peak week. He believes that if you are in the early stages of using creatine in the week of a competition – you’re in a good place. He’s stated he’s used creatine to hold water weight on purpose – to avoid looking completely flat Of course, it’s a delicate balance, you don’t want too much to make you look soft and puffy.
If you keep all of these tactics in mind, you’ll find creatine to be an extremely valuable weapon in your bodybuilding arsenal. You can watch Victor Martinez go into full detail about creatine cycling in our latest GI Exclusive interview above!