Milos Sarcev On Biohacking Muscle Growth & Much More.

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It’s time to take a deep dive into all things pre-, post-, and during-workout nutrition to maximize recovery, anabolism, muscle hypertrophy, and much more with Milos Sarcev — one of the top bodybuilders of all time.

Milos was born on January 17, 1964 in Novi Sad, Serbia (former Yugoslavia), grew up in Bečej, and at an early age got involved in numerous sporting activities—participating in judo, karate, swimming, soccer, and basketball tournaments as a teenager. At the age of 17, he was introduced to weightlifting and immediately fell in love with bodybuilding. Four years later, he started competing, entered and won his province title (Mr. Vojvodina), his republic title (Mr. Serbia), and finally national title (Mr. Yugoslavia) before going on to compete on the international scene (Mr. Europe and Mr. Universe). He won the 1989 Amateur Mr. Universe competition and started competing as a professional in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB).

Milos studied nutritional technology at the University of Novi Sad and moved to the USA in 1987 to pursue his bodybuilding career. In 1989 he won the Amateur Mr. Universe title, in 1991 became an IFBB professional bodybuilder, competing in over 110 bodybuilding shows worldwide (72 of which were IFBB professional competitions), and qualified for the Mr. Olympia contest for 10 consecutive years in the hardest era of bodybuilding (1990s).

After his competitive career, Milos became known for coaching/advising numerous professional athletes and Olympic medalists. He took a part in famous BALCO Labs “Project World Record” as a nutritionist and strength and conditioning coach for Tim Montgomery—creating the fastest man alive by breaking the World Record on the 100-meter sprint (9.77 seconds) after less than 9 months of coaching. As a bodybuilding coach, he advised over 100 IFBB professional bodybuilders, of which 36 qualified for the most prestigious Mr. Olympia competition. He is a renowned international nutritional expert and speaker; professional trainer; and strength, conditioning, and contest preparation consultant with over 35 years of firsthand industry experience.

Milos has become one of the most prominent authorities on nutrition and the human body as relates to athletic performance, earning him the industry moniker “The Mind.” He is considered to be one of the most influential bodybuilders in history, pioneering the usage of specific intra-workout nutritional sports supplementation through his Hyperemia Advantage System, which revolutionized the whole sports supplementation industry. Milos’ methods of training and hormonal manipulation for achieving a hyper-anabolic state and maximal hypertrophy are now accepted by millions around the world.

During this discussion, you’ll discover:

-The background on Milos’ interest on muscle growth…6:25

  • Milos’ father, a doctor of science in neuro-psychiatry, asked questions on how to build muscle (anabolic) vs. tearing it down (catabolic)
    • “If you take a sledgehammer to a room over and over, can you keep building it up…”
  • Increased blood flow to the muscle will result in up to 70% more muscle fibers in a muscle you’re training
  • At rest, 10% blood in the muscles
  • Trigger anabolic hormones that will enhance insulin levels
  • Pharmaceutical grade essential amino acids (EAAs), combined with dextrose resulted in nearly instant and impressive results (prescription was needed to get EAAs in the ’80s)
  • Was accused of taking anabolic steroids at competitions when competing
  • Regulation of Increased Blood Flow (Hyperemia) to Muscles During Exercise: A Hierarchy of Competing Physiological Needs
  • 3-4 ml of blood per minute to in 100 g of muscles during normal rested state
  • During exercise, this increases to 100-200 ml of blood per minute in 100 g muscles

-Milos’ ideas and theories put into real-world practice…16:00

  • Milos published a “magic workout drink” recipe in Flex Magazine in 2001
  • Created his first pre-, intra-, and post-workout supplementation in 2006
  • Introducing these supplements, allowed pro bodybuilders to gain muscle when it was thought they could gain no more muscle
  • Use of vasodilatory (vessel widening) substances in the supplements to increase the delivery
  • BFR training limits hyperemia during exercise, then a cell “swelling”
  • BFR training is contradictory to Milos’ philosophy; has used it to supplement “giant set” rotations in the past
  • EAAs, glucose, electrolytes (Thorne Catalyte or a pinch of salt) always bioavailable
  • Taking glucose immediately after training restores glycogen in the muscles
  • Intra-workout supplementation maintains glucose and amino acid levels between sets, making them available for re-uptake

-The substances Milos uses alongside EAAs during training…29:45


-Proper timing and dosage of supplementation before and during a workout…37:15

  • Pre-Workout (around 30-45 minutes before)
  • During Workout
  • EAAs are far superior to branch chain amino acids (BCAAs)
    • 9 EAAs the body cannot manufacture that are needed to complete protein synthesis
    • 3 EAAs in BCAAs (incomplete essentials)
  • Insulin can be the best friend or worst enemy, depending on the type of training you’re doing
    • Bodybuilders who want to get anabolic and hypertrophic boost insulin

-How Milos structures his diet for optimal training…42:00

-Why supplementation during the workout is necessary…45:45

  • Risk of hyperglycemia
  • Glucose will make its way to the bloodstream regardless of how hypertonic the drink may be
  • “A gram of practice can bear more weight than a ton of theory”
  • Ben Pakulski – “challenge everything you know”
  • If gastric emptying is delayed completely, it can be inhibited completely

-How post-workout supplement differs from the pre-, and during-workout…49:15

  • Post-workout shake (an hour after the workout) to complete the hyper-anabolic state; continue to deliver sufficient amount of protein to ensure muscle protein synthesis; continue to deliver carbohydrate to replenish glycogen, both in the liver and muscles
  • Further spiking insulin after the workout will be detrimental to protein synthesis and glycogen repletion
  • Practice trumps theory
  • The post-workout anabolic window is essential

-Milos’ carnosine strategy…54:05

-What Milos’ training looked like during his peak vs. now…57:10

  • Myofibril hypertrophy – stimulating the muscles by lifting heavy weights to cause trauma to the individual muscle fibers; overcompensation that would increase the volume and density of the injured myofibrils
  • Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy – occurs when the sarcoplasmic fluid (ATP, glycogen, creatine, water) volume increases; adds muscle volume but not functional mass
  • Increasing strength isn’t the primary goal of a bodybuilder; the size of the muscle is
  • The human body is not designed to withstand the rigors of bodybuilding
  • Replenishment, restoration, etc.; supply nutrients while training
  • Myofibril stimulus via two exercises; heavy weight, progressive overload
  • Warm-up properly, prevent catabolism as much as possible
  • First exercise, do muscle-centric movements, not movement-centric
    • Go slow eccentrically, lowering with muscle contraction lengthening, pausing, squeezing your way up; don’t explode
  • Second set, progressive overload (gradually more weight)
    • Do slow eccentric, slow concentric
  • Third set, further load more weight;
    • Go slow eccentrically, explosively concentrically; go for that power movement
  • Fourth set, go all out
  • Slow concentric during warm-up is essential; feel your muscles; squeeze your muscles; not only tension but maximal tension, what Ben Pakulski calls muscle intelligence

-Why essential amino acids are so…essential…1:10:05

  • EAAs – No. 1, most important nutritional supplement; regular protein (fish, chicken, turkey, beef) intake to get EAA

Milos’ actual training – Body split workouts, warm-up, and exercise selection:

  1. I always begin my workout with 10 minutes of cardio, then move to leg extensions to further warm up my muscles, tendons, and ligaments. I take three seconds to raise the weight, two seconds to hold it at the top, and three seconds to complete the negative. Although I don’t advocate locking out your knees on squats, lunges, and leg presses, I do recommend fully contracting your quads on leg extensions, and this requires a momentary locking-out of the knee joint.
  2. I now move to what I consider the king of all exercises: barbell squats. Even though I’ve already warmed up my quads with leg extensions, I still do two warm-up sets of 10 squats to warm up my hips, glutes, lower back, and calves before my three heavy working sets. My descending speed is still slow, about three seconds, but since squats are a building motion, the ascending motion is more explosive. A lot of people make the mistake of stopping between reps and resting when doing squats, but you must keep continual tension on your muscles for maximal results, and this is achieved by continual motion.
  3. Next come leg presses. I alternate from week to week between the unilateral and two-leg versions. I see so many people doing 1,000-pound 1-inch leg presses. That won’t help you develop anything. For both single- and double-leg, I advocate a full range of motion.
  4. I finish off with hack squats. On two-legged leg press days, I perform the standard three sets of 10, with my feet and knees close together to hit the outer sweep of my quads. On the unilateral days, I do my infamous triple drop set. I’ve made more than 100 people throw up doing this, and I myself have thrown up on several occasions. You begin with a weight with which you can get only 5-6 reps, then drop it down and do another 10, drop it again, and go for 10-15. But the trick is this: Do these as slowly as possible. Five seconds to go down, pause two seconds at the bottom, and five seconds to go back up. If you finish this without being sick, you didn’t do it right.
  5. I used to think I could train legs all at once, but my hams were always lagging because I was exhausted from quad training. So these days, I train quads and hams separately, giving each its own day once a week to ensure complete development.

TRAINING SPLIT
DAY BODY PARTS TRAINED
1 Chest Abs
2 Quads Calves
3 Shoulders Traps
4 Back
5 Arms
6 Hams Calves, Abs
7 OFF
Trains abs every day at the end of routine for three months during contest prep


Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Milos Sarcev:

– Additional Supplements:

– Gear:

– Articles:

Ben’s Interview With Ben Pakulski

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Milos or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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