Ok, here's the deal: I typically don't write much simply because very few things ever motivate me enough to write in the first place. But over the course of the last few years that I have been in this industry, both competing and coaching, I have come across some things that I feel I need to share and get out in the open to all who are new to the scene and eager to learn.
So this is the first of many short "articles" (if you want to call them that) that I will be writing for those of you who follow myself, Scivation/Primaforce, or even just the sport of bodybuilding. This first article is dedicated to a compound that was introduced to me over six years ago by Lyle Mcdonald called Yohimbine HCl. So, first let me briefly explain how found out about this incredible fat loss supplement to begin with.
It was 2003, and I was ready to start prepping for my first bodybuilding show in the spring of 2004. I came across Lyle McDonald's website, learned a ton on his forums, and ended up buying his book called "The Ultimate Diet 2.0". It was in that book that I eventually learned about Yohimbine HCl and the benefits it has as a supreme fat loss agent when used efficiently. Of course, I was all about making my prep as efficient as possible, so when I looked up pricing on Yohimbine HCL, I found that it was actually relatively cheap from a company called Primaforce! Hey, what more could a broke college student ask for, right?
Furthermore, a few years later when I was prepping for my natural pro card in 2007, he had me run a cardio protocol involving Yohimbine HCl for his upcoming book "The Stubborn Fat Loss Solution" and eventually ended up slapping my ugly mug on the cover. It was in that book that Lyle had mentioned the maximum effective dosing for Yohimbine HCl and in what situations to dose it for maximum efficacy, and everything else you ever wanted to know about Yohimbine HCl (and fat loss for that matter). Now, that is not intended to be a shameless plug for Lyle's book as much as it is to let everyone know the main source of my information. Lyle is one of the smartest people I know in the field, and I attribute a lot of what I now know to people like him that I have been fortunate enough to work with and learn from to build the best physique I possibly could naturally.
Now that that is out of the way, some of you are probably wondering what exactly Yohimbine HCl really is. Basically, it breaks down like this:
Yohimbe is a tree (an evergreen to be exact) that grows in regions in Africa. Yohimbe bark is taken from the trees and is used and sold in various supplements and medicines. Yohimbine is a component of yohimbe and is the main alkaloid (and main active component) within yohimbe that produces the desired effects (like fat loss) from the yohimbe bark.
Did you get all that? As you can see, the Yohimbine is really what we want, not yohimbe bark (what you sometimes see sold in standardized extract forms making it hard to know what dose you are actually getting of the active component). This is why we want Yohimbine HCl (like what Primaforce sells really inexpensive). That way, we know what dose we are getting and can control the amount carefully, thus minimizing any side effects that one might experience while using this great supplement.
Okay, now that you know what it is, I bet you now want to know what it does, right? Ok, first you have to know about alpha receptors (I promise to keep this simple). All you need to know about alpha receptors in your body is that they inhibit fat breakdown. So wherever they are abundant, you have a harder time losing fat in that area. Think about a typical woman's hip/thigh area and a typical man's lower back/glute area. The reason they are so stubborn with body fat and usually end up being the last place to get lean is because they have an abundance of alpha receptors there.
That is no coincidence (in fact, Lyle talks about why this is from an evolution standpoint in his book). Anyway, the neat thing about Yohimbine HCl is that it acts as an alpha receptor blocker. So, since alpha receptors inhibit fat breakdown, and Yohimbine HCl inhibits alpha receptors, the net result is that you get an INCREASE in fat breakdown. It works in the same way a double negative works (by inhibiting the inhibitor). So not only do you get a nice increase in fat breakdown, which is the first step in losing body fat, you get it from an area that normally is the hardest place to lose it from. This is exactly why I have all of my clients that compete for shows using this supplement during their contest prep. It is very cheap and highly effective!
Well, that's great to hear, but now how do I dose it? Well, of course we could always use more research, but we will have to use what is available right now as our guide. Studies have shown that does anywhere from 8-24mg of active Yohimbine produced fat loss effects. I always heir on the side of caution when dosing any kind of compound that has stimulant effects on the body, especially this one since raised blood pressure and heart rate are the side effects that accompany the higher doses. Everyone is different and will react different to stimulants, so that's why I say it is always best to start small, assess any side effects, and then increase your dose in small amounts until you reach the desired or full dosing.
The guide I learned from Lyle a long time ago was dosing at 0.2mg/Kg of bodyweight. So that means a 220lb bodybuilder (divide by 2.2 to get Kg) is 100Kg and would work up to a dose of 20mg of Yohimbine HCl, or eight capsules of Primaforce Yohimbine HCl. I would typically start this person at a dose of around half the full dose (in this case 10mg) and work my way up towards the full dose each consecutive session the person had no undesirable side effects.
Now that you are finally aware of Yohimbine HCl and the proper dosing, keep in mind that Yohimbine HCl's effects work the best in the absence of insulin, and its effects start to diminish the more insulin is present. But also be aware that a little insulin secretion does not just flip a switch and shut off all fat burning effects either. The body is not that black and white. For instance, Yohimbine HCl will work best in a fasted state, but will also work just fine if you took in, say, a scoop of whey early morning before your cardio and sipped BCAAs during. Most people think of insulin as a on/off switch and it just doesn't work that way. So keep that in mind when you are using various dieting approaches so that you don't think that Yohimbine HCl is only for those who do fasted cardio and/or a ketogenic diets.
Furthermore, the whole point behind taking Yohimbine HCl is to breakdown the fat from those stubborn areas so that we can mobilize it and then eventually oxidize it and use it for fuel. That is why the ultimate time to take Yohimbine HCl (and the only time I recommend to bother taking it) is before low-moderate intensity cardio. Most people who are doing both weights and cardio like to combine them into one workout for obvious time reasons. In this case, what I like to do is have my clients take their dose of Yohimbine HCl about 15-20 minutes before they are finished with their weight workout.
That way, the Yohimbine HCl is given enough time to start working in the body and be ready to start breaking down that fat by the time you hop on the treadmill (or bike, elliptical, etc.) to do your post workout cardio. Obviously if you have a cardio only training day, or have the luxury to split up your weight and cardio sessions, then the ultimate time you will get the most bang for your buck is with early morning cardio - either fasted or a scoop of whey beforehand...just don't forget to sip your Xtend during!
I hope you found this short article helpful and further understanding this magnificent compound for ultimate fat loss. Keep in mind that I tried to keep it simple and to the point without a lot of confusing jargon and vocabulary (for those of us who didn't specialize in the field). There are many different scenarios that you can play around with, but they are easy to figure out when you simply know the basics - like proper dosing amounts, effective timing, etc.
If anyone has any specific questions, please feel free to hit me up, or even pick up that nice book that Lyle threw my face on...it is loaded with all the scientific knowledge you could ever want about stubborn fat and even Yohimbine HCl in particular for those who want a much more in depth and detailed explanation of the science behind it all. But for those of you who just want something short and sweet, direct and to the point with the basics of what you need to know to get started melting that fat off, I hope you found this helpful! Stay tuned for some other "hidden gems" I will be writing about in the near future!