About Muscle and Sports Science

M.A.S.S. aims to be the prime source for scientific information on performance and physique enhancement. To provide you with updated information on the latest developments in psychology, physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology pertaining to sports and fitness. We at M.A.S.S. feel such information is severely lacking, with most sites either lacking specificity or knowledge to ascertain relevant information, or people seeking to exploit information and skewing it with commercial bias in an attempt to sell training “systems”, hype diets and nutritional supplements.

The information on this website is intended to be free and publicly available to all. The information is intended to be free of personal and commercial bias and presented as is. M.A.S.S. is not trying to sell you anything. The information you will find here is not part of a “system” that is aimed at showing you how you should do things, since that will be largely dependent on your personal goals, situation, genetics and above all, willingness to learn and discern. It is rather intended to be an ever evolving collection. An Encyclopaedia of Physique and Peformance Enhancement if you will. But the whole point of the thing is that science is a living evolving thing, our knowledge is in an ever-expanding state of flux. What we knew to be true about nutrition and training 10, or even 5 years ago, is vastly different from what we know to be true today. And it will have evolved sufficiently in another 5 years for us not to stake our reputation in claiming the current information presented is the pinnacle of our knowledge, the best, or even optimal (and even if it is now, that it may not be in the future), but only to present a vision encompassing the current body of knowledge surrounding science-minded training, nutrition and supplementation for the sports and physique enthusiast and to provide a platform to expand much needed knowledge in this industry where everyone claims to hold the cup of wisdom, and everyone is seeking a piece of the pie.

The few sites that dedicate themselves to expanding knowledge in this way form an entirely too chaotic collection of tidbits, and are often driven by a need to produce as much information as possible, such that a lot of irrelevant information is cluttered in with the relevant information, and strongly dilutes their value as a consistent source of updated information. That doesn’t mean such sites aren’t valuable, on the contrary, you’ll find we are often huge fans of these sites (and you’ll find a few in the links section) and the passion and dedication of some of the greatest ones is admirable, and they form a credit to the industry, but M.A.S.S. aims to be more and less. Less about a constant flow of information (for smaller updates and the personal musings of the editor and contributors we refer you to our blog section, which will also keep you informed of updates to the other sections) and more about concentrated, continuously updated relevant information on the scientific evolution of training, nutrition, ergogenics and general science as it pertains to how to best support your athletic and aesthetic goals.

Be your own personal trainer

I’m a personal trainer myself (although not full time, I am a scientist first and foremost), and this may seem like I’m hurting my own business here, but that isn’t what this site is about. The truth is, if you are reading this website you are probably a sports or physique enthusiast looking to increase his knowledge and improve his results. As such you probably don’t need a personal trainer. Don’t get me wrong, the world needs personal trainers. If you are out of shape and looking to get in shape and don’t want to spend more time on it than you have to, a good personal trainer will do the work for you. Likewise, if you are an athlete looking to dial in and improve rapidly for an upcoming competition, a good personal trainer is probably a smart idea, because you just don’t have the time to learn and apply all you need to know in such a short time frame. For those people, personal trainers are much needed, but it leaves you with the intriguing notion that you’ll have to trust someone else’s judgment without a lot of information to go on in discerning whether they are the right person to help you, aside from maybe past successes. If you fall anywhere in between those categories it is probably not economically desirable or feasible to retain the services of a personal trainer. And honestly, why should you ? If you are willing to take the time to learn, invest some time in comprehending more difficult scientific notions, and apply objective findings to your training and nutrition, you can probably elevate your level above that of the large majority of the personal trainers out there.

The sad truth is that the majority of personal trainers aren’t the brightest of people. They aren’t college material, they took a short evening or home school course learning only the very basics of anatomy, physiology and the rehashed principles of physical education in order to obtain a piece of paper that allows them to call themselves “personal trainer” or put some meaningless acronyms behind their name as if it somehow elevated them above you. Again, there is nothing wrong with that. There are a ton of GREAT personal trainers that don’t know half of what I know, and likewise a few that do and couldn’t help a client if they wanted to, because initial success is as much a function of motivation and conveying information correctly and personally as it is of knowledge. The basic standards of improving performance and looks alone will go a long way in an untrained individual. But assuming you ARE in fact motivated, and are honest enough with yourself to understand and apply the basics, you will be looking for the BEST results, not just great results. If so, this site is for you. The gym rat looking to add some muscle, the personal trainer looking for the latest information, the athlete looking to up his game, and perhaps even the motivated starter looking to take control of his life.

How can you help?

Your help is much needed in improving the quality of this site. And highly appreciated. Because the information is edited by a limited number of people, and as we repeat ad infinitum, each one of us is prone to error and bias, we need input, and a lot of it. If you want to tell us we are doing a good job, that’s fine. But really we need your questions (if there are enough we may do a regular Q&A on the blog), your suggestions for information we should be focusing on, and your corrections. Feel free to send us a short mail with comments on articles if you feel you have spotted an error (in content, although you are free to point out spelling and grammar issues as well ;)) . Challenge us on any of the positions here, and we will try and answer as correctly as possible on our current stance, or if needed, update our information to include your remarks. Please do not hesitate to contact us at editor@muscleandsportsscience.com , the very worst that can happen is that you receive no reply due to time constraints and lack of relevance, but we will try our best to respond to all incoming mail.

We hope you will support our mission, and hope to welcome you into a growing community striving for correct, unbiased information surrounding training, nutrition and supplementation. Please keep in mind however, that the information is never going to be completely unbiased, the aim is still to provide the best possible application of the current knowledge, and sometimes that means filling in the blanks with the most probable hypothesis until more information becomes available.

About the editor

Peter Van Mol has an education background in biochemistry and molecular biology. He has been a fitness and physique enthusiast for nearly 15 years now, during which time he has functioned as a personal trainer for many people, including many top level amateur athletes. He also has a long standing history in the online bodybuilding and fitness community where he was widely known, and continues to be known, albeit to a lesser extent, by the online moniker “Big Cat”, a nickname bestowed upon him during his college days because his obsession with training kept him from normal activities because he was always eating or sleeping, like a big cat. In that capacity he helped to develop the largest online bodybuilding forum, that of bodybuilding.com, from a small board to its current capacity, first as a contributor and later as a moderator. A function he held until 2005. During that time span he also contributed a myriad of content to their website with regards to training, nutrition and supplementation. He was also a head moderator and administrator of the prime science-minded training forum on the net, cuttingedgemuscle.com, a function he took after the passing of his friend and mentor Karl “Nandi” Hoffman.

He was set to write a book on performance enhancing substances together with Karl Hoffman, commissioned by Matt Boldt of SAN nutrition, but not long after commencing the collaboration, Hoffman passed away at age 50 due to complications of a genetic illness. Not too long after that, disillusioned by his mentor’s passing, and because of a new job with a long commute and the birth of his first son (whose second name is Karl, named after Hoffman), he retired from online life in 2007.

He still continued to take a keen interest in the science of physique and performance enhancement however, and continued his obsessive research over the years, perfecting and honing his knowledge of the human body and how it responds to training and nutrition at every possible level. A plethora of personal problems in 2009 prompted some drastic changes in his life, after which he changed jobs and met his current wife.

Without too much effort and largely as the result of his knowledge and efficiency, Van Mol sports a 240 lbs (109 kg) off-season physique at 15% body-fat without really committing to the bodybuilding lifestyle because he had no competitive ambitions. At age 32 he found himself regretting that decision, labeling his reluctance to commit “a 10-year excuse”. Since, he has set his mind to testing the limits of his own abilities, and has adopted a more disciplined and healthier lifestyle and has committed himself to competing as a natural bodybuilder by 2014, when he hopes to sport a lean 200 lbs physique for his 6’1 frame. Together with his new lifestyle, his desire to share his passion for the scientific pursuit of physical enhancement flared up again, which culminated in his desires to start an online blog. With the motivations and efforts of his friend and partner, GetXXL, a young web developer, the idea evolved into a full blown website, M.A.S.S.

Van Mol lives in Oostende, on the Belgian coast, with his wife Sabrina and has shared custody of his two sons, Brennan and Aedan. He is employed full-time as a lab technician in order to be close to his family, and outside of work he trains diligently and daily, and spends as much of his time as he can in educating young athletes and working on the M.A.S.S. website, the majority of that work being unpaid. He remains available for limited personal training work, seminars and articles.

He can be contacted at pvanmol@muscleandsportsscience.com

About the webmaster

GetXXL holds a BSc degree in Computer Science and a MSc degree in Software Engineering, both from the University of Amsterdam. He is also a young, avid fitness and bodybuilding enthusiast who has been training since he first set foot in his local gym in late 2008 as a high school student. He has currently already managed to get his thin 69 kg (151 lbs) 1m94 (6’4”) physique up to a maximum offseason weight of 103 kg (226 lbs). He too has taken a great interest in the science-minded approach to training and nutrition, advancing his knowledge of hard sciences through rigorous self-study and reading a ton of studies.

In this capacity he made the acquaintance of Peter Van Mol through an online forum in 2011, and the two became friends, frequently discussing the latest studies. In the summer of 2012, Van Mol divulged his desire to start an informative blog on the topic of scientific performance and physique enhancement  and he quickly offered his services as a web developer to turn the idea into a full blown website. More than a webmaster he has become a veritable contributor in every sense of the word correcting texts, contributing ideas, finding studies and overall making M.A.S.S. more than just a site, but an experience.

He can be reached at getxxl@muscleandsportsscience.com


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