Higher protein consumption yields muscle size, strength and overall health

Protein is by far the single most important supplement/nutrient you can consume in your quest for size and strength. Just the mere mention of it, however, gives most doctors and dietitians an anxiety attack. I?m sure you?ve heard much of the unfounded non-sense: ?All you need is food; supplements aren?t necessary.?, ?Too much protein can lead to kidney and liver problems.?, ?An average person can only absorb 30 ? 40 grams of protein at one sitting.?, ?Vegetable protein is just as good as meat, fish or milk protein.?, ?Eating more protein will make you fat.?, and so on and so on. There is not one reputable, reliable study to support any of these previous statements, and I cannot tell you how tired I am of dealing with this groundless garbage.

Protein repairs and maintains everything in our bodies from hormones to muscles to bones. Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids. Essential meaning we have to ingest these for survival because our bodies cannot manufacture them. Many researchers now believe we have many other amino acids that should be considered ?conditionally essential?, because of their significance and our inefficiency at producing them. These include; glutamine, arginine, cysteine, taurine, glycine, tyrosine and proline.

If your protein intake or quality is low your body will get the essential aminos it needs from its most abundant storage system, muscle tissue. Knowing this explains why strict vegetarians, especially vegans, have a lower percentage of muscle than dairy, meat and fish eating humans and a harder time building muscle or strength in the gym. The quality of protein inherent to a vegetarian diet, especially vegans?, is dismal at best and a few studies have shown vege males have less testosterone then their meat eating counterparts; especially true if soy is part of their diet. What else should you expect consuming food inferior to human physiology?

Consciously consuming a diet low in protein has no benefits; is not based on good science, and merely a matter of ignorance. There are two things that begin with the letter ?P? that I would never cut back on; one is protein; the other ends in ?Y?. Having said that, how much protein should one consume? The International Society of Sports Nutrition, in a 2007 position statement, concluded that bodybuilders and strength/power athletes require just under a gram of protein per pound per day; consistent with my recommendation of 1 g/lb of lean body weight. However, if you train intensely, which is how you should train, empirical data suggests you may need upwards of 1.5g/lb to 2g/lb. Have no fear; this extra protein will not make you fat.

Protein, in and of itself has little to do with getting fat; protein consumption is inversely related to fat accumulation. The more protein you eat the more fat you burn as fuel. Protein consumption is directly related to thermogenesis and satiety through multiple mechanisms. It?s what you eat more than how much you eat that will determine how lean strong and muscular you will get.

A calorie is not a calorie. The assertion that macro-nutrients are all processed the same between individuals is just foolish. This is the basis for the calorie theory. A calorie of a carbohydrate does not equate to a calorie of protein when being metabolized in our bodies. Protein calories are not likely to be stored as fat as compared to carbs, because protein requires more energy to metabolize and assimilate and has numerous functions. Carbs are simply an energy source, and if not used as fuel, they are stored as fat without much effort; carbs also stimulate the release of high amounts insulin, the fat storage hormone. The higher your insulin, the more fat you’ll store. Keeping your insulin levels low is a key to becoming and staying lean. As an added bonus, protein helps to stimulate the secretion of glucagon, which helps mitigate the fat storage effects of insulin.

  

10 things you should and shouldn’t do

The following is a list from an article on Bullz-eye.com. From begginners to advanced lifters and health enthusiasts, I think all will benefit from this article. Many people, no matter what their level never seek professional advice, and consequently continue to stall their progress with basic mistakes. Do your self a favor read the following, read the article and incorporate it into your fitness lifestyle.

1. You shouldn’t work your abs everyday.
2. You should keep a training Log.
3. You shouldn’t use the pull-down machine like a rowing machine.
4. You should keep your protein intake high.
5. You shouldn’t eat a diet high in carbohydrates.
6. You shouldn’t use your entire body to do curls.
7. You should warm up before every workout.
8. You should make recovery your #1 priority.
9. You shouldn’t scream while training in a gym.
10. You should visualize your goals.

  

Muscle Armor

A training program in the form of progressive resistance exercise builds muscular size and strength. In order for a training routine to be productive, however, it must first provide the correct stimulus to induce an adaptive response. Second, a workout that stimulates and adaptive response must provide for recovery. Third, in order for recovery and subsequent size and strength increases to occur, nutrients, which are of limited supply in our bodies, must be provided. It is clear that the most important nutrient for recovery is protein. In particular, essential amino acids contained in complete protein sources; dairy, meats, and fish. It is well documented that essential amino acids consumed before, during, and after resistance training boost strength and size gains.

HMB is a metabolite of the essential amino acid L-leucine. During many studies on protein effects, L-leucine seemed to be the single greatest contributor to muscle protein synthesis. A recent study examined the effects of an essential amino acid based product, Muscle Armor (MA); manufactured by Abbott Laboratories contains beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (HMB).

Seventeen healthy men were randomly assigned to one of two groups and performed twelve weeks of periodized heavy resistance training while supplementing with either MA or an isocaloric, isonitrogenous placebo (Control group (CG)). Every two weeks the subject?s strength and power were measured and blood was drawn. More-over the blood draws taken were performed pre, mid and post-training. Researchers found the MA group affected training induced changes in muscular size and strength to a significantly greater extent than the CG. Also found, was reduced levels of circulating muscle damage markers creatine kinase and malondealdehyde compared with the CG. In addition, the MA group experienced increases in resting and exercise-induced testosterone and resting growth hormone levels with reduced pre-exercise cortisol levels.
(Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2009;41(5):1111-1121)

  

Q and A with Mike Furci


Q: Mike,
I was told to do dumbbell flys on an incline bench (35-40 degrees). wrong? better? worse?

A: Better? No. Different? Yes.
As the angel of the incline starts to go beyond 30% the only difference is the degree to which the deltoids are used. And while we’re on the subject of angled benches, don’t even bother with decline bench. It is a myth that it stimulates the bottom portion of the pec muscles more than the flat bench.

Also, if you’re performing different angles to change the shape of your pecs, it’s not going to happen. Your shape is genetically predetermined. Train with 100% intensity and stick with the basics.

Read the rest @ Q&A

  

Q&A with Mike Furci: Weight Training vs. Cardio

In his latest Q&A session, Bullz-Eye.com Fitness Editor Mike Furci discusses high protein diets, weight training vs. cardio, and chest workouts.

Q: Mike,
I just finished reading your article on Fitness Myth Busters. Although I agree with pretty much everything you said I do have a couple of comments on some things you wrote.

1. “Screw cardio!”

Are you serious? I think it’s a known AND proven fact that a good mix of cardio and weight training will provide a better fat loss program than just weight or cardio training alone. ESPECIALLY if we consider HIT cardio training.

A: It is true, HIT cardio (I assume you’re referring to interval training) is the best way to go if you’re going to put the time in. However, sorry to inform you, it is not a “proven fact” that a mix of cardio and weight training is the best way to go. Show me the evidence of long term success. There is NONE. Visit any gym and you’ll see what I mean. The majority of people who perform cardio regularly don’t make permanent gains. Cardio is vastly overrated as a means of losing body fat. In fact, if a person who is overweight embarks on a cardio program and doesn’t change their eating habits, they are doomed to failure. Adding muscle is the key, combined with a diet lower in refined foods, especially carbs.

  

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