-A personal experience with nutrition and exercise-

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Low Protein Diets & Thermogenesis

After reviewing a research paper on obesity it appears that there may be benefit in consuming a "low protein" diet at least for short term metabolic advantage. Perhaps even permanently improving certain imbalances. There are obviously some varitations in how effect certain person's metabolisms are in effectively promoting DIT(diet induced thermogenesis). 
Perhaps these variations are contributed to nurtient quantity and limiting refined foods.

 "Using diets providing
3% protein (low-protein, LP) and 15% protein
(termed high-protein, but actually normal-protein, NP)
to overfeed university students a daily excess of
4.2 MJ (1000 kcal) or more over periods of 3 ± 6
weeks, they reported that the efficiency of weight
gain was less than predicted if the excess calories
were laid down as body fat; this deviation from
predictions being particularly marked during LP-overfeeding.
In the absence of significant changes in digestibility, in body composition and in physical
 activity level, they attributed the bulk of the `missing
calories' (re¯ected in the low efficiency of weight
gain) to an increase in heat production, and the term
dietary-induced thermogenesis came into existence.
This was subsequently shortened slightly to dietinduced
thermogenesis and abbreviated as DIT by
Stirling and Stock."

"the majority of overfeeding
studies conducted during the past 3 decades have
failed to demonstrate a high cost (that is low ef®-
ciency) of weight gain in response to overconsumption
of diets typical of af¯uent societies, in which protein contributes 12 ± 16% of energy intake.Furthermore, in a closer inspection of the gluttony
experiments of Miller et al,5,6 Stock shows that the
cost of weight gain on the NP diet (15% protein) was
more or less what would be predicted if there was no
change in energetic ef®ciency.11 By contrast, the cost
of weight gain in those volunteers overfed the LP diet
(3% protein) was well above the predicted values if
the gain in weight was entirely fat, and could only be
due to a large decrease in energetic ef®ciencyÐthat
is to the activation of DIT during overfeeding on the
LP diet."

The expirements showed that there was a much greater cost of weight gain for those eating the low protein diet. This means that there was a "wasting" of calories through diet induced thermogenesis.

"The extent to which low-protein diets could affect
energetic efficiency was not fully recognized until
Miller and Payne used two weanling pigs to compare
the effects of restricting protein intake on the
energy cost of weight maintenance with restricting
energy intake. In this rather bizarre experiment, one
pig was allowed to eat ad libitum a diet with a protein
concentration so low that however much it ate it could
only take in sufficient protein to meet its maintenance
requirement, which meant that growth was impossible.
By contrast, the high-protein pig was fed a
standard, high-protein weaning diet that would normally
produce rapid growth if fed ad libitum. However,
this pig's food intake was restricted such that the
animal could only just maintain weight i.e. growth
was limited by energy. As a result of this dietary
manipulation, the low-protein pig was found to
require almost 5-times more energy to maintain the
same body weight as the high-protein pig. It was not
possible to carry out a proper energy balance, but it is
quite obvious from the results shown in Table 4 that if
the low-protein pig had not converted most of the
extra energy it consumed to heat, it would have
deposited an amount of fat almost equivalent to its entire body weight
- that is as much fat as there was pig!"

But you may be asking yourself why this would be an advantage in our human history.

"...also result in
low efficiency of growth and increased thermogenesis,
16 the teleological argument can be put forward
that a high capacity to activate DIT has emerged
during the course of evolution as an adaptation to
nutrient-deficient diets. As argued by Stock, the
necessity to increase DIT in the face of nutrient
deficient diets probably had survival advantage
during the course of mammalian evolution since it
enables the overeating (on an energy basis) of such
nutrient-deficient diets in an attempt to achieve an
adequate intake of the specific nutrient, but without
the disadvantage of excessive fat accumulation and
hindrance to optimal locomotion, hunting capabilities,
and the ability to fight or flight. Viewed in terms of
survival value, it is therefore not surprising that
protein de®ciency is a most potent dietary stimulus
of thermogenesis, and Miller, who was very much
aware of this following earlier studies on protein :
energy requirements for maintenance, is therefore
selected a low-protein diet in order to test the ability
of humans to resist weight gain during overfeeding."

Overfeeding a Low-Protein diet could possibly be a tool to see where you stand metabolically, allowing an inside look at glandular homeostasis.

the possibility arises
that overfeeding low-protein diets could serve as a
tool for maximising DIT to exaggerate individual
differences in energetic efficiency. In other words,
low-protein overfeeding may serve as a `magnifying
glass' for unravelling the genetic and metabolic basis
by which variations in thermogenesis contribute to
susceptibility to leanness and fatness during overconsumption
of the typical (well balanced) diets of
our afluent societies."


  1. I probably haven't been consuming even half the amount of protein I should have on a daily basis but I'm not losing any weight. I've been stable at 270 pounds for about a month now. I should probably have 98g of protein a day. Freelee over on Matt Stone's blog has had 4000 calories a day and doesn't gain weight even though she is 120 pounds of body weight. If she's having at least 30 bananas a day she's getting 42g of protein which is almost ideal for her body weight. Because it's a protein from a plant source and the non essential amino acids aren't in the proper balance maybe it's really and inadequate source. Because of this it's causing the thermogenesis you speak of and she's not gaining weight on a high calorie diet.

  2. Any idea if the pigs would be living off their own lean mass initially, which could help with the thermogenisis? Also do they mention the protein sources and/or amino acid balance?

  3. Pigs conversion of amino acids is different than humans. While plant sources of protein would be considered incomplete for us for pigs this would not be the case since they get most of their protein from plants anyway. That's how pig's physiology had evolved. Humans have always had their primary protein intake from animals. Deriving protein from primarily plants has only been recent for a small group of humans at that. Our physiologies have not adapted obviously.

  4. That must mean I would have to have below 20g of protein a day to get these thermogenesis benefits.

  5. Hi there, it's me once again. Once again with some questions which aren't directly related to exercise execution this time though.

    About the first half of the leg-workout:
    "Bodyweight squats 3x20-25 (no weight, slow)
    +5 min Rest

    Squats 3x 15,12,10 (heavy as you can with good form)"

    First I have to say that I really like that workout. I especially like that it puts so much enphasis on the squats. I'm totally smoked after performing the 3 sets of heavy squats, which is great!
    Well, I wondered about the 3 sets of BW squats before that. What exactly is the purpose of that? Now, I don't wanna say that I think they are useless or anything, in fact I think that they are a great preparation for the heavy set of squats after that. Those 3 squat sets just seem a little different from all other exercises, as they put more focus on volume than on intensity and I just wanted to know what the concept behind that is.
    Btw, I can't perform squats with a free weight in my gym, because there is no real rack for that in my gym, so I do the squats with a smith machine. I know that this is sub-par as it takes away a lot of the stabilizing work, but do you think that this is a big issue?

    Apart from that, I'm really doing well with that routine and I think I'm already starting to see some good results. And now that I don't have to go to school for six weeks, I will definitely be able to hit the gym very regularly. I just have to make sure to keep up with the eating.

  6. Hey MAd,
    Those bodyweight squats I use a a basic warm-up. Once you have progressed you can drop down to 1 set of them. The smith machine squats are ok. The only real problem is that the weight will not be the same when/if you perform them as free weights.
    You can even add a set of 20 to the weighted squats (20,15,12,10) if you like. The legs have a much higher threshold for training then other parts. Try to aim for failure with each set, so that your last rep you just make it.

  7. When I'm lifting weights will I get more muscle anabolism if I constantly keep my muscle and liver glycogen stores full? That means I would fill it up and then eat more calories to always keep it full. I'm 270 pounds so that would mean my muscle and liver glycogen would could store 1800grams of carbohydrates altogether.

  8. Interesting info. Somewhat flies in the face of Schwarzbein. I think I actually get too much protein. When I low-carbed, the taste for it was always there. But I remember almost becoming a non meat-eater before starting any dietary dogma. Not that it was an attempt to be vegetarian. The taste for it often just wasn't there. I feel like now I'm sometimes forcing myself to have protein, because I feel like I'm supposed to. Like once in a while, when I have a pancake for breakfast, all I want are whip cream and maple syrup, but I'm like, oh, I better have some sausage or bacon with that, even if I really don't feel like it.

    Hey MadMuhh, can you make the comment posting thing on Matt's site more like this one. I hate that Matt's site pops it up in a separate window with all the previous comments showing. Major PITA.

  9. My personal thought behind the protein cravings produced by lower carb diet is that the body wants glucose and it will do what it has to do to get it. This is can easily be done through gluconeogenesis (making glucose from amino acids).

    I rarely "crave" meat but once a day eating a high carb diet. I am often in the same mentality as you describe "better eat some protein with this meal". I may try a little experiment where I only eat meat at one meal while the rest of my meals are mainly carbs.

  10. That's my thought on low-carb diets too. The protein craving is really just a carbohydrate craving in disguise. And still you waste away...

    I just mashed up some banana with coconut oil and poured a little coconut milk in it. Then I added a couple orange slices and realized I'm eating a totally tropical diet. This would make for a good shake with a little more modification.

  11. Hi AaronF,
    this is something Matt has to do. It's something you have to change in the blogger settings (which would be fairly easy to do). Maybe you should ask Matt to do it, I like it better this way too.

    @Riles: One or two things I thought about concerning exercise variety. I'm thinking about incorporating some sprints into my routine. What do you think would be the best way to do that? Add them to the leg workout or do them every now and then instead of a leg workout? Or something completely different? Also, do you think it would be an ok thing to do to swith up the seated press in the biceps workout with a standing press every second week or so (I just really like the standing press) or would that interfere with the chest/back workout and recovery?
    Oh, and another thing, I slightly modified your workout routine. Before the "big" lifts like bench press or press I usually do some more warm-up sets with light to moderate weights, ususally five reps. Actually it's a bit more than just a warm-up. I think I've already linked this article once, but you know, I really am a great fan of the "prefect rep" principle, because it simply is darn effective. If done right, the later reps with heavier weights actually feel easier than the reps before, at least to a certain point. It's like magic.
    I don't knwo if you even care about that, but I just wanted to share that and perhaps hear your opinion about that.

  12. Oh, and that's "perfect rep" and not "prefect rep".

  13. Hi Riles,

    I went back through all my old archives and compiled information that may be good for writing my own book or helping someone else write a book.

    I found a lot of case studies from you I found useful and will also include them. I took a lot from your posts on 180 degree health blog. In the near future I'm going to try the 70% carb, 25% fat, 5% protein daily plan. I also want to experiment with glycogen loading and see if they causes any extra anabolic growth.

    This guy is working with Chris Masterjohn and putting together a book. I recommended our compiled information and books as a resource but I doubt they'll use anything from me because I don't have any college degrees. That's a requirement for being apart of the project. I wonder if they book will bring in any useful information for us:



  14. Thanks for the update I will have to read through those links. I think having glycogen levels high is very important for strength and size gains. Volumizing the muscle cells allows for the best gains.
    Here are some good links by Scott Abel on blood volume and muscle cell volume:



  15. I have strong doubts that your body only utilizes muscle glycogen for exercise and not as daily calories. It just doesn't sound right to me. That was from one of your blog posts.

    ATP: creatine and carbohydrates are two great contributors to ATP utilization during high intensity effort. Fat supplies 4X more atp than glucose but fat can only be utilized for low intensity efforts.

    Sodium: the average American consumes 12g of salt a day. It's much better to have 6g or below of salt a day. I'm not talking about athletes. For whatever reason many Europeans require a higher salt intake in the 6g a day numbers. Extra sodium may be good when loading with creatine. Both creatine and sodium cause more water retention. I would think that would make the creatine more useful in it's endurance increasing benefits. IMO, it increases endurance by 25%. It increases the output of both fast twitch muscle fibers. It's probably better to get sodium from whole foods and sundried sea-salt. If you're a bodybuilder don't use any dangerous pills to remove water volume. Bone broth is a rich source of sodium. Those sodium recommendations are for people that have a lot of cardio in their routine or workout for a couple hours at a higher constant heart rate. I could be wrong. This will be something I could experiment with.

    NOS: Bone broth and jello gelatin are high in amino acids glycine and arginine. It's the only animal foods that isn't a complete protein. This would boost your NOS, probably just as good as NOS supplements or viagra.

    Have you found yourself to agree with everything Scott Abel has taught. I'm not clear on all of his principals.

  16. "Muscle cells lack the enzyme glucose-6-phosphatase, which is required to pass glucose into the blood, so the glycogen they store is destined for internal use and is not shared with other cells"

    I would say that I like most of what S.Abel teaches. He is focused more on fitness and bodybuilding as opposed to true strength training. So depending on what your goals are, his principles can be helpful. I like that he focuses more on feedback than on "science research" and hard numbers.

  17. One thing to learn from the sodium article for people doing weight loss is that they should make sure to replenish their sodium stores. The high sodium intake would likely be more useful for someone that does a lot of cardio or works out for over an hour a day. I wonder if Jillian Michaels knows this. However, I liked the article because now I'm more conscious to make sure I'm getting in enough sodium daily. Very interesting. It sounds like people who don't have hormone aldosterone present are going to have some huge problems.

    One thing though, when I ate a bunch of high salt foods one day I bloated up in water weight. Does this mean I'm likely not getting enough sodium in my diet on a regular basis?

  18. I definitely should have taken in more sodium in High School. I also didn't take in enough carbohydrates for my wrestling and track practice/events.

  19. Even if the body couldn't utilize muscle glycogen during sedentary hours I would think it could:

    A) be converted back into fat if it was needed and fat is needed at times
    B) be converted into the liver into liver glycogen

    I would think the only real way to keep both glycogen stores full is to load up on glycogen one day and to also eat enough food for your daily caloric expenditure in the same day. For example, if I were 145 pounds, 5% body fat, I would need 3000 calories a day. I would consume 3800calories or 950grams of carbohydrates for glycogen storage and the additional 3000 calories that day. On days I exercise I just take in the extra amount of calories to maintain full glycogen storage. Then my guess is my glycogen storage would likely be full for many months on end unless I were to gain weight.

    Scott Abel sorta contradicts himself about carbohydrate loading unless that sodium article didn't come from him.

  20. If I had excess amount of money and no debt to be responsible for I'd probably look at some of his books. I also want to purchase Clarence Bass and that Smoke/Mirrors book you told me about. Thank you for sharing that with me. Other than his workout principals does he have a whole lot more to teach that I don't already know. And if so does he have a lot of techniques that are great to know. I learned a couple new techniques when I read Michael Brown's book. Mainly about breathing. It makes sense too because your body is 83% water. Water contains oxygen. So filling your lungs all the way with air, while we usually only fill it 1/3rd (99.9% people do this), will give us a 30% strength increase in each lift. Breathe into your lungs, to your chest, and up to your throat for a complete inward breathe.

    I wonder why bodybuilders avoid greater strength gains. My guess is they become happy with their body and want to keep it that way. The muscles involved for strength don't account for nearly as much size and definition as the muscles involved in hypertrophy. Maybe they're afraid to get injured. Maybe too much strength ruins their aesthetics. Keep in mind the more strength you have the more "hypertrophy" muscles you also have in bodybuilding and so you would look like a rock. Power Lifters don't have this problem because they don't use their "hypertrophy" muscles.

    Strength activities are important for body building too as they improve our form, tendons, and balance. Their would be far less injuries for bodybuilders if they worked on it.

  21. And vice versa. The hypertrophy or fast twitch fatigue resistant muscles fibers built in bodybuilding would give a power lifter more protection around their joints/tendons. It would also give them more endurance. Though a power lifter wouldn't want this because they would gain too much weight from the hypertrophy muscles. It would ruin their competitive lifting numbers. Maybe not for the bigger guys though as they carry a lot of fat that should be replaced by muscle anyway. This goes for the heavier olympic lifters too. That's why I'd rather follow in the footsteps of Bruce Lee, he was well rounded in all different types of strengths. Brock Lesnar is too and that's why he's #1 heavyweight.

  22. Muscle glycogen can't be stored to the blood, geeze I gotta read more carefully. Aren't your muscles still burning glycogen during sedentary hours? That would mean your muscle glycogen can still be used.

  23. Here's an excellent article on muscle fiber development and conditioning with weights.

    From The Desk Of Clarence Bass

    The Case For Lifting Rapidly

    by Patrick O'Shea, Ed.D

    I agree with Dr.Winett that lifting rapidly can be counterproductive and dangerous, if done haphazardly and carelessly. Used properly, however, with adequate resistance and under controlled circumstances, explosive lifting is relatively safe and very productive.

    As I wrote in Quantum Strength & Power Training, "One of the purposes of [rapid or] athletic-type lifting is to train and condition an athlete to generate maximum force at higher and higher movement speed. In competitive athletics, when all other factors are equal, power is the deciding factor between winning and losing."

    Strength times speed equals power. The Force-Velocity Curve, taken from my book, illustrates the working relationship between strength and speed. In fact, the curve tells us everything we need to know about developing strength and power. The curve shows that neither lifting with great speed and little resistance, or maximum resistance with little or no speed, produces optimal strength and power. Only training intensity that shifts the middle portion of the curve to the right, by either increasing force (resistance) or speed or both, will increase strength and power - and most likely muscle size or hypertrophy. Factors influencing muscle hypertrophy are: type of training, intensity, nutrition and heredity.

    Again, one of the main purposes of rapid or athletic-type lifting (snatches, cleans and related movements) it to train and condition an athlete to generate maximum muscular force at higher and higher movement speed. This is NOT going to be accomplished through slow lifting or powerlifting. This concept is illustrated in Quantum Strength by comparing the power values generated by a world record Olympic lift and a world record power lift, specifically Pisarenko's 585 pound clean and Kenady's 893 pound deadlift. Without going through the precise computations in the book, the greater speed (.90 seconds) and distance (.90 meters) of Pisarenko's clean far exceeds the power output of the much heavier, but slower (2 seconds) and shorter (.40 meters) deadlift by Kenady. Pisarenko's clean produced almost four times as much power (resistance, distance and speed combined), 21.64 watts/kg body mass, as Kenady's deadlift, which produced only 5.67 watts/kg body mass. Slow lifting as in bodybuilding or power lifting does NOT increase torso kinetic energy or torso rotational energy, nor train the mind to think in terms of acceleration and speed as required in most athletic events.

    Training with the Olympic lifts develops strength, power, acceleration, speed and mobility, all of which transfer to athletic movements found in other sports. While no published research exists to validate this statement, deductive reasoning and overwhelming empirical evidence provides strong support.

  24. Fifteen years ago the University of Nebraska started training their football team using only the Olympic lifts and the squat (and still do today). The training change produced stronger, faster, more mobile players--and a winning record. The effect was to force other schools to adopt a similar strength program. In fact, it's difficult to name a college today that does not embrace athletic-type strength training. Another example is Allen Feurback, former world record holder in the shot put and U.S. National Olympic lifting champion (242 lb.class). Prior to switching from bodybuilding exercises to Olympic lifting, Al's best throw was 56 feet. After switching he threw a world record 71.5 feet. Both of these examples present strong empirical evidence of the transfer of training from Olympic-type lifting to other sporting activities. I believe you'll agree, this evidence is hard to refute. Transfer is the hallmark of athletic-type strength training. This concept is universally accepted by sports physiologists who know and understand athletic-type strength training.

    As for muscle fiber recruitment order, an electromyography (EMG) study I did 20 years ago showed that the size principle does not hold in maximum explosive power movements. As explained in Quantum Strength & Power, it is almost entirely the fast-twitch motor units that are recruited in performing such movements.

    EMG techniques make it possible to study recruitment order, the relationship between stimulation and the amount of force developed, the type of muscle contraction (concentric vs. eccentric) and the effects of fatigue. EMG analysis in my study showed the approximate percentage of the recruitment of muscle fiber types in the quadriceps of a trained athlete during execution of a one repetition squat with progressively increasing loads.

    Starting with 60% of one-repetition maximum, the slow-twitch fibers contribute 60 percent to the effort; fast-twitch fatigue resistant fibers, 30 percent; and fast-twitch fatigable 10 percent. At 100 percent maximum effort, however, the percentage of slow-twitch fibers involved is only 5%, while fast-twitch fatigue resistant is 15 percent, and fast-twitch fatigable is 80 percent.

    The implications for athletic-type strength training are clear. To develop strength in the fast-twitch fibers you have to train with heavy weights. Light weights contribute little to optimizing strength and power performance.

  25. The onus is on advocates of slow lifting to determine the degree of muscle fiber activity resulting from that protocol. Which method, slow or fast, stimulates more fast-twitch motor units? We know that high-intensity, explosive power movements activate a large percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers. Is that also true for slow lifting?

    So, Who's Right?
    I don't know, but my best guess is that Dr. Winett and Dr. O'Shea are both correct, but from different perspectives. Dick Winett is no doubt right from the vantage point of a person suffering from inflamed joints, and he may be correct from a purely bodybuilding perspectives. On the other hand, Pat O'Shea is probably correct from the viewpoint of one mainly interested in athletic performance.

    Slow lifting is clearly a sound option for someone who suffers from sore joints and wants to continue lifting hard, without inflicting further damage. In fact, Dick has demonstrated by his own example that doing reps very slowly not only eliminates the pain, but allows one to continue training extremely hard. Dick has become so adept at lifting slowly that in some cases he is approaching his previous best lifts done in typical explosive style. What's more, he hasn't lost any size in the process. The jury is still out, but it may well be that lifting slowly is a viable strategy for bodybuilders interested in loading muscles throughout the range of motion solely for the purpose of building size.

    Pat O'Shea, however, has the overwhelming weight of current evidence on his side from the standpoint of athletic performance. I can testify to that from my own experience. There's no doubt in my mind that doing the Olympic lifts gave me a decided edge in winning the New Mexico State Pentathlon Championship; among other things, the quick lifts gave me the power to out jump all of my non-lifting high school classmates. (See my book Challenge Yourself and "Keep That Spring" on this web site.)

    As Pat observes, today most high school, college and professional coaches embrace athletic-type strength training. Al Vermeil, the only strength coach who has been in the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball, and the only coach to have a world championship ring in football (San Francisco 49s) and basketball (Chicago Bulls), is a sterling example. "We use the Olympic lifts [power cleans, power snatches, push presses, push jerks and high pulls]," says Vermeil, "because they simultaneously develop strength, explosiveness, speed, coordination, timing, balance and spatial awareness, all qualities essential to the success of any athlete." Citing the specificity principle, Vermeil adds: "Train slow and the athlete becomes better at doing things slowly. Train explosively, and the athletic will become more explosive."

    That's my opinion. What's yours?

    Have a nice day


  26. Here's a good article on your metabolism:

    Here are the facts as presented by Lawrence E. Lamb, M.D., in his book The Weighting Game (Lyle Stuart, 1988) [see our recommended book list]. Researchers led by Dr. Ancel Keys at the University of Minnesota measured the energy requirements of people of different ages with different amounts of bodyfat. They found that the energy requirement of fat-free body weight (weight of the body minus the bodyfat) were remarkably constant for both men and women between the ages of 20 and 60. All the subjects, no matter what their sex or age, burned about 1.28 calories per hour per kilogram (2.2 lbs.) of fat-free body weight, under resting conditions.

  27. Here's a good article on protein intake. Tomorrow I can post information from my HIT book word for word. May give you a new perspective on the matter. But for now I've got to go to bed.


  28. http://www.oldtimestrongman.com/blog/labels/Mr.%20Texas.html

    Dr. Ellington Darden studied at Florida State University with Dr. Harold Schendel in the early '70s. Years ago they had attempted to feed starving Africans a high protein diet. They found they're health was getting worse so they lowered the protein and increased the carbohydrates and fatty acids in their intake. They also added in some vitamins and minerals. They found the Africans health improved.

    Dr. Schendel had a hand in establishing the recommended dietary intake of protein. 0.36g per a pound of body weight. He convinced Ellington Darden to do a 2 month study on his own body. Ellington would take in 300 grams of protein a day for 60 days. He kept an accurate record of his calorie intake and activity level. He also kept his urine. He used the Kjeldahl method for determining nitrogen in his urine, which is a measure of protein utilization.

    Ellington Darden found anytime he consumed more than the RDA of protein, the excess was excreted in his urine. Dr. Schendel concluded that his kidneys were working overtime to metabolize the excess protein. He said human kidneys and livers show overuse symptoms in the presence of massive amounts of protein. We know from long-term animal studies that high-protein diets will shorten life spans.

    When Ellington stopped his massive protein intake he immediately felt a surge of energy from unburdening his kidneys and liver. Ellington weighed 200 pounds so he switched to 72g of protein a day and went away from consuming 300g of protein a day. Half of his protein came from 4 daily protein shakes. He had been influenced by the magazines of the time in regards to the higher protein intake.

  29. Ellington recommend no more than 0.36g of protein per a pound of body weight. He recommends 5-20% protein, 20-30% fat, and 60-75% carbohydrate. He's trained bodybuilders with this ratio. Human muscle is 70 percent water. Only 20% of muscle is protein. Because muscle is mostly water, 1 pound of muscle contains only 600 calories. Calories and water are more important to the muscle building process than is protein. While training in Florida in 1971, Sergio Olivia's favorite meal was pepperoni pizza, washed down with 32 ounces of coke.

  30. Oh, and additional to my question above the issue of training frequency came up at Matt's site. I have summer vacation atm, so do you think there would be any advantages of training more frequently? I genreally like traning every 2nd day/3 times a week, but it kinda seemed to me like you and JT are promoting a higher exercise frequency. So simply judged from a standpoint of efficiency and optimal muscle stimulation/recovery, do you think hitting the gym more often would be beneficial? How often do you work out? Certainly would make it even harder to keep up with the eating.

  31. Riles, do you know what Jay Cutler recommends for salt intake during bulking period, preparation period, and for the week into the contest?

    How have your results been coming along? Have you been gaining weight? The idea on weight gain from Matt Stone's blog sounds good. Now I want to load up on carbs, calories, and gain 10 pounds a month in muscle while losing bodyfat at the same time. If we followed that strategy you'd think we could gain 50 pounds of solid muscle in 5 months.

  32. Here's a couple more interesting articles for supplements, contest prep, and sodium intake. On the link with bodybuilding in it's address name just use the search: sodium feature if you want to skip through all the text and go straight to the information on sodium.

    If you're able to boost your glutathione levels that would also boost the effectiveness of the antioxidants one of the sites recommends for increasing glycogen stores.

    Two things that are recommended for training and but need to be lowered for contest prep are body fat and sodium intake.

    Your sodium intake needs to be much higher if you run a lot. I actually had more energy in workout yesterday when I didn't run at all. I was able to hit the weights far more intensely. So now I'm thinking running should be something I'd want to do until I get into better shape or after the weight lifting session. If I were to do several sets for each exercise I would not be able to hit each muscle group as thoroughly or as intensely. I wish I had the source that says that when you do a full body workout it actually boosts your growth hormone far more so than when you split the routine. I still don't see why body builders need to do so many sets for each body part. I can see maybe like 10-20 exercises at most with one set each. You have front, middle, rear deltoids. Upper and lower back. Upper, middle, and lower abs. Obliques. Biceps. Triceps (may need to separate into two parts of muscle.)Quadriceps. Leg biceps. Calves. Glutes. Lats. Traps. Neck. And finally upper, middle, and lower pectorals. And finally your toes/feet as some people do work out their toes, like cross training with ballerina work.


  33. Here's a good set of muscle charts:


  34. I was reading a recent article from Mercola that it's recommended to have between 45-185mcg of vitamin K2 a day. I personally prefer the MK4 form the WAPF community and K2 expert Chris Masterjohn talk about so much. It's found mostly in liver, dairy fat, and eggs from grassfed chickens. 8 eggs contain 30mcg of k2. A quart of milk contains 47mcg of k2. Liver really doesn't carry that much at all. Goose Liver is actually very high in K2 at 350mcg for every 3.5 oz. So 1 oz a day of goose liver will give you 100mcg of k2 and at only 1.5g of fat.

  35. Or have 2 oz a day and you'll get 200mcg of k2. That would also be 20,000IU of vitamin A but from what I've heard it won't hurt you to have that much.

    Are you currently using sunscreen when you work outside in the sun? If so it is likely blocking out your vitamin D absorption. If you want to continue using sunscreen you should read this page and get this sunscreen:


  36. Canned beef ravioli is a great source of sodium and starches. Takes very little preparation. Not very much fat either. One container has 16g of protein, 16g of fat, 1900mg of sodium, and 70g of carbohydrates. I just had 3 containers an hour ago and I'm going to work out after 1:00PM.

  37. Daniel,
    You should start your own blog man, it is easy to do. You have a lot of info to give, and you could probably get a lot of people to check it out.

  38. I don't know. Every time I've said something Riles comes up and replies with some interesting information he has. He's been doing the starches and he's the one that pointed out to me how much sodium an athlete needs. This is kinda like Matt Stone's blog right? In the way where everyone shares their input. Though I almost feel I'm almost out of stuff to say. For the most part any interesting research I have share is on Twitter. I won't be motivated to do my own blog until I get into better shape. I had a great full body routine in the gym today. If it continues like this I'll have a good blog up in a couple months.

  39. What kind of exercises did you perform today? What kind of weights have you been using?

  40. It might have been a little too much sodium by the way because by heart rate was at 145 beats per a minute even after 5 minutes of relaxing from doing low intensity work for the last 20 minutes before that.

    My goal is to shoot for 1 rep max and 8-12 rep max sets. I can't keep these expectations on my first couple of routines as I can't predict what my work load capacity will be. I'm 273 pounds of body weight now.

    Here's my whole routine:

    Bench Press: 1 set 225 X 4 (Expected to get more) 1 set 135 X 21 explosively (going up to 185 on Thursday)
    Military Press: 1 set 135 X3, 95 X 8
    Squat: 135 X 8
    Incline Bench Press: 135 X 8
    Bent Over Rows: bar X 30
    Stiff legged dead lifts: bar X 20
    arm curl: 35 X 8
    Dips: full body weight X 3
    Half a pull up
    Took 175 pounds off of my own body weight and did 12 pull ups.
    Dumbell shrugs 45 X 20
    Overhead Squats with bar X 5
    bear crawls, gorilla crawls, abs, obliques, jumping straight up and long jumping, neck bridges, 4 pushups (all I could get after all of that), Running at 6 minute mile pace for 1 minute, warming up, stretching, and I believe that's it.

    I might switch to seated behind the neck military presses next time. My numbers should go up greatly, especially my legs. I took in 4000 calories so far today, high carb.

  41. The arm curls and the shrugs were the listed amount of weight with each arm. The arm curls were also with dumbbells. I forgot to say I also practiced the windmill lift with just the bar. It took me 2 hours altogether but the squat slowed me down for the rest of the way. I haven't had any workload on my back for years except on occasions here and there so it's adjusting.

  42. Looks pretty good to me. It normally takes about 2 weeks to get adjusted to a routine. After that, you see pretty good gains for quite some time before hitting a plateau.

    Your workout is very similar to that of Peary Rader and John Mccallum.

  43. I don't think I'll plateau unless I'm not getting in enough calories to feed growth. That's really what has been happening all along. I probably need to take in 5000 calories a day to get the proper growth. If I want to stay at this body weight while putting on a lot more muscle I may want to increase it to 6000-8000 calories a day. That's if I was able to attain such a massive physique. If that's possible, than the whole genetics argument is bullshit as I've had every other type of build you could imagine.

  44. Does that mean you've plateau Riles? What did your last lifting routine look like. Put it down like I put mine down. Keep in my I should be able to get massive results within a couple months. So I believe I will be bench pressing in the 400s by then. Maybe even squatting over 400 at full depth too. Only thing that could get in the way is lack of food available. If I eat in the quantities I listed I shouldn't have any problems. With my routine every compound lift goes up by at least 5 pounds each session.

  45. Only other thing that can get in my way if I do everything else right is mother fucking god damned insomnia that always seems to come out of nowhere.

  46. What do you do when you plateau?

  47. I hit stalls as far as not being able to increase the weight on the bar or the number of reps. The key to overcoming this is to just continue on with what you are doing until you pass it.
    I like the idea of double progression. That is where you have a certain weight, lets say 75 lbs for 10 reps. After you reach 12 reps with 75lbs you increase the weight to 80 and normally you will only be able to get about 8 reps or so. Then you work your way up with 80lbs till you hit 12 reps and increase the weight again.

  48. I have done 300 lbs for a 3 rep in the bench press about 1 year ago.
    For the last year, I have focused primarily on volume and not using maximal weights.

    Right now, I am in the process of phasing back into more "functional" and "non-functional" strength and bodyweight things. I will post about that at some point.

  49. One thing to keep in mind that 80% of your one rep max will be your 8-12 rep max. 60% of your one rep max should be your 20 rep max. In order to build hypertrophy you should always work at 80%. You don't need to find out what your one rep max is if you just figure out your 8-12 rep max for each compound exercise. This means going to or near to failure. When you go near to complete failure you also work the muscles involved in the one rep max. I've heard people say it's those muscles that keep a person from going into a plateau with their routine. Most people, even the big guys I knew at the other gyms plateaued eventually and I noticed they never went anywhere near failure. Going to failure also boosts human growth hormone a few fold. I notice I get good growth when I do a set of 2-4 rep max.

    So far the most I've been able to do was 265 pounds 3 times. I got 295 pounds once. Though when I did that and even through the past several years I've never been at the gym consistently for over 1-3 months. So I'm sure my strength could significantly increase otherwise. Something always comes up, lack of food for growth, having to work split shifts in jobs, working two jobs, etc.

  50. 100% for you would have been 325. You would have likely been able to bench press 260 8-12 times. I would guess you could get 195 20 times. Were your actual numbers different than this? If you could do 260 or 195 more times than that you either have more slow twitch muscle fiber development or you didn't do as many reps as you could have with 300 pounds.

  51. Those numbers are pretty close, I think I remember getting 260 for around 8 reps maybe a little less.

    I think my strongest rep range is the 6-8 rep range in most exercises.

  52. The 8 rep range may be more accurate. I haven't been able to find any research that shows what the optimal rep range is to maximize the development of fast twitch fatigue resistant muscles. I just know it's somewhere around 8-12 reps. I will keep my squats under 12 reps though. Research that did show a greater level of development for the fast twitch muscle fibers under 12 reps was done on the quadriceps muscles.

  53. As far as eating food and digestion goes I'm having problems loading foods in. Taking in 200g of carbs is a chore. Maybe I need to start taking in 50g of protein a meal to see if that helps with putting on muscle. I just ate two chicken legs and my body already feels full. Could it be taking in fat with each meal increases satiation? Because I'm having between 20-50g of fat a meal. I've been on the shitter 5 times today. I'll give you an update on how I'm doing with taking in protein but it's difficult to put in calories period without feeling completely full. For the most part it feels natural to just have 100g of protein a day. Another over than and I seem to lose my appetite.

  54. Unless it's because my body is producing too much leptin, an appetite suppressant, due to my higher body fat being around 30%. This also may be causing me to produce less testosterone interfering with growth and recovery.

  55. Hi all!
    Was just wondering if a low protein diet could be in any way usefull to lose fat... Since it induces thermogenisis, could you elevate your metabolism by consuming just enough protein to meet your daily needs but no more and be in a caloric deficient state and have the benefits of the metabolic adaption without losing too much muscle ?

    Just a thought...


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