Ninety percent of the people who don’t following the advice I’m about to give you are frustrated with their bodies. They aren’t building the muscle they want, they lack shape, and they’re carrying too much bodyfat. Even worse, they mistakenly call themselves hardgainers. The sad part is, the answer has been there all along. You may have even tried it for a short time, but before you got the maximum impact, you quit. And in doing so, you shot yourself in the foot.
The following case studies tell what happened to people who followed the plan. As you read them, keep in mind that you can accomplish what these people did if you’re willing to let go of old habits and opinions.
Case study 1. A group of bodybuilders ate extra protein in addition to the 200 grams of protein—about one gram per pound of bodyweight per day—they were already eating. That brought them to about 300 grams a day, or 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight. What happened? They doubled their rate of muscle growth.
Case study 2. A well-known bodybuilder reached a peak contest weight of 256 pounds at 5’10”, in large part due to his consistent consumption of a minimum of 300 grams of protein a day, with an average of nearly 400 grams a day. That was back in the ’70s, and although steroids were already prevalent in the sport, no one came close to 256 pounds, especially no one under 6’. What’s more, growth hormone had never even been heard of back then. Most of his competition at the time weighed less than 220 pounds and ate at most about 200 grams of protein a day.
Case study 3. A national-level bodybuilding competitor gained more muscle in 12 months than he had in all of the previous five years combined. For five years his competition weight had failed to budge above 227. He’d averaged only 175 grams of protein a day, all of it from whole foods. During the year in question he upped his protein intake to between 300 and 400 grams. Over the 365-day period he gained 30.5 pounds of muscle with a simultaneous reduction in bodyfat of 3.2 pounds. Thirty pounds of muscle is a phenomenal amount for an entire career, let alone a single year. By boosting his protein consumption, he accomplished in one year what had eluded him for half a decade.
How to Avoid Looking Like Crap
The most effective way to get your metabolism working efficiently to build muscle and burn bodyfat is to eat an abundance of protein. I know some so-called training experts, vegetarians and well-meaning doctors have told you that all that protein isn’t necessary. Well, it’s not necessary for survival, but it’s necessary if you want to avoid looking like crap.
Inadequate protein intake will shut down your metabolism and put you in a fat-storage and muscle-wasting phase. You’ll progressively break down muscle and store more fat.
Protein Programs Your Metabolic Computer
Your body runs on protein. Protein powers nearly all aspects of your metabolism, including every function that facilitates dramatic improvements in your body composition. Protein molecules power every chemical reaction involved in the breakdown and absorption of food. It can make the difference between your success or failure in bodybuilding.
Eating adequate protein turns on the metabolic fat-burning microchip and programs your metabolic computer to preserve and build new lean muscle mass. The best part is, you experience a substantial increase in metabolic rate, which means your body will be more efficient and burn more calories throughout the day.
If you’ve been sentenced to the purgatory of a fat-storing phase or, even worse, a period of no muscle gains, you need a forceful protein boost to turbocharge your metabolism into a fat-burning, muscle-building phase. If you’re like most of us, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to get the job done with food alone. You’re going to need a high-potency protein powder. It’s the best, simplest and most effective way to renovate your metabolism and build a lean, heavily muscled physique.
Anabolic and Anticatabolic Nutrients
Several experts in the fields of bodybuilding, metabolism and nutrition swear by multisubstrate-blended proteins—a combination of whey, micellar casein and egg. Whey protein is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream, causing a dynamic anabolic action, but it only lasts a few hours. After that it’s all used up, completely gone. On the other hand, casein is very anticatabolic—it fights muscle breakdown. Research says that combining the anticatabolic long-term effect of casein protein with the short-term anabolic effect of whey protein triggers both mechanisms, causing serious muscle growth and power.
Quality multisubstrate-blended protein powders include a combination of casein and whey proteins. Together they’re considered a complete milk protein, which gives you the greatest muscle-building effects of both. You’ll maintain an anabolic environment while you stop catabolism.
Look at the label and make sure the protein powder you’re considering contains both whey protein and some form of casein. It can be listed as casein, caseinate, calcium caseinate or micellar casein. Micellar casein is the preferred form, since its production uses the least heat and leaves all the minor protein fractions undamaged. You’ll find that many quality multisubstrate-blended protein powders contain egg white protein as well, which rounds out the amino acid profile nicely.
Some manufacturers don’t understand the concept of anticatabolism—or they just ignore it. They overlook the research that proves the link between casein and anticatabolism, the research that demonstrates that anticatabolism is just as important to muscle growth and repair as anabolism. Their advertisements and labels proclaim that their products only contain whey protein. They harp on how superior whey protein is to casein, saying that casein’s a worthless, inferior protein. I guess the guys who wrote their literature didn’t read the following study.
Subjects were divided into three groups for a 12-week study. One group followed a low-calorie diet with no exercise, one followed the same low-calorie diet but participated in a weight-training program and supplemented with casein protein, and the third followed the same low-calorie diet and weight-training program, supplementing with a whey protein. All three groups experienced similar bodyweight losses, about 5 1/2 pounds.
But that’s not the end of the story. The diet-only group lost 2.5 percent bodyfat, the whey group lost 4.2 percent bodyfat, and the greatest bodyfat losses were experienced by the casein group—an amazing 7 percent.
The gains in lean mass were equally significant. The diet-only group experienced no change in lean mass. The whey group gained 4.4 pounds of lean mass, and the casein group gained 8.8 pounds—that’s right, double the whey group! The researchers concluded that the casein group had the greatest lean mass gains because of increased nitrogen retention due to the overall anticatabolic effects caused by peptide components of the casein (Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 44(1):21-29; 2000).
Personally, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass why it works; I only care that it works so I can reap the benefits.
Now, don’t misunderstand my point. Whey is an awesome source of protein. It has a biological value (BV) of 100—not 154 as some have erroneously claimed—with the highest ratio of essential-to-nonessential amino acids and a high ratio of branched-chain amino acids. Casein has a BV of around 80; however, a well-known study by Yves Boirie revealed that whey protein’s protein utilization efficiency (PUV) is lower than was originally believed (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 94(26):14930-35; 1997).
The bottom line is this: You can turbocharge your metabolism into a fat-burning, muscle-building phase by upping your daily protein intake to about 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Get about half from foods such as chicken breasts, turkey, lean red meat like flank and round steak and eggs. For a 200-pound man that’s about 24 ounces of those foods a day, which would supply about 160 grams of protein.
Get the additional protein from a quality multisubstrate-blended protein powder or multisubstrate-blended meal-replacement powder. You’ll soon be on your way to a renovated metabolism and building a lean, heavily muscled, shapely physique!
Editor’s note: For more on the truth about protein, see Brian Batcheldor’s interview with Yves Boirie, French scientist and renowned protein researcher, on page 280 of the April '02 IRONMAN. IM