By Dr. Dwayne N. Jackson, Ph.D.
If I had to choose one supplement to have in my “bodybuilding toolbox” and nothing else, it would definitely be high quality protein . Let’s face it, it is relatively affordable, it promotes anabolism, promotes fat-loss, it abolishes catabolism, and scientific research is finding more and more reasons to make it a staple in everyone’s cupboard. Protein has stood the test of time and has acquired the status of “jack of all trades” based on one simple fact…. it works!
A recent and eloquent paper published in the International Journal of Obesity (Nature Publishing Group) clearly outlines the importance of protein in the management of body-weight. In fact, their title sums it up perfectly, “Dietary protein , metabolism, and body-weight regulation: dose-response effects” (Westerterp-Plantenga et al., 2006). The following is a brief, but cutting edge outline of why protein supplementation is a must for anyone seeking a lean muscular physique:
- In terms of satisfying hunger, protein ranks highest of all macronutrients. In fact, subjects on high-protein hypocaloric diets often report greater satiety and overall satisfaction than those on lower-protein (higher-carbohydrate) diets (Johnston et al., 2004;Layman et al., 2003;Layman et al., 2005). It is well documented that keeping food cravings to a minimum is integral to the success of a diet.
- The calculated metabolizable energy from protein is 17 kJ/g, however the actual measured net energy yield is 13 kJ/g. The discrepancy lies in the thermogenic effect of protein ingestion, which takes into account the amount of energy needed to break-down protein s; thus, it takes more ATP to metabolize and store protein s than any other macronutrient (Westerterp-Plantenga et al., 2006). Interestingly, it has been also shown that the potent thermic increase is related to the high ATP cost of increased protein synthesis after ingesting protein (Tessari et al., 2003;van Milgen J., 2002). The metabolism of the protein source directly impacts the expenditure and it’s subsequent thermic effect after ingestion (Westerterp-Plantenga et al., 2006). Thus, the absorption rate of the protein is directly related to its thermic effect on the body. Science supports this claim (Boirie et al., 1997;Dangin et al., 2001;Dangin et al., 2002), as such, hyrodrolysed whey protein and whey protein isolates (preferably CFM WPI) result in a more robust thermic effect than does whey concentrate or casein protein . (For more information on protein sources and absorption rates, see our protein source guide.
- High-protein diets result in a decrease in the ratio between fat-mass and fat-free-mass. Buchholz and Schoeller conducted a thorough meta-analysis and reported that high-protein diets resulted in approximately (or greater than) 6 lbs more weight loss after 12 weeks of treatment (Buchholz & Schoeller, 2004). Numerous well designed studies, conducted on obese populations, have shown that higher-protein diets result in a greater loss of fat-mass while maintaining lean (muscle) mass, even while in caloric deficit (Farnsworth et al., 2003;Foster et al., 2003;Johnston et al., 2004;Layman et al., 2005;Layman et al., 2003;McAuley et al., 2005).
- Those who achieve their lean physique through high-protein diets tend to maintain their fat-loss better than others. This is due to a positive shift in metabolic profile (based on healthy body composition). It has been shown that in the weight-maintenance phase of a diet, when one may observe a slight increase in body-weight, the extra pounds tend to be due to increased fat-free-mass (Westerterp-Plantenga et al., 2006).
It is clear that maintaining high-protein intake is a huge benefit to fat-loss while dieting. Bodybuilders have known this anecdotally for years, but recent science provides us with solid evidence for making it a base macronutrient in our fat-loss strategy. After all, high-protein ingestion curbs your appetite, increases thermogenic lipolysis, decreases fat-mass, maintains hard-earned muscle-mass, and maintains fat-loss upon completion of the diet. Indeed, protein is the “jack of all trades”.
Boirie Y, Dangin M, Gachon P, Vasson MP, Maubois JL, & Beaufrere B (1997). Slow and fast dietary protein s differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 94, 14930-14935.
Buchholz AC & Schoeller DA (2004). Is a calorie a calorie? Am J Clin Nutr 79, 899S-906S.
Dangin M, Boirie Y, Garcia-Rodenas C, Gachon P, Fauquant J, Callier P, Ballevre O, & Beaufrere B (2001). The digestion rate of protein is an independent regulating factor of postprandial protein retention. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 280, E340-E348.
Farnsworth E, Luscombe ND, Noakes M, Wittert G, Argyiou E, & Clifton PM (2003). Effect of a high-protein , energy-restricted diet on body composition, glycemic control, and lipid concentrations in overweight and obese hyperinsulinemic men and women. Am J Clin Nutr 78, 31-39.
Foster GD, Wyatt HR, Hill JO, McGuckin BG, Brill C, Mohammed BS, Szapary PO, Rader DJ, Edman JS, & Klein S (2003). A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity. N Engl J Med 348, 2082-2090.
Johnston CS, Tjonn SL, & Swan PD (2004). High-protein , low-fat diets are effective for weight loss and favorably alter biomarkers in healthy adults. J Nutr 134, 586-591.
Layman DK, Boileau RA, Erickson DJ, Painter JE, Shiue H, Sather C, & Christou DD (2003). A reduced ratio of dietary carbohydrate to protein improves body composition and blood lipid profiles during weight loss in adult women. J Nutr 133, 411-417.
Layman DK, Evans E, Baum JI, Seyler J, Erickson DJ, & Boileau RA (2005). Dietary protein and exercise have additive effects on body composition during weight loss in adult women. J Nutr 135, 1903-1910.
McAuley KA, Hopkins CM, Smith KJ, McLay RT, Williams SM, Taylor RW, & Mann JI (2005). Comparison of high-fat and high-protein diets with a high-carbohydrate diet in insulin-resistant obese women. Diabetologia 48, 8-16.
Tessari P, Kiwanuka E, Zanetti M, & Barazzoni R (2003). Postprandial body protein synthesis and amino acid catabolism measured with leucine and phenylalanine-tyrosine tracers. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 284, E1037-E1042.
van Milgen J. (2002). Modeling biochemical aspects of energy metabolism in mammals. J Nutr 132, 3195-3202.
Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Luscombe-Marsh N, Lejeune MP, Diepvens K, Nieuwenhuizen A, Engelen MP, Deutz NE, zzout-Marniche D, Tome D, & Westerterp KR (2006). Dietary protein , metabolism, and body-weight regulation: dose-response effects. Int J Obes (Lond) 30 Suppl 3, S16-S23.
What a great turnout for the Fit Expo 2007! One would think that the IronMan bodybuilding show is what everyone came to see, but all indications say that wasn’t the case. It appears that the champ this year was Lisa Gleave, the strikingly beautiful ProSource Supreme Protein bar model who is also one of the star models of the hit TV game show “Deal or No Deal”. If you were lucky enough to break through the swarm of ProSource customers and fans to get close enough to our booth to see her, you would not only be amazed by her beauty, but also how warm and receptive she was to everyone. Lisa is the model featured in the national ad campaign for the Supreme Protein bar. This quadruple layer protein bar, that contains 30 grams of high quality protein, exploded into what has become the most sought after bar in America. Lisa and Lynda, who is another ProSource model, were handing out samples of the bar, the new 2007 ProSource Buyer’s Guides (over 200 pages!), and other give-aways to thousands of satisfied customers and fans. The taste and texture of the Supreme Protein bar is so impressive that sales reps from two other protein bar companies (that used to be the top sellers but now are outsold 10 to 1 by the Supreme Protein bar in 7-11’s, Vitamin Shoppe’s, and every other retail location they’re in) told our girls that they have never tasted a protein bar, or candy for that matter, that tasted as good as ours. Need we say anymore?
Now, if you missed the Fit Expo you still have an opportunity to see Lisa, Lynda, Karen, and Liz at our booth at the Arnold, along with our special guest Bubba The Love Sponge from Sirius Radio Howard 101! Yes, he will be signing autographs and taking pictures with his fans on Saturday March 3rd at the ProSource booth. Make sure you stop by and see what all the excitement is about.
PS- Oh, and click here to check out some of the pictures from the Fit Expo.
By Al Lewis
The perennial problem for bodybuilders and other athletes is how to gain impressive lean mass, while holding the line on body-fat. For most of us, "weight gain" is a fairly simple matter of increasing calories. But what good does that do if you wind up looking big and fat? The name of the game, is repartitioning–that is, increasing the muscle-to-fat ratio, or increasing muscle at the expense of fat. It is a tough trick. But fortunately we have some advanced weapons in our arsenal, and the best one (outside of creatine) is whey protein.
Whey protein (especially whey isolate) offers more actions to accomplish repartitioning than any other single supplement. Whey protein isolate–even standing alone, without any other supplement–can make a major contribution to your personal repartitioning program, both on the lean mass gain side and the fat reduction side.
Whey protein supports anabolic processes, helps normalize body-fat and metabolism, reduces stress and cortisol levels, and has antioxidant effects, all while enhancing strength and exercise performance. It is even synergistic with creatine! Here’s the scoop (to be taken, of course, with a large scoop of whey protein):
There are several very solid reasons why whey protein is an absolutely essential nutrient base for any hard-training bodybuilder, fitness enthusiast or other athlete.
FIRST, resistance trainers need more protein than the average person for recovery from workouts and fast strength and mass gains. The requirement can be as high as 2 grams of protein,
daily, per pound of lean bodyweight.
Whey protein is a complete protein with a unique balance of amino acids that support growth by both pro-anabolic and anti-catabolic hormonal effects. Whey is super-rich in the critical
pro-anabolic trio of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). Hard training significantly depletes BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine and valine), so they must be supplemented in abundance–or you’re
on a fast track to catabolic no-gain-land.
SECOND, whey protein is known as a “fast protein, it’s soluble, and digests and absorbs quickly. It provides very fast repletion of the essential amino acids.
The best recent research suggests that muscle protein synthesis is optimally stimulated by high extracellular concentrations of amino acids, and the best way to achieve this is with high, “jolt” doses of whey protein. These “jolts” should be spaced throughout the day for maximum tissue amino uptake and anabolic stimulation.
THIRD, whey protein enhances athletic performance by increasing the levels of the antioxidant glutathione. Hard training is an oxidative stress, and this contributes to the sensation of fatigue. Several studies have shown that supplementary antioxidants, which quell oxidative stress, improve athletic performance. One study showed directly how whey (not casein) protein supplements produce significant increases of peak power and work capacity as determined by whole leg isokinetic cycle ergometry. Better performance during workouts will result in faster muscle gains–provided your protein and calorie needs are being met.
FOURTH, whey protein contains a special component called glycomacropeptide, or GMP, which helps promote the body’s release of Cholecystokinin (CCK), an appetite-suppressing hormone. The GMPs in whey protein isolates (not concentrates–see below for the distinction) prompt the body to produce its own appetite-controlling molecules, thus helping the user to resist the high-carb goodies and the high-fat, high-cal pigouts that tip the muscle-to-fat ratio in the wrong direction.
FIFTH, whey protein and creatine are synergistic in promoting anabolism and strength gains! That’s right: the top two anabolic supplements, when combined, actually have an anabolic effect that is greater than when taken separately. In a 6-week study of 36 resistance-training men, those receiving high-dose whey protein (1.2 g/kg/day) combined with creatine monohydrate (0.1 g/kg/day) obtained much better lean mass and strength gains than men on whey alone or placebo.
SIXTH, the lactalbumin of whey protein is very rich in tryptophan, which promotes serotonin production in the brain. This has an “anti-stress” and cortisol-lowering effect, by modulating the pituitary/adrenal axis. Several studies have shown that whey protein supplementation blunts the cortisol response to artificial stress–a very significant finding. Hard training itself is an “artificial stress” which increases blood cortisol. Anything you can do to diminish the cortisol response will aid greatly in the overall anabolic process.
FOCUS ON FAT LOSS
For anyone who is preparing for a contest–or just wants to look good with their shirt off–altering the body’s muscle-to-fat ratio is far more important than “weight loss” or “weight gain” as such. “Weight” can mean a lot of things that have little relation to the real bottom line: how good you actually look, and how healthy you actually are.
Bodybuilders were pioneers in making the critical distinction between weight loss and fat loss, of which the dieting lay person had no awareness. Since muscle tissue weighs more than fat, weight loss is a most imperfect indicator of a successful diet. Even the Body Mass Index (BMI), now the standard formula to define overweight and obesity, doesn’t account for the percentage of lean muscle mass. For example, former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, who at 6′5" had a lean, mean fighting weight of 245 pounds, had a BMI of 29, which is at the top of the "overweight" category, bordering on obese. (If you’re curious, The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has a BMI calculator at http://nhlbisupport.com/bmi/).
Dieting usually entails a reduction of calories, setting in motion the body’s survival mechanism, which views fat stores as more precious than muscle tissue. This prompts the body to cannibalize muscle tissue before it goes to fat for energy. This physiological adaptation once protected our ancestors, but it works against us now, unless the body is provided with the protein it needs to protect the muscle tissue. The frequent “jolt” doses of whey protein mentioned above are an ideal strategy to support and preserve lean tissue while speeding fat loss.
Fortunately, whey’s anabolic, muscle-building action is complemented by metabolism-boosting, appetite-controlling, blood glucose-decreasing, insulin-lowering, and fat-mobilizing actions as well. Hence whey offers a powerful one-two punch for working on both sides of the critical muscle-to-fat balance.
The scientific literature now supports higher protein intake to help reduce body fat and improve insulin sensitivity in people with insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity.
The positive implications of this for bodybuilders are obvious. And here again, whey protein has more value than other proteins. In one study, animals fed whey protein lost 10% more bodyweight, and more of it from fat, than animals fed lean red meat. The whey protein-fed animals also had much lower insulin levels.
A diet rich in protein is the common-sense approach to improving the muscle-to-fat ratio. The more muscle you build and maintain, the more calories you burn, even when you’re idle. Building and protecting your lean mass makes fat loss so much easier, and will help keep the fat off permanently.
Body repartitioning–increasing the muscle-to-fat ratio–avoids the ambiguities and weaknesses of total bodyweight and BMI as indices. Body repartitioning is what will improve how good you actually look, and how healthy you actually are. It is a long-term process. Keep plugging at it and you will succeed, especially if you have the right supplemental ammo on your side–namely, whey protein.
In addition to effectively building muscle, while reducing fat, whey protein has many other health benefits. For example, it increases glutathione levels–as mentioned above in relation to anabolic effects. But glutathione has desirable action that goes far beyond just supporting muscle growth. Glutathione is vital for protection against oxidants, for detoxification and immune boosting.
By supplying plenty of tryptophan, whey protein has anti-stress effects and helps support optimal brain function–including helping to boost mood and confidence.
For men, there is an extra bonus: the possibility of reduced risk of prostate cancer. A study conducted at Ohio State University, published in the journal Toxicology, found that treating prostate cells with whey protein elevated glutathione levels in the cells by up to 64%, decreasing the chance of developing prostate cancer. Head researcher Joshua Bomser went on to say that "in diseases like cancer, there’s usually a reduction in the body’s overall capacity to deal with oxidative stress. Keeping antioxidant levels elevated through diet and supplementation may prevent the development of chronic disease."
The protein content of whey protein preparations can range from 35% to 95%. The higher the protein concentration, the more processing (filtering) is needed, leading to higher costs. Generally, when the protein concentration is greater than 88%, the end product is considered whey protein isolate (WPI), and less than that, whey protein concentrate (WPC). Besides being a great source of bulk protein, whey is a source of specific amino acids, peptides and other fractions that have potent (and very desirable) biological activity. For example, whey protein is a great source of the BCAAs–the key aminos for muscle-building and maintenance. It actually has 50% more leucine than soy protein isolate. But more exciting than that are whey isolate’s bioactive protein microfractions, which are richly supplied by the higher-quality whey protein isolates. The principal bioactive microfractions are as follows:
the easiest microfraction to obtain. Along with alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin
is one of whey’s main ingredients. Together, they account for about 70% to 80% of
total whey protein.
the second most common microfraction. It is thought to be very nutritious with a low allergenic risk. A good quality product should
- Immunoglobulins–this microfraction provides antibodies, which are very important for the immune system. Careful processing can yield 4-10%.
- Glycomacropeptides (GMPs)– these active proteins have a positive effect on the digestive system, antiviral activity, and offer improved calcium absorption and enhanced immune function. They contain a compound known as sialic acid, which acts as an anchor for viruses and therefore reduces the chance of viral infection. The GMPs also promote the release of CCK, an appetite-suppressing hormone.
- Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA)– the BSA fraction known as the precursor to glutathione. Glutathione is a critical antioxidant, important for reducing oxidative stress and improving athletic performance, for detoxifying chemicals and poisons, and possibly for reducing the risk of malignancy.
As you can see, whey protein isolate is richly endowed with powerful fractions and activity that goes far beyond other bulk proteins like casein or soy. It is important to note, also, that whey protein concentrate does not contain significant amounts of all of the microfractions, but cross flow micro-filtered whey protein isolate does.
- Cross Flow Microfiltration (CFM)- is the most sophisticated and advanced
processing technique known as it effectively removes undesirable components like fat and lactose, while at the same time, retaining the highest percentage of undamaged,
undenatured bioactive microfractions like those described above. As a result, CFM processing of whey protein avoids denaturation of protein microfractions, effectively removes undesirable constituents without the use of heat or chemicals, achieves a better amino acid profile, and has more calcium and less sodium.
Note: Fortunately, ProSource sells direct to the consumer instead of going through distributors and retailers, it is able to offer the highest-quality CFM whey protein isolate (such as in NytroWhey, NytroWhey Extreme and NytroWhey Extreme for Hard Gainers) at a price equal to or less than non-CFM whey proteins.
CONCENTRATE vs ISOLATE
The problem with raw whey is that it contains too much lactose, fat, and cholesterol. A few years ago, two major processes were developed that have the ability to extract the proteins from whey while preserving their integrity. These processes are micro-filtration and ion exchange. Both can yield a good low-lactose, low-fat whey protein. However, micro-filtration is the superior process, yielding cleaner material, higher protein and higher bioactive microfraction values. The higher-quality micro-filtered whey proteins can be distinguished from the lower-quality ones with a simple turn of phrase: whey protein concentrate versus whey protein isolate. Whey protein concentrate is the dry portion of whey obtained by the removal of sufficient non-protein components so that the dry product contains not less than 30-35% protein. Whey protein concentrates are rich in proteins but also contain fat and lactose. Some of them contain fair amounts of immunoglobulins, but don’t contain significant amounts of the other fractions such as GMPs, BSAs, alpha-lactalbumin, and so forth.
Whey protein isolate (WPI), on the other hand, is a much higher-value product with 90-92% protein, and the absolute maximum values of all the bioactive protein microfractions described above. This is important because the value of whey protein for the athlete may depend critically on those microfractions–particularly the Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) fraction, the precursor of glutathione.
WHEY FOR PROTEIN QUANTITY AND QUALITY
Choosing a superior-quality brand of protein is absolutely crucial to the success of your repartitioning regimen. ProSource’s NytroWhey line of premium proteins has earned a reputation for excellence based on their 100% pure WPI content, high levels of BCAAs and protein microfractions, and superior Cross Flow Microfiltration derivation. Now that we’ve established whey protein isolate as the superior source of protein, the next question is, how much protein do you need? The standard recommendation for athletes is between 0.5 to 0.7 grams per pound of body weight per day. This means if you weigh 150 pounds, you should try to obtain 75-100 grams, and even up to 135 grams, per day.
In all cases, protein should be of a high quality. Whey protein is recognized by fitness and bodybuilding enthusiasts as the most effective protein supplement on the market, and now the medical community is jumping on the bandwagon. We know that with whey, you get "more bang for your buck," so to speak, in that your body is able to absorb and utilize a greater percentage of the protein you ingest than with any other protein supplement (like, for instance, egg albumin or soy). Whey protein scored a 1.14 on the USDA’s Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS)–higher than any other protein.
Along with digestibility, whey (especially whey isolate) also boasts an excellent amino acid profile and solubility, giving it a very high biological value (BV). (BV is a measure of how well a protein is utilized by the body.) In fact, whey isolate holds the highest biological value of any naturally occurring protein.
Altogether, whey protein, and in particular whey protein isolate, offers the hard trainer a superior source of protein, the most critical single dietary substance. Whey protein’s compelling array of activities make it more than just an optional supplement, it is essential!
1. Burke, D.G. et al. Int J Sport Nutr. 2001, 11, 349-364. The effect of whey protein supplementation with and without creatine monohydrate combined with resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscle strength.
2. Journal of Nutrition 134:1454-1458, June 2004. Researchers from the University of Adelaide and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization also based in Adelaide, Australia, fed rats a high-fat diet (300g fat per kg) for nine weeks, then switched to a diet containing either 80 or 320g protein per kg, provided by either whey protein concentrate or red meat for six weeks. High dietary protein reduced energy intake and visceral, subcutaneous and carcass fat. Increasing the dietary density of whey protein, but not of red meat, reduced body weight gain by 4%, while whey protein also reduced plasma insulin concentration by 40% and increased insulin sensitivity, compared to meat protein. These findings support the conclusions that a high protein diet reduces energy intake and adiposity and that whey protein is more effective than red meat in reducing body weight gain and increasing insulin sensitivity.
3. Hall et al, British Journal of Nutrition, 2003, 89:239-248.
Two studies investigated the effects of two milk protein types, casein and whey protein, on food intake and subjective ratings of hunger and fullness, and on postprandial metabolite and gastrointestinal hormone responses.
Blood samples were taken at regular intervals and tested for amino acids, insulin, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), glucagons-like peptide (GLP-1), and cholecystokinin (CCK). Both CCK and GLP-1 are hormones associated with effects on satiety. The final conclusion from both studies was that whey protein meals are more satiating than casein meals and are associated with higher postprandial circulating levels of amino acids, CCK, and GLP-1. These findings show that whey protein may play
a valuable role in weight management and reduction
4. Neuropeptides. 33(5):387-99, 1999. Evidence that CCK
participates in the control of meal size (even in very hungry subjects) is compelling and participation of brain CCK in control of food intake is acknowledged.
5. Physiology & Behavior. 60(1):273-5,1996. There are 19
clinical studies demonstrating the satiating effect of
cholecystokinin in humans. The synthetic peptide-analog of cholecystokinin (CCK-8) was shown to inhibit food intake in non-obese men and women, and in obese men. CCK-8 significantly reduced the meal size: people stopped eating sooner with CCK-8 than without. Meal frequency remained unchanged, so the dieters were able to maintain healthy meal patterns.
6. Kent, K.D., W.J. Harper and I.A. Bomser. Toxicology in
Vitra. 17:27-33, 2003. Effect of whey protein isolate on
intracellular glutathione and oxidant-induced cell death
in human prostate epithelial cells.
7. Bohe J, Low A, Wolfe RR, Rennie MJ. Human muscle
protein synthesis is modulated by extracellular, not
intramuscular amino acid availability: a dose-response study. J Physiol. 2003 Oct 1;552(Pt 1):315-24
8. Boirie Y, et al. Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1997;94:14930-5
By Douglas S. Kalman MS, RD, FACN
The Seven-Day Repeat
Often people want to get into ripped shape, or even just drop a few “LBs”, so they turn to dieting too hard and perhaps adding a session of cardio to their weekly workout routines. This is the wrong approach. One can “strip the fat” by incorporating the right types of high-intensity exercise either alone or combined with smart eating and a quality diet supplement. By using all three (exercise, smart eating, quality diet supplement) the results can happen in a more expedient manner. The aspect of relatively clean eating can easily be summarized as eat natural foods, avoid foods high in saturated fat, skip the fast foods, enjoy smart MRP’s, eat fruits and vegetables and know how to control portion sizes. Seriously, there are great articles on this website regarding how to food shop, how to eat, what supplements to use and thus, this article will focus on one type of a smart workout that you can use to help shed fat over a 21-day period.
On each day of exercise it is advised to do a minimum of 10 minutes of warm-up (i.e. treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc). The first five minutes should be at a comfortable pace. The last five minutes of your warm up should be at a challenging pace. For example, if walking or jogging on a treadmill, increase both the speed and the incline until it becomes difficult for you to carry on a conversation. Get your heart pounding for a few minutes before we hit the iron.
After you have finished your warm-up it is time to get started with Antagonistic endurance training. This style of training is designed to maximize the energy expended, while minimizing the time you spend working out. Weight and fat control is affected by how many calories your body burns and just how you stimulate the muscles to adapt and become strong and toned. All exercises are to be done with one warm-up set. That is, do the exercise with one-half the weight that you normally do and do at least 20 repetitions.
You will, therefore, do the following four exercises in a superset fashion. Your total volume, including the warm-up set, for each exercise will be approximately 3 x 20,15,15 (I say approx. because the range of reps on sets two and three is 12-15 reps). Again, your time between sets has to be around 30 seconds, no more than a minute maximum.
- Incline Chest Press — Can be done with free weights (bar or dumbbells) or on a machine. After your warm-up set, pick a weight that you can lift for 12 to 15 repetitions (reps). Do one set and immediately go on to do the next exercise listed below with the minimum rest time required to move to the next exercise (this should take you no longer than 30 seconds to move from exercise to exercise and get set-up)
- Lat Pull downs — This exercise is typically done on a machine. If no machine is available, then chin-ups may be substituted. After your warm-up set, pick a weight that only allows you 12 to 15 clean repetitions. Once you have completed the set, go immediately back to the Incline Chest Press and do another set. In other words, you are doing three repeats of incline bench press and lat pull downs before moving onto seated rows and flat benches.
- Seated Row — This exercise can be done on either a machine (like an Icarian or Hammer machine) or on the cable row. Pick a weight that only allows you to complete 12 to 15 repetitions. Right after your first set is done, go to the Flat Bench.
- Flat Bench — This exercise is to be completed with free weights or on a machine. Pick a weight that allows you to safely lift no less than 12 reps and no more than 15 reps.
Hopefully you’re starting to feel the effects of “antagonistic-synergy” endurance training.
Finish up Day 1 lifting by doing two sets of pull-ups and dips (regular dips or bench dips), again alternating sets. Do as many repetitions as you can for each exercise with minimal amount of rest time (approx 15-30sec) between sets.
Once you have finished exercising with the weights, it is time to head to the treadmill. Get on the treadmill and start walking. Pick a pace that is as close to running as you can get without actually running. For most people this will be about 4 or 4.5 miles per hour. Set the timer for 20-30 minutes. You are going to alternate the incline of the treadmill every two minutes. At the low end, pick an incline of one-degree. On the high end elevate the treadmill to about seven to ten degrees. So, every 2 minutes for about 20-30 minutes you will alternate the incline from 1 to 7-10 degrees while walking at a pace that is almost jogging.
When you are finished, stretch and call it a day — you are all done with today’s workout.
Day two of the workout schedule is one where we look to maximize short-term energy expenditure. In general, lifting weights supports long-term metabolic enhancement, while aerobic activities are great for burning calories “in the now”. Day two exercises are about being in the now!
After warming up, do 3 sets of 15-20 calf raises.
Next, go for a five-mile run. If you cannot run five-miles, than go as fast as your comfortably can on the treadmill at an incline of two-degrees for 40 minutes. If you can run the five-miles, try to do so in less than 40 to 50 minutes.
When finished with that cardio, head off to a place where you can do abdominal exercises. Ideally you should have a stability ball (often referred to as a Swiss ball). Do three sets of 20-30 repetitions as you can of each of the following exercises: Straight crunch, stability-ball pull-in, reverse crunch, and hip rotation. After finishing this, do leg raises, three sets of 25 reps with one-minute between each set. Once done, call it a day.
Today, it is about working the arms in a unique way. Again you will be super-setting every two exercises, and doing a total of 4 x 20,15,15,15 (includes warm-up set).
- Standing Bicep Curls — This exercise is to be done with a barbell using a wide grip. Do a warm up set with a weight that is about half of what you would normally curl. When finished with the warm-up set, get into your exercise. Pick a weight that you can curl in a safe fashion up to 15 repetitions. When the first set is completed, head immediately over to the Triceps Pushdown Machine.
- Triceps Pushdown — A straight or cambered bar is normally used. Pick a weight that you can use for 15 repetitions. Once done with the first set, go back to doing Bicep Curls. Now, repeat this circuit for three sets of each exercise. Remember, antagonistic-synergy is in action, so push yourself and keep the time between sets to a minimum.
- Incline Bicep Curls — This exercise is great for elongating the bicep and bringing about the “peak” of the muscle. It is great for bringing out the look of a full, peaked bicep. Sit on an incline bench. Set the incline back so that it is about 45 degrees. Sit leaning back and curl the dumbbells with your palms centered and with purpose. Use a slow contraction and even a slower relaxation. In other words, allow yourself 1-2 seconds on the “curl” and 2 to 4 seconds on the return. Perform one set of 12 to 15 repetitions. After you complete the first set it is off to blast your triceps.
- Triceps French Press — This exercise is to be performed lying on a flat bench. You lie on your back and use a cambered bar. Take an inside grip or one that is comfortable for your wrists. If you are unfamiliar with the lying French press, take a gander at Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding or even do a “Google” to get a pictorial of it. Do one set (to start) of 12 – 15 reps. After you complete one set, go immediately back to the Incline Biceps Curl.
Perform three full circuits of these biceps and triceps exercises. For proper development of your arms, since your triceps are about 40% larger than the biceps, do two full extra sets of the lying French press once you have completed the biceps-triceps circuit.
Now that you’ve completed your weights for the day it’s time to get your cardio in. Before starting, get 3 sets of 15 calf raises. First get a solid twenty to twenty-five minutes of whatever machine you like (bike, elliptical, stairmaster, treadmill, etc). Choose a “random” program that your machine offers and complete your 20-25 min at a medium to medium-hard intensity.
Once finished, stretch for a minute or two, get a drink, and get ready to finish with some treadmill interval sprints!
Set the treadmill incline for 0.5-1.0. Figure out a sprint pace that you can maintain for 20-25 seconds. For most, this is somewhere in the speed 10.0-12.0 mph range. You will do one sprint every minute, and complete it in the following fashion:
When you are finished stretch your hamstrings and hip flexors thoroughly and call it a day.
Locate a high school with big bleachers or a college/pro-stadium. Here is how you are to run the stadium:
If you do not have a stadium to use but can find an apartment building with at least 10 flights, get to it! Run while taking two steps at a time, and run to the 10th floor. Turn around and walk down the stairs until you reach the 5th floor. Once at this floor, run back to the top floor and walk briskly down to the 3rd floor. Now, run back up to the 10th floor and walk back to the 5th. Repeat the run up, walk down, alternating between the 3rd and 5th floors until you have run/walked for 25 minutes. Once done, stretch out, drink some water and go hit the abs.
When you are finished with your cardio for the day, head off to a place where you can do abdominal exercises. Ideally you will have a medicine ball (you can substitute a dumbbell or weight plate, but be careful to grip it well to avoid dropping it on you) of 8-15 lbs. Do 2-3 sets of 50 repetitions of each of the following exercises: regular crunches, crunches w/legs at 90-degrees, seated twists (a.k.a. Russian twists), reverse crunches, toe touches.
These exercises are all you are going to do for the legs. You can substitute single-leg leg press or Smith machine squats instead of dumbbell lunges. That is your call. We are trying to not overdo the leg muscles since these legs are also powering us through the cardio sessions.
Cardio is also on the agenda for today. Once finished with the legs lifting, go find yourself either a Precor Elliptical or an exercise bicycle and do 30 minutes at a moderately challenging pace. After you finish, stretch and call it a day.
Without hesitation, go over to the rowing machine. Most gyms have one to three of these. Strap your feet in and start the computer. Pick competition setting. You will now be racing against the machine’s rowing team. The goal is 10 minutes of “crew” rowing and of course, for you to beat the machine. Once you finish, it is time for training your abs.
Alternatively, you can go for a 5-mile run; aim to complete it in less than 45 minutes, or 9-minute miles. If you cannot run five-miles, put the treadmill at a five-degree incline and walk at 4.0 MPH for 40 minutes, do not hold onto the front of the treadmill.
Once done with your cardio for the day, head off to a place where you can do abdominal exercises. You should pick one of the two ab routines that you did earlier in the week (on Days 2 & 4). If you are feeling particularly good, do one workout and add exercises from the other that do not feel too repetitive. You may also select to use the basic abdominal machines that are at your gym. If you do that, then be certain to get 80-100 reps in.
This is it, this is your seven-day rotational fat loss workout.
Follow this same exact workout for 21-days, follow it verbatim while keeping your eating as clean as possible. Do this workout and I guarantee your body will be in better fitness and physical shape than from before you started this program. Also, it’s critical to stay disciplined with your diet supplement (Tetrazene ES-50 is highly recommended) as the goal here is to stimulate your metabolism, while causing your body to adapt to a different type of workout stress. This stress will help your muscles to become more defined, stimulate strength and endurance gains while also helping you to shed fat. Following this workout as intended, using drop and complementary sets as written and limiting the time between sets to no more than a minute, while keeping the lifting intensity high and doing the cardio as prescribed herein, will only lead you to fat-be-gone heaven. So, let’s strip that body fat and get in better shape, you deserve it!
Douglas S. Kalman MS, RD is a Director in the Nutrition and Endocrinology Department of Miami Research Associates (www.miamiresearch.com) and contributes to the ProSource Forum.
By Marni Rakes, B.A., M.S., CISSN, IFPA, AFAA
Compared to the normal individual, athletes and weight-lifters (of all levels) have an increased need for protein. Unlike the average joe who spends gym-time looking at (or trying to find) his abs in the mirror, you are determined to add lean tissue, get stronger and build bigger muscles. However, without supplying your body with the right amount of amino acids, your muscles aren’t going to become any bigger or stronger. In essence, consuming the right type of dietary protein can make the difference between making that muscle-tee fit a little tighter around your biceps and paying for a gym membership and having nothing to show for your hard work.
Assuming you are already a subscriber to at least one strength magazine, you should have some understanding that diet and supplements are essential to gaining muscle quickly and effectively. Because there are approximately one million articles, books, and advertisements persuading you to purchase every form of protein on the market, the only thing to show for your well-planned weight lifting program is microscopic changes in your body composition. It’s no joke that it is an everyday struggle to attempt to uncover the best dietary protein to combine with your training routine.
When it comes to getting ripped and lean, let’s examine the diet of a bodybuilder. Aside from the vegetables, brown rice, and oatmeal (for providing the muscles with fuel), you won’t see a well-trained strength athlete walk out of the grocery store without a couple dozen eggs, protein powder, a carton of skim milk and a package or two of lean meats. Based on conventional wisdom, whey protein, milk and meat are three of the best sources of dietary protein. Now toss in some eggs and you have yourself a grade-A diet.
In the past couple of years, eggs have taken a beating from nutritionists because of their association with heart disease and dietary cholesterol. But not to worry because the reputation of eggs is slowly changing. Whether you heat them, beat them, or mix them in, eggs are a must-have-eat for any person wanting to put on muscle. As the gold standard for complete proteins, eggs contain the purest form of protein in whole foods. By eating one large egg you can easily provide your body with a little over 6 grams of protein and all nine essential amino acids. Although the majority of protein is in the white of the egg (3.5 g), the yellow "stuff" is not all that bad. By occasionally throwing in an egg yolk to your meal, you’re giving your body 2.5 grams of protein, 2.4 g and 0.6 g of the "good" monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, respectively, and plenty of vitamins and minerals. When giving your body high-quality protein after an intense training session, you can guarantee immediate muscle repair and growth. Furthermore, a daily diet high in egg protein provides your body with a steady supply of nutrients to build new muscle tissue.
Find any Atkins advocate who religiously forgoes carbohydrates on an everyday basis and meat takes precedence on his/her grocery list. However, one of the most important priorities in the muscle building process is providing the body with enough fuel to keep the engine burning. In other words, for any strength training individual, calories from carbohydrates are imperative. Although the low energy levels may not work in your favor, Mr.Atkins may have had a few good intentions with the meat concept. Although a number of animal proteins are high in fat and cholesterol, lean meat is rich in iron, B-Vitamins, and protein. Similar to traditional red meats, fish are high in protein (7 grams per ounce) and contain a number of the essential amino acids necessary for protein synthesis and development of lean muscle tissue. By providing your body with good sources of protein, you will facilitate muscle repair and aid in a faster recovery after resistance training.
Thinking back, can you recall the many times when you were told to finish your glass of milk at dinner? Mother told you if you want strong bones, milk does a body good. Surprisingly, she was a step ahead of the research. The main protein in cow?s milk, casein, digests slowly and improves the chances of prolonged muscle-building activity after a workout. During any resistance training session, your body requires supplementary protein to reduce muscle catabolism (breakdown) and supply the necessary amino acids to support muscle anabolism (buildup). With this knowledge, milk would be an ideal protein for any individual aspiring for a more muscular build. So for those who can’t find the time to blend together a protein shake immediately after a workout, pick up a cartoon of milk the next time you are heading home from the gym.
As you are well aware, supplements will certainly help your workouts, allow you to build bigger muscles and foster a quicker recovery. Think of supplements as equipment to help with your crafts. When you see the finished product, it looks oh-so-good. Currently, whey protein is one of the most popular supplements on the market and, for good reason, should be a staple supplement for all fitness enthusiasts. Milk contains two main proteins; casein and whey. During the process of cheese-making from milk, liquid whey is separated from the casein proteins. In addition to its high biological value (quality of protein) and high protein efficiency ratio (utilization of protein in the body), whey protein is loaded with the necessary branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) that your body craves during an intense training session. Vital for the resistance training individual, BCAAs are directly metabolized into the muscle cell and play a major role in building lean muscle tissue. Along with the benefit of increasing amino acid levels to encourage muscle tissue growth, whey protein contains little fat, lactose, or cholesterol. Because of its rapid digestion rate, whey is a perfect post-workout drink for all fitness devotees. Out of all the protein supplements on the market, you certainly know which whey to go.
All jokes aside, is there one whey that is better than the rest? If spending your money wisely is a must for your banking account, it is imperative that you recognize which type of whey protein will promote the greatest anabolic outcomes before you dish out your hard-earned cash.
Among the many ingredients listed first on the container of your processed whey protein product, you will most likely find one of two types of whey protein; whey protein isolate or whey protein concentrate. Although most products start with whey, there is a large difference between the two! Whey isolate (the more effective of the two) contains over 90% pure whey protein and very little fat or cholesterol. Additionally, for those who stay clear of the dairy aisle, whey isolate contains almost no lactose. On the flip side, whey concentrate protein contains between 30% and 90% whey protein (depending on the product) and as the percentage of whey protein concentrate decreases the amount of lactose and fat increases. In conclusion, if you are a serious lifter, looking for a competitive edge, a concentrate will not meet your muscle-building needs.
By now you have realized that whey isolate is the preferred protein to help pack on a couple pounds of muscle. But as the naive consumer, you should be aware that not all isolates are processed similarly. The two main whey isolate processing methods include ion exchange and cross-flow microfiltration.
Isolated proteins, created through ion exchange, are separated in an ion exchange column based on their electrical charge. During this reasonably inexpensive process, however, many healthy components of whey are stripped from the protein and many amino acids are denatured. As a result, ion exchange proteins, just like concentrates, have sacrificed their biological value for quantity.
In complete contrast, cross-flow microfiltered (cfm) isolates rank at the top of the list of undenatured protein created among isolated whey. Although the process of cfm is similar to ion exchange, microfiltered proteins hold onto the valuable nutrients that are lost during the exchange process. The low temperature procedure used in cfm isolates conserves its biological activity and maintains a favorable balance of proteins found in whey. As the best source of whey protein, cfm isolates contain no denatured proteins, more calcium and less sodium compared to ion exchange and a greater quantity of amino acids.
With its high concentration of protein, whey protein isolate, containing cfm isolates, is a better choice when choosing protein in the diet. With the right amount of amino acids, cellular and hormonal responses from resistance training are significantly improved with the right type of whey protein. Simply put, if you regularly train for a muscular build, you should be eating quality foods high in protein on an every day basis. The question remains, however, are you eating sufficient amounts of protein to build quality muscle? According to the RDA, current recommendations suggest 1 gram of protein per every 2 pounds of bodyweight. For the active weight lifter or athlete, the body requires more protein to assist with the demands placed on it during training. Therefore, 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is adequate to fulfill daily protein requirements. The math is simple. A 150 lb athlete would need approximately 150 grams of protein.
You now know, or have been refreshed on, the top sources of protein for the most optimal strength training diet. For the few who can not stomach a smoothie filled with protein powder or cringe at the site of whole eggs, boiling water, or chickens, you are considerably sabotaging your diet of the necessary BCAA?s. Therefore, milk may be your ideal protein. And what about the very few who prefer the garden over the butchery? Without red meat or fish proteins, you are not receiving the necessary good fats in your diet. Try adding a whey protein shake and your growing muscles with thank you greatly.
Because meeting protein requirements is a daily priority, add some variety to your routine by trying a better-quality post-workout drink. If an increase in lean mass, with greater muscle fiber growth, is what you are looking for, whey cfm isolate is clearly the superior anabolic protein for any resistance training individual.