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mccoy

Exercise optimization

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4 hours ago, mccoy said:

I don't know what's most admirable, the massive muscles or the massive resilience to the huge abuses imposed to the system.

I'll admire his massive resilience if he's still alive after I'm dead.

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9 hours ago, Todd Allen said:

I'll admire his massive resilience if he's still alive after I'm dead.

Todd, yes, we all know those guys are only concerned about short-term resilience, enough to win even a single Mr. Olympia...

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The myth of BCAAs shattered. A couple of years ago I read about the ostensible benefits of BCAAS (branch.chained ammino-acids) for muscle hypertrophy and started to take some just before workouts. they are simply tablets of Leucine, isoleucine, valine with the ratios 4:1:1. The aim was to provide a trigger to mTOR activity within muscles, at the same time  decreasing the need for dietary protein.

It didn't work. Dietary protein is needed as well for muscle protein synthesis and if BCAAs can provide any benefits, other factors definitely govern hypertrophy. I tossed the tub away having taken maybe half its content.

Later on, I started reading some critics to the assumption of EAAs and BCAAs, mainly that leucine on its own has not the same effects as leucine within foods, different metabolic signaling and exhibits some competition with tryptophan. The following article includes an interesting critic on BCAAs, which have been later strongly criticized by Professor Brad Schoenfeld as well. Considering BCAAS are pretty expensive, at this point they can be simply deleted from the list of useful aids to hypertrophy.

AS an addendum, in the following article, it is discussed that adding pure leucine to some whey powder is as effective as taking more proteins. That may constitute a very interesting strategy for maintaining or increasing muscle mass without ingesting too much food and probably deserves further reflections.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2015.00245/full

EVIEW ARTICLE

Front. Physiol., 03 September 2015 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2015.00245

Nutritional interventions to augment resistance training-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy

  • Exercise Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Skeletal muscle mass is regulated by a balance between muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and muscle protein breakdown (MPB). In healthy humans, MPS is more sensitive (varying 4–5 times more than MPB) to changes in protein feeding and loading rendering it the primary locus determining gains in muscle mass. Performing resistance exercise (RE) followed by the consumption of protein results in an augmentation of MPS and, over time, can lead to muscle hypertrophy. The magnitude of the RE-induced increase in MPS is dictated by a variety of factors including: the dose of protein, source of protein, and possibly the distribution and timing of post-exercise protein ingestion. In addition, RE variables such as frequency of sessions, time under tension, volume, and training status play roles in regulating MPS. This review provides a brief overview of our current understanding of how RE and protein ingestion can influence gains in skeletal muscle mass in young, healthy individuals. It is the goal of this review to provide nutritional recommendations for optimal skeletal muscle adaptation. Specifically, we will focus on how the manipulation of protein intake during the recovery period following RE augments the adaptive response.

 

Edited by mccoy

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The relevant part on BCAAS

Quote

Protein Quality

There are inherent differences in quality between the three most commonly consumed isolated protein sources: soy, casein, and whey. Proteins such as whey and soy are digested relatively rapidly, resulting in rapid aminoacidemia, and induce a larger but more transient rise in MPS than casein (Tang et al., 2009; Reitelseder et al., 2011). Whole-body protein synthesis is stimulated more with whey protein whereas whole-body protein breakdown is suppressed with ingestion of casein (Boirie et al., 1997). After ingestion of isolated casein, soy and whey protein (all providing 10 g EAA) the acute (3 h) rise in MPS was found to be greatest with whey protein both at rest and following exercise (Tang et al., 2009). Interestingly, soy protein had higher MPS than casein at both rest and after exercise as well (Tang et al., 2009). It appears that at least up to 3 h post-RE the most effective protein source is whey (Tang et al., 2009). Even for those considering weight loss, after 2 week of being hypocaloric, habitual daily consumption of whey (54 g) is more effective than soy at offsetting the decline in the postprandial MPS response (Hector et al., 2015).

In an effort to elucidate the attenuated anabolic response with casein supplementation, we evaluated the rates of MPS after a bout of RE with either a single bolus (25 g) or small pulses every 20 min (2.5 g) of whey protein (West et al., 2011). The 25 g bolus of whey protein lead to higher MPS between both 1–3 and 3–5 h post-exercise (West et al., 2011). The rapid and immediate bolus may be increasing EAA delivery to the muscle, specifically leucine, to a certain threshold that is triggering a MPS and the associated anabolic pathways. Indeed, blends of protein (1:2:1, whey:casein:soy) were later shown, when leucine content was matched, to be as effective as whey in stimulating MPS (Reidy et al., 2013). Furthermore, participants given 25 g of whey protein or 6.25 g whey with 5 g leucine added showed an increased MPS at rest and after RE to a similar extent despite a four-fold lower protein dose (Churchward-Venne et al., 2014). It appears that the leucinemia (and quite possibly the ensuing intramuscular leucine concentration) is the driver of the MPS response and thus the recovery process. The addition of isoleucine and valine (the other branched-chain AAs) does not improve MPS (Churchward-Venne et al., 2014). This response is an underappreciated result considering many supplements contain combinations of the branched-chain AAs, which, based on our data, would not be advantageous to consume co-temporally because they share the same transporter (Hyde et al., 2003). Thus, as we speculated (Churchward-Venne et al., 2014), consumption of crystalline BCAA resulted in competitive antagonism for uptake from the gut and into the muscle and was actually not as effective as leucine alone in stimulating MPS. Despite the popularity of BCAA supplements we find shockingly little evidence for their efficacy in promoting MPS or lean mass gains and would advise the use of intact proteins as opposed to a purified combination of BCAA that appear to antagonize each other in terms of transport both into circulation and likely in to the muscle (Churchward-Venne et al., 2014).

 

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32 minutes ago, mccoy said:

Furthermore, participants given 25 g of whey protein or 6.25 g whey with 5 g leucine added showed an increased MPS at rest and after RE to a similar extent despite a four-fold lower protein dose (Churchward-Venne et al., 2014). It appears that the leucinemia (and quite possibly the ensuing intramuscular leucine concentration) is the driver of the MPS response and thus the recovery process

The quoted sentence is of interest if we want to keep the protein ratio low at the same time pursuing muscle hypertrophy. Half the amount of bulk whey+Leucine.

It remains to be seen if the ingestion of 5 grams pure leucine may have any collateral effects, especially at rest. Just after resistance exercise, it makes sense that there is a marked leucine uptake effect by muscular tissue.

Of course, the quantities cited are valid for young subjects, they should be increased in older ones.

My inclination would be to avoid pure leucine but the temptation to be able to have effect with just half the dosage of protein-AAs is strong.

Edited by mccoy

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I've been following to date the various suggestions on hypertrophy, although I'm still reading Brad Schoenfeld's reference book and may change something in my schemes.

The results are good in that they show that it is possible to achieve muscle hypertrophy at a not so young age (countdown to 60 now!) and lifting moderate weights (allowing for issues with the connective tissues). I've been taking no supplements lately, not even creatine, just some smoothies with whey powder after workouts. Simply, we should follow the rules as outlined by recent research. Genetics may govern the degree of hypertrophy reachable but the general results are extendable to everyone.  In this picture, my BMI is 24.2 kgm-2 and I've probably reached my maximum degree of muscular hypertrophy with the present regime of weight loads and volume, and wonder if it is worth to pursue more. I'm probably going to take it easy, increasing loads only occasionally, eating less, eating what and when I wish, with less protein, but keeping up with optimized exercise. I also like to be functional, so I'm going to target some daily functions such as lifting and carrying bags and also I'm going to introduce some aerobic exercise.

These results are applicable to prevent or overcome sarcopenia and may even be introduced in a CR regime, although rigorous CR will probably tend to keep MPS in a negative balance, that is, smaller but functional (if exercised) muscles.

image.png.a34b317ed602b1753b01b5a7d21c15a1.png

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Wow, mccoy! This is really impressive.

I wonder if it may be useful to get a DEXA scan, to be able to target certain areas (with diet or exercise).
 

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On 1/1/2020 at 9:12 PM, Ron Put said:

I wonder if it may be useful to get a DEXA scan, to be able to target certain areas (with diet or exercise).

Ron, AFAIK researchers, such as Brad Schenfeld, prefer direct imaging methods such as ecography to measure the thickness of determined muscles and compare them to the pre-intervention situation. The best option seems to be NMR but it's rarely used because of the high costs.

DEXA may be perhaps useful as a more approximate method, it also seems to be sensitive to water content which interprets as lean mass.

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On 1/3/2020 at 4:01 AM, mccoy said:

DEXA may be perhaps useful as a more approximate method, it also seems to be sensitive to water content which interprets as lean mass.

True. But for my purpose (and for $45 :) it served well, to give me a baseline and to compare with the results from the Withings Cardio+ scale (relatively close).
DEXA also gave me some comfort as to my bone density, even though I understand its limitations.

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The result you cited in another thread appear exceptionally good, but I don't know about targeting biceps, for example, or quads, or triceps, or specific areas as you asked

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19 hours ago, tea said:

what is your general load/repetition scheme to optimize hypertrophy?

Tea, I follow a scheme similar to Brad Schoenfeld's undulating periodization, but not a scheduled one, rather something I elaborate listening to the muscles and the joints.

Sets are about 20 per week, pecs and lats. reps from a maximum of 25-30, to a minimum of 5. This is the range that allows maximum hypertrophy according to research.

When I feel I can load up, I do for example 10 sets in the 5 to 8 repetitions range, but when the joints or muscles are a little achy, I train in a metabolic-stress fashion unloading and increasing reps. In such instances, I also practice the mind-muscle connection.

I must build my routine around some weaknesses, like some  joints and tendons which tend to ache when stressed. Also I'm training at home with minimal equipment, since at the gym I most assuredly will overtrain, given the variety of machines and free weights combinations.  To me, that's similar to overeating when you have plenty of good food available.

As soon as I can gather some spare time, I'm going to list the main points outlined in Brad Schoenfeld's excellent book on muscle hypertrophy. That constitutes the best guidelines I now about presently. Although it must be translated into one's own individual situation.

Edited by mccoy

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Since the last FMD I lost 3 kg (6.6 pounds) and did not retrieve them as usual. It may be because I discontinued the ingestion of creatine and because from the inception of the Covid-19 I switched to a preventive diet with more fruit and vegetables.

Also, I discontinued exercising legs, choosing to do 200 to 300 minutes per week of cardio (usually treadmill with steep inclination). This is also part of the COVID-19 regime, which entails a little less muscular exertion (less inflammation and also keeping acheless joints to carry out domestic chores). I also made sure to expose regularly to sunrays to optimize vitamin D3. This is my latest pic, after a workout, in a relaxed stance.

image.png.9dc768ee3285e4ae49c9ccb949f85a42.png

 

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Luigi Fontana’s take on exercise is not to aggressive!

“Most likely, a U-shaped relationship exists between physical activity and health, with sedentary lifestyle at one end of the U-curve and large volumes of high-intensity endurance exercise at the other, both of which increase cardiac damage. Based on the available information, healthy people performing low-to moderate-intensity (heart rate between 55–70 per cent of the maximum) aerobic exercise experience the lowest risk and a higher metabolic benefit. Simply put, we can walk, cycling at low speed or dance for as long as we want. However, most likely the health benefits are already maximised when we reach 100 minutes per day of leisure-time activity. For daily strenuous activities (more than 80 per cent of the maximum heart rate), I believe that it is unsafe to perform large volumes of strenuous endurance-exercise training for longer periods of time on a regular basis. 52,53 Studies have shown that small doses of five to ten minutes a day of high-intensity exercise are generally sufficient, and further extending the high-intensity workout does not induce additional benefits, and in some people may cause irreversible health damage.”

— Path to Longevity by Luigi Fontana
https://a.co/8J7tJay

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4 hours ago, Mike41 said:

Luigi Fontana’s take on exercise is not to aggressive!

“Most likely, a U-shaped relationship exists between physical activity and health, with sedentary lifestyle at one end of the U-curve and large volumes of high-intensity endurance exercise at the other, both of which increase cardiac damage. Based on the available information, healthy people performing low-to moderate-intensity (heart rate between 55–70 per cent of the maximum) aerobic exercise experience the lowest risk and a higher metabolic benefit. Simply put, we can walk, cycling at low speed or dance for as long as we want. However, most likely the health benefits are already maximised when we reach 100 minutes per day of leisure-time activity. For daily strenuous activities (more than 80 per cent of the maximum heart rate), I believe that it is unsafe to perform large volumes of strenuous endurance-exercise training for longer periods of time on a regular basis. 52,53 Studies have shown that small doses of five to ten minutes a day of high-intensity exercise are generally sufficient, and further extending the high-intensity workout does not induce additional benefits, and in some people may cause irreversible health damage.”

— Path to Longevity by Luigi Fontana
https://a.co/8J7tJay

Thanks for sharing this info! It keeps me from falling into my potential 'exercising too much' trap. At times I've been at the high-end of the U-shaped curve for lengthy periods of time. Exercise can most certainly be addictive. 

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Greetings fellow space travelers on this spaceship Earth!

This assertion is what prompted my membership here and this reply:

Luigi Fontana’s take on exercise is not to aggressive!

“Most likely, a U-shaped relationship exists between physical activity and health, with sedentary lifestyle at one end of the U-curve and large volumes of high-intensity endurance exercise at the other, both of which increase cardiac damage. Based on the available information, healthy people performing low-to moderate-intensity (heart rate between 55–70 per cent of the maximum) aerobic exercise experience the lowest risk and a higher metabolic benefit.

 

I would like your comments/observations on these two guys. They do far far more exercise than what's recommended by Fontana, and by various people here on this forum.

Also, notice their leanness & agility!

Comments??!!

 

  "Hidekichi Miyazaki‘s 100m world record for ages 100 and over was broken by an American on Sunday. The Japanese man’s response was to set a new record Wednesday."

https://olympics.nbcsports.com/athlete/don-pellman/

 

 

and, here is Donald Pellman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Both of those athletes did not take up their sports until they were already elderly. Not exactly a lifetime of intense exercise or practice. Miyazaki didn't even start running until his 90s. Also, what makes you think they do "far more exercise than what's recommended"? I imagine they both practice for their sports, but certainly not a comparable amount to that of young competing athletes.

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Also, what makes you think they do "far more exercise than what's recommended"?

Bingo.

We need evidence. Without it, it's impossible to have a discussion about the merits of any thesis.

Edited by TomBAvoider

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4 hours ago, Earthling said:

I would like your comments/observations on these two guys. They do far far more exercise than what's recommended by Fontana, and by various people here on this forum.

Also, notice their leanness & agility!

Comments??!!

My thought is that, regardless of the amount of exercise they do, those guys are outliers with a genetic makeup which makes them almost unique. Considerations on those guys, even as considerations on Jeanne Calment or Kane Tanaka or Emma Morano probably cannot be extended to other guys, or ladies.

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