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Clinton

On Vacay in Mexico

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In February I was in Mexico with my wife and kids.  We made it back home right before lockdown and didn't have to even quarantine at that time.

This is a short video of us feeding some monkey's right on the balcony of our hotel - I pet one of the guys on his back and he is pretty quick to spin around and let me know that he is not domesticated - was so much fun ...

 

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Thanks Ron,

That was in February- I have a personal disgust with body fat- I don’t mind it on anyone else, but on my body it bothers me.

 I was under 10%bf in that video clip, and the smallest I’ve been in years. I am a solid 15lbs of muscle heavier now due to quarantine and a great home gym.

 I don’t restrict calories or protein.  I eat to grow size and strength and then reduce carbs if I need to lose fat.

 I understand the benefits of low protein, animal protein etc. however I love bodybuilding and I just try to implement all of the excellent longevity advice on these forums (including time-restricted eating), but I eat a lot of protein 💪

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That looks super cool to feed monkeys like that! You are definitely a very fit specimen - kudos for all of the hard work you must do to maintain that. Just curious, what's a typical day of nutrition look like for you? And what's a typical week of training? 

Nearly 15 years ago I trained similar to DC (also Madcow 5x5, not sure if that rings a bell). I was able to get pretty strong, but not always so lean. 

Where in Mexico is that? I've always wanted to go but the family isn't comfortable with the safety of tourists unfortunately. 

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Drew,

5x5 has been my staple routine for years for bench, rows, chins, dips, pull-ups, standing press, etc.  That is almost always my core workout.

When I really go to failure on all 5 sets I actually find that 7-6-5-4-3 for 25 total works well (but it is almost 5x5).

The was at Xcaret - to be clear, we did NOT have the typical tropical sand and beach, but rather access to an amazing park with enough to keep you occupied for a week and an amazing night show that you can see a couple times and enjoy (immensely).

 I used to be obsessed with size, strength, bodybuilding and ate huge portions and at my peak deadlifted 405 and did dips and chins with 110lbs for 5x5.

In the past several years I have taken a different approach for lower body.

 I don’t overload my spine... my main lower body lift is db lunges and I believe that they are a complete leg exercise and very functional.  
For abs, I also personally believe that contraction of your core with crunches or other similar movements might be dangerous.  I work my abs and core hard, but I don’t ‘crunch’ ... I honestly think that you should NOT do that and stick with hanging leg raises or an-wheel roll outs.

I started eating a couple scoops of whey (again) per day ... 

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For nutrition I have this for breakfast and 'supper':

 

I will often eat 2 meals between those 2 anchors always aiming for a palm-size piece of meat with some leafy greens, carrots and most days a can of V8.

Frozen mixed veggies and a can of sardines, a beef patty, a can of kirkland sig chicken chunks, 2-3 weiners, it all works.  

I focus on 30g of animal protein in those 2 meals with some decent veggies ... that's it ... with that you'll stay under 2000kCal per day, and it's enough protein.

Some folks may not be comfortable with the amount of creatine, beta-alanine, protein and especially the specific amino acids such as leucine and methionine that I take.

I understand -- but I am very lean - like zero visceral fat, carry lots of muscle mass, feel great and like how I look.  That fits with my goals/priorities, even if it doesn't align with making it to 110yrs of age.

I've always tried to make the biggest humanly-possible gains without the use of drugs.

Edited by Clinton

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Ok - a typical week of training - as I mentioned above, has (for me personally) I've reduced excessive spinal loading that I used to do thinking that massive loads would increase testosterone, HGH and just help my entire body grow.

My typical workout is very similar to a 'V-Taper' workout which means .... *gasp* to all those personal trainers out there that I prioritize upper body.

I will do horizontal push-pull one day, then vertical push-pull another, next day is lower body, then back to vertical and horizontal.  That's 5 days per week and I just rotate through like that.  Some weeks I might do that in 6 days and it might take me 8 days some times, but I repeat that cycle.  It's like this:

Horizontal Push-pull:

Dumbbell Bench Press 5x5 or DC ...

For 5x5 I will use like 90lb db's for 7-6-5-4-3 or 85 for DC and go 10-3-3

Dumbbell Rows  (same weight as bench)

Vertical Push-Pull  (I do standing push-press with say 120lbs and pull-ups with bodyweight  plus 60 for 7-6-5-4-3 OR push press with 110lbs and pull-ups with 45lbs for DC)

Overhand Pull-ups (sometimes do chin-ups for heavier weight and even more size and strength), and Standing Barbell Push-Press

Lower (and arms):

Dumbbell Lunges, Ab-Wheel Roll-Outs, DB Incline bicep curls, weighted dips ... (Dips are indeed an equivalent to a decline bench and my heaviest pushing movement, but I do them with lower anyways)

I do lunges with 40 or 50lb dumbbells in each hand - travelling lunges I find far superior to stationary ... so if you can find a long enough area to walk forward, you're golden.  I do full range of motion; you work your glutes, hamstrings, quads, everything with this - and sometimes I'll essentially do 'single-legged squats' by going up the stairs 3-at-a-time and leaning forward over my leading foot and step up lifting my entire body from the single leg - it is f- heavy and very functional (translates to real life activity).

Horizontal Push-Pull

Vertical Push-Pull

 

 

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You're looking buff!     (and without the benefit of hard-light -pumped- up-post-workout photography, which some bodybuilding-oriented CR posters have mastered.😈)

Your daughter's cute as hell!

I hope the monkeys are not starving now,  with tourism down.

On 6/28/2020 at 3:20 AM, Clinton said:

I am eating at least 1g of protein per pound of body weight daily ....

I'm curious,  suppose you dropped that to,  say,  .5g/lb protein,  how much less muscle mass would you estimate you would attain,   with the same exercise routine etc.  (if necessary, reducing calories to prevent increased belly fat)?     I know a precise answer is impossible, but I'm trying to get a rough idea of  the relative importance of the high animal protein intake in your program.

I realize  you are going for the maximum mass and specific-exercise strength--and feeling and looking great!- which is cool,  you only live once,  and the difference between 90, 100, 110 human years in the context of Eternity is dissolves into meaninglessness,  but I imagine you'd still be quite muscular and cut even with a lower protein intake, certainly enough to look great, feel great, and ward off any age-related sarcopenia, to the extent possible.

I've been doing a lot more resistance training myself,  now that I have much more time at home.   I use primarily  fairly light dumbbells,   kettlebells, stretch cords,  and bags filled with heavy whatever, going for so-called functional movements.   I particular like the stretch cords for dry land swimming strength and endurance exercises,  as I like to swim, but can't do it that much now.  The stretch cord resistance is not the same as water resistance (which increases with speed of movement vs length of cord stretch),  but you can get a lot of pulling/curving motions that you can't get with free weights.  (I don't have a cable machine).

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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Your strength for your weight is very impressive - great deadlift, chinup/dip strength. I think your approach of not overloading your spine is wise, afterall, I'm sure you saw what happened to Ronnie Coleman with those 800lb deadlifts/squats, right? I do very little strength training, but I do DB overhead lunges and find them to be a great overall leg exercise. My knees don't agree with heavy squats like they did when I was in university. I enjoy some other exercises like DB snatches, box jumps, pullups, muscle-ups, and a few fun exercises. 

From a health and longevity perspective, I do wonder if your intake of things like methionine is kind of irrelevant given that most of it will be taken up and utilized by muscle, as opposed to fueling growth somewhere else in the body. I also feel like hanging leg raises and the likes do a great job of decompressing the spine... this is based more on feel than anything else.

Edited by drewab
spelling mistake

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29 minutes ago, drewab said:

I do wonder if your intake of things like methionine is kind of irrelevant given that most of it will be taken up and utilized by muscle, as opposed to fueling growth somewhere else in the body.

Afaict, that "utilized by muscle" theory is, at this point, little more than mechanistic speculation (with a huge dose of wishful thinking).   The body has multiple complex nutrient-sensing pathways that involve detection of an abundance of dietary calories/protein and shifting the body into general growth mode accordingly, regardless of the ultimate fate of  individual amino acids etc.  Thus,  it's far from simply being a matter of a nutrient  being utilized in a restricted part of the body, which of  course does happen.     I'd certainly be happy to be shown wrong on this point, if someone can post hard evidence for the  muscle-utilization theory.

Edited by Sibiriak

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Fueling growth past one’s late 20’s seems like a bad idea when it comes to longevity (probably accelerates aging and if/when you get cancer it fuels it) but I’m all for people trying different things and contributing to the body of knowledge.

I just posted these Fontana references in another thread but they are relevant here too:

53:40 Importance of low protein / methionine restriction for longevity independent of CR (blocks tumor development)

59:25 You should eat around 10% protein ("a calorie is not a calorie", "stay away from low carb or ketogenic diets")

Edited by Gordo

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On 6/28/2020 at 5:43 AM, Sibiriak said:

and without the benefit of hard-light -pumed- up-post-workout photography, which some bodybuilding-oriented CR posters have mastered

I hear that, I also admit being some kind of a pump artist. I'm not able to exert as Clinton does, but a guy must have some legitimate fun, after all!

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McCoy - if you want to try a different routine, read up on DC training in that link I posted above.  Essentially it is using a weight that you'd fail at 10reps, rest 10-15 deep-belly breaths, go to failure again (approx 3 reps), 10-15 deep breaths and fail again (approx 3 reps).  You will get a pump from that.

DC stands for Dogg Crapp by the way - lol - but this routine is anything but crap.

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Clinton, thanks for the advice, the technique is interesting, although I am very limited in the variety of exercises I do, but I can always try a reduced and modified version of it. My priority is not to have nagging pains after the workout, since I need to do chores very often (like heavy gardening, house maintenance work and so on).

One detail I have not clear, from the site you linked to:

 

Quote

Your goal is to do between 11 and 15 total reps. "If you get 15 or more, you know you'll have to increase the weight the next time you do the exercise," SM explained. And if you get fewer than 11, it means you need to either lower the weight or shoot for more reps the next time.

Is 11 to 15 reps related to the first set, or to the total of the three sets?

Sure the routine is different, and I'm already thinking on how to adapt it to my situation. My latest two workouts have been mainly flat, narrow-grip bench press, 10 sets x 6 reps with very long rests in between and a final dropset, 2 seconds eccentric, one second concentric, perfect form. Then light biceps, eventually light lats. So far pretty good to optimize the stimulus and minimize the pains.

Again, my priority is to give an hypertrophy signal which does not compromise the functionality of my joints and ligaments, which for strange reasons are unduly stressed by workouts.

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That’s the total of the 3 sets. I believe that the article says that if you can do a total of 16+ reps (over the 3 sets) increase the weight next time.

 I like this program because I had already been doing about 3sets of 10 reps the past several weeks- and no longer sore (no more doms).  When I switched to DC using the same weight and going 10-3-3 I was SORE from such an intense workout and only 16 reps total volume- just over half of what I had already been doing 

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McCoy,

I think your joints would be better off with DC since you are using a lighter weight (10 rep max weight instead of 6rm) and also far less volume.

DC was developed specifically for hypertrophy, not strength, if that is your goal.

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Yes, I'm convinced, what I've been trying to do is to leverage loads in many ways and this is a promising one. It's probably going to decrease the length of a single workout and that's another enticing detail. Insisting on warmup is another aspect which I find pretty valid. At the end of the article there is also a useful suggestion, which I mean to follow:

Quote

If you're over 35, you may want to go for more reps with somewhat lighter weights on the rest-pause sets. So you'd shoot for 15 to 20 total reps, rather than 11 to 15.

I'm currently doing no legs workouts, since I'm saving my knees for the treadmill. But I might see what happens with free or lightweight squats. Anyways, I'm going to try that out and relate back!

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By the way, I have some doubts about the sentence previously posted:

Quote

If you're over 35, you may want to go for more reps with somewhat lighter weights on the rest-pause sets. So you'd shoot for 15 to 20 total reps, rather than 11 to 15.

Does it mean that I'm going to do the first set 10X and then unloading little to hit a total of 15-20?

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13 hours ago, Clinton said:

developed specifically for hypertrophy, not strength, if that is your goal.

Why  aim only for hypertrophy,  rather than for a more balanced combination of mass, strength, power, endurance, agility, flexibility,  tendon/ligament/fascia conditioning  etc. -- i.e. overall neuromuscular functionality?   And not just through resistance training,   but primarily through complex physical activities themselves such as  sports,  outdoor exertions-- hiking, climbing, biking, skiing, swimming etc.-- dance, gymnastics, yoga, chi kung and so on and so forth.

In my view,  resistance training should primarily be adjunctive (supportive) to such activities (additional strength, muscle balancing, injury prevention etc.)  and the activities of regular life at work and home,  and tailored to meet the individual's needs depending on their activity preferences, physical condition age etc.  

Of course, if a person's goal is strictly non-functional* bodybuilding- style hypertrophy,  then that's another  matter (*non-functional for anything apart than the function of aesthetic/egoistic appreciation of large muscles.)

In any case, I've seen no evidence that maximal- hypertrophy-focused resistance training to is required  avoid sarcopenia

As currently defined and understood, sarcopenia  is not exclusively or even primarily about age-related loss of muscle mass,  but rather the loss of neuromuscular functionality in all its many aspects.   Muscle mass is just a small part of the equation.  And you don't actually need that much muscle mass to avoid sarcopenia.   

Michael Rae has made some  interesting points about CR and  sarcopenia ( I quoted this and made comments in a previous thread).
 

Quote

Michael Rae:

…sarcopenia is not a simple problem of loss of muscle mass, but of muscle structure and function as well.

CR, in mice, rats, and nonhuman primates, preserves that low level of mass steadily with age, whereas in AL it goes down; and, CR preserves the structure (fiber breakage, mitochondrial deletions, neuromuscular junctions) and function (strength output per unit mass) of that muscle, whereas aging causes a steady erosion, even in master athletes.

If you want to gain muscle mass in advanced age, you can always exercise, eat more, and up your protein then, but there's no way (yet) to get back the lost structure and function: you can (as yet, and only if translatable, blah blah blah) only reduce its deterioration in the first place it with CR.

http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/41691-low-protein-the-real-way-to-go/?do=findComment&comment=417605

Whether or not CR in humans does everything MR claims,  it’s certainly true that age-related neuromuscular decline involves far more than just the loss of muscle mass.  He also may be wrong that there is no way to get back "lost structure and function"--but that would surely involve more  than  hypertrophy-oriented resistance training.

It's important to keep in mind that as we grow older  what really matters is the loss of functional ability brought about by the loss of strength, power, agility, balance, coordination,  flexibility etc.  The loss of muscle mass is involved in that, of course,  but strength and power, for example,  are not strictly determined by muscle mass,  and  training (including neuromuscular training) for functional strength /power/endurance etc. uses  different methods than resistance training  strictly aimed at maximal muscle hypertrophy.

 

Longitudinal Muscle Strength Changes in Older Adults: Influence of Muscle Mass, Physical Activity, and Health

Quote

The total amount of muscle is a major determinant of the force-generating capacity of the muscle, as demonstrated by the high correlation between muscle mass and strength in a cross-sectional analysis (4).

This has led some to conclude that the loss in muscle strength is due entirely to the loss in muscle mass (30). However, a significant association between the change in muscle strength and mass with exercise training or restricted activity is rarely observed (31)(32).

This, along with the finding of disproportionately greater loss of strength compared to lean tissue declines over 11 to 15 years and no correlation between muscle strength and fiber area changes (7)(10), suggests that other neuromuscular changes may mediate muscle strength change.

In our cohort, muscle mass changes explained a small (5%) part of the variance in knee strength.  

Because only a small amount of the variance in strength was explained by muscle mass loss and because of the lack of association with physical activity, there is a need to explore the relative contribution of other cellular, neural, or metabolic mediators of changes in muscle function.

 

The Loss of Skeletal Muscle Strength, Mass, and Quality in Older Adults: The Health, Aging and Body Composition Study
 

Quote

Conclusions. Although the loss of muscle mass is associated with the decline in strength in older adults, this strength decline is much more rapid than the concomitant loss of muscle mass, suggesting a decline in muscle quality.

Moreover, maintaining or gaining muscle mass does not prevent aging-associated declines in muscle strength.

Quote

The loss of strength in these older men and women was much more rapid than the concomitant loss of muscle mass, suggesting a significant decline in the quality of muscle.

Additionally, individuals who maintained or even gained lean mass were not able to significantly prevent their loss of strength. Although it may be important to preserve lean mass to prevent strength decline in old age, a considerable amount of the age-dependent strength decline is not explained by the loss of muscle mass alone.

Therefore, we can put forth an alternative hypothesis that, in addition to muscle quantity, muscle quality may be an important determinant of loss of strength with aging.

Further studies are required to identify other risk factors for the decline in strength with aging so that more targeted interventions can be planned to prevent or slow the decline, thus maintaining overall function of older men and women.

 

I believe the evidence shows that

  • a low calorie,  relatively low protein, nutritionally rich and balanced plant-based diet,  flexibly adjusted for age and individual differences (admitting some unusual exceptions)
  • combined with vigorous and varied physical exertion, sport, outdoor activities  etc .
  • supported where necessary by individualized resistance training

is the best formula for all aspects of health/longevity including sarcopenia prevention.    

In other words, 1) within the general framework of the healthy diets/lifestyles proposed by Longo, Fontana et al.,  there is plenty of room for personalization-- it's NOT  one-size fits all; and  2)there is no tradeoff between a general health/ longevity  diet and an anti-sarcopenia diet. 

 

 

Another point:   how do you define hypertrophy?  It's actually not  so  simple. See:

A Critical Evaluation of the Biological Construct Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy: Size Matters but So Does the Measurement (2019) 

Brad J. Schoenfeld et al.

 

Quote

We propose that skeletal muscle hypertrophy be generally and simply defined as an increase in skeletal muscle size accompanied by an increase in mineral, protein, or substrate abundance (e.g., glycogen and intramuscular triglyceride).

However, considering the reviewed evidence, we encourage the formal adoption of three types of skeletal muscle hypertrophy worthy of further inquiry:

(a) connective tissue hypertrophy,

(b) myofibrillar hypertrophy, and

(c) sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

Connective tissue hypertrophy can be defined as an increase in the volume of the extracellular matrix of skeletal muscle accompanied by an increase in mineral or protein abundance.

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy can be defined as a chronic increase in the volume of the sarcolemma and/or sarcoplasm accompanied by an increase in the volume of mitochondria, sarcoplasmic reticulum, t-tubules, and/or sarcoplasmic enzyme or substrate content.

Myofibrillar hypertrophy can be defined as an increase in the size and/or number of myofibrils accompanied by an increase in sarcomere number or sarcomeric protein abundance directly related to the structure or contractile force generation of the sarcomere.

 

 

For some time bodybuilding-oriented writers have denied those distinctions,  which have actually been around quite a while.  Brad  Schoenfeld et al., however,  have shown that  they do in fact have a scientific basis.  (For an example of the resistance to the idea of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy see  the article Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy?)

I raise this issue  because even if a person decides for  some peculiar reason to aim for  maximal "hypertrophy" alone, rather than an individualized functional balance of mass, strength, power, endurance, flexibility, agility etc.   the fact remains that different training regimes will tend to favor one type of hypertrophy over another,  and may have significantly divergent consequences in the long term.

 

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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Sibiriak,

I agree that aiming for hypertrophy alone is not a balanced approach to physical fitness and you have listed many other important measures; flexibility, endurance and strength are probably far more important- in fact as you rightly point out, it is the decrease in muscle strength (not size) as we age that is the issue.  Point taken.

 I can tell you that whether you train consistently with 5rep max weights or 15rep max weights that you are going to achieve excellent progress towards both strength and allow hypertrophy as well.  The difference between the rep schemes for either goal is subtle from my experience but dramatized by many.

 I simply enjoy mixing up my training constantly to avoid boredom and this is a very nice routine because it takes very little time, not allot of volume, not extremely heavy, but due to short rest periods produces impressive results, and I think has a positive effect on conditioning and lactic acid clearance from muscles as well.

 

Edited by Clinton

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Clinton,  to be honest,  my comments were not really directed toward you in particular and  probably  would have been better placed in a different thread.

You're still relatively young and seem to know exactly what you are aiming for and why,  and how to achieve it.   You also seem to recognize that your high animal protein intake may  in the long run have some adverse effects on health and longevity, but you are willing to go for it any way in order to achieve present goals.   I have zero problem with that.  Power to you.  Carpe diem.

What I 'm arguing is:   striving to increase muscle mass via  maximal-hypertrophy-oriented resistance training + increased protein intake is  NOT a viable,  let alone ideal,  method of combating  age-related deterioration in neuromuscular performance (aka "sarcopenia").    If someone enjoys how they look and feel as a result hypertrophy training/increased protein intake,  that's fine-- but they shouldn't try to rationalize that personal choice by claiming it is a good means of combating sarcopenia.  It isn't.

 

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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2 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

  If someone enjoys how they look and feel as a result hypertrophy training/increased protein intake,  that's fine-- but they shouldn't try to rationalize that personal choice by claiming it is a good means of combating sarcopenia.  It isn't.

In my case, I don't train for strength simply because I start feeling pains and aches and I understand that's the path to injury.

What's left, is maximizing hypertrophy minimizing loading and protein intake. This optimization seems to me a good rationalization! 

2 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

What I 'm arguing is:   striving to increase muscle mass via  maximal-hypertrophy-oriented resistance training + increased protein intake is  NOT a viable,  let alone ideal,  method of combating  age-related deterioration in neuromuscular performance (aka "sarcopenia"). 

Why not? It equals to trying to increase mass without increasing loadings very much, without eating too many proteins. ..

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Quote

Why not? It equals to trying to increase mass

Sarcopenia,  as currently understood and defined, is NOT simply or primarily the loss of muscle  mass.   As cited above, maintaining or gaining muscle mass does NOT prevent aging-associated declines in muscle strength and function., ie. it does NOT prevent sarcopenia.

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