Workout nutrition does matter; high frequency bodybuilding & more

“What’s the best training and diet program?” In the current fitness industry, there seem to be only 2 approaches to program design. On the one hand we have the nihilist science crowd who do not deviate from the ‘optimal system’ other than for practical considerations. Here identical clients will rightfully get the same program, but so will an old male Olympic level sprinter and an adolescent female former marathon runner that’s now getting into strength training.

 

The only camp that implements a lot of customized program design is the bro community, but their interpretation of ‘customization’ is randomness. “Gotta do what works for you, bro!” They have a vague idea of how different individuals respond better to different programs. However, there is no system. All customization is done ad hoc, on the fly. So almost identical clients can get wildly varying programs.

 

The best of both worlds is achieved by systematic customization. There are several important factors to take into account to optimize an individual’s program, like gender and stress levels. Arguably the most important one, however, is how advanced you are. In this video lecture I discuss, in order:

  • The optimal protein intake (incl. BW vs. FFM and the negative effects of an excessive protein intake).
  • Why the traditional anabolic window is a myth for beginners yet workout nutrition does matter for advanced trainees.
  • Why the traditional bro split of hitting each body part once (or twice) a week is dead and how to implement high frequency bodybuilding training.

 

These contents are some of the most eye-opening and best received parts of my seminars and my PT Course, so even if you don’t like watching videos, I highly recommend watching this one. Other than my friend Borge Fagerli, I don’t know any trainers that implement these methods (other than the ones taught by Borge or me).

 

This video lecture was part of my presentation for BodyPower’s EPIC Fitness Summit in 2015. It is also part of several extensive topics in my PT Course on protein intake, training frequency, nutrient timing and how your programming and nutrition should change as you get more advanced.

25 Comments

  1. Tyler says:

    If I understand correctly, as a lifter advances they should consume less protein and do more frequency.

    So what constitutes an advanced lifter? 1 year? 2 years? 3? Is there a defined line where one can say “I’m an advanced lifter so now I will begin higher frequency training and consuming less protein.”

    Ps sorry if you mentioned the answer to this in the video. I watched the whole thing but I may not have heard you bring this up.

  2. Karl says:

    Great.
    In terms of high frequency training for more advanced people that have been training for some years.

    1.Say for daily training the same muscle or close to it. What range in terms amount of sets do you like to use for each muscle/muscle group pr session, if you have to pick a range?

    2. Do you like to vary rep ranges or you base it more on the articles you wrote in terms of muscle fiber type of the muscle and stick to that range wich is apropriate for that muscle?

    3. When training this frequenct, how do you use intensity or should i say failure. Do you train each set to failure or close, or do you leave a rep in the tank or two ?

    Thanx again for all your great work. I love it all and all the best to you :)

  3. Tobias says:

    You mention muscle damage as the limiting factor in high frequency training. According to Israetel, Hoffmann and Wesley Smith, disruption of homeostasis i.e. training negatively affects not only tissue structure, but also chemical messengers (e.g. mTOR) and the nervous system (e.g. depletion of acetylcholine).

    In your opinion are these factors nothing to worry about or do you employ some standard tactics to work around this cumulative fatigue?

  4. Steve says:

    That was an awesome lecture Menno!

  5. Roland says:

    Terrific lecture! It put a lot of things into perspective.

  6. JBiz says:

    Menno,

    Great lecture, answered a lot of questions I had. I’m gathering that volume is a big variable in this training style and was wondering how it varies for your trainees. Do you really prefer to have all (or majority) of your clients training 7 days a week full body, assuming they are intermediate trainees with good sleep and normal/low stress level, or is 7 days a week only for your advanced trainees only? Without asking you to give too much away, what is an approximate volume/set range for an intermediate trainee given other factors are optimal (sleep, stress, etc)?

    Thanks

  7. Karl says:

    Thanx again for your reply and everything once again.

    How would you approach weight training for my lower body when i dont want to build more size- I have no problem with beeing stronger and more athletic in terms of legs and lower body usage but i dont want to bet bigger there. Since lower body provide so much metabolic burn and all that with the big muscles i was wondering how you would approach it in terms of weight training, frequency etc.

    Would you just use another rep,set and loading scheme and keep frequency high so you will get the all the benefits of training lower body in terms of metabolic rate etc and fat loss. Or would you jut drop training lower body to just once a week and just walk and and stuff instead?

    Thanx :D

    • If you don’t want to gain muscle in a muscle group, just don’t train it hard, basically.

      • Karl says:

        Thank you.

        Understand, but i can train it as frequent but just easier in terms of intensity etc.
        So for me in terms of training legs, i want to get most of the metabolic boost and just maintaing strength in my legs but not gain size. How would you approach it in terms of intensity % in terms of RM, sets and reps?

        Since im doing fat loss phase and i store most of my fat in my lower body. Cardio and all that is so bad in terms of loosing muscle and hormone health so i would much rather prefer lifting weights with my lower body but not for the size gaining benefits. Just maintain muscle and strength and get more calories burned.

        Thanx again for everything you provide

        • I can’t give you concrete program parameters without full client assessment. If you don’t want a body part to grow, just don’t train it, see how it goes, start training it if you lose size.

  8. Vinay says:

    Menno is there an optimal protein dosage and frequency eg every 4 hours that lets muscles uptake the most during the day? I.e. Minimise refractory response for each dose and keep the body sensitive to it. Thanks.

  9. Niek says:

    Hi Menno,

    How do do match this video with your article Workout nutrition is a scam?

    For more experienced bodybuilders you show that the anaboic peak isnt that long, so i assume 20 grams of Protein an hour bedore and max two hours after training is recommended

    Regards

    Niek

  10. Mike says:

    Awesome lecture Menno,

    What would you recommend to increase vascularity (other than lowering body fat of course)

  11. Whoah- eating too much protein raises SHBG? Mind blown.

    So I’m 160 pounds at 12% body fat, and an intermediate to advanced level trainee- based on what I’ve seen from your articles, I’m thinking I need to eat 100-150 grams of protein a day, work out 4-5 times a week, and practice daily fasting with the workouts coming right at the end of the fasting period. That about right?

  12. Adam says:

    >the traditional bro split of hitting each body part once (or twice) a week is dead

    Keep spreading the good word! I still to this day see people constantly advocating a bro split and I get annoyed every time I see it, especially when they’re telling beginners to do it.

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