The Future of Bayesian Bodybuilding II

As usual, most of what I’ve done in the past months has stayed under the radar. So here’s a short overview of the 7 most important things I’ve been working on. Aside from coaching clients full-time.

 

1. My review paper on the best rest interval

I used to think it was pretty cool I got published on T-Nation without having any online presence. But this bodybuilding thing, it’s about self-improvement. So I aimed higher this time. A lot higher. The most prestigious journal in exercise science, renowned for its high quality review papers: Sports Medicine.

At the Fitness Summit I met Brad Schoenfeld and we quickly learned we have the same passion for science. So during peer review I got Brad involved to write review sections on his areas of expertise. It was great to work with Brad and it paid off, because the manuscript was accepted without any comments after just 1 round of peer review.

Here’s the e-publication about the best rest interval for muscle hypertrophy ahead of print.

I may write a ‘practial applications’ summary of it, but I made sure the abstract lists all the main conclusions. (Don’t you hate it when a paper’s abstract is an introduction instead of a summary?)

Here’s the abstract with reader friendly formatting.

Due to a scarcity of longitudinal trials directly measuring changes in muscle girth, previous recommendations for inter-set rest intervals in resistance training programs designed to stimulate muscular hypertrophy were primarily based on the post-exercise endocrinological response and other mechanisms theoretically related to muscle growth. New research regarding the effects of inter-set rest interval manipulation on resistance training-induced muscular hypertrophy is reviewed here to evaluate current practices and provide directions for future research.

Of the studies measuring long-term muscle hypertrophy in groups employing different rest intervals, none have found superior muscle growth in the shorter compared with the longer rest interval group and one study has found the opposite.

Rest intervals less than 1 minute can result in acute increases in serum growth hormone levels and these rest intervals also decrease the serum testosterone to cortisol ratio. Long-term adaptations may abate the post-exercise endocrinological response and the relationship between the transient change in hormonal production and chronic muscular hypertrophy is highly contentious and appears to be weak.

The relationship between the rest interval-mediated effect on immune system response, muscle damage, metabolic stress, or energy production capacity and muscle hypertrophy is still ambiguous and largely theoretical.

In conclusion, the literature does not support the hypothesis that training for muscle hypertrophy requires shorter rest intervals than training for strength development or that predetermined rest intervals are preferable to auto-regulated rest periods in this regard.

Take home message: The traditional advice that you have to rest only 30-90 seconds between sets when training for mucle growth is nonsense. All evidence suggests longer rest periods are at least as good and likely even better if a shorter rest interval does not allow you to maintain your work capacity. Proper autoregulation makes bringing a stopwatch to the gym unneeded.

 

Meathead bodybuilder

 

2. My PT Course

My 3 month educational course on program design for physique training has been a great success so far. Many course members are asking to pay for more content and I really enjoy sharing my knowledge. I’m currently teaching week 9 of the second class and I’m considering hosting the class a third time later this year or next year. If you’re interested, drop me a message via email or Facebook.

MennoHenselmans@BayesianBodybuilding.com

 

3. Roundtable discussion on nutrition myths

Chris & Eric Martinez invited me to their roundtable discussion with several nutrition experts.

Here are my inputs from the discussion for those who missed my announcement on social media. If you want to stay up-to-date with what I’m doing and read my thoughts on things that are too short for a full article, I highly recommend following me on Facebook or Twitter.

Since most of the mainstream myths have been covered, I’ll focus on bodybuilding and go with the myth that you need 1 g/lb (2.2 g/kg) of bodyweight of protein to maximize muscle gain. Since there are so many studies and anecdotes showing the benefits of high protein intakes, it is not surprising that many people think more is even better. What many people don’t realize, is that there is an extensive scientific literature on the optimal protein intake. Studies have been done on competitive bodybuilders on a cutting diet, elite athletes in contest season, males, females, the young, the old and many more populations. Not a single study has found benefits of consuming more than 0.64 g/lb of protein. Not even an outlier with a sketchy methodology, not one!

In fact, the research indicates that protein needs decrease as a result of weight training for two reasons. One, your body adapts to the breakdown of protein during training. And two, as you become more advanced you won’t be able to build as much muscle per training session anymore.

Now you might ask: what’s the harm in consuming too much protein? Excessive protein isn’t harmful per se, but I see many bodybuilders who cut their carb or, more frequently, their fat intake far below healthy and optimally anabolic levels while still consuming excessive levels of protein. Protein is also generally expensive. Most importantly though, I see this knowledge as liberating. You don’t have to consume 1 g/lb of protein every day to build muscle as fast as humanly possible.

If you’re interested in the scientific details of how much protein you need, I recommend you read my review on the optimal protein intake for bodybuilders.

 

That moment when you realize your protein intake is excessive. Do you get mad because science falsified your belief? Or are you glad knowing that you can consume less if you want to? The choice is yours.

 

4. Roundtable discussion on nutrition myths

Speaking of Chris & Eric Martinez, they also invited me to a roundtable discussion about cardio.

Since the search function doesn’t work on the roundtable page, here are my inputs again.

Very few of my clients do any cardio, but I see cardio as a necessary evil at the end of contest prep for many competitors. What’s wrong with cardio? Cardio is no more effective than calorie restriction at preserving muscle or getting lean. In fact, cardio significantly increases the risks of both muscle loss and overtraining.

The muscle loss from cardio is due to the interference effect. Your body cannot become good at endurance and strength training at the same time. These are mutually exclusive physiological adaptations. As a result, your body will find a compromise. Endurance and strength will both improve slightly. In a caloric deficit for an advanced trainee, the interference effect is often sufficient to prevent strength gains or even increase strength loss.

Note that I have competitive standards in mind, as most of my clients are currently physique athletes or want to look as good as one. The average fitness crowd that’s not interested in maximizing muscle mass can certainly combine cardio and strength training (Crossfit, anyone?), but if you’re serious about physique training, cardio is a necessary evil, not a desirable method of fat loss.

So if cardio sucks so much, why do it? At some point, it becomes necessary to avoid nutrient deficiencies, especially in women. Most of my male competitors get to below 2% body fat according to calipers (which of course systematically underestimate body fat percentage in this scenario) without any cardio.

However, most of my (natural) female competitors need to decrease their calories too much to get in contest shape, especially the bikini competitors who don’t have as much lean mass as the others. I very rarely have any of my female clients consume less than 1500 calories every day. It is almost impossible to consume a balanced and healthy diet at that point. Most women neglect their health, thinking it doesn’t matter for their body composition. They end up losing their period way too early and lose a lot of muscle mass when dieting to contest shape. I think the muscular potential of women is greatly underestimated in the fitness world. Most research shows women have a relative muscular potential close to that of men. Health and anabolism feed on each other.

When cardio becomes necessary to maintain a healthy diet and increase the caloric deficit further, LISS cardio is highly preferable to HIIT and both are better than anything in between. Avoiding the interference effect requires using a stimulus that is similar to strength training (HIIT) or a stimulus that does not require much adaptation at all (LISS). Avoiding the interference effect altogether is preferable to minimizing it, so LISS is best in this regard.

The female physiology is well adapted to endurance training and fat burning, so women do even better on LISS than men.

Thirdly, HIIT increases the risk of overtraining and injuries with no advantage to LISS other than saving time.

In summary, advanced male lifters generally don’t need cardio. Women tend to need cardio in the final weeks of contest prep to avoid starving themselves and in that case LISS beats HIIT.

See my article about cardio’s interference effect for a more detailed review of cardio’s risks.

 

5. Lectures at the AFPT Convention

Norway’s Academy for Personal Training (AFPT), one of the best fitness educations in the world from what I’ve seen, has invited me to give 2 lectures at their next convention in Beitostolen.

My main lecture will be on 15 August and I’ll be speaking about protein, nutrient timing, exercise selection and the optimal training frequency to improve your body composition.

On 13 August I’ll give a scientific review of the same topics, but that is only for the Research & Development team.

More info (in Norwegian)

 

6. Cybernetic Fitness

cy·ber·net·ic
[sahy-ber-net-ik] adjective

The study of human control functions and of mechanical and electronic systems designed to replace them, involving the application of statistical mechanics to communication engineering. (Did you know I was once a business consultant specialized in statistical data analysis and Borge was an engineer?)

This is probably the most major project I’m currently working on. Together with Norway’s legendary Borge Fagerli and the web development team behind Examine.com, I’m launching a new website called Cybernetic Fitness. The website will feature the app I talked about in my last update post. Actually, the word app does not begin to justify the complexity of the website’s artificial intelligence. Our tests indicate the artificially intelligent program designer rivals our own coaching results in the majority of clients. Since the mass customization software can perform all the calculations necessary to optimize a training program’s volume, intensity, frequency, macros, nutrient timing, even a full meal plan from our recipe database, in a matter of seconds, this allows us to offer our coaching services for a greatly reduced price.

If you want to stay up to date on the latest developments, including the option for highly discounted cybercoaching, subscribe to our email newsletter.

 

Cybernetic Fitness logo

 

7. Trondheim seminar

Just 2 weeks from now, I’m hosting a seminar with my friend and associate Borge Fagerli. Our previous seminars were very well reviewed. In an anonymous online survey, literally everyone said they recommended our seminar to their friends, including endorsements from top Norwegian physique athletes. If you live near Trondheim, this seminar will be an excellent crash course into our complete methods. And if you buy a premium ticket, if there are still any left, you get to personally train with Borge or me after the seminar.

More info and tickets

 

Oh yeah, and I moved to Belize 2 months ago after visiting the USA again. I had an amazing time snorkeling in the Caribbean reefs, kayakking with manatees and dolphins in the lagoon and hiking in the tropical jungle. But now I’m on the move again, living in Playa del Carmen at the moment, going to Norway soon for the above projects, and very likely coming to the UK for a big seminar in early 2015.

 

Menno Henselmans Belize

 

58 Comments

  1. Vujica says:

    Hey Menno, the link to the e-publication for the best rest interval for muscle hypertrophy doesn’t seem to work. (I get a 404)

  2. Reader says:

    “Most of my male competitors get to below 2% body fat according to calipers”. 2%??

  3. Anatoly Rapoport says:

    About rest periods: since there is almost no difference between short and long rest times would it be wise to go with shorter rest – at least from time efficiency point? After all, we prefer to spend the less time in gym with same results, don’t we?

    • It’s not that there’s no difference. It’s that the effect is seemingly entirely mediated by volume. So if you take short rest periods, you have to do more sets than if you take longer rest periods to reach your optimal training volume.

      • Really now? I got from the take home message (and the abstract) that it more matters based on whether or not you’ll diminish/harm your effort to lift (ie if you have rest periods so short that you’re still winded/gasping for air when lifting very heavy, or resting too long when doing lower intensity work just wasting time). Basically, when you’ve rested enough to do the next set without gasping for air, or passing out was the take home I got.

        Also, how does that get you to reach your optimal training volume? As the only way I could think of was if, say someone confines themselves to 40-60 minutes of working out (including rest periods) and is trying to get them all in. Is that about right?

        • ‘Also, how does that get you to reach your optimal training volume?’

          Could you rephrase that question? I’m not sure if I understand exactly what you’re asking.

          • In your response to Anatoly Rapoport, you said:
            “It’s not that there’s no difference. It’s that the effect is seemingly entirely mediated by volume. So if you take short rest periods, you have to do more sets than if you take longer rest periods to reach your optimal training volume.”
            I was asking how, as that didn’t make sense to me.

          • If you have a short rest period, you’ll perform fewer reps per set, so to reach the equivalent training volume of using longer rest periods, you’ll have to perform more sets. Clearer?

          • winwright says:

            is there a rep range that using shorter rest periods become more effective? ie 15+ reps

          • No, but a higher rep range does require less rest, so you can get away with shorter rest periods.

          • Wesley Burchnall says:

            I believe what Menno was trying to imply was…

            If you can lift say 70 pounds via one-headed Bicep curl b/c your Hercules-looking for 15 reps on your 1st set, but, reach failure near the end of the 15 reps.

            You’ll eventually need to do a 2nd set. Maybe even 3 more sets for a total of 4. The key here is you are trying to reach a particular volume of weight moved sufficient to cause growth but not to cause overtraining. So let’s say 70×15 repsx4 sets = 4200lbs moved with your biceps. You’re goal is to basically reach the ‘Volume’ of 4200 lbs. You could lift heavy and do less reps or lift higher and do more reps and reach the same number.

            The way rest periods come into play, is it might effect your ability to reach your target reps (15) on reach set.

            If you allow only 15 seconds of rest between set 1 and set 2, will on set 2, will you be able to do the full 15 reps?
            Only if you have exceptional cardiovascular fitness or were bullshitting yourself about what ‘failure’ means.

            After another 15 seconds between set 2 and 3, will you then again be able to reach the full 15 reps? I think not. I think you might end up doing only 10 the second set b/c you aren’t recovered. 8 on your third and so on because you are even less recovered and so on.

            So by the time you reach ‘set 4’, maybe you’ve done 15 + 10 + 8 + 7 = 40 reps out of your 60 reps. This means you’ve only lifted 2800 out of your 4200 lb of volume. Now, you have to add sets to get up to that 4200 target.

            So you now need to add a set 5 and set 6 and set 7 with your very low rest periods to work out another 8, 8, 7 to make it up to ~60 reps of volume. Now you have to ask yourself, with your ‘less rest’ of 15 seconds and going from 4 sets to 7 sets, have you actually saved yourself much time? Maybe like 30 seconds to a minute. However, is your workout less enjoyable, do you feel stressed or frustrated with your performance not reaching 15 reps on subsequent sets like you just ‘have no energy!! ARG!!’ and will you maintain that workout style long term?

            If you’d just rested 2 minutes between each set of 15, though, you’d be fully recovered and could probably go:
            15 reps, 2 minutes rest.
            15 reps, 2 minutes rest.
            15 reps, 2 minutes rest.
            15 reps, 2 minutes rest.
            Total reps = 60. Short, simple, straight forward. Feeling like you performed to your max, each time.

            Vs

            15 reps, 15 seconds rest
            10 reps, 15 seconds rest
            8 reps, 15 seconds rest
            7 reps, 15 seconds rest
            7 reps, 15 seconds rest
            7 reps, 15 seconds rest
            6 reps, 15 seconds rest.
            Total reps = 60 reps. Set after Set after Set. Frustrating seeing your performance in reps go down each time and so on. You do tend to create more HGH and more cortisol locally but as Menno’s article states, no evidence this results in more growth. In fact, if you are getting pissed off at doing ‘7s’ 3 times in a row, maybe you skip that set 7 out of frustration. Now you’re down from 4200 lb of volume to (4200 – 6×70 lbs). If you cross below the ‘threshold of volume high enough to see gains’ sweet spot, for wherever you are in your career, you’d have wasted your time in the gym.

            So the volume here is matched only if you do all the sets in both methodologies. However, you might have higher cortisol levels in the later due to the physical stress. In addition, if you didn’t add ALL those three extra sets, you’d have LESS volume b/c LESS total reps.

            Thus, think about it.

  4. Some other thoughts.
    First, thanks for clarifying on the cardio some more. :) I was going to ask on your Cardio Comedown article how everyday to day activity (standing up, walking around, etc) factors into that, wondering if I’d have to be less active outside of the gym based on that. :) Sounds like you more or less share Alan Aragon’s sentiments on Cardio here: http://www.simplyshredded.com/nutrition-expert-alan-aragon-talks-with-simplyshredded-com.html

    Second, I was a bit confused by that, “no study found a benefit to more than 0.64 g/lb of protein a day” comment both here and on the original protein intake article of yours. I saw a study you cite show that the professional bodybuilders working out 90 minutes a day, 6 days a week. And how the authors didn’t see a benefit to them getting more than 0.75 g/lb. From the article itself:

    “If you still think you need more than 0.82g/lb because you think you
    train harder than these test subjects, think again. Lemon et al. (1992)
    studied bodybuilders training 1.5h per day, 6 days per week and still
    concluded 0.75g/lb is the highest intake at which body composition
    benefits could occur.”

    And later on:

    “A final objection that is often heard is that these values may be true
    during bulking or maintenance periods, but cutting requires more protein
    to maintain muscle mass. Walberg et al. (1988) studied cutting
    weightlifters and they still found 0.73g/lb was sufficient to maintain
    lean body mass.”

    I feel like I am missing something here…

  5. Also, your previous career (and Borge Fagerli’s for that matter) would explain why you’re so much more scientifically literate and better with studies & statistics, etc than the vast majority of folks I know of in the fitness world

  6. Anthony Giangrande says:

    RE: #3

    While 0.8g protein/lb MAY be adequate for muscle gains while bulking (calorie surplus), I have found 1.1-1.4g protein/lb LBM to be significantly more effective than <1g protein/lb LBM for maintaing muscle when cutting (calorie restricted), which is in line with the following studies by Helms and Aragon.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24092765

    http://www.jissn.com/content/11/1/20

    • They are not experimental studies. They are a review, effectively the same review in fact. There is not a single study, including Helms’s own experimental study on this very topic, that showed benefits of more than my recommended protein intake.

      • Anthony Giangrande says:

        Yes, reviews rather. Still significant. And supported anecdotally among thousands of trainees, myself included. More than 0.8g protein/lb when cutting (calorie restricted) helps maintain lean mass.

          • Anthony Giangrande says:

            Then of course there’s Lyle McDonald; next to Aragon, no slouch in the field either.

            The science will catch up shorty.

            http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/protein-intake-while-dieting-qa.html

            http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/protein-requirements-for-strength-and-power-athletes.html

          • You can make as many calls to authority as you want. I’m only persuaded by scientific research.

          • Anthony Giangrande says:

            Look, I want to follow the science too. I’m even willing too try going back down to 0.8-1.0 to see if I can make it work again.

            But guys like Aragon and McDonald are renowned precisely because they focus on science.

            McDonald says:

            “We don’t know how much protein is required to optimize all of the potential pathways important to athletes.”

            “We know that a protein intake of 1.4 g/lb (3.0 g/kg) isn’t harmful and may have benefits that are too small to be measured in research.”

            “As long as eating lots of protein doesn’t keep an athlete from eating too few of the other nutrients (carbs/fats), there’s no reason to not eat a lot. And there may be benefits.”

            Aren’t these statements in fact more Bayesian than purely scientific in nature?

            He’s taking the sum total of all his vast knowledge of the science AND anecdotal evidence, and making the best recommendation given the data.

            Why do you think guys like Aragon and McDonald, who know the science well, AND coach top athletes, would recommend more protein if they didn’t think it seemed to have real world strength training benefits? This is a genuine and not rhetorical question. I respect your knowledge, and I’d really like to hear what you think.

            What are these “benefits of 1.4g that may be too small to measure in research” to which he refers? There must be some good reason a top “science” guy would go that far. He must be seeing and noting something of real world significance, to take his recommendation “beyond” the science that he made his reputation on, in dare I say, Bayesian fashion.

          • I understand it is difficult to hold an opinion that differs from conventional wisdom, but realize that your entire argument is an appeal to authority, not evidence.

            The potential benefits that are too small to measure in research Lyle is referring to are likely non-significantly greater benefits of higher protein intakes (see my article The Power of Stats on Bret’s blog for an explanation of insufficient statistical power). However, that is not applicable here as most studies do not find any benefits of higher intakes. Pasiakos even found that 2.4 g/kg led to non-significantly greater lean mass losses than 1.6 g/kg without more fat loss. Helms’s own study found no benefit whatsoever for body composition in a 40% deficit above 1.6 g/kg protein.

          • I’d also go further and note that what you’ve stated and argued here isn’t an opinion, but rather a conclusion based on facts. If you have to ask whether something is valid or not, it is not an opinion. “I like eating 1 g/lb of protein” is an opinion. “1 g/lb of protein is too much protein.” is not an opinion, but a statement of fact.

            I blame the courts for a lot of this. They put someone who’s an expert in the field to deliver his “opinion.” Ken Miller gave his “opinion” on evolution in the Dover trial. Sorry, no. He gave FACTS. Independently verified facts. Nothing about his testimony was opinion.

            Also, the talk of “just to be safe!/what do you have to lose?!” talk just reeks of Pascal’s Wager. For one, proteins tend to be more expensive and for two, variety is generally better for health (and anabolism) than monotony in terms of diet (like you’ve said before).
            So you do lose if you eat too much protein–you lose the anabolic benefits of more fats esp. monounsaturated and saturated; and more carbs (primarily from micro nutrients and fiber) in things like fruits & vegetables, and foods like quinoa, rice, potatoes, and oatmeal. And you lose more money from more expensive calories.

          • Yes, whether a statement is objective or subjective in nature is in itself an objective question.

          • All come down to the content of Helms’s thesis, just in different publications.

          • Wesley Burchnall says:

            “Why do you think guys like Aragon and McDonald, who know the science well, AND coach top athletes, would recommend more protein if they didn’t think it seemed to have real world strength training benefits? ”

            Protein is the most expensive macro nutrient. It’s also the one supplement companies try to push on consumers most often. If you have 200LBs of lean muscle as a professional athlete, consuming 1.4G/LB means you need about 280G of protein per day. For, someone making 7 million dollars a year. That’s easy.

            One 8 Oz Top Sirloin stake contains 61 g contains of protein. 280g / 61g = 4.5 or roughly 36 Oz of steak. If you bought and cooked them yourself, that’s 2LB of steak per day or roughly $45 USD dollars per day, every damn day. Now, if you go to a restaurant to buy said stakes, it’s probably closer to $200/day. $1600/month on food alone if cooked by oneself. $6000/month if in restaurants, not counting and pre-workout supplements, caffeine, vitamins, water bottles, sports drinks or whatever else one might consume.

            If you are a pro athlete, that kind of money is nothing. If you are an average Joe with real budgetary concerns, that is ridiculous. For us, if we believe we need 1.4g/lb or 2g/lb or whatever the current excessive amount is, we’ll turn to a billion dollar supplement industry and start grabbing protein shakes to up our protein intake. At a cost of maybe $0.50 to $1.00 per 30g shake. So if we need another 120g in protein we are not getting from our food, we are paying $4 dollars per day, every day to a supplement company or $120/month. Not tooo much for most people, if it helps, but it’s sure great for the supplement company if they have 10,000,000 men working out paying them $120/month. It’s not mystery how the supplement industry adds up to a few billion dollars a year.

            Pro tip: Most websites recommending you take large amounts of protein, have links to their favorite protein on ‘Amazon’, ‘ProteinCompanyNameHere.Com’ or so on, where they earn 10% kickbacks and get a taste of the gravy train their readership is providing to said supplement company. Not saying, this is necessarily what Lyle McDonald is doing or Aragon. I don’t mean to slander them specifically — but — it sure as heck happens on T-Nation and other websites. Nearly every T-Nation article somewhere giving you ‘training’ advise tells you about how to get the most out of this cardio program, take T-NATION PLASMA And T-NATION THIS and T_NATION THAT TM supplement. 2 scoops per, 1 after, 1 peri workout and 3 of this before bed and 2 of that in the morning and and and and….

        • Even measurement techniques like MRI have difficulty accurately measuring muscle cross-sectional area. To think that you can detect the tiny differences in muscle size you’d possibly find with these differences in protein intake is downright silly.

  7. dmitry says:

    You’re the Man Menno!, keep up the good work. I can’t wait to see more about Cybernetic.

  8. TheeMan says:

    Hey man, I appreciate all your hard work and information you put out for us. Really changed my thinking! Following your advice I calculated my total daily calories using your advised online resource. With protein topping at .64-.82/lbs that leaves a LOT of leftover calories. You suggest to fill the rest with carbs. Is it really okay to eat THAT many carbs on say a 2300 cal diet? I’m working on raising my T levels by the way so great publications bro!

  9. http://dynamicduotraining.com/ask-the-experts-round-table-discussions/18-nutrition-myths-want-know-allow-experts-tell/
    Jacob M. Wilson’s talk was rather off.
    For one, the results for whey vs casein sounded suspiciously large and unidirectional. This seemed a bit odd, especially when you’ve told people in the comments of your articles on this site that the main focus should be getting a complete animo acid profile, noting that evolution has made the body very efficient with proteins. What’s more, I actually did look online into one of Alan Aragon’s sources of his Clean Eating article and found that Whey did not score highest as he said. The highest scoring protein, according to his source was actually egg protein of all things (see the chart on the third page. Whey only scored higher in terms of biological value): http://www.jssm.org/vol3/n3/2/v3n3-2pdf.pdf

    “The final flaw of IIFYM, is that it doesn’t matter when you consume your
    macros, how they are distributed, or how many meals they are consumed
    over.” Um, that’s a feature, not a bug, And really, IIFYM always struck me as an understandable reaction to all the food fear-mongering I’ve seen not just from gym goers and health nuts, but even from doctors and dieticians and others who really ought to know better.
    Folks, if the body was as sensitive to foods and food timing as you make it out to be, we wouldn’t be alive because we’d all have died out thousands of years ago. It would be nice to see some professionals address this like you have in your protein timing article (and like Armi Legge seems to at least hinted at in his articles on IIFYM vs clean eating), rather than just pretending stuff like IIFYM just spontaneously materialized from the ether, when it’s far more likely to be blowback from all the times people have cried wolf at least since the 1980s.

    The protein serving talk just strikes me as nonsense. According to your own posts on the bodybuliding.com forums on your protein timing article, you can eat 1 meal of protein and do as well (or even better) as someone eating 4 or 8 meals of protein. “Absolute meal frequency is irrelevant.”–your exact words in your protein timing article.

    • The results Jacob talkes about aren’t at odds with my recommendations, but they are very limited findings.

      Paddon-Jones et al. didn’t have meals that crossed the leucine threshold in the evening-centered protein group, so the other meals didn’t benefit protein balance. So this finding is irrelevant in the context of meals with sufficient protein in them.

      Areta et al. looked at whey in fasted conditions. Whey is too fast to sustain the anabolic response to protein, so this finding is irrelevant in the context of mixed meals.

  10. 1Gabe1 says:

    Did you go to Placencia, BZ at all??

  11. Based on your talk about cardio here and in your “Cardio Comedown” article, it sounds like combining bulking with lots of cardio is a VERY bad idea.

    Granted, it might not show any negative effects for a few months of training if the person starting out is really REALLY out of shape and sedentary, and may even have additional benefits (at first anyways, as the person’s cardio-vascular system adapts to not just having to sit in a chair all day), if your article on circuit training was any indication.

  12. “Not a single study has found benefits of consuming more than 0.64 g/lb
    of protein. Not even an outlier with a sketchy methodology, not one!”
    Not really. In your own review on protein, you noted some older research using nitrogen balance finding overly large amounts of protein (e.g. 1 g/lb) being a good idea, and then went on to debunk them as part of your article. Although I take it ‘sketchy methodology’ might be different from ‘methodological abomination’ (phrase you used in your protein intake article).

    By the way, what would be an optimal dietary fat intake? I notice a LOT of talk about protein and carbs, but not a lot about fats. It’s a shame, because unlike carbs, fats are an essential macro. According to an article by Armi Legge it should be more than 15% of your caloric intake.

    http://evidencemag.com/healthy-diet/

    Is that right?

  13. For some reason, whenever I try to access page 3 of this site’s articles, or the PWO carbs one, I get an error message reading:

    “Warning: require_once(/home/mennoh5/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-seo/inc/wpseo-functions.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/mennoh5/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-seo/wp-seo-main.php on line 248

    Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]:
    Failed opening required
    ‘/home/mennoh5/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-seo/inc/wpseo-functions.php’
    (include_path=’.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php’) in /home/mennoh5/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-seo/wp-seo-main.php on line 248”

    I’m not sure if you’re the person to tell this, if you or the person who manages your site is working on it, but I figured you might want to know. I even tried it on IE and I got the same result, alas. :(

  14. Amílcar says:

    Can you please confirm when the cybernetic fitness diet and training generator will be available, and how much it will cost?

    Thanks.

  15. Kirk Landau says:

    In the world of bodybuilding and powerlifting, it seems the importance of micronutrients is often neglected/downplayed, with focus only on macros. From the research you’ve read, would you say micronutrients play a statistically significant role in muscle gain and body comp? And if so, which micronutrients specifically/especially?

  16. Dominik Weber says:

    Hej Menno,

    First of all congrats for getting published and the great website you have!

    When reading your conclusion on rest times, I was wondering what your opinion on working opposing muscle groups during the rest (aka supersets) is? Did you come across any scientific articles taking a look at their influence on muscle growth, recovery time, etc. in comparison do normal sets with longer rest periods?

    I’m curious, as spending even more time in the gym sounds does not sound that appealing, and I’d rather make my workouts more efficient. Do you think supersets could be an elligible method for that?

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