Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Optimizing Adult Protein Intake During Catabolic Health Conditions

Optimizing Adult Protein Intake During Catabolic Health Conditions

I read this study this morning and found it very informative. Thanks to Dr. Gabrielle Lyon for sharing.

Things that stood out for me:

"The RDA for protein has been previously reviewed and found to be inadequate for older persons (2). A presumed reason for the inadequacy of the protein RDA for older persons is a phenomenon known as the “anabolic resistance” of skeletal muscle. Anabolic resistance is the phenomenon within skeletal muscles of older persons when there is an attenuated response of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) to resistance exercise (3) and ingestion of protein (4, 5). Protein synthesis is a critical component of the natural turnover of proteins required for continuous repair and remodeling of skeletal muscle to maintain strength and functional mobility.
The age-related reduction in the sensitivity of MPS to exercise or protein can be overcome with greater volumes of resistance exercise (6) or greater doses of protein (4); however, greater exercise volumes may be impractical for many older persons. There is also no doubt that a reduction in either habitual physical activity or muscle disuse also bring about a state of anabolic resistance (7, 8). Thus, inactivity or disuse as part of aging per se may be a predominant reason for older persons requiring more protein."

"In skeletal muscle, the essential amino acid leucine provides a unique translation signal. Indeed, the leucine content of a meal is an important determinant of the potential of a meal to support the complex process of protein synthesis. Specifically, leucine stimulates the mTORC1 (mechanistic target of rapamycin) signal cascade resulting in assembly of the eIF4F (initiation factor 4F) initiation complex and activation of the ribosomal protein S6. The eIF4F complex accelerates the assembly of ribosomes on available mRNAs and the S6 protein allows ribosomes to target mRNAs that enhance the overall capacity for protein synthesis. These signals are downregulated during short-term catabolic conditions such as an overnight fast, acute bed rest, or exhaustive exercise. When these signals are downregulated, the composition of the next meal is critical to optimize the anabolic recovery. This stimulation and regulation of muscle protein anabolism becomes increasingly important with advancing age as muscle becomes less sensitive to routine anabolic signals from hormones (i.e., insulin and IGF-1: insulin-like growth factor-1), protein ingestion, and physical activity (4, 17)."

"Thus, it may be, based on an increased dietary need for leucine to overcome the anabolic resistance of aging (3437), that the leucine content of proteins becomes an increasingly important component of protein quality in older persons."

"In terms of defining what constitutes “healthy” or “unhealthy,” we posit that any individual experiencing anabolic resistance (via any mechanism) or increased catabolic burden, warrants a dietary intervention that includes an appropriately greater absolute and relative amount of high-quality dietary protein (98)."

"Dietary protein and amino acid metabolism may be leveraged to optimize glycemic regulations.
TABLE 1 Metabolic regulation with diets high in glucose versus amino acids
High-carbohydrate, low-protein diet (>50% of energy from carbohydrates; 0.8 g/kg protein) 
  • Produces rapid postmeal increases in blood glucose
  • Postmeal hyperglycemia must be eliminated within 2 h
  • Rapid increase in insulin; biphasic response from the pancreas
  • Increased recycling of glucose via lactic acid to gluconeogenesis (Cori cycle)
  • Inhibition of fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle
Moderate carbohydrate, higher protein (25 to 40% of energy from carbohydrates; 1.6 g/kg protein) 
  • Free amino acids have slow postmeal metabolism; >5 h
  • Amino acids slowly produce glucose via gluconeogenesis
  • Amino acids stimulate Phase I insulin only
  • Amino acids recycle glucose via alanine and not lactic acid
  • Stimulation of fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle
  • Stimulation of muscle protein synthesis
"In young, physically active, normal weight adults with normal insulin sensitivity, glucose homeostasis can be achieved across a wide range of dietary carbohydrate and protein intakes. However, in aging adults, as muscle mass, physical activity, and insulin sensitivity decrease, and glucose tolerance declines, the potential use of diets with higher protein and reduced carbohydrates needs to be more fully studied.
Three aspects of metabolic regulation serve to highlight critical differences arising from shifting the balance between dietary carbohydrates and proteins. The first is postmeal utilization of the metabolic substrates (i.e., glucose versus amino acids), the second is the insulinogenic response of the pancreas, and the third is the regulatory response in skeletal muscle."

"Emerging evidence reveals the optimal protein intake is more than simply a percentage of daily energy but a meal-to-meal decision about protein quantity and quality. Factors including increasing age and declining physical activity reduce the efficiency of protein turnover especially in skeletal muscle resulting in reduced mass, strength, and metabolic regulation. The reduced efficiency, characterized as anabolic resistance, can be overcome, at least in part, by increasing protein quantity and quality at individual meals."

Monday, 20 July 2020

Charles Negromonte - The Bull Sweep and Open Guard Attacks

Charles Negromonte - The Bull Sweep & Open Guard Attacks Cover BJJ Fanatics
Massive congratulations to Charles Negromonte on the release of his product The Bull Sweep & Open Guard Attacks on BJJ Fanatics.

If you are into jiu-jitsu I guarantee this is worth the investment. Professor Charles is one of the top competitors in the world but he is also a great coach. I have been fortunate enough to experience his coaching personally over the past few weeks, doing some privates with my friend Fish and Professor Charles. He explains how to do the technique, why you do it, and when to do it at the correct times. The thing that makes him great is his attention to detail. If you are on the wrong angle, you drop your head when you shouldn't, you let go of a grip too early or too late, he picks up everything. Whilst you may not get that personal feedback from a video, you will still learn so much that you will be able to apply it on the mat. If you live in Sydney then I highly recommend you invest in the product and also in some privates with Charles, that would be the perfect set up in my opinion.

You can purchase the product through this link https://bjjfanatics.com/collections/new-releases/products/the-bull-sweep-open-guard-tactics-by-charles-negromonte

Also subscribe to Charles' YouTube channel as he posts a lot of training sessions, techniques, and his competitions, which are all great. You can see him compete against, and beat, some really big names in the sport.

I can't speak highly enough of Charles and know you won't be disappointed learning from him.

Friday, 19 June 2020

Regular Soft Tissue Work

Regular Soft Tissue Work

This week I was reminded of the importance of regular soft tissue work.

I have had a bit of a tight back and hips, nothing bad, just stiff. It was starting to hamper my performance though as my technique just felt off slightly. Not enough to call a session off but I just didn’t feel like I was hitting my groove very well and not as consistently as usual. After doing a couple of T-Spine drills on the foam roller and using a massage gun around the hips and quads, I immediately felt much better. I could bend down fine and most of the stiffness I had been feeling was gone.

The next day I did some more of this soft tissue work and when I went to bench in my workout that day, I increased my loads by 5kg. I had been struggling the previous week so to make an increase like that I knew I had been neglecting my soft tissue work. My next squat session was also a lot better than the previous one, and I added 10kg to my rack pulls from the previous workout.

So, spending about 5-10 mins a day really pays off. I know this, but like a lot of people, I got lazy and neglected it.

Charles Poliquin always used to say that if you didn’t address adhesions you develop from lifting and training in general, it would bring your progress to a dead stop. He said that too many adhesions make it hard to grow and that many of the top lifters in the world would get soft tissue work done all the time when they were setting world records.

This was highlighted to me once again this week.

Rack Pull 185kg x 7

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Pay Attention to Your Rest Periods

Rest periods between sets would be one of the most neglected aspects of training and program design. The whole training affect can be changed depending on how long you rest, so I think it is an important part of training that you should pay more attention to. The length of the rest period affects the recovery between sets and the hormonal responses to a training session.
The basic principle is, lower the reps and the higher the load, the longer the rest. Higher reps and lighter load, you need less rest.

In general, when training for maximal strength (1-5 reps at 85% or more) longer rest periods are warranted to allow time for the central nervous system to recover. Typically, larger muscle mass is being used in strength phases and the exercises tend to require more coordination such as when performing cleans or snatches. Two to four minutes is the general recommendation but there are many factors that can influence this as well. The strength of the athlete being one. For example, I have heard of world class powerlifters and strongman competitors resting a minimum of 8 minutes between sets, and some recommend even more. For most of us 2-4 minutes will be fine. This should allow enough time to prevent fatigue and allow you to perform repeated efforts at a high intensity. You should get stronger each set (up to a point) when training for maximal strength. If you aren’t experiencing this in your sessions, maybe your rest period is too short. On the other hand, if you are waiting too long, you may not see the benefits either as the post-tetanic facilitation effect might be lost, basically your nervous system may calm down too much before performing the next set.

For hypertrophy and body composition, the rest periods are shorter. You are looking to create more metabolic demands with this type of training, compared to strength training where a large emphasis is on the nervous system. Shorter rest periods, when using multi-joint movements, will also create more lactic acid, which has been said to increase growth hormone. This will lead to more fat loss over time. Kraemer and his colleagues determined that the highest growth hormone, beta-endorphin, and cortisol concentrations were observed when 10RM multiple sets (3 sets) of exercises were performed separated by a short (1-minute) rest. Testosterone was responsive to both higher intensities (5RM with 3 min rest) and also lower intensities with a shorter rest (10RM with 1 min rest).

There are many factors at play but the takeaway is to pay attention to your rest periods and match them to your goal.

When training for pure speed or power, then full recovery should be allowed between sets. This type of training is about quality, not quantity. Often, these sessions turn into speed endurance type workouts simply because there isn't enough rest given between sets.

Another problem area I see is with hypertrophy and body comp training. If you rest too long, results will be minimized. As the workout starts to get hard, people want to extend their rest periods more and more. It is important to stick to them to get the training response you are after. Resting too long in this case will change the adaptations that will take place.

Strength training isn’t impacted as much because you have more leeway and most people rest too long as it is.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

The Importance of Nutrition and Adherence

Below is a post from one of our clients, Reece, who came to see us for some help with his nutrition plan.

Reece Body Comp Before and After 12 Weeks
"Before: 105.2kg, 17.9% body fat, 86.5kg lean muscle mass - After: 96.2kg, 10.6% body fat, 86kg lean mass - Signed up with @totalhealthperformance to assist me with my nutrition and my results are beyond what I could imagine, even after my training going from 6 days to barely any 2 weeks in, we still reached the goal of 10%bf. Thanks to Nathan i’m leaner than I’ve ever been and my lowest weight since I was 13 years old. Signed up again for a nutrition/training program and can’t wait to see what I can achieve with THP this time. #goals #nomoreheavyweight #newweightclass"

As Reece mentions in his post, he went from grappling 6 days a week to barely training at all due to the lock down. By being disciplined with his nutrition, he was still able to lose 9kg, 7.3% body fat, and only lost 0.5kg of lean muscle. These are very good results.

What it really highlights to me is the importance of having a proper nutrition plan in place. I see way too many people doing a lot of training sessions that they would not otherwise have to do if they just prioritised their nutrition. It is like the old saying “you can’t out train a bad diet”, but in a lot of cases I see they kind of do. A lot of athletes remain in decent shape despite a pretty poor diet but only because they do so much more work than they need to be doing to maintain that level of body composition and conditioning. If they were to prioritise their nutrition, like Reece has here, they would have more time and energy to dedicate to other things like technical skills, strength, recovery, or just have more time to be able to do things they enjoy in general.

The other thing Reece’s results show, is the importance of discipline and adherence to the plan. He even had a buck’s party in Melbourne during this time, and he still managed to stay on track enough to get the results he was after. It doesn’t matter what advice I give, if Reece didn’t implement the advice given, he would not get the results. The perfect plan not implemented is worthless. This is the biggest problem I face. It is whether or not the client really wants to change or just likes the idea of it. Too many people say they want this or that but then don’t ever implement the things needed to achieve their goals. They may for a week but they get lazy and decide to stay as they were. I can want them to be successful as all I want but if the individual doesn’t want to implement any advice, there is nothing I can do about it.

Obviously, I try many different tactics to try and get them to make some small changes and hopefully get them to develop some new habits, but the simple fact is, people either really want to change or they don’t. This will show in their actions. I am not a psychologist and don’t want to be so it is not enjoyable for me trying to convince people to make changes in their life. It doesn’t really matter to me. If you want help, I’ll help, but if you don’t do the things that need to be done, I’m useless.

Someone like Reece is a pleasure to work with. It makes me happy to see him get the results for his hard work and dedication. I look forward to seeing further results from him in the coming weeks, and when the restrictions from this virus are lifted, watching him compete.