Protein & Training

Importance for building muscle

Protein is important for building muscle. But you could eat 100% of your calories from protein, and you won’t gain an ounce of muscle if your daily total calorie intake isn’t greater than your daily calorie output. To build muscle, you require a balanced diet that provides approximately 300-500 more calories than your maintenance calorie intake level. All the protein you require to build extra muscle will be contained in this amount of food, provided your diet is balanced properly. A diet that provides 10%-15% of calories from protein is all that is required to grow muscle. Consider this: Infancy is the time of a human’s life when growth is the most rapid, and when protein needs are the highest. Yet, human breast milk contains only 10% protein by calories (versus about 30% for cow’s milk). This is more than adequate to meet the needs of a growing human infant who doubles its weight in 6 months and triples its weight in a year. You aren’t going to grow new lean tissue nearly as fast, (0.5-2.5 pounds a week) so forget about stuffing yourself with protein…just eat a balanced diet. Besides, when your protein intake is too high, you crowd out other calorie-dense foods from your diet that are needed to provide energy, and that spare protein for growth. Why do you think people lose weight on a high-protein diet?


How does exercise affect my protein requirement?

Numerous studies involving both endurance and strength exercise have shown that the current recommended protein intake of 0.75 g/kg body weight/day is inadequate for people who participate in regular exercise or sport. Additional protein is needed to compensate for the increased breakdown of protein during and immediately after exercise, and to facilitate repair and growth. Exercise triggers the activation of an enzyme that oxidises key amino acids in the muscle, which are then used as a fuel source. The greater the exercise intensity and the longer the duration of exercise, the more protein is broken down for fuel. In addition, dietary protein provides an enhanced stimulus for muscle growth. To build muscle, you must be in ‘positive nitrogen balance’. This means the body is retaining more dietary protein than is excreted or used as fuel. A sub-optimal intake of protein will result in slower gains in strength, size and mass, or even muscle loss, despite hard training. In practice the body is capable of adapting to slight variations in protein intake. It becomes more efficient in recycling amino acids during protein metabolism if your intake falls over a period of time. The body car also adapt to a consistently high protein intake by oxidising surplus amino acids for energy. It is important to understand that a high protein diet alone will not result in increased strength or muscle size. These goals can only be achieved when an optimal protein intake is com­bined with heavy resistance (strength) training.

How much protein do I need for maximum performance?

For an endurance athlete, the recommended range is 1.2-1.4 g/kg body weight/day (Lemon, 1998; Williams & Devlin, 1992; Williams, 1998; ACSM, 2000). Many recent studies show that strength and power athletes have a greater daily requirement for protein than most endurance athletes. The current consensus recommendation is an intake between 1.4 and 1.8 g/kg body weight/day (Williams, 1998; Tarnopolsky et al., 1992; Lemon et al., 1992). The American Dietetic Association and ACSM recommend 1.6-1.7 g/ kg body weight per day. So, for example, a distance runner weighing 70 kg would need 84-98 g/day. A sprinter or body-builder with the same body weight would need 98-126 g/day. In practice, protein intakes generally reflect total calorie intake, which is why the International Consensus Conference on Foods, Nutrition and Performance in Lausanne (1991) stated that protein should comprise 12-15% of total energy intake. This assumes that your calorie intake matches your calorie requirements.

5 Helpful Things to Do to Kick Start Your Personal Fitness Program

7115477777_4e63628f2d_h The most common challenge that people I talk to face is how to incorporate fitness into their lives. They know they have to do something to get in shape but they really don’t know how. It can be discouraging because of the abundance of information out there. So much that you may not know where to begin. Our society has so many food choices that it is easy to pack on the extra pounds. Also our day to day jobs are less physical as they were 100 years ago so we have more sedentary life styles. We know there are benefits involved when we exercise and cleaning up or diet. However, most of us know don’t know how or where to start. So where do we begin? Or is the question: How do we begin? The very first thing you need do is go to your doctor and get the approval to start exercising. Your doctor may also provide some helpful tips as well. Now for some of us the hassle of trying to get an appointment at the Doctors is enough to bring on a stress attack! After you get the “OK” from the doctor, try these 5 things to help you get started: Make the Choice to Start Exercising and Eating Right Making the decision to do something provides a form of commitment you made to yourself. Deciding that you need to change behaviour creates new possibilities. When you say to yourself “I need to get in shape”, it means something. You should be answering these questions in your mind: When can I work out? What exercises do I need to do? What foods should I be eating? Make yourself think about the commitment you just made. Only then you can let go of the past and take steps to move forward. Write Down What You Do You need a reference that is realistic towards your weekly activity. Write down everything you do during the week. This should include work hours, commuting hours, nights spent with your spouse, your child’s activities and anything else you can think of that you do. You should also include what you do on weekends. You should make a list for each day of the week. Here’s why….. Some people set lofty goals like working out for 2 hours a day. This can be due to an old saying, “More is Better”. However, this is not the case. Knowing your schedule will help you set realistic goals and help you find a few hours a week to start exercising. You’ll have a visual perspective on what you can and can’t do with your routine. Doing the right thing for you ! Most people do not have enough information before they start a workout program. So how do we get the information we need? The good news is we live in the information age. Take advantage of your favourite search engine and learn a little bit about fitness and nutrition. However, do not go overboard and lose focus. Find a source of information you like and take notes. Find the simplest and easiest workouts and nutrition tips. Don’t over load yourself with information. Follow BodyWorksWest on Facebook for useful tips and workouts. Here at BodyWorksWest we provide a full personal consultation service when you join. We will discuss your short term and long term aims and most importantly the time you are able to provide to achieving it. We will then craft the right intensity of programme to achieve the goals you want. We will give you a starting point from our boditrax system which indicates muscle mass, Body fat, Bone density, visceral fat (internal fat around organs) and give you an overall score. For many of us, we are going to need the support of fitness professional to keep us motivated and to make sure we understand the task in hand. At BodyWorksWest we can offer a range of 6 week and 12 week programmes with different levels of trainer support and price point. Hiring a personal trainer is a great way to get started because you have made a commitment to meet someone to workout. Your goal is to have the trainer show you the basics on exercise and eating healthier. It may also be safer to learn how to perform the exercises (especially if you have not exercised for a while. Don’t worry if your pocket can’t run to the regular use of a personal trainer. We’ve got programmes that will deliver the education you need and the motivational support at a price that’s more in your ballpark. Create a Simple Plan and Set Realistic Goals Keep it Simple! Following a simple plan while on a hectic schedule is much easier than following an elaborate plan. You should have a plan of which days you want to work out and one goal to change your eating habits for the next few weeks. For example, “I will work out for an hour for 3 days this week. I will eat a little less each meal.” Simple is success. We’ve got your exercise programme covered. Not only will it be highly personalised as we’ve said but we will give you a programme card where we would like you to note each workout so our trainers who will be monitoring progress can watch out for strength and cardio plateaus where we will need to tweak your programme to maintain progress. Execute Your Plan Now that you have a plan, all you need to do is follow it. This is another big step. You should look at your plan every day upon waking. You need be mentally prepared for the great day ahead of you. Having your daily schedule in hand will help you achieve your goals for the day. When you complete your workout for the day, highlight it or cross it off your list. It will show you that you accomplished something for yourself. No matter what you must execute. This will be the hardest (and most rewarding) step. I hope these things help you get started on a new life of physical fitness. Life is filled with making decisions, knowing your commitments, getting information, planning and execution. Try these approaches for yourself and you will see that having your own workout and nutrition program is not as far fetched or complicated as you think.