On the path to big muscles…
Continuing my foray into the world of Ori Hofmekler, I realise that here is a man with some interesting concepts. And intermittent fasting combined with exercise is interesting in the extreme.
Inevitable Muscle Aging…
Many people today experience muscle aging which starts from their thirties. This can be due to a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, substance abuse and the symptoms caused can become more apparent the older you get.
Appearance wise, the muscles lose size, tone, aerobic capacity and strength. We might just grin and bear it and put it down to natural aging, but is it possible to stop the aging effects?
It is just necessary to know how to trigger the muscle to resist aging, so yes, it is possible. But there are many elements to this process of reversing the clock, elements such as exercise, rest, food and more.
Although the muscles age under oxidative damage by free radicals, it seems that our bodies are actually designed to thrive in these conditions! However it is the type of oxidative stress that holds the key to aging, whether it is chronic or acute and they are in opposition to each other.
Chronic Oxidative Stress:
This type of oxidative stress can be due to chronic overtraining, infection or dietary abuse. This is shown to overwhelm our muscle’s defences the risk of damage to the neuro-motors, muscle fibres and mitochondria can be increased. This is undoubtedly the type of oxidative stress that can lead to muscle loss and aging.
Acute Oxidative Stress
This type of oxidative stress is beneficial to your muscles. It is the type of stress associated with periodic fasting and short but intense exercise. It is good for muscle retention because these short bouts of acute oxidative stress make the muscle resilient. This is by stimulating glutathione and SOD production in the mitochondria and this in turn helps the muscle to resist fatigue and increases its ability to generate force and energy.
How to build big muscles
It is common belief that in order to gain big muscles, you need to feed it often throughout the day. It has been said that the minimum protein consumption to promote muscle growth is approximately 1g per lb of body weight. Double this amount – 2g – is often eaten by bodybuilders each day. You can compare this to a 300lb bodybuilder eating 300g of protein – or 50 eggs/3 lbs meat each day…
Inferior Muscle Fibre Quality
However there is a downside to this practice: this high intake of calories and protein eaten frequently, combined with intense strength training, appears to promote big muscle gain, but it does have a hefty price: inferior muscle fibre quality.
- They may look good but bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to muscle.
- When your muscle succumbs to the aging process, the quality of its fibres decreases and the older it gets, the more dysfunctional it gets.
- Conventional muscle building will give you the big muscles, but it won’t keep them biologically young. You will have muscles built with inferior muscle fibres and a body that is prone to premature aging.
Intermittent fasting with short bouts of intense exercise = muscle rejuvenation
Ori shows us 3 options when it comes to intermittent fasting, this is carried out from morning to evening not including a large evening meal that is taken separately:
This is the option where you can either fast through the day on water or vegetable juice, then exercise and eat a recovery meal straight afterwards and have a main meal in the evening.
This is less extreme than the previous option, you can under-eat instead of fast. Just limit yourself to low GI foods such as fruits, whey protein, vegetables or poached eggs every 4-6 hours through the day. Wait 30 minutes after your last small meal and do your exercise, have a recovery meal straight afterwards and have a main meal in the evening.
Under-eating is less extreme than fasting and it is shown to be your most viable strategy for rejuvenating your brain and muscles.
- Pulse feeding
This type of fasting is geared towards athletes: it comprises of frequent meals of whey protein concentrate from grass fed cows and raw milk preferably, without any sugar or artificial sweeteners at all. Wait 30 minutes after your last small whey protein meal and do your exercise, have a recovery meal straight afterwards and have a main meal in the evening.
In general, make your recovery meals 1-2 whey protein portions after your workout. Intermittent fasting when carried out by itself is shown to be a proven strategy that can aid the negation of physical and cognitive aging. When you add exercise to the mix it helps to take the rejuvenative impact of this procedure to a higher plane.
Easy does it…
Short intense exercise promotes rejuvenation, by turning on the mechanism that takes the muscle satellite cells and turns them into new muscle fibres. Along with fasting it is a powerful combination; as the small meals promote muscle breakdown so old and damaged proteins are recycled.
Don’t skip this part…
After exercise, your muscles will be in a catabolic state so you now need to trigger recovery. Feed the muscles straight after exercise with some good quality whey protein – you might like to choose a very high quality whey such as Ori’s own Warrior Whey from Defence Nutrition (UK buyers can find it on Amazon this is Warrior Whey’s formula repackaged by Pink Sun).
It is vital to feed yourself with fast assimilated protein within 30 minutes after exercise. This is because we must take advantage of the 2 hour window of opportunity after exercise. This is when the muscles are most receptive to protein and nutrients towards growth and recovery. Whey protein is the protein of choice as poultry, fish and meat take too long to digest and aren’t suitable for post exercise recovery. Failure to eat the recovery meal can result in muscle wastage and even damage.
Ori is very emphatic in that there although you will gain tremendous results if the program is carried out correctly, there is a high chance that you will damage yourself if you don’t follow his advice to the letter.
With the intermittent fasting technique, the body will be placed into a powerful catabolic state. All the damaged and injured muscle and brain cells are being eaten up and destroyed by the body itself. Exercise accelerates this process rapidly and it is this synergy between fasting and exercise that will allow the brain and muscle cells to rejuvenate themselves.
It seems the most important factor here is THE RECOVERY MEAL. Unless you rescue your body from its catabolic state and provide it with the essential nutrients that it requires to feed itself and stimulate repair, there is a strong possibility that you may hurt yourself.
It is absolutely vital that you eat this meal straight after exercise.
Ori reiterates that we are playing with fire, unless we feed ourselves with fast assimilating proteins within 30 minutes after exercise.
The consequences of skipping this meal are big, we may damage our muscle tissues, the very tissue we seek to build.
Other benefits from this program:
- Growth Hormone Increase: short intense exercise increases muscle IGF-1 expression. This then mediates the repair and growth to the muscle by the growth hormone.
- Boosting testosterone: intermittent fasting is shown to promote healthy testosterone actions, increases libido and prevents age-related testosterone decline. Whey protein is a powerful satiety food known to increase CCK and GLP-1 activities. Hunger hormones cause the opposite effect on your testosterone and libido.
- Body Compostion: this combination of exercise and intermittent fasting is shown to improve body composition, by increasing metabolic rate, increase lean muscle mass, reduce fat and improve insulin sensitivity.
- Preventing depression and boosting cognitive function: exercising while fasting enables the cognitive boosting, neuro-protective and anti-depressant effects to be induced through the expression of brain derived neuro-factor (BDNF).
Can Pulse Feeding Help You Build Big Muscles?
Bodybuilding requirements can be accomodated with pulse feeding; Ori recommends 6 small whey protein meals throughout the day, every 2 hours. With a large healthy dinner in the evening, this can prove maximum protein utilisation within the muscle, but the drawback is that you WILL lose the rejuvenation benefit.
For gaining big muscles, this type of pulse feeding has a successful record, both for its nutritional regimen and for muscle growth.
20g is the maximum net protein we need to grant complete protein utilisation from each small whey protein feeding. Combine the total of 6 small meals and you get the a of 100-120g net protein utilisation before even thinking about dinner time.
He states that we tend to waste about 60% of the protein we eat from “normal” food, leaving only 40% of utilisation efficiency. Which brings us back to the 50 eggs and 3 lbs of meat analogy…
So we have a choice, muscle growth or muscle rejuvenation? It seems we can’t have both 😥
- To increase the muscle size: a small whey protein meal every 2 hours
- For muscle rejuvenation – a small meal every 4-6 hours
You can read Ori’s full article about intermittent fasting and exercise: “The Exercise Mistake Which Makes You Age Faster” on Dr Mercola’s website and read more on How to build muscle with whey protein and the right exercise here ===>>>