There are two main anabolic stimuli for muscle: exercise and protein ingestion.
Protein not only provides the building blocks for muscle. It also provides the trigger to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is the physiological process of adding new amino acids to muscle proteins and is the primary mechanism of muscle growth.
Athletes typically consume a lot of protein to optimize recovery and improve training adaptations. We’re going to take a look at the protein habits of high-level athletes and compare them to evidence-based protein recommendations. In addition, we’ll go beyond the guidelines and discuss my advanced hypotheses to take gains to the next level.
I like to think of myself as a rational person, but I’m not one. The good news is it’s not just me — or you. We are all irrational.
For a long time, researchers and economists believed that humans made logical, well-considered decisions. In recent decades, however, researchers have uncovered a wide range of mental errors that derail our thinking. Sometimes we make logical decisions, but there are many times when we make emotional, irrational, and confusing choices.
Psychologists and behavioral researchers love to geek out about these different mental mistakes. There are dozens of them and they all have fancy names like “mere exposure effect” or “narrative fallacy.” But I don’t want to get bogged down in the scientific jargon today. Instead, let’s talk about the mental errors that show up most frequently in our lives and break them down in easy-to-understand language.
For many years I lived in Eugene, Oregon, also known as “track-town USA” for its long tradition in track and field. Each summer high-profile meets like the United States National Championships or Olympic Trials would bring world-class competitors to the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field. It was exciting to bump into great athletes at the local cafe or ice cream shop, or even find myself lifting weights or running on a track next to them. One morning I was shocked to be passed as if standing still by a woman running 400-meter repeats. Her training pace was as fast as I could run a flat out sprint over a much shorter distance.
The simple fact was that she was an extreme outlier, and I wasn’t. Athletic performance follows a normal distribution, like many other quantities in nature. That means that the number of people capable of exceptional performance falls off exponentially as performance levels increase. While an 11-second 100-meter can win a high school student the league or district championship, a good state champion runs sub-11, and among 100 state champions only a few have any hope of running near 10 seconds.
Ed Latimore (@EdLatimore) might be the most interesting person you'll ever meet.
Ed is a professional heavyweight boxer, physics major, and philosopher. He's the author of the cult-hit Not Caring What Other People Think Is A Superpower.
This interview looks at the physics of boxing, the value of a coach, and a lot of philosophy. After listening to Ed, you won't see life the same way again.