Protein Wars

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by manuva, Jan 17, 2006.

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  1. manuva

    manuva Master Don Juan

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    Let me start by saying that as a personal trainer my job is to write programs and provide results for regular, everyday people. I am actively involved in strength and sports conditioning training for athletes (particularly boxers and other fighters), but my bread and butter comes from regular, everyday people looking to improve their body shape.

    The first thing I have to take into account when writing programs for these people is that they are not professional. They have days jobs, they have wife/husband and children, their mother is frequently in hospital and work is frequently sending them interstate. Every client has issues like these preventing them from maintaining the perfect training routine.

    As a result, there is little point in my prescribing the perfect 4 or 5 day split and demanding they perfect their protein/fat/carb ratio. Working out simply cannot take priority over their job and family. That becomes my problem, not theirs. I have to provide results for them or I'll lose my client. If my client only has time to wolf down half a sandwhich for lunch, then thats what he has for lunch. If his wife makes him a creamy pasta dish loaded with fats and carbs for dinner, then you bet your arse he's going to eat it rather than piss her off. Too bad, so sad.

    In the end, its MY problem, not his. He gives me money, I change his body shape.

    This is the sort of person I must gear my advice to. I don't write 4 day split programs, because your average punter will only follow it for 1 week before reverting back to whatever ineffective program drove them to hire me in the first place.

    Eating properly is the biggest problem I face with clients trying to put on muscle. Remember, muscle mass is not priority number one for a lot these guys. They would like to fitter and with more lean mass, but there is a lot of other stuff going on in their lives.

    Eating properly is where most strength trainers let themselves down period. Protein intake is usually the main deficit, and this is diabolical for anyone wanting to put on muscle.

    In order to grow, one must provide the body with stimulus (weights) and energy (nutrition). Without either of these, proper growth will not occur.

    Lately I've been having great success giving protein challenges to clients.

    Instead of saying, "try to eat 2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight," I've been saying, "I want you to eat 6 eggs, a 425g tin of tuna, and a steak/chicken breast everyday."

    This has been VERY effective. It's not a lot of protein by some lifters standards (Warboss I'm looking in your direction here), but everyday people see it as an enormous quantity.

    Clients have gone from saying "Oh, I didn't have any meat today but I did have a handful of nuts, and they've got protein haven't they?" and instead of that drivel they are responding to the challenge! It's great - I'm finally getting proper results from guys I've been training for a while.

    When the prescribed amount of protein intake becomes habit, I increase it again. I wish I'd been saying this to them earlier.

    Try it guys - for anyone who has a problem jamming down protein everyday, or for anyone relying too much on supplements and shakes, set yourself a daily food challenge, NOT a daily protein intake level.

    Instead of saying, "Gee I'm 55g short of my protein requirement today," you can think to yourself, "Ok thats the tuna done, and I'm having steak for dinner, I've just got to eat the eggs."

    It's worked well for my clients and I'm setting myself similar challenges. I'm finding it a very easy way to keep eating sufficient protein everyday, and I'm now eating so much that I've managed to cut back severely on protein shakes. I'm not relying on shakes like I used to, I just have them PWO and before bed and having wholesome, real food the rest of the day. And it's easy to maintain, and easy to keep track of.
     
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  2. Warboss Alex

    Warboss Alex Master Don Juan

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    Brilliant post again Manuva, and some excellent points raised - I'm no trainer (yet), but as far as I understand, in your business you call a good diet is one that your client will stick to, right?

    I myself am not anal about grams either. I make up a diet giving myself 2 or 2.5g per lb protein and then forget about the grams - I just know how much food I have to eat. In this case you do the measuring and your client gets his protein requirements in 'food' terms: a 16oz steak, 6 eggs, a tub of cottage cheese, etc.

    My food is precooked and goes into premeasured containers, I have tupperware which I know holds, say, 1kg of beef. I freeze beef in these 1kg portions and thaw them out the night before, over the course of the coming day I know I have to empty that container. I don't care if one portion of that beef gives me 70g or 80g or 100g protein - I just know that I need to eat it all.

    Likewise, if I'm eating 10 whole eggs each day, 10 whole eggs go into a bowl in the fridge and I know these have to be eaten before my fat cutoff time. It doesn't matter whether I eat them over two meals, three meals, or even all at once - the goal is to make sure they get down.

    I whole-heartedly agree with everything you say and there's NO-ONE on this board who wouldn't do well to take your advice in this post: which of us can truly say all they have to do in life is work out their bodybuilding diet each day? People have jobs, school, girlfriends (or are trying to get one), etc. Simplicity and preplanning are key to maintaining a successful diet, regardless of goals.

    Same goes for workout routines; don't worry about pre-exhausting or dropsets or isolating the upper left quadrant of your biceps by flexing the pinkie when doing curls - your goal each workout is lift more than you did the previous time. Simple!
     
  3. Phoenix_of_the_ashes

    Phoenix_of_the_ashes Master Don Juan

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    Why dont you recommend them supplements?
     
  4. Warboss Alex

    Warboss Alex Master Don Juan

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    He didn't say that exactly; whole food is much more anabolic than whey alone so it's kept to a minimum.

    Besides, if you were a trainer, what would you rather ask your clients to do, make a shake containing 40g whey isolate, three raw eggs, a tablespoon of flax oil, 5g BCAAs and 10g glutamine - or simply ask them to get a steak down the hatch?
     
  5. Phoenix_of_the_ashes

    Phoenix_of_the_ashes Master Don Juan

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    Depends on the client, but for somebody with less time Id recommend the shake.
     
  6. semag

    semag Master Don Juan

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    I need to do something like that... always too much guesswork in my diets. I need a food scale damnit!
     
  7. nvtool

    nvtool Don Juan

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    I like the idea of using food measurements. I myself am struggling with my daily protein intake, so I was checking out some solutions to help me with that. Is there something else equivalent to the tuna part though? I am unfortunately allergic to fish foods.
     
  8. I-tallionStallion

    I-tallionStallion Master Don Juan

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    You can do the same with chicken, beef, and eggs nvtool. Whey protein is also a good way to bump up your nvtool and inexpensive as well. Just adding a scoop or two will give you around 24-48 grams of protein (depending on brand).
     
  9. nvtool

    nvtool Don Juan

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    Thanks for the tip. I'm gonna try it out!
     
  10. speakeasy

    speakeasy Master Don Juan

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    Can someone explain how dudes get so huge in prison? They are fed crap like baloney sandwhiches with mac 'n' cheese.
     
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  11. nvtool

    nvtool Don Juan

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    Haha..seriously!
     
  12. shaunuk

    shaunuk Master Don Juan

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    some guys go in big.

    some guys are on roids and buy extra food.

    same rules apply for getting bigger whether you're a free man or not ;)
     
  13. I-tallionStallion

    I-tallionStallion Master Don Juan

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    Prisoners eat a 2000 calorie diet at most prisons. They eat veges, fruit, meats like chicken and cheap steak, pancakes, sausage, bread + butter, mashed potatoes, pork rolls, sandwiches...I mean it's all edible stuff and there are plenty of people making sure that the food is decent. So basically they are regulated to a pretty healthy diet. Lets not also forget that a lot of prisoners have commission money so they can buy even more food and snacks.

    I would not doubt they come out leaner, more cut, more inshape than ever in their life because of the atmosphere they live in. I mean, if I was in prison I'd be strength/endurance training every day so I could be strong enough to protect myself from others. It makes sense to me how this works.
     
  14. Crazy Asian

    Crazy Asian Master Don Juan

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    hey nice idea!
    but...
    when you say stimulus, do you mean just lifting weights? or could that be something like swimming? Because i swim and go home to eat massive amounts of food, but do i gain muscle just by that exercise alone, or do i have to lift weights as well?

    also, could you suggest some other foods that are high in protein?
    i've been getting sick of wut i'm eating lately.

    thanks!
     

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