4 Most Common Muscle Building Mistakes

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4 Most Common Muscle Building Mistakes - Thomas DeLauer

1) Avoiding Cardio

**The source of energy that is used to power the movement of contraction in working muscles is adenosine triphosphate (ATP)**

Electron Transport Chain & Endurance Exercise

The mitochondrial capacity for using O2 is linked to the sustained capacity for generating muscle power

The respiratory capacity of mitochondria is very near to the maximal oxygen uptake rate of mitochondria (can increase respiratory capacity through endurance training)

Endurance training on bicycle ergometers was studied for five male and five female subjects for 6 weeks of training

The power output maintained on the ergometer daily for 30 min was adjusted to achieve a heart rate exceeding 85% of the maximum for two-thirds of the training session

The relative increase of VO2max/Mb (14%) with training was found to be smaller by more than two-fold than the relative increase in maximal maintained power (33%) and the relative change in the volume density of total mitochondria (+40%)

*30 min of endurance training increased volume density of mitrochondria by 40%* - for this to happen, it means you raise the capacity for ATP supply/increase ATP


2) Using too much BCAAs (Leucine)

Glycolysis is defined as, “the breakdown of glucose by enzymes, releasing energy and pyruvic acid (pyruvate)”

In other words, it’s a series of reactions in which glucose is converted to pyruvate and its chemical energy is transferred to NADH and ATP

Leucine blocks pyruvate (a molecule that glucose is converted to produce energy) breakdown so that the glucose can’t be used for energy


3) Not getting enough Omega 3 (Grass fed vs Grain Fed)

Animals that are fed green grass also store more vitamin A in their livers, which is why grass-finished beef is higher in beta carotene - the precursor to vitamin A

Vitamin A is useful because it supports protein synthesis - Vitamin A levels decrease as protein synthesis increases


This is related to the fact that vitamin A is needed for the breakdown of protein during the muscle repair process - in other words, without enough Vitamin A the body can’t utilise protein properly which affects muscle repair and building new muscle

Grass-finished beef does tend to be lower in overall fat content, but review published in the Nutrition Journal found that it contains significantly higher levels of omega-3s than grain/grass-fed

Omega 3’s and Muscle Growth

A study published in the journal Clinical Science looked at 9 healthy participants, age 25-45, who led a sedentary lifestyle that supplemented with 4 grams of DHA and EPA daily for an 8-week period

Found that omega 3’s did not affect protein synthesis without the addition of insulin and amino acids

But, in a high amino acid and insulin environment, the higher omega-3 fatty acid levels enhanced mechanisms of muscle growth

With increased omega-3 fatty acids following supplementation, it was found that the muscle protein fractional synthesis rate increased

The pathways which regulate protein synthesis (mTORSer2448 and p70s6kThr389) increased by roughly 50% (50% more active in the presence of higher omega-3 fatty acid levels)

4) Avoid Big Meals Post Workout (Fats & Carbs)

This is fine if your goal is increased strength, but most people want to put on muscle whilst putting on minimal fat

After a workout you’ll be insulin sensitive, meaning that when you eat food, insulin will break it down into basic nutrients: protein breaks down into amino acids, dietary fats into fatty acids, and carbohydrates into glucose, which then make their way into the bloodstream

Upon finishing your workout you’ll be insulin sensitive, meaning you can capitalize on this is these ways:
Insulin shuttles protein into muscle cells and carbs spike insulin
Adding carbs to protein will increase the amount of protein absorbed
Increases in insulin are associated in increases in mTOR
Minimize fat content to reduce fat storage

Note on Anabolic Window:

A study published in the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology found that muscle protein synthesis is elevated in humans by 50% at 4 hours following a bout of heavy resistance training, and by 109% at 24 hours following training.

It concluded that following a bout of heavy resistance training, muscle protein synthesis increases rapidly, is more than double at 24 hours, and thereafter declines rapidly so that at 36 hours it has almost returned to baseline

Keto Diet
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