So ya wanna be a freak - or even just have a nice degree of muscle and a dialed in six-pack. Well your body and tens of thousands of years of evolution have second thoughts in regard to this pursuit...
So ya wanna be a freak - or even just have a nice degree of muscle and a dialed in six-pack. Well your body and tens of thousands of years of evolution have second thoughts in regard to this pursuit. See the body prefers to stay in its comfort zone and that means it is constantly trying to maintain homeostasis-a set-point that is the area where it is at its most natural balance.
For most of us that is not 240 shredded unfortunately as evolutionary food was not always prevalent but rather scarce and excess LBM was a waste of energy. Moreover, to have too little body-fat would mean certain disaster in times of famine.
Now some may be fortunate enough to have a homeostatic set-point of a more favorable nature but most will curse their ancestors (albeit not having a 7-11 on every corner was not their fault) and even for the 'gifted' huge, rippling muscles will still require a particularly rough battle with our homeostatic mechanisms.
"What To Do, What To Do?" You Say...
Well luckily although it will not be an easy war to wage we are privy to many weapons and strategies in our quest to defeat the mighty monsters of homeostasis and the mechanism that are in place to thwart our efforts to our goals.
Of course though this war is unending and a constant battle as the body will never stop its minions bent on homeostatic onslaught and we must be disciplined and merciless in our attempts to fight them off.
Perhaps our primary battleground for our attrition against homeostasis is in the arena of nitrogen balance/retention. The necessity for engendering a continual state of positive nitrogen balance is a principle means to attack our foe and progress to a larger yet leaner physique. Now while it would be optimal to have a 24/7 IV drip of amino acids pulsed into our veins this is not practical (for most anyway).
So the main course in enacting a positive state of nitrogen balance will first and foremost be a constant and consistent influx of high quality protein. As a rule a reasonably large high protein intake is to be consumed every three hours and the largest protein intake is best allotted for post-workout where the environment for accrual of LBM is most receptive.
One often overlooked period for providing our bodies with protein, particularly if gaining mass is the primary objective, is in the middle of the night.
Night feeding is an essential way to counter the negative nitrogen balance that will occur if one is to succumb to thinking just because they are sleeping that awaking for providing the body precious protein becomes unnecessary - wrong! Get your comfy little arse up once and if possible, better twice and have an easily consumable protein accessible for quick consumption and back off to gathering the crucial ZZZzzzzzzs.
A prepared whey shake or low-fat cottage cheese are some easy and handy options. So not only are you negating a potential catabolic nitrogen deficient state, moreover you open windows to increase total protein load which for any serious trainee should be minimally 1.5g/lb LBM which for some is not always easy to get over the course of the normal 16 hour waking day (and even harder for those of you who sleep 10+ hours!).
Remember, not only is the body continuously breaking down tissue, this is further accelerated by the training process and needs to be super-compensated for to build. Furthermore a high protein load will provide a thermogenic shift toward staving off increased body-fat.
OK, so now that we are facilitating a positive nitrogen pool the next step is to better utilize this environment which means increasing the body's capacity for protein synthesis/utilization (which has a circular effect on promoting positive nitrogen balance as well)
So in the next article we will see what strategies and weapons we have for this key launching ground for our attack on homeostasis and a bigger, leaner physique.
About The Author
Dave Douglas is considered by many in the know to be one of the top go to guys for information in relation to physique and performance enhancement from the 'basics' to the extreme cutting edge. His expertise runs the gamut from the sciences of training and nutrition to supplementation from both a nutraceutical and pharmaceutical perspective. Relying on a bent toward both research and real world experience, he is known on many boards for his passion to constantly search out the truth within the layers of art and science in this arena.