Are you a real T-MAN?

2010 April 16
by Alan Aragon

WARNING: This article contains links to a website whose images might be a little too hardcore for your workplace.

In my daily stroll through the internetz, I stumbled upon this article by fitness journalist/dating expert Nate Green who interviews fellow staff writer Dr. Lonnie Lowery. Before I get into this, let me first thank the good fellas at Tmuscle for providing a relentless source of entertainment. Not to mention, they always come through with great pics & vids of super-enhanced fleshiness. Nate’s article embodies so much of the Tmuscle ideals in a single swoop, that it deserves a little shine here on my Super Secret Blog™. Here are some key quotes from the article, followed by my two cents.

“If guys would simply load up on carbs and protein before their training sessions, take in high-quality amino acids during their workouts, and have another solid meal post-workout, they’d take advantage of the most anabolic time of the day and build serious muscle.”

The above isn’t a counterproductive recommendation. In fact, for most trainees, it’s a good idea to sandwich the training bout with protein & carbs. However, if a protein-rich meal or shake was consumed near the start of the training bout, intraworkout amino acid intake is redundant, especially for typical-length sessions lasting about an hour. The preworkout meal is already being digested, and amino acids are already being absorbed into circulation. One little wrinkle:  if what you’re drinking during the bout can improve your mood, this can potentially drive better performance. But most of all, nothing screams “I’m hardcore!” like walking around the gym with your chest puffed and lats flared, clutching a jug of bright pink fluid.

“Well, when it comes to protein synthesis — the necessary reaction that must happen to build muscle — the hormone insulin plays a huge role. Simply, the higher you spike insulin, the more protein synthesis will occur, and the more muscle you can build.”

The above statement is a combo of oversimplification and exaggeration. Even when amino acid levels are kept elevated, insulin’s ability to max-out net muscle protein balance has a ceiling that’s easily reached by a normal-size protein/carb meal or shake. A large mixed meal or shake can cause insulin levels to far surpass this limit. This is why researchers have alluded to insulin’s role in furthering net protein balance as more permissive than it is stimulatory [1]. On a sidenote of trivia, insulin has been seen to cause protein synthesis on its own when intravenously raised to 1000 times normal basal levels [2]. But alas, we’re talking about orally ingested/nutrient-mediated insulin elevations, not intravenous super-dosing for pharmacological effects. 

Think of it this way: if you buckle down for two hours, feed your body high-quality protein and carbs, spike insulin, train hard, and re-feed your body afterward, you’re almost guaranteeing that every amino acid is getting pumped straight into your muscles. You’ve created the ultimate anabolic environment, and, if you’re following the super-effective Anaconda Protocol, you’re taking in a whopping 1,157 calories of muscle-building nutrients and 167 grams of protein.

This is where Tmuscle takes the more-is-better principle and exploits it to an explosive end, literally. Linked in the quote above, the Anaconda Protocol is a true test of maximal human stomach capacity, which isn’t the best test to run during a hard training session. If the user feedback in this thread means anything, we should all hope that stain-free versions of the supplements are in development. There’s really no technical criticism needed here; just picture consuming a half-day’s worth of calories plus an entire day’s worth of fluid within a couple of hours. And somewhere within that timeframe, you must complete an intense workout before having to run to the sink or the toilet.

“I have no idea where that notion came from,” says Lowery. “My guess is that they took a 180-pound guy, gave him one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, and divided that by six meals to get 30 grams per meal. And for some reason, people seem to think that it’s the ‘magic’ number. It’s just not correct.”

Well, its refreshing to see them get something right. The problem is, Lowery appears to be contradicting the more-is-better mantra in a fairly recent article where he says, “I’ve actually cut back on the amount of protein I eat at any given time. I just make sure I spike it with leucine. I usually put a scoop and a half, about 7 or 8 grams, of leucine in just 20 grams of protein. But I’ve stopped sucking down 50 or 60 grams of protein at a time. I just don’t do that anymore; I don’t think it has that much benefit. Plus this prevents me from becoming a protein oxidizer or burner.”  This makes you wonder just how genuinely supportive Lowery is of the 167-gram  protein dose in the Anaconda Protocol.

The Perfect Carbs: According to Lowery, the perfect blend of carbs to consume before a workout should be insulinogenic (spikes insulin), but not anything containing straight sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. “I’m all for special dextrins [like the rice oligodextrin found in FINiBAR™ that will support high-level performance,” he says. “You can’t just sit down and have a giant bowl of Applejacks.”

The above passage contradicts itself. Finibars have been marketed as a product that provides a steady release of carbs. “Fuel for the finish” is the product’s tag line.  The bar’s primary ingredient is isomaltulose (also called palatinose), which has been demonstrated to elicit a low-glycemic, low-insulinemic response [3]. With all their hype surrounding the prodigious spiking of insulin, it seems they chose the wrong carb to drive their point. Personally, I’d rather have a bowl of Applejacks in milk over a Finibar.

The Perfect Protein: For protein, Lowery’s a fan of hydrolysates [like the casein hydrolysate found in ANACONDA™, which are proteins that enter the blood stream quickly and significantly increase the rate of protein synthesis.  “Remember, the faster the amino acids hit the bloodstream and more protein synthesis you create, the better off you’ll be,” says Lowery.

Like the erroneous use of Finibars as an example of the “perfect carb” for spiking insulin, touting casein hydrolysate as the “perfect protein” has its own caveats.  While one study showed that casein hydrolysate is more quickly digested and absorbed than intact casein [4], another study found that the faster absorption of casein hydrolysate isn’t necessarily superior for muscle anabolism [5]. Compared to intact casein, its hydrolyzed form was preferentially incorporated into the intestinal tissue instead of skeletal muscle (more discussion here). Given this sparse and equivocal data set, calling casein hydrolysate “perfect” is a perfect example of unsubstantiated hype.

And, you can’t drink chocolate milk and eat sugary cereal to get the same effect. That’s not the 3rd Law of Muscle. That’s eating crappy food. You need quality nutrients from specialized carbs like rice oligodextrin, and specialized proteins like casein hydrolysate.

So, what does it mean when the crappy food  is more micronutrient-dense, and has equal or more supporting research than the perfect stuff? 

_________________________________________________________________________

References

  1. Phillips SM. Insulin and muscle protein turnover in humans: stimulatory, permissive, inhibitory, or all of the above? Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Oct;295(4):E731. [Medline]
  2. Hillier TA, et al. Extreme hyperinsulinemia unmasks insulin’s effect to stimulate protein synthesis in the human forearm. Am J Physiol. 1998 Jun;274(6 Pt 1):E1067-74. [Medline]
  3. van Can JG, et al. Reduced glycaemic and insulinaemic responses following isomaltulose ingestion: implications for postprandial substrate use. Br J Nutr. 2009 Nov;102(10):1408-13. [Medline]
  4. Koopman R, et al. Ingestion of a protein hydrolysate is accompanied by an accelerated in vivo digestion and absorption rate when compared with its intact protein. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul;90(1):106-15. [Medline]
  5. Deglaire A, et al. Hydrolyzed dietary casein as compared with the intact protein reduces postprandial peripheral, but not whole-body, uptake of nitrogen in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Oct;90(4):1011-22. [Medline]

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87 Responses leave one →
  1. Mike L. permalink
    April 16, 2010

    Quote of the week, courtesy of Rippetoe’s nutrition expert:

    “I am largely not interested in that sort of thing. It takes too much time away from the important stuff, and the people who are doing the real science in the gym and at the table.”

    Brotastic.

    -Mike L.

  2. Ryan permalink
    April 16, 2010

    You should blog more often, it’s great stuff. I was noticing the contradictions in this article as well. When I was first following Nate Green, I was glad he was writing for T-Nation. Then that whole site took a dive very quickly. I like to go for their training information, but some of their nutrition stuff is ridonkulous

  3. snorkelman permalink
    April 16, 2010

    “And, you can’t drink chocolate milk and eat sugary cereal to get the same effect.”

    LMAO! They’re still sour over Alan’s academic spanking on the Surge topic.

    In the middle of the I, Bodybuilder advertisement….um, article, there is this lovely quote, “Oh, I’m sure there will be a couple of dozen pus-filled Internet moron-trolls who can’t wait to prove how they ‘got nothing from loaded insulin surges and HTH, and all you really need is ‘chocolate milk and a banana.’ If you exclude those mad-at-the-world messes, we believe that legitimate failures will be all but nonexistent.”

    So, the question is how long until this current blogging by Alan results in a similar nugget in some future T-Muscle “article.”

  4. Ron Gremio permalink
    April 16, 2010

    “The above isn’t a counterproductive recommendation. In fact, for most trainees, it’s a good idea to sandwich the training bout with protein & carbs. However, if a protein-rich meal or shake was consumed near the start of the training bout, intraworkout amino acid intake is redundant, especially for typical-length sessions lasting about an hour. The preworkout meal is already being digested, and amino acids are already being absorbed into circulation. One little wrinkle: if what you’re drinking during the bout can improve your mood, this can potentially drive better performance. But most of all, nothing screams “I’m hardcore!” like walking around the gym with your chest puffed and lats flared, clutching a jug of bright pink fluid.

    Alan,

    I realize that general rules of thumb may be hard to throw out there, given that individual context will cause various adjustments, but do you have any general recommendations in terms of meal size/composition and timing pre-training and whether or not it may be beneficial to consume a small bit of something during (certainly not the ridiculousness of the “Anaconda ” Protocol)?

    I’m embarrassed to admit that for a long time, I just kind of tested things out without looking into how valid it was, and if the results were there, at lest for me (which they were), and the hit on my wallet wasn’t noteworthy, then there was no reason to dig much deeper since I was getting the intended result and wasn’t in a position of trust when it came to advising anyone other than myself on these issues.

    But I’ve come to realize that I should probably take a more honest look into what I do and not just say, “If the results are there, there’s no need to spend time examining all the reasons why or why not with a fine tooth comb.” It’s as if I can hear your voice admonishing me to “not just be another bro!” :)

  5. Bob McDougal permalink
    April 16, 2010

    It’s a true shame that TMuscle or whatever it is being called in its current incarnation views Alan as persona non grata, because it would be nice to see him in the mix for occasional roundtables on topics. It may not pad the bottom line, but considering how they like to make claims that they seek out the best and get their thoughts, controversial or not, it’s almost a crime to no longer have him as a potential resource.

    I recall Gray Cook (not in a nutritional context, but this was definitely an across-the-board-applicable comment) saying something to the effect of always being prepared to try and argue the counterpoint to whatever it is that you agree with rather than just blindly excepting what you may have been spoon fed.

  6. Eric permalink
    April 16, 2010

    Wow, I’m just glad I live in such a revolutinary period for building muscle. T-Musc has brought us such innovative ideas and products like Anaconda, I-BB, and now the 3rd law of muscle.

    I’m a fairly newly reformed bro and I did take supps and even followed some of the protocols from T-mag, I noticed no magical growth with anything. I now take a more laid back approach and find that I’m still progressing.

    I think I’m even doing better now since I’m more relaxed. Anecdotal…yes. But grounded I’m more grounded now in what science says and it’s quite honestly a lot simpler.

  7. Eric permalink
    April 16, 2010

    Also, at least one of their authors have recommended cereal PWO, Waterbury. I mention that because it’s labeled as a bad carb on that page.

    I’m also curious to see the actual workout/nutrition regimens for the lifters on that page since I highly doubt they built those bodies following the advice in that their article.

  8. Frank permalink
    April 16, 2010

    Alan, looking at the comments on the forum of the article, at least it seems that somehow, your ideas are making there way :)

    It’s cool to see how many people actually think that t-mag is BS now.

  9. rcalliott permalink
    April 16, 2010

    Alan,

    Nicely done. If we ever cross paths in real life, I owe you a high-five and an alco-bro-holic beverage of your choosing.

    Forever yours in smugness,

    Ross

  10. JC Carter permalink
    April 16, 2010

    wasting your time. Lowery is a dwarf who had the money truck backed up to his door.

  11. darkseeker permalink
    April 16, 2010

    Nice work, Alan. The more I read about this, the more amazed I am at either the lack of scruples of these supplement companies, or their lack of actual knowledge of physiology. Maybe both?

  12. RayCinLA permalink
    April 16, 2010

    lmfao, T-muscle just got T-owned.

  13. Robert permalink
    April 16, 2010

    Nice.

    I looked through the discussion of the “article” and was very happy to see most posts calling them out.

  14. April 16, 2010

    I am eating a bowl of apple jacks smothered in fatty chocolate milk – all for you, Alan.

    T-mag will have its fun. My only worry is that people read this with hopes that this is their answer. This could very well be their salvation – well it will be until next week when they tell them to do something different.

  15. Redlefty permalink
    April 16, 2010

    C’mon Alan, you know there’s no money to be made in trying to sell common sense to the masses. That’s why Glenn Beck and Kevin Trudeau are millionaires.

  16. John permalink
    April 16, 2010

    Not only is the “crappy food” more micronutrient-dense and has equal or more supporting research than the perfect stuff, it’s tons and tons cheaper.

    Malt-O-Meal bag cereal for the postworkout win. Keep the Apple Zings, though, and give me Chocolate Marshmallow Mateys.

  17. April 17, 2010

    I’m just astonished tha there are guys our there eating the bars and timing how long it takes from first chew to finish and worrying the hell that they are a few minutes over.. I’m not even sure what to say – i think I may be speechless lol

  18. Clement permalink
    April 17, 2010

    Hey Alan, great post. Personally, I think that supplements are unnecessary and overrated. I’ve never taken one in my whole life! I keep to whole, natural foods and don’t kill myself over macronutrient breakdown and just focusing on eating enough and moving enough. It’s got me to 10% bodyfat at most, so I’m not complaining!

    I was wondering if you have any opinion on John berardi’s g-flux principle and whether it can be applied to someone who wants to achieve a Taylor lautner physique? Or even a brad Pitt in fight club?

  19. April 17, 2010

    @Daniel: no crap. I was just on bbcom reading some logs and the OCD over there is quite upsetting. I can only imagine it’s about the same for the t-mag followers.

  20. Jordan permalink
    April 17, 2010

    A thorough T-Spanking if there ever was one, great job Alan. Part of me wonders, especially given Lonnie Lowery’s contradictory statements regarding protein ingestion, if he was ever really consulted/interviewed for this “article”, or if he’s just given T-Mag full authority to put words in his mouth so long as the money truck keeps rollin’ through.

  21. Jack permalink
    April 17, 2010

    Is it ok to combine Surge and Flameout fish oils in the same meal?

    j/k, great article

  22. Vickie permalink
    April 17, 2010

    If I were you I’d be afraid I’d elevate their credibility by virtue of simply mentioning their publication and products in my ‘highly acclaimed sexy scientific’ blog. Shun, shun the bro-tards.

  23. April 17, 2010

    @Eric

    I’m also curious to see the actual workout/nutrition regimens for the lifters on that page since I highly doubt they built those bodies following the advice in that their article.

    I’m going to hazard a guess that some pharmacological support was involved in creating those physiques. Apparently, Anaconda works better than teh steroidz, so maybe they should switch to that in order to burst through their oppressive genetic ceilings.

  24. Eric permalink
    April 17, 2010

    I’d hate to make that assumption without having full proof but it looks that way. Those dudes look bigger than Norton and the guy is a natural. I guess their BCAA’s are better than his.

  25. April 17, 2010

    Vickie — My blog is Super Secret™, so it’s okay, there won’t be too many lemmings inadvertently led to the edge of the T-Cliff™.

    Jack — It’s not only okay to combine them, but you just might win the next Olympia.

    Jordan — This is exactly the feeling I got. It’s as if they took Lowery’s quotes from an unrelated conversation & pieced them together to create a veiled Anaconda advertorial.

    Clement — I’ve seen people with average genetics get a Pitt/Lautner type of physique on an average 4-7 total training hours per week simply by dieting hard & accepting some substantial weight loss. Could you feed them more & have them train 8-12 hours per week to get even better results? Maybe so for some folks, but the degree of improvement is for the most part not worth the time.

    Daniel — Be speechless. Be VERY speechless, lol.

    John — Yeah, price is another nail in the coffin for the “specialized” stuff.

    Redlefty — That’s okay, the small handful who get saved from the clutches of brodom is worth it.

    JC — Applejacks was one of my favorite cereals as a kid, so this aspect of Nate’s article was particularly annoying :)

    Robert — Good point. It’s no small feat to get the most of the diehards calling foul: http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_article/the_2_most_anabolic_hours_of_the_day

    Darkseeker — I think it’s both.

    JC Carter — As far as I’ve gathered, the monetary payoff for the contributors is nothing substantial.

    Ross — I’d like a Rogue Chocolate Stout, please :)… *high fives*

    Frank — I can see that too. It’s almost as if the Tmuscle forum members stay there mostly on the basis of social support/interaction, and much less for the exchange of valuable information.

    Eric — On the note of science, I think that supplement companies like Biotest are in a pretty tough position, having to crank out new & exciting products regularly. Unfortunately for them, there’s only so much scientific research evidence to go on before you start either screwing up the facts or making shit up.

    Bob — Yep, I’m still banned from posting on their forums. It’s kind of like a badge of honor, though. Any forum that censors discussion as heavily as they do is really a fool’s paradise ripe for the Dunning–Kruger effect.

    Ron — Grams-wise, I recommend having a quarter of your ideal/target bodyweight (this is a surrogate index for LBM) in both protein and carbs within an hour of both sides of the training bout. The details & adjustments can vary with different goals, but this is the general crux that will work well for most. But beyond this, for most recreational fitness/physique goals, I don’t think nutrient timing is very important at all compared to hitting your macro targets by the end of the day.

    Snorkelman — I think it’s hilarious that they haven’t gotten over that choc milk/Surge comparison. Hey, at least I’m giving them material to write about (& apparently, it works both ways :)).

    Ryan — I hadn’t read or heard about Nate before he started showing up in T-mag, and it looks like he’s having fun, in spite of being buried in a lack of scientific integrity – much of which he’s not even aware.

    Mike — that’s one of the most idiotic quotes I’ve read, thanks for that.

  26. April 17, 2010

    One thing I will say is that I like Nate Green. I like his blog, I think he’s a great writer and he comes accross as a good guy.

  27. Zac Drey permalink
    April 17, 2010

    Great stuff! I just recently found your site but was actually looking for the article Lyle quoted on hydrosylates and stumbled here. The GI discomfort from a massive meal preworkout is just begging for a shitty workout but what about on a cellular level? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have glucagon up and insulin down (ie a state 60-90 minutes post-prandial)? Again, great post

  28. April 17, 2010

    Homies be mad when I pull out my baggie of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with milk and stunt on them post-workout!

  29. Joe permalink
    April 18, 2010

    I used to really like TNation when it was conceived years ago but now its just a bunch of marketing hype with no real science to back their claims. I always liked Muscle Media 2000 magazine too but I guess everything goes to shit after a while. Its refreshing to see someone challenge their bogus claims rather than jump on their virtual check writing machine.

  30. bannedNSguywholostweight permalink
    April 18, 2010

    I don’t understand the IBB videos. They never give an overall explanation. there’s little instruction. It’s just a bunch of watching people lift (and never to failure). On youtube, I can find much more useful instruction really. What is supposed to be taught with these videos?

  31. April 19, 2010

    @bannedNSguy

    What is supposed to be taught with these videos?

    Nothing. Its marketing. Given the extreme cost of the product and the nature of workouts themselves, T-Muskel went out of its way to paint a lovely facade.

    Oh wait…it teaches you how NOT to perform cleans. So, its got that going for it.

  32. Billy Lujan permalink
    April 20, 2010

    Not only is Anaconda the greatest muscle building supplement ever created. It also has magical healing powers. From what was an otherwise decent article on Dave Tate’s gym:

    Now a woman heaves into the sled. “Maybe just for one light set; I did hill sprints yesterday,” she’d said five minutes before while you watched the other guy lose his breakfast. But one set turns into two, and two turns into three. Then she’s down, screaming, clutching her hamstring.


    Someone brings Leanne a cup of Anaconda and she’s up and around a few minutes later.

  33. April 20, 2010

    Haha, I noticed that too Billy.

    No doubt TMuscle is doing a lot of advertising in there articles, but I’m not really ‘angry’ for that, I understnad; They are a supplement company.

    But it’s great that Alan writet this, as many people seems to forget that they are trying to sell there own products.

    Tmuscle still got lots of good information, but you should always be sceptical when getting information from someone with a financial interest in what they are telling you.

  34. Nutrispamguythatgotbanned permalink
    April 20, 2010

    Haven’t we kind of banged the IBB and Amazon thing enough already over the months?

  35. April 21, 2010

    “But most of all, nothing screams “I’m hardcore!” like walking around the gym with your chest puffed and lats flared, clutching a jug of bright pink fluid.” – LOL nice lil crack at Anaconda there.

    People are always outraged that they advertise… grow the fuck up. Its a business, they need to sell.

    @Vickie – Shun the bro-tards? No way! I’m ADD, which means I get bored by shit easily. As Alan said, their bottom less pit of sheer entertainment is welcomed. Keep writing these pieces Alan. Para pa pap paa…. I’m lovin it!

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be munchin on some chicken nuggets in between sets.

  36. Andrew permalink
    April 21, 2010

    Hey Alan, great post as usual – thanks for all that you do to educate the masses. I like to think that I’ve reformed a lot of my nutritional bro-like ways over the past few years, in large part due to your writings.

    Now I realize that I may also be a bit ignorant about training too, though. Your comment above to Clement (“I’ve seen people with average genetics get a Pitt/Lautner type of physique on an average 4-7 total training hours per week…”) surprises me a bit, because 4-7 hours of training a week already seems a bit on the high side from what I’ve gotten from, well, the bros. Most mainstream muscle-building programs I see seem to suggest 3 or 4 workouts a week, at 45-60 min a workout, and not necessarily any cardio at all, which would seem to suggest a 2.5-4 hour range. Am I right in thinking that, for optimal muscle-building progress, you’d recommend somewhat more total volume than that?

    Thanks again for the post, and thanks in advance for your guidance!

  37. Dan permalink
    April 21, 2010

    Got bored as hell last night and strolled over there. Two things definitely kept me entertained.

    1) Clicking on the Anaconda Protocol link and seeing the $157 “special discount” which comes to $365 for a one month supply LOL! They really hook you up over there.

    2) Going to the Velocity Diet “3.0” and calculating the total cost for a 235 lb male: $616.90! Makes me wish I was a buck sixty with rolls of quarters stuffed in my pockets like the ones that…. Never mind.

    You just can’t knock them for doing it when the demand is there.

    It’s really tough for me to imagine what life was like for the past one hundred years of heavy lifting and a calorie surplus! People nowadays really got it made. Just click on a hyperlink at T-Nation, gain 26 lbs in a month with the special training and supplementation method. Well, that is as long as you don’t shit your pants w/ the Anaconda Protocol….

  38. April 21, 2010

    Clement, you wrote:

    Your comment above to Clement (“I’ve seen people with average genetics get a Pitt/Lautner type of physique on an average 4-7 total training hours per week…”) surprises me a bit, because 4-7 hours of training a week already seems a bit on the high side from what I’ve gotten from, well, the bros. Most mainstream muscle-building programs I see seem to suggest 3 or 4 workouts a week, at 45-60 min a workout, and not necessarily any cardio at all, which would seem to suggest a 2.5-4 hour range.”

    The answer really depends on exactly what goal we’re talking about here. Admittedly, I could have hastily answered the Q. Instead of really examining the actors’ physiques in question. I was more thinking of goals that are closer to contest prep.

    All — thanks very much for the feedback!

  39. snorkelman permalink
    April 23, 2010

  40. April 23, 2010

    Snorkelman — He does have that look of urgency.

  41. April 23, 2010

    Alan,
    Great T-akedown of some really dodgy bros who are cashing in using big words, big muscles and big ass “protocols” (whatever the hell that is) like Anaconda.
    Best
    Liz N

  42. Andrew permalink
    April 23, 2010

    i’m surprised no t-bros have come on to here and tried to argue anything. i’m sorta dissapointed.

  43. April 24, 2010

    Liz — You kick ass.

    Andrew — The t-bros are plotting & scheming their retaliation as we speak. I predict a full-frontal attack on the philosophy of science & objective evidence.

  44. RayCinLA permalink
    April 25, 2010

    @ Andrew:

    T-nation was a pretty good source of info about 5-10 years ago, and there was actually a point where they let people freely discuss things on their forums. Not anymore. Right now, they are a joke of a marketing machine, and even their forum members are beginning to see that, thick skulls and all.

  45. April 26, 2010

    Any of you guys here have any thoughts on Christian Thibaudeau’s writing for T-muscle? I like what he writes in the forum, not so much his nutrition tips, but his training information have helped me a lot :-)
    So there is still som good info there!

  46. snorkelman permalink
    April 26, 2010

    Fredrik, have you taken a look at the I, Bodybuilder advertisemen…. um article? Here is an excerpt relevant to Christian Thibaudeau:

    “according to Christian Thibaudeau, without both of these elements [the second element being the Anaconda protocol], you will get nothing more than mediocre results at best, and more likely fail.”

    CT has actually written some stuff that is very helpful, namely regarding training. However, whether he fully endorses it or just got roped into it by Nate Green, he is forever tied to the Anaconda propaganda.

    You may enjoy reading this piece of his which is devoid of reference to Anaconda (and he only pimps one Biotest product at the very end)

    http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_interviews/a_return_to_bodybuilding_an_interview_with_christian_thibaudeau

  47. Cobrakai permalink
    April 27, 2010

    Is Tnation just deleting any negative feedback on the threads about the Anaconda Protocol? I see little to no negative feedback.

  48. snorkelman permalink
    April 28, 2010

    Cobrakai, Alan seemed to have the foresight to preserve some of the comments…

    http://forums.lylemcdonald.com/showthread.php?p=69632#post69632

  49. May 3, 2010

    Hey Alan,

    I just wanted to thank you for putting in so much effort and research into your writing (this post may have just been for fun, but I’m talking about your other work primarily). I just bought and started reading Girth Control, and am now a member of your Research Review.

    I’m a professional strength coach, and my focus is in coaching (and competing in) Olympic-style weightlifting. While I am certainly always in the process of learning, I feel more naturally able to give relevant research-based advice when it comes to training in the gym. But, with nutrition, while I have tried to keep up, it’s not my area of expertise. Giving my clients information that is as up to date as possible is very important to me. For that reason, I’m finding reading through your back catalog of the AARR remarkably helpful. Thanks for putting that out (did I just imply you were “putting out”?)

    Oh, and when I finish reading your book, Girth Control, I’ll make sure to do an in depth (and of course positive!) review on my blog of it. So far it’s been one of the best reads on nutrition I’ve sat down with in a long long time.

    Nick Horton

  50. May 3, 2010

    Nick — Thanks so much for the acknowledgment. I’m glad you’re getting some learning out of GC & AARR. One of the big reasons I did AARR is because a lot of GC is based on research, and since research evolves continually, certain things change (while other things don’t). I just wanted AARR to be able to pick up where GC leaves off & go deeper into the topics that GC covered – and of course be able to stay on top of the late-breaking stuff. You know, like fructose & rats :)… Thanks again.

  51. TheWaffleIron permalink
    May 4, 2010

    Now that I know the 3rd Law of Muscle, could anyone help me with the first two? A quick search on PubMed didn’t turn up anything. Thanks.

  52. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    May 4, 2010

    Alan, please help Shawn Johnson with her nutrition to aid her comeback attempt. I’m NOT JOKING. Make it happen.

    http://gymnasticscoaching.com/new/2010/05/shawn-johnson-training-for-2012/comment-page-1/#comment-160840

  53. May 5, 2010

    PolyisTCOandbanned — Thanks for the mention in that blog you linked. If you know Shawn, or know someone who knows her, just shoot my email: alanaragon.com@gmail.com (yes, two dot coms).

    Waffleiron — The T-Laws are too much for Pubmed to capacitate.

  54. May 5, 2010

    Dude, you have your own domain! Get hooked up with alan@alanaragon.com. You can still get it via gmail if that’s your thing. Either that or head to the courthouse and do a name change, Mr. Aragon.com. ;)

  55. May 5, 2010

    I do have that email address (alan@alanaragon.com), but I never use it because I’d rather use gmail. If you have any brilliant solutions Mr. Broland, give me a call :)

  56. May 5, 2010

    I just sent you some stuff on it. Take a look and if I can help, we can talk later.

    Off to the gym for me!

    Broland

  57. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    May 5, 2010

    I really DO think that Shawn would get good benefit from your help. I think gymnastics has a huge diet component to it really, but that the practices are very haphazard. Hmmm…how to get past the gatekeeper…hmm….

  58. BMJ permalink
    May 5, 2010

    How about an entry on the “HumaPro” hype?

    :)

  59. snorkelman permalink
    May 6, 2010

    I had to google HumaPro. Here is an excerpt from their website.

    Sure sounds like something that Alan would have fun interjecting with smart-ass comments.

    “ALRi is releasing the world’s first HUMAN protein. nothing like whey….and 1g of it will be equivalent to 5.6g of pharmecutical whey. (thats right…the kind in IV bags at hospitals). Very little waste, 99% anabolic, and due to its efficiency servings are 5-10g up to 4 times a day.

    40g of HUMAPRO will be equivalent to 224g of whey protein Isolate(pharm grade)”

  60. May 6, 2010

    I just checked out the HumaPro hype. Extraodrinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So far? ZIPPO.

    However, they did say, “Currently ALR Industries is funding 3 clinical and 2 University studies for Humapro™ with more to follow it only gets better from here while the rest try to catch up.”

    Wow, the credibility just makes me salivate.

  61. BMJ permalink
    May 6, 2010

    Sort of like a buttplug claim that he had inside information for super-secret HMB studies in the 90’s…LMAO!

    “…it feels like deca….”

    heh heh heh!

  62. May 7, 2010

    Always good to read your stuff Alan, gives me the lolz.

    At least T-nation isn’t selling “paleo puffs”…

    …maybe I shouldn’t speak too soon :D

  63. Matt permalink
    May 7, 2010

    wow, just wow.

    now i want applejacks……..

  64. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    May 15, 2010

    Alan: On the email, I purchased Google Apps. It was 50 bucks per year per user. Allowed me to redirect email from my registrar to a google email (transparent to the user). I think it is pretty good although setting it up irked me. Resented the time spent on IT crap versus doing/prospecting for business. But you told Broland, you wanted ideas…

    -BropolytonGP

  65. PolyisTCOandbanned permalink
    May 17, 2010

    I think Lyle has jumped the shark with his latest post on fat oxidation. He doesn’t show science references and dwells in minutea rather than the energy equation. And I’m sure he will have some blathering about how “he didn’t say that” and how “posters are stupid”. Blech.

    Aragon>Lyle!

  66. Mike L. permalink
    May 17, 2010

    Alan –

    You probably already saw this, but here’s a link to “Men’s Health” article on “The Chocolate Milk Diet.”

    http://health.yahoo.com/experts/eatthis/54828/the-chocolate-milk-diet/

    Really surprised you didn’t get any credit.

    On an aside, what do you think of Zinczenko’s “ab diet” stuff?

    -Mike

  67. Matt permalink
    May 17, 2010

    Poly – I believe Lyle wrote an entire book about stubborn fat oxidation, references included.

  68. snorkelman permalink
    May 18, 2010

    Mike, I actually gave that article a thumbs down. I am not sure of the target audience…middle age men who workout a few days a week or average Americans who read fitness websites and magazines but hardly engage in intense exercise? I am unsure, but there are some nuances in that piece that will certainly fly over a lot of newbies’ heads. While you can fit almost anything into a decent diet, this is basically calling the diet after chocolate milk and intending to use it as 3 meal replacements. Just because Alan has written about chocolate milk > Surge in the past doesn’t mean that chocolate milk is the optimal meal replacement for M1, pre-workout and post-workout.

    I love the designation of “a Yahoo! Health Expert for Nutrition” and I think that you should inspect the statements contained in that piece such as,

    “Researchers have determined that the ideal protein load for building muscle is 10 to 20 grams, half before and half after your workout. How much protein will you find in low-fat chocolate milk? Eight grams per cup. (That means one serving before your workout and one serving after will give you a total of 16 grams of highly effective whey protein—a perfect serving.) Add that to the extra cup you drank first thing in the morning and you’re looking at a turbocharged metabolism that keeps you burning calories all day long. ”

    Turbocharging your metabolism? Sure sounds like a nice fitness mag soundbite. As for the underlying science of the 10-20 grams of protein being “ideal for building muscle,” I am unsure how they reached that conclusion, assuming it is achieved solely from an eight-ounce serving of chocolate milk for M1, pre-w/o and post w/o. Again, I guess you gotta look at the target audience, but for most men who lift with intensity, 24 grams of protein replacing 3 meals is hardly going to allow them to come close to their target protein levels unless they are eating pretty large portions of protein during their other meals during the day. I suppose that a glass of milk pre workout at least places aminos in the blood, but I think that the average person reading that piece may actually believe that chocolate milk 3 times a day is optimal. I guess that is a risk when you have to pander to the masses.

  69. Mike L. permalink
    May 18, 2010

    Snorkelman –

    Absolutely. I’m just surprised that Alan didn’t get accredited as an inspiration.

    Sadly, “Men’s Health” is one of the better fitness/nutrition magazines out there and it is still rife with nonsense.

    -Mike L.

  70. May 18, 2010

    BMJ — Yeah, lotta shady crap out there.

    John — You never know what might be in the works.

    Matt — I haven’t had Applejacks in probably decades; it might be time to reunite with them.

    PolyisTCOandbanned — I haven’t gotten around to reading it, but I trust that Lyle covers his bases when making claims.

    Mike L & Snorkelman — I saw that, it’s pretty sensationalistic; almost as if it was meant to piss off chocolate milk haters. At least they’re sensationalizing with stuff that tastes yummy & is super-magic as a training drink when you throw some whey in it :).

  71. mark permalink
    May 20, 2010

    Your “article” on MSNBC about milk is complete crap, you are not qualified enough to be making assumptions about it. There is not one article you can find by an actual doctor that does not say it can lead to certain types of cancer.

  72. May 20, 2010

    Mark — Appeal to authority much? I suggest you go get yourself a nice warm milk mustache :)

  73. Josh R. permalink
    May 20, 2010

    Mark, there are two main things wrong about your post:

    1. You’re using an appeal to authority. “All doctors say this, so it is the truth.” It’s a classic logical fallacy and near useless in a debate. If you could actually prove that more than 50% of doctors thought milk was definitely a potent carcinogen, you would be making a point, but you just made up that fact on the spot.

    2. Your claim that most doctors think of milk as a potent carcinogen is completely false; the main doctors you listen to are likely alternative practitioners or vegan propagandists. Mainstream academia does not accept such a notion, as don’t most doctors (same appeal that you use except it’s more of the truth). Ofcourse, a few do, but that doesn’t magically discredit Aragon’s stance; their evidence is what would be capable of doing so, and from what I’ve seen, it isn’t too strong.

  74. jesse permalink
    May 21, 2010

    Alan, I went to the website, and I’m curious about the net nitrogen utilization part. At first, I told myself, “Great they just ridiculed whey protein by telling me meat has a better absorption rating. But tonight, I looked it up, and apparently only the sites of online retailers state this “net nitrogen utilization.” Basically this goes against both net protein utilization, modernly known as the Protein Digestiblility Corrected Amino Acid Score and BV, which both state that whey protein has the best rating. So to set the record straight, what has been widely accepted as the best method to measure protein quality and absorption? If NPU and BV are still the best, I might as well make whey protein (pharmaceutical grade) my primary source of protein. I mean, do these even matter in the goal of having a good looking body or in the goals of body recomposition?

  75. May 24, 2010

    Jesse — Indexes of protein quality are inhertently problematic, since they don’t necessarily consider the results of research comparing proteins’ effect on athletic pursuits such as muscular size &/or strength gain over the long term. This actually is a pretty complex subject with many factors involved, so I’ll point you to a good review article that should covers some of the subtleties: http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/87/5/1576S …Ultimately, however, as long as you get the majority of your protein from high-quality sources, one type versus another won’t make any meaningful difference in terms of body composition.

  76. June 8, 2010

    Good stuff as always. I have notice a trend there of virtually no science at all. I remember back in the days Lowery would write whole article based on science with tons of references. At least if people do not agree with the conclusions, they can easily look at the references, read up, and decide for themselves.

    Hell, the new “broscience” article had only 2 references! How do you bust broscience without friggin science. argh!!!

    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

  77. July 29, 2010

    This is an interesting review of an article in Testosterone Muscle. I have been participating in natural bodybuilding over 20 years. Testosterone Muscle is one of the many websites I visit for ideas for training. Your article illustrates why I void the website for nutritional guidance. My pre-workout drink is dextrose, creatine monohydrate, and branch chain amino acids (BCAA). My post workout drink is the basically the same with the addition of whey protein. I don’t know if you had a blog on BCAA. I have consistently use BCAA through my years of training. My usage is based on reading various research articles on BCAA’s role in muscle metabolism and synthesis. I attribute BCAA as a factor in maintaining the muscle mass I have at age 60. I am about same size as I was in my forties. You can see my anecdotal evidence at:
    http://www.flexonline.com/09contests/09excalibur/men/ultra_grand_masters_60/jerry_bruton/index.html
    Other senior bodybuilders ask how I keep my muscle mass. I reply with BCAA supplementation in my diet. I would appreciate your comments.

  78. July 31, 2010

    Jerry — The protein within most athletes’ diets contains plenty of BCAA. Therefore, the benefit of BCAA supplementation on top of a pre-existent abundance of protein intake is likely to be psychogenic. That is, the power of belief is driving the actions that produce results, rather than results being directly attributable to the extra BCAA.

  79. August 1, 2010

    Thanks for your comments. I don’t think my diet have the protein content of a typical athlete’s diet. My appetite is not the same as years ago. The BCAA supplement is insurance for what may be missing from my diet. The comment regarding psychogenic is interesting. It appears my mental disorder is attributing to my muscularity :-) In the future if a fellow senior bodybuilder ask how I keep my muscle mass I will reply with the obvious. I lift weights. Thanks again for your comments.

  80. Deep permalink
    August 27, 2010

    Hey Alan,

    I am a rookie trainer from India. This post simply rocks man. I was always queasy about the way the T-Nation and some other sites make it seem that without the latest “hi-tech” supplement, you won’t get anywhere.

    I am in an ethical dilemma. Should trainers make money on the supplements they recommend? I mean it kind of bring the credibility and the motives of the trainer’s advice into question. But every single top fitness pro does it.
    What do you say? Help me out.

    Cheers from India,
    Deep

  81. August 30, 2010

    Deep — If the supplement is legitimate & not a scam job, then I see no problem with profiting from supplement sales. If the person doesn’t need the supplement, or if the supplement doesn’t have enough research backing, then there would be an ethical issue with profiting from that.

  82. Deep permalink
    November 1, 2010

    Hey Alan,

    Thanks for the clarification. I still feel uneasy though.

    Regards,
    Deep

  83. March 5, 2013

    Hello are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create
    my own. Do you need any coding knowledge to make your own
    blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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