How Strong is Strong Enough to Stay Healthy? You Got To Leg and Bench Press More Than Twice Your Body Weight to Side Step A 120% Increased Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

Don’t worry, the sum of both your bench and leg press 1-RM must be ~2.5x your body weight, not each of the dumbbells you use, when you do DB bench presses ;-)

As a SuppVersity reader and Super Human Radio listener, you are well aware of the vital importance of physical strength as a determinant not just of the length, but also and more importantly of the quality of your life.

Scientist from the Manitoba Institute of Child Health have now conducted the first study that was specifically designed identify the threshold of muscle strength or rather weakness that would be associated with an increased likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome in men. As Martin Sénéchal and his colleagues point out, this threshold could be used to identify men at risk of chronic disease, before it’s to late to intervene. Find out if you are strong enough!

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The scientists created receiver operating curves for muscle strength and the risk of MetS from a cross-sectional sample of 5685 young (<50 years) and 1541 older (>50 years) who enrolled in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study.

Table 1: Participant characteristics — Continuous variables are presented as mean TSD, and categorical variables are presented a sn(%).

The primary outcome measure, the MetS, was defined according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. Upper and lower body muscle strength was treated as a composite measure of one-repetition maximum tests on bench and leg press and scaled to body weight.

“Low muscle strength was defined as the lowest age-specific 20th percentile, whereas high muscle strength was defined as composite muscle strength above the 20th percentile.”(Sénéchal. 2014)

If you take a look at the baseline values in Table 1 on the right hand side of this paragraph, you will see that the older gentlemen in the study at hand were not just significantly unfitter, they were also fatter (waist circumference) and had – no wonder – a significantly higher rate of metabolic syndrome.

Against that background it’s not surprising that the study found highly significant risk increases for metabolic syndrome in those subjects with low vs. moderate / high muscle strength. After adjustment  for age, smoking status, and alcohol intake young weaklings’ risk of developing metabolic syndrome is 120% higher than that of stronger young men. For the older guys, things don’t look much better.

How strong is strong enough? In order to avoid the significant increase in metabolic syndrome risk, young men have to leg press and bench press 2.86kg per kg of body weight. Older men (50+) must have an average lower body and upper body strength (assessed as 1-RM on supine bench press and seated leg press) of 2.46kg per kg body mass. With a 112% risk increase the weak 50+ agers are also more than twice as likely to develop metabolic strength.

Unsurprisingly, a further adjustment for cardiovascular fitness lead to a significant reduction of the associated risks from +120% and +112% to 23% and 32% respectively. In that, it is probably worth mentioning that strength appears to have a greater influence in older vs. younger men.

The significant impact of an adjustment for physical fitness, i.e. a measure that has all to do with cardio training (LISS / HIIT) and general physical activity and only very little with how much you lift on a 1-RM max effort should yet remind you that brute strength alone is not going to save you (fat) ass if you are one of the 21.8% of people who (dis)qualified as being inactive in their leisure time.

“Trying to Build Strength? Periodized Training Yields 30% / 34% / 77% Increases in Bench Press, Squat and Deadlift Performance” | read more

Bottom line: While we have long known that muscular weakness is a correlate of increased mortality and reduced quality of life in the elderly, the study at hand is the first to provide some orientation as to how strong you have to be to avoid health problems.

In that it may be surprising that the difference between young and old men is significantly lower than you’d expect: 14% or 0.4kg per kg body weight that’s not exactly much and a value that tells us that the 65-year-old 95kg father of a 35-year-old 90kg son has to bench and leg press only ~10% less than his son (233.7 kg vs. 257.4 kg | for bench + leg press).

…What? Yes, I am pissed, too, but I hope that the scientists will soon come up with a similar study in women. I mean, we all know that muscle strength is nothing only men benefit from, right?

Reference:

  • Sénéchal, Martin, et al. “Cut-Points of Muscle Strength Associated with Metabolic Syndrome in Men.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2014).

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From Smaller to Baller – 3 Transformation You’ll Want to See

thumbnail“After my first semester at college, i had already gained 10 pounds of the freshman 15, much to my disappointment. Returning home at semester my brother asked, “what happened to you?” and thats when the search started for a fat shredding, muscle gaining program that would get me shredded quickly, without wasting what little time I had extra at college.

I started working out about one and a half years ago with the goal to get an eight pack. But it turned out to be quite a bit of a challenge as there’s much more to it than just doing sit ups. Thanks to Google I was able to figure out that the right nutrition’s the key and soon I also stumbled upon Vince’s blog.

After searching over and under, Maximize Your Muscle caught my eye with a very affordable first month of the program. So i started the program, and was astounded by the fat burned, and changes in my body. My roommate at college told me that watching me change was “inspiring stuff”, and he then borrowed my first month of the program when i started month 2 of MYM. After just one month of the program i had packed on 10 pounds of pure muscle!

Never in my life have i accomplished something like this before. As the months went on, i saw rapid and incredible changed, not only in my body, but in my behavior. Every month, i was challenged with something new, a different way i can better my way of life, and ways of reaching my newly set goals, made in month number two.

Every month, my roommate and I would pick a new quote from the MYM book and post it in our status’ on facebook or on the wall of our room. My personal favorite was “You will not soar with the eagles if you’re running with the turkey’s”. Where I evaluated who I was hanging out with, and decided whether or not those people would help me become the person I wanted to become, and from there I saw the most improvement in my life. I started being true to myself, my friends, and my family. With this achiever’s mind-set, i was able to change my body. With the help of MYM i figured out important things in my life, packed on muscle, and got ripped. Now when someone asks me if i gained the “freshman 15″ at college, and can proudly say, “yes i did–all in muscle”.

My arms exploded and got Huge during this program, I finally found my six pack, and packed on over 15 pounds of pure muscle during Maximize Your Muscle! Thanks Vince for the incredible program, and life lessons every month. This program was truely life-changing.

“You can’t soar with the eagles if you’re running with the turkeys”.

Matt Beukelman
Mitchell, South Dakota

Program Used: Maximize Your Muscle

 


​”Hi! Vince Del Monte,

The biggest obstacle was facing the people, who were laughing at me, and said on my face , that I can’t get big or gain the weight!! They said its my genetics. But I actually used this depression as my motivation.

As a result I gained 32 pounds of solid muscles in just 6 months maintaining 6-7% body Fat. As a result I was offered the position of Personal Trainer in my Gym.
Now I hit the platue at 155 pound. By this time I came across your name So I ordered Vince’s workouts and followed them.
I started gaining weight again.. At this moment i am 175 pound and aiming for 200 lbs.
Thank You,
Maulik

 .


 

I always had a hard time applying for the Fit Factor At Bodypower. Due to personal reasons I’d backed out, but then I got a message from Nick Orton (the CEO of Physique Elite) which pushed me into applying. I applied only because I knew my current level of conditioning was good. I was doing hardcore Crossfit for 2 months but was eating bad, no excuses. shot up to 15% body fat at 80-81kgs and lost quite a bit of hypertrophy.

When my application to Fit Factor got accepted, I hired a coach for my workout program, while I designed my own nutrition, HIIT, martial arts, stretching and core training. I strategized ahead and logged every single detail in my notebook. I carried it everywhere.
.
I burned anywhere between 2500-3000 calories a day. In 25 days I dropped 6% body fat and today I stand in front of you in the finals of the most prestigious fitness and health competition in the country at 9% body fat! So yea man, dream big and go for it. BUT be realistic!
Read more about Tharun inspiring transformation by clicking here.

Tharun Sholarajan

Program used: 8-8-16 Hyper Growth Protocol

 

 .

.

.


 

Here is MY transformation.

vince-before-and-after

Every month we have a mini-transformation contest.

The prize will be your choice one of my products/programs (excluding Hypertrophy MAX) and a free LIFETIME membership to my Live Large Inner Circle! Pretty good deal, eh!?!

To be eligible for this contest you must have used one of my programs or used some of my Facebook/YouTube tips to help you transform your body. There will be no required date range for the photo.

I will be choosing the winner of these contests along with my team, and we will be featuring the contestants on the Facebook Fan Page as they come in. The winner will be announced at the end of each month.

Send your before and after pictures to personal@vincedelmontefitness.com with the subject line “Mini-Transformation Contest”

Here’s a quick look at the prizes you’ll be eligible for (excluding HMAX)! –> http://ift.tt/1h9lCA4

If you haven’t heard about my Live Large Inner Circle, you can learn more here –> www.LiveLargeTV.com/

Good luck!!!!

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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mammoth Chest And Back Workout

Basic exercises, heavy weights, high volume, and high frequency are the techniques Arnold Schwarzenegger used to build his massive chest and back. Try the workout!

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From Powerlifter To Bodybuilder

Shawn Frankl went from focusing on strength as a powerlifter to carving out a bodybuilder's physique. He followed different approaches to training and nutrition but learned that, above all else, nutrition is the key.

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The Ultimate 30-Day Beginner’s Guide To Fitness

The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Fitness will teach you the fundamentals of training, nutrition, and supplementation in only 30 days. This is fitness made simple one day at a time, one challenge at a time. Take the first step!

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Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Gavin Brings Intensity To Ireland!

Gavin took incremental steps that led to the bodybuilding podium and got a taste of what's to come. Check out the training and nutrition plans he uses to go big!

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23g of Dairy Protein + 5g of Leucine Turn Cardio Sessions Into Muscle Building Workouts – More Protein + Extra Leucine = Higher mTOR, But Minimally Improved FSR

No matter how much you supplement, running will probably never be the “most anabolic” sport of all. On the other hand, it’s certainly less catabolic than broscienctific horror stories of muscle loss and weakness would tell.

Researchers from the Massey University Wellington claim: “Ingesting 23 g of protein with 5 g added leucine achieved near-maximal FSR after endurance exercise.” (Rowlands. 2014; my emphasis). If you think “near-maximal” fractional protein synthesis after endurance exercises sounds incredible, I would like to invite you to join me and take a look at the design and results of this recent study from the School of Sport and Exercise.

As the authors point out, “the purpose of this study was to determine if a reduced dose of protein and leucine ingested following endurance exercise resulted in a similar anabolic signal impulse for the stimulation of skeletal muscle myofibrillar protein FSR, relative to the higher protein-leucine dose associated previously with improved recovery of performance.” (Rowlands. 2014)

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In addition Rowlands and colleagues examined the phosphorylation (as a surrogate marker of activity)of signaling proteins within the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway to study the associations between plasma amino acids, translational signaling and myofibrillar FSR. The scientists’ hypothesis was that the lower ingested quantity of protein (23 g) plus leucine (5g) would be sufficient to stimulate myofibrillar FSR to an equivalent magnitude to a 3-fold higher amount.

If the latter was possible, Rowland et al. assumed that the mTORC1 pathway phosphorylation between the two protein-leucine would be identical, as well.
The subjects were 12 endurance-trained male cyclists with mean age 30 y, stature 179 cm, and weight 78.1 kg (7.8) completed the study. Mean VO 2 max was 60.4 mL/kg /min with a corresponding Wmax of 323 W.

Figure 1: Graphical overview of the experimental procedure (Rowlands. 2014)

“The research design was a randomized single-blind triple crossover. Details of one of the three 7-d experimental blocks and the experimental testing protocol are provided in Figure 1. Two weeks prior to the first experimental block, participants completed a standard test on a Velotron ergometer (Racer Mate, Seattle, USA) to determine VO2 max and Wmax. The next day participants completed a familiarization of the testing procedure (100-min cycle, see below) (Figure 1A).

Physical activity and diet were standardized for 4.5-d prior to a 2-d period of control prior toeach experimental testing day. Standardization was prescribed by way of verbal and writing instructions and record in training and dietary recall diaries; participants were asked to replicate on days -6 to -2 (outcomes not recorded). Control of exercise on protocol day -2 (Figure 1A) comprised a 90-min ride with a warm up of 10 min at 30% (Wmax), 8 min at 40%, 2 min at 50%, then intervals (4 x 5 min at 70%) interspersed with three blocks of 3 x 2-min intervals at 85%, 80%, and 75%, respectively, interspersed with 2-min periods at 50%, followed by 5 min at 40%.”

Following this ride and for the remainder of day and day following (Figure 1B), participants performed no training and were provided with a preweighed diet providing sufficient energy to balanceindividual caloric requirements based on the Harris-Benedict equation for activity factor of 1.6.

Don’t be fooled by the amino acid additions: While there is plenty of evidence that “optimized amino acid blends” or “enhancements” are great for supplement producers to justify why they’re selling you cheap whey protein / bullshit amino acid products at a crazy price, there is no evidence that they are superior to plain whey protein (see “Are You Still Wasting Money on Amino Acid Products?” | read more)… What? Oh, you want to know why Rowlands et al. do it in the study at hand? Well, because they work for Nestec Ltd. aka Nestlé – I guess that’s also why there was no 30g of pure whey isolate control ;-)

The 100 min of cycling comprised a warm-up (as above), intervals (%Wmax) of 8 x 2-min (90%), 2 x 5 min (70%), 2 x 2 min (80%) and 3 x 1 min (100%), interspersed with recovery 2-min (50%); and 8 min cool-down (40%). During exercise, participants consumed 800 ml /h of artificially sweetened electrolyte solution to maintain hydration and were fan cooled.

The supplementation regimen

Following exercise, participants showered, and then ingested the first nutrition serving 10-min after cessation of exercise and subsequently every 30 min over the first 90 min of the 240-min assessed recovery (Figure 1B).

Figure 2: Nutrient composition of the test drinks, which contained a whey + milk mixture that was enriched with leucine and spiked with maltodextrine, fructose and canola oil (Rowlands. 2014)

“The experimental beverages consisted of milk-based drinks containing milk protein concentrat and whey protein isolate (2:1 w/w), L-leucine, maltodextrin and fructose (1:1 w/w), and freeze dried canola oil. Four equal servings of 300 ml of the beverages were consumed during the recovery period for a total volume of 1200 ml.[...] The 15LEU supplement was compared to one-third of the protein-leucine quantity (23.3/5/180/30 g, 5LEU) – an intake hypothesised to yield a bioequivalent similar myofibrillar FSR, and to a nonnitrogenous, isocaloric control (0/0/274/30 g, CON). All beverages also contained 1.4 g NaCl, 14.4 g vanilla essence, and 3.6 g of emulsifier (Paalsgard 0096, Paalsgard A/S, Denmark) per 1200 mL.”

As the data in Figure 3 shows, even the “small” shake was potent enough to achieve (almost) maximal fractional 0.95%/h protein synthesis rates.

Figure 3: mTOR (C1+C2) response to protein ingestion (left) corresponding mean fractional protein synthesis (%/h; right) in the 12 healthy male subjects (Rowlands. 2014)

Although the 15LEU = high protein drink achieved minimally higher protein synthesis rates, the discrepancy between the extremely elevated mTOR levels early post ingestion and the effective differences in FSR clearly suggest that we are approaching a physiological maximum with at FSR rates of 0.11% /h… or as Rowland et al. put it:

“The current myofibrillar FSR appeared to be limited by an undefined intramuscular mechanism since only a small and bioequivalent increase in FSR occurred with 15LEU despite sustained 1.4- to 1.9-fold higher plasma leucine and amino-acid concentrations and higher p70S6K-rpS6 phosphorylation.” (Rowlands. 2014)

With reference to previous research by Atherton et al., Rowlands et. al. speculate that they may have encountered a “muscle full” effect (Atherton. 2010) to explain the discordance between human muscle protein synthesis and mtorc1 signaling.

Figure 4: Fractional protein synthesis in response to resistance training + whey protein ingestion (Tang. 2009)

Bottom line: Whether we are seeing a “muscle full” effect is something that’s difficult to tell. What appears to be certain, though, is that resistance training allows for a greater uptake of protein synthesis (Tang. 2009; 0.15% /h in response to resistance training + whey protein). Although the supplements were somewhat different, I am thus inclined to believe that the absence of resistance training and the corresponding mTOR-C2 activation in response to aerobic ( (mTORC1 by supplementation, only) vs. resistance training (mTORC1 by supplementation, mTORC2 by contraction) is the limiting factor, here (Drummond. 2009).

The latter would imply that the results are not applicable to resistance training directly. Even if corresponding studies clearly suggest that there is a limit to the benefits of “evermore” protein with resistance training, as well, the “limit” may be higher than “just” 23g of mixed dairy protein + 5g of leucine.

Reference:

  • Atherton, Philip J., et al. “Muscle full effect after oral protein: time-dependent concordance and discordance between human muscle protein synthesis and mTORC1 signaling.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 92.5 (2010): 1080-1088.
  • Drummond, Micah J., et al. “Rapamycin administration in humans blocks the contraction-induced increase in skeletal muscle protein synthesis.” The Journal of physiology 587.7 (2009): 1535-1546.
  • Rowlands, David S., et al. “Protein-Leucine Fed Dose Effects on Muscle Protein Synthesis After Endurance Exercise.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2014).
  • Tang, Jason E., et al. “Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men.” Journal of Applied Physiology 107.3 (2009): 987-992.

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