“Hyperstore” your protein.
In the bodybuilding world, protein is king. It’s the main nutritional factor that leads to growing bigger and stronger muscles. For most athletes the age old saying goes, “for every pound of weight you must consume a gram of protein.” But bodybuilders need to be bigger than most athletes. They need to work out longer and harder than most athletes. So of course they should eat more protein than most athletes… right?
Today, many pro bodybuilders don’t stop at 1 gram per pound – but instead might hit upwards of 2 or even 2.5 grams. The thought behind this is, more protein equals more muscle.
Does this actually help?
Yes and no. Surely an intense bodybuilding diet requires more than 1 gram of protein per pound. But there is definitely a limit to how much protein a person can consume in a day. What is that exact limit? We’re not quite sure – but a 200 lb bodybuilder eating 450 grams of protein might be overkill. So assuming that taking in a boatload of protein isn’t the solution to truly maximizing your muscle gains – what else can a bodybuilder do?
Enter Protein Cycling
Protein cycling is a dietary system that mixes up how much protein you consume everyday within a 2 week cycle. Instead of using the baseline of one gram per pound of bodyweight – you have a week of low protein and then a week of protein boosting.
Sure, you can play it safe by consuming mass amounts of protein in the hopes of maximizing your gains to massive proportions. But there’s one major thing that many bodybuilders forget about – carbohydrates.
Muscle growth & protein is directly correlated to carbohydrates. Those who go way too heavy on protein usually eat far too few carbs. This prevents optimal muscle growth.
So while the tried and true method of one gram per pound might work just fine – why don’t you try out protein cycling and see if you can maximize those gains even further. Who knows, it might give you that edge to take out the competition. Let’s break it down:
For the first five days, eat less protein than the usual one gram per pound. Try something like .8 or .85 per pound instead. When you eat less protein, your body adapts and slows the rate at which protein breaks down in your body. Slowing protein breakdown is half the battle to supporting muscle growth. So let’s move onto the other half…
Now it’s time to switch gears and boost that protein intake. This time we raise the bar past one gram per pound and move up to something like 1.5 or even 1.75 grams. Now that you’ve slowed the breaking down of protein – this tricks your body into “hyperstorage” mode. You’re still breaking the protein down slowly, but also packing on a lot more. This really boosts your protein synthesis, thus building up a lot more muscle tissue.
Keep doing this for nine days of the two week cycle. Then you start all over again.
Should You Use Protein Cycling?
Protein cycling keeps your body from settling down into one groove. It’s like how mixing up your workouts can help break you through a plateau. Is this an effective replacement for the long accepted benchmark of one gram per pound of bodyweight? That depends on the person. You can never go wrong with the baseline of one gram per pound – but if you want to try and get a little edge over the competition, protein cycling might work for you. Give it a shot and see if you notice a difference. If not, you can always quickly return to your traditional diet.