Mistakes, Protocol, Pros and Cons
There is no bodybuilding without protein. Protein cycling(PC) is a strategy where bodybuilders alternate between periods of high, low, and normal protein consumption. A high protein diet is a secret to hardcore bodybuilding but it will not help you maintain the perfect body; protein cycling does. Your body needs various kinds of proteins to grow and strengthen muscle, both natural and from supplements. Protein cycling is based on measured protein consumption from various amounts of protein and different sources, normally within a two-week cycle.
However, high protein consumption, for a long time, has been found to induce anabolic resistance. Athletes such as bodybuilders are required to pay attention to how their body rehydrates, replenishes, and repairs after every exercise. That will help you adapt to training faster than usual and reduces the chances of getting fatigued. Additionally, skeletal muscles normally mass with aging.
Related Article:: Protein Powder Supplement Comparison – Which Type To Choose?
Anabolic resistance refers to reduced muscle ability to stimulate protein synthesis. Aging comes with anabolic resistance even though feeding-induced simulation remains constant. However, for some people, there are some elements of feeding resistance that affects their protein intake significantly.
Helpful Facts in Protein Cycling
It is recommended that you take one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Every fitness enthusiast must make sure this is followed religiously if they want to have an enviable body. Most fitness professionals have achieved a lot body-wise by making sure their body is not short of proteins needed for MPS. Additionally, they can take only what will contribute to muscle growth without necessarily adding extra pounds of fat. If you weigh 250 pounds, you are required to take anywhere between 240 and 260 grams of protein daily.
Although this might be difficult to achieve due to many factors, it is important to make sure it is done at least 4 days a week. Otherwise, you might not achieve the required muscle mass. Moreover, the rate and intensity of your exercises will dictate whether you will need slightly more or less of the recommended amount. Elite bodybuilders, for example, can take up to 2 grams per pound of their body weight. If a bodybuilder is looking to increase protein synthesis and nitrogen retention, they must take high-protein foods like beef, fish, chicken, etc.
Rapid muscle growth does not only stop at taking more protein. It involves taking them properly, and with carbs. Additionally, the diet must also include proper fat intake. The trick is trying to balance the three, not substituting one with the other. Like mentioned earlier, taking too much or too little protein might not achieve the desired results as far as bodybuilding and fitness is concerned. it doesn’t matter whether your body is natural or not, only take the amount of protein that it can accommodate.
Also, people are wrong to assume that carbs are entirely bad and proteins are entirely good. As long as the balance is maintained, then you’re good to go. Fats on the other hand are a bit different. The fact about fats is that you will get fat if you take more fat, but the reverse is not true. Depending on your routine, only take a certain amount of fat every day. For instance, you cannot take the same amount of fat when doing intensive exercises and when doing light ones like just training your shoulders. You will need more energy to do deadlifts and other full-body routines, and most of that energy comes from burning fat.
Protein Cycling Protocol
It is no doubt that intermittent fasting and protein cycling is the best way to slow down aging for bodybuilders. Additionally, there is growing evidence that protein cycling helps prevent diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. While the average human takes about 70 grams of protein per day, bodybuilders need about twice that to maintain their muscle mass. A typical bodybuilder protein cycling involves halving protein intake within the first five days and doubling it thereafter. Depriving your body of proteins within the first five days enhances autophagy, which is the process of your body carrying out protein recycling.
The greatest bodybuilders we have today have successfully stimulated greater protein retention through protein cycling. And that is exactly where the secret to their success lies. Unknown to many, protein cycling is not something easy to go about. The truth of the matter is that many people struggle to make this dream a reality, something that has greatly affected their fitness career. For bodybuilding newbies, we are going to show you the steps you can use for proper protein cycling.
Step 1: Reduce Protein Intake for the First 5 Days
For about 5 days, reduce the amount of protein you take considerable, to maybe half the amount you used to take. However, it i0s recommended that you take not more than 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of bodyweight within those five days and see how your body responds to the change. You shouldn’t be worried that you might shrink within those few days. No, it takes much longer for your muscle mass to show a significant reduction. However, be careful not to take too little protein during that period. You must not go below 0.5 grams per pound of body weight.
Although your body may change its metabolic rate to accommodate the deficiency of protein, there is a certain limit as to how much change it can sustain. The resulting anti-catabolic effect from reduced protein metabolism has been found to enhance muscle growth. In essence, regularly reducing your protein intake induces muscle preservation by your body. At the same time, your muscles will be growing at almost the same rate as before. The result is increased muscle mass over a relatively short period.
Step 2: Increase Protein Intake After 5 Days
Up your protein intake after the first 5 days. Remember that the first step involved reducing protein consumption to induce enzymatic anti-catabolism. Once you switch gears in this second stage and start taking more protein, your body starts accumulating more protein and building more muscle. The enzymes that cause protein anti-catabolism will slow metabolism while the surge in protein consumption will enhance more muscle growth. Bodybuilders with a bodyweight of more than 200 pounds should start taking between 1.5 and 1.8 grams of protein per pound at this stage. You should then increase the rate to 2 grams per pound a day for ten days if you’re on a two-week cycle. All this is geared towards helping the body achieve a hyper-anabolic state which is highly enzymatic and ideal for muscle growth.
Must Read:: Best Diet Plan for Bodybuilders 2019
Protein Cycling Mistakes to Avoid
Protein cycling may not achieve the desired results for you if you don’t do some things right. Here are some protein cycling mistakes to avoid.
1. Taking More Than You Can Sustain
Some bodybuilders are impatient and want instant transformation. While bodybuilding is all about gratification, be careful not to overwhelm your body with proteins. Most protein foods that promise quick results to come with certain restrictions in terms of what amount of it to take and how to take it. It is very tempting to bypass such requirements do everything as you like. That is disadvantageous from many angles. One is that you may end up taking extra calories in the process which may not help you achieve the ideal muscle mass.
Similarly, if you are taking protein foods with extremely low calories, and too much of them, you may experience an uncomfortable weight loss. You are not supposed to lose more than the recommended weight as a bodybuilder because it might take longer to recover. Most people will normally gain their weight back after six months. That is a bit too long in professional bodybuilding and fitness. It is the reason you should never take more protein than your body can sustain.
2. Changing Programs Frequently
You can only engage in beneficial protein cycling if you stick to one working program. Unfortunately, many bodybuilders may be hopping from one program to the other, which is not advisable. The reason is that you may erase the gains you have made in the previous cycling program when you shift to a new one. Additionally, you may not get any results if you are not patient enough to finish the program. There is no other secret to getting results in protein cycling except patience and consistency with the chosen program. Even when you feel you are losing the confidence and motivation, stick to your program anyway. You will be surprised at how fast you will get the desired results when you stick to one program. Note that changing programs involves reducing the amount of protein to take in grams per pound of body weight.
3. Setting Unrealistic Goals
It is okay to aim high, but not having expectations that exceed your abilities. If you form a habit of coming up with unrealistic bodybuilding goals when it comes to protein cycling, chances are you may never achieve anything. If you are looking to increase muscle by a big margin within a short time, for example, you may be forced to consume more proteins than recommended. You may not only fail to achieve your ‘goal’ but you may also put your entire bodybuilding career in jeopardy. Weight loss and muscle gain takes time and set your expectations a bit too high will only bring frustration. The reason is that you will always feel like you are not getting what you deserve even though you are putting a lot of effort into it.
4. Losing Focus as Soon as You Begin a Nutrition Program
Protein cycling to lose a certain amount of fat or to attain a particular lean muscle mass is no walk in the park. You have to drive yourself every day with unwavering discipline. It is that kind of consistency that will give you the results you need. You may not achieve the results 100% but you will get up to 90% with consistency. Whether you will maintain your focus to the end of the program will also depend on the kind of nutrition program you choose. For this reason, it is important that you only go for a program that is sustainable as indicated in No. 1 above.
Related Article:: Top 10 best Immune Boosting Supplements to buy in 2020
Protein Cycling Pros and Cons
Protein cycling bodybuilding is not without immense benefits as well as drawbacks. While you may not realize all the benefits you need, you are assured of more than 50% gains, at least like mentioned, don’t make your expectations so high because this is a process and it takes time. The following are some pros and cons associated with protein cycling.
Pro: Most protein foods are easy to find
Most bodybuilders have tight schedules and do not get the time to get protein foods that are not found in their locality. Luckily, most protein isolates are quite accessible and convenient. Take the case of a milkshake, for example, it is virtually at arm’s length in your nearest store.
Con: Protein powder doesn’t contain all the nutrients you may need
Even if you manage to get a convenient protein supplement, you may still be forced to look for other food nutrients not found in it. that cancels the convenience of finding something like protein powder shake somehow.
Pro: Older bodybuilders benefit the most from protein cycling
It has been established that older bodybuilders benefit the most from protein cycling due to their bodies’ enhanced protein sustainability. Most of them engage in highly intensive training exercises that enable them to take between 1.6 to 2 grams per pound of body weight and still get more results. Younger bodybuilders on the other hand can only take 0.5 to 1.2 grams of proteins per pound to get the desired results. It is highly unlikely that young bodybuilders will get any additional benefits from taking more than 1.8 grams per pound.
Con: You don’t need only supplements for protein cycling
You can attain the recommended protein intake by merely taking ordinary high-protein foods such as fish, eggs, beef, Almonds, lentils, soy milk, and many more. That means you don’t necessarily have to take protein supplements to achieve lean muscle mass or weight-loss.
Pro: Protein Powder is the perfect supplement for weight loss
Like you may already know, protein powder is a highly concentrated source of protein for bodybuilders looking to lose weight. Pro bodybuilding requires a constant muscle mass and taking protein powder in their cycles ensures they do not accumulate many calories at the expense of muscle.
Con: You will come across protein supplements with too much sugar and other additives
Without sugars and other additives, you may not stand the taste of most protein isolates. Although these substances improve the taste and make the supplements worth eating, they are not good for bodybuilders. Unless you are ready to put up with the awful taste of protein supplements left on your mouth supplements, sugars and other additives will always be a part of your protein cycling diet.
Protein Cycling Side Effects
Protein cycling is a relatively new concept and not much research has been carried out on it. The process has been found to have certain side effects on bodybuilders. However, it is important to note that side effects happen in virtually every aspect of bodybuilding. It is somehow normal so you shouldn’t freak out on experiencing some of them, unless they become life-threatening, of course. Here are some common side effects associated with protein cycling:
- Possible kidney damage and malfunction
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of muscle
- Increased bowel movements and cramps
- Interference of the body’s nutrient absorption
List of Amazon Products for Protein Cycling
Medline ENT693SFOC Active Liquid Protein
BioTrust Low Carb Protein Powder
Thinner Leaner Stronger
As stated in the first sentence of this article, protein is king in bodybuilding, and it is the main dietary factor for every athlete. However, it is how you take it that makes the difference. When you feel like your body is no longer retaining as much protein as necessary for your bodybuilding purposes, protein cycling becomes a viable option. Let no one lie to you that protein cycling only works for a particular group of people. every bodybuilder can benefit from protein cycling so long as they follow the right protocol.
Bodybuilders work longer and harder than most athletes, and that is why they need the means. The means here means bigger and stronger muscle to sustain the intensive workouts. With protein cycling, the bodybuilder can maintain a good form throughout the season. Pro bodybuilders no longer follow the tradition of taking one gram per pound of their body weight. The reason is that the industry is increasingly becoming more competitive and only the best make it to the top.
Protein cycling has enabled them to beat opponents to the title by eating as much as 2.5 grams per pound of protein. However, there is always a limit as to how much protein a bodybuilder should consume. The limit depends on how much protein your body can sustain to help you reach your full potential. That means you have an extra assignment of studying your body to determine your protein intake limits.