Read time: 1 minute
People still believe they must eat more calories or more protein in order to build more muscle. Then 12 months later they look down at a waist that has grown in proportion to their pecs.
They’re bigger in their clothes, but they don’t look better in their swimming trunk.
You know I love simplicity, but we tend to oversimplify a complex process. We think linear rather than biology — biology with its genes that turn on or off, enzymes created or destroyed, pathways open or close.
Muscle mass is no more a result of dietary protein intake than bone calcium a result of dietary calcium intake. It is not so much intake but retention that matters.
Our ancestors did not enjoy supplemental calcium from a plastic bottle. Instead they loaded their bodies with daily activities and general movement; they didn’t overeat and become inflamed and they didn’t load up mostly on refined food void of vital minerals.
They maintained lifestyle habits that stimulated a bone-mineral balance that favored retention rather than loss (resorption).
So long as they receive the minimum calcium from their natural diet, the stimuli of life do the rest.
Muscle mass works essentially the same way. As long as you get the minimum protein requirement from your food, the mechanical stimulus of lifting something does the rest.
Think of muscle-building like this:
- Muscle volume is a result of either muscle protein retention, or muscle protein loss.
- Mechanical stimulus “turns on” muscle protein retention — it knocks the protein recycling balance to favor retention rather than loss.
- The stimulus that “turns on” retention is proper weight training.
- Genetics determine the rest.
Simplifying, without oversimplification.