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episode #237

Q & A: Building Muscle, Supplements and What to Eat

March 27, 2023 in Podcast


This week I answered a few questions about building muscle as we age, effective exercises for building muscle, when is the best time to workout, what frequency should you workout at, key nutrients, and supplements for building muscle.

Hopefully this episode will help motivate you that it's never too late to build and maintain muscle mass. If you have any additional questions please let me know. Email me at brian@briangryn.com.

Have a great day!

Brian (1s):

Hello and welcome to the Get Lean and Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian grn. I'm a certified health coach, trainer and author, and this podcast is for middle-aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple, actionable items to get long-term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show. All right, welcome to the Get Lean e Klean podcast. Mine is Brian Grn and hopefully you had a great weekend. Happy Tuesday if you're listening to this on Tuesday, hopefully you listen to my interview with Chris MEbA.

Brian (43s):

We touched all about human longevity, the 12 hallmarks of aging. He's the c e O of Novos, so if you haven't checked out that company, they got some really cool products. There's links in the show notes to check it out. We also talked, talked about energy metabolism, cognition with a product called N M N if you haven't heard of that. So really enjoyed meeting Chris and interviewing him. So check out episode 2 36 and today I wanted to touch on strength. Obviously if you're li if you're a listener to the podcast, it's something we talk a lot about cuz it's important to maintain an increased strength if you can as we get older because of, you know, sarcopenia, which is muscle loss as we get older.

Brian (1m 27s):

So if you don't use it, you're gonna lose it. And I wanna just cut, I got gotten some questions from some individuals so I figured I'd just answer 'em on the podcast and hopefully this'll help benefit you as well and you know, get you motivated to, to help gain muscle as you age. So the first question was, what is the best way to gain muscle? And obviously this approach, you know, can depend on the individual, you know, their age, their weight, their activity level, their sort of past history. But the bottom line is there's some general principles around building muscle. One is, you know, eating a healthy diet, you know, you can still build muscle and eat junk, but essentially if you're not prioritizing protein, it's gonna be that much more difficult.

Brian (2m 8s):

So, you know, that's the building block to building new muscle. Obviously you can't just eat protein and build muscle, right? You gotta do both. So lifting resistance, doing re resistance training and eating plenty of protein. I would say average. Say if you can average about 30 grams per meal, that would be great. Obviously exercise, stimulating muscle growth is important. Weightlifting obviously really important and even, you know, I see a lot of women getting away from weightlifting, but it's so important for women or men, doesn't matter the sex. And another one that can help with building muscle is prioritizing rest and recovery.

Brian (2m 50s):

You know, there's individuals who I know who probably overdo it and they don't allow their bodies to recover, but I always find that when I prioritize recovery, my workouts are that much better. So muscle growth is gonna, is going to occur during periods of rest. So if you're never allowing your body to rest, and a lot of times that's during sleep, so I getting quality sleep is huge as well because obviously you're allowing your muscles to recover between workouts. So those are good three principles right there. Prioritizing protein, lifting weights, and also allowing your body to rest and recover. Another question was, what are the most effective exercises for building muscle?

Brian (3m 35s):

Well, you know, you hear a lot about what's, what's the goal? Is it strength? Is it, is it hypertrophy? Honestly, there, there it, there's not a black and white, like a lot of people will say to build strength, you gotta require, you know, it's gonna require lifting heavy weights at a, at lower reps, you know, three to five reps, but there, it's not all black and white, right? So if you do a little less weight with higher reps, you still can build strength, you'll probably build some endurance as well. I think for the, for a long time I would lift 15 to 20 reps as I was, you know, sort of growing through, you know, my, my twenties and my thirties and occasionally brought the reps down.

Brian (4m 18s):

But I think it's, you know, if you're 40, 50 plus and you're just doing like three rep max, you know, three reps and five reps, you're, you're putting yourself in danger of potentially getting injured because obviously you're putting a lot of load on yourself, now you wanna have some load, right? Like if you're doing 20 plus reps and it's super, super easy, that's not enough, but you gotta sort of find that fine line for me. I like to hover around 10 to 12 reps. That's normally what a lot of experts will tell you regarding hypertrophy. And so that's a good place to start. Also, recommendation would be to do multiple joint and larger, larger muscle groups like for example, glutes, right?

Brian (4m 59s):

I mean, if you're never doing lower body, you're just, it's a disservice to the rest of your body and to your goals because you know, something like squats or even like, you know, some single joint movements like, well, I should say lunges are great as well. You could, you know, that could be your leg day lunges, squats, maybe some deadlifts, but if you're neglecting, you know, the bigger muscles, your glutes are pretty much your biggest muscle in your body. So I would prioritize that, that will help help you build muscle not only in your lower body, but you'll, you'll find you're stronger in your upper body as well. And when you're, when you're doing sort of these compound exercises, which would be, let's just say like this is an efficient way of doing things, is you could, you could do a squat to a shoulder press, right?

Brian (5m 49s):

You're saving time there, yeah, you're doing lower upper, you're doing like a combination of everything. But if you're like in a time crunch, then doing those compound movements where you're involving multiple muscle groups simultaneously, I think that's a lot more effective than just doing isolation exercises. Which an example of that would be just saying you're focusing on just biceps. Unless you're like training for some type of competition and you wanna like, and you wanna sort of isolate e each muscle group maybe, but that's sort of like an old school approach, I'd say. I think you're better off, you know, like a lot of times I'll sometimes do walking lunges with shoulder presses alongside or walking lunges with bicep curls and you know, if you only have a certain amount of time to do stuff, that's a good efficient way of doing it.

Brian (6m 36s):

Another question, what's the best time of day to work out to build muscle? I mean, this is not, this is a, there's not a one size fits all answer to this. Some people have more energy and focus in the morning, this is where they get things done. I would prefer for myself, I used to do morning workouts, I used to do afternoon workouts. Right now I'm in the middle of the day and that just works best for me. But, but the best time is what works for you. Let's just say that you're more than li whatever, you're more than likely not to skip is the time that it works for you. So, you know, choose the time that you're able to stick to consistently and that's, that's when you wanna build muscle and, and do your workouts.

Brian (7m 19s):

How many days per week should I work out to build muscle? You know, the frequency of which you workout will have an impact obviously on your ability to build muscle. I would say for most people, working out three days a week can be sufficient. It allows your bo your body to recover and grow between workouts. If you're lifting every day, obviously you, you, if you're lifting five, six days a week, you're obviously gonna be doing your workout splits like just one day chest, one day biceps one day maybe back. This can, you know, if you have the time, great, but I don't think this is necessary. I think you can do for the longest time I worked out for three days a week and that was sufficient.

Brian (8m 3s):

I've added in a fourth day and changed my splits around where I'm doing more of a lower and upper body. I do, I I, there is some, there is some science, some, some studies around hitting that same body part, the frequency of the body part twice a week. So if you can get in two lower body days as opposed to just doing it once during the week, you're have a better, you'll have a better chance of grow of gaining muscle than just doing it once a week. So if you can do a body part twice a week and do like, right, right now I'm doing two lower bodies and two upper bodies. So I'm hitting, I'm getting stim, you know, muscle protein synthesis and stimulating the muscle twice per week.

Brian (8m 44s):

And I find that that's working best for me right now. Well, what should I eat to build muscle? Like I said to you before, I would aim for 25 to 30 grams per meal of protein. Three grams of leucine, an essential amino acid that promotes muscle protein synthesis. I interviewed Dr. Don Layman, we, he talked all about that. So foods that are rich in protein slash leucine include meat, fish, eggs, dairy, even quality tofu if you're not into the eating meat. In addition, you, you know, to, in addition to protein, you wanna make sure that you're consuming enough calories.

Brian (9m 25s):

This is something that I find a lot of people don't do, including myself for a long time and still I st un until I started tracking it. So tracking your calories, not every day. You can do it for a couple weeks maybe or a week and just see where you're at, but you'll sort of have a feeling if you're under consuming, you know, I'm, I'm 180 pounds right now. I was probably one 70 ish and not consuming enough and I found that I was probably consuming 1500 calories on average. That's not enough, right? So I think a middle-aged male who's 180 pounds should probably be around 3000 calories Now calories aren't everything, but they do play some type of role also. Yeah. So as far as eating, prioritizing protein and the amino acid leucine, and you can add in carbs, you know, carbs are, can play a beneficial role.

Brian (10m 15s):

I won't go into all that, maybe I'll do a separate podcast on that. But you can add in, you know, fruit, even fruit juice. This'll help with recovery and restore glycogen levels. And then healthy fats, obviously for regulating hormones and helping the body recover from exercise. So good sources of healthy fats, avocados, nuts, coconut, extra virgin olive, olive oil. And this'll, this'll help, you know, obviously get your, get your fat intake up. You don't have to go crazy with fats. I think the whole keto craze and people were just eating butter and stuff like that. I think, I think that that can overdo it, but cooking with healthy fats is a great place to start. Things like coconut oil and extra virgin oil are beneficial, you know, nutrients and, and fats to cook with.

Brian (11m 5s):

Last but not least, what supplement should I be taking? Well, I will say this, creatine has is probably the most well studied supplement. So if you could aim to having about five grams of protein per day, I think that's a great place to start. This can increase your exercise performance, increase muscle mass, you know, just Google creatine and you'll find all the studies done on it. And you know, it's not an one thing I like about it, it's not super expensive. I think the, the whole supplement industry's gotten a little crazy. Granted, there are some really cool and beneficial supplements, so just gotta make sure you're getting it from the right source. But I think creatine with a quality protein powder, if you wanna add that in, will help with muscle growth and sort of help you meet your daily protein needs.

Brian (11m 52s):

That's why I add sometimes a protein powder in. I've been using my buddy Brad Kearns, check that out. He's got a, he's got a quality whey protein and then there's actually creatine in it. So just search for Brad Kearns protein powder. He, I just got his, it's, I really enjoyed it. It's like a vanilla flavor. So I think that's a great place to start. And then having some quality sea salt is, is, is great as well. And this is not expensive, right? Like this is important for power output, for endurance, replacing electrolytes. So you know, if you're sweating a lot and stuff, make sure you're getting a quality salt in there. You could use like a Redmond sea salt. You could use element element tea. There's actually, if you, if you ch check out the show notes, I have a a link for for that.

Brian (12m 35s):

You can get some from products from there. I've had Rob Wolf on my podcast a bunch and I use their chocolate sea salt all the time. So those are some good supplements. Obviously I could probably do a whole supplement, a whole podcast on supplements, but maybe I'll do that another time. So that's what I'm touch on today. Those are some of the relevant questions that came up. You're never too old to build muscle, okay? So obviously as you get older it's more difficult, so you really have to prioritize it and hopefully maybe this podcast will give you that little extra kick to, to start prioritizing protein and building muscle as we age. So there you have it. Hope you have a great week and I will talk to you on Friday with another great interview.

Brian (13m 19s):

Thanks so much and have a great rest of the week. Thanks for listening to the Get Lean EAN podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes@briangrin.com for everything that was mentioned in this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again and have a great day.

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