The scoop on protein

Introduction

So, there’s a lot of confusion and food fear mongering among protein sources (like all foods). “Meat is unhealthy!” “Too much protein is bad for your kidneys!” “You can’t get enough protein to build muscle from a vegan diet!” Bro, what?! Is all this true? Well, I’ll sort out a few topics for you here! What it is, how much you need, can vegans/vegetarians achieve adequate protein and some great lean sources!

Quick review: What is protein?

Hey! No disrespect, I know you know what protein is but let’s quickly review it:

  • Proteins are essential molecules or nutrients for life; they are large complex molecules found in the cells of all living things.
  • The first thing that might pop up in your head when it comes to the necessity for protein by humans might be muscle mass, but they go wayyyyyy beyond that; they are of critical importance for the structure of ALL tissues in the body.
  • They have an important function in metabolism, immunity, fluid balance, and nutrient transport.
  • Proteins are made up of amino acids.
  • 9 essential amino acids MUST be gotten from the diet (the body cannot produce them). This is 9 out of 20 known amino acids of which the body can produce the other 11 from the essential 9.


What makes a protein source “good”?

What the hell is good protein anyway? First of all, I don’t even like using moral terms when describing food. Why? Context and nuance. What is good for you may not be good for another, and vice-versa. That said, some people may be mistaken about what’s good for them. For example, I had a client who thought beans, rice, and peanut butter were “good” protein sources. Hey, they were right! But not when you’re aiming for 180g of protein a day on 2400 calories and those are your only 3 sources. You’ll likely overshoot your calories and nauseate yourself with peanut butter before you hit your target. So, what would be good for him in this case? He wasn’t vegan but he also wasn’t a huge meat eater so he opted for whey and tofu.

“Good” protein

The more appropriate term for labeling proteins would be complete and incomplete. Incomplete DOES NOT MEAN BAD. I’ll talk on that later for my vegetarian/vegan people (#VeganLife4Eva).

Incomplete (low quality) protein

An incomplete protein is missing one of the 9 essential amino acids in sufficient quantities (e.g. Legumes, nuts, grains & seeds). A diet that lacks any of those 9 essential amino acids in sufficient quantities will preclude (prevent) protein synthesis[*] [†].

Complete protein

Complete proteins have all 9 essential amino acids in sufficient quantities. The best sources would be animal products such as egg whites, meat, poultry, fish, and milk. “No plant sources?” you ask. Soy is the real MVP here (#GoVegans). Popular soy products such as soy milk, tofu, tempeh, miso, and edamame are all complete sources of protein and perfectly vegan/vegetarian friendly. Chances are you’re already getting in enough complete proteins to stay alive. But for muscle gains… We’ll see.

Digestibility
Another important factor in protein quality is digestibility, or how well the body can digest a protein. Protein quality and digestibility can be calculated using a chemical score or PDCAAS but that isn’t practical for everyday diet planning.[‡] Proteins with higher digestibility are more complete. Animal protein sources such as meat and dairy products are highly digestible, as are many soy products; we can absorb more than 90% of these proteins. Legumes are also highly digestible (about 70% to 80%). Grains and many vegetable proteins are less digestible (60% to 90%).4

Something else to consider in protein digestibility is the way it is cooked. For example, egg proteins are 90% digestible when cooked as compared to 50% when eaten raw (yeah, I cringed too, who does that?)1.

What about vegetarians? Can they get high-quality protein?

“We MUST consume meat or dairy products to achieve a complete protein diet…” says the arrogant guy who has probably turned off more women than people turn off YouTube adds (yeah, don’t be that guy 😐).

Remember that one client with the peanut butter, rice, and beans? Beans are low in 2 amino acids (methionine and cysteine) but have adequate amounts of 2 others (isoleucine and lysine). Rice is low in 2 that beans have enough of but contains sufficient amounts of the 2 beans lacks. Couple those bad boys up and you’ve got yourself a banging source of complete protein! Combining protein sources to achieve a complete source of protein is called mutual supplementation (Figure 1 for example) and beans and rice would be called complementary foods.[§] To benefit from mutual supplementation, it would be prudent to eat your complimentary foods during the same day, not necessarily at every meal.4

Figure 1 Complementary food combinations.

How much protein do you need?

The general recommendation by the institute of medicine

The Institute of Medicine has set the recommended daily intake (RDI) for protein at 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day (0.8 g/kg/d), estimated to cover the requirements of 97.5% of the population. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sedentary people matches this recommendation. Within the indicated dosage, no kidney problems have been shown in healthy individuals; however, people with kidney disease should reduce their protein consumption as guided by a clinician.2 These recommendations are thought inadequate for the athletic and geriatric populations for optimal health, but I’m not here to talk about old people.

0.8 g/kg/d? Can you make gains on that!?

In the past, we were ignorant to believe that 0.8 g/kg body weight was enough for everyone to be optimal. Thanks to science, we know that this isn’t the case at all.3 Why do athletes/active individuals need more protein? Well…

  • Regular exercise increases the transport of oxygen to body tissues, requiring changes in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. To carry more oxygen, we need to produce more of the protein that carries oxygen in the blood (i.e., hemoglobin).
  • During intense exercise, we use a small amount of protein directly for energy. We also use protein to make glucose to maintain adequate blood glucose levels and to prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) during exercise.
  • Regular exercise stimulates tissue growth and causes tissue damage, which must be repaired by additional proteins.

Strength athletes (such as bodybuilders and weightlifters) need 1.8 to 2 times more protein than the current RDA, and endurance athletes (such as distance runners and triathletes) need 1.5 to 1.75 times more protein than the current RDA.4

Selected recommendations from ISSN position stand on protein & exercise3

As I said, 0.8 g/kg/d isn’t going to cut it for most athletes. So here are some recommendations by the experts on the research:

  1. For muscle building or maintenance 1.4–2.0 g protein/kg body weight/day (g/kg/d) for most exercising individuals.
    1. New evidence suggests that higher protein intakes (>3.0 g/kg/d) may have positive effects on body composition in resistance-trained individuals (i.e., promote loss of fat mass).
  2. Optimal protein intake per serving for athletes to maximize muscle protein synthesis is 0.25 g of a high-quality protein per kg of body weight, or an absolute dose of 20-40 g.[**]
    1. Independent doses of protein per meal should aim to contain 700–3000 mg of leucine and/or a higher relative leucine content, in addition to a balanced array of the essential amino acids (EAAs).
    1. These protein doses should ideally be evenly distributed, every 3–4 hours, across the day.
  3. Benefits can be derived from pre and post-workout protein intake but individual tolerance would be a likely determinant of the optimal period for protein ingestion as the anabolic effects of protein ingestion are long-lasting (>24 hours).

How much is high protein? And is too much a problem?

The acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR) set by the Institute of Medicine is 10– 35% of total energy intake, intakes that are at the latter spectrum are considered high protein diets.2 And guess what? There’s little evidence that a healthy individual with functioning kidneys has suffered from a high protein diet. Let’s end that stigma. High protein diets may actually have the potential to be beneficial in some ways (it keeps appetite at bay, promotes an increase in lean body mass, anabolic signaling & thermogenesis).5 Further research to confirm all this is necessary, however, I’ve eaten 1.5-2.0 g per lb of protein for months with no issues (doesn’t mean that you should).

What are some high-quality & lean sources of protein?

There is a lot to choose from! Here I’ve listed just a few great lean sources of protein (since the regular versions should already be well known).4

Protein SourceCalories
(kilocalorie;kcal)
Protein (grams;g)Fat (grams;g)Serving
White fleshed fish85–13020-253100-gram
Plain Greek yogurt54101100-gram
Beans, Peas & Lentils1408-121100-gram
White meat (chicken, turkey)165303.5100-gram
Low fat cottage cheese8110.52.3100-gram
Lite Tofu548.31.7100-gram
95% Lean Beef171266.5100-gram
Powdered peanut butter462
42
46.2 511.5 1.5100-gram
2 tbsp
Low-fat milk42
102
3.4 8.21
2.4
100-gram
1 Cup
Pork Loin143263.5100-gram
Shrimp99211100-gram
Egg white48
16
10 3.30 0100-gram
1 Egg (large)
Bison17925.58.6100-gram
Casein Supplement36572.73100-gram
Whey4156210100-gram
Figure 2 Summary of lean protein sources and their approximate nutrient and calorie measures.

That’s it for this blog! Don’t forget to subscribe for updates on future posts!

References

1.         Evenepoel, P. et al. Digestibility of Cooked and Raw Egg Protein in Humans as Assessed by Stable Isotope Techniques. J. Nutr. 128, 1716–1722 (1998).

2.        Phillips, S. M. Dietary protein for athletes: From requirements to metabolic advantage. Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 31, 647–654 (2006).

3.        Jäger, R. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Protein and exercise. J. Int. Soc. Sports Nutr. 14, 1–25 (2017).

4.        L.Thompson, J. & Melinda M.Manore, L. A. V. The science of nutrition. Pearson Education, Inc. (2008 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2017).

5.        Cuenca-Sánchez, M., Navas-Carrillo, D. & Orenes-Piñero, E. Controversies Surrounding High-Protein Diet Intake: Satiating Effect and Kidney and Bone Health. Adv. Nutr. 6, 260–266 (2015).


[*] The process by which the body makes proteins using amino acids. This occurs in the ribosomes of the cell.

[†] Another limiting factor of protein synthesis is energy (calories), hence the inefficiency of hypocaloric diets for muscle gain.

[‡][‡] The protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) is what is used to measure protein quality in labs by using the chemical score and a correction factor for digestibility to calculate a value for protein quality. A chemical score can also be used to measure protein quality by a relative measure of the amount of the limiting amino acid in one food to the amount of the same amino acid in another.

[§] Mutual supplementation is the process of combining two or more incomplete protein sources to make a complete protein, and the two foods involved are called complementary foods; these foods provide complementary proteins that, when combined, provide all nine essential amino acids.

[**] They also noted that optimal protein intake per serving for athletes to maximize MPS are ambiguous and depend on age and recent resistance exercise stimuli.

The “Growth Mindset”; Psychology to success

The “Growth Mindset”; Psychology to success

Who are you?

As an individual, you are the product of three things: your genetics, your environment (community, culture & relationships), and your thoughts & choices.

Now, this looks like common sense on the surface but looking beyond the surface of those things we can see how we are somewhat programmed. Yes, programmed, like robots but we run on organic material and genes, not electricity and code. But what does this have to do with you? Well, a lot. Everything… Which is way more than I’m willing to get into in this blog. Now a lot of who we are we don’t control but, despite that which we don’t control (our genetic potentials/limits and the environment we grew up in), we have one thing that we can control; Our choices. But there’s a problem here, some people aren’t aware of this or, rather, they aren’t aware of the extent of power they have over it. The people who are more aware that they have power have what is called the “Growth Mindset” and those who are less aware have a “Fixed Mindset”.

The view of yourself that you choose to adopt profoundly affects the way you lead your life.

The Fixed Mindset

What is it?

Have you ever felt you’re not good enough and never will be? In the context of health and fitness, have you ever felt like a failure for having that donut? Like garbage for missing your workout? Like a complete waste of space for saying a couple of weeks ago that you’re going to start living healthy (or any other health/fitness related goal) and then 3 months later you’re the same place you were?

Have all these thoughts made you believe that that’s the best you can do? If your answer is yes, know that you “CHOSE” to believe that ⸻ the embodiment of a fixed mindset. The belief that your qualities and characteristics are set in stone is the fixed mindset.

“Do I have it?”

Have you ever done anything remotely similar to the above? In whatever context you have done it, yes, you’ve had a fixed mindset in the past. BUT I hope this can increase your awareness that you can choose to get out of it. For further analysis read the statements below and indicate which ones you agree with most:[1]

  1. Your intelligence is something very basic about you that you can’t change very much.
    1. I just don’t know how to diet.
    1. I just don’t know how to work out.
  2. You can learn new things, but you can’t change how intelligent you are.
    1. Even if I learn how to diet, I’m not going to lose weight because I’ve never done it.
    1. Even if I learn to work out, I still won’t get fit because I’ve never been fit.
  3. No matter how much intelligence you have, you can always change it quite a bit.
    1. I’ve never dieted before, but I can learn.
    1. I’ve never worked out before, but I can learn.
  4. You can always substantially change how intelligent you are.
    1. Hey, if I keep studying nutrition, I can learn enough to do a course and become a nutritionist!
    1. Hey, if I keep working out, I can learn enough to compete in a marathon one day!

The Growth Mindset

What is it?

This mindset is the mind of all genuinely successful people within their specific fields. Those people who made it happen despite what can be perceived as set-backs ⸻ The Micheal Jordan’s, the Thomas Edison’s, the Chris Bumstead’s and, to be fair, that one friend in school who always flunked but then decided that they wanted to do well in school and graduated as a most improved student. Decided is bolded because it emphasizes the power of “choice”.

Carol Dweck’s[2] book “Mindset” put it simply – “…the growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things that you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies, and help from others.” So, I ask you, do you have a growth mindset? Welp, you might in some areas and you might not in others. But I hope this short blog can change that so that you can choose to have it in whatever area of life you want. You can quite literally become whomever you want to be if you choose to!

“Do I have it?”

I hope you will! What matters at this point is not whether you had it in the past, or even right now, it’s whether you will aim to attain it from now on!  This is something I teach and try my best to encourage my clients because it’s often very difficult to come to grips with the fact that you can be the master of your fate. Now, this is difficult, the choice is one thing, behavior change ⸻the entire process of it⸻ is another but despite even this many have taken themselves from “I’ll never be like that” to “I can get there with time and effort.”

Here are some more questions to ask yourself to determine if you do or don’t have it:[3]

  1. You are a certain kind of person, and there’s not much that can be done to change that.
  2. No matter what kind of person you are, you can always change substantially.
  3. You can do things differently, but the important parts of who you are can’t be changed.
  4. You can always change the basic things about the kind of person you are.

How can I earn it?

It’s completely up to you. What I can tell you is the first step is deciding (choice) that you want to have it. Shift your mindset from “I can’t” to “I can” ⸻ very cliché, I know, but this is the reality. Ancient philosophy has stated it and contemporary studies in psychology have proven it. You can become whoever you want ⸻within reasonable means and enough time⸻ if you choose to.

Let’s head back to “who are you?” and how the knowledge of this can help you foster a growth mindset. Firstly, your genes are set in stone and nothing can be done with changing it but we have limited control over our environment and total control of our choices.
Limited control of our environment? Whatever do you mean?!”
What I mean is that you can choose your friends, your influences (Social media, television, news, books, etc.), the groceries you fill your fridge with, your furniture, your job, your hobbies, etc. BUT you don’t control who you’re being birthed from as hereditary parents and, when young, you don’t control what community/culture you’re raised in.
“What does this have to do with a growth mindset?” you ask.
Ok, hear me out. Let’s create a scenario of a hypothetical you…

Now, let’s say you were born into a family where you ended up with eating habits that left you a bit “heavy”. Having visited your doctor, your goal has become to lose some weight before your next check-up because your doctor said you’re overweight and pre-diabetic. You’ve chosen to make this your goal (congratulations, 3 points!), now you just need to lose 20 lbs. to be within the range of healthy weight. Great, let’s get it! Fast forward 2-3 weeks and 0 progress (a heavy brick on the jump shot). Why is that? Think! Why were you overweight in the first place? You habitually fill your fridge with foods that you can’t get enough of, you barely move because of your desk job and you haven’t read that diet pamphlet or called the nutritionist your doctor referred you to.

We can see that the growth mindset isn’t just all about choice. Now you have to put in effort which, for some people apparently, is a bad thing. I’m not even joking, people compare themselves to others (who have an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCE) and say
“Hey, if I put in more work than him and get fewer results at the same time that must mean I suck!”
No. It means that they are a completely different person (different genetics, different environment, different choices) who is fortunate to have things work out for them that way but you can still get there despite having to take a bit more time. Don’t be discouraged. Back to the hypothetical you now.

So, you’ve got your next check-up with your doctor in a couple of weeks and you haven’t lost any weight. You still have time so you haven’t failed. Time to put in some effort. You read that pamphlet, you consult a nutritionist who told you to stop filling the fridge with your soul-foods, you start taking brisk walks every other day for an hour while listening to a good weight loss podcast your nutritionist referred you to and in 6 weeks you’ve dropped a staggering 10 lbs! Your doctor congratulates you and tells you to keep it up!
“WOW! Why didn’t I do this sooner!? I feel great!” you say with a copious dose of dopamine swishing around in your brain.
And that’s when you start to see it, you’ve consciously experienced the growth mindset. You realize then that you can lose the weight if you want by just deciding and taking the necessary steps without concerning yourself with anyone else because you know you’re trying your best and that you did your best.

Now, while this was a very specific scenario. You can apply it to any goal you have in life and I hope you do. Just remember that it starts with your choice, and then persistence gets you to the goal.

References

Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.


[1] The first two options indicate a fixed mindset…

[2] Carol Dweck is a renowned researcher on personality, social psychology and developmental psychology. She’s also a professor of psychology at Stanford university and has had positions in a number of eminent scientific organizations.

[3] 2 and  4 reflect a growth mindset.

Quarantine Crazy: Can you make gains with home workouts?

Intro: A short bid for optimism

The world is in a state of unrest currently. The novel Coronavirus COVID-19 has spread from China and has posed such a risk that has now been labeled by the WHO as a pandemic. Currently, gyms are closing, people are at home, out of work, out of school, and are understandably in discontent. Quarantine is a novel experience for some while others are somewhat familiar with the solitary life (myself included, haha). I’d like to think that the people who are new to staying home and not being at work/school/outings/gym/etc. are most affected by this situation and I must share this with you:

While it’s certainly crazy, probably masochistic, to want to face difficulty in life we’d be equally crazy to pretend it isn’t going to happen. This pandemic is a difficulty; an inevitability. I think it’s a good thing to understand that our reaction to it is based on the words of the WHO that states that this is our best action to minimize the impact of this difficulty. If we understand why it is happening, we can better appreciate the necessity of this and even come to terms with it. While we are all certainly suffering lost time from many things of our normal lives, this pessimistic view solves no problems. What we must do is look forward with optimism. We should ask ourselves what can we do during this time to make the best of it? I’ll leave the answer to you guys.

Training at home: Load, volume, and adaptations

During this time, friends and clients have bombarded me with questions about home workouts and send me the latest from their fitspo (I’ve seen too many people squatting their cats, haha!). Now, while I completely support the movement of home workouts, I should also make a point that if your goal is to continue to grow muscle, a couple of squats are not likely to be enough. I’ll elaborate further.

In the case of this blog, the load is defined as the amount of weight that you use during your exercise (in the case of fitspo’s, your 10 lb cat), the volume is defined as the number of sets per workout or week and a set is defined as a round of repetitions to or near failure (~1 RIR[1]). When training for muscular strength and size adaptations, these factors are very important to your training plan.

How can I continue to make gains (adaptations) without weights?

I wouldn’t blame you for asking this question as most of us are used to training in the gym with ample equipment and weights available to us. My observation in my neck of the world most people prefer to train at a rep range of 1-15 reps (higher loads) and they have the weights that allow them to train effectively in that rep range in the gym. Currently, access to weights is limited and people are uncertain if there is any benefit to training at lower loads. There is high-quality evidence to support just that. In the 2017 review of Schoenfeld et al. it was found that there were similar hypertrophy[2] adaptations between low loads (≤ 60% 1RM[3]) and high loads (> 60% 1RM) when the volume is equated(Schoenfeld, Grgic, Ogborn, & Krieger, 2017). However, higher loads proved to be the better option for strength adaptations, so powerlifters might have to sit this one out.

The inference that can be drawn from Schoenfeld et al. is that you can still gain at the same rate regardless of the load you use once the number of sets is the same and you take these sets to failure. A hypothetical example is seen below:

6 sets of flat bench press @ 145 lbs | 6-12 reps | RIR 0-1

6 sets of push-ups @ bodyweight | 20-30 reps| RIR 0-1 | Tempo matches above

From the above, in the same individual, we would expect to see similar outcomes in muscle growth adaptations overtime despite load differences.

Progressing: This week 1 cat, next week 2 cats?

Progression schemes in the gym are varied; One can progress in an exercise by an increase in ROM[4], increase in load, or increases in volume. All these can be achieved via home workouts. Before we get to progressing in-home workouts let’s talk about the transition from the gym to the home.

My recommendation for those who already had a regimented workout plan is to stay consistent. Whatever your training volume was, keep it there and swap the gym exercises for a relevant home-workout version. This way you maintain the rate of progress you were already making and can continue to progress from there. For example:

Upper and quad (Gym workout)
 ExerciseIntensityRepsSetsTempo[5]Rest
ABench press (dumbell or Bbell 45*)RIR 06-8
6-8
10-12
33-1-x-02m
BCable flys (mid pec)RIR 010–1523-1-x-1
CCable flys (low pec)RIR 010–1513-1-x-1
DShoulder press variantRIR 1-08–1023-1-x-1
EDelt raise (lateral)RIR 08–1033-0-x-1
FRear delt flyRIR 08–1023-0-x-1
GDumbell curl (preacher)RIR 06-8
6-8
10-12
33-0-x-2
HHammer CurlsRIR 010–1223-0-x-2
Upper and quad (Home workout)
 ExerciseIntensityRepsSetsTempoRest
APush upsRIR 025 25 3033-1-x-02m
BResistance band flys (mid pec)RIR 025-3023-1-x-1
CResistance band flys (low pec)RIR 025-3013-1-x-1
DBodyweight shoulder pressRIR 1-015-2023-1-x-1
EDelt raise (lateral) with bandsRIR 020-2533-0-x-1
FBanded Rear delt flyRIR 020-2523-0-x-1
GBack pack curl (supine grip)RIR 06-8
6-8
10-12
33-0-x-2
HHammer back pack CurlsRIR 010–1223-0-x-2

From the aforementioned review from Schoenfeld et al. you should understand that inaccessibility of high loads should not stop you from going after your gains. However, the next question should be how do I progress? Well, there are many ways but to keep it simple I’ll limit this to progression by load, volume and ROM. Propper form and tempo should be constant through all this.

Table1. Descriptions of progression for different home-style exercises

Progression parameterPush upBody weight squatBodyweight Hamstring curl
ROMIncrease the depth of your push up by performing them between chairs.Squat deeper below parallel (not low enough to take tension off muscles).Get closer to the floor on the eccentric.
LoadStart with inclined push up and progress to normal, then feet elevated.Use home dumbbells, wear a backpack, weighted vest or even your cat (or not, let’s leave the poor animals alone guys, haha!)
Progress to pistol squat
Doubt weight is necessary but one can hold out a dumbbell or wear a weighted vest
VolumeSimply increase the amount of sets per week (20% increase)Simply increase the amount of sets per week (20% increase)Simply increase the amount of sets per week (20% increase)

Let’s talk optimization with respect to volume. The weightology research review finds optimal volume for hypertrophy gains to be around 6-8 sets per muscle group per training session with long rest periods (>2min) and it should be noted that there is a potential for plateau at higher volumes(Weightology, 2020). This can be approximated to 12-24 weekly sets for a frequency of 2-3 days per week. Now this is a general guideline and individual optimization will vary, practically (if a beginner) one should start on the lower end of the volume spectrum and increase in small increments to progress (they recommend around 20% increment increase in volume). There are other things one should consider depending on the volume load you had while in the gym and other variables, however, that will be out of the scope of this blog and I would recommend reading the review for that (or hiring me, haha, shameless plug).

While I support being optimistic I would also question the thought of being optimal during the pandemic, as it is a new the experience, we’ll all be learning how to deal with it in the best possible way. This blog is just a few introductory recommendations, optimization comes with experience.

Is there such a thing as too little weight?

Yes. At least in relatively untrained individuals. Another study found that there was no difference in muscle growth between 40%,60% & 80% 1RM loads(Lasevicius et al., 2018). Unless you’re a super-well-trained-near-genetic-limit individual I think bodyweight exercises or even lighter loads than you have in the gym, like your filled-up book bag, should suffice for you to get your gains.

One more thing: Be safe

So, it’s about two weeks into lockdown in my country at the time of this being written and guess what guys, I’m a bit worried about some of the things I’m seeing. Ok, so no gym and, unfortunately for most, no access to gym equipment. Now what? Squat my couch, lunge my propane gas bottle, my BMX bike, do concrete brick shoulder presses, or do pullups on the galvanized gutters? You might think this is all in jest but I’ve actually seen this being shared. I don’t want to come across as a curmudgeon but I would recommend against most of this, as I very much believe safer modalities (bodyweight exercises especially) can be just as effective and involves less risk to self in the form of injury. The gym equipment was made for exercises and people still get hurt, how much more of a risk do you think your dinner table bench press is?

References

Lasevicius, T., Ugrinowitsch, C., Schoenfeld, B. J., Roschel, H., Tavares, L. D., De Souza, E. O., … Tricoli, V. (2018). Effects of different intensities of resistance training with equated volume load on muscle strength and hypertrophy. European Journal of Sport Science, 18(6), 772–780. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2018.1450898

Schoenfeld, B. J., Grgic, J., Ogborn, D., & Krieger, J. W. (2017). Strength and hypertrophy adaptations between low- vs. High-load resistance training: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 31(12), 3508–3523. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000002200

Weightology. (2020). Set Volume for Muscle Size: The Ultimate Evidence Based Bible – Weightology. (March). Retrieved from https://weightology.net/the-members-area/evidence-based-guides/set-volume-for-muscle-size-the-ultimate-evidence-based-bible/


[1] RIR= Reps in reserve – a subjective scale of intensity where an estimation of how many reps one has left is given before failure.

[2] Hypertrophy- Growth of muscle cells

[3] 1RM= 1 rep max – The amount of load where an individual can only complete 1 full rep with good form

[4] ROM= Range of motion [of an exercise]

[5] Tempo= the rate at which an exercise is performed