I recently received the following story from a long-time Core 4 client and natural bodybuilder who was inspired to share his positive results with others. At the age of 55, his strategic use of training, dietary, and nutritional supplement choices (including FundAminos) has helped him become leaner--and stronger--than men less than half his age! I was impressed by his personal accomplishments and pleased that Core 4 could offer support and assistance. I hope you enjoy his story:
*"I followed my regular diet, but the one thing that was very different was my use of FundAminos instead of protein powders. There are at least four different mechanisms involved in why this made such a huge difference: nitrogen-sparing, calorie reduction, strength support, and elimination of the normal endocrine performance hit.";
As my 55th birthday approached, so did the photo shoot I had scheduled to commemorate this milestone event. I had maintained my body fat at 5% to 6% from the first of the year, knowing that the big day would be in September. To drop additional body fat from this level is one of those 'last mile' propositions that is hugely challenging. The typical approach is to massively cut calories in the month or so before a competition or photo shoot.;....
My girlfriend, who had placed first in a body building contest and third in a figure contest late in the spring, expected me to do this. That is not the approach I took. The typical body builder or fitness model loses significant muscle mass when working on 'getting ripped.' They also lose significant strength, something that dogs them in that final month as their workouts become increasingly less productive; they lack the strength and energy to work out intensely for the adaptive response, which elevates testosterone.
I promised my girlfriend I would be at my leanest ever, without any severe dieting and without doing any cardio. This goes against all standard practices, but I pulled it off. Body fat scales bottom out at 5% (as far as I know), so what I had to do first was stabilize my body fat at 6% and take body weight readings repeatedly. After establishing how many pounds I weighed at 6% by repeated readings every day for a week, I would have an accurate benchmark.
I would need to maintain muscle mass at 100% to know my body fat percentage when it dropped below 5%. I compare this to the old way of maritime navigation, where the navigator kept track of speed and time to determine position from the last verified position. Then I carefully embarked on my fat loss plan.
As I dropped toward 5%, my calculations tracked perfectly with the scale. So I knew this would work below 5%. No severe dieting for me. I did reduce calories, but not in a huge way. I gave up avocados, ate smaller sweet potatoes, reduced daily egg intake from 12 to 6, and reduced my oat consumption by about a quarter cup per day. I did not cut portion size in any other way, except one. protein intake. One area where body builders cut calories during “lean down” is in their protein intake. I cut mine, too.I cut mine, too.
I’ve been using vegan protein powders for over a year, and have found them superior to their dairy-based counterparts. But they are still protein. They still have calories and they still cost me nitrogen to break down. I needed that nitrogen for maintaining vascularity and building muscle, but on a smaller calorie budget. It’s not the actual protein that the body uses to build new muscle, it’s the amino acids the body breaks down from the protein. So instead of two grams of protein per pound of body weight, I reduced my total intake to about half a gram of protein per pound of body weight. Then I made up the difference with FundAminos.
The result? No loss of strength; in fact, I gained strength during the lean down period. And I lost enough body fat to get down to a calculated 3.5% body fat.
We did the photo shoot in my home. My photographer, who has extensive experience working with bodybuilders, brought an assistant who had never been on a body building shoot before. She asked how someone can "make all the muscles show like that," and he started talking about the near-starvation diet of 600 calories a day that's the normal route to get there. Then I countered his wisdom by explaining that I didn't have to do that! I maintained a normal diet, but the one thing that was very different was my use of FundAminos instead of protein powders.
There are at least four different mechanisms involved in why this made such a huge difference: nitrogen-sparing, calorie reduction, strength support, and elimination of the normal endocrine performance hit.
A final testament to the success of my non-traditionalist plan was the fact that I wasn’t at all weak during the photo shoot, which would normally be expected. I weighed in at 149 pounds that morning, yet was doing flyes with two 55-pound dumbbells and curls with two 40-pound dumbbells during the shoot.
Thanks Dr. Cohen and Core 4 Nutrition for your support.
For more information on why FundAminos is so useful for maintaining strength, energy and metabolism. you can read these other posts.