I am constantly in the process of reviewing my workout methods. Are they working? Do I feel different? Do I look different? Am I making progress? What can I do to improve the effectiveness of my exercise, and to improve the quality of my life?
I recently came to the conclusion that, though my workouts were going well, my ability to recover from them was spotty. I was often unable to do more than two really big time workouts in a week. I was sore longer than I wanted to be. My energy level was sometimes pretty low.
What seemed to be the culprit? I was getting a reasonable amount of sleep, eating fairly well, and I was not under undue stress. I considered this issue, and found that the primary issue appeared to be insufficient protein. I have a few dietary constraints that keep me from eating as much meat as I once did. Beans are also limited. I can do eggs and milk, but there’s only so much of those that I can stand.
Prior to workouts, I have been taking a drink of hydrolyzed collagen protein, but that’s primarily just happening twice a week, giving me a little juice to get through my big workout days. It wasn’t enough. Bare minimum, from all the literature, for active people, is .5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. That means I need to take in about ten billion grams of protein a day. It didn’t seem practical, or even do-able. Not with whole food, anyway.
I needed to look into a supplement, or I was going to be spinning my wheels, unable to feed the muscles sufficiently to get them repaired between workouts. I hate spinning my wheels, unless a fast car is involved. I picked up the most “plain vanilla” protein I could easily find. I don’t need nitric boosters, pro hormones, mass stacks, activated isolates, or super-adreno-whatevers. Just protein. That’s about what I’ve found that I get with the EAS stuff. I took the vanilla flavor, since I want it to be easy to mix into smoothies, milk, etc. I’ve been taking one jolt of it a day, which adds 23 grams of protein to my day.
There have been no bad effects so far. No stomach discomfort or weird sensations. I’ve felt less sore, and my lifts have had good success. The most interesting change has been in my nightly abdominal work. I usually do 50 or more crunches before bed, but I’ve been able to hit 100 easily every day this week. Of all the possible outcomes that I had considered, having my ab work improve was furthest from my mind. Hmm. I suppose that all muscles benefit from the extra fuel.
I’ll keep you guys in the loop if I change my methods, or find that there are further refinements to my process.