The Anabolic Diet How And Why It Works

Before we get into the mechanics of the Anabolic Diet, let's take a few pages for some final words on just how and why it works, and clear up a few misconceptions about the diet some people may have. Some of this may seem a little technical but I urge you to hang on for the next few pages. By reading carefully, you'll get a good idea of exactly why the Anabolic Diet is the best diet for the bodybuilder.

First, let's make it perfectly clear that insulin is not some kind of enemy to muscle growth. We're not mounting a campaign against it like others have done. In fact, it plays a pivotal role in muscle growth. It's only a problem when it's chronically high or yo-yo's as it does on the carbohydrate-based diet.

What you want to do with insulin, and what this diet focuses on, is to increase it at the appropriate time and place so it stimulates muscle growth. In this way, you increase the drive of amino acids into the muscle cell, thus increasing the incorporation of aminos into muscle protein.

What we don't want is fat built up at the same time. That's why insulin secretion is controlled and limited before it begins working the other side of the street and laying on fat. Instead of the chronically elevated insulin levels of the carb diet, the Anabolic Diet carefully manages insulin increase during the bodybuilder's day and week, so you get an anabolic effect without packing on that unwanted fat.

Insulin then works hand in hand with testosterone and growth hormone in maximizing muscle growth. Growth hormone is very important here for its role in cell growth and maintenance. When insulin goes down, as it does during the weekdays when you'll be on the high fat/high protein/low carb portion of the diet, growth hormone secretions increase. Along with stimulating an anabolic environment, they also induce cells to use fat instead of sugar for energy, thus increasing lipolysis and fighting lipogenesis.

Growth hormone also acts almost like a "starvation" hormone. When your body's in trouble or when you're threatened or in "fight or flight syndrome," GH kicks in to mobilize stores of energy in the body to deal with stress and these increased needs. It will also increase under the stress of exercise.

Usually insulin works to decrease the secretion of growth hormone, but the body sees the great increase in carbs and insulin during the weekend as a stressful situation, much like exercise, and growth hormone actually increases with insulin. In this way, we get the positive effects of growth hormone stimulus both during the week and on weekends.

Testosterone, also critical to health and growth, responds well to the Anabolic Diet. Research studies, though still in early stages in this area, have found testosterone positively linked to dietary fat. In one study, premenopausal women placed on low fat diets experienced decreased levels of both non-protein bound estradiol and testosterone (although postmenopausal women didn't experience the same deficiency).1 In another promising study, animals fed diets high in cholesterol or fish oil experienced increased testosterone production than those fed a low cholesterol diet or linseed oil.2


Obviously, along with promoting muscle growth, you also want to do what you can to keep it from being broken down by minimizing the production and effects of catabolic hormones, the most critical of which is cortisone. Much of this is done naturally through the Anabolic Diet. By increasing fat, you decrease cortisone. A recent animal study found a high fat, high protein diet in concert with insulin and testosterone treatment doing just that, by reducing the effects of corticosterone on muscle protein and growth.3

Along with the biochemical control of cortisone, you'll also find the Anabolic Diet providing for psychological control. The wide mood swings and irritability you can get on a carbohydrate-based diet can also increase cortisone. In fact, psychological stress can be a prime component in its production. As discussed in the last chapter, the Anabolic Diet can greatly reduce the stress normally associated with dieting and, thus, much of the psychological source of cortisone production.

Another misconception many people have is that catabolism, or muscle breakdown, is inevitable during exercise, and that this catabolic activity is necessary for muscle growth. It's an old gym legend: "Muscles break down while training and are built up while recovering." Indeed, some believe that the more you break down muscle as you exercise, the more you'll compensate for it by increasing fiber size when you rest.

Though widely held by bodybuilders, these beliefs are total hogwash. We've found that the muscle is actually trying to synthesize protein for growth as you exercise. The only problem is that, though the protein synthesis machinery consisting of ribosomes, ribonucleic acid, and the amino acid pool in the muscle are in place, they don't have the energy available necessary for synthesis. Basically, the muscle is synthesizing some protein during exercise, but the catabolic effect of exercise is overwhelming it.

What we do with the Anabolic Diet is to decrease muscle breakdown while increasing protein synthesis for muscle growth DURING EXERCISE. This way, by the time you're finished exercising, you've actually experienced very little breakdown of muscle tissue and actually PRODUCED MUSCLE TISSUE.

I know this runs against most of what you have heard or believed about exercise, but hypertrophy, or the enlargement of the cellular components of muscle, has little to do with catabolism. It is stress or load on the muscle during exercise (the volume and intensity of training) that is critical to growth.4 It's the kind of training, not how much protein you break down, that causes hypertrophy. Protein breakdown is merely a simple response to training load. And if we can limit that response, we should get more hypertrophy in the end.

Much of what we need to do involves increasing phosphocreatine in the cell. Phosphocreatine regenerates ATP, the body's energy source for cellular activity, and also aids protein synthesis. The diet and the supplements we'll outline later maximize phosphocreatine in the cell, so there's more energy available for contraction and protein synthesis.

This is a major area of concentration for the supplements we'll recommend for the Anabolic Diet. They're technically complex and exact in the areas they target. We're looking to increase biochemical response in the body to better enable muscle growth. We're also looking to increase the recovery capabilities of the bodybuilder. Once you stop exercising, we want to make the body's environment receptive to protein and growth.

The Anabolic Diet plan works to increase anabolic hormones, the amino acid pool, and overall anabolic drive. NOBODY HAS EVER ATTACKED THE PROBLEMS OF MUSCLE GROWTH IN THIS WAY BEFORE.

It should finally be pointed out that when we use the term "anti-catabolic," we don't mean just "anti-cortisone." The ATP regeneration we're producing makes the energy available for both synthesis and contraction, so we're not breaking down protein and tissue to fuel the contraction. We also want to make sure that amino acids aren't used up for energy. That's why we maximize the amount of aminos in the cell through the diet and supplements, and make sure they're not used for energy.

The "metabolic shift" of changing the body over to a fat-burning machine instead of a carbohydrate-burning, fat-producing one—and the combined anabolic and anti-catabolic effect of the Anabolic Diet and supplements—ultimately gives the bodybuilder what he's looking for: more muscle and less fat.

And it all occurs without anabolic steroids and the starvation and insanity that comes with the carb-based diet.

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