Archive for August, 2014

Eat more protein after age 40, stretch the muscle after each exercise

August 12, 2014

Two fascinating things that I’ve recently learned:

1. As we all know, protein is used by the body to repair and rebuild. When we are under 40 years old the body is very efficient at utilizing the protein that we consume. So 20 grams of protein per meal is sufficient (more than 20 grams and it is wasted). However, when we get over 40 years of age, the body is less efficient at utilizing the protein. So to obtain the same benefit that the 20 grams of protein gave us when we were younger, we must consume more protein at each meal. How much? At least 40 grams per meal.

2. The body is covered (obviously) with skin. Under the skin is something called fascia. The fascia holds everything together. The fascia can limit muscle growth because it tightly holds the muscles in. So if we want the muscles to grow bigger (hypertrophy), we need to get the fascia to free up and allow the muscle to expand. How to do that? Stretch! After each exercise stretch the muscle. Without stretching the muscle may be unable to expand and get bigger.

When is an exercise mastered?

August 6, 2014

Long ago a Yogi told me, “You have mastered a Yoga asana when you can perform it steadily, effortlessly for 3 hours, 40 minutes.”

Wow! That is awesome.

Recently I have been focussing on the descent part of an exercise. For example, in one hand I lift a dumbell overhead and then slowly, steadily lower it. After it is lowered I explosively drive it back up and then repeat. When is an exercise mastered? I submit this as a measure of mastery: when the weight can be lowered steadily over a period of 60 seconds (1 minute), the exercise has been mastered and it is then time to increase the weight. Thoughts?

I lie to myself all the time

August 5, 2014

For the past several months I have been reading a particular book first thing in the morning. After several weeks of doing this I went around telling everyone, “I have been spending lots and lots of hours reading this book; probably hundreds of hours.” (It’s a huge book) Then I started keeping a log every day of exactly how much time I spent reading the book. Now as I look back on this log, I realize that I spend a lot less time reading than I thought. The notion that in those first few weeks I had spent hundreds of hours reading, well, that was simply me deceiving myself.

Recently I have been trying to keep hydrated by drinking a gallon of water (fluids) every day. I was certain that I was drinking at least a gallon. Then, two days ago I bought a one-gallon water dispenser. Yesterday I drank from the dispenser. At the end of the day, half of it remained. Yikes! I have been drinking only half a gallon of water each day. Another wake-up call.

Here’s what I learned:

1. I lie to myself all the time: I think that I read more than I actually do, I think that I drink more water than I actually do, I think that I am better looking than I actually am, I think that I am smarter than I actually am, and so forth.

2. To avoid deceiving myself, I must measure things.