Not only was the 2012 IFBB Pro Grand Prix Los Angeles a fierce competition, it was also an educational experience that taught all in attendance how to turn your body into a lean, massive, fat-burning machine. Thanks to contest promoter Jon Lindsay, Rx Muscle and Myotropics Physique Nutrition teamed up and presented a doctorate-level nutrition seminar to all those in attendance. Heading up the talks was protein metabolism expert, Dr. Scott Connelly. He was accompanied by a star-studded panel consisting of Myotropics-sponsored athletes and well-known industry professionals such as Dave Palumbo, Pete Ciccone, Vince Andrich and Danny Hester. Anyone in attendance that day would gladly confirm that this just might have been the most profound and relevant seminar regarding building lean body mass and maximizing fat loss in the last 10 years.
For those of you that don’t know the “man behind the curtain”, Dr. Scott Connelly, the original inventor and founder of the Met-Rx, is one of the most knowledgeable experts in the field of protein metabolism. He was first to elucidate that protein is the driving macronutrient in the human organism. He was also the first to expose the dangers of high fructose corn syrup in the modern food supply in his best-selling book, BODY RX. Connelly has taken all this experience and expertise and has created an entirely new supplement line knows as MYOTROPICS Physique Nutrition. Connelly is, as many would say, “The go-to guy in the nutrition industry.” Rx Muscle’s very own Dave Palumbo considers Dr. Connelly to be his “personal mentor” when it comes to nutrition theory and problem solving. This should give you an idea as to how well-respected he is among those interested in creating physiques well above and beyond the status quo. Now that you know a little about the key note speaker, you’re probably wondering what the seminar was about?
Three points were driven home to an enthusiastic and eager crowd Saturday April 14th:
1. There is no simple relationship between calories and weight loss. IE: The 3500 calorie myth.
2. Protein intake is THE KEY to getting shredded.
3. Exercise is of course imperative, but what kind?
1. The first point was hard to swallow for many in the room. But again, that is why I call it a “Belief-Breaking” and “Forward-Thinking” seminar. Let’s face it, a large percentage of people in bodybuilding are personal trainers and have read, heard or taught for years that there is a definitive relationship between “calories-in versus calories-out” for weight loss. For years I heard and even preached to clients that you must burn 3500 calories a week in excess of consumption to lose one pound of fat. Dr. Connelly calls that rhetoric, “bullshit.” Not to say that there isn’t a relationship of sorts; however, that relationship is highly dependent upon a number of factors. This balance is much more complicated than “calories in/calories out.” To illustrate this point Dr. Connelly shows eight pages of equations that are attempts to arrive at the 3500 Calories = 1 pound of fat. Again, he claims this is false in humans and “Only true in bomb calorimeters.” Rather than a simple mass-to-energy conversion he believes rather that it is influence by the ratios of the macronutrients we take in as well as multiple other micro chemical factors that take place in the body. All of these have a dramatic effect on our body’s metabolism.
At this point many were still skeptical so he broke out a colorful example to win the crowd over. “What happens when someone takes Prednisone?” The answer is pretty obvious to most in the room. In many cases the patient on the medication gains weight in the form of adipose tissue. As soon as everyone has digested that thought he asks, “How many calories do you suppose are in a Prednisone pill?” ESSENTIALLY NONE is the answer. The point here is that there are multiple chemical processes and backstops in the human body that transcend the IDEA of a direct relationship between CALORIC intake and weight gain/loss. I’m not going to pretend to be able to give you a wrap up of this entire concept in a short paragraph, but I will leave you with the cliff note take-home message. There is no evidence supporting the 3500 calorie burned equals one pound of fat loss in human beings. To learn more about this you have to listen to Dr. Connelly as he goes into specifics on these different biological processes.
2. Focusing on protein intake is the second point that Dr. Connelly nails home. In today’s world it seems everyone is obsessed with carbohydrates. “Carb-free” or “carbing-up” are phrases you often hear. While many are focusing on carbohydrate manipulation, Dr. Connelly puts the majority of his efforts in the study of and consuming of protein. He explained that time and time again consumption of enough protein is THE KEY to getting lean. He presented slide after slide in the presentation supporting this idea.
Sure, carbohydrates are a “convenient” source of energy for our body. But, they are not the only source of energy. Ultimately our body will find a way to “create” the energy it needs if properly supplied with protein. How is this so? The basic idea is that our body can derive the necessary fuel to operate from Carbohydrates, Fats or Protein. But, it is protein consumed in moderate excess that will actually lean us out. On the other hand, excess carbohydrates or fats will cause fat gain. Dr. Connelly, of course, used a multitude of massively more grandiose words to express this point. He called protein a “backstop” for energy production while losing fat and maintaining or even gaining lean muscle. He bashes the USDA Food Pyramid in comedic jest. Dr. Connelly insists that, instead of the paltry 10-15% of your calories coming from protein, you should consume more like 35-40% of your daily caloric intake. After looking at the evidence, I can tell you this makes sense.
By taking in a large quantity of quality protein (and supplying the body with what it needs), you’ll and teach your body to stay lean. Interestingly, the human body knows how to handle an excess of calories derived from protein. An increase in metabolic rate is the eminent result of excess protein consumption; excess calories are burned off before fat gain occurs. To illustrate his point, he used the example of “predation.” “Think about it…if you’re in the wild as an animal and you’re obese you can’t get away from a predator.” The idea here is that as animals we have “biochemical processes in place” to stay lean so long as we don’t jumble them up with extreme excesses of the wrong fuels or chemicals. What’s the take home message? Take in A LOT of protein and be satiated as you create the ultimate environment for fat loss.
3. The final point of the seminar was one that the vast majority of those in the room could relate to immediately. This was fortunate since the crowd began rolling in for the start of the evening finals by this point. In essence, “You must exercise, and the best kind of exercise to lose fat long-term is resistance training.” We, of course, are aware of the basic cardiovascular benefits of traditional “cardio,” but for long-term fat loss, resistance training is king. This is the one point that was relatively easy to capture in a few words. Basically, when you perform high-intensity weight training you prep your body to gain lean muscle. You teach your body to want to hold onto muscle and shed excess fat. How does this happen? The weight training is a challenge to the system (your body) which requires adding muscle to handle the new stress. Your body is smart and adaptive to external stimuli so it adds muscle. Excess adipose tissue, on the other hand, is a hindrance to the challenge. So again, since your body is smart it sheds the excess fat. The result is a body lower in fat with more lean mass.
When all was said and done, all those in attendance (and those that watch the seminar on RxMuscle.com) were exposed to revolutionary information in the world of physique manipulation. Though low carbs and weight training were not earth-shattering ideas in dropping body fat, the explanation as to why they work was certainly eye-opening. What is contrary to common belief is Dr. Connelly’s stance regarding 3500-calorie “rule.” I urge you to watch the seminar in total here on rxmuscle.com; and take notes! Your current physique ideas may be shaken but, ultimately, the body you’ll be able to create will be the one of your wildest dreams!