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Strength and Nutrition with Robert Santana | Starting Strength Radio #13

Mark Rippetoe | July 19, 2019

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Mark Wulfe:
From the global headquarters of The Aasgaard Company in beautiful, downtown Wichita Falls, Texas... From the finest mind in the modern fitness industry... The one true voice of the strength and conditioning profession... The most important podcast on the internet... Ladies and gentlemen... Starting Strength Radio.

Mark Rippetoe:
Welcome back to Starting Strength Radio. Thank you, Mark Wulfe, for that wonderful introduction. We are here with our friend Robert Santana today. Robert is a registered dietitian. He runs our nutrition board on the website. And Robert is... Let's see, you've got a master's degree in ex-science, ex-phys. I know that's important to your current practice [laughs]. And... and you are a diet and nutrition counselor and works online. Look him up.

Mark Rippetoe:
But first, Robert, tell us about a gallon of milk a day.

Robert Santana:
Well, Rip, I think it's important that the audience knows that 100 percent of human beings on planet Earth and also people in space need to drink a gallon of milk a day for the rest of their life.

Mark Rippetoe:
What about their dogs and cats?

Robert Santana:
Them too.

Mark Rippetoe:
Same thing.

Robert Santana:
Cats need two gallons.

Mark Rippetoe:
I completely agree. Cats don't get enough milk.

Robert Santana:
No.

Mark Rippetoe:
OK. Well, I wanted to get that out of the way because everyone knows...

Robert Santana:
Oh yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
...that Starting Strength requires that everyone drink a gallon of milk a day.

Mark Rippetoe:
[Laughs] This is so incredible. We talked about this in a previous podcast. Nick pulled this thing out and posted it on Thursday. The twenty seventh of.... what was it... June 30? Twenty seventh of June? And... little three and a half minute clip up and he cleverly titled it... What did you say? You must drink a gallon of milk a day? Everyone everyone must drink a gallon of milk a day. And the video basically said, Well, here's a here's a portion of the video:

Mark Rippetoe:
[Clip from previous podcast]"Don't drink the shit. Nobody told you you had to drink milk. Are you people still belaboring under... the laboring under the delusion that I want everybody on the surface of the planet to drink a gallon of milk a day? Good God! Get over that. That's so... twelve years ago, you know. We've never said that. And that's stupid. And if you think that you're a fool. I don't drink milk. I haven't drunk milk in 30 years. I'm not trying to grow.".

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, it must be obvious what the intent of that video was, but what we did was intentionally play with the bottom 3 percent on YouTube. And those are the people who comment on YouTube videos - bottom 3 percent are your commenters. And this also applies to Facebook. And I swear to God, within 10 minutes of having put this thing up, we must have had 20 comments:

Mark Rippetoe:
"Rippetoe is still pushing that gallon of milk a day thing."

Mark Rippetoe:
Rippetoe's fat. Everybody doesn't need to drink a gallon of milk a day. Come off it, man!"

Mark Rippetoe:
You know.

[off-camera]:
The best are the people who "respect Rippetoe's opinion on strength training, BUT..."

Mark Rippetoe:
But "he says everybody should drink a gallon of milk a day." And it's just... it's just amazing.

Mark Rippetoe:
Glenn Reynolds, our friend at Instapundit, has a.. has a new little book out. A pamphlet. And he makes the case in this pamphlet that... social media has changed our brains.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, think about this. I think that you'll you'll find that this really is true. It's changed mine. It has shortened our attention span. My ability to sit down and read a book without interruption has essentially been obliterated. It's a lot of trouble. I have to be in a certain set of circumstances before I can sit down and read uninterrupted, seven paragraphs out of a book without looking around for something else.

Mark Rippetoe:
And social media did that to us. It's done it to all of us. It has changed public discourse for the worse. It's exposed us to a whole bunch of information, but the nature of the presentation is such that you read a headline and you form an opinion based on the headline, the first two sentences of the piece. Nobody reads the whole thing. These idiots on Facebook are reading the title. It's a video, for God's sakes! It's not even an article. It's a fucking video. They're reading the title of the video and starting to type without even looking at the video.

Mark Rippetoe:
And it's just it's just fascinating to watch this. It really is. These people have no idea what the video said. Is a blatant condemnation of the idea that everybody has to drink a gallon of milk a day and within 10 minutes there are 15 or 20 comments that indicate that... right, you people think that we said that and we've never said it.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's just... it's just funny. It it it's terribly funny. It's just comical as hell.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh! And before we get into our discussion with Robert today, we've got a we've got a new video, a new a new feature on the podcast: Comments From the HATERS!

Mark Rippetoe:
"In my humble opinion, IMHO, this is very bad form. Looks horrible for the lower back. However, I have no clue and might be totally mistaken here." [Everyone laughs]

[off-camera]:
You've got to read that.

Mark Rippetoe:
This is Walter Sobchak by by the way.

[off-camera]:
And what video is he commenting on?

Mark Rippetoe:
He's commenting on the barbell row video, Revisiting the Barbell Row. "In my opinion humble opinion this is very bad form. Looks like horrible. Looks horrible for the low back. However, I have no clue and might be totally mistaken here.".

Robert Santana:
No Vietnam comment?

Mark Rippetoe:
Why would you... why would you type that?

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Tadge... t-a-d-g-h Smith says, "I haven't watched the video yet." This is the Back Pain episode video. "I haven't watched the video yet, but if the teacher is half-crippled with back pain form [sic] doing the thing he teaches, I'm wondering, do I really need to learn it?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, God. These are so goddamn funny.

Robert Santana:
Can you put Walter Sobchak's gun picture up?

Mark Rippetoe:
I assure you that we're more amused by your comments than you are amused when you make them. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right here is Coping Dummer who says... and this is "The First 3 Questions audio." I read "The First Three Questions" as an audio article. "This diet advice is stupid. Come on, man. 4000 calories, really, brah. I'm only one hundred eighty four centimeters and there" one word "is no way in hell I can eat that much without ending up fat. Credit to the strong fat lads, I respect what you guys do, but I don't want to look you. If that means sacrificing strength, then so be it."

[off-camera]:
He's in no danger.

Mark Rippetoe:
He's in... no, no too strong...

Robert Santana:
Too strong?

Mark Rippetoe:
Coping, if you get too strong, we'll give you your money back.

Robert Santana:
Might get too rich.

Mark Rippetoe:
Money back guarantee. Too rich.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Here's... this is this... we got to stop. Christophe says... this is the "Strength Allows You to Run" Starting Strength clips. This is a clip out of a deal, right? This is from Grant, I believe. Right. Broggi's... He says, "Prove it, Rip. Let's see you run motherfucker. L O L." [More laughter]

Robert Santana:
Oh yeah. Wait, no. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right, let me... let me find it. Nick says I have to read the nipple one. Let me see if I can find this guy. Maybe that's on the back page. Oh yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
This one is from a person by the name of Knopf. No fap gamer G. He doesn't fap, apparently.

Robert Santana:
No fap.

Mark Rippetoe:
We don't believe you. To wit, "Why are Mark's nipples hard? Is he some kind of pervert?".

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, no fap. I'm the pervert. This watching your nipples. Oh, goddamn. What a what a situation.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Now, all of that having been said. Robert, thanks for showing up today. Robert lives in Phoenix. And what we're going to do today is kick around some basic concepts that are important to all of you people who are not currently typing on the internet about the gallon of milk a day comments earlier.

Mark Rippetoe:
So let's just approach this in broad, general terms. All right. When people are concerned about nutrition associated with training they are worried about one of two things. They are worried about losing bodyfat or gaining muscle mass, right?

Robert Santana:
That's correct.

Mark Rippetoe:
Let's talk about those two things and how they're interrelated because this is terribly important.

Robert Santana:
Well... Let's start with the... gallon of milk. Yeah, right.

Mark Rippetoe:
We'll start with a gallon of milk.

Robert Santana:
Since it applies to everybody.

Mark Rippetoe:
Everyone.

Robert Santana:
Everybody.

Mark Rippetoe:
Everybody needs to know your mother, your grandmother...

Robert Santana:
Your grandmother's grandmother.

Mark Rippetoe:
Your grandmother's grandmother.

Robert Santana:
Your dead ancestors.

Mark Rippetoe:
Your dead ancestors, your dogs, your cats.

Robert Santana:
Insects.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right.

Robert Santana:
So as you were talking, it was running through my mind. How this originated and why this is appropriate. I know you've beat this to hell, but we should probably beat it to hell again.

Mark Rippetoe:
Let's do it again, just for the sake of uh... you know, clarification here.

Robert Santana:
So. In an alternate universe. No, not here, of course. A gallon of milk a day is appropriate for who? The 18-year-old, underweight boy.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes.

Robert Santana:
That wants to get big and strong.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's right.

Robert Santana:
Six feet three, a hundred forty pounds.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's him.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. He needs the gallon of milk.

Mark Rippetoe:
Five eleven, one fifty five.

Robert Santana:
That couldn't be the only person we're talking about, we're talking about everybody.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh yeah, what we're talkng about. But... but really. You people get your heads out of your ass. Okay. We're not.. you know... the gallon of milk a day has worked beautifully throughout history. Certainly throughout the past hundred years of barbell history for putting weight on underweight young males. That's all it's for. That's all it's for. We've never said it was for anybody else. But how does it work?

Robert Santana:
Okay, so the guy who's six three, a hundred and thirty is probably not eating enough food, probably has a faster metabolic rate that's... you know longer body, longer human body.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right.

Robert Santana:
Taller people tend to burn more calories. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes. Does does gut length have anything to do with this? How much variation is there in gut length?

Robert Santana:
Not very much.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's that's fairly standard across... There aren't people with short guts and long guts?

Robert Santana:
Not by a...

Mark Rippetoe:
That was bandied about, you know, for years as well. People with... somebody with a short ilium has got, you know, not as much capacity to absorb nutrition than someone with a normally long one. But I don't know how much variation there are.

Robert Santana:
It's there's...

Mark Rippetoe:
Have you ever looked into that?

Robert Santana:
There's outliers, of course, because we get a lot...

Mark Rippetoe:
There are always outliers.

Robert Santana:
But in general, it's not probably not very much.

Mark Rippetoe:
Not a factor.

Mark Rippetoe:
So I want to ask you, since you've been around this longer... from a... from an income perspective, who historically trained 50 years ago?

Mark Rippetoe:
From an income perspective, people who could afford it because 50 years ago, manual labor substituted for for everybody's physical load. Because we didn't have the internet. People didn't work online. People did... most people are sedentary. Really most people are sedentary. Most productive people are sedentary. Most people that have accomplished anything in their life are not out moving dirt with a shovel.

Robert Santana:
Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. That's not true of everyone, but, you know, and that's not to say that there aren't people who have a shovel job that aren't bright people, but the economy has shifted in the direction of sedentary in terms of daily activities. It can't be argued with.

Robert Santana:
So who was powerlifting and Olympic lifting in the 60s, 70s, 80s? Would you say it's a rich man's sport?

Mark Rippetoe:
No, I would say it was not necessarily a rich man's sport at all. No, it wasn't my... wasn't my experience. The people back then that were competing as lifters in either Olympic lifting or powerlifting, I would say on the whole were more intelligent than the normal... That, you know... I'm sorry if it fucks up your little stereotype, but that's that's the... most of the guys that were at meets were brighter people. Yes. That were interested in physical culture for one reason or another.

Robert Santana:
Right. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
And being in that... in that demographic, I think they had... They were curious about things. They tried a lot of different things. And this gallon of milk a day thing was one of the ways you got from one eighty one to two twenty.

Robert Santana:
So you know. Yeah. So where I was going, what that is milk is highly cost-effective for the amount of nutrients in it.

Mark Rippetoe:
It certainly is. It doesn't have to be cooked. It's it's it's available commercially as a homogenized, pasteurized product. Nobody gets sick drinking it. It's it's perfectly safe. It's cheap. It's quantifiable. Right? It comes in convenient, measured portions. And it's available all over the place. Every convenience store there's milk.

Robert Santana:
Now, does the 18 year old boy have money?

Mark Rippetoe:
Not usually.

Robert Santana:
Not usually.

Mark Rippetoe:
Not usually.

Robert Santana:
There's exceptions, but not usually, right?

Mark Rippetoe:
Right.

Robert Santana:
So in today's dollars, a gallon of milk is about three dollars, depending on where. If you're in a bigger city...

Mark Rippetoe:
Isn't that fascinating? We bought a gallon of milk at Wal-mart last night because I have to drink a gallon of milk a day.

Robert Santana:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
I drink a gallon of milk a day.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. Still.

Mark Rippetoe:
Everybody does. stef drinks a gallon of milk a day. Each one of the dogs drink a gallon of milk a day, right?

Robert Santana:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
And a gallon of milk was a dollar forty-seven.

Robert Santana:
Nice.

Mark Rippetoe:
At Wal-Mart.

Robert Santana:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Perfectly good milk. Gallon. Dollar forty seven.

Robert Santana:
Not bad.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes, this is one of the important reasons we recommend it. It is cost effective.

Robert Santana:
And for that dollar forty seven to three dollars, depending on which market you're in, you get one hundred and ninety two grams of carbohydrates. You get... if it's whole milk, you get about one hundred and twenty eight grams of fat and one hundred and twenty eight grams of protein for a total of twenty four hundred calories. For a dollar fifty.

Mark Rippetoe:
For a dollar forty-seven.

Mark Rippetoe:
That can't... you can't do that with any other substance.

Robert Santana:
Nope.

Mark Rippetoe:
Not of that quality. You can't do that with any other substance. You know. It's a...

Robert Santana:
That's a complete meal.

Mark Rippetoe:
Eggs are more expensive than that, although not much more expensive. I'm paying a dollar thirty-eight for 18 eggs at Wal-mart.

Mark Rippetoe:
Those of you that are too good to shop at Wal-Mart. You people, you know how silly you are? You know... you know how silly that makes you in terms of just realistically working your way through your budget? That's just stupid. Shop at Wal-mart. It's cheaper.

Robert Santana:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
My God, the produce department at Wal-mart is usually better because it changes over so fast.

Robert Santana:
They've stepped it up, too. It didn't use to be the case.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, no. They do a great job. They really do. They do a great job. And it's fresh. Because it doesn't stay there very long. They do the just- in-time inventory management with their produce too. It's a... tt's a it's a ... it's a... you know, if you're not shopping at Wal-mart because you think it's not cool, well, just, you know, go ahead and spend too much money. Fine with me.

Robert Santana:
I shop at Wal-mart. 15 years now.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh I go at 1:00 in the morning so I don't have to look at the freaks, you know. It is funny about 4:00 in the afternoon though.

Robert Santana:
People of Wal-mart.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, my God. Yeah. But, you know, that's part of... that's just entertainment. That's part of the entertainment, man.

Robert Santana:
The interesting thing is, even if you're getting ripped off and spending the three dollars at Whole Foods or wherever you're going, it's still cheaper than any other substance because you're getting all three macronutrients: your carbs, your fats, your proteins for a dollar fifty to three dollars depending on where you are shopping.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right.

Robert Santana:
So if you're looking at the 18-year-old kid that lives in mom's basement and he's not spoiled, it's a pretty good deal.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's a damn good deal. And there's... it just works very, very well.

Robert Santana:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's a... it's a handy, handy solution to a problem that that an underweight young man may have. I'd say that if you're in underweight young man, you have a problem. You don't want to be underweight and you need to to economically solve the problem. And that's why we say the gallon of milk a day. Because for that demographic it works. And you don't have to wonder whether it's going to work.

Robert Santana:
You know it's going to work.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's going to work. If you won't do it, you don't like milk, whatever. I don't care. I don't care. Stay underweight. Please. Stay underweight. Stay skinny. Stay pathetic. Stay diseased-looking. Pursue your heroin chic wardrobe situation however you'd like to. But if you if you've got enough sense to understand that you look better big and strong, then that's how you get that way.

Mark Rippetoe:
Ok, now that having been said, for most other people, milk is a part of... it can be a part of a dietary approach, depending on whether you're doing one of these two things. Losing weight. Losing bodyfat, I'm sorry, or gaining muscular bodyweight.

Mark Rippetoe:
So let's approach... let's approach the first of those two options first. This is commonly regarded as something called a "cut." On the internet, you're "doing a cut." You're doing a cut. So how should that be accomplished?

Robert Santana:
You forgot to do the [hand-signals air quotes]

Mark Rippetoe:
"The cut." [air quotes] Yeah. I like to do them this way [Rip-style air quotes using the wrists] Everybody wants me to do in this way [air quotes using just the fingers].

Mark Rippetoe:
So how do you... How do you do the cut?

Robert Santana:
Well, a cut refers to...

Mark Rippetoe:
If somebody hires you to do a cut. All right. To plan a cut for them. Now, first off who should that person be? What are their... what are their statistics going to be and how should they accomplish that?

Robert Santana:
They should be A) obese. So BMI, greater than 30 body mass index. You can look up that equation and see if you fall into that, right. Holds accurate for most novices that's fair to say.

Mark Rippetoe:
Because they're sedentary people.

Robert Santana:
The BMI inaccuracies kick in when you start to get some training.

Mark Rippetoe:
The longer you train, the more useless BMI becomes, but at first, with the general population, it works pretty well.

Robert Santana:
So BMI greater than 30, you should probably cut some weight. Number two, an intermediate or advanced lifter who's gained a bunch of weight because he's trying to build muscle. He needs to lose a bunch of weight and do it again.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right.

Robert Santana:
OK. And those are pretty much the only two circumstances for a cut.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now an intermediate or an advanced lifter. Say this again. Let's let's be clear what we're talking about. You're talking about a guy who is trying to stay in a weight class?

Robert Santana:
I'm talking about a guy who has gained a bunch of bodyweight to build muscle.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right, for the purpose of building muscle and and now he wants to cut bodyfat percentage back down.

Robert Santana:
Yeah, so he can do it again.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Oh I see what you're saying. OK, so this doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a weight class, but it might.

Robert Santana:
That's the third situation, sure.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Weight class in weight class sports

Robert Santana:
Weight class, sports.

Mark Rippetoe:
So I think it's... Let's stop right now and discuss this fundamental this fundamental thing, because you may be so deeply immersed in this that you're not going to address it. I want to make sure it gets addressed.

Robert Santana:
OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
Anytime you gain bodyweight you will have gained both muscle mass and bodyfat and anytime you lose bodyweight that loss will be composed of both lean bodymass and bodyfat. All right. Now, why?

Robert Santana:
Because...

Mark Rippetoe:
Because you have to understand this or the rest of this conver... conversation doesn't make any sense to you. You cannot, like they say on the internet, gain muscle mass and not gain some bodyfat in the process. Now you can skew the process in the direction that you want it to go, but anabolic processes are...

Robert Santana:
You gain fat, you gain muscle. They're inextricably related. That's what you said years ago.

Robert Santana:
Why is that?

Robert Santana:
Because anytime you are in an energy surplus, which means that you're gaining, you're consuming more calories and you're expanding. So you got maintenance, surplus, or deficit. So let's say you expend or burn, "burn" 3000 calories a day and you eat twenty five hundred, you are in a deficit. You are likely to lose bodyweight. Which means you're likely to lose muscle mass and fat mass. We're all clear on this, right?

Robert Santana:
If you are eating thirty five hundred calories and your baseline is three thousand, you're gonna gain fat mass and muscle mass. Now, excess calories without training are gonna be converted into fat. With training, less of them will be converted into fat. But there's no getting around that.

Mark Rippetoe:
In fact, if you sit on the couch and with Coke and potato chips add a hundred pounds to your bodyweight, some of that is going to be muscle.

Robert Santana:
Of course.

Mark Rippetoe:
Isn't that crazy. They don't believe that, though.

Robert Santana:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
They don't they don't believe what I just said is true. But that's absolutely true because anabolic processes are growth processes and everything grows.

Robert Santana:
So, yeah, anytime you gain bodyweight, you're gaining fat and muscle. Anytime you lose bodyweight, you're losing fat and muscle. It's just the way the thing works. Now...

Mark Rippetoe:
Why does it work that way?

Robert Santana:
Well, we don't really know exactly why. But we know that excess calories means excess bodyfat, no matter what. You're gonna gain muscle mass sitting on your ass getting fat. Assuming that, you know, you're doing some sort of movement, because you have to support a larger body mass. That's one potential reason why, you.

Robert Santana:
These professional research people can't really measure this stuff, contrary to what they tell you.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, no, I know they can't. The nutrition science... published nutrition science is almost as bad as published exercise science, if that's possible.

Robert Santana:
I would say it's worse.

Mark Rippetoe:
Really?

Robert Santana:
Yeah, I would say it's worse. And I'll tell you why it's worse... because they can't measure the thing that they're trying to measure. They can't reliably... scratch that. They they do not have a valid or reliable way to measure these things.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. In the same way that exercise science tries to use surface EMG to measure motor unit recruitment...

Robert Santana:
That's equivalent to self-reported diet intake.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. It's it's just bullshit. So that's not good data.

Robert Santana:
Ninety nine percent of professional nutrition research that has been published is B.S. because they cannot measure what people are eating and then they're extrapolating based on what people are saying they're eating. So we have several decades worth of "peer-reviewed" papers that say "this diet works" or "this mineral works" or this you know, "this macronutrient breakdown works" or "this supplement works" when they can't even measure what the person's eating.

Mark Rippetoe:
They don't actually know what intake and output is going on. They can't measure intake...

Robert Santana:
No!

Mark Rippetoe:
...Because it's all self-reported and they can't measure output because they don't know how to measure output.

Robert Santana:
No.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right.

Robert Santana:
So until they can find a meaningful way to measure that, we really don't know what's going on. We know that people are saying they're eating this. You're giving them.... So they're saying they're eating X. We're giving them Y. And then we're seeing Z happen. But do we know it's because of the dietary intervention or something else? You know, you give somebody a supplement, they could start changing their diet. Involuntary things happen when you're in a research study.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yep. Interesting things happen when you start spending three hundred dollars a month on supplements.

Robert Santana:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Maybe that you start training harder in the gym...

Robert Santana:
Or you start eating cleaner.

Mark Rippetoe:
Or you start eating cleaner or some other thing.

Mark Rippetoe:
So yeah, this is a situation in which we've got... a lot of misunderstanding in the public, so to to to backup. Anytime you gain body weight, you're gaining both bodyfat and lean muscle mass. Lean body mass as it's called.

Robert Santana:
Yes.

Mark Rippetoe:
And anytime you lose weight, you're losing bodyfat and lean muscle mass and you can shove those percentages in a certain direction.

Robert Santana:
Of course.

Mark Rippetoe:
But the process of losing and gaining involves all of the body.

Robert Santana:
Yes.

Mark Rippetoe:
All of the systems of the body. Both the adipose... the adiposity and the lean body mass.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes. So that just comes back to your original question. Why that is so?

Robert Santana:
Weight change is driven primarily by calories. Calories consumed. Liquid consumed too. Sodium consumed. But generally calories. Right. Then when you're talking about skewing it, that's where the "macros" come in and your training.

Robert Santana:
So let me let me me I really hit that point hard. If you're trying to skew this thing towards muscle, you have to train.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes.

Robert Santana:
And that's not going in the gym, doing a bunch of, you know, box jumps and...

Mark Rippetoe:
Waving the dumbbell around...

Robert Santana:
Wall sits, waving the dumbbells. Yeah, right. You have to actually train and by train you have to progressively overload the weight on the bar. Whether it's 15 reps, twenties, fives, singles, triples - it has to get heavier. You have to do more over time than you previously were able to do if you're trying to skew this thing. So that's variable number one when it comes to the lean mass variable.

Robert Santana:
And by lean mass, I'm really referring to the muscular portion of the lean mass because not all lean mass is muscle. And we'll come back to that. You have to train. You have to train hard. OK. There's no "mass diet" in the absence of hard training. Because that floats around.

Robert Santana:
I get people that hire me. They're doing 30 minutes of CrossFit. They're like, "Can give me a mass diet.".

Mark Rippetoe:
Like... No, no, no.

Robert Santana:
You have to train. So variable number one training. I think I hit that pretty well there.

Robert Santana:
Variable number two is the macros. So you got protein first. Anybody who's walked in the gym has been told they need eat more protein by all sides of the spectrum here in terms of professionals. The professional research people say it, we say it, the gym bros say it. How much is where people argue, but you need more protein than a sedentary person if you are training.

Mark Rippetoe:
We've heard for decades from the medical community that nobody needs more than 60 grams of protein a day. And, you know, every every slack jawed fuck that walked through medical school comes out of the... comes out of the process an expert on everything about the human body. And they've said this for years and years. Just exactly how firm is the data on the relationship between training, the increase in lean muscle mass, and protein intake?

Robert Santana:
How firm is...

Mark Rippetoe:
How firm is that data?

Robert Santana:
Well, it indicates that you need more.

Mark Rippetoe:
All of it does?

Robert Santana:
Most of it, yeah, all of it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Are there any conflicting opinions on that?

Robert Santana:
I don't think that's disputable. I don't think any peer-reviewed paper, if that's we're talking about here, has suggested that point eight grams per kg is enough for a lifter. In that position papers on this they agree that you need more than that baseline.

Mark Rippetoe:
So that's been done away with. Good. Finally. That's been done away with. I have a friend who has a friend in the commercial, large-scale pork production industry. This is interesting. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
And this man is in the business of generating protein. And his advice to my friend is eat as much protein as you can eat per day. He said a minimum for a normal-sized human male of 300 grams protein a day. And he's of the opinion - having been in this business for a while - that absolutely, dietary protein drives the increase in lean muscle mass. Absolutely. It's incontrovertible. It's the way the industry operates. And we'll talk about that later, because you need talk to this guy.

Robert Santana:
Oh yeah. So the next macronutrient would be carbohydrates. So the type of training that we do, resistance training, barbell training, we're lifting weights. You can't burn fat effectively when you're lifting weights. And without going into all the instrumentation and how this has been measured, typically the type of activity you do dictates which macronu... which macro-nutrient predominates. So which one you're burning most of.

Robert Santana:
Now you're never burning zero. So you're never burning zero fat or zero carb,or zero protein, contrary to how this stuff is kind of spun in the, you know, mass media. So when you're lifting, you're primarily burning creatine phosphate first. And then as the training session goes on or as you're doing more reps, you start to tap into glycogen, which is your stored carbohydrate.

Robert Santana:
So this is why carbo...

Mark Rippetoe:
We're talking about energy substrate for the contraction, muscle contraction.

Robert Santana:
Exactly. Exactly.

Robert Santana:
So one of the arguments that I've heard from a professional researcher was, "Well, you don't need any carbs for lifting because you're just using creatine, creatine phosphate." But maybe for a single set. Then you start reading through their own data and you kind of see that each set you're breaking down a little more glycogen and it's never an all or nothing thing either.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, you've got to replace the creatine phosphate that you just burned in the set with something.

Robert Santana:
Exactly.

Mark Rippetoe:
I mean, we've got to replace ATP. How do we replace it?

Robert Santana:
Next one, would be carbs.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. So, by the end of a workout you've broken down some glycogen. Now it's not glycogen depleting like running a marathon, you know, you're not going to completely wipe yourself out unless you're on a low carb diet. More on that later. But that's your next most important macronutrient is your carbs.

Robert Santana:
And then you got fat and you're obviously using some because no matter what, it's never zero. So I don't want to say you're not burning any fat when you're lifting, just not very much. So it doesn't directly contribute to performance in the weight room or the increase in lean body mass.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. But I think it's important to note, since we're talking about fat, there are components of fats that function as micronutrients as well, essential fatty acids. So when you say fat...

Robert Santana:
Fat soluble vitamins...

Mark Rippetoe:
You're you're talking about not just the macronutrient that that generates calories for the production of ATP. You're talking about other biological biologically active components of the diet that can only be obtained from the fat portion of the diet. There aren't any essential carbohydrates. There are essential fatty acids.

Robert Santana:
That's correct. And that's also where you get your fat-soluble vitamins - your vitamin A, your vitamin D, your vitamin E and your vitamin K. Vitamin K also comes from plant-based sources as well. But the first three are primarily found in oils and various high-fat foods. So we're clear on that.

Robert Santana:
So I'll tell you, the general recommendation first, OK, I've been doing it. Generally, if you have somebody who needs to lose bodyfat, the argument is made that they need more protein than if they weren't losing bodyfat, than if they weren't an energy surplus or energy maintenance. And the reason for that is because this person's at risk of doing what? Losing muscle mass. So the higher protein intake and the proper training manipulation will help skew that muscle loss closer to zero, okay.

Mark Rippetoe:
Because we're losing both muscle mass and bodyfat when we lose weight.

Robert Santana:
Yes, exactly.

So remember what drives muscle mass when you're gaining muscle? Protein intake, carbohydrate intake and above all that, the training stimulus. So you're training needs to be manipulated properly and your protein intake needs to stay high so that you can manipulate that number closer to zero. OK.

Robert Santana:
I don't change protein intake because I feed people plenty of protein either way. So if you've read my article on Starting Strength website, typically [for] men a hundred and fifty to two hundred fifty grams of protein with some outliers that are higher than 250. I don't think I've ever put a male under 150 unless they're a patient with kidney disease or pre-dialysis kidney disease. So a hundred fifty to 250 grams of protein.

Robert Santana:
So if you've got a guy who's eating two hundred, two twenty and he's gaining weight, he can probably lose weight just fine provided his training programming is manipulated properly and not lose a bunch muscle mass. So that's how we manipulate protein during fat loss.

Robert Santana:
Now, the other two is where people start to get into arguments, low carb versus low fat. So what drives fat loss? Calorie deficit. You have to reduce the amount of calories you are eating or increase the amount of calories you're expending. You have to be in a negative energy balance, which means you are burning more calories than you're taking in new. Yeah.

Robert Santana:
So there are two ways do that. You can do a bunch of activity and expend more and eat the same or you can start reducing calories. Usually the latter is the more preferred approach because you're not going to run around all day for eight hours unless we're...

Mark Rippetoe:
Well and if we do, it adversely affects your strength.

Robert Santana:
Exactly. That was the next thing I was going to say. People who do that are typically NBA players, you know, NFL professional athletes, you know.

Robert Santana:
So you reduce calories. So now you have to keep protein the same or increase it. So either carbs or fat have to go down.So remember what we talked about earlier. You're trying to build muscle mass. You need the carbohydrates to get through your training. So that's typically not the first thing that I reduce calories from. If they're not losing weigh... if they need to lose weight. You cut the fat first. And then when that stops working, then you start cutting the carbs.

Robert Santana:
So the idea is you want to lose bodyfat on as many carbohydrates and protein grams, as possible to skew that muscle loss number towards zero.

Mark Rippetoe:
Do you have any problems with a radical reduction in fat intake in terms of the macronutrient effects of essential fatty acids?

Robert Santana:
Not that I've observed. I wouldn't be able to attribute it to that because, you know...

Mark Rippetoe:
Take some fish oil.

Robert Santana:
Oh, do I recommend?

Mark Rippetoe:
Would you have them take some fish oil?

Robert Santana:
Yeah. Yeah. Thanks. So that's a supplement question. Yeah. Right. Yeah. You take those of certain things you want to take in a cut. So because you're cutting calories, therefore you're cutting food. Because you're cutting food, you're cutting micronutrients, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals.

Mark Rippetoe:
So supplements.

Robert Santana:
Yeah, so supplement some essential fatty acids or fish oil, you take some multivitamins because you're going to maybe not be in a huge deficiency and get something like scurvy, but you're eating less than you typically do, you know. And especially in people that have lower calorie needs on a cut.

Robert Santana:
So if I get a small lady that needs to eat thirteen hundred calories to cut, she needs to take some supplements during that period of time.

Mark Rippetoe:
Just to make sure that micro nutrient intake stays where it needs to be for recovery.

Robert Santana:
Precisely. Right. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
So on the other hand we've got a guy that that's the hundred and fifty five pounds. He's five eleven. He needs to gain some some some bodyweight. He needs to gain some bodyweight. He needs to gain some lean body mass. But how concerned are we about the body composition of an underweight five or eleven hundred and fifty five pound 18 year old kid as he gains body mass?

Robert Santana:
We're not very concerned at all. He's a hundred and fifty pounds at six four...a problem. He needs to gain weight. He needs to gain fat. He needs to gain muscle.

Mark Rippetoe:
He needs to gain everything.

Robert Santana:
Everything. Water... so lean mass, I talked about this earlier, is muscle and everything that's not fat.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. So bone, liver, brain.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. So I when lean mass goes up on a DEXA or bioelectrical impedance it may not necessarily reflect that it's muscle mass. Same thing if it goes down, it may not reflect muscle mass. So let's just, you know..

Mark Rippetoe:
One more one more data point. Far as bad data is concerned. Exactly. It's hard to measure all of this stuff.

Robert Santana:
Can't measure muscle mass.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right? No, not really. But we all know if it's gone up.

Robert Santana:
Well when you die, you do an autopsy.

Mark Rippetoe:
I mean, if we need a number. But I mean if we... if you're squat went from 135 to 405...

Robert Santana:
That's the best metric.

Mark Rippetoe:
Guess what happened. Right.

Robert Santana:
You gained muscle.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. That's what happened. So what kind of a diet are you going to put a kid on? He's.. all right, let's go with your numbers. He's 6' 4", 150. Yeah. What do you do?

Robert Santana:
He's drinking a gallon of whole milk a day because he doesn't have a whole lot of money and 2,400 calories for a dollar fifty. Can't beat that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Hard to beat.

Robert Santana:
And then he's going to eat mom's cooking on top of it and get to 35, probably 45 hundred, which is probably what he needs. He's six four. Talk to a guy who's six four that, you know, has a basketball player physique, marathon runner physique. They have to eat a lot.

Mark Rippetoe:
I would, I would contest that. Robert, you and I've talked about this several times. I think that a kid in that kind of situation needs six thousand calories a day.

Robert Santana:
Sure.

Mark Rippetoe:
And it's it's hard to eat that much. But here's an interesting thing. Did you know that the the Forest Service, the Fire Service, the USDA Fire Service, when guys are out deployed on a fire line, do you know what their rations per day are?

Robert Santana:
What are they?

Mark Rippetoe:
6,000. Six thousand calories. 250 grams of protein. Six thousand calories because those guys are working their asses off. And it's hard to appreciate how hard those guys work. It really is. You're on twelve hour shifts. It's real hard to understand exactly what they're doing out there.

Robert Santana:
Comparable to a professional athlete.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, they're far harder working... far harder than professional athletes because there's there's not any breaks. It's hot. It's their ass that's on the line if they don't move quickly and move a lot and move all day long. They feed those guys 6000 calories a day.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I don't think it is a terrible mistake to try to to to extrapolate that same advice to a little skinny 19-year-old kid who's trying to gain a bunch of bodyweight. Six thousand calories a day will do the job. Forty five might get it done. But I think six thousand is not an unreasonable thing to do to have them try to shoot for.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's going to be hard for them to do. This is kinda the problem. Not the six thousand, but eating 6,000.

Robert Santana:
The reality of six thousand.

Mark Rippetoe:
Reality of six thousand. That's a hell of a bunch of calories. And it's it's kind of hard to eat that much. But I think it helps. I think it's useful.

Mark Rippetoe:
So your recommendation would be something along those those same lines?

Robert Santana:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, what is the objection that the YouTube commenters are going to have to this. What do you know you're going to see?

Robert Santana:
He's gonna gain mostly fat.

Mark Rippetoe:
He's gonna gain fat. Oh, he's gonna have heart disease.

Robert Santana:
Heart disease...

Mark Rippetoe:
He won't be able to run any better than Rippetoe can run. Rippetoe can't run, you know

Robert Santana:
Great just a big fat guy.

Mark Rippetoe:
Just a big fat guy, you know, everybody knows that... that's too many calories. All right. Look what is. What is the deal here? Do people really think that we want this 19-year-old kid to eat 6000 calories a day for the rest of his life?

Mark Rippetoe:
Are you actually that fucking stupid? You people that are typing this right now on YouTube. Are you really that fucking stupid? Do you not understand that you do this as long as necessary and no longer?

Mark Rippetoe:
Do you think... here's the better question. Do these people actually think that a 19-yearold kid is going to develop heart disease in the nine months he's eating this much food?

Robert Santana:
Let's talk about that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Let's.

Robert Santana:
So how long does it take to develop heart disease at the... Do you know? Probably not. Heart disease starts in utero, first of all. We start depositing plaques in our arteries when we're in the womb. And then it happens little by little by little by little by little. And men start to have heart attacks in their 50s, women in their 60s if they're predisposed to having heart attack.

Mark Rippetoe:
If they are.

Robert Santana:
All of us are depositing plaques from the moment that we are conceived.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. And plaques are what?

Robert Santana:
Fatty deposits on the arteries.

Mark Rippetoe:
On the inside of the lumen of the artery.

Robert Santana:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Why are they deposited?

Robert Santana:
Fuck you did stop me, I never thought about that, why are they deposited?

Mark Rippetoe:
Why are they deposited?

Robert Santana:
Well...

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, let's talk about that, because if you ask Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath... Matthias Rath. They will tell you that... And I don't know how much of this is still in vogue right now, but Pauling's idea was that the vitamin C thing, notwithstanding. His idea was that the plaques... and this is not just Pauling, this... lots and lots of people have understood the plaques are in response to oxidative damage within the artery. And the plaque is a patch for damage to the arterie's lumen. And it is a functional response to oxidative damage.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, if you take that one step further, I remember Pauling said that that oxidative damage was mitigated by vitamin C supplementation and he advocated higher doses. That's less interesting to me than the fact that high serum cholesterol or the presence of cholesterol in your blood is absolutely normal. It is an... it is a function of a normally functioning cardiovascular system. It is a problem only at extremely high levels of cholesterol and even elevated cholesterol levels are not indicative of any process that might lead to heart disease.

Mark Rippetoe:
And, you know, I I don't... I, you know, I am aware of the total mortality curves that correlate to serum cholesterol. The sweet spot, the lowest total mortality is at about one hundred and ninety. 180, 190. And the tails, very low cholesterol and extremely high cholesterol or where the mortality comes out.Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
So in other words, low... low serum cholesterol is inability to repair the damage. Very, very, very high hypercholesterolemia is indicative of an over-response to the oxidative damage that that is harmful in and of itself. But the cholesterol itself is a perfectly - and plaqueing - is a perfectly normal response to having blood run through your arteries.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. So. I guess I just didn't understand your question for some reason, but it all kind of came back to me. So what what you're talking about where that comes from is they've done papers on this over the last 40 years, probably. And what they've observed is when a human eats a high fat meal, there's an inflammatory response and you get oxidative damage, which is what you're talking about.

Robert Santana:
Then your endothelial wallss, which is first layer of your artery become more permeable, which for you that means that things can pass through them easier. And then you get these fatty acids that are circulating through the blood that penetrate through and do essentially what you just said - patch up the rupture because you've got to think about what an artery is. An artery is a high pressure system.

Robert Santana:
We got lots of water going or no...water. Scratch that. Blood pumping.

Mark Rippetoe:
Fluid.

Robert Santana:
Fluid. And because the high pressure system, you know, they're subject to a lot of stress. So then...

Mark Rippetoe:
That's why arteries are muscular.

Robert Santana:
Exactly. Yeah. So the closer you get to the heart, the more pliable they are. The further you get away from the heart, the more muscular they are. So when you're close to the heart - this is why they're always talking about coronary artery disease, right - so they're ballooning out and they're coming back in their stretching and recoiling. And that's because they're close to the heart.

Robert Santana:
The heart has to pump out blood and the stiffer that they are in that region of the body, the harder the heart has to work. And the harder the heart has to work, the more negatively it adapts because what is the heart? It's a muscle that beats 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Robert Santana:
What happens when you train harder? You get bigger muscles. So if the heart has to work harder unnecessarily - and this is called pathological hypertrophy - hich means that it has to grow thicker in response to the pathology that's caused it.

Mark Rippetoe:
In response to normal baseline load, not exercise loads, normal baseline loads.

Robert Santana:
So you're eating like a pile of shit for, you know, 30, 40 years making and have to work harder it gets thicker and if it gets thicker, it can't pump out as much. Right. So you're not getting as much oxygen circulating through your body and that could lead to heart disease. This takes decades to happen.The three months of drinking a gallon of milk a day isn't gonna cause pathological hypertrophy of the heart, which is a negative enlargement...

Mark Rippetoe:
Or pathological hypertrophy of anything else.

Robert Santana:
Exactly.

Mark Rippetoe:
OK. So...

Robert Santana:
This is decades.

Mark Rippetoe:
We've just spent five minutes explaining why you shouldn't have typed that.

Robert Santana:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
OK, but you typed it anyway because you're a stupid, motherfucker. Ok. Now.

Robert Santana:
I think we can agree that the underweight 55-year-old probably doesn't need to do that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. An underweight 55-year-old is in a completely different situation than an underweight 19-year-old. That's absolutely true. And an underweight 55-year-old is one of these people for whom we do not recommend a gallon of milk a day. But what will we do with a guy?

Mark Rippetoe:
It's obvious what we do with a 19-year-old kid. We have him go to the Golden Corral three days a week and get thrown out. He needs to eat way more than he's been eating. He's not eating enough. How do we know that? Because he's 6' 4" and 150.

Robert Santana:
Picture that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Picture 6' 4" 150.

Robert Santana:
Look it up.

Mark Rippetoe:
Once I had a kid in the gym that came in the gym, he was like five 11 and he was one hundred and twenty eight pounds when he got there. And I put... we put... I yelled at him and screamed and yelled at his ass about this and got him up to one hundred and forty eight. Put twenty pounds on him. You could tell.

Robert Santana:
I believe it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Couldn't tell he gained a pound. Damnedest thing you ever saw. And a guy like that needs to go get thrown out of the Golden Corral. He needs a gallon and a half of milk a day. Wouldn't hurt if he drank a gallon of milk a day and added a quart of a half and half to it. You know, drink a half a cup of olive oil at night before you went to bed. Doesn't matter. Just, you know, crash weight gain diet.

Robert Santana:
He's 6' 4"..

Mark Rippetoe:
He's not gonna do it the rest of his life. He's 19. He's not going to get heart disease and shut up. All right. Just. You know, stop typing, but a 55 year old guy. Now he needs to gain. He's he's five eleven. He's hundred and eighty pounds. Hundred and seventy pounds. He's underweight. As hard as it is for you guys to wrap your heads around a guy 5'11", fifty five years old, that's 170 is underweight.

Mark Rippetoe:
I've got a friend who is in exactly this situation. He's 69. Works his ass off everyday outside. He's 5'11". He probably weighs 160. And I'm I'm not happy with that. I'm not happy with that, a guy that old at that bodyweight gets pneumonia.

Robert Santana:
He's going to go down to 120.

Mark Rippetoe:
He's in trouble.

Robert Santana:
Yeah, if he survives it.

Mark Rippetoe:
If he survives. If he survives the illness. A guy that's five eleven that's 220 that gets pneumonia is sick for a couple of weeks. And he's all right. But but I'm worried about my little skinny buddy getting sick at that age. That kind... you know, illnesses that a heavier man gets through easily. You know, skinny guy can't fight off.

Mark Rippetoe:
So if he's 170. He's five eleven. What do and he's fifty five? What do you do?

Robert Santana:
Well, you increase his calories a little bit slower and you don't feed him as much fat. He's not going to need that many calories, first of all.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. He's not a lumberjack.

Robert Santana:
Well, I got another point on that. He's not going to need as many calories as his 18-year-old self, you know, 40 years ago, or thirty years ago. So he's not...

Mark Rippetoe:
Why is that?

Robert Santana:
Because metabolic rate slows down with age. That's why we tend I know all of you don't want to believe this, but if you look at body weights of people from various decades of age, they increase. We gain body weight with age. In the absence of any training, it just happens because...

Mark Rippetoe:
Even while we lose muscle mass.

Robert Santana:
And we're not the only ones that do this, animals do it, too. Yeah. Animals get fatter with age. Yes. Because like a car, the more you drive a car, things tend to wear out. You know, your pancreas doesn't work as well. You become more insulin-resistant. That's why diabetes in people over 70 is almost considered normal, you know. You tend to become more insulin-resistant because the pancreas isn't working as well. Heart's not working as well. That's why heart disease tends to happen in older age. You know, not everybody's going to get a heart attack. Not everybody's going to get diabetes. But everything tends to slow down.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right.

Robert Santana:
Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
So everything just with age heads in that direction, whether it gets there or not.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. Even like you've talked about with muscle mass. We are we're all going to lose it. You know, training bends the curve. We're not curing sarcopenia.

Mark Rippetoe:
Isn't it interesting that this this phenomenon keeps coming up? If you lose bodyweight, you're losing from the whole system. Lean muscle mass and bodyfat. You gain bodyweight. You're gaining... the whole system gain.. You can skew the percentages, but the whole thing responds as you get older. Things happen to the whole system. The system as a whole responds to age. And while you can skew the response in a certain direction, you have absolutely no way to completely mitigate those effects, because as you age things slow down. Things change.

Mark Rippetoe:
What as you age, for example, your connective tissue composition changes. Right your tendons and ligaments get get less elastic. They're there.... You know, what would be plastic... That the elastic deformation ability of a tendon or ligament changes as you get older and it you're not as sproingy as you get older. The whole system is always has to be concerned. You don't just burn fat during exercise. You don't just burn carbohydrate or just burn ATP. Everything in the human body is complicated and multivariate and simple assessments of these things are always wrong.

Robert Santana:
Yeah, what's interesting is typically when you lose weight, you lose fat and muscle. What has been observed and I'm sure you've seen it in an elderly population, they tend to lose mostly muscle. And the fat losses are unnoticeable.

Mark Rippetoe:
My muscle is easier to metabolize into carbohydrate than fat. And as you get less good at doing those kinds of metabolic tasks as you get older, weight loss skews toward fat. This is why I'm worried about my 69-year-old skinny buddy.You know, and he's outside all day.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. Which means he's probably not thinking about eating.

Mark Rippetoe:
He's not eating.

Robert Santana:
Exactly.

Mark Rippetoe:
And he knows he's not eating and he just can't.

Robert Santana:
That's another. Yeah...

Mark Rippetoe:
It's a it's a it's a bad situation. I'm tired of yelling at him. You know, I just I just worry about it.

Robert Santana:
So we're gonna increase his carbs - slowly. Like a 5 percent increase. Increase his fat as well. Make sure he's eating protein every few hours of reasonably equal amount, because this person is probably at risk for some insulin-resistance over the next decade.

Mark Rippetoe:
He could be. But by the same token, he's as you get older, your appetite goes down. I certainly have noticed that myself. I still eat too much. But God, when I was 28. Oh, shit. You know, I could eat a two pound steak with absolutely no trouble at all.

Mark Rippetoe:
And my eyes are... when I go to the store to buy stuff. My eyes are still 28. I make this mistake all the time. I can't eat all that shit anymore, but I still... But I bought it. It looked like about the right size.

Robert Santana:
Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
But you know, you as you get older, you know, your appetite goes down. So a guy in... an older guy trying to gain weight is going to have to... He's going to eat smaller portions than a younger guy. Our 19 year old kid can fix this weight gain thing a whole lot easier than an older guy that needs to gain some weight.

Robert Santana:
He's just going to whine, but he'll do it. Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
An 18 year old kid will whine and piss and moan about having to drink all this milk and everything, but you know, as he starts to fill out his clothes better and he looks more like a human male, he will respond positively to that and figure out a way to keep doing it.

Mark Rippetoe:
An older guy who really desperately needs to be above 200 pounds just so that if he gets in a car wreck and he's laid up in the hospital, he can survive it better than a... then somebody that that such an event would otherwise kill. Right.

Robert Santana:
And the medical community doesn't entirely disagree because they have... when I was finishing up my dietetic internship, they had instructed us do not address BMI from 25 to 30 and elderly adults. Because they find that mortality rates are higher. You know, when the BMI is lower and now we've got even more data on that and other populations. But it's especially true in older.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I think that the data now points to the lowest total mortality within the cohort from 25 to 30 BMI, which would be overweight. And isn't that what they call overweight. Just before obese. That's total mortality at its lowest in that in that group.

Robert Santana:
U-shaped curve, right. People start bantering with each other -- in the middle. So picture the letter U.

Mark Rippetoe:
Just like, just like the cholesterol curve.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. So in an extreme end, BMI 17.

Mark Rippetoe:
On the tails... skinny people die.

Robert Santana:
Everybody agrees. Really gigantic...

Mark Rippetoe:
Giant fat people die.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. Some people are bickering about where the sweet spot is.

Mark Rippetoe:
The sweet spot is not where the abs are.

Robert Santana:
No. You're more likely to die there.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's where that's where you die. Abs are deadly. All right. Sorry. You want a little bit of belly. Sorry.

Robert Santana:
Data is out.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you're if you're concerned about longevity, you want a little bit of belly. You really do. And if you... can you see them typing. I can see them typing...

Robert Santana:
I'd rather die than look like you!

Mark Rippetoe:
I'd rather die than look like RipToe cuz RippedTos's a big fat guy. Right. He can't run either.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. Oh, God, I can't get past this today. This has been an interesting experience. Putting that stupid ass thing up that Nick cleverly titled. Oh, God.

Robert Santana:
Everybody's commenting.

Mark Rippetoe:
He's trolling. Delgadillo's trolling everybody. And they just went... just dove right into the goddamn pool. Oh, it's fabulous. Oh, man..

Mark Rippetoe:
So what else... There is? That's weight loss, weight gain. And those are the primary topics that people are interested in when they talk about...

Robert Santana:
Let's talk...

Mark Rippetoe:
They talk about nutrition when they hire somebody for nutrition services to help them out. Those are the two primary topics. So what else we got?

Robert Santana:
Let's elaborate on weight gain. Everybody can collectively agree that muscle mass, contractile tissue, is necessary to lift more weight. And if you're getting stronger, you're probably gaining some muscle mass. Everybody can agree on this.

Robert Santana:
So now the misinterpretation that most people have is that the muscle mass that you're gaining is the only thing contributing to weight on the bar. Well, that's not entirely correct. That fat mass helps you lift more weight. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Try to wrap your head around this boys and girls. You know. A guy, a strong man at 10 percent body fat - would be stronger - same guy at 15 percent body fat. Why?

Robert Santana:
Leverage. A larger mass is going to move a larger mass because it changes the mechanics of things. So you have bigger thighs, bigger belly. So look at the world's strongest squatters. Is there an accident? I mean, this is totally observational, but is it an accident that they tend to all have big bellies?

Mark Rippetoe:
Probably not.

Robert Santana:
I don't think it's an accident and they know this. They sacrifice their deadlift for it for other reasons. And I've covered this in one of my articles. Yeah. Bigger thigh. A bigger belly. You're gonna have more of a stretch, more of a rebound at the bottom. Because think about it you're...

Mark Rippetoe:
Tighter at the bottom.

Robert Santana:
Tighter at the bottom. Notice that they spring more when they come up versus... ever watch a skinny guy squat properly? It looks very different than you when you watch fat guy squat.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, yes.

Robert Santana:
Don't you agree with that?

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, yeah.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. So there's that then intra-abdominal pressure. That's the most obvious one that I don't think anybody would disagree on. If you have a great big mass here and I'm not -- this is not me saying every single person needs a huge belly. I'm talking about an extreme situation where you're a competitive lifter.

Mark Rippetoe:
What did they just type?

Robert Santana:
Santana said everybody needs to get fat.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, right.

Robert Santana:
Competitive lifter does all sorts of shit to sacrifice his or her health. Because there are competitive lifters. Same thing as an NFL player.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes.

Robert Santana:
They're not healthy.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, they're not healthy. They're running into each other with their head. But for eight million dollars a year, you'll tend to do that for a while. Lifters don't make 8 million dollars a year, but by the same token, they're not running into shit with their heads. Not usually.

Robert Santana:
No, but they're getting fat, you know, right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Fat comes off.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. So let's talk about intra-abdominal pressure. What does it do?

Mark Rippetoe:
It supports the back.

Robert Santana:
Supports the back - force transmitter. You're going to generate more force.

Mark Rippetoe:
Stiffer back segment. Transmits force to the bar.

Robert Santana:
What does the belt do? It exaggerates this.

Mark Rippetoe:
It improves stiffness in the back segment. And we've... I've got an article about the mechanism for that. The hoop tension thing. Read it. The belt and the deadlift.

Mark Rippetoe:
So a a a guy with a bigger belly protects his back better than a skinny man. And this isn't... You know, I have been talking about that for years. If you're a skinny guy with a bad back - you have a glass back, you tweak your back all the time - the two things that you need to do to make that stop happening - and it's a pain in the ass, I've been there. I understand, it's distracting and makes it hard to work. Your back hurts all the time like that. The first two things you do are 1) you stop doing sit ups and back extensions. Quit wiggling it around. Your squats and your deadlifts make the muscles that support the spine stronger. And the second thing you do is gain some weight, get a bigger waist, whether it's muscle and some of it's going to be muscle, whether it's fat. It's going to support your back better if you've got a thicker waist.

Mark Rippetoe:
Hear them typing?

Robert Santana:
Rippetoe just said I need a 60 inch waist.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's what he said. That's what he said. I hear them typing up here.

Robert Santana:
Rippetoe just said that, Santana agreed with him.

Mark Rippetoe:
Santana agreed with him. God. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
What kind of a professional? How do you call yourself a registered dietician?

Robert Santana:
Need to revoke his credentials.

Mark Rippetoe:
Get that process started.

Mark Rippetoe:
So with respect to... I mean, you're a dietitian. You think about meal plans. How do you plan meals? What do... What does a meal plan look like for a guy who's training that wants to lose some bodyfat. What does he eat?

Robert Santana:
That's an excellent question.

Mark Rippetoe:
What does it look like? What is what does the table look like? Because we can talk about these these things in terms of macronutrients and and all this other, you know, theoretical shit. But what what does it look like? For a guy like that to eat, what does he go to the store and buy? What does he cook? What... what's a day's meals look like?

Robert Santana:
Let's first cover who should be doing this because this is gonna be different depending on advancement level. So in the absence of being an obese novice, a novice should not be concerned with this stuff. We agree on that right now. So we're just not going to cover what the novice needs to do.

Robert Santana:
So we're assuming that you've been training for a while, gotten reasonably strong, got some fluff on from the gallon of milk - we need to clean that up. Right. So a meal plan... The easiest thing to address first are just your extraneous fats, right?

Robert Santana:
So we're going to cut the whole milk down to 1 percent, 2 percent, non-fat, depending on palate. Because...

Mark Rippetoe:
If he's going to drink milk at all.

Robert Santana:
If he's even going to continue drinking. Right. But that's an easy way to change something, because one thing we gotta understand is diet is heavily behavioral. There's a lot of psychology involved.

Robert Santana:
So I don't like to change variables too quickly. So this guy was 6'5", he's now 250. Gut got a little too big in the process, but he's an intermediate. He's squatting, you know, 450. He's deadlifting 500, 525. He's pretty strong now. But now he wants to clean up the belly. Right. He should... as he should.

Robert Santana:
So first thing I'm gonna to do, he's going from whole milk to 2 percent, maybe non-fat, maybe low-fat. You know, I know.

Mark Rippetoe:
I can't stand that shit.

Robert Santana:
A lot of people can't. So we might just get rid of the milk altogether and try to substitute whole foods.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, if he gets rid of the milk altogether, he's now produced a thousand calorie deficit, assuming he's drinking a half gallon a day. He's produced a thousand calorie deficit without doing anything else. Is that advisable? Or you want him to slide down more slowly than that?

Robert Santana:
I want him to replace that protein. That's why I said we're going to substitute. He's going to keep that protein that he was getting - one hundred and twenty eight grams, but he's probably eating 500 carbs if he's eating 192 from the milk and the diet. So now we're going to drop those to three hundred which for most they can still train on that.

Robert Santana:
You're not going to see a huge drop going from 500 to 300. And we're cutting a bunch of fat out. So he's going to drop real fast the first week and then it will level off at some point. We may have to take it down even more.

Robert Santana:
What he doesn't need to do unless he's going to compete in bodybuilding is get to 9 percent body fat. No.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's not a good. No, really. I mean, that's that's that's a very narrow special interest group. And I know all you people on the internet think you want to be 9 percent body fat, but you don't know what 9 percent body fat looks like. You don't know how hard it is for a person of normal body composition to get down there. It's a full time job.

Robert Santana:
I've done it. And it's it's. I did it one time. I got to eleven and I'm like, I'm done with this. That was the end of that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right and you're not a fat guy to begin with. And it's... but that's a that's a whole different consideration. It's outside the scope of this. It's outside the scope of this discussion.

Mark Rippetoe:
So let's talk about let's let's talk about what the guy. What is his? What is it? What does it look like? What does he eat for breakfast?

Robert Santana:
OK. That's so. Well, there's this reason I'm like hesitating here is because it's highly-dependent. So and Indian guy's going to have a different set of meal plan than -- I've dealt with a lot of different demographics...

Mark Rippetoe:
Because of the different cultural cuisine preference and this sort of thing.

Mark Rippetoe:
But let's let's say you've got just no cultural considerations here. How many eggs does he eat for breakfast?

Robert Santana:
So he's trying to stick to two to four eggs, maybe do 1/2 eggs, 1/2 whites to get some of the fat calories out. He's going to have oatmeal or some sort of grain. Couple of pieces of toast, you know, maybe cereal, if you like cereal. And, you know, piece of fruit. You know, apple, banana, eat some berries.

Mark Rippetoe:
But since he's dropped the milk, he has to put beer on his cereal.

Robert Santana:
Exactly. We said that.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's what serious people eat.

Robert Santana:
He's very serious. Yeah. You know, he's went from 16 cups of milk to one cup and cereal now. You know he can still have milk.

Mark Rippetoe:
Beer's not bad on Raisin Bran.

Robert Santana:
Really? Haven't tried this. What kind of beer?

Mark Rippetoe:
Doesn't matter. Lonestar. Lonestar and Raisin Bran.

Robert Santana:
Then the guy...

Mark Rippetoe:
Guinness and be...

Robert Santana:
Maybe oatmeal. It might work in oatmeal.

Robert Santana:
Should make that. The part 2 to your protein shake video.

Mark Rippetoe:
In fact. It's worth it. Worth exploring.

Robert Santana:
Rippetoe said...

Robert Santana:
So that's pretty standard breakfast, right? And then people start to have problems throughout the day. Now this guy's been training for a while - he's got the job, right? So he's not going to be sitting at mom's house taking stuff from the cupboards anymore. So typically I'm recommending easy dry goods for him to have on him so he doesn't miss a bunch of meals. Because remember, he's still a fast metabolizer.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. He's a young man.

Robert Santana:
He's at risk of losing muscle faster than the fat guy. Right.

Robert Santana:
So my typical go to recommendations are: beef jerky, you know, Greek yogurt or Siggis Icelandic stuff because it's higher in protein. So one cup has 15 grams versus that Yoplait nonsense of two grams of protein, 30 grams of sugar.

Mark Rippetoe:
Man, I think cottage cheese is under appreciated.

Robert Santana:
That's an option too. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Very high in protein. Not much money. Open it. Eat it with the spoon.

Robert Santana:
But Rippetoe, what about sodium? I don't want to get high blood pressure.

Mark Rippetoe:
In cottage cheese?

Robert Santana:
It's pretty high. So in the absence of...

Mark Rippetoe:
Do you really believe... I thought that sodium thing had gone away.

Robert Santana:
For us.

Mark Rippetoe:
I mean does the population at large still believe that sodium causes high blood pressure?

Robert Santana:
Probably. They're more concerned that the bodyweight goes up. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
So anyways. All right. Anyway.

Robert Santana:
So cottage cheese is perfectly acceptable.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. And packaged lunch meat.

Robert Santana:
Packaged lunch mean.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, more sodium.

Robert Santana:
Sodium, man.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, you can go to Wal-Mart and get a one pound package of turkey breast for three ninety eight?

Robert Santana:
Yeah. And if he has a way to refrigerate that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes. You know, that's incalculably handy. Right.

Robert Santana:
So there's various protein. We have more protein supplements now than ever. When I first started doing this, they were you know, we just had bars and couple bars, some powders. Now there's like protein chips. You know, for people who like chips and things like that. Your bars, your brownies, your cookies.

Robert Santana:
So just carrying stuff like that around, keeping it handy. That tends to help. And then, you know, the old-fashioned protein shake, you know. Keep protein powder at work or in the car.

Mark Rippetoe:
Whey protein isolate. High quality stuff. Cheap, easy to do. You know, it's I... it's not really a supplement, it should be regarded as a food.

Robert Santana:
Yeah, I would say so. Yep. Comes from milk.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. And what do the meals look like?

Robert Santana:
So then those are for when he's between meals and needs to grab something really fast because that's usually the complaint I get from people. It's like, "Oh I didn't eat for nine hours because I couldn't grab anything that was high in protein." So those those are the things you want to have in your little handy bag.

Robert Santana:
Then for lunch, might I have a sandwich. You know that the pound of lunch meat you just mentioned, you know, can make himself a sandwich or, you know, he can pack premade meal, you know. Like I used to have pasta and ground beef with some pasta sauce on it throw a little bit of cheese. I also used to just mix ground meat with rice and vegetables. So my favorite vegetables to put in there was like sauteed bell peppers and onions that I would saute.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, let's let's plug our friend Stan Efferding's stuff. Vertical diet, Stan Efferding's Vertical Diet stuff. He sells conveniently packaged little little tubs of beef and rice and potatoes.

Robert Santana:
It's exactly how I used to do it.

Mark Rippetoe:
And it's. Yeah, just... they're frozen - six minutes in the microwave. Excellent. They all need salt, you know, you got to have salt cuz they don't put any salt. That's your job. And you ought to investigate that. The Vertical Diet.Stan Efferding he does... Those are... we keep them at the gym. We eat them all the time.

Robert Santana:
So I was just thinking about that because I was doing that intuitively. Then when I met him at the seminar back in January, I ordered them. And I'm like, well, this is exactly what I'm gonna do the work, you know? Right. And it saved me a whole bunch of time.

Robert Santana:
Now, what if the guy can't heat that up? What has he got to do?

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, he's gonna have to make other plans.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. So he's got to look around... what's available? Because you can go to a fast food restaurant and get something useful. You can go to Subway. And I personally like getting the salads, not because I'm being a health nut, you get more stuff in them.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, this is what I do at Subway. I'll have them skinny the bread. And if you don't know what that means, they'll... If you ask him to do this, they'll pull the inside of the bread out, throw it away. So basically it's just a piece of crust holding the sandwich together. And then I'll get a Subway club with triple meat and triple cheese.

Robert Santana:
I've done that with the salads. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's, it's hard to beat. For the money it's a hell of a big slug of protein.

Robert Santana:
Pretty inexpensive too. So you got Subway.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right.

Robert Santana:
You can go to...

Mark Rippetoe:
Any of these sandwich places will do that for you. Our little people here -- the Which Wich people here in Wichita Falls do a great job doing the sandwich that way. Most of the sandwich places will cooperate with you on that and you end up with a a low carb, high protein way to eat lunch.

Robert Santana:
And they sell fruit. They have the apples there and get a couple packets of those if you don't have time to get an apple from the grocery store. You forgot your meal.

Robert Santana:
I went to Dunkin Donuts this morning and they have a new item on their menu. It's more of a breakfast item, but I forgot to mention that. So he's running out the door. Needs to stop somewhere. They have this egg white Bowl. So it's basically egg whites, potatoes and spinach. So you're getting the starch, a vegetable and a protein. I had that and I'm not losing weight so I had a bagel with it, but thing's about 300 calories. So it's quick.

Robert Santana:
Starbucks has a couple options. Starbucks has a couple options. The spinach and feta wrap.

Mark Rippetoe:
One of the all of the good things that's happened over the past five or 10 years is that big corporations that are in the food business are responding to the demand for this kind of product. It's not that hard to eat clean at lunch if you have to go buy something from a. restaurant now. Just not that hard. But you have to just exercise a little bit of discipline and some judgment and do it correctly.

Robert Santana:
I mean, you can even... you're talking about Panda Express yesterday... you can go there and get beef and broccoli, some white rice. You can go any...

Mark Rippetoe:
Pretty much any place you want to go will... There's a way to eat clean, quote unquote, at the restaurant.

Robert Santana:
You can eat out three times a day and lose weight.

Mark Rippetoe:
You could. If you're careful about what you order. Absolutely. A lot of people have to do that, you know.

Robert Santana:
So our guy gets home after work. Right. Needs his dinner. But he doesn't really do much cooking. So some of the easy things that I recommend it kind of simulate a traditional meal: instant mashed potatoes, the Idaho instant mashed potatoes. They're cheap. They're good. You know, they have different flavors of them.

Robert Santana:
So I eat those or instant rice. You can throw that in the microwave. Ninety seconds, pour it into a bowl. Tastes just as good as what you get at the restaurant. And then, you know, you have your meat. You know, you could have like...

Mark Rippetoe:
Fry a steak. Just skillet, you know, fry a steak.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. And if you don't want to use vegetable oil to cut the fat, now there's plenty of different sprays you can use. I'm partial to the "I can't believe it's not butter" spray because it kind of has a buttery flavor to it. But, you know, you use Pam and that comes in different flavors now and that can cut some calories out.

Robert Santana:
So, yeah, that's that's pretty much what his day a like. Then if he's hungry at night he can have some cottage cheese or yogurt. Some sort of dairy because it digests slower. So he's not going to bed starving you know.

Robert Santana:
I've recommended casein powder to some people that don't want to eat it. But a lot of... I've noticed that a lot of people that opt out of that because they get too bloated before bed. They'd rather have yogurt, you know, or eggs.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. And I guess what you're going to recommend then is that you do... if you're eating this way, you actually keep track of the macros and. And where do you want the macros? If we've got a 250 pound guy, that guy you calculated for earlier, he's 28 years old. He's he's an intermediate lifter, he's squatting five, deadlifting 550, he's 250, a little fluffy... a little fluff around a middle. Where do you want him in terms of his macros?

Robert Santana:
Well, that will depend on calorie levels. So, he was at six thousand calories.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, he's going to need 250 grams of protein.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. That's a given.

Mark Rippetoe:
So given that and he's you know, he's been eating 4000 calories, how much do you want him down?

Robert Santana:
That's what he's been eating or ...

Mark Rippetoe:
So he's been eating 4000 calories, that's got him fluffy.

Robert Santana:
I want to get him down to thirty five hundred. So a thousand of that's already protein. He's at 250. Right. Then the next thing is I'm going to cut his fat under 100 right now. And that could be general number - 80. So that's 800 calories, just under eight hundred calories. So you're at... what did I say, a thousand protein - eighteen hundred. So then the rest of it would just come from carbs.

Mark Rippetoe:
Just carbs up to thirty five hundred. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
And a 500 calorie deficit is enough to produce this body composition change?

Robert Santana:
It should, for most people. That's not always the case.

Mark Rippetoe:
How long does this take?

Robert Santana:
You should see a drop in a week. But since he's just now...

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, right...500 calories a day. Pound of fat is what? Thirty five hundred calories.

Robert Santana:
Give or take. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
So seven days... at 500.

Robert Santana:
Let's talk about that pound of fat. Thirty five hundred calories - generally more or less true. But for some people they can restrict -like your fast metabolizer might only have to drop 200 calories a day and lose a pound on fourteen hundred calories. Whereas your fat guy may need to drop a thousand calories today and need 7000 calorie reduction. So there's variability here.

Robert Santana:
A pound of fat does not equal 3500 calories a day 100 percent of the time. And people don't understand this. Especially your weight loss clients tend to freak out because, "Oh, I've done all these calculations and I didn't lose weight." It's like there's variability, man. You might need to...

Mark Rippetoe:
Recalculate with a different with a different number.

[off-camera]:
Is there adaptation that happens... If someone's been on a deficit for a long time are they get more efficient on that caloric deficit? So then how does that go down? Right.

Robert Santana:
That's absolutely correct. Yeah, right. Yeah. So if you've been gaining weight for too long, eventually you to eat more food to gain additional weight. If you've been losing weight for too long, eventually got to cut more food if it's even practical at that point to lose more weight, you know.

Robert Santana:
So the general recommendation that I make is don't stay on a cut for too long because the longer you stay on a cut, the more muscle mass you're going to lose. You know, the function of mathematics for one, you know, three month cut versus a six month cut, you're more likely to lose muscle or more muscle on a six month cut. Right. So and then there's the metabolic adaptation that Nick was talking about.

Robert Santana:
So if you continue to cut longer, your body adapts that calorie level that you're taking in. Because remember, you also expend calories by digesting and absorbing nutrients. That's called diet-induced thermogenesis. So by eating, you're burning calories, about 15 percent of the calories you burn a day simply by digesting food. Most of it's actually by being alive. People don't get this right. They think they got to run more, not be a lazy powerlifter, because if they just sit around, recovered or just get fat, you know. Right. Your body doesn't need calories to, you know, for your heart to beat or for you to breathe. Surely that wouldn't burn all the majority of your calories? It's all from exercise.

Mark Rippetoe:
And in fact, it does. In fact, it does. How much of your calorie is... a man sitting at work thinking hard all day is burning a whole bunch of glycogen just with his brain, isn't he?

Robert Santana:
Yeah. Because their brain's preferred fuel source is carbohydrate. All the ketone people are writing comments....

Mark Rippetoe:
What percentage of... Right. These guys here... typing on YouTube right now. You're... all of those those weighty thoughts that you're putting down right now...

Robert Santana:
They make me feel clear, clear... clarity.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what percentage of your daily calorie requirement is used up in the brain?

Robert Santana:
The brain uses approximately about one hundred and thirty grams of carbohydrate a day. And that, again, variability. That's obvious. That's the number you tend to see. So. Right. That is, what, once 130 times 4... 520, that math, right? Yeah, about 520 calories a day. And just goin' to your brain.

Mark Rippetoe:
Could be more than at depending on your job.

Robert Santana:
Yeah, exactly. Exactly what I was thinking. Somebody who's got to use...

Mark Rippetoe:
Somebody that's writing all day for a living, an editor, somebody sitting or thinking real hard. Right. Uses a lot of calories. Just thinking.

Robert Santana:
They tend to.

Mark Rippetoe:
Absolutely. As a result of bodybuilding magazines being in the grocery store we have a picture in our mind of the guy we want to look like. Who is that guy really? He's the guy... I'm talking about a contest bodybuilder.

Robert Santana:
You're talking about 90s bodybuilding magazines. Yes, but it's now it's Instagram and CrossFitters.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. That's what I mean. I'm stuck 20 years ago. Yes. Absolutely right. You still have bodybuilding magazines.

Robert Santana:
Well they have them.

[off-camera]:
Not at the grocery store.

Robert Santana:
No, not anymore. No,.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's moved off... Where do... what did they do with bodybuilding...

[off-camera]:
Not it's all women's health. Women's fitness magazines and they're all CrossFitters.

Mark Rippetoe:
Outee belly button. Oh, OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, but but all right, let's let's not, you know, apply my chipped flint sensibilities to this. Where do you... the picture in your mind of a contest bodybuilder. Who is that guy? Who's a contest bodybuilder?

Robert Santana:
He's about 5'8", three hundred, and five percent body fat.

Mark Rippetoe:
And he is the guy.

Robert Santana:
In 2019.

Mark Rippetoe:
And that...had low body fat when he was 14.

Robert Santana:
Oh, yeah. Because bodybuilders are born.

Mark Rippetoe:
Bodybuilders, you're born, they're not built. And you just. But that's so hard to tell people because Joe Weider made hundreds of trillions of dollars telling everybody that they could look like Dorian Yates or Frank Zane. And if you repeat that nonsense over and over and over...

Mark Rippetoe:
Both those guys were born.

Robert Santana:
Oh, yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
They've always had low bodyfat. And we know how to make them have real big muscles if they are willing to do what we tell them to do.

Mark Rippetoe:
If they're willing to take what we tell them to take and willing to eat what we tell them to eat and don't do anything else, we can, we can make their muscles bigger. But by the same token, their muscles have a certain shape and those muscles are born on them.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. You know, I'm never gonna have Frank Zane deltoids because that's not the way my deltoids were shaped.

Robert Santana:
Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
You you guys think you can look like a contest bodybuilder with diet and exercise. I'm sorry. There's more involved in it than that. Not all of it within your ability to influence. But I mean, if you're a fat guy, take Robert's advice.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you're a little skinny guy take Robert's advice. We're pretty congruent on all this stuff.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I think that...

Robert Santana:
Fat doesn't...

Mark Rippetoe:
I think that the most important thing you can do with with respect to all of this is get stronger. If you'll just shut up and just think about making your numbers on the bar go up, everything kind of tends to take care of itself. You're going to have to eat appropriately for your body composition, your level of training advancement. You're going to have to accurately assess where you are.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you're underweight you, you have to understand that you're underweight and then you have to correct it. If you're too fat, you have to give in to the idea that you're gonna have to modify your diet downward in terms of total calorie intake in order to lose that. But the first thing you have to do is understand that this is the situation you're in, but that strength training is the constant. Strength training is the glue that ties all of you guys together. You're all better off getting stronger. Right.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. And one of the things, again, gets lost, too, is these body builders have fed the general public all this information about reps and volume. And you have to do a lot of volume, lot of reps with light weights. But light weights for them is 515.

Robert Santana:
You know, like the one article. Right. A gentleman wrote was comparing Hatfield to Platts. Right. One RM AMRAP. And Platts had a lower one RM of eight something. And then Hatfield had a lower AMRAP with 525 of eleven reps. The one who lost in both instances was strong.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Yeah, both of em were strong. Neither one of them are you because you're not strong and you need to get strong, right? And that's kind of what we're here to tell you.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'd like to thank Robert for being here with us today. Robert's available on our website. He runs the nutrition board at Starting Strength.com and the forums.

Mark Rippetoe:
His company is Weights and Plates, weightsandplates.com is where you find him on the internet. And he'd be happy to have your business and you'd be better off having him help you with this situation that you find yourself in. Whether you're underweight, overweight, wherever you are, if you want nutrition counselling, Robert's your man.

Robert, thanks for coming, appreciate having you here. And we'll see you guys next time here on Starting Strength Radio.

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GOMAD, Gaining muscle, losing fat, doing "a cut" - just some of the topics discussed in this interview with Robert Santana on Starting Strength Radio.

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 01:11 GOMAD for humans (on Earth or in space), dogs, cats
  • 04:28 Social media changing our brains
  • 06:40 Comments from the HATERS!
  • 10:53 Nutrition & Training (today's main topic)
  • 11:54 GOMAD for underweight males
  • 21:52 Losing bodyfat aka "doing a cut"
  • 29:49 Body composition: training & macros
  • 40:50 Gaining weight, gaining muscle mass
  • 52:39 Gaining weight as an older guy
  • 1:04:26 Weight gain and lifting more weight
  • 1:08:56 Meal plans - what to eat?

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