T Nation

Protein Pulsing - Any Progress?


I've been pulsing on whey hydrolysate for exactly 14 days as part of a CKD I'm on. I've noticed a body comp change in that time - but I'm unsure whether this can be credited to the WH pulsing or just low calories/carbs and bloody hard graft.

Any other pulse people out there got anything to report?


I've had favorable results. I've been dieting. I began with a keto diet, but since switched to a low carb most of the time with carbs peri workout routine. I'd love to say exactly what impact the CH has had in the two and a half weeks but honestly it would be hard to single out the effect of hydrolysate. I've changed quite a few stimuli, so I can't quite put my finger on it unfortunately.

I would be curious what effects a keto diet would have if every 7 days or so you used peri workout carbs as your refeed/cheat if you chose to include a refeed. That would probably be so bomb, but hard to stick to religiously.


I started trying this 2 weeks ago right as I was moving out of my old apartment and into my new one, with out of town friends visiting and my school gym closed for 4 days for graduation. Needless to say my training and nutrition hasn't been spot on, so I can't really comment. Anyone else have positive experiences?


Yes, I have been doing it for a couple of weeks. After reading everything I could get my hands on and consulting with someone who is a lot more knowledgeable about it than I am, I have changed my protocol to the one Layne Norton recommends.

I am very pleased with the results. I have been working out for 35 years and I would say, based on my limited experience, pulsing is a significant asset for anyone who is serious about strength or hypertrophy.


Do you happen to have a link to a tidy outline/protocol of the system you've been using? I would be curious to look it over if you have it available.

Edit: http://www.abcbodybuilding.com/protein_size_&_frequency.pdf


Great read, anyone else get a chance to look through the link from Layne Norton posted above??

I find it interesting, the notion of fewer protein feedings but with greater amounts (in an effort to reach a set level of leucine per feeding ~3.2g's). The funny thing is "fewer feedings" was 4-6 as opposed to around 8. I'd say most of us fall in the 4-6 range. So perhaps the frequency developments aren't as exciting.


Anyone have a link to where Thibs lays out the basics for pulsing? His Q&A thread doesn't really go into the basic plan.


Excellent article.

I've also noted that Thibaudeau's recommendations have changed again regarding pulsing. Originally they were used by themselves, similar to Norton's take. Now they are preceding all solid meals by 30mins, i.e. doubling the frequency.

Personally I'm not going to pursue that strategy because: (a) it's more expensive; (b) it's far less practical on a daily basis.
While I'm sticking with whey hydrolysate pulses, I'm upping the leucine content following Norton's recommendations. Alternatively, if I'm on the move I find 5g of BCAAs is much more practical.


The most enlightening thing to me was the significance of the timing and hitting the threshold each pulse. I have make sure I have 4 meals per day with at least 45g of protein plus three pulses on workout days and 2 on non-workout days. It appears to me, this protocol will provide the greatest protein synthesis possible, as supported by scientific evidence. That is not to say it is the only way or will not be improved on as more research unfolds.

Seven months ago, I tore my tricep doing dumbell presses and had to have it surgically reattached. My surgeon told me it would take 1-1/2 years for me to come back to the level I was, and I may NEVER get back there. After only seven months, I am actually very close to my previous level. Focusing on diet and nutrition has helped, but this protein pulse concept has helped significantly. Bottom line: it works.


Unless I am reading it wrong, Thib's protocol seems to be evolving. Plus it has the ever-elusive Anaconda, which is not available to us mere mortals. That is not to say I may not try his protocol when they unleash this whole thing in final form, but for now, I think I will stick with Norton's.

Norton's recommendation is simple and relatively inexpensive. I mix the BCAA's with Leucine and homemade Pedialyte. It is easy to make and about 1/10th the cost of the real stuff. Actually tastes decent, which is not always easy with BCAA's or Leucine. Plus they use it for kids who are dehydrated, so I figure the uptake will be enhanced.


Is your calorie intake in line with pre-pulsing intake when eating 5-6 times a day, i.e. you're still ingesting the same amount of food but less frequently? I ask because there seems to be some suggestion that pulsing can lead to lean mass gain without the need to consume excessive calories.
I can't judge this from my experience pulsing because I'm in a major calorie deficeit. As posted earlier, I have experienced a major body comp change in the last 2 weeks but whether this can be attributed to pulsing in unknown given the low calories/carbs. Prior to the pulsing I had been replacing 2 meals a day with BCAAs, so have effectively been pulsing for 9 weeks in total to date.