T Nation

Should a N00b Take Extra Protien?

I have a buddy that wants to start strength training. He’s not in bad shape, and his diet is relatively good. I don’t think his goals involve bulking. He says he just wants to “get stronger”.

I told him about my love affair with Metabolic Drive, but i don’t know if he should even bother taking extra protien at this point. thoughts? Did all you guys start out drinking shakes and whatnot?

…yes?

Even if he’s just trying to get stronger without getting bigger he will still need extra protein. The muscles become denser if not bigger, so more tissue is being built even as the size stays the same.

It depends on his diet, genetics and goals but I would recommend to him that he drinks a good quality post workout shake regardless.
Surge or MD+Sugar+creatine would be the best bets.

Extra implies “more than he is getting now”, in order to answer the question if he needs extra we would need to know at a minimum how much protein he gets daily on his current diet, and what his current weight is. Current bodyfat percentage wouldn’t hurt either.

He’s former military, so probably whatever build he has is left over from that. He probably some meat at every meal… lots of salads. Whole milk. I will get more details and get back to you.

I told him about this web site, maybe he will join up.

If your buddy wants to get stronger but not bigger, protein is still a must. You can always remind him that 30 percent of the calories you intake from protein are burnt in processing the protein. So if you have 100 calories from protein, your body will burn 30 calories of energy in order to digest the protein you consumed.

In point of fact, I would say that if someone wants to increase strength without increasing size their diet should probably be relatively high in protein.

John Berardi’s 7 Habits of highly effective nutritional programs is a great starting place.

The idea of Tailor-made Nutrition, also by JB, is great because you track your results.

Let him decide. I’d recommend 3/4g per lb bw starting.

Here’s the dude’s one main stumbling block: he was a smoker. he just quit. Personally I kind of think he should just focus on rebuilding his ability to breathe. Should he do cardio first and kind of move on from there? Or would it be just as good to hit the weights first thing?

everyone who can SHOULD do cardio, even if it’s just some light stuff. Lifting… Of course he should hit free weights right away.
Freeweights then cardio

Goodluck.

Actualy, anecdotally speaking here, I don’t think that smoking is too big a hurdle early on, at least not compared to when you’ve been smoking 10-20 years+.

No need not to do weights first, and cardio as well if that fits his goals. Some people don’t need aerobic cardiovascular work for their goals. I know that for me, supersetted heavy sets for 45-70 min work outs are plenty of cardiovascular work.

I do believe most sedentary people already get twice the amount of protein that they need. Maybe starting out he won’t need any extra. I high doubt that will last for very long though. Just as a safeguard against wasting his time I would suggest he ups it to 200 grams per day.

An easy method that works well for me is not to count protein, but just to count calories mentally and get a ton of them, and a ton of protein.

Today’s meals, far from optimal, but plenty of protein. Normally I’m better than this!

Breakfast: double-dose Surge (700 cal)

2-3 hours later: Big sandwich with pepperoni, cheese, seeded rye bread, and turkey; apple juice (700 cal)

Post-workout: double-dose Surge (700 cal)

A while after that: apple juice (200 cal) - stomach was begging for something but I was running out the door

Now I’m sitting at 2300 cal, shooting for about 3700 today, and I have a snack of walnuts and an apple waiting for me. That will be about 400 calories, putting me at 2700. Then I’ll have a nice meal with lots of veggies and protein when I get home, of about 1000 cal. And some Greens+ and Carlson’s fish oil.

For most people I wouldn’t recommend apple juice or any non-fresh-squeezed juice, but that’s okay for me today - tough workout day - and this definitely isn’t my best day! Very busy, normally get tons more fruit/veggies.

Anyway I have already gotten 150+ grams of protein without even counting, and will be way over 1g/lb BW by the end of the day.