Protein is one of the essential supplements for bodybuilders. But there are still many doubts about its consumption. At New Bodybuilders, we answer the most frequently asked questions about protein and bodybuilding.

How often should you train?

If you are a beginner, then three workouts a week is enough.

How long should you train?

Workouts should be short but intense. For a beginner, the workout should not take more than one hour in time.

How to choose a bodybuilding workout program?

The best option is if a coach draws up an individual program for you. Moreover, he can do this only at a personal meeting in training. If you do not have the opportunity to train with a trainer, you can take a ready-made training program. The main criterion here is that the program should be for beginners. It should contain mainly basic exercises, and the number of exercises per workout should not exceed five.

Can you learn to do bodybuilding exercises without a coach?

In principle, this is possible. However, even while learning on your own, it is recommended that someone helps you correct the exercises. Senior fellows in the gym can help with this.

It is important to remember that bodybuilding exercise technique must be perfect. Since bodybuilding is a workout with weights, the slightest flaws in performing the exercises can lead you to serious injuries. Therefore, take this issue especially seriously.

Is it possible to pump up to the level that professional bodybuilders show?

Firstly, the professional guys initially, by nature, simply have the enormous potential for gaining muscle mass. Secondly, everyone who is professionally engaged in bodybuilding and participates in bodybuilding competitions uses anabolic steroids and other strong hormonal drugs. Thirdly, it is a real deal to become a professional bodybuilder (meaning sponsorship, when an athlete can devote all the time to training and recovery).

Therefore, summing up, we can say that getting extraordinary results without steroids and other factors is unrealistic at the start. But do not give up and quit training. Natural bodybuilding has a right to life, and if you are interested in body beauty and strength, then you do not need to swing to the level of a mutant. Of course, many amateur bodybuilders also take anabolic steroids and look pretty impressive, but if you think logically, it is rather a waste of their health and money.

Do bodybuilders’ muscles have the strength, or is it just dust in the eyes?

The muscles of bodybuilders have tremendous strength. Science has proven that the larger the muscle, the stronger it is. There should be no doubt about this. Just look at the weights that bodybuilders lift in training.

What is the difference between a whey isolate and a whey concentrate?

A whey isolate is a protein that has been subjected to microfiltration processes to separate protein from fat, cholesterol, and lactose. The result is a higher biological value protein that contains more protein per 100 grams of dry matter.

The whey concentrate is also subjected to microfiltration processes but contains more fat than an isolated and a lower proportion of protein per 100 grams dry matter.

Generally, whey concentrate is a good choice for most bodybuilders because it gives you the amount of protein you need while being low in fat and carbohydrates.

But if you are in the definition stage, then a whey isolate is a good idea to cut down on fat and calories as much as possible.

How much protein should I take?

The amount of protein you need depends entirely on your weight, exercise level, and goals. No two people are alike. Bodybuilders typically consume 2 grams of protein per pound of lean weight per day.

When is the best time to take whey protein?

When to take the protein or timing depends on your goals. Whey protein digests quickly, making it great for when you need it quickly. The optimal times to take it are first thing in the morning, and before and after training.

Is whey protein good for vegetarians?

Of course. Whey protein is an ideal source of protein for vegetarians who include dairy products in their diet.

Is whey protein easily digested?

Whey protein is a soluble protein, very easy to digest. It is rapidly absorbed by the body to provide the essential amino acids necessary to fuel the body’s muscles and other tissues. It is one reason why it is a common ingredient in infant formula and protein supplements for medical use.

Is it better to take protein before or after training?

Keep in mind that plasma amino acids can last around 3 hours if we consume WHEY (reaching seven if we consume casein).

It means that if you consume the “X” amount of WHEY 30 min before training and do training of 1h-1.5h, at the end of said training, you will still have amino acids available to supply the degradation that has occurred during training.

Some authors 1 observe how the levels of phenylalanine (a marker used to measure protein balance) were slightly higher when consumed in the pre-workout than in the post, as we see in the following image:

For this reason, my recommendation is that each person should adapt their protein intake based on their habits and digestion.

  • If consuming it as a pre-workout cause you nausea, discomfort or if you like to drink something more when you finish, put it in the post
  • If, on the contrary, the post-workout intake is very close to the next meal and you don’t have digestion problems, put it in the pre-workout

Should I take BCAAs or amino acids to maintain muscle mass?

As with most nutrition-related issues: It depends

If your protein intake is low, a contribution of BCAAs (especially leucine) will help reduce the loss of muscle mass. The problem that we find is that:

  1. 80-90% of athletes follow diets high in protein, so they get to consume 2g of protein/kg of the body without difficulty
  2. Studies showing a benefit in maintaining muscle mass follow low-protein diets

Let’s focus on point 2. When it is observed that adding leucine to meals produces better muscle mass, we see that the participants’ meals have about 20-25g of protein.

If they eat five meals a day, it will give a TOTAL amount of 100-125g, which if we divide it by the average weight of a subject (70kg), gives us a value of 1.43-1.79g of protein / Body Kg, an amount insufficient if we want to maintain muscle mass on a hypocaloric diet (2-2.5g of protein/kg body or 0.8g per pound of weight).

It tells us that, if we consume enough protein, the extra supply of amino acids through supplements will NOT provide a benefit for maintaining muscle mass unless we are talking about older people with anabolic resistance.