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Started By B-WINE (Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands)

Started on: 4/8/2005 6:37:32 AM, viewed 4931 times
Protein Requirements according to Mentzer in 1980

To quote the man himself:

"Protein requirements depend almost entirely on your body weight, not your level of physical activity, because it is not used as fuel as long as the body′s energy supply is adequate. The rule of thumb is one gram of protein per day for every two pounds of bodyweight. There is no reason to buy expensive supplements since the amount of protein can be obtained from any well-balanced diet that includes meat, fish, or dairy products. I maintain my weight at about 220 pounds and consume about 60 grams of protein a day, less than recommended for my weight, and I′m still growing muscle.

As I said before, muscle growth is a very slow process. On a daily basis it really can′t be detected at all. A ten-pound gain in a year would amount to less than half an ounce a day.

How much protein beyond maintenance requirements would you need to gain a half ounce of muscle a day? Approximately 1 gram, the amount in one ounce of whole milk, an eight of an ounce of tuna, or a half slice of bacon. You can even get that 1 gram from a single carrot. Yet this extra protein would be enough to build ten pounds of muscle a year.

Think about that the next time you make an investment in a can of a protein supplement".

Hope this will be useful.

From ′The Mentzer Method to Fitness – A Revolutionary Weight-Training System for Men and Women′, by Mike Mentzer with Ardy Friedberg (1980). p. 179.

This Topic has 11 Replies: Displaying out of 11 Replies:

jedimaster (Middletown, NY, United States) on 4/8/2005 8:23:56 AM

I love it! Thanks for the post, and I′m going to have to look into buying that book. Hadn′t heard of it until now.

Equalizer (Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A.) on 4/8/2005 1:48:40 PM

A quote from Dr. Ellington Darden on the subject of protein:

" In 1970, I had a story to tell. After being a competitive athlete and bodybuilder for 20 years, and after consuming tons of expensive nutrient pills, I clearly saw that most of the money I spent on food supplements was wasted. I realized this as a result of being challenged in my nutritional practices by Dr. Harold Schendel Professor in the Food and Nutrition Department at Florida State University. Here′s what happened.

For two months, I kept precise records of my dietary intake, of my energy expenditure, and of my general well-being. All my urine was collected and analyzed by a graduate research team in nutrition science.

Believe me, it was a real inconvenience to have to pee in a large brown bottle, which I carried around with me all day long in a paper sack. It was even more tedious to test my urine scientifically for various vitamins, minerals, and protein content.

But I figured it would be worth it. Once and for all I′d be able to prove to the doubting scientists of nutrition that most athletes require massive amounts of essential nutrients.

Boy, was I wrong!

The results of the study showed that my body was sloughing off, or excreting, large amounts of water soluble vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients. Worse than that, it was also determined that since I had been consuming massive doses for many years, I had forced my liver and kidneys to grow excessively large to handle the influx of all these nutrients. You may desire your muscles to grow excessively large, but you don′t want this to happen to your liver and kidneys. Physicians say that doing so can lead to several medical complications and eventually shorten your life span.

Anyway, after studying and understanding the implications of what I was doing to the insides of my body, I made a complete turnaround. I wanted to tell my story to other athletes like me. I wanted to get the word out especially to bodybuilders and weightlifters-who read the muscle magazines and flashy advertisements-and purchased the recommended food supplements and gobbled them down.

Protein Requirements

The biggest misconception 20 years ago, and still the biggest misconception today, is the belief that heavy weight training requires massive dietary protein intake.

When my urine was analyzed at Flordia State University in 1970, I was consuming 380 grams of protein per day. Approximately half of the protein came from a 90 percent protein powder.

Why did I consume so much protein? Because I had read repeatedly in muscle magazines that that′s what all the champions ate: from 300-400 grams of protein a day.

Yet, Dr. Schendel kept tellin me that the RDA for protein is .36 grams per pund of bodyweight. Thus, at that time at a body weight of 215lbs., my protein requirement was 77 grams per day.

The results of the study proved that Dr. Schendel was right, and that RDA was accurate. Most of the protein I was eating was being broken down and excreted through my kidneys.

Even though a few recent studies have shown that a slight increase in the RDA for protein may benefit some athletes, the extra calories that most athletes normally consume more than compensate for those additions."

B-WINE (Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands) on 4/11/2005 6:00:38 AM


You′re welcome! I′m glad you liked it. The mentioned book is pretty old, so I guess it′s pretty hard to find it nowdays (but since you live in the US, it shouldn′t be as hard as it was for me here in the Netherlands – actually, I′d never heard of the book before until I discoverd it here in a local 2nd hand bookstore). Maybe you could check www.ebay.com and www.amazon.com.


Great post! So far I′ve only read Darden′s latest book, The New HIT. In it, he writes that he used 300 grams of protein per day once as an experiment and didn′t feel very well at it.

dafortae (a, a, U.S.A.) on 5/4/2005 1:04:07 PM

Totally awesome. I love it when massive guys like Mike totally prove blind followers wrong by DEMONTRATION and EXAMPLE. I get like 40-60 grams a day and have made fine gains (I′m not massive in anyway, but I KNOW protein isn′t the limiting factor, genetics is).


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