Why you might not gain muscle mass despite hard training!


I have been reading again, I know it is a dangerous thing. But hey you have to do it to stay on top of things. So I was reading Zatsiorsky et Kraemer’s book “Science and Practice of Strength Training” and I can tell you, it sure is not an easy Sunday afternoon read but still highly interesting. I came across an article in there that talked about carbohydrate and protein intake before and and after a strength workout.

Here is the gist of it and I am going to try to simplify it somewhat:

Taking in carbs and protein before and after your workout, may that personal training, on your own or in boot camp, etc. affects the amount of testosterone binding to androgen receptors, which at that point are more receptive to testosterone. Testosteron itself is one of the major players in increased protein synthesis in the muscle but only if bound to a receptor. ERGO: protein intake

So why the hell carbs? Well, carbohydrate intake after your workout is associated with a higher insulin level which itself is responsible not only for the transporting glucose to your muscle cells but also transporting amino acids into the muscle. Additionally growth hormones and insuline like growth factor -1 increase as well with the nutrient intake.

It seems that the food intake may play a major role in optimizing the anabolic environment surrounding a workout.

This is what is suggested: 25-50g of protein (primarily essential amino acids)  and 50g of carbs before and after the workout


Have a great workout,



Head Personal Trainer @ Shape Up Fitness & Wellness Consulting

Source: Vladimir M Zatsiorsky et William J. Kraemer (2006) Science and Practice of Strength Training (2nd Edition). Human Kinetics

  • Ted
    Posted at 16:36h, 31 January

    Great article, Mike! Thanks for sharing.

    The other great benefit of feeding yourself right after your workout is that I find it keeps me from binging later in the day.

  • MichaelAnders
    Posted at 00:38h, 01 February


    I totally agree. Eating when you need it is the key. Otherwise you might just sabotage your goals at a later point during the day when you binge.

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