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Muscle Protein Synthesis (production) and Nutrition

Dr. Ronald Meyer, a Physiologist from Michigan State University, states “the recommendation that hypertrophy requires a load 70% of one repetition maximum might just as well be recast as a recommendation that the training must result in substantial anaerobic metabolism.”

To make protein, the body needs to be deprived of oxygen to activate the pathway responsible for protein synthesis known as mechanistic/mammalian target of rapamycin complex or MTORC1. Through several studies, it was determined that BFR with light loads as well as resistance training with high loads activate this pathway. The pharmaceutical industry found the rapamycin, a compound secreted by a bacteria, which inhibits the MTORC1 allowing them to make immunosuppressive drugs. Using the same, we were able to turn off this process that occurs naturally in our bodies allowing us to make proteins.

In older individuals, sarcopenia or loss of muscle is a serious condition. These part of the population benefits from BFR training since they cannot longer lift heavy due to joint deterioration but still the anaerobic environment to activate the process of protein synthesis.

The other part of the system that needs to be ready is the availability of amino acids, especially, Leucine. This is particularly found in Whey proteins. So, please make sure you are ingesting enough protein rich in leucine amino acids to support the muscle protein production; hence, avoid sarcopenia and/or overall weakness.

Credits: the information here was taken from the ORS training manual. Dr Santiago Osorio, PT is credentialed by them to perform BFR training.

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