Dr. Stuart Phillips Forget About ‘Bro’ Science!

Feb 15, 2019

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Dr. Stuart Phillips Forget About ‘Bro' Science!



Forget about ‘Bro Science!’ Dr. Stuart Phillips from the department of kinesiology at McMaster joins us on the Sheer Strength Labs Podcast to discuss protein, exercise, metabolism, gains, and living a healthy life from top to bottom.

Dr. Phillips is also the director of PACE (Physical Activity Center for Excellence), and tends to look at the muscle from the inside first and the outside integrated physiology second. He believes the intrinsic process that happens within muscle is far more predominant than extrinsic factors. The molecular factor of muscle physiology has begun to trump classic external drivers.

Kingdom of Nutrition and Exercise

If nutrition is queen and exercise is king, then put them together and you have a kingdom. On a daily basis, if you have recognition and focus on what you are eating, and are physically active, then the combination will reduce the risk of chronic disease. It’s not impossible to overcome your genetic limitations.

Sitting, Standing, and Walking

“Sitting is the new smoking” is categorically incorrect; however, it is a problem. The message is basically that people should be at a grade 8 level in terms of fitness. The minimum amount of extra standing someone would have to do per day in order to make a change would be 2 hours. This won’t solve any healthcare crisis. Being active as opposed to being less inactive is a point that is being missed.

Walking is a behavioral change that has marked impact. The biggest change in health on a population level would be to get people who aren’t very active, and get them off the couch.

Insulin Growth Factor

IGF1 is a hormone that is high in the body when we are children and declines as we get older. The main mechanism is at skeletal muscle, and triggers anabolic processes and stimulates muscle protein synthesis. The local site of production is when the muscle produces IGF1 itself and is extremely anabolic. For most people in a high state of training, it isn’t the most important thing. A lot of protein-rich foods drive IGF1 production.

There is a theory that a higher level of IGF1 is associated with the risk of cancer. When you look at cancer in a fundamental way, it is uncontrolled cell growth and division. There is no evidence that more protein is driving IGF1 production. Greater protein intakes up to a certain level is beneficial for people seeking to gain muscle mass, but doesn’t give that much in the way of a return. 1.8g of protein per kilogram of body mass per day is ideal. Anything beyond that isn’t beneficial.

Introduction of Muscle Growth for Kids

The belief that premature taking on of resistance exercise results in the closure of growth plates in bone and shortens the stature of kids has been proven to be categorically incorrect. If done safely and in a controlled manner, then strengthening muscles, improving coordination, and enhancing athletic ability is fine and doesn’t have any negative long-term impact.

Lean Muscle Mass

Building lean muscle mass will help burn additional calories. When you boil down your metabolic rate to the two tissues that matter the most, it comes down to muscle and your liver. Your liver is very metabolically active, but it’s not very big. You can’t change the size of your liver. The only variable you have control over is muscle. If you grow it and feed it, then it is an energy consuming tissue as long as it’s active. As you get older and the muscle mass declines, this is a reason people find it hard to stop weight gain.

Setting a Base in Your 20s for Your 30s

Laying the foundation in your 20s is crucial for what will happen in your 30s. Chronologically, this is not a watershed moment, but it’s the life moments that make the difference such as marriage, having kids, and career progression. The decision of balancing life commitments is what will make the difference in structuring training. It takes about a year for people to realize they have put on weight and had a severe lifestyle change. Developing consistency is the goal for your 30s, and go into the gym with a plan rather than just showing up as you need to maximize your limited time. 

Metabolic Age & Diet

This is a direct reflection of how active you are and how well you plan your diet. There is no one magic diet that works for everyone. Refined sugars and processed foods are the big two to stay away from. Exercise provides the license to have more enjoyable foods; that provides longevity of eating plans.

The Grand Plan  

Keep your mind healthy, your body active, and fill it up with the right food. Once or twice a week, you have to do some sort of activity that makes you breathless and another that keeps your muscle mass up.

40s and Beyond

Things begin to slip, and the loss of muscle mass is slow and can go unnoticed. Instead of waiting for a health scare in your 60s, address it in your 40s and don’t allow the muscle mass to reduce so much.

Resources Mentioned 

Dr. Stuart Phillips on Twitter

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