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  • BCAA makes any difference?

    Shoot, saw a thread yesterday that made me think about BCAA and can't find it now. Appologize for the new thread!

    To follow LeanGain protocol properly I need to take BCAA. I get up ~ 4 am normally, and lift from about 5:30 -6 :30 am (gym opening time) then go to work, where I can eat about 7:30 - 8 am if I do not fast. I assume that is Okay to get a post-workout meal without fasting. But if I want 16 hrs fast as per the protocol (I am a female, so my window is shorter), and want to fast till noon, I will be eating good 5.5 hours after training. Does that mean that I prohibit myself from growing muscle and so should take BCAA to see the results? Or is food intake Okay that much later after the training for a sub-average person and BCAA won't make any difference?
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

  • #2
    Ooh good question! I was just re-reading the Leangains site yesterday, I think it might be time to try it. Very curious about the BCAAs myself, especially since they are fairly pricey. I will invest in them if they are really that helpful though.

    About your lifting, can I ask you what you are doing? The advice I read on another site was to start with the Big 3 (deads, squats, press) 3x a week, until you can't recover sufficiently on the day/days off, then move to a split schedule. I'm not completely new to lifting, having done crossfit for the last year, but I also have not done any sort of strict lifting program.

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    • #3
      I think they're mostly used as just an extra safety measure to subdue any possible muscle breakdown and to suppress hunger pangs. However, if you're total caloric and macronutrient intake for the rest of the day is in check, I don't see how it would make that big of a difference.
      My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

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      • #4
        I've used bcaa it floats .
        Used olimp Brand. . I still take but only 5g before & after also with EAA but also add lecuine which is the most important AA for repair & growth.

        Take before workout , after & then 2 hours after workout .


        London

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        • #5
          I used BCAAs for a while because I was getting dizzy and faint during fasted morning workouts. The BCAAs helped with getting me through the workout, but I saw no body comp or strength differences between using them and not using them. I don't use them anymore because a) they're expensive, and b) I train early enough now (530am) that carb backloading the night before allows me to slam through my workout just fine.

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          • #6
            About your lifting, can I ask you what you are doing? The advice I read on another site was to start with the Big 3 (deads, squats, press) 3x a week, until you can't recover sufficiently on the day/days off, then move to a split schedule. I'm not completely new to lifting, having done crossfit for the last year, but I also have not done any sort of strict lifting program.
            I do a modified 5x5 SL protocol (to prevent overt-raining) 3x a week (I trained at 5x5, 3x5, Madcow, X-Fit WOD with lower weights and 4 days variations, but in the end 5x5 is the most effective for me)

            Basically I do:

            SQT: 5x5 progressive; +90 lbs WO, +140 lbs lift-off
            BP: 5x5 progressive
            pull-ups/chin ups (4-6 sets), if not enough time, next day
            Hip Raise (time permitting)

            SQT: 1x5 (heavy)
            OHP: 5x5 (progressive)
            DL: 1x5 (heavy)
            BP 1x5 heavy
            Empty bar snatch (waiting for PT to approve form before loading) 5x5
            Barbell Walk

            SQT 5x5 (light)
            PP: 1x5 (heavy)
            BBR 5x5 (progressive)
            BP: 1x5 (heavy)
            Torture Twist 3x30 sec
            My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
            When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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            • #7
              Awesome, thank you for the reply! I need to really figure out what my goals are beyond "work on lifting". I have a few friends that I hope will be able to help me put together a routine that will work for me.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jakejoh10 View Post
                I think they're mostly used as just an extra safety measure to subdue any possible muscle breakdown and to suppress hunger pangs. However, if you're total caloric and macronutrient intake for the rest of the day is in check, I don't see how it would make that big of a difference.
                Yeah I agree. Nothing magical IMO.

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                • #9
                  I typically work out fasted, but I only take BCAAs beforehand every once in a while. I can't tell any appreciable difference in anything, so who knows. Probably won't hurt, may help.

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                  • #10
                    I have always been a religious Bcaa user per the Leangains recs. Long story short last year my family and I went to Europe for 3 months so I was without the bcaa's and various other supps. I lost some weight due to the increase in walking but I lost no muscle whatsoever, and I kept up my weightlifting routine.

                    They are insurance and nothing more.

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