Review of Brad Pilon's Review of How Much Protein By Mike Westerdal of CriticalBench.com
The fact that protein is the basic building block of muscular fiber is probably one of the very first things that a guy learns when he starts lifting weights. This truth is indisputable. Just how much protein a guy should be consuming everyday is where things get complicated. A lot of men—newcomers and seasoned lifters alike—mistakenly believe that consuming ridiculous amounts of protein every day results in bigger muscles. Too bad, but it's just not that simple. If you want to maximize your muscle gains, then you need to consume the proper amount of protein, not just a lot of it.
Many of you have probably already heard of fitness expert and author Brad Pilon. His last work Eat, Stop, Eat, was a huge success, helping countless men to achieve their goals. With his latest work, How Much Protein, Brad answers the question, "How much protein do I need to build muscle?" Let's take a look and see what he has to say.
In his introduction, Brad provides a nice overview of the history of what we know (or thought we knew) about protein. He makes a few good points about the 'eat more protein' mantra being touted by fitness industry. Brad says that by blindly following what he read in the fitness magazines, at one point he was eating as much as 250 grams of protein a day—and NOT getting the results he wanted.
He points out that protein supplements generate an average of $6 billion a year. He also mentions that a significant amount of protein-related research is funded by industry associations that directly benefit when bodybuilders and athletes consume more protein. This section by itself makes investment in the book worthwhile because believe me, reading it will change your perspective about the information you find in the fitness magazines.
With the introduction out of the way, Brad offers some lessons in protein basics. He provides a nice thorough overview without getting too scientific or complicated. Regardless of your knowledge level regarding protein and how it functions, I'm sure you'll learn something new. In the following chapter Brad discusses the effects of resistance training on muscle mass. Like the previous section, even if you have no intention of following Brad's program, reading this chapter makes the purchase of the book worthwhile. If they didn't like him before, fitness scammers and the supplement industry will definitely not like what Brad has to say after reading this book.
Next, we get an excellent lesson in how protein impacts muscle growth. He summarizes some very interesting studies, again providing enough information so you understand the key points, but skipping the deeply scientific discussions. Personally, I find that refreshing. A lot of authors are too lazy to take the time to summarize the research and make it readable—they just cut and paste and call it a day. For those of you who are vegetarians, there's even a special section just for you. I even learned a few things I didn't know before.
In the sections that follow Brad summarizes more research about different approaches to protein intake. Here, he looks at various studies that muscle growth with a low-protein diet, muscle growth with a very high-protein diet, the timing of protein intake, post-workout protein consumption and others. In one of the discussions, Brad deals yet another blow to fitness and supplement industry by pointing out a few facts that they conveniently overlook when promoting their products, supplements and programs. If he keeps pointing out the truth, they're going to put a price on his head.
In the 'conclusions' chapter Brad summarizes his thoughts about protein and like everything else in the book, he provides a great deal of useful information without making things overly complicated or difficult to understand. Brad wraps up the book with a quick discussion that incorporates both his ideas about protein intake and the information presented in Eat, Stop, Eat. I'm not surprised but the two concepts are not mutually exclusive and actually interact together quite nicely. The very last section focuses on answering 'frequently asked questions.' Any remaining questions you might have are more than likely answered here.
By now you've probably already figured out that I'm a big fan of Brad's and that I highly recommend his latest work. Be warned though—if you're looking for an easy answer or for Brad to tell you exactly how much protein you need to consume every day, you'll be disappointed. That's not the point of the book. Rather, its purpose is to inform and educate you, and in the process, equip you with the tools you need to build bigger, leaner and more powerful muscles.