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Odds & Ends: Admin Note, A Question, and Food Porn

I have some pressing business maters to attend to, so I'm probably not getting to Part 3 of the vitamin supplements series today. Maybe tonight, but no promises. Plus, I'm glad I waited to do some additional digging. Right now, I' trying to decide what I think about the vitamin A in cod liver oil. There's ongoing turmoil right now and lots of smart people I trust are on both sides of the issue.

As to the admin note my blog host, TypePad, tells me the issue with how the blog displays in IE6 should be resolved. Please let me know if you still have the issue (but make sure to do a hard page reload, first).

Now for a question.

"I am trying to set a goal for muscle gain…I have no idea what to expect…my body comp is the same as the last set of pics I sent you…any idea what I can expect from 2, 30 minute workouts a week?"

Presuming those workouts are going to be weights and other forms of high-intensity training, and you set up the conditions properly, you could probably expect to add on 5% or more lean mass. As to the setup, remember what they say: "muscle is built in the kitchen and not the gym." You've got to get sufficient protein. For muscle building, I believe the standard is about 1.25 grams per pound of lean body mass. Since you're already pretty lean, I'd just go with 1 gram per pound of weight.

Next is to put the growth hormone elements in your favor. Food is the raw material, but GH is the construction contractor. The three primary elements that stimulate GH release are fasting (to preserve lean tissue in times of scarcity), high intensity exercise, and sleep.

So, try to always work out in some degree of fasted state, even if 6-8 hours, and then go at least an hour afterwards before eating. Also, don't waste time on small muscles like your arms. They'll get plenty of work in compound movements. It's loading the big muscles that promote GH release. Legs, Back, Chest, Shoulder deck. Especially the legs. Want big pecs? Work your big leg muscles hard.

(Note: If anyone like Keith Norris or Chis Highcock have anything to contradict or add, blast away. They know far more about this stuff than I.)

Next, some food pics. Low & slow, again. This time, with New York Steaks. 250 degrees in the oven, with a temperature probe, out of the oven at 130 degrees internal to rest until the temperature peaks (136 in this case), then rub down the top with a stick of butter and place under the high broiler for about 2 minutes, or until sizzling. Turn over, rub down with butter and do the other side.

If you can reduce some beef stock or make demi-glace without the roux, bonus. Here's my result.

This first is just out of the oven. Not very appealing. Just wait!

New york steak

As you can see below, the butter & broiler are essential.

The sauce is a straight demi-glace, nothing added except a dollop of leaf lard, a pat of butter, and the drippings from the pan after the broiler.

New york steak and demi glace

The Final Result.

Once again, low & slow comes through to deliver pink (or red, as you prefer) from coast to coast and everything in between, uniformly. This is actually medium, not medium rare as I prefer. Next time I'll pull it at 125.

Oh, one more note. The strip of fat was delicious, not chewy, bitter, or gristly like it sometimes gets on the grill. My first thought in describing it (my wife noted it as well) was "sweet." Seriously: sweet. I ate 2/3 of the strip and the doggies happily went for the rest, then licked our plates clean.

New ytork steak 2

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

11 Comments

  1. Anna on January 6, 2009 at 15:29

    I love those digital thermometer probes. The one I use has a remote receiver, so I don't have stay near the cooking to know what's going on.

  2. murshidism on January 6, 2009 at 22:12

    yummy…!

  3. Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2009 at 15:40

    Yep, mine has the remote receiver as well.

  4. Adam Cilonis on January 7, 2009 at 07:14

    Thank a lot Rick and Keith for all the answers! I will put this into action starting this week and will let you know how it is working (with pics of course). Couple more questions…5% in what period of time? The reason I ask is that I have a friend who is using a different "strategy" for fat loss/muscle gain and we are going to conduct a simple experiment. Therefore, I would like to make my hypothesis as specific as possible. I KNOW I will kick his ass in fat burning but I am a true rookie when it comes to muscle growth. And what is the most practical way to measure body fat?

  5. Adam Cilonis on January 7, 2009 at 10:43

    Sounds good! Thanks man!

  6. Keith Norris on January 7, 2009 at 03:24

    The key to building and maintaining muscle mass, other than what Richard has already covered, is a concentration on the compound movements (and their variants) in a variety of planes (deadlifts, squats, pull-ups, dips, standing presses)performed in a strength modality (heavy) and in a more power-oriented modality (quick, snappy). Make the bouts short, but highly intense. That's the short of it; much more at my blog.

    Hey, nice steaks!!

  7. Richard Nikoley on January 7, 2009 at 08:51

    The 5% is just a guess, and if you do it right, I'd consider that the low end. 8% is probably more likely. Timeframe? Hard to say. You're pretty lean, lanky, ectomorphic, so you might be one of those "hardgainer" types. I would definitely say that you will see results inside a month or two. Focus a lot on those deadlifts and squats for sure. When you do upright rows, pop you chest out and squeeze your shoulder blades together to engage the back. Most people use way too much biceps on rows and it does little to nothing for you.

    Check out Keith's site. He has a lot of stuff there and knows far more about this than I. I'll bet he'll be glad to respond to any comments you drop as well.

  8. Bo on January 8, 2009 at 00:38

    You can let your readers consider this for the good of themselves, animals, and the earth:
    http://www.veganoutreach.org/whyvegan/

  9. Richard Nikoley on January 8, 2009 at 07:17

    Alright, Bo, this is now the second instance of hit & run on your part, where you're quick to add a link to your site, but low to nothing in terms of real substance or argument.

    I don't mind having your views expressed in comments, or even the links to your site. And, I respect your personal choice. But as far as I see it, you're not "paying" for those links to your site by adding anything of real substance to _my blog_ in the comments. Check out some of the other comments to see how most others are paying their way, even those who don't have their own sites to link to.

    Enough said. Please be guided accordingly in the future.

  10. Adam on January 11, 2009 at 15:21

    Looks good man!

  11. Links & Quick Hits | Free The Animal on October 9, 2009 at 14:01

    […] an actual manufactured product. I'm counting on the product delivering an even better "Low & Slow" way to cook. And now, check out the Sous Vide Supreme […]

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