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Asked RP about Muscles. Answer : swimming, bicycling, and tennis ?

Mr Joe

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I've had the the opportunity to ask Ray about more details concerning building muscle and getting lean on a Ray Peat diet. The first part of the answer was like "i never go to gym" style. But i was surprised by the second part. I've asked him what his thoughts on exercice such as Dips, dumbbells, Bench for exemple, low rep such as slow concentric exercices avoiding hyperventilation.

RP Answer : I think diet and hormones are far more important than the specific kind of exercise, but swimming, bicycling, and tennis are good.

Can someone explain or give more details on that ? those 3 seems sports that trigger more lactic acid than dumbbells.
 

Beastmode

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I've had the the opportunity to ask Ray about more details concerning building muscle and getting lean on a Ray Peat diet. The first part of the answer was like "i never go to gym" style. But i was surprised by the second part. I've asked him what his thoughts on exercice such as Dips, dumbbells, Bench for exemple, low rep such as slow concentric exercices avoiding hyperventilation.

RP Answer : I think diet and hormones are far more important than the specific kind of exercise, but swimming, bicycling, and tennis are good.

Can someone explain or give more details on that ? those 3 seems sports that trigger more lactic acid than dumbbells.

Swimming and bicycling are pretty rhythmic and don't have a lot of change occurring, so I can see how they might be good at a low to moderate intensity while maintaining a good blood sugar level. Also, both aren't challenged by gravity as much in water and on a bike.

Tennis on the other hand, other than something that might be enjoyable, requires more eccentric load on the muscles and reaction, etc.

Also, Peat sometimes doesn't share the full context on his answers, so they can often contradict his other responses to similar types of questions.
 

Perry Staltic

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Increased blood flow via aerobic exercise promotes tissue remodeling with increased capillary penetration allowing for better oxygenation and health of cells. The body can easily deal with L-lactic acid. It's D-lactate that can cause problems because the body doesn't have an enzyme to metabolize it like it does for L-lactate. Exercise only produces L-lactate.
 

Mr Joe

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Swimming and bicycling are pretty rhythmic and don't have a lot of change occurring, so I can see how they might be good at a low to moderate intensity while maintaining a good blood sugar level. Also, both aren't challenged by gravity as much in water and on a bike.

Tennis on the other hand, other than something that might be enjoyable, requires more eccentric load on the muscles and reaction, etc.

Also, Peat sometimes doesn't share the full context on his answers, so they can often contradict his other responses to similar types of questions.

So anything "low intensity" balanced with the enjoyable sensation (maybe producing dopamine ?) should be good ? Weight lifting concentric exercice (while making sure to maintain glycogen) ?

But what diet and hormones does he mean?

Probably talking all "Peaty diet" lowering lactic acid, cortisol and serotonine thus increasing testosterone, progesterone all other good hormones.
 

mrchibbs

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It's simple really.

If you enjoy the exercise, it's good for you and enhances anabolic processes. If it's grueling/boring/not enjoyable it probably activates catabolic processes and does more good than bad.

The mind is a powerful thing. If you go play a game of basketball with your friends, and you feel tired and sore at the end but you're happy, then it will be a positive thing.

Of course you need the sleep and sufficient calorie/nutrition to repair.

@Hans is the guy with the most insight on this topic but basically there are a few studies showing resistance training and HIIT/sprints to be very beneficial in stimulating mitochondrial biogenesis (increasing cellular activity and potential). Consistent resistance training also increases steroidogenesis (production of good hormones like testosterone).

Tennis has a lot of change of direction, which works on explosiveness and recruits a lot of muscles, and also the bones which can help increase bone density. It also stimulates the mind by requiring a lot of hand-eye coordination. If you play in a good environment, say outside in the sun with a friend, then it's likely a very beneficial activity.

Endurance exercise like jogging, marathon training is probably the worst, and is consistently associated with lower metabolism, and little no beneficial effects and plenty of risks like fibrosis, elevated mortality etc. (simply because it is stressful and elevates lactic acid).

But if it is enjoyable (say a run on the beach at a very casual pace) it can be beneficial as well.

Ray has never been against physical activity per se, but rather against mindless/boring exercise. Context is everything.
 

Mr Joe

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@mrchibbs Thx for these words. "Context is everything" is a good sentence. If it is good for dopamine, well being, social and emotional then just adding some mixture to mitigate bad effect on the body must be effective. Mixture such as Thiamine + MB + Niacinamide + T3 before, during and after exercice. This will help will metabolism while increasing sense of hapiness induced by (even stressful?) exercice. As you said good sleep, larger protein intake and good diet should balance.
 

rr1

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@mrchibbs Thx for these words. "Context is everything" is a good sentence. If it is good for dopamine, well being, social and emotional then just adding some mixture to mitigate bad effect on the body must be effective. Mixture such as Thiamine + MB + Niacinamide + T3 before, during and after exercice. This will help will metabolism while increasing sense of hapiness induced by (even stressful?) exercice. As you said good sleep, larger protein intake and good diet should balance.
In addition to those things you mentioned, using a small dose of Vitamin E (50-100iu) to prevent PUFA damage from fat burning is something I regularly do. Baking soda in water and beta-alanine can also block acidosis.
 

sun-maid

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Sep 19, 2019
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I've had the the opportunity to ask Ray about more details concerning building muscle and getting lean on a Ray Peat diet. The first part of the answer was like "i never go to gym" style. But i was surprised by the second part. I've asked him what his thoughts on exercice such as Dips, dumbbells, Bench for exemple, low rep such as slow concentric exercices avoiding hyperventilation.

RP Answer : I think diet and hormones are far more important than the specific kind of exercise, but swimming, bicycling, and tennis are good.

Can someone explain or give more details on that ? those 3 seems sports that trigger more lactic acid than dumbbells.

I wonder what he thinks about swimming in chlorinated pool ? I love swimming but hate chlorinated water and I don't live near the ocean...
 

Hans

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It's simple really.

If you enjoy the exercise, it's good for you and enhances anabolic processes. If it's grueling/boring/not enjoyable it probably activates catabolic processes and does more good than bad.

The mind is a powerful thing. If you go play a game of basketball with your friends, and you feel tired and sore at the end but you're happy, then it will be a positive thing.

Of course you need the sleep and sufficient calorie/nutrition to repair.

@Hans is the guy with the most insight on this topic but basically there are a few studies showing resistance training and HIIT/sprints to be very beneficial in stimulating mitochondrial biogenesis (increasing cellular activity and potential). Consistent resistance training also increases steroidogenesis (production of good hormones like testosterone).

Tennis has a lot of change of direction, which works on explosiveness and recruits a lot of muscles, and also the bones which can help increase bone density. It also stimulates the mind by requiring a lot of hand-eye coordination. If you play in a good environment, say outside in the sun with a friend, then it's likely a very beneficial activity.

Endurance exercise like jogging, marathon training is probably the worst, and is consistently associated with lower metabolism, and little no beneficial effects and plenty of risks like fibrosis, elevated mortality etc. (simply because it is stressful and elevates lactic acid).

But if it is enjoyable (say a run on the beach at a very casual pace) it can be beneficial as well.

Ray has never been against physical activity per se, but rather against mindless/boring exercise. Context is everything.
Well said.

One thing to mention is that concentric exercise actually creates much more lactate than eccentric exercise. One of the reasons why eccentric exercise creates more muscle damage than concentric exercise is because we can usually go heavier, which is a "new" stimulus so to speak. Once we adapted to the weight, the excess damage goes away. It's like when you just start out training, you get crazy DOMS, but after a few weeks, it goes away. Same thing with eccentric training. But with that being said, I'm not one for long eccentrics, but rather just doing the movement controlled.

I prefer to train short, but intense, as then I don't overburden the muscle or metabolism too much. Even though I train "harder" in a short period of time, I feel more energized compared to when I train for 45-60 min.

And it's often best to take certain measures before workout to ensure proper adaption, such as baking soda, creatine, lots of carbs and some amino acids, and perhaps some carbs intra-workout as well. Aspirin has also been shown to reduce excess muscle damage if taken before a workout. So if you take aspirin in the morning, it should still help against excess inflammation if you train in the afternoon/evening. Also, methylene blue and quinones can help to prevent the excess activation of HSP to prevent the metabolism from going to a more primitive energy metabolism.
 
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Elast1c

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Jun 23, 2017
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I've had the the opportunity to ask Ray about more details concerning building muscle and getting lean on a Ray Peat diet. The first part of the answer was like "i never go to gym" style. But i was surprised by the second part. I've asked him what his thoughts on exercice such as Dips, dumbbells, Bench for exemple, low rep such as slow concentric exercices avoiding hyperventilation.

RP Answer : I think diet and hormones are far more important than the specific kind of exercise, but swimming, bicycling, and tennis are good.

Can someone explain or give more details on that ? those 3 seems sports that trigger more lactic acid than dumbbells.
Swimming is pressurized in a similar way to flying in an airplane

I knew a pilot once who mentioned that pilots seems to stay youthful. He was past 50 and still had a solid musculature and looked in good shape except for one problem in his lymph. Swimming I think pressurizes the muscles which is good metabolically body wide. I've never heard Ray make a distinction between L lactate and D lactate and would be good to hear his response on it
 

PTP

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Apr 28, 2015
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All the sports he mentioned are typically done outside (yes I know there are indoor courts and indoor pools), meaning that you are likely interacting with your environment as you practice an almost completely concentric exercise. Tennis is especially known to correlate well with longevity.

Having said that, I don't think cycling is that good for men, constant pressure on the prostate or pelvic floor. The most obese guy I know in England was an avid cyclist who spent hours a day cycling to and from work. It clearly didn't do his metabolism any favours, although his diet was probably a bigger culprit.
 

Dobbler

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Jun 19, 2016
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After going to gym for 10 years i have learned the hard way that emphasizing gym training for everyone and at all times is just plain stupid. If it feels like a drag, you dont really even enjoy it and it's just a habit that doesn't make you feel good anymore, then take a long break or modify your training. Forcing gym routine for sick people just because you are programmed that it is "healthy" is retarded and selfish. You dont need to aim to build muscle months and years on end.
 

Mastemah

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Jul 23, 2012
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Talked to Ray a lot about exercise. Dont confuse the activity with the programming. Smart training not to exhaustion is key emphasizing concentric motions.
He has approved, in addition to the above, bodybuilding, weightlifting, kettlebells, throwing, sled drags, martial arts, tumbling, wood chopping, sledgehammer work, calisthenics ....

Its all about the how and making sure you dont tank your pulse and temp
 

Vileplume

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I always thought eccentric exercise meant swinging your arms around crazily and shrieking? Or is that the wrong kind of eccentric...
 

Ben.

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I always thought eccentric exercise meant swinging your arms around crazily and shrieking? Or is that the wrong kind of eccentric...

haha ... no ...
If we take the bicep curl for example, eccentric is basicly the motion from the top down back to the starting position.

It has been shown (and i can say it from personal experience aswell) that it has the potential to increase strength better than the usual concentric sets.
Reason for this if i remember correctly (its been a while) is that you can load a heavy weight that you cannot lift normaly and just "deccelarate the drop, holding against it as good as possible, providing a realy good mechanical stimulus. Had my best "gains" with it and also managed to overcome plateaus that way. You usually do alot less repetitions than usual and longer breaks inbetween sets ... i liked that kind of workout the most, felt the least exhausting too.
 

Vileplume

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haha ... no ...
If we take the bicep curl for example, eccentric is basicly the motion from the top down back to the starting position.

It has been shown (and i can say it from personal experience aswell) that it has the potential to increase strength better than the usual concentric sets.
Reason for this if i remember correctly (its been a while) is that you can load a heavy weight that you cannot lift normaly and just "deccelarate the drop, holding against it as good as possible, providing a realy good mechanical stimulus. Had my best "gains" with it and also managed to overcome plateaus that way. You usually do alot less repetitions than usual and longer breaks inbetween sets ... i liked that kind of workout the most, felt the least exhausting too.
Dope! I was joking with my comment (should have made that clearer!) but your response and anecdote, in addition to what Hans said, make me want to try it. Even body weight exercises could work well for it. Do a push up and let yourself fall after, for example, or drop after a pull up.
 
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Ben.

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Dope! I was joking with my comment (you may have known that!) but your response and anecdote, in addition to what Hans said, make me want to try it. Even body weight exercises could work well for it. Do a push up and let yourself fall after, for example, or drop after a pull up.

Yeah i thought so but to be honest i wasnt totally sure. Ofcourse the fall or drop as you call it should be done controlled and safely like hans said. I always find it useful to get people to learn pushups or pullups who are to weak to do them with these "negative" sets (after ofcourse asessing all parameters a "professional health couch" should). If you can do pushups, going down eccentricly very slowly is just one of many ways to make the excercise harder, the most strength requiered is the lowest point of the pushup wthout touching the ground with ur chest, so trying to hold that position for a couple of seconds is no easy task, especially with repeated repetitions (looking at all the 16 years old being all cocky about their 100 rep count ...)

The whole lat pulldown or pushup against the wall doesnt help enough to make these classic body excercises achievable .. atleast not effectively.

I remember when i started and coudn't do pullups ... no amount of gym machines managed to build my muscles the way they needed to to get me up that damned bar ... one week of "negative" sets at a local playground using a bar only somewhat higher above my head allowed me to grab the bar, jump high enough to be at the top position one would be on a ideal pullup and working against gravity with the best of my abilities. First day was dropping down like a fat potatoe sack but each day i did it i could fight gravity better and after only 1,5 weeks i suddenly was able to do 1-2 concentric pullup. 2-3 months of gym machines didnt even compare to that (ofcourse i was a beginner back then who had no idea so that played a role too) The happiness that day above the bar finally... can't believe its been 10 years ....
 
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hei

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I fell for the negative pullups meme years ago and it just resulted in straining a tendon or something (where the lat attaches to the arm). It hurt for weeks. I think it happened a couple of times, probably weeks/months apart.
 

Ben.

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I fell for the negative pullups meme years ago and it just resulted in straining a tendon or something (where the lat attaches to the arm). It hurt for weeks. I think it happened a couple of times, probably weeks/months apart.

Every exccentric excercise builds strength very well for its ability to load heavier and apply a strong mechanical stimulus. one has to adress the foundation first ofcourse. Also pullups for some (depending on weight and the strength they have at the moment) may be to much "weight" to do safely. It is also important to see how much range of motion a person has, can he/she get the arms above the head without issues, are there restrictions in movements or muscle imbalances? I wouldn't just randomly trowh a person towards a bar for eccentric pullups and my shoulder joints always cry when i see people doing dips who have obviously no buisness doing them at their current level.

And above all else in doing sports or excercise is safety first, if it hurts or feels odd you stop and figure out if there is something else to adress first ... but that is a hard learning experience because the ego is a b**** ...
 
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