Podcast #31: Athletic Performance and Hypertrophy with Kiefer



“Most individuals already have insulin resistance in their skeletal muscle tissue by the time they’re 20-25.”

“Basketball players… their endurance that they have to build up requires less carbohydrates…. a lineman, where they only have very short bursts of high output activity, so their diet is gonna be a little different.”

“You have to mobilize glycogen to get maximum hypertrophy signals… ingested glucose is not causing the same hypertrophy signaling.”


“If you’re trying to refill glycogen, you’ve got a 30-minute window post-workout that’s optimal.”

“The earliest you’re gonna peak with protein synthesis (fractional synthesis rate)… that’s 4 hours out from your workout.”

Protein shake right after working out: “There’s no reason to… When you’re working out, protein breakdown and protein synthesis, both of those rates actually get much lower. They actually almost turn off during the training. Immediately after training, you get this exponential growth in the breakdown rate… There’s a very significant lag before the synthesis rate starts to pick up.”

“In all growth processes, especially in muscle, the breakdown rate has to peak before the synthesis rate can have a chance of peaking.”

“The peak of breakdown is directly related to the peak of the synthesis later.”

“An hour out, you shouldn’t interfere with the peak breakdown.”

Male/Female Differences in Glycogen

“For men with average testosterone levels, the more power and work you do, the more glycogen you burn.”

“If you walk around and you’re a male with average testosterone levels, you’re burning glycogen.”

“The curve for glycogen burn rate for women, stays really close to zero until they get around 80% VO2Max.”

Taking synthetic testosterone: “They will burn glycogen faster at lower power outputs… and testosterone allows their muscles to store glycogen at a slightly higher density so they also have more glycogen to burn.”

“The longer distances you go, women should start to have more and more advantages… women finish much closer to men at a marathon than they do at a 400m sprint… women finish almost equal when you start getting up into the ultramarathon territory.”

“Women would always need to be far more cognizant of their usable carbohydrate intake than men are most of the time.”


“What matters is total power output. Not total work. Not total volume. Those things are meaningless. It’s total power output.”

Low rep vs. High rep: “If those are identical for power outut, then you’ll get the same results.”

“On those higher rep sets, you are eventually acclimating the muscles to become more oxidative over time and you will slow hypertrophy. It’s unavoidable.”

“As you exercise that oxidative curve what you shorten is the glycolytic curve.” “As you overlap more in the oxidative state, you cannot access the second portion of the anaerobic window.”

“Newbies, super simple, if they’re going to failure, they’re gonna trigger growth. But that’s only gonna last about 3 months. And then they have to start taking into account those shorter, heavier rep ranges.”

How to do Repetitions

“There’s a huge anaerobic and signaling event at the turnaround. So your goal is to go through the turnaround and produce as much acceleration as possible… the faster you can do that turnaround at the bottom, the larger the overall growth signal that occurs.”

“Downregulating myostatin, upregulating mTor… those get their maximum stimulus at that turnaround.”

Splanchnic Bed

“Whenever insulin levels rise to a high threshold… then the majority of it (protein) gets pushed into the splanchnic bed. It doesn’t make it into the muscle tissue.”

“It’ll come back out once insulin levels drop.” “Whatever you stuffed in there, only half of it is useable for muscular synthesis.”

“It’s not such a bad thing cause you can overeat protein and then you basically have this huge reservoir that’s feeding all of the growth no matter whether you’re eating or not. So it’s quite advantageous.”


“Caffeine elevates AMPK really effectively especially in skeletal muscle tissue. So if you’re drinking a lot of caffeine all day long, you’re really stunting your hypertrophy goals.”

“Caffeine doesn’t cause an increase in cortisol release. That only happens with psychological stress experiments.”

1-hr before caffeine and 1-hr workout: “The caffeine’s effects will be almost gone by the end of the workout as far as AMPK elevation. And it’s totally fine because during the workout, both breakdown and synthesis processes are shut off anyway.”





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