Maximizing Muscle Growth
The advice is based on meta-analyses or literature reviews.
At The Gym
dose response for strength development
Resting 3 minutes between sets promotes more growth than shorter durations rest periods.
In the Kitchen
- that's about double the 0.8 recommended for the general population. A literature review
Consuming more than 30g of protein in a meal yields no benefits, so you have to split your protein consumption throughout the day moderate serving of high-quality protein.
You should definitely take creatine supplements, which have been found to
I couldn't find any meta-analyses on the optimal creatine dosage so I decided to take a look at the data on my own. I looked at the creatine meta-analysis creatine supplementation and assumed the average American weight of ~182lb to convert between studies using creatine in g vs. g/kg. Then I constructed a scatter plot of the effect size on lean body mass (relative to the control group) after adding a little bit of noise for illustrative purposes. Unfortunately, the chart isn't very illuminating:
The charts representing the effect of creatine on chest press and leg press are similarly unhelpful.
Next, I tried dividing the studies into low-creatine (< 5.8 g/d) and high-creatine (>8.2 g/d). The average effect size in the high-creatine was 0.23 higher than in the low-creatine group. However, the p-value was fairly high (p=0.26) and this difference represents just a 16% increase in effect size, suggesting that the first ~5 g/d of creatine represent most (if not all) of the gains.
This analysis has two major problems, however. The first is high error bars due to small sample sizes and noisy muscle growth. The second is that there just aren't that many studies on the effect of very high creatine consumption on muscle growth (just 2 where more than 20 g/d was consumed).
Both these problems are mitigated by examining chest press strength gains instead:
Here, we actually find a negative difference between low and high creatine consumption, but p=0.4, so really the finding is just "no effect".
In short, there's clear evidence that non-zero creatine consumption promotes muscle growth. We have no reason to think more than 5 g/d helps at all, and for all we know the point of diminishing returns occurs far below that.
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