Q & A with Mike

Q:  Mike ,
I was hoping for some advice , I am having foot surgery next week and am in 2nd week of a six week program to trim down and get into better shape ( surgery was not expected yet , there was a cancellation ).  I will be unable to do any cardio for a few weeks and only light weight training after I can put some weight on my foot. Any advice for my diet?  Should I slash my calories as much as I can and ride it out until I can start my program again?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Ontario, Canada


A: Jeff,                                                                                                            

Do not slash your calories. Eating a good diet is your best bet, not only for losing weight, but for recovery. Make sure to take in at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Cutting your calories and eating low amounts of protein will only worsen your ability to recover and possibly lengthen your down time.  If you feel you're starting to get more body fat reduce your carb intake, never your protein intake. Protein and fat in and of themselves have little to nothing to do with gaining body fat.


As far as working out after surgery, if you belong to a gym there are plenty of exercises one can do w/o putting weight on your feet.  With a little planning you’ll be able to train as hard as you can without using your injured foot.  Don't worry about not being able to do cardio. It's over rated as a fat burner anyway.



Q:  Hi there,
I was reading a few Q&A's on your site and I was wondering if you could lay out a defined plan for creatine use as well as protein.  I have heard from some sources (namely the guy who sold me the creatine) that I should go for 3 months on, 3 months off.  Load 20gm/day for the first week and then 5g/day after that. (I am well into my second month now).  I was wondering what the problem is with staying on creatine for up to 6 months or longer?  And if I went on for one month then off for a month am I OK to start the three month cycle over again?


As far as protein goes, I have heard that it's good to take 1gm/kg of weight per day, so according to that I would be taking in about 85 grams a day (I weight 185, and I'm 5'10"). You say I should be taking more like 200 grams per day? (1.5-2 gm/lb)... Should I be eating a dozen eggs every day or what?


Noel Palmer


A:  Noel,                                                                                                                                                  

I have my clients cycle their creatine for 9 weeks because my workout cycles are usually nine weeks long.  Taking creatine for much longer than that would be a waste anyway.  Once you reach the point of saturation after the loading phase, most will continue to make gains for another 6 – 8 weeks.  After the first month, however, you will notice a slow decline in the quantity of gains made from the addition of creatine.  You may even notice a slight decline in strength during your off time.  Do not let this discourage you.  Every time you go on creatine most will notice they are farther ahead of their previous cycle.  It’s like three steps forward one or two steps back, and so on.


Your creatine cycle should be as follows:  Week 1, If they are >200lbs (not fat) load w/ 20gm/day. If they are < 200lbs but >150lbs I have them load w/ 15gm/day. <150lbs I have them load w/ 10gm/day. I have no scientific evidence to support this dosage regimen; however, I have seen excellent responses from clients from all fitness and genetic levels. After the loading phase I recommend 10gm/day if you're >200lbs and 5gm/day if you're <200lbs for 8 more weeks. Once the cycle is finish stay off for 4 weeks and repeat.  The more muscular you are the more ATP (adenosine triphosphate) you can store.  Hence the bigger, more muscular, a person is, the more creatine they can use.  Creatine, if you don’t know, facilitates the storage of ATP, which is used for fast bursts of energy like sprinting or weight lifting. 


Your question about protein is a common one. Protein repairs and maintains every cell in the body along with having countless other functions, so it’s imperative for your success to consume optimum amounts. 1gm per pound of body weight is my recommended minimum for somebody who is training their butt off.  And yes, for somebody who is very experienced and is training with 100% intensity, I do recommend as high as 2gm per pound of body weight. 85gm/day of protein for you is way too low.  If you decide to take my advice to increase your protein intake, make sure it’s high quality sources.















Eggs are an excellent form of protein.  I recommend eating 2-3 whole eggs from free range chickens combined with 4 or more egg whites. Free range eggs will contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids (upwards of 350mg per egg) that the average egg in the grocery store won't contain. The egg whites can come from regular store bought eggs. The reason I use regular eggs for the whites is the price. Omega-3 eggs are going to run about twice the cost of regular eggs.  The quality of the whites between the two types of eggs is basically identical; the difference is all in the yolk. 


My favorite powdered proteins to take are from ProteinFactory.com and Dymatize.  Stay away from buying pure whey proteins as your source throughout the day.  The only time I would recommend them is if you’re going to take it right before, during and after your workout.  Whey proteins are absorbed very quickly and their use at any other time has been shown unequivocally to be subpar when compared to micellar casein/whey mix.

Q:  Mike,
I do regular high intensity workouts, and I always carry on the reps to failure - usually around the tenth rep. I find that I cannot physically lift the weight one more time by the time I've finished all the sets (usually about five or six sets of barbell curls per workout), but by the next day my muscles don't ache like I've heard they should. Is this a problem?



A:  Rob,                                                                                                                                           

Not having delayed onset muscle soreness a day or two after an intense workout, is not a problem. Although, being sore is a good measure of a good workout, the lack of soreness doesn't mean a bad workout.  Keep doing what you're doing as long as you're still making progress.  However, if you’re not making progress, you need to adjust your training program.


One of the biggest mistakes people make is not making changes - trying something new - if they’re not making progress.  People tend to stick with what they’re comfortable with.  Many people are even afraid to try new training methods for fear they will lose what they have worked so hard to achieve.  Don’t fall into this hole.  As long as you train hard, you won’t lose what you’ve gained. And who knows, you just may make the best gains of your life.





True free-range chickens eat a variety of food, i.e., insects, worms, snakes, and seeds.