Posted 23 April 2011 by Ask:

Natural Pro Dr. Layne Norton


What’s the best science based nutritional tip would you give to anyone trying to gain muscle?

Honestly it would be to not do anything extreme. Most extreme diets are garbage and they are only extreme because people are trying to sell you something that is nothing but hype.

What’s the worst bit of ‘BRO' science
advice you ever heard?

God, there's so much. Well the other day I heard someone say that you shouldn't eat carbs and protein together because they 'cancel each other's digestion out' which is complete garbage. Also heard someone say you 'poop out' excess protein, also not true as excess nitrogen is excreted in the urine via urea. Probably the most common is that "you can only absorb 'X' amount of protein at a meal. That is also garbage. Not only is this broscience not rooted in any kind of fact, it is actually a misnomer in and of itself. Absorption refers to the amount of a certain substance that makes it into circulation (plasma) from the digestive tract. The body will absorb almost all of the protein you eat regardless of the amount of protein in the meal (though there is a limit to the percentage absorbed and it will vary between protein sources). Now the amount of that protein that will be partitioned towards muscle building, that is a different store entirely.

Do you throw away the yolk or eat the whole egg?

Depends on the macronutrients I am trying to hit for the particular meal and how much fat I am trying to get in the meal. But generally I'll have a few egg yolks each day

Do you remember the first time you
picked up a dumbbell?

Sure, I was 14 years old and my dad had some sand weights in the basement that I had to duct tape together to keep the sand from falling out lol.

What do you think about when you have to dig deep and push out that last rep?

I think that I better finish because if I don't, someone else will.

Does it matter when you consume supplements/food postworkout? Is there a time window?

It matters to an extent. When you workout you cause an acute catabolic situation and your muscle does not become anabolic again until you consume sufficient protein. You also get an increase in insulin sensitivity by working out so you can more effectively tolerate and utilize carbohydrates post workout so it also makes sense to put more carbs post workout as compared to other times of the day.

What mistakes did you make as a newbie?

Expected results too fast and bought into the fear of 'over training'

Does creatine make you hold water?

Well it increases fluid retained inside the muscle cell, but last time I checked, that was a good thing!

What supplements do you take?

Whey Protein, Xtend, Beta-Alanine, Novem (from Scivation), Lipoic Acid, EssentialFA, Betaine, Elastamine, Multivitamin, Taurine, Vitamin D, and CLA. Others I may add in at various times.

Is it possible to build muscle and
burn fat at the same time?

Yes it is, but it only really significantly occurs in people who are either:

1) Beginners
2) Very overweight or
3) On anabolic drugs or a combination of any of those 3.

Not saying it can never ever happen, but to have it happen significantly is quite rare. To burn fat you need to create a caloric deficit. To build muscle you need a caloric surplus in most cases. You can't have a deficit and a surplus simultaneously.

What rep ranges do you prefer?

All of them. Reps from 1-100 all have various benefits for various reasons and you should incorporate a variety of rep ranges into your training. There is no one 'best' rep range.

To create the leanest most jacked physique possible what top 7 foods work?

Hit your protein/carb/fat/fiber goals. There are no 'magic' foods. That's broscience.

What vitamins would you recommend
to the serious gym warrior?

Well besides a typical multivitamin, I would also recommend taking extra Vitamin D

What’s your diet like when trying to
get in peak condition?

Well it changes from week to week depending on how my metabolism responds. But my last precontest diet I was eating 270g protein/100-230g carbs/and 40-60g fat on low carb days and 250g protein/280-400g carbs/and 40-50g fat on high carb days obviously I started dieting at the higher end of that range and slowly dropped calories to bust through fat loss plateaus.

What’s your training routine like when trying to get in peak condition?

My training doesn't change from precontest to offseason or vice versa. I incorporate a non-linear periodized style of training that I call Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training. This is a sample of one of the PHAT routines I have used in the past:

Click image below to get a PDF example of Dr Layne Nortons routine.

More of Layne at

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