Friday, June 15, 2012

Book Review: Stuart McRoberts Brawn Series Book 1

Build a Terrific PhysiqueIf you want to gain strength and muscle mass, have not had success with conventional training approaches, don’t have a lot of time for training, and want to use the simplest, least expensive, most widely available progressive resistance training equipment––barbells, dumbbells, squat rack, chin up bar, parallel bars, and a flat bench––without getting injured in the process, Stuart McRobert has produced an excellent new guidebook for you: BRAWN Series, Book 1: How to Build up to 50 Pounds of Muscle the Natural Way.

This detailed guide to successful strength training and muscle gaining for the average trainee discusses in detail McRobert’s updated application of one of the most effective training routines in history, the high rep squat program once championed by Peary Rader, the founder of Iron Man Magazine.

McRobert himself used a version of this routine to add 60 pounds of mass to his own frame and deadlift 400 pounds for 20 consecutive repetitions.  McRobert apparently learned about the routine from Rader, who used a very simple version of the high-rep squat routine to gain about 50 pounds and become a mid-western U.S.A. heavyweight lifting champion eight years in a row, after spending more than 12 years trying many other approaches to gain strength and mass with no success.

The Brawn Book 1 (hereafter BB1) will introduce you to the history of this effective program, and show you how to apply it sustainably and successfully.  A key benefit of this book lies in McRobert's recognition that some people need an alternative to the barbell squat because of body proportions or previous injuries.  He provides valuable guidance to help you decide whether you can use the squat or need an alternative to the barbell squat. 

He explains why and how to prepare for the routine, how to select the lynch-pin movements that will work best for you, how long to apply it, how to enhance recovery from training sessions and a period of applying the routine, how often to implement it, and how to train when you aren’t doing the high-rep squat routine. 

This book also has 93 pages explaining stretching and resistance exercise technique in great detail, so that you don’t make mistakes that will cost you time and money recovering from injuries.  In this vein, BB1 differs from Rippetoe’s Starting Strength in some laudable ways.  Rippetoe recommends explosive power cleans and full-range straight-bar deadlifts, two exercises that present an unreasonable injury risk for many people of average natural build.  Although McRobert himself succeeded in deadlifting 400 pounds for 20 consecutive repetitions, he suffered a significant injury from this effort, and because of his own experience, along with other considerations, he doesn’t recommend full-range straight-bar powerlifting deadlifts.  Instead, he recommends the trap-bar deadlift, or deadlifts from knee level, both much safer variations, to people of the appropriate build.

I do have some reservations about BB1.  One regards one aspect of the training advice.  For all routines, McRobert recommends just one set of the lynchpin exercise––the barbell squat or an individually appropriate alternative––but for almost all other exercises in the routines he recommends at least two sets.  If one set is adequate for the lynchpin exercise, why do we need multiple sets for the others?  Doing multiple sets increases the time required to do a routine, and I don't think we have really good evidence that this extra time investment is worthwhile.  As explained at ExRx.net:


"Many scientific studies demonstrate one set is almost effective as multiple sets, if not just as effective in strength and muscle hypertrophy (Starkey, Pollock, et. al. 1996). These studies have been criticized for using untrained subjects. Hass et. al. (2000) compared the effects of one set verses three sets in experienced recreational weightlifters. Both groups significantly improved muscular fitness and body composition during the 13 week study. Interestingly, no significant differences were found between groups for any of the test variables, including muscular strength, muscular endurance, and body composition...

"By performing an additional set (50% to 100% more sets) only 0 to 5% more progress will be observed. Each additional set yields even less progress to a point of diminishing return. The time saved with an abbreviated weight training program can often be used more wisely elsewhere in a program. More aerobics should be performed if fat loss, toning, or cardiovascular conditioning is a goal. Duration is a more important component with aerobics exercise. Alternatively, more sports-specific training can be performed if improvement of athletic ability is a goal. In addition, more rest can be take between sets if strength is a goal. Finally, more time can be spent recuperating after workouts, decreasing the stagnant or injurious effects of overtraining."
Fisher et al (full text pdf) reviewed the evidence to produce evidence-based resistance training guidelines. and found "that appreciably the same muscular strength and endurance adaptations can be attained by performing a single set of ~8-12 repetitions to momentary muscular failure, at a repetition duration that maintains muscular tension throughout the entire range of motion, for most major muscle groups once or twice each week."  Thus, while I agree with the general outline of the BB1 routines, you may need only one set of each exercise in any session, and only one session per week.

Edit 12/12/12:  James Krieger has authored a peer-reviewed meta-analysis of studies on set volume and resistance training outcomes, finding that multiple sets may indeed produce a greater effect than single sets  He has also written critiques of the Fisher review (here) and of the Carpinelli reviews (here) on which I and others have based their belief that the bulk of research has found that multiple sets do not produce greater strength gains than single sets.  Edit 8/10/13: Carpinelli has written a cogent response to Krieger's meta-analysis which questions the quality of the studies chosen for the meta-analysis.  It seems to me that the data used to support the multiple set approach lacks quality and strength.  Further, none of the studies show that the additional effect of multiple sets is large enough to justify the additional time investment.  Doing two to three sets rather than one involves doubling or tripling the energy and time investment, but we have no studies showing that doing two or three sets produces two or three times greater strength gains than one set.  Finally, all studies are short term, and there is no high quality study indicating that one set protocols have no effect or result in atrophy.  Even if the rate of strength gain using two sets is greater on a weekly or monthly basis, the number of sets can not improve the ultimate outcome, which is determined by genetics.  In other words, all evidence indicates that doing one set will get you to your destination (genetic potential), given adequate training time and dedication.  Consequently, I still believe that we have no strong evidence that multiple sets produces better results than one set in the long term.

Also, before undertaking this type of intensive training, especially if you are older or have had previous injuries, I recommend that you make sure that you have a well-aligned musculoskeletal system.  For this purpose I suggest start by reading The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion: Revolutionary Program That Lets You Rediscover the Body's Power to Rejuvenate It.  This book will help you identify and correct postural imbalances that will predispose you to injuries in training.  I have learned the hard way––through repeated injury–– that you must correct these imbalances, and achieve what Egoscue calls "D-Lux" musculoskeletal alignment, before engaging in intensive training.

I disagree with the some of the nutritional advice McRobert offers, as it centers around consuming one to 1.25 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, mostly from animal products, and using fermented milk products.  Following this recommendation, a 150 pound (68 kg) trainee would consume 150 to 190 g of protein per day. McRobert claims that “Too much protein is better than not enough­­––excess isn’t a problem provided you’re healthy.”

I don’t agree with this prescription, because I am aware of no evidence indicating that any healthy human requires a protein intake of that magnitude to support resistance training, and sufficient evidence to indicate that excess animal protein does cause health problems. 

A careful metabolic study by Lemon et al  found that novice bodybuilders had a protein requirement of 1.4 to 1.5 gram per kilogram bodyweight daily during intensive training.  This means that a 150 pound novice trainee in intensive training would require about 102 grams of protein daily (only about 0.7 g per pound), which would be about 14% of total energy.

This is remarkably similar to the protein requirement of a human infant.  A  human infant will double its body mass in its first six months of life.  The protein RDA for an infant aged 0 to 0.5 years is 1.5 grams per kilo (0.7 grams per pound) of body mass per day. Human breast milk provides only five to six percent of calories as protein, yet easily supplies the required amount of protein, which for an infant is only about 10 grams of total protein per day.  Human milk illustrates that the main requirement for growth is a high calorie diet; and when you eat a high calorie diet, you will naturally ingest a larger amount of protein.

However, I have previously blogged  about a study by Moore et al  which showed that 12 weeks of resistance training increases the efficiency of protein utilization, thus probably reducing protein requirements.  Also, Castaneda et al reported that 55 to 75 year old kidney disease patients eating a low protein diet of 0.6 g/kg bodyweight/day increased muscle cross-sectional area by 23% in 12 weeks. 

As I wrote in that blog:

“Human muscle consists of ~70% water, ~30% protein by weight.  The Moore et al subjects added ~33 g of lean mass daily, equating to adding ~10 g of protein to their musculature daily.

The Moore et al subjects averaged 62 kg of lean mass at the start of the study and 65 kg at the end. [4]

Using the estimated protein requirement of 0.83 g/kg/d [3], ninety-eight percent of individuals starting this program at 62 kg (136 lb) of lean mass would require not more than 50 g of protein per day.  After gaining 2.8 kg (6 pounds) of lean mass, the individual would have 65 kg (143 lb) of lean mass and a protein requirement of not more than 52 g per day.  During the training period, he would require an additional 10 g of protein per day (to accrue 33 g of lean mass daily).  Thus, from start to end, I would estimate his protein requirement as no higher than 60-62 g per day.

Using the median protein requirement of 0.65 g/kg/d, possibly fifty percent of individuals in the Moore study would require no more than 50 g of protein per day to achieve the results reported.

Since Moore et al report the habitual and controlled protein intake of these subjects as falling between 109 and 125 g per day, by my calculations, the people in this study may have consumed 40 to 60 g excess protein every day, beyond the requirement for building 6 pounds of lean mass in 12 weeks.

According to Moore et al, their 12 subjects required and consumed about 3000 kcal per day. Sixty-two grams of protein provides 248 kcal, which constitutes eight percent of total energy intake.  It would seem possible then that adult physically active humans are adapted to food sources that provide about 8 percent of calories as protein, assuming carbohydrate requirements are met directly rather than through gluconeogenesis.”

In How Much Protein?, Brad Pilon reviewed dozens of studies of the influence of protein intake on strength and muscle development, and found that the research suggests an intake of 70 to 120 grams of protein daily is adequate, with no discernible difference between animal and vegetable sources of proteinz.  

Thus, McRobert is recommending an intake of protein at least 50 to 90 percent greater than necessary.  Considering the high cost of animal products, this unnecessarily increases the cost of the diet, and if composed of animal protein, presents a health risk.

Over the short term, several studies have shown that intake of a diet rich in animal protein increases calcium excretion to produce a negative calcium balance, even when calcium intake amounted to about 1400 mg per day [1, 2, both full text]. 

Thus, diets high in animal protein probably deplete bone mineral, an effect contrary to the goal of body-building.  Many people bone mass loss is a concern only for women, but according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation:

  • Up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
  • Approximately two million American men already have osteoporosis. About 12 million more are at risk.
  • Men older than 50 are more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer.
  • Each year, about 80,000 men will break a hip.
  • Men are more likely than women to die within a year after breaking a hip. This is due to
    problems related to the break.
Few men realize that they are more likely to have a bone fracture due to osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer.

A diet high in animal protein will also tend to be high in arachidonic acid, which promotes various cancers, including breast, prostate, and colon.

Regarding cow milk products, numerous investigators have linked it to breast and prostate cancer.

Tate et al report that “Cows' milk stimulated the growth of LNCaP prostate cancer cells in each of 14 separate experiments, producing an average increase in growth rate of over 30%. In contrast, almond milk suppressed the growth of these cells by over 30%.”

This year, Torfadottir et al reported that “Daily milk consumption in adolescence (vs. less than daily), but not in midlife or currently, was associated with a 3.2-fold risk of advanced prostate cancer.”

Raimondi et al reported “We found a twofold increased risk of prostate cancer associated with an increased intake of dairy products.”

Milk may also promote breast cancer.  Su et al reported finding that “Adolescent total milk intake was positively associated with proliferative BBD [benign breast disease]” which is a precursor to breast cancer.

Qin et al found “the consumption of milk promoted the development of DMBA-induced mammary tumors in rats independent of the fat level.” i.e. both low and high fat milk promoted breast cancer growth.

In another study of low fat milk and cancer, Qin et al found that “commercially available low-fat milk promotes the development of DMBA-induced mammary tumors in rats. The degree of the promotion is almost comparable to that of 0.1 microg/ml estrone sulfate. The high estrogen content in the milk may be responsible for the promotional effects, acting in concert with other hormones such as IGF-I.”

Milk is naturally high in estrogens, removing fat from milk doesn't remove the estrogens, and modern dairy practices increase the estrogen contents of milk to unprecedented levels. 

Since a mammal only lactates after a pregnancy, to maximize continuous milk production, dairy producers subject cows to mechanical rape (that’s what we call involuntarily insemination when it is done to humans) often enough to keep them almost continually pregnant.  This results in them lactating while pregnant, when hormones are particularly high.  This raises the true mammalian estrogen and progesterone contents of the milk.  

Maruyama, Oshima, and Ohyama reported that humans consuming modern cow milk from pregnant cows have significant and disturbing elevations in estrogen levels and declines in testosterone levels that affect ovarian function and sexual maturation:

“After the intake of cow milk, serum estrone (E1) and progesterone concentrations significantly increased, and serum luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and testosterone significantly decreased in men. Urine concentrations of E1, estradiol, estriol and pregnanediol significantly increased in all adults and children. In four out of five women, ovulation occurred during the milk intake, and the timing of ovulation was similar among the three menstrual cycles.

"CONCLUSIONS:

"The present data on men and children indicate that estrogens in milk were absorbed, and gonadotropin secretion was suppressed, followed by a decrease in testosterone secretion. Sexual maturation of prepubertal children could be affected by the ordinary intake of cow milk.”
Get that:  Men drinking milk or eating milk products (yoghurt, cheese, etc.) can expect an increase in estrogen levels and a decrease in testosterone levels.

Milk may also promote colon cancer.  Van der pols et al found that “High childhood total dairy intake was associated with a near-tripling in the odds of colorectal cancer”

Besides putting your own health at risk, a diet high in animal products causes death, injury, and suffering to the animals eaten, and also to numerous workers in slaughterhouses and meat-packing plants, who have The Most Dangerous Job In America

Also, the intensive animal farming necessary for providing modern nations a diet high in animal products is a main driver of water shortages, soil erosion, intensive monocropping of corn and soybeans, and accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.  According to David Pimental, Ph.D., professor of ecology in Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences:

  • Livestock eat more grain than humans. "The 7 billion livestock animals in the United States consume five times as much grain as is consumed directly by the entire American population."
  • Feeding grains to livestock wastes protein. "Each year an estimated 41 million tons of plant protein is fed to U.S. livestock to produce an estimated 7 million tons of animal protein for human consumption. For every kilogram of high-quality animal protein produced, livestock are fed nearly 6 kg of plant protein."
  • Livestock production wastes fossil fuels. "On average, animal protein production in the U.S. requires 28 kilocalories (kcal) for every kcal of protein produced for human consumption. Beef and lamb are the most costly, in terms of fossil fuel energy input to protein output at 54:1 and 50:1, respectively. Turkey and chicken meat production are the most efficient (13:1 and 4:1, respectively). Grain production, on average, requires 3.3 kcal of fossil fuel for every kcal of protein produced. The U.S. now imports about 54 percent of its oil; by the year 2015, that import figure is expected to rise to 100 percent."
  • Livestock systems drive water shortages.  "U.S. agriculture accounts for 87 percent of all the fresh water consumed each year. Livestock directly use only 1.3 percent of that water. But when the water required for forage and grain production is included, livestock's water usage rises dramatically. Every kilogram of beef produced takes 100,000 liters of water. Some 900 liters of water go into producing a kilogram of wheat. Potatoes are even less "thirsty," at 500 liters per kilogram." "Water shortages already are severe in the Western and Southern United States and the situation is quickly becoming worse because of a rapidly growing U.S. population that requires more water for all of its needs, especially agriculture."
  • Livestock production increases land use. "More than 302 million hectares of land are devoted to producing feed for the U.S. livestock population -- about 272 million hectares in pasture and about 30 million hectares for cultivated feed grains." [These lands could be returned to wild if we stopped raising livestock.]
  • Livestock product drives soil erosion. "About 90 percent of U.S. cropland is losing soil -- to wind and water erosion -- at 13 times above the sustainable rate. Soil loss is most severe in some of the richest farming areas; Iowa loses topsoil at 30 times the rate of soil formation. Iowa has lost one-half its topsoil in only 150 years of farming -- soil that took thousands of years to form."
  • "If all the U.S. grain now fed to livestock were exported and if cattlemen switched to grass-fed production systems, less beef would be available and animal protein in the average American diet would drop from 75 grams to 29 grams per day. That, plus current levels of plant-protein consumption, would still yield more than the RDA for protein."
When attempting to gain muscle, one requires more calories than one expends, and slightly more protein than a person not training, but you don’t have to drink milk or eat animals to accomplish this. Foods providing at least 10 percent of calories as protein include:

Oatmeal, 15%
Whole wheat, 15%
Cornmeal, 9%
Beans, 27%
Peas, 28%

Asparagus, 42%
Broccoli, 42%
Mushrooms, 32%
Spinach, 51%
Yeast, 53%

Most young males need to ingest at least 3000 kcal per day to gain lean mass.  Here’s an example of a 3200 kcalorie vegan diet that supplies 133 g of protein without any special emphasis on protein-rich foods.  If we assume that people need 1.4 g/kg/d protein to build muscle mass, this is adequate for a 95 kg (209 lb) individual.



Here’s the macronutrient analysis: 



And here is the micronutrient analysis; it is low only in vitamin D, which we get from sun exposure (the vitamin B12 in this diet comes from fortified soy milk).



Hence it is clear that one can obtain plenty of protein for muscle growth from a diet containing no animal products, so long as one eats adequate calories.

In summary, I recommend Stuart McRobert's  new BRAWN Series, Book 1: How to Build up to 50 Pounds of Muscle the Natural Way as source of general training guidance, but I don’t recommend following his nutrition guidance. 

21 comments:

scienceandnutrition said...

"Doing multiple sets increases the time required to do a routine, and I don't think we have really good evidence that this extra time investment is worthwhile."

I believe there is strong evidence that multiple sets are superior for muscular strength and hypertrophy. These two meta-analyses pretty much ended the entire debate over set quantity.

- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661829

- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20300012

Don said...

That is not strong evidence. Krieger's meta-analyses are critiqued by Fisher et al in the paper to which I linked:

"...Krieger [138] published a meta-analysis concluding that “2-3 sets per exercise are associated with 46% greater strength gains than 1 set, in both trained and untrained subjects”. However, Krieger [138] included a study by Kraemer [139] that had previously received heavy criticism by Winett [136] due to methodological inadequacies, as well as articles where groups had not trained to momentary muscular failure [140]. Readers should be wary of meta-analyses that attempt to consider an assortment of differing research and provide a single conclusive statement, as Krieger [138] appears to have done. Indeed, meta-analyses within this debate [132, 133, 141, 142] have been criticized for their absence of scientific process [137]."

33 of 35 studies showed no difference between single and multiple sets in production of either strength or hypertrophy.

Full text here (download avail in right-hand column): http://adisonline.com/sportsmedicine/Citation/1998/26020/Strength_Training__Single_Versus_Multiple_Sets.2.aspx

Peter said...

I read Ellington Dardens new book and learned that Arthur Jones advocated the idea that in order to succeed one should go to a regular gym and ask your basic bodybuilder what he does, then list everything in detail and proceed to do 180-degrees the opposite.

I switched to high intensive, one-set per excersise regime. I work once a week, max twice for 20 min. I think going to the gym is waste of time and I want to minimize that time. I think It's clear that multiple reps do not make up the time that is being wasted in them.

I eat low-protein vegan diet, quite high calory diet though. I am happy with the results I am seeing, it's nice to be on the 5% body fat range all the time without any fasting periods.

EPM said...

Don,
Do you currently eat a diet like the one you created in this post? Have you tried eating that much? I'm a meat eater in the process of reducing my meat consumption. I would like to try to eat a diet similar to the one you described but I think I would have difficulty eating that much food.

Peter,
What does your diet look like? How many calories do you estimate you consume per day?

Peter said...

@EPM

Dairy and beef provides loads of calories and small package, hence it can be difficult for a physically active Westerner to reap adequate calories on a full-blown vegan diet at the table at the beginning. The kenian runners eat their rice and teff from buckets.

The good news is that stomach quickly adapts to new eating paradigm, fiber and water rich plant-foods that is.

I start my day with big bowl of whole-grain oatmeal topped with berries and seeds (hemp, sesam and flax). I basically follow the McDougall-style diet with an emphasis on starch, obviously. Loads of cooked cellery, onions and broccoli and raw romaine salad as well. I also eat Eastern European rye bread quite a lot.

Peter said...

I sorry I forgot the calories,

On training days I try to eat atleast 3500 kals ( I am 6 ft tall), under these days I might add a table spoon of olive oil which provides 130 kals without any sense of satisfaction. I also do more than average amounts of fat-rich nuts under training days to provide the extra cals.

Don said...

EPM,

I don't need 3200 kcal per day right now so I don't eat that much, but I eat in a similar fashion.

Example, for breakfast I will have a 3-4 cups of oatmeal or other cooked cereal with soymilk or scrambled tofu, some fruit, and an almond or sunflower butter sandwich.

Then lunch is 3+ cups of rice or 4-5 potatoes with 1-2 cups of bean stew, some vegetables, fruits, and several slices of bread or another sandwich. (Just before writing this I ate a lunch of three and one-half sandwiches made with 7 slices of whole grain bread, sesame tahini, some tofu-based onion dip, lettuce and tomato, then an unknown amount of fresh cherries.)

Then later I will have 2 cups cold cereal with nuts and soymilk, or two almond butter sandwiches with soymilk, or some noodles and vegetables, and some fruit.

If you have trouble getting adequate calories, try eating 2 or more ounces of nuts/seeds and nut/seed butters daily, or, like Peter.

I found it takes a little time to get used to eating the large quantities required, but the low fat content makes it possible. The volume is a little misleading since for many plant foods, 70-90 percent of the food is water. Once the stomach squeezes the water out of it, it takes up much less gut space.

Greg L said...

Great post Don. I've been doing Starting Strength program for a couple months and it's working but I'm ready for a change. I'll have to look into this high rep squat program.

Peter, first, great job with your comments on this blog and others. You do a great job sticking up for the science of a plant based diet and I appreciate your comments. I am also very Mcdougall, %100 whole foods plant. Could you give more details about your workout program? How many calories do you consume on non workout days? Thanks, and again, great job.

Swede said...

Peter said:

"it's nice to be on the 5% body fat range all the time without any fasting periods."

Gotta prove that with some pictures, buddy. Anyone can say wild shit like that on the 'net.

Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

@Greg L,

thanks for the compliment. I don't count my calories on training-days. One of the reason I went into this diet was that I loved to eat huge amounts of food, chocolate bars, cookies, potato chips whatever.

I have never had weight-issues. Anyways I realized I am going to be screwed one way or another after couple of decades if I kept my old dietary regime. I din't want to rely on "good genes". This dietary pattern, allows me to keep eating the big volume way, and my skin still comes off as clear.

It's hard to over-eat with this way of eating. But depending on your goals, if you want to pack those calories, I recommend stuff like tofu, nuts/seeds and whole-grain breads which are relatively caloric dense, atleast compared to an apple.

You can visit veganbodybuilding.com and check out their diet schemes. I probably differ from most of them by not drinking any liquid calories. If I wanted to get bigger, I might think about it. But personally I am more for fitness and astanga yoga :)

Swede said...

Don wrote:

"This year, Torfadottir et al reported that “Daily milk consumption in adolescence (vs. less than daily), but not in midlife or currently, was associated with a 3.2-fold risk of advanced prostate cancer.”"

Just looked at that abstract. People who were born from 1907 to 1935 were asked about their early life milk consumption in 2003-2006!

Can you say unreliable data? How much milk did you drink 60 years ago? Absolute junk science.

Don, can you do better than this to support your new lifestyle?

Swede said...

"McRobert himself used a version of this routine to add 60 pounds of mass to his own frame"

damn. I need to ditch these 'roids and start doing this guy's program!

Once this is known to the sports world it will revolutionize training and make all other methods obsolete.

Ben said...

Livestock systems drive water shortages. "U.S. agriculture accounts for 87 percent of all the fresh water consumed each year. Livestock directly use only 1.3 percent of that water. But when the water required for forage and grain production is included, livestock's water usage rises dramatically. Every kilogram of beef produced takes 100,000 liters of water. Some 900 liters of water go into producing a kilogram of wheat. Potatoes are even less "thirsty," at 500 liters per kilogram." "Water shortages already are severe in the Western and Southern United States and the situation is quickly becoming worse because of a rapidly growing U.S. population that requires more water for all of its needs, especially agriculture."

AND

Livestock product drives soil erosion. "About 90 percent of U.S. cropland is losing soil -- to wind and water erosion -- at 13 times above the sustainable rate. Soil loss is most severe in some of the richest farming areas; Iowa loses topsoil at 30 times the rate of soil formation. Iowa has lost one-half its topsoil in only 150 years of farming -- soil that took thousands of years to form."

As opposed to (from March 14, 2011):

Nearly the exact opposite of prevailing theories that blame desertification on overgrazing, Savory's solution centers on dramatically increased livestock numbers to reverse desertification. The tremendous success of Savory's counter-intuitive solution is evidenced through his work with Operation Hope at the Africa Center for Holistic Management (ACHM) in Zimbabwe. For hundreds of years the 6,500 acres of the ACHM were barren, dry fields until 1992 when Savory increased the livestock by 400% and managed them through holistic, planned grazing. Over time, the barren fields were transformed into green grass and open water, full of water lilies and fish.

Maybe it's time to separate the moral position from some of the other positions. It's actually okay to choose one position that gratifies you the most and sacrifice the things that are of lesser importance to you. In other words, if you're vegan because of a moral concern, that doesn't mean you have to try to prove that veganism will save the planet, cure all disease, etc., as past posts clearly show are not the case.

Ben said...

Livestock eat more grain than humans. "The 7 billion livestock animals in the United States consume five times as much grain as is consumed directly by the entire American population."

Isn't this why you used to promote grass-fed, locally raised beef?

AND

Livestock production wastes fossil fuels. "On average, animal protein production in the U.S. requires 28 kilocalories (kcal) for every kcal of protein produced for human consumption. Beef and lamb are the most costly, in terms of fossil fuel energy input to protein output at 54:1 and 50:1, respectively. Turkey and chicken meat production are the most efficient (13:1 and 4:1, respectively). Grain production, on average, requires 3.3 kcal of fossil fuel for every kcal of protein produced.

Isn't this why you used to support and encourage locally raised, locally consumed grass fed beef?

JamesSteeleII said...

Hi Don,

Late to notice but thanks for citing our review paper.

If you'e interested then we have published another this yea on resistance training and cardiovascular fitness.

http://faculty.css.edu/tboone2/asep/JEPonlineJUNE2012_Steele.pdf

Ralph Carpinelli has also just published a critique of Kriegers Meta-Analysis of strength adaptations.

http://www.medicinasportiva.pl/new/pliki/ms_2012_03_01_Carpinelli.pdf

Don said...

Thanks James!

Wayne Emery said...

Hi Don I do not wish to slat your knowledge as a neutralist but I think you are talking absolute rubbish about the dangers of dairy products and protein. There is no real evidence about what you are saying and the articles you are quoting from can be debunk by other independent researchers. I think you are just scare mongering as this is your own view points on the subject and you are quoting from other people to collaborate this.

wayne

Don said...

Wayne,

Please provide the references that show that the studies I cited are absolute rubbish as you say. Please show that this is not real evidence. Make sure that the studies you cite are actually from independent researchers having no connection to or funding from the dairy industry.

You might want to start on pubmed with a search for "acne and milk."

You might also want to find out if humans really require cow dairy products in their diets.

Meanwhile I hope you enjoy your pus-, estrogen-, cholesterol, and saturated fat filled milk products.

http://www.mad-cow.org/00/paraTB.html


James Krieger said...

Don,

Fisher's critique was problematic for reasons outlined here:

http://weightology.net/?p=742

and Carpinelli's critique was even worse...Carpinelli misleads the reader by leaving out critical information, and makes a number of errors as well

http://weightology.net/?p=925