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The Peter Attia Drive

May 24, 2021

Layne Norton is a physique coach, a natural professional bodybuilder and powerlifter, and holds a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences. In this episode, Layne explains how he became interested in weightlifting and fitness both professional and academically. He provides insights into preventing and managing injuries while using consistency and determination to boost his professional success in bodybuilding and powerlifting. Peter and Layne also review the science of body composition and what’s really driving muscle growth, including the role of nutrition, supplements, and a number of important and misunderstood hormones important to muscle protein synthesis. Furthermore, Layne stresses the importance of maintaining muscle mass even while losing fat for improving metabolic health and longevity and provides the keys to developing healthy habits. 


We discuss:

  • Layne’s childhood and why he gravitated towards weightlifting and bodybuilding [2:45];
  • Layne’s academic path, overcoming ADHD, and kicking Adderall [11:45];
  • Paradoxical observations about expertise, and Layne’s career transition to health and fitness [22:00];
  • The power of persistence and resilience in the face of setbacks [32:15];
  • Battling injuries, managing back pain, and setting lifting records [43:00];
  • Bodybuilding vs. powerlifting: comparing and contrasting the training approaches [57:15];
  • Cutting weight without losing muscle mass: exercise and dietary protocols, fasting, and a look at the literature [1:06:00];
  • Muscle protein synthesis and the importance of leucine [1:25:30];
  • Nitrogen balance and muscle protein synthesis, and the regulatory role of hormones for fat flux and muscle growth [1:37:00];
  • What’s really driving muscle growth: intrinsic vs. systemic factors, IGF, and hormone signaling [1:46:30];
  • The role of protein, carbohydrates and insulin on muscle growth and preservation, and the importance of context when interpreting study results [1:55:30];
  • Clarifying the role of cortisol—a misunderstood hormone [2:07:45];
  • The problem with studies trying to isolate one nutrient [2:15:00];
  • The important role of inflammation from exercise [2:19:25];
  • Keys to preserving muscle, and the value of habits, consistency, and resilience [2:23:30]; and
  • More.

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