From DNA to RNA: Transcription DNA is housed within the nucleus, and protein synthesis takes place in the cytoplasm, thus there must be some sort of intermediate messenger that leaves the nucleus and manages protein synthesis. This intermediate messenger is messenger RNA mRNA , a single-stranded nucleic acid that carries a copy of the genetic code for a single gene out of the nucleus and into the cytoplasm where it is used to produce proteins.
There are several different types of RNA, each having different functions in the cell. Finally, instead of the base thymine, RNA contains the base uracil. This means that adenine will always pair up with uracil during the protein synthesis process. Gene expression begins with the process called transcription, which is the synthesis of a strand of mRNA that is complementary to the gene of interest. Transcription begins in a fashion somewhat like DNA replication, in that a region of DNA unwinds and the two strands separate, however, only that small portion of the DNA will be split apart.
The triplets within the gene on this section of the DNA molecule are used as the template to transcribe the complementary strand of RNA Figure 2. A codon is a three-base sequence of mRNA, so-called because they directly encode amino acids.
Like DNA replication, there are three stages to transcription: initiation, elongation, and termination. Figure 2. Stage 1: Initiation. A region at the beginning of the gene called a promoter—a particular sequence of nucleotides—triggers the start of transcription.
Stage 2: Elongation. One strand, referred to as the coding strand, becomes the template with the genes to be coded. This process builds a strand of mRNA. Stage 3: Termination.
Before the mRNA molecule leaves the nucleus and proceeds to protein synthesis, it is modified in a number of ways. For this reason, it is often called a pre-mRNA at this stage. For example, your DNA, and thus complementary mRNA, contains long regions called non-coding regions that do not code for amino acids. Their function is still a mystery, but the process called splicing removes these non-coding regions from the pre-mRNA transcript Figure 3.
The removed segment of the transcript is called an intron. The remaining exons are pasted together. An exon is a segment of RNA that remains after splicing.
Interestingly, some introns that are removed from mRNA are not always non-coding. When different coding regions of mRNA are spliced out, different variations of the protein will eventually result, with differences in structure and function. This process results in a much larger variety of possible proteins and protein functions.
When the mRNA transcript is ready, it travels out of the nucleus and into the cytoplasm. Figure 3. Splicing DNA. In the nucleus, a structure called a spliceosome cuts out introns noncoding regions within a pre-mRNA transcript and reconnects the exons.
From RNA to Protein: Translation Like translating a book from one language into another, the codons on a strand of mRNA must be translated into the amino acid alphabet of proteins. Translation is the process of synthesizing a chain of amino acids called a polypeptide.
The substrate on which translation takes place is the ribosome. Ribosomes exist in the cytoplasm as two distinct components, a small and a large subunit.
Transfer RNA tRNA is a type of RNA that ferries the appropriate corresponding amino acids to the ribosome, and attaches each new amino acid to the last, building the polypeptide chain one-by-one. Thus tRNA transfers specific amino acids from the cytoplasm to a growing polypeptide.
The tRNA is modified for this function. On one end of its structure is a binding site for a specific amino acid. On the other end is a base sequence that matches the codon specifying its particular amino acid. This sequence of three bases on the tRNA molecule is called an anticodon. For example, a tRNA responsible for shuttling the amino acid glycine contains a binding site for glycine on one end. Equipped with its particular cargo and matching anticodon, a tRNA molecule can read its recognized mRNA codon and bring the corresponding amino acid to the growing chain Figure 4.
Figure 4. Translation from RNA to Protein. Often, you arrive at the dinner buffet and feel like you need to serve yourself a large amount of everything. Alcohol Briefly, alcohol does contain calories and they can add up quickly, especially in mixed drinks. Alcohol contains 7kcal per gram and can contribute to fat gain when consumed in excess, just like any other calories. Tropical drinks such as Margaritas, Mojitos, Pina Coladas and others are filled with added sugar plus the calories from alcohol.
Further, creamy drinks like eggnog, White Russians, Mudslides, Brandy Alexanders and others can have very high-fat milk or cream plus sugar and alcohol. A single drink can have between kcal, or more, depending on the sugar, cream, fat and alcohol that it contains. Thus, a good strategy is to stick with sugar-free and low-fat mixed drinks and non-mixed drinks wine, beer, hard liquors, etc. This effectively means that you can drink hundreds or thousands of calories from alcohol and still eat an incredibly large meal without your body telling you that you already had those calories Yeomans et al.
Additionally, it can actually increase your food intake and the pleasantness of food. A third problem is that alcohol suppresses inhibitions, including food restraint.
Perhaps you typically allow yourself to have a plate of dessert, but never two because you want to watch your intake. Well after a few drinks, that self-restraint may be lowered and you might find yourself saying yes to the second or third piece of the pie. You may find yourself very tempted to ignore them. The reason that I state this so many times is because you have the vast majority of the year to lose fat — but only these few weeks to spend with your friends, family and loved ones.
To be a little dark, you never know how much longer you have with these people. Whether you want to admit it or not, breaking bread and sharing food is a big part of the experience — it simply is not the same for you to bring your own food or a scale.
If you can, resort to one of the two methods discussed above. This section will involve a lot less science, but very valuable information gained from experience.
In a very sincere, calm and peaceful manner, tell your friends, family and loved ones about your competitive goals. Do not give off a cocky, or arrogant attitude when saying this. Especially during a special occasion. It may seem that food is the only good part of an event and without it, there is no joy. This is where you are wrong. Enjoy those things and appreciate them while you have them! However, you should not allow bodybuilding to prevent you from being with the people that you care about.
For example, Steve managed to go on a trip and a wedding with his girlfriend, Charlote, during his contest prep. Perhaps anxious, as show date is approaching and you may have set yourself back. It is understandable that you have these feelings, but do not ruin the experience for your loved ones.
If you start to talk about how much fat the gravy had, how much sugar was in the pie and how oily the meat was, you will probably just make the cooks feel bad about their food and your loved ones feel bad about eating it. Multiple Day Events: In the case of multiple day events, you will have have one of two options and they will depend on how much time you have to plan. You need stick to the macros, even if it means enjoying the trip less.
This is one of the major reasons that we encourage starting your prep and being proactive in regards to planning — it allows you to have the flexibility to go with Option 1. Training Similar to the nutrition chapter, we will divide this section into three cases. However, before doing so, I will show you the research that we have on de-training. In a study by Ogasawra et al.
How can this be? It seems that the continuous group made greater gains when the periodic group was taking their 3 weeks off. However, when the periodic group returned to the gym, they made gains at a faster rate than the continuous group. An advanced training status makes you even more persistent to muscle loss.
It seems that as you develop more muscle, you need satellite cells to donate myonuclei to fibres to allow further growth and this process seems to be permanent. A study by Kadi et al. However, myonuclei number per fibre did not decrease. This suggests that even during long periods of detraining of 3 months, the muscle will be easier to regain.
Hwang et al. The researchers measured lean body mass LBM , rectus-femoris muscle cross-sectional area and leg-press strength before and after the detraining period. They found no differences in LBM, muscle cross-sectional area or strength following the days of detraining.
When it comes to nutrition, there is a baseline you can do because at the end of the day… you still need to eat to survive, so you might as well eat some tasty protein. However, there is no minimum amount of training that you must do in order to survive.
In one of my favourite studies, Bicket et al. The subjects performed squats, leg press and knee extensions 3 days per week, with 3 sets of per exercise. The subjects gained a significant amount of muscle and strength compared to baseline. After 16 weeks, the subjects were placed in a second phase that lasted 32 weeks. The detraining group lost all gains, which makes sense as they spent 8 months without any training after only training for 4 months.
Thus, it is much easier to maintain muscle than it is to gain muscle. From practical experience, I have found this to be an effective dosage at maintaining muscle mass, given that sets are taken sufficiently close to failure reps. For example, if you typically train each muscle group with 20 sets per week then you will likely be able to maintain that muscle with sets per week.
I recommend that you split this into whatever way you find disrupts your holiday the least. You could do two full-body sessions and take a little bit longer per session, or do 4 very quick upper-lower sessions, or any other combination you want.
In the bottom of this section, you will find that I have created two training protocols — one that involves a resistance band and one that does not. If possible, I suggest bringing a high-quality resistance band, as this will greatly expand the range of exercise that you are able to do.
During prep, things change due to the nature of the hypocaloric diet. In a fat-loss phase, your body is not getting sufficient energy from external sources so it must oxidize tissue to use as energy. The goal of a diet should be ensure that you oxidize the most amount of adipose tissue with the least amount of muscle. In other words, you want the energy to come at the expense of fat, not muscle. In order to balance things in your favour, you need potent stimuli to tell your body that we need to hold on to that precious tissue, not oxidize it for energy.
This will involve well-thought out resistance training with adequate volumes and intensities. Another huge benefit to doing things with plenty of time in advance is to be able to plan where you stay — you can ensure that you have a good gym at the hotel, or at least nearby.
If you do not have any access to a gym whatsoever, you may follow the hotel-room workouts that I have written below. If you have nothing but your hotel room and a suitcase, you can complete the workouts shown below and probably maintain muscle mass. I highly recommend purchasing a good resistance band, with handles on the ends such as this one. It sounds funny but I have seen it done. If you have access to a park and can do some pull-ups on a safe bar, great! You can repeat this program as you have time or according to volume requirements.
However, please remember that you are on vacation and should probably not spend hours locked in your room chipping away at your suitcase and resistance band. All three of us at Revive Stronger have been those overly-serious bodybuilders, refusing to stray from our diet and training while feeling a masochistic sense of pride.
We hope that sharing our experiences and mistakes with you can help you to understand the behaviours that are completely unnecessary… or even dangerous, as you will read. This time was the peak of my dedication and intensity towards bodybuilding. After the school year was done, my family planned an incredible Safari trip to Tanzania where we stayed in a different exotic hotel each night. I insisted that I wanted to go and was told that I would need to be escorted there if I really wanted to and I agreed.
A car awaited for me to go to the gym; I got in expecting a minute car ride to the gym but was surprised with a minute ride into a heavily forested area. I looked around the poorly lit room and found that the equipment was various construction metal poles with buckets of cement of different sizes attached at the ends. The different size of buckets allowed each bar to have different weights that could be selected. The seats were just regular armless chairs that one could sit at do seated shoulder press, bicep curls, etc.
Funny enough, even this gym had a squat rack, but of course, it was self-made. The door closed behind me and I found myself in this dungeon-like room with 4 strange men, looking at me strangely. At this point, I realized that I was in the middle of nowhere in Tanzania, in a room where anything could be done to me and no one would be able to find me. Anxiety took over for a few seconds, but I knew that I had to act cool.
If they were going to do something, then freaking out would only make it worse. If they were good people then they would just enjoy having someone who had studied exercise science and nutrition in-depth training with them — so I started training. At first, they just stared at me with puzzled expressions. Then one of them asked me what I was doing and why, as I explained, all 4 men stopped everything to listen to my scientific approach.
You could have heard a pin drop. After, they copied my every exercise, my every movement. Once I was done with my workout, they wanted to show me their favourite exercises and it turned into a full-bro arm workout with everyone yelling words of encouragement to get that last rep. It was one of the most special workouts of my life and I returned to my hotel safely.
However, it could have easily turned out extremely bad. Again, I put myself in a completely vulnerable situation due to my obsession with training — as if one workout could have changed any post-trip outcome. Now, I just accept the fact that I will go weeks without training during the year and have seen absolutely no stalls in progress or muscle loss. I arrived late at night at the JFK-Airport. Tired from the Jetlag, I still needed to drive an hour to my Airbnb apartment in Williamsburg.
Before I got to the apartment though, I immediately learned something quite unpleasant. Never ever travel with a suitcase through a blizzard! The suitcase was too heavy to carry all the way to the apartment but the wheels on it were too tiny to work properly in the snow. Anyway, finally arriving at the apartment, I quickly went to bed because I had everything laid out in front of me with my schedule.
Next day I got up and voila…blizzard was still in full roar. I was barely able to raise my head because the snow clasped onto my face like as if a Pokemon spits ice shards at you.This time was the peak of my dedication and intensity towards bodybuilding. If they were going to do something, then freaking out would only make it worse. A study by Hetherington gave 57 volunteers a lunch meal after having recorded their levels of hunger, fullness, desire to eat and the pleasantness of cheese on crackers and chocolate. Effect of different protein sources on satiation and short-term satiety when consumed as a starter.
After 60 minutes, they were allowed to eat again and could pick between cheese on crackers, chocolate or no second course. When completed, the mRNA detaches from the ribosome, and the protein is released. With all of this in mind, remember to enjoy yourself! A codon is a three-base sequence of mRNA, so-called because they directly encode amino acids.
I arrived late at night at the JFK-Airport. You may find yourself very tempted to ignore them. Whatever the cellular process may be, it is almost sure to involve proteins. Equipped with its particular cargo and matching anticodon, a tRNA molecule can read its recognized mRNA codon and bring the corresponding amino acid to the growing chain Figure 4. Additionally, it can actually increase your food intake and the pleasantness of food. Two studies by Martins et al.
The guy that invented the imperial system was a masochistic and cruel man, who wanted to see the world go up in flames. You could have heard a pin drop. A polyribosome is a string of ribosomes translating a single mRNA strand. Also, final thing, do I completely switch off on holiday? The remaining exons are pasted together.
I am not saying get more meat and less mashed potatoes — I am simply saying, get a decent amount of meat or tofu, tempeh, faux-meat, etc. Whether you want to admit it or not, breaking bread and sharing food is a big part of the experience — it simply is not the same for you to bring your own food or a scale. Nevertheless, we can still use some science-based tools in order to minimize fat gain while maximizing your enjoyment with minimal decision-making time. For example, your DNA, and thus complementary mRNA, contains long regions called non-coding regions that do not code for amino acids. Thus, it is much easier to maintain muscle than it is to gain muscle.