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DEMEY88 Online Coaching
Together with my team I have combined more than 40 years of experience
with the latest scientific insights. In front of you is the DEMEY88 Method, the
88 pages “Bible” with all the principles to finally achieve your goal in the best
and most effective way. DEMEY88 is for men and women.
Members of the DEMEY88 community have access to training schedules and
accompanying videos, a customizable personal nutrient calculator and a personal DASHBOARD.
Do you want me as your personal coach? I am looking forward to help you.
Choose the package that suits you best:
Berry de Mey
Thirty years ago, Berry de Mey was one of the most successful professional
bodybuilders from the European continent. He scored high on the stage of
Mister Olympia, still now the most important contest in bodybuilding.
In the nineties De Mey called it a day and gave up his professional
bodybuilding career.
De Mey became a photographer, and commanded respect with his work,
in which beauty is central.
De Mey, whose symmetrical physique had been on the covers of fitness and
bodybuilding magazines for years, now captured the beauty of athletes like
He did not give up on weight training though, just as he did not give up on his
strict diet. The demanding years in the highest echelons of the sport of
bodybuilding had taught him that that way of life kept him healthy and
incredibly vital. He continued to fine-tune that way of life, to experiment and
As an athlete, he had always avidly collected new knowledge, and had read
everything about sports, nutrition and health that he could lay his hands on,
and he did not give up on that habit either.
He read in science articles how doctors and scientists adjusted their initial
negative opinion about weight training, and became excited about the
possibilities of weight training and a high protein diet.
Medical science discovered what De Mey experienced daily: that a lifestyle
with strength training and a healthy diet is a highly effective “anti-aging”
medicine. De Mey became older, but remained fit, strong and vital.
Berry nowadays
In 2010 De Mey decided that he no longer wanted to keep his knowledge
about sports, nutrition and supplements to himself, but wanted to share this
with a wider audience. And with that decision Berry de Mey Nutrition was
Nowadays the full name is “DEMEY88 by Berry de Mey Nutrition”. DEMEY88
by Berry de Mey Nutrition makes products which formulas are based on the
knowledge, understanding and experience that De Mey has gained and
tested over the years.
Berry, at the age of 19, 21 & 26 years old
In the DEMEY88 Method Berry de Mey relates. He tells about the rationale
behind food supplements, like the complete supplementation kits called the
DEMEY88 PRO WORKOUT BOXES and how you can use these to achieve
your goals.
He discloses how, as an athlete, he managed to build the ultimate physique,
and how he most effectively combined elements of nutritional science with
strength training. In this booklet he summarizes his knowledge, gained during
a demanding quest of decades, for you.
This little “book” explains to you how you can gain more from your body
than you ever imagined possible. How to become fitter and stronger, leaner,
healthier and look better. De Mey discloses all.
This “book” is not really about him. Actually, this book is about you.
World Gym Venice California 1988
I was just a kid, and I was hiking with my father and brother through the
Dutch pastures. My father often took long walks, and this time he took my
brother and me along.
That day would be one of the most important in my life, but when my father
almost stumbled I did not know that yet.
Berry, at the age of 14
‘What’s this?’, my father asked.
In the grass lay a piece of old iron, and my father bent over to investigate.
It was a weight. One of those weights with which power athletes used to train
in the early twentieth century.
‘How did that end up here?’, my father mumbled.
‘I don’t know’, I said, as if I should have.
My father dragged the thing out of the mud, wiped it clean as good as he
could and took it. ‘We’ll take it home’, he said. ‘Let’s get to the car.’
I will never forget this walk back through the fields. It was a warm day and
soon the first beads of sweat appeared on my father’s forehead. After a few
hundred meters his clothes were soaking and with every step he took, the
weight seemed to get a little bit heavier.
‘Why don’t we leave that weight behind?’ I asked. ‘It’s still an hours’ walk.’
But my father did not reply.‘Can’t I help?’ I then asked.
But I could not. I saw, in maybe the longest hour of my life, how this iron
monster cost my father more and more of his strength with every step he
took. His arms started to ache, then his back and shoulders, then his legs.
‘Isn’t it too heavy?’, I asked worriedly.
‘Nah,’ my father breathed heavily. ‘I’ll just do this. I kept quiet for the rest of
the walk. And he was right. He just did it. We reached the car with the weight.
We got home, where my mother received us shaking her head. ‘Do you see
how you look like?! Was all she said to my father. ‘Horrible.’
The weight ended up in our garage. I was already experimenting with strength
training at that time and tried to use it in my workouts. I tried to do biceps
curls, to lift it over my head. It was too heavy. I could not. I realised I lacked
strength, that I needed to build that up first. So I did my push-ups and chinups with even more fervour. The weight challenged me. Almost every day I
picked it up and tried to curl it or lift it over my head. And it took me a while,
but I managed in the end.
When you start weight training, you will find that many people are averse to
it. They find it useless. ‘What’s the point in carrying heavy weights around?’
they will ask, in a manner that shows you there is no use answering them.
‘None, right?’ To those people bodybuilding, weight lifting or fitness is as
useless as dragging along an awfully heavy weight that you found
somewhere in a field.
At first sight, when you look no further than the end of your nose, these
people are right. Weight training gets you nowhere. You are not building a
house. You are not fixing a car. You are not laying out a garden. You are
working, but not producing. Nothing is happening. There is no goal.
At least, that’s what it looks like. But take a closer look, and you will see
that weight training certainly does create something: a different you. Weight
training makes you a stronger person.
More muscular, powerful and healthier. No one who has experienced what
weight training can do for you will say that strength training leads nowhere.
Myself, I started training as a fourteen year old because I wanted to join the
army. I wanted to join the Commandos, the green berets. I was too young,
but I could start training. And so I did. I started running. Running on tarmac
was too easy. I found no challenge in it. I’d rather ran through the soggy fields
around the village where I lived.
Sometimes I carried a backpack, filled with scrap-metal, to make it harder.
I did pull-ups on trees, sit-ups and trained with improvised weights in the
garage. First with construction waste such as stones and pieces of concrete
and once my father found the old weight in the pasture, I trained with that.
I noticed myself getting stronger. My body reacted, I started to gain muscles
and lose fat. Around my waist, my jeans got looser, but with my shirts the
reverse happened. My shoulders and arms got bigger. This transformation
intrigued me, and the more distinct this transformation became, the more
enthusiastic I went about my training. That way I discovered what hundreds
of thousands of men and women had discovered before me. Muscles grow
when you work them. It is that simple.
Medical researchers always used to think that muscles were just suitable for
work and strictly speaking not really necessary for one’s health. Now the
insights have changed. Muscles use energy, even when they are not active.
They absorb glucose and fatty acids from the bloodstream and burn them,
just to stay alive. The more muscle mass you have, the more fatty acids and
glucose can be taken up from your bloodstream. And that is good,
especially when your intake of kilocalories is higher than you need. Once you
have passed thirty and don’t do heavy physical work or sports, you lose some
muscle mass each year. Between forty and seventy you could lose 40
percent of your muscle mass. Diabetes, brain diseases, cancer and many more
chronic diseases that occur, once people get older, are connected to that loss
of muscle mass. Strength training can delay, halt or even reverse this loss of
muscle mass. Weight training useless? I don’t think so.
It must be said that strength training is quite a specialty. Maybe even an
art. Have two men, with the same disposition for muscle development, do
weight training for five years and then check how much muscle mass they
have gained. One will have not grown more than a kilo and a half, while the
other may have gained five kilos of muscle mass.
Maybe the one guy worked harder than the other. Maybe the one guy had
more patience and allowed his muscles enough rest to recover from his
workouts, which enabled them to grow better. Maybe the one man was more
focused during his workouts. Maybe … There are many, many factors that
can make or break strength training. But one of the most important ones is
“What the f*ck just happened? I better get
stronger for next time! This is the “thought”
of a muscle after an intense workout”
Training is not the same as exercising. Training in strength sports is exercising
in such a way that your muscles improve by it. They get stronger, faster or get
more stamina.
When you want to achieve that, it won’t do to just reach for dumbbells and
start exercising randomly. You will only improve when your exercises are so
intense that your muscles are stimulated to grow. In strength sport, it is all
about intensity.
You will only find whether your exercise is intense enough when you know
your own limits. When you know you can bench press sixty kilo eight times,
but not nine, you have the knowledge that I’m talking about. That knowledge
is valuable. When you manage nine reps of bench presses during a workout,
you know you have pushed your limits and urged your muscle to grow. Just
like when you manage eight bench presses of 62.5 kilo. Or when you get to
press the eight reps in a more controlled manner than you did before. That is
progress as well.
Better Bodies Gym New York 1986
Several roads lead to Rome, and that’s why there are so many training
programs. But even the best program you can find, one that fully meets your
goals and physiology, will have to be adapted to suit how your body reacts
to strength training. It is a much-used cliché, but so very true: each body is
different and reacts differently to training.
This means you should view a training program – and here I mean every
training program – as a starting point. A training program is not a formula,
that you, like a recipe for this or that dish, should carry out to the letter.
For me this has always meant that I only stuck strictly to the exercises
described in a training program. Other variables I decided on during my
workout, by listening to my body. It was of course always about that last
intensive set, in which I gave all I had and pushed my boundaries. The number
of sets that I needed to prepare me for that one crucial set, which I decided
during my workout.
This also applied to the number of reps during these preparing sets, the rest
between the sets, my tempo and the weight that I used.
Golds Gym Venice California 1988
A second lesson I learned at a young age was that a training program needs
time to come into effect. Only after six to eight weeks you can honestly say
something about the effect of a program on your body. Later through talks
with fellow bodybuilders and scientists I learned that this is because your
brain and nerves are the first to react to a new way of training. When you
start with a new program, the first weeks you will notice a lot of progress in
the results you write down. You are getting stronger fast and you do more
reps. This is mainly due to the fact that your brain is learning how to better
direct your muscles. Only later, when this drive is perfected, you will start to
clearly see how your muscle fibers react to your new program. It is therefore
not smart to switch programs too quickly. Take your time, and only compare
the results with your old training program after six to eight weeks. Learn, and
use your insights in a new program.
Sets, reps and rest
Programs that tell you how to go about weight training should not be blindly
believed. You should adapt these in such a way that they help you build
muscle. You need to modify them to benefit. An old injury, or just the way
you are built may make certain exercises not right for you. A shoulder injury
for instance can make the inverse bench-press too taxing. Stand up straight
in a relaxed manner with your arms by your side, and by looking at your hands
you can see which exercises to train your biceps are best for you. When your
palms are facing back curls with straight bars are, nine out of ten times, not
the best option for you, you’d better curl with an EZ-bar or dumbbells.
You probably know such things already. But not all athletes and trainers know
that also the amount of rest between the sets are crucial for your potential
progress. An often made mistake is that athletes take over the directed rest
times without question. If their program tells them: take one minute of rest
between sets, then they will take that rest. They just sit and wait. Talking
amongst each other or fiddle with their cell phones. They let their watches
decide when the next set starts. This is not how it should be.
These athletes had better listen to their bodies between sets. Right after a set
the performance of the muscle(s) that you have just trained is decreased. You
feel this. You have an increased heartbeat, you feel flushed and your muscles
are tired. By taking some rest, you will soon regain your calm and feel the
strength and energy return to your muscles. Your body is getting ready for a
new exertion. The beauty is that your muscles, when you keep your optimum
rest time, can even get a little bit stronger than they were before training.
Scientists call this the ‘post-activation-potentiation-effect’. It is not easy to
discover what your optimum rest time is. Read the articles on this and you
will find that each individual needs a different rest time for a maximal
Deciding on this optimum rest time requires a lot of experience and above
all a lot of awareness. When you don’t wait long enough, the recovery and
build of strength and energy in your muscles may not be completed and you
will not get the full results from your set. You will not manage enough reps,
and stimulate muscle growth less than you could. When you wait too long,
your muscle groups will have recovered, but the newly built-up strength may
already have drained away.
The post-activation-potentiation-effect cannot be used infinitely during your
workout. Once you’ve learned to feel when you’ve reached maximal
recovery and your muscles have gained that little extra strength, you can’t
make infinite sets and keep on getting stronger. In reality your muscles are
‘empty’ after a set in which you have pushed them to the limit. You have
incited your muscles to grow and you are finished with this exercise. This
last set is what I call the ‘working set’. Often one working set will suffice, but
strength athletes sometimes have two or even three.
Anyhow, it is important to understand that all sets before this working set are
just warming up sets. These are meant to prepare your muscles and joints for
the working sets, in order not to get injured. These are also meant to optimize
the post-activation-potentiation-effect.
That is why you use less weight in these preparing sets than in your working
set(s). If you are smart, you don’t do too many reps either. At the preparing
sets, you should not tire your muscles to the extent that the post-activation-potentiation-effect becomes useless. Building up a series of sets – the
weight, number of reps – is another thing that power programs may give you
directions for, but you must actually decide yourself.
Videos on YouTube and social media have in a short time become very
important to eager strength athletes that are looking for new exercises. On
itself fine, but for these videos the same goes as for programs. Do not blindly
imitate them. Why? That requires some explanation.
Strength training is meant to develop your muscles. Each exercise stimulates
your muscle groups in a different way. For example, when you train your
calves with calf-raises, you can make small variations to the exercise by
performing the exercise in a slightly different way. With your toes pointing
inward, you’ll accentuate the outside of your calf muscle. When your toes are
pointing outward, you put the accent somewhat more on the inside of your
calf muscle.
The type of knowledge you can gain from watching videos on social media
is, without doubt, useful. But if you want to master the perfect form of these
kind of exercises, do not try to simply copy the movements you see on a
YouTube video, no matter how competent the athlete or trainer in the video
is. Instead try to focus your attention on your muscles. Concentrate on the
muscles you are training and try to reach it as best as you can with your
exercise. When training your calves, make sure you really feel your calves.
When you choose an alternative of the calf-raise to reach the outside of your
calf muscle, make sure you reach that outside. Make sure you feel the
outsides burn once you have finished your sets. When you train this way, you
are focused on your muscles, not on the outer performance. The paradox is
that the better you manage to reach your muscles, the more perfect your
performance will become.
By now you have probably noticed that ‘feeling’ and ‘instinct’ take up an
important place in my approach to training. In modern society ‘feeling’ and
‘instinct’ have gotten a bad name. ‘To trust your feelings’ has become
synonymous for ‘to muddle along since there are no rules’. That is not what
I mean here. Of course there are rules. Especially when it concerns how your
body works and reacts to training and nutrition. I just don’t believe you can
catch all rules with your awareness, describe them with words and summarize
them in a program. Some rules are too complex for that. We can just
understand them with what we call ‘feeling’ or ‘instinct’.
Or intuition. Maybe that is the better term.
I think that the best way to learn the rules of weight training is by using your
intuition. Learn to train by feeling. To do what your gut tells you has, sadly,
become an excuse for lacking discipline and willpower. That is also not what
I mean. Look, when I really don’t feel like training, I don’t. I have learned that
my lack of spirit means that my body needs rest. I will build up more muscles
and strength when I rest another day. I must admit that it hardly ever
happens, but when it does there are two things I do.
One: I pay heed to this feeling and skip training. Two: I consider why my body
is not rested. Did I go to bed too late? Did I neglect my diet? And once I found
the explanation, I take measures to prevent that this will happen again.
Listening to a feeling is never an alternative for willpower.
And now we’ve reached the subject of willpower – willpower does not just
come into play while developing a lifestyle. Willpower is just as important
during your workouts. Definitely when you are doing that one working set
at the end of your series, that set that should give your muscles the decisive
incentive to grow.
Every rep you can perform then counts. Make sure you give everything you
have – without diminishing the quality of performing your exercise.
Ultimately, it is your brain that controls your muscles. It is your brain that
co-decides if you manage to give off the incentive to grow. Mental fatigue
plays a role here. Way too many people make a distinction between physical
and mental fatigue. Of course they can be separate, but a lot of people
believe that when the mind is tired after a hard day of mental work, the body
is not.
They get up from their desk, change clothes and go train. They expect to train
hard and are disappointed when they find they are not able to. It is already
known for a long time now, that mental fatigue can reduce physical
performance. So what can help? Schedule a short break after a day of mental
work, in order to give your mind some time to relax before starting training.
This will improve your physical performance.
The role of your mind goes even further. A mental technique to improve the
quality of your workouts is visualization. In its most simple form you imagine
yourself training.
You envision yourself lying on the bench, looking up to the barbell with the
weight that you intend to do your working set with. You imagine grabbing the
barbell and lowering it to your chest. You picture your movements. The more
precise your imagination, the better.
You can do this visualization at home, on the day before you actually go
training. You can also do it on the day of training itself.
There is now even scientific proof that visualization works. It has been shown
that people envisioning training a certain muscle (group) every day for
several months, can gain strength – without actually having done any
physical exercise.
In other experiments, strength athletes performed better when they imagined
how they were going to perform their working sets during their rest periods.
Visualization probably activates the nerves that control your muscles and so
visualization ensures that your muscles get more powerful incentives once
you actually start performing your set.
With these visualization techniques you can get several percent stronger
during your sets. There is no need for me to tell you what this entails in the
long run, right? A stronger and more muscular physique.
The moment of your working set is the moment of truth. This is this moment
that matters. I noticed that I perform best if I can isolate myself from the
outside world at that moment. I no longer pay attention to what I hear or see.
I no longer notice whether it is cold or warm. I don’t even notice who is
standing behind or in front of me. My consciousness narrows down to the
task at hand. My universe shrivels to the weights, the dumbbells or machine
– and me.
This isolation helps me to get the most out of my sets. It brings me in a state
of mind in which even my training program stops to exist for a moment. That
program just had one goal: to utterly prepare me for this moment, this set,
‘the’ set. And once I start this set, even the number of reps I make do not
matter anymore. Figures don’t count, even though my mind still registers the
number of repetitions I can make. Targets would now only restrain me, limit
All that is relevant now is to give all I have. There is no other option. It will go
as I want it to, just so, there is no other way. I do not doubt. It is not a matter
of trying. To want and to achieve coincide, the difference between these is
gone. Philosophers wrote bookcases full about the state of mind that I now
reach. Henri Bergson, for instance in Europe and Yukio Mishima in Japan.
Mishima was a bodybuilder by the way. I am sure that is no coincidence.
Afterwards, when I’ve concluded my set and I start to evaluate whether the
set was successful or not, the number of repetitions of course certainly do
matter again.
I think I was fifteen or sixteen years old when I suddenly realised that the
mental aspect of bodybuilding was as important as the physical aspect and
that your ability to reach the state of mind in which you can give all, is as
important as your genetic aptitude for building muscle. It was on the day
when I first managed to curl the weight that my father had found in the field
with one arm. I had already tried several times that day, without success. And
then, all of a sudden, I succeeded.
‘How is this possible?’, my younger brother Jørgen asked. ‘First you couldn’t
manage, and now you can. What makes the difference?’
Jørgen and I trained together for years. He had, and has, an analytical mind
and together we set up training programs and played with all variables until
we saw maximum progress. Eventually we both became professionals in the
sport. I as a professional bodybuilder, Jørgen as a trainer. He works in LA and
trains celebrities such as Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. If you want
to learn about his approach you might want to read his book Action Hero
‘You kind of just have to do it,’ I said without thinking, intuitively. ‘Just do it.’
And even before I finished speaking I realised my father had said about the
same that day when he carried that old weight from the pasture to our
garage. How does he manage this? I wondered then, and my father gave me
the answer. ‘This I just do’ he had said. A few years after this talk between
Jørgen and me, in 1988, ‘Just do it’ became a trademark of Nike. Jørgen and I
of course had nothing to do with that.
As I said before, in order to build your Just-do-it-attitude, isolation is
important. I noticed that in order to withdraw my consciousness, it helps to
perform a sort of ritual. Myself, I squeeze the grips or bars a number of times.
For me, that is sufficient, but I can imagine others might have more trouble to
detach from the outside world.
I already stressed the importance of your intuition for interpreting training
programs and your performance. Listening to your feelings will make you a
better athlete, was the message. Now I will tell you something that, at first
sight, seems to contradict this. There is an important exception to the rule to
heed your intuition, and here it is.
Training takes effort and willpower but once you’ve crossed that threshold,
training is just good. Once you get going, your testosterone and adrenaline
levels rise and you feel great. The beast is loose! You feel as if you could keep
on training for hours. And yet, at a certain point, you will have to tell yourself
that it’s been enough. You have trained your muscle groups, done your
working sets and incited your muscles to grow. It is time to stop.
This is hard, but if you wish to make progress, necessary. Your body can only
react to a limited amount of stimuli. When it gets more incentives than is
good, it starts to break down more muscle tissue than it can build. Good
training programs take that into account. They make you give off an optimal number of incentives and no more. Yet the temptation, once you have
finished your workout, to do a number of extra sets is strong. Or even some
extra exercises. Maybe take up some extra muscle groups.
In practice, when you are healthy, you will not easily decrease in strength and
mass if you are training too much. But simply not making any progress by
overtraining, is an error made by many. It is maybe the most common mistake
by fanatical athletes in fitness centers and gyms. The solution? Willpower. Be
sensible and stop training when you know it has been enough. Chain down
the beast and give your body the rest it needs for muscle growth.
So far, most I’ve been talking about has been about ‘more’. The techniques
I’ve been trying to teach you are aimed at better performance, training with
heavier weights and making more repetitions. But you cannot continuously
train like that, not even when your diet is in tip-top shape and you get enough
rest every day. The body needs a break.
Listen to your body. You often know when this is needed. In our European
culture this will often be around the busy weeks before New Years’ or the last
weeks before the summer holidays. Many strength athletes have a rest week
in these periods. A week during which they don’t train at all. A solution that is
better than to just keep on training, but for several reasons I do not find this
the best answer.
My belief is that it is better to undertrain for a period of several weeks. You
faithfully go to the gym, maintain your lifestyle, including your diet and
supplements. You keep on training, but make sure you do not even get near
the limits of your capacity.
To give you an example: just before your period of undertraining, you could
maximally do ten reps of eighty kilograms shoulder presses. During your undertraining period you then do not go beyond five reps of eighty kilograms.
Scientists have in the past studied the effects of such programs on regular
athletes that use strength training to improve their performance on the
tarmac or in the water.
The researchers found that those athletes on such a program still made
progress, although of course not of the same order as the progress they made
when training at maximal capacity. So you do not need to fear decline when
you take it “easy” for a few weeks.
Apart from your muscles, your joints can also benefit from such a period. The
collagen in your joints builds up through burdening but wears away through
any form of friction in the joints. Naturally, your body can repair this damage
in your joints, but not unlimitedly. Friction in your joints occurs especially
when you do not perform the moves correctly anymore.
To stop your set when you could still do some more reps guarantees a correct
performance. The recovery stimulus of your strength training remains, but the
damage you cause lessens.
Science doesn’t give much attention to undertraining and many trainers in
Europe and the US are usually averse to it. This might have to do with our
Western culture, in which ‘not doing’ gets little regard as it is all about
‘doing’. In the case of bodybuilders and fitness fanatics this is a shame
because planned undertraining has many possibilities. You can use this, for
instance, to stimulate muscle groups that are not inclined to grow.
Most trainers will in those cases make use of programs that increasingly tax
the stubborn muscle group(s) and train it three times a week for example.
This may work for a short period of time. But when you already push a
muscle group often, good results might come from trying the opposite. You
can force a muscle to grow by training it just once a week for a certain period.
The muscle will recover better and you will find you can train it with heavier
weights, causing it to grow faster.
Progress in strength sport is a continuous search for the best training
method, the best amount of rest, the best diet and the right supplements that
can give you that important nudge in the right direction. About the diet and
supplements we’ll talk later. Because before we broach those topics, there is
one thing I’d like to tell that might be useful once you’ve started your search
for optimization.
Naturally you should never ‘simply’ change things when you are altering your
approach. Of course you only make changes when you know why the change
is an improvement. That is obvious. What is much less obvious is that you
train to train. Your training is not a goal but a way. Many enthusiasts get so
absorbed in their workouts that they forget this. They often train too often,
or too unvaried. They do exercises that allow them to do a lot of reps with
heavy weights, thereby damaging their joints. Or they do exercises that do
not stimulate their muscle growth anymore like they once did. Still they do
not change this, even though deep down they know such a change would
do them good. You could say these enthusiasts have a tunnel vision. It would
help if they would be able to step away from their own bodies for a while and
take a look at themselves. Everybody who learned to love training is
susceptible to tunnel vision, and I am no exception. But I discovered that
meditation protects me from this. It gives me a better perspective on life,
and training of course. I usually meditate in the mornings, when my mind is
clear. It teaches me to take some distance from what I think is important. Not
the weights and repetitions in the gym are important, but my goal. And even
that is, strictly speaking, not important. Meditation taught me that training is
in the end just a game, without meaning this derogatively. A game is played
better when you realise it’s a game. Your training improves when you realise
that training is ‘merely’ a way, not your goal. For myself I can say that
meditation made me train more creatively. It helps me see possibilities that I
overlooked before.
From the moment I tried to master that old weight in my parents garage, I
have been looking for ways to be able to train with more intensity, better,
safer and more efficient. That search brought me far in the world of
And this search now has me talking to you, so I can teach you what I have
learned. I’ve tried not to bother you with theories that make you wonder what
on earth you need to do with them. I have also tried not to stuff you with facts
and trivia you either already know, or that are only a few mouse clicks away
on the Internet. What I have been telling you is what I’ve learned in practice,
as an enthusiastic kid with a dream, and later as a bodybuilder. It took me a
lifetime to gain these truths. And now I pass them on to you. Make them work.
“A coach’s task is not to report information that may lead to the desired
goal. The coach must understand how the student functions, physically and
mentally. Only then can knowledge be transferred effectively. The most rigorous way is to both experiences the same thing that is really going on. It’s
called oneness”.
Obesity has become an epidemic. In developed countries such as the US,
the Netherlands and Britain there are by now more people overweight than
people with a normal weight. And so, most questions I get are about obesity.
And each time I tell my clients what they can do about this excess fat, people
react surprised.
Tavi Castro before & after
‘Start living more healthily’, is my advice. ‘Start weight training, maybe
combined with another sport. Eat more healthily. But please do not start one
of those diets. Going on a diet does not work.’ By ‘going on a diet’, I here
mean just eating less calories (without further thinking). When overweight
people simply start eating less, without gaining some knowledge on what
good food entails, this is often not healthy. Plus the results do not last. Once
they stop their diet, all kilos that they just lost with such effort are back
before they know it.
As a bodybuilder, I prepared numerous times for a competition. During these
preparations I always aimed to lose as much fat as possible so that later, when
I would appear on stage, my muscles would be clearly visible. At the same
time I tried to maintain as much muscle mass as possible. ‘Losing weight’ and
‘losing fat’ are two totally different things, I then learned.
‘Losing weight’ is simply achieved by eating less. As soon as your body gets
less calories than it uses, the body will burn its reserves and you lose weight.
That is part fat, but for a large part also muscle mass. And you do not want
to lose muscle mass. Not when you are a bodybuilder, but also not when you
are overweight and wish to lose weight in a healthy way. The more muscles
you have, the easier and faster your problem will be solved.
Muscles burn calories, and the more muscles you have, the more kilocalories
you burn each day. And no, I do not mean while exercising or training. Your
muscles do not just burn fat when active, but also when they are inactive.
Even when you do nothing at all, when you are sitting or lying down, your
muscles burn fat, just to preserve themselves. Every kilo of muscle mass you
have increases your daily energy use with fifty to seventy kilocalories. So
when you want to lose fat, you want to gain or at least maintain muscle mass,
and certainly not lose it.
This makes you see why I have no faith in cutting down the calories. Simply
eat less calories (without further thinking) and your muscle mass will reduce.
And when you are over thirty, this is especially important. People in their
thirties lose a little muscle mass each year. (That is, those who do not
exercise. When people in their thirties go to the gym a few times each week,
they can still build muscle mass).
In your forties this process increases, and even more in your fifties.
Octogenarians and nonagenarians often only have half the muscle mass they
had when they were thirty.
This can explain (at least in part) why we gain fat more easily as we get older.
And this is the reason that every time you ‘go on a diet’ after your thirtieth,
this may even often cause some extra overweight in the long run. The kilos of
muscle mass you’ve lost will not return and your body burns less kilocalories.
Therefore, if you keep eating the same as what you are used to, you gain fat
more easily than before your slimming diet. Hence the yo-yo effect.
When I was active in professional bodybuilding, some doctors doubted
whether all that training with heavy weights and developing muscle mass
was really healthy. Those same doctors are convinced by now, and not just
because studies have proven that strength training has positive effects on
almost every aspect on the human body, but also because obesity has
started to become such a huge problem.
Since strength training builds muscle mass, and muscle mass increases the
use of kilocalories, more and more physicians regard strength training a
useful ally in the struggle against overweight.
Because of this change in opinion about strength training I decided to write
this chapter about losing fat and bodybuilding. Nowhere you will find the
amount of knowledge on building muscle mass and losing fat like in
bodybuilding. Everyone who is struggling with obesity can gain from this
Don’t aim for “just” less kilo’s/lb’s on your scales, but also for a more toned
body in the mirror. The mirror doesn’t lie. The scales don’t lie either, but your
mirror will give you more complete information than the scales do. When you
lose weight the wrong way, the scales just show how many kilos you have lost
without further information. How much fat you have still left and how much
muscle mass you have lost, is not shown on the scales.
The mirror helps there. It shows dieters how their body is slimming, but how
it also starts to look shapeless and weak
Berry De Mey, coach of Tavi Castro
Follow my method and your body in the mirror will start to look better and
more attractive. Your fat mass disappears but your muscle mass stays put.
And when you do your best and start a suitable training program, your
muscle mass can even increase. The latter is what I’d recommend you to aim
for. Even though I’m a bodybuilder, I do not mean to say here that my wish is
to see you extremely muscular, if that is not what you want.
I also do not have any ambitions to minimize your body fat to extremes, like
toned bodybuilders during a competition, if you don’t want to. I will not put
you on an extreme diet or have you train excessively, if you don’t want to.
I mean to rid you of those annoying and unhealthy kilos of fat by using the
same techniques that a bodybuilder uses when he prepares for a
Although at a different level, the principles behind the techniques I’m about
to teach you are the same ones I used in the eighties and nineties when I was
preparing for the Mister Olympia contests. My brother Jørgen uses the same
principles in his bestseller Action Hero Body, in which he describes how he
super shapes Hollywood stars such as Ben Affleck and Angelina Jolie. These
techniques can be used when you want to lose some kilos, but also when you
aim to improve your body drastically. Or use them when you are a
bodybuilder and are preparing for a competition.
Berry with brother Jorgen in Gold’s Gym
‘All right and well’, I hear you thinking. ‘So eating less is not going to solve
my problem. I get this. So what do I do?’ I will explain. It will become a
rather complex story, so I divided it into steps. The 7-step approach.
The first step: avoid fast carbohydrates (meaning mainly processed
food with added sugar)
When you want to lose fat, some foods better disappear from your diet.
Take as little as possible of these, maybe don’t eat or drink them at all.
Yes, I know some nutritionists and consultants will immediately start
mentioning that a food product cannot be healthy or unhealthy in itself, you
should look at the whole dietary pattern.
‘An ice lolly can fit just fine in a healthy diet’, these kind of experts say.
Of course I agree with these experts that in the end, your dietary pattern
decides whether you lose fat or not. But if you intend to lose fat, you diet
gets better with every gram of fast carbs that you ditch. To add briefly, I
agree that no food product is per definition healthy or unhealthy. But if you
aim to lose fat, the fast carbohydrates are often unnecessary and only take
up (limited) energy space in your diet. By fast carbohydrates I mean for
instance table sugar or sucrose. Do you normally take sugar in your tea or
coffee? Try to stop doing this. Sugar is an important ingredient of sweets,
biscuits, cakes, soft drinks and sweet spreads. Delete these products from
your menu. This also goes for products that contain a lot of glucose,
fructose or maltose. These are also fast carbs. On food labels all fast carbs
are described as ‘sugars’. Too many sugars in a product? Don’t use it.
A healthy diet starts by reading labels, and by cultivating a sense on the
nutritional value of products. You will find that a lot of dietary products that
you always considered ‘healthy’ may not be so useful for you. I’m sure you will
not be surprised that biscuits and chocolates are packed with “unnecessary”
calories. But you might be amazed how much sugar – mainly fructose – is
in ‘unsweetened’ juices. Or beer. Beer contains a lot of maltose, one of the
fastest carbs in our food and also often “unnecessary” in your diet. Or honey.
Or apple spread. Or dairy drinks. The dairy industry likes to promote dairy
products as a source of protein, but most dairy products from the refrigerator in your local shop contain mainly carbs.Unsweetened juices, honey, apple
spread, beer and dairy products – if you aim to lose fat you had better avoid
When we eat added sugars, our body quickly absorbs the energy of these
products after which they become available in our blood circulation.
Especially when we are sedentary, we do not have much use for them.
This means that they are often stored as fat under these circumstances.
This mainly occurs, if you have eaten quite a lot of these products during days
that you are not active. Of course you can also store carbs in your own body,
but because these stores are very limited the rest will be stored as body fat
(exactly what you are trying to lose!). So if you are not a top-level
(endurance) athlete, I often see no direct need to consume a lot of food
products containing mainly (fast) carbs. And, again, for most people I would
advise to skip them fully in the diet. However, there are exceptions of food
products with fast carbs that I would always advice. I will explain that in a bit!
All I just said about products that are rich in sugar, glucose, fructose and
maltose also goes for starch products without fibres, such as white bread,
rusks, cakes, croissants and biscuits. Your body rapidly changes the starch in
these products into glucose. Starch consists of threads of sugar molecules
and in our digestive system, enzymes promptly cut those molecules loose.
Therefore, when you eat a piece of white bread, your sugar levels rises about
as fast as when you would have eaten some sugar cubes or pure glucose.
Besides fast carbohydrates there are the slow carbs. In some fat loss
programs the slow carbs are also banned, but not in mine. When you take
these in amounts that agree with your energy demand, I find nothing wrong
with slow carbohydrates in full foods. I even believe you need them.By full
foods I mean natural foods. Fruit for instance, but also beans and products
made with whole grains. These foodstuffs contain carbohydrates in the form
of starch, but also fibres and enzymes that slow the digestion of energy.
So I suggest you replace white bread by whole-grain bread and flatbreads,
juices by real fruit and plain pasta by integral pasta. These foods do not give
your body these glucose peaks that may make your “layers of fat grow”, but
instead provide it with a steady input of energy that your body can use.
You may have noticed that I mentioned “fruit”. Indeed, even though fruit
contains fast carbs, I would always advice people to eat fruits as they are
relatively low in calories and contain a lot of micronutrients (vitamins and
minerals) that are essential for a healthy body function. So this is definitely
an exception on eating no “fast carbs”.
A lot of diets are also skipping fruits and even (some) vegetables because
they contain fast carbs, but in my opinion this is completely wrong!
In our everyday diet you’ll find some sources of carbs that naturally lead to
a rapid increase of your glucose levels. A very important one is the potato.
There are dietary approaches that forbid potatoes. In line with the
prohibition of fruits (by other diet programs), this also goes too far for me.
I do believe that many industrial potato products - such as chips and crisps
– do not belong in a sensible diet and overall you get much healthier when
you replace these with ordinary boiled potatoes.
‘Good carbs are like wood on a fire’, my brother Jørgen writes in his Action
Hero Body. That fire is your metabolism, the energy supply of your body.
As long as this fire is burning, your body can protect itself against disease,
your bones and muscles stay strong, you are alert and energetic - and your
body burns fat. In other words, carbs do fit in a healthy balanced diet. But
make sure that you choose the right carbs!
If you want to successfully get rid of your fat deposits, abandon the idea that
you should eat less than you burn. Think the other way around. Make sure
you burn more than you eat. Activate your metabolism. Incite the fire. Let
that fire burn your fat.
This approach will not just make you slimmer, but also healthier, stronger and
more vital. The other method(s), where you simply cut down on your
kilocalories, will only turn the fire into some glowing embers.
There are, by the way, some tricks that can help you ‘slow down’ the
carbohydrates in your diet. Leave your potatoes and yams to cool for
instance. The colder the boiled root is, the slower the carbs it contains
Through cooling, the carbohydrates start to stick together more and more,
which makes your digestive system take longer to cut them into loose sugar
molecules. When you don’t like integral pasta, you can slow the carbs in
ordinary pasta by not quite cooking them through. Al dente-pasta is better
for your sugar levels than thoroughly cooked pasta.
The carbohydrates in bread on the other hand get slower by toasting.
Especially when you have frozen the bread first and then toast it, the carbs in
this bread will be ingested more slowly. And lastly, you can curb the digestion
of carbs when you add a small amount of acetic to your meal, for instance in
the form of a salad with some vinegar.
Myself, I don’t eat bread too much. I rather eat oats. My body reacts better
to them than to bread and I like eating them. Which is important. When you
start to improve your dietary pattern, make sure it consists mainly of foods
that you like eating. It increases the success rate and makes your life more
By just doing what I have just mentioned, you will probably already lose
weight and improve your body composition.
Pretty good, huh?
But it can be even better. When you train with weights. There is no better
way to increase the energy consumption of your body. Sure, when you go
running, your body devours energy. And yes, an hour of endurance sports
burns more energy than an hour working with weights. That is why advisors,
scientists and even trainers have been telling us for years and years that we
should partake in endurance sports if we wanted to lose fat.
Understandable, even though bodybuilders have been long wondering if
this advice was fully justified. They mainly trained with weights and noticed
this made them lose fat just fine. Recent research explains this – and why
the traditional advice is not quite right.
To start with, every kilo of muscle mass increases the energy consumption
of your body with about fifty kilocalories per day, as I told you before. But
weight training also uses more energy than we used to think. To put this very
simple (as context is always of importance here): after a running, cycling or
swimming session the energy consumption of your body “stabilizes”, but not
after a workout with weights or fitness machines.
Even after a short training of fifteen minutes in the gym or weight room, your
energy consumption increases for days. Some studies show an increase in
energy consumption of hundreds of kilocalories per day. This is mainly
because weight training is taxing on your muscles. The recovery of your muscles after your workout boosts your metabolism.
Thanks to this ‘afterburning effect’ weight training is excellent for anyone
who wants to have a slimmer and healthier body. Go to a gym, or buy yourself
some weights, and start training. When you can find the time just a few hours
a week, this will already show you results.
Leroy Gilbert, one of the first DEMEY88 coached
Weight training in itself is enough to make fat people healthier. Combining
weight training with an improvement in the type of carbohydrates in your diet
may already assist you in decreasing body fat over a somewhat longer period
of time. When you also make sure your meals contain enough protein, this will
further support the effects of weight training and the “slow” carb diet.
With enough protein I mean that you may need as much as 1 to 2 grams
(some cases even more) of protein per kilo bodyweight per day. Meaning,
weighing 90 kilos, you’d need up to 180 grams of protein every day. By using
the FOOD APPLICATION in YOUR DASHBOARD the application will do all the
right calculations for you. It is best to divide proteins equally over your meals.
Dividing your protein intake over your meals optimizes muscle growth. Aim
to take about thirty grams of protein per meal.
These proteins you can get from high-quality foods such as fish, eggs, meat
analogues, chicken and turkey or lean meat products. Read the labels of your
food and study the nutritional values. Many products that you think contain a
lot of protein, in reality mainly supply you with fats and sugars. This goes for
full-fat cheese, but also industrial meat products that can be bought
ready-made in supermarkets. You can increase your intake of proteins when
you replace these with protein rich complete foods.
Pay attention when buying meat substitutes as well. There are good, protein
rich meat analogues on the market, but also a lot of products that you’d
better give a wide berth. They often contain more fats and carbs than protein.
I know eggs still have a bad reputation here and there. They contain a lot of
cholesterol, and in the past cardiologists feared, therefore, that they could
increase the chances of cardiovascular diseases. That fear has been proven
unfounded. The cholesterol in one’s food does not necessarily play a
significant role in the chances to get cardiovascular disease, and neither does
the amount of eggs you eat.
I have already warned you about certain dairy products and I am going to do
this again. Many dairy products just provide you with a lot of “fast”
carbohydrates. Pay attention and don’t be fooled by the healthy image of
dairy. The majority of these so-called healthy milk-fruit drinks and yoghurt
drinks are actually calorie bombs with snippets of protein. I would like to
stress here (again) that also dairy is absolutely not “unhealthy”. My main issue
is that a lot of products based on dairy contain more fat and sugar than
protein (even though dairy is well-known and regarded for being a good
source of protein).
When you start to figure out how to increase your protein intake with your
nutrients you will soon discover that protein supplements in the form of shakes
are ideal. Say you usually have a glass of yoghurt drink with your lunch. This
glass contains 165 kilocalories. The glass contains six grams protein and thirty
grams carbohydrates (mainly from fast carbs).
When replacing that glass of yoghurt with a protein shake, made of a scoop
and a half of protein powder and 200 ml water, this shake will give you about
as many kilocalories as the yoghurt drink. But these calories mainly come
from protein. The shake contains about thirty gram of protein – five times
more than the yoghurt. An even more dramatic improvement of your diet
can be made when you replace your desserts, which are usually packed with
sugars, starch and fat, with a protein shake.
When you add more complete, protein rich foods to your diet, and
considerably increase your total intake of proteins that way, this will further
assist in your goal to lose fat. The main reason for this is that protein has a
satiating effect and will curb your appetite. At the same time, your body burns
more energy when you eat more proteins, and last but not least you muscles
get the building blocks it needs to grow. Together with the banning of (most)
fast carbohydrates and weight training, a diet that contains sufficient protein
forms the basis for a healthy body composition.Once this basis is established,
you can further perfect your dietary pattern. This we’ll do in the next steps.
Before you put oil in your car, you read the label twice to see if you’ve got
the right product. Before you put anything in your body, you shouldn’t read
the label twice but three times. Maybe four. Your body surely is more valuable
than your car? Yet most people eat junk. Mainly because they eat industrial
You should not put all foods from factories on the same level, but in general,
these are not very helpful for you to reach the goal of losing fat. In a lot of
food products saturating fibres have been taken out from products and are
replaced with salt, sugars and “bad” fats. I already mentioned the necessity
to keep those “fast” carbs out of your food. Like those, there are “good” and
“bad” fats. The worst fats are trans fatty acids. These you’ll find in
ready-made foodstuffs such as biscuits, cakes, sauces and pizza’s. Without
going into further details on the trans fats, I would advise you to avoid those
as much as possible.
The easiest way to ban these “bad” fats and carbohydrates from you diet is to
choose products that are as natural as possible. The closer a product remains
to its original state, the better. Good food grows on a tree or in the ground,
it used to swim or walk. Orange juice is better than Fanta, but oranges are
better than orange juice. Potatoes are better than crisps.
Eggs, nuts, vegetables, fruit, fish, olive oil, fresh and honest meat, integral
pasta, beans – these are honest, natural and ‘clean’ products. They will
provide you with many nutrients that you need, vitamins, minerals, fibre and
several protective bioactive substances – and often relatively few(er) calories.
There are people that suggest that as long as you eat the same amount of
calories it doesn’t matter what you eat. Whilst simply looking on the scale
these people may be right, but as I tried to explain so far, when looking at the
mirror, these people are certainly not right. I would like to go a step
further here with the difference between processed and unprocessed foods.
A recent publication in Cell Metabolism (a very highly regarded journal in
science) performed a study looking into the differences of ingesting either
ultra-processed or unprocessed foods for a 2-week period.
The people in that study were offered the exact same amount of food and
energy in both food groups but the participants were allowed to eat as much
as they wanted from it. The result? The people that ate the ultra-processed
food gained almost 1 kg body mass over only 2 weeks, whereas when the same
people consumed unprocessed food they almost lost 1 kg of body mass. This
was caused by the fact that when the people ingested the ultra-processed
food they ate ~500 kcal/day more (which came purely from more carbs and
fats, and not protein) than when they ate the unprocessed meals. I think, I do
not need to say more about why I am a big fan of unprocessed foods!
You can even take this one step further and choose organic products.
Organic vegetables and fruit are cultivated without chemical pesticides and
fertilizer, organic livestock does not get preventive medicinal treatment and
organic food manufacturers do not use artificial additives. Up until now there
has been no scientific proof that people who eat organic food are healthier
than those who don’t.
But, analyses have shown that organic vegetables and fruits contain higher
concentrates of bioactive substances. And producers of organic nutrients are
less likely to add sugars to their products.
As long as you cook your own food, you can totally decide what you eat. You
lose this control once you regularly eat out. Then things go wrong. We tend
to go out for dinner more and more and the quality of the food you buy in
canteens, take-away restaurants or stalls is not great. No wonder that people
who eat out a lot, often come out in studies as overweight.
If you cannot eat at home, you could bring your own food. Even the ’health
special’ you order is in 95 percent of all cases a lot less “healthy” than a
sandwich made at home. I like to bring my own meal replacement shakes
when I cannot eat home. I make these with casein and oats. I will discuss
casein in depth later on, but here I’ll say that casein digests slowly and so
keeps you from feeling hungry for a long time.
And yes, it does require some planning to prepare a daily casein shake.
Certainly when you add oats, I even believe that the quality of your shake
improves when you make it a day in advance and keep it in the fridge. You eat
a lot less calories and provide your body with a high-quality protein source
that maximizes your muscle growth.
When you do not do strength training, it is rather simple. You eat during your
meal moments and that is it. When you do train with weights, and aim for an
excellent physique, you can achieve your goal faster when you take ‘the
window of opportunity’ into consideration, as dieticians and nutritionists call
the phenomenon. Often people think that this window opens during your
workout with weights, and closes a few hours (at max) later.
That’s not completely accurate, as science has shown that the muscle is still
more sensitive to protein/amino acid intake for even 1 to 2 days after your
workout. However, what I do agree on is that due to the increased blood flow
towards the muscle as well as a need of fuel and building blocks for the
muscle, it is smart to eat and provide all relevant nutrients from the blood
towards the muscle. Glucose and amino acids disappear into the muscle cells
with unprecedented speed. And all of that, thanks to a hard workout with
Keep in mind, I mentioned that training causes your muscle to be sensitive
to protein/amino acids even up to 1-2 days later. So in case you cannot eat
immediately after your workout, don’t think it was a waste of time, because
your muscle still grows and by eating a bit later you will still benefit from the
Some power athletes use the “window of opportunity”. They eat a light meal,
for instance in the form of a pre-workout shake, half an hour to an hour before
their workout. After their training they sit down for their full meal.
Myself, I like to eat a full meal two hours before my training, with ample
protein and carbohydrates. Half an hour before my training I have a whey
shake and just before I reach for the iron I take BCAAs. After my workout I
have a shake with both whey and casein. When I have a meal after my
workout I take my shake one to two hours later.
I am aware that I just fulminated against “fast” carbohydrates. And even
though I fully back my words in the contexts that I discussed, here I have to
give that statement some nuances. As I already tried to explain briefly, there
are circumstances in which fast carbs can have their uses.
For example for endurance athletes that require optimal performance. For
those athletes I would absolutely advice to eat (a lot of) fast carbohydrates
during their races, and also before and after if fast recovery of their
carbohydrate stores (in liver and muscle) are necessary.
Simply because for those athletes they need this fast energy as they are
exercising at very high intensities. At those high intensities the body requires
mostly carbohydrates to fuel the system.
Fast carbs are also useful when you didn’t get the chance to eat before your
training. However, when you decide to take extra digestible, fast
carbohydrates before your training, you need to take out carbs elsewhere
from your diet. The total amount of calories you take each day must stay in
tune with the amount you burn that day (depending on your chosen goal).
When you want to lose fat there are roughly speaking two types of cardio
training that may be of interest to you, the first one is low intensity steady
state (LISS) training. With LISS-training you are continuously active with
moderate intensity. You burn a lot of calories. A lot of cardio machines in the
gym can even estimate how much.
As a rule, these calculations are likely higher than what you will actually be
using up, but hey: it is motivating to have a calorie counter on a treadmill or
rowing machine.
When your daily job/work is not physical, and you earn your money behind a
computer screen, thirty to forty-five minutes of LISS-training is excellent for
the days you do not train with weights. Such a time of low-intensive exercise
does not disrupt the recovery process of your body, but does increase the
amount of kilocalories you use.
Besides LISS-training there is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). A simple
HIIT may be to - after a warming up of ten minutes - run as fast as you can
on a treadmill for a full minute and then leisurely jog on for another three
minutes. You for example repeat this four times. During this training you try
to shorten your rest times little by little, or try to lengthen the time you move
intensively. A HIIT never takes long. When you start maybe twenty minutes,
and later, when you’ve reduced your rest times, fifteen. Of these fifteen
minutes only a few minutes (max) are performed at high-intensity.
A HIIT burns a lot of energy in a short time, but also increases your calorie
consumption in the hours after your workout, due to the after-burn effect.
When you do serious weight training, HIIT is quite taxing for your body. As
easy as you can deploy your LISS-training, as careful should you be about
HIIT. After a short strength training of thirty to forty-five minutes, a HIIT of no
more than fifteen minutes can be done. But the day after, and often even the
day after that, it’s best to leave the HIIT. It likely hampers muscle recovery. A
not too long LISS-training on those days is a better option. I think you can
combine both types of cardio training. HIIT sparely and LISS-trainings more
often. But most importantly is this rule: don’t cut back on weight training
because you feel you need to do cardio to burn fat. In the end, in that respect,
cardio is just to fine tune the correct caloric intake established for your goal.
Too many earthlings eat several hundred kilocalories more every day than
they burn. That is why so many earthlings are too fat.
When you know a little about nutrition, the reason for this weight gain is quite
clear: We have started to eat ever more “bad” carbs and fats (driving more
energy intake) together with being more and more inactive. If you were to
eliminate these specific carbs and fats, you could in theory already lose body
fat. Once you further increase your intake of proteins it is likely that your body
composition also further improves.
When you have carried out all six steps (so also including training), or took
from it what works for you, the chances that you are not losing fat mass is
about zero. Without feeling hungry. In most cases the scales will show that
you lose a few hundred grams per week when you stick to my roadmap. Yes,
the scales. These results might be disappointing, but when you check your
progress in the mirror you’ll see that your body has improved noticeably. You
are not just losing fat, you are building muscle mass. You are doing fine. Keep
this up.
But if you lose more than a kilo per week, something is probably wrong. When
you are weight-training, get enough protein and eat healthily, you normally
cannot lose more than a kilo a week. Your appetite has probably diminished
more than average and without noticing, you started eating too little. You are
probably not just losing fat, but also muscle tissue. Change this. First check
whether you consume enough proteins. You don’t? Increase your
intake to the desired level. When your protein intake is correct and you are
still losing too much weight, you had better ensure you eat more kilocalories.
You should still stick to the guidelines I gave. Even now, you should not add
“bad” carbs to your diet. Make sure you get more of the “good”, slow carbs
and “healthy” fats, and preferably eat these extra amounts before you go
Sometimes, very rarely, people that follow my steps still gain weight. Then
there is no other way. You will have to lessen your kilocalorie intake. Of course
you do not change your proteins. You keep on having your shakes, and quark,
eggs or fish, but you are going to cut down on foods that give you more fats
and carbs. Or eat less bread, less potatoes, rice or noodles with your meals.
Cut these down in your meals after your workouts, not from your meals
A lot that I have talked about here is incorporated into the FOOD
APPLICATION, and thus, if you don’t remember everything I explained. Don’t
worry, the APPLICATION, together with the DEMEY88 GUIDE, is there to help
you on your way!
You just read the principles of the DEMEY88 protocol for a nutritional
program to lose body fat. A standard protocol for a diet would be: eat a
little bit less than you burn. Which means if you burn 3000 calories, you eat
around 2800 calories. Do this for the right period of time (depending how
much fat you want to lose) and at some point your body fat percentage will
be where you want it to be. But in the “next level” protocol, you play with all
variables/pillars to manipulate your system to optimise this process to get
to your goal: losing fat slowly, and therefore still be able to maintain or even
build muscle. Basically you also will be around about 200 to 300 calories
in the negative energy balance (around 10% below the amount you burn
a day) with the “next level”. So what is the difference with the “next level”
protocol? First of all, you are not going to eat less than you burn. You are
going to burn more than you eat. It sounds like I’m playing with words. But I
am not…
“The principle of 24 hours loading and depleting concept”
Ideally you have enough glycogen (this is the storage of carbohydrates in
muscle and liver) in the body to train at 100% (weights), feel strong and,
thereby, have enough energy to go all the way for a full workout of 45 to 60
minutes. Hence, if you plan your food properly, you will have maximum results
as far as giving your muscles that anabolic impulse to grow during training.
But at the same time, planning your food is also very important to speed up
your metabolism in order to burn calories long after training. The “engine”
works full power when it needs to (during weight training sessions). In
practice, this means you eat (by far) most of your carbs you are allowed to
eat before your workout. After your workout you still provide your body with
the right nutrition so it will be able to adapt/recondition and recover.
However, one trick, that not many people are aware of, is to be in your
negative energy balance at night when you sleep! Even if you still eat some
protein before going to bed, your body will - at some point - start burning
those extra calories that it needs (negative energy balance) from body fat
because all normal body functions are still going on while you sleep. Science
confirms this; eating 40 grams of protein prior to sleep will stimulate the
muscle growth process. In addition, studies in sleep (where protein was
provided prior to sleep) have shown that you will still burn fat. Therefore, you
can burn fat whilst also gain muscle during sleep! Without doing anything for
it. Later during the night you are likely just burning fat while you are “fasting”.
So therefore a protein rich breakfast would be necessary to give your
muscles the right building blocks again. This process (recovering/building
muscle and burning body fat over the same time period) is possible if you do
everything right. If activities, rest and nutrition are a bit out of balance, your
body can easily be placed into a catabolic state.
Scientist and PhD candidate, Cas Fuchs performed this principle on himself
a few years ago. A process that I used for years during my competition days.
Cas also teaches at the University of Maastricht and is doing his own scientific
(published) studies by using real human participants, testing them in practice
in the university study lab and monitoring it. We thought the best option to
prove my method works was to let Cas be the test person himself. We tested
the DEMEY88 “next level” protocol for 8 weeks on Cas. Everything was
monitored and results were remarkable. Of course this is just one person (two
with myself) and, therefore, we are not claiming any scientific value to it, but
importantly Cas really discovered and proved the DEMEY88 Method “Next
Level” process (recovering/building muscle and burning body fat at the same
time) is possible.
Note: Cas is working in one of the world leading research labs for studying
topics such as muscle physiology and sports nutrition. He will be one of the
few and first doctors in the Netherlands that is specifically specialised in
nutrition (supplements), recovery and muscle metabolism.
When you wake up, with this protocol, your body is “screaming for food”. The
best way now to burn “more” fat instantly is by doing fasted cardio
because after an overnight fast you will predominantly burn fat if you do LISS
(low intensity cardio). Still after the cardio, your metabolism is in high gear
for fat metabolism and ready for a BIG meal. Breakfast (break fasting) will
be the biggest meal of the day and will be high in carbs before training. Your
body will be fuelled and energised for a great weight training session. All your
meals, food and rest is focused on how to get the best workout and still burn
fat within the same 24 hours.
“The two cycles a week protocol”
I just told you the principle. But you have to take this a step further.
So far we spoke about a 24-hour cycle. Here, I will add two other cycles to
further optimise the process for building muscle and burning fat:
4 days.
3 days.
The 4 days cycle exists of 3 days training and 1 day rest recovery.
The 3 days cycle exists of 2 days training and 1 day rest recovery.
These cycles fit within a week, see below for a concept.
First you find the day, followed by rest or training (including what muscle
groups), and finally how much calories you need to take in.
The Week Concept
REST recover RE-FEED. (calories depending on results)
#1Back, biceps. LOW in calories
#2Legs MEDIUM LOW in calories
Wednesday: #3Chest, shoulders, triceps LOW in calories
REST recover “SEMI” re-feed (10 to 20% more calories than you
burn, clean food, mostly extra carbs)
#1Back, biceps. LOW in calories
#2Legs CALORIES (higher or lower) depending on what your
bodyweight was and other results, like how you feel and look.
Will stay in negative energy balance.
REST re-feed day. Positive energy balance (calories depending
on results)
#3Chest, shoulders, triceps LOW in calories
#1Back, biceps. MEDIUM LOW in calories
Wednesday: #2 Legs LOW in calories
REST recover “SEMI” re-feed (10 to 20% more calories than you
burn, clean food, mostly extra carbs)
#3 Chest, shoulders, triceps LOW in calories
#1Back, biceps. CALORIES (higher or lower calories) depending
on what your bodyweight was and other results like how you
feel and look. Will stay in negative energy balance.
REST re-feed day. (calories depending on results)
#2Legs LOW in calories
And so on….etc etc…..
With this training scheme, bodyparts change every time (on high calorie and low calorie days, after a day of rest or not. This way you can focus
equally energy-wise on all bodyparts).
You eat (like every day) most calories before training.
Is the highest calorie day of the first 3 days of the week.
Wednesday: Is low calories again.
Refeed with extra carbs. Only clean food.
Is like Monday with regards to calorie intake.
Can be a tough day as far as energy and calories.
It’s the last day of diet and training of the week.
if you have been strict all week you can eat what you want.
You are allowed to eat junk on Sunday
(try to keep it to just one meal).
This way you have on Sunday a psychological and physical TURBO BOOST.
On Monday you are right on every aspect and you will burst from energy. You
have eaten junk and have no further craving for this whatsoever. You even feel
guilty of the junk food and will go 1000%. Also you know you “only” have (are
allowed to) 3 days of kicking your ass. If it gets tough, you know you can rest
and recover on Thursday again!
LOW in calories. 20% maximum negative energy balance.
MEDIUM LOW 10% maximum negative energy balance.
“SEMI” refeed 15% positive energy balance.
RE-FEED: You can basically eat any meal you want (junk is allowed, but
for one meal only is best, the rest clean food. Clean food can still be fat food,
like salmon, more eggs, more steak etc.) Note: this is when you take long prep
Because you only train 5 days per week, you will be totally focused and you
will give all you have.
Your training session should be a maximum kick-start for your metabolism.
If you do cardio it is low intensity, in order to keep all the strength for the
weights. It’s “fasted cardio” in the morning for 45 minutes. In some
situations, late night cardio can be done. But I prefer to take a longer
preparation time so late night is not required. If you follow the protocol right,
and you have enough time to prep, HIIT training is not required at all. The
metabolism boost, the after burn, is caused by the weight training sessions.
Because of the negative energy balance, HITT will take energy away that is
meant for strength used for weight training.
On Sunday you eat and do nothing. 100% rest.
The FOOD APPLICATION will do the calculations for the general total amount
of calories and other macronutrients, guided by the DEMEY88 GUIDE or
Coach, and the correct ratio of macronutrients.
On training days you eat almost a third of your calories in the morning. Two
hours later you train (this is an ideal situation, if due to circumstances you
need to have a different timing, the same principles will be applied but then
shifted to your situation).
Carbs are mostly slow carbs. In the morning this will come largely from
oatmeal. You eat about 20 to 30 grams of protein in the morning. A little fat
and mostly carbs.
Right after your training you’ll have some fast carbs (some grape juice with
BCAA’s). The post-training meal consists of a little amount of carbs (jam or
rice) with chicken, fish or steak (if you are not vegetarian or vegan). The rest
of the day you still eat a little bit of slow carbs, but the meals become
relatively higher in protein as the day continues. Your evening meal is protein
(fish, chicken or steak) and vegetables and very little carbs (only if you have
any left for the day).
Your last night meal is an egg white omelette, or you could choose for a
casein protein-shake (take into account that you will need 20 to 40 g
(depending on your weight and situation) of protein prior to sleep in order to
stimulate overnight muscle protein synthesis). By the time you go to bed you
will be (have to be) a little hungry, but the omelette (or shake) will fill you up
and still provide you with amino acids for the first hours because of the slow
digestion of the eggs or shake.When you wake up you will be surprised about
the “hungry” feeling. It will be different compared to when you went to bed.
It’s much easier to handle and you will be happy you went with that hungry
feeling to bed. It’s what I call the “fasted” hungry feeling. You will be able to
do cardio if this is the plan for you.
Then it’s BREAKFAST time. You actually will be full after this meal (it will
probably be the only moment of the day you are full) and ready to go full
force again in a few hours. After the training the fuel will run out again at the
end of the day…repeat.
Fill in your bodyweight every morning.
Try to perform a body fat measure at least once every week, if not
possible as often as you can.
Load up a picture.
The exact calories (fine tuning) for a day will be determined by the
bodyweight, “feel and looks”. You will use the option “overruled” for
calories if this is the result of the DEMEY88 GUIDE or advice of your
Determine the kind of training a day ahead.
High slow carb breakfast with a bit of fast carbs with some (~30 g)
Relatively high protein meal as post-workout meal.
Carbs going to be less and less during the day, protein intake is the
same all day (no peak or dip). You may be confused here as I just told
you that “the meals become relatively higher in protein as the day con
tinues”. But keep in mind that there I was talking about “relative” (so
when compared to carbohydrates and fats) and now I am talking about
absolute. So in absolute terms the protein intake will stay similar all day.
Zero carbs after evening cardio (if you do evening cardio).
Sleep 8 hours at night. If you don’t sleep, still make sure you are in
bed for 8 hours at night. Meditate and let the body and mind rest.
Note: DEMEY88 by Berry de Mey Nutrition supplements are available in most
European countries. At this moment we don’t sell in the US yet. Because
DEMEY88 Coaching is a worldwide platform, I will discuss ingredients of the
products so you will be able to obtain the best possible option for you
wherever you live.As a professional bodybuilder, I gladly used supplements.
Protein preparations, amino acids and vitamins helped me train, improved my
diet, accelerated my recovery and helped me lose fat. When I quit the
competitions I always kept on training and kept eating consciously – and
continued to use supplements. As I myself experienced what supplements
can do for passionate athletes, I decided to launch the very best of these
After I ended my bodybuilding career in 1994, I kept a close watch on the
developments in this sport, science and the supplement industry. I have seen
the supplement industry change drastically, for better and for worst. A good
development has been that year-by-year scientists started to understand a
little better how strength athletes got better results through nutrition and
supplements. Some of these discoveries were actually not new, since strength
athletes had applied them for dozens of years, but some certainly were. There
were times, when reading about the effects of amino acids on muscle growth,
or the added value of timed-nutrition, when I wondered how far I might have
gotten if this knowledge had been available to the fifteen-year-old me.
Not so positive was the sprawl on the supplements market. One after the
other invention started to roll off the production line, sometimes with
outrageous claims that anyone in their right mind could see were impossible.
Even I, despite my long years of experience, couldn’t see the wood for the
trees sometimes. How would this be for young and enthusiastic athletes that
still had so much to learn? To make matters worse, websites and newspapers
reported about illegal substances in some supplements. Products for
bodybuilders sometimes turned out to contain anabolic steroids and
seemingly harmless herbal concoctions with slimming effects held
dangerous amphetamines. These developments gave the whole supplement
industry a tainted reputation. ‘Supplements either don’t work, and when they
do, they covertly contain illegal substances’, I heard people complain in my
gym sometimes.
This may indeed be true for a lot. But there are exceptions! Many supplement
manufacturers certainly do work conscientiously, and according to stacks of
scientific researches, supplements certainly can be of use for men and
women that train with weights and wish to get stronger, gain more muscle or
become slimmer.
When I started my own company Berry de Mey Nutrition, I knew the timing
was not ideal. The industry had a bad name and on top of that the market
was already doused. Still I knew Berry de Mey Nutrition would be successful.
I believed in supplementation. In honest supplements, with pure ingredients,
high quality and without pollutions. Not products and compositions that
happened to hype, but products of which scientific studies and – at least as
important – practical experience showed their function. These were the kind
of supplements that helped me in my time, and these were the kind of
supplements I wanted to launch.
Formulated with the help of the best experts I could find, made of the best
raw materials and manufactured by the best producer in the European Union.
Berry de Mey Nutrition would not use loud promos to advertise its products,
but give pragmatic explanations about experiments, metabolic processes
and molecular mechanisms. Most of all I wanted to produce supplements
that I had used myself, and of which I was convinced they work. As a contest
bodybuilder, I always kept logs in which I wrote down which supplements I
used and how these affected me. I took these logs as the basis for the first
draughts of my products. I discussed these draughts with the best experts I
could find and whom I gathered in my company. It is not good enough for me
that Berry de Mey says a supplement works. Science must confirm this. Other
athletes must then try it out and determine whether it works for them. Only
when all these conditions have been met, my company adds a supplement
to its product range. I want to provide the users of my supplements with the
best that I, together with the experts I have assembled around Berry de Mey
Nutrition, can offer. This is how it all started and we only improved it since
In 2011 I launched Berry de Mey Nutrition because I saw the need for a
“no-nonsense” supplement brand that links practical experience with
renowned scientific research. For years, scientist and PhD candidate Cas
Fuchs has been indispensable for the development of DEMEY88.
In 1988, I achieved my greatest success as a professional athlete. The name
DEMEY88 symbolises all my knowledge in the field of training, nutrition and
supplementation. Inseparable pillars when you want success in any sport.
That’s why I wanted to connect my supplement line with the same name as
my training methods. One is the result of the other. It is as logical as 1 + 1 = 88
There is a large commercial market for nutritional supplement products that
has grown explosively in recent decades. Worryingly, a lot of these products
are pure deception. Linking practical experience with the latest scientific
insights is what we have been doing successfully for years now. There is no
supplement on our shelf before we know for sure that it works.
Over the past two years, scientist Cas Fuchs, has advised me extensively to
develop one supplement kit that basically contains almost everything you
need with products that do what they promise to do. There is no reputable
research that concerns any supplement, which we didn’t see. Or rather we
have studied all the studies of all ingredients used for “popular” supplement
products. This, in addition to our own practical research (like using the
vproducts), where a group of people from our team (including myself)
contributed to.
Despite my wish to develop a “new popular” product, after two years of
intensive research, one thing is very clear: popular supplement products, like
PRE-WORKOUT BOOSTERS, are often pure nonsense. However, some used
ingredients are very valuable. But there is also a lot of evidence why it is not
a good idea to put them all together in 1 supplement. For example, each
separate ingredient often requires a specific dosing protocol for its optimal
working. If you add different ingredients (with each different optimal dosing
protocols) in one supplement you cannot take the best out of each separate
ingredient. In addition, some may even inhibit the working of others. The end
result is that you pay a lot of money for something that doesn’t do what it is
promised to do. That is what I call a waste of money.
Our research has shown and confirmed that certain substances do work, if
they are taken correctly and in the correct dosage. Not just for the training
BOOST. But also to support general performance, health and recovery. The
key points to make progress in any sport.
Of course we have done something with this and have an answer to all
supplement hysteria! Develop and improve! I proudly present the new
generation DEMEY88 by Berry de Mey Nutrition supplements. Made from the
highest possible quality, substantiated and effective:
DEMEY88 PRO WORKOUT BOX by Berry de Mey Nutrition.
In * DEMEY88 PRO WORKOUT BOX# 1 you can find exactly the result of our
two-year research. Some supplements with added ingredients for better
effect. Others are, as you will not be surprised, pure simple ingredients with
the explanation how you can use them for the best result. We also
recommend taking some supplements for training for the desired effect. For
the BOOST, there is - among others - a “plain and simple” caffeine
supplement in the BOX that you can dose yourself according to your needs
(never more than the recommended maximum dosage).
*Also look at BOX # 2 and # 3. Every BOX with one different “base” product
to connect better to a specific goal.
WORKOUT BOX # 1, # 2 & # 3?
Below you can read a concise description of what you can expect from the
products. DEMEY88 PRO WORKOUT BOX # 1, # 2 & # 3 all contain the same
five basic products. The sixth product distinguishes one BOX from the other.
The sixth product in every BOX:
BOX # 1 with Beta-Alanine
BOX # 2 with BCAA
BOX # 3 with Creatine.
The five basic DEMEY88 PRO WORKOUT BOX products are cleverly
composed that they provide every athlete with his or her needs.
Arginine Citrulline Plus
Arginine and citrulline are known as Nitric Oxide (NO) boosters. The
combination is extremely effective. NO is also known as a signal-substance
that makes the blood vessels wider. Because of wider blood vessels, more
oxygen and fuel can be transported to the active muscles, which benefits your
sport performance. The addition of grape seed extract and pine bark extract
promotes the action of Arginine and makes this product unique in its kind.
Cal Mag Zinc + D3
We have developed this supplement for healthy bones and good resistance
(immune system). It supports the functionality of muscle function, the
functioning of the nervous system and the immune system. In addition, it
helps in the production of cells and tissues. Each and every one essential for
the active athlete.
All-round Multi Power
Not just a multi-vitamin. In addition to a broad spectrum of minerals and
vitamins, this “power” product contains Siberian Ginseng (for resistance and
energy) and Spirulina (for vitality and stress). This product contributes to
good resistance (immune system) and is good for the heart. Essential when
you are actively exercising and want to keep your body fit.
Omega Pure
It is well known that omega 3 has several important functions in the body. The
EPA & DHA contribute to the functioning of the heart and brain functions.
What we find particularly interesting is that there are recent studies that show
that omega supplements can stimulate muscle growth. This is an extra reason
for us to make Omega Pure part of the DEMEY88 PRO WORKOUT BOX.
Caffeine Boost
Caffeine has different positive effects for an athlete. The best known are an
increased alertness and concentration. This is useful for almost all sports.
There is a lot of evidence that caffeine improved performance in different
sports. The main reason for offering caffeine as a separate supplement is
that everyone can determine the dose and the moment of intake, without
having any consequences from intake of the other supplements.
BOX # 1 The choice of every fanatical athlete who wants to continue a bit
longer with a set or sprint. Beta-alanine causes an increased concentration
of carnosine in the body. This is interesting because it serves as a buffer in
the muscle to prevent acidification. There are many studies that have shown
that beta-alanine can improve high-intensity exercise performance. There are
sufficient reasons to use Beta-Alanine as a separate supplement without
adding other ingredients. Take for example the way you have to use it in order
to be optimally effective: For an optimal effect we advise to take
beta-alanine for a long time. Take about *5 grams of beta-alanine (*65 mg /
kg body weight), spread over the day (for instance 1 gram every 3 hours) over
a period of 10 to 12 weeks.
BOX # 2 Is your emphasis on recovery? Then this is your package. BCAA’s
are the amino acids L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine; One of my favourite
supplements. I have been using BCAA’s during and after training since the
1980’s. According to many studies, it immediately gives the muscles what
they need for protection and recovery. L-leucine is an extremely interesting
amino acid since it is known as the amino acid that starts the process of
muscle growth. Discover the benefits yourself.
Strength and muscle growth is often the goal of people choosing
BOX # 3. Probably the most researched sports supplement in the world:
Creatine. Creatine has proven to provide improved performance during high
intensity exercise sessions. In addition, there is a lot of evidence for the
positive effect that creatine has on the increase in muscle mass and strength.
No matter how good your diet is, without supplements, your intake of
proteins will very often be a bother. That is, when you are a strength athlete.
Strength athletes need maybe as much as double the amount of proteins
than a normal diet generally provides. A healthy standard diet provides you
with an average of 1 gram (or less) of proteins per kilo bodyweight per day.
This goes for almost all modern cultures, whether you live in New Delhi,
Amsterdam or Boston. For non-athletes this might do, but when you are
fanatic about strength training, you start to require more. How much exactly?
Scientists and athletes still disagree about.
According to the more conservative estimates, strength athletes need to
consume ~1.4 gram of protein per kilo bodyweight per day, but most sports
scientists advise ~1.8 gram. In practice many strength athletes use even more,
and often with good results. I have a lot of respect for science, but I also rely
on practical experience. I advise my clients, those with a normal body fat
percentage, to take 2 grams of protein per kilo bodyweight per day. And
bodybuilders with a lot of muscles and low body-fat percentage can even go
up to 2.5 grams per kilo of bodyweight.
Even when you do not increase the amount of proteins in your diet, strength
training will make you stronger and more muscular. It even happens when you
take less protein than you’d get from a normal diet, like for example when
your kidneys cannot handle high protein foods and you are on a low protein
diet. Still, a healthy person will just react better to strength training when
taking sufficient and a relatively high amount of proteins.Obviously the
foremost effect of a diet with sufficient protein is that it enables the body to
have sufficient building blocks to provide everything it needs to repair and
recover muscle tissue, and of course build muscle mass.
Protein supplements can assist in increasing your overall daily intake of
proteins. These are great products, but you should not consider them as a
replacement for foods such as meat, vegetarian proteins or dairy, and
certainly not as meal replacements. Supplements are not an alternative for a
healthy diet. They are, as the name says, an addition. You take your protein
supplement beside your regular diet.
Protein supplements are easy. A protein shake is made in a minute, most
shakes – and especially mine – taste good and a modest shake already gives
you 30 grams of almost pure proteins. When you’d want to get 30 grams of
protein from milk, you need a liter. A liter of milk is quite a lot harder to drink
than a 200 to 300 milliliter shake. Besides, milk also contains carbs and fats,
and thus extra calories. When your diet is well balanced, it will be quite a job
to fit in these extra calories. These calories need to be taken away elsewhere
in your diet. No problem when your diet is not ideal yet, and you can skip junk
food, soft drinks or bars.
But when you have to skimp on your intake of vegetables and fruit to create
room for these extra milk calories, you are doing something wrong. It is
therefore, nutritionally speaking, easier to fit a protein shake into a healthy
diet, than an extra liter of milk.
When we at Berry de Mey Nutrition started to put our line of protein
supplements together, our point of departure was that we make products for
well-informed customers that know when to use proteins. Thanks to
magazines, forums and websites athletes and trainers know a lot about
proteins (although there is unfortunately also a lot of wrong information
being spread). For the sake of completeness I will tell you something about
the different types of proteins. Again, just to be complete.
Some proteins, like those in chicken, turkey and eggs, digest relatively
slowly. Their amino acids are released into the blood gradually but
throughout a rather “long” time. Once you have eaten some of this meat or
eggs, the concentration of amino acids in your blood will increase slowly but
surely for five hours. Casein is also considered as a ‘slow protein’. Casein is
derived from dairy. The protein in cheese is almost entirely casein. The
protein in milk contains for about three-quarters of casein. Casein supplements are ideal with your first meal of the day because they deliver a gradual
and constant supply of amino acids. You could also have casein at your last
meal of the day, to supply your muscles with amino acids during the night.
Some studies show that you can build muscles a bit faster when you have a
casein shake just before going to sleep.
It is important to note here that some people do not sleep well on a full stomach. If you are one of them, it’s better not to take proteins before you go to
sleep. Sleep is crucial for the recovery of your body. A good sleep outweighs
some extra amino acids.
Of course DEMEY88 by Berry de Mey Nutrition also has a casein product in its
range. Casein Plus contains mainly casein, but also a relatively small quantity
of whey. The reason behind this combination is that in practice, people that
use casein also want to increase their amino acid level directly after they take
their shake. When you just take casein this might take a little longer than you
may want. Adding a limited amount of whey, of which the amino acids are
rapidly absorbed in the blood, solves this problem.
Whey protein, or just: whey, also comes from dairy. When you take the casein
out of milk, the protein that is left is whey. In contrast to casein, whey digests
quickly. When you take a shake with whey, you’ll see a rapid increase in the
amount of amino acids in your blood. However, the effect fades away quickly.
When you take a whey shake with about 25 grams of protein on an empty
stomach, the amino acid increase is at its peak after ~60 minutes. After ~two
hours the amount of amino acids in your blood is more or less normal again.
‘Fast proteins’ such as whey can be used around your training. When you train
with a lot of amino acids present in your blood, you already have all building
blocks available to support muscle protein synthesis. This means you can
build muscle mass and strength quicker. When your body needs to repair less
muscle protein after your training, it can invest more energy in making your
muscles stronger and or bigger. Of course, you can also take whey straight
after your strength training. After a workout muscles cells are working hard
on their recovery and adaptation and they can build muscle fibres faster when
they can take more amino acids from the blood.
Studies show good results when subjects take about twenty grams of ‘fast
proteins’ before or after their workout. You could also have a whey shake with
twenty grams before you go training, and have another one when you are
done. However, the latter depends on the context (e.g., how long is the
training session, does it fit in you overall daily nutrition intake etc.).
Sometimes it may be useful, other times it may be unnecessary. When you do
use whey proteins around your strength training, keep in mind that the effect
of whey is short-term. When you have a whey shake after your workout, I
would advise you to have a well-balanced meal about ~60-120 minutes later.
If this not possible, you could use a shake that contains both slow and fast
proteins right after your training. You can make that shake yourself, by mixing
equal parts of casein and whey.
In any way, whey is extremely useful for strength athletes – and so I added it
to my range of products. One of my basic whey products is whey c
oncentrate. It also contains rather small amounts of carbohydrates that are
naturally released in the production of whey. Whey isolates are more pure
preparations. These consist almost entirely of proteins.Both my whey
concentrates and my whey isolates have an exquisite taste, which has been
designed by a master in the field of sports nutrition. Since not all athletes like
fragrances and flavourings (even natural ones), and whey is hardly
replaceable by another product, my company also put Whey Isolate Natural
on the market. Whey Isolate Natural contains no sweetener and no
flavourings, just high-quality whey. Ideal for the die-hards!
Another (vegan) protein my company trusts in, is the protein from peas.
Especially now we managed to make sure that this protein has a great taste,
we no longer want to withhold this from our customers. The human body
absorbs the amino acids from pea proteins well and pea protein has some
other features that make it interesting for athletes that mainly aim to get
healthier or slimmer. Pea proteins stimulate the release of hormones that give
you a feeling of satiety and therefore ensure that you spontaneously eat less.
Pea proteins have also been suggested to lower the amount of cholesterol
and fat in the bloodstream, and thereby, they may contribute to the
protection of heart and arteries.
BCAAs is an acronym for ‘Branched Chain Amino Acids’. Our foods contain
three BCAAs and so do the BCAA supplements: leucine, valine and
isoleucine. The best natural source of BCAAs is dairy. BCAAs are getting ever
more popular in fitness and strength training. Not in the least due to the
scientific research that has been done, which proves that athletes who take
four to ten grams of BCAAs or more before they start training, recover faster
after that training session.
Bodybuilders claim to achieve good results with even higher doses, of twelve,
sometimes even sixteen grams. Such doses cannot be obtained by having
protein shakes. A shake of thirty grams of casein or whey holds about five
grams of BCAAs.
There are a few studies in which an addition of BCAAs to protein shakes has
added value for strength athletes, yet the combination of BCAAs and
protein supplements is not very obvious. To me, it makes more sense to use
the BCAAs just before you go to the gym or during your training. .
When I started to experiment with BCAAs - I was one of the first professional
bodybuilders that recognized the use of these amino acids –
companies mainly hawked BCAAs as an energy supplement for endurance
athletes. BCAA supplements bring energy to the muscles and prevent the
muscles from breaking down its own proteins, was the reasoning. When we at
Berry de Mey Nutrition were considering a supplement for cardio enthusiasts,
I remembered this original use of BCAAs. Cardio enthusiasts want to push
their limits, but also want to lose fat and maintain their muscle mass. These
goals seem contradictory. In order to lose fat you should eat less kilocalories
than you burn, however this could go at the expense of losing muscle mass.
Could a supplement with BCAAs combine these two goals?
Based on recent findings, this may be possible (although in all honesty
research is not yet conclusive here), as studies have shown that BCAAs do
increase muscle growth and will not hamper fat loss during endurance
exercise. So theoretically you get the best of both “worlds”.
Another relevant aspect of BCAA is that it may help people that are only
able to eat low protein meals (for example hospitalized patients or people
with difficulties to eat large amounts). Studies have shown that when you
add BCAA to a low protein meal, you can get the same benefits on muscle
growth as when you ate a large protein meal. Therefore, adding BCAA to low
protein meals may in fact be beneficial. As I told before, I do not see benefit if
you would add it to a shake or meal with already optimal amounts of protein.
Of course DEMEY88 by Berry de Mey Nutrition also has creatine in its range.
When dealing with sports supplements, there is no way to avoid creatine.
Creatine is the most researched sports supplement in sports science, and
there is no doubt about the fact that creatine works.
When I give ambitious strength athletes advice on nutrition and
supplements, I always tell them to first get their daily nutrition right.
My advice to them is to get enough vegetables and fruit, get rid of all
industrial foodstuffs that contain “bad” fats and carbs, and to make sure to
have good sources of high-quality protein in their diet. When you are not sure
whether, despite all this, you get enough vitamins and minerals, take an
additional supplement. Once this basis is in order, make sure you get enough
of these high-quality proteins and, if necessary, add some amino acids. Once
all of that has been covered and you still need more, think about taking
Websites and articles sometimes describe creatine as an ‘energy supplement’,
but this description does no justice to what creatine can mean for strength
athletes (even though the description is quite accurate). Muscles have several
energy systems, of which some play a key role in the intensive movements
that are central to strength sports. For these movements, the muscle cell uses
a molecule that is called adenosine triphosphate, or just ATP. To put it very
simple, a muscle cell uses the phosphate groups of the ATP molecule to gain
energy during strenuous effort. This changes adenosine-tri-phosphate first
into adenosine-di-phosphate or ADP. When a muscle cell runs out of
phosphate groups, it can no longer contract at a high level.
You have to know that a muscle cell has a kind of battery. A system that
enables the cell to store phosphate groups so it can use these during
intensive exercise to change ADP into ATP. This battery is creatine. Every
muscle cell has numerous creatine molecules. The body itself can build
creatine, but the production capacity of the body is limited. That is the
reason why creatine supplements are useful. These supplements can boost
the creatine concentration in the muscles to a level that is impossible without
supplementation. You don’t need a lot of creatine to increase your creatine
supply. A common and safe dose is three to five grams of creatine per day.
This amount can be held on a spoon, but still the effect is impressive.
Supplementation with creatine can cause an explosive motion to last as much
as ten seconds longer than before. For strength athletes these few seconds
add up to some much coveted extra reps, and these extra reps can eventually
bring you more muscle growth.
The effect of creatine can also be seen on body weight. Your muscle mass will
gain several kilos during a few weeks of creatine. This muscle growth is partly
the result of more intensive training, which gives a stronger growth incentive,
and part the result of the anabolic effect of creatine. To keep it very simple,
supplementation with creatine can induce cell swelling and may increase the
production of muscle protein and the recruitment of new muscle cells.
Some athletes rather not use creatine because they cannot afford the extra
body weight. This goes for martial artists or team athletes that cannot be
permitted to get heavier and slower. These athletes can benefit from a very
low dose of creatine. At a doses of two grams of creatine per day, your
bodyweight does not increase, but you do get stronger.
A supplement that has some similarities to creatine, is beta-alanine.
Beta-alanine is mostly popular in all endurance sports, athletic trainings and
competitions, but numerous strength athletes also swear by it. They find they
can make longer sets with more reps in the gym. Especially bodybuilders that
experiment with exceptionally short rests between their sets, or train with
supersets or trisets, report positive results.
Beta-alanine is a natural amino acid. In itself it doesn’t do much, but in the
body it functions as a building block for carnosine, a compound that plays
an important role within muscle cells. Carnosine neutralises the acids that are
released when muscle tissue makes powerful contractions. When a muscle
cell contains too much acid, it hampers contracting. But the more carnosine
in a muscle cell, the longer it takes for the muscle cell to give up. When you
take three to six grams of beta-alanine daily, the concentration of carnosine
in your muscle cells will increase. Your body produces beta-alanine itself but
also gets it from your food. Good food sources are chicken and turkey.
One of our most successful supplements is our Testo ProElite. It is meant for
men that want to build more muscles and notice they are actually in need of
more testosterone. I don’t have to tell you how crucial testosterone is for
muscle building in men. Testosterone increases the production of muscle
Until recently, men who wanted to increase the concentration of testosterone
in their bodies were dependent on illegal substances, but recent scientific
studies have shown that natural substances can also increase the
testosterone level. One of these is the amino acid D-aspartic acid, that we
ingest in small amounts in foods such as cheese and is produced by the body.
Italian researchers found that men who take 3 grams of this amino acid per
day, produce 43 per cent more testosterone in two weeks’ time.
Then we started looking for a natural substance that could enhance the effect
of D-aspartic acid – and found it in the plant Coleus forskohlii that contains
the compound forskolin. I will spare you the intricate biochemical details, but
it boils down to that fact that supplementation with D-aspartate acid can
increase the production of testosterone in the testes with the help of a
molecule called cAMP. Forskolin does the same, with the help of the same
cAMP, but in a different manner. This way forskolin and D-aspartic acid
enhance each other’s effect.
Finally, men fear with all testosterone supplements that a part of the extra
testosterone in the bloodstream will be turned into the female sex hormone
estradiol, and its users are likely to get unpleasant side-effects through too
high estradiol levels. We took this into account while designing Testo
ProElite and also added a powerful Fenugreek extract to our product.
Fenugreek makes the testosterone levels rise, but prevents the
transformation of testosterone into estradiol.
“Life is a process that manifests only in this moment. Not the past or
the future, but what you choose now is who you will be”.