Dr. Layne Norton Follow Up Interview with IIFYM.com
IIFYM: For those of our readers that might not be familiar with you, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself? Your credentials?
BioLayne: I’m a science geek who likes to lift heavy stuff. I did my BS in Biochemistry and my Ph.D. in Nutritional Science. I am a pro natural bodybuilder, powerlifter and I finished 2nd in the world last year in the 93kg class at the IPF work Powerlifting championships where I set the IPF 93kg world record squat of 668 lbs.
IIFYM: Since our last interview, (Click to read it > > Layne Norton Interview) you have been quite busy. Everything from a supplement line, to new employees, and even an online coaches service that appears to be run by telepathic robots from the future.
BioLayne: Haha, yea I’ve been a little busy. Just really trying to expand my business and take things to the next level. I never want to get stagnant, I always want to have some kind of progression.
IIFYM: Let’s start with the line of supplements you just launched.; Carbon. Tell us about your motivation behind them, and what sets them apart from so many other options we see out there.
“You won’t find any of our products claiming to increase mass by 50000% or any other nonsense. All the marketing is reasonable and responsible. I could probably make more money by hyping them up but my integrity means more to me.”
BioLayne: Well for a long time I had zero interest in starting a supplement company for several reasons. The biggest being that I love science and formulating but hate dealing with manufacturing, legal, shipping, and all the other junk that goes with owning a supplement company. I got the opportunity to partner with Bodybuilding.com where they would take care of all the stuff I had no interest in but focus on the things I love which were formulating and educating consumers on the products.
What sets them apart is 1) they are completely transparent. NO proprietary blends 2) they are an efficacious dose, nothing is fairy dusted 3) All the ingredients are validated and explained on the website as to exactly what they do and why they are in the products 4) No ridiculous hype. You won’t find any of our products claiming to increase mass by 50000% or any other nonsense. All the marketing is reasonable and responsible. I could probably make more money by hyping them up but my integrity means more to me.
IIFYM: These products are sold exclusively at Bodybuilding.com, right?
BioLayne: That is correct
IIFYM: What about your new coaching website. It sounds super exciting. How exactly does it work?
BioLayne: Yeah Avatar Nutrition is something we’ve been working on for over 18 months now. The idea was basically to take what I did as a coach and somehow automate it into a computer program. Obviously, you can’t make it exactly like personalized coaching but the goal was to make it something that was effective and affordable. So we spent a ton of time programming, coding, and researching in order to make it work.
And the result is a website that will not only calculate a science-based macronutrient recommendation for your specific metabolism, physique, and goals but will also adjust those macros as you progress based on your goals and how your body is responding. It’s obviously something that people were super interested in because we had over 2000 people sign up the first month.
IIFYM: Did your overwhelming number of contest prep requests have anything to do with you wanting to develop such a groundbreaking system?
BioLayne: Definitely. I refer a lot of people to other great coaches like Paul Revelia, William Grazione, Katie Coles, Laurin Conlin, Sohee Lee, and others but at the end of the day, I wanted to be able to provide a service to people who might not have several hundred dollars per month to spend on coaching.
IIFYM: What about reverse dieting? Can Avatar Nutrition reverse a client out of contest prep?
BioLayne: Yes. That is actually an option we just added this past month! We wanted to provide people with a myriad of different options and we are working on adding way more options to the site and making it even more functional.
IIFYM: While we are talking about reverse dieting, let me ask about your progress with metabolic adaptation. Last I heard, you were doing a clinical study to get down to the nitty gritty of what is behind the anecdotal results we have all be seeing with clients that slowly reverse out of a long diet. Can you share any of your findings with us? Any changes to your thoughts or approach on the issue?
“My real interest is trying to determine what causes some people to respond deferentially to reversing at the same rate.”
BioLayne: There is some preliminary data from a few universities but at this point no tightly controlled clinical trials like you would obviously want. One thing I’ve realized with reversing is how different individuals respond to it. I’ve had some people maintain stage leanness while increasing their kcal intake almost double or by 1000-2000 over time while others tend to increase weight linearly. What I’ve tried to do is get more adaptable with it.
For example, if someone doesn’t care as much about staying shredded but wants to simply feel more normal, then we will increase calories much faster. But if someone wants to remain lean and is ok with feeling not so hot a bit longer then we go slower. My real interest is trying to determine what causes some people to respond deferentially to reversing at the same rate. Why do some people respond better than others? I have some ideas but none of them are tested.
I’d like to be able to identify certain things to better understand and be able to predict who will respond better. One thing people need to realize is organizing research, collecting data, and publishing is an extraordinarily slow process. From inception to publishing can be over 5 years and in some cases more.
IIFYM: For our readers that are not sure what I am talking about now, the basic idea behind metabolic adaptation and reverse dieting is this. Once you have reached your goal weight, or once your diet is over, calories are slowly added back into the diet over a moderate period of time. Sometimes 2 months, sometimes 10. The idea is that as calories slowly increase, so does the metabolism, and as you get higher and higher with foods intake, the metabolism sort of matches, or keeps up with the increases.
In some cases, 20% over the original TDEE. This allows the user to eat way more calories, (usually from carbs) than they did when they started their diet, but without the weight gain, one might expect from eating a surplus. It has been quite controversial, and very exciting.
BioLayne: Excellent summary and I agree it’s controversial in that there is little empirical data on it and I can admit that. But when it comes down to it if I’ve observed something repeatedly with clients I think can help people, I’m not going to wait 5-10 years to talk about it until a publication comes out.
IIFYM: Another interesting topic I’d like to get your opinion on is diet breaks. I have seen some coaches jump on this idea and give 1 – 3-week diet breaks in favor of refeeds. What are your thoughts?
BioLayne: I think that’s super interesting and I’d definitely like to see some research conducted on it.
IIFYM: What do you think about sites like MacroTracker.com for your clients to log their food and progress?
I think all these sites are great options and really help people improve adherence and better understand what they are eating… that’s always a huge benefit.
IIFYM: Are you tracking your macros these days? If so, what are they?
BioLayne: Yes, currently 230 protein, 350-400 carbs, and 100g fat
IIFYM: I know you have done a lot of work with the amino acid leucine, so this is a personal question. I am lactose intolerant and don’t do well with milk proteins like whey and casein, so when I am in a bind and need a shake, I’ll mix up a vegan protein shake from my side company MyOatmeal.com
Getting high amounts of leucine from plants (though not impossible) is pretty difficult and expensive.
What are your thoughts on plant-based proteins compared to the whey protein isolate standard?
BioLayne: Well they are inferior to whey in terms of leucine content and stimulating muscle protein synthesis, however, if that’s all you can tolerate then that’s all you can do. However, I would suggest whey hydrolysate as that should be tolerable by most people or even egg protein as that is high in leucine as well (~9%).
IIFYM FB: What is your favorite cheat meal?
BioLayne: I don’t have cheat meals. I always eat mindfully and if I want something I have it and just fit it into my macros. I guess my favorite non-traditional bodybuilding food would be either ice cream or a good buffalo burger and sweet potato fries.
IIFYM FB: Deep sea fishing vs fresh water?
BioLayne: Give me saltwater all day every day.
IIFYM FB: Who are your top 3 favorite coaches out there?
BioLayne: I’m biased because they are friends but I truly believe Paul Revelia, William Grazione, and the Team at 3DMJ are doing some of the best work out there. There are a lot of other people coming up who I think can be great too like Laurin, Katie, Sohee, etc who I mentioned previously. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my first coach, Dr. Joe Klemczewski though he doesn’t work with many competitors anymore.
IIFYM FB: How important is meal timing compared to calories and macros?
BioLayne: Not nearly as important. There is some evidence that getting multiple doses of high-quality protein and equally distributing them is better than a single large dose, but the most important thing is daily protein, carb, fat intake.
IIFYM FB: How many guns do you own? List them out, please!
BioLayne: Not going to list everything but I own a few glocks, a few H&Ks, a Tavor, an AR-15 and a few others. Nothing super fancy.
IIFYM FB: What do you think about the dismantling of the OCB and IFPA?
BioLayne: Sad to see it. I don’t know the specifics so I don’t care to speculate about it.
IIFYM FB: What is your best total in a powerlifting meet?
BioLayne: 1763 at 2015 Raw Nationals (661, 391, 711)
IIFYM FB: FMK – Lyle, Lavado, Helms?
BioLayne: Not sure what FMK is?
Thanks for your time and energy with this interview Layne
If our readers want to reach out to you about nutrition coaching, where can they find you?
BioLayne: Easy, www.biolayne.com I’ve recently gotten caught back up from traveling so I am taking a few clients for the first time in a while.