My Revised Protocol for Improved Sleep, Muscle Growth and Longevity

  • by Nils Osmar. May 8, 2024
  • This post is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. 
  • See full Medical Disclaimer

I’m not trying to build massive muscles. My model of athleticism is the traditional Greek statue of a discus thrower, not a massive bodybuilder. But I am trying to increase my muscle size and strength while I’m still young, as a hedge against the loss of muscle that can occur as we age. Having and maintaining strong muscles can also protect us in the event of an extended stay in a hospital or nursing home which might cause our muscles to atrophy if we start off with too little in reserve. See study.

When I write “while I’m still young” — I turned 71 last December, but feel the same as I did when I was in my late 30s, so I still think of myself as young., when it was around, estimated my age as almost 30 years younger than my chronological age. I’m not saying I look 41, but my biomarkers, according to the AI, are those of a younger man. I also feel much the same as I did when I was 40, with the caveat that I have better energy, bigger muscles and more energy than I did back then.

A recent video

Workout results

In the past two months, I’ve seen a noticeable increase in the size of my chest, arm and leg muscles. I can literally feel my muscles growing the day(s) after my workouts. My posture has also improved without effort.

The exercises I’m doing are similar to the ones I was doing before, and I’m taking the same supplements, but have made some key changes.

Why the improvement?

One thing that I’ve been doing differently in the last couple of months is the timing of my meals and supplements:

  1. I usually get up around sunrise, which was 5:30 this morning, have some water, get some sun exposure. (I went to bed around 10 last night, so I got 7+ hours of sleep.)
  2. I do some humming for five or ten minutes while doing a little housecleaning. (Humming increases nitric oxide.) (See study.)
  3. Around 6:30 or 7 a.m., I take my NAD-boosting and mitochondrial-boosting supplements (NMN, NR, SIRT6 activator, CoQ10, PQQ, Glycine and NAC and a few others) along with water or decaf. (I’ll sometimes also have a raw egg yolk; a little food seems to help digestion) (I don’t have any protein yet, because I don’t want to stop AMPK activation of autophagy). (See SUPPLEMENT STACK 1, below.)
  4. Two hours later, I take my anabolic/testosterone-boosting supplements (DHEA, TMG, fish oil, krill oil, boron, selenium, cistanche, astragalus, tribulus, horny goat weed and a few others) along with some L. Reuteri 6475 yogurt (great for bone health and testosterone), then eat breakfast (usually scrambled eggs with sardines or anchovies, oysters, onions, garlic, and tomatoes).
  5. An hour later, I’ll have some home-made yogurt or raw milk along with whey (for protein and glutathione); then take a hot shower to warm up my muscles, then work out.
  6. Within an hour after my workout, I’ll have lunch, which is also high in protein and animal-based. A typical lunch might be tuna salad (using Safecatch tuna, which is low in mercury), or beef stew, made with a pound of organic grass-fed beef, a small potato, onions and carrots. The supplements I take with lunch include creatine, AKG, arginine, lysine and beta alanine, all of which boost hGH levels.
  7. Around 2-3 pm I’ll have my last meal for the day, then fast till the next morning to activate AMPK again.
  8. Around 7 pm, I’ll take some DoNotAge CA-AKG
  9. Before bed, I’ll take my night0time supplements (see below)
  10. So in a nutshell, I’m starting the day by boosting AMPK and autophagy for 2-3 hours; then eating a high protein breakfast (along with my anabolic supplements) to turn on mTOR; then working out; then another high-protein meal; then a third meal, and I’m done with eating and supplements for the day. Then after 3 pm, I stop eating so that I can phase back in an AMPK state again.
  11. Prior to this, I was taking my testosterone boosters an hour or so after my workouts; these days I’m sandwiching my workouts between blasts of anabolism, with protein on both sides of the gap.

My workouts

  1. Monday and Thursday: Upper body: Arms, shoulders, chest
  2. Tuesday and Friday: Lower body, legs, core
  3. Wednesday and Saturday: HIIT and aerobics
  4. I do 5-10 minutes of red light therapy before and after my workouts to support mitochondrial health. See study.

My weekend protocol

  • i take rapamycin on Saturdays (currently 10 mg once a week)
  • I take breaks from rapamycin once in a while.
  • I don’t usually take other supplements on the weekends.

No muscle soreness

In the three years that I’ve been working out, I’ve never had any muscle soreness (that day or the next day) (or any day). I’m not sure if this is typical. Some people who eat fully carnivore diets (like Dr. Anthony Chaffee, who eats only meat, salt and water) say the same thing.

Chaffee does, though, experience soreness if he has even a small amount of plant-based food. Since I do eat some plant-based foods (such as blueberries, apples, grapefruit, avocados, 0lives, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and hot peppers) I’m not sure what to attribute my lack of muscle soreness to; perhaps it’s related to the supplements I’m taking.

Supplement Stack 1

To boost NAD+, mitochondria, AMPK and autophagy, I take the supplements below with water or decaf in the morning. Many are from DoNotAge, but I also buy supplements from several other companies. I’m not saying everyone has to take a ton of supplements, just reporting on what I’m taking.

  1. DONOTAGE GLYCINE with NAC – 1200 MG of each (Glycine and NAC, taken together, boost glutathione and reverse any of the hallmarks of aging)
  2. DONOTAGE NR – 350 MG
  3. DONOTAGE NMN – 500 MG (NMN and NR increase NAD+ levels. I like taking both.)
  4. DONOTAGE APIGINEN – 250 MG (apigenin keeps NAD+ levels high)
  5. DONOTAGE SIRT6 ACTIVATOR – 400 MG (activates sirtuin 6 gene, the one associated with increased longevity)
  6. DONOTAGE COQ10 – 100 MG
  7. OLIVE OIL – 2000 MG (oleic acid, in olive oil, is a SIRT1 activator)
  8. KRILL OIL – 2000 MG
  9. CARLSON FISH OIL – 4000 MG (Omega 3 increases testosterone in humans and animals and increases testicle size in human males)

Supplement Stack 2:

To boost testosterone and activate mTOR – taken within an hour after my workout, along with a second high protein meal:

  1. LIFEEXTENSION DHEA 50 MG (a prohormone precursor to testosterone)
  2. DONOTAGE TMG (2000 MG) (essential to take if you’re taking NMN or NR)
  3. JARROW TAURINE (4000 MG) (reverses many hallmarks of aging)
  4. SWANSON TRIPLE BORON (1 CAPSULE) (supports free testosterone)
  5. THORNE SELENIUM (200 MCG) (helps remove toxins from the body)
  12. BIOGAIA L. REUTERI 6475: I don’t actually take it as a supplement, but make a yogurt from it using capsules along with inulin and organic half-and-half milk.
  13. I have (for now) stopped taking FADOGIA AGRESTIS because of evidence that it may damage the kidney and, in males, the testes

Supplement stack 3

  2. ELECTROLYTES (helps with creatine absorption)

7 p.m. supplements

  2. JARROW BONE-UP (a bone health supplement that includes vitamins D3 and K2)

Nighttime Supplements

Sleep is obviously important. I wish I could say that I always sleep well, but I sometimes don’t get as much as I need. I’ve found that when I stop eating around 3 or 4 pm, then take the supplements below with water, I tend to sleep better:

  1. DOCTOR’S BEST SERRAPEPTASE 240,000 FPU (keeps my breathing clear when I’m sleeping)
  2. DONOTAGE BERBERINE (1.5 grams)
  3. NUTRICOST NIACIN (200 mg)
  4. JARROW TAURINE (2 grams)

The result

  • The result of this change in timing is more noticeable muscle growth and noticeably improved posture.
  • My immune system’s also great; I never got Covid as far as I know, and haven’t had a cold that lasted more than a couple of hours, in the past decade. My students, most of whom are in their 20s or 30s, often miss a class because of being sick; whatever bug they have can last a week or two; I haven’t gotten sick in many years.

Too much AMPK AND autophagy? Or too much protein and mTOR activation?

Some people have raised the question of whether I might be leaning too much into catabolism or anabolism (AMPK and autophagy).

I.e., is it really good to be fasting between 3 pm and 7 a.m. every day? Could this be too much catabolism? Wouldn’t I be better off, and build even more muscle, without all of the fasting?

In my experience, this isn’t a concern. It’s important (in my opinion) to activate both AMPK and mTOR. mTOR supports muscle protein synthesis; AMPK supports longevity. I eat a lot of protein and healthy fats during my feasting window (around 150-180 grams of protein a day; about a gram per pound of ideal body weight.) My protocol is designed around stimulating both AMPK and mTOR, but at different times so that I can keep them in balance. I’m hoping the result will be living many decades more in a state of optimal health. Time will tell if I’m right, but so far my results are promising.

Not medical advice

This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. I’m not advising that people eat any particular diet or take any particular supplement(s), just reporting on what I’m doing. Supplements, like medications and other interventions, can have side effects; I would encourage people to research both possible benefits and side effects before starting on any supplementation regimen, and consult with a medical professional about any issues which might have a medical component.  See full Medical Disclaimer

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