It all started when I got a bamboo plant given to me as a birthday present a few years ago. I know what your thinking, “Wade, What the hell does Bamboo have to do with building muscle?” Just bear with me here and I’ll explain.

My friend who gave it to me (she’s now my girlfriend, but that’s another story), told me all I had to do was put the bamboo in water and it would grow. I had a hard time believing this but “hey, what did I know about plants”.

Anyways, this little plant began to fascinate me. Every day I would come home and watch as this little stick in the vase was getting bigger, and greener. New leaves were starting to grow on it and after just a month it was at least twice as big as it was when I first got it. The freaky part was there was absolutely nothing but water in the vase.

Now I am not a plant biologist, but I know what I am seeing right in front of my eyes and I was watching how this plant with no soil, no protein, nothing just kept growing and growing. The little tree was being created right out of thin air!

Then it hit me, like a ton of bricks.

That’s not thin air that’s growing the plant. It’s the AIR!!!

You see we think of air as oxygen, but in fact, oxygen is only a small component of air. The bigger component of what we call air is NITROGEN. That’s right nitrogen.

What do they put in the ground to increase plant growth? Nitrogen.

What do ketosis sticks measure in urinalysis? Nitrogen.

What determines if you’re gaining muscle or losing muscle?

I bet you guessed it… Nitrogen.

In fact, those little sticks the doctor sticks in your urine measures the amount of nitrogen retention in your body, and if your eating too much protein, your urine starts to smell because you have too much-undigested protein in your system, which is coming out in your urine. This throws off the body’s delicate biochemistry because the high protein intake is causing you to lose muscle, not gain it.

Now that little bamboo plant only needed some water and some air and BINGO it was growing like crazy. In fact, after a few months, I had to change the pot so I went back to the store where it came from and the owner had a few more suggestions for me.

He said while it’s true the plant would grow on water and air, it would work even better if I gave it the “right food”.

I said, “okay what’s the right food?”

I thought to myself. “If that little plant could grow that much on just water and air, what would happen if it were actually “eating”?”

I’ll admit my mind went on a little tangent as I envisioned this giant Bamboo tree growing through the roof of my condo and the shock of my neighbors above me as my little tree explode through the floor of their apartment. The owner’s voice quickly snapped me back to the present as he showed me a special type of rock to put in the pot.

Rocks! “How does the plant get food from rocks?”

“Well” the owner explained, “the rocks contain all kinds of key minerals. Minerals are essential in the transmission of electrical signals inside the plant. Minerals also are essential to improve the thickness and health of the plant as it grows.

“Okay, I follow you.” I knew that minerals inside the human bloodstream also perform a similar function, by regulating PH levels inside the body. In fact, blood plasma is very similar to the green fluid in plants called Chlorophyll, which supplies the plant with nutrients for growth.

The owner smiled, “yep, this little bag ought to do it. Come back in about a year as your plant will probably outgrow that little pot and you will need a bigger one.

I thought, “Hey maybe that fantasy about the bamboo plant exploding through the floor of my neighbors above me wasn’t a fantasy after all”.

So I took home the rocks and the new pot, put my little bamboo tree inside, and poured some clean filtered water into the pot. Hey, I wouldn’t put dirty tap water into my body, so I am not going to put that crap in my little green friend’s body either.

“Hmmm,” growing this little plant was having an effect on my sensitivity. Perhaps I am becoming a real gardener. “Okay, I don’t think Martha Stewart has to worry just yet, but it sure is fun growing something”. Besides, this little plant was teaching me how growth really occurs.

You see the growth in your body is regulated by a lot of factors but here is the kicker. It’s not the amount of protein your eating that makes you grow it’s HOW MUCH YOU ARE ABSORBING!

If your training is on track, you already sending the signals to grow your muscles. Now all you need it to be in a positive nitrogen balance. In order for you to achieve that you must first have enough protein, to get your minerals, then enough minerals to get your protein.


In order for your muscles to get the protein and all the other nutrients, you need to absorb what you eat from the digestive tract. Enzymes control the amount of protein and other nutrients that you absorb. It only makes sense that a person put more Enzymes in your body. Males over 50 can use these supplements to boost testosterone which will help them gain muscles. 

Now every doctor, biochemist, and Protein Expert will state that your body makes digestive Enzymes. This is Absolutely True. What they won’t tell you is that Dr. Howell Author of one of the greatest books on Health “Enzyme Nutrition”, proved over 40 years ago that the Human population was massively deficient in Enzymes.

In fact, he suggested that this would lead to all sorts of metabolic, genetic, and behavioral dysfunction in future populations. I suggest that interested pick up a copy of this book because it will blow your mind about what you think you knew about nutrition.

Anyways back to the point of my story.

I looked back at my now quite large bamboo tree. You see that little tree. It never buys, magazines, minerals, water, or food. Just by its presence and beauty, it inspires me to help it.

I gladly water it, the universe gives it all the air it wants, and it just keeps on growing. When it gets too big, I simply move it to a bigger pot, with more food and more space to grow.

Life is very simple, as is training to get big.

Funny it took me almost 20 years to figure out something a little bamboo plant KNOWS by its very nature. We can all learn from the little plant a great deal about getting BIG.

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Janice Martin is a professional journalist who loves to cover education, politics and social sciences. She is also a media influencer with 3 million followers.