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Old 01-06-2010, 11:08 AM   #1
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Default Heated Debate...How much muscle mass

So here's the debate...and it's heated.

I stated on another forum that it is possible for a newb to gain 3 to 5 pounds of muscle the first 2 week of training, if they are using a proper bulking protocol, and being trained correctly.

Another trainer said that he had never seen this in all the years he'd been training.

My point is this...if you take a noob, have him eat 5000-6000 calories a day for 2 weeks, he will gain 7-10 pounds or so over 2 weeks. Research reveals that short term bulking can yield a 60-70% weight gain of muscle. Of course, this can't happen indefinitely...

But the debate is heated...what say you?
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:30 AM   #2
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Let me change this to...what's the most amount of muscle you believe you've gained in one month?

At any point...natural....
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Let me change this to...what's the most amount of muscle you believe you've gained in one month?

At any point...natural....
Overall, 4-5 lbs in the first month of training itself, although this should have had some fat gains too.

Post noob stage, the most I have gained is at the rate of 1lb/week for 5 weeks (again, there was quite a bit of fat gain). At that time I was eating the most I ever ate in my life (including almost a gallon of milk a day), and was using a low volume program - Randall Strossen's 20-rep squat program in fact.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:57 AM   #4
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well, during my first three months, i trained with the shittiest program imaginable and packed on 15ibs probably 60-80% muscle, and once i switched to a proper bulking diet and somewhat proper lifting routine for the first two years gains of ten pounds weren't uncommon. now i have to admit also, that i used a few special techniques for those phases, i would go on diets and lots of cardio for about two weeks and lose about 2-5ibs, and then would ramp my calories back up to well over 6k a day, also i would eat a shit ton of fats during these periods and it did allow for some impressive gains.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:30 PM   #5
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I really don't know the answer to this. I would say I'm currently recomping several pounds a month right now.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:47 PM   #6
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well, during my first three months, i trained with the shittiest program imaginable and packed on 15ibs probably 60-80% muscle, and once i switched to a proper bulking diet and somewhat proper lifting routine for the first two years gains of ten pounds weren't uncommon. now i have to admit also, that i used a few special techniques for those phases, i would go on diets and lots of cardio for about two weeks and lose about 2-5ibs, and then would ramp my calories back up to well over 6k a day, also i would eat a shit ton of fats during these periods and it did allow for some impressive gains.
I think the major problem with this issue is that few people bulk all out. When I wrote the article on "Bulldozer Bulking" it was based off the results of 3 studies. All three studies indicated that an untrained (not lifting) individual could gain 3-4.3 pounds of muscle in 2 weeks when over-eating. The point being that for 2 weeks, during bulking, the body is very anabolic.

I do not recommend this protocol as an ongoing experiment, because - obviously - gains do slow down and you start to add more fat them muscle with each 2 week bulk. But I do believe that if you are going to bulk, and are in your first 2 years of lifting, that 2 week cycles are viable options when you want to minimize fat.

And I do believe that if I took a beginner, had him eat 5000+ calories for 2 weeks, had him lift correctly, that he would add 3-4 pounds of muscle in 2 weeks. And some would gain 5+.

This is a rate of 1.5 to 2.0 pounds per week. Casey Butt lists the average mass potential for first year lifters around 0.3 pounds per week. I personally would love to train some beginners and see just how fast we could maximize muscle gains with 2 week heavy bulking periods.

I don't want this to downgrade into a debate over clean versus dirty bulking. But I do firmly believe that, based on research, the fastest way to maximize natural gains is via heavy eating for 2 week spurts while training.

In the "12 day study"...

BiomedExperts: Changes in macronutrient balance during over- and underfeeding assessed by 12-d continuous whole-body calorimetry.

...researchers found that a 12 day bulk resulted in a 4.38 lean muscle mass gain and a 2 pound fat mass gain. The amazing aspect of the study…participants did not perform any form of resistance training.

In the "Rochester study"...

Hormonal response to overfeeding -- Forbes et al. 49 (4): 608 -- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

...Results revealed a significant boost in anabolic drive. Participants experienced rocketing levels of insulin, testosterone, and IGF-1, and experienced a significant increase in muscle mass. As in the “12 Day Study”, resistance training was not involved.

In the "Short Term study"...

Short-term, mixed-diet overfeeding in man: no evid... [Am J Physiol. 1985] - PubMed result

...following a 13 day caloric maintenance period, 5 male subjects ate bulking diets for a 9 days period. During this time, subjects gained an average of 7.04 pounds. 3.1 pounds of this gain was muscle mass. (Please note that this bulk followed a maintenance period, and not a cut)
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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This sounds good in theory and the science backs it up but has it been field tested?

It might turn out to be unpractical or it just doesn't work out quite as well as expected.I'm not sure really but something could go wrong with it.It is like HIIT versus steady state cardio; HIIT burns more fat on paper and it is faster too but it is more CNS intensive and might effect the weight lifting sessions.

I do think it would work though but it would be hard to prove it would be better or works because it hasn't been carried out in the gym by people(I think).While the other bulking methods have been.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:51 PM   #8
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This sounds good in theory and the science backs it up but has it been field tested?

It might turn out to be unpractical or it just doesn't work out quite as well as expected.I'm not sure really but something could go wrong with it.It is like HIIT versus steady state cardio; HIIT burns more fat on paper and it is faster too but it is more CNS intensive and might effect the weight lifting sessions.

I do think it would work though but it would be hard to prove it would be better or works because it hasn't been carried out in the gym by people(I think).While the other bulking methods have been.
Other then in the studies, no. We know that when you cut properly, you generally lose little to no muscle. We also know that bulking longer then 2 weeks tends to put on more fat. So the combination really seems like it might be better then long term bulking.

I really wish I had about 20 subjects I could train and run my own experiment with.

It's so hard to get accurate feedback on anything in the muscle building realm because so few lifters actually own a skinfold caliper. Most rely on unreliable online bodyfat calculators.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:56 PM   #9
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BTW, I did bring up these three studies to Casey Butt in my interview. here's how it went down:

Steve Shaw: On to the next controversial issue... diet. I'm sure that you're aware of the study regarding sumo wrestlers, revealing that they have an incredible amount of muscle mass despite not lifting weights. There are also numerous studies which reveal that the human body appears to be very anabolic when over-eating in short-term durations.

BiomedExperts: Changes in macronutrient balance during over- and underfeeding assessed by 12-d continuous whole-body calorimetry.

Hormonal response to overfeeding -- Forbes et al. 49 (4): 608 -- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Short-term, mixed-diet overfeeding in man: no evid... [Am J Physiol. 1985] - PubMed result

What is your take on these studies, how much of a factor is diet in the gaining of muscle mass, and how would you recommend a typical hardgainer eat if they have a difficult time adding any weight? And to throw in another question: is dirty bulking "evil", as some make it seem?

Casey Butt: I think all experienced bodybuilders have observed the phenomenon of rapid gains during short periods of overfeeding, particularly when people go on vacation or end a long low-calorie diet. However, the key thing to keep in mind here is the time frame over which the body reacts 'favorably' to the increase in calories.

Very simply, the body exists in essentially two states: energy surplus or energy deficit. In an energy deficit the body will decrease its expression of enzymes responsible for fat storage (lipoprotein lipase, etc), while increasing fat release from adipose cells. This is to provide the body with the energy it needs to maintain metabolism under a calorie deficit (after all, the major purpose of body fat is to provide a source of stored energy). At the same time, in the absence of high insulin levels in response to blood glucose, insulin receptors will uncover on the surface of muscle cells, increasing insulin sensitivity - with little glucose and protein available, the muscle cell will increase it's efficiency of uptake and utilization of these now very much in demand substances. Likewise, growth hormone, IGF-1 and testosterone levels, all of which increase metabolism and lean body mass, decrease when dietary calories are low.

Under these conditions the body has become a very efficient machine at releasing and burning fat from the fat cells and shuttling glucose and nutrients preferentially into the muscle cells (I'm simplifying the situation by neglecting the over-riding needs of the major organs, nervous system, etc).

In a calorie surplus, however, the body will go into a storage mode. In the presence of constantly high insulin, insulin receptors on the surface of muscle cells will "retract" into the cell membrane and become less "sensitive" to the presence of insulin ("insulin resistance"). High levels of fatty acids and glucose in the bloodstream will cause fat cells to up regulate enzymes responsible for fat production and storage. You are now a fat storing machine.

The key to the preferential deposition of lean body mass, as shown in the above studies during over-eating, lies in the short term nature of the response. Insulin sensitivity and fat storage enzyme activities don't suddenly change dramatically in a few hours or overnight. If the body reacted that quickly to changing environments it would bang back and forth constantly in a never-ending oscillation of metabolically costly adaptations. Evolution isn't that stupid (or perhaps it was but those species never lived that long) and so the adaption to sudden over- or under-eating takes time.

In one of the studies you mentioned (G. Forbes, M. Brown, S. Welle, and L. Underwood, "Hormonal response to overfeeding", Am J Clin Nutr, 1989; 49: 608-11) it was found that elevated testosterone, IGF-1 and insulin levels in response to over-eating all peaked at around 14 days and began to decline thereafter. Perhaps even more importantly, in the presence of high blood sugar and insulin levels fat cells start to increase insulin transporter expression at about two weeks, and that also corresponds with the time it takes for muscle cells to start exhibiting insulin resistance - after a few weeks of over-eating things are starting to go sour.

So, as you can see, the happy situation of preferentially putting on muscle just because you're eating like a pig simply can't last - if it did, formerly obese people would be cleaning up in bodybuilding competitions, but it just doesn't work that way. I over-ate for 18 years and it didn't do anything for me. As I mentioned earlier, bodybuilders often experience quick "rebound" muscle gains when they start eating "normally" again after a long cutting period. In such a circumstance they're coming out of a situation where their muscles are very insulin sensitive and their fat cells are metabolically "geared" to release fat, not store it, and so gains come fast and relatively easily for as long as that situation lasts. A person can experience something similar, though to a lesser degree, by simply over-eating for a few weeks after a period of eating maintenance level calories. However, like I said, you've only got a few weeks to play and then you must pay. If a bodybuilder wants to exploit the anabolic effects of over-eating then I suggest they do it for two weeks or so and then either go on a cut or eat maintenance calorie levels for at least an equal period of time.

As for "dirty bulking" I'd have to say that it's basic macro-nutrients that are most important - calories, carbs, proteins and fats - so "quality" is secondary to "quantity" in this instance. Having said that, it is a known fact that certain dietary components influence testosterone levels and, therefore, could be expected to affect the results of a "bulk". To maximize testosterone levels I'd recommend 30-35% of daily calories from fats with 2/3rds of those being saturated. I'd avoid partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats) under any circumstances. I'd also recommend at least daily meals of red meat and eggs for the cholesterol, which is crucial to testosterone production in natural athletes. I wouldn't go overboard with protein as excessively high protein intakes decrease testosterone levels. As for carbs, I can't think that it would matter much as to whether "fast" or "slow", "clean" or "dirty" carbs were consumed because with such a high calorie intake, insulin levels would be elevated practically all of the time anyway.

The only significant adjustments I'd make as a long-term eating plan for a natural trainee, other than lowering the calories back down to a sustainable level, would be to limit quick-digesting carbs to breakfast and immediately after training. I'd also try to take in a quick-digesting protein at those times as well. At practically all other times, slow carbs and proteins are the way to go.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:58 PM   #10
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Clifs' Notes:

(And I'm happy to say that Casey Butt agrees with my conclusion on this issue - at least I'm not the lone man in the room)

Casey Stated:

Quote:
If a bodybuilder wants to exploit the anabolic effects of over-eating then I suggest they do it for two weeks or so and then either go on a cut or eat maintenance calorie levels for at least an equal period of time.
That's how I setup my bulking protocol. Like I said, Casey conforms my analysis of the situation. Does it work? I wish I could test it on myself. I'm certain it's a good approach for those who are far from their natural potential.
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