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Old 04-14-2013, 01:18 AM   #1
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Default How To Bulk With Minimal Fat Gain

Bulking diets, or the addition of muscle mass, is a very hot topic. We often see three distinct types of bulkers:

1) Those who are afraid to gain fat. They tend to undereat and make little to no gains.

2) Those who gain a lot of fat in a short amount of time. They tend to overeat and make little gains because they look in the mirror and feel they must go back on a cut.

3) Those who appear to gain muscle at a rapid pace while staying relatively lean.

Question for the community:

Tell us how you think a lifter should approach eating so that they avoid being part of groups #1 & #2, and gain muscle mass with minimal fat.
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:25 AM   #2
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I have a very good way to accomplish this!!! I do what a big hairy ugly dude told me to, so that way I hopefully won't fall into the #1 or #2 group !


Looking forward to reading others answers.
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:29 AM   #3
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well what i have learned is i'm not scared to gain fat i dont care for being super lean and cut.

in my bit of bulking experience is as long as you keep getting stronger week in week out adding weight to the bar allot of the food you consume will be used to build muscle and fuel the body resulting in less fat gain and more muscle gain.

so those who gain allot of fat are out eating there strength levels, they are increasing there food and not increasing there strength levels to go with it resulting in more fat gain then muscle.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:07 PM   #4
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Well, to add tissue you have to have a calorific excess. But the trick is how to partition more of that as muscle than fat. I would guess that the most important variables that control this are:

1) Training 2) hormonal status 3) genetics 4) macronutrient ratio 5) sleep 6) stress and maybe 7) nutrient timing 8) cv fitness

I haven't read anything on this for ages, but my uninformed opinion is that these strategies might help get into category three:

a) Moderate calorific excess. I think the body prefers to add fat compared to muscle, and it probably takes longer to add muscle, so if the calorific excess is too large, you're going to be storing a lot of that excess as fat.
2) Maintain aerobic fitness and work capacity. This alters your hormonal profile in the direction of partitioning as muscle
3) However, not too much GPP and aerobic activity as this may delay recovery and tip you into catabolism.
4) Manage catabolism through training. Sub 45 minute training sessions to maximise anabolic hormones/limit release of corticosteroids.
5) Manage chronic stress as this is related to storage of fat
6) Train for hypertrophy. Provide adequate time under tension, either by lots of sets of low reps or fewer sets of moderate reps
7) Consider macronutrient ratios. Still lots of controversy over necessity of increased protein, but could be worth a moderate increase. Maintain levels of fat.
8) Consider peri-workout nutrition. I don't think this matters as much as total intake over the day, but it would seem to make sense to have nutrients available immediately after the stress.
9) Get adequate sleep. Again, has a big effect on hormnal profiles.
10) Prioritse large muscle groups. Spend most time and energy on those movements that recruit the greatest number of muscle fibres.

That's all I've got.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post



1) Those who are afraid to gain fat. They tend to undereat and make little to no gains.



2) Those who gain a lot of fat in a short amount of time. They tend to overeat and make little gains because they look in the mirror and feel they must go back on a cut.



3) Those who appear to gain muscle at a rapid pace while staying relatively lean.



Question for the community:



Tell us how you think a lifter should approach eating so that they avoid being part of groups #1 & #2, and gain muscle mass with minimal fat.


A novel was not specifically written for each individual person, but there are fundamentals in which can be manipulated and adjusted, that will enable them to "write their own book" to learn what works for them, if they are willing to employ the personal-adjustment efforts that will be required.

Each of us, no matter the starting position (leaving out extreme circumstances, and medical complications/issues), begin from a basic consumption norm of:

Calories, Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats; surrounded to what is needed daily despite what one does, and activity variable. And, within this norm, each one can respond differently to macro and calorie amounts which would require numeric adjustments.

While their are some micro-nutrients, in which effect physical composition, these are the basics by which the others are affected.

How these are set up/arranged, depends on personal history (if known), current position, and personal goals.

Once the basics are arranged (through use of personal particulars), the most important issue as times passes, is the "manipulation response" (of the basics: calories, carbohydrates, fats) as the person receives bodily feed back.

Whether some of these basics are manipulated Up+ or down-, (or in some cases phased out) depends on physical responses.

These are pointing to the bodily feed back and associated manipulation response (an adjustment and manipulation of the basics to bring the physical response more in line in which they are wanting), not pointing to the potential psychological development issue (potentially in example 1), and assumes proper stimulus and consistency in the gym.

In numeric specifics, I could not arrange a diet for any of the three, because personal information is missing that would otherwise enable this.

For example, number 1 assumes potentially under eating, while it could also assume a very young and fast metabolism where the person could be eating +750 over MT, and still not making gains. Or it could be one or the other along with a psychological issue. In addition, this person "may" have a log history, where one could make sound numeric adjustments from, which would then define and refine the adjustments.





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Old 04-14-2013, 02:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tannhauser View Post
Well, to add tissue you have to have a calorific excess. But the trick is how to partition more of that as muscle than fat. I would guess that the most important variables that control this are:

1) Training 2) hormonal status 3) genetics 4) macronutrient ratio 5) sleep 6) stress and maybe 7) nutrient timing 8) cv fitness

I haven't read anything on this for ages, but my uninformed opinion is that these strategies might help get into category three:

a) Moderate calorific excess. I think the body prefers to add fat compared to muscle, and it probably takes longer to add muscle, so if the calorific excess is too large, you're going to be storing a lot of that excess as fat.
2) Maintain aerobic fitness and work capacity. This alters your hormonal profile in the direction of partitioning as muscle
3) However, not too much GPP and aerobic activity as this may delay recovery and tip you into catabolism.
4) Manage catabolism through training. Sub 45 minute training sessions to maximise anabolic hormones/limit release of corticosteroids.
5) Manage chronic stress as this is related to storage of fat
6) Train for hypertrophy. Provide adequate time under tension, either by lots of sets of low reps or fewer sets of moderate reps
7) Consider macronutrient ratios. Still lots of controversy over necessity of increased protein, but could be worth a moderate increase. Maintain levels of fat.
8) Consider peri-workout nutrition. I don't think this matters as much as total intake over the day, but it would seem to make sense to have nutrients available immediately after the stress.
9) Get adequate sleep. Again, has a big effect on hormnal profiles.
10) Prioritse large muscle groups. Spend most time and energy on those movements that recruit the greatest number of muscle fibres.

That's all I've got.
This is a solid post
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:24 PM   #7
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I talked to Donnie Thompson about this once. He gained all his weight by only eating a few meals a day. Just very very large meals! And took in protein shakes in between. Only eating a couple meals slowed his metabolism down. He also trained like a mad man for hours on end so this could be his answer for staying leanish. He is one of the most muscular people I have ever seen
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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Just add in some High Intensity Interval Cardio a couple days a week. It melts off fat like butter and keeps all your hard earned muscle.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:08 PM   #9
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Over thinking things is a great way to fall into categories 1 and 2 in my opinion.
While people try to micro manage every small detail of their diet and workout they tend to lose focus on the simple things. Spending time in the gym and eating a little more than calories than your body needs to maintain it's current weight seem to work great for me and most people.
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:24 PM   #10
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I was reading this yesterday: T NATION | 4 Reasons You're Not Gaining Muscle

I think it's a very useful article. But with reference to losing fat while gaining muscle, Brad Schoenfeld has this to say (my emboldening):

Quote:
In an attempt to get shredded while packing on mass, lifters will frequently restrict caloric intake while continuing to lift hard and heavy. Bad idea.

As previously noted, losing fat while gaining muscle is improbable for well-trained, natural lifters. If you fall into this category, it's imperative that you consume a surplus of calories in order to support muscle growth.

This is consistent with the first law of thermodynamics, which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; only changed from one form to another. Simply stated, take in more calories than you expend and the excess energy will be stored in the form of body mass.

All-too-often lifters will take this to mean that it's okay to eat everything in sight. This is consistent with the old-school "bulking" and "cutting" cycles where bodybuilders would scarf down massive quantities of food to get as big as possible and then go on an extreme diet with calories cut to starvation levels.

The problem with this approach is that upwards of 75% of weight gained during the bulking phase is in the form of body fat. Sure, you do gain muscle, too, but much of that is catabolized during the subsequent dieting process.

When all's said and done, you're lucky to retain half of your muscular gains. Worse, repeated cycles of bulking and cutting can reset your biological "set point," leading to higher body fat levels in future cycles.(9) Bottom line, it's simply not a smart nutritional strategy.

So what is an ideal caloric consumption for building muscle without porking up like a Sumo wrestler? A general guideline is to consume between 18 to 20 calories per pound of body weight. If you're a 200-pound guy, this equates to a target caloric intake of about 3600 to 4000 calories a day.

Those who are endomorphs typically do better with slightly lower calories, while those who are ectomorphic usually need a higher energy intake; as much as 25 calories per pound for extreme hard-gainers.

Once you settle on a given caloric intake, monitor results over time and adjust consumption according to your individual response. If you've been lifting for a while, a realistic goal is to gain 1-2 pounds per month when focusing on mass-building.
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