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Old 11-29-2009, 08:34 PM   #1
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Casey Butt

Your Maximum Muscular Bodyweight and Measurements

Quote:
I think a lot of people who say they have 18 inch arms carry about 2 inches of fat so if they were lean they would really only have sixteen inch arms. I was only about 25 lbs overwieght at one point and when I lost the wieght my arms lost an inch even though they actually have more muscle now.
Few people actually realize the effect that even "small amounts" of body fat have on measurements (which is relative to what you consider "small amounts"). At 15% body fat my arms are about 1/8" less than what the formula predicts, but the last time I went down to 8% my arms were a full inch off the prediction (though I didn't directly train arms while dieting which probably cost me a fair bit of muscle off my arms). I think that if I leaned out while training to maintain arm mass I might come within 1/2" of the prediction.

Incidentally, my lean body mass at 8% is about 5-6 pounds less than the formula predicts as my maximum (and I've been training very seriously for over 15 years). For a person of my height and structure a balanced gain of 5-6 pounds of muscle equates to about a 1/2" on the upper arms, which would put both my arm measurement and my body weight roughly where the formula says they "should be".

Realistically though, I'll probably never get that additional 5-6 pounds of lean body mass -- in my 15 years of involvement with bodybuilding I've seen only a few people who legitimately reached the formulae's predictions in lean condition without drug use ...and they were all high-level, drug-tested competitors. Most current high-level "natural" competitors hover somewhere around or slightly under the formulae's predictions for most body parts (in fact, before the most recent edition of that article was posted it was read by several world-class drug-free bodybuilders, none of whom claimed to exceed the predictions).
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:35 PM   #2
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Casey Butt

Lacour-narural or not?

Ahhh, a stumpy Dubliner. Wink I'm from Newfoundland, Canada, so I'm quite familiar with things Irish.

Really thick people are outliers on the upper end of the regression because the regression is based on lean competitive bodybuiders who tend to be very mesomorphic. But even then they seem to be a relatively fixed percentage above a more mesomorphic lifter.

Just as an example of how much lean body mass (LBM) can differ when bodybuilders drop down into the single-digit bodyfat levels for contests, here's U.K. bodybuilder John Berry's stats as he got ready for the BNBF Central Championships (I'm using these stats because they're readily available on the 'net)...

Assuming he has an average skeletal structure for his height of 5'5.5", John Berry's lean body mass should be 153.3 to 157.5 lbs, depending on his exact joint circumferences.

On 1/04/06 Berry weighed 176 lbs at 11% b.f. --> LBM = 156.6 lbs

On 2/05/06 Berry weighed 167 lbs at 9% b.f. --> LBM = 152.0 lbs

On 3/06/06 Berry weighed 158.4 lbs at 6.9% b.f. --> LBM = 147.5 lbs

On 1/07/06 Berry weighed 151.8 lbs at 6.4% b.f. --> LBM = 142.1 lbs

His anticipated weight and body fat at the contest on 30/07/06 (assuming after carb loading and proper hydration) = 147.4 - 151.8 lbs at 5-5.5% --> LBM = 140.0 - 144.2 lbs

So Berry lost over 12 lbs of LBM in going from 11% to 5-6.5% b.f. At 11% he carried the LBM that would be predicted for his structure, but in "contest" shape he carried 12 lbs less LBM. Jon Harris, however, held his LBM right at the predicted maximum when he won the 2006 WNBF World Championship. So, in the off-season, Berry seems to have the raw muscle mass to compete at the world level, but he lost it in pre-contest phase. That ability to retain muscle when dropping bodyfat is probably the difference between regional champions and world champions. Of course, his muscle loss was also probably due to either an overly restrictive diet or a poorly designed pre-contest training program, or both. But it does illustrate that many drug-free bodybuilders seem to exceed the predicted LBM maximums during the "off-season" -- they may carry that LBM when they're "fatter" but they don't carry it as the contest approaches.

Using myself as an example. Right now, at ~16% bodyfat (as of this morning), I have about 1.5 lbs more LBM than my equation predicts as my maximum (after 15 years of very serious training). I'm in the process of going down to 6-8% bodyfat. When I get there it's a practical guarantee that I won't have that much LBM, and I don't have the long muscle bellies throughout every muscle group as do the more gifted mesomorphs. The last time I dieted down I was 3-7 lbs shy of that maximum (depending on hydration, time of day, etc.).

When I first formulated these equations I was a little disappointed that I was already very close to my maximums. But, realistically, after 18 total years of training, there isn't much muscle left to be gained by this drug-free body. Now it comes down to impoving weak points and overall symmetry.

I think you should definitely make the films. And diet down to the single-digits and track your lean body mass while you're doing it ...I need more data on heavy-set endomorphs. Smiley
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:54 AM   #3
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Casey Butt

Someone made a comment on my discussion board and it brought up a few practical points that I think probably should be included here for completeness. Here's a quote from the thread...

...keep in mind that the body adapts very specifically. If you usually do 16-20 sets your muscles will have the energy systems developed for that volume (i.e. substrates to replenish ATP, glycogen, etc), whereas on a full-body routine the energy systems for each muscle only have to 'answer the call' for 4-10 total sets per body part - completely different demands and the body will react completely differently to it. I would expect more sarcoplasmic hypertrophy on a split.

The weekly workload is a different story. If you were to do 4-10 sets per body part per day on full-body, you'd rack up 12-30 total sets in a week, but at each session less localized muscular endurance would be needed. The muscles would lose their ability to sustain output over higher volumes, but sarcomeric hypertrophy would be stimulated three times per week.

In other words, train long enough on full-body routines and you'll get better at developing power for limited bursts, and train long-term on a high-volume split and the muscles will adapt to produce force for longer periods. Of course, this is a function of daily body part volume and training frequency, not the fact that you're training your full-body at one time.

You can see the same sorth of thing with whatever volume you use for each exercise now. For instance, take an exercise that you've done say 3 sets on for years and suddenly add a fourth set. You'll do the first 3 sets as always, but probably suddenly and unexpectedly 'die' a few reps into the fourth set (unless you take long rests between sets and/or use very low reps). It will take a few weeks, at least, for the body to increase the capacity of the energy systems required to get through that fourth set (increase enzymes and substrates involved primarily in the anaerobic glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation systems).

Full-body and 'strength' and 'power' training go hand and glove in an energy substrate sense, but frying the nervous system and overloading the joints have to be guarded against. There's a little different mentality involved. You have to start focusing on every rep rather than the overall workout for any particular body part. You can't think of saving yourself for the rest of the workout, you have to build up to having the full-body endurance to hit everything at once and not back-off on anything just so you can get through. That ability comes with time.

The liver also has to increase it's glycogen storage and glucose production capacities to get you through very demanding full-body workouts - which is a large part of the reason you must eat well after a hard full-body workout. Liver glycogen content is an indicator of the body's overall state --> depleted liver glycogen = body catabolic, full liver glycogen = body anabolic (in a broad sense). So, good nutrition is crucial to getting full-body to work - you must replenish that liver glycogen afterwards. Until your body begins upregulating the enzymes and substrates involved you probably won't feel 'right' doing full-body. After you've adapted to it you'll be surprised just how much you can do (take ) in one workout.

So, it's important not to jump into full-body training headlong, especially if you haven't trained that way in awhile. Like anything else it's an adaptation process and that has to run it's course before you can go all-out. Not giving themselves proper time to adapt is why a lot of people training on split routines feel like they couldn't possibly train their full bodies in one session. From the other perspective, once you get used to training your full body hard in one session, training just a few body parts on a split feels like the lightest of 'light' days.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:41 AM   #4
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This last post on wholebody conditioning is one of the most intriguing post I've read from him. It answers a lot of questions, and explains scientifically why the golden age programs had beginners doing only one set per movement.

The conventional wisdom at the time had beginners start with one set per movement, and add weight as normal. You would continue in this fashion for a few months, and then you could increase to two sets per movement. Finally you would move up to three sets per movement.

Without realizing what I was doing, I had actually been doing something similer over the last year with my gymnastic strength training program. That program had me working 5 days a week on basic bodyweight moves utilizing chins, dips, and rings. Slowly over the months I was increasing my workload as my ability to do so improved.

By the time I started the Olympic lifting program I was doing, I was ready for that 5 days a week program of weights. It was a beginners program as well, and kept work to a low level, and increased workload over a 12 week phase.

It was about this time I started my log here on my current BB type wholebody program. It seemed to some that I was going to overtrain, but it felt fine to me, to be doing that workload. In fact, I'm still slowly increasing my workload.

The wholebody work, now that I'm really into the program feels better than any split I've used before. I'll be very interested to see where it takes me in the next year.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glwanabe View Post

It was about this time I started my log here on my current BB type wholebody program. It seemed to some that I was going to overtrain, but it felt fine to me, to be doing that workload. In fact, I'm still slowly increasing my workload.

The wholebody work, now that I'm really into the program feels better than any split I've used before. I'll be very interested to see where it takes me in the next year.
This gets me thinking about some of the Russian programs and Sheiko. Maybe they should be "waded into" instead of trainees diving in head first.
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Old 12-05-2009, 03:08 PM   #6
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Casey Butt

Advanced trainees need longer between training sessions for the central nervous system to leave the temporary state of inhibition caused as a result of near maximal lifting - it has nothing to do with advanced trainees' muscles needing longer to recover than beginners. If anything, beginners' muscles would actually need longer to recover from training than advanced lifters because their sarcolemma's (muscle cell membranes) are more susceptible to training induced damage and changes in permeability.

To overcome the gradually acquired resistance to training effects, that all advanced trainees build up, the typical current default is to add more volume per session - and then be forced to take longer breaks between bodypart/lift training sessions to let the nervous system and joints recover from that higher volume of loading (along with the greater intensities that the trainee is now capable of generating). It is not an approach backed by the body of science, but rather a "solution" somewhat haphazardly garnered from the practices of steroid users (who have exogeneous anabolic steroids in their system and don't need a training stimulus every 48-72 hours to see satisfactory results) and the logic that training volume must be increased to cause more microtrauma (which generally is quite true but does not stand by itself and does not necessitate more exercises per session).

It is a fallacy that advanced trainees necessarily need more volume and less frequency than beginners (at least beginners past the first few weeks) - it only appears to be necessary when nervous system, joint and muscle recovery are not seen as individual components with differing trauma and recovery processes and time frames. The H/L/M scheme addressed in the other thread addresses that by varying the weekly loading pattern and allowing bodyparts to be trained more frequently - even by advanced lifters. At the end of the week, similar volumes will be done as if all the training was done on one day, but research has shown time and time again (since at least the 1950s to present) that it is superior for any level of trainee to perform several training sessions per week than to do a higher volume just once. The optimal approach for advanced trainees is to inject variety by properly planned rep, set, rest, exercise selection and performance changes rather than to simply increase the volume by haphazardly tacking on additional exercises and sets. Of course, the general trend as a person advances is that the training volume goes up gradually, but the frequency should not necessarily decrease because of that.
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Old 12-05-2009, 03:10 PM   #7
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Casey Butt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando1234977
So according to this logic, a beginner with a 100 pound Bress press and low workload tolerance would need longer to recover the muscles involved than an advanced 400 pound Bench Presser with a high workload tolerance. That's some mad science goin on in the labs these days
The fact that a beginner has a low work tolerance is exactly why a rank beginner would need longer for muscle cells to fully recover from training than an advanced lifter who has developed a higher tolerance. This pertains only to a rank beginner, however, because as he/she progresses the fibers quickly develop resistance to training induced damage and permeability changes. The weight on the bar is irrelevant as far as work-adapted muscle cells are concerned and is, in fact, linked to that work tolerance. Incidentally, work tolerance is precisely the reason bodybuilders feel they need to add volume as they advance... to overcome that tolerance (but the price paid is suboptimal training frequency for the fibers). The nervous system and joints are the limiting factors in how often an advanced lifter can train a lift (or to a lesser degree, a muscle), not the recovery rate of the muscle fibers themselves. It is anything but "mad science goin on in the labs these days", it can be observed in any gym, anywhere, at just about any time.
Quote:
Also note, steroids were in high use in the 70's/80's as well when bodybuilders typically trained a muscle 2-3 times/week. If it were ideal, they'd still be doing that. Natural progression of the sport.
Exactly my point. Infrequent splits were a natural evolution for a steroid-dependent sport - they were tried and employed as far back as the 1940s and '50s, but with only a few exceptions were rejected by bodybuilders for off-season mass training (though were more commonly employed pre-contest). Weightlifters of the 1950s did, however, more commonly use splits (Marvin Eder, Doug Hepburn, Paul Anderson, Tommy Kono, etc). Elaborate split routines didn't gain acceptance with the bodybuilding community until after contest-preparing bodybuilders discovered they could gain muscle mass while on steroids even during their high-volume pre-contest training and dieting. From there, both steroids and split routines spilled into the off-season and the "evolution" has taken a decidedly different path that it did, could have, or would have, had steroids not entered the picture.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:49 AM   #8
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BTW, I am adding the following to Casey Butt quotes on this thread, so we can differentiate between our quotes and Casey's:

Casey Butt
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:07 PM   #9
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I need to post that interview here in the articles section...
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:17 PM   #10
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Casey Butt on Amino Acids

Looking at glycogen resynthesis first...

Ivy, J.L. "Early postexercise muscle glycogen recovery is enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement."

"There were no significant differences in the plasma insulin responses among treatments, although plasma glucose was significantly lower during the carbohydrate-protein treatment. These results suggest that a carbohydrate-protein supplement is more effective for the rapid replenishment of muscle glycogen after exercise than a carbohydrate supplement of equal carbohydrate or caloric content."

Subjects cycled for 2.5 0.1 hour to glycogen depletion. Conclusion: Essentially, it's better to take protein and carbs together than carbs alone.

Zawadzki, K.M. "Carbohydrate-protein complex increases the rate of muscle glycogen storage after exercise."

"The rate of muscle glycogen storage during the carbohydrate-protein treatment [35.5 +/- 3.3 (SE) mumol.g protein-1.h-1] was significantly faster than during the carbohydrate treatment (25.6 +/- 2.3 mumol.g protein-1.h-1), which was significantly faster than during the protein treatment (7.6 +/- 1.4 mumol.g protein-1.h-1). The results suggest that postexercise muscle glycogen storage can be enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement as a result of the interaction of carbohydrate and protein on insulin secretion."

Male subjects cycled for three sessions of 2 hours to deplete glycogen stores. Again, it's better to take protein and carbs together than carbs alone.

Jentjens, R.L. "Addition of protein and amino acids to carbohydrates does not enhance postexercise muscle glycogen synthesis."

"No difference was found in plasma glucose or in rate of muscle glycogen synthesis between the carbohydrate and the carbohydrate + protein-amino acid mixture trials. Although coingestion of a protein amino acid mixture in combination with a large carbohydrate intake (1.2 g kg1 h1) increases insulin levels, this does not result in increased muscle glycogen synthesis.

Study used male cyclists exercising to "glycogen depletion". With regards to glycogen synthesis, protein and aminos have no additional effect over just carbs alone.

Roy, B.D. "Influence of differing macronutrient intakes on muscle glycogen resynthesis after resistance exercise."

"These results demonstrated that a bout of resistance exercise resulted in a significant decrease in muscle glycogen and that consumption of an isoenergetic carbohydrate or carbohydrate/protein/fat formula drink resulted in similar rates of muscle glycogen resynthesis after resistance exercise. This suggests that total energy content and carbohydrate content are important in the resynthesis of muscle glycogen."

Study used males performing a full-body resistance workout. Carbs and carbs + protein + fat had similar glycogen resynthesis rates given both treatments contained the same total calories.

Burke, L.M. "Effect of coingestion of fat and protein with carbohydrate feedings on muscle glycogen storage."

"Dietary guidelines for achieving optimal muscle glycogen storage after prolonged exercise have been given in terms of absolute carbohydrate (CHO) intake (8-10 g.kg-1.day-1). However, it is of further interest to determine whether the addition of fat and protein to carbohydrate feedings affects muscle glycogen storage. Eight well-trained triathletes [23.1 +/- 2.0 (SE) yr; 74.0 +/- 3.4 kg; peak O2 consumption = 4.7 +/- 0.4 l/min] undertook an exercise trial (2 h at 75% peak O2 consumption, followed by four 30-s sprints) on three occasions, each 1 wk apart. For 24 h after each trial, the subjects rested and were assigned to the following diets in randomized order: control (C) diet (high glycemic index CHO foods; CHO = 7 g.kg-1.day-1), added fat and protein (FP) diet (C diet + 1.6 g.kg-1.day-1 fat + 1.2 g.kg-1.day-1 protein), and matched-energy diet [C diet + 4.8 g.kg-1.day-1 additional CHO (Polycose) to match the additional energy in the FP diet]. Meals were eaten at t = 0, 4, 8, and 21 h of recovery. The total postprandial incremental plasma glucose area was significantly reduced after the FP diet (P < 0.05). Serum free fatty acid and plasma triglyceride responses were significantly elevated during the FP trial (P < 0.05). There were no differences between trials in muscle glycogen storage over 24 h (C, 85.8 +/- 2.7 mmol/kg wet wt; FP, 80.5 +/- 8.2 mmol/kg wet wt; matched-energy, 87.9 +/- 7.0 mmol/kg wet wt)."

Subjects experienced triathletes. As long as carbs are sufficient, adding protein or fats to postworkout meals has no effect on overall glycogen resynthesis rates.

Conclusion: It might be better to combine carbs + protein or even carbs + protein + fat after training, or carbs alone may replenish glycogen just as quickly. In either case, the addition of protein and fat won't hurt and may very well help.

Now looking at protein synthesis...

Koopman, R. "Combined ingestion of protein and free leucine with carbohydrate increases postexercise muscle protein synthesis in vivo in male subjects."

"We conclude that coingestion of protein and leucine stimulates muscle protein synthesis and optimizes whole body protein balance compared with the intake of carbohydrate only."

Male subjects performed 45 mins of resistance exercise. Conclusion: Protein and carbs after training results in higher protein synthesis rates than carbs alone.

Tipton, K.D. "Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise."

"These results indicate that the response of net muscle protein synthesis to consumption of an essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement solution immediately before resistance exercise is greater than that when the solution is consumed after exercise, primarily because of an increase in muscle protein synthesis as a result of increased delivery of amino acids..."

Three male and three female subjects performed 10 sets of 8 reps of leg presses at 80% of 1RM. It's better to take amino acids+carbs before training that it is to take them after. But be careful drawing conclusions here because the study compared nutrient ingestion before training vs. that of training in a fasted state.

Tipton, K.D. "Stimulation of net muscle protein synthesis by whey protein ingestion before and after exercise."

"Previously, we demonstrated that net amino acid uptake was greater when free essential amino acids plus carbohydrates were ingested before resistance exercise rather than following exercise. However, it is unclear if ingestion of whole proteins before exercise would stimulate a superior response compared with following exercise. This study was designed to examine the response of muscle protein balance to ingestion of whey proteins both before and following resistance exercise. ...Amino acid uptake was not significantly different between PRE and POST when calculated from the beginning of exercise (67 22 and 27 10 for PRE and POST, respectively) or from the ingestion of each drink (60 17 and 63 15 for PRE and POST, respectively). Thus the response of net muscle protein balance to timing of intact protein ingestion does not respond as does that of the combination of free amino acids and carbohydrate."

Seventeen males and females performed 10 sets of 8 reps of leg extensions at 80% of 1RM. If you're ingesting whole protein alone then it doesn't seem to matter if you take it before or after training. If you're taking a free amino acid + carb mixture it's best to take it before. Again subjects were fasted to start but this time took either whey protein alone, before or after training.

Bird, S.P. "Independent and combined effects of liquid carbohydrate/essential amino acid ingestion on hormonal and muscular adaptations following resistance training in untrained men."

"These data indicate that liquid carbohydrate + essential amino acids ingestion enhances muscle anabolism following resistance training to a greater extent than either liquid carbohydrate or essential amino acids consumed independently. The synergistic effect of liquid carbohydrate + essential amino acids ingestion maximises the anabolic response presumably by attenuating the post-exercise rise in protein degradation."

32 young adult males (beginners) trained twice per week for 12 weeks with blood samples being taken immediately before and after exercise at weeks 0, 4, 8 and 12. It's better to take protein and carbs together than either alone.

Borsheim, E. "Effect of an amino acid, protein, and carbohydrate mixture on net muscle protein balance after resistance exercise."

"We conclude that after resistance exercise, a mixture of whey protein, amino acids, and carbohydrates stimulated muscle protein synthesis to a greater extent than isoenergetic carbohydrates alone. Further, compared to previously reported findings, the addition of protein to an amino acid + carbohydrates mixture seems to extend the anabolic effect."

Eight subjects performed two separate bouts of resistance training. After training, a mixture of protein plus carbs is better than carbs alone.

Finally, a conclusion with regards to both glycogen replenishment and protein synthesis...

Ivy, J.L. "Dietary strategies to promote glycogen synthesis after exercise."

"It has been observed that muscle glycogen synthesis is twice as rapid if carbohydrate is consumed immediately after exercise as opposed to waiting several hours, and that a rapid rate of synthesis can be maintained if carbohydrate is consumed on a regular basis. For example, supplementing at 30-min intervals at a rate of 1.2 to 1.5 g carbohydrate x kg(-1) body wt x h(-1) appears to maximize synthesis for a period of 4- to 5-h post exercise. If a lighter carbohydrate supplement is desired, however, glycogen synthesis can be enhanced with the addition of protein and certain ami no acids. Furthermore, the combination of carbohydrate and protein has the added benefit of stimulating amino acid transport, protein synthesis and muscle tissue repair. Research suggests that aerobic performance following recovery is related to the degree of muscle glycogen replenishment."


All in all, the research suggests that for both performance and muscle growth it's best to consume protein plus carbs both before and after exercise, the addition of fats into the mix seems to have no effect on glycogen replenishment. Furthermore, if you're eating a normally timed, adequate diet then some of these conclusions may be altered because assuming you don't train before breakfast your bloodstream would have protein, glucose and fats present anyway (in other words, a non-fasted state). So, it looks like the research supports Joe's assertion about 3 squares a day, with the exception that it does appear important to take in a balanced meal with 1 hr following training - altough that could just as easily be your dinner or supper as any bodybuilding supplement. Incidentally, there was a recent study comparing the ingestion of milk postworkout to a popular bodybuilding "recovery" supplement, and the milk equalled or outperformed the supplement (after all, milk has roughly a 60/40 carbs to protein split which is supported by the research).

So, as far as the body of research is concerned: Don't train in a fasted state if you're trying to get bigger/stronger; ingest some protein and carbs after training (perhaps some fats too); and there is no support to conclude that supplements outperform regular food.
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