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  • Getting big without getting fat!

    Hi all, I'm a keen gym goer with an interest in exercise physiology, resistance training, nutrition, anatomy, and the primal way. I'm no bodybuilder and don't plan on becoming one. However, I do go to the gym with the intention of gaining some muscle and looking good "nay-ked" :-) . That said, can one follow "The Primal Blueprint" and get big, or bigger, without getting fat?

    I'm curious on what people think about this.

    Thanks in advance,
    DS

  • #2
    Muscle gain and fat loss being mutually exclusive is one of the most ridiculous and damaging fitness myths out there imo. To answer your question, yes, you can most definitely get big and strong without getting fat. In fact, in all likelihood you will get leaner.

    Just follow the basics and focus on big compound lifts. Bench, squat, dead lift, shoulder press ect.

    I'm right there with you in wanting to look good naked in the mirror...nothing wrong with that in the least.

    Comment


    • #3
      Do you agree one must eat above a maintenance caloric level in order to gain (new) muscle? And how would one do so without gaining extra fat?

      DS

      Comment


      • #4
        Definitely yes. That's my experience.

        I went from 120kg to 64kg by dieting and running. Waist line went from 40 inches to 28 inches.

        Then I started to do squats, dead lifts, military presses, bench presses, pull ups and dips in the gym. Rep range is 6-10. Within 6 months, my weight went up to 72kg, while my waist remained at 28 inches. Visually, it is very obvious that I packed on quite a bit of muscle and became leaner, as its confirmed by everyone who knows me, even those who see me often.

        I do notice that it takes more to satisfy my appetite now as compared with before weight training. But still, I don't weigh or count anything. I eat when I'm hungry (usually once a day) and I don't stop eating til I'm full. Thats it. I think the trick to not gaining fat is simply to eat primally. I estimate my macronutrient ratio to be 60-80% fat, 20-30% protein and less than 10% carbs (from veggies and coconut only).

        So in my experience, muscle gain without fat gain = lift really heavy 3 times a week (always fasted) + move slow as often as possible + eat primal foods to satiety + good sleep + plenty of sun + positive outlook in life (low stress).

        Comment


        • #5
          I believe someone could put on muscle and loose fat at the same time if they are eating paleo.

          Most on the bodybuilding forums would disagree. But Paleo versions of a clean diet, and the typical bodybuilders version of clean are still very, very different. The average bodybuilders version of a 'clean', nutritious diet is full of grains. It's funny listening to them comment on how nutritious their enriched wheat bread is.

          if someone was eating a paleo style diet and not restricting too many calories or doing chronic cardio. I think the body would recomposit and similtaneously build muscle and loose fat.

          Comment


          • #6
            The book "The TNT Diet" is all about adding lean mass while reducing fat mass. The eating plan that goes with it is not primal, but is high fat, moderate protein and low carb, and very easy to make primal by making good food choices. I highly recommend the book. Written for men, but women do it, too, and are encouraged to by the authors.
            Rebecca

            Right click here to watch me lose 22.5 pounds of body fat and gain 5.5 pounds of muscle in only 5 months right before your eyes in this cool morphing video!

            Click the banner below to visit my blog:

            sigpic

            Feb 2009 - 158 pounds - 43.6% body fat
            Aug 2013 - 138 pounds - 34.3% body fat
            So far, lost 19.8 pounds of body fat and gained 1.8 pounds of lean mass
            Goal - 136 pounds - 30% body fat
            Still need to lose 6.4 more pounds of body fat and gain 4.2 more pounds of lean mass

            Comment


            • #7
              dont do cardio... my only advice haha i just posted before/afters on my blog....purely bodyweight change +25lbs in 9 months. jus doing bodyweight exercises
              Get on my Level
              http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Cardio sucks. And is unnecessary.
                Rebecca

                Right click here to watch me lose 22.5 pounds of body fat and gain 5.5 pounds of muscle in only 5 months right before your eyes in this cool morphing video!

                Click the banner below to visit my blog:

                sigpic

                Feb 2009 - 158 pounds - 43.6% body fat
                Aug 2013 - 138 pounds - 34.3% body fat
                So far, lost 19.8 pounds of body fat and gained 1.8 pounds of lean mass
                Goal - 136 pounds - 30% body fat
                Still need to lose 6.4 more pounds of body fat and gain 4.2 more pounds of lean mass

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DiscoStew View Post
                  That said, can one follow "The Primal Blueprint" and get big, or bigger, without getting fat?
                  If you are lean to begin with, you have to put on weight to get bigger. Most people like quick progress so they err on the side of eating a bit too much and gain fat in the process. If they reasonably overdo it and gain just a bit of fat it's not that hard to lose it again and the whole process probably is faster than eating less and not gaining weight as quickly.

                  But I think it's perfectly doable to gain muscles without gaining fat at the same time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    DS

                    Go have a look at John Beradi articles on
                    http://www.t-nation.com
                    and his old articles such as
                    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...trition_part_i
                    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...rition_part_ii
                    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...ition_part_iii

                    All of the above is also on his web site
                    www.johnberadi.com

                    Though not purly primal he advocates fruit and veg for your carb needs and has a section all about low carb tolerance which fits primal nicely.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      +25!! Awesome, Lady!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In my experience, it's pretty hard to gain muscle without gaining SOME fat unless you go REALLY slow. I started seriously weight training about 2.5 years ago at a weight of ~145 (5'11"). Two years later I'd gained 15 pounds or so, most of which I believe was muscle. Most of this gain was while I was eating a non-primal diet and I think it can just be attributed to the fact that I was new to weight training.

                        After being at a plateau for a while, I decided to try the Leangains approach - but with simply higher calories from fat post-workout instead of carbs (I was still pretty carb-phobic at the time). I did this by drinking a good bit of heavy cream in addition to fairly large meals. I gained about 8 pounds (to 165), but definitely more fat than I would have liked. So I cut back on calories and went back down to what I consider my maintenance weight (~158).

                        Next I tried eating lots of carbs, but low fat post-workout as Martin of Leangains actually recommends. I've been doing this for the past 2-3 months. I've only gained 3-4 pounds so far, but I think it's more muscle than last time. If I get up the courage, I may post some progress pics to compare my fat vs. carb surplus approaches. When I track my food, I usually have around 1/3 calories each from fat protein and carb on workout days (this is because my dinner after the post-workout meal is somewhat higher in fat).

                        My point in this long-winded post is that carbs are not necessarily evil for everyone. Grains, yes, but not primal carbs (sweet potato, winter squash, etc.). I think this is especially true for people with healthy metabolisms (non-diabetic and non-insulin resistant). And I guess my other point is that if you are already quite lean, it may be difficult and take a looonng time to add muscle mass without a small amount of fat gain, regardless of your diet (or maybe I'm just doing it wrong; I'm definitely open to suggestions).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chickenbackside View Post
                          Definitely yes. That's my experience.

                          I went from 120kg to 64kg by dieting and running. Waist line went from 40 inches to 28 inches.

                          Then I started to do squats, dead lifts, military presses, bench presses, pull ups and dips in the gym. Rep range is 6-10. Within 6 months, my weight went up to 72kg, while my waist remained at 28 inches. Visually, it is very obvious that I packed on quite a bit of muscle and became leaner, as its confirmed by everyone who knows me, even those who see me often.

                          I do notice that it takes more to satisfy my appetite now as compared with before weight training. But still, I don't weigh or count anything. I eat when I'm hungry (usually once a day) and I don't stop eating til I'm full. Thats it. I think the trick to not gaining fat is simply to eat primally. I estimate my macronutrient ratio to be 60-80% fat, 20-30% protein and less than 10% carbs (from veggies and coconut only).

                          So in my experience, muscle gain without fat gain = lift really heavy 3 times a week (always fasted) + move slow as often as possible + eat primal foods to satiety + good sleep + plenty of sun + positive outlook in life (low stress).
                          Excellent response... everything you need to know is within those line.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Do people have an opinion on a natural "leanness" one would achieve it one ate primally long-term? For example, was single-digit bodyfat the norm for primal man? Is it the norm for modern native tribes around the world?

                            DS

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm in the 9% range now after 2 years or eating primal, lifting, running and doing yoga. It has been effortless really...

                              Comment

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