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Starting out and looking for some advice on how to reach my goals.

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  • #16
    Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
    Rule 1 is simple and should be obvious but people get confused.
    You can ONLY gain weight by eating more. (aside from water fluctuation or constipation or some other silly thing)

    No exercise program can get your body to pull new mass out of the air.

    In order to lean bulk you would have to miraculously eat exactly the surplus that you triggered your body to gain in muscle.
    If you miss low you starve your gains away.
    If your priority is never being fat that approach is ok.
    You get stronger and harder and maybe you gain significant mass maybe you don't.

    If you have a real priority to gain muscle then you have to set your calories definitely high enough to cover the growth you want.
    Some WILL be fat. There is room for argument about just how high to set your surplus but it seems like the overall experience of the bodybuilding world is that skinny guys do a lot better at gaining muscle if they are willing to accept quite a bit of fat gain at the same time.

    l
    Your hormones will dictate how much you need to eat and how much you're going to gain. You certainly can't be afraid to eat more. But, force feeding yourself isn't going to improve your lean tissue gains. It's easier to accumulate fat than it is to build muscle. Believing that fat gain is necessary for lean gain is a post hoc fallacy. Are lean tissue gains accompanied by some fat gains? Probably. But, I'm not sure the converse is true.

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    • #17
      Most of that's unproven theory.
      There are some absolutes and basic trial and error:
      1. If you don't gain weight you're not eating enough.
      2. The body CANNOT add mass from maintenance calories
      Then there are only 2 logical paths
      A. Try to match the surplus to the desired gains
      B. Aim high and definitely get enough surplus

      Many skinny guys talk about lifting for weeks or months without gaining.
      They often blame the exercise for not gaining weight which is, pardon me, stupid.
      If they eat too much and gain a lot of fat at least they've established something to work from.
      If the gain is all fat then the exercise is ineffective.
      If there is acceptable muscle gain but too much fat they can reduce the surplus.

      In IT terms is a basic algorithm of if/thens which has to either work or identify a specific problem

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      • #18
        Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
        Most of that's unproven theory.
        Growth hormone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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        • #19
          The existence and general function of hormones is an entirely different thing than those hormones naturally stimulating appetite to eat the exact caloric surplus necessary for maximum lean gains without fat gain.

          I find it hard to believe that a 29 year old guy who weighs 123 is going to be naturally stimulated to eat a surplus. Not impossible though.

          I don't have much issue with trying it your way first. but if weight gain after two weeks is unsatisfactory start deliberately eating a surplus.

          I would have a huge problem doing it your way for months and then blaming genetics for lack of muscle gain.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
            The existence and general function of hormones is an entirely different thing than those hormones naturally stimulating appetite to eat the exact caloric surplus necessary for maximum lean gains without fat gain.
            How so? By your argument, we can get kids to grow by simply force feeding them. The simplest explanation physiologically between a kid in puberty vs a grown man is the amount of naturally occurring growth hormones.

            Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
            I find it hard to believe that a 29 year old guy who weighs 123 is going to be naturally stimulated to eat a surplus. Not impossible though.
            If a grown man is able to stimulate the release of growth hormones (naturally or otherwise), then the appetite to required to grow has to follow.

            Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
            I don't have much issue with trying it your way first. but if weight gain after two weeks is unsatisfactory start deliberately eating a surplus.

            I would have a huge problem doing it your way for months and then blaming genetics for lack of muscle gain.
            To paraphrase John Little, "quarter horse genes with clydesdale dreams..."

            I mean, if someone wants to look bigger by carrying more fat, that's fine. But, don't delude yourself thinking fat gains lead to lean gains.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by h4890 View Post
              Hmm, so I guess pull up bar it is! =)



              Thank you very much for the advice and the pointers, your advice has been written down in my little training spread sheet as well. Lots of sites to cover now! =) Mentzer HIT, Al Kavadlo, Building an Olympic Body I'm feeling like I could read and read forever!

              I also detect some different philosophies I think, and that would be on the one hand, loading up on the correct nutrition, going to the gym a la mentzer and focusing on muscle gain, and then weight loss.

              On the other hand, there seems to be another philosophy of just going with the body weight path, and to stick with it. No special shakes or bars.

              I like the mentzer way because it seems like you can get loads of results, fast! And I can be quite impatient and I am afraid that if I don't get results in say a year, I will get bored and stop training. So that would be a great benefit with the Metnzer/HIT way.

              On the other hand, I hate going to scheduled activities in my spare time, and the anywhere/anytime approach of the body weight philosophy really appeals to me, but I get the feeling that the results will not be as quick.

              And finally, when it comes to proper amounts to proteins, carbs and fat, I feel like I cannot change everything at once. I have to select one approach to training, and get started. If I change my life style, training, diet habits all at once, I fear that everything will just be done without serious intent, some kind of "overload".

              Well, I'll be sure to check out the sites you gave me. Have a great evening! =)

              Best regards,
              Daniel
              If you want to avoid looking into all of this stuff and just jump in (I know its a lot!!!), the PBF (primal blueprint fitness) e-book is perfect for that, will have you working on all those future goals, and might be very helpful. No nonsense, easy and planned out for you--you just do it. (And all you'll need it a pull up bar. ) If you wanted to follow that program and maybe add weights to it, I'm sure folks here could help you with that as well! Good luck!!!
              My Before/After Pics
              Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

              "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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              • #22
                I have been saying that to ensure delivering sufficient nutrition for maximum muscle growth practically requires delivering some extra that goes to fat deposit. With the assumption that we hope heavy resistance training has triggered some protein synthesis.

                Anecdotal evidence suggests that delivering an even higher surplus works even better but i wouldn't argue that too hard.. If you could somehow assure delivering exactly the required protein and calorie surplus with none left over to form fat that might work fine.

                If you still believe that is the same thing as saying that getting fat adds muscle I give up.

                Bulking is by definition unnatural. The idea that all that is required to break away from the natural weight is to lift and then eat naturally seems very unlikely and contrary to overwhelming anecdotal evidence.

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                • #23
                  Dan,
                  You have implied twice that your choices are bw or going to a gym.
                  Are free weights at home out of the question?

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                  • #24
                    js290, bcbcbc2, thank you both for a very fascinating exchange of opinions and a wealth of links! =)

                    I've been studying them a bit, and based on what I can read, I think that the best approach seems to be some kind of HIT workout, combined with a normal paleo-based feeding pattern. To bring my BMI up to 18.5-22, which I would be quite ok with.

                    Should I during my training, not see any progress after 2-4 weeks, I guess increasing the amount of protein or fat little by little might be an idea. I also like the recommendation to seek out an expert to make sure I get off to a good start. Finally, the "Six Year Itch" story was very interesting as well, and of course it seems quite reasonable to expect big initial gains, and then a dropping off as my body comes closer to some kind of "optimal" state. Gaining 16 lbs in a very short time, is clearly not sustainable in the long run.

                    As for my aversion to the gym, I think I could endure it for a few months, if the gains in the beginning are indeed bigger, and especially if we're talking up to 16 lbs in 4 months. If I could reach a BMI of 18.5 to 21 that's ok for me since I have no wish what so ever to look like Mr Schwarzenegger. =)

                    After that I could then drop the gym habit and just focus on a body weight routine for maintenance and reaching my long term goals, to keep my challenged and interested.

                    So my plan:
                    1. Try some kind of HIT workout with expert guidance.

                    2. Don't do anything special when it comes to diet except trying to eat more according to the paleo principles. My idea is to start with one meal per day, and if it is bearable, perhaps expand it to 2, and finally 3. But I guess it does not have to be an "all or nothing", and that just changing one meal per day should be enough.

                    3. If I should not show any rapid initial progress, discuss it with my "consultant", and perhaps adjust my diet accordingly.

                    4. Drop the gym habit (unless I discover that I like it) once I have reached a comfortable BMI, and proceed with my body weight routine for maintenance.

                    At the moment I don't have access to neither gym nor expert, but in ca 3 months I will. In the meantime I'll continue with my body weight routine and perhaps my gym time will be a bit shorter once I get started.

                    Thanks for the great discussion. There clearly seems to be as many philosophies and ways as there are people. =)

                    Best regards,
                    Daniel

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
                      Dan,
                      You have implied twice that your choices are bw or going to a gym.
                      Are free weights at home out of the question?
                      No, free weight are not out of the question, but I gravitate more towards making my own sandbag, medicine ball, back pack or west, than actually going out to buy a full weight set. Since I am not at all convinced that I will manage to stick with a weight program for the long term, I would be a bit sceptical in the beginning to invest a lot of money in weights. Therefore, making my own stuff with a bag, and some sand, seems to be quite an attractive option. =)

                      Best regards,
                      Daniel

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by FairyRae View Post
                        If you want to avoid looking into all of this stuff and just jump in (I know its a lot!!!), the PBF (primal blueprint fitness) e-book is perfect for that, will have you working on all those future goals, and might be very helpful. No nonsense, easy and planned out for you--you just do it. (And all you'll need it a pull up bar. ) If you wanted to follow that program and maybe add weights to it, I'm sure folks here could help you with that as well! Good luck!!!
                        Hello FairyRae, I think that it is a good idea to combine the two. As you can see below, I am quite intrigued by the HIT approach and maybe it could be a way to reach my BMI/weight goal quite fast, and then continue on the body weight routine from there with all the advantages it has (anytime anywhere, no gym!).

                        Let's see what bcbcbc2 has to say about HIT and free weights at home. Maybe that could be a good complement?

                        Best regards,
                        Daniel

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Hello guys,

                          I thought, based on our discussion here, that it was time for me to up the intensity a little bit since I've been doing my regular routine for almost 4 weeks, so I modified my program:

                          Push-ups with raised feet (ca 40 cm) x max (about 23)
                          Directly after my 23, regular pushups to max (about 8)
                          Plank with one leg in the air (ca 70 seconds)
                          Bicycle crunches x max
                          Bridge (10 seconds, mainly for stretching)
                          Bulgarian squats x max (43, previous regular squats 75)
                          Finally, finish of with some hindu push-ups (4)

                          And now on to the speculations and problems...

                          I found it kind of hard to come up with a good way to increase the intensity of the bicycle crunches. The plank with one leg in the air was brutal, and brought my previous regular plank from 2 minutes down to 70 seconds. Should I scrap the bicycle crunches totally and just do planks or is there some kind of advantage with "moving" exercises?

                          As for raising the feet in the pushup, it felt like I was exercising my core more than my arms. Is that just an illusion and should I just keep raising the feet every time I reach a certain max?

                          Now for the miracle! The bulgarian squats! I haven't felt so tired and exhausted in a loooong time! At rep 43 my muscles where almost cramping, and afterwards I kept breathing hard for 10-20 minutes. I almost felt like I wanted to throw up! I suspect that this is the essence of increasing the intensity.

                          My problem is that if I would be able to achieve this for every body part it would be great! But comparing just raising my feet 40 cm off the floor in my push-up, that was _nothing_ compared with 43 bulgarian squats.

                          I guess the gym or a weighted west is the only way? Otherwise the static holds, the L-Sits, and hand stand push ups might be able to do it. Actually when I first tried my not very impressive 1.5 second L-Sits with bent legs, my muscles start cramping, so that would be getting close. But for moving exercises, I think it is weights, rings, bars or something else.

                          I am still afraid of the next workout session with bulgarian squats!

                          Best regards,
                          Dan

                          P.S. bcbcbc2, do you have any comments about a home HIT workout with something like sandbags, medicine balls or something else I can create myself? How do I find the correct weight to start with?

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Skip the bicycle crunches.
                            For ab work, do these slowly and under control at all times.
                            1. Lying on your back with your knees bent at 90deg, raise your knees towards your chest without rounding your back.
                            2. Next level: Straighten your legs a little more, and raise them up slowly until your feet are above your hips, and then back down.
                            3. Next level: Raise up your slightly bent legs, then straighten them on the way down.
                            4. Next level: Raise up straight legs.

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                            • #29
                              HIT is based around hitting failure at 45-90 seconds of effort.
                              It.s tough to do that with bodyweight or improvised stuff.

                              PBF with slow reps done to failure would be in the ballpark
                              Convict Conditioning and Never Gymless(I think) are other well spoken of progressive bodyweight programs
                              SimpleFit looks good for conditioning mixed with strength but not so great for pure strength
                              I have little personal knowledge 'cause I have free weights at home

                              A place to do chins and dips and a way to hang weight off yourself would be good enough for heavy upper body work
                              If you could somehow add weight to the Bulgarians to bring the reps down into the 10-20 rep range you'd be pretty well set.
                              gas cans and water containers are potentially good because you can add as much water as you like. 1 gal=8.3pounds

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
                                HIT is based around hitting failure at 45-90 seconds of effort.
                                It.s tough to do that with bodyweight or improvised stuff.

                                PBF with slow reps done to failure would be in the ballpark
                                Convict Conditioning and Never Gymless(I think) are other well spoken of progressive bodyweight programs
                                SimpleFit looks good for conditioning mixed with strength but not so great for pure strength
                                I have little personal knowledge 'cause I have free weights at home

                                A place to do chins and dips and a way to hang weight off yourself would be good enough for heavy upper body work
                                If you could somehow add weight to the Bulgarians to bring the reps down into the 10-20 rep range you'd be pretty well set.
                                gas cans and water containers are potentially good because you can add as much water as you like. 1 gal=8.3pounds
                                No problem at all! =) I'll just grab a backpack with some books and that should be it. =) Or as you say, a bottle of water or two. Or why not a backpack with a bottle of water? I guess I just have to find one that also has a waist band so it wont move around too much. Strange that I didn't think of water before... much easier to get hold of in the city than a bag of dirt!

                                So I think I have something here. Keep it to 10-20 reps, and increase the amount of books or liters of water as soon as I pass 20 reps, and it should be quite clear if I am making progress or not.

                                Thanks for the advice.

                                Best regards,
                                Dan

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