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  • #16
    Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
    What's the point of a recovery day if you're underfeeding yourself? That's the part of the "overeat on training days/undereat on recovery days" argument I never understood. Those are the days for my muscles to repair/rebuild, how can I ask them to do that while I underfeed them?

    Your experiences must have differed from mine. I find the weight on the bar and my fat-free mass goes up faster if I overeat by a bit on both training and recovery days. But I have a pretty easy time shredding the little but of fluff (and I do mean a little bit, I'm not advocating going from 10% body fat to 25 or anything extreme).
    The key here is nutrient partitioning by the body that is stimulated by heavy barbell movements. First off, the most efficient way from a strict mass building standpoint would be to eat a caloric surplus everyday. I'm not disputing that. But it also leads to additional fat mass gain as well.

    By eating the majority of your calories / carbs post heavy barbell training (and with a surplus for the day) you are telling your body to partition those nutrients to repair muscle & grow for the next training session. The effect of this CNS stimulation occurs for several hours and into the night.

    Now on your "rest" days, by slightly undereating and limiting carbs (not like a 1000 calories under) and still being in that "repair" mode, your body will take the calories you provide it and prioritize muscle building. By that same prioritization, it will utilize your body fat stores to make up the deficit.

    Over the same time window, 6 months for instance, you would likely see similar changes in body composition when compared with a standard bulk / cut. I would argue by efficiently making use of nutrient partitioning you will slightly stronger/leaner as well. Especially if you were sub 15% body fat when you started, since there are significant hormonal advantages at that level of leanness (regarding fat gain/loss while bulking).

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    • #17
      Originally posted by dabears View Post
      Over the same time window, 6 months for instance, you would likely see similar changes in body composition when compared with a standard bulk / cut. I would argue by efficiently making use of nutrient partitioning you will slightly stronger/leaner as well. Especially if you were sub 15% body fat when you started, since there are significant hormonal advantages at that level of leanness (regarding fat gain/loss while bulking).
      You could argue it, but I'd remain unconvinced unless you had some good evidence that I've failed to find.

      As I said, my experience has been that it's easiest to gain lean mass when you don't try to restrict putting on a reasonable, few lbs of fluff.

      Again, I'm not talking about getting obese. At 15%, I can still clearly make out my upper 2 abs, and the next 2 are barely visible. But if I stay in the 10-12% range, I have a damn hard time putting on any kind muscle mass. I'm talking ~ 3 weeks worth of "leaning up" to get back to where I want to be once it's swimsuit season in New Jersey. No chance I could do this faster your way.

      But we're all very individual. Maybe it works better for you and Martin Berkhan. But the people I've known tend to respond to training and eating more like me than like the two of you.
      The Champagne of Beards

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      • #18
        Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
        You could argue it, but I'd remain unconvinced unless you had some good evidence that I've failed to find.

        As I said, my experience has been that it's easiest to gain lean mass when you don't try to restrict putting on a reasonable, few lbs of fluff.

        Again, I'm not talking about getting obese. At 15%, I can still clearly make out my upper 2 abs, and the next 2 are barely visible. But if I stay in the 10-12% range, I have a damn hard time putting on any kind muscle mass. I'm talking ~ 3 weeks worth of "leaning up" to get back to where I want to be once it's swimsuit season in New Jersey. No chance I could do this faster your way.

        But we're all very individual. Maybe it works better for you and Martin Berkhan. But the people I've known tend to respond to training and eating more like me than like the two of you.
        Doubt I'd find a dedicated article/study source to back this up, but I'll give my 2c on why I believe it is more efficient for discussion purposes.

        When you are doing a straight calorie bulk and a straight calorie cut, there is no partitioning, cycling etc. You are telling your body to gain fat & muscle by eating surplus everyday + training, and then telling it to lose fat & muscle by eating deficit + training everyday (with the hopes the muscle loss is miniscule due to training helping muscle retention).

        When you cycle calories and essentially combine a bulk/cut in the same time frame, you are eating at a surplus when it is most efficient (post workout training window), and eating at a deficit when calories are less in demand. (At rest). If the net calories were summed up at the end for both types and were equal, then my theory would be due to nutrient partitioning and calorie cycling that individual would have a slight advantage over the standard bulk/cut cycler.

        To put it more simply... the standard bulk has an advantage for muscle mass creation over the cycled bulk, but the cycled cut has an advantage over the standard cut (in regards to muscle retention). Over the same time period, they would likely net to a similar result.

        And having done both, I prefer the cycle approach. It allows you to make similar gains and maintain body composition throughout. There will still be "fluff" added with the cycle approach, but much less drastic.

        I need more time to put all the theories to test on myself, I don't pretend this is absolute or even proven science.

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        • #19
          Yeah, I like the idea of not going crazy with the bulk and still being able to feed pretty adequately during the prime nutrient-inputting windows (pwo) of the cut. So it's not really a dichotomy, but more of a continuum, and I think we're closer to agreement than disagreement.
          The Champagne of Beards

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          • #20
            Yeah for sure, just preference is what I think I'm getting at lol.

            That being said, I also have a very biased opinion of bulking, because for two years I was uneducated in proper training (compound, heavy lifts) and missed gym often. I also wasn't eating primal, my eating was mostly terrible. I had the "im bulking so whatever" attitude, that never works out. So I gained about 20 lbs of fat in 2010 and 2011 winters, and had significant (6-7 month) cutting windows. I believe if I tried a primal bulk I would be very happy with the result, and may do so this fall. I will be more set up for success with lower than 10% bodyfat, as I will be able to see my abdominal wall and judge if I am putting on too much adipose tissue... and also from a hormonal aspect too.

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