I have found this whole strength building thing to be a really interesting thing to do. I have never been a skinny person. I have a somewhat large frame. Not delicate at all. So any attempts at being really slim have always failed for me, making it easier I guess to accept the unusual changes of strength building.
Anyway, I've learned a lot in my 4 months of trying to build strength:
- If I eat a lot of protein-rich foods I don't get fatter, I get stronger.
- If I don't eat a lot of food, I can't get stronger. Instead the exercise makes me fall apart.
- The food I eat can't just be calories. It helps if it's meat, potatoes and vegetables and fairly lean. The whole GOMAD thing would make me simply fat.
- A lot of what I thought was fat might have been muscles without any internal integrity. As I've gotten stronger I firm up but stay big. I don't slim down at the same time.
- In other words, the fat didn't have to grow to get stronger but I have had to accept not getting slimmer as the result of my efforts.
- If I don't sleep enough I don't get stronger.
- If I don't refrain from exercising enough I don't get stronger. I'm really used to the daily cardio way of doing things.
- I get larger in really strange places. My thighs and down toward the knees on the backs of my legs. This morning I noticed a bra felt tighter but not in the boobs. Normally my boobs grow as the rest of me gains fat. Back muscles?
i havent got much to add but this topic interests me alot too so i would love to know more. i will ask my personal trainer when i see him next as he trains both women and men for body building shows and also power lifters. i have always thought the theory was to train hard and eat heaps to bulk, then cut. there is quite a bit of info out there i have seen about how not to lose lean muscle when cutting. body building is about appearance not strength tho so i dont think it matters what you can lift, or if your lifts suffer when you are cutting, it is just what you look like at the end of it.
Leida - makes sense to me! Very cool hypothesis :)
Another book, that I liked a lot was Hers: Muscle and Fitness 101 - it is a collection of disjointed articles, but it has serious routines (unlike the well-started but poorly finished New Rules of Lifting for Women) and some good insight. I think their carb intake advice while empirical might be bang on, better than LG/UD for adherence and success.
Seaweed, the generic idea is out there about bulk-cut cycle. What I cannot find specific data on is how to stimulate increased hypertrophy during the bulk in women specifically so that muscle: fat ratio increases to over 50%. See, for men, 50% is the starting entry ratio for a good bulk, because they lose less muscle when they cut as well. In my experience, I gain 75% fat, and I lose all the piteous amount of muscle I gained during the cut (unless doing Lyle, and that did not stick, I think I triggered yo-yo AFTER I get off Lyle), if not worse, i.e. replicating the horrid yo-yo syndrome, when the dieter ends up with MORE fat and LESS lean muscle as a result. Lyle's UD is pretty much an answer I found for the cut, the problem is, it is unfinished, as in it does not show how to stick to get out of the cycle and preserve the cut state.
The sports nutritionist I have consulted said that it is the quality of food that makes all the difference, and clean eating will not lead to the yo-yo effect. But, in my experience, this was not the case. I find that SL 5x5 was actually right that clean or dirty didn't make much difference. Lyle showed me that macros were the game, and horrid art crap jell-o is better than an apple for success of muscle-preserving cut.
(Sigh) Bulking up is a wet dream of mine, I think I am au par with teen boys....
[QUOTE]Seaweed, the generic idea is out there about bulk-cut cycle. What I cannot find specific data on is how to stimulate increased hypertrophy during the bulk in women specifically so that muscle: fat ratio increases to over 50%. See, for men, 50% is the starting entry ratio for a good bulk, because they lose less muscle when they cut as well.[/QUOTE] Leida do you have any urls you can point me to that talk about this? i asked my personal trainer today when i saw him and he reckons you cant generalise as it varies from person to person. i very definitely muscle up without bulking and on VLC to the extent i have thought about competitively body sculpting.
Starting Strength quotes 50% for men. I tried VLC, barely lived through it, Anabolic Diet, Ultimate Diet, normal diet, you name it. Almost no visible muscle gain, only gut, and I lift to the best of mine. Personal Trainer checked my form. (Sigh) Genetics.
Here are some good articles for this thread
Interesting articles, FastCat. I definitely understand the point you're making. Thank you for adding some resources to the thread.
To reference the articles specifically, I think it might be fair to say that many of the women posting in this thread have come to the conclusion, based on experience, that they have the genetic potential to look like Stacie Tovar. I'm guessing you are going to agree that not all women have this potential. Maybe some of us are incorrect. Maybe most of us are incorrect. But for some women, this has to be correct. After all, Stacie Tovar exists. And I'm certainly not going to argue that any of us actually do look like her (although I think she's completely awesome and wouldn't mind)!
Furthermore, I do NOT have the potential to look like Christmas Abbott. I looked up her crossfit games profile, and to be the same weight as her (115 lbs), I would have to have 0% bodyfat and lose 10 lbs lean mass. If I estimate that she has 10% BF, that puts her lean mass at 104 lbs. My lean mass is 20 lbs greater. Am I stronger than she is? Based on this [url=http://games.crossfit.com/athlete/8075]Athlete: Christmas Abbott | CrossFit Games[/url], I'm going to say NO WAY! (Also, this isn't perfect because I am 1.75" taller. Full disclosure, right?)
In comparison, Stacy Tovar weighs 144, according to [url=http://games.crossfit.com/athlete/5512]Athlete: Stacie Tovar | CrossFit Games[/url]. Again, she is definitely stronger than me (by about another person, lol) and has a much lower body fat percentage. We are about the same height, give or take .25". If I got down to 144 from my current weight of 170, I'd have a BF percentage of 13.2%. I have no idea what her BF percentage is, but again, if we estimate 10%, her lean mass is 130. Guess what? That's five pounds more than mine. A significant amount, but not insurmountable. Of course, getting down to a BF percentage that low DOES take a ton of work, since it's harder to make progress the lower you go. Odds are, I'll never train enough to get anywhere close. And it's entirely possible that by the time I got down to that weight, by body would have burned off a decent amount of lean mass.
I guess my point is that for some of us, working out will direct us more toward Stacie Tovar's look than Christmas Abbott's. I understand why the default is to view any claims of significant muscle mass as denial about being fat, since for a large part (or even a vast majority) of the population, this is true. But it is counterproductive in a forum that is all about getting healthy, regardless of what society says we should do, to argue so vociferously that women who believe they naturally fall outside of the center of the bell curve must be lying or misinformed. If a woman uses that as an excuse not to exercise or pay attention to her diet, then calling her on it might be best. None of us in this thread that I recall have used our lean mass as an excuse not to keep exercising, trying to get to a healthier weight, or eating a healthy diet. In fact, seeing such a major difference in muscle definition and having biceps and triceps that show through some of my shirts is part of my motivation to keep going (nope, not vain at all...).
I look forward to hearing your response, since you seem willing to engage on the thread.
I would LOVE to look like ANY of the women featured in the article (save for the skinny ones), but just can't figure out how to get there. On the surface I do everything right, and doggedly, but fruitlessly. So, again, if your muscle grow, go, go, go girls!!!!
Understood thanks for your response Leida. For what it's worth (probably nothing) I'd want you to know that Stacie Tovar has been my FAVORITE female crossfit athlete for over two years. I think she is GORGEOUS. Her body turns me on! In the same way that Ryan Gosling probably gets yall.
It sounds like maybe that might surprise you? :)
Grok on Ladies!