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    TheTeddy's Avatar
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    A question of mass

    I've been doing pf for going on four weeks now. I'm on level 5 pull ups and push ups, and level 7 Squats and planks. Because I can't readily afford it, I've been limiting my high protein days to when I strength train. I'm trying to build muscle while losing fat, so I'm staying as low carb as I can, typically 60 and under. I know it may seem contradictory, but I'm fairly certain you can build muscle while shedding fat. However, even though I'm getting stronger, I'm adding no noticeable mass to my upper arms. My shoulders have become more defined, and my forearms are quite muscular now, but my triceps and biceps are still, well, insignificant in my opinion. So my question is, if I'm adding muscle to my calves, thighs, chest, back, forearms, and shoulders, then why aren't my tri's and bi's getting any love? Also is it better to go high protein th day of training, or the day after?

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    If you're trying to keep/add muscle, you're better off keeping protein constant (high) and getting more carbs on workout days, more fat on rest days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
    If you're trying to keep/add muscle, you're better off keeping protein constant (high) and getting more carbs on workout days, more fat on rest days.
    i tend to agree with this method. i'll also say that you truly aren't going to add much mass unless you are in a caloric surplus. yeah, your body is probably changing now, adding a little muscle and losing a little fat, but if you want to grow, you need extra calories

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
    If you're trying to keep/add muscle, you're better off keeping protein constant (high) and getting more carbs on workout days, more fat on rest days.
    agreed. muscle mass is made of glycogen.
    and the dude is right...you've got to eat more to get bigger.

    also bear in mind that size does not equal strength. you can have smallish looking arms and still be strong as hell; your muscles are just leaner and denser than the guy doing 5x20 curls with light weight (probably in the squat rack).

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    Quote Originally Posted by primalrob View Post

    also bear in mind that size does not equal strength. you can have smallish looking arms and still be strong as hell; your muscles are just leaner and denser than the guy doing 5x20 curls with light weight (probably in the squat rack).
    Haha, the other day I was benching and a guy my height (5'10") but who seriously outweighed me by at least 40 pounds or more (I'm 155) asked me for a spot on his 1-rep bench. I looked at his bar (245), then at mine (I had just finished my 4th set of 6 at 275), then back at his, shrugged, and spotted him. I wanted to ask if his 40 pounds of muscle was just for decoration, but didn't.

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    not on the rug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
    Haha, the other day I was benching and a guy my height (5'10") but who seriously outweighed me by at least 40 pounds or more (I'm 155) asked me for a spot on his 1-rep bench. I looked at his bar (245), then at mine (I had just finished my 4th set of 6 at 275), then back at his, shrugged, and spotted him. I wanted to ask if his 40 pounds of muscle was just for decoration, but didn't.
    they probably are for decoration. some people work out to get healthy, some work out to get strong, some just work out to look good. not everyone has the same goals

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    Quote Originally Posted by not on the rug View Post
    they probably are for decoration. some people work out to get healthy, some work out to get strong, some just work out to look good. not everyone has the same goals
    I know. I wouldn't mind a couple more pounds of muscle (I've been bigger in the past), but it just made me laugh a little inside. I was thinking if I was his size I'd have to be benching Volkswagens.

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    not on the rug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
    I know. I wouldn't mind a couple more pounds of muscle (I've been bigger in the past), but it just made me laugh a little inside. I was thinking if I was his size I'd have to be benching Volkswagens.
    i hear that. but to be honest with you, when i was the biggest and when i was the strongest were 2 totally different times

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    Quote Originally Posted by not on the rug View Post
    i hear that. but to be honest with you, when i was the biggest and when i was the strongest were 2 totally different times
    Agreed. I used to weigh about 175 with pretty low body fat, but wasn't as strong as I am now under 160 with very low fat.

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    I would agree with many of the above comments. Also, while the moves you describe will add size and strength to upper-arm muscle groups, they aren't specialized for those groups. So unless you want to start doing Muscle & Fitness routines for bis and tris, that just might be how your body is dividing up its growth hormone.

    Another thing to keep in mind is the physics of things. If you have a caloric deficit, what may appear to be gains in size might just be losses in surrounding fat. Actual increases require caloric surpluses, as our colleagues noted.

    Finally, as they also noted, size and strength aren't necessarily the same thing. At my old gym, one of the smallest guys there was a powerlifter who did reps of deads at more than twice his body weight (he could pull 405 for reps [like 5-8], but weighed no more than 160). Also, if you are doing primarily body weight moves, as you get lighter, you will naturally be able to do more, since you'll be moving less mass.

    If you want to use bw moves for size,though, see the various threads on Convict Conditioning. That system has a very nice progression which will increase the difficulty of the moves in a way similar to overloading weights.

    Best of luck!

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