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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

After a somewhat nutty back and forth about so called bulking I did some thinking, don't worry I don't hurt myself...

What do I know?

I already know that fat holds significant levels of aromatase and thus can encourage estrogen conversion and suppress test levels. Test levels are quite important for building and maintaining strength/muscle. As well they help one stay rested, active and lean.

Now that I have a trainer I have far more objectivity to measure my results as I am not caught up in exercise planning and administering
Additionally, I have experience between contests where sometimes I have time to come up quite a bit in weight and sometimes not. The trend for strength and muscle gains is in favor of staying lean. I see the same in clients.

POV

My thoughts are the combination of a better environment for test support, insulin sensitivity and stress hormone release and use. When I am not dropping body fat but staying lean I respond better to HIT. Before my last shred I went up to about the mid 180's and it didn't increase rate of gain, in fact I gained faster as I hit the mid 160's.

Furthermore, as I stay lean now for my next comp I find it far easier to tweak rest and diet because the results of training and life stress are easier to read when lean.

I look bigger and more muscular in work cloths when I let body fat come up but as I approach 45 my ego doesn't require it. Plus now as I begin to really show the signs of consistent dedicated bodybuilding (symmetry and proportion) people are commenting more and more even when my muscles are covered that I do look solid and fit....no not just for my age.

No I just can't justify being anything but lean anymore, I think Dr. Darden (if you have seen his pics lately) has the right idea. Plus, all the evidence I have read says that any extra digestion above and beyond what is required (digestion that only fills fat stores) is quite harmful to your health given time.

That's my opinion, what's yours ;?)

Regards,
Andrew
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marcrph

Portugal

My take:

Get as strong as possible (maximize strength), without drugs of course, at the lowest healthy lean weight.

Strength changes can be measured, which is good. Visual body changes may be deceiving, which can mislead you. Get a body composition scale. Measure body composition changes carefully. Unless you are bodybuilding, vain, or just plain dumb, extra body mass may be fool's gold.
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Tomislav

New York, USA

Andrew,
this statement is a contradiction:

I already know that fat holds significant levels of aromatase and thus can encourage estrogen conversion and suppress test levels.

Because if that were true, it wouldn't be holding it.

It's metabolizing fat quickly that releases the bound (held) estrogen in large quantities, suppressing test; this is natures mechanism:

If you're going to drop a lot of fat, you'll consequently drop a lot of muscle, and that is why I never reduce intentionally.

If you go up in weight and allow a gradual composition change over a period of years, the bound estrogen is released quite slowly over time and so won't downregulate test.

Further, it is offset by all of the leptin you will harvest from the fat during that time; leptin bypasses the HPTA, directly increasing testosterone production. And over time, this is considerable.

This is another of natures mechanisms:

Double your bodyfat percentage and the extra leptin will help you build more muscle to restore your previous ratio, and that is why I never reduce.

You can't fight biology unless you're willing to go to the pharmacy and neither of us are.

It seemed to me you made the observation on the other thread that you could come in a bit heavier, that dropping from the 160's into the 150's cost some muscle. Think about it.
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Just

Florida, USA

I agree Andrew. While I've only been at it for 3 years, I've been at both ends of the spectrum. This February I got up to 215 from 185 in October of last year and felt terrible. Very counter productive to say the least. Now I'm back to 185 and leaning out further. I have truly taken to heart the rate of gains of other natural Pro's like Joshua or Clerence Bass etc... who talk about muscle gain being in the neighborhood of 1-2 pounds a year. It truly is a journey of a lifetime. Marc's comment of fools gold may be true for the drug user, but most true naturals will not have that problem of having too much muscle. The advantages far outweigh the oposite. Just my 2 cents.
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Turpin

A very good post Andrew & mirrors my experiences too.

I have said often on this forum that there is no added benefit to increase ones bodyweight above that which is conducive for optimal performance.
I learned this when powerlifting where I found my lifting ability ( strength to bodyweight ratio ) was optimal at around 170lbs with the 165lb class being closest to this. I once ( foolishly ) tried a bulk in order to see if I could be as good at 181 lbs but found that I was no stronger at close to 180 than I was at 170 lbs and I looked terrible ( physique wise )

TBH I feel too many rely on the scale ( moreso the Americans I correspond with ) as opposed to how they actually look. I get asked questions like how much did you gain by the implementation of a certain routine etc .
Who cares how much weight ! ... unless you are intent on competing in a weight division or a complete beginner looking like Mr Bean additional bodyweight on a mature trainee is irrelevant and very much secondary to how they look ( & function ) from their training.

T.
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marcrph

Portugal

Just wrote:
Marc's comment of fools gold may be true for the drug user, but most true naturals will not have that problem of having too much muscle. The advantages far outweigh the oposite. Just my 2 cents.


What are these advantages you so report of?
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marcrph

Portugal

Turpin wrote:

I have said often on this forum that there is no added benefit to increase ones bodyweight above that which is conducive for optimal performance.


Exactly!
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HeavyHitter32

Turpin wrote:
A very good post Andrew & mirrors my experiences too.

I have said often on this forum that there is no added benefit to increase ones bodyweight above that which is conducive for optimal performance.
I learned this when powerlifting where I found my lifting ability ( strength to bodyweight ratio ) was optimal at around 170lbs with the 165lb class being closest to this. I once ( foolishly ) tried a bulk in order to see if I could be as good at 181 lbs but found that I was no stronger at close to 180 than I was at 170 lbs and I looked terrible ( physique wise )

TBH I feel too many rely on the scale ( moreso the Americans I correspond with ) as opposed to how they actually look. I get asked questions like how much did you gain by the implementation of a certain routine etc .
Who cares how much weight ! ... unless you are intent on competing in a weight division or a complete beginner looking like Mr Bean additional bodyweight on a mature trainee is irrelevant and very much secondary to how they look ( & function ) from their training.

T.


Very good points.
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Turpin wrote:
A very good post Andrew & mirrors my experiences too.

I have said often on this forum that there is no added benefit to increase ones bodyweight above that which is conducive for optimal performance.
I learned this when powerlifting where I found my lifting ability ( strength to bodyweight ratio ) was optimal at around 170lbs with the 165lb class being closest to this. I once ( foolishly ) tried a bulk in order to see if I could be as good at 181 lbs but found that I was no stronger at close to 180 than I was at 170 lbs and I looked terrible ( physique wise )

TBH I feel too many rely on the scale ( moreso the Americans I correspond with ) as opposed to how they actually look. I get asked questions like how much did you gain by the implementation of a certain routine etc .
Who cares how much weight ! ... unless you are intent on competing in a weight division or a complete beginner looking like Mr Bean additional bodyweight on a mature trainee is irrelevant and very much secondary to how they look ( & function ) from their training.

T.


Tis true, we are mostly water so weight is a poor measure of health. The mirror tells you if you are and I have found zero advantages to getting chubby even smooth. I even appear to gain better when lean though I am fairly careful about nutrient timing.

Its odd to be agreeing with you though lol.

Regards,
Andrew
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Tomislav wrote:
Andrew,
this statement is a contradiction:

I already know that fat holds significant levels of aromatase and thus can encourage estrogen conversion and suppress test levels.

Because if that were true, it wouldn't be holding it.

It's metabolizing fat quickly that releases the bound (held) estrogen in large quantities, suppressing test; this is natures mechanism:

If you're going to drop a lot of fat, you'll consequently drop a lot of muscle, and that is why I never reduce intentionally.

If you go up in weight and allow a gradual composition change over a period of years, the bound estrogen is released quite slowly over time and so won't downregulate test.

Further, it is offset by all of the leptin you will harvest from the fat during that time; leptin bypasses the HPTA, directly increasing testosterone production. And over time, this is considerable.

This is another of natures mechanisms:

Double your bodyfat percentage and the extra leptin will help you build more muscle to restore your previous ratio, and that is why I never reduce.

You can't fight biology unless you're willing to go to the pharmacy and neither of us are.

It seemed to me you made the observation on the other thread that you could come in a bit heavier, that dropping from the 160's into the 150's cost some muscle. Think about it.


That may be your compartmentalized take on the science but it hasn't been my experience. Perhaps those who are naturally more endomorphic are different.

Regards,
Andrew
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Just wrote:
I agree Andrew. While I've only been at it for 3 years, I've been at both ends of the spectrum. This February I got up to 215 from 185 in October of last year and felt terrible. Very counter productive to say the least. Now I'm back to 185 and leaning out further. I have truly taken to heart the rate of gains of other natural Pro's like Joshua or Clerence Bass etc... who talk about muscle gain being in the neighborhood of 1-2 pounds a year. It truly is a journey of a lifetime. Marc's comment of fools gold may be true for the drug user, but most true naturals will not have that problem of having too much muscle. The advantages far outweigh the oposite. Just my 2 cents.


I very much agree, natural muscle gains past the early phase are slow but steady if you are careful. In fact pounds on the scale really aren't that important as a lot of muscles can grow noticeably without significant weight gain. Add a 1/2 inch to biceps or pecs...how much would that actually weigh?

Regards,
Andrew
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

marcrph wrote:
My take:

Get as strong as possible (maximize strength), without drugs of course, at the lowest healthy lean weight.

Strength changes can be measured, which is good. Visual body changes may be deceiving, which can mislead you. Get a body composition scale. Measure body composition changes carefully. Unless you are bodybuilding, vain, or just plain dumb, extra body mass may be fool's gold.


It's true water weight and a bit of fat (especially intra cellular fat) fools many into thinking they are more muscular than they are.

Strength gains can be deceiving as well though when you consider that skill and coordination accounts for so much. Practice basic skills like a press and you can add major poundage without seeing muscle growth.

Regards,
Andrew
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HeavyHitter32

AShortt wrote:
marcrph wrote:
My take:

Get as strong as possible (maximize strength), without drugs of course, at the lowest healthy lean weight.

Strength changes can be measured, which is good. Visual body changes may be deceiving, which can mislead you. Get a body composition scale. Measure body composition changes carefully. Unless you are bodybuilding, vain, or just plain dumb, extra body mass may be fool's gold.

It's true water weight and a bit of fat (especially intra cellular fat) fools many into thinking they are more muscular than they are.

Strength gains can be deceiving as well though when you consider that skill and coordination accounts for so much. Practice basic skills like a press and you can add major poundage without seeing muscle growth.

Regards,
Andrew


In your case, do you ignore strength/increases?

While I see your point as skill is a component of virtually anything we do and I can recall making "strength gains" while my muscles looked flat training them every two weeks. However, I have also witnessed "deception" relying too much on pump and feel. There have been programs where I was getting great pumps and fatigue in the muscle, yet nothing developed long term in terms of lean gains.
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marcrph

Portugal

AShortt wrote:
marcrph wrote:
My take:

Get as strong as possible (maximize strength), without drugs of course, at the lowest healthy lean weight.

Strength changes can be measured, which is good. Visual body changes may be deceiving, which can mislead you. Get a body composition scale. Measure body composition changes carefully. Unless you are bodybuilding, vain, or just plain dumb, extra body mass may be fool's gold.

It's true water weight and a bit of fat (especially intra cellular fat) fools many into thinking they are more muscular than they are.

Strength gains can be deceiving as well though when you consider that skill and coordination accounts for so much. Practice basic skills like a press and you can add major poundage without seeing muscle growth.

Regards,
Andrew


I'm glad you brought this up!
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sgb2112

MATT KALIL, A MAN ROUGHLY THE SIZE of a Kodiak bear, is sitting across the table from me in the Vikings' cafeteria at training camp, eating his lunch with all the enthusiasm of an assembly-line robot. Covering his plate are mounds of chicken Alfredo and penne pasta, piles of carrots and bell peppers and a stack of french fries the size of apple wedges. A thick piece of buttered garlic bread sits atop the pyramid, as if to taunt him. Over the next 30 minutes, much of that food will disappear ...

http://espn.go.com/...k-espn-magazine
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marcrph

Portugal

Why try to get rid of the skill training component, or argue against such skill as if it were valueless? The better the technique the more weight can be lifted, not to mention that such practice makes form perfect.....thus safer. Thus, we need practice, practice, practice! The more often you practice the better the skill, and the better you will become at intense weight lifting! Practice makes perfect! The neuromuscular system is trainable through practice! Thus, one set done 3 times weekly would be better than 3 sets done once weekly. Your aim: to be better skilled at strength training, which will facilitate strength increases. Further, this practice of a very few movements well practiced does work well.
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thebiggfella

Turpin wrote:
I have said often on this forum that there is no added benefit to increase ones bodyweight above that which is conducive for optimal performance.


^^^^ This.

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Korherr812

New York, USA

Turpin wrote:
A very good post Andrew & mirrors my experiences too.

I have said often on this forum that there is no added benefit to increase ones bodyweight above that which is conducive for optimal performance.
I learned this when powerlifting where I found my lifting ability ( strength to bodyweight ratio ) was optimal at around 170lbs with the 165lb class being closest to this. I once ( foolishly ) tried a bulk in order to see if I could be as good at 181 lbs but found that I was no stronger at close to 180 than I was at 170 lbs and I looked terrible ( physique wise )

TBH I feel too many rely on the scale ( moreso the Americans I correspond with ) as opposed to how they actually look. I get asked questions like how much did you gain by the implementation of a certain routine etc .
Who cares how much weight ! ... unless you are intent on competing in a weight division or a complete beginner looking like Mr Bean additional bodyweight on a mature trainee is irrelevant and very much secondary to how they look ( & function ) from their training.

T.


Turp,
I found just the opposite; my strength went up as my body weight went up, especially in the bench press. In a year and a half I went from 185 lbs. to 210 lbs. The body weight I gained was mostly fat, I'm sure, at least it looked that way. I was competing in powerlifting and didn't care how I looked during that time. Then I started having blood pressure issues and some episodes of gout!
I feel better slimmed down a bit but I have also lost some strength.
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

HeavyHitter32 wrote:

In your case, do you ignore strength/increases?

While I see your point as skill is a component of virtually anything we do and I can recall making "strength gains" while my muscles looked flat training them every two weeks. However, I have also witnessed "deception" relying too much on pump and feel. There have been programs where I was getting great pumps and fatigue in the muscle, yet nothing developed long term in terms of lean gains.


In the beginning when you gain muscle far faster than years into it, strength gains are a reasonable measure. In time muscle gain is small and slow so real strength gains are very tough to monitor. I like to use benchmark lifts every few months - lifts that I don't train regularily - as a measure of how my strength is.

Regards,
Andrew
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

marcrph wrote:
Why try to get rid of the skill training component, or argue against such skill as if it were valueless? The better the technique the more weight can be lifted, not to mention that such practice makes form perfect.....thus safer. Thus, we need practice, practice, practice! The more often you practice the better the skill, and the better you will become at intense weight lifting! Practice makes perfect! The neuromuscular system is trainable through practice! Thus, one set done 3 times weekly would be better than 3 sets done once weekly. Your aim: to be better skilled at strength training, which will facilitate strength increases. Further, this practice of a very few movements well practiced does work well.


At the experienced level this is what I see and have seen countless times. You start a new exercise or one you haven't done in a very long time. You keep adding weight every week for a couple of months. The numbers say your lifts have gone up significantly but no muscle gain. You back to other lifts and...no strength gain.

Regards,
Andrew
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southbeach

AShortt wrote:
marcrph wrote:
Why try to get rid of the skill training component, or argue against such skill as if it were valueless? The better the technique the more weight can be lifted, not to mention that such practice makes form perfect.....thus safer. Thus, we need practice, practice, practice! The more often you practice the better the skill, and the better you will become at intense weight lifting! Practice makes perfect! The neuromuscular system is trainable through practice! Thus, one set done 3 times weekly would be better than 3 sets done once weekly. Your aim: to be better skilled at strength training, which will facilitate strength increases. Further, this practice of a very few movements well practiced does work well.


At the experienced level this is what I see and have seen countless times. You start a new exercise or one you haven't done in a very long time. You keep adding weight every week for a couple of months. The numbers say your lifts have gone up significantly but no muscle gain. You back to other lifts and...no strength gain.

Regards,
Andrew


So true. But with practice the astute trainee learns to apply a better stimulus to target musculature with the skill that follows.

The opposite may also occur. The trainee learns to "cheat" the weight up taking load off the stimulus. That's the dark side of skill and must guard against it.
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Tomislav

New York, USA

AShortt wrote:
Tomislav wrote:
Andrew,
this statement is a contradiction:

I already know that fat holds significant levels of aromatase and thus can encourage estrogen conversion and suppress test levels.

Because if that were true, it wouldn't be holding it.

It's metabolizing fat quickly that releases the bound (held) estrogen in large quantities, suppressing test; this is natures mechanism:

If you're going to drop a lot of fat, you'll consequently drop a lot of muscle, and that is why I never reduce intentionally.

If you go up in weight and allow a gradual composition change over a period of years, the bound estrogen is released quite slowly over time and so won't downregulate test.

Further, it is offset by all of the leptin you will harvest from the fat during that time; leptin bypasses the HPTA, directly increasing testosterone production. And over time, this is considerable.

This is another of natures mechanisms:

Double your bodyfat percentage and the extra leptin will help you build more muscle to restore your previous ratio, and that is why I never reduce.

You can't fight biology unless you're willing to go to the pharmacy and neither of us are.

It seemed to me you made the observation on the other thread that you could come in a bit heavier, that dropping from the 160's into the 150's cost some muscle. Think about it.


That may be your compartmentalized take on the science but it hasn't been my experience. Perhaps those who are naturally more endomorphic are different.

Regards,
Andrew


Andrew,
I think genetics are largely overrated; and I would point out that compartmentalization is an unconscious defense mechanism leveraged so as to avoid thinking.

Perhaps since you are stronger in the basic compounds when you are heavier (as you have previously stated) you are indeed carrying more muscle.

Since you regularly drop bodyfat in quantity over relatively short periods of time you are regularly flooding your body with estrogen:

I know that fat holds significant quantities of aromatase - Andrew

You can think about that or you can compartmentalize, but you can't do both.

I encourage you to think; fanboys with not much muscle will be along shortly to throw insults - don't join them, they can't help you grow :)
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southbeach

Tomislav wrote:
Andrew,

If you're going to drop a lot of fat, you'll consequently drop a lot of muscle, and that is why I never reduce intentionally.


Your pretty much in the pickle now, you overate and let yourself get fat. Now to get rid of the fat youll lose some muscle too.

Best reason never to get fat in first plaace isn't it?




Double your bodyfat percentage and the extra leptin will help you build more muscle to restore your previous ratio, and that is why I never reduce.



i'd like some proof of this..got aany?
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Tomislav wrote:
Andrew,
I think genetics are largely overrated; and I would point out that compartmentalization is an unconscious defense mechanism leveraged so as to avoid thinking.

Perhaps since you are stronger in the basic compounds when you are heavier (as you have previously stated) you are indeed carrying more muscle.

Since you regularly drop bodyfat in quantity over relatively short periods of time you are regularly flooding your body with estrogen:

I know that fat holds significant quantities of aromatase - Andrew

You can think about that or you can compartmentalize, but you can't do both.

I encourage you to think; fanboys with not much muscle will be along shortly to throw insults - don't join them, they can't help you grow :)


If I didn't work in the field and deal with this all day everyday I'd say maybe. Fact is the trend is just too obvious to ignore. I don't think my sample size is good enough to proclaim 100% certainty but I'm happy with my estimations. I have trained anywhere from 5% to 20% bodyfat and anything over 10% has never shown to be a help. So for health sake alone it makes sense to stay lean.

Regards,
Andrew
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Hitit

southbeach wrote:
Tomislav wrote:
Andrew,

If you're going to drop a lot of fat, you'll consequently drop a lot of muscle, and that is why I never reduce intentionally.

Your pretty much in the pickle now, you overate and let yourself get fat. Now to get rid of the fat youll lose some muscle too.

Best reason never to get fat in first plaace isn't it?




Double your bodyfat percentage and the extra leptin will help you build more muscle to restore your previous ratio, and that is why I never reduce.



i'd like some proof of this..got aany?


His proof is that he is always fat.....oh maybe you mean leptin.
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