T Nation

Does Current BF% Affect Lbm Gain?

I can’t prove this has to do with bodyfat, but I got way better gains when I was at 12% than when I was at 17%.

Just out of curiosity, Don’t bodybuilders typically see impressive gains in LBM right after competitions. If so, is this information usable in this debate because it is so extreme?

[quote]Kailash wrote:
Here is one rationalization for this theory:

A Training Philosophy For Solid Mass Gain by Kelly Baggett

  1. Maximizing Partitioning

A natural trainee can maximize environmental factors that affect his partitioning by training at the right frequency with the right type and dosage of training, eating enough food, sleeping enough, staying relatively stress free, and keeping his body composition within his ?optimum muscle building window? which, generally speaking, is between the range of 10-17% body-fat for most males and 12-20% for most females. At less then about 10% body-fat, levels of various anabolic hormones such as testosterone go to crap, (unless you were born at 5% body-fat). At the other end, anymore then 17% body-fat and sensitivity to various anabolic hormones goes down the drain.

(Special thanks to Kliplemet for posting this the other day, without which I would have never found this information.)[/quote]

This seams closer to my experience. I don’t seem to start putting on much muscle or strength until around 9-10%.

Where do differences in ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs come in? Or those with family history of insulin resistance?

Seems these differences might have more to do with composition gains during bulking than starting at 10% vs 15%.

I’d expect an ecto who puts on 20 lbs to gain better than 50% lean mass, while an endo would gain less percentage, with all other variables being equal.

Then it would seem an ecto could start at 15% where maybe an endo should start lower.

Just an assumption. Thoughts?

Of course, the meso will just put on mass, that bastard!

It is not until you get below 10% bodyfat (for a man) that androgen levels and insulin management are optimal. Therefore, once you do get below 10% the body will preferentially build muscle as opposed to storing fat.

[quote]will-of-iron wrote:
It is not until you get below 10% bodyfat (for a man) that androgen levels and insulin management are optimal. Therefore, once you do get below 10% the body will preferentially build muscle as opposed to storing fat.[/quote]

This isn’t true. Many athletes perform better above 10% body fat. Please prove that androgen levels are “better” below 10% body fat.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
Just out of curiosity, Don’t bodybuilders typically see impressive gains in LBM right after competitions. If so, is this information usable in this debate because it is so extreme?[/quote]

Many believe this is due to the body being depleted for so long. Any influx of nutrients is sent into storage. Add “muscle memory” along with that and I think that explains the weight gain bodybuilders see after competitions.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I agree, but look at what we are seeing on this board. How many of these guys who are scared to lose an ab are actually gaining 20+lbs of lean body mass over the years they are on this board? I haven’t seen one yet who was 8% body fat, stayed there, and gained anywhere near that much muscle.[/quote]

I agree!

Testimonial:

I gained 3Kg in close to a year of training because of my “losing my abs fear”… If I continued like that it would have taken me 3 years to get to 20lbs of gains or so…

This February I got fucked off about this situation and have since put on 9-10Kg in 4.5 months! and the abs are still partially visible… you know what? I couldn’t give a shit less about the abs now! Who the fuck looks at your abs anyways? Do you go out without a top?

On the other hand I have had numerous comments about my arms being considerably bigger which makes me care even less about my abs… One day I’ll dig them out… for now, I need to grow…

Hey guys, thanks for the interesting discussion.

The reason I ask is that I’ve put on 45 lbs in the last 3 yrs, and I just got done dropping a little bit of the fat gained, with the goal to get back into bulking and put on another few dozen lbs. So when doing something like this, trimming up in the midst of a long long bulk, should one try to get to a really lean state so that this theoretical lbm/fat gain ratio is very high, or is this not worth the trouble and time taken away from gaining weight?

Looking forward to thoughts

Under JB’s idea’s, I should have cut at 125 15%bf. I would have looked like an ethiopian (sp).

[quote]Phill wrote:
T-Lurker wrote:
Hey all. Just thought I would bring up a point of discussion that there might be some differing opinions on. Does the body fat % that you are at affect the lean body mass / fat gain ratio during a bulk?

I say yes it does. But not the way you think.

I find that with me anyway I cannot add a good amount of LBM and/or strength until I am at a higher BF% mid to highish teems 13-18% before that Im just beating a dead horse bustin ass in the gym making VERY slow gains and not eating for performance or even comfort.

Once at that higher BF then I can add on lean mass and strength at a fairly steady pace without going much if any higher but I need that fat there before the intake will be allowed to go to building muscle.

Thats my take,
Phill[/quote]

I have always experienced the same. I gain muscle easily if my percentage is higher. I would bet it isn’t just us.

Google on Lyle McDonald’s article “Initial Body Fat and Body Composition Changes” where he discusses the P-ratio (partitioning ratio) - the proportion of LBM gained relative to total weight gained.

He cites a number of references (including the Forbes study). He admits that most of the research to date is on sedentary individuals, but he makes a plausible case for non-sedentary individuals.

[quote]T-Bone2 wrote:
Google on Lyle McDonald’s article “Initial Body Fat and Body Composition Changes” where he discusses the P-ratio (partitioning ratio) - the proportion of LBM gained relative to total weight gained.

He cites a number of references (including the Forbes study). He admits that most of the research to date is on sedentary individuals, but he makes a plausible case for non-sedentary individuals.[/quote]

That doesn’t make him right on the issue. I do believe that is the point being made here. Many of us on this site are professionals and many of us have backgrounds in education that include biology and research. It seems it comes down to, “Well, Barardi said it!” very often on this site and that confuses me. Have people stopped thinking for themselves?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
That doesn’t make him right on the issue.[/quote]

Where did I say he was right? I said "
he makes a plausible case."

Great, you’re educated in biology - so, refute his hypothesis with logical rhetoric and, hopefully, research. So far you’ve done neither.

[quote]T-Bone2 wrote:
Professor X wrote:
That doesn’t make him right on the issue.

Where did I say he was right? I said "
he makes a plausible case."

Great, you’re educated in biology - so, refute his hypothesis with logical rhetoric and, hopefully, research. So far you’ve done neither.[/quote]

I haven’t? What do you consider logical rhetoric? Pointing out the sedentary nature of the test subjects wasn’t enough? What else do you need?

I find it hard to believe that getting to single digit body fat first is the optimal way to go for ALL athletes for better muscle gains.

Let’s say a 200 lbs lineman with 13% bodyfat goes to DeFranco and says he needs to get bigger and stronger for next season in order to get recruited. Do you honestly think DeFranco is going to tell the guy, “No, I think getting to 8% should be your primary goal then we can talk about getting bigger and stronger.” I’m sure Joe will help the kid with his diet but I don’t think he’ll make him do a “cutting” diet.

I would look at it from this angle: Fat is stored for survival muscle is not. Until your body is comfortable that it has enough body fat to survive a period of starvation it is not going to go out of it’s was to add muscle mass. Plus depending on your metabolic rate and level of leanness if you accidentally go hypo caloric during your bulk phase and have low body fat your body is going to begin to eat muscle stores. This is a lot less likely if you have adequate fat reserves.

[quote]Phill wrote:
I find that with me anyway I cannot add a good amount of LBM and/or strength until I am at a higher BF% mid to highish teems 13-18% before that Im just beating a dead horse bustin ass in the gym making VERY slow gains and not eating for performance or even comfort.

Once at that higher BF then I can add on lean mass and strength at a fairly steady pace without going much if any higher but I need that fat there before the intake will be allowed to go to building muscle.

Thats my take,
Phill[/quote]

This is what I found as well. I dieted down to 185 at one point after an injury, and sat there for 6 months spinning my wheels. Then I started eating properly. I have put on some fat, but my strength and size are through the roof. Even though I have more ballast than I have had in the past, people tell me I look like I workout, even with a shirt on.

-folly

So, now let?s look at the results:

We have a bunch of guys that say you need to be lean, a bunch of guys that say you need to be 15+% and a bunch of guys who swear it doesn?t make a ?bleeping? difference.

I?m entirely sure that every person is correct, inasmuch as it relates to their own body. We just have to remember we don?t all work the same.

I think this is a case of; ?See which category you fall into.?

Similar to Mesomorphs, Endomorphs and Ectomorphs. Of course there are probably guys here waiting to tell me that?s BS as well. sigh

I already mentioned that there are tons of factors to consider, so I don?t think anyone will ever be able to say definitively that one way is better without setting out a shopping list of rules like:
How long is the bulk?
How much extra food is being consumed?
How much weight is to be gained?
What is Training Like?
And on and on and on, if all the details are listed, then we might be able to decide.

I know if I try to bulk over 20lbs straight I totally loose my ratio, so I bulk 20lbs at a time, I might not even ?cut? between bulks, but my body just doesn?t like to bulk big. As a result anything I say should be understood to apply to bulks targeted at 20 pounds or less of gain. My bulks take about a month and a half, I?m sure I would get a better ratio if I gained the same amount in 3 months, so time span would have to be decided as well. By which I mean, a person bulking at 10%, gaining 20lbs in 2 months and a person at 18% gaining 20lbs in five will return results which mean nothing in a comparison study.

In the end, any opinion voiced isn?t guaranteed true, and any study carried out will only be accurate if there is a huge list of very detailed guidelines to follow, AND it?s carried out with a huge number of individuals, over a wide range of BF%?s, activity levels, and training experience. So just try it and find out for yourself how your body reacts, that?s the one thing no one else can tell you.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
will-of-iron wrote:
It is not until you get below 10% bodyfat (for a man) that androgen levels and insulin management are optimal. Therefore, once you do get below 10% the body will preferentially build muscle as opposed to storing fat.

This isn’t true. Many athletes perform better above 10% body fat. Please prove that androgen levels are “better” below 10% body fat.[/quote]

I agree. When you start dipping below the double digits, it’s no wonder why most people need the extra stimulants to get through workouts. Low bodyfat affects performance…look at boxers close to fight day - sometimes they are tired from cutting weight and some are better fighters at higher weight classes. It is just more natural for some people to be at higher weights in order to perform optimally. You can’t fight nature all the time.