T Nation

Gain 4.5lbs Muscle, Lose 5.5lbs Fat

OK I wrote a thread about this before but no one replied, maybe because it was quite long. To cut a long story short then, is it possible to gain 4.5lbs of muscle and lose 5.5lbs fat without going more than perhaps 5lbs over my current bodyweight in the process, and not taking too long, say 3 months?

[quote]spudwish wrote:
OK I wrote a thread about this before but no one replied, maybe because it was quite long. To cut a long story short then, is it possible to gain 4.5lbs of muscle and lose 5.5lbs fat without going more than perhaps 5lbs over my current bodyweight in the process, and not taking too long, say 3 months?[/quote]

Yes, this could just happen by luck or if you were new to training. Or if you really had your training and diet dialed in.

That and steroids would do alot more than that for you in that time frame.

Raised protein and less carbs and junk food + 20 rep squats could also do that in a 3 month time frame and thats pretty realistic.

Someone trying to do what you were doing would have to be very meticulous with their diet, with either cycling their carbohydrates/fats or likely using a type of targeted timed carb diet. High protein would be important, heavy progressive training and getting to know a treadmill.

Possible, in general I’d say yes, but someone would have to be very smart and dedicated to do it.

Totally possible. Like they said be super dialed in or be a newbie and its possible if not probable.

Alright so there’s a few ideas. Are there any good articles here on T-Nation about carb cycling and so on?

Since I’m pretty small (137lbs/5’7") I only expend about 2,000-2,500kcal a day, so I’m not sure how I could raise my protein intake (currently ~100g complete protein per day) without having to lower carbs and fat intake - and since I’m a weightlifter especially carbs are important to me.

[quote]spudwish wrote:

Since I’m pretty small (137lbs/5’7") [/quote]

Because you don’t eat enough. Check out the Carb Cycling Codex for an idea on how to set up a rotation.

No booze, no pizza, no refined sugar and six workouts a week could do it pretty well.

[quote]Scott M wrote:
spudwish wrote:

Since I’m pretty small (137lbs/5’7")

Because you don’t eat enough.[/quote]

Of course, not sure what you want to say with that though. My point was that I am small and don’t require a lot of calories so it would be difficult for me to eat tons of protein (someone recommended high protein intake) with an intake of only 2,000kcal… aaanyway, should I increase my energy intake by about 10-15% or so if I want to do a lean bulk? I’ll check out the article, thanks.

High protein is relative. Depending on the numbers used and your bodyweight. If one considers “high protein” to be 1.5xBW (lbs.) then for you high protein is 210g. At least 1g per lb. of bw is optimal. Some have better results with 2g per lb. bw. Some shoot for somewhere in the middle.

It is definitely possible for you to eat high protein, as well as appropriate carbohydrates and fats and still maintain your caloric intake.

I don’t see why you want to mantain that caloric intake though, that was sort of my point. If 2000-2500 calories is what keeps you at 137 now it’s certainely not going to be what makes you a muscle building fat burning machine is it?

Look up the thermic effect of feeding for a big reason why I am suggesting you to increase protein intake. All calories were not created equal. Someone coming to me with your goal would be trying to eat as much as possible while not crossing the threshold of getting fat. Not stuffing your face with food, but pressing the issue with protein heavy foods and monitoring the carbs/fats depending on day and activity.

I like Berardi’s articles on G-flux here. In my mind the person who eats 2500 calories and burns up(through weight training, cardio, recovery, digestion etc) 2200 is NOT the same as if that person ate 3500 calories and burns up 3200. Not even close. Just for numbers I like 1.5-2 grams per lb of bodyweight with very increased water intake to accomodate that.

This is just a common thing so if this isn’t you don’t take offense but we have so many people in this lifestyle that are petrified of gaining bodyfat and nearly view food as the enemy, trying to get by on as little as possible and wondering where their changes are. I want to see people view food as their number 1 tool to reshape the body and if they want to gain size they should be forcing the issue and taking care of fat gains/loss with cardio and timing/combination strategies.

So long post short, I think your current thought process of “well I only burn this much so I don’t need a lot of food” needs to be replaced with “I’m going to force my body to accept this bodybuilding food and give it adequate reason to use it the way I want it to be used”

Did I clear myself up?

Scott, I’m trying to adapt your philosophy. It’s not easy.

I understand but the sooner you make food your weapon instead of your enemy the faster you will move towards your goals. Good luck

[quote]Scott M wrote:
I don’t see why you want to mantain that caloric intake though, that was sort of my point. If 2000-2500 calories is what keeps you at 137 now it’s certainely not going to be what makes you a muscle building fat burning machine is it?

Look up the thermic effect of feeding for a big reason why I am suggesting you to increase protein intake. All calories were not created equal. Someone coming to me with your goal would be trying to eat as much as possible while not crossing the threshold of getting fat. Not stuffing your face with food, but pressing the issue with protein heavy foods and monitoring the carbs/fats depending on day and activity.

I like Berardi’s articles on G-flux here. In my mind the person who eats 2500 calories and burns up(through weight training, cardio, recovery, digestion etc) 2200 is NOT the same as if that person ate 3500 calories and burns up 3200. Not even close. Just for numbers I like 1.5-2 grams per lb of bodyweight with very increased water intake to accomodate that.

This is just a common thing so if this isn’t you don’t take offense but we have so many people in this lifestyle that are petrified of gaining bodyfat and nearly view food as the enemy, trying to get by on as little as possible and wondering where their changes are. I want to see people view food as their number 1 tool to reshape the body and if they want to gain size they should be forcing the issue and taking care of fat gains/loss with cardio and timing/combination strategies.

So long post short, I think your current thought process of “well I only burn this much so I don’t need a lot of food” needs to be replaced with “I’m going to force my body to accept this bodybuilding food and give it adequate reason to use it the way I want it to be used”

Did I clear myself up? [/quote]

I appreciate your help, let me give you some background info so you can more fully understand where I’m coming from.

I am a newbie weightlifter (3 months weightlifting) having an intermediate background in weight training for bodybuilding, training since October 2005 and peaking this year at 175lbs bw @ 16% bf (lbm = 147lbs). My current bw is 137lbs at 12% bf (lbm = 120.5lbs). That puts me about half a pound above the 62kg (136.4lbs) class in OL, where I would rather wanna be than in the 69kg (151.8lbs) class - at least for now.

What you write about considering food the enemy is indeed not me. Being naturally lean I don’t gain fat easily, so I’m certainly not afraid of getting fat or viewing food as an enemy - or well, I lack all and any interest in food and would rather get it through a tube, but that’s another story…

The reason I don’t want to eat a lot in my attempt to gain muscle is… well, being a newbie weightlifter I compete 1-2 times a quarter, so you can appreciate I don’t have much time to bulk and then lose the excess fat. This is why I put a limit of 5lbs on top of the 4.5lbs muscle I want to gain. In other words, 137 + 4.5 + 5 = 146.5lbs, and then diet away 11 lbs of fat - alternatively gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, although I’m not sure if that can be done drug-free.

Thib’s article that you mentioned gave me some insight, but it was apparently not written for strength athletes - he had one section on how to arrange carb cycling if you work out 4 days a week, which is what I do (2 snatch sessions and 2 clean & jerk sessions).

However he assumed that a person has certain days when working on lagging bodyparts and so on, which I don’t have and won’t include for the time being either, my current schedule is certainly enough to promote hypertrophy were an energy surplus provided. Anyway, I’m thinking instead of cycling between low-moderate-high, I could perhaps just go with high-low, what do you think?

Do you have any links to those G-flux articles you mentioned? Anyway, I’m aware of TEF but I’m not sure how you mean I would use it, if you could elaborate on what you mean or perhaps provide a link to an explanation that’d be great.

Ah see where we got off on the wrong foot was by posting this in the bodybuilding section I assumed(apparently wrongly this time) that you were just tossing out arbitrary numbers for aesthetic purposes and would not require a weigh in. OK.

First thing is, what happened to your 25 lbs of LBM that you had at the higher bodyweight? Did you diet it all off or stop training?

Carb cycling can be done for strength athletes looking to change body composition, can you lay out your schedule by day so I can have an idea on what days would need to go where in terms of diet? Let’s just say you work out Monday Tuesday Thursday and Friday then one option would be…

Monday-high carb low fat moderate protein
Tuesday-Moderate carb lowish fat moderate protein
Wednesday-lowish carb moderate fat high protein
Thursday-High carb low fat moderate protein
Friday Moderate carb lowish fat moderate protein
Saturday and Sunday-lowish carb moderate fat high protein

Throwing out random calorie numbers a high day might be 3000 calories, medium 2500 and low 2000.

You’d be adequately “fueled” for your training sessions and be in a position to store massive amounts of glycogen and water for recovery on those days. On the lowish carb days(I wouldn’t recommend 0 carbs) you’d still be holding glycogen from cramming it in the days before and be low enough in calories to begin burning some fat. A very slow and gradual “push” on the high day for size and strength, a very slow and gradual “pull” on the low days for fat burning.

I think a medium day would be important because too many high days and you might be setting yourself up for fat storage, too many low days and you might start feeling flat and weak.

The TEF would come into play on low days when you are eating more protein. If you take a diet that’s equal calories and one is 60% carbs 25% protein and 15% fat versus one that is 40% protein 40% fats and 20% carbs the higher protein eater will be burning more calories(thus not having to do as much cardio) than the high carb person and over time lose more fat with all other things being equal.

G-flux you can find if you search under John Berardi’s articles.

Lack of food and training caused that lbm drop :wink: I posted my question here because I thought bodybuilders would probably know this stuff better than other lifters, hope that was ok.

My schedule is like this:

Tuesdays and Saturdays: C&J session (also includes e.g. barbell rows and squats)

Thursdays and Sundays: Snatch session (also includes e.g. front squats)

I’m trying to come up with a suggestion how to cycle but several problems come to mind… I could do high carb on Sat and Sun because it’s grueling to workout two days in a row. On the other hand maybe it’d be better to do high carb on Fri and Sat to carb up before those two workouts (I only have one meal before the Sat workout and two for Sunday’s). On the third hand I only have one or two meals after my Tue and Thu sessions (not counting pwo shake). So, I can’t really choose, do you have any suggestions?

It’s certainely cool to post here, it would have saved us some trouble if you posted the background information and more specific goals in the first post though haha.

Shoot me a PM with an email address and I will get back to you on some more specifics about how I’d set up the rotation. There is certain benefits to having the high day before a session vs on the day of the session, two high days in a row, some drawbacks to both approaches. Some people would respond better to different things, and you might have to tweak which day goes where based on some feedback. Give me some time to think about it and I’ll email you/post on this thread later tonight or tomorrow.