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Gain/Lose: Why Only Beginners?

I don’t really know how to phrase this without sounding like a newb, but scientifically speaking, why is the general consensus that only beginners can gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously?

What is chemically different from a beginner/intermediate/advanced trainee assuming the new training/nutritional protocol is equally confusing to the individuals body? I’ve never really heard the reason why this is true.

Anyone care to chime in?

In general, to gain muscle you need a calorie surplus.

In general, to lose fat you need a calorie deficit.

See the problem?

People new to training can get away with doing both at the same time because their body hasn’t really adapted to training yet, which is why almost any program will work for them. Just doing something, anything, produces results.

[quote]powersavant wrote:
I don’t really know how to phrase this without sounding like a newb, but scientifically speaking, why is the general consensus that only beginners can gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously?

What is chemically different from a beginner/intermediate/advanced trainee assuming the new training/nutritional protocol is equally confusing to the individuals body? I’ve never really heard the reason why this is true.

Anyone care to chime in?[/quote]

Survival. If someone is truly training with enough intensity, the initial shock of going from sedentary to active may result in SOME fat loss and SOME muscle gain. You seem to be under the false impression that this lasts for long periods of time or that it is such a huge fat loss. It isn’t. Most people training won’t even see that because they don’t train hard enough and don’t eat enough to fuel much growth. You also won’t get very far at all if your goal from the start is to pull your body in two directions at one time. When dieting, I MAY gain some muscle mass. That doesn’t mean I train and eat as if the goal is to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time because it will most likely result in me running in circles.

Choose one or the other and work hard towards that goal. That will ensure that you actually reach one of them.

I don’t have anything to add haha, Professor X answered that question in it’s entirety!

There’s nothing different in the biochemistry. The main reason is that they’re opposing goals. To lose weight you need a caloric deficit. To gain weight you need a surplus. Do you see how these are mutually exclusive goals?

It is possible but it’s more efficient to focus on one goal.

[quote]Sxio wrote:
There’s nothing different in the biochemistry. The main reason is that they’re opposing goals. To lose weight you need a caloric deficit. To gain weight you need a surplus. Do you see how these are mutually exclusive goals?

It is possible but it’s more efficient to focus on one goal. [/quote]

This is where I disagree. There must be SOMETHING chemically different, because I could grab a newb off the street, put him on a caloric deficient, have him strength train, and he’ll add muscle AND lose fat. Obviously if I grab Professor X over there and put him on the same sort of thing, he’ll probably only lose fat.

Now, is this only because of the shock of weight training? Is there an elevation of a particular fight or flight chemical that causes this? This is what I’m asking. Of course it’s best to choose one goal at a time (and in fact unless you’re a beginner you’re going to HAVE to choose one or the other…I’m asking why (chemically) this is.)

I think that part of it has to do with the fact that an inexperienced bodybuilder hasn’t lifted weights before … so really no work needs to be done in order to maintain muscle mass (aside from the stuff they do every day … walking etc), whereas people who have been lifting for some time need to work out regularly in order to just maintain muscle. by running a calorie defecit (ie losing weight), they will not have as much energy (calories) to spend in the gym, or later on in recovery (very important). for this reason, to lift the heaviest weights and make the best strength gains … you should have a surplus of calories.

newbies don’t seem to have this problem because anything they do above baseline (aka doing nothing) will cause muscle growth. that being said, they will probbably still make greater gains by bulking and cutting, but the difference made by increasing or decreasing calories may not seem as important because gains from beginners can also be made by improving technique, cleaning up diet, tracking results, improving sleep, learning to focus and lift intensely etc. these things all tend to increase quickly at the beginning for a keen newbie.

one other thing, if you are talking about gaining strength, is that many newbies have some imbalances; ie they may have poor stablizing muscles which would negatively affect compound lifts. so, you may increase your bench by a certain amount in a month, but that may be as much from better stablizing muscles as it is from an increase in chest strength.

[quote]
This is where I disagree. There must be SOMETHING chemically different, because I could grab a newb off the street, put him on a caloric deficient, have him strength train, and he’ll add muscle AND lose fat. Obviously if I grab Professor X over there and put him on the same sort of thing, he’ll probably only lose fat.

Now, is this only because of the shock of weight training? Is there an elevation of a particular fight or flight chemical that causes this? This is what I’m asking. Of course it’s best to choose one goal at a time (and in fact unless you’re a beginner you’re going to HAVE to choose one or the other…I’m asking why (chemically) this is.) [/quote]

That’s what Prof X said. It’s based on the idea of survival. A newbies body is used to nothing, fat, no exercise. If they immediately go from that to training hard and eating at a slight caloric defecit, the body says, “What the F is going on?!” and MAY add some muscle mass while losing some fat simply because the switch from extreme nothing to correct intense training makes the body think, “I have to adapt.” The body is simply adapting to an extreme change in activity, surviving.

[quote]powersavant wrote:
Sxio wrote:
There’s nothing different in the biochemistry. The main reason is that they’re opposing goals. To lose weight you need a caloric deficit. To gain weight you need a surplus. Do you see how these are mutually exclusive goals?

It is possible but it’s more efficient to focus on one goal.

This is where I disagree. There must be SOMETHING chemically different, because I could grab a newb off the street, put him on a caloric deficient, have him strength train, and he’ll add muscle AND lose fat. Obviously if I grab Professor X over there and put him on the same sort of thing, he’ll probably only lose fat.

Now, is this only because of the shock of weight training? Is there an elevation of a particular fight or flight chemical that causes this? This is what I’m asking. Of course it’s best to choose one goal at a time (and in fact unless you’re a beginner you’re going to HAVE to choose one or the other…I’m asking why (chemically) this is.) [/quote]

Well we’re all still humans. We still have pretty similar DNA, so there’s nothing different biochemically. The difference is you have a trained individual who has already gained a lot of muscle and has the capacity to contract a lot of motor units at once, VS an untrained individual who has a lot more muscle to gain (as they won’t have much) and can’t contract a lot of motor units at once, so they’ll be able to handle more volume.

Basically the untrained guy is further down on the scale so he has more to gain. The trained guy has already achieved something and it is always harder to move upwards when you already are up there. Just ask any top 500 tennis player who wants to break into the top 100. MUCH harder than it was getting to the top 500.