[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
Alright so i’ve been thinking about this long and hard, and probably have posted an annoying amount of times. but here goes: Muscle gain has three components to me: exercise, diet, recovery. exercise: the object is to activate, stress, and breakdown the muscle fibers. nutrition: to build back bigger what we teared. recovery: really nutrition is recovery but sleep is what I’m trying to say.
Now to maximize these: We want to sufficiently break down the muscle fibers. nutrition: making good food choices(really doesn’t matter. Muscle build if you give it the right stuff. The bad stuff, sugar, salt, too much carbs, etc., probably will just make you gain fat as well. recovery: 8-10 hours of sleep.
Now, what would maximize the exercise effect if each muscle is taken to complete failure(not on each set but just plain can’t even lift one rep no more despite maximum effort) heavier weights, and lower reps? or lower weights and higher reps? do we want to stress the muscles enough to create a growth response or tear the muscles to create a “maximum growth” response?"
nutrition: Is muscle only made of protein? if protein is the only thing that will be used to build muscle, wouldn’t we want to consume just enough carbs to keep the body from using protein as fuel?(the fat for fuel instead of carbs for fuel thing is still confusing to me). The guidelines for protein don’t look right to me. The question we should be asking is, "how much protein do we need to consume to repair the muscle fibers and how much more do we need to consume to build it bigger?
if that’s the case, what’s the maximum amount of protein we can consume to build muscle before the excess goes to waste or stored as fat?" Now here’s the most confusing part out of all this: how many carbs must we consume to get the best effect for muscle glycogen?
Some of these I only ask others even though I have my own opinion but others I have no clue what to do. Once I find out all the answers to these questions, nothing else but to follow it. This is probably the most simplistic approach to building muscle, I think.[/quote]
It is a gross oversimplication and imprecise way of looking at things. I don’t have the time or patience to give you a super detailed answer about what is being misinterpreted or disregarded, but here are some of the more obvious points:
- Muscle failure is rarely due to fully exhausting the muscle fibers. It has more to do with metabolite accumulation (lactate and hydrogen ions), neurotransmitter depletion or neural fatigue, energy depletion and finally too much muscle damage.
The only way to fully fatigue the muscles fibers the way you mention would be to use electrostimulation on a muscle until it cannot even be contracted by an external electric current. A study looked at this and after such a session it took close to 80 days for the muscle to recover. So long, that the muscle was actually detraining while it was recovering!
Anyway, it isn’t even possible to get there with exercise; neural fatigue is likely to precede full muscular fatigue. And if that happens then you are in for a lot of trouble as the systemic impact on the body would prevent you from progressing.
- The role of carbs is not only to restore muscle glycogen stores. Heck, carbs are not even needed for that! The body can use amino acids to restore glycogen stores (a process called gluconeogenesis). An if you are not ingesting protein it can break down muscle tissue into amino acids, then turn them into glucose then glycogen.
The main impact of carbs and muscle mass is a properly timed insulin spike which is anabolic when used at the right time and if protein is present in the blood stream
- The amount of protein you can turn into muscle mass is determined by:
a) your own digestive capacity… it’s not the amount of protein you absorb that is important, it is the amount you absorb, and that is an individual thing.
b) your own natural anabolic hormone levels (testosterone, growth hormone, insulin, IGF-1, thyroid to a degree, etc.) as well as the sensitivity of their receptors. Someone with high levels of anabolic hormones and (or) good receptor sensitivity will be able to turn in a lot of amino acids into muscle tissue, those with lower levels of hormones will be less efficient.
c) your fed state. If the body senses that you are not consuming enough energy it will not build muscle mass maximally.
d) the protein kinetics in the blood. If your protein intake is ALWAYS high and blood amino acids levels are ALWAYS elevated, the body will get desensitized to protein and will thus downregulate the amount is actually uses to build muscle.
- You disregard the role of fat. Fats are important for hormone production, regulation of the inflammation processes, nervous system health, etc.
There are a lot of stuff that you are missing on top of that, but these are some important points.[/quote]
Alright, I got an answer from CT! Must’ve done something right to get his attention. Yeah, you’re right, it’s neural failure, the point where the muscle performs substantially worse(i.e., when one more rep of is not possible despite greatest effort) Carbs not needed? I already knew that, but finding out protein can be turned into glucose and then glycogen? Wow, didn’t know that. I would start bringing up why low-carb dieting is bad, but this has been explained in detail before as we now know we need carbs to produce a maximal anabolic response at the right time. On your recommended protein intake, I have tried that before, in fact the exact protocol for maximum muscle, and I currently eat with more carbs, and try to stay with protein very near a g per lb and never hitting above 170(9 grams over a gram per lb), and the latter has given me more mass and somehow more cut. any explanation? Is this probably very near an analyzation of my digestive capacity? Hormones: never will be able to analyze those haha. Ah the consume more calories than you burn thing: so true, yet cannot be done with your maximum muscle eating protocol as it only allowed me 2300-2400 calories, though I seemed to be gaining VERY slowly. Once again, I will never be able to analyze that. Fats to me is the easiest subject of bodybuilding to understand. There’s not a lot of good sources to choose from, and if that still were complicated, FA3 complex would solve that! Thanks again for the response. You don’t know how much it means to me to hear from you, coach, and please, if you ever have time, please tell me what I’m missing.