T Nation

Rebound Effect

I’m sure many of us here at T-Nation are aware of the rebound effect. The point that the body begins to go into an absolute overdrive state in terms of gaining strength, muscular weight and weight in general. The body will compensate for overtraining or starvation by super compensation. It is incredibly effective and can elicit gains in weeks that normally would have taken years.

I started thinking about this when I saw the movie “The Machinist” and then “Batman Begins”. Christian Bale went from 120lbs. at 6 feet to over 220lbs. in less than 3 months. That’s 100 pounds! Pretty crazy.

I then thought about my own experience with the Rebound Effect. When I left for Marine Boot Camp I weighed 195lbs at the massive height of 5’7". I wasn’t too fat either, I mean I could do 25 pullups. Well fast forward 3 months and I went home weighing 160lbs. After 24 days of being home after boot camp I went back to the fleet weighing 190lbs, with less bodyfat and stronger in every lift then when I left before. What I could not believe was the unsatiasable hunger that I had. I mean I ate everything in sight the first two weeks of being home. People I went to boot with didn’t recognize me when I went back.

I guess I am just wondering aloud to myself and the members of T-Nation. But I would like to hear from you guys about any thoughts on this and your own experiences with the rebound effect.

About a year ago, I was about 205 lbs. I dieted for a show the following spring and got down to about 170 lbs. Realizing that my body could ‘rebound’ and end up with a much better composition than I had previously, I was VERY careful about my training and my diet right after the show. I didn’t go out and binge, or even just jump back up to the amount of calories that I had previously eaten on a daily basis before the diet. Now, I’m back up around 2 bills, and without a doubt, much tighter than I was a year ago at the same weight. Al I can rationalize is that I must have put on some LBM in the process, which is damn cool, because with my 37th birthday coming up in the Spring, I realize that you can only make big gains each year for so long.

S

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It was simply a matter of slowly adding things back in. Dr Joe Klemzewski (SP?!) has written about this in older issues of ‘Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness’ magazine. He points out that slowly adding in cals (as little as 100 a week) will have an effect on your metabolism after you’ve adjusted to such a low intake as it required at the end of a prep.

Apparently this can even speed it up more, and you can end up putting on LBM without the usual fat gain that most people associate with the post prep period.

Personally, I knew that my body was never a carb-efficient machine. In fact I had to consciously eat more carbs than I normally had been eating when I started my prep because I knew that in order to keep things moving along, I would need a noticeable discrepency between my ‘high’ and ‘low’ days.

As my ‘low’ days were initially about 150g of carbs, my ‘high’ days needed to be about 300 (not as high as some people can get away with, but this is an individualized thing). After the contest (and several days of eating whatever I wanted… it was my birthday damnit! -lol) I tried to keep my actual sources to oatmeal, ezekial bread,… things that wouldn’t spike the hell out of my insulin.

I will note though, that even at two weeks out from the show, my cals weren’t much lower than 2400/2500 cals on an average day, so by the time I was a month, maybe month and a half after the show, I was up to about 2800/2900 cals. Within 3 months, I was back to 3000/3200, and presently, as long as I’m eating every few hours, keeping my peri-workout nutrition (as prescribed by CT and Tim), and getting enough protein, I couldn’t even tell you numbers, but easily over 3500k a day, easily over 250g prot a day, and most likely over 250/350g carbs a day.

Without turning this into my own thread, I’ll say that my overall composition is much different than I was at the same weight a year ago, so obviously I’m handling the carbs much better through an intelligent approach to bringing them back into my daily regimen.

S

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although nowhere near the results Stu had, i saw a pretty good rebound effect after doing 2 shows in the spring. after the shows were over, i basically kept the majority of my diet as it had been in prep mode, with the exception of adding in a lot more carbs in my pre and post workout shakes, and a few more into breakfast.

i also added in a few cheat dinners per week (mostly for the sake of reconnecting with friends and family who i hadn’t been out to dinner with or anything for months. these were usually pure crap food like pizza or burgers and fries, so they probably didn’t help my body comp much, but the extra calories were probably needed) at any rate, diet stayed mostly clean, and i kept doing some cardio (though nowhere near what i had been doing in the previous weeks), and all of my lifts pushed though old PRs by considerable amounts, and i added about 10-12 lbs of lean mass (plus some extra baggage from the chicken wings - hey, i live in buffalo!) in just over 3 months.

my rate of gains has slowed a lot at this point, but the rebound effect was definitely dramatic. i just wish i had approached it a bit more methodically and really maximized that window of opportunity.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Al I can rationalize is that I must have put on some LBM in the process, which is damn cool, because with my 37th birthday coming up in the Spring, I realize that you can only make big gains each year for so long.

S
[/quote]

ouch, I said in another thred you were like 40, sorry about that.

[quote]MEYMZ wrote:
The Mighty Stu wrote:
Al I can rationalize is that I must have put on some LBM in the process, which is damn cool, because with my 37th birthday coming up in the Spring, I realize that you can only make big gains each year for so long.

S

ouch, I said in another thred you were like 40, sorry about that.
[/quote]

You dirty rat! -lol

S

Thanks for the info, Stu.
I’ll be coming off of my keto diet within a couple of days and hopefully will experience similar results. Gonna keep the carbs to brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and Ezekiel bread. And white rice pre-workout.

Stu, how did you handle cardio in your transition? I’m doing 50 minutes a day now. Should I stop abruptly or cycle it off, like 45 tomorrow, 40 the next day, etc…