T Nation

Science of Clean Bulk/Recomp During IF

So I’ve been trying to read up on the actual biochemistry of recomposition or even simply clean bulking. Sure, there are plenty of studies that show simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain, whatever; not here to dispute that. However, I do want to know how muscle building actually works with this process in mind.

Let’s assume that gaining muscle is simply calories in vs. calories out. Now, we have two people on the same macro-nutrient-based diet, eating the same number of calories, identical workouts. Say we have two groups of those people (with N large enough so that we have variety in genetics and some statistical basis).

One group is doing IF for 16/8 (LeanGains) or even 20/4 (Warrior Diet), while the other is doing the traditional 6 meal a day split. Would the gains differ between the groups (significantly or at all)? Would we assume that the traditional split group would gain mostly muscle and fat, while the IF group would lose fat and gain muscle (albeit not the same amount)?

Now, what this leads me to question is the actual state of muscle building (or fat loss for that matter). As far as we know from the literature, the body is in a constant state of rebuilding broken down muscle, and burning fat, right?

If we are at maintenance calories, regardles of which group we are in, at the end of the day the net result would be zero weight gain… but would that also mean no change in body composition?

Say you want to maximize the muscle building effect of IF, but maybe something more like carb-back loading. Say one does small protein-only pulses during the day (say, every 3 hours), and then does a carb-back load (healthy) style of eating post-workout.

Would this keep the body anabolic during the day (literally building small amounts of muscle) without the added (wasted?) fat gain that comes with traditional bulking? Or does that gain only come from too many calories, regardless of nutrient timing?

Finally, amino acids. Are amino acids only anti-catabolic when ingested alone (not in the presence of calories)? Or are they anabolic as well? I have read the they are anti-catabolic all the time, and anabolic when combined with protein AND carbohydrate meals (and essentially useless if combined with carbohydrate-only meals).

Would taking amino acid pulses during the day be equivalent to protein pulses, but without the calories (meaning keeping the body anabolic, not necessarily just anti-catabolic)?

I hope these ideas aren’t too scrambled. It all just came to me when I was doing my biochemistry homework and I wanted to get some of what I was thinking/questioning out there. Hopefully we can start a discussion; I’d really like to get some input from some of you nutritional-savvy guys on the boards.

B

[quote]baugust wrote:

One group is doing IF for 16/8 (LeanGains) or even 20/4 (Warrior Diet), while the other is doing the traditional 6 meal a day split. Would the gains differ between the groups (significantly or at all)? Would we assume that the traditional split group would gain mostly muscle and fat, while the IF group would lose fat and gain muscle (albeit not the same amount)?

B[/quote]

Man so much going on but I would like to comment on this part in particular. I haven’t looked at any of the studies, but I am a Layne Norton whore and I think he is going to release this study soon if he hasn’t already recently.

SO basically according to Layne with 20-40g of protein you can peak protein synthesis. In order to do this again there has to be some time between your doses of protein in which he reccomends 4-5 hours spreads.

He also says that you can typically do this 4-5 times a day.

So if you are eating all of your meals in a small window only 2 or 3 times a day and slamming 70-100g of protein per a meal you are probably not getting the most bang for your buck in maximizing protein synthesis…according to Layne, who’s reputation speaks for itself.

There is more though, he said by supplementing bcaas/luecine and/or carbohydrate supplements between meals that you can get an additional anabolic response. I’m not sure what the protocol on this is. Whether you just slam some bcaas a couple hours before/after a meal for X amount of times a day. I dunno.

Hopefully he talks more about this on his new radio show.

[quote]paulieserafini wrote:

B[/quote]

Man so much going on but I would like to comment on this part in particular. I haven’t looked at any of the studies, but I am a Layne Norton whore and I think he is going to release this study soon if he hasn’t already recently.

SO basically according to Layne with 20-40g of protein you can peak protein synthesis. In order to do this again there has to be some time between your doses of protein in which he reccomends 4-5 hours spreads.

He also says that you can typically do this 4-5 times a day.

So if you are eating all of your meals in a small window only 2 or 3 times a day and slamming 70-100g of protein per a meal you are probably not getting the most bang for your buck in maximizing protein synthesis…according to Layne, who’s reputation speaks for itself.

There is more though, he said by supplementing bcaas/luecine and/or carbohydrate supplements between meals that you can get an additional anabolic response. I’m not sure what the protocol on this is. Whether you just slam some bcaas a couple hours before/after a meal for X amount of times a day. I dunno.

Hopefully he talks more about this on his new radio show.[/quote]

Paulieserafini,

This sounds really interesting, could you please post more details on the protocol when you know them?

Best wishes,

UKR

[quote]RunnerUK wrote:

Paulieserafini,

This sounds really interesting, could you please post more details on the protocol when you know them?

Best wishes,

UKR
[/quote]

ha, fasho

Baugust - where in Fl are you?

[quote]baugust wrote:
Let’s assume that gaining muscle is simply calories in vs. calories out. [/quote]

If this assumption is true then a person could gain muscle without eating any protein.

Protein metabolism is much more complicated than calorie in versus calorie out.

Supply your body with adequate stimulus, proper nutriment, and sufficient recovery and your DNA will take care of the rest.

[quote]ecjim wrote:
Baugust - where in Fl are you?
[/quote]

Just north of Orlando.

Yes, I agree. I’m saying assume adequate protein consumption, macros, etc. You’re suggesting that adequate training, enough calories, and enough recovery is enough, independent of nutrient timing, fasting, etc.?

[quote]baugust wrote:

[quote]ecjim wrote:
Baugust - where in Fl are you?
[/quote]

Just north of Orlando.

Yes, I agree. I’m saying assume adequate protein consumption, macros, etc. You’re suggesting that adequate training, enough calories, and enough recovery is enough, independent of nutrient timing, fasting, etc.?[/quote]

Yes, I believe entire lifestyle is what matters and not nutrient timing.

I do practice IF because I find it much easier to manage what I eat this way.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

Yes, I believe entire lifestyle is what matters and not nutrient timing.

I do practice IF because I find it much easier to manage what I eat this way.[/quote]

Aside from the theoretical component that I was presenting before… how does that work for you? I agree that it is extremely easy to manage and works well with certain schedules, in addition to the many proposed health benefits. If you have dieted in the more traditional sense (I’m assuming you have at some point), how do you compare gains? Are you currently/have you bulked with IF?

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

Yes, I believe entire lifestyle is what matters and not nutrient timing.

[/quote]

So in your opinion you don’t feel like you can optimize gains with nutrient timing or am I interpreting this sentence incorrectly?

[quote]paulieserafini wrote:

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

Yes, I believe entire lifestyle is what matters and not nutrient timing.

[/quote]

So in your opinion you don’t feel like you can optimize gains with nutrient timing or am I interpreting this sentence incorrectly?[/quote]

If lifestyle is not optimal then nutrient timing doesn’t matter anyway.

If you mean optimal as in quickness of results I only know one surefire and proved method that actually works 100% as advertised - that ALL $erious bodybuilders employ. :wink:

Maybe timing of nutrients matters to the upper 90th percentile of people who train. I have tried it and I could not lose weight on that method but yes I gained strength.

Howdy baugust, I got the message of your friend add, my apologies for not responding in kind. I won’t be adding anyone to mine, just sticking to posting, though you seem to be in good company on Siouxfan’s list.

I am pretty much in agreement with LIFTICVSMAXIMVS’ comments. I have been eating 3 times a day lately mostly because this works for my stomach (as in the plumbing). I tried to do the whole timing thing and eating every few hours, but it didn’t work for me. I suspect that those it does work for are people who have snacking issues and it acts as a replacement for that habit. About a year ago I finally tried playing with fasting and leangains-like approaches. What I settled on is remarkably similar to leangains.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the pattern of intake, rather you need to find out how it works for you. One thing I learned was that I could ignore hunger easier than I thought. Very few people in the Western world are truly hungry, rather CT described it as mechanical hunger - your stomach is empty.

The other thing is, I don’t think there is that big a difference between the leangains and Norton approaches once you factor in the slightly different goals. Layne is pro bodybuilder trying to pack on maximum muscle, whereas Martin’s approach is not quite the same extreme (read his site, there is a nice long rant posted Jan. 8, I just went there the other day for the first time). My summation would be 3 meals a day for maintenance, 4 for slow bulk, 5 for all out. Base protein per meal on weight/3, similar carbs, about half the fat.

I’ll post more tomorrow, getting late.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

Maybe timing of nutrients matters to the upper 90th percentile of people who train. I have tried it and I could not lose weight on that method but yes I gained strength.[/quote]

Tried what method?

The best method is the one you will stick with. If you do something you hate, you’ll chicken out part of the way through.

You can have great success with many types of dieting. Your genetics and current disposition will have an impact on how macros effect your body, but the biggest thing is just adherence.

[quote]paulieserafini wrote:

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

Maybe timing of nutrients matters to the upper 90th percentile of people who train. I have tried it and I could not lose weight on that method but yes I gained strength.[/quote]

Tried what method?[/quote]

I don’t remember names of methods to be sure but I basically just ate a large portion of protein and carbs before and after training with most of them coming after training - you know, you take advantage of that insulin window? :slight_smile: Bahahahaha!

I was shooting for a total of 3000 calories back then.

To add to my previous comments, I don’t think there is that much difference for someone who is far from their maximum potential size. I have been consuming 60-80g protein for 3 meals a day recently and it works just as good as when I ate the same food over 5-6 meals. My stomach feels better though (your results may vary).

If I eat less than 160g animal protein (~45-50g from whey and 10-15 from plain yogurt, so about 100g protein from flesh/eggs), I feel less well the next day (mentally) than if my intake is in the 160-220g range. Above that is an issue of too much food or too many meals.

Regarding amino acid supplementation, the only thing worth talking about is leucine/bcaa. Depending on your budget, you can go with straight leucine, or something like:

or:

I think the BCAA option is better for fasted states, so first thing in the morning, or preworkout, otherwise if you are eating many meals and want to add leucine, then that would be better used before the meal, with the meal, or between meals as suggested by paulieserafini. You could also use Mag10 as it is a high leucine content protein derivative for fast digestion. Naturally, the supplementation approach will depend on your budget.

Try both meal frequency options and see which is best. You may find that using different approaches on different days works best based on your schedule and workout patterns or that one approach works well for bulking and another for cutting. Either way the most important thing is to focus on eating well and learning how to cook different recipes so you don’t get bored.