This post is long, but bear with me. I am starting this thread to comment on what has become the dead horse of this site: what we’ll call “traditional” bulking (focusing on MAXIMAL muscle growth, NOT keeping BF super low) and so-called “lean bulking”. The thread “An Introduction” in T-cell Alpha is where this battle is currently being fought.
Here is the thing that drove me to start this thread: the “lean bulkers” claim that muscle mass can be added just as fast while staying very lean by proper nutrient timing, among other things. But here, from the above-mentioned thread, is the crux of the argument, courtesy of Zap and Pushharder:
[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
You can eat too much, too little or the perfect amount. It is almost impossible to eat the perfect amount when you have other priorities.
That’s it in a nutshell.
If you err and undereat you will NOT gain muscle.
If you err and overeat you will. You may end up at 11% and “fat” but you will gain muscle. [/quote]
Perfectly stated by both, and maddeningly glossed over by the “lean bulkers”. Adding muscle is the body’s LAST priority, after all other metabolic processes have been completed. Once everything that requires calories is taken care of, if there are any left over, only then will the body build more muscle.
So the million dollar question is this:
QUESTION: How can one know they are growing muscle at the maximum possible rate their body will allow if they focus on keeping BF low? How can the “lean bulkers” know with such precision how many calories and g of protein they need day-to-day, hour-to-hour, to perfectly nail the maximum number of kcals needed???
ANSWER: They can’t. I say NO ONE can. We don’t know enough about human metabolism to say with such a degree of accuracy how many g of protein can be synthesized in a given time period, or how many calories are exactly needed in the same period.
So I am going to go ahead and take things a step further and say this: A controlled fat gain during a bulk is NECESSARY - yes, necessary - IF your goal in said bulk is to gain as much muscle as humanly possible. Why? It is the ONLY PROOF that you’ve consumed enough calories to allow muscle growth to occur at a maximal rate.
(NOTE: I am also assuming that any bulk, defined as a continued caloric surplus for the purposes of gaining muscle, is as “clean” as possible, so no sugary, starchy crap in the name of calories, b/c these may hinder muscle building progress while still contributing to fat gain through hormonal response. But again, I assume we all know this already.)
I would like to hear what the “lean bulkers” have to say about this. I need to hear an argument and see an example of how they can grow muscle at the maximum possible rate and still not gain fat through such perfect, precision dieting. Then, and only then, will I change my opinion on this debate.