The Hybrid Approach to Maximum Muscularity: Version 2.0

With 135 posts to the original thread, it is now time to initiate the second-coming of the “Can you build muscle and lose fat at the same time?” thread.

The “Hybrid” title takes into account both the low-carb/HIIT/low intensity aerobic (i.e. cutting) facet of the plan and the high-carb/lifting/anabolic (i.e. bulking) phase of the plan.

The “Maximum Muscularity” add-on is a tribute to Timbo for his valuable contributions to the thread and for just being one hell of a model American and the epitome of a T-man.

Please be sure to check out the initial thread if you aren’t up to speed on what we’re discussing; you’ll definitely to find some excellent information. Let’s keep this sucker going, everyone; great stuff so far!

I was thinking a little bit more about how this plan really seems to make sense. Here are two things that crossed my mind:

  1. In the summers, my activity level throughout the day is through the roof. Usually, I’m walking 4-5 miles and playing some tennis at my job. Generally, weight training comes later in the day. Although I’ve never experimented with low carbs early in the day, I have noticed that I can stay/get lean quite easily during the summer simply because of this activity level. Mass gain during these times has proven difficult, but I suspect that a high carb refeed post-training would do the trick. Basically, this leads me to believe that being active and proper (macro)nutrient timing is the key to staying lean while growing. More importantly, it verifies (at least in theory) my belief that you do not have to get fat to grow. Personally, I don’t do well on drastic bulking cycles-much more fat than muscle gain.

  2. I know that professional bodybuilders are a terrible place to look when trying to determine the best approach. However, I may have thought up one thing we can actually take from what some of them do. Let’s consider the two guys who have likely made the most progress in the past 1-2 years: Jay Cutler and Gunter Schlierkamp. What separates these two from most of the rest? They do guest appearances appearances year-round, and thus must stay very lean all the time. Meanwhile, guys like Lee Priest are looking like the Pillsbury Doughboy in the offseason. In spite of the fact that they don’t endorse the “pork-up” strategy, they still put on as much size as everyone else throughout the year. I know that I have read on numerous occasions that Gunter religiously does 40 minutes of walking on the treadmill every morning on an empty stomach, and I can assume that Jay has similar strategies for staying lean. Yes, all of these guys are on boatloads of anabolics, but it seems to pay off to consider how ironic it is that the ones staying lean year-round are the ones who have made the most progress over the past few years.

Mr. Devils’ Advocate says:

“Shawn Ray stayed lean year-round, and he hardly put on an ounce of muscle after his pro debut.”

I realize that one data point does not a trend make, but neither do two (e.g., Cuntler and Smearpap). I just think we should nip this whole “X, Y, and Z do something that sorta fits my plan, and look how good they look!” line of reasoning in the bud. I know you know this, Cress, but it’s a dangerous road to go down since there are a lot of peeps out there in T-land who don’t.

Cress - Good job at starting the new thread and since we have a new thread started and I’ve pretty much figured out my first 4 weeks of cutting, I thought I’d post it. Comments are welcome.

M and Th: Lifting days. I will be performing the NB3 program in the early afternoon followed by 10 minutes of light cardio on the elliptical and it will be followed by a 6-8 hour refeed(depending on if I have to work that night), staring 60 minutes after my surge.

T and F: Lower intensity cardio days. I will perform 45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio on these days, in the morning, on an empty stomach. I’ll have some BCAA’s and Glutamine before hand. I’ll follow this session with a little more than a half serving of surge. 60 minutes later, I’ll have a P+F meal, and then go on with my regular schedule. The only carbs from the day will come from the surge and spinach. I will come in at 1950 calories for the day.

W and Sat.: HIIT cardio. Everything will be the same as the lower intensity cardio days, except I will be performing 400 m sprints on these two days instead and the 400 m sprint program kicks all ass.

There we have it. Even though my lifting volume is lower (though that NB3 program is a biotch) I think I have this set up right to gain some muscle while dropping the fat. Only time will tell.

Cress - You know I was thinking that this plan can easily be tweaked to focus on a specific goal also.

As we talk about building muscle and losing fat at the same time, hopefully, there will come a time that the fat loss aspect is really no longer needed and it is just year round maintenance of low BF levels.

With that in mind, one could increase the post-workout feeding and possibly bump up the carbs at breakfast to improve the opportunity for LBM gain without the additional fat loss.

I’m thinking that with a few minor tweeks, this can be a year round strategy that works physiologically and also benefits us psychologically by allowing defined overfeeding periods.

I believe that is key in this game. Being able to find something that not only will be less challenging to maintain year round, but a lifelong base also. I am sure that you all are in this game for life, and I find it awesome to hear others trying to solve the problem of finding out how to stay lean year round, while at the same time gaining muscel. I myself have been diving into this area, and have been able to find what works for me at least from the time being. I am looking forward to reaping the benefits of all of the knowledge I can gain from touching in on this thread.

Z-Good point about Shawn Ray. Guess I was just trying to make something out of nothing. BTW, if we’re going to hit up MIT and Harvard, we ought to stop by my old stomping grounds: Babson. I’m in good with the Dean of Student Affairs; we’d have MBAs in no time.

Jason-I was thinking the same thing about how this could be that long term approach that we’ve discussed in the past. Modifications could definitely be made very easily to accomodate different goals.

E-C, not to put you in the same boat as our friend Terminator, but you’re definitely deserving of the Post of the Day! I’m serious about it this time. Good job, bro.

I appreciate the tribute. The term Maximum Muscularity was introduced to me by Arnold in The Encyclopedia. I’m going to look through that beast to see if I can’t find it again. The point behind it is not simply being huge or being ripped, but rather a combination of the two, such that one exhibits a very large amount skeletal muscle mass that is displayed with the details of an ancient Greek statue. Quite impressive and definitely provides a Vision.

Jay and J-Bird (Jay = Jason and J-Bird = janderstein) really bring up some outstanding points. We should really focus on this being an approach that allows for the continued building of lean muscle mass at the leanest levels of bodyfat possible. That is, when one is leanest, this program should allow him/her to pack on muscle mass very efficiently and without the addition of bodyfat. Therefore, this is a program that is readily followable and implemented.

Beamer, thank you very much for posting specs. I really think this benefits both the poster and those of the forum. Great work. I do have the problem with Surge being followed by a P/F meal. I detailed why in the prelude to this thread. I’d be more than happy to go into more detail and discussion. Otherwise, I like it, and, yes, 400m sprints rock the world (and you!).

I do have one question to add to the Boiling Pot…That is, how significant do you guys think timing of the weight lifting session is? For example, I was thinking that postponing it until evening, such that all P/F meals were eaten beforehand and all P/C meals were eaten after (until retiring) would prove most efficient. This would allow for no crossover meals (i.e. no C and no F in the blood at the same time), and P/F and P/C meals would be separated by: 1. Training, and 2. Sleeping. Your thoughts, my friends.

I hate to be a pain, but you can not build and lose simultaneously…Even if we look at this argument the way it was intended, macro and mesocycles would have to be spaced far enough apart such that at one time you are gaining, another losing.

Its simple physiology

you can alter this through the use of roidz as we are aware

In theory, the only way I see this “golden pair at the same time” possibility is through a ketogenic diet for lean gain…why?..insulin is not raised, but high levels of ketones can spur anabolic activity in muscle tissue…w/out insulin, no fat, with ketones through the rough==possibility of reverse anabolism.

I discussed this on a thread a while ago


Here is a copy of the original thread


Full discussion: search on the forum

Alright,its a theory I have alluded to before, but in light of recent posts on gaining mass while restricting carbs (a la keto lean gain), I propose the following:
Research suggests that:
a) Ketones will stimulate anabolism
b) Will cause a slight rise in insulin by themselves
c) that insulin, seems to have more of an anti-catabolic effect on muscle tissue than an anabolic one
d) that testosterone is the primary anabolic hormone.

Now given these “loose truths”, why wouldn’t a keto type, restricted carb diet (but above mntc. kcal) promote the nutrient partitioning that we so desire as bb’ers.

Insulin as we know leads to fat gain (primarily) and perhaps fat cell receptors are more biologically active when stimulated by insulin and in a caloric excess than when stimulated by ketones and in a caloric excess. Also, given the correlation between fat and T levels, wouldn’t a keto type above mntc diet lead to better muscle growtht through this mechanism? In addition, some carbs could be consummed a al CKD but they would be done with very specific timing sequences (since the liver intercepts ~55% of all carb loads) to maximize muscle glycogen refilling (okay maybe not supercompensation) while maintaining a slight-to-moderate ketotic state.

In addition, ketones will provide a mild or heavy diuretic effect which can lend a psychologial hand.

Further, we also know that max type strength lifting (e.g., eccentrics etc.) is the primary type of lifting?? that is necessary for muscle hypertrophy. This type of muscle lifting does not require the ATP (carb based) that fast paced high rep type lifting does.

Now, I am not saying eat shitfull fats, but you could do well eating good, real good fats, as well as a healthy dose of MCT’s.

These are some theory thoughts, and I really haven’t been able to elucidate what I am thinking in this short space, but as WSTRNR would say:
Let’s Discuss
what are some anecdotal or theoretical arguments against this claim or for it.???

I’m interested to hear your thoughts.
Peace Brahs

Timbo - I think your idea of splitting up meals so the exercise session allows for the transfer from F to C is a good idea.

I’m struggling though with giving up my mixed breakfast and PF pre-bed meal. I’ll see how things go with my current plan, but if things start to slow, I’ll make a few changes - move back exercise time, go PF the whole way pre-exercise and PC right after.

Vain - I see your skepticism and think that you bring up a good air of caution, but I still can’t see why you think these two things are mutually exclusive. Physiological mechanisms aside, we see it happen when people make a concentrated effort (and I’m not talking newbies or anabolic users.

mamann-Just found what I was looking for earlier today. From JB’s “Lean Eatin’ Part II:”

Maltodextrin is a glucose polymer (a string of glucose units put together, similar to the protein peptide). It is therefore, by definition, a complex carbohydrate. However it’s more complex nature does NOT slow digestion. Therefore, the GI and II remain high. Maltodextrin is the absolute best carbohydrate to consume during exercise for rapidly delivering blood glucose and for muscle glycogen recovery. It’s also best for fluid uptake.

Dextrose (glucose) is a simple carbohydrate unit (similar to the amino acid). While it’s good for exercise situations (malto is better), you’re probably better off adding some dextrose to your maltodextrin formula. A little bit of dextrose may enhance the already excellent fluid uptake that occurs with maltodextrin during exercise.

Fructose is a simple carbohydrate unit, but it’s structurally different from glucose. Due to its structure, it can possibly cause GI problems and/or decrease fluid uptake with exercise. Fructose, unlike other simple carbs, has to be “treated” in the liver and it reaches the muscle slowly.

Finally, sucrose consists of glucose and fructose units bonded together. Therefore, upon digestion, you get glucose and fructose in the GI (and the benefits and consequences of each).

Based on the three studies I reviewed (Blom et al 1987, ven Den Burgh et al 1996, Piehl et al 2000), it appears that dextrose is 72% faster than fructose for muscle glycogen resynthesis . As a result, at the end of 8 hours, muscle glycogen was 30% higher with dextrose ingestion. However, in another study, at the end of 4 hours, muscle glycogen was 15% higher with maltodextrin ingestion vs. dextrose. So dextrose kicks fructose’s butt although malto beats up on dextrose.

Vizzain, my bru-tha, I thought we were tight, baby! You just had to come on in and break up the party, didn’t ya? Just kidding, Vainy. I see what you’re saying about losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time, when we look at any specific time window. But, on the order of a day, a week, a month, etc, I see this as a likely possibility; this is ultimately what we’re trying to develop. I am also shifting my own gear to make this more of a plan directed towards building maximum muscle mass while limiting (or possibly losing, depending on where you are) fat mass.

The points you bring up are worthy of discussion, Vizzain, which is of no surprise:-) Statement C, however, I disagree. Insulin stimulates protein synthesis (i.e. anabolism) at rest, while it inhibits breakdown (i.e. catabolism) during and after exercise.

Jay, I’m feeling you on letting go of some habits along with the timing of training. I am a habitual morning trainee, training after my first meal.

E-C, I also have some great data to support dextrose and maltodextrin for glycogen replenishment. Glycogen resynthesis rates are 7-8%/h during the first two hours after exercise when high GI carbs are ingested. We also know that glycogen synthesis rates remain higher with glucose, maltodextrins, and (surprisingly) sucrose (i.e. 5-6%/hr) over fructose (i.e. 3-4%/hr). High to moderate GI solid foods would provide a similar rate as the former.

E-C, just a couple more things I wanted to direct at you:

  1. I’ve been meaning to mention for a while now (since late last year!) how beneficial your Bodybuilder’s Budget article over at JB’s site has been. That’s great! Thanks.
  2. Activity Levels…I am always preaching about activity levels. Spontaneous activity (i.e. walking, doing chores around the house, etc.) have had to have played a role in my leanness and freakish metabolism.

Vain, I think I owe you another holler;-)

Vain, I really think you bring up some valid points. And, since you’re the keto guru;-), I shall not argue about the phsyiology behind such.

However, what we’re trying to do here is manage insulin levels. As a matter of fact, we’re taking advantage of carbs and insulin. We’re only suggesting that carbs be ingested for a certain amount of time, at very specific times. For example, we’re generally promoting anywhere from two to three carbohydrate-containing meals (including a post-workout drink), immediately in the hours following training.

Upon cessation of our designated time frame, we return to eating protein and fat, a la ketogenic diet, despite ketosis not being a goal of our’s. Since the body will preferentially shift fuel substrate use to that which is most available and abundant, we will now assume the fat-burning state. With the addition of both low to moderate and high-intensity cardio, we will have established the machinery (i.e. mitochondria, capillaries, enzymes, etc.) that will maximize our fat-burning potential.

As far as training goes, I don’t think you’ll find a bigger advocate of low reps than myself. However, I do not think that our training should be relegated to heavy eccentric movements. Excessive muscle damage might not be in our best interest. That is just one downfall of this type of lifting. While eccentric damage may be awesome for increased muscle strength, I can’t say the same for muscle size. I remember a detailed discussion of this at another board with quite a bit of research supporting both sides. I’m going to try to look that up. Surprise, it was sparked by HST!:slight_smile:

Vizzain, I’d be more than happy to keep this discussion rollin’ like Patricia and those huge ass tires in her photo.

and I was just ready to head to bed.

First thing tomorrow I make my reply

Just wait :)))

Let’s sum up here for a moment, and look at the big picture.

Of course one can lose bodyfat and gain muscle at the same time. (It’s been done many times before, at least to a small degree.) Therefore, rather than ask, “Can I gain muscle and lose fat at the same time?”, would it not be more useful to ask, “If I wish to gain muscle and lose fat, am I likely to be more effective if I attempt consistent progress with both goals simultaneously, or if I periodize?”

Now come on! How many of you out there following this thread really believe that trying to do both at once is truly the superior approach?! I mean, who cares if it CAN be done… all that matters: is it the BEST approach to get the desired results?

Just my humble two cents!

2 things you need for muscle growth, positive nitrogen balance in the body and stimulus to grow. Thus a goal of any muscle builder should be high enough amounts of protein and correct training. The problem with low carb diets is that the body will need to metabolize glucose from either protein or fat. The key is finding the right balance of protein/fat intake. Take in enough protein for growth and enough fat to run the energy systems of the body. The interesting thing is figuring out if it’s better to have high spikes in nitrogen levels with whey isolate, or long lasting with casein, or a combination of both throughout the day. A definitely think whey isolate in the morning, training we know (whey hydrosylate), and casein at pre-bedtime. I definitely think that it is possible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. It’s just different for each individual because there are so many variables. laters pk

If one were to do HIIT later in the day, would cofee pre w/out still be ok. I do not use Surge :frowning: and if doing first thing in the am would use cofee.

I hate it when you post and then remember something else.
Re the cardio on training days, I am still in favour of 3x3 min jump ropes with active rest pre w/out and 3 sets of 4 GPP post for recovery.

I agree that carb ups should be done with dextrose or malto, or some other higher GI based carb source. In regards to fructose, I have always read and believed that fructose preferentially carbs up the liver and replaces glycogen(sp) there first and after that it starts being converted to fat, it also has a substantially lower GI which isn’t beneficial post workout.

I have followed a diet similar to what is being suggested so far, it was even mentioned earlier, called Animalbolics. Basicaly it is no carbs before your workout followed by a 2:1 ratio of high GI carbs and protein with minimal to no fat. I was able to gain muscle and lose fat on this diet. It resulted in 3lbs of lbm gain and a loss of about 8lbs over a 1 month period.