T Nation

True or False Question

True or false:

Positive nitrogen balance + positive energy balance + good insulin sensitivity = significant muscle gain without significant fat gain

somewhere in there you have to squeeze in a workout.
other than that the sequence looks good

Or.

[quote]toddjacobs13 wrote:
True or false:

Positive nitrogen balance + positive energy balance + good insulin sensitivity = significant muscle gain without significant fat gain[/quote]

It isn’t, nor has it ever been, that simple. Your genetics have much to do with how much muscle you gain over fat gain while gaining. You can’t just leave a huge factor like genetics out of your “equation”. Like the other poster mentioned, you also forgot training.

Right, but training affects the nitrogen balance and the insulin sensitivity. In that sense, training is factored in. Sure, genetics play a huge part, but they really determine more the EXTENT to which the formula is likely to work as opposed to WHETHER it will work or not.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
toddjacobs13 wrote:
True or false:

Positive nitrogen balance + positive energy balance + good insulin sensitivity = significant muscle gain without significant fat gain

It isn’t, nor has it ever been, that simple. Your genetics have much to do with how much muscle you gain over fat gain while gaining. You can’t just leave a huge factor like genetics out of your “equation”. Like the other poster mentioned, you also forgot training. [/quote]

so you’re saying poor spitzy does have an excuse?

[quote]toddjacobs13 wrote:
Right, but training affects the nitrogen balance and the insulin sensitivity.[/quote]

Training doesn’t directly affect nitrogen balance. That is an effect of your diet. Training may increase insulin sensitivity, but most drastically in those who previously did not lift weights. Further, if you are someone who trains regularly, worrying about insulin sensitivity seems like a wasted effort unless your meals are largely composed of doughnuts. The point is, your “equation” is overly simplistic.

[quote]Joe Weider wrote:

so you’re saying poor spitzy does have an excuse?
[/quote]

Seriously, I don’t think Spitz is that different than SEVERAL guys who have popped up on this forum lately (hell, and in my gym lately). They are the type who lift relatively light weights (ie. no real strain at all aside from a slight grunt of discomfort even though if you were to ask, they all think they are training “hard”), and they don’t actually eat enough to see real significant gains.

In my opinion, the current obesity epidemic has effected and will effect the rest of society by swinging the pendulum too far the other way in opposition. That is why you get extremely skinny guys on this forum who are afraid of eating and think weighjing under 150lbs is an accomplsihment as long as their abs show. I guess that will take a while to balance out. Add in the stigma of baseball and AAS usage, along with the belief now that anyone with any real size on them falls into that category, and you get tons of guys who have a mental block as far as what they think they can actually accomplish.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
toddjacobs13 wrote:
Right, but training affects the nitrogen balance and the insulin sensitivity.

Training doesn’t directly affect nitrogen balance. That is an effect of your diet. Training may increase insulin sensitivity, but most drastically in those who previously did not lift weights. Further, if you are someone who trains regularly, worrying about insulin sensitivity seems like a wasted effort unless your meals are largely composed of doughnuts. The point is, your “equation” is overly simplistic. [/quote]

Well, I have to say that I am confused by this response. Training is one of the primary factors affecting nitrogen balance, if not THE primary factor. Untrained muscles exibit far lower protein uptake. The training effect is certainly enhanced by diet (ie nitrogen availability from adequate protein intake, insulin transport, etc.), but there can hardly be an effect without the necessary training component.

Insulin sensitivity has been written about ad nauseum on this site by Dr. Berardi, Dr. Lowery, and Cy Willson (among others). So to dismiss it out of hand seems a bit ignorant.

If you believe that the equation is simplistic, please elaborate on the key details which you find to be lacking.

Addendum to my last post (and I think that Joe will appreciate this one):

“Everything should be as simple as possible but not simpler.” Albert Einstein

If you believe the equation is “simpler than possible,” then modify it so that it is as simple as possible without crossing over into oversimplification. I believe that that would be more in keeping with the spirit of the forum than simply referring to it in quotes and dismissing it.

[quote]toddjacobs13 wrote:
Addendum to my last post (and I think that Joe will appreciate this one):

“Everything should be as simple as possible but not simpler.” Albert Einstein

If you believe the equation is “simpler than possible,” then modify it so that it is as simple as possible without crossing over into oversimplification. I believe that that would be more in keeping with the spirit of the forum than simply referring to it in quotes and dismissing it.[/quote]

you’re so cute.

Guess what, Todd…I’m with you all the way on this one!
Well…all the way so far, at any rate.

Sigh.

You say “its factored in”, but your equation ignores the actual factors and focuses on things that result from appropriate actions.

You also seem to totally ignore any timing issues that might be involved in this process.

If someone could just come up with “the” equation we could all follow don’t you think we’d all be following it by now?

[quote]toddjacobs13 wrote:
Well, I have to say that I am confused by this response. Training is one of the primary factors affecting nitrogen balance, if not THE primary factor. Untrained muscles exibit far lower protein uptake. The training effect is certainly enhanced by diet (ie nitrogen availability from adequate protein intake, insulin transport, etc.), but there can hardly be an effect without the necessary training component.

Insulin sensitivity has been written about ad nauseum on this site by Dr. Berardi, Dr. Lowery, and Cy Willson (among others). So to dismiss it out of hand seems a bit ignorant.

If you believe that the equation is simplistic, please elaborate on the key details which you find to be lacking.[/quote]

Who dismissed insulin sensitivity? Don’t put words in my mouth. You can quote exactly what I wrote. Please point out what was wrong with the statement. For some guy who trains regularly and eats well to be overly concerned with insulin sensitivity is a wasted effort. That doesn’t mean it plays no role at all in anyone. Training is NOT the primary factor affecting nitrogen balance. The primary factor affecting nitrogen balance is your DIET. Again, show me what is wrong with this statement.

I have already written what was lacking from your post. How did you miss that?

[quote]toddjacobs13 wrote:

“Everything should be as simple as possible but not simpler.” Albert Einstein.[/quote]

And what you wrote was much simpler than what is possible in the human body. To leave out training and genetics when discussing muscle growth over fat gain? You didn’t even mention metabolism. You OVERsimplified. Don’t get pissy because someone pointed it out to you.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
toddjacobs13 wrote:

“Everything should be as simple as possible but not simpler.” Albert Einstein.

And what you wrote was much simpler than what is possible in the human body. To leave out training and genetics when discussing muscle growth over fat gain? You didn’t even mention metabolism. You OVERsimplified. Don’t get pissy because someone pointed it out to you.[/quote]

BURN!

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Further, if you are someone who trains regularly, worrying about insulin sensitivity seems like a wasted effort unless your meals are largely composed of doughnuts.[/quote]

As an FFB, I’m a little weirded out by this. I’ll admit that I don’t know as much about comparative GI index values as I ought to, but I have a vague idea that it’s better to keep carbs “slow” at times other than PWO with regards to fat vs. LBM gain. If this is less important than I thought, there’s a lot of white rice waiting for me with open arms.

[quote]dond1esel wrote:
Professor X wrote:
Further, if you are someone who trains regularly, worrying about insulin sensitivity seems like a wasted effort unless your meals are largely composed of doughnuts.

As an FFB, I’m a little weirded out by this. I’ll admit that I don’t know as much about comparative GI index values as I ought to, but I have a vague idea that it’s better to keep carbs “slow” at times other than PWO with regards to fat vs. LBM gain. If this is less important than I thought, there’s a lot of white rice waiting for me with open arms.
[/quote]

Much of that depends on how your body deals with certain foods. I eat white rice and only change that focus when dieting. I see no need to avoid it all of the time, especially when gaining. However, I also don’t eat a lot of simple sugars in the form of sweets. I can’t remember the last time I had cake. I think people need to judge what they should eat by what they see in the mirror in terms of results, not because they fear the possibility before they even know if they can tolerate certain foods.

[quote]dond1esel wrote:
Professor X wrote:
Further, if you are someone who trains regularly, worrying about insulin sensitivity seems like a wasted effort unless your meals are largely composed of doughnuts.

As an FFB, I’m a little weirded out by this. I’ll admit that I don’t know as much about comparative GI index values as I ought to, but I have a vague idea that it’s better to keep carbs “slow” at times other than PWO with regards to fat vs. LBM gain. If this is less important than I thought, there’s a lot of white rice waiting for me with open arms.
[/quote]

not that I can amplify anything the good Professor has to say, but I’m going to try anyway.
HA!
I don’t know as I’d eat “a lot of white rice”, but I think I might be more inclined to add it to my diet. However, I might be more inclined to eat brown rice than white.
Since we’re both recovering FFB’s with some degree of mass, we can get away with eating more than we probably think we can or should (I don’t know about you, but the Berardi calorie figures for the “Don’t Diet” diet for me almost gave me a heart attack.
Take me 2 days to eat what he says I should eat in one.
And like the Prof says, the mirror is really the key.
My .02, fwiw.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
toddjacobs13 wrote:
Well, I have to say that I am confused by this response. Training is one of the primary factors affecting nitrogen balance, if not THE primary factor. Untrained muscles exibit far lower protein uptake. The training effect is certainly enhanced by diet (ie nitrogen availability from adequate protein intake, insulin transport, etc.), but there can hardly be an effect without the necessary training component.

Insulin sensitivity has been written about ad nauseum on this site by Dr. Berardi, Dr. Lowery, and Cy Willson (among others). So to dismiss it out of hand seems a bit ignorant.

If you believe that the equation is simplistic, please elaborate on the key details which you find to be lacking.

Who dismissed insulin sensitivity? Don’t put words in my mouth. You can quote exactly what I wrote. Please point out what was wrong with the statement. For some guy who trains regularly and eats well to be overly concerned with insulin sensitivity is a wasted effort. That doesn’t mean it plays no role at all in anyone. Training is NOT the primary factor affecting nitrogen balance. The primary factor affecting nitrogen balance is your DIET. Again, show me what is wrong with this statement.

I have already written what was lacking from your post. How did you miss that?[/quote]

Okay, so your original assertion was that training is not factored into the equation. My counterpoint was that training is factored in with regards to nitrogen retention and insulin sensitivity.

I think that we can agree that training affects insulin sensitivity. I am still confused by your opinion on this matter. The two major factors surrounding this issue are proper training and proper diet. Your counterstatement was, “For some guy who trains regularly and eats well to be overly concerned with insulin sensitivity is a wasted effort.” Okay, so someone taking the proper measures to ensure insulin sensitivity doesn’t have to worry about it. I agree.

Positive Nitrogen balance = Nitrogen in - Nitrogen out = any positive number. Nitrogen out = protein consumed as energy + protein excreted by bodily processes. For an untrained person, following a high protein diet would result in a very high rate of protein excretion. This is because there is no stimulus causing protein to be shuttled into muscle cells. Therefore, a non-trainer following an optimal diet would have a nitrogen balance of zero. That is why I assert that training is a primary factor as far as nitrogen balance is concerned, and it is quite possibly THE primary factor.

Genetics do not affect the equation for the following reason: the equation is qualitative rather than quantitative. If the equation stated “Positive nitrogen balance + positive energy balance + good insulin sensitivity = Ronnie Coleman” or “20 lbs of muscle in 8 weeks!” then I believe genetics would play a large role. However, if the proverbial 98 lbs weakling was able to combine those three factors (through proper diet, training, supplementation, and recovery), I submit that he would add some amount of muscle with minimal fat gain. I also submit that the same would be true of a 210 lbs hockey player.

Genetics affect the overall results that one person might receive from exercise and nutrition. However, all people (excluding those with serious health issues) have the ability to benefit from exercise and nutrition to some degree. In a sense you could say that the equation could be rewritten as “Positive nitrogen balance/genetics + positive energy balance/genetics + good insulin sensitivity/genetics = significant muscle gain without significant fat gain/genetics,” but that is actually the exact same equation as the original.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
toddjacobs13 wrote:

“Everything should be as simple as possible but not simpler.” Albert Einstein.

And what you wrote was much simpler than what is possible in the human body. To leave out training and genetics when discussing muscle growth over fat gain? You didn’t even mention metabolism. You OVERsimplified. Don’t get pissy because someone pointed it out to you.[/quote]

This is straight out of John Berardi’s first Massive Eating article:

"Energy Balance = Energy Intake - Energy Expenditure

Energy intake is made up of what you eat and drink. Energy expenditure is made up of several factors including resting metabolic rate (RMR), calorie cost of activity, thermic effect of food (TEF), and adaptive thermogenesis (the X factor)"

Metabolism is factored into the equation as one of the four factors controlling energy expenditure which affects energy balance. So actually, metabolism is accounted for within the equation.

I already addressed your genetic argument. So far you’ve really failed to add any significant insight that isn’t well accounted for in the equation (ie proper recovery, endocrinological issues, etc.)