Ultimate Limiting Factors.....discussion
- 11-25-2003, 01:39 PM
Ultimate Limiting Factors.....discussion
I was just thinking about the factors that ultimately limit how big one can get, mostly those on drugs. I heard about how guys like kovacs rarely respond to drugs anymore(?), but that was just heresay so it might not be true.
maybe limited by food consumption, satellite cell count and/or proliferation, metabolic effects, maybe need more androgens and on and on.
I know most of it is genetics but doesnt genetics merely control amount of hormones, growth factors, and muscle size, etc.
Because with the introduction of PGF2 and others things, this might push people past what they once thought was there genetic limit.
Thought this might be a good discussion.
- 11-25-2003, 02:32 PM
I think food consumption is huge limiting factor. You can only get as big as you are able to support with proper nutrients. I suppose one could go as far as beign attched to an IV.
- 11-25-2003, 02:51 PM
i was wondering about the food too considering many of the top pros eat around 8000-10000 calories in the offseason and they dont seem to put on much more weight.
Has anyone done an amino/carb drip from an IV, it could be a way to get another couple of thousand calories in you.
11-26-2003, 12:44 AM
similar question was asked to bryan haycock and i'll post it below , i think will answer this thread the best .
Question: Hi Bryan, Bill Roberts was saying that steroids and other anabolic
drugs can not take a person to any arbitrary level of LBM. He was comparing the
normal genetic physique to Dorian Yates' physique. So what factors would cause
Dorian to become bigger even if the same drugs & dosage/diet/training were used?
It obviously has to be genetics. but what specific aspects that give him that
advantage? Is it because he was born with a lot more muscle fibers and myonuclei
and also has a higher natural testosterone level? Thanks, Tim
Answer: Hi Tim,
Well, genetics are "part" of it. There is a known allele (i.e. variation) of the
myostatin gene that some people have. This apparently affords them faster growth
from resistance training. This could play a role, however, as with other
professional sports, by the time they are professionals, the non-genetically
gifted group ahs already been weeded out. So, admittedly, genetics may be
playing a role in how fast a person grows, particularly when it comes to
Myostatin. But even in people with normal myostatin genes, myostatin is reduced
by upwards of 35% just from resistance training alone. (S. M. Roth, G. F.
Martel, R. E. Ferrell, E. J. Metter, B. F. Hurley, and M. A. Rogers Myostatin
Gene Expression Is Reduced in Humans with Heavy-Resistance Strength Training: A
Experimental Biology and Medicine, June 1, 2003; 228(6): 706 - 709.) But, I
still feel it is an over simplification to label every variation among
bodybuilders as "genetics".
When trying to figure out what is making the difference between bodybuilders you
should start with those things that are most different between individuals. Keep
in mind that the genetics that are involved in muscle tissue regeneration and
hypertrophy are more identical between individuals that any other variable.
So the most probable factors involved in producing the differences in overall
body mass you see in various professional bodybuilders are diet, training, drugs
dosages and combinations, and the duration of treatment. I’ll discuss each
An appropriate diet is absolutely critical for muscle growth. Insufficient
calories inhibit growth by increasing catabolic activity and by directly
decreasing IGF-1 whether you're using testosterone or not (Karila T, Koistinen
H, Seppala M, Koistinen R, Seppala T. Growth hormone induced increase in serum
IGFBP-3 level is reversed by anabolic steroids in substance abusing power
athletes. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1998 Oct;49(4):459-63.). I don't think its
too difficult for someone to understand that a guy who is always trying to stay
lean by keeping his calories/carbs really low, isn't going to have much
success putting on new body mass. And like I said just a second ago,
testosterone isn't going to make a person impervious to the ravages of
dieting. Even guys on multi grams dosages lose lean mass when they cut their
calories too low.
Training is probably one of the most misunderstood factors when steroids are
involved. This especially becomes a problem with veteran bodybuilders. They have
been training the same way and using steroids for so long they are completely
stalled out. Sure, they're big, but they don't grow from month to month or
even year to year. What allowed them to grow when they were rookies, and still
increasing the dosages, simply doesn't do the trick anymore. This is mostly
because their training was inefficient to begin with, and the level of androgens
their maintaining isn't sufficient to support more mass anyway.
About the amount of drugs used, there comes a point where, all things being
equal, the higher the level of testosterone use, the more overall body mass one
can maintain. The anabolic properties of androgens are dose dependant. (See
Bhasin S, Woodhouse L, Casaburi R, Singh AB, Bhasin D, Berman N, Chen X,
Yarasheski KE, Magliano L, Dzekov C, Dzekov J, Bross R, Phillips J, Sinha-Hikim
I, Shen R, Storer TW. Testosterone dose-response relationships in healthy young
men. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Dec;281(6):E1172-81.; and Woodhouse LJ,
Reisz-Porszasz S, Javanbakht M, Storer TW, Lee M, Zerounian H, Bhasin S.
Development of models to predict anabolic response to testosterone
administration in healthy young men. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2003
May;284(5):E1009-17.) We know for sure it is up to 600 mg/week without showing
any signs of diminishing returns so I estimate it would continue until about
1,000mg/wk, but I'm speculating on that figure. Still, from the research we
have, you get (all things being equal) about 3 pounds (1.5 kg) of fat free mass
for every 100mg of testosterone per week up to at least 600 mg/week over the
course of about 16 weeks of use. And like I said, the dose response showed no
signs of attenuation, it was linear through 600 mg/week. And this is without any
exercise or mass gaining diet! So clearly, drug dosages make a big difference.
As far as drug type and combinations go, it is well known that the testosterone
esters elicit the greatest increases in circulating GH and IGF-1 levels, where
as steroids that don't aromatize do not have any GH or IGF-1 boosting effect
and thus are inferior mass building drugs. The proper use of GH, ephedrine, and
Cytomel can also allow higher caloric intakes without concomitant fat gain.
And finally, duration of treatment. Simply put, the longer your physique is
under the influence of high androgens, and hypertrophy-specific training and
dieting practices, the bigger you will grow. We're not talking weeks or months
here. We're talking years. Granted, after using androgens for several months,
you reach a quasi steady-state, meaning, your system normalizes, although
at a higher body weight. This is when and why it is important for any top level
bodybuilder to continue to try to make his/her training as effective as
So, to make a short story long, all of these variables, not to mention age and
musculoskeletal structure, contribute most heavily to the differences you see in
today's pro bodybuilders. However, there are indeed genetic differences that
we are only now beginning to investigate. These differences involve androgen
receptors primarily, but will also involve satellite cells and of course
11-26-2003, 01:18 AM
Good read Ray.
So the answer is "lots of things". lol
11-26-2003, 01:26 AM
lol , thats the reason i posted that , it covers every factor , and in detail , and offers us hope too .
11-26-2003, 01:44 AM
Awesome read Ray, this should probably become a sticky here.
-Saving random peoples' nuts, one pair at at time... PCT info:
-Are you really ready for a cycle? Read this link and be honest:
*I am not a medical expert, my opinions are not professional, and I strongly suggest doing research of your own.*
11-26-2003, 06:43 AM
great post ray.
Or maybe the ultimate limiting factor is time.
11-30-2003, 07:56 AM
yeah , time is one important factor , in one of my discussion with ... lets just call them someone , lol , this point was brought up , here's what he said , would like to post here :
"Myostatin is not the great inhibitor people think it is. Its a growth factor released after muscle damage, since it cannot pass the membrane. Its work then consists of inhibiting proliferation and differentiation of sattelite cells. This prevents the IGF-1 that will be released to restore the muscle damage (through training and testosterone/estrogen/GH
pathways) will not infinitely increase infusion or incorporate too many nuclei. That would defeat the purpose since too much energy and protein would be lost to the extra muscle, leaving other elements of the system vulnerable. However, that doesn't mean that myostatin limits how much you grow, it merely limits how much you grow at one time. And if you have a low number of sattelite cells, odds are you will have to
take a little longer to achieve the same. However GDF-8 release and activity is equally controlled and regulated, so you, like anyone can attain the same growth as those Olympia freaks.
All myostatin does is make it difficult to exceed a certain barrier, since nutrient allocation is more important. Add in that a 300 pound person could not possibly eat sufficient to grow at a very large rate or get enough androgens to saturate all AR at all times, and you know why growth is limited.
So if you have higher myostatin expression, you will have to work a tad harder, and probably a little longer. But like you said, training and steroids are the great equalizers. Increased IGF-1 and androgens without a concomitant increase in GDF-8.
I know its a popular thing as well to refer to bovine breeds that grow larger due to lower myostatin. In effect, its just that they grow easier. Any cow could attain the same size, with proper training. But uh, how many cows do you know that lift weights ?
In that aspect I'm completely the opposite of a whole legion of 80's guru's. I don't believe in genetics. Or at least not in the limits they impose on us. We are too far ahead in science to let something as stupid as that stop us."
11-30-2003, 08:08 AM
Well also the cows in question are products of many years of seletive breeding.. now this could be done with humans also BUT this would a highly questionable practice.
Very similar questions could and will be raised in the next few years because of the human genome project that has allowed for the mapping of these genes and will allow for manipulation farther down the road.
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