Building muscle at maintenance calories - AnabolicMinds.com

Building muscle at maintenance calories

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    Question Building muscle at maintenance calories


    Here’s something I’ve been wondering about for a while now. This is directed to Bobo and the guys who know the most:

    Is it possible to build muscle and increase strength while consuming only your daily maintenance calories (or less)? Here’s the scenario: You take in the proper amount of protein, carbs, and fat each day indicative of muscle building (abundant protein) while staying at maintenance calories. You work out three times a week for general strength with some hypertrophy providing a condition your body must adapt to by building more muscle. So you’re sending your body a signal to build muscle, but at the same time you’re not consuming a superfluous amount of energy that would suit anabolism. Faced with this situation how does your body adapt? Certainly it wouldn’t break down available muscle to build muscle as that’s self-defeating. So if it needs this energy and has an abundance available in subcutaneous fat stores, what’s preventing it from tapping into that store to build the muscle you’re demanding it to?

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    I know that when I'm on maintenance cals, there is hardly any way that I'm gonna add strength to the bar or weight to the frame. I always have to have an overabundance of everything in order to keep gaining. I'm sure it's a lot harder for my body now at 245lb.s than it was at say 190. But I also know that I can lose weight in a hearbeat vs. gaining it. Hopefully when I get a bit older, my metabolism will slow down somewhat.

    But for the guys with better genetics, etc. then I see no reason why they can't gain even at a sub-optimal caloric intake. SOme are just built for this and some aren't....the ones that aren't have to put the pedal to the medal and put in that extra effort into their diet.
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    It's definately possible... but it would have alot to with your overall fitness level to begin with.

    For instance.. In Feb 16th 2004, I weighed 410 pounds at 6'.

    I lost 130 pounds by around October 2004... and while doing so I went from not being able to bench 3 sets of 90 pounds... to benching about 3 sets of 8 for about 280 pounds.

    All my lifts have similarly improved.. granted alot of that is mind muscle connection.. and generally improved cardio fitness.


    I ate -750 + deficit per day.. not taking into account my regular cardio.

    Did cardio 5-6 days a week....

    and lost 3-4 pounds a week.

    I gained obviouse muscle mass all around that I can assure you... all well cutting on a massive scale.

    ---

    I'm now benching 330 for reps, squating almost 400 pounds free weights...

    But I'm bulking right now and up 36 pounds. (311 pounds)
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    if you're gaining muscle you aren't by definition at maintaince cals .. you're over .. if you were truly at maintaince cals you would maintain your current weight
    Last edited by glenihan; 01-28-2005 at 02:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenihan
    if you're gaining muscle you aren't by definition at maintaince cals .. you're over .. if you were truly at maintaince cals you would maintain you're current weight
    In theory yes, I see what you mean...I guess the right way to put it would be can people make gains with small amounts of calories. SOme guys can just gain eating 3000-3500cals/day....damn, wish I was one of 'em...
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    I am only speculating and speaking anecdotally, but I believe proper nutrient timing can contribute to and promote new LBM through nutrient partioning at maintenance. I believe a lot of this is very dependent on your by type as well. I have no scientific evidence to support this but some experience practicing these principles. I am a nearly middle aged sedentary endo who can become over fat very easily so I try to practice this most of the time.
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    Glenihan is right. Its simple thermodynamics. Some people when they first start can increase fiber thickness with relatively few calories but for the most part any type of hypertrophy needs some sort of excess calories.

    You can increase strenght though fairly easily if your trianing regiment is geared towards that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    Glenihan is right. Its simple thermodynamics. Some people when they first start can increase fiber thickness with relatively few calories but for the most part any type of hypertrophy needs some sort of excess calories.

    You can increase strenght though fairly easily if your trianing regiment is geared towards that.
    Someday I might sign up with you... I'm curiuos as to what you might to do me... But first I want to loose the rest of my bf and see what's all underneath.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    but for the most part any type of hypertrophy needs some sort of excess calories.
    yes, but would not having a greater calorie intake targeted around these periods (nutrient timing) and less during other periods still support this. IOW...higher caloric intake on or around training days/periods and less on others for an overall (average weekly/month) maintenance level intake.
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    Yes and no. Muscle gain along with fat loss is achieved over a long peroid of time (much longer than any bracketed time period). You probably have a better chance of those calories being put to better use (muscle gain rather than fat storage) through nutrient timing but you still need an excess over a fairly long and sustained time frame to grow. You simple have a better change of those calories going towards muscle growth rather than fat storgage when consumed around a workout. But in the end you still need some sort of excess calories for new growth to occur.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    You simple have a better change of those calories going towards muscle growth rather than fat storgage when consumed around a workout. But in the end you still need some sort of excess calories for new growth to occur.
    I concur
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    Something else to considder is that as long as nutrient intake and timing is optimal, this is easier to accomplish in a person with a higher bodyfat % and is nowhere near genetic limits of growth. The leaner you get the less likely it is possible without a caloric excess.
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    Yes, the balance between supporting growth and growing fat. As I get older, I need to be leaner (less fat) as I grow. BUt for me I do find that year after year that I still gain around the same amount of new LBM while learning to do so with just a little less fat each time. Surplus still makes me fat easier than grows muscle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lean One
    Something else to considder is that as long as nutrient intake and timing is optimal, this is easier to accomplish in a person with a higher bodyfat % and is nowhere near genetic limits of growth. The leaner you get the less likely it is possible without a caloric excess.
    Well that took care of my question.
    I went from 15.5% bf @ 189.2 (86kg) to 11.2%bf @ 188.8 (85.8 kg) in the last few months and I am starting to wonder when this nirvana will end
    All on low GI PWO too!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew69
    All on low GI PWO too!
    Didn't you know? Low GI won't work






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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew69
    Well that took care of my question.
    I went from 15.5% bf @ 189.2 (86kg) to 11.2%bf @ 188.8 (85.8 kg) in the last few months and I am starting to wonder when this nirvana will end
    All on low GI PWO too!
    Nice work. I did basicly the same thing over a year and a half. Going from 15% to 16% down to 7% picking up about 5 to7 lbs LBM. To get below that, I had to be real strict with everything.Also, nowadays, If I want to gain LBM, I gotta accept a little fat with it. That's dealt with on short order though after a bulk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    Didn't you know? Low GI won't work






    Bobo, it works here, but not at bb.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lean One
    Nice work. I did basicly the same thing over a year and a half. Going from 15% to 16% down to 7% picking up about 5 to7 lbs LBM. To get below that, I had to be real strict with everything.Also, nowadays, If I want to gain LBM, I gotta accept a little fat with it. That's dealt with on short order though after a bulk.
    Thanks.
    If I get to 7%, Id happily accept some fat with my bulk!
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    Glad to see such informative responses!
  

  
 

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