Does bodyfat help you gain muscle?

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    Does bodyfat help you gain muscle?


    I've been wondering about this one for a little while. This guy at my gym that competes said that you'll put on more muscle mass if you have a decent amount of bodyfat on you.

    Also one person in another thread said this:

    You might have to sacrifice single digit body fat to pack on mass for your chest. I'm talking about lean bulking here. Would you mind bumping your body fat up in the 10-12 % range if that means packing on quality slabs of chest muscle?

    So what's the deal?!

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    I am not so sure you stated what the guy in your gym actually meant. I BELIEVE what he was trying to say is to gain max muscle you will also gain some fat.

    IMO you don't have to already have fat to gain muscle but to gain the most muscle you will end up gaining some fat.

    Now that being said it seems there are more and more competitive bodybuilders staying around 12% in the off season instead of going up to 18% or more. Then when cutting it is not such a drastic ordeal


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    well generally speaking the heavier you are the stronger you are, the stronger you are the heavier the weights you lift are which can lead to more muscle growth

    but no you do not HAVE to have lots of fat to gain muscle .. its easier to gain muscle in general if you are willing to put on fat as well since you're putting you body is a hyper caloric environment
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    I've always heard that the higher a BF% you have before bulking, the higher the ratio of fat:muscle becomes as you add weight. To clarify: if you have a higher BF% and start to add weight, more of it will be fat compared to if you tried to add the same amount of weight starting out at a lower BF%.
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    Gdawg, I've heard that frequently too... but I question the validity of that due to the fact that people with higher setpoint bodyfat %s tend to put on more fat, whereas people with lower setpoint bodyfat %s tend to put on more muscle when weight is gained -- so there's an innate bias. I'd like to see the actual research behind that and see how they accounted for it.
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    Thanks for all the replies. That clears this up much for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AldrichAStern
    Gdawg, I've heard that frequently too... but I question the validity of that due to the fact that people with higher setpoint bodyfat %s tend to put on more fat, whereas people with lower setpoint bodyfat %s tend to put on more muscle when weight is gained -- so there's an innate bias. I'd like to see the actual research behind that and see how they accounted for it.
    That's a good point. I would like to see the results of the SAME PERSON at different bodyfat levels put on the same amount of weight. The only thing is there are so many other variables going on to know for sure if the actual starting bodyfat level had an impact on the quality of weight gain.
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    EXTREMELY simplistically, this comes down to leptin output. Leptin is generated by the fat you have. Within reason, leptin levels can trigger fat accumulation if there isn't much, and conversely as leptin increases fat burning increases (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0210080157.htm). BUT it seems that the theory's only half baked, there's (recent) evidence that as fat levels accumulate, the body becomes "resistant" to the leptin signal and triggers other body changes (like making blood "clot" reducing energy efficiency: http://gaining-mass.com/modules/news...php?storyid=97).

    Ergo, the chain breaks and you get fatter. Something like the theory of Syndrome X/insulin resistance.

    So the modified (and highly tenous) theory says something like "The more fat, the more leptin, the more leptin, the more that the body starts to fight leptin, the less leptin does for you, finally excess calories go to fat." (note the magical word "theory" sprinkled liberally through here...)

    From all evidence that I've seen and according to several guys I know who have bulked beginning at various fat percentages, you want to get very lean (under 10%) and then do a clean mass up . FYI when massing, sugar or other "fat storing" elements of your diet REALLY affect the amount of fat you put on. You're so heavy with food intake there is no room for crap in the diet...if you're going to "cheat" one day, one thing you can try is to cut the cals on your good carbs (while keeping protein the same) when bulking to "balance out".

    Now, lean does not mean TOO lean. Testosterone and other hormones crash out and stall once fat levels get too low. So consider what food coming in does...

    It appears there might be a "magical zone" in around 7-10% that's ideal.

    I bulked before starting from 180 ~12% fat until I got to 195 at ~16%. I'm currently 168, 5.95% (all these according to 9-sites, I actually think they're underestimating by about 3%).

    It is my intention to do a very clean increase as of today ("sculpting style") until 183 lbs, that should be a 15 lb increase either way. When it's over this round, I will compare the results. I anticipate it will take longer this time -- evidence that less fat's accumulating (assuming LBM gains at the same rate).

    However, Gdawg's right -- how can I possibly rule out other factors (e.g. I now have a 1 year old daughter, stress, I'm a year older, etc. etc.) but it should be interesting. PM me on http://gaining-mass.com in a couple of months for an update.
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenihan
    well generally speaking the heavier you are the stronger you are, the stronger you are the heavier the weights you lift are which can lead to more muscle growth

    but no you do not HAVE to have lots of fat to gain muscle .. its easier to gain muscle in general if you are willing to put on fat as well since you're putting you body is a hyper caloric environment
    Couldn't have said it better
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieTrying
    Couldn't have said it better
    I'll second that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gdawg
    I've always heard that the higher a BF% you have before bulking, the higher the ratio of fat:muscle becomes as you add weight. To clarify: if you have a higher BF% and start to add weight, more of it will be fat compared to if you tried to add the same amount of weight starting out at a lower BF%.
    This is simple cause the higher BF you have the more cals you need to be in a muscle building state. Obviously a fatter person would need more cals to build muscle then someone with a 10% BF thus adding more fat to what they already have. I've always been a believer that you cut first then bulk. Cutting is a bitch so I prefer not to put on loads of fat when I do bulk.
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