I read an article on T-Nation and here is what I learned
Here’s what you need to know :
After a certain point, your ability to gain muscle will not go faster by consuming more food.
The body can’t build more than a few kilograms (pounds) of muscle in a month. Remember that the weight you gain is not only muscle.
There is a better way to gain muscle. Don’t used the bulking period as an excuse to eat junk food.
The gluttony game
To have more volume you have to eat more, we agree. You will be able to gain a large amount of muscle mass only if you eat enough calories and nutrients to help your body to build muscle. For those who take steroids, that’s another story. In fact, if you don’t eat enough, it’s possible that you lose muscle even if you train hard. More you eat, more you grown.
But not so fast
If you don’t eat enough, your muscle growth will stagnate but that doesn’t mean that if you eat more, you will gain much more muscle.
A major mistake that you can do when you train to have a muscular physique and aesthetic, it’s eating too much junk food and have a high percentage of body fat to boost your muscle growth.
When you are natural, your body has a limited ability to build muscle. The amount of muscle you can build depends on the ability that your body has to synthesize new muscle tissue from protein you eat.
The ability of your body to synthesize the protein depends on your natural testosterone levels, your testosterone with your cortisol ratio, your insulin sensitivity and your genetics.
You can eat the amount of food that you want, you can’t change your ability to synthesize protein. Overeating will increase your body fat percentage.
Your body is a construction worker
Imagine that your muscles is like a house you trying to build. The bricks are amino acids (from proteins) and the money to pay construction workers are carbohydrates and fat you eat.
If you don’t give enough bricks (protein), they will not be able to build the house as fast as they can. A deficiency in protein means a slow muscle growth.
If you don’t pay your construction workers enough with nutrition, they will not be motivated to work hard. If you really don’t pay your construction workers, they will even destroy your muscles (catabolism due to a too low calories intake ).
In summary, if you don’t eat enough protein and calories, you will gain muscle very slowly.
Giving more bricks (protein) to your construction workers , they will be able to build the house faster. But at some point, sending too many bricks will not speed up the construction speed. For example, your construction workers can add 1000 bricks per day in a wall. If you give them 2000 bricks, it will be useless because it will exceed their ability to work. This is the same thing for the salary (calories).
The athletic threshold
« But I gained 6.7kg (15lbs) in 3 months and I didn’t gain fat »
This is something we often hear. If it’s possible to gain only a few kilograms (pounds) of muscle per month, why so many people say they have gained much muscle without gaining fat ?
It’s possible to gain muscle without gaining much fat and the answer is : an athletic body. An athletic body isn’t the body you see in bodybuilding competitions. An athletic body has a body fat percentage between 10-20%.
The guy believe he gained 6.7kg (15lbs) of solid muscle because visually, he looks to have kept the same body fat’s percentage. But if we look in detail, he gained 2.7kg (6lbs) of muscle, 3.1kg (7lbs) of glycogen and 0.9kg (2lbs) of fat in a period of 3 months.
Here are two situations :
Go on a bulking phase
Gain 11.3kg (25lbs) over a period of 6 months
The details of 11.3kg (25lbs) is 2.2-4.5kg (5-10lbs) of muscles and the rest is 0.9-1.8kg of glycogen (2-4lbs) and 4.5-6.8kg (10-15lbs) of fat.
To lose the excess fat, you have to do a strict diet. If you are extremely strict, you can expect to lose 0.4-0.9kg (1-2lbs) of fat per week without losing muscle.
The best scenario is 6-12 weeks to lose fat. Otherwise 12-20 weeks.
Increase your calories but just enough to give your body the nutrition needed to maximize your muscle growth.
You gain 0.6kg (1.5lbs) of muscle per month with less fat.
After 6 months, you gain weight 2.2-4.5kg (5-10lbs) but only 1.3-2.2kg (3-5lbs) of fat.
To lose fat, you need to do a diet for a month.
The best way
Many people ruin the potential of their body with the internet gurus tips that advise eating as much as possible (even junk food). Result, a lo of unnecessary fat that gives the impression of being muscular.
Many people don’t eat enough to help muscle growth but eating too much or eating junk food isn’t the solution. We must calculate the number of calories that we have to take a day and select food throughout the year.
Did you go in a bulking period ?