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  1. #1
    bryanc
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    The obession with doing nothing

    Here's an interesting (although simplified) tidbit, spawned by my reading a thread on MH about losing fat. There's a guy over there who wants to lose fat (like 75% of the people over at MH). One suggestion that I have seen for people looking to lose that last 6%, or whatever, is to "bulk". The theory is that if you gain muscle, then you will burn more calories at rest (i.e. while doing nothing). This really makes no sense to me, since, in order to increase body mass, an excess of calories has to be consumed; and the increase in muscle mass as a result of this "bulk" likely has a negligible effect on "fat loss".

    If we use the generalized Minnesota BMR formulae, an increase of 5 pounds in body weight (I'm not sure what % body fat the Minnesota formulae use) results in an increased BMR of approximately 30-35 calories per day. That's it. That's even after accounting for activities (because the cost of activities doesn't necessarily go up exponentially with a linear increase in mass).

    There are lots of benefits to lifting weights. You get stronger, you _do_ improve muscle tone (as differentiated from "toning"), you may be less prone to some injuries (though you expose yourself to a whole new set of them when you lift weights), there's evidence to suggest weight lifting may help improve bone and tendon health. BUT, is one of the benefits to lifting weights REALLY "weight loss" (apart from the increased caloric expenditure that wouldn't be there if you did nothing instead of lifting weights)? Or is the claim that weight lifting (or perhaps we should call it "increasing lean body mass" and throw the two--eating and lifting--in the pool together) is an "easier" way to weight loss simply a claim that is geared toward the population of people that want their proverbial cake to have and to eat?

  2. #2

    The obession with doing nothing

    I just replyed to a thread over there telling a guy I would recommend a bulk from where he was at, I am not sure if its the thread you are refering to or not. The guy was 155 at 15% bodyfat and his eventual goal was to get to 8%. He had just come off a massive diet. My recomendation was to go on a bulk as slow and cleanly as possible to try to add about 10-12 lbs, hopefully most coming from muscle, then cut. My reasons, His metabolism could use the boost and dropping to 8% bf while already at 155 is going to make him look really skinny and not ripped. Again, I can't comment on any other threads, but this was my take on this one.
    Danny
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  3. #3
    bryanc
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    The obession with doing nothing

    That thread is just one of many--same recommendations though. But the point of the thread (which is why I wasn't responding to the threads on MH) is to put to the question whether the "metabolic boost" accrued by a gain in lean weight is actually significant enough to have any detectable difference (i.e. is there really any kind of boost at all?); or whether the whole idea of "build lean body mass to lose fat" is a "marketing tool" of some kind (i.e. an exaggeration of what actually occurs, based on the theoretical principle that if you have more muscle tissue, you will burn more calories at rest).

    And all of this ties into the larger picture of where the fitness industry focuses its attention--although most wise trainers realize that there are no quick fixes, it seems that there an awful lot of strategies geared towards work avoidance (i.e. emphasis on raising basal metabolic rate at rest, emphasis on the thermal effect of food, even the whole concept of insulin spiking and low GI foods--which, in the big picture of "fat loss" probably don't have a whole lot of impact, perhaps EVEN in conjuction with healthy eating, "workful" strategies), which seems counter-intuitive towards the message that changing your body is a process that occurs over time and through effort.

  4. #4

    The obession with doing nothing

    Bryan, sorry I misread your post, or maybe I am more sensitive than I thought and felt the need to defend myself [img]smile.gif[/img] .
    So to respond to the actual question, I agree with you. My reasons for telling people to bulk (I don't like that term for my recomendations) is to kickstart the metabolism which down-regulates after too much dieting, and often, people don't have the muscle mass to be ripped yet.
    I think things like the metabolic boost and thermogenic effect of food are just too much after a while. I consider them nice bonuses. I don't ever plan for them, so that way, if I don't notice the effects, it doesn't matter. If it does happen, its a bonus. I used to read stuff by guys like Berardi and think I found the holy grail, until it didn't work any better for me than anything else. Now I don't sweat the small stuff, get the calories I should be, ensure proper amounts of protein and good fats, and make sure my carb sources are relativly low GI (I am not super strict on this one, I eat a lot of pasta) and make sure to burn a ton of calories. My approach seems to work pretty well and I don't have to spend nearly as much time thinking as I used too. None of this is very scientific, but its just my experience.
    Danny
    Limitations are for people who have them.

    Chicks Dig Me.

    Training Log

  5. #5

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    The obession with doing nothing

    You need to pose your question to Lou Schuler since he is a big proponent of gaining muscle mass to lose weight. He's written two books and countless articles on it. Check 'em out...at least to me, the logic in his thinking seems sound. Of course, there are a lot of variables he says must be controlled, diet being one of them.
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  6. #6
    joshman
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    The obession with doing nothing

    But, doesn't making yourself stronger allow you to lift more, therefore burning more calories per workout?

  7. #7

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    The obession with doing nothing

    Not just per workout, but more importantly, for basal metabolic consumption. At least that's what Lou says.
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  8. #8

    The obession with doing nothing

    Strength training, even on hypocaloric diets, has been shown to cause a significant increase RMR without an increase in lean body mass. While lean body mass is certainly a significant factor in RMR it is not the only one.

    Bill

  9. #9

    The obession with doing nothing

    Originally posted by Bill Hartman:
    Strength training, even on hypocaloric diets, has been shown to cause a significant increase RMR without an increase in lean body mass. While lean body mass is certainly a significant factor in RMR it is not the only one.

    Bill
    Significant being ~300 extra calories per day? That's what the number was last time I checked.
    I'm homosexual and I also wear women's underwear. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  10. #10

    The obession with doing nothing

    Actually, I was referring to statistical significance. Back in the olden days when I was working on my master's degree, I had to do a lot of reading on RMR and EPOC as it was part of my research project. If memory serves it was as much as 5-10% depending on training volume, age, sex, etc.

    Bill

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