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Thread: Eating Optimally for Massive Size and Strength

  1. #1
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Eating Optimally for Massive Size and Strength

    Eating Optimally for Massive Size and Strength by Chris Mason

    Insulin’s association with blood sugar is generally well known, but what is less known is its ability to mediate protein synthesis and thus skeletal muscle recovery and potential growth.

    Insulin sensitivity, or the body’s receptiveness to its effects, is key to optimal health and results in the gym.

    Learn how to control daily insulin releases through what you eat and when you eat for unbelievable strength and muscle gains!

    Enjoy and discuss away!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Virtron's Avatar
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    I knew it! Crazy kids with their meals every 2 hours. I remember learning about this in Anatomy and Physiology. I didn't know about the efficiency of a pre-workout meal though. Cool stuff.
    When I die. I want to be frozen. And if they have to freeze me in pieces, so be it. I will wake up stronger than ever, because I will have used that time, to figure out exactly why I died. And what moves I could have used to defend myself better now that I know what hold he had me in.

  3. #3
    THE IRON NEVER LIES given'er's Avatar
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    This is exactly what I've been waiting for. Great article! Thanks Chris

  4. #4
    Senior Member danmac's Avatar
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    Hey just so you guys know, the article summary on the front page is still the one about unholy's transformation.
    Last edited by danmac; 07-29-2009 at 04:07 PM.
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  5. #5
    I drink your milkshake twm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danmac View Post
    Hey just so you guys know, the article summary on the front page is still the one about unholy's transformation.
    was about to post the same thing.

  6. #6
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    I dunno looks like the simple balanced diet my mother has shoved down my throat for years. Aside from the supplements my diet looks almost identical to that sample diet cited.

  7. #7
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danmac View Post
    Hey just so you guys know, the article summary on the front page is still the one about unholy's transformation.
    Thanks, fixed!
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  8. #8
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    noob question: why not spike insulin prior to bed?

  9. #9
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I would not be opposed to it within the confines of limiting your total spikes per day.


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    have you studied the effects of carbohydrate consumption on the pituitary gland, Chris? I seem to remember that consuming carbohydrates will inhibit the pituitary gland from secreting as much growth hormone (and thus levels of IGF will drop and anabolism will decrease). Since GH is released naturally during sleep cycles, it makes sense not to consume carbohydrates right before bedtime. I'm kinda shaky on the details though....you probably know more.

  11. #11
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    In short, no. I also don't think any reduction in GH from carb consumption (if it occurs) would be sufficient to have any effect on one's physique.


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    I cant figure out how to tweak this because I train at 4am and get up at three am
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    In short, no. I also don't think any reduction in GH from carb consumption (if it occurs) would be sufficient to have any effect on one's physique.
    cool....I think you're probably right...its probably insignificant. Still, what are your thoughts about a carb cutoff? Say around 5-6pm (no carbs after that).

  14. #14
    Wannabebig Member YoungNoble's Avatar
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    simple carbs aren't essential or a stand-alone solution to producing an insulin spike. this is a huge misconception perpetuated throughout the years by the bodybuilding community.
    Remember: whether you think you can or you can't, you're right.

  15. #15
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungNoble View Post
    simple carbs aren't essential or a stand-alone solution to producing an insulin spike. this is a huge misconception perpetuated throughout the years by the bodybuilding community.
    No, but they certainly do the trick.


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    ^ protein also causes an insulin spike, but nowhere near the level that the same amount of dextrose will cause. This can be proven quite easily. Go workout and slug down 50g of whey protein. And wait for the insulin spike (it will be there). Now next workout slug down 50g of dextrose and feel the PUMP about 15 minutes later. Its ridiculous your muscle swell up with size sucking that sugar up. Thats insulin you're feeling. The most anabolic hormone known to man.
    Last edited by samadhi_smiles; 08-07-2009 at 09:40 AM.

  17. #17
    Super Ectomorph on Crack Justin Ryan's Avatar
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    just read the article and had a few questions.
    I posted this in my journal as well, but I don't think I'll get any replies. ha ha ha

    It says to for a person 18-22 to eat 25calories/lb of body weight. for me that would be 158x25=3950...

    I was just wondering if something is wrong. I've been averaging 2500 calories a day and have been gaining 1 to 2lbs per week steadily for the last 5 weeks. All my lifts have been going up, i'm not gaining excessive fat, and I think I'm actually gaining visable muscle. (unless it's all in my head, but my clothes are fitting too tight around my thighs, and my shirts are alll gettting to small)

    so my question is should I bump up to 4000 calories a day? or see where 2500 takes me and then add 300 calories every time I feel the need to?

    Don't know if it makes a difference or not, but I'm taking creatine, some NO thing I got for free so why not pre w/o, and protein powder.

    Thanks for any advice guys!

    God Bless

  18. #18
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    As Chris will probably tell you, any calculation to calculate daily calorie intake is pretty hit and miss down to the fact that everyone is different and does different things.

    What is key is what works for YOU. If you are gaining 1-2lbs a week and you aren;t noticably putting on much bodyfat and your lifts are going up, that's PERFECT in my opinion. If you are in some sort of rush to pack on weight and don't care abouit bodyfat, sure up things a bit. But, gaining 1-2lbs per week and getting stronger on most lifts is a damn perfect scenario if you ask me and one I wouldn't change.

    To demonstrate how personal this calculation is, we are launching a new article today (bulk vs cutting) and the author recommends a different calculation to Chris's... Lower I believe.
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  19. #19
    Super Ectomorph on Crack Justin Ryan's Avatar
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    Thanks Dan!

    Just what I needed to know

  20. #20
    Wannabebig Member YoungNoble's Avatar
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    so what are folks using for PWO to produce this insulin spike?

    dextrose? malto/dex combo? WMS?`
    Remember: whether you think you can or you can't, you're right.

  21. #21
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Any of those will work. Don't get overly caught up in what you use for the spike, just get the spike.

    By the way, for anyone who likes this article, please post a link to it on other sites you frequent.

    Chris


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  22. #22
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    The article has some good information in it especially for noobs. These are my thoughts on it.

    Studies have shown that postprandial (after a meal) MPS remains elevated for roughly 2-3 hours (longer with a high fat meal) (2). Ingestion of more amino acids, or another protein containing meal within 4-6 hours will not renew or further enhance MPS

    So here you are saying that MPS will not be renewed by eating another protein meal 4 to 6 hours after the first one. Then this next statement completely contradicts that.

    Finally, we know that MPS can only effectively be stimulated once every 4-6 hours… Soooo, what to do? The answer is deceptively simple. Consume meals with simple or complex carbs and quality protein every 4-6 waking hours

    **** You are misunderstanding what I wrote. The point is that consuming protein every 2-3 hours will not improve protein synthesis. There should be a minimum of 4, and up to 6 hours between protein consuming meals. Yes, it should be obvious (thus I did not feel the need to state it outright) that I was speaking of waking hours.

    Obviously you would not be able to eat every 6 hours unless you were awake 24/7. Most people I think would agree that you should get at least 8 hours of sleep. So that leaves us with 16 hours. So one would have to eat every 2 to 4 hours in order to meet their caloric needs for that day assuming you are eating smaller more frequent meals. I don't think people eat every 2 to 3 hours with the intention of initiating MPS every time they eat, they eat every 2 to 3 hours to make sure they are getting the amount of calories in that they need.

    With the above said, on training days when one is incorporating both PW and PWO nutrition, care should be taken to limit spiking of insulin to 2-3 other times during the day.

    Is this not the same protocol that should be used on non-training days? Appears to be so according to the sample diet posted at the end of the article.

    Many authors and gurus provide exacting formulas which they purport everyone can use to calculate their caloric needs. This is pure bunk.

    Exactly why is the method listed in your article not bunk yet others are?

    *** Lol, you are being a nitpicker, eh? Actually, I think I was pretty clear I am making a general recommendation, not saying the formula is exacting. Get the difference? Your comments indicate that you really did not read the article, you only skimmed it looking for points to argue.

    Initial Daily Intake Formulation

    * Teen + (17-22 years old): 25+ calories per pound of body weight (ex: 170 lbs trainee = 170 x 25 = 4,250 + calories)
    * Adult (23-35 years old): 23 calories per pound of body weight
    * Mature Adult (36-49 years old): 21 calories per pound of body weight
    * Older Adult (50+ years of age): For this group I recommend that caloric intake is maintained at a more moderate level. Follow the other tenets laid forth in this article, but keep caloric intake in the 16-18 calories per pound of body weight range.


    I'm 24 years old and about 6ft 200 lbs. So 23 x 200 yields 4600 calories. This figure is quite excessive compared to formulas such as the Harris-Benedict formula which would yield roughly 3600 calories a day. That is a 1000 difference between the two. With the price of food I don't want to eat another 1000 calories if it is unnecessary and will only make me fat. I understand your 1st bit of advice would be to record what you eat for a week and evaluate how your weight changes. That seems like the more logical thing to do.

    *** 200 lbs is not very big for your height. I am guessing you are not very strong either. This may just indicate your current approach is not optimal... You seem to fancy yourself a thinker. Perhaps you should open your mind and objectively consider what you have done and where it has gotten you.

    The right nutritional supplements, while not necessary to gaining size and strength, are necessary to maximizing said gains.

    So eating solid, whole foods would not yield the same gains as using the aforementioned supplements would? This article seems a little like an advertisement for said supplements.

    All in all the article provides some good info, but a lot of is not really new information.

    *** Lol, how else could I have said it? I clearly stated that you can gain size and strength without any supplementation. Certain supplements will improve results. There is no argument, that is a fact. So, if you use the right supplements you will improve your gains. If you combine an optimized diet and supplement regimen, then you will have optimized results. Again, this is a point that cannot be argued. To do so only proves an agenda or a lack of intellect.
    Last edited by chris mason; 08-25-2009 at 12:27 PM.

  23. #23
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    Although a good article, it does seem to contradict other articles I have read on this site as well as others. I have been lurking in the background and active on another site and have worked through a cut (I was way overfat) and have came to a point where I need to add some bulk to have something to work with. Im not where I want to be size wise, weight wise or BF wise but it will take time. Been trying to learn a lot about nutrition, timing of meals and proper macros for me.

    The other site I have been active on seems to push the harris, benidict formulas as a guideline to try, but also states that the figures that will work for a person will need to be determined by experimentation and could change as a person progresses. The numbers I get with that formula seem to hit closer to what I see in practice. It also works well for others. The guideline mentioned here would send me into gaining 2 to 5 pounds per week. The guideline here says I should get 2800 cal to maintain my current weight. Another article on this site had a guideline that put me at 1800 to 2000 cal. to maintain my weight. That seems to be what I see in practice and rings true to me.

    I also see a heavy push on supplements in this article. I am trying to get all needed nutrients through real food except for PW and PWO nutrition. For that I use creatine and Whey protein. So what foods could you put in place of the supplements that will provide the same results?

    As far as macros, some articles advocate equal carb/protein and the balance from fat. Others advocate higher protein and fat with balance in carb. Still others advocate higher carb with less protein ( .9 gram protein per lb of bodyweight) and no more that 20 to 25% fat. Im finding it hard to determine what I need to do. This article still prompts more questions than answers for me.

  24. #24
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Meat View Post
    The article has some good information in it especially for noobs. These are my thoughts on it.

    Studies have shown that postprandial (after a meal) MPS remains elevated for roughly 2-3 hours (longer with a high fat meal) (2). Ingestion of more amino acids, or another protein containing meal within 4-6 hours will not renew or further enhance MPS

    So here you are saying that MPS will not be renewed by eating another protein meal 4 to 6 hours after the first one. Then this next statement completely contradicts that.

    Finally, we know that MPS can only effectively be stimulated once every 4-6 hours… Soooo, what to do? The answer is deceptively simple. Consume meals with simple or complex carbs and quality protein every 4-6 waking hours

    Obviously you would not be able to eat every 6 hours unless you were awake 24/7. Most people I think would agree that you should get at least 8 hours of sleep. So that leaves us with 16 hours. So one would have to eat every 2 to 4 hours in order to meet their caloric needs for that day assuming you are eating smaller more frequent meals. I don't think people eat every 2 to 3 hours with the intention of initiating MPS every time they eat, they eat every 2 to 3 hours to make sure they are getting the amount of calories in that they need.

    With the above said, on training days when one is incorporating both PW and PWO nutrition, care should be taken to limit spiking of insulin to 2-3 other times during the day.

    Is this not the same protocol that should be used on non-training days? Appears to be so according to the sample diet posted at the end of the article.

    Many authors and gurus provide exacting formulas which they purport everyone can use to calculate their caloric needs. This is pure bunk.

    Exactly why is the method listed in your article not bunk yet others are?

    Initial Daily Intake Formulation

    * Teen + (17-22 years old): 25+ calories per pound of body weight (ex: 170 lbs trainee = 170 x 25 = 4,250 + calories)
    * Adult (23-35 years old): 23 calories per pound of body weight
    * Mature Adult (36-49 years old): 21 calories per pound of body weight
    * Older Adult (50+ years of age): For this group I recommend that caloric intake is maintained at a more moderate level. Follow the other tenets laid forth in this article, but keep caloric intake in the 16-18 calories per pound of body weight range.


    I'm 24 years old and about 6ft 200 lbs. So 23 x 200 yields 4600 calories. This figure is quite excessive compared to formulas such as the Harris-Benedict formula which would yield roughly 3600 calories a day. That is a 1000 difference between the two. With the price of food I don't want to eat another 1000 calories if it is unnecessary and will only make me fat. I understand your 1st bit of advice would be to record what you eat for a week and evaluate how your weight changes. That seems like the more logical thing to do.

    The right nutritional supplements, while not necessary to gaining size and strength, are necessary to maximizing said gains.

    So eating solid, whole foods would not yield the same gains as using the aforementioned supplements would? This article seems a little like an advertisement for said supplements.

    All in all the article provides some good info, but a lot of is not really new information.
    I am sure that Chris will chime in and discuss the points you brought up, but I did want to say a word or two..

    I love it when people give feedback on our articles, whether it be constructive or positive. Some of your points seem as if you are being critical, just for the sake of being critical. I guess nitpicking

    Let's start with the formula. I don't think what Chris says is contradictory at all. When Chris talks about specific formulas I am sure he is commenting on people who provide exact and complex calculations for daily calorie intake. I am sure you have seen these, they will include age, lean mass, sex etc etc

    Chris clearly states that his formula has a 'less exacting nature' and will need bi weekly adjustments. So I don't see a problem with him calling exact calculations bunk and offering a non exact and needing adjustment formula for those that do not want to go through the process of calculating exact calories for a 7 day period.

    I also don't see a problem with the paragraph which touches on nutritional supplements.

    Below is a sample approximately 3,700 calorie per day diet. It includes both solid foods and nutritional supplements and incorporates the tenets laid out in this article. The right nutritional supplements, while not necessary to gaining size and strength, are necessary to maximizing said gains.
    The diet outlined is correct to Chris's statement and we all know its not neccessary to take supplements to gain strength and size, but they will maximize gains and several of the supplements outlined in the diet contain ingredients that you cannot get through real foods.

    Lastly, it's not exactly rocket science to work out that WBB and ALN are affiliated. ALN wholly funds WBB's upkeep so of course we are going to use our content to help promote products. We've always done this in a subtle way and in a way where this doesn't dictate the content, but the content is first and foremost, but where there is an opportunity to promote, we of course take advantage of it. You would be very surprised with what it costs to run WBB on a monthly basis. I feel your statement that 'the article is an advertisement for said supplements' is a bit harsh.

    Pop over to several other sites that have a simular content/commercial relationship with two sites and you'll find the push for supplement advertising is MUCH more aggressive.
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  25. #25
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earthbuddy1 View Post
    Although a good article, it does seem to contradict other articles I have read on this site as well as others. I have been lurking in the background and active on another site and have worked through a cut (I was way overfat) and have came to a point where I need to add some bulk to have something to work with. Im not where I want to be size wise, weight wise or BF wise but it will take time. Been trying to learn a lot about nutrition, timing of meals and proper macros for me.

    The other site I have been active on seems to push the harris, benidict formulas as a guideline to try, but also states that the figures that will work for a person will need to be determined by experimentation and could change as a person progresses. The numbers I get with that formula seem to hit closer to what I see in practice. It also works well for others. The guideline mentioned here would send me into gaining 2 to 5 pounds per week. The guideline here says I should get 2800 cal to maintain my current weight. Another article on this site had a guideline that put me at 1800 to 2000 cal. to maintain my weight. That seems to be what I see in practice and rings true to me.

    I also see a heavy push on supplements in this article. I am trying to get all needed nutrients through real food except for PW and PWO nutrition. For that I use creatine and Whey protein. So what foods could you put in place of the supplements that will provide the same results?

    As far as macros, some articles advocate equal carb/protein and the balance from fat. Others advocate higher protein and fat with balance in carb. Still others advocate higher carb with less protein ( .9 gram protein per lb of bodyweight) and no more that 20 to 25% fat. Im finding it hard to determine what I need to do. This article still prompts more questions than answers for me.
    Do what the article says. See what your results are. If you don't like them, try something else.


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